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A Dictionary Of Christian Biography And Literature by Henry Wace

Letter V

Valens, Arian bp. of Mursa
Valens (4), Arian bp. of Mursa in Pannonia, and together with Ursacius the leading Western opponent of Athanasius. He must have been born c.300, as we find him a most influential bishop from a.d.332 (cf. Socr. H. E. i.27). The activity and influence of Valens was confined to the East. The West was always hostile to him, and frequently excommunicated him, the last occasion being at a council held at Rome in 369. He probably died some time prior to 375.


Valens, emperor
Valens (5), emperor, a.d.364-378, the brother of Valentinian I. and born c.328. By his wife, Albia Dominica, he had a son, Galates, and two daughters, Anastasia and Carosa. Made emperor of the East in Mar.364, he immediately displayed sympathy with Arian doctrines, and was actively hostile to the Athanasian party. For his secular history see D. of G. and R. Biogr. He was baptized in 368 by the Arian Eudoxius, patriarch of Constantinople. In 370 he is credited by all the historians (Socr. iv.16; Soz. vi.14; Theod. iv.24) with an act of atrocious cruelty. Eighty ecclesiastics, led by Urbanus, Theodorus, and Mendemus, were sent by the orthodox party of Constantinople to protest against the conduct of the Arians there. Valens is said to have sent them all to sea, ordering the sailors to set fire to the ship and then to abandon it. They all perished off the coast of Bithynia, and are celebrated as martyrs on Sept.5 (Mart. Rom.). In 371 he made a tour through his Asiatic province. At Caesarea in Cappadocia he came into conflict with St. Basil, whose letters (Migne, Patr. Gk. t. xxxii.) afford a very lively picture of the persecution of Valens. He proposed to send St. Basil into exile. Just then his only son fell sick. Valens had recourse to the saint, who promised to heal him if he received orthodox baptism. The Arians were, however, allowed to baptize the young prince, who thereupon died. Basil and the orthodox attributed his death to the judgment of heaven on the imperial obstinacy. In 374 Valens raised a persecution against the neo-Platonic philosophers, and put to death several of their leaders, among them Maximus (25) of Ephesus, the tutor and friend of the emperor Julian, Hilarius, Simonides, and Andronicus. His anger was excited at this period against magical practices by a conspiracy at Antioch (Socr. H. E. iv.19; Soz. vi.35) for securing the succession of Theodorus, one of the principal court officials. Numerous acts of persecution at Edessa, Antioch, Alexandria, and
Constantinople are attributed to Valens, in all of which Modestus, the pretorian prefect, was his most active agent, save in Egypt, where Lucius, the Arian successor of Athanasius, endeavoured in vain to terrify the monks into conformity. The last year of Valens's life was marked by a striking manifestation of monkish courage. In 378 he was leaving Constantinople for his fatal struggle with the Goths at Adrianople. As he rode out of the city an anchorite, Isaac, who lived there, met the emperor and boldly predicted his death. The emperor ordered his imprisonment till his return, when he would punish him -- a threat at which the monk laughed. See Clinton's Fasti, i.476, ii.119, for the chronology of Valens. Tillemont's Emp. (t. v.) and De Broglie's L'Eglise et l'Empire Romain (t. v.) give good accounts of the career and violence of Valens.


Valentinianus (1) I., emperor a.d.364-375, a native of Cibalis in Pannonia. Having served in the army with distinction, he was captain of the guards during the reign of Julian, when he boldly confessed Christ. Theodoret tells us (H. E. iii.16) that when Julian was one day entering the temple of Fortune with great pomp, Valentinian was marching in the procession before him. Two priests were at the gate to sprinkle all who entered with lustral water. Some fell upon Valentinian's robe, whereupon, crying out that he was defiled, not purified, he struck the priest and banished him to a desert fortress. When Jovian died, Valentinian was elected, Feb.26, 364, and reigned till his death, Nov.17, 375. For an account of his civil history see D. of G. and R. Biogr. He presents the rare phenomenon of an emperor who, sincerely attached to orthodoxy, was yet tolerant of the Arians and other heretical sects. He published an edict at the very beginning of his reign, giving complete toleration in religious opinion. To this fact we have the most opposite testimonies. The emperor refers to it in Cod. Theod. ix.16.9, in a law directed against the practices of the haruspices. Ammianus Marcellinus (xxx.9) praises him for it, and St. Ambrose, in his oration de Obitu Valent. Junioris, implicitly censures him (cf. Hilar. Pictav. Cont. Auxent. Opp. t. iii. p.64). His toleration did not, however, extend to practices. Thus in Sept.364 he issued a law (Cod. Theod. ix.16.7) prohibiting nocturnal sacrifices and magical incantations, and further enforced it by legg. viii. and ix. of the same title. These edicts seem to have been issued more from a moral and social than religious point of view. They were directed against immorality, not paganism, as is evident from the fact, which Ambrose (l.c.) laments, that he tolerated the public profession and practices of paganism in the Roman senate-house. One circumstance demonstrates his tolerance towards the followers of the ancient religion. There is not a single edict in the Theodosian code, lib. xvi. tit. x. -- the celebrated title de Paganis, which is filled with persecuting laws -- dating from any year between 356 and 381; while the same remark will also apply with one exception to the titles de Haeretici and de Judaeis, lib. xvi. tit. v. and viii. The one exception is the Manichean heresy, which he strictly prohibited by a law of 372 (Cod. Theod. xvi. v.3) ordering the punishment of their teachers and the confiscation of the houses where they instructed their pupils in Rome; for Manicheism seems at that time to have assumed the character of a philosophy rather than of a religion. That this tolerant spirit of the emperor was helpful to true religion appears from the fact that, under Valentinian heathenism began first to be called the peasant's religion (|religio paganorum|), a name first so applied in a law of 368 (ib. xvi. ii.18). Valentinian legislated also for the clergy (ib. xv. ii.17-22), restraining the tendency of rich men to take holy orders to escape civil duties (legg.17, 18, 19); and rendering illegal the bequests to clergy and monks from widows and virgins by a celebrated law (leg.20) addressed in 370 to Damasus, bp. of Rome, under the description |De Vita, Honestate, Conversatione Ecclesiasticorum et Continentium,| which was the model for much subsequent legislation. (Cf. the commentary of Godefroy, Theod. Cod. t. vi. p.54, where all contemporary notices of this law are collected.) The legislative activity of Valentinian in every direction was very great, as shewn by the Theodosian Code.

Other modern authorities are Clinton's Fasti, i.460, and appendix, pp.110-119, where is an exhaustive statement of all his legislation, together with notices of medals, coins, etc., bearing on his reign, and De Broglie's L'Egdise et l'Empire Romain, pt. iii. c. i.


Valentinianus (2) II., emperor, a.d.375-392, son of Valentinian I. and of Justina, his second wife. For his secular life see D. of G. and R. Biogr. His name is celebrated in church history in connexion with two matters: (1) An attempt in 384 by the Roman Senate to restore the altar of Victory and the pagan rites connected with the Senate. We possess the document Relatio Symmachi Urbis Praefecti on the one side and the Epp. xvii. and xviii. of St. Ambrose to Valentinian on the other (cf. St. Ambr. opp. Migne, Patr. Lat. t. xvi. col.962-982 ). St. Ambrose carried the day, and the senatorial petition was rejected, as again in 391 (see Tillem. Emp. v.244, 300, 349). (2) The other matter concerned the necessity of baptism. Valentinian died at Vienne in Gaul, being then about 20, and only a catechumen. Being anxious to receive baptism, he sent for St. Ambrose to baptize him. Before the sacrament could be administered, he was found dead. St. Ambrose's treatise, de Obitu Valentiniani Consolatio, §§ 51-56, shews how Ambrose rose superior to any hard mechanical view of the sacraments and recognized the sincere will and desire as equivalent to the deed (cf. Tillem. Emp. v.356; De Broglie, L'Eglise et l'Empire, pt. iii. cc. v. and viii.). At one time Valentinian was inclined to support the Arian party at Milan, influenced by his mother Justina, who was bitterly hostile to St. Ambrose. Sozomen (H. E. vii.13), followed by Ceillier (v.386), represents Valentinian and the empress as persecuting St. Ambrose and the Catholics of Milan in 386, referring to Cod. Theod. lib. xvi. tit. i. leg.4. [[603]Ambrosius; Justina.]


Valentinianus III
Valentinianus (3) III., emperor, 425-455, the son of Constantius III. by Galla Placidia, daughter of Theodosius the Great and consequently great-grandson of Valentinian I. For his civil history see D. of G. and R. Biogr. His reign was signalized by several laws bearing on church matters. At its very beginning (July 17, 425) there was issued at Aquileia in his name a decree (Cod. Theod. lib. xvi. tit. v. l.62 ), expelling all heretics and schismatics from Rome. A special provision ordered the adherents of Eulalius, elected anti-pope in 419, to be removed to the 100th milestone from the city. This law has been illustrated at great length by Gothofred, t. vi.204. Identical laws (tit. v.11.63, 64) were issued for the other cities of Italy and for Africa in 425, and also edicts (lib. xvi. tit. ii. ll.46 and 47) renewing clerical privileges and reserving clerical offenders to the tribunal of the bishops alone, a rule which he abrogated later. In tit. vii. of the same bk. is a law against apostates dated Ravenna Apr.7, 426, depriving them of all testamentary power. On the next day a law was enacted (tit. viii. l.28) preventing Jews from disinheriting their children who became Christians. The most interesting portion of his ecclesiastical legislation is in his Novels embodied in Ritter's appendix to Gothofred's great work (Lip.1743, t. vi. pt. ii. pp.105-133). Thus tit. ii p.106, a.d.445, treats of the Manicheans and gives particulars as to the action of pope Leo the Great against them; tit. v. p.111, a.d.447, of the violations of sepulchres, with severe penalties against such crimes, of which the clergy themselves were frequently guilty. Tit. xii. p.127, a.d.452, his most celebrated law, is an anticipation of medieval legislation; it withdraws the clergy from the episcopal courts and subjects them to lay judges. Baronius (Annals, a.d.451) heartily abuses Valentinian for this law, and considers Attila's invasion a direct and immediate expression of Heaven's anger.


Valentinus, founder of a Gnostic sect
Valentinus (1) (Oualentinos), founder of one of the Gnostic sects which originated in the first half of 2nd cent.

I. Biography. -- According to the tradition of the Valentinian school witnessed to by Clemens Alexandrinus (Strom. vii.17, 106, p.898, Potter), Valentinus had been a disciple of Theodas, who himself, it is very improbably said, knew St. Paul. Valentinus cannot have begun to disseminate his Gnostic doctrines till towards the end of the reign of Hadrian (117-138). Before this he is said to have been a Catholic Christian. It must have been, therefore, at most only shortly before his appearance as the head of a Gnostic sect that Valentinus became a hearer of Theodas and received, as he said, his doctrines from him. The Gnostics were fond of claiming for their secret doctrines apostolic tradition and tracing them back to disciples of the apostles. To this otherwise unknown Theodas the Valentinians appealed as an authority in much the same way as Basilides was said to have been a disciple of Glaucias, and he, in turn, an |interpreter of Peter.|

Irenaeus (i.11, 1) speaks of Valentinus as the first who transformed the doctrines of the Gnostic |Heresy| to a peculiar doctrinal system of his own (eis idion charaktera didaskaleiou). By the expression gnostike we understand a party which called themselves |Gnostics,| whom we may recognize in the so-called Ophites, described by Irenaeus (i.30), when he remarks that the Valentinian school originated from those unnamed heretics as from the many-headed Lernean Hydra (i.30, 15). Concerning the home and locality of these so-called |Gnostics| Irenaeus tells us nothing. But we know from other sources that those Ophite parties to whom he refers had their homes both in Egypt and Syria.

Concerning the fatherland of Valentinus himself Epiphanius is the first to give accurate information, which, however, he derived simply, it appears, from oral tradition (Epiph. Haer. xxxi.2). According to this his native home was on the coast of Egypt, and he received instruction in Greek literature and science at Alexandria. Epiphanius, who makes him begin to teach in Egypt, relates further that he also went to Rome, and appeared as a religious teacher there, but that, both in Egypt and at Rome, he was regarded as orthodox, and first made shipwreck of faith in Cyprus and began to disseminate heretical opinions. But this statement rests merely on a combination of different accounts. According to Irenaeus, Valentinus |flourished| at Rome in the times of Pius and Anicetus. Epiphanius, on the other hand, read (as we learn from Philaster, Haer.38) in the suntagma of Hippolytus, that Valentinus stood once in the communion of the church, but being drawn by overweening pride into apostasy had, during his residence in Cyprus, propounded his heretical doctrine. But we cannot doubt that when Irenaeus speaks of Valentinus's flourishing at Rome during the times of Pius and Anicetus, he refers to the fact that his chief activity as a religious teacher was then displayed, and that under Anicetus he stood at the head of his own Gnostic school. With this there is no difficulty in reconciling Tertullian's statement, that Valentinus no more than Marcion separated himself from the Church on his arrival at Rome (Praescript. Haeret.36). For the Gnostics, for the very sake of disseminating their doctrines the more freely, made a great point of remaining in the Catholic church, and made use for that end of a twofold mode of teaching, one exoteric for the simpler sort of believers, the other esoteric for the initiated, as is shewn in the fragments which have come down to us, the most part of which purposely keep the peculiarly Gnostic doctrines in the background.

We may, then, conclude that Valentinus, towards the end of Hadrian's reign (c.130), appeared as a teacher in Egypt and in Cyprus, and early in the reign of Antoninus Pius he came to Rome, and during the long reign of Antoninus was a teacher there. He had probably developed and secretly prepared his theological system before he came to Rome, whither he doubtless removed for the same motive as led other leaders of sects, e.g. Cerdon and Marcion, to go to Rome -- the hope to find a wider field for his activity as a teacher. From a similar motive he attached himself at first to the communion of the Catholic church.

II. History of the Sect. -- Valentinus had numerous adherents. They divided themselves, we are told, into two schools -- the anatolic or oriental, and the Italian school (Pseud-Orig. Philosoph. vi.35, p.195, Miller, cf. Tertullian, adv. Valentinian. c.11, and the title prefixed to the excerpts of Clemens Ek tou Theudotou kai tes Anatolikes kaloumenes didaskalias). The former of these schools was spread through Egypt and Syria, the latter in Rome, Italy, and S. Gaul. Among his disciples, Secundus appears to have been one of the earliest. Tertullian (adv. Valentinian.4) and the epitomators of Hippolytus mention him after Ptolemaeus (Pseudo-Tertull. Haer.13; Philast. Haer.40); the older work, on the other hand, excerpted by Irenaeus is apparently correct in naming him first as Valentinus's earliest disciple (Haer. i.11, 2). Then follows, in the same original work as quoted by Irenaeus (Haer. i.11, 3), another illustrious teacher (allos epiphanes didaskalos), of whom a misunderstanding of later heresiologists has made a Valentinian leader, named Epiphanes; who this illustrious teacher was is matter of dispute. The more probable conjecture is with Neander (Gnostische Systeme, p.169) and Salmon to suppose it was Marcus (17), whose first Tetrad exactly corresponds to that of this unnamed teacher (cf. Haer. i.15, 1, kath' ha proeiretai). Marcus himself will, in any case, be among the earliest of Valentinus's disciples (Lipsius, Quellen der ältesten Ketzergesch. p.33). His labours in Asia were probably contemporaneous with Valentinus's residence and activity at Rome, and there a |godly elder and herald of the truth,| whom Irenaeus quotes from as an older authority, made him the subject of metrical objurgation as the |forerunner of anti-Christian malice| (Iren. Haer. i.15, 6).

PTOLEMAEUS, on the other hand, was a contemporary of Irenaeus himself, and one of the leaders of the Italian school (Iren. Haer. Praef.2, Pseud-Orig. Philos. vi.35), whom Hippolytus in the Syntagina, and probably on the basis of an arbitrary combination of Iren. i.8, 5 with 11, 2, puts at the head of all other disciples of Valentinus. Heracleon was still younger than Ptolemaeus, and the second head of the Italian school. His doctrinal system appears to be that mainly kept in view in the Philosophumena (cf. vi.29, 35). Irenaeus names him as it were in passing (Haer. ii.4, 1), while Tertullian designates his relation to his predecessors with the words, Valentinus shewed the way, Ptolemaeus walked along it, Heracleon struck out some side paths (adv. Valentinian.4). He makes also the like remark concerning Secundus and Marcus. Clemens speaks of Heracleon (c.193) as the most distinguished among the disciples of Valentinus (Strom. iv.9, 73, p.595), meaning, of course, among those of his own time. Origen's statement, therefore, that he had a personal acquaintance with Valentinus (Origen, in Joann. t. ii.8) is to be received with caution. In part contemporaneously with him appear to have worked the heads of the anatolic (oriental) school Axionikos and Bardesanes (Ardesianes, Philos. vi.35), who both lived into the first decennia of cent. iii.

Axionikos was still working at Antioch when Tertullian composed his book against the Valentinians, therefore c.218 (Tertull. l.c.). We cannot here discuss how far the celebrated Edessene Gnostic BARDESANES (ob.223) is rightly accounted a Valentinian. Tertullian indicates Axionikos as the only one who in his day still represented the original teaching of Valentinus. Theotimus, therefore, who is previously mentioned by Tertullian, and seems to have occupied himself much with the |Figures of the Law,| was, it appears, an older teacher. The same was also probably the case with Alexander, the Valentinian whose syllogisms Tertullian had in his hands (de Carne Christi cc.16 sqq.).

Concerning the later history of the Valentinian sect we have but meagre information. Tertullian, writing c.218, speaks of the Valentinians in his book against them as the |frequentissimum collegium inter haereticos.| This is confirmed by what is told us of the local extension of the sect. From Egypt it seems to have spread to Syria, Asia Minor, and to Rome. Its division into an oriental and an Italian school shews that it had adherents even after the death of its founder, in both the East (Egypt, Syria, Mesopotamia) and West (specially at Rome). In Asia Minor the doctrine appears to have been mainly disseminated by Marcus, who was so vigorously attacked (c.150) by the |godly elder,| quoted by Irenaeus (Haer. i.15, 6). Disciples of Marcus were found by Irenaeus in the Rhone districts (Haer. i.13, 7), where also he appears to have met with adherents of Ptolemaeus (Haer. Praef.2). In Rome, c.223, an important work of the Italian school came into the hands of the writer of the Philosophumena, who speaks of both schools as being in existence in his time (Philos. vi.35, p.195). Tertullian also mentions the duae scholae and duae cathedrae of the party in his time (adv. Valent.11). Remains of the sect were still found in Egypt in the time of Epiphanius (Haer. xxxi.7). Theodoret, on the other hand (H. f. Praef.), can only speak of the Valentinians as of other Gnostic sects (whom he deals with in his first book) as belonging to the past -- palaias haireseis -- of whom he possesses a mere historical knowledge.

III. Writings. -- The fragments of the writings of Valentinus have been collected by Grabe (Spicilegium, ii.45-48), and more completely by Hilgenfeld (Ketzergeschichte, pp.93-207). They consist of fragments of letters and homilies preserved by Clemens Alexandrinus (Strom. ii.8, 36, p.448; ii.20, 114, pp.488 seq.; iii.7, 59, p.538; iv.13, 91, p.603; vi.6, 52, p.767), and of two pieces contained in the Philosophumena, the narrative of a vision (horama) seen by Valentinus (Philos. vi.42, p.203), and the fragment of a psalm composed by him (Philos. vi.37, pp.197 seq.). Psalms of Valentinus's authorship are mentioned by Tertullian (de Carne Christi, 17, 20).

Remains of the writings of the school of Valentinus are more abundant. Beside the numerous fragments and quotations in Irenaeus and the Philosophumena, and in the excerpts from Theodotus, and the anatolic school, which seem yet to need a closer investigation, we may mention: the letter of Ptolemaeus to Flora (ap. Epiphan. Haer. xxxiii.3-7), numerous fragments from the commentaries (hupomnemata) of Heracleon on St. Luke (ap. Clem. Alex. Strom. iv.9, 73 seq., pp.595 seq.; excerpt. ex prophet. § 25, p.995), and on St. John (ap. Origen in Joann. passim), collected by Grabe (Spicil. i.80-117) and Hilgenfeld (Ketzergeschichte, 472-498); lastly, a rather large piece out of an otherwise unknown Valentinian writing preserved by Epiphanius (Haer. xxxi.5 and 6).

IV. Accounts given by the Fathers. -- Statements concerning Valentinus and his school are very numerous, but many are so contradictory that it is difficult to distinguish the original doctrine of Valentinus from later developments. Even in his day Tertullian made the complaint (adv. Valentinian.4), |Ita nunquam jam Valentinus, et tamen Valentiniani, qui per Valentinum.| Among those who before him had controverted the Valentinians, Tertullian enumerates (ib.5): Justin Martyr, Miltiades, Irenaeus, and the Montanist Proculus. Of the writings of these four on this subject one only has been preserved, the great work of Irenaeus in five books, entitled Elenchos kai anatrope tes pseudonumou gnoseos, which has come down to us in great part only in the ancient Latin version. This work was written (see iii.3, 3) in the time of the Roman bp. Eleutherus, c.180-185. The greater part of bk. i., which Epiphanius has preserved to us almost completely, deals exclusively with the Valentinians, and the refutations in the following books are principally concerned with them.

The sources which Irenaeus used are of sufficient variety. In the preface to bk. i. (c.2 ) he refers to the writings of those who call themselves disciples of Valentinus, adding that he had met some of them himself and heard their opinions from their own mouths. Immediately afterwards he indicates that the contemporary Valentinians, whose doctrine he promises to describe, are those of the school of Ptolemaeus. In bk. i. (c.8, 5) he introduces into a detailed description of the Valentinian method of interpreting Scripture a large fragment which undertakes to prove the truth of the higher Ogdoad of the Valentinian Pleroma from the prologue of the Gospel of St. John. The concluding notice (found only in the Latin text) expressly ascribes the authorship of this fragment to Ptolemaeus. Irenaeus likewise obtained his information as to the doctrine and practices of the Marcosians partly from a written source, partly from oral communications. We can hardly assume that Marcus was still alive when Irenaeus wrote, but it is not unlikely that adherents of Marcus may have appeared then in the Rhone districts. The section which specially treats of Marcus (i.12-15) is apparently from a written source; but what he brings to light for the first time (cc.16-18) concerning the mysteries celebrated by the Marcosians is from oral information.

Next in importance to the statements of Irenaeus, as a source of information concerning Valentinus and his school, are the fragments preserved among the works of Clemens Alexandrinus, and entitled Ek ten Theodotou kai tes anatolikes kaloumenes didaskalias epitomai. The text has come down to us in a somewhat forlorn condition. The best ed. is Bunsen's, in Analecta Antinicaena, vol. i. (Lond.1854), pp.205-278. The general character of these excerpts is similar to others in other writings of Clemens Alexandrinus, and does not justify the assumption that their present abrupt fragmentary form proceeded from Clemens himself.

Very little is obtainable from the Syntagma of Hippolytus, preserved in the excerpts of Pseudo-Tertullian (Haer.12) and by Philaster (Haer.38), as also partly by Epiphanius (Haer. xxxi.8; cf. Quellen d. alt. Ketzergesch. p.166). Hippolytus combined Irenaeus (cc.1-7) with some authority belonging to the older anatolic system.

Pseud-Origines, now almost universally assumed to be HIPPOLYTUS, gives us in the Philosophumena (the larger Elenchos kata pason haireseon) a quite peculiar account of the Valentinian system, one mere uniform and synoptical than that of Irenaeus. The original authority on which this description is based cannot have been the same as that in the Syntagma which belonged to the anatolic school, the former being a product of the Western or Italian. The doctrinal system reproduced by Pseud-Origines is in general akin to the Ptolemaic presented by Irenaeus. But his original authority is entirely independent of the sources used by Irenaeus.

Tertullian's tractate adversus Valentinianos is not an independent authority. Apart from a few personal notices concerning him and his disciples which he may have taken from the lost work of Proculus (c.4, cf. c.11), his whole account is a paraphrase of Irenaeus, whom he follows almost word for word, and more or less faithfully from c.7 onwards.

Epiphanius (Haer. xxxi.9-32) has incorporated the whole long section of Irenaeus (i.1-10) in his Panarion. Haer. xxxii. and xxxiv. (Secundus, Marcus) are simply taken from Irenaeus. He follows Irenaeus also in his somewhat arbitrary way in what he says about Ptolemaeus, Colarbasus, Heracleon (Haer. xxxiii. xxxv. xxxvi.). On the other hand, Haer. xxxi.7, 8, is taken from the Syntagma of Hippolytus: Haer. xxxiii.3-7 contains the important letter of PTOLEMAEUS to Flora. Haer. xxxi.5 and 6 gives a fragment of an unknown Valentinian writing, from which the statements in c.2 are partly derived. This writing, with its barbarous names for the Aeons and its mixture of Valentinian and Basilidian doctrines, shows anatolic Valentinianism as already degenerate.

Later heresiologists, e.g. Theodoret, who (Haer. Fab. i.7-9) follows Irenaeus and Epiphanius, are not independent authorities.

V. The System. -- A review of the accounts given by the Fathers confirms the judgment that, with the means at our command, it is very difficult to distinguish between the original doctrine of Valentinus and the later developments made by his disciples. A description of his system must start from the Fragments, the authenticity of which (apart from the so-called horos Oualentinou in Dial. de Recta Fide) is unquestioned. But from the nature of these fragments we cannot expect to reconstruct the whole system out of them. >From an abundant literature a few relics only have been preserved. Moreover, the kinds of literature to which these fragments belong -- letters, homilies, hymns -- shew us only the outer side of the system, while its secret Gnostic doctrine is passed over and concealed, or only indicated in the obscurest manner. The modes of expression in these fragments are brought as near as possible to those in ordinary church use. We see therein the evident desire and effort of Valentinus to remain in the fellowship of the Catholic church. Of specific Gnostic doctrines two only appear in their genuine undisguised shape, that of the celestial origin of the spiritual man (the Pneumaticos), and that of the Demiurge; for the docetic Christology was not then, as is clear from Clemens Alexandrinus, exclusively peculiar to the Gnostics. All the more emphatically is the anthropological and ethical side of the system insisted on in these fragments.

As the world is an image of the living Aeon (tou zontos aionos), so is man an image of the pre-existent man of the anthropos proon. Valentinus, according to Clemens Alexandrinus (Valentini Homil. ap. Clem. Strom. iv.13, 92), spoke of the Sophia as an artist (zographos) making this visible lower world a picture of the glorious Archetype, but the hearer or reader would as readily understand the heavenly Wisdom of the Book of Proverbs to be meant by this Sophia as the 12th and fallen Aeon. Under her (according to Valentinus) stand the world-creative angels, whose head is the Demiurge. Her formation (plasma) is Adam created in the name of the Anthropos proon. In him thus made a higher power puts the seed of the heavenly pneumatic essence (sperma tes anothen ousias). Thus furnished with higher insight, Adam excites the fears of the angels; for even as kosmikoi anthropoi are seized with fear of the images made by their own hands to bear the name of God, i.e. the idols, so these angels cause the images they have made to disappear (Ep. ad Amicos ap. Clem. Alex. Strom. ii.8, 36). The pneumatic seed (pneuma diapheron or genos diapheron) nevertheless remains in the world, as a race by nature capable of being saved (phusei sozomenon genos), and which has come down from a higher sphere in order to put an end to the reign of death. Death originates from the Demiurge, to whom the word (Ex. xxxiii.20) refers that no one can see the face of God without dying. The members of the pneumatic church are from the first immortal, and children of eternal life. They have only assumed mortality in order to overcome death in themselves and by themselves. They shall dissolve the world without themselves suffering dissolution, and be lords over the creation and over all transitory things (Valent. Hom. ap. Clem. Strom. iv.13, 91 seq.). But without the help of the only good Father the heart even of the spiritual man (the pneumaticos) cannot be cleansed from the many evil spirits which make their abode in him, and each accomplishes his own desire. But when the only good Father visits the soul, it is hallowed and enlightened, and is called blessed because one day it shall see God. This cleansing and illumination is a consequence of the revelation of the Son (ib. ii.20, 114).

We learn from the fragments only (Valent. Ep. ad Agathopoda ap. Clem. Strom. iv.7, 59) that Jesus, by steadfastness and abstinence, earned for Himself Deity, and by virtue of His abstinence did not even suffer to be corrupted the food which He received (i.e. it did not undergo the natural process of digestion), because He Himself was not subject to corruption. It must remain undetermined how Valentinus defined the relation of Jesus to the huios. If the text of the passage quoted above be sound, Jesus put Himself in possession of Godhead by His own abstinence, a notion we should expect in Ebionite rather than in Gnostic circles. But the true reading may be eikazeto (not eirgazeto), and in that case the meaning will be that by an extraordinary asceticism Jesus avoided every kind of material pollution, and so became Himself the image of the incorruptible and imperishable Godhead. At any rate, this fragment does not tell us whether, according to the teaching of Valentinus, the body of Jesus was pneumatic or psychical. According to another fragment attributed to Valentinus, and preserved by Eulogius of Alexandria (ap. Photium, Bibl. Cod.230), he appears to have treated with ridicule the opinion of the |Galileans| that Christ had two natures, and to have maintained that He had but one nature composed of the visible and the invisible. Hilgenfeld (l.c. pp.302 seq.) supposes the Valentinus of this fragment to be the Gnostic, while others take him to have been the Apollinarian. But we have no other instance of any Gnostic giving to Catholic Christians (as did the emperor Julian later) the epithet |Galilean.| Further, although Tertullian (adv. Prax.29) and Origen (de Princip. i.2, 1) may have spoken of two natures or two substances in Christ, we can hardly imagine Valentinus pronouncing a doctrine ridiculous, and yet it finding acceptance in his school. For we find the Occidental Valentinians actually teaching in very similar terms, that Soter, the common product of the whole Pleroma, united himself with the Christus of the Demiurge the Man Jesus. Could we otherwise assume that the fragment is genuine, it would serve to prove that the doctrine of the Oriental school concerning the pneumatic body of Christ was in fact the original teaching of Valentinus. How Valentinus thought concerning the origin of matter and of evil cannot be made out from existing fragments. When, however, we find him designating the Demiurge as author of death, we can hardly suppose that he derived the transitory nature and other imperfections of the terrestrial universe from an originally evil material substance. The view, moreover, which underlies the psalm of Valentinus, of which the Philosophumena have preserved a fragment (Philos. vi.37, pp.197 seq.) is decidedly monastic. He there sees in the spirit how |all things are hanging (kremamena) and are upborne (ochoumena), the flesh hanging on the soul, the soul upborne by the air, the air hanging on the aether, from Bythos fruits produced and from the womb the child.| An interpretation of these sayings current in the Valentinian school is appended. According to this interpretation, flesh is the hule which depends upon the soul (the psychical nature) of the Demiurge. Again the Demiurge hangs from the spirit which is outside the Pleroma, i.e. the Sophia in the kingdom of the Midst, the Sophia from Horus and from the Pleroma, and finally the world of Aeons in the Pleroma from the abyss, i.e. their Father. If this interpretation be, as we may assume, correct, Valentinus must have conceived the whole universe as forming a grand scale of being, beginning with the abysmal ground of all spiritual life, and thence descending lower and lower down to matter. The whole scale then is a descent from the perfect to ever more and more imperfect images; according to the principle expressly laid down by Valentinus, that the cosmos is as inferior to the living Aeon as the image is inferior to the living countenance (ap. Clem. Strom. iv.13, 92). This view of the nature of the universe exhibits a much nearer relationship to Platonic philosophy than to the Oriental dualism which underlay the older Gnostic systems; and Hippolytus is therefore completely right, when dealing with the psalm of Valentinus, to speak of Platonizing Gnostics (Philos. vi.37, p.197).

The fragments do not give us any detailed acquaintance with the doctrine of Valentinus concerning the Aeons. The Pater or Buthos stands at their head; but what place in the Valentinian Pleroma was assigned to the Anthropos proon in whose name Adam was created, is difficult to determine.

Of a two-fold Sophia, a higher and a lower, we read nothing. Sophia is the artist (zographos) who forms the world after the archetype of the living Aeon, in order to be honoured by his name. The world as formed obtains credit and stability through the invisible nature of God (Strom. iv.13, 92).

To what authority Valentinus made appeal as the source of his doctrine cannot be made out from the fragments. From the Homily to the Friends Clemens Alexandrinus has preserved a sentence which defines |many of the things written in the public books| (demosiois biblios: he means doubtless the writings of the O.T.) as |found written in the church of God| -- |for,| he adds, |those things which are common| (i.e. not merely found in books -- read, with Heinrici koina instead of kena) |are words from the heart|; and proceeds, |The law written in the heart is the People of the Beloved One, both loved and loving| (Grabe was wrong in proposing to emend laos into logos). The meaning is that this |People| is in virtue of the inward revelation of the Logos a law unto itself (cf. Rom. ii.14). But this inward revelation has reference only to |that which is common| (ta koina), i.e. to the universal ethical truths written in the heart which |the church of God| needs not first to learn from |the public books.| But this passage tells us nothing about the sources whence Valentinus derived his Gnosis. For these we must go back to the statement of Clemens (Strom. vii.17, 106), according to which the Valentinians spoke of their leader as having learned of a certain Theodas, a disciple of St. Paul. But the actual statement of Irenaeus is more to be depended on, that Valentinus was the first who transformed the old doctrines of |the Gnostics| into a system of his own (Haer. i.11, 1; cf. Tert. adv. Valentinian.4.). The fragments, moreover, give a series of points of contact with the opinions of these older |Gnostics.| We may therefore regard as an axiom to be adhered to in our investigations that of any two Valentinian doctrines, that is the older and more original which approaches more closely to the older and vulgar Gnosis (Iren. i.30). Yet the system of Valentinus had a peculiar character of its own. He was the first to breathe a really philosophic spirit into the old vulgar Gnosis, by making use of Plato's world of thought to infuse a deeper meaning into the old Gnostic myths. Baur, therefore, was quite right in emphasizing the Platonism of Valentinus (Christliche Gnosis, pp 124 seq.), to which the Philosophumena had already called attention (Philos. vi.21 sqq.).

Irenaeus completes the information afforded by the fragments concerning Valentinus's doctrine of the Aeons. At the head of them stands a duas anonomastos, the Arrhetos (called also Buthos and Pater agennetos) and his suzugos the Sige. >From this Dyad proceeds a second Dyad, Pater and Aletheia, which with the first Dyad forms the highest Tetrad. From this Tetrad a second Tetrad proceeds -- Logos and Zoe. Anthropos and Ekklesia, and these complete the First Ogdoad. From Logos and Zoe proceed a Decad, from Anthropos and Ekklesia a Dodecad of Aeons. In this the number 30 of Aeons forming the Pleroma is completed. The names of the Aeons composing the Decad and the Dodecad are not given. We may, however, venture to assume that the names elsewhere given by Irenaeus (i.1, 2), and literally repeated by Pseud-Origenes (Philos. vi.30), and then again by Epiphanius (xxxi.6) with some differences of detail, in his much later account, did really originate from Valentinus himself. They are as follows: From Logos and Zoe proceed Buthios and Mixis, Ageratos and Henosis, Autophnes and Hedone, Akinetos and Sunkrasis, Monogenes and Makaria. From Anthropos and Ekklesia proceed: Parakletos and Pistis, Patrikos and Elpis, Metrikos and Agape, Aeinous and Sunesis, Ekklesiastikos and Makariotes, Theletos and Sophia. However arbitrary this name-giving may seem, it is evident that the first four masculine Aeons repeat the notion of the First Principle, and the first four feminine the notion of his syzygy, in various forms of expression. The names Monogenes and Nous (here Aeinous) meet us again among the Valentinians of Irenaeus as expressions for the secend Masculine Principle, and Parakletos as that for the common product of all the Aeons -- the Soter. Patrikos, Metrikos, Ekklesiastikos are names simply expressing that the Aeons which bear them are derived from the higher powers within the Pleroma. The feminine names Makaria, Pistis, Elpis, Agape, Sunesis, Sophia, describe generally the perfection of the Pleroma by means of Predicates borrowed from the characteristics of the perfect Pneumaticos. So that all these inferior Aeon names are but a further and more detailed expression of the thought contained in the names of the first and second Tetrad. The first Tetrad expresses the essence of the Upper Pleroma in itself, the second Tetrad divided into two pairs of Aeons expresses its revelation to the Pneumatici and the Pneumatic World.

The last of the 30 Aeons, the Sophia or Meter, falls out of the Pleroma. In her remembrance of the better world she gives birth to Christus with a shadow (meta skias tinos), Christus being of masculine nature, cuts away the shadow from himself and hastens back into the Pleroma. The mother, on the other hand, being left behind and alone with the shadow, and emptied of the pneumatic substance, gives birth to another Son the Demiurge, called also Pantokrator, and at the same time with him a sinistrous archon (the Kosmokrator). So then from these two elements, |the right and the left,| the psychical and the hylical, proceeds this lower world. This the original doctrine of Valentinus appears to have had in common with that of the Ophites (Iren. i.30), that both doctrines knew of only one Sophia, and that for the Ophites also Christus leaves the Sophia behind and escapes himself into the upper realm of light.

The notion of a fall of the last of the Aeons from the Pleroma, and the consequent formation of this lower world as the fruit of that fall, is new and peculiar to Valentinus in his reconstruction of the older Gnosticism. He set his Platonic Monism in the place of the Oriental Dualism. The Platonic thought of the soul's fall and longing after the lost world of light he combined with the other Platonic thought of the things of this lower world being types and images of heavenly Archetypes, and so obtained a new solution of the old problems of the world's creation and the origin of evil.

The statements of Irenaeus concerning his teaching are, alas! too fragmentary and too uncertain to supply a complete view of the system of Valentinus. But the excerpts in Clemens Alex. taken from Theodotos and the anatolic school contain a doctrine in §§ 1-42, which at any rate stands much nearer to the views of Valentinus than the detailed account of Ptolemaic doctrines which Irenaeus gives in i.1-8. We have in these excerpts a somewhat complete whole, differing in some important respects from the doctrinal system of the Italic school, and agreeing with that of Valentinus in that it knows of only one Sophia, whose offspring Christus, leaving his mother, enters the Pleroma, and sends down Jesus for the redemption of the forsaken One.

The doctrine of the Aeons stands as much behind the anthropological and ethical problems in these excerpts as it does in the fragments. We find something about the Pleroma in an interpretation of the prologue of St. John's Gospel (Excerpt. §§ 6, 7). By the arche of St. John i.1, in which the Logos |was,| we must understand the Monogenes |Who is also called God| (the reading ho monogenes theos John i.18 being followed). |The Logos was en arche| means that He was in the Monogenes, in the Nous and the Aletheia -- the reference being to the syzygy of Logos and Zoe which is said to have proceeded from Nous and Aletheia. The Logos is called God because He is in God, in the Nous. But when it is said ho gegonen en auto zoe en, the reference is to the Zoe as suzugos of the Logos. The Unknown Father (pater agnostos) willed to be known to the Aeons. On knowing Himself through His own Enthumesis, which was indeed the spirit of knowledge (pneuma gnoseos), He, by knowledge, made to emanate the Monogenes. The Monogenes having emanated from the Gnosis, i.e. the Enthymesis of the Father, is in Himself Gnosis, i.e. Son, for it is through the Son that the Father is known. The pneuma agapes mingles itself with the pneuma gnoseos as the Father with the Son (i.e. the Monogenes or Nous) and the Enthymesis with Aletheia, proceeding from the Aletheia as the Gnosis proceeds from the Enthymesis. The monogenes nhios, Who abides in the bosom of the Father, emanates from the Father's bosom and thereby declares (exegeitai) the Enthymesis through Gnosis to the Aeons. Having become visible on earth, He is no longer called by the apostle Monogenes (simply), but hos monogenes. For though remaining in Himself one and the same, He is in the creation called protokotos, and in the Pleroma Monogenes, and appears in each locality as He can be comprehended there.

The preceding survey shews that in the first 42 paragraphs or sections of Clemens's fragments from Theodotus we really have a well-connected and consistent doctrinal system. The scattered notices in §§ 1-28 fit tolerably well into the dogmatic whole, and doubtless we have here an account of the so-called anatolic school, and in substance the oldest form of the Valentinian system.

The historical development of the Valentinian doctrine can be traced with only approximate certainty and imperfectly. The roots of the system are to be found in the old vulgar Gnosis. For even if the original dualistic foundation is repressed and concealed by a Platonizing pantheism, it still gives evident tokens of its continued existence in the background. The hule and |dark waters| into which the Ophitic Sophia sinks down (Iren. i.30, 3) are here changed into the kenoma or husterema, which in antithesis to the pleroma is simply an equivalent for the Platonic me on.

The notion of a psychical Christus who passes through Mary as water through a conduit (Iren. vii.2) is to be found everywhere in the Italic school (Philos. vi.35, pp.194 seq.).

The centre of gravity of the whole system lies undoubtedly in its speculative interests. The names alone of the 30 Aeons are a proof of this. It deserves notice that the designations Nous and Monogenes applied to the first masculine principle emanating from the supreme Father do not seem to have been used by Valentinus himself. It was called simply Pater or Anthropos (nhios anthropou). It is a genuinely speculative feature that the knowledge of the Father through the Son is derived from a union of the Spirit of Love with the Spirit of Knowledge.

Since the doctrine of Valentinus concerning the Aeons originated in the cosmogonic and astral powers of the old Syrian Gnosis, one cannot doubt that the Aeons were originally thought of as mythological personages and not as personified notions, although Tertullian (adv. Valentin.4) would refer the former view to Ptolemaeus, and not Valentinus, as its first author.

A yet more widely different conception of the Valentinian doctrine of Aeons is found in the fragment given by Epiphanius (xxxi.5-6). Here, too, the speculative interest is manifest in the endeavour to follow up in detail the process of the emanation of individual Aeons within the Pleroma from the Autopator. But the whole description, bathed as it is in sensuous warmth, with its peculiar plays with numbers and its barbarous names for individual Aeons, appears to be merely a degenerate Marcosian form of Gnosis.

Finally, we have a quite peculiar transformation of the Valentinian system in the doctrine of the so-called Docetae, as preserved in the Philosophumena (viii.8-11). From the protos theos, who is small as the seed of a fig-tree but infinite in power, proceed first of all three Aeons, which by the perfect number ten enlarge themselves to thirty Aeons; from these proceed innumerable other bisexual Aeons, and from these an infinite multiplicity of Ideas, of which those of the third Aeon are expressed and shapen in the lower world of darkness as photeinai charakteres.

The Platonic foundation of the Valentinian system is very perceptible in this its last offshoot, though mixed up in a peculiar way with Oriental Dualism. At the same time these Docetae endeavour to reduce the metaphysical distinctions which they maintain to merely gradual ones. No part of Christendom therefore is entirely excluded from the knowledge of the Redeemer, and participation in His Redemption: all, even those of the lower grades of the spirit-world, participate at least ek merous in the Truth. The way in which all, and each according to his measure, attain knowledge of the truth, is, as in the doctrine of the church, Faith. Since the Redeemer's advent -- so we read expressly -- |Faith is announced for the forgiveness of sins.|

Beside working out philosophical problems, the disciples of Valentinus were much occupied with seeking traces of their Master's doctrine in Holy Scripture. The excerpts of Clemens and abundant notices in Irenaeus tell of an allegorical method of scriptural exposition pursued with great zeal in the Valentinian schools, not limited to the Gospels or the Pauline Epistles, but extending to the O.T., and attaching special significance to the history of creation in Genesis. Valentinian expositors shew a special preference for St. John's Gospel, and above all for its prologue. Some allegorical expositions have been preserved belonging to the anatolic school (Exc. ex Theod. §§ 6, 7) and others derived from Ptolemaeus (Iren. i.8, 5). But before all we must make mention of the labours of Heracleon, of which Origen has preserved numerous specimens. From Heracleon proceeded the first known commentary on St. John's Gospel.

VI. Literature. -- Valentinus occupies a distinguished place in all works on Gnosticism, e.g. in Neander, Baur, Matter, Lipsius, Möhler (Geschichte der Kosmologie in der Christlichen Kirche), Mansel (The Gnostic Heresies of the First and Second Centuries -- a posthumous work, ed. by Bp. Lightfoot), and in the Prolegomena of Harvey's ed. of Irenaeus. The best monograph is by Heinrici (Die Valentinianische Gnosis und die Heilige Schrift, Berlin, 1851), with which cf. the review by Lipsius (Protestantische Kirchenzeitung, 1873, pp.174-186). [[607]Heracleon; Marcus (17).]


Valerianus, emperor
Valerianus (1), C. Publius Licinius, emperor. a.d.253-260. Before the close of 253 Valerian was proclaimed emperor by the legions of Rhaetia and Noricum, and he associated his son Gallienus with him in that dignity.

Their reigns were the most disastrous period in the history of Rome until that of Honorius. The empire seemed on the verge of dissolution. Every frontier was menaced by barbarian attacks, and even the interior provinces were invaded and ravaged. A German host entered Italy itself, and penetrated to Ravenna. The Franks, now first appearing under this name, assailed the Rhine frontier. The Goths and their kindred tribes poured across the Danube into Illyricum and Macedonia. The Persians took Nisibis, and, penetrating into Syria, captured Antioch (? a.d.255). Worse even than all these wars was the great plague which had begun in the reign of Decius and which raged for 15 years (Zon. xii.21).

To these calamities was added the most terrible persecution the church had yet experienced. In the early part of his reign Valerian was exceedingly favourable to the Christians, and his palace was filled with them. But in 257 a terrible change took place. Valerian fell more and more under the influence of the pretorian prefect Macrianus, an Egyptian, chief of the |magi| of that country. Under his influence Valerian ordered those who did not belong to the religion of Rome at least to render outward signs of conformity to it under pain of exile. By the same edict, Christians were forbidden, under pain of death, to assemble for worship or enter their cemeteries. The cases of St. Cyprian (Acta Procons. c.1, in Migne, Patr. Lat. iii.1499) and St. Dionysius of Alexandria (Eus. H. E. vii.11) shew how uniform the procedure was under this edict. St. Cyprian was apparently the first to suffer in Africa, and the date of his exile (Aug.257) shews when the persecution began. His sentence was simple banishment, but a great number of African bishops, priests, deacons, and some of the laity, were sent to the mines and endured great hardships (Cypr. Epp.77-80 in Patr Lat. iv.414).

This edict was followed in 258 by a rescript of tremendous severity from Valerian, who, in the interval, had probably set out to the East to take command against the Persians. (Early in the year he had held a council of war at Byzantium [Vopiscus, Vit. Aureliani, 13].) The punishment for the clergy of every grade was death. Apparently even recantation was unavailing. Senators, viri egregii, and knights were punished with degradation and confiscation of property, and with death if they refused to recant. Noble ladies were to forfeit their property and be exiled. Members of the imperial household suffered a similar forfeiture, and were to be sent in chains to work on the imperial possessions. It is remarkable that mention is only made of the clergy and the higher classes of the laity. The emperor's policy was apparently to strike at the leaders. The first victim of this rescript was pope Xystus, put to death on Aug.6 as he sat in his episcopal chair. Four of his deacons suffered with him. This was the beginning of a violent persecution at Rome (Cypr. Ep.82) in which four days later the famous St. Lawrence followed his master. Cyprian was beheaded on Sept.14. Both in Rome and Africa a great number of Christians suffered. The best proof of the violence of the persecution is the long vacancies (about 11 months) of the sees of Rome and Carthage. In Spain Fructuosus, bp. of Tarragona, with two deacons, was burnt alive in the amphitheatre (Jan.21, 259). In Palestine the names of three martyrs are preserved by Eusebius (H. E. vii.12). They came before the governor and declared themselves Christians. A woman who was a follower of Marcion shared their fate.

But the reign of Valerian was not destined to be of long duration. Dionysius regards his persecution as lasting the 42 months mentioned in the Apocalypse. His campaign against Sapor, king of Persia, the scene of which was the neighbourhood of Edessa, was disastrous. He was taken prisoner late in 260. How long he lived in captivity is unknown. Gallienus, immediately after his father's captivity, stopped the persecution, but it probably lasted in the East till the fall of Macrianus, who had assumed the purple in 262. Zos. i.28-36; Zon. xii.22, 23; Bernhardt, Geschichte Roms von Valerian; Tillem. Emp. iii., Mém. eccl. iv.1; Victor, de Caes.32; Epit.32; the Life of Valerian in the Augustan history; Gibbon, cc.10, 16).


Valerianus, martyr
Valerianus, martyr. [[609]CAECILIA.]

Valerius (6), bp. of Hippo Regius, predecessor of Augustine, whom he had admitted to the priesthood at the earnest desire of the people, against Augustine's wish, expressed in a letter to Valerius, but in answer, as Valerius thought, to his own prayers (Aug. Ep.21; Possidius, Vit. Aug.4, 5). Contrary to African, but in accordance with Eastern, usage, Valerius caused Augustine to preach in his presence when he himself became unable to do so. When Valerius felt his own infirmities increase, he obtained the consent of the other bishops, but at first not that of Megalius of Calama, primate of Numidia, to ordain Augustine as coadjutor to himself, contrary to the usual practice of the church and to the express wish of Augustine, who refused on this ground to accept the office, though, as he said afterwards, he was not then aware of the canon of the council of Nicaea, forbidding two bishops in the same place. (Conc. Nic. can.8, Bruns, Conc. p.16; Aug. c. Petil. iii.16, § 19, c. Cresc. iv.64, § 79; Brevic. Coll. iii.7; § 9). His objection was overruled by the earnest desire of all concerned, and by similar instances in Africa and elsewhere (Aug. Epp.31, 4; 213, 4). Valerius, better acquainted with Greek than with Latin, was rejoiced to have one so able as Augustine to teach and preach in the Latin language. He is spoken of in the highest terms by Augustine, Possidius, and Paulinus of Nola (Aug. Epp.31, 4; 32; Possid. Vit. Aug.5; Paulinus, Ep.5). After Augustine's appointment, Valerius gave him a piece of land for his monastery (Aug. Serm.355, 1, 2). He died a.d.396 (Aug. Ep.33, 4). Proculeianus was bp. of the Donatists at Hippo during his lifetime (Aug. Ep.33).


Verecundus (2), d.552, bp. of the Civitas Juncensis in Byzacena. He was summoned to Constantinople in 549, touching the question of the |Three Chapters.| He died at Chalcedon the year before the second council of Constantinople. In the controversy on the |Three Chapters| he seems to have acted until his death with Virgilius, defending the works in question, and joining with Virgilius in his censure on Theodore of Caesarea and Menas of Constantinople. He is probably the presbyter Verecundus who composed a commentary on the ecclesiastical canticles, comprehending the songs of Miriam, Moses (from Deut.), Azariah, Hezekiah, Habakkuk, and Deborah, the prayer of Manasseh, and the thanksgiving of Jonah. The commentary is printed in vol. iv. of the Spicilegium Solesmense, with other works attributed to Verecendus. It shews some philosophical learning and historical knowledge, and some illustrations are drawn from his own experience. His manner of referring to the Vandal persecution in Africa and the unsettled state of affairs seems to fix its date before 534, when the persecution ended. The poems attributed to him, and also published in the Spicilegium, are (1) |Exhortatio Poenitendi,| (2) |de Satisfactione Poenitentiae,| (3) |Crisias.|

The spirit of the first two poems is alike: both express a strong sense of the need of repentance and an earnest anticipation of the Judgment. The poems are hortatory rather than penitential. The third poem, concerning the signs of the Judgment, is probably not by the same hand. It has much more artificiality and much less earnestness.

A Breviarium Concilii Chalcedonensis, drawn up so as to favour the supporters of the |Three Chapters,| is attributed to Verecundus. It is very possibly his, but may have been composed by a more extreme partisan and issued under his name by one who regarded him as a confessor and wished to obtain the influence of his reputation. Pitra prints this also in the Spicilegium.


Veronica (Haemorrhoissa, he haimorrhoousa), the woman cured of a bloody issue (Matt. ix.20). Eusebius (H. E. vii.18) relates that she was a native of Caesarea Philippi, and adds that |at the gates of her house, on an elevated stone, stands a brazen image of a woman on a bended knee, with her hands stretched out before her, like one entreating. Opposite to this there is another image of a man erect, of the same materials, decently clad in a mantle, and stretching out his hand to the woman. Before her feet, and on the same pedestal, there is a strange plant growing which, rising as high as the hem of the brazen garment, is a kind of antidote to all kinds of diseases. This statue, they say, is a statue of Jesus Christ, and it has remained even until our times, so that we ourselves saw it whilst tarrying in that city. Nor is it to be wondered at that those of the Gentiles who were anciently benefited by our Saviour should have done these things. Since we have also seen representations of the apostles Peter and Paul and of Christ Himself still preserved in paintings, it is probable that, according to a practice among the Gentiles, the ancients were accustomed to pay this kind of honour indiscriminately to those who were as saviours or deliverers to them. Legendary tradition about Veronica flourished during and after 4th cent. Macarius Magnesius says she was princess of Edessa, and that her name was Veronica or Berenice (Macarii Magnet. ed. Blondel, Paris, 1876; Tillem. Mém. i.20; Hist. des emp. iv.308), following whom Baronius (Annal. xxxi.75) makes her rich and noble. A late tradition represents her as a niece of king Herod and as offering her veil, or a napkin, as a sudarium to the suffering Christ on the Way of the Cross, Whose pictured features were thus impressed upon the linen. This tradition has found no acceptance since the 11th cent.; the |veronicas| often shewn, and accredited with miraculous powers of healing, are face-cloths from the catacombs on which Christian reverence and affection have painted the features of the Saviour (see Wyke Bayliss, Rex Regum, 1905), and the legend has arisen from the finding of these; the name of the saint being clearly formed from the description of such a face-cloth as a vera icon. The Gospel of Nicodemus introduces her as one of the witnesses on behalf of Christ at His trial by Pilate; (Thilo, Cod. Apocryph. N. T. p.560; Acta SS. Bol. Jul. iii.273-279).

[G.T.S. AND ED.]

Vespasianus, Titus Flavius
Vespasianus, Titus Flavius, emperor July 1, 69, to June 24, 79, and his son Titus, emperor June 24, 79, to Sept.13, 81. As a great part of the imperial power was exercised by Titus during his father's reign, of which his own short reign may be regarded as the continuation, it seems convenient to treat them together. The influences of these princes on Christianity was wholly indirect. The destruction of Jerusalem and the temple tended to hasten the complete separation of Judaism and Christianity. This distinction, however, had not as yet become apparent to the Roman authorities, and as far as they had any knowledge of the existence of Christians, they regarded them as merely a Jewish sect. A long and almost unbroken chain of Christian authorities bear witness to the favourable condition of Christianity under these emperors. Melito of Sardis, writing in the reign of M. Aurelius (Eus. H. E. iv.26), knows of no imperial persecutors except Nero and Domitian. Tertullian (Apol.5) expressly denies that Vespasian was a persecutor. Lactantius (Mortes 2, 3) knows of no persecution between Nero and Domitian. Eusebius (H. E. iii.17) expressly asserts that Vespasian did no harm to the Christians. Hilary of Poictiers, writing after 360, is the first to make any charge of persecution against Vespasian. In a rhetorical passage (contra Arianos, 3, in Migne, Patr. Lat. x.611), contrary to all previous Christian testimony, he couples Vespasian with Nero and Decius. Sulpicius Severus (H. E. ii.30 in Patr. Lat. xx.146), in a passage whose style suggests it was borrowed from one of the lost books of Tacitus, states that the motive of Titus in destroying the temple was to abolish not only Judaism but Christianity, but he does not mention any hostile act on the part of Vespasian or his son against the Christians.

We may consider that the reigns of these first two Flavian emperors were a period of tranquillity for the church. For their relation to the church see Tillemont, Mém. eccl. ii.102, 152, 555; Aubé, Hist. des persec. c.4; Görres, Zeitsch. für wissent. Theol. xxi.492. M. Double (L'Empereur Titus) ingeniously that maintains, contrary to the usual opinion, he was a monster of wickedness.


Vettius Epagathus
Vettius Epagathus. In the early persecutions, the Christians felt it to be a gross injustice that a man should be put to death merely because he acknowledged himself to be a Christian, and without any investigation whether there was anything contrary to morality or piety in the Christian doctrines or practices. It not unfrequently happened [LUCIUS] that a bystander at a trial would press on the judge the necessity of such an investigation, whereupon the magistrate would say, I think you must be a Christian also yourself, and on the advocate's confessing that he was, would send him to share the fate of those whom he had attempted to defend. This befell Vettius Epagathus, a distinguished Christian citizen of Lyons in the persecution of a.d.177. He came forward as the advocate of the Christians first apprehended, and in consequence was himself |taken up unto the lot of the martyrs.| The word |martyr,| as at first used, did not necessarily imply that he who bore witness for Christ sealed his testimony by death; and Renan (Marc Aurèle, p.307) is of opinion that Vettius had |only the merits of martyrdom without the reality,| since no mention is made of Vettius in the subsequent narration of the sufferings of Christians tortured in the amphitheatre, and, what Renan thinks decisive, the epistle of the churches says of Vettius that |he was and is a genuine disciple of Christ, following the Lamb whithersoever he goeth.| But the addition |following the Lamb, etc.| indicates that the |is| does not refer to the life of Vettius in this world, but rather to that which he enjoyed in company with Christ. Vettius was probably a Roman citizen, and as such was simply beheaded instead of undergoing the tortures of the amphitheatre.


Victor, bishop of Rome
Victor (1), bp. of Rome after Eleutherus, in the reigns of Commodus and Severus. The Eusebian Chronicle assigns him 12 years, ending 198 or 199; Eusebius (H. E. v.28) 10 years, and says that Zephyrinus succeeded him about the 9th year of Severus, i.e. a.d.202. Lipsius (Chron. der röm. Bischöf.) supposes his episcopate to have been from 189 to 198 or 199. Soon probably after his accession he excommunicated Theodotus of Byzantium (ho skuteus), who had come to Rome, and taught that Christ was as mere man (Eus. H. E. v.28; cf. Epiphan. Haeres. liv.1). Eusebius is quoting from an opponent of the sect of Artemon, who afterwards under pope Zephyrinus maintained a similar heresy. It appears from the quotation that the Artemonites alleged all the bps. of Rome before Zephyrinus to have held the same views with themselves, and the allegation is refuted by the fact of Victor, the predecessor of Zephyrinus, having excommunicated Theodotus, |the founder and father of the God-denying apostasy.| Montanism also was rife in Asia Minor during the reign of Victor, who is supposed by some to have been the bp. of Rome alluded to by Tertullian (adv. Prax. c.1) as having issued letters of peace in favour of its upholders, though afterwards persuaded by Praxeas to revoke his approval. But others think it more probable that Eleutherus was referred to. See, however, MONTANUS.

Victor's most memorable action was with regard to the Asians on the Easter question. They still persisted in the Quartodeciman usage, pleading the authority of St John for keeping their Pasch on the 14th of Nisan, on whatever day of the week it fell. So far intercommunion between them and the church of Rome had not been broken on this account. In the time of Victor the usage of the Asians (in which, according to Eusebius, they stood alone among all the churches of Christendom) attracted general attention. Synods were held on the subject in various parts -- in Palestine under Theophilus of Caesarea and Narcissus of Jerusalem, in Pontus under Palmas, in Gaul under Irenaeus, in Corinth under its bishop, Bachillus, at Osrhoene in Mesopotamia, and elsewhere, by all of which synodical letters were issued, unanimous in disapproval of the Asian custom, and in declaring that |on the Lord's Day only the mystery of the resurrection of the Lord from the dead was accomplished, and that on that day only we keep the close of the paschal fast| (Eus. H. E. v.23). But the general feeling was that the retention of their own tradition by the Asians was no sufficient ground for breaking off communion with them. Victor alone was intolerant of difference. He had issued a letter in behalf of the Roman church to the like effect with those of the synods held elsewhere. From a reply to it we may conclude it to have been peremptory in its requirement of compliance. This reply was from Polycrates, bp. of Ephesus, as head of the Asian churches, who, at Victor's desire, had convened an assembly of bishops which concurred with Polycrates in his rejoinder. He resolutely upholds the Asian tradition, supporting it by the authority of Philip the apostle, who, with his two aged virgin daughters, was buried at Hierapolis; of another saintly daughter of his who lay at Ephesus; of St. John, also at rest at Ephesus; of Polycarp of Smyrna, bishop and martyr; of Thraseas of Eumenia, also bishop and martyr, who slept at Smyrna. After naming others who had kept the 14th day according to the Gospel, he speaks of seven of his own kinsmen, all bishops, who had maintained the same usage. He adds, |I therefore, having been for 65 years in the Lord, and having conferred with the brethren from the whole world, and having perused all the Holy Scripture, am not scared with those who are panic-stricken. For those who are greater than I have said, 'It is right to obey God rather than men.'| After receiving this reply Victor endeavoured to induce the church at large to excommunicate the Asians, but failed. Whether he himself, notwithstanding, renounced communion with them on the part of the Roman church is not clear from the language of Eusebius. Socrates (H. E. v.22) says he did; and this is probable. Jerome (de Vir. Ill. c.35) speaks only of his desire to have them generally condemned. Evidently the judgment of the bp. of Rome did not in that age carry any irresistible weight with other churches, for Eusebius expressly tells us that |these things did not please all the bishops,| and that they wrote |sharply assailing Victor.| He cites a letter sent on the occasion to Victor by Irenaeus, who, though holding with him on the question at issue, exhorted him in the name of a synod of the church of Gaul |that he should not cut off whole churches of God for preserving the tradition of an ancient custom.| Lastly, he cites |the elders before Soter,| chiefs of the Roman church, who had been at peace with those from other dioceses differing from them in the matter at issue; and especially Anicetus, who, though unable to persuade the blessed Polycarp to give up the custom which, |with John the disciple of our Lord, and the other apostles with whom John lived,| he had always observed, and though himself not persuaded to renounce the custom of the elders in his own church, had still honourably accorded the Eucharist in the church to Polycarp, and parted from him in peace (Eus. H. E. v.24). Jerome (u.s.) alludes to several letters written by Irenaeus to the same purpose. The Quartodecimans seem to have maintained their usage till the council of Nicaea, which enjoined its discontinuance. The intolerance of Victor evidently neither won general approval nor effected his intended purpose. Victor is mentioned by St. Jerome (op. cit. c.34) as a writer of a treatise on the Easter question and other works.

[J.B -- Y.]

Victor, Claudius Marius
Victor (39) (Victorius, Victorinus), Claudius Marius, the author of three books in hexameter verse, containing the narrative of Genesis down to the destruction of the cities of the Plain; author also of a letter to |Salmon,| or Solomon, an abbat, in hexameter verse, on the corrupt manners of his time. He is probably the Victorius, or Victorinus, mentioned by Gennadius (de Vir. Ill.60) as a rhetorician of Marseilles, who died |Theodosio et Valentiano regnantibus| (i.e.425-450), and who addressed to his son Aetherius a commentary on Genesis. Gennadius says |a principio libri usque ad obitum patriarchae Abrahae tres diversos edidit libros.| This does not accurately describe the work we have under the name of Cl. M. Victor. But there is a diversity of reading in the passage of Gennadius. In Erasmus's ed. of St. Jerome the passage stands |quatuor versuum edidit libros.| If this be the right reading, it seems almost certain that the three books we have of Cl. M. Victor, ending as they now do at a point which seems to call for some explanation, are the first three books of those mentioned by Gennadius, and that a fourth book, now lost, carried on the narrative to Abraham's death, where a natural halting-place for the work is presented. The three books correspond very well with what Gennadius says of the work of Victorius; they are written in a pious and Christian spirit, but without depth or great force of treatment. They are, mainly, a paraphrase in verse of part of Genesis with but few reflections; the narrative, with one or two exceptions, keeping closely to that of Scripture. The most notable variation is the introduction of a prayer by Adam on his expulsion from Paradise, which is followed by a strange episode. The serpent is discerned by Eve, who urges Adam to take vengeance on him. In assailing him with stones, a spark is struck from a flint, which sets fire to the wood in which Adam and Eve had taken shelter, and they are threatened with destruction. This mishap is the means of revealing to them metals, forced from the ground by the heat, and of preparing the earth, by the action of the fire, for the production of corn. The style of the poem and its language are in no way remarkable; its versification is generally tolerable, but there are instances of wrong quantities of syllables. The Ep. to Salomon is a poem of about 100 hexameters, and more original, though not of special interest. Both are in De la Bigne's Bibl. Patr. viii.278, and Appendix; and in Maittaires' Corpus Poetarum Lat. ii.1567.


Victor Vitensis
Victor (44) Vitensis, a N. African bishop and writer. The known facts of his life are very few. He was called Vitensis either after his see or after his birthplace. He seems to have been numbered amongst the clergy of Carthage c.455. His Hist. Persecutionis Provinciae Africanae is very interesting, as he appears to have been with safety an eyewitness of the Vandal persecution for more than 30 years. He was actively employed by Eugenius, metropolitan of Carthage, in 483. Early in that year Hunneric banished 4,966 bishops and clergy of every rank. Victor was used by Eugenius to look after the more aged and infirm of the bishops. The History gives us a view of the religion of the Vandals. It also relates many particulars about Carthage, its churches, their names and dedications, as those of Perpetua and Felicitas, of Celerina and the Scillitans (i.3). It shews the persistence of paganism at Carthage, and mentions the temples of Memory and of Coelestis as existing till the Vandals levelled them after their capture of Carthage. This temple of Coelestis existed in the time of Augustine, who describes in his de Civ. Dei, lib. ii. cc.4, 26 (cf. Tertull. Apol. c.24) the impure rites there performed. Its site was elaborately discussed by M. A. Castan in a Mém. in the Comptes rendus de L'Acad. des Inscript. t. xiii. (1885), pp.118-132, where all the references to its cult were collected out of classical and patristic sources. Victor's History contains glimpses of N. African ritual. In lib. ii.17 we have an account of the healing of the blind man Felix by Eugenius, bp. of Carthage. The ritual of the feast of Epiphany is described, while there are frequent references to the singing of hymns or psalms at funerals. In Hist. lib. v.6, we read that the inhabitants of Tipasa refused to hold communion with the Arian bishop. Hunneric sent a military count, who collected them all into the forum and cut out their tongues by the roots, notwithstanding which they all retained the power of speech. This remarkable fact has been discussed by Gibbon, c. xxxvii., by Middleton in his Free Inquiry, pp.313-316, and by many others. The History of Victor is usually divided into five books. Bk. i. narrates the persecution of Genseric, from the conquest of Africa by the Vandals in 429 till Genseric's death in 477. Bks. ii. iv. and v. deal with the persecution of Hunneric, a.d.477-484; while bk. iii. contains the confession of faith drawn up by Eugenius of Carthage and presented to Hunneric at the conference of 484 (cf. Gennadius, de Vir. Ill. No.97). In the Confession (lib. iii.11) the celebrated text I. John v.7, concerning the three heavenly witnesses, first appears. (See on this point Porson's letter to Travis, and Gibbon's notes on c. xxxvii.). The life and works of Victor have been the subject of much modern German criticism, which has not, however, added a great deal to our knowledge. Ebert's Literatur des Mittelalters im Abendlande (Leipz.1874), t. i.433-436, fixes the composition of the History at c.486. In A. Schaefer's Historische Untersuchungen (Bonn, 1882), Aug. Auler (pp.253-275) maintains, with much learning and acuteness, that Victor was born in Vita, that his see is unknown, that he was consecrated bishop after the persecution, and wrote his History before 487, and that this History is a piece of tendency-writing and untrustworthy. He cannot recognize in the action of Genseric against the Catholic party anything but a legitimate measure of state repression. The best of the older editions of the History is that of Ruinart, reprinted with its elaborate dissertations in Migne's Patr. Lat. lviii. Michael Petschenig, in the Vienna Corpus Scriptt. Ecclesiast. Lat. t. vii. (Vindob.1881) abandons the old division of the text, dating from Chifflet in 17th cent., and divides it into three books. In all the editions will be found the Notitia Prov. et Civit. Africae, a valuable document for the geography and ecclesiastical arrangements of N. Africa. Ceill. (x.448-465) gives a full analysis of Victor's History. It was translated into French in 1563 and 1664, into English in 1605.


Victor, bishop of Capua
Victor (47), bp. of Capua, apart from his writings is known only by his epitaph, which states that he died in Apr.554, after an episcopate of about 13 years from Feb.541 (Ughelli, vi.306).

Writings. -- I. He is best known from his connexion with the Codex Fuldensis (F), after the C. Amiatinus the most ancient and valuable MS. of the Vulgate, transcribed by his direction and afterwards corrected by him. The MS. is remarkable for containing the Gospels in the form of a Harmony. In his preface he relates that a MS. without a title had come into his hands containing a single Gospel composed of the four. Inquiring into its authorship, he concludes, though with some doubt, that it was identical with the works of TATIANUS (T), which by a blunder he calls Diapente instead of Diatessaron. So little was known till 1876 of the Diatessaron that it was generally supposed that Victor was mistaken. It was known that the Diatessaron began with John i.1, whereas F begins with the preface from Luke. But Mösinger's ed. in 1876 of Aucher's Latin trans. of the Armenian version of EPHRAIM Syrus's Commentary on the Diatessaron (E), followed by Zahn's Forschungen zur Geschichte des Neutestamentlichen Kanons, i. (Z), made known the contents and arrangements of the Diatessaron sufficiently to show that the archetype of F was formed by taking T and substituting for each Syriac fragment in Tatian's mosaic the corresponding fragment from the Vulgate, the adapter occasionally altering the order and inserting passages missing in T. The discrepancies between the index and text in F shew that it underwent further changes after assuming a Latin shape, but it is impossible to say how far the differences between it and T proceed from such subsequent alterations or are due to the original adapter. The date of the adaptation is uncertain, the limits being 383, the date of the Vulgate being brought out, and 545, the date of F. The discrepancies between index and text demand a date considerably before the latter limit, but it must have been made after the Vulgate had become well known and popular, which was not till long after it appeared. The most probable date, therefore, seems to be midway between the limits, or the second half of 5th cent., say c.470. The notices in Gennadius (de Vir. Ill.). who wrote during this period, collected by Zahn (312, 313), shew that either the author was a Syriac scholar or was acquainted with one; pilgrimages from the West to Egypt and Palestine were then frequent. To substitute in Tatian's mosaic the proper fragments of the Vulgate would require a much less thorough knowledge of Syriac than an independent translation would imply.

F also contains the rest of the N.T. with the Ep. to the Laodiceans in the order: Pauline Epistles (Phil. being followed by I. and II. Thess., Col., Laodiceans, I. and II. Tim., Tit., Philemon, and Heb.), the Acts, the seven Catholic Epistles and the Apocalypse, the whole concluding with the verses of pope Damasus on St. Paul. To each book, except the Laodiceans, is prefixed a brevis or table of headings, and to each Pauline Epistle except Hebrews, and to the Acts and the Apocalypse, a short preface. To the Pauline Epistles are also prefixed a table of lessons from them, a general preface or argument of them, a long special argument of the Romans, and a concordance of the Epistles giving references to the various passages treating of each particular doctrine. To the Acts is prefixed an account of the burial-places of the Apostles. There is a short general preface to the seven Catholic Epistles, and also the remarkable preface purporting to be St. Jerome's, which contains the accusation, referred to by Westcott and Hort (G. T. ii. Notes on Select Readings, 105), against the Latin translators of omitting the |Patris Filii et Spiritus testimonium| in I. John v.7, 8, while the text itself is free from the interpolation. Besides this there are other places where, as in the Gospel, the text and supplementary matter no longer correspond exactly, shewing that changes have occurred since the former was composed. E.g. the General Argument to the Pauline Epistles reckons but 14 in all, including the Hebrews, and therefore excluding that to the Laodiceans, though it stands in the text. Again, the preface to the Colossians, |Colossenses et hii sicut Laodicienses sunt Asiani,| must have been written when the Laodiceans preceded the Colossians, but the transposition may be due to Victor himself.

The whole MS. was carefully revised and corrected by Victor, in whose hand are three notes, one at the end of the Acts and two at the end of the Apocalypse, respectively recording that he had finished reading the MS. on May 2, 546, Apr.19, 546, and a second time on Apr.12, 547. In the same hand are occasional glosses, the most remarkable being the explanation of the number of the beast in the Revelation as Teitan. The MS. was ed. in 1868 by E. Ranke, whose preface fully describes it and its history; the Harmony only is in Migne (Patr. Lat. lxviii.255).

II. Victor was the author of several commentaries on the O. and N. T., partly consisting of extracts from various fathers, partly original. Pitra (Spicil. Sol. i.) has edited fragments of some on O.T., contained in an Expositio in Heptateuchum by Joannes Diaconus. Another work is the Reticulus, or On Noah's Ark (p.287), containing an extraordinary calculation to shew that its dimensions typify the number of years in the life of our Lord. On N.T. Victor wrote a commentary, 11 fragments of which, preserved in the Collections of Smaragdus, are collected by Pitra (Patr. Lat. cii.1124), according to whom a St. Germain MS. of Rabanus Maurus's Commentary on St. Matthew marks numerous passages as derived from Victor. Fragments of Capitula de Resurrectione Domini are given in Spicil. Sol. i. (liv. lix. lxii. lxiv.), in which Victor touches on the difficulties in the genealogy in St. Matthew and on the discrepancy between St. Mark and St. John as to the hour of the Crucifixion. Of the last he gives the explanation of Eusebius in Quaestiones ad Marinum, and also one of his own.

III. Victor's most celebrated work was that on the Paschal Cycle mentioned by several chroniclers and praised by Bede (de Rat. Tempa.51), whose two extracts are in Patr. Lat. lxviii.1097, xc.502. The rest was supposed to be lost till considerable extracts from it contained in the Catena of Joannes Diaconus were pub. in Spicil. Sol. (i.296). It was written c.550, to controvert the Paschal Cycle of VICTORIUS (2), according to which Easter Day would have fallen that year on Apr.17, while Victor considered Apr.24 the correct day in accordance with the Alexandrine computation which he defends.


Victor Tununensis
Victor (48) Tununensis, an African bishop and chronicler. He was a zealous supporter of the |Three Chapters,| enduring much persecution after 556 and till his death c.567, both in his own province and in Egypt. Of his Chronicle, from the creation to a.d..566, only the portion 444-566 remains, dealing almost exclusively with the history of the Eutychian heresy and the controversy about the |Three Chapters.| It also gives details about the Vandal persecution, the memory of which must have been still fresh in his youth, and various stories telling against Arianism. The Chronicle is very useful for illustrations of the social and religious life of cent. vi. It is printed in Migne's Patr. Lat. t. lxviii. with Galland's preface. Cf. Isid. de Vir. Ill. c.38; Cave's Hist. Lit. i.415. A treatise On Penitence, included among the works of St. Ambrose, is attributed to Victor; Ceill. v.512; x.469, xi.302.


Victorinus (4), St., of Pettau, bishop and martyr. He was apparently a Greek by birth, and (according to the repeated statement of Cassiodorus) a rhetorician before he became bp. of Pettau (Petavio) in Upper Pannonia. He is believed to have suffered martyrdom in Diocletian's persecution. St. Jerome (our chief authority concerning him) mentions him several times, and with respect even where his criticisms are adverse. He enumerates, among his works (Catal. Script. Eccl.74) commentaries on Gen., Ex., Lev., Is., Ezek., Hab., Eccles., Cant., Matt., and Rev., besides a treatise |adversus omnes haereses.| Jerome occasionally cites the opinion of Victorinus (in Eccles. iv.13; in Ezech. xxvi. and elsewhere), but considered him to have been affected by the opinions of the Chiliasts or Millenarians (see Catal. Script.18, and in Ezech. l.c.). He also states that he borrowed extensively from Origen. In consequence, perhaps, of his Millennarian tendencies, or of his relations to Origen, his works were classed as |apocrypha| in the Decretum de Libris Recipiendis, which Baronius (ad ann.303) erroneously refers to a synod held under Gelasius. Little or nothing is left -- nothing; indeed, which can be said to be his with any certainty. Poems are attributed to him with no authority better than that of Bede; while the two lines Bede quotes as his were clearly written by some one with a tolerable knowledge of Latin.


Victorinus (6), called Caius Marius (Hieron. Comm. on Gal. Proleg.) and also Marius Fabius (see Suringar, Hist. Scholiast. Lat. p.153, note); known also as Afer, from the country of his birth. He is to be distinguished from two Christian writers called Victorinus mentioned by Gennadius (de Scriptor. Eccl. cc.60 and 88), and from Victorinus of Pettau, the commentator on the Apocalypse. He was a celebrated man of letters and rhetorician in Rome in the middle of 4th cent.

His conversion is the subject of the well-known narrative in St. Augustine's Confessions (bk. viii. cc.2-5). In extreme old age zealous study of Scripture and Christian literature convinced him of the truth of Christianity. He told Simplician, afterwards bp. of Milan, that he was a Christian, and when Simplician refused to regard him as such till he saw him |in the church,| asked him in banter |whether walls, then, make Christians?| -- a characteristic question from one disposed to regard Christianity rather as another school of philosophy than as a social organization. The fear of his friends, however, which kept him from making profession of his faith, was removed by further meditation, and after being enrolled as a catechumen for a short time, he was baptized, and by his own deliberate choice made his preliminary profession of faith with the utmost publicity. St. Augustine gives us a vivid account of the excitement and joy his conversion caused in Christian circles at Rome. This was at least before the end of the reign of Constantius, a.d.361; but he continued to teach rhetoric in Rome till 362, when Julian's edict forbad Christians to be public teachers (Aug. Conf. l.c.). Then, |choosing rather to give over the wordy school than God's Word,| he withdrew, and as St. Jerome emphasizes his great age before conversion, it is not surprising that we hear no more of him. He lived, however, long enough to write a number of Christian treatises and commentaries, and it is possible that Jerome alludes to him as alive on the outbreak of the disputes connected with the name of Jovinian in 382. (See Proleg. to Victorinus in Migne's Patr. Lat. vol. viii. p.994 for question of reading.)

The following is a list of his Christian writings: (1) The anti-Arian treatise, de Generatione Verbi Divini, in reply to the de Generatione Divina by Candidus the Arian. (2) The long work adversus Arium, elicited by Candidus's brief rejoinder to the former treatise. Bk. ii. must have been written not later than 361 (see c.9), bk. i. c.365 (see c.28). (3) The de homoousio Recipiendo, a summary of (2). (4) Three Hymns, mainly consisting of formulas and prayers intended to elucidate the relations of the Trinity. (5) Commentaries on Gal., Phil., and Eph. Though lacking continuous merit (see Lightfoot, Gal. p.227), these are probably the first Latin commentaries on St. Paul's Epistles (see Hieron. Comm. in Gal. Proleg.). (6) An anti-Manichean treatise, with reasonable certainty ascribed to him (Migne, Proleg. § 3), ad Justinum Manichaeum, is the earliest extant treatise against the Manicheans, and insists with considerable insight on the inconsistencies of their dualism. (7) A very strange little treatise, de Verbis Scripturae |Factum est vespere et mane dies unus.| For an Eng. trans. of the fragments see Ante-Nicene Lib.

Besides these we may notice the de Physicis, ascribed to him by Cardinal Mai (see his remarks in Migne prefixed to the treatise, p.1295). It is an ably written treatise on the Creation, Fall, and Recovery of Man. But the style does not suggest the authorship of Victorinus, and the character of the quotations from N.T. seems to argue a different author.

We have some allusions in his extant works to others which have perished, e.g. on Eph. iv.10 (lib. ii. init.) there is an allusion to a commentary on Cor. Cardinal Mai refers to a commentary on Leviticus by Victorinus extant in the Vatican (see Ceillier, Auteurs sacrés, vol. iv. p.328, note 2).

All these writings of Victorinus (except the commentaries, which approach more nearly to lucidity) are very astonishingly obscure for one of Victorinus's reputation as a rhetorician. This, together with the recondite nature of the theological subjects he treats, the extremely corrupt condition of the text as hitherto edited, the barbarous mixture of Greek and bad Latin in which he often writes, and his prolixity and repetitions, have caused him to be ignored more than his substantial merits deserve. There is one notable exception to the usual severe judgments on his style and matter. Thomassin, whose theological judgment is weighty, speaks of him as |inferior to none in the profundity of his insight into the inmost mysteries| of the Divine Being, and the relation of the Persons of the Trinity to one another (de Incarn. Verbi, bk. ii. c. i. § 6). This judgment will put us on the right lines for estimating his position and powers. He has no special merits as a commentator, nor the capacities of a dogmatic theologian in the ordinary sense. He does not manipulate skilfully the stock anti-Arian arguments. He combats, generally as badly as possible, the objection to the homoousios as an unscriptural term (adv. Ar. i.30, p.1063 B, C ; and ii.8, 9, pp.1094-1095). He has none of the controversial power and vividness of Athanasius or Augustine. Almost all his importance lies in his metaphysical and speculative capacities, and in his belief in the power of the intellect to give a rational presentation of the Trinitarian Creed, etc. He does, indeed, feel the danger of such speculation. |It is madness,| he says (adv. Justin.2, 1000 C), |to suppose that while we are almost unknown to ourselves, we should have either the capacity or the leave to investigate what lies beyond ourselves and the world.| He rebukes Candidus for writing about God |tam audenter,| and not keeping to Scripture. |Magnam tuam intelligentiam quis fascinavit?| he asks. |De Deo dicere, supra hominem audacia est| (de Gen. i. p.1019 C, D). He ends his own first answer to Candidus with a striking prayer to God to forgive his sin involved in writing about God (de Gen., ad fin.). But the |fascination| of such subjects he feels to the full, and, on the whole, he is sure that they are within the power of the illuminated Christian intellect. |Lift up thyself, my spirit!| he cries, |and recognize that to understand God is difficult, but not beyond hope| (adv. Ar. iii.6, 1102 D).

The special character of his theology may be further explained by two epithets. (1) Though post-Nicene in date, it is ante-Nicene in character. The doctrine of the subordination of the Son is emphasized by him, and this very subordination doctrine is used against Arianism without the least suspicion of its being itself open to the charge of any Arianizing tendency. He sees, as boldly as the earlier theologians, anticipations of the Incarnation in the Theophanies of O.T. (adv. Ar. iv.32, 1136 C). He retains the ante-Nicene interpretations of crucial texts -- |My Father is greater than I| (John xiv.28), etc. |What has come into being in Him was life| (John i.3). He keeps the functions of the Incarnate in the closest possible relation to the cosmic function of the pre-Incarnate Word.

(2) His theology is neo-Platonist in tone. Here is the special interest attaching to Victorinus's works. He had grown old in the neo-Platonist schools before his conversion. When converted, he applied many principles of the Plotinian philosophy to the elucidation of the Christian mysteries. His importance in this respect has been entirely overlooked in the history of theology. He preceded the Pseudo-Dionysius. He anticipated a great deal in Scotus Erigena. If sometimes more neo-Platonist than Christian, this is no doubt due in part to the great age he had attained before studying Christian theology.

We deal with, I. his theological system; II. its relation to neo-Platonism; III. further points in his theology which demand notice; IV. his importance in relation to ante-Hieronymian versions of the Latin Bible.

I. The following is a summary of his mode of conceiving the relations of the Trinity and the processes of creation and redemption.

Candidus had objected to the orthodox doctrine that in asserting generation in God, it asserted change (|omnis generatio per mutationem est|), and thus contradicted the essential idea of God; and further that the idea of a |genitus Deus ex prae-existente substantia| is in contradiction to the |simplicity| of the Divine substance. Dwelling on ideas such as these of the Divine immutability and simplicity, he believed himself, in fighting against the Catholic doctrine, to be contending for the dignity of God, |the infinite, the incomprehensible, the unknowable, the invisible, the unchangeable| (Candidi Arian. Lib. de Gen. Div.1-3; Migne, Patr. Lat. viii.1015). Victorinus's reply is central and final. Your transcendent and immutable God is so conceived that He can come into no possible relation to anything beyond Himself. To become a creator at a certain moment in time -- to act in creation as much involves change as the act of generation. If you admit, as you must, that God can create without change, you must admit equally that He can generate. You have admitted a |motus| which is not |mutatio| (de Gen.30, 1035, A, B). But this proceeding forth of God in the action of creation is only not a |change| in the Divine Essence, because it has its origin and ground there. It has been the eternal being of God to proceed forth, to move, to live. This eternal motion, eternal transition in God, it is, that we, speaking in the necessarily inadequate terms of human discourse, call the |eternal generation of the Son| (de Gen.1, 1019 D; de Gen.29, 1034 B; adv. Arium, i.43, 1074 A, B. The |esse| of God is equivalent to |moveri,| |et moveri ipsum quod est esse|). This |generatio| is expressed as the eternal utterance of the Divine Will, moving eternally into actuality; the will of God not for one instant failing of its absolutely self-adequate effect. |Every act of will is the progeny of that which wills.| Thus of the Father's will, the Word or Son is the summary or universal effect.

As the Son is thus conceived of as the eternal object of the Divine will, so He is the eternal and adequate object of Divine self-knowledge. As the Father eternally wills, so He eternally knows Himself in the Son. The Divine knowledge, like the Divine will, must have its adequate object. God knows Himself in the Son; for the Son is the expression of His own being. The Son is thus the |forma| of God and His limitation. This thought constantly recurs. It is not that God is limited from outside, but that the infinite and the indeterminate in expressing Himself limits or conditions Himself. He knows Himself in the Logos or determinate, definite Utterance; and thus the unconditioned, the absolute, the Father, limits or conditions Himself in that eternal utterance by which He knows Himself. Knowledge is thus conceived of as limitation or form; it is an eternal abiding relation of subject and object. Once for all the Father knows Himself as what He is in the Son.

It is only stating this same principle in broader terms to say that the Son is to the Father as effect to cause (adv. Arium, iv.3, 1115 A), that is to say, He is the revelation of all the Father is. What the Father is, the Son expresses, exhibits, manifests. As outward intelligence and life express our inner being, so the Father, the inner Being, is expressed in the Son. The Father is the esse, the vivens, the Son the vita, the actualized life (i.32, 42). Substance can only be known by its manifestations in life (iii.11, 1107 B). The Father is the |motio,| the Son the |motus.| What the Father is inwardly (|in abscondito|) the Son is outwardly (|foris|).

The passages in which the distinction between the endiathetos and the prophorikos Logos are implied are not many nor emphatic in Victorinus, as, e.g., in Tertullian. The Son is eternally Son and self-subsistent. That |effulgentia| |Filietas| is out of all time, absolute (i.27, 1060 D). |Catholica disciplina dicit et semper fuisse Patrem et semper Filium| (in Phil.1210 A). Yet Victorinus admits a sense in which he may be called |maxime filius| in Humanity (1061 A), and speaks of Him as getting the name of Son, the |Name above every Name,| only in His Incarnate exaltation (1210 C, D, |ita ut tantum nomen, aecesserit, res eadem fuerit|). His thought expresses itself thus naturally in the doctrine of the generation of the Son and His co-essential equality with the Father. But it does not so easily adapt itself to formulae which express the Being, Procession, and Substantiality of the Holy Ghost. He intends to be perfectly orthodox. He accepts the faith, even though he finds it difficult to formulate. He teaches emphatically that the Holy Ghost proceeds |from the Father and the Son.| He is subsequent in order to the Son. But as |Spirit of the Father| there is a sense in which He precedes the Son; that is, as that which God is -- Spirit -- He is that in which the Father begets the Son. He conveys the Father's Life to the Son.

The distinction of Son and Spirit is carefully maintained, but yet the essential duality which is in God -- the distinction of that which is from that which proceeds forth -- the distinction expressed in all the antitheses referred to above, is clearer to Victorinus than the Trinity of relations. The Son and the Spirit seem to him more utterly one than the Father and the Son. They are |existentiae duae,| but they proceed forth |in uno motu| and that |motus| is the Son; so that the Spirit is, as it were, contained in the Son (adv. Ar. iii.8, 1105 A). Thus Victorinus sometimes speaks as if the Spirit were the Son in another aspect (he even says |idem ipse et Christus et Spiritus Sanctus,| see ib. iii.18, 1113 D and i.59, 1085 B). He has also a subtle mode of speaking of the Spirit as the |Logos in occulto,| and Christ Incarnate as the |Logos in manifesto|; Logos and Spiritus being used interchangeably ; or again Christ is the |Spiritus apertus,| the Spirit the |Spiritus occultus| (iii.14, 1109 B, C). Again, the Spirit is the |interior Christi virtus| (iv.17, 1125 C) in Whom Christ is present (1109 C). The confusion seems to spring from the use of |Spiritus| as meaning the Divine nature. But in intention and generally the two persons are kept distinct. If Christ is the |vox,| the Spirit is the |vox vocis| (iii.16, 1111 C, i.13, 1048 A), or again, as the Son is Life the Spirit is Knowledge (|vivere quidem Christus, intelligere Spiritus,| i.13, 1048 B), or again the relations of the Trinity are expressed in formulas such as these: |visio, videre, discernere|; |esse, vivere, intelligere,| expressing three stages of a great act (iii.4, 5; the latter chapter should be studied). Victorinus is the first theologian to speak of the Spirit as the principle of unity in the Godhead, the bond or |copula| of the eternal Trinity, completing the perfect circle of the Divine Being, the return of God upon Himself (i.60, 1085 C, D, |sphaera,| |circularis motus|).

We pass on to his conception of the relation of God to Creation. All things are conceived as pre-existing in God -- potentially in the Father, actually in essence in the Son. In Him dwells all the fullness bodily, that is (according to V.) in the Eternal Word dwells all existence substantially -- ousiakos. Whatever came into being subsequently in time, in Him was eternally Life. Thus the Logos is the |Logos of all things| -- the universal Logos -- the seed of all things, even in His Eternal Being, containing all things in Himself in archetypal reality. (Adv. Ar. i.25, 1059 A; ii.3, 1091 B; iii.3, 1100 C, and iv.4, 1116 C, where the Word is almost identified with the Platonic |ideas|; at least, He contains the ideas in Himself, as |species| or |potentiae principales.|) It follows that the Son is very mainly considered as existing with a view to Creation. He exists as the |Logos of all that is| with a view to the being of whatever is (|ad id quod est esse iis quae sunt|). It is His essence to move, as it is the Father's to repose. The |motus| in virtue of which He is, is still pressing outward, so to speak, from the |fontana vita| of the Father.

All this is somewhat neo-Platonic in tone. What follows is almost pure and undiluted neo-Platonism, e.g. his description of the process of Creation, as a drawing out of the plenitude of God into a chain or gradation of existences. He; adopts the neo-Platonic conception of |anima| as something capable of spiritualization, but not yet |spirit| -- intermediate between spirit and matter. He follows neo-Platonism in his conception of the |return of all things| into God (adv. Ar. iii.1, 1098 B; iv.11, 1121 A, B; de Gen.10, 1026 A, B; adv. Ar. iii.3, 1100 C; Hymn 1, 1141 A; in Eph. i.4, 1239 B, C). He is simply neo-Platonic in his conception of matter and the material world. |Matter| has no existence independent of God; in itself it is |non-existent| -- an abstraction. Man is regarded as a mixed being, a spiritual |anima| (see in Eph. i, 4, 1239 C) merged in the corruption of matter. He calls the human race |animae seminatae saeclis| corrupted by the material darkness in which they are merged (Hymn 1, 1142 A; adv. Ar. i.26, 1060 A; i.62, 1087 B). Misled by this ineradicable misconception of material life, he thinks in a Platonic and non-Christian spirit of men as existing in an unfallen condition, in a pre-mundane state of being, and being born into the corruption of material life at their natural birth. Moral evil, from this point of view, must be physical and necessary.

The other main effect of Platonism upon Victorinus's anthropology is to produce a profound and unmitigated Predestinarianism. His ideology leads him (in his Comm. in Eph. at least) to assert not only the pre-existence of the absolute |anima| in the Eternal Word, but the pre-existence of all particular souls. All the history of the soul in its descent into matter, and its recovery therefrom through the Incarnate Christ, is only the development of the idea of the soul which pre-existed eternally, individually, and substantially in the Mind and Will of God. (1245 C, 1243 C, 1238 C, 1239 B, 1242 B. What exists in God's thought must exist substantially.)

But these Platonizing elements in his teaching do not occupy all the ground. They lie side by side with the stock conceptions of Christian truth, no less emphasized sometimes than the Platonic views. Thus the common view of sin and responsibility and the origin of evil in the corrupt choice of the free will is emphasized several times (e.g. ad Justin. Man.16, 1008 B), and it would seem that, much as the mode of conceiving Redemption which Victorinus adopts would lead to Universalism, he is not a Universalist. (In Eph.1281 A, B; cf.1282 C, D; 1286 B, C. On Universalism, see in Phil.1221 B, |universos, sed qui sequerentur|; in Eph.1245 B, |non omnia restaurantur sed quae in Christo sunt|; cf.1274 C, |quae salvari possent.| This interprets such passages as 1252 C.)

Again though on one occasion the view given of the Incarnation is vitiated by the notion of the essential corruption of matter (adv. Ar. i.58, 1084 C), in general his Incarnation teaching is strikingly sound and repudiates by anticipation a good deal of 5th-cent. heresy. God the Son enters into conditions of real humanity. He takes human nature whole and complete into the unity of a single Person (it is an |acceptio carnis,| not a proper |generation| of a person), and He lives, God in Manhood (|Deus in homine| [homo = manhood] adv. Ar. i.14, 1048 D; i.45, 1075 B; in Phil.1208 C, 1224 C.; he, however, uses an Adoptionist phrase, adv. Ar. i.10, 1045 C.) The humanity which He takes is emphasized as universal (|universalis caro, universalis anima; in isto omnia universalia erant,| iii.3, 1101 A). Thus the passion in which He suffers for man's redemption is universal, because He suffers as representative of the race He is to re-create (in Phil.1196 D, 1221 B, and adv. Ar. l.c.). The effect of Christ taking humanity is to make the whole of that which He assumed -- soul and flesh -- vital with new capacities of life. The |Word made flesh| makes the flesh He took to be life in Him Who is the Life (|omne quod Christus est vita aeterna est,| etc., iv.7, 1118 A; cf. language about Eucharist below); and in this humanity -- spirit, soul, and body -- which Christ took, He is glorified and exalted (iv.7, 1118 B; cf. in Eph.1259 B, |aeterna caro,| |corporalis majestas|). Through it He lives in His people, so that they become what He is, through Him. They become part of the Christ. The church is Christ (in Gal.1173 C, D; cf.1184 B), and we are to be glorified, body and soul, in Christ (in. Phil.1226 A, B, 1227 A; cf. in Eph.1255 B, |resurrectio Christi, resurrectio nostra|).

Victorinus uses suggestive language about the sacraments and ministry of the church in relation to the communication to us of the life of Christ, e.g. (on baptism) in Gal. iii.27; 1173 B and 1184 B; in Eph. v.25, 1287 C; (on the Eucharist) adv. Ar. ii.8, 1094 C (|quod accipimus Corpus Christi est, ipse autem Christus, vita est . . . divitiae in Christo corporaliter habitant|; cf. adv. Ar. i.30, 1063 B, |Corpus ipsius Vita est, Corpus autem Panis.| |Panis epiousios,| in the Lord's Prayer, is interpreted as |panis ex ipsa aut in ipsa Substantia, hoc est vitae panis,| and referred to the Eucharist, and, in the same way, |popuIus periousios| is given an Eucharistic reference, as meaning |populus circa Tuam Substantiam veniens.| See quotation from old African Liturgy, p.25; and (on ministry) in Eph. iv.12, 1275 C.

II. It is necessary further to explain in what general relation Victorinus's teaching stands to the neo-Platonic system, since his chief claim upon our attention is that he was the first systematically to convert the results of that system to the uses of Christian theology and that he developed in one or two cases as against Arianism the really higher philosophical truth latent in Catholic doctrines.

The idea of a being or beings mediating between the supreme God and the lower world was common to almost all the later schools of ancient philosophy (see Zeller, pp.219, 220). Eusebius of Caesarea had already seen in this a common ground for philosophers and Christians. (See Gwatkin's Studies of Arianism, p.22. Cf. Athan. de Incarn. c. xli.) It appeared in Plotinus's theory of the nous and anima, which with the One, the God, make up what is called |the neo-Platonic Trinity.| Now, a good deal of Victorinus's language, in which he seeks to express the relation of the Logos to the Father, is based on Plotinus's language about the relation of the nous to the One. But as a Christian, Victorinus is able to fill the neo-Platonic formulas with the powers of a new life. Again, Victorinus's formula for the Trinity, the |status, progressio, regressus,| is the reflex of a neo-Platonic idea -- an idea first definitely formulated by Proclus but implied by Plotinus -- the idea of all progress and development of life involving (1) the immanence of the caused in that which causes it, (2) the issuing of the caused out of that which causes it, (3) the return of the caused into that which causes it. This threefold relation of immanence, progress, return, the neo-Platonist regarded as essential to the development and unity of life both in general and in detail (Zeller, pp.787-789). This conception in its earlier stage Victorinus, whether consciously or not, adopts, and what new force it gains when it is seen to find its highest expression in the very life of God Himself! This threefold relation is seen to be the very being of God. The Son is eternally abiding in the Father, eternally proceeding from the Father in His eternal Generation, and eternally pouring back into the bosom of the Father that which He receives, in that Holy Ghost Who is Himself the life of Father and Son, the love and bond of the Holy Trinity.

It is in describing the relation of the Logos to the world, in His function as Creator, that, as we have seen, Victorinus allows himself to be too entirely moulded by neo-Platonic ideas. His |development of the plenitude| (Gwatkin, p.20 ), his pre-existing |anima| and |animae,| his corporeal demons, his matter the seat of corruption -- all these have their source in the Plotinian system, and are only very imperfectly adapted to Christianity (see Zeller, pp.545-557, 570-575). We may wonder that he did not use even more emphatically an element of right-minded inconsistency in neo-Platonism and with that system emphasize the freedom of the will (Zeller, pp.585-587).

This brief account will help us to recognize the |divine preparation| for Christianity involved in the independent growth of the neo-Platonic system -- so many philosophic ideas needed for the intellectual presentation of Christianity being made ready to hand -- and shows Victorinus as a pioneer in claiming for Christianity the products of philosophy, a pioneer whose name has well-nigh passed into undeserved oblivion.

III. A few other characteristic points in Victorinus's teaching still deserve notice. He is an intensely ardent follower of St. Paul, devoted to St. Paul's strenuous assertion of justification by faith. Indeed, he uses very strongly solifidian language and (by anticipation) very strongly anti-Pelagian language. This element in his teaching is most remarkably emphatic in his commentaries, e.g. in Gal. iii.22, 1172; in Phil. iii.9, 1219 C, D. This solifidian tendency led him, like Luther, to a disparagement of St. James and a somewhat minimizing tone as regards the efficacy of good works. (See some very remarkable passages in Comm. in Gal. i.19, 1155 B, C, 1156 A, B, cf.1161 B, 1162 D.)

It is worth while calling attention to the evidence, suggested by a good deal of Victorinus's theology, of a closer connexion than has been yet noticed between him and St. Augustine. His strong insistence in his Trinitarian theology on the double Procession of the Holy Spirit -- his conception of the Holy Spirit as the |Bond| of the Blessed Trinity -- his emphasis on the unity of Christ and His church -- his strong predestinarianism -- his vehement assertion of the doctrines of grace -- his assertion of the priority of faith to intelligence (p.16, note n), -- all reappear in St. Augustine, and it may be that the (hitherto unsuspected) influence of the writings of the old philosopher whose conversion stirred him so deeply was a determining force upon the theology of St. Augustine.

IV. A word must be said on the Latin text of the Bible used by Victorinus. No adequate use seems yet to have been made of the very large bulk of quotation in his writings.

Sabatier (Bibl. Sacr. Lat. Versiones Antiq. t. iii. Remis 1749) occasionally refers to him, but omits some of his most remarkable quotations, and wrote before Mai's publication of the commentaries, etc. Some quotations, not noticed by Sabatier, may be given:

St. John i.1 is quoted as Logos erat circa Deum,| and it is added, |Romani apud Deum dicunt,| Libri de Gen.20, 1030 C. Elsewhere he uses |circa Deum| and |ad Deum| (adv. Ar.1, 3). These do not seem to be merely his own renderings. (|Ad Deum| is noticed by Sabatier.) In Phil. ii.30 (p.1216) |exponens in incertum animam suam| is a better rendering than the Vulgate |tradens| and the St. Germain |parabolatus de anima sua.| Ib. iii.20 (p.1225) he uses |Salutaris| for Saviour, a term not found in other authorities in this place (cf. Rönsch, Itala und Vulgata, p.100, 1875). Ib. iv.3 (p.1228) |unijuge| is a remarkable rendering of sunzuge. Ib. iv.6, 7 (p.1229) reads: |Nihil ad sollicitudinem redigatis, sed in omni precatione et oratione cum bona gratia petitiones vestrae innotescant apud Deum. Et pax Dei quae habet omnem intellectum custodiat corda vestra, item corpora vestra in Jesu Christo.| St. Luke ii.14: |Pax in terra hominibus boni decreti| (p.1306). These words, from the de Physicis, conclude a long quotation thoroughly independent of any known version. Eph. iv.14 (pros ten methodeian tes planes), |ad remedium erroris| (p.1276 B), a reading found also in other authorities. Ib. vi.14, |et omnibus effectis stare,| supports the correct reading of Jerome's text, |et omnibus perfectis stare.| Tit. ii.14: besides the version |populum abundantem| (p.1094 D), a remarkable rendering of the word periousion is given as occurring in a Eucharistic office (|the prayer of the oblation|) to which he more than once refers (see adv. Ar.1, 30, 1063 B, and ii.7, 1094 D). It is as follows: |Munda tibi populum circumvitalem emulatorem bonorum operum, circa tuam substantiam venientem| (p.1063 B).


Victorius of Aquitaine
Victorius (2) of Aquitaine. During the pontificate of Leo the Great in 444 and 453 differences arose between the Western churches headed by Rome, and the Eastern headed by Alexandria as to the correct day for celebrating Easter. Pope LEO yielded on both occasions, but to avoid such disputes in future, directed his archdeacon HILARIUS, who succeeded him, to investigate the question. Hilary referred it to his friend Victorius, who in 457 drew up a cycle to determine the date of Easter in past and future years.

The cycle of 532 years, consisting of 28 Metonic (28 x 19) or rather 7 Calippic (7 x 76) cycles, was adopted or independently discovered by Victorius. He began it with the year of the crucifixion, which he placed on Mar.26, in the consulship of the two Gemini. As the year in which he composed his cycle, the consulship of Constantinus and Rufus, which corresponds with a.d.457, was the 430th of his cycle, its first year corresponded with a.d.28. He made his earliest Easter limit Mar.22, the same as the Alexandrians; his latest Apr.24, while theirs was the 25th.

The cycle of Victorius was widely, though not universally, accepted in the West, and especially in Gaul. In 527, however, DIONYSIUS published a new period of the Cyrillian 95-year cycle, which would terminate in 531; and VICTOR of Capua, c.550, wrote against Victorius's cycle and in favour of the Alexandrian method of computation. Victorius's cycle seems thereafter to have become disused in Italy, but lingered much later in parts of Gaul. It has been edited with elaborate dissertations by Bucherius, de Doctrina Temporum, where all notices of Victorius are collected. The only additional information they give is Gennadius's statement (de Vir. Ill.88) that he was a native of Aquitaine. As Hilary calls him |Dilectissimus et honorabilis sanctus frater,| he was probably in orders. A full account of his cycle is given by Ideler (Handbuch d. Chronol. ii.275-285), who points out that what Dionysius did was to continue the 95-year cycle, and that there is no evidence that he did anything to the Victorian cycle. The fact that his continuation of the Cyrillian cycle began in 532, which would be the first year of a new period of the Victorian cycle if the latter commenced with the year of Christ's birth, probably suggested the notion that he had thus altered the beginning of the Victorian cycle, and started a new period of it from 532. Victorius is by later writers sometimes called Victorinus and Victor, the last mistake leading to confusion with Victor of Capua.


Victricius, St., 8th archbp. of Rouen, friend of St. Martin of Tours (Sulpic. Sev. Dial. iii.2; Boll. Acta SS. Aug. ii.194) and St. Paulinus of Nola, to whose letters we owe some details of his life. He became bp. of Rouen before 390, and occupied himself with the conversion of the heathen Morini and Nervii in Flanders and Brabant. He was summoned in 394 or 395 to Britain to assist the bishops there in re-establishing peace, probably in their contest with Pelagianism (Victricius, Lib. de Laude SS., Migne, Patr. Lat. xx.443). An accusation of heresy, as it seems (cf. Ceillier, viii.76), brought him to Rome at the close of 403 to defend himself before the pope (Paulinus, Ep. xxxvii. , Migne, Patr. Lat. lxi.353). While there he received, in answer to a request for information, the famous letter of Innocent I. called the Liber Regularum, treating of various heads of ecclesiastical practice and discipline (Patr. Lat. lvi.519). [[618]INNOCENTIUS.] The church at Rouen flourished under his care. The relics he obtained, the musical services he instituted, and the devotion -- under his guidance -- of the virgins and widows, caused the city, hitherto unknown, to be spoken of with reverence in distant lands, and counted among cities famed for their sacred spots (Paulinus, Ep. xviii. § 5, Patr. Lat. col.239). In 409 he was apparently dead (Ep. xlviii. col.398). (Migne, Patr. Lat. xx.437, 438; Hist. Litt. ii.752-754; Le Brun in Boll. Acta SS. u.s.; Gall. Christ. xi.7.)

An extant treatise or sermon called the Liber de Laude Sanctorum, composed on the occasion of the receipt of some relics from St. Ambrose of Milan, was formerly ascribed to St. Germanus of Auxerre (Hist. Litt. ii.261, 750), but the discovery of a MS. at St. Gall, in the 18th cent., made it clear that it belonged to Victricius (see Praefatio of the abbé Lebeuf in Migne, Patr. Lat. xx.437-442) It gives a few details of the condition of the church at Rouen. Paulinus had perhaps read this document (Ep. xviii.).


Victurinus (1) (Victor), St., bp. of Grenoble, a correspondent of St. Avitus, of Vienne. Whether churches and church furniture which heretics had made use of could again, by virtue of a fresh consecration, be made serviceable for the orthodox, to which Avitus replies in the negative (Avitus, Ep. vi.), and as to the penalties to be inflicted in the case of marriage with a deceased wife's sister, which were very severe (Epp. xiv. xv. xvi.), are points on which he consulted the archbishop. He is among the bishops present at the council of Agaunum, in 5I5, if it is to be accepted as genuine, and also at Epaon and Lyons in 517.


Vigilantius (1), a presbyter of Comminges and Barcelona, known by his protests against superstitious practices in the church. He was born c.370 at Calagurris, near Comminges (Convenae), a station on the great Roman road from Aquitaine to Spain (Itiner. Antonin. quoted in Gilly's Vigilant. p.128). His father probably kept the statio or place of refreshment there; and Vigilantius was apparently brought up as an inn-keeper and wine-seller |Iste Caupo Calagurritanus,| Hieron. cont. Vig.1), but had from the first an inclination to learning. Sulpicius Severus, who had estates in these parts, took him into his service, and probably baptized him. It is certain that in 395 he was sent with letters from Sulpicius to Paulinus, then recently settled at Nola (Paul. Ep. i.11), by whom he was treated as a friend. Paulinus speaks of hm as |Vigilantius noster| (Ep. v.11), and reports the care with which he had watched him during illness, refusing to let him depart till well. On his return to Severus, then living at Elusa in Gaul, he was ordained; and, having a desire for learning and a wish to visit Jerusalem, set forth by way of Nola. His father, it seems, had died, since he was wealthy enough to have many notaries in his employ (Hieron, Ep. lxi.4), and he was the proprietor of the inn at Convenae (ib. lxi.3; cont. Vig. i.). Paulinus gave him a very honourable introduction to Jerome (Hieron. Ep. lxi.3), then living at Bethlehem, where he was received with great respect (lviii.11). He remained there a considerable time, staying partly with Jerome, but partly, it is supposed, with others, possibly with Rufinus (Hieron. Apol. iii.11). The schism between the monasteries of Bethlehem and the bp. of Jerusalem was at its height; and probably in connexion with this Vigilantius had his first disagreement with Jerome (Hieron. Ep. lxi.1; Apol. iii.19). Origenism, which had caused the schism, and with which Vigilantius afterwards connected Jerome's name, was, no doubt, the subject of this disagreement. But Vigilantius was brought to confess himself in the wrong and to ask pardon (Hieron. Ep. lxi. end). He was an inmate of Jerome's monastery on the occasion of a tremendous storm with earthquake and eclipse (cont. Vig. ii.). He was for a time favourably impressed by what he saw at Bethlehem, and on one occasion, when Jerome was preaching upon the reality of the body at the resurrection, sprang up, and with applause of hands and feet saluted Jerome as champion of orthodoxy (Ep. lxi.3). But the extremes of asceticism, the corruption produced by indiscriminate almsgiving, and the violence, perhaps the insincerity, of Jerome's dealing with the question of Origen [[619]HIERONYMUS, § Origenism] produced a reaction against Jerome. Vigilantius begged to be dismissed, and left in great haste (Ep. cix.2) without giving any reason. He bore Jerome's reply to Paulinus at Nola (Ep. lxi.11); but his journey home was first by Egypt (ib.1; cont. Ruf. iii.12), |by Hadria and the Cottian Alps| (Hieron. Ep. cix.12). He landed probably at Naples, and, after visiting Nola, went home by the land route, staying a considerable time at various places. His account of what he had seen in the East, which was related to Jerome either by report or by some writing of Vigilantius to or about Jerome, provoked a reply (Ep. lxi.), wherein Jerome shews a jealous sensitiveness for his own orthodox reputation, and treats him with contempt, declaring that he had never understood the points in dispute (lxi.1). On his return to Gaul, Vigilantius settled in his native country.

His work against superstitious practices was written c.403. We may presume that his intercourse with Severus, Paulinus, and Jerome furnished the principal motives and materials for it. Similar practices no doubt arising in a grosser form in his own neighbourhood among a population emerging from heathenism provoked his protest against the introduction of heathen ceremonial into Christian worship. The work is only known to us through the writings of Jerome, of whose unscrupulousness and violence in controversy we have many proofs. Nothing of the kind appears in the quotations from the book of Vigilantius, which, considering the extreme difficulty of his position in the rising flood of superstition, we must presume to have been a serious and faithful protest. It was not written hastily, under provocation, such as he may have felt in leaving Bethlehem, but after the lapse of six or seven years. His own bishop (Hieron. Ep. cix.1) and others in his neighbourhood (cont. Vig. ii.) approved his action, and he was apparently appointed after the controversy to a church in the diocese of Barcelona (Gennad. ut infra).

The points against which he argues are four: (1) The superstitious reverence paid to the remains of holy men, which were carried round in the church assemblies in gold vessels or silken wrappings to be kissed, and the prayers in which their intercession was asked; (2) the late and frequent watchings at the basilicas of the martyrs, from which scandals constantly arose, the burning of numerous tapers, which was a heathen practice, the stress laid on the miracles performed at the shrines, which, Vigilantius maintained, were of use only to unbelievers; (3) the sending of alms to Jerusalem, which might better have been given to the poor in each diocese, and generally the monkish habit of divesting oneself of possessions which should be administered as a trust by the possessor; and (4) the special virtue attributed to the unmarried state. Vigilantius held that for the clergy to be married was an advantage to the church; and he looked upon the solitary life as a cowardly forsaking of responsibility.

The bishop of the diocese (possibly Exuperius of Toulouse, known to have had communications with pope Innocent about this time on points of discipline) strongly favoured the views of Vigilantius, and they began to spread widely in S. Gaul. The clergy who were fostering the practices impugned by him found their people imbibing his opinions, and two of them, Desiderius and Riparius, wrote to Jerome, representing the opinions of Vigilantius and asking for his advice. Jerome answered Riparius at once (Ep.109, ed. Vall.), expressing chagrin and indignation but without sober argument. He declares that no adoration was paid to martyrs, but that their relics were honoured as a means of worshipping God. He expresses wonder that the bishop of the diocese should acquiesce in Vigilantius's madness. It was a case for such dealing as that of Peter with Ananias and Sapphira. He offered to answer more fully if the work of Vigilantius were sent him. This offer was accepted. Through their friend Sisinnius, Riparius and Desiderius sent the book in the latter part of 406 (Pref. to Comm. on Zach.). Jerome gave little attention to it at first, but finding Sisinnius obliged to leave Bethlehem in haste, sat down, and in one night wrote his treatise contra Vigilantium. This treatise has less of reason and more of mere abuse than any which he wrote. He throughout imputes to his adversary extreme views, which it may certainly be assumed he did not hold.

What effect was produced by this philippic is unknown. Possibly Exuperius, if Vigilantius was in his diocese, by degrees changed towards him, and that it was on this account that Vigilantius passed into the diocese of Barcelona, where Gennadius places him. Jerome in his Apology (iii.19) expressly repels the imputation of having asserted that the character of Vigilantius had been stained by communion with heretics. But the official leaders of the church came to reckon as enemies those whom Jerome had so treated, and Vigilantius was by degrees ranked among heretics. The judgment of Gennadius (de Sc. Eccl.35) is: |Vigilantius the presbyter, a Gaul by birth, held a church in the Spanish diocese of Barcelona. He wrote with a certain zeal for religion; but was led astray by the praise of men, and presumed beyond his strength; and being a man of elegant speech but not trained in discerning the sense of the Scriptures, interpreted in a perverse manner the second vision of Daniel, and put forth other works of no value, which must be placed in the catalogue of heretical writings. He was answered by the blessed presbyter Jerome.| This judgment lasted long. In 1844 Dr. Gilly, canon of Durham, published a work on Vigilantius and his Times (Seeley), bringing together all the known facts, and shewing the true significance of his protest by describing the life of Severus, Paulinus, and Jerome from their own writings.


Vigilius Thapsensis
Vigilius (4) Thapsensis, an African bishop mentioned in the Notitia published at the end of the Historia of Victor Vitensis, was present at the conference convened by the Vandal Hunneric in 484. He belonged to the Byzacene province, and was banished by the Vandal king. He seems to have fled to Constantinople, where he wrote against Eutychianism and Arianism. He published one work alone under his own name, viz. his five books against Eutyches, stating very clearly the usual arguments against the Eutychian system. An extremely good and copious analysis of it is in Ceillier (x.472-485). It is an interesting specimen of 5th and 6th cent. controversy, and shews the evolution of thought among the Eutychians who in his day had not completed or thought out their system. They had not fixed, e.g., on a date for the disappearance of Christ's human nature. A cent. or so later they determined upon the resurrection as the time when the human nature was swallowed up in the divine. Vigilius refers to this in bk. i. as a view taught by some, not by all. In bk. iv. he discusses the Tome of St. Leo and the orthodoxy of the decrees of Chalcedon, and has some remarks, important for liturgiology, on the form of the creed used at Rome (|Creed,| D. C. B.4-vol. ed.). He defends St. Leo on the ground that he quoted the creed used in the Romish church from apostolic times. Vigilius wrote several works under various distinguished names. Thus Chifflet, whose is the best edition (Dijon, 1664) of his writings, attributes to him a dialogue in 12 books on the Trinity, printed among the works of St. Athanasius, a treatise against an Arian called Varimadus published under the name of Idacius Clarus, a book against Felicianus the Arian under that of St. Augustine; and two conferences, in which he represents Athanasius as disputing against Arius before a judge named Probus, who of course gives sentence against Arius. These conferences he published in two editions, one in two books, where Athanasius and Arius alone appear; another in three books, in which Sabellius and Photinus are introduced. His authorship of these conferences is absolutely certain, because in his contra Eutych. (bk. v. p.58) he speaks of his argument |in eis libris quos adversus Sabellium, Photinum et Arianum sub nomine Athanasii, conscripsimus.| Chifflet also ascribes to him a treatise against Palladius, an Arian bishop, printed among the works of St. Ambrose and of Gregory Nazianzen, and also the Acts of the council of Aquileia found among the Epp. of St. Ambrose. The Athanasian Creed has also been attributed to him, chiefly because both in the creed and in his treatise against Eutyches the union of two natures in man is brought forward as an explanation of the union of two natures in the one person of Jesus Christ. Chifflet's edition and elaborate commentary, which includes the works of Victor Vitensis, is reprinted by Migne, Patr. Lat. t. lxii.


Vigilius, bp. of Rome
Vigilius (5), bp. of Rome, intruded into the see in the room of Silverius, a.d.537, by Belisarius, by order of the empress Theodora. By birth a Roman of good position, he had accompanied AGAPETUS as one of his deacons when that pope went to Constantinople a.d.536 and procured from Justinian the deposition of the Monophysite patriarch Anthimus, and the appointment of Mennas in his room. The Monophysite party (then called commonly the ACEPHALI), who continued to reject the council of Chalcedon, had a resolute supporter in the empress Theodora. Agapetus dying April, 536, when about to depart for Rome, she sent for Vigilius and promised him an order to Belisarius to get him ordained pope if he would secretly undertake to disallow the council of Chalcedon. Vigilius (says Liberatus) willingly complied, and proceeded to Rome, but found SILVERIUS already ordained.

Vigilius having been thus ordained in 537 (on Nov.22, according to the conclusion of Pagi; on Mar.25, according to that of Mansi), and the death of Silverius having been certainly not earlier than June 20, 538, for at least seven months his position was that of an unlawful antipope, his predecessor never having been canonically deposed. However, as pope he was accepted, the deposition of bishops and the ordination of others in their room under imperial dictation being at that time, however irregular, common enough elsewhere; and the ancients seem to have dated his episcopate from his intrusion.

Through Antonina, the wife of Belisarius and the real agent of the empress throughout, Vigilius sent without delay letters to Anthimus, Theodosius, and Severus, in fulfilment of his secret promise, expressing his entire agreement with them in matters of faith, but charging them to keep his avowal in the dark, that he might more easily accomplish what he had undertaken. He added a confession of his own faith, condemning the Tome of pope Leo (in which the orthodox doctrine of two Natures in Christ was enunciated), and anathematizing Paul of Samosata, Diodorus of Tarsus, Theodore of Mopsuestia, Theodoret, and all who agreed with them. Binius and Baronius, jealous for the credit of the Roman see, argue that this letter was forged by the Monophysite party. But no valid ground has been adduced for suspecting it. It is given by Liberatus and Victor Tununensis; and Facundus (c. Mocianum), like them a contemporary, seemingly alludes to it. Pagi (Baron. ad ann.538) refutes all the arguments of Baronius, while alleging that the Roman see was not compromised, since Vigilius was not the true pope when he wrote.

Justinian was evidently kept in the dark about these secret proceedings, since, after the death of Silverius, he wrote to Vigilius, sending a confession of his own faith and recognizing him as pope without any suspicion of his orthodoxy. In his reply, dated 540, Vigilius declares himself altogether orthodox, accepts the Tome of Leo and the council of Chalcedon, and condemns by name all abettors of the Eutychian heresy.

In 541 began at Constantinople the new theological disputes which led to the 2nd council of Constantinople (called the 5th oecumenical), in the course of which Vigilius came in conflict with the emperor. Peter, the patriarch of Jerusalem, who was opposed to the Origenists, sent two abbats to Constantinople, with a letter to the emperor, and extracts from Origen's writings, complaining of the commotions excited by the Origenistic party and praying for their condemnation (Vit. S. Sabae). The emperor, readily acceding, issued a long edict, addressed to the patriarch Mennas, setting forth and confuting the heresies attributed to Origen; commanding the patriarch to assemble the bishops and abbats then at Constantinople for the purpose of anathematizing him, his doctrine, and his followers, and to suffer no bishop or abbat to be thenceforth appointed except on condition of doing the same. There seems to have been no resistance to this imperial command.

Justinian was engaged, we are told, after his condemnation of Origen, in composing a treatise on the Incarnation in defence of the council of Chalcedon and in refutation of the Eutychians. But there were two Origenistic abbats from Palestine, resident at his court, in great credit with him, Theodore of Ascidas and Domitian, who suggested that he might better serve the cause of orthodoxy by procuring a condemnation of certain writers accused of Nestorianism but acquitted by the council of Chalcedon, viz. Theodore of Mopsuestia, Theodoret of Cyrus, and Ibas, the alleged author of a letter to Maris. It was represented to the emperor that, if these were now authoritatively condemned and the council of Chalcedon freed from the imputation of having approved their errors, the Acephali would no longer refuse to accept that council. The emperor, who warmly desired this reconciliation, readily fell into the snare. The writings thus prepared for condemnation are known as the |Three Chapters| (|Tria Capitula|). The imperial edict against them (peri trion kephaliaon), issued probably c.544, anathematized their deceased authors and all defenders of them, with a saving clause to guard against any inculpation of the council of Chalcedon. But the edict was regarded as disparaging its authority. Mennas, at first refusing, at length gave his acquiescence in writing. The three other patriarchs of the East also yielded to threats of deposition, as did the rest of the Eastern bishops, except a few who were deposed and banished. In the West, less accustomed to imperial despotism, there was more difficulty. Vigilius, from his antecedents, might have been expected to obey, but shewed considerable independence of spirit, being probably influenced by the prevailing feeling at Rome and in the West generally. He refused his assent to the emperor's edict, and being thereupon summoned peremptorily to Constantinople, unwillingly obeyed.

He sailed first to Sicily, where he was joined by Datius, bp. of Milan, a resolute opponent of the condemnation of the Three Chapters. Arrived at Constantinople (a.d.547), he persevered for a time in the same attitude, but before long gave a secret promise to condemn the Chapters (Facund. c. Moc.), and presided over a synod with the hope of inducing it to do what the emperor required. Meeting opposition there, especially from bp. Facundus of Ermiana, who requested leave to argue the question (Facundus himself tells the story), he suspended the proceedings, requiring the bishops separately to send him their opinions in writing. Seventy bishops were thus induced to declare for the condemnation of the Chapters, including many who had previously refused. Vigilius, supported by these 70 signatories, issued the document known as his Judicatum, addressed to Mennas, on Easter Eve, 548 (Ep. Vigilii, ad Rustianum et Sebastianum), condemning the Chapters, though disavowing any disparagement of Chalcedon. The Judicatum provoked serious opposition. At Constantinople Facundus continued resolute, protesting against bishops who betrayed their trust to win favour with princes. Vigilius's own deacons, Rusticus and Sebastianus, declared against him, but were deposed and excommunicated. The bishops of Illyricum condemned the Judicatum in synod; those of N. Africa did the same, and even formally excommunicated Vigilius (Vict. Tunun. ad ann.549, 550). Alarmed by these consequences, Vigilius now recalled his Judicatum, and seems to have represented to the Westerns that he had issued it unwillingly. Facundus attributes his whole action to desire of court favour and position, as his earlier secret promise to Theodora had been due to ambition. Vigilius could not now undo what he had done, for the Judicatum was known far and wide. If any further proof were needed of his double dealing we should have a signal one in the fact (if it be one) that, even while thus trying to persuade the Westerns that he was on their side, he was induced by the emperor to take a secret oath before him to do all he could to bring about the condemnation of the Three Chapters. The oath, dated the 23rd year of Justinian, is given among the Acts of the 7th session of the 5th council (Labbe, vol. vi. p.194). There seems to be no sufficient reason to doubt its genuineness. In it he swore to unite with the emperor to the utmost of his power to cause the Chapters to be condemned and anathematized, and to take no measures or counsels with any one in their favour against the emperor's will. The result of his crooked policy was that neither party trusted him.

In the year in which the Judicatum was issued Theodora died; but the emperor continued resolute in carrying out his project for the condemnation of the Three Chapters by full ecclesiastical authority. Vigilius, hampered by the repudiation of his Judicatum in the West and by his own secret understanding with the emperor, would gladly have left the scene of action. But his presence was still required at Constantinople by the emperor. The plan he now adopted was to persuade the emperor to summon the bishops, both of the East and West (including especially those of Africa and Illyricum who had shewn themselves so strongly opposed to the Judicatum), to a council at Constantinople, and meanwhile to take no further steps. Justinian acted on his advice; but though the obsequious Easterns obeyed the summons, very few of the Westerns came -- a small number from Italy, two from Illyricum, but none from Africa. Justinian would have had Vigilius proceed at once with such bishops as were in Constantinople. Vigilius, with considerable spirit, refused. Thereupon the emperor issued a new edict against the Chapters, which he caused to be posted in the churches. Vigilius protested against this as a violation of their agreement, called an assembly of bishops in the palace of Placidia where he lodged, conjured them to use their efforts to procure a revocation of the edict till the episcopate of the West should have an opportunity of pronouncing its opinion, and in virtue of the authority of the apostolic see declared all excommunicated who should meanwhile sign or receive it. Justinian sent the praetor whose office it was to apprehend common malefactors, with an armed band, to seize the pope in his place of refuge. Vigilius escaped to Chalcedon, and there sought sanctuary in the church of St. Euphemia two days before Christmas, 551. No attempt was made to violate this sanctuary. The pope was able from it to dictate terms on which he would take part in the forthcoming council. The emperor, anxious to secure his concurrence at the council, at length acceded to his conditions, and revoked the edict.

Vigilius returned to Constantinople towards the end of 552, after nearly a year in St. Euphemia. Justinian summoned the council to meet on May 5, 553. The Easterns met, in number 165, under the presidency of Eutychius, who had succeeded on the death of Mennas. Vigilius and the Westerns kept aloof, assembling by themselves in the Placidian palace, and prepared a very lengthy document, known as his Constitutum ad Imperatoren, addressed to the emperor. It refutes extracts that had been made from the works of Theodorus of Mopsuestia, and condemns the views expressed as heretical, but proceeds to protest against the condemnation of Theodorus himself as a heretic after his death, since he had not been so condemned when alive and had died in communion with the church; and also against any such condemnation of Theodoret or of the letter of Ibas, both having been acquitted of heresy by the council of Chalcedon. This Constitutum, dated May 14, 553, was signed also by 16 Western bishops. It does not appear that the emperor transmitted it to the council; but he handed in, on May 26, a statement of how Vigilius had once himself condemned the Chapters, had pledged himself to do so by word, writing, and solemn oath, and had been invited to the council and refused to come. Anathemas were pronounced against Theodorus of Mopsuestia and his writings, against the inculpated writings, but not the persons, of Theodoret and Ibas; and all who should continue to defend the condemned writings were, if ecclesiastics, to be deprived, if monks or laymen, excommunicated.

Vigilius soon changed sides once more, assenting to the decrees of the council, and thus giving them at length the sanction of the Roman see. That he did this is indisputable, and according to Evagrius (lib. iv. c.34) in writing, engraphos; nor does there seem valid reason to doubt the genuineness of the two written documents in which his recantation is declared. The first of these is a letter to the patriarch Eutychius, dated Dec.8, 553, i.e. six months after the conclusion of the council. The other document (dated Feb.23, 554) is entitled |Constitutum Vigilii pro damnatione Trium Capitulorum| (given in Labbe, vol. vi. p.239). It expresses entire agreement with the decisions of the council, and ends with the same declaration, word for word, as the letter to Eutychius.

Justinian, having thus attained his end, Vigilius was allowed to leave Constantinople for Rome, after a compelled absence of 7 years, the emperor giving him certain grants, privileges, and exemptions for the people of Rome and Italy (Baron. ad ann.554, ix. x. xi. xii.). But he died on his way at Syracuse towards the end of 554 or early in 555. His body was conveyed to Rome and buried in the church of St. Marcellus on the Salarian Way.

He was evidently a man with no firmness of character or principle. The attempts of Baronius to vindicate his conduct after he had become lawful pope, though allowing him to have been a poor creature before, are pitiably unavailing. To his final submission to Justinian's will is due the important fact that the Fifth council, the origin, purpose, and conduct of which had so little to commend them, came at last to be universally accepted, in the West as well as the East, though not without prolonged resistance in some parts of the West, as oecumenical and authoritative. For, though its anathemas against the dead and their writings were passed under imperial dictation in defiance of the pope and of the Western church, Vigilius's eventual approval of them was endorsed by his successors. There is no lack of contemporary authority for the history given above -- viz. the Breviarium of Liberatus, archdeacon of Carthage; the Eccl. Hist. of Evagrius; the Chronicon of Victor, bp. of Tununum; the Pro Defensione Trium Capitulorum, and the Liber contra Mocianum of Facundus, bp. of Ermiana; and the Hist. Bell. Goth. and the Anecdota, or Hist. Arcana, of Procopius. The writings of Facundus are peculiarly valuable in giving an insight into the state of parties, and the course of events in which he was himself implicated, having been, with Victor Tununensis, a prominent opponent at Constantinople of the condemnation of the Three Chapters. We have also the letters written by Vigilius, of great historical value, and the Acts of the Fifth council, with contemporary documents preserved among them.

[J.B -- Y.]

Vincentius (8), presbyter of Constantinople, intimately attached to Jerome, through whose writings we hear of him throughout the last 20 years of 4th cent. Jerome became acquainted with him when he came to Constantinople in 380, from which time Vincentius shared his interests and pursuits. To him, with Gallienus, Jerome dedicated his translation of Eusebius's Chronicle in 382 (Hieron. cont. Joan. Hieros. c.41). We may therefore suppose he was ordained early in 382. But he never fulfilled the office of presbyter. That he knew Greek and Latin and was interested in general history is shewn by Jerome's preface to the Chronicle of Eusebius. He shared Jerome's admiration of Origen, then at its height, and asked Jerome to translate all his works into Latin. In 382 he accompanied Jerome to Rome, but without intending to stay there. We do not hear of him during Jerome's stay, but they left Rome together in 385 and settled at Bethlehem (cont. Ruf. iii.22). He shared Jerome's studies and his asceticism and controversial antipathies. He was severe in his judgment upon Vigilantius (Hieron. Ep. lxi.3, a.d.396), and co-operated eagerly in the subsequent condemnation of Origenism. In 396 or 397 he went to Rome, for what cause is unknown (cont. Ruf. iii.24). No doubt he took part in the proceedings against Origenism, in which Eusebius of Cremona and Jerome's Roman friends were actively engaged. On his return to Bethlehem in 400 he was full of the subject. All Rome and Italy, he reported, had been delivered; and his praise of Theophilus of Alexandria as having by his letter to the pope Anastasius procured this deliverance is communicated to that prelate in Jerome's letter (Ep.88, ed. Vall.) to him, the last mention of Vincentius which we have.


Vincentius Lirinensis
Vincentius (11) Lirinensis (Vincent of Lerins), St., a distinguished presbyter of Gaul in 5th cent. Date of birth uncertain; must have died in or before a.d.450.

Authorities. -- Gennadius, Vivorum Illustrium Catalogus (c.64). References to himself and to his times in his chief (most probably his sole) work, the Commonitorium.

Life. -- Concerning the events of Vincent's life we are almost entirely ignorant. He was a native of Gaul, possibly brother of St. Loup, bp. of Troyes (LUPUS (2)], involved in the turmoils of worldly life before his retirement into a monastery near a small town, remote from the stir of cities. This was that of Lerins (Lerinum), situated in the island of that name near Antibes, now known as L'Ile de St. Honorat, from the founder of this celebrated institution. Here he wrote adversus Profanas Omnium Novitates Haereticorum Commonitorium, almost 3 years (as he tells us in c.42) after the council of Ephesus, i.e. in 434.

Writings. -- The only one universally admitted to be the genuine and authentic production of Vincent is briefly known as Commonitorium. In the form in which we have it it extends, even in a 12mo ed., to only 150 pages, and consists of 42 short chapters. Peregrinus (as Vincent called himself) begins by stating that he thought it might be useful and in accordance with scriptural precepts (Deut. xxxii.7; Prov. xxii.17, iii.1) to write down certain principles which he had received from holy Fathers. His tests to discern the truth of the Catholic faith from heresy will be sought first in the authority of the divine law, and next in the tradition of the Catholic church. The second source of information would not be needed had not all the leading heretics claimed the support of Holy Scripture (cc. i. ii.). We must hold that which has been believed everywhere, always, by all (|quod ubique, quod semper, quod ab omnibus creditum est|); in other words, we must follow Universitatem, Antiquitatem, Consensionem; understanding by the last the agreement of all, or almost all, bishops and doctors (c. ii.). A small portion of the church dissenting from the rest must be cut off like an unsound limb; nay, even a large portion if it does not abide by antiquity. Illustrations are afforded negatively by Donatism and Arianism; positively by the teaching of St. Ambrose and other eminent confessors (cc. iv.-viii.). Antiquity was on the side of pope Stephen, bp. of the apostolic see, and against the excellent Agrippinus, bp. of Carthage, who desired to rebaptize heretics. True, the rebaptizers claim the sanction of the holy Cyprian; but to do so is behaving like Ham towards Noah, for on this point that pious martyr erred (cc. ix.-xi.). Apostolic warrant for what has been advanced may be found in St. Paul's writings, e.g. in Tim. and Tit. (passim), Rom. xv.17, and Gal. i.7-10. Those who would make accretions to the faith stand thereby condemned for all time. The Pelagians are such (cc. xii.-xiv.). Valentinus, Photinus, Apollinaris, and others are similarly condemned by the warnings of Moses (Deut. xiii.1-11). Even good gifts, such as those of Nestorius, or useful labours like those of Apollinaris against Porphyry, cannot be pleaded against their novelties (cc. xv. xvi.). He explains with some minuteness wherein consisted the heresies of Photinus, Apollinaris, and Nestorius, and the true doctrine of the church as opposed to them (cc. xvii.-xxii.).

The danger of ignoring the principles here laid down, more especially the test of antiquity, is painfully exhibited in the case of Origen, whose acute, profound, and brilliant genius (fully recognized by imperial disciples and the church at large) has not saved his writings from becoming a source of temptation; though it is just possible, as some think, that they may have been tampered with (c. xxii.). A very similar judgment must be passed upon Tertullian, of whom Hilary (of Poictiers) too truly said that |by his errors he had diminished the authority due to his approved writings| (c. xxiv.). The true and genuine Catholic is he who loves Christ's body, the Church; who puts God's truth before all things, before any individual authority, affection, genius, eloquence, or philosophy. Many who fall short of this standard, when not slain, are yet sadly stunted in their spiritual growth (c. xxv.). Additions to the faith or detractions from it are alike condemned by Holy Scripture, especially by St. Paul (I. Tim. vi.). The deposit is the talent of the Catholic faith, which the man of God must, like a spiritual Bezaleel, adorn, arrange, and display to others, but not injure by novelties (cc. xxvi. xxvii.). Certainly there is to be progress (|profectus religionis|), but it must resemble the growth of the infant into manhood and maturity -- a growth which preserves identity. The dogmas of the heavenly philosophy may by the operation of time be smoothed and polished, and gain, by greater fullness of evidence, light and elucidation (|distinctionem|), but they must retain integrity and all essential characteristics (cc. xxviii.-xxx.). Such has been the church's task in the decrees of councils, which have simply aimed at adding clearness, vigour, and zeal to what was believed, taught, and practised already (cc. xxx.-xxxii.). St. John, in his 2nd epistle, is as emphatic as St. Paul against the teacher of false doctrine. Such an one cannot be encouraged without a virtual rejection of saints, confessors, and martyrs -- a rejection, in short, of the holy church throughout the world. Pelagius (with his disciple Coelestius), Arius, Sabellius, Novatian, Simon Magus, were all introducers of novelties (cc. xxxiii. xxxiv.). The heretics use the Scriptures, but only in the way in which bitter potions are disguised for children by a previous taste of honey, or poisons labelled as healing medicines. The Saviour warned us against such perils by His words concerning wolves in sheep's clothing. We must attend to His subsequent advice, by their fruits ye shall know them. His apostle bids us beware of false apostles (II. Cor. xi.13-15), the imitators of Satan, who transform themselves into angels of light. Their employment of Scripture resembles that of Satan in the temptation of our Lord. They presume, in the teeth of the teaching of the church, to claim a special illumination for their own small conventicle (cc. xxxv.-xxxvii.). Catholics must apply to the interpretation of Scripture the tests of universality, antiquity, and consent. Where they can, let them adduce the decrees of general councils; failing those, the consistent rulings of great doctors. This does not apply to small questions, but only to whatsoever affects the rule of faith. Inveterate heresies can generally be met by Holy Scripture alone, or by clear decisions of oecumenical councils. New ones often present at first greater difficulty, and we must be careful to cite those Fathers only who lived and died in the faith. What all or the majority clearly and perseveringly received, held, and taught, let that be held as undoubted, certain, and ratified. But any merely private opinion, even of a saint or martyr, must be put aside. This again agrees with St. Paul (I. Cor. i.10, xii.27, 28, xiv.33, 36; Eph. iv.11). That Pelagian writer Julian neglected these cautions, and broke away from the sentiments of his colleagues (cc. xxxviii.-xl.).

Bk. ii., as Gennadius informs us, was mostly lost, having been stolen from its author, who gives a recapitulation of its substance, which occupies 3 additional chapters. The first of these (c. xli.) simply re-states the main proposition of the earlier book. The author then, to shew that his view is no offspring of private presumption, adduces the example of the council of Ephesus, held nearly 3 years before the time of writing, in the consulship of Bassus and Antiochus. Great pains were taken to avoid an unfortunate issue, such as that of the council of Rimini (Concil. Ariminense); and the testimonies of martyrs, confessors, and orthodox doctors were considered by an assemblage of nearly 200 bishops to prove Nestorius an irreligious impugner of Catholic truth, and Cyril to be in accordance with it. Amongst the saintly doctors present in person, or whose works were cited as authoritative, were Peter of Alexandria, Athanasius, Theophilus, Cyril, Gregory Nazianzen, Basil and his excellent brother Gregory of Nyssa. The West was represented by letters of Felix and of Julius, bps. of Rome; the South by the evidence of Cyprian of Carthage; the North by that of Ambrose of Milan. The whole of the bishops, for the most part metropolitans, acted upon the principles maintained in this treatise and censured Nestorius for his unhallowed
presumption -- that he was the first and only man who rightly understood the Scriptures (xli.).

One element must be added, lest to all this weight anything seem lacking, namely, the authority of the apostolic see, which was illustrated by the twofold testimony of the reigning pope, SIXTUS III., and of his predecessor Coelestine. It was on the principles herein set forth that pope Sixtus condemned Nestorius; and Coelestine wrote in the same spirit to certain priests in Gaul who were fostering novelties. It is, in fact, an acceptance of the warning of St. Paul to Timothy to keep the deposit (I. Tim. vi.20, R.V. marg.) and to the Galatians, that he would be anathema who should reach to them any other gospel (Gal. i.8). Justly upon these grounds are Pelagius and Coelestius as well as Nestorius condemned (xlii.).

It may safely be asserted that few theological books of such modest bulk, published within our period, have attracted so large a share of attention. It has been included in all the best known collections of the Fathers (e.g. in the Maxima Bibliotheca Patrum, Lugduni, a.d.1677; and in that of Migne), repeatedly published separately in many lands, and not unfrequently translated. A Scottish trans., dedicated to Mary Queen of Scots, was issued by Knox's opponent, Ninian Winzeit, at Antwerp, in 1563; an Engl. one in Schaff and Wace's Post-Nicene Lib. by Dr. Heurtley, and another by Rev. W. B. Flower (Lond.1866).

The Commonitorium has gathered around itself a literature. How far its leading principles have been accepted, either explicitly or implicitly, in the past; how far they made a line of demarcation between those who accepted or rejected the Reformation; to what extent they are available in the controversies between the various Christian communions, or in the contest between Christianity and unbelief -- these questions have all been keenly discussed. To review these controversies would far exceed our limits, but it seems right to call attention to one or two features of the debate which have not received elsewhere the notice which they deserve.

That the Commonitorium lays down a broad line of demarcation between the Protestant and the Roman churches is an obvious overstatement. The Magdeburg Centuriators distinctly pronounced in its favour as a work of learning and acuteness; as a book which revealed and forcibly assailed the frauds of heretics, supplied a remedy and antidote against their poisons, set forth a weighty doctrine and displayed a knowledge of antiquity with skill and clearness in its treatment of Holy Scripture. The praise given by Casaubon to the principles of the English Reformation, the challenge of Jewel, and a large consensus of 17th-cent. divines, all rest, more or less explicitly, upon the famous dictum of Vincent -- which, indeed, derives considerable support from certain portions of the Prayer-Book, Articles, and Canons.

It is, of course, equally true that Roman Catholic divines, especially at the epoch of the Reformation and long after, also professed to take their stand upon the principles asserted in the Commonitorium. There is no reason to doubt their sincerity in so acting. They were not in a position to judge the evidence on behalf of this and that portion of medieval doctrine and practice, and they appealed with confidence to such stores of learning as lay open to them. A day came when this confidence was rudely shaken. The Benedictine editions of the works of the Fathers appeared, with honest and discriminating criticism applied to their writings. Not only was it seen that a considerable portion of their works, long accepted as genuine and authentic, was in reality spurious, but also that while distinctively Roman tenets and practices received much support from the sermons and treatises relegated into the appendix of each volume, the case was widely different when reference was made to genuine Patristic remains. A new school of Roman Catholic divines arose, of whom Father Petau (Petavius) may perhaps be considered the earliest, as he is certainly among the greatest. The process of development in the church of Rome has widened the breach between her teaching and the principles of Vincent of Lerins. The church which set forth the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mother, not merely as a lawful opinion but as a dogma, has broken with the maxim, |Quod semper, quod ubique, quod ab omnibus.| A new ed. for academical use was ed. by Jülicher, Sammlung . . . Quellenschrifter (Freiburg i. Br.1895).


Vitalius (Vitalis), bp. of the Apollinarian congregation at Antioch. Vitalius was a man of high character, brought up in the orthodox faith at Antioch, and ordained presbyter by Meletius (Theod. H. E. v.4; Soz. H. E. vi.25). Jealousy of his fellow-presbyter Flavian caused a breach between him and his bishop, deprived of whose guidance Vitalius fell under the influence of Apollinaris and embraced his theological system. Tidings of his unsoundness having reached Rome, Vitalius made a journey thither in 375 to clear himself before pope Damasus, and to be received by him into communion. By the use of equivocal terms he convinced Damasus of his orthodoxy. Damasus did not, however, receive him into communion, but sent Vitalius back to Antioch with a letter to Paulinus, whom, during the Meletian schism, Rome and the West recognized as the orthodox and canonical bishop of that see, remitting the whole matter to his decision. Shortly after Vitalius had left Rome Damasus despatched a second letter to Paulinus, containing a profession of faith, which, without naming Apollinaris, condemned his doctrines, desiring Paulinus to require signature to it as the terms of admission to communion (Labbe, ii.900 sqq.; Theod. H. E. v. ii). Vitalius refused, and the breach between him and Paulinus became complete. Apollinaris ordained Vitalius bishop of his schismatical church, his holiness of life and pastoral zeal gathering a large number of followers, the successors of whom were still at Antioch under the name of Vitalians when Sozomen wrote (Soz. H. E. vi.25). The unsoundness of Vitalius on the point on which Apollinaris diverged from the orthodox faith did not prevent his receiving much esteem and affection from leaders on the orthodox side, with whom, this one point excepted, he completely agreed. It must have been very shortly after Vitalius's return to Antioch that Epiphanius, urged thereto by Basil (Bas. Ep.258 ), visited Antioch to try to heal the differences then rending that church. There he met |Vitalius the bishop,| of whom he speaks in the highest terms. He earnestly besought him to reunite himself to the Catholic church. Finding that the misunderstanding was chiefly a personal one between him and Paulinus, each charging the other with unsoundness in the faith, Epiphanius invited both to a conference. At first Vitalius's language appeared perfectly orthodox. He acknowledged as fully as Paulinus that Christ was perfect man with a human body and soul (psuche); but when pressed as to whether He also had a human mind (nous), he said that His divinity was to Him in its place. Neither party could persuade the other, and Epiphanius had to give up the hopeless attempt (Epiph. lxxvii cc.20-23). [[625]Dimoeritae.] The schism of Vitalius added a third or, counting the Arians, a fourth church at Antioch, each denouncing the others. Meletius, Paulinus, and Vitalius each claimed to be the orthodox bishop. The perplexity created is graphically described by Jerome to pope Damasus (Hieron. Epp.57, 58). Tillem. Mém. eccl. vii.617-622 ; Dorner, Person of Christ, div.1, vol. ii. pp.386 ff., Clark's trans.


Vitus (1) (Guy), St., a youthful martyr in Diocletian's persecution; the son of a pagan gentleman in Sicily, but secretly trained in Christianity by his nurse Crescentia and her husband Modestus. After the boy had encountered much cruel suffering, they succeeded in carrying him over to Italy, where all three fell victims, either in Lucania or at Rome (Boll. Acta SS.15 Jun. iii.491, ed.1867). He is invoked against sudden death and hydrophobia (ib. App. p.21 *), and against prolonged sleep and the complaint known as the chorea or dance of St. Vitus (Guérin, Les Pet. Boll. vii.30). He is also, says Guérin, the patron of comedians and dancers. Two German medical writers, Gregory Horst and John Juncker, of the 17th and 18th cents. respectively, relate how the malady came to take his name (see Rees's Encyclopedia, s.v. |Chorea|). There sprang up, they say, in Germany in the 17th cent., a superstitious belief that by presenting gifts to the image of St. Vitus, and dancing before it day and night on his festival, people ensured themselves good health through the year. The saint's two chapels at Ulm and Ravensberg became more especially noted for the annual resort of these dancing fanatics.


Volusianus (1), C. Vibius Afinius Gallus Veldumnianus, joint emperor with his father Gallus, a.d.251-254. At the end of 251 Gallus was proclaimed emperor after the defeat and death of Decius, which he is said to have caused by his treachery. He associated Volusian with himself in the empire, and, after making peace with the Goths on the shameful terms of allowing them to keep their prisoners and paying them tribute, the emperors proceeded to Rome. Their short reign was marked by the dreadful pestilence which began in Ethiopia and spread over the whole Roman world, and in which Hostilianus, the son of Decius, who had been associated with the Galli in the empire, died. Their numerous medals, bearing representations of Apollo and Juno, the deities of the sun and the air (Eckhel, vii.357), support the statement of St. Cyprian (Ep.55 in Migne, Patr. Lat. iii.805), that they issued an edict, ordering sacrifices to be offered everywhere to appease the wrath of the gods. By refusing to obey the Christians aroused the hatred of the populace. In Africa the cry of |Cyprianum ad leonem| was again raised, and the outbreak of a persecution worse than that of Decius was daily feared (Ep.54 in ib.855, 861). Fortunately these fears were not realized. The only overt acts of persecution we certainly know of were confined to Rome. The outbreak was sudden (Ep.58 in ib.274), and Cornelius, bp. of Rome, was specially singled out for attack. His flock rallied bravely round him, and some who had fallen away in the Decian persecution distinguished themselves by their firmness (Ep.37 in ib.832). He with some of them was banished to Centum Cellae, where he died, probably a natural death, June 253 (see Lipsius, Chron. der röm. Bisch.207). His successor Lucius was apparently elected in exile but soon allowed to return, the persecution ceasing, probably owing to the outbreak of civil war. There is no clear proof of any severer punishment than exile in this persecution. This is the worst mentioned by the contemporary St. Cyprian and St. Dionysius of Alexandria (in Eus. H. E. vii.1). In the summer of 253 Aemilianus was proclaimed emperor by his soldiers, and c. Feb.254 Gallus and Volusianus were murdered by their troops at Torni (Zos. i.23-28; Zon. xii.21).


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