Helvidius

A Western writer of whom nothing is known except that he was in Rome at the same time as Jerome, during the papacy of Damasus (366-84). He wrote a tract in which he asserted that, after the birth of Jesus, Mary had other children by Joseph, who are referred to in the Scripture as Jesus' brothers and sisters. “And why not? Are virgins in any way superior to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who were married men?” He sought the authority of Tertullian and Victorinus for this attack on the ascetic ideal and in favor of marriage. He was not known to Jerome, but his tract was strongly opposed by the latter, who maintained that Joseph was not really Mary's husband, that those whom Helvidius regarded as brothers and sisters were in fact cousins, and that virginity is a better state than marriage.