Paulinus of Pella

Paulinus Of Pella surnamed the Penitent, was born in A.D. 376, at Pella, in Macedonia. He was the son of Hesperius, proconsul of Africa. He was taken at three years of age to Bordeaux, where he appears to have been educated. An illness at the age of fifteen interrupted his studies, and the indulgence of his parents allowed him to pursue a life of ease and pleasure, in the midst of which, however, he kept up a regard for morality. At the age of twenty he married a lady of ancient family and of some property. At thirty he lost his father, whose death was followed by a dispute between Paulinus and his brother, who wished to invalidate his father's will to deprive his mother of her dowry. In A.D. 414 Paulinus joined Attalus, who attempted to resume the purple in Gaul under the patronage of the Gothic prince Ataulphus, and from whom he accepted the title of "Comes Rerum Privatarum," thinking thus to be secure from the hostility of the Goths. He was, however, disappointed. The city where he resided (apparently Bordeaux) was taken, and his house plundered; and he was again in danger when Vasates (Bazas), to which he had retired, was besieged by the Goths and Alans. He proposed now to retire to Greece, where his mother had rich estates, but his wife would not consent. He then thought of becoming a monk, but his friends diverted him from this plan. Misfortunes now thickened about him:

he lost his mother, his mother-in-law, and his wife; his children forsook him, with the exception of one, who was a priest, and who suddenly died soon after. His estates in Greece yielded him no revenue; and he retired to Massilia (Marseilles), where he hired and farmed some land, but this resource failed him, and alone, destitute, and in debt, he was reduced to depend on charity. During his residence at Massilia he became acquainted with many religious persons, and their conversation combined with his sorrows and disappointments to impress his mind deeply with religious sentiments. He was baptized in A.D. 422, in his forty-sixth year, and lived at least till his eighty-fourth year (A.D. 460), when he wrote a poem embodying his Christian sentiments. Some have supposed, but without good reason, that he is the Benedictus Paulinus to whose questions of various points of theology and ethics Faustus Reiensis wrote an answer (Histoire Litteraire de la France, 2:343, etc., 461, etc.). See also Fabricius, Biblioth. Med. et Infim. Latinit. v. 206, ed. Mansi; and Cave, Hist. Litt. 1:290, in his article on Paulinus Nolanus. — Smith, Dict. of Gr. and Romans Biog. and Mythol. s.v.

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