a Spaniard by birth, was bishop of Lisbon in the middle of the fourth century; and if the first of the pieces mentioned below be genuine, he must, in the early part of his career, have been a champion of the Catholic faith.
Subsequently, however, he was a zealous Arian, and it is believed that he drew up the document known in ecclesiastical history as The second Sirmian Creed.
The writings usually ascribed to Potamius are:--
In some MSS. this work is entitled Epistola Potamii ad Athanasium ab Arianis (impetitum ?) postquam in Concilio Ariminensi subscripserunt,
composed in the year A. D. 355, while the opinions of the author were yet orthodox.
The authenticity of this piece, however, which is characterised by great obscurity of thought and of expression, and often half barbarous in phraseology, is very doubtful.
It was first published by the Benedictine D'Achery, in his Spicilegium veterum aliquot Scriptorum, 4to. Paris, 1661, vol. ii.p. 366
, or vol. iii. p. 299, of the new edition by Baluze, fol. 1717
, and will be found under its best form in Galland's Bibliotheca Patrum, vol. v. fol. Venet. 1769, p. 96.
Two discourses resembling in style the epistle to Athanasius, long attributed to Zeno, bishop of Verona.
These were published, without suspicion, among the works of Zeno
, until the brothers Ballerini (S. Zenonis Sermones,
fol. Venet. 1739, p. 297-303) proved that they must be assigned to Potamius, whom however they supposed to be a person altogether different from the bishop of Lisbon, and belongiag to a different age.
The arguments which they employ to demonstrate this last position are founded upon the second title of the Epistola ad Athanasium
as given above, but this title Galland. Schoenemann, and others, hold to be the blunder of an ignorant transcriber. The Sermones will be found in Galland
, and the discussions with regard to the real author in the Prolegomena to the volume, cap. x. p. xvii.