previous next


styled in MSS. Vir Clarissimus, a designation altogether indefinite, but very frequently applied to grammarians, was a Platonic philosopher, who lived probably during the sixth century of the Christian aera, although many place him as early as the fourth.


He wrote an Interpretatio Latina partis prioris Timaei Platonici, to which is appended a voluminous and learned commentary inscribed to a certain Osius or Hosius, whom Barth and others have asserted, upon no sure grounds, to be Osius bishop of Cordova, who took a prominent part in the proceedings of the great council of Nicaea, held in A. D. 325. The writer of these annotations refers occasionally with respect to the Mosaic dispensation, and speaks, as a believer might, of the star which heralded the nativity of our Lord, but expresses himself throughout with so much ambiguity or so much caution, that he has been claimed by men of all creeds. Some have not scrupled to maintain, that he was a deacon or archdeacon of the church at Carthage; Fulgentius Planciades dedicates his tracts Allegoria librorum Virgilli and De prisco Sermone to a Chalicidius, who may be the person whom we are now discussing, and calls him Levitarum Sanctissimus; but in reality it is impossible to discover from internal evidence whether the author of the translation from Plato was Christian, Jew, or Heathen, or, as Mosheim has very plausibly conjectured, a sort of nondescript combination of all three. He certainly gives no hint that the individual to whom the book is addressed was a dignified ecclesiastic or even a member of the church.


This translation was first printed under the inspection of Augustinus Justinianus, bishop of Nebio in Corsica, by Badius Ascensius, Paris, fol. 1520, illustrated by numerous mathematical diagrams very unskilfully executed; a second edition, containing also the fragments of Cicero's version of the same dialogue, appeared at Paris, 4to. 1563; a third at Leyden, 4to. 1617, with the notes and corrections of Jo. Meursius; the most recent and best is that of J. A. Fabricius, Hamburg. fol. 1718, placed at the end of the second volume of the works of Saint Hippolytus. The text was improved by the collation of a Bodleian MS., and the notes of Meursius are given entire.

Further Information

Cave, Histor. Liter. Eccles. Script. vol. i. p. 199, ed. Basil.; Barthius, Adv. 22.16, 48.8; Funceius, De inerti ac decrepita Linguae Latinae Senectutc, c. 9.5; Brucker, Histor. Crit. Philos. vol. iii. p. 546, iv. p. 1322.


hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
325 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: