Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Andreas Agnellus of Ravenna

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Agnellus of Ravenna, Andreas, historian of that church, b. 805; the date of his death is unknown, but was probably about 846. Though called Abbot, first of St. Mary ad Blachernas, and, later, of St. Bartholomew, he appears to have remained a secular priest, being probably only titular abbot of each abbey. He is best known as the author of the "Liber Pontificalis Eccl. Ravennatis", an account of the occupants of his native see, compiled on the model of the Roman Liber Pontificalis (q. v.). It begins with St. Apollinaris (q. v.) and ends with Georgius, the forty-eighth archbishop (846). Though the work contains no little unreliable material, it is a unique and rich source of information concerning the buildings, inscriptions, manners, and religious customs of Ravenna in the ninth century. The author shows a strong bias and loses no opportunity of exalting as traditional the independence or "autocephalia" of the church of Ravenna as against the legitimate authority of the Holy See. For his time he is a kind of polemical Gallican. His work bears also traces of personal vanity. In his efforts to be erudite he often falls into unpardonable errors. The diction is barbarous, and the text is faulty and corrupt.

The work of Agnellus was edited by Bacchini (1708), and by Muratori in the second volume of his Scriptores Rerum Italic, (reprinted in P. L., CVI, 459–752). The latest edition is that of Holder-Egger, in Mon. Germ. Hist. Script. Langob., 265 sqq. (Hanover, 1878). See Ebert, Geschichte der Litteratur des Mittelalters, etc. (Leipzig, 1880), II, 374; Balzani, Le Cronache Italiane nel media ero (Milan, 1900), 93–98. For the peculiar autocephalia claimed by the archbishops of Ravenna (akin to that of Milan and Aquileia) see the note of Duchesne in his edition of the Roman Liber Pontificalis (Paris, 1880), I, 348, 349.