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Ticonius, also spelled Tyconius or Tychonius (active 370–390 AD) was an African Donatist writer whose conception of the City of God influenced St. Augustine of Hippo (who wrote a book on the same topic).

Life and doctrine[edit]

He appears to have had some influence on Augustine of Hippo. He defended a milder form of Donatism than Parmenianus. He admitted a church outside his own sect and rejected the rebaptism of Catholics. Parmenianus wrote a letter against him, quoted by Augustine.[1][2] Otherwise almost all we know of him is contained in Gennadius:[3]

"Tichonius an African was learned in theology, sufficiently instructed in history, not ignorant of secular knowledge. He wrote books, De bello intestino and Expositiones diversarum causarum [these are both Donatist apologies]: in which, to defend his side, he quotes ancient synods; from which he is seen to have been of the Donatist party. He composed eight [should be seven] rules for discovering the meaning of the Scriptures, which he arranged in one book. He also explained the whole Apocalypse of John, understanding all of it in a spiritual sense, nothing carnally. In this exposition he said that the body [of man] is the dwelling-place of an angel. He denied the idea of a kingdom of the righteous on earth lasting a thousand years after the resurrection. Nor did he admit two future resurrections of the dead in the flesh, one of the good and one of the bad, but only one of all, in which the misbegotten and deformed will rise too, so that no part of the human race ever animated by a soul shall perish. He showed the distinction of the resurrection really to be that we must believe that there is a revelation of the righteous now in this world, when those justified by faith rise by baptism from the death of sin to the reward of the eternal life, and the second [resurrection] to be the general one of all flesh. He flourished at the same time as Tyrannius Rufinus; in the reign of Theodosius I and his son".[4]

This gives 379–423 AD as extreme dates of his life.


Ticonius's best known work, the Seven Rules of Interpretation (for the Bible), is quoted and explained by St. Augustine in De doctrina christiana[5] and his authority gave them great importance for many centuries in the West. St. Bede too quotes them.[6]

Ticonius wrote a commentary on the Apocalypse of John, which explains the Apocalypse in light of his seven rules. His interpretation of the Apocalypse is amillennial.



Tyconius defended the Nicene doctrine of the homoousios, by stating:

"[In the image of the Son] sitting with [the Father], he shows that the Son participates in the power of the Father. For what else does it mean that he is seated on the throne of the Father than that he is of one and the same substance? For God the Son is powerful, who in the Father is everywhere and by his own power fills the heaven and the earth."

— Commentary on the Apocalypse 3.21


  • PD-icon.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Ticonius". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  • EarlyChurch.org.uk. "Tyconius (fl. 370 - 390)". Retrieved March 12, 2006.
  • Erickson, Millard J. (1998). Christian Theology (2nd ed.) p. 1213.
  • Tyconius. Le Livre des Regles. Introduced and translated by Jean-Marc Vercruyse. Paris: Cerf, 2004, Pp. 410 (Sources Chretiennes, 488).
  • Tyconius. The Book of Rules. Trans. William S. Babcock. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1989.
  • Tyconius. "The Book of Rules, I–III." In Biblical Interpretation in the Early Church. Trans. K. Froehlich, 104–32. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1985.


  1. ^ "I, i", Contra ep. Parmeniani.
  2. ^ Patrologia Latina, XVIII, 33.
  3. ^ "XVIII", De vir illustr..
  4. ^ Bernoulli, ed. (1895), Freiburg and Leipzig, pp. 68–69.
  5. ^ III, 30–37; P.L., XXIV, 81–90.
  6. ^ Explanatio apocalpsis; P.L., XCIII, 130–32.

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Ticonius". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.

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