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Magnus Felix Ennodius

c.473-521. Bishop of Pavia. He was born at Arles, but with the invasion of the Visigoths was brought up either in Pavia or Milan. He married in 489, and this saved him from poverty, but by mutual consent the marriage was subsequently renounced when he was ordained deacon by Epiphanius, bishop of Pavia, about 493. In the years that followed he taught rhetoric at Milan. In 494 he accompanied Epiphanius on an embassy to Gundebaud, king of the Burgundians, to procure the ransom of prisoners. In the dispute over the succession to Pope Anastasius II (d.498), he defended Symmachus and the synod of 501 acquitted him. Somewhat later he composed a panegyric to Theodoric who had confirmed Symmachus's election.

Ennodius succeeded Maximus II in the see of Pavia about 514, and in 515 and 517 he was sent by Pope Hormisdas on an embassy to the emperor Anastasius I to oppose the Monophysite heresy and to effect a reconciliation between Rome and the East necessitated by the Acacian Schism.* Neither embassy was successful, and the schism continued until the succession of Justin in 518. The abundant writings of Ennodius are strongly imbued with pagan culture and are unattractive in style. They throw valuable light, however, on the age in which he lived.