Damasus

, a celebrated pope, was born at Guimaraens in Spain, and succeeded Liberius in the year 366. Ursinus, or Ursicinus, opposed his election, and caused himself to be ordained bishop of Rome, which raised a sedition, in which many of the people were murdered. Ursinus was sent into exile by order of the emperor, but, returning to Italy in the year 381, excited fresh troubles there. The Italian bishops, however, condemned him the same year, in the council of | Aquileia, and he was banished for ever by the emperor Gratian, at their request: thus Daniasus remained in peaceful possession of his seat at Rome. He held several councils, condemned Ursaces, Valens, and Auxentius; took the part of Paul in us against Meletius, excommunicated ApolUnanus, Vitalus, and Timotheus; and declared himself against the Luciferians. Datnasus had an illustrious secretary in St. Jerome. He governed the church of Rome with what the catholic writers term great glory, for eighteen years, and died in the year 384. Some of his letters remain,. Rome, 175-i, fol. with his life, in the library of the fathers, and in the Epist. Rom. Pont, of Coustant, fol. He also left some Latin verses, which may be found in Maittaire’s Corpus Poetarum. Fabricius gives a very particular account of his works. This pope is said to have introduced the custom of singing hallelujah in the church. He is more noted, however, for having extended the power and authority of the bishops of Rome, and laid the foundation of the custom of conferring upon certain bishops the title of vicars to the pope, by which they were enabled to perform several authoritative acts, which they could not by the mere virtue of episcopal power: hence the rights of bishops and synods became gradually and entirely dependent on the authority of the pope. 1

1 Moreri. Cave. Lardper. Fab. Bibl. Med. Lat, Du]>in. Saxii Oiiomast,