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E05092: Paulinus of Nola, writing in Latin in c.396 in Nola (southern Italy), invites Sulpicius Severus to join him at Nola, under the protection of *Felix (priest and confessor of Nola, S00000).

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posted on 2018-02-19, 00:00 authored by frances
Paulinus of Nola, Letter 5.15


Paulinus invites Sulpicius Severus to join him and his community in Nola. The community is defined by its vicinity to Felix’s tomb, and the saint is referred to as its patron (patronus).

Summary: Frances Trzeciak.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Felix, priest and confessor of Nola (southern Italy) : S00000

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Literary - Letters


  • Latin

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Italy south of Rome and Sicily

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc


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

Nola Adriatic Sea Adriatic Sea Adriaticum Mare

Major author/Major anonymous work

Paulinus of Nola

Cult activities - Places

Burial site of a saint - tomb/grave

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Visiting graves and shrines

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - lesser clergy


Letter 5 in the letter collection of Paulinus of Nola (ob. 431). It is one of many letters which Paulinus addressed to aristocratic and ascetic Roman circles in the later fourth and early fifth centuries. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Paulinus did not curate a collection of his letters: instead collections were compiled by friends and admirers. This letter dates from roughly 396 and in it Paulinus invites his friend Sulpicius Severus, who was based in Primuliacum (modern Prémillac) in southern Gaul, to join him in Nola. This was not the only time Paulinus would make such a request; yet Severus did not join him. In later letters Paulinus expresses impatience over this, and even suggests that Severus’ unwillingness to even visit Nola is disrespectful to Felix (see E02874).


For a fuller discussion of Paulinus’ desire to characterise Felix as a special protector of Nola and its surrounding area, see E04767.


Edition Hartel, W., Sancti Pontii Meropii Paulini Epistulae, 2nd ed., revised M. Kamptner (Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum 29; Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Vienna, 1999). Translation Walsh, P.G., Letters of St. Paulinus of Nola, vol. 1 (Ancient Christian Writers 35; Westminster MD: Newman Press, 1967). Further Reading Conybeare, Catherine, Paulinus Noster: Self and Symbols in the Letters of Paulinus of Nola (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000). 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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