St. Victorinus of Pettau

Nov 02

Bishop of Pettau

The little known of his life is provided by the great St. Jerome (De viris ill. 74). Born in Greece in the mid-third century, Victorinus spoke Greek better than Latin, which explains why St. Jerome expressed the opinion that his works written in Latin were more remarkable for their matter than for their style. Bishop of the City of Pettau, he was the first theologian to use Latin for his exegesis.

His works are mainly exegetical, meaning that he spent his life in the critical interpretation of biblical text to discover its intended meaning. Victorinus composed commentaries on various books of Holy Scripture, such as Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Habakkuk, Ecclesiastes, the Canticle of Canticles, St. Matthew, and the Apocalypse, besides treatises against the heresies of his time. All that has survived is his Commentary on Apocalypse and the short tract On the construction of the world (De fabrica mundi).

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