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Exul Hibernicus

Name given to an Irish stranger on the Continent of Europe in the time of Charles the Great, who wrote poems in Latin

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Exul Hibernicus, the name given to an Irish stranger on the Continent of Europe in the time of Charles the Great, who wrote poems in Latin, several of which are addressed to the emperor. He is sometimes identified with Dungal (see Dungal). The designation exul is one which the Irish wanderers on the Continent frequently adopted. The poems of this exile show that he was not only a poet but a grammarian and dialectician as well. They also reveal his status as that of a teacher, probably in the palace school. Of more than ordinary interest are the verses which describe the attitude of the ninth-century teacher towards his pupils. His metrical poem on the seven liberal arts devotes twelve lines to each of the branches, grammar, rhetoric, dialectic, etc., showing the origin, scope, and utility of each in succession. Like the lines on the same subject by Theodulf of Orleans, they may have been intended to accompany a set of pictures in which the seven liberal arts were represented. The style of these poems, while much inferior to that of the classical period, is free from many of the artificialities which characterize much of the versification of the early Middle Ages.

WILLIAM TURNER


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