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a presbyter of Marseilles, who flourished at the close of the fifth century, is known to us as the author of a work De Viris Illustribus, containing one hundred short lives of ecclesiastical writers from A. D. 392 to about A. D. 495, thus forming a continuation of the tract by Jerome which bears the same title. The last notice, devoted to the compiler himself. embraces all that is known with regard to his history and compositions: “Ego Gennadius, Massiliae presbyter, scripsi adversus omnes haereses libros octo, et adversus Nestorium libros sex, adversus Pelagium libros tires, et tractatus de mille annis et de Apocalypsi beati Johannis, et hoc opus, et epistolam de fide mea misi ad beatum Gelasium, urbis Romae episcopum.” Gelasius died A. D. 496.


Of the writings here enumerated, none have been preserved, with the exception of the Biographical Sketches and the Epistola de Fide mea, or, as it is sometimes headed, Libellus de Ecclesiasticis Dogmatibus, which was at one time ascribed to St. Augustin. Notwithstanding the pretensions put forth by Gennadius himself as a champion of orthodoxy, expressions have been detected in both of the above pieces which indicate a decided leaning towards Semipelagianism. On the other hand, it has been maintained that the whole of these passages are interpolations, since the most obnoxious are altogether omitted in the two oldest MSS. of the De Viris Illustribus now extant, those of Lucca and Verona. The preliminary remarks upon Jerome are also, in all probability, the production of a later hand.


The De Viris Illustribus was published in a volume containing the Catalogue of Jerome, along with those of Isidorus, Honorius, &c., by Sulfridus, 8vo. Colon., 1580; with the notes of Miraeus, fol. Antw. 1639; with the notes of Miraeus and E. S. Cyprianus, 4to., Helmst., 1700, by J. A. Fabricius, in his Bibliotheca Ecclesiastica, fol., Hamb., 1710, and is included in most editions of the collected works of Jerome.

The Libellus de Ecclesiasticis Dogmatibus will be found in the Benedictine edition of St. Augustin, vol. viii. Append. p. 75., and was published separately by Elmenhorst, 4to., Hamburg, 1614.

Further Information

See the historians of Semipelagianism referred to at the end of the article CASSIANUS.


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