THE LIFE AND TIMES OF VENANTIUS FORTUNATUS (ITALY, ROMAN)

LOUIS ANTHONY MACCHIARULO, Fordham University

Abstract

This dissertation is on Venantius Fortunatus (A.D. 536-601), Italo-Roman poet, hymnist, hagiographer and later bishop of Poitiers. Its intent is to bring to life the person of Fortunatus and to show him to be a figure of some historical but also literary importance.^ It is divided into five chapters and two appendices. Chapter one is an introduction to Fortunatus, in which some general details about his life and importance are given and the purpose and objectives of the dissertation are put forth. Also included in this chapter is a rather brief summary of all of the major scholarship done on Fortunatus since the nineteenth century.^ Chapter two, entitled "Fortunatus' Italy," deals with the poet's early years in his homeland: the circumstances surrounding his birth, his childhood and family background, his education and early spiritual and emotional formation. Fortunatus' reason for leaving Italy is stated at the very end of this chapter and this prepares the way for the following chapter, "Fortunatus in Gaul," in which the poet's early experiences in his adopted homeland are recounted. Particular attention is paid in this chapter to the reasons behind Fortunatus' great fame and popularity in Gaul, the warm welcome he received throughout his wanderings and the way in which he was able to fit in so well among Frank and Gallo-Roman alike.^ Chapter four, entitled "Fortunatus at Poitiers and Tours," is devoted to the poet's permanent settlement in Gaul and to his very personal and intimate relationship with Radegunde, foundress of the monastery of the Holy Cross at Poitiers where he eventually settled. This chapter also contains a comparison and contrast of Fortunatus, the poet, and Gregory, bishop of Tours, as historical sources for Merovingian Gaul.^ The final chapter, "Fortunatus: The Artist and the Man," contains some concluding remarks about Fortunatus' value as both a literary and especially historical figure. Some final comments are also made about the poet's character, personality and over-all persona. The dissertation concludes with two appendices: Appendix A is a chronological arrangement of the datable carmina of Fortunatus, while Appendix B is a map showing in precise detail the poet's journey out of Italy and into Gaul. ^

Subject Area

Language, Ancient

Recommended Citation

MACCHIARULO, LOUIS ANTHONY, "THE LIFE AND TIMES OF VENANTIUS FORTUNATUS (ITALY, ROMAN)" (1986). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8615690.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8615690

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