Chrysologus, Petrus, archbp. of Ravenna, a.d. 433–454, said to have been born at Forum Cornelii (Imola), according to Agnellus, in the episcopate of Cornelius, by whom he was brought up ( Serm. 165), ordained deacon, and made oeconomus of the church. The ordinary account of Peter's elevation to the see of Ravenna, which is repeated by successive biographers with ever-increasing definiteness of statement, does too much violence to the facts of history to be worthy of credit. The improbabilities of the story are exposed by Tillemont, and it is stigmatized by Dupin as "a groundless tale related by no credible author." It is, however, given so circumstantially by Agnellus in his Liber Pontificalis that it may contain some distorted elements of truth.

In the 176 sermons of his still extant we look in vain for traces of the golden eloquence to which he owed his surname. They are very short, written in brief simple sentences; his meaning is always clear, and his language natural; but there is nothing in them calculated to touch the heart or move the affections. His fame as a preacher evidently depended more on voice and manner than on matter. His sermons are almost all on subjects from the gospels, usually the parables and miracles, commencing with a course of six on the prodigal son. Many other works ascribed to him, including commentaries on Scripture, and letters against the Arians, have all perished by fire, partly in the siege of Imola, by Theodoric, c. a.d. 524; partly in the conflagration of the archbishop's library at Ravenna, c. a.d. 700.

Tillemont, xv. 114 seq.; Cave, Hist. Lit. i. 432; Migne, Patr. Lat. lii. pp. 9–680; Herzog, Real-Encyc. ii. 695.