bishop of Nicomedeia.
He was ordained or acted as deacon at Milan under Ambrose [AMBROSIUS], but having asserted that he had in the night seen the she-daemon Onoscelis (i. e. " the ass-legs," so called from her form), had seized her, shaved her head, and set her to grind in the mill, Ambrosius, deeming the relator of such tales unfit for the deaconship, ordered him to remain at home for some time, and purify himself by penitence or penance. Gerontius, instead of obeying, went to Constantinople, and being a man of winning address, made friends at the court there, and obtained by their means the bishoprick of Nicomedeia, to which he was ordained by Helladius, bishop of Caesareia in Cappadocia, for whose son he had, by his interest, procured a high military appointment at court. Ambrose, hearing of his appointment, wrote to Nectarius, bishop of Constantinople (who held that see front A. D. 381 to 397) to depose Gerontius, and so prevent the continuance of so glaring a violation of all ecclesiastical order. Nectarius, however, could effect nothing; but when Chrysostom, two years after his accession to the patriarchate, visited the Asiatic part of his province (A. D. 399), Gerontius was deposed.
The people of Nicomedeia, to whom his kindness and attention, shown alike to rich and poor, and the benefits of his medical skill, for which he was eminent, had endeared him, refused to acknowledge his successor, Pansophius, and went about the streets of Nicomedeia and of Constantinople, singing hymns and praying for the restoration of Gerontius. They served to swell the number of the enemies of Chrysostom; and in the synod of the Oak (A. D. 403), Gerontius appeared as one of his accusers. (Sozom. H. E.
8.8; Phot. Bibl.