Hippolytus of Rome

Hippolytus of Rome (/həˈpɑːlɪtəs/, Greek: Ἱππόλυτος; c. 170 – c. 235 AD) was one of the most important second-third century Christian theologians, whose provenance, identity and corpus remain elusive to scholars and historians. Suggested communities include Palestine, Egypt, Anatolia, Rome and regions of the mideast. The best historians of literature in the ancient church, including Eusebius of Caesarea and Jerome, openly confess they cannot name where Hippolytus the biblical commentator and theologian served in leadership. They had read his works but did not possess evidence of his community. Photios I of Constantinople describes him in his Bibliotheca (cod. 121) as a disciple of Irenaeus, who was said to be a disciple of Polycarp, and from the context of this passage it is supposed that he suggested that Hippolytus so styled himself.[1] This assertion is doubtful.[2] One older theory asserts he came into conflict with the popes of his time and seems to have headed a schismatic group as a rival to the bishop of Rome, thus becoming an antipope. In this view, he opposed the Roman Popes who softened the penitential system to accommodate the large number of new pagan converts. However, he was reconciled to the Church before he died as a martyr.[2]


Hippolytus of Rome
Saint Hippolytus assisted by two Angels and the Virgin Mary.
Martyr and Bishop of Pontus
Bornc. 170 AD
Rome
Diedc. 235 AD (age about 65)
Sardinia
Venerated in
CanonizedPre-congregation
Feast
PatronageBibbiena, Italy; horses

Starting in the fourth century, various legends arose about him, identifying him as a priest of the Novatianist schism or as a soldier converted by Saint Lawrence. He has also been confused with another martyr of the same name.[2] Pope Pius IV identifies him as "Saint Hippolytus, Bishop of Pontus" who was martyred in the reign of Severus Alexander through his inscription on a statue found at the Church of Saint Lawrence in Rome and kept at the Vatican as photographed and published in Bunsen.[3]