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Nicole Hecquet-Noti

Épopée et prédication

La poétique d’Avit de Vienne dans le De spiritalis historiae gestis

Avitus of Vienne is the author of the five poetic books of the Spiritual History celebrating the importance of Christ in baptismal catechesis by the glorification of the patriarchs Adam, Noah and Moses. Catholic bishop belonging to the Gallo-Roman aristocracy, Avitus is a man of great classical learning. The present study examines Avitus’ poetic style, by combining a narratological approach with the methods of traditional philology. This analysis highlights the importance of the two auctorial voices constructing the poem: the voice of the bishop, formed by the practice of the liturgy of the Word, and the voice of the poet, steeped in rhetoric and paying tribute to classical poetics. These crossing voices produce a poem accessible to a large audience, whether contemporary or posterior to the 6th century – we know that the poem has enjoyed wide circulation during the middle Ages. Secondly, the analysis focuses on the construction of the poetic narrative, explores the adaptation of the epic codes to the transmission of the Christian faith and emphasizes Avitus’ debt to the Latin epic poets. Finally, the stylistic and metrical study proves the perfect mastery he has of the hexameter.


EAA 207: Paris, Institut d’études augustiniennes, 2022
ISBN: 978-2-85121-318-1
334 p., 165 x 250 mm
46€ TTC
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Last update on : Friday 22 July 2022