Epiphanius of Salamis

Epiphanius of Salamis (Greek: Ἐπιφάνιος; c. 310–320 – 403) was the bishop of Salamis, Cyprus at the end of the 4th century. He is considered a saint and a Church Father by both the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches. He gained a reputation as a strong defender of orthodoxy. He is best known for composing the Panarion, a very large compendium of the heresies up to his own time, full of quotations that are often the only surviving fragments of suppressed texts. According to Ernst Kitzinger, he "seems to have been the first cleric to have taken up the matter of Christian religious images as a major issue", and there has been much controversy over how many of the quotations attributed to him by the Byzantine Iconoclasts were actually by him. Regardless of this he was clearly strongly against some contemporary uses of images in the church.[2]

Saint Epiphanius
Icon of St. Epiphanius (Gračanica Monastery)
Bishop of Salamis (Cyprus), Oracle of Palestine
Bornc. 310–320
Died403 (aged 82–93)
at sea
Venerated inEastern Orthodoxy
Oriental Orthodoxy
Roman Catholic Church
Feast12 May[1]
17 Pashons (Coptic Orthodoxy)
AttributesVested as a bishop in omophorion, sometimes holding a scroll


Epiphanius was either born into a Romaniote Christian family or became a Christian in his youth. Either way, he was a Romaniote Jew who was born in the Old Yishuv in the small settlement of Besanduk, near Eleutheropolis (modern-day Beit Guvrin, Israel),[3] and lived as a monk in Egypt, where he was educated and came into contact with Valentinian groups. He returned to Palestine around 333, when he was still a young man, and he founded a monastery at Ad nearby,[4] which is often mentioned in the polemics of Jerome with Rufinus and John, Bishop of Jerusalem. He was ordained a priest, and lived and studied as superior of the monastery in Ad that he founded for thirty years and gained much skill and knowledge in that position. In that position he gained the ability to speak in several tongues, including Hebrew, Syriac, Egyptian, Greek, and Latin, and was called by Jerome on that account Pentaglossis ("Five tongued").[5]

His reputation for learning prompted his nomination and consecration as Bishop of Salamis, Cyprus,[6] in 365 or 367, a post which he held until his death. He was also the Metropolitan of the Church of Cyprus. He served as bishop for nearly forty years, as well as travelled widely to combat unorthodox beliefs. He was present at a synod in Antioch (376) where the Trinitarian questions were debated against the heresy of Apollinarianism. He upheld the position of Bishop Paulinus, who had the support of Rome, over that of Meletius of Antioch, who was supported by the Eastern Churches. In 382 he was present at the Council of Rome, again upholding the cause of Paulinus.

Origenist controversy and death

During a visit to Palestine in 394 or 395, while preaching in Jerusalem, he attacked Origen's followers and urged the Bishop of Jerusalem, John II, to condemn his writings. He urged John to be careful of the "offence" of images in the churches. He noted that when travelling in Palestine he went into a church to pray and saw a curtain with an image of Christ or a saint which he tore down. He told Bishop John that such images were "opposed . . . to our religion" (see below).[7] This event sowed the seeds of conflict which erupted in the dispute between Rufinus and John against Jerome and Epiphanius. Epiphanius fuelled this conflict by ordaining a priest for Jerome's monastery at Bethlehem, thus trespassing on John's jurisdiction. This dispute continued during the 390s, in particular in the literary works by Rufinus and Jerome attacking one another.

In 399, the dispute took on another dimension, when the Bishop of Alexandria, Theophilus, who had initially supported John, changed his views and started persecuting Origenist monks in Egypt. As a result of this persecution, four of these monks, the so-called Tall Brothers, fled to Palestine, and then travelled to Constantinople, seeking support and spreading the controversy. John Chrysostom, Bishop of Constantinople, gave the monks shelter. Bishop Theophilus of Alexandria saw his chance to use this event to bring down his enemy Chrysostom: in 402 he summoned a council in Constantinople, and invited those supportive of his anti-Origenist views. Epiphanius, by this time nearly 80, was one of those summoned, and began the journey to Constantinople. However, when he realised he was being used as a tool by Theophilus against Chrysostom, who had given refuge to the monks persecuted by Theophilus and who were appealing to the emperor, Epiphanius started back to Salamis, only to die on the way home in 403.[8]

The curtain incident

Letter LI in Jerome's letters gives Jerome's Latin translation, made at Epiphanius' request, of his letter, originally in Greek from c. 394, "From Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis, in Cyprus, to John, Bishop of Jerusalem" (see previous section for wider context). The final section covers the often quoted incident of the curtain, which unlike other passages attributed to Epiphanius and quoted by the Iconoclasts, is accepted as authentic by modern scholars:[9]

9. Moreover, I have heard that certain persons have this grievance against me: When I accompanied you to the holy place called Bethel, there to join you in celebrating the Collect, after the use of the Church, I came to a villa called Anablatha and, as I was passing, saw a lamp burning there. Asking what place it was, and learning it to be a church, I went in to pray, and found there a curtain hanging on the doors of the said church, dyed and embroidered. It bore an image either of Christ or of one of the saints; I do not rightly remember whose the image was. Seeing this, and being loth that an image of a man should be hung up in Christ’s church contrary to the teaching of the Scriptures, I tore it asunder and advised the custodians of the place to use it as a winding sheet for some poor person. They, however, murmured, and said that if I made up my mind to tear it, it was only fair that I should give them another curtain in its place. As soon as I heard this, I promised that I would give one, and said that I would send it at once. Since then there has been some little delay, due to the fact that I have been seeking a curtain of the best quality to give to them instead of the former one, and thought it right to send to Cyprus for one. I have now sent the best that I could find, and I beg that you will order the presbyter of the place to take the curtain which I have sent from the hands of the Reader, and that you will afterwards give directions that curtains of the other sort—opposed as they are to our religion—shall not be hung up in any church of Christ. A man of your uprightness should be careful to remove an occasion of offence unworthy alike of the Church of Christ and of those Christians who are committed to your charge. Beware of Palladius of Galatia—a man once dear to me, but who now sorely needs God's pity—for he preaches and teaches the heresy of Origen; and see to it that he does not seduce any of those who are intrusted to your keeping into the perverse ways of his erroneous doctrine. I pray that you may fare well in the Lord.[10]



His best-known book is the Panarion which means "medicine-chest" (also known as Adversus Haereses, "Against Heresies"), presented as a book of antidotes for those bitten by the serpent of heresy. Written between 374 and 377, it forms a handbook for dealing with the arguments of heretics.

It lists, and refutes, 80 heresies, some of which are not described in any other surviving documents from the time. Epiphanius begins with the 'four mothers' of pre-Christian heresy – 'barbarism', 'Scythism', 'Hellenism' and 'Judaism' – and then addresses the sixteen pre-Christian heresies that have flowed from them: four philosophical schools (Stoics, Platonists, Pythagoreans and Epicureans), and twelve Jewish sects. There then follows an interlude, telling of the Incarnation of the Word. After this, Epiphanius embarks on his account of the sixty Christian heresies, from assorted gnostics to the various trinitarian heresies of the fourth century, closing with the Collyridians and Messalians.[11]

While Epiphanius often let his zeal come before facts – he admits on one occasion that he writes against the Origenists based only on hearsay (Panarion, Epiphanius 71) – the Panarion is a valuable source of information on the Christian Church of the fourth century. It is also an important source regarding the early Jewish gospels such as the Gospel according to the Hebrews circulating among the Ebionites and the Nazarenes, as well as the followers of Cerinthus and Merinthus.[12]

One unique feature of the Panarion is in the way that Epiphanius compares the various heretics to different poisonous beasts, going so far as to describe in detail the animal's characteristics, how it produces its poison, and how to protect oneself from the animal's bite or poison. For example, he describes his enemy Origen as "a toad noisy from too much moisture which keeps croaking louder and louder." He compares the Gnostics to a particularly dreaded snake "with no fangs." The Ebionites, a Christian sect that followed Jewish law, were described by Epiphanius as "a monstrosity with many shapes, who practically formed the snake-like shape of the mythical many-headed Hydra in himself." In all, Epiphanius describes fifty animals, usually one per sect.[13]

Another feature of the Panarion is the access its earlier sections provide to lost works, notably Justin Martyr's work on heresies, the Greek of Irenaeus' Against Heresies, and Hippolytus' Syntagma.[14] The Panarion was first translated into English in 1987 and 1990.

Other works

His earliest known work is the Ancoratus (the well anchored man), which includes arguments against Arianism and the teachings of Origen. Aside from the polemics by which he is known, Epiphanius wrote a work of biblical antiquarianism, called, for one of its sections, On Weights and Measures (περὶ μέτρων καὶ στάθμων). It was composed in Constantinople for a Persian priest, in 392,[15] and survives in Syriac, Armenian, and Georgian translations (this last is found in Shatberd ms 1141 along with Physiologus and De Gemmis).[16] The first section discusses the canon of the Old Testament and its versions, the second of measures and weights, and the third, the geography of Palestine. The texts appear not to have been given a polish but consist of rough notes and sketches, as Allen A. Shaw, a modern commentator, concluded; nevertheless Epiphanius' work on metrology was important in the history of measurement.

Another work, On the Twelve Gems (De Gemmis), survives in a number of fragments, the most complete of which is the Georgian.[17] The letter written by Epiphanius to John, Bishop of Jerusalem, in 394 and preserved in Jerome's translation, is discussed above.[18] The collection of homilies traditionally ascribed to a "Saint Epiphanius, bishop" are dated in the late fifth or sixth century and are not connected with Epiphanius of Salamis by modern scholars.[19]

Such was Epiphanius's reputation for learning that the Physiologus, the principal source of medieval bestiaries, came to be widely falsely attributed to him.[20]


  • The Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis, Book I (Sects 1–46) Frank Williams, translator, 1987 (E.J. Brill, Leiden) ISBN 90-04-07926-2
  • The Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis, Book II and III (Sects 47–80, De Fide) Frank Williams, translator, 1993 (E.J. Brill, Leiden) ISBN 90-04-09898-4
  • The Panarion of St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis Philip R. Amidon, translator, 1990 (Oxford University Press, New York) (This translation contains selections rather than the full work.) ISBN 0-19-506291-4
  • Epiphanius' Treatise on Weights and Measures: The Syriac Version, James Elmer Dean, ed, 1935. (Chicago) [English translation of On Weights and Measures; available at http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/epiphanius_weights_03_text.htm]
  • Epiphanius de Gemmis: the Old Georgian Version and the Fragments of the Armenian Version. ed. Robert Pierpont Blake; de Vis, H. (1934). London: Christophers.
    • Epiphanius von Salamis, Über die zwölf Steine im hohepriesterlichen Brustschild (De duodecim gemmis rationalis). Nach dem Codex Vaticanus Borgianus Armenus 31 herausgegeben und übersetzt by Felix Albrecht and Arthur Manukyan (Gorgias Eastern Christian Studies 37), 2014 (Gorgias Press: Piscataway) ISBN 978-1-4632-0279-8 (German edition).


  1. ^ ‹See Tfd›(in Greek) Ὁ Ἅγιος Ἐπιφάνιος Ἐπίσκοπος Κωνσταντίας καὶ Ἀρχιεπίσκοπος Κύπρου. 12 Μαΐου. ΜΕΓΑΣ ΣΥΝΑΞΑΡΙΣΤΗΣ.
  2. ^ Kitzinger, 92–93, 92 quoted
  3. ^ The Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis: Book I (Sects 1–46), By Epiphanius, Epiphanius of Salamis, Translated by Frank Williams, 1987 ISBN 90-04-07926-2 p xi
  4. ^ The more famous Monastery of Epiphanius near Thebes, Egypt was founded by an anchorite named Epiphanius towards the end of the sixth century; it was explored by an expedition from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1912–14.
  5. ^ Ruf 3.6
  6. ^ Salamis was also known as Constantia after Constantine II.
  7. ^ Part 9, Letter LI. From Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis, in Cyprus, to John, Bishop of Jerusalem (c. 394), http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3001051.htm.
  8. ^ Frances Young with Andrew Teal, From Nicaea to Chalcedon: A Guide to the Literature and its Background, (2nd edn, 2004), pp202-3
  9. ^ Kitzinger, 92–93 and long note
  10. ^ NPNF2-06. Jerome: The Principal Works of St. Jerome, CCEL
  11. ^ Andrew Louth, 'Palestine', in Frances Young, Lewis Ayres and Andrew Young, eds, The Cambridge History of Early Christian Literature, (2010), p286
  12. ^ Epiphanius , Panarion, 30 iii 7
  13. ^ Verheyden, Joseph (2008). "Epiphanius of Salamis on Beasts and Heretics". Journal of Eastern Christian Studies. 60 (1–4): 143–173. doi:10.2143/jecs.60.1.2035279.
  14. ^ Andrew Louth, 'Palestine', in Frances Young, Lewis Ayres and Andrew Young, eds, The Cambridge History of Early Christian Literature, (2010), 286
  15. ^ Allen A. Shaw, "On Measures and Weights by Epiphanius" National Mathematics Magazine 11.1 (October 1936: 3–7).
  16. ^ English translation is Dean (1935)
  17. ^ Frances Young with Andrew Teal, From Nicaea to Chalcedon: A Guide to the Literature and its Background, (2nd edn, 2004), p201
  18. ^ Ep 51, available at http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf206.v.LI.html
  19. ^ Alvar Erikson, Sancti Epiphani Episcopi Interpretatio Evangelorum (Lund) 1938, following Dom Morin.
  20. ^ Frances Young with Andrew Teal, From Nicaea to Chalcedon: A Guide to the Literature and its Background, (2nd edn, 2004), p202


External links

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Epiphanius of Salamis" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton.


In the Eastern Orthodox Church, Aeiparthenos (Greek ἀειπάρθενος "ever-virgin") is the title of the Theotokos which refers to the "Ever Virgin" Mary, mother of Jesus, thus affirming the doctrine of the Perpetual virginity of Mary.The term is also used to refer to icons of Mary, as in the "Theotokos Aeiparthenos" icon.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (item 499) also includes to the term Aeiparthenos and referring to Lumen gentium item 57 states: "Christ's birth did not diminish his mother's virginal integrity but sanctified it."The term Aeiparthenos is attested to by Epiphanius of Salamis from early 4th century.


The Alogi (ἄλογοι, also called "Alogians") were a group of heterodox Christians in Asia Minor that flourished c. 200 CE, and taught that the Gospel of John and the Apocalypse (Book of Revelation) were not the work of the Apostle, but his adversary Cerinthus. What we know of them is derived from their doctrinal opponents, whose literature is extant, particularly St. Epiphanius of Salamis. It was Epiphanius who coined the name "Alogi" as a word play suggesting that they were both illogical (anti-logikos) and they were against the Christian doctrine of the Logos. While Epiphanius does not specifically indicate the name of its founder, Dionysius Bar-Salibi, citing a lost work of Hippolytus (Capita Adversus Caium), writes in his commentary on the Apocalypse,Hippolytus the Roman says: A man appeared, named Caius, saying that the Gospel is not by John, nor the Apocalypse but that it is by Cerinthus the heretic.According to fourth century church historian Eusebius of Caesarea, Caius was a churchman of Rome who wrote during the time of Pope Zephyrinus, and had published a disputation with Proclus, a Montanist leader in Rome.


Antidicomarianites (Greek ἀντιδικοµαριανῖται, literally "opponents of Mary", from ἀντίδικ-ος ″adversary" + Μαρία ″Mary″) was a term applied to Christians who believed that the brothers and sisters of Jesus mentioned in the New Testament were the younger children of Joseph and Mary after the birth of Jesus. It was a pejorative term used from the 3rd to 5th centuries by those who believed in the perpetual virginity of Mary and that the siblings of Jesus were children of Joseph by an earlier marriage—a belief originating with the 2nd century apocryphal Gospel of James, which had become orthodoxy by the 3rd century. There is no evidence that these Christians considered themselves to be "against Mary" in any sense, except of her being the "Queen of Heaven", which Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians used as a title for her, a reflection of the biblical image in Revelation 12.

Writings against these "Antidicomarianite" Christians—though that name was not yet coined—began in the 3rd century. The earliest reference to this belief appears in Tertullian (c. 160–c. 225), and the doctrines taught by them are expressly mentioned by Origen (185–254). Their views were grounded in mentions of Jesus' brothers and sisters (the desposyni) in the New Testament. The name "Antidicomarianites" was specifically applied to advocates of the doctrine by Epiphanius of Salamis (ca. 315–403), who wrote against them in a letter giving the history of the doctrine and claiming proofs of its falsity. Church writing against the "Antidicomarianites" continued into the 5th century.


According to the Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis (ch. 26), and Theodoret's Haereticarum Fabularum Compendium, the Borborites or Borborians (Greek: Βορβοριανοί; also Koddians; in Egypt, Phibionites; in other countries, Barbalites, Secundians, Socratites, etc.) were a libertine Christian Gnostic sect, said to be descended from the Nicolaitans. The word Borborite comes from the Greek word βόρβορος, meaning "mud"; the name Borborites can therefore be translated as "filthy ones".


According to the early Christian bishop Epiphanius of Salamis (c. 315–403), Chaabou or Kaabu was a goddess in the Nabataean pantheon—a virgin who gave birth to the god Dusares. However, Epiphanus likely mistook the word ka'abu ("cube", etymologically related to the name of the Kaaba), referring to the stone blocks used by the Nabateans to represent Dusares and possibly other deities, for the proper name of a goddess. His report that Chaabou was a virgin was likely influenced by his desire to find a parallel to the Christian belief in the virgin birth of Jesus, and by the similarity of the words ka'bah and ka'ibah ("virgin") in Arabic, the native tongue of the Nabataeans.


Collyridianism was an alleged Early Christian heretical movement in pre-Islamic Arabia, whose adherents apparently worshipped the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus, as a goddess. The existence of the sect is subject to some dispute by scholars, as the only contemporary source which describes them is the Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis, published in approximately 376 AD.According to Epiphanius, certain women in then-largely-pagan Arabia syncretized indigenous beliefs with the worship of Mary, and offered little cakes or bread-rolls. These cakes were called collyris (Greek: κολλυρις), and are the source of the name Collyridians. Epiphanius states that Collyridianism originated in Thrace and Scythia, although it may have first travelled to those regions from Syria or Asia Minor.Theologian Karl Gerok disputed the existence of the Collyridians, describing it as improbable that a sect composed only of women could have lasted for as long as Epiphanius describes. Protestant writer Samuel Zwemer pointed out that the only source of information about the sect came from Epiphanius.In his 1976 book The Virgin, historian Geoffrey Ashe puts forward the hypothesis that the Collyridians represented a parallel Marian religion to Christianity, founded by first-generation followers of the Virgin Mary, whose doctrines were later subsumed by the Church at the Council of Ephesus in 431. Historian Averil Cameron has been more sceptical about whether the movement even existed, noting that Epiphanius is the only source for the group, and that later authors simply refer back to his text.


Epiphanius (; "clearly manifested") may refer to:

Saint Epiphanius of Salamis (c.310–20 to 403), bishop of Salamis, Cyprus, and author of the Panarion

Annius Eucharius Epiphanius, praefectus urbi of the city of Rome, 412–414

Saint Epiphanius of Pavia (438–496), Bishop of Pavia, Italy, 466–496

Epiphanius Scholasticus (fl. c.510), translator of Greek works into Latin

Epiphanius of Constantinople (died 535), Greek Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, 520–535

Epiphanius (Patriarch of Aquileia), first Patriarch of Aquileia to rule from Grado, Italy, 612–613

Epiphanius the Monk (8th or 9th century), priest in the Kallistratos monastery, Constantinople

Epiphanius the Wise (died 1420), Russian monk, hagiographer, and disciple of Saint Sergius of Radonezh

Epiphanius Evesham (fl. 1570–c.1623), English sculptor

Epiphanius Slavinetsky (died 1675), ecclesiastical expert of the Russian Orthodox Church

Epiphanius Shanov (1849–1940), Bulgarian Uniate priest

Anba Epiphanius (1954–2018), murdered Egyptian abbot of Monastery of Saint Macarius the Great

Epiphanius I of Ukraine (born 1979), elected primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (since 15 December 2018) and Metropolitan of Kyiv and All UkrainePlacesMonastery of Saint Epiphanius, founded by Epiphanius Scholasticus

Gospel of the Ebionites

The Gospel of the Ebionites is the conventional name given by scholars to an apocryphal gospel extant only as seven brief quotations in a heresiology known as the Panarion, by Epiphanius of Salamis; he misidentified it as the "Hebrew" gospel, believing it to be a truncated and modified version of the Gospel of Matthew. The quotations were embedded in a polemic to point out inconsistencies in the beliefs and practices of a Jewish Christian sect known as the Ebionites relative to Nicene orthodoxy.The surviving fragments derive from a gospel harmony of the Synoptic Gospels, composed in Greek with various expansions and abridgments reflecting the theology of the writer. Distinctive features include the absence of the virgin birth and of the genealogy of Jesus; an Adoptionist Christology, in which Jesus is chosen to be God's Son at the time of his Baptism; the abolition of the Jewish sacrifices by Jesus; and an advocacy of vegetarianism. It is believed to have been composed some time during the middle of the 2nd century in or around the region east of the Jordan River. Although the gospel was said to be used by "Ebionites" during the time of the early church, the identity of the group or groups that used it remains a matter of conjecture.The Gospel of the Ebionites is one of several Jewish–Christian gospels, along with the Gospel of the Hebrews and the Gospel of the Nazarenes; all survive only as fragments in quotations of the early Church Fathers. Due to their fragmentary state, the relationships, if any, between the Jewish–Christian gospels and a hypothetical original Hebrew Gospel are uncertain and have been a subject of intensive scholarly investigation. The Ebionite gospel has been recognized as distinct from the others, and it has been identified more closely with the lost Gospel of the Twelve. It shows no dependence on the Gospel of John and is similar in nature to the harmonized gospel sayings based on the Synoptic Gospels used by Justin Martyr, although a relationship between them, if any, is uncertain. There is a similarity between the gospel and a source document contained within the Clementine Recognitions (1.27–71), conventionally referred to by scholars as the Ascents of James, with respect to the command to abolish the Jewish sacrifices.

Judah Kyriakos

Judah Kyriakos, also known popularly as Judas of Jerusalem, was the great-grandson of Jude, brother of Jesus, and the last Jewish Bishop of Jerusalem, according to Epiphanius of Salamis and Eusebius of Caesarea. He is sometimes regarded as the great grand-nephew of Jesus.

Though the start of his period as bishop of Jerusalem is not known, Judas is said to have lived beyond the Bar Kokhba's revolt (132-136), up to about the eleventh year of Antoninus Pius (c. 148 A.D.) though Marcus was appointed bishop of Aelia Capitolina in 135 by the Metropolitan of Caesarea.

He is also mentioned in the apocryphal Letter of James to Quadratus.

Justus II of Jerusalem

Justus II of Jerusalem was a 2nd century Jewish Christian bishop of Jerusalem.According to Eusebius of Caesarea, there were thirteen bishops of Jerusalem, all Jewish Christians. and he was 11th on that list. Exact dates are not given by Eusebius, for his bishopric.

Justus is also mentioned in the apocryphal Letter of James to Quadratus, and Epiphanius of Salamis.Some scholars have suggested that he was not a bishop but rather a presbyter assisting James the first Bishop, though this is controversial.

Levis of Jerusalem

Levis of Jerusalem was a 2nd century Jewish Christian bishop of Jerusalem.According to the church Historian Eusebius of Caesarea, there were fifteen bishops of Jerusalem, all Jewish Christians, who ruled the church in Jerusalem up till the Bar Kokhba's revolt, and he was 12th on that list. Exact dates are not given by Eusebius, for his bishopric, though it was between 124 and 135 AD.

This bishop is also mentioned in the apocryphal Letter of James to Quadratus. and Epiphanius of Salamis.Some scholars have suggested that he was not a bishop but rather a presbyter assisting James the first Bishop, though this is controversial.

Nazarene (sect)

The Nazarenes (or Nazoreans; Greek: Ναζωραῖοι, Nazōraioi) were an early Christian sect in first-century Judaism. The first use of the term is found in the Acts of the Apostles of the New Testament, where Paul is accused of being a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes ("πρωτοστάτην τε τῆς τῶν Ναζωραίων αἱρέσεως") before the Roman procurator Antonius Felix at Caesarea Maritima by Tertullus. At that time, the term simply designated followers of Jesus of Nazareth, as the Hebrew term נוֹצְרִי (nôṣrî) still does.As time passed, the term came to refer to a sect of Jewish Christians who continued to observe the Torah, in contrast to those gentile Christians who eschewed Torah observance. They are described by Epiphanius of Salamis and are mentioned later by Jerome and Augustine of Hippo. The writers made a distinction between the Nazarenes of their time and the "Nazarenes" mentioned in Acts 24:5.

On Weights and Measures

On Weights and Measures is a historical, lexical, metrological, and geographical treatise compiled in 392 CE in Constantia by Epiphanius of Salamis (c. 315–403). The greater part of the work is devoted to a discussion on ancient Greek and Roman weights and measures.

The composition was written at the request of a Persian priest, sent to Epiphanius by letter from the Roman emperor in Constantinople. Although five fragments of an early Greek version are known to exist, with one entitled περὶ μέτρων καὶ στάθμων (On Weights & Measures), added by a later hand, this Syriac version is the only complete copy that has survived. Partial translations in Armenian and Georgian are also known to exist. Its modern title belies its content, as the work also contains important historical anecdotes about people and places not written about elsewhere.

Two manuscripts of On Weights and Measures, written in Syriac on parchment, are preserved at the British Museum in London. The older was found in Egypt and, according to the colophon, was written in the Seleucid era, in "nine-hundred and sixty-[...]" (with the last digit effaced, meaning, that it was written between the years 649 CE–659 CE). The younger manuscript is designated "Or. Add. 14620".The first to attempt a modern publication of Epiphanius' work was Paul de Lagarde in 1880, who reconstructed the original Syriac text by exchanging it with Hebrew characters, and who had earlier published excerpts from several of the Greek fragments treating on weights and measures in his Symmicta. In 1973, a critical edition of the Greek text was published by E.D. Moutsoulas in Theologia.


In early Christian heresiology, the Panarion (Koinē Greek: Πανάριον, derived from Latin, panarium, meaning "bread basket"), to which 16th-century Latin translations gave the name Adversus Haereses (Latin: "Against Heresies"), is the most important of the works of Epiphanius of Salamis (d. 403). It was written in Koine Greek beginning in 374 or 375, and issued about three years later, as a treatise on heresies, with its title referring to the text as a "stock of remedies to offset the poisons of heresy." It treats 80 religious sects, either organized groups or philosophies, from the time of Adam to the latter part of the fourth century, detailing their histories, and rebutting their beliefs. The Panarion is an important source of information on the Jewish–Christian gospels, the Gospel of the Ebionites, and the Gospel of the Hebrews.

The treatise can be considered a sequel to the Ancoratus (374), which takes the form of a letter to the church of Syedra in Pamphylia, describing how the "barque" of the church can counteract the contrary winds of heretical thought, and become "anchored" (ἀγχυρωτός), hence the title of the work; the Ancoratus even outlines the content of the Panarion within its text.

Paulinus II of Antioch

Paulinus II was a claimant to the See of Antioch from 362 to 388. He was supported by members of the Eustathian party, and was a rival to Meletius of Antioch. The Eustathians objected to Meletius having been consecrated by Arians, and had begun to meet separately. Lucifer of Calaris ordained Paulinus as bishop, thus effecting a schism in the church.Paulinus was "highly esteemed for piety." He was acknowledged as bishop by Jerome, whom he ordained as priest, and by Epiphanius of Salamis.Paulinus died in 388. His followers were called "Paulinians."


Scoti or Scotti is a Latin name for the Gaels, first attested in the late 3rd century. At first it referred to all Gaels, whether in Ireland or Britain, but later it came to refer only to Gaels in northern Britain. The kingdom their culture spread to became known as Scotia or Scotland, and eventually all its inhabitants came to be known as Scots.


Semi-Arianism was a position regarding the relationship between God the Father and the Son of God, adopted by some 4th century Christians. Though the doctrine modified the teachings of Arianism, it still rejected the doctrine that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are co-eternal, and of the same substance, or consubstantial, and was therefore considered to be heretical by many contemporary Christians. Semi-Arianism is a name frequently given to the Trinitarian position of the conservative majority of the Eastern Orthodox Church in the 4th century, to distinguish it from strict Arianism.

Arius held that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were three separate essences or substances (ousia or hypostases) and that the Son and Spirit derived their divinity from the Father, were created, and were inferior to the Godhead of the Father. Semi-Arians asserted that the Son was “of a similar substance” (homoiousios) as the Father but not "of the same substance" (homoousios). This doctrinal controversy revolved around two words that in writing differed only by a single letter but whose difference in meaning gave rise to furious contests.


Syedra (Greek: Σύεδρα) was an ancient port city in the Pamphylia region on the southern coast of modern-day Turkey between the towns of Alanya and Gazipaşa. Syedra was settled in the 7th century BCE, and abandoned in the 13th century CE. The town had a port at sea level and an upper town 400m above.The Roman historians Lucan and Florus both mention Syedra as where the Roman General Pompey held his last war council in 48 BCE, before his fatal voyage to Egypt. The city experienced its height around the 2nd and 3rd centuries CE, and in 194 Roman Emperor Septimius Severus praised the city's resistance of ongoing Mediterranean piracy. A first century BCE inscription found in the town relates to the piracy, suggesting that the oracle, possibly of Apollo at Claros, advised the Syedrians to resist pirates with "violent battle, either driving away, or binding in unbreakable chains."Coins were minted in Syedra during various time periods going back to that of Roman Emperor Tiberius (r. 14 CE–37 CE). In 374 CE, the early Christian theologian Epiphanius of Salamis wrote his work Ancoratus (the well anchored man) as a reply letter to the Church at Syedra, describing it as needing to be anchored in a safe harbor.Modern excavations began in 1994 under the Directorate of the Alanya Museum, and have excavated the main street in the upper town, as well as a cave decorated with Christian imagery likely used for baptisms. A mosaic found is now on display in the Alanya Museum. Other structures include a temple, a theater, shops, bathhouse, town walls, and several cisterns that provided water to the city. In 2011, archeologist excavating underwater dated relics of a port at Syedra to the Bronze Age, around 5,000 years ago.


The Valesians were a Christian sect that advocated self-castration. The sect was founded by Valens (of Bacetha Metrocomia; not to be confused with the Roman Emperor of the same name), an Arabian philosopher who established the sect sometime in the second century AD. They were notorious for forcibly castrating travelers whom they encountered and guests who visited them.They are known chiefly from the Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis, which describes how disciples of the sect were not allowed to eat meat until they had been castrated, because those who are not castrated might be tempted to lust by eating certain foods. According to the Panarion, their views on authorities and powers were similar to those of Sethianism or of the Archontics.Their doctrine was condemned as heresy by the Synod of Achaia in approximately 250 AD. The sect appears in The Temptation of Saint Anthony by Flaubert.

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