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DONATUS.

dispute, are given in another article. [caecilia-nus,] Condemned, punished, but eventually tole­rated by Constantine, fiercely persecuted by Con-stans, and favoured by Julian, the followers of this sect appear to have attained to their highest point of prosperity at the commencement of the fifth century, about which period they were ruled by four hundred bishops, and were little inferior in numbers to the Catholics of the province. The genius and perseverance of Augustin, supported by the stringent edict of Honorius (a. d. 414), vigor­ously enforced by the civil magistrates, seein to have crushed them for a time; but they revived upon the invasion of Genseric, to whom, from their disaffection to a hostile government, they lent a willing support; they were of sufficient import­ance, at a later date, to attract the attention, and call forth the angry denunciations of Pope Gre­gory the Great, and are believed to have kept their ground, and existed as an independent com­munity, until the final triumph of the Saracens and Mohommedanism. We ought to observe, that even the most violent enemies of the Donatists were unable to convict them of any serious errors in doctrine or discipline. Agreeing with their opponents upon all general principles and points of faith, they commenced simply by refusing to acknowledge the authority of Caecilianus, and were gradually led on to maintain, that salvation was restricted to their own narrow pale, because

they alone had escaped the profanation of receiving

the sacraments from the hands of traditors, or of those who, having connived at such apostacy, had forfeited all claims to the character of Christians. Asserting that they alone constituted the true universal church, they excommunicated not only those with whom they were directly at variance, but all who maintained any spiritual connexion with their adversaries; and adopting to the full extent the high pretensions of Cyprian with re­gard to ecclesiastical unity and episcopal power, insisted upon rebaptizing every one who became a proselyte to their cause, upon subjecting to purifi­cation all places of public worship which had been contaminated by the presence of their opponents, and upon casting forth the very corpses and bones of the Catholics from their cemeteries. This un­charitable spirit met with a fitting retribution ; for, at the epoch when their influence was most widely extended, dissensions arose within their own body; and about one-fourth of the whole party, separating from the sect under the denomi­nation of Maximianists, arrogated to themselves, exclusively, the prerogatives claimed by the larger faction, and hurled perdition against all who de­nied or doubted their infallibility.

Our chief authorities for all that concerns the Donatists are the works of Optatus Milevitanus and Augustin. In the edition of the former, pub­ lished by the learned and industrious Du Pin, will be found a valuable appendix of ancient documents relating to this controversy, together with a con­ densed view of its rise and progress, while the most important passages in the writings of Augus­ tin have been collected by Tillemont, in that por­ tion of his Ecclesiastical Memoirs (vol. vi.) devoted to this subject. For the series of Imperial Laws against the Donatists from a. d. 400 to 428, see Cod. Theod. xvi. tit. 5. [W. R.]

DONATUS AELIUS, or, with all his titles as they are found in MSS., Aclius Donatus Vir Clarus

PONATUS.

Orator Urbis Romae^ was a celebrated grammarian and rhetorician, who,taught at Rome in the middle of the fourth century, and was the preceptor of Saint Jerome. His most famous work is a system of Latin Grammar, which has formed the ground­work of most elementary treatises upon the same subject, from the period when he flourished down to our own times. It has usually been published in the form of two or more distinct and separate tracts : 1. Ars s. Editio Prima, de literis, syllubis, pedibus, et tonis; 2. Editio Secunda> de octo partibus orationis; to which are commonly annexed, De barbarismo; De soloecisuio; De ceteris viiiis; De melaplusmo; De sehematibus; De iropis; but in the recent edition of Lindemann these are all more correctly considered as constituting one connected whole, and are combined under one general title, taken from the Santenian MS. preserved in the Royal Library of Berlin, Donati Ars Crammatioa, tribus libris comprehensa. It was the common school-book of the middle ages; insomuch, that in the English of Longlande and Chaucer a donat or donet is equivalent to a lesson of any kind, and hence came to mean an introduction in general. Thus among the works of Bishop Pecock are enumerated The donat into Christian relic/ion, 'and The folower to. the donat, while Cotgrave quotes an old French proverb, Les diables estoient encores a leur donat, i. e. The devils were but yet in their grammar. These, and other examples, are collected in War-ton's History of English Poetry, sect. viii.

In addition to the Ars Grammatica, we possess introductions (enarrationes) and scholia, by Donatus, to five out of the six plays of Terence, those to the Heautontimorumenos having been lost. The pre­faces contain a succinct account of the source from which each piece was derived, and of the class to which it belongs ; a statement of the time at which it was exhibited ; notices respecting the distribution of the characters ; and sundry particulars connected with stage technicalities. The commentaries are full of interesting and valuable remarks and illus­trations ; but from the numerous repetitions and contradictions, and, above all, the absurd and puerile traits here and there foisted in, it is mani­fest that they have been unmercifully interpolated and corrupted by later and less skilful hands. Some critics, indeed, have gone so far as to believe that Donatus never committed his observations to writing, and that these scholia are merely scraps, compiled from the notes of pupils, of dictata or lec­tures delivered viva voce ; but this idea does not well accord with the words of St. Jerome in the first of the passages to which a reference is given at the end of this article.

Servius, in his annotations upon Virgil, refers, in upwards of forty different places, to a Donatus, who must have composed a commentary upon the Eclogues, Georgics, and Aeneid. " Scholia in Aeneida" bearing the name of Donatus, and cor­responding, for the most part, with the quotations of Servius, are still extant, but, from their inferior tone and character, have been generally ascribed to Tiberius Claudius Donatus^ who is noticed be­low. They are divided into twelve books, to which a supplemental thirteenth was to have been added ; the concluding portions of the fourth and eighth, and the commencement of the sixth and twelfth, are wanting. Their chief object is to point out the beauties and skill of the poet, rather than to explain his difficulties ; but the writer, in a letter sub-

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