Eugenius Vulgarius

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Eugenius Vulgarius (Italian Eugenio Vulgario; fl. c. 887928) [1] was an Italian priest and poet.

Floruit, abbreviated fl., Latin for "he/she flourished", denotes a date or period during which a person was known to have been alive or active. In English, the word may also be used as a noun indicating the time when someone flourished.

Circa – frequently abbreviated c., ca., or ca and less frequently circ. or cca. – signifies "approximately" in several European languages and as a loanword in English, usually in reference to a date. Circa is widely used in historical writing when the dates of events are not accurately known.

Eugenius' epithet may allude to a Bulgar heritage, and he may have been a descendant of the horde of Alzec that settled in the Molise in the seventh century and were still distinguishable by their language in the late eighth century. [2] The ethnonym was sometimes rendered as Vulgares in Latin. [3] Knowledgeable of Latin and Greek, he was also deeply learned in the Classics and displays familiarity with Virgil, Horace, and the tragedies of Seneca.

Bulgars Turkic tribes

The Bulgars were Turkic semi-nomadic warrior tribes that flourished in the Pontic–Caspian steppe and the Volga region during the 7th century. Emerging as nomadic equestrians in the Volga-Ural region, according to some researchers their roots can be traced to Central Asia. During their westward migration across the Eurasian steppe the Bulgars absorbed other ethnic groups and cultural influences, including Hunnic and Indo-European peoples. Modern genetic research on Central Asian Turkic people and ethnic groups related to the Bulgars points to an affiliation with Western Eurasian populations. The Bulgars spoke a Turkic language, i.e. Bulgar language of Oghuric branch. They preserved the military titles, organization and customs of Eurasian steppes, as well as pagan shamanism and belief in the sky deity Tangra.

Molise Region of Italy

Molise is a region of Southern Italy. Until 1963, it formed part of the region of Abruzzi e Molise, alongside the region of Abruzzo. The split, which did not become effective until 1970, makes Molise the youngest region in Italy. Covering 4,438 square kilometres (1,714 sq mi), it is the second smallest region in the country after the Aosta Valley, and has a population of 313,348.

Latin Indo-European language of the Italic family

Latin is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. The Latin alphabet is derived from the Etruscan and Greek alphabets and ultimately from the Phoenician alphabet.

Around 907, when he was a presbyter and teacher of rhetoric and grammar at the episcopal school in Naples, Eugenius wrote a pamphlet defending Pope Formosus, who had given him holy orders, from the attacks of the reigning Pope Sergius III. He produced a second treatise on this same subject in dialogue form. [4] In these, entitled De causa Formosiana and Eugenius Vulgarius Petro Diacono fratri et amico, he denies the authority of the Holy See and proclaims that only a deserving man can ever truly be pope. [5] Sergius ordered him imprisoned in a monastery, probably that of the monks of Montecassino at Teano, where his compatriot, the defender of Formosus called Auxilius (a pseudonym meaning "defender"), was also protected. [6] Sergius soon reversed his decree and summoned him to Rome for trial. [4] Eugenius responded to the threat posed by this with a series of fawning verses of praise for Pope Sergius and the city of Rome, aurea Roma ("golden Rome"), to which the pope (he claimed) had brought renewed glory. He even went so far as to declare the pope's lover, Theodora, "full of virtue".

In the New Testament, a presbyter is a leader of a local Christian congregation. The word derives from the Greek presbyteros, which means elder or senior. The Greek word episkopos literally means overseer; it refers exclusively to the office of bishop. Many understand presbyteros to refer to the bishop functioning as overseer. In modern Catholic and Orthodox usage, presbyter is distinct from bishop and synonymous with priest. In predominant Protestant usage, presbyter does not refer to a member of a distinctive priesthood called priests, but rather to a minister, pastor, or elder.

Rhetoric art of discourse

Rhetoric is the art of persuasion. Along with grammar and logic, it is one of the three ancient arts of discourse. Rhetoric aims to study the capacities of writers or speakers needed to inform, persuade, or motivate particular audiences in specific situations. Aristotle defines rhetoric as "the faculty of observing in any given case the available means of persuasion" and since mastery of the art was necessary for victory in a case at law or for passage of proposals in the assembly or for fame as a speaker in civic ceremonies, calls it "a combination of the science of logic and of the ethical branch of politics". Rhetoric typically provides heuristics for understanding, discovering, and developing arguments for particular situations, such as Aristotle's three persuasive audience appeals: logos, pathos, and ethos. The five canons of rhetoric or phases of developing a persuasive speech were first codified in classical Rome: invention, arrangement, style, memory, and delivery.

In linguistics, grammar is the set of structural rules governing the composition of clauses, phrases and words in a natural language. The term refers also to the study of such rules and this field includes phonology, morphology and syntax, often complemented by phonetics, semantics and pragmatics.

Eugenius composed three different pattern poems eulogising the Byzantine emperor Leo VI; one (no. XVI) is in the shape of a pyramid. [7] He credits Leo with victories over barbarians in both Europe and Africa. [8] Eugenius also praised Atenulf I of Benevento for his victories over the Saracens of the Garigliano. Among his other works are some glosses on Martianus Capella and a poem about nature, the arrival of springtime, and the hymn of the birds. [9] Eugenius also produced metrical calendars.

Leo VI the Wise Byzantine Emperor

Leo VI, called the Wise or the Philosopher, was Byzantine Emperor from 886 to 912. The second ruler of the Macedonian dynasty, he was very well-read, leading to his epithet. During his reign, the renaissance of letters, begun by his predecessor Basil I, continued; but the Empire also saw several military defeats in the Balkans against Bulgaria and against the Arabs in Sicily and the Aegean. His reign also witnessed the formal discontinuation of several ancient Roman institutions, such as the Roman consul and Senate, which continued to exist in name only and lost much of their original functions and powers.

Garigliano river in Italy

The Garigliano is a river in central Italy.

Martianus Minneus Felix Capella was a Latin prose writer of Late Antiquity, one of the earliest developers of the system of the seven liberal arts that structured early medieval education. His single encyclopedic work, De nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii is an elaborate didactic allegory written in a mixture of prose and elaborately allusive verse.


  1. "Eugenio Vulgario", Dizionario biografico degli Italiani (Rome: Società Grafica Romana, 1960present).
  2. John B. Dillon (2004), "Bulgars". Medieval Italy: An Encyclopedia, ed. Christopher Kleinhenz (London: Routledge), p. 163.
  3. Notably by Paul the Deacon (e.g. in Hist. Lang. 5.29).
  4. 1 2 Eleanor Shipley Duckett (1988), Death and Life in the Tenth Century (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press), pp. 23031.
  5. His rhetoric may have been useful to the Ottonian emperors, for a copy of Eugenius' Formosan treatises survives in the library of Otto III at Bamberg State Library, c.f. Claudio Leonardi (1999), "Intellectual Life", The New Cambridge Medieval History, Vol. 2: c.900c.1024, Timothy Reuter, Rosamond McKitterick, and David Abulafia, edd. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), p. 207.
  6. "In the monastery of Teano, then, most probably originated the only manuscript of the writings of Vulgarius and Auxilius, the famous Bambergensis P. III. 20, which was brought to Germany by Henry II" (Bloch 1946:169).
  7. Herbert Bloch, "Monte Cassino, Byzantium, and the West in the Earlier Middle Ages", Dumbarton Oaks Papers3 (1946:163-224) p. 169.
  8. In 911 Leo VI granted a privilege to the monks of Teano, possibly owing to Eugenius' praise, c.f. Herbert Bloch (1946), "Monte Cassino, Byzantium, and the West in the Earlier Middle Ages", Dumbarton Oaks Papers, 3, pp. 16970.
  9. F. M. Warren (1912), "The Troubadour Canso and Latin Lyric Poetry", Modern Philology, 9(4), p. 481. J. E. Caerwyn Williams (1989/90), "The Nature Prologue in Welsh Court Poetry", Studia celtica, 24/25, p. 78, credits Eugenius as the first to connect the "nature prologue", which was later to be so important to the courtly love lyric, to a "love interest".

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