[St. Pachomius Library]


IV Century
An African Donatist lay theologian, Tyconnius (fl. late IV Century) was a respected scholar of Scripture, history, and secular literature. The details of his life are largely unknown, and several of his works are lost. C. 378, a Donatist bishop, Parmenian, attacked Tyconnius, who believed that the church holds both good and bad people, and that Orthodox Christians who became Donatists did not require rebaptism; a Donatist council at Carthage c. 380 condemned Tyconnius. At about the same time, he completed his Liber regularum (Book of Rules), which put forth seven guidelines for scriptural exegesis. Augustine, who seems to have considered Tyconnius personally inconsistent, commented on the limited usefulness of the rules in his De doctrina christiana. The Book of Rules, which is more Alexandrian than Antiochene in its approach, also inspired Isidore of Seville's Sentiarum libri tres (Three Books of Sentences). Tyconnius' commentary on Revelation (now lost) influenced Bede, Alcuin, and Beatus of Liebana.

Karen Rae Keck


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