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Ticonius, also spelled Tyconius or Tychonius (active 370–390 AD) was an African Donatist writer whose conception of the City of God influenced St. Augustine of Hippo (who wrote a book on the same topic).

Augustine of Hippo Early Christian theologian, philosopher and Church Father

Saint Augustine of Hippo was a Roman African, early Christian theologian and philosopher from Numidia whose writings influenced the development of the Western Church and Western philosophy, and indirectly all of Western Christianity. He was the bishop of Hippo Regius in North Africa and is viewed as one of the most important Church Fathers of the Latin Church for his writings in the Patristic Period. Among his most important works are The City of God, De doctrina Christiana, and Confessions.


Life and doctrine

He appears to have had some influence on Augustine of Hippo. He defended a milder form of Donatism than Parmenianus. He admitted a church outside his own sect and rejected the rebaptism of Catholics. Parmenianus wrote a letter against him, quoted by Augustine. [1] [2] Otherwise almost all we know of him is contained in Gennadius: [3]

Rebaptism in Christianity is the baptism of a person who has previously been baptized, usually in association with a denomination that does not recognize the validity of the previous baptism. When a denomination rebaptizes members of another denomination, it is a sign of significant differences in theology. Churches that practice exclusive adult baptism, including Baptists and Churches of Christ rebaptize those who were baptized as infants because they do not consider infant baptism to be valid.

Gennadius of Massilia, also known as Gennadius Scholasticus or Gennadius Massiliensis, was a 5th-century Christian priest and historian.

"Tichonius an African was learned in theology, sufficiently instructed in history, not ignorant of secular knowledge. He wrote books, De bello intestino and Expositiones diversarum causarum [these are both Donatist apologies]: in which, to defend his side, he quotes ancient synods; from which he is seen to have been of the Donatist party. He composed eight [should be seven] rules for discovering the meaning of the Scriptures, which he arranged in one book. He also explained the whole Apocalypse of John, understanding all of it in a spiritual sense, nothing carnally. In this exposition he said that the body [of man] is the dwelling-place of an angel. He denied the idea of a kingdom of the righteous on earth lasting a thousand years after the resurrection. Nor did he admit two future resurrections of the dead in the flesh, one of the good and one of the bad, but only one of all, in which the misbegotten and deformed will rise too, so that no part of the human race ever animated by a soul shall perish. He showed the distinction of the resurrection really to be that we must believe that there is a revelation of the righteous now in this world, when those justified by faith rise by baptism from the death of sin to the reward of the eternal life, and the second [resurrection] to be the general one of all flesh. He flourished at the same time as Tyrannius Rufinus; in the reign of Theodosius I and his son". [4]

Tyrannius Rufinus

Tyrannius Rufinus, also called Rufinus of Aquileia, was a monk, historian, and theologian. He is best known as a translator of Greek patristic material into Latin — especially the work of Origen.

Theodosius I Roman emperor

Theodosius I, also known as Theodosius the Great, was a Roman Emperor from 379 to 395, and the last emperor to rule over both the Eastern and the Western halves of the Roman Empire. On accepting his elevation, he campaigned against Goths and other barbarians who had invaded the Empire. His resources were not sufficient to destroy them or drive them out, which had been Roman policy for centuries in dealing with invaders. By treaty, which followed his indecisive victory at the end of the Gothic War, they were established as foederati, autonomous allies of the Empire, south of the Danube, in Illyricum, within the Empire's borders. They were given lands and allowed to remain under their own leaders, a grave departure from Roman hegemonic ways. This turn away from traditional policies was accommodationist and had grave consequences for the Western Empire from the beginning of the century, as the Romans found themselves with the impossible task of defending the borders and deal with unruly federates within. Theodosius I was obliged to fight two destructive civil wars, successively defeating the usurpers Magnus Maximus in 387–388 and Eugenius in 394, though not without material cost to the power of the Empire.

This gives 379–423 AD as extreme dates of his life.


Ticonius's best known work, the Seven Rules of Interpretation (for the Bible), is quoted and explained by St. Augustine in De doctrina christiana [5] and his authority gave them great importance for many centuries in the West. St. Bede too quotes them. [6]

Ticonius wrote a commentary on the Apocalypse of John, which explains the Apocalypse in light of his seven rules. His interpretation of the Apocalypse is amillennial.

Amillennialism, or amillenarism, in Christian eschatology, involves the rejection of the belief that Jesus will have a literal, thousand-year-long, physical reign on the earth. This rejection contrasts with premillennial and some postmillennial interpretations of chapter 20 of the Book of Revelation.



Tyconius defended the Nicene doctrine of the homoousios, by stating:

[In the image of the Son] sitting with [the Father], he shows that the Son participates in the power of the Father. For what else does it mean that he is seated on the throne of the Father than that he is of one and the same substance? For God the Son is powerful, who in the Father is everywhere and by his own power fills the heaven and the earth.

Commentary on the Apocalypse 3.21

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  1. "I, i", Contra ep. Parmeniani.
  2. Patrologia Latina , XVIII, 33.
  3. "XVIII", De vir illustr..
  4. Bernoulli, ed. (1895), Freiburg and Leipzig, pp. 68–69.
  5. III, 30–37; P.L., XXIV, 81–90.
  6. Explanatio apocalpsis; P.L., XCIII, 130–32.

Wikisource-logo.svg  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Ticonius"  . Catholic Encyclopedia . New York: Robert Appleton.