Benedetti on Provincials and Barbarians

Pedro Benedetti took his doctorate at the University of São Paulo with a thesis on the relations between the Roman provincial populations and the barbarians in 4th- and 5th-century Gaul: ‘As relações entre as populações provinciais romanas e os bárbaros nas Gálias dos séculos IV e V (c. 350–475 d.C.)’.

It can be found in the repository of the USP.

The author explains: ‘In the 4th chapter, I discuss Sidonius’ use of frontier terminology relating to the Gothic presence in Aquitania to argue that, although scholars debate the precise date when we can talk about a “Visigothic Kingdom”, his perception of the nature of the Gothic domain varied according to his own judgement of the kings’ loyalty to the “federate” treaty. In the 5th chapter, I argue that Sidonius’ depiction of the sieges of Clermont as a clash between the freedom of the Roman life and the servitude under barbarian rule mirrors the accounts of 4th-century sieges of Gallic cities and, although we can see some continuity in the way the urban resistance is mobilized, the context of 5th-century Auvergne is very different.’

Benedetti is currently working on an article on popular and subaltern experiences in Sidonius’ letters. Email address: benedetti190 AT

In memoriam Bruno Luiselli

The Sapienza University and the Lincei Academy will hold a conference to the memory of Bruno Luiselli, who died in 2021. Its title is: Tra Romani e Germani. Speakers include Leopoldo Gamberale, Antonella Bruzzone, Alessandro Fo, Giorgio Piras, Luigi Piacente and Umberto Roberto.

Date: Thursday, 22 February 2024. The morning session is hosted by the Sapienza University, the afternoon session by the Lincei.

Everybody is welcome. For the afternoon session, registration is required. The programme and further information are available here

Furbetta on Interactional Dynamics

Luciana Furbetta wrote ‘Dinamiche interazionali tra le élites e il potere a partire dalla testimonianza delle epistole di Sidonio Apollinare e Avito di Vienne’, Rivista Storica dell’Antichità 53 (2023) 297-313.

Abstract. The paper proposes some reflections on the possibility of combining the linguistic-philological analysis of late antique letter collections with the study of communication processes. In particular, we aim to study the modes of social interaction and mechanisms of action orientation within aristocratic circles between the power (with reference to the courts of barbarian kings and the ecclesiastics). The field of application chosen as a case study are the letters of Sidonius Apollinaris and Avitus of Vienne.

Read it here

Lamoine on Sidonius in 471

Laurent Lamoine has published 471. L’évêque contre le roi, Sidoine Apollinaire défend sa cité, Cette-année-là à Clermont-Ferrand, Portet-sur-Garonne: Éditions Midi-Pyrénéennes, 2023.

Here is a sample. Bibliographical data on HAL

471 : Sidoine Apollinaire est élu évêque des Arvernes. Que vient faire ce sénateur, ancien préfet de Rome, à la tête de la cité arverne ? L’homme vient se mettre au service de la résistance au roi wisigoth Euric, qui cherche à s’emparer de la ville. Malgré son énergie, son entregent et ses talents de propagandiste, Sidoine Apollinaire échoue. Après un très court exil, il rentre à Clermont pour reprendre sa pastorale. Pendant des siècles, les Clermontois ne se souviennent que du saint. Seuls le combat contre les fascismes des années noires et la découverte à Clermont-Ferrand, dans les années 1980/1990, des fragments de l’épitaphe d’un Apollinaire ont réveillé le souvenir de l’évêque combattant.