Fortunatianus, who was bishop of Aquileia in the middle of the 4th century, has not received much scholarly attention. His commentary on the Gospels, which was written under Constantius II (337-361) and used by later writers such as Jerome, was thought to be lost, apart from three short excerpts which were discovered only in the 20th century. However, a (nearly) complete copy of Fortunatianus’ allegedly lost commentary on the Gospels was found in 2012. The present article takes this discovery as an occasion to collect and discuss all the extant sources which are relevant for reconstructing the biography and career of bishop Fortunatianus of Aquileia. Furthermore, it discusses Fortunatianus’ theological positions in the dogmatic controversies of the 4th century on the basis of the full text of his Gospel commentary for the first time (which makes it possible to reject earlier conjectures about his supposed inclinations to “Arianism”). Finally, this article addresses in an appendix the reliability of Jerome as witness to Fortunatianus’ life and work.
© 2014 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston