PINYTUS: Bishop of Cnossus, Crete, in the second century, according to Eusebius (Hist. eccl., iv. 21, 23, Eng. transl, NPNF, 2 ser., i. 197-198, 200-202), and contemporary of Dionysius of Corinth (q.v.). Eusebius gives some extracts from the correspondence of the two. Dionysius, it appears, wrote to the bishop of Cnossus asking him not to impose too strict a yoke of chastity upon his brethren. But Pinytus was unmoved by this counsel and replied that Dionysius might impart stronger doctrine and feed his congregation with a more perfect epistle inasmuch as Christians could not always subsist on milk or tarry in childhood. It may be that Pinytus was influenced by Montanistic views; however, Eusebius vouches for his orthodoxy and his care for the welfare of those placed under him.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: The references are collected in Harnack, Litteratur, i. 237. See the literature under DIONYSIUS OF CORINTH.
PIONIUS: Christian martyr of the middle of the third century. Eusebius (Hist. eccl., IV., xv. 47; Eng. transl., NPNF, 2 series, i. 192) refers to his own lost "Collection of the Ancient Martyrdoms" as containing accounts of martyrdoms in the time of Polycarp. Among the martyrs referred to was a certain Pionius, of whom an account was given in Eusebius' source and used by him, which included a report of his confessions, his courageous defense of the Christian faith before people and authorities, his friendly reception of the fugitives from persecution, and his encouraging address to the brethren who visited him in prison, as well as his endurance of sufferings, nailings, and burning. In spite of some uncertainties in particulars, the genuineness of the account seems evident and presents a good picture of events during the Decian persecution (see DECIUS, CAIUS MESSIUS QUINTUS TRAJANUS). The " Acts " from which Eusebius draws points distinctly (ii. 1, ix. 4, 23) to the persecution of the year 250 under the consuls Decius and Gratus; the reference to the time of Marcus Aurelius by Eusebius is explained by the connection with the "Acts of Polycarp." Pionius was seized at the anniversary of the martyrdom of Polycarp, Feb. 23, which day also was a Sabbath in 250, and he was burned with a certain Metrodorus on Mar. 12. The Pionius of this article must be distinguished from Pionius, author of Vita Polycarpi (350-400).
BIBLIOGRAHY: Sources are: T. Ruinart, Acta Martyrum, pp. 185-198, Regensburg, 1859; ASB, Feb., i. 37-46; F. Miklosich, Monumenta lingua palæoslvenicæ, pp. 94 sqq., Vienna, 1851; O. von Gebhardt, in Archiv für slavische Philologie, xviii (1896), 156 sqq., in Ausgwählie Märtyrakten, pp. 59 sqq., Tübingen,1901, and in Acta martyrum selecta, pp. 59 sqq., Berlin, 1902. Consult further: Krüger, History, pp. 385-386; B. Aubé, L'Eglise et L'état dans la seconde moitié du 3. siècle, pp. 140 eqq., Paris, 1885; J. B. Lightfoot, Apostolic Fathers, i. 622-626, 695-702, London, 1889; T. Zahn, in Forschungen zur Geschichte des neutestamentlichen Kanons, iv. 271 A 4, Leipsic;1891; J. A. F. Gregg, The Decian Persecution, pp. 242 eqq., ib. 1897; Bardenhewer, Geschichte, ii. 631-&32; DCB, iv. 397. 428; Ceillier, Auteura sacres, ii. 113-114.
Calvin College. Last modified on 06/03/04. Contact the CCEL.