Book 4

Book IV.

Chapter I.–The Bishops of Rome and of Alexandria during the Reign of
Trajan. [968]

1. About the twelfth year of the reign of Trajan the above-mentioned
bishop of the parish of Alexandria [969] died, and Primus, [970] the
fourth in succession from the apostles, was chosen to the office.

2. At that time also Alexander, [971] the fifth in the line of
succession from Peter and Paul, received the episcopate at Rome, after
Evarestus had held the office eight years. [972]

[968] We still have lists of bishops as old as the end of the second
century. The most ancient is that of the Roman bishops given by
Irenaeus (III. 3. 3); but this has no dates. The list is probably the
official catalogue as it had been handed down to the time of
Eleutherus; but it is not authentic, as there was no monarchical
episcopate in Rome at the time of Clement, nor even in the time of
Hermas. For other churches the oldest lists date from the end of the
third century. According to one interpretation of a passage from
Hegesippus, quoted in chapter 22, below, Hegesippus drew up a list of
Roman bishops down to the time of Anicetus; and Bishop Lightfoot thinks
he has discovered this lost catalogue in Epiphanius, Haer. XXVII. 6
(see his article in the Academy for May 27, 1887). If Lightfoot is
right, we have recovered the oldest Papal catalogue; but it is very
doubtful whether Hegesippus composed such a catalogue (see note on
chap. 22), and even if he did, it is uncertain whether the list which
Epiphanius gives is identical with it. See the writer’s notice of
Lightfoot’s article in the Theologische Literatur-Zeitung, 1887; No.
18, Col. 435 sqq. The list of Roman bishops which Eusebius gives is the
same as that of Irenaeus; but it has dates, while Irenaeus’ has none.
From what source Eusebius took his dates we do not know. His Chronicle
contains different dates. It is possible that the difference is owing,
in part, to defective transcriptions or translations; but it is more
probable that Eusebius himself discovered another source, before
writing his History, which he considered more authentic, and therefore
substituted for the one he has used in his Chronicle. Lipsius
(Chronologie der roemischen Bischoefe, p. 145) says, ”We may assume
that the oldest catalogue extended as far as Eleutherus, but rested
upon historical knowledge only from Xystus, or, at the farthest, from
Alexander down.” On the chronology of the Roman bishops in general, see
especially the important work of Lipsius just referred to.

[969] Cerdon, mentioned in Bk. III. chap. 21.

[970] The Chronicle of Eusebius (Armenian) makes Primus succeed to the
bishopric of Alexandria in the eleventh year of Trajan; the version of
Jerome, in the ninth. According to chap. 4, below, he held office
twelve years. No reliance can be placed upon any of the figures. The
Alexandrian church is shrouded in darkness until the latter part of the
second century, and all extant traditions in regard to its history
before that time are about equally worthless. Of Primus himself we have
no authentic knowledge, though he figures somewhat in later tradition.
See Smith and Wace’s Dict. of Christian Biography, in loco.

[971] According to the Chronicle of Eusebius (Armenian), Alexander
became bishop of Rome in the eighth year of Trajan; according to
Jerome’s version, in the twelfth year. He is said, in chap. 4, below,
to have died in the third year of Hadrian, after holding office ten
years. On the reliability of these dates, see note 1, above. Of
Alexander’s life and character we know nothing.

[972] On Evarestus, see Bk. III. chap. 34, note 3.

Chapter II.–The Calamities of the Jews during Trajan’s Reign.

1. The teaching and the Church of our Saviour flourished greatly and
made progress from day to day; but the calamities of the Jews
increased, and they underwent a constant succession of evils. In the
eighteenth year of Trajan’s reign [973] there was another disturbance
of the Jews, through which a great multitude of them perished. [974]

2. For in Alexandria and in the rest of Egypt, and also in Cyrene,
[975] as if incited by some terrible and factious spirit, they rushed
into seditious measures against their fellow-inhabitants, the Greeks.
The insurrection increased greatly, and in the following year, while
Lupus was governor of all Egypt, [976] it developed into a war of no
mean magnitude.

3. In the first attack it happened that they were victorious over the
Greeks, who fled to Alexandria and imprisoned and slew the Jews that
were in the city. But the Jews of Cyrene, although deprived of their
aid, continued to plunder the land of Egypt and to devastate its
districts, [977] under the leadership of Lucuas. [978] Against them the
emperor sent Marcius Turbo [979] with a foot and naval force and also
with a force of cavalry.

4. He carried on the war against them for a long time and fought many
battles, and slew many thousands of Jews, not only of those of Cyrene,
but also of those who dwelt in Egypt and had come to the assistance of
their king Lucuas.

5. But the emperor, fearing that the Jews in Mesopotamia would also
make an attack upon the inhabitants of that country, commanded Lucius
Quintus [980] to clear the province of them. And he having marched
against them slew a great multitude of those that dwelt there; and in
consequence of his success he was made governor of Judea by the
emperor. These events are recorded also in these very words by the
Greek historians that have written accounts of those times. [981]

[973] 115 a.d.

[974] Closs says: ”According to Dion Cassius, LXVIII. 32, they slew in
Cyrene 220,000 persons with terrible cruelty. At the same time there
arose in Cyprus a disturbance of the Jews, who were very numerous in
that island. According to Dion, 240,000 of the inhabitants were slain
there. Their leader was Artemion.” Compare Dion Cassius, Hist. Rom.
LXVIII. 32, and LXIX. 12 sq. The Jews and the Greeks that dwelt
together in different cities were constantly getting into trouble. The
Greeks scorned the Jews, and the Jews in return hated the Greeks and
stirred up many bloody commotions against them. See Jost’s Geschichte
der Israeliten, chap. III. p. 181 sq. The word ”another” in this
passage is used apparently with reference to the Jewish war under
Vespasian, of which Eusebius has spoken at length in the early part of
the third Book.

[975] The Jews were very numerous both in Egypt and in Cyrene, which
lay directly west of Egypt. The Jews of Cyrene had a synagogue at
Jerusalem, according to Acts vi. 9.

[976] Lupus is, to me at least, an otherwise unknown character.

[977] nomoi. See Bk. II. chap. 17, note 10.

[978] Lucuas is called by Dion Cassius (LXVIII. 32) Andreas. Muenter
suggests that he may have borne a double name, a Jewish and a Roman, as
did many of the Jews of that time.

[979] Marcius Turbo was one of the most distinguished of the Roman
generals under Trajan and Hadrian, and finally became praetorian
prefect under Hadrian. See Dion Cassius, LXIX. 18, and Spartian, Hadr.
4-9, 15.

[980] Lucius Quintus was an independent Moorish chief, who served
voluntarily in the Roman army and became one of Trajan’s favorite
generals. He was made governor of Judea by Trajan, and was afterward
raised to the consulship. According to Themistius (Orat. XVI.), Trajan
at one time intended to make him his successor. See Dion Cassius,
LXVIII. 8, 22, 30, 32; LXIX. 2; Spartian, Hadr. 5, 7, and cf. Valesius’
note on this passage.

[981] The language of Eusebius might imply that he had other sources
than the Greek writers, but this does not seem to have been the case.
He apparently followed Dion Cassius for the most part, but evidently
had some other source (the same which Orosius afterward followed), for
he differs from Dion in the name of the Jewish leader, calling him
Lucuas instead of Andreas. The only extant accounts of these affairs by
Greek historians are those of Dion Cassius and Orosius, but there were
evidently others in Eusebius’ time.

Chapter III.–The Apologists that wrote in Defense of the Faith during
the Reign of Adrian.

1. After Trajan had reigned for nineteen and a half years [982] AElius
Adrian became his successor in the empire. To him Quadratus addressed a
discourse containing an apology for our religion, [983] because certain
wicked men [984] 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. [985]

2. He himself reveals the early date at which he lived in the following
words: ”But the works of our Saviour were always present, [986] 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.” [987] Such
then was Quadratus.

3. Aristides also, a believer earnestly devoted to our religion, left,
like Quadratus, an apology for the faith, addressed to Adrian. [988]
His work, too, has been preserved even to the present day by a great
many persons.

[982] Trajan reigned from Jan. 27, 98, to Aug. 7 or 8, 117.

[983] The importance of Quadratus’ Apology in the mind of Eusebius is
shown by his beginning the events of Hadrian’s reign with it, as well
as by the fact that he gives it also in his Chronicle, year 2041 of
Abraham (124 to 125 a.d.), where he calls Quadratus ”Auditor
Apostolorum.” Eusebius gives few events in his Chronicle, and therefore
the reference to this is all the more significant. We find no mention
of Quadratus and Aristides before Eusebius, and of the Apology of
Quadratus we have only the few lines which are given in this chapter.
In the Chronicle Eusebius says that Quadratus and Aristides addressed
apologies to Hadrian during his stay in Athens. One ms. of the
Chronicle gives the date as 125 a.d. (2141 Abr.), and this is correct;
for, according to Duerr (Die Reisen des Kaisers Hadrian, Wien, 1881, p.
42 to 44, and 70 to 71), Hadrian was in Athens from the fall of 125 to
the summer of 126 and from the spring of 129 to the spring of 130.
Eusebius adds in his Chronicle (but omits here) that these apologies
were the cause of a favorable edict from Hadrian, but this is
incorrect. Eusebius (IV. 12) makes a similar statement in regard to the
Apology of Justin, making a favorable edict (which has been proved to
be unauthentic) of the Emperor Antoninus the result of it. (See
Overbeck, Studien zur Geschichte der alten Kirche, I. 108 sq., 139.)
Quadratus and Aristides are the oldest apologists known to us. Eusebius
does not mention them again. This Quadratus must not be confounded with
Quadratus, bishop of Athens in the time of Marcus Aurelius, who is
mentioned in chap. 23; for the apologist Quadratus who belonged to the
time of the apostles can hardly have been a bishop during the reign of
Marcus Aurelius. Nor is there any decisive ground to identify him with
the prophet mentioned in Bk. III. chap. 37 and Bk. V. chap. 7, for
Quadratus was a very common name, and the prophet and the apologist
seem to have belonged to different countries (see Harnack,
Ueberlieferung der griech. Apol. p. 103). Many scholars, however,
identify the prophet and the apologist, and it must be said that
Eusebius’ mention of the prophet in III. 37, and of the apologist in
IV. 3, without any qualifying phrases, looks as if one well-known
Quadratus were referred to. The matter must remain undecided. Jerome
speaks of Quadratus and Aristides once in the Chronicle, year 2142, and
in de vir. ill. chap. 19 and 20. In chap. 19 he identifies Quadratus,
the apologist, and Quadratus, the bishop of Athens, but he evidently
had no other source than Eusebius (as was usually the case, so that he
can very rarely be accepted as an independent witness), and his
statements here are the result simply of a combination of his own. The
later scattering traditions in regard to Quadratus and Aristides
(chiefly in the Martyrologies) rest probably only upon the accounts of
Eusebius and Jerome, and whatever enlargement they offer is
untrustworthy. The Apology of Quadratus was perhaps extant at the
beginning of the seventh century; see Photius, Cod. 162. One later
tradition made Quadratus the angel of Philadelphia, addressed in the
Apocalypse; another located him in Magnesia (this Otto accepts). Either
tradition might be true, but one is worth no more than the other.
Compare Harnack, Die Ueberlieferung der griech. Apol., and Otto, Corpus
Apol. Christ. IX. p. 333 sq.

[984] This phrase is very significant, as showing the idea of Eusebius
that the persecutions did not proceed from the emperors themselves, but
were the result of the machinations of the enemies of the Christians.

[985] orthotomia. Compare the use of orthomounta in 2 Tim. ii. 15.

[986] The fragment begins tou de soteros hemon ta zrga aei paren. The
de seems to introduce a contrast, and allows us to assume with some
measure of assurance that an exposure of the pretended wonders of
heathen magicians, who were numerous at that time, preceded this ocular
proof of the genuineness of Christ’s miracles.

[987] Quadratus had evidently seen none of these persons himself; he
had simply heard of them through others. We have no record elsewhere of
the fact that any of those raised by Christ lived to a later age.

[988] Aristides of Athens, a contemporary of Quadratus, is called by
Eusebius in his Chronicle ”a philosopher” (nostri dogmatis philosophus
Atheniensis). Eusebius does not quote his work, perhaps because he did
not himself possess a copy, perhaps because it contained no historical
matter suitable to his purpose. He does not mention him again (the
Aristides, the friend of Africanus, of Bk. I. chap. 7 and of Bk. VI.
chap. 31, lived a century later), and his Apology is quoted by none of
the Fathers, so far as is known. Vague and worthless traditions of the
Middle Ages still kept his name alive, as in the case of Quadratus, but
the Apology itself disappeared long ago, until in 1878 a fragment of an
Apology, bearing the name of ”Aristides, the Philosopher of Athens,”
was published by the Mechitarists from a codex of the year 981. It is a
fragment of an Armenian translation of the fifth century; and although
its genuineness has been denied, it is accepted by most critics, and
seems to be an authentic fragment from the age of Hadrian. See
especially Harnack, ibid. p. 109 sq., and again in Herzog, 2d ed.,
Supplement Vol. p. 675-681; also Schaff, Ch. Hist. II. p. 709.

Chapter IV.–The Bishops of Rome and of Alexandria under the Same
Emperor. [989]

In the third year of the same reign, Alexander, [990] bishop of Rome,
died after holding office ten years. His successor was Xystus. [991]
About the same time Primus, bishop of Alexandria, died in the twelfth
year of his episcopate, [992] and was succeeded by Justus. [993]

[989] I.e. the emperor Hadrian.

[990] On Alexander, see above, chap. 1, note 4.

[991] Known as Sixtus I. (Sixtus, or Sistus, being the Latin form of
the name) in the list of Roman bishops. He was supposed to be the
author of a collection of religious and moral maxims, which were widely
read in the ancient Church and are mentioned by many of the Fathers.
His authorship was disputed by Jerome and others, and the work from
that time on was commonly assigned to a heathen author, until recently
some voices have again been heard in favor of the authorship of Bishop
Sixtus (notably de Lagarde and Ewald). See Schaff’s Church Hist. II. p.
703 sq. He is, according to Lipsius, the first Roman bishop whose dates
we have any means of ascertaining, and it may be assumed that he was
the first one that occupied an episcopal position in Rome; and yet,
even in his time, the monarchical episcopate can hardly have been
established in its full sense. In the next chapter we are told that he
held office ten years; and this figure, which is supported by most of
the ancient catalogues, may be accepted as approximately correct. The
date of his accession given here by Eusebius cannot, however, be
correct; for, as Lipsius has shown (Chron. de roem. Bischoefe, p. 183
sq.) he must have died at least as early as 126 a.d. (possibly as early
as 124), so that his accession took place not later than 116; that is,
before the death of Trajan. Like most of the other early Roman bishops
he is celebrated as a martyr in the martyrologies, but the fact of his
martyrdom rests upon a very late and worthless tradition.

[992] On Primus, see chap. 1, note 4. Eusebius contradicts his own
dates here. For in chap. 1 he says that Alexander of Rome and Primus of
Alexandria became bishops at the same time; but according to this
chapter, Alexander died at the close of the tenth year of his
episcopate, and Primus in the twelfth year of his. Eusebius may have
used the word ”about” advisedly, to cover considerable ground, and may
have grouped the two bishops together simply for convenience’ sake. No
reliance is to be placed upon the dates in any case.

[993] We know nothing about Justus except that he ruled eleven years,
according to the next chapter. If Primus died in the twelfth year of
his episcopate, as Eusebius says in this chapter, and entered upon his
office in the twelfth year of Trajan, as he says in chapter 1, Justus
must have become bishop about 120 a.d., in the third or fourth year of
Hadrian. It must be remembered, however, that all of these dates are
historically worthless.

Chapter V.–The Bishops of Jerusalem from the Age of our Saviour to the
Period under Consideration

1. The chronology of the bishops of Jerusalem I have nowhere found
preserved in writing; [994] for tradition says that they were all short

2. But I have learned this much from writings, [995] that until the
siege of the Jews, which took place under Adrian, [996] there were
fifteen bishops in succession there, [997] all of whom are said to have
been of Hebrew descent, and to have received the knowledge of Christ in
purity, so that they were approved by those who were able to judge of
such matters, and were deemed worthy of the episcopate. For their whole
church consisted then of believing Hebrews who continued from the days
of the apostles until the siege which took place at this time; in which
siege the Jews, having again rebelled against the Romans, were
conquered after severe battles.

3. But since the bishops of the circumcision ceased at this time, it is
proper to give here a list of their names from the beginning. The
first, then, was James, the so-called brother of the Lord; [998] the
second, Symeon; [999] the third, Justus; [1000] the fourth, Zacchaeus;
[1001] the fifth, Tobias; the sixth, Benjamin; the seventh, John; the
eighth, Matthias; the ninth, Philip; the tenth, Seneca; [1002] the
eleventh, Justus; the twelfth, Levi; the thirteenth, Ephres; [1003] the
fourteenth, Joseph; [1004] and finally, the fifteenth, Judas.

4. These are the bishops of Jerusalem that lived between the age of the
apostles and the time referred to, all of them belonging to the

5. In the twelfth year of the reign of Adrian, Xystus, having completed
the tenth year of his episcopate, [1005] was succeeded by Telesphorus,
[1006] the seventh in succession from the apostles. In the meantime,
after the lapse of a year and some months, Eumenes, [1007] the sixth in
order, succeeded to the leadership of the Alexandrian church, his
predecessor having held office eleven years. [1008]

[994] In his Chron. Eusebius also gives the names of these bishops of
Jerusalem, without assigning dates to more than two or three of them.
But in Nicephorus Callisti the dates are given. From what source
Nicephorus drew we do not know. He is, at any rate, too late to be of
any worth as an authority on such a subject. In fact, these men were
not regular monarchical bishops, holding office in succession (see note
4), and hence Eusebius is quite excusable for his ignorance in regard
to their dates. See Ritschl’s Entstehung der alt-kath. Kirche, p. 246

[995] Reuterdahl (De Fontibus Hist. eccles. Euseb., p. 55) conjectures
that these ”writings” were found in the church of Jerusalem itself, and
compares a passage in the Dem. Evang. III. 5: ”The first bishops that
presided there [i.e. at Jerusalem] are said to have been Jews, and
their names are preserved by the inhabitants of the country.” Had
Hegesippus or any other known author been the source of his
information, he would probably have mentioned his name.

[996] In 135 a.d. See below, chap. 7.

[997] From Hegesippus (see above, Bk. III. chap. 32) we learn that
Symeon, the successor of James, was martyred during Trajan’s reign. As
was seen in note 6 of the chapter referred to, the martyrdom probably
occurred early in that reign. Eusebius, in his Chron., refers the
martyrdom and the accession of Justus to the tenth year of Trajan (107
a.d.). This leaves thirteen bishops to be inserted between 107 (or, if
this date is not reliable, 98+) and 135 a.d., which is, to say the
least, very suspicious. The true explanation appears to be that, after
the death of Symeon, the last prominent relative of Christ, the
presbyters took the lead, and that they were afterward made by
tradition into successive monarchical bishops. Closs and Gieseler
suppose that there were bishops of a number of churches in Palestine at
the same time, whom tradition made successive bishops of Jerusalem. But
the fact is, that the episcopate is of Greek, not of Jewish, origin,
and in the strictly Jewish Christian churches of Palestine no such
person as a bishop can have existed. Only after the church there came
under the influence of the Gentile church, and lost its prevailingly
Jewish character, was it possible for a bishop, in the general sense of
the term, to exist there. The Jewish Christians assumed for their
church government the form of the Jewish Sanhedrim, though while James
and Symeon were alive, they were naturally leaders (according to the
common Oriental custom, which exalted the relatives of the founder of a
religion). The Jewish character of the Jerusalem congregation was very
marked until the destruction of the city under Hadrian (note that all
but two of the fifteen bishops have Jewish names), after which all
circumcised Jews–Christians as well as unbelievers–were excluded, and
a heathen Christian congregation took its place (see the next chapter).
According to Stroth, followed by Closs, Stigloher, and Heinichen, the
church of Jerusalem remained in Pella after 70 a.d., and was called the
church of Jerusalem because it was made up of Christians from
Jerusalem. This is possible; but Eusebius evidently did not understand
it so (compare, too, his Dem. Evang. III. 5), and Epiphanius (de Mensa
et Pond. chap 15) says expressly that, after the destruction of the
city by Titus, the church returned again to Jerusalem, and there is no
good reason to doubt the report.

[998] On James, see above, Bk. II chap. 1.

[999] On Symeon, see above, Bk. III. chap. 11, note 4.

[1000] Of Justus and the following named bishops we know nothing more.
Justus is called Judas by Epiphanius, Haer. LXVI. 20.

[1001] Zacchaeus is called Zacharias by Epiphanius. According to
Jerome’s version of Eusebius’ Chron. he became bishop in the fifteenth
year of Trajan; according to the Armenian version, in the twelfth year.
Dates are given by the Chron. for this bishop and for Seneca, but no
confidence is to be reposed in the dates, nor in those given by
Epiphanius and Eutychius. The former, when he gives dates at all, is
hopelessly at sea. The latter gives exact dates for every bishop, but
quite without the support of ancient tradition.

[1002] The name Seneca is Latin, the only Latin name in the list. But
there is nothing particularly surprising in a Jew’s bearing a Latin
name. It was quite common even for native Jews to bear both a Latin, or
Greek, and a Hebrew name, and often the former was used to the
exclusion of the latter. The name therefore does not disprove Seneca’s
Hebrew origin.

[1003] ‘Ephres. Epiphanius calls him ‘OuEURphris. The Armenian version
of the Chron. calls him Ephrem; Jerome’s version, Ephres. Syncellus
calls him ‘Ephraim, which is the Hebrew form of the name.

[1004] ‘Ioseph. He is called ‘Iosis by Epiphanius, and Joses by Jerome.

[1005] On Xystus, see chap. 4, note 3.

[1006] Telesphorus was a martyr, according to Irenaeus, III. 3. 3
(compare below, chap. 10, and Bk. V. chap. 6), and the tradition is too
old to be doubted. Eusebius here agrees with Jerome’s version of the
Chron. in putting the date of Telesphorus’ accession in the year 128
a.d., but the Armenian version puts it in 124; and Lipsius, with whom
Overbeck agrees, puts it between 124 and 126. Since he held office
eleven years (according to Eusebius, chap. 10, below, and other ancient
catalogues), he must have died, according to Lipsius and Overbeck,
between 135 and 137 a.d. (the latter being probably the correct date),
and not in the first year of Antoninus Pius (138 a.d.), as Eusebius
states in chap. 10, below. Tradition says that he fought against
Marcion and Valentinus (which is quite possible), and that he was very
strict in regard to fasts, sharpening them and increasing their number,
which may or may not be true.

[1007] We know nothing more about Eumenes. He is said in chap. 11 to
have held office thirteen years, and this brings the date of his death
into agreement with the date given by the Armenian version of the
Chron., which differs by two years from the date given by Jerome.

[1008] His predecessor was Justus. See the previous chapter.

Chapter VI.–The Last Siege of the Jews under Adrian.

1. As the rebellion of the Jews at this time grew much more serious,
[1009] Rufus, governor of Judea, after an auxiliary force had been sent
him by the emperor, using their madness as a pretext, proceeded against
them without mercy, and destroyed indiscriminately thousands of men and
women and children, and in accordance with the laws of war reduced
their country to a state of complete subjection.

2. The leader of the Jews at this time was a man by the name of
Barcocheba [1010] (which signifies a star), who possessed the character
of a robber and a murderer, but nevertheless, relying upon his name,
boasted to them, as if they were slaves, that he possessed wonderful
powers; and he pretended that he was a star that had come down to them
out of heaven to bring them light in the midst of their misfortunes.

3. The war raged most fiercely in the eighteenth year of Adrian, [1011]
at the city of Bithara, [1012] which was a very secure fortress,
situated not far from Jerusalem. When the siege had lasted a long time,
and the rebels had been driven to the last extremity by hunger and
thirst, and the instigator of the rebellion had suffered his just
punishment, the whole nation was prohibited from this time on by a
decree, and by the commands of Adrian, from ever going up to the
country about Jerusalem. For the emperor gave orders that they should
not even see from a distance the land of their fathers. Such is the
account of Aristo of Pella. [1013]

4. And thus, when the city had been emptied of the Jewish nation and
had suffered the total destruction of its ancient inhabitants, it was
colonized by a different race, and the Roman city which subsequently
arose changed its name and was called AElia, in honor of the emperor
AElius Adrian. And as the church there was now composed of Gentiles,
the first one to assume the government of it after the bishops of the
circumcision was Marcus. [1014]

[1009] The rebellions of the Jews which had broken out in Cyrene and
elsewhere during the reign of Trajan only increased the cruelty of the
Romans toward them, and in Palestine, as well as elsewhere in the East,
their position was growing constantly worse. Already during the reign
of Trajan Palestine itself was the scene of many minor disturbances and
of much bitter persecution. Hadrian regarded them as a troublesome
people, and showed in the beginning of his reign that he was not very
favorably disposed toward them. Indeed, it seems that he even went so
far as to determine to build upon the site of Jerusalem a purely
heathen city. It was at about this time, when all the Jews were longing
for the Messiah, that a man appeared (his original name we do not know,
but his coins make it probable that it was Simon), claiming to be the
Messiah, and promising to free the Jews from the Roman yoke. He took
the name Bar-Cochba, ”Son of a star,” and was enthusiastically
supported by Rabbi Akiba and other leading men among the Jews, who
believed him to be the promised Messiah. He soon gathered a large
force, and war finally broke out between him and Rufus, the governor of
Judea, about the year 132. Rufus was not strong enough to put down the
rebellion, and Julius Severus, Hadrian’s greatest general, was
therefore summoned from Britain with a strong force. Bar-Cochba and his
followers shut themselves up in Bethar, a strong fortification, and
after a long siege the place was taken in 135 a.d., in the fourth year
of the war, and Bar-Cochba was put to death. The Romans took severe
revenge upon the Jews. Hadrian built upon the site of Jerusalem a new
city, which he named AElia Capitolina, and upon the site of the temple
a new temple to the Capitoline Jupiter, and passed a law that no Jew
should henceforth enter the place. Under Bar-Cochba the Christians, who
refused to join him in his rebellion, were very cruelly treated (cf.
Justin Martyr, Apol. I. 31, quoted in chap. 8, below). Upon this last
war of the Jews, see Dion Cassius, LXIX. 12-14, and compare Jost’s
Gesch. der Israeliten, III. p. 227 sq., and Muenter’s Juedischer Krieg.

[1010] Heb. B+R+ K+W+K+B+#, Bar-Cochba, which signifies ”Son of a star”
(cf. Num. xxiv. 17). After his defeat the Jews gave him the name B+R+
K+W+Z+J+B+#, Bar-Coziba, which means ”Son of a lie.”

[1011] I.e. Aug. 134 to Aug. 135.

[1012] Biththera, Rufinus Bethara. The exact situation of this place
cannot be determined, although various localities have been suggested
by travelers (see Robinson’s Bibl. Researches, III. p. 267 sqq.). We
may conclude at any rate that it was, as Eusebius says, a strongly
fortified place, and that it was situated somewhere in Judea.

[1013] Whether the whole of the previous account, or only the close of
it, was taken by Eusebius from Aristo of Pella, we do not know. Of
Aristo of Pella himself we know very little. Eusebius is the first
writer to mention him, and he and Maximus Confessor (in his notes on
the work De mystica Theol. cap. I. p. 17, ed. Corderii) are the only
ones to give us any information about him (for the notices in Moses
Chorenensis and in the Chron. Paschale–the only other places in which
Aristo is mentioned–are entirely unreliable). Maximus informs us that
Aristo was the author of a Dialogue of Papiscus and Jason, a work
mentioned by many of the Fathers, but connected by none of them with
Aristo. The dialogue, according to Maximus, was known to Clement of
Alexandria and therefore must have been written as early as, or very
soon after, the middle of the second century; and the fact that it
recorded a dialogue between a Hebrew Christian and an Alexandrian Jew
(as we learn from the epistle of Celsus, De Judaica Incredulitate,
printed with the works of Cyprian, in Hartel’s edition, III. p.
119-132) would lead us to expect an early date for the work. There can
be found no good reason for doubting the accuracy of Maximus’
statement; and if it be accepted, we must conclude that the writer whom
Eusebius mentions here was the author of the dialogue referred to. If
this be so, it is quite possible that it was from this dialogue that
Eusebius drew the account which he here ascribes to Aristo; for such an
account might well find a place in a dialogue between two Hebrews. It
is possible, of course, that Aristo wrote some other work in which he
discussed this subject; but if it had been an historical work, we
should expect Eusebius, according to his custom, to give its title.
Harnack is quite correct in assuming that Eusebius’ silence in regard
to the work itself is significant. Doubtless the work did not please
him, and hence he neither mentions it, nor gives an account of its
author. This is just what we should expect Eusebius’ attitude to be
toward such a Jewish Christian work (and at the same time, such a
`simple’ work, as Origen calls it in Contra Cels. IV. 52) as we know
the dialogue to have been. We are, of course, left largely to
conjecture in this matter; but the above conclusions seem at least
probable. Compare Harnack’s Ueberlieferung der griech. Apol., p. 115
sq.; and for a discussion of the nature of the dialogue (which is no
longer extant), see his Altercatio Simonis Judaei et Theophili
Christiani (Texte und Untersuchungen, I. 3), p. 115 sq. (Harnack looks
upon this Latin altercatio as, in part at least, a free reproduction of
the lost dialogue). See, also, the writer’s Dialogue between a
Christian and a Jew (‘Antibole Papiskou kai philonos ‘Ioudaion pros
monachon tina), p. 33. The town of Pella lay east of the Jordan, in
Perea. See Bk. III. chap. 5, note 10, above.

[1014] Of this Marcus we know nothing more. Upon the Gentile bishops of
Jerusalem, see Bk. V. chap. 12.

Chapter VII.–The Persons that became at that Time Leaders of Knowledge
falsely so-called. [1015]

1. As the churches throughout the world were now shining like the most
brilliant stars, and faith in our Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ was
flourishing among the whole human race, [1016] the demon who hates
everything that is good, and is always hostile to the truth, and most
bitterly opposed to the salvation of man, turned all his arts against
the Church. [1017] In the beginning he armed himself against it with
external persecutions.

2. But now, being shut off from the use of such means, [1018] he
devised all sorts of plans, and employed other methods in his conflict
with the Church, using base and deceitful men as instruments for the
ruin of souls and as ministers of destruction. Instigated by him,
impostors and deceivers, assuming the name of our religion, brought to
the depth of ruin such of the believers as they could win over, and at
the same time, by means of the deeds which they practiced, turned away
from the path which leads to the word of salvation those who were
ignorant of the faith.

3. Accordingly there proceeded from that Menander, whom we have already
mentioned as the successor of Simon, [1019] a certain serpent-like
power, double-tongued and two-headed, which produced the leaders of two
different heresies, Saturninus, an Antiochian by birth, [1020] and
Basilides, an Alexandrian. [1021] The former of these established
schools of godless heresy in Syria, the latter in Alexandria.

4. Irenaeus states [1022] that the false teaching of Saturninus agreed
in most respects with that of Menander, but that Basilides, under the
pretext of unspeakable mysteries, invented monstrous fables, and
carried the fictions of his impious heresy quite beyond bounds.

5. But as there were at that time a great many members of the Church
[1023] who were fighting for the truth and defending apostolic and
ecclesiastical doctrine with uncommon eloquence, so there were some
also that furnished posterity through their writings with means of
defense against the heresies to which we have referred. [1024]

6. Of these there has come down to us a most powerful refutation of
Basilides by Agrippa Castor, [1025] one of the most renowned writers of
that day, which shows the terrible imposture of the man.

7. While exposing his mysteries he says that Basilides wrote
twenty-four books upon the Gospel, [1026] and that he invented prophets
for himself named Barcabbas and Barcoph, [1027] and others that had no
existence, and that he gave them barbarous names in order to amaze
those who marvel at such things; that he taught also that the eating of
meat offered to idols and the unguarded renunciation of the faith in
times of persecution were matters of indifference; [1028] and that he
enjoined upon his followers, like Pythagoras, a silence of five years.

8. Other similar things the above-mentioned writer has recorded
concerning Basilides, and has ably exposed the error of his heresy.

9. Irenaeus also writes [1030] that Carpocrates was a contemporary of
these men, and that he was the father of another heresy, called the
heresy of the Gnostics, [1031] who did not wish to transmit any longer
the magic arts of Simon, as that one [1032] had done, in secret, but
openly. [1033] For they boasted–as of something great–of love potions
that were carefully prepared by them, and of certain demons that sent
them dreams and lent them their protection, and of other similar
agencies; and in accordance with these things they taught that it was
necessary for those who wished to enter fully into their mysteries, or
rather into their abominations, to practice all the worst kinds of
wickedness, on the ground that they could escape the cosmic powers, as
they called them, in no other way than by discharging their obligations
to them all by infamous conduct.

10. Thus it came to pass that the malignant demon, making use of these
ministers, on the one hand enslaved those that were so pitiably led
astray by them to their own destruction, while on the other hand he
furnished to the unbelieving heathen abundant opportunities for
slandering the divine word, inasmuch as the reputation of these men
brought infamy upon the whole race of Christians.

11. In this way, therefore, it came to pass that there was spread
abroad in regard to us among the unbelievers of that age, the infamous
and most absurd suspicion that we practiced unlawful commerce with
mothers and sisters, and enjoyed impious feasts. [1034]

12. He did not, however, long succeed in these artifices, as the truth
established itself and in time shone with great brilliancy.

13. For the machinations of its enemies were refuted by its power and
speedily vanished. One new heresy arose after another, and the former
ones always passed away, and now at one time, now at another, now in
one way, now in other ways, were lost in ideas of various kinds and
various forms. But the splendor of the catholic and only true Church,
which is always the same, grew in magnitude and power, and reflected
its piety and simplicity and freedom, and the modesty and purity of its
inspired life and philosophy to every nation both of Greeks and of

14. At the same time the slanderous accusations which had been brought
against the whole Church [1035] also vanished, and there remained our
teaching alone, which has prevailed over all, and which is acknowledged
to be superior to all in dignity and temperance, and in divine and
philosophical doctrines. So that none of them now ventures to affix a
base calumny upon our faith, or any such slander as our ancient enemies
formerly delighted to utter.

15. Nevertheless, in those times the truth again called forth many
champions who fought in its defense against the godless heresies,
refuting them not only with oral, but also with written arguments.

[1015] pseudonumou gnoseos. Compare 1 Tim. vi. 20.

[1016] This statement is of course an exaggeration. See above, Bk. II.
chap. 3, note 1.

[1017] These two paragraphs furnish an excellent illustration of
Eusebius’ dualistic and transcendental conception of history. In his
opinion, heresy was not a natural growth from within, but an external
evil brought upon the Church by the devil, when he could no longer
persecute. According to this conception the Church conquers this
external enemy, heresy, and then goes on as before, unaffected by it.
In agreement with this is his conception of heretics themselves, whom
he, in common with most other Christians of that age, considered
without exception wicked and abandoned characters.

[1018] Eusebius’ belief that persecution had ceased at the time of
Hadrian is an illusion (see below, chap. 8, note 14) which falls in
with his general conceptions upon this subject–conceptions which ruled
among Christian writers until the end of the fourth century.

[1019] See Bk. III. chap. 26.

[1020] Saturninus is called Saturnilus by Hippolytus, Epiphanius, and
Theodoret, and his followers Saturnilians by Hegesippus, quoted in
chap. 22, below. Irenaeus (Adv. Haer. I. 24) and Hippolytus (VII. 16)
give accounts of the man and his doctrine which are evidently taken
from the same source, probably the lost Syntagma of Justin Martyr.
Neither of them seems to have had any independent information, nor do
any other writers know more about him than was contained in that
original source. Irenaeus was possibly Eusebius’ sole authority,
although Irenaeus assigns Saturninus only to Syria, while Eusebius
makes him a native of Antioch. Hippolytus says that he ”spent his time
in Antioch of Syria,” which may have been the statement of the
original, or may have been a mere deduction from a more general
statement such as Irenaeus gives. In the same way Eusebius may have
needed no authority for his still more exact statement.

[1021] Basilides was one of the greatest and most famous of the
Gnostics. Irenaeus (I. 24) and the early Compendium of Hippolytus (now
lost, but used together with Irenaeus’ work by Epiphanius in his
treatise against heresies) described a form of Basilidianism which was
not the original, but a later corruption of the system. On the other
hand, Clement of Alexandria surely, and Hippolytus, in the fuller
account in his Philosoph. (VII. 2 sq.), probably drew their knowledge
of the system directly from Basilides’ own work, the Exegetica, and
hence represent the form of doctrine taught by Basilides himself,–a
form differing greatly from the later corruptions of it which Irenaeus
discusses. This system was very profound, and bore in many respects a
lofty character. Basilides had apparently few followers (his son
Isidore is the only prominent one known to us); and though his system
created a great impression at the start,–so much so that his name
always remained one of the most famous of Gnostic names,–it had little
vitality, and soon died out or was corrupted beyond recognition. He was
mentioned of course in all the general works against heresies written
by the Fathers, but no one seems to have composed an especial
refutation of his system except Agrippa Castor, to whom Eusebius
refers. Irenaeus informs us that he taught at Alexandria, Hippolytus
(VII. 15) mentions simply Egypt, while Epiphanius (XXI. 1) names
various Egyptian cities in which he labored, but it is evident that he
is only enumerating places in which there were Basilidians in his time.
It is not certain whether he is to be identified with the Basilides who
is mentioned in the Acts of Archelaus as preaching in Persia. For an
excellent account of Basilides and his system, see the article by Hort
in the Dict. of Christ. Biog.; and in addition to the works of Neander,
Baur, and Lipsius on Gnosticism in general, see especially Uhlhorn’s
Das Basilidianische System, Goettingen, 1855.

[1022] See Irenaeus, Adv. Haer. I. 24.

[1023] ekklesiastikon andron.

[1024] The only one of these–”that furnished posterity with means of
defense against heresies”–whom Eusebius mentions is Agrippa Castor,
and it is evident that he knew of no others. Moreover, it is more than
doubtful whether Agrippa Castor belonged to that time. We do not know
when he wrote, but it is hardly possible that the Church had at that
period any one capable of answering such a work as the Commentary of
Basilides, or any one who would wish to if he could. The activity of
the Church was at this early period devoted chiefly if not wholly to
the production of apologies for the defense of the Church against the
attacks of enemies from the outside, and to the composition of
apocalypses. Eusebius in the next chapter mentions Hegesippus as
another of these ”writers of the time.” But the passage which he quotes
to prove that Hegesippus wrote then only proves that the events
mentioned took place during his lifetime, and not necessarily within
forty or fifty years of the time at which he was writing. The fact is,
that Hegesippus really wrote about 175 a.d. (later therefore than
Justin Martyr), and in chap. 21 of this book Eusebius restores him to
his proper chronological place. The general statement made here by
Eusebius in regard to the writers against heresy during the reign of
Hadrian rest upon his preconceived idea of what must have been the
case. If the devil raised up enemies against the truth, the Church must
certainly have had at the same time defenders to meet them. It is a
simple example of well-meaning subjective reconstruction. He had the
work of Agrippa Castor before him, and undoubtedly believed that he
lived at the time stated (which indeed we cannot absolutely deny), and
believed, moreover, that other similar writers, whose names he did not
know, lived at the same time.

[1025] Of Agrippa Castor we know only what Eusebius tells us here.
Jerome (de vir. ill. chap. 21) adds nothing new, and Theodoret’s
statement (Fab. I. 4), that Agrippa wrote against Basilides’ son,
Isidore, as well as against Basilides himself, is simply an expansion
of Eusebius’ account, and does not imply the existence of another work.
Agrippa’s production, of which we do not know even the title, has
entirely disappeared.

[1026] eis to euangelion biblia. Clement of Alexandria (Strom. IV. 12)
quotes from the twenty-third book of the Exegetica of Basilides. Origen
(Hom. in Luc. I.) says that Basilides ”had even the audacity to write a
Gospel according to Basilides,” and this remark is repeated by Ambrose
(Exp. in Luc. I. 1), and seems to be Jerome’s authority for the
enumeration of a Gospel of Basilides among the Apocryphal Gospels in
his Comment in Matt., praef. We know nothing more about this Gospel,
and it is quite possible that Origen mistook the Exegetica for a
Gospel. We do not know upon what Gospels Basilides wrote his Commentary
(or Exegetica), but it is hardly probable that he would have expounded
his own Gospel even if such a work existed. The passage from the
Exegetica which Clement quotes looks to me like a part of an exposition
of John ix. (although Lipsius, in the Dict. of Christ. Biog. II. 715,
suggests Luke xxi. 12). Meanwhile, in the Acta Archelai, chap. 55 (see
Gallandii Bibl. PP. III. 608), is a quotation from ”the thirteenth book
of the treatises (tractatuum) of Basilides,” which is an exposition of
the parable of Dives and Lazarus (Luke xvi.). If this is the same work,
it would seem that the Exegetica must have included at least Luke and
John, possibly Matthew also, for we know that the Gospels of Matthew,
Luke, and John were all used by the Basilidians. The respective
positions in the work of the expositions of the passages from Luke and
John (the former in the thirteenth, the latter in the twenty-third,
book) would seem, however, to exclude Matthew, if the books were at all
of equal length. If Lipsius were correct in regarding the latter
passage as an exposition of Luke xxi. 12, there would be no evidence
that the Commentary covered more than a single Gospel.

[1027] According to Epiphanius, some of the Ophites appealed to a
certain prophet called Barcabbas. What his connection was with the one
mentioned here we do not know. Clement of Alexandria (Strom. VI. 6)
speaks of the Expositions of the Prophet Parchor by Isidore, the son of
Basilides. This may be another of Basilides’ prophets, but is more
probably identical with the oft-mentioned Barcoph. In the second book
of these Expositions, as quoted by Clement, occurs a reference to the
prophecy of Cham or Ham. Rienstra (De Euseb. Hist. Eccles. p. 29)
thinks that Agrippa Castor was mistaken in saying that Basilides
mentioned these prophets; but there seems to be no good reason to deny
the accuracy of the report, even though we know nothing more about the
prophets mentioned. Hort (Dict. of Christ. Biog., article Barcabbas)
thinks it likely that the prophecies current among the various Gnostic
bodies belonged to the apocryphal Zoroastrian literature.

[1028] This was not a doctrine of Basilides himself, but of his
followers (compare the accounts of Irenaeus and Hippolytus). If Agrippa
Castor represented Basilides’ position thus, as Eusebius says he did
(though Eusebius may be only following Irenaeus), it is an evidence
that he did not live at the early date to which Eusebius assigns him,
and this goes to confirm the view stated above, in note 10. Basilides
himself taught at least a moderate asceticism, while his followers went
off into crude dualism and moral license (see the excellent account of
Schaff, Ch. Hist. II. 466 sq.).

[1029] Exactly what is meant by this ”five years of silence” is
uncertain. Whether it denoted unquestioning and silent obedience of all
commands, as it meant in the case of the Pythagoreans (if, indeed, the
traditions in regard to the latter have any basis in fact), or strict
secrecy as to the doctrines taught, cannot be decided. The report in
regard to the Basilidians, in so far as it has any truth, probably
arose on the ground of some such prohibition, which may have been made
by some follower of Basilides, if not by the latter himself. A bond of
secrecy would lend an air of mystery to the school, which would accord
well with the character of its later teachings. But we cannot make
Basilides responsible for such proceedings. Agrippa Castor, as
reproduced here by Eusebius, is our sole authority for the enjoinment
of silence by Basilides.

[1030] See Irenaeus, Adv. Haer. I. 25.

[1031] The date of the rise of Gnosticism cannot be fixed. Indeed, all
the requisite conditions existed from the beginning. It was the ”acute
Verweltlichung” (as Harnack calls it) of Christianity, the development
of it in connection with the various ethnic philosophies, and it began
as soon as Christianity came in contact with the Greek mind. At first
it was not heretical, simply because there were no standards by which
to try it. There was only the preaching of the Christians; the canon
was not yet formed; episcopacy was not yet established; both arose as
safeguards against heresy. It was in the time of Hadrian, perhaps, that
these speculations began to be regarded as heresies, because they
contradicted certain fundamental truths to which the Christians felt
that they must cling, such as the unity of God, his graciousness, his
goodness, etc.; and therefore the Christians dated Gnosticism from that
time. Gnosticism was ostensibly conquered, but victory was achieved
only as the Church itself became in a certain sense Gnostic. It
followed the course of Gnosticism a century later; that is, it wrote
commentaries, systems of doctrine, &c., philosophizing about religious
things (cf. Harnack’s Dogmengeschichte, I. p. 162 sq.). It must be
remembered in reading the Fathers’ accounts of Gnosticism that they
took minor and unimportant details and magnified them, and treated them
as the essentials of the system or systems. In this way far greater
variety appears to have existed in Gnosticism than was the case. The
essential principles were largely the same throughout; the differences
were chiefly in regard to details. It is this conduct on the part of
the Fathers that gives us such a distorted and often ridiculous view of
Gnosticism. The Carpocratians are the first of whom Irenaeus expressly
says that they called themselves Gnostics (adv. Haer. I. 25, 6), while
Hippolytus first speaks of the name as adopted by the Naasseni (V. 1).
The Carpocratians are mentioned by Hegesippus (quoted below in chap.
22). The system was more exclusively Greek in its character than any
other of the Gnostic systems. The immorality of the sect was
proverbial; Tertullian (de Anima, c. 35) calls Carpocrates a magician
and a fornicator. He taught the superiority of man over the powers of
the world, the moral indifference of things in themselves, and hence,
whether he himself was immoral or not, his followers carried out his
principles to the extreme, and believed that the true Gnostic might and
even must have experience of everything, and therefore should practice
all sorts of immoralities. Eusebius is probably right in assigning
Carpocrates to this period. The relation of his system to those of
Saturninus and Basilides seems to imply that he followed them, but at
no great interval. Other sources for a knowledge of Carpocrates and his
sect are Irenaeus (I. 25 and II. 31-33), Clement of Alexandria (Strom.
III. 2), Hippolytus (Phil. VII. 20), Tertullian (de Anima, 23, 35),
Pseudo-Tertullian (adv. omnes Haer. 3), Epiphanius (Haer. 27), and
Philaster (c. 35). Of these only Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, and
the earlier treatise of Hippolytus (which lies at the base of
Pseudo-Tertullian and Philaster) are independent; and probably, back of
Irenaeus, lies Justin Martyr’s lost Syntagma; though it is very likely
that Irenaeus knew the sect personally, and made additions of his own.
Compare Harnack’s Quellenkritik des Gnosticismus, p. 41 sq.

[1032] ekeinos, referring back to Basilides.

[1033] Where Eusebius secured the information that the Carpocratians
made the magic rites of Simon public, instead of keeping them secret,
as Basilides had done, I cannot tell. None of our existing sources
mentions this fact, and whether Eusebius took it from some lost source,
or whether it is simply a deduction of his own, I am not certain. In
other respects his account agrees closely with that of Irenaeus. It is
possible that he had seen the lost work of Hippolytus (see below, VI.
22, note 9), and from that had picked up this item which he states as a
fact. But the omission of it in Philaster, Pseudo-Tertullian, and
Epiphanius are against this supposition. Justin’s Syntagma Eusebius
probably never saw (see below, chap. 11, note 31).

[1034] The chief accusations urged against the early Christians by
their antagonists were atheism, cannibalism, and incest. These charges
were made very early. Justin Martyr (Apol. I. 26) mentions them, and
Pliny in his epistle to Trajan speaks of the innocent meals of the
Christians, implying that they had been accused of immorality in
connection with them. (Compare, also, Tertullian’s Apol. 7, 8, and Ad
Nationes, 7.) In fact, suspicions arose among the heathen as soon as
their love feasts became secret. The persecution in Lyons is to be
explained only by the belief of the officers that these and similar
accusations were true. The Christians commonly denied all such charges
in toto, and supported their denial by urging the absurdity of such
conduct; but sometimes, as in the present case, they endeavored to
exonerate themselves by attributing the crimes with which they were
charged to heretics. This course, however, helped them little with the
heathen, as the latter did not distinguish between the various parties
of Christians, but treated them all as one class. The statement of
Eusebius in the present case is noteworthy. He thinks that the crimes
were really committed by heretics, and occasioned the accusations of
the heathen, and he thus admits that the charges were founded upon
fact. In this case he acts toward the heretics in the same way that the
heathen acted toward the Christians as a whole. This method of
exonerating themselves appears as early as Justin Martyr (compare his
Apol. I. 26). Irenaeus also (I. 25, 3), whom Eusebius substantially
follows in this passage, and Philaster (c. 57), pursue the same course.

[1035] Eusebius is correct in his statement that such accusations were
no longer made in his day. The Church had, in fact, lived them down
completely. It is noticeable that in the elaborate work of Celsus
against the Christians, no such charges are found. From Origen (Contra
Cels. VI. 27), however, we learn that there were still in his time some
who believed these reports about the Christians, though they were no
longer made the basis of serious attacks. Whether Eusebius’
synchronization of the cessation of these slanderous stories with the
cessation of the heresies of which he has been talking, is correct, is
not so certain, as we know neither exactly when these heresies ran out,
nor precisely the time at which the accusations ceased. At any rate, we
cannot fully agree with Eusebius’ explanation of the matter. The two
things were hardly connected as direct cause and effect, though it
cannot be denied that the actual immoralities of some of these
antinomian sects may have had some effect in confirming these tales,
and hence that their extinction may have had some tendency to hasten
the obliteration of the vile reports.

[1036] See above, note 10.

Chapter VIII.–Ecclesiastical Writers.

1. Among these Hegesippus was well known. [1037] We have already quoted
his words a number of times, [1038] relating events which happened in
the time of the apostles according to his account.

2. He records in five books the true tradition of apostolic doctrine in
a most simple style, and he indicates the time in which he flourished
when he writes as follows concerning those that first set up idols: ”To
whom they erected cenotaphs and temples, as is done to the present day.
Among whom is also Antinoues, [1039] a slave of the Emperor Adrian, in
whose honor are celebrated also the Antinoian games, which were
instituted in our day. For he [i.e. Adrian] also founded a city named
after Antinoues, [1040] and appointed prophets.”

3. At the same time also Justin, a genuine lover of the true
philosophy, was still continuing to busy himself with Greek literature.
[1041] He indicates this time in the Apology which he addressed to
Antonine, where he writes as follows: [1042] ”We do not think it out of
place to mention here Antinoues also, who lived in our day, and whom
all were driven by fear to worship as a god, although they knew who he
was and whence he came.”

4. The same writer, speaking of the Jewish war which took place at that
time, adds the following: [1043] ”For in the late Jewish war
Barcocheba, the leader of the Jewish rebellion, commanded that
Christians alone [1044] should be visited with terrible punishments
unless they would deny and blaspheme Jesus Christ.”

5. And in the same work he shows that his conversion from Greek
philosophy to Christianity [1045] was not without reason, but that it
was the result of deliberation on his part. His words are as follows:
[1046] ”For I myself, while I was delighted with the doctrines of
Plato, and heard the Christians slandered, and saw that they were
afraid neither of death nor of anything else ordinarily looked upon as
terrible, concluded that it was impossible that they could be living in
wickedness and pleasure. For what pleasure-loving or intemperate man,
or what man that counts it good to feast on human flesh, could welcome
death that he might be deprived of his enjoyments, and would not rather
strive to continue permanently his present life, and to escape the
notice of the rulers, instead of giving himself up to be put to death?”

6. The same writer, moreover, relates that Adrian having received from
Serennius Granianus, [1047] a most distinguished governor, a letter
[1048] in behalf of the Christians, in which he stated that it was not
just to slay the Christians without a regular accusation and trial,
merely for the sake of gratifying the outcries of the populace, sent a
rescript [1049] to Minucius Fundanus, [1050] proconsul of Asia,
commanding him to condemn no one without an indictment and a
well-grounded accusation.

7. And he gives a copy of the epistle, preserving the original Latin in
which it was written, [1051] and prefacing it with the following words:
[1052] ”Although from the epistle of the greatest and most illustrious
Emperor Adrian, your father, we have good ground to demand that you
order judgment to be given as we have desired, yet we have asked this
not because it was ordered by Adrian, but rather because we know that
what we ask is just. And we have subjoined the copy of Adrian’s epistle
that you may know that we are speaking the truth in this matter also.
And this is the copy.”

8. After these words the author referred to gives the rescript in
Latin, which we have translated into Greek as accurately as we could.
[1053] It reads as follows:

[1037] On the life and writings of Hegesippus, see below, chap. 22,
note 1. Eusebius in this passage puts his literary activity too early
(see above, chap. 7, note 10). Jerome follows Eusebius’ chronological
arrangement in his de vir ill., giving an account of Hegesippus in
chap. 22, between his accounts of Agrippa Castor and Justin Martyr.

[1038] Already quoted in Bk. II. chap. 23, and in Bk. III. chap. 32.

[1039] Antinoues, a native of Bithynia, was a beautiful page of the
Emperor Hadrian, and the object of his extravagant affections. He was
probably drowned in the Nile, in 130 a.d. After his death he was raised
to the rank of the gods, and temples were built for his worship in many
parts of the empire, especially in Egypt. In Athens too games were
instituted in his honor, and games were also celebrated every fifth
year at Mantinea, in Arcadia, according to Valesius, who cites
Pausanias as his authority.

[1040] Hadrian rebuilt the city of Besa in the Thebais, in whose
neighborhood Antinoues was drowned, and called it Antinooepolis.

[1041] On Justin Martyr, see chap. 16, below. We do not know the date
of his conversion, but as it did not take place until mature years, it
is highly probable that he was still a heathen during the greater part
of Hadrian’s reign. There is no reason, however, to suppose that
Eusebius is speaking here with more than approximate accuracy. He may
not have known any better than we the exact time of Justin’s

[1042] Justin, Apol. I. 29.

[1043] Justin, Apol. I. 31.

[1044] christianous monous. ”This `alone’ is, as Muenter remarks, not
to be understood as implying that Barcocheba did not treat the Greeks
and Romans also with cruelty, but that he persecuted the Christians
especially, from religious hate, if he could not compel them to
apostatize. Moreover, he handled the Christians so roughly because of
their hesitation to take part in the rebellion” (Closs).

[1045] epi ten theosebeian

[1046] Justin, Apol. II. 12. Eusebius here quotes from what is now
known as the Second Apology of Justin, but identifies it with the
first, from which he has quoted just above. This implies that the two
as he knew them formed but one work, and this is confirmed by his
quotations in chaps. 16 and 17, below. For a discussion of this matter,
see chap. 18, note 3.

[1047] The best mss. of Eusebius write the name Serennios Granianos,
but one ms., supported by Syncellus, writes the first word Serenios.
Rufinus writes ”Serenius”; Jerome, in his version of Eusebius’
Chronicle, followed by Orosius (VII. 13), writes ”Serenius Granius,”
and this, according to Kortholdt (quoted by Heinichen), is shown by an
inscription to have been the correct form (see Heinichen’s edition, in
loco). We know no more of this man, except that he was Minucius
Fundanus’ predecessor as proconsul of Asia, as we learn from the
opening sentence of the rescript quoted in the next chapter.

[1048] grEURmmata. The plural is often used like the Latin literae to
denote a single epistle and we learn from the opening sentence of the
rescript itself (if the Greek of Eusebius is to be relied on) that
Hadrian replies, not to a number of letters, but to a single one,–an
epistole, as Eusebius calls it.

[1049] antigrEURpsai

[1050] This Minucius Fundanus is the same person that is addressed by
Pliny, Ep. I. 9 (see Mommsen’s note in Keil’s ed. of Pliny’s epistles,
p. 419). He is mentioned also by Melito (Eusebius, IV. 26) as proconsul
of Asia, and it is there said that Hadrian wrote to him concerning the
Christians. The authenticity of this rescript is a disputed point. Keim
(Theol. Jahrbuecher, 1856, p. 387 sqq.) was the first to dispute its
genuineness. He has been followed by many scholars, especially
Overbeck, who gives a very keen discussion of the various edicts of the
early emperors relating to the Christians in his Studien zur Gesch. der
alten Kirche, I. p. 93 sqq. The genuineness of the edict, however, has
been defended against Keim’s attack by Wieseler, Renan, Lightfoot, and
others. The whole question hinges upon the interpretation of the
rescript. According to Gieseler, Neander, and some others, it is aimed
only against tumultuous proceedings, and, far from departing from the
principle laid down by Trajan, is an attempt to return to that
principle and to substitute orderly judicial processes for popular
attacks. If this be the sense of the edict, there is no reason to doubt
its genuineness, but the next to the last sentence certainly cannot be
interpreted in that way: ”if any one therefore brings an accusation,
and shows that they have done something contrary to the laws (ti para
tous nomous) determine thus according to the heinousness of the crime”
(kata ten dunamin tou hamartematos). These last words are very
significant. They certainly imply various crimes of which the prisoners
are supposed to be accused. According to the heinousness of these
crimes the punishment is to be regulated. In other words, the trial of
the Christians was to be for the purpose of ascertaining whether they
were guilty of moral or political crimes, not whether they merely
professed Christianity; that is, the profession of Christianity,
according to this rescript, is not treated as a crime in and of itself.
If the edict then be genuine, Hadrian reversed completely Trajan’s
principle of procedure which was to punish the profession of
Christianity in and of itself as a crime. But in the time of Antoninus
Pius and Marcus Aurelius the rescript of Trajan is seen still to be in
full force. For this and other reasons presented by Keim and Overbeck,
I am constrained to class this edict with those of Antoninus Pius and
Marcus Aurelius as a forgery. It can hardly have been composed while
Hadrian was still alive, but must have been forged before Justin wrote
his Apology, for he gives it as a genuine edict, i.e. it must belong to
the early part of the reign of Antoninus Pius. The illusion under which
the early Christian writers labored in regard to the relations of the
emperors to Christianity is very remarkable. Both Melito and Tertullian
state that no emperor had persecuted the Christians except Nero and
Domitian. Christian writers throughout the second century talk in fact
as if the mode of treatment which they were receiving was something new
and strange, and in opposition to the better treatment which previous
emperors had accorded the Christians. In doing this, they ignore
entirely the actual edicts of the emperors, all of which are now lost
and notice only forged edicts which are favorable to the Christians;
when and by whom they were forged we do not know. Thus Tertullian, in
addressing Septimius Severus, speaks of the favors which his
predecessors had granted the Christians and contrasts their conduct
with his; Melito addresses Marcus Aurelius in the same way, and so
Justin addresses Antoninus Pius. This method probably arose from a
misunderstanding of the original edict of Trajan (cf. Bk. III. chap.
33, note 6), which they all considered favorable, and therefore
presupposed a friendly attitude on the part of the emperors toward the
Christians, which, not finding in their own age, they naturally
transferred to a previous age. This led gradually to the idea–which
Lactantius first gives precise expression to–that only the bad
emperors persecuted Christianity, while the good ones were favorable to
it. But after the empire became Christian, the belief became common
that all the heathen emperors had been persecutors, the good as well as
the bad;–all the Christian emperors were placed upon one level, and
all the heathen on another, the latter being looked upon, like Nero and
Domitian, as wicked tyrants. Compare Overbeck, l.c.

[1051] Our two mss. of Justin have substituted the Greek translation of
Eusebius for the Latin original given by the former. Rufinus, however,
in his version of Eusebius’ History, gives a Latin translation which is
very likely the original one. Compare Kimmel’s De Rufino, p. 175 sq.,
and Lightfoot’s Ignatius, I. p. 463 sq., and see Otto’s Corpus Apol. I.
p. 190 sq., where the edict is given, both in the Greek of our mss. of
Justin and in the Latin of Rufinus. Keim (Aus dem Urchristenthum, p.
184 sq.) contends that the Latin of Rufinus is not the original, but a
translation of Eusebius’ Greek. His arguments, however, do not possess
any real weight, and the majority of scholars accept Kimmel’s view.

[1052] Justin, Apol. I. 68.

[1053] We cannot judge as to the faithfulness of the Greek translation
which follows, because we are not absolutely sure whether the Latin of
Rufinus is its original, or itself a translation of it. Eusebius and
Rufinus, however, agree very well, and if the Latin of Rufinus is the
original of Eusebius’ translation, the latter has succeeded much better
than the Greek translator of the Apology of Tertullian referred to in
Bk. II. chap. 2, above. We should expect, however, that much greater
pains would be taken with the translation of a brief official document
of this kind than with such a work as Tertullian’s Apology, and
Eusebius’ translation of the rescript does not by any means prove that
he was a fluent Latin scholar. As remarked above (Bk. II. chap. 2, note
9), he probably had comparatively little acquaintance with the Latin,
but enough to enable him to translate brief passages for himself in
cases of necessity.

Chapter IX.–The Epistle of Adrian, decreeing that we should not be
punished without a Trial.

1. ”To Minucius Fundanus. I have received an epistle, [1054] written to
me by Serennius Granianus, a most illustrious man, whom you have
succeeded. It does not seem right to me that the matter should be
passed by without examination, lest the men [1055] be harassed and
opportunity be given to the informers for practicing villainy.

2. If, therefore, the inhabitants of the province can clearly sustain
this petition against the Christians so as to give answer in a court of
law, let them pursue this course alone, but let them not have resort to
men’s petitions and outcries. For it is far more proper, if any one
wishes to make an accusation, that you should examine into it.

3. If any one therefore accuses them and shows that they are doing
anything contrary to the laws, do you pass judgment according to the
heinousness of the crime. [1056] But, by Hercules! if any one bring an
accusation through mere calumny, decide in regard to his criminality,
[1057] and see to it that you inflict punishment.” [1058]

Such are the contents of Adrian’s rescript.

[1054] Greek, epistolen; Latin, litteras.

[1055] Greek, hoi anthropoi; Latin, innoxii.

[1056] This is the only really suspicious sentence in the edict. That
Hadrian should desire to protect his Christian subjects as well as
others from tumultuous and illegal proceedings, and from unfounded
accusations, would be of course quite natural, and quite in accord with
the spirit shown by Trajan in his rescript. But in this one sentence he
implies that the Christians are to be condemned only for actual crimes,
and that the mere profession of Christianity is not in itself a
punishable offense. Much, therefore, as we might otherwise be tempted
to accept the edict as genuine,–natural as the style is and the
position taken in the other portions of it,–this one sentence,
considered in the light of all that we know of the attitude of
Hadrian’s predecessors and successors toward the Christians, and of all
that we can gather of his own views, must, as I believe, condemn it as
a forgery.

[1057] Compare this sentence with the closing words of the forged edict
of Antoninus Pius quoted by Eusebius in chap. 13. Not only are the
Christians to be released, but their accusers are to be punished. Still
there is a difference between the two commands in that here only an
accusation made with the purpose of slander is to be punished, while
there the accuser is to be unconditionally held as guilty, if actual
crimes are not proved against the accused Christian. The latter command
would be subversive of all justice, and brands itself as a counterfeit
on its very face; but in the present case the injunction to enforce the
law forbidding slander against those who should slanderously accuse the
Christians is not inconsistent with the principles of Trajan and
Hadrian, and hence not of itself alone an evidence of ungenuineness.

[1058] Greek, hopos an ekdikeseias; Latin, suppliciis severioribus

Chapter X.–The Bishops of Rome and of Alexandria during the Reign of

Adrian having died after a reign of twenty-one years, [1059] was
succeeded in the government of the Romans by Antoninus, called the
Pious. In the first year of his reign Telesphorus [1060] died in the
eleventh year of his episcopate, and Hyginus became bishop of Rome.
[1061] Irenaeus records that Telesphorus’ death was made glorious by
martyrdom, [1062] and in the same connection he states that in the time
of the above-mentioned Roman bishop Hyginus, Valentinus, the founder of
a sect of his own, and Cerdon, the author of Marcion’s error, were both
well known at Rome. [1063] He writes as follows: [1064]

[1059] Hadrian reigned from Aug. 8, 117, to July 10, 138 a.d.

[1060] On Telesphorus, see above, chap. 5, note 13. The date given here
by Eusebius (138-139 a.d.) is probably (as remarked there) at least a
year too late.

[1061] We know very little about Hyginus. His dates can be fixed with
tolerable certainty as 137-141, the duration of his episcopate being
four years, as Eusebius states in the next chapter. See Lipsius’ Chron.
d. roem. Bischoefe, p. 169 and 263. The Roman martyrologies make him a
martyr, but this means nothing, as the early bishops of Rome almost
without exception are called martyrs by these documents. The forged
decretals ascribe to him the introduction of a number of ecclesiastical

[1062] In his Adv. Haer. III. 3. 3. The testimony of Irenaeus rests
upon Roman tradition at this point, and is undoubtedly reliable.
Telesphorus is the first Roman bishop whom we know to have suffered
martyrdom, although the Roman Catholic Church celebrates as martyrs all
the so-called popes down to the fourth century.

[1063] On Valentinus, Cerdon, and Marcion, see the next chapter.

[1064] Irenaeus, Adv. Haer. III. 4. 3.

Chapter XI.–The Heresiarchs of that Age.

1. ”For Valentinus came to Rome under Hyginus, flourished under Pius,
and remained until Anicetus. [1065] Cerdon [1066] also, Marcion’s
[1067] predecessor, entered the Church in the time of Hyginus, the
ninth [1068] bishop, and made confession, and continued in this way,
now teaching in secret, now making confession again, and now denounced
for corrupt doctrine and withdrawing [1069] from the assembly of the

2. These words are found in the third book of the work Against
Heresies. And again in the first book he speaks as follows concerning
Cerdon: [1070] ”A certain Cerdon, who had taken his system from the
followers of Simon, and had come to Rome under Hyginus, the ninth in
the episcopal succession from the apostles, [1071] taught that the God
proclaimed by the law and prophets was not the father of our Lord Jesus
Christ. For the former was known, but the latter unknown; and the
former was just, but the latter good. [1072] Marcion of Pontus
succeeded Cerdon and developed his doctrine, uttering shameless

3. The same Irenaeus unfolds with the greatest vigor the unfathomable
abyss of Valentinus’ errors in regard to matter, and reveals his
wickedness, secret and hidden like a serpent lurking in its nest.

4. And in addition to these men he says that there was also another
that lived in that age, Marcus by name, [1073] who was remarkably
skilled in magic arts. And he describes also their unholy initiations
and their abominable mysteries in the following words: [1074]

5. ”For some of them prepare a nuptial couch and perform a mystic rite
with certain forms of expression addressed to those who are being
initiated, and they say that it is a spiritual marriage which is
celebrated by them, after the likeness of the marriages above. But
others lead them to water, and while they baptize them they repeat the
following words: Into the name of the unknown father of the universe,
into truth, the mother of all things, into the one that descended upon
Jesus. [1075] Others repeat Hebrew names [1076] in order the better to
confound those who are being initiated.”

6. But Hyginus [1077] having died at the close of the fourth year of
his episcopate, Pius [1078] succeeded him in the government of the
church of Rome. In Alexandria Marcus [1079] was appointed pastor, after
Eumenes [1080] had filled the office thirteen years in all. And Marcus
having died after holding office ten years was succeeded by Celadion
[1081] in the government of the church of Alexandria.

7. And in Rome Pius died in the fifteenth year of his episcopate, and
Anicetus [1082] assumed the leadership of the Christians there.
Hegesippus records that he himself was in Rome at this time, and that
he remained there until the episcopate of Eleutherus. [1083]

8. But Justin [1084] was especially prominent in those days. In the
guise of a philosopher [1085] he preached the divine word, and
contended for the faith in his writings. He wrote also a work against
Marcion, [1086] in which he states that the latter was alive at the
time he wrote.

9. He speaks as follows: [1087] ”And there is a certain Marcion [1088]
of Pontus, [1089] who is even now still teaching his followers to think
that there is some other God greater than the creator. And by the aid
of the demons [1090] he has persuaded many of every race of men [1091]
to utter blasphemy, and to deny that the maker of this universe is the
father of Christ, and to confess that some other, greater than he, was
the creator. [1092] And all who followed them are, as we have said,
[1093] called Christians, just as the name of philosophy is given to
philosophers, although they may have no doctrines in common.”

10. To this he adds: [1094] ”And we have also written a work against
all the heresies that have existed, [1095] which we will give you if
you wish to read it.”

11. But this same Justin contended most successfully against the
Greeks, and addressed discourses containing an apology for our faith to
the Emperor Antoninus, called Pius, and to the Roman senate. [1096] For
he lived at Rome. But who and whence he was he shows in his Apology in
the following words. [1097]

[1065] Valentinus is the best known of the Gnostics. According to
Epiphanius (Haer. XXXI. 2) he was born on the coast of Egypt, and
studied Greek literature and science at Alexandria. The same writer, on
the authority of the lost Syntagma of Hippolytus, informs us that he
taught in Cyprus, and this must have been before he went to Rome. The
direct statement of Irenaeus as to the date of his activity there is
confirmed by Tertullian, and perhaps by Clement of Alexandria, and is
not to be doubted. Since Hyginus held office in all probability from
137-141, and Anicetus from 154 or 155 to 166 or 167, Valentinus must
have been in Rome at least thirteen years. His chronological position
between Basilides and Marcion (as given by Clement of Alexandria,
Strom. VII. 17) makes it probable that he came to Rome early in
Antoninus’ reign and remained there during all or the most of that
reign, but not longer. Valentinus’ followers divided into two schools,
an Oriental and an Italian, and constituted by far the most numerous
and influential Gnostic sect. His system is the most profound and
artistic of the Gnostic systems, and reveals great depth and power of
mind. For an excellent account of Valentinus and Valentinianism, see
Lipsius’ article in the Dict. of Christ. Biog. Vol. IV. Valentinus
occupies a prominent place in all works on Gnosticism.

[1066] Cerdon is best known as the teacher of Marcion. Epiphanius
(Haer. XLI.) and Philaster (Haer. XLIV.) call him a native of Syria.
Epiphanius speaks of a sect of Cerdonians, but there seems never to
have been such a sect, and his disciples probably early became
followers of Marcion, who joined Cerdon soon after reaching Rome. It is
not possible to distinguish his teachings from those of his pupil,
Marcion. Hippolytus (X. 15) treats Cerdon and Marcion together, making
no attempt to distinguish their doctrines. Irenaeus, in the passage
quoted, and the lost Syntagma of Hippolytus (represented by
Pseudo-Tertullian’s Adv. Haer. and by Epiphanius) distinguish the two,
treating Cerdon separately but very briefly. The doctrines of Cerdon,
however, given by them, are identical with or at least very similar to
the known views of Marcion. If they were really Cerdon’s positions
before Marcion came to him, then his influence over Marcion was most

[1067] On Marcion, see below, note 24.

[1068] The Latin text of Irenaeus here reads ”eighth” instead of
”ninth.” See below, note 7.

[1069] ephistEURmenos. This is commonly taken to mean that Cerdon was
excommunicated. But as Valesius remarks, the participle is strictly
middle, not passive. The distinction, however, cannot be insisted upon
in the present case, and therefore we cannot determine decisively
whether Cerdon was excluded by the congregation or excluded himself.

[1070] Irenaeus, Adv. Haer. I. 27. 1-2.

[1071] Hyginus is here called the ninth bishop, and the reading is
confirmed by a passage in Cyprian’s epistle to Pompey (Ep. LXXIII. 2 in
the Ante-Nicene Fathers), and also by Epiphanius (Haer. LXI. 1). In the
passage quoted just above, however, from the third book of Irenaeus,
although Eusebius calls Hyginus the ”ninth,” the Latin text of Irenaeus
makes him the ”eighth,” and according to Salmon in the Dict of Christ.
Biog.: ”The ms. evidence is decisive that Irenaeus here [in the passage
quoted above from III. 4. 3] describes Hyginus as the eighth bishop,
and this agrees with the list of Roman bishops given in the preceding
chapter (Adv. Haer. III. 3. 3), and with the description of Anicetus as
the tenth bishop a couple of chapters further on. Lipsius hence infers
that Irenaeus drew his account of Cerdon from two sources in which
Hyginus was differently described, but this inference is very
precarious. In the interval between the composition of the first and
third books, Irenaeus may have been led to alter his way of counting by
investigations concerning the succession of the Roman bishops, which he
had in the meantime either made himself, or adopted from Hegesippus. As
for the numeration `ninth,’ we do not venture to pronounce whether it
indicates a list in which Peter was counted first bishop, or one in
which Cletus and Anacletus were reckoned as distinct.” According to
Eusebius’ own reckoning up to the present chapter, Hyginus was the
eighth, not the ninth, from the apostles, for in chap. 5, above, he
calls Telesphorus (Hyginus’ predecessor) the seventh, in chap. 1,
Alexander (the predecessor of Xystus, who preceded Telesphorus) the
fifth, and so on. Why, in the passage quoted at the beginning of this
chapter, he should change his reckoning, and call Hyginus the ninth if
the original list of Irenaeus from which he drew said eighth is
difficult to see. It is possible that he made the change under the
influence of the ”ninth,” in the present passage, which certainly stood
in the original text. It would be easier to think this if the order in
which the passages are quoted were reversed, but it may be that
Eusebius had the present quotation in mind when making the first, or
that he went back afterward and corrected that to correspond. If he
ventured to change the text of Irenaeus in that passage, he must have
done it in all good faith, assuming a mistake in transcription, where
the contradiction was so glaring. It still remains to me inexplicable,
however, why he did not change the ”ninth” of the second passage to
”eighth” instead of the ”eighth” of the first passage to ”ninth.” He
would thus have gotten rid of all contradictions, and have remained
consistent with himself. I am tempted, in fact, to believe that
Eusebius found ”ninth” in the original of both passages quoted, and
copied just what he found. At the same time, I do not feel disposed in
the face of what Lipsius and Salmon say as to the original text of
Irenaeus to claim that Irenaeus himself wrote ”ninth” at that point.

[1072] Marcion drew this same distinction between the strictly just God
of the Old Testament and the good or merciful God of the New, and the
distinction was a fundamental one in his system. It is noticeable that
Pseudo-Tertullian (Adv. Omnes Haer. chap 6) says that Cerdon taught two
Gods, one good, the other cruel (saevum); the good being the superior
God,–the latter, the cruel one, being the creator of the world.

[1073] Irenaeus gives an account of Marcus and the Marcosians in I.
13-21. He was a Gnostic of the sect of Valentinus. Jerome calls him a
Basilidian (Ep. LXXV. 3), but he was mistaken. Hippolytus and
Epiphanius (Haer. 34) copy their accounts from Irenaeus, and probably
had no direct knowledge of the works of Marcus, or of his sect. Clement
of Alexandria, however, knew and used his writings. It is probable that
Asia Minor was the scene of his labors. He is spoken of in the present
tense by Irenaeus, and hence seems to have been alive when he wrote;
that is, in the latter part of the second century. His additions to
Valentinianism lay chiefly, perhaps solely, in the introduction of
worthless magic rites. He seems to have lowered greatly the tone of the
philosophical Gnosticism of Valentinus. See Salmon’s article in the
Dict. of Christ. Biog.

[1074] Irenaeus, Adv. Haer. I. 21. 3.

[1075] eis ton katelthonta eis ton ‘Iesoun. Taking the Greek simply as
it stands, we should naturally put a comma before the second eis, and
translate ”into the one that descended, into Jesus,” identifying the
”one that descended” with Jesus. But the Gnostics in general taught
that Jesus was only a man, upon whom descended one of the aeons, or
higher spiritual powers, and hence it is plain that in the present case
the ”one that descended upon [or literally ”into”] Jesus” is referred
to here as the third person of the baptismal Trinity.

[1076] The Greek and Latin texts of Irenaeus add at this point widely
variant lists of these words, but in both lists the words are quite

[1077] On Hyginus, see the previous chapter, note 3.

[1078] Eusebius states, just below, that Pius held office fifteen
years, and in his Chronicle he gives the same figure. In that work
(Armen. version) he places his accession in the first year of Antoninus
Pius, though the version of Jerome assigns it to the fifth year, and
with this Eusebius agrees in his History, for in the previous chapter
he puts the accession of Hyginus in the first year of Antoninus Pius,
and here tells us that Hyginus held office four years. Lipsius assigns
Pius’ episcopate to the years 139-154, as the earliest possible
termini; the years 141-156 as the latest. But since we learn from
chapter 14, below, that Polycarp was in Rome during the episcopate of
Anicetus, and from other sources (see chapter 15, note 2) that he was
martyred in Asia Minor in 155 or 156, we may assume it as certain that
Pius cannot have held office as late as 156. The earlier date for his
death (154) may therefore be accepted as more probable. The Liberian
and Felician Catalogues put Anicetus between Hyginus and Pius; but that
is certainly incorrect, for, in support of the order given here by
Eusebius, we have the testimony both of Hegesippus, quoted below, in
chap. 22, and of Irenaeus (III. 3). Pius is commonly regarded as the
first monarchical bishop in the strict sense, the so-called bishops
before his time having been simply leading presbyters or presbyter
bishops of the Roman church (see chap. 11, note 14). According to the
Muratorian Fragment and the Liberian Catalogue, Pius was the brother of
Hermas, the author of the Shepherd. Upon this alleged relationship, see
Bk. III. chap. 3, note 23.

[1079] Of Marcus we know only what Eusebius tells us here: that he
succeded Eumenes, after the latter had held office thirteen years, and
that he continued in office ten years. If Eumenes became bishop in 132
or 133 (see above, chap. 5, note 16), then Marcus must have succeeded
him in 145 or 146, and this agrees with the Armenian Chron. of
Eusebius, which, while it does not mention the accession of Marcus, yet
puts the accession of his successor Celadin in the eighteenth year of
Antoninus Pius, which would make the beginning of his own episcopate
the eighth year of the same ruler. Jerome’s version of the Chron.,
however, puts it in the sixth year. Little reliance is to be placed
upon any of the dates of the Alexandrian bishops during the first two

[1080] On Eumenes, see above, chap. 5, note 14.

[1081] Of Celadion we know only what Eusebius tells us here, and in
chap. 19, where he gives fourteen years as the duration of his
episcopate. As mentioned in the previous note, the Armenian Chron. of
Eusebius puts his accession in the eighteenth year of Antoninus Pius,
i.e. 155 or 156, while the version of Jerome puts it in the sixteenth

[1082] Anicetus, according to the Armenian Chron. of Eusebius,
succeeded Pius in the fifteenth year of Antoninus Pius; according to
Jerome’s version, in the eighteenth year (i.e. 155 or 156), which is
more nearly correct. Lipsius puts his accession between 154 and 156
(see note 14, above). According to chap. 19, below, with which both
versions of the Chron. agree, Anicetus held office eleven years; i.e.
until 165 to 167, when he was succeeded by Soter. Irenaeus (as quoted
by Eusebius in Bk. V. chap. 24) informs us that Polycarp was in Rome in
the time of Anicetus, and endeavored to induce him to adopt the
Quartodeciman practice of celebrating Easter; but that, while the two
remained perfectly friendly to one another, Anicetus would not change
the custom of the Roman church (see the notes on the chapter referred
to). As stated in note 13, the Liberian and Felician Catalogues
incorrectly insert the name of Anicetus between those of Hyginus and

[1083] Eusebius evidently makes a mistake here. That Hegesippus
remained so long in Rome (Anicetus ruled from 154-168 (?), and
Eleutherus from 177-190) is upon the face of it very improbable. And in
this case we can see clearly how Eusebius made his mistake. In chap. 22
he quotes a passage from Hegesippus in regard to his stay in Rome, and
it was in all probability this passage from which Eusebius drew his
conclusion. But Hegesippus says there that he ”remained in Rome until
the time of Anicetus,” &c. It is probable, therefore, that he returned
to the East during Anicetus’ episcopacy. He does not express himself as
one who had remained in Rome until the reign of Eleutherus; but
Eusebius, from a hasty reading, might easily have gathered that idea.
According to Hegesippus’ account in chap. 22, he must, then, have come
to Rome before Anicetus, i.e. during the reign of Pius, and this
Eusebius does not here contradict, though he is said to do so by
Reading, who translates the Greek words, epidemesai te ;;Rome, ”came to
the city” (so, also, Closs, Stigloher, and Cruse). But the words
properly mean ”to be in Rome,” not ”to come to Rome,” which would
require, rather, epidemesai eis ten ;;Romen, as in S:2, above, where
the words are used of Cerdon. Jerome, to be sure (de vir. ill. 22),
says that Hegesippus came to Rome in the time of Anicetus; but his
account rests solely upon Eusebius, whom he mistranslated. The
tradition, therefore, that Hegesippus came to Rome in the time of
Anicetus has no foundation; he was already there, as he himself informs
us, in chap. 22, below. Cf. the note on this passage, in chap. 22.

[1084] Eusebius here puts Justin in his proper place, in the time of
Antoninus Pius. The date of his birth is unknown, though it cannot have
been far from the beginning of the second century. He was born in
Flavia Neapolis, a Roman town built close by the ruins of the ancient
Sychem, in Samaria. He was of heathen parentage, and received a
thoroughly Greek education. He became an earnest student of philosophy,
and after turning to many different systems in his search for truth, he
was at last converted to Christianity, where he found that for which he
had been searching; and his whole conception of Christianity shows the
influence of the manner in which he accepted it. The date of his
conversion is unknown, but it seems (from Dial. I. 1) to have taken
place at least before the close of the Barcochba war (135 a.d.). He
died as a martyr at Rome. The date of his death is difficult to
determine, but it probably took place under Marcus Aurelius, in 163+.
Upon his death, see below, chap. 16, note 4. Upon Justin, see Semich’s
Justin der Maertyrer, Otto’s edition of the Greek Apologists, von
Engelhardt’s article in Herzog, 2d ed., Holland’s article in Smith and
Wace’s Dict. of Christ. Biog., and finally Schaff’s Ch. Hist. II. p.110
sq., where the most important literature is mentioned. Upon his
theology, see especially von Engelhardt’s masterly monograph, Das
Christenthum Justins des Maertyrers (Erlangen, 1878). A recent and
interesting discussion of Justin’s testimony to early Christianity is
found in Purves’ work on that subject (New York, 1889).

[1085] en schemati philosophou. The reference here is to the
distinctive cloak or mantle of the Greek philosophers, which was called
the pallium, and to which Justin refers in his Dial. c. Trypho, S:1.
The wearing of the mantle was an advantage to the philosophers,
inasmuch as it gave them peculiar opportunities to engage in
philosophic discourse in the street or market, or other public places,
which they could not otherwise so easily have enjoyed. Perhaps it was
this fact which led Justin to continue wearing the cloak, and we see
from the introduction to his Dialogue that it was the wearing of it
which was the immediate occasion of his conversation with Trypho and
his friends. Heraclas, the friend of Origen, also continued to wear the
philosopher’s cloak after his conversion, as we learn from Bk. VI.
chap. 19.

[1086] This work against Marcion is also mentioned by Irenaeus, who
quotes from it in his Adv. Haer. IV. 16. 2 (see below, chap. 18), and
by Photius, Cod. 125. The work is lost, and we have only the single
brief fragment preserved by Irenaeus. It is possible that it formed a
part of the larger Syntagma contra omnes Haereses, mentioned by Justin
in his Apol. I. 26 (see below), and it has been urged in support of
this possibility that Irenaeus nowhere mentions a work of Justin’s
Against all Heresies, although it is highly probable that he made use
of such a work (see Lipsius’ Quellen der aeltesten Ketzergesch. and
Harnack’s Zur Quellenkritik des Gnosticismus). It would seem that
Irenaeus is referring to this work when he mentions the Syntagma contra
Marcionem. On the other hand, Photius mentions the work against Marcion
and the one against all heresies as two separate works. He does not
seem, however, to have had a personal knowledge of them, and is
possibly only repeating Eusebius (Harnack says he is certainly doing
so, Ueberlieferung d. griech. Apol. p. 150; but in view of the fact
that he omits two works mentioned by Eusebius, this seems to be
somewhat doubtful); and if this is so, no reliance is to be placed upon
his report, for it is evident that Eusebius himself knew neither of the
two works, and hence the fact that he distinguishes them has no
significance. Although, therefore, it cannot be determined whether
Justin wrote two separate works against heretics, it is quite probable
that he did not. The conduct of Eusebius in this connection is very
peculiar. After mentioning the work against Marcion, he at once gives a
quotation in such a way as to convey the impression that the quotation
is taken from this work, but it is really taken from the first Apology.
This makes it very probable that he had not seen this work against
Marcion, a conclusion which is confirmed by its omission from the list
of Justin’s writings given in chap. 18. It is claimed by many that
Eusebius practices a little deception here, wishing to convey the
impression that he knew a book which he did not know. This is not in
accord with his usual conduct (as he seldom hesitates to confess his
ignorance of any matter), and his general character for candor and
honesty must be taken into account in deciding the case. He does not
state directly that the quotation is taken from the work against
Marcion, and it is possible that the seeming reference of it to that
source was an oversight on his part. But it must be acknowledged, if
that be the case, that he was very careless in making the quotation.

[1087] Justin, Apol. I. 26.

[1088] Marcion cannot be called a Gnostic in the strict sense of the
term. He was rather an anti-Jewish reformer. He had much in common with
the Gnostics, but laid stress upon belief rather than upon knowledge.
He developed no complete system as did the extreme and perverted
Paulinism, considering Paul the only true apostle and rejecting the
others as Judaizing teachers. He cut the Gospel away from its
historical connections, repudiating the Old Testament and all of the
New except a mutilated Gospel of Luke and the Epistles of Paul, and
denying the identity of the God of the Old Testament with the Supreme
God, and the identity of Jesus with the promised Jewish Messiah. He
magnified the mercy of God in redemption at the expense of creation,
which he attributed to the demiurge, and in which he saw nothing good.
He was an extreme anti-metaphysician, and the first Biblical critic. He
was born in Pontus, was the son of a bishop, went to Rome about 135
a.d., and endeavored to carry out his reforms there, but was
unsuccessful, and very soon broke with the Church. He traveled
extensively and disseminated his doctrines very widely. The sect
existed well on into the Middle Ages, and some of his opinions have
never been completely eradicated. In Rome the Gnostic Cerdon exercised
great influence over him, and to him are doubtless due many of
Marcion’s Gnostic traits. The dualism which he held in common with the
Gnostics arose rather from practical than speculative considerations;
but his followers in the fourth and fifth centuries, when they had lost
his practical religious spirit and yet retained his dualism, passed
over quite naturally into Manicheeism. He was attacked by Justin,
Irenaeus, Tertullian, and all the anti-heretical writers of the early
Church, and was considered one of the most dangerous of heretics. A
complete monograph upon Marcion is still a desideratum, but he is
discussed in all the general accounts of Gnosticism; see especially the
brief but excellent account by Harnack, Dogmengeschichte, I. 197-214.

[1089] Pontus was a province in Northeastern Asia Minor, bordering upon
the Black Sea.

[1090] Justin here agrees with Eusebius in his transcendental theory of
heresy, looking upon it not as a natural growth from within, but as an
infliction upon the Church from without, through the agency of demons.
Indeed, this was the prevailing notion of the early Church.

[1091] The extent of Marcion’s influence referred to here is very
significant. Gnosticism was not intended for common people, and never
spread among the masses, but on the contrary was confined to
philosophers and speculative thinkers. In this respect, Marcion, whose
sect included multitudes of all classes, was distinguished most sharply
from them, and it was because of the popularity of his sect that his
heresy appeared so dangerous to the early Church.

[1092] allon de tina hos, onta meizona para touton homologein
pepoiekenai. The sentence as it thus stands is very difficult to
construe, for we are compelled to take the last verb without an object,
in the sense of create. Our mss. of Justin Martyr insert after the
hosonta meizona the words ta meizona, and the sentence then reads,
”some other one, greater than he, has done greater works.” It is plain
that this was the original form of the sentence, and that the harsh
construction found in Eusebius is a result of defective transcription.
It was very easy for a copyist to drop out the second meizona.

[1093] Justin refers here to Apol. I. 7. He wishes to have it clear
that not all that call themselves Christians are really such. From
chaps. 26-29, we see that in Justin’s time the Christians were accused
of great immoralities, and in this same chapter (chap. 26) he is rather
inclined to throw the guilt upon heretics, although he does not
expressly accuse them of it (”whether they perpetrate these shameful
deeds–we know not”). See above. His mention of philosophers here in
his appeal to the philosophical emperors is very shrewd.

[1094] Ibid. I. 26.

[1095] This work is not mentioned by Eusebius in the list of Justin’s
works which he gives in chap. 18. He had, therefore, undoubtedly never
seen it. Irenaeus nowhere mentions it under this title, though he seems
to have made extensive use of it, and he does mention a work, Against
Marcion, which is very likely to be identified with the work referred
to here (see Harnack’s Zur Quellenkritik des Gnosticismus). The work,
which is now lost, is mentioned by Photius (Cod. 125), but he evidently
had never seen it, and is simply copying some earlier list, perhaps
that of Eusebius. His testimony to the work, therefore, amounts to
little. Compare note 22, above.

[1096] On Justin’s Apology and his work Against the Greeks, see below,
chap. 18, notes 3 and 4. As shown in note 3 of that chapter, he really
wrote only one Apology.

[1097] Justin, Apol. I. 1.

Chapter XII.–The Apology of Justin addressed to Antoninus.

”To the Emperor Titus AElius Adrian Antoninus Pius Caesar Augustus,
[1098] and to Verissimus his son, [1099] the philosopher, and to Lucius
the philosopher, [1100] own son of Caesar and adopted son of Pius, a
lover of learning, and to the sacred senate and to the whole Roman
people, I , Justin, son of Priscus and grandson of Bacchius, [1101] of
Flavia Neapolis in Palestine, Syria, present this address and petition
in behalf of those men of every nation who are unjustly hated and
persecuted, I myself being one of them.” And the same emperor having
learned also from other brethren in Asia of the injuries of all kinds
which they were suffering from the inhabitants of the province, thought
it proper to address the following ordinance to the Common Assembly
[1102] of Asia.

[1098] On the titles of the Emperor Antoninus Pius, see Otto’s notes in
his edition of Justin’s works (Corpus Apol. Christianorum, Vol. I. p.
2. sq.).

[1099] That is, Marcus Aurelius, whose original name was Marcus Annius
Verus, but who, after his adoption by the Emperor Antoninus Pius, was
styled Marcus AElius Aurelius Verus Caesar. As a tribute to his
sincerity and truthfulness, he was quite commonly called, instead of
Verus, Verissimus.

[1100] The mss. are divided here between the forms philosopho and
philosophou. If the former reading be followed, we must translate, ”to
Lucius, own son of Caesar the philosopher.” The mss. are about equally
divided, and the latter reading is adopted by Stephanus, Valesius,
Stroth, and Burton. But our mss. of Justin support the former reading,
which is adopted by Schwegler and Heinichen, and which, as the latter
remarks, is far more natural than the other reading, for Justin had
greater reason for giving the appellation of ”philosopher” to a Caesar
who was still living, even though he may not have been noted for his
philosophical tastes, than to a Caesar who was already dead, and whose
character certainly entitled him to the appellation no more than, if as
much as, his son. See Heinichen’s note in loco, and Otto’s note in his
edition of Justin’s works, Vol. I. p. 3. ff. The Lucius addressed here
was Lucius Ceionius Commodus, whose father, bearing the same name, had
been adopted as Caesar by Hadrian. The younger Lucius was adopted as
Caesar along with Marcus by Antoninus Pius, and later became Marcus’
colleague in the empire, when he added to his own name the name Verus,
which Marcus had formerly borne. He is therefore commonly known in
history as Lucius Verus (see the respective articles in Smith’s Dict.
of Greek and Roman Biog.).

[1101] Of Justin’s father and grandfather we know nothing except their
names. On the place of his birth, see above, chap. 11, note 20.

[1102] This ”Assembly of Asia” (to koinon tes ‘Asias) was one of the
regular provincial diets which Augustus had called into being as fixed
institutions. It was an annual assembly of the civic deputies of the
province, and served as a general organ of the province, especially in
bringing the wishes of the people to the knowledge of the governor, and
through him to the emperor, and decrees of the emperor were often
addressed to it, and legates chosen by it were sent to the emperor
whenever occasion required. See Marquardt, Roem. Staatsverwaltung, I.
p. 366. sq.

Chapter XIII.–The Epistle of Antoninus to the Common Assembly of Asia
in Regard to our Doctrine. [1103]

1. The Emperor Caesar Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus, [1104]
Armenicus, Pontifex Maximus, for the fifteenth time Tribune, for the
third time Consul, to the Common Assembly of Asia, Greeting.

2. I know that the gods also take care that such persons do not escape
detection. For they would much rather punish those who will not worship
them than you would.

3. But you throw them into confusion, and while you accuse them of
atheism you only confirm them in the opinion which they hold. It would
indeed be more desirable for them, when accused, to appear to die for
their God, than to live. Wherefore also they come off victorious when
they give up their lives rather than yield obedience to your commands.

4. And in regard to the earthquakes which have been and are still
taking place, [1105] it is not improper to admonish you who lose heart
whenever they occur, and nevertheless are accustomed to compare your
conduct with theirs. [1106]

5. They indeed become the more confident in God, while you, during the
whole time, neglect, in apparent ignorance, the other gods and the
worship of the Immortal, and oppress and persecute even unto death the
Christians who worship him. [1107]

6. But in regard to these persons, many of the governors of the
provinces wrote also to our most divine father, to whom he wrote in
reply that they should not trouble these people unless it should appear
that they were attempting something affecting the Roman government.
[1108] And to me also many have sent communications concerning these
men, but I have replied to them in the same way that my father did.

7. But if any one still persists in bringing accusations against any of
these people as such, the person who is accused shall be acquitted of
the charge, even if it appear that he is one of them, but the accuser
shall be punished. [1109] Published in Ephesus in the Common Assembly
of Asia.”

8. To these things Melito, [1110] bishop of the church of Sardis, and a
man well known at that time, is a witness, [1111] as is clear from his
words in the Apology which he addressed to the Emperor Verus in behalf
of our doctrine.

[1103] This edict is undoubtedly spurious. It contradicts all that we
know in regard to the relation of Christianity to the State during this
century, and both the language and the sentiments make it impossible to
call it genuine. It is probably a forgery of the second century. It is
found in our two (or more properly one, as one is simply a slavish copy
of the other) mss. of Justin; but this is simply accidental, as it does
not belong there, but was appended to the edict of Hadrian by some late
copyist. The edict is now almost universally acknowledged to be a
forgery; compare Overbeck, Studien zur Gesch. der alt. Kirche, p. 93
sq. Wieseler contends for its genuineness, but no good critic follows

[1104] Eusebius gives this as an edict of Antoninus Pius, and yet its
inscription assigns it to Marcus Aurelius. Overbeck concludes that
Eusebius was led by internal evidence to assign the rescript to
Antoninus Pius, but that he did not venture to change the inscription
of the original which lay before him. This seems the only possible
explanation, and as Eusebius at any rate was badly confused in regard
to the names of the Antonines, the glaring discrepancy may not have
meant very much to him. In our mss. of Justin Martyr, where this edict
is appended to the first Apology, the superscription and text are quite
different from the form given by Eusebius. The rescript is in fact
assigned there by its superscription to Antoninus Pius, instead of to
Marcus Aurelius. But if that was its original form, we cannot
understand the later change to Marcus Aurelius, for certainly his
authorship is precluded on the very face of the document; but it is
easier to see how it could have been later assigned to Antonius Pius
under the influence of Eusebius’ direct statement. We have no knowledge
of the original Latin of this pretended edict. Rufinus evidently did
not know it, for he translates the document from the Greek of Eusebius.
The text of the edict as given by Eusebius differs considerably at many
points from the text found in the mss. of Justin, and the variations
are such as can hardly be explained as due merely to copyists’ errors
or alterations. At the same time the two texts are plainly not
independent of each other, and cannot be looked upon as independent
translations of one Latin original. We may perhaps suppose that one
text represents the original translation, the other a revision of it.
Whether the revision was made by a comparison with the original, and
thus more accurately represents it, we cannot tell. If, then, one is a
revision of the other, the form given in the mss. of Justin is
evidently the later, for its statements in more places than one are an
improvement upon those of the other text in point of clearness and
decisiveness. Moreover, as remarked just above, the ascription of the
edict to Antoninus Pius must be later than its ascription to Marcus

[1105] Numerous earthquakes took place in Asia Minor and in Rhodes
during the reign of Antoninus Pius, and these, as well as famines and
other occurrences of the kind which were uncomfortably frequent at this
time, were always made the signal for renewed attacks upon the
Christians, who were held by the people in general responsible for
these misfortunes. See Julius Capitolinus’ Vita Antonini Pii, chap. 9.

[1106] This sentence has caused great difficulty. Cruse translates,
”But as to those earthquakes which have taken place and still continue,
it is not out of place to admonish you who are cast down whenever these
happen, that you compare your own deportment with theirs.” Most of the
older translators and, among the moderns, Stigloher, have translated in
the same way; but the Greek of the last clause will not warrant this
construction. The original runs as follows:…hupomnesai athumountas
men hotan per’ osi, parabEURllontas de ta humetera pros ta ekeinon.
Stroth inserts me before athumountas, and translates, ”Was die Erdbeben
betrift, die sich ereignet haben, und noch ereignen, halte ich nicht
fuer undienlich euch zu erinnern dass ihr den vorkommenden Fall den
Muth nicht sinken lasst, sondern euer Betragen einmal mit jener ihrem
vergleicht.” The insertion, however, is quite unwarranted and must be
rejected. Valesius renders: Caeterum de terrae motibus, qui vel facti
sunt vel etiamnum fiunt, non absurdum videtur vos commonere, qui et
animos abjicitis, quoties hujusmodi casus contingunt, et vestra cum
illorum institutis comparatis; which makes excellent sense and might be
accepted, were it not for the fact that it fails to bring out
adequately the force of men and de. Heinichen discusses the passage at
length (in his edition of Eusebius, Vol. III. pp. 670-674), and
translates as follows: Non alienum videtur vos admonere (corripere) de
terrae motibus qui vel fuerunt vel adhuc sunt, vos qui estis quidem
animo abjecto, quoties illi eveniunt, nihilo autem minus vestram agendi
rationem conferre soletis cum illorum. Overbeck follows Heinichen in
his German Translation of the edit (ibid. p. 127 sqq.), and the
translation of Closs is similar. It seems to be the only rendering
which the Greek will properly admit, and I have therefore felt
compelled to adopt it, though I should have preferred to interpret as
Valesius does, had the original permitted.

[1107] An orthodox worshiper of the Roman gods, like Antoninus Pius,
can hardly have called the God of the Christians ”The Immortal,” in
distinction from the gods of the Romans.

[1108] Among these epistles the writer of this edict undoubtedly meant
to include the rescript ostensibly addressed by Hadrian to Minucius
Fundanus. See chap. 9, above.

[1109] This is the climax of the whole. Not only is the accused to be
set free, but the accuser is to be held as guilty! This really goes
further than Constantine. See above, chap. 9, note 4.

[1110] On Melito and his writings, see chap. 26, note 1.

[1111] Eusebius evidently draws this conclusion from the passage from
Melito’s Apology, quoted below, in chap. 26, where Melito refers to
edicts of Antoninus Pius; for had Eusebius referred to another passage,
he would undoubtedly have quoted it. But according to Melito, the
edicts of Antoninus were to prevent any new methods of procedure
against the Christians, i.e. tumultuous proceedings in opposition to
the custom established by Trajan. The edicts of which he speaks were
intended, then, to perpetuate the principles of Trajan, which had been,
since his time, the silent law of the empire upon the subject. The
edicts cannot have been edicts of toleration (even Melito himself does
not regard them so), but edicts against illegal, tumultuous
proceedings, and the accusations of informers, and therefore quite in
the spirit of Trajan. But as the significance of Trajan’s rescript was
entirely misunderstood in the early Church (see above, Bk. III. chap.
33, note 6), so it was the common opinion that the attitude of the
State toward the Church was at bottom friendly to Christianity, and
therefore all edicts forbidding the introduction of new methods were
regarded as favorable edicts, as in the present case by Eusebius.
Again, had Melito known of such a favorable edict as this of Antoninus,
he would certainly have called special and particular attention to it.
Melito’s testimony, therefore, instead of being in favor of the
genuineness of this edict, is really against it.

Chapter XIV.–The Circumstances related of Polycarp, a Friend of the

1. At this time, while Anicetus was at the head of the church of Rome,
[1112] Irenaeus relates that Polycarp, who was still alive, was at
Rome, [1113] and that he had a conference with Anicetus on a question
concerning the day of the paschal feast. [1114]

2. And the same writer gives another account of Polycarp which I feel
constrained to add to that which has been already related in regard to
him. The account is taken from the third book of Irenaeus’ work Against
Heresies, and is as follows: [1115]

3. ”But Polycarp [1116] also was not only instructed by the apostles,
and acquainted with many that had seen Christ, but was also appointed
by apostles in Asia bishop of the church of Smyrna. [1117]

4. We too saw him in our early youth; for he lived a long time, and
died, when a very old man, a glorious and most illustrious martyr’s
death, [1118] having always taught the things which he had learned from
the apostles, which the Church also hands down, and which alone are
true. [1119]

5. To these things all the Asiatic churches testify, as do also those
who, down to the present time, have succeeded Polycarp, [1120] who was
a much more trustworthy and certain witness of the truth than
Valentinus and Marcion and the rest of the heretics. [1121] He also was
in Rome in the time of Anicetus [1122] and caused many to turn away
from the above-mentioned heretics to the Church of God, proclaiming
that he had received from the apostles this one and only system of
truth which has been transmitted by the Church.

6. And there are those that heard from him that John, the disciple of
the Lord, going to bathe in Ephesus and seeing Cerinthus within, ran
out of the bath-house without bathing, crying, `Let us flee, lest even
the bath fall, because Cerinthus, the enemy of the truth, is within.’

7. And Polycarp himself, when Marcion once met him [1124] and said,
`Knowest [1125] thou us?’ replied, `I know the first born of Satan.’
Such caution did the apostles and their disciples exercise that they
might not even converse with any of those who perverted the truth; as
Paul also said, `A man that is a heretic, after the first and second
admonition, reject; knowing he that is such is subverted, and sinneth,
being condemned of himself.’ [1126]

8. There is also a very powerful epistle of Polycarp written to the
Philippians, [1127] from which those that wish to do so, and that are
concerned for their own salvation, may learn the character of his faith
and the preaching of the truth.” Such is the account of Irenaeus.

9. But Polycarp, in his above-mentioned epistle to the Philippians,
which is still extant, has made use of certain testimonies drawn from
the First Epistle of Peter. [1128]

10. And when Antoninus, called Pius, had completed the twenty-second
year of his reign, [1129] Marcus Aurelius Verus, his son, who was also
called Antoninus, succeeded him, together with his brother Lucius.

[1112] On Anicetus, see above, chap. 11, note 18. He was bishop
probably from 154 to 165 a.d.

[1113] genesthai epi ;;Romes. It is quite commonly said that Polycarp
came to Rome during the episcopate of Anicetus; but our authorities say
only that he was in Rome at that time, and do not specify the date at
which he arrived there. Neither these words, nor the words of Irenaeus
in S:5 below (epideuesas te ;;Rome), are to be translated ”came to
Rome,” as is often done (e.g. by Cruse, by Roberts and Rambaut, in
their translation of Irenaeus, and by Salmon, in the Dict. of Christ.
Biog.), but ”was at Rome” (as Closs, Stigloher, Lightfoot, &c.,
correctly render the words). Inasmuch as Polycarp suffered martyrdom in
155 or 156 a.d.(see below, chap. 15, note 2), he must have left Rome
soon after Anticetus’ accession (which took place probably in 154); and
though of course he may have come thither sometime before that event,
still the fact that his stay there is connected with Anicetus’
episcopate, and his alone, implies that he went thither either
immediately after, or shortly before Anicetus became bishop.

[1114] On the paschal controversies of the early Church, see below, Bk.
V. chap. 23, note 1. We learn from Bk. V. chap. 24, that though
Polycarp and Anicetus did not reach an agreement on the subject, they
nevertheless remained good friends, and that Polycarp celebrated the
eucharist in Rome at the request of Anicetus.

[1115] Irenaeus, Adv. Haer. III. 3. 4.

[1116] Eusebius takes his account of Polycarp solely from Irenaeus, and
from the epistle of the church of Smyrna, given in the next chapter. He
is mentioned by Irenaeus again in his Adv. Haer. V. 33. 4 (quoted by
Eusebius in Bk. III. chap. 39), and in his epistle to Florinus and to
Victor. From the epistle to Florinus (quoted below in Bk. V. chap. 20),
where quite an account of Polycarp is given, we learn that the latter
was Irenaeus’ teacher. He was one of the most celebrated men of the
time, not because of his ability or scholarship, but because he had
been a personal friend of some of the disciples of the Lord, and lived
to a great age, when few if any were still alive that had known the
first generation of Christians. He suffered martyrdom about 155 a.d.
(see below, chap. 15, note 2); and as he was at least eighty-six years
old at the time of his death (see the next chap., S:20), he must have
been born as early as 70 a.d. He was a personal disciple of John the
apostle, as we learn from Irenaeus’ epistle to Florinus, and was
acquainted also with others that had seen the Lord. That he was at the
head of the church of Smyrna cannot be doubted (cf. Ignatius’ epistle
to him), but Irenaeus’ statement that he was appointed bishop of Smyrna
by apostles is probably to be looked upon as a combination of his own.
He reasoned that bishops were the successors of the apostles; Polycarp
was a bishop, and lived in the time of the apostles; and therefore he
must have been appointed by them. The only known writing of Polycarp’s
is his epistle to the Philippians, which is still extant (see below,
note 16). His character is plainly revealed in that epistle as well as
in the accounts given us by Irenaeus and by the church of Smyrna in
their epistle. He was a devoutly pious and simple-minded Christian,
burning with intense personal love for his Master, and yet not at all
fanatical like his contemporary Ignatius. The instances related in this
chapter show his intense horror of heretics, of those whom he believed
to be corrupting the doctrine of Christ, and yet he does not seem to
have had the taste or talent to refute their errors. He simply wished
to avoid them as instruments of Satan. He was pre-eminently a man that
lived in the past. His epistle is full of reminiscences of New
Testament thought and language, and his chief significance to the
Christians of the second century was as a channel of apostolic
tradition. He does not compare with Ignatius for vigor and originality
of thought, and yet he was one of the most deeply venerated characters
of the early Church, his noble piety, his relation to John and other
disciples of the Lord, and finally his glorious martyrdom, contributing
to make him such. Upon Polycarp, see especially Lightfoot’s edition of
Ignatius and Polycarp, and the article of Salmon, in Smith and Wace’s
Dict. of Christ. Biog.

[1117] The church of Smyrna (situated in Asia Minor) was one of the
”seven churches of Asia,” and is mentioned in Rev. i. 11; ii. 8-11.

[1118] On his age and the date of his death, see chap. 15, note 2. A
full account of his martyrdom is given in the epistle of the church of
Smyrna, quoted in the next chapter.

[1119] Irenaeus emphasizes here, as was his wont, the importance of
tradition in determining true doctrine. Compare also Eusebius’ words in
chap. 21.

[1120] Of these successors of Polycarp we know nothing.

[1121] kakognomonon

[1122] See above, note 2.

[1123] See above, Bk. III. chap. 28, where the same story is related.

[1124] Marcion came to Rome about 135 a.d., but how long he remained
there we do not know. Polycarp’s words show the great abhorrence in
which he was held by the Church. He was considered by many the most
dangerous of all the heretics, for he propagated his errors and secured
many followers among all classes. Marcion’s conduct in this case is
very significant when compared with that of the Gnostics. He tried
everywhere to gain support and to make friends with the Church, that he
might introduce his reforms within it; while the genuine Gnostics, on
the contrary, held themselves aloof from the Church, in pride and in a
feeling of superiority. Polycarp in his Epistle to the Philippians,
chap. 7, shows the same severity toward false teachers, and even uses
the same expression, ”first born of Satan,” perhaps referring to
Marcion himself; but see below, note 16.

[1125] epiginoskeis, which is the reading of the great majority of the
mss., and is adopted by Schwegler, Laemmer, Harnack, Lightfoot, and
others. Three mss., supported by Nicephorus, Rufinus, and the Latin
version of Irenaeus, read epiginoske, and this is adopted by Valesius,
Heinichen, Stroth, Closs, and Cruse.

[1126] Titus iii. 10, 11.

[1127] Polycarp’s Epistle to the Philippians is still extant, and is
the only work of Polycarp which we have. (The Greek text is given in
all editions of the apostolic Fathers, and with especially valuable
notes and discussions in Zahn’s Ignatius von Antiochien, and in
Lightfoot’s Ignatius and Polycarp, II. p. 897 sqq.; an English
translation is contained in the latter edition, and also in the
Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. I. p. 31-36.) The date of its composition it
is very difficult to determine. It must have been written after the
death of Ignatius (chap. 9), and yet soon after, as Polycarp does not
seem to know all the circumstances attending that event (see chap. 13).
Its date therefore depends upon the date of the martyrdom of Ignatius,
which is a very difficult question, not yet fully decided. The attack
upon false teachers reminds us of Marcion, and contains traits which
seem to imply that Polycarp had Marcion in his mind at the time of
writing. If this be so, the epistle was written as late as 135 a.d.,
which puts the date of Ignatius’ death much later than the traditional
date (on the date of Ignatius’ death, see above, Bk. III. chap. 36,
note 4). The genuineness of Polycarp’s epistle has been sharply
disputed–chiefly on account of its testimony to the Ignatian epistles
in chap. 13. Others, while acknowledging its genuineness as a whole,
have regarded chap. 13 as an interpolation. But the external testimony
for its genuineness is very strong, beginning with Irenaeus, and the
epistle itself is just what we should expect from such a man as
Polycarp. There is no good reason therefore to doubt its genuineness
nor the genuineness of chap. 13, the rejection of which is quite
arbitrary. The genuineness of the whole has been ably defended both by
Zahn and by Lightfoot, and may be regarded as definitely established.

[1128] Polycarp in his epistle makes constant use of the First Epistle
of Peter, with which he was evidently very familiar, though it is
remarkable that he nowhere mentions Peter as its author (cf. Bk. III.
chap. 3, note 1).

[1129] Antoninus Pius reigned from July 2, 138, to March 7, 161.

[1130] Both were adopted sons of Antoninus Pius. See above, chap. 12,
note 3.

Chapter XV.–Under Verus, [1131] Polycarp with Others suffered
Martyrdom at Smyrna.

1. At this time, [1132] when the greatest persecutions were exciting
Asia, Polycarp ended his life by martyrdom. But I consider it most
important that his death, a written account of which is still extant,
should be recorded in this history.

2. There is a letter, written in the name of the church over which he
himself presided, [1133] to the parishes in Pontus, [1134] which
relates the events that befell him, in the following words:

3. ”The church of God which dwelleth in Philomelium, [1135] and to all
the parishes of the holy catholic Church [1136] in every place; mercy
and peace and love from God the Father be multiplied. We write [1137]
unto you, brethren, an account of what happened to those that suffered
martyrdom and to the blessed Polycarp, who put an end to the
persecution, having, as it were, sealed it by his martyrdom.”

4. After these words, before giving the account of Polycarp, they
record the events which befell the rest of the martyrs, and describe
the great firmness which they exhibited in the midst of their pains.
For they say that the bystanders were struck with amazement when they
saw them lacerated with scourges even to the innermost veins and
arteries, so that the hidden inward parts of the body, both their
bowels and their members, were exposed to view; and then laid upon
sea-shells and certain pointed spits, and subjected to every species of
punishment and of torture, and finally thrown as food to wild beasts.

5. And they record that the most noble Germanicus [1138] especially
distinguished himself, overcoming by the grace of God the fear of
bodily death implanted by nature. When indeed the proconsul [1139]
wished to persuade him, and urged his youth, and besought him, as he
was very young and vigorous, to take compassion on himself, he did not
hesitate, but eagerly lured the beast toward himself, all but
compelling and irritating him, in order that he might the sooner be
freed from their unrighteous and lawless life.

6. After his glorious death the whole multitude, marveling at the
bravery of the God-beloved martyr and at the fortitude of the whole
race of Christians, began to cry out suddenly, ”Away with the atheists;
[1140] let Polycarp be sought.”

7. And when a very great tumult arose in consequence of the cries, a
certain Phrygian, Quintus [1141] by name, who was newly come from
Phrygia, seeing the beasts and the additional tortures, was smitten
with cowardice and gave up the attainment of salvation.

8. But the above-mentioned epistle shows that he, too hastily and
without proper discretion, had rushed forward with others to the
tribunal, but when seized had furnished a clear proof to all, that it
is not right for such persons rashly and recklessly to expose
themselves to danger. Thus did matters turn out in connection with

9. But the most admirable Polycarp, when he first heard of these
things, continued undisturbed, preserved a quiet and unshaken mind, and
determined to remain in the city. But being persuaded by his friends
who entreated and exhorted him to retire secretly, he went out to a
farm not far distant from the city and abode there with a few
companions, night and day doing nothing but wrestle with the Lord in
prayer, beseeching and imploring, and asking peace for the churches
throughout the whole world. For this was always his custom.

10. And three days before his arrest, while he was praying, he saw in a
vision at night the pillow under his head suddenly seized by fire and
consumed; and upon this awakening he immediately interpreted the vision
to those that were present, almost foretelling that which was about to
happen, and declaring plainly to those that were with him that it would
be necessary for him for Christ’s sake to die by fire.

11. Then, as those who were seeking him pushed the search with vigor,
they say that he was again constrained by the solicitude and love of
the brethren to go to another farm. Thither his pursuers came after no
long time, and seized two of the servants there, and tortured one of
them for the purpose of learning from him Polycarp’s hiding-place.

12. And coming late in the evening, they found him lying in an upper
room, whence he might have gone to another house, but he would not,
saying, ”The will of God be done.”

13. And when he learned that they were present, as the account says, he
went down and spoke to them with a very cheerful and gentle
countenance, so that those who did not already know the man thought
that they beheld a miracle when they observed his advanced age and the
gravity and firmness of his bearing, and they marveled that so much
effort should be made to capture a man like him.

14. But he did not hesitate, but immediately gave orders that a table
should be spread for them. Then he invited them to partake of a
bounteous meal, and asked of them one hour that he might pray
undisturbed. And when they had given permission, he stood up and
prayed, being full of the grace of the Lord, so that those who were
present and heard him praying were amazed, and many of them now
repented that such a venerable and godly old man was about to be put to

15. In addition to these things the narrative concerning him contains
the following account: ”But when at length he had brought his prayer to
an end, after remembering all that had ever come into contact with him,
small and great, famous and obscure, and the whole catholic Church
throughout the world, the hour of departure being come, they put him
upon an ass and brought him to the city, it being a great Sabbath.
[1142] And he was met by Herod, [1143] the captain of police, [1144]
and by his father Nicetes, who took him into their carriage, and
sitting beside him endeavored to persuade him, saying, `For what harm
is there in saying, Lord Caesar, and sacrificing and saving your life?’
He at first did not answer; but when they persisted, he said, `I am not
going to do what you advise me.’

16. And when they failed to persuade him, they uttered dreadful words,
and thrust him down with violence, so that as he descended from the
carriage he lacerated his shin. But without turning round, he went on
his way promptly and rapidly, as if nothing had happened to him, and
was taken to the stadium.

17. But there was such a tumult in the stadium that not many heard a
voice from heaven, which came to Polycarp as he was entering the place:
`Be strong, Polycarp, and play the man.’ [1145] And no one saw the
speaker, but many of our people heard the voice.

18. And when he was led forward, there was a great tumult, as they
heard that Polycarp was taken. Finally, when he came up, the proconsul
asked if he were Polycarp. And when he confessed that he was, he
endeavored to persuade him to deny, saying, `Have regard for thine
age,’ and other like things, which it is their custom to say: `Swear by
the genius of Caesar; [1146] repent and say, Away with the Atheists.’

19. But Polycarp, looking with dignified countenance upon the whole
crowd that was gathered in the stadium, waved his hand to them, and
groaned, and raising his eyes toward heaven, said, `Away with the

20. But when the magistrate pressed him, and said, `Swear, and I will
release thee; revile Christ,’ Polycarp said, `Fourscore and six years
[1147] have I been serving him, and he hath done me no wrong; how then
can I blaspheme my king who saved me?’

21. ”But when he again persisted, and said, `Swear by the genius of
Caesar,’ Polycarp replied, `If thou vainly supposest that I will swear
by the genius of Caesar, as thou sayest, feigning to be ignorant who I
am, hear plainly: I am a Christian. But if thou desirest to learn the
doctrine of Christianity, assign a day and hear.’

22. The proconsul said, `Persuade the people.’ But Polycarp said, `As
for thee, I thought thee worthy of an explanation; for we have been
taught to render to princes and authorities ordained by God the honor
that is due, [1148] so long as it does not injure us; [1149] but as for
these, I do not esteem them the proper persons to whom to make my
defense.’ [1150]

23. But the proconsul said, `I have wild beasts; I will throw thee to
them unless thou repent.’ But he said, `Call them; for repentance from
better to worse is a change we cannot make. But it is a noble thing to
turn from wickedness to righteousness.’

24. But he again said to him, `If thou despisest the wild beasts, I
will cause thee to be consumed by fire, unless thou repent.’ But
Polycarp said, `Thou threatenest a fire which burneth for an hour, and
after a little is quenched; for thou knowest not the fire of the future
judgment and of the eternal punishment which is reserved for the
impious. But why dost thou delay? Do what thou wilt.’

25. Saying these and other words besides, he was filled with courage
and joy, and his face was suffused with grace, so that not only was he
not terrified and dismayed by the words that were spoken to him, but,
on the contrary, the proconsul was amazed, and sent his herald to
proclaim three times in the midst of the stadium: `Polycarp hath
confessed that he is a Christian.’

26. And when this was proclaimed by the herald, the whole multitude,
both of Gentiles and of Jews, [1151] who dwelt in Smyrna, cried out
with ungovernable wrath and with a great shout, `This is the teacher of
Asia, the father of the Christians, the overthrower of our gods, who
teacheth many not to sacrifice nor to worship.’

27. When they had said this, they cried out and asked the Asiarch
Philip [1152] to let a lion loose upon Polycarp. But he said that it
was not lawful for him, since he had closed the games. Then they
thought fit to cry out with one accord that Polycarp should be burned

28. For it was necessary that the vision should be fulfilled which had
been shown him concerning his pillow, when he saw it burning while he
was praying, and turned and said prophetically to the faithful that
were with him, `I must needs be burned alive.’

29. These things were done with great speed,–more quickly than they
were said,–the crowds immediately collecting from the workshops and
baths timber and fagots, the Jews being especially zealous in the work,
as is their wont.

30. But when the pile was ready, taking off all his upper garments, and
loosing his girdle, he attempted also to remove his shoes, although he
had never before done this, because of the effort which each of the
faithful always made to touch his skin first; for he had been treated
with all honor on account of his virtuous life even before his gray
hairs came.

31. Forthwith then the materials prepared for the pile were placed
about him; and as they were also about to nail him to the stake, [1153]
he said, `Leave me thus; for he who hath given me strength to endure
the fire, will also grant me strength to remain in the fire unmoved
without being secured by you with nails.’ So they did not nail him, but
bound him.

32. And he, with his hands behind him, and bound like a noble ram taken
from a great flock, an acceptable burnt-offering unto God omnipotent,

33. `Father of thy beloved and blessed Son [1154] Jesus Christ, through
whom we have received the knowledge of thee, the God of angels and of
powers and of the whole creation and of the entire race of the
righteous who live in thy presence, I bless thee that thou hast deemed
me worthy of this day and hour, that I might receive a portion in the
number of the martyrs, in the cup of Christ, unto resurrection of
eternal life, [1155] both of soul and of body, in the immortality of
the Holy Spirit.

34. Among these may I be received before thee this day, in a rich and
acceptable sacrifice, as thou, the faithful and true God, hast
beforehand prepared and revealed, and hast fulfilled.

35. Wherefore I praise thee also for everything; I bless thee, I
glorify thee, through the eternal high priest, Jesus Christ, thy
beloved Son, through whom, with him, in the Holy Spirit, be glory unto
thee, both now and for the ages to come, Amen.’

36. When he had offered up his Amen and had finished his prayer, the
firemen lighted the fire and as a great flame blazed out, we, to whom
it was given to see, saw a wonder, and we were preserved that we might
relate what happened to the others.

37. For the fire presented the appearance of a vault, like the sail of
a vessel filled by the wind, and made a wall about the body of the
martyr, [1156] and it was in the midst not like flesh burning, but like
gold and silver refined in a furnace. For we perceived such a fragrant
odor, as of the fumes of frankincense or of some other precious spices.

38. So at length the lawless men, when they saw that the body could not
be consumed by the fire, commanded an executioner [1157] to approach
and pierce him with the sword.

39. And when he had done this there came forth a quantity of blood
[1158] so that it extinguished the fire; and the whole crowd marveled
that there should be such a difference between the unbelievers and the
elect, of whom this man also was one, the most wonderful teacher in our
times, apostolic and prophetic, who was bishop of the catholic Church
[1159] in Smyrna. For every word which came from his mouth was
accomplished and will be accomplished.

40. But the jealous and envious Evil One, the adversary of the race of
the righteous, when he saw the greatness of his martyrdom, and his
blameless life from the beginning, and when he saw him crowned with the
crown of immortality and bearing off an incontestable prize, took care
that not even his body should be taken away by us, although many
desired to do it and to have communion with his holy flesh.

41. Accordingly certain ones secretly suggested to Nicetes, the father
of Herod and brother of Alce, [1160] that he should plead with the
magistrate not to give up his body, `lest,’ it was said, `they should
abandon the crucified One and begin to worship this man.’ [1161] They
said these things at the suggestion and impulse of the Jews, who also
watched as we were about to take it from the fire, not knowing that we
shall never be able either to forsake Christ, who suffered for the
salvation of the whole world of those that are saved, or to worship any

42. For we worship him who is the Son of God, but the martyrs, as
disciples and imitators of the Lord, we love as they deserve on account
of their matchless affection for their own king and teacher. May we
also be made partakers and fellow-disciples with them.

43. The centurion, therefore, when he saw the contentiousness exhibited
by the Jews, placed him in the midst and burned him, as was their
custom. And so we afterwards gathered up his bones, which were more
valuable than precious stones and more to be esteemed than gold, and
laid them in a suitable place.

44. There the Lord will permit us to come together as we are able, in
gladness and joy to celebrate the birthday of his martyrdom, [1162] for
the commemoration of those who have already fought and for the training
and preparation of those who shall hereafter do the same.

45. Such are the events that befell the blessed Polycarp, who suffered
martyrdom in Smyrna with the eleven [1163] from Philadelphia. This one
man is remembered more than the others by all, so that even by the
heathen he is talked about in every place.”

46. Of such an end was the admirable and apostolic Polycarp deemed
worthy, as recorded by the brethren of the church of Smyrna in their
epistle which we have mentioned. In the same volume [1164] concerning
him are subjoined also other martyrdoms which took place in the same
city, Smyrna, about the same period of time with Polycarp’s martyrdom.
Among them also Metrodorus, who appears to have been a proselyte of the
Marcionitic sect, suffered death by fire.

47. A celebrated martyr of those times was a certain man named Pionius.
Those who desire to know his several confessions, and the boldness of
his speech, and his apologies in behalf of the faith before the people
and the rulers, and his instructive addresses and, moreover, his
greetings to those who had yielded to temptation in the persecution,
and the words of encouragement which he addressed to the brethren who
came to visit him in prison, and the tortures which he endured in
addition, and besides these the sufferings and the nailings, and his
firmness on the pile, and his death after all the extraordinary trials,
[1165] –those we refer to that epistle which has been given in the
Martyrdoms of the Ancients, [1166] collected by us, and which contains
a very full account of him.

48. And there are also records extant of others that suffered martyrdom
in Pergamus, a city of Asia,–of Carpus and Papylus, and a woman named
Agathonice, who, after many and illustrious testimonies, gloriously
ended their lives. [1167]

[1131] Marcus Aurelius Verus. See below, p. 390, note.

[1132] Polycarp’s martyrdom occurred in Smyrna, not during the reign of
Marcus Aurelius, as Eusebius says, but during the reign of Antoninus
Pius, between 154 and 156 (probably in 155). This has been proved by
Waddington in his Memoire sur la Chronologie de la vie du rheteur
AElius Aristide (in Mem. de l’acad. des inscript. et belles lettres,
Tom. XXVI., part II., 1867, p. 232 sq.’ see, also, his Fastes des
provinces Asiatiques, 1872, p. 219 sq.), and the date is now almost
universally accepted (for example, by Renan, Ewald, Hilgenfeld,
Lightfoot, Harnack, &c.). But the Chron. of Eusebius seems to put the
martyrdom in the seventh year of Marcus Aurelius (166-167 a.d.), and
this is the date given by Jerome and others, who based their chronology
upon Eusebius, and was commonly accepted until Waddington proved it
false. Lightfoot, however, shows that Eusebius did not mean to assign
Polycarp’s death to the seventh year of Marcus Aurelius, but that he
meant only to place it in the reign of that emperor, and did not
pretend to fix the year. How he made the mistake of assigning it to the
wrong emperor we do not know, but knowing Eusebius’ common confusion of
the various emperors that bore the name of Antonine, we are not
surprised at his error at this point. For the best and most recent
discussion of this whole subject, see Lightfoot’s Ignatius, I. p. 629
sq. Since Waddington published his researches, Wieseler (in his
Christenverfolgungen, 1878, p. 34-87) and Keim (Aus dem Urchristenthum,
1878, p. 92-133) have ventured to dispute his conclusions and to
advocate the old date (167), but their arguments are worthless, and
have been completely refuted by Lightfoot (ibid. p. 655 sq.).

[1133] I.e. the church of Smyrna. This letter (the greater part of
which Eusebius gives in this chapter) is still extant in four Greek
mss., and also in a poor Latin version which is preserved in numerous
mss. The letter has been published a number of times, most recently by
Zahn (in Gebhardt, Harnack, and Zahn’s Patrum Ap. opera, II. p. 132.
sq.), and by Lightfoot (in his Apostolic Fathers, Part II.; St.
Ignatius and St. Polycarp, p. 947 sq). Lightfoot gives the Greek text
with full notes and an English translation, and to his edition the
reader is referred for fuller particulars on the whole subject.

[1134] Pontus was the northeast province of Asia Minor, bordering on
the Black Sea. What led Eusebius to suppose that this epistle was
addressed to the church in Pontus, we do not know. The letter is
addressed to the church in Philomalium, and that city was not Pontus
(according to Lightfoot, ibid. II. p. 948). Valesius suggests that we
should read pEURnta topon instead of Ponton, but the latter reading is
confirmed both by Rufinus and by the Syriac as well as by all the Greek
mss. I am inclined to think that Eusebius may have read hastily and
erroneously in the heading of the letter Ponton instead of pEURnta
topon, and, not knowing that Philomelium was not in Pontus, never
thought that his reading was incorrect. Such careless mistakes are by
no means uncommon, even in these days, and, having once written Pontus,
it is easy enough to suppose that nothing would occur to call his
attention to his mistake, and of course no copyist would think of
making a correction.

[1135] Philomelium, according to Lightfoot (ibid. p. 947), was an
important city in Phrygia Paroreios, not far from Pisidian Antioch.

[1136] tes hagias katholikes ekklesias. The phrase ”Catholic Church”
occurs first in Ignatius’ Ep. ad Smyr., chap. 8, and there the word
”catholic” evidently has the common and early meaning, ”universal” (see
Lightfoot’s Ignatius, I. p. 398 sqq.). In later usage (so in
Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria, and the Muratorian Fragment) it has
the meaning ”orthodox,” as opposed to heretical and schismatical
bodies. In the present epistle it occurs four times (S:S:3, 15, 39,
below, and in a passage not quoted in this chapter), and at least the
first three times with the later meaning, and consequently, in all
probability, it has the same meaning the fourth time also. (Lightfoot,
it is true, contends that it has the earlier meaning, ”universal,” in
the first, second and fourth cases; but in at least the first two that
sense of the word produces most decided tautology, and is therefore to
be rejected.) The occurrence of the word in the later sense has caused
some critics to deny the genuineness of the epistle; but its
genuineness is too well established to admit of doubt, and it must be
granted that it is by no means impossible that a word which was used at
the end of the second century (in Alexandra, in Rome, and in Carthage)
with a certain meaning may have been employed in the same sense a
generation earlier. On the other hand it is possible, as suggested by
some, that the word ”Catholic” itself is an interpolation; for it is
just such a word that would most easily slip into a document, through
the inadvertency of copyists, at a later time, when the phrase
”Catholic Church” had become current. Lightfoot (ibid. p. 605 sq.)
maintains the genuineness of the word (taking it in its earlier sense)
in all but the third instance, where he substitutes hagias upon what
seem to me insufficient grounds.

[1137] egrEURpsamen, the epistolary aorist, referring, not to another
epistle, but to the one which follows, the writer putting himself in
thought in the position of those who are reading the letter. See
Lightfoot’s note on Gal. vi. 11, in his Commentary on that epistle.

[1138] Of Germanicus we know only what is told us in this epistle

[1139] This proconsul was Statius Quadratus, as we are told in the
latter part of this epistle, in a passage which Eusebius does not
quote. Upon his dates, see the discussions of the date of Polycarp’s
martyrdom mentioned in note 2, above.

[1140] Compare Justin Martyr’s Apol. I. 6; Tertullian’s Apol. 10, &c.;
and see chap. 7, note 20, above.

[1141] Of Quintus we know only what is told us in this epistle. It is
significant that he was a Phrygian, for the Phrygians were proverbially
excitable and fanatical, and it was among them that Montanism took its
rise. The conduct of Polycarp, who avoided death as long as he could
without dishonor, was in great contrast to this; and it is noticeable
that the Smyrnaeans condemn Quintus’ hasty and ill-considered action,
and that Eusebius echoes their judgment (see above, p. 8).

[1142] SabbEURtou megEURlou. ”The great Sabbath” in the Christian
Church, at least from the time of Chrysostom on, was the Saturday
between Good-Friday and Easter. But so far as we know, there are no
examples of that use of the phrase earlier than Chrysostom’s time.
Lightfoot points out that, in the present instance, it is not ”The
great Sabbath” (to mega SEURbbaton), but only ”A great Sabbath”; and
therefore, in the present instance, any great Sabbath might be
meant,–that is, any Sabbath which coincided with a festival or other
marked day in the Jewish calendar. Lightfoot gives strong reasons for
assuming that the traditional day of Polycarp’s death (Feb. 23) is
correct, and that the Sabbath referred to here was a great Sabbath
because it coincided with the Feast of Purim (see Lightfoot, ibid. I.
p. 660 sqq. and 690 sqq.).

[1143] Of Herod and Nicetes we know only what is told us in this
epistle. The latter was not an uncommon name in Smyrna, as we learn
from inscriptions (see Lightfoot, ibid. II. p. 958).

[1144] eirenarchos (see Lightfoot, ibid. p. 955).

[1145] Compare Joshua i. 6, 7, 9, and Deut. i. 7, 23.

[1146] ten Kaisaros tuchen. This oath was invented under Julius Caesar,
and continued under his successors. The oath was repudiated by the
Christians, who regarded the ”genius” of the emperor as a false God,
and therefore the taking of the oath a species of idolatry. It was
consequently employed very commonly by the magistrates as a test in
times of persecution (cf. Tertullian, Apol. 32; Origen, Contra Cels.
VIII. 65, and many other passages).

[1147] See above, chap. 14, note 5. Whether the eighty-six years are to
be reckoned from Polycarp’s birth, or from the time of his conversion
or baptism, we cannot tell. At the same time, inasmuch as he speaks of
serving Christ, for eighty-six years, not God, I am inclined to think
that he is reckoning from the time of his conversion or baptism, which
may well be if we suppose him to have been baptized in early boyhood.

[1148] See Rom. xiii. 1 sq., 1 Pet. ii. 13 sq.

[1149] timen…ten me blEURptousan hemas. Compare Pseudo-Ignatius, ad
Antioch. 11, and Mart. Ignat. Rom. 6 (in both of which are found the
words en hois akindunos he hupotage).

[1150] The proconsul made quite a concession here. He would have been
glad to have Polycarp quiet the multitude if he could. Polycarp was not
reckless and foolish in refusing to make the attempt, for he knew it
would fail, and he preferred to retain his dignity and not compromise
himself by appearing to ask for mercy.

[1151] The Jews appear very frequently as leading spirits in the
persecution of Christians. The persecution under Nero was doubtless due
to their instigation (see Bk. II. chap. 25, note 4). Compare also
Tertullian, Scorp. 10, and Eusebius, H. E. V. 16. That the Jews were
numerous in Smyrna has been shown by Lightfoot, ibid. p. 966.

[1152] ”The Asiarch was the head of the Commune Asiae, the
confederation of the principal cities of the Roman province of Asia. As
such, he was the `chief priest’ of Asia, and president of the games”
(Lightfoot, ibid. p. 967; on p. 987 ff. of the same volume, Lightfoot
discusses the Asiarchate at considerable length). The Asiarch Philip
mentioned here was a Trallian, as we learn from a statement toward the
close of the epistle, which Eusebius does not quote; Lightfoot
identifies him with a person named in various Trallian Inscriptions.

[1153] The Greek reads simply proseloun auton.

[1154] paidos not huiou. pais commonly conveys the meaning of servant
rather than son, although in this passage it is evidently used in the
latter sense. Its use in connection with Christ was in later times
dropped as Arianistic in its tendency.

[1155] Compare John v. 29.

[1156] It is not necessary to dispute the truthfulness of the report in
this and the next sentences on the ground that the events recorded are
miraculous in their nature, and therefore cannot have happened. Natural
causes may easily have produced some such phenomena as the writers
describe, and which they of course regarded as miraculous. Lightfoot
refers to a number of similar cases, Vol. I. p. 598 ff. Compare also
Harnack in the Zeitschrift fuer Kirchengesch. II. p. 291 ff.

[1157] Komphektora. It was the common business of the Confectores to
dispatch such wild beasts as had not been killed outright during the
combat in the arena. See Lightfoot, p. 974.

[1158] Before the words ”a quantity of blood” are found in all the
Greek mss. of the epistle the words peristera kai, ”a dove and.” It
seems probable that these words did not belong to the original text,
but that they were, as many critics believe, an unintentional
corruption of some other phrase, or that they were, as Lightfoot
thinks, a deliberate interpolation by a late editor (see Lightfoot, II.
974 ff. and I. 627 ff.). No argument, therefore, against the honesty of
Eusebius can be drawn from his omission of the words.

[1159] See above, note 6. That the word katholikes is used here in the
later sense of ”orthodox,” as opposed to heretical and schismatical
bodies, can be questioned by no one. Lightfoot, however, reads at this
point hagias instead of katholikes in his edition of the epistle. It is
true that he has some ms. support, but the mss. and versions of
Eusebius are unanimous in favor of the latter word, and Lightfoot’s
grounds for making the change seem to be quite insufficient. If any
change is to be made, the word should be dropped out entirely, as
suggested by the note already referred to.

[1160] All, or nearly all, the mss. of Eusebius read DEURlkes, and that
reading is adopted by Stephanus, Valesius (in his text), Schwegler,
Laemmer, Heinichen, and Cruse. On the other hand, the mss. of the
epistle itself all support the form ,’Alkes (or ‘Alkes, ;’Elkeis, as it
appears respectively in two mss.), and Lightfoot accepts this
unhesitatingly as the original form of the word, and it is adopted by
many editors of Eusebius (Valesius, in his notes, Stroth, Zimmermann,
Burton, and Closs). Dalce is an otherwise unknown name, while Alce,
though rare, is a good Greek name, and is once connected with Smyrna in
an inscription. Moreover, we learn from Ignatius, ad Smyr. 13, and ad
Polyc. VIII., that Alce was a well-known Christian in Smyrna at the
time Ignatius wrote his epistles. The use of the name at this point
shows that its possessor was or had been a prominent character in the
church of Smyrna, and the identification of the two seems to me beyond
all reasonable doubt (see, also, Lightfoot, I. 353; II. 325 and 978).
That Eusebius, however, wrote Alce is not so certain. In fact, in view
of the external testimony, it might be regarded as quite as likely that
he, by a mistake, wrote Dalce, as that some copyist afterwards
committed the error. Still, the name Alce must have been to Eusebius,
with his remarkable memory, familiar from Ignatius’ epistles, and hence
his mistaking it for another word seems a little strange. But whether
Eusebius himself wrote Dalce or Alce, believing the latter to be the
correct form, the form which he should have written, I have ventured to
adopt it in my translation.

[1161] This shows that the martyrs were highly venerated even at this
early date, as was indeed most natural, and as is acknowledged by the
writers themselves just below. But it does not show that the Christians
already worshiped or venerated their relics as they did in later
centuries. The heathen, in their own paganism, might easily conclude
from the Christians’ tender care of and reverence for the martyrs’
relics that they also worshiped them.

[1162] This is, so far as I am aware, the earliest notice of the annual
celebration of the day of a martyr’s death, a practice which early
became so common in the Church. The next reference to the custom is in
Tertullian’s de Corona, 3 (cf. also Scorp. 15). So natural a practice,
however, and one which was soon afterward universal, need not surprise
us at this early date (see Ducange, Natalis, and Bingham, Ant. XIII. 9.
5, XX. 7. 2).

[1163] The majority of the mss. read dodeka tou en Smurne
marturesantos, which, however, is quite ungrammatical as it stands in
the sentence, and cannot be accepted. Heinichen reads dodeka ton en
k.t.l., changing the genitive of the majority of the mss. to an
accusative, but like them, as also like Rufinus, making twelve martyrs
besides Polycarp. But the mss. of the epistle itself read dodekatos en
Sm. marturesas, thus making only eleven martyrs in addition to
Polycarp, and it cannot be doubted that this idiomatic Greek
construction is the original. In view of that fact, I am constrained to
read with Valesius, Schwegler, and Zahn (in his note on this passage in
his edition of the epistle), dodekaton en Sm. marturesanta, translating
literally, ”suffered martyrdom with those from Philadelphia, the
twelfth”; or, as I have rendered it freely in the text, ”suffered
martyrdom with the eleven from Philadelphia.” It is, of course,
possible that Eusebius himself substituted the dodeka for the
dodekatos, but the variations and inconsistencies in the mss. at this
point make it more probable that the change crept in later, and that
Eusebius agreed with his original in making Polycarp the twelfth
martyr, not the thirteenth. Of these eleven only Germanicus is
mentioned in this epistle, and who the others were we do not know. They
cannot have been persons of prominence, or Polycarp’s martyrdom would
not so completely have overshadowed theirs.

[1164] graphe. These other accounts were not given in the epistle of
the Smyrnaeans, but were doubtless appended to that epistle in the ms.
which Eusebius used. The accounts referred to are not found in any of
our mss. of the epistle, but there is published in Ruinart’s Acta
Martyrum Sincera, p. 188 sq., a narrative in Latin of the martyrdom of
a certain Pionius and of a certain Marcionist Metrodorus, as well as of
others, which appears to be substantially the same as the document
which Eusebius knew in the original Greek, and which he refers to here.
The account bears all the marks of genuineness, and may be regarded as
trustworthy, at least in the main points. But Eusebius has fallen into
a serious chronological blunder in making these other martyrs
contemporaries of Polycarp. We learn from a notice in the document
given by Ruinart that Pionius, Metrodorus, and the others were put to
death during the persecution of Decius, in 250 a.d., and this date is
confirmed by external evidence. The document which Eusebius used may
not have contained the distinct chronological notice which is now found
in it, or Eusebius may have overlooked it, and finding the narrative
given in his ms. in close connection with the account of Polycarp’s
martyrdom, he may have jumped hastily to the conclusion that both
accounts relate to the same period of time. Or, as Lightfoot suggests,
in the heading of the document there may have stood the words he aute
periodos tou chronou (a peculiar phrase, which Eusebius repeats)
indicating (as the words might indicate) that the events took place at
the same season of the year, while Eusebius interpreted them to mean
the same period of time. Upon these Acts, and upon Metrodorus and
Pionius, see Lightfoot, I. p. 622 sqq. The Life of Polycarp, which
purports to have been written by Pionius, is manifestly spurious and
entirely untrustworthy, and belongs to the latter part of the fourth
century. The true Pionius, therefore, who suffered under Decius, and
the Pseudo-Pionius who wrote that Life are to be sharply distinguished
(see Lightfoot, I. p. 626 sqq.).

[1165] This is an excellent summary of Pionius’ sufferings, as recorded
in the extant Acts referred to in the previous note.

[1166] This is the Collection of Ancient Martyrdoms, which is no longer
extant, but which is referred to by Eusebius more than once in his
History. For particulars in regard to it, see above, p. 30 sq.

[1167] A detailed account of the martyrdoms of Carpus, Papylus, and
Agathonice is extant in numerous mss., and has been published more than
once. It has, however, long been recognized as spurious and entirely
untrustworthy. But in 1881 Aube published in the Revue Archaeologique
(Dec., p. 348 sq.) a shorter form of the Acts of these martyrs, which
he had discovered in a Greek ms. in the Paris Library. There is no
reason to doubt that these Acts are genuine and, in the main, quite
trustworthy. The longer Acts assign the death of these martyrs to the
reign of Decius, and they have always been regarded as suffering during
that persecution. Aube, in publishing his newly discovered document,
still accepted the old date; but Zahn, upon the basis of the document
which he had also seen, remarked in his Tatian’s Diatessaron (p. 279)
that Eusebius was correct in assigning these martyrdoms to the reign of
Marcus Aurelius, and Lightfoot (I. p. 625) stated his belief that they
are to be assigned either to that reign or to the reign of Septimius
Severus. In 1888 Harnack (Texte und Unters. III. 4) published a new
edition of the Acts from the same ms. which Aube had used, accompanying
the text with valuable notes and with a careful discussion of the age
of the document. He has proved beyond all doubt that these martyrs were
put to death during the reign of Marcus Aurelius, and that the shorter
document which we have contains a genuine account related by an
eye-witness. These are evidently the Acts which Eusebius had before
him. In the spurious account Carpus is called a bishop, and Papylus a
deacon. But in the shorter account they are simply Christians, and
Papylus informs the judge that he is a citizen of Thyatira. Eusebius
apparently did not include the account of these martyrs in his
collection of Ancient Martyrdoms, and Harnack concludes from that that
he found in it something that did not please him, viz. the fanaticism
of Agathonice, who rashly and needlessly rushes to martyrdom, and the
approval of her conduct expressed by the author of the Acts. We are
reminded of the conduct of the Phrygian Quintus mentioned in the
epistle of the Smyrnaeans but in that epistle such conduct is

Chapter XVI.–Justin the Philosopher preaches the Word of Christ in
Rome and suffers Martyrdom.

1. About this time [1168] Justin, who was mentioned by us just above,
[1169] after he had addressed a second work in behalf of our doctrines
to the rulers already named, [1170] was crowned with divine martyrdom,
[1171] in consequence of a plot laid against him by Crescens, [1172] a
philosopher who emulated the life and manners of the Cynics, whose name
he bore. After Justin had frequently refuted him in public discussions
he won by his martyrdom the prize of victory, dying in behalf of the
truth which he preached.

2. And he himself, a man most learned in the truth, in his Apology
already referred to [1173] clearly predicts how this was about to
happen to him, although it had not yet occurred.

3. His words are as follows: [1174] ”I, too, [1175] therefore, expect
to be plotted against and put in the stocks [1176] by some one of those
whom I have named, or perhaps by Crescens, that unphilosophical and
vainglorious man. For the man is not worthy to be called a philosopher
who publicly bears witness against those concerning whom he knows
nothing, declaring, for the sake of captivating and pleasing the
multitude, that the Christians are atheistical and impious. [1177]

4. Doing this he errs greatly. For if he assails us without having read
the teachings of Christ, he is thoroughly depraved, and is much worse
than the illiterate, who often guard against discussing and bearing
false witness about matters which they do not understand. And if he has
read them and does not understand the majesty that is in them, or,
understanding it, does these things in order that he may not be
suspected of being an adherent, he is far more base and totally
depraved, being enslaved to vulgar applause and irrational fear.

5. For I would have you know that when I proposed certain questions of
the sort and asked him in regard to them, I learned and proved that he
indeed knows nothing. And to show that I speak the truth I am ready, if
these disputations have not been reported to you, to discuss the
questions again in your presence. And this indeed would be an act
worthy of an emperor.

6. But if my questions and his answers have been made known to you, it
is obvious to you that he knows nothing about our affairs; or if he
knows, but does not dare to speak because of those who hear him, he
shows himself to be, as I have already said, [1178] not a philosopher,
but a vainglorious man, who indeed does not even regard that most
admirable saying of Socrates.” [1179] These are the words of Justin.

7. And that he met his death as he had predicted that he would, in
consequence of the machinations of Crescens, is stated by Tatian,
[1180] a man who early in life lectured upon the sciences of the Greeks
and won no little fame in them, and who has left a great many monuments
of himself in his writings. He records this fact in his work against
the Greeks, where he writes as follows: [1181] ”And that most admirable
Justin declared with truth that the aforesaid persons were like

8. Then, after making some remarks about the philosophers, he continues
as follows: [1182] ”Crescens, indeed, who made his nest in the great
city, surpassed all in his unnatural lust, and was wholly devoted to
the love of money.

9. And he who taught that death should be despised, was himself so
greatly in fear of it that he endeavored to inflict death, as if it
were a great evil, upon Justin, because the latter, when preaching the
truth, had proved that the philosophers were gluttons and impostors.”
And such was the cause of Justin’s martyrdom.

[1168] That is, during the reign of Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus,
161-169 a.d. Inasmuch as Eusebius is certainly in error in ascribing
the death of Polycarp, recorded in the previous chapter, to the reign
of Marcus Aurelius (see note 2 on that chapter), the fact that he here
connects Justin’s death with that reign furnishes no evidence that it
really occurred then; but we have other good reasons for supposing that
it did (see below, note 4).

[1169] In chap. 11.

[1170] Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus, whom he mentioned at the close
of chap. 14, and the events of whose reign he is now ostensibly
recording. But in regard to this supposed second apology addressed to
them, see chap. 18, note 3.

[1171] That Justin died a martyr’s death is the universal tradition of
antiquity, which is crystallized in his name. Irenaeus (Adv. Haer. I.
28. 1) is the first to mention it, but does so casually, as a fact well
known. The only account of his martyrdom which we have is contained in
the Acta Martyrii Justini Philosophi (Galland. I. 707 sq.), which,
although belonging to a later age (probably the third century), yet
bear every evidence of containing a comparatively truthful account of
Justin’s death. According to these Acts, Justin, with six companions,
was brought before Rusticus, prefect of Rome, and by him condemned to
death, upon his refusal to sacrifice to the gods. The date of his
martyrdom is very difficult to determine. There are two lines of
tradition, one of which puts his death under Antoninus Pius, the other
under Marcus Aurelius. The latter has the most in its favor; and if we
are to accept the report of the Acta Justini (which can be doubted
least of all at this point), his death took place under Rusticus, who,
as we know, became prefect of Rome in 163. Upon the date of Justin’s
death, see especially Holland, in Smith and Wace, III. p. 562 sq.

[1172] Of this cynic philosopher Crescens we know only what is told us
by Justin and Tatian, and they paint his character in the blackest
colors. Doubtless there was sufficient ground for their accusations;
but we must remember that we have his portrait only from the pen of his
bitterest enemies. In the Acta Crescens is not mentioned in connection
with the death of Justin,–an omission which is hardly to be explained,
except upon the supposition of historical truthfulness. Eusebius’
report here seems to rest solely upon the testimony of Tatian (see
S:S:8 and 9, below), but the passage of Tatian which he cites does not
prove his point; it simply proves that Crescens plotted against Justin;
whether his plotting was successful is not stated, and the contrary
seems rather to be implied (see note 13, below).

[1173] Harnack thinks that Eusebius at this point wishes to convey the
false impression that he quotes from the second apology, whereas he
really quotes from what was to him the first, as can be seen from chap.
17. But such conduct upon the part of Eusebius would be quite
inexplicable (at the beginning of the very next chapter, e.g., he
refers to this same apology as the first), and it is far better to
refer the words en te dedelomene ‘Apologi& 139; to chap. 13 sq., where
the apology is quoted repeatedly.

[1174] Justin, Apol. II. 3.

[1175] kago oun. In the previous chapter (quoted by Eusebius in the
next chapter) Justin has been speaking of the martyrdom of various
Christians, and now goes on to express his expectation that he, too,
will soon suffer death.

[1176] xulo entinagenai. Compare Acts xvii. 24, and see Otto’s note on
this passage, in his edition of Justin’s Apology (Corpus Apol. Christ.
I. p. 204). He says: xulon erat truncus foramina habens, quibus pedes
captivorum immitebantur, ut securius in carcere servarentur aut
tormentis vexarentur (”a xulon was a block, with holes in which the
feet of captives were put, in order that they might be kept more
securely in prison, or might be afflicted with tortures”).

[1177] This accusation was very commonly made against the Christians in
the second century. See above, chap. 7, note 20.

[1178] In S:3, above.

[1179] This saying of Socrates is given by Justin as follows: all’ outi
ge pro tes aletheias timeteos aner, ”a man must not be honored before
the truth” (from Plato’s Republic, Bk. X.). It is hard to say why
Eusebius should have omitted it. Perhaps it was so well known that he
did not think it necessary to repeat it, taking for granted that the
connection would suggest the same to every reader, or it is possible
that the omission is the fault of a copyist, not of Eusebius himself.

[1180] On Tatian and his writings, see below, chap. 29. Eusebius has
been accused by Dembowski, Zahn, Harnack, and others of practicing
deception at this point. The passage from Tatian’s Oratio ad Graecos,
which Eusebius appeals to for testimony in regard to Justin’s death,
and which he quotes just below, is not given by him exactly as it
stands in the extant text of the Oratio. In the latter we read, ”He who
taught that death should be despised was himself so greatly in fear of
it, that he endeavored to inflict death as if it were an evil upon
Justin, and indeed on me also, because when preaching he had proved
that the philosophers were gluttons and impostors.” The difference
between the two texts consists in the substitution of the word megEURlo
for the words kai eme hos; and it is claimed that this alteration was
intentionally made by Eusebius. As the text stands in Tatian, the
passage is far from proving that Justin’s death was caused by the
machinations of Crescens, for Tatian puts himself on a level with
Justin as the object of these machinations, and of course since they
did not succeed in his case, there is no reason to suppose that they
succeeded in Justin’s case. It is claimed, therefore, that Justin,
realizing this, struck out the kai eme hos in order to permit the
reader to gather from the passage that Tatian meant to imply that the
plots of Crescens were successful, and resulted in Justin’s death.
Before accepting this conclusion, however, it may be well to realize
exactly what is involved in it. The change does not consist merely in
the omission of the words kai eme hos, but in the substitution for them
of the word megEURlo. It cannot, therefore, be said that Eusebius only
omitted some words, satisfying his conscience that there was no great
harm in that; whoever made the change, if he did it intentionally,
directly falsified the text, and substituted the other word for the
sake of covering up his alteration; that is, he committed an act of
deceit of the worst kind, and deliberately took steps to conceal his
act. Certainly such conduct is not in accord with Eusebius’ general
character, so far as we can ascertain it from his writings. Even Zahn
and Harnack, who accuse him of intentional deception here, yet speak of
his general conscientiousness, and treat this alteration as one which
Eusebius allowed himself to make while, at the same time, his
”conscientiousness did not permit him even this time to change truth
completely into untruth.” But if he could allow himself to make so
deliberate an alteration, and then cover the change by inserting
another word, there is little cause to speak of ”conscientiousness” in
connection with the matter; if he could do that, his conscience would
certainly permit him to make any false quotations, however great, so
long as he thought he could escape detection. But few would care to
accuse Eusebius of possessing such a character. Certainly if he
possessed it, we should find clearer traces of it than we do in his
History, where we have the opportunity to control a large portion of
his statements on an immense variety of subjects. Moreover, for such a
grave act of deception as Eusebius is supposed to have committed, some
adequate ground must have existed. But what ground was there? The only
motive suggested is that he desired to appear to possess specific
knowledge about the manner of Justin’s death, when in fact he did not
possess it. It is not maintained that he had any larger motive, such as
reconciling apparent contradictions in sacred records, or shedding an
added luster upon the Christian religion, for neither of these purposes
has any relation to the statement in regard to Crescens’ connection
with Justin’s death. Solely then for the sake of producing the
impression that he knew more about Justin’s death than he did, he must
have made the change. But certainly when we realize how frequently
Eusebius directly avows his ignorance on points far more important (to
his mind) than this (e.g., the dates of the Jerusalem bishops, which he
might so easily have invented), and when we consider how sober his
history is in comparison with the accounts of the majority of his
contemporaries, both Pagan and Christian, how few fables he introduces,
how seldom he embellishes the narratives which he finds related in his
sources with imaginary figments of his own brain,–when, in fact, no
such instances can be found elsewhere, although, writing in the age he
did, and for the public for whom he did, he might have invented so many
stories without fear of detection, as his successors during the ancient
and middle ages were seldom loath to do,–when all this is taken into
consideration, we should hesitate long before we accuse Eusebius of
such deceptive conduct as is implied in the intentional alteration of
Tatian’s account at this point. It has been quite the custom to accuse
Eusebius of intentional deviations from the truth here and there but it
must be remembered that he was either honest or dishonest, and if he
ever deliberately and intentionally deviated from the truth, his
general character for truthfulness is gone, unless the deviation were
only in some exceptional case, where the pressure to misrepresentation
was unusually strong, under which circumstances his reputation for
veracity in general might not be seriously impaired. But the present
instance is not such an one, and if he was false here on so little
provocation, why should we think his character such as to guarantee
truthfulness in any place where falsehood might be more desirable? The
fact is, however, that the grounds upon which the accusation against
Eusebius is based are very slender. Nothing but the strongest evidence
should lead us to conclude that such a writer as he practiced such
wilful deception for reasons absolutely trivial. But when we realize
how little is known of the actual state of the text of Tatian’s Oratio
at the time Eusebius wrote, we must acknowledge that to base an
accusation on a difference between the text of the History and the
extant mss. of the Oratio is at least a little hasty. An examination of
the latest critical edition of Tatian’s Oratio (that of Schwartz, in
Gebhardt, and Harnack’s Texte und Untersuch. IV. 1) shows us that in a
number of instances the testimony of the mss. of Eusebius is accepted
over against that of the few extant mss. of Tatian. The ms. of Tatian
which Eusebius used was therefore admittedly different at a number of
points from all our existing mss. of Tatian. It is consequently not at
all impossible that the ms. which he used read megEURlo instead of kai
eme hos. It happens, indeed, to be a fact that our three mss. of Tatian
all present variations at this very point (one reads kai eme hos,
another, kai eme hoion, another, kai eme hous), showing that the
archetype, whatever it was, either offered difficulties to the
copyists, or else was partially illegible, and hence required
conjectural emendations or additions. It will be noticed that the
closing verb of this sentence is in the singular, so that the mention
of both Justin and Tatian in the beginning of the sentence may well
have seemed to some copyist quite incongruous, and it is not difficult
to suppose that under such circumstances, the text at this point being
in any case obscure or mutilated, such a copyist permitted himself to
make an alteration which was very clever and at the same time did away
with all the trouble. Textual critics will certainly find no difficulty
in such an assumption. The mss. of Tatian are undoubtedly nearer the
original form at this point than those of Eusebius, but we have no good
grounds for supposing that Eusebius did not follow the ms. which lay
before him. The question as to Eusebius’ interpretation of the passage
as he found it is quite a different one. It contains no direct
statement that Justin met his death in consequence of the plots of
Crescens; and finding no mention of such a fact in the Acts of
Martyrdom of Justin, we may dismiss it as unhistorical and refuse to
accept Eusebius’ interpretation of Tatian’s words. To say, however,
that Eusebius intentionally misinterpreted those words is quite
unwarranted. He found in Justin’s work an expressed expectation that he
would meet his death in this way, and he found in Tatian’s work the
direct statement that Crescens did plot Justin’s death as the latter
had predicted he would. There was nothing more natural than to conclude
that Tatian meant to imply that Crescens had succeeded, for why did he
otherwise mention the matter at all, Eusebius might well say, looking
at the matter from his point of view, as an historian interested at
that moment in the fact of Justin’s death. He does undoubtedly show
carelessness and lack of penetration in interpreting the passage as he
does; but if he had been aware of the defect in the evidence he
presents, and had yet wished deceitfully to assert the fact as a fact,
he would certainly have omitted the passage altogether, or he would
have bolstered it up with the statement that other writers confirmed
his conclusion,–a statement which only a thoroughly and genuinely
honest man would have scrupled to make. Finally, to return to the
original charge of falsification of the sources, he realized that the
text of Tatian, with the kai eme hos, did not establish Justin’s death
at the instigation of Crescens, he must have realized at the same time
that his altered text, while it might imply it, certainly did not
absolutely prove it, and hence he would not have left his conclusion,
which he stated as a demonstrated fact, to rest upon so slender a
basis, when he might so easily have adduced any number of oral
traditions in confirmation of it. If he were dishonest enough to alter
the text, he would not have hesitated to state in general terms that
the fact is ”also supported by tradition.” We conclude, finally, that
he read the passage as we now find it in the mss. of his History, and
that his interpretation of the passage, while false, was not
intentionally so. The attacks upon Eusebius which have been already
referred to are to be found in Dembowski’s Quellen der christlichen
Apologetik, I. p. 60; Zahn’s Tatian’s Diatessaron, p. 275 sq., and
Harnack’s Ueberlieferung der griech. Apologeten, p. 141 sq. Semisch
(Justin der Maertyrer, I. 53) takes for granted that Eusebius followed
the text of Tatian which lay before him, but does not attempt to prove

[1181] Tatian, Oratio ad Graecos, c. 18. It is quite probable that
Tatian is here appealing, not to a written work of Justin’s, but to a
statement which he had himself heard him make. See Harnack’s
Ueberlieferung der griech. Apologeten, p. 130. Harnack is undoubtedly
correct in maintaining that Tatian’s Oratio is quite independent of
Justin’s Apology and other writings.

[1182] Ibid.chap. 19.

Chapter XVII.–The Martyrs whom Justin mentions in his Own Work.

1. The same man, before his conflict, mentions in his first Apology
[1183] others that suffered martyrdom before him, and most fittingly
records the following events.

2. He writes thus: [1184] ”A certain woman lived with a dissolute
husband; she herself, too, having formerly been of the same character.
But when she came to the knowledge of the teachings of Christ, she
became temperate, and endeavored to persuade her husband likewise to be
temperate, repeating the teachings, and declaring the punishment in
eternal fire which shall come upon those who do not live temperately
and conformably to right reason.

3. But he, continuing in the same excesses, alienated his wife by his
conduct. For she finally, thinking it wrong to live as a wife with a
man who, contrary to the law of nature and right, sought every possible
means of pleasure, desired to be divorced from him.

4. And when she was earnestly entreated by her friends, who counseled
her still to remain with him, on the ground that her husband might some
time give hope of amendment, she did violence to herself and remained.

5. But when her husband had gone to Alexandria, and was reported to be
conducting himself still worse, she–in order that she might not, by
continuing in wedlock, and by sharing his board and bed, become a
partaker in his lawlessness and impiety–gave him what we [1185] call a
bill of divorce and left him.

6. But her noble and excellent husband,–instead of rejoicing, as he
ought to have done, that she had given up those actions which she had
formerly recklessly committed with the servants and hirelings, when she
delighted in drunkenness and in every vice, and that she desired him
likewise to give them up,–when she had gone from him contrary to his
wish, brought an accusation concerning her, declaring that she was a

7. And she petitioned you, the emperor, that she might be permitted
first to set her affairs in order, and afterwards, after the settlement
of her affairs, to make her defense against the accusation. And this
you granted.

8. But he who had once been her husband, being no longer able to
prosecute her, directed his attacks against a certain Ptolemaeus,
[1186] who had been her teacher in the doctrines of Christianity, and
whom Urbicius [1187] had punished. Against him he proceeded in the
following manner:

9. ”He persuaded a centurion who was his friend to cast Ptolemaeus into
prison, and to take him and ask him this only: whether he were a
Christian? And when Ptolemaeus, who was a lover of truth, and not of a
deceitful and false disposition, confessed that he was a Christian, the
centurion bound him and punished him for a long time in the prison.

10. And finally, when the man was brought before Urbicius he was
likewise asked this question only: whether he were a Christian? And
again, conscious of the benefits which he enjoyed through the teaching
of Christ, he confessed his schooling in divine virtue.

11. For whoever denies that he is a Christian, either denies because he
despises Christianity, or he avoids confession because he is conscious
that he is unworthy and an alien to it; neither of which is the case
with the true Christian.

12. And when Urbicius commanded that he be led away to punishment, a
certain Lucius, [1188] who was also a Christian, seeing judgment so
unjustly passed, said to Urbicius, `Why have you punished this man who
is not an adulterer, nor a fornicator, nor a murderer, nor a thief, nor
a robber, nor has been convicted of committing any crime at all, but
has confessed that he bears the name of Christian? You do not judge, O
Urbicius, in a manner befitting the Emperor Pius, or the philosophical
son [1189] of Caesar, or the sacred senate.’

13. And without making any other reply, he said to Lucius, `Thou also
seemest to me to be such an one.’ And when Lucius said, `Certainly,’ he
again commanded that he too should be led away to punishment. But he
professed his thanks, for he was liberated, he added, from such wicked
rulers and was going to the good Father and King, God. And still a
third having come forward was condemned to be punished.”

14. To this, Justin fittingly and consistently adds the words which we
quoted above, [1190] saying, ”I, too, therefore expect to be plotted
against by some one of those whom I have named,” &c. [1191]

[1183] Eusebius in this chapter quotes what we now know as Justin’s
second Apology, calling it his first. It is plain that the two were but
one to him. See chap. 18, note 3.

[1184] Justin, Apol. II. 2.

[1185] Our authorities are divided between hemin and humin, but I have
followed Heinichen in adopting the former, which has much stronger ms.
support, and which is in itself at least as natural as the latter.

[1186] Of this Ptolemaeus we know only what is told us here. Tillemont,
Ruinart, and others have fixed the date of his martyrdom as 166, or
thereabouts. But inasmuch as the second Apology is now commonly
regarded as an appendix to, or as a part of, the first, and was at any
rate written during the reign of Antoninus Pius, the martyrdom of
Ptolemaeus must have taken place considerably earlier than the date
indicated, in fact in all probability as early as 152 (at about which
time the Apology was probably written). We learn from the opening of
the second Apology that the martyrdoms which are recorded in the second
chapter, and the account of which Eusebius here quotes, happened very
shortly before the composition of the Apology (chthes de kai proen,
”yesterday and the day before”).

[1187] ‘Ourbikios, as all the mss. of Eusebius give the name. In Justin
the form ‘Ourbikos occurs, which is a direct transcription of the Latin

[1188] Of this Lucius we know only what is told us here.

[1189] Marcus Aurelius. See above, chap. 12, note 2.

[1190] In chap. 16, S:3.

[1191] Justin, Apol. II. 3. These words, in Justin’s Apology, follow
immediately the long account quoted just above.

Chapter XVIII.–The Works of Justin which have come down to us.

1. This writer has left us a great many monuments of a mind educated
and practiced in divine things, which are replete with profitable
matter of every kind. To them we shall refer the studious, noting as we
proceed those that have come to our knowledge. [1192]

2. There is a certain discourse [1193] of his in defense of our
doctrine addressed to Antoninus surnamed the Pious, and to his sons,
and to the Roman senate. Another work contains his second Apology
[1194] in behalf of our faith, which he offered to him who was the
successor of the emperor mentioned and who bore the same name,
Antoninus Verus, the one whose times we are now recording.

3. Also another work against the Greeks, [1195] in which he discourses
at length upon most of the questions at issue between us and the Greek
philosophers, and discusses the nature of demons. It is not necessary
for me to add any of these things here.

4. And still another work of his against the Greeks has come down to
us, to which he gave the title Refutation. And besides these another,
On the Sovereignty of God, [1196] which he establishes not only from
our Scriptures, but also from the books of the Greeks.

5. Still further, a work entitled Psaltes, [1197] and another
disputation On the Soul, in which, after propounding various questions
concerning the problem under discussion, he gives the opinions of the
Greek philosophers, promising to refute it, and to present his own view
in another work.

6. He composed also a dialogue against the Jews, [1198] which he held
in the city of Ephesus with Trypho, a most distinguished man among the
Hebrews of that day. In it he shows how the divine grace urged him on
to the doctrine of the faith, and with what earnestness he had formerly
pursued philosophical studies, and how ardent a search he had made for
the truth. [1199]

7. And he records of the Jews in the same work, that they were plotting
against the teaching of Christ, asserting the same things against
Trypho: ”Not only did you not repent of the wickedness which you had
committed, but you selected at that time chosen men, and you sent them
out from Jerusalem through all the land, to announce that the godless
heresy of the Christians had made its appearance, and to accuse them of
those things which all that are ignorant of us say against us, so that
you become the causes not only of your own injustice, but also of all
other men’s.” [1200]

8. He writes also that even down to his time prophetic gifts shone in
the Church. [1201] And he mentions the Apocalypse of John, saying
distinctly that it was the apostle’s. [1202] He also refers to certain
prophetic declarations, and accuses Trypho on the ground that the Jews
had cut them out of the Scripture. [1203] A great many other works of
his are still in the hands of many of the brethren. [1204]

9. And the discourses of the man were thought so worthy of study even
by the ancients, that Irenaeus quotes his words: for instance, in the
fourth book of his work Against Heresies, where he writes as follows:
[1205] ”And Justin well says in his work against Marcion, that he would
not have believed the Lord himself if he had preached another God
besides the Creator”; and again in the fifth book of the same work he
says: [1206] ”And Justin well said that before the coming of the Lord
Satan never dared to blaspheme God, [1207] because he did not yet know
his condemnation.”

10. These things I have deemed it necessary to say for the sake of
stimulating the studious to peruse his works with diligence. So much
concerning him.

[1192] Eusebius apparently cites here only the works which he had
himself seen, which accounts for his omission of the work against
Marcion mentioned above, in chap. 11.

[1193] This Apology is the genuine work of Justin, and is still extant
in two late and very faulty mss., in which it is divided into two, and
the parts are commonly known as Justin’s First and Second Apologies,
though they were originally one. The best edition of the original is
that of Otto in his Corpus Apologetarum Christianorum; English
translation in the Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. I. p. 163 ff. Eusebius, in
his Chronicle, places the date of its composition as 141, but most
critics are now agreed in putting it ten or more years later; it must,
however, have been written before the death of Antoninus Pius (161).
See Schaff, Ch. Hist. II. p. 716.

[1194] Eusebius here, as in chap. 16 above, ascribes to Justin a second
Apology, from which, however, he nowhere quotes. From Eusebius the
tradition has come down through history that Justin wrote two
apologies, and the tradition seems to be confirmed by the existing mss.
of Justin, which give two. But Eusebius’ two cannot have corresponded
to the present two; for, from chap. 8, S:S:16 and 17, it is plain that
to Eusebius our two formed one complete work. And it is plain, too,
from internal evidence (as is now very generally admitted; Wieseler’s
arguments against this, in his Christenverfolgungen, p. 104 ff., are
not sound), that the two were originally one, our second forming simply
a supplement to the first. What, then, has become of the second Apology
mentioned by Eusebius? There is much difference of opinion upon this
point. But the explanation given by Harnack (p. 171 ff.) seems the most
probable one. According to his theory, the Apology of Athenagoras (of
whom none of the Fathers, except Methodius and Philip of Side, seem to
have had any knowledge) was attributed to Justin by a copyist of the
third century,–who altered the address so as to throw it into Justin’s
time,–and as such it came into the hands of Eusebius, who mentions it
among the works of Justin. That he does not quote from it may be due to
the fact that it contained nothing suited to his purpose, or it is
possible that he had some suspicions about it; the last, however, is
not probable, as he nowhere hints at them. That some uncertainty,
however, seemed to hang about the work is evident. The erasure of the
name of Athenagoras and the substitution of Justin’s name accounts for
the almost total disappearance of the former from history. This Apology
and his treatise on the resurrection first appear again under his name
in the eleventh century, and exist now in seventeen mss. (see Schaff,
II. 731). The traditional second Apology of Justin having thus after
the eleventh century disappeared, his one genuine Apology was divided
by later copyists, so that we still have apparently two separate

[1195] This and the following were possibly genuine works of Justin;
but, as they are no longer extant, it is impossible to speak with
certainty. The two extant works, Discourse to the Greeks (Oratio ad
Graecos) and Hortatory Address to the Greeks (Cohortatio ad Graecos),
which are translated in the Ante-Nicene Fathers, I. p. 271-289, are to
be regarded as the productions of later writers, and are not to be
identified with the two mentioned here (although Otto defends them
both, and Semisch defends the latter).

[1196] We have no reason to think that this work was not genuine, but
it is no longer extant, and therefore certainty in the matter is
impossible. It is not to be identified with the extant work upon the
same subject (translated in the Ante-Nicene Fathers, I. p. 290-293),
which is the production of a later writer.

[1197] This work and the following have entirely disappeared, but were
genuine productions of Justin, for all that we know to the contrary.

[1198] This is a genuine work of Justin, and is still extant
(translated in the Ante-Nicene Fathers, I. p. 194-270). Its exact date
is uncertain, but it was written after the Apology (to which it refers
in chap. 120), and during the reign of Antoninus Pius (137-161). Of
Trypho, whom Eusebius characterizes as ”a most distinguished man among
the Hebrews,” we know nothing beyond what we can gather from the
dialogue itself.

[1199] See Dial. chap. 2 sq.

[1200] ibid. chap. 17.

[1201] ibid.chap. 82.

[1202] ibid.chap. 81.

[1203] ibid.chap. 71.

[1204] Of the many extant and non-extant works attributed to Justin by
tradition, all, or the most of them (except the seven mentioned by
Eusebius, and the work Against Marcion, quoted by Irenaeus,–see just
below,–and the Syntagma Contra omnes Haer.), are the productions of
later writers.

[1205] Irenaeus, Adv. Haer. IV. 6. 2.

[1206] Irenaeus, V. 26. 2. Irenaeus does not name the work which he
quotes here, and the quotation occurs in none of Justin’s extant works,
but the context and the sense of the quotation itself seem to point to
the same work, Against Marcion.

[1207] Epiphanius expresses the same thought in his Haer. XXXIX. 9.

Chapter XIX.–The Rulers of the Churches of Rome and Alexandria during
the Reign of Verus.

1. In the eighth year of the above-mentioned reign [1208] Soter [1209]
succeeded Anicetus [1210] as bishop of the church of Rome, after the
latter had held office eleven years in all. But when Celadion [1211]
had presided over the church of Alexandria for fourteen years he was
succeeded by Agrippinus. [1212]

[1208] The reign of Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus mentioned at the
end of chap. 14.

[1209] As was remarked in chap. 11, note 18, Anicetus held office until
165 or 167, i.e. possibly until the seventh year of Marcus Aurelius.
The date therefore given here for the accession of Soter is at least a
year out of the way. The Armenian Chron. puts his accession in the
236th Olympiad, i.e. the fourth to the seventh year of this reign,
while the version of Jerome puts it in the ninth year. From Bk. V.
chap. 1 we learn that he held office eight years, and this is the
figure given by both versions of the Chron. In chap. 23 Eusebius quotes
from a letter of Dionysius, bishop of Corinth, addressed to Soter, in
which he remarks that the Corinthian church have been reading on the
Lord’s day an epistle written to them by Soter. It was during his
episcopate that Montanus labored in Asia Minor, and the anonymous
author of the work called Praedestinatus (written in the middle of the
fifth century) states that Soter wrote a treatise against him which was
answered by Tertullian, but there seems to be no foundation for the
tradition. Two spurious epistles and several decretals have been
falsely ascribed to him.

[1210] On Anicetus, see above, chap. 11, note 18.

[1211] On Celadion, see above, chap. 11, note 17.

[1212] Of Agrippinus we know only what Eusebius tells us here and in
Bk. V. chap. 9, where he says that he held office twelve years.
Jerome’s version of the Chron. agrees as to the duration of his
episcopate, but puts his accession in the sixth year of Marcus
Aurelius. In the Armenian version a curious mistake occurs in
connection with his name. Under the ninth year of Marcus Aurelius are
found the words, Romanorum ecclesiae XII. episcopus constitutus est
Agrippinus annis IX., and then Eleutherus (under the thirteenth year of
the same ruler) is made the thirteenth bishop, while Victor, his
successor, is not numbered, and Zephyrinus the successor of the latter,
is made number fourteen. It is of course plain enough that the
transcriber by an oversight read Romanorum ecclesiae instead of
Alexandrinae ecclesiae, and then having given Soter just above as the
eleventh bishop, he felt compelled to make Agrippinus the twelfth, and
hence reversed the two numbers, nine and twelve, given in connection
with Agrippinus and made him the twelfth bishop, ruling nine years,
instead of the ninth bishop, ruling twelve years. He then found himself
obliged to make Eleutherus the thirteenth, but brought the list back
into proper shape again by omitting to number Victor as the fourteenth.
It is hard to understand how a copyist could commit such a flagrant
error and not discover it when he found himself subsequently led into
difficulty by it. It simply shows with what carelessness the work of
translation or of transcription was done. As a result of the mistake no
ninth bishop of Alexandria is mentioned, though the proper interval of
twelve years remains between the death of Celadion and the accession of

Chapter XX.–The Rulers of the Church of Antioch.

1. At that time also in the church of Antioch, Theophilus [1213] was
well known as the sixth from the apostles. For Cornelius, [1214] who
succeeded Hero, [1215] was the fourth, and after him Eros, [1216] the
fifth in order, had held the office of bishop.

[1213] On Theophilus and his writings, see chap. 24.

[1214] Of the life and character of Cornelius and Eros we know nothing.
The Chron. of Eusebius puts the accession of Cornelius into the twelfth
year of Trajan (128 a.d.), and the accession of his successor Eros into
the fifth year of Antoninus Pius (142). These dates, however, are quite
unreliable, and we have no means of correcting them (see Harnack’s Zeit
des Ignatius, p. 12 sqq.). Theophilus, the successor of Eros we have
reason to think became bishop about the middle of Marcus Aurelius’
reign and hence the Chron., which puts his accession into the ninth
year of that reign, (169 a.d.) cannot be far out of the way. This gives
us the approximate date for the death of Eros.

[1215] On Hero, see above, Bk. III. chap. 36, note 23.

[1216] On Eros, see note 2.

Chapter XXI.–The Ecclesiastical Writers that flourished in Those Days.

1. At that time there flourished in the Church Hegesippus, whom we know
from what has gone before, [1217] and Dionysius, [1218] bishop of
Corinth, and another bishop, Pinytus of Crete, [1219] and besides
these, Philip, [1220] and Apolinarius, [1221] and Melito, [1222] and
Musanus, [1223] and Modestus, [1224] and finally, Irenaeus. [1225] From
them has come down to us in writing, the sound and orthodox faith
received from apostolic tradition. [1226]

[1217] On Hegesippus’ life and writings, see the next chapter. He has
been already mentioned in Bk. II. chap. 23; Bk. III. chaps. 11, 16, 20,
32; and Bk. IV. chap. 8.

[1218] On the life and writings of Dionysius, see below, chap. 23.

[1219] On Pinytus, see below, chap, 23, note 14.

[1220] On Philip, see below, chap. 25.

[1221] On Apolinarius, see below, chap. 27.

[1222] On Melito, see chap. 26.

[1223] On Musanus, see chap. 28.

[1224] On Modestus, see chap. 25.

[1225] Irenaeus was born in Asia Minor, probably between the years 120
and 130. There is great uncertainty as to the date of his birth, some
bringing it down almost to the middle of the second century, while
Dodwell carried it back to the year 97 or 98. But these extremes are
wild; and a careful examination of all the sources which can throw any
light on the subject leads to the conclusion adopted by Lipsius, and
stated above. In Asia Minor he was a pupil of Polycarp (cf. the
fragment of Irenaeus’ letter to Florinus, quoted by Eusebius, Bk. V.
chap. 20). The Moscow ms. of the Martyrium Polycarpi states that
Irenaeus was in Rome at the time of Polycarp’s martyrdom (155 or 156
a.d.), and appeals for its authority to a statement in Irenaeus’ own
writings, which does not exist in any extant work, but may have been
taken from an authentic work now lost (cf. Gebhardt, in the Zeitschrift
fuer die hist. Theologie, 1875, p. 362 sqq.). But whatever truth there
may be in the report, we find him, at the time of the great persecution
of Lyons and Vienne (described in the next book, chap. 1), a presbyter
of the church at Lyons, and carrying a letter from the confessors of
that church to the bishop Eleutherus of Rome (see Bk. V. chap. 4).
After the death of Pothinus, which took place in 177 (see Bk. V. praef.
note 3, and chap. 1, S:29), Irenaeus became bishop of Lyons, according
to Bk. V. chap. 5. The exact date of his accession we do not know; but
as Pothinus died during the persecution, and Irenaeus was still a
presbyter after the close of the persecution in which he met his death,
he cannot have succeeded immediately. Since Irenaeus, however, was,
according to Eusebius, Pothinus’ next successor, no great length of
time can have elapsed between the death of the latter and the accession
of the former. At the time of the paschal controversy, while Victor was
bishop of Rome, Irenaeus was still bishop (according to Bk. V. chap.
23). This was toward the close of the second century. His death is
ordinarily put in the year 202 or 203, on the assumption that he
suffered martyrdom under Septimius Severus. Jerome is the first to call
him a martyr, and that not in his de vir. ill., but in his Comment. in
Esaiam (chap. 64), which was written some years later. It is quite
possible that he confounded the Irenaeus in question with another of
the same name, who met his death in the persecution of Diocletian.
Gregory of Tours first gives us a detailed account of the martyrdom,
and in the Middle Ages Irenaeus always figured as a martyr. But all
this has no weight at all, when measured against the silence of
Tertullian, Hippolytus, Eusebius, and all the earlier Fathers. Their
silence must be accepted as conclusive evidence that he was not a
martyr; and if he was not, there is no reason for assigning his death
to the year 202 or 203. As we have no trace of him, however, subsequent
to the time of the paschal controversy, it is probable that he died, at
the latest, soon after the beginning of the third century. Irenaeus was
the most important of the polemical writers of antiquity, and his works
formed a storehouse from which all subsequent heresiographers drew. He
is quoted very frequently by Eusebius as an authority for events which
happened during the second century, and is treated by him with the most
profound respect as one of the greatest writers of the early Church.
Jerome devotes an unusually long chapter of his de vir. ill. to him
(chap. 35), but tells us nothing that is not found in Eusebius’
History. His greatest work, and the only one now extant, is his
,’Elenchos kai anatrope tes pseudonumou gnoseos, which is commonly
cited under the brief title pros ;;Aireseis, or Adversus Haereses
(”Against Heresies”). It consists of five books, and is extant only in
a very ancient and literal Latin translation; though the numerous
extracts made from it by later writers have preserved for us the
original Greek of nearly the whole of the first book and many fragments
of the others. There are also extant numerous fragments of an ancient
Syriac version of the work. It was written–or at least the third book
was–while Eleutherus was bishop of Rome, i.e. between 174 and 189 (see
Bk. III. chap. 3, S:3, of the work itself). We are not able to fix the
date of its composition more exactly. The author’s primary object was
to refute Valentinianism (cf. Bk. I. praef., and Bk. III. praef.), but
in connection with that subject he takes occasion to say considerable
about other related heresies. The sources of this great work have been
carefully discussed by Lipsius, in his Quellenkritik des Epiphanios,
and in his Quellen der aeltesten Ketzergeschichte, and by Harnack in
his Quellenkritik der Geschichte des Gnosticismus (see also the article
by Lipsius mentioned below). Of the other works of Irenaeus, many of
which Eusebius refers to, only fragments or bare titles have been
preserved. Whether he ever carried out his intention (stated in Adv.
Haer. I. 27. 4, and III. 12. 12) of writing a special work against
Marcion, we cannot tell. Eusebius mentions this intention in Bk. V.
chap. 20; and in Bk. IV. chap. 25 he classes Irenaeus among the authors
who had written against Marcion. But we hear nothing of the existence
of the work from Irenaeus’ successors, and it is possible that Eusebius
is thinking in chap. 25 only of the great work Adv. Haer. For a notice
of Irenaeus’ epistle On Schism, addressed to Blastus, and the one On
Sovereignty, addressed to Florinus, see Bk. V. chap. 20, notes 2 and 3;
and on his treatise On the Ogdoad, see the same chapter, note 4. On his
epistle to Victor in regard to the paschal dispute, see below, Bk. V.
chap. 24, note 13. Other epistles upon the same subject are referred to
by Eusebius at the close of the same chapter (see note 21 on that
chapter). In Bk. V. chap. 26, Eusebius mentions four other works of
Irenaeus (see notes on that chapter). In addition to the works referred
to by Eusebius, there are extant a number of fragments which purport to
be from other works of Irenaeus. Some of them are undoubtedly genuine,
others not. Upon these fragments and the works to which they belong,
see Harvey’s edition of Irenaeus’ works, II. p. 431 sq., and Lipsius in
the Dict. of Christ. Biog. article Irenaeus, p. 265 sqq. The best
edition of Irenaeus’ works is that of Harvey (Cambridge, 1857, in 2
vols.). In connection with this edition, see Loof’s important article
on Irenaeushandschriften, in Kirchengeschichtliche Studien, p. 1-93
(Leipzig, 1888). The literature on Irenaeus is very extensive (for a
valuable list, see Schaff’s Ch. Hist. II. 746), but a full and complete
biography is greatly to be desired. Lipsius’ article, referred to just
above, is especially valuable.

[1226] hon kai eis hemas tes apostolikes paradoseos, he tes hugious
pisteos zngraphos katelthen orthodoxia. Compare chap. 14, S:4.

Chapter XXII.–Hegesippus and the Events which he mentions.

1. Hegesippus in the five books of Memoirs [1227] which have come down
to us has left a most complete record of his own views. In them he
states that on a journey to Rome he met a great many bishops, and that
he received the same doctrine from all. It is fitting to hear what he
says after making some remarks about the epistle of Clement to the

2. His words are as follows: ”And the church of Corinth continued in
the true faith until Primus [1228] was bishop in Corinth. I conversed
with them on my way to Rome, and abode with the Corinthians many days,
during which we were mutually refreshed in the true doctrine.

3. And when I had come to Rome I remained there until Anicetus, [1229]
whose deacon was Eleutherus. And Anicetus was succeeded by Soter, and
he by Eleutherus. In every succession, and in every city that is held
which is preached by the law and the prophets and the Lord.”

4. The same author also describes the beginnings of the heresies which
arose in his time, in the following words: ”And after James the Just
had suffered martyrdom, as the Lord had also on the same account,
Symeon, the son of the Lord’s uncle, Clopas, [1230] was appointed the
next bishop. All proposed him as second bishop because he was a cousin
of the Lord.

”Therefore, [1231] they called the Church a virgin, for it was not yet
corrupted by vain discourses.

5. But Thebuthis, [1232] because he was not made bishop, began to
corrupt it. He also was sprung from the seven sects [1233] among the
people, like Simon, [1234] from whom came the Simonians, and Cleobius,
[1235] from whom came the Cleobians, and Dositheus, [1236] from whom
came the Dositheans, and Gorthaeus, [1237] from whom came the
Goratheni, and Masbotheus, [1238] from whom came the Masbothaeans. From
them sprang the Menandrianists, [1239] and Marcionists, [1240] and
Carpocratians, and Valentinians, and Basilidians, and Saturnilians.
Each introduced privately and separately his own peculiar opinion. From
them came false Christs, false prophets, false apostles, who divided
the unity of the Church by corrupt doctrines uttered against God and
against his Christ.”

6. The same writer also records the ancient heresies which arose among
the Jews, in the following words: ”There were, moreover, various
opinions in the circumcision, among the children of Israel. The
following were those that were opposed to the tribe of Judah and the
Christ: Essenes, Galileans, Hemerobaptists, Masbothaeans, Samaritans,
Sadducees, Pharisees.” [1241]

7. And he wrote of many other matters, which we have in part already
mentioned, introducing the accounts in their appropriate places. And
from the Syriac Gospel according to the Hebrews he quotes some passages
in the Hebrew tongue, [1242] showing that he was a convert from the
Hebrews, [1243] and he mentions other matters as taken from the
unwritten tradition of the Jews.

8. And not only he, but also Irenaeus and the whole company of the
ancients, called the Proverbs of Solomon All-virtuous Wisdom. [1244]
And when speaking of the books called Apocrypha, he records that some
of them were composed in his day by certain heretics. But let us now
pass on to another.

[1227] The five books of Hegesippus, hupomnemata or Memoirs, are
unfortunately lost; but a few fragments are preserved by Eusebius, and
one by Photius, which have been collected by Routh, Rel. Sac. I.
205-219, and by Grabe, Spicilegium, II. 203-214. This work has procured
for him from some sources the title of the ”Father of Church History,”
but the title is misplaced, for the work appears to have been nothing
more than a collection of reminiscences covering the apostolic and
post-apostolic ages, and drawn partly from written, partly from oral
sources, and in part from his own observation, and quite without
chronological order and historical completeness. We know of no other
works of his. Of Hegesippus himself we know very little. He apparently
wrote his work during the episcopate of Eleutherus (175-189 a.d.), for
he does not name his successor. How old he was at that time we do not
know, but he was very likely a man past middle life, and hence was
probably born early in the second century. With this, his own statement
in the passage quoted by Eusebius, in chap. 8, that the deification of
Antinoues took place in his own day is quite consistent. The words of
Jerome (de vir. ill. 22), who calls him a vicinus apostolicorum
temporum, are too indefinite to give us any light, even if they rest
upon any authority, as they probably do not. The journey which is
mentioned in this chapter shows that his home must have been somewhere
in the East, and there is no reason to doubt that he was a Hebrew
Christian (see below, note 16).

[1228] Of this Primus we know only what Hegesippus tells us here. We do
not know the exact date of his episcopate, but it must have been at
least in part synchronous with the episcopate of Pius of Rome (see
chap. 11, note 14), for it was while Hegesippus was on his way to Rome
that he saw Primus; and since he remained in Rome until the accession
of Anicetus he must have arrived there while Pius, Anicetus’
predecessor, was bishop, for having gone to Rome on a visit, he can
hardly have remained there a number of years.

[1229] The interpretation of this sentence is greatly disputed. The
Greek reads in all the mss. genomenos de en ;;Rome diadochen
epoiesEURmn mechris ‘Aniketou, and this reading is confirmed by the
Syriac version (according to Lightfoot). If these words be accepted as
authentic, the only possible rendering seems to be the one which has
been adopted by many scholars: ”Being in Rome, I composed a catalogue
of bishops down to Anicetus.” This rendering is adopted also by
Lightfoot, who holds that the list of Hegesippus is reproduced by
Epiphanius in his Panarium XXVII. 6 (see his essay in The Academy, May
27, 1887, where this theory is broached, and compare the writer’s
notice of it in Harnack’s Theol. Lit. Zeitung 1887, No. 18). But
against this rendering it must be said, first, that it is very
difficult to translate the words diadochen epoiesEURmen, ”I composed a
catalogue of bishops,” for diadoche nowhere else, so far as I am aware,
means ”catalogue,” and nowhere else does the expression diadochen
poieisthai occur. Just below, the same word signifies ”succession,” and
this is its common meaning. Certainly, if Hegesippus wished to say that
he had composed a catalogue of bishops, he could not have expressed
himself more obscurely. In the second place, if Hegesippus had really
composed a catalogue of bishops and referred to it here, how does it
happen that Eusebius, who is so concerned to ascertain the succession
of bishops in all the leading sees nowhere gives that catalogue, and
nowhere even refers to it. He does give Irenaeus’ catalogue of the
Roman bishops in Bk. V. chap. 6, but gives no hint there that he knows
anything of a similar list composed by Hegesippus. In fact, it is very
difficult to think that Hegesippus, in this passage, can have meant to
say that he had composed a catalogue of bishops, and it is practically
impossible to believe that Eusebius can have understood him to mean
that. But the words diadochen epoiesEURmen, if they can be made to mean
anything at all, can certainly be made to mean nothing else than the
composition of a catalogue, and hence it seems necessary to make some
correction in the text. It is significant that Rufinus at this point
reads permansi ibi, which shows that he at least did not understand
Hegesippus to be speaking of a list of bishops. Rufinus’ rendering
gives us a hint of what must have stood in the original from which he
drew, and so Savilius, upon the margin of his ms., substituted for
diadochen the word diatriben, probably simply as a conjecture, but
possibly upon the authority of some other ms. now lost. He has been
followed by some editors, including Heinichen, who prints the word
diatriben in the text. Val. retains diadochen in his text, but accepts
diatriben as the true reading, and so translates. This reading is now
very widely adopted; and it, or some other word with the same meaning,
in all probability stood in the original text. In my notice of
Lightfoot’s article, I suggested the word diagogen, which, while not so
common as diatriben, is yet used with poieisthai in the same sense, and
its very uncommonness would account more easily for the change to the
much commoner diadochen, which is epigraphically so like it. The word
mechri is incorrectly translated apud by Valesius, who reads, mansi
apud Anicetum. He is followed by Cruse, who translates ”I made my stay
with Anicetus”; but mechri can mean only ”until.” Hegesippus therefore,
according to his own statement, came to Rome before the accession of
Anicetus and remained there until the latter became bishop. See chap.
11, note 19, for the relation of this statement to that of Eusebius.
For particulars in regard to Anicetus, see chap. 11, note 18; on Soter,
see chap. 19, note 2, and on Eleutherus, Bk. V. Preface, note 2.

[1230] See Bk. III. chap. 11, note 4.

[1231] Dia touto. Valesius proposes to read mechri toutou, which
certainly makes better sense and which finds some support in the
statement made by Eusebius in Bk. III. chap. 32, S:7. But all the mss.
have dia touto, and, as Stroth remarks, the illogical use of
”therefore” at this point need not greatly surprise us in view of the
general looseness of Hegesippus’ style. The phrase is perhaps used
proleptically, with a reference to what follows.

[1232] Of Thebuthis we know only what is told us here. The statement
that he became a heretic because he was not chosen bishop has about as
much foundation as most reports of the kind. It was quite common for
the Fathers to trace back the origin of schisms to this cause (compare
e.g. Tertullian’s Adv. Val. 4, and De Bapt. 17).

[1233] The seven sects are mentioned by Hegesippus just below. Harnack
maintains that Hegesippus in his treatment of heresies used two
sources, one of them being the lost Syntagma of Justin (see his
Quellenkritik des Gnosticismus, p. 37 sqq.). Lipsius, who in his
Quellen der Ketzergesch. combats many of Harnack’s positions, thinks it
possible that Hegesippus may have had Justin’s Syntagma before him.

[1234] Simon Magus (see Bk. II. chap. 13, note 3).

[1235] Cleobius is occasionally mentioned as a heretic by
ecclesiastical writers, but none of them seems to know anything more
about him than is told here by Hegesippus (see the article Cleobius in
the Dict. of Christ. Biog.).

[1236] Trustworthy information in regard to Dositheus is very scanty,
but it is probable that he was one of the numerous Samaritan false
messiahs, and lived at about the time of, or possibly before, Christ.
”It seems likely that the Dositheans were a Jewish or Samaritan ascetic
sect, something akin to the Essenes, existing from before our Lord’s
time, and that the stories connecting their founder with Simon Magus
and with John the Baptist [see the Clementine Recognitions, II. 8 and
Homilies, II. 24], may be dismissed as merely mythical” (Salmon, in the
Dict. of Christ. Biog. art. Dositheus).

[1237] Epiphanius and Theodoret also mention the Goratheni, but
apparently knew no more about them than Hegesippus tells us here,
Epiphanius classing them among the Samaritans, and Theodoret deriving
them from Simon Magus.

[1238] The name Masbotheus is supported by no ms. authority, but is
given by Rufinus and by Nicephorus, and is adopted by most editors. The
majority of the mss. read simply Masbothaioi or Masbotheoi. Just below,
Hegesippus gives the Masbotheans as one of the seven Jewish sects,
while here he says they were derived from them. This contradiction
Harnack explains by Hegesippus’ use of two different sources, an
unknown oral or written one, and Justin’s Syntagma. The list of
heresies given here he maintains stood in Justin’s Syntagma, but the
derivation of them from the seven Jewish sects cannot have been
Justin’s work, nor can the list of the seven sects have been made by
Justin, for he gives quite a different list in his Dialogue, chap. 80.
Lipsius, p. 25, thinks the repetition of the ”Masbotheans” is more
easily explained as a mere oversight or accident. The Apostolic Const.
VI. 6 name the Masbotheans among Jewish sects, describing them as
follows: ”The Basmotheans, who deny providence, and say that the world
is ruled by spontaneous motion, and take away the immortality of the
soul.” From what source this description was taken we do not know, and
cannot decide as to its reliability. Salmon (in the Dict. of Christ.
Biog.) remarks that ”our real knowledge is limited to the occurrence of
the name in Hegesippus, and there is no reason to think that any of
these who have undertaken to explain it knew any more about the matter
than ourselves.”

[1239] On Menander and the Menandrianists, see Bk. II. chap. 26; on the
Carpocratians, chap. 7, note 17; on the Valentinians, see chap. 11,
note 1; on the Basilidaeans, chap. 7, note 7; on the Saturnilians,
chap. 7, note 6.

[1240] There is some dispute about this word. The Greek is
Markianistai, which Harnack regards as equivalent to Markionistai, or
”followers of Marcion,” but which Lipsius takes to mean ”followers of
Marcus.” The latter is clearly epigraphically more correct, but the
reasons for reading in this place Marcionites, or followers of Marcion,
are strong enough to outweigh other considerations (see Harnack, p. 31
ff. and Lipsius, p. 29 ff.).

[1241] These are the seven Jewish heresies mentioned above by
Hegesippus. Justin (Dial. chap. 80) and Epiphanius (Anaceph.) also name
seven Jewish sects, but they are not the same as those mentioned here
(those of Justin: Sadducees, Genistae, Meristae, Galileans,
Hellenianians, Pharisees, Baptists). Epiphanius (Vol. I. p. 230,
Dindorf’s ed.,–Samaritan sects 4: Gorothenes, Sebouaioi, Essenes,
Dositheans; Jewish 7: Scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees, Hemerobaptists,
‘Ossaioi, Nazarenes, Herodians). See Jess, in the Zeitschr. fuer hist.
Theol. 1865, p. 45. sq.

[1242] The exact meaning of this sentence is very difficult to
determine. The Greek reads: zk te tou kath’ ‘Ebraious euangeliou kai
tou Suriakou kai idios ek tes ;;Ebraidos dialektou tina tithesin. It is
grammatically necessary to supply euangeliou after Suriakou, and this
gives us a Syriac gospel in addition to the Hebrew. Some have concluded
that Tatian’s Diatessaron is meant by it, but this will not do; for, as
Handmann remarks, the fact that Hegesippus quotes from the work or
works referred to is cited as evidence that he was a Hebrew. Hilgenfeld
supposes that the Chaldaeo syroque scriptum evangelium secundum
Hebraeos, which Jerome mentions, is referred to, and that the
first-named euangelion kath’ ;;Ebraious is a Greek translation, while
the to Suriakon represents the original; so that Hegesippus is said to
have used both the original and the translation. Eusebius, however,
could not have made the discovery that he used both, unless the
original and the translation differed in their contents, of which we
have no hint, and which in itself is quite improbable. As the Greek
reads, however, there is no other explanation possible, unless the to
Suriakon euangelion be taken to represent some other unknown Hebrew
gospel, in which case the following clause refers to the citations from
both of the gospels. That such a gospel existed, however, and was
referred to by Eusebius so casually, as if it were a well-known work,
is not conceivable. The only resource left, so far as the writer can
discover, is to amend the text, with Eichhorn, Nicholson, and Handmann,
by striking out the first kai. The tou Suriakou then becomes a
description of the euangelion kath’ ;;Ebraious, ”The Syriac Gospel
according to the Hebrews.” By the Syriac we are to understand, of
course, the vulgar dialect, which had before the time of Christ taken
the place of the Hebrew, and which is ordinarily called Aramaic.
Eusebius then, on this interpretation, first qualifies the Gospel of
the Hebrews more exactly, and then adds that Hegesippus quotes from the
Hebrew original of it (ek tes ;;Ebraidos dialektou), and not from a
translation; e.g. from the Greek translation, which we know existed
early. There is, to be sure, no ms. authority for the alteration of the
text, and yet the sense of the passage seems to demand it, and I have
consequently omitted the kai in my translation. Upon the interpretation
of the passage, see Handmann’s Hebraeer-Evangelium, p. 32 ff., and upon
the Gospel according to the Hebrews, see above, Bk. III. chap. 25, note
24, and chap. 27, note 8.

[1243] Eusebius had abundant opportunity to learn from Hegesippus’
works whether or not he was a Hebrew Christian, and hence we cannot
doubt that his conclusion in regard to Hegesippus’ nationality (whether
based merely upon the premises given here, or partly upon other facts
unknown to us) is correct. His nationality explains the fact that he
deduces the Christian heresies from Jewish, and not, like other
writers, from heathen roots. There is, however, no reason, with Baur
and others, to suppose that Hegesippus was a Judaizer. In fact,
Eusebius’ respectful treatment of him is in itself conclusive proof
that his writings cannot have revealed heretical notions.

[1244] This phrase (panEURretos sophia) was very frequently employed
among the Fathers as a title of the Book of Proverbs. Clement of Rome
(1 Cor. lvii.) is, so far as I know, the first so to use it. The word
panEURretos is applied also to the apocryphal Wisdom of Solomon, by
Epiphanius (de mens. et pond. S:4) and others. Among the Fathers the
Book of Sirach, the Solomonic Apocrypha, and the Book of Proverbs all
bore the common title sophia, ”Wisdom,” which well defines the
character of each of them; and this simple title is commoner than the
compound phrase which occurs in this passage (cf. e.g. Justin Martyr’s
Dial. c. 129, and Melito, quoted by Eusebius in chap. 26, below). For
further particulars, see especially Lightfoot’s edition of the epistles
of Clement of Rome, p. 164.

Chapter XXIII.–Dionysius, Bishop of Corinth, and the Epistles which he
wrote. [1245]

1. And first we must speak of Dionysius, who was appointed bishop of
the church in Corinth, and communicated freely of his inspired labors
not only to his own people, but also to those in foreign lands, and
rendered the greatest service to all in the catholic epistles which he
wrote to the churches.

2. Among these is the one addressed to the Lacedaemonians, [1246]
containing instruction in the orthodox faith and an admonition to peace
and unity; the one also addressed to the Athenians, exciting them to
faith and to the life prescribed by the Gospel, which he accuses them
of esteeming lightly, as if they had almost apostatized from the faith
since the martyrdom of their ruler Publius, [1247] which had taken
place during the persecutions of those days.

3. He mentions Quadratus [1248] also, stating that he was appointed
their bishop after the martyrdom of Publius, and testifying that
through his zeal they were brought together again and their faith
revived. He records, moreover, that Dionysius the Areopagite, [1249]
who was converted to the faith by the apostle Paul, according to the
statement in the Acts of the Apostles, [1250] first obtained the
episcopate of the church at Athens.

4. And there is extant another epistle of his addressed to the
Nicomedians, [1251] in which he attacks the heresy of Marcion, and
stands fast by the canon of the truth.

5. Writing also to the church that is in Gortyna, [1252] together with
the other parishes in Crete, he commends their bishop Philip, [1253]
because of the many acts of fortitude which are testified to as
performed by the church under him, and he warns them to be on their
guard against the aberrations of the heretics.

6. And writing to the church that is in Amastris, [1254] together with
those in Pontus, he refers to Bacchylides [1255] and Elpistus, as
having urged him to write, and he adds explanations of passages of the
divine Scriptures, and mentions their bishop Palmas [1256] by name. He
gives them much advice also in regard to marriage and chastity, and
commands them to receive those who come back again after any fall,
whether it be delinquency or heresy. [1257]

7. Among these is inserted also another epistle addressed to the
Cnosians, [1258] in which he exhorts Pinytus, bishop of the parish, not
to lay upon the brethren a grievous and compulsory burden in regard to
chastity, but to have regard to the weakness of the multitude.

8. Pinytus, replying to this epistle, admires and commends Dionysius,
but exhorts him in turn to impart some time more solid food, and to
feed the people under him, when he wrote again, with more advanced
teaching, that they might not be fed continually on these milky
doctrines and imperceptibly grow old under a training calculated for
children. In this epistle also Pinytus’ orthodoxy in the faith and his
care for the welfare of those placed under him, his learning and his
comprehension of divine things, are revealed as in a most perfect

9. There is extant also another epistle written by Dionysius to the
Romans, and addressed to Soter, [1259] who was bishop at that time. We
cannot do better than to subjoin some passages from this epistle, in
which he commends the practice of the Romans which has been retained
down to the persecution in our own days. His words are as follows:

10. ”For from the beginning it has been your practice to do good to all
the brethren in various ways, and to send contributions to many
churches in every city. Thus relieving the want of the needy, and
making provision for the brethren in the mines by the gifts which you
have sent from the beginning, you Romans keep up the hereditary customs
of the Romans, which your blessed bishop Soter has not only maintained,
but also added to, furnishing an abundance of supplies to the saints,
and encouraging the brethren from abroad with blessed words, as a
loving father his children.”

11. In this same epistle he makes mention also of Clement’s epistle to
the Corinthians, [1260] showing that it had been the custom from the
beginning to read it in the church. His words are as follows: ”To-day
we have passed the Lord’s holy day, in which we have read your epistle.
From it, whenever we read it, we shall always be able to draw advice,
as also from the former epistle, which was written to us through

12. The same writer also speaks as follows concerning his own epistles,
alleging that they had been mutilated: ”As the brethren desired me to
write epistles, I wrote. And these epistles the apostles of the devil
have filled with tares, cutting out some things and adding others.
[1261] For them a woe is reserved. [1262] It is, therefore, not to be
wondered at if some have attempted to adulterate the Lord’s writings
also, [1263] since they have formed designs even against writings which
are of less account.” [1264]

There is extant, in addition to these, another epistle of Dionysius,
written to Chrysophora, [1265] a most faithful sister. In it he writes
what is suitable, and imparts to her also the proper spiritual food. So
much concerning Dionysius.

[1245] Eusebius speaks, in this chapter, of seven Catholic epistles,
and of one addressed to an individual. None of these epistles are now
extant, though Eusebius here, and in Bk. II. chap. 25, gives us four
brief but interesting fragments from the Epistle to the Romans. We know
of the other epistles only what Eusebius tells us in this chapter. That
Dionysius was held in high esteem as a writer of epistles to the
churches is clear, not only from Eusebius’ statement, but also from the
fact that heretics thought it worth while to circulate interpolated and
mutilated copies of them, as stated below. The fact that he wrote
epistles to churches so widely scattered shows that he possessed an
extended reputation. Of Dionysius himself (who is, without foundation,
called a martyr by the Greek Church, and a confessor by the Latin
Church) we know only what we are told by Eusebius, for Jerome (de vir
ill. 27) adds nothing to the account given in this chapter. In his
Chron. Eusebius mentions Dionysius in connection with the eleventh year
of Marcus Aurelius. According to Eusebius’ statement in this same
chapter, Dionysius’ Epistle to the Romans was addressed to the bishop
Soter, and as Eusebius had the epistle before him, there is no reason
for doubting his report. Soter was bishop from about 167 to 175 (see
above, chap. 19, note 4), and therefore the statements of the Chron.
and the History are in accord. When Dionysius died we do not know, but
he was no longer living in 199, for Bacchylus was bishop of Corinth at
that time (see Bk. V. chap. 22). It is commonly said that Dionysius was
the immediate successor of Primus, bishop of Corinth. This may be true,
but we have no ground for the assumption. We know only that Primus’
episcopate was synchronous, at least in part, with that of Pius of Rome
(see the previous chapter, note 2), who was bishop from about 139 or
141 to 154 or 156, and that Dionysius’ episcopate was synchronous at
least an part with that of Soter of Rome (about 167 to 175).

[1246] This is, so far as I am aware, the earliest mention of a church
at Lacedaemon or Sparta. The bishop of Sparta is mentioned in the
synodical letter of the province of Hellas to the emperor Leo (457-477
a.d.), and also still later in the Acts of the Sixth and Eighth General
Synods, according to Wiltsch’s Geography and Statistics of the Church
(London ed. p. 134 and 466).

[1247] Of this Publius we know only what Eusebius tells us here. What
particular persecution is referred to we cannot tell, but Publius’
martyrdom seems to have occurred in the reign of Antoninus Pius or
Marcus Aurelius; for he was the immediate predecessor of Quadratus, who
was apparently bishop at the time Dionysius was writing.

[1248] We know nothing more about this Quadratus, for he is to be
distinguished from the prophet and from the apologist (see chap. 3,
note 2). Eusebius’ words seem to imply that he was bishop at the time
Dionysius was writing.

[1249] On Dionysius the Areopagite, see Bk. III. chap. 4, note 20.

[1250] See Acts xvii. 34.

[1251] The extent of Dionysius’ influence is shown by his writing an
epistle to so distant a church as that of Nicomedia in Bithynia, and
also to the churches of Pontus (see below). The fact that he considers
it necessary to attack Marcionism in this epistle to the Nicomedians is
an indication of the wide and rapid spread of that sect,–which indeed
is known to us from many sources.

[1252] Gortyna was an important city in Crete, which was early the seat
of a bishop. Tradition, indeed, makes Titus the first bishop of the
church there.

[1253] Of this Philip, bishop of Gortyna, and a contemporary of
Dionysius, we know only what Eusebius tells us here and in chap. 25.

[1254] Amastris was a city of Pontus, which is here mentioned for the
first time as the seat of a Christian church. Its bishop is referred to
frequently in the Acts of Councils during the next few centuries (see
also note 12, below).

[1255] This Bacchylides is perhaps identical with the Bacchylus who was
afterward bishop of Corinth (Bk. V. chap. 22). Elpistus is an otherwise
unknown personage.

[1256] This Palmas, bishop of Amastris in Pontus, presided as senior
bishop over a council of the bishops of Pontus held toward the close of
the century on the paschal question (see Bk. V. chap. 23). Nothing more
is known of him.

[1257] It is quite likely, as Salmon suggests (in the Dict. of Christ.
Biog.), that Dionysius, who wrote against Marcion in this epistle to
the Nicomedians, also had Marcionism in view in writing on life and
discipline to the churches of Pontus and Crete. It was probably in
consequence of reaction against their strict discipline that he
advocated the readmission to the Church of excommunicated offenders, in
this anticipating the later practice of the Roman church, which was
introduced by Callixtus and soon afterward became general, though not
without bitter opposition from many quarters. Harnack
(Dogmengeschichte, p. 332, note 4) throws doubt upon the correctness of
this report of Eusebius; but such doubt is unwarranted, for Eusebius
had Dionysius’ epistle before him, and the position which he represents
him as taking is quite in accord with the mildness which he recommends
to Pinytus, and is therefore just what we should expect. The fact that
Callixtus’ principle is looked upon by Tertullian and Hippolytus as an
innovation does not militate at all against the possibility that
Dionysius in Corinth, or other individuals in other minor churches,
held the same principles some time before.

[1258] Cnossus, or Cnosus, was the capital city of Crete. This epistle
is no longer extant, nor do we know anything about Pinytus himself
except what is told us here and in chap. 21, above, where he is
mentioned among the ecclesiastical writers of the day. Jerome (de vir.
ill. 28) only repeats what Eusebius says, and Rufinus, in stating that
Pinytus was convinced by the epistle of Dionysius and changed his
course, seems simply to have misunderstood what Eusebius says about his
admiration for and praise of Dionysius. It is evident from the tone of
his reply that Pinytus was not led by Dionysius’ epistle to agree with

[1259] On Soter, see chap. 19, note 2. This practice of the Roman
church combined with other causes to secure it that position of
influence and prominence which resulted in the primacy of its bishop,
and finally in the papacy. The position of the Roman church, as well as
its prosperity and numerical strength, gave it early a feeling that it
was called upon in an especial way to exercise oversight and to care
for weaker sister churches, and thus its own good offices helped to
promote its influence and its power.

[1260] On Clement’s Epistle to the Corinthians, see Bk. III. chap. 16.

[1261] See above, note 1.

[1262] Compare Rev. xxii. 18.

[1263] A probable, though not exclusive, reference to Marcion, for he
was by no means the only one of that age that interpolated and
mutilated the works of the apostles to fit his theories. Apostolic
works–true and false–circulated in great numbers, and were made the
basis for the speculations and moral requirements of many of the
heretical schools of the second century.

[1264] ou toiautais

[1265] Chrysophora is an otherwise unknown person.

Chapter XXIV.–Theophilus Bishop of Antioch.

1. Of Theophilus, [1266] whom we have mentioned as bishop of the church
of Antioch, [1267] three elementary works addressed to Autolycus are
extant; also another writing entitled Against the Heresy of Hermogenes,
[1268] in which he makes use of testimonies from the Apocalypse of
John, and finally certain other catechetical books. [1269]

2. And as the heretics, no less then than at other times, were like
tares, destroying the pure harvest of apostolic teaching, the pastors
of the churches everywhere hastened to restrain them as wild beasts
from the fold of Christ, at one time by admonitions and exhortations to
the brethren, at another time by contending more openly against them in
oral discussions and refutations, and again by correcting their
opinions with most accurate proofs in written works.

3. And that Theophilus also, with the others, contended against them,
is manifest from a certain discourse of no common merit written by him
against Marcion. [1270] This work too, with the others of which we have
spoken, has been preserved to the present day.

Maximinus, [1271] the seventh from the apostles, succeeded him as
bishop of the church of Antioch.

[1266] Eusebius is the only Eastern writer of the early centuries to
mention Theophilus and his writings. Among the Latin Fathers,
Lactantius and Gennadius refer to his work, ad Autolycum; and Jerome
devotes chap. 25 of his de vir. ill. to him. Beyond this there is no
direct mention of Theophilus, or of his works, during the early
centuries (except that of Malalas, which will be referred to below).
Eusebius here calls Theophilus bishop of Antioch, and in chap. 20 makes
him the sixth bishop, as does also Jerome in his de vir. ill. chap. 25.
But in his epistle, ad Algas. (Migne, Ep. 121), Jerome calls him the
seventh bishop of Antioch, beginning his reckoning with the apostle
Peter. Eusebius, in his Chron., puts the accession of Theophilus into
the ninth year of Marcus Aurelius (169); and this may be at least
approximately correct. The accession of his successor Maximus is put
into the seventeenth year (177); but this date is at least four years
too early, for his work, ad Autolycum, quotes from a work in which the
death of Marcus Aurelius (who died in 180) was mentioned, and hence
cannot have been written before 181 or 182. We know that his successor,
Maximus, became bishop sometime between 189 and 192, and hence
Theophilus died between 181 and that time. We have only Eusebius’ words
(Jerome simply repeats Eusebius’ statement) for the fact that
Theophilus was bishop of Antioch (his extant works do not mention the
fact, nor do those who quote from his writings), but there is no good
ground for doubting the truth of the report. We know nothing more about
his life. In addition to the works mentioned in this chapter, Jerome
(de vir. ill.) refers to Commentaries upon the Gospel and the book of
Proverbs, in the following words: Legi sub nomine ejus in Evangelium et
in Proverbia Salomonis Commentarios qui mihi cum superiorum voluminum
elegantia et phrasi non videntur congruere. The commentary upon the
Gospel is referred to by Jerome again in the preface to his own
commentary on Matthew; and in his epistle, ad Algasiam, he speaks of a
harmony of the four Gospels, by Theophilus (qui quatuor Evangelistarum
in unum opus dicta compingens), which may have been identical with the
commentary, or may have formed a basis for it. This commentary is
mentioned by none of the Fathers before or after Jerome; and Jerome
himself expresses doubts as to its genuineness, or at least he does not
think that its style compares with that of the other works ascribed to
Theophilus. Whether the commentary was genuine or not we have no means
of deciding, for it is no longer extant. There is in existence a Latin
commentary on the Gospels in four books, which bears the name of
Theophilus, and is published in Otto’s Corpus Apol. Vol. VIII. p.
278-324. This was universally regarded as a spurious work until Zahn,
in 1883 (in his Forschungen zur Gesch. des N. T. Canons, Theil II.)
made an elaborate effort to prove it a genuine work of Theophilus of
Antioch. Harnack, however, in his Texte und Unters. I. 4, p. 97-175,
has shown conclusively that Zahn is mistaken, and that the extant
commentary is nothing better than a Post-Nicene compilation from the
works of various Latin Fathers. Zahn, in his reply to Harnack
(Forschungen, Theil III. Beilage 3), still maintains that the
Commentary is a genuine work of Theophilus, with large interpolations,
but there is no adequate ground for such a theory; and it has found
few, if any, supporters. We must conclude, then, that if Theophilus did
write such a commentary, it is no longer extant. The three books
addressed to Autolycus (a heathen friend otherwise unknown to us) are
still extant in three Mediaeval mss. and have been frequently published
both in the original and in translation. The best edition of the
original is that of Otto (Corp. Apol. Vol. VIII.); English translation
by Dods, in the Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. II. p. 85-121. The work is an
apology, designed to exhibit the falsehood of idolatry and the truth of
Christianity. The author was a learned writer, well acquainted with
Greek philosophy; and his literary style is of a high order. He
acknowledges no good in the Greek philosophers, except what they have
taken from the Old Testament writers. The genuineness of the work has
been attacked, but without sufficient reason. From Book II. chap. 30 of
his ad Autol. we learn that Theophilus had written also a work On
History. No such work is extant, nor is it mentioned by Eusebius or any
other Father. Malalas, however, cites a number of times ”The
chronologist Theophilus,” and it is possible that he used this lost
historical work. It is possible, on the other hand, that he refers to
some other unknown Theophilus (see Harnack, Texte und Unters. I. 1, p.

[1267] In chap. 20, above.

[1268] This work against Hermogenes is no longer extant. Harnack (p.
294 ff.) gives strong grounds for supposing that it was the common
source from which Tertullian, in his work ad Hermogenem, Hippolytus, in
his Phil. VIII. 10 and X. 24, and Clement of Alexandria, in his Proph.
Selections, 56, all drew. If this be true, as seems probable, the
Hermogenes attacked by these various writers is one man, and his chief
heresy, as we learn from Tertullian and Hippolytus, was that God did
not create the world out of nothing, but only formed it out of matter
which, like himself, was eternally existent.

[1269] These catechetical works (tina katechetika biblia), which were
extant in the time of Eusebius, are now lost. They are mentioned by
none of the Fathers except Jerome, who speaks of alii breves
elegantesque tractatus ad aedificationem Ecclesiae pertinentes as
extant in his time. We know nothing more of their nature than is thus
told us by Jerome.

[1270] This work, which is also now lost, is mentioned by no other
Father except Jerome, who puts it first in his list of Theophilus’
writings, but does not characterize it in any way, though he says it
was extant in his time. Irenaeus, in four passages of his great work,
exhibits striking parallels to Bk. II. chap. 25 of Theophilus’ ad
Autol., which have led to the assumption that he knew the latter work.
Harnack, however, on account of the shortness of time which elapsed
between the composition of the ad Autol. and Irenaeus’ work, and also
on account of the nature of the resemblances between the parallel
passages, thinks it improbable that Irenaeus used the ad Autol., and
concludes that he was acquainted rather with Theophilus’ work against
Marcion, a conclusion which accords best with the facts known to us.

[1271] Here, and in Bk. V. chap. 19, S:1, Eusebius gives this bishop’s
name as Maximinus. In the Chron. we find MEURximos, and in Jerome’s
version Maximus, though one ms. of the latter gives Maximinus.
According to the Chron. he became bishop in 177, and was succeeded by
Serapion in 190. As remarked in note 1, above, the former date is
incorrect, for Theophilus must have lived at least as late as 181 or
182. We cannot reach certainty in regard to the date either of his
accession or of his death; but if Eusebius’ statement (in Bk. V. chap.
19), that Serapion was bishop while Commodus was still emperor, is to
be believed (see further, Bk. V. chap. 19, note 1), Maximinus must have
died at least as early as 192, which gives us for his episcopate some
part of the period from 181 to 192. We know no particulars in regard to
the life of Maximinus.

Chapter XXV.–Philip and Modestus.

Philip who, as we learn from the words of Dionysius, [1272] was bishop
of the parish of Gortyna, likewise wrote a most elaborate work against
Marcion, [1273] as did also Irenaeus [1274] and Modestus. [1275] The
last named has exposed the error of the man more clearly than the rest
to the view of all. There are a number of others also whose works are
still presented by a great many of the brethren.

[1272] See above, chap. 23, S:5.

[1273] Philip’s work against Marcion which Eusebius mentions here is no
longer extant, and, so far as the writer knows, is mentioned by no
other Father except Jerome (de vir. ill. 30), who tells us only what
Eusebius records here, using, however, the adjective praeclarum for
Eusebius’ spoudaiotaton

[1274] On Irenaeus, see above, chap. 21, note 9.

[1275] Modestus, also, is a writer known to us only from Eusebius
(here, and in chap. 21) and from Jerome (de vir. ill. 32). According to
the latter, the work against Marcion was still extant in his day, but
he gives us no description of it. He adds, however, that a number of
spurious works ascribed to Modestus were in circulation at that time
(Feruntur sub nomine ejus et alia syntagmata, sed ab eruditis quasi
pseudographa repudiantur). Neither these nor the genuine works are now
extant, so far as we know.

Chapter XXVI.–Melito and the Circumstances which he records.

1. In those days also Melito, [1276] bishop of the parish in Sardis,
and Apolinarius, [1277] bishop of Hierapolis, enjoyed great
distinction. Each of them on his own part addressed apologies in behalf
of the faith to the above-mentioned emperor [1278] of the Romans who
was reigning at that time.

2. The following works of these writers have come to our knowledge. Of
Melito, [1279] the two books On the Passover, [1280] and one On the
Conduct of Life and the Prophets, [1281] the discourse On the Church,
[1282] and one On the Lord’s Day, [1283] still further one On the Faith
of Man, [1284] and one On his Creation, [1285] another also On the
Obedience of Faith, and one On the Senses; [1286] besides these the
work On the Soul and Body, [1287] and that On Baptism, [1288] and the
one On Truth, [1289] and On the Creation and Generation of Christ;
[1290] his discourse also On Prophecy, [1291] and that On Hospitality;
[1292] still further, The Key, [1293] and the books On the Devil and
the Apocalypse of John, [1294] and the work On the Corporeality of God,
[1295] and finally the book addressed to Antoninus. [1296]

3. In the books On the Passover he indicates the time at which he
wrote, beginning with these words: ”While Servilius Paulus was
proconsul of Asia, at the time when Sagaris suffered martyrdom, there
arose in Laodicea a great strife concerning the Passover, which fell
according to rule in those days; and these were written.” [1297]

4. And Clement of Alexandria refers to this work in his own discourse
On the Passover, [1298] which, he says, he wrote on occasion of
Melito’s work.

5. But in his book addressed to the emperor he records that the
following events happened to us under him: ”For, what never before
happened, [1299] the race of the pious is now suffering persecution,
being driven about in Asia by new decrees. For the shameless informers
and coveters of the property of others, taking occasion from the
decrees, openly carry on robbery night and day, despoiling those who
are guilty of no wrong.” And a little further on he says: ”If these
things are done by thy command, well and good. For a just ruler will
never take unjust measures; and we indeed gladly accept the honor of
such a death.

6. But this request alone we present to thee, that thou wouldst thyself
first examine the authors of such strife, and justly judge whether they
be worthy of death and punishment, or of safety and quiet. But if, on
the other hand, this counsel and this new decree, which is not fit to
be executed even against barbarian enemies, be not from thee, much more
do we beseech thee not to leave us exposed to such lawless plundering
by the populace.”

7. Again he adds the following: [1300] ”For our philosophy formerly
flourished among the Barbarians; but having sprung up among the nations
under thy rule, during the great reign of thy ancestor Augustus, it
became to thine empire especially a blessing of auspicious omen. For
from that time the power of the Romans has grown in greatness and
splendor. To this power thou hast succeeded, as the desired possessor,
[1301] and such shalt thou continue with thy son, if thou guardest the
philosophy which grew up with the empire and which came into existence
with Augustus; that philosophy which thy ancestors also honored along
with the other religions.

8. And a most convincing proof that our doctrine flourished for the
good of an empire happily begun, is this–that there has no evil
happened since Augustus’ reign, but that, on the contrary, all things
have been splendid and glorious, in accordance with the prayers of all.

9. Nero and Domitian, alone, persuaded by certain calumniators, have
wished to slander our doctrine, and from them it has come to pass that
the falsehood [1302] has been handed down, in consequence of an
unreasonable practice which prevails of bringing slanderous accusations
against the Christians. [1303]

10. But thy pious fathers corrected their ignorance, having frequently
rebuked in writing [1304] many who dared to attempt new measures
against them. Among them thy grandfather Adrian appears to have written
to many others, and also to Fundanus, [1305] the proconsul and governor
of Asia. And thy father, when thou also wast ruling with him, wrote to
the cities, forbidding them to take any new measures against us; among
the rest to the Larissaeans, to the Thessalonians, to the Athenians,
and to all the Greeks. [1306]

11. And as for thee,–since thy opinions respecting the Christians
[1307] are the same as theirs, and indeed much more benevolent and
philosophic,–we are the more persuaded that thou wilt do all that we
ask of thee.” These words are found in the above-mentioned work.

12. But in the Extracts [1308] made by him the same writer gives at the
beginning of the introduction a catalogue of the acknowledged books of
the Old Testament, which it is necessary to quote at this point. He
writes as follows:

13. ”Melito to his brother Onesimus, [1309] greeting: Since thou hast
often, in thy zeal for the word, expressed a wish to have extracts made
from the Law and the Prophets concerning the Saviour and concerning our
entire faith, and hast also desired to have an accurate statement of
the ancient book, as regards their number and their order, I have
endeavored to perform the task, knowing thy zeal for the faith, and thy
desire to gain information in regard to the word, and knowing that
thou, in thy yearning after God, esteemest these things above all else,
struggling to attain eternal salvation.

14. Accordingly when I went East and came to the place where these
things were preached and done, I learned accurately the books of the
Old Testament, and send them to thee as written below. Their names are
as follows: Of Moses, five books: Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Leviticus,
[1310] Deuteronomy; Jesus Nave, Judges, Ruth; of Kings, four books; of
Chronicles, two; the Psalms of David, [1311] the Proverbs of Solomon,
Wisdom also, [1312] Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Job; of Prophets,
Isaiah, Jeremiah; of the twelve prophets, one book [1313] ; Daniel,
Ezekiel, Esdras. [1314] From which also I have made the extracts,
dividing them into six books.” Such are the words of Melito.

[1276] The first extant notice of Melito, bishop of Sardis, is found in
the letter addressed by Polycrates to Bishop Victor of Rome (c. 190-202
a.d.) in support of the Quartodeciman practice of the Asia Minor
churches. A fragment of this letter is given by Eusebius in Bk. V.
chap. 24, and from it we learn that Melito also favored the
Quartodeciman practice, that he was a man whose walk and conversation
were altogether under the influence of the Holy Spirit, and that he was
buried at Sardis. Polycrates in this fragment calls Melito a eunuch.
Whether the word is to be understood in its literal sense or is to be
taken as meaning simply that Melito lived in ”virgin continence” is
disputed. In favor of the latter interpretation may be urged the fact
that the Greek word and its Latin equivalent were very commonly used by
the Fathers in this figurative sense, e.g. by Athenagoras, by
Tertullian, by Clement of Alexandria, by Cassianus (whose work on
continence bore the title peri enkrateias, e peri eunouchias), by
Jerome, Epiphanius, Chrysostom, Theodoret, Gregory Nazianzen, &c. (see
Smith and Wace’s Dict. of Christ. Biog., article Melito, and Suicer’s
Thesaurus). On the other hand, such continence cannot have been a rare
thing in Asia Minor in the time of Polycrates, and the fact that Melito
is called specifically ”the eunuch” looks peculiar if nothing more than
that is meant by it. The case of Origen, who made himself a eunuch for
the sake of preserving his chastity, at once occurs to us in this
connection (see Renan, L’eglise chret. p. 436, and compare Justin
Martyr’s Apol. I. 29). The canonical rule that no such eunuch could
hold clerical office came later, and hence the fact that Melito was a
bishop cannot be urged against the literal interpretation of the word
here. Polycrates’ meaning hardly admits of an absolute decision, but at
least it cannot be looked upon as it is by most historians as certain
that he uses the word here in its figurative sense. Polycrates says
nothing of the fact that Melito was a writer, but we learn from this
chapter (S:4), and from Bk. VI. chap. 13, that Clement of Alexandria,
in a lost work, mentioned his writings and even wrote a work in reply
to one of his (see below, note 23). According to the present chapter he
was a very prolific writer, and that he was a man of marked talent is
clear from Jerome’s words in his de vir. ill. chap. 24 (where he refers
to Tertullian’s lost work, de Ecstasi): Hujus [i.e. Melitonis] elegans
et declamatorium ingenium Tertullianus in septem libris, quos scripsit
adversus ecclesiam pro Montano, cavillatur, dicens eum a plerisque
nostrorum prophetam putari. In spite of the fact that Tertullian
satirized Melito’s talent, he nevertheless was greatly influenced by
his writings and owed much to them (see the points of contact between
the two men given by Harnack, p. 250 sqq.). The statement that he was
regarded by many as a prophet accords well with Polycrates’ description
of him referred to above. The indications all point to the fact that
Melito was decidedly ascetic in his tendencies, and that he had a great
deal in common with the spirit which gave rise to Montanism and even
made Tertullian a Montanist, and yet at the same time he opposed
Montanism, and is therefore spoken of slightingly by Tertullian. His
position, so similar to that of the Montanists, was not in favor with
the orthodox theologians of the third century, and this helps to
explain why, although he was such a prolific and talented writer, and
although he remained orthodox, he nevertheless passed almost entirely
out of the memory of the Church of the third and following centuries.
To this is to be added the fact that Melito was a chiliast; and the
teachings of the Montanists brought such disrepute upon chiliasm that
the Fathers of the third and following centuries did not show much
fondness for those who held or had held these views. Very few notices
of Melito’s works are found among the Fathers, and none of those works
is to-day extant. Eusebius is the first to give us an idea of the
number and variety of his writings, and he does little more than
mention the titles, a fact to be explained only by his lack of sympathy
with Melito’s views. The time at which Melito lived is indicated with
sufficient exactness by the fact that he wrote his Apology during the
reign of Marcus Aurelius, but after the death of his brother Lucius,
i.e. after 169 (see below, note 21); and that when Polycrates wrote his
epistle to Victor of Rome, he had been dead already some years. It is
possible (as held by Piper, Otto, and others) that his Apology was his
last work, for Eusebius mentions it last in his list. At the same time,
it is quite as possible that Eusebius enumerates Melito’s works simply
in the order in which he found them arranged in the library of
Caesarea, where he had perhaps seen them. Of the dates of his
episcopacy, and of his predecessors and successors in the see of
Sardis, we know nothing. In addition to the works mentioned in this
chapter by Eusebius, who does not pretend to give a full list, we find
in Anastasius Sinaita’s Hodegos seu dux viae c. aceph. fragments from
two other works entitled eis to pEURthos and peri sarkoseos christou
(the latter directed against Marcion), which cannot be identified with
any mentioned by Eusebius (see Harnack, I. 1, p. 254). The Codex
Nitriacus Musei Britannici 12,156 contains four fragments ascribed to
Melito, of which the first belongs undoubtedly to his genuine work peri
psuches kai somatos, which is mentioned in this chapter by Eusebius.
The second purports to be taken from a work, peri staurou, of which we
hear nowhere else, and which may or may not have been by Melito. The
third fragment bears the title Melitonis episcopi de fide, and might be
looked upon as an extract from the work peri pisteos, mentioned by
Eusebius (as Otto regards it); but the same fragment is four times
ascribed to Irenaeus by other early authorities, and an analysis of
these authorities shows that the tradition in favor of Irenaeus is
stronger than that in favor of Melito, and so Harnack mentions a work,
peri pisteos, which is ascribed by Maximus Confessor to Irenaeus, and
from which the quotation may have been taken (see Harnack, ibid. p. 266
ff.). The fourth fragment was taken in all probability from Melito’s
work, peri pEURthous, mentioned by Anastasius. An Apology in Syriac,
bearing the name of Melito, is extant in another of the Nitrian mss. in
the British Museum (No. 14,658), and has been published with an English
translation by Cureton, in his Spic. Syr. (p. 41-51). It has been
proved, however, that this Apology (which we have entire) was not
written by Melito, but probably by an inhabitant of Syria, in the
latter part of the second, or early part of the third century,–whether
originally in the Greek or Syriac language is uncertain (see Harnack,
p. 261 ff., and Smith and Wace, Vol. III. p. 895). In addition to the
genuine writings, there must be mentioned also some spurious works
which are still extant. Two Latin works of the early Middle Ages,
entitled de transitu Mariae and de passione S. Joannis Evangelistae,
and also a Catena of the latter Middle Ages on the Apocalypse, and a
Clavis Scripturae of the Carlovingian period (see below, note 18), bear
in some mss. the name of Melito. This fact shows that Melito’s name was
not entirely forgotten in the Occidental Church of the Middle Ages,
though little exact knowledge of him seems to have existed. On Melito
and his writings, see Piper’s article in the Theol. Studien und
Kritiken, 1838, p. 54-154; Salmon’s article in Smith and Wace, and
especially Harnack’s Texte und Unters. I. 1, p. 240-278. The extant
fragments of Melito’s writings are given in Routh’s Rel. Sac. I.
111-153, and in Otto’s Corp. Apol. IX. 374-478, and an English
translation in the Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. VIII. p. 750-762.

[1277] On Apolinarius and his writings, see chap. 27.

[1278] Marcus Aurelius.

[1279] The following list of Melito’s works is at many points very
uncertain, owing to the various readings of the mss. and versions. We
have as authorities for the text, the Greek mss. of Eusebius, the
History of Nicephorus, the translation of Rufinus, chap. 24 of Jerome’s
de vir. ill., and the Syriac version of this passage of Eusebius’
History, which has been printed by Cureton, in his Spic. Syr. p. 56 ff.

[1280] The quotation from this work given by Eusebius in S:7, perhaps
enables us to fix approximately the date at which it was written.
Rufinus reads Sergius Paulus, instead of Servilius Paulus, which is
found in all the Greek mss. Sergius Paulus is known to have had his
second consulship in 168, and it is inferred by Waddington that he was
proconsul about 164 to 166 (see Fastes des provinces Asiatiques, chap.
2, S:148). No Servilius Paulus is known in connection with the province
of Asia, and hence it seems probable that Rufinus is correct; and if
so, the work on the Passover was written early in the sixties. The
fragment which Eusebius gives in this chapter is the only part of his
work that is extant. It was undoubtedly in favor of the Quartodeciman
practice, for Polycrates, who was a decided Quartodeciman, cites Melito
in support of his position.

[1281] The exact reading at this point is disputed. I read, with a
number of mss. to peri politeias kai propheton, making but one work, On
the Conduct of Life and the Prophets. Many mss. followed by Valesius,
Heinichen, and Burton, read ta instead of to, thus making either two
works (one On the Conduct of Life, and the other On the Prophets), or
one work containing more than one book. Rufinus translates de optima
conversatione liber unus, sed et de prophetis, and the Syriac repeats
the preposition, as if it read kai peri politeias kai peri propheton.
It is not quite certain whether Rufinus and the Syriac thought of two
works in translating thus, or of only one. Jerome translates, de vita
prophetarum librum unum, and in accordance with this translation Otto
proposes to read ton propheton instead of kai propheton. But this is
supported by no ms. authority, and cannot be accepted. No fragments of
this work are extant.

[1282] ho peri ekklesias. Jerome, de ecclesia librum unum.

[1283] ho peri kuriakes logos. Jerome, de Die Dominica librum unum.

[1284] Valesius, Otto, Heinichen, and other editors, following the
majority of the mss., read peri phuseos anthropou, On the Nature of
Man. Four important mss., however, read peri pisteos anthropou, and
this reading is confirmed both by Rufinus and by the Syriac; whether by
Jerome also, as claimed by Harnack, is uncertain, for he omits both
this work and the one On the Obedience of Faith, given just below, and
mentions a de fide librum unum, which does not occur in Eusebius’ list,
and which may have arisen through mistake from either of the titles
given by Eusebius, or, as seems more probable, may have been derived
from the title of the work mentioned below, On the Creation and
Generation of Christ, as remarked in note 15. If this supposition be
correct, Jerome omits all reference to this work peri pisteos
anthropou. The text of Jerome is unfortunately very corrupt at this
point. In the present passage pisteos is better supported by tradition
than phuseos, and at the same time is the more difficult reading, and
hence I have adopted it as more probably representing the original.

[1285] ho peri plEURseos. Jerome, de plasmate librum unum.

[1286] All the Greek mss. combine these two titles into one, reading ho
peri hupakoes pisteos aistheterion: ”On the subjection (or obedience)
of the senses to faith.” This reading is adopted by Valesius,
Heinichen, Otto, and others; but Nicephorus reads ho peri hupakoes
pisteos, kai ho peri aistheterion, and Rufinus translates, de
obedientia fidei, de sensibus, both of them making two works, as I have
done in the text. Jerome leaves the first part untranslated, and reads
only de sensibus, while the Syriac reproduces only the words ho peri
hupakoes (or akoes) pisteos, omitting the second clause.
Christophorsonus, Stroth, Zimmermann, Burton, and Harnack consequently
read ho peri hupakoes pisteos, ho peri aistheterion, concluding that
the words ho peri after pisteos have fallen out of the Greek text. I
have adopted this reading in my translation.

[1287] A serious difficulty arises in connection with this title from
the fact that most of the Greek mss. read ho peri psuches kai somatos e
noos, while the Syriac, Rufinus, and Jerome omit the e noos entirely.
Nicephorus and two of the Greek mss. meanwhile read en en hois, which
is evidently simply a corruption of e noos, so that the Greek mss. are
unanimous for this reading. Otto, Cruse, and Salmon read kai noos, but
there is no authority for kai instead of e, and the change cannot be
admitted. The explanation which Otto gives (p. 376) of the change of e
to kai will not hold, as Harnack shows on p. 247, note 346. It seems to
me certain that the words e noos did not stand in the original, but
that the word noos, (either alone or preceded by e or kai) was written
upon the margin by some scribe perhaps as an alternative to psuches,
perhaps as an addition in the interest of trichotomy, and was later
inserted in the text after psuches and somatos, under the impression
that it was an alternative title of the book. My reasons for this
opinion are the agreement of the versions in the omission of noos, the
impossibility of explaining the e before noos in the original text, the
fact that in the Greek mss., in Rufinus, and in the Syriac, the words
kai peri psuches kai somatos are repeated further down in the list,–a
repetition which Harnack thinks was made inadvertently by Eusebius
himself, and which in omitting noos confirms the omission of it in the
present case,–and finally, a fact which seems to me decisive, but
which has apparently hitherto escaped notice, that the noos, follows
instead of precedes the somatos, and thus breaks the logical order,
which would certainly have been preserved in the title of a book.

[1288] ho peri loutrou; Jerome, de baptismate.

[1289] Apolinarius (according to chap. 27) also wrote a work On Truth,
and the place which it holds in that list, between an apologetical work
addressed to the Greeks and one addressed to the Jews, makes it
probable that it too bore an apologetic character, being perhaps
devoted to showing that Christianity is pre-eminently the truth.
Melito’s work on the same subject very likely bore a similar character,
as suggested by Salmon.

[1290] Six mss., with Nicephorus, read ktiseos, ”creation,” but five
mss., with the Syriac and Rufinus, and possibly Jerome, read pisteos.
The latter reading therefore has the strongest external testimony in
its favor, but must be rejected (with Stroth, Otto, Heinichen, Harnack,
etc.) as evidently a dogmatic correction of the fourth century, when
there was an objection to the use of the word ktisis in connection with
Christ. Rufinus divides the one work On the Creation and Generation of
Christ into two,–On Faith and On the Generation of Christ, and his
prophecy, connecting the second with the next-mentioned work. Jerome
omits the first clause entirely at this point, and translates simply de
generatione Christi librum unum. The de fide, however, which he inserts
earlier in his list, where there is no corresponding word in the Greek,
may be the title which he omits here (see above, note 9), displaced, as
the title de sensibus is also displaced. If this be true, he becomes
with Rufinus and the Syriac a witness to the reading pisteos instead of
ktiseos, and like Rufinus divides the one work of Eusebius into two.

[1291] All the Greek mss. read kai logos autou peri propheteias, which
can rightly mean only ”his work on Prophecy”; but Jerome translates de
prophetia sua librum unum, and Rufinus de prophetia ejus, while the
Syriac reads as if there stood in the Greek peri logou tes propheteias
autou. All three therefore connect the autou with the propheteias
instead of with the logos, which of course is much more natural, since
the autou with the logos seems quite unnecessary at this point. The
translation of the Syriac, Rufinus, and Jerome, however, would require
peri propheteias autou or peri tes autou propheteias, and there is no
sign that the autou originally stood in such connection with the
propheteias. We must, therefore, reject the rendering of these three
versions as incorrect.

[1292] peri philoxenias. After this title a few of the mss., with
Rufinus and the Syriac, add the words kai peri psuches kai somatos, a
repetition of a title already given (see above, note 12).

[1293] he kleis; Jerome, et alium librum qui Clavis inscribitur. The
word is omitted in the Syriac version. The nature of this work we have
no means of determining. It is possible that it was a key to the
interpretation of the Scriptures, designed to guide the reader in the
study especially of the figures of the prophecies (cf. Otto, p. 401)
and of the Apocalypse. Piper is right, however, in saying that it
cannot have been intended to supply the allegorical meaning of
Scripture words, like the extant Latin Clavis of Pseudo-Melito,
mentioned just below; for Melito, who like Tertullian taught the
corporeality of God, must have been very literal–not allegorical–in
his interpretation of Scripture. A Latin work bearing the title
Melitonis Clavis Sanctae Scripturae was mentioned by Labbe in 1653 as
contained in the library of Clermont College, and after years of search
was recovered and published by Pitra in 1855 in his Spicileg. Solesm.
Vols. II. and III. He regarded the work as a translation, though with
interpolations, of the genuine kleis of Melito, but this hypothesis has
been completely disproved (see the article by Steitz in the Studien und
Kritiken, 1857, p. 184 sqq.), and the work has been shown to be nothing
more than a mediaeval dictionary of allegorical interpolations of
Scripture, compiled from the Latin Fathers. There is, therefore, no
trace extant of Melito’s Key.

[1294] All the Greek mss. read kai ta peri tou diabolou, kai tes
apokalupseos ‘IoEURnnou, making but one work, with two or more books,
upon the general subject, The Devil and the Apocalypse of John. The
Syriac apparently agrees with the Greek in this respect (see Harnack,
p. 248, note 350); but Jerome and Rufinus make two works, the latter
reading de diabolo librum unum, de Apocalypsi Joannis librum unum.
Origen, in Psalm. III. (ed. Lommatzsch, XI. p. 411), says that Melito
treated Absalom as a type of the devil warring against the kingdom of
Christ. It has been conjectured that the reference may be to this work
of Melito’s, and that reference is an argument for the supposition that
Melito treated the devil and the Apocalypse in one work (cf. Harnack,
p. 248, and Smith and Wace, p. 898).

[1295] ho peri ensomEURtou theou. Jerome does not translate this
phrase, but simply gives the Greek. Rufinus renders de deo corpore
induto, thus understanding it to refer to the incarnation of God, and
the Syriac agrees with this rendering. But as Harnack rightly remarks,
we should expect, if this were the author’s meaning, the words peri
ensomatoseos theou, or rather logou. Moreover, Origen (Selecta in Gen.
I. 26; Lommatzsch, VIII. p. 49) enumerates Melito among those who
taught the corporeality of God, and says that he had written a work
peri tou ensomaton einai ton theon. It is possible, of course, that he
may not have seen Melito’s work, and that he may have misunderstood its
title and have mistaken a work on the incarnation for one on the
corporeality of God; but this is not at all likely. Either he had read
the book, and knew it to be upon the subject he states, or else he knew
from other sources that Melito believed in the corporeality of God, and
hence had no doubt that this work was upon that subject. There is no
reason in any case for doubting the accuracy of Origen’s statement, and
for hesitating to conclude that the work mentioned by Eusebius was upon
the corporeality of God. The close relationship existing between Melito
and Tertullian has already been referred to, and this fact furnishes
confirmation for the belief that Melito held God to be corporeal, for
we know Tertullian’s views on that subject. Gennadius (de eccles.
dogmat. chap. 4) classes Melito and Tertullian together, as both
teaching a corporeality in the Godhead. What was the source of his
statement, and how much dependence is to be put upon it, we cannot say,
but it is at least a corroboration of the conclusion already reached.
We conclude then that Rufinus and the Syriac were mistaken in their
rendering, and that this work discussed the corporeality, not the
incarnation, of God.

[1296] epi pasi kai to pros ‘Antoninon biblidion biblidion (libellus)
was the technical name for a petition addressed to the emperor, and
does not imply that the work was a brief one, as Piper supposes. The
Apology is mentioned also in chap. 13, above, and at the beginning of
this chapter. Jerome puts it first in his list, with the words: Melito
Asianus, Sardensis episcopus, librum imperatori M. Antonini Vero, qui
Frontonis oratoris discipulus fuit, pro christiano dogmate dedit. This
Apology is no longer extant, and we have only the fragments which
Eusebius gives in this chapter. As remarked in note 1, above, the
extant Syriac Apology is not a work of Melito’s. The Apology is
mentioned in Jerome’s version of the Chron., and is assigned to the
tenth year of Marcus Aurelius, 120 a.d. The notice is omitted in the
Armenian, which, however, assigns to the eleventh year of Marcus
Aurelius the Apology of Apolinarius, which is connected with that of
Melito in the Ch. Hist. Moreover, a notice of the Apology is given by
Syncellus in connection with the tenth year of Marcus Aurelius, and
also by the Chron. Pasch.; so that it is not improbable that Eusebius
himself mentioned it in his Chron., and that its omission in the
Armenian is a mistake (as Harnack thinks likely). But though the notice
may thus have been made by Eusebius himself, we are nevertheless not at
liberty to accept the date given as conclusive. We learn from the
quotations given by Eusebius that the work was addressed to the emperor
after the death of Lucius Verus, i.e. after the year 169. Whether
before or after the association of Commodus with his father in the
imperial power, which took place in 176, is uncertain; but I am
inclined to think that the words quoted in S:7, below, point to a
prospective rather than to a present association of Commodus in the
empire, and that therefore the work was written between 169 and 176. It
must be admitted, however, that we can say with certainty only that the
work was written between 169 and 180. Some would put the work at the
beginning of those persecutions which raged in 177, and there is much
to be said for this. But the dates of the local and minor persecutions,
which were so frequent during this period, are so uncertain that little
can be based upon the fact that we know of persecutions in certain
parts of the empire in 177. Piper, Otto, and others conclude from the
fact that the Apology is mentioned last by Eusebius that it was
Melito’s latest work; but that, though not at all unlikely, does not
necessarily follow (see above, note 1).

[1297] A Sagaris, bishop and martyr, and probably the same man, is
mentioned by Polycrates in his epistle to Victor (Euseb. V. 24) as
buried in Laodicea. This is all we know of him. The date of his
martyrdom, and of the composition of the work On the Passover, depends
upon the date of the proconsulship of Servilius (or Sergius) Paulus
(see above, note 5). The words empesontos kata kairon have
unnecessarily caused Salmon considerable trouble. The words kata kairon
mean no more than ”properly, regularly, according to appointment or
rule,” and do not render ekeinais tais hemerais superfluous, as he
thinks. The clause kai egrEURphe tauta (”and these were written”)
expresses result,–it was in consequence of the passover strife that
Melito wrote this work.

[1298] This work of Clement’s, On the Passover, which he says he wrote
on occasion of Melito’s work, was clearly written in reply to and
therefore against the work of Melito, not as a supplement to it, as
Hefele supposes (Conciliengesch. I. 299). The work of Clement (which is
mentioned by Eusebius, VI. 13, in his list of Clement’s writings) is no
longer extant, but some brief fragments of it have been preserved (see
Bk. VI. chap. 13, note 8).

[1299] This statement of Melito’s is a very remarkable one. See chap.
8, note 14.

[1300] The resemblance between this extract from Melito’s Apology and
the fifth chapter of Tertullian’s Apology is close enough to be
striking, and too close to be accidental. Tertullian’s chapter is quite
different from this, so far as its arrangement and language are
concerned, but the same thought underlies both: That the emperors in
general have protected Christianity; only Nero and Domitian, the most
wicked of them, have persecuted it; and that Christianity has been a
blessing to the reigns of all the better emperors. We cannot doubt that
Tertullian was acquainted with Melito’s Apology, as well as with others
of his works.

[1301] euktaios

[1302] The reference here seems to be to the common belief that the
Christians were responsible for all the evils which at any time
happened, such as earthquakes, floods, famines, etc.

[1303] aph’ hon kai to tes sukophantias alogo sunethei& 139; peri tous
toioutous rhuenai sumbebeke pseudos. The sentence is a difficult one
and has been interpreted in various ways, but the translation given in
the text seems to me best to express the writer’s meaning.

[1304] engrEURphos: i.e. in edicts or rescripts.

[1305] This epistle to Fundanus is given in chap. 9, above. Upon its
genuineness, see chap. 8, note 14.

[1306] On these epistles of Antoninus Pius, see chap. 13, note 9. These
ordinances to the Larissaeans, Thessalonians, Athenians, and all the
Greeks, are no longer extant. What their character must have been is
explained in the note just referred to.

[1307] peri touton.

[1308] en de tais grapheisais auto eklogais. Jerome speaks of this work
as ‘Eklogon, libros sex. There are no fragments of it extant except the
single one from the preface given here by Eusebius. The nature of the
work is clear from the words of Melito himself. It was a collection of
testimonies to Christ and to Christianity, drawn from the Old Testament
law and prophets. It must, therefore, have resembled closely such works
as Cyprian’s Testimonia, and the Testimonia of Pseudo-Gregory, and
other anti-Jewish works, in which the appeal was made to the Old
Testament–the common ground accepted by both parties–for proof of the
truth of Christianity. Although the Eclogae of Melito were not
anti-Jewish in their design, their character leads us to classify them
with the general class of anti-Jewish works whose distinguishing mark
is the use of Old Testament prophecy in defense of Christianity (cf.
the writer’s article on Christian Polemics against the Jews, in the
Pres. Review, July, 1888, and also the writer’s Dialogue between a
Christian and a Jew, entitled ‘Antibole Papiskou kai philonos, New
York, 1889). On the canon which Melito gives, see Bk. III. chap. 10,
note 1.

[1309] This Onesimus is an otherwise unknown person.

[1310] Some mss., with Rufinus, place Leviticus before Numbers, but the
best mss., followed by Heinichen, Burton, and others, give the opposite

[1311] psalmon Dabid. Literally, ”of the Psalms of David” [one book].

[1312] he kai Sophia: i.e. the Book of Proverbs (see above, p. 200).

[1313] Literally, ”in one book” (ton dodeka en monobiblo).

[1314] ,’Esdras: the Greek form of the Hebrew name E+Z+R+o#, Ezra.
Melito refers here to the canonical Book of Ezra, which, among the
Jews, commonly included our Ezra and Nehemiah (see Bk. III. chap. 10,
note 1).

Chapter XXVII.–Apolinarius, Bishop of the Church of Hierapolis.

A number of works of Apolinarius [1315] have been preserved by many,
and the following have reached us: the Discourse addressed to the
above-mentioned emperor, [1316] five books Against the Greeks, [1317]
On Truth, a first and second book, [1318] and those which he
subsequently wrote against the heresy of the Phrygians, [1319] which
not long afterwards came out with its innovations, [1320] but at that
time was, as it were, in its incipiency, since Montanus, with his false
prophetesses, was then laying the foundations of his error.

[1315] The first extant notice of Apolinarius is that of Serapion,
bishop of Antioch from about 192 to 209 (see Harnack, Zeit des
Ignatius, p. 46), in the epistle quoted by Eusebius in V. 19. We learn
from this notice that Apolinarius was already dead when Serapion wrote
(he calls him ”most blessed bishop”; makariotatos), and that he had
been a skillful opponent of Montanism. His name is not mentioned again,
so far as we know, by any Father of the second or third century. Jerome
(de vir. ill. 26) simply repeats the account of Eusebius, but in his
Epist. ad Magnum, c. 4 (Migne, I. 607), he enumerates Apolinarius among
those Christian writers who were acquainted with heathen literature,
and made use of it in the refutation of heresies. Photius (Cod. 14)
praises his literary style in high terms. Socrates (H. E. III. 7) names
Apolinarius with Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, and Serapion as
holding that the incarnate Christ had a human soul (zmpsuchon ton
enanthropesanta). Jerome, in his de vir. ill. chap. 18, mentions an
Apolinarius in connection with Irenaeus as a chiliast. But in his
Comment. in Ezech. Bk. XI. chap. 36, he speaks of Irenaeus as the
first, and Apolinarius as the last, of the Greek Millenarians, which
shows that some other Apolinarius is meant in that place, and therefore
without doubt in the former passage also; and in another place (Prooem.
in lib. XVIII. Comm. in Esaiam) he says that Apolinarius replied to
Dionysius of Alexandria on the subject of the Millenium, and we are
therefore led to conclude that Apolinarius, bishop of Laodicea (of the
fourth century), is meant (see Routh, Rel. Sac. I. 174). Of the bishops
of Hierapolis, besides Apolinarius, we know only Papias and Abircius
Marcellus (of whom we have a Martyrdom, belonging to the second
century; see Pitra, Spic. Solesm. III. 533), who, if he be identical
with the Abircius Marcellus of Eusebius, Bk. V. chap. 16 (as Harneck
conjectures) must have been bishop after, not before Apolinarius (see
note 6 on Bk. V. chap. 16). It is impossible to determine the exact
date of Apolinarius’ episcopate, or of his death. As we see from
Serapion’s notice of him, he must have been dead at least before 202.
And if Abircius Marcellus was bishop after him, and also bishop in the
second century, Apolinarius must have died some years before the year
200, and thus about the same time as Melito. The fact that he is
mentioned so commonly in connection with Melito, sometimes before and
sometimes after him, confirms this conclusion. The Chron. mentions him
as flourishing in the tenth (Syncellus and Jerome), or the eleventh
(Armenian) year of Marcus Aurelius. His Apology was addressed, as we
learn from Eusebius, to Marcus Aurelius; and the fact that only the one
emperor is mentioned may perhaps be taken (as some have taken it) as a
sign that it was written while Marcus Aurelius was sole emperor (i.e.
between 169 and 176). In Bk. V. chap. 5, Eusebius speaks of the story
of the thundering legion as recorded by Apolinarius, and it has been
thought (e.g. by Salmon, in the Dict. of Christ. Biog.) that this
circumstance was recorded in the Apology, which cannot then have been
written before the year 174. Harnack, however, remarks that this
venturesome report can hardly have stood in a work addressed to the
emperor himself. But that seems to assume that the story was not fully
believed by Apolinarius, which can hardly have been the case. The truth
is, the matter cannot be decided; and no more exact date can be given
for the Apology. Eusebius, in the present chapter, informs us that he
has seen four works by Apolinarius, but says that there were many
others extant in his day. In addition to the ones mentioned by
Eusebius, we know of a work of his, On the Passover (peri tou
pEURscha), which is mentioned by the Chron. Paschale, and two brief
fragments of which are preserved by it. These fragments have caused a
discussion as to whether Apolinarius was a Quartodeciman or not. The
language of the first fragment would seem to show clearly that he was
opposed to the Quartodecimans, and this explains the fact that he is
never cited by the later Quartodecimans as a witness for their
opinions. The tone of the work, however, as gathered from the
fragments, shows that it must have been written before the controversy
had assumed the bitter tone which it took when Victor became bishop of
Rome; i.e. it was written, probably, in the seventies (see, also, Bk.
V. chap. 23, note 1). Photius (Cod. 14) mentions three apologetic works
by Apolinarius known to him: pros ;’Ellenas, peri eusebeias, and peri
aletheias. The first and last are mentioned by Eusebius, but the second
is a work otherwise unknown to us. There is no reason to suppose, as
some have done, that the peri eusebeias does not designate a separate
work (cf. e.g., Donaldson, Hist. of Christ. Lit. and Doctrine, III.
243), for Eusebius expressly says that he mentions only a part of
Apolinarius’ writings. Theodoret (Haer. Fab. I. 21) mentions
Apolinarius, together with Musanus and Clement, as having written
against the Severians (see chap. 29, below). But, as Harnack justly
remarks (p. 235), the most we can conclude from this is that
Apolinarius in his Anti-Montanistic work, had mentioned the Severians
with disapproval. Five mss. of Eusebius, and the Church Hist. of
Nicephorus, mention just after the work On Truth, a work Against the
Jews, in two books (kai pros ‘Ioudaious proton kai deuteron). The words
are found in many of our editions, but are omitted by the majority of
the best Greek mss., and also by Rufinus and Jerome, and therefore must
be regarded as an interpolation; and so they are viewed by Heinichen,
Laemmer, Otto, Harnack, and others. Harnack suggests that they were
inserted under the influence of Bk. V. chap. 17, S:5, where the works
of Miltiades are given. We thus have knowledge of six, and only six,
distinct works of Apolinarius, though, since no writer has pretended to
give a complete list, it is quite probable that he wrote many others.

[1316] On the approximate date of this Apology, see the previous note.
No fragments of the work are now extant, unless the account of the
thundering legion mentioned by Eusebius in Bk. V. chap. 5 belong to it
(see the previous note). Jerome speaks of the work as an insigne
volumen pro fide Christianorum, and in chap. 26, S:1, Eusebius speaks
of it as logos huper tes pisteos. This has given rise to the idea that
the peri eusebeias mentioned by Photius may be identical with this
Apology (see the previous note). But such an important work would
certainly not have been mentioned with such an ambiguous title by
Photius. We may conclude, in fact, that Photius had not seen the
Apology. The Chron. Paschale mentions the Apology in connection with
those of ”Melito and many others,” as addressed to the Emperor Marcus

[1317] No fragments of this work are known to us. Nicephorus (H. E. IV.
11) says that it was in the form of a dialogue, and it is quite
possible that he speaks in this case from personal knowledge, for the
work was still extant in the time of Photius, who mentions it in Cod.
14 (see Harnack, p. 236).

[1318] No fragments of this work are extant, and its nature is unknown
to us. It may have resembled the work of Melito upon the same subject
(see the previous chapter). The work is mentioned by Photius as one of
three, which he had himself seen.

[1319] Eusebius states here that the works against the Montanists were
written later than the other works mentioned. Where he got this
information we do not know; it is possible, as Harnack suggests, that
he saw from the writings themselves that Marcus Aurelius was no longer
alive when they were composed. Eusebius speaks very highly of these
Anti-Montanistic works, and in Bk. V. chap. 16, S:1, he speaks of
Apolinarius as a ”powerful weapon and antagonist” of the Montanists.
And yet it is a remarkable fact that he does not take his account of
the Montanists from the works of Apolinarius, but from later writings.
This fact can be explained only as Harnack explains it by supposing
that Apolinarius was not decided and clear enough in his opposition to
the sect. The writer from whom Eusebius quotes is certainly strong
enough in his denunciations to suit Eusebius or any one else. Eusebius’
statement, that the Montanistic movement was only beginning at the time
Apolinarius wrote against it (i.e. according to him between 175 and
180), is far from the truth (see on this subject, Bk. V. chap. 16, note
12). How many of these works Apolinarius wrote, and whether they were
books, or merely letters, we do not know. Eusebius says simply kai ha
meta tauta sunegrapse. Serapion (in Eusebius, Bk. V. chap. 19) calls
them grEURmmata, which Jerome (de vir. ill. chap. 41) translates
litteras. These grEURmmata are taken as ”letters” by Valesius, Stroth,
Danz, and Salmon; but Otto contends that the word grEURmmata, in the
usage of Eusebius (cf. Eusebius, V. 28. 4), properly means ”writings”
or ”books” (scripta or libri), not ”letters,” and so the word is
translated by Closs. The word itself is not absolutely decisive, but it
is more natural to translate it ”writings,” and the circumstances of
the case seem to favor that rather than the rendering ”letters.” I have
therefore translated it thus in Bk. VI. chap. 19. On the life and
writings of Apolinarius, see especially Salmon’s article in the Dict.
of Christ. Biog. and Harnack’s Texte und Untersuch. I. 1, 232-239. The
few extant fragments of his works are published by Routh (I. 151-174),
and by Otto (IX. 479-495); English translation in the Ante-Nicene
Fathers, VIII. 772.

[1320] kainotometheises

Chapter XXVIII.–Musanus and His Writings.

And as for Musanus, [1321] whom we have mentioned among the foregoing
writers, a certain very elegant discourse is extant, which was written
by him against some brethren that had gone over to the heresy of the
so-called Encratites, [1322] which had recently sprung up, and which
introduced a strange and pernicious error. It is said that Tatian was
the author of this false doctrine.

[1321] Of this Musanus, we know only what Eusebius tells us here, for
Jerome (de vir. ill. 31) and Theodoret (Haer. Fab. I. 21) simply repeat
the account of Eusebius. It is clear from Eusebius’ language, that he
had not himself seen this work of Musanus; he had simply heard of it.
Here, and in chap. 21, Eusebius assigns the activity of Musanus to the
reign of Marcus Aurelius, making him a contemporary of Melito,
Apolinarius, Irenaeus, &c. But in the Chron. he is put much later. The
Armenian version, under the year of Abr. 2220 (the eleventh year of
Septimius), has the entry Musanus noster scriptor cognoscebatur.
Jerome, under the same year (2220 of Abr., but twelfth year of Severus)
has Musanus nostrae filosofiae scriptor agnoscitur; while Syncellus,
under the year of Abr. 2231 (fourth year of Caracalla) has Mousianos
ekklesiastikos sungrapheus egnorizeto. All of them, therefore, speak of
Musanus (or Musianus) as a writer, but do not specify any of his works.
The dates in the Chron. (whichever be taken as original) and in the
History are not mutually exclusive; at the same time it is clear that
Eusebius was not working upon the same information in the two cases. We
have no means of testing the correctness of either statement.

[1322] On Tatian and the Encratites, see the next chapter.

Chapter XXIX.–The Heresy of Tatian. [1323]

1. He is the one whose words we quoted a little above [1324] in regard
to that admirable man, Justin, and whom we stated to have been a
disciple of the martyr. Irenaeus declares this in the first book of his
work Against Heresies, where he writes as follows concerning both him
and his heresy: [1325]

2. ”Those who are called Encratites, [1326] and who sprung from
Saturninus [1327] and Marcion, preached celibacy, setting aside the
original arrangement of God and tacitly censuring him who made male and
female for the propagation of the human race. They introduced also
abstinence from the things called by them animate, [1328] thus showing
ingratitude to the God who made all things. And they deny the salvation
of the first man. [1329]

3. But this has been only recently discovered by them, a certain Tatian
being the first to introduce this blasphemy. He was a hearer of Justin,
and expressed no such opinion while he was with him, but after the
martyrdom of the latter he left the Church, and becoming exalted with
the thought of being a teacher, and puffed up with the idea that he was
superior to others, he established a peculiar type of doctrine of his
own, inventing certain invisible aeons like the followers of
Valentinus, [1330] while, like Marcion and Saturninus, he pronounced
marriage to be corruption and fornication. His argument against the
salvation of Adam, however, he devised for himself.” Irenaeus at that
time wrote thus.

4. But a little later a certain man named Severus [1331] put new
strength into the aforesaid heresy, and thus brought it about that
those who took their origin from it were called, after him, Severians.

5. They, indeed, use the Law and Prophets and Gospels, but interpret in
their own way the utterances of the Sacred Scriptures. And they abuse
Paul the apostle and reject his epistles, and do not accept even the
Acts of the Apostles.

6. But their original founder, Tatian, formed a certain combination and
collection of the Gospels, I know not how, [1332] to which he gave the
title Diatessaron, [1333] and which is still in the hands of some. But
they say that he ventured to paraphrase certain words of the apostle,
[1334] in order to improve their style.

7. He has left a great many writings. Of these the one most in use
among many persons is his celebrated Address to the Greeks, [1335]
which also appears to be the best and most useful of all his works. In
it he deals with the most ancient times, and shows that Moses and the
Hebrew prophets were older than all the celebrated men among the
Greeks. [1336] So much in regard to these men.

[1323] From his Oratio (chap. 42) we learn that Tatian was born in
Assyria, and that he was early educated in Greek philosophy, from which
we may conclude that he was of Greek parentage,–a conclusion confirmed
by the general tone of the Oratio (cf. Harnack, Ueberlieferung der
Griech. Apol. p. 199 sq., who refutes Zahn’s opinion that Tatian was a
Syrian by race). We learn from his Oratio also that he was converted to
Christianity in mature life (cf. chap. 29 sq.). From the passage quoted
in the present chapter from Irenaeus, we learn that Tatian, after the
death of Justin (whose disciple he was; see also chap. 16, above), fell
into heresy, and the general fact is confirmed by Tertullian,
Hippolytus, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, and others. Beyond these
meager notices we have little information in regard to Tatian’s life.
Rhodo (quoted in Bk. V. chap. 13, below) mentions him, and ”confesses”
that he was a pupil of Tatian’s in Rome, perhaps implying that this was
after Tatian had left the Catholic Church (though inasmuch as the word
”confesses” is Eusebius’, not Rhodo’s, we can hardly lay the stress
that Harnack does upon its use in this connection). Epiphanius gives
quite an account of Tatian in his Haer. XLVI. 1, but as usual he falls
into grave errors (especially in his chronology). The only trustworthy
information that can be gathered from him is that Tatian, after
becoming a Christian, returned to Mesopotamia and taught for a while
there (see Harnack, ibid. p. 208 sq.). We learn from his Oratio that he
was already in middle life at the time when he wrote it, i.e. about 152
a.d. (see note 13, below), and as a consequence it is commonly assumed
that he cannot have been born much later than 110 a.d. Eusebius in his
Chron. (XII. year of Marcus Aurelius, 172 a.d.) says, Tatianus
haereticus agnoscitur, a quo Encratitae. There is no reason to doubt
that this represents with reasonable accuracy the date of Tatian’s
break with the Catholic Church. We know at any rate that it did not
take place until after Justin’s death (165 a.d.). In possession of
these various facts in regard to Titian, his life has been constructed
in various ways by historians, but Harnack seems to have come nearest
to the truth in his account of him on p. 212 sq. He holds that he was
converted about 150, but soon afterward left for the Orient, and while
there wrote his Oratio ad Graecos; that afterward he returned to Rome
and was an honored teacher in the Church for some time but finally
becoming heretical, broke with the Church about the year 172. The
arguments which Harnack urges over against Zahn (who maintains that he
was but once in Rome, and that he became a heretic in the Orient and
spent the remainder of his life there) seem fully to establish his main
positions. Of the date, place, and circumstances of Tatian’s death, we
know nothing. Eusebius informs us in this chapter that Titian left ”a
great many writings,” but he mentions the titles of only two, the
Address to the Greeks and the Diatessaron (see below, notes 11 and 13).
He seems, however, in S:6, to refer to another work on the Pauline
Epistles,–a work of which we have no trace anywhere else, though we
learn from Jerome’s preface to his Commentary on Titus that Tatian
rejected some of Paul’s epistles, as Marcion did, but unlike Marcion
accepted the epistle to Titus. We know the titles of some other works
written by Tatian. He himself, in his Oratio 15, mentions a work which
he had written On Animals. The work is no longer extant, nor do we know
anything about it. Rhodo (as we are told by Eusebius in Bk. V. chap.
13) mentioned a book of Problems which Titian had written. Of this,
too, all traces have perished. Clement of Alexandria (Strom. III. 12)
mentions an heretical work of Tatian’s, entitled peri tou kata ton
sotera katartismou, On Perfection according to the Saviour, which has
likewise perished. Clement (as also Origen) was evidently acquainted
with still other heretical works, especially one on Genesis (see below,
note 7), but he mentions the title only of the one referred to. Rufinus
(H.E. VI. 11) says that Tatian composed a Chronicon, which we hear
about from no other writer. Malalas calls Tatian a chronographer, but
he is evidently thinking of the chronological passages in his Oratio,
and in the absence of all trustworthy testimony we must reject Rufinus’
notice as a mistake. In his Oratio, chap. 40, Tatian speaks of a work
Against those who have discoursed on Divine Things, in which he intends
to show ”what the learned among the Greeks have said concerning our
polity and the history of our laws and how many and what kind of men
have written of these things.” Whether he ever wrote the work or not we
do not know; we find no other notice of it. Upon Tatian, see especially
Zahn’s Tatian’s Diatessaron and Harnack’s Ueberlieferung, &c., p. 196;
also Donaldson’s Hist. of Christ. Lit. and Doct. II. p. 3 sqq., and J.
M. Fuller’s article in the Dict. of Christ. Biog.

[1324] In chap. 16.

[1325] Irenaeus, Adv. Haer. I. 28. 1.

[1326] ‘Enkrateis, a word meaning ”temperate” or ”continent.” These
Encratites were heretics who abstained from flesh, from wine, and from
marriage, not temporarily but permanently, and because of a belief in
the essential impurity of those things. They are mentioned also by
Hippolytus (Phil. VIII. 13), who calls them enkratitai; by Clement of
Alexandria (Paed. II. 2, Strom. I. 15, &c.), who calls them enkratetai;
by Epiphanius (Haer. 47), who agrees with Hippolytus in the form of the
name, and by others. The Encratites whom Irenaeus describes seem to
have constituted a distinct sect, anti-Jewish and Gnostic in its
character. As described by Hippolytus they appear to have been mainly
orthodox in doctrine but heretical in their manner of life, and we may
perhaps gather the same thing from Clement’s references to them. It is
evident, therefore, that Irenaeus and the others are not referring to
the same men. So Theodoret, Haer. Fab. I. 21, speaks of the Severian
Encratites; but the Severians, as we learn from this chapter of
Eusebius and from Epiphanius (Haer. XLV.), were Ebionitic and
anti-Pauline in their tendencies–the exact opposites, therefore, of
the Encratites referred to by Irenaeus. That there was a distinct sect
of Encratites of the character described by Irenaeus cannot be denied,
but we must certainly conclude that the word was used very commonly in
a wider sense to denote men of various schools who taught excessive and
heretical abstinence. Of course the later writers may have supposed
that they all belonged to one compact sect, but it is certain that they
did not. As to the particular sect which Irenaeus describes, the
statement made by Eusebius at the close of the preceding chapter is
incorrect, if we are to accept Irenaeus’ account. For the passage
quoted in this chapter states that they sprung from Marcion and
Saturninus, evidently implying that they were not founded by Tatian,
but that he found them already in existence when he became heretical.
It is not surprising, however that his name should become connected
with them as their founder–for he was the best-known man among them.
That the Encratites as such (whether a single sect or a general
tendency) should be opposed by the Fathers, even by those of ascetic
tendencies, was natural. It was not always easy to distinguish between
orthodox and heretical asceticism, and yet there was felt to be a
difference. The fundamental distinction was held by the
Church–whenever it came to self-consciousness on the subject–to lie
in the fact that the heretics pronounced the things from which they
abstained essentially evil in themselves, thus holding a radical
dualism, while the orthodox abstained only as a matter of discipline.
The distinction, it is true, was not always preserved, but it was this
essentially dualistic principle of the Encratites which the early
Fathers combated; it is noticeable, however, that they do not expend as
much vigor in combating it as in refuting errors in doctrine. In fact,
they seem themselves to have been somewhat in doubt as to the proper
attitude to take toward these extreme ascetics.

[1327] On Saturninus and on Marcion, see chap. 7, note 6, and 11, note
15. On their asceticism, see especially Irenaeus, Adv. Haer. I. 24.

[1328] ton legomenon empsuchon: i.e. animal food in general.

[1329] Cf. Irenaeus, Adv. Haer. III. 23, where this opinion of Tatian’s
is refuted at considerable length. The opinion seems a little peculiar,
but was a not unnatural consequence of Tatian’s strong dualism, and of
his doctrine of a conditional immortality for those who have been
reunited with the Holy Spirit who took his departure at the time of the
fall (cf. especially his Oratio, chap. 15). That Adam, who, by his
fall, brought about this separation, which has been of such direful
consequence to the race, should be saved, was naturally to Titian a
very repugnant thought. He seems, moreover, to have based his opinion,
as Donaldson remarks, upon exegetical grounds interpreting the passage
in regard to Adam (1 Cor. xv. 22) as meaning that Adam is and remains
the principle of death, and as such, of course, cannot himself enjoy
life (see Irenaeus, ibid.). This is quite in accord with the
distinction between the psychical and physical man which he draws in
his Oratio. It is quite possible that he was moved in part also by the
same motive which led Marcion to deny the salvation of Abraham and the
other patriarchs (see Irenaeus, Adv. Haer. I. 27 and IV. 8), namely,
the opposition between the God of the Old Testament and the Christ of
the New Testament, which led him to assert that those who depended on
the former were lost. We learn from Clement (Strom. III. 12) and from
Origen (de Orat. chap. 24) that among Tatian’s heretical works was one
in which he discussed the early chapters of Genesis and perhaps it was
in this work that he developed his peculiar views’ in regard to Adam.

[1330] On Valentinus, see chap. 11, note 1. That Tatian was Gnostic in
many of his tendencies is plain enough not only from these words of
Irenaeus, but also from the notices of him in other writers (cf.
especially Hippolytus, Phil. VIII. 9). To what extent he carried his
Gnosticism, however, and exactly in what it consisted, we cannot tell.
He can hardly have been a pronounced follower of Valentinus and a
zealous defender of the doctrine of AEons, or we should find him
connected more prominently with that school. He was, in fact, a decided
eclectic, and a follower of no one school, and doubtless this subject,
like many others, occupied but a subordinate place in his speculations.

[1331] That the Severians, whoever they were, were Encratites in the
wide sense, that is, strict abstainers from flesh, wine, and marriage,
cannot be denied (compare with this description of Eusebius that of
Epiphanius in Haer. XLV., also Theodoret’s Haer. Fab. I. 21, who says
that Apolinarius wrote against the Severian Encratites,–a sign that
the Severians and the Encratites were in some way connected in
tradition even though Theodoret’s statement may be unreliable). But
that they were connected with Tatian and the Encratitic sect to which
he belonged, as Eusebius states, is quite out of the question. Tatian
was a decided Paulinist (almost as much so as Marcion himself). He
cannot, therefore, have had anything to do with this Ebionitic,
anti-Pauline sect, known as the Severians. Whether there was ever such
a person as Severus, or whether the name arose later to explain the
name of the sect (possibly taken from the Latin severus, ”severe,” as
Salmon suggests), as the name Ebion was invented to explain the term
Ebionites, we do not know. We are ignorant also of the source from
which Eusebius took his description of the Severians, as we do not find
them mentioned in any of the earlier anti-heretical works. Eusebius
must have heard, as Epiphanius did, that they were extreme ascetics,
and this must have led him, in the absence of specific information as
to their exact position, to join them with Tatian and the
Encratites,–a connection which can be justified on no other ground.

[1332] ouk oid’ hopos. Eusebius clearly means to imply in these words
that he was not acquainted with the Diatessaron. Lightfoot, it is true,
endeavors to show that these words may mean simply disapproval of the
work, and not ignorance in regard to it. But his interpretation is an
unnatural one, and has been accepted by few scholars.

[1333] to dia tessEURron. Eusebius is the first one to mention this
Diatessaron, and he had evidently not seen it himself. After him it is
not referred to again until the time of Epiphanius, who in his Haer.
XLVI. 1 incorrectly identifies it with the Gospel according to the
Hebrews, evidently knowing it only by hearsay. Theodoret (Haer. Fab. I.
20) informs us that he found a great many copies of it in circulation
in his diocese, and that, finding that it omitted the account of our
Lord’s birth, he replaced it by the four Gospels, fearing the mischief
which must result from the use of such a mutilated Gospel. In the
Doctrine of Addai (ed. Syr. and Engl. by G. Phillips, 1876), which
belongs to the third century, a Diatessaron is mentioned which is
without doubt to be identified with the one under consideration (see
Zahn I. p. 90 sq.). Meanwhile we learn from the preface to Dionysius
bar Salibi’s Commentary on Mark (see Assemani, Bibl. Or. I. 57), that
Ephraem wrote a commentary upon the Diatessaron of Tatian (Tatianus
Justini Philosophi ac Martyris Discipulus, ex quator Evangeliis unum
digessit, quod Diatessaron nuncupavit. Hunc librum Sanctus Ephraem
commentariis illustravit). Ephraem’s commentary still exists in an
Armenian version (published at Venice in 1836, and in Latin in 1876 by
Moesinger). There exists also a Latin Harmony of the Gospels, which is
without doubt a substantial reproduction of Tatian’s Diatessaron, and
which was known to Victor of Capua (of the sixth century). From these
sources Zahn has attempted to reconstruct the text of the Diatessaron,
and prints the reconstructed text, with a critical commentary, in his
Tatian’s Diatessaron. Zahn maintains that the original work was written
in Syriac, and he is followed by Lightfoot, Hilgenfeld, Fuller, and
others; but Harnack has given very strong reasons for supposing that it
was composed by Tatian in Greek, and that the Syriac which Ephraem used
was a translation of that original, not the original itself. Both Zahn
and Harnack agree, as do most other scholars, that the work was written
before Tatian became a heretic, and with no heretical intent. Inasmuch
as he later became a heretic, however, his work was looked upon with
suspicion, and of course in later days, when so much stress was laid
(as e.g. by Irenaeus) upon the fourfold Gospel, Christians would be
naturally distrustful of a single Gospel proposed as a substitute for
them. It is not surprising, therefore, that the work failed to find
acceptance in the Church at large. For further particulars, see
especially Zahn’s monograph, which is the most complete and exhaustive
discussion of the whole subject. See also Harnack’s Ueberlieferung der
Griech. Apologeten, p. 213 ff., Fuller’s article referred to in note 1,
the article by Lightfoot in the Contemporary Review for May, 1877, and
those by Wace in the Expositor for 1881 and 1882.

[1334] i.e. of Paul, who was quite commonly called simply ho apostolos.
This seems to imply that Tatian wrote a work on Paul’s epistles (see
note 1, above).

[1335] logos ho pros ;’Ellenas: Oratio ad Graecos. This work is still
extant, and is one of the most interesting of the early apologies. The
standpoint of the author is quite different from that of Justin, for he
treats Greek philosophy with the greatest contempt, and finds nothing
good in it. As remarked in note 1, above, the Oratio was probably
written after Tatian had left Rome for the first time, but not long
after his conversion. We may follow Harnack (p. 196) in fixing upon 152
to 153 as an approximate date. The work is printed with a Latin
translation and commentary in Otto’s Corp. Apol. Vol. VI. The best
critical edition is that of Schwartz, in v. Gebhardt and Harnack’s
Texte und Untersuchungen, IV. 1 (Leipzig, 1888), though it contains
only the Greek text. An English translation is given in the Ante-Nicene
Fathers, Vol. II. p. 59-83.

[1336] Tatian devotes a number of chapters to this subject (XXXI.,
XXXV.-XLI). Eusebius mentions him, with Clement, Africanus, Josephus,
and Justus, in the preface to his Chron. (Schoene, II. p. 4), as a
witness to the antiquity of Moses, and it is probable that Julius
Africanus drew from him in the composition of his chronological work
(cf. Harnack, ibid. p. 224). Clement of Alexandria likewise made large
use of his chronological results (see especially his Strom. I. 21), and
Origen refers to them in his Contra Cels. I. 16. It was largely on
account of these chapters on the antiquity of Moses that Tatian’s
Oratio was held in such high esteem, while his other works disappeared.

Chapter XXX.–Bardesanes the Syrian and his Extant Works.

1. In the same reign, as heresies were abounding in the region between
the rivers, [1337] a certain Bardesanes, [1338] a most able man and a
most skillful disputant in the Syriac tongue, having composed dialogues
against Marcion’s followers and against certain others who were authors
of various opinions, committed them to writing in his own language,
together with many other works. His pupils, [1339] of whom he had very
many (for he was a powerful defender of the faith), translated these
productions from the Syriac into Greek.

2. Among them there is also his most able dialogue On Fate, [1340]
addressed to Antoninus, and other works which they say he wrote on
occasion of the persecution which arose at that time. [1341]

3. He indeed was at first a follower of Valentinus, [1342] but
afterward, having rejected his teaching and having refuted most of his
fictions, he fancied that he had come over to the more correct opinion.
Nevertheless he did not entirely wash off the filth of the old heresy.

About this time also Soter, [1344] bishop of the church of Rome,
departed this life.

[1337] i.e. Mesopotamia: epi tes meses ton potamon.

[1338] Bardesanes or Bardaisan (Greek, BardesEURnes), a distinguished
Syrian scholar, poet, and theologian, who lived at the court of the
king of Edessa, is commonly classed among the Gnostics, but, as Hort
shows, without sufficient reason. Our reports in regard to him are very
conflicting. Epiphanius and Barhebraeus relate that he was at first a
distinguished Christian teacher, but afterward became corrupted by the
doctrines of Valentinus. Eusebius on the other hand says that he was
originally a Valentinian, but afterward left that sect and directed his
attacks against it. Moses of Chorene gives a similar account. To
Hippolytus he appeared as a member of the Eastern school of
Valentinians, while to Ephraem the Syrian he seemed in general one of
the most pernicious of heretics, who nevertheless pretended to be
orthodox, veiling his errors in ambiguous language, and thus carrying
away many of the faithful. According to Hort, who has given the subject
very careful study, ”there is no reason to suppose that Bardesanes
rejected the ordinary faith of the Christians as founded on the Gospels
and the writings of the apostles, except on isolated points. The more
startling peculiarities of which we hear belong for the most part to an
outer region of speculation, which it may easily have seemed possible
to combine with Christianity, more especially with the undeveloped
Christianity of Syria in the third century. The local color is
everywhere prominent. In passing over to the new faith Bardaisan could
not shake off the ancient glamour of the stars, or abjure the Semitic
love of clothing thoughts in mythological forms.” This statement
explains clearly enough the reputation for heresy which Bardesanes
enjoyed in subsequent generations. There is no reason to think that he
taught a system of aeons like the Gnostics, but he does seem to have
leaned toward docetism, and also to have denied the proper resurrection
of the body. Ephraem accuses him of teaching Polytheism, in effect if
not in words, but this charge seems to have arisen from a
misunderstanding of his mythological forms; he apparently maintained
always the supremacy of the one Christian God. There is nothing in his
theology itself to imply Valentinian influence, but the traditions to
that effect are too strong to be entirely set aside. It is not
improbable that he may, as Eusebius says, have been a Valentinian for a
time, and afterward, upon entering the orthodox church, have retained
some of the views which he gained under their influence. This would
explain the conflicting reports of his theology. It is not necessary to
say more about his beliefs. Hort’s article in Smith and Wace’s Dict. of
Christ. Biog. contains an excellent discussion of the subject, and the
student is referred to that. The followers of Bardesanes seem to have
emphasized those points in which he differed with the Church at large,
and thus to have departed further from catholic orthodoxy. Undoubtedly
Ephraem (who is our most important authority for a knowledge of
Bardesanes) knows him only through his followers, who were very
numerous throughout the East in the fourth century, and hence passes a
harsher judgment upon him than he might otherwise have done. Ephraem
makes the uprooting of the ”pernicious heresy” one of his foremost
duties. Eusebius in this chapter, followed by Jerome (de vir. ill.
chap. 33), Epiphanius, Theodoret, and others, assigns the activity of
Bardesanes to the reign of Marcus Aurelius (so also in the Chron.). But
Hort says that according to the Chronicle of Edessa (Assemani, Bibl.
Or. I. 389) he was born July 11, 155, and according to Barhebraeus
(Chron. Eccl. ed. Abbeloos and Lamy, p. 49) he died in 223 at the age
of sixty-eight, which confirms the date of his birth given by the
Chronicle of Edessa. These dates are accepted as correct by Hilgenfeld
and Hort, and the error committed by Eusebius and those who followed
him is explained by their confusion of the later with the earlier
Antonines, a confusion which was very common among the Fathers. His
writings, as stated by Eusebius, Epiphanius, Theodoret, and others,
were very numerous, and were translated (at least many of them) into
Greek. The dialogues against the Marcionists and other heretics are
mentioned also by Theodoret (Haer. Fab. I. 22) and by Barhebraeus.
Epiphanius (who apparently had some independent knowledge of the man
and his followers) mentions (Haer. LVI.) an Apology ”in which he
resisted Apollonius, the companion of Antoninus, when urged to deny
that he was a Christian.” This was probably one of the many works which
Eusebius says he wrote on occasion of the persecution which arose at
the time. The Dialogue on Fate is said by Eusebius, followed by Rufinus
and Jerome, to have been addressed to Antoninus. Epiphanius says that
in this work he ”copiously refuted Avidas the astronomer,” and it is
quite possible that Eusebius’ statement rests upon a confusion of the
names Avidas and Antoninus, for it is difficult to conceive that the
work can have been addressed to an emperor, and in any case it cannot
have been addressed to Marcus Aurelius, whom Eusebius here means. This
Dialogue on Fate is identified either wholly or in part with a work
entitled Book of the Laws of Countries, which is still extant in the
original Syriac, and has been published with an English translation by
Cureton in his Spicileg. Syr. A fragment of this work is given in
Eusebius’ Praep. Evang. VI. 9-10, and, until the discovery of the
Syriac text of the entire work, this was all that we had of it. This is
undoubtedly the work referred to by Eusebius, Epiphanius, and other
Fathers, but it is no less certain that it was not written by
Bardesanes himself. As Hort remarks, ”the natural impulse to confuse
the author with the chief interlocutor in an anonymous dialogue will
sufficiently explain the early ascription of the Dialogue to Bardaisan
himself by the Greek Fathers.” It was undoubtedly written by one of
Bardesanes’ disciples, probably soon after his death, and it is quite
likely that it does not depart widely from the spirit of Bardesanes’
teaching. Upon Bardesanes, see, in addition to Hort’s article, the
monograph of Merx, Bardesanes von Edessa (Halle, 1863), and that of
Hilgenfeld, Bardesanes, der Letzte Gnostiker (Leipz. 1864).

[1339] gnorimoi

[1340] See note 2.

[1341] Hort conjectures that Caracalla, who spent the winter of 216 in
Edessa, and threw the Prince Bar-Manu into captivity, may have allied
himself with a party which was discontented with the rule of that
prince, and which instituted a heathen reaction, and that this was the
occasion of the persecution referred to here, in which Bardesanes
proved his firmness in the faith as recorded by Epiphanius.

[1342] See note 2.

[1343] It is undoubtedly quite true, as remarked in note 2, that
Bardesanes, after leaving Valentianism, still retained views acquired
under its influence, and that these colored all his subsequent
thinking. This fact may have been manifest to Eusebius, who had
evidently read many of Bardesanes’ works, and who speaks here as if
from personal knowledge.

[1344] On Soter, see chap. 19, note 2.