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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