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Victorinus_Afer

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 ὁμοουσίῳ Recipiendo, a summary of (2). (4) Three Hymns, mainly consisting of formulas and prayers intended to elucidate 1011the 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 ὁμοούσιος as an unscriptural term (adv. Ar. i. 30, p. 1063 B, C 114114References are to vol. viii. of Migne's Patr. Gk.; 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 1012beyond 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 ἐνδιάθετος and the προφορικὸς Λόγος 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 "Λόγος in occulto," and Christ Incarnate as the "Λόγος in manifesto"; Logos and Spiritus being used interchangeably115115So the words "genitus," "procedens," are not kept strictly to the second and third Persons of the Trinity respectively. The Spirit is said once (adv. Ar. iv. 33 1138 A) to be "genitus," and the "processio" of the Son is frequently spoken of, e.g. i. 27, 1060 D; i. 14; 1048 B.; 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").

1013

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—οὐσιακῶς. Whatever came into being subsequently in time, in Him was eternally Life. Thus the Λόγος is the "Λόγος 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 "Λόγος 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 ἐπιούσιος," 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 1014same way, "popuIus περιούσιος" 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 νοῦς 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 Λόγος to the Father, is based on Plotinus's language about the relation of the νοῦς 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 Λόγος 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. 116116There are one or two contributions to the history of heresies, made by Victorinus, which are worth noticing. In Gal. i. 19, we have an account of a Judaizing or Ebionite sect called the "Symmachians" (see pp. 1155 B and 1162 D). They made a point of the apostolate of James, the Lord s brother. See also for heresies in regard to Christ's person an interesting passage, adv. Ar. i. 45, 1075 B, C; cf. i. 28, 1061 B, C. He calls the definition of Nicaea "a wall and a defence" (ii. 9 1095 D). We notice also that he probably is the first to use "paganus" for the heathen (de Recip. ὁμοουσίῳ, i.; in Gal. 1158 C). For the origin of the term godfather see in Gal. 1184 B.

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 Λόγος 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 1015rendering 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 σύνζυγε. 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 (πρὸς τὴν μεθοδείαν τῆς πλανῆς), "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 περιούσιον 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).

[C.G.]

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