Hilduin of Saint-Denis

The Passio S. Dionysii in Prose and Verse


Author: Michael Lapidge
Hilduin (c. 785-c. 860), abbot of Saint-Denis in Paris and archchaplain to Louis the Pious, was one of the leading scholars and administrators of the Carolingian empire. He was the first to translate the mystical Greek writings of the pseudo-Dionysius into Latin; he then identified this Dionysius with the first bishop of Paris of that name, and assigned his episcopacy and martyrdom to 96 A.D. Hilduin composed a life of St Dionysius in prose and verse: the prose work has not been edited since 1580, and the verse work - a major new Carolingian Latin poem - has never before been printed. Both texts are accompanied by facing-page English translation and detailed commentary; eleven appendices contain editions of the various texts on which Hilduin drew in compiling his fictitious account of St Dionysius.

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Michael Lapidge, Ph.D. 1971, Litt.D. 1987, Hon.D.Litt. 2011. Emeritus Professor of Anglo-Saxon, University of Cambridge; author or editor of 50 books and 250 articles; Fellow of the British Academy; Corresponding Fellow of the Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften (Munich) and Accademia dei Lincei (Rome).
"It is hard to think of any single book that has made such an outstanding contribution to the literary study of early Medieval Latin in recent decades. Many intractable issues have been resolved here, just as numerous avenues for further research have been signposted."
Nigel F. Palmer, in Medium Aevum, 88 (2019).

"l’opus magnum de M. L. nous livre l’édition d’un dossier hagiographique particulièrement complexe et d’une grande importance historique.[...] l’énorme travail nous donne un accès aisé (la clarté d’exposition est l’une des qualités maîtresses de l’A.) aux deux Passiones composées par Hilduin et à toutes les pièces qui permettent d’en comprendre la genèse, toutes présentées dans de nouvelles éditions critiques et accompagnées d’une traduction. Nul doute que la recherche en sera grandement stimulée."
R. Godding, in Analecta Bollandiana, 136 (2018).

''This book is an impressive achievement, and medievalists must thank Lapidge for having accomplished this time-consuming and often underestimated work, which includes of lists of manuscripts, a critical apparatus, and philological and historical explanatory notes.''
Klaus Kroenert, in Speculum , 94/2 (2019).
Scholars and students of the central Middle Ages and of Medieval Latin literature; academic libraries; research institutes; specialists interested in the cult of saints and medieval culture.