The Gospel Text uised by Sedulius in the Paschale Carmen and Paschale Opus

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This study examines the Gospel citations in the Paschale Opus and the Paschale Carmen, the twin works of the 5th-century Latin poet Sedulius. To date no study had conducted a full investigation of the origin and use of Sedulius's Gospel sources in both works, composed in the middle of a crucial period in the evolution of the Latin Bible. Sedulius's biblical citations were broken up into variant sites that were analysed against the principal traditions in the Old Latin and Vulgate versions of the Gospels. The full collection of these variant sites can be found in the Appendix. The analysis of these variant readings proposes that Sedulius's Gospel citations in both works are principally Old Latin, closest among unmixed Old Latin codices to the Veronensis (VL4) in Matthew, the Corbiensis II (VL8) in Luke and the Usserianus I in John (VL14), but his citations also reveal that Sedulius made significant use of the Vulgate, especially in book two of the Paschale Opus. Sedulius's biblical text reveals his use of homilies and the importance of the liturgy on the composition of his works but his biblical citations are nearly always paralleled by an Old Latin or Vulgate manuscript witness rather than those forms found in the earliest witnesses to the liturgy. Finally, the study's findings have important consequences for our knowledge concerning the use and dissemination of what came to be known as the Vulgate version of the Gospels.
Date of Award2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • King's College London
SupervisorRoland Mayer (Supervisor) & Sophie Lunn-Rockliffe (Supervisor)

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