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§ 181. Dionysius of Corinth.

Euseb.: H. E. II. 25; III. 4; IV. 21, 23. Hieron.: De Vir. ill. 27.

Routh: Rel. S. I. 177–184 (the fragments), and 185–201 (the annotations). Includes Pinytus Cretensis and his Ep. ad Dion. (Eus. IV. 23).

Donaldson III. 214–220. Salmon in Smith and Wace II. 848 sq.

Dionysius was bishop of Corinth (probably the successor of Primus) in the third quarter of the second century, till about a.d. 170. He was a famous person in his day, distinguished for zeal, moderation, and a catholic and peaceful spirit. He wrote a number of pastoral letters to the congregations of Lacedaemon, Athens, Nicomedia, Rome, Gortyna in Crete, and other cities. One is addressed to Chrysophora, "a most faithful sister." They are all lost, with the exception of a summary of their contents given by Eusebius, and four fragments of the letter to Soter and the Roman church. They would no doubt shed much light on the spiritual life of the church. Eusebius says of him that he "imparted freely not only to his own people, but to others abroad also, the blessings of his divine (or inspired) industry."13901390    ἐνθέου φιλοπονίας, Euseb. IV. 23.390 His letters were read in the churches.

Such active correspondence promoted catholic unity and gave strength and comfort in persecution from without and heretical corruption within. The bishop is usually mentioned with honor, but the letters are addressed to the church; and even the Roman bishop Soter, like his predecessor Clement, addressed his own letter in the name of the Roman church to the church of Corinth. Dionysius writes to the Roman Christians: "To-day we have passed the Lord’s holy day, in which we have read your epistle.13911391    ὑμῶν τὴν ἐπιστολήν. Euseb. II. 23.391 In reading it we shall always have our minds stored with admonition, as we shall also from that written to us before by Clement." He speaks very highly of the liberality of the church of Rome in aiding foreign brethren condemned to the mines, and sending contributions to every city.

Dionysius is honored as a martyr in the Greek, as a confessor in the Latin church.

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