« Pierius, a presbyter of Alexandria Pinianus, husband of Melania the younger Pionius, martyr at Smyrna »

Pinianus, husband of Melania the younger

Pinianus (2), the husband of Melania the younger. Palladius speaks of him as son of a prefect (Vit. Patr. 119). He and his wife entertained Palladius of Helenopolis when be came to Rome on Chrysostom's affairs (Hist. 845Laus. 121). They left Rome in 408, when the siege by Alaric was impending. Melania the elder having died at Bethlehem, they inherited her vast estates. They were intent on doing good and are said to have liberated 8,000 slaves (ib. 119). After the sack of Rome in 410 they settled in Africa at Tagaste with bp. Alypius and desired to meet Augustine. He immediately wrote to welcome them (Ep. 124), but was unable to come to them, so they went with Alypius to Hippo. There the strange scene, so instructive as to the church life of the period, occurred, which is recounted by Augustine (Ep. 126). The clergy and people of Hippo, knowing their wealth, determined that they should, by the ordination of Pinianus, become attached to their church and city. A tumult was raised in the church, and though Augustine refused to ordain a man against his will, he was unable, or not firm enough, to resist the violence of the people, who extracted from Pinianus a promise that he would not leave Hippo nor be ordained in any other church. Next day, however, fearing further violence, he, with Melania and her mother Albina, returned to Tagaste. Some rather acrimonious correspondence ensued between them and Augustine (Ep. 125–128). Alypius considered that a promise extorted by violence was not valid, Augustine demanded that it should be fulfilled; and the controversy lasted until, by the rapacity of the rebel count Heraclian, Pinianus was robbed of his property, and the people of Hippo no longer cared to enforce the promise. Being now free, though poor, Pinianus, with his wife and mother-in-law, went to Egypt, saw the monasteries of the Thebaid, and thence to Palestine, settling at Bethlehem. On the appearance of the Pelagian controversy, their letters to Augustine induced him to write (a.d. 417) his book on grace and original sin. We only hear of Pinianus after this in a letter of Jerome in 419, in which he, Albina, and Melania, salute Augustine and Alypius. Hieron. Ep. cxliii. 2, ed. Vall.; Aug. de Grat. Christi, ii. and xxxii.


« Pierius, a presbyter of Alexandria Pinianus, husband of Melania the younger Pionius, martyr at Smyrna »
VIEWNAME is workSection