an eminent Christian physician in the fourth century after Christ, tutor to Theodorus Priscianus (Theod. Prise. Rer. Med.
iv. praef. p. 81, ed. Argent.), who attained the rank of Comes Archiatrorum (see Dict. of Ant. s. x. Archiater
), and was physician to the Emperor Valentinian, A. D. 364-375.
He was also proconsul in Africa, and in this capacity crowned St. Augustine in a rhetorical contest (Aug. Conf.
4.3.5), probably A. D. 376.
It was perhaps this incident which gave Vindicianus an interest in the young man's welfare, for St. Augustine says that he tried to divert him from the study of astrology and divination, to which he was at that time addicted. (Ibid.
and 7.6.8.) St. Augustine gives him a high character, calling him "an acute old man," "a wise man, very skilful and renowned in physic," and in another place (Epist.
138.3) " the great physician of our times."
Short Latin Hexameter Poem
There is attributed to him a short Latin hexameter poem, consisting chiefly of an enumeration of a great number of medicinal substances; which, however, some persons suppose to be the conclusion of the poem by Serenus Samonicus, while others think it belongs to Marcellus Empiricus.
It is to be found at the end of several editions of Celsus
, in Burmann's Poetae Latini Minores,
and in Fabricii Bibl. Gr. vol. xiii. p. 446, ed. vet.
Letter to the Emperor Valentinian
There is also extant a letter addressed to the Emperor Valentinian by Vindicianus, in which he makes mention of a medical work which he had written, but which appears to be lost.
This letter is by Sprengel (Hist. de la Méd.
) supposed to be spurious, but perhaps without sufficient reason.
It is to be found in the Aldine Collection of Medici Antiqui, Venet. 1547, fol.
; in H. Stephani Medicae Artis Principes, Paris, 1567, fol.
; and in Fabricii Bibl. Gr. vol. xiii. p. 418, ed. vet.
One of the medical formulae of Vindicianus is preserved by Marcellus Empiricus, De Medicam.
100.16. p. 316.
[W. A. G.