4. CHARINUS, an heretical writer of uncertain date.
His name is written by Augustin (De Actis cum Felice Manichaeo,
2.6), and the author of the book De Fide, contra Manichaeos,
formerly attributed to Augustin, LEUCIUS or LEUTIUS, and in one MS. LOCUTIUS, and in some printed editions LEONTIUS. Photius writes the name LEUCIUS CHARINUS (Λεύκιος Χαρῖνος
In the Decretum
of pope Gelasius, De Libris Apocryphis,
it is written LENTICIUS.
This Leucius wrote a work, entitled, according to Photius, αἱ τῶν Ἀποστόλων περίοδοι
, Periodi Apostolorum
, now lost, containing the Acts of the Apostles, Peter, John, Andrew, Thomas, and Paul. Photius criticises the style as in many places too familiar, and condemns the sentiments as heretical, self-contradictory, and absurd.
The writer distinguished between the God of the Jews (whom he designated as malignant, and whose minister Simon Magus was) and Christ (whom he called " the Good One").
He denied the reality of Christ's human nature, and affirmed that he was not crucified, but that another suffered in his place.
He condemned marriage as altogether unlawful. Both Augustin and the author of the book De Fide
) cite a passage from this work, which they call Actus Apostolorum ;
and it is evident from what they say that it was much esteemed among the Manichaeans, though rejected by the great body of Christians.
But it is not so clear whether the author lived before or after the time of Manes, who nourished in the latter half of the third century. Whether he wrote any other works is not clear.
Pope Innocent I., or the writer, whether Innocentius or not, of the Epistola III ad Exuperantium,
ascribes to " one Leucius" some apocryphal writings extant in his time (Innocent died A. D. 417), under the names of Matthew, of James the Less, and of Peter and John: and in the prefatory letters to the apocryphal Evangelium de Nativitate Mariae
(Fabric. Codex Apocryph. N. T.
vol. i. p. 19), which pretend to be addressed to or written by Jerome, by whom the Evangelium
itself (which was ascribed to the evangelist Matthew) was professedly translated from the Hebrew into Latin, it is stated that a work on the same subject, or rather the same work much interpolated, had been published by Seleucus, a Manichaean. We are not aware that the date of these pseudo-Hieronymian letters is known, but they indicate that such a work by Seleucus was then in existence; and this Seleucus is by many critics identified with our Leucius. Huet supposes that the apocryphal writings ascribed to Leucius by pope Innocent included the Protevangelium Jacobi
given by Fabricius (l c.
p. 66); but if there be any foundation for this opinion, Leucius must have lived a century before Manes, as indeed Grabe supposes that he did. Fabricius, however, decidedly rejects the opinion of Huet. Grabe (Not. ad Irenaeum,
lib. 1. c.17) cites from a MS. at Oxford, containing Leucii Evangelium,
a passage which resembles part of the Evangelium Infantiae
(100.49), but does not exactly agree with it.
Confusion with another Leucius
A portion of the Montanists, who existed as late as the end of the fourth century, boasted, though falsely, of a Leucius, as having been an influential person among them (Pacian. Epistol. I.
100.6; apud Aguirre, Concil. Hispan.
vol. i. p. 317, fol. Rom. 1753). This Leucius was perhaps the same as the Leucius Charinus of Photius; though Fabricius rather identifies him with another Leucius, mentioned by Epiphanius (Haeres.
51.6, p. 427, ed. Petav.) as a disciple of the Apostle John.
Augustin. Phot. ll. cc. ;
Fabric. Cod. Apocryph. N. T
pars ii. p. 768, pars iii. p. 624, alibi, 8vo. Hamb. 1719; Tillemont, Mémoires,
vol. ii. p. 445, 446; Cave, Hist. Litt.
ad Ann. 180, et ad fin. Saec. vi.