Life and Writings of Sulpitius Severus.
Life and Writings of Sulpitius Severus.
Sulpitius Severus

Schaff, Philip (Editor)
Table of Contents


Title Page

Life and Writings of Sulpitius Severus.

Sulpitius Severus On the Life of St. Martin.

Preface to Desiderius.

Chapter I. Reasons for writing the Life of St. Martin.

Chapter II. Military Service of St. Martin.

Chapter III. Christ appears to St. Martin.

Chapter IV. Martin retires from Military Service.

Chapter V. Martin converts a Robber to the Faith.

Chapter VI. The Devil throws himself in the Way of Martin.

Chapter VII. Martin restores a Catechumen to Life.

Chapter VIII. Martin restores one that had been strangled.

Chapter IX. High Esteem in which Martin was held.

Chapter X. Martin as Bishop of Tours.

Chapter XI. Martin demolishes an Altar consecrated to a Robber.

Chapter XII. Martin causes the Bearers of a Dead Body to stop.

Chapter XIII. Martin escapes from a Falling Pine-tree.

Chapter XIV. Martin destroys Heathen Temples and Altars.

Chapter XV. Martin offers his Neck to an Assassin.

Chapter XVI. Cures effected by St. Martin.

Chapter XVII. Martin casts out Several Devils.

Chapter XVIII. Martin performs Various Miracles.

Chapter XIX. A Letter of Martin effects a Cure, with Other Miracles.

Chapter XX. How Martin acted towards the Emperor Maximus.

Chapter XXI. Martin has to do both with Angels and Devils.

Chapter XXII. Martin preaches Repentance even to the Devil.

Chapter XXIII. A Case of Diabolic Deception.

Chapter XXIV. Martin is tempted by the Wiles of the Devil.

Chapter XXV. Intercourse of Sulpitius with Martin.

Chapter XXVI. Words cannot describe the Excellences of Martin.

Chapter XXVII. Wonderful Piety of Martin.

The Letters of Sulpitius Severus.

Letter I. To Eusebius.

Letter II. To the Deacon Aurelius.

Letter III. To Bassula, His Mother-In-Law.

Dialogues of Sulpitius Severus.

Dialogue I. Concerning the Virtues of the Monks of the East.

Chapter I. When I and a Gallic friend had assembled in one place…

Chapter II. "Truly" said I, "you have clearly proved how much a sincere love can accomplish…

Chapter III. "Three years ago, Sulpitius, at which time, leaving this neighborhood…

Chapter IV. I therefore bent my steps toward the hut which I had beheld from a distance.…

Chapter V. "Assuredly," continues Postumianus, "I shall take care in future not to mention the abstinence of…

Chapter VI. "After he had kindly accepted our gifts, on the sailors calling us back to the…

Chapter VII. For while many things in his books which were extracted from them by the bishops…

Chapter VIII. Accordingly, setting out from that place, I made for the town of Bethlehem…

Chapter IX. "But as to familiarities which take place between virgins and monks…

Chapter X. "Not far from the desert, and close to the Nile…

Chapter XI. "When the monk whom I have mentioned heard of this…

Chapter XII. "In this monastery I saw two old men who were said to have already lived…

Chapter XIII. "Well then, when I entered upon the nearest parts of the desert…

Chapter XIV. "We found another equally remarkable man living in a small hut…

Chapter XV. "But lest this should perchance seem incredible to any one…

Chapter XVI. "There was also an illustrious name of another anchorite in those regions…

Chapter XVII. "I visited two monasteries of St.…

Chapter XVIII. "I will relate two wonderful examples of almost incredible obedience…

Chapter XIX. "In the same monastery, the fact which I am about to narrate was said to…

Chapter XX. "I will, however, still further give you an account of two extraordinary marvels.…

Chapter XXI. "But to me reflecting on these things, there occurs the thought of our own unhappiness…

Chapter XXII. "A certain young man from Asia, exceedingly wealthy, of distinguished family…

Chapter XXIII. "What," replied I, "is there not enough about my friend Martin in that book of…

Chapter XXIV. "Indeed, Postumianus," replied I, "while I was listening attentively…

Chapter XXV. "For, if it is worthy of admiration that the flames did not touch that Egyptian…

Chapter XXVI. "Why do you," here exclaimed Postumianus, "speak to me in such a manner? As if…

Chapter XXVII. "Well," said the Gaul, "I, for my part, though I am unequal to so great…

Dialogue II. Concerning the Virtues of St.…

Chapter I. "Well then, when first, having left the schools, I attached myself to the blessed man…

Chapter II. "Martin, then, clothed in this garment, proceeds to offer the sacrifice to God.…

Chapter III. "In the same way, some time afterwards, we made a journey with him while he…

Chapter IV. "I have often noticed this, Sulpitius, that Martin was accustomed to say to you…

Chapter V. "You have conquered, O Gaul," said Postumianus, "you have conquered…

Chapter VI. "And as we have, once for all, entered the palace…

Chapter VII. To these sayings Postumianus replies: "While listening to you…

Chapter VIII. "Admirably," exclaimed Postumianus, "does your speech bind those friends of ours from going beyond the…

Chapter IX. "About the same time, a cow which a demon harassed met Martin as he was…

Chapter X. "Moreover, it will be worth while to relate also some of his familiar sayings…

Chapter XI. "A certain soldier had renounced the military life in the Church…

Chapter XII. "I believe, my dear Sulpitius, that you remember with what emphasis he extolled to us…

Chapter XIII. "But in what I am now about to narrate…

Chapter XIV. "But when we questioned him concerning the end of the world…

Dialogue III. The Virtues of Martin Continued.…

Chapter I. "It is daylight, our Gallic friend, and you must get up.…

Chapter II. "You have assembled, my pious and eloquent friends, to hear me…

Chapter III. "The following is a small matter which I learned lately from the narration of Arpagius…

Chapter IV. "You knew the too barbarous and, beyond measure, bloody ferocity of Avitianus…

Chapter V. "While these are certain facts, since Avitianus related them to many persons…

Chapter VI. "I am enraged in heart, believe me, and, through vexation…

Chapter VII. "There was a certain village in the country of the Senones which was every year…

Chapter VIII. "But to return to Avitianus: while at every other place…

Chapter IX. "I will make use of another not dissimilar marvel in a like kind of work…

Chapter X. "Being accustomed to eat fish at the time of Easter…

Chapter XI. "I will now come to an event which he always concealed…

Chapter XII. "In the meantime, those bishops with whom Martin would not hold communion went in terror…

Chapter XIII. "When this became known to Martin, he rushed to the palace…

Chapter XIV. "But clearly, as we experienced, he repaired, with manifold interest…

Chapter XV. "Again, on a certain day, after he had sat down on that wooden seat of…

Chapter XVI. Upon this, Postumianus exclaims, "Let that well-known man in our immediate neighborhood…

Chapter XVII. Then said I, since I perceived by the setting sun that evening was at hand…

Chapter XVIII. "But when you have again set sail from that place with the view of making…

The Doubtful Letters Of Sulpitius Severus.

Letter I. A Letter of the Holy Presbyter Severus to His Sister Claudia Concerning the Last Judgment.…

Chapter I. On reading your letters, my feelings were, in many ways…

Chapter II. But because you have desired from me in all my letters which I had sent…

Chapter III. O how happy shall be that departure of ours…

Chapter IV. Against these, from among the company of the saints…

Chapter V. After him, there will stand up David worthy of his descendant the Lord…

Chapter VI. After these, and several others who have discharged for us the duties of instruction…

Chapter VII. Then will the Evangelist repeat this to the wretched beings…

Letter II. A Letter of Sulpitius Severus to His Sister Claudia Concerning Virginity.…

Chapter I. How great blessedness, among heavenly gifts, belongs to holy virginity…

Chapter II. For it is a great and a divine thing…

Chapter III. But that the merit of virginity may shine forth more clearly…

Chapter IV. Now, therefore, since we have set forth, although in few words…

Chapter V. Now, there are three kinds of virtue, by means of which the possession of the…

Chapter VI. But you perhaps say here, "Teach me, then, what righteousness is…

Chapter VII. But as we had begun to remark it is not sufficient for a Christian to…

Chapter VIII. Do you flatter yourself on account of the attribute of virginity? Remember Adam and Eve…

Chapter IX. There follows the clause "how she may please God…

Chapter X. Wherefore, I beseech you, O virgin, do not flatter yourself on the ground of your…

Chapter XI. I believe that I have now set forth, briefly indeed…

Chapter XII. O Virgin, maintain thy purpose which is destined for a great reward.…

Chapter XIII. But perhaps you say, "Why did not the Apostles enjoin these things on virgins?" Because…

Chapter XIV. God seeks for adornment of this kind, and desires a soul arrayed in such a…

Chapter XV. If you wish, then, to be with Christ, you must live according to the example…

Chapter XVI. Take heed that ye love not human glory in any respect…

Chapter XVII. Avoid words of contention and causes of animosity: flee also from all occasions of discord…

Chapter XVIII. Delight thyself rather in fastings than in feastings, mindful of that widow who did not…

Chapter XIX. When you repeat a psalm, consider whose words you are repeating and delight yourself more…

Letter III. A Letter of Severus to Holy Paul the Bishop.…

Letter IV. To the Same, on His Wisdom and Gentleness.…

Letter V. To an Unknown Person, Entreating Him to Deal Gently with His Brother.…

Letter VI. To Salvius: a Complaint that the Country People Were Harassed…

Letter VII. To an Unknown Person, Begging the Favor of a Letter.…

The Sacred History Of Sulpitius Severus. Book I.

Chapter I. I address myself to give a condensed account of those things which are set forth…

Chapter II. The world was created by God nearly six thousand years ago…

Chapter III. God being offended by these things, and especially by the wickedness of mankind…

Chapter IV. Then Noah first of all erected an altar to God…

Chapter V. Abraham, whose father was Thara, was born in the one thousand and seventeenth year after…

Chapter VI. At the same time God spoke to Abraham, and promised that his seed was to…

Chapter VII. Almost at the same time, when Abraham was now a hundred years old…

Chapter VIII. Now, Rebecca, having long been barren, at length, through the unceasing prayers of her husband…

Chapter IX. Laban had two daughters, Leah and Rachel; but Leah had tender eyes…

Chapter X. Israel, therefore, avoiding the house of his brother, sent forward his company to Salem…

Chapter XI. About this same time, Judah, the son of Jacob…

Chapter XII. In the mean time, affairs having been well settled in Egypt to meet the famine…

Chapter XIII. It is almost incredible to relate how the Hebrews who had come down into Egypt…

Chapter XIV. But the Hebrews, oppressed by the multiplied evils of slavery…

Chapter XV. But on the day before the people went out of Egypt…

Chapter XVI. Then Moses, exulting in the safety of his own people…

Chapter XVII. The people going on from thence, and being again tried with want of water…

Chapter XVIII. These things being said by God, while the trumpets uttered their voices…

Chapter XIX. Moses reported these words of God to the people…

Chapter XX. Then follows the book of Leviticus, in which the precepts bearing upon sacrifice are set…

Chapter XXI. There followed the revolt of those, who, with Dathan and Abiron as leaders…

Chapter XXII. After the death of Moses, the chief power passed into the hands of Joshua the…

Chapter XXIII. When this became known to the kings of the neighboring nations…

Chapter XXIV. After the death of Joshua, the people acted without a leader.…

Chapter XXV. Accordingly, when the Midianites, as we have related above…

Chapter XXVI. But on the death of Gideon, his son Abimelech…

Chapter XXVII. The Israelites yet again turned to idols; and, being deprived of the divine protection…

Chapter XXVIII. At that time Samson ruled over the Hebrews, the Philistines having been subdued by the…

Chapter XXIX. About these times, civil war, as we have said…

Chapter XXX. The Hebrews, then, as I have narrated above, were living according to their own will…

Chapter XXXI. The Philistines, victorious in this prosperous battle, brought the ark of God…

Chapter XXXII. At this time, Samuel the priest ruled over the Hebrews…

Chapter XXXIII. Accordingly, Saul, having been first anointed by Samuel with the sacerdotal oil…

Chapter XXXIV. God, displeased with what had been done, spoke to Samuel…

Chapter XXXV. The hatred of the king towards him increased daily…

Chapter XXXVI. At that time Samuel died.…

Chapter XXXVII. Saul having thus been cut off, David, when the news of his death was brought…

Chapter XXXVIII. At this time, he knew in a guilty way Bersabe…

Chapter XXXIX. Solomon in the beginning of his reign surrounded the city with a wall.…

Chapter XL. Trusting in these resources, Solomon set about erecting a temple of immense size to God…

Chapter XLI. For, on the death of Solomon in the fortieth year of his reign…

Chapter XLII. In his room Abiud his son held the kingdom at Jerusalem for six years…

Chapter XLIII. In the time of his reign, Ahab, the son of Ambri…

Chapter XLIV. At that time, Ahab, king of Samaria, coveted the vineyard of Naboth…

Chapter XLV. He, being sick in body, and having sent some of his servants to consult an…

Chapter XLVI. But Jeu possessed the kingdom of Joram.…

Chapter XLVII. Ozias, then, the son of Amassia, succeeded to him.…

Chapter XLVIII. The remarkable faith of the Ninevites is related to have been manifested about these times.…

Chapter XLIX. But in Samaria, Zacharia the king, who was very wicked…

Chapter L. To him succeeded Ezekias his son, a man very unlike his father in character.…

Chapter LI. By this news Sennacherim was led to return in order to defend his own territories…

Chapter LII. The government then passed to his son Josia.…

Chapter LIII. Joachas, his son, having then obtained the kingdom, held it for three months…

Chapter LIV. Meanwhile Sedechias, the king of the useless multitude, although without power…

Book II.

Chapter I. The times of the captivity have been rendered illustrious by the predictions and deeds of…

Chapter II. At that time, Nabuchodonosor had a dream marvelous for that insight into the future which…

Chapter III. Accordingly, as the prophet interpreted the matter, the image which was seen furnished a representation…

Chapter IV. But in Judæa, over which, as we have related above…

Chapter V. At this period of time, Nabuchodonosor elated with prosperity…

Chapter VI. After Nabuchodonosor, the kingdom fell to his son, whom I find called Euilmarodac in the…

Chapter VII. Those, therefore, who were possessed of power along with him…

Chapter VIII. Him Cyrus, his grandson by his daughter, expelled from the kingdom…

Chapter IX. In the meantime, those Jews, who, as we have said above…

Chapter X. Next, Darius, under whom the temple was restored, obtained the kingdom…

Chapter XI. There was at that time at Babylon one Nehemiah…

Chapter XII. At this period of time we think Esther and Judith lived…

Chapter XIII. At this time, Mardochæus was among those nearest to the king…

Chapter XIV. To this series of events it will be right that I should append an account…

Chapter XV. The Jews, then, having returned, as we have narrated above…

Chapter XVI. When this became known to Judith a widow woman of great wealth…

Chapter XVII. Against him Alexander of Macedon engaged in war.…

Chapter XVIII. For, first of all, under king Seleucus, the son of Antiochus the great…

Chapter XIX. But that the order of the dates may be correctly preserved…

Chapter XX. At that time, Matthathias, the son of John, was high-priest.…

Chapter XXI. In the meantime, Matthathias dies, having appointed in his own place his son Judah…

Chapter XXII. Judah, on the defeat of the enemy, returned to Jerusalem…

Chapter XXIII. At that time Judah besieged the Syrians who were posted in the citadel.…

Chapter XXIV. While these things are going on in Judæa, a certain young man educated at Rhodes…

Chapter XXV. Demetrius, having thus obtained the kingdom, treated Jonathan with kindness…

Chapter XXVI. Well, then, after Jonathan, his brother Simon, as has been said above…

Chapter XXVII. Then Herod, a foreigner, the son of Antipater of Askelon…

Chapter XXVIII. Luke made known the doings of the apostles up to the time when Paul was…

Chapter XXIX. In the meantime, the number of the Christians being now very large…

Chapter XXX. So then, after the departure of Nero, Galba seized the government…

Chapter XXXI. Then, after an interval, Domitian, the son of Vespasian…

Chapter XXXII. After Adrian, the churches had peace under the rule of Antoninus Pius.…

Chapter XXXIII. Well, the end of the persecutions was reached eighty-eight years ago…

Chapter XXXIV. Through the kind efforts of the same queen, the cross of the Lord was then…

Chapter XXXV. Such were the things accomplished by Helena, while, under a Christian prince…

Chapter XXXVI. Accordingly, they first attack and condemn in his absence Athanasius…

Chapter XXXVII. When, after an interval of some time had elapsed…

Chapter XXXVIII. But then the Arians, seeing that stratagem did not succeed…

Chapter XXXIX. From this first proof that the prince had been won over to their side…

Chapter XL. In the meantime, the Arians, not secretly, as before…

Chapter XLI. Accordingly, the emperor orders a Synod to assemble at Ariminum…

Chapter XLII. In the meantime in the East, after the example of the West…

Chapter XLIII. In the meantime, the emperor compels those deputies of our party who had been sent…

Chapter XLIV. But these, the fewer they became, showed themselves all the more powerful…

Chapter XLV. Thus, then, the Arians, with their affairs in a very flourishing condition…

Chapter XLVI. There follow the times of our own day, both difficult and dangerous.…

Chapter XLVII. So, then, after many controversies among them, which are not worthy of mention…

Chapter XLVIII. And then Instantius, Salvianus, and Priscillian set out for Rome…

Chapter XLIX. But the power, not the will, to resist, failed Ithacius…

Chapter L. Thus, then, all whom the process embraced were brought before the king.…

Chapter LI. But Ithacius, seeing how much ill-will it would excite against him among the bishops…




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