«0450-0550 – Gennadius Massiliensis – Liber De Scriptoribus Ecclesiasticis Lives of Illustrious Men this file has been downloaded from ...»
Atticus2661 bishop of Constantinople, wrote to the princess daughters2662 of the Emperor Arcadius, On faith and virginity, a most excellent work, in which he attacks by anticipation the Nestorian doctrine.
Nestorius2663 2664 the heresiarch, was regarded, while presbyter of the church at Antioch, as a remarkable extemporaneous teacher,2665 and composed a great many treatises on various Questions, into which already at that time2666 he infused that subtle evil, which afterwards became the poison of acknowledged impiety, veiled meanwhile by moral exhortation. But afterwards, when commended by his eloquence and abstemiousness he had been made pontiff of the church at Constantinople, showing openly what he had for a long while concealed, he became a declared enemy of the church, and wrote a book On the incarnation of the Lord, formed of sixty-two passages from Divine Scripture, used in a perverted meaning. What he maintained in this book may be found in the catalogue of heretics.
Caelestinus,2667 bishop of Rome, addressed a volume to the churches of the East and West, giving an account of the decree of the synod against the above mentioned Nestorius and maintaining that while there are two complete natures in Christ, the person of the Son of God is to be regarded as single. The above mentioned Nestorius was shown to be opposed to this view. Xystus likewise, the successor of Caelestinus, wrote on the same subject and to the same Nestorius and the Eastern bishops, giving the views of the Western bishops against his error.
Theodotus,2668 bishop of Ancyra in Galatia, while at2670 Ephesus, wrote against Nestorius a work of defence and refutation,2671 written, to be sure, in dialectic style, but interwoven with passages from the Holy Scriptures. His method was to make statements and then quote proof texts from the Scriptures.
Fastidius,2672 bishop in Britain, wrote to one Fatalis, a book On the Christian life, and another On preserving the estate of virginity,2673 a work full of sound doctrine, and doing honour to God.
Cyril,2674 bishop of the church at Alexandria, published various treatises on various Questions, and also composed many homilies, which are recommended for preaching by the Greek bishops.
Other books of his are; On the downfall of the synagogue, On faith against the heretics, and a work directed especially against Nestorius and entitled, A Refutation, in which all the secrets of Nestorius are exposed and his published opinions are refuted.
Timotheus,2675 the bishop composed a book On the nativity of Our Lord according to the flesh, which is supposed to have been written at Epiphany.
Leporius,2676 formerly monk afterwards presbyter, relying on purity,2677 through his own free will and unaided effort, instead of depending on the help of God, began to follow the Pelagian doctrine. But having been admonished by the Gallican doctors, and corrected by Augustine in Africa, he wrote a book containing his retraction, in which he both acknowledges his error and returns thanks for his correction. At the same time in correction of his false view of the incarnation of Christ, he presented the Catholic view, acknowledging the single person of the Son of God, and the two natures existing in Christ in his substance.2678
Victorinus,2679 a rhetorician of Marseilles, wrote to his son Etherius, a commentary On Genesis, commenting, that is, from the beginning of the book to the death of the patriarch Abraham, and published four2680 books in verse, words which have a savour of piety indeed, but, in that he was a man busied with secular literature and quite untrained in the Divine Scriptures, they are of slight weight, so far as ideas are concerned.
He died in the reign of Theodosius and Valentinianus.
Cassianus,2681 Scythian by race, ordained deacon by bishop John the Great, at Constantinople, and a presbyter at Marseilles, founded two monasteries, that is to say one for men and one for women, which are still standing. He wrote from experience, and in forcible language, or to speak more clearly, with meaning back of his words, and action back of his talk. He covered the whole field of practical directions, for monks of all sorts, in the following works: On dress, also On the canon of prayers, and the Usage in the saying of Psalms, (for these in the Egyptian monasteries, are said day and night), three books. One of Institutes, eight books On the origin, nature and remedies for the eight principal sins, a book on each sin. He also compiled Conferences with the
Egyptian fathers, as follows: On the aim of a monk and his creed, On discretion, On three vocations to the service of God, On the warfare of the flesh against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh, On the nature of all sins, On the slaughter of the saints, On fickleness of mind, On principalities, On the nature of prayer, On the duration of prayer, On perfection, On chastity, On the protection of God, On the knowledge of spiritual things, On the Divine graces, On friendship, On whether to define or not to define, On three ancient kinds of monks and a fourth recently arisen, On the object of cenobites and hermits, On true satisfaction in repentance, On the remission of the Quinquagesimal fast, On nocturnal illusions, On the saying of the apostles, “For the good which I would do, I do not, but the evil which I would not, that I do,” On mortification, and finally at the request of Leo the archdeacon, afterwards bishop of Rome, he wrote seven books against Nestorius, On the incarnation of the Lord, and writing this, made an end, both of writing and living, at Marseilles, in the reign of Theodosius and Valentinianus.
Philip,2682 the presbyter Jerome’s best pupil, published a Commentary on Job, written in an unaffected style. I have read his Familiar letters, exceedingly witty, exhorting the endurance of poverty and sufferings. He died in the reign of Martianus and Avitus.
Eucherius,2683 bishop of the church at Lyons, wrote to his relative Valerianus, On contempt for the world and worldly philosophy, a single letter, written in a style which shows sound learning and reasoning. He wrote also to his sons, Salonius and Veranius, afterward bishops, a discussion On certain obscure passages of Holy Scriptures, and besides, revising and condensing certain works of Saint Cassianus, he compressed them into one volume, and wrote other works suited to ecclesiastical or monastic pursuits. He died in the reign of Valentinianus and Martianus.
Vincentius,2684 the Gaul, presbyter in the Monastery on the Island of Lerins, a man learned in the Holy Scriptures and very well informed in matters of ecclesiastical doctrine, composed a powerful disputation, written in tolerably finished and clear language, which, suppressing his name, he entitled Peregrinus against heretics. The greater part of the second book of this work having been stolen, he composed a brief reproduction of the substance of the original work, and published in one [book]. He died in the reign of Theodosius and Valentinianus.
Syagrius2685 wrote On faith, against the presumptuous words, which heretics assume for the purpose of destroying or superseding the names of the Holy Trinity, for they say that the Father ought not to be called Father, lest the name, Son should harmonize with that of Father, but that he should be called the Unbegotten or the Imperishable and the Absolute, in order that whatever may be distinct from Him in person, may also be separate in nature, showing that the Father, who is unchangeable in nature may be called the Unbegotten, though the Scripture may not call Him so, that the person of the Son is begotten from Him, not made, and that the person of the Holy Spirit proceeds from Him not begotten, and not made. Under the name of this Syagrius I found seven books, entitled On Faith and the rules of Faith, but as they did not agree in style, I did not believe they were written by him.
Isaac,2686 presbyter of the church at Antioch, whose many works cover a long period, wrote in Syriac especially against the Nestorians and Eutychians. He lamented the downfall of Antioch in an elegiac poem, taking up the same strain that Ephraim, the deacon, sounded on the downfall of Nicomedia. He died during the reign of Leo and Majorianus.
Salvianus,2687 presbyter of Marseilles, well informed both in secular and in sacred literature, and to speak without invidiousness, a master among bishops, wrote many things in a scholastic and clear style, of which I have read the following: four books On the Excellence of virginity, to Marcellus the presbyter, three books Against avarice, five books On the present judgment,2688and one book On punishment according to desert, addressed to Salonius the bishop, also one book of Commentary on the latter part of the book of Ecclesiastes, addressed to Claudius bishop of Vienne, one book of Epistles.2689 He also composed one book in verse after the Greek fashion, a sort of Hexaemeron, covering the period from the beginning of Genesis to the creation of man, also many Homilies delivered to the bishops, and I am sure I do not know how many On the sacraments. He is still living at a good old age.
Paulinus2690 composed treatises On the beginning of the Quadragesimal, of which I have read two, On the Passover Sabbath, On obedience, On penitence, On neophytes.
Hilary,2691 bishop of the church at Arles, a man learned in Holy Scriptures, was devoted to poverty, and earnestly anxious to live in narrow circumstances, not only in religiousness of mind, but also in labour of body. To secure this estate of poverty, this man of noble race and very differently brought up, engaged in farming, though it was beyond his strength, and yet did not neglect spiritual matters. He was an acceptable teacher also, and without regard to persons administered correction to all.2692 He published some few things, brief, but showing immortal genius, and indicating an erudite mind, as well as capacity for vigorous speech; among these that work which is of so great practical value to many, his Life of Saint Honoratus, his predecessor. He died during the reign of Valentinianus and Martianus.
Leo,2693 bishop2694 of Rome, wrote a letter to Flavianus, bishop of the church at Constantinople, against Eutyches the presbyter, who at that time, on account of his ambition for the episcopate was trying to introduce novelties into the church. In this he advises Flavianus, if Eutyches confesses his error and promises amendment, to receive him, but if he should persist in the course he had entered on, that he should be condemned together with his heresy. He likewise teaches in this epistle and confirms by divine testimony that as the Lord Jesus Christ is to be considered the true son of the Divine Father, so likewise he is to be considered true man with human nature, that is, that he derived a body of flesh from the flesh of the virgin and not as Eutyches asserted, that he showed a body from heaven.2695 He died in the reign of Leo and Majorianus.
Mochimus,2696 the Mesopotamian, a presbyter at Antioch, wrote an excellent book Against Eutyches, and is said to be writing others, which I have not yet read.
Timotheus,2697 2698 when Proterius2699 had been put to death by the Alexandrians, in response to popular clamour, willingly or unwillingly allowed himself to be made bishop by a single bishop in the place of him who had been put to death. And lest he, having been illegally appointed, should be deservedly deposed at the will of the people who had hated Proterius, he pronounced all the bishops of his vicinity to be Nestorians, and boldly presuming to wash out the stain on his conscience by hardihood, wrote a very persuasive book to the Emperor Leo, which he attempted to fortify by testimonies of the Fathers, used in a perverted sense, so far as to show, for the sake of deceiving the emperor and establishing his heresy, that Leo of Rome, pontiff of the city, and the synod of
Chalcedon, and all the Western bishops were fundamentally Nestorians. But by the grace of God, the enemy of the church was refuted and overthrown at the Council of Chalcedon. He is said to be living in exile, still an heresiarch, and it is most likely so. This book of his for learning’s sake, I translated by request of the brethren into Latin and prefixed a caveat.2700
Asclepius,2701 the African, bishop of a large see2702 within the borders of Bagais, wrote against the Arians, and is said to be now writing against the Donatists. He is famous for his extemporaneous teaching.
Peter,2703 presbyter of the church at Edessa, a famous preacher, wrote Treatises on various subjects, and Hymns after the manner of Saint Ephrem, the deacon.
Paul2704 the presbyter, a Pannonian by nationality, as I learned from his own mouth, wrote On preserving virginity, and contempt for the world, and the Ordering of life or the correction of morals, written in a mediocre style, but flavoured with divine salt. The two books were addressed to a certain noble virgin devoted to Christ, Constantia by name, and in them he mentions Jovinian the heretic and preacher of voluptuousness and lusts, who was so far removed from leading a continent and chaste life, that he belched forth his life in the midst of luxurious banquets.2705