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ADVERTISEMENT [Translator’s Introduction]

Heribert Ros-weyd published this piece at Antwerp, 1621. It is mentioned by Gennadius, cap. 63. -De Scriptoribus Ecclesiasticis-; and Erasmus — long before Ros-weyd’s edition — writ some Notes upon it. The author Eucherius was a Roman senator, but being converted to the faith he left the Senate, and lived in a poor cell by the river Druentium, where his wife Galla died. His two daughters, Consortia and Tullia, having learnt Christ, continued both in the virgin-life, -et signorum gloria claruerunt-. He sate Bishop in the chair of Lyons — as I find him placed by Helvicus — in the year of our Lord 443. Some will have him a century lower, but that difference weakens not the certainty of it. The piece itself — in the original — is most elaborate and judicious, and breathes that -togatam elegantiam- which in most of the Roman senators was not more acquired than natural.

What this Valerian was [to whom the epistle was addressed] — more then our author’s kinsman, by whose pen his name lives — is not certainly known. Some will have him to be Priscus Valerianus, the prefect, or deputy of France, mentioned by Sidonius Apollinaris: others are willing to let him pass for that Valerian whose Homilies now extant were published by Sirmondus. But as it is not determinable, so is it not material. This we may safely conclude: that he was a very eminent noble personage, and one that followed too much after temporal pomp, and the powers of this world; though neither of them could lend him so much light, as would keep him from obscurity. To bring down these top branches, Eucherius lays the axe to the root of the tree, by shewing him the vanity, and the iniquity of riches and honours, the two grand inticements of popular spirits. And this he doth with such powerful and clear reasons, that to virtuous and peaceful minds he hath rendered them not only contemptible, but odious. Much more might have been spoken against them, but — seeing the age we live in hath made all his arguments demonstrations — he hath in my judgement spoken enough. — H.V.S.

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