Paul the Silentiary

Paul The Silentiary, a Christian poet of the 5th century, was of a noble family, the son of Cyrus and grandson of Florus, and possessed of great wealth. He held in the palace of Justinian the office of chief of the Silentiarii, a class of persons who had the care of the emperor's palace. When the church of St. Sophia at Constantinople was rebuilt by Justinian in 562, Paul wrote a description (or ἔκφρασις) of the edifice, in 1026 Greek hexameters, with a proemium consisting of 134 iambic verses. It is evident from this poem that he was a Christian. The work was edited, with notes and a Latin translation, by Ducange (Paris, 1670); the text, edited by Becker, is contained in the Bonn edition of the "Byzantine Historians" (1837), with a second part, consisting of 275 hexameters and a procemnium of 29 iambics, not included in the edition of Ducange. Paul was also the author of a poem entitled Εἰς τὰ ἐν Πυθίοις θέρμα, and of several epigrams, which are included in the Greek Anthology. See Fabricius, Bibliotheca Graeca (ed. Harles), 4:487; 7:581; Smith, Dict. of Gr. and Romans Biog. and Mythol. 3:151 (18); Darling, Cyclop. Bibliog. vol. ii, s.v.

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