Severus, Sulpicius, St

Severus, Sulpicius, St., was born about 363, of a prominent family, and in manhood shone for a time as a forensic orator. He married the daughter of a wealthy consul; but she died about 392, and he spent the remainder of his life in monastic seclusion with a few like-minded persons, in Aquitaine. He was an admirer of Martin of Tours, whom he repeatedly visited. Gennadius states that he was gained over to Pelagianism when in his old age, and that he had expressed himself in favor of that system; but that, having discovered his error, he imposed on himself perpetual silence as a penance. He died at Marseilles, whither he had retired, soon after A.D. 410. The writings of Severus are, Vita S. Martini Turonensis, with legendary embellishments: — Historia Sacra, or Chronica Sacra, containing Jewish and Church history to A.D. 400, interspersed with marvels, but written in a flowing style: Dialogues, written about A.D. 405, and treating in part of the monastic life and virtues, in part of the merits of Martin of Tours; finally, some letters of no importance and doubtful authenticity (see Bahr, Christl. rom. Theol. p. 218-222). The works of Severus have been separately published in various editions; the best complete edition is that of Hieronymus de Prato (Verona, 1751-54), without the letters. A reprint from this ed. with the letters added is given in Gallandi, Bibl, Patrum, 8, 355 sq. — Herzog, Real-Encykop. s.v.

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