« Prev The Distinguished Ecclesiastics of our Day, and… Next »

Chapter XXXII.—The Distinguished Ecclesiastics24362436    ἐκκλησιαστικῶν ἀνδρῶν.of our Day, and which of them survived until the Destruction of the Churches.

1. At this time, Felix,24372437    On Felix, see chap. 30, note 34. having presided over the church of Rome for five years, was succeeded by Eutychianus,24382438    Jerome’s version of the Chron. agrees with this passage in assigning eight months to the episcopate of Eutychianus, while the Armenian gives him only two months. The Liberian catalogue, however, gives eight years eleven months and three days; and Lipsius accepts these figures as correct, putting his accession on the fifth of January, 275, and his death on the eighth of December, 283. Jerome puts his accession in the fifth year of Probus, which is wide of the mark, the Armenian in the second year, which is also too late by about two years. Lipsius explains the eight months of the Church History and the Chron. as a change, in their original source, of years to mouths. The present error makes up in part for the error in chap. 27, where Xystus is given eleven years instead of eleven months. Eutychianus was not a martyr, but was buried, according to the Liberian catalogue, in the Catacombs of St. Calixtus, a statement which has been confirmed by the discovery of a stone bearing his name. but he in less than ten months left the position to Caius,24392439    According to the Liberian catalogue, Caius became bishop on the 17th of December, 283, and held office for twelve years four months and six (or seven) days, i.e. until April 22, 296, and these dates are accepted by Lipsius as correct. Both versions of the Chron. agree with the History in assigning fifteen years to Caius’ episcopate, but this error is of a piece with the others which abound in this period. The report of his martyrdom is fabulous. who lived in our day. He held it about fifteen years, and was in turn succeeded by Marcellinus,24402440    According to the Liberian catalogue, Marcellinus became bishop on the 30th of June, 296, and held office for eight years three months and twenty-five days, i.e. until the 25th of October, 304, and these dates Lipsius accepts as correct, although there is considerable uncertainty as to the exact date of his death. Jerome’s version of the Chron. puts his accession in the twelfth year of Diocletian, which is not far out of the way, but does not give the duration of his episcopate, nor does Eusebius in his History. The Armenian Chron. does not mention Marcellinus at all. Tradition, although denied by many of the Fathers, says that he proved wanting in the Diocletian persecution, and this seems to have been a fact. It is also said that he afterward repented and suffered martyrdom, but that is only an invention. The expression of Eusebius in this connection is ambiguous; he simply says he was “overtaken by the persecution,” which might mean martyrdom, or might mean simply arrest. The eleven bishops that preceded him from Pontianus to Caius were buried in the Catacombs of St. Calixtus, but he was buried in those of Priscilla. who was overtaken by the persecution.

2. About the same time Timæus24412441    Of Timæus we know nothing, nor can we fix his dates. The Chron. puts his accession in the year of Abr. 2288 (270 a.d.), and the accession of his successor, Cyril, in 2297 (279 a.d.), but the former at least is certainly far too early. Harnack (Zeit des Ignatius, p. 53) concludes that Cyril must have been bishop as early as 280, and hence neither Domnus nor Timæus can have held office a great while. received the episcopate of Antioch after Domnus,24422442    On Domnus, see chap. 30, note 24. and Cyril,24432443    According to Jerome’s Chron., Cyril became bishop in the year of Abr. 2297, or fourth year of Probus (279–280 a.d.); and Harnack accepts this as at least approximately correct. The same authority puts the accession of his successor, Tyrannus, in the eighteenth year of Diocletian (301–302 a.d.), and just below Eusebius says that the destruction of the churches (in Diocletian’s persecution) took place under Tyrannus, not under Cyril. But the Passio sanctorum quattuor coronatorum (see Mason’s Persecution of Diocletian, p. 259–271) contains a reference to him which assumes that he was condemned to the mines, and died there after three years. The condemnation, if a fact, must have taken place after the second edict of Diocletian (303 a.d.), and his death therefore in 306. There is no other authority for this report, but Harnack considers it in the highest degree probable, and the indirect way in which Cyril is mentioned certainly argues for its truth. Neither Eusebius nor Jerome, however, seems to have known anything about it, and this is very hard to explain. The matter must, in fact, be left undecided. See Harnack, Zeit des Ignatius, p. 53 sq. who lived in our day, succeeded him. In his time we became acquainted with Dorotheus,24442444    This Dorotheus and his contemporary, Lucian (mentioned below, in Bk. VIII. chap. 13), are the earliest representatives of the sound critical method of Biblical exegesis, for which the theological school at Antioch was distinguished, over against the school of Alexandria, in which the allegorical method was practiced. From Bk. VIII. chap. 6 we learn that Dorotheus suffered martyrdom by hanging early in the Diocletian persecution, so that it must have been from this emperor, and not from Constantine, that he received his appointment mentioned just below. Diocletian, before he began to persecute, had a number of Christian officials in his household, and treated them with considerable favor. a man of learning among those of his day, who was honored with the office of presbyter in Antioch. He was a lover of the beautiful in divine things, and devoted himself to the Hebrew language, so that he read the Hebrew Scriptures with facility.24452445    As Closs remarks, the knowledge of Hebrew was by no means a common thing among the early teachers of the Church; and therefore Dorotheus is praised for his acquaintance with it.

3. He belonged to those who were especially liberal, and was not unacquainted with Grecian propædeutics.24462446    προπαιδείας τῆς καθ᾽ ῞Ελληνας. Compare. Bk. VI. chap. 18, §3. Besides this he was a eunuch,24472447    According to the first canon of the Council of Nicæa (see Hefele, Conciliengeschichte, I. p. 376), persons who made themselves eunuchs were not to be allowed to become clergymen, nor to remain clergymen if already such. But this prohibition was not to apply to persons who were made eunuchs by physicians or by their persecutors; and the latter part of the canon confines the prohibition expressly to those who have purposely performed the act upon themselves, and hence nothing would have stood in the way of the advancement of one born a eunuch as Dorotheus was, even had he lived after the Council of Nicæa, and still less previous to that time. Closs (followed by Heinichen) is therefore hardly correct in regarding the fact that Dorotheus held office as an exception to the established order of things. having been so from his very birth. On this account, as if it were a miracle, the emperor24482448    i.e. Diocletian. took him into his family, and honored him by placing him over the purple dye-works at Tyre. We have heard him expound the Scriptures wisely in the Church.

4. After Cyril, Tyrannus24492449    According to Jerome’s Chron. Tyrannus became bishop in the eighteenth year of Diocletian (301–302). If the account of Cyril’s death accepted by Harnack be taken as correct, this date is at least a year too early. If Cyril was sent to the mines in 303 and died in 306, Tyrannus may have become bishop in 303, or not until 306. According to Theodoret, H. E. I. 3, his successor, Vitalis, is said to have become bishop “after peace had been restored to the Church,” which seems to imply, though it is not directly said, that Tyrannus himself lived until that time (i.e. until 311). We know nothing certainly either about his character or the dates of his episcopate. re318ceived the episcopate of the parish of Antioch. In his time occurred the destruction of the churches.

5. Eusebius,24502450    This Eusebius, who is mentioned with praise by Dionysius of Alexandria, in the epistle quoted in chap. 11, above, was a deacon in the church of Alexandria, who distinguished himself by his good offices during the persecution of Valerian (a.d. 257), as recorded in that epistle, and also during the revolt and siege of Alexandria after the death of Valerian (in 262), as recorded in this chapter. From the account given here we see that he attended the first, or at least one of the earlier councils of Antioch in which the case of Paul was discussed (undoubtedly as the representative of Dionysius, whose age prevented his attending the first one, as mentioned in chap. 27), and the Laodiceans, becoming acquainted with him there, compelled him to accept the bishopric of their church, at that time vacant. As we see from the account of Anatolius’ appointment farther on in this chapter, he died before the meeting of the council which condemned Paul. We know in regard to him only what is told us in these two chapters. The name Eusebius was a very common one in the early Church. The Dict. of Christ. Biog. mentions 137 persons of that name belonging to the first eight centuries. who had come from the city of Alexandria, ruled the parishes of Laodicea after Socrates.24512451    Of this Socrates we know nothing. The occasion of his removal thither was the affair of Paul. He went on this account to Syria, and was restrained from returning home by those there who were zealous in divine things. Among our contemporaries he was a beautiful example of religion, as is readily seen from the words of Dionysius which we have quoted.24522452    In chap. 11, above.

6. Anatolius24532453    Anatolius we are told here was a man of great distinction both for his learning and for his practical common sense. It is not said that he held any ecclesiastical office in Alexandria, but farther on in the chapter we are told that he left that city after the close of the siege, as Eusebius had done, and that he was ordained assistant bishop by Theotecnus, bishop of Cæsarea, and was the latter’s colleague in that church for a short time. When on his way to (possibly on his return from) the synod of Antioch, which passed condemnation upon Paul (and at which Theotecnus was also present), he passed through Laodicea and was prevailed upon to accept the bishopric of that city, Eusebius, his old friend, being deceased. The way in which Laodicea got its two bishops is thus somewhat remarkable. The character of Anatolius is clear from the account which follows. Jerome mentions him in his de vir. ill. chap. 73, and in his Ep. ad Magnum (Migne, No. 70), but adds nothing to Eusebius’ account. Upon his writings, one of which is quoted in this chapter, see below, notes 21 and 32. was appointed his successor; one good man, as they say, following another. He also was an Alexandrian by birth. In learning and skill in Greek philosophy, such as arithmetic and geometry, astronomy, and dialectics in general, as well as in the theory of physics, he stood first among the ablest men of our time, and he was also at the head in rhetorical science. It is reported that for this reason he was requested by the citizens of Alexandria to establish there a school of Aristotelian philosophy.24542454    τῆς ᾽Αριστοτέλους διαδοχῆς τὴν διατριβήν: “A school of the Aristotelian succession,” or “order.”

7. They relate of him many other eminent deeds during the siege of the Pyrucheium24552455    The Pyrucheium (the mss. of Eusebius vary considerably in their spelling, but I have adopted that form which seems best supported) or Brucheium (as it is called by other ancient writers and as it is more generally known) was one of the three districts of Alexandria and was inhabited by the royal family and by the Greeks. It was the finest and most beautiful quarter of the city, and contained, besides the royal palaces, many magnificent public buildings. Comprising, as it did, the citadel as well, it was besieged a number of times, and it is uncertain which siege is meant in the present case. It seems to me most likely that we are to think of the time of the revolt of Æmilian (see above, chap. 11, note 4), in 260 a.d., when the Romans under Theodotus besieged and finally (just how soon we cannot tell, but the city seems to have been at peace again at least in 264) took the Brucheium. Valesius and others think of a later siege under Claudius, but that seems to me too late (see Tillemont, Hist. des Emp. III. p. 345 sq.). in Alexandria, on account of which he was especially honored by all those in high office; but I will give the following only as an example.

8. They say that bread had failed the besieged, so that it was more difficult to withstand the famine than the enemy outside; but he being present provided for them in this manner. As the other part of the city was allied with the Roman army, and therefore was not under siege, Anatolius sent for Eusebius,—for he was still there before his transfer to Syria, and was among those who were not besieged, and possessed, moreover, a great reputation and a renowned name which had reached even the Roman general,—and he informed him of those who were perishing in the siege from famine.

9. When he learned this he requested the Roman commander as the greatest possible favor, to grant safety to deserters from the enemy. Having obtained his request, he communicated it to Anatolius. As soon as he received the message he convened the senate of Alexandria, and at first proposed that all should come to a reconciliation with the Romans. But when he perceived that they were angered by this advice, he said, “But I do not think you will oppose me, if I counsel you to send the supernumeraries and those who are in nowise useful to us, as old women and children and old men, outside the gates, to go wherever they may please. For why should we retain for no purpose these who must at any rate soon die? and why should we destroy with hunger those who are crippled and maimed in body, when we ought to provide only for men and youth, and to distribute the necessary bread among those who are needed for the garrison of the city?”

10. With such arguments he persuaded the assembly, and rising first he gave his vote that the entire multitude, whether of men or women, who were not needful for the army, should depart from the city, because if they remained and unnecessarily continued in the city, there would be for them no hope of safety, but they would perish with famine.

11. As all the others in the senate agreed to this, he saved almost all the besieged. He provided that first, those belonging to the church, and afterwards, of the others in the city, those of every age should escape, not only the classes included in the decree, but, under cover of these, a multitude of others, secretly clothed in women’s garments; and through his management they went out of the gates by night and escaped to the Roman camp. 319There Eusebius, like a father and physician, received all of them, wasted away through the long siege, and restored them by every kind of prudence and care.

12. The church of Laodicea was honored by two such pastors in succession, who, in the providence of God, came after the aforesaid war from Alexandria to that city.

13. Anatolius did not write very many works; but in such as have come down to us we can discern his eloquence and erudition. In these he states particularly his opinions on the passover. It seems important to give here the following extracts from them.24562456    Anatolius’ work on the passover is still extant in a Latin translation supposed to be the work of Rufinus (though this is uncertain), and which was first published by Ægidius Bucherius in his Doctrina Temporum, Antwerp, 1634. Ideler (Chron. II. 230) claims that this supposed translation of Anatolius is a work of the seventh century. But there are the best of reasons for supposing it an early translation of Anatolius’ genuine work (see Zahn, Forschungen zur Gesch. des N. T. Kanons, III. p. 177–196). The Latin version is given with the other extant fragments of Anatolius’ works in Migne’s Pat. Gr. X. 209–222, 231–236, and an English translation of the Paschal Canons in the Ante-Nicene Fathers, VI. p. 146–151. Upon this work of Anatolius, see especially the works of Ideler and Zahn referred to just above.

14. From the Paschal Canons of Anatolius. “There is then in the first year the new moon of the first month, which is the beginning of every cycle of nineteen years,24572457    Anatolius was, so far as we know, the first Christian to employ the old Metonic nineteen-year cycle for the determination of Easter (see above, chap. 20, note 6). on the twenty-sixth day of the Egyptian Phamenoth;24582458    Phamenoth was the seventh month of the Alexandrian year, which was introduced in the reign of Augustus (b.c. 25) and began on the 29th of August. The month Phamenoth, therefore, began on the 25th of February, and the 26th of the month corresponded to the 22d of our March. but according to the months of the Macedonians, the twenty-second day of Dystrus,24592459    Dystrus was the seventh month of the Macedonian year, and corresponded exactly with our March, so that the 22d of Dystrus was the 22d of March, which according to the Roman method of reckoning was the eleventh day before the Kalends of April. or, as the Romans would say, the eleventh before the Kalends of April.

15. On the said twenty-sixth of Phamenoth, the sun is found not only entered on the first segment,24602460    i.e. the first of the twelve signs of the Zodiac. On Anatolius’ method of calculation, see Ideler, ibid. but already passing through the fourth day in it. They are accustomed to call this segment the first dodecatomorion,24612461    δωδεκατημόριον: “twelfth-part.” and the equinox, and the beginning of months, and the head of the cycle, and the starting-point of the planetary circuit. But they call the one preceding this the last of months, and the twelfth segment, and the final dodecatomorion, and the end of the planetary circuit. Wherefore we maintain that those who place the first month in it, and determine by it the fourteenth of the passover, commit no slight or common blunder.

16. And this is not an opinion of our own; but it was known to the Jews of old, even before Christ, and was carefully observed by them. This may be learned from what is said by Philo, Josephus, and Musæus;24622462    So far as I am aware, Musæus is known to us only from this reference of Anatolius. and not only by them, but also by those yet more ancient, the two Agathobuli,24632463    Who the two Agathobuli were we do not know. In the Chron. of Eusebius a philosopher Agathobulus is mentioned under the third year of Hadrian in connection with Plutarch, Sextus, and Œnomaus. Valesius therefore suspects that Anatolius is in error in putting the Agathobuli earlier than Philo and Josephus. I must confess, however, that the connection in which Eusebius mentions Agathobulus in his Chron. makes it seem to me very improbable that he can be referring to either of the Agathobuli whom Anatolius mentions, and that it is much more likely that the latter were two closely related Jewish writers (perhaps father and son), who lived, as Anatolius says, before the time of Philo. surnamed ‘Masters,’ and the famous Aristobulus,24642464    Aristobulus was a well-known Hellenistic philosopher of Alexandria, who lived in the time of Ptolemy Philometor in the second century b.c. He was thoroughly acquainted with Greek philosophy, and was in many respects the forerunner of Philo. Anatolius’ statement that he wrote in the time of Ptolemy Philadelphus, and consequently his report that he was one of the seventy translators of the Septuagint (on the legend as to its composition, see Bk. V. chap. 8, note 31) must be looked upon as certainly an error (see Clement Alex Strom. I. 22, Eusebius’ Præp. Evang. IX. 6, and XIII. 12, and his Chron., year of Abr. 1841). He is mentioned often by Clement of Alexandria, by Origen (Contra Cels. IV. 51), and by Eusebius, who in his Præp. Evang. (VII. 14 and VIII. 10) gives two fragments of his work (or works) On the Mosaic Law. It is doubtless to this same work that Anatolius refers in the present passage. No other fragments of his writings are extant. See especially Schürer, Gesch. der Juden im Zeitalter Jesu Christi, II. p. 760 sq. See also Bk. VI. chap. 23, note 13, above. who was chosen among the seventy interpreters of the sacred and divine Hebrew Scriptures24652465    On the origin of the LXX, see above, Bk. V. chap. 8, note 31. The mythical character of the common legend in regard to its composition is referred to in that note, and that the LXX (or at least that part of it which comprises the law) was already in existence before the time of Aristobulus is clear from the latter’s words, quoted by Eusebius, Præp. Evang. XIII. 12, 1–2 (Heinichen’s ed.). by Ptolemy Philadelphus and his father, and who also dedicated his exegetical books on the law of Moses to the same kings.

17. These writers, explaining questions in regard to the Exodus, say that all alike should sacrifice the passover offerings after the vernal equinox, in the middle of the first month. But this occurs while the sun is passing through the first segment of the solar, or as some of them have styled it, the zodiacal circle. Aristobulus adds that it is necessary for the feast of the passover, that not only the sun should pass through the equinoctial segment, but the moon also.

18. For as there are two equinoctial segments, the vernal and the autumnal, directly opposite each other, and as the day of the passover was appointed on the fourteenth of the month, beginning with the evening, the moon will hold a position diametrically opposite the sun, as may be seen in full moons; and the sun will be in the segment of the vernal equinox, and of necessity the moon in that of the autumnal.

19. I know that many other things have been said by them, some of them probable, and some approaching absolute demonstration, by which they endeavor to prove that it is altogether necessary to keep the passover and the feast of unleavened bread after the equinox. But I refrain from demanding this sort of demonstration for matters from which the veil of the Mosaic law has been removed, so that now at 320length with uncovered face we continually behold as in a glass Christ and the teachings and sufferings of Christ.24662466    Cf. 2 Cor. iii. 18. But that with the Hebrews the first month was near the equinox, the teachings also of the Book of Enoch show.”24672467    The Book of Enoch is one of the so-called Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, which was widely used in the ancient Church, and is quoted in the Epistle of Jude, 14 sq. The work disappeared after about the fifth century, and was supposed to have perished (with the exception of a few fragments) until in 1773 it was discovered entire in an Ethiopic Bible, and in 1838 was published in Ethiopic by Lawrence, who in 1821 had already translated it into English. Dillmann also published the Ethiopic text in 1851, and in 1853 a German translation with commentary. Dillmann’s edition of the original entirely supersedes that of Lawrence, and his translation and commentary still form the standard work upon the subject. More recently it has been re-translated into English and discussed by George H. Schodde: The Book of Enoch, translated, with Introduction and Notes, Andover, 1882. The literature on the book of Enoch is very extensive. See especially Schodde’s work, the German translation of Dillmann, Schürer’s Gesch. der Juden, II. p. 616 sq., and Lipsius’ article, Enoch, Apocryphal Book of, in the Dict. of Christ. Biog.
   The teachings of the book to which Anatolius refers are found in the seventy-second chapter (Schodde’s ed. p. 179 sq.), which contains a detailed description of the course of the sun during the various months of the year.

20. The same writer has also left the Institutes of Arithmetic, in ten books,24682468    ᾽Αριθμητικὰς εἰσαγωγ€ς. A few fragments of this work are given in the Theologumena Arithmeticæ (Paris, 1543), p. 9, 16, 24, 34, 56, 64 (according to Fabricius), and by Fabricius in his Bibl. Gr. II. 275–277 (ed. Harles, III. 462 sq.). and other evidences of his experience and proficiency in divine things.

21. Theotecnus,24692469    On Theotecnus, see chap. 14, note 9. bishop of Cæsarea in Palestine, first ordained him as bishop, designing to make him his successor in his own parish after his death. And for a short time both of them presided over the same church.24702470    On the custom of appointing assistant bishops, see Bk. VI. chap. 11, note 1. But the synod which was held to consider Paul’s case24712471    Eusebius doubtless refers here to the final council at which Paul was condemned, and which has been already mentioned in chaps. 29 and 30 (on its date, see chap. 29, note 1). That it is this particular council to which he refers is implied in the way in which it is spoken of,—as if referring to the well-known synod, of which so much has been said,—and still further by the fact that Eusebius, who had attended the first one (see above, §5), and had then become bishop of Laodicea, was already dead. called him to Antioch, and as he passed through the city of Laodicea, Eusebius being dead, he was detained by the brethren there.

22. And after Anatolius had departed this life, the last bishop of that parish before the persecution was Stephen,24722472    Of Stephen, bishop of Laodicea, we know only what Eusebius tells us in this passage. who was admired by many for his knowledge of philosophy and other Greek learning. But he was not equally devoted to the divine faith, as the progress of the persecution manifested; for it showed that he was a cowardly and unmanly dissembler rather than a true philosopher.

23. But this did not seriously injure the church, for Theodotus24732473    Theodotus, of whom Eusebius speaks in such high terms in this passage, was bishop of Laodicea for a great many years, and played a prominent part in the Arian controversy, being one of the most zealous supporters of the Arian cause (see Theodoret, H. E. I. 5 and V. 7, and Athanasius de Synodis Arim. et Seleuc. I. 17). He was present at the Council of Nicæa (Labbe, Concil. II. 51), and took part in the council which deposed Eustathius of Antioch, in 330 (according to Theodoret, H. E. I. 21, whose account, though unreliable, is very likely correct so far as its list of bishops is concerned; on the council, see also p. 21, above). He was already dead in the year 341; for his successor, George, was present at the Council of Antioch (In Encæniis), which was held in that year (see Sozomen, H. E. III. 5, and cf. Hefele, Conciliengesch. I. p. 502 sq.). We have no information that he was present at the Council of Tyre, in 335 (as is incorrectly stated by Labbe, who confounds Theodore of Heraclea with Theodotus; see Theodoret, H. E. I. 28). It is, therefore, possible that he was dead at that time, though his absence of course does not prove it. According to Socrates, H. E. II. 46, and Sozomen, H. E. VI. 25, Theodotus had trouble with the two Apolinarii, father and son, who resided at Antioch. We do not know the date of the younger Apolinarius’ birth (the approximate date, 335, given in the article in the Dict. of Christ. Biog. is a gross error), but we can hardly put it much earlier than 320, and therefore as he was a reader in the church, according to Socrates (Sozomen calls him only a youth) in the time of Theodotus, it seems best to put the death of the latter as late as possible, perhaps well on toward 340. The date of his accession is unknown to us; but as Eusebius says that he became bishop straightway after the fall of Stephen, we cannot well put his accession later than 311; so that he held office in all probability some thirty years. Venables’ article on Theodotus, in the Dict. of Christ. Biog. is a tissue of errors, caused by identifying Theodotus with Theodore of Heraclea (an error committed by Labbe before him) and with another Theodotus, present at the Council of Seleucia, in 359 (Athanasius, ibid. I. 12; cf. Hefele, Conciliengesch. I. p. 713). restored their affairs, being straightway made bishop of that parish by God himself, the Saviour of all. He justified by his deeds both his lordly name24742474    Θεόδοτος: “God-given.” and his office of bishop. For he excelled in the medical art for bodies, and in the healing art for souls. Nor did any other man equal him in kindness, sincerity, sympathy, and zeal in helping such as needed his aid. He was also greatly devoted to divine learning. Such an one was he.

24. In Cæsarea in Palestine, Agapius24752475    Of Agapius we know only what Eusebius tells us in this passage. He was the immediate predecessor of Eusebius in the church of Cæsarea, and probably survived the persecution, but not for many years (see above, p. 10 sq.). Eusebius speaks of him in the past tense, so that he was clearly already dead at the time this part of the History was written (i.e. probably in 313; see above, p. 45). succeeded Theotecnus, who had most zealously performed the duties of his episcopate. Him too we know to have labored diligently, and to have manifested most genuine providence in his oversight of the people, particularly caring for all the poor with liberal hand.

25. In his time we became acquainted with Pamphilus,24762476    Pamphilus, a presbyter of Cæsarea, was Eusebius’ teacher and most intimate friend, and after his death Eusebius showed his affection and respect for him by adopting his name, styling himself Eusebius Pamphili. He pursued his studies in Alexandria (according to Photius, under Pierius, more probably under Achillas, the head of the catechetical school there; see below, notes 42 and 53), and conceived an unbounded admiration for Origen, the great light of that school, which he never lost. Pamphilus is chiefly celebrated for the library which he collected at Cæsarea and to which Eusebius owes a large part of the materials of his history. Jerome also made extensive use of it. It was especially rich in copies of the Scripture, of commentaries upon it, and of Origen’s works (see above, p. 38). He wrote very little, devoting himself chiefly to the study of Scripture, and to the transcription of mss. of it and of the works of Origen. During the last two years of his life, however, while in prison, he wrote with the assistance of Eusebius a Defense of Origen in five books, to which Eusebius afterward added a sixth (see above, p. 36 sq.). During the persecution under Maximinus, he was thrown into prison by Urbanus, prefect of Cæsarea, in 307, and after remaining two years in close confinement, cheered by the companionship of Eusebius, he was put to death by Firmilian, the successor of Urbanus, in 309, as recorded below, in the Martyrs of Palestine, chap. 11 (see above, p. 9). The Life of Pamphilus which Eusebius wrote is no longer extant (see above, p. 28). On Pamphilus, see Jerome, de vir. ill. chap. 75, and Photius, Cod. 118. See also the present volume, p. 5–9 passim. that most eloquent man, of truly philosophical life, who was esteemed worthy of the office of presbyter in that parish. It would be no small matter to show what sort of a man he was and whence he came. But we have de321scribed, in our special work concerning him,24772477    On Eusebius’ Life of Pamphilus, see above p. 28 sq. all the particulars of his life, and of the school which he established, and the trials which he endured in many confessions during the persecution, and the crown of martyrdom with which he was finally honored. But of all that were there he was indeed the most admirable.

26. Among those nearest our times, we have known Pierius,24782478    According to Jerome (de vir. ill. 76) Pierius was a presbyter and a teacher in Alexandria under the emperors Carus and Diocletian, while Theonas was bishop there (see note 51, below), on account of the elegance of his writings was called “the younger Origen,” was skilled, moreover, in dialectics and rhetoric, lived an ascetic life, and passed his later years, after the persecution, in Rome. According to Photius, Cod. 118, he was at the head of the catechetical school of Alexandria, was the teacher of Pamphilus, and finally suffered martyrdom. Photius may be correct in the former statements. The last statement is at variance with Jerome’s distinct report which in the present instance at least is to be decidedly preferred to that of Photius. The first statement also is subject to grave doubt, for according to Eusebius (§30, below), Achillas, who was made presbyter at the same time as Pierius, and who lived until after the persecution (when he became bishop), was principal of the school. Eusebius’ statement must be accepted as correct, and in that case it is difficult to believe the report of Photius, both on account of Eusebius’ silence in regard to Pierius’ connection with the school, and also because if Pierius was principal of the school, he must apparently have given it up while he was still in Alexandria, or must have left the city earlier than Jerome says. It is more probable that Photius’ report is false and rests upon a combination of the accounts of Eusebius and Jerome. If both the first and third statements of Photius are incorrect, little faith can be placed on the second, which may be true, or which may be simply a combination of the known fact that Pamphilus studied in Alexandria with the supposed fact that Pierius was the principal of the catechetical school while he was there. It is quite as probable that Pamphilus studied with Achillas. Jerome tells us that a number of works (tractatuum) by Pierius were extant in his day, among them a long homily on Hosea (cf. also Jerome’s Comment. in Osee, prologus). In his second epistle to Pammachius (Migne, No. 49) Jerome refers also to Pierius’ commentary on First Corinthians, and quotes from it the words, “In saying this Paul openly preaches celibacy.” Photius, Cod. 119, mentions a work in twelve books, whose title he does not name, but in which he tells us Pierius had uttered some dangerous sentiments in regard to the Spirit, pronouncing him inferior to the Father and the Son. This work contained, according to Photius, a book on Luke’s Gospel, and another on the passover, and on Hosea. Pierius’ writings are no longer extant. The passages from Jerome’s epistle to Pammachius and from Photius, Cod. 119, are given, with notes, by Routh, Rel. Sac. 2d ed. III. 429 sq., and an English translation in the Ante-Nicene Fathers, VI. p. 157. Pierius was evidently a “younger Origen” in his theology as well as in his literary character, as we can gather from Photius’ account of him (cf. Harnack’s Dogmengesch. I. p. 640). of the presbyters in Alexandria, and Meletius,24792479    A Meletius, bishop of Sabastopolis, is mentioned by Philostorgius (H. E. I. 8) as in attendance upon the Council of Nicæa, and it is commonly assumed that this is the same one referred to here by Eusebius. But Eusebius’ words seem to me to imply clearly that the Meletius of whom he speaks was already dead at the time he wrote; and, therefore, if we suppose that Philostorgius is referring to the same man, we must conclude that he was mistaken in his statement, possibly confounding him with the later Meletius of Sebaste, afterwards of Antioch. Our Meletius is, however, doubtless to be identified with the orthodox Meletius mentioned in terms of praise by Athanasius, in his Ep. ad Episc. Æg. §8, and by Basil in his De Spir. Sanct. chap. 29, §74. It is suggested by Stroth that Eusebius was a pupil of Meletius during the time that the latter was in Palestine, but this is not implied in Eusebius’ words (see above, p. 5). bishop of the churches in Pontus,—rarest of men.

27. The first was distinguished for his life of extreme poverty and his philosophic learning, and was exceedingly diligent in the contemplation and exposition of divine things, and in public discourses in the church. Meletius, whom the learned called the “honey of Attica,”24802480    τὸ μέλι τῆς ᾽Αττικῆς, in allusion to Meletius’ name. was a man whom every one would describe as most accomplished in all kinds of learning; and it would be impossible to admire sufficiently his rhetorical skill. It might be said that he possessed this by nature; but who could surpass the excellence of his great experience and erudition in other respects?

28. For in all branches of knowledge had you undertaken to try him even once, you would have said that he was the most skillful and learned. Moreover, the virtues of his life were not less remarkable. We observed him well in the time of the persecution, when for seven full years he was escaping from its fury in the regions of Palestine.

29. Zambdas24812481    The majority of the mss. and editors read Ζ€μβδας. A few mss. followed by Laemmer read Ζαβαδᾶς, and a few others with Rufinus, both versions of the Chron. and Nicephorus Ζ€βδας. We know nothing about this bishop, except what is told us here and in the Chron., where he is called the thirty-eighth bishop (Jerome calls him the thirty-seventh, but incorrectly according to his own list), and is said to have entered upon his office in the fifteenth year of Diocletian (Armen. fourteenth), i.e. in 298. Hermon succeeded him three years later, according to Jerome; two years later, according to the Armenian version. received the episcopate of the church of Jerusalem after the bishop Hymenæus, whom we mentioned a little above.24822482    In chap. 14. See note 11 on that chapter. He died in a short time, and Hermon,24832483    According to Jerome’s version of the Chron., Hermon became bishop in the eighteenth year of Diocletian, a.d. 301; according to the Armenian, in the sixteenth year. The accession of his successor Macharius is put by Jerome in the eighth year of Constantine, a.d. 312. Eusebius’ words seem to imply that Hermon was still bishop at the time he was writing, though it is not certain that he means to say that. Jerome’s date may be incorrect, but is probably not far out of the way. Of Hermon himself we know nothing more. the last before the persecution in our day, succeeded to the apostolic chair, which has been preserved there until the present time.24842484    See above, chap. 19.

30. In Alexandria, Maximus,24852485    On Maximus, see chap. 28, note 10. who, after the death of Dionysius,24862486    On Dionysius the Great, see especially Bk. VI. chap. 40, note 1. had been bishop for eighteen years, was succeeded by Theonas.24872487    According to Jerome’s Chron., Theonas became bishop in the sixth year of Probus (281 a.d.); according to the Armenian, in the first year of Numerian and Carinus, i.e. a year later. Both agree with the History in assigning nineteen years to his episcopate. An interesting and admirable epistle is extant addressed to Lucian, the chief chamberlain of the emperor, and containing advice in regard to the duties of his position, which is commonly and without doubt correctly ascribed to Theonas. The name of the emperor is not given, but all of the circumstances point to Diocletian, who had a number of Christians in influential positions in his household during the earlier years of his reign. The epistle, which is in Latin (according to some a translation of a Greek original), is given by Routh, Rel. Sac. III. 439–445, and an English translation is contained in the Ante-Nicene Fathers, VI. p. 158–161. In his time Achillas,24882488    The character given to Achillas by Eusebius is confirmed by Athanasius, who calls him “the great Achillas” (in his Epistle to the Bishops of Egypt, §23). He succeeded Peter as bishop of Alexandria (Epiphanius makes him the successor of Alexander, but wrongly, for the testimony of Athanasius, to say nothing of Jerome, Socrates, and other writers, is decisive on this point; see Athanasius’ Apology against the Arians, §§11 and 59, and Epist. to the Bishops of Egypt, §23), but our authorities differ as to the date of his accession and the length of his episcopate. Eusebius, in this chapter, §31, puts the death of Peter in the ninth year of the persecution 311–312), and with this Jerome agrees in his Chron., and there can be no doubt as to the correctness of the report. But afterwards, quite inconsistently (unless it be supposed that Achillas became bishop before Peter’s death, which, in the face of Eusebius’ silence on the subject, is very improbable), Jerome puts the accession of Achillas into the fifth year of Constantine, a.d. 309. Jerome commits another error in putting the accession of his successor, Alexander, in the sixteenth year of Constantine (a.d. 320); for Alexander’s controversy with Arius (see above, p. 11 sq.) can hardly have broken out later than 318 or 319, and it would appear that Alexander had been bishop already some time when that took place. Theodoret (H. E. I. 2) states that Achillas ruled the church but a short time, and with him agrees Epiphanius (Hær. LXIX. 11), who says that he held office but three months. The casual way in which Achillas is spoken of in all our sources, most of which mention him only in passing from Peter to Alexander, would seem to confirm Theodoret’s report, and Alexander’s accession may, therefore, be put not long after 311. who had been appointed a pres322byter in Alexandria at the same time with Pierius, became celebrated. He was placed over the school of the sacred faith,24892489    τῆς ἱερᾶς πίστεως τὸ διδασκαλεῖον. Eusebius refers here to the famous catechetical school of Alexandria (upon which, see above, Bk. V. chap. 10, note 2). The appointment of Achillas to the principalship of this school would seem to exclude Pierius, who is said by Photius to have been at the head of it (see above, note 42). and exhibited fruits of philosophy most rare and inferior to none, and conduct genuinely evangelical.

31. After Theonas had held the office for nineteen years, Peter24902490    Peter is mentioned again in Bk. VIII. chap. 13, and in Bk. IX. chap. 6, and both times in the highest terms. In the latter passage his death is said to have taken place by order of Maximinus, quite unexpectedly and without any reason. This was in the ninth year of the persecution, as we learn from the present passage (i.e. Feb. 311 to Feb. 312, or according to Eusebius own reckoning, Mar. or Apr. 311 to Mar. or Apr. 312; see below Bk. VII. chap. 2, note o), and evidently after the publication of the toleration edict of Galerius, when the Christians were not looking for any further molestation (see below, Bk. VIII. chap. 14, note 2). According to this passage, Peter was bishop less than three years before the outbreak of the persecution, and hence he cannot have become bishop before the spring of 300. On the other hand since he died as early as the spring of 312, and was bishop twelve years he must have become bishop not later than the spring of 300, and he must have died not long before the spring of 312, and even then, if Eusebius’ other statements are exact, it is impossible to make his episcopate fully twelve years in length. The date thus obtained for his accession is in accord with the dates given for the episcopate of his predecessor Theonas (see above, note 51). Jerome puts his accession in the nineteenth year of Diocletian (a.d. 302), but this is at variance with his own figures in connection with Theonas, and is plainly incorrect.
   Fourteen Canons, containing detailed directions in regard to the lapsed were drawn up by Peter in 306 (see the opening sentence of the first canon), and are still extant. They are published in all collections of canons and also in numerous other works. See especially Routh’s Rel. Sac. IV. p. 23 sq. An English translation is given in the Ante-Nicene Fathers, VI. p. 269–278. Brief fragments of other works—On the Passover, On the Godhead, On the Advent of the Saviour, On the Soul, and the beginning of an epistle addressed to the Alexandrians—are given by Routh, ibid. p. 45 sq. These fragments, together with a few others of doubtful origin, given by Gallandius and Mai, are translated in the Ante-Nicene Fathers, ibid. p. 280–283. In the same volume (p. 261–268) are given The Genuine Acts of Peter, containing an account of his life and martyrdom. These, however, are spurious and historically quite worthless.

   Peter seems, to judge from the extant fragments, to have been in the main an Origenist, but to have departed in some important respects from the teachings of Origen, especially on the subject of anthropology (cf. Harnack’s Dogmengesch. I. p. 644). The famous Meletian schism took its rise during the episcopate of Peter (see Athanasius, Apology against the Arians, §59).
received the episcopate in Alexandria, and was very eminent among them for twelve entire years. Of these he governed the church less than three years before the persecution, and for the remainder of his life he subjected himself to a more rigid discipline and cared in no secret manner for the general interest of the churches. On this account he was beheaded in the ninth year of the persecution, and was adorned with the crown of martyrdom.

32. Having written out in these books the account of the successions from the birth of our Saviour to the destruction of the places of worship,—a period of three hundred and five years,24912491    Diocletian’s edict decreeing the demolition of the churches was published in February, 303. See Bk. VIII. chap. 2, note 3.—permit me to pass on to the contests of those who, in our day, have heroically fought for religion, and to leave in writing, for the information of posterity, the extent and the magnitude of those conflicts.


« Prev The Distinguished Ecclesiastics of our Day, and… Next »
Please login or register to save highlights and make annotations
Corrections disabled for this book
Proofing disabled for this book
Printer-friendly version





Advertisements



| Define | Popups: Login | Register | Prev Next | Help |