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Walter of Chatillon

Walter of Châtillon was a twelfth century French writer and theologian who wrote in the Latin language.

He was educated at the Sorbonne under Etienne de Beauvais. It was likely during his college years that he wrote a number of Latin poems in the Goliardic manner that found their way into the Carmina Burana collection.

During his lifetime, however, he was more esteemed for a long Latin epic on the life of Alexander the Great, the Alexandreis, sive Gesta Alexandri Magni, a long poem in hexameters, full of anachronisms; he depicts the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ as having already taken place during the days of Alexander the Great. Most of this long poem has been forgotten by now; it is remembered chiefly for one line:

Incidit in Scyllam qui vult vitare Charybdim

(He who wishes to avoid Charybdis runs into Scylla.)

In addition to his poems, Walter wrote a dialogue attacking Judaism and a treatise on the Trinity.

Walter died of the bubonic plague early in the thirteenth century