Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online

Get access

Symmachus (Pope)
(1,498 words)

While Symmachus (Nov 22, 498 CE–Jul 19, 514 CE), like most bishops of Rome of the time, had been a deacon in the Roman church prior to assuming office, he was an outsider in the city. He had been born in Sardinia, an island that at some time after 455 CE had been occupied by Vandals, adherents of what was seen as the Arian heresy (Arianism) and persecutors of Catholics; a century later, Sardinia was still thought of as a stronghold of pre-Christian belief. His background was unusual in a period when almost all p…

Cite this page
Moorhead, John, “Symmachus (Pope)”, in: Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online, General Editor David G. Hunter, Paul J.J. van Geest, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte. Consulted online on 05 June 2020 <>
First published online: 2020

▲   Back to top   ▲