Avitus of Vienne

Front Cover

Alcimus Ecdicius Avitus, bishop of Vienne from ca. 494 to ca. 518, left not just important and well-known poetry but also ninety-six letters and a number of largely fragmentary sermons. In style the letters are difficult (hence their neglect), but they have much to contribute to early Merovingian political, ecclesiastical, and social history, whether on the subject of Clovis's conversion, Christological heresies, or gift-exchange between bishops. Even more intriguing may be the tolerant and close relationship that emerges between the Catholic metropolitan bishop and his Burgundian kings, the great Arian Gundobad and his son, the Catholic convert Sigismund. This first complete translation of the letters into English illuminates the history of the Burgundian kingdom and also relations between Francia, the Ostrogothic Kingdom, and Byzantium in the early sixth century.

 

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Contents

the Historical Context
3
Manuscripts Papyrus and Editions of AvitusLetters
28
Literary Aspects of Avitus LetterCollection
58
The Acacian Schism
89
The Laurentius File
134
Sigismund and the Emperor
141
Relics of the True Cross
154
Theological Letters
163
What to do with Heretics?
295
Legal Matters involving Burgundian Bishops
306
LAYMEN IN BURGUNDIAN TERRITORY
315
Other Laymen
324
Festal Letters to Laymen in Burgundian Territory
331
THE VISIGOTHIC KINGDOM
337
EXTERNAL MATTERS
350
A Good Medical Man is Hard to Find
357

Personal and Legal Matters
208
TheologicalReligious Matters
220
SecularTemporal Matters
233
CLOSE EPISCOPAL CONNECTIONS
243
Avitus Poetry and Another Literary Connection
259
Viventiolus of Lyons
266
Maximus of Genevas Table
276
PASTORAL LETTERS TO GALLIC BISHOPS
285
on the Martyrs of Agaune
377
Avitus Use of Honorific Forms of Address
391
Textual Changes to Peipers Edition
407
Listing of Letters in the Order of Peipers Edition
416
Bibliography
419
Index
440
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

Danuta Shanzer is Professor of Classics and Director of Graduate Studies in Classics at Cornell University. She is North American Editor for Early Medieval Europe. Ian Wood is Professor of Early Medieval History at the University of Leeds.

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