CÆSARIUS OF ARLES: Bishop of Arles; b. at Châlon-sur-Saône (33 m, n. of Mâcon) 469 or 470; d. at Arles (44 m. n.w. of Marseilles) Aug. 27, 542.

Early Life.

Little is known of his life before his eighteenth year, but at the age of twenty he went to the famous cloister on the island of Lérins, although it was now


declining under the weak abbot Porcarius. There Cæsarius became acquainted with the writings of Faustus, who had been abbot of Lérins for some thirty years, and these works exercised an influence on him throughout his life. Porcarius appointed him master of the refectory, but the discontent of the monks caused his removal, and he thereupon devoted himself so rigidly to fasting that it became necessary to send him to Arles in search of health. He there became acquainted with Firminus, and at his request began the study of rhetoric with Pomerius of Africa, who is now generally regarded as identical with the author of the De vita contemplativa. Pomerius was, moreover, a follower of Augustine, and seems to have won his pupil over to this teacher. Recognizing in Cæsarius a fellow countryman and kinsman, Æontius, bishop of Arles, not only ordained him and placed him in charge of a monastery, but also induced the clergy, citizens, and king to appoint him his successor. In 502, therefore, Cæsarius became bishop of Arles, though sorely against his will.

Bishop, 502.

His first measure was to make daily attendance at church agreeable to the laity, largely by singing, and he also required them to learn passages from the Bible, in addition to the Creed and the Lord's Prayer. The administration of funds was entrusted to laymen and deacons, and he strove to maintain firm discipline, being apparently the author of the first Occidental manual of ecclesiastical law, the Statuta ecclesiœ antiqua. In 505 Cæsarius was charged with high treason by his secretary Licinianus, and was banished to Bordeaux by Alaric II., although he quickly proved his innocence and was permitted to return. On Sept. 11, 506, he resumed the long interrupted series of Gallic synods with the Synod of Agde, and the canons, evidently written by Cæsarius, are important documents for ecclesiastical history. Particularly noteworthy among them are the resolutions on ecclesiastical jurisdiction, slavery, celibacy, and church-property which was to be regarded as set aside for the poor. The death of Alaric shortly after the close of the synod ended the kingdom of Toulouse, and in 508 the Franks and Burgundians began the siege of Arles. A relative of the bishop deserted to the enemy, and Cæsarius himself was charged with treason and imprisoned, escaping only when the treason of the Jews who had accused him became known. In 510 the city was relieved, and Cæsarius cared for the captives without regard to creed, in addition to ransoming many with the money and ornaments of the churches. Three years later, however, he was cited to appear before Theodoric at Ravenna, probably because of his expenditures of church funds for the foundation of a nunnery at Arles and similar purposes, but he won the king completely to his side, and received such rich gifts from all quarters for the ransom of Burgundian captives that he was able to bring to Arles 8,000 solidi (about $56,000). From Ravenna he went to Rome, and in October gave the pope a petition, in which he requested permission to employ church funds for cloisters; to abrogate, in view of the lack of clergy in Gaul, the hieratic cursus honorum, on which strict stress was laid at Rome; and also asked information regarding the marriage of widows and nuns, bribery in the election of bishops, and the prohibition against naming a bishop without the knowledge of the metropolitan. On Nov. 6, 513, the petition was granted with a few reservations, Symmachus allowing only the usufruct to be devoted to cloisters and the like.

Synods after 523.

Little is known of the life of Cæsarius between 514 and 523, although the canons of the Council of Gerunda in 516-517 show that his influence was traceable in Spain. In 523, however, it became possible for him to exercise his metropolitan functions, since the peaceable intervention of Theodoric in the Franko-Burgundian War brought ten cities of Burgundy under the sway of the Ostrogoths. Cæsarius now held five synods: Arles, 524; Carpentras, 527; Orange and Vaison, 529; and Marseilles, 533. The disciplinary and legislative activity of Cæsarius accordingly lies in the Statuta ecclesiœ antiqua and in the canons of the six synods, to which should probably be added the decrees of what is commonly considered the second synod of Arles. Stress should also be laid on his care for the rural communities and for the erection of schools for the education of the clergy. As early as the Statuta, moreover, Cæsarius had taken for granted the right and duty of preaching, and he insisted on it again in the Admonitio, which seems to have appeared at the synod of Vaison. The Council of Orange (June 3, 529) was the only one devoted to a dogmatic question, and also the only one which received papal sanction as an ecumenical council. This was apparently the conference of bishops of Vienne (mentioned in the Vita), who, as Semi-Pelagians, attacked the doctrine of grace taught at Arles, while Cyprian, bishop of Toulon, represented Cæsarius, who was prevented by illness from attending, and defended the dogma of prevenient grace. The epilogue of its resolutions, apparently written by Cæsarius himself, ascribes free will to all the baptized, and rejects predestination to damnation. His own position toward this problem first became clear in 1896, when Morin edited the treatise Quid dominus Cœsarius senserit contra eos qui dicunt quare aliis det Deus gratiam, aliis non det, in which he maintains that divine grace works without regard to the merits of man, while God acts according to his will and pleasure.

The close of the second decade of the sixth century saw the climax of the activity of Cæsarius, and his relations with Rome changed for the worse. Pope Agapetus charged him with cruelty and injustice in his proceedings against Contumeliosus, bishop of Riez, although he had acted simply in accord with Gallican usage and had defended the discipline of the Church. Under Pope Vigilius he was obliged, as vicar of the Roman See, to render a decision in a question of marriage, which was disregarded. Old and sickly, he took no personal part in the French synods, although the ecclesiastical influence of his pupils remained important. He lived, however, to see the cloister which he had


founded on Aug. 26, 512 or 513, in a flourishing condition, and to complete a bishopric of forty years.


No collected edition of the works of Cæsarius exists as yet, although the Benedictine Germaine Morin has long been preparing one, but the places in which his scattered writings may be found are given by Arnold, 435-450 (cf. 491-496), Malnory, v.-xviii., and Fessler-Jungmann, 438, 452. In addition to the works already mentioned, his most important writings are his sermons. His chief sources, often noted in his manuscript, were Augustine, Rufinus, Faustus, Salvianus, and Eucherius, and his generosity in giving of his treasures to others has resulted in the ascription of many of his sermons to Augustine, Faustus, and similar authors. On the other hand, he prepared homiliaries, represented by Cod. Laon. 121 (ninth century) and Parisin. 10605 fol. 71 (thirteenth century). A similar collection contains forty-two admonitions, and a third is devoted to sermons for the cloister. A special category is formed by the homilies for the Old Testament lessons for each fast, and these are supplemented by interpretations of texts of the New Testament. Another group of sermons is eschatological and a third is important for the history of penance. His monastery rules are extremely valuable for the history of asceticism, and his regulations for nuns, based on Augustine's letter Ad sanctimoniales, the so-called rules of Macarius, and his own monastic rules, received their final form in 534 and clearly show the various strata of their development. Of the other writings of Cæsarius, only the letters need be considered, for the Testamentum beati Cœsarii (MPL, lxvii. 1139–42) is now recognized as spurious.


BIBLIOGRAPHY: Sources for a life are: Epist. Arelatenses, in MGH, Epist., iii. 1-83, ed. W. Gundlach, Hanover, 1891; Concilia œvi Merovingici, in MGH, Leg., sectio iii., part 1, pp. 37-61, ed. Maassen, ib. 1893. The early lives are in MGH, Script. rer. Merovingicarum, iii. 457-501, ed. B. Krusch, ib. 1898, and in ASB, 27 Aug., vi. 64-83, with comment by Stilting, pp. 50-64. Consult: A. Malnory, S. Césaire évêque d'Arles, Paris, 1894; C. F. Arnold, Cäsarius von Arelate und die gallische Kirche seiner Zeit, Leipsic, 1894; Histoire littéraire de la France, iii. 190, iv. 1, x., p. xv., xii., p. vii.; J. M. Trichaud, Histoire de S. Césaire, évêque d'Arles, Arles, 1858; U. Villevieille, Histoire de S. Césaire, Aix-en-Provence, 1884; P. Lejay, Les Sermons de Césaire d'Arles, in Revue biblique, iv. (1895) 593-610; J. Fessler, Institutiones patrologiæ, ed. B. Jungmann, ii. 438-452, Innsbruck, 1896; G. Pfeilschifter, Der Ostgothen König Theoderich der Grosse und die katholische Kirche, pp. 123-136, Münster, 1896; Hefele, Conciliengeschichte, ii. 68-77, Eng. transl., iv. 131, 143 sqq.


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