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Avitus

d. c.519. Bishop of Vienne. Born Alcumus Edicius Avitus in Auvergne of a Roman senatorial family, he succeeded to the see of Vienne in Gaul about 490, on the death of his father Isychius. He became very influential in the ecclesiastical life of Burgundy and won King Sigismund from Arianism to orthodoxy. He was a strong contender against Arianism,* ardently defended the primacy of Rome, and strongly advocated closer ecclesiastical union between Gaul and Rome. His reputation for learning much impressed his generation, including the then pagan King Clovis. Among his surviving writings are five poems inspired by the Book of Genesis (De Mosaicae Historiae Gestis), homilies, a poem in praise of virginity (De Virginitate), and about a hundred epistles.

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