Show Summary Details

Text and bibliography updated to reflect current scholarship. Keywords and summary added.

Updated on 26 April 2019. The previous version of this content can be found here.
Page of

PRINTED FROM the OXFORD CLASSICAL DICTIONARY (oxfordre.com/classics). (c) Oxford University Press USA, 2019. All Rights Reserved. Personal use only; commercial use is strictly prohibited (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 21 October 2019

Summary and Keywords

Meropius Pontius Paulinus was a Gallo-Roman aristocrat whose social network, wealth, and education led him to the prestigious governorship of the Italian province of Campania. After returning to Gaul in the mid-380s, however, Paulinus abandoned his secular career and life-style, withdrawing in 395 to live as a monachus at the memorial shrine of the confessor Felix, just outside the Campanian town of Nola. From there he nurtured epistolary friendships with such leading literary and ecclesiastical figures of his day as Augustine, Jerome, and Sulpicius Severus, and managed the burgeoning cult of St. Felix. Paulinus’ surviving letters and poems, many devoted to the feast day of Felix, reveal his attitudes and values, illuminate his social and spiritual relationships, preserve vivid traces of the literary and aesthetic evolution of Latin literature under the influence of Christian ideas, and document the emergence of the late antique cult of the saints. All of this makes Paulinus a remarkable representative of many of the forces reshaping Roman society and religion in the later Empire.

Keywords: Ambrose of Milan, Augustine of Hippo, Ausonius, Jerome, late Latin poetry, Melania the Elder, monasticism, Nicetas of Remesiana, Rufinus of Aquileia, Sulpicius Severus

Access to the complete content on Oxford Classical Dictionary requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription. If you are a student or academic complete our librarian recommendation form to recommend the Oxford Research Encyclopedias to your librarians for an institutional free trial.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.