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Bible Encyclopedias

1911 Encyclopedia Britannica

Lucifer (Bishop)

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LUCIFER (d. 370/I), bishop of Cagliari (hence called Caralitanus ), an ardent supporter of the cause of Athanasius. After the unfavourable result of the synod of Arles in 353 he volunteered to endeavour to obtain a new and impartial council. He was accordingly sent by Pope Liberius, with Pancratius the presbyter and Hilarius the deacon, but could not prevent the condemnation of Athanasius, which was renewed at Milan in 355. For his own persistent adherence to the orthodox creed he was banished to Germanicia in Commagene; he afterwards lived at Eleutheropolis in Palestine, and finally in the upper Thebaid. His exile came to an end with the publication of Julian's edict in 362. From 363 until his death in 371 he lived at Cagliari in a state of voluntary separation from ecclesiastical fellowship with his former friends Eusebius of Vercelli, Athanasius and the rest, on account of their mild decision at the synod of Alexandria in 362 with reference to the treatment of those who had unwillingly Arianized under the persecutions of Constantius. Lucifer was hardly sufficiently educated to appreciate the real question at issue, and the sect which he thus founded did not continue long after his death. It is doubtful whether it ever formulated any distinctive doctrine; certainly it developed none of any importance. The memory of Lucifer is still cherished in Sardinia; but, although popularly regarded there as a saint, he has never been canonized.

The controversial writings of Lucifer, dating from his exile, are chiefly remarkable for their passionate zeal, and for the boldness and violence of the language addressed to the reigning emperor, whom he did not scruple to call the enemy of God and a second Saul, Ahab and Jeroboam. Their titles, in the most probable chronological order, are De non parcendis in Deum delinquentibus, De regibus apostaticis, Ad Constantium Augustum pro Athanasio libri ii., De non conveniendo cum haereticis and Moriendum esse pro Filio Dei. Their quotations of Scripture are of considerable value to the critical student of the Latin text before Jerome. They were first collected and edited by Tilius (Paris, 1568); the best edition is that of W. Hartel in the Vienna Corpus, Script. Eccl. Lat. (1886). See also G. Kruger, Lucifer Bischof von Cagliari and das Schisma der Luciferianer (Leipzig, 1886); F. G. Kenyon, Textual Criticism, pp. 181, 221.

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Bibliography Information
Chisholm, Hugh, General Editor. Entry for 'Lucifer (Bishop)'. 1911 Encyclopedia Britanica. 1910.

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