The Ancient Library

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army to the Danube. Again in 455, when the city lay at the niercy of the Vandals, Genseric was persuaded by the entreaties of Leo to forego his purpose of general conflagration and massacre, and to be content with pillage—a concession which, when we consider the circumstances of the case and the temper of the chief, indicates the influence of the pontiff not less forcibly than his success with Attila.

His last anxiety arose from the tumults excited in the church at Alexandria about 457 by the dis­orderly proceedings ofTimotheus Aelurus. Having united with the emperor of the East and with the patriarch of Constantinople in restoring order and discipline, and having written a congratulatory letter to the clergy of Alexandria upon the happy termination of their troubles, he soon after died, on the 10th of November, 461.

The works of Leo consist of discourses delivered on the great festivals of the church or other so­lemn occasions, and of letters.

I. Sermones. Of these we possess ninety-six. There are five De Natali ipsius, preached on an­niversaries of his ordination, six De Collectis, nine De Jejunio Decimi Mensis, ten De Natioitate Do­mini, eight In Epiphania Domini, twelve De Quad­ragesima, one De Transfiguratione Domini, nineteen De Passione Domini, two De Resurrectione Domini, two De Ascensione Domini, three De Pentecoste, four De Jejunio Pentecostes, one In Natali Apostolorum Petri et Pauli, one In Natali S. Petri Apostoli, one In Octavis Apostolorum Petri et Pauli, one In Na­tali S. Laurentii Martyris, nine De Jejunio Septimi Mensis, one De<Gradibus Ascensionis ad Beatitudi-nem, one Tractatus contra Haeresim Eutychis.

II. Epistolae. These, extending to the number of 173, are addressed to the reigning emperors and their consorts, to synods, to religious communities, to bishops and other dignitaries, and to sundry in­fluential personages connected with the ecclesiastical history of the times. They afford an immense mass of most valuable information on the prevailing heresies, controversies, and doubts, with regard to matters of doctrine, discipline, and church govern­ment.

. Besides the ninety-six Sermones and 173 Epis­tolae mentioned above, a considerable number of tracts have from time to time been ascribed to the same author ; but their authenticity is either so doubtful, or their spuriousness so evident, that they are now universally set aside. A list of these, and an investigation of their origin, will be found in the edition of the brothers Ballerini, more par­ticularly described below.

In consequence of the reputation deservedly en­joyed by Leo, his writings have always been eagerly studied. But, although a vast number of MSS. are still in existence, none of these exhibit his works in a complete form, and no attempt seems to have been made tp bring together any portion of them for many hundred years after his death. The Sermones were dispersed in the Lec-tionaria or select discourses of distinguished divines, employed in places of public worship until the eleventh century, when they first began to be picked out of these cumbrous storehouses, and transcribed separately, while the Epistolae were "gradually gathered into imperfect groups, or re­mained embodied in the general collections of papal constitutions and canons.

Of the numerous printed editions, which com-


mence with that which issued from the press of Sweynheym and Pannartz (Rom. fol. 1470), under the inspection of Andrew, bishop of Aleria, com­prising ninety-two Sermones and five Epistolae, it is unnecessary to give any detailed account, since two are decidedly superior to all others.

The first is that published at Paris in 1675, in two large quarto tomes, by Pasquier Quesnel, who by the aid of a large number of MSS., preserved chiefly in the libraries of France, was enabled to introduce such essential improvements into the text, and by his erudite industry illustrated so clearly the obscurities in which many of the do­cuments were involved, that the works of Leo now for the first time assumed an unmutilated, intelli­gible, and satisfactory aspect. But the admiration excited by the skill with which the arduous task had been executed soon received a check. Upon attentive perusal, the notes and dissertations were found to contain such free remarks upon many of the opinions and usages of the primitive church, and, above all, to manifest such unequivocal hos­tility to the despotism of the Roman see, that the volumes fell under the ban of the Inquisition within a year after their publication, and were included in the "Index Librorum Prohibitorum" of 1682. Notwithstanding these denunciations, the book en­joyed great popularity, and was reprinted, without any suppression or modification of the obnoxious passages, at Lyons in 1700. Hence the heads of the Romish church became anxious to supply an antidote to the poison so extensively circulated. This undertaking was first attempted by Peter Cacciari, a Carmelite monk of the Propaganda, whose labours (S. Leonis Magni Opera omnia, Rom. 1753—1755, 2.vols. fol.; Exercitationes in Universa S. Leonis Magni Opera, Rom. fol. 1751), might have attracted attention and praise had they not been, at the very moment when they were brought to a close, entirely thrown into the shade by those of the brothers Peter and Jerome Balle­rini, presbyters of Verona, whose edition appeared at Verona in three volumes folio, in the course of the years 1755—1757, and is entitled to take the first place both in purity of the text, corrected from a great number of MSS., chiefly Roman, not before collated, in the arrangement of the different parts, and in the notes and disquisitions. A full de­scription of these volumes, as well as of those of Quesnel and Cacciari, is to be found in Schb'ne-mann, who has bestowed more than usual care upon this section.

(Maimbourg, Histoire du Pontifical de Lion, Paris, 4to. 1687 ; the dissertations of Quesnel and the Ballerini; Schb'nemann, Bibl. Patrum Lat. vol. ii. § 42 ; Arendt, Leo der Grosse, Mainz. 8vo. 1835; Bahr, Gesch. der Rom. Literal. Suppl. Band. IPAbtheil. § 159—162.)-

2. Distinguished by the epithet bituricen-sis, was bishop of Bourges in the middle of the fifth century, and took an active part in various important Gaulish councils, such as those of Angers (C. Andegavense, A. d. 453), and of Tours (C. Tu-ronense, a. D. 461), held about that epoch.

We possess a letter written by this prelate in 454, jointly with the bishops Victurius and Eus-: tochius, entitled Epistola ad Episcopos et Presby-teros Ecclesiarum Provinciae Turonicae, which was long ascribed to Leo the Great, inserted in all the earlier editions of the works of that pope, and in various collections of councils, the epithet Turonicae

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