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image of Mnemosyne

Paulinus of Pella reveals his current age (around 83) in his autobiographical poem Eucharisticos, but the date of his birth (ca. August 377) and the time of composition (ca. Feb./May 460) have to be deduced by combining pieces of information given in the introductory verses (1-49) and by accounting for further sources related to the family of his grandfather Ausonius. The chronology thus established appears to be consistent with the remaining data of the poem as well as with the chronicle of Prosper Tiro; in two cases (v. 474/8), seeming contradictions vanish as soon as the transmitted text is re-established. Redating the steps of Paulinus' life not only enhances our understanding of his personality and of the historical events he was involved in, but also defends the unity of the biography against the analytical concept prevalent in modern scholarship.


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