Dictionary of Christian Biography and Literature to the End of the Sixth Century/Primasius, bp. of Adrumetum
Primasius, bp. of Adrumetum or Justinianopolis, in the Byzacene province of N. Africa. He flourished in the middle of 6th cent., and exercised considerable influence on the literary activity of the celebrated theological lawyer JUNILIUS, who dedicated to him his Institutes, which spread the views of Theodore of Mopsuestia in the West. Primasius first comes before us in a synod of his province in 541, the decrees of which are known only through Justinian's decrees confirming them, as given in Baronius, Ann. 541, n. 10–12. He was sent to Constantinople in connexion with the controversy on the Three Chapters c. 551. He assisted in the synod which pope Vigilius held against Theodore Ascidas and was still in Constantinople during the session of the fifth general council, but took no part in it, notwithstanding repeated solicitations (Mansi, ix. 199 seq.). He was one of 16 bishops who signed the Constitutum of pope Vigilius, May 14, 553. When, however, Vigilius accepted the decrees of the fifth council, Primasius signed them also. According to Victor Tunun. (Migne's Patr. Lat. t. lxviii. col. 959), other motives conspired to bring about this change. He was at first exiled to a convent, and then the death of Boethius primate of the Byzacene aroused his ambition to be his successor. He gained his point, but, returning home, his suffragans denounced him as guilty of sacrilege and robbery. He died soon afterwards. His writings (ib. pp. 407–936) embrace commentaries on St. Paul's Epp. and the Apocalypse; likewise a treatise (now lost), de Haeresibus, touching on some points which Augustine did not live to treat with sufficient fullness (Isid. HispaI.Vir. lll. xxii. in ib. lxxxiii. 1095; Cave, i. 525; Tillem. xiii. 927, xvi. 21). Our Primasius is sometimes confounded with bp. Primasius of Carthage. The best account of Primasius of Adrumetum is in Kihn's Theodor von Mopsuestia, pp. 248–254, where a critical estimate is formed "of the sources of his exegetical works. [CHILIASTS.] Cf. also Zahn, Forschungen, iv. 1–224 (1891).