Paulinus of Nola (353-431) has never come to my attention hitherto. He was a contemporary of St. Augustine and lived through the times of the fall of Rome. His works consist of poems and letters. The poems include anti-pagan material which must therefore be of value for late paganism. His works were translated in the Ancient Christian Writers series by P. Walsh during the late 60’s and 70’s.
Rather to my surprise I can find no trace of any of his works online in English. There must be few fathers of that period so under-represented!
Among the material sent to me about the bruma is this from carmen 14, v.13 (p. 46):
ergo dies, tanto quae munere condidit alto
Felicem caelo, sacris sollemnibus ista est,
quae post solstitium, quo Christus corpore natus
sole nouo gelidae mutauit tempora brumae
atque salutiferum praestans mortalibus ortum
procedente die se cum decrescere noctes
iussit, ab hoc quae lux oritur uicesima nobis,
sidereum meriti signat Felicis honorem.
Linking the birth of Christ and the bruma, it would be interesting to know what it says.
UPDATE: Here it is, from the Walsh translation, p.77:
13. So the day which bestowed so great a gift by setting Felix in the heights of heaven is the day of our yearly ritual. It comes after the solstice, the time when Christ was born in the flesh and transformed the cold winter season with a new sun, when He granted men His birth that brings salvation, and ordered the nights to shorten and the daylight to grow with Himself. The twentieth day that dawns on us after the solstice marks the heavenly glory which Felix merited.
De la Cerda believed that solstitium only meant summer solstice, in the purest Latin. But by the time of Paulinus this was clearly no longer so. This identifies the day of Christmas with the solstice, solstitium (“after the solstice … the twentieth day” is the martyrdom of Felix, not Christmas).
UPDATE: A preview of the Walsh translation is here.