HIPPOLYTUS, PORTUENSIS, a bishop of Por. tus during the early part of the 3d century. The facts of his life are few and uncertain, and we shall mainly confine ourselves to giving the results which rnay now be considered as generally accepted. Eusebius (H. E., vi. 20) mentions Hippolytus as a bishop and eminent ecclesiastical author in the times of Zephyrinus, but does not mention his diocese, which Jerome also says that he could not learn' (Cat. vir. illustr., 61). As Eusebius names him with Beryllus of Bostra, Le Moyne (Praleg. aa' Var. Sacr.) unfortunately conjectured that he was bishop of Aden (Portus Romanus) in Arabia, and Cave (Script. Eccles., i. 48) supposed him to have been an krabian by birth. But, on the other hand, the Chronicon Paschale, our earli est authority, makes him bishop of the so-called Portus near Rome ;' and as this statement is sup ported by the authority of Cyril, Zonaras, Anasta sius, Nicephorus, and Syncellus (see Bunsen's Hippelytas, 2o5), and as Prudentius (lib., arepl oreOcivou, ; Hyl)111 ix.) describes his martyrdom as having taken place at Ostia, close by Portus, we may regard this point as finally settled. His mas tery of the Greek language would render him pecu liarly fit to be a bishop of the nations,' who fre quented the Harbour of Rome in multitudes. In spite of Jacobi's assertion of the contrary, there seems to be no reason why he should n 5t at the same time have been (what the "EXe-yxor shews him to have been) a presbyter and head of a party at Rome. We know, further, that he was a dis ciple of Irenmus (Phot. Cod. 121), and was engaged in some warm disputes with Callistus on points ot doctrine and discipline, which are graphically descnbed in his recovered boolc, Kara. rao-Cm aloe crIcov Aryxos. From the confused and sometimes contradictory accounts of the martyrdom, we may glean the following probabilities :—That in the year of the death of Alexander Severus he was banished to Sardinia (Catal. Liberianus, sec. iv.), B C. 235 ; that he returned the following year, and was mar tyred at Ostia. The mode of his martyrdom is wholly conjectural, for the story of Prudentius (Hymn ix. 123-174) is obviously derived from the painting on the walls of the chapel built in honour of St. Hippolytus at Rome, and can hardly be otherwise than a mere legendary confusion. The
day set apart to his memory was Aug. 13. One statement of Prudentius—that before his martyr dom the saint recanted his approval of the Nova tion schism—is very perplexing, because, on the one hand, such a particular could not have been invented, and, on the other hand, Novation belongs to a later period (A.D. 245). The explanation seems to be that Hippolytus strongly opposed the Noetianism of Callistus, and was therefore in later times considered as a Novation (Bunsen, i. 22o).
In 1551 an old and unique statue of Hippolytus was dug up on the site of his chapel ; at the back of which was inscribed a. list of his works, and among others a book wepl rravros. Now this book is claimed by the author of the "EXe-yxor, and on this and other irrefragable grounds, that remark able treatise (a confutation of all the heresies) is now universally considered to have been the work of Hippolytus. This book was formerly ascribed to Origen. Having been brought from Mount Athos with other manuscripts in 1842, it attracted the attention of M. Emmanuel Miller, under whose direction it was published at the Oxford Press in 1851, under the title, '12pry€yovs OiXoaocbakteva Kara wao-CO v alpeo-low aercos ; but all European scholars now admit that it could not have been written by Origen, and that Hippolytus is the only author to whom it can be attributed. It is a work of great value and interest, and although it refutes thirty-two heresies, is mainly directed against Gnos ticism. Hippolytus is a calm, acute, and learned writer. Most of his other works have either per ished, or only remain to us in fragments. These have been published by J. A. Fabricius (Sancti 1-lippolvti, Episcopi et ilfartyris Opera, 2 vols.
Hamb. r7i8). Among them are parts of various commentaries on books of Scripture. Jerome calls him Vir disertissimus, and a Greek author -yXuniTa ros Kai eiw000-raros. He was a worthy disciple of Irenmus, and the free use he made of great Pagan authors (e.g., Heraclitus) gives additional value to his ivritings. Besides this, he was the first preacher of note whom the Church of Rome ever produced.' (See Bunsen, Hippolytus and his Age, 4 vols. 1852 ; Gieseler, Stud. und 1853; Dollinger, Ililyolytus and Callistus, Ratisb. 1853, etc.)—F. W. F.