Era
Vol. 1: A seculo VI usque ad 803
Date
Between 799 and 802
Regestum

A poem dedicated to the memory of the late Duke Eric of Friuli, composed by Paulinus, the patriarch of Aquileia.

Source
Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, ms. lat. 1154, fols. 116r–118r; 10th-century copy (original autograph is lost), digitized and available online here (B).
Edition
Ernest Dümmler (ed.), “Paulini Aquileiensis carmina,” in Poetae Latini aevi Carolini I, Monumenta Germaniae historica, Poetae Latini medii aevi 1 (Berlin 1881), doc. n. 2, pp. 131–33.
Transcription

Versus Paulini de Herico duce

[I] Mecum Timavi saxa novem flumina
flete per novem fontes redundantia,
quę salsa gluttit unda ponti Ionici,
Istris, Sausque, Tissa, Culpa, Marua,
Natissa, Corca, gurgites Isoncii.

[II] Herico michi dulce nomen plangite,
Sirmium, Polla, tellus Aquilegiae,
Iulii Forus, Cormonis ruralia,
rupes Osopi, iuga Cetenensium,
Hastensis humus ploret et Albenganus.

[III] Nec tu cessare, de cuius confinio
est oriundus, urbs dives Argentae,
lugere multo gravique cum gemitu,
civem famosam predidisti nobili,
germine natum claroque de sanguine.

[IV] Barbara lingua Stratiburgus diceris:
olim quod nomen ammisisti celebre,
hoc ego tibi reddidi mellisonum,
amice dulcis ab amorem, qui fuit
lacte nutritus iuxta flumen Quirnea.

[V] Ecclesiarum largus in donariis,
pauperum pater, miseris subsidium,
hic viduarum summa consolatio
erat: quam mittis, carus sacerdotibus,
potens in armis, subtilis ingenio.

[VI] Barbaras gentes domuit sevissimas,
cingit quas Drawa, recludit Danubius,
celat quas iunco paludes Meotides,
ponti quo artat quas unda salsiflui,
Dalmaciarum quibus obstat terminus.

[VII] Turres Stratonis, limitis principium,
Scithie metas, Stratie qui cardinem
a se sequestrat utraque confinia
hec Austro reddit, hec refundit Boreę,
tendit ad portas, quę dicuntur Caspię.

[VIII] Libicum1 litus, quo redundant maria,
mons inimice, Laurentus qui diceris,
vos super unquam imber, ros, nec pluvia
descendant, flores nec tellus purpureas
germinet, humus nec fructus triticeos.

[IX] Ulmus nec vitem gemmato cum pampino
sustentet, uvas nec in ramis pendeat,
frondeat ficus sicco semper stipite,
fera nec rubus mala granis Punica,
promat irsutus nec globus castaneas.

[X] Ubi cecidit vir fortis in proelio
clipeo fracto, cruentata romphea,
lancae summo retunsona iaculo
sagittis fossum fundis saxa fortia
corpus ingesta contrivisse dicitur.

[XI] Heu, quam durum quamque triste nuntium
illa sub die deflenda percrepuit,
nam clamor ante orrendus per plateas
lacrimis dignus sonuitque tristia
eius per verba mors esset exposita.

[XII] Matres, mariti, pueri, iuvencule,
domini, servi, sexus omnis, tenera
aetas pervalde, sacerdotum inclita
caterva, pugnis sauciata pectora
crinibus vulsis ululabant pariter.

[XIII] Deus aeterne, limi qui de pulvere
plasmasti tuam primos ad imaginem
parentes nostros, per quos omnes morimur,
misisti tuum sed dilectum filium,
vivimus omnes per quem mirabiliter.

[XIV] Sanguine cuius redempti purpureo
sumus, sacrata cuius carne sumimur2,
Herico tuo servulo mellifluo,
concede, quęso, paradisi gaudia
et nunc et ultra per immensa secula.

Lectiones notęque

1) Liburnicum, cf. other manuscripts in Dümmler's edition.

2) pascimur, cf. other manuscripts in Dümmler's edition.

Selected Bibliography
Yves-Marie Duval, “Paulin d'Aquilée et le duc Éric: Des clercs et moines aux laïcs aux clercs et moines,” Antichità Altoadriatiche: Aquileia e le Venezie nell’Alto Medioevo: XVIII settimana di Studi Aquileiesi 1987 32 (1988): pp. 115–147.
Roberto Cessi, “L’occupazione langobarda e franca dell’Istria nei secoli VIII e IX,” Atti del Reale Istituto Veneto di scienze, lettere ed arti: Classe di Scienze morali e lettere 100 (1940–41): pp. 307–8.
Carlo Guido Mor, “Dal ducato longobardo del Friuli alla Marca franca,” Memorie storiche forogiuliesi 42 (1956–57): pp. 31–33.
Editor's Notes

The poem dedicated to Duke Eric of Friuli by his contemporary and personal friend Patriarch Paulinus of Aquileia is unique piece of early medieval literature that deserves to be studied primarily from a literary perspective.

In the context of Istria medieval history, however, the poem is important for different reasons. Namely, Paulinus’s geographical delimitation of the places which mourned Eric’s death includes Istria, more precisely, the city of Pula.

These lines have traditionally been taken, especially by Roberto Cessi and Carlo Guido Mor, as undisputed argument that the Eric's March of Friuli indeed encompassed Istria within its jurisdictional territory. Since there are no primary sources that would either explicitly confirm or contradict this argument, the interpretation remains valid to this day; the readers should be aware that the main argument stems from this panegyrical poem.

Duke Eric died in 799 during an expedition in the Kvarner region (see the primary sources here). The next recorded duke of Friuli was Cadolah († 829) who also appears as Charlemagne’s official envoy (Lat. missus dominicus) in 804 at the Placitum of Rižana (see the document here).

How to Cite
First citation: Josip Banic (ed.), Fontes Istrie medievalis, vol. 1: A seculo VI usque ad 803, doc. 799_CDH, fontesistrie.eu/799_CDH (last access: date).
Subsequent citations: FIM, 1: doc. 799_CDH.
Image Source and Info

The images of the manuscript were downloaded from the official webpage of Bibliothèque Nationale de France.