Latin chronicler of the sixth century. He was an Illyrian by birth, but spent his life at the court of Constantinople. Under Justin I (518-527) Marcellinus was chancellor to Justinian, the Emperor's nephew already chosen as his successor. When Justinian succeeded to the throne (527-565) his chancellor remained in favor and obtained various high places in the government. Otherwise little or nothing is known of his life. He died apparently soon after 534. The only surviving work of Marcellinus is his chronicle (Annales), one of the many continuations of Eusebius. It covers the period from 379 to 534. First he brought it down to 518, then he added a continuation to 534, as he says himself in the work. An unknown writer added a continuation down to 566. Although the work is in Latin, it describes almost exclusively the affairs of the East. The author says truly that he has "followed only the Eastern Empire". The few facts about Western Europe, taken from Orosius's "Historia adv. paganos" and Gennadius's "De viris illustribus", are introduced only in as much as they relate in some way to Constantinople. On the other hand the chronicle is filled with unimportant details and anecdotes about that city and its court. Contemporary Church history is described fully as far as the East is concerned. Marcellinus is uncompromisingly orthodox and has no good word to say of any of the heretics who appear in his pages. He is often inaccurate. He mentions Theodoret of Cyrus in 466, whereas that person died ten years earlier. Cassiodorus (De Institut. divinis, XVII) mentions two other works of this author, four books "De temporum qualitatibus et positionibus locorum"; and a "most exact description of the cities of Constantinople and Jerusalem in four little books". Both are lost.
Marcellinus's "Annales" were first published at Paris in 1546 (by A. Schonhovius); again by J. Sirmond (Paris, 1619); in the Lyons "Maxima Bibliotheca veterum Patrum" (1677), IV, 517; in Gallandi's "Bibliotheca veterum Patrum", X, 343; and in "P.L.", LI, 917. The best text is that of Mommsen in his "Chronica minora" in "Monum. Germ. hist. auct. antiquiss." (Berlin, 1894), IX, pp. 37 sq. The work is used by Jordanis the Goth (d.c. 560).
More Catholic Encyclopedia
Browse Encyclopedia by Alphabet
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Browse the Catholic Encyclopedia by Topic
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online