Possidius, St

Possidius, St.

a prelate of the early Eastern Church, flourished at the close of the 4th and the commencement of the 5th century. He was a disciple of St. Augustine, and lived on intimate terms with him all his life. On being raised in 397 to the episcopal see of Calamo, a town in Numidia, at no great distance from Hippo-Regius, he endeavored to oppose the assemblies which pagans and Donatists were continually holding in spite of the imperial decrees. The pagans avenged themselves by setting fire to his church and compelling him to flee to Hippo. Recalled after a few years, Possidius was a member of all important assemblies held in Africa about Church matters, especially of the famous conference at Carthage in 411, in which none after St. Augustine played a more prominent part than himself. He was also at the Councils of Carthage and of Miletus, where Pelasgus and Celestius were condemned. He was also sent abroad on important missions. Thus in A.D. 410 he was one of four prelates dispatched by the orthodox party in Africa to Honorius for the purpose of soliciting a repeal of the law which had been passed by their heretical opponents. Expelled from Calamo in 428 by Genseric, king of the Vandals, he assisted St. Augustine in his late moments, and wrote the life of the great saint, with a list of his works. He died after 431. The Roman Catholic Church has consecrated the 17th of May to his memory. Two tracts by Possidius, to which reference was made above, are still extant. They are entitled, Vita Augustina; Indiculus Scriptorum Augustini. These are attached to all the best editions of Augustine. The best edition of the Vita, in a separate form, is that of Salinus (Rome, 1731, 8vo) and Aug. Vindel (1768); of the Indiculus, that published at Venice (1735, 8vo). -

Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Géneralé, s.v.; Smith, Dict. of Gr. and Rom. Biog. s.v.

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