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Venantius Fortunatus

Born in Valdobbiadene near Treviso in Italy, the Christian-Latin poet and priest Venantius Honorius Clementianus Fortunatus (530/540-610) is considered the last Roman poet of late antiquity, but also the first poet of the Middle Ages. His works represent an important source for the outgoing Gallo-Roman culture at the turn of the late antiquity and early medieval period. Among other things, he wrote the verse epic "De virtutibus Martini Turonensis" on Saint Martin of Tours (316-397), who is today venerated as a wine saint. Around the year 588, during a boat trip on the Moselle from Metz to Andernach, he described the beauty of the landscape and also praised wine, similar to his poet colleague Ausonius (310-395). He also mentioned the Calmont vineyard, on which the Romans had already grown wine. He became bishop of the western French city of Poitiers, where he also died. From his religious poems are known the Passion hymns "Vexilla regis prodeunt" and "Pange lingua gloriosi proelium certaminis" and the Marian song "Quem terra pontus aethera". The picture is a detail of a miniature portrait in a manuscript from the 11th century.

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