Writings of Eusebius - The Church History of Eusebius

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Translated by Rev. Arthur Cushman McGiffert, Ph.D.

Under the editorial supervision of Philip Schaff, D.D., LL.D., Professor of Church History in the Union Theological Semimary, New York, and Henry Wace, D.D., Principal of King's College, London

Published in 1890 by Philip Schaff, New York: Christian Literature Publishing Co.

Book VI.

Chapter I.--The Persecution under Severus.

When Severus began to persecute the churches, [1765] glorious testimonies were given everywhere by the athletes of religion. This was especially the case in Alexandria, to which city, as to a most prominent theater, athletes of God were brought from Egypt and all Thebais according to their merit, and won crowns from God through their great patience under many tortures and every mode of death. Among these was Leonides, who was called the father of Origen, [1766] and who was beheaded while his son was still young. How remarkable the predilection of this son was for the Divine Word, in consequence of his father's instruction, it will not be amiss to state briefly, as his fame has been very greatly celebrated by many.

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[1765] During the early years of the reign of Septimius Severus the Christians enjoyed comparative peace, and Severus himself showed them considerable favor. Early in the third century a change set in, and in 202 the emperor issued an edict forbidding conversions to Christianity and to Judaism (Spartianus, in Severo, c. 16; cf. Tillemont, Hist. des Emp. III. p. 58). The cause of this radical change of conduct we do not know, but it is possible that the excesses of the Montanists produced a reaction in the emperor's mind against the Christians, or that the rapidity with which Christianity was spreading caused him to fear that the old Roman institutions would be overturned, and hence produced a reaction against it. Why the Jews, too, should have been attacked, it is hard to say,--possibly because of a new attempt on their part to throw off the Roman yoke (see Spartianus, in Severo, c. 16); or perhaps there underlay the whole movement a reaction in the emperor's mind toward the old Roman paganism (he was always superstitious), and Judaism and Christianity being looked upon as alike opposed to it, were alike to be held in check. The edict was aimed, not against those already Christians, but only against new converts, the idea being to prevent the further spread of Christianity. But the change in the emperor's attitude, thus published abroad, at once intensified all the elements which were hostile to Christianity; and the popular disfavor, which continued widespread and was continually venting itself in local persecutions, now allowed itself freer rein, and the result was that severe persecutions broke out, which were confined, however, almost wholly to Egypt and North Africa. Our principal authorities for these persecutions (which went on intermittently, during the rest of Severus' reign) are the first twelve Chapters of this book of Eusebius' History, and a number of Tertullian's works, especially his De corona milites, Ad Scap., and De fuga in persecutione. [1766] We know very little about Origen's father. The fame of the son overshadowed that of the father, even though the latter was a martyr. The phrase used in this passage to describe him has caused some trouble. Leonides ho legomenos 'Origenous pater. Taken in its usual sense, the expression means "said to be the father of Origen," or the "so-called father of Origen," both of which appear strange, for there can have been no doubt as to his identity. It seems better, with Westcott, to understand that Eusebius means that Origen's fame had so eclipsed his father's that the latter was distinguished as "Leonides, the father of Origen," and hence says here, "Leonides, who was known as the father of Origen." The name Leonides is Greek, and that he was of Greek nationality is further confirmed by the words of Porphyry (quoted in chap. 19, below), who calls Origen "a Greek, and educated in Greek literature." Porphyry may simply have concluded from his knowledge of Greek letters that he was a Greek by birth, and hence his statement taken alone has little weight; but taken in conjunction with Leonides' name, it makes it probable that the latter was at least of Greek descent; whether a native of Greece or not we do not know. A late tradition makes him a bishop, but there is no foundation for such a report. From the next Chapter we learn that Leonides' martyrdom took place in the tenth year of Severus (201-202 a.d.), which is stated also by the Chron.

Chapter II.--The Training of Origen from Childhood. [1767]

1. Many things might be said in attempting to describe the life of the man while in school; but this subject alone would require a separate treatise. Nevertheless, for the present, abridging most things, we shall state a few facts concerning him as briefly as possible, gathering them from certain letters, and from the statement of persons still living who were acquainted with him.

2. What they report of Origen seems to me worthy of mention, even, so to speak, from his swathing-bands.

It was the tenth year of the reign of Severus, while Lætus [1768] was governor of Alexandria and the rest of Egypt, and Demetrius [1769] had lately received the episcopate of the parishes there, as successor of Julian. [1770]

3. As the flame of persecution had been kindled greatly, [1771] and multitudes had gained the crown of martyrdom, such desire for martyrdom seized the soul of Origen, although yet a boy, that he went close to danger, springing forward and rushing to the conflict in his eagerness.

4. And truly the termination of his life had been very near had not the divine and heavenly Providence, for the benefit of many, prevented his desire through the agency of his mother.

5. For, at first, entreating him, she begged him to have compassion on her motherly feelings toward him; but finding, that when he had learned that his father had been seized and imprisoned, he was set the more resolutely, and completely carried away with his zeal for martyrdom, she hid all his clothing, and thus compelled him to remain at home.

6. But, as there was nothing else that he could do, and his zeal beyond his age would not suffer him to be quiet, he sent to his father an encouraging letter on martyrdom, [1772] in which he exhorted him, saying, "Take heed not to change your mind on our account." This may be recorded as the first evidence of Origen's youthful wisdom and of his genuine love for piety.

7. For even then he had stored up no small resources in the words of the faith, having been trained in the Divine Scriptures from childhood. And he had not studied them with indifference, for his father, besides giving him the usual liberal education, [1773] had made them a matter of no secondary importance.

8. First of all, before inducting him into the Greek sciences, he drilled him in sacred studies, requiring him to learn and recite every day.

9. Nor was this irksome to the boy, but he was eager and diligent in these studies. And he was not satisfied with learning what was simple and obvious in the sacred words, but sought for something more, and even at that age busied himself with deeper speculations. So that he puzzled his father with inquiries for the true meaning of the inspired Scriptures.

10. And his father rebuked him seemingly to his face, telling him not to search beyond his age, or further than the manifest meaning. But by himself he rejoiced greatly and thanked God, the author of all good, that he had deemed him worthy to be the father of such a child.

11. And they say that often, standing by the boy when asleep, he uncovered his breast as if the Divine Spirit were enshrined within it, and kissed it reverently; considering himself blessed in his goodly offspring. These and other things like them are related of Origen when a boy.

12. But when his father ended his life in martyrdom, he was left with his mother and six younger brothers when he was not quite seventeen years old. [1774]

13. And the property of his father being confiscated to the royal treasury, he and his family were in want of the necessaries of life. But he was deemed worthy of Divine care. And he found welcome and rest with a woman of great wealth, and distinguished in her manner of life and in other respects. She was treating with great honor a famous heretic then in Alexandria; [1775] who, however, was born in Antioch. He was with her as an adopted son, and she treated him with the greatest kindness.

14. But although Origen was under the necessity of associating with him, he nevertheless gave from this time on strong evidences of his orthodoxy in the faith. For when on account of the apparent skill in argument [1776] of Paul,--for this was the man's name,--a great multitude came to him, not only of heretics but also of our people, Origen could never be induced to join with him in prayer; [1777] for he held, although a boy, the rule of the Church, [1778] and abominated, as he somewhere expresses it, heretical teachings. [1779] Having been instructed in the sciences of the Greeks by his father, he devoted him after his death more assiduously and exclusively to the study of literature, so that he obtained considerable preparation in philology [1780] and was able not long after the death of his father, by devoting himself to that subject, to earn a compensation amply sufficient for his needs at his age. [1781]


[1767] This sixth book of Eusebius' History is our chief source for a knowledge of Origen's life. His own writings give us little information of a personal nature; but Eusebius was in a position to learn a great deal about him. He had the advantage of personal converse with surviving friends of Origen, as he tells us in this connection; he had also a large collection of Origen's epistles (he had himself made a collection of more than one hundred of them, as he tells us in chap. 36); and he had access besides to official documents, and to works of Origen's contemporaries which contained references to him (see chap. 33). As a result, he was in a position to write a full and accurate account of his life, and in fact, in connection with Pamphilus, he did write a Defense of Origen in six books, which contained both an exposition of his theology with a refutation of charges brought against him, and a full account of his life. Of this work only the first book is extant, and that in the translation of Rufinus. It deals solely with theological matters. It is greatly to be regretted that the remaining books are lost, for they must have contained much of the greatest interest in connection with Origen's life, especially that period of it about which we are most poorly informed, his residence in Cæsarea after his retirement from Alexandria (see chap. 23). In the present book Eusebius gives numerous details of Origen's life, frequently referring to the Defense for fuller particulars. His account is very desultory, being interspersed with numerous notices of other men and events, introduced apparently without any method, though undoubtedly the design was to preserve in general the chronological order. There is no part of Eusebius' work which reveals more clearly the viciousness of the purely chronological method breaking up as it does the account of a single person or movement into numerous detached pieces, and thus utterly destroying all historical continuity. It may be well, therefore, to sum up in brief outline the chief events of Origen's life, most of which are scattered through the following pages. This summary will be found below, on p. 391 sq. In addition to the notices contained in this book, we have a few additional details from the Defense, which have been preserved by Jerome, Rufinus, and Photius, none of whom seems to have had much, if any, independent knowledge of Origen's life. Epiphanius (Hær. LXIII, and LXIV.) relates some anecdotes of doubtful credibility. The Panegyric of Gregory Thaumaturgus is valuable as a description of Origen's method of teaching, and of the wonderful influence which he possessed over his pupils. (For outline of Origen's life, see below, p. 391 sq.) [1768] This Lætus is to be distinguished from Q. Æmilius Lætus, prætorian prefect under Commodus, who was put to death by the Emperor Didius Julianus, in 193; and from Julius Lætus, minister of Severus, who was executed in 199 (see Dion Cassius, Bk. LXXIII. chap. 16, and LXXV. chap. 10; cf. Tillemont, Hist. des emp. III. p. 21, 55, and 58). The dates of Lætus' rule in Egypt are unknown to us. [1769] On the dates of Demetrius' episcopacy, see Bk. V. chap. 22, note 4. [1770] On Julian, see Bk. V. chap. 9, note 2. [1771] On the persecution, see more particularly chap. 1, note 1. [1772] This epistle which was apparently extant in the time of Eusebius, and may have been contained in the collection made by him (see chap. 36), is now lost, and we possess only this sentence from it. [1773] te ton enkuklion paidei‹. According to Liddell and Scott, enk. paideia in later Greek meant "the circle of those arts and sciences which every free-born youth in Greece was obliged to go through before applying to any professional studies; school learning, as opposed to the business of life." So Valesius says that the Greeks understood by enk. mathemata the branches in which the youth were instructed; i.e. mathematics, grammar, and rhetoric philosophy not being included (see Valesius' note in loco). [1774] On the date of Origen's birth, see note 1. [1775] Of this Antiochene heretic Paul we know only what Eusebius tells us here. His patroness seems to have been a Christian, and in good standing in the Alexandrian church, or Origen would hardly have made his home with her. [1776] dia to dokoun hikanon en logo. [1777] Redepenning (p. 189) refers to Origen's In Matt. Comment. Series, sec. 89, where it is said, melius est cum nullo orare, quam cum malis orare. [1778] phulEURtton exeti paidos kanona [two mss. kanonas] ekklesias. Compare the words of the Apostolic Constitutions, VIII. 34: "Let not one of the faithful pray with a catechumen, no, not in the house; for it is not reasonable that he who is admitted should be polluted with one not admitted. Let not one of the godly pray with an heretic, no, not in the house. For `what fellowship hath light with darkness?'" Compare also the Apostolic Canons, 11, 12, and 45. The last reads: "Let a bishop, or presbyter, or deacon, who only prays with heretics, be suspended; but if he also permit them to perform any part of the office of a clergyman, let him be deprived." Hefele (Conciliengesch. I. p. 815) considers this canon only a "consistent application of apostolic principles to particular cases,--an application which was made from the first century on, and therefore very old." [1779] Redepenning (p. 190) refers to the remarks of Origen upon the nature and destructiveness of heresy collected by Pamphilus (Fragm. Apol. Pamph. Opp. Origen, IV. 694 [ed. Delarue]). [1780] epi ta grammatikEUR [1781] See below, p. 392.

Chapter III.--While still very Young, he taught diligently the Word of Christ.

1. But while he was lecturing in the school, as he tells us himself, and there was no one at Alexandria to give instruction in the faith, as all were driven away by the threat of persecution, some of the heathen came to him to hear the word of God.

2. The first of them, he says, was Plutarch, [1782] who after living well, was honored with divine martyrdom. The second was Heraclas, [1783] a brother of Plutarch; who after he too had given with him abundant evidence of a philosophic and ascetic life, was esteemed worthy to succeed Demetrius in the bishopric of Alexandria.

3. He was in his eighteenth year when he took charge of the catechetical school. [1784] He was prominent also at this time, during the persecution under Aquila, [1785] the governor of Alexandria, when his name became celebrated among the leaders in the faith, through the kindness and goodwill which he manifested toward all the holy martyrs, whether known to him or strangers.

4. For not only was he with them while in bonds, and until their final condemnation, but when the holy martyrs were led to death, he was very bold and went with them into danger. So that as he acted bravely, and with great boldness saluted the martyrs with a kiss, oftentimes the heathen multitude round about them became infuriated, and were on the point of rushing upon him.

5. But through the helping hand of God, he escaped absolutely and marvelously. And this same divine and heavenly power, again and again, it is impossible to say how often, on account of his great zeal and boldness for the words of Christ, guarded him when thus endangered. [1786] So great was the enmity of the unbelievers toward him, on account of the multitude that were instructed by him in the sacred faith, that they placed bands of soldiers around the house where he abode.

6. Thus day by day the persecution burned against him, so that the whole city could no longer contain him; but he removed from house to house and was driven in every direction because of the multitude who attended upon the divine instruction which he gave. For his life also exhibited right and admirable conduct according to the practice of genuine philosophy.

7. For they say that his manner of life was as his doctrine, and his doctrine as his life. [1787] Therefore, by the divine Power working with him he aroused a great many to his own zeal.

8. But when he saw yet more coming to him for instruction, and the catechetical school had been entrusted to him alone by Demetrius, who presided over the church, he considered the teaching of grammatical science inconsistent with training in divine subjects, [1788] and forthwith he gave up his grammatical school as unprofitable and a hindrance to sacred learning.

9. Then, with becoming consideration, that he might not need aid from others, he disposed of whatever valuable books of ancient literature he possessed, being satisfied with receiving from the purchaser four oboli a day. [1789] For many years he lived philosophically [1790] in this manner, putting away all the incentives of youthful desires. Through the entire day he endured no small amount of discipline; and for the greater part of the night he gave himself to the study of the Divine Scriptures. He restrained himself as much as possible by a most philosophic life; sometimes by the discipline of fasting, again by limited time for sleep. And in his zeal he never lay upon a bed, but upon the ground.

10. Most of all, he thought that the words of the Saviour in the Gospel should be observed, in which he exhorts not to have two coats nor to use shoes [1791] nor to occupy oneself with cares for the future. [1792]

11. With a zeal beyond his age he continued in cold and nakedness; and, going to the very extreme of poverty, he greatly astonished those about him. And indeed he grieved many of his friends who desired to share their possessions with him, on account of the wearisome toil which they saw him enduring in the teaching of divine things.

12. But he did not relax his perseverance. He is said to have walked for a number of years never wearing a shoe, and, for a great many years, to have abstained from the use of wine, and of all other things beyond his necessary food; so that he was in danger of breaking down and destroying his constitution. [1793]

13. By giving such evidences of a philosophic life to those who saw him, he aroused many of his pupils to similar zeal; so that prominent men even of the unbelieving heathen and men that followed learning and philosophy were led to his instruction. Some of them having received from him into the depth of their souls faith in the Divine Word, became prominent in the persecution then prevailing; and some of them were seized and suffered martyrdom.


[1782] Of this Plutarch we know only what Eusebius tells us here, and in chap. 4, where he says that he was the first of Origen's pupils to suffer martyrdom. (On the date of the persecution in which he suffered, see note 4). [1783] Heraclas, brother of Plutarch, proved himself so good a pupil that, when Origen later found the work of teaching too great for him to manage alone, he made him his assistant, and committed the elementary instruction to him (chap. 15). From chap. 19 we learn that he was for years a diligent student of Greek philosophy (chap. 15 implies his proficiency in it), and that he even went so far as to wear the philosopher's cloak all the time, although he was a presbyter in the Alexandrian church. His reputation for learning became so great, as we learn from chap. 31, that Julius Africanus went to Alexandria to see him. In 231, when Origen took his departure from Alexandria, he left the catechetical school in the charge of Heraclas (chap. 26), and in 231 or 232, upon the death of Demetrius (see Bk. V. chap. 22, note 4), Heraclas became the latter's successor as bishop of Alexandria (chaps. 26 and 29), and was succeeded in the presidency of the catechetical school by Dionysius (chap. 29). According to chap. 35 he was bishop for sixteen years and with this both versions of the Chron. agree, though Jerome puts his accession two years too early--into the ninth year of Alexander Severus instead of the eleventh--while giving at the same time, quite inconsistently, the proper date for his death. Heraclas' later relations to Origen are not quite clear. He was evidently, in earlier years, one of his best friends, and there is no adequate ground for the assumption, which is quite common, that he was one of those who united with Bishop Demetrius in condemning him. It is true, no attempt seems to have been made after he became bishop to reverse the sentence against Origen, and to invite him back to Alexandria; but this does not prove that Heraclas did not remain friendly to him; for even when Dionysius (who kept up his relations with Origen, as we know from chap. 46) became bishop (a.d. 248), no such attempt seems to have been made, although Origen was still alive and at the height of his power. The fact that the greater part of the clergy of Alexandria and Egypt were unfavorable to Origen, as shown by their condemnation of him, does not imply that Heraclas could not have been elected unless he too showed hostility to Origen; for Dionysius, who we know was not hostile, was appointed at that time head of the catechetical school, and sixteen years later bishop. It is true that Heraclas may not have sympathized with all of Origen's views, and may have thought some of them heretical (his strict judgment of heretics is seen from Bk. VII. chap. 7), but many even of the best of Origen's friends and followers did likewise, so that among his most devoted adherents were some of the most orthodox Fathers of the Church (e.g. the two Gregories and Basil). That Heraclas did not agree with Origen in all his opinions (if he did not, he may not have cared to press his return to Alexandria) does not prove therefore that he took part in the condemnatory action of the synod, and that he was himself in later life hostile to Origen. [1784] See below, p. 392. [1785] It is not clear from Eusebius' language whether Aquila was successor of Lætus as viceroy of Egypt (as Redepenning assumes apparently quite without misgiving), or simply governor of Alexandria. He calls Lætus (in chap. 2) governor of Alexandria and of all Egypt, while Aquila is called simply governor of Alexandria. If this difference were insisted on as marking a real distinction, then Aquila would have to be regarded as the chief officer of Alexandria only, and hence subordinate in dignity to the viceroy of Egypt. The term used to describe his position (hegoumenon) is not, however the technical one for the chief officer of Alexandria (see Mommsen, Provinces of the Roman Empire; Scribner's ed., II. p. 267 ff.), and hence his position cannot be decided with certainty. In any case, whether he succeeded Lætus, or was his subordinate, the dates of his accession to and retirement from office are unknown, and hence the time at which the persecutions mentioned took place cannot be determined with exactness. We simply know that they occurred after 203 (for Origen had already taken charge of the catechetical school, and some of his pupils perished in the persecutions) and before 211, the date of Severus' death. [1786] How it happened that Origen escaped the persecution, when, according to Eusebius, he exposed himself so continually, and was so hated by the heathen populace, we cannot tell. Eusebius ascribes it solely to the grace of God here, and in chap. 4. [1787] hoios ho logos toios ho bios was a Greek proverb. Compare the words of Seneca, in Ep. 114 ad Lucilium, "Apud Græcos in proverbium cessit talis hominibus fuit oratio, qualis vita" (quoted by Redepenning, p. 196). [1788] This does not mean that he considered the study of grammar and literature injurious to the Christian, or detrimental to his theological studies. His opinion on that subject is clear enough from all his writings and from his conduct as pictured in chaps. 18 and 19. Nor does it on the other hand imply, as Crusè supposes, that up to this time he had been teaching secular branches exclusively; but it means simply that the demands upon him for instruction in the faith were so great, now that the catechetical school had been officially entrusted to him by Demetrius, that he felt that he could no longer continue to teach secular literature as he had been doing, but must give up that part of his work, and devote himself exclusively to instruction in sacred things. [1789] The obolus was a small Greek coin, equivalent to about three and a half cents of our money. Four oboli a day could have been sufficient, even in that age, only for the barest necessities of life. But with his ascetic tendencies, these were all that Origen wished. [1790] It was very common from the fourth century on (the writer knows of no instances earlier than Eusebius) to call an ascetic mode of life "philosophical," or "the life of a philosopher" (see §2 of this Chapter, and compare Chrysostom's works, where the word occurs very frequently in this sense). Origen, in his ascetic practices, was quite in accord with the prevailing Christian sentiment of his own and subsequent centuries, which looked upon bodily discipline of an ascetic kind, not indeed as required, but as commended by Christ. The growing sentiment had its roots partly in the prevailing ideas of contemporary philosophy, which instinctively emphasized strongly the dualism of spirit and matter, and the necessity of subduing the latter to the former, and partly in the increasing moral corruptness of society, which caused those who wished to lead holy lives to feel that only by eschewing the things of sense could the soul attain purity. Under pressure from without and within, it became very easy to misinterpret various sayings of Christ, and thus to find in the Gospels ringing exhortations to a life of the most rigid asceticism. Clement of Alexandria was almost the only one of the great Christian writers after the middle of the second century who distinguished between the true and the false in this matter. Compare his admirable tract, Quis dives salvetur, and contrast the position taken there with the foolish extreme pursued by Origen, as recorded in this Chapter. [1791] See Matt. x. 10 [1792] See Matt. vi. 34 [1793] Greek: thorax, properly "chest." Rufinus and Christophorsonus translate stomachum, and Valesius approves; but there is no authority for such a use of the term thorax, so far as I can ascertain. The proper Greek term for stomach is stomachos, which is uniformly employed by Galen and other medical writers.

Chapter IV.--The pupils of Origen that became Martyrs.

1. The first of these was Plutarch, who was mentioned just above. [1794] As he was led to death, the man of whom we are speaking being with him at the end of his life, came near being slain by his fellow-citizens, as if he were the cause of his death. But the providence of God preserved him at this time also.

2. After Plutarch, the second martyr among the pupils of Origen was Serenus, [1795] who gave through fire a proof of the faith which he had received.

3. The third martyr from the same school was Heraclides, [1796] and after him the fourth was Hero. [1797] The former of these was as yet a catechumen, and the latter had but recently been baptized. Both of them were beheaded. After them, the fifth from the same school proclaimed as an athlete of piety was another Serenus, who, it is reported, was beheaded, after a long endurance of tortures. And of women, Herais [1798] died while yet a catechumen, receiving baptism by fire, as Origen himself somewhere says.


[1794] See the previous Chapter, §2. The martyrdom of these disciples of Origen took place under Aquila, and hence the date depends on the date of his rule, which cannot be fixed with exactness, as remarked in note 4 on the previous Chapter. [1795] These two persons named Serenus, the first of whom was burned, the second beheaded, are known to us only from this Chapter. [1796] Of this Heraclides, we know only what is told us in this Chapter. He, with the other martyrs mentioned in this connection, is commemorated in the mediæval martyrologies, but our authentic information is limited to what Eusebius tells us here. [1797] Our authentic information of Hero is likewise limited to this account of Eusebius. [1798] Herais likewise is known to us from this Chapter alone. It is interesting to note that Origen's pupils were not confined to the male sex. His association with female catechumens, which his office of instructor entailed upon him, formed one reason for the act of self-mutilation which he committed (see chap. 8, §2).

Chapter V.--Potamiæna. [1799]

1. Basilides [1800] may be counted the seventh of these. He led to martyrdom the celebrated Potamiæna, who is still famous among the people of the country for the many things which she endured for the preservation of her chastity and virginity. For she was blooming in the perfection of her mind and her physical graces. Having suffered much for the faith of Christ, finally after tortures dreadful and terrible to speak of, she with her mother, Marcella, [1801] was put to death by fire.

2. They say that the judge, Aquila by name, having inflicted severe tortures upon her entire body, at last threatened to hand her over to the gladiators for bodily abuse. After a little consideration, being asked for her decision, she made a reply which was regarded as impious.

3. Thereupon she received sentence immediately, and Basilides, one of the officers of the army, led her to death. But as the people attempted to annoy and insult her with abusive words, he drove back her insulters, showing her much pity and kindness. And perceiving the man's sympathy for her, she exhorted him to be of good courage, for she would supplicate her Lord for him after her departure, and he would soon receive a reward for the kindness he had shown her.

4. Having said this, she nobly sustained the issue, burning pitch being poured little by little, over various parts of her body, from the sole of her feet to the crown of her head. Such was the conflict endured by this famous maiden.

5. Not long after this Basilides, being asked by his fellow-soldiers to swear for a certain reason, declared that it was not lawful for him to swear at all, for he was a Christian, and he confessed this openly. At first they thought that he was jesting, but when he continued to affirm it, he was led to the judge, and, acknowledging his conviction before him, he was imprisoned. But the brethren in God coming to him and inquiring the reason of this sudden and remarkable resolution, he is reported to have said that Potamiæna, for three days after her martyrdom, stood beside him by night and placed a crown on his head and said that she had besought the Lord for him and had obtained what she asked, and that soon she would take him with her.

6. Thereupon the brethren gave him the seal [1802] of the Lord; and on the next day, after giving glorious testimony for the Lord, he was beheaded. And many others in Alexandria are recorded to have accepted speedily the word of Christ in those times.

7. For Potamiæna appeared to them in their dreams and exhorted them. But let this suffice in regard to this matter.


[1799] Potamiæna, one of the most celebrated of the martyrs that suffered under Severus, is made by Rufinus a disciple of Origen, but Eusebius does not say that she was, and indeed, in making Basilides the seventh of Origen's disciples to suffer, he evidently excludes Potamiæna from the number. Quite a full account of her martyrdom is given by Palladius in his Historia Lausiaca, chap. 3 (Migne's Patr. Gr. XXXIV. 1014), which contains some characteristic details not mentioned by Eusebius. It appears from that account that she was a slave, and that her master, not being able to induce her to yield to his passion, accused her before the judge as a Christian, bribing him, if possible, to break her resolution by tortures and then return her to him, or, if that was not possible, to put her to death as a Christian. We cannot judge as to the exact truth of this and other details related by Palladius, but his history (which was written early in the fifth century) is, in the main at least, reliable, except where it deals with miracles and prodigies (cf. the article on Palladius of Helenopolis, in the Dict. of Christ. Biog.). [1800] Basilides is clearly reckoned here among the disciples of Origen. The correctness of Eusebius' statement has been doubted, but there is no ground for such doubt, for there is no reason to suppose that all of Origen's pupils became converted under his instruction. [1801] Of Marcella, we know only that she was the mother of the more celebrated Potamiæna, and suffered martyrdom by fire. [1802] The word sphragis, "seal," was very commonly used by the Fathers to signify baptism (see Suicer's Thesaurus).

Chapter VI.--Clement of Alexandria.

Clement [1803] having succeeded Pantænus, [1804] had charge at that time of the catechetical instruction in Alexandria, so that Origen also, while still a boy, [1805] was one of his pupils. In the first book of the work called Stromata, which Clement wrote, he gives a chronological table, [1806] bringing events down to the death of Commodus. So it is evident that that work was written during the reign of Severus, whose times we are now recording.


[1803] This Chapter has no connection with the preceding, and its insertion at this point has no good ground, for Clement has been already handled in the fifth book; and if Eusebius wished to refer to him again in connection with Origen, he should have done so in chap. 3, where Origen's appointment as head of the catechetical school is mentioned. (Redepenning, however, approves the present order; vol. I. p. 431 sqq.) Rufinus felt the inconsistency, and hence inserted chaps. 6 and 7 in the middle of chap. 3, where the account of Origen's appointment by Demetrius is given. Valesius considers the occurrence of this mention of Clement at this point a sign that Eusebius did not give his work a final revision. Chap. 13 is inserted in the same abrupt way, quite out of harmony with the context. Upon the life of Clement of Alexandria, see Bk. V. chap. 11, note 1. The catechetical school was vacant, as we learn from chap. 2, in the year 203, and was then taken in charge by Origen, so that the "that time" referred to by Eusebius in this sentence must be carried back of the events related in the previous Chapters. The cause of Clement's leaving the school was probably the persecution begun by Severus in 202 ("all were driven away by the threatening aspect of persecution," according to chap. 3, §1); for since Origen was one of his pupils he can hardly have left long before that time. That it was not unworthy cowardice which led Clement to take his departure is clear enough from the words of Alexander in chaps. 11 and 14, from the high reputation which he continued to enjoy throughout the Church, and from his own utterances on the subject of martyrdom scattered through his works. [1804] On Pantænus, see Bk. V. chap. 10, note 2. [1805] Stephanus, Stroth, Burton, Schwegler, Laemmer, and Heinichen, following two important mss. and the translation of Rufinus, omit the words paida onta "while a boy." But the words are found in all the other codices (the chief witnesses of two of the three great families of mss. being for them) and in Nicephorus. The manuscript authority is therefore overwhelmingly in favor of the words, and they are adopted by Valesius, Zimmermann, and Crusè. Rufinus is a strong witness against the words but, as Redepenning justly remarks, having inserted this Chapter, as he did, in the midst of the description of Origen's early years (see note 1), the words paida onta would be quite superfluous and even out of place, and hence he would naturally omit them. So far as the probabilities of the insertion or omission of the words in the present passage are concerned, it seems to me more natural to suppose that a copyist, finding the words at this late stage in the account of Origen's life, would be inclined to omit them, than that not finding them there he should, upon historical grounds (which he could have reached only after some reflection), think that they ought to be inserted. The latter would be not only a more difficult but also a much graver step than the former. There seems, then, to be no good warrant for omitting these words. We learn from chap. 3 that he took charge of the catechetical school when he was in his eighteenth year, within a year therefore after the death of his father. And we learn that before he took charge of the school, all who had given instruction there had been driven away by the persecution. Clement, therefore, must have left before Origen's eighteenth year, and hence the latter must have studied with him before the persecution had broken up the school, and in all probability before the death of Leonides. In any case, therefore, he was still a boy when under Clement, and even if we omit the words--"while a boy"--here, we shall not be warranted in putting his student days into the period of his maturity, as some would do. Upon this subject, see Redepenning, I. p. 431 sqq., who adduces still other arguments for the position taken in this note which it is not necessary to repeat here. [1806] In Stromata, Bk. I. chap. 21. On this and the other works of Clement, see chap. 13.

Chapter VII.--The Writer, Judas. [1807]

At this time another writer, Judas, discoursing about the seventy weeks in Daniel, brings down the chronology to the tenth year of the reign of Severus. He thought that the coming of Antichrist, which was much talked about, was then near. [1808] So greatly did the agitation caused by the persecution of our people at this time disturb the minds of many.


[1807] The mention of the writer Judas at this point seems, at first sight, as illogical as the reference to Clement in the preceding Chapter. But it does not violate chronology as that did; and hence, if the account of Origen's life was to be broken anywhere for such an insertion, there was perhaps no better place. We cannot conclude, therefore, that Eusebius, had he revised his work, would have changed the position of this Chapter, as Valesius suggests (see the previous Chapter, note 1). Jerome (de vir. ill. c. 52) repeats Eusebius' notice of Judas, but adds nothing to it, and we know no more about him. Since he believed that the appearance of Antichrist was at hand, he must have written before the persecutions had given place again to peace, and hence not long after 202, the date to which he extended his chronology. Whether the work mentioned by Eusebius was a commentary or a work on chronology is not clear. It was possibly an historical demonstration of the truth of Daniel's prophecies, and an interpretation of those yet unfulfilled, in which case it combined history and exegesis. [1808] It was the common belief in the Church, from the time of the apostles until the time of Constantine, that the second coming of Christ would very speedily take place. This belief was especially pronounced among the Montanists, Montanus having proclaimed that the parousia would occur before his death, and even having gone so far as to attempt to collect all the faithful (Montanists) in one place in Phrygia, where they were to await that event and where the new Jerusalem was to be set up (see above, Bk. V. chap. 18, note 6). There is nothing surprising in Judas' idea that this severe persecution must be the beginning of the end, for all through the earlier centuries of the Church (and even to some extent in later centuries) there were never wanting those who interpreted similar catastrophes in the same way; although after the third century the belief that the end was at hand grew constantly weaker.

Chapter VIII.--Origen's Daring Deed.

1. At this time while Origen was conducting catechetical instruction at Alexandria, a deed was done by him which evidenced an immature and youthful mind, but at the same time gave the highest proof of faith and continence. [1809] For he took the words, "There are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake," [1810] in too literal and extreme a sense. And in order to fulfill the Saviour's word, and at the same time to take away from the unbelievers all opportunity for scandal,--for, although young, he met for the study of divine things with women as well as men,--he carried out in action the word of the Saviour.

2. He thought that this would not be known by many of his acquaintances. But it was impossible for him, though desiring to do so, to keep such an action secret.

3. When Demetrius, who presided over that parish, at last learned of this, he admired greatly the daring nature of the act, and as he perceived his zeal and the genuineness of his faith, he immediately exhorted him to courage, and urged him the more to continue his work of catechetical instruction.

4. Such was he at that time. But soon afterward, seeing that he was prospering, and becoming great and distinguished among all men, the same Demetrius, overcome by human weakness, wrote of his deed as most foolish to the bishops throughout the world. But the bishops of Cesarea and Jerusalem, who were especially notable and distinguished among the bishops of Palestine, considering Origen worthy in the highest degree of the honor, ordained him a presbyter. [1811]

5. Thereupon his fame increased greatly, and his name became renowned everywhere, and he obtained no small reputation for virtue and wisdom. But Demetrius, having nothing else that he could say against him, save this deed of his boyhood, accused him bitterly, [1812] and dared to include with him in these accusations those who had raised him to the presbyterate.

6. These things, however, took place a little later. But at this time Origen continued fearlessly the instruction in divine things at Alexandria by day and night to all who came to him; devoting his entire leisure without cessation to divine studies and to his pupils.

7. Severus, having held the government for eighteen years, was succeeded by his son, Antoninus. [1813] Among those who had endured courageously the persecution of that time, and had been preserved by the Providence of God through the conflicts of confession, was Alexander, of whom we have spoken already [1814] as bishop of the church in Jerusalem. On account of his pre-eminence in the confession of Christ he was thought worthy of that bishopric, while Narcissus, [1815] his predecessor, was still living.


[1809] This act of Origen's has been greatly discussed, and some have even gone so far as to believe that he never committed the act, but that the report of it arose from a misunderstanding of certain figurative expressions used by him (so, e.g., Boehringer, Schnitzer, and Baur). There is no reason, however, to doubt the report, for which we have unimpeachable testimony, and which is in itself not at all surprising (see the arguments of Redepenning, I. p. 444 sqq.). The act was contrary to the civil law (see Suetonius, Domitian, c. 7; and cf. Justin Martyr, Apol. I. 29), and yet was a very common one; the existence of the law itself would alone prove what we know from many sources to have been the fact. Nor was Origen alone among the Christians (cf. e.g. Origen, In Matt., XV. 1, the passage of Justin Martyr referred to above, and also the first canon of the Council of Nicæa, the very existence of which proves the necessity of it). It was natural that Christians, seeking purity of life, and strongly ascetic in their tendencies, should be influenced by the actions of those about them, who sought thus to be freed from the domination of the passions, and should interpret certain passages of the Bible as commending the act. Knowing it to be so common, and knowing Origen's character, as revealed to us in chap. 3, above (to say nothing of his own writings), we can hardly be surprised that he performed the act. His chief motive was undoubtedly the same as that which actuated him in all his ascetic practices, the attainment of higher holiness through the subjugation of his passions, and the desire to sacrifice everything fleshly for the sake of Christ. Of course this could not have led him to perform the act he did, unless he had entirely misunderstood, as Eusebius says he did, the words of Christ quoted below. But he was by no means the only one to misunderstand them (see Suicer's Thesaurus, I. 1255 sq.). Eusebius says that the requirements of his position also had something to do with his resolve. He was obliged to teach both men and women, and both day and night (as we learn from §7), and Eusebius thinks he would naturally desire to avoid scandal. At the same time, this motive can hardly have weighed very heavily, if at all, with him; for had his giving instruction in this way been in danger of causing serious scandal, other easier methods of avoiding such scandal might have been devised, and undoubtedly would have been, by the bishop. And the fact is, he seems to have wished to conceal the act, which is inconsistent with the idea that he performed it for the sake of avoiding scandal. It is quite likely that his intimate association with women may have had considerable to do with his resolve, because he may have found that such association aroused his unsubdued passions, and therefore felt that they must be eradicated, if he was to go about his duties with a pure and single heart. That he afterward repented his youthful act, and judged the words of Christ more wisely, is clear from what he says in his Comment. in Matt. XV. 1. And yet he never outgrew his false notions of the superior virtue of an ascetic life. His act seems to have caused a reaction in his mind which led him into doubt and despondency for a time; for Demetrius found it necessary to exhort him to cherish confidence, and to urge him to continue his work of instruction. Eusebius, while not approving Origen's act, yet evidently admired him the more for the boldness and for the spirit of self-sacrifice shown in its performance. [1810] Matt. xix. 12. [1811] See chap. 23. [1812] On the relations existing between Demetrius and Origen, see below, p. 394. [1813] Septimius Severus died on February 4, 211, after a reign of a little more than seventeen years and eight months, and was succeeded by his two sons, Marcus Aurelius Severus Antoninus Bassianus (commonly known by his nickname Caracalla, which, however, was never used in official documents or inscriptions), and Lucius, or Publius, Septimius Geta. Eusebius mentions here only the former, giving him his official name, Antoninus. [1814] Eusebius makes a slip here, as this is the first time he has mentioned Alexander in his Church History. He was very likely under the impression that he had mentioned him just above, where he referred to the bishops of Cæsarea and Jerusalem. He does refer to him in his Chron., putting his appointment as assistant bishop into the second year of Caracalla (Armen. fourth year), and calling him the thirty-fifth bishop of Jerusalem (Armen. thirty-sixth). In Bk. V. chap. 12 of the History (also in the Chron.) we are told that Narcissus was the thirtieth bishop of Jerusalem. The number thirty-five for Alexander (the number thirty-six of the Armen. is a mistake, and is set right in connection with Alexander's successor, who is also called the thirty-sixth) is made out by counting the three bishops mentioned in chap. 10, and then reckoning the second episcopate of Narcissus (see the same Chapter) as the thirty-fourth. We learn from chap. 14 that Alexander was an early friend of Origen's, and a fellow-pupil in the school of Clement. We know him next as bishop of some church in Cappadocia (chap. 11; see note 2 on that Chapter), whence he was called to be assistant bishop of Jerusalem (see the same Chapter). From this passage, compared with chap. 11, we learn that Alexander was imprisoned during the persecutions, and the Chron. gives the year of his "confession" as 203 a.d. But from chap. 11 we learn that he wrote while still in prison to the church of Antioch on occasion of the appointment of Asclepiades to the episcopate there. According to the Chron. Asclepiades did not become bishop until 211; and though this may not be the exact date, yet it cannot be far out of the way (see chap. 11, note 6); and hence, if Alexander was a confessor in 203, he must have remained in prison a number of years, or else have undergone a second persecution. It is probable either that the date 203 is quite wrong, or else that he suffered a second time toward the close of Severus' reign; for the persecution, so far as we know, was not so continuous during that reign as to keep one man confined for eight years. Our knowledge of the persecutions in Asia Minor at this time is very limited, but they do not seem to have been of great severity or of long duration. The date of Alexander's episcopate in Cappadocia it is impossible to determine, though as he was a fellow-pupil of Origen's in Alexandria, it cannot have begun much, if any, before 202. The date of his translation to the see of Jerusalem is likewise uncertain. The Chron. gives the second year of Caracalla (Armen. fourth). The connection in which Eusebius mentions it in chap. 11 makes it look as if it took place before Asclepiades' accession to the see of Antioch; but this is hardly possible, for it was his firmness under persecution which elevated him to the see of Jerusalem (according to this passage), and it is apparently that persecution which he is enduring when Asclepiades becomes bishop. We find no reason, then, for correcting the date of his translation to Jerusalem given by the Chron. At any rate, he was bishop of Jerusalem when Origen visited Palestine in 216 (see chap. 19, §17). In 231 he assisted at the ordination of Origen (see chap. 23, note 6), and finally perished in prison during the Decian persecution (see chaps. 39 and 46). His friendship for Origen was warm and steadfast (cf., besides the other passages referred to, chap. 27). The latter commemorates the loveliness and gentleness of his character in his first Homily on 1 Samuel, §1. He collected a valuable library in Jerusalem, which Eusebius made use of in the composition of his History (see chap. 20). This act shows the literary tastes of the man. Of his epistles only the five fragments preserved by Eusebius (chaps. 11, 14, and 19) are now extant. Jerome (de vir. ill. 62) says that other epistles were extant in his day; and he relates, on the authority of an epistle written pro Origene contra Demetrium, that Alexander had ordained Origen juxta testimonium Demetri. This epistle is not mentioned by Eusebius, but in spite of Jerome's usual dependence upon the latter, there is no good reason to doubt the truth of his statement in this case (see below, p. 396). [1815] On Narcissus, see the next three Chapters, and also Bk. V. chap. 12, note 1.

Chapter IX.--The Miracles of Narcissus.

1. The citizens of that parish mention many other miracles of Narcissus, on the tradition of the brethren who succeeded him; among which they relate the following wonder as performed by him.

2. They say that the oil once failed while the deacons were watching through the night at the great paschal vigil. Thereupon the whole multitude being dismayed, Narcissus directed those who attended to the lights, to draw water and bring it to him.

3. This being immediately done he prayed over the water, and with firm faith in the Lord, commanded them to pour it into the lamps. And when they had done so, contrary to all expectation by a wonderful and divine power, the nature of the water was changed into that of oil. A small portion of it has been preserved even to our day by many of the brethren there as a memento of the wonder. [1816]

4. They tell many other things worthy to be noted of the life of this man, among which is this. Certain base men being unable to endure the strength and firmness of his life, and fearing punishment for the many evil deeds of which they were conscious, sought by plotting to anticipate him, and circulated a terrible slander against him.

5. And to persuade those who heard of it, they confirmed their accusations with oaths: one invoked upon himself destruction by fire; another the wasting of his body by a foul disease; the third the loss of his eyes. But though they swore in this manner, they could not affect the mind of the believers; because the continence and virtuous life of Narcissus were well known to all.

6. But he could not in any wise endure the wickedness of these men; and as he had followed a philosophic [1817] life for a long time, he fled from the whole body of the Church, and hid himself in desert and secret places, and remained there many years. [1818]

7. But the great eye of judgment was not unmoved by these things, but soon looked down upon these impious men, and brought on them the curses with which they had bound themselves. The residence of the first, from nothing but a little spark falling upon it, was entirely consumed by night, and he perished with all his family. The second was speedily covered with the disease which he had imprecated upon himself, from the sole of his feet to his head.

8. But the third, perceiving what had happened to the others, and fearing the inevitable judgment of God, the ruler of all, confessed publicly what they had plotted together. And in his repentance he became so wasted by his great lamentations, and continued weeping to such an extent, that both his eyes were destroyed. Such were the punishments which these men received for their falsehood.


[1816] This miracle is related by Eusebius upon the testimony, not of documents, but of those who had shown him the oil, which was preserved in Jerusalem down to that time; hoi tes paroikias politai...historousi, he says. His travels had evidently not taught him to disbelieve every wonderful tale that was told him. [1817] See above, chap. 3, note 9. [1818] The date of Narcissus' retirement we have no means of ascertaining.

Chapter X.--The Bishops of Jerusalem.

Narcissus having departed, and no one knowing where he was, those presiding over the neighboring churches thought it best to ordain another bishop. His name was Dius. [1819] He presided but a short time, and Germanio succeeded him. He was followed by Gordius, [1820] in whose time Narcissus appeared again, as if raised from the dead. [1821] And immediately the brethren besought him to take the episcopate, as all admired him the more on account of his retirement and philosophy, and especially because of the punishment with which God had avenged him.


[1819] Of these three bishops, Dius, Germanio, and Gordius, we know nothing more than is told us here. Syncellus assigns eight years to Dius, four to Germanio, and five to Sardianus, whom he names instead of Gordius. Epiphanius reports that Dius was bishop until Severus (193 a.d.), and Gordius until Antonine (i.e. Caracalla, 211 a.d.). But no reliance is to be placed upon these figures or dates, as remarked above, Bk. V. chap. 12, note 2. [1820] Eusebius and Epiphanius give Tordios, and Jerome, Gordius; but the Armenian has Gordianus, and Syncellus, Sardianos. What became of Gordius when Narcissus reappeared we do not know. He must have died very speedily, or some compromise would have been made, as it seems, which would have rendered the appointment of Alexander as assistant bishop unnecessary. [1821] Literally, "as if from a resurrection" (hosper ex anabioseos).

Chapter XI.--Alexander.

1. But as on account of his great age Narcissus was no longer able to perform his official duties, [1822] the Providence of God called to the office with him, by a revelation given him in a night vision, the above-mentioned Alexander, who was then bishop of another parish. [1823] 2. Thereupon, as by Divine direction, he journeyed from the land of Cappadocia, where he first held the episcopate, to Jerusalem, in consequence of a vow and for the sake of information in regard to its places. [1824] They received him there with great cordiality, and would not permit him to return, because of another revelation seen by them at night, which uttered the clearest message to the most zealous among them. For it made known that if they would go outside the gates, they would receive the bishop foreordained for them by God. And having done this, with the unanimous consent of the bishops of the neighboring churches, they constrained him to remain. 3. Alexander, himself, in private letters to the Antinoites, [1825] which are still preserved among us, mentions the joint episcopate of Narcissus and himself, writing in these words at the end of the epistle: 4. "Narcissus salutes you, who held the episcopate here before me, and is now associated with me in prayers, being one hundred and sixteen years of age; and he exhorts you, as I do, to be of one mind." These things took place in this manner. But, on the death of Serapion, [1826] Asclepiades, [1827] who had been himself distinguished among the confessors [1828] during the persecution, succeeded to the episcopate of the church at Antioch. Alexander alludes to his appointment, writing thus to the church at Antioch: 5. "Alexander, a servant and prisoner of Jesus Christ, to the blessed church of Antioch, greeting in the Lord. The Lord hath made my bonds during the time of my imprisonment light and easy, since I learned that, by the Divine Providence, Asclepiades, who in regard to the true faith is eminently qualified, has undertaken the bishopric of your holy church at Antioch." 6. He indicates that he sent this epistle by Clement, [1829] writing toward its close as follows: "My honored brethren, [1830] I have sent this letter to you by Clement, the blessed presbyter, a man virtuous and approved, whom ye yourselves also know and will recognize. Being here, in the providence and oversight of the Master, he has strengthened and built up the Church of the Lord."


[1822] The extreme age of Narcissus at this time is evident from the fact that Alexander, writing before the year 216 (see note 4), says that Narcissus is already in his 116th year. The translation of Alexander to Jerusalem must have taken place about 212 (see chap. 8, note 6), and hence Narcissus was now more than 110 years old. The appointment of Alexander as Narcissus' assistant involved two acts which were even at that time not common, and which were later forbidden by canon; first the translation of a bishop from one see to another, and secondly the appointment of an assistant bishop, which made two bishops in one city. The Apost. Canons (No. 14) ordain that "a bishop ought not to leave his own parish and leap to another, although the multitude should compel him, unless there be some good reason forcing him to do this, as that he can contribute much greater profit to the people of the new parish by the word of piety; but this is not to be settled by himself, but by the judgment of many bishops and very great supplication." It has been disputed whether this canon is older or younger than the fifteenth canon of Nicæa, which forbids unconditionally the practice of translation from one see to another. Whichever may be the older, it is certain that even the Council of Nicæa considered its own canon as liable to exceptions in certain cases, for it translated Eustathius from Beræa to Antioch (see Sozomen, H. E. I. 2). The truth is, the rule was established--whether before or for the first time at the Council of Nicæa--chiefly in order to guard against the ambition of aspiring men who might wish to go from a smaller to a greater parish, and to prevent, as the Nicene Canon says, the many disorders and quarrels which the custom of translation caused; and a rule formed on such grounds of expediency was of course liable to exception whenever the good of the Church seemed to demand it, and therefore, whether the fourteenth Apostolic Canon is more ancient than the Nicene Council or not, it certainly embodies a principle which must long have been in force, and which we find in fact acted upon in the present case; for the translation of Alexander takes place "with the common consent of the bishops of the neighboring churches," or, as Jerome puts it, cunctis in Palestina episcopis in unum congregatis, which is quite in accord with the provision of the Apostolic Canons. There were some in the early Church who thought it absolutely unlawful under any circumstances for a bishop to be translated (cf. Jerome's Ep. ad Oceanum; Migne, Ep. 69, §5), but this was not the common view, as Bingham (Antiq. VI. 4. 6) well observes, and instances of translation from one see to another were during all these centuries common (cf. e.g. Socrates, H. E. VII. 36), although always of course exceptional, and considered lawful only when made for good and sufficient reasons. To say, therefore, with Valesius that these Palestinian bishops violated a rule of the Church in translating Alexander is too strong. They were evidently unconscious of anything uncanonical, or even irregular in their action, though it is clear that they regarded the step as too important to be taken without the approval of all the bishops of the neighborhood. In regard to assistant bishops, Valesius correctly remarks that this is the first instance of the kind known to us, but it is by no means the only one, for the following centuries furnish numerous examples; e.g. Theotecnus and Anatolius in Cæsarea (see below, Bk. VII. chap. 32), Maximus and Macarius in Jerusalem (see Sozomen, H. E. II. 20); and so in Africa Valerius of Hippo had Augustine as his coadjutor (Possidius, Vita. Aug. chap. 8; see Bingham's Antiq. II. 13. 4 for other instances and for a discussion of the whole subject). The principle was in force from as early as the third century (see Cyprian to Cornelius, Ep. 40, al. 44 and to Antonianus, Ep. 51, al. 55) that there should be only one bishop in a city, and we see from the works of various Fathers that this rule was universally accepted at an early date. The eighth canon of Nicæa refers to this principle in passing as if it were already firmly established, and the council evidently did not think it necessary to promulgate a special canon on the subject. Because of this principle, Augustine hesitated to allow himself to be ordained assistant bishop of Hippo; and although his scruples were overcome at the time, he afterward, upon learning of the Nicene Canon, considered the practice of having a coadjutor illegal and refused to ordain one for himself. But, as the instances referred to above and many others show, not all the Church interpreted the principle as rigidly as Augustine did, and hence under certain circumstances exceptions were made to the rule, and were looked upon throughout the Church as quite lawful. The existence of two bishops in one city as a matter of compromise, for the sake of healing a schism, formed one common exception to the general principle (see Bingham, II. 13. 2), and the appointment of coadjutors, as in the present case, formed another. [1823] Of what city in Cappadocia Alexander was bishop we are not told by Eusebius, nor by our other ancient authorities. Valesius (note on this passage) and Tillemont (Hist. eccles. III. p. 415) give Flaviopolis or Flaviadis as the name of the city (upon the authority of Basilicon, Jur. Græco-Rom. Tom. I. p. 295, according to Tillemont). But Flaviopolis was a city of Cilicia, and hence Tillemont conjectures that it had once been taken from Cappadocia and attached to Cilicia, and that its inhabitants retained the memory of Alexander, their early bishop. The report seems to rest upon a very slender foundation; but not having access to the authority cited, I am unable to form an opinion as to the worth of the tradition. [1824] euches kai ton topon historias heneken. [1825] 'Antinoeia (Antinoë or Antinoöpolis) was a city of Egypt founded by Hadrian in honor of Antinous (see Bk. IV. chap. 8, note 3). This is the first mention of a church there, but its bishops were present at more than one council in later centuries (see Wiltsch's Geography and Statistics, p. 59, 196, 473). This letter must have been written between 212, at about which time Alexander became Narcissus' coadjutor (see chap. 8, note 6), and 216, when Origen visited Palestine (see chap. 19, note 23). For at the time of that visit Alexander is said to have been bishop of Jerusalem, and no mention is made of Narcissus, who must therefore have been already dead (see Bk. V. chap. 12, note 1). The fragments of Alexander's epistles quoted in this Chapter are given in Routh's Rel. Sacræ, II. p. 161 sq., and in English in the Ante-Nicene Fathers, VI. p. 154. [1826] On Serapion, see Bk. V. chap. 19, note 1. [1827] The Chron. puts the accession of Asclepiades in the first year of Caracalla (211 a.d.). Harnack (Zeit des Ignatius, p. 47) believes that this notice rests upon better knowledge than the notices of most of the Antiochian bishops, because in this case the author departs from the artificial scheme which he follows in the main. But Harnack contends that the date is not quite correct, because Alexander, who suffered under Severus, was still in prison when Asclepiades became bishop, and therefore the latter's accession must be put back into Severus' reign. He would fix, therefore, upon about 209 as the date of it, rightly perceiving that there is good reason for thinking the Chron. at least nearly correct in its report, and that in any case his accession cannot be carried back much beyond that, because it is quite probable (from the congratulations which Alexander extends to the church of Antioch) that there had been a vacancy in that church for some time after the death of Serapion (a thing not at all unnatural in the midst of the persecutions of the time), while Serapion was still alive as late as 203 (see Bk. V. chap. 19, note 1). But it seems to me that there is no good ground for making any alteration in the date given by the Chron., for we know that at the very end of Severus' reign the persecution broke out again with considerable severity, and that it continued, at least in Africa, for some time after Caracalla's accession (see Tertullian's ad Scap.). The general amnesty issued by Caracalla after the murder of his brother Geta in 212 (see Dion Cassius, LXXVII. 3) seems first to have put a definitive end to the persecutions. There is therefore no ground for confining Alexander's imprisonment to the reign of Severus. It may well have run into the time of Caracalla, and hence it is quite possible that Asclepiades did not become bishop until after the latter became emperor, so that it is not necessary to correct the date of the Chron. It is impossible to determine with certainty the length of Asclepiades' episcopate (see chap. 21, note 6). Of Asclepiades himself we know no more than is told us in this Chapter. He seems to have been a man of most excellent character, to judge from Alexander's epistle. That epistle, of course, was written immediately after Asclepiades' appointment. [1828] Literally "confessions" (homologiais). [1829] On Clement of Alexandria, see above, Bk. V. chap. 11. [1830] kurioi mou adelphoi.

Chapter XII.--Serapion and his Extant Works.

1. It is probable that others have preserved other memorials of Serapion's [1831] literary industry, [1832] but there have reached us only those addressed to a certain Domninus, who, in the time of persecution, fell away from faith in Christ to the Jewish will-worship; [1833] and those addressed to Pontius and Caricus, [1834] ecclesiastical men, and other letters to different persons, and still another work composed by him on the so-called Gospel of Peter. [1835] 2. He wrote this last to refute the falsehoods which that Gospel contained, on account of some in the parish of Rhossus [1836] who had been led astray by it into heterodox notions. It may be well to give some brief extracts from his work, showing his opinion of the book. He writes as follows: 3. "For we, brethren, receive both Peter and the other apostles as Christ; but we reject intelligently the writings falsely ascribed to them, knowing that such were not handed down to us. 4. When I visited you I supposed that all of you held the true faith, and as I had not read the Gospel which they put forward under the name of Peter, I said, If this is the only thing which occasions dispute among you, let it be read. But now having learned, from what has been told me, that their mind was involved in some heresy, I will hasten to come to you again. Therefore, brethren, expect me shortly. 5. But you will learn, brethren, from what has been written to you, that we perceived the nature of the heresy of Marcianus, [1837] and that, not understanding what he was saying, he contradicted himself. 6. For having obtained this Gospel from others who had studied it diligently, namely, from the successors of those who first used it, whom we call Docetæ [1838] (for most of their opinions are connected with the teaching of that school [1839] ) we have been able to read it through, and we find many things in accordance with the true doctrine of the Saviour, but some things added to that doctrine, which we have pointed out for you farther on." So much in regard to Serapion.


[1831] On Serapion, see Bk. V. chap. 19, note 1. [1832] The Greek reads: tou de Sarapionos tes peri logous askeseos kai alla men eikos sozesthai par' eterois hupomnemata [1833] Of this Domninus we know only what is told us here. It is suggested by Daniell (in the Dict. of Christ. Biog. IV. 630) that this shows that the prohibition uttered by Severus against the Jews "must have been soon relaxed, if it ever was enforced." But in regard to this it must be said, in the first place, that Severus' decree was not levelled against the Jews, but only against conversion to Judaism,--against the fieri, not the esse, Judæos. The object of the edict was not to disturb the Jews in the exercise of their national faith, but to prevent their proselyting among the non-Jewish residents of the empire. If Domninus, therefore, fell from Christianity into Judaism on account of the persecution, it seems highly probable that he was simply a converted Jew, who gave up now, in order to avoid persecution, his new faith, and again practised the religion of his fathers. Nothing, therefore, can be concluded from Domninus' case as to the strictness with which Severus' law was carried out, even if we suppose Domninus to have fallen from Christianity into Judaism. But it must be remarked, in the second place, that it is by no means certain that Eusebius means to say that Domninus fell into Judaism, or became a Jew. He is said to have fallen into "Jewish will-worship" (ekpeptokota epi ten 'Ioudaiken ethelothreskeian). The word ethelothreskeia occurs for the first time in Col. ii. 23, and means there an "arbitrary, self-imposed worship" (Ellicott), or a worship which one "affects" (Cremer). The word is used there in connection with the Oriental theosophic and Judaistic errors which were creeping into the churches of Asia Minor at the time the epistle was written, and it is quite possible that the word may be used in the present case in reference to the same class of errors. We know that these theosophizing and Judaizing tendencies continued to exert considerable influence in Asia Minor and Syria during the early centuries, and that the Ebionites and the Elcesaites were not the only ones affected by them (see Harnack, Dogmengesch. I. 218 sq.). The lapse of any one into Ebionism, or into a Judaizing Gnosticism, or similar form of heresy--a lapse which cannot have been at all uncommon among the fanatical Phrygians and other peoples of that section--might well be called a lapse into "Jewish will-worship." We do not know where Domninus lived, but it is not improbable that Asia Minor was his home, and that he may have fallen under the influence of Montanism as well as of Ebionism and Judaizing Gnosticism. I suggest the possibility that his lapse was into heresy rather than into Judaism pure and simple, for the reason that it is easier, on that ground, to explain the fact that Serapion addressed a work to him. He is known to us only as an opponent of heresy, and it may be that Domninus' lapse gave him an opportunity to attack the heretical notions of these Ebionites, or other Judaizing heretics, as he had attacked the Montanists. It seems to the writer, also, that it is thus easier to explain the complex phrase used, which seems to imply something different from Judaism pure and simple. [1834] See Bk. V. chap. 19, note 4. [1835] On the so-called "Gospel of Peter," see Bk. III. chap. 3, note 7. [1836] Rhossus, or Rhosus, was a city of Syria, lying on the Gulf of Issus, a little to the northwest of Antioch. [1837] This Marcianus is an otherwise unknown personage, unless we are to identify him, as Salmon suggests is possible, with Marcion. The suggestion is attractive, and the reference to Docetæ gives it a show of probability. But there are serious objections to be urged against it. In the first place, the form of the name, Markianos instead of Markion. The two names are by no means identical. Still, according to Harnack, we have more than once Markianoi and Markianistai for Markionistai (see his Quellenkritik d. Gesch. d. Gnosticismus, p. 31 sqq.). But again, how can Marcion have used, or his name been in any way connected with, a Gospel of Peter? Finally, the impression left by this passage is that "Marcianus" was a man still living, or at any rate alive shortly before Serapion wrote, for the latter seems only recently to have learned what his doctrines were. He certainly cannot have been so ignorant of the teachings of the great "heresiarch" Marcion. We must, in fact, regard the identification as improbable. [1838] By Docetism we understand the doctrine that Christ had no true body, but only an apparent one. The word is derived from dokeo, "to seem or appear." The belief is as old as the first century (cf. 1 John iv. 2; 2 John 7), and was a favorite one with most of the Gnostic sects. The name Docetæ, however, as a general appellation for all those holding this opinion, seems to have been used first by Theodoret (Ep. 82). But the term was employed to designate a particular sect before the end of the second century; thus Clement of Alexandria speaks of them in Strom. VII. 17, and Hippolytus (Phil. VIII. 8. 4, and X. 12; Ante-Nicene Fathers, Amer. ed.), and it is evidently this particular sect to which Serapion refers here. An examination of Hippolytus' account shows that these Docetæ did not hold what we call Docetic ideas of Christ's body; in fact, Hippolytus says expressly that they taught that Christ was born, and had a true body from the Virgin (see Phil. VIII. 3). How the sect came to adopt the name of Docetæ we cannot tell. They seem to have disappeared entirely before the fourth century, for no mention of them is found in Epiphanius and other later heresiologists. As was remarked above, Theodoret uses the term in a general sense and not as the appellation of a particular sect, and this became the common usage, and is still. Whether there was anything in the teaching of the sect to suggest the belief that Christ had only an apparent body, and thus to lead to the use of their specific name for all who held that view, or whether the general use of the name Docetæ arose quite independently of the sect name, we do not know. The latter seems more probable. The Docetæ referred to by Hippolytus being a purely Gnostic sect with a belief in the reality of Christ's body, we have no reason to conclude that the "Gospel of Peter" contained what we call Docetic teaching. The description which Serapion gives of the gospel fits quite well a work containing some such Gnostic speculations as Hippolytus describes, and thus adding to the Gospel narrative rather than denying the truth of it in any part. He could hardly have spoken as he did of a work which denied the reality of Christ's body. See, on the general subject, Salmon's articles Docetæ and Docetism in the Dict. of Christ. Biog. [1839] The interpretation of these last two clauses is beset with difficulty. The Greek reads toutesti para ton diadochon ton katarxamenon autou, ohus Doketas kaloumen, (ta gar phronemata ta pleiona ekeinon esti tes didaskalias), k.t.l. The words ton katarxamenon autou are usually translated "who preceded him," or "who led the way before him"; but the phrase hardly seems to admit of this interpretation, and moreover the autou seems to refer not to Marcianus, whose name occurs some lines back, but to the gospel which has just been mentioned. There is a difficulty also in regard to the reference of the ekeinon, which is commonly connected with the words tes didaskalias, but which seems to belong rather with the phronemata and to refer to the diadochon ton katarxamenon. It thus seems necessary to define the tes didaskalias more closely, and we therefore venture, with Closs, to insert the words "of that school," referring to the Docetæ just mentioned.

Chapter XIII.--The Writings of Clement. [1840]

1. All the eight Stromata of Clement are preserved among us, and have been given by him the following title: "Titus Flavius Clement's Stromata of Gnostic Notes on the True Philosophy." [1841] 2. The books entitled Hypotyposes [1842] are of the same number. In them he mentions Pantænus [1843] by name as his teacher, and gives his opinions and traditions. 3. Besides these there is his Hortatory Discourse addressed to the Greeks; [1844] three books of a work entitled the Instructor; [1845] another with the title What Rich Man is Saved? [1846] the work on the Passover; [1847] discussions on Fasting and on Evil Speaking; [1848] the Hortatory Discourse on Patience, or To Those Recently Baptized; [1849] and the one bearing the title Ecclesiastical Canon, or Against the Judaizers, [1850] which he dedicated to Alexander, the bishop mentioned above. 4. In the Stromata, he has not only treated extensively [1851] of the Divine Scripture, but he also quotes from the Greek writers whenever anything that they have said seems to him profitable. 5. He elucidates the opinions of many, both Greeks and barbarians. He also refutes the false doctrines of the heresiarchs, and besides this, reviews a large portion of history, giving us specimens of very various learning; with all the rest he mingles the views of philosophers. It is likely that on this account he gave his work the appropriate title of Stromata. [1852] 6. He makes use also in these works of testimonies from the disputed Scriptures, [1853] the so-called Wisdom of Solomon, [1854] and of Jesus, the son of Sirach, and the Epistle to the Hebrews, [1855] and those of Barnabas, [1856] and Clement [1857] and Jude. [1858] 7. He mentions also Tatian's [1859] Discourse to the Greeks, and speaks of Cassianus [1860] as the author of a chronological work. He refers to the Jewish authors Philo, [1861] Aristobulus, [1862] Josephus, [1863] Demetrius, [1864] and Eupolemus, [1865] as showing, all of them, in their works, that Moses and the Jewish race existed before the earliest origin of the Greeks. 8. These books abound also in much other learning. In the first of them [1866] the author speaks of himself as next after the successors of the apostles. 9. In them he promises also to write a commentary on Genesis. [1867] In his book on the Passover [1868] he acknowledges that he had been urged by his friends to commit to writing, for posterity, the traditions which he had heard from the ancient presbyters; and in the same work he mentions Melito and Irenæus, and certain others, and gives extracts from their writings.


[1840] On the life of Clement, see Bk. V. chap. 11, note 1. He was a very prolific writer, as we can gather from the list of works mentioned in this Chapter. The list is repeated by Jerome (de vir. ill. c. 38) and by Photius (Cod. 109-111), the former of whom merely copies from Eusebius, with some mistakes, while the latter copies from Jerome, as is clear from the similar variations in the titles given by the last two from those given by Eusebius, and also by the omission in both their lists of one work named by Eusebius (see below, note 10). Eusebius names ten works in this Chapter. In addition to these there are extant two quotations from a work of Clement entitled peri pronoias. There are also extant two fragments of a work peri psuches. In the Instructor, Bk. II. chap. 10, Clement refers to a work On Continence (ho peri enkrateias) as already written by himself, and there is no reason to doubt that this was a separate work, for the third book of the Stromata (to which Fabricius thinks he refers), which treats of the same subject, was not yet written. The work is no longer extant. In the Instructor, Bk. III. chap. 8, Clement speaks of a work which he had written On Marriage (ho gamikos logos). It has been thought possible that he may have referred here to his discussion of the same subject in Bk. II. chap. 10 of the same work (see the Bishop of Lincoln's work on Clement, p. 7), but it seems more probable that he referred to a separate work now lost. Potter, p. 1022, gives a fragment which is possibly from this work. In addition to these works, referred to as already written, Clement promises to write on First Principles (peri archon; Strom. III. 3, IV. 1, 13, V. 14, et al.); on Prophecy (Strom. I. 24, IV. 13, V. 13); on Angels (Strom. VI. 13); on the Origin of the World (Strom. VI. 18),--perhaps a part of the proposed work on First Principles, and perhaps to be identified with the commentary on Genesis, referred to below by Eusebius (see note 28),--Against Heresies (Strom. IV. 13), on the Resurrection (Instructor, I. 6, II. 10). It is quite possible that Clement regarded his promises as fulfilled by the discussions which he gives in various parts of the Stromata themselves, or that he gave up his original purpose. [1841] Clement's three principal works, the Exhortation to the Greeks (see below, note 5), the Instructor (note 6), and the Stromata, form a connected series of works, related to one another (as Schaff says) very much as apologetics, ethics, and dogmatics. The three works were composed in the order named. The Stromata (Stromateis) or Miscellanies (said by Eusebius in this passage to bear the title ton kata ten alethe philosophian gnostikon hupomnemEURton stromateis) are said by Eusebius and by Photius (Cod. 109) to consist of eight books. Only seven are now extant, although there exists a fragment purporting to be a part of the eighth book, but which is in reality a portion of a treatise on logic, while in the time of Photius some reckoned the tract Quis dives salvetur as the eighth book (Photius, Cod. 111). There thus exists no uniform tradition as to the character of the lost book, and the suggestion of Westcott seems plausible, that at an early date the logical introduction to the Hypotyposes was separated from the remainder of the work, and added to some mss. of the Stromata as an eighth book. If this be true, the Stromata consisted originally of only seven books, and hence we now have the whole work (with the exception of a fragment lost at the beginning). The name Stromateis, "patchwork," sufficiently indicates the character of the work. It is without methodical arrangement, containing a heterogeneous mixture of science, philosophy, poetry, and theology, and yet is animated by one idea throughout,--that Christianity satisfies the highest intellectual desires of man,--and hence the work is intended in some sense as a guide to the deeper knowledge of Christianity, the knowledge to be sought after by the "true Gnostic." It is full of rich thoughts mingled with worthless crudities, and, like nearly all of Clement's works, abounds in wide and varied learning, not always fully digested. The date at which the work was composed may be gathered from a passage in Bk. I. chap. 21, where a list of the Roman emperors is closed with a mention of Commodus, the exact length of whose reign is given, showing that he was already dead, but also showing apparently that his successor was still living. This would lead us to put the composition at least of the first book in the first quarter of the year 193. It might of course be said that Pertinax and Didius Julianus are omitted in this list because of the brevity of their reigns, and this is possible, since in his own list he gives the reigns of the emperors simply by years, omitting Otho and Vitellius. The other list which he quotes, however, gives every emperor, with the number of years, months, and even days of each reign, so that there is no reason, at least in that list, for the omission of Pertinax and Didius Julianus. It seems probable that, under the influence of that exact list, and of the recentness of the reigns of the two emperors named, Clement can hardly have omitted them if they had already ruled. We can say with absolute certainty, however, only that the work was written after 192. Clement left Alexandria in 202, or before, and this, as well as the rest of his works, was written in all probability before that time at the latest. The standard edition of Clement's works is that of Potter, Oxford, 1715, in two vols. (reprinted in Migne's Patr. Gr., Vols. VIII. and IX.). Complete English translation in the Ante-Nicene Fathers, Amer. ed., Vol. II. On his writings, see especially Westcott's article in the Dict. of Christ. Biog. and for the literature on the subject Schaff's Ch. Hist. II. 781. [1842] The Hypotyposes (hupotuposeis), or Outlines (Eusebius calls them hoi epigegrammenoi hupotuposeon autou logoi), are no longer extant, though fragments have been preserved. The work (which was in eight books, according to this passage) is referred to by Eusebius, in Bk. I. chap. 12 (the fifth book), in Bk. II. chap. 1 (the sixth and seventh books), in Bk. II. chaps. 9 and 23 (the seventh book), chap. 15 (the sixth book), in Bk. V. chap. 11, and in Bk. VI. chap. 14 (the book not specified). Most of these extracts are of a historical character, but have to do (most of them, not all) with the apostolic age, or the New Testament. We are told in chap. 14 that the work contained abridged accounts of all the Scriptures, but Photius (Cod. 109) says that it seems to have dealt only with Genesis, Exodus, the Psalms, Ecclesiastes, the epistles of Paul, and the Catholic epistles (ho de holos skopos hosanei hermeneiai tunchEURnousi tes Gegeseos k.t.l.). Besides the detached quotations there are extant three series of extracts which are supposed to have been taken from the Hypotyposes. These are The Summaries from Theodotus, The Prophetic Selections, and the Outlines on the Catholic Epistles. On these fragments, which are very corrupt and desultory, see Westcott in the Dict. of Christ. Biog. They discuss all sorts of doctrines, and contain the interpretations of the most various schools, and it is not always clearly stated whether Clement himself adopts the opinion given, or whether he is simply quoting from another for the purpose of refuting him. Photius condemns parts of the Hypotyposes severely, but it seems, from these extracts which we have, that he may have read the work, full as it was of the heretical opinions of other men and schools, without distinguishing Clement's own opinions from those of others, and that thus he may carelessly have attributed to him all the wild notions which he mentions. These extracts as well as the various references of Eusebius show that the work, like most of the others which Clement wrote, covered a great deal of ground, and included discussions of a great many collateral subjects. It does not seem, in fact, to have been much more systematic than the Instructor or even the Stromata. It seems to have been intended as a part of the great series, of which the Exhortation, Instructor, and Stromata were the first three. If so, it followed them. We have no means of ascertaining its date more exactly. [1843] Pantænus, see above, Bk. V. chap. 10, note 1. [1844] The Exhortation to the Greeks (ho logos protreptikos pros ;'Ellenas), the first of the series of three works mentioned in note 2, is still extant in its entirety. It is called by Jerome (de vir. ill. chap. 38) Adversus Gentes, liber unus, but, as Westcott remarks, it was addressed not to the Gentiles in general, but to the Greeks, as its title and its contents alike indicate. The general aim of the book is to "prove the superiority of Christianity to the religions and philosophies of heathendom," and thus to lead the unbeliever to accept it. It is full of Greek mythology and speculation, and exhibits, as Schaff says, almost a waste of learning. It was written before the Instructor, as we learn from a reference to it in the latter (chap. 1). It is stated above (Bk. V. chap. 28, §4), by the anonymous writer against the Artemonites, that Clement wrote (at least some of his works) before the time of Victor of Rome (i.e. before 192 a.d.), and hence Westcott concludes that this work was written about 190, which cannot be far out of the way. [1845] The Instructor (ho paidagogos, or, as Eusebius calls it here, treis te oi tou epigegrammenou paidagogou), is likewise extant, in three books. The work is chiefly of a moral and practical character, designed to furnish the new convert with rules for the proper conduct of his life over against the prevailing immoralities of the heathen. Its date is approximately fixed by the fact that it was written after the Exhortation to which it refers, and before the Stromata, which refers to it (see Strom. VI. 1). [1846] The Quis Dives Salvetur? as it is called (tis ho sozomenos plousios), is a brief tract, discussing the words of Christ in Mark x. 17 sqq. It is still extant, and contains the beautiful story of John and the robber, quoted by Eusebius in Bk. III. chap. 23. It is an eloquent and able work; and when compared with the prevailing notions of the Church of his day, its teaching is remarkably wise and temperate. It is moderately ascetic, but goes to no extremes, and in this furnishes a pleasing contrast to the writings of most of the Fathers of Clement's time. [1847] to peri tou pEURscha sungramma. This work is no longer extant, nor had Photius seen it, although he reports that he had heard of it. Two fragments of it are found in the Chronicon Paschale, and are given by Potter. The work was composed, according to §9, below, at the instigation of friends, who urged him to commit to writing the traditions which he had received from the ancient presbyters. From Bk. IV. chap. 26, we learn that it was written in reply to Melito's work on the same subject (see notes 5 and 23 on that Chapter); and hence we may conclude that it was undertaken at the solicitation of friends who desired to see the arguments presented by Melito, as a representative of the Quartodeciman practice, refined. The date of the work we have no means of ascertaining, for Melito's work was written early in the sixties (see ibid.). [1848] dialexeis peri nesteias kai peri katalalias. Photius knew both these works by report (the second under the title peri kakologias), but had not seen them. Jerome calls the first de jejunio disceptatio, the second de obtrectatione liber unus. Neither of them is now extant; but fragments of the second have been preserved, and are given by Potter. [1849] ho protreptikos eis hupomonen e pros tous neosti bebaptismenous. This work is mentioned neither by Jerome nor by Photius, nor has any vestige of it been preserved, so far as we know. [1850] ho epigegrammenos kanon ekklesiastikos, e pros tous 'Ioudaizontas. Jerome: de canonibus ecclesiasticis, et adversum eos, qui Judæorum sequuntur errorum. Photius mentions the work; calling it peri kanonon ekklesiastikon, but he had not himself seen it. It is no longer extant, but a few fragments have been preserved, and are given by Potter. Danz (De Eusebio, p. 90) refers to Clement's Stromata, lib. VI. p. 803, ed. Potter, where he says that "the ecclesiastical canon is the agreement or disagreement of the law and the prophets with the testament given at the coming of Christ." Danz concludes accordingly that in this work Clement wished to show to those who believed that the teaching of the law and the prophets was not only different from, but superior to the teachings of the Christian faith,--that is, to the Judaizers,--that the writers of the Old and New Testaments were in full harmony. This might do, were it not for the fact that the work is directed not against Jews, but against Judaizers, i.e. Judaizing Christians. A work to prove the Old and New Testament in harmony with each other could hardly have been addressed to such persons, who must have believed them in harmony before they became Christians. The truth is, the phrase kanon ekklesiastikos is used by the Fathers with a great variety of meanings, and the fact that Clement used it in one sense in one of his works by no means proves that he always used it in the same sense. It is more probable that the work was devoted to a discussion of certain practices or modes of living in which the Judaizers differed from the rest of the Church Catholic, perhaps in respect to feasts (might a reference to the Quartodeciman practice have been perhaps included?), fasts and other ascetic practices, observance of the Jewish Sabbaths, &c. This use of the word in the sense of regula was very common (see Suicer's Thesaurus). The work was dedicated, according to Eusebius, to the bishop Alexander, mentioned above in chap. 8 and elsewhere. This is sufficient evidence that it was written considerably later than the three great works already referred to. Alexander was a student of Clement's; and since he was likewise a fellow-pupil of Origen's (see chap. 8, note 6), his student days under Clement must have extended at least nearly to the time when Clement left Alexandria (i.e. in or before 202. a.d.). But Clement of course cannot have dedicated a work to him while he was still his pupil, and in fact we shall be safe in saying that Alexander must have gained some prominence before Clement would be led to dedicate a work to him. We think naturally of the period which Clement spent with him while he was in prison and before he became bishop of Jerusalem (see chap. 11). It is quite possible that Clement's residence in Cappadocia with Alexander had given him such an acquaintance with Judaizing heresies and practices that he felt constrained to write against them, and at the same time had given him such an affection for Alexander that he dedicated his work to him. [1851] Literally, "made a spreading" (katEURstrosin pepoietai). Eusebius here plays upon the title of the work (Stromateis). [1852] See note 2. [1853] antilegomenon graphon. On the Antilegomena, see Bk. III. chap 25, note 1. [1854] The Wisdom of Solomon and the Wisdom of Sirach were two Old Testament apocryphal books. The Church of the first three centuries made, on the whole, no essential difference between the books of the Hebrew canon and the Apocrypha. We find the Fathers, almost without exception, quoting from both indiscriminately. It is true that catalogues were made by Melito, Origen, Athanasius, and others, which separated the Apocrypha from the books of the Hebrew canon; but this represented theory simply, not practice, and did not prevent even themselves from using both classes as Scripture. Augustine went so far as to obliterate completely all distinction between the two, in theory as well as in practice. The only one of the early Fathers to make a decided stand against the Apocrypha was Jerome; but he was not able to change the common view, and the Church continued (as the Catholic Church continues still) to use them all (with a few minor exceptions) as Holy Scripture. [1855] On the Epistle to the Hebrews, see Bk. III. chap. 3, note 17. [1856] On the Epistle of Barnabas, see Bk. III. chap. 25, note 20. [1857] The Epistle of Clement, see Bk. III. chap. 16, note 1. [1858] On the Epistle of Jude, see Bk. II. chap. 23, note 47. [1859] On Tatian and his works, see Bk. IV. chap. 29, note 1. [1860] This Cassianus is mentioned twice by Clement: once in Strom. I. 21, where Clement engages in a chronological study for the purpose of showing that the wisdom of the Hebrews is older than that of the Greeks, and refers to Cassian's Exegetica and Tatian's Address to the Greeks as containing discussions of the same subject; again in Strom. III. 13 sqq., where he is said to have been the founder of the sect of the Docetæ, and to have written a work, De continentia or De castitate (peri enkrateias e peri eunouchias), in which he condemned marriage. Here, too, he is associated with Tatian. He seems from these references to have been, like Tatian, an apologist for Christianity, and also like him to have gone off into an extreme asceticism, which the Church pronounced heretical (see Bk. IV. chap. 29, note 4). Whether he was personally connected with Tatian, or is mentioned with him by Clement simply because his views were similar, we do not know, nor can we fix the date at which he lived. Neither of his works referred to by Clement is now extant. Jerome (de vir. ill. chap. 38) mentions the work which Eusebius speaks of here, but says that he had not been able to find a copy of it. It is called by Clement, in the passage referred to here by Eusebius, 'Exegetikoi, and so Eusebius calls it in his Præf. Evang. X. 12, where he quotes from Clement. But here he speaks of it as a chronographia, and Jerome transcribes the word without translating it. We can gather from Clement's words (Strom. I. 21) that the work of Cassianus dealt largely with chronology, and hence Eusebius' reference to it under the name chronographia is quite legitimate. [1861] On Philo and his works, see Bk. II. chaps. 4, 5, 17 and 18. [1862] The Aristobulus referred to here was an Alexandrian Jew and Peripatetic philosopher (see the passages in Clement and Eusebius referred to below), who lived in the second century b.c., and was the author of Commentaries upon the Mosaic Law, the chief object of which was to prove that Greek philosophy was borrowed from the books of Moses (see Clement, Strom. V. 14, who refers only to Peripatetic philosophy, which is too narrow). The work is referred to by Clement of Alexandria (in his Stromata, I. 15; V. 14; VI. 3, &c.), by Eusebius (in his Præp. Evang. VII. 14; VIII. 9, 10; XIII. 12, &c.), by Anatolius (as quoted by Eusebius below, in Bk. VII. chap. 32), and by other Fathers. The work is no longer extant, but Eusebius gives two considerable fragments of it in his Præp. Evang. VIII. 10, and XIII. 12. See Schürer's Gesch. d. jüdischen Volkes im Zeitalter Jesu, II. p. 760 sq. Schürer maintains the authenticity of the work against the attacks of many modern critics. [1863] On Josephus and his works, see Bk. III. chap. 9. [1864] Demetrius was a Grecian Jew, who wrote, toward the close of the third century b.c., a History of Israel, based upon the Scripture records, and with especial reference to chronology. Demetrius is mentioned by Josephus (who, however, wrongly makes him a heathen; contra Apionem, I. 23), by Clement of Alexandria, and by Eusebius. His work is no longer extant, but fragments of it are preserved by Clement (Strom. I. 21) and by Eusebius (Præp. Evang. IX. 21 and 29). See Schürer, ibid. p. 730 sq. [1865] Eupolymus was also a Jewish historian, who wrote about the middle of the second century b.c., and is possibly to be identified with the Eupolymus mentioned in 1 Macc. viii. 17. He wrote a History of the Jews, which is referred to under various titles by those that mention it, and which has consequently been resolvent into three separate works by many scholars, but without warrant, as Schürer has shown. The work, like that of Aristobulus, was clearly designed to show the dependence of Greek philosophy upon Hebrew wisdom (see Clement's Strom. I. 23). It is no longer extant, but fragments have been preserved by Clement of Alexandria (Strom. I. 21, which gives us data for reckoning the time at which Eupolymus wrote, and I. 23) and by Eusebius (Præp. Evang. IX. 17, 26, 30-34, and probably 39). See Schürer ibid. p. 732 sq. [1866] Eusebius is apparently still referring to Clement's Stromata. In saying that Clement hon en to proto peri heautou deloi hos zngista tes ton apostolon genomenou diadoches, he was perhaps thinking of the passage in Strom. I. 1, where Clement says, "They [i.e. his teachers], preserving the tradition of the blessed doctrine, derived directly from the holy apostles, Peter, James, John, and Paul, the sons receiving it from the fathers (but few were like the fathers), came by God's will to us also to deposit those ancestral and apostolic seeds." Clement in this passage does not mean to assert that his teachers were immediate disciples of the apostles, but only that they received the traditions of the apostles in direct descent from their immediate disciples. Eusebius' words are a little ambiguous, but they seem to imply that he thought that Clement was a pupil of immediate disciples of the apostles, which Clement does not assert in this passage, and can hardly have asserted in any passage, for he was in all probability born too late to converse with those who had seen any of the apostles. [1867] In his Stromata (VI. 18) Clement refers to a work on the origin of the world, which was probably to form a part of his work On Principles. This is perhaps the reference of which Eusebius is thinking when he says that Clement in the Stromata promises eis ten Genesin hupomnematieisthein. If so, Eusebius' words, which imply that Clement promised to write a commentary on Genesis, are misleading. [1868] On this work, see note 8.

Chapter XIV.--The Scriptures mentioned by Him.

1. To sum up briefly, he has given in the Hypotyposes [1869] abridged accounts of all canonical Scripture, not omitting the disputed books, [1870] --I refer to Jude and the other Catholic epistles, and Barnabas [1871] and the so-called Apocalypse of Peter. [1872] 2. He says that the Epistle to the Hebrews [1873] is the work of Paul, and that it was written to the Hebrews in the Hebrew language; but that Luke translated it carefully and published it for the Greeks, and hence the same style of expression is found in this epistle and in the Acts. 3. But he says that the words, Paul the Apostle, were probably not prefixed, because, in sending it to the Hebrews, who were prejudiced and suspicious of him, he wisely did not wish to repel them at the very beginning by giving his name. 4. Farther on he says: "But now, as the blessed presbyter said, since the Lord being the apostle of the Almighty, was sent to the Hebrews, Paul, as sent to the Gentiles, on account of his modesty did not subscribe himself an apostle of the Hebrews, through respect for the Lord, and because being a herald and apostle of the Gentiles he wrote to the Hebrews out of his superabundance." 5. Again, in the same books, Clement gives the tradition of the earliest presbyters, as to the order of the Gospels, in the following manner: 6. The Gospels containing the genealogies, he says, were written first. The Gospel according to Mark [1874] had this occasion. As Peter had preached the Word publicly at Rome, and declared the Gospel by the Spirit, many who were present requested that Mark, who had followed him for a long time and remembered his sayings, should write them out. And having composed the Gospel he gave it to those who had requested it. 7. When Peter learned of this, he neither directly forbade nor encouraged it. But, last of all, John, perceiving that the external [1875] facts had been made plain in the Gospel, being urged by his friends, and inspired by the Spirit, composed a spiritual Gospel." [1876] This is the account of Clement. 8. Again the above-mentioned Alexander, [1877] in a certain letter to Origen, refers to Clement, and at the same time to Pantænus, as being among his familiar acquaintances. He writes as follows: "For this, as thou knowest, was the will of God, that the ancestral friendship existing between us should remain unshaken; nay, rather should be warmer and stronger. 9. For we know well those blessed fathers who have trodden the way before us, with whom we shall soon be; [1878] Pantænus, the truly blessed man and master, and the holy Clement, my master and benefactor, and if there is any other like them, through whom I became acquainted with thee, the best in everything, my master and brother." [1879] 10. So much for these matters. But Adamantius, [1880] --for this also was a name of Origen,--when Zephyrinus [1881] was bishop of Rome, visited Rome, "desiring," as he himself somewhere says, "to see the most ancient church of Rome." 11. After a short stay there he returned to Alexandria. And he performed the duties of catechetical instruction there with great zeal; Demetrius, who was bishop there at that time, urging and even entreating him to work diligently for the benefit of the brethren. [1882]


[1869] See the previous Chapter, note 3. [1870] On the Antilegomena of Eusebius, and on the New Testament canon in general, see Bk. III. chap. 25, note 1. [1871] On the Epistle of Barnabas, see Bk. III. chap. 25, note 20. [1872] On the Apocalypse of Peter, see Bk. III. chap. 3, note 9. [1873] On the Epistle to the Hebrews, see above, Bk. III. chap. 3, note 17. [1874] On the composition of the Gospel of Mark, see Bk. II. chap. 15, note 4, and with this statement of Clement as to Peter's attitude toward its composition, compare the words of Eusebius in §2 of that Chapter, and see the note upon the passage (note 5). [1875] ta somatikEUR. [1876] See Bk. III. chap. 24, note 7. [1877] Mentioned already in chaps. 8 and 11. [1878] We see from this sentence that at the time of the writing of this epistle both Pantænus and Clement were dead. The latter was still alive when Alexander wrote to the Antiochenes (see chap. 11), i.e. about the year 211 (see note 5 on that Chapter). How much longer he lived we cannot tell. The epistle referred to here must of course have been written at any rate subsequent to the year 211, and hence while Alexander was bishop of Jerusalem. The expression "with whom we shall soon be" (pros hous met' oligon esometha) seems to imply that the epistle was written when Alexander and Origen were advanced in life, but this cannot be pressed. [1879] It is from this passage that we gather that Alexander was a student of Clement's and a fellow-pupil of Origen's (see chap. 8, note 6, and chap. 2, note 1). The epistle does not state this directly, but the conclusion seems sufficiently obvious. [1880] The name Adamantius ('AdamEURntios from adEURmas unconquerable,hence hard, adamantine) is said by Jerome (Ep. ad Paulam, §3; Migne's ed. Ep. XXXIII.) to have been given him on account of his untiring industry, by Photius (Cod. 118) on account of the invincible force of his arguments, and by Epiphanius (Hær. LXIV. 74) to have been vainly adopted by himself. But Eusebius' simple statement at this point looks rather as if Adamantius was a second name which belonged to Origen from the beginning, and had no reference to his character. We know that two names were very common in that age. This opinion is adopted by Tillemont, Redepenning, Westcott, and others, although many still hold the opposite view. Another name, Chalcenterus, given to him by Jerome in the epistle already referred to, was undoubtedly, as we can see from the context, applied to him by Jerome, because of his resemblance to Didymus of Alexandria (who bore that surname) in his immense industry as an author. [1881] On Zephyrinus, bishop of Rome, see Bk. V. chap. 28, note 5. He was bishop from about 198, or 199, to 217. This gives considerable range for the date of Origen's visit to Rome, which we have no means of fixing with exactness. There is no reason for supposing that Eusebius is incorrect in putting it among the events occurring during Caracalla's reign (211-217). On the other hand, it must have taken place before the year 216, for in that year Origen went to Palestine (see chap. 19, note 23) and remained there some time. Whether Origen's visit was undertaken simply from the desire to see the church of Rome, as Eusebius says, or in connection with matters of business, we cannot tell. [1882] On Demetrius' relations to Origen, see chap. 8, note 4.

Chapter XV.--Heraclas. [1883]

1. But when he saw that he had not time for the deeper study of divine things, and for the investigation and interpretation of the Sacred Scriptures, and also for the instruction of those who came to him,--for coming, one after another, from morning till evening to be taught by him, they scarcely gave him time to breathe,--he divided the multitude. And from those whom he knew well, he selected Heraclas, who was a zealous student of divine things, and in other respects a very learned man, not ignorant of philosophy, and made him his associate in the work of instruction. He entrusted to him the elementary training of beginners, but reserved for himself the teaching of those who were farther advanced.


[1883] On Heraclas, see chap. 3, note 2.

Chapter XVI.--Origen's Earnest Study of the Divine Scriptures.

1. So earnest and assiduous was Origen's research into the divine words that he learned the Hebrew language, [1884] and procured as his own the original Hebrew Scriptures which were in the hands of the Jews. He investigated also the works of other translators of the Sacred Scriptures besides the Seventy. [1885] And in addition to the well-known translations of Aquila, [1886] Symmachus, [1887] and Theodotion, [1888] he discovered certain others which had been concealed from remote times,--in what out-of-the-way corners I know not,--and by his search he brought them to light. [1889] 2. Since he did not know the authors, he simply stated that he had found this one in Nicopolis near Actium [1890] and that one in some other place. 3. In the Hexapla [1891] of the Psalms, after the four prominent translations, he adds not only a fifth, but also a sixth and seventh. [1892] He states of one of these that he found it in a jar in Jericho in the time of Antoninus, the son of Severus. 4. Having collected all of these, he divided them into sections, and placed them opposite each other, with the Hebrew text itself. He thus left us the copies of the so-called Hexapla. He arranged also separately an edition of Aquila and Symmachus and Theodotion with the Septuagint, in the Tetrapla. [1893]


[1884] Origen's study of the Hebrew, which, according to Jerome (de vir. ill. chap. 54), was "contrary to the custom of his day and race," is not at all surprising. He felt that he needed some knowledge of it as a basis for his study of the Scriptures to which he had devoted himself, and also as a means of comparing the Hebrew and Greek texts of the Old Testament, a labor which he regarded as very important for polemical purposes. As to his familiarity with the Hebrew it is now universally conceded that it was by no means so great as was formerly supposed. He seems to have learned only about enough to enable him to identify the Hebrew which corresponded with the Greek texts which he used, and even in this he often makes mistakes. He sometimes confesses openly his lack of critical and independent knowledge of the Hebrew (e.g. Hom. in Num. XIV. 1; XVI. 4). He often makes blunders which seem absurd, and yet in many cases he shows considerable knowledge in regard to peculiar forms and idioms. His Hebrew learning was clearly fragmentary and acquired from various sources. Cf. Redepenning, I. p. 365 sq. [1885] On the LXX, see Bk. V. chap. 8, note 31. [1886] Aquila is first mentioned by Irenæus (Adv. Hær. III. 21. 1, quoted by Eusebius, Bk. V. chap. 8, above), who calls him a Jewish proselyte of Pontus; Epiphanius says of Sinope in Pontus. Tradition is uniform that he was a Jewish proselyte, and that he lived in the time of Hadrian, or in the early part of the second century according to Rabbinic tradition. He produced a Greek translation of the Old Testament, which was very slavish in its adherence to the original, sacrificing the Greek idiom to the Hebrew without mercy, and even violating the grammatical structure of the former for the sake of reproducing the exact form of the latter. Because of its faithfulness to the original, it was highly prized by the Rabbinic authorities, and became more popular among the Jews in general than the LXX. (On the causes of the waning popularity of the latter, see note 8, below.) Neither Aquila's version, nor the two following, are now extant; but numerous fragments have been preserved by those Fathers who saw and used Origen's Hexapla. [1887] Symmachus is said by Eusebius, in the next Chapter, to have been an Ebionite; and Jerome agrees with him (Comment. in Hab., lib. II. c. 3), though the testimony of the latter is weakened by the fact that he wrongly makes Theodotion also an Ebionite (see next note). It has been claimed that Symmachus was a Jew, not a Christian; but Eusebius' direct statement is too strong to be set aside, and is corroborated by certain indications in the version itself, e.g. in Dan. ix. 26, where the word christos, which Aquila avoids, is used. The composition of his version is assigned by Epiphanius and the Chron. paschale to the reign of Septimius Severus (193-211); and although not much reliance is to be placed upon their statements, still they must be about right in this case, for that Symmachus' version is younger than Irenæus is rendered highly probable by the latter's omission of it where he refers to those of Theodotion and Aquila; and, on the other hand, it must of course have been composed before Origen began his Hexapla. Symmachus' version is distinguished from Aquila's by the purity of its Greek and its freedom from Hebraisms. The author's effort was not slavishly to reproduce the original, but to make an elegant and idiomatic Greek translation, and in this he succeeded very well, being excellently versed in both languages, though he sometimes sacrificed the exact sense of the Hebrew, and occasionally altered it under the influence of dogmatic prepossessions. The version is spoken very highly of by Jerome, and was used freely by him in the composition of the Vulgate. For further particulars in regard to Symmachus' version, see the Dict. of Christ. Biog. III. p. 19 sq. [1888] It has been disputed whether Theodotion was a Jew or a Christian. Jerome (de vir. ill. 54, and elsewhere) calls him an Ebionite; in his Ep. ad Augustin. c. 19 (Migne's ed. Ep. 112), a Jew; while in the preface to his commentary on Daniel he says that some called him an Ebionite, qui altero genere Judæus est. Irenæus (Adv. Hær. III. 21. 1) and Epiphanius (de mens. et pond. 17) say that he was a Jewish proselyte, which is probably true. The reports in regard to his nationality are conflicting. The time at which he lived is disputed. The Chron. paschale assigns him to the reign of Commodus, and Epiphanius may also be urged in support of that date, though he commits a serious blunder in making a second Commodus, and is thus led into great confusion. But Theodotion, as well as Aquila, is mentioned by Irenæus, and hence must be pushed back well into the second century. It has been discovered, too, that Hermas used his version (see Hort's article in the Johns Hopkins University Circular, December, 1884), which obliges us to throw it back still further, and Schürer has adduced some very strong reasons for believing it older than Aquila's version (see Schürer's Gesch. d. Juden im Zeitalter Jesu, II. p. 709). Theodotion's version, like Aquila's, was intended to reproduce the Hebrew more exactly than the LXX did. It is based upon the LXX, however, which it corrects by the Hebrew, and therefore resembles the former much more closely than Theodotion's does. We have no notices of the use of this version by the Jews. Aquila's version (supposing it younger than Theodotion's) seems to have superseded it entirely. Theodotion's translation of Daniel, however, was accepted by the Christians, instead of the LXX Daniel, and replacing the latter in all the mss. of the LXX, has been preserved entire. Aside from this we have only such fragments as have been preserved by the Fathers that saw and used the Hexapla. It will be seen that the order in which Eusebius mentions the three versions here is not chronological. He simply follows the order in which they stand in Origen's Hexapla (see below, note 8). Epiphanius is led by that order to make Theodotion's version later than the other, which is quite a mistake, as has been seen. For further particulars in regard to the versions of Aquila and Theodotion, and for the literature of the subject, see Schürer, ibid. p. 704 sq. [1889] We know very little about these anonymous Greek versions of the Old Testament. Eusebius' words ("which had been concealed from remote times," ton pEURlai lanthanousas chronon) would lead us to think them older than the versions of Aquila, Theodotion, and Symmachus. One of them, Eusebius tells us, was found at Nicopolis near Actium, another in a jar at Jericho, but where the third was discovered he did not know. Jerome (in his Prologus in expos. Cant. Cant. sec. Originem; Origen's works, ed. Lommatzsch, XIV. 235) reports that the "fifth edition" (quinta editio) was found in Actio litore; but Epiphanius, who seems to be speaking with more exact knowledge than Jerome, says that the "fifth" was discovered at Jericho and the "sixth" in Nicopolis, near Actium (De mens. et pond. 18). Jerome calls the authors of the "fifth" and "sixth" Judaïcos translatores, which according to his own usage might mean either Jews or Jewish Christians (see Redepenning, p. 165), and at any rate the author of the "sixth" was a Christian, as is clear from his rendering of Heb. iii. 13: exelthes tou sosai ton laon sou dia 'Iesou tou christou. The "fifth" is quoted by Origen on the Psalms, Proverbs, Song of Songs, minor prophets, Kings, &c.; the "sixth," on the Psalms, Song of Songs, and Habakkuk, according to Field, the latest editor of the Hexapla. Whether these versions were fragmentary, or were used only in these particular passages for special reasons, we do not know. Of the "seventh" no clear traces can be discovered, but it must have been used for the Psalms at any rate, as we see from this Chapter. As to the time when these versions were found we are doubtless to assign the discovery of the one at Nicopolis near Actium to the visit made by Origen to Greece in 231 (see below, p. 396). Epiphanius, who in the present case seems to be speaking with more than customary accuracy, puts its discovery into the time of the emperor Alexander (222-235). The other one, which Epiphanius calls the "fifth," was found, according to him, in the seventh year of Caracalla's reign (217) "in jars at Jericho." We know that at this time Origen was in Palestine (see chap. 19, note 23), and hence Epiphanius' report may well be correct. If it is, he has good reason for calling the latter the "fifth," and the former the "sixth." The place and time of the discovery of the "seventh" are alike unknown. For further particulars in regard to these versions, see the prolegomena to Field's edition of the Hexapla, the article Hexapla in the Dict. of Christ. Biog., and Redepenning, II. 164 sq. [1890] Nicopolis near Actium, so designated to distinguish it from a number of other cities bearing the same name, was a city of Epirus, lying on the northern shore of the Ambracian gulf, opposite the promontory of Actium. [1891] Origen's Hexapla (ta hexapla, to hexaploun, to hexaselidon, the first form being used by Eusebius in this Chapter) was a polyglot Old Testament containing the Hebrew text, a transliteration of it in Greek letters (important because the Hebrew text was unpointed), the versions of Aquila, of Symmachus, of the LXX, and of Theodotion, arranged in six columns in the order named, with the addition in certain places of a fifth, sixth, and even seventh Greek version (see Jerome's description of it, in his Commentary on Titus, chap. 3, ver. 9). The parts which contained these latter versions were sometimes called Octapla (they seem never to have borne the name nonapla.) The order of the columns was determined by the fact that Aquila's version most closely resembled the Hebrew, and hence was put next to it, followed by Symmachus' version, which was based directly upon the Hebrew, but was not so closely conformed to it; while Theodotion's version, which was based not upon the Hebrew, but upon the LXX, naturally followed the latter. Origen's object in undertaking this great work was not scientific, but polemic; it was not for the sake of securing a correct Hebrew text, but for the purpose of furnishing adequate means for the reconstruction of the original text of the LXX, which in his day was exceedingly corrupt. It was Origen's belief, and he was not alone in his opinion (cf. Justin Martyr's Dial. with Trypho, chap. 71), that the Hebrew Old Testament had been seriously altered by the Jews, and that the LXX (an inspired translation, as it was commonly held to be by the Christians) alone represented the true form of Scripture. For two centuries before and more than a century after Christ the LXX stood in high repute among the Jews, even in Palestine, and outside of Palestine had almost completely taken the place of the original Hebrew. Under the influence of its universal use among the Jews the Christians adopted it, and looked upon it as inspired Scripture just as truly as if it had been in the original tongue. Early in the second century (as Schürer points out) various causes were at work to lessen its reputation among the Jews. Chief among these were first, the growing conservative reaction against all non-Hebraic culture, which found its culmination in the Rabbinic schools of the second century; and second, the ever-increasing hostility to Christianity. The latter cause tended to bring the LXX into disfavor with the Jews, because it was universally employed by the Christians, and was cited in favor of Christian doctrines in many cases where it differed from the Hebrew text, which furnished less support to the particular doctrine defended. It was under the influence of this reaction against the LXX, which undoubtedly began even before the second century, that the various versions already mentioned took their rise. Aquila especially aimed to keep the Hebrew text as pure as possible, while making it accessible to the Greek-speaking Jews, who had hitherto been obliged to rely upon the LXX. It will be seen that the Christians and the Jews, who originally accepted the same Scriptures, would gradually draw apart, the one party still holding to the LXX, the other going back to the original; and the natural consequence of this was that the Jews taunted the Christians with using only a translation which did not agree with the original, and therefore was of no authority, while the Christians, on the other hand, accused the Jews of falsifyng their Scriptures, which should agree with the more pure and accurate LXX. Under these circumstances, Origen conceived the idea that it would be of great advantage to the Christians, in their polemics against the Jews, to know more accurately than they did the true form of the LXX text, and the extent and nature of its variations from the Hebrew. As the matter stood everything was indefinite, for no one knew to exactly what extent the two differed, and no one knew, in the face of the numerous variant texts, the precise form of the LXX itself (cf. Redepenning, II. p. 156 sq.). The Hebrew text given by Origen seems to have been the vulgar text, and to have differed little from that in use to-day. With the LXX it was different. Here Origen made a special effort to ascertain the most correct text, and did not content himself with giving simply one of the numerous texts extant, for he well knew that all were more or less corrupt. But his method was not to throw out of the text all passages not well supported by the various witnesses, but rather to enrich the text from all available sources, thus making it as full as possible. Wherever, therefore, the Hebrew contained a passage omitted in the LXX, he inserted in the latter the translation of the passage, taken from one of the other versions, marking the addition with "obeli"; and wherever, on the other hand, the fullest LXX text which he had contained more than the Hebrew and the other versions combined, he allowed the redundant passage to stand, but marked it with asterisks. The Hexapla as a whole seems never to have been reproduced, but the LXX text as contained in the fifth column was multiplied many times, especially under the direction of Pamphilus and Eusebius (who had the original ms. at Cæsarea), and this recension came into common use. It will be seen that Origen's process must have wrought great confusion in the text of the LXX; for future copyists, in reproducing the text given by Origen, would be prone to neglect the critical signs, and give the whole as the correct form of the LXX; and critical editors to-day find it very difficult to reach even the form of the LXX text used by Origen. The Hexapla is no longer extant. When the Cæsarean ms. of it perished we do not know. Jerome saw it, and made large use of it, but after his time we have no further trace of it, and it probably perished with the rest of the Cæsarean library before the end of the seventh century, perhaps considerably earlier. Numerous editions have been published of the fragments of the Hexapla, taken from the works of the Fathers, from Scholia in mss. of the LXX, and from a Syriac version of the Hexaplar LXX, which is still in large part extant. The best edition is that of Field, in two vols., Oxford, 1875. His prolegomena contain the fullest and most accurate information in regard to the Hexapla. Comp. also Taylor's article in the Dict. of Christ. Biog., and Redepenning, II. p. 156 sq. Origen seems to have commenced his great work in Alexandria. This is implied by the account of Eusebius, and is stated directly by Epiphanius (Hær. LXIV. 3), who says that this was the first work which he undertook at the solicitation of Ambrose (see chap. 18). We may accept this as in itself quite probable, for there could be no better foundation for his exegetical labors than just such a piece of critical work, and the numerous scribes furnished him by Ambrose (see chap. 18) may well have devoted themselves largely to this very work, as Redepenning remarks. But the work was by no means completed at once. The time of his discovery of the other versions of the Old Testament (see above, note 6) in itself shows that he continued his labor upon the great edition for many years (the late discovery of these versions may perhaps explain the fact that he did not use them in connection with all the books of the Old Testament?); and Epiphanius (de mens. et pond. 18) says that he was engaged upon it for twenty-eight years, and completed it at Tyre. This is quite likely, and will explain the fact that the ms. of the work remained in the Cæsarean library. Field, however, maintains that our sources do not permit us to fix the time or place either of the commencement or of the completion of the work with any degree of accuracy (see p. xlviii. sq.). [1892] Valesius remarks that there is an inconsistency here, and that it should be said "not only a fifth and sixth, but also a seventh." All the mss. and versions, however, support the reading of the text, and we must therefore suppose the inconsistency (if there is one, which is doubtful) to be Eusebius' own, not that of a scribe. [1893] Greek: en tois tetraplois epikataskeuEURsas. The last word indicates that the Tetrapla was prepared after, not before, the Hexapla (cf. Valesius in hoc loco), and Redepenning (p. 175 sq.) gives other satisfactory reasons for this conclusion. The design seems to have been simply to furnish a convenient abridgment of larger work, fitted for those who did not read Hebrew; that is, for the great majority of Christians, even scholars.

Chapter XVII.--The Translator Symmachus. [1894]

As to these translators it should be stated that Symmachus was an Ebionite. But the heresy of the Ebionites, as it is called, asserts that Christ was the son of Joseph and Mary, considering him a mere man, and insists strongly on keeping the law in a Jewish manner, as we have seen already in this history. [1895] Commentaries of Symmachus are still extant in which he appears to support this heresy by attacking the Gospel of Matthew. [1896] Origen states that he obtained these and other commentaries of Symmachus on the Scriptures from a certain Juliana, [1897] who, he says, received the books by inheritance from Symmachus himself.


[1894] On Symmachus, see the previous Chapter, note 4. [1895] In Bk. III. chap. 27. For a discussion of Ebionism, see the notes on that Chapter. [1896] On the attitude of the Ebionites toward the Canonical Gospel of Matthew (to which of course Eusebius here refers), see ibid. note 8. All traces of this work and of Symmachus' "other interpretations of Scripture" (allon eis tas graphas hermeneion), mentioned just below, have vanished. We must not include Symmachus' translation of the Old Testament in these other works (as has been done by Huet and others), for there is no hint either in this passage or in that of Palladius (see next note) of a reference to that version, which was, like those of Aquila and Theodotion, well known in Origen's time (see the previous Chapter). [1897] This Juliana is known to us only from this passage and from Palladius, Hist. Laus. 147. Palladius reports, on the authority of an entry written by Origen himself, which he says he found in an ancient book (en palaiotEURto bibliû stichero), that Juliana was a virgin of Cæsarea in Cappadocia, and that she gave refuge to Origen in the time of some persecution. If this account is to be relied upon, Origen's sojourn in the lady's house is doubtless to be assigned, with Huet, to the persecution of Maximinus (235-238; see below, chap. 28, note 2). It must be confessed, however, that in the face of the absolute silence of Eusebius and others, the story has a suspicious look.

Chapter XVIII.--Ambrose.

1. About this time Ambrose, [1898] who held the heresy of Valentinus, [1899] was convinced by Origen's presentation of the truth, and, as if his mind were illumined by light, he accepted the orthodox doctrine of the Church. 2. Many others also, drawn by the fame of Origen's learning, which resounded everywhere, came to him to make trial of his skill in sacred literature. And a great many heretics, and not a few of the most distinguished philosophers, studied under him diligently, receiving instruction from him not only in divine things, but also in secular philosophy. 3. For when he perceived that any persons had superior intelligence he instructed them also in philosophic branches--in geometry, arithmetic, and other preparatory studies--and then advanced to the systems [1900] of the philosophers and explained their writings. And he made observations and comments upon each of them, so that he became celebrated as a great philosopher even among the Greeks themselves. 4. And he instructed many of the less learned in the common school branches, [1901] saying that these would be no small help to them in the study and understanding of the Divine Scriptures. On this account he considered it especially necessary for himself to be skilled in secular and philosophic learning. [1902]


[1898] Of the early life of Ambrose, the friend of Origen, we know nothing. We learn from Origen's Exhortatio ad Martyr. c. 14, and Jerome's de vir. ill. c. 56, that he was of a wealthy and noble family (cf. chap. 23 of this book), and from the Exhort. ad Mart. c. 36, that he probably held some high official position. Eusebius says here that he was for some time a Valentinian, Jerome that he was a Marcionite, others give still different reports. However that was, the authorities all agree that he was converted to the orthodox faith by Origen, and that he remained devoted to him for the rest of his life. From chap. 23 we learn that he urged Origen to undertake the composition of commentaries on the Scriptures, and that he furnished ample pecuniary means for the prosecution of the work. He was also himself a diligent student, as we gather from that Chapter (cf. also Jerome, de vir. ill. c. 56). From chap. 28 we learn that he was a confessor in the persecution of Maximinus (Jerome calls him also a deacon), and it seems to have been in Cæsarea or its neighborhood that he suffered, whither he had gone undoubtedly on account of his affection for Origen, who was at that time there (cf. the Exhort. c. 41). He is mentioned for the last time in the dedication and conclusion of Origen's Contra Celsum, which was written between 246 and 250 (see chap. 36, below). Jerome (l.c.) states that he died before Origen, so that he cannot have lived long after this. He left no writings, except some epistles which are no longer extant. Jerome, however, in his Ep. ad Marcellam, §1 (Migne's ed., Ep. 43), attributes to Ambrose an epistle, a fragment of which is extant under the name of Origen (to whom it doubtless belongs) and which is printed in Lommatzsch's edition of Origen's works, Vol. XVII. p. 5. Origen speaks of him frequently as a man of education and of literary tastes and devoted to the study of the Scriptures, and Jerome says of himnon inelegantis ingenii fuit, sicut ejus ad Origenen epistolæ indicio sunt (l.c.). The affection which Origen felt for him is evinced by many notices in his works and by the fact that he dedicated to him the Exhortatio ad Martyr., on the occasion of his suffering under Maximinus. It was also at Ambrose's solicitation that he wrote his great work against Celsus, which he likewise dedicated to him. [1899] On Valentinus, see above, Bk. IV. chap. 11, note 1. [1900] Greek, aireseis [1901] enkuklia grEURmmata; "the circle of those arts and sciences which every free-born youth in Greece was obliged to go through before applying to any professional studies" (Liddell and Scott, defining enk. paideia). [1902] On Origen's education, see p. 392, below.

Chapter XIX.--Circumstances Related of Origen.

1. The Greek philosophers of his age are witnesses to his proficiency in these subjects. We find frequent mention of him in their writings. Sometimes they dedicated their own works to him; again, they submitted their labors to him as a teacher for his judgment. 2. Why need we say these things when even Porphyry, [1903] who lived in Sicily in our own times and wrote books against us, attempting to traduce the Divine Scriptures by them, mentions those who have interpreted them; and being unable in any way to find a base accusation against the doctrines, for lack of arguments turns to reviling and calumniating their interpreters, attempting especially to slander Origen, whom he says he knew in his youth. 3. But truly, without knowing it, he commends the man; telling the truth about him in some cases where he could not do otherwise; but uttering falsehoods where he thinks he will not be detected. Sometimes he accuses him as a Christian; again he describes his proficiency in philosophic learning. But hear his own words: 4. "Some persons, desiring to find a solution of the baseness of the Jewish Scriptures rather than abandon them, have had recourse to explanations inconsistent and incongruous with the words written, which explanations, instead of supplying a defense of the foreigners, contain rather approval and praise of themselves. For they boast that the plain words of Moses are enigmas, and regard them as oracles full of hidden mysteries; and having bewildered the mental judgment by folly, they make their explanations." Farther on he says: 5. "As an example of this absurdity take a man whom I met when I was young, and who was then greatly celebrated and still is, on account of the writings which he has left. I refer to Origen, who is highly honored by the teachers of these doctrines. 6. For this man, having been a hearer of Ammonius, [1904] who had attained the greatest proficiency in philosophy of any in our day, derived much benefit from his teacher in the knowledge of the sciences; but as to the correct choice of life, he pursued a course opposite to his. 7. For Ammonius, being a Christian, and brought up by Christian parents, when he gave himself to study and to philosophy straightway conformed to the life required by the laws. But Origen, having been educated as a Greek in Greek literature, went over to the barbarian recklessness. [1905] And carrying over the learning which he had obtained, he hawked it about, in his life conducting himself as a Christian and contrary to the laws, but in his opinions of material things and of the Deity being like a Greek, and mingling Grecian teachings with foreign fables. [1906] 8. For he was continually studying Plato, and he busied himself with the writings of Numenius [1907] and Cronius, [1908] Apollophanes, [1909] Longinus, [1910] Moderatus, [1911] and Nicomachus, [1912] and those famous among the Pythagoreans. And he used the books of Chæremon [1913] the Stoic, and of Cornutus. [1914] Becoming acquainted through them with the figurative interpretation of the Grecian mysteries, he applied it to the Jewish Scriptures." [1915] 9. These things are said by Porphyry in the third book of his work against the Christians. [1916] He speaks truly of the industry and learning of the man, but plainly utters a falsehood (for what will not an opposer of Christians do?) when he says that he went over from the Greeks, [1917] and that Ammonius fell from a life of piety into heathen customs. 10. For the doctrine of Christ was taught to Origen by his parents, as we have shown above. And Ammonius held the divine philosophy unshaken and unadulterated to the end of his life. [1918] His works yet extant show this, as he is celebrated among many for the writings which he has left. For example, the work entitled The Harmony of Moses and Jesus, and such others as are in the possession of the learned. 11. These things are sufficient to evince the slander of the false accuser, and also the proficiency of Origen in Grecian learning. He defends his diligence in this direction against some who blamed him for it, in a certain epistle, [1919] where he writes as follows: 12. "When I devoted myself to the word, and the fame of my proficiency went abroad, and when heretics and persons conversant with Grecian learning, and particularly with philosophy, came to me, it seemed necessary that I should examine the doctrines of the heretics, and what the philosophers say concerning the truth. 13. And in this we have followed Pantænus, [1920] who benefited many before our time by his thorough preparation in such things, and also Heraclas, [1921] who is now a member of the presbytery of Alexandria. I found him with the teacher of philosophic learning, with whom he had already continued five years before I began to hear lectures on those subjects. [1922] 14. And though he had formerly worn the common dress, he laid it aside and assumed and still wears the philosopher's garment; [1923] and he continues the earnest investigation of Greek works." He says these things in defending himself for his study of Grecian literature. 15. About this time, while he was still at Alexandria, a soldier came and delivered a letter from the governor of Arabia [1924] to Demetrius, bishop of the parish, and to the prefect of Egypt who was in office at that time, requesting that they would with all speed send Origen to him for an interview. Being sent by them, he went to Arabia. And having in a short time accomplished the object of his visit, he returned to Alexandria. 16. But sometime after a considerable war broke out in the city, [1925] and he departed from Alexandria. And thinking that it would be unsafe for him to remain in Egypt, he went to Palestine and abode in Cæsarea. While there the bishops of the church in that country [1926] requested him to preach and expound the Scriptures publicly, although he had not yet been ordained as presbyter. [1927] 17. This is evident from what Alexander, [1928] bishop of Jerusalem and Theoctistus [1929] of Cæsarea, wrote to Demetrius [1930] in regard to the matter, defending themselves thus: "He has stated in his letter that such a thing was never heard of before, neither has hitherto taken place, that laymen should preach in the presence of bishops. I know not how he comes to say what is plainly untrue. 18. For whenever persons able to instruct the brethren are found, they are exhorted by the holy bishops to preach to the people. Thus in Laranda, Euelpis by Neon; and in Iconium, Paulinus by Celsus; and in Synada, Theodorus by Atticus, our blessed brethren. [1931] And probably this has been done in other places unknown to us." He was honored in this manner while yet a young man, not only by his countrymen, but also by foreign bishops. [1932] 19. But Demetrius sent for him by letter, and urged him through members and deacons of the church to return to Alexandria. So he returned and resumed his accustomed duties.


[1903] Porphyry, one of the most distinguished of the Neo-Platonists, disciple, biographer, and expounder of Plotinus, was born in 232 or 233 in the Orient (perhaps at Tyre), and at the age of thirty went to Rome, where he came into connection with Plotinus, and spent a large part of his life. He was a man of wide and varied learning; and though not an original thinker, he was a clear and vigorous writer and expounder of the philosophy of Plotinus. It may be well, at this point, to say a word about that remarkable school or system of philosophy, of which Plotinus was the greatest master and Porphyry the chief expounder. Neo-Platonism was the most prominent phenomenon of the age in the philosophic world. The object of the Neo-Platonists was both speculative and practical: on the one side to elaborate an eclectic system of philosophy which should reconcile Platonism and Aristotelianism, and at the same time do justice to elements of truth in other schools of thought; on the other side, to revivify and strengthen the old paganism by idealizing and purifying it for the sake of the philosophers, and at the same time by giving it a firmer philosophic basis than it had hitherto possessed. Neo-Platonism, taken as a whole, has therefore both a philosophic and a religious motive. It may be defined in the briefest terms, in its philosophic aspect, as an eclectic revival of Greek metaphysics (especially Platonic-Aristotelian), modified by the influence of Oriental philosophy and of Christianity; in its religious aspect, as an attempt to restore and regenerate paganism by means of philosophy. In its earlier and better days, the philosophic element greatly predominated,--in fact, the religious element may be said to have been, in large part, a later growth; but gradually the latter came more and more into the foreground, until, under Jamblichus (d. 330 a.d.), the chief master of the Syrian school, Neo-Platonism degenerated into a system of religious mysteries, in which theurgic practices played a prominent part. Under Proclus (d. 485), the great master of the Athenian school, the philosophic element was again emphasized; but Aristotelianism now gained the predominance, and the system became a sort of scholastic art, and gradually degenerated into pure formalism, until it finally lost all influence. The extent of the influence which Christianity exerted upon Neo-Platonism is a greatly disputed point. We shall, perhaps, come nearest the truth if we say that its influence was in the main not direct, but that it was nevertheless real, inasmuch as it had introduced problems up to that time undiscussed, with which Neo-Platonism busied itself; in fact, it may almost be said that Neo-Platonism was at first little more than (Aristotelian-) Platonism busying itself with the new problems of salvation and redemption which Christianity had thrown into the world of thought. It was un-Christian at first (it became under Porphyry and later Neo-Platonists anti-Christian), because it solved these problems in a way different from the Christian way. This will explain the fact that all through, whether in the more strictly philosophic system of Plotinus, or in the more markedly religious and theurgic system of Jamblichus, there ran a vein of mysticism, the conception of an intimate union with the supreme God as the highest state to which man can attain. Porphyry, with whom we are at present concerned, was eminently practical in his thinking. The end of philosophy with him was not knowledge, but holiness, the salvation of the soul. He recommended a moderate asceticism as a chief means of freeing the soul from the bonds of matter, and thus permitting it to rise to union with God. At the same time, he did not advise the neglect of the customary religious rites of Paganism, which might aid in the elevation of the spirit of man toward the deity. It was with Porphyry that Neo-Platonism first came into direct conflict with Christianity, and its enmity against the latter goes far to explain the increasing emphasis which he and the Neo-Platonists who followed him laid upon religious rites and practices. Its philosophy, its solution of the great problems of the age, was essentially and radically different from that of Christianity; and although at first they might run alongside one another as independent schools, without much thought of conflict, it was inevitable that in time the rivalry, and then the active hostility, should come. Neo-Platonism, like Christianity, had a solution of the great problem of living to offer to the world,--in an age of unexampled corruption, when thoughtful men were all seeking for a solution,--and each was essentially exclusive of the other. The attack, therefore, could not be long delayed. Porphyry seems to have begun it in his famous work in fifteen books, now lost, which was answered in extenso by Methodius of Tyre, Eusebius, and Apolinarius of Laodicea. The answers, too, have perished; but from extant fragments we are able to see that Porphyry's attack was very learned and able. He endeavored to point out the inconsistencies in the sacred narrative, in order to discredit its divine origin. At the same time, he treated Christ with the greatest respect, and ranked him very high as a sage (though only human), and found much that was good in his teaching. Augustine (De consensu Evang. I. 15) says that the Neo-Platonists praised Christ, but railed at his disciples (cf. Eusebius' words in this Chapter). Porphyry was a very prolific writer; but only a few of his works are now extant, chief among them the aphormai pros ta noetEUR, or Sententiæ, a brief but comprehensive exposition of his philosophic system. We learn from this Chapter that he had met Origen when very young (he was but about twenty when Origen died); where, we do not know. He lived to be at least sixty-eight years old (see his Vita Plot. 23), and Suidas says that he died under Diocletian, i.e. before 305 a.d. On Porphyry and Neo-Platonism in general, see the great works of Vacherot (Hist. critique de l'Ecole d'Alexandrie) and Simon (Hist. de l'Ecole d'Alexandrie); also Zeller's Philosophie der Griechen, and especially Erdmann's History of Philosophy (Engl. trans., London, 1889). [1904] Of the life of Ammonius Saccas, the "father of Neo-Platonism" very little is known. He is said by Suidas (s. v. Origenes) and by Ammianus Marcellinus to have been a porter in his youth and to have gained his second name from his occupation. That he was of Christian parents and afterward embraced paganism is stated in this passage by Porphyry, though Eusebius (§10, below) and Jerome assert that he remained a Christian. From all that we know of the teachings of Ammonius Saccas as reported to us by Plotinus and other Neo-Platonists, we cannot imagine him to have remained a Christian. The only solution of the difficulty then is to suppose Eusebius (whom Jerome follows) to have confounded him with a Christian of the same name who wrote the works which Eusebius mentions (see note 16). Ammonius was an Alexandrian by birth and residence, and died in 243. His teaching was of a lofty and noble character, to judge from Plotinus' descriptions, and as a teacher he was wonderfully fascinating. He numbered among his pupils Herennius, Longinus, the pagan Origen, and Plotinus. The Christian Origen also studied under him for a time, according to this passage. He wrote nothing (according to the Vita Plot, c. 20), and hence we have to rely solely upon the reports of his disciples and successors for our knowledge of his system. It is difficult in the absence of all direct testimony to ascertain his teaching with exactness. Plotinus claims to give only what he learned from Ammonius, but it is evident, from his disagreement in many points with others of Ammonius' disciples, that the system taught by him was largely modified by his own thinking. It is clear that Ammonius, who undoubtedly took much from his great master, Numenius, endeavored to reconcile Plato and Aristotle, thus laying the basis for the speculative eclecticism of Neo-Platonism, while at the same time there must have been already in his teaching the same religious and mystical element which was present to some extent in all his disciples, and which played so large a part in Neo-Platonism. [1905] to bEURrbaron tolmema. Porphyry means to say that Origen was originally a heathen, and was afterward converted to Christianity; but this is refuted by the universal tradition of antiquity, and is clearly a mistake, as Eusebius (who calls it a "falsehood") remarks below. Porphyry's supposition, in the absence of definite knowledge, is not at all surprising, for Origen's attainments in secular learning were such as apparently only a pagan youth could or would have acquired. [1906] On Origen's Greek culture, see p. 392, and also his own words quoted below in §12 sq. [1907] Numenius was a philosopher of Syria, who lived about the middle of the second century, and who exerted great influence over Plotinus and others of the Neo-Platonists. He was, perhaps, the earliest of the Orientalizing Greek philosophers whose thinking was affected by the influence of Christian ideas, and as such occupies an important place in the development of philosophy, which prepared the way for Neo-Platonism. His object seems to have been to reconcile Pythagoras and Plato by tracing the doctrines of the latter back to the former, and also to exhibit their agreement with Jewish and other Oriental forms of thought. It is significant that he was called by the Church Fathers a Pythagorean, and that he himself called Plato a Greek-speaking Moses (cf. Erdmann's Hist. of Phil. I. p. 236). He was a prolific writer, but only fragments of his works are extant. Numerous extracts from the chief of them (peri tagathou) have been preserved by Eusebius in his Præp. Evang. (see Heinichen's ed. Index I.). [1908] Of Cronius, a celebrated Pythagorean philosopher, apparently a contemporary of Numenius, and closely related to him in his thinking, we know very little. A brief account of him is given by Porphyry in his Vita Plot. 20. [1909] The Apollophanes referred to here was a Stoic philosopher of Antioch who lived in the third century b.c., and was a disciple of Ariston of Chios. None of his writings are extant. [1910] Longinus was a celebrated philosopher and rhetorician of Athens, who was born about 213 and died in 273 a.d. He traveled widely in his youth, and was for a time a pupil of Ammonius Saccas at Alexandria; but he remained a genuine Platonist, and seems not to have been influenced by the eclecticism of the Neo-Platonists. He was a man of marked ability, of the broadest culture, and a thorough master of Greek style. Of his numerous writings we possess a large part of one beautiful work entitled peri hupsous (often published), and fragments of some others (e.g. in Eusebius' Præp. Evang. XV. 21). Longinus was the teacher of Porphyry before the latter went to Rome to study under Plotinus. Porphyry has made a mistake in classing Longinus with those other philosophers whose works Origen studied. He was a younger contemporary of Origen, and cannot even have studied with Ammonius until after Origen had left Alexandria. It is possible, of course, that Origen in later life read some of his works; but Porphyry evidently means that the works of all the philosophers, Longinus among them, had an influence upon Origen's intellectual development. Heinichen reads 'Albinou instead of Longinou in his text, on the assumption that Porphyry cannot possibly have written Longinou; but the latter word has the support of all the mss. and versions, and there is no warrant for making the change. We must simply conclude that Porphyry, who, of course, is not pretending to give an exact list of all the philosophical works which Origen had read, classes Longinus, the celebrated philosopher, along with the rest, as one whose works such a student of Greek philosophy as Origen must have read, without thinking of the serious anachronism involved. [1911] Moderatus was a distinguished Pythagorean philosopher of the first century after Christ, whose works (no longer extant) were not without influence over some of the Neo-Platonists. [1912] Nicomachus was a Pythagorean of the first (or second?) century after Christ, who gained great fame as a mathematician and exerted considerable influence upon European studies in the fifteenth century. Two of his works, one on arithmetic and the other on music, are extant, and have been published. [1913] Chæremon was a Stoic philosopher and historian of Alexandria who lived during the first century after Christ. He was for a time librarian at the Serapeum in Alexandria, and afterward went to Rome to become a tutor of Nero. His chief writings were a history of Egypt, a work on Hieroglyphics, and another on Comets (mentioned by Origen in his Contra Cels. I. 59). He also wrote on grammatical subjects. His works, with the exception of a fragment of the first, are no longer extant. Cf. Eusebius' Præf. Evang. V. 10, and Suidas,s.v. 'Origenes. [1914] Cornutus a distinguished Stoic philosopher, lived and taught in Rome during the reign of Nero, and numbered among his pupils and friends the poet Persius. Most of his numerous works have perished, but one on the Nature of the Gods is still extant in a mutilated form (see Gall's Opuscula). See Suidas (s.v. Kornoutos) and Dion Cassius, XLII. 29. [1915] Origen was not the first to interpret the Scriptures allegorically. The method began among the Alexandrian Jews some time before the Christian era, the effort being made to reconcile the Mosaic revelation with Greek philosophy, and to find in the former the teachings of the latter. This effort appears in many of the apocryphal books, but the great exponent of the method was the Alexandrian Philo. It was natural that the early Christians, especially in Alexandria, should be influenced by this already existing method of interpretation, which enabled them to make of the Old Testament a Christian book, and to find in it all the teachings of the Gospel. Undoubtedly the Old Testament owes partly to this principle of interpretation its adoption by the Christian Church. Had it been looked upon as the Jewish Scriptures only, containing Jewish national history, and in large part Jewish national prophecy, it could never have retained its hold upon the early Church, which was so bitterly hostile to all that savored of Judaism. The early Gentile Christians were taught from the beginning by Jewish Christians who could not do otherwise than look upon their national Scriptures as divine, that those Scriptures contained prophecies of Jesus Christ, and hence those Gentile Christians accepted them as divine. But it must be remembered that they could of course have no meaning to these Gentile Christians except as they did prophesy of Christian things or contain Christian teaching. They could not be content to find Christian prophecy in one part and only Jewish history or Jewish prophecy in another part. It must all be Christian if it was to have any meaning to them. In this emergency the allegorical method of interpretation, already practiced upon the Old Testament by the Alexandrian Jews, came to their assistance and was eagerly adopted. The so-called epistle of Barnabus is an early and most significant instance of its use. With Clement of Alexandria the matter first took scientific shape. He taught that two senses are everywhere to be assumed; that the verbal sense is only for babes in the faith, and that the allegorical sense alone leads to true spiritual knowledge. With Origen allegorical interpretation reached its height. He taught a threefold sense of Scripture, corresponding to body, soul, and spirit. Many voices were raised against his interpretation, but they were directed against his particular explanations of the meaning of passages, seldom against his method. In the early centuries Alexandria remained the chief center of this kind of exegesis, while Antioch became in the fifth century the seat of a school of exegetes who emphasized rather the grammatical and historical interpretation of Scripture over against the extremes of the Alexandrian teachers. And yet even they were not entirely free from the vicious methods of the age, and, moreover, errors of various kinds crept in to lessen their influence, and the allegorical method finally prevailed almost universally; and it has not even yet fully lost its hold. This method of Scripture interpretation has, as Porphyry says, its analogy in the methods of the Greek philosophers during the centuries immediately preceding the Christian era. It became early the custom for philosophers, scandalized by the licentious stories of their gods, to interpret the current myths allegorically and refer them to the processes of nature. Homer and others of the ancient poets were thus made by these later philosophers to teach philosophies of nature of which they had never dreamed. With the Neo-Platonists this method reached its highest perfection, and while the Christian teachers were allegorizing the Old Testament Scriptures, these philosophers were transforming the popular myths into records of the profoundest physical and spiritual processes. Porphyry saw that the method of pagans and Christians was the same in this respect, and he may be correct in assigning some influence to these writings in the shaping of Origen's thinking, but the latter was an allegorist before he studied the philosophers to whom Porphyry refers (cf. chap. 2, §9, above), and would have been an allegorist had he never studied them. Allegory was in that age in the atmosphere of the Church as well as of the philosophical school. [1916] On this great work of Porphyry, see note 1. [1917] See note 3. [1918] This is certainly a mistake on Eusebius' part (see above, note 2), in which he is followed by Jerome (de vir. ill. c. 55). Against the identification of the Christian Ammonius, whose works are mentioned by Eusebius and Jerome, with Ammonius Saccas, may be urged first the fact that the teaching of Ammonius Saccas, as known to us from Porphyry's Vita Plotini and from other Neo-Platonic sources, is not such as could have emanated from a Christian; and, in the second place, the fact that the Christian Ammonius, according to Eusebius, was the author of more than one important work, while Longinus (as quoted by Porphyry in the Vita Plot. c. 20) says explicitly that Ammonius Saccas wrote nothing. It is clear from Eusebius' words that his sole reason for supposing that Ammonius Saccas remained a Christian is the existence of the writings to which he refers; and it is quite natural that he and others should erroneously attribute the works of an unknown Christian of Alexandria, named Ammonius, to the celebrated Alexandrian philosopher of the same name, especially since it was known that the latter had been a Christian in his youth, and that he had been Origen's teacher in his mature years. We know nothing about the life of the Christian Ammonius, unless he be identified with the presbyter Ammonius of Alexandria, who is said by Eusebius to have perished in the persecution of Diocletian. The identification is possible; but even if it be accepted, we are helped very little, for is only the death, not the life, of the presbyter Ammonius with which Eusebius acquaints us. Ammonius' writings, whoever he may have been, were well known in the Church. Eusebius mentions here his work On the Harmony of Moses and Jesus (peri tes Mouseos kai 'Iesou sumphonias), and in an epistle addressed to Carpianus (see above, p. 38 sq.) speaks of a Diatessaron or Harmony of the Four Gospels (to dia tessEURron euangelion), composed by Ammonius. Jerome mentions both these works (de vir. ill. 55), the latter under the title Evangelici Canones. He refers to these Canones again in his preface to the Four Gospels (Migne's ed., Vol. X. 528); and so does Victor of Capua. The former work is no longer extant, nor have we any trace of it. But there is extant a Latin translation of a Diatessaron which was made by Victor of Capua, and which was formerly, and is still, by many scholars supposed to be a version of this work of Ammonius. By others it is thought to be a translation of Tatian's Diatessaron. For further particulars, see above, Bk. IV. chap. 29, note 11. [1919] The names of the persons to whom this epistle was addressed we do not know, nor can we ascertain the exact time when it was composed, though it must have been written before Heraclas became bishop of Alexandria, and indeed, we may assume, while Origen was in Alexandria, and still engaged in the study which he defends in the epistle, i.e., if Eusebius is correct in the order of events, before 216 a.d. (see note 23). [1920] On Pantænus, see Bk. V. chap. 10, note 1. [1921] On Heraclas, see chap. 3, note 2. [1922] ekeinon ton logon. [1923] See above, Bk. IV. chap. 11, note 21. [1924] The words used to designate the official who sent for Origen (ho tes 'Arabias hegoumenos) lead us to think him a Roman, and governor of the Roman province of Arabia, which was formed by the Emperor Trajan in the year 106, and which comprised only the northern part of the peninsula. We know no particulars of this visit of Origen to that province, but that he was remembered and held in honor by the people is proved by chaps. 33 and 37, which record that he was summoned thither twice to assist in settling doctrinal difficulties. [1925] In the sixth year of his reign (216 a.d.) Caracalla visited Alexandria, and improved the occasion to take bloody vengeance upon the inhabitants of the city, from whom had emanated a number of satirical and cutting comments upon the murder of his brother Geta. He instituted a horrible butchery, in which young and old, guilty and innocent, perished, and in which scholars were objects of especial fury. (See Herodian, IV. 8, 9, and Dion Cassius, LXXVII. 22-24, and cf. Tillemont, Hist. des Emp. III. p. 115 sq.) This was undoubtedly the occasion, referred to here, which caused Origen to flee from the city and retire to Palestine. [1926] hoi tede episkopoi. The tede must refer to Palestine, not to Cæsarea, for "bishops" are spoken of, not "bishop." [1927] In the apostolic age, and the generations immediately succeeding, it was the privilege of every Christian to take part in the public meetings of the Church in the way of teaching or prophesying, the only condition being the consciousness of guidance by the Spirit (see 1 Cor. xiii.). We cannot call this teaching and prophesying preaching in our sense of the term. The services seem rather to have resembled our "open prayer-meetings." Gradually, as the services became more formal and stereotyped, a stated address by the "president" (as Justin calls him) became a regular part of the service (see Justin's Apol. I. 67), and we may assume that the liberty of teaching or prophesying in the public meetings did not now belong to all the members as it had in the beginning. The sermon, in our sense of the word, seems to have been a slow growth, but a direct development from this exhortation of the president mentioned by Justin. The confinement of the speaking (or preaching) to a single individual,--the leader,--which we see in Justin, is what we find in subsequent generations quite generally established. It becomes, in time, the prerogative of the bishop to preach, and this prerogative he confers upon his presbyters also (not universally, but in most cases), while deacons and laymen are almost everywhere excluded from the right. We see from the present Chapter, however, that the custom was not the same in all parts of the Church in the time of Origen. The principle had evidently before this become firmly established in Alexandria that only bishops and presbyters should preach. But in Palestine no such rule was recognized as binding. At the same time, it is clear enough that it was exceptional even there for laymen to preach (in the presence of their bishops), for Alexander in his epistle, instead of saying that laymen preach everywhere and of right, cites particular instances of their preaching, and says that where they are qualified they are especially requested by the bishops to use their gifts; so that the theory that the prerogative belonged of right to the bishop existed there just as truly as in Alexandria. Origen of course knew that he was acting contrary to the custom (if not the canon) of his own church in thus preaching publicly, and yet undoubtedly he took it for granted that he was perfectly right in doing what these bishops requested him to do in their own dioceses. They were supreme in their own churches, and he knew of nothing, apparently, which should hinder him from doing what they approved of, while in those churches. Demetrius, however, thought otherwise, and considered the public preaching of an unordained man irregular, in any place and at any time. Whether jealousy of Origen's growing power had anything to do with his action it is difficult to say with certainty. He seems to have treated Origen in a perfectly friendly way after his return; and yet it is possible that the difference of opinion on this point, and the reproof given by Demetrius, may not have been wholly without influence upon their subsequent relations, which became in the end so painful (see chap. 8, note 4). [1928] On Alexander, see chap. 8, note 6. [1929] Theoctistus, bishop of Cæsarea, seems to have been one of the most influential bishops of the East in his day, and played a prominent part in the controversy which arose in regard to Novatus, as we learn from chap. 46 of this book and from chap. 5 of the next. He was also a firm friend of Origen's for many years (see chap. 27), probably until the latter's death. We do not know the dates of his accession and of his death, but we find him already bishop in the year 216, and still bishop at the time of the episcopate of Stephen of Rome (254-257; see Bk. VII. chap. 5), but already succeeded by Domnus, when Xystus was bishop of Rome (257-258; see Bk. VII. chap. 14). We must, therefore, put his death between 255 and 258. [1930] Eusebius is apparently mistaken in stating that this epistle was addressed to Demetrius, for the latter is spoken of throughout the epistle in the third person. It seems probable that Eusebius has made a slip and said "to Demetrius" when he meant to say "concerning Demetrius." [1931] Of the persons mentioned here by the Palestinian bishops in support of their conduct, Neon, bishop of Laranda in Lycaonia, Celsus, bishop of Iconium, and Atticus, bishop of Synada in Phrygia, together with the laymen Euelpis, Paulinus, and Theodore, we know only the names. [1932] ou pros monon ton sunethon, alla kai ton epi xenes episkopon. sunethon seems here to have the sense of "countrymen" or (bishops) "of his own country" over against the epi xenes, rather than the meaning "friends" or "acquaintances," which is more common.

Chapter XX.--The Extant Works of the Writers of that Age.

1. There flourished many learned men in the Church at that time, whose letters to each other have been preserved and are easily accessible. They have been kept until our time in the library at Ælia, [1933] which was established by Alexander, who at that time presided over that church. We have been able to gather from that library material for our present work. 2. Among these Beryllus [1934] has left us, besides letters and treatises, various elegant works. He was bishop of Bostra in Arabia. Likewise also Hippolytus, [1935] who presided over another church, has left writings. 3. There has reached us also a dialogue of Caius, [1936] a very learned man, which was held at Rome under Zephyrinus, [1937] with Proclus, who contended for the Phrygian heresy. In this he curbs the rashness and boldness of his opponents in setting forth new Scriptures. He mentions only thirteen epistles of the holy apostle, not counting that to the Hebrews [1938] with the others. And unto our day there are some among the Romans who do not consider this a work of the apostle.


[1933] Ælia, the city built by Hadrian upon the site of Jerusalem (see Bk. IV. chap. 6). We do not know the subsequent history of this library of Alexander, but it had already been in existence nearly a hundred years when Eusebius examined it. [1934] On Beryllus, bishop of Bostra in Arabia, see chap. 33. [1935] On Hippolytus, see chap. 22. [1936] On Caius and his discussion with Proclus, see Bk. II. chap. 25, notes 7 and 8. [1937] Zephyrinus was bishop of Rome from 198 or 199 to 217. See Bk. V. chap. 28, note 5. [1938] On the Epistle to the Hebrews and the opinions of the early Church in regard to its authorship, see Bk. III. chap. 3, note 17.

Chapter XXI.--The Bishops that were well known at that Time.

1. After Antoninus [1939] had reigned seven years and six months, Macrinus succeeded him. He held the government but a year, and was succeeded by another Antoninus. During his first year the Roman bishop, Zephyrinus, [1940] having held his office for eighteen years, died, and Callistus [1941] received the episcopate. 2. He continued for five years, and was succeeded by Urbanus. [1942] After this, Alexander became Roman emperor, Antoninus having reigned but four years. [1943] At this time Philetus [1944] also succeeded Asclepiades [1945] in the church of Antioch. 3. The mother of the emperor, Mammæa [1946] by name, was a most pious woman, if there ever was one, and of religious life. When the fame of Origen had extended everywhere and had come even to her ears, she desired greatly to see the man, and above all things to make trial of his celebrated understanding of divine things. 4. Staying for a time in Antioch, she sent for him with a military escort. Having remained with her a while and shown her many things which were for the glory of the Lord and of the excellence of the divine teaching, he hastened back to his accustomed work.


[1939] i.e. Caracalla, who was slain on the 8th of April, 217. Four days later, Marcus Opilius Macrinus, prefect of the prætorians, was proclaimed emperor. After a reign of fourteen months, he was defeated and succeeded by Varius Avitus Bassianus, a cousin of Caracalla, and priest of the Phoenician Sun-god, from which fact is derived the name by which he is commonly known,--Elagabalus, or Heliogabalus. Upon his accession to the imperial power, he took the name Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, which became his official designation. [1940] On Zephyrinus, see Bk. V. chap. 28, note 5. [1941] As shown in the next note, a comparison of our best sources leads us to the year 222 as the date of the accession of Urban, and consequently of the death of Callistus. A careful comparison of the various sources, which differ in regard to the years of the several episcopates of Victor, Zephyrinus, and Callistus, but agree as to the sum of the three, leads to the result that Callistus was bishop for five years, and therefore his accession is to be put into the year 217, and the reign of Macrinus (see Lipsius, Chron. d. röm. Bischöfe, p. 171 sq.). This agrees, so far as the years of our era are concerned, with the statement of Eusebius in this Chapter; but he wrongly puts Callistus' accession into the first year of Alexander, which is a result of an error of a year in his reckoning of the dates of the emperors, which runs back to Pertinax (see Lipsius, p. 7 sq.). He does not assign Callistus' accession to the first year of Heliogabalus because of a tradition connecting the two, but simply because his reckoning of the lengths of the various episcopates, which were given in the source used by him, led him to the year 217 for Callistus' accession, and this, according to his erroneous table of the reigns of the emperors, was the first year of Heliogabalus. We thus see that Eusebius is in real, though not in apparent, agreement with the Liberian catalogue in regard to the date of Callistus' accession, which may, therefore, be accepted as certain. Nothing was known about the character and life of Callistus until the discovery of Hippolytus' Philosophumena, or Refutation of All Heresies (see the next Chapter, note 1). In Bk. IX. of that work is given a detailed description of him, from the pen of a very bitter opponent. At the same time, it can hardly be doubted that at least the groundwork of the account is true. According to Hippolytus, he was a slave; a dishonest banker, who was punished for his dishonesty; the author of a riot in a Jewish synagogue, who was sent as a criminal to the mines; finally, after various other adventures, the right-hand man of the bishop Zephyrinus, and after his death, his successor. According to Hippolytus, he was a Patripassian, and he introduced much laxer methods of church discipline than had hitherto been in vogue; so lax as greatly to scandalize Hippolytus, who was a very rigid disciplinarian. Whatever truth there may be in this highly sensational account (and we cannot doubt that it is greatly overdrawn), it is at least certain that Callistus took the liberal view of Christian morals and church discipline, over against the stricter view represented by Hippolytus and his party. It was, perhaps, owing to his popularity on this account that, after the death of Zephyrinus, he secured the episcopacy of Rome, for which Hippolytus was also a candidate. The latter tells us also that Zephyrinus "set him over the cemetery,"--a most interesting notice, as the largest catacomb in Rome bears the name of St. Callistus, and may be the very one of which Zephyrinus made him the superintendent. [1942] Lipsius, in his Chron. d. röm. Bischöfe, p. 170 sq., shows that the only fixed point for a calculation of the dates of Urban and the three bishops preceding him, is the banishment by the Emperor Maximinus of Pontianus to Sardinia, which took place, according to the Liberian catalogue, while Severus and Quintinus were consuls; that is, in the year 235. The duration of Pontianus' episcopate is shown by a comparison of the best sources to have been a little over five years (see chap. 23, note 3). This brings us to the year 230 as the date of Urban's death. According to chap. 23, Urban was bishop eight years, and with this the Liberian catalogue agrees, so that this figure is far better supported than the figure nine given by the Chron. Accepting eight years as the duration of Urban's episcopate, we are brought back to 222 as the date of his accession, which agrees with Eusebius' statement in this Chapter (see the previous note). There are extant Acta S. Urbani, which are accepted as genuine by the Bollandists, and assigned to the second century, but they cannot have been written before the fifth, and are historically quite worthless. For a good discussion of his supposed connection with St. Cecilia, which has played such an important part in ecclesiastical legend, see the article Urbanus in the Dict. of Christ. Biog. We have no certain knowledge of his life and character. [1943] Elagabalus was slain in March, 222, after a reign of three years and nine months, and was succeeded by his cousin, Alexianus Bassianus, who assumed the names Marcus Aurelius Alexander Severus, by the last two of which he is commonly known. [1944] Philetus, according to the Chron. (Armenian), became bishop in the sixth year of Caracalla (216), and was succeeded by Zebinus in the sixth year of Alexander Severus (227). Jerome puts his accession into the reign of Macrinus (217-218), and the accession of Zebinus into the seventh year of Alexander (228). The accession of Zebinus must have taken place at least as early as 231 (see chap. 23, note 4), and there remains therefore no reason to doubt the approximate accuracy of the latter dates. If the dates given for Philetus' accession (216-218) be approximately correct, we must understand the words "at this time" of the present Chapter, to refer back to the reign of Macrinus, or the accession of Alexander Severus, mentioned at the beginning of this Chapter. This does not seem natural, but we cannot say it is impossible. Knowing the unreliability of the dates given in the Chron., we are compelled to leave the matter undecided. He is called by the Armen. Philip, by Syncellus philetos e philippos. The latter assigns him an episcopate of eight years, which agrees with none of the figures given by the two versions of the Chronicle or by the History. We know nothing about the person or the life of Philetus. [1945] On Asclepiades, see chap. 11, note 6. [1946] Julia Mamæa or Mammæa (Eusebius, Mammaia) was the niece of Septimius Severus' wife Julia Domna, the aunt of the Emperor Elagabalus, and the mother of the Emperor Alexander Severus, by the Syrian Gessius Marcianus. She accompanied Elagabalus to Rome, and had strength of character enough to protect her son from the jealousy of the latter, and to keep him comparatively pure from the vice and debauchery of the court. During the reign of her son she exerted great influence, which was in the main highly beneficial; but her pride and avarice finally proved fatal, both to her son and to herself. Her character seems to have been in the main pure and elevated; and she was apparently inclined to the same sort of religious syncretism which led her son to adopt many Christian principles of action, and to put the busts of Abraham and of Christ, with those of Orpheus, Apollonius of Tyana, and the best of the Roman emperors, in his private chapel (see Lampridius, Vita Sev. c. 29, 43). Eusebius calls Mammæa theosebestEURte and eulabes, and Jerome calls her a religiosa femina (de vir. ill. c. 54); but there is no evidence that she was a Christian. The date of Origen's interview with her has been greatly disputed. Huet and Redepenning, accepting the order of events recorded in this Chapter as chronological, put the interview in the early years of Alexander Severus, Redepenning assuming an otherwise unrecorded visit of Mammæa to Antioch, Huet connecting her visit there with the Persian expedition of Alexander. Huet assumes, upon the authority of Jerome's Chron., that the Persian expedition took place in the early part of Alexander's reign; but this is against all other ancient authorities, and must be incorrect (see Tillemont, Mem. III. 763 sq.). The only occasions known to us, on which Mammæa can have been in Antioch, were this expedition of her son (between 230 and 233) and the visit of her nephew Elagabalus to Antioch, after his victory over Macrinus in 218. At both these times Origen was quite probably in Cæsarea (see chap. 19, note 23, and p. 392, below), whence it is more natural to suppose him summoned than from Alexandria. If we put the interview in 218, we must suppose (as Tillemont suggests) that Eusebius is led by his mention of Alexander to give this account of his mother, and that he does not intend to imply that the interview took place after Alexander's accession. There is nothing at all improbable in this. In fact, it seems more likely that he would mention the interview in connection with Alexander than in connection with Elagabalus, in spite of chronology. On the other hand, it is not impossible that the interview took place subsequently to the year 231, for Origen's fame was certainly by that time much greater in Syria than fifteen years previous. At the same time, to accept this date disarranges seriously the chronological order of the account of Eusebius, for in chap. 24 we are told of those works which Origen wrote while yet in Alexandria; that is, before 231. Moreover, there is not the same reason for inserting this account of Mammæa at this point, if it occurred later in Alexander's reign, that there is if it occurred in the reign of Elagabalus. We shall, therefore, do best to accept the earlier date with Tillemont, Westcott, and others.

Chapter XXII.--The Works of Hippolytus which have reached us.

1. At that time Hippolytus, [1947] besides many other treatises, wrote a work on the passover. [1948] He gives in this a chronological table, and presents a certain paschal canon of sixteen years, bringing the time down to the first year of the Emperor Alexander. 2. Of his other writings the following have reached us: On the Hexæmeron, [1949] On the Works after the Hexæmeron, [1950] Against Marcion, [1951] On the Song of Songs, [1952] On Portions of Ezekiel, [1953] On the Passover, [1954] Against All the Heresies; [1955] and you can find many other works preserved by many.


[1947] Hippolytus (mentioned above in chap. 20) was one of the most learned men and celebrated writers of his age, and yet his personal history is involved in the deepest obscurity. The earliest mention of him is by Eusebius in this passage and in chap. 20, above. But Eusebius tells us there only that he was a bishop of "some other church" (heteras pou ekklesias), and Jerome (de vir. ill. c. 61) says that he was a bishop of some church whose name he did not know (Hippolytus, cujusdam Ecclesiæ episcopus, nomen quippe urbis scire non potui). In the East, from the fourth century on, Hippolytus was commonly called bishop of Rome, but the Western tradition makes him simply a presbyter. The late tradition that he was bishop of Portus Romanus is quite worthless. We learn from his Philosophumena, or Refutation of Heresies, that he was active in Rome in the time of Zephyrinus and Callistus; but what is significant is the fact that he never recognizes Callistus as bishop of Rome, but always treats him as the head of a school opposed to the orthodox Church. This has given scholars the clue for reconciling the conflicting traditions about his position and his church. It seems probable that he was a presbyter of the church of Rome, and was at the head of a party which did not recognize Callistus as lawful bishop, but set Hippolytus up as opposition bishop. This explains why Hippolytus calls himself a bishop, and at the same time recognizes neither Callistus nor any one else as bishop of Rome. The Western Church therefore preserved the tradition of Hippolytus only as a presbyter, while in the Orient, where Hippolytus was known only through his works, the tradition that he was a bishop (a fact directly stated in those works; see the preface to his Philosophumena) always prevailed; and since he was known to have resided in Rome, that city was made by tradition his see. The schism, which has left no trace in the writings either of the Western or Eastern Church, cannot have been a serious one. Doubtless Callistus had the support of by far the larger part of the Church, and the opposition of Hippolytus never amounted to more than talk, and was never strong enough to enlist, or perhaps even attempt to enlist, the support of foreign bishops. Callistus and the body of the Church could afford to leave it unnoticed; and after Callistus' death Hippolytus undoubtedly returned to the Church and was gladly received, and the memory of his brief schism entirely effaced, while the knowledge of his orthodoxy, and of his great services to the Church as a theologian and a writer, kept his name in high repute with subsequent generations. A Latin translation of a Chronicle written by Hippolytus is extant, and the last event recorded in it is the death of the Emperor Alexander, which took place early in the year 235. The Liberian catalogue, in an entry which Lipsius (Chron. d. röm. Bischöfe, p. 194) pronounces critically indisputable, records that, in the year 235, the bishop Pontianus and the presbyter Hippolytus were transported as exiles to the island of Sardinia. There is little doubt that this is the Hippolytus with whom we are concerned, and it is highly probable that both he and Pontianus died in the mines there, and thus gained the title of martyrs; for not only is the account of Hippolytus' martyrdom given by Prudentius in the fifth century not reliable, but also in the depositio martyrum of the Liberian catalogue the bodies of Pontianus and Hippolytus are said to have been buried in Rome on the same day; and it is therefore natural to think that Hippolytus' body was brought from Sardinia, as we know Pontianus' was. The character of Hippolytus, as revealed to us in the Philosophumena, is that of a strictly, even rigidly, moral man, of a puritanic disposition, who believed in drawing the reins very tight, and allowing to the members of the Christian Church no license. He was in this directly opposed to Callistus, who was a lax disciplinarian, and favored the readmission to the Church even of the worst offenders upon evidence of repentance and suitable penance (see the previous Chapter, note 3). We are reminded greatly of Tertullian and of Novatian in studying Hippolytus' character. He was, moreover, strictly orthodox and bitterly opposed to what he considered the patripassianism of Zephyrinus and of Callistus. He must be admired as a thoroughly independent, sternly moral, and rigidly orthodox man; while at the same time it must be recognized that he was irascible, bitter, and in some respects narrow and bigoted. He is known to have been a very prolific writer, composing all his works in Greek. Eusebius mentions but eight works in this Chapter, but says that many others were extant in his day. Jerome, who in the present instance has other sources of information than Eusebius' History, mentions some nineteen works (de vir. ill. c. 61), including all of those named by Eusebius, except the commentary on portions of Ezekiel and the work on the Events which followed the Hexæmeron (but see note 4, below). In the year 1551 a statue representing a venerable man sitting in a chair, and with an inscription upon it enumerating the writings of the person commemorated, was found near the church of San Lorenzo, just outside of Rome. The statue, though it bears no name, has been shown to be that of Hippolytus; and with the help of the list given upon it (which contains some thirteen works), together with some extant fragments of writings which seem to have been composed by him, the titles known to us have been increased to about forty, the greater part of which are entirely lost. We cannot discuss these works here. For the most complete list of Hippolytus' writings the reader is referred to Caspari's Taufsymbol und Glaubensregel, III. 377 sq., or to the more accessible article by Salmon in the Dict. of Christ. Biog. In 1842 was discovered the greater part of a work in ten books directed against heresies, the first book of which had been long before published by the Benedictines among Origen's works with the title of Philosophumena. This discovery caused great discussion, but it has been proved to the complete satisfaction of almost every scholar that it is a work of Hippolytus (cf., among other discussions, Döllinger's Hippolytus und Callistus, translated by Plummer, and the article in the Dict. of Christ. Biog. already referred to). The work was published at Oxford in 1851 by Miller (who, however, wrongly ascribed it to Origen), and at Göttingen, in 1859, by Duncker and Schneidewin. It is given also by Migne; and an English translation is found in the Ante-Nicene Fathers (Amer. ed.), Vol. V., under the title the Refutation of All Heresies. [1948] This chronological work on the passover, which contained a cycle for the purpose of determining the date of the festival, is mentioned also by Jerome, and is given in the list on the statue, on which the cycle itself is also engraved. Jerome says that this work was the occasion of Eusebius' work upon the same subject in which a nineteen-year cycle was substituted for that of Hippolytus. The latter was a sixteen-year cycle and was formed by putting together two of the eight-year cycles of the Greek astronomers,--according to whose calculation the full moon fell on the same day of the month once in eight years,--in order to exhibit also the day of the week on which it fell; for he noticed that after sixteen years the full moon moved one day backward (if on Saturday at the beginning of the cycle, it fell on Friday after the sixteen years were past). He therefore put together seven sixteen-year cycles, assuming that after they had passed the full moon would return again to the same day of the week, as well as month. This cycle is astronomically incorrect, the fact being that after sixteen years the full moon falls not on the same day of the week, but three days later. Hippolytus, however, was not aware of this, and published his cycle in perfect good faith. The work referred to seems to have contained an explanation of the cycle, together with a computation by means of it of the dates of the Old and New Testament passovers. It is no longer extant, but the cycle itself, which was the chief thing, is preserved on the statue, evidently in the form in which it was drawn up by Hippolytus himself. [1949] This treatise on the Hexæmeron, or six days' work, is mentioned also by Jerome, but is not in the list on the statue. It is no longer extant; but according to Jerome (Ep. ad Pammachium et Oceanum, c. 7; Migne's ed. Ep. 84), was used by Ambrose in the composition of his own work upon the same subject, which is still preserved (cf. also Bk. V. chap. 27, note 3, above). [1950] Greek, eis ta meta ten exaemeron. This work is not given in the list on the statue. It is mentioned in some of the mss. of Jerome under the form et post Hexæmeron; but the best mss. omit these words, and substitute for them et in Exodum, a work which is not mentioned by any other authority. Jerome mentions also a commentary in Genesim, which we hear of from no other source, and which may be identical with this work mentioned by Eusebius. If the two be identical (which is quite possible), the nature of the work is plain enough. Otherwise we are left wholly to conjecture. No fragments of the work have been identified. [1951] This work is mentioned also by Jerome, but is not in the list on the statue. The last work, however, mentioned in that list bears the title peri tagathou kai pothen to kakon, which, it has been conjectured, may be identical with Eusebius and Jerome's Contra Marcionem. No fragments are extant. [1952] Eusebius has simply to asma (The Song), which is the title given to the book in the LXX. This commentary on the Song of Songs is mentioned also by Jerome, but is not in the statue list. Four fragments of it are given by Lagarde, in his edition of the works of Hippolytus. [1953] This commentary on portions of Ezekiel is mentioned by no one else. A supposed fragment of it is given by Lagarde, Anal. Syr., p. 90. [1954] Jerome agrees with Eusebius in mentioning a work On the Passover, in addition to the chronological one already referred to. The list on the statue, however, mentions but one work on the passover, and that the one containing the paschal cycle. Fragments are extant of Hippolytus' work On the Passover,--one from his exegesis eis to pEURscha (see Lagarde's edition of Hippolytus p. 213), and another from "the first book of the treatise on the holy paschal feast" (tou peri tou hagiou pEURscha sungrEURmmatos, Lagarde, p. 92). These fragments are of a dogmatic character, and can hardly have occurred in the chronological work, except in a separate section or book; but the last is taken from "the first book" of the treatise, and hence we are safe in concluding that Eusebius and Jerome are correct in enumerating two separate works upon the same subject,--the one chronological, the other dogmatic, or polemical. [1955] This work, Against All the Heresies, is mentioned both by Eusebius (pros hapEURsas tas haireseis) Jerome (adv. omnes hæreses), but is not given in the list on the statue. Quite a full account of it is given from personal knowledge by Photius (Cod. 121), who calls it a small book (biblidEURrion) directed against thirty-two heresies, beginning with the Dositheans and ending with Noetus, and says that it purported to be an abstract of lectures delivered by Irenæus. The work is no longer extant (it must not be confounded with the Philosophumena, or Refutatio, mentioned in note 1), but it has been in part restored by Lipsius (in his Quellenkritik des Epiphanius) from the anti-heretical works of Pseudo-Tertullian, Epiphanius, and Philaster. There is in existence also a fragment of considerable length, bearing in the ms. the title Homily of Hippolytus against the Heresy of one Noetus. It is apparently not a homily, but the conclusion of a treatise against a number of heresies. It was suggested by Fabricius (who first published the original Greek) that it constituted the closing Chapter of the work against the thirty-two heresies. The chief objection to this is that if this fragment forms but one of thirty-two Chapters, the entire work can hardly have been called a "little book" by Photius. Lipsius suggests that the little book of which Photius speaks was not the complete work of Hippolytus, but only an abbreviated summary of its contents, and this is quite possible. At any rate it seems probable, in spite of the objections which have been urged by some critics, that this constituted a part of the larger work, and hence we have one Chapter of that work preserved. The work seems to have been composed in Rome and during the episcopate of Victor (as Lipsius holds), or, as is more probable, in the early part of the episcopate of Zephyrinus (as is maintained by Harnack). This conclusion is drawn from the dates of the heretics mentioned in the work, some of whom were as late as Victor, but none of them later than the early years of Zephyrinus. It must, too, have been composed some years before the Philosophumena, which (in the preface) refers to a work against heresies, written by its author a "long time before" (pEURlai). Upon this work and its relation to the lost Syntagma of Justin Martyr, which Lipsius supposes it to have made use of, see his work already referred to and also his Quellen der ältesten Ketzergeschichte together with Harnack's Quellenkritik der Gesch. des Gnosticismus, and his article in the Zeitschrift für historische Theologie, 1874, p. 143-226.

Chapter XXIII.--Origen's Zeal and his Elevation to the Presbyterate.

1. At that time Origen began his commentaries on the Divine Scriptures, being urged thereto by Ambrose, [1956] who employed innumerable incentives, not only exhorting him by word, but also furnishing abundant means. 2. For he dictated to more than seven amanuenses, who relieved each other at appointed times. And he employed no fewer copyists, besides girls who were skilled in elegant writing. For all these Ambrose furnished the necessary expense in abundance, manifesting himself an inexpressible earnestness in diligence and zeal for the divine oracles, by which he especially pressed him on to the preparation of his commentaries. 3. While these things were in progress, Urbanus, [1957] who had been for eight years bishop of the Roman church, was succeeded by Pontianus, [1958] and Zebinus [1959] succeeded Philetus [1960] in Antioch. 4. At this time Origen was sent to Greece on account of a pressing necessity in connection with ecclesiastical affairs, [1961] and went through Palestine, and was ordained as presbyter in Cæsarea by the bishops of that country. The matters that were agitated concerning him on this account, and the decisions on these matters by those who presided over the churches, besides the other works concerning the divine word which he published while in his prime, demand a separate treatise. We have written of them to some extent in the second book of the Defense which we have composed in his behalf. [1962]


[1956] On Ambrose and his relation to Origen, see chap. 18, note 1. [1957] On Urbanus, bishop of Rome, see chap. 21, note 4. [1958] For the dates of the first group of Roman bishops, from Peter to Urbanus, the best source we have is Eusebius'Church History; but for the second group, from Pontianus to Liberius, the notices of the History are very unreliable, while the Liberian catalogue rests upon very trustworthy data (see Lipsius, Chron. d. röm. Bischöfe, p. 39 and p. 142 sq.). We must therefore turn to the latter for the most accurate information in regard to the remaining Roman bishops mentioned by Eusebius, although an occasional mistake in the catalogue must be corrected by our other sources, as Lipsius points out. The notice of Eusebius at this point would throw the accession of Pontianus into the year 231, but this is a year too late, as seen in chap. 21, note 4. According to chap. 29, he was bishop six years, and was succeeded by Anteros at about the same time that Gordian became emperor; that is, in 238. But this is wide of the truth. The Liberian catalogue, which is supported by the best of the other sources, gives a little over five years for his episcopate, and puts his banishment to Sardinia, with which his episcopate ended, on the 28th of September, 235. According to the Felician catalogue, which may be trusted at this point, he was brought to Rome and buried there during the episcopate of Fabian, which began in 236 (see also the preceding Chapter, note 1). We know nothing about the life and character of Pontianus. [1959] The notices of the Chronicle in connection with Zebinus are especially unreliable. The Armen. puts his accession into the sixth (227), Jerome into the seventh year of Alexander (228). Jerome makes no attempt to fix the date of his death, while the Armen. puts it in the first year of Gallus (251-252). Syncellus assigns him but six years. In the midst of such confusion we are obliged to rely solely upon the History. The only reliable data we have are Origen's ordination to the priesthood, which took place in 231 (see below, p. 392) and apparently, according to this Chapter, while Zebinus was bishop of Antioch. If Eusebius is correct in this synchronization, Zebinus became bishop before 231, and therefore the statements of the Chron. as to his accession may be approximately correct. As to the time of his death, we know that his successor, Babylas, died in the Decian persecution (see chap. 39), and hence Zebinus must have died some years before that. In chap. 29, Eusebius puts his death in the reign of Gordian (238-244), and this may be accepted as at least approximately correct, for we have reason to think that Babylas was already bishop in the time of Philip (see chap. 29, note 8). This proves the utter incorrectness of the notice of the Armen. We know nothing about the person and life of Zebinus. Harnack concludes from his name that he was a Syrian by birth. Most of the mss. of Eusebius give his name as Zebinos; one ms. and Nicephorus, as Zebenos; Syncellus as Zebennos; Rufinus, Jerome, and the Armen. as Zebennus. [1960] On Philetus, see chap. 21, note 6. [1961] See the note on p. 395, below. [1962] Eusebius refers here to the Defense of Origen, composed by himself and Pamphilus, which is unfortunately now lost (see above, chap. 2, note 1, and the Prolegomena, p. 36 sq.).

Chapter XXIV.--The Commentaries which he prepared at Alexandria.

1. It may be well to add that in the sixth book of his exposition of the Gospel of John [1963] he states that he prepared the first five while in Alexandria. Of his work on the entire Gospel only twenty-two volumes have come down to us. 2. In the ninth of those on Genesis, [1964] of which there are twelve in all, he states that not only the preceding eight had been composed at Alexandria, but also those on the first twenty-five Psalms [1965] and on Lamentations. [1966] Of these last five volumes have reached us. 3. In them he mentions also his books On the Resurrection, [1967] of which there are two. He wrote also the books De Principiis [1968] before leaving Alexandria; and the discourses entitled Stromata, [1969] ten in number, he composed in the same city during the reign of Alexander, as the notes by his own hand preceding the volumes indicate.


[1963] Origen's commentary upon the Gospel of John was the "first fruits of his labors at Alexandria," as he informs us in Tom. I. §4. It must have been commenced, therefore, soon after he formed the connection with Ambrose mentioned in the previous Chapter, and that it was one of the fruits of this connection is proved by the way in which Ambrose is addressed in the commentary itself (Tom. I. §3). The date at which the work was begun cannot be determined; but if Eusebius follows the chronological order of events, it cannot have been before 218 (see chap. 21, note 8). Eusebius speaks as if Origen had expounded the entire Gospel (tes d' eis to pan euangelion auto de touto pragmateias), but Jerome, in his catalogue of Origen's works given in his epistle to Paula (in a fragmentary form in Migne's ed., Ep. 33, complete in the Zeitschrift für Hist. Theol. 1851, p. 75 sq.), reports that the commentary consisted of thirty-two books and some notes (cf. his prologue to his translation of Origen's homilies on Luke, Migne's ed., VII. 219), and Rufinus likewise (Apol. II. 22) speaks of thirty-two books only. But in the thirty-second book, which is still extant, Origen discusses the thirteenth Chapter of John, and does not promise to continue the commentary, as he does at the close of some of the other books. We may therefore conclude that Eusebius' rather indefinite statement (which was probably not based upon personal knowledge, for he says that he had seen only twenty-two books), is incorrect, and that the commentary extended no further than the thirteenth Chapter. We learn from the preface to the sixth book that the first five were composed while the author was still in Alexandria, the remaining books after his removal to Cæsarea, and at least part of them after the persecution of Maximinus (235-238), to which reference was made in the twenty-second book, according to Eusebius, chap. 28, below. There are still extant Books I., II., VI., X., XIII., XX., XXVIII., XXXII., small fragments of IV. and V., and the greater part of XIX. (printed in Lommatzsch's ed., Vols. I and II.). The production of this commentary marked an epoch in the history of theological thought, and it remains in many respects the most important of Origen's exegetical works. It is full of original and suggestive thought, and reveals Origen's genius perhaps in the clearest and best light, though the exegesis is everywhere marred by the allegorizing method and by neglect of the grammatical and historical sense. [1964] Of the commentary on Genesis, only some fragments from the first and third books are extant, together with some extracts (eklogai), and seventeen homilies (nearly complete) in the Latin translation of Rufinus (see Lommatzsch's ed., Vol. VIII.). Eight of the books, Eusebius tells us, were written in Alexandria, and they must, of course, have been begun after the commencement of the commentary on John. Jerome (according to Rufinus, Apol. II. 20) gave the number of the book as thirteen (though in his catalogue mentioned in the previous note, he speaks of fourteen), and said that the thirteenth discussed Gen. iv. 15; and in his Contra Cels. VI. 49 Origen speaks of his work upon Genesis "from the beginning of the book up to" V. 1. We may therefore conclude that the commentary covered only the early Chapters of Genesis. The homilies, however, discuss brief passages taken from various parts of the book. [1965] Origen's writings on the Psalms comprised a complete commentary (cf. Jerome's Ep. ad Augustinum, §20; Migne's ed.; Ep. 112), brief notes ("quod Enchiridion ille vocabat," see Migne's edition of Jerome's works, Vol. VIII. 821, and compare the entire Breviarium in Psalmos which follows, and which doubtless contains much of Origen's work; see Smith and Wace, IV. p. 108) and homilies. Of these there are still extant numerous fragments in Greek, and nine complete homilies in the Latin version of Rufinus (printed by Lommatzsch in Vols. XI.-XIII.). The catalogue of Jerome mentions forty-six books of notes on the Psalms and 118 homilies. The commentary on the 26th and following Psalms seem to have been written after leaving Alexandria (to judge from Eusebius' statement here). [1966] There are extant some extracts (eklogai) of Origen's expositions of the book of Lamentations, which are printed by Lommatzsch, XIII. 167-218. They are probably from the commentary which Eusebius tells us was written before Origen left Alexandria, and five books of which were extant in his time. The catalogue of Jerome also mentions five books. [1967] Jerome (in the catalogue and in the passage quoted by Rufinus, Apol. II. 20) mentions two books and two dialogues on the Resurrection (De Resurrectione libros duos. Et alios de Resurrectione dialogos duos). Whether the dialogues formed an independent work we do not know. We hear of them from no other source. The work was bitterly attacked by Methodius, but there are no traces of heresy in the extant fragments. [1968] Of Origen's De Principiis (peri archon), which was written before he left Alexandria, there are still extant some fragments in Greek, together with brief portions of a translation by Jerome (in his epistle to Avitus; Migne's ed.; Ep. 124), and a complete but greatly altered translation by Rufinus. The latter, together with the extant fragments, is printed by Lommatzsch, Vol. XXI.; and also separately by Redepenning (Lips. 1836); Engl. trans. by Crombie, in the Ante-Nicene Fathers. The work is the most important of all Origen's writings, and from it we gather our fullest knowledge as to his opinions, philosophical and theological; though unfortunately Rufinus' alterations have made it doubtful in many cases what Origen's original meaning was. The work constitutes the first attempt to form a system of Christian doctrine. It contains a great many peculiar, often startling errors, and was the chief source of the attacks made upon Origen for heterodoxy; and yet the author's object was only to set forth the doctrines accepted by the Church, and to show how they could be systematized by the aid of Scripture or of reason. He did not intend to bring forward doctrines inconsistent with the received faith of the Church. The work consists of four books. To quote from Westcott: "The composition is not strictly methodical. Digressions and repetitions interfere with the symmetry of the plan. But to speak generally, the first book deals with God and creation (religious statics); the second and third books with creation and providence, with man and redemption (religious dynamics); and the fourth book with Holy Scripture." Intellectually the work is of a very high order, abounding in deep and original thought as well as in grand and lofty sentiments. [1969] In his catalogue, Jerome gives among the commentaries on the Old Testament the simple title Stromatum, without any description of the work. But in his Ep. ad Magnum, §4 (Migne's ed., Ep. 70), he says that Origen wrote ten books of Stromata in imitation of Clement's work, and in it compared the opinions of Christians and philosophers, and confirmed the dogmas of Christianity by appeals to Plato and other Greek philosophers (Hunc imitatus Origines, decem scripsit Stromateas, Christianorum et philosophorum inter se sententias comparans: et omnia nostræ religionis dogmata de Platone et Aristotele, Numenio, Cornutoque confirmans). Only three brief fragments of a Latin translation of the work are now extant (printed in Lommatzsch's ed., XVII. 69-78). These fragments are sufficient to show us that the work was exegetical as well as doctrinal, and discussed topics of various kinds in the light of Scripture as well as in the light of philosophy.

Chapter XXV.--His Review of the Canonical Scriptures.

1. When expounding the first Psalm, [1970] he gives a catalogue of the sacred Scriptures of the Old Testament [1971] as follows: "It should be stated that the canonical books, as the Hebrews have handed them down, are twenty-two; corresponding with the number of their letters." Farther on he says: 2. "The twenty-two books of the Hebrews are the following: That which is called by us Genesis, but by the Hebrews, from the beginning of the book, Bresith, [1972] which means, `In the beginning'; Exodus, Welesmoth, [1973] that is, `These are the names'; Leviticus, Wikra, `And he called`; Numbers, Ammesphekodeim; Deuteronomy, Eleaddebareim, `These are the words'; Jesus, the son of Nave, Josoue ben Noun; Judges and Ruth, among them in one book, Saphateim; the First and Second of Kings, among them one, Samouel, that is, `The called of God'; the Third and Fourth of Kings in one, Wammelch David, that is, `The kingdom of David'; of the Chronicles, the First and Second in one, Dabreïamein, that is, `Records of days'; Esdras, [1974] First and Second in one, Ezra, that is, `An assistant'; the book of Psalms, Spharthelleim; the Proverbs of Solomon, Meloth; Ecclesiastes, Koelth; the Song of Songs (not, as some suppose, Songs of Songs), Sir Hassirim; Isaiah, Jessia; Jeremiah, with Lamentations and the epistle in one, Jeremia; Daniel, Daniel; Ezekiel, Jezekiel; Job, Job; Esther, Esther. And besides these there are the Maccabees, which are entitled Sarbeth Sabanaiel." [1975] He gives these in the above-mentioned work. 3. In his first book on Matthew's Gospel, [1976] maintaining the Canon of the Church, he testifies that he knows only four Gospels, writing as follows: 4. "Among the four Gospels, [1977] which are the only indisputable ones in the Church of God under heaven, I have learned by tradition that the first was written by Matthew, who was once a publican, but afterwards an apostle of Jesus Christ, and it was prepared for the converts from Judaism, and published in the Hebrew language. [1978] 5. The second is by Mark, who composed it according to the instructions of Peter, [1979] who in his Catholic epistle acknowledges him as a son, saying, `The church that is at Babylon elected together with you, saluteth you, and so doth Marcus, my son.' [1980] 6. And the third by Luke, the Gospel commended by Paul, [1981] and composed for Gentile converts. Last of all that by John." [1982] 7. In the fifth book of his Expositions of John's Gospel, he speaks thus concerning the epistles of the apostles: [1983] "But he who was `made sufficient to be a minister of the New Testament, not of the letter, but of the Spirit,' [1984] that is, Paul, who `fully preached the Gospel from Jerusalem and round about even unto Illyricum,' [1985] did not write to all the churches which he had instructed and to those to which he wrote he sent but few lines. [1986] 8. And Peter, on whom the Church of Christ is built, `against which the gates of hell shall not prevail,' [1987] has left one acknowledged epistle; perhaps also a second, but this is doubtful. [1988] 9. Why need we speak of him who reclined upon the bosom of Jesus, [1989] John, who has left us one Gospel, [1990] though he confessed that he might write so many that the world could not contain them? [1991] And he wrote also the Apocalypse, but was commanded to keep silence and not to write the words of the seven thunders. [1992] 10. He has left also an epistle of very few lines; perhaps also a second and third; but not all consider them genuine, and together they do not contain hundred lines." 11. In addition he makes the following statements in regard to the Epistle to the Hebrews [1993] in his Homilies upon it: "That the verbal style of the epistle entitled `To the Hebrews,' is not rude like the language of the apostle, who acknowledged himself `rude in speech' [1994] that is, in expression; but that its diction is purer Greek, any one who has the power to discern differences of phraseology will acknowledge. 12. Moreover, that the thoughts of the epistle are admirable, and not inferior to the acknowledged apostolic writings, any one who carefully examines the apostolic text [1995] will admit.' 13. Farther on he adds: "If I gave my opinion, I should say that the thoughts are those of the apostle, but the diction and phraseology are those of some one who remembered the apostolic teachings, and wrote down at his leisure what had been said by his teacher. Therefore if any church holds that this epistle is by Paul, let it be commended for this. For not without reason have the ancients handed it down as Paul's. 14. But who wrote the epistle, in truth, God knows. The statement of some who have gone before us is that Clement, bishop of the Romans, wrote the epistle, and of others that Luke, the author of the Gospel and the Acts, wrote it." But let this suffice on these matters.


[1970] On Origen's commentary on Psalms, see the previous Chapter, note 3. The first fragment given here by Eusebius is found also in the Philocalia, chap. 3, where it forms part of a somewhat longer extract. The second fragment is extant only in this Chapter of Eusebius' History. [1971] On the Hebrew canon of the Old Testament, see Bk. III. chap. 10, note 1. Upon Origen's omission of the twelve minor prophets and the insertion of the apocryphal epistle of Jeremiah, see the same note. [1972] I have reproduced Origen's Greek transliteration of this and the following Hebrew words letter by letter. It will be seen by a comparison of the words with the Hebrew titles of the books, as we now have them, that Origen's pronunciation of Hebrew, even after making all due allowance for a difference in the pronunciation of the Greek and for changes in the Hebrew text, must have been, in many respects, quite different from ours. [1973] Ouelesmoth. I represent the diphthong ou at the beginning of a word by "w." [1974] The first and second books of Esdras here referred to are not the apocryphal books known by that name, but Ezra and Nehemiah, which in the Hebrew canon formed but one book, as Origen says here, but which in the LXX were separated (see above, Bk. III. chap. 10, note 4). Esdras is simply the form which the word Ezra assumes in Greek. [1975] Whether this sentence closed Origen's discussion of the Hebrew canon, or whether he went on to mention the other apocryphal books, we cannot tell. The latter seems intrinsically much more probable, for it is difficult to understand the insertion of the Maccabees in this connection, and the omission of all the others; for the Maccabees, as is clear from the words zxo de touton esti ta MakkabaikEUR, are not reckoned by Origen among the twenty-two books as a part of the Hebrew canon. At the same time, it is hardly conceivable that Eusebius should have broken off thus, in the midst of a passage, without any explanation; though it is, of course, not impossible that he gives only the first sentence of the new paragraph on the books of the LXX, in order to show that the discussion of the Hebrew canon closes, and a new subject is introduced at this point. But, however that may be, it must be regarded as certain that Origen did not reckon the books of the Maccabees as a part of the Hebrew canon, and on the other hand, that he did reckon those books, as well as others (if not all) of the books given in the LXX, as inspired Scripture. This latter fact is proved by his use of these books indiscriminately with those of the Hebrew canon as sources for dogmatic proof texts, and also by his express citation of at least some of them as Scripture (cf. on this subject, Redepenning, p. 235 sq.). We must conclude, therefore, that Origen did not adopt the Hebrew canon as his own, but that he states it as clearly as he does in this place, in order to bring concretely before the minds of his readers the difference between the canon of the Jews and the canon of the Christians, who looked upon the LXX as the more authoritative form of the Old Testament. Perhaps he had in view the same purpose that led him to compare the Hebrew text and the LXX in his Hexapla (see chap. 16, note 8). [1976] On Origen's Commentary on Matthew, see chap. 36, note 4. The fragment given here by Eusebius is all that is extant of the first book of the commentary. [1977] Compare Origen's Hom. I. in Lucam: Ecclesia quatuor habet evangelia, hæresea plurima; and multi conati sunt scribere, sed et multi conati sunt ordinare: quatuor tantum evangelia sunt probata, &c. Compare also Irenæus, Adv. Hær. III. 11, 8, where the attempt is made to show that it is impossible for the Gospels to be either more or fewer in number than four; and the Muratorian Fragment where the four Gospels are named, but the number four is not represented as in itself the necessary number; also Tertullian's Adv. Marc. IV. 2, and elsewhere. [1978] See Bk. III. chap. 24, note 5. [1979] See Bk. II. chap. 15, note 4. [1980] 1 Pet. v. 13. [1981] See Bk. III. chap. 4, notes 12 and 15. Origen refers here to 2 Cor. viii. 18, where, however, it is clear that the reference is not to any specific Gospel any more than in the passages referred to above, III. 4, note 15. [1982] See Bk. III. chap. 24. [1983] This fragment from the fifth book of Origen's commentary on John is extant only in this Chapter. The context is not preserved. [1984] 2 Cor. iii. 6. [1985] Rom. xv. 19. [1986] See Bk. III. chap. 24, note 2. [1987] Matt. xvi. 18. [1988] On the first and second Epistles of Peter, see Bk. III. chap. 3, notes 1 and 4. [1989] See John xiii. 23. [1990] On John's Gospel, see Bk. III. chap. 24, note 1; on the Apocalypse, note 20; and on the epistles, notes 18 and 19 of the same Chapter. [1991] See John xxi. 25 [1992] See Rev. x. 4 [1993] Upon the Epistle to the Hebrews, and Origen's treatment of it, see Bk. III. chap. 3, note 17. The two extracts given here by Eusebius are the only fragments of Origen's Homilies on the Epistle to the Hebrews now extant. Four brief Latin fragments of his commentary upon that epistle are preserved in the first book of Pamphilus' Defense of Origen, and are printed by Lommatzsch in Vol. V. p. 297 sq. The commentaries (or "books," as they are called) are mentioned only in that Defense. The catalogue of Jerome speaks only of "eighteen homilies." We know nothing about the extent or the date of composition of these homilies and commentaries. [1994] 2 Cor. xi. 6. [1995] prosechon, te anagnosei te apostolik ‡nEURgnosis meant originally the act of reading, then also that which is read. It thus came to be used (like anEURgnosma) of the pericope or text or section of the Scripture read in church, and in the plural to designate the church lectionaries, or service books. In the present case it is used evidently in a wider sense of the text of Paul's writings as a whole. This use of the two words to indicate, not simply the selection read in church, but the text of a book or books as a whole, was not at all uncommon, as may be seen from the examples given by Suicer, although he does not mention this wider signification among the uses of the word. See his Thesaurus, s.v.

Chapter XXVI.--Heraclas becomes Bishop of Alexandria.

It was in the tenth year of the above-mentioned reign that Origen removed from Alexandria to Cæsarea, [1996] leaving the charge of the catechetical school in that city to Heraclas. Not long afterward Demetrius, bishop of the church of Alexandria, died, having held the office for forty-three full years, [1997] and Heraclas succeeded him. At this time Firmilianus, [1998] bishop of Cæsarea in Cappadocia, was conspicuous.


[1996] The tenth year of Alexander Severus, 231 a.d. On Origen's departure from Alexandria at this time, see below, p. 396. On Heraclas, see chap. 3, note 2. [1997] On the episcopacy of Demetrius, see Bk. V. chap. 22, note 4. Forty-three years, beginning with 189 a.d., bring us down to 232 as the date of his death, and this agrees excellently with the statements of this Chapter. [1998] Firmilian, bishop of Cæsarea, the capital of Cappadocia (to be distinguished from Cæsarea in Palestine), was one of the most famous prelates of his day in the Eastern Church. He was a friend of Origen, as we learn from the next Chapter, and took part in a council called on account of the schism of Novatian (see chap. 46), and also in councils called to consider the case of Paul of Samosata (see Bk. VII. chaps. 28 and 30). He was one of the bishops whom Stephen excommunicated because they rebaptized heretics (see Bk. VII. chap. 2, note 3, and chap. 5, note 4), and he wrote an epistle upon this subject to Cyprian, which is extant in a Latin translation made by Cyprian himself (Ep. 74, al. 75, in the collection of Cyprian's epistles. See Dict. of Christ. Biog. I. 751, note). Basil (de Spiritu Sancto, 29) refers to works (logoi) left by Firmilian, but none of them are extant except the single epistle mentioned, nor do we hear from any other source that he was a writer. Jerome does not mention him in his De vir. ill. The exact date of his accession is unknown to us, as it very likely was to Eusebius also. He was a bishop already in the tenth year of Alexander (231 a.d.), or very soon afterward, and from Bk. VII. chap. 30, we learn that he died at Tarsus on his way to Antioch to attend a council which had been summoned to deal with Paul of Samosata. This synod was held about 265 a.d. (not in 272 as is commonly supposed; see Bk. VII. chap. 29, note 1), and it is at this time, therefore, that we must put the death of Firmilian; so that he was bishop of Cæsarea at least some thirty-four years.

Chapter XXVII.--How the Bishops regarded Origen.

He was so earnestly affected toward Origen, that he urged him to come to that country for the benefit of the churches, and moreover he visited him in Judea, remaining with him for some time, for the sake of improvement in divine things. And Alexander, [1999] bishop of Jerusalem, and Theoctistus, [2000] bishop of Cæsarea, attended on him constantly, [2001] as their only teacher, and allowed [2002] him to expound the Divine Scriptures, and to perform the other duties pertaining to ecclesiastical discourse. [2003]


[1999] On Alexander, bishop of Jerusalem, see chap. 8, note 6. [2000] On Theoctistus, bishop of Cæsarea in Palestine, see chap. 19, note 27. [2001] A number of mss., followed by Heinichen and some others, insert at this point hos zpos eipein ("so to speak"). [2002] The presbyter derived his authority to preach and teach only from the bishop, and hence these bishops extended to Origen, whom they had ordained a presbyter, full liberty to preach and teach within their dioceses. [2003] ta loipa tou ekklesiastikou logou.

Chapter XXVIII.--The Persecution under Maximinus.

The Roman emperor, Alexander, having finished his reign in thirteen years, was succeeded by Maximinus Cæsar. [2004] On account of his hatred toward the household of Alexander, [2005] which contained many believers, he began a persecution, commanding that only the rulers of the churches should be put to death, as responsible for the Gospel teaching. Thereupon Origen composed his work On Martyrdom, [2006] and dedicated it to Ambrose and Protoctetus, [2007] a presbyter of the parish of Cæsarea, because in the persecution there had come upon them both unusual hardships, in which it is reported that they were eminent in confession during the reign of Maximinus, which lasted but three years. Origen has noted this as the time of the persecution in the twenty-second book of his Commentaries on John, and in several epistles. [2008]


[2004] Alexander Severus was murdered early in the year 235, and was succeeded at once by his commanding general, the Thracian Maximinus, or Caius Julius Verus Maximinus, as he called himself. [2005] The reference here is not to the immediate family of Alexander, but to the court as a whole, his family in the widest sense including court officials, servants, &c. The favor which Alexander had shown to the Christians (see chap. 21, note 8) is clearly seen in the fact that there were so many Christians at court, as Eusebius informs us here. This persecution was at first directed, Eusebius tells us, solely against the heads of the churches (tous ton ekklesion archontas), i.e. the bishops; and we might imagine only those bishops who had stood nearest Alexander and had been most favored by him to be meant (Pontianus and Hippolytus of Rome were exiled, for instance, at the very beginning of Maximinus' reign, in the year 235; see chap. 22, note 1); for Maximinus' hostility to the Christians seems to have been caused, not by religious motives, but by mere hatred of his predecessor, and of every cause to which he had shown favor. But the persecution was not confined to such persons, as we learn from this Chapter, which tells us of the sufferings of Ambrose and Protoctetus, neither of whom was a bishop. It seems probable that most of the persecuting was not the result of positive efforts on the part of Maximinus, but rather of the superstitious hatred of the common people, whose fears had been recently aroused by earthquakes and who always attributed such calamities to the existence of the Christians. Of course under Maximinus they had free rein, and could persecute whenever they or the provincial authorities felt inclined (cf. Firmilian's epistle to Cyprian, and Origen's Exhort. ad Mart.). Eusebius tells us nothing of Origen's whereabouts at this time; but in Palladius' Hist. Laus. 147, it is said that Origen was given refuge by Juliana in Cæsarea in Cappadocia during some persecution, undoubtedly this one, if the report is true (see chap. 17, note 4). [2006] This work on martyrdom (eis marturion protreptikos logos, Exhortatio ad Martyrium) is still extant, and is printed by Lommatzsch in Vol. XX., p. 231-316. It is a most beautiful and inspiring exhortation. [2007] On Ambrose, see chap. 18, note 1. Protoctetus, a presbyter of the church of Cæsarea (apparently Palestinian Cæsarea), is known to us only from this passage. [2008] On Origen's Commentary on John's Gospel, see chap. 24, note 1. No fragments of the twenty-second book are extant, nor any of the epistles in which reference is made to this persecution.

Chapter XXIX.--Fabianus, who was wonderfully designated Bishop of Rome by God.

1. Gordianus succeeded Maximinus as Roman emperor; [2009] and Pontianus, [2010] who had been bishop of the church at Rome for six years, was succeeded by Anteros. [2011] After he had held the office for a month, Fabianus [2012] succeeded him. 2. They say [2013] that Fabianus having come, after the death of Anteros, with others from the country, was staying at Rome, and that while there he was chosen to the office through a most wonderful manifestation of divine and heavenly grace. 3. For when all the brethren had assembled to select by vote him who should succeed to the episcopate of the church, several renowned and honorable men were in the minds of many, but Fabianus, although present, was in the mind of none. But they relate that suddenly a dove flying down lighted on his head, resembling the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Saviour in the form of a dove. 4. Thereupon all the people, as if moved by one Divine Spirit, with all eagerness and unanimity cried out that he was worthy, and without delay they took him and placed him upon the episcopal seat. [2014] 5. About that time Zebinus, [2015] bishop of Antioch died, and Babylas [2016] succeeded him. And in Alexandria Heraclas, [2017] having received the episcopal office after Demetrius, [2018] was succeeded in the charge of the catechetical school by Dionysius, [2019] who had also been one of Origen's pupils.


[2009] Gordianus the younger, grandson of Gordianus I., and nephew (or son?) of Gordianus II., became emperor after the murder of Balbinus and Pupienus, in July, 238, at the age of fifteen years, and reigned until early in the year 244, when he was murdered by the soldiers and succeeded by Philip. He is made by Eusebius (both here and in the Chron.) the direct successor of Maximinus, simply because only two or three months elapsed between the death of the latter and his own accession. [2010] On Pontianus, see chap. 23, note 3. [2011] Both here and in the Chron. the accession of Anteros is synchronized with the accession of Gordianus, but as seen in chap. 23, note 3, Pontianus was succeeded by Anteros in the first year of Maximinus, i.e. in 235,--three years earlier, therefore, than the date given by Eusebius. All the authorities agree in assigning only one month and a few days to the episcopate of Anteros, and this is to be accepted as correct. Of the life and character of Anteros we know nothing. [2012] Greek Phabianos, though some mss. read Phlabianos. The Armenian and Hieronymian Chron. call him Fabianus; the Liberian catalogue, Fabius; Eutychius and the Alex. cat., Flabianus. According to chap. 39, he suffered martyrdom in the persecution of Decius (250-251). Both versions of the Chron. assign thirteen years to his episcopate, and this agrees fairly well with the notices here and in chap. 39 (accession in 238 and death in 250 or 251). But, as already seen, Eusebius is quite wrong in the dates which he gives for the accession of these three bishops, and the statements of the Liberian catalogue are to be accepted, which put Fabian's accession in January, 236, and his death in January, 250, after an episcopate of fourteen years and ten days. The martyrdom of Fabian rests upon good authority (cf. chap. 39, and Jerome's de vir. ill. chap. 54, and especially Cyprian's Epistles, 3, al. 9, and 30). From these epistles we learn that he was a man of ability and virtue. He stands out more clearly in the light of history than most of the early Roman bishops, but tradition has handed down a great many unfounded stories in regard to him (see the article in the Dict. of Christ. Biog.). [2013] phasi. Eusebius is our only authority for the following story. Rufinus (VI. 21) tells a similar tale in connection with Zephyrinus. [2014] ton thronon tes episkopes [2015] On Zebinus, see chap. 23, note 4. [2016] Babylas occupies an illustrious place in the list of ancient martyrs (cf. Tillemont, Mem. III. 400-409). Chrysostom devoted a festal oration to his memory (In sanctum Babylam contra Julianum et contra Gentiles); while Jerome, Epiphanius, Sozomen, Theodoret, and others make honorable mention of him. There are extant the Acta Babylæ (spurious), which, however, confound him with a martyr who suffered under Numerian. The legends in regard to Babylas and to the miracles performed by his bones are very numerous (see Tillemont, l.c.). He is identified by Chrysostom and others with the bishop mentioned by Eusebius in chap. 34, and there is no good reason to doubt the identification (see Harnack, Zeit des Ignatius, p. 48). The fact of his martyrdom under Decius (see chap. 39) is too well attested to admit of doubt; though upon the manner of it, not all the traditions are agreed, Eusebius reporting that he died in prison, Chrysostom that he died by violence. The account of Eusebius seems the most reliable. The date of his accession is unknown, but there is no reason to doubt that it took place during the reign of Gordian (238-244), as Eusebius here seems to imply; though it is true that he connects it closely with the death of Demetrius, which certainly took place not later than 232 (see above, Bk. V. chap. 22, note 4). There is no warrant for carrying the accession of Babylas back so far as that. [2017] On Heraclas, see chap. 3, note 2. [2018] On the episcopate of Demetrius, see Bk. V. chap. 22, note 4. [2019] On Dionysius, see chap. 40, note 1.

Chapter XXX.--The Pupils of Origen.

While Origen was carrying on his customary duties in Cæsarea, many pupils came to him not only from the vicinity, but also from other countries. Among these Theodorus, the same that was distinguished among the bishops of our day under the name of Gregory, [2020] and his brother Athenodorus, [2021] we know to have been especially celebrated. Finding them deeply interested in Greek and Roman learning, he infused into them a love of philosophy, and led them to exchange their old zeal for the study of divinity. Remaining with him five years, they made such progress in divine things, that although they were still young, both of them were honored with a bishopric in the churches of Pontus.


[2020] Our sources for a knowledge of the life of Gregory, who is known as Gregory Thaumaturgus ("wonder-worker"), are numerous, but not all of them reliable. He is mentioned by Eusebius here and in Bk. VII. chaps. 14 and 28, and a brief account of his life and writings is given by Jerome (de vir. ill. chap. 65), who adds some particulars not mentioned by Eusebius. There is also extant Gregory's Panegyrical Oration in praise of Origen, which contains an outline of the earlier years of his life. Gregory of Nyssa about a century later wrote a life of Gregory Thaumaturgus, which is still extant, but which is full of marvelous stories, and contains little that is trustworthy. Gregory's fame was very great among his contemporaries and succeeding generations, and many of the Fathers have left brief accounts of him, or references to him which it is not necessary to mention here. He was a native of Neo-Cæsarea in Pontus (according to Gregory Nyssa), the same city of which he was afterward bishop, was of wealthy parentage, and began the study of law when quite young (see his own Orat. Paneg. chap. 5). Coming to Cæsarea, in Palestine, on his way to Berytus, where he and his brother Athenodorus were to attend a school of law, he met Origen, and was so attracted by him that he and his brother remained in Cæsarea five years (according to Eusebius and Jerome) and studied logic, physics, mathematics, ethics, Greek philosophy, and theology with him (see his Orat). At the end of this time the brothers returned to Pontus, and afterwards were made bishops, Gregory of Neo-Cæsarea, his native place; Athenodorus of some unknown city (Eusebius here and in VII. 14 and 28 says only that they were both bishops of churches in Pontus). Of the remarkable events connected with the ordination of Gregory, which are told by Gregory of Nyssa, it is not necessary to speak here. He was a prominent scholar and writer, and a man universally beloved and respected for his deep piety and his commanding ability, but his fame rested chiefly upon the reports of his miracle-working, which were widespread. The prodigies told of him are numerous and marvelous. Eusebius is silent about this side of his career (whether because of ignorance or incredulity we cannot tell, but the latter seems most probable), but Jerome refers to his fame as a miracle-worker, Gregory of Nyssa's Vita, is full of it, and Basil and other later writers dwell upon it. What the foundation for all these traditions was we do not know. He was a famous missionary, and seems to have been remarkably successful in converting the pagans of his diocese, which was almost wholly heathen when he became bishop. This great missionary success may have given rise to the tales of supernatural power, some cause above the ordinary being assumed by the common people as necessary to account for such results. Miracles and other supernatural phenomena were quite commonly assumed in those days as causes of conversions--especially if the conversions themselves were in any way remarkable (cf. e.g. the close of the anonymous Dialogue with Herbanus, a Jew). Not only the miracles, but also many other events reported in Gregory of Nyssa's Vita, must be regarded as unfounded; e.g. the account of a long period of study in Alexandria of which our more reliable sources contain no trace. The veneration in which Gregory held Origen is clear enough from his panegyric, and the great regard which Origen cherished for Gregory is revealed in his epistle to the latter, written soon after Gregory's arrival in Neo-Cæsarea, and still preserved in the Philocalia, chap. 13. The works of Gregory known to us are his Panegyrical Oration in praise of Origen, delivered in the presence of the latter and of a great multitude before Gregory's departure from Cæsarea, and still extant; a paraphrase of the book of Ecclesiastes, mentioned by Jerome (l.c.), and likewise extant; several epistles referred to by Jerome (l.c.), only one of which, his so-called Canonical Epistle, addressed to an anonymous bishop of Pontus, is still preserved; and finally a trinitarian creed, or confession of faith, which is given by Gregory of Nyssa in his Vita, and whose genuineness has been warmly disputed (e.g. by Lardner, Works, II. p. 634 sq.); but since Caspari's defense of it in his Gesch. d. Taufsymbols und der Glaubensregel, its authenticity may be regarded as established. These four writings, together with some works falsely ascribed to Gregory, are translated in The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Am. ed., Vol. VI. p. 1-80. Original Greek in Migne's Patr. Gr. X. 983-1343. See also Ryssel's Gregorius Thaumaturgus. Sein Leben und seine Schriften; Leipzig, 1880. Ryssel gives (p. 65-79) a German translation of two hitherto unknown Syriac writings of Gregory, one on the equality of Father, Son, and Spirit, and the other on the passibility and impassibility of God. Gregory's dates cannot be fixed with exactness; but as he cannot have seen Origen in Cæsarea until after 231, and was very young when he met him there, he must have been born as late as the second decade of the third century. As he was with Origen at least five years, he can hardly have taken his farewell of him until after the persecution of Maximinus (i.e. after 238), for we cannot suppose that he pronounced his panegyrical oration during that persecution. He speaks in the first Chapter of that oration of not having delivered an oration for eight years, and this is commonly supposed to imply that it was eight years since he had begun to study with Origen, in which case the oration must be put as late as 239, and it must be assumed, if Eusebius' five years are accepted as accurate, that he was absent for some three years during that period (perhaps while the persecution was going on). But the eight years cannot be pressed in this connection, for it is quite possible that they may have been reckoned from an earlier time, perhaps from the time when he began the study of law, which was before he met Origin (see Panegyr. chaps. 1 and 5). If we were to suppose the order followed by Eusebius strictly chronological, we should have to put Gregory's acquaintance with Origen into the reign of Gordian (238-244). The truth is, the matter cannot be decided. He is said by Gregory of Nyssa to have retired into concealment during the persecution of Decius, and to have returned to his charge again after its close. He was present with his brother Athenodorus at one of the councils called to consider the case of Paul of Samosata (see Bk. VII. chap. 28), but was not present at the final one at which Paul was condemned (see ibid. chaps. 29 and 30, and note 2 on the latter Chapter). This one was held about 265 (see ibid. chap. 29, note 1), and hence it is likely that Gregory was dead before that date. [2021] Athenodorus is known to us only as the brother of Gregory and bishop of some church or churches in Pontus (see Bk. VII. chaps. 14 and 28).

Chapter XXXI.--Africanus.

1. At this time also Africanus, [2022] the writer of the books entitled Cesti, was well known. There is extant an epistle of his to Origen, expressing doubts [2023] of the story of Susannah in Daniel, as being spurious and fictitious. Origen answered this very fully. 2. Other works of the same Africanus which have reached us are his five books on Chronology, a work accurately and laboriously prepared. He says in this that he went to Alexandria on account of the great fame of Heraclas, [2024] who excelled especially in philosophic studies and other Greek learning, and whose appointment to the bishopric of the church there we have already mentioned. 3. There is extant also another epistle from the same Africanus to Aristides on the supposed discrepancy between Matthew and Luke in the Genealogies of Christ. In this he shows clearly the agreement of the evangelists, from an account which had come down to him, which we have already given in its proper place in the first book of this work. [2025]


[2022] Julius Africanus (as he is called by Jerome) was one of the most learned men of the Ante-Nicene age. Not much is known of his life, though he seems to have resided, at least for a time, in Emmaus, a town of Palestine, something over twenty miles from Jerusalem (not the Emmaus of Luke xxiv. 13, which was but seven or eight miles from the city), for we hear in the Chron., and in Jerome's de vir. ill. c. 63, of his going on an embassy to the Emperor Heliogabalus, and securing the rebuilding of the ruined city Emmaus under the name of Nicopolis, which it henceforth bore. He does not appear to have been a clergyman, or at any rate not a bishop; for he is spoken of as such by no early authority, and he is addressed by Origen in an extant epistle, which must have been written toward the close of his life, simply as "brother." His dates cannot be fixed with any exactness. He must have been already a prominent man when he went on an embassy to the emperor (between 218 and 222). He must have been considerably older than Origen, for in his epistle to him he calls him "son," and that although Origen was at the time beyond middle life himself. Unless Eusebius is mistaken, he was still alive and active in the time of Gordian (238-244). But if he was enough older than Origen to address him as "son," he can hardly have lived much beyond that reign. He seems to have been a Christian philosopher and scholar rather than an ecclesiastic, and took no such part in the church affairs of the time as to leave mention of his name in the accounts of the synods of his day. He was quite a traveler, as we learn from his own writings, and had the well-deserved reputation of being one of the greatest scholars of the age. Eusebius mentions four works left by him, the Cesti, the Chronicon, and the epistles to Origen and to Aristides. Jerome (l.c.) mentions only the last three, but Photius (Cod. 34) refers to all four. The Cesti (kestoi "embroidered girdles") seems to have derived its name from the miscellaneous character of its contents, which included notes on geography, the art of war, medicine, agriculture, &c. It is said by Syncellus to have been composed of nine books: Photius mentions fourteen, Suidas twenty-four. It is no longer extant, but numerous scattered fragments have been preserved. Its authenticity has been doubted, chiefly because of its purely secular character, and the nature of some of the notes, which do not seem worthy of the clear-headed and at the same time Christian scholar. But the external evidence, which is not unsupported by the internal, is too strong to be set aside, and we must conclude that the work is genuine. The extant fragments of it are given in various works on mathematics, agriculture, etc. (see Richardson's Bibliographical Synopsis, p. 68). The epistle of Africanus to Origen is the only one of his writings preserved in a complete form. It seems that Origen, in a discussion with a certain Bassus (see Origen's epistle to Africanus, §2), at which Africanus was present, had quoted from that part of the Book of Daniel which contains the apocryphal story of Susannah. Africanus afterward wrote a brief epistle to Origen, in which he contended that the story is not authentic, urging among other arguments differences in style between it and the rest of the book, and the fact that the story is not found in Hebrew, and that certain phrases show that it was composed originally in Greek. Origen replied at considerable length, maintaining the authenticity of the passage, and thereby showing himself inferior to Africanus in critical judgment. Origen's reply was written from Nicomedia (see §1), where he was staying with Ambrose (see §15). It seems probable that this visit to Nicomedia was made on his way to or from his second visit to Athens (see next Chapter, note 4). Africanus' greatest work, and the one which brought him most fame, was his Chronicon, in five books. The work is no longer extant, but considerable fragments of it have been preserved (e.g. in Eusebius' Præp. Evang. X. 10, and Dem. Evang. VIII., and especially in the Chronographia of Syncellus), and the Chronicon of Eusebius which is really based upon it, so that we are enabled to gain a very fair idea of its original form. As described by Photius, it was concise, but omitted nothing worthy of mention, beginning with the creation and coming down to the reign of Macrinus. It actually extended to the fourth year of Heliogabalus (221), as we see from a quotation made by Syncellus. The work seems to have been caused by the common desire of the Christians (exhibited by Tatian, Clement of Alexander, and others) to prove in their defense of Christianity the antiquity of the Jewish religion, and thus take away the accusation of novelty brought against Christianity by its opponents. Africanus apparently aimed to produce a universal chronicle and history which should exhibit the synchronism of events in the history of the leading nations of the world, and thus furnish solid ground for Christian apologists to build upon. It was the first attempt of the kind, and became the foundation of Christian chronicles for many centuries. The time at which it was written is determined with sufficient accuracy by the date at which the chronological table closes. Salmon (in the Dict. of Christ. Biog.) remarks that it must have been completed early in the year 221, for it did not contain the names of the victors in the Olympic games of the 250th Olympiad, which took place in that year (as we learn from the list of victors copied by Eusebius from Africanus). It is said by Eusebius, just below, that Africanus reports in this work that he had visited Alexandria on account of the great celebrity of Heraclas. This is very surprising, for we should hardly have expected Heraclas' fame to have attracted such a man to Alexandria until after Origen had left, and he had himself become the head of the school. On the fourth writing mentioned by Eusebius, the epistle to Aristides, see above, Bk. I. chap. 7, note 2. The fragments of Africanus' works, with the exception of the Cesti, have been printed, with copious and valuable notes, by Routh, Rel. Sac. II. 221-509; English translation in the Ante-Nicene Fathers, Am. ed. VI. 125-140. [2023] aporountos. A very mild way of putting his complete rejection of the story! [2024] On Heraclas, see chap. 3, note 2. [2025] In Bk. I. chap. 7.

Chapter XXXII.--The Commentaries which Origen composed in Cæsarea in Palestine.

1. About this time Origen prepared his Commentaries on Isaiah [2026] and on Ezekiel. [2027] Of the former there have come down to us thirty books, as far as the third part of Isaiah, to the vision of the beasts in the desert; [2028] on Ezekiel twenty-five books, which are all that he wrote on the whole prophet. 2. Being at that time in Athens, [2029] he finished his work on Ezekiel and commenced his Commentaries on the Song of Songs, [2030] which he carried forward to the fifth book. After his return to Cæsarea, he completed these also, ten books in number. 3. But why should we give in this history an accurate catalogue of the man's works, which would require a separate treatise? [2031] we have furnished this also in our narrative of the life of Pamphilus, [2032] a holy martyr of our own time. After showing how great the diligence of Pamphilus was in divine things, we give in that a catalogue of the library which he collected of the works of Origen and of other ecclesiastical writers. Whoever desires may learn readily from this which of Origen's works have reached us. But we must proceed now with our history.


[2026] "About this time" refers us still to the reign of Gordian (238-244). Eusebius mentions only the commentaries on Isaiah, but Jerome refers also to homilies and notes. The thirty books which were extant in Eusebius' time extended to XXX. 6, as we are informed here. Whether the commentary originally went beyond this point we do not know. There are extant only two brief Latin fragments from the first and eighth books of the commentary, and nine homilies (the last incomplete) in a Latin version by Jerome; printed by Lommatzsch, XIII. 235-301. [2027] Eusebius records that Origen wrote only twenty-five books of a commentary on Ezekiel. The form of expression would seem to imply that these did not cover the whole of Ezekiel, but a fragment of the twentieth book, extant in the eleventh Chapter of the Philocalia, deals with the thirty-fourth Chapter of the prophecy, so that the twenty-five books must have covered at any rate most of the ground. The catalogue of Jerome mentions twenty-nine books and twelve homilies, but the former number must be a mistake, for Eusebius' explicit statement that Origen wrote but twenty-five books can hardly be doubted. There are extant only the Greek fragment of the twentieth book referred to above, fourteen homilies in the Latin version of Jerome, and a few extracts; all printed by Lommatzsch, XIV. 1-232. [2028] i.e. to Isa. xxx. 6, where the LXX reads he orasis ton tetrapodon ton en te eremo, which are the exact words used by Eusebius. Our English versions, both the authorized and revised, read, "The burden of the beasts of the South." The Hebrew will bear either rendering. [2029] The cause of this second visit to Athens we do not know, nor the date of it; although if Eusebius is to be relied upon, it took place during the reign of Gordian (238-244). He must have remained some time in Athens and have had leisure for study, for he finished his commentary on Ezekiel and wrote five books of his commentary on Canticles. This visit to Athens is to be distinguished from the one referred to in chap. 23, because it is probable that Origen found the Nicopolis copy of the Old Testament (mentioned in chap. 16) on the occasion of a visit to Achaia, and this visit is apparently too late, for he seems to have finished his Hexapla before this time; and still further, the epistle in which he refers to spurious accounts of his disputation at Athens (see Jerome's Apol. adv. Ruf. II. 18) complains also of Demetrius and of his own excommunication, which, as Redepenning remarks, points to a date soon after that excommunication took place, and not a number of years later, when Demetrius had been long dead. [2030] From the seventh Chapter of the Philocalia we learn that Origen, in his youth, wrote a small book (mikros tomos) upon Canticles, of which a single brief fragment is preserved in that Chapter. The catalogue of Jerome mentions ten books, two books written early, and two homilies. Eusebius mentions only the commentary, of which, he says, five books were written in Athens, and five more in Cæsarea. The prologue and four books are extant in a Latin translation by Rufinus, and two homilies in a translation by Jerome; besides these, some Greek extracts made by Procopius,--all printed by Lommatzsch, XIV. 233; XV. 108. [2031] idias deomenon scholes. [2032] On Pamphilus, see Bk. VII. chap. 32, note 40. On Eusebius' Life of Pamphilus, see the Prolegomena, p. 28, above.

Chapter XXXIII.--The Error of Beryllus.

1. Beryllus, [2033] whom we mentioned recently as bishop of Bostra in Arabia, turned aside from the ecclesiastical standard [2034] and attempted to introduce ideas foreign to the faith. He dared to assert that our Saviour and Lord did not pre-exist in a distinct form of being of his own [2035] before his abode among men, and that he does not possess a divinity of his own, [2036] but only that of the Father dwelling in him. 2. Many bishops carried on investigations and discussions with him on this matter, and Origen having been invited with the others, went down at first for a conference with him to ascertain his real opinion. But when he understood his views, and perceived that they were erroneous, having persuaded him by argument, and convinced him by demonstration, he brought him back to the true doctrine, and restored him to his former sound opinion. 3. There are still extant writings of Beryllus and of the synod held on his account, which contain the questions put to him by Origen, and the discussions which were carried on in his parish, as well as all the things done at that time. 4. The elder brethren among us [2037] have handed down many other facts respecting Origen which I think proper to omit, as not pertaining to this work. But whatever it has seemed necessary to record about him can be found in the Apology in his behalf written by us and Pamphilus, the holy martyr of our day. We prepared this carefully and did the work jointly on account of faultfinders. [2038]


[2033] Beryllus, bishop of Bostra in Arabia (mentioned above, in chap. 20) is chiefly noted on account of the heresy into which he fell, and from which Origen won him back, by convincing him of his error. According to chap. 20, he was a learned and cultured man, and Jerome (de vir. ill. c. 60) says of him, gloriose rexisset ecclesiam. We do not know his dates, but we may gather from this Chapter that the synod which was called on his account convened during the reign of Gordian (238-244), and apparently toward the close of the reign. Our sources for a knowledge of the heresy of Beryllus are very meager. We have only the brief passage in this Chapter; a fragment of Origen's commentary on Titus (Lommatzsch, V. 287), which undoubtedly refers to Beryllus' error, though he is not mentioned by name; and finally, a single sentence in Jerome's de vir. ill. c. 60 (Christum ante incarnationem regat), which, however, is apparently no more than his own interpretation of Eusebius' words. Our sources have been interpreted very differently, some holding Beryllus to have been a Patripassian, others classing him with the Artemonites (see above, Bk. V. chap. 28). He was, at any rate, a Monarchion, and his position, not to enter here into details, seems to have been that our Lord did not pre-exist as an independent being; but that, with the incarnation, he, who had previously been identified with the patrike theotes, became a distinct being, possessed of an independent existence (see Dorner's Person of Christ, Div. I. Vol. II. p. 35 sq., Edinburgh edition). According to this Chapter and chap. 20, Beryllus was the author of numerous treatises and epistles, which were extant in Eusebius' time. According to Jerome (l.c.), he wrote, varia opuscula et maxime epistolas, in quibus Origeni gratias agit. Jerome reports, also, that there were extant in his time epistles of Origen, addressed to Beryllus, and a dialogue between Origen and Beryllus. All traces of these epistles and other works have perished. [2034] ton ekklesiastikon kanona: i.e. the rule of faith. [2035] me prouphestEURnai kat' idian ousias perigraphen [2036] theoteta idian. [2037] ton kath' hemas oi presbuteroi. It seems necessary here to take the word presbuteros in an unofficial sense, which is, to say the least, exceptional at this late date. [2038] On this Defense of Origen, written jointly by Pamphilus and Eusebius, see above, p. 36.

Chapter XXXIV.--Philip Cæsar.

Gordianus had been Roman emperor for six years when Philip, with his son Philip, succeeded him. [2039] It is reported that he, being a Christian, desired, on the day of the last paschal vigil, to share with the multitude in the prayers of the Church, [2040] but that he was not permitted to enter, by him who then presided, [2041] until he had made confession and had numbered himself among those who were reckoned as transgressors and who occupied the place of penance. [2042] For if he had not done this, he would never have been received by him, on account of the many crimes which he had committed. It is said that he obeyed readily, manifesting in his conduct a genuine and pious fear of God.


[2039] The younger Gordian reigned from the summer of 238 until early in the year 244, when he was murdered by the soldiers, and succeeded by his prætorian prefect, Philip of Arabia, who took the name Marcus Julius Philippus, and reigned until 249, when he was conquered and succeeded by Decius. His son Philip, who was seven years old at the time of his father's accession, was immediately proclaimed Cæsar and afterward given the title of Augustus. He bore the name Marcus Julius Philippus Severus, and was slain at the time of his father's death. [2040] There has been much dispute as to Philip's relation to Christianity. Eusebius is the first one known to us to represent him as a Christian, and he gives the report only upon the authority of oral tradition (touton katechei logos christianon onta). Jerome (de vir. ill. 54) states explicitly that Philip was the first Christian emperor (qui primus de regibus Romanis christianus fuit), and this became common tradition in the Church. At the same time it must be noticed that Eusebius does not himself state that Philip was a Christian,--he simply records a tradition to that effect; and in his Vita Const. I. 3 he calls Constantine the first Christian emperor. Little reliance can be placed upon Jerome's explicit statement, for he seems only to be repeating as certain what Eusebius reported as possible. The only things known to us which can or could have been urged in support of the alleged fact that Philip was a Christian are his act recorded in this Chapter and the letter written to him by Origen, as recorded in chap. 36. Moreover, it happens to be the fact that no heathen writer hints that he was a Christian, and we know that he celebrated games in Rome with pagan rites and great pomp. It seems, on the whole, probable that Philip showed himself favorable to Christianity, and perhaps superstitiously desired to gain the favor of the Christians' God, and hence went through some such process as Eusebius describes in this Chapter, looking upon it merely as a sort of sacrifice to be offered to this God as he would offer other sacrifices to other gods. It is quite conceivable that he may have done this much, and this would be quite enough to start the report, after his death, that he had been a Christian secretly, if not openly; and from this to the tradition that he was unconditionally the first Christian emperor is but a step. Some ground for the common tradition must be assumed, but our sources do not warrant us in believing more than has been thus suggested as possible. For a full discussion of the question, see Tillemont, Hist. des Emp. III. p. 494 sq. [2041] Chrysostom (De St. Bab. c. Gentes. Tom. I.) and Leontius of Antioch (quoted in the Chron. pasch.) identify the bishop referred to here with Babylas, bishop of Antioch (see above, chap. 29, note 8). Eusebius' silence as to the name of the bishop looks as if he were ignorant on the matter, but there is nothing inherently improbable in the identification, which may therefore be looked upon as very likely correct. [2042] That is, the place assigned to penitents: metanoias choran. Christians who had committed flagrant transgressions were excluded from communion and required to go through a course of penance, more or less severe according to their offense, before they could be received again into the Church. In some cases they were excluded entirely from the services for a certain length of time; in other cases they were allowed to attend a part of the services, but in no case could they partake of the communion. In the fourth century a regular system of discipline grew up, and the penitents (poenitentes) were divided into various classes,--mourners, hearers, and kneelers; the first of whom were excluded entirely from the church, while the last two were admitted during a part of the service. The statement in the present case is of the most general character. Whether the place which he was obliged to take was without or within the church is not indicated. Upon the whole subject of ancient church discipline, see Bingham's Antiquities, Bk. XVI., and the article Penitence in Smith's Dict. of Christian Antiq.

Chapter XXXV.--Dionysius succeeds Heraclas in the Episcopate.

In the third year of this emperor, Heraclas [2043] died, having held his office for sixteen years, and Dionysius [2044] received the episcopate of the churches of Alexandria.


[2043] On Heraclas, see chap. 3, note 2. The third year of Philip's reign extended from the summer of 246 to the summer of 247, so that if Heraclas became bishop in 232, he cannot have held office fully sixteen years. The agreement, however, is so close as to occasion no difficulty. [2044] On Dionysius, see chap. 40, note 1.

Chapter XXXVI.--Other Works of Origen.

1. At this time, as the faith extended and our doctrine was proclaimed boldly before all, [2045] Origen, being, as they say, over sixty years old, [2046] and having gained great facility by his long practice, very properly permitted his public discourses to be taken down by stenographers, a thing which he had never before allowed. 2. He also at this time composed a work of eight books in answer to that entitled True Discourse, which had been written against us by Celsus [2047] the Epicurean, and the twenty-five books on the Gospel of Matthew, [2048] besides those on the Twelve Prophets, of which we have found only twenty-five. [2049] 3. There is extant also an epistle [2050] of his to the Emperor Philip, and another to Severa his wife, with several others to different persons. We have arranged in distinct books to the number of one hundred, so that they might be no longer scattered, as many of these as we have been able to collect, [2051] which have been preserved here and there by different persons. 4. He wrote also to Fabianus, [2052] bishop of Rome, and to many other rulers of the churches concerning his orthodoxy. You have examples of these in the eighth book of the Apology [2053] which we have written in his behalf.


[2045] tou kath' hemas para pasi logou [2046] Since Origen was born in the year 185 or 186, this must have been as late as 245. Most if not all of the homilies of Origen, which are now preserved, were probably delivered after this time, and reported, as Eusebius says, by stenographers. The increasing boldness of the Christians referred to here was apparently due to their uncommonly comfortable condition under Philip. [2047] Of the personal history of Celsus, the first great literary opponent of Christianity, we know nothing with certainty, nor did Origen know any more. He had heard that there were two persons of the same name, the one living in the time of Nero, the other, whom he identifies with his opponent, in the time of Hadrian and later, and both of them Epicurean philosophers (see contra Cels. I. 8). The work of Celsus, however, was clearly the work, not of an Epicurean, but of a Platonist, or at least of an eclectic philosopher, with a strong leaning toward Platonism. The author wrote about the middle of the second century, probably in the reign of Marcus Aurelius (Keim fixes the date of the work at 178 a.d.). The True Discourse (alethes logos) is no longer extant, but it can be reconstructed in great part from Origen's reply to it. It is seen to have been one of the ablest and most philosophical attacks of ancient times, and to have anticipated a great many arguments urged against Christianity by modern unbelievers. Celsus was well acquainted with Christianity in its various forms and with its literature, and he set himself to work with all his learning and skill to compose a complete refutation of the whole thing. He writes apparently less from a religious than from a political motive. He was an ardent patriot, and considered paganism essential to the life of the State, and Christianity its necessary antagonist. He undertakes first to show that Christianity is historically untenable, and then that it is false from the standpoint of philosophy and ethics. It is noticeable that it is not his desire to exterminate Christianity completely, but to make peace with it; to induce the Christians to give up their claim to possess the only true religion, and, with all their high ethics and lofty ideals, to join hands with the upholders of the ancient religion in elevating the religious ideas of the people, and thus benefiting the state. When we look at his work in this light (and much misunderstanding has been caused by a failure to do this), we must admire his ability, and respect his motives. He was, however, by no means free from the superstitions and prejudices of his age. The most important book upon the work of Celsus is Keim's Celsus' Wahres Wort, Zürich, 1873, which reconstructs, from Origen's reply, Celsus' work, and translates and explains it. Origen's reply is philosophical and in parts very able, but it must be acknowledged that in many places he does not succeed in answering his opponent. His honesty, however, must be admired in letting his adversary always speak for himself. He attempts to answer every argument urged by Celsus, and gives the argument usually in Celsus' own words. The result is that the work is quite desultory in its treatment, and often weighted with unimportant details and tiresome repetitions. At the same time, it is full of rich and suggestive thought, well worthy of Origen's genius, and shows a deep appreciation of the true spiritual nature of Christianity. The entire work of eight books is extant in the original Greek, and is printed in all editions of Origen's works (Lommatzsch, Vol. XX. p. 1-226), and is translated in the Ante-Nicene Fathers, Am. ed. Vol. IV. 395-669. It was one of Origen's latest works, as we are told here by Eusebius, and was composed (as we learn from its preface) at the urgent request of Ambrose, to whom also it was dedicated. [2048] The commentary on Matthew was written toward the close of Origen's life, as Eusebius informs us here, a fact which is confirmed by references in the work itself to many of his earlier commentaries. There are extant a single fragment from the first book (quoted in chap. 25, above), one from the second book (quoted in the Philocalia, chap. 6), and Books X.-XVII. entire in the original Greek, covering Matt. xiii. 36-xxii. 33. There are also extant numerous notes, which may have been taken, some of them from the commentary, and others from the homilies; and a Latin version of the commentary covering Matt. xvi. 13-xxvii. (See Lommatzsch, Vols. III.-V.). The catalogue of Jerome mentions twenty-five books and twenty-five homilies, and in the preface to his commentary on Matthew, Jerome states that he had read the twenty-five books, but elsewhere (in the prologue to his translation of Origen's homilies on Luke; Migne, VII. 219) he speaks of thirty-six (or twenty-six) books of the commentary, but this is doubtless a mistake (and so Vallarsi reads viginti quinque in the text). There is no reason to think that Origen wrote more than twenty-five books, which must have covered the whole Gospel (to judge from the portions extant). The books which are preserved contain much that is interesting and suggestive. [2049] Jerome also mentions twenty-five books upon the twelve prophets (in duodecim Prophetas viginti quinque exegeseon Origenis volumina), of which he had found a copy in the library of Cæsarea, transcribed by the hand of Pamphilus (de vir. ill. 75). The catalogue of Jerome enumerates two books on Hosea, two on Joel, six on Amos, one on Jonah, two on Micah, two on Mahum, three on Habakkuk, two on Zephaniah, one on Haggai, two on Zechariah, two on Malachi; but in the preface to his commentary on Malachi, Jerome mentions three books on that prophecy. Of all these books only one fragment of the commentary on Hosea is extant, being preserved in the Philocalia, c. 8. [2050] These epistles to Philip and his wife Severa are no longer extant, nor can we form an accurate idea of their contents. We are reminded of Origen's interview with Mammæa, the mother of Alexander Severus, mentioned in chap. 21. Whether he wrote in response to a request from Philip is uncertain, but is not likely in view of the silence of Eusebius. It is possible that the favor shown by the emperor and his wife had led Origen to believe that they might be won for the faith, and there is nothing surprising in his addressing epistles to them with this idea. On Philip's relations to Christianity, see chap. 34, note 2. [2051] This collection of Origen's epistles made by Eusebius is no longer extant. The catalogue of Jerome mentions "eleven books of letters in all; two books in defense of his works." Only two epistles are preserved entire,--the one to Julius Africanus (see chap. 31, note 1); the other to Gregory Thaumaturgus, written, apparently, soon after the departure of the latter from Cæsarea (see chap. 30, note 1), for Gregory was, at the time it was written, still undecided as to the profession which he should follow. In addition to these two complete epistles, there are extant a sentence from a letter to his father (quoted in chap. 2); also a fragment of an epistle to some unknown person, describing the great zeal of his friend Ambrose (see chap. 18 note 1. The fragment is preserved by Suidas s. v. 'Origenes); also a fragment defending his study of heathen philosophy (quoted in chap. 19, above); and two fragments in Latin, from a letter addressed to some Alexandrian friends, complaining of the alterations made by certain persons in the reports of disputations which he had held with them (see chap. 32, note 4. The one fragment is preserved by Jerome, in his Apol. adv. Ruf. II. 18; the other by Rufinus, in his apology for Origen). Of his epistles to Fabian and others no trace remains. [2052] On Fabian, see chap. 29, note 4. We do not know when this letter to Fabian was written; but it cannot have been written in consequence of Origen's condemnation by the Alexandrian synods called by Demetrius, for they were held in 231 or 232, and Fabian did not become bishop until 236. There must have been some later cause,--perhaps a condemnation by a later synod of Alexandria, perhaps only the prevalence of a report that Origen was heterodox, which was causing serious suspicions in Rome and elsewhere. We know that the controversies which raged so fiercely about his memory began even before his death. [2053] On this Defense, see above, p. 36.

Chapter XXXVII.--The Dissension of the Arabians. [2054]

About the same time others arose in Arabia, putting forward a doctrine foreign to the truth. They said that during the present time the human soul dies and perishes with the body, but that at the time of the resurrection they will be renewed together. And at that time also a synod of considerable size assembled, and Origen, being again invited thither, spoke publicly on the question with such effect that the opinions of those who had formerly fallen were changed.


[2054] The exact nature of the heresy which is here described by Eusebius is somewhat difficult to determine. It is disputed whether these heretics are to be reckoned with the thnetopsuchitai (whom John of Damascus mentions in his de Hæres. c. 90, and to whom Augustine refers, under the name of Arabici, in his de Hæres, c. 83), that is, those who taught the death of the soul with the body, or with the hupnopsuchitai, who taught that the soul slept between the death and the resurrection of the body. Redepenning, in a very thorough discussion of the matter (II. 105 sq.), concludes that the heresy to which Eusebius refers grew up under Jewish influence, which was very strong in Arabia, and that it did not teach the death (as Eusebius asserts), but only the slumber of the soul. He reckons them therefore with the second, not the first, class mentioned. But it seems to me that Redepenning is almost hypercritical in maintaining that it is impossible that these heretics can have taught that the soul died and afterward was raised again; for it is no more impossible that they should have taught it than that Eusebius and others should have supposed that they did. In fact, there does not seem to be adequate ground for correcting Eusebius' statement, which describes heretics who must distinctly be classed with the thnetopsuchitai mentioned later by John of Damascus. We do not know the date at which the synod referred to in this Chapter was held. We only know that it was subsequent to the one which dealt with Beryllus, and therefore it must have been toward the close of Philip's reign.

Chapter XXXVIII.--The Heresy of the Elkesites.

Another error also arose at this time, called the heresy of the Elkesites, [2055] which was extinguished in the very beginning. Origen speaks of it in this manner in a public homily on the eighty-second Psalm: [2056] "A certain man [2057] came just now, puffed up greatly with his own ability, proclaiming that godless and impious opinion which has appeared lately in the churches, styled `of the Elkesites.' I will show you what evil things that opinion teaches, that you may not be carried away by it. It rejects certain parts of every scripture. Again it uses portions of the Old Testament and the Gospel, but rejects the apostle [2058] altogether. It says that to deny Christ is an indifferent matter, and that he who understands will, under necessity, deny with his mouth, but not in his heart. They produce a certain book which they say fell from heaven. They hold that whoever hears and believes [2059] this shall receive remission of sins, another remission than that which Jesus Christ has given." Such is the account of these persons.


[2055] The Elkesites (;;Elkesaitai) were not a distinct sect, but "a school scattered among all parties of the Judæo-Christian Church." They are described by Hippolytus (Phil. IX. 8-12) and by Epiphanius (in chap. 19 among the Essenes, in 30 among the Ebionites, and in 53 among the Sampsæans). We learn from Hippolytus that, in the time of Callistus or soon afterward, a certain Alcibiades, a native of Apameia in Syria, brought to Rome a book bearing the name of Elkesai ('Elchasai), which purported to contain a revelation, made in the time of Trajan, by the Son of God and the Holy Spirit in the form of angels, and teaching the forgiveness of all sins, even the grossest, by means of belief in the doctrines of the book and baptism performed with certain peculiar rites. The controversy in regard to the forgiveness of gross sins committed after baptism was raging high at this time in Rome, and Hippolytus, who took the strict side, naturally opposed this new system of indulgence with the greatest vigor. Among other doctrines taught in the book, was the lawfulness of denying the faith in time of persecution, as told us by Origen in this Chapter, and by Epiphanius in chap. 19. The book was strongly Ebionitic in its teaching, and bore striking resemblances to the Clementine Homilies and Recognitions. Its exact relation to those writings has been disputed; but Uhlhorn (Homilien und Recognition des Clemens Romanus) has shown conclusively that it is older than the latter, and that it represents a type of Ebionitic Christianity less modified than the latter by the influence of Christianity. In agreement with the Ebionites, the Elkesites (as all those were called who accepted the teachings of the book, to whatever party they might belong) taught that Christ was a created being; and they also repudiated sacrifices, which compelled them to reject certain portions of the Old Testament (cf. Origen's statement just below). They likewise refused recognition to the apostle Paul, and ordained the observance of the Jewish law; but they went beyond the Clementines in teaching the necessity of circumcision and the repetition of baptism as a means to the forgiveness of sins. The origin of the name Elkesai has also been disputed. Hippolytus says it was the name of the man who was claimed to have received the revelation, and Epiphanius calls Elkesai a false prophet; but some critics have thought them mistaken, and have supposed that Elkesai must have been the name of the book, or of the angel that gave the revelation. It is more probable, however, as Salmon concludes, that it was the name of a man whom the book represented as receiving the revelation, but that the man was only an imaginary person, and not the real founder of the school, as Epiphanius supposed. The book cannot well be put back of the beginning of the third century, when it first began to be heard of in the Catholic Church. It claimed to have been for a century in secret circulation, but the claim is quite unfounded. Eusebius speaks of the heresy as extinguished in the very beginning, and it seems, in fact, to have played no prominent part in history; and yet it apparently lingered on for a long time in the East, for we hear of a sect in Arabia, as late as the tenth century, who counted El-Chasaiach as their founder (see Salmon's article, p. 98). See the work of Uhlhorn already mentioned; also Ritschl's Entstehung d. alt. Katholischen Kirche, p. 234 sq. (Ritschl holds that the Clementines are older than the book of Elkesai), and Hilgenfeld's Nov. Test. extra Can. rec. III. 153, where the extant fragments of the book are collected. See also Salmon's article in the Dict. of Christ. Biog. II. p. 95 sq. [2056] On Origen's writings on the Psalms, see chap. 24, note 3. This fragment is the only portion of his homily on the eighty-second Psalm extant. [2057] Alciabades, according to Hippolytus (see above, note 1). [2058] The apostle Paul (see note 1). [2059] Origen does not mention the baptism of the Elkesites, which is described at length by Hippolytus. It seems that both belief in the teachings of the book and baptism were necessary. It may be that in Origen's opinion the receiving of the book itself involved the peculiar baptism which it taught, and that, therefore, he thought it unnecessary to mention the latter.

Chapter XXXIX.--The Persecution under Decius, and the Sufferings of Origen.

1. After a reign of seven years Philip was succeeded by Decius. [2060] On account of his hatred of Philip, he commenced a persecution of the churches, in which Fabianus [2061] suffered martyrdom at Rome, and Cornelius succeeded him in the episcopate. [2062] 2. In Palestine, Alexander, [2063] bishop of the church of Jerusalem, was brought again on Christ's account before the governor's judgment seat in Cæsarea, and having acquitted himself nobly in a second confession was cast into prison, crowned with the hoary locks of venerable age. 3. And after his honorable and illustrious confession at the tribunal of the governor, he fell asleep in prison, and Mazabanes [2064] became his successor in the bishopric of Jerusalem. 4. Babylas [2065] in Antioch, having like Alexander passed away in prison after his confession, was succeeded by Fabius [2066] in the episcopate of that church. 5. But how many and how great things came upon Origen in the persecution, and what was their final result,--as the demon of evil marshaled all his forces, and fought against the man with his utmost craft and power, assaulting him beyond all others against whom he contended at that time,--and what and how many things he endured for the word of Christ, bonds and bodily tortures and torments under the iron collar and in the dungeon; and how for many days with his feet stretched four spaces in the stocks [2067] he bore patiently the threats of fire and whatever other things were inflicted by his enemies; and how his sufferings terminated, as his judge strove eagerly with all his might not to end his life; and what words he left after these things, full of comfort to those needing aid, a great many of his epistles show with truth and accuracy. [2068]


[2060] Philip was defeated and slain near Verona, on June 17, 249 by the Pannonian legions who had compelled Decius, the envoy sent by Philip to quell a mutiny among them, to accept the title of Augustus. Philip's death made Decius emperor; and he reigned for a little over two years, when he perished in a campaign against the Goths. The cause given by Eusebius for the terrible persecution of Decius is quite incorrect. The emperor, who before his elevation was one of the most highly respected senators, seems to have been a man of noble character and of high aims. He was a thorough-going patriot and a staunch believer in the religion and laws of Rome. He saw the terrible state of corruption and decay into which the empire had fallen; and he made up his mind that it could be arrested only by restoring the ancient Roman customs, and by strengthening the ancient religion. He therefore revived the old censorship, hoping that the moral and social habits of the people might be improved under its influence; and he endeavored to exterminate the Christians, believing that thus the ancient purity of the state religion might be restored. It was no low motive of personal revenge or of caprice which prompted the persecution. We must recognize the fact that Decius was one of the best and noblest of the Roman emperors, and that he persecuted as a patriot and a believer in the religion of his fathers. He was the first one that aimed at the complete extermination of the Christians. He went systematically to work to put the religion out of existence; and the persecution was consequently both universal and of terrible severity, far more terrible than any that had preceded it. The edicts published by Decius early in the year 250 are no longer extant; but we can gather from the notices, especially of Cyprian and Dionysius, that the effort was first made to induce Christians throughout the empire to deny their faith and return to the religion of the state, and only when large numbers of them remained obstinate did the persecution itself begin. [2061] On Fabianus, bishop of Rome, see chap. 29, note 4. [2062] After the martyrdom of Fabianus the church of Rome was without a bishop for about fourteen months. The bishopric of that church was naturally under Decius a place of the greatest danger. Cornelius became bishop in 251, probably in March, while Decius was away from the city. After the emperor's death, which took place in the following winter, Gallus renewed the persecution, and Cornelius with a large part of the church fled to Cività Vecchia, where he died in the summer of 253, according to Lipsius (the Liberian catalogue says 252, which is the commonly accepted date, but is clearly incorrect, as Lipsius has shown). Both versions of the Chron. are greatly confused at this point, and their statements are very faulty (Jerome's version assigning a reign of only fifteen months to Decius and two years and four months to Gallus). Eusebius, in Bk. VII. chap. 2, says that Cornelius held office "about three years," which is reasonably accurate, for he was actually bishop nearly two years and a half. It was during the episcopate of Cornelius that the Novatian schism took place (see chap. 43). Eight epistles from Cyprian to Cornelius are extant, and two from Cornelius to Cyprian. In chap. 43 Eusebius makes extended quotations from an epistle written by Cornelius to Fabius of Antioch, and mentions still others which are not preserved. In chap. 46 he refers to one against Novatian addressed to Dionysius of Alexandria, which is likewise lost. [2063] On Alexander, bishop of Jerusalem, see chap. 8, note 6. [2064] The time of Mazabanes' accession is fixed approximately by the fact that Alexander's death took place in the persecution of Decius. His death is put by Eusebius (Bk. VII. chap. 14) in the reign of Gallienus (260-268), and with this the notice in the Chron. agrees, which assigns it to the year 265. Since his successor, Hymenæus, was present at the council of Antioch, in which the case of Paul of Samosata was considered (see below, Bk. VII. chaps. 29 and 30), it will not do to put Mazabanes' death later than 265. [2065] On Babylas, see chap. 29, note 8. [2066] Eusebius gives the name of this bishop as BEURbios, Jerome as Fabianus, and Syncellus as phlabianos. The time of his accession is fixed by the death of Babylas in the persecution of Decius. He was bishop of Antioch while Cornelius was bishop of Rome, as we learn from the latter's epistle to him, quoted in chap. 43, below. From an epistle written by Dionysius of Alexandria to Cornelius of Rome (referred to in chap. 46), we learn that Fabius died while the latter was still bishop, i.e. before the summer of 253 (see note 3, above). The Chron. pasch. assigns three years to the episcopate of Fabius; and though we cannot place much reliance upon the figure, yet it leads us to think that he must have been bishop for some time,--at least more than a year,--and so we are inclined to put his death as late as possible. The Chron. puts the accession of his Successor Demetrianus in the year 254, which is too late, at least for the death of Fabius. We may conclude that the latter died probably in the year 253, or not long before. Harnack decides for the time between the fall of 252 and the spring of 253. Fabius, as we learn from the epistles addressed to him by Cornelius and Dionysius (see chaps. 43 and 44), was inclined to indorse Novatian and the rigoristic discipline favored by him. We know nothing more of the life or character of Fabius. [2067] tous podas hupo tessara tou kolasteriou xulou paratetheis diastemata. Otto, in his edition of Justin's Apology (Corp. Apol. Christ. I. p. 204), says: xulon erat truncus foramina habens, quibus pedes captivorum immitebantur, ut securius in carcere servarentur aut tormentis vexarentur ("a xulon was a block, with holes in which the feet of captives were put, in order that they might be kept more securely in prison, or might be afflicted with tortures"). The farther apart the feet were stretched, the greater of course was the torture. Four spaces seems to have been the outside limit. Compare Bk. VIII. chap. 10, §8. [2068] A tradition arose in later centuries that Origen died in the persecution of Decius (see Photius, Cod. 118); but this is certainly an error, for Eusebius cannot have been mistaken when he cites Origen's own letters as describing his sufferings during the persecution. The epistles referred to here are no longer extant. On Origen's epistles in general, see chap. 36, note 7.

Chapter XL.--The Events which happened to Dionysius. [2069]

1. I shall quote from the epistle of Dionysius to Germanus [2070] an account of what befell the former. Speaking of himself, he writes as follows: "I speak before God, and he knows that I do not lie. I did not flee on my own impulse nor without divine direction. 2. But even before this, at the very hour when the Decian persecution was commanded, Sabinus [2071] sent a frumentarius [2072] to search for me, and I remained at home four days awaiting his arrival. 3. But he went about examining all places,--roads, rivers, and fields,--where he thought I might be concealed or on the way. But he was smitten with blindness, and did not find the house, [2073] for he did not suppose, that being pursued, I would remain at home. And after the fourth day God commanded me to depart, and made a way for me in a wonderful manner; and I and my attendants [2074] and many of the brethren went away together. And that this occurred through the providence of God was made manifest by what followed, in which perhaps we were useful to some." 4. Farther on he relates in this manner what happened to him after his flight: "For about sunset, having been seized with those that were with me, I was taken by the soldiers to Taposiris, [2075] but in the providence of God, Timothy [2076] was not present and was not captured. But coming later, he found the house deserted and guarded by soldiers, and ourselves reduced to slavery." [2077] 5. After a little he says: "And what was the manner of his admirable management? for the truth shall be told. One of the country people met Timothy fleeing and disturbed, and inquired the cause of his haste. And he told him the truth. 6. And when the man heard it (he was on his way to a marriage feast, for it was customary to spend the entire night in such gatherings), he entered and announced it to those at the table. And they, as if on a preconcerted signal, arose with one impulse, and rushed out quickly and came and burst in upon us with a shout. Immediately the soldiers who were guarding us fled, and they came to us lying as we were upon the bare couches. 7. But I, God knows, thought at first that they were robbers who had come for spoil and plunder. So I remained upon the bed on which I was, clothed only in a linen garment, and offered them the rest of my clothing which was lying beside me. But they directed me to rise and come away quickly. 8. Then I understood why they were come, and I cried out, beseeching and entreating them to depart and leave us alone. And I requested them, if they desired to benefit me in any way, to anticipate those who were carrying me off, and cut off my head themselves. And when I had cried out in this manner, as my companions and partners in everything know, they raised me by force. But I threw myself on my back on the ground; and they seized me by the hands and feet and dragged me away. 9. And the witnesses of all these occurrences followed: Gaius, Faustus, Peter, and Paul. [2078] But they who had seized me carried me out of the village hastily, and placing me on an ass without a saddle, bore me away." [2079] Dionysius relates these things respecting himself.


[2069] Dionysius the Great (Eusebius in the preface to Bk. VII. calls him ho megas 'Alexandreon episkopos) was born toward the close of the second century (he was an aged man, between 260 and 265, as we learn from Bk. VII. chap 27), studied under Origen, and succeeded Heraclas as principal of the catechetical school in Alexandria (see above, chap. 29) in the year 231 or 231 (see chap. 3, note 2). In the third year of Philip's reign (246-247) he succeeded Heraclas as bishop of Alexandria, according to chap. 35, above. Whether he continued to preside over the catechetical school after he became bishop we do not know. Dittrich (p. 4 sq.) gives reasons for thinking that he did, which render it at least probable. He was still living when the earlier synods, in which the case of Paul of Samosata was considered, were held (i.e. between 260 and 264; see Bk. VII. chap. 27, note 4), but he was dead before the last one met, i.e. before 265 a.d. (see Bk. VII. chap. 29, note 1). Dionysius is one of the most prominent, and at the same time pleasing, figures of his age. He seems to have been interested less in speculative than in practical questions, and yet he wrote an important work On Nature, which shows that he possessed philosophical ability, and one of his epistles contains a discussion of the authorship of the Apocalypse, which is unsurpassed in the early centuries as an example of keen and yet judicious and well-balanced literary criticism (see Bk. VII. chap. 25). His intellectual abilities must, therefore, not be underrated, but it is as a practical theologian that he is best known. He took an active part in all the controversies of his time, in the Novatian difficulty in which the re-admission of the lapsed was the burning question; in the controversy as to the re-baptism of heretics; and in the case of Paul of Samosata. In all he played a prominent part, and in all he seems to have acted with great wisdom and moderation (see chaps. 44 sq., Bk. VII. chaps. 5, 7 sq., chap. 27). He was taken prisoner during the persecution of Decius, but made his escape (see the present Chapter). In the persecution of Valerian he was banished (see Bk. VII. chap. 11), but returned to Alexandria after the accession of Gallienus (see Bk. VII. chap. 21). His conduct during the persecutions exposed him to adverse criticism, and he defended himself warmly against the accusations of a bishop Germanus, in an epistle, portions of which are quoted in this Chapter and in Bk. VII. chap. 11. The writings of Dionysius were chiefly in the form of epistles, written for some practical purpose. Of such epistles he wrote a great many, and numerous fragments are extant, preserved chiefly by Eusebius. Being called forth by particular circumstances, they contain much information in regard to contemporary events, and are thus an important historical source, as Eusebius wisely perceived. Such epistles are quoted, or mentioned, in chaps. 41, 44, 45, and 46 of this book, and in Bk. VII. chaps. 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 20, 21, 22, 23, 26. For particulars in regard to them, see the notes on those Chapters. In addition to his epistles a work, On Promises, is referred to by Eusebius in Bk. VII. chap. 28, and in Bk. VII. chaps. 24 and 25, where extracts from it are quoted (see Bk. VII. chap. 24, note 1); also a commentary on the beginning of Ecclesiastes in Bk. VII. chap. 26, and in the same Chapter a work in four books against Sabellius, addressed to Dionysius, bishop of Rome, in which he defends himself against the charge of tritheism, brought by some Sabellian adversaries. He was able to clear himself of all suspicion of heresy in the matter, though it is quite clear that he had carried the subordinationism of Origen to a dangerous extreme. The attack upon him led him to be more careful in his statements, some of which were such as in part to justify the suspicions of his adversaries. Athanasius defended his orthodoxy in a special work, De Sententiis Dionysii, and there can be no doubt that Dionysius was honestly concerned to preserve the divinity of the Son; but as in the case of Eusebius of Cæsarea, and of all those who were called upon to face Sabellianism, his tendency was to lay an over-emphasis upon the subordination of the Son (see above, p. 11 sq.). For further particulars in regard to this work, see the Chapter referred to, note 4. Upon Dionysius' views of the Trinity, see Dittrich, p. 91 sq. Besides the writings referred to, or quoted by Eusebius, there should be mentioned an important canonical epistle addressed to Basilides, in which the exact time of the expiration of the lenten fast is the chief subject of discussion (still extant, and printed by Pitra, Routh, and others, and translated in the Ante-Nicene Fathers; see Dittrich, p. 46 sq.). There are yet a few other fragments of Dionysius' writings, extant in various mss., which it is not necessary to mention here. See Dittrich, p. 130. The most complete collection of the extant fragments of his writings is that of Migne, Patr. Gr. X. 1233 sq., to which must be added Pitra's Spic. Solesm. I. 15 sq. English translation in the Ante-Nicene Fathers, VI. p. 87-120. The most complete work upon Dionysius is the monograph of Dietrich, Dionysius der Grosse, Freiburg, i. Br. 1867. [2070] This Germanus, as we learn from Bk. VII. chap. 11, was a bishop of some see, unknown to us, who had accused Dionysius of cowardice in the face of persecution. In the present instance Dionysius undertakes to refute his calumnies, by recounting accurately his conduct during the persecutions. It must be remembered that the letter is a defense against accusations actually made, or we shall misunderstand it, and misinterpret Dionysius' motives in dwelling at such length upon the details of his own sufferings. The epistle, a part of which is quoted in this Chapter, and a part in Bk. VII. chap. 11, was written, as we learn from the latter Chapter, §18, while the persecution of Valerian was still in progress, and recounts his experiences during the persecutions of Decius and of Valerian. The fragment quoted in the present Chapter is devoted to the persecution of Decius, the other fragment to the persecution of Valerian. The letter is said to have been written pros Germanon. This might be translated either to or against Germanus. Analogy would lead us to think the former translation correct, for all the epistles mentioned are said to have been written pros one or another person, and it is natural, of course, to expect the name of the person addressed to be given. I have therefore translated the word thus, as is done in all the versions. At the same time it must be noticed that Germanus is spoken of in the epistle (especially in §18 sq. of the other Chapter) not as if he were the person addressed, but as he were the person complained of to others; and, moreover, a letter of defense sent to him alone would probably have little effect, and would fail to put an end to the calumnies which must have found many ready ears. It seems, in fact, quite probable that the epistle was rather a public than a private one, and that while it was nominally addressed to Germanus, it was yet intended for a larger public, and was written with that public in view. This will explain the peculiar manner in which Germanus is referred to. Certainly it is hard to think he would have been thus mentioned in a personal letter. [2071] Sabinus, an otherwise unknown personage, seems to have been prefect of Egypt at this time, as Æmilianus was during the persecution of Valerian, according to Bk. VII. chap. 11. [2072] One of the frumentarii milites, or military commissaries, who were employed for various kinds of business, and under the emperors especially as detectives or secret spies. [2073] me heuriskon. It is not meant that the frumentarius could not find the house, but that he did not think to go to the house at all, through an error of judgment ("being smitten with blindness"), supposing that Dionysius would certainly be elsewhere. [2074] hoi paides. This is taken by many scholars to mean "children," and the conclusion is drawn by them that Dionysius was a married man. Dittrich translates it "pupils," supposing that Dionysius was still at the head of the catechetical school, and that some of his scholars lived with him, as was quite common. Others translate "servants," or "domestics." I have used the indefinite word" attendants" simply, because the paides may well have included children, scholars, servants, and others who made up his family and constituted, any or all of them, his attendants. As shown in note 8, the word at any rate cannot be confined in the present case to servants. [2075] Strabo (Bk. XVII. chap. 1) mentions a small town called Taposiris, situated in the neighborhood of Alexandria. [2076] We know nothing about this Timothy, except that Dionysius addressed to him his work On Nature, as reported by Eusebius in VII. 26. He is there called Timotheos ho pais. Dionysius can hardly have addressed a book to one of his servants, and hence we may conclude that Timothy was either Dionysius' son (as Westcott holds) or scholar (as Dittrich believes). It is reasonable to think him one of the paides, with others of whom Dionysius was arrested, as recorded just above. It is in that case of course necessary to give the word as used there some other, or at least some broader sense than "servants." [2077] Greek exendrapodismenous, meaning literally "reduced to slavery." The context, however, does not seem to justify such a rendering, for the reference is apparently only to the fact that they were captured. Their capture, had they not been released, would have resulted probably in death rather than in slavery. [2078] These four men are known to us only as companions of Dionysius during the persecution of Decius, as recorded here and in Bk. VII. chap. 11. From that Chapter, §23, we learn that Caius and Peter were alone with Dionysius in a desert place in Libya, after being carried away by the rescuing party mentioned here. From §3 of the same Chapter we learn that Faustus was a deacon, and that he was with Dionysius also during the persecution of Valerian, and from §26 that he suffered martyrdom at a great age in the Diocletian persecution. See also Bk. VIII. chap. 13, note 11. [2079] As we learn from Bk. VII. chap. 11, §23, this rescuing party carried Dionysius to a desert place in Libya, where he was left with only two companions until the persecution ceased.

Chapter XLI.--The Martyrs in Alexandria.

1. The same writer, in an epistle to Fabius, [2080] bishop of Antioch, relates as follows the sufferings of the martyrs in Alexandria under Decius: "The persecution among us did not begin with the royal decree, but preceded it an entire year. [2081] The prophet and author of evils [2082] to this city, whoever he was, previously moved and aroused against us the masses of the heathen, rekindling among them the superstition of their country. 2. And being thus excited by him and finding full opportunity for any wickedness, they considered this the only pious service of their demons, that they should slay us. 3. "They seized first an old man named Metras, [2083] and commanded him to utter impious words. But as he would not obey, they beat him with clubs, and tore his face and eyes with sharp sticks, and dragged him out of the city and stoned him. 4. Then they carried to their idol temple a faithful woman, named Quinta, that they might force her to worship. And as she turned away in detestation, they bound her feet and dragged her through the entire city over the stone-paved streets, and dashed her against the millstones, and at the same time scourged her; then, taking her to the same place, they stoned her to death. 5. Then all with one impulse rushed to the homes of the pious, and they dragged forth whomsoever any one knew as a neighbor, and despoiled and plundered them. They took for themselves the more valuable property; but the poorer articles and those made of wood they scattered about and burned in the streets, so that the city appeared as if taken by an enemy. 6. But the brethren withdrew and went away, and `took joyfully the spoiling of their goods,' [2084] like those to whom Paul bore witness. I know of no one unless possibly some one who fell into their hands, who, up to this time, denied the Lord. 7. Then they seized also that most admirable virgin, Apollonia, an old woman, and, smiting her on the jaws, broke out all her teeth. And they made a fire outside the city and threatened to burn her alive if she would not join with them in their impious cries. And she, supplicating a little, was released, when she leaped eagerly into the fire and was consumed. 8. Then they seized Serapion in his own house, and tortured him with harsh cruelties, and having broken all his limbs, they threw him headlong from an upper story. And there was no street, nor public road, nor lane open to us, by night or day; for always and everywhere, all of them cried out that if any one would not repeat their impious words, he should immediately be dragged away and burned. 9. And matters continued thus for a considerable time. But a sedition and civil war came upon the wretched people and turned their cruelty toward us against one another. [2085] So we breathed for a little while as they ceased from their rage against us. But presently the change from that milder reign was announced to us, [2086] and great fear of what was threatened seized us. 10. For the decree arrived, almost like unto that most terrible time foretold by our Lord, which if it were possible would offend even the elect. [2087] 11. All truly were affrighted. And many of the more eminent in their fear came forward immediately; [2088] others who were in the public service were drawn on by their official duties; [2089] others were urged on by their acquaintances. And as their names were called they approached the impure and impious sacrifices. Some of them were pale and trembled as if they were not about to sacrifice, but to be themselves sacrifices and offerings to the idols; so that they were jeered at by the multitude who stood around, as it was plain to every one that they were afraid either to die or to sacrifice. 12. But some advanced to the altars more readily, declaring boldly that they had never been Christians. Of these the prediction of our Lord is most true that they shall `hardly' [2090] be saved. Of the rest some followed the one, others the other of these classes, some fled and some were seized. 13. And of the latter some continued faithful until bonds and imprisonment, and some who had even been imprisoned for many days yet abjured the faith before they were brought to trial. Others having for a time endured great tortures finally retracted. 14. But the firm and blessed pillars of the Lord being strengthened by him, and having received vigor and might suitable and appropriate to the strong faith which they possessed, became admirable witnesses of his kingdom. 15. The first of these was Julian, a man who suffered so much with the gout that he was unable to stand or walk. They brought him forward with two others who carried him. One of these immediately denied. But the other, whose name was Cronion, and whose surname was Eunus, and the old man Julian himself, both of them having confessed the Lord, were carried on camels through the entire city, which, as you know, is a very large one, and in this elevated position were beaten and finally burned in a fierce fire, [2091] surrounded by all the populace. 16. But a soldier, named Besas, who stood by them as they were led away rebuked those who insulted them. And they cried out against him, and this most manly warrior of God was arraigned, and having done nobly in the great contest for piety, was beheaded. 17. A certain other one, a Libyan by birth, but in name and blessedness a true Macar, [2092] was strongly urged by the judge to recant; but as he would not yield he was burned alive. After them Epimachus and Alexander, having remained in bonds for a long time, and endured countless agonies from scrapers [2093] and scourges, were also consumed in a fierce fire. [2094] 18. And with them there were four women. Ammonarium, a holy virgin, the judge tortured relentlessly and excessively, because she declared from the first that she would utter none of those things which he commanded; and having kept her promise truly, she was dragged away. The others were Mercuria, a very remarkable old woman, and Dionysia, the mother of many children, who did not love her own children above the Lord. [2095] As the governor was ashamed of torturing thus ineffectually, and being always defeated by women, they were put to death by the sword, without the trial of tortures. For the champion, Ammonarium, endured these in behalf of all. 19. The Egyptians, Heron and Ater and Isidorus, and with them Dioscorus, [2096] a boy about fifteen years old, were delivered up. At first the judge attempted to deceive the lad by fair words, as if he could be brought over easily, and then to force him by tortures, as one who would readily yield. But Dioscorus was neither persuaded nor constrained. 20. As the others remained firm, he scourged them cruelly and then delivered them to the fire. But admiring the manner in which Dioscorus had distinguished himself publicly, and his wise answers to his persuasions, he dismissed him, saying that on account of his youth he would give him time for repentance. And this most godly Dioscorus is among us now, awaiting a longer conflict and more severe contest. 21. But a certain Nemesion, who also was an Egyptian, was accused as an associate of robbers; but when he had cleared himself before the centurion of this charge most foreign to the truth, he was informed against as a Christian, and taken in bonds before the governor. And the most unrighteous magistrate inflicted on him tortures and scourgings double those which he executed on the robbers, and then burned him between the robbers, thus honoring the blessed man by the likeness to Christ. 22. A band of soldiers, Ammon and Zeno and Ptolemy and Ingenes, and with them an old man, Theophilus, were standing close together before the tribunal. And as a certain person who was being tried as a Christian, seemed inclined to deny, they standing by gnashed their teeth, and made signs with their faces and stretched out their hands, and gestured with their bodies. And when the attention of all was turned to them, before any one else could seize them, they rushed up to the tribunal saying that they were Christians, so that the governor and his council were affrighted. And those who were on trial appeared most courageous in prospect of their sufferings, while their judges trembled. And they went exultingly from the tribunal rejoicing in their testimony; [2097] God himself having caused them to triumph gloriously."


[2080] I read phEURbion with the majority of the mss., and with Valesius, Stroth, Burton, Closs, and Crusè, preferring to adopt the same spelling here that is used in the other passages in which the same bishop is mentioned. A number of mss. read phabianon, which is supported by Rufinus, and adopted by Schwegler, Laemmer, and Heinichen. On Fabius, bishop of Antioch, see chap. 39, note 7. The time of his episcopate stated in that note fixes the date of this epistle within narrow limits, viz. between 250 and the spring of 253. The whole tone of the letter and the discussion of the readmission of the lapsed would lead us to think that the epistle was written after the close of the persecution, but in §20, Dioscorus is said to be still among them, waiting for "a longer and more severe conflict," which seems to imply that the persecution, if not raging at the time, was at least expected to break out again soon. This would lead us to think of the closing months of Decius' reign, i.e. late in the year 251, and this date finds confirmation in the consideration that the epistle (as we learn from chap. 44) was written after the breaking out of the Novatian schism, and apparently after the election of Novatian as opposition bishop, for Fabius can hardly have sided with him against his bishop, so long as he was only a presbyter. Doubtless Novatian's official letter, announcing his election, had influenced Fabius. But Novation was elected bishop in 251, probably in the summer or early fall; at least, some months after Cornelius' accession which took place in February, 251. It seems, from chap. 44, that Fabius was inclined to side with Novatian, and to favor his rigoristic principles. This epistle was written (as we learn from chap. 42, §6) with the express purpose of leading him to change his position and to adopt more lenient principles in his treatment of the lapsed. It is with this end in view that Dionysius details at such length in this Chapter the sufferings of the martyrs. He wishes to impress upon Fabius their piety and steadfastness, in order to beget greater respect for their opinions. Having done this, he states that they who best understood the temptations to which the persecuted were exposed, had received the lapsed, when repentant, into fellowship as before (see chap. 42, note 6). Dionysius' own position in the matter comes out very clearly in this epistle. He was in full sympathy with the milder treatment of the lapsed advocated in Rome and in Carthage by Cornelius and Cyprian. [2081] The edict of Decius was published early in the year 250, and therefore the persecution in Alexandria, according to Dionysius, began in 249, while Philip was still emperor. Although the latter showed the Christians favor, yet it is not at all surprising that this local persecution should break out during his reign. The peace which the Christians were enjoying naturally fostered the growth of the Church, and the more patriotic and pious of the heathen citizens of the empire must necessarily have felt great solicitude at its constant increase, and the same spirit which led Decius to persecute would lead many such persons to desire to persecute when the opportunity offered itself; and the closing months of Philip's reign were so troubled with rebellions and revolutions that he had little time, and perhaps less inclination, to interfere in such a minor matter as a local persecution of Christians. The common people of Alexandria were of an excitable and riotous disposition, and it was always easy there to stir up a tumult at short notice and upon slight pretexts. [2082] ho kakon te polei taute mEURntis kai poietes. The last word is rendered "poet" by most translators, and the rendering is quite possible; but it is difficult to understand why Dionysius should speak of this person's being a poet, which could have no possible connection with the matter in hand. It seems better to take poietes in its common sense of "maker," or "author," and to suppose Dionysius to be thinking of this man, not simply as the prophet of evils to the city, but also as their author, in that he "moved and aroused against us the masses of the heathen." [2083] Of the various martyrs and confessors mentioned in this Chapter, we know only what is told us by Dionysius in this epistle. [2084] Heb. x. 34. Upon the authorship of the Epistle to the Hebrews, see Bk. III. chap. 3, note 17; and upon Eusebius' opinion in the matter, see Bk. III. chap. 25, note 1. [2085] We know that the closing months of Philip's reign were troubled with seditions in various quarters; but Dionysius is our only authority for this particular one, unless it be connected, as some think, with the revolt which Zosimus describes as aroused in the Orient by the bad government of Philip's brother, who was governor there, and by excessive taxation (see Tillemont, Hist. des Emp. III. p. 272). [2086] This refers to the death of Philip and the accession of Decius. The hostile edicts of the latter seem not to have been published until some months after his accession, i.e. early in 250. But his hostility to Christianity might have been known from the start, and it might have been understood that he would persecute as soon as he had attended to the other more important matters connected with his accession. [2087] Matt. xxiv. 24. Eusebius reads skandalisai; Matthew, planathai or planesai [2088] i.e. to sacrifice. [2089] hoi de demosieuontes hupo ton prEURxeon egonto. Every officer of the government under the imperial regimen was obliged to sacrifice to the Gods upon taking office, and also to sacrifice at stated times during his term of office, and upon special occasions, or in connection with the performance of important official duties. He might thus be called upon in his official capacity frequently to offer sacrifices, and a failure to perform this part of his duties was looked upon as sacrilege and punished as a crime against the state. Christian officials, therefore, were always in danger of suffering for their religion unless they were allowed as a special favor, to omit the sacrifices, as was often the case under those emperors who were more favorably inclined toward Christianity. A private citizen was never obliged to sacrifice except in times of persecution, when he might be ordered to do so as a test. But an official could not carry out fully all the duties of his position without sacrificing. This is one reason why many of the Christians avoided public office, and thus drew upon themselves the accusation of a lack of patriotism (cf. Origen, Contra Cels. VI. 5 sq., and Tertullian's Apol. c. 42); and it is also one reason why such Christians as happened to be in office were always the first to suffer under a hostile emperor. [2090] Cf. Matt. xix. 23. This sentence shows that Dionysius did not consider it impossible even for those to be saved who denied Christ before enduring any suffering at all. He was clearly willing to leave a possibility of salvation even to the worst offenders, and in this agreed perfectly with Cornelius, Cyprian, and the body of the Roman and Carthaginian churches. [2091] asbesto puri. [2092] The Greek word mEURkar means "blessed." [2093] xusteras. "The instrument of torture here mentioned was an iron scraper, calculated to wound and tear the flesh as it passed over it" (Crusè). [2094] puri asbesto. [2095] Rufinus adds at this point the words et alia Ammonaria ("and another Ammonaria"). Valesius therefore conjectures that the words kai 'AmmonEURrion hetera must have stood in the original text, and he is followed by Stroth and Heinichen. The mss., however, are unanimous in their omission of the words, and the second sentence below, which speaks of only a single Ammonarium, as if there were no other, certainly argues against their insertion. It is possible that Rufinus, finding only three women mentioned after Dionysius had referred to four, ventured to insert the "other Ammonaria." [2096] It has been suggested (by Birks in the Dict. of Christ. Biog.) that this Dioscorus may be identical with the presbyter of the same name mentioned in Bk. VII. chap. 11, §24. But this is quite impossible, for Dioscorus, as we learn from this passage, was but fifteen years old at the time of the Decian persecution, and Dionysius is still speaking of the same persecution when he mentions the presbyter Dioscorus in the Chapter referred to (see note 31 on that Chapter). [2097] marturi‹. It is difficult to ascertain from Dionysius' language whether these five soldiers suffered martyrdom or whether they were released. The language admits either interpretation, and some have supposed that the magistrate was so alarmed at what he feared might be a general defection among the troops that he dismissed these men without punishing them. At the same time it seems as if Dionysius would have stated this directly if it were a fact. There is nothing in the narrative to imply that their fate was different from that of the others; and moreover, it hardly seems probable that the defection of five soldiers should so terrify the judge as to cause him to cease executing the imperial decree, and of course if he did not execute it in the case of the soldiers, he could hardly do it in the case of others.

Chapter XLII.--Others of whom Dionysius gives an Account.

1. "Many others, in cities and villages, were torn asunder by the heathen, of whom I will mention one as an illustration. Ischyrion [2098] was employed as a steward by one of the rulers. His employer commanded him to sacrifice, and on his refusal insulted him, and as he remained firm, abused him. And as he still held out he seized a long staff and thrust it through his bowels [2099] and slew him. 2. "Why need I speak of the multitude that wandered in the deserts and mountains, and perished by hunger, and thirst, and cold, and sickness, and robbers, and wild beasts? Those of them who survived are witnesses of their election and victory. 3. But I will relate one occurrence as an example. Chæremon, [2100] who was very old, was bishop of the city called Nilus. He fled with his wife [2101] to the Arabian mountain [2102] and did not return. And though the brethren searched diligently they could not find either them or their bodies. 4. And many who fled to the same Arabian mountain were carried into slavery by the barbarian Saracens. Some of them were ransomed with difficulty and at a large price; others have not been to the present time. I have related these things, my brother, not without an object, but that you may understand how many and great distresses came upon us. Those indeed will understand them the best who have had the largest experience of them." 5. A little further on he adds: "These divine martyrs among us, who now are seated with Christ, and are sharers in his kingdom, partakers of his judgment and judges with him, received some of the brethren who had fallen away and become chargeable with the guilt of sacrificing. When they perceived that their conversion and repentance were sufficient to be acceptable with him who by no means desires the death of the sinner, but his repentance, having proved them they received them back and brought them together, and met with them and had fellowship with them in prayers and feasts. [2103] 6. What counsel then, brethren, do you give us concerning such persons? What should we do? Shall we have the same judgment and rule as theirs, and observe their decision and charity, and show mercy to those whom they pitied? Or, shall we declare their decision unrighteous, and set ourselves as judges of their opinion, and grieve mercy and overturn order?" [2104] These words Dionysius very properly added when making mention of those who had been weak in the time of persecution.


[2098] Ischyrion is known to us only from this passage. [2099] enteron kai splEURnchnon [2100] Of the bishop Chæremon of Nilus we know only what is told us here. The city Nilus or Nilopolis was situated on an island in the Nile, in middle Egypt, some distance south of Memphis. [2101] te sumbiû heautou. The word sumbios, which means a "companion" or "partner," can signify nothing else than "wife" as used here in the feminine. [2102] to 'ArEURbion oros. The name Arabicus mons, to 'ArEURbion ouros, was given by Herodotus to the range of mountains which separated that part of Arabia lying west of the Arabian Gulf from the Nile valley (see Smith's Dict. of Greek and Rom. Geography). [2103] eisedexanto kai sunegagon kai sunestesan kai proseuchon autois kai hestiEURseon ekoinonesan. It will be observed that nothing is said here about joining with these persons in celebrating the eucharist, or about admitting them to that service, and hence Valesius is quite right in distinguishing the kind of communion spoken of here from official communion in the church, around the Lord's table. Dionysius does not imply that these confessors had the power given them to receive the lapsed back again into the Church, and to dispense the eucharist to them. That was the prerogative of the bishop, and evidently Dionysius has no thought of its being otherwise. The communion of which he speaks was private fellowship merely, and implied a recognition on the part of these confessors that the persons in question had truly repented of their sin, and could be recommended for readmission into the Church. As we see from chap. 44, §2, the recommendation of these persons or of the people in general was quite necessary, before the bishop would consent to absolve the fallen person and receive him back again into the Church. And Dionysius' words in this passage show that he felt that the judgment of these confessors in regard to the fitness of the lapsed for readmission ought to be received with consideration, and have influence upon the final decision. Dionysius thus shows great respect to the confessors, but does not accord them the privileges which they claimed in some places (as we learn from Tertullian's de Pudicitia, 22, and from a number of Cyprian's Epistles) of themselves absolving the lapsed and readmitting them to church communion. In this he showed again his agreement with Cyprian and with the principles finally adopted in the Roman and Carthaginian churches (cf. e.g. Cyprian's Epistles, 9 sq., al. 15; see also Dittrich, p. 51 sq.). [2104] The object of the letter is clearly revealed in these sentences (see chap. 41, note 1).

Chapter XLIII.--Novatus, [2105] his Manner of Life and his Heresy.

1. After this, Novatus, a presbyter of the church at Rome, being lifted up with arrogance against these persons, as if there was no longer for them a hope of salvation, not even if they should do all things pertaining to a genuine and pure conversion, became leader of the heresy of those who, in the pride of their imagination, call themselves Cathari. [2106] 2. There upon a very large synod assembled at Rome, [2107] of bishops in number sixty, and a great many more presbyters and deacons; while the pastors of the remaining provinces deliberated in their places privately concerning what ought to be done. A decree was confirmed by all, that Novatus and those who joined with him, and those who adopted his brother-hating and inhuman opinion, should be considered by the church as strangers; but that they should heal such of the brethren as had fallen into misfortune, [2108] and should minister to them with the medicines of repentance. 3. There have reached us epistles [2109] of Cornelius, bishop of Rome, to Fabius, of the church at Antioch, which show what was done at the synod at Rome, and what seemed best to all those in Italy and Africa and the regions thereabout. [2110] Also other epistles, written in the Latin language, of Cyprian and those with him in Africa, [2111] which show that they agreed as to the necessity of succoring those who had been tempted, and of cutting off from the Catholic Church the leader of the heresy and all that joined with him. 4. Another epistle of Cornelius, concerning the resolutions of the synod, is attached to these; and yet others, [2112] on the conduct of Novatus, from which it is proper for us to make selections, that any one who sees this work may know about him. 5. Cornelius informs Fabius what sort of a man Novatus was, in the following words: "But that you may know that a long time ago this remarkable man desired the episcopate, but kept this ambitious desire to himself and concealed it,--using as a cloak for his rebellion those confessors who had adhered to him from the beginning,--I desire to speak. 6. Maximus, [2113] one of our presbyters, and Urbanus, [2114] who twice gained the highest honor by confession, with Sidonius, [2115] and Celerinus, [2116] a man who by the grace of God most heroically endured all kinds of torture, and by the strength of his faith overcame the weakness of the flesh, and mightily conquered the adversary,--these men found him out and detected his craft and duplicity, his perjuries and falsehoods, his unsociability and cruel friendship. And they returned to the holy church and proclaimed in the presence of many, both bishops and presbyters and a large number of the laity, all his craft and wickedness, which for a long time he had concealed. And this they did with lamentations and repentance, because through the persuasions of the crafty and malicious beast they had left the church for the time." A little farther on he says: 7. "How remarkable, beloved brother, the change and transformation which we have seen take place in him in a short time. For this most illustrious man, who bound himself with terrible oaths in nowise to seek the bishopric, [2117] suddenly appears a bishop as if thrown among us by some machine. [2118] 8. For this dogmatist, this defender of the doctrine of the Church, [2119] attempting to grasp and seize the episcopate, which had not been given him from above, chose two of his companions who had given up their own salvation. And he sent them to a small and insignificant corner of Italy, that there by some counterfeit argument he might deceive three bishops, who were rustic and very simple men. And they asserted positively and strongly that it was necessary that they should come quickly to Rome, in order that all the dissension which had arisen there might be appeased through their mediation, jointly with other bishops. 9. When they had come, being, as we have stated, very simple in the craft and artifice of the wicked, they were shut up with certain selected men like himself. And by the tenth hour, when they had become drunk and sick, he compelled them by force to confer on him the episcopate through a counterfeit and vain imposition of hands. Because it had not come to him, he avenged himself by craft and treachery. 10. One of these bishops shortly after came back to the church, lamenting and confessing his transgression. And we communed with him as with a layman, all the people present interceding for him. And we ordained successors of the other bishops, and sent them to the places where they were. 11. This avenger of the Gospel [2120] then did not know that there should be one bishop in a catholic church; [2121] yet he was not ignorant (for how could he be?) that in it there were forty-six presbyters, seven [2122] deacons, seven sub-deacons, [2123] forty-two acolyths, [2124] fifty-two exorcists, [2125] readers, [2126] and janitors, [2127] and over fifteen hundred widows and persons in distress, all of whom the grace and kindness of the Master nourish. 12. But not even this great multitude, so necessary in the church, nor those who, through God's providence, were rich and full, together with the very many, even innumerable people, could turn him from such desperation and presumption and recall him to the Church." 13. Again, farther on, he adds these words: "Permit us to say further: On account of what works or conduct had he the assurance to contend for the episcopate? Was it that he had been brought up in the Church from the beginning, and had endured many conflicts in her behalf, and had passed through many and great dangers for religion? Truly this is not the fact. 14. But Satan, who entered and dwelt in him for a long time, became the occasion of his believing. Being delivered by the exorcists, he fell into a severe sickness; and as he seemed about to die, he received baptism by affusion, on the bed where he lay; [2128] if indeed we can say that such a one did receive it. 15. And when he was healed of his sickness he did not receive the other things which it is necessary to have according to the canon of the Church, even the being sealed by the bishop. [2129] And as he did not receive this, [2130] how could he receive the Holy Spirit?" 16. Shortly after he says again: "In the time of persecution, through cowardice and love of life, he denied that he was a presbyter. For when he was requested and entreated by the deacons to come out of the chamber in which he had imprisoned himself and give aid to the brethren as far as was lawful and possible for a presbyter to assist those of the brethren who were in danger and needed help, he paid so little respect to the entreaties of the deacons that he went away and departed in anger. For he said that he no longer desired to be a presbyter, as he was an admirer of another philosophy." [2131] 17. Passing by a few things, he adds the following: "For this illustrious man forsook the Church of God, in which, when he believed, he was judged worthy of the presbyterate through the favor of the bishop who ordained him to the presbyterial office. This had been resisted by all the clergy and many of the laity; because it was unlawful that one who had been affused on his bed on account of sickness as he had been should enter into any clerical office; [2132] but the bishop requested that he might be permitted to ordain this one only." 18. He adds to these yet another, the worst of all the man's offenses, as follows: "For when he has made the offerings, and distributed a part to each man, as he gives it he compels the wretched man to swear in place of the blessing. Holding his hands in both of his own, he will not release him until he has sworn in this manner (for I will give his own words): `Swear to me by the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ that you will never forsake me and turn to Cornelius.' 19. And the unhappy man does not taste until he has called down imprecations on himself; and instead of saying Amen, as he takes the bread, he says, I will never return to Cornelius." Farther on he says again: 20. "But know that he has now been made bare and desolate; as the brethren leave him every day and return to the church. Moses [2133] also, the blessed martyr, who lately suffered among us a glorious and admirable martyrdom, while he was yet alive, beholding his boldness and folly, refused to commune with him and with the five presbyters who with him had separated themselves from the church." 21. At the close of his letter he gives a list of the bishops who had come to Rome and condemned the silliness of Novatus, with their names and the parish over which each of them presided. 22. He mentions also those who did not come to Rome, but who expressed by letters their agreement with the vote of these bishops, giving their names and the cities from which they severally sent them." [2134] Cornelius wrote these things to Fabius, bishop of Antioch.


[2105] Eusebius, and the Greeks in general, write the name NoouEURtos (though in Bk. VII. chap. 8, below, Dionysius writes NoouatiEURnos). Socrates has the form NauEURtos, which appears also in some mss. of Eusebius. Cyprian and the Latins write the name Novatianus. Lardner, in a note on chap. 47 of his Credibility, argues with great force for the correctness of the name Novatus, while Heinichen and others maintain that Novatianus is the right form. The name Novatiani, Noouatianoi, which was given to his followers, is urged with some reason by Lardner as an argument for the shorter form of the name. But even if his opinion is correct, the name Novatian is too long established to be displaced, and serves to distinguish him from the Carthaginian presbyter Novatus. The schism of Novatian was only one of the outcrops of the old strife between lax and strict discipline in the Church, the strife which had shown itself in connection with Montanism and also between Callistus and Hippolytus (see above, chap. 21, note 3). But in the present case the immediate cause of the trouble was the treatment of the lapsed. The terrible Decian persecution had naturally caused many to deny the faith, but afterward, when the stress was past, they repented and desired to be readmitted to the Church. The question became a very serious one, and opinions were divided, some advocating their acceptance after certain prescribed penances, others their continued exclusion. The matter caused a great deal of discussion, especially in Rome and Carthage. The trouble came to a head in Rome, when Cornelius, who belonged to the lax party, was chosen bishop in the year 251, after the see had been vacant for more than a year. The stricter party at once aroused to action and chose Novatian, the leader of the party, opposition bishop. He had been made a presbyter by the bishop Fabian, and occupied a very prominent position in the Roman Church. He seems originally to have held less rigid notions in regard to the treatment of the lapsed, but before the end of the persecution he became very decided in his opposition to their absolution and restoration. His position, as well as his ability and piety, made him the natural leader of the party and the rival candidate for the bishopric. He does not, however, seem to have desired to accept consecration as an opposition bishop, but his party insisted. He immediately sent the usual letters announcing the fact to the bishops of the principal sees, to Carthage, Alexandria, and Rome. Cyprian at once refused to recognize his appointment. Dionysius wrote to him advising him to withdraw (see his epistle, quoted in chap. 45). But Fabius of Antioch was inclined to take his side (see chap. 44, §1). Novatian was excommunicated by the council mentioned just below, and then founded an independent church, baptizing all who came over to his side. We know nothing of his subsequent career (according to the tradition of his followers, and also Socrates, H. E. IV. 28, he suffered martyrdom under Valerian), but his sect spread throughout the East and West, and continued in existence until the sixth century. Novatian was not at all heretical in doctrine. His work upon the Trinity is both able and orthodox. His character was austere and of unblemished purity (the account given by Cornelius below is a gross misrepresentation, from the pen of an enemy) and his talents were of a high order. But the tendency of the Church was toward a more merciful treatment of the lapsed and of other sinners, and the stricter methods advocated by him fell more and more into disfavor. Novatian was quite a prolific writer. According to Jerome, de vir. ill. chap. 10, he wrote de Pascha, de Sabbato, de Circumcisione, de Sacerdote, de Oratione, de Cibis Judaicis, de Instantia, de Attalo Multaque alia, et de Trinitate grande Volumen. The de Cibis Judaicis and the de Trinitate are still extant. The best edition of his works is that of Jackson (London, 1728). An English translation is given in the Ante-Nicene Fathers, V. 611-650. Novatian was the author also of one of the epistles of the Roman clergy to Cyprian (Ep. 30). Our contemporaneous sources for a knowledge of Novatian and his schism are the epistles of Cyprian (some ten of them), and the epistles of Dionysius and Cornelius, quoted by Eusebius in this Chapter and in chaps. 44 and 45. [2106] katharoi, "pure." [2107] This council is undoubtedly identical with the one mentioned in Cyprian's epistle to Antonianus (Ep. 51, §6; al. 55). It was held, according to Cyprian, soon after the Carthaginian synod, in which the treatment of the lapsi was first discussed, and accepted the decisions of that council. The Carthaginian synod met in the spring of 251 (see Hefele, Conciliengesch. I. p. 112). The Roman synod must, therefore, have been held before the end of the same year; Hefele thinks about October (ibid. p. 114). Cornelius would not, of course, have waited long before procuring the official condemnation of the opposition bishop. We know nothing more about the constitution of the council than is told us here. It was, of course, only a local synod. The pastors of the remaining provinces were the other Italian bishops who could not be present at the council. Cornelius solicits their opinion, in order that the decree passed by the council may represent as large a number of bishops as possible. [2108] tous de te sumphorZ peripeptokotas. The Carthaginian synod had decided that no offenses are beyond the regular power of the Church to remit. [2109] Jerome (de vir. ill. chap. 66) gives the singular instead of the plural (epistolam ad Fabium); so also Rufinus; but there is no reason for doubting the integrity of the Greek text of Eusebius, which runs, elthon d' oun eis hemas epistolai Korneliou. Valesius, although translating epistolæ Cornelii, yet follows Jerome and Rufinus in believing that only one epistle is meant here. Neither Rufinus nor, apparently, Jerome knew anything about the epistle, except what they read in Eusebius, and therefore it is more probable that Eusebius was correct in using the plural than that they were correct in using the singular. It is easy to understand the change of Eusebius' indefinite plural into their definite singular. They were evidently written in Greek; for in speaking of Cyprian's epistles immediately afterward, Eusebius especially mentions the fact that they were written in Latin. The epistle from which Eusebius quotes just below was also written in Greek, for Eusebius would otherwise, as is his custom have mentioned the fact that he gives only a translation of it. This has been pointed out by Valesius; but, as Routh remarks, we can certainly go further, and say that the other epistle mentioned by Eusebius must have been in Greek, too, since it was written by the same Cornelius, and addressed to the same Fabius. These epistles are no longer extant. [2110] Eusebius says, ta peri tes ;;Romaion sunodou kai ta doxanta pasi tois kata ten 'Italian k.t.l., which Jerome has transformed or compressed into de Synodo Romana, Italica, Africana, another instance of the careless way in which his de vir. ill. was composed. [2111] These epistles from Cyprian and the African bishops Jerome transforms into a single epistle from Cornelius to Fabius, de Novatiano, et de his qui lapsi sunt. At least, it seems impossible to explain this epistle mentioned by Jerome in any other way. Knowing the slovenly way in which he put his work together, it is not surprising that he should attribute these epistles to the same person who wrote the ones mentioned just before and after. Since the first epistles mentioned are said to have been addressed to Fabius and also the last one, from which Eusebius quotes, it is reasonable to conclude that all mentioned in this connection were addressed to him; and it would of course be quite natural for Cyprian, too, to write to Fabius (who was known to be inclined to favor Novatian), in order to confirm the account of Cornelius, and to announce that he agreed with the latter in regard to the treatment of the lapsed. No epistle, however, of Cyprian or of other African bishops to Fabius are extant, though the same subject is discussed in many epistles of Cyprian addressed to the people. [2112] Rufinus mentions only two epistles of Cornelius in this connection, apparently confounding this one on the deeds of the Novatians with the one mentioned just before on the Decrees of the Council. Jerome, on the other hand, making Cornelius, as already mentioned, the author of the epistles of Cyprian and the African bishops, assigns four epistles to Cornelius. None of the epistles mentioned in this section are extant, except the long fragment of the last one quoted just below. As mentioned in the next Chapter, Fabius inclined to take the side of Novatian over against the laxer party; and it was on this account that Cornelius wrote him so many epistles (compare also the epistle of Dionysius of Alexandria, quoted in chaps. 41 and 42, and see note 1 on the former Chapter), and endeavored to blacken the character of Novatian as he does in the passages quoted. [2113] This Maximus was a presbyter, and one of a party of Roman confessors who played a prominent part in the controversy about the lapsed. He and his companions were imprisoned at the very beginning of the Decian persecution (Cyprian, Ep. 24; al. 28), i.e. early in the year 250, and while in prison they adopted rigoristic views and wrote to some Carthaginian confessors, urging strict methods in dealing with the lapsed (see Cyprian, Ep. 22; al. 27). Early in the year 251, after eleven months in prison, the presbyter Moses, the leading spirit of the party, died, and Maximus became the chief one among them. Moses before his death, in spite of his rigoristic principles, refused to commune with Novatian and his five presbyters (as we learn from §20 of this Chapter), apparently because he saw that his insistence upon strict discipline was tending toward schism, and that such discipline could not be maintained without sacrificing the Church. But Maximus and those mentioned with him here, together with some others (see Cyprian, Ep. 45; al. 49), became even stricter than at first, and finally went over to the party of Novatian (which took its rise after the election of Cornelius in 251), but were at length reconciled to Cornelius and the rest of the Church, and received back with rejoicing (see Cyprian, Ep. 43, 45, 46, 49, 50; al. 46, 49, 51, 53, 54). The notices of Maximus and Urbanus in Cyprian's epistles, which with the epistle of Cornelius constitute our only source for a knowledge of their lives, do not mention a second confession made by these two men, so that we cannot tell when it took place, but it must of course have been during the persecution of Decius. [2114] Urbanus was a confessor only, not a presbyter or deacon as we learn from the notices of him in Cyprian's epistles, in connection with the party referred to in the previous note. [2115] Sidonius likewise was a confessor simply, and is mentioned with the others in the epistles of Cornelius and Cyprian. [2116] Celerinus was also one of this party of Roman confessors (as we learn from Cyprian, Ep. 15, al. 87), who, upon his release from prison, went to Carthage, and was there ordained a reader by Cyprian (Ep. 33, al. 39). His release from prison and departure for Carthage took place before the release of the others and before the death of Moses (as we learn from Ep. 15), that is, before the end of the year 250. He was still in Rome, however, at Easter of that year, as we learn from his epistle to Lucian, mentioned below. He came of a family of martyrs (Ep. 33), and was himself one of the most celebrated confessors of his time. There is extant an epistle written by him to Lucian, the Carthaginian confessor (Cyprian, Ep. 21), in which he begs absolution for his sisters, who had denied the faith. The epistle (as we learn from its own statements) was written at Easter time and in the year 250, for there was no bishop of Rome at the time of its composition. As we learn from this passage, Celerinus went over with these other Roman confessors to the party of Novatian, and returned with them to the Church. He is, however, mentioned neither by Cyprian nor by Cornelius (in his epistle to Cyprian) in connection with the schism of these confessors. This is very remarkable, especially since Celerinus was quite a prominent character. It is possible that he was in Carthage the greater part of the time, and did not return to Rome until shortly before the confessors returned to the Church. He might then have thrown in his lot with them, and have returned with them to the orthodox church; and yet, not having been mentioned by Cornelius' earlier epistle to Cyprian, announcing the schismatic position of the confessors, he was omitted also in the later letters announcing their return (which in fact only mentions the three leaders), and in Cyprian's reply, which of course would only mention those of whom he had been told in Cornelius' first epistle. Of the subsequent career of Celerinus and of these other confessors we know nothing. [2117] There is no reason to doubt, as Cornelius does, Novatian's sincerity in declaring that he did not seek the office of bishop. Both Cornelius and Cyprian make his ambition and his jealousy of Cornelius, the successful candidate, the cause of his schism. But such an accusation was made against every schismatic, even when there was not a shadow of support for it, and there is no reason to suppose it nearer the truth in this than in other cases. In fact, his own protestation, as recorded here by Cornelius, and as testified to by Dionysius in chap. 45, as well as the character of the man as revealed in his life previous to his episcopal ordination (as certified to even by his enemies), and in his writings, are entirely opposed to the supposition that he sought the episcopal office and that his schism was a result of his defeat. We shall do much better to reject entirely this exceedingly hostile and slanderous account of his enemy Cornelius, and to accept his own account of the matter as reported by Dionysius in chap. 25. He was the natural head of the rigoristic party, made such by his commanding ability, his deep piety, and his ascetic principles of living; and when Cornelius, the head of the lax party, was made bishop (in March, 251), the strict party revolted, and it could not be otherwise than that Novatian should be elected bishop, and that even if reluctant he should feel compelled to accept the office in order to assert the principles which he believed vital, and to prevent the complete ruin of the Church. Cornelius gives a sad story of his ordination to the episcopate. But one thing is certain, he had with him for some time a large portion of the best people in the Roman church, among them Maximus and others of the most influential confessors, who seem at length to have returned to the Church only because they saw that the schism was injuring it. Certainly if Novatian had been a self-seeker, as Cornelius describes him, and if his ordination had been of such a nature as Cornelius reports, he could never have had the support of so many earnest and prominent men. It is doubtless true, as Cornelius states, that Novatian was ordained by three Italian bishops, very likely bishops of rural and comparatively insignificant sees, and it is quite possible that one of them, as he also records, afterwards repented of his act as schismatic, and returned to the Church and received absolution. But all this does not imply that these three bishops were deceived by false pretenses on the part of Novatian, or that they were intoxicated when they performed the service. This, in fact, may be looked upon as baseless calumny. Novatus, the Carthaginian agitator who had caused Cyprian so much trouble, took a prominent part in the Novatian schism, though to make him the author of it, as Cyprian does, is undoubtedly incorrect (see Lardner, Works, III. p. 94 sq.; London ed. 1829). It was perhaps he (as reported by Eulogius, according to Photius, Cod. 182, and by Theodoret, Hær. Fab. III. 5) that found these three bishops to ordain Novatian. It is not at all improbable, when so many prominent men in the Roman church favored the stricter principles and supported Novatian, that bishops could be found in Italy who held the same principles and would be glad to ordain Novatian as bishop of Rome. [2118] mEURnganon [2119] As Closs remarks, these words are evidently an allusion to Novatian's work, de Trinitate. [2120] ekdikethes tou euangeliou. Possibly another sarcastic reference to Novatian's work in defense of the doctrine of the Church; possibly only an allusion to the fact that he prided himself on his orthodoxy. [2121] The principle, that there should be only one bishop in a city, was not clearly enunciated and forcibly emphasized until the third century. Cyprian's writings are full of it (cf. his treatise On the Unity of the Church), and in connection with this Novatian schism, which showed so plainly the disintegrating effects of a division of the church under two bishops, the principle was established so firmly as never again to be questioned. I do not mean to assert here that the principle so clearly and conclusively established at this time was a new principle. We find it enunciated even by Ignatius at the beginning of the second century, and it was the common opinion of Christendom, or otherwise Cyprian could not have appealed to universal custom as he does in discussing the matter. I mean simply that the principle had never before been brought to such a test as to require its formal enunciation and public recognition by the clergy and the Church at large. The emergency which now arose compelled such formal statement of it; and the Council of Nicæa made it canon law (cf. Bingham's Antiquities, I. p. 160 sq.). [2122] The limitation of the deacons to seven in number was due to the fact that the appointment of the Seven by the apostles (Acts vi.) was commonly looked upon as the institution of the office of the diaconate. But upon this matter, see above, Bk. II. chap. 1, note 2a. The practice of limiting the number of the deacons to seven was quite a common one, and was enacted as a law in the fifteenth canon of the Council of Neo-Cæsarea (held early in the third century). The practice, however, was by no means universal, as we are informed by Sozomen (H. E. VII. 19). Indeed, at least in Alexandria and in Constantinople, their number was much greater (see Bingham's Ant. I. p. 286). [2123] The sub-deacons (the highest of the inferior orders of the clergy) are first mentioned in this epistle of Cornelius and in various epistles of Cyprian. At what time they arose we cannot tell, but they seem to have appeared in the East later than in the West, at least the first references we have to them in the Orient are in the fourth century, e.g. in the Apost. Const. VIII. 21. They acted as deacons' assistants, preparing the sacred vessels for use at the altar, attended the doors during communion service, and were often employed by the bishops for the conveyance of letters or messages to distant churches. See Bingham's Ant. Bk. III. chap. 2. [2124] The Acolyths (akolouthoi), another of the inferior orders of the clergy, are likewise first mentioned here and in Cyprian's epistles. They seem to have been of much later institution in the East, for we first hear of them there in the time of Justinian (Justin. Novel. 59). Their duties seem to have been to attend to the lights of the church and to procure the wine for communion service. See Bingham, ibid. chap. 3. [2125] The Exorcists likewise constituted one of the inferior orders of the clergy; but although we find exorcism very frequently referred to by the Fathers of the second century, there seems to have been no such office until the third century, the present being the earliest distinct reference to it. In the fourth century we find the office in all parts of the Church East and West. Their duty was to take charge of those supposed to be possessed of an evil spirit; to pray with them, care for them, and exorcise the demon when possible. See Bingham, ibid. chap. 4. [2126] The Readers, or Lectors (Greek, anagnostai; Latin, Lectores), constituted still another of the inferior orders, and were already a distinct office in the time of Tertullian (cf. de Præscrip. chap. 41). From the third century on the order seems to have been universal. Their duty was to read the Scriptures in the public services of the sanctuary. See Bingham, ibid. chap. 5. [2127] The Janitors, or Doorkeepers (Greek, puloroi or thuroroi; Latin, ostiarii or janitores), are first mentioned in this passage. In the fourth century, however, we find them frequently referred to. Their office seems to have been about the same as that of the modern janitor or sexton. See Bingham, ibid. chap. 6. [2128] There is no reason to doubt that Novatian received clinical baptism, as here stated by Cornelius. This does not imply, as is commonly supposed, that he was of heathen parentage, for many Christians postponed baptism as long as possible, in order not to sacrifice baptismal grace by sins committed after baptism. We do not know whether his parents were heathen or Christians. Upon the objection to Novatian's ordination, based upon his irregular baptism, see below, §17. [2129] tou te sphragisthenai hupo tou episkopou sphragisthenai here means confirmation or consignation (as it was commonly called among the Latins); that is, the imposition of the hands of the bishop which regularly followed baptism, immediately if the bishop were on the ground, in other cases at as early a date as possible. The imposition of hands was for the purpose of conveying the Holy Spirit, who should supply the newly baptized Christian with the necessary grace to fit him for the Christian life. Confirmation was thus looked upon as completing the baptism and as a necessary pre-condition of receiving the eucharist. At the same time, if a person died after baptism, before it was possible to receive imposition of hands, the baptism was not regarded as rendered invalid by the omission, for in the baptism itself the full remission of sins was supposed to be granted. The confirmation was not necessary for such remission, but was necessary for the bestowal of the requisite sustaining grace for the Christian life. Cornelius in the present paragraph does not intend to imply that regenerating grace was not given in Novatian's baptism. He means simply that the Holy Spirit was not given in that full measure in which it was given by the laying on of hands, and which was necessary for growth in grace and Christian living. The baptism was looked on in ordinary cases as in a sense negative,--effecting the washing away of sin, the laying on of hands as positive, confirming the gift of the Spirit. The former, therefore, was sufficient to save the man who died immediately thereafter; the latter was necessary to sustain the man who still remained in the world. Compare with these words of Cornelius Tertullian's de Baptism. chap. 6. The earliest extant canon on this subject is the thirty-eighth of the synod of Elvira (306 a.d.), which decrees that a sick person may in case of necessity be baptized by a layman, but that he is afterward, if he recovers, to be taken to the bishop that the baptism may be perfected by the laying on of hands. The seventy-seventh canon decrees the same thing for those baptized by deacons, but expressly declares that if the baptized person die before the imposition of hands, he is to be regarded as saved in virtue of the faith which he confessed in his baptism. It is not necessary to give other references in connection with this matter. For further particulars, see Bingham, ibid. Bk. XII. On the signification of the verb sthragizo, see Suicer's Thesaurus. We can hardly believe that Novatian failed to receive imposition of hands from the bishop, for it is inconceivable that the latter would have omitted what was regarded as such an important prerequisite to church communion in the case of one whom he ordained to the presbyterate. Novatian may not have received confirmation immediately after his recovery, but he must have received it before his ordination. As seen in §17, it is not the omission of confirmation that causes the objections on the part of the clergy, but the clinical baptism. [2130] The majority of the mss., followed by Schwegler, Laemmer, and Heinichen, read touton. But some of the best mss., followed by all the other editors, read toutou. [2131] This is certainly a calumny. It is possible, as Neander suggests, that Novatian, although a presbyter, withdrew somewhat from active duty and lived the life of an ascetic, and that it is this to which Cornelius refers in speaking of his admiration for "another philosophy." But however that may be, Cornelius' interpretation of his conduct as cowardly or unworthy is quite false. See above, note 1. [2132] Clinic baptism (so-called from kline, "a bed") was ordinarily looked upon in the early Church, in which immersion was the common mode of baptism, as permanently debarring a person from the presbyterate, and by many persons it was denied that such baptism was baptism at all. The latter opinion, however, the Church refused to sustain (cf. Cyprian, Ep. 75; al. 19). The twelfth canon of the Council of Neo-Cæsarea (held early in the fourth century) says, "If any man is baptized only in time of sickness, he shall not be ordained a presbyter; because his faith was not voluntary, but as it were of constraint; except his subsequent faith and diligence recommend him, or else the scarcity of men make it necessary to ordain him." It is clear that this canon meant to apply only to persons whose baptism was delayed by their own fault. It was common for catechumens to postpone the rite as long as possible in order not to forfeit baptismal grace by their post-baptismal sins, and it was to discourage this practice that such canons as this of Neo-Cæsarea were passed. Even this canon, however, provided for exceptional cases, and the fact that Novatian was ordained in spite of his irregular baptism is a proof that he must have been an exceptionally pious and zealous man. [2133] On Moses (or Moyses, as he is called by Cyprian), see note 9, above. Lipsius (Chron. der röm. Bischöfe, p. 202, note) maintains that Cornelius is referring, at this point, not to Novatian, but to Novatus, the Carthaginian presbyter, and that Eusebius has confounded the two men. He bases this opinion upon the mention of the five presbyters, whom he identifies with those who, with Novatus, separated from the Carthaginian church in connection with the schism of Felicissimus (see Cyprian, Ep. 39; al. 43), and also upon the fact that Moses died before the election of Novatian as opposition bishop. In regard to the first point, it must be noticed that, in an epistle to Cyprian upon the schism of Novatian (Cyprian, Ep. 47; al. 50), Cornelius mentions five presbyters (including Novatus) as connected with Novatian in his schism. Certainly it is most natural to refer Cornelius' words in this paragraph to the same five men. Indeed, to speak of Novatus and the five presbyters with him would be very peculiar, for Novatus himself was one of the five, and therefore there were but four with him. As to the second point, it may simply be said that Moses might well have refused to commune with Novatian, before the election of the latter, seeing that his position would inevitably lead to schism. There remains, therefore, no reason for supposing Eusebius mistaken, and for referring these words to Novatus of Carthage, instead of Novatian of Rome. [2134] These lists of the bishops present at the council, and of those who expressed their agreement with the decision of the synod, are no longer extant.

Chapter XLIV.--Dionysius' Account of Serapion.

1. To this same Fabius, who seemed to lean somewhat toward this schism, [2135] Dionysius of Alexandria also wrote an epistle. [2136] He writes in this many other things concerning repentance, and relates the conflicts of those who had lately suffered martyrdom at Alexandria. After the other account he mentions a certain wonderful fact, which deserves a place in this work. It is as follows: 2. "I will give thee this one example which occurred among us. There was with us a certain Serapion, [2137] an aged believer who had lived for a long time blamelessly, but had fallen in the trial. He besought often, but no one gave heed to him, because he had sacrificed. But he became sick, and for three successive days continued speechless and senseless. 3. Having recovered somewhat on the fourth day he sent for his daughter's son, and said, How long do you detain me, my child? I beseech you, make haste, and absolve me speedily. Call one of the presbyters to me. And when he had said this, he became again speechless. And the boy ran to the presbyter. But it was night and he was sick, and therefore unable to come. 4. But as I had commanded that persons at the point of death, if they requested it, and especially if they had asked for it previously, should receive remission, that they might depart with a good hope, he gave the boy a small portion of the eucharist, telling him to soak [2138] it and let the drops fall into the old man's mouth. [2139] 5. The boy returned with it, and as he drew near, before he entered, Serapion again arousing, said, `Thou art come, my child, and the presbyter could not come; but do quickly what he directed, and let me depart.' Then the boy soaked it and dropped it into his mouth. And when he had swallowed a little, immediately he gave up the ghost. 6. Is it not evident that he was preserved and his life continued till he was absolved, and, his sin having been blotted out, he could be acknowledged [2140] for the many good deeds which he had done?" Dionysius relates these things.


[2135] See above, chap. 39, note 7. [2136] This epistle, as we may gather from the description of its contents in the next sentence, is without doubt the same from which Eusebius has quoted at such length in chaps. 41 and 42. Upon the date and purpose of it, see chap. 41, note 1. We possess only the fragments quoted by Eusebius in these three Chapters. [2137] Of this Serapion we know only what is told us in this Chapter. [2138] apobrexai. This is translated by Crusè and by Salmond (in the Ante-Nicene Fathers, VI. p. 101) "soak (or steep) in water"; but the liquid is not specified in the text, and it has consequently been thought by others that the bread was dipped in the wine, as was commonly done in the celebration of the eucharist in the Eastern Church (see Bingham's Ant. Bk. XV.). But it must be noticed that the bread was soaked not by the presbyter but by the boy, and that too after his return home, where there can have been no consecrated wine for eucharistic use, and there is no hint that wine was given him for the purpose by the presbyter. It therefore seems probable that the bread was soaked simply in water, and that the soaking was only in order that the old man, in his enfeebled state, might be able to receive the element in a liquid instead of in a solid form. [2139] kata tou stomatos epistEURxai [2140] homologethenai. The meaning is apparently "acknowledged or confessed by Christ," and Valesius is doubtless correct in remarking that Dionysius was alluding to the words of Matt. x. 32.

Chapter XLV.--An Epistle of Dionysius to Novatus.

1. But let us see how the same man addressed Novatus [2141] when he was disturbing the Roman brotherhood. As he pretended that some of the brethren were the occasion of his apostasy and schism, as if he had been forced by them to proceed as he had, [2142] observe the manner in which he writes to him: 2. "Dionysius to his brother Novatus, greeting. If, as thou sayest, thou hast been led on unwillingly, thou wilt prove this if thou retirest willingly. For it were better to suffer everything, rather than divide the Church of God. Even martyrdom for the sake of preventing division would not be less glorious than for refusing to worship idols. Nay, to me it seems greater. For in the one case a man suffers martyrdom for the sake of his own soul; in the other case in behalf of the entire Church. And now if thou canst persuade or induce the brethren to come to unanimity, thy righteousness will be greater than thine error, and this will not be counted, but that will be praised. But if thou canst not prevail with the disobedient, at least save thine own soul. I pray that thou mayst fare well, maintaining peace in the Lord." This he wrote to Novatus.


[2141] This epistle to Novatian was doubtless written in reply to a letter from him announcing his election to the episcopate of Rome, for we know that Novatian sent such letters, as was customary, to all the prominent bishops of the Church. Dionysius' epistle, therefore, must have been written soon after the election of Novatian, which took place in the year 251. We have only the fragment quoted in this Chapter. [2142] Novatian may well have been urged against his will to permit himself to be made opposition bishop; but of course, once having taken the step, so long as he believed in the justice of the cause for which he was contending, he could not turn back, but must maintain his position with vigor and firmness. This, of course, would lead his enemies to believe that he had himself sought the position, as Dionysius evidently believed that he had.

Chapter XLVI.--Other Epistles of Dionysius.

1. He wrote also an epistle to the brethren in Egypt on Repentance. [2143] In this he sets forth what seemed proper to him in regard to those who had fallen, and he describes the classes of transgressions. 2. There is extant also a private letter on Repentance, which he wrote to Conon, [2144] bishop of the parish of Hermopolis, and another of an admonitory [2145] character, to his flock at Alexandria. Among them also is the one written to Origen on Martyrdom [2146] and to the brethren at Laodicea, [2147] of whom Thelymidres was bishop. He likewise sent one on Repentance to the brethren in Armenia, [2148] of whom Merozanes was bishop. 3. Besides all these, he wrote to Cornelius of Rome, when he had received from him an epistle against Novatus. [2149] He states in this that he had been invited by Helenus, [2150] bishop of Tarsus, in Cilicia, and the others who were with him, Firmilianus, [2151] bishop in Cappadocia, and Theoctistus, [2152] of Palestine, to meet them at the synod in Antioch, where some persons were endeavoring to establish the schism of Novatus. 4. Besides this he writes that he had been informed that Fabius [2153] had fallen asleep, and that Demetrianus [2154] had been appointed his successor in the episcopate of Antioch. He writes also in these words concerning the bishop of Jerusalem: "For the blessed Alexander [2155] having been confined in prison, passed away happily." 5. In addition to this there is extant also a certain other diaconal epistle of Dionysius, sent to those in Rome through Hippolytus. [2156] And he wrote another to them on Peace, and likewise on Repentance; [2157] and yet another to the confessors there who still held to the opinion of Novatus. [2158] He sent two more to the same persons after they had returned to the Church. And he communicated with many others by letters, which he has left behind him as a benefit in various ways to those who now diligently study his writings. [2159]


[2143] This epistle on the subject of repentance or penance, which was the burning one just at this time in connection with the lapsed, was doubtless written at about the same time with those to Fabius and Novatian, already referred to. No fragments of it have been preserved. [2144] This work (pros Konona idia tis peri metanoias graphe), which was probably written at about this same time, is mentioned also by Jerome (de vir. ill. 69). Eusebius preserves no extract from it, but extended fragments have been preserved in various mss., and have been published by Pitra (Spic. Solesm. I. p. 15 sq.), though it is questionable whether all that he gives are genuine. The translation of Dionysius' works in the Ante-Nicene Fathers omits all of these fragments, though they are interesting and valuable. For further particulars, see Dittrich, p. 62. The general character of the letter must have been the same as that of the preceding. [2145] epistreptike; literally, "calculated to turn." Musculus and Christophorsonus translate hortatoria; Valesius, objurgatoria; Stroth and Closs, "Ermahnungsschrift"; Crusè, "epistle of reproof." The word does not necessarily carry the idea of reproof with it, but it is natural to suppose in the present case that it was written while Dionysius was absent from Alexandria, during the persecution of Decius, and if so, may well have contained an admonition to steadfastness, and at the same time, possibly, an argument against rigoristic measures which some of the people may have been advocating in reference to the lapsed. At least, the connection in which Eusebius mentions it might lead us to think that it had something to do with that question, though, as the epistle is no longer extant, we can reach no certainty in the matter. [2146] This epistle was doubtless written while Origen was suffering imprisonment in the persecution of Decius (see above, chap. 39, and below, p. 394), and was for the purpose of comforting and encouraging him (cf. Origen's own work on martyrdom, referred to in chap. 28, above). The epistle is no longer extant. Numerous fragments are given by Gallandi, Migne, and others, which they assign to this work; but Dittrich has shown (p. 35 sq.) that they are to be ascribed to some one else, perhaps to another Dionysius who lived much later than the great bishop. [2147] This epistle to the Laodiceans, which is no longer extant, very likely dealt, like so many of the others, with the question of discipline. Of Thelymidres, bishop of Laodicea, we know nothing. [2148] We know no more about this epistle to the Armenians than is told us here. The character of the letter must have been similar to the two upon the same subject mentioned above. Of the bishop Merozanes nothing is known. [2149] On Cornelius, see above, chap. 39, note. 3. His epistle to Dionysius is no longer extant. Dionysius' epistle to him is likewise lost, and is known to us only from what Eusebius tells us here. It was written after the death of Fabius of Antioch (see below, §4), and therefore probably in 253 (see above, chap. 39, note 7). It has been questioned whether this synod of Antioch to which, according to Eusebius, Dionysius referred, was really held, or only projected. The Libellus Synodicus records it as an actual synod, but its authority is of no weight. On the other hand, Eusebius' words seem plainly to indicate that he believed that the council was really held, for he speaks of it as "the synod at Antioch"; had he thought of it only as projected, he could hardly have referred to it in such definite terms. In spite, therefore, of the doubts of Dittrich, Hefele, and others, I am inclined to believe that Eusebius supposed that the synod had actually been held in Antioch. Whether the epistle of Dionysius warranted him in drawing that conclusion is another question, which cannot be decided. I look upon it, however, as probable that, had the synod been simply projected and failed to convene, some indication of that fact would have been given by Dionysius, and would have caused a modification of Eusebius' statement. [2150] Helenus, bishop of Tarsus, played a prominent part in the controversy concerning the re-baptism of heretics, maintaining, like most of the Oriental bishops, the necessity of re-baptizing them (see below, Bk. VII. chap. 5), and also in the controversy which arose about Paul of Samosata (see Bk. VII. chaps. 28 and 30). From the latter Chapter we should gather that he presided at the final council in Antioch, which passed condemnation upon Paul, Firmilian, who seems to have presided at the previous councils, having died on his way to the last one. Of Helenus' dates we know only what we can gather from the facts here stated. He must have been bishop as early as 252; and he cannot have died until after 265 (on the date of the Antiochian synod at which Paul was condemned, see Bk. VII. chap. 29, note 1). [2151] On Firmilian, see above, chap. 26, note 3. [2152] On Theoctistus, see above, chap. 19, note 27. [2153] On Fabius, bishop of Antioch, see above, chap. 39, note 7. [2154] Demetrianus, the successor of Fabius, and predecessor of Paul in the bishopric of Antioch, is mentioned also in Bk. VII. chaps. 5, 14, 27, and 30. The date of his accession is uncertain; but as Fabius died probably in 253 (possibly in 252), we can fix approximately the beginning of his episcopate. In Bk. VII. chaps. 5 and 14, he is said to have survived Gallienus' edict of toleration (260 a.d.); but as Harnack has shown (Zeit des Ignatius, p. 51), this notice is quite unreliable, as are also the notices in the Chronicle. We can only say that his successor, Paul, became bishop between the years 257 and 260. [2155] On Alexander, bishop of Jerusalem, see above, chap. 8, note 6. [2156] The interpretation of this sentence is very difficult. The Greek runs hexes taute kai hetera tis epistole tois en ;;Rome tou Dionusiou pheretai diakonike dia ;;Ippolutou. The pheretai, according to the usage of Eusebius, must mean "is extant," and some participle (e.g. "written" or "sent") must then be supplied before dia ;;Ippolutou. Whether Eusebius means that the letter was written by Hippolytus or was carried by him to Rome cannot be determined. The latter is more probable and is the commonly accepted interpretation. That Eusebius should name a messenger in this particular case and in no other seems peculiar, unless it be supposed that Hippolytus was so prominent a character as to merit especial mention. Who he was we do not know, for chronology will not permit us (as was formerly done by some scholars) to identify him with the great writer of the Roman church (see above, chaps. 20 and 22), and no other Hippolytus of prominence is known to us. In view of Eusebius' mention of the name at this point, I am inclined, however, to think that he, knowing so little about the Roman Hippolytus, fancied that this was the same man. If he did, he had good reason to mention him. The word "diaconal" (diakonike) in this sentence has caused much dispute. Rufinus translates epistola de ministeriis; Valesius, epistola de officio diaconi, that is, "concerning the office (or duties) of the diaconate," and it seems out of the question to understand the word in any other way. Why Dionysius should address an epistle on this subject to the Roman church it is impossible to say. Magistris supposed that it was called "diaconal" because it was to be read in church by a deacon, and concluded that it was an exhortation to peace, since it was customary for the deacons to offer the eirenikEUR, or prayers for peace. The supposition is attractive, for it is natural to think that this epistle, like the others, discussed the Novatian schism and contained an exhortation to peace. But we cannot without further evidence adopt Magistris' explanation, nor indeed can we assume that a diaconal epistle as such (whether the word is a technical one or not, and though it might seem such we have no other trace of such a use of it) had to do with the unity or peace of the Church. We must, in fact, leave the matter quite undetermined. Compare Dittrich, ibid. p. 55. [2157] Of these two epistles to the Romans we know only the titles, as given here by Eusebius. [2158] On these confessors, and their return to the Church, see above, chap. 43, note 9. Dionysius' epistles to them are known to us only from Eusebius' reference to them in this passage. [2159] Besides the epistles mentioned by Eusebius in this and the previous Chapter we know at least the titles of a number of others. In Bk. VII. many are referred to, and extracts from some are quoted by Eusebius. See especially Bk. VII. chap. 26, where another partial list of them is given. Eusebius does not pretend to mention all of Dionysius' epistles; indeed, he states that he wrote many besides those mentioned. For further particulars in regard to all the epistles known to us, see Dittrich's monograph.

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