Tyconius

FL. c.370-c.390. Donatist lay theologian. For his “Catholic” views he was attacked by Parmenian, the Donatist bishop of Carthage, and excommunicated by a council at Carthage (?), but evidently did not become a Catholic. Two lost works, On Internal War and Expositions of Various Causes, discussed the Donatist-Catholic dispute. His Book of Rules, the first Latin essay in hermeneutics, presents seven keys to spiritual exegesis, which through Augustine's adoption (On Christian Instruction 3:30:42-37:56) had a wide influence. His spiritualizing Commentary on the Apocalypse may be recoverable from a partially extant Catholic recension and the later commentaries of Caesarius,* Primasius,* Bede,* and Beatus* of Liebana. Tyconius differed with Donatist theory in holding the church to be truly universal and “bipartite,” an intermingling, inseparable until the end, of pure and impure, the “cities” of God and the devil. On this and other themes, including grace and faith, he decisively influenced Augustine; both were zealous Paulinists whose thought focused on the church.

T. Hahn, Tyconius-Studien (1900); P. Monceaux, Histoire littéraire de l'Afrique chrétienne 5 (1920), pp. 165-219; W.H.C. Frend, The Donatist Church (1952), pp. 201-5, 316-19; G. Bonner, St. Bede in the Tradition of Western Apocalyptic Commentary (1966); R.A. Markus, Saeculum: History and Society in the Theology of St. Augustine (1970), pp. 115- 22. Comm. on Apoc., ed F. LoBue, Texts and Studies VII (1963), with bibliography.