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§ 170. Florus Magister, of Lyons.


I. Florus, diaconus Lugdunensis: Opera omnia, in Migne, Tom. CXIX. ol. 9–424. His poems are given by Dümmler: Poet. Lat. aev. Carolini, II. (Berlin, 1884), pp. 507–566.

II. Bach: Dogmengeschichte des Mittelalters, Wien, 1873–1875, 2 Abth. I. 240. Hist. Lit. de la France, V. 213–240. Ceillier, XII. 478–493. Bähr, 108, 109; 447–453. Ebert, II. 268–272.


Florus was probably born in the closing year of the eighth century and lived in Lyons during the reigns of Louis the Pious, Charles the Bald and Louis II. He was head of the cathedral school, on which account he is commonly called Florus Magister. He was also a deacon or sub-deacon. He enjoyed a wide reputation for learning, virtue and ability. He stood in confidential relations with his bishop, Agobard, and with some of the most distinguished men of his time. His library was a subject of remark and wonder for its large size.13001300    Cf. Wandalbert, in Migne, CXXI. col. 577.

Like every other scholar under Charles the Bald, he made his contribution to the Eucharistic and Predestination controversies. In the former he took the side of Rabanus Maurus and Ratramnus against the transubstantiation theory of Paschasius Radbertus; in the latter he opposed Johannes Scotus Erigena, without, however, going entirely over to the side of Gottschalk. He sat in the council of Quiercy (849), the first one called by Hincmar in the case of Gottschalk. He died about 860.

His complete works are:

1. A patristic cento on the election of Bishops,13011301    Liber de electionibus episcoporum, collectus ex sententiis patrum, Migne CXIX. col. 11-14. written in 834, to show that in primitive Christian times the bishops were always chosen by the free vote of the congregation and the clergy. Therefore the interference of the king in such elections, which was one of the growing evils of the time, was unwarranted by tradition and only defensible on the plea of necessity to preserve the union between Church and State.

2. An Exposition of the Mass,13021302    Opusculum de expositione missae, Migne, CXIX, col. 15-72. compiled, according to his own express statement, for the most part, from Cyprian, Ambrose, Augustin, and other Fathers.

3. A Treatise against Amalarius,13031303    Opusculum adversus Amalarium, ibid. col. 71-96. in which he supports Agobard against Amalarius, who had explained the liturgy in a mystical and allegorical manner.13041304    See Amalarius in Migne, CV. col. 815 sqq.

4. A Martyrology,13051305    Martyrologium, Migne, XCIV. col. 797 sqq. a continuation of Bede’s.

5. Sermon on Predestination.13061306    Sermo de praedestinatione, Migne, CXIX. col. 95-102.

6. A treatise against Scotus Erigena’s errors,13071307    Adversus J. S. Erigenae erroneas definitiones liber, ibid. col. 101-250. written in 852 in the name of the church of Lyons. He calls attention to Erigena’s rationalistic treatment of the Scriptures and the Fathers; rejects the definition of evil as negation; insists that faith in Christ and an inner revelation are necessary to a right understanding of the Scriptures. It is noticeable that while he censures Erigena for his abuse of secular science, he claims that it has its proper use.13081308    See his preface (col. 101-103).

7. St. Augustin’s Exposition of the Pauline Epistles,13091309    Expositio in epistolas Beati Pauli ex operibus Sancti Augustini collecta, ibid. col. 279-420. long attributed to Bede.

8. Capitulary collected from the Law and the Canons.13101310    Capitula ex lege et canone collecta, ibid. col. 419-422.

9. Miscellaneous Poems,13111311    Carmina varia, ibid. col. 249-278. which prove him to have had a spark of true poetic genius.13121312    Ebert discusses them, II. 269-272.

10. There is also extant a letter which he wrote to the empress Judith.13131313    Flori epistola ad imperatricem Judith, Migne, CXIX. col. 423, 424.



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