Ennodius, Magnus Felix

, bishop of Pavia in Italy, and an eminent writer, was descended from an illustrious family in Gaul, and horn in Italy about the year 473. Losing an aunt, who had brought him up, at sixteen years of age, he was reduced to very necessitous circumstances, but retrieved his affairs by marrying a young lady of great fortune and quality. He enjoyed for some time all the pleasures and advantages which his wealth could procure him; but afterwards resolved upon a more strict course of life. He entered into orders, with the consent of his lady, who likewise betook herself to a religious life. He was ordained deacon by Epiphanius, bishop of Pavia, with whom he lived in the most inviolable friendship. His application to divinity did not divert him from prosecuting, at his leisure hours, poetry and oratory, in which he had distinguished himself from his youth; and his writings gained him very great reputation. Upon the death of Epiphanius, he appears to have been elected one of the deacons of the Roman church; and in the year 603, having presented to the synod of Rome an apology for the council there, which had absolved pope Symmachus the year before, it was ordered to be inserted among the acts of the synod. He was advanced to the bishopric of Pavia about the year 511, and appointed to negociate an union between the eastern and western churches; for which purpose he took two journeys into the east, the former in the year 515, with Fortunatus, bishop of Catanaea; the latter in the year 517, with Peregrinus, bishop of Misenum. Though he did not succeed in these negotiations, he shewed his prudence and resolution in the management of them. For the emperor Anastasius, having in vain used his utmost efforts to deceive or corrupt him, after other instances of ill treatment, ordered him to be put on board an old ship; and, forbidding him to land in any part of Greece, exposed him to manifest danger, yet he arrived safe in Italy; and, returning to Padua, died there, not long after, in the year 521. His works consist of, 1. “Epistolarum ad diversos libri IX.” 2. “Panegyricus Theodorico regi Ostrogothorum dictus.” 3. “Libellus apologeticus pro Synodo Palmari.” 4. “Vita B. Epiphanii episcopi Ticinensis.” 5. “Vita B. Antonii monachi Lirinensis| 6. “Eucharisticon de Vita sua ad Elpidium.” 7. “Parasnesis didascalica ad Ambrosium & Beatum.” 8. “Proeceptum de Cellulanis Episcoporum.” 9. “Petitorium, quo absolutus est Gerontius.” 10. “Benedictio Cerei Paschalis I.” 11. “Benedictio Cerei Paschalis II.” 12. “Dietiones sacrae VI.” 13. “Dictiones scholastics VII.” 14. “Controversioe X.” 15. “Dictiones Ethicae V.” 16. “Poeinata, seu Carminum Liber I.” 17. “Epigrammata, seu Carminum Liber II.” They" were all published by Andrew Scottus at Tournay, 1610, 8vo; and by James Sirrnond at Paris, 1611, 8vo, with notes, explaining the names and titles of the persons mentioned by Ennodius, and containing a great many observations very useful tot illustrating the history of that age. Ennodius’s works are likewise printed with emendations and illustrations, at the end of the first volume of father Sirmond’s works, published at Paris in 1626[?]; and, from that edition, at Venice, 1729, folio. Dupiu observes, that there is a considerable warmth and liveliness of imagination in the writings of Ennodius but that his style is obscure, and his manner of reasoning far from exact. 1

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Gen. Dict. Cave, vol. I. Dupin. —Moreri.