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A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography


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Moses (3) ( Moyses ), Roman presbyter (? of Jewish origin), a leading member of an influential group of confessors in the time of Cyprian, about the commencement of the Novatianist schism. The others were Maximus, Nicostratus, Rufinus, Urbanus, Sidonius, Macarius, and Celerinus. They wrote early in the persecution, urging the claims of discipline on the Carthaginian confessors (Ep. 27) (cf. Tillem. t. iii. Notes s. Moyse, t. iv., S. Cyp. a. xv., Lipsius, Chr. d. röm. Bisch. p. 200), and Moyses signed the second letter of the Roman clerus (viz. Ep. 30), drawn up by Novatian according to Cyprian ( Ep. 55, iv.), and he wrote with the other confessors Ep. 31 to Cyprian ( Ep. 32). When they had been a year in prison ( Ep. 37), or more accurately 11 months and days (Liberian Catalogue, Mommsen, Chronogr. v. Jahre 354, p. 635). i.e. c. Jan. 1, 251, Moyses died and was accounted a confessor and martyr ( Ep. 55). Shortly before his death he refused to communicate with Novatian and the five presbyters who sided with him ( ἀποσχίσασιν ) because he saw the tendency of his stern dogma (Cornelius to Fabius of Antioch, Eus. vi. 43, κατιδών ).

Moyses' severance was not because Novatian had already left the Catholics, which he did not do till June 4, after the election of Cornelius; and Novatus, who induced it, did not leave Carthage for Rome until April or May (Rettberg, p. 109). Moyses' great authority remained a strong point in Cornelius's favour, when the rest of the confessors (Ep. 51) after their release threw their influence on the side of Novatian as representing the stricter discipline against Cornelius. The headship of the party belonged after Moyses' death to MAXIMUS (3).


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Bibliography Information
Wace, Henry. Entry for 'Moses'. A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography. 1911.

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