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St Boniface I (d. 422)

Zosimus (d. 418)


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(antipope 27 Dec. 418–3 Apr. 419: d. 423)

*Zosimus had hardly been buried when the deacons of the Roman church, with a handful of presbyters, barricaded themselves on 27 Dec. in the Lateran basilica and elected Eulalius, his archdeacon and probably, like him, a Greek, as his successor. On 28 Dec. the great majority of the presbyters elected their elderly colleague Boniface. On Sunday 29 Dec. both men were separately consecrated, Eulalius in the Lateran by the bishop of Ostia, who customarily ordained the bishop of Rome. The prefect of the city, the pagan Symmachus, immediately dispatched a report favourable to Eulalius to Emperor Honorius (393–423) at Ravenna, who accepted him as pope. Having soon received, however, from the Roman presbyters a different account of the election from Symmachus', Honorius summoned both contestants before a synod of bishops meeting at Ravenna. When this reached no conclusion, he deferred the case to a more representative council, including bishops from Gaul and Africa, which should meet at Spoleto on 13 June 419; in the meantime both bishops should withdraw from Rome and the bishop of Spoleto, Achilleus, should take charge of the Easter ceremonies there on 30 Mar. Boniface complied, but Eulalius, determined to establish his position by presiding at the Easter services, returned to Rome on 18 Mar. and occupied the Lateran basilica by force. This proved his undoing, for it sparked off civil disorders, and the prefect expelled him from the city. On 3 Apr. an imperial edict was published excluding him from the see and confirming the appointment of Boniface; the projected council of Spoleto was dropped. Eulalius accepted the decision, retiring at first to Antium (Anzio, 60 km from Rome), but he and his supporters seem to have retained hopes that he might stage a comeback; falling ill shortly afterwards, Boniface warned the emperor that the schism might break out afresh in the event of his death. In fact, when the pope died in Sept. 422, Eulalius made no attempt to recover the see although pressed to do so by his partisans. LP reports that he was assigned a provincial see, although its editions differ as to whether it was in Tuscany or in Campania. He died in 423.

Further Reading

Collectio Avellana, Epp. 14–36 (CSEL 35: 59–84)JW i. 51 f.LP i, pp. lxii, 88 f., 227–9Caspar i. 361–4DCB ii. 277–9DHGE xv. 1385 (H. Marot)Haller i. 130 f.Seppelt i. 154 f.

Subjects: Christianity.

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