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Bible Dictionaries

A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography

Victor, Claudius Marius

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Victor ( 39 ) (Victorius, Victorinus ), Claudius Marius, the author of three books in hexameter verse, containing the narrative of Genesis down to the destruction of the cities of the Plain; author also of a letter to "Salmon," or Solomon, an abbat, in hexameter verse, on the corrupt manners of his time. He is probably the Victorius, or Victorinus, mentioned by Gennadius ( de Vir. Ill. 60) as a rhetorician of Marseilles, who died "Theodosio et Valentiano regnantibus" ( i.e. 425–450), and who addressed to his son Aetherius a commentary on Genesis. Gennadius says "a principio libri usque ad obitum patriarchae Abrahae tres diversos edidit libros." This does not accurately describe the work we have under the name of Cl. M. Victor. But there is a diversity of reading in the passage of Gennadius. In Erasmus's ed. of St. Jerome the passage stands " quatuor versuum edidit libros." If this be the right reading, it seems almost certain that the three books we have of Cl. M. Victor, ending as they now do at a point which seems to call for some explanation, are the first three books of those mentioned by Gennadius, and that a fourth book, now lost, carried on the narrative to Abraham's death, where a natural halting-place for the work is presented. The three books correspond very well with what Gennadius says of the work of Victorius; they are written in a pious and Christian spirit, but without depth or great force of treatment. They are, mainly, a paraphrase in verse of part of Genesis with but few reflections; the narrative, with one or two exceptions, keeping closely to that of Scripture. The most notable variation is the introduction of a prayer by Adam on his expulsion from Paradise, which is followed by a strange episode. The serpent is discerned by Eve, who urges Adam to take vengeance on him. In assailing him with stones, a spark is struck from a flint, which sets fire to the wood in which Adam and Eve had taken shelter, and they are threatened with destruction. This mishap is the means of revealing to them metals, forced from the ground by the heat, and of preparing the earth, by the action of the fire, for the production of corn. The style of the poem and its language are in no way remarkable; its versification is generally tolerable, but there are instances of wrong quantities of syllables. The Ep. to Salomon is a poem of about 100 hexameters, and more original, though not of special interest. Both are in De la Bigne's Bibl. Patr. viii. 278, and Appendix; and in Maittaires' Corpus Poetarum Lat. ii. 1567.


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Bibliography Information
Wace, Henry. Entry for 'Victor, Claudius Marius'. A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography. 1911.

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