NPNF2-01 Eusebius 577
217 See Bk. III. chap. 4, notes 12 and 15. Origen refers here to 2Co 8,18, where, however, it is clear that the reference is not to any specific Gospel any more than in the passages referred to above, III. 4, note 15.
218 See Bk. III. chap. 24.
578 219 This fragment from the fifth book of Origen’s commentary on Jn is extant only in this chapter. The context is not preserved.
220 (2Co 3,6 2Co 3,
221 (Rm 15,19 Rm 15,
222 See Bk. III. chap. 24, note 2.
223 (Mt 16,18 Mt 16,
224 On the first and second Epistles of Peter, see Bk. III. chap. 3, notes 1 and 4.
225 See Jn 13,23.
226 On John’s Gospel, see Bk. III. chap. 24, note 1; on the Apocalypse, note 20; and on the epistles, notes 18 and 19 of the same chapter.
227 See Jn xxi, 25.
228 See Ap 10,4.
229 Upon the Epistle to the Hebrews, and Origen’s treatment of it, see Bk. III. chap. 3, note 17. The two extracts given here by Eusebius are the only fragments of Origen’s Homilies on the Epistle to the Hebrews now extant. Four brief Latin fragments of his commentary upon that epistle are preserved in the first book of Pamphilus’Defense of Origen, and are printed by Lommatzsch in Vol. V. p. 297 sq. The commentaries (or “books,” as they are called) are mentioned only in that Defense. The catalogue of Jerome speaks only of “eighteen homilies.” We know nothing about the extent or the date of composition of these homilies and commentaries.
579 230 (2Co 11,6 2Co 11,
231 prosecwn, th anagnwsei th apostolikh. anagnwsi" meant originally the act of reading, then also that which is read. It thus came to be used (like anagnwsma) of the pericope or text or section of the Scripture read in church, and in the plural to designate the church lectionaries, or service books. In the present case iris used evidently in a wider sense of the text of Paul’s writings as a whole. This use of the two words to indicate, not simply the selection read in church, but the text of a book or books as a whole, was not at all uncommon, as may be seen from the examples given by Suicer, although he does not mention this wider signification among the uses of the word. See his Thesaurus, s.v.
232 The tenth year of Alexander Severus, 231 a.d. On Origen’s departure from Alexandria at this time, see below, p. 396. On Heraclas, see chap. 3, note 2.
233 On the episcopacy of Demetrius, see Bk. V. chap. 22, note 4. Forty-three years, beginning with 189 a.d., bring us down to 232 as the date of his death, and this agrees excellently with the statements of this chapter.
234 Firmilian, bishop of Caesarea, the capital of Cappadocia (to be distinguished from Caesarea in Palestine), was one of the most famous prelates of his day in the Eastern Church. He was a friend of Origen, as we learn from the next chapter, and took part in a council called on account of the schism of Novarian (see (chap. 46), and also in councils called to consider the case of Paul of Samosata (see (Bk. VII. chaps. 28 and 30). He was one of the bishops whom Stephen excommunicated because they rebaptized heretics (see (Bk. VII. chap. 2, note 3, and chap. 5, note 4), and he wrote an epistle upon this subject to Cyprian, which is extant in a Latin translation made by Cyprian himself (Ep 74, al. 75, in the collection of Cyprian’s epistles. See Dict. of Christ. Biog. I. 751, note). Basil (de Spiritu Sancto, 29) refers to works (logoi) left by Firmilian, but none of them are extant except the single epistle mentioned, nor do we hear from any other source that he was a writer. Jerome does not mention him in his De vir. ill. The exact date of his accession is unknown to us, as it very likely was to Eusebius also. He was a bishop already in the tenth year of Alexander (231 a.d.), or very soon afterward, and from Bk. VII. chap. 30, we learn that he died at Tarsus on his way to Antioch to attend a council which had been summoned to deal with Paul of Samosata. This synod was held about 265 a.d. (not in 272 as is commonly supposed; see Bk. VII. chap. 29, note 1), and it is at this time, therefore, that we must put the death of Firmilian; so that he was bishop of Caesarea at least some thirty-four years.
235 On Alexander, bishop of Jerusalem, see chap. 8, note 6.
236 On Theoctistus, bishop of Caesarea in Palestine, see chap. 19, note 27.
237 A number of mss., followed by Heinichen and some others, insert at this point w" epo" eipein (“so to speak”).
238 The presbyter derived his authority to preach and teach only from the bishop, and hence these bishops extended to Origen, whom they had ordained a presbyter, full liberty to preach and teach within their dioceses.
239 ta loira tou ekklhsiastikou logou.
240 Alexander Severus was murdered early in the year 235, and was succeeded at once by his commanding general the Thracian Maximinus, or Caius Julius Verus Maximinus, as he called himself.
580 241 The reference here is not to the immediate family of Alexander, but to the court as a whole, his family in the widest sense including court officials, servants, &c. The favor which Alexander had shown to the Christians (see (chap. 21, note 8) is clearly seen in the fact that there were so many Christians at court, as Eusebius informs us here. This persecution was at first directed, Eusebius tells us, solely against the heads of the churches (tou" twn ekklhsiwn arconta"), i.e. the bishops; and we might imagine only those bishops who had stood nearest Alexander and had been most favored by him to be meant (Pontianus and Hippolytus of Rome were exiled, for instance, at the very beginning of Maximinus’ reign, in the year 235; see chap. 22, note 1); for Maximinus’ hostility to the Christians seems to have been caused, not by religious motives, but by mere hatred of his predecessor, and of every cause to which he had shown favor. But the persecution was not confined to such persons, as we learn from this chapter, which tells us of the sufferings of Ambrose and Protoctetus, neither of whom was a bishop. It seems probable that most of the persecuting was not the result of positive efforts on the part of Maximinus, but rather of the superstitious hatred of the common people, whose fears had been recently aroused by earthquakes and who always attributed such calamities to the existence of the Christians. Of course under Maximinus they had free rein, and could persecute whenever they or the provincial authorities felt inclined (cf. Firmilian’s epistle to Cyprian, and Origen’s Exhort. ad Mart.). Eusebius tells us nothing of Origen’s whereabouts at this time; but in Palladius’ Hist. Laus. 147, it is said that Origen was given refuge by Juliana in Caesarea in Cappadocia during some persecution, undoubtedly this one, if the report is true (see (chap. 17, note 4).
242 This work on martyrdom (ei" marturion protreptiko" logo", Exhortatio ad Martyrium) is still extant, and is printed by Lommatzsch in Vol. XX., p. 231–316. It is a most beautiful and inspiring exhortation.
243 On Ambrose, see chap. 18, note 1. Protoctetus, a presbyter of the church of Caesarea (apparently Palestinian Caesarea), is known to us only from this passage.
244 On Origen’s Commentary on John’s Gospel, see chap. 24, note 1. No fragments of the twenty-second book are extant, nor any of the epistles in which reference is made to this persecution.
245 Gordianus the younger, grandson of Gordianus I., and nephew (or son?) of Gordianus II., became emperor after the murder of Balbinus and Pupienus, in July, 238, at the age of fifteen years, and reigned until early in the year 244, when he was murdered by the soldiers and succeeded by Ph He is made by Eusebius (both here and in the Chron.)the direct successor of Maximinus, simply because only two or three months elapsed between the death of the latter and his own accession.
246 On Pontianus, see chap. 23, note 3.
247 Both here and in the Chron. the accession of Anteros is synchronized with the accession of Gordianus, but as seen in chap. 23, note 3, Pontianus was succeeded by Anteros in the first year of Maximinus, i.e. in 235,—three years earlier, therefore, than the date given by Eusebius. All the authorities agree in assigning only one month and a few days to the episcopate of Anteros, and this is to be accepted as correct. Of the life and character of Anteros we know nothing.
248 Greek Fabiano", though some mss. read Flaviano". The Armenian and Hieronymian Chron. call him Fabianus; the Liberian catalogue, Fabius; Eutychius and the Alex. cat., Flabianus. According to chap. 39, he suffered martyrdom in the persecution of Decius (250–251). Both versions of the Chron. assign thirteen years to his episcopate, and this agrees fairly well with the notices here and in chap. 39 (accession in 238 and death in 250 or 251). But, as already seen, Eusebius is quite wrong in the dates which he gives for the accession of these three bishops, and the statements of the Liberian catalogue are to be accepted, which put Fabian’s accession in January, 236, and his death in January, 250, after an episcopate of fourteen years and ten days. The martyrdom of Fabian rests upon good authority (cf. chap. 39, and Jerome’s de vir. ill. chap. 54, and especially Cyprian’s Epistles, 3, al. 9, and 30). From these epistles we learn that he was a man of ability and virtue. He stands out more clearly in the light of history than most of the early Roman bishops, but tradition has handed down a great many unfounded stories in regard to him (see (the article in the Dict. of Christ. Biog.).
249 fasi. Eusebius is our only authority for the following story. Rufinus (VI. 21) tells a similar tale in connection with Zephyrinus.
250 ton qronon th" episkoph".
251 On Zebinus, see chap. 23, note 4.
581 252 Babylas occupies an illustrious place in the list of ancient martyrs (cf. Tillemont, Mem. III. 400–409). Chrysostom devoted a festal oration to his memory (In sanctum Babylam contra Julianum et contra Gentiles); while Jerome, Epiphanius, Sozomen, Theodoret, and others make honorable mention of him. There are extant the Acta Babylae (spurious), which, however, confound him with a martyr who suffered under Numerian. The legends in regard to Babylas and to the miracles performed by his bones are very numerous (see (Tillemont, l.c.). He is identified by Chrysostom and others with the bishop mentioned by Eusebius in chap. 34, and there is no good reason to doubt the identification (see (Harnack, Zeit des Ignatius, p. 48). The fact of his martyrdom under Decius (see (chap. 39) is too well attested to admit of doubt; though upon the manner of it, not all the traditions are agreed, Eusebius reporting that he died in prison, Chrysostom that he died by violence. The account of Eusebius seems the most reliable. The date of his accession is unknown, but there is no reason to doubt that it took place during the reign of Gordian (238–244), as Eusebius here seems to imply; though it is true that he connects it closely with the death of Demetrius, which certainly took place not later than 232 (see (above, Bk. V. chap. 22, note 4). There is no warrant for carrying the accession of Babylas back so far as that.
253 On Heraclas, see chap. 3, note 2.
254 On the episcopate of Demetrius, see Bk. V. chap. 22, note 4.
255 On Dionysius, see chap. 40, note 1.
256 Our sources for a knowledge of the life of Gregory, who is known as Gregory Thaumaturgus (“wonder-worker”), are numerous, but not all of them reliable. He is mentioned by Eusebius here and in Bk. VII. chaps. 14 and 28, and a brief account of his life and writings is given by Jerome (de vir. ill. chap. 65), who adds some particulars not mentioned by Eusebius. There is also extant Gregory’s Panegyrical Oration in praise of Origen, which contains an outline of the earlier years of his life. Gregory of Nyssa about a century later wrote a life of Gregory Thaumaturgus, which is still extant, but which is full of marvelous stories, and contains little that is trustworthy. Gregory’s fame was very great amonghis contemporaries and succeeding generations, and many of the Fathers have left brief accounts of him, or references to him which it is not necessary to mention here. He was a native of Neo-Caesarea in Pontus (according to Gregory Nyssa), the same city of which he was afterward bishop, was of wealthy parentage, and began the study of law when quite young (see (his own Orat. Paneg. chap. 5). Coming to Caesarea, in Palestine, on his way to Berytus, where he and his brother Athenodorus were to attend a school of law, he met Origen, and was so attracted by him that he and his brother remained in Caesarea five years (according to Eusebius and Jerome) and studied logic, physics, mathematics, ethics, Greek philosophy, and theology with him (see (his Orat). At the end of this time the brothers returned to Pontus, and afterwards were made bishops, Gregory of Neo-Caesarea, his native place; Athenodorus of some unknown city (Eusebius here and in VIL 14 and 28 says only that they were both bishops of churches in Pontus). Of the remarkable events connected with the ordination of Gregory, which are told by Gregory of Nyssa, it is not necessary to speak here. He was a prominent scholar and writer, and a man universally beloved and respected for his deep piety and his commanding ability, but his fame rested chiefly upon the reports of his miracle-working, which were widespread. The prodigies told of him are numerous and marvelous. Eusebius is silent about this side of his career (whether because of ignorance or incredulity we cannot tell, but the latter seems most probable), but Jerome refers to his fame as a miracle-worker, Gregory of Nyssa’s Vita, is full of it, and Basil and other later writers dwell upon it. What the foundation for all these traditions was we do not know. He was a famous missionary, and seems to have been remarkably successful in converting the pagans of his diocese, which was almost wholly heathen when he became bishop. This great missionary success may have given rise to the tales of supernatural power, some cause above the ordinary being assumed by the common people as necessary to account for such results. Miracles and other supernatural phenomena were quite commonly assumed in those days as causes of conversions—especially if the conversions themselves were in any way remarkable (cf. e.g. the close of the anonymous Dialogue with Herbanus, a Jew). Not only the miracles, but also many other events reported in Gregory of Nyssa’s Vita, must be regarded as unfounded; e.g. the account of a long period of study in Alexandria of which our more reliable sources contain no trace. The veneration in which Gregory held Origen is clear enough from his panegyric, and the great regard which Origen cherished for Gregory is revealed in his epistle to the latter, written soon after Gregory’s arrival in Neo-Caesarea, and still preserved in the Philocalia, chap. 13. The works of Gregory known to us are his Panegyrical Oration in praise of Origen, delivered in the presence of the latter and of a great multitude before Gregory’s departure from Caesarea, and still extant; a paraphrase of the book of Ecclesiastes, mentioned by Jerome (l.c.), and likewise extant; several epistles referred to by Jerome (l.c.), only one of which, his so-called Canonical Epistle, addressed to an anonymous bishop of Pontus, is still preserved; and finally a trinitarian creed, or confession of faith, which is given by Gregory of Nyssa in his Vita, and whose genuineness has been warmly disputed (e.g. by Lardner, Works, II. p. 634 sq).; but since Caspari’s defense of it in his Gesch. d. Tauf-symbols und der Glaubensregel, its authenticity may be regarded as established. These four writings, together with some works falsely ascribed to Gregory, are translated in The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Am. ed., Vol. VI. p. 1–80. Original Greek in Migne’s Patr. Gr. X. 983–1343. See also Ryssel’s Gregorius Thaumaturgus. Sein Leben und seine Schriften; Leipzig, 1880. Ryssel gives (p. 65–79) a German translation of two hitherto unknown Syriac writings of Gregory, one on the equality of Father, Son, and Spirit, and the other on the possibility and impassibility of God. Gregory’s dates cannot be fixed with exactness; but ashe cannot have seen Origen in Caesarea until after 231, and was very young when he met him there, he must have been born as late as the second decade of the third century. As he was with Origen at least five years, he can hardly have taken his farewell of him until after the persecution of Maximinus (i.e. after 238), for we cannot suppose that he pronounced his panegyrical oration during that persecution. He speaks in the first chapter of that oration of not having delivered an oration for eight years, and this is commonly supposed to imply that it was eight years since he had begun to study with Origen, in which case the oration must be put as late as 239, and it must be assumed, if Eusebius’ five years are accepted as accurate, that he was absent for some three years during that period (perhaps while the persecution was going on). But the eight years cannot be pressed in this connection, for it is quite possible that they may have been reckoned from an earlier time, perhaps from the time when he began the study of law, which was before he met Origin (see (Panegyr. chaps. 1 and 5). If we were to suppose the order followed by Eusebius strictly chronological, we should have to put Gregory’s acquaintance with Origen into the reign of Gordian (238–244). The truth is, the matter cannot be decided. He is said by Gregory of Nyssa to have retired into concealment during the persecution of Decius, and to have returned to his charge again after its close. He was present with his brother Athenodorus at one of the councils called to consider the case of Paul of Samosata (see (Bk. VII. chap. 28), but was not present at the final one at which Paul was condemned (see (ibid. chaps. 29 and 30, and note 2 on the latter chapter). This one was held about 265 (see (ibid. chap. 29, note 1), and hence it is likely that Gregory was dead before that date.
257 Athenodorus is known to us only as the brother of Gregory and bishop of some church or churches in Pontus (see (Bk. VII. chaps. 14 and 28).
258 Julius Africanus (as he is called by Jerome) was one of the most learned men of the Ante-Nicene age. Not much is known of his life, though he seems to have resided, at least for a time, in Emmaus, a town of Palestine, something over twenty miles from Jerusalem (not the Emmaus of Lc 24,13, which was but seven or eight miles from the city), for we hear in the Chron., and in Jerome’s de vir. ill. c. 63, of his going on an embassy to the Emperor Heliogabalus, and securing the rebuilding of the ruined city Emmaus under the name of Nicopolis, which it henceforth bore. He does not appear to have been a clergyman, or at any rate not a bishop; for he is spoken of as such by no early authority, anti he is addressed by Origen in an extant epistle, which must have been written toward the close of his life, simply as “brother.” His dates cannot be fixed with any exactness. He must have been already a prominent man when he went on an embassy to the emperor (between 218 and 222). He must have been considerably older than Origen, for in his epistle to him he calls him “son,” and that although Origen was at the time beyond middle life himself. Unless Eusebius is mistaken, he was still alive and active in the time of Gordian (238–244). But if he was enough older than Origen to address him as “son,” he can hardly have lived much beyond that reign. He seems to have been a Christian philosopher and scholar rather than an ecclesiastic, and took no such part in the church affairs of the time as to leave mention of his name in the accounts of the synods of his day. He was quite a traveler, as we learn from his own writings, and had the well-deserved reputation of being one of the greatest scholars of the age. Eusebius mentions four works left by him, the Cesti, the Chronicon, and the epistles to Origen and to Aristides. Jerome (l.c.) mentions only the last three, but Photius (Cod. 34) refers to all four. The Cesti (kestoi “embroidered girdles”) seems to have derived its name from the miscellaneous character of its contents, which included notes on geography, the art of war, medicine, agriculture, &c. It is said by Syncellus to have been composed of nine books: Photius mentions fourteen, Suidas twenty-four. It is no longer extant, but numerous scattered fragments have been preserved. Its authenticity has been doubted, chiefly because of its purely secular character, and the nature of some of the notes, which do not seem worthy of the clear-headed and at the same time Christian scholar. But the external evidence, which is not unsupported by the internal, is too strong to be set aside, and we must conclude that the work is genuine. The extant fragments of it are given in various works on mathematics, agriculture, etc. (see (Richardson’s Bibliographical Synopsis, p. 68). The epistle of Africanus to Origen is the only one of his writings preserved in a complete form. It seems that Origen, in a discussicon with a certain Bassus (see (Origen’s epistle to Africanus, §2), at which Africanus was present, had quoted from that part of the Book of Daniel which contains the apocryphal story of Susanhah. Africanus afterward wrote a brief epistle to Origen, in which he contended that the story is not authentic, urging among other arguments differences in style between it and the rest of the book, and the fact that the story is not found in Hebrew, and that certain phrases show that it was composed originally in Greek. Origen replied at considerable length, maintaining the authenticity of the passage, and thereby showing himself inferior to Africanus in critical judgment. Origen’s reply was written from Nicomedia (see (§1), where he was staying with Ambrose (see (§15). It seems probable that this visit to Nicomedia was made on his way to or from his second visit to Athens (see (next chapter, note 4). Africanus’ greatest work, and the one which brought him most fame, was his Chronicon, in five books. The work is no longer extant, but considerable fragments of it have been preserved (e.g. in Eusebius’ Praep. Evang. X. 10, and Dem. Evang. VIII., and especially in the Chronographia of Syncellus), and the Chronicon of Eusebius which is really based upon it, so that we are enabled to gain a very fair idea of its original form. As described by Photius, it was concise, but omitted nothing worthy of mention, beginning with the creation and coming down to the reign of Macrinus. It actually extended to the fourth year of Heliogabalus (221), as we see from a quotation made by Syncellus. The work seems to have been caused by the common desire of the Christians (exhibited by Tatian, Clement of Alexander, and others) to prove in their defense of Christianity the antiquity of the Jewish religion, and thus take away the accusation of novelty brought against Christianity by its opponents. Africanus apparently aimed to produce a universal chronicle and history which should exhibit the synchronism of events in the history of the leading nations of the world, and thus furnish solid ground for Christian apologists to build upon. It was the first attempt of the kind,. and became the foundation of Christian chronicles for many centuries. The time at which it was written is determined with sufficient accuracy by the date at which the chronological table closes. Salmon (in the Dict. of Christ. Biog.) remarks that it must have been completed early in the year 221, for it did not contain the names of the victors in the Olympic games of the 250th Olympiad, which took place in that year (as we learn from the list of victors copied by Eusebius from Africanus). It is said by Eusebius, just below, that Africanus reports in this work that he had visited Alexandria on account of the great celebrity of Heraclas. This is very surprising, for we should hardly have expected Heraclas’ fame to have attracted such a man to Alexandria until after Origen had left, and he had himself become the head of the school. On the fourth writing mentioned by Eusebius, the epistle to Aristides, see above, Bk. I. chap. 7, note 2. The fragments of Africanus’ works, with the exception of the Cesti, have been printed, with copious and valuable notes, by Routh, Rel. Sac. II. 221–509; English translation in the Ante-Nicene Fathers, Am. ed. VI. 125–140.
259 aporounto". A very mild way of putting his complete rejection of the story!
260 On Heraclas, see chap. 3, note 2).
261 In Bk. I. chap. 7.
262 “About this time” refers us still to the reign of Gordian (238–244). Eusebius mentions only the commentaries on Isaiah, but Jerome refers also to homilies and notes. The thirty books which were extant in Eusebius’ time extended to XXX. 6, as we are informed here. Whether the commentary originally went beyond this point we do not know. There are extant only two brief Latin fragments from the first and eighth books of the commentary, and nine homilies (the last incomplete) in a Latin version by Jerome; printed by Lommatzsch, XIII. 235–301.
582 263 Eusebius records that Origen wrote only twenty-five books of a commentary on Ezekiel. The form of expression would seem to imply that these did not cover the whole of Ezekiel, but a fragment of the twentieth book, extant in the eleventh chapter of the Philocalia, deals with the thirty-fourth chapter of the prophecy, so that the twenty-five books must have covered at any rate most of the ground. The catalogue of Jerome mentions twenty-nine books and twelve homilies, but the former number must be a mistake, for Eusebius’ explicit statement that Origen wrote but twenty-five books can hardly be doubted. There are extant only the Greek fragment of the twentieth book referred to above, fourteen homilies in the Latin version of Jerome, and a few extracts; all printed by Lommatzsch, XIV. 1–232.
264 i.e. to Is 30,6, where the LXX reads h orasi" twn tetrapodwn twn en th ethmw, which are the exact words used by Eusebius. Our English versions; both the authorized and revised, read, “The burden of the beasts of the South.” The Hebrew will bear either rendering.
265 The cause of this second visit to Athens we do not know, nor the date of it; although if Eusebius is to be relied upon, it took place during the reign of Gordian (238–244). He must have remained some time in Athens and have had leisure for study, for he finished his commentary on Ezekiel and wrote five books of his commentary on Canticles. This visit to Athens is to be distinguished from the one referred to in chap. 23, because it is probable that Origen found the Nicopotis copy of the Old Testament (mentioned in chap. 16) on the occasion of a visit to Achaia, and this visit is apparently too late, for he seems to have finished his Hexapla before this time; and still further, the epistle in which he refers to spurious accounts of his disputation at Athens (see (Jerome’s Apol. adv. Ruf. II. 18) complains also of Demetrius and of his own excommunication, which, as Redepenning remarks, points to a date soon after that excommunication took place, and not a number of years later, when Demetrius had been long dead.
266 From the seventh chapter of the Philocalia we learn that Origen, in his youth, wrote a small book (mikro" tomo") upon Canticles, of which a single brief fragment is preserved in that chapter. The catalogue of Jerome mentions ten books, two books written early, and two homilies. Eusebius mentions only the commentary, of which, he says, five books were written in Athens, and five more in Caesarea. The prologue and four books are extant in a Latin translation by Rufinus, and two homilies in a translation by Jerome; besides these, some Greek extracts made by Procopius,—all printed by Lommatzsch, XIV. 233; XV. 108.
267 idia" deomenon scolh".
268 On Pamphilus, see Bk. VII. chap. 32, note 40. On Eusebius’ Life of Pamphilus, see the Prolegomena, p. 28, above.
269 Beryllus, bishop of Bostra in Arabia (mentioned above, in chap. 20) is chiefly noted on account of the heresy into which he fell, and from which Origen won him back, by convincing him of his error. According to chap. 20, he was a learned and cultured man, and Jerome (de vir. ill. c. 60) says of him, gloriose rexisset ecclesiam. We do not know his dates, but we may gather from this chapter that the synod which was called on his account convened during the reign of Gordian (238–244), and apparently toward the close of the reign. Our sources for a knowledge of the heresy of Beryllus are very meager. We have only the brief passage in this chapter; a fragment of Origen’s commentary on Titus (Lommatzsch, V. 287), which undoubtedly refers to Beryllus’ error, though he is not mentioned by name; and finally, a single sentence in Jerome’s de vir. ill. c. 60 (Christum ante incarnationem regat), which, however, is apparently no more than his own interpretation of Eusebius’ words. Our sources have been interpreted very differently, some holding Beryllus to have been a Patripassian, others classing him with the Artemonites (see (above, Bk. V. chap. 28). He was, at any rate, a Monarchion, and his position, not to enter here into details, seems to have been that our Lord did not pre-exist as an independent being; but that, with the incarnation, he, who had previously been identified with the patrikh qeoth", became a distinct being, possessed of an independent existence (see (Dorner’s Person of Christ, Div. I. Vol. II. p. 35 sq., Edinburgh edition). According to this chapter and chap. 20, Beryllus was the author of numerous treatises and epistles, which were extant in Eusebius’ time. According to Jerome (l.c.), he wrote, varia opuscula et maxime epistolas, in quibus Origeni gratias agit. Jerome reports, also, that there were extant in his time epistles of Origen, addressed to Beryllus, and a dialogue between Origen and Beryllus. All traces of these epistles and other works have perished.
270 ton ekklhsiastikon kanona: i.e. the rule of faith.
271 mh ptoufestanai kat idian ousia" petigafhn.
272 qeothta idian).
273 twn kaq hma" oi presbuteroi. It seems necessary here to take the word presbutero" in an unofficial sense, which is, to say the least, exceptional at this late date.
583 274 On this Defense of Origen, written jointly by Pamphilus and Eusebius, see above, p. 36.
275 The younger Gordian reigned from the summer of 238 until early in the year 244, when he was murdered by the soldiers, and succeeded by his praetorian prefect, Philip of Arabia, who took the name Marcus Julius Philippus, and reigned until 249, when he was conquered and succeeded by Decius. His son Philip, who was seven years old at the time of his father’s accession, was immediately proclaimed Caesar and afterward given the title of Augustus. He bore the name Marcus Julius Philippus Severus, and was slain at the time of his father’s death.
276 There has been much dispute as to Philip’s relation to Christianity. Eusebius is the first one known to us to represent him as a Christian, and he gives the report only upon the authority of oral tradition (touton katecei logo" cristianon onta). Jerome (de vir. ill. 54) states explicitly that Philip was the first Christian emperor (qui primus de regibus Romanis christianus fuit), and this became common tradition in the Church. At the same time it must be noticed that Eusebius does not himself state that Philip was a Christian,—he simply records a tradition to that effect; and in his Vita Const. I. 3 he calls Constantine the first Christian emperor. Little reliance can be placed upon Jerome’s explicit statement, for he seems only to be repeating as certain what Eusebius reported as possible. The only things known to us which can or could have been urged in support of the alleged fact that Philip was a Christian are his act recorded in this chapter and the letter written to him by Origen, as recorded in chap. 36. Moreover, it happens to be the fact that no heathen writer hints that he was a Christian, and we know that he celebrated games in Rome with pagan rites and great pomp. It seems, on the whole, probable that Philip showed himself favorable to Christianity, and perhaps superstitiously desired to gain the favor of the Christians’ God, and hence went through some such process as Eusebius describes in this chapter, looking upon it merely as a sort of sacrifice to be offered to this God as he would offer other sacrifices to other gods. It is quite conceivable that he may have done this much, and this would be quite enough to start the report, after his death, that he had been a Christian secretly, if not openly; and from this to the tradition that he was unconditionally the first Christian emperor is but a step. Some ground for the common tradition must be assumed, but our sources do not warrant us in believing more than has been thus suggested as possible. For a full discussion of the question, see Tillemont, Hist. des Emp. III. p. 494 sq.
277 Chrysostom (De St. Bab. c. Gentes. Tom. I). and Leontius of Antioch (quoted in the Chron. pasch.)identify the bishop referred to here with Babylas, bishop of Antioch (see above, chap. 29, note 8). Eusebius’ silence as to the name of the bishop looks as if he were ignorant on the matter, but there is nothing inherently improbable in the identification, which may therefore be looked upon as very likely correct.
278 That is, the place assigned to penitents: metanoia" cwran. Christians who had committed flagrant transgressions were excluded from communion and required to go through a course of penance, more or less severe according to their offense, before they could be received again into the Church. In some cases they were excluded entirely from the services for a certain length of time; in other cases they were allowed to attend a part of the services, but in no case could they partake of the communion. In the fourth century a regular system of discipline grew up, and the penitents (paenitentes) were divided into various classes,—mourners, hearers, and kneelers; the first of whom were excluded entirely from the church, while the last two were admitted during a part of the service. The statement in the present case is of the most general character. Whether the place which he was obliged to take was without or within the church is not indicated. Upon the whole subject of ancient church discipline, see Bingham’s Antiquites, Bk. XVI., and the article Penitence in Smith’s Dict. of Christian Antiq.
279 On Heraclas, see chap. 3, note 2. The third year of Philip’s reign extended from the summer of 246 to the summer of 247, so that if Heraclas became bishop in 232, he cannot have held office fully sixteen years. The agreement, however, is so close as to occasion no difficulty.
280 On Dionysius, see chap. 40, note 1.
281 tou kaqv hma" para pasi logou.
282 Since Origen was born in the year 185 or 186 this must have been as late as 245. Most if not all of the homilies of Origen, which are now preserved, were probably delivered after this time, and reported, as Eusebius says, by stenographers. The increasing boldness of the Christians referred to here was apparently due to their uncommonly comfortable condition under Philip.
283 Of the personal history of Celsus, the first great literary opponent of Christianity, we know nothing with certainty, nor did Origen know any more. He had heard that there were two persons of the same name, the one living in the time of Nero, the other, whom he identifies with his opponent. in the time of Hadrian and later, and both of them Epicurean philosophers (see (contra Cels. I. 8). The work of Celsus, however, was clearly the work, not of an Epicurean, but of a Platonist, or at least of an eclectic philosopher, with a strong leaning toward Platonism. The author wrote about the middle of the second century, probably in the reign of Marcus Aurelius (Keim fixes the date of the work at 178 a.d.). The True Discourse (alhqh" logo") is no longer extant, but it can be reconstructed in great part from Origen’s reply to it. It is seen to have been one of the ablest and most philosophical attacks of ancient times, and to have anticipated a great many arguments urged against Christianity by modern unbelievers. Celsus was well acquainted with Christianity in its various forms and with its literature, and he set himself to work with all his learning and skill to compose a complete refutation of the whole thing. He writes apparently less from a religious than from a political motive. He was an ardent patriot, and considered paganism essential to the life of the State, and Christianity its necessary antagonist. He undertakes first to show that Christianity is historically untenable, and then that it is false from the standpoint of philosophy and ethics. It is noticeable that it is not his desire to exterminate Christianity completely, but to make peace with it; to induce the Christians to give up their claim to possess the only true religion, and, with all their high ethics and lofty ideals, to join hands with the upholders of the ancient religion in elevating the religious ideas of the people, and thus benefiting the state. When we look at his work in this light (and much misunderstanding has been caused by a failure to do this), we must admire his ability, and respect his motives. He was, however, by no means free from the superstitions and prejudices of his age. The most important book upon the work of Celsus is Keim’s Celsus’ Wahres Wort, Zürich, 1873, which reconstructs, from Origen’s reply, Celsus’ work, and translates and explains it. Origen’s reply is philosophical and in parts very able, but it must be acknowledged that in many places he does not succeed in answering his opponent. His honesty, however, must be admired in letting his adversary always speak for himself. He attempts to answer every argument urged by Celsus, and gives the argument usually in Celsus’ own words. The result is that the work is quite desultory in its treatment, and often weighted with unimportant details and tiresome repetitions. At the same time, it is full of, rich and suggestive thought, well worthy of Origen’s genius, and shows a deep appreciation of the true spiritual nature of Christianity. The entire work of eight books is extant in the original Greek, and is printed in all editions of Origen’s works (Lommatzsch, Vol. XX. p. 1–226), and is translated in the Ante-Nicene Fathers, Am. ed. Vol. IV. 395–669. It was one of Origen’s latest works, as we are told here by Eusebius, and was composed (as we learn from its preface) at the urgent request of Ambrose, to whom also it was dedicated.
284 The commentary on Matthew was written toward the close of Origen’s life, as Eusebius informs us here, a fact which is confirmed by references in the work itself to many of his earlier commentaries. There are extant a single fragment from the first book (quoted in chap. 25, above), one from the second book (quoted in the Philocalia, chap. 6), and Books X.-XVII. entire in the original Greek, covering Mt xiii. 36-xxii. 33. There are also extant numerous notes, which may have been taken, some of them from the commentary, and others from the homilies; and a Latin version of the commentary covering Mt 16,13-xxvii. (See Lommatzsch, Vols. III.-V).. The catalogue of Jerome mentions twenty-five books and twenty-five homilies, and in the preface to his commentary on Matthew, Jerome states that he had read the twenty-five books, but elsewhere (in the prologue to his translation of Origen’s homilies on Luke; Migne, VII. 219) he speaks of thirty-six (or twenty-six) books of the commentary, but this is doubtless a mistake (and so Vallarsi reads viginti quinque in the text). There is no reason to think that Origen wrote more than twenty-five books, which must have covered the whole Gospel (to judge from the portions extant). The books which are preserved contain much that is interesting and suggestive.
NPNF2-01 Eusebius 577