« Marcellinus, bp. of Rome Marcellinus, Flavius Marcellus, bp. of Rome »

Marcellinus, Flavius

Marcellinus (7), Flavius, a tribune and afterwards a notary (Böcking, Not. Dig. Occ. p. 408), brother to Apringius, afterwards proconsul of Africa, where Marcellinus appears to have usually resided. He was a Christian of high character, taking much interest in theological matters. In 410 he was appointed by Honorius to preside over a commission of inquiry into the disputes between the Catholics and Donatists, an office for which he was singularly well qualified, and which on the whole he discharged (in 411) with great moderation, good temper, and impartiality, though not without giving offence to the Donatists, who accused him of bribery (Aug. Ep. 141; Cod. Theod. xvi. 11, 5). With Augustine an intimate friendship subsisted which the behaviour of Marcellinus at the conference no doubt tended to strengthen; several letters were exchanged between them, and Augustine addressed to him his three books de Peccatorum Meritis et Remissione, his book de Spiritu et Littera, and the first two books of his great work de Civitate Dei, which he says that he undertook at his suggestion (Aug. Retract. ii. 37; de Civ. Dei. i. praef. ii. 1). Excepting letters about the conference (Epp. 128, 129), the correspondence appears to have been carried on chiefly during 412. It arose mainly 689out of the anxiety of Marcellinus for his friend Volusianus, who, notwithstanding the efforts of his mother to induce him to become a Christian, was swayed in a contrary direction by the worldly society in which he lived. In 413 occurred the revolt of Heraclian, suppressed by Marinus, count of Africa, who, bribed by the Donatists, as Orosius insinuates, arrested and imprisoned Marcellinus and Apringius. Several African bishops joined in a letter of intercession on behalf of the prisoners, whose prayer Caecilianus affected to support, and he even paid an express visit to Augustine, giving him the strongest hope that they would be released, with solemn asseverations of absence of hostility on his own part. But on the following day, Sept. 15 or 16, they were both put to death. Augustine mentions their edifying behaviour in prison. See Dr. Sparrow Simpson's S. Aug. and Afr. Ch. Divisions (1910), pp. 102–126.

[H.W.P.]

« Marcellinus, bp. of Rome Marcellinus, Flavius Marcellus, bp. of Rome »





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