Section 26

1. Sed iam fīnem liber postulat, sermō claudendus est, nōn quod omnia, quae dē Martīnō fuerint dīcenda, dēfēcerint, sed quia nōs, ut inertēs poētae, extrēmō in opere neglegentēs, victī materiae mōle succumbimus. 2. nam etsi facta illius explicārī verbīs utcumque potuērunt, interiōrem vītam illius et conversātiōnem cōtīdiānam et animum caelō semper intentum nūlla umquam — vērē prōfiteor — nūlla explicābit ōrātio. illam scīlicet persevērantiam et temperāmentum in abstinentiā et in iēiuniīs, potentiam in vigiliīs et ōrātiōnibus, noctēsque ab eō perinde ac diēs āctās nūllumque vacuum ab opere Deī tempus, quō vel otiō indūlserit vel negōtiō, sed nē cibō quidem aut somnō, nisi quantum natūrae necessitās cōgēbat, 3. vērē fatēbor, nōn sī ipse, ut āiunt, ab īnferīs Homērus ēmergeret, posset expōnere: adeo omnia, māiōra in Martīnō sunt quam ut verbīs concipī queant. numquam hōra ulla mōmentumque praeteriit, quō nōn aut ōrātiōnī incumberet aut īnsisteret lēctiōnī, quamquam etiam inter legendum aut sī quid aliud forte agēbat, numquam animum ab ōrātiōne laxābat. 4. nimīrum ut fabrīs ferrāriīs mōris est, quī inter operandum prō quōdam labōris levāmine incūdem suam feriunt, ita Martīnus etiam, dum aliud agere viderētur, semper ōrābat. 5. ō vēre vir beātus, in quō dolus nōn fuit: nēminem iūdicāns, nēminem damnāns, nūllī malum prō malō reddēns. tantam quippe adversum omnēs iniūriās patientiam assumpserat, ut, cum esset summus sacerdōs, impūnē etiam ab īnfimīs clēricīs laederētur, nec propter id eōs aut locō umquam āmōverit aut ā suā, quantum in ipsō fuit, cāritāte reppulerit.

non quod omnia . . . defecerint: 'not because all the things have been exhausted.' defecerint is pf. subjunctive in a causal clause, after non quod introducing a reason expressly to deny it: AG 540 Note 3 (> deficio, -ere, -feci, -fectum: run out, cease, disappear).

quae fuerint dicenda: 'which needed to be said'. fuerint is pf. subj. in a relative clause of characteristic.

utcumque: 'somehow or other'.

nulla . . . nulla: both with oratio, repeated for emphasis. oratio here means 'discourse, treatise'. Just below, orationibus refers to Martin's praying.

illam scilicet . . . exponere: The subject of this long sentence is Homerus, the main verb posset: 'not if, as they say, Homer himself should emerge from the underworld, would he be able to express (exponere) . . . .' The series of accusatives at the beginning are direct objects of exponere.

illam scilicet perseverantiam: 'I mean the sort of perseverance'. This and the following accusatives are the direct objects of exponere below.

perinde ac: 'in the same way as'.

quo indulserit: 'with which he devoted himself to/indulged in', > indulgeo, -ēre, -dulsi, -tum, pf. subjunctive in a relative clause of characteristic. The antecedent of quo is the idea of Martin's energy and self-control, taken from the first part of the sentence as a whole. indulgeo regularly takes the dative, and is here followed by four: otio . . . negotio . . . cibo . . . somno. With the first pair of objects the verb means 'devoted himself to', with the second pair, 'indulged in'.

nisi quantum: 'except in so far as'.

vere fatebor: 'I will tell you truly', parenthetical.

adeo omnia maiora in Martino sunt quam ut verbis concipi queant: 'to such an extent are all things in Martin greater than can be expressed in words'.

ut fabrīs ferrāriīs moris est: 'as is customary for blacksmiths' (faber ferrarius, fabri ferrarii, m.; mos, moris, m.)

pro quodam laboris levamine: 'as a kind of lightening of their labor'.

incudem: 'anvil' (> incus, incudis, f.).

loco . . . amoverit: 'removed from his position'. As bishop Martin had the authority to dismiss priests.

quantum in ipso fuit: 'was much as was in him', i.e., as much as he could.

iners -ertis: without force, sluggish

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

mōlēs -is f.: shapeless mass

succumbō -cumbere -cubuī -cubitum: fall down, succumb, yield

explicō -plicāre -plicuī or -plicāvī -plicātum: unfold; release, explain

utcumque: (adv.) in whatever way, however

interior -ōris: inner, interior, innermost

conversātiō -ōnis f.: frequent use; dealing, conversation

cotīdiānus -a -um: daily

persevērantia -ae f.: steadfastness, perseverance

temperāmentum -ī n.: proper measure, moderation

abstinentia -ae f.: abstinence, self-restraint

iēiūnium -ī n.: a fast-day, fast

potentia -ae f.: might, force, power

vigilia -ae f.: sleeplessness; vigilance

perinde: (adv.) in like manner, just so

indulgeō indulgēre indulsī indultum: indulge in; concede, grant, allow (+ dat.)

ēmergō -mergere -mersī -mersum: bring or come forth

queō quīre quīvī quitum: be able

mōmentum -ī n.: short time, moment

incumbō -cumbere -cubuī -cubitum: lie upon; apply one's self to, exert one's self

īnsistō -sistere -stitī: enter upon, pursue; devote one's self to (+ dat.)

lēctiō -ōnis f.: a reading

laxō laxāre: loosen, slacken; open

nīmīrum: (adv.) without doubt, indisputably, certainly

faber -brī m.: workman, artisan

ferrārius -a -um: of iron

levāmen -inis n.: relief, solace, comfort

incūs -ūdis f.: anvil

adversum -i n.: misfortune, calamity, adversity

impūnē: without fear of punishment, with impunity

clēricus -ī m.: clergyman, priest

āmoveō -movēre -mōvī -mōtum: remove, take away

cāritās -ātis f.: dearness

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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-26