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A Dictionary Of Christian Biography And Literature by Henry Wace

Letter R

Rabbûlas, bp. of Edessa
Rabbûlas, bp. of Edessa, 412-435. Chief authorities: (1) a panegyric in Syriac, compiled soon after his death by a contemporary cleric, himself a native of Edessa, extant in a MS. of 6th cent., of which Bickell has furnished a German trans. in Thalhofer's Ausgewählte Schriften der Kirchenväter (vol. x. pp.56-68); (2) the later and less trustworthy biography of Alexander, the founder of the Acoemetae. According to the panegyrist, Rabbûlas was born in Kenneschrin, known by the Greeks as Chalcis in Osrhoene, of rich and noble parentage. His father was a heathen priest, his mother a Christian. He received a liberal education, and was well versed in pagan literature. From his father he inherited a considerable fortune, and was chosen prefect of his native city. He was still a heathen and for a long time resisted his mother's entreaties to become a Christian. He took, however, a Christian wife. Various instrumentalities contributed to his conversion. The panegyrist attributes it to his intercourse with Eusebius of Chalcis and Acacius of Beroea, and to two remarkable miracles witnessed by him. The biographer of Alexander ascribes it to Alexander's influence and teaching. Both accounts probably are substantially true. On his conversion he went on pilgrimage to Jerusalem and was baptized in the Jordan, having previously renounced his property and manumitted his slaves. His wife, daughters, and all the females of his household embraced the religious life, and Rabbûlas retired to the monastery of St. Abraham at Chalcis. The see of Edessa being vacant in 412 by the death of Diogenes, Rabbûlas was appointed by a synod meeting at Antioch. Edessa was famous for its intellectual activity. Rabbûlas became the leading prelate of the Oriental church, regarded, according to the exaggerated language of the biographer of Alexander, as |the common master of Syria, Armenia, Persia, nay of the whole world.| The panegyrist describes him as having steadily opposed the doctrines of Nestorius from the very first. The church of Edessa, with the East generally, followed the teaching of Diodore of Tarsus and Theodore of Mopsuestia, in which those doctrines were virtually contained, and IBAS, a presbyter of his church, who would have personal knowledge, says that Rabbûlas was no exception. By degrees, however, Rabbûlas veered round, and ended as the most uncompromising opponent of Theodore's teaching, using his utmost endeavours to bring about the suppression of his works. (Ep. ad Marium, Labbe, iv.666; Liberat. Breviar. c.10, Labbe, v.752.) His separation from Theodore's school of doctrine was strongly exhibited in the winter preceding the council of Ephesus, 430-431, in a letter to Andrew of Samosata, upbraiding him for having attacked Cyril, a fragment of which is printed by Overbeck among the Syriac documents in his ed. of Ephrem Syrus (Oxf.1865). >From Andrew's reply and from Theodorus Lector (lib. ii. p.565) we learn that Rabbûlas's fiery zeal for orthodoxy had led him to anathematize Andrew before his congregation at Edessa; and according to the panegyrist, Rabbûlas, when visiting Constantinople, preached in the presence of Nestorius and denounced his doctrine. After this it is surprising to find Rabbûlas at the council of Ephesus, joining the Orientals in their opposition to Cyril. His signature appears to the letter to the clergy and laity of Hierapolis (Baluz. col.705) and to that addressed to the deputies of the Orientals to
Constantinople (ib.725), in both of which the heretical nature of Cyril's teaching is asserted. From this vacillation Rabbûlas speedily recovered. A visit to Constantinople in the winter after the council, 431-432, enabled him to confer with Nestorius's successor, the wise and pious Maximian, and confirmed him in opposition to the Nestorian doctrine, which he returned to his diocese determined to eradicate. This was no easy task. The defenders of Nestorius claimed to be disciples of Diodore of Tarsus and Theodore of Mopsuestia, whose names were revered throughout the East. To denounce Nestorianism and accept Cyril's anathemas was to repudiate the theologians whom they had been taught to venerate as infallible guides. Rabbûlas saw clearly that the evil must be attacked at his source in the works of Diodore and Theodore. He called to his aid the strong will and unscrupulous pen of Cyril. We have a letter from Rabbûlas to Cyril (Labbe, v.469), denouncing Theodore as the author of the heresy of Nestorius, which denied that Mary was truly the mother of God. Cyril, in his reply, of which a fragment is preserved (ib.), lauded Rabbûlas for his zeal in expelling the blasphemy of Nestorius, and indicated Theodore, though guarding himself from mentioning so revered a name, as |the Cilician,| from whose root this impiety proceeded. The suppression of these writings, so fatal to his own system of doctrine, became a chief object with Cyril. An extension of the imperial decree was obtained which included |the sacrilegious books| of Diodore and Theodore under the condemnation previously passed on the writings of Nestorius (ib. v.471, cf. iii.1209). The letter of Ibas to Maris describes the violent conduct of Rabbûlas, ho panta tolmon, in publicly anathematizing Theodore and seeking out his works for destruction (ib. iv.663). Rabbûlas's violence is also described in a letter of Andrew of Samosata to his metropolitan, Alexander of Hierapolis, shortly after Easter, 432, complaining that Rabbûlas was dealing with a high hand in Edessa, openly anathematizing Theodore's teaching of one nature in Christ, and excommunicating all who refused to accept the Cyrillian dogmas or who read Theodore's books, which he was everywhere committing to the flames. A synod summoned at Antioch by the patriarch John despatched letters to the bishops of Osrhoene desiring them, if the reports were true, to suspend communion with Rabbûlas (Baluz. xliv. col.749). Meanwhile Rabbûlas was corresponding with Cyril on the terms of reconciliation between himself and the East; and the two prelates were agreed that nothing short of complete submission on the part of the Orientals and the withdrawal of the condemnation of Cyril's anathemas would satisfy them. A letter of Cyril to Rabbûlas (ib. cviii. col.812) in 432 expresses the impossibility of his repudiating all he had written on the subject. The reconciliation was effected in the spring of 433. Andrew of Samosata, becoming convinced of Rabbûlas's orthodoxy by perusing his manifesto, at once left his diocese for Edessa to make reparation to his antagonist. Alexander's anger having been aroused, Andrew wrote to the oeconomi of Hierapolis to justify himself. He had not yet seen Rabbûlas, but he accepted communion with him and Cyril, and embraced the peace of the church (ib. ci. cvi. coll.807-810).

Rabbûlas, also, with Acacius of Melitene, wrote to warn the Armenian bishops of the Nestorian heresy in the writings of Diodore and Theodore. In their perplexity they summoned a synod, and dispatched two presbyters to Proclus (who in Apr.434 had succeeded Maximian as patriarch of Constantinople), entreating him to indicate which was the orthodox teaching. Proclus replied in his celebrated |Tome| on the Incarnation, wherein he condemned Theodore's opinions without naming him, a precaution counteracted by the officiousness of the bearers of the document (Liberat. Breviar. c.10, ap. Labbe, v.752; Garnerii Praef. in Mar. Merc. p. lii. ed. Par.1673). The fiery Rabbûlas did not long survive this letter. His death is placed Aug.7, 435, after an episcopate of 23 years.

Nearly all his few surviving works were printed by Overbeck in the original Syriac text, in his ed. of Ephrem Syrus (Oxf.1865), pp.210-248, 362-378. They include the scanty remains of the 640 letters which, according to his biographer, he wrote to the emperor, bishops, prefects, and monks. See also Bickell's Ausgewählte Schriften, pp.153-271.


Radegundis, St
Radegundis, St., born in 519, queen of Clotaire I. and founder of the nunnery of Sainte-Croix, at Poictiers. Her father was a Thuringian prince named Bertharius. Her austerities were so incessant that it was commonly said the king had wedded a nun (Venant. Fort. Acta S. Rad. c. i.). Abhorring the married state from the first, she seems to have finally decided to escape from it upon her husband's treacherous murder of her brother. Withdrawing to Noyon on the pretext of some religious observance, her urgency overcame the hesitation of bp. Medardus to make her a deaconess. She then escaped from her husband's territory to the sanctuary of St. Martin of Tours, and thence to St. Hilary's at Poictiers. Here she founded her monastery within a mile or two of the city; finally, with the consent of Clotaire, clerks were sent to the East for wood of the true cross to sanctify it, and the rule of SS. Caesarius and Caesaria of Arles was adopted. Here the rest of her life was spent, first as abbess, then as simple nun under the rule of another. We have full information about the beginnings of this institution from the two Lives of Radegund, one by Venantius Fortunatus, her intimate friend (Patr. Lat. lxxii.651), the other by one of her nuns called Baudonivia (ib.663); and also from the fact that in Gregory's time, after Radegund's death, the attention of all France was drawn to the spot by the scandalous outbreak of a body of the nuns, headed by Chrodieldis, a natural daughter of king Charibert I. After a residence of about 37 years she died Aug.13, 587, and was buried by Gregory of Tours (de Glor. Conf. c. cvi.).


Reccared (the uniform spelling in coins and inscriptions), younger son of LEOVIGILD by his first marriage. For his parentage and life till the death of his father see LEOVIGILD and HERMENIGILD. Between Apr.12 and May 8, 586 (Hübner, Insc. Hisp. n.155; Tejada y Ramiro, ii.217), he succeeded his father without opposition, having been already associated with him in the kingdom. He first allied himself to his stepmother Goisvintha, the mother of Brunichild and grandmother of Childebert II. By her advice he sent ambassadors to Childebert and to his uncle GUNTRAMNUS (2), the Frankish king of Burgundy, proposing peace and a defensive alliance. The former alone were received.

Then followed the great event of Reccared's reign, his conversion from Arianism to Catholicism. We can only conjecture whether, as Dahn supposes, his motives were mainly political, or whether he yielded to the influence of the Catholic leaders such as Leander or Masona. In Jan.587 he declared himself a Catholic, and, convening a synod of the Arian bishops, induced them and the mass of the Gothic and Suevic nations to follow his example. Some Arians did not submit quietly, and 587-589 saw several dangerous risings, headed by coalitions of Arian bishops and ambitious nobles. Perhaps, from the geographical situation, the most formidable was that of Septimania, headed by bp. Athaloc, who, from his ability, was considered a second Arius. Amongst the secular leaders of the insurrection the counts Granista and Wildigern are named. They appealed for aid to Guntram, whose desire for Septimania was stronger than his detestation of Arianism, and the dux Desiderius was sent with a Frankish army. Reccared's army defeated the insurgents and their allies with great slaughter, Desiderius himself being slain (Paul. Em.19; J. Bicl.; Greg. T. ix.15). The next conspiracy broke out in the West, headed by Sunna, the Arian bp. of Merida, and count Seggo. Claudius, the dux Lusitaniae, put down the rising, Sunna being banished to Mauritania and Seggo to Galicia. In the latter part of 588 a third conspiracy was headed by the Arian bp. Uldila and the queen dowager Goisvintha, but they were detected, and the former banished.

Reccared, after his conversion, had again sent to Guntram and Childebert in 587. The implacable Guntram refused his embassy, asking how could he believe those by whose machinations his niece Ingunthis had been imprisoned and banished and her husband slain? Childebert and his mother Brunichild accepted the present of 10,000 solidi, and were satisfied with Reccared's declarations that he was guiltless of the death of Ingunthis. In the spring of 589 Guntram, perhaps in concert with Goisvintha, made one more attempt on Septimania. It was defeated with great loss by the Goths under Claudius. The rest of his reign was peaceful, except for some expeditions against the Romans and Basques.

Third Council of Toledo. -- This, the most important of all Spanish councils, assembled by the king's command in May, 589. On May 4 the king shortly declared his reasons for convening them, and the next three days were spent in prayer and fasting. Reccared's address, read to the assembly by a notary, contained an orthodox confession of belief. He declared that God had inspired him to lead the Goths back to the true faith, from which they had been led astray by false teachers. Not only the Goths but the Suevi, who by the fault of others had been led into heresy, he had brought back. These noble nations he offered to God by the hands of the bishops, whom he called on to complete the work. He then anathematized Arius and his doctrine, and declared his acceptance of Nice, Constantinople, Ephesus, Chalcedon, and all other councils that agreed with these, and pronounced an anathema on all who returned to Arianism after being received into the church by the chrism, or the laying on of hands; then followed the creeds of Nicaea and Constantinople and the definition of Chalcedon, and the tomus concluded with the signatures of Reccared and Baddo his queen. It was received with general acclamation. Its praises of Reccared, its numerous scriptural quotations, and the clearness with which the Catholic and Arian doctrines are defined shew that it was composed by a theologian, probably bp. Leander or abbat Eutropius, who had the chief management of the council (Jo. Bicl.). One of the Catholic bishops then called on the bishops, clergy, and Gothic nobles who had been converted to declare publicly their renunciation of Arianism and their acceptance of Catholicism. They replied that though they had done so already when with the king they had gone over to the church, they would comply. Then followed 23 anathemas directed against Arius and his doctrines, succeeded by the creeds of Nice and Constantinople and the definition of Chalcedon, the whole being subscribed by 8 Arian bishops with their clergy, and by all the Gothic nobles. The bishops were Ugnas of Barcelona, Ubiligisclus of Valencia, Murila of Palencia, Sunnila of Viseo, Gardingus of Tuy, Bechila of Lugo, Argiovitus of Oporto, and Froisclus of Tortosa. The names of at least six shew their Gothic descent. Five come from sees within the former Suevic kingdom, probably shewing that Leovigild, after his conquest, had displaced the Catholic by Arian bishops. Reccared then bid the council with his licence to draw up any requisite canons, particularly one directing the creed to be recited at the Holy Communion, that henceforward no one could plead ignorance as an excuse for misbelief. Then followed 23 canons with a confirmatory edict of the king. The 1st confirmed the decrees of previous councils and synodical letters of the popes; the 2nd directed the recitation of the creed of Constantinople at the communion; by the 5th the Arian bishops, priests, and deacons, who had been converted, were forbidden to live with their wives; the 7th directed the Scriptures should be read at a bishop's table during meals; by the 9th Arian churches were transferred to the bishops of their dioceses; the 13th forbade clerics to proceed against clerics before lay tribunals; the 14th forbade Jews to have Christian wives, concubines, or slaves, ordered the children of such unions to be baptized, and disqualified Jews from any office in which they might have to punish Christians -- Christian slaves whom they had circumcised, or made to share in their rites, were ipso facto free; the 21st forbade civil authorities to lay burdens on clerics or the slaves of the church or clergy; the 22nd forbade wailing at funerals; the 23rd forbade celebrating saints' days with indecent dances and songs. The canons were subscribed first by the king, then by 5 of the 6 metropolitans, of whom Masona signed first; 62 bishops signed in person, 6 by proxy. All those of Tarraconensis and Septimania appeared personally or by proxy; in other provinces several were missing. The proceedings closed with a homily by Leander on the conversion of the Goths.

The information for the rest of Reccared's reign is most scanty. He is praised by Isidore for his peaceful government, clemency, and generosity. He restored various properties, both ecclesiastical and private, confiscated by his father, and founded many churches and monasteries. Gregory the Great, writing to Reccared in Aug.599 (Epp. ix.61, 121), extols him for embracing the true faith and inducing his people to do so, and for refusing the bribes offered by Jews to procure the repeal of a law against them. He sends him a piece of the true cross, some fragments of the chains of St. Peter, and some hairs of St. John Baptist. Reccared died at Toledo in 601, after reigning 15 years, having publicly confessed his sins. He was succeeded by his son Leova II., a youth of about 18. Dahn, Könige der Germanen., v.; Helfferich, Entstehung und Geschichte des Westgothen-Rechts; Gams, Kirchengeschichte von Spanien, ii. (2).


Remigius, St., archbp. of Rheims
Remigius (2) (Remi), St., archbp. of Rheims and called the Apostle of the Franks (c.457-530), holds an important position in Western history and is honoured as one of the 3 great patron-saints of France. His exact part in winning Clovis and his Franks to orthodox Christianity, and so probably deciding the belief of Western Europe, is not easy to define, since Gregory's account, written considerably later than the events, is plainly not to be trusted for details, and an earlier Life which apparently existed (see Greg. Tur. Hist. Franc. ii.31) was lost before the 9th cent. Some think that Clovis was convinced by the exhortations of Remigius or Clotilda, or both, some that he saw his advantage in the partizanship of the orthodox clergy in his struggle with the Arian Burgundians and Visigoths. [[517]CLOVIS.] At any rate, it was a happy event for orthodoxy that a man with force of character to impress a barbarian like Clovis was stationed in the pathway of his conquests. Few details are known of Remigius's life. He was born c.435, and consecrated in his 22nd year (c.457). We first hear of his intercourse with Clovis in the campaign against Syagrius (c.486). About 492 the king married the Catholic Clotilda, who proved a powerful ally for the bishop. The story of his baptism on Christmas Eve, 496, with his sisters Albofledis and the Arian Lanthechildis and more than 3,000 Franks, is well known. |Mitis depone colla, Sicamber, adora quod incendisti, incende quod adorasti,| are the words put by Gregory into Remigius's mouth (ib.27). His episcopate is said to have lasted 70 or more years, his death occurring c.530. His literary remains are 4 letters (one, to 3 bishops, presents a curious picture of contemporary manners), a spurious will, and a few verses ascribed to him (Patr. Lat. lxv.961-976; cf. Hist. litt. de la France, iii.158 sqq.).

The references in Gregory of Tours (Hist. Franc. ii.27, 31, viii.21, ix.14, x.19; Hist. Epit. xvi.; de Glor. Conf. lxxix.), Sidonius Apollinaris (Ep. ix.7), and Avitus (Collat. Episc. sub init.; Patr. Lat. lix.387), comprise all that is historical about him. History and myth are mingled in the exhaustive notice of the Bollandists (Oct.1, 59-187).


Rhodo, a Christian writer
Rhodo (1), a Christian writer of the end of the 2nd cent., our knowledge, of whom now exclusively depends on the account of his writings, and some extracts from them in Eusebius (H. E. v.13). He was a native of Asia, converted to Christianity at Rome by Tatian, as he himself says in a treatise against Marcion addressed to Callistion. In it he tells of the sects into which the Marcionites split up after Marcion's death, and gives an interesting account of an oral controversy held by him with the Marcionite APELLES, then an old man. He mentions a book of |Problems| published by Tatian, intended to exhibit the obscurity of the Holy Scriptures, and promise to give the solutions; but Eusebius does not seem to have met with this work. He also wrote a treatise on the Hexaemeron. Through a lapse of memory Jerome (de Vir. Ill.) speaks of him as author of the anonymous treatise against the Montanists from which Eusebius makes extracts (H. E. v.16).


Romanianus, citizen of Tagaste
Romanianus, a wealthy citizen of Tagaste, possessing there and at Carthage a house and other property. He shewed great kindness towards Augustine in his early life, which he did not fail in later days gratefully to acknowledge. In a passage of the second book against the heathen philosophers Augustine relates with pathetic simplicity how when he was but a boy and in poverty arising no doubt from his father's |spirited| disregard of expense, he found in Romanianus a friend who provided him a home and pecuniary help in his studies at Carthage, and shewed him what he valued more than these -- friendship and kindly encouragement. After the death of Augustine's father in 371, Romanianus received him into his house at Tagaste as his honoured guest, and though, in a patriotic spirit, he tried to dissuade him from returning to Carthage, when he saw that his youthful ambition desired a wider range than his native town could afford, he supplied him with the necessary means. Nor, as Augustine mentions with special gratitude, was he offended at a neglect to write, but passed over it with considerate kindness (Aug. Conf. ii.3, vi.14; c. Acad ii.2; Ep.27, 4). Romanianus had a son Licentius, who may have been a pupil under Augustine while he was teaching rhetoric at Carthage, but of this there is no evidence, though he undoubtedly was 10 or 12 years later at Milan. Romanianus appears to have had another son, Olympius, frequently mentioned in the various discourses composed by Augustine at Cassiciacum near Milan, who received baptism at the same time as Augustine, and who afterwards became bp. of Tagaste, of which place he was certainly a native, and of a rank in life agreeing entirely with that of Romanianus (Aug. Conf. vi.7). Like Augustine himself, perhaps in some degree through his influence, Romanianus fell into the prevailing errors of Manicheism, which, however, he appears to have cast off, though without adopting as yet the true philosophy of the gospel, by the time when, as we gather from the description of Augustine, he visited him at Milan in 385. He had gone thither on important business, and entered with some warmth into the scheme of a life in common of 10 members. In 386, while Augustine was with his friends in the house of Verecundus at Cassiciacum, and meditating the great change of life which he made in 387, he composed 4 discourses, dedicating to Romanianus the one against the academic philosophers, entreating him to abandon their doctrines, and declaring his own intention to abide by the authority of Christ, |For,| says he, |I find none more powerful than this| (c. Acad. i. x ; iii.20; Retract. i.1-4). Some time during the 3 years following the conversion of Augustine Romanianus became a Christian, thus drawing still closer the intimacy between Augustine and himself and his family. The same year Augustine addressed to Romanianus his book on true religion (c. Acad. ii.3, 8 ; de Ver. Rel.12; Ep.27, 4; 31, 7). We find Augustine also writing, A.D.395, to Licentius, entreating him in the most affectionate manner to shake off the bonds in which he was held by the world, to visit Paulinus at Nola and learn from him how this was to be accomplished (Aug. Ep.26, 3). This letter he followed up by one to Paulinus, introducing to him Romanianus, the bearer of the letter, and commending Licentius to his attention (Ep.27, 3, 4, 6). In 396 Paulinus wrote to Romanianus congratulating the church of Africa on the appointment of Augustine as coadjutor-bp. of Hippo, and expressing the hope that the trumpet of Augustine may sound in the ears of Licentius, to whom he wrote both in prose and in verse, exhorting him to devote himself to God (Paulin. Epp. vii. viii.).


Romanus, a solitary
Romanus (7), a solitary, born and brought up at Rhosus, who retired to a cell on the mountains near Antioch, where he lived to extreme old age, practising the utmost austerities. Theodoret describes him as conspicuous for simplicity and meekness, attracting to his cell by the beauty of his character large numbers, over whom he exercised a salutary influence (Theod. Hist. Relig. c. xi.).


Romanus, hymn-writer
Romanus (9), St., a celebrated hymn writer of the Eastern church, who is said to have written more than 1,000 hymns, of the kind called kontakia, a form which he probably invented. It perhaps derives its some what disputed name from the legend as to its origin, found in the Synaxasion of St. Romanus's day (Menaea, Oct.1), which says that the Blessed Virgin appeared to him, and commanded him to eat a roll (kontakion) which she gave him, and that, obeying, he found himself endowed with the power of composing hymns. If he was the first who wrote kontakia, it is an argument in favour of placing him (as do Pitra and the Bollandists) in the reign of Anastasius I. (491-518) rather than of Anastasius II. (713-719).


Rufinus of Aquileia
Rufinus (3), Tyrannius, of Aquileia, the translator of Origen and Eusebius, the friend of Jerome and afterwards his adversary; a Latin ecclesiastical writer of some merit, and highly esteemed in his own time; born c.345 at Concordia in N. Italy; baptized at Aquileia c.371; lived in Egypt some 8 years and in Palestine about 18 (371-397); ordained at Jerusalem c.390; in Italy, mostly at Aquileia, 397-408; died in Sicily, 410.

Sources. -- The works of Rufinus himself, especially his Apology (otherwise Invectives), two books, against Jerome; Hieron. Apology against Rufinus, three books; Id. Chronicle, Ol.289, An.1, A.D.378; Id. Epp.3-5, 51, 57, 80-84, 97, 125, 133; Id. Pref. to Comm. on Ezk. and Jer. bk. i; Paulin. Epp.28, 40, 46, 47; Aug. Epp.63, 156; Pallad. Hist. Laus.118; Gennad. de Script. Eccl. c.17; Sid. Apoll. lib. iv. Ep.3; Gelasius in Concil. Rom. (Patr. Lat. lix. col.173).

Literature. -- Rufinus's career has usually been treated as an appendage to that of Jerome. There is a full Life of Rufinus by Fontanini (Rome, 1742), reprinted by Migne in his ed. of Rufinus (Patr. Lat. xxi.) -- minute and exhaustive in details and in fixing dates; a shorter account by Schoenemann, Bibliotheca Historico-Literaria Patrum Lat. (Lips.1792) is also reprinted by Migne.

Works. -- The genuine original works of Rufinus still extant are: A Dissertation on the Falsification by Heretics of the Works of Origen, prefixed to his trans. of Pamphilus's Apology for Origen; A Commentary on the Benedictions of the Twelve Patriarchs (Gen. xlix.); the Apology for himself against the attacks of Jerome, in two books; a shorter one addressed to pope Anastasius; two books of Eccl. Hist., being a continuation of Eusebius; a History of the Egyptian Hermits; and an Exposition of the Creed. Besides these there are several prefaces to the translations from Greek authors, on which his chief labour was expended, and which include The Monastic Rule of Basil, and his 8 Homilies; the Apology for Origen, written by Pamphilus and Eusebius; Origen's Peri Archon and many of his commentaries; 10 works of Gregory Nazianzen; the Sentences of Sixtus or Xystus; the Sentences of Evagrius, and his book addressed to Virgins; the Recognitions of Clement; the 10 books of Eusebius's History; the Paschal Canon of Anatolius of Alexandria.

Early Life: Concordia and Aquileia. -- His parents were probably Christians, since there is no trace of other than Christian associations in his writings. His mother did not die till his sojourn in Rome in 398 (Hieron. Ep. lxxxi. x). He was not baptized till c.371. That he made the acquaintance of Jerome in early life is shewn by his request to him when about to go into Gaul, c.368, to copy out for him the works of Hilary upon the Psalms and upon the councils of the church (Ep. v.2). Either before or about the time of the return of Jerome from Gaul, Rufinus had gone to Aquileia and embraced a monastic life (|in monasterio positus,| Rufin. Apol. i.4). There, about 30 years before he wrote his Apology against the attacks of his former friend, Rufinus was baptized (ib.) by Chromatius and his brother Eusebius (then respectively presbyter and deacon), and Jovinus the archdeacon, all of them ascetic friends, and all subsequently bishops. This must have been at the close of his stay at Aquileia (|Ille modo se lavit,| Hieron. Ep.4, A.D.374).

Life in the East: Egypt. -- We do not know how long the company of friends lived together at Aquileia, nor what caused its dissolution. But when the |subitus turbo| drove Jerome to the East, Rufinus left Italy in the company of Melania for Egypt and visited the monasteries of Nitria (Pallad. Hist. Laus.118; Hieron. Ep. iii.2 ), where Rufinus apparently intended to remain. But the church of Alexandria was then in a state of trouble. Athanasius died in 372, and his successor, the Arian Lucius, acting with the successive governors of Alexandria, came as a wolf among the sheep (Ruf. H. E. ii.3; Socr. iv.21-23 ; Soz. vi.19). Rufinus himself was thrown into prison, and afterwards, with many other confessors, banished from Egypt (H. E. ii.4; Apol. ad Anastasium, 2, |In carceribus, in exiliis|), but must have returned as soon as the stress of the persecution abated. In Egypt he saw and heard Didymus, who wrote for him a book on the questions suggested by the death of infants (Hieron. Apol. iii.28), and whom he praises in his Ecclesiastical History (ii.7). He also was a pupil of Theophilus, afterwards bp. of Alexandria (Hieron. Apol. iii.18). He saw also the hermits, whose teaching he prized still more -- Serapion and Menites and Paulus; Macarius the disciple of Anthony, and the other Macarius, Isidore, and Pambas. On their teachings he says he attended earnestly and frequently; and he afterwards described them in his Historia Monachorum. After 6 years he went to Jerusalem. Whether Melania had been with him in Egypt is not certain, though Palladius implies that he was her companion throughout. Certainly he now settled with her on the Mount of Olives. But it would seem that, |after a short interval,| he returned to Egypt again for 2 years (Apol. ii.22). Melania's settlement at Jerusalem is placed by Jerome in his Chronicle in 379, i.e. according to the present or Dionysian computation in 377. We may place Rufinus's final settlement there with her in 379. There is, however, some reason to believe they made one more journey to Egypt; for Palladius states, as a fact he had heard from Melania, that she had, been present at the death of Pambas, which occurred after the accession of Theophilus in 385 (Fontanini, Vita Rufini, i. c. ii. § 7).

Palestine. -- For 18 or 20 years, reckoning either from 377 or 379 to 397, Rufinus lived on the Mount of Olives. He was ordained either by Cyril or more probably by John (made bishop 383). He built cells at his own expense (|meis cellulis,| Apol. ii.8A) for monks, who occupied themselves in ascetic practices and learned pursuits. Palladius, who was at Jerusalem and Bethlehem for some time before he went to Egypt in 388, says of Rufinus: |He was a man of noble birth and manners, but very strong in following out his own independent resolutions. No one of the male sex was ever gentler, and he had the strength and calmness of one who seems to know everything|; and tells us that, in common with Melania, Rufinus exercised an unbounded hospitality, receiving and aiding with his own funds bishops and monks, virgins and matrons. |So,| he says, |they passed their life, offending none, and helping almost the whole world.| Jerome also, early in their stay at Jerusalem, spoke of Rufinus with highest praise, mentioning in his Chronicle (sub ann.378) that |Bonosus of Italy, and Florentius and Rufinus at Jerusalem, are held in special estimation as monks|; and when he settled in Palestine in 386 had frequent literary intercourse with Rufinus and his monks. Rufinus records that Jerome was once his guest at the Mount of Olives (ib.); and Jerome acknowledges (ib. iii.33) that, to 393, he had been intimate with him.

In 394 Epiphanius, bp. of Salamis, came to Jerusalem, and in the dissension which arose between him and John, bp. of Jerusalem, Rufinus was the leader of the clergy who supported John, Jerome siding with Epiphanius, the consequence being an alienation between Jerome and Rufinus. This estrangement was but temporary. Jerome speaks frequently of their |reconciliatas amicitias| (Ep. lxxxi.1; Apol. iii.33). In 397, the year when Rufinus quitted Palestine, they met (probably with many friends on both sides) at a solemn communion service in the Church of the Resurrection, joined hands in renewal of friendship, and, on Rufinus's setting out for Italy with Melania, Jerome accompanied him some little way, perhaps as far as Joppa.

Italy, 397-409. -- Melania returned to Italy in order to promote ascetic practices in her family. Rufinus, whom Paulinus speaks of as being to her |in spiritali viâ comitem,| returned in her company. His mother was still living, and he wished to see his relations and Christian friends again (Hieron. lxxxi.1; Apol. ii.2). After a voyage of 20 days they arrived at Naples in the spring of 397. Thence they went to visit Paulinus at Nola, all the nobles of those parts and their retinues accompanying them in a kind of triumph (Paulin. Ep. xxix.12). Melania, who was connected, probably, by ties of property with Campania, since Palladius speaks of her successors Pinianus and Melania living there (Hist. Laus.119), after staying with Paulinus some time, went on to Rome, where her son Publicola and his wife Albina and her granddaughter Melania with her husband Pinianus were living. Rufinus went to the monastery of Pinetum near Terracina, of which his friend Ursacius or Urseius was the abbat, and there stayed probably for a year, from early spring 397 till after Lent 398.

He had brought many works of the Eastern church writers which were but little known in Italy; and his friends were eager to know their contents. Rufinus, having used Greek more than Latin for some 25 years, at first declared his incompetence (Apol. i. ii), but by degrees accepted the task of translation, which occupied almost all the rest of his life. He began with the Rule of Basil, which Urseius desired for the use of his monks. Next, probably, he translated the Recognitions of Clement. [[518]CLEMENTINE LITERATURE.] Paulinus begged his assistance in the interpretation of the blessing upon Judah in Gen. xlix., and, some months later, of the rest of the blessings on the patriarchs. His reply is extant. Meanwhile he had a scholar named Macarius, who at Pinetum had been much exercised by speculations on Providence and Fate and in controversy with the many Mathematici (astrologists and necromancers) then in Italy. About the time Rufinus arrived he dreamed he saw a ship coming from the East to Italy which would bring him aid, and this he interpreted of Rufinus. He expected help from the speculative works of Origen, and besought Rufinus to translate some of them. Rufinus, though knowing from the recent controversy at Jerusalem that his orthodox reputation would be imperilled by the task, yet undertook it (Apol. i.11; prefaces to bks. i. and iii. of the Peri Archon). He began, however, by translating the Apology for Origen written by the martyr Pamphilus in conjunction with Eusebius, adding a treatise on the corruption of Origen's works by heretics, and a profession of his own faith which he held in common with the churches of Aquileia and Jerusalem and the well-known bishops of those sees. Then he translated the Peri Archon itself, adding to the first two books, which he finished during Lent 398, a very memorable preface, in which he speaks of the odium excited by the name of Origen, but asserts his conviction that most of the passages which have given him the reputation of heresy were inserted or coloured by the heretics. He therefore felt at liberty to leave out or soften down many expressions which would offend orthodox persons, and also, where anything was obscure, to give a kind of explanatory paraphrase. He pointed out also that he was not the first translator of Origen, but that Jerome, whom he did not name but clearly indicated, and of whom he spoke in high praise, had in the time of Damasus translated many of Origen's works, and in the prefaces (especially that to the Song of Songs) had praised Origen beyond measure. Two questions gave rise to great controversy: First, was this reference to Jerome justifiable? Secondly, was Rufinus's dealing with the book itself legitimate? The reference to Jerome was hardly ingenuous. If the praises he bestows are not, as Jerome called them, |fictae laudes,| they are certainly used for a purpose to which Jerome would not have given his sanction, and their use in view of the controversy at Jerusalem, without any allusion to Jerome's altered attitude towards Origen, was ungenerous and misleading. The second point is obscured by the loss of the chief part of the Greek of the Peri Archon, but we have enough upon which to form a judgment. Some passages, vouched for and translated by Jerome (Ep. cxxiv.13), were, with much that leads up to them, omitted by Rufinus, who also carried the licence of paraphrasing difficult expressions to an extreme length. But the texts of Origen were somewhat uncertain; the standard of literary honesty was not then what is it now; and then Jerome himself had in his letter de Opt. Gen. Interpretandi (Ep.57) sanctioned a mode of interpretation almost as loose as that of Rufinus. (See also his words to Vigilantius, Ep. lxi.2, |Quae bona sunt transtuli, et mala vel amputavi vel correxi vel tacui. Per me Latini bona ejus habent et mala ignorant.|) We may acquit Rufinus of more than a too eager desire, unchastened by any critical power, to make the greatest exponent of Oriental Christianity acceptable to Roman ears.

Rome. -- The first two books Peri Archon, with the preface, were first published probably in the winter of 397-398; the other two, having been translated during Lent 398, were carried by Rufinus to Rome, whither Macarius had already gone, when he went to stay with Melania and her family. During his stay Apronianus, a noble Roman, was converted, partly through Rufinus, who addresses him as |mi fili.| The friends of Melania were, no doubt, numerous. Pope Siricius also (elected in 385 when Jerome had himself aspired to the office) was favourable to Rufinus. But the expectations formed by Rufinus in his preface were realized at once. Many were astonished at the book of Origen, some finding even in Rufinus's version the heresies they connected with the name of Origen; some indignant that these heresies had been softened down. Jerome's friends at first were dubious. Eusebius of Cremona, who came to Rome from Bethlehem early in 398 (Hieron. Ap. iii.24), lived at first on friendly terms with Rufinus and communicated with him (Ruf. Apol. i.20). But Jerome's friends Pammachius, Oceanus, and Marcella resented the use made of their master's name and suspected Rufinus's sincerity. According to his account, Eusebius, or some one employed by him, stole the translation of the last two books of the Peri Archon, which were still unrevised, from his chamber, and in this imperfect state had them copied and circulated, adding in some cases words he had never written (Ap. i.19; ii.44). But, being in uncertainty as to the value of the translation, Pammachius and Oceanus sent the books and prefaces to Jerome at Bethlehem, who sat down at once, made a literal translation of the Peri Archon, and sent it to his friends with a letter (84) written to refute the insinuations through which, as he considered, Rufinus's preface had associated him with Origenism. He sent them also a letter (81) to Rufinus, protesting against his |fictae laudes,| but refraining from any breach of friendship. When these documents arrived in Rome, affairs had changed. Rufinus had gone; pope Siricius had died (date in Fagius Nov.29, 398); the new pope Anastasius was ready to listen to friends of Jerome; Rufinus the Syrian, Jerome's friend, had arrived in Rome (Hieron. Ap. iii.24) and with Eusebius of Cremona had gone through the chief cities of Italy (Ruf. Ap. i.21) pointing out all the heretical passages in Origen. Rufinus, a little before the death of pope Siricius, had obtained from him letters of recommendation (|literae formatae|), to which he appealed afterwards as shewing he was in communion with the Roman church (Hieron. Ap. iii, 21). At Milan he met Eusebius in the presence of the bishop, and confronted him when he read heretical passages from a copy of the Peri Archon received from Marcella and purporting to be Rufinus's work (Ruf. Ap. i.19). He then went to Aquileia, where bp. Chromatius, who had baptized him 27 years before, received him.

Aquileia. -- Here he soon heard that Jerome's translation of the Peri Archon, though intended only for Pammachius and his friends, had been published, and that Jerome's letter against him was in circulation. Of this letter he received a copy from Apronianus (Apol. i.1); but Pammachius kept back the more friendly letter addressed to Rufinus himself. This act of treachery, which Jerome subsequently in his anger at Rufinus's Apology brought himself to defend (Hieron. Apol. iii.28), caused Rufinus and Jerome to assail each other with fierce invectives. For that controversy and for the letters of pope Anastasius to Rufinus and John of Jerusalem, and Rufinus's letter of apology, see JEROME. We pass on to the last decade of Rufinus's life.

His friends at Aquileia were eager as those at Pinetum had been for a knowledge of the Christian writers of the East; and Rufinus's remaining years were almost entirely occupied with translation, though several of his original works belong also to this period. The translations have no great merit, but on the whole are accurate, with no need for omissions and paraphrases as in the Peri Archon. They were undertaken in no distinct order, but according to the request of friends. Rufinus wished to translate the Commentaries of Origen on the whole Heptateuch, and only Deuteronomy remained untranslated when he died. The Commentary on the Romans, however (see preface), and several others, besides other works, intervened.

The Exposition of the Creed is of importance, as a testimony to the variations in the creeds of the various churches (that of Aquileia having |Patrum invisibilem et impassibilem,| |in Spiritu Sancto,| and |hujus carnis resurrectionem| as distinctive peculiarities), and from its intrinsic merits and as shewing the influence of Eastern theology, harmonized by a sound judgment, on Western theology.

The History is on a par with those of Socrates and Sozomen, exhibiting no conception of the real functions of history nor of the relative proportion of different classes of events, yet dealing honestly with the facts within the writer's view. It was trans. into Greek, and valued in the East, as his trans. of Eusebius, of which it is a continuation, was in the West (Gennad. de Script. Eccl. xvii.).

The History of the Egyptian monks presents many difficulties. It is distinctly attributed to Rufinus by Jerome (Ep. cxxxiii.3), but not included in the list of his works given by Gennadius, who says that it was commonly attributed to Petronius, bp. of Bologna (Gennad. op. cit. xli.). The preface says it is written in response to repeated requests of the monks on the Mount of Olives. Fontanini (Vita Rufini, lib. ii. c. xii. § 4) grounds upon this with much reason the theory that Petronius, having been in the East, and having received the request of the Olivetan monks, but having himself, as Gennadius testifies, but little skill in composition, on his return to the West begged Rufinus to write the history. The adventures recorded would thus be those of Petronius, not of Rufinus. The Historia Lausiaca of Palladius is in many of its sections identical with the Historia Monachorum. It is, however, more probable that Palladius, who did not leave the solitary life in, Egypt till 400, and wrote his History for Lausus at Constantinople apparently some time afterwards (he lived till 431), was indebted to Rufinus rather than the contrary.

Rufinus had not, like Jerome, any large range of literary knowledge, and his critical powers were defective. He quotes stories like that of the Phoenix (de Symbolo, ii) without any question. He had no doubt of the Recognitions being the work of Clement, and he translated the sayings of Xystus the Stoic philosopher, stating, without futher remark, that they were said to be those of Sixtus, the Roman bishop, thus laying himself open to Jerome's attack upon his credulity.

The Apology is well composed and more methodical than that of Jerome. Its reasoning is at least as powerful, though its resources of language and illustration are fewer. His efforts for peace and refusal to reply to Jerome's last invectives, though the temptation offered by a violent attack in answer to a peaceful letter was great, shews a high power of self-restraint and a consciousness of a secure position.

Last Years. -- The years at Aquileia were uneventful. The letter of Anastasius which told him of the rumours against him at Rome and requested him to come there to clear himself, drew from him the Apologia ad Anastasium, a short document of self-defence not lacking in dignity. He enjoyed the friendship of Chromatius, at whose request he consented to cease his strife with Jerome, though Jerome, adjured by the same bishop, refused to do so (Hieron. Apol. iii.2). He enjoyed the friendship of the bishops near him, Petronius of Bologna, Gaudentius of Brixia, Laurentius, perhaps of Concordia, for whom he wrote his work upon the Creed. Paulinus of Nola continued his friendship; and Augustine, in his severe reply to Jerome, who had sent him his work against Rufinus, treats the two men as equally esteemed, and writes: |I grieved, when I read your book, that such discord had arisen between persons so dear and so intimate, bound to all the churches by a bond of affection and of renown. Who will not in future mistrust his friend as one who may become his enemy when it has been possible for this lamentable result to come to pass between Jerome and Rufinus?| (Aug. Ep.73 ad Hieron.).

Last Journey and Death. -- Chromatius had died in 405, and Rufinus's thoughts turned again to Melania and to Palestine. He joined Melania in Rome in 408 or 409, Anastasius having been succeeded in 403 by Innocent, who had no prejudice against him. Owing to Alaric's invasion, they left Rome, with Albina, Pinianus, and Melania the younger (Pallad. Hist. Laus.119), and resided in Campania and Sicily. Rufinus records that he was in the |coetus religiosus| of Pinianus on the Sicilian coast, witnessing the burning of Rhegium across the straits by the bands of Alaric, when he wrote the preface to the translation of Origen's Commentary on Numbers. Soon after writing this he died.

The cloud on the reputation of Rufinus due to Jerome's attacks has unduly depressed the general estimation of his character. In the list of books to be received in the church promulgated by pope Gelasius at the Roman council, in 494 (Migne's Patr. Lat. lix. col.175), we read: |Rufinus, a religious man, wrote many books of use to the church, and many commentaries on the Scripture; but, since the most blessed Jerome infamed him in certain points, we take part with him (Jerome) in this and in all cases in which he has pronounced a condemnation.| With this official judgment may be contrasted that of Gennadius in his list of ecclesiastical writers (c.17): |Rufinus, the presbyter of Aquileia, was not the least among the teachers of the church, and in his translations from Greek to Latin shewed an elegant genius. He gave to the Latins a very large part of the library of Greek writers. . . . He also replied in two volumes to him who decried his works, shewing convincingly that he had exercised his powers through the insight given him by God and for the good of the church, and that it was through a spirit of rivalry that his adversary had employed his pen in defaming him.| See Ruf. Comm. in Symb. Apost. ed. by Rev. C. Whitaker, Lat. text, notes, and trans. with a short hist. of Ruf. and his times (Bell). A trans. by Dean Fremantle of the works of Rufinus is in the Lib. of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers.


Rufinus, a Roman presbyter
Rufinus (4), a Roman presbyter at the end of 4th cent.; an admirer of Jerome he espoused his cause in the Origenistic controversy and against Rufinus of Aquileia. Eusebius of Cremona, sent by Jerome to Rome in 398, reported the kindness of Rufinus, who wrote to Jerome to ask an explanation of the judgment of Solomon. This Jerome gives him, making the false and true mothers to be the Synagogue and the Church. Jerome speaks of him with gratitude and respect, hoping he may not only publicly defend him, but in private judge him favourably (Ep.74, ed. Vall.).


Rufinus, the Syrian
Rufinus (5), a friend of Jerome; known as the Syrian, to distinguish him from (3) and (4), both his contemporaries. He was one of the company of Italians settled at Bethlehem with Jerome; and in 390 was sent by him to Rome and Milan in the cause of their friend Claudius, who was accused of a capital offence (Hieron. Ep. lxxxi.2; cont. Ruf. iii.24).

This Rufinus is doubtless the one mentioned by Celestius (Aug. de Pecc. Orig. c.3 ) as having been known by him at the house of Pammachius at Rome and having asserted there that sin was not inherited. Marius Mercator says that it was this Rufinus who instilled into the mind of Pelagius the views known as Pelagian (Mar. Merc. Lib. Subnotationum in Verba Juliani, c.2).


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