Paulinus of Aquileia (in Latin, Paulinus Aquileiensis, in Italian Paolino Aquileia), born before 750 (from 730 to 740) in Premariacco (province of Udine), died in 802 in Cividale del Friuli, is a man of church, theologian and Italian poet, bishop of Aquileia at the end of eighth century. He was canonized by the catholic church (feast: On January 11).

Paulinus of Aquileia is one of the important elements of the Carolingian Renaissance.

Born in duché de Frioul, He might be from Lombardy. We do not know anything about his youth and his years of training but his work shows that he received a solid classical education and Christian:   

His name appears in 776 in a deed of transfer of property in his favour by Charlemagne,  where he is indicated as a master of grammar ("grammaticae magister"), he was part of Alcuin's entourage, of the Cercle of a savant of Frankish court, where he has a nickname "Timothy"

In 787, Charlemagne named him as bishop of Aquileia, in the Frioul. He is engaged in the reform of the church and the fight against the heresy of "adoptionism" who tends to see Jesus Christ as an adopted son of God. His polemical writings make him a champion of orthodoxy. His activity as patriarch is fundamental in the Friuli region during the difficult years of the transition from Lombard to Frankish domination.

He took part in the councils of Aachen (789), Regensburg (792) and Frankfurt (794). He is the author of theological treatises and a book of exhortations for princes and poems.

Theological treatises

  • Libellus sacrosyllabus,short polemical treatise against adoption;
  • Contra Felicem, in three books, rebutting adoption;
  • Liber exhortationis ou Liber de salutaribus documentis, composed before 799, written for Éric de Frioul: It is the first  "miroir des princes" of Middle Ages.

A dozen of text are attributed to him; three who is certainly of him:

  • Regula fidei, personal profession of faith;
  • Versus de Herico duce, a funeral song in honour of Eric of Friuli who died in 799 fighting the pagan populations of south-eastern Liburnia;
  • Versus de Lazaro, a poem about the resurrection of Lazare;

We attribute him the hymn about the love of God:

  • Congregavit nos in unum Christi amor, with the chorus: Ubi caritas est vera, Deus ibi est.

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