Venantius Fortunatus, late antique author of occasional poems, letters, saints’ lives and one hagiographical epic, mentions Pindar, one of the nine canonical lyricists, several times in the letters and poems, which form his collection of carmina. While direct intertextual references of a Latin poet in Gaul in the sixth century CE to a poet of archaic Greece would be extraordinary, Venantius Fortunatus seems to suggest to his recipients that he has first-hand knowledge of Pindar. A natural link between Pindar and Venantius Fortunatus, which could have made the Greek a desirable model for the Venetian, is their shared expertise in occasional praise poetry. In my paper I am going to follow this lead and search for traces of direct intertextuality between Pindar’s remaining poems and Fortunatus’s carmina in his words, style and choice of subjects. As part of this endeavor, I will reflect on the methodological difficulties of determining direct intertextuality beyond reasonable doubt.
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