Miltiades also called Melchiades or Melciades, a bishop of Rome, was born about the middle of the 3d century. He early occupied as a priest a very conspicuous place by his arduous efforts to protect the rights and interests of the Roman Church against the many wrongs enacted by pope Maxentius, and was, besides, prominent in the protection of Christians during the persecutions. He succeeded Eusebius on the pontifical throne in 310, and, in 313, was ordered by the emperor Constantine the Great, who was opposed to the Donatists, to bring the Donatist difficulties to a close. In council with twenty Gallican and Italian bishops, he reinstated Csecilian as bishop of Carthage. For his zeal and exertion in trying to bring back the Donatists into the union of the Church he was slandered, but Augustine (Epiist. 162) speaks of him as "vir optimus, filius Christianae pacis et pater Christianoa plebis." The Manichaeans also, who worked secretly at Rome, found in him a watchful guardian against their doctrines. He was the first pope to live in a royal palace, which was presented to him by the emperor Constantine the Great with other rich endowments. Miltiades issued two well-known edicts the one interdicting fasting on Sundays and Thursdays, because the heathens celebrated these days "quasi sacrum jejunium;" and he also enacted, "Ut oblationes consecrate per ecclesias ex consecratu episcopi dirigerentur, quod declaratur fermentum." The true meaning of the latter edict has often been a matter of dispute. Miltiades died in 314: it is erroneously reported of him that he died a martyr. St. Bernard, who, described the life of this pope, makes no mention of the manner of his death. His remains were interred in the Calixtine Chapel, but by pope Paul I they were removed "in capite" to the Church of St. Sylvester. See Bower, Hist. of the Popes (see Index in volume 7); D'Artaud, Life and Times of the Roman Pontiffs (N.Y. 1865, 2 volumes, roy. 8vo), 1:67; Herzog, Real- Encyklop. 9:300; Wetzer.u.Welte, Kirchen-Lexikon, volume 6, s.v.

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