School of History, Classics & Archaeology

International Network for Classics

Thanks to generous funding from the Leverhulme Trust, the School of History, Classics, and Archaeology will host an International Network on the late Roman poet and letter-writer Sidonius Apollinaris. (Published 24 July 2014)

The International Network on Sidonius Apollinaris will involve scholars from universities in France, Italy, the Netherlands, and Switzerland, as well as the United Kingdom.

Stained glass of St Sidonius in Clermont cathedral

Early career

As a young man Sidonius wrote verse panegyrics of emperors (including his father-in-law, Avitus) and shorter poems that illuminate the lifestyle of his fellow Gallo-Roman aristocrats; in 468 he was prefect of Rome. But soon afterwards he abandoned his civil and poetic careers, becoming bishop of Clermont and publishing the first of nine books of his allusive and artful letters.

A modern commentary

Given Sidonius’ difficult Latin, and his eyewitness testimony to the end of the western Roman empire, it is surprising that only a small proportion of the work has received a modern commentary.

The Network, which has received funding for three years from 1 October 2014, aims to reach the stage where over half of Sidonius’ oeuvre has a commentary.


The Network will publish commentaries on individual works by an number of experts in the field including:

  • Tiziana Brolli (University of Padua)
  • Silvia Condorelli (University of Naples Federico II)
  • Luciana Furbetta (independent scholar, Rome)
  • Judith Hindermann (University of Basel)
  • Joop van Waarden (University of Amsterdam)

It will be advised on textual transmission by Dr Franz Dolveck (École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris) and on linguistics by Dr Rodie Risselada (University of Amsterdam).

The network is organised by Dr Gavin Kelly (Classics, University of Edinburgh): he and Van Waarden will co-edit the commentary series, as well as an introductory volume.

Network Facilitator opportunity

A Network Facilitator will be appointed who will administer the network and its website on a day-to-day basis and prepare manuscripts for publication, including by translating them from Italian.

First major event

The Network’s first major event will be a conference, which will bring specialists on Sidonius from across Europe, the US, and Australasia to the School on 20 to 23 November 2014: additional funding for the conference comes from a British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grant.

Image credit

By Anonymous [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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