Sulpicius Severus

Sulpicius Severus (c. 363 in Aquitaine, † 420-425 in southern Gaul ) wrote the first biography of Saint Martin of Tours.


Sulpicius Severus was a Aquitanian aristocrat who was intended for the civil service. He was educated in the classical manner, he studied rhetoric probably in Ausonius. He married the daughter of a Bassula, the name of his wife is unknown. After the early death of his wife he withdrew and entered a monastery. From his correspondence with his friend Paulinus of Nola one learns a lot about his life, his views and his activities as a monastic founder.

Sulpicius wrote a world history ( Chronicorum Libri duo or Historia sacra ), which begins with the creation of the world and by the year 400 is enough, but it leaves out the events that are described in the New Testament. His work is an important source of information dispute over Arianism and the Priscillianism, particularly with regard to Gaul.

He began Sulpicius ' Life of St. Martin already during his lifetime ( Martin died 397). He was personally very well acquainted with Martin. The plant was the most popular biography of this popular saint. The biography is also a valuable resource for the beginning of monasticism in Europe. In the Martin Vita, three letters and three dialogues on the Saints, there are moreover interesting details about the history of everyday life.


  • P. Bihlmeyer: The writings of Sulpicius Severus on the Saint Martin, Bishop of Tours. Library of the Fathers, Vol 20, Kempten and Munich 1914 (online).