Pange lingua gloriosi proelium certaminis
Pange lingua gloriosi proelium certaminis. Venantius Fortunatus* (ca. 540 – early 7th century).
This hymn (Poem 2.2), with ‘Vexilla Regis prodeunt’* (Poem 2.6), and ‘Crux benedicta nitet’ (Poem 2.1) were the first Christian hymns to the Cross, composed by Fortunatus to celebrate the arrival of relics of the Holy Cross from Byzantium in the convent of the Holy Cross in Poitiers in the 570s. See Analecta Hymnica 2. 45 and 50. 74-5; and Milfull, Hymns of the Anglo-Saxon Church (Cambridge, 1996), pp. 274-6.
Even if nothing else survived of Fortunatus’ writing, this hymn would have established his name. He draws together biblical motifs and panegyric elements with patristic images and...
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