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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. 108-109.

The Lives of the Popes,
B. Platina

Volume I.

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A.D. 461-468.

HILARIUS, a Sardinian, the son of Crispinus, continued in the chair till the time of the Emperor Leo, who being chosen Emperor upon the death of Marcianus, creates his son, of his own name, Augustus. During his reign the Roman State suffered very much by reason of certain ambitious men, who endeavoured to get the government into their own hands. And Genseric, the Vandal king, being tempted with so fair an opportunity, sails out of Africa into Italy with design to gain the empire for himself. Leo having intelligence hereof, sends Basilicus a patrician, with a mighty fleet, to the assistance of Anthemius, the emperor of the west. These two, with joint force and courage, meet Genseric near Populonia, and force him to an engagement at sea, in which being routed with a great slaughter of his men, he was glad to make an inglorious flight into Africa again. In the meantime, Ricimer, a Patrician, having on the mountains of Trent conquered Biorgus, king of the Alanes, and being puffed up with that victory, was purposed to attempt the city of Rome, had not Epiphanius, bishop of Pavia, made him and Anthemius friends.

Hilary, notwithstanding this confused state of things, did not neglect the care of ecclesiastical affairs, for he ordained that no bishop should choose his own successor (a constitution which belongs as well to all other ecclesiastical degrees as that of Episcopacy); he also made a decretal which he dispersed throughout Christendom; and wrote certain epistles concerning the Catholic faith, by which the three synods of Nice, Ephesus, and Chalcedon were confirmed, and the heretics Eutyches, Nestorius, and Dioscorus, with their adherents, condemned. In the baptistery of the Lateran church he built three oratories, which were adorned with gold and precious stones, their gates of brass covered with wrought silver; those he dedicated to St John Baptist, St John Evangelist, and St Cross. In the last of these was reposited some of the wood of the cross, enclosed in gold and set with jewels, and a golden agnus upon a pillar of onyx. He added moreover the oratory of St Stephen, built two libraries adjoining, and founded a monastery. I shall not here recite the almost 109 numberless donations which he made to several churches of gold, silver, marble, and jewels. Some tell us that Germanus, bishop of Auxerre,1 and Lupus, bishop of Troyes, lived in his time, both great supporters of the Christian cause, which was now very much undermined by the endeavours of the Gentiles and Pelagians. Gennadius, also bishop of Constantinople, did great service to the church by the integrity of his life and the excellency of his parts and learning. During the pontificate of our Hilary, Victorinus of Aquitain, a famous arithmetician, reduced the Easter account to the course of the moon, far out-doing Eusebius and Theophilus, who had attempted it before him. And among those that flourished at this time, by some is reckoned Merline, the famous English bard, concerning whom we are told more than enough. As for Hilary himself, having performed the duty of a good bishop, both in building and adorning of churches, and also in teaching, admonishing, censuring, and giving alms where need required, and having also ordained twenty-five presbyters, five deacons, twenty-two bishops, he died, and was buried in the sepulchre of St Laurence, near the body of Bishop Sixtus. He sat in the chair seven years, three months, ten days, and by his death the see was vacant ten days.


 1  He died in 348. See under Celestine. — ED.

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Previous Pope:  47. Leo I. The Great. 48. Hilarius I. Next Pope: 49. Simplicius I.

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