JULIUS: The name of three popes.

Julius I: Pope 337-352. According to tradition he was the son of Rusticus, a Roman, and elected after a long interregnum Feb. 6, 337. Little is known of his pontificate, except in regard to his spiritual care for the rapidly growing Roman community--he built no less than five new churches--and to his position in the Arian controversy, which had scarcely affected Rome before his time. He took part in it only when both parties sought a decision from him. The request came first from the Eusebians, who sent three Eastern clerics in 338 to ask his approval of their deposition of Athanasius and putting Pistus in his place. Soon afterward an embassy appeared from Athanasius, who so successfully presented their case that the Eusebians themselves, so Athanasius asserts, proposed the reference of the matter to a new council. Presently,


however, the Eusebians got the ear of the Emperor Constantius, and by Easter, 339, Athanasius himself was seeking refuge in Rome, to be followed by other banished orthodox prelates. The friendly reception which they received in Rome gave the Eusebians an excuse for rudely refusing Julius' invitation to the proposed council. It met at Rome in 340, and absolved Athanasius and Marcellus of Ancyra from the charges brought against them. Julius communicated the result to the Orientals in his famous epistle to Flacillus, a masterpiece of diplomacy. He considers the question from the standpoint of ecclesiastical law, asserting that the Council of Nica had permitted the revision of the acts of one synod by another, though no foundation is known for this statement, and justifies his reopening of the case of Athanasius by the assertion that the custom of the Church requires the bishop of Rome to be notified of charges against bishops (or against the bishop of Alexandria) and to lay down the law. This does not apparently cover the later claim to a supreme judicial function; and it did not even attain the result which Julius hoped. The relations between Rome and the East were more strained than ever, and it was not Julius but Hosius of Cordova that determined Constans to summon the Council of Sardica in 343. This council recognized the pope as the strongest support of the Nicene party, and passed canons which really allowed him a more limited authority than the Council of Chalcedon gave in similar cases to the exarchs and the patriarchs of Constantinople, although their importance lies in the use which later popes made of them, interpolating them among those of Nica and deducing from them a final judicial authority over the whole Church. Julius seems to have had no opportunity to act on these provisions, since the change in the emperor's attitude toward the Nicene party left him no longer the central figure in the strife. He welcomed Athanasius in Rome on his homeward journey in 346, and shortly after, at the request of a synod in Milan, he investigated the orthodoxy of Ursacius and Valens, and received them both again into communion. He died Apr. 12, 352, and was early honored in Rome as a saint, while the number of forgeries passing under his name shows the impression which his clever policy made on succeeding generations and the extent to which it was held to have strengthened the papal authority.


BIBLIOGRAPHY: Sources are: Liber pontificalis, ed. Duchesne, i. 205, Paris, 1886, ed. Mommsen in MGH, Gest. Pont. Rom., i (1898), 75-76; Catalogus Liberianus, ed. Mommsen in MGH, Auct. ant., ix (1892), 76; Epist. in MPL, viii. Consult: B. Jungmann Dissertationes selectae, ii. 7-31, Regensburg, 1881; L. Rivington, Primitive Church and the See of St. Peter, pp. 173 sqq, 467 sqq., London, 1894; W. Bright, Roman See and the Early Church, pp. 81 sqq., ib. 1896; Milman, Latin Christianity, i. 100-101; Bower, Popes, i. 54-59; KL, vi. 1997-98.


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