The cultus of St. Vincentius was so popular in Early Medieval Europe that it generated several redactions of his Passio. The original redaction, made in the 4th century, was read in church on the saint’s natal day in the time of St. Augustine of Hippo. This redaction was previously believed to be the most widespread version of the text, BHL 8630, which is now, however, dated to the 6th or 7th centuries. Another existing redaction is BHL 8631, published in 1956 by Manlio Simonetti, who believed it to be very close to the original 4th century version (if not the original version itself). Viktor Saxer, on the other hand, dated this redaction to the 6th century. This article is based on comparing the redaction of BHL 8631 not only with the works of St. Augustine and Prudentius devoted to St. Vincentius, which was done by many scholars before, but also with other martyrologic literary texts, as well as on analysing the evolution of the whole genre of Passio in course of time. Such approach allows one to see that the redaction of BHL 8631 has a number of features that are distinctive for the 4th century, and certain aspects are rather non-characteristic of the martyrological tradition in general. These features can also be found in works of Prudentius, which indicates that the redaction was composed in the time and place close to when and where this poet lived. The article thus gives additional arguments in support of Simonetti’s view, according to which the redaction BHL 8631 was made in the 4th century and, probably, in Hispania. If this is really the case, it makes the redaction of BHL 8631 one of the earliest examples of Passion épique written after the persecution was over.
St. Vincent, acta martyrum, hagiography, Great Persecution, martyrdom, problem of dating, Prudence, Roman Spain, St. Augustine, Christianisation of Roman Empire
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Rosenblum Eugene Place of work:
Moscow State University; 27 building 4 Lomonosov Avenue, Moscow 119192, Russian Federation; Graduate Student of the Department of Church History; ORCID: 0000-0003-2550-6510
The author is grateful to Rev. Prof. Francesco Giordano (the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas "Angelicum") who has helpfully provided him with the publications necessary for writing this article.