Caesarius of Arles

Caesarius of Arles : Life, Testament, Letters

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Caesarius was born in 469/70 and served as Bishop of Arles from 502 until his death in 542. Originally trained as a monk at Lerins, he devoted himself as Bishop to an ambitious programme of church reform and Christianization inspired by strict monastic standards of piety. Best known as a preacher, with a corpus of over 250 sermons, Caesarius also founded a monastery whose rule he composed and presided over several important church councils whose canons still survive. The documents included in this volume - most never before translated into English - vividly illustrate Caesarius's career and the social and religious history of Provence at a time of far-reaching political change, during which the region was ruled by a series of Visigothic, Burgundian, Ostrogothic and, ultimately, Frankish kings.

The 'Life of Caesarius', written shortly after his death by five clerics of his acquaintance, provides a first-hand record of the Bishop's achievements as pastor, politician and wonderworker. The 'Testament' demonstrates Caesarius's efforts to endow and protect his monastery and in the process furnishes valuable information about diocesan landholdings. The collection of twenty-four 'Letters' sent and received by Caesarius chronicles his relations with fellow aristocrats and bishops and illuminates a wide variety of topics, from penalties for incest to political intrigue among rival bishops. Taken together, these texts shed light on a region and period in which the Christian church, with its leaders, rituals and doctrines, was coming to play an increasingly important role in the daily lives not only of aristocrats and clerics, but also of ordinary men and women.

The volume includes scholarly notes and an introduction.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 176 pages
  • 147 x 210 x 12.7mm | 249g
  • Liverpool, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 2 maps
  • 0853233683
  • 9780853233688
  • 919,163

Table of contents

General Introduction
I. The Life of Caesarius
Book I
Book II
II. The Testament of Caesarius
III. The Letters of Caesarius
1. Magnus Felix Ennodius to Caesarius
2. Avitus of Vienne to Caesarius
3. Caesarius to Ruricius of Limoges
4. Ruricius of Limoges to Caesarius
5. Ruricius of Limoges to Caesarius
6. Pope Symmachus to the bishops of Gaul
7a. Caesarius to Pope Symmachus
7b. Pope Symmachus to Caesarius
8a. Caesarius to Pope Symmachus
8b. Pope Symmachus to Caesarius
9. Pope Hormidas to Caesarius
10. Caesarius to Pope Hormidas
11. Pope Felix to Caesarius
12. Pope John to the bishops of Gaul
13. Pope John to the church of Riez
14a. Pope John to Caesarius
14b. Caesarius to the bishops of Gaul
15. Pope Agapitus to Caesarius
16. Pope Agapitus to Caesarius
17. Pope Vigilus to Caesarius
18. Pope Hormidas to Caesarius
19. Caesarius et al. to Agroecius of Antibes
20. Pope Boniface to Caesarius
21. Caesarius to Caesaria the Elder
Select Bibliography
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About William E. Klingshirn

William E. Klingshirn is Associate Professor and Chairman of Greek and Latin at The Catholic University of America, where he teaches ancient history, late Roman history and Latin patristics. He is the author of numerous articles and 'Caesarius of Arles: The Making of a Community in Late Antique Gaul' (Cambridge, 1994).
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