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Possi'dius

a disciple of Augustine, with whom he lived upon intimate terms for nearly forty years. In α. δ. 397 he was appointed bishop of Calama, a town in Numidia at no great distance from Hippo Regius; but this elevation brought no tranquillity nor ease, for his career from this time forward presents one continued struggle with a succession of fierce antagonists. For a long period he was engaged in active strife with the Donatists, maintained triumphant disputations in public with their leaders on several occasions, and was one of the four prelates despatched in 410 by the orthodox party in Africa to Honorius, for the purpose of soliciting a repeal of the law which had been passed in favour of their heretical opponents. He next took a prominent part in the councils held against Caelestius and Pelagius. In A. D. 430 he was driven from Calama by the Vandals, sought refuge at Hippo, and while that city was besieged, watched over the deathbed of his preceptor and friend. Prosper relates in his chronicle (A. D. 437) that Possidius, along with Novatus and Severianus, strenuously resisted the efforts of Genseric to propagate the doctrines of Arianism, and it is generally believed, that having been expelled from Africa, after the capture of Carthage (A. D. 439), he made his way to Italy, and there died.


Works

Two tracts by Possidius are still extant.


Editions

These are attached to all the best editions of Augustine. The best edition of the Vita, in a separate form, is that of Salinas, 8vo. Rom. 1731, and Aug. Vindel. 1768; of the Indiculus, that published at Venice, 8vo. 1735.

[W.R]

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