Today, on the occasion of Sidonius’ death on a 21/23rd August some 1,540 years ago, a striking piece of literary reception giving an unexpected twist to the famous Carmen 12 on the impossibility of writing poetry among the barbarians.
Playwright and stage director Hartmut Lange (born 1937, in exile to West-Berlin from the DDR in 1965), in his 1972 play Staschek oder das Leben des Ovid on the dilemmas of compromising with the powers that be, has the protagonist meet Sidonius in Bordeaux instead of meeting Ovid in Tomi, as he expected. Staschek persuades Sidonius to smear his hair with rancid butter to assuage the barbarians. These, indeed, become nicer, but the stench makes Sidonius vomit all the time and prevents him from reciting his ‘ode to Venus’.
The play is a vivid satire of cowardice and self-interest in the face of totalitarianism (Horace and Vergil figure on the wrong side whereas Ovid refuses to collaborate). In the end, everybody has to compromise one way or another, even Sidonius.
See the Reception/Germany page for fuller detail on discussions by Kurt Smolak and Theodore Ziolkowski.
Text to be found in Hartmut Lange, Vom Werden der Vernunft und andere Stücke fürs Theater, Zürich: Diogenes. 1988, 307-41, esp. 338-39.
Tiziana Brolli continues the discussion of Carmen 13 on the lines of Stefania Santelia’s emendation of histriones to hic triones, and argues for different dates of the two sections of the poem in a new article ʻLa duplice prex del carme 13 di Sidonio Apollinare’, Wiener Studien 133 (2020) 215-35.
Online edition here
Fabrizio Oppedisano rounds off his Anthemius project with the publication of a diptych consisting of a monograph on the Panegyric of Anthemius (see previous post) and a multi-author volume of essays: Procopio Antemio, imperatore di Roma, Bari: Edipuglia, 2020.
Joop van Waarden has contributed ‘Sidonius Apollinaris’ to the Oxford Classical Dictionary, 5th edn online, as an expansion of Jill Harries’ existing article to reflect contemporary scholarship.
Just out: Filomena Giannotti, ‘Vivet in posterum nominis tui gloria: la lettera di Sidonio a Fortunale (VIII 5)ʼ, Maia (2020) 139-48.
In their new Fragmentary Latin Histories of Late Antiquity (AD 300-620): Edition, Translation and Commentary, Cambridge: CUP, 2020, in a chapter on Nicomachus Flavianus (pp. 36-58), on pp. 50-53, Lieve Van Hoof and Peter Van Nuffelen argue that the supposed Latin Life of Apollonius is a spurium, concluding that it must have been a Greek manuscript that Sidonius copied.
Principally known to scholars of late antiquity as the editor of the 1895 Teubner edition of Sidonius’ works, Paul Mohr sank into oblivion after this publication and his appointment as Headmaster of the Gymnasium in Bremerhaven in the same year. With the help of the Archives of Bremerhaven and Bad Sooden-Allendorf, where he moved after his retirement in 1918, the rest of his life can now be reconstructed, including his death date 26 November 1939 at the age of 88. Special thanks go to the Keeper of the Archives of Sooden-Allendorf, Dr. Antje Laumann-Kleineberg.
Go to the Scholars page, entry Paul Mohr.
On 29 June, Marco Formisano and Fabrizio Oppedisano will discuss Sidonius’ Carmen 1 in the online series Titubanti testi: Binomio di lettura. To participate, drop Marco an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Here is the programme of the series (new speakers are welcome from September):
Lo specchio del modello: Orizzonti intertestuali e Fortleben di Sidonio Apollinare is in print. Edited by Anita Di Stefano and Marco Onorato, it brings together the papers given at the homonymous conference, 4-5 October 2018 at the University of Messina.
Authors include Silvia Condorelli, Franca Ela Consolino, Anita Di Stefano, Maria Jennifer Falcone, Luciana Furbetta, Jesús Hernández Lobato, Marco Onorato, Aaron Pelttari, Stefania Santelia, Rosa Santoro, Joop van Waarden, Étienne Wolff, and Matthijs Zoeter.
In print: Fabrizio Oppedisano’s edition with translation and commentary of the Panegyric of Anthemius: In lode di Antemio: L’ultimo panegirico di Roma imperiale, Rome: L’Erma di Bretschneider.
See the catalogue