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In July 455 ad the Roman general Eparchius Avitus was proclaimed Emperor by his soldiers in Arles. Avitus’ son-in-law, Sidonius Apollinaris, delivered a panegyric to mark the new emperor’s first consulship. In this poem Avitus controls his ira to repel the barbarians and counter their fear inducing behaviour. Avitus’ manipulation of the barbarians relies on auctoritas rather than eloquence. Sidonius styles Avitus as an impressive military and political leader, ideally suited to confronting the Vandals and restoring a broken Roma to her former glory.


Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry

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Journal Article

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