A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology

Smith, William

A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology. William Smith, LLD, ed. 1890

a Latin ecclesiastical writer, respecting whom we possess little authentic information. The following account of him is given by Gennadius, de Viris Illustribus, 100.24 : "Bachiarius, vir Christianae philosophiae, nudus et expeditus vacare Deo disponens, etiam peregrinationem propter conservandam vitae integritatem elegit. Edidisse dicitur grata opuscula: sed ego ex illis unum tantum de fide libellum legi, in quo satisfacit Pontifici urbis, adversus querulos et infamatores peregrinationis suae, et indicat, se non timore hominum, sed Dei, peregrinationem suscepisse, et exiens de terra sua cohaeres fieret Abrahamae patriarchae." To this brief account some additions of doubtful authority have been made by later writers. Bishop Bale calls him Bachiarius Maccaeus, says that he was a native of Great Britain, and a disciple of St. Patrick, and assigns the cruel oppressions under which his country was then groaning as the cause of his voluntary expatriation. Joannes Pitzeus (John Pits), the Roman Catholic chronicler, follows the account of Bale. Aubertus Miraeus (Aubert Lemire) says that Bachiarius was an Irishman, a disciple of St. Patrick, and contemporary with St. Augustin. These statements rest on no sufficient evidence; for Bale, the source of them all, is an inaccurate and injudicious writer. [*](* "The infinite fables and absurdities which this author (Bale) hath without judgment stuft himself withal." Selden, Notes on Drayton's Poly-Olbion, Song Nine.) Schönemann denies that there is any proof, that Bachiarius was a native either of Great Britain or Ireland; and, from the contents of the treatise de Fide, infers, that the author's country was at the time extensively infested with heresy, from the imputation of which he deemed it necessary to clear himself. Schönemann concurs with Muratori in thinking that this could not be the Pelagian doctrine, to which there is no reference throughout the treatise; and adopts the conclusion of Francis Florius, that the author's country was Spain, and the heresy which he was solicitous to disavow that of the Priscillianists. This notion agrees very well with the contents of the work de Fide; but as it is not supported, so far as we are aware, by any positive evidence, we are rather surprised to see it coolly assumed by Neander (Gesch. der Christ. Religion, &100.2.3, p. 1485) as indubitably true.