About Ruricius de Limoges, Bishop of Limoges
His ancestry is speculative. Mommaerts and Kelley suggest that he was a brother of Papinilla rather than her son. Settipani argues that Ruricius was instead a member of the Anici. All three agree that Ruricius must have been descended from Quintus Clodius Hermogenianus Olybrius and his wife Tyrrania Anicia Juliana, who has probable descents from ancient Rome and a possible descent from Antiochus II of Syria.
Ruricius I (ca.440 to approx. 510), a Gallo-Roman aristocrat and bishop of Limoges from ca.485 to 510. He is one of the writers whose letters survive from late Roman Gaul depicting the influence of the Visigoths on the Roman lifestyle. He should not be confused with Saint Rusticus (Archbishop of Lyon)
Little is known about the life of Ruricius, and that which is realized is not certain. He is one of four, fifth- to sixth-century Gallo-Roman aristocrats whose letters survive in quantity: the others include Sidonius Apollinaris, prefect of Rome in 468 and bishop of Clermont (died 485), Alcimus Ecdicius Avitus, Bishop of Vienne (died 518); and Magnus Felix Ennodius of Arles, Bishop of Ticinum (died 534). All of them were linked in the tightly-bound, aristocratic Gallo-Roman network that provided the bishops of Catholic Gaul. Although there is scarce information about Ruricius' life, it is known that he eventually became a grandfather, suggesting he must have lived to be at least 65 or 70. He died as late as 510, so this puts his birth date around 440. Likewise, there is no indication of his birthplace, but there is significant information regarding his family. He was a member of the Anicii family, one of the most famous aristocratic families in Rome. Ruricius’ true ancestry has been debated; the most common explanation is that he is the son of Constantius and Leontia. His paternal grandfather would be therefore Flavius Constantius Felix. Most cite that Ruricius may not be an Anicii because he makes no indication in his letters that he is related, nor does he communicate with anyone from the family. Ruricius married Hiberia, the daughter of the Arvernian senator Ommatius, a descendant of the Patrician family. This is interesting because it suggests that her family seems to be more prominent at the time than his. It is noted that she participated in his conversion to religious life, and thus succession to be bishop of Limoges in 485. Though they had no daughters, they had five sons named: Ommatius (eldest), Eparchius, Constantius, Leontius, and Aurelianus. Also, Ruricius had several grand children, and at least one great grandchild. After the Visigothic takeover of imperial Gaul, it was common for Gallo-Roman aristocrats to take refuge in church office, allowing not only retention of local influence, but also some personal security. Incidentally, Ruricius was appointed bishop of Limoges after the death of king Euric on December 28, 484. This king was succeeded by his son, Alaric II. He reigned throughout Ruricius’ time as bishop, ending around at least late 506 . Apart from his letters, Ruricius' only other physical legacy is the monastery and church of Saint Augustine, which he built ca. 485....
Saint Ruricius (né vers 440 ; mort en 507 ou peu après 507), évêque de Limoges en Haute-Vienne (484 ou 485 – 507) lié à la gens gallo-romaine des Avitii et des Anicii
Il était l’un des aristocrates gallo-romains des cinq et sixième siècles dont les lettres nous sont parvenues en quantité ; les autres sont Sidoine Apollinaire, préfet de Rome en 468 et évêque de Clermont (mort en 485), Alcimus Ecdicius Avitus, évêque de Vienne (mort en 518) ; et Magnus Felix Ennodius d’Arles (mort en 534), évêque de Ticinum ville appelée aujourd'hui Pavie. Tous étaient liés aux grandes familles gallo-romaines d’où étaient issus les évêques de la Gaule2. Leurs liens étaient aussi culturels : Hesperus, l’ami de Sidoine était le précepteur en charge des enfants de Rurice3. Rurice fit également bâtir le monastère et l’église St. Augustine à Limoges après 485.
Ruricus Bishop of Limoges
Ruricus Bishop of Limoges||p34600.htm|Aquilinus|d. a 470|p34603.htm||||unknown||p34604.htm||||||||||
Ruricus Bishop of Limoges was the son of Aquilinus.1 Ruricus married Hiberia, daughter of Omnatius.1 Ruricus Bishop of Limoges served between 485 and 507 as Bishop of Limoges.1
Child of Ruricus Bishop of Limoges and Hiberia
Stuart, Roderick W. Royalty for Commoners, The Complete Known Lineage of John of Gaunt, Son of Edward III, King of England, and Queen Philippa. Fourth Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2002.
A Gallo-Roman aristocrat and bishop. He is one of the writers whose letters survive from late Roman Gaul depicting Visigoth influence on Roman lifestyles. (do not confuse him with St. Rusticus, Archbishop of Lyon). His letters survive in the "Codex Sangallensis" manuscript. Information on his life is scarce. No real known information exists about his birthplace, but he had strong ties to the Aquitaine region of Cahors. He was a member of the Anician family, one of the most important aristocratic families in Rome. He married Hiberia, daughter of Arvernian Senator Ommatius. She helped in Ruricius' conversion to religious life. Although it's unknown whether or not they had any daughters, they had five sons. Aside from his letters, Ruricius is known for building a monastery and church of St. Augustine (circa 485).
From the Wikipedia page on Ruricius I:
Ruricius I (ca.440 to approx. 510), a Gallo-Roman aristocrat and bishop of Limoges from ca.485 to 510.
He is one of the writers whose letters survive from late Roman Gaul depicting the influence of the Visigoths on the Roman lifestyle. He should not be confused with his son-in-law, Saint Rusticus (Archbishop of Lyon).
Little is known about the life of Ruricius, and some of what information is available is not certain.
He is one of four, fifth- to sixth-century (or 300-500 AD) Gallo-Roman aristocrats whose letters survive in quantity: the others include Sidonius Apollinaris, urban prefect of Rome in 468 and bishop of Clermont (died 485), Alcimus Ecdicius Avitus, Bishop of Vienne (died 518); and Magnus Felix Ennodius of Arles, Bishop of Ticinum (died 534). All of them were linked in a tightly-bound, Gallo-Roman aristocratic network that provided the bishops of Catholic Gaul .
Although there is scarce information about Ruricius' life, it is known that he eventually became a grandfather, suggesting he must have lived to be at least 65 or 70. He may have died as early as 506 to as late as 510, so this puts his birth date around 440 .
Likewise, there is no information concerning his birthplace, though he appears to have had strong ties to Aquitaine in the region of Cahors, and there is significant information regarding his family. He was a member of the Anician family, one of the most important aristocratic families in Rome.
Ruricius’ ancestry has been a subject of debate ; Mathisen's explanation is that Ruricius was the son of a "Constantius" and a "Leontia" based on Mathisen's premise that his paternal grandfather may have been Flavius Constantius Felix and his mother a member of the aristocratic familia Pontii Leontii of Burdigalia in Aquitania. Mathisen arguments are based (1) for Constantius, on the existence of an ivory consular diptych for Fl. Constantius Felix (cos 428), patrician and magister militum 425-430 at Limoges  and the f,act that Ruricius had a son of that name and (2) for Leontia , the use of the name Leontius for Ruricius brother and son.
Settipani agrees that Ruricius' mother was a member of the Pontii Leontii but does not make any specific reference as to who Ruricius' father might be.  He argues that the name of the consul of 428 was in fact Flavius Felix and that the name "Constantius" was added in error which would make this person one of the Ennodii and that the Ennodii did not become related to Ruricius until the next generation through marriage to one of his sons by an Ennodian mother of Parthenius. 
Kelly and Momaerts propose that Ruricius may be the son of an African proconsul, name as yet unknown, but otherwise identified (by title) by Sidonius in his letter to Camillus as the father of said Camillus. This would make Ruricius brother to Camillus and Firminus of Arles.  The objection to this hypothesis has been that it makes the unnamed African proconsul an otherwise unattested son of regicide emperor Petronius Maximus and that there are not any Firminid names among Ruricius immediate descendants.
Settipani now accepts Petronius Maximus as an Anicius but argues the unnamed African proconsul was unlikely to have been Maximus' son. .
In support of the Kelley Mommaerts hypothesis is the evidence in his letters of Ruricius' strong ties to Arles and an argument that the name "Firminus" in fact came into use among the Ferreoli through the marriage of Papianilla, whom they hypoethesize to have been a sister of Ruricius, to Tonantius Ferreolus; however, the matter of Ruricius' paternal heritage remains controversial.
Perhaps the oddest thing is Sidonius' failure to enthuse, rather uncharacteristically, about Ruricius' father, whoever he was. Sidonius could enthuse about the most questionable of lineages. Perhaps since Ruricius was apparently at one point Sidonius' protege, Sidonius may have felt it somehow inappropriate.
The Aniciian references are grounded in Venantius Fortunatus' epitaph of the two Ruriciid bishops of Limoges commissioned by their kinsman and successor Ferreolus . Some suggest that nevertheless Ruricius may not have been an Anicius because he makes no reference in his surviving letters that he is related, nor does he communicate with any known member of the family . On balance, the Fortunatan evidence is rather more persuasive.
Ruricius married Hiberia, the daughter of an Arvernian senator Ommatius, a descendant of a Patrician  who lived in the 4th century named Philagrius.. It is noted that she participated in his conversion to religious life, and thus succession to the episcopal see of Limoges in about 485 .
Though no direct evidence survives to say whether they had any daughters or not, it is known that Ruricius and Hiberia had five sons named: Ommatius (eldest), Eparchius, Constantius, Leontius, and Aurelianus. Also, Ruricius had several grand-children, and at least one great-grandchild .
During the late empire and after the Visigothic takeover of imperial Gaul, it was common for Gallo-Roman aristocrats to take refuge in church office, allowing not only retention of local influence, but also some personal security. Incidentally, Ruricius was appointed bishop of Limoges after the death of king Euric on December 28, 484. Euric was succeeded by his son, Alaric II. He reigned throughout Ruricius’ time as bishop, apparently making good use of, among other things, Ruricius' legal acumen, until Ruricius passed from the scene as stated before between late 506 and 510.
Apart from his letters, Ruricius' only other known physical legacy is the monastery and church of Saint Augustine, which he built ca. 485 .
Ruricius’ collection of 83 letters, of which 12 are addressed to him, survive in a single manuscript called Codex Sangallensis 190. They cover a period of about 30 years, and describe what happened in Gaul after the final Roman withdrawal just before 480.
The letters give insight into what the life of the literate Roman population was like under barbarian rule; what changed, and what remained. For example, they make almost no note of the effect of the Visigoths on local life and activities, posing the question as to whether the locals were very much affected.
Most of Ruricius’ correspondence was directed to nearby bishops, and people in his family. Although he does have some renowned correspondents, for the most part, they are not well known.
Finally, the letters of Ruricius shed light on the underlying circumstances surrounding the Battle of Vouillé, near Poitiers in 507; a fundamental battle in Gallic history, since it is where the Franks defeated the Visigoths .
Controversy surrounding relevance
Ralph W. Mathisen, the translator of the most recent set of Ruricius’ letters, writes that they are of great significance to our understanding of the survival of classical literature and the development of Western European religion and society. However, some historians criticize the letters because of their historical irrelevance.
D.R. Bradley notes that the letters give insufficient information for either the ecclesiastical historian or the theologian because they neglect major contemporary events. His main argument is that Ruricius had the habit of sending verbal messages by the bearer of his letters; therefore his letters give no insight into the events of Visigothic Gaul.
Relation to contemporaries
Similar to historiographical controversy, it is argued that in comparison to other letter writers such as Sidonius Apollinaris, Avitus of Vienne, and Ennodius of Pavia, Ruricius is extremely silent on contemporary historical events. For instance, Ruricius makes no mention in his letters of developments such as the Frankish incursions into the Visigothic kingdom, but it can be assumed that they were of great concern .
Ruricius’ correspondence is therefore more representative of typical late Roman aristocratic written transactions. As such, he provides a different, and valuable, perspective to the evidence of more politically active letter writers such as Augustine, Sidonius, Avitus, Ennodius and Cassiodorus. His letters distinguish themselves from those written by Sidonius, for example, many of whose letters were composed when Gaul was still a part of the Roman Empire .
Mathisen notes that the neglect of Ruricius in translation is unfortunate, because he provides a picture of life in late Roman Gaul that significantly compliments that given by Sidonius. Ruricius is a valid representative of the “Gallic rhetorical style” .
Ruricius’ letters demonstrate the importance of letter writing, also known as epistolography. He has many famous contemporary epistolographers, whose letters compliment those his own, and vice versa.
Epistolography was the most important means of preserving one’s aristocratic ties during the period of literary decline in late Roman Gaul, as the imperial literary traditions were removed.
1.^ a b Mathisen 1981, p.107.
2.^ Mathisen 1999, p.19.
3.^ between Stanford Mommaerts and Dave Kelley (1992), Christian Settipani (1991) and Ralph Mathisen (1999).
4.^ Mathisen 1999, p.21.
5.^ Mathisen 1999, p.24.
6.^ Settipani 1991, p. 196, 218.
7.^ Settipani 2002, p. 11.
8.^ Kelley and Mommaerts, 1992 p. 114.
9.^ Settipani 2000, p. 381.
10.^ Mathisen 1999, p. 253
11.^ Mathisen 1999, p.4.
12.^ Gilliard 1979, p.686.
13.^ Mathisen 1999, p. 22.
14.^ Mathisen 1999, p.23.
15.^ Mathisen 1999, p.25.
16.^ Mathisen 1984, p.168.
17.^ Mathisen 1999, p.12.
18.^ Mathisen 1999, p.36.
19.^ Mathisen 1981, p.108.
20.^ a b c d e Mathisen 1999, p.3.
21.^ Mathisen 1999, p.31.
22.^ a b Bradley 1954, p.268.
23.^ Mathisen 1999, p.39.
24.^ Bradley 1954, p.168.
HAGENDAHL, Harald. "La correspondance de Ruricius", Acta Universitatis Gotenburgensis 58.3 (Göteborg) 1952.
KRUSCH, B. Ruricii Epistolae in Mon. Ger. Hist. AA8 (Berlin) 1887; A. Englebrecht, ed. Ruricii Epistolarum Libri Duo (Vienna) 1891. There are no modern editions.
MATHISEN, Ralph W. Ruricius of Limoges and Friends: A collection of letters from Visiogthic Gaul (Liverpool: University Press, 1999). ISBN 0-85323-703-4 A modern English translation of Ruricius' surviving letters.
D. R. BRADLEY "Review: The Letters of Ruricius." The Classical Review, New Series 4, no. 3/4 (1954): 268-269.
FRANK GILLIARD. "The Senators of Sixth-Century Gaul." Speculum 54, no. 4 (1979): 685-697.
R. W. MATHISEN. Ruricius of Limoges and Friends: A Collection of Letters from Visigothic Gaul. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 1999.
R. W. MATHISEN. "Barbarian Bishops and the Churches "in Barbaricis Gentibus" during Late Antiquity." Speculum 72, no. 3 (1997): 664-697.
R. W. MATHISEN. Roman Aristocrats in Barbarian Gaul: Strategies for Survival in an Age of Transition. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 1993.
R. W. MATHISEN. Studies in the History, Literature, and Society of Late Antiquity. Amsterdam: Hakert, 1991.
R. W. MATHISEN. Ecclesiastical Factionalism and Religious Controversy in Fifth Century Gaul. Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 1989.
R. W. MATHISEN. "The Theme of Literary Decline in Late Roman Gaul." Classical Philology 83, no. 1 (1988): 45-52.
R. W. MATHISEN. "Emigrants, Exiles and Survivors: Aristocratic Options in Visigothic Aquitania." Phoenix 38, no. 2 (1984): 159-170.
R. W. MATHISEN. "Epistolography, Literary Circles and Family Ties in Late Roman Gaul." Transactions of the American Philogical Association 111, (1981): 95-109.
R. W. MATHISEN, and Danuta Shanzer. Society and Culture in Late Antique Gaul: Revisiting the Sources. Michigan: Ashgate, 2001.
T. STANFORD MOMMAERTS, and DAVID H. KELLEY. "The Anicii of Gaul and Rome." In Fifth-Century Gaul: A Crisis of Identity? Edited by John Drinkwater and Hugh Elton. Cambridge, 1992.
CHRISTIAN SETTIPANI. "Ruricius, premier évêque de Limoges et ses alliances familiales." Francia 18, (1991).
CHRISTIAN SETTIPANI. Continuite Gentilice et Continuite Familiae Das Les Familles Senatoriales Romaines a L'Epoque Imperialle: Mythe et Realite. Oxford: Unit for Prosopographical REsearch, Linacre College, University of Oxford, 2000.
CHRISTIAN SETTIPANI. ADDENDUM et CORRIGIENDA (juillet 2000-octobre 2002) for Continuite Gentilice et Continuite Familiae Das Les Familles Senatoriales Romaines a L'Epoque Imperialle: Mythe et Realite. http://users.ox.ac.uk/~prosop/publications/volume-two.pdf (2002).
CHRISTIAN SETTIPANI, "Ruricius Ier Évêque de Limoges et Ses Relations Familiales" in Prosopographica X (1991).
Thomas W. Beickler: Ruricius, Bischof von Limoges. Ein genealogischer Versuch. Plaidt: Cardamina, 2008:
Beickler reconstructs the ancestry of Ruricius de Limoges as follows:
2 Valerius Faltonius 3 Fidia Perpetua Julia
4 Valerius Faltonius Adelphius 5 Anicia Italica 6 Fidius Perpetuus Atticus 7 Laeta
8 Valerius Adelphius 9 Anicia Faltonia Proba minor 10 Anicius Auchenius Bassus 11 Furia (Fabiola) 12 vacat 13 vacat 14 Julius Toxotius 15 Laeta Caecina
16 Valerius Adelphius Bassus 17 vacat 18 Quintus Clodius Hermogenianus 19 Turrenia Anicia Juliana 20 Anicius Auchenius Bassus 21 Aurelia 22 Furius Pammachius 23 Paulina 24-27 vacat 28 Julius Toxotius 29 Paula 30 Publius Caeionius Caecina Albinus 31 Laeta
Ruricius, Bishop of Limoges's Timeline
Limoges, Limousin, France
Limoges, Limousin, France