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E04373: Paulinus of Nola describes the church at Nola keeping the feast day of *Priscus (4th c. bishop of Nocera, S01856). Natalicium 11, written in Latin in Nola (southern Italy) in 405.

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posted on 2017-11-16, 00:00 authored by frances
Paulinus of Nola, Natalicia 11, verses 515-517 [AD 405]

forte sacrata dies inluxerat illa beati
natalem Prisci referens, quem et Nola celebrat
quamuis ille alia Nucerinus episcopus urbe

'It chanced that the holy day had dawned which marks the feast (dies natalis) of Saint Priscus, whose day Nola keeps although he was bishop of another see at Nuceria'.

Text: Dolveck 2015. Translation: Walsh 1975, lightly modified.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Priscus, bishop of Nuceria : S01856

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Literary - Poems


  • Latin

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Italy south of Rome and Sicily Italy south of Rome and Sicily

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Nola Cimitile

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

Nola Adriatic Sea Adriatic Sea Adriaticum Mare Cimitile Adriatic Sea Adriatic Sea Adriaticum Mare

Major author/Major anonymous work

Paulinus of Nola

Cult activities - Festivals

  • Saint’s feast

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops


The Natalicia are a series of poems which were composed by Paulinus of Nola (ob. 431), to be delivered annually on Felix’s feast day (14 January) between 395 and 408. These poems were composed and delivered before Paulinus became bishop of Nola. Natalicium 1 was composed in Spain whilst the rest of the poems were composed and delivered at Nola. They provide an insight into the development of the cult of Felix in Nola under Paulinus. They are often understood in the classical tradition of ‘birthday poems’ – in this case Felix’s birthday being the day he was reborn in heaven. Yet Roberts (2010) has argued they equally incorporate tropes from epideictic poetry and speeches delivered at public festivals. Additionally, Nat. 3 and 4 – sometimes called the Vita Felicis – draw on hagiographic tropes. The Natalicia have been re-edited in their original order by Dolveck (2015). The concordance with the numbering of Wilhelm Hartel's earlier edition (1894) is offered below: Natalicium 1 (395) - Carmen 12 Natalicium 2 (396) - Carmen 13 Natalicium 3 (397) - Carmen 14 Natalicium 4 (398) - Carmen 15 Natalicium 5 (399) - Carmen 16 Natalicium 6 (400) - Carmen 18 Natalicium 7 (401) - Carmen 23 Natalicium 8 (402) - Carmen 26 Natalicium 9 (403) - Carmen 27 Natalicium 10 (404) - Carmen 28 Natalicium 11 (405) - Carmen 19 Natalicium 12 (406) - Carmen 20 Natalicium 13 (407) - Carmen 21 Natalicium 14 (408) - Carmen 29 For a fuller discussion of the Natalicia see E04741.


Nocera is in Campania, south Italy.


Edition: Dolveck, Franz, Carmina, Paulini Nolani, Corpus Christianorum Series Latina 21 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2015), pp. 293 – 493. Translation: Walsh, P.G., Poems of Paulinus of Nola, Ancient Christian Writers (New York: Newman Press, 1975), 148. Further Reading: Trout, Dennis, Paulinus of Nola: Life, Letters and Poems (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999).

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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