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Avitus, as metropolitan of southern and eastern Gaul, took the lead in a conference between the Catholic and Arian bishops held in presence of Gundobad at Sardiniacum near Lyons.records that he was made vicar apostolic in Gaul by that pontiff; and in 517 he presided in this capacity at the Council of Epaon for restoring ecclesiastical discipline in Gallia Narbonensis.Avitus appears also to have exerted himself to terminate the dispute between the churches of Rome and Constantinople which arose out of the excommunication of Acacius; that this was accomplished before his death we gather from his letters. The literary fame of Avitus rests on his many surviving letters (his recent editors make them ninety-six in all) and on a long poem, De spiritualis historiae gestis, in classical hexameters, in five books, dealing with the Biblical themes of original sin, expulsion from Paradise, the Deluge, and the Crossing of the Red Sea.Upon his death, Avitus was buried in the monastery of St. The first three books offer a certain dramatic unity; in them are told the preliminaries of the great disaster, the catastrophe itself, and the consequences.Sections Agriculture Applied sciences Arts Belief Business Chronology Culture Education Environment Geography Health History Humanities Language Law Life Mathematics Nature People Politics Science Society Technology Avitus (c.470 – February 5, 517 or 519) was a Latin poet and bishop of Vienne in Gaul.His fame rests in part on his poetry, but also on the role he played as secretary for the Burgundian kings.Avitus was born of a prominent Gallo-Roman senatorial family related to Emperor Avitus. In 499 Vienne was captured by Gundobad, king of the Burgundians, who was at war with Clovis, king of the Franks, where he came to the attention of that king.
Avitus deals freely and familiarly with the Scriptural events, and exhibits well their beauty, sequence, and significance.
He is one of the last masters of the art of rhetoric as taught in the schools of Gaul in the 4th and 5th centuries.
His poetic diction, though abounding in archaisms and rhythmic redundancy, is pure and select, and the laws of metre are well observed.
The author of his article in the Catholic Encyclopedia claims "that Milton made use of his paraphrase of Scripture in writing Paradise Lost." Avitus also wrote a poem for his sister Fuscina, a nun, praising virginity.
The letters of Avitus are of considerable importance for the ecclesiastical and political history of the years between 499 and 518. His letters are also among the important primary sources of early Merovingian political, ecclesiastical, and social history.
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Like his contemporary, Ennodius of Pavia, he was strenuous in his assertion of the authority of the Apostolic See as the chief bulwark of religious unity and the incipient Christian civilization. Among them is a famous letter to Clovis on the occasion of his baptism.