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History of the Christian Church, Volume IV: Mediaeval Christianity. A.D. 590-1073.
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§ 158. St. Paulinus of Aquileia.


I. Sanctus Paulinus, patriarcha Aquileiensis: Opera omnia, in Migne, Tom. XCIX. col. 9–684, reprint of Madrisius’ ed., Venice, 1737, folio, 2d ed. 1782. His poems are given by Dümmler: Poet. Lat. aevi Carolini I. (Berlin, 1880), pp. 123–148.

II. Vita Paulini, by Madrisius in Migne’s ed. col. 17–130. Cf. Du Pin, VI. 124. Ceillier, XII. 157–164. Hist. litt. de la France, IV. 284–295; Bähr: Geschichte der römischen Literatur im Karolingischen Zeitalter, Carlsruhe, 1840 (pp. 88, 356–359); Ebert, II., 89–91.


Paulinus, patriarch of Aquileia, was born about 72610821082    Migne, l.c. Vita II. v. (col. 30, 1. 4). in Forum Julii, now Friuli, near Venice. He entered the priesthood, was employed in teaching and arrived at eminence as a scholar. He played a prominent part in the affairs of his country, and his services in suppressing a Lombard insurrection met, in the year 776, with recognition and reward by Charlemagne, who gave him an estate and in 787 elevated him to the patriarchal see of Aquileia.10831083    Jaffè, Mon. Alc., p. 162. He carried on a successful mission among the Carinthians, a tribe which lived near Aquileia, and also another among their neighbors, the Avari (the Huns).10841084    At the request of Alcuin he wrote explicit directions for their conversion and baptism. Ebert ii. p. 89. Mon. Alc., ed. Jaffè, p. 311-318. Alc. Epist. 56. Ed. Migne, Epist. 39 (C. col. 198). He opposed with vigor the Adoptionists, and his writings contributed much to the extinction of the sect. He lived entirely for God and his church, and won the hearts of his spiritual children. Perhaps the most striking proof of his virtue is the warm friendship which existed between himself and Alcuin. The latter is very, enthusiastic in his praise of the learning and accomplishments of Paulinus. Charlemagne seems to have valued him no less.10851085    Madrisius devotes a chapter of his biography to Paulinus’ friendships with the illustrious men of his time. Migne, l.c. Vita, XVI. (col. 109-117). With such encouragement Paulinus led a busy and fruitful life, participating in synods and managing wisely his see until his death on January 11, 804.10861086    Migne, l.c. col. 149, 1. 2 Very, soon thereafter he was popularly numbered among the saints,10871087    Vita XVII. iii. (col. 118). and stories began to be told of his miraculous powers.10881088    Ibid. XIV. xvi. (col 100). His bones were deposited in the high altar of the collegiate church of Friuli, or as the place was called Civitas Austriae. The church underwent repairs, and his bones were for a time laid by those of the martyr Donatus, but at length on January 26, 1734, they were separated and with much pomp placed in the chapel under the choir of the great basilica of Friuli.10891089    Ibid. XVII. vii viii. (col. 123-126). Madrisius prints the oration delivered on the latter occasion (col. 133-142).

The writings of Paulinus comprise (1) Brief treatise against Elipandus,10901090    Libellus sacrosyllabus contra Elipandum, Migne, XCIX. col. 151-166. archbishop of Toledo and primate of Spain, who is generally regarded as the father of Adoptionism. It was issued in the name of the council of Frankfort-on-the-Main (794), and sent into Spain. It was first published by Jean de Tillet, in 1549. (2) Three books against Felix of Urgel,10911091    Contra Felicem Urgellitanum episcopum libri tres., ibid. col. 343-468. also against the Adoptionists. It was prepared in 796 by order of Charlemagne, and probably submitted to Alcuin, agreeably to the author’s request.10921092    Ibid. col. 468, 1. 12. It is the most important work of Paulinus, though by no means the best in point of style. The Felix addressed was bishop of Urgel and the leader of the Adoptionists. Paulinus refutes the heretics by quotations of Scripture and the Fathers. The work is elaborately annotated by Madrisius, and thus rendered much more intelligible.10931093    The writings of Felix and Elipandus are found in Migne, Patr. Lat. XCVI. (3) A deliverance by the council of Friuli, held in 796, upon the Trinity and the Incarnation.10941094    Concilium Forojuliense, Migne, XCIX. col. 283-302. (4) An exhortation to virtue,10951095    Liber exhortationis, ibid. col. 197-282. addressed to Henry, count or duke of Friuli. It was written about 795, and consists of sixty-six chapters upon the virtues to be practiced and the vices to be shunned by the duke. The style is excellent. The work was once claimed for Augustin, but this is now conceded to be an error. Nine of the chapters (x.-xv. xvii.-xix. ) are copied from The contemplative life, a work by Pomerius, a Gallican churchman of the fifth century. On the other hand, chapters xx.-xlv. have been plagiarized in an Admonitio ad filium spiritualem which was long supposed to be by Basil the Great.10961096    Col. 206, 212 n. a.

(5) Epistles. (a) To Heistulfus,10971097    Ibid. col. 181-186. who had murdered his wife on a charge of adultery preferred against her by a man of bad character. It was written from Frankfort, in 794, during the council mentioned above. Paulinus sternly rebukes Heistulfus for his crime, and tells him that if he would be saved he must either enter a monastery or lead a life of perpetual penitence, of which he gives an interesting description. The letter passed into the Canon Law about 866.10981098    Smith and Wace, Dict. Christ. Biog. s. v. Heistulfus. It has been falsely attributed to Stephen V.10991099    Madrisius in Migne, l.c. col. 185. (b) To Charlemagne,11001100    Ibid. col. 511-516. an account of the council of Altinum11011101    The present Altino, a town on the Adriatic, near Venice. in 803. (c) Fragments of three other letters to Charlemagne, and of one (probably) to Leo III.11021102    Migne, l.c. col. 503-510.

(6) Verses. (a) The rule of faith,11031103    De regula fidei, ibid. col. 467-471 a poem of one hundred and fifty-one hexameters, devoid of poetical merit, in which along with a statement of his belief in the Trinity and the Incarnation Paulinus gives a curious description of Paradise and of Gehenna, and to the latter sends the heretics, several of whom he names. (b) Hymns and verses,11041104    Hymni et rhythmi, ibid. col. 479-504. upon different subjects. (c) A poem on duke Eric.11051105    De Herico duce, ibid. col. 685-686.

(7) A Mass.11061106    Ibid. col. 625-627.

(8) The preface to a tract upon repentance11071107    Ibid. col. 627-628. which enjoins confession to God in tender words.

(9) A treatise upon baptism.11081108    Not in Migne, but in Mansi, Tom. XIII.



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