Section 14

1. Nec minōrem sub idem ferē tempus eōdem in opere virtūtem ēdidit. nam cum in vīcō quōdam fānō antīquissimō et celeberrimō īgnem immīsisset, in proximam, immō adhaerentem domum agente ventō flammārum globī ferēbantur. 2. quod ubi Martīnus advertit, rapidō cursū tēctum domūs scandit, obvium sē advenientibus flammīs īnferēns. tum vērō mīrum in modum cernerēs contrā vim ventī īgnem retorquērī, ut compugnantium inter sē elementōrum quīdam cōnflictus vidērētur. ita virtūte Martīni ibi tantum īgnis est operātus, ubi iussus est. 3. In vīcō autem, cui Leprōsum nōmen est, cum itidem templum opulentissimum superstitiōne religiōnis voluisset ēvertere, restitit eī multitūdo gentīlium, adeo ut nōn absque iniuriā sit repulsus. 4. itaque sēcessit ad proxima loca, ibique per trīduum ciliciō tēctus et cinere, iēiunāns semper atque ōrāns, precābātur ad Dominum, ut, quia templum illud ēvertere hūmāna manus nōn potuisset, virtūs illud dīvīna dīrueret. 5. tum subitō eī duo angelī hastātī atque scūtāti īnstar mīlitiae caelestis sē obtulērunt, dīcentēs missōs sē ā Dominō, ut rusticam multitūdinem fugārent praesidiumque Martīnō ferrent, nē quis, dum templum dīruerētur, obsisteret: redīret ergō et opus coeptum dēvōtus implēret. 6. ita regressus ad vīcum, īnspectantibus gentīlium turbīs et quiēscentibus, dum profānam aedem usque ad fundāmenta dīrueret, ārās omnēs atque simulācra redēgit in pulverem. 7. quō visō rusticī, cum sē intellegerent dīvīnō nūtū obstupefactōs atque perterritōs, nē epīscopō repugnārent, omnēs ferē Iēsum Dominum crēdidērunt, clāmantēs palam et cōnfitentēs, Deum Martīnī colendum, īdōla autem neglegenda, quae nec sibi nec aliīs adesse possent.

sub idem fere tempus: 'at about the same time'.

eodem in opere: 'in the same task', i.e., destroying pagan shrines and converting the peasants.

proximam, immo adhaerentem: 'nearby, in fact adjacent'

agente vento: 'through the action of the wind'.

cerneres: 'you would see', i.e., if you were there, more vivid appeal to the reader.

quidam conflictus videretur: 'there seemed (to be) a kind of collision', impf. subj. in a result clause.

ibi tantum . . . ubi: 'only at that place where'.

Leprosum: village in Gallia

absque: 'without'.

opulentissimum superstitione religionis: 'richly ornamented by pagan superstition' (White).

ad proxima loca: 'to a nearby region'.

cilicio tectus et cinere: 'covered in sackcloth and ashes', a traditional sign of mortification and mourning (Isaiah 58.5, Matthew 11.21). A cilicium is a rug or blanket of goat's hair', a rough material suggestive of austerity.

instar militiae caelestis: 'like a heavenly soldiery'.

rediret . . . impleret: 'he should go back and complete', jussive subjunctive in indirect statement, representing the angels' instructions.

devotus: adverbial, 'zealously, piously'.

inspectiantibus . . . et quiescentibus dum . . . dīrueret: 'watching and being quiet until he demolished'. The dum clause is part of the ablative absolute, and its subj. suggests that dum means 'until such time as', as though the pagans were waiting for him to be done. But Sulpicius uses the indicative in a similar context above, section 13: cum īdem illī, dum templum ēvertitur, imperante Dominō quiēvissent.

redegit in pulverem: 'reduced to dust' (> redigo, -ere).

colendum: (sc. esse) 'should be worshipped' (> colo -ere), passive periphrastic in indirect statement after confitentes.

neglegenda: (sc. esse), 'should be abandoned'.

adesse: 'aid' (> adsum + dat.).

vīcus -ī m.: village, hamlet

celeber -bris -bre: frequented, crowded; famous

inmittō -mittere -mīsī -missum: let in, let loose at, cast into

adhaereō -haerēre -haesī -haesum: stick to, adhere to

globus -ī m.: any spherical body, globe, sphere

rapidus -a -um: swift, quick, rapid

scandō scandere scandī scānsum: climb, mount

retorqueō -torquēre -torsī -tortum: turn back

compugnō -āre: fight with, contend with

elementum -ī n.: a first principle, element

cōnflictus -ūs m.: fight, contest

itidem: (adv.) in like manner, so, in the same way

opulentus -a -um: rich, wealthy, opulent

superstitiō -ōnis f.: unreasonable religious belief, superstition

absque: without

sēcēdō -cēdere -cessī -cessum: go apart, separate, withdraw

trīduum -ī n.: three days

cilicium -ī n.: course garment

iēiūnō -āre: fast, abstain from food

dīruō -ruere -ruī -rutum: tear asunder, demolish, destroy

hastātus -a -um: armed with a spear

scūtātus -a -um: armed with a long shield (scutum)

īnstar n.: (indecl.) resemblance, likeness

obsistō -sistere -stitī -stitum: set one's self against; oppose, resist

dēvoveō -vovēre -vōvī -vōtum: set apart by vows, devote

regredior -gredī -gressus sum: go back, withdraw

īnspectō -āre: look at, observe

profānus -a -um: unholy, profane

fundāmentum -ī n.: foundation

simulācrum -i n.: effigy, image

redigō -igere -ēgi -actum: drive back; reduce or bring down; render

pulvis -eris m.: dust, powder

obstupefaciō -facere -fēci -factum: amaze, stupefy, render senseless

perterreō -terrēre -terruī -territum: terrify thoroughly, demoralize

clāmō -āre: call, cry out, shout

palam: (adv. and prep.) openly, publicly

īdōlon -ī n.: idol

neglegō neglegere neglēxī neglēctum: not choose, not heed; disregard

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Suggested Citation

Christopher Francese, Sulpicius Severus: Life of St. Martin. Carlisle, Pennsylvania: Dickinson College Commentaries, 2011. ISBN: 978-1-947822-03-0. http://dcc.dickinson.edu/sulpicius-severus/section-14