Faustus, the Manichaean

Faustus, The Manichaean a prominent bishop of the Manichaean, was a native of Mileve, in Numidia. Our knowledge of him is almost exclusively derived from the writings of Augustine. When beginning to doubt the truth of the Manichaean doctrines which he had adopted during his stay at Carthage, Augustine was referred by his Manichaean teachers whom he consulted, and who were unable to solve his doubts, to Faustus, as the ablest man of the sect. Augustine did not, however, find in Faustus what he had expected; his knowledge was by no means so extensive and so profound as the Manichaeans generally believed. Of Latin literature he had only read some orations of Cicero, a part of Seneca's works, a few -poets, and the Latin works of Manichaean authors. He confessed an entire ignorance of natural sciences. He was, however, possessed of a great readiness of speech and dexterity 'in argument. Faustus subsequently wrote a work against the doctrines of the Christian Church and in defence of the Manichaeans, in which the objections of his sect to the Scriptures, and in particular to the Old Testament, are presented with some keenness and wit. Augustine, induced by his friends, wrote against Faustus his work Contra Faustum Manichaeum Libri xxxiii (compiled about 400; sent to Jerome 404), in which nearly the whole of the work of Faustus is quoted. Augustine relates of him that he led a life of luxurious ease, regarded himself as the Incarnate Wisdom, was for a time exiled for his Manichaean opinions to an island, but subsequently released. The work of Augustine against Faustus is in the 8th volume of his works in the Maurine and Migne editions. SEE AUGUSTINE., MANICHAEANS.-Herzog. Real-Encyklop. lv, 342; Wetzer u. Welte, Kirchen-Lex. . iii, 927. (A. J. S.)

 
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