Paulinus

, an ecclesiastical writer of the fifth century, was descended from an illustrious family of Roman senators, and born at Bourdeaux about the year 253. He was directed in his studies by the famous Ausonius; and applied himself so earnestly to the best Latin authors, that he acquired a style not unlike theirs. He was advanced afterwards to the most considerable offices of the empire. Ausonius says, that Paulinus was consul with him; but his name not being found in the Fasti Consulares, it is probable he obtained that dignity only in the room of some other person, who died in the office, and perhaps in the year 378, after the | death of Valens. He married Therasia, an opulent Spar nish lady, who proved instrumental in converting him to Christianity; and he was baptized in the year 389. He dwelt four years in Spain, where he embraced voluntary poverty; selling his goods by degrees, and giving them to the poor. The inhabitants of Barcelona, where he resided, conceived such an esteem for him, that they would have him ordained a priest to which, after a long resistance, he consented, upon condition that he should not be obliged to remain in Barcelona, because his design was to withdraw to Nola. This ordination was performed in the year 393, and the next year he left Spain to go into Italy. In his way he saw St. Ambrose at Florence, who shewed him marks of respect; and was kindly received at Rome both by the quality and the people: but the clergy there growing jealous of him, he left that city quickly, and went to Nola, where he dwelt in a country-house about half a league from the town. He lived there sixteen years with his wife Therasia, in the study and exercises of a monastic life; and then, in the year 409, was chosen and ordained bishop of Nola. The beginning of his episcopate was disturbed by the incursions of the Goths, who took that city; but the assault being over, he enjoyed it peaceably to his death, which happened in the year 431.

His works consist of “Poems,” and “Letters,” and are written with much art and elegance; his manner of expression being close and clear, his words pure and well chosen, and his sentences strong and lively. All his writings are short, but pretty numerous, and composed with great care. Ausonius highly commends his poems; jet they cannot pass for perfect, especially those which he made after his conversion. He uas esteemed, beloved, and caressed by all the great men of that age, of w’hat party soever they were; and corresponded with them all, without falling out with any. He was, in truth, like Titus, the delight of his times. Milner says that he appears, through the mist of superstition, which clouds his narrative, to have been one of the best Christians of the age. He was a mirror of piety, liberality, and humility, worthy of a more intelligent age, and of more intelligent writers, than of those who have recorded his life. The first edition of his works was at Paris, in 1516, by Badius; the second at Cologne, by Grsevius: Rosweditis caused them to be printed at Antwerp, in 1622; and the last edition of them was at | Paris, in 2 vols. quarto, the former of which contains his genuine works. Du Pin wishes, that “the booksellers had taken as much care to have it upon good paper, and in a fair character, as the editor did to make it correct and useful.1

1

Dupin. Milner, vol. II. p. 485 and 528. Cave, vol. L —Saxii Onomast,