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.
Supplementary Notes and Tables.On Bk. III. chap. 3, § 5 (note 17, continued).
Since this note was in type Dr. Gardiner's admirable and exhaustive essay on the authorship of the Epistle to the Hebrews (in the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, First Series, Vol. XIV. p. 341 sq.) has come to hand, and I have been much pleased to see that the theory that Barnabas wrote the epistle is accepted and defended with vigor.
On Bk. III. chap. 3, § 6 (note 22, continued).
Upon the last chapter of Romans and its relation to the remainder of the epistle, see especially Farrar's Life and Work of St. Paul, p. 450 sq., Weiss' Einleitung in das N. T. p. 245 sq., Pfleiderer's Urchristenthum, p. 145 , Renan's Saint Paul, p. 461 sq. (maintaining that an editor has combined four copies of the one encyclical letter of Paul, addressed severally to as many different churches), Lightfoot's Commentary on Philippians, p. 172 sq., and Schaff, Ch. History, I. p. 765.
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In three places in the Church History (Bk. III. chap. 24, § 17, chap. 25, § 2, and chap. 39, § 16) John's "former" epistle is referred to, as if he had written only two. In the last passage the use of protera instead of prote might be explained as Westcott suggests (Canon of the New Testament, p. 77, note 2), by supposing Eusebius to be reproducing the words of Papias; but in the other passages this explanation will not do, for the words are certainly Eusebius' own. In the Muratorian Canon only two epistles of John are mentioned, and in Irenæus the second epistle is quoted as if it were the first (see Westcott, ibid. p. 384, note 1). These facts lead Westcott to ask: "Is it possible that the second epistle was looked upon as an appendix to the first? and may we thus explain the references to two epistles of John?" He continues: "The first epistle, as is well known, was called ad Parthos by Augustine and some other Latin authorities; and the same title pros PEURrthous is given to the second epistle in one Greek manuscript (62 Scholz). The Latin translation of Clement's Outlines (IV. 66) says: Secunda Johannis epistola quæ ad virgines (parthenous) scripta simplissima est. Jerome, it may be added, quotes names from the third epistle as from the second (De nom. Hebr.)." On the other hand, in Bk. V. chap. 8, § 7, Eusebius speaks of the "first" (prote) epistle of John, and in Bk. III. chap. 25, § 3, he expressly mentions a second and third epistle of John. It is evident, therefore, that whatever the use of protera instead of prote in connection with John's first epistle may mean as used by others, it does not indicate a knowledge of only a first and second as used by him. It is by no means impossible, however, that Westcott's suggestion may be correct, and that the first and second epistles were sometimes looked upon as but one, and it is possible that such use of them by some of his predecessors may account for Eusebius' employment of the word protera in three separate passages.
On Bk. III. chap. 25, § 4 (note 18 continued).
The words he pheromene BarnEURba epistole have been commonly translated "the so-called Epistle of Barnabas," or "the Epistle ascribed to Barnabas," implying a doubt in Eusebius' mind as to the authenticity of the work. This translation, however, is, in my opinion, quite unwarranted. There are passages in Eusebius where the word pheromai used in connection with writings cannot by any possibility be made to bear this meaning; cases in which it can be interpreted only "to be extant" or "in circulation." Compare, for instance, Bk. II. chap. 15, § 1, MEURrkon hou to eungelion pheretai; II. 18. 6, monobibla autou pheretai; III. 9. 4; III. 16; III. 25. 3, he legomene 'Iakobou pheretai; III. 37. 4; III. 39. 1; IV. 3. 1, eiseti de pheretai para pleistois; IV. 14. 9, en te delotheise pros philippesious autou graphe pheromene eis deuro. Compare also IV. 15. I; IV. 23. 4, 9, 12; IV. 24. 1; IV. 28; V. 5. 6; 19. 3; 23. 2; 24. 10; VI. 15. 1; VI. 20, &c. These passages, and many others which are cited by Heinichen (Vol. III. p. 91), prove that the word is frequently used in the sense of "extant" or "in circulation." But in spite of these numerous examples, Heinichen maintains that the word is also used by Eusebius in another and quite different sense; namely, "so-called" or "ascribed to," thus equivalent to legomene. A careful examination, however, of all the passages cited by him in illustration of this second meaning will show that in them too the word may be interpreted in the same way as in those already referred to; in fact, that in many of them that is in itself the more natural interpretation. The passages to which we refer are Bk. III. chap. 25, §§ 2, 3, and 4; III. 3. 1, ten de pheromenen autou deuteran; III. 39. 6 (where I ought to have translated "is extant under the name of John"). To draw a distinction between the meaning of the word as used in these and in the other passages is quite arbitrary, and therefore unwarranted. The sense in which, as we have found, Eusebius so commonly employs the word attaches also to the Latin word fertur in the Muratorian Canon. I have not endeavored to trace carefully the use of the word in other writers; but while many instances occur in which it is certainly used in this sense, others in which either interpretation is allowable, I have not yet found one in which this meaning is ruled out by the nature of the case or by the context. In view of these facts I believe we should be careful to draw a sharp distinction between legomene or kaloumene and pheromene when used in connection with written works.
A considerable portion of my translation was in type before I had observed this distinction between the two words, which is commonly quite overlooked, and as a consequence in a few cases my rendering of the word pheromene is inaccurate. All such cases I have endeavored to call attention to in these supplementary notes.
On Bk. III. chap. 28, § 1.
For the Disputation which is ascribed to him, read his extant Disputation.
On Bk. III. chap. 32, § 6 (note 14^a).
The Greek reads pEURses ekklesias (without the article), and so, two lines below, en pEURse ekklesi. All the translators (with the exception of Pratten in the Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. VIII., who reads, "the churches") render "the whole church," as if reading pas with the article. We have not, it is true, enough of Hegesippus' writings to be able to ascertain positively his use of pas, and it is possible that he carelessly employed it indifferently with or without the article to signify the definite "all" or "the whole." In the absence of positive testimony, however, that he failed to draw the proper distinction between its use with and its use without the article, and in view of the fact that Eusebius himself (as well as other early Fathers so far as I am able to recall) is very consistent in making the distinction, I have not felt at liberty in my translation to depart from a strict grammatical interpretation of the phrases in question. Moreover, upon second thought, it seems quite as possible that Hegesippus meant to say "every" not "all"; for he can hardly have supposed these relatives of the Lord to have presided literally over the whole Church, while he might very well say that they presided each over the church in the city in which he lived, which is all that the words necessarily imply. The phrase just below, "in every church," is perhaps as natural as "in the whole church."
On Bk. III. chap. 36 § 13.
For the Epistle to the Philippians which is ascribed to him, read his extant Epistle to the Philippians.
On Bk. III. chap. 39, § 1 (note 1, continued).
Since the above note was in type Resch's important work on the Agrapha(von Gebhardt and Harnack's Texte und Untersuchungen, Bd. V. Heft 4) has come to hand. On p. 27 sq. he discusses at considerable length the sources of the Synoptic Gospels. He accepts the theory which is most widely adopted by New-Testament critics, that the synoptic tradition as contained in our Synoptic Gospels rests upon an original Gospel of Mark (nearly if not quite identical with our present Gospel of Mark) and a pre-canonical Hebrew Gospel. In agreement with such critics he draws a sharp distinction between this original Hebrew Gospel and our canonical Greek Matthew, while at the same time recognizing that the latter reproduces that original more fully than either of the other Gospels does. This original Hebrew he then identifies with the logia referred to by Papias as composed by Matthew in the Hebrew tongue (see Bk. III. chap. 39, § 16); that is, with the traditional Hebrew Gospel of Matthew (see ibid. chap. 24, note 5). The arguments which he urges in support of this position are very strong. Handmann regards the Gospel according to the Hebrews as the second original source of the synoptic tradition, alongside of the Ur-Marcus, and even suggests its identification with the logia of Papias, and yet denies its identity with the Hebrew Matthew. On the other hand, Resch regards the Hebrew Matthew, which he identifies with the logia of Papias, as the second original source of the synoptic tradition, alongside of Mark or the Ur-Marcus, and yet, like Handmann, though on entirely different grounds, denies the identity of the Gospel according to the Hebrews with the Hebrew Matthew. Their positions certainly tend to confirm my suggestion that the Hebrew Matthew and the Gospel according to the Hebrews were originally identical (see above, Bk. III. chap. 27, note 8).
On Bk. III. chap. 39, § 6.
For ascribed by name to John, read extant under the name of John.
On Bk. III. chap. 39, § 16.
For from the first epistle of John and from that of Peter likewise, read from the former epistle of John and from the epistle of Peter likewise. See p. 388.
On Bk. IV. chap. 10.
For the Pious, read Pius.
On Bk. IV. chap. 18, § 2.
For the Pious, read Pius.
On Bk. V. Introd. § I (note 3, continued). The Successors of Antoninus Pius.
Antoninus Pius was succeeded in 161 by his adopted sons, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Verus and Lucius Ceionius Ælius Aurelius Commodus Antoninus. Upon his accession to the throne the former transferred his name Verus to the latter, who was thenceforth called Lucius Aurelius Verus. In his Chronicle Eusebius keeps these two princes distinct, but in his History he falls into sad confusion in regard to them, and this confusion has drawn upon him the severe censure of all his critics. He knew of course, as every one did, that Antoninus Pius had two successors. In Bk. IV. chap. 14, § 10, he states this directly, and gives the names of the successors as "Marcus Aurelius Verus, who was also called Antoninus," and "Lucius." From that point on he calls the former of these princes simply Antoninus Verus, Antoninus, or Verus, dropping entirely the name Marcus Aurelius. In Bk. IV. chap. 18, § 2, he speaks of the emperor "whose times we are now recording," that is, the successor of Antoninus Pius, and calls him Antoninus Verus. In Bk. V. Introd. § I he refers to the same emperor as Antoninus Verus, and in Bk. V. chap. 4, § 3, and chap. 9, he calls him simply Antoninus, while in Bk. IV. chap. 13, § 8, he speaks of him as the "Emperor Verus." The death of this Emperor Antoninus is mentioned in Bk. V. chap. 9, and it is there said that he reigned nineteen years and was then succeeded by Commodus. It is evident that in all these passages he is referring to the emperor whom we know as Marcus Aurelius, but to whom he gives that name only once, when he records his accession to the empire. On the other hand, in Bk. V. chap. 5, § 1, Eusebius speaks of Marcus Aurelius Cæsar and expressly distinguishes him from the Emperor Antoninus, to whom he has referred at the close of the previous chapter, and makes him the brother of that emperor. Again, in the same chapter, § 6, he calls this Marcus Aurelius Cæsar, just referred to, the "Emperor Marcus," still evidently distinguishing him from the Emperor Antoninus. In this chapter, therefore, he thinks of Marcus Aurelius as the younger of the two sons left by Antoninus Pius; that is, he identifies him with the one whom we call Lucius Verus, and whom he himself calls Lucius in Bk. IV. chap. 14 § 10. Eusebius thus commits a palpable error. How are we to explain it?
The explanation seems to me to lie in the circumstance that Eusebius attempted to reconcile the tradition that Marcus Aurelius was not a persecutor with the fact known to him as a historian, that the emperor who succeeded Antoninus Pius was. It was the common belief in the time of Eusebius, as it had been during the entire preceding century, that all the good emperors had been friendly to the Christians, and that only the bad emperors had persecuted. Of course, among the good emperors was included the philosophical Marcus Aurelius (cf. e.g. Tertullian's Apol. chap. 5, to which Eusebius refers in Bk. V. chap. 5). It was of Marcus Aurelius, moreover, that the story of the Thundering Legion was told (see ibid.). But Eusebius was not able to overlook the fact that numerous martyrdoms occurred during the reign of the successor of Antoninus Pius. He had the documents recording the terrible persecution at Lyons and Vienne; he had an apology of Melito, describing the hardships which the Christians endured under the same emperor (see Bk. IV. chap. 26). He found himself, as an historian, face to face with two apparently contradictory lines of facts. How was the contradiction to be solved? He seems to have solved it by assuming that a confusion of names had taken place, and that the prince commonly known as Marcus Aurelius, whose noble character was traditional, and whose friendship to the Christians he could not doubt, was the younger, not the older of the two brothers, and therefore not responsible for the numerous martyrdoms which took place after the death of Antoninus Pius. And yet he is not consistent with himself even in his History; for he gives the two brothers their proper names when he first mentions them, and says nothing of an identification of Marcus Aurelius with Lucius. It is not impossible that the words Marcus Aurelius, which are used nowhere else of the older brother, are an interpolation; but for this there is no evidence, and it may be suggested as more probable that at the time when this passage was written the solution of the difficulty which he gives distinctly in Bk. V. chap. 5 had not yet occurred to him. That he should be able to fancy that Marcus Aurelius was identical with Lucius is perhaps not strange when we remember how much confusion was caused in the minds of other writers besides himself by the perplexing identity of the names of the various members of the Antonine family. To the two successors of Antoninus Pius, the three names, Aurelius, Verus, and Antoninus, alike belonged. It is not surprising that Eusebius should under the circumstances think that the name Marcus may also have belonged to the younger one. This supposition would seem to him to find some confirmation in the fact that the most common official designation of the older successor of Antoninus Pius was not Marcus Aurelius, but Antoninus simply, or M. Antoninus. The name Marcus Aurelius or Marcus was rather a popular than an official designation. Even in the Chronicle there seems to be a hint that Eusebius thought of a possible distinction between Antoninus the emperor and Marcus, or Marcus Aurelius; for while he speaks of the "Emperor Antoninus" at the beginning of the passages in which he recounts the story of the Thundering Legion (year of Abr. 2188), he says at the close: literæ quoque exstant Marci regis (the M. Aureli gravissimi imperatoris of Jerome looks like a later expansion of the simpler original) quibus testatur copias suas iamiam perituras Christianorum precibus servatas esse. But even when he had reached the solution pointed out, Eusebius did not find himself clear of difficulties; for his sources put the occurrence of the Thundering Legion after the date at which the younger brother was universally supposed to have died, and it was difficult on still other grounds to suppose the prince named Marcus Aurelius already dead in 169 (the date given by Eusebius himself in his Chronicle for the death of Lucius). In this emergency he came to the conclusion that there must be some mistake in regard to the date of his death, and possessing no record of the death of Marcus Aurelius as distinct from Antoninus, he simply passed it by without mention.
That Eusebius in accepting such a lame theory showed himself altogether too much under the influence of traditional views cannot be denied; but when we remember that the tradition that Marcus Aurelius was not a persecutor was supported by writers whose honesty and accuracy he could never have thought of questioning, as well as by the very nature of the case, we must, while we smile at the result, at least admire his effort to solve the contradiction which he, as an historian, felt more keenly than a less learned man, unacquainted with the facts on the other side, would have done.
On Bk. V. chap. 1, § 27 (note 26, continued).
See also Bk. VIII. chap. 10, note 5.
On Bk. VI. chap. 2 (note 1, continued). Origen's Life and Writings.
Origen Adamantius (on the second name, see Bk. VI. chap. 14, note 12) was of Christian parentage and probably of Greek descent on his father's side (as stated in the previous note), but whether born in Alexandria or not we do not know. Westcott suggests that his mother may have been of Jewish descent, because in an epistle of Jerome (ad Paulam: Ep. 39, § 1, Migne's ed.) he is said to have learned Hebrew so thoroughly that he "vied with his mother" in the singing of psalms (but compare the stricture of Redepenning on this passage, p. 187, note 1). The date of his birth may be gathered from the fact (stated in this chapter) that he was in his seventeenth year at the time of his father's death, which gives us 185 or 186 as the year of his birth (cf. Redepenning, I. p. 417-420, Erste Beilage). We learn from the present chapter that as a boy he was carefully trained by his father in the Scriptures and afterward in Greek literature, a training of which he made good use in later life. He was also a pupil of Clement in the catechetical school, as we learn from chaps. 6 and 14 (on the time, see chap. 6, note 4). He showed remarkable natural ability, and after the death of his father (being himself saved from martyrdom only by a device of his mother), when left in poverty with his mother and six younger brothers (see § 13 of this chapter), he was able, partly by the assistance of a wealthy lady and partly by teaching literature, to support himself (§ 14). Whether he supported the rest of the family Eusebius does not state, but his thoroughly religious character does not permit us to imagine that he left them to suffer. In his eighteenth year, there being no one at the head of the catechetical school in Alexandria, he was induced to take the school in charge and to devote himself to the work of instruction in the Christian faith. Soon afterward the entire charge of the work was officially committed to him by Demetrius, the bishop of Alexandria (see chap. 3). He lived at this time a life of rigid asceticism (ibid.), and even went so far as to mutilate himself in his zeal for the prosecution of his work (see chap. 8). His great influence naturally aroused the hostility of unbelievers against him; but though many of his pupils suffered martyrdom (see chap. 4), he himself escaped, we do not know how. Eusebius ascribes his preservation to the providence of God (ibid.). During these years in which he was at the head of the catechetical school, he devoted himself with vigor to the study of Greek philosophy, and was for a time a pupil of the Neo-Platonist Ammonius Saccas (chap. 19). He studied non-Christian thought, as he tells us, in order that he might be the better able to instruct his pagan and heretical pupils (ibid.). His labors in the school in time grew so heavy that he was obliged to associate with himself his friend and fellow-pupil Heraclas, to whom he committed the work of elementary instruction (chap. 15). It was during this time that he seems to have begun his Hexapla, having learned Hebrew in order to fit himself the better for his work upon the Old Testament (chap. 16). During this period (while Zephyrinus was bishop of Rome, i.e. before 217) he made a brief visit to Rome (chap. 14), and later he was summoned to Arabia, to give instruction to the governor of that country, and remained there a short time (chap. 19). Afterward, on account of a great tumult in Alexandria (see chap. 19, note 22), he left the city and went to Cæsarea in Palestine, where, although only a layman, he publicly expounded the Scriptures in the church (chap. 19). The bishop Demetrius strongly disapproved of this, and summoned him back to Alexandria (ibid.). Upon his return to Alexandria he entered upon the work of writing Commentaries on the Scriptures (see chap. 23). During this period he wrote also other important works (see chap. 24).
In the tenth year of Alexander Severus (a.d. 231) he left Alexandria (according to chap. 26) and took up his residence in Cæsarea, leaving his catechetical school in charge of his assistant, Heraclas. The cause of his departure is stated in chap. 23 to have been "some necessary affairs of the church" which called him to Greece. (For a statement of the reasons which lead me, contrary to the common opinion, to identify the departure mentioned in chap. 23 with that mentioned in chap. 26, see below, p. 395 sq.) Jerome (de vir. ill. c. 54) says that he went to Achaia on account of heresies which were troubling the churches there. His words are: Et propter ecclesias Achaiæ, quæ pluribus hæresibus vexabantur, sub testimonio ecclesiasticæ epistolæ Athenas per Palæstinam pergeret. He passed through Palestine on his way to Greece, and it was at this time that he was ordained a presbyter by the Palestinian bishops (chap. 23), Theoctistus of Cæsarea and Alexander of Jerusalem (according to Jerome, l.c.; cf. also Euseb. chap. 8). Whether he remained long in Palestine at this time, or went on at once to Greece, we do not know; but that a visit (to be distinguished from the second visit mentioned in chap. 32; see note 4 on that chapter) was made we know from a fragment of one of Origen's epistles written from Athens (printed in Lommatzsch's ed. of Origen's works, XXV. p. 388); with which are to be compared Epiphanius, Hær. LXIV. 1, and the remark made by Eusebius in chap. 16, § 2. in regard to the finding of a copy of a translation in Nicopolis. Origen's ordination resulted in the complete alienation of the bishop Demetrius (upon his earlier and later attitude toward Origen, and the causes of the change, see below, p. 394 sq.), and he called a council in Alexandria of bishops and presbyters (the council must have been held very soon after the receipt of the news of Origen's ordination, for Demetrius died in 232; see Bk. V. chap. 22, note 4) which decided that Origen should be required to leave Alexandria and not be allowed to reside or to teach there, but did not depose him from the priesthood. Afterward, however, Demetrius, combining with some bishops of like mind with himself, deposed Origen from his office, and the sentence was ratified by those who had before voted with him. Photius gives this account in Cod. 118, quoting from the lost Defense of Pamphilus and Eusebius. Eusebius himself tells us nothing about these proceedings in his History, but simply refers us (chap. 23) to the second book of his Defense, which he says contained a full account of the matter. (Upon the bearing of the words quoted by Photius from the Defense, see below, p. 395 sq.) Demetrius wrote of the result of the council "to the whole world" (according to Jerome's de vir. ill. c. 54), and the sentence was concurred in by the bishops of Rome and of all the other churches, except those of Palestine, Arabia, Phoenicia, and Achaia (see Jerome ad Paul. Ep. 33; and Apol. adv. libros Ruf. II. 18). Taking up his abode in Cæsarea, Origen made this place his headquarters for the rest of his life, and found there the most cordial sympathy and support (chap. 27). He carried on in Cæsarea a catechetical school, expounding the Scriptures, lecturing on theology, and at the same time continuing his literary labors in peace until the persecution of Maximinus (a.d. 235-237), during which some of his friends in Cæsarea suffered (see chaps. 27, 28, 30, 32, and 36). How Origen escaped and where he was during the persecution we do not know (see chap. 28, note 2). In 237 or 238 at any rate, he was (again) in Cæsarea and at this time Gregory Thaumaturgus delivered his Panegyric, which is our best source for a knowledge of Origen's methods of teaching and of the influence which he exerted over his pupils. (Upon the date, see Draeseke, Der Brief des Origenes an Gregoriosin the Jabrbücher f. prot. Theologie, 1887, p. 102 sq.) During this period he did considerable traveling, making another visit to Athens (see chap. 32) and two to Arabia (see chaps. 33 and 37). It was while in Cæsarea, and when he was over sixty years old, that he first permitted his discourses to be taken down by shorthand writers (see chap. 26). His correspondence with the Emperor Philip and his wife is mentioned by Eusebius in the same chapter. He was arrested during the Decian persecution and suffered terrible torments, but not martyrdom (chap. 39). He died not much more than a year after the close of the persecution, in the seventieth year of his age (see Bk. VII. chap. 1), at Tyre, and was buried there (Jerome, de vir. ill. c. 54).
Origen was without doubt the greatest scholar and the most original thinker of his age. He was at the same time a man of most devout piety, and employed all his wonderful talents in the service of what he believed to be the truth. His greatest labors were in the field of exegesis, and here his writings were epoch-making, although his results were often completely vitiated by his use of the allegorical method of interpretation and his neglect of the grammatical and historical sense. His services in the cause of scientific theology cannot be overestimated, and his thinking long stimulated the brightest minds of the Church, both orthodox and heretical. Both his natural predilections and his training in the philosophy which prevailed in Alexandria in that day led him in the direction of idealism, and to an excess of this, combined with his deep desire--common also to Clement--to reconcile Christianity with reason and to commend it to the minds of philosophers, are due most of his errors, nearly all of which are fascinating and lofty in conception. Those errors led the Church to refuse him a place among its saints and even among its Fathers in the stricter sense. Even before his death suspicions of his orthodoxy were widespread; and although he had many followers and warm defenders, his views were finally condemned at a home synod in Constantinople in 543 (?) (see Helele, II. 790). Into the bitter controversies which raged during the fourth and fifth centuries, and in which Jerome and Rufinus (the former against, the latter for, Origen) played so large a part we cannot enter here. See the article Origenistic Controversies in the Dict. of Christ. Biog., or any of the Church histories and lives of Origen.
Origen was a marvelously prolific writer. Epiphanius (Hær. LXIV. 63) says that it was commonly reported that he had written 6000 works. Jerome reduces the number to less than a third (adv. Ruf. II. 22). But whatever the number, we know that he was one of the most voluminous--perhaps the most voluminous writer of antiquity. He wrote works of the most diverse nature, critical, exegetical, philosophical and theological, apologetic and practical, besides numerous epistles. (On his great critical work, the Hexpla, see chap. 16, note 8.) His exegetical works consisted of commentaries, scholia (or detached notes), and homilies. Of his commentaries on the Old Testament, which were very numerous, only fragments of those on Genesis, Exodus, the Psalms, and the Song of Solomon are presented in the version of Rufinus, and a fragment of the commentary on Ezekiel in the Philocalia. Of the New Testament commentaries we have numerous fragments both in Greek and Latin (especially on Matthew and John), and the whole of Romans in the translation of Rufinus. Upon the commentaries composed by Origen while still in Alexandria, see chap. 24; on those written afterwards, see chaps. 32 and 36. No complete scholia are extant; but among the numerous exegetical fragments which are preserved there may be portions of these scholia, as well as of the commentaries and homilies. It is not always possible to tell to which a fragment belongs. Of the homilies, over 200 are preserved, the majority of them in the translation of Rufinus.
The philosophical and theological works known to us are the two books On the Resurrection (see chap. 24, note 5): the De principiis (see ibid. note 6); and the Stromata (see ibid. note 7).
Origen's great apologetic work is his Contra Celsum (see chap. 36, note 3).
Two works of a practical character are known to us: On Martyrdom (see chap. 28, note 3); and On Prayer. The latter work is not mentioned by Eusebius in his History, but is referred to in Pamphilus' Apology for Origen, Chap. VIII. (Lommatzsch, XXIV. p. 397). It is extant in the original Greek, and is printed by Lommatzsch, XVII. p. 79-297. It is addressed to two of his friends, Ambrosius and Tatiana, and is one of his most beautiful works. As to the date at which Origen wrote the work, we know (from chap. 23 of the work) only that it was written after the composition of the commentary on Genesis (see above, Bk. VI. chap. 24), but whether before or after his departure from Alexandria we cannot tell.
Of his epistles only two are preserved entire, one to Julius Africanus, and another to Gregory Thaumaturgus. On the former, see chap. 31, note 1. On the latter and on Origen's other epistles, see chap. 36, note 7.
Finally must be mentioned the Philocalia (Lommatzsch, XXV. p. 1-278), a collection of judiciously selected extracts from Origen's works in twenty-seven books. Its compilers were Gregory Nazianzen and Basil.
The principal edition of Origen's works is that of the Benedictine Delarue in 4 vols. fol.; reprinted by Migne in 8 vols. 8vo. A convenient edition is that of Lommatzsch, in 25 vols. small 8vo., a revision of Delarue's. Only his De principiis, Contra Cels., and the epistles to Africanus and to Gregory have been translated into English, and are given in the Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. IV. p. 221 sqq. Of lives of Origen must be mentioned that of Huetius: Origeniana (Paris, 1679, in 2 vols.; reprinted in Delarue and Lommatzsch); also Redepenning's Origenes. Eine Darstellung seines Lebens und seiner Lehre (Bonn, 1841 and 1846, in 2 vols.). The respective sections in Lardner and Tillemont should be compared, and the thorough article of Westcott in the Dict. of Christ. Biog. IV. 96-142. For a good list of the literature on Origen, see Schaff, Ch. Hist. II. p. 785.
On Bk. VI. chap. 8, § 5 (note 4). Origen and Demetrius.
The friendship of Demetrius for Origen began early and continued, apparently without interruption, for many years. In 203 he committed to him the charge of the catechetical school (chap. 3); in the present chapter we find him encouraging him after learning of his rash deed; some years afterward, upon Origen's return from a visit to Rome, where his fame as a teacher had already become very great, Demetrius still showed the very best spirit toward him (chap. 14); and a little later sent him into Arabia to give instruction to an officer in that country (chap. 19). It is soon after this that the first sign of a difference between the two men appears, upon the occasion of Origen's preaching in Cæsarea (ibid.). There seems, however, to have been no lasting quarrel, if there was any quarrel at all; for in 231 we find Demetrius giving Origen letters of recommendation upon the occasion of his visit to Achaia (see below, p. 396). The fact that he gives him these letters, thus recognizing him as a member of his church in good standing, and sending him upon his important mission with his official approval, shows that no open break between himself and Origen can as yet have taken place. But in his commentary on John (Tom. VI. præf.) Origen shows us that his last years in Alexandria were by no means pleasant ones. He compares his troubles there to the waves of a stormy sea, and his final departure to the exodus of the children of Israel. We know that he had been engaged for some time in writing commentaries, and that the first five books of his commentary on John--epoch-making in their significance, and sure to cause a sensation in orthodox, conservative circles--had recently appeared. We know that his reputation for heterodoxy was already quite widespread and that the majority of the Egyptian clergy were by no means upon his side. The trials to which he refers, therefore, may well have been a result of this hostility to his teachings existing among the clergy about him, and Demetrius may have shared to an extent in the common feeling. At the same time his disapproval cannot have been very pronounced, or he could not have given his official sanction to Origen's important visit to Achaia. But now, things being in this condition, Origen set out upon his mission, leaving Heraclas in charge of his school, and undoubtedly with the expectation of returning again, for he left the unfinished sixth book of his commentary on John behind him (see preface to the sixth book). He stopped in Palestine on his way to Athens, and there was ordained a presbyter by the bishops of that country (upon the motives which prompted him in the matter, see below, p. 397). The result was a complete break between Demetrius and himself, and his condemnation by an Alexandrian synod. To understand Demetrius' action in the matter, we must remember that both Eusebius and Jerome attribute the change in his attitude to jealousy of Origen. They may be too harsh in their judgment, and yet it is certainly not at all unnatural that the growing power and fame of his young catechumen should in time affect, all unconsciously, his attitude toward him. But we must not do Demetrius an injustice. There is no sign that his jealousy led him to attack Origen, or to seek to undermine his influence, and we have no right to accuse him, without ground, of such unchristian conduct. At the same time, while he remained, as he supposed, an honest friend of Origen's, the least feeling of jealousy (and it would have been remarkable had he never felt the least) would make him more suspicious of the latter's conduct, and more prone to notice in his actions anything which might be interpreted as an infringement of his own prerogatives, or a disregard of the full respect due him. We seem to see a sign of this over-sensitiveness (most natural under the circumstances) in his severe disapproval of Origen's preaching in Cæsarea, which surprised the Palestinian bishops, but which is not surprising when we realize that Demetrius might so easily construe it as a token of growing disrespect for his authority on the part of his rising young school principal. It is plain enough, if he was in this state of mind, that he might in all sincerity have given letters of recommendation to Origen and have wished him God speed upon his mission, and yet that the news of his ordination to the presbyterate by foreign bishops, without his own approval or consent, and indeed in opposition to his own principles and to ecclesiastical law, should at once arouse his ire, and, by giving occasion for what seemed righteous indignation, open the floodgates for all the smothered jealousy of years. In such a temper of mind he could not do otherwise than listen willingly to all the accusations of heresy against Origen, which were no doubt busily circulated in his absence, and it was inevitable that he should believe it his duty to take decided steps against a man who was a heretic, and at the same time showed complete disregard of the rules and customs of the Church, and of the rights of his bishop. The result was the definitive and final exclusion of Origen from communion with the Alexandrian church, and his degradation from the office of presbyter by decree of the Alexandrian synods described above, p. 392 sq. The two grounds of the sentence passed by these synods were plainly his irregular ordination to the priesthood when constitutionally unfit for it (cf. what Eusebius says in this chapter), and his heterodoxy (cf. e.g. the synodical epistle of the Egyptian bishops given in Mansi's Collect. Concil. IX. col. 524, and also Jerome's epistle ad Pammachium et Oceanum, § 10, and Rufinus' Apologi in Hieron. II. 21). That the ordination to the priesthood of one who had mutilated himself was not universally considered uncanonical in the time of Origen is proved by the fact that the Palestinian bishops (whom Origen cannot have allowed to remain ignorant of his condition) all united in ordaining him. But the very fact that they all united (which has perplexed some scholars) leads us to think that they realized that their action was somewhat irregular, and hence wished to give it sanction by the participation of a number of bishops. The first canon of the Council of Nicæa forbids such ordination, and the canon is doubtless but the repetition of an older one (cf. Apost. Canons, 21 to 24, and see Hefele, Conciliengesch. I. p. 377), and yet Origen's consent to his ordination makes it improbable that there was in force in his time, even in Alexandria, a canon placing absolute and unconditional clerical disabilities upon such as he. That the action, however, was considered at least irregular in Alexandria, is proved by the position taken in the matter by Demetrius; and the fact that he made so much of it leads us to believe that the synod, called by him, may now have made canon law of what was before only custom, and may have condemned Origen for violating that custom which they considered as binding as law. Certainly had there been no such custom, and had it not seemed to Demetrius absolutely binding, he would have ordained Origen to the priesthood long before. His ordination in Palestine was in violation of what was known to be Demetrius' own principle, and the principle of the Alexandrian church, even if the principle was not, until this time or later, formulated into a canon.
On Bk. VI. chap. 12, § 6.
Since this passage was printed, I have seen Westcott's translation of this fragment of Serapion's epistle in his Canon of the New Testament, 5th ed. p. 390 sq. (cf. especially p. 391, note), and am glad to note that his rendering of the words katarxamenon autou is the same as my own. His interpretation of one or two other points I am unable to adopt.
On Bk. VI. chap. 23, § 4 (note 6). Origen's Visit to Achaia.
Eusebius gives as the cause of Origen's visit to Greece simply "a pressing necessity in connection with ecclesiastical affairs," but Jerome (de vir. ill. c. 54) tells us that it was on account of heresies which were troubling the churches of Achaia (propter ecclesias Achaiæ, quæ pluribus hæresibus vexabantur). Photius (Cod. 118) reports that Origen went to Athens without the consent of Demetrius (choris tes tou oikeiou gnomes episkopou), but this must be regarded as a mistake (caused perhaps by his knowledge that it was Origen's ordination, which took place during this trip, that caused Demetrius' anger; for Photius does not say that this statement rests upon the authority of Pamphilus, but prefaces his whole account with the words ho te PEURmphilos mEURrtus kai heteroi pleistoi), for Jerome (de vir. ill. c. 54) says that Origen went to Athens by way of Palestine sub testimonio ecclesiasticæ epistolæ, and in chap. 62 he says that Alexander, bishop of Jerusalem wrote an epistle in which he stated that he had ordained Origen juxta testimonium Demetrii. We must therefore assume that Origen left Alexandria for Athens with Demetrius' approval, and with letters of recommendation from him. It is the common opinion that Origen left Alexandria this time about 228 a.d., and after his visit in Achaia returned to Alexandria, where he remained until excommunicated by the council called by Demetrius. Upon searching the sources, however, I can find absolutely no authority for the statement that he returned to Alexandria after his visit to Achaia; in fact, that he did seems by most scholars simply to be taken for granted without further investigation. The opinion apparently rests upon the interpretation of two passages, one in a report of the proceedings of the Alexandrian synod taken by Photius from Pamphilus' Apology, the other in the preface to the sixth book of Origen's commentary on the Gospel of John. In the former it is said that the synod voted to exile Origen from Alexandria, and forbade him to reside or to teach there (psephizetai metastenai men apo 'Alexandreias ton 'Origenen, kai mete diatribein en aute, mete didEURskein). But certainly such a decree is far from proving that Origen, at the time it was passed, was actually in Alexandria. It simply shows that he still regarded that city as his residence, and was supposed to be expecting to return to it after his visit was completed. In the preface to the sixth book of his commentary on John's Gospel, he speaks of the troubles and trials which he had been enduring in Alexandria before he finally left the city, and compares that departure to the exodus of the children of Israel. But certainly it is just as easy to refer these troubles to the time before his visit to Achaia, a time when in all probability the early books of his commentary on John, as well as others of his writings, had begun to excite the hostility of the Alexandrian clergy, and thus made his residence there uncomfortable. It is almost necessary to assume that this hostility had arisen some time before the synods were held, in order to account both for the hostility of the majority of the clergy, which cannot have been so seriously aroused in an instant, and also for the change in Demetrius' attitude, which must have found a partial cause in the already existing hostility of the clergy to Origen, hostility which led them to urge him on to take decisive steps against Origen when the fitting occasion for action came in the ordination of the latter (see above, p. 395). The only arguments which, so far as I am able to learn, have been or can be urged for Origen's return to Alexandria are thus shown to prove nothing. On the other hand, it is a fact that Origen was ordained on his way to Achaia, and then went on and did his business there, and it is difficult to imagine that Demetrius and the Alexandrian church would have waited so long before taking action in regard to this step, which appeared to them so serious. More than that, Origen reports that he had begun the sixth book of his commentary on John in Alexandria, but had left it there, and therefore began it anew in Palestine. It is difficult to imagine that his departure was so hasty that he could not take even his mss. with him; but if he left only for his visit to Achaia, expecting to return again, he would of course leave his mss. behind him, and when his temporary absence was changed by the synod into permanent exile, he might not have been in a position, or might not have cared, to send back for the unfinished work. Still further, it does not seem probable that, if he were leaving Alexandria an exile under the condemnation of the church, and in such haste as the leaving of his unfinished commentary would imply, he should be in a position to entrust the care of his catechetical school to his assistant Heraclas (as he is said in chap. 26 to have done). That matter would rather have been taken out of his hands by Demetrius and the rest of the clergy. But going away merely on a visit, he would of course leave the school in Heraclas' charge, and after his condemnation the clergy might see that Heraclas was the man for the place, and leave him undisturbed in it. After having, upon the grounds mentioned, reached the conclusion, shared so far as I knew by no one else, that it is at least unlikely that Origen returned to Alexandria after his visit to Greece, I was pleased to find my position strengthened by some chronological considerations urged by Lipsius (Chronologie d. röm. Bischöfe, p. 195, note), who says that "we do not know whether Origen ever returned to Alexandria after his ordination," and who seems to think it probable that he did not. He shows that Pontianus did not become bishop of Rome until 230, and therefore, if Eusebius is correct in putting Origen's visit to Achaia in the time of Pontianus' episcopate, as he does in this passage, that visit cannot have taken place before 230 (the commonly accepted date, which rests upon a false chronology of Pontianus' episcopate, is 228); while on the other hand, according to chap. 26, Origen's final departure from Alexandria took place in the tenth year of Alexander's reign (231 a.d.), shortly before Demetrius' death, which occurred not later than 232 (see Bk. V. chap. 22, note 4). Supposing, then, that Origen returned to Alexandria, we must assume his journey to Palestine, his ordination there, his visit to Achaia and settlement of the disputes there, his return to Alexandria, the composition of at least some part of his commentary on John, the calling of a synod, his condemnation and exile,--all within the space of about a year. These chronological considerations certainly increase the improbability of Origen's return to Alexandria. (It may be remarked that Redepenning, who accepts the commonly received chronology, assigns two years to the Cæsarean and Achaian visit.) Assuming, then, that this departure for Achaia is identical with that mentioned in chap. 26, we put it in the year 231. It must have been (as of course we should expect, for he stopped in Palestine only on his way to Achaia) very soon after his departure that Origen's ordination took place; and the synod must have been called very soon after that event (as we should likewise expect), for Demetrius died the following year.
As to the cause of Origen's ordination, it is quite possible, as Redepenning suggests, that when he went a second time to Palestine, his old friends, the bishops of Cæsarea, of Jerusalem, and of other cities, wished to hear him preach again, but that remembering the reproof of the bishop Demetrius, called forth by his preaching on the former occasion (see chap. 19), he refused, and that then the Palestinian bishops, in order to obviate that difficulty, insisted on ordaining him. It is not impossible that Origen, who seems never to have been a stickler for the exact observance of minor ecclesiastical rules and formalities, supposed that Demetrius, who had shown himself friendly in the past, and not hostile to him because of his youthful imprudence (see chap. 8), would concur willingly in an ordination performed by such eminent bishops, and an ordination which would prove of such assistance to Origen in the accomplishment of the work in Achaia which he was undertaking with the approval of Demetrius himself, even though the latter could not bring himself to violate what he considered an ecclesiastical canon against the ordination of eunuchs. We can thus best explain Origen's consent to the step which, when we consider his general character, it is difficult to suppose he would have taken in conscious opposition to the will of his bishop. (On Demetrius' view of the matter, see above, p. 394 sq.) He was ordained, according to Jerome's de vir. ill. c. 54 (cf. also chap. 8, above), by Theoctistus, bishop of Cæsarea, and Alexander, bishop of Jerusalem, together with "the most distinguished bishops of Palestine" (as Eusebius says in chap. 8).
On Bk. VII. chap. 25, § 11.
For in the reputed second or third Epistle of John, read in the extant second and third Epistles of John (en te deutera pheromene 'IoEURnnou kai trite).
On Bk. VII. chap. 26, § 1 (note 4, continued).
On Dionysius' attitude toward Sabellianism and the occasion of the Apology (zlenchos kai apologia) in four books, which he addressed to Dionysius of Rome, see Bk. VI. chap. 40, note 1. This work is no longer extant, but brief fragments of it have been preserved by Athanasius (in his De Sent. Dionysii) and by Basil ( in his De Spir. Sancto). English translation in the Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. VI. p. 92 sq. The longer work was preceded by a shorter one, now lost, to which reference is made in one of the fragments of the longer work. We do not know the exact date of the work, but may assign it with considerable probability to the earlier part of the episcopate of Dionysius of Rome; that is, soon after 259. Upon this work and upon Dionysius' attitude toward Sabellianism, see especially Dittrich, Dionysius der Grosse, p. 91. sq.
On Bk. VIII. chap. 2, § 4 (note 3, continued). The Causes of the Diocletian Persecution.
The persecution of Diocletian, following as it did a period of more than forty years during which Christianity had been recognized as a religio licita, and undertaken as it was by a man who throughout the first eighteen years of his reign had shown himself friendly to the Christians, and had even filled his own palace with Christian servants, presents a very difficult problem to the historian. Why did Diocletian persecute? The question has taxed the ingenuity of many scholars and has received a great variety of answers. Hunziker (in his Regierung und Christenverfolgung des Kaisers Diocletianus und seiner Nachfolger, Leipzig, 1869), Burckhardt (in his Zeit Constantins, Basel, 1853, 2d and improved edition, Leipzig, 1880), and A. J. Mason (in his Persecution of Diocletian, Cambridge and London, 1876), not to mention other investigators, have treated the subject with great ability and at considerable length, and the student is referred to their works for a fuller examination of the questions involved. It is not my purpose here to discuss the various views that have been presented by others; but inasmuch as I am unable fully to agree with any of them, I desire to indicate my own conception of the causes that led to the persecution. We are left almost wholly to conjecture in the matter; for our only authority, Lactantius, makes so many palpably erroneous statements in his description of the causes which produced the great catastrophe that little reliance can be placed upon him (see Burckhardt's demonstration of these errors, ibid. p. 289 sq.). Nevertheless, he has preserved for us at least one fact of deep significance, and it is a great merit of Mason's discussion that he has proved so conclusively the correctness of the report. The fact I refer to is that the initiative came from Galerius, not from Diocletian himself. Lactantius states this very distinctly and repeatedly, but it has been argued by Hunziker and many others that the persecution had been in Diocletian's mind for a long time, and that it was but the culmination of his entire policy. Having settled political matters, it is said, he turned his attention to religious matters, and determined as a step toward the restoration of the old Roman religion in its purity to exterminate Christianity. But, as Mason shows, this is an entire misconception of Diocletian's policy. It had never been his intention to attack Christianity. Such an attack was opposed to all his principles, and was at length made only under the pressure of strong external reasons. But though Mason has brought out this important fact so clearly, and though he has shown that Galerius was the original mover in the matter, he has, in my opinion, gone quite astray in his explanation of the causes which led Diocletian to accede to the wishes of Galerius. According to Mason, Diocletian was induced against his will to undertake a course of action which his judgment told him was unwise. "But the Cæsar [Galerius] was the younger and the stronger man; and a determination to do has always an advantage over the determination not to do. At length Diocletian broke down so far as to offer to forbid the profession of the faith within the walls of his palace and under the eagles of his legions. He was sure it was a mistaken policy. It was certainly distasteful to himself. The army would suffer greatly by the loss. Diocletian would have to part with servants to whom he was attached," &c. To my mind, it is impossible to believe that Diocletian--great and wise emperor as he had proved himself, and with an experience of over eighteen years of imperial power during which he had always shown himself master--can thus have yielded simply to the importunity of another man. Our knowledge of Diocletian's character should lead us to repudiate absolutely such a supposition. Feeling the difficulty of his own supposition, Mason suggests that Diocletian may have felt that it would be better for him to begin the persecution himself, and thus hold it within some bounds, than to leave it for Galerius to conduct when he should become emperor two years later. But certainly if, as Mason assumes, Diocletian was convinced that the measure was in itself vicious and impolitic, that was a most remarkable course to pursue. To do a bad thing in order to leave no excuse for a successor to do the same thing in a worse way--certainly that is hardly what we should expect from the strongest and the wisest ruler Rome had seen for three centuries. If he believed it ought not to be done, we may be sure he would not have done it, and that neither Galerius nor any one else could compel him to. He was not such a helpless tool in the hands of others, nor was he so devoid of resources as to be obliged to prevent a successor's folly and wickedness by anticipating him in it, nor so devoid of sense as to believe that he could. It is, in my opinion, absolutely necessary to assume that Diocletian was convinced of the necessity of proceeding against the Christians before he took the step he did. How then are we to account for this change in his opinions? Burckhardt attributes the change to the discovery of a plot among the Christians. But the question naturally arises, what motive can the Christians have had for forming a plot against an emperor so friendly to them and a government under which they enjoyed such high honors? Burckhardt gives no satisfactory answer to this very pertinent query, and consequently his theory has not found wide acceptance. And yet I believe he is upon the right track in speaking of a plot, though he has not formed the right conception of its causes and nature, and has not been able to urge any known facts in direct support of his theory. In my opinion the key to the mystery lies in the fact which Lactantius states and the truth of which Mason demonstrates, but which Burckhardt quite overlooks, that the initiative came from Galerius, not Diocletian, viewed in the light of the facts that Galerius had long been known to be a bitter enemy of the Christians, and that he was to succeed Diocletian within a couple of years. The course of events might be pictured somewhat as follows. Some of the Christian officials and retainers of Diocletian, fearing what might happen upon the accession of Galerius, who was known to be a deadly enemy of the Christians, and who might be expected, if not to persecute, at least to be a deadly enemy of the Christian officials that had enjoyed Diocletian's favor (Galerius himself had only heathen officials in his court), conceived the idea of frustrating in some way the appointed succession and secure it for some one who would be more favorable to them (possibly for the young Constantine, who was then at Diocletian's court, and who, as we know, was later so cordially hated by Galerius). It may have been hoped by some of them that it would be possible in the end to win Diocletian himself over to the side of Christianity, and then induce him to change the succession and transmit the power to a fitter prince. There may thus have been nothing distinctly treasonable in the minds of any of them, but there may have been enough to arouse the suspicions of Galerius himself, who was the one most deeply interested, and who was always well aware of the hatred which the Christians entertained toward him. We are told by Lactantius that Galerius spent a whole winter with Diocletian, endeavoring to persuade him to persecute. The latter is but a conclusion drawn by Lactantius from the events which followed; for he tells us himself that their conferences were strictly private, and that no one knew to what they pertained. But why did the persecution of the Christians at this particular time seem so important a thing to Galerius that he should make this long and extraordinary visit to Nicomedia? Was it the result of a fresh accession of religious zeal on his part? I confess myself unable to believe that Galerius' piety lay at the bottom of the matter, and at any rate, knowing that he would himself be master of the empire in two years, why could he not wait until he could take matters into his own hands and carry them out after his own methods? No one, so far as I know, has answered this question; and yet it is a very pertinent one. It might be said that Galerius was afraid that he should not be able to carry out such measures unless they had had the sanction of his great predecessor. But Galerius never showed, either as Cæsar or Augustus, any lack of confidence in himself, and I am inclined to think that he would have preferred to enjoy the glory of the great undertaking himself rather than give it all to another, had he been actuated simply by general reasons of hostility toward the Church. But if we suppose that he had conceived a suspicion of such a plan as has been suggested, we explain fully his remarkable visit and his long and secret interviews with Diocletian. There was no place in which he could discover more about the suspected plot (which he might well fancy to be more serious than it really was) than in Nicomedia itself; and if such a plot was on foot, it was of vital importance to unearth it and reveal it to Diocletian. We may believe then that Galerius busied himself during the whole winter in investigating matters, and that long after he had become thoroughly convinced of the existence of a plot Diocletian remained skeptical.
We may suppose that at the same time whatever vague plans were in the minds of any of the Christians were crystallizing during that winter, as they began to realize that Galerius' hold upon the emperor was such that the latter could never be brought to break with him. We may thus imagine that while Galerius was seeking evidence of a plot, the plot itself was growing and taking a more serious shape in the minds at least some of the more daring and worldly minded Christians. Finally, sufficient proof was gathered to convince even Diocletian that there was some sort of a plot on foot, and that the plotters were Christians. The question then arose what course should be pursued in the matter. And this question may well have caused the calling together of a number of counsellors and the consultation of the oracle of Apollo of which Lactantius tells us. Galerius naturally wished to exterminate the Christians as a whole, knowing their universal hostility to him; but Diocletian just as naturally wished to punish only such as were concerned in the plot, and was by no means convinced that the Christians as a whole were engaged in it. The decision which was reached, and which is exhibited in the edict of the 24th of February, 303 seems to confirm in a remarkable manner the theory which has been presented. Instead of issuing an edict against Christians in general, Diocletian directs his blows solely against Christians in governmental circles,--public officials and servants in official families (cf. the interpretation of the edict given above in Bk. VIII. chap. 2, note 6). This is certainly not the procedure of an emperor who is persecuting on religious grounds. The church officers should in that case have been first attacked as they had been by Decius and Valerian. The singling out of Christians in official circles--and the low as well as the high ones, the servants as well as the masters--is a clear indication that the motive was political, not religious. Moreover, that the edict was drawn in such mild terms is a confirmation of this. These men were certainly not all guilty, and it was not necessary to put them all to death. It was necessary to put an end to the plot in the most expeditious and complete way. The plotters should be shown that their plot was discovered, and the whole thing should be broken up by causing some of them to renounce their faith, by degrading and depriving of citizenship all that would not renounce it. It was a very shrewd move. Executions would but have increased the rebellious spirit and caused the plot to spread. But Diocletian was well aware that any one that renounced his faith would lose caste with his fellow-Christians, and even if he had been a plotter in the past, he could never hope to gain anything in the future from the accession of a Christian emperor. He was careful moreover to provide against any danger from those who refused to renounce their faith, by putting them into a position where it would be impossible for them to accomplish anything in that line in the future. He knew that a plot which had no support within official circles would be of no account and was not to be feared. The action, based on the grounds given, was worthy of Diocletian's genius; explained in any other way it becomes, in my opinion, meaningless. A further confirmation of the view which has been presented is found in the silence of Lactantius and Eusebius. The former was in Nicomedia, and cannot have failed to know the ostensible if not the true cause of the great persecution. Diocletian cannot have taken such a step without giving some reason for it, and doubtless that reason was stated in the preambles of his edicts, as is the case in the edicts of other emperors; but as it happens, while we know the substance of all the edicts, not a single preamble has been preserved. May it not be possible that the Christians, who preserved the terms of the edicts, found the preambles distasteful because derogatory to some of themselves and yet unfortunately not untrue? The reasons which Lactantius gives are palpable makeshifts, and indeed he does not venture to state them categorically. "I have learned," he says, "that the cause of his fury was as follows." Doubtless he had heard it thus in Christian circles; but doubtless he had heard it otherwise from heathen or from the edicts themselves; and he can hardly, as a sensible man, have been fully satisfied with his own explanation of the matter. Eusebius attempts no explanation. He tells us in chapter I, above, that the Church just before the persecution was in an abominable state and full of unworthy Christians, and yet he informs us that he will pass by the unpleasant facts to dwell upon the brighter side for the edification of posterity. Was the cause of the persecution one of the unpleasant facts? He calls it a judgment of God. Was it a merited judgment upon some who had been traitors to their country? He gives us his opinion as to the causes of the persecution of Decius and Valerian; why is he silent about the causes of this greatest of all the persecutions? His silence in the present case is eloquent.
The course of events after the publication of the First Edict is not difficult to follow. Fire broke out twice in the imperial palace. Lactantius ascribes it to Galerius, who was supposed to have desired to implicate the Christians; but, as Burckhardt remarks, Diocletian was not the man to be deceived in that way, and we may dismiss the suspicion as groundless. That the fires were accidental is possible, but extremely improbable. Diocletian at least believed that they were kindled by Christians, and it must be confessed that he had some ground for his belief. At any rate, whether true or not, the result was the torture (for the sake of extorting evidence) and the execution of some of his most faithful servants (see Bk. VIII. chap. 6). It had become an earnest matter with Diocletian, and he was beginning to feel--as he had never had occasion to feel before--that a society within the empire whose claims were looked upon as higher than those of the state itself, and duty to which demanded, in case of a disagreement between it and the state, insubordination, and even treason, toward the latter, was too dangerous an institution to tolerate longer, however harmless it might be under ordinary circumstances. It was at about this time that there occurred rebellions in Melitene and Syria, perhaps in consequence of the publication of the First Edict; at any rate, the Christians, who were regarded with ever increasing suspicion, were believed to be in part at least responsible for the outbreaks, and the result was that a second edict was issued, commanding that all the rulers of the churches should be thrown into prison (see above, Bk. VIII. chap. 6). Here Diocletian took the same step taken by Decius and Valerian, and instituted thereby a genuine religious persecution. It was now Christians as Christians whom he attacked; no longer Christian officials as traitors. The vital difference between the first and second edicts is very clear. All that followed was but the legitimate carrying out of the principle adopted in the Second Edict,--the destruction of the Church as such, the extermination of Christianity.
On Bk. X. chap. 8, § 4 (note I, a).
After Constantine's victory over Maxentius, his half-sister Constantia, daughter of Constantius Chlorus by his second wife, Theodora, was married to Licinius, and thus the alliance of the two emperors was cemented by family ties. Constantius Chlorus was a grandson of Crispus, brother of the Emperor Claudius II., and hence could claim to be, in a sense, of imperial extraction; a fact which gave him a dignity beyond that of his colleagues, who were all of comparatively low birth. Constantine himself and his panegyrists always made much of his illustrious descent.
|Augustus||b.c. 27-a.d. 14|
|Marcus Aurelius [Antoninus Verus]||161-180|
|M. Opilius Macrinus||217-218|
|Heliogabalus, or Elagabalus||218-222|
|The Gordians, I and II||237-238|
|Maxentius (not recognized by the others)||306-312|
Pontianus, 5 years 2 months 7 days; (July 21?), 230-Sept. 28, 235.
Anteros, 1 month 12 days; Nov. 21, 235-Jan. 3, 236.
Fabianus, 14 years 10 days; 236-Jan. 20, 250. Vacancy from Jan. 21, 250-March, 251.
Cornelius, 2 years 3 months 10 days; beginning of March, 251-middle of June, 253.
Lucius, 8 months 10 days; June (25?), 253-March 5, 254.
Xystus I, for about ten years; died between 124 and 126.
Stephanus, 3 years 2 months 21 days; (May 12?), 254-Aug. 6, 258.
Telesphorus, 11 years; died between 135 and 137.
Xystus II., 11 months 12 (6?) days; Aug. 24 (31?), 257-Aug. 6, 258.
Hyginus, 4 years; died between 139 and 141.
Dionysius, 9 years 5 months 2 days; July 22, 259-Dec. 27, 268.
Pius, 15-16 years; died between 154 and 156.
Felix I., 5 years 11 months 25 days; Jan. 5, 269-Dec. 30, 274.
Anicetus, 11-12 years; died in 166 or 167.
Eutychian, 8 years 11 months 3 days; (Jan. 5?) 275-Dec. 8, 283.
Soter, 8-9 years; died in 174 or 175.
Caius, 12 years 4 months 6 days; Dec. 17, 283-April 22, 296.
Eleutherus, 15 years; died in 189.
Marcellinus, 8 years 3 months 25 days; June 30, 296-(Oct. 25?), 304. Vacancy until 307.
Victor, 9-10 years; 189-198 or 199.
Marcellus, 1 year 7 months 21 days; (May 24?), 307-Jan. 15, 309.
Zephyrinus, 18-19 years; 198 or 199-217 (Aug. 26?).
Eusebius, 3 (4?) months 23 (16?) days; April 23 (16?), 309-Aug. 17, 309. Vacancy until 310.
Callistus, 5 years; 217-Oct. 14, 222.
Miltiades, 3 years 6 months 8 days; July 2, 310-Jan. 10 (11?), 314.
Urbanus, 8 years; 222-230 (May 19?).
Zebinus, died between 238 and 249.
Babylas, died in 250, during the persecution of Decius.
Fabius, died toward the end of 252 or early in 253.
Demetrian, died between 257 and 260.
Paul, deposed between 266 and 269 (probably in 268).
Theophilus, died not earlier than 182.
Maximinus, died between 189 and 192.
Timæus, died about 280.
Serapion, died about 209.
Cyril, sent to the mines in 303, and died probably toward the end of 306.
Asclepiades, died between 211 and 222.
Tyrannus, succeeded Cyril probably in 303, possibly not until 306, and lived until the close of the persecution.
Philetus, died not long before 229-231.
Narcisscus, a second time.
"Those which were comprised between the Kalends and the Nones were called the days before the Nones; those between the Nones and the Ides were called the days before the Ides; and, lastly, all the days after the Ides to the end of the month were called the days before the Kalends of the succeeding month.
"In the months of March, May, July, and October, the Ides fell on the 15th day, and the Nones consequently on the 7th: so that each of these months had six days named from the Nones. In all the other months the Ides were on the 13th and the Nones were on the 5th; consequently there were only four days named from the Nones. Every month had eight days named from the Ides. The number of days receiving their denomination from the Kalends depended on the number of days in the month and the day on which the Ides fell. For example, if the month contained 31 days, and the Ides fell on the 13th as was the case in January, August, and December, there would remain 18 days after the Ides, which, added to the first of the following month, made 19 days of Kalends. In January, therefore, the 14th day of the month was called the nineteenth before the Kalends of February (counting inclusively), the 15th was the 18th before the Kalends, and so on to the 30th, which was called the third before the Kalends (tertio Kalendas), the last being the second of the Kalends, or the day before the Kalends (pridie Kalendas)."
Table of Macedonian Months
The months of the Macedonian year, as commonly employed in the time of Eusebius, corresponded exactly to the Roman months, but the year began with the first of September. The names of the months were as follows:--
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