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IDA'CIUS, or ITHA'CIUS, not to mention sundry other variations of the MSS., a native of Limica, in Gallicia, flourished during the latter half of the fifth century, was in all probability an ecclesiastic, and is known to us as the author of a Chronicum


Idatius arranged his Chronicum according to the succession of emperors, which commences A. D. 379, the point where Hieronymus breaks off, and extends down to A. D. 469, thus embracing a period of ninety years. In addition to the mere enumeration of names and dates, a short account of the principal occurrences is inserted, referring chiefly to Spanish affairs, and from A. D. 427 Idatius advances his own personal testimony to the truth of the events recorded. He seems to have executed his task with much care, and although a few errors have been detected here and there, the compilation must be regarded as a valuable repertory of naked historical facts.


The greater portion of this Chronicle was printed in the Antiquae Lectiones of Canisius, 4to. 1601, and in the first edition of the Thesaurus Temporum of J. J. Scaliger, fol. Lug. Bat. 1606, but it was first published in a complete form, from an ancient MS., by Sirmond, Paris, 1619 (Opera, fol. Venet. 1728, vol. ii. p. 228), and will be found in the second edition of Scaliger's Thesaurus, fol. Amst. 1658; in the Bibliotheca Max. Patr. Lug. Bat. 1677, vol. vii. p. 1231; in the Bibliotheca Patrum of Galland, vol. x. p. 323; in the Vett. Lat. Script. Chron. of Roncalli, Patav. 1787; and in the Chronica Medii Aevi of Rösler, Tubing. 1798.

Sirmond found in his MS. immediately after the Chronicum a set of fasti, exhibiting a complete catalogue of the Roman consuls from the institution of the office, in the year of the city 245, down to A. D. 468, together with a few notices of the most remarkable transactions of the fourth and fifth centuries--a production which, from some resemblance in style, he supposed to belong also to Idatius; but this conclusion, although acquiesced in by Roncalli, is not generally admitted.


These Fasti Consulares, Descriptio Consulum, or Fasti Idatiani, were first published by Sirmond along with the Chronicle, but in a more perfect shape by Labbe, in his Nova Bibliotheca MSS. fol. Paris, 1658, and will be found in the Bibliotheca Max. Patrum, in the Bibliotheca Patrum, of Galland, in the Venice edition of Sirmond, in Roncalli, and in Rösler, as referred to above, and also in Thesaurus Antiquitatum Romanarum of Graevius, vol. xi. p. 246.

Further Information

See the dissertations of Roncalli and of Rösler, of which the substance is given by Bähr. Geschichte der Rom. Litterat. Suppl. Band. § 45.


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