Bacchylus, Bishop of Corinth, whom Eusebius mentions among the prominent second-century churchmen (H. E., V, xxii), is known only by the part he took in sustaining Pope Victor I in the Quartodeciman controversy. When that pope, determining to have the Roman paschal computation universally accepted, wrote to secure the cooperation of influential churches, many synods were held and their presiding bishops wrote to Victor, all, with the exception of the Asiatics, in support of his design. Among them was Bacchylus. According to a ninth-century witness (c. xiii in Hardouin, Acta Concil., V, 1495) he had held a provincial synod, about 195, with eighteen other bishops; and St. Jerome attests that his letter, qualified as elegantem librum, was written in the name of the bishops of Achaia (De vir. ill., c. xliv). Eusebius, however, who had perhaps seen the letter, distinguishes it from the synodical epistles by saying that it was written in Bacchylus’s own name (loc. cit., xxiii). It might be that Bacchylus held a synod, but in writing gave his letter a personal rather than a collective form. No text of the letter is extant, the sources above referred to containing the only available data.
JOHN B. PETERSON