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Religious figures biography (20)



Aurelius, Archbishop of Carthage

The Catholic Encyclopedia


Agrippinus, Bishop of Carthage

Agrippinus. Bishop of Carthage, of venerable memory, but known for being the first to maintain the necessity of re-baptizing all heretics (Vincent. Lirinens. Commonit. i. 9). St. Cyprian regarded this opinion as the correction of an error and St. Augustine seems to imply he defended his error in writing (Epist. 93, c. 10). He held the Council of 70 Bishops at Carthage about A. D. 200 (Vulg. A. D. 215, Mans. A. D. 217) on the subject of Baptism. Though he erred in a matter yet undefined by the Church, St. Augustine notices that neither he nor St. Cyprian thought of separating from the Church (De Baptismo, iii. 2).

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Oct 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks



Capreolus succeeded Aurelius in the episcopal see of Carthage in the year 430, at the period when all Africa was overrun and ravaged by the Vandals. The state of the country rendering it impossible to send a regular deputation to the council of Ephesus, summoned in 431 for the purpose of discussing the doctrines of Nestorius, Capreolus despatched thither his deacon Besula, with an epistle, in which he deplores the circumstances which compelled his absence, and denounces the tenets of the patriarch of Constantinople. Capreolus is believed to have died before 439, the year in which Carthage was stormed by the Vandals.
We possess:
1. Epistola ad Synodum Ephesinam, written, as we have seen above, in 431. It is extant both in Greek and Latin.
2. Epistola de una Christi veri Dei ct Hominis Persona contra recens damnatum Haeresim Nestorii, a long and learned letter, addressed to two persons named Vitalis and Constantius, or Tonantius, who had written from Spain to consult Capreolus concerning the controversy which was then agitating the church. It is contained in the Varior. Opusc. of Sirmond, vol. i. Paris, 1675.
  Both of the above works, together with the epistle of Vitalis and Tonantius to Capreolus, will be found in the Bibliotheca Patrum of Galland
3. A fragment in reply to the letter addressed by Theodosius to Augustin with regard to the council of Ephesus, is preserved by Ferrandus in his "Epistola ad Pelagium et Anatolium", and quoted by Galland.
4. Tillemont believes Capreolus to be the author of the Sermo de Tempore Barbarico, on the invasion of Africa by the Vandals, usually included among the works of St. Augustin. Galland, Bibl. Patrum.; Schoenemann, Bibl. Patrum Latinorum, who enumerates all the editions

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Nov 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks



St. Agileus

d.c.300, feastday: October 15

St. Caecilius

d. 3rd century, feastday: June 3

St. Pontius

d.c. 260, feastday: March 8

St. Restituta

d. 255, feastday: May 17

St. Victorian the martyr

d. 484, feastday: March 23 (Catholic). Martyr in Carthage with four other wealthy fellow merchants, including Frumentius. Initially named proconsul by Hunneric, the Arian king of the Vandals, he was seized and put under pressure to convert to Arianism. When he refused, he was executed with the other merchants after being tortured at Adrumetum.

St. Eugenius of Carthage

St. Eugenius of Carthage. Unanimously elected Bishop of Carthage in 480 to succeed Deogratias (d. 456); d. 13 July, 505. The election was deferred owing to the opposition of the Arian Vandal kings and was only permitted by Huneric at the instance of Zeno and Placidia, into whose family the Vandals had married. The bishop's wise government, charity to the poor, austerity of life, and courage under persecution, won the admiration of the Arians. In his uncompromising defence of the Divinity of the Word he was imitated by the members of his flock, many of whom were exiled with him, after he had admitted Vandals into the Catholic Church, contrary to royal edict, and had worsted in argument Arian theologians, whom the king pitted against the Catholics. Both sides claimed the name "Catholic", the Arians calling their opponents "Homoousians". The conference was held some time between 481 and February, 484, and ended by the withdrawal of the chief Arian bishop on the plea that he could not speak Latin. The Arians being enraged, Huneric persecuted the Catholics, exiling forty-six bishops to Corsica, and three hundred and two to the African deserts. Among the latter was Eugenius, who under the custody of a ruffian named Antonius dwelt in the desert of Tripoli. On setting out he wrote a letter of consolation and exhortation to the faithful of Carthage which is still extant in the works of Gregory of Tours (P.L., LVII, 769-71). Gunthamund, who succeeded Huneric allowed Eugenius to return to Carthage and permitted him to reopen the churches. After eight years of peace Thrasamund succeeded to the throne, revived the persecution, arrested Eugenius, and condemned him to death, but commuted the sentence into exile at Vienne, near Albi (Languedoc), where the Arian Alaric was king. Eugenius built here a monastery over the tomb of St. Amaranthus, the martyr, and led a penitential life till his death. He is said to have miraculously cured a man who was blind. He wrote: "Expositio Fidei Catholicae", demanded of him by Huneric, probably the one submitted by the Catholic bishops at the conference. It proves the consubstantiality of the Word and Divinity of the Holy Ghost. He wrote also an "Apologeticus pro Fide"; "Altercatio cum Arianis", fragments of which are quoted by Victor de Vita; also pleas for the Catholics, addressed to Huneric or his successors. His letter to the faithful of Carthage has been mentioned ab

Mark J. McNeal, ed.
Transcribed by: Gerald M. Knight
This text is cited Dec 2005 from The Catholic Encyclopedia, New Advent online edition URL below.

Eugenius, an African confessor, not less celebrated for his learning and sanctity than for the courage with which he advocated the doctrines of the orthodox faith during the persecution of the Arian Vandals towards the close of the fifth century. At first tolerated by Hunneric, who acquiesced in his elevation to the see of Carthage in A. D. 480, he was subsequently transported by that prince, after the stormy council held in February A. D. 484, to the deserts of Tripoli, from whence he was recalled by the tardy clemeney of Gundanund, but eight years afterwards was arrested, tried and condemned to death by Thrasimund, who, however, commuted the sentence to banishment. The place fixed upon was Vienne in Languedoc, where Alaric at that period held sway. Here Eugenius founded a monastery near the tomb of St. Amaranthus, where he passed his time in devout tranquillity until his death on the 13th of July A. D. 505.
  Under the name of Eugenius we possess a confession of faith drawn up in accordance with the doctrines recognised by the council of Nicaea, and presented on the part of the orthodox African prelates to Hunneric, under the title, Professio fidei Catholicorum episcoporum Hunerico regi oblata. It will be found in the Bibl. Max. Patr. Lugdun. 1677, and an account of its contents in Schrock, Kirchengeschichte. Gennadins mentions several other works by this author, but they no longer exist. For the original documents connected with the Vandal persecution See " Victor Vitensis de persecutione Vandalica" with the notes of Ruinart. Paris, 1694; the "Vita S. Fulgentii" ia the Bibl. Max. Patr. Lugdun. 1677; and Procopius, De Bello Vandalico, i. 7, &c.

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Dec 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


BYZACIUM (Ancient province) TUNISIA

Facundus, bishop of Byzacium

Facundus, styled "Episcopus Hermianensis", from the see which lie held in the province of Byzacium, in Africa Propria, lived about the middle of the sixth century. When Justinian (A. D. 544) published an edict condemning, 1st, the Epistle of Ibas, bishop of Edessa; 2d, the doctrine of Theodore, bishop of Mopsuestia; and 3d, certain writings of Theodoret, bishop of Cyrus or Cyrrus; and anathematising all who approved of them, his edict was resisted by many, as impugning the judgment of the general council of Chalcedon (held A. D. 451), at which the prelates whose sentiments or writings were obnoxious were not only not condemned, but two of them, Ibas and Theodore, restored to their sees, from which they had been expelled. Facundus was one of those who rejected the Emperor's edict; and was requested by his brethren (apparently the other bishops of Africa) to prepare a defence of the Council on the three points (currently termed by ecclesiastical writers the "tria capitula") on winch its judgment was impugned. He was at Constantinople, engaged in this work, when the pope, Vigilius (A. D. 547), arrived, and directed him and all the other bishops who were there, about seventy in number, to give their opinion on the "tria capitula" in writing in seven days. The answer of Facundus consisted of extracts from his unfinished work; but as, from the haste and excitement under which it was prepared, and the inaccuracy of some of its quotations, it did not satisfy its author, he afterwards finished and published his larger work, as being a more moderate and better arranged defence of the council. Vigilius having been induced to approve of the condemnation of Ibas, Theodore, and Theodoret, though with a reservation of the authority of the council of Chalcedon, Facundus, with the bishops of Africa and of some other provinces, refused to have communion with him and with those who joined in the condemnation; and being persecuted for this, he was obliged to conceal himself. During this concealment, at the request of some persons whom he does not name, he wrote his reply to Mocian, a scholasticus or pleader, who had written against the decision of the council of Chalcedon. Nothing further is known of Facundus.
  Two of his writings, viz. Pro Defensione Triun Capitulorum Libri XII., and Contra Mocianum Liber, were published with notes by Sirmond (Paris. 1629). These works, with Sirmond's notes, are reprinted in the edition of the works of Optatus, by Philippus Priorius, and in the Bibliotheca Patrum, Lyon, A. D. 1677, and Venice, by Gallandius, A. D. 1765. Another work of Facundus, entitled Epistola Fidei Catholicae in Defensione Trium Capitulorum, was first published in the Spicilegium of D'Achery (1723), chiefly with the view of showing that Facundus continued out of communion with the Pope and the Catholic Church, and so of weakening his authority: for the Protestants had cited a passage from his Defensio Trium Capitulorum against the doctrine of the Real Presence. This letter is reprinted in the Bibliotheca Patrum of Gallandius. Cassiodorus (Expos. in Psalm cxxxviii. sub fin.) speaks of two books of Facundus De duabus Naturis Domini Christi. By some scholars he is thought to mean the two first books of the Defensio; but Fabricius thinks that he speaks of a separate work of Facundus now lost.

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Dec 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks



Chalcidius, styled in MSS. Vir Clarissimus, a designation altogether indefinite, but very frequently applied to grammarians, was a Platonic philosopher, who lived probably during the sixth century of the Christian aera, although many place him as early as the fourth. He wrote an "Interpretatio Latina partis prioris Timaei Platonici", to which is appended a voluminous and learned commentary inscribed to a certain Osius or Hosius, whom Barth and others have asserted, upon no sure grounds, to be Osius bishop of Cordova, who took a prominent part in the proceedings of the great council of Nicaea, held in A. D. 325. The writer of these annotations refers occasionally with respect to the Mosaic dispensation, and speaks, as a believer might, of the star which heralded the nativity of our Lord, but expresses himself throughout with so much ambiguity or so much caution, that he has been claimed by men of all creeds. Some have not scrupled to maintain, that he was a deacon or archdeacon of the church at Carthage; Fulgentius Planciades dedicates his tracts "Allegoria librorum Virgilli" and "De prisco Sermone" to a Chalicidius, who may be the person whom we are now discussing, and calls him "Levitarum Sanctissimus"; but in reality it is impossible to discover from internal evidence whether the author of the translation from Plato was Christian, Jew, or Heathen, or, as Mosheim has very plausibly conjectured, a sort of nondescript combination of all three. He certainly gives no hint that the individual to whom the book is addressed was a dignified ecclesiastic or even a member of the church. This translation was first printed under the inspection of Augustinus Justinianus, bishop of Nebio in Corsica, by Badius Ascensius, Paris, 1520, illustrated by numerous mathematical diagrams very unskilfully executed; a second edition, containing also the fragments of Cicero's version of the same dialogue, appeared at Paris, 1563; a third at Leyden, 1617, with the notes and corrections of Jo. Meursius; the most recent and best is that of J. A. Fabricius, Hamburg. 1718, placed at the end of the second volume of the works of Saint Hippolytus. The text was improved by the collation of a Bodleian MS., and the notes of Meursius are given entire.

Cyprianus, Thascius

Cyprianus, Thascius. This celebrated prelate was a native of Africa, born, although the exact year cannot be ascertained, about the beginning of the third century. We are not acquainted with the particulars of his life as long as he remained a Gentile; but it is evident from his writings that he must have been educated with no common care. St. Jerome and Lactantius assure us, that he practised the art of oratory, and taught rhetoric with distinguished success, and by this or some other honourable occupation he realised considerable wealth. About the year A. D. 246, he was persuaded to embrace Christianity by the exhortations of Caecilius, an aged presbyter of the church at Carthage, and, assuming the name of the spiritual patron by whom he had been set free from the bondage of Paganism, was henceforward styled Thascius Caecilius Cyprianus. At the same period he sold all that he had, and distributed the price among the poor. The popularity acquired by this liberality, combined probably with the reputation he had previously enjoyed, and the pride naturally felt in so distinguished a proselyte, secured his rapid elevation. In A. D. 247 he was raised to the rank of a presbyter, and in the course of the following year the bishopric of Carthage was forced upon his reluctant acceptance by a large majority of the African clergy, not without strenuous opposition, however, from a small party headed by Novatus and Felicissimus, whose obstinate resistance and contumacy subsequently gave rise to much disorder and violence.
  When the persecution of Decius burst forth (A. D. 250), Cyprian, being one of the first marked out as a victim, fled from the storm, in obedience, as he tells us (Epist. xiv.), to an intimation from heaven that thus he might best discharge his duty, and remained in retirement until after Easter of the following year (A. D. 251). During the whole of this period he kept up an active correspondence with his clergy concerning various matters of discipline, much of his attention being occupied, as the violence of the persecution began to abate, by the fierce controversies which arose with regard to the readmission of the Lapsi or apostates, who, according to the form and degree of their guilt, were designated Sacrificati, or Thurificati, or Libellatici, and were seeking, now that the danger had passed away, the restoration of their ecclesiastical privileges. Cyprian, although not perfectly consistent throughout in his instructions, always manifested a disposition to follow a moderate course ; and while on the one hand he utterly rejected the extreme doctrine of Novatianus, who maintained that the church had no power again to admit the renegades to her communion, so he was equally opposed to the laxity of those who were willing to receive them at once, before they had given evidence of their contrition by lengthened penitence, and finally decided that full forgiveness should not be extended to any of the offenders until God should have granted peace to his servants. Novatus and Felicissimus, taking advantage of these disputes, endeavoured to gain over to their faction many of the impatient and discontented Lapsi. Novatus actually appointed Felicissimus his deacon without the permission or knowledge of his diocesan, who in his turn caused Felicissimus to be excommunicated; while the latter, far from submitting to the sentence, associated with himself five seditious presbyters, who breaking off in open schism, elected Fortunatus, one of their own number, bishop, and ventured to despatch an epistle to Cornelius, bishop of Rome, announcing their choice. This cabal, however, soon fell to pieces; Cornelius refused to listen to their representations, their supporters gradually dropped off, and their great bond of union was rudely snapped asunder by the defection of their great champion, Novatus, who, upon his visit to Rome at the commencement of A. D. 251, not only ceased to plead the cause of the Lapsi, but espoused to the full extent the views of Novatianus. Scarcely were these troubles happily allayed, and Cyprian once more securely seated in his chair, when fresh disturbances arose in consequence of the acrimonious contest between Cornelius and Novatianus for the see of Rome, the former finding a warm supporter in the bishop of Carthage, by whose exertions his authority was acknowledged throughout nearly the whole of Africa. In the month of June, A. D. 252, began what is commonly termed the persecution of Gallus, but which in reality originated in an unauthorized popular movement excited by the refusal of the Christians to join in the prayers and sacrifices offered up on account of the deadly pestilence which was devastating the various provinces of the Roman empire. On this occasion, as formerly, the mob of Carthage loudly demanded that Cyprian should be thrown to the lions; but the danger does not appear to have been imminent, and while in Italy Cornelius was banished to Civita Vecchia, where he died on the 14th of September, and his successor Lucius suffered martyrdom a few months afterwards (5th March, 253), Africa remained comparatively undisturbed, and the political confusion consequent upon the assumption of the purple by Aemilianus restored to the church external tranquillity, which continued uninterrupted for nearly four years. But in proportion as there was repose from without, so discord waxed hot within. The never ending discussions with regard to the Lapsi were vexatiously and bitterly revived under a thousand embarrassing forms; next arose a dispute with regard to the age at which infants might receive baptism ; and lastly the important controversy concerning the rebaptizing of those who had been admitted to the rite by heretics and schismatics, which first arose in Asia, now began to call forth a storm of angry feeling in all the provinces of the West. In this case, Cyprian was no longer the advocate of moderate opinions. He steadfastly and sternly maintained that the unity of the visible church was essential to Christianity; that no Christianity could exist beyond the pale of that church; that no sacrament was efficacious if administered by those who had violated this principle by disobedience to episcopal authority; and that consequently the baptism performed by heretics and schismatics was in itself null and void--doctrines confirmed by the acts of a numerous council held at Carthage in the autumn of A. D. 255, and unhesitatingly repudiated by Stephen, at that time bishop of Rome. The tempest thus aroused was stilled for awhile by the unlooked-for persecution of Valerian, hitherto considered the friend and protector of the Christian cause. Cyprian being at once pointed out by his high character and conspicuous station, was banished by Paternus the proconsul to the maritime city of Curubis, whither he proceeded in September, A. D. 257, attended by his friend and constant companion, the deacon Pontius, to whom he communicated that he had received a revelation of approaching martyrdom. After having lived in this agreeable residence for eleven months, treated with the greatest indulgence and surrounded by every comfort, he was recalled by the new governor, Galerius Maximus, and returned to his villa in the neighbourhood of the city, from whence he was soon summoned to appear before the proconsul at Utica. Conscious of his approaching fate, he withdrew for a time into concealment, in consequence, say his enemies, of his courage having failed him, or, according to his own declaration, because he considered it more becoming to die in the midst of his own people than in the diocese of another prelate. It is certain that, upon the return of Maximus, Cyprian reappeared, resisted all the entreaties of his friends to seek safety in flight, made a bold and firm profession of his faith in the praetorium before the magistrate, and was beheaded in a spacious plain without the walls in the presence of a vast multitude of his sorrowing followers, who were freely permitted to remove the corpse and to pay the last honours to his memory with mingled demonstrations of grief and triumph.
  While Cyprian possessed an amount of learning, eloquence, and earnestness, which gained for him the admiration and respectful love of those among whom he laboured, his zeal was tempered with moderation and charity to an extent of which we find but few examples among the ecclesiastics of that age and country, and was combined with an amount of prudence and knowledge of human nature which enabled him to restrain and guide the fiery spirits by whom he was surrounded, and to maintain unshaken to the close of his life that influence, stretching far beyond the limits of his own diocese, which he had established almost at the outset of his career. His correspondence presents us with a very lively picture both of the man and of the times; and while we sometimes remark and regret a certain want of candour and decision, and a disinclination to enunciate boldly any great principles save such as were likely to flatter the prejudices of his clergy, we at the same time feel grateful in being relieved from the headstrong violence, the overbearing spiritual pride, and the arrogant impiety which disgrace the works of so many early controversialists. His character, indeed, and opinions were evidently, in no small degree, formed by the events of his own life. The clemency uniformly exhibited towards the Lapsi was such as might have been expected from a good man who must have been conscious that he had himself, on one occasion at least, considered it more expedient to avoid than to invite persecution, while the extreme views which he advocated with regard to the powers of the church were not surprising in a prelate whose authority had been so long and so fiercely assailed by a body of factious schismatics. On one point only is his conduct open to painful suspicion. He more than once alleged that he had received communications and directions direct from heaven, precisely too with reference to those transactions of his life which appeared most calculated to excite distrust or censure. Those who are not disposed to believe that such revelations were really vouchsafed, cannot fail to observe that the tone and temper of Cyprian's mind were so far removed from fanaticism, that it is impossible to imagine that he could have been deceived by the vain visions of a heated imagination.
  In his style, which is avowedly formed upon the model of Tertullian, he exhibits much of the masculine vigour and power of his master, while he skilfully avoids his harshness and extravagance both of thought and diction. The fruits of his early training and practice as a rhetorician are manifested in the lucid arrangement of his matter, and in the copious, flowing, and sonorous periods in which he gives expression to his ideas; but we may here and there justly complain, that loose reasoning and hollow declamation are substituted for the precise logic and pregnant terseness which we demand from a great polemical divine.

The following is a list of Cyprian's works:
1. De Grstiu Dei liber, addressed in the form of a letter to his friend Donatus, who appears to have followed in early life the same profession with himself, and to have been converted at the same time. This work was probably composed in A. D. 246, very soon after the admission of its author into the church. It depicts in glowing colours the happy condition of those who, enlightened by the grace of God, have turned aside from Paganism to Christianity; dwells upon the mercy and beneficence by which this change is effected, and upon the importance of the baptismal rite ; and draws a striking parallel between the purity and holiness of the true faith as contrasted with the grossness and vice of the vulgar belief. Although frequently placed among the Epistles of Cyprian, it deserves to be considered in the light of a formal treatise.
2. De Idolorum Vanitate liber, written in A. D. 247, the year in which he was ordained a presbyter, is imitated from the early Christian Apologies, especially that of Tertullian. Three points are chiefly insisted upon. 1. The folly of raising earthly kings, that is, mere mortal men, to the rank of divinities, the impotence of such imaginary powers, and the emptiness of the science of augury. 2. The Unity of God. 3. The Advent of Christ, and his Consubstantiality with the Father. This tract is expressly ascribed to Cyprian by Jerome in his Epist. ad Magnum Orat.
3. Testimoniorum adversus Judaeos libri tres. A collection of remarkable texts from Scripture, divided into three books, and illustrated by remarks and applications. Those in the first are quoted for the purpose of proving that the Jews, by their disobedience, had, in accordance with prophecy, forfeited the protection and promises of God; those in the second demonstrate that the Christians had taken their place, and that Jesus was the Messiah foretold in the Old Testament; those in the third exhibit within a short compass the great moral and religious obligations of the Christian life. The precise date at which this compilation was arranged is unknown, but it probably belongs to the early part of Cyprian's career. It is quoted by Jerome (Dial. I. adv. Pelag.) and by Augustin. (Contra duas Epist. Pelag. iv. 8, 10.)
4. De Disciplina et Habitu Virginum liber, written in A. D. 248, the year in which he was raised to the episcopate, in imitation of the dissertations of Tertullian, "De Virginibus velandis", "De Habitu Mulierum" &c., the object being to enforce upon those holy maidens who had made a vow of celibacy the necessity of simplicity in their dress and manner of life. He commences with an encomium on virginity, insists upon the propriety of abstaining from all sumptuous apparel and vain ornaments, from paint, from frequenting baths, marriages, or public spectacles, and concludes with a general exhortation to avoid all luxurious indulgencies. This book is referred to by Jerome (Epist. ad Demetriad. et Eustoch.) and by Augustin (de Doctrina Christi, iv. 21).
5. De Unitate Ecclesiae Catholicae liber, written and despatched to Rome in A. D. 252, at a period when both Italy and Africa were distracted by the pretensions of Novatianus, with the view of bringing back to the bosom of the church those who had wandered from her pale or were wavering in their allegiance, by pointing out the danger and sin of schism, and by demonstrating the necessity of a visible union among all true Christians. This remarkable treatise is of the utmost importance to the student of ecclesiastical history, since here we first find the doctrine of Catholicism and of the typical character of St. Peter developed in that form which was afterwards assumed by the bishops of Rome as the basis of Papal supremacy. It is quoted by Augustin (c. Crescon. ii. 33; see also Cyprian. Epist. 51).
6. De Lapsis liber, written and despatched to Rome in the month of November, A. D. 252. It may be considered as a sort of supplement to the preceding work, explaining and defending the justice and consistency of that temperate policy which was adopted both by Cornelius and Cyprian with regard to the readmission of fallen brethren into the communion of the church. The tract is quoted by Eusebius (Hist. Eccl. vi. 33), by Augustin (de Adult. Conj. i. 25), and by Pontius (Vit. Cyprian). See also Cyprian, Epist. 51.
7. De Oratione Dominica liber, written about A. D. 252, in imitation of Tertullian, "De Oratione", contains a lengthened commentary on each of the petitions in the Lord's Prayer, accompanied by remarks upon prayer in general, and upon the frame of mind which best befits those who thus approach the throne of God. This work is highly extolled by Hilarius in his commentary on St. Matthew, by Augustin in many places (e. g. de Don. persev. 2), by Cassiodorus (Divin. Instit. 19), and by Pontius in his life of Cyprian, while among moderns, Barth pronounces it one of the noblest productions of ancient Christian Latinity. (Advers. lviii.).
8. De Mortalitate liber, written in A. D. 252, during the prevalence of the terrible pestilence which for the space of five years ravaged the most populous provinces of the Roman empire, for the purpose of pointing out how little death ought to be an object of dread to the Christian, since to him it was the gate of immortality, the beginning of eternal bliss. It is mentioned by Augustin (Adv Julian. ii.), and elsewhere.
9. Ad Demetrianum liber, also written in A. D. 252. Demetrianus, proconsul of Africa, catching up the popular cry, had ascribed the famine and plague under which the world was at this time labouring to the impiety of the Christians, who refused to render homage to the deities. Cyprian here replies, that the Gentiles themselves were much more the cause of these disasters, by neglecting the worship of the only true God and cruelly persecuting his followers. It is quoted by Lactantius (Divin. Instit. v. 1, 4), by Jerome (Adv. Mag.), and by Pontius. (Vit. Cyprian.)
10. De Exhortatione Martyrii, a letter addressed to Fortunatus in A. D. 252, during the persecution of Gallus, on the reasonableness, the duty, and the reward of martyrdom, in imitation of a treatise on the same subject by Tertullian. This piece has been by some persons erroneously attributed to Hilarius, but is now generally acknowledged as the undoubted production of Cyprian.
11. De Opere et Eleemosynis liber, on the duty of almsgiving, written according to some critics towards the close of A. D. 254, while others suppose that it belongs to the preceding year, and believe it to be connected with an epistle (lxii.) addressed by Cyprian to some Numidian bishops who had solicited pecuniary assistance to enable them to redeem from captivity several of the brethren who had been carried off and were kept in slavery by the Moors. It is named under the above title by Augustin (Contra duas ep. Pelag. iv. 4), and by Jerome (Ad Pammach.), as a discourse "De Misericordia".
12. De Bono Patientiae liber, written about A. D. 256, in imitation of the work of Tertullian on the same subject. It is quoted by Augustin (Contra duas ep. Pelag. iv. 9) and by Pontius. (Vit. Cyprian)
13. De Zelo et Livore, written in A. D. 256, at the period when the controversy between Cyprian and Stephen, bishop of Rome, on the rebaptizing of heretics, was at its height, exhorting Christians carefully to avoid envy and malice, and to cherish feelings of charity and love towards each other. It is quoted by Augustin (de Baptism. Parv. 4), by Jerome (In ep. ad Gal. c. 5), and by Pontius. ( Vit. Cyprian)
14. Epistolae. In addition to the above we possess a series of eighty-one official letters, extending over the whole public life of Cyprian, including [p. 915] a few addressed to himself or to his clergy. This collection is of inestimable value, not only on account of the light which it throws on the life, character, and opinions of the prelate himself, but from the lively picture which it presents of the state of ecclesiastical affairs, and of a multitude of circumstances of the greatest importance in historical and antiquarian researches. Our limits preclude us from attempting to give any analysis of these documents; but we may remark, that the topics principally considered bear upon the questions, general and local, which we have noticed above as agitating the Christian community at this epoch, namely, the treatment of the Lapsi, the schism of Novatus and Felicissimus, the schism of Novatianus, the baptism of infants, the rebaptising of heretics, to which we may add a remarkable discussion on a subject which has been revived in our own day, the necessity of employing wine in the sacrament of the Eucharist, in which Cyprian strongly denounces the tenets of the Aquarii or Encratites (Epist. 63), and employs many expressions which have been constantly ap pealed to by those opposed to the practice of the Romish church which denies the cup to the laity.

In most editions of Cyprian the tract De Gratia Dei, together with the fragment of a letter from Donatus prefixed to it, are set down as the first two epistles, by which arrangement the number is swelled to eighty-three. Three more were printed by Baluze, which, however, are now admitted to be spurious.
  The following works are admitted as authentic by many editors, although they do not rest on such satisfactory evidence as the foregoing:
1. De Spectaculis liber.
2. De Laude Martyrii ad Moysen et Maximum et ceteros Confessores.
   The following works, although frequently found bearing the name of Cyprian, and many of them, probably, belonging to the same age, are now rejected by all:
1. Ad Novatianum Haereticum, quod Lapsis Spes Veniac non sit deneganda, ascribed by Erasmus to Cornelius. 2. De Disciplina et bono Pudicitiae, ascribed in like manner by Erasmus to Cornelius. 3. De Aleatoribus. 4. De Montibus Sina et Sion contra Judaeos. 5. Oratio pro Martyribus-- Oratio in Die Passionis suae et Confessio S. Cypriani, assigned by many to Cyprian of Antioch. 6. De Rebaptismate. 7. De Cardinalibus Christi Operibus, now recognized as the work of Arnold, abbot of Bona Vallis. 8. De Singularitate Clericorum. 9. In Symbolum Apostolicum Expositio. The work of Rufinus. 10. Adversus Judaeos qui Christum insecuti sunt. 11. De Revelatione Capitis B. Jo. Baptistae: in this work mention is made of the Frankish king Pepin. 12. De Duplici Martyrio, in which mention is made of the Turks! 13. De Duodecim Abusionibus Saeculi. 14. Dispositio Coenae. 15. De Pascha Computus, attributed to Cyprian by Paulus Diaconus, and found in the Cottonian MS. 16. Three poems, the author or authors of which are unknown, have been ascribed to Cyprian--Genesis, Sodoma, Ad Senatorem. The first seems to be the same with that assigned by Gennadius to Salvianus, bishop of Marseilles.

The editions of Cyprian are very numerous. The editio princeps was printed at Rome from a Parisian MS., under the inspection of Andrew, bishop of Aleria, by Sweynheym and Pannartz, 1471. The first edition in which any attempt was made to exhibit a pure text, and to separate the genuine from the spurious works, was that of Erasmus, whose labours are above all praise. It appeared at Basle, from the press of Froben, in 1520. The two best editions are: 1. That printed at Oxford, 1682, and edited by John Fell, bishop of Oxford, to which are subjoined the Annales Cyprianici of John Pearson, bishop of Chester; reprinted at Bremen 1690, with the addition of the Dissertationes Cyprianicae of Dodwell, which had previously appeared in a separate form, Oxon 1684. 2. That commenced by Baluze, and completed by a monk of the fraternity of St. Maur, who is hence styled Maranus, Paris 1726. These two editions taken together contain everything that the student can possibly desire.
  As ancient authorities we have a biography of Cyprian still extant drawn up by his confidential friend the deacon Pontius, together with the proconsular acts relating to his martyrdom.

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Nov 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Liberatus a deacon of the church of Carthage in the sixth century. He was at Rome in A. D. 533, when the pope, Joannes II., received the bishops sent by the emperor, Justinian I., to consult him on the heresies broached by the monks, designated Acoemetae (or, as Liberatus terms them, Acumici), who had imbibed Nestorian opinions. (Liberat. Breviar. c. 20, comp. Epistolae Justiniani ad Joan. and Joannis ad Justinianum, apud Concilia vol. iv. col. 1742, &c. ed. Labbe.) He was again at Rome in 535, having been sent the previous year, together with the bishops Caius and Petrus, by the synod held at Carthage, under Reparatus, bishop of that see, to consult pope Joannes II. on the reception of those Arians who recanted their heresies into the church. Joannes was dead before the arrival of the African delegates; but they were received by pope Agapetus, his successor. (Epistolae Agapeti ad Reparatum apud Concilia, ed. Labbe, vol. iv. col. 1791, 1792.) When, in 552, Reparatus was banished by Justinian to Euchaida, or Eucayda (Vict. Tun. Chron.), Liberatus accompanied him, and probably remained with him till the bishop's death, in 563. Nothing further is known of him.
  Liberatus is the author of a valuable contribution to ecclesiastical history entitled Breviarium Caussae Nestorianorum et Eutychianorum. It comprehends the history of a century and a quarter, from the ordination of Nestorius, A. D. 428, to the time of the fifth oecumenical (or second Constantinopolitan) council, A. D. 553, and is divided into 24 chapters. It was compiled, as the author tells us in his proΓ«m, from " the ecclesiastical history lately translated from Greek into Latin," apparently that translated by Epiphanius Scholasticus, from the Greek ecclesiastical historians; from the acts of the councils and the letters of the fathers, from a document written in Greek at Alexandria, and from the communications, apparently oral, of men of character and weight. He made considerable use of the Breviculus Historiae Eutychianistarum, and of other sources of information not particularly mentioned by him. His Latin style is generally clear, without ornament, but unequal, from the bad Latin into which passages from Greek writers have been rendered. He has been charged with partiality to the Nestorians, or with following Nestorian writers too implicitly. The Breviarium is contained in most editions of the Concilia (vol. v. ed. Labbe, vol. vi. ed. Coleti, vol. ix. ed. Mansi): in those of Crabbe (vol. ii. fol. Cologn. 1538 and 1551) are some subjoined passages derived from various extant sources illustrative of the history, which are omitted by subsequent editors; and Hardouin has in his edition omitted the Breviarium itself. It was separately published, with a revised text, and a learned preface and notes, and a dissertation, De Quinta Synodo, by the Jesuit Garnier, 8vo. Paris, 1675; and is reprinted from his edition, with the preface, notes, and dissertation, in the Bibliotheca Patrum of Galland, vol xii. fol. Venice, 1778. (Fabric. Bibl. Graec. vol. x. 543; Bibl. Med. et Inf. Latinit. vol. iv. 272, ed. Mansi; Cave, Hist. Litt. ad ann. 553; Ceillier, Auteurs Sacres, vol. xvi. p. 543; Garnier, Praef in Liberat.)

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Oct 2006 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


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