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On the Life of Germanus

Also known as the Vita Sancti Germani, the life of Saint Germanus or Germain; a biography of the bishop and later Saint Germanus of Auxerre in Gaul, written by one Constantius of Lyon sometime before 494 AD.

Constantius was an orator and a poet who later became a priest at Lyon in around 480 AD, who turned in his old age to the business of researching and writing the biography of his Gallic compatriot.

Germanus himself was born in Auxerre in Gaul around 378 AD, studied civil law in Rome and undertook a secular career in the Roman administration before his ordination to the priesthood in 418 AD. Not long afterwards he was consecrated bishop of Auxerre. He died on a visit to Ravenna in Italy, around 448 AD.

The historical value of the work lies in its references to Germanus's visits to Britain on two separate occaisions in the fifth century, once in 429 AD and once again probably in 447 AD and therefore the record is one of the few contemporary sources that exist for this period in early British history.