Skip to content
Deacon Keith Fournier Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

Salvianus

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

A Latin writer of Gaul, who lived in the fifth century. Born of Christian parents, he married a pagan woman named Palladia, who was converted together with her parents ; husband and wife resolved to live thenceforth in continence. About 430 Salvianus become one of the ascetics directed by Honoratus of Lerinum. Gennadius speaks of him as a priest of the Church of Marseilles. He lived and wrote in the South of Gaul. He was probably a native of the Roman Germania -- of Trier, according to a conjecture of Halm (De gub, VI, xiii, 72). He traveled in Gaul and in Africa. In his extant writings he does not yet know of the invasion of Attila and the battle of Châlons (451).

Of the numerous works mentioned by Gennadius (De viris, lxvii) there remain only nine letters and two treatises: "Ad ecclesiam adversum avaritiam" and "De gubernatione Dei" or "De præsenti judicio". The fourth is one of his most interesting letters; in it he explains to his recently-converted parents-in-law the decision reached by him and his wife to observe continence. In the ninth he justifies to Solonius his use of a pseudonym in his first writing. He issued the treatise "De ecclesia" under the name of Timotheus; this work exhorts all Christians to make the Church their heir. The "De gubernatione Dei", in eight books was written after 439 (VII, x, 40). He endeavoured to prove a Divine explanation of the barbarian invasions. With the orthodox but depraved Romans he contrasts the barbarians, infidels or Arians, but virtuous. This thesis places Salvianus in the ranks of the Latin moralists, who from the "Germania" of Tacitus down, show to their corrupt compatriots an ideal of justice and virtue among the Germans. The work, dedicated to Bishop Salonius, a disciple of Lerinum, is unfinished and seems to have appeared in fragments; Gennadius knew only five books.

Deacon Keith Fournier Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

Salvianus is a careful writer, much resembling Lactantius, but his style is strongly influenced by the rhetoricians, and its prolixity renders it wearisome. The same influence doubtless explains the exaggeration of his ideas on the necessity of giving all his goods to the Church and the antithesis of Roman corruption and German virtue. The "De gubernatione" contains interesting pictures of manners, but all must not be taken literally. Salvianus speaks as an advocate and in doing so forces the tone, palliating what goes against his case and bringing out in the strongest relief all that favours it. To judge the society of the time by his pictures is to risk making mistakes. Apart from his style, Salvianus is not highly cultured. He has some slight knowledge of law ; he is ignorant enough to attribute Plato's "Republic" to Socrates (De gub., VII, xxiii, 101). There are two critical editions of his works: Halm in "Monumenta Germaniæ" (Berlin, 1877) and Pauly in "Corpus script. ecclesiasticorum latinorum" (Vienna, 1883).



Join the Movement
When you sign up below, you don't just join an email list - you're joining an entire movement for Free world class Catholic education.

To all our readers,

Please don't scroll past this. We interrupt your reading to humbly ask you to defend Catholic Online School's independence. 98% of our readers don't give; they look the other way. If you are an exceptional reader who has already donated, we sincerely thank you. If you donate just $10.00, or whatever you can, Catholic Online School could keep thriving for years. Most people donate because Catholic Online School is useful. If Catholic Online School has given you $10.00 worth of knowledge this year, take a minute to donate. Show the world that access to Catholic education matters to you. Thank you.

Help Now >

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2021 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2021 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter!