Section 17

1. Eōdem tempore Taetradiī cuiusdam prōcōnsulāris virī servus daemoniō correptus dolendō exitū cruciābātur: rogātus ergō Martīnus, ut eī manum impōneret, dēdūcī eum ad se iubet: sed nēquam spiritus nūllō proferrī modō dē cellulā, in quā erat, potuit: ita in advenientēs rabidīs dentibus saeviēbat. 2. tum Taetradius ad genua beāti virī advolvitur, ōrāns ut ad domum, in quā daemoniācus habēbātur, ipse dēscenderet. tum vērō Martīnus negāre sē profānī et gentīlis domum adīre posse: 3. nam Taetradius eō tempore adhuc gentīlitātis errōre implicitus tenēbātur. spondet ergō sē, sī dē puerō daemōn fuisset exāctus, Christiānum fore. 4. ita Martīnus impositā manū puerō immundum ab eō spiritum ēiēcit. quō vīsō Taetradius Dominum Iēsum crēdidit: statimque catēchūmenus factus nec multō post baptīzātus est, semperque Martīnum salūtis suae auctōrem mīrō coluit affectū. 5. per idem tempus in eōdem oppidō ingressus patris familiās cuiusdam domum, in līmine ipsō restitit dīcēns, horribile in ātriō domūs daemonium sē vidēre. cui cum ut discēderet imperāret et patrem familiās, quī in interiōre parte aedium morābātur, arripuisset, saevīre dentibus miser coepit, et obviōs quōsque laniāre. commōta domus, familia turbāta, populus in fugam versus: 6. Martīnus sē furentī obiēcit, ac primum stāre eī imperat. sed cum dentibus fremeret hiantīque ōre morsum minārētur, digitōs eī Martīnus in ōs intulit: 'sī habēs,' inquit, 'aliquid potestātis, hōs dēvorā.' 7. tum vērō, ac sī candēns ferrum faucibus accepisset, longē reductīs dentibus digitōs beātī virī vītābat attingere: et cum fugere dē obsessō corpore poenīs et cruciātibus cōgeretur nec tamen exīre eī per ōs licēret, foeda relinquēns vestigia fluxū ventris ēgestus est.

Taetradii cuiusdam proconsularis viri: 'of a certain Taetradius, a man of proconsular rank'--evidently a very important personage, though nothing more is known of him. A proconsul was a distinguished former consul and governor of a province. Perhaps Taetradius had governed a province like Africa, then returned to his estates in Gaul. Gaul itself was not governed by a proconsul.

dolendo exitu: 'a lamentable death'.

ut ei manum imponeret: 'to lay his hand upon him', jussive noun clause after rogatusei is dative with imponere.

nequam: 'wicked' (indeclinable adjective).

nullo . . . modo: 'in no way'.

daemoniacus: 'demoniac', a person possessed by an evil spirit.

negare: 'denied' (historical infinitive).

fuisset exactus: 'has been driven out' (> exigo, -ere) = esset exactus.

fore: (= futurum esse): 'would become'.

baptizatus est: 'was baptized' (baptizo (1)).

Martinum . . . auctorem . . . coluit: 'paid great respect to Martin as the author of' (> colo -ere).

patris familiās cuiusdam: 'of a certain property owner' (> paterfamilias).

cui cum ut discederet imperaret: 'when it (the demon) ordered him (Martin) to leave'. cui is dative with imperat.

aedium: 'of the house' (> aedes -ium, f. pl.).

saevire dentibus miser coepit: 'the wretched man began to gnash his teeth'

et obvios quosque laniare: 'and to mangle each person who came in his way'. Roman doctors knew such violently insane people as phrenetici, who were known to bite their caregivers. See Caelius Aurelianus, On Acute Diseases, Book 1. Normally they were tied up: Augustine, Sermons 87, PL 38.538; Gregory the Great, Homilies on the Gospels 2.33.4.

commota . . . turbata . . . versus: supply est with all three participles.

se furenti obiecit: 'put himself in the way of the raving man' (> obicio, -ere).

hianti ore: 'with gaping mouth' (> hio (1)).

ei . . . in os: 'into his (the demoniac's) mouth'. ei is dative of reference (AG 377).

ac si: 'as if'.

candens: 'white hot'.

obsesso: 'possessed' (> obsideo).

nec . . . ei . . . liceret: 'nor was it permitted to him'.

fluxu ventris: 'through the evacuation of (the man's) bowels'.

egestus est: 'was expelled' (> egero).

prōcōnsulāris -e: proconsular, of or belonging to a proconsul

daemonium -ī n.: lesser divinity; an evil spirit, demon

corripiō -ripere -ripuī -reptum: snatch up, seize, press on

exitus -ūs m.: outcome, end; death

cruciō -āre: torture, torment

nēquam: (indecl.) wretched, vile

prōferō -ferre -tulī -lātum: bring forth, extend

rabidus -a -um: savage, fierce, rabid

dēns dentis m.: tooth

saeviō -īre: rage, be furious

advolvō -volvere -volvī -volūtum: roll towards, throw one's self at, fall prostrate before

daemoniacus -ī m.: demoniac, one possessed by an evil spirit

profānus -a -um: unholy, profane

spondeo spondēre spopondī sponsum: pledge, vow

immundus -a -um: unclean, impure, foul

ēiciō -icere -iēci -iectum: cast out; eject, expel

baptīzō -āre: baptize

rēstitō -āre: stay behind, tarry, hesitate

horribilis -e: horrible, dreadful

ātrium -ī n.: the fore-court, atrium

interior -ōris: inner, interior, innermost

laniō -āre: lacerate, mutilate

fremō -fremere -fremuī -fremitum: roar, growl, rage

hiō hiāre: yawn, gape

mordeō mordēre momordī morsum: bite, bite into

minitor -ārī: threaten, menace

dēvorō -āre: swallow, devour

candēns -entis: white, shining, bright

faux faucis f.: throat

attingō -tingere -tigī -tactum: touch; reach, attain to

obsideō -sidēre -sēdī -sessum: stay, remain; haunt, inhabit

cruciātus -ūs m.: torture, torment

venter ventris m.: belly; hunger

ēgerō -gerere -gessī -gestum: carry, bear out, discharge

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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-17