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Sedulius (sometimes with the nomenCoelius or Caelius, both of doubtful authenticity) was a Christianpoet of the first half of the 5th century.
Extremely little is known about his life. Sedulius is the Latin form of the Irish name Siadhal, referring to the a family, sept or "siadhal" meaning "seed." The only trustworthy information is given by his two letters to Macedonius, from which we learn that he devoted his early life, perhaps as a teacher of rhetoric, to secular literature. Late in life he converted to Christianity, or, if a Christian before, began to take his faith more seriously. One medieval commentary states that he resided in Italy. He is termed a presbyter by Isidore of Seville and in the Gelasian decree.
His fame rests mainly upon a long poem, Carmen paschale, based on the four gospels. In style a bombastic imitator of Virgil, he shows, nevertheless, a certain freedom in the handling of the Biblical story, and the poem soon became a quarry for the minor poets. His description of the Four Evangelists in Carmen Paschale became well-known; the English translation below is from Springer (2013, p. 21).
Hoc Matthaeus agens hominem generaliter implet;
Marcus ut alta fremit uox per deserta leonis;
Iura sacerdotii Lucas tenet ore iuuenci;
More uolans aquilae uerbo petit astra Iohannes.
Matthew plays the role of the whole human race;
Mark roars like the loud voice of a lion through the wilderness;
Luke holds the office of the priesthood with the face of an ox;
Flying like an eagle, John reaches for the stars with his word.
Victoria Panagl (Bearb.), Sedulius, Opera Omnia, Ex Recensione Iohannis Huemer (Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum, 10), Wien, 2007, XLVII, 532 S.
Springer, Carl P. (2013), Sedulius, The Paschal Song and Hymns, Ancient Israel and Its Literature, 35, SBL Press, ISBN978-1589837447
Roger P H Green, Latin Epics of the New Testament: Juvencus, Sedulius, Arator, Oxford UP 2008 ISBN978-0-19-928457-3 (reviewed by Teresa Morgan in the article "Poets for Jesus", Times Literary Supplement 4 April 2008 p 31).