« Mamertus, Saint, bp. of Vienne Mamertus, Claudianus Ecdicius Mammaea or Mamaea, Julia »

Mamertus, Claudianus Ecdicius

Mamertus (2), Claudianus Ecdicius, a learned writer of the last half of the 5th cent., one of the literary school of which Sidonius Apollinaris is the best-known member. He was a native of Gaul, and brother of the more famous Mamertus, archbp. of Vienne. Trained from his earliest years for the monastic life, he was educated in all the stores of Greek, Roman, and Christian literature. During his brother's archbishopric he worked as a presbyter in Vienne, and served so effectually as his right hand that some writers have represented him as a "bishop" under his brother. This, however, seems the result of a misinterpretation (cf. Sirmondi, i. p. 539). As presbyter he was specially useful in training the clergy, organizing the services of the church, and arranging the order of Psalms and Lessons for the year, and perhaps we may attribute to his influence the regular use of litanies upon Rogation Days established by his brother. He was no less eminent for intellectual power. When, c. 470, Faustus, bp. of Riez, published anonymously a treatise asserting the corporeality of the soul, Sidonius and other friends applied to Mamertus as best qualified to answer it, and the de Statu Animae was the result. Sidonius also mentions with warm praise a hymn he had written, and represents him as a great centre of intellectual discussion, "hominum aevi, loci, populi sui ingeniosissimus," full of learning, eager for argument, patient with those who could not understand, and, in his work as a priest, thoughtful for all, open-handed, humble, not letting his benevolence be known, the adviser and helper of his brother in all diocesan matters. He died c. 474, and his epitaph, composed by Sidonius, is the chief source of information about his life. (Sid. Apoll. Ep. iv. 2, 3, 11, v. 2; Gennadius, de Scrip. Ill. cc. 67 (?) and 83; and the Preface to his own work, de Statu Animae.)

Besides two letters of his, we have (1) the 682book mentioned above, de Statu Animae, and (2) some poems of doubtful authorship. Sidonius (u.s.) mentions with special praise a hymn by Claudian, but does not give its name. One scholiast says that it was the well-known "Pange lingua gloriosi," and one MS. of Gennadius (u.s.) states that that hymn was written by Claudian. It is, however, ordinarily found ascribed to Fortunatus (v. Daniel, Thes. Hymnol. iii. p. 285, iv. p. 68).

Fabricius has also attributed to him an hexameter poem of 165 lines, "contra vanos poetas ad collegam," found in a Paris MS. without any author's name.

Possibly there should be assigned to him also a few smaller poems found among the works of the heathen poet Claudian, viz. two short hexameter poems entitled "Laus Christi" and "Carmen Paschale," some short epigrammatic praises of the paradox of the Incarnation, an elegiac account of Christ's miracles, an elegiac appeal to a friend not to criticize his verses too severely, and two short Greek hexameter addresses to Christ, Εἰς τὸν σωτῆρα and Εἰς τὸν δεσπότην Χριστόν.

The works are in Migne, vol. liii.; Bibl. Vet. Patr. Lugd. 1677, vi. p. 1050; ed. Galland. x. p. 417, and in the Corpus Script. Eccl. Lat. vol. xi. (1885); the poems in Fabricius, Poet. Christ. p. 777. The de Statu Animae has been separately edited, notably by Peter Mosellanus (Basil, 1504), Barth (Cycneae, 1655), Schulze (Dresden, 1883).


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