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John of Biclaro

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(Johannes Biclariensis.)

Chronicler, born in Portugal, probably about the middle of the sixth century; died after 621. He was educated at Constantinople, where he devoted at least seven years to the study of Latin and Greek. When he returned an attempt was made to force him to join the State Church, then Arian in character. As he stanchly resisted, he was banished by King Leovigild to Barcelona. After Leovigild's death in 586, John founded the Benedictine monastery of Biclaro, the site of which has not yet been exactly determined, and presided over it as abbot for several years, until he was appointed Bishop of Gerona (the bishop known as "Johannes Gerundensis" seems to have been an early successor of the chronicler). John took part in the synod of Saragossa (592), of Barcelona (599), and of Egara (614). His chronicle reaches to the year 590, and is a continuation (from 567) of the chronicle of Victor of Tunnuna, in Africa (Chronicon continuans Victorem Tunnunensem). It was edited by H. Canisius (Ingolstadt, 1600), by Scaliger in "Thesaurus Temporum" (Leyden, 1606), and in Migne, P. L., LXXII (1849). The best edition, with copious prolegomena, is by Mommsen in "Mon. Germ. Hist.: Auct. ant.", XI (1893), 211-220. This chronicle is the most complete and reliable authority on the stormy period of Leovigild's reign, and on the Visigothic conversion from Germanizing Arianism to Romanizing Catholicism. The narrative is religiously impartial, despite the preceding bitter religious conflicts during which the writer himself had to suffer.

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