Historical region of Country
Ambrose of Milan 374 397 had two churches built in that city: the first, built between 382 and 386, is the Basilica Apostolorum, later called S. Nazario; the second, built between 395 and 396, was dedicated to the martyrs and later named for Ambrose himself. To him is attributed the inscription in the Basilica Apostolorum, which in five elegiac distichs tells of the foundation and dedication of the basilica, in a cruciform plan, and notes the deposition of the mortal remains of S. Nazario under the altar of the semicircular apse. Ambrose is also the author of 21 hexametric distichs which were the captions of the biblical scenes decorating the basilica’s walls; the perspective in which the bishop illustrates the largely OT scenes is christological and ecclesiological. To him we also owe eight elegiac distichs for the octagonal baptistery of S. Tecla, centered on the symbolism of the number eight, Chicago Subway Map that of the ogdoad, indicating the day of Christ’s resurrection. Ambrose is also the author of two epitaphs in elegiac distichs, for his brother Satyrus and for Dedalia, sister of the consul Manlius. Paulinus of Nola composed metrical tituli, with a description of the architectural structure of the basilicas in which they were inscribed or with an illustration of the pictures adorning the basilicas of Nola, Fundi and Primuliacum, inserting them in his Epist. 32 to Severus.
The importance of the illustrations and their respective captions is stated explicitly by Paulinus in Carm. 27, 580-585: Propterea visum nobis utile totis Felicis domibus pictura ludere sancta quae super exprimitur titulis ut littera monstret quod manus explicuit. Among tituli dedicated to persons were those for the priest Clarus and the youth Cynegius, buried near the martyr Felix. An unusual concept is found in this hexametrical elogium, supplemented by Mommsen, i.e., that on the day of judgment the martyr Felix will accompany Cynegius before God’s judgment seat. Chicago Subway Map To so-called iconological epigrams belong the 49 hexametrical tetrastichs composed by Prudentius to illustrate biblical episodes, which go under the name Dittochaeon = double nourishment of the OT and NT?. It seems by now settled that the two series of 24 tetrastichs each were to illustrate the OT and NT biblical scenes decorating the walls of a Spanish basilica, while the 49th tetrastich was to illustrate a scene from the Apocalypse painted in the basilica’s apse Pillinger; some, however, Chicago Subway Map think that the inscriptions belonged to a miniature biblical codex Recio Veganzones, or that they constitute a sort of iconographical anthology to be drawn upon as necessary Quacquarelli. To this work are related the 24 hexametrical tristich compositions Historiarum Testamenti veteris et novi Tristicha XXIV of Elpidius Rusticus, who lived at Ravenna in the first half of the 6th c.; these were also for the illustration of biblical scenes.
A special place in the history of Christian epigrammatic poetry belongs to Prosper of Aquitaine 390 455, who composed two epigrams against an unknown detractor of Augustine; a satirical epigram, Epitaphium Nestorianae et Pelagianae haereseon, written after 431 the epigram, once again a satirical composition, is put at the service of theological polemic; and 106 Epigrammata, which are a poetical paraphrase of the Liber sententiarum compiled from works of Augustine, written ca. 451 against the Eutychians. Thirteen compositions epitaphs, inscriptions for churches, eulogies of friends in various meters elegiac distichs, hexameters, Phalaecean hendecasyllables among which stands out the elogium in memory of Claudianus Mamertus are inserted in the collection of letters in 9 books that Sidonius Apollinarius composed between 469 and 480. In the 6th c., while in the East epigrammatic poetry took on a bawdy and jocular character even in authors of undoubted Christian faith, e.g., Paul Silentiarius and Agathias, in Italy Ennodius of Pavia, the last epitaphista, author of 151 epigrams of varied meter and content, flourished. Besides profane elements inspired by Martial, in him we find Christian elements in the form of epitaphs, epigraphs for churches, encomia of clerics. Among Christian epigrams should be recalled the tituli composed by Ennodius, at the request of Bishop Lawrence of Milan, to illustrate the images of the Ambrosian bishops portrayed on the walls of the church of S. Nazario; the poet attempts to illustrate the moral characteristics of the bishops based on their images.
Sepulchral and monumental poetry was very popular in Gaul from the 6th c., thanks first to Venantius Fortunatus 535 60304 and later to Alcuin and the other poets of Charlemagne’s court. Book IV of Venantius’s Miscellanea contains 28 epitaphs some intended for incision, others for reading, such as no. 26 for Wilithuta, wife of Dagaulfus, who died in childbirth aged 17, which has 160 verses. Venantius’s epitaphs are laced with philosophicalreligious considerations, including some of pagan derivation: the brevity of life, the precariousness of human affairs, punishment for the wicked and reward for the good.