A landmark in the SAxxi project, this integrated and international collection of essays explores the potential for a complete commentary on Sidonius' works, starting with a retrospective on Sidonius scholarship up to the present, and then focusing in turn on his verse and his prose. The strangeness of his poetry triggers a critical contemporary assessment and a proposal for better understanding through the theory of Cultural Memory; there follow case studies of the panegyrics and of poems within the letters, and examinations of his intertextuality with Horace and Claudian. Research into Sidonius’ prose is represented by two contrasting essays on the composition of the letter collection, by a demonstration of how Sidonius constructs history to create contemporary identity, and by a groundbreaking chapter applying text linguistics to the letters. An appendix fills a significant scholarly lacuna with Helga Köhler’s indices to her commentary on Letters, Book 1 (Heidelberg, 1995).This book will be important for both literary and historical scholars of the late Roman world, for both Classicists and Medievalists.AcknowledgementsviiInformation on AuthorsixNote on Abbreviations and ReferencesxiiiINTRODUCTION1. Joop van Waarden, Sidonius in the 21st Century abstract3PART 1: CULTURAL DIVERSITY IN RESEARCH2. David Amherdt, Sidonius in Francophone Countries abstract233. Helga Köhler, Sidonius in German-Speaking Countries abstract374. Stefania Santelia, Sidonius in Italy abstract47PART 2: THE CARMINA: POETICS AND INTERTEXTUALITY5. Piet Gerbrandy, The Failure of Sidonius’ Poetry abstract636. David Rijser, The Poetics of Inclusion in Servius and Sidonius abstract777. Tiziana Brolli, Writing Commentary on Sidonius’ Panegyrics abstract938. Silvia Condorelli, Improvisation and Poetical Programme in Sidonius, Ep. 9.13 abstr1119. Annick Stoehr-Monjou, Sidonius and Horace: The Art of Memory abstract13310. Gavin Kelly, Sidonius and Claudian abstract171PART 3: THE EPISTULAE: THE COLLECTION, ITS AIMS, AND ITS LANGUAGE11. Roy Gibson, Reading the Letters of Sidonius by the Book abstract19512. Ralph Mathisen, Dating the Letters of Sidonius abstract22113. Sigrid Mratschek, Creating Identity from the Past: The Construction of Historyin the Letters of Sidonius abstract24914. Rodie Risselada, Applying Text Linguistics to the Letters of Sidonius abstract273APPENDIXHelga Köhler, Indices on C. Sollius Apollinaris Sidonius, Briefe Buch I (Heidelberg, 1995), including addenda et corrigendaspecimen305Bibliography view353Index nominum (ancient)379Index nominum (modern) 384Index rerum 386Index locorum 388
Sidonius Apollinaris is an ‘extraordinarily allusive author’. His letters are more creative than has been recognized, less concerned with retelling than with recalling history. For example, in his letter of 475 about the fall of Clermont-Ferrand (7.7 ) he presents himself as a contemporary witness of an epochal change. Yet the letter cannot be read as an autobio-graphical document.Drawing on epic and history for patterns from the past – Troy, and the indomitable resistance of a Decius – Sidonius develops methods and concepts for visualizing and reconstructing history in different ways. His evocation of literary role models prompts his audience to engage in discourse with pastvoices that are made relevant in the present. A commentary that bridges the gap between historical facts and intertextuality can provide insight into new features of Sidonius’ persona and into his persuasive communicative powers.
14 Rodie Risselada
Applying Text Linguistics
... I will ... concentrate on linguisticissues which occupy a position in between syntax and style, bothin their own right and because they form the linguistic basis on whichstyle is founded. They belong to the field of discourse pragmatics andencompass the linguistic means by which an author embeds the elementsof his ‘discourse’ in the textual and situational context: tense, word order,particles, referential expressions (pronouns, noun phrases) as well as sentence complexity. I hope to explain how some of these pragmatic means‘work’ and to show how, at a deeper, functional level, their use is not verydistinct from their use in earlier stages of Latin, however different theoutcome may seem at first sight.
1 Joop van Waarden
Sidonius in the 21st Century
This book originates in an ideal: to possess a state-of-the-art, comprehensive commentary on Sidonius Apollinaris. A central figure in fifth-century Gaul and a prime example of late antique life and letters, Sidonius nevertheless lacks overall and coherent coverage in a modern commentary, which is all the more regrettable as he is not an easy writer, and readily misunderstood. To date there exist only a handful of more or less recent commentaries on a number of occasional poems and onsome books of the correspondence, and not all of them published. The ambition is not only to fill the gaps, but to have a coherent commentarythat develops an understanding of Sidonius’ whole oeuvre whichmight be valid for the twenty-first century.To explore the possibilities and consequences of this idea, an international workshop was organized at Wassenaar (The Netherlands) on 26-30 January 2011, ... entitled‘Sidonius Apollinaris for the 21st Century’, and the essays in this bookderive from the papers presented there, reworked in the light of ourdebate at the time, subsequent reflection and rereading of each other’s work, and the advice of an outside reviewer.
12 Ralph Mathisen
Dating the Letters
One of the consequences of the great historical significance of Sidonius’letters is that everyone who has worked with them has been concerned with putting them into their proper chronological contexts. Many scholars have tried their hand at dating Sidonius’ letters, including, most particularly, Baret (1879), Dalton (1915), Anderson (1936-65), Stevens (1933), Stroheker (1948), and Loyen (1960-70). More recently still others, including Köhler (Book 1), Giannotti (Book 3), Amherdt (Book 4), Van Waarden (Book 7), as well as Harries (1994), Fernández López (1994), Kaufmann (1995), and Bellès (1997-99), have likewise dated various of the letters. But scholars often fail to agree with each other on dating. And with good reason, for only a fewletters were written in the context of firmly dated events, and many of theother letters have very few clues as to their dates. In many cases, one mustuse indirect methods to attempt to ascertain even an approximate date.... But that said, a good chronology is a sine qua non for a commentary. So this short study will suggest several approaches that might be used for dating Sidonius’ letters in a comprehensive commentary on Sidonius.
11 Roy Gibson
Reading the Letters by the
The subject of the present chapter is the importance of the book as aunit for reading and interpreting both Sidonius and the letter-writerwhom Sidonius is pleased to call his model, namely Pliny the Younger. In the course of the chapter, I attempt to trace the manner in which Sidonius engages both with the individual books of Pliny and (above all) with the architecture of Pliny ’s nine-book collection.It must be emphasized in advance that it is not the purpose of this chapterto argue that Pliny somehow determines the only manner in which the Letters of Sidonius must be read. When read on their own terms and inisolation from other texts, Sidonius’ epistles invite an interpretation whichwill differ from any interpretation achieved by reading the same epistles against Pliny’s Letters.
2 David Amherdt
Sidonius in Francophone
... Sidonius was a Gallo-Roman, born at Lyon, and spent his life in theterritory of modern-day France, especially at Clermont. So it is not surprising that research on Sidonius in Francophone countries is above all French, and often Arvernian. In fact, from Savaron’s edition of 1598down to the conference organized by R. Poignault and A. Stoehr-Monjouin 2010, it is very often Arvernians (or Arvernians ‘by adoption’, whichis to say researchers at the University of Clermont-Ferrand) who havebeen interested in Sidonius, for evident reasons to which I shall return.The rooting of Sidonian research in the soil of the Auvergne should absolutelynot obscure the undoubted fact that historical and literary interestin this Lyonnais become Clermontois goes far beyond the local componentin arousing the interest of non-Arvernian French researchers (considerat the start of the chain Vinet’s edition, and especially the works ofLoyen at the other end), and also, perhaps particularly, foreigners.
3 Helga Köhler
Sidonius in German-Speaking
... there had been considerable philological interest in the works of Sidonius in Germany in the nineteenth century, arising from a general concern with three areas: textual criticism, linguistics, and Quellenforschung. The most distinguished fruit of textual criticism was the admirable edition of all the works of Sidonius in the Monumenta Germaniae Historica by Luetjohann. This was followed by a school edition by Mohr, containing some well-founded critical emendations. The MGH edition is framed by a triple preface and by a series of indices, among them a contribution to Quellenforschung by Geisler, who had identified a considerable number of Loci similes auctorum Sidonio anteriorum.Before the ‘invention’ of inter-textuality, such collections of Locisimiles aimed not so much to show the author’s knowledge of ancienttexts, but rather to demonstrate his lack of originality, as is clear fromreading Peter. As for linguistics, in the second half of the nineteenthcentury, a real outburst of linguistic research on Sidonius produced variousstudies, published in the notorious German ‘Gymnasialprogramme’: ...
4 Stefania Santelia
Sidonius in Italy
Non nos currimus aggerem vetustum, Sidonius says in his introductorypoem to the Carmina minora, ‘I do not hurry along the usual road’ (Carm. 9.16). Indeed, it takes an expert guide to detect this elusive authormoving laboriously on distant tracks. In my case it was Bruno Luiselliwho, in a conversation, aroused my interest in Sidonius. I then read theclassic studies of André Loyen, Isabella Gualandri, and Franca Ela Consolino(more on these below), along with Michael Roberts’ observationson the poetry of Late Antiquity, and was convinced: here was the ‘key’to embarking on a study of the complex world of Sidonius. Sidonius has not ceased to fascinate me since – a fascination that has resulted in aseries of publications which will presently include a commentary on theCarmina minora. My work fits in with a strong research tradition onSidonius in Italy during the last fifty years. In the next chapter I will firstsketch this Italian contribution to Sidonius scholarship, and then continue with some thoughts on the rationale of my own work, with specialattention to the Carmina minora.
5 Piet Gerbrandy
The Failure of Sidonius’ Poetry
Non nos currimus aggerem vetustum, ‘we do not speed over the oldroad’, Sidonius proclaims in the introductory poem to the collectioncommonly named the Carmina minora(9.16). In the concluding poem,when Sidonius takes leave of the booklet, which is supposed to travel tothe poet’s friends, he adds the exhortation not to beat the ancient track: antiquus tibi nec teratur agger(24.5). Clearly, Sidonius purports to beproud of his originality as a poet, which he may have believed in himself. But do we have to believe the poet’s claim? Is he to be seen as a fertile genius in what is often deemed the barrenness of the fifth century, or did he merely produce a heap of boring doggerel – or something in between?
6 David Rijser
The Poetics of Inclusion
... I would like to add to this reassessment by approaching Sidonius from a similar perspective, taking my cue from the reproach of prolixity, and, rather than damning our author for it as a bore, seeking to extract thepositive value it may have had for him and his public. In other words, what has seemed to many a lack of iscretion and judgement, that is, the alleged incapacity of Sidonius to select relevant examples and systematicallyorder these in his discourse, I will try to interpret as an example ofKunstwollen, a conscious and positive drive of the author to provide asmany exempla and instances of a given theme as possible, and Sidonius’representation of these examples in a disorderly, catalogue-like way rather than a systematic and analytical way, as his literary means to highlight the very quality of inclusion. As a heuristic tool to trace this literary strategy, I will use the near contemporary commentary on Vergil by Servius , dating from the early fifth century, and thus, such is my working hypothesis, an excellent instrument to measure the strategies of reading and evaluating poetry in the period and the circles which informed Sidonius and to which he looked up with admiration.
7 Tiziana Brolli
Writing Commentary on
... Nonetheless, in order to reach a holistic assessment of the panegyricalpoetry of Sidonius, it would be ideal to use scientific tools that can adequately support our reading of the panegyrics: this is a fundamental starting point for a more rigorous interpretation of the texts. The ‘Sidonius Apollinaris for the 21st Century’ project aims at exploring the panegyrics systematically alongside the rest of Sidonius’ oeuvre, in order to reach a first and pioneering literary-historical exegesis of the texts. My personal contribution to the project will focus on the panegyric in honour of Majorian, on which as a PhD student I wrote a continuous lemmatized commentary, as yet unpublished. My purpose here is to refine the scholarly analysis, which so far has been traditionally philological, linguistic, historical, and literary, by also exploring the following investigation strategies: gauging possible parallels (2.1), identifying non-literary sources (2.2), being alert to the blending of genres (2.3), the investigation of larger narrative units (2.4), and taking into account the possibility of veiled messages (2.5).
8 Silvia Condorelli
Improvisation and Poetical
Sidonius Apollinaris’ extant poems from the period between 456 and486 CE show him filling a range of poetic roles: the role of the engagedpoet in the panegyrics to three emperors (Carm. 1-8) is extended to that of the refined versifier of nugae, the lighter poems in the so-called Carmina minora (Carm. 9-24); so the political tension that is constantly felt underneath the poetical fabric of the panegyrics gives way to the subtle inspiration and the learned homage paid to the closed circle of friends for whom the Carmina minora were composed and to whom they were addressed.... This is not the place to revisit topics already covered elsewhere, or to return to the issue of Sidonius’ ‘metrical competence’ as a cultural code and an essential element in writing poetry, both technically and on a stylistic and expressive level. Here, I am going to deal once again with some of the main elements of Sidonius’ poetics , taking as my case studyEp. 9.13 to Tonantius, and in particular analyzing the section that containsa poem in dimetra anaclomena (section 5, Carm. 37).
9 Annick Stoehr-Monjou
Sidonius and Horace
The fact of the existence of imitatio-aemulatio is now well understood,but interpreting it is more roblematic. Our workshop on ‘Sidonius for the 21st Century’ served to remind literary specialists that historians are more prudent, if not reserved, about basing a commentary on intertextuality,which is often reduced to a simple textual echo, that is to one learned poet more or less gratuitously playing with another. In order to avoid the interpretative furor of utter subjec-tiveness, I should like to approach the question of intertextuality from another angle: reading Sidonius in the twenty-first century means to understand what he read, how he read it, what he retained in his mental library, and how. The aim of this article is therefore to work out how Sidonius’ literary memory works, how his ‘art of memory’ functions: the memory of things and words that is mentioned in ancient rhetoric. In doing this, I should like to establish a corpus of intertexts which do not make intertextuality ‘a question of faith’, so to speak, but a trustworthy method-ological tool for commenting on Sidonius, and illuminating his writing and his intentions.
10 Gavin Kelly
Sidonius and Claudian
As we consider how a commentary on the complete works of Sidoniusshould be achieved, Claudian of Alexandria deserves consideration ontwo obvious grounds. First, here is a major Latin poet of Late Antiquity – in my view, the most brilliant poet of the period – who wrote in broadly the same genres as Sidonius, whose inter-pretation involves many similar problems, and almost all of whose works have a modern commentary.Secondly, while Claudian had a power-ful influence on subsequent Latinpoetry, his influence on Sidonius appears exceptionally strong – above all, as the founder of the genre of epic panegyric. The extent and nature ofthis influence is a question which will confront both individual commentatorsand the commentary team as a whole. In what follows, I shall first briefly consider some general similarities between the two (Section 2), before focusing in greater depth on the genre of epic panegyric (Section 3), and elements from the Panegyrics of Avitus and Anthemius (Sections 4 and 5). I shall conclude (Section 6) with some thoughts on how a multiauthorcommentary on Sidonius can present an intertextual relationship such as this one, which extends across the whole oeuvre of both writers.