Short Name: Elpis
Full Name: Elpis, 5th century
Birth Year (est.): 401
Death Year (est.): 500

Elpis, first wife of the celebrated philosopher Boethius, was the daughter of Festus, Consul at Rome, 472, and sister of the mother of St. Placidus, a disciple of St. Benedict. The hymn "Aurea luce et decore roseo" (q. v.) is usually, but somewhat uncertainly, attributed to her. Others also bear her name. She died at an early age, at Padua.

-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)


Elpis, p. 329, i. Recent researches have led us to conclude that there is no reason to regard Elpis as the author of Aurea luce, p. 93, i.; and that none of the early manuscripts attribute it to her. She is not mentioned as a hymn-writer by recent authorities on early Latin Hymnody, e.g., by Ebert or Manitius (p. 655, i.), or by Rietschel (Herzog-Hauch Healencyklopädie, 1901, xi., pp. 399-409).

The traditional account of her, p. 329, i. (as given in the Elogia Siculorum, 1690, p. 103, of Jerome of Ragusa, and more fully by Darras, Hist. de l’Eglite, 1862, vol. xiv., p. 264, &c), is that she was b. at Messina in Sicily, was the first wife of the philosopher Boethius, shared his exile, and died at Pavia (not Padua) about 493, leaving two sons who became consuls in the year 500. Boethius, however, was born little, if any, earlier than 475, and did not go into exile before 522, being at that time the husband of Rusticiana, whose two sons by Boethius were consuls in the year 522 (Viet. Christ. Biog., i., 321; Ersch and Gruber, Encyklop., I., xi., p. 284, &c.)

[Rev. James Mearns, M.A.]

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, New Supplement (1907)

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