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garded as an appendix added by the author himself upon a revision of his work. It is certainly not a modern forgery, and was very probably composed, as Dupin suggests, by some African, as a supplement, not long after the publication of the original.
Optatus addresses his production to Parmenia-ims, the Donatist bishop of Carthage, in reply to an attack made by that prelate upon the Catholics, and explains at the outset the method he intends to pursue in refuting his opponent. The object of the first book is, to ascertain what class of persons may justly be branded as traditors and schismatics, the former being the term uniformly applied by the Donatists to their antagonists; of the second, to ascertain what the Church is, and where it is to be found ; of the third, to prove that some acts of violence and cruelty on the part of the soldiery had not been committed by the orders or with the approbation of the Catholics ; of the fourth, to point out who is really to be accounted the Sinner, whose sacrifice God rejects, from whose unction we must flee ; of the fifth, to inquire into the nature of baptism ; of the sixth, to expose the errors and projects of the Donatists. This performance was long held in such high estimation on account of the learning, acuteness, and orthodoxy displayed, not only in reference to the particular points under discussion, but upon many general questions of doctrine and discipline, that the author was esteemed worthy of the honours of canonization, his festival being celebrated on the fourth of June. Even now the book must be regarded as a valuable contribution to the ecclesiastical history of the fourth century, and constitutes our principal source of information with regard to the origin and progress of the heresy which distracted Africa for three hundred years. [donatus.] The language is tolerably pure, and the style is for the most part lofty and energetic, but not unfrequently becomes turgid and harsh, while it is uniformly destitute of all grace or polish. The allegorical interpretations of Scripture constantly introduced are singularly fantastic, and the sentiments expressed with regard to free-will would in modern times be pronounced decidedly Arminian. Optatus refers in the course of his arguments (i. 14) to certain state papers and other public documents, which he had subjoined in support of the statements contained in the body' of the work. These have disappeared, but in the best editions we find a copious and important collection of "pieces j ustificatives," collected from various sources, which throw much curious light not only upon the struggles of the Donatists, but upon tne practice of ancient courts and the forms of ancient diplomacy.
Of the epistles and other pieces noticed by Tri-themius no trace remains.
The Editio Princeps of the six books of Optatus was printed by F. Behem (apud S. Victorem prope Moguntiam), fol. 1549, under the inspection of Joannes Cochlaeus, from a MS. belonging to the Hospital of St. Nicolas near Treves. The text which here appears under a very corrupt and mutilated form was corrected in a multitude of passages by Balduinus, first from a single new MS. (Paris, 8vo. 1653, with the seventh book added in small type), and afterwards from two additional codices (Paris, 8vd. 1659). The second of these impressions remained the standard until the appearance of the elaborate edition by Dupin, printed at
Paris, fol. 1700, reprinted at Amsterdam, fol. 1701, and at Antwerp, fol. 1702, the last being in point of arrangement the best of the three, which are very far superior to all others. That of Meric Casaubon (Svo. Lond. 1631) is of no particular value, that of L'Aubespine, bishop of Orleans (fol. Par. 1631) is altogether worthless. Galland, in his Bibliotheca Patrum, vol. v. p. 462 (fol. Venet. 1769), has followed the text of Dupin, selected the most important of his critical notes, adopted his distribution of the " Monumenta Vetera ad Dona- tistarum Historiam pertinentia," and brought toge ther much useful matter in his Prolegomena, cap. xviii. p. xxix. (Hieronym. de Viris III. 110: Honor, i. 3 ; Trithem. 76 ; Augustin. de Doctrin. Christ, ii. 40 ; Lardner, Credibility of Gospel His tory, c. cv. ; Funecius, de L. L. veget. Senect. c. x. § 56—63 ; Schonemann, Bibl. Pair. Lat. vol. i. § 16 ; Ba'hr, GescMchte der Rom. Liit. suppl. band. 2te Abtheil. § 65.) [W. R.]
ORATA or AURA'TA, C. SE'RGIUS, was a contemporary of L. Crassus the orator, and lived a short time before the Marsic war. He was distinguished for his great wealth, his love of luxury and refinement, and possessed withal an unblemished character. In a fragment of Cicero, preserved by Augustin, Grata is described as a man " ditissimus, amoenissimus, deliciosissimus ;" and it is related of him, that he was the first person who invented the pensiles balneae, that is, baths with the Jiypocausta under them (Diet, of Ant. s. v. Balneum), and also the first who formed artificial oyster-beds at Baiae, from which he obtained a large revenue. He is further said to have been the first person who asserted and established the superiority of the shell-fish from the Lucrine lake, although under the empire they were less esteemed than those from Britain. His surname Orata or Aurata was given to him, according to some authorities, because he was very fond of goldfish (auratae pisces), according to others, because he was in the habit of wearing two very large gold rings. (Augustin. de Beata Vita, c. 26, p. 308, ed. Bened. ; Cic. de Off. iii. 16, de Fin. ii. 22, de Orat. i. 39 ; Val. Max. ix. 1. § 1 ; Plin. H. N. ix. 54. s. 79 ; Varr. R. R. iii. 3. § 10 ; Colum. viii. 16. § 5 ; Macrob. Saturn, ii. 11 ; Festus, s. v. Orata.)
COIN OF ORBIANA.
ORBIANA, SALLU'STIA BA'RBIA, one of the three wives of Alexander Severus, Her name is known to us from coins and inscriptions only, on which she appears with the title of Augusta. (Eckbel, vol. vii. p. 285.) [W. R.]