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Peter Chrysologus

(d. c. 450)


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(d. c.450),

archbishop of Ravenna. A native of Imola (about 30 miles west of Ravenna), Peter was a deacon there when chosen bishop of Ravenna by Valentinian III and his mother Galla Placidia, who helped him in his reforming and building projects, particularly at the port of Classis, but he cannot be certainly associated with any of the surviving mosaics at Ravenna. He enjoyed the confidence of Leo the Great, whose teaching on the Incarnation he strongly supported, urging on Eutyches the need to acquiesce in the teaching of the Roman Church. His reputation as a preacher was very high: many of his sermons, but few other works, survive. As bishop he was concerned with both the survival of paganism and the growth of abuses. He received hospitality from Germanus of Auxerre and presided at his funeral in August 446. He himself died at Imola on 31 July. He was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1729 by Benedict XIII. Feast: 30 July (formerly 4 December).

The earliest Life was written in 836 and reveals some confusion between two different bishops of Ravenna, both called Peter; it is printed in P.L., lii. 9–680 with his sermons; critical edn. by A. Olivar, Los sermones de San Pedro Crisologo (1962); Eng. tr. of selected writings by G. E. Ganss (Fathers of the Church, vol. xvii, 1953, pp. 3–287); monographs by G. Bohmer (1919) and D. L. Badisserri (1920); see also J. H. Baxter, ‘The Homilies of St Peter Chrysologus’, J.T.S., xxii (1920–1), 250–8; C. Jenkins, ‘Aspects of the Theology of St Peter Chrysologus’, C.Q.R., ciii (1927), 233–59; and R. H. McGlynn, The Incarnation in the Sermons of St Peter Chrysologus (1956).

Subjects: Christianity.


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