Nicetas [or Nic(A)Eus] of Dacia

Nicetas [Or Nic(a)eus] Of Dacia an Eastern ecclesiastic, who was bishop of a city called by ecclesiastical writers Civitas Romatiana or Remesianensis, situated in Maesia, somewhere between Naissus and Sardia, flourished near the close of the 4th century. He visited Italy about this time, and while at Nola viewing the tomb of St. Felix made a warm friend of Paulinus (q.v.), who celebrated in a poem still extant the high talents and virtues of Nicetas, and the zeal with which this man of God labored in preaching the Gospel among the barbarians. A.D. 402 Nicetas paid a second visit to Nola, and it appears from an epistle of pope Innocent I (note xvii, ed. Constant.) that he was still living in A.D. 414. The time of his death is as uncertain as that of his birth. Considerable confusion has been occasioned by the mistake of Baronius, who supposed that Nicetas the Dorian, mentioned in the Roman martyrology under January 7th, was a different person from the Nicceas Romatianae civitatis episcopus of Gennadius, and that the latter was the same with the Niceeas of Aquilea, to whom a letter was addressed by pope Leo the Great in A.D. 458 — a hypothesis which forced him to prove that Aquilea bore the name of Civitas Romatiana. But the researches of Holstein, Quesnel, and Tillemont have set the question at rest. Gennadius informs us that Nicetas composed in a plain but elegant style instructions for those who were preparing for baptism, in six books, of which he gives the arguments, and also Ad Lapsam Virginem Libellus. Of these the former is certainly lost, but we find among the works of St. Jerome (vol. 11:178, ed. Vallarsi; vol. v, ed. Bened.) a tract entitled Objurgatio ad Susannam Lapsam; and among the works of St. Ambrose (vol. 2:311, ed. Bened.) the same piece under the name Tractatus ad Virginem Lapsam, although it can be proved by the most convincing arguments that neither of these divines could have been the author. Hence it was conjectured by Cotelerius that it might in reality belong to Nicetas, and his opinion has been very generally adopted, although the matter is involved in great doubt. See Gennadius, De Viris Illustr. 22; Schonemann, Biblioth. Patrum Lat. vol. ii, § 17, s.v.

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