The Ancient Library

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On this page: Germinus – Geron – Gerontius – Gerostratus – Geryon – Gesius



churches. He does not appear to have left any writings, but the Decreta of Germanus II. of Con­ stantinople, contained in the Jus Graeco-Romanum of Leunclavius, have been sometimes improperly ascribed to him. (Niceph. Gregor. Hist. Byzant. iv. 5, 8; Georg. Phranza, Chronicon^ i. 3 ; Fabr. Bill. Gr. vol. xi. p. 170, &c., L^Art de Virijwr Us Dates.) [ J. C. M.J

GERMINUS, PAULUS (UaJuXos Tepfuvos), or paulus of mysia (IlavAos 6 e/c Mvtrfas), wrote some commentaries on the orations of Lysias. Photius says he had caused the loss of many of that orator's finest productions, by asserting that they were spurious, and thus leading men to neglect them : a remarkable evidence of the credit attached to the judgment of Paulus. Paulus ascribed to I^sias the two pieces Ilepi rrjs 'IQiKpdrovs Swpeas* De Dono IpMcratis. (Phot. Bill. cod. 262 j Suidas, s. v. HavXos Tepinwos; Fabr, Bibl. Gr. vol. ii, pp. 766,770.) [J. C . M.]

GERON (Fepw^), that -is, "the old man ;" under this name Nereus was worshipped at Gy- thium in Laconia. (Paus. i. 23. § 8 ; comp. Hes. Theog. 234.) [L. S.]

GERONTIUS. 1. A Roman officer (Am-mianus calls him " comes ") who embraced the party of Magnentius, and was condemned by the em­peror Constantius II. when at Arelate (Aries), a. d. 353, to be tortured and banished. (Amm. Marc. xiv. 5.)

2. A Briton, one of the two generals appointed by the usurper Constantine to command his army, after the death of his first generals, Neviogastes and Justinian. The reputation of Gerontius and his colleague (Edovinchus, a Frank) is attested by the fact that Saras, whom Stilicho had sent to at­tack Constantine, and who was besieging the usurper in Vienna (Vienne), in Gaul, prepared for k retreat when he heard of their appointment, and escaped with loss and difficulty into Italy (a. d. 408).

When Constans, son of Constantine, whom his father had sent to subdue Spain, returned, after effecting the subjugation of that country, to his father in Gaul, he left Gerontius to guard the passes of the Pyrenees. Being sent back again, he took Justus with him as his general, and this offended the proud spirit of Gerontius, and induced him to revolt (a. d. 408). His first step was to negotiate with the barbarians (probably the Van­dals, Alans, and Suevi), who were ravaging Gaul and Spain, and the troubles he excited appear to have recalled Constantine from Italy, whither he had gone apparently, to assist, but really to de­throne Honorius. After his return, he was at­tacked by Gerontius. The insurgents had driven Constans out of Spain, where Gerontius had declared his friend (or perhaps his servant) Maximus empe­ror, and left him at Tarragona; and Constans being taken at Vienna (Vienne), was slain by order of Gerontius, and Constantine himself was be­sieged by Gerontius in Aries. But the approach of an army sent by Honorius, under his general Con­stantius, obliged Gerontius to raise the siege, and being abandoned by the greater part of his troops, who went over to Constantius, he fled towards Spain. The troops there, however, looking upon him as quite ruined, conspired to kill him. At­tacked by superior numbers, he defended himself most resolutely, and killed many of his assailants; but finding escape impossible, he put an end to his


own life, after first killing, at their own request, his wife, and a faithful Alan friend or servant, who accompanied him. The wife of Gerontius is ex­ pressly said by Sozomen to have been a Christian ; the silence of the historian leads us to suppose that Gerontius himself was a heathen. His revolt, by preventing Constantine from holding the barba­ rians in check, led to the assumption of indepen­ dence in self-defence by the Britons and Armoricans. (Zosim. vi. 1—6 ; Qros. v. 22 ; Prosp. Aquit. (J/iron.; Beda, 'Hist. Ecd. i. 11; Sozom. H. E. ix. 12, 13; Olympiod. apud Phot. Bill. cod. 80.) [J. C. M.]

GERONTIUS, bishop of Nicomedeia. He was ordained or acted as deacon at Milan under Am­ brose [ambrosius], but having asserted that he had in the night seen the she-daemon Onoscelis (i. e. " the ass-legs," so called from her form), had seized her, shaved her head, and set her to grind in the mill, Ambrosius, deeming the relator of such tales unfit for the deaconship, ordered him to remain at home for some time, and purify himself by peni­ tence or penance. Gerontius, instead of obeying, went to Constantinople, and being a man of win­ ning address, made friends at the court there, and obtained by their means the bishoprick of Nico­ medeia, to which he was ordained by Helladius, bishop of Caesareia in Cappadocia, for whose son he had, by his interest, procured a high military appointment at court. Ambrose, hearing of his appointment, wrote to Nectarius, bishop of Con­ stantinople (who held that see from a. d. 381 to 397) to depose Gerontius, and so prevent the con­ tinuance of so glaring a violation of all ecclesiastical order. Nectarius, however, could effect nothing ; but when Chrysostom, two years after his accession to the patriarchate, visited the Asiatic part of his province (a. d. 399), Gerontius was deposed. The people of Nicomedeia, to whom his kindness and attention, shown alike to rich and poor, and the benefits of his medical skill, for which he was emi­ nent, had endeared him, refused to acknowledge his successor, Pansophius, and went about the streets of Nicomedeia and of Constantinople, sing­ ing hymns and praying for the restoration of Ge­ rontius. They served to swell the number of the enemies of Chrysostom ; and in the synod of the Oak (a. d. 403), Gerontius appeared as one of his accusers. (Sozom. H. E. viii. 8; Phot. BiU. cod. 59.) [J. C. M.]

GEROSTRATUS (r^o-rparos), king of Aradus, in Phoenicia, was serving, together with the other princes of Phoenicia and Cyprus, in the Persian fleet, under Autophradates, when Alex­ ander, after the battle of Issus, advanced into Phoenicia. But his son Straton hastened to sub­ mit to the conqueror, and Gerostratus himself soon after joined Alexander, with the squadron under his command. Several of the other princes did the same, and the opportune accession of this naval force was of the most essential service to Alexan­ der in the siege of Tyre, B. c. 332. (Arrian, ii. 13, 20.) [E. H. B.]

GERYON or GERY'ONES (Typvov-ns), a son of Chrysaor and Calirrhoe, a fabulous king of Hes- peria, who is described as a being with three heads, and possessing magnificent oxen in the island of Erytheia. He acts a prominent part in the stories of Heracles. (Apollod. ii. 5. § 10 ; comp. heracles.) [L. S.]

GESIUS (retries), an eminent physician, called

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