Early Church Fathers
40 In spite of the combined testimony of Martin and Sulpitius here referred to, few will have any doubts as to the real character of the narrative.
41 "Summus sacerdos": "that is," remarks Hornius, "bishop. They were also in those ages styled Popes (Papae). This is clear from Cyprian, Jerome, and others of a much later age."
42 Lit. "are barking round about."
1 It seems extremely difficult (to recur to the point once more) after reading this account of St. Martin by Sulpitius, to form any certain conclusion regarding it. The writer so frequently and solemnly assures us of his good faith, and there is such a verisimilitude about the style, that it appears impossible to accept the theory of willful deception on the part of the writer. And then, he was so intimately acquainted with the subject of his narrative, that he could hardly have accepted fictions for facts, or failed in his estimate of the friend he so much admired and loved. Altogether, this Life of St. Martin seems to bring before us one of the puzzles of history. The saint himself must evidently have been a very extraordinary man, to impress one of the talents and learning of Sulpitius so remarkably as he did; but it is extremely hard to say how far the miraculous narratives, which enter so largely into the account before us, were due to pure invention, or unconscious hallucination. Milner remarks (Church History, II. 193), "I should be ashamed, as well as think the labor ill spent, to recite the stories at length which Sulpitius gives us." See, on the other side, Cardinal Newman's Esssays on Miracles, p. 127, 209, &c.
2 St. Matt. xxvii. 42.
3 Acts xxviii. 4.
4 "magis insignes periculorum suorum": such is the construction of insignis with later writers.
5 This refers to St. Paul, being an echo of the Apostle's own words in Rom. xi. 13-e0w\ e0qnw=n a0po/stoloj.
6 The writer here supposes that St. Paul was sunk for three days and three nights in the sea-a mistaken inference from 2 Cor. xi. 25. The construction of the very long sentence which soon follows is very confused, and has not been rigidly followed in our translation.
7 "ad dioecesim quandam": it seems certain that diocesis has here the meaning of "parish."
8 "in secretario ecclesiae": it is very difficult to say what is here meant by "secretarium." It appears from Dial. II. 1, that there might be two or more secretaria in one church.
9 "pavimento": this word usually means "a floor," or "pavement," but some take it here to be the same as fornax. This, however, can hardly be the case; and the meaning probably is that the church was heated, as the baths were, by means of a hypocaustum, or flue running below the pavement.
1 Halm here inserts "vere."
2 This salutation is omitted by Halm.
3 "crine purpureo": it is impossible to tell the exact color which is intended.
4 Compare Rev. vii. 14.
5 As being peaceful, the imperial power having now passed into the hands of Christians.
6 Roman emperor, a.d.. 249-251; his full name was C. Messius Quintus Trajanus Decius.
7 "equileum ascendisset": lit. "would have mounted the wooden horse," an instrument of torture.
8 Some read "perhibeo confisus testimonium veritati," and others "veritatis"; in either case, the construction is confused and irregular.
9 St. Paul is referred to: tradition bears that he was beheaded.
10 A late use of the verb deputare.
11 i.e. martyrdom, "palmam sanguinis."
1 "in tartara."
2 Instead of "justo loro," Halm reads, "justo delore," i.e. "with just resentment."
3 "notarios": shorthand writers, who wrote from dictation.
4 Halm here reads "obarratos," with what sense I know not: the reading "obaeratos," followed in the text seems to yield a very good meaning.
5 The reading "sine dilectu ullo," adopted by Halm, seems preferable to the old reading, "sine delicto ullo."
6 The identity of Tolosa, mentioned in the text with the modern Toulouse, is uncertain.
7 Of course, this is all jocular, aud shows the best relations as existing between Sulpitius and his mother-in-law.
8 There is clearly some affectation in the horror which Sulpitius expresses in this and other passages at the thought of his writings being published. It is obvious that he derived gratification from the fact of their being widely read.
9 "praestabo his participem": the construction is peculiar, but the meaning is obvious.
10 There were several towns of this name in Gaul. The one probably here referred to was on the road from Augustodunum (Autun) to Paris. It corresponds to the modern Cosne, at the junction of the stream Nonain with the river Loire.
11 "potenti virtute verborum": Halm reads simply "potenti verbo."
12 A singular and obviously corrupt reading is "quis eos a morsibus nostris prohibebit?" Halm's reading has been followed in the text.
13 Lit. "as he always flowed with bowels of mercy in the Lord."
14 "spes" seems here to mean "longing of heart."
15 "pro castris tuorum."
16 Or "I am not one to yield," nescius cedere.
17 "nobili illo strato suo"; nobilis in one sense , though so humble in another.
18 There is a great variety of readings here; Halm has been followed in the text.
19 Or, "the pomp of a worldly funeral."
1 Narbona, more commonly called Narbo Martius; the modern Narbonne.