St. Marius Aventicus
Bishop of Avenches (Switzerland) and chronicler, born about 530 in the
present Diocese of Autun; died at Lausanne, 31 December, 594. Of the events of
his life little is known. From an inscription on his tomb in the church of St.
Thyrsius in Lausanne (published in the
Monumenta Germ. Scriptores, XXIV, 795),
we learn that he came of a distinguished, rich and probably Roman family, and at
an early age embraced the ecclesiastical state. In 574 he was made Bishop of
Avenches, took part in the Council of Mâcon in 585, and shortly afterwards
transferred his episcopal see from Avenches, which was rapidly declining, to
Lausanne. He is extolled as an ideal bishop; as a skilled goldsmith who made the
sacred vessels with his own hands; as a protector and benefactor of the poor; as
a man of prayer, and as a scholar full of enthusiasm for serious intellectual
studies. In 587 he consecrated St. Mary's church at Payerne, which had been
built at his expense and through his efforts. After his death he was venerated
in the Diocese of Lausanne as a saint, and his feast was celebrated on 9 or 12
February. The church of St. Thyrsius received at an early date the name of St.
Marius. A chronicle of his is still preserved, and purports to be a continuation
of the chronicle of Prosper Tiro, or rather of the
Chronicon Imperiale. It
extends from 455 to 581, and, although consisting only of dry, annalistic notes,
it is valuable for Burgundian and Franconian history, especially for the second
half of the sixth century. This explains the fact that, notwithstanding its
brevity, it has been frequently published - first by Chifflet in André
Historiæ Francorum Scriptores, I (1636), 210-214; again by Migne in
P. L., LXXII, 793-802, and finally by Mommsen in
Mon. Germ., Auctores antiqui,
XI (1893), 232-9.
ARNDT, Bischof Marius von Aventicum. Sein Leben u. seine Chronik (Leipzig, 1875); MOMMSEN in his edition, Prfatio, 227-31; POTTHAST, Bibl. hist. med. vi, I (Berlin, 1896), 667.
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