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E03090: Gregory of Tours, in his Miracles of Martin (2.18), recounts how Landulf, a madman from Vienne (south-east Gaul), was miraculously cured in the church of *Martin (ascetic and bishop of Tours, ob. 397, S00050) in Tours; AD 575. Written in Latin in Tours (north-west Gaul), 575/581.

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posted on 2017-06-25, 00:00 authored by kwojtalik
Gregory of Tours, Miracles of Martin (Libri de virtutibus sancti Martini episcopi) 2.18

A man called Landulf from the territory of Vienne was so badly tormented by demons that he travelled to Tours to seek the help of Martin. There, in the forecourt of the church, he was still attacked by the demons, but piously repelled them with the sign of the cross. The Devil then approached him in the form of Martin:

Post has autem vacuas et inanes inmissiones, cum videret inimicus, ut eumsibi vindicare non posse, dolis eum temptavit inludere. Conponens autem se in speciem veterani venit ad eum, dicens: 'Ego sum Martinus, quem invocas; surge et adora coram me, si vis recipere sanitatem'. Cui ille ait: 'Si tu es domnus Martinus, fac super me signum crucis, et credam'. At ille, audito nomine signi sibi semper contrarii, tamquam fumus evanuit. Post haec autem stans ad pedes gloriosi domni factus est in stupore mentis, et vidit beatam basilicam novo lumine effulgere; ex qua egrediens, sanctus dixit ad eum: 'Exaudita est oratio tua, et ecce eris sanus ab infirmitate qua pateris!' Et sic beatae crucis signaculum super caput eius faciens, abscessit. Ille vero in se reversus, amota omni insidia, sensit se salutem integram recepisse. Tamen post receptam sanitatem, cum coepisset vinum uti superflue, corpusque a diu abstento imbre maduisset, latus ei cum uno pede manuque contrahitur'. Sed parsimoniae se iterum deputans caputque tunsorans, rursum beati virtute redditur sanitati.

'After these ineffective and unsuccessful threats, and when the Enemy saw that he was unable to claim the man for himself, he attempted to delude him with guile. Transforming himself into the appearance of a veteran soldier, he came to the man, and said: 'I am the Martin whom you are invoking. Rise and pray before me, if you wish to recover your health.' Landulf replied to him: 'If you are lord Martin, make the sign of the cross over me; then I will believe.' But once the demon heard the name of the sign [of the cross] that is always opposed to him, he vanished as if smoke. After thus, Landulf stood at the feet of his glorious lord [Martin] and was affected by a mental daze; he saw that the blessed church was shining in a fresh light. The saint came out of the church and said to him: 'Your prayer has been heard, and behold! you will be healed of the illness from which you suffer.' And so he made the sign of the blessed cross over his head and departed. Once Landulf returned to his senses, all his attacks had departed, and he felt that he had recovered his original health. But after the recovery of his health he began to drink wine to excess; and after he had besotted his body that had long abstained from wine, his side, one foot, and a hand stiffened up. But when he again dedicated himself to abstinence and tonsured his head, again he was restored to his health by the power of the blessed [Martin].'

Text: Krusch 1969, 165. Translation: Van Dam 1993, 237-238, lightly modified (de Nie 2015, 569-571).


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Martin, ascetic and bishop of Tours (Gaul), ob. 397 : S00050

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Literary - Hagiographical - Collections of miracles


  • Latin

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Gaul and Frankish kingdoms

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc


Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Tours Tours Tours Toronica urbs Prisciniacensim vicus Pressigny Turonorum civitas Ceratensis vicus Céré

Major author/Major anonymous work

Gregory of Tours

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Visiting graves and shrines

Cult Activities - Miracles

Miracle after death Exorcism Apparition, vision, dream, revelation Healing diseases and disabilities

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Physicians Other lay individuals/ people


Gregory, of a prominent Clermont family with extensive ecclesiastical connections, was bishop of Tours from 573 until his death (probably in 594). He was the most prolific hagiographer of all Late Antiquity. He wrote four books on the miracles of Martin of Tours, one on those of Julian of Brioude, and two on the miracles of other saints (the Glory of the Martyrs and Glory of the Confessors), as well as a collection of twenty short Lives of sixth-century Gallic saints (the Life of the Fathers). He also included a mass of material on saints in his long and detailed Histories, and produced two independent short works: a Latin version of the Acts of Andrew and a Latin translation of the story of The Seven Sleepers of Ephesus. Gregory's Miracles of Martin (full title Libri de virtutibus sancti Martini episcopi, 'Books of the Miracles of Saint Martin the Bishop'), consists of four books of miracles, 207 chapters in all, effected by Martin, primarily at his grave and shrine in Tours. Most of them occurred at the time of the saint's festivals, on 4 July and 11 November. Gregory tried to record the miracles in chronological order, so historians have been able to calculate quite precisely the dates of the events and miracles mentioned in the work. This fairly precise chronology has enabled scholars to determine the dates of completion of each book. There have been three main dating schemes proposed for the composition of the four books. The oldest was suggested by Monod in 1872, another by Krusch in 1885, and then one by Van Dam in 1993 (for fuller discussion, see Shaw 2015, 103-105). Their datings of the individual books do not vary substantially, and in our entries we have given only those of Van Dam. Shaw 2015 convincingly demolishes an earlier theory, that Gregory wrote the Miracles in two distinct stages: a first stage that was written during a particular period, and a second stage in the early 590s, in which Gregory revised the whole work. Book 1, with 40 chapters, was written between 573 and 576. In the prologue, Gregory mentions that he started writing after he became bishop of Tours in August 573. Book 1 must have been completed by 576, since Venantius Fortunatus in a letter to Gregory of that year referred to it (Epistula ad Gregorium 2, prefatory letter to Fortunatus' Life of Martin, MGH Auct. ant. 4.1, p. 293). Book 2 consists of 60 chapters. It must have been finished before November 581, because the last miracles it mentions occurred in November 580, while the first ones recorded in Book 3 happened in November 581. Using the same methodology, the completion of Book 3, which also covers 60 chapters, can be dated between 587 and July 588. Book 4, which consists of 47 chapters, seems never to have been completed, presumably because of Gregory’s death. There are two main arguments in support of the idea that it is unfinished. Firstly, Book 4 has no conclusion and no tidy number of chapters, while each of Books 1 to 3 has these elements. Secondly, the last story recorded in Book 4 is not about Gregory himself, unlike the final stories of Books 2 and 3. Book 1 covers miracles that occurred before Gregory’s episcopate in Tours. The next three books are a running chronicle of Martin’s miracles under Gregory’s episcopate. Some of the miracles are recorded in very summary form, while others are much more elaborately presented: because of this, it has been argued that Gregory first jotted down notes, and only subsequently gave the stories full literary treatment (which in some cases, he was never able to do). The three completed books of the Miracles of Martin were probably released as they were completed, rather that published together. In this sense they are the exception amongst Gregory's writings, since the rest of his work was not finally completed and seems to have been unpublished at the time of his death. For discussion of the work, see: Krusch, B. (ed.), Gregorii episcopi Turonensis miracula et opera minora (Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptores rerum Merovingicarum 1,2; 2nd ed.; Hannover, 1969), 2–4. Monod, G., Études critiques sur les sources de l’histoire mérovingienne, 1e partie (Paris, 1872), 42–45. Shaw, R., "Chronology, Composition and Authorial Conception in the Miracula," in: A.C. Murray (ed.), A Companion to Gregory of Tours (Leiden-Boston, 2015), 102–140. Van Dam, R., Saints and Their Miracles in Late Antique Gaul (Princeton, 1993), 142–146, 199.


Editions and translations: Krusch, B. (ed.), Gregorii episcopi Turonensis miracula et opera minora (Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptores rerum Merovingicarum 1,2; 2nd ed.; Hannover, 1969), 134–211. Van Dam, R. (trans.), Saints and Their Miracles in Late Antique Gaul (Princeton, 1993), 200–303. de Nie, G. (ed. and trans.), Lives and Miracles: Gregory of Tours (Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library 39; Cambridge MA, 2015), 421–855. Further reading: Murray, A.C. (ed.), A Companion to Gregory of Tours (Leiden-Boston, 2015). Shanzer, D., "So Many Saints – So Little Time ... the Libri Miraculorum of Gregory of Tours," Journal of Medieval Latin 13 (2003), 19–63.

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