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E03523: The anonymous Gallic Chronicle of 452, written in Latin in Gaul in the mid 5th c., contains a number of entries on *Martin (ascetic and bishop of Tours, ob. 397, S00050), including a reference to the books about him by Sulpicius Severus.

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posted on 2017-08-03, 00:00 authored by dlambert
Gallic Chronicle of 452, 4, 43, 48

4     Martinus Turonensium episcopus apostolicis virtutibus insignis habetur.

'Martin, bishop of the people of Tours, is held glorious for his apostolic powers.'

43     Martinus post egregie actam vitam corpore exuitur.

'Martin, after a life lived wonderfully, lays aside his body.'

48     Severus ex disciplina sancti Martini eiusdem vitam tribus explicat libris.

'Severus, from the teaching of Saint Martin, narrates his life in three books.'

Text: Mommsen 1892, 646, 650, 652 (Burgess 2001, 67, 72). Translation: David Lambert.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

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

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Literary - Other narrative texts (including Histories)


  • 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 name in other Language(s)

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

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Composing and translating saint-related texts

Cult Activities - Miracles

Miracle during lifetime

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops


The Gallic Chronicle of 452 was written by an unknown author who is generally located by scholars in southern Gaul on the basis of the prominence of southern Gallic events in the Chronicle. The last event mentioned in the Chronicle is the invasion of Italy by Attila in 452. It is therefore assumed to have been compiled at around that date, hence its modern title. For full discussion see Muhlberger 1990, 136-192; Burgess 2001, 52-65. The Gallic Chronicle of 452 is a continuation of the chronicle of Jerome, beginning when Jerome's concludes (in the 370s), and has the same chronological system, which makes simultaneous use of years from the birth of Abraham, Olympiads, and regnal years of Roman emperors (Burgess 2001, 52, 57-60).


Martin is one of two Gallic bishops for whom the chronicler implies sainthood by referring to his miraculous powers (virtutes), the other being Germanus of Auxerre (E07830). The three books which Sulpicius Severus wrote about Martin are the Life of Martin (E00692) and two books of Dialogues (E00845). (The three-book division of the Dialogues customary in modern editions originated only in the Carolingian era.)


Editions: Mommsen, T., Chronica Gallica a.CCCCLII, in: Chronica Minora saec. IV. V. VI. VII., vol. 1 (Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Auctores Antiquissimi 9; Berlin: Apud Weidmannos, 1892), 646-662. Burgess, R., "The Gallic Chronicle of 452: A New Critical Edition with a Brief Introduction," in: R.W. Mathisen and D. Shanzer (eds.), Society and Culture in Late Antique Gaul: Revisiting the Sources (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2001), 52-84, pp. 67-82. English translation: Murray, A.C., From Roman to Merovingian Gaul: A Reader (Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press, 2000), 76-85. Further reading: Muhlberger, S., The Fifth-Century Chroniclers: Prosper, Hydatius, and the Gallic Chronicler of 452 (Leeds: Francis Cairns, 1990).

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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