The Humblest Sparrow: The Poetry of Venantius Fortunatus

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University of Michigan Press, Apr 29, 2009 - History - 364 pages
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"The Humblest Sparrow is a superbly illuminating study of one of the major Latin poets of late antiquity. Every chapter is marked by a thorough, accurate, and up to date knowledge of the historical and material setting of the Merovingian upper classes. As a deep treatment of Fortunatus' poetry, this book will surely appeal to readers with a serious interest in the Latin verse of late antiquity."
---William Klingshirn, Catholic University of America In The Humblest Sparrow, Michael Roberts illuminates the poetry of the sixth-century bishop and poet Venantius Fortunatus. Often regarded as an important transitional figure, Fortunatus wrote poetry that is seen to bridge the late classical and earlier medieval periods. Written in Latin, his poems combined the influences of classical Latin poets with a medieval tone, giving him a special place in literary history. Yet while interest has been growing in the early Merovingian period, and while the writing of Fortunatus' patron Gregory of Tours has been well studied, Fortunatus himself has often been neglected. This neglect is remedied by this in-depth study, which will appeal to scholars of late antique, early Christian, and medieval Latin poetry. Michael Roberts is Robert Rich Professor of Latin at Wesleyan University. In addition to numerous articles, he is the author of four previous books, including The Jeweled Style: Poetry and Poetics in Late Antiquity (1989) and Poetry and the Cult of the Martyrs: The Liber Peristephanon of Prudentius (Michigan 1993).

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