Rufius Antonius Agrypnius Volusianus (PLRE II: 1184-85) was the son of Ceionius Rufius Albinus, a distinguished and clearly non- Christian Roman aristocrat who had served as prefect of the city of Rome 389-91, and appears as a character, one of the most learned, in Macrobius' Saturnalia, the nostalgic depiction from a vantage point of the 430's of what "pagan" life had been like two generations earlier (for the date, see A. Cameron, 'The Date and Identity of Macrobius,' Journal of Roman Studies 56 (1966) 25-38). But his mother was a Christian, and he himself took baptism, at the instigation of his saintly niece Melania the younger (see her life in E. Clark, ed. and trans., The life of Melania, the Younger : introduction, translation and commentary [New York 1984]), on his deathbed in Constantinople in 436. On his life and opinions, see A. Chastagnol, "Le sénateur Volusien et la conversion d'une famille de l'aristocratie romaine au Bas- Empire', Revue des études anciennes 58(1956) 240-53 (who suggests at 252-3 that Paulinus of Nola had also tried to convert him to Christianity); P. Brown, "Aspects of the Christianisation of the Roman Aristocracy," Journal of Roman Studies 51(1961) 1-11, esp. 7-8, reprinted in his Religion and Society in the Age of Saint Augustine (London 1972).

Volusianus had served by this time as proconsul of Africa and as quaestor, and would later serve himself as prefect of the city (417/418) and finally as praetorian prefect for the western empire (428/9) and died in Constantinople while there on official business involving arrangement of an imperial marriage. He is spoken of favorably at the time of his city prefecture by the anti-Christian Rutilius Namatianus, but while in office he also engaged in public business involving the repression of the Pelagians on behalf of orthodox Christianity.