Eusebius

Eusebius of Caesarea (/juːˈsiːbiəs/; Greek: Εὐσέβιος τῆς Καισαρείας, Eusébios tés Kaisareías; AD 260/265 – 339/340), also known as Eusebius Pamphili (from the Greek: Εὐσέβιος τοῦ Παμϕίλου), was a historian of Christianity, exegete, and Christian polemicist. He became the bishop of Caesarea Maritima about 314 AD. Together with Pamphilus, he was a scholar of the Biblical canon and is regarded as an extremely learned Christian of his time.[1] He wrote Demonstrations of the Gospel, Preparations for the Gospel, and On Discrepancies between the Gospels, studies of the Biblical text. As "Father of Church History" (not to be confused with the title of Church Father), he produced the Ecclesiastical History, On the Life of Pamphilus, the Chronicle and On the Martyrs.

During the Council of Antiochia (325) he was excommunicated for subscribing to the heresy of Arius,[2] and thus withdrawn during the First Council of Nicaea where he accepted that the Homoousion referred to the Logos. Never recognized as a saint, he became counselor of Constantine the Great, and with the bishop of Nicomedia he continued to polemicize against Saint Athanasius of Alexandria, Church Fathers, since he was condemned in the First Council of Tyre in 335.

Eusebius of Caesarea
Eusebius in a modern imagining
Eusebius in a modern imagining
BornEusebius
260/265
Died339/340 (aged 74–79)
OccupationBishop, historian, theologian
PeriodConstantinian dynasty
Notable worksEcclesiastical History, On the Life of Pamphilus, Chronicle, On the Martyrs

Sources

Little is known about the life of Eusebius. His successor at the See of Caesarea, Acacius, wrote a Life of Eusebius, a work that has since been lost. Eusebius' own surviving works probably only represent a small portion of his total output. Beyond notices in his extant writings, the major sources are the 5th-century ecclesiastical historians Socrates, Sozomen, and Theodoret, and the 4th-century Christian author Jerome. There are assorted notices of his activities in the writings of his contemporaries Athanasius, Arius, Eusebius of Nicomedia, and Alexander of Alexandria. Eusebius' pupil, Eusebius of Emesa, provides some incidental information.[3]

Early life

In his Ecclesiastical History, Eusebius writes of Dionysius of Alexandria as his contemporary. If this is true, Eusebius' birth must have been before Dionysius' death in autumn 264; most modern scholars date the birth to some point in the five years between 260 and 265.[4] He was presumably born in the town in which he lived for most of his adult life, Caesarea Maritima.[5] He was baptized and instructed in the city,[6] and lived in Palestine in 296, when Diocletian's army passed through the region (in the Life of Constantine, Eusebius recalls seeing Constantine traveling with the army).[7] Eusebius was made presbyter by Agapius of Caesarea.[6] Some, like theologian and ecclesiastical historian John Henry Newman, understand Eusebius' statement that he had heard Dorotheus of Tyre "expound the Scriptures wisely in the Church" to indicate that Eusebius was Dorotheus' pupil while the priest was resident in Antioch; others, like the scholar D. S. Wallace-Hadrill, deem the phrase too ambiguous to support the contention.[8]

By the 3rd century, Caesarea had a population of about 100,000. It had been a pagan city since Pompey had given control of the city to the gentiles during his command of the eastern provinces in the 60s BC. The gentiles retained control of the city for the three centuries to follow, despite Jewish petitions for joint governorship. Gentile government was strengthened by the city's refoundation under Herod the Great (r. 37–4 BC), when it had taken on the name of Augustus Caesar.[9] In addition to the gentile settlers, Caesarea had large Jewish and Samaritan minorities. Eusebius was probably born into the Christian contingent of the city. Caesarea's Christian community presumably had a history reaching back to apostolic times,[10] but it is a common claim that no bishops are attested for the town before about 190,[11] even though the Apostolic Constitutions 7.46 states that Zacchaeus was the first bishop.

Through the activities of the theologian Origen (185/6–254) and the school of his follower Pamphilus (later 3rd century – 309), Caesarea became a center of Christian learning. Origen was largely responsible for the collection of usage information, or which churches were using which gospels, regarding the texts which became the New Testament. The information used to create the late-fourth-century Easter Letter, which declared accepted Christian writings, was probably based on the Ecclesiastical History [HE] of Eusebius of Caesarea, wherein he uses the information passed on to him by Origen to create both his list at HE 3:25 and Origen's list at HE 6:25. Eusebius got his information about what texts were accepted by the third-century churches throughout the known world, a great deal of which Origen knew of firsthand from his extensive travels, from the library and writings of Origen.[12]

On his deathbed, Origen had made a bequest of his private library to the Christian community in the city.[13] Together with the books of his patron Ambrosius, Origen's library (including the original manuscripts of his works[14][notes 1]) formed the core of the collection that Pamphilus established.[16] Pamphilus also managed a school that was similar to (or perhaps a re-establishment of[17]) that of Origen.[18] Pamphilus was compared to Demetrius of Phalerum and Pisistratus, for he had gathered Bibles "from all parts of the world".[19] Like his model Origen, Pamphilus maintained close contact with his students. Eusebius, in his history of the persecutions, alludes to the fact that many of the Caesarean martyrs lived together, presumably under Pamphilus.[20]

Soon after Pamphilus settled in Caesarea (ca. 280s), he began teaching Eusebius, who was then somewhere between twenty and twenty-five.[21] Because of his close relationship with his schoolmaster, Eusebius was sometimes called Eusebius Pamphili: "Eusebius, son of Pamphilus".[notes 2] The name may also indicate that Eusebius was made Pamphilus' heir.[24] Pamphilus gave Eusebius a strong admiration for the thought of Origen.[25] Neither Pamphilus nor Eusebius knew Origen personally;[26] Pamphilus probably picked up Origenist ideas during his studies under Pierius (nicknamed "Origen Junior"[27]) in Alexandria.[28] In Caesarea, Origenist thought was continued in the generation after his death by Theotecnus, bishop of the city for much of the late 3rd century and an alumnus of Origen's school.[29]

Eusebius' Preparation for the Gospel bears witness to the literary tastes of Origen: Eusebius quotes no comedy, tragedy, or lyric poetry, but makes reference to all the works of Plato and to an extensive range of later philosophic works, largely from Middle Platonists from Philo to the late 2nd century.[30] Whatever its secular contents, the primary aim of Origen and Pamphilus' school was to promote sacred learning. The library's biblical and theological contents were more impressive: Origen's Hexapla and Tetrapla; a copy of the original Aramaic version of the Gospel of Matthew; and many of Origen's own writings.[21] Marginal comments in extant manuscripts note that Pamphilus and his friends and pupils, including Eusebius, corrected and revised much of the biblical text in their library.[21] Their efforts made the hexaplaric Septuagint text increasingly popular in Syria and Palestine.[31] Soon after joining Pamphilus' school, Eusebius started helping his master expand the library's collections and broaden access to its resources. At about this time Eusebius compiled a Collection of Ancient Martyrdoms, presumably for use as a general reference tool.[21]

In the 290s, Eusebius began work on his magnum opus, the Ecclesiastical History, a narrative history of the Church and Christian community from the Apostolic Age to Eusebius' own time. At about the same time, he worked on his Chronicle, a universal calendar of events from the Creation to, again, Eusebius' own time. He completed the first editions of the Ecclesiastical History and Chronicle before 300.[32]

Bishop of Caesarea

Eusebius succeeded Agapius as Bishop of Caesarea soon after 313 and was called on by Arius who had been excommunicated by his bishop Alexander of Alexandria. An episcopal council in Caesarea pronounced Arius blameless.[33] Eusebius, a learned man and famous author, enjoyed the favour of the Emperor Constantine. Because of this he was called upon to present the creed of his own church to the 318 attendees of the Council of Nicaea in 325."[34] However, the anti-Arian creed from Palestine prevailed becoming the basis for the Nicene Creed.[35]

The theological views of Arius, that taught the subordination of the Son to the Father, continued to be a problem. Eustathius of Antioch strongly opposed the growing influence of Origen's theology as the root of Arianism. Eusebius, an admirer of Origen, was reproached by Eustathius for deviating from the Nicene faith. Eusebius prevailed and Eustathius was deposed at a synod in Antioch.

However, Athanasius of Alexandria became a more powerful opponent and in 334, he was summoned before a synod in Caesarea (which he refused to attend). In the following year, he was again summoned before a synod in Tyre at which Eusebius of Caesarea presided. Athanasius, foreseeing the result, went to Constantinople to bring his cause before the Emperor. Constantine called the bishops to his court, among them Eusebius. Athanasius was condemned and exiled at the end of 335. Eusebius remained in the Emperor's favour throughout this time and more than once was exonerated with the explicit approval of the Emperor Constantine. After the Emperor's death (c.337), Eusebius wrote the Life of Constantine,[36] an important historical work because of eye witness accounts and the use of primary sources. Eusebius died c.339.[37]

Death

Much like his birth, the exact date of Eusebius' death is unknown. However, there is primary text evidence from a council held in Antioch that by the year 341, his successor Acacius had already filled the seat as Bishop. Socrates and Sozomen write about Eusebius' death, and place it just before Constantine's son Constantine II died, which was in early 340. They also say that it was after the second banishment of Athanasius, which began in mid 339. This means that his death occurred some time between the second half of 339 and early 340.[38]

Works

Armenian translation of Eusebius Chronicon
Armenian translation of Chronicon. 13th century manuscript

Of the extensive literary activity of Eusebius, a relatively large portion has been preserved. Although posterity suspected him of Arianism, Eusebius had made himself indispensable by his method of authorship; his comprehensive and careful excerpts from original sources saved his successors the painstaking labor of original research. Hence, much has been preserved, quoted by Eusebius, which otherwise would have been lost.

The literary productions of Eusebius reflect on the whole the course of his life. At first, he occupied himself with works on Biblical criticism under the influence of Pamphilus and probably of Dorotheus of Tyre of the School of Antioch. Afterward, the persecutions under Diocletian and Galerius directed his attention to the martyrs of his own time and the past, and this led him to the history of the whole Church and finally to the history of the world, which, to him, was only a preparation for ecclesiastical history.

Then followed the time of the Arian controversies, and dogmatic questions came into the foreground. Christianity at last found recognition by the State; and this brought new problems—apologies of a different sort had to be prepared. Lastly, Eusebius wrote eulogies in praise of Constantine. To all this activity must be added numerous writings of a miscellaneous nature, addresses, letters, and the like, and exegetical works that extended over the whole of his life and that include both commentaries and treatises on Biblical archaeology.

Onomasticon

Eusebius' Onomasticon (more properly, On the Place-Names in the Holy Scripture, Περὶ τῶν τοπικῶν ὀνομάτων τῶν ἐν τῇ Θείᾳ Γραφῇ) is a directory of place names, or "gazetteer", a primary source that provides historical geographers with a contemporary knowledge of 4th-century Palestine and Transjordan. It sits uneasily between the ancient genres of geography and lexicography, taking elements from both but a member of neither.[39] Eusebius' description of his own method, who wrote: "I shall collect the entries from the whole of the divinely inspired Scriptures, and I shall set them out grouped by their initial letters so that one may easily perceive what lies scattered throughout the text,"[40] implies that he had no similar type of book to work from; his work being entirely original, based only on the text of the Bible.[41] Others have suggested that Eusebius had at his disposal early Roman maps of the Roman Empire with which to work, and which allowed him to record the precise distances between locations in Roman miles.[42] Needless to say, this innovation has been very useful to modern research. Of the approximate 980 Biblical and N.T. names of places contained in those works, Eusebius identifies some 340 with locations known in his own day and age.

Eusebius organizes his entries into separate categories according to their first letters. The entries for Joshua under Tau, for example, read as follows:[43]

Tina (Kinah, 15:22): of the tribe of Judah.

Telem (15:24): of the tribe of Judah.
Tessam ([Azem] 15:29): of the tribe of Judah.

Tyre ([Zer] 19:35): of the tribe of Naphthali.

Under each letter, the entries are organized first by the book they are found in, and then by their place in that book. In almost all of the entries in his geographical opus, Eusebius brings down the respective distances in Roman "milestones" (semeia) from major points of reference, such as from Jerusalem, Beit Gubrin (Eleutheropolis), Hebron, Ptolemais, Caesarea, etc. In Eusebius' Onomasticon, distances between each "milestone" were usually 1,600 meters–1,700 meters, although the standard Roman mile was 1,475 meters. Since most villages in the Onomasticon are far removed from Roman-built roads, scholars have concluded that Eusebius did not glean the geographical information from maps based on a milestone survey, but rather collected the information from some other source.[44]

Where there is a contemporary town at the site or nearby, Eusebius notes it in the corresponding entry. "Terebinth", for example, describes Shechem as "near Neapolis", modern Nablus, and "Tophet" is located "in the suburbs of Jerusalem".[43]

Date

The Onomasticon has traditionally been dated before 324, on the basis of its sparse references to Christianity, and complete absence of remarks on Constantine's buildings in the Holy Land. The work also describes traditional religious practices at the oak of Mamre as though they were still happening, while they are known to have been suppressed soon after 325, when a church was built on the site.[45] Eusebius references to the encampment of the Legio X Fretensis at Aila (in southern Israel, near modern Aqaba and Eilat); the X Fretensis was probably transferred from Jerusalem to Aila under Diocletian.[46]

Language

Eusebius compiled his work in Greek, although a Latin translation of the Onomasticon was made by Jerome about a century later.

Biblical text criticism

Fol. 10v-11r Egmond Gospels
Eusebius's canon tables were often included in Early Medieval Gospel books

Pamphilus and Eusebius occupied themselves with the textual criticism of the Septuagint text of the Old Testament and especially of the New Testament. An edition of the Septuagint seems to have been already prepared by Origen, which, according to Jerome, was revised and circulated by Eusebius and Pamphilus. For an easier survey of the material of the four Evangelists, Eusebius divided his edition of the New Testament into paragraphs and provided it with a synoptical table so that it might be easier to find the pericopes that belong together. These canon tables or "Eusebian canons" remained in use throughout the Middle Ages, and illuminated manuscript versions are important for the study of early medieval art, as they are the most elaborately decorated pages of many Gospel books. Eusebius detailed in Epistula ad Carpianum how to use his canons.

Chronicle

The Chronicle (Παντοδαπὴ Ἱστορία (Pantodape historia)) is divided into two parts. The first part, the Chronography (Χρονογραφία (Chronographia)), gives an epitome of universal history from the sources, arranged according to nations. The second part, the Canons (Χρονικοὶ Κανόνες (Chronikoi kanones)), furnishes a synchronism of the historical material in parallel columns, the equivalent of a parallel timeline.[47]

The work as a whole has been lost in the original Greek, but it may be reconstructed from later chronographists of the Byzantine school who made excerpts from the work, especially George Syncellus. The tables of the second part have been completely preserved in a Latin translation by Jerome, and both parts are still extant in an Armenian translation. The loss of the Greek originals has given an Armenian translation a special importance; thus, the first part of Eusebius' Chronicle, of which only a few fragments exist in the Greek, has been preserved entirely in Armenian, though with lacunae. The Chronicle as preserved extends to the year 325.[48]

Church History

In his Church History or Ecclesiastical History, Eusebius wrote the first surviving history of the Christian Church as a chronologically-ordered account, based on earlier sources, complete from the period of the Apostles to his own epoch.[49] The time scheme correlated the history with the reigns of the Roman Emperors, and the scope was broad. Included were the bishops and other teachers of the Church, Christian relations with the Jews and those deemed heretical, and the Christian martyrs through 324.[50] Although its accuracy and biases have been questioned,[51] it remains an important source on the early church due to Eusebius's access to materials now lost.[52]

Life of Constantine

Eusebius' Life of Constantine (Vita Constantini) is a eulogy or panegyric, and therefore its style and selection of facts are affected by its purpose, rendering it inadequate as a continuation of the Church History. As the historian Socrates Scholasticus said, at the opening of his history which was designed as a continuation of Eusebius, "Also in writing the life of Constantine, this same author has but slightly treated of matters regarding Arius, being more intent on the rhetorical finish of his composition and the praises of the emperor, than on an accurate statement of facts." The work was unfinished at Eusebius' death. Some scholars have questioned the Eusebian authorship of this work.

Minor historical works

Before he compiled his church history, Eusebius edited a collection of martyrdoms of the earlier period and a biography of Pamphilus. The martyrology has not survived as a whole, but it has been preserved almost completely in parts. It contained:

Of the life of Pamphilus, only a fragment survives. A work on the martyrs of Palestine in the time of Diocletian was composed after 311; numerous fragments are scattered in legendaries which have yet to be collected. The life of Constantine was compiled after the death of the emperor and the election of his sons as Augusti (337). It is more a rhetorical eulogy on the emperor than a history but is of great value on account of numerous documents incorporated in it.

Apologetic and dogmatic works

To the class of apologetic and dogmatic works belong:

  • The Apology for Origen, the first five books of which, according to the definite statement of Photius, were written by Pamphilus in prison, with the assistance of Eusebius. Eusebius added the sixth book after the death of Pamphilus. We possess only a Latin translation of the first book, made by Rufinus;
  • A treatise against Hierocles (a Roman governor), in which Eusebius combated the former's glorification of Apollonius of Tyana in a work entitled A Truth-loving Discourse (Greek: Philalethes logos); in spite of manuscript attribution to Eusebius, however, it has been argued (by Thomas Hagg[53] and more recently, Aaron Johnson[54] that this treatise "Against Hierocles" was written by someone other than Eusebius of Caesarea.
  • Praeparatio evangelica (Preparation for the Gospel), commonly known by its Latin title, which attempts to prove the excellence of Christianity over every pagan religion and philosophy. The Praeparatio consists of fifteen books which have been completely preserved. Eusebius considered it an introduction to Christianity for pagans. But its value for many later readers is more because Eusebius studded this work with so many lively fragments from historians and philosophers which are nowhere else preserved. Here alone is preserved a summary of the writings of the Phoenician priest Sanchuniathon of which the accuracy has been shown by the mythological accounts found on the Ugaritic tables, here alone is the account from Diodorus Siculus's sixth book of Euhemerus' wondrous voyage to the island of Panchaea where Euhemerus purports to have found his true history of the gods, and here almost alone is preserved writings of the neo-Platonist philosopher Atticus along with so much else.
  • Demonstratio evangelica (Proof of the Gospel) is closely connected to the Praeparatio and comprised originally twenty books of which ten have been completely preserved as well as a fragment of the fifteenth. Here Eusebius treats of the person of Jesus Christ. The work was probably finished before 311;
  • Another work which originated in the time of the persecution, entitled Prophetic Extracts (Eclogae propheticae). It discusses in four books the Messianic texts of Scripture. The work is merely the surviving portion (books 6–9) of the General elementary introduction to the Christian faith, now lost. The fragments given as the Commentary on Luke in the PG have been claimed to derive from the missing tenth book of the General Elementary Introduction see D. S. Wallace-Hadrill); however, Aaron Johnson has argued that they cannot be associated with this work.[55]
  • The treatise On Divine Manifestation or On the Theophania (Peri theophaneias), of unknown date. It treats of the incarnation of the Divine Logos, and its contents are in many cases identical with the Demonstratio evangelica. Only fragments are preserved in Greek, but a complete Syriac translation of the Theophania survives in an early 5th-century manuscript. Samuel Lee, the editor (1842) and translator (1843) of the Syriac Theophania thought that the work must have been written "after the general peace restored to the Church by Constantine, and before either the 'Praeparatio,' or the 'Demonstratio Evengelica,' was written . . . it appears probable . . . therefore, that this was one of the first productions of Eusebius, if not the first after the persecutions ceased."[56] Hugo Gressmann, noting in 1904 that the Demonstratio seems to be mentioned at IV. 37 and V. 1, and that II. 14 seems to mention the extant practice of temple prostitution at Hieropolis in Phoenica, concluded that the Theophania was probably written shortly after 324. Others have suggested a date as late as 337.[57]
  • A polemical treatise against Marcellus of Ancyra, the Against Marcellus, dating from about 337;
  • A supplement to the last-named work, also against Marcellus, entitled Ecclesiastical Theology, in which he defended the Nicene doctrine of the Logos against the party of Athanasius.

A number of writings, belonging in this category, have been entirely lost.

Exegetical and miscellaneous works

All of the exegetical works of Eusebius have suffered damage in transmission. The majority of them are known to us only from long portions quoted in Byzantine catena-commentaries. However these portions are very extensive. Extant are:

  • An enormous Commentary on the Psalms.
  • A commentary on Isaiah, discovered more or less complete in a manuscript in Florence early in the 20th century and published 50 years later.
  • Small fragments of commentaries on Romans and 1 Corinthians.

Eusebius also wrote a work Quaestiones ad Stephanum et Marinum, "On the Differences of the Gospels" (including solutions). This was written for the purpose of harmonizing the contradictions in the reports of the different Evangelists. This work was recently (2011) translated into the English language by David J. Miller and Adam C. McCollum (edited by Roger Pearse) and was published under the name "Eusebius of Caesarea: Gospel Problems and Solutions."[58] The original work was also translated into Syriac, and lengthy quotations exist in a catena in that language, and also in Coptic and Arabic catenas.[59]

Eusebius also wrote treatises on Biblical archaeology:

  • A work on the Greek equivalents of Hebrew Gentilic nouns;
  • A description of old Judea with an account of the loss of the ten tribes;
  • A plan of Jerusalem and the Temple of Solomon.

These three treatises have been lost.

The addresses and sermons of Eusebius are mostly lost, but some have been preserved, e.g., a sermon on the consecration of the church in Tyre and an address on the thirtieth anniversary of the reign of Constantine (336).

Most of Eusebius' letters are lost. His letters to Carpianus and Flacillus exist complete. Fragments of a letter to the empress Constantia also exists.

Doctrine

Eusebius is fairly unusual in his preterist, or fulfilled eschatological view. Saying "The Holy Scriptures foretell that there will be unmistakable signs of the Coming of Christ. Now there were among the Hebrews three outstanding offices of dignity, which made the nation famous, firstly the kingship, secondly that of prophet, and lastly the high priesthood. The prophecies said that the abolition and complete destruction of all these three together would be the sign of the presence of the Christ. And that the proofs that the times had come, would lie in the ceasing of the Mosaic worship, the desolation of Jerusalem and its Temple, and the subjection of the whole Jewish race to its enemies...The holy oracles foretold that all these changes, which had not been made in the days of the prophets of old, would take place at the coming of the Christ, which I will presently shew to have been fulfilled as never before in accordance with the predictions." (Demonstratio Evangelica VIII)

From a dogmatic point of view, Eusebius stands entirely upon the shoulders of Origen. Like Origen, he started from the fundamental thought of the absolute sovereignty (monarchia) of God. God is the cause of all beings. But he is not merely a cause; in him everything good is included, from him all life originates, and he is the source of all virtue. God sent Christ into the world that it may partake of the blessings included in the essence of God. Christ is God and is a ray of the eternal light; but the figure of the ray is so limited by Eusebius that he expressly distinguishes the Son as distinct from Father as a ray is also distinct from its source the sun.

Eusebius was intent upon emphasizing the difference of the persons of the Trinity and maintaining the subordination of the Son (Logos, or Word) to God. The Logos, the Son (Jesus) is an hypostasis of God the Father whose generation, for Eusebius, took place before time. The Logos acts as the organ or instrument of God, the creator of life, the principle of every revelation of God, who in his absoluteness and transcendence is enthroned above and isolated from all the world. Eusebius, with most of the Christian tradition, assumed God was immutable. Therefore, to Eusebius's mind, the Logos must possess divinity by participation (and not originally like the Father), so that he can change, unlike God the Father. Thus he assumed a human body without altering the immutable divine Father. Eusebius never calls Jesus o theós, but theós because in all contrary attempts he suspected either polytheism (three distinct gods) or Sabellianism (three modes of one divine person).

Likewise, Eusebius described the relation of the Holy Spirit within the Trinity to that of the Son to the Father. No point of this doctrine is original with Eusebius, all is traceable to his teacher Origen. The lack of originality in his thinking shows itself in the fact that he never presented his thoughts in a system. After nearly being excommunicated due to charges of heresy by Alexander of Alexandria, Eusebius submitted and agreed to the Nicene Creed at the First Council of Nicea in 325.

Eusebius held that men were sinners by their own free choice and not by the necessity of their natures. Eusebius said, "The Creator of all things has impressed a natural law upon the soul of every man, as an assistant and ally in his conduct, pointing out to him the right way by this law; but, by the free liberty with which he is endowed, making the choice of what is best worthy of praise and acceptance, because he has acted rightly, not by force, but from his own free-will, when he had it in his power to act otherwise, As, again, making him who chooses what is worst, deserving of blame and punishment, as having by his own motion neglected the natural law, and becoming the origin and fountain of wickedness, and misusing himself, not from any extraneous necessity, but from free will and judgment. The fault is in him who chooses, not in God. For God has not made nature or the substance of the soul bad; for he who is good can make nothing but what is good. Everything is good which is according to nature. Every rational soul has naturally a good free-will, formed for the choice of what is good. But when a man acts wrongly, nature is not to be blamed; for what is wrong, takes place not according to nature, but contrary to nature, it being the work of choice, and not of nature".[60]

By the time of the Byzantine Iconoclasm several centuries later, Eusebius had unfairly gained the reputation of having been an Arian, and was roundly condemned as such by Patriarch Nikephoros I of Constantinople. A letter Eusebius is supposed to have written to Constantine's daughter Constantia, refusing to fulfill her request for images of Christ, was quoted in the decrees (now lost) of the Iconoclast Council of Hieria in 754, and later quoted in part in the rebuttal of the Hieria decrees in the Second Council of Nicaea of 787, now the only source from which some of the text is known. The authenticity, or authorship of the letter remain uncertain.[61]

Assessment

  • Edward Gibbon openly distrusted the writings of Eusebius concerning the number of martyrs, by noting a passage in the shorter text of the Martyrs of Palestine attached to the Ecclesiastical History (Book 8, Chapter 2) in which Eusebius introduces his description of the martyrs of the Great Persecution under Diocletian with: "Wherefore we have decided to relate nothing concerning them except the things in which we can vindicate the Divine judgment. [...] We shall introduce into this history in general only those events which may be useful first to ourselves and afterwards to posterity."[62] In the longer text of the same work, chapter 12, Eusebius states: "I think it best to pass by all the other events which occurred in the meantime: such as [...] the lust of power on the part of many, the disorderly and unlawful ordinations, and the schisms among the confessors themselves; also the novelties which were zealously devised against the remnants of the Church by the new and factious members, who added innovation after innovation and forced them in unsparingly among the calamities of the persecution, heaping misfortune upon misfortune. I judge it more suitable to shun and avoid the account of these things, as I said at the beginning."
  • When his own honesty was challenged by his contemporaries,[63] Gibbon appealed to a chapter heading in Eusebius' Praeparatio evangelica (Book XII, Chapter 31)[64] in which Eusebius discussed "That it will be necessary sometimes to use falsehood as a remedy for the benefit of those who require such a mode of treatment."[65]
  • Although Gibbon refers to Eusebius as the 'gravest' of the ecclesiastical historians,[66] he also suggests that Eusebius was more concerned with the passing political concerns of his time than his duty as a reliable historian.[67]
  • Jacob Burckhardt (19th century cultural historian) dismissed Eusebius as "the first thoroughly dishonest historian of antiquity".
  • Other critics of Eusebius' work cite the panegyrical tone of the Vita, plus the omission of internal Christian conflicts in the Canones, as reasons to interpret his writing with caution.[68]

Alternate views have suggested that Gibbon's dismissal of Eusebius is inappropriate:

  • With reference to Gibbon's comments, Joseph Barber Lightfoot (late 19th century theologian and former Bishop of Durham) pointed out[69] that Eusebius' statements indicate his honesty in stating what he was not going to discuss, and also his limitations as a historian in not including such material. He also discusses the question of accuracy. "The manner in which Eusebius deals with his very numerous quotations elsewhere, where we can test his honesty, is a sufficient vindication against this unjust charge." Lightfoot also notes that Eusebius cannot always be relied on: "A far more serious drawback to his value as a historian is the loose and uncritical spirit in which he sometimes deals with his materials. This shows itself in diverse ways. He is not always to be trusted in his discrimination of genuine and spurious documents."
  • Averil Cameron (professor at King's College and Oxford) and Stuart Hall (historian and theologian), in their recent translation of the Life of Constantine, point out that writers such as Burckhardt found it necessary to attack Eusebius in order to undermine the ideological legitimacy of the Habsburg empire, which based itself on the idea of Christian empire derived from Constantine, and that the most controversial letter in the Life has since been found among the papyri of Egypt.[70]
  • In Church History (Vol. 59, 1990), Michael J. Hollerich (assistant professor at the Jesuit Santa Clara University, California) replies to Burckhardt's criticism of Eusebius, that "Eusebius has been an inviting target for students of the Constantinian era. At one time or another they have characterized him as a political propagandist, a good courtier, the shrewd and worldly adviser of the Emperor Constantine, the great publicist of the first Christian emperor, the first in a long succession of ecclesiastical politicians, the herald of Byzantinism, a political theologian, a political metaphysician, and a caesaropapist. It is obvious that these are not, in the main, neutral descriptions. Much traditional scholarship, sometimes with barely suppressed disdain, has regarded Eusebius as one who risked his orthodoxy and perhaps his character because of his zeal for the Constantinian establishment." Hollerich concludes that "... the standard assessment has exaggerated the importance of political themes and political motives in Eusebius's life and writings and has failed to do justice to him as a churchman and a scholar".

While many have shared Burckhardt's assessment, particularly with reference to the Life of Constantine, others, while not pretending to extol his merits, have acknowledged the irreplaceable value of his works which may principally reside in the copious quotations that they contain from other sources, often lost.

Bibliography

  • Eusebius of Caesarea.
    • Historia Ecclesiastica (Church History) first seven books ca. 300, eighth and ninth book ca. 313, tenth book ca. 315, epilogue ca. 325.
    • Migne, J.P., ed. Eusebiou tou Pamphilou, episkopou tes en Palaistine Kaisareias ta euriskomena panta (in Greek). Patrologia Graeca 19–24. Paris, 1857. Online at Khazar Skeptik and Documenta Catholica Omnia. Accessed 4 November 2009.
    • McGiffert, Arthur Cushman, trans. Church History. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 1. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1890. Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. Online at New Advent and CCEL. Accessed 28 September 2009.
    • Williamson, G.A., trans. Church History. London: Penguin, 1989.
    • Contra Hieroclem (Against Hierocles).
    • Onomasticon (On the Place-Names in Holy Scripture).
    • Klostermann, E., ed. Eusebius' Werke 3.1 (Die griechischen christlichen Schrifsteller der ersten (drei) Jahrhunderte 11.1. Leipzig and Berlin, 1904). Online at the Internet Archive. Accessed 29 January 2010.
    • Wolf, Umhau, trans. The Onomasticon of Eusebius Pamphili: Compared with the version of Jerome and annotated. Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 1971. Online at Tertullian. Accessed 29 January 2010.
    • Taylor, Joan E., ed. Palestine in the Fourth Century. The Onomasticon by Eusebius of Caesarea, translated by Greville Freeman-Grenville, and indexed by Rupert Chapman III (Jerusalem: Carta, 2003).
    • De Martyribus Palestinae (On the Martyrs of Palestine).
    • McGiffert, Arthur Cushman, trans. Martyrs of Palestine. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 1. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1890. Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. Online at New Advent and CCEL. Accessed June 9, 2009.
    • Cureton, William, trans. History of the Martyrs in Palestine by Eusebius of Caesarea, Discovered in a Very Antient Syriac Manuscript. London: Williams & Norgate, 1861. Online at Tertullian. Accessed September 28, 2009.
    • Praeparatio Evangelica (Preparation for the Gospel).
    • Demonstratio Evangelica (Demonstration of the Gospel).
    • Theophania (Theophany).
    • Laudes Constantini (In Praise of Constantine) 335.
    • Migne, J.P., ed. Eusebiou tou Pamphilou, episkopou tes en Palaistine Kaisareias ta euriskomena panta (in Greek). Patrologia Graeca 19–24. Paris, 1857. Online at Khazar Skeptik. Accessed 4 November 2009.
    • Richardson, Ernest Cushing, trans. Oration in Praise of Constantine. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 1. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1890. Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. Online at New Advent. Accessed 19 October 2009.
    • Vita Constantini (The Life of the Blessed Emperor Constantine) ca. 336–39.
    • Migne, J.P., ed. Eusebiou tou Pamphilou, episkopou tes en Palaistine Kaisareias ta euriskomena panta (in Greek). Patrologia Graeca 19–24. Paris, 1857. Online at Khazar Skeptik. Accessed 4 November 2009.
    • Richardson, Ernest Cushing, trans. Life of Constantine. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 1. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1890. Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. Online at New Advent. Accessed 9 June 2009.
    • Cameron, Averil and Stuart Hall, trans. Life of Constantine. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.
  • Gregory Thaumaturgus. Oratio Panegyrica.
    • Salmond, S.D.F., trans. From Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 6. Edited by Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe. Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1886. Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. Online at New Advent. Accessed 31 January 2010.
  • Jerome.
    • Chronicon (Chronicle) ca. 380.
    • Fotheringham, John Knight, ed. The Bodleian Manuscript of Jerome's Version of the Chronicle of Eusebius. Oxford: Clarendon, 1905. Online at the Internet Archive. Accessed 8 October 2009.
    • Pearse, Roger, et al., trans. The Chronicle of St. Jerome, in Early Church Fathers: Additional Texts. Tertullian, 2005. Online at Tertullian. Accessed 14 August 2009.
    • de Viris Illustribus (On Illustrious Men) 392.
    • Herding, W., ed. De Viris Illustribus (in Latin). Leipzig: Teubner, 1879. Online at Internet Archive. Accessed 6 October 2009.
    • Liber de viris inlustribus (in Latin). Texte und Untersuchungen 14. Leipzig, 1896.
    • Richardson, Ernest Cushing, trans. De Viris Illustribus (On Illustrious Men). From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 3. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1892. Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. Online at New Advent. Accessed 15 August 2009.
    • Epistulae (Letters).
    • Fremantle, W.H., G. Lewis and W.G. Martley, trans. Letters. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 6. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1893. Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. Online at New Advent and CCEL. Accessed 19 October 2009.
  • Origen.
De Principiis (On First Principles).

See also

References

Explanatory notes

  1. ^ Pamphilus might not have obtained all of Origen's writings, however: the library's text of Origen's commentary on Isaiah broke off at 30:6, while the original commentary was said to have taken up thirty volumes.[15]
  2. ^ There are three interpretations of this term: (1) that Eusebius was the "spiritual son", or favored pupil, of Pamphilus;[22] (2) that Eusebius was literally adopted by Pamphilus;[21] and (3) that Eusebius was Pamphilus' biological son. The third explanation is the least popular among scholars. The scholion on the Preparation for the Gospels 1.3 in the Codex Paris. 451 is usually adduced in support of the thesis. Most reject the scholion as too late or misinformed, but E. H. Gifford, an editor and translator of the Preparation, believes it to have been written by Arethas, the tenth-century archbishop of Caesarea, who was in a position to know the truth of the matter.[23]

Citations

  1. ^ González, Justo (1984), "14 – Official Theology: Eusebius of Caesarea", The Story of Christianity, Prince Press, p. 129, ISBN 978-1-56563-522-7, retrieved 17 May 2013
  2. ^ "Eusebius of Cesarea in the Treccani Encyclopedia online" (in Italian).
  3. ^ Wallace-Hadrill, 11.
  4. ^ Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 277; Wallace-Hadrill, 7; Quasten dates his birth to "about 263" (3.309).
  5. ^ Louth, "Birth of church history", 266; Quasten, 3.309.
  6. ^ a b Wallace-Hadrill, 12, citing Socrates, Historia Ecclesiastica 1.8; Theodoret, Historia Ecclesiastica 1.11.
  7. ^ Wallace-Hadrill, 12, citing Vita Constantini 1.19.
  8. ^ Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 7.32.4, qtd. and tr. D. S. Wallace-Hadrill, 12; Wallace-Hadrill cites J. H. Newman, The Arians of the Fourth Century (1890), 262, in 12 n. 4.
  9. ^ Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 81–82; cf. also A. H. M. Jones, The Cities of the Eastern Roman Provinces (Oxford: Clarendon, 1937), 273–74.
  10. ^ Acts 8:40, 10:1–48; Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 82, 327 n. 11.
  11. ^ Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 82.
  12. ^ C.G. Bateman, Origen’s Role in the Formation of the New Testament Canon, 2010.
  13. ^ Quasten, 3.309.
  14. ^ Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiastica 6.32.3–4; Kofsky, 12.
  15. ^ Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 333 n. 114, citing Eusebius, HE 6.32.1; In Is. p. 195.20–21 Ziegler.
  16. ^ Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiastica 6.32.3–4; Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 93; idem., "Eusebius of Caesarea", 2 col. 2.
  17. ^ Levine, 124–25.
  18. ^ Kofsky, 12, citing Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiastica 7.32.25. On Origen's school, see: Gregory, Oratio Panegyrica; Kofsky, 12–13.
  19. ^ Levine, 125.
  20. ^ Levine, 122.
  21. ^ a b c d e Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 94.
  22. ^ Quasten, 3.310.
  23. ^ Wallace-Hadrill, 12 n. 1.
  24. ^ Wallace-Hadrill, 11–12.
  25. ^ Quasten, 3.309–10.
  26. ^ Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 93, 95; Louth, "Birth of church history", 266.
  27. ^ Jerome, de Viris Illustribus 76, qtd. and tr. Louth, "Birth of church history", 266.
  28. ^ Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 93, 95.
  29. ^ Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 93.
  30. ^ Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 93–94.
  31. ^ Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 95.
  32. ^ Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 277; Wallace-Hadrill, 12–13.
  33. ^ Vermes, Geza (2012). Christian Beginnings from Nazareth to Nicea. Allen Lane the Penguin Press. p. 228.
  34. ^ Walker, Williston (1959). "A History of the Christian Church". Edinburgh: T&T Clark: 108.
  35. ^ Bruce L. Shelley, Church History in Plain Language, (2nd ed. Dallas, Texas: Word Publishing, 1995.), p.102.
  36. ^ Life of Constantine, Google books
  37. ^ Colm Luibheid, The Essential Eusebius : The Story of the First Centuries of the Christian Church in the Words of Its Greatest Historian, Mentor-Omega Press, 1966, p 31.
  38. ^ Schaff, Philip and Rev. Arthur Cushman McGiffert, Ph.D. Eusebius Pamphilius: Church History, Life of Constantine, Oration in Praise of Constantine. Grand Rapids, MI: Christian Classics Ethereal Library, (1890). 27.
  39. ^ Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 106.
  40. ^ Onomasticon p. 2.14ff., qtd. and tr. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 107.
  41. ^ Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 106–7.
  42. ^ Yoel Elitzur, Ancient Toponyms in Eretz-Israel as Preserved among the Arabs - The Linguistic Aspects, Hebrew University: Jerusalem 1992, Introduction
  43. ^ a b Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 107.
  44. ^ Benjamin Isaac and Israel Roll, Roman Roads in Judaea I – The Legio-Scythopolis Road, B.A.R. International Series, Oxford 1982, p. 12
  45. ^ Barnes, "Onomasticon", 413.
  46. ^ Barnes, "Onomasticon", 413 n. 4.
  47. ^ Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 112.
  48. ^ Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 112–13, 340 n. 58.
  49. ^ Chesnut, Glenn F. (1986), "Introduction", The First Christian Histories: Eusebius, Socrates, Sozomen, Theodoret, and Evagrius
  50. ^ Maier, Paul L. (2007), Eusebius: The Church History – Translation and Commentary by Paul L. Maier, p. 9 and 16
  51. ^ See, e.g., James the Brother of Jesus (book) by Robert Eisenman.
  52. ^ "Ecclesiastical History", Catholic Encyclopedia, New Advent
  53. ^ Thomas Hagg, "Hierocles the Lover of Truth and Eusebius the Sophist," SO 67 (1992): 138–50
  54. ^ Aaron Johnson, "The Author of the Against Hierocles: A Response to Borzì and Jones," JTS 64 (2013): 574–594)
  55. ^ Aaron Johnson, "The Tenth Book of Eusebius' General Elementary Introduction: A Critique of the Wallace-Hadrill Thesis," Journal of Theological Studies, 62.1 (2011): 144–160
  56. ^ Eusebius, Bishop of Caesarea On the Theophania, or Divine Manifestation of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (Cambridge, 1843), pp. xxi–xxii. Lee's full passage is as follows: "As to the period at which it was written, I think it must have been, after the general peace restored to the Church by Constantine, and before either the "Praeparatio", or the "Demonstratio Evangelica", was written. My reason for the first of these suppositions is: Our author speaks repeatedly of the peace restored to the Church; of Churches and Schools restored, or then built for the first time : of the nourishing state of the Church of Caesarea; of the extended, and then successfully extending, state of Christianity : all of which could not have been said during the times of the last, and most severe persecution. My reasons for the second of these suppositions are, the considerations that whatever portions of this Work are found, either in the "Praeparatio", |22 the "Demonstratio Evangelica", or the " Oratio de laudibus Constantini", they there occur in no regular sequence of argument as they do in this Work: especially in the latter, into which they have been carried evidently for the purpose of lengthening out a speech. Besides, many of these places are amplified in these works, particularly in the two former as remarked in my notes; which seems to suggest, that such additions were made either to accommodate these to the new soil, into which they had been so transplanted, or, to supply some new matter, which had suggested itself to our author. And again, as both the "Praeparatio" and "Demonstratio Evangelica", are works which must have required very considerable time to complete them, and which would even then be unfit for general circulation ; it appears probable to me, that this more popular, and more useful work, was first composed and published, and that the other two,--illustrating as they generally do, some particular points only,--argued in order in our Work,-- were reserved for the reading and occasional writing of our author during a considerable number of years, as well for the satisfaction of his own mind, as for the general reading of the learned. It appears probable to me therefore, that this was one of the first productions of Eusebius, if not the first after the persecutions ceased."
  57. ^ Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius (Harvard, 1981), p. 367, n.176. Note that Lee (p. 285) thinks that the passage in V. 1 refers to an earlier section within the Theophania itself, rather than to the Demonstratio.
  58. ^ Caesaea, Eusebius of; Miller, David J. D.; McCollum, Adam C.; Downer, Carol; Zamagni, Claudio (2010-03-06). Eusebius of Caesarea: Gospel Problems and Solutions (Ancient Texts in Translation): Roger Pearse, David J Miller, Adam C McCollum: 9780956654014: Amazon.com: Books. ISBN 978-0956654014.
  59. ^ Georg Graf, Geschichte der christlichen arabischen Literatur vol. 1
  60. ^ The Christian Examiner, Volume One, published by James Miller, 1824 Edition, p. 66
  61. ^ David M. Gwynn, "From Iconoclasm to Arianism: The Construction of Christian Tradition in the Iconoclast Controversy" [Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies 47 (2007) 225–251], p. 227-245.
  62. ^ Edward Gibbon, Decline and Fall, vol. 1, chapter 16
  63. ^ See Gibbon's Vindication for examples of the accusations that he faced.
  64. ^ "Eusebius of Caesarea: Praeparatio Evangelica (translated by E.H. Gifford)". tertullian.org. Retrieved 2013-03-04.
  65. ^ "Data for discussing the meaning of pseudos and Eusebius in PE XII, 31". tertullian.org. Retrieved 2008-02-01.
  66. ^ "The gravest of the ecclesiastical historians, Eusebius himself, indirectly confesses, that he has related whatever might redound to the glory, and that he has suppressed all that could tend to the disgrace, of religion." (History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol II, Chapter XVI)
  67. ^ "Such an acknowledgment will naturally excite a suspicion that a writer who has so openly violated one of the fundamental laws of history has not paid a very strict regard to the observance of the other; and the suspicion will derive additional credit from the character of Eusebius, which was less tinctured with credulity, and more practised in the arts of courts, than that of almost any of his contemporaries." (History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol II, Chapter XVI)
  68. ^ Burgess, R. W., and Witold Witakowski. 1999. Studies in Eusebian and Post-Eusebian chronography 1. The "Chronici canones" of Eusebius of Caesarea: structure, content and chronology, AD 282–325 – 2. The "Continuatio Antiochiensis Eusebii": a chronicle of Antioch and the Roman Near East during the Reigns of Constantine and Constantius II, AD 325–350. Historia (Wiesbaden, Germany), Heft 135. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner. Page 69.
  69. ^ "J.B. Lightfoot, Eusebius of Caesarea". tertullian.org. Retrieved 2008-02-01.
  70. ^ Averil Cameron, Stuart G. Hall, Eusebius' Life of Constantine. Introduction, translation and commentary. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999. Pp. xvii + 395. ISBN 0-19-814924-7. Reviewed in BMCR

Sources

  • Barnes, Timothy D. (1981). Constantine and Eusebius. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-16530-4.
  • Eusebius (1999). Life of Constantine. Averil Cameron and Stuart G. Hall, trans. Oxford: Clarendon Press. ISBN 978-0-19-814924-8.
  • Drake, H. A. (2002). Constantine and the bishops the policy of intolerance. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-7104-7.
  • Kofsky, Aryeh (2000). Eusebius of Caesarea against paganism. Leiden: Brill. ISBN 978-90-04-11642-9.
  • Lawlor, Hugh Jackson (1912). Eusebiana: essays on the Ecclesiastical history of Eusebius, bishop of Caesarea. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
  • Levine, Lee I. (1975). Caesarea under Roman rule. Leiden: Brill. ISBN 978-90-04-04013-7.
  • Louth, Andrew (2004). "Eusebius and the Birth of Church History". In Young, Frances; Ayres, Lewis; Louth, Andrew. The Cambridge history of early Christian literature. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press. pp. 266–274. ISBN 978-0-521-46083-5.
  • Momigliano, Arnaldo (1989). On pagans, Jews, and Christians. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press. ISBN 978-0-8195-6218-0.
  • Newman, John Henry (1890). The Arians of the Fourth Century (7th ed.). London: Longmans, Green and Co.
  • Sabrina Inowlocki & Claudio Zamagni (eds), Reconsidering Eusebius: Collected papers on literary, historical, and theological issues (Leiden, Brill, 2011) (Vigiliae Christianae, Supplements, 107).
  • Wallace-Hadrill, D. S. (1960). Eusebius of Caesarea. London: A. R. Mowbray.

Further reading

  • Attridge, Harold W.; Hata, Gohei, eds. (1992). Eusebius, Christianity, and Judaism. Detroit: Wayne State Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0-8143-2361-8.
  • Chesnut, Glenn F. (1986). The first Christian histories : Eusebius, Socrates, Sozomen, Theodoret, and Evagrius (2nd ed.). Macon, GA: Mercer University Press. ISBN 978-0-86554-164-1.
  • Drake, H. A. (1976). In praise of Constantine : a historical study and new translation of Eusebius' Tricennial orations. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-09535-9.
  • Eusebius (1984). The History of the Church from Christ to Constantine. G.A. Williamson, trans. New York: Dorset Press. ISBN 978-0-88029-022-7.
  • Grant, Robert M. (1980). Eusebius as Church Historian. Oxford: Clarendon Pr. ISBN 978-0-19-826441-5.
  • Valois, Henri de (1833). "Annotations on the Life and Writings of Eusebius Pamphilus". The Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius Pamphilus. S. E. Parker, trans. Philadelphia: Davis.

External links

WMF project links
Primary sources
Secondary sources
Titles of the Great Christian Church
Preceded by
Agapius of Caesarea
Bishop of Caesarea
c. 313–339
Succeeded by
Acacius
Albrecht von Wallenstein

Albrecht Wenzel Eusebius von Wallenstein (24 September 1583 – 25 February 1634), also von Waldstein (Czech: Albrecht Václav Eusebius z Valdštejna), was a Bohemian military leader and nobleman who gained prominence during the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648), in the Catholic side. His outstanding martial career made him one of the most influential men in the Holy Roman Empire by the time of his death. Wallenstein became the supreme commander of the armies of the Habsburg Emperor Ferdinand II and was a major figure of the Thirty Years' War.

Wallenstein was born in Heřmanice into a poor Protestant noble family. He acquired a multilingual university education across Europe and converted to Roman Catholicism in 1606. A marriage in 1609 to the wealthy widow of a Bohemian landowner gave Wallenstein access to considerable estates and wealth after her death at an early age in 1614. Three years later, Wallenstein embarked on a career as a military contractor by raising forces for the Emperor in the war against Venice.

Wallenstein fought for the Catholics against the Protestant Bohemian revolt in 1618 and confiscated and was awarded further estates after the defeat of the rebels at White Mountain in 1620. A series of military victories against the Protestants raised Wallenstein's reputation in the Imperial court and in 1625 he raised a large army of 50,000 men to further the Imperial cause. A year later, he administered a crushing defeat to the Protestants at Dessau Bridge. For his successes, Wallenstein became an Imperial count palatine and made himself ruler of the lands of the Duchy of Friedland in northern Bohemia.An imperial generalissimo by land, and Admiral of the Baltic Sea from 21 April 1628, Wallenstein found himself released from service on 13 August 1630 after Ferdinand grew wary of his ambition. Several Protestant victories over Catholic armies induced Ferdinand to recall Wallenstein, who then defeated the Swedish king Gustavus Adolphus at Alte Veste and killed him at Lützen. Dissatisfied with the Emperor's treatment of him, Wallenstein considered allying with the Protestants. However, he was assassinated at Eger in Bohemia by one of the army's officials, with the emperor's approval.

Antilegomena

Antilegomena, a direct transliteration of the Greek ἀντιλεγόμενα, refers to written texts whose authenticity or value is disputed.Eusebius in his Church History (c. 325) used the term for those Christian scriptures that were "disputed", literally "spoken against", in Early Christianity before the closure of the New Testament canon. It is a matter of categorical discussion whether Eusebius divides his books into three groups of homologoumena ("accepted"), antilegomena, and 'heretical'; or four, by adding a notha ("spurious") group. The antilegomena or "disputed writings" were widely read in the Early Church and included the Epistle of James, the Epistle of Jude, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, the Book of Revelation, the Gospel of the Hebrews, the Epistle to the Hebrews, the Apocalypse of Peter, the Acts of Paul, the Shepherd of Hermas, the Epistle of Barnabas and the Didache. The term "disputed" should therefore not be misunderstood to mean "false" or "heretical". There was disagreement in the Early Church on whether or not the respective texts deserved canonical status.

Chronicon (Eusebius)

The Chronicon or Chronicle (Greek: Παντοδαπὴ ἱστορία Pantodape historia, "Universal history") was a work in two books by Eusebius of Caesarea. It seems to have been compiled in the early 4th century. It contained a world chronicle from Abraham until the vicennalia of Constantine I in A.D. 325. Book 1 contained sets of extracts from earlier writers; book 2 contained a technically innovative list of dates and events in tabular format.

The original Greek text is lost, although substantial quotations exist in later chronographers. Both books are mostly preserved in an Armenian translation. Book 2 is entirely preserved in the Latin translation by Jerome. Portions also exist in quotation in later Syriac writers such as the fragments by James of Edessa and, following him, Michael the Syrian.

The Chronicle as preserved extends to the year 325, and was written before the "Church History".

Church History (Eusebius)

The Church History (Greek: Ἐκκλησιαστικὴ ἱστορία; Latin: Historia Ecclesiastica or Historia Ecclesiae) of Eusebius, the bishop of Caesarea was a 4th-century pioneer work giving a chronological account of the development of Early Christianity from the 1st century to the 4th century. It was written in Koine Greek, and survives also in Latin, Syriac and Armenian manuscripts.

Constantine the Great

Constantine the Great (Latin: Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus Augustus; Greek: Κωνσταντῖνος ὁ Μέγας; 27 February c. 272 AD – 22 May 337 AD), also known as Constantine I, was a Roman Emperor who ruled between 306 and 337 AD. Born on the territory now known as Niš (Serbian Cyrillic: Ниш, located in Serbia), he was the son of Flavius Valerius Constantius, a Roman Army officer. His mother was Empress Helena. His father became Caesar, the deputy emperor in the west, in 293 AD. Constantine was sent east, where he rose through the ranks to become a military tribune under Emperors Diocletian and Galerius. In 305, Constantius was raised to the rank of Augustus, senior western emperor, and Constantine was recalled west to campaign under his father in Britannia (Britain). Constantine was acclaimed as emperor by the army at Eboracum (modern-day York) after his father's death in 306 AD. He emerged victorious in a series of civil wars against Emperors Maxentius and Licinius to become sole ruler of both west and east by 324 AD.

As emperor, Constantine enacted administrative, financial, social, and military reforms to strengthen the empire. He restructured the government, separating civil and military authorities. To combat inflation he introduced the solidus, a new gold coin that became the standard for Byzantine and European currencies for more than a thousand years. The Roman army was reorganised to consist of mobile field units and garrison soldiers capable of countering internal threats and barbarian invasions. Constantine pursued successful campaigns against the tribes on the Roman frontiers—the Franks, the Alamanni, the Goths, and the Sarmatians—even resettling territories abandoned by his predecessors during the Crisis of the Third Century.

Constantine was the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity. Although he lived much of his life as a pagan, and later as a catechumen, he joined the Christian faith on his deathbed, being baptised by Eusebius of Nicomedia. He played an influential role in the proclamation of the Edict of Milan in 313, which declared religious tolerance for Christianity in the Roman empire. He called the First Council of Nicaea in 325, which produced the statement of Christian belief known as the Nicene Creed. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre was built on his orders at the purported site of Jesus' tomb in Jerusalem and became the holiest place in Christendom. The Papal claim to temporal power in the High Middle Ages was based on the forged Donation of Constantine. He has historically been referred to as the "First Christian Emperor", and he did heavily promote the Christian Church. Some modern scholars, however, debate his beliefs and even his comprehension of the Christian faith itself.The age of Constantine marked a distinct epoch in the history of the Roman Empire. He built a new imperial residence at Byzantium and renamed the city Constantinople (now Istanbul) after himself (the laudatory epithet of "New Rome" came later, and was never an official title). It became the capital of the Empire for more than a thousand years, with the later eastern Roman Empire now being referred to as the Byzantine Empire by historians. His more immediate political legacy was that he replaced Diocletian's tetrarchy with the principle of dynastic succession by leaving the empire to his sons. His reputation flourished during the lifetime of his children and for centuries after his reign. The medieval church upheld him as a paragon of virtue, while secular rulers invoked him as a prototype, a point of reference, and the symbol of imperial legitimacy and identity. Beginning with the Renaissance, there were more critical appraisals of his reign, due to the rediscovery of anti-Constantinian sources. Trends in modern and recent scholarship have attempted to balance the extremes of previous scholarship.

Constantine the Great and Christianity

During the reign of the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great (AD 306–337), Christianity began to transition to the dominant religion of the Roman Empire. Historians remain uncertain about Constantine's reasons for favoring Christianity, and theologians and historians have often argued about which form of early Christianity he subscribed to. There is no consensus among scholars as to whether he adopted his mother Helena's Christianity in his youth, or, as claimed by Eusebius of Caesarea, encouraged her to convert to the faith he had adopted himself.

Constantine ruled the Roman Empire as sole emperor for the remainder of his reign. Some scholars allege that his main objective was to gain unanimous approval and submission to his authority from all classes, and therefore chose Christianity to conduct his political propaganda, believing that it was the most appropriate religion that could fit with the Imperial cult (see also Sol Invictus). Regardless, under Constantine's rule Christianity expanded throughout the Empire, launching the era of Christian Church's dominance under the Constantinian dynasty. Whether Constantine sincerely converted to Christianity or remained loyal to Paganism is still a matter of debate among historians (see also Constantine's Religious policy). His formal conversion in 312 is almost universally acknowledged among historians, despite that he was baptized only on his deathbed by the Arian bishop Eusebius of Nicomedia in 337; the real reasons behind it remain unknown and are debated too. According to Hans Pohlsander, Professor Emeritus of History at the University at Albany, SUNY, Constantine's conversion was just another instrument of realpolitik in his hands meant to serve his political interest in keeping the Empire united under his control:

The prevailing spirit of Constantine's government was one of conservatorism. His conversion to and support of Christianity produced fewer innovations than one might have expected; indeed they served an entirely conservative end, the preservation and continuation of the Empire.

Constantine's decision to cease the persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire was a turning point for early Christianity, sometimes referred to as the Triumph of the Church, the Peace of the Church or the Constantinian shift. In 313, Constantine and Licinius issued the Edict of Milan decriminalizing Christian worship. The emperor became a great patron of the Church and set a precedent for the position of the Christian emperor within the Church and the notion of orthodoxy, Christendom, ecumenical councils, and the state church of the Roman Empire declared by edict in 380. He is revered as a saint and isapostolos in the Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodox Church, and various Eastern Catholic Churches for his example as a "Christian monarch."

Diocletian

Diocletian (; Latin: Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus Augustus), born Diocles (22 December 244 – 3 December 311), was a Roman emperor from 284 to 305. Born to a family of low status in Dalmatia, Diocletian rose through the ranks of the military to become Roman cavalry commander to the Emperor Carus. After the deaths of Carus and his son Numerian on campaign in Persia, Diocletian was proclaimed emperor. The title was also claimed by Carus' surviving son, Carinus, but Diocletian defeated him in the Battle of the Margus.

Diocletian's reign stabilized the empire and marks the end of the Crisis of the Third Century. He appointed fellow officer Maximian as Augustus, co-emperor, in 286. Diocletian reigned in the Eastern Empire, and Maximian reigned in the Western Empire. Diocletian delegated further on 1 March 293, appointing Galerius and Constantius as Caesars, junior co-emperors, under himself and Maximian respectively. Under this 'tetrarchy', or "rule of four", each emperor would rule over a quarter-division of the empire. Diocletian secured the empire's borders and purged it of all threats to his power. He defeated the Sarmatians and Carpi during several campaigns between 285 and 299, the Alamanni in 288, and usurpers in Egypt between 297 and 298. Galerius, aided by Diocletian, campaigned successfully against Sassanid Persia, the empire's traditional enemy. In 299 he sacked their capital, Ctesiphon. Diocletian led the subsequent negotiations and achieved a lasting and favourable peace.

Diocletian separated and enlarged the empire's civil and military services and reorganized the empire's provincial divisions, establishing the largest and most bureaucratic government in the history of the empire. He established new administrative centres in Nicomedia, Mediolanum, Sirmium, and Trevorum, closer to the empire's frontiers than the traditional capital at Rome. Building on third-century trends towards absolutism, he styled himself an autocrat, elevating himself above the empire's masses with imposing forms of court ceremonies and architecture. Bureaucratic and military growth, constant campaigning, and construction projects increased the state's expenditures and necessitated a comprehensive tax reform. From at least 297 on, imperial taxation was standardized, made more equitable, and levied at generally higher rates.

Not all of Diocletian's plans were successful: the Edict on Maximum Prices (301), his attempt to curb inflation via price controls, was counterproductive and quickly ignored. Although effective while he ruled, Diocletian's tetrarchic system collapsed after his abdication under the competing dynastic claims of Maxentius and Constantine, sons of Maximian and Constantius respectively. The Diocletianic Persecution (303–312), the empire's last, largest, and bloodiest official persecution of Christianity, failed to eliminate Christianity in the empire; indeed, after 324, Christianity became the empire's preferred religion under Constantine. Despite these failures and challenges, Diocletian's reforms fundamentally changed the structure of Roman imperial government and helped stabilize the empire economically and militarily, enabling the empire to remain essentially intact for another 150 years despite being near the brink of collapse in Diocletian's youth. Weakened by illness, Diocletian left the imperial office on 1 May 305, and became the first Roman emperor to abdicate the position voluntarily. He lived out his retirement in his palace on the Dalmatian coast, tending to his vegetable gardens. His palace eventually became the core of the modern-day city of Split in Croatia.

Diocletianic Persecution

The Diocletianic or Great Persecution was the last and most severe persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire. In 303, the Emperors Diocletian, Maximian, Galerius, and Constantius issued a series of edicts rescinding Christians' legal rights and demanding that they comply with traditional religious practices. Later edicts targeted the clergy and demanded universal sacrifice, ordering all inhabitants to sacrifice to the gods. The persecution varied in intensity across the empire—weakest in Gaul and Britain, where only the first edict was applied, and strongest in the Eastern provinces. Persecutory laws were nullified by different emperors (Galerius with the Edict of Serdica in 311) at different times, but Constantine and Licinius's Edict of Milan (313) has traditionally marked the end of the persecution.

Christians had always been subject to local discrimination in the empire, but early emperors were reluctant to issue general laws against the sect. It was not until the 250s, under the reigns of Decius and Valerian, that such laws were passed. Under this legislation, Christians were compelled to sacrifice to Roman gods or face imprisonment and execution. After Gallienus's accession in 260, these laws went into abeyance. Diocletian's assumption of power in 284 did not mark an immediate reversal of imperial inattention to Christianity, but it did herald a gradual shift in official attitudes toward religious minorities. In the first fifteen years of his rule, Diocletian purged the army of Christians, condemned Manicheans to death, and surrounded himself with public opponents of Christianity. Diocletian's preference for activist government, combined with his self-image as a restorer of past Roman glory, foreboded the most pervasive persecution in Roman history. In the winter of 302, Galerius urged Diocletian to begin a general persecution of the Christians. Diocletian was wary, and asked the oracle of Apollo for guidance. The oracle's reply was read as an endorsement of Galerius's position, and a general persecution was called on February 24, 303.

Persecutory policies varied in intensity across the empire. Where Galerius and Diocletian were avid persecutors, Constantius was unenthusiastic. Later persecutory edicts, including the calls for universal sacrifice, were not applied in his domain. His son, Constantine, on taking the imperial office in 306, restored Christians to full legal equality and returned property that had been confiscated during the persecution. In Italy in 306, the usurper Maxentius ousted Maximian's successor Severus, promising full religious toleration. Galerius ended the persecution in the East in 311, but it was resumed in Egypt, Palestine, and Asia Minor by his successor, Maximinus. Constantine and Licinius, Severus's successor, signed the Edict of Milan in 313, which offered a more comprehensive acceptance of Christianity than Galerius's edict had provided. Licinius ousted Maximinus in 313, bringing an end to persecution in the East.

The persecution failed to check the rise of the Church. By 324, Constantine was sole ruler of the empire, and Christianity had become his favored religion. Although the persecution resulted in death, torture, imprisonment, or dislocation for many Christians, the majority of the empire's Christians avoided punishment. The persecution did, however, cause many churches to split between those who had complied with imperial authority (the traditores), and those who had remained "pure". Certain schisms, like those of the Donatists in North Africa and the Meletians in Egypt, persisted long after the persecutions. The Donatists would not be reconciled to the Church until after 411. Some historians consider that, in the centuries that followed the persecutory era, Christians created a "cult of the martyrs", and exaggerated its barbarity. Such Christian accounts were criticized during the Enlightenment and afterwards, most notably by Edward Gibbon. Modern historians, such as G. E. M. de Ste. Croix, have attempted to determine whether Christian sources exaggerated the scope of the Diocletianic persecution.

Epistula ad Carpianum

The Epistula ad Carpianum (Letter to Carpian) or Letter of Eusebius is the title traditionally given to a letter from Eusebius of Caesarea to a Christian named Carpianus.

In this letter, Eusebius explains his ingenious system of Gospel harmony, the Eusebian Canons (tables) that divide the four Canonical gospels, and describes their purpose, ten in number. Eusebius explains that Ammonius the Alexandrian had made a system in which he placed sections of the gospels of Mark, Luke and John next to their parallel sections in Matthew. As this disrupted the normal text order of the gospels of Mark, Luke and John, Eusebius used a system in which he placed the references to the parallel texts in ten tables or 'canons'. By using these tables, the parallel texts could easily be looked up, but it also remained possible to read a gospel in its normal order. (The number of sections was: Matthew 355, Mark 236, Luke 342, John 232 – together 1165 sections). The number of each "Ammonian section" is written in the margin of a manuscript, and underneath these numbers, another number was written in coloured ink. The coloured numbers referred to one of the ten Eusebian canons, in which the reference numbers were to be found of the parallel sections in the other gospels.

Eusebian Canons

Eusebian canons, Eusebian sections or Eusebian apparatus, also known as Ammonian sections, are the system of dividing the four Gospels used between late Antiquity and the Middle Ages. The divisions into chapters and verses used in modern texts date only from the 13th and 16th centuries, respectively. The sections are indicated in the margin of nearly all Greek and Latin manuscripts of the Bible, and usually summarized in Canon Tables at the start of the Gospels (see below). There are about 1165 sections: 355 for Matthew, 235 for Mark, 343 for Luke, and 232 for John; the numbers, however, vary slightly in different manuscripts.

Eusebius of Nicomedia

Eusebius of Nicomedia (died 341) was the man who baptised Constantine the Great. He was a bishop of Berytus (modern-day Beirut) in Phoenicia. He was later made the see of Nicomedia, where the imperial court resided. He lived finally in Constantinople from 338 up to his death.

Jerome

Saint Jerome (; Latin: Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus; Greek: Εὐσέβιος Σωφρόνιος Ἱερώνυμος; c. 27 March 347 – 30 September 420) was a Christian priest, confessor, theologian, and historian. He was born at Stridon, a village near Emona on the border of Dalmatia and Pannonia. He is best known for his translation of most of the Bible into Latin (the translation that became known as the Vulgate), and his commentaries on the Gospels. His list of writings is extensive.The protégé of Pope Damasus I, who died in December of 384, Jerome was known for his teachings on Christian moral life, especially to those living in cosmopolitan centers such as Rome. In many cases, he focused his attention on the lives of women and identified how a woman devoted to Jesus should live her life. This focus stemmed from his close patron relationships with several prominent female ascetics who were members of affluent senatorial families.Jerome is recognised as a saint and Doctor of the Church by the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Lutheran Church, and the Anglican Communion. His feast day is 30 September.

John the Presbyter

John the Presbyter was an obscure figure of the early Church who is either distinguished from or identified with the Apostle John, by some also John the Divine. He appears in fragments from the church father Papias of Hierapolis as one of the author's sources and is first unequivocally distinguished from the Apostle by Eusebius of Caesarea. He is frequently proposed as an alternative author of some of the Johannine books in the New Testament.

Josephus on Jesus

The extant manuscripts of the writings of the first-century Romano-Jewish historian Flavius Josephus include references to Jesus and the origins of Christianity. Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews, written around 93–94 AD, includes two references to the biblical Jesus Christ in Books 18 and 20 and a reference to John the Baptist in Book 18. Scholarly opinion varies on the total or partial authenticity of the reference in Book 18, Chapter 3, 3 of the Antiquities, a passage that states that Jesus the Messiah was a wise teacher who was crucified by Pilate, usually called the Testimonium Flavianum. The general scholarly view is that while the Testimonium Flavianum is most likely not authentic in its entirety, it is broadly agreed upon that it originally consisted of an authentic nucleus, which was then subject to Christian interpolation and/or alteration. Although the exact nature and extent of the Christian redaction remains unclear, broad consensus exists as to what the original text of the Testimonium by Josephus would have looked like.Modern scholarship has largely acknowledged the authenticity of the reference in Book 20, Chapter 9, 1 of the Antiquities to "the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James" and considers it as having the highest level of authenticity among the references of Josephus to Christianity. Almost all modern scholars consider the reference in Book 18, Chapter 5, 2 of the Antiquities to the imprisonment and death of John the Baptist also to be authentic and not a Christian interpolation. The references found in Antiquities have no parallel texts in the other work by Josephus such as The Jewish War, written 20 years earlier, but some scholars have provided explanations for their absence. A number of variations exist between the statements by Josephus regarding the deaths of James and John the Baptist and the New Testament accounts. Scholars generally view these variations as indications that the Josephus passages are not interpolations, for a Christian interpolator would have made them correspond to the New Testament accounts, not differ from them.

List of ancient Olympic victors

The current list of ancient Olympic victors contains all of the known victors of the ancient Olympic Games from the 1st Games in 776 BC up to 264th in 277 AD, as well as the games of 369 AD before their permanent disbandment in 393 by Roman emperor Theodosius I. It is based on available modern sources, as well as the older ones such as the writings of Pausanias (2nd century AD) and Chronicle of Eusebius (3rd century AD).

Maximian

Maximian (Latin: Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maximianus Herculius Augustus; c. 250 – c. July 310) was Roman Emperor from 286 to 305. He was Caesar from 285 to 286, then Augustus from 286 to 305. He shared the latter title with his co-emperor and superior, Diocletian, whose political brain complemented Maximian's military brawn. Maximian established his residence at Trier but spent most of his time on campaign. In late 285, he suppressed rebels in Gaul known as the Bagaudae. From 285 to 288, he fought against Germanic tribes along the Rhine frontier. Together with Diocletian, he launched a scorched earth campaign deep into Alamannic territory in 288, temporarily relieving the Rhine provinces from the threat of Germanic invasion.

The man he appointed to police the Channel shores, Carausius, rebelled in 286, causing the secession of Britain and northwestern Gaul. Maximian failed to oust Carausius, and his invasion fleet was destroyed by storms in 289 or 290. Maximian's subordinate, Constantius, campaigned against Carausius' successor, Allectus, while Maximian held the Rhine frontier. The rebel leader was ousted in 296, and Maximian moved south to combat piracy near Hispania and Berber incursions in Mauretania. When these campaigns concluded in 298, he departed for Italy, where he lived in comfort until 305. At Diocletian's behest, Maximian abdicated on May 1, 305, gave the Augustan office to Constantius, and retired to southern Italy.

In late 306, Maximian took the title of Augustus again and aided his son Maxentius' rebellion in Italy. In April 307, he attempted to depose his son, but failed and fled to the court of Constantius' successor, Constantine (Maximian's step-grandson and son-in-law), in Trier. At the Council of Carnuntum in November 308, Diocletian and his successor, Galerius, forced Maximian to renounce his imperial claim again. In early 310, Maximian attempted to seize Constantine's title while the emperor was on campaign on the Rhine. Few supported him, and he was captured by Constantine in Marseille. Maximian killed himself in mid-310 on Constantine's orders. During Constantine's war with Maxentius, Maximian's image was purged from all public places. However, after Constantine ousted and killed Maxentius, Maximian's image was rehabilitated, and he was deified.

Papias of Hierapolis

Papias (Greek: Παπίας) was a Greek Apostolic Father, Bishop of Hierapolis (modern Pamukkale, Turkey), and author who lived c. 60–163 AD. It was Papias who wrote the Exposition of the Sayings of the Lord (Greek: Λογίων Κυριακῶν Ἐξήγησις) in five books.

This work, which is lost apart from brief excerpts in the works of Irenaeus of Lyons (c. 180) and Eusebius of Caesarea (c. 320), is an important early source on Christian oral tradition and especially on the origins of the canonical Gospels.

Pope Eusebius

Pope Eusebius (from Greek Εὐσέβιος "pious"; died 17 August 310) was the Bishop of Rome from 18 April 310 until his death four months later.

Quadratus of Athens

Saint Quadratus of Athens (Greek: Άγιος Κοδράτος) is said to have been the first of the Christian apologists. He is counted among the Seventy Apostles in the tradition of the Eastern Churches.

He is said by Eusebius of Caesarea to have been a disciple of the Apostles (auditor apostolorum).In his Ecclesiastical History, Book IV, chapter 3, Eusebius records that:

1. After Trajan had reigned for nineteen and a half years Ælius Adrian became his successor in the empire. To him Quadratus addressed a discourse containing an apology for our religion, because certain wicked men had attempted to trouble the Christians. The work is still in the hands of a great many of the brethren, as also in our own, and furnishes clear proofs of the man's understanding and of his apostolic orthodoxy.

2. He himself reveals the early date at which he lived in the following words: But the works of our Saviour were always present, for they were genuine:— those that were healed, and those that were raised from the dead, who were seen not only when they were healed and when they were raised, but were also always present; and not merely while the Saviour was on earth, but also after his death, they were alive for quite a while, so that some of them lived even to our day. Such then was Quadratus.

In other words, Eusebius is stating that Quadratus addressed a discourse to the Roman Emperor Hadrian containing a defense, or apology, of the Christian religion, when the latter was visiting Athens in AD 124 or 125, which Eusebius states incorrectly moved the emperor to issue a favourable edict. The mention that many of those healed or raised from the dead by Christ were still living seems to be part of an argument that Christ was no mere wonder-worker whose effects were transitory.

Eusebius later summarises a letter by Dionysius of Corinth which simply states that Quadratus was appointed Bishop of Athens 'after the martyrdom of Publius', and which states that 'through his zeal they [the Athenian Christians] were brought together again and their faith revived.P. Andriessen has suggested that Quadratus' Apology is the work known as Epistle to Diognetus, a suggestion Michael W. Holmes finds "intriguing". While admitting that Epistle to Diognetus does not contain the only quotation known from Quadratus' address, Holmes defends this identification by noting "there is a gap between 7.6 and 7.7 into which it would fit very well."Because of the similarity of name some scholars have concluded that Quadratus the Apologist is the same person as Quadratus, a prophet mentioned elsewhere by Eusebius (H. E., 3.37). The evidence, however, is too slight to be convincing. The later references to Quadratus in Jerome and the martyrologies are all based on Eusebius, or are arbitrary enlargements of his account.

Another apologist, Aristides, presented a similar work. Eusebius had copies of both essays. Because he was bishop of Athens after Publius, Quadratus is sometimes figured among the Apostolic Fathers. Eusebius called him a "man of understanding and of Apostolic faith." and Jerome in Viri illustrissimi intensified the apostolic connection, calling him "disciple of the apostles".

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