Theodulf of Orléans
Little is known about Theodulf’s early life, but various statements in his written works point to an upbringing and theological education in northern Spain. His poem “De libris quos legere solebam” (“About the books that I was accustomed to read”) offers a list of significant historic authors such as Augustine, Chrysostom, Virgil, and Ovid, and these same authors are quoted in his works in many places, clearly demonstrating access to higher education, especially Christian theological training. This same text singles out the venerable Spaniard Prudentius as a patriarch: “Diversoque potens prudenter promere plura metro, o Prudenti, noster et ipse parens” (“And with distinct meter, wisely able to bring out more things, O Prudentius, one of us and the father himself”). Manuscripts surviving from the period exhibit Latin grammar and spelling consistent with nuances found in northern Spain, plus literary influences from Spanish liturgy. One of his earliest poems says, “Nec me praesulibus doctorem praefero sanctis, … cum sim levitide turba pars” (“I do not offer myself as a teacher before the bishops, … with the multitude of deacons may I be a part”), and it lists duties befitting a deacon. Theodulf must have been ordained in that capacity before becoming involved in the Frankish court. Read more >
by Chris Fenner
The Hymn, vol. 63, no. 1 (Winter 2012)
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