Classical Musical Imagery in Eugenius Vulgarius’ Carmina Figurata

TitleClassical Musical Imagery in Eugenius Vulgarius’ Carmina Figurata
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsDessì, P
Ancient AuthorsBoethius, Anicius Manlius Severinus (OCD)
JournalGreek and Roman Musical Studies
Volume7
Issue1
Pagination140-165
Abstract

At the beginning of the tenth century, Vulgarius wrote some poems for Pope Sergius III. One of these is set out in the shape of a psaltery and is followed by a short explanatory essay. This article reconstructs the cultural context of this pattern poem and sheds light on the presence and significance of music in this text. First, I shall address the visual appearance of this poem, since the shape of the text imitates a musical instrument. Secondly, I shall examine the textual content of the poem, which sings the praises of the Pope and ultimately reveals the true meaning hidden in the name ‘Sergius’. Subsequently, I shall examine the content of the explanatory essay, which clarifies the Boethian musical proportions on which the entire construction of the pattern poem is based. Finally, I shall address the political ‘double meaning’ of this poem, which seems to hide an invective against the Pope. [https://brill.com/abstract/journals/grms/7/1/article-p140_9.xml]

DOI10.1163/22129758-12341338

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