The Companion Continued

Chapter 2: Ralph W. Mathisen,
– ‘Sidonius’ People’, pp. 29-75
– ‘A Prosopography of Sidonius’, pp. 76-154
– ‘Sidonius’ Places: A Geographical Appendix’, pp. 155-65

Ralph Mathisen — 15 February 2021

Was Thaumastus Older Than Sidonius?

Question Giulia Marolla, ‘Sidonius Apollinaris, Letters Book 5 (Epp. 1–10): Text, Translation, and Commentary’, PhD thesis San Marino, 2021, p. 210 n. 3, concerning p. 59 3rd para: The quotation from 5.6.1 was accidentally truncated in the footnote. The genitive aetatis depends on iure: pro iure vel sanguinis vel aetatis reverenda familiaritate complector (5.6.1): ‘in virtue of our kinship and our ages’, as Anderson translates (not ‘by reverent familiarity of age’; the phrase is quoted in full in the prosopographical lemma of Thaumastus of Vienne on p. 123). Could this mean that Thaumastus was older than Sidonius?

Answer Ralph Mathisen: ‘An excellent suggestion, which strengthens the argument that Thaumastus of Vienne and Sidonius were of the same generation. If the “reverent” went with the age, as in my translation, one could argue that Thaumastus was due reference on account of age and thus was older. But this newer undoubtedly correct translation puts the reverenda only with familiaritate, “on account of worshipful familiarity”, and associates the aetatis only with iure, “by right of blood and age” — if the blood is the same, surely this indicates that the age too is the same. It would make no sense if the blood was the same but the age was different, especially given the closeness demonstrated by the vel … vel.’