About the Network

Thanks to generous funding from the Leverhulme Trust, the School of History, Classics, and Archaeology is hosting an International Network on the late Roman poet and letter-writer Sidonius Apollinaris.

Comprised of scholars from France, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom, the Network is preparing a comprehensive literary, linguistic and historical commentary on Sidonius’ works.

Stained glass window from Clermont-Ferrand Cathedral show Sidonius Apollinaris

Sidonius Apollinaris

Sidonius Apollinaris (ca. 430-489) is a major eye witness to the end of the western Roman empire and has proved a rich resource for historians researching the society and politics of fifth-century Gaul. Highly esteemed in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, he is finally being reappraised as a cultural figure in his own right, playing a pivotal role in the transition from classical to medieval Latin literature.

A Modern Commentary

Sidonius' works nonetheless present unusual difficulties for the modern reader. His prose is exceptionally challenging, ornamental, and allusive, while his historical context is complex and controversial. It is surprising, then, that only a handful of his works have attracted recent commentaries.

The Network will fill this gap by publishing five volumes of commentary, three on Sidonius’ books of letters, and two on his panegyrics of emperors. These will be accompanied by a substantial introductory volume (Prolegomena) by a team of international experts from a wide range of disciplines.

By the end of three years, over half of Sidonius’ works will have a modern commentary. The project is significant not only for students of classical and medieval Latin, but will also provide essential tools for Roman and medieval historians, as well as scholars of religion.

Sidonius Apollinaris for the 21st Century

The Network is part of a longer term project Sidonius Apollinaris for the 21st Century which aims to have Sidonius' entire oeuvre commented within 10-15 years by means of a coordinated international effort.


Stained glass window showing St Sidonius Apollinaris in Clermont Ferrand Cathedral, Auvergne, France © Henri Hours.