Era
Vol. 1: A seculo VI usque ad 803
Date
Circa 560
Place
Regestum

Venantius Fortunatus composes a poem in celebration of the construction of the church of St. Andrew, built by a Vitalis, the bishop of Ravenna (most probably a laudatory nickname for Bishop Maximian).

Source
Venantius Fortunatus, Libri undecim carminum epistolarum expositionum, carmen I/2; 6th-century original is lost and numerous later copies of the collection of poems are preserved (see this link); the edition is based on the following manuscript:
B = Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, ms. lat. 14144; 9th-century copy; the manuscript is digitized and available online here.
Previous Editions
Friedrich Leo (ed.), Venanti Honori Clementiani Fortunati presbyteri Italici Opera poetica, Monumenta Germaniae historica, Scriptores, Auctores antiquissimi 4/1 (Berlin 1881), pp. 8-9.
FIM Edition
Diplomatic edition based on B.
Transcription

Versus de templo domni Andreae quod aedificavit Vitalis episcopus Ravennaa

Quisquis ad haec sancti concurris limina templi,
si venias supplex, hic prece sumis opem.
Quam sacer antistisb Vitalis condidit arcem,
culmine quae celso est tempore ducta brevi.
Fundavit, struxit, dotavit, deinde dicavit,
et meruit templi solvere vota sui.
Quo veneranda pii requiescunt viscera Petri,
qui meruit solus clave ligare polos.
Paulus apostolica simul hac retinetur in aula,
seductor quondam qui modo doctor ovat.
Hanc sacer Andreas propriam sibi vindicat arcem,
et cum fratre pio participata regit.
Haec sua tecta replet Laurentius igne sereno,
cui pia flamma dedit luce perennic diem:
Vitali domus ista placet, qui vivus harenis,
defossus meruit perdere mortis iter.
Sunt loca Martini qui texit veste tonantem:
ne magis algeret, se spoliare dedit.
Ecce Vigili arx est quem rustica turba peremit,
unde mori voluit, mors magis ipsa fugit.
Incolit haec pariter Marturius atque Sisennus,
quos genus atque fides et tenet una salus.
Sanctus Alexander felixque Cicilia pollent,
quos mentesd omnes una corona manet.
Haec bonus antestise Vitale urguente Iohannes
condidit egregio viscera sancta loco.
Omniumf felix, aeternum in lumen iture,
cuius vita suo proficit ista Deo!

Critical apparatus

asic B: pro Ravennatis seu Ravennae seu Ravennas; Ravennensis ed. Leo. bsic B: pro antistes. csic B: pro perenne. dsic P: meritis ed. Leo. esic P: pro antistes. fsic P: pro O nimium et sic ed. Leo.

Translation

Michael Roberts, Poems: Venantius Fortunatus, Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library 46 (Cambridge, MA 2017), pp. 15-17.

Selected Bibliography
See doc. 560_VF1.
Editor's Notes

Another poem by Venantius Fortunatus dedicated to the deeds of the mysterious bishop Vitalis of Ravenna, see the discussion on the identification of this Vitalis here. In summary, he is most probably either the same person as Bishop Maximian of Ravenna or Bishop Vitalis of Altino.

The poem depicts Bishop Vitalis as the man behind the construction of the church of St. Andrew, from grounds up. The church of St. Andrew in Ravenna, however, was not built but only renovated by Maximian and this is one of the counterarguments against the "Ravennate thesis" (marked as n. 1 here).

The bonus antistes Iohannes mentioned in the poem cannot be properly identified. According to the "Istrian thesis" of the provenance of bishop Vitalis (marked as n. 4 here), this John would be the bishop of Cissa, the mysterious bishopric of Istria, who built, together with Vitalis, the church of St. Andrew in Betiga; needles to say, this interpretation is extremely conjectural.

How to Cite
First citation: Josip Banic (ed.), Fontes Istrie medievalis, vol. 1: A seculo VI usque ad 803, doc. 560_VF2, fontesistrie.eu/560_VF2 (last access: date).
Subsequent citations: FIM, 1: doc. 560_VF2.
Facsimile
Image Source and Info

The image of the manuscript is taken from the official web pages of Bibliothèque Nationale de France.

The editor has subsequently marked the manuscript with a red line simply to denote the part that is hereby edited.

The image remains under the copyright of Bibliothèque Nationale de France.