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Anicetus

ANICETUS, an-i-sî´tus: Pope from about 154 to about 165. According to the Liber pontificalis (ed. Duchesne, i. 58, 134), he was a Syrian by birth. Irenæus (Adversus hæreses, III. iii. 3-4) mentions him as the successor of Pius I and the Predecessor of Soter, and refers to the journey of Polycarp to Rome, which took place in Anicetus’ pontificate. A fuller account of it is given in Irenæus’ letter to Victor, of which Eusebius has preserved a considerable fragment (Hist. eccl., V, xxiv. 12-17; see Polycarp). The dates of Anicetus are uncertain. If Polycarp died in 155, the accession of Anicetus must be placed in 154, and the assignment of eleven years to his pontificate would bring its termination to 165. He is called a martyr in the Roman martyrology, as well as by Rabanus Maurus, Florus, and others, and is commemorated on Apr. 17.

(A. Hauck).

Bibliography: Liber pontificalis, ed. Duchesne, i. 58, 134, Paris, 1886; Bower, Popes, i. 13-14; Jaffé, Regesta, i. 9; J. B. Lightfoot, Apostolic Fathers, i. 201 sqq., London, 1890; A. Harnack, in Sitzungsberichte der Berliner Akademie, pp. 617-658, 1892; idem, Litteratur, ii. 1, pp. 70 sqq.

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