[Back] [Blueprint] [Next]

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. 45-46.

The Lives of the Popes,
B. Platina

Volume I.

—————0 —————


A.D. 235-236.

ANTERUS, a Grecian, the son of Romulus, was made bishop of Rome in the time of Maximine; who A.U.C. 987, having fortunately managed the war in Germany, was elected emperor by the army without any authority of the Senate.

He was a man of a mighty stature, being about eight feet high; and had a foot of such a magnitude, that it is since become proverbial, when men talk of a tall silly fellow, to say, “He needs Maximine’s hose.” His wife’s bracelet served him only for a ring; and his appetites was so large, that he would drink a rundlet of nine gallons of wine at a sitting. He raised the sixth persecution against the Christians, but in the third year of his reign, himself, together with his son Maximine, was slain by Pupienus at Aquileia, a city which he besieged, and so an end was put to his life and that persecution together; by which means Mammæa, a Christian lady, and the famous Origen, the blood of both which he very much thirsted for, 46 escaped his cruelty. It is reported, that during this siege of Aquileia, when their bowstrings failed, the women of the city supplied that want with their hair; for which reason, in honour to those matrons, the Senate dedicated a temple to Venus the Bald.

Anterus was the first who, for the sake of one Maximus a martyr, ordained that the acts of the martyrs diligently searched after should be committed to writing by certain notaries appointed for that purpose, and being written should be deposited in the treasury of the church, that so the memory of good men might not perish with their lives. He ordered likewise that no bishop should be translated from his first bishopric to another for his private need or benefit, but only for the sake of the flock committed to him, and by the leave of the supreme bishop — a constitution which at this day is made void by common practice; for now the prelates being intent upon their own profit and pleasure, are always looking out for a fatter; not that they are at all inquisitive how they may feed a larger flock, but the great enquiry is, how much any see may be made worth yearly. There is very little discourse among them concerning the care of souls, but very much concerning the increase of their revenues, that thereby they may be able to keep more horses, and have a greater retinue of useless lubberly servants. In his time flourished Julius Africanus, an eminent writer, who, as Eusebius tells us, founded a famous library at Cesarea. This Julius, in the reign of M. Aurelius Antoninus, undertook an embassy for the rebuilding the city of Emmaus, which, as I have already said, was afterwards called Nicopolis. He wrote also an epistle to Origen, showing that the story of Susanna was not received among the Jews: against whom Origen afterwards penned a large epistle upon that argument. At this time likewise flourished Geminus, a presbyter of the Church of Antioch, and Heraclas, patriarch of the Church of Alexandria. As for Anterus himself, having consecrated only one bishop, he suffered martyrdom, and was interred in the cemetery of Calistus in the Via Appia, on the 3rd of January. He was in the chair one year, one month, twelve days, and the see was then vacant thirteen days.

——————————0 ——————————

Previous Pope:  19. St. Pontianus. 20. St. Anterus. Next Pope: 21. St. Fabianus.

——————————0 ——————————

[Back] [Blueprint] [Next]