AN INTRODUCTION TO THE CREEDS AND TO THE TE DEUM - BY A. E. BURN, B.D. Trinity College, Cambridge - Rector of Kynnersley, Wellington, Salop - Examining Chaplain to the Lord Bishop of Lichfield. - First published Methuen & Co 1899. - This Edition prepared for katapi by Paul Ingram 2003.


HOME | Contents | << || Bratke's Berne MS | The Sermon Auscultate expositionem | The Creed of Damasus | The Rhythm of the Te Deum and the Quicunque | The Creed of Niceta of Remesiana | Appendices || >> |

THE following chapter is designed to relieve former chapters of unwieldy sections, which would hinder the progress of the argument. 
In each of the cases now proposed for discussion it is desirable to enter into details, which would be out of place if these creeds were introduced in their proper chronological order. And it will be convenient to take them in the reverse of such order, in order to connect the section on Niceta with the following Chapter on the Te Deum.

I. The Creed in Bratke's Berne MS.

The following creed was published in 1895 by Professor Bratke [Theol. Stud. u. Krit. i. pp.153 ff.] from a MS. at Berne (Cod. N. 645) of the seventh or eighth century. [Bratke compares the specimen of Merovingian writing in Sir E. M. Thompson's Manual of Palaeography, p.230.] 
Most of the other contents are of a geographical or chronological character;
it is preceded by the Easter cycle of Victorius of Aquitaine, and a catalogue of Church provinces made in Gaul, and it is followed by the forged Acts of a supposed Synod of Caesarea, which were written in Britain during the controversies about the keeping of Easter in the seventh century.

Bratke concludes that it is a copy made in Gaul of an ancient form of Gallican Creed as it existed before 400, which was brought to England and used in the British Church in the seventh century.

Hahn3 (p. 95, n. 237) classes it as a South German Creed, having regard to the place where the MS. is now found. There is little to be said for this view, since the whole collection in which it is found was clearly put together in England, and there is nothing else to connect it with Germany. I agree with him in calling it a mixed creed, and have printed the interpolated words in italics.

I. 1. Credo in Deo Patrem omnipotentem,

II. 2. Et in lesum Christum Filium eius, unicum dominum nostrum,
  3. natum de Spiritu Sancto et Maria uirgine,
  4. Passus sub Pontio Pilato crucefixum et sepultum,
descendit ad inferos,

tertia die resurrexit a mortuos,


ascendit ad caelos,


sedit ad dexteram Patris,

  8. inde uenturus iudicare uiuos ac mortuos.

III. 9.

Credo in Spiritu Sancto,


sancta ecclesia chatholica,


remissionem peccatorum,

  12. carnis resurrectionis, in uitam aeternam.

Thus the creed appears to be a recension of the Old Roman Creed, formed by adding the words passus, descendit ad inferos, in uitam aeternam. 
I do not attach any importance to the ablatives Deo, Spiritu Sancto, etc., which remind one of the Aquileian Creed. They are unevenly distributed, and are more probably due to an illiterate copyist. If they had belonged to the original type, surely one ablative would have survived in the second Article.

There are very interesting points of resemblance to the creed in Cod. Laudianus, which was brought into Britain before the beginning of the eighth century, and represents the normal type used by Augustine of Canterbury and other Roman missionaries. [See p.199 supra. Art.9. spu sco; 10. sancta ecclesia, win. catholica; 12. carnis resurrectionis.] It is easy to understand how such a copy of the Old Roman Creed might have been altered under the influence of creeds brought from Ireland by Celtic missionaries, such as that of the Bangor Antiphonary, from which might have come passus, descendit ad inferos, uitam aeternam.

II. The Sermon "Auscultate Expositionem"

The sermon Auscultate expositionem has been edited by Caspari and Ommanney from the Paris MSS. (B.N. lat. 3848 B and 2123), in which it is combined with the sermon of Caesarius (Ps.-Aug.244). 
I have found three MSS. in which it occurs alone:

  1. Bodleian Library, Oxford, Cod. Junius 25, from Murbach Abbey;
  2. Munich, Cod. lat. 14,508, from the Abbey of S. Emmeran at Ratisbon;
  3. Wolfenbiittel, Cod. 91, from the Abbey of Weissenburg, all of the ninth century.

Having published the text of the whole sermon in the Zeitschrift fur Kirchengeschichte, July 1898, I will now only quote the creed form:-

I. 1. Credo in Deum Patrem omnipotentem, inuisibilem, uisibilium et inuisitilium (omnium) 2 rerum conditorem.

II. 2. Et in lesum Christum, Filium eius unicum, dominum nostrum,
  3. conceptum de Spiritu Sancto, natum ex Maria uirgine,
  4. crucifixum sub Pontio Pilato et sepultum,


tertia die resurgentem ex mortuis,



Victor (ascendit ad caelos),



sedit in dexteram Dei Patris,

  8. inde uenturus iudicare uiuos ac mortuos.

III. 9. Et in Spiritum Sanctum
, omnipotentem, unam habentem substantiam cum Patre, et Filio,


ecclesiam catholicam,



remissionem peccatorum,

  12. communem omnium corporum resurrectionem post mortem (et uitam aeternam).
    2[The words in brackets are added by Hahn3 from the later recension.]

This form is apparently Gallican, and of an earlier date than the Creed of Caesarius in Ps.-Aug. Serm.244, with which it has been associated from the sixth century. 
It lacks the additions passum, mortuum, ad inferno, descendisse, communionem sanctorum
Nor does the sermon contain the characteristics of Caesarius's style, which have been pointed out in the other. 
If it is still conceivable, as Morin thinks, that Caesarius wrote it, we must suppose that he used differing forms of one creed, one belonging to his birthplace Chalons, the other to Arles, his diocese. We have no data by which to connect it with any locality. 
The Creed of the Bangor Antiphonary has the words inuisibilem ... conditorem in the first Article, and the words Deum omnipotentem unam habentem substantiam cum Patre et Filio in the eighth. It was evidently founded on some such form, though it contains the latter additions found in the Creed of Caesarius. 
Victor ascendit ad caelos
recurs in Miss. Gallic. B, Cod. Vat. Pal. 220, Ps.-Aug. Serm.238, and a sermon in a Vesoul MS., Cod. 73. (see p.238). 
The present participle resurgentem is unique, and so are in dexteram (cf. Fulgentius de fide ad Petrum, c. 20) and the turn of the sentence communem omnium corporum resurrectionem post mortem.
[Cf. the addition in Art. 12, post mortem, in the Bangor Antiphonary.]

III. The Creed of Damasus

The Creed of Damasus [It is called in Hahn,2 "The Second Creed"; in Hahn,3 "The First Creed," ascribed to Damasus. The change is somewhat misleading.] in its original form is always ascribed to Jerome, and in some MSS. is called a Letter or Faith addressed by him to Damasus. 
It is generally found in collections of creeds, and in one MS. (Cod. Augiensis xviii., sac.ix., at Karlsruhe) it follows two Rules of Faith ascribed to Councils of Toledo. 
Its history is important in connection with the Quicunque, since it was quoted by the Fourth Council of Toledo in 633 with that creed.

I am able to edit the text from the following MSS. :-

G1 Cod. Sangallensis 125. saec. viii. Fides Hieronimi ad Damasum Papam, G1;
G2 Cod. Sangallensis 159. saec. x. Epistola Hieronimi ad Papam Damasum de symbulo, G2;
K Cod. Augiensis (Karlsruhe) xviii. saec. ix. Fides beati Hieronimi presbyteri ad Damasum Papam, K;
L Cod. Leidensis xviii. 67 F. saec. Viii, ix. Exemplar fidei chatolice sancti Hieronimi presbiteri, L;
M Cod. Mediolan. Ambros. 0. 212 sup. saec. viii. Hieronimi incipit fides, M ;
P Cod. Paris. B.N. 1684 1 saec. xi. ex. (Hieronimi) de fide apud Bethleem, P.


[Collated by Ommanney.]

LINE 2. om. nostrum, L P. om. in, M. 3. mn. Sanctum ... 4. Sanctum, G2. om. Deum, M.

5 UNUM DEUM QUASI SOLITARIUM, NEC EUNDEM, QUI IPSE SIBI PATER SIT, IPSE et FILIUS, SED PATREM esse QUI GENUIT, FILIUM esse qui genetus sit, SPIRITUM UERO SANCTUM, NON GEMNITUM NEQUE INGENTUM, NON CREATUM NEQUE FACTUM, SED de Patre procedentem, Patri et Filio COAETERNUM et coaequalem et cooperatorem, quia 5. om. Deum, LP. ipse, supra lin. G2. 
6. qui] quem, G1. genuit] + Filium, G1, Filium] pr. et, G2 (K, supra lin.). 7. sit] est (sit, supra lin.), K. 
8. Patre] + et Filio, G1.L(K*). 
9. coequalem, K; quoaequalem, M.
10 scriptum est:
uerbo Domini coeli firmati sunt,
id est, a Filio Dei, et Spiritu oris eius omnis uirtus eorum, et alibi:
Emitte Spiritum tuum et creabuntur et renouabis faciem terrae
. Ideoque in nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti unum confitemur Deum, quia Deus nomen est potestatis non proprietatis. Proprium nomen est Patri
10. scribtum, M*. celi, G1. om. id ... Dei, M; a, supra lin. K; om. a, L. 11. emittes, G1, 2. 12. innouabis, G1. terre, LP. 13. quia] quod, G2 corr. om. Deus, G2 > nomen est potestatis Deus, K L M. 14. om. Proprium, L. om. est, 2? G2.
15 Pater, et proprium nomen est Filio Filius, et proprium nomen est Spiritui Sancto Spiritus Sanctus. 
In hac trinitate unum Deum credimus, quia ex uno Patre, quod est unius cum Patre naturae uniusque substantiae et unius potestatis. Pater Filium genuit, non uoluntate, nec necessitate, sed natura. 
Filiua ultimo tempore ad
15. proprium 1?] proprio, L. 16. Spiritu, P. In] pr. Et, K. hac] + autem, G1. Deum] + colimus, supra lin. K. 17. uno] no, L. naturae] nature, G1; natura, L1; + est, G2 M; ei, K ; esse, L. 18. uniusquae substanciae, L. genuit, supra lin. G2 corr. om. et unius, G1. 19. uoluptate, P.
20 nos saluandos et ad implendas scripturas descendit a Patri, QUI NUNQUAM DESIIT ESSE cum Patre, et conceptus est de Spiritu Sancto, et NATUS EX UIRGINE, CARNEM ANIMAM ET SEMSUM, hoc est perfectum suscepit hominem, NEC AMISIT QUOD ERAT, SED COEPIT ESSE QUOD NON ERAT; ita tamen ut perfectus in suis sit et uerus in nostris. Nam 20. saluandus, L. implendos, G1. scribturas, M; scriptura, G1. discendit, K* L M. 21. numquam, KM. desiuit, M. om. et, G1. om. est, M. 22. et, 1? supra lin. M. uirgine, pr, Maria, G1 K L M. carnem] CARNEUM, G1* L. ANUMAM, eras G1; pr. et, G2. 23. suscipit, M. nec] non, L. 24. nostris] + sit, G1. 
25 qui Deus erat homo natus est, et qui homo natus est operatur ut Deus; et qui operatur ut Deus ut homo moritur; et qui ut homo moritur ut Deus surgit. Qui deuicto mortis imperio cum EA CARNE QUA NATUS ET PASSUM ET MERTUUS fuerat, RESURREXIT,
ascendit ad Patrem, sedetque ad dexteram eius in gloriam, quam semper habuit
25. om. Deus ... (26) qui, 1? M. om. est ... est, G1 L, haec uerba supra lin. K. 26. moritur] moreretur, L bis. 
27. surgit, G2 P] resurgit, G1 K L. Qui] pr. et, L. om. Qui, M. mortis imperio] mortis, supra lin. K; imperio diabuli, K* M (diaboli, L). 28. om. et passus, M. mortuus] mortus, G1. resurrexit] surrexit, G1, pr. et, G1, 2 K M1, + ter(c)ia die, K L. 29. sedit, K M; om. que, G2. gloria, G2 M.
30 habetque. 
IN HUIUS MORTE ET SANGUINE credimus EMUNDATOS NOSab eo RESUSCITANDOSdie nouissima IN HAC CARNE QUA NUNC uiuimus et habemus, consecuturos ab ipso AUT UITAM AETERNAM PRAEMIUM BONI MERITI aut poenam PRO PECCATIS AETERNI SUPPLICICII. Haec lege, haec retine, huic fidei animam tuam subiuga, a Christo Domino et uitam
30. huius] cuius, G1. emundatos] e, supra lin. K ; MUNDATOS, LM. nos] + esse, G1; + et, G1, 2. 31. ab eo] habeo, L. nouissimo, G1. in hac CARNE QUA NUNCuiuimus] IN QUA NUNC uiuimus CARNE, P. 32. habemus] + spem, G2 corr. supra lin. consecuturos] + nos, G1, pr. nos, G2 om. ab ipso, G2 uitam] pr. ad, G1. om. aut uitam aeternam, G2 K corr. premium, K L. 34. om. Domino, G2.
35 consequeris praemia. 35. praemia] praemium, GiKMi,_p)'. et, G; M.
  [The words in capitals are found in the Fides Romanorum.]  

In the Cod. Sangallensis 125 is added the following:-

Spiritus uero Sanctus Patris et Filii communiter Spiritus.
Sicut generare solius Patris et nasci solius Filii et procedere de ambobus solius confitemur Spiritus Sancti. 
Credimus in Spiritum Sanctum, Spiritum Sanctum Deum dicimus, nec tamen dicimus Patrem et Filium et Spiritum Sanctum tres Deos sed unum quia una est aeternitas una maiestas una potestas. 
Pater non est Filius sed Pater est. 
Filius non est Pater sed Filius est Patris. 
Spiritus Sanctus nec Pater est nec Filius sed Spiritus est Patris et Filii, tres personae sed unus Deus est. 
Credo in Spiritum Sanctum. 
Spiritus Sanctus Deus est a Patre Filioque non minor sed una maiestas una potestas inseparabilis trinitas, inuisibilis sanctitas, simulque Deus Pater Deus Filius Deus Spiritus Sanctus.  
Non tres Dii sed trinitas unus Deus est. Quo modo procedit Spiritus ex Patre ita procedit ex Filio.

The fact that it was quoted by the Council of Toledo has led me to the suggestion that it was the reply of Damasus to the treatise addressed to him by Priscillian. There are two or three sentences that reply directly to statements in that treatise, and cut away the roots of his error. 
Thus (1) "Deus nomen est potestatis non proprietatis" is a sentence that afterwards found its way into the Fortunatus commentary on the Quicunque, and with good reason. It explains why Priscillian's frequent and loose use of the term potestas was wrong. Power is an attribute of the Godhead, not a proper name like Father or Son or Holy Ghost. 
In this treatise Priscillian uses the term twice - §41: "unita unius Dei potestate"; [cf. V, §88: "Christum nulli nomini uel potestati parte concessa unum Deum crederet."] and §45 (where he is speaking of the Baptismal Formula): "in uno (nomine) quia unus Deus trina potestate uenerabilis omnia et in omnibus Christus est." As I have shown above (p.142), the tendency of all such untheological argument is Sabellian.

Again, in his Christological teaching, the author of the creed defines the perfect Manhood which the Lord took upon Him as including flesh, soul, and feeling: ut perfectus in suis sit et uerus in nostris ... qui ut homo moritur ut Deus surgit.
Thus he replies to the vague teaching, leaning, as it seems, to the Apollinarian error, in the passage quoted above (p.143) from Tract. VI.99, where Priscillian himself uses the words dum moritur homo resurgit ut Deus, though in the context he seems to deny that the Lord had a human soul.

This conclusion is borne out by the following passage from the same treatise (§95), though it is only fair to add two other references in which a tripartite division of human nature is given, the first a quotation from Wisdom ix.15. But they do not throw light on his Christology.

Tract. VI. §95

"Dum in utrisque testamentis corpore et spiritu, sicut fuit Christus in carne, uelut in duobus perfectus homo quaeritur, uetus testamentum castificandi corporis Deo et nouum animae institutione mancipatur et non dissentaneum sibi sed ratione diuisum est, ut sicut haec duo testamenta Deus unus est, sic in nobis perfectio boni gloria sit. ...

Ib. §97, Sap. 9, 15:

Corpus ... anima ... sensus.

Ib. §105:

Post sapientiae saecularis institutione reiecta corpore anima et spiritu in quibus homo uincitur triformi decalogi in nobis lege reparata mensis fiat domini" ...

I have already pointed out (p.145) that the teaching on eternal rewards and punishments is a complete answer to the Antinomian theory, which might be deduced from his mystical teaching. Tract. VII. §117:

Perpetua luce contecti peccatorum supplicia respuere et requiem possimus habere iustorum per lesum Christum.

Lastly, the appeal, "Haec lege, base retine, huic fidei animam tuam subiuga," fits in well with my theory of authorship. The connexion with S. Jerome suggested by the MSS may be explained by the fact that he was at this time in Rome, and in constant communication with Damasus.


IV. The Rhythm of the "Te Deum" and the "Quicunque"

Te Deum: Byrd - Tallis Scholars. Listen to the Tallis Scholars chant the "Te Deum" from Byrd's "Great Service." Music Details HERE.

[katapi note: for this section, where the book prints (1) overline to indicate (long) emphasis in rythm and (2) ˘ descending over-semi-circle to indicate stacato (short) rythm, I have printed (1) underline and (2)   ̑ ascending over-semi-circle.]  

The researches of Meyer [Gottingsche gel. Anzeigen, 1893, p.1. I owe my introduction to this interesting subject to Mr, J. Shelly. Cf. article in Guardian, March 10, 1897.] prove that the work of S. Cyprian, de Mortalitate, in which we have found an important parallel to verses 7, 8, 9 of the Te, Deum, was written in metrical prose; that is to say, prose which had strictly regulated metrical endings to its sentences. These were used by many rhetoricians of the Silver Latin period, and were known as clausulae rhetoricae (cf. Terentianus Maurus V.1439). The passage may be scanned as follows:-

"Illic âpostôlorum | gloos|us chôrus3 ||,
illic prôphetarum exult|antîum | numêrüs6 ||,
illic martyrum innûmêr|abilis | pôpûlüs6 ||
ob certamînis et passîonis gloam et uictoam côronatus9 ||"

At the end of the fourth century these metrical endings were superseded by less artificial, though not less musical, endings or cadences, in which the rhythm was marked by accent. Sometimes, though this shows a further decadence of style, the new rhythmical endings were combined with rhymes. At a later period the new method was dignified by grammarians with the name of the Cursus Leoninus.
There were three ordinary forms of endings, which were known as -

Cursus planus ´ - - ´     || (pl)
Cursus tardus ´ - - ´ - - || (t)
Cursus uelox ´ - - - - ´ || (v)

These cadences are found throughout the writings of Cassian, Pomerius, his pupil Caesarius, Cassiodorus, and other writers of the fifth and sixth centuries. After two centuries the method fell into disuse, and was restored by the Chancellor John Cajetan, the future Gelasius II., under Pope Urban II. (1088). Definite rules were drawn up by another chancellor, Albert de Mora, the future Gregory VIII.,
[Chevalier, Poesie liturgique du moyen age, p. 36.] according to which the beginning of the sentence should contain spondees (rhythmical, not metrical), the middle spondees and dactyls mixed.

The results of such ruling were what might be expected. All the freshness of the early method evaporated, and in the sixteenth century, though Dante used it effectively in his letters, it died a natural death.

We are not now concerned with later developments of the system, but with its use in liturgical books. The Gelasian Sacramentary is full of these cadences, and they are found in all the most beautiful of Latin collects. 
Thus the collect of the Angelus contains three typical specimens.

The ears of the translators of our Prayer Book were so tuned to them, that they have reproduced these cadences in many most familiar and most musical prayers.

[Mr. Shelly writes:

"Taking the collects for the Sundays and those for Christmas Day, Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, Easter Eve, and Ascension Day, I find they contain one hundred and seventy-one distinct clauses, of which at least seventy have endings that correspond with one or other of the usual forms of the cursus. I do not think this can be accidental. Anyway, it is very curious, because, though I do find similar cadences in other portions of English literature, they are nothing like so frequent nor so regular in their occurrence."

Thus -

Planus hélp and défend us.
mán's understánding.
áble to pléase thee.
Tardus hélp and delíver us.
contnual gódliness.
wórship the Unity.
Velox noúrish us with all gódness.
sérvice is perfect fréedom.
glóry of His resurréction.

The importance of the subject is not confined to the aesthetic valuing of harmonious phrases. The date when the method came into use being known, the very fact of its use may in some cases help to determine the date of documents. We must, of course, be on our guard against fanciful extensions of the theory to support doubtful theories of date. But it is to be hoped that the rhythms will be marked in future editions of writings known to be written according to these rules. Thus in Arnold's great work on Caesarius, the treatise on, Humility is, for the first time, printed in such a way as to show the rhythms.

The application of the method to the Te Deum [In the first instance by Lejay.] revealed the fact that the rhythmical endings stopped with verse 21, the Psalm verses which follow being, as we know from other sources, not part of the original composition. I have endeavoured to mark them independently. It must be admitted that there are several very doubtful endings, which may be explained by the fact that they illustrate the transition from the metrical to the rhythmical style. 
Thus we find the fifth of the metrical endings classified by Meyer both in the Te Deum and the Quicunque -

Verse 2. - Te aeternum Patrem omnis terrâ uênêratur.
Clause 3. - Trinitatem in Unitate ueneremur.

Meyer [P. 25.] shows that this was allowed as a sixth form of the cursus, but not, it would seem, till a much later time.

Among the Quicunque endings there are several which do not conform to the usual rules of the cursus, i.e. clauses 3, 20, 25, 26. Mr. Shelly suggests that "a slight alteration of the words in each case would form a recognised cadence."

Thus -

Clause 3. ueneremur et Trinitatem | ín Uni | tá 
Clause 20. religione Cathólica | prohib | émur.v
Clause: 5. in Unitate | sit uene | rá
Clause: 6. ita sentiat | déTrinitá

In three of these cases, clauses 3, 20, 27, such a proposal is not necessary, since they are covered by the suggestion that the metrical ending - ˆ ˆ ˆ - ˆ passed into the cursus, though it was only formally recognised at a late period. 
In the fourth case there is no such explanation available, but I am still unwilling to resort to so violent a rectification of the text with no MS. authority.

There is one other case in which the cursus may be used to decide between doubtful readings. In clause 22 there is little doubt that est should be omitted, giving a good specimen of the cursus velox, génitus | sed pro | cédens.v This reading is of small consequence in itself, but the argument for it lends some additional probability to Mr. Shelly's theory.

The fact that the creed was thus written in rhythmical prose does not prove that it was written for singing. The address of Caesarius on Humility was not intended for singing. At the same time, we must note that it was just because it was written in this style that it was found so suitable for singing at a later time. 
In an interesting lecture on "Art in Liturgical Melodies, Ancient and Modern," by the Abbé A. Bourdon [Mémoires sur la Musique Sacrée en Normandie.], director of the cathedral music at Rouen, some stress is laid on the fact that there ia a musical cursus which corresponds to the literary cursus, and is founded on it.

He quotes the following words of Dom. Mocquereau:

Dans les répertoires liturgiques des trois principaux dialectes du plain-chant (ambrosien, grégorien, mozarabe), ou trouve, reproduites des milliers de fois, plus de cent cadences imitant les ondulations rhythmiques du cursus planus littéraire, sur lesquelles on les a évidemment calquées.


V. Niceta of Remesiana

Niceta was Bishop of Remesiana [Gennadius, c. 22 in B.N. Paris, Cod. lat. 12,161.] in Dacia, the modern Bela-Palanka on the Servian railway from Nisch to Pirot. In 398 and 402 he visited Paulinus of Nola, the friend of many leading churchmen in Italy and Gaul, among others of S. Ambrose, Sulpicius Severus, and Eucherius of Lyons. Paulinus wrote enthusiastically of his character and ability, and used terms such as holy Father, Father, and teacher, which seem to imply that he was the older, i.e. born before 353. This date agrees with the chronological setting of the short reference in Gennadius, who seems to date his life c. 370-420. Paulinus wrote in 398 of the success of his missionary work among the wild tribe of the Bessi. Shortly before this S. Jerome mentions the fact that even the wild Bessi had given up their inhuman customs to make heard the sweet songs of the Cross. Work so successful must have been going on for some time, and there is a possible reference to it in a decree of the Second Roman Synod held under Pope Damasus c. 369-371, which they sent to the Bishops of Illyria. Reports of the revival of Arianism had been sent them by brethren among the Gauls and Bessi. [Spicilegium Casinense, i.98.]
Possibly Niceta was the messenger, for his treatise on the titles of our Lord shows acquaintance with the Secretum Gelasii, which was discussed at a Synod held under Damasus. Paulinus implies that his activity was not confined to the Bessi in the Balkans (Carm. xvii.321: non unius populi magistrun), but that it extended to the Scythians in the Dobrudscha, and even to the Getae north of the Danube. He taught also among the gold-diggers of the neighbourhood. [Paulinus, Carm. xviii.213, 269.]

Latin seems to have been his native tongue, but he was probably acquainted also with Greek, since he quotes the Catecheses of Cyril of Jerusalem, and in some cases appears to give his own translation from the Greek Testament.

At Rome his learning made a great impression. Paulinus wrote of it to Sulpicius Severus:

Quo genere te et uenerabili episcopo atque doctissimo Nicetae, qui ex Dacia Romanis merito admirandus aduenerat ... reuelaui. [Carm. xxvii.193-199.]

Paulinus also delighted in his gifts as a hymn-writer, beside whom he felt himself poor [Ep.29.].

Kattenbusch [Theol. Lit. Zeit. 1896, p.303.] makes the interesting suggestion that he was the Bishop Nichae referred to in the letter of Germinius of Sirmium in 367. He quotes the form Niceas as found in the MSS. of Gennadius. It is more probably a corruption of Nicetae, since the specimens of handwriting from Dacian wax tablets given by Maunde Thompson [Greek and Latin Palaeography, p.216.] show that et could easily be corrupted into h.

Niceta is mentioned with another Bishop of Sirmium in a letter of Pope Innocent I. to Marcianus, Bishop of Nisch, in the year 409; and in another letter of 414 is referred to with Marcianus among bishops of Macedonia and the surrounding district.

Gennadius (c. 22) informs us that he wrote in simple and clear language six books of instruction for neophytes, of which the fifth was On the Creed. By the evidence of some fragments found by Morin [Rev. Ben, 1897, p.97.] in a MS. at Rouen, in an Ordo de catechizandis rudibus, cod. A, 214, saec.xi., this fifth book may be identified with the Explanatio symboli attributed to Nicetas of Aquileia [M.S.L. 52, 865.]. On fol.123 v. an extract from that sermon is called de Immortalitate Animae Nicetae in libra quinto ad competentes. [Morin, Art. cit., points out that the third and fifth fragments, edited by Denis from another MS. (Cod. Vindob. 1370, saec.x.), are said to have been taken from the fifth book of Niceta, and are not found in the Explanatio. I do not see that this affects the evidence of the Rouen MS.] This evidence seems completely to remove the doubt expressed by Hahn3 (p.47, n.72), who argued reasonably that if the author was not Nicetas of Aquileia, some further evidence was required to prove that he was a Nicetas. The sermon is an eloquent one, addressed to a cultured congregation, and specially interesting as containing the first mention of sanctorum communionem in a creed form. The appeal to renounce theatres and pomps is not out of place, since the Roman colonies in that district were probably wealthy and luxurious. If further investigation should confirm Kattenbusch's [Das ap. Symbol, i.p.406.] doubts upon this point, another explanation could easily be found, in the suggestion that this was a sermon preached to an Italian congregation at Borne or Nola.

The form of creed is not easy to extract from the sermon. I have therefore shown in notes how my reconstruction differs from those of Caspari (C), Humpel (H1), Hahn3 (H3), and Kattenbusch (K). It seems to be a provincial form of R, and the accusatives natum, crucifixum seem to point to independent translation from a Greek text [cf. p.200 supra.]. I have somewhat doubtfully included coeli et terrae creatorem, because the note following hunc confitere Deum in connexion with the use of confessio after the first words of Art.1, and of confiteberis after the first words of Art.2, seem to me to imply that he is quoting the creed. The words were found in the Jerusalem Creed, which he would know through Cyril, and it may have been through Niceta that they found their way into our Apostles' Creed [P.240 supra.]. The words uiuus a mortuis are found in the Creeds of Martin of Bracara, a native of Pannonia, and in Spanish Creeds, Ildefonsus, Etherius, Beatus, Mozarabic Liturgy, possibly dependent on Martin; also in Theodulf's Creed, which is explained by the fact of his Spanish extraction.


I. 1. Credo in Deum Patrem omnipotentem coeli et terrae creatorem : 1. om. coeli et terrae creatorem, C H1 H3 K.

II. 2. Et in Filium eius lesum Christum, 2. + Dominum nostrum, K. 3. natum ... uirgine, in expos. C.
  3. natum ex Spiritu Sancto et ex uirgine Maria,  
  4. passum sub Pontio Pilato, crucifixum, mortuum ; 4. > sub Pontio Pilato passus est (passum, H3), C H3.   mortuum, pr. et, H3; mortuus, in expos. C. 
  5. Tertia die resurrexit uiuus a mortuis,  
  6. ascendit in coelos,  
  7. sedet ad dexteram Patris, 7. Patris, pr. Dei, H3.
  8. inde uenturus iudicare uiuos et mortuos:  

III. 9. Et in Spiritum Sanctum,  
  10. sanctam ecclesiam catholicam, communionem, sanctorum, 10. sanctae ecclesiae catholicae, C.
  11. remissionem peccatorum, 11. remissionem, pr. in H3.
  12. carnis resurrectionem et uitam ceternam. 12. carnis, pr. huius, H3. uitam, pr. in H3.

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