Posted by Eric » Add Comment »
The Decretum Gelasianum, after discussing God and the books that should form the Biblical Canon, goes on to discuss the Church Fathers and other extra-canonical writings that should be read for edification. Section IV begins as follows:
Et quamvis ‘aliud fundamentum nullus possit ponere praeter id quod positum est, Christus Iesus’, tamen ad aedificationem sancta idem Romana ecclesia post illas veteris velo novi testamenti quas regulariter superius enumeravimus etiam has suscipi non prohibet scripturas:
After a list that includes some of the big boys such as Augustine and Ambrose, we find, at the very end, some poetry. First, Sedulius:
item venerabilis viri Sedulii opus paschale, quod heroicis descripsit versibus, insigni laude praeferimus.
And then, Juvencus:
item Iuvenci nihilominus laboriosum opus non spernimus sed miramur.
I love that last bit: non spernimus sed miramur–they were amazed at him!
Some other works mentioned previously in these pages do not, however, make the cut and are accordingly blacklisted in section V:
Cetera quae ab hereticis sive scismaticis conscripta vel praedicata sunt, nullatenus recipit catholica et apostolica Romana ecclesia; e quibus pauca, quae ad memoriam venerunt et a catholicis vitanda sunt, credidimus esse subdenda:
Among these is a reference to a cento that can only refer, I think, to Proba’s poem:
Centonem de Christo virgilianis conpaginatum versibus.
The writer of this decree, then, must have agreed with Jerome’s assessment in Ep. 53 to Paulinus.
Referring to this letter reminds me that, from my brief scan of the decree, nothing is mentioned about Paulinus of Nola, either for or agin’. Curious.
Anyway, I’m now off to read some Juvencus. Non sperno sed miror!
*An English translation of the Decretum Gelasianum can be found here.
Posted by Eric » Add Comment »
For anyone interested in Juvencus, there are at least two critical texts available. The first is by C. Marold (Teubner, 1886) and the second is by J. Huemer (CSEL 24, 1891). In my opinion the Huemer text is much superior, if for no other reason than that his critical apparatus dwarfs that of the Marold text, and one must frequently consult the apparatus when reading Juvencus.
Posted by Eric » 6 Comments »
‘…[Y]ou can use personal experience in your work without necessarily having it pour out in profuse strains of unpremeditated art. And contrariwise, a poet who is a careful and conscious artist in the Callimachean tradition can still be exercising that art of material which has been lived and not just imagined. I repeat: if he uses his own name for the protagonist in the drama, and if his readers–innocent of our type of theory–take it as the report of his own experience, then I think the onus of proof is on those who say it can’t be.
‘That conclusion no doubt makes me an empirico-positivist. So be it, but it is no help to me: like Erridge [a character in Anthony Powell’s Dance to the Music of Time], I would not know one of those from an anarcho-syndicalist.’
–T.P. Wiseman, in ‘Erridge’s Answer: Response to James Zetzel’ (p. 64), from The Interpretation of Roman Poetry: Empiricism or Hermeneutics?, pp. 58-64. The rest of the brief essay is worth reading in tandem with Zetzel’s ‘Roman Romanticism and Other Fables’, pp. 41-57.