What is it about?

The Ostrogothic domination of Italy is a very important period in the modification and formation of the relationship between Church and State. By analysing Ennodius, Ep. 6.9 and Cassiodorus, Var. 1.9 together, we can renew and complete some of our understanding. The former is a request to a high politician, Faustus Niger, to help an anonymous bishop in trouble. We have no other information about it. This article develops the hypothesis that the anonymous bishop may be the bishop of Aosta in northern Italy, who was accused of proditio patriae according to Cassiodorus, Var. 1.9. Unlike other bishops accused of such a serious crime, who were usually exiled, the bishop of Aoste is considered innocent by Theodoric the Great. This could be due to the help of Faustus Niger, mentioned in Ep. 6.9. In this case, we see the intervention of a clerk in a political affair and the collaboration between a member of the Church and a high-ranking government official.

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Why is it important?

Through a hypothesis, this article clarifies the content of Ennodius, Ep. 6.9, previously unknown to scholars, by establishing an intertextuality between this letter and Cassiodorus, Var. 1.9. From these two documents we can see the osmosis between political authorities and ecclesiastical members at the beginning of the 6th century in Italy. This article also shows us that by looking at other sources, such as Cassiodorus, together, we can make progress in dating and commenting on the corpus of Ennodius' letters, which are known for their difficulty and elliptical content.

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This page is a summary of: Ennode, Ep. 6,9. Un complément à Cassiodore, Var. 1,9 ?, Vigiliae Christianae, July 2023, Brill,
DOI: 10.1163/15700720-bja10075.
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