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Severus Sanctus Endelechus

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Christian rhetorician and poet of the fourth century. It is possible that his true name was Endelechius and that he adopted the other names after his conversion to Christianity. In the manuscripts of the "Metamorphoses" of Apuleius, the subscription of the corrector and revisor, Sallustius, declares him the pupil at Rome in 395 of the rhetorician Endelechius in the forum of Mars (which is the forum of Augustus ): "in foro Martis controversiam declamans oratori Endelechio". This rhetorician is certainly identical with the poet. He was probably of Gallic origin. He was a friend of St. Paulinus of Nola, who dedicated to him his panegyric of Theodosius and even owed to him the idea of this work. We are in possession of Endelechius's "De morte boum", an idyl in thirty-three Asclopedian strophes, in which the shepherd Bucolus explains to his companion Ægon that he is sad because his flock are dying of contagion. Tityrus enters leading his flock which remains healthy amid the epidemic. He explains that this miracle is due to the Sign of the Cross made on the forehead of the animals, whereupon Ægon and Bucolus decide to become Christians. This little poem is chiefly interesting because it shows the resistance of paganism in the country and the means by which Christian preaching sought to overcome it. It was discovered in an unknown manuscript and published by P. Pithou in 1586. Riese reprinted it in the "Anthologia Latina" (2nd ed., Leipzig, 1906, n. 893).


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