Section 19

1. Arborius autem, vir praefectōrius, sānctī admodum et fidēlis ingeniī, cum filia eius gravissimīs quartānae febribus ūrerētur, epīstulam Martīnī, quae cāsū ad eum dēlāta fuerat, pectorī puellae in ipsō accessū ardōris īnseruit, statimque fugāta febris est. 2. quae rēs apud Arborium in tantum valuit, ut statim puellam Deō vōverit et perpetuae virginitātī dīcārit: profectusque ad Martīnum puellam eī, praesēns virtūtum eius testimōnium, quae per absentem licet cūrāta esset, obtulit, neque ab aliō eam quam ā Martīnō habitū virginitātis impositō passus est cōnsecrārī. 3. Paulīnus magnī vir postmodum futūrus exemplī, cum oculum graviter dolēre coepisset et iam pupillam eius crassior nūbēs superducta tēxisset, oculum eī Martīnus penicillō contigit pristinamque eī sanitātem sublātō omnī dolōre restituit.

4. ipse autem cum cāsū quōdam esset dē cēnāculō dēvolūtus et per cōnfragōsōs scālae gradūs dēcidēns multīs vulneribus esset affectus, cum exanimis iacēret in cellulā et immodicīs dolōribus cruciārētur, nocte eī angelus vīsus est ēluere vulnera et salūbrī unguēdine contūsī corporis superlinīre līvōrēs: atque ita posterō diē restitūtus est sānitāti, ut nihil umquam pertulisse incommodī putārētur. 5. sed longum est īre per singula: sufficiant haec vel pauca dē plūrimīs, satisque sit, nōs et in excellentibus nōn subtrāhere vēritātem et in multīs vītāre fastīdium.

vir praefectorius: 'a former prefect', commander of a legion or detachment of a legion (see A.H. M. Jones, Later Roman Empire i.640).

gravissimis quartanae febribus: 'by very serious attacks of quartan fever' (quartana, -ae, f.), technically one that recurs every third day; perhaps a form of malaria.

casu: 'by chance'

delata fuerat: 'had been delivered' (> defero, = delata erat)

in tantum valuit, ut: 'had such an effect that'

dicarit: 'dedicated' (> dico (1), = dicaverit).

praesens virtutum eius testimonium: 'a potent testimony to his miracle working powers', parenthetical.

per absentem licet: 'through him even when he was not there' (> absum).

neque ab alio . . . quam: 'by no one other than'.

Paulinus . . . exempli: 'Paulinus, a man who later would set such a fine example', i.e., by giving up his considerable wealth and devoting himself to the church. This is Paulinus of Nola, the poet; see below, 26.4.

oculum graviter dolere: 'to suffer from a serious eye complaint' (White). oculum is acc. of respect.

iam pupillam eius crassior nubes superducta texisset: 'quite a thick grey film had spread across his pupil and now covered it' (White). superduco = 'draw over' is late Lat.

oculum ei Martīnus penicillō contigit: 'Martin touched his eye with a little brush'. ei is dative of reference (AG 377).

penecillo: evidently a kind of soft sponge. See Rabanus Maurus, De Universo (ca. AD 842) 8.5 (PL 111.239C): mollissimum genus earum [sc. spongiarum] penecilli vocantur eo quod aptae sint ad oculorum tumores, et ad extergendas lippitudines utiles.

casu quodam: 'by some chance'

esset . . . devolutus: 'had fallen down' (> devolvo).

per confragosos scalae gradus decidens: 'tumbling through the treacherous steps of a flight of stairs', or else 'falling through the broken rungs of a ladder'. The Latin could mean either.

salubri unguedine: 'with a healing ointment' (> unguedo, unguedinis, f.).

contusi: 'battered' (> contundo).

superlinire: 'annoint'.

nihil umquam . . . incommodi: 'no injury at all' (incommodi is partitive genitive).

longum est: 'it is a long task'.

sufficiant haec . . . satisque sit: 'let these things suffice . . . and let it be enough' (jussive subj.).

vel: 'even if only'.

nos et in excellentibus non subtrahere veritatem et in multis vitare fastidium: 'that in describing outstanding deeds I do not detract from their believability, and in describing many deeds I avoid annoying the reader'. Supply a gerundive like dicendis afterexcellentibus and multis.

praefectōrius -a -um: prefectorial, of or belonging to a prefect

quartānus -a -um: of or belonging to the fourth; quartan

febris -is f.: fever

ūro ūrere ūssī ūstum: burn

īnserō -sere -sēvī -situm: put in, introduce into

voveō vovēre vōvī vōtum: vow, promise solemnly; devote, dedicate

virginitās -ātis f.: maidenhood, virginity

absens -entis: absent

cōnsecrō -secrāre: dedicate

postmodum: (adv.) afterwards

pūpilla -ae f.: pupil of the eye

crassus -a -um: thick

nūbēs -is f.: cloud

superdūcō -dūcere -dūxī -dūctum: lead over, draw over

pēnicillus -ī m.: a painter's brush or pencil; a kind of eye salve

subferō subferre sustulī sublātum: bear, endure, suffer

restituō -stituere -stituī -stitūtum: restore, revive

cēnāculum -ī n.: an upper story, a garret, attic

dēvolvō -volvere -volvī -volūtum: roll down

confragōsus -a -um: broken, rough, uneven

scāla -ae f.: flight of steps, staircase; ladder

dēcidō -cidere -cidī: fall off, fall down

immodicus -a -um: beyond measure, excessive, immoderate

cruciō -āre: torture, torment

ēluō -luere -luī -lūtum: wash out

salūbris -e: health-giving, salubrious

unguēdo -inis f.: ointment, unguent

contundō -tundere -tudī -tūsum: beat down, subdue

superlinō -linere -litum: daub, besmear

līvor -ōris m.: black and blue spot

perferō -ferre -tulī -lātum: carry through; suffer, endure

incommodum -ī n.: inconvenience, injury, misfortune

sufficiō -ficere -fēcī -fectum: supply, afford; be able

excellentia -ae f.: superiority, excellence, perfection

subtrahō -trahere -trāxī -trāctum: withdraw, remove

vēritās -ātis f.: truth, verity

fastīdium -ī n.: dislike, aversion

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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-19