G. Sollius Sidonius Apollinaris

c.431-c.482. Gallic Latin poet and bishop of Clermont. Born into a noble family of Auvergne and well educated, Sidonius wrote panegyrics to the emperors Avitus, his father-in-law (456), Majorian (458), and Anthemius (468), which won for him his statue erected in Trajan's Forum and two terms as prefect of Rome (456 and 468). Reluctantly accepting the see of Clermont though not a cleric (468), he was naturally weak in Scripture and dogma but always faithful to his religious duties. From the same time he ceased adding to his total of twenty-four secular poems (carmina) and began his flow of 147 epistles, valuable sources for the history of his era, especially the resistance of Auvergne (469-75), which he led, and its ignominious surrender to Euric, Visigothic king, by Emperor Nepos. His writing was graceful, but jejune in content, reflecting the life of an urbane Roman gentleman, despite the barbarians' encroachments. Sidonius influenced the Middle Ages in his epistolary and panegyric styles and in his late classical rhetorical mannerism.