1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Merobaudes, Flavius

MEROBAUDES, FLAVIUS (5th century A.D.), Latin rhetorician and poet, probably a native of Baetica in Spain. He was the official laureate of Valentinian III. and Aëtius. Till the beginning of the 19th century he was known only from the notice of him in the Chronicle (year 443) of his contemporary Idacius, where he is praised as a poet and orator, and mention is made of statues set up in his honour. In 1813 the base of a statue was discovered at Rome, with a long inscription belonging to the year 435 (C.I.L. vi. 1724) upon Flavius Merobaudes, celebrating his merits as warrior and poet., Ten years later, Niebuhr discovered some Latin verses on a palimpsest in the monastery of St Gall, the authorship of, which was traced to Merobaudes, owing to the great similarity of the language in the prose preface to that of the inscription. Formerly the only piece known under the name of Merobaudes was a short poem (30 hexameters) De Christo, attributed to him by one MS., to Claudian by another; but Ebert is inclined to-dispute the claim of Merobaudes to be considered either the author of the De Christo or a Christian.

The “Panegyric” and minor poems have been edited by B. G. Niebuhr (1824); by I. Bekker in the Bonn Corpus scriptorum hist. Byz. (1836); the “De Christo” in T. Birt’s Claudian (1392), where the authorship of Merobaudes is upheld; see also A. Ebert, Geschichte der Literatur des Mittelalters im Abendlande (1889).