Hilary of Poitiers (c. 310-c.368) became Bishop of Poitiers about 350. In 356/7 at the Council of Baeterrae (modern Béziers in southern France), when Hilary refused to be pressured into signing an arianizing creed and in condemning Athanasius, he was condemned and exiled to Phrygia. In 360 when Julian became Augustus, Hilary was among the bishops allowed to return to their sees. Hilary then worked with Eusebius of Vercellae in reclaiming Gaul and northern Italy for Nicene theology. One of his disciples was Martin, the future bishop of Tours. Hilary died in Poitiers c. 368. Hilary’s On the Trinity, his most significant work, was the first study in the Latin church to use both Eastern and Western theology in rejecting the arguments of the opponents of Nicaea. His Commentary on the Psalms is based on Origen’s lost work on the Psalms.

Information used for the table below was taken from E. Dekkers, Clavis Patrum Latinorum (Vienna 1995) and Claudio Moreschini and Enrico Norelli. Early Christian Greek and Latin Literature A Literary History. Matthew O’Connell, trans. (Peabody, Mass. 2005). pp. 252-61, and follows the order proposed in the latter.

Date Title CPL number
353-355 Commentary on Matthew 430
356-366 Fragmentary History (Also known as Book against Valens and Ursacius, containing the First Book to Emperor Constantius) 436
359 On the Synods, or, On the Faith of the Easterners 434
356-360 Answers in His Own Defense to Criticism of His Book on Synods (only fragments extant) 435
356-360 On the Trinity (also known as Against the Arians or On the Faith) 433
360 Second Book to Emperor Constantius 460
360/1 Against Constantius 461
after 360 Against Auxentius 462
c. 365 Commentary on the Psalms 428
after 360 Treatise on the Book of Job (only fragments extent) 429
after 360 Book of the Mysteries 427
after 360 Book to the Prefect Sallustius/Against Dioscurus (no longer extant)
Exposition on Paul’s Letters to Timothy (only fragments extant) 431
after 360 Against Julian (only fragments extant) 432
Three Hymns from the Codex Aretinus 463


Clark, M. “Hilary of Poitiers.” In Encyclopedia of Early Christianity. Edited by Everett Ferguson. New York: Garland Publishing, Inc. 1990, p. 425-426.

H.R. Drobner, The Fathers of the Church: A Comprehensive Introduction , S.S. Schatzmann, trans., W. Harmless and H.R. Drobner, revisions (Peabody, Mass: Hendrickson Publishers, 2007).

Simonetti, M. “Hilary of Poitiers.” In Encyclopedia of the Early Church . Edited by Angelo Di Berardino. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992, p. 381-382.

created by AJW, revised by JJW

Last updated on 12-12-12

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