Primasius, bp. of Adrumetum
Primasius, bp. of Adrumetum or Justinianopolis, in the Byzacene province
of N. Africa. He flourished in the middle of 6th cent., and exercised considerable
influence on the literary activity of the celebrated theological lawyer
JUNILIUS, who dedicated
to him his Institutes, which spread the views of Theodore of Mopsuestia
in the West. Primasius first comes before us in a synod of his province in 541,
the decrees of which are known only through Justinian's decrees confirming them,
as given in Baronius, Ann. 541, n. 10–12. He was sent to Constantinople
in connexion with the controversy on the Three Chapters c. 551. He assisted
in the synod which pope Vigilius held against Theodore Ascidas and was still
in Constantinople during the session of the fifth general council, but took
no part in it, notwithstanding repeated solicitations (Mansi, ix. 199 seq.).
He was one of 16 bishops who signed the Constitutum of pope Vigilius, May 14,
553. When, however, Vigilius accepted the decrees of the fifth council, Primasius
signed them also. According to Victor Tunun. (Migne's Patr. Lat. t. lxviii.
col. 959), other motives conspired to bring about this change. He was at first
exiled to a convent, and then the death of Boethius primate of the Byzacene
aroused his ambition to be his successor. He gained his point, but, returning
home, his suffragans denounced him as guilty of sacrilege and robbery. He died
soon afterwards. His writings (ib. pp. 407–936) embrace commentaries
on St. Paul's Epp. and the Apocalypse; likewise a treatise (now lost), de
Haeresibus, touching on some points which Augustine did not live to treat
with sufficient fullness (Isid. HispaI.Vir. lll. xxii. in ib.
lxxxiii. 1095; Cave, i. 525; Tillem. xiii. 927, xvi. 21). Our Primasius is sometimes
confounded with bp. Primasius of Carthage. The best account of Primasius of Adrumetum
is in Kihn's Theodor von Mopsuestia, pp. 248–254, where a critical estimate
is formed "of the sources of his exegetical works. [CHILIASTS.]
Cf. also Zahn, Forschungen, iv. 1–224 (1891).