Firmicus Maternus

Came from a respected family, not necessarily of senatorial rank, probably from Syracuse, his later place of residence. Educated in Latin as well as Greek, he gave up work as an attorney in Rome during his work on the Matheseos libri VIII. Written between the end of AD 334 and the beginning of 337 for his friend Lollianus Mavortius, governor of Campania and proconsul of Africa, it represents the most comprehensive astrological handbook in Latin. … (Karl Hoheisel, ‘Firmicus Maternus, Iulius,’ Brill’s New Pauly. Brill Online, 2012; See also J. Quasten, Patrology, vol. 4 (Notre Dame IN: Christian Classics, 1983) 569-572.)


  • [Clavis 101] Matheseos libri viii
    • Edition: Monat, P. (ed), Firmicus Maternus: Mathesis. Tome I: livres I-II; tome II, Livres III-V, 2 vols, Collection des universités de France (Paris: Les Belles lettres, 1992-94). [t. III. Livres VI-VIII] — Colombi, E. (ed), Firmico Materno: In difesa dell’astrologia: Matheseos libri, I, Collana Mimesis (Milano: Mimesis, 1996).
    • Translation: Bram, R. (trans), Firmicus Maternus: Ancient astrology: theory and practice = Matheseos libri VIII, Noyes classical studies (Park Ridge, N. J.: Noyes Press, 1975). — Monat, above.
  • [Clavis 102] De errore profanarum religionum
    • Edition: Turcan, R. (ed), Firmicus Maternus: L’erreur des religions païennes, Collection des universités de France (Paris: Belles lettres, 1982).
    • Translation: Turcan, above. — Sanzi, E. (trans), Firmico Materno: L’errore delle religioni pagane, Collana di testi patristici 191 (Roma: Città nuova, 2006).
  • [Clavis 103] Consultationes Zacchaei et Apollonii Spuria.
    • Edition: Feiertag, J. L. (ed), Questions d’un païen à un chrétien = Consultationes Zacchaei christiani et Apollonii philosophi, 2 vols, Sources chrétiennes 401-402 (Paris: Éditions du Cerf, 1994).

Secondary references

  • Hadot, P, `Firmicus Maternus’, in Dictionnaire de la spiritualité 5 (Paris, 1964) 384-388.
  • Albrecht, Michael von, A History of Roman Literature 2 (New York: Brill, 1996) 1610-1615.
  • Rinaldi, M., “Sic itur ad astra”: Giovanni Pontano e la sua opera astrologica nel quadro della tradizione monoscritta della Mathesis di Giulio Firmico Materno, Studi latini 45 (Napoli: Loffredo, 2002).

Online resources