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Helpi'dius

or ELPI'DIUS, sometimes written Helfridius, was a Christian poet, who flourished towards the close of the fifth century, was physician to the Gothic monarch Theodoric, and is believed by many to be the Rusticus Helpidius commemorated in an inscription with the title of Exquaestor.


Works

The following compositions, still extant, are ascribed to this author:--


1.

Twenty-four epigrammatic narratives, taken from Bible history, each comprised in three dactylic hexameters, with titles descriptive of the subjects, such as Eva a diabolo seducta, Joseph a fratribus venditur, Lazarus a morte revocatus, Christus in monte docet, and the like.


2.

A song of praise and thanksgiving, comprised in 150 hexameters, not altogether destitute of elegance, and certainly very superior in every respect to the weak and pointless tristichs.

It would appear from an allusion, somewhat ambiguous, however, contained in the last-named piece (1. 45, &c.), that Helpidius had written a poem to comfort himself while in sorrow, but, if such a production was ever published, it is now lost.


Editions

Both of the above works are given in the Poetarum veterum Eccles. Opera Christiana of G. Fabricius, fol. Basil. 1564; in the Bibl. Mayn. Patr. fol. Paris, 1644, vol. viii., and in the Bibl. Patr. Max. fol. Lugdun. 1677, vol. ix. p. 462.


Further Information

Cassiodor. Var. 4.24; Ennod. Ep. 9.21, 11.19, and notes of Sirmond.

[W.R]

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