Hesychius (3), Egyptian bp
Hesychius (3) (Hesechius), bp. of an Egyptian see, mentioned
as the author, with Phileas, Theodorus, and Pachumius, of a letter to Meletius,
schismatic bp. of Lycopolis in Egypt. The letter, given in a Latin version in
Gallandius, Bibl. Patrum, iv. 67, is a remonstrance to Meletius on his
irregular ordinations in other dioceses, and was written (c. 296) when
the authors were in prison and Peter of Alexandria alive. The martyrdom of Hesychius
under Galerius, with Phileas, Pachumius, and Theodorus, is recorded in Eus.
Hist. Eccl. viii. 13. This Hesychius has been usually identified with the
reviser of the text of the LXX, and of N.T., or at least of the Gospels, which
obtained extensive currency in Egypt. There are no grounds for questioning the
truth of this conjecture. This Hesychian recension is mentioned more than once
by Jerome, who states that it was generally accepted in Egypt, as that of his
fellow-martyr, Lucian of Antioch, was in Asia Minor and the East (Hieron. Praef.
in Paralipom. ad Chromat. Ep. 107, repeated in Apologia II. adv. Rufin.
vol. i. p. 763, Paris, 1609). Jerome also refers to it as "exemplaria Alexandrina"
(in Esai. lviii. 11). We know little or nothing more of this edition of
the LXX. It was doubtless an attempt, like that of Lucian, to purify the text
in use in Egypt, by collating various manuscripts and by recourse to other means
of assistance at hand. Jerome speaks with some contempt of his labours in the
field of O.T. recension, and still more of his and Lucian's recension of the Gospels.
If we interpret his words strictly, Hesychius, as well as Lucian, added so much
to the text as to lay them open to the charge of falsifying the Gospels and rendering
their work "apocryphal" (Hieron. Praef. in Evang. cad Damasum). The words
of the famous Decretal of Gelasius (c. 500) "on ecclesiastical books,"
which are, however, regarded by Credner (Zur Gesch. d. K. p. 216) as additions
to the original decree "made at the time it was republished in Spain under the
name of Hormisdas, c. 700–800" (Westcott, Hist. of Can. p. 448,
n. 1), are equally condemnatory: "Evangelia quae falsavit Isicius [Hesychius]—Apocrypha"
(Labbe, Conc. iv. 126). Westcott pronounces Hug's speculations as to the
influence of this recension, "of which nothing is certainly known," "quite unsatisfactory"