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Scillium



A titular see in Africa Proconsularis, suffragan of Carthage. Perhaps the name should be written Scilium: the real name was possibly Scilli, or better, Scili. On 17 July, 180, six martyrs suffered for the Faith at Scillium; later, a basilica in which St. Augustine preached (Victor Vit., Persecut. Vandal. I, 3, 9; August, Serm. 155, ed. Migne) was dedicated to them (near Douar esh-Shott, west of the town). The Greek version of their Acts, in an addition which is later, says they were natives of "Ischle, Ischle, in Numidia". This name is a Greek transcription of Scillium. The tradition is already recorded in the primitive calendar of Carthage: XVI K. Aug. ss. Scilitanorum (see Martyrolog. Hieronym.", ed. Duchesne and de Rossi, pp. lxx and 92). The Greek compiler intended possibly to speak not of the Province of Numidia, but of the Numidian country and so would have placed Scillium in Proconsular Numidia. In an epitaph of Simitthu, now Chemtou, we read Iscilitana; Simitthu was certainly in Proconsular Numidia, but was Scillium near it? A definitive answer is impossible, and the exact location of Scillium is unknown. Two of its bishops are mentioned: Squillacius, present at the Conference of Carthage, 411; and Pariator, who signed the letter addressed in 646 by the council of the proconsulate to the Patriarch Paul of Constantinople against the Monothelites. The town is mentioned in the seventh century by Georgius Cyprius ("Descriptio orbis romani", 662, ed. Gelzer, Leipzig, 1890, pp. 34, 106) under the name of Schele. Scillium was the native place of St. Cucuphas, martyred at Barcelona (feast on 25 July; cf. Acta SS., July VI, 149), and of St. Felix, martyred at Gerona (feast on 1 August; cf. Acta SS., August, I, 22). Scillium must not be confounded with Silli, or Sililli, in Numidia, the situation of which is unknown nor, as Battandier does ("Annuaire pontifical catholique", Paris, 1910), identified with Kasrin, which is Cillium, a see of Byzantium.

TOULOTTE, Géog. de l'Afrique chrétienne. Proconsulaire (Rennes and Paris, 1892), 235; MONCEAUX, Hist. de l'Afrique chrétienne, I (Paris, 1901), 61 seq.

S. Pétridès.








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