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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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Chapter XXVII.

Ursinus2618 the monk wrote against those who say that heretics should be rebaptized, teaching2619 that it is not legitimate nor honouring God, that those should be rebaptized who have been baptized either in the name of Christ alone or in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, though the formula has been used in a vitiated sense. He considers that after the simple confession of the Holy Trinity and of Christ, the imposition of the hands of the catholic priest is sufficient for salvation.

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Macarius2620 another monk, wrote at Rome books Against the mathematicians, in which labour he sought the comfort of oriental writings.

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[John2622 2623 bishop of Constantinople, a man of marvelous knowledge and in sanctity of life, in every respect worthy of imitation, wrote many and very useful works for all who are hastening to divine things. Among them are the following On compunction of soul one book, That no one is injured except by himself, an excellent volume In praise of the blessed Paul the apostle, On the excesses and ill reputation of Eutropius a prætorian prefect and many others, as I have said, which may be found by the industrious.]

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Another John,2624 2625 bishop of Jerusalem, wrote a book against those who disparaged his studies, in which he shows that he follows the genius of Origen not his creed.

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Paul the bishop wrote a short work On penitence in which he lays down this law for penitents;

that they ought to repent for their sins in such manner that they be not beyond measure overwhelmed with despairing sadness.

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Helvidius,2626 a disciple of Auxentius and imitator of Symmachus, wrote, indeed, with zeal for religion but not according to knowledge, a book, polished neither in language nor in reasoning, a work in which he so attempted to twist the meaning of the Holy Scriptures to his own perversity, as to venture to assert on their testimony that Joseph and Mary, after the nativity of our Lord, had children who were called brothers of the Lord. In reply to his perverseness Jerome, published a book against him, well filled with scripture proofs.2627

Chapter XXXIV.

Theophilus,2628 bishop of the church2629 of Alexandria, wrote one great volume Against Origen in which he condemns pretty nearly all his sayings and himself likewise, at the same time saying that he was not original in his views but derived them from the ancient fathers especially from Heraclas, that he was deposed from2630 the office of presbyter driven from the church and compelled to fly from the city. He also wrote Against the Anthropomorphites, heretics who say that God has the human form and members, confuting in a long discussion and arguing by testimonies of Divine Scripture and convincing. He shows that, according to the belief of the Fathers, God is to be thought of as incorporal, not formed with any suggestion of members at all, and therefore there is nothing like Him among created things in substance, nor has the incorruptibility nor unchangeableness nor incorporeality of his nature been given to any one but that all intellectual natures are corporeal, all corruptible, all mutable, that He alone should not be subject to corruptibility or changeableness, who alone has immortality and life. Likewise the return of the paschal feast which the great council at Nicea had found would take place after ninety years at the same time, the same month and day adding some observations on the festival and explanations he gave to the emperor Theodosius. I have read also three books On faith, which bear his name but, as their language is not like his, I do not very much think they are by him.

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Eusebius2631 wrote On the mystery of our Lord’s cross and the faithfulness of the apostles, and especially of Peter, gained by virtue of the cross.

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Vigilantius,2632 a citizen of Gaul, had the church of Barcelona. He wrote also with some zeal for religion but, overcome by the desire for human praise and presuming above his strength, being a man of polished language but not practised in the meaning of Scriptures, he expounded the vision of Daniel in a perverted sense and said other frivolous things which are necessarily mentioned in a catalogue of heretics. [To him also the blessed Jerome the presbyter responded.]2633

Chapter XXXVII.

Simplicianus,2634 the bishop, exhorted Augustine then presbyter, in many letters, that he should exercise his genius and take time for exposition of the Scriptures that, as it were, a new Ambrosius, the task master of Origen might appear. Wherefore also he sent to him many examinations of scriptures. There is also an epistle of his of Questions in which he teaches by asking questions as if wishing to learn.

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Vigilius2635 the bishop wrote to one Simplicianus a small book In praise of martyrs and an epistle containing the acts of the martyrs in his time among the barbarians.

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Augustine,2636 of Africa, bishop of Hipporegensis, a man renowned throughout the world for learning both sacred and secular, unblemished in the faith, pure in life, wrote works so many that they cannot all be gathered. For who is there that can boast himself of having all his works, or who reads with such diligence as to read all he has written?2637 As an old man even, he published fifteen books On the Trinity which he had begun as a young man. In which, as scripture says, brought into the chamber of the king and adorned with the manifold garment of the wisdom of God, he exhibited a church not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing. In his work On the incarnation of the Lord also he manifested a peculiar piety. On the resurrection of the dead he wrote with equal sincerity, and left it to the less able to raise doubts respecting abortions.2638 2639 Chapter XL.





Orosius,2640 a Spanish presbyter, a man most eloquent and learned in history, wrote eight books against those enemies of the Christians who say that the decay of the Roman State was caused by the Christian religion. In these rehearsing the calamities and miseries and disturbances of wars, of pretty much the whole world from the creation2641 he shows that the Roman Empire owed to the Christian religion its undeserved continuance and the state of peace which it enjoyed for the worship of God.

In the first book he described the world situated within the ever flowing stream of Oceanus and intersected by the Tanais, giving the situations of places, the names, number and customs of nations, the characteristics of various regions, the wars begun and the formation of empires sealed with the blood of kinsmen.

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true that ‘In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin.’” This expression in the editions has been the ground of much comment on Gennadius’ Semi-pelagian bias, but it almost certainly does not represent the original form of the text.

Abortions “That abortions…shall rise again I make bold neither to affirm nor to deny” Augustine De civ. Dei. 22, 13.

T 31 end thus; A omits and left…abortions but adds a few lines of other matter; e adds differing matter; a adds remained a catholic; 30 adds remained a catholic and died in the same city—the city which is still called Hypporegensis; while 25 adds a vast amount.

Paulus Orosius of Tarragon, the historian, flourished about 413 or 417. His history was begun after 416 and finished in

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This is the Orosius who, sent by Augustine to Hieronymus to teach the nature of the soul, returning, was the first to bring to the West relics of the blessed Stephen the first martyr then recently found. He flourished almost2642 at the end of the reign of the emperor Honorius.

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Maximus,2643 bishop of the church at Turin, a man fairly industrious in the study of the Holy Scripture, and good at teaching the people extemporaneously, composed treatises In praise of the apostles and John the Baptist, and a Homily on all the martyrs. Moreover he wrote many acute comments on passages from the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles. He wrote also two treatises, On the life2644 of Saint Eusebius, bishop of Vercelli, and confessor, and On Saint Cyprian, and published a monograph On the grace of baptism. I have read his On avarice, On hospitality, On the eclipse of the moon, On almsgiving, On the saying in Isaiah, Your winedealers mix wine with water, On Our Lord’s Passion, A general treatise On fasting by the servants of God, On the quadragesimal fast in particular, and That there should be no jesting on fast day, On Judas, the betrayer, On Our Lord’s cross, On His sepulchre, On His resurrection, On the accusation and trial of Our Lord before Pontius Pilate, On the Kalends of January, a homily On the day of Our Lord’s Nativity, also homilies On Epiphany, On the Passover, On Pentecost, many also, On having no fear of carnal Foes, On giving thanks after meat, On the repentance of the Ninivites, and other homilies of his, published2645 on various occasions, whose names I do not remember. He died in the reign of Honorius and Theodosius the younger.

Chapter XLII.

Petronius,2646 bishop of Bologna in Italy2647 a man of holy life and from his youth practised in monastic studies, is reputed to have written the Lives of the Fathers, to wit of the Egyptian monks, a work which the monks accept as the mirror and pattern of their profession. I have read a treatise which bears his name On the ordination of bishops, a work full of good reasoning and notable for its humility, but whose polished style shows it not to have been his, but perhaps, as some say, the

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work of his father Petronius,2648 a man of great eloquence and learned in secular literature. This I think is to be accepted, for the author of the work describes himself as a prætorian prefect. He died in the reign of Theodosius and Valentinianus.

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Pelagius2649 the heresiarch, before he was proclaimed a heretic wrote works of practical value for students: three books On belief in the Trinity, and one book of Selections from Holy Scriptures bearing on the Christian life. This latter was preceded by tables of contents, after the model of Saint Cyprian the martyr. After he was proclaimed heretic, however, he wrote works bearing on his heresy.

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Innocentius,2650 bishop of Rome, wrote the decree which the Western churches passed against the Pelagians and which his successor, Pope Zosimus, afterwards widely promulgated.

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Caelestius,2651 before he joined Pelagius, while yet a very young man, wrote to his parents three epistles On monastic life, written as short books, and containing moral maxims suited to every one who is seeking God, containing no trace of the fault which afterwards appeared but wholly devoted to the encouragement of virtue.

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Julianus2652 the bishop, a man of vigorous character, learned in the Divine Scriptures, and proficient both in Greek and Latin, was, before he disclosed his participation in the ungodliness of Pelagius, distinguished among the doctors of the church. But afterwards, trying to defend the Pelagian heresy, he wrote four books, Against Augustine, the opponent of Pelagius, and then again, eight books more. There is also a book containing a discussion, where each defends his side.

This Julianus, in time of famine and want, attracting many through the alms which he gave, and the glamour of virtue, which they cast around him, associated them with him in his heresy. He died during the reign of Valentinianus, the son of Constantius.

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Lucianus2653 the presbyter, a holy man to whom, at the time when Honorius and Theodosius were Emperors, God revealed the place of the sepulchre and the remains of Saint Stephen the Protomartyr, wrote out that revelation in Greek, addressing it to all the churches.

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Avitus2654 the presbyter, a Spaniard by race, translated the above mentioned work of the presbyter Lucianus into Latin, and sent it with his letter annexed, by the hand of Orosius the presbyter, to the Western churches.

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Paulinus,2655 bishop of Nola in Campania, composed many brief works in verse, also a consolatory work to Celsus On the death of a christian and baptized child, a sort of epitaph, well fortified with christian hope, also many Letters to Severus, and A panegric in prose written before he became bishop, On victory over tyrants which was addressed to Theodosius and maintained that victory lay rather in faith and prayer, than in arms. He wrote also a Sacramentary and Hymnal.

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He also addressed many letters to his sister, On contempt of the world, and published treatises of different sorts, on various occasions.2656 The most notable of all his minor works are the works On repentance, and A general panegyric of all the martyrs. He lived in the reign of Honorius and Valentinianus, and was distinguished, not only for erudition2657 and holiness of life, but also for his ability to cast out demons.

Chapter L.

Eutropius,2658 the presbyter, wrote to two sisters, handmaids of Christ, who had been disinherited by their parents on account of their devotion to chastity and their love for religion, two Consolatory letters in the form of small books, written in polished and clear language and fortified not only by argument, but also by testimonies from the Scriptures.

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Vigilius2660 the deacon. composed out of the traditions of the fathers a Rule for monks, which is accustomed to be read in the monastery for the profit of the assembled monks. It is written in condensed and clear language and covers the whole range of monastic duties.

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