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FLAVIUS MEROBAUDES (5th century A.D.)

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Originally appearing in Volume V18, Page 172 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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FLAVIUS MEROBAUDES (5th century A.D.), Latin rhetorician and poet, probably a native of Baetica in Spain. He was the official laureate of Valentinian III. and Aetius. Till the beginning of the 19th century he was known only from the notice of him in the Chronicle (year 443) of his contemporary Idacius, where he is praised as a poet and orator, and mention is made of statues set up in his honour. In 1813 the base of a statue was discovered at Rome, with a Iong inscription belong- ing to the year 435 (C.I.L. vi. 1724) upon Flavius Merobaudes, celebrating his merits as warrior and poet. Ten years later, Niebuhr discovered some Latin verses on a palimpsest in the monastery of St Gall, the authorship of which was traced to Merobaudes, owing to the great similarity of the language in the prose preface to that of the inscription. Formerly the only piece known under the name of Merobaudes was a short poem (30 hexameters) De Christo, attributed to him by one MS., to Claudian by another; but Ebert is inclined to dispute the claim of Merobaudes to be considered either the author of the De many plans, sketches and copies, besides actual antiquities, to Berlin. Further excavations were carried on by E. W. Budge in the years 1902 and 1905, the results of which are recorded in his work, The Egyptian Sudan: its History and Monuments (London, 1907). Troops were furnished by Sir Reginald Wingate, governor of the Sudan, who made paths to and between the pyramids, and sank shafts, &c. It was found that the pyramids were regularly built over sepulchral chambers, containing the remains of bodies either burned or buried without being mummified. The most interesting objects found were the reliefs on the chapel walls, already described by Lepsius, and containing the names with representations of queens and some kings, with some chapters of the Book of the Dead; some steles with inscriptions in the Meroitic language, and some vessels of metal and earthenware. The best of the reliefs were taken down stone by stone in 1905, and set up partly in the British Museum and partly in the museum at Khartum. In 1910, in consequence of a. report by Professor Sayce, excavations were commenced in the mounds of the town and the necropolis by J. Garstang on behalf of the university of Liverpool, and the ruins of a palace and several temples were discovered, built by the Meroite kings. (See further ETHioPIA.) Meroe was probably also an alternative name for the city of Napata, the ancient capital of Ethiopia, built at the foot of Jebel Barkal. The site of Napata is indicated. by the villages of Sanam Abu Dom on the left bank of the Nile and Old Merawi on the right bank of the river. New Merawi, I m. east of Sanam Abu Dom and on the same side of the river, was founded by the Sudan government in 1905 and made the capital of the mudiria of Dongola. (D. S. M.*)
End of Article: FLAVIUS MEROBAUDES (5th century A.D.)
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