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AUREA


108


AURELIUS


Auxerre in France, b. 573, d. 603. Beingof noble birth, he was brought up in the royal court, but evinced a desire to enter the clerical state, was ordained priest by St. Syagrius of Autun, and eventually was made Bishop of Auxerre. His administration is noted for certam important disciphnary measures that throw light on the religious and moral life of the Merovin- gian times. He caused solemn litanies to be said •daily in the chief centres of population, by rotation, and on the first day of each month in the larger towns and monasteries. He enforced a regular daily attendance at the Divine Office on the part both of regular and secular clergy. He held (581 or 585) an important synod of four bishops, seven abbots, thirty- five priests, and four deacons, for the restoration of ■ecclesiastical discipline and the suppression of pop- ular pagan superstitions, and caused the lives of his predecessors Amator and Germanus to be written. He was buried at Auxerre, where he has always been held in veneration. His remains were later en- closed in a golden chest, but were partially dispersed by the Huguenots in 1567. A portion, however, was placed in the hollow pillar of a crypt, and saved. His feast is celebrated 25 September.

Butler, Lives of the Saints, 25 September; Pener, in Acta SS., VII, September, 79-97; CocHiHD, Les Saints de Vegliae d'OrUans (1S79), 272-277; Mansi. V, 967-980.

Thomas J. Shahan.

Aurea (Golden), a title given to certain works and documents: Bulla, the charter of Emperor Charles IV, establishing (10 January, 1356), in union with the estates of the empire, the law of future imperial elections. Catena, a collection of Scriptural commentaries made by St. Thomas Aquinas. Le- genda, a collection of lives of saints (legendce) by Jacopo da Voragine, Archbishop of Genoa in the thirteenth century. Summa Hostiensis, also Sum- ma Archiepiscopi, a famous exposition of the principal parts of the Decretals of Gregory TX, by Henricus de Segusio, Cardinal of Ostia (d. 1271). Tabula, an index to the "Summa Theologica" of St. Thomas Aquinas prepared by Pietro da Bergamo.

Aurelian (Lucius Domitius Aurelianus) , Roman Emperor, 270-275, b. of humble parents, near Sirmium in Pannonia, 9 September, 214; d. 275. At the age of twenty he entered the military service, in which, because of exceptional ability and remarkable bodily strength, his advancement was rapid. On the death of Claudius he was proclaimed Emperor by the army at Sirmium, and became sole master of the Roman dominions on the suicide of his rival Quintillus, the candidate of the Senate. When Aurelian assumed the reins of government the Roman world was di- vided into three sections: the Gallo-Roman Empire, established by Postumus, comprising Gaul and Britain; the kingdom of Palmyra, which held sway over the entire Orient, including Egypt and the greater part of Asia Minor, and the Roman Empire, restricted to Italy, Africa, the Danubian Provinces, Greece, and Bithynia. On the upper Danube, Rhffitia and Northern Italy were overrun by the Juthungi, while the Vandals were preparing to invade Pannonia. The internal affairs of Rome were equally deplorable. The anarchy of the legions and the frequent revolutions in preceding reigns had shattered the imperial authority; the treasurj^ was empty and the monetary system ruined. AVith no support but that afforded by the army of the Danube, Aurelian undertook to restore the material and moral unity of the Empire, and to introduce whatever re- forms were necessary to give it stability. Enormous as this project was. in the face of so many obstacles, he succeeded in accomplishing it in less than five years. When he died, the frontiers were all restored and strongly defended, the unity of the Empire was established, the administration was reorganized, the iinances of the Empire placed on a sound footing, and


the monetary system thoroughly revised. His scheme tor the complete unification of the Empire led him to attempt to establish the worship of the sun as the supreme god of Rome. During the early years of his reign Aurelian exhibited remarkable justice and tolerance towards the Christians. In 272, when he had gained possession of Antioch, after defeating Zenobia in several battles, he was appealed to by the Christians to decide whether the "Church building" in Antioch belonged to the orthodox liishop Domnus, or to the party repre- sented by the favourite of Zenobia, Paul of Samo- sata, who had been deposed for heresy by a synod held three or four years before. His decision, based probably on the Edict of Gallienus, was that the property belonged to those who were in union with the bishops of Italy and of the city of Rome (Eus., Hist. Eccl., VII, xxvii-xxx). As this act was based on political motives, it cannot be construed into one of friendliness for the Christians. As soon as he was at liberty to carry out his schemes for internal re- form Aurelian revived the policy of his predeces- sor Valerian, threatened to rescind the Edict of Gallienus, and commenced a systematic persecution of the followers of Christ. The exact date of the inauguration of this policy is not known. It is likely, however, that an edict was issued in the summer of 275 and despatched to the governors of the provinces, but Aurelian was slain before he could put it into execution. Tradition refers to his reign a large number of Acta Martyrum, none of which is considered to be authentic (Dom Butler, "Journal of Theological Studies", 1906, VII, 306). His biographer, Vopiscus, says (c. xx) that he once reproached the Roman Senate for neglecting to consult the Sibylline Books in an hour of imminent peril. "It would seem", he said, "as if you were holding your meetings in a church of the Christians instead of in a temple of all the gods"; from which statement it has been rightly inferred that "the de- cline of the old faith was caused by the progress of the new, and that the buildings then used for the worship of the Christians were becoming more and more consjiicuous ".

Homo. Essai sur le rcgne de Vempereur Anrelien (P.iris, 1904j; GoRRES. Die Religionspolitik der rd?nischen Kaiser (Gallienus, Claudius II, Gothicus, Aurelian und Probus) in Zcitschr. fiir wissenschaftliche TheoL, XLVIII (new series, XIII). Oct., 1905; Diet. Christ. Biogr. s. v. Aurelian, 1, 229; Duchesne, Hist, ancienne de Veglise (Paris. 1906), I, 465- 474; Allard, Hist, des persecutions (Paris, 1885-90), III.

Patrick J. Healy.

Aureliopolis, a titular see of Lydia in Asia Minor, whose episcopal list (325-787) is given in Gams (p. 447).

Leqcien, Oriens Christ. (1740), I, 895-896; III, 959-962.

Aurelius, Archbishop of Carthage from 388 to 423. From the time of St. Cyprian, Carthage was one of the foremost sees in Christendom. Its bishop, though not formally bearing the title of Primate, confirmed the episcopal nominations in all the provinces of Africa, convoked and presided at the plenary councils, which were held almost yearly, and signed the synodal letters in the name of all the participants. Such a post Aurelius occupied witli distinction at a time when Africa held the intel- lectual leadership in the Church. His episcopate coincided with the last great effort made by the Donatists to uphold a losing cause, and with the first appearance of Pelagianism. Both these crises Aurelius met with equal decision and wisdom. A man of conciliating disposition, and a great lover of peace, his tendency to an indulgent treatment of repentant Donatists was conspicuous in the sjTiodal acts of his own church, and in the plenary councils over which he presided he consistently upheld the same moderate policy. But when the Donatists resorted to rebellion and wholesale niur-