|Bishop of Rome|
|Papacy began||c. 174|
Rome, Roman Empire
|Feast day||26 May|
Pope Eleutherius (died 24 May 189), also known as Eleutherus, was the Bishop of Rome of the Catholic Church from c. 174 to his death.(The Vatican cites 171 or 177 to 185 or 193.) According to the Liber Pontificalis , he was a Greek born in Nicopolis in Epirus, Greece. His contemporary Hegesippus wrote that he was a deacon of the Roman Church under Pope Anicetus (c. 154–164), and remained so under Pope Soter, whom he succeeded around 174.
He is also linked to some legends, one of them being credited with receiving a letter from "Lucius, King of Britain", but is now generally considered to be a pious forgery.
The 6th-century recension of Liber Pontificalis ('Book of the Popes') known as the "Felician Catalog"includes additional commentary to the work's earlier entry on Eleutherius. One addition ascribes to Eleutherius the reissuance of a decree: "And he again affirmed that no food should be repudiated by Christians strong in their faith, as God created it, [provided] however that it is sensible and edible." Such a decree might have been issued against early continuations of Jewish dietary law and against similar laws practiced by the Gnostics and Montanists. It is also possible, however, that the editor of the passage attributed to Eleutherius a decree similar to another issued around the year 500 in order to give it greater authority.
Another addition credited Eleutherius with receiving a letter from "Lucius, King of Britain" or "King of the Britons", declaring an intention to convert to Christianity. II around 530, and Mommsen to the early 7th century. Only the last would support the conjecture that it aimed to support the Gregorian mission to the Anglo-Saxons led by Augustine of Canterbury, who encountered great difficulty with the native British Christians, as at the Synod of Chester. Indeed, the Celtic Christians invoked the antiquity of their church to generally avoid submission to Canterbury until the Norman conquest, but no arguments invoking the mission to Lucius appear to have been made by either side during the synods among the Welsh and Saxon bishops.No earlier accounts of this mission have been found. It is now generally considered to be a pious forgery, although there remains disagreement over its original purpose. Haddan, Stubbs, and Wilkins considered the passage "manifestly written in the time and tone" of Prosper of Aquitaine, secretary to Pope Leo the Great in the mid-5th century, and supportive of the missions of Germanus of Auxerre and Palladius of Galatia. Duchesne dated the entry a little later to the pontificate of Boniface
The first Englishman to mention the story was Bede 167 (a little before Eleutherius's pontificate) and credits it to Evaristus (reigned c. 99 – c. 107). In the 12th century, more details began to be added to the story. Geoffrey of Monmouth's pseudohistorical History of the Kings of Britain goes into great detail concerning Lucius and names the pope's envoys to him as Fagan and Duvian. The 12th-century Book of Llandaf placed the court of Lucius in southern Wales and names his emissaries to the pope as Elfan and Medwy. [ full citation needed ]and he seems to have taken it, not from native texts or traditions, but from The Book of the Popes . Subsequently, it appeared in the 9th-century History of the Britons traditionally credited to Nennius: The account relates that a mission from the pope baptised "Lucius, the Britannic king, with all the petty kings of the whole Britannic people". The account, however, dates this baptism to AD
An echo of this legend penetrated even to Switzerland. In a homily preached at Chur and preserved in an 8th- or 9th-century manuscript, Timothy is represented as an apostle to Gaul, whence he went into Roman Britain and baptised a king named Lucius, who himself became a missionary to Gaul and finally settled at Chur, where he preached the gospel with great success. In this way Lucius, the early missionary of the Swiss district of Chur, became identified with the alleged British king of the Liber Pontificalis.
Harnack suggests that in the document which the compiler of the Liber Pontificalis drew his information, the name found was not Britanio, but Britio. Now this is the name ( Birtha-, Britium) of the fortress of Edessa.The king in question is, therefore, Lucius Ælius Septimus Megas Abgar IX, of Edessa, a Christian king as is well known. The original statement of the Liber Pontificalis, in this hypothesis, had nothing to do with Britain; the compiler of the Liber Pontificalis changed Britio to Brittanio, and in this way made a British king of the Syrian Lucius.
According to the Liber Pontificalis, Pope Eleutherius died on 24 May and was buried on the Vatican Hill (in Vaticano) near the body of Peter the Apostle. Later tradition has his body moved to the church of San Giovanni della Pigna, near the pantheon. In 1591, his remains were again moved to the church of Santa Susanna at the request of Camilla Peretti, the sister of Pope Sixtus V. His feast is celebrated on 26 May.
Ambrosius Aurelianus was a war leader of the Romano-British who won an important battle against the Anglo-Saxons in the 5th century, according to Gildas. He also appeared independently in the legends of the Britons, beginning with the 9th-century Historia Brittonum. Eventually he was transformed into the uncle of King Arthur, the brother of Arthur's father Uther Pendragon, as a ruler who precedes and predeceases them both. He also appears as a young prophet who meets the tyrant Vortigern; in this guise, he was later transformed into the wizard Merlin.
The Liber Pontificalis is a book of biographies of popes from Saint Peter until the 15th century. The original publication of the Liber Pontificalis stopped with Pope Adrian II (867–872) or Pope Stephen V (885–891), but it was later supplemented in a different style until Pope Eugene IV (1431–1447) and then Pope Pius II (1458–1464). Although quoted virtually uncritically from the 8th to 18th centuries, the Liber Pontificalis has undergone intense modern scholarly scrutiny. The work of the French priest Louis Duchesne, and of others has highlighted some of the underlying redactional motivations of different sections, though such interests are so disparate and varied as to render improbable one popularizer's claim that it is an "unofficial instrument of pontifical propaganda."
Pope Anicetus was the bishop of Rome from c. 157 to his death in April 168. According to the Annuario Pontificio, the start of his papacy may have been 153. Anicetus actively opposed Gnosticism and Marcionism. He welcomed Polycarp of Smyrna to Rome, to discuss the controversy over the date for the celebration of Easter.
The Battle of Badon also known as the Battle of Mons Badonicus was a battle purportedly fought between Celtic Britons and Anglo-Saxons in Britain in the late 5th or early 6th century. It was credited as a major victory for the Britons, stopping the encroachment of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms for a period.
The History of the Britons is a purported history of the indigenous British (Brittonic) people that was written around 828 and survives in numerous recensions that date from after the 11th century. The Historia Brittonum is commonly attributed to Nennius, as some recensions have a preface written in his name. Some experts have dismissed the Nennian preface as a late forgery, arguing that the work was actually an anonymous compilation.
Nennius — or Nemnius or Nemnivus — was a Welsh monk of the 9th century. He has traditionally been attributed with the authorship of the Historia Brittonum, based on the prologue affixed to that work. This attribution is widely considered a secondary tradition.
Mordred or Modred is a character who is variously portrayed in the Arthurian legend. The earliest known mention of a possibly historical Medraut is in the Welsh chronicle Annales Cambriae, wherein he and Arthur are ambiguously associated with the Battle of Camlann in a brief entry for the year 537. His figure seemed to have been regarded positively in the early Welsh tradition and may have been related to that of Arthur's son.
Brutus, or Brute of Troy, is a legendary descendant of the Trojan hero Aeneas, known in medieval British history as the eponymous founder and first king of Britain. This legend first appears in the Historia Brittonum, an anonymous 9th-century historical compilation to which commentary was added by Nennius, but is best known from the account given by the 12th-century chronicler Geoffrey of Monmouth in his Historia Regum Britanniae.
Cadwaladr ap Cadwallon was king of Gwynedd in Wales from around 655 to 682 AD. Two devastating plagues happened during his reign, one in 664 and the other in 682; he himself was a victim of the second. Little else is known of his reign.
Cadwallon ap Cadfan was the King of Gwynedd from around 625 until his death in battle. The son and successor of Cadfan ap Iago, he is best remembered as the King of the Britons who invaded and conquered the Kingdom of Northumbria, defeating and killing its king, Edwin, prior to his own death in battle against Oswald of Bernicia. His conquest of Northumbria, which he held for a year or two after Edwin died, made him the last Briton to hold substantial territory in eastern Britain until the rise of the House of Tudor. He was thereafter remembered as a national hero by the Britons and as a tyrant by the Anglo-Saxons of Northumbria.
Leir was a legendary king of the Britons whose story was recounted by Geoffrey of Monmouth in his pseudohistorical 12th-century History of the Kings of Britain. According to Geoffrey's genealogy of the British dynasty, Leir's reign would have occurred around the 8th century BC, around the time of the founding of Rome. The story was modified and retold by William Shakespeare in his Jacobean tragedy King Lear.
Historia regum Britanniae, originally called De gestis Britonum, is a pseudohistorical account of British history, written around 1136 by Geoffrey of Monmouth. It chronicles the lives of the kings of the Britons over the course of two thousand years, beginning with the Trojans founding the British nation and continuing until the Anglo-Saxons assumed control of much of Britain around the 7th century. It is one of the central pieces of the Matter of Britain.
Lucius is a legendary 2nd-century King of the Britons and saint traditionally credited with introducing Christianity into Britain. Lucius is first mentioned in a 6th-century version of the Liber Pontificalis, which says that he sent a letter to Pope Eleutherius asking to be made a Christian. The story became widespread after it was repeated in the 8th century by Bede, who added the detail that after Eleutherius granted Lucius' request, the Britons followed their king in conversion and maintained the Christian faith until the Diocletianic Persecution of 303. Later writers expanded the legend, giving accounts of missionary activity under Lucius and attributing to him the foundation of certain churches.
Aurelius Conanus or Aurelius Caninus was a Brittonic king in 6th-century sub-Roman Britain. The only certain historical record of him is in the writings of his contemporary Gildas, who excoriates him as a tyrant. However, he may be identified with one of the several similarly named figures active in Britain during this period. In the 12th century Geoffrey of Monmouth adapted Gildas' account for his chronicle Historia Regum Britanniae, and thereafter Aurelius Conanus was remembered as a legendary King of Britain.
The Treachery of the Long Knives was a pseudohistorical massacre of British Celtic chieftains by Anglo-Saxon soldiers at a peace conference on Salisbury Plain in the 5th century. The story is not included in any contemporary accounts, but does feature centuries later in the semi-mythological histories of the Historia Brittonum and the Historia Regum Britanniae. Though a popular cautionary tale in medieval Europe, no historical evidence for The Treachery of the Long Knives exists, and the story has been widely debunked as a purely literary construction by historians.
Octa was an Anglo-Saxon King of Kent during the 6th century. Sources disagree on his relationship to the other kings in his line; he may have been the son of Hengist or Oisc, and may have been the father of Oisc or Eormenric. The dates of his reign are unclear, but he may have ruled from 512 to 534 or from 516 to 540. Despite his shadowy recorded history Octa made an impact on the Britons, who describe his deeds in several sources.
Quintus Laberius Durus was a Roman military tribune who died during Julius Caesar's second expedition to Britain. Caesar describes how soon after landing in Kent, the Romans were attacked whilst building a camp by the native Britons. Before re-inforcements could arrive, Laberius was killed. His burial site is traditionally the earthworks of Julliberrie's Grave near Chilham.
The Battle of Guoloph, also known as the Battle of Wallop, took place in the 5th century. Various dates have been put forward: 440 AD by Alfred Anscombe, 437 AD according to John Morris, and 458 by Nikolai Tolstoy. It took place at what is now Nether Wallop, 15 kilometers southeast of Amesbury, in the district of Test Valley, northeastern Hampshire. The battle was an internal conflict between the rival Britonnic forces of Ambrosius Aurelianus and Vortigern (Vitalinus).
Fagan, also known by other names including Fugatius, was a legendary 2nd-century Welsh bishop and saint, said to have been sent by the pope to answer King Lucius's request for baptism and conversion to Christianity. Together with his companion St Deruvian, he was sometimes reckoned as the apostle of Britain.
Deruvian, also known by several other names including Damian, was a possibly legendary 2nd-century bishop and saint, said to have been sent by the pope to answer King Lucius's request for baptism and conversion to Christianity. Together with his companion St Fagan, he was sometimes reckoned as the apostle of Britain. King Lucius's letter may represent earlier traditions but does not appear in surviving sources before the 6th century; the names of the bishops sent to him does not appear in sources older than the early 12th century, when their story was used to support the independence of the bishops of St Davids in Wales and the antiquity of the Glastonbury Abbey in England. The story became widely known following its appearance in Geoffrey of Monmouth's pseudohistorical History of the Kings of Britain. This was influential for centuries and its account of SS Fagan and Deruvian was used during the English Reformation to support the claims of both the Catholics and Protestants. Geoffrey's account is now considered wholly implausible, but Christianity was well-established in Roman Britain by the third century. Some scholars therefore argue the stories preserve a more modest account of the conversion of a Romano-British chieftain, possibly by Roman emissaries by these names.
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