The ostensible purpose of his mission (apart, of course, from those of pilgrimage and perhaps relic-hunting) was that he might gain further instruction from Jerome on the points raised by the Priscillianists and Origenists; but in reality, it would seem, his business was to stir up and assist Jerome and others against Pelagius, who, since the synod of Carthage in 411, had been living in Palestine, and finding some acceptance there.
A short time before, the pope had received a visit from the Priscillianists after their condemnation in Spain, and had dismissed them.
The list of his works given in the preface mentions the hymns, poems against the Priscillianists and against Symmachus and Peristephanon.
And if it has not been quite proved that so early as the 4th century the Priscillianists of Spain were influenced by Manichaeism, it is at least undoubted that the Paulicians and Bogomiles, as well as the Catharists and the Albigenses, are to be traced back to Manichaeism (and Marcionitism).
Have also been developed in later periods of ecclesiastical history, as for example by the Priscillianists and the Bogomils, and also since the Reformation by Jacob Boehme, Menno Simons and a small fraction of the Anabaptists.
Among the more prominent of Priscillian's friends were two bishops, named Instantius and Salvianus, and Hyginus of Cordova also joined the party; but, through the exertions of Idacius of Emerita, the leading Priscillianists, who had failed to appear before the synod of Spanish and Aquitanian bishops to which they had been summoned, were excommunicated at Saragossa in October 380.