From The Lives of the Popes from the Time of our Saviour Jesus Christ to the Accession of Gregory VII. Written Originally in Latin by B. Platina, Native of Cremona, and translated into English (from an anonymous translation, first printed in 1685 by Sir Paul Rycaut), Edited by William Benham, Volume I, London: Griffith, Farran, Okeden & Welsh, [1888, undated in text]; pp. 92-93.
The Lives of the Popes,
ANASTASIUS, a Roman, the son of Maximus, was made Bishop of Rome in the time of Arcadius and Honorius, the sons of Theodosius.
Our Anastasius decreed that the clergy should by no means sit at the singing or reading of the holy Gospel in the church, but stand bowed, and in a posture of veneration; and that no strangers, especially those that came from the parts beyond the seas, should be received into our holy orders, unless they could produce testimonials under the hands of five bishops. Which latter ordinance is supposed to have been occasioned by the practice of the Manichees, who, having gained a great esteem and authority in Africa, were wont to send their missionaries 93 abroad into all parts, to corrupt the orthodox doctrine by the infusion of their errors. He ordained, likewise, that no person infirm of body, or maimed, or defective of any limb or member, should be admitted into holy orders. Moreover, he dedicated the Crescentian Church, which stands in the second region of the city, in the Via Marurtina. The pontificate of this Anastasius, as also that of Damasus and Siricius, his predecessors, were signalised not only by those excellent emperors, Jovinian, Valentinian, Gratian, and Theodosius, but also by those many holy and worthy doctors, both Greek and Latin, that were famous in all kinds of learning. Cappadocia, as Eusebius tells us, brought forth Gregory Nazianzen and Basil the Great, both extraordinary persons, and both brought up at Athens. Basil was a Bishop of Cesarea of Cappadocia, a city formerly called Mazaca. He wrote diverse excellent books against Eunomius, one concerning the Holy Ghost, and the orders of a monastic life. He had two brethren, Gregory and Peter, both very learned men, of the former of which some books were extant in the time of Eusebius. Gregory Nazianzen, who was master to St Hierom, wrote also many things, particularly in praise of Cyprian, Athanasius, and Maximus the philosopher; two books against Eunomius, and one against the Emperor Julian, besides an encomium of marriage and single life in hexameter verse. By the strength of his reasoning and the power of his rhetoric (in which he was an imitator of Polemon, a man of admirable eloquence), he brought off the citizens of Constantinople from the errors with which they had been infected. At length, being very aged, he chose his own successor, and led a private life in the country. Basil died in the reign of Gratian, Gregory of Theodosius. About the same time flourished Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamine, in Cyprus, a strenuous oppugner of all kinds of heresies; as did also Ephrem, a deacon of the Church of Edessa, who composed divers treatises in the Syrian language, which gained him so great a veneration that in some churches his books were publicly read after the Holy Scriptures. Anastasius, having at two Decembrian ordinations made eight presbyters, five deacons, ten bishops, died, and was buried April 28. He was in the chair three years, ten days; and by his death the see was vacant twenty-one days.
Previous Pope: 40. Siricius I. 41. Anastasius I. Next Pope: 24. Innocentius I.