The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Hilarius



different MSS. to different authors, and the third uniformly to Hilarius Pictaviensis. These are, 1. Poema de septem fratribus Maccabaeis ah Antiocho Epiphane interfectis, published under the name of Victorinus Afer, by Sicard, in his Antidot. cont. omn. Haeres. 1528, inserted in most of the large collections of fathers, and in the Sylloge Poetarum Christianorum, Lugd. 1605. 2. Carmen de Dei Provideritia, frequently printed along with the works of Prosper Aquitanus. 3. Carmen in Ge-nesim ad Leonem Papam, first printed by Miraeus in his edition of Hilarius Pictaviensis, Paris, fol. 1544 ; published separately by Morellus, Paris, 4to. 1559 ; with a commentary by Weitzius, Franc. 8vo. 1625 ; and included in all the larger collections of the fathers.

There is also a Narratio de Miraculo, performed by a certain martyr named Genesius, which is given to Hilarius in some MSS., but generally rejected as spurious. It will be found in Surius and the Bollandists under 25th August. We have already alluded to an ancient Vita Hilarii^ which is com­ monly believed to be the production of Honoratus, bishop of Marseilles (about a. d. 460), but which in the Aries MS. is assigned to Reverentius, or Ravennius, the successor of .Hilarius. It is con­ tained in the Chronologia Lirinensis, and in Surius under V. Mai. [W. R.]

HILARIUS, surnamed diaconus, a native of Sardinia, a deacon of the church at Rome in the middle of the fourth century, and hence designated Hilarius Diaconus, to distinguish him from others of the same name, was deputed by Pope Liberius, along with Lucifer of Cagliari, Eusebius of Ver-celli, and Pancratius, to plead the cause of the or­thodox faith before Constantius at the council of Milan. Upon this occasion he defended the prin­ciples of Athanasius with so much offensive bold­ness, that he was scourged by order of the emperor, and condemned to banishment, along with his com­panions. Of his subsequent history we know little, except that he adopted the violent opinions of Lucifer to their full extent, maintaining that not only Arians, but all who had held any intercourse with them, as well as heretics of every description, must, even after an acknowledgment of error, be re-baptized before they could be admitted into the communion of the Catholic church, and from this doctrine he was sarcastically styled by Jerome a second Deucalion.

Two treatises are sometimes ascribed to this Hilarius, both of very doubtful authenticity. One of these, Commentarius in Epistolas Pauli, has fre­quently been published along with the writings of Ambrosius ; the other, Quaestiones Veteris et Novi Testament^ among the works of Augustin. [ W.R.]

HILARIUS, surnamed pictaviensis, the most strenuous champion of the pure faith among the Latin fathers of the fourth century, the Malleus Arianorum, as he has been designated by his ad­mirers, was born at Poitiers, of a good family, although the name of his parents is unknown, and carefully instructed in all the branches of a liberal education, Having been induced, after he had attained to manhood, to study the Scriptures, he became convinced of the truth of Christianity, made an open profession of his belief, was baptized along with his wife and his daughter Abra, and resolved to devote himself to the service of religion. Of the early portion of his career in this new vocation we nothing, but his character as a man of learn-


ing and piety must have been held in high esteem,"; for about the year a. d. 350, although still married, he was elected bishop of his native city. From that time forward the great object of his existence was to check the progress of Arianism, which had spread all over the East, and was making rapid strides in Gaul. At his instigation the Catholic prelates excommunicated Saturninus, bishop of Aries, a zealous partizan of the heretics, together with his two chief supporters, Ursacius and Valens. But at the council of Beziers, convoked in 356 by Constantius, ostensibly for the purpose of calming these dissensions, a triumph was achieved by the adversaries of Hilarius, who by a rescript from the emperor was banished, along with Rhodanus, bishop of Toulouse, to Phrygia, which, as well as the rest of Asia Minor, was strongly opposed to Trinitarian doctrines. From this remote region he continued to govern his diocese, to which no successor had been appointed, and drew up his work De Synodis^ that he might make known throughout Gaul, Ger­many, and Britain, the precise nature of the opinions prevalent in the East. In 359 a general meeting of bishops was summoned to be held at Seleuceia, in Isauria ; and Hilarius, having repaired thither uninvited, boldly undertook, although almost un­supported, to maintain the consubstantiality of the Word, against the Anomeans and other kindred sectaries, who formed a large majority of the as­sembly. From thence he betook himself to Con­stantinople, at that time the very focus of Arianism, where his indefatigable importunity proved so troublesome to the court, and his influence with the more moderate among the Oriental ecclesiastics so alarming to the dominant faction, that he was or­dered forthwith to return to his bishopric, where he was received in triumph, about the period of Julian's accession (361), and at this time probably published his famous invective against the late prince. For some years he found full occupation in reclaiming such of the clergy as had subscribed the confession of faith sanctioned by the council of Ariminum, and in ejecting from the church his old enemy Saturninus, along with those who refused to acknowledge their errors. In the reign of Va-lentinian (364), however, not satisfied with regu­lating the spiritual concerns of his own country, he determined to purify Italy also, and formally im­peached Auxentius, bishop of Milan, who stood high in imperial favour, although suspected of being in his heart hostile to>the cause of orthodoxy. The emperor forthwith cited the accuser and the ac­cused to appear before him, and to hold a conference upon the disputed points of faith in the presence of the high officers of state. Auxentius unexpectedly, and perhaps unwillingly, gave unexceptionable an­swers to all the questions proposed; upon which Hilarius, having indignantly denounced him as a hypocrite, was expelled from Milan as a disturber of the tranquillity of the church, and, retiring to his episcopal see, died in peace four years after­wards, on the 13th of January, a.d. 368.

The extant works of this prelate, arranged in chronological order, are the following:—

1. Ad Constantium Augustum Liber primus, .written it is believed in a. p. 355. It is a petition in which he implores the emperor to put an end to the persecutions by which the Arians sought to crush their opponents, produces several examples of their cruelty, and urges with great force, in respectful language, the right of the Catholics to enjoy toleration.

About | First



page #  
Search this site
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of