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Eugippius of Lucullanum: A biography

Eugippius of Lucullanum: A biography
Abigail Kathleen Gometz


Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UNITED KINGDOM.


The following thesis is concerned with reconstructing the life of Eugippius of Lucullanum, abbot of the monastery of St Severinus. We must rely upon written sources for the majority of our information about Eugippius' career as biographer and abbot, and we have three texts from which we must reconstruct the details of his vocation. The texts are useful for a multitude of reasons, and have already been utilized by scholars working on diverse topics. They also reflect three distinct phases and interests of Eugippius' career. First chronologically is his Excerpta ex operibus sancti Augustini, a florilegium dedicated to the virgin Proba; second we have the Vita sancti Severini, Eugippius' most personal work, chronicling the life and miracles of his mentor, St Severinus; finally, we have a monastic regula that has only recently been ascribed to Eugippius; this rule contains extracts from a range of earlier authorities, from Augustine to Cassian to the Regula Magistri. All three sources are problematic, as they are fundamentally lacking in personal details, which makes reconstructing Eugippius' activities a complex and challenging task.

For additional information, we must look to both the environment in which he was working, which involves examining the political situation in Italy following Theoderic's rise to power, as well as the religious tensions precipitated by the Acacian and Laurentian Schisms. Finally, it is also necessary to consult the works of Eugippius' circle of contacts, as often their personal details, letters, and written documents provide details that are omitted from Eugippius' own work.