Tag: letters

Ágnes Horváth Translates the Letters

Ágnes T. Horváth has published her translation into Hungarian of the Letters: Caius Sollius Modestus Sidonius Apollinaris levelei, Szeged: JGYF Kiadó, 2022. Item in publisher’s catalogue here.

She provides the following explanation:

The volume consists of two parts. The first part contains the Hungarian translation of the letters and their explanation in footnotes. It is primarily a literary translation. The accompanying and detailed notes of commentary are not concerned with the Latin text, but rather with the content of the letters and the Hungarian wording. Mythological and other explanations in the commentary aim to help a general audience but also to facilitate further intertextual research. The translation and the notes are based on authoritative editions.
The second part of the volume contains some studies. The purpose of the author is to help Hungarian readers to get to know Sidonius better. The biographical section contains an overview of Sidonius’ life and a reconstruction of his family history. The biographical part includes secondary literature. The reconstruction of the history of his family starts with the analysis of his name and focuses on the investigation of the gens Sollia. It is based on published inscription material by means of which the author attempts to outline the rise of this gens (an article is forthcoming in English).
The final essay of the volume is the reception of Sidonius in Hungary. Sidonius was used as a generic example (speculum regis, personality sketch, panegyricus, propemptikon, epithalamium). Specific quotations of Sidonius can be traced back to the 15th century. Since the 19th century, his works have been used as historical sources, mainly due to his knowledge of the peoples of the Migration Period, especially the Huns and the city of Aquincum. Besides, the researchers of Hungarian prehistory (historians, archaeologists, phrenologists) also used his works. His descriptions and informations can be found in fiction as well, mainly in historical novels and in popular historical writings. The last subsection of the study is a brief summary of Hungarian research on Sidonius.
Appendices include a prosopography of Sidonius, the bibliography of the sources and secondary literature, and an index of names.

Eleonora Recupero Porcino and the Letters: A Digital Edition

Eleonora Recupero Porcino has received an innovation grant to create a digital so-called “linked open data” edition of Sidonius’ Letters as her PhD thesis, supervised by Holger Essler, Luca Mondin and Marco Onorato, at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice in partnership with the Universities of Udine and Trieste.

Eleonora graduated in 2021 in Messina, supervised by Marco Onorato, in Tradizione classica e archeologia del Mediterraneo with a thesis titled “Tra scuola e poesia. La chreia come possibile matrice del Ludus septem sapientum di Ausonio”.

The title of her PhD project is “Linked open data ed ecdotica dei testi tardolatini: per un’edizione digitale dell’epistolario di Sidonio Apollinare”. The project aims to create a digital edition of the Letters provided with a wide variety of links to the apparatus criticus (with new collations) and to a full database of resources ranging from testimonia and manuscripts to linguistic problems at the level of individual letters. The reference text is to be Lütjohann’s 1887 MGH edition.

The ulterior aim is to facilitate a future new critical edition by making all relevant materials available at a glance in one place.

Eleonora can be contacted at eleonora.recupero AT unive.it.

Letters and Politics in Late Antiquity

Discussing the role of letters in late antique Roman politics (4th to 6th century AD): how did various late antique actors and interest groups use letters to try and influence decision making processes on all levels?

Letters played a prominent role in the functioning of social and political life in the late Roman Empire. News and information were often communicated by letter, and imperial and ecclesiastical decisions were in many cases negotiated and communicated via letters, which could even carry the force of law. As a result, letters are an invaluable source for research on late antique politics, yielding insight not just into decisions, but also into decision making processes. From this point of view, letters disclose the functioning of late Roman politics as a dynamic practice of negotiation and diplomacy. The thousands of letters that have been preserved from these centuries show late antique correspondents using the genre of the letter for recommending, arguing, defining, ordering, requesting, debating, and lobbying, in an attempt to influence decision making processes to their own advantage, as well as for authoritatively communicating decisions and laws.

The aim of this workshop is to shed new light on the important but underinvestigated role of letters in late antique Roman politics: what was the role of letters in late antique elite networks, the imperial bureaucracy and ecclesiastical controversies? What were the functions of different letter types, including letters of recommendation, petitions to the Emperor and the imperial legislative letters? How was authority created through (authentic or forged) letters in the context of legal procedures and theological controversy? What was the role of letter carriers, the cursus publicus, and letter collections in this political use of letters?

Possible research questions include, but are not limited to, the following:

Letters in imperial decision-making
– What role did correspondence play in the decision making processes of the imperial bureaucracy?
– To what extent were letters processed differently by the imperial administration than petitions?
– When, why and how did the Emperor write letters as a form of legislation?
– How did imperial legislative letters differ from other imperial as well as from elite correspondence?
– What role did letters play in the administrative practice of the imperial bureaucracy?

Lower level politics
– Who wrote letters trying to influence political decisions in the late Roman Empire and why did they do this?
– Who received letters and what kind of request did these letters entail?
– What reactions did such letters elicit?

Letters and authority
– How did letters obtain (legislative) authority?
– How did letters function as evidence (e.g. in court or during Church councils)?
– What role did letters play in ecclesiastical decision-making processes?
– How were late antique letters reused in later ecclesiastical or political disputes?

Elite networks
– What was the function of letters within late antique social networks?
– How did elite members use their correspondence networks for lobbying?
– What was the role of rhetoric and self-presentation in letters?
– Which political purposes were present in which letter types (e.g. letters of recommendation, intercession, petitions, legislative letters)?

Letters and letter collections as political instruments
– How did the practicalities of correspondence (e.g. letter carriers and the cursus publicus) influence late antique decision making processes?
– How did letters relate to oral communication and diplomacy?
– How did the Roman elite cope with the forgery of letters in their decision making processes?
– How were letters and letter collections in late Antiquity used for political purposes?
– What functions did letters have in the context of their collections?

Prof. dr. Lieve Van Hoof
Marijke Kooijman
Matthijs Zoeter

Confirmed speakers:
Prof. Dr Dr Dr Peter Riedlberger (keynote), Prof. Dr Klaas Bentein, Prof. Dr Philippe Blaudeau, Prof. Dr Michael Grünbart, Marijke Kooijman, MA LLB, Prof. Dr Angela Pabst, Dr Fabian Schulz, Dr Rens Tacoma, Prof. Dr Lieve Van Hoof, Matthijs Zoeter, MA,

Van Waarden and Symmachus’ ‘You and I’

Joop van Waarden has published the second part of his series on ‘You and I’ in epistolary usage: ‘Symmachus and the Metamorphosis of “You and I” in Epistolary Usage’, in: Antonella Bruzzone, Alessandro Fo and Luigi Piacente (eds), Metamorfosi del Classico in età romanobarbarica, Nuova biblioteca di cultura romanobarbarica 2, Florence: Sismel–Galluzzo, 2021, 145-61.

Info volume here

The first, and central, part of this series is chapter 13 in the Sidonius Companion: ‘“You” and “I” in Sidonius’ Correspondence’ (pp. 418-39). The third part is to follow soon: ‘A Gentleman Weighs His “You” and “I”: Inclusion in the Letters of Faustus, Mamertus Claudianus, Ruricius, Avitus and Ennodius’, in: Veronika Egetenmeyr and Tabea L. Meurer (eds), Gallia docta? Learning and Its Limitations in Late Antique Gaul. Proceedings of the International Conference Greifswald, 17.03.2021 – 20.03.2021, Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck.

Egetenmeyr on Emotions

Just out by Veronika Egetenmeyr: ‘Constructing Emotions and Creating Identities: Emotional Persuasion in the Letters of Sidonius Apollinaris and Ruricius of Limoges’, in: Mateusz Fafinski and Jakob Riemenschneider (eds), The Past Through Narratology: New Approaches to Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages, Das Mittelalter Supplements 18, Heidelberg: Heidelberg University Publishing, 2022, 75-92.

Download here (open access)

Nicolas Goldmann PhD Candidate

At the Georg-August-Universität, Göttingen, Nicolas Goldmann is working on a PhD thesis, provisional title ‘Die Briefe des Sidonius Apollinaris als gesellschaftlich-literarische Gelegenheiten’, under the supervision of Prof. Ulrike Egelhaaf-Gaiser and Prof. Meike Rühl.

Email nicolas.goldmann AT stud.uni-goettingen.de