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Bible Dictionaries

A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography

Trophimus, an Italian Bishop

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Trophimus (1) (Cyp. Ep. 55, 11), an Italian bishop ( sacerdotii ) who with all his flock offered incense in the Decian persecution. He was restored to lay-communion by Cornelius, bp. of Rome. It is not denied that his people's attachment to him, and the assurance that they would follow his return, eased the reception of Trophimus. The Novatianists forwarded to Africa the misstatement that Cornelius had restored him to his episcopal orders, and so shook the confidence of some in him; but Cyprian of his own knowledge denies the statement. It is improbable that a lapsed bishop would be obliged or allowed to do public penance. The expression that Trophimus with "penance of entreaty confessed his own fault" is itself against it, and although it is said that he made "satisfaction," it is presently added that "the return of the brethren made satisfaction for him." The restoration seems to have been made at the Roman council of June (or July) a.d. 251, from the words ( Ep. 55, ix. [6], H. 11), "Tractatu cum collegis plurimis habito susceptus est." Ritschl ( Cyprian von Karthago , p. 79) calls Trophimus a "sacrificatus," though the case of the sacrificati is treated separately in the next section of Ep. 55, and the words "Trofimo et turificatis" do not make it certain that he was even a "Turificatus."


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Bibliography Information
Wace, Henry. Entry for 'Trophimus, an Italian Bishop'. A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography. 1911.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, June 4th, 2020
the Week of Proper 4 / Ordinary 9
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