Florus of Lyon

Florus of Lyon (Florus Lugdunensis), a deacon in Lyon, was an ecclesiastical writer in the first half of the ninth century. He was probably born shortly before 810. There is no reliable evidence that he was alive after January 859, so his death can be placed around the year 860.

As one of the most brilliant spirits of his time, Florus composed impressive compilations of the Church Fathers on defined subjects (Paul's epistles). He had some acquaintance with Greek, which was rare in his time, and a little Hebrew. He directed the Lyons scriptorium in which he produced editions of many texts: we owe to Florus the transmission of some ancient texts : especially the Latin version (the only complete) of Irenæus' Adversus Hæreses and excerpts from the lost work Contra Fabianum of Fulgentius of Ruspe.

Florus was also much involved in contemporary debates. He was a partisan of Archbishop Agobard of Lyon, who was deposed in 835 for his role in the rebellion against Emperor Louis the Pious, and replaced by Amalarius. In Agobard's defence, Florus wrote a short treatise on how bishops should be appointed;[1] he also attacked Amalarius on theological grounds, accusing him of heretical interpretation of the liturgy.

Florus also used his remarkable knowledge of Augustine to contribute to the Predestination debates of the mid ninth century, in which he defended Gottschalk of Orbais. In the course of these debates, Florus was able to show the inauthenticity of several Pseudo-Augustinian texts.

Almost forgotten for a thousand years, Florus was rediscovered thanks in part to the works of Dom Célestin Charlier, O.S.B., in the mid-twentieth century. Subsequent studies are beginning to provide the first critical editions of his works.[2]


  1. The treatise is translated and discussed at http://turbulentpriests.group.shef.ac.uk/how-to-become-bishop-ecclesiastical-liberty-in-the-ninth-century/
  2. Flori Lugdunensis Opera Omnia: Corpus Christianorum Continuatio Mediaeualis, Turnhout: Brepols, from 2002.

Klaus Zechiel-Eckes, Florus von Lyon als Kirchenpolitiker und Publizist (1999)

External links

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "article name needed". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton. 

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