Heraclius was a Roman who in 310 opposed the election of Pope eusebius (310) and thus earned the title of antipope. Virtually all that is known of Heraclius appears in an epitaph which Pope Damasus I (366–384) wrote for Eusebius. Heraclius apparently headed a faction which favored a harsh treatment for those who had lapsed during persecution. Public disturbances caused by partisans of the two rivals reached such a state that the pagan emperor Maxentius (306–312) exiled both Eusebius and Heraclius to Sicily where the former died and the latter disappeared from history.
Bibliography: a. ferrua, ed., Epigrammata Damasiana (Vatican City 1942), 129–136. g. schwaiger, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner (Freiburg 1957–65) 3:1198–99. h. jedin, History of the Church (New York 1980) 1:344. j. n. d. kelly, Oxford Dictionary of Popes (New York 1986) 26.
[j. f. kelly]