The Sacred Writings of Saint Hilary of Poitiers

The Sacred Writings of Saint Hilary of Poitiers – Hilary of Poitiers

Hilary, bishop of Poitiers, holds the highest rank among the Latin writers of his century. Designated already by Augustine as “the illustrious doctor of the churches,” he by his works exerted an increasing influence in later centuries; and by Pius IX. he was formally recognized as “universae ecclesiae doctor” at the synod of Bordeaux in 1851. This edition contains his most important texts.

The Sacred Writings of Saint Hilary of Poitiers

The Sacred Writings of Saint Hilary of Poitiers

Format: Paperback.

The Sacred Writings of Saint Hilary of Poitiers.

ISBN: 9783849672652.

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The writings of Hilary of Poitiers (from wikipedia)

Recent research has distinguished between Hilary’s thought before his period of exile in Phrygia under Constantius and the quality of his later major works. While Hilary closely followed the two great Alexandrians, Origen and Athanasius, in exegesis and Christology respectively, his work shows many traces of vigorous independent thought.


Among Hilary’s earliest writings, completed some time before his exile in 356, is his Commentarius in Evangelium Matthaei, an allegorical exegesis of the first Gospel. This is the first Latin commentary on Matthew to have survived in its entirety. Hilary’s commentary was strongly influenced by Tertullian and Cyprian, and made use of several classical writers, including Cicero, Quintilian, Pliny and the Roman historians.

Hilary’s expositions of the Psalms, Tractatus super Psalmos, largely follow Origen, and were composed some time after Hilary returned from exile in 360. Since Jerome found the work incomplete, no one knows whether Hilary originally commented on the whole Psalter. Now extant are the commentaries on Psalms 1, 2, 9, 13, 14, 51-69, 91, and 118-150.

The third surviving exegetical writing by Hilary is the Tractatus mysteriorum, preserved in a single manuscript first published in 1887.

Because Augustine cites part of the commentary on Romans as by „Sanctus Hilarius“ it has been ascribed by various critics at different times to almost every known Hilary.


Hilary’s major theological work was the twelve books now known as De Trinitate. This was composed largely during his exile, though perhaps not completed until his return to Gaul in 360.

Another important work is De synodis, written early in 359 in preparation for the councils of Ariminium and Seleucia.

Historical works and hymns

Various writings comprise Hilary’s ‚historical‘ works. These include the Liber II ad Constantium imperatorem, the Liber in Constantium inperatorem, Contra Arianos vel Auxentium Mediolanensem liber, and the various documents relating to the Arian controversy in Fragmenta historica.

Some consider Hilary as the first Latin Christian hymn writer, because Jerome said Hilary produced a liber hymnorum. Three hymns are attributed to him, though none are indisputable.


(The text of the last section was taken from a Wikipedia entry and is available under the the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.)


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