styled " Episcopus Hermianensis," from the see which he held in the province of Byzacium, in Africa Propria, lived about the middle of the sixth century. When Justinian (A. D. 544) published an edict condemning, 1st, the Epistle of Ibas, bishop of Edessa; 2d, the doctrine of Theodore, bishop of Mopsuestia; and 3d, certain writings of Theodoret, bishop of Cyrus or Cyrrus; and anathematising all who approved of them, his edict was resisted by many, as impugning the judgment of the general council of Chalcedon (held A. D. 451), at which the prelates whose sentiments or writings were obnoxious were not only not condemned, but two of them, Ibas and Theodore, restored to their sees, from which they had been expelled. Facundus was one of those who rejected the Emperor's edict; and was requested by his brethren (apparently the other bishops of Africa) to prepare a defence of the Council on the three points (currently termed by ecclesiastical writers the " tria capitula ") on which its judgment was impugned.
He was at Constantinople, engaged in this work, when the pope, Vigilius (A. D. 547), arrived, and directed him and all the other bishops who were there, about seventy in number, to give their opinion on the "tria capitula" in writing in seven days.
The answer of Facundus consisted of extracts from his unfinished work; but as, from the haste and excitement under which it was prepared, and the inaccuracy of some of its quotations, it did not satisfy its author, he afterwards finished and published his larger work, as being a more moderate and better arranged defence of the council. Vigilius having been induced to approve of the condemnation of Ibas, Theodore, and Theodoret, though with a reservation of the authority of the council of Chalcedon, Facundus, with the bishops of Africa and of some other provinces, refused to have communion with him and with those who joined in the condemnation; and being persecuted for this, he was obliged to conceal himself. During this concealment, at the request of some persons whom he does not name, he wrote his reply to Mocian, a scholasticus or pleader, who had written against the decision of the council of Chalcedon. Nothing further is known of Facundus.
Two of his writings, viz. Pro Defensione Trium Capitulorum Libri XII.
, and Contra Mocianum Liber
, were published with notes by Sirmond (8vo. Paris. 1629). These works, with Sirmond's notes, are reprinted in the edition of the works of Optatus, by Philippus Priorius
, and in the Bibliotheca Patrum, vol. x. ed. Lyon, A. D. 1677
, and vol. xi. ed. Venice, by Gallandius, A. D. 1765.
Another work of Facundus, entitled Epistola Fidei Catholicae in Defensione Trium Capitulorum,
was first published in the Spicilegium of D'Achery (vol. iii. p. 106 of the first edition, or vol. iii. p. 307. ed. of 1723)
, chiefly with the view of showing that Facundus continued out of communion with the Pope and the Catholic Church, and so of weakening his authority: for the Protestants had cited a passage from his Defensio Trium Capitulorum
against the doctrine of the Real Presence.
This letter is reprinted in the Bibliotheca Patrum
Cassiodorus (Expos. in Psalm
cxxxviii. sub fin.) speaks of two books of Facundus De duabus Naturis Domini Christi.
By some scholars he is thought to mean the two first books of the Defensio ;
but Fabricius thinks that he speaks of a separate work of Facundus now lost.
Facundus, works as above; Victor Tunnunensis, Chronicon ;
Isidor. Hisp. De Scrip. Eccles.
100.19.; Baronius, Annal. ad Ann.
546, 547, and Pagius, Critic. in Baron.;
Cave, Hist. Lit.
vol. :. p. 520; Fabric. Bibl. Graec.
vol. x. p. 543, and Bibl. Med. et Inf. Latin.
vol. ii. p. 140, Padua, 1754; Galland. Biblioth. Patrum,
vol. xi., Proleg,.