Julian of Eclanum

views updated


Fifth-century bishop and Pelagian theologian; b. Eclanum, Italy, 380; d. Sicily, c. 455. The son of Memorius, Bishop of Eclanum, Julian married (between 400 and 404) Ia, a woman mentioned by St. paulinus of nola in the Epithalamium he dedicated to Julian. On the death of his wife, Julian joined the clergy of his native diocese and succeeded his father as bishop. He had an excellent knowledge of Latin and Greek, keen logic, and a fine secular and theological formation. He became a supporter of pelagius, and in 418 he attacked the Epistola tractoria of Pope zosimus, in which Pelagius and Celestius were definitively condemned. Julian was deposed and expelled from Italy. He stopped in Sicily to gain supporters, then traveled in the Orient, where he was received by theodore of mopsuestia and nestorius. Having tried in vain to regain his see, he taught letters in an obscure village in Sicily and died there under Valentinian III without being reconciled with the Church. However, until the 9th century his tomb had the inscription: "Here lies Julian a Catholic bishop."

Of his writings only these are incontestably authentic: four books to Turbantius; three letters; and eight books to Florus. He was answered in three different works by augustine of Hippo. Julian's teaching is definitely heterodox. He reduced grace to a simple, protective, divine assistance, or a modality extrinsic to the soul. He practically denied the solidarity of the human race in Adam's sin. However, some of his ideas on the relation between the natural and supernatural orders and between liberty and grace must be seen as legitimate in the dogmatic and historical context of the age in which he wrote. This is the basis of recent attempts to rehabilitate Julian as both a philosopher and a theologian.

Bibliography: Patrologia Latina (Paris 187890) 21:9591104. Patrologia Latina Suppl. 1 (1958) 157172, bibliog. b. altaner, Patrology (New York 1960) 442443. g. bouwmann, Des Julian von Aeclanum Kommentar (Analecta biblica 9; 1958). j. forget, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, ed. a. vacant (Paris 190350) 8.2: 192631. h. i. marrou, Historisches Jahrbuch der Görres-Gesellschaft 77 (1958) 434437. f. refoulÉ, Recherches des sciences religeuses 52 (1964) 4284, 233247.

[j. bentivegna]

About this article

Julian of Eclanum

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article