‘Etsi peccaui, sum tamen ipse tuus’. O elegii pokutnej Drakoncjusza (i słówko o pojęciu: barokowa ‘elegia’ pokutna)

Słowa kluczowe

Blossius Aemilius Dracontius
Dracontius’s Satisfactio
penitential elegy
Dracontius’s imprisonment by Gunthamund
Vandal Africa
Latin poetry in Vandal Africa
elegy in Latin vs vernacular poetry

Jak cytować

Wasyl, A. M. (2023). ‘Etsi peccaui, sum tamen ipse tuus’. O elegii pokutnej Drakoncjusza (i słówko o pojęciu: barokowa ‘elegia’ pokutna) . Symbolae Philologorum Posnaniensium Graecae Et Latinae, 33(1), 417–449. https://doi.org/10.14746/sppgl.2023.XXXIII.1.30


Dracontius’s Satisfactio, though undoubtedly a prime example of a very complex literary work, is not really a work that cannot be properly described in generic terms. Upon consideration, the label ‘penitential elegy’ appears to be the most appropriate one, as it clearly indicates the major theme of the poem (the contrition of the sinner who acknowledges his sin above all before the God and, in the second place, before the Vandal king Gunthamund, to whom he pleads guilty to some not fully specified misdeed) as well as its metrical form. As for the latter, what is of particular relevance is not merely the fact that the piece is composed in elegiac couplets, but also that it is clearly written with an eye on Ovid the elegist. It is above all Ovid’s exilic motifs that Dracontius reuses throughout his poem, with special focus on Tristia II, imitated not so much through explicit verbal echoes, but rather through the general analogy of poetic situations in which the punished poet openly addresses his punisher, the princeps (Dracontius ostentatiously cites this ‘Ovidian’ word). At times, Dracontius happens to be no less provocative than Ovid was in apostrophizing his powerful addressee, although adopting a protreptic tone (which naturally implies some sort of superiority to the literary ‘you’), he does not pose as an expert in poetry with blemish life, despite his musa iococa (as Ovid did), but as a ‘fellow-Christian’ (suppressing all doctrinal discrepancies between his own Catholicism and Gunthamund’s Arianism) and indeed: a ‘fellow-sinner’ who forgives his (royal) ‘brother’ and asks for forgiveness in return. Moreover, the penitential tone of the poem is also stressed by several references to the Psalms and in particular to the figure of King David doing penance, exactly as in the Polish Baroque penitential elegy. The generic label I have advocated throughout my article is, in fact, ‘borrowed from’ the students of Old-Polish poetry, who are virtually unanimous in recognizing Baroque penitential elegy as a separate literary subgenre. It is not my intention to argue against such conclusions, as the generic features indicated by those specialist are quite convincing (I myself have found them very helpful for my own research), yet what I do emphasize is the very fact that the term ‘elegy’ when referred to vernacular poetry is applied not strictly (it is not related to any specific meter) but rather metaphorically, as if merely pointing to a general ‘mood’ of a poem. In Latin poetry, however, ‘elegy’, meaning ‘automatically’ the elegiac distich, means also concrete intertextual associations, primarily with Ovid (precisely like in Dracontius’s Satisfactio). Hence, when used to describe Dracontius’s text, the label ‘penitential elegy’ reveals its full hermeneutic potential.



Artykuł powstał w wyniku realizacji projektu badawczego o nr. rej. 22H 20 0223 88 finansowanego ze środków Narodowego Programu Rozwoju Humanistyki.


Anonymi in laudem Solis, ed. L. Zurli, Hildesheim 2008.

Beati Eugenii episcopi Toletani Opuscula quibus inserti sunt Dracontii libelli duo ab Eugenio eodem olim recogniti, Paris 1619 [edycja dokonana przez Jacquesa Sirmonda, na podstawie tekstu Drakoncjusza przeredagowanego przez Eugeniusza z Toledo].

Blossi Aemili Draconti Satisfactio una cum Eugeni recensione ed. F. Speranza, Roma 1978.

Blossius Aemilius Dracontius. Satisfactio ad Gunthamundum regem Wandalorum, ed. F. Vollmer, Berlin 1905, 114–131 / MGH. AA. XIV /.

Dracontii poetae Christiani seculi V. Carmina, rec. F. Arevalo, Roma 1791 [editio princeps z rękopisów z Biblioteki Watykańskiej, nie wyłącznie w oparciu o tzw. recensio Eugeniana].

Dracontius, OEuvres 1: Louanges de Dieu, livres I et II, edd. C. Moussy et C. Camus, Paris 1985.

Dracontius, OEuvres 2: Louanges de Dieu, livre III, Réparation, ed. C. Moussy, Paris 1988.

K. Miaskowski, Zbiór rytmów, wyd. A. Nowicka-Jeżowa, Warszawa 1995.

H. Morsztyn, Wybór poezji, oprac. R. Grześkowiak, Warszawa 2016.

J.A. Morsztyn, Wybór poezji, oprac. W. Weintraub, Warszawa 1988.

Kasper Niesiecki, Herbarz polski, wyd. J.N. Bobrowicz, t. IX, Lipsk 1842.

Opera quae supersunt; Diversorum hereseon liber; Adversus haereses; Opera quae supersunt; De reconciliandis paenitentibus; Commentarii in evangelia; Opera quae supersunt, edd. V. Bulhart, F. Heylen, A. Hoste, A. Hoste, F. Heylen, A. Wilmart, B. Bischoff, A. Hoste, Turnhout 1957.

Patrologiæ Latinæ Supplementum, vol. IV (Ad vol. 67–96 Patrologiæ Latinæ), ed. A. Hamman, Paris 1967.

Owidiusz, Heroidy, przekł., wstęp i oprac. M. Miazek-Męczyńska i E. Wesołowska, Kraków 2022.

Tertullien, La pénitence, intr., trad. et comment. C. Munier, Paris 1984.

Verecundi Juncensis Carmen de pænitentia, ed. M.G. Bianco, Napoli 1984.

Verecundi Juncensis Opera: Commentarii super cantica ecclesiastica. Carmen de satisfactione pænitentiæ, ed. R. Demeulenaere, Turnhout 1976.

Baldwin 1990: B. Baldwin, Commodus the good poet and good emperor: explaining the inexplicable, „Gymnasium” XCVII (1990), 224–231.

Barchiesi 1993: A. Barchiesi, Insegnare ad Augusto: Orazio, Epistole 2, 1 e Ovidio, Tristia II, w: Mega nepios: il ruolo del destinatario nell’epos didascalico, eds. J. Strauss Clay, P. Mitsis, A. Schiesaro, „Materiali e discussioni per l’analisi dei testi classici” XXXI (1994), 149–182. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2307/40231043

Bisanti 2010: A. Bisanti, Retorica e declamazione nell’Africa vandalica. Draconzio, l’Aegritudo Perdicae, l’Epistula Didonis ad Aeneam, w: Studia… in umbra educata. Percorsi della reotrica latina in età imperiale, eds. G. Petrone, A. Casamento, Palermo 2010, 189–221.

Bouquet 1982: J. Bouquet, L’imitation d’Ovide chez Dracontius, Colloque Présence d’Ovide (Tours, 26–28 septembre 1980), ed. par R. Chevallier, Paris, 177–187.

Brożek 1980: M. Brożek, Drakoncjusz – poeta w więzieniu, „Meander” XXXV (1980), 553–562.

Cameron 1970: A. Cameron, Claudian. Poetry and propaganda at the court of Honorius, Oxford 1970.

Cavallini 2009: E. Cavallini, Was Commodus really that bad?, w: The fall of the Roman Empire: film and history, ed. M.M. Winkler, Chichester–Malden 2009, 102–116. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/9781444311075.ch4

Clover 1988: F. Clover, Commodus the poet, „Nottingham Mediaeval Studies” XXXII (1988), 19–33. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1484/J.NMS.3.154

Consolino 2000: F.E. Consolino, Poesia e propaganda da Valentiniano III ai regni romanobarbarici (sec. V–VI), w: Letteratura e propaganda nell’Occidente latino da Augusto ai regni romanobarbarici, ed. F.E. Consolino, Roma 2000, 181–227.

Consolino 2004: F.E. Consolino, Poetry and politics in Claudian’s carmina minora 22 and 50, w: Aetas Claudianea: Eine Tagung an der Freien Universität Berlin vom 28. bis 30. Juni 2002, eds. W.-W. Ehlers, F. Felgentreu, S.M. Wheeler, Munich 2004, 142–74. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110928846.142

Corsaro 1961: F. Corsaro, Problemi storico-letterari del cristianesimo africano nel Ve secolo, studi su Draconzio, „Miscellanea di studi di letteratura cristiana antica. Catania” XI (1961), 5–32.

Davis 1999: P. Davis, Instructing the emperor: Ovid, Tristia 2, „Latomus” LVIII (1999), nr 4, 799–809.

De Gaetano 2009: M. De Gaetano, Scuola e potere in Draconzio, Alessandria 2009.

Díaz de Bustamante 1978: J.M. Díaz de Bustamante (ed. comm.) Draconcio y sus carmina profana. Estudio biográfico, introducción y edición crítica, Santiago de Compostela 1978.

Falcone 2020a: M.J. Falcone, Some observations on the genre of Dracontius’ “Satisfactio”, w: The genres of late antique Christian poetry. Between modulations and transpositions, eds. A. Lefteratou, F. Hadjittofi, Berlin–Boston 2020, 125–138. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110696219-007

Falcone 2020b: M.J. Falcone, A poet and his fault: metaliterary hints in Dracontius’ “Satisfactio”, w: Literature squared: self-reflectivity in late antique literature, eds. J. Hernández Lobato, Ó. Prieto Domínguez, Turnhout 2020, 237–253. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1484/M.STTA-EB.5.119228

Fielding 2017: I. Fielding, Transformations of Ovid in late antiquity, Cambridge 2017. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316823576

Filosini 2018: S. Filosini, The “Satisfactio”: strategies of argumentation and literary models. The role of Ovid, w: Ovid in late antiquity, ed. F.E. Consolino, Turnhout 2018, 327–357. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1484/M.STTA-EB.5.115152

Fontaine 1981: J. Fontaine, Naissance de la poésie dans l’Occident chrétien. Esquisse d’une histoire de la poésie latine chrétienne du IIIe au VIe siècle, Paris 1981.

Forness, Hasse-Ungeheuer, Leppin (eds.) 2021: The good Christian ruler in the first Millenium, eds. P.M. Forness, A. Hasse-Ungeheuer, H. Leppin, Berlin–Boston 2021. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110725612

Galli Milić 2009: L. Galli Milić, Stratégies argumentatives dans la Satisfactio de Dracontius, w: Lateinische Poesie der Spätantike (Internationale Tagung in Castelen bei Augst, 11.–13. Oktober 2007), Basel 2009, 245–266.

Głażewski 2000: J. Głażewski, Poza człowiekiem i grzechem. Wizja Boga w siedemnastowiecznej polskiej elegii pokutnej, „Barok” VII (2000), nr 2, 143–170.

Głażewski 2003: J. Głażewski, Łzy, inkaust i skrucha. Słowo o XVII–wiecznej elegii pokutnej, w: Śmiech i łzy w kulturze staropolskiej, red. A. Karpiński, E. Lasocińska, M. Hanusiewicz, Warszawa 2003, 186–193.

Głażewski 2004: J. Głażewski, „Szczyrze się kającemu grzech jest odpuszczony”. O poetyckim rachunku sumienia, „Barok” XI (2004), nr 2, 23–36.

Goldlust 2015: B. Goldlust, La persona de Dracontius dans la Satisfactio: quelques réflexions sur la posture discursive du poète, w: Littérature, politique et religion en Afrique vandale, ed. É. Wolff, Paris 2015, 243–256.

González García 2012: A. González García 2012, Hunerico y Draconcio. La imperalización del reino vándalo y la repressión de la disidencia, „Herakleion” V (2012), 71–83.

Grześkowiak 1995: R. Grześkowiak, Hieronim i Bóg. Z dziejów XVII-wiecznej elegii pokutnej, w: Religijność literatury polskiego baroku, red. Cz. Hernas, M. Hanusiewicz, Lublin 1995, 167–178.

Hen 2007: Y. Hen, Roman Barbarians. The royal court and culture in the early Medieval West, London 2007. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230593640

Kałużny 2020: J.C. Kałużny, Tertulian a spory o kościelną dyscyplinę pokutną w Afryce Północnej na przełomie II i III w. Przyczynek do studium nad dziejami rygoryzmu wczesnochrześcijańskiego, Kraków 2020. DOI: https://doi.org/10.15633/9788363241070

Karpiński, Głażewski 2003: A. Karpiński, J. Głażewski, Edycja krytyczna „Pokuty w kwartanie” Jana Andrzeja Morsztyna, w: Śmiech i łzy w kulturze staropolskiej, red. A. Karpiński, E. Lasocińska, M. Hanusiewicz, Warszawa 2003, 194–209.

Krzywy 2012: R. Krzywy, Waleta, „Zagadnienia Rodzajów Literackich” LV (2012), nr 1, 255–257.

Kuijper 1958: D. Kuijper, Varia Dracontiana, Amsterdam 1958.

Kukulski 1968: L. Kukulski, Dookoła „Pokuty w kwartanie”, „Pamiętnik Literacki” LIX (1968), nr 2, 195–227.

Labate 1987: M. Labate, Elegia triste ed elegia lieta. Un caso di riconversione letteraria, „Materiali e discussioni per l’analisi dei testi classici” XIX (1987), 91–129. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2307/40235896

Malamud 2016: M. Malamud, Rutilius Namatianus’s going home. De reditu suo, London–New York 2016. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315646985

Mazzarino 1963: S. Mazzarino, La „Historia Augusta” e la EKG, „Atti del Colloquio Patavino sulla Historia Augusta” 1963, 29–40.

McHugh 2015: J.S. McHugh, The Emperor Commodus: god and gladiator, Barnsley, South Yorkshire 2015.

Miles, Merrills 2010: A. Merrills, R. Miles The Vandals, Chichester–Malden 2010. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/9781444318074

Merrills 2004: A. Merrills The perils of panegyric: Dracontius’ lost poem and its consequences, w: Vandals, Romans and Berbers. New perspectives on late antique North Africa, ed. A. Merrills, Aldershot 2004, 145–162.

Mulligan 2005: B. Mulligan, An allusion to Ovid in Claudian’s Carmina Minora 22.56, „Classical Philology” C (2005), nr 3, 277–280. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1086/497863

Nieznanowski 1990: S. Nieznanowski, hasło elegia w: Słownik literatury staropolskiej. Średniowiecze – Renesans – Barok, red. T. Michałowska, przy udziale B. Otwinowskiej, E. Sarnowskiej-Temeriusz, Wrocław 1990, 158–159.

Nikolsky 2017: I. Nikolsky, „Good bad“ Commodus: why and how the image of Marcus Aurelius’ heir changed, „Istoriya” VIII (2017), nr 3, w: [https://history.jes.su/s207987840001643-6-1/]. DOI: https://doi.org/10.18254/S0001643-6-1

Nikolsky 2018: I. Nikolsky, Panegyric or trolling? How images of animals could change the main message of Blossius Aemilius Dracontius’ “Satisfaction”, w: „Indo-European Linguistics and Classical Philology” XII (2018), 967–974. DOI: https://doi.org/10.30842/ielcp230690152268

Nikolsky 2020: I. Nikolsky, Images of animals from Historia Naturalis in political rhetoric of late antiquity: Blossius Aemilius Dracontius’ lion, „Shagi / Steps” VI (2020), nr 1, 158–167. DOI: https://doi.org/10.22394/2412-9410-2020-6-1-158-167

Nugent 1990: S.G. Nugent, Tristia 2: Ovid and Augustus, w: Between Republic and Empire: interpretations of Augustus and his principate, eds. K. Raaflaub, M. Toher, Berkeley 1990, 239–257. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/9780520914513-012

Prejs 1989: M. Prejs, Poezja późnego baroku: główne kierunki przemian, Warszawa 1989.

Prejs 2000: M. Prejs, ‘Barok uspokojony’. Psalmy Michała Serwacego Wiśniowieckiego, „Barok” VII (2000), nr 2, 95–108.

Quacquarelli 1995: A. Quacquarelli, Retorica patristica e sue istituzioni interdisciplinari, Roma 1995.

Roberts 2002: M. Roberts, Rome personified, Rome epitomized: representations of Rome in the poetry of the early fifth century, „The American Journal of Philology” CXXII (2001), nr 4, 533–565. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1353/ajp.2001.0057

Santini 2006: G. Santini, Inter iura poeta. Ricerche sul lessico giuridico di Draconzio, Roma 2006.

Schetter 1989: W. Schetter, Dracontius togatus, „Hermes” CXVII (1989), 342–350. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/342350a0

Schetter 1990: W. Schetter, Zur Satisfactio des Dracontius, „Hermes” CXVIII (1990), 90–117.

Schreiber 1982: H. Schreiber, Die Vandalen, Siegeszug und Untergang eines germanischen Volkes, München 1982.

Simons 2005: R. Simons, Dracontius und der Mythos: christliche Weltsicht und pagane Kultur in der ausgehenden Spätantike, Munich 2005. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110930146

Smolak 2004: K. Smolak, ‘Kryptochristianismen’ in spätantiker paganer Hymnik?, „Acta Antiqua Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae” XXXXIV (2004), 341–355. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1556/AAnt.44.2004.2-4.15

Sondel 1997: J. Sondel, Słownik łacińsko-polski dla prawników i historyków, Kraków 1997.

Strzelczyk 1993: J. Strzelczyk, Wandalowie i ich afrykańskie państwo, Warszawa 20052.

Strzyż-Judkowiak 1984: B. Strzyż-Judkowiak, Z kart literatury zapomnianej, „Ruch Literacki” XXV (1984), nr 5–6, 395–410.

Urban-Godziek 2005: G. Urban-Godziek, Elegia nowołacińska, Przemiany gatunku w Polsce i w Europie, Kraków 2005.

Wilczyński 1994: M. Wilczyński, Zagraniczna i wewnętrzna polityka afrykańskiego państwa Wandalów, Kraków 1994.

Wolff 2004: É. Wolff, Poeta inclusus: le cas de Dracontius, Carcer II: prison et privation de liberté dans l’Empire romain et l’Occident médiéval, ed. par C. Bertrand-Dagenbach, A. Chauvot, J.M. Salamito, D. Vaillancourt, Paris 2004, 123–128.

Ziembiński 2010: J. Ziembiński, Twórczość literacka Olbrychta Karmanowskiego, Katowice 2010.