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Petroco'rius

or PETRICO'RDIUS (PAULINUS). Among the various Paulini who flourished in the Western Empire in the fifth century, was Paulinus, called in the MSS. Petricordius, which modern critics correct to Petrocorius. and suppose to be given him from the place of his birth, inferred to be Petrocorii, the modern Perigueux. Some moderns have erroneously given to him the praenomen Benedictus; an error which has arisen from their having regarded as a name the epithet "benedictus," "blessed," given to him by some who have confounded him with his more celebrated namesake, Paulinus of Nola [PAULIXNS. p. 144]. Sidonius Apollinaris (Epistol. 8.11) mentions a Paulinus, an eminent rhetorician of Perigueux, whom Sirmond supposed to be the subject of the present article, but whom the authors of the Histoire Littéraire de la France consider, but with little reason, to be his father. Our Paulinus was intimate with Perpetuus, who was bishop of Tours from A. D. 461 to 491, and whom he calls his patron. It was at the desire of Perpetuus that he put into verse the life of St. Martin of Tours; and in an epistle addressed to that prelate, he humbly tells him, with an amusing reference to the history of Balaam, that, in giving him confidence to speak, he had repeated the miracle of opening the mouth of the ass. He afterwards supplied, at the desire of the bishop, some verses to be inscribed on the walls of the new church which Perpetuus finished about A. D. 473 (or according to Oudin, A. D. 482), and to which the body of St. Martin was transferred. He sent with them some verses De Visitatione Nepotuli sui, on occasion of the cure, supposed to be miraculous, which his grandson and the young lady to whom he was married or betrothed, had experienced through the efficacy of a document, apparently the account of the miracles of St. Martin, written by the hand of the bishop. We gather that this poem was written when the author was old, from the circumstance of his having a grandson of marriageable age. Of the death of Paulinus we have no account.


Works

The works of Paulinus Petrocorius are :--


1.

a poem in hexameter verse, divided into six books. It has little poetical or other merit. The first three books are little else than a versified abridgement of the De Beati Martini Vita Liber of Sulpicius Severus; and the fourth and fifth comprehend the incidents mentioned in the Dialogi II. et III. de Virtutibus Beati Martini of the same author. The sixth book comprises a description of the miracles which had been wrought at the tomb of St. Martin, under the eyes of Perpetuus, who had sent an account of them to Paulinus.


2.

a description of the miraculous cure of his grandson already mentioned; also written in hexameter verse.


3.

(an inappropriate title, which should rather be Orantibus simply, or Ad Orantes,) apparently a portion of the hexameter verses designed to be inscribed on the walls of the new church built by Perpetuus.


4.

This letter was sent to Perpetuus, with the verses De Visitatione and De Orantibus.


Editions

The works of Paulinus Petrocorius were first printed by Franciscus Juretus, Paris, 1585. Some writers have spoken, but without foundation, of an earlier edition printed at Dijon : Juretus ascribed the works to Paulinus of Nola, an error which is as ancient as the time of Gregory of Tours and Fortunatus of Poictiers, by whom it was shared.

After the first publication of the works they were inserted in several collections of the Christian poets, and in some editions (e. g. Paris, 1575, 1589, and Cologne, 1618) of the Bibliotheca Patrum, generally, however, under the name of Paulinus of Nola. In the Lyon edition of the Bibliotheca Patrum, fol. 1677, vol. vi. p. 297, &c., they are ascribed to their right author.

They were again published by Christianus Daumius, 8vo. Leipzig, 1686, with ample notes of Juretus, Barthius, Gronovius, and Daumius. To the works of our Paulinus were subjoined in this edition, the Eucharisticon of Paulinus the Penitent, or Paulinus of Pella [PAULINUS, and the poem on Jonah and the Ninevites, ascribed to Tertullian.


Further Information

Histoire Littéraire de la France, vol. ii. p. 469, &c.; Cave, Hist. Litt. ad ann. 461, vol. i. p. 449, fol. Oxon. 1740-1743; Fabric. Biblioth. Mediae et Infimae Latinitat. vol. v. p. 206, ed. Mansi; Tillemont, Mémoires, vol. xvi. p. 404 ; Oudin, De Scriptoribus et Scriptis Eccles. vol. i. col. 1288-1289.

[J.C.M]

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