Ruricius of Limoges and Friends: A Collection of Letters from Visigothic Gaul
Liverpool University Press, 1999 - Literary Criticism - 289 pages
The fifth century brought great changes to Roman Gaul, including the expansion of the Christian church, the disappearance of the Roman imperial presence, and the arrival and settlement of various barbarian peoples. In this volume, the letters of Ruricius, bishop of Limoges (c. 485-510), and those written to him -- by Faustus of Riez, Sedatus of Nimes. Caesarius of Aries, Euphrasius of Clermont, Graecus of Marseilles, Victorinus of Frejus, Sidonius Apollinaris, Paulinus of Bordeaux, and Taurentius -- give insight into the personal lives and feelings of those who experienced these transformations first hand.
The collection affords an unparalleled view of Gaul in the last quarter of the fifth century, when it seemed that the Visigothic Kingdom of Toulouse would become the primary barbarian power in the region. In an intimate and domestic way, these personal correspondences describe what happened in Gaul after the final Roman withdrawal just before A.D. 480. They illustrate how literary culture continued under barbarian rule, and demonstrate how well-to-do Gauls responded to the changing times. They provide priceless insights not only into the private and public lives of the individual letter writers but also into life and activities in Visigothic Gaul at the local level in general. Surprisingly, they suggest how little impact the Visigoths actually had on many individuals present at the "end of Roman Gaul.