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He is said to have originally belonged to a monastery of the name of Benchor. Columbanus passed from Britain to France, A.D. 589, and founded the monastery of Luxeville near Besancon. He had been kindly received and patronized by king Childebert; but he was afterwards expelled out of France by the wicked queen Brunehaut. He retired to Lombardy, was well received by king Argulphus, and founded the monastery of Bobio. The Regula Cænobialis Penitentiolis, which he established in that monastery, have been published in the Codex Regularum, compiled by the learned Holstenius.
TRYPHIODORUS, a Greek poet, was a native of Egypt, and commonly referred to the reign of the emperor Anastasius, in the commencement of the sixth century. Of his history little is known; but he was denominated a grammarian, and wrote many works, the titles of which are given by Suidias. Of these, none are extant besides his poem on the destruction of Troy.
BAUSSIRI, a Mahomedan, author of a poem in praise of Mahomet, who cured him, as he said, of the palsy in a dream. Every line of the poem ends with an M. the initial of the prophet's name, and it is so highly valued that many of the Mahometans learn it by heart, on account of its maxims.
LEBID, an Arabian poet, who was employed by Mahomet to answer the satires written against him. He died at the age of 140.
CAAB, or CAB BEN-ZOHAIR, an eminent Arabian poet, was also a rabbin. When Mahomet made war upon the tribes which had embraced Judaism, Caab wrote some bitter satirical verses against him. After the successes of the prophet, Caab, desirous of appeasing him, became a convert, and presented him with a copy of verses in his praise. Mahomet granted him his pardon, and received him to favour. He even honoured him with the present of his mantle, which the caliph Moavias afterwards purchased at a great price from his heirs. Caab is said to have had a large share in the composition of the Koran. He died in the first year of the Hegira, A.D. 622.
LEONTIUS, surnamed the Scholastic, was a native of Constantinople, and was educated an advocate and afterwards became a monk. He lived till about the close of this century. The principal work of Leontius is "A Treatise on the Sects of Heretics," divided into ten discourses. It was published in Greek and Latin at Basil, in 1578. He was also author of various treatises against the Eutychians, Nestorians, aud Appollinarists; a discourse on the festival celebrated between Easter
and Whit-sunday; and there are "Orations" and "Homilies" ascribed to him in the Bodleian and Vienna libraries.
ADRIAN, a Greek author, who wrote an introduction to the Scriptures in Greek.
PRISCIANUS, an eminent grammarian, born at Cæsarea, taught at Constantinople with great reputation about the year 525. He composed a work "De Arte Grammatica," which was first printed by Aldus, at Venice, in 1476; and another "De Naturalibus Quæstionibus," which he dedicated to Chosroes, king of Persia; besides which he translated " Dionysius's Description of the World," into Latin verse. A person who writes false Latin, is proverbially said to "break Priscian's head."
TRIBONIANUS, a Roman lawyer, was born at Pamphylia. He became consul; aud Justinian employed him in compiling the Digest or Pandects. He was extremely avaricious and guilty of such oppressions, that the emperor banished him; but afterwards recalled him, and he continued in favour during the rest of that reign. He died about 546.
JORNANDES, a Goth, who in the reign of Justinian. wrote a work, entitled "D. Mundo, et de Rerum et Temporum Successione." Printed in 1617, 8vo.
DIONYSIUS, surnamed Exigrulis, or the Little, on account of his short stature, was a native of Scythia, flourished under Justinian towards the beginning of this century, and died according to Cave, before the year 556, or, according to Blair's Tables, in the year 540. He was a monk and abbot of Rome, and an intimate friend of Cassiodorus, who extols his learning and character. This writer informs us that he was a complete master of the Greek and Roman languages, that he had diligently studied the Scriptures, and that he was eminently distinguished by a combination of great wisdom, learning, and eloquence, with the most amiable virtues. His works, recited by Cave (ubi infra) were numerous; and he is said to have been the author of the vulgar Christian Epocha, and to have invented the cycle of Easter, ascribed by others to Victor, or Victorinus.
PROCOPIUS, of Gaza, a Greek sophist. He wrote Commentaries on the Books of the Kings, and Chronicles; and on Isaiah; printed in Greek and Latin, folio.
JOCHANAN BEN ELIEZER, a learned Jew, who flourished about this time. He collected the comments and illustrations of the Mishna, undertaken by rabbis Chiiam and Oschaiam, and others, disciples of rabbi Juda, the compiler of that work. To this collection was given the name of Gemara, signifying supplement, or completion. Rabbi Jochanan's work was afterwards called the Jerusalem Gemara, or Talmud, to distinguish it from another work, compiled at Babylon, and known by the name of the Babylonish Gemara, or Talmud,
which is more clear than that of Jerusalem, and generally preferred.
PELAGIUS I., pope, was born at Rome, and elected pope in 555. He endeavoured to reform the clergy; and when Rome was besieged by the Goths, obtained many concessions from Totila, in favour of the citizens. He died in 560.
JOHN III., sirnamed CATILINE, pope after Pelagius I., 560, was zealous in the decoration of churches, and died 573.
BENEDICT I., pope, called by the Greek writers Bonosus, a Roman by birth, and son of one Boniface, was elected to the pontifical chair in 574, after a vacancy of ten months, occasioned by the disordered state of Italy. At this period the Lombards overran that country, and fixed themselves in it under Alboin. Grief on account of the ravages they committed is said to have put an end to the life of Benedict, after filling the see somewhat above four years.
PELAGIUS II., pope, was of Gothic extraction, and the son of Winigild, but a native of Rome. He succeeded Benediet I. in 578. He laboured much to reconcile the bishops of Istria and Venice to the Roman see, but without success, and he opposed John, patriarch of Constantinople. In consequence of an inundation of the Tiber, which laid under water a considerable part of the city of Rome, and the adjacent country, a very mortal pestilential distemper broke out, which proved fatal to Pelagius in 590, after he had presided over the Roman see eleven years and between two and three months.
GREGORY I., sirnamed the Great, pope of Rome, was born at Rome, of a patrician family, A. D. 544. He discovered such abilities in the exercise of the senatorial employments, that the emperor Justin the younger appointed him prefect of Rome. Pope Pelagius II. sent him nuncio to Constantinople, to demand succours against the Lombards. When he thought of enjoying a solitary life, he was elected pope by the clergy, the senate, and the people of Rome, A. D. 590. Besides his learning and diligence in instructing the church, both by writing and preaching, he had a very happy talent in winning over princes in favour of the temporal as well as spiritual interest of the church. He undertook the conversion of the English, and sent over some monks of his order, under the direction of Augustine their abbot. With respect to the chastity of the churchmen, he was very rigid, asserting, that a man who had ever had commerce with a woman ought not to be ad
mitted to the priesthood; and he always caused the candidates for it to be examined on that point. He likewise exerted himself against such as were found guilty of calumny. However, he flattered the emperor Phocas, while his hands were yet reeking with the blood of Mauritius, and of his three children, who had been butchered in his sight. He likewise flattered Brunehaut, a very wicked queen of France.
This pope certainly possessed extraordinary abilities, and many commendable qualities. There was, however, a strange mixture of inconsistencies in his character. In some respects he discovered a sound and penetrating judgment, but in others the most shameful and superstitious weakness. It is impossible to read the absurd and ridiculous tales inserted in his dialogues, and circulated in some of his letters, without either pronouncing him credulous and superstitious in the extreme, or accusing him of very criminal hypocrisy, and of practising the most scandalous religious frauds. To one of these conclusions we are also unavoidably led, when we read of the solemnity and liberality with which he distributed his wonder-working relics, and the gravity with which, from old women's dreams, of apparitions and visions, he deduced the doctrine of purgatory, which afterwards proved such a mine of wealth to the church. He was no friend to secular and polite learning, as sufficiently appears from his epistles and dialogues. He is accused of destroying the noble monuments of ancient Roman magnificence, that those who visited the city might not attend more to the triumphal arches than to holy things; and of burning a multitude of heathen books, Livy in particular. He died in 605. His works were printed at Paris, in 1705, in 4 vols. folio.
SABINIAN, pope, succeeded Gregory the Great, but reigned only five months.
BONIFACE III., pope, was elected A. D. 605, and reigned only eight months and twenty-three days; yet in that short period, by favouring the emperor Phocas, he had the important title of Universal Bishop exclusively conferred on himself and his successors.
BONIFACE IV., pope, who obtained the additional favour from Phocas, of converting the famous heathen temple, built by Agrippa, called the pantheon, into a church. Several literary works are ascribed to him, but they are suspected to be spurious. He died, A. D. 614, in the ninth year of his pontificate, and was canonized.
DEUS DEDIT, or God's Gift, pope, successor of Boniface IV., in the year 614. He reigned but three years; and we have but few particulars transmitted to us respecting him, farther than that he was a native of Rome, and son of a sub-deacon of the church, and that his election to the pontificate was unanimous. He was a pious and benevolent man, and to him have
been imputed divers miracles. Moreri mentions one in which he healed a leprous man by bringing his mouth in contact with his own. The biographer gives little credit to such a report, but thought it necessary to insert it to quiet the minds of the devotees to the Catholic religion.
BONIFACE V., pope, a Neapolitan, and presbyter of the Roman church, succeeded Deus Dedit in 619. Not much is known concerning his actions. In 624 he sent the pall to Justus, newly elected archbishop of Canterbury, and interested himself in the progress of Christianity in Britain, for which an opportunity was offered by the marriage of Edwin, the Pagan king of Northumberland, to Edelberg, the sister of Eadbald king of Kent. Boniface sent letters and presents to the new-married couple, but did not live to see the fruits of his exhortations, dying in 625. Some decretal epistles are ascribed to him, of which three or four are remaining.
HONORIUS I., pope, was a Campandan by birth, and the son of Petronius, a person of consular dignity. He was chosen to fill the Roman see on the death of pope Boniface V. in the year 625. At that time the Lombards, who were masters of a considerable part of Italy, were at peace with the empire, but at war among themselves. For king Adaloaldus, having a fit of lunacy, to which he is said to have been subject, put several of the chief lords of that nation to death, the rest prudently determined to depose him, and raised to the throne Arioaldus, duke of Turin, who had married his sister. But the latter, though a man of unblemished character, and distinguished merit, was an Arian; and Adaloaldus not only a sound catholic, but also a liberal benefactor to the church. The pope, therefore, espoused the cause of the deposed prince with great zeal, and employed all his influence both with the Lombards and Romans, to procure his restoration. By his intrigues he continued to extend the civil war among the Lombards for a time; but he was ultimately disappointed of his grand object as Arioaldus continued to fill the Lombard throne until his death. The most remarkable circumstance in the life of Honorius, was his having been induced to give his sanction to the opinions of the Monothelites, who maintained that in Christ there was one will only, and one operation, for which he was solemnly condemned by the sixth general council, in the pontificate of pope Agatho. He died in the year 638, after a pontificate of nearly thirteen years. Eight of his letters are extant in the fifth volume of the "Collect Concil," and an Epigram on the Apostles looking up towards Heaven with Astonishment at the Ascension of Christ," in the twelfth volume of the "Bibl. Patr."
EPIPHANIUS, patriarch of Constantinople. He strenuqusly vindicated the orthodox doctrines against the Eutychians,