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E07380: Arnobius the Younger, in his commentary on the Psalms, written in Latin in the mid 5th c., probably at Rome, refers to the writing of Passions of the martyrs.

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posted on 2019-02-01, 00:00 authored by CSLA Admin
Arnobius the Younger, Commentary on Psalm 101

Interempti sunt patres nostri omnes sancti, qui nobis praedicauerunt Christum. Nos ergo ligati eramus a Satana, quia ii qui genuerant nos uerbo uitae fuerant interempti. At ubi cognouimus eos in caelis gaudere et possidere gloriam Christi, aedificata est in nobis Sion et uisus dominus in maiestate sua. Gaudemus enim, quia respexit in orationes eorum et non spreuit preces eorum. Scripsimus passiones eorum in progenies alteras, et populus qui creabitur usque in sempiternum laudat dominum in sanctis suis.

'Our fathers, all the saints, who preached Christ to us, were killed. We were therefore bound by Satan, because those who had brought us forth to the word of life had been killed. But when we knew that they rejoiced in Heaven and possessed the glory of Christ, Zion was built in us, and the Lord was seen in his majesty. For we rejoice because he accepted their prayers and did not despise their beseechings. We have written their Passions for future generations, and the people that will be brought forth right up to eternity praise the Lord in his saints.'

Text: Daur 1990, 149. Translation: David Lambert.


Evidence ID


Type of Evidence

Literary - Theological works


  • Latin

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Rome and region

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

Rome Rome Roma Ῥώμη Rhōmē

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Composing and translating saint-related texts


The writer known in modern scholarship as Arnobius the Younger (Arnobius Junior, Arnobe le Jeune, etc.) was active in the mid 5th century. Very little can be established about him: Arnobius was probably not his real name (the 'Junior' is a modern epithet to distinguish him from the apologist Arnobius of Sicca), and many of the works that have been attributed to him are anonymous. He seems to have been living in Rome when he wrote his works, but they contain indications that he came originally from Africa. It is not certain whether he was a cleric or a layman. Two works by him are actually transmitted under the name Arnobius: a commentary on the Psalms, and the Disputation of Arnobius and Serapion, an attack on Eutychianism. Another work, the anonymous attack on the doctrine of predestination known as the Praedestinatus, has generally been attributed to him since the 17th century; further works were ascribed to him by Germain Morin in the early 20th century, though some of Morins' attributions are disputed (see E02264 on the Liber ad Gregoriam). More recently, Cécile Lanéry has argued that he was the author of some of the Roman Martyrdoms, including the Martyrdom of Sebastianus (see E02512) This passage comes from Arnobius' commentary on Psalm 101 in the Vulgate numbering (102 in most English Bibles).


This passage in Arnobius the Younger's Psalms commentary is cited by Cécile Lanéry in her argument that he himself composed some of the Roman Martyrdoms (Lanéry 2007, 268), though she acknowledges that his words (scripsimus passiones) could apply to Christians in general rather than to him personally.


Text: Daur, K.-D., Arnobii Iunioris commentarii in Psalmos (Corpus Christianorum Series Latina 25; Turnhout, 1990). Further reading: Lanéry, C., "Arnobe le Jeune et la Passion de Sébastien (BHL 7543)," Revue d'études augustiniennes et patristiques 53 (2007), 267-293.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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