Old age – maturity. „Senex” i „senectus” in Gallic literature of the 5th and 6th centuries

Antoni Żurek

Uniwersytet Papieski Jana Pawła II w Krakowie , Poland


The theme of old age is presented only occasionally by Latin authors who wrote their works in Gallia in the 5th and 6th centuries after Christ. The term „old man” is first and fore­most a man of advanced age. Nowhere, however, a limit of old age is defined. Usually one can find a reference to a man still vital, though bearing the hallmarks of loss of strength and fitness. Old age is sometimes linked up with infirmity. Nowhere, however, one talks about any special care that these old people or the old with symptoms of old age need. In a positive sense old age means a person who has experience and authority. People of the Church who enjoy respect are often described in this way. Reaching old age under­stood in this sense was seen as an expression of God`s blessing.


old age, maturity, Gallic literature

Caesarius Arelatensis, Expositio in Apocalypsim, PL 35
Caesarius Arelatensis, Sermo, CCL 103
Cyprianus – Viventius, Vita S. Caesarii Arelatensis, ed. G. Morin, w: S. Caesarii Opera omnia, II, Maredsous 1942, 323, POK 32, Poznań 2008
Gregorius Turonensis, Historia Francorum, PL 71, tł. Grzegorz z Tours, Historie. Historia Franków, oprac. i komentarz D.A. Sikorski, Tyniec – Kraków 2002
Gregorius Turonensis, Statuta Ecclesiae Antiqua, CCL 148
Gregorius Turonensis, Vitae Patrum, PL 71
Julius Pomerius, De vita contemplativa, PL 59
Neri V., Il tema della „senectus” nella storiografia pagana e cristiana della tarda an¬tichità (da Costantino a Gregorio Magno), w: Senectus. La vecchiaia nell’antichità, ed. U. Mattioli, vol. 3: Ebraismo e cristianesimo, Bologna 2007
Suder W., Census popu¬li. Demografia starożytnego Rzymu, Wrocław 2003


Żurek, A. (2011). Old age – maturity. „Senex” i „senectus” in Gallic literature of the 5th and 6th centuries. Vox Patrum, 56, 393–400. https://doi.org/10.31743/vp.4232

Antoni Żurek 
Uniwersytet Papieski Jana Pawła II w Krakowie


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