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Chapter IX.—Of Eusebius of Emisa.

On the ground of such charges as these, they proposed another bishop for the Alexandrian church, and first indeed Eusebius surnamed Emisenus. Who this person was, George, bishop of Laodicea, who was present on this occasion, informs us. For he says in the book which he has composed on his life, that Eusebius was descended from the nobility of Edessa in Mesopotamia, and that from a child he had studied the holy Scriptures;270270    Sozom. H. E. III. 6. From the passage in Sozomen it appears that it was customary in Edessa to teach the Scriptures to boys, and that many of them thus became quite familiar with the Bible, knowing many passages by heart. that he was afterwards instructed in Greek literature by a master resident at Edessa; and finally that the sacred books were expounded to him by Patrophilus and Eusebius, of whom the latter presided over the church at Cæsarea, and the former over that at Scythopolis. Afterwards when he dwelt in Antioch, it happened that Eustathius was deposed on the accusation of Cyrus of Berœa for holding the tenets of Sabellius. Then again he associated with Euphronius, successor of Eustathius, and avoiding a bishopric, he retired to Alexandria, and there devoted himself to the study of philosophy. On his return to Antioch he formed an intimate acquaintance with Placitus [or Flaccillus], the successor of Euphronius. At length he was ordained bishop of Alexandria, by Eusebius, bishop of Constantinople; but did not go thither in consequence of the attachment of the people of that city to Athanasius, and was therefore sent to Emisa. As the inhabitants of Emisa excited a sedition on account of his appointment,—for he was commonly charged with the study and practice of judicial astrology,271271    μαθηματικήν . From its use in astronomy the science of mathematics soon came to be identified with that counterfeit of astronomy,—astrology. It is so used by Sextus Empiricus (616. 20; 728. 20) and by Iamblichus, Myrt. 277. 2. —he fled and came to Laodicea, to George, who has given so many historical details of him. George having taken him to Antioch, procured his being again brought back to Emisa by Placitus and Narcissus; but he was afterwards charged with holding the Sabellian views. George more elaborately describes the circumstances of his ordination and adds at the close that the emperor took him with him in his expedition against the barbarians, and that miracles were wrought by his hand. The information given by George concerning Eusebius of Emisa may be considered reproduced at sufficient length by me here.


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