Sidonius Apollinaris for the Twenty-First Century

The ‘SAxxi’ project, ‘Sidonius Apollinaris for the Twenty-First Century’, was created to produce state-of-the-art commentaries on Sidonius’ poetry and prose as well as a comprehensive introductory volume. It is directed by Prof. Gavin Kelly (Edinburgh) and Dr Joop van Waarden (Nijmegen, formerly Amsterdam).

First phase: Workshop Wassenaar and New Approaches

Activities started at the workshop ‘Sidonius Apollinaris for the 21st Century’, held on 26–30 January 2011 in Wassenaar (NL), which was hosted and funded by the Dutch Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIAS) and supported by the Dutch Centre for Patristic Research (CPO; Professors Hagit Amirav, Paul van Geest and Bas ter Haar Romeny). Click here for its programme and for a report of its proceedings by Silvia Condorelli (BSL 41 (2011) 309–14). An edited volume, New Approaches to Sidonius Apollinaris, deriving from the papers presented there, appeared in July 2013 with Peeters Publishers Leuven, in the Late Antique History and Religion series, no 7.

Second phase: Edinburgh conference, Companion volume and commentaries

In 2014, the School of History, Classics and Archaeology of the University of Edinburgh devised an ‘Academic Network on Sidonius Apollinaris’, which began by realising the next stage of the SAxxi initiative. This included the preparation of the introductory volume, with as a working title Prolegomena to Sidonius Apollinaris (it was eventually published as the Edinburgh Companion to Sidonius Apollinaris) and the first five volumes of commentary. This phase lasted for three years (2014–2017) and was funded by the Leverhulme Foundation through an International Network grant (LIN; see the Leverhulme 2014 annual review) and the British Academy (a Small Research Grant). The LIN united the scholars working on the Companion and the commentaries and a Network Facilitator. Its advisory committee consisted of Professors Jan Willem Drijvers (Groningen), Hagit Amirav (Amsterdam), Roy Gibson (Manchester), and Roger Rees (St Andrews).

Activities were launched at an international conference in Edinburgh (20–23 November 2014), entitled ‘Sidonius, His Words, and His World’, which brought together all those involved and interested in the project and planned the division of work. Download full programme here.

Publications so far (state of affairs June 2023) have included:

Publication is underway of two more volumes of Sidonius commentary:

  • Panegyric on Majorian (Carmina 3–5) by Tiziana Brolli (Padua)
  • Panegyric on Avitus (Carmina 6–7) by Luciana Furbetta (Trieste).

Third phase: Inspiration and further commentaries

After this, the SAxxi initiative will likely transform into a loose network of Sidonius scholars providing inspiration and mutual help. It could also harbour the Sidonius website and newsletter.

Meanwhile, the Edinburgh Sidonius project and the series ‘Edinburgh Studies in Later Latin Literature’ have seen the publication of:

in conjunction with a conference on 20 February 2023 in Edinburgh, ‘Authors, Addressees, and Audiences in Roman Letters’.

Future commentary publications include:

  • Panegyric on Anthemius (Carmina 1–2) by Fabrizio Oppedisano (Pisa) (forthcoming)
  • Carmina minora by Stefania Santelia (Bari) and Silvia Condorelli (Naples) (expected 2023)
  • Letters book 6 by Willum Westenholz (Vienna)
  • Letters book 8 by Marco Onorato (Messina)
  • Letters book 9 by Silvia Condorelli (Naples)
  • Sidonius Apollinaris: Selected Letters by Joop van Waarden (Nijmegen) in the Green & Yellow series, Cambridge (under contract for submission in September 2024).

Existing Commentaries of Sidonius

Consult the Commentaries page.