Philippus, of Side
Philippus (9), of Side, an ecclesiastical historian at the commencement
of 5th cent., a native of the maritime town of Side in Pamphylia, the birthplace
of Troilus the sophist, whose kinsman he was proud of reckoning himself. We
find Philip at Constantinople enjoying the intimacy of Chrysostom, by whom he
was admitted to the diaconate. Tillemont says that he was the imitator of Chrysostom's
eloquence rather than of his virtues, and that the imitation was a very poor
one. On the death of Atticus, a.d. 425, by whom he had been ordained presbyter,
Philip was a candidate for the vacant see, and found a number of influential
supporters (Socr. H. E. vii. 27). The prefering of Sisinnius caused him
extreme mortification, which he exhibited in his Christian History, introducing
a violent tirade against the character both of elected and electors, more particularly
the lay supporters of Sisinnius. The bitterness and rashness of the charges
are noticed by Socrates, who thought them undeserving mention in his history
(ib. 26). Philip, when again a candidate, both after the death of Sisinnius,
a.d. 428 and on the deposition of Nestorius in 431, had a considerable and energetic
following (ib. vii. 29, 35) but was unsuccessful, and died a presbyter.
His chief work, entitled A Christian History, was divided into 36 books
and about a thousand chapters. It ranged from the creation to his own times.
Except one or two fragments, the whole is lost. The descriptions of it given
by Socrates (ib. 27) and Photius (Cod. 35) shew that its loss
is not to be regretted on literary grounds. Socrates describes it as a medley
of theorems in geometry, astronomy, arithmetic, and music, with descriptions
of islands, mountains, and trees, and other matters of little moment. The chronological
order of events was constantly disregarded. Photius's estimate is equally low:
"diffuse; neither witty nor elegant; full of undigested learning, with very
little bearing on history at all, still less on Christian history." A fragment
relating to the school of Alexandria and the succession of the teachers has
been printed by Dodwell at the close of his dissertations on Irenaeus (Oxf.
1689). Of this Neander writes: "The known untrustworthiness of this author;
the discrepancy between his statements and other more authentic reports, and
the suspicious condition in which the fragment has come down to us, render his
details unworthy of confidence" (Ch. Hist. vol. ii. p. 460, Clark's trans.).
Another considerable fragment is reported to exist in the Imperial Library at
Vienna, entitled de Christi Nativitate, et de Magis, giving the acts
of a disputation held in Persia concerning Christianity between certain Persians
and Christians, at which Philip was himself present. Tillem. Mém. eccl.
xii. 431; Hist. des empereurs, vi. 130; Cave, Hist. Lat. i. 395;
Fabric. Bibl. Graec. vi. 112, lib. v. c. 4, § 28.