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E00924: Lines from an anonymous Latin hymn commemorating *Lupus (bishop of Troyes, ob. 479, S00418), and his protection through prayer of Troyes from Attila the Hun. Presumably written in Troyes (north-east Gaul), before 700.

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posted on 2015-12-02, 00:00 authored by dlambert
Anonymous hymn on Lupus of Troyes

The lines are quoted by Bede in the entry on Lupus in his Martyrology.

Dum bella cuncta perderent,
Orando Trecas muniit.

'While wars destroyed everything,
[He] protected Troyes by praying.'

For the full context of the quotation in Bede's Martyrology, see $E05591.

Text: Quentin 1908, 80-81. Translation: David Lambert.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Lupus, bishop of Troyes, ob. 478/9 : S00418

Type of Evidence

Liturgical texts - Hymns


  • Latin

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Gaul and Frankish kingdoms

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc


Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Troyes Tours Tours Toronica urbs Prisciniacensim vicus Pressigny Turonorum civitas Ceratensis vicus Céré

Cult activities - Liturgical Activity

  • Service for the Saint

Cult Activities - Miracles

Miracle during lifetime Miraculous interventions in war Miraculous protection - of communities, towns, armies

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops Foreigners (including Barbarians)


The quotation appears in the entry for Lupus in Bede's Martyrology, which was compiled between 725 and 731 (Quentin 1908, 106); for fuller discussion see E05591. Most of the entry is based on the Life of Lupus (E00673), as can be demonstrated by verbal parallels as well as content. However, the hymn is neither quoted nor mentioned in the Life of Lupus, and Bede's source for it is unknown.


This fragment of a hymn commemorating Lupus of Troyes is important in confirming the existence of a formal cult around Lupus, probably from an early date. Although the fragment is transmitted via a text written between 725 and 731, there is no reason to believe that the the hymn itself was of 8th century date: it may date from the 6th or even 5th century. The quoted lines from the hymn commemorate an incident during the invasion of Gaul by the Huns, led by Attila, in 451, when the Huns threatened Troyes but the town was not sacked (it is not known whether the Huns did not attempt to take the town, or did so unsuccessfully). The lines quoted, with their assertion that Lupus protected Troyes by praying, correspond to Life of Lupus 5, which states that Lupus 'solely though intercession and prayer entrusted to God, defended the city by the aid of heavenly resources, in whose deliverance he extinguished the blaze of all danger' (sola ad Dominum intercessione et prece deposita, supernae opis defendit auxilio, in cuius absolutione totius discriminis conpressit incendium). The lines quoted by Bede show the importance to the people of Troyes of the memory of their preservation from the Huns, and are important evidence for the cult of Lupus. It is known that there was a church at Troyes dedicated to him in the 6th century (E00701, E00721). The fact that there was a hymn commemorating him demonstrates that his cult was celebrated liturgically. The hymn would have been longer than the two lines quoted by Bede, and no doubt referred to other episodes in Lupus' life and episcopate.


Editions and translations of Bede's Martyrology: Quentin, H., Les martyrologes historiques du moyen âge. Étude sur la formation du Martyrologe romain (Paris: Lecoffre, 1908). Lifshitz, F., “Bede, Martyrology,” in: T. Head (ed.), Medieval Hagiography: An Anthology (New York: Garland, 2000), 169-197.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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