The Ancient Library
 

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Victorious

J258

VICTORINUS.

the usurpers who in succession ruled Gaul while it was dismembered from the empire during the reign of the imbecile son of Valerian. Victorinus, how­ever, had previously been assumed as a colleague by Postumus to whom he afforded important aid in the war against Gallienus, arid after the destruction of Gallienus alone enjoyed the sovereignty. He is said to have possessed many of the highest qualities both of a general and a statesman, but was un­happily a slave to his passions, which eventually proved his ruin, for he was assassinated at Agrip-pina by one of his own officers whose honour he had wounded. This event seems to have taken place in a. d. 268 after he had reigned for some­what more than a year. (Trebell. Pollio, Trig. Tyrann. v. ; Aurel. Vict. de Caes. xxxiii. ; Eutrop. ix. 7 ; it would be a vain task however to at­tempt to reconcile these authorities with each other.)

COIN OF VICTORINUS.

victorinus junior, son of the foregoing ac­ cording to Pollio, by whom alone he is mentioned, being numbered among the thirty tyrants, was proclaimed Caesar immediately before the death of his father whose fate he shared. (Trebell. Pollio, Trig. Tyrann. vi.) [W. R.]

VICTORIOUS, literary and ecclesiastical. The subjects of the three following articles have proved a source of considerable embarrassment to the historian of literature. Both the first and second ap­pear to have been rhetoricians before they became theologians, both wrote commentaries on the Scrip­tures and both are believed to have been Christian poets, a series of coincidences which, combined with identity of name, rendered confusion almost inevi­table, while the second and third, if we admit the existence of the third, having both compiled essays upon the same departments of grammar, became in like manner mixed up with each other. The diffi­culties connected with the subject have been in some degree removed by Rivinus in a book en­titled Sanctae Reliquiae duum Victorinorum, Pic-taviensis unius Episcopi Martyris, Afri alterius Caii Marii, &c. 8vo. Goth. 1652, and by Launoy in his dissertation De Victorino Episcopo et Martyre, Par. 1664, in the appendix to which we find a discussion on five distinguished persons who bore the name of Victorinus ; but several points are still involved in much obscurity.

1. victorinus, bishop of Pettaw on the Drave in Styria, hence distinguished by the epithet Peta-vionensis, or Pictaviensis, flourished towards the close of the third century (a. d. 270—290), and suffered martyrdom during the persecution of Dio­cletian, probably in a. d. 303. St. Jerome tells us that he understood Greek better than Latin ; and that, in consequence, his works, though pregnant with great thoughts, were couched in poor lan­guage ; a criticism which has been thought incon­sistent with the fact recorded by Cassiodorus that

VICTORINUS.

he was originally a rhetorician ( Victorinus, de ora-tore episcopus, Inst. Div. 5). The difficulty, how­ever, will be removed if we suppose that Greek was his native language, but that he felt himself con­strained to write in Latin, with which he was less conversant, because it was the tongue spoken in the province where he exercised his episcopal functions. It is to be remarked that this Victorinus was long supposed to have been bishop of Poitiers, an error first dissipated by the dissertation of Launoy, who demonstrated that Petabium in upper Pannonia, and not Pictavium, was the see from which he de­rived his designation.

St. Jerome informs us that he wrote commen­taries In Genesin; In Exodum; In Leviticum; In lesaiam ; In Ezechielem ; In A bacuc ; In Ec-clesiasten ; In Cantica Canticorum ; In Apocalypsin Joannis adversus omnes haereses (some editors place a stop after Joannis and suppose Adversus omnes haereses to be the name of a separate tract) ; and many other pieces. Of all these it is doubtful whether any one remains. In the third volume of the Bibliotlieca Patrum Maxima (fol. Lugdun. 1677) we find a Commentarius in Apocalypsin bearing his name ; but the best judges have for the most part either rejected it altogether or re­garded it as much altered and interpolated by different hands, both on account of the discre­pancies in style which may be here and there de­tected, and also from the circumstance that the millenarian doctrine is here directly impugned, while we know that it was advocated by Victo­rinus. The prologue is given up by all. The fragment published by Cave (//. L. vol. i. p. 147), from a MS. in the archiepiscopal library at Lam­beth, entitled De Fabrica Mundi, has, with better reason, been supposed to be an extract from the annotations on Genesis or on the Apocalypse, and here the opinions of the Chiliasts are avowedly supported.

Various foundling poems have been fathered upon this Victorinus without any evidence direct or circumstantial. Such are De Jesu Christo in 137 hexameters and Hymnus de Pascha Domini s. De Ligno Vitae in 70 hexameters, both contained in the collection of Fabricius ; the De Cruce Domini found among the works of C}7'prian (see Bed. de locis sanct. c. 2.) ; and the five books Adversus Marcionem generally appended to editions of Ter-tullian.

(Our chief ancient authority for everything con­nected with Victorinus of Pettaw is St. Jerome, who speaks of him in a great number of passages, e.g. De Viris III. 74, comp. 187, Praef. in lesai., In Ezech. c. 36, Praef. in Matt., Ad Damas. vol. ii. p. 569, Ad Paulin. vol. iv. jx 567, ed. Bened. &c. ; see also Cassiodor. Inst. Div. 5, 7, 9 ; Lardner, Credibility of Gospel History, c. Ivi. ; Schoenemann, Bibl. Patrum Lat. vol. i. cap. 3. § 8 ; Baehr, GescfiicJite der Rom. Litterat. Suppl. Band. Ite Ab-theil. § 14, 2te Abtheil. § 33.) .

2. C. (or according to some MSS. Fabius) ma-rius victorinus, surnamed Afer from the country of his birth, taught rhetoric at Rome in the middle of the fourth century, with so much reputation that his statue was erected in the forum of Trajan. Convinced by diligent study of the Scriptures, he, in old age, openly embraced the true faith ; and when the edict of Julian, prohibiting Christians from giving instruction in polite literature, was promulgated, Victorinus chose to shut up his school

Pages
About | First

1256

1257

1258
letter/word  
volume
page #  
Search this site
Google


ancientlibrary.com
WWW
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of Isidore-of-Seville.com.