Eleutherius

, bishop of Rome, was a native of Nicopolis, and flourished in the second century. He was first a deacon of the church, and about the year 177 was elected bishop of Rome. Soon after his elevation, letters were addressed to him by the martyrs of Lyons, then shut up in prison, on the subject of the peculiar tenets of Montanus and his followers; the object of which was to recommend healing and temperate measures in the treatment of that sect. During the episcopate of Eleutherius, the church is said to have enjoyed much peace, notwithstanding the parties which rose up, and which zealously contended for the truth. Among these were persons headed by Florinus and filastus, both presbyters, who maintained that God was the author of evil as well as good, for which they were degraded and excommunicated. Eleutherius died in the year 192, and deserves credit for some liberal additions which be made to the pontifical code; of these, one enacted that a man should not abstain from any sort of meat that was commonly eaten; and the other, that sentence should not be pronounced against any one accused of crimes, unless he were present to make his defence. According to Bede, but the circumstance appears doubtful, | it was at this period that an embassy was sent by Lucius, king of Britain, to Rome, to request the pope to send over proper persons to explain to him and his people the nature of the Christian faith. 1

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Moreri. Lardner’s Works. Bower’s Hilt, of the Popes,