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a famous heretic of the fourth century, known in church history

, a famous heretic of the fourth century, known in church history as the chief of a sect called Photinians, was a native of Ancyra, the capital of Galatia, and bishop of Sirmium, or Sirmich, the chief city of Illyricum. He had been the disciple of Marcellus, bishop of Ancyra. He spoke with ease, and his eloquence gained him great power over his people after he was consecrated bishop; but his life was corrupted, and his doctrine soon became so too. He espoused the same opinions with Paul of Samosata, and wrote with great obstinacy against the divinity of Jesus Christ, for which in the year 345 he was condemned by the council of Antioch; in the year 374, by the council of Milan. However, he still maintained his see till he was deposed by the council of Sirmich, A. D. 251, and by the emperor sent into banishment, where he spent the remainder of his life, during which time he composed a piece against all heresies in general, with an intent to establish his own. He wrote in Greek and Latin. The emperor Julian sent him a letter, commending him for denying the divinity of Jesus Christ. Photinus died A. D. 375 (377, Cave), in Galatia, whither he had been banished. This heresy was, amongst many others, anathematized in the council of Constantinople, A. D. 381. It afterwards was revived by Socinus.