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Chapter Three "Sorcerer" Alliances, Enmities, and the Death of Priscillian

1. Severus, Chron. 2.48. Jacques Fontaine argues that the western routes connecting Spain and Aquitaine were used by Priscillian and Paulinus, among other well-known figures of the period; Priscillian probably progressed through the valleys of the Adour and the Garonne as he made his way north toward Bordeaux ("Société et culture chrétiennes," pp. 251-54). [BACK]

2. Severus, Chron. 2.48. There is no direct evidence that the exiled bishops visited Agen or even intended to do so. However, we know that the group passed through Eauze, which does not lie on the shortest path between the far western passes and Bordeaux; one possible explanation for the choice of route is an original intention to visit Agen as well as Bordeaux. Note that Rousselle suggests that the exiled bishops may have sought more than a letter of support from Delphinus: observing that the rulings of the Council of Antioch (341) dictated that a larger council must consider the appeal of a bishop deposed by a local synod before the matter could be brought before the emperor (can. 12), she proposes that Priscillian sought out the bishop of Bordeaux because he had the authority to convene a pan-Gallic council to consider rescinding the judgments of the Council of Saragossa, which (in Rousselle's opinion) had led to the deposition of Priscillian and his companions ("Quelques aspects politiques," p. 87). Rousselle seems to me to overestimate both the degree of hierarchalization among western bishops and the extent to which the rulings of an eastern council would have been either known or honored in the west. [BACK]

3. That Priscillian already had followers in Aquitaine has frequently been suggested, based on the presence of Delphinus and Phoebodius at the Council of Saragossa, as well as on Filastrius' early knowledge of "abstinents" in both Spain and Gaul. Babut has been the strongest proponent of this theory, going so far as to suggest possible Aquitanian origins for Priscillian's movement by positing the leadership of Attius Tiro Delphidius, whom he identifies with the Elpidius referred to by Severus ( Priscillien , pp. 79-91); Puech refutes Babut on these points ("Les Origenes du priscillianisme," pp. 81-95). More recently, Jacques Fontaine has emphasized the cultural unity of the areas north and south of the Pyrenees and suggested that Priscillian's route through precisely those portions of Gaul where the sees of the Aquitanian bishops who attended the Council of Saragossa were located indicates that those were areas where Priscillianism was strong before the council ("Société et culture chrétiennes," p. 254). However, Fontaine's emphasis on the close connections between Aquitaine and Spain makes it possible to view these two separate instances of close communication between Spanish and Aquitanian Christians as less directly related. Alternatively, the connection may be even more direct than he posits, as I have suggested by proposing that Priscillian intended to visit the Aquitanian bishops present at Saragossa in order to obtain letters substantiating his claim not to have been condemned by the Council of Saragossa. Finally, the close unity between Gaul and Spain was not just the cultural unity of a literary elite, which is Fontaine's primary focus, but also a unity in the sphere of ecclesiastical politics. Priscillian's journey to Aquitaine is one of several instances of Spanish Christians appealing to neighboring Gallic bishops for support, especially when they found themselves representing a minority position at home: in this controversy, we find Hydatius drawing upon the support of Delphinus and Phoebadius by inviting them to the Council at Saragossa, Priscillian appealing to Delphinus and other Aquitanian bishops following his exile from Spain, and Ithacius later finding powerful support from the bishop of Trier when he faces strong opposition in Spain. [BACK]

4. Severus, Chron. 2.48. [BACK]

5. Ibid. Severus makes no mention of Delphidius, but Pacatus identifies Euchrotia as the widow of a famous poet ( Pan. 29) and Ausonius seems to have her in mind when he refers to the "punishment" ( poena ) of the wife of Attius Tiro Delphidius ( Prof. 5); Prosper, writing some forty or more years later, but certainly relying on earlier Aquitanian sources, explicitly refers to Euchrotia as the wife of Delphidius the rhetorician ( Chron. 1187). It is probable that Delphidius died not long before Priscillian's visit, since Ausonius congratulates him for a timely death, through which he escaped knowledge either of his wife's execution or his daughter's "mistake" ( error ); see A. D. Booth, "Notes on Ausonius' Professores," Phoenix 32 (1978): 238-39. [BACK]

6. Prosper, Chron. 1187. The earliest edition of Prosper's Chronicle , which included the entries about Priscillian and his followers, is dated to 433 in Theodore Mommsen, ed., Chronica Minora Saec. IV, V, VI, VII , vol. 9 of Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Auctorum Antiquissimorum , p. 345. Prosper's information about Priscillian generally parallels Severus' account, and most of it probably derives either from Severus or from a closely related Aquitanian source: the reports of the Council of Bordeaux and of the trial and executions at Trier ( Chron. 1187, an. 385) remain close to Severus' text in language and content, and the report of the excommunication of Ithacius and Ursacius ( Chron. 1193, an . 389) is also consistent with his account, although Severus does not mention Ursacius; Babut suggests that Ursacius is to be identified with Hydatius ( Priscillien , pp. 36-37 n. 1). However, the report of the establishment of the Priscillianist heresy "from the dogma of Manichaeans and gnostics" seems to derive from Filastrius via Augustine, although Prosper adds the mistaken note that Priscillian was a Galician bishop ( Chron. 1171, an. 379). And the particular passage in which Urbica is mentioned is unparallelled in Severus or any other known source. The reference to "obstinacy in impiety," which reflects classical Roman rather than specifically Christian language, may suggest that Prosper's information derived from the pagan or nominally Christian aristocratic circles of late-fourth-century Gaul exemplified by a figure like Ausonius. Note that Ausonius was not only familiar with Urbica herself (as argued below) but also accused Paulinus, whom he may have suspected of having Priscillianist leanings, of "impiety" (Paulinus, Ep. 31.83-84). [BACK]

7. R.P.H. Green, "Prosopographical Notes on the Family and Friends of Ausonius," Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies 25 (1978): 22. [BACK]

8. Priscillian probably arrived in Bordeaux in 381. If, as Green suggests, Ausonius' Parentalia was largely complete early in the 380s, Pomponia Urbica's husband, Julianus Censor, who is commemorated in Par. 22, was probably already dead by 381 ("Prosopographical Notes," p. 22). Green suggests that the commemoration of Pomponia Urbica in Par. 30 was a later addition made sometime before publication between 386 and 388; Prosper's account, if the identification is accepted, makes it likely that she died in the events surrounding the council of Bordeaux circa 384. Her widowhood would thus have lasted several years. As we shall see, Ausonius' emphasis on its extreme brevity may result from his embarrassment at the manner of her death and his attempt to present her as a faithful wife rushing to reunite with her husband in death. [BACK]

9. Ausonius, Par. 30.3-6. [BACK]

10. Jerome uses both figures as examples of the virtue of married women ( Adversus Jovinianum 1.49). In the allusion to Tanaquil as the possessor of a "virtue rare among women" ( rara inter feminas virtus ), he may be relying on Seneca's lost treatise on marriage (F. Haase, ed., L. Annaei Senecae Opera [Teubner, 1853], 3: 433). Silius Italicus likewise represents Tanaquil as an exemplary female figure, describing her as "of chaste mind" ( castae mentis ), as well as gifted in prophecy (13.818-820). Livy gives the fullest account of Tanaquil's unique career (1.34-35, 39, 41), and Juvenal presents Tanaquil in unambiguously negative terms (6.566). Theano, identified sometimes as the disciple, sometimes as the wife of Pythagoras, is presented by Diogenes Laertius as a paragon of wifely virtue, advising other women to clothe themselves in shame before all men but their husbands and defining shame as "that through which I am called a woman" (8.43). Female philosophers were generally viewed with some ambivalence; see, for example, the stories told of Hipparchia in Diogenes Laertius 6.96-98. [BACK]

11. Green, "Prosopographical Notes," p. 22. Green also compares the allusion to Theano here with the allusions to Pythagoras and Bellerophon in Ausonius' Ep. 24 to Paulinus, noting that Ausonius was perfectly capable of using such allusions in a complex and/or polemical manner. [BACK]

12. Dennis Trout argues persuasively that Ausonius' references to Tanaquil ( Ep. 28.31) and Bellerophon ( Ep. 29.72) reflect his suspicions that Therasia and Paulinus may have become involved with the Priscillianist movement during their sojourn in Spain. These suspicions were not based on any real knowledge of Paulinus' and Therasia's situation in Spain and were emphatically rejected by Paulinus ( Ep. 31.189-92) (Trout, "Secular Renunciation and Social Action: Paulinus of Nola and Late Roman Society" [diss., Duke University, 1989], pp. 144-70). [BACK]

13. Green refers to Pomponia Urbica's "penchant for martyrdom" ("Prosopographical Notes," p. 22). [BACK]

14. Ausonius, Par. 30.7-10. [BACK]

15. Severus, Chron. 2.48. [BACK]

16. ACS , can. 1. [BACK]

17. Severus, Chron. 2.48. [BACK]

18. Ausonius, Prof. 5.37. [BACK]

19. ACS , can. 8. [BACK]

20. Note that Delphinus does not appear to have objected to the ascetic conversion of the wealthy and aristocratic Therasia several years later. The fact that she, like Euchrotia, was a mature woman, may have facilitated his acceptance. Still more significant, Therasia's husband Paulinus was still living and had joined his wife in her ascetic lifestyle. Delphinus could not afford to alienate such a powerful man, and Paulinus' writings provide evidence that he and Delphinus remained on friendly terms following Paulinus' conversion and move away from Bordeaux ( Epp. 10, 14, 19, 20, and 35 are addressed to Delphinus). [BACK]

21. Peter Brown notes that the majority of well-born young women vowing virginity seem to have been the daughters of widows; had they still been alive, their fathers would have opposed their vows to do so ( Body and Society , p. 344). [BACK]

22. Chadwick speculates that if Euchrotia were a recent widow, "her motives could have included a quest for consolation by making pilgrimage to the shrines of the apostles and martyrs of Rome" ( Priscillian of Avila , p. 37). For a discussion of pilgrimage in this period, see Gustave Bardy, "Pèlerinages à Rome vers la fin du IV e siècle," Analecta Bollandiana 67 (1949): 224-35, and Hagith Sivan, "Who Was Egeria? Piety and Pilgrimage in the Age of Gratian," Harvard Theological Review 81 (1988): 59-72. [BACK]

23. See Babut, Priscillien , p. 153. [BACK]

24. Severus, Chron. 2.48. Mathisen, Ecclesiastical Factionalism , pp. 14-18, provides a helpful analysis of the fifth-century conflicts that shaped Severus' perspective. Fontaine, "L'Affaire Priscillien," pp. 368-69, highlights Severus' subtle preference for the Priscillianists over the Ithacians. The latter were identified with the "Felicians," who tended to be Gallic isolationists in ecclesiastical terms but were not averse to seeking political patronage to further their cause, whereas their opponents, among whom Severus was numbered, were willing to appeal to Italian ecclesiastical authority but opposed the intervention of secular patrons. [BACK]

25. Note that Chadwick follows Severus in placing the Roman visit first; his position seems to require dating the Letter of Damasus --with its reference to the Priscillianists' petitioning of the quaestor--to the period after the visit to Rome and the subsequent stay in Milan ( Priscillian of Avila , p. 40). [BACK]

26. Priscillian, Tract. 2, 41.13-16. It should be noted that the letter does initially seem to imply that the group immediately set out for Rome; however, in light of what follows, this should be understood primarily as part of a strategy to flatter Damasus: "eclesias nostras commendavimus deo, quarum communicatorias ad te epistulas detulimus totius cleri et plebis suscribtione transmissas, et ad te qui potuimus venientes voluimus quidem absentes supplicare" ( Tract. 2, 41.7-11). [BACK]

27. Severus, Chron. 2.49, and Chadwick, Priscillian of Avila , p. 40, n. 3. Proculus Gregorius was praefectus annonae in 377, and praefectus praetorio Galliarum in 383, before Gratian's death; Symmachus, Ep. 3.19, indicates that Gregory was at court in 379 or 380, at which point he most likely held the office of quaestor sacri palatini (A. H. M. Jones, J. R. Martindale, and J. Morris, The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire , vol. 1 [1971], p. 526; Matthews, Western Aristocracies , p. 71-72). Although tenure in such offices was typically quite short, Gregory could easily have held the palace quaestorship for as long as two or three years, which would include the period in which Priscillian must have visited Milan (on tenure in office, see A. H. M. Jones, The Later Roman Empire: A Social, Economic, and Administrative Survey, 284-602 [Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1964], 1: 381). [BACK]

28. Priscillian, Tract. 2, 41.2-3. It is the context of this passage that suggests the connection with the issuing of the rescript: immediately preceding the mention of Ambrose is a an account of Hydatius' attempt to procure a rescript, and immediately following it is the report of his use of the rescript that was brought back to him. [BACK]

29. Severus, Chron. 2.48. Since Severus does not mention the first stop in Milan, his mention of Ambrose's hostility is necessarily in conjunction with the second stop. Ambrose's Epp. 24.12 and 26.3 refer disapprovingly to episcopal participation in the civil trial and execution of certain "heretics" or "criminals," but Ambrose does not mention Priscillian's name or refer to any earlier involvement in Priscillian's case. [BACK]

30. See the defense of this "traditional" dating by Pierre Nautin, "Les Premières Relations d'Ambroise avec l'empereur Gratien: Le De fide (livres I et II)," in Ambroise de Milan: XVI e centenaire de son élection épiscopale, ed. Yves-Marie Duval (Paris: Études augustiniennes, 1974), pp. 229-44, 231-35. Nautin here challenges the suggestion of Gunther Gottlieb that the document should be dated instead to the late spring or summer of 380 ( Ambrosius von Mailand und Kaiser Gratian [Göttingen: Vandenhoek & Ruprecht, 1973], p. 50). For our purposes the exact dating of the document is not crucial. Note that while Gottlieb has demonstrated that Gratian followed his father's relatively evenhanded religious policies as late as 380, he continues the scholarly tradition of presenting the post-380 Gratian as a religiously naive youth seeking refuge in the theological wisdom of the Milanese bishop. Nautin rightly challenges this view, arguing that both Gratian's religious policy and Ambrose's response to Gratian suggest that the young emperor was theologically and politically astute in his handling of the conflict between the Nicene and Homoian parties (pp. 238-44). [BACK]

31. While Nautin emphasizes the opposition of the Illyrican bishops, Daniel Williams suggests that the local opposition of the Homoian party was the more pressing factor ( Ambrose of Milan , ch. 5). [BACK]

32. Cupio valde ( PL 16.913-14). Again, note that Gottlieb dates Gratian's letter more than a year later, to the summer of 380 ( Ambrosius von Mailand , p. 50). [BACK]

33. Building on the work of Nautin, Daniel Williams provides an important discussion of the context of these final books, emphasizing that they were composed not at the formal request of the emperor but rather in response to both local and extralocal Homoian attacks ( Ambrose of Milan , ch. 5). [BACK]

34. Ambrose, De fide 2.141-43; 3.1-2. [BACK]

35. See Williams, Ambrose of Milan , ch. 4. [BACK]

36. Ambrose, however, is remarkably reticent concerning Julian Valens, who is mentioned only in Ep. 10, in which Ambrose on behalf of the Council of Aquileia requests Valens' exile, and Ep. 11, which refers to Valens in connection with Ursinus, whose exile is also requested. [BACK]

37. Our only direct reference either to the "sequestering" or "return" of the basilica is Ambrose, De spir. sanc. 1.1.19-20. Note that two recent reconstructions of this first Milanese conflict over a basilica are at odds: Harry O. Maier suggests that the Homoians never gained access to the basilica ("Private Space as the Social Context of Arianism in Ambrose's Milan," Journal of Theological Studies , n.s., 45 [1994]: 72-93], while Daniel H. Williams argues that they did (''Ambrose, Emperors and Homoians in Milan: The First Conflict over a Basilica," in Arianism after Arius: Essays on the Development of the Fourth-Century Trinitarian Conflicts , ed. Michel R. Barnes and Daniel H. Williams [Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1993], pp. 127-46, 137-39). [BACK]

38. Maier has fruitfully applied the public-private distinction to the analysis of the Milanese conflict, pointing first to the privileged claim to authority inherent in the occupation of public space and the resulting intensity of the "battle" to control that space, and, second, to the fluid adaptability of Christian movements that were privatized following upon their "defeat" ("Private Space"). Note that Maier has challenged the widespread assumption that the Homoians had one or two of their own basilicas during Ambrose's episcopacy; if he is right, the Homoian attempts to acquire basilical space may become still more significant for our understanding of the issues at stake in the conflict. Where Maier's use of the public-private distinction is not in complete harmony with mine is in his tendency to accept somewhat uncritically both the rhetorical polarization of public and private and the negative valorization of the private sphere; while clearly a "battle" of some sort was being waged over public space in Milan, the terms of that "battle'' continue to be defined by Ambrose, so that I might, for example, question whether the Homoians themselves always experienced their private location negatively as a "defeat." On the late-ancient privatization of heresy more generally, see Harry O. Maier, "Religious Dissent, Heresy and Households in Late Antiquity," Vigiliae Christianae , forthcoming. [BACK]

39. Richard Krautheimer has demonstrated the value of the topographical approach for the study of the architectural construction of a public Milanese orthodoxy ( Three Christian Capitals: Topography and Politics [Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1983], pp. 68-92). Maier refines the approach by attempting to construct a complementary "map" of privatized heterodox movements in Milan ("Private Space"). While Krautheimer's treatment of Ambrosian Milan highlights Ambrose's construction of Milan as an episcopally centered "Christian capital" in direct competition with Constantinople's imperially centered capital, Maier calls attention to the conflict within the Milanese "capital," articulated spacially in the division of public and private meeting places. [BACK]

40. Paulinus of Milan, Vita Ambrosii 13; cf. Augustine, Conf. 9.7, and Robert Taft, The Liturgy of the Hours in East and West (Collegeville, Minn.: Liturgical Press, 1986), pp. 141-43, 174-76. [BACK]

41. I emphasize this point in my "Ascesis, Authority, and Text: The Acts of the Council of Saragossa," Semeia 58 (1992): 95-108. [BACK]

42. Maier, "Private Space," p. 93. [BACK]

43. Ambrose, De spir. sanc. 1.1.19-20. [BACK]

44. In a review of Roger Gryson's critical edition of the "Arian Scholia" ( Scolies ariennes sur le concile d'Aquilée [Sources chrétiennes 267; Paris: Éd. du Cerf, 1980]), Yves-Marie Duval has emphasized the competitive motive behind Theodosius' decision to call a general eastern council at Constantinople in the same year in which Gratian's general council at Aquileia had been scheduled by agreement of the two emperors; this unexpected development provided an opening for Ambrose, who offered Gratian the possibility of continuing with his plans for a council while yet recasting it in such a way that the council would not be in direct--and unsuccessful--competition with Constantinople ("La Présentation arienne du concile d'Aquilée de 381," Revue d'histoire ecclésiastique 76 [1981]: 317-31, 327-28). Neil McLynn adds that ''it is unlikely . . . that Gratian foresaw the effect that the revised arrangements would have upon the conduct of the council'' ("The 'Apology' of Palladius: Nature and Purpose," Journal of Theological Studies , n.s., 42 [1991]: 52-76, 71). [BACK]

45. Palladius' Apology is preserved in the "Arian Scholia" published by Gryson, Scolies ariennes , pp. 264-74. [BACK]

46. The history of continued conflict between pro-Nicene and anti-Nicene factions in Milan, culminating in the struggle over the basilica in 386, is well known. McLynn has recently emphasized the significant threat represented by the opposition of Palladius even after the Council of Aquileia ("'Apology' of Palladius," pp. 70-76). [BACK]

47. The Council of Saragossa, which met in October of 380, provides the absolute terminus a quo for the dating of the rescript, but a period of some months must have elapsed, during which both the conflict at Merida and Priscillian's ordination occurred; in addition, Priscillian's mention of Ambrose in relation to the rescript suggests a date when Gratian was either in Milan or in close touch with Ambrose, e.g., March 381 or the months following (on Gratian's whereabouts during this period, see Otto Seek, Regesten der Kaiser und Päpste für die Jahre 311 bis 476 n. Chr. [Stuttgart: J. B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1919], p. 256). The death of Gratian in August 383 provides the absolute terminus ad quem for both the rescript and Priscillian's visit to Italy, but again chronological "space" must be allowed for Priscillian's return to Spain, Volventius' summoning of Ithacius, Ithacius' flight, Gregory's intervention and report to Gratian, and Macedonius' engineering of the transfer of the case to Spain; this makes it unlikely that Priscillian's visit to Milan could have taken place later than 382. [BACK]

48. Mathisen emphasizes the close connections between Ambrose and Gallic bishops ( Ecclesiastical Factionalism , p. 11); note that Ambrose' Ep. 87 is addressed to Phoebadius and Delphinus. [BACK]

49. Babut dates Filastrius's Diversarum hereseon liber to 383 and places great emphasis on the significance of his testimony to the geographical spread of Priscillianism ( Priscillien , pp. 6-8, 79-83). Puech challenges Babut's use of Filastrius' text, noting that the document cannot safely be dated with greater precision than 375-92 and rightly stressing its unreliability as a source of information about Priscillian's movement ("Les Origines du priscillianisme," pp. 84-89). Filastrius, remains a useful source about impressions of Priscillian at a relatively early stage in the controversy, however; if--as most would agree--the text does refer to the Priscillianists, it probably dates to the period between the first emergence of conflict and Priscillian's execution--that is, between 380 and 386 or 387. [BACK]

50. Filastrius, Diversarum hereseon liber 61, 84. Filastrius' language suggests that his report of the dualistic teaching of the "abstinents" is simply inferred from their ascetic practice (see Babut, Priscillien , p. 7). The identification of these ascetics with gnostics and Manichaeans may also be based on such an inference; however, given the probable content of Hydatius' communication to Ambrose, Filastrius could easily have known of the specific charge of Manichaeism. [BACK]

51. It is unclear whether Ambrose's asceticism was a further point of significant vulnerability--as well as strength--at this early date. Some years later, the "anti-ascetic" Jovinian seems to have accused Ambrose of Manichaeism, and Ambrose neatly turned the charge back on his accuser; see David G. Hunter's analysis of Ambrose, Ep. 42 to Siricius ("Resistance to the Virginal Ideal in Late-Fourth-Century Rome: The Case of Jovinian," Theological Studies 48 [1987]: 51-53). If controversy over Ambrose's asceticism was already in the air in the early 380s, this would have made him still more cautious about any association with Priscillian. However, the conflict with the Homoians seems clearly the more significant context for interpreting Ambrose's response to Priscillian, while Ambrose's own ascetic agenda in many respects aligns him more closely with Priscillian's opponents than with Priscillian. [BACK]

52. Ambrose, Ep. 20.17-18. [BACK]

53. Priscillian, Tract. 2, 34.10-11, 35.21-24, 41.8-10, 41.16-17, 42.24-43.7. On preference for ecclesiastical judgment, cf. Can. Ep. Pauli 46. [BACK]

54. Severus, Chron. 2.48. [BACK]

55. Jerome, De viris inlustribus 121. [BACK]

56. This is not certain, since Jerome's rhetorical context provides him with another possible motive for his neutral presentation of Priscillian. Jerome's De viris inlustribus was written at the request of Nummius Aemilianus Dexter, a powerful figure at Theodosius' court in the mid 380s, and Matthews points out that in order to please his Spanish patron, Jerome seems to have included references, not only to Dexter's father, Bishop Pacianus of Barcelona, but also to Priscillian, Tiberianus, and Latronianus. Obviously, for this strategy to be effective, Jerome would have to assume that, at least in Dexter's eyes, the reputations of Priscillian, Tiberianus, and Latronianus were not entirely negative ( Western Aristocracies , pp. 133-34, 167-68; see now Stefan Rebenich, Hieronymus und sein Kreis: Prosopographische und sozialgeschichtliche Untersuchungen [Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 1992], pp. 213-15). [BACK]

57. Charles Pietri, Roma Christiana (Rome: École française, 1976), pp. 423-27, and Maier, "Topography of Heresy and Dissent." [BACK]

58. Note that the Roman "schism" is more complicated than the Milanese, not least because the Roman factions cannot be neatly aligned with "pro-Nicene" and ''anti-Nicene'' positions: although Liberius was exiled for his strong pro-Nicene commitments, he was also later bitterly maligned as a compromiser and traitor to the Nicene cause; nor does Felix seem to have had an "Arian" theological orientation, in spite of the fact that he was the preferred choice of the emperor Constantius (see the helpful account of Pietri, Roma Christiana , 1: 237-68). Harry Maier has recently highlighted the private-sphere location of many out-of-favor factions or "protest movements": just as Liberius' supporters were probably driven into private meeting places during Felix' episcopacy, so Felix's supporters seem to have occupied the private sphere when driven out of the basilicas following Liberius' return ("The Topography of Heresy and Dissent in Late-Fourth-Century Rome," Historia [forthcoming]). That the Damasan-Ursinian factions stand in some sort of important historical continuity with the Liberian-Felician factions is clear, and Maier places particular emphasis on this connection in order to demonstrate the "private" persistence of the Felician faction. However, as Pietri notes, while "le conflit qui oppose Ursinus à Damase pour la succession de Libère prolonge une ancienne querelle," it was also doubtless fuelled by "nouvelles oppositions," stemming in his opinion from resistance to the effects of the conversion of the aristocracy ( Roma Christiana , 1: 407-8). I would add that while Ursinus struggled to define himself as the legitimate successor to Liberius in part by casting Damasus as a "Felician," Damasus certainly would not have represented himself that way by 366, and we have only his opponents' word that his supporters were identical with those who had supported Felix. [BACK]

59. "Et hoc gloriae vestrae" ( PL 13.575-84); Ambrose, Ep. 11. [BACK]

60. Charles Pietri provides an overview of the disorderly state of ecclesiastical politics in Italy in the 370s, during which not only Damasus but also Ambrose found himself embroiled in conflict with Ursinus; with the help of the emperor, Damasus was able to restore order and reestablish Rome's prominence among the Italian churches, but in the 380s, Milan emerged as a formidable rival to Roman supremacy in Italy ( Roma Christiana , 1: 729-54). [BACK]

61. A hostile libellus circulated shortly after Ursinus' ejection from Rome in 368 claims that Damasus was so much esteemed by the matrons of the city that he was called matronarum auriscalpius ("tickler of matronly ears") ( Collectio Avellana 1.9); as André Hoepffner notes, "elle établit que Damase fréquentait avec assiduité les dames de la bonne société romaine et qu'il y était un hôte choyé" ("Les Deux Procès du Pape Damase," Revue des études anciennes 50 [1948]: 296). Hoepffner argues for the reliability of the testimony of the Liber Pontificalis , which records that Damasus was accused of adultery but cleared by a synod of bishops ( Liber Pontificalis: Damasus 3); he further suggests that this synod is to be identified with the Council of Rome of 378 ("Deux Procès," pp. 289-304). That same council had also petitioned Gratian to recognize the right of bishops to be tried only by a council of their fellow bishops ( Ep. "Et hoc gloriae vestrae" 3 and 10). Priscillian may therefore have had good reason to hope that Damasus would support his own request for a hearing from an episcopal council. [BACK]

62. Cf. Maier, "Topography of Heresy and Dissent." [BACK]

63. See Gratian's rescript, Collectio Avellana 13. Bishop Damasus' imperial support is particularly emphasized by Pietri, Roma Christiana , 1: 414-31. [BACK]

64. Pietri, Roma Christiana , 1: 461-68. Note that Krautheimer, Three Christian Capitals , pp. 94-105, adds another church to the list of those projects initiated by Damasus: the sumptuous basilica at the site of Paul's grave. [BACK]

65. Note that John Baldovin has recently challenged the dating of the "systemization" of the Roman stational liturgy to the episcopacy of Damasus, without however denying that significant enhancement of stational "practices" probably took place under Damasus' leadership ( The Urban Character of Christian Worship: The Origins, Development, and Meaning of Stational Liturgy [Rome: Pont. Institutum Studiorum Orientalium, 1987], pp. 119, 147-51). [BACK]

66. Pietri provides a critical review of the sources for the chain of events immediately following Liberius' death ( Roma Christiana , 1: 408-12), largely following the chronological and geographical reconstruction of Adolf Lippold ("Ursinus und Damasus," Historia 14 [1965]: 105-28). The terminology of "first" and "second" Christian establishments is Pietri's. [BACK]

67. Krautheimer, Three Christian Capitals , pp. 12-20. [BACK]

68. In attributing the building of St. Paul's Outside the Walls to the initiative of Damasus, Krautheimer associates Damasus with a new "classical tenor" in architectural style "which looks back to the Hadrianic and Augustan past of Rome" (ibid., p. 104). [BACK]

69. Severus, Chron. 2.48. [BACK]

70. Severus suggests that both bribery and persuasion played a role in the Spaniards' success ( Chron. 2.48). Persuasion was not out of the question: recall that Priscillian claims that the quaestor found their requests fair ( Tract. 2, 41.15). Macedonius and Ambrose do not seem to have been on friendly terms; see Paulinus, Vita Ambrosii 37. Rousselle suggests that Gratian was probably absent from Milan at the time of Priscillian's visit and, as was customary, had delegated greater powers to his magister officiorum during his absence ("Quelques aspects politiques," pp. 88-89). This may not be a necessary condition for Macedonius' interference. [BACK]

71. The "legislative incoherence" of this rescript of Macedonius has an interesting parallel in a report of the urban prefect Symmachus to Valentinian II, dated 384 and indicating that Macedonius had on at least one other occasion been responsible for the issuing of a rescript that conflicted with previous imperial directives. Certain members of the salt-workers' guild had been exempted from their duties, but the guild was demanding that those exempted be forced to return to service, on the grounds that it was otherwise unable to fulfill its obligations; the exempted workers countered by citing "a divine directive" and were found to be "protected by the support of Macedonius." Symmachus comments carefully that only direct action of the emperor could untangle the knot of conflicting imperial rescripts, some of which had been "extracted unfairly"--a disapproving reference to Macedonius' initiative ( Rel. 44.1). Note that Macedonius' behavior can hardly have been unique. Such incoherencies in imperial policy should probably not be attributed solely either to the deficient characters of a few individuals or to the lags and gaps in communication that inevitably plagued a highly centralized government ruling so wide a geographical area; inconsistency also had its positive function, responding to the need for a certain flexibility of policy within the context of the patronage system undergirding imperial governance. [BACK]

72. Severus, Chron. 2.48. [BACK]

73. Barbero de Aguilera goes so far as to suggest that support for Priscillian came primarily from rural areas whose native inhabitants resisted the new alliance of Roman and episcopal authority in a time of social and economic crisis ("El priscilianismo: ¿Herejía o movimiento social?" pp. 16-25); he has more recently been followed in this interpretation by Narciso Santos Yanguas, "Movimientos sociales en la España del Bajo Imperio," Hispania 40 (1980): 237-69. There are serious problems with the argument, at least as it is applied to the early stages of the Priscillianist controversy, in which the primary context was clearly urban; see Van Dam, Leadership , pp. 90-91. Nevertheless, there may be some truth in the suggestion that there was local resentment of Hydatius' invocation of the authority of the imperial court to expel leaders with popular support in their own communities. [BACK]

74. Rousselle speculates, perhaps unnecessarily, that this was accomplished at the request of Priscillian's patron Macedonius ("Quelques aspects politiques," p. 90). [BACK]

75. Severus, Chron. 2.49. [BACK]

76. Ibid. [BACK]

77. See Maximus, Epistula ad Siricium papam . Birley argues against the view that Maximus in this letter is responding to Siricius' criticism of his handling of the Priscillianist affair. Birley suggests, rather, that Maximus replies to a more general question about the catholic faith and spontaneously offers his handling of Priscillian as proof of his outstanding orthodoxy ("Magnus Maximus and the Persecution of Heresy," pp. 36-37). If this interpretation is accurate, it further confirms the impression that Maximus viewed the Priscillianist controversy as a chance to demonstrate his own zeal for orthodoxy. [BACK]

78. Severus, Chron. 2.49. [BACK]

79. Klaus Girardet, "Trier 385: Der Prozess gegen die Priscillianer," Chiron 4 (1974): 587-89. [BACK]

80. Severus, Chron. 2.49. [BACK]

81. Girardet, "Trier 385," pp. 593-94. Rousselle offers the innovative suggestion that Priscillian's appeal was directed not at Maximus but at the court of Valentinian II at Milan ("Quelques aspects politiques," p. 93). [BACK]

82. Severus reports disapprovingly: "Priscillianus . . . ad principem provocavit; permissumque id nostrorum inconstantia, qui aut sententiam in refragantem ferre debuerat, aut si ipsi suspecti habebantur, aliis episcopis audentiam reservare, non causam imperatori de tam manifestis criminibus permittere" ( Chron. 2.49). [BACK]

83. Prosper, Chron . 1187. [BACK]

84. The tendency to view Priscillian's trial and execution as a foreshadowing of later medieval developments exaggerates the impression that the events surrounding Priscillian's death were out of place or are inexplicable in their late-fourth-century setting. The comment of Peter Stockmeier is representative: "Der Blutspruch von Trier leitet eine Entwicklung in der Geschichte der Kirche ein, die in Religionskriegen und Inquisition endet" ("Das Schwert im Dienste der Kirche: Zur Hinrichtung Priszillians in Trier," in Festschrift für Alois Thomas [Trier: Selbstverlag des Bistumsarchivs, 1967], p. 428). [BACK]

85. Priscillian, Tract. 2, 41.16-17; id., Can. Ep. Pauli 46; id., Tract. 1, 22.14-19. [BACK]

86. Severus, Chron. 2.50. [BACK]

87. Severus, Dial. 3.11. Note that here, as elsewhere, Severus avoids any mention of the term "Manichaean"; nevertheless, this was almost certainly the label invoked by Ithacius. Manichaeans were frequently identified by their fasting, paleness, and dress. Jerome, for example, describes the suspicions of certain Christian women in Rome with regard to their ascetic sisters: "quam viderint pallentem atque tristem, miseram et Manichaeam vocant: et consequenter: tali enim proposito jejunium haeresis est" ( Ep. 22.13). [BACK]

88. Priscillian, Tract. 1, 23.22-24.3; Severus, Chron. 2.46. [BACK]

89. Ibid. 2.48. [BACK]

90. Priscillian's anonymous Roman contemporary "Ambrosiaster" describes the Manichaeans' supposedly duplicitous and immoral behavior as follows: "None are as troublesome, as treacherous, as deceitful as these very ones who are known to cultivate one idea and to confess something else, to bear one notion inwardly and to claim something else in public. For they defend purity and live shamelessly by their own supporting law. . . . They find women who want to hear something on account of its new appearance, and through what is pleasing they recommend to them what is foul and unlawful" ( Commentaria in epistulam ad Timotheum secundam 3.6-7). An early work of Augustine's, written around 388 in Rome, highlights more specifically the purported Manichaean use of contraception: "Is it not you who consider begetting children, by which souls are bound in flesh, a more serious sin than copulation? Is it not you who used to advise us to observe, as much as possible, the time after menstruation when a woman is most ready for conception and to refrain from copulation at that time, so that the soul would not be entangled in flesh?" ( De moribus Manichaeorum 18.65). According to M. K. Hopkins, abortion and contraception were not consistently distinguished in ancient thought, nor could many of the recommended methods have been effective, with the possible exception of the use of certain vaginal suppositories ("Contraception in the Roman Empire,'' Comparative Studies in Society and History 8 [1965]: 124-51). More recently, John Riddle has argued for widespread knowledge, particularly among women, of the effective use of herbal contraceptives as well as early-stage herbal abortifacients; he also traces a growing reticence on the part of late-ancient male physicians to prescribe abortifacients, reflected in the common mistranslations of Hippocrates to the effect that to assist in abortion is a violation of the physician's oath ( Contraception and Abortion from the Ancient World to the Renaissance [Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1992]). From the point of view of late-ancient Christian authors, who clearly shared these negative views of abortion, contraception and abortion remain closely linked precisely through their association with duplicitous sexual behavior, especially on the part of women, as the texts collected in the study of Michael Gorman indicate ( Abortion and the Early Church [New York: Paulist Press, 1982], pp. 63-73). [BACK]

91. Both Severus and Prosper refer to Ithacius' deposition: Severus, Chron. 2.51; Prosper, Chron. 1193, an. 389. [BACK]

92. Isidore, De viris illustribus 14. [BACK]

93. Severus, Chron. 2.50. [BACK]

94. Ibid. [BACK]

95. Ambrose, Ep. 24.12. Cf. Ambrose's (later?) expressions of disapproval of those bishops who accused criminals in the context of public trials, some actively calling for the sword, others merely approving such "bloody triumphs of bishops" ( cruentos sacerdotum triumphos ) ( Ep. 26.3). [BACK]

96. Severus. Chron. 2.50-51. The simplest explanation seems to me to be that Ithacius withdrew at the same time that Maximus did, and that the trial also officially became a sorcery trial at that point, rather than a personal consideration by the emperor of the charge of Manichaeism. Severus' account, however, leaves some confusion as to the sequence of events: as Girardet notes, his report of Ithacius' withdrawal seems to be added out of order, as a further elaboration of the events already narrated ("Trier 385," p. 600). [BACK]

97. Severus, Chron. 2.50. [BACK]

98. The Council of Elvira (309) had also ruled against women's attendance of vigils, on the grounds of suspected immorality: "Placuit prohiberi ne foeminae in coemeterio pervigilent, eo quod saepe sub obtentu orationis latenter scelera committunt" (can. 35). On magic and vigils, cf. Codex Theodosianus 9.16.7. [BACK]

99. Chadwick, Priscillian of Avila , pp. 18, 140. It is highly unlikely that Priscillian actually prayed completely naked. "I have looked in vain for historical accounts of practices of nakedness," Margaret R. Miles comments in reference to late ancient Christian asceticism ( Carnal Knowing [Boston: Beacon Press, 1989], p. 63). [BACK]

100. Maximus Augustus, Epistola ad Siricium papam 4. [BACK]

101. Augustine, De natura boni 47. [BACK]

102. Severus, Chron. 2.50-51. Jerome records a similar list of those initially condemned, substituting the name "Julianus" for "Armenius" ( De viris inlustribus 122). [BACK]

103. Pacatus, Pan. 29. [BACK]

104. Ausonius, Prof. 5.35-38. [BACK]

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