Ennodius spent most of his life in Ticinum (Pavia) and Mediolanum (Milan) where he pursued a secular life until 493, when he was ordained deacon to the Bishop of Ticinum. From this time on, he became more religious. In 507, Pope St. Symmachus appointed him to author a panegyric in honor of the Arian King Theodoric, in appreciation of the toleration he showed the Catholics. It has been suggested that not long afterward, Ennodius and Theodoric became personal friends, but I have seen little actual evidence of this.
Ennodius became Bishop of Ticinum c. 513, and by this time he had become completely religious in nature. In 513, Ennodius was sent on an embassy by Theodoric to the court of the Eastern Emperor Anastasius I at Constantinople.
Public career notwithstanding, Ennodius, like his kinsman Boethius is primarily remembered for his intellectual contributions. He wrote extensively, including poetry; a biography of his predecessor in the See of Ticinum, Epiphanius; a compilation of model speeches called the Dictiones which showed contemporary rhetorical styles; a series of epistles on wide ranging topics, many of whom were addressed to Boethius; his Paraenesis didascalica was a noted treatise on grammar and rhetoric; and many other writings. In a number of his writings, one finds him defending pagan Roman traditions and trying to reconcile them with Christianity, this being an apparent passion for him.
In 521, Ennodius died while still serving as Bishop of Ticinum.