a Latin writer and bishop of Aquileia, flourished at the close of the fourth century and the commencement of the fifth.
The circumstance of his baptizing Rufinus, about A. D. 370, shews, that he properly belongs to the former.
The year and place of his birth are alike unknown.
It is supposed, that he was a Roman ; but nothing certain can be ascertained respecting his native place. Though he condemned the writings of Origen, his friendship for Rufinus continued unabated. Rufinus also dedicated to him some of his works, especially his Latin translation of Eusebius's ecclesiastical history. That Jerome had a great esteem for him may be inferred from the fact that he inscribed to him his commentaries on the prophet Habakkuk and some other writings.
He urged Jerome to translate the Hebrew Scriptures into Latin. Being afterwards displeased with this father, he advised him in a letter to cease attacking Rufinus, and thus to put an end to the quarrel subsisting between those who had formerly been friends.
He was a strenuous defender of Chrysostom's cause in the West, for which he received the thanks of the latter. (Chrysostom, Epist.
155, vol. iii. p. 689, ed. Benedict.) Chromatius is supposed to have died about 410. Jerome styles him, most learned and holy; but he seems to have been a man of judgment and determination rather than of great abilities. When Anastasius, the Roman pontiff, condemned both Origen and Rufinus, and signified his decision to Chromatius, the bishop of Aquileia was so far from coinciding with the pontifical decree, that he received Rufinus into the communion of the church.
Homilies, Tracts and Epistles
Of his works there are extant Homilies and some Tracts on the beatitudes, on the remainder of Matthew's Gospel, chap. v., part of chap. vi., and on Matth. 3.14.
A few epistles also remain.
The best edition of these pieces is that in the Bibliotheca Patrum, vol. v., Lugd. 1677.
They had been previously published at Basel, 1528
; at Louvain, 1646; and at Basel, 1551
The epistle to Jerome respecting Rufinus, and one addressed to the emperor Honorius in defence of Chrysostom, have been lost.
Among Jerome's works there is an epistle concerning the nativity of the blessed Mary addressed to Jerome under the names of Chromatius and Heliodorus, and another bearing the same names directed to the same father. Both are spurious.
Epistles to Chromatius by Jerome
Several epistles addressed to Chromatius by Jerome are extant among the voluminous works of the latter.
Cave, Historia Literaria;
Le Long, Bib. Sac.
p. 675; Lardner's Works,
vol. iv., Lond. 1827, 8vo.