Sidonius Apollinaris contra Claudianus Mamertus: Jerome, Julianus Pomerius, and the Subversion of Praise

Journal article


Hanaghan, Michael. (2021). Sidonius Apollinaris contra Claudianus Mamertus: Jerome, Julianus Pomerius, and the Subversion of Praise. Journal of Early Christian Studies. 29(2), pp. 215-236. https://doi.org/10.1353/earl.2021.0020
AuthorsHanaghan, Michael
Abstract

In the mid- to late fifth century a doctrinal controversy erupted in Gaul between the presbyter Claudianus Mamertus and Faustus, the bishop of Riez, regarding the corporeity of the soul. Sidonius Apollinaris, the bishop of Clermont, attempted to maintain his ties of friendship (amicitia) with both parties, but ultimately Claudianus compelled him to acknowledge the publication of his polemical treatise, the De statu animae, which Sidonius had urged him to publish. This article argues that Sidonius's response to Claudianus (Ep. 4.3) alludes to Jerome's Ep. 58 to subvert his praise of Claudianus. Thus Sidonius's use of heavily stylized language and repetition invokes Jerome's criticism of the sincerity that such remarks convey. This subversion is signposted by Sidonius's emphasis of the compulsion he is under to respond in language stronger than merely required for this epistolary topos. A subsequent allusion by Julianus Pomerius to Sidonius's letter is used as evidence that this subversion was apparent to readers of Sidonius's reply to Claudianus. This literary strategy, whereby Claudianus was praised repeatedly in superficial terms, allowed Sidonius to defend his remarks to Faustus and his supporters, while still saving face with the Mamerti as the charge of excessive and insincere praise is hard to prove.

Year2021
JournalJournal of Early Christian Studies
Journal citation29 (2), pp. 215-236
PublisherJohns Hopkins University Press
ISSN1067-6341
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1353/earl.2021.0020
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85110061519
Research or scholarlyResearch
Page range215-236
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online01 Jul 2021
Publication process dates
Deposited05 Aug 2021
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