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«0450-0550 – Gennadius Massiliensis – Liber De Scriptoribus Ecclesiasticis Lives of Illustrious Men this file has been downloaded from ...»

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Theodorus,2591 presbyter of the church at Antioch, a cautious investigator and clever of tongue, wrote against the Apollinarians and Anomians On the incarnation of the Lord, fifteen books containing as many as fifteen thousand verses, in which he showed by the clearest reasoning and by the testimony of Scripture that just as the Lord Jesus had a plenitude of deity, so he had a plenitude of humanity. He taught also that man consists only of two substances, soul and body and that sense and spirit are not different substances, but inherent inborn faculties of the soul through which it is inspired and has rationality and through which it makes the body capable of feeling. Moreover the fourteenth book of this work treats wholly of the uncreated and alone incorporeal and ruling nature of the holy Trinity and of the rationality of animals which he explains in a devotional spirit, on the authority of Holy Scriptures. In the fifteenth volume he confirms and fortifies the whole body of his work by citing the traditions of the fathers.

Chapter XIII.

Prudentius,2592 a man well versed in secular literature, composed a Trocheum2593of selected persons from the whole Old and New Testament. He wrote a commentary also, after the fashion of the Greeks, On the six days of creation from creation of the world until the creation of the first man and his fall. He wrote also short books which are entitled in the Greek, Apotheosis, Psychomachia and Hamartigenia, that is On divinity, On spiritual conflict, On the origin of sin.

He wrote also In praise of martyrs, an invitation to martyrdom in one book citing several as examples and another of Hymns, but specially directed Against Symmachus2594 who defended idolatry, from which we learn that Palatinus was a soldier.

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Trocheum. There is much controversy over the word, some maintaining that it should be Dittochaeon= “the double food or double testament” (Lock in Smith and Wace) or Diptychon. It is a description of a series of pictures from the Bible. The mss.

read Trocheum a.e.; Troceum T 25; Trocetum 30; Trocleum A; Tropeum 31. A recent monograph on the subject has not yet come to hand.

Symmachus. Two works are here confused, the work against Symmachus, and the Cathemerinon hymns, in the preface

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Audentius,2595 bishop of Spain, wrote a book against the Manicheans, Sabellians and Arians and very particularly against the Photinians who are now called Bonosiacians. This book he entitled On faith against heretics, and in it he showed the Son to have been coeternal with the Father and that He did not receive the beginning of his deity from God the Father, at the time when conceived by the act of God, he was born of the Virgin Mary his mother in true humanity.

Chapter XV.

Commodianus,2596 while he was engaged in secular literature read also our writings and, finding opportunity, accepted the faith. Having become a Christian thus and wishing to offer the fruit of his studies to Christ the author of his salvation, he wrote, in barely tolerable semi-versified language, Against the pagans, and because he was very little acquainted with our literature he was better able to overthrow their [doctrine] than to establish ours. Whence also, contending against them concerning the divine counterpromises, he discoursed in a sufficiently wretched and so to speak, gross fashion, to their stupefaction and our despair. Following Tertullian, Lactantius and Papias as authorities he adopted and inculcated in his students good ethical principles and especially a voluntary love of poverty.

Chapter XVI.

Faustinus2597 the presbyter wrote to Queen Flaccilla seven books Against the Arians and Macedonians, arguing and convicting them by the testimonies of the very Scriptures which they used, in perverted meaning, for blasphemy. He wrote also a book which, together with a certain presbyter named Marcellinus, he addressed to the emperors Valentinianus, Theodosius and Arcadius, in defence of their fellow Christians. From this it appears that he acquiesced in the Luciferian schism, in that in this same book he blames Hilary of Poitiers and Damasus, bishop of Rome, for giving ill-advised counsel to the church, advising that the apostate2598 bishops should be received into communion for the sake of restoring the peace. For it was as displeasing to the Luciferians to Bishop of Toledo about 390. (Chevalier) or in the reign of Constantius (Ceillier), 370 (Hoefer).

Flourished about 270. There is wide variety of opinion respecting this date, some placing as early as 250 and some nearly

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receive the bishops who in the Ariminian council had communed with Arius, as it was to the Novatians to receive the penitent apostates.

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Rufinus,2599 presbyter of the church at Aquileia, was not the least among the doctors of the church and had a fine talent for elegant translation from Greek into Latin. In this way he opened to the Latin speaking church the greater part of the Greek literature; translating the works of Basil of Cæsarea in Cappadocia, Gregory Nazianzan, that most eloquent man, the Recognitions of Clement of Rome, the Church history of Eusebius of Cæsarea in Palestine, the Sentences of Xystus,2600 the Sentences of Evagrius and the work of Pamphilus Martyr Against the mathematicians. Whatever among all these which are read by the Latins have prefatory matter, have been translated by Rufinus, but those which are without Prologue have been translated by some one else who did not choose to write a prologue. Not all of Origen, however, is his work, for Jerome translated some which are identified by his prologue. On his own account, the same Rufinus, ever through the grace of God published an Exposition of the Apostles’ creed so excellent that other expositions are regarded as of no account in comparison. He also wrote in a threefold sense, that is, the historical, moral and mystical sense, on Jacob’s blessing on the patriarchs. He wrote also many epistles exhorting to fear of God, among which those which he addressed to Proba are preëminent. He added also a tenth and eleventh book to the ecclesiastical history which we have said was written by Eusebius and translated by him. Moreover he responded to a detractor of his works, in two volumes, arguing and proving that he exercised his talent with the aid of the Lord and in the sight of God, for the good of the church, while he, on the other hand, incited by jealousy had taken to polemics.





Chapter XVIII.

Tichonius,2601 an African by nationality was, it is said, sufficiently learned in sacred literature, not wholly unacquainted with secular literature and zealous in ecclesiastical affairs. He wrote books On internal war and Expositions of various causes in which for the defence of his friends, he cites the ancient councils and from all of which2602 he is recognized to have been a Donatist. He composed

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also eight Rules for investigating and ascertaining the meaning of the Scriptures, compressing them into one volume. He also expounded the Apocalypse of John entire, regarding nothing in it in a carnal sense, but all in a spiritual sense. In this exposition he maintained the angelical nature2603 to be corporeal, moreover he doubts that there will be a reign of the righteous on earth for a thousand years after the resurrection, or that there will be two resurrections of the dead in the flesh, one of the righteous and the other of the unrighteous, but maintains that there will be one simultaneous resurrection of all, at which shall arise even the aborted and the deformed lest any living human being, however deformed, should be lost. He makes such distinction to be sure, between the two resurrections as to make the first, which he calls the apocalypse of the righteous, only to take place in the growth of the church where, justified by faith, they are raised from the dead bodies of their sins through baptism to the service of eternal life, but the second, the general resurrection of all men in the flesh. This man flourished at the same period with the above mentioned Rufinus during the reign of Theodosius and his sons.

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Severus2604 the presbyter, surnamed Sulpitius, of the province of Aquitania, a man distinguished by his birth, by his excellent literary work, by his devotion to poverty and by his humility, beloved also of the sainted men Martin bishop of Tours and Paulinus Nolanus, wrote small books which are far from despicable. He wrote to his sister many Letters exhorting to love of God and contempt of the world. These are well known. He wrote two to the above mentioned Paulinus Nolanus and others to others, but because, in some, family matters are included, they have not been collected for publication. He composed also a Chronicle, and wrote also to the profit of many, a Life of the holy Martin, monk and bishop, a man famous for signs and wonders and virtues.2605 He also wrote a Conference between Postumianus and Gallus, in which he himself acted as mediator and judge of the debate. The subject matter was the manner of life of the oriental monks and of St. Martin—a sort of dialogue in two divisions. In the first of these he mentions a decree of the bishops at the synod of Alexandria in his own time to the effect that Origen is to be read, though cautiously, by those who are wise, for the good that is in him, and is to be rejected by the less able on account of the evil. In his old age, he was led astray by the Pelagians, and recognizing the guilt of much speaking, kept silent until his death, in order that by penitent silence he might atone for the sin which he had contracted by speaking.

angelical nature etc., “that the human body is an abode of angels” (angelicam stationem corpus esse) Phillott, in Smith

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Antiochus2606 the bishop, wrote one long2607 volume Against avarice and he composed a homily, full of2608 godly penitence and humility On the healing of the blind man whose sight was restored by the Saviour. He died during the reign of the emperor Arcadius.

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Severianus,2609 bishop of the church of Gabala, was learned in the Holy Scriptures and a wonderful preacher of homilies. On this account he was frequently summoned by the bishop John and the emperor Arcadius to preach a sermon at Constantinople. I have read his Exposition of the epistle to the Galatians and a most attractive little work On baptism and the feast of Epiphany. He died in the reign of Theodosius, his son by baptism.

Chapter XXII.

Niceas,2610 2611 bishop of the city of Romatia, composed, in simple and clear language, six books of Instruction for neophites. The first of these contains, How candidates who seek to obtain grace of baptism ought to act, the second, On the errors of relationship, in which he relates that not far from his own time a certain Melodius, father of a family, on account of his liberality and Garadius2612 a peasant, on account of his bravery, were placed, by the heathen, among the gods. A third book On faith in one sovereign, a fourth Against genealogy,2613 a fifth On the creed, a sixth On the sacrifice of the paschal lamb. He addressed a work also To the fallen virgin, an incentive to amendment for all who have fallen.

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Olympius2614 the bishop, a Spaniard by nationality, wrote a book of faith against those who blame nature and not the will, showing that evil was introduced into nature not by creation but by disobedience.

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Bachiarius,2615 a Christian philosopher, prompt and ready and minded to devote his time to God, chose travel as a means of preserving the integrity of his purpose. He is said to have published acceptable small works but I have only read one of them, a work On faith, in which he justified himself to the chief priest of the city, defending himself against those who complained and misrepresented his travel, and asserting that he undertook his travel not through fear of men but for the sake of God, that going forth from his land and kindred he might become a co-heir with Abraham the patriarch.

Chapter XXV.

Sabbatius,2616 bishop of the Gallican province, at the request of a certain virgin, chaste and devoted to Christ, Secunda by name, composed a book On faith against Marcion and Valentinus his teacher, also against Eunomius and his Master Aëtius, showing, both by reason and by testimony of the Scriptures, that the origin of the deity is one, that the Author of his eternity and the Creator of the earth out of nothing, are one and the same, and likewise concerning Christ, that he did not appear as man in a phantasm but had real flesh through which eating, drinking, weary and weeping, suffering, dying, rising again he was demonstrated to be man indeed. For Marcion and Valentinus had been opposed to these opinions asserting that the origin of Deity is twofold and that Christ came in a phantasm. To Aëtius indeed and Eunomius his disciple, he showed that the Father and Son are not of two natures and equal in divinity but of one essence and the one from the other, that is the Son from the Father, the one coeternal with the other, which belief Aëtius and Eunomius opposed.

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St. Servais, Bishop of Tongres 338, died at Maestricht 384. The patron saint of Maestricht. Supposed by some to be the same as Phebadius (Faegadius, Phaebadius, Segatius, Sabadius Phitadius (called in Gascony Fiari)? bishop of Agen. Flourished 440 (Cave).

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Isaac2617 wrote On the Holy Trinity and a book On the incarnation of the Lord, writing in a very obscure style of argument and involved language, maintaining that three persons exist in one Deity, in such wise that any thing may be peculiar to each which another does not have, that is to say, that the Father has this peculiarity that He, himself without source, is the source of others, that the Son has this peculiarity, that, begotten, He is not posterior to the begetter, that the Holy Spirit has this peculiarity, that He is neither made nor begotten but nevertheless is from another. Of the incarnation of the Lord indeed, he writes that the person of the Son of God is believed to be one, while yet there are two natures existing in him.



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