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

was born at Arles about A. D. 476, of a very illustrious family, which numbered among its members and connexions many of the most illustrious personages of that epoch.

Having been despoiled while yet a boy of all his patrimony by the Visigoths, he was educated at Milan by an aunt, upon whose death he found himself at the age of sixteen again reduced to total destitution. From this unhappy position he was extricated by a wealthy marriage, but having been prevailed upon by St. Epiphanius to renounce the pleasures of the world, he received ordination as a deacon, and induced his wife to renter a convent. His labours in the service of the Church were so conspicuous that he was chosen

bishop of Pavia in A. D. 511, and in 514 was sent, along with Fortunatus, bishop of Catania. and others, by Pope Hormisda to Constantinople in order to combat the progress of the Eutychian heresy. The embassy having proved unsuccessful in consequence of the emperor, who was believed to be favourable to the opinions in question, having refused to acknowledge the authority of the Roman pontiff, Ennodius was despatched a second time in 517, along with Peregrinus, bishop of Misenum, bearing a confession of faith, which the eastern churches were invited or rather required to subscribe. On this occasion the envoy was treated with great harshness by Anastasius, who not only dismissed him with ignominy, but even sought his life, by causing him to embark in a crazy vessel, which was strictly forbidden to touch at any Grecian port. Having escaped this danger, Ennodius returned to his diocese, where he occupied himself with religious labours until his death in A. D. 521, on the 17th of July, the day which after his canonization was observed as his festival.