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Alypius, of Thagaste  

Eric Fournier

Christian bishop. What we know about Alypius of Thagaste comes mainly from Augustine’s Confessions and Letters Born into a curial family in the Roman town of Thagaste present day Souk Ahras Algeria in the province of Numidia Alypius whose name seems to indicate Greek origins was younger than Augustine born in 354 CE Augustine was also Alypius s teacher first in Thagaste around 374 376 then in Carthage around 380 But Alypius was soon captivated by the Roman games the gladiators and the chariot races in particular and stopped attending Augustine s lessons because of an undisclosed argument between his father and his teacher Alypius quickly resumed attending despite his father s injunction however and one day as he entered the classroom Augustine used the example of someone attending the games to make a point which convinced Alypius to change his ways Among the group of students who studied ...


Athanasius, of Alexandria  

Stacey Graham

bishop and patriarch of Alexandria, theologian, author, and doctor of the Church, is significant for his staunch opposition to Arianism, his prolific theological works, and his exile-ridden episcopate during a tumultuous time for Church and imperial politics. His most influential work is the seminal hagiography of Western monasticism, Life of Anthony.

Athanasius was born in Alexandria Egypt probably in the year 296 though possibly as late as 300 At an early age he came to the attention of Alexander the patriarch of Alexandria who ordained him as a priest and brought him into the patriarch s service Alexandria in the fourth century cultivated a mixture of intellectual philosophical and religious schools of thought from its long standing pagan Jewish and Christian communities The city was economically vital as the main grain supplier for the imperial capital at Constantinople and it ranked third among the four patriarchates in the early ...


Augustine of Hippo, Saint  

Louis Munoz

Augustine of Hippo was born in Tagaste (modern Souk Ahras, Algeria) in 354 and died almost seventy-six years later in Hippo Regius (modern Annaba, Algeria) in 429 on the Mediterranean coast. Only four of his seventy-five years were spent outside Northern Africa. However, those few years would influence considerably his thought and his work.

Augustine s Africa had been part of Rome s empire since the destruction of Carthage five hundred years before his birth The language of business and culture throughout Roman Africa was Latin Yet some distinctly African character continued to mark life in the province Some non Latin speech either the Berber tongue of the desert or Punic which ancient Carthaginians had spoken continued to be heard The dominant religion of Africa had become Christianity a religion opposed to the traditions of old Rome but that could not have spread without the unity that Rome had brought ...


Augustine, of Hippo  

James J. O'Donnell

Christian bishop and theologian, was born Aurelius Augustinus on 13 November 354 CE in Tagaste (mod. Souk Ahras, Algeria) in Roman Africa, the son of Patricius and Monnica. The names of father and son are marked by emphatic affiliation with Rome (echoing the imperial title of Augustus and the high dignity of “patrician”), while the mother’s name echoes the traditional Punic culture of Africa and one of its leading deities. Augustine died as bishop of Hippo Regius (mod. Annaba, Algeria) on 28 August 430. He never ceased to surprise his contemporaries, and he has astonished many more to this day.

As the older son in a family of some social pretensions but limited resources Augustine should have grown to manhood as a country squire of narrow horizons But his parents were ambitious and found the money from an influential friend to send him away for education He studied first at ...


Augustine, Saint  

Eric Bennett

One of the most famous theologians of his time, Augustine was raised in a mixed household: his mother was Christian but his father, an official of the Roman empire, was pagan. He spent his early years in what is today called Souk-Ahras, in Algeria Despite the piety of his mother Augustine abandoned Christianity at an early age attracted instead by Manichaeism a system of material dualism that claimed the human soul was like light imprisoned by darkness A precocious learner Augustine considered Christian scripture intellectually crude Inspired by Hortensius a now lost text by Cicero he mastered rhetoric and while still in his teens held a professional chair of rhetoric in Carthage Ever questioning the nature of things Augustine discarded Manichaeism for Academic Skepticism and later Neoplatonism At the age of twnenty eight he left Carthage for the Roman capital of Milan in search of better disciplined students In ...


Fulgentius, of Ruspe  

Gregory Hays

, Christian theologian, bishop, and saint, was born at Thelepte, in modern-day Tunisia, to an upper-class family. His father, Claudius, died soon after Fulgentius’s birth, and he and his younger brother were raised by their mother, Mariana. As a young man he embarked on an administrative career but abandoned it to enter a monastery, subsequently moving to a second one headed by a longtime friend, Felix. As a Trinitarian Catholic, Fulgentius was involved in the ongoing conflict with other Christians (often referred to as Arians), who held different views on the nature of Jesus Christ and his relationship to God the Father. This group included other clergy, as well as the Vandal regime. On at least one occasion, both Fulgentius and Felix were severely beaten by an Arian priest and his supporters.

Shortly before 500 Fulgentius embarked on a voyage to Egypt the homeland of monasticism However he actually went ...


Optatus, of Milevis  

Eric Fournier

Christian bishop in the province of Numidia, wrote the first (extant) Catholic reply to the “Donatist” interpretation of events in the religious conflict that dominated most of the fourth century CE in North Africa. Information about his life is all but nonexistent, and his significance resides in the importance and later influence of his work.

Jerome wrote (De Viris Ill. 110 that Optatus composed his treatise during the reign of Valentinian and Valens which gives us the only external chronological indication for Optatus s life Scholars have interpreted this passage to mean that Optatus wrote between 364 and 367 because from the latter date onward Gratian became a third member of the imperial college This seems to confirm Optatus s own admission to be writing more than sixty years after the persecution of Diocletian began in Africa 1 13 2 Since the edicts of persecution were posted between ...



Eric Fournier

was a Christian bishop and biographer of Augustine of Hippo. What we know about Possidius comes mainly from his own Life of Augustine. A few of Augustine’s own Letters (91, 101, 104, 137, 245, and 23*A) and the notice of Prosper’s Chronicle (Epitoma Chronicon for the year 437 CE provide additional details With such meager sources it is not surprising that we ignore the exact date and location of his birth although it is likely that he was born in the vicinity of Hippo Regius between 360 and 370 This supposition comes from the fact that Possidius is first securely attested in 391 as a companion of Augustine in the latter s newly established monastery of Hippo By Possidius own admission this was the beginning of a close friendship that lasted the better part of four decades There the brightest young promising Christian men of North Africa ...


Synesius of Cyrene  

Eric Fournier

philosopher and Christian bishop, was a member of the elite society of the late Roman province of Cyrenaica (present-day Libya). He was a highly educated traditionalist devoted to Neoplatonist philosophy, which did not prevent him from becoming bishop of the metropolitan city of Ptolemais at the beginning of the fifth century CE. Synesius is known through his own writings, and especially his corpus of 156 Letters, an important source of knowledge for the daily life of late antique Cyrenaica. This dependency on his own writings to establish his biography, however, renders the chronology of his life vexingly uncertain.

Born around 370 CE from a well to do family Synesius was sent to complete his education in Alexandria c 390 along with his beloved brother Evoptius There the two brothers attended the school of the famous Hypatia who initiated them to the mystical aspects of Hellenic philosophy Scientific observations including ...



Giovanni R. Ruffini

Nubian bishop, was the titular bishop of Faras (southern Egypt), the northern capital of Nubia in the medieval Christian period. Salvage operations carried out in Nubia by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) unearthed the burial remains of Bishop Timotheos at Qasr Ibrim (southern Egypt) in January 1964. The discovery has since proven of utmost importance for understanding the latest period of medieval Nubian Christianity. The body of Timotheos was found in the North Crypt of Qasr Ibrim’s Cathedral Church, buried under a linen shroud with an iron benedictional cross on his breast. Two paper scrolls had been placed under his body, which provide us with the entirety of the evidence for his life and career.

Both scrolls are nearly five meters long unrolled one is written in Bohairic Coptic with a few lines of Greek and the other in Arabic They are in essence two ...