Book 5:1

Book V.


1. Soter, [1345] bishop of the church of Rome, died after an episcopate
of eight years, and was succeeded by Eleutherus, [1346] the twelfth
from the apostles. In the seventeenth year of the Emperor Antoninus
Verus, [1347] the persecution of our people was rekindled more fiercely
in certain districts on account of an insurrection of the masses in the
cities; and judging by the number in a single nation, myriads suffered
martyrdom throughout the world. A record of this was written for
posterity, and in truth it is worthy of perpetual remembrance.

2. A full account, containing the most reliable information on the
subject, is given in our Collection of Martyrdoms, [1348] which
constitutes a narrative instructive as well as historical. I will
repeat here such portions of this account as may be needful for the
present purpose.

3. Other writers of history record the victories of war and trophies
won from enemies, the skill of generals, and the manly bravery of
soldiers, defiled with blood and with innumerable slaughters for the
sake of children and country and other possessions.

4. But our narrative of the government of God [1349] will record in
ineffaceable letters the most peaceful wars waged in behalf of the
peace of the soul, and will tell of men doing brave deeds for truth
rather than country, and for piety rather than dearest friends. It will
hand down to imperishable remembrance the discipline and the much-tried
fortitude of the athletes of religion, the trophies won from demons,
the victories over invisible enemies, and the crowns placed upon all
their heads.

[1345] On Soter, see above, Bk. IV. chap. 19, note 2.

[1346] Eusebius in his Chronicle gives the date of Eleutherus’
accession as the seventeenth year of Marcus Aurelius (177 a.d.), and
puts his death into the reign of Pertinax (192), while in chap. 22 of
the present book he places his death in the tenth year of Commodus
(189). Most of our authorities agree in assigning fifteen years to his
episcopate, and this may be accepted as undoubtedly correct. Most of
them, moreover, agree with chap. 22 of this book, in assigning his
death to the tenth year of Commodus, and this too may be accepted as
accurate. But with these two data we are obliged to push his accession
back into the year 174 (or 175), which is accepted by Lipsius (see his
Chron. der r�m. Bisch�fe, p. 184 sq.). We must therefore suppose that
he became bishop some two years before the outbreak of the persecution
referred to just below, in the fourteenth or fifteenth year of Marcus
Aurelius. In the Armenian version of the Chron. Eleutherus is called
the thirteenth bishop of Rome (see above, Bk. IV. chap. 19, note 5),
but this is a mistake, as pointed out in the note referred to.
Eleutherus is mentioned in Bk. IV, chap. 11, in connection with
Hegesippus, and also in Bk. IV. chap. 22, by Hegesippus himself. He is
chiefly interesting because of his connection with Iren�us and the
Gallican martyrs (see chap. 4, below), and his relation to the
Montanistic controversy (see chap. 3). Bede, in his Hist. Eccles.,
chap. 4, connects Eleutherus with the origin of British Christianity,
but the tradition is quite groundless. One of the decretals and a
spurious epistle are falsely ascribed to him.

[1347] i.e., the seventeenth year of the reign of Marcus Aurelius, a.d.
177 (upon Eusebius’ confusion of Marcus Aurelius with Lucius Verus, see
below, p. 390, note). In the Chron. the persecution at Lyons and Vienne
is associated with the seventh year of Marcus Aurelius (167), and
consequently some (e.g. Blondellus, Stroth, and Jachmann), have
maintained that the notice in the present passage is incorrect, and
Jachmann has attacked Eusebius very severely for the supposed error.
The truth is, however, that the notice in the Chron. (in the Armenian,
which represents the original form more closely than Jenner’s version
does) is not placed opposite the seventh year of Marcus Aurelius (as
the notices in the Chron. commonly are), but is placed after it, and
grouped with the notice of Polycarp’s martyrdom, which occurred, not in
167, but in 155 or 156 (see above, Bk. IV. chap. 15, note 2). It would
seem, as remarked by Lightfoot (Ignatius, I. p. 630), that Eusebius
simply connected together the martyrdoms which he supposed occurred
about this time, without intending to imply that they all took place in
the same year. Similar groupings of kindred events which occurred at
various times during the reign of an emperor are quite common in the
Chron. (cf. the notices of martyrdoms under Trajan and of apologies and
rescripts under Hadrian). Over against the distinct statement of the
history, therefore, in the present instance, the notice in the Chron.
is of no weight. Moreover, it is clear from the present passage that
Eusebius had strong grounds for putting the persecution into the time
of Eleutherus, and the letter sent by the confessors to Eleutherus (as
recorded below in chap. 4) gives us also good reason for putting the
persecution into the time of his episcopate. But Eleutherus cannot have
become bishop before 174 (see Lipsius’ Chron. der r�m. Bisch�fe, p. 184
sq., and note 2, above). There is no reason, therefore, for doubting
the date given here by Eusebius.

[1348] All the mss. read marturon, but I have followed Valesius (in his
notes) and Heinichen in reading marturion, which is supported by the
version of Rufinus (de singulorum martyriis), and which is the word
used by Eusebius in all his other references to the work (Bk. IV. chap.
15 and Bk. V. chaps. 4 and 21), and is in fact the proper word to be
employed after sunagoge, ”collection.” We speak correctly of a
”collection of martyrdoms,” not of a ”collection of martyrs,” and I
cannot believe that Eusebius, in referring to a work of his own, used
the wrong word in the present case. Upon the work itself, see the
Prolegomena, p. 30, of this volume.

[1349] tou kata theon politeumatos, with the majority of the mss.
supported by Rufinus. Some mss., followed by Stroth, Burton, and
Schwegler, read kath’ hemas instead of kata theon (see Heinichen’s note
in loco). Christophorsonus translates divinam vivendi rationem, which
is approved by Heinichen. But the contrast drawn seems to be rather
between earthly kingdoms, or governments, and the kingdom, or
government, of God; and I have, therefore, preferred to give politeuma
its ordinary meaning, as is done by Valesius (divin� reipublic�),
Stroth (Republik Gottes), and Closs (Staates Gottes).

Chapter I.–The Number of those who fought for Religion in Gaul Under
Verus and the Nature of their Conflicts.

1. The country in which the arena was prepared for them was Gaul, of
which Lyons and Vienne [1350] are the principal and most celebrated
cities. The Rhone passes through both of them, flowing in a broad
stream through the entire region.

2. The most celebrated churches in that country sent an account of the
witnesses [1351] to the churches in Asia and Phrygia, relating in the
following manner what was done among them.

I will give their own words. [1352]

3. ”The servants of Christ residing at Vienne and Lyons, in Gaul, to
the brethren through out Asia and Phrygia, who hold the same faith and
hope of redemption, peace and grace and glory from God the Father and
Christ Jesus our Lord.”

4. Then, having related some other matters, they begin their account in
this manner: ”The greatness of the tribulation in this region, and the
fury of the heathen against the saints, and the sufferings of the
blessed witnesses, we cannot recount accurately, nor indeed could they
possibly be recorded.

5. For with all his might the adversary fell upon us, giving us a
foretaste of his unbridled activity at his future coming. He endeavored
in every manner to practice and exercise his servants against the
servants of God, not only shutting us out from houses and baths and
markets, but forbidding any of us to be seen in any place whatever.

6. But the grace of God led the conflict against him, and delivered the
weak, and set them as firm pillars, able through patience to endure all
the wrath of the Evil One. And they joined battle with him, undergoing
all kinds of shame and injury; and regarding their great sufferings as
little, they hastened to Christ, manifesting truly that the sufferings
of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which
shall be revealed to us-ward.’ [1353]

7. First of all, they endured nobly the injuries heaped upon them by
the populace; clamors and blows and draggings and robberies and
stonings and imprisonments, [1354] and all things which an infuriated
mob delight in inflicting on enemies and adversaries.

8. Then, being taken to the forum by the chiliarch [1355] and the
authorities of the city, they were examined in the presence of the
whole multitude, and having confessed, they were imprisoned until the
arrival of the governor.

9. When, afterwards, they were brought before him, and he treated us
with the utmost cruelty, Vettius Epagathus, [1356] one of the brethren,
and a man filled with love for God and his neighbor, interfered. His
life was so consistent that, although young, he had attained a
reputation equal to that of the elder Zacharias: for he walked in all
the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless,’ [1357] and was
untiring in every good work for his neighbor, zealous for God and
fervent in spirit. Such being his character, he could not endure the
unreasonable judgment against us, but was filled with indignation, and
asked to be permitted to testify in behalf of his brethren, that there
is among us nothing ungodly or impious.

10. But those about the judgment seat cried out against him, for he was
a man of distinction; and the governor refused to grant his just
request, and merely asked if he also were a Christian. And he,
confessing this with a loud voice, was himself taken into the order
[1358] of the witnesses, being called the Advocate of the Christians,
but having the Advocate [1359] in himself, the Spirit [1360] more
abundantly than Zacharias. [1361] He showed this by the fullness of his
love, being well pleased even to lay down his life [1362] in defense of
the brethren. For he was and is a true disciple of Christ, following
the Lamb whithersoever he goeth.’ [1363]

11. ”Then the others were divided, [1364] and the proto-witnesses were
manifestly ready, and finished their confession with all eagerness. But
some appeared unprepared and untrained, weak as yet, and unable to
endure so great a conflict. About ten of these proved abortions, [1365]
causing us great grief and sorrow beyond measure, and impairing the
zeal of the others who had not yet been seized, but who, though
suffering all kinds of affliction, continued constantly with the
witnesses and did not forsake them.

12. Then all of us feared greatly on account of uncertainty as to their
confession; not because we dreaded the sufferings to be endured, but
because we looked to the end, and were afraid that some of them might
fall away.

13. But those who were worthy were seized day by day, filling up their
number, so that all the zealous persons, and those through whom
especially our affairs had been established, were collected together
out of the two churches.

14. And some of our heathen servants also were seized, as the governor
had commanded that all of us should be examined publicly. These, being
ensnared by Satan, and fearing for themselves the tortures which they
beheld the saints endure, [1366] and being also urged on by the
soldiers, accused us falsely of Thyestean banquets and OEdipodean
intercourse, [1367] and of deeds which are not only unlawful for us to
speak of or to think, but which we cannot believe were ever done by

15. When these accusations were reported, all the people raged like
wild beasts against us, so that even if any had before been moderate on
account of friendship, they were now exceedingly furious and gnashed
their teeth against us. And that which was spoken by our Lord was
fulfilled: The time will come when whosoever killeth you will think
that he doeth God service.’ [1368]

16. Then finally the holy witnesses endured sufferings beyond
description, Satan striving earnestly that some of the slanders might
be uttered by them also. [1369]

17. ”But the whole wrath of the populace, and governor, and soldiers
was aroused exceedingly against Sanctus, the deacon from Vienne, [1370]
and Maturus, a late convert, yet a noble combatant, and against
Attalus, a native of Pergamos [1371] where he had always been a pillar
and foundation, and Blandina, through whom Christ showed that things
which appear mean and obscure and despicable to men are with God of
great glory, [1372] through love toward him manifested in power, and
not boasting in appearance.

18. For while we all trembled, and her earthly mistress, who was
herself also one of the witnesses, feared that on account of the
weakness of her body, she would be unable to make bold confession,
Blandina was filled with such power as to be delivered and raised above
those who were torturing her by turns from morning till evening in
every manner, so that they acknowledged that they were conquered, and
could do nothing more to her. And they were astonished at her
endurance, as her entire body was mangled and broken; and they
testified that one of these forms of torture was sufficient to destroy
life, not to speak of so many and so great sufferings.

19. But the blessed woman, like a noble athlete, renewed her strength
in her confession; and her comfort and recreation and relief from the
pain of her sufferings was in exclaiming, I am a Christian, and there
is nothing vile done by us.’

20. ”But Sanctus also endured marvelously and superhumanly [1373] all
the outrages which he suffered. While the wicked men hoped, by the
continuance and severity of his tortures to wring something from him
which he ought not to say, he girded himself against them with such
firmness that he would not even tell his name, or the nation or city to
which he belonged, or whether he was bond or free, but answered in the
Roman tongue to all their questions, I am a Christian.’ He confessed
this instead of name and city and race and everything besides, and the
people heard from him no other word.

21. There arose therefore on the part of the governor and his
tormentors a great desire to conquer him; but having nothing more that
they could do to him, they finally fastened red-hot brazen plates to
the most tender parts of his body.

22. And these indeed were burned, but he continued unbending and
unyielding, firm in his confession, and refreshed and strengthened by
the heavenly fountain of the water of life, flowing from the bowels of

23. And his body was a witness of his sufferings, being one complete
wound and bruise, drawn out of shape, and altogether unlike a human
form. Christ, suffering in him, manifested his glory, delivering him
from his adversary, and making him an ensample for the others, showing
that nothing is fearful where the love of the Father is, and nothing
painful where there is the glory of Christ.

24. For when the wicked men tortured him a second time after some days,
supposing that with his body swollen and inflamed to such a degree that
he could not bear the touch of a hand, if they should again apply the
same instruments, they would overcome him, or at least by his death
under his sufferings others would be made afraid, not only did not this
occur, but, contrary to all human expectation, his body arose and stood
erect in the midst of the subsequent torments, and resumed its original
appearance and the use of its limbs, so that, through the grace of
Christ, these second sufferings became to him, not torture, but

25. ”But the devil, thinking that he had already consumed Biblias, who
was one of those who had denied Christ, desiring to increase her
condemnation through the utterance of blasphemy, [1374] brought her
again to the torture, to compel her, as already feeble and weak, to
report impious things concerning us.

26. But she recovered herself under the suffering, and as if awaking
from a deep sleep, and reminded by the present anguish of the eternal
punishment in hell, she contradicted the blasphemers. How,’ she said,
could those eat children who do not think it lawful to taste the blood
even of irrational animals?’ And thenceforward she confessed herself a
Christian, and was given a place in the order of the witnesses.

27. ”But as the tyrannical tortures were made by Christ of none effect
through the patience of the blessed, the devil invented other
contrivances,–confinement in the dark and most loathsome parts of the
prison, stretching of the feet to the fifth hole in the stocks, [1375]
and the other outrages which his servants are accustomed to inflict
upon the prisoners when furious and filled with the devil. A great many
were suffocated in prison, being chosen by the Lord for this manner of
death, that he might manifest in them his glory.

28. For some, though they had been tortured so cruelly that it seemed
impossible that they could live, even with the most careful nursing,
yet, destitute of human attention, remained in the prison, being
strengthened by the Lord, and invigorated both in body and soul; and
they exhorted and encouraged the rest. But such as were young, and
arrested recently, so that their bodies had not become accustomed to
torture, were unable to endure the severity of their confinement, and
died in prison.

29. ”The blessed Pothinus, who had been entrusted with the bishopric of
Lyons, was dragged to the judgment seat. He was more than ninety years
of age, and very infirm, scarcely indeed able to breathe because of
physical weakness; but he was strengthened by spiritual zeal through
his earnest desire for martyrdom. Though his body was worn out by old
age and disease, his life was preserved that Christ might triumph in

30. When he was brought by the soldiers to the tribunal, accompanied by
the civil magistrates and a multitude who shouted against him in every
manner as if he were Christ himself, he bore noble witness.

31. Being asked by the governor, Who was the God of the Christians, he
replied, If thou art worthy, thou shalt know.’ Then he was dragged away
harshly, and received blows of every kind. Those near him struck him
with their hands and feet, regardless of his age; and those at a
distance hurled at him whatever they could seize; all of them thinking
that they would be guilty of great wickedness and impiety if any
possible abuse were omitted. For thus they thought to avenge their own
deities. Scarcely able to breathe, he was cast into prison and died
after two days.

32. ”Then a certain great dispensation of God occurred, and the
compassion of Jesus appeared beyond measure, [1376] in a manner rarely
seen among the brotherhood, but not beyond the power of Christ.

33. For those who had recanted at their first arrest were imprisoned
with the others, and endured terrible sufferings, so that their denial
was of no profit to them even for the present. But those who confessed
what they were were imprisoned as Christians, no other accusation being
brought against them. But the first were treated afterwards as
murderers and defiled, and were punished twice as severely as the

34. For the joy of martyrdom, and the hope of the promises, and love
for Christ, and the Spirit of the Father supported the latter; but
their consciences so greatly distressed the former that they were
easily distinguishable from all the rest by their very countenances
when they were led forth.

35. For the first went out rejoicing, glory and grace being blended in
their faces, so that even their bonds seemed like beautiful ornaments,
as those of a bride adorned with variegated golden fringes; and they
were perfumed with the sweet savor of Christ, [1377] so that some
supposed they had been anointed with earthly ointment. But the others
were downcast and humble and dejected and filled with every kind of
disgrace, and they were reproached by the heathen as ignoble and weak,
bearing the accusation of murderers, and having lost the one honorable
and glorious and life-giving Name. The rest, beholding this, were
strengthened, and when apprehended, they confessed without hesitation,
paying no attention to the persuasions of the devil.”

36. After certain other words they continue:

”After these things, finally, their martyrdoms were divided into every
form. [1378] For plaiting a crown of various colors and of all kinds of
flowers, they presented it to the Father. It was proper therefore that
the noble athletes, having endured a manifold strife, and conquered
grandly, should receive the crown, great and incorruptible.

37. ”Maturus, therefore, and Sanctus and Blandina and Attalus were led
to the amphitheater to be exposed to the wild beasts, and to give to
the heathen public a spectacle of cruelty, a day for fighting with wild
beasts being specially appointed on account of our people.

38. Both Maturus and Sanctus passed again through every torment in the
amphitheater, as if they had suffered nothing before, or rather, as if,
having already conquered their antagonist in many contests, [1379] they
were now striving for the crown itself. They endured again the
customary running of the gauntlet [1380] and the violence of the wild
beasts, and everything which the furious people called for or desired,
and at last, the iron chair in which their bodies being roasted,
tormented them with the fumes.

39. And not with this did the persecutors cease, but were yet more mad
against them, determined to overcome their patience. But even thus they
did not hear a word from Sanctus except the confession which he had
uttered from the beginning.

40. These, then, after their life had continued for a long time through
the great conflict, were at last sacrificed, having been made
throughout that day a spectacle to the world, in place of the usual
variety of combats.

41. ”But Blandina was suspended on a stake, and exposed to be devoured
by the wild beasts who should attack her. [1381] And because she
appeared as if hanging on a cross, and because of her earnest prayers,
she inspired the combatants with great zeal. For they looked on her in
her conflict, and beheld with their outward eyes, in the form of their
sister, him who was crucified for them, that he might persuade those
who believe on him, that every one who suffers for the glory of Christ
has fellowship always with the living God.

42. As none of the wild beasts at that time touched her, she was taken
down from the stake, and cast again into prison. She was preserved thus
for another contest, that, being victorious in more conflicts, she
might make the punishment of the crooked serpent irrevocable; [1382]
and, though small and weak and despised, yet clothed with Christ the
mighty and conquering Athlete, she might arouse the zeal of the
brethren, and, having overcome the adversary many times might receive,
through her conflict, the crown incorruptible.

43. ”But Attalus was called for loudly by the people, because he was a
person of distinction. He entered the contest readily on account of a
good conscience and his genuine practice in Christian discipline, and
as he had always been a witness for the truth among us.

44. He was led around the amphitheater, a tablet being carried before
him on which was written in the Roman language This is Attalus the
Christian,’ and the people were filled with indignation against him.
But when the governor learned that he was a Roman, he commanded him to
be taken back with the rest of those who were in prison concerning whom
he had written to C�sar, and whose answer he was awaiting.

45. ”But the intervening time was not wasted nor fruitless to them; for
by their patience the measureless compassion of Christ was manifested.
For through their continued life the dead were made alive, and the
witnesses showed favor to those who had failed to witness. And the
virgin mother had much joy in receiving alive those whom she had
brought forth as dead. [1383]

46. For through their influence many who had denied were restored, and
re-begotten, and rekindled with life, and learned to confess. And being
made alive and strengthened, they went to the judgment seat to be again
interrogated by the governor; God, who desires not the death of the
sinner, [1384] but mercifully invites to repentance, treating them with

47. For C�sar commanded that they should be put to death, [1385] but
that any who might deny should be set free. Therefore, at the beginning
of the public festival [1386] which took place there, and which was
attended by crowds of men from all nations, the governor brought the
blessed ones to the judgment seat, to make of them a show and spectacle
for the multitude. Wherefore also he examined them again, and beheaded
those who appeared to possess Roman citizenship, but he sent the others
to the wild beasts.

48. ”And Christ was glorified greatly in those who had formerly denied
him, for, contrary to the expectation of the heathen, they confessed.
For they were examined by themselves, as about to be set free; but
confessing, they were added to the order of the witnesses. But some
continued without, who had never possessed a trace of faith, nor any
apprehension of the wedding garment, [1387] nor an understanding of the
fear of God; but, as sons of perdition, they blasphemed the Way through
their apostasy.

49. But all the others were added to the Church. While these were being
examined, a certain Alexander, a Phrygian by birth, and physician by
profession, who had resided in Gaul for many years, and was well known
to all on account of his love to God and boldness of speech (for he was
not without a share of apostolic grace), standing before the judgment
seat, and by signs encouraging them to confess, appeared to those
standing by as if in travail.

50. But the people being enraged because those who formerly denied now
confessed, cried out against Alexander as if he were the cause of this.
Then the governor summoned him and inquired who he was. And when he
answered that he was a Christian, being very angry he condemned him to
the wild beasts. And on the next day he entered along with Attalus. For
to please the people, the governor had ordered Attalus again to the
wild beasts.

51. And they were tortured in the amphitheater with all the instruments
contrived for that purpose, and having endured a very great conflict,
were at last sacrificed. Alexander neither groaned nor murmured in any
manner, but communed in his heart with God.

52. But when Attalus was placed in the iron seat, and the fumes arose
from his burning body, he said to the people in the Roman language: Lo!
this which ye do is devouring men; but we do not devour men; nor do any
other wicked thing.’ And being asked, what name God has, he replied,
God has not a name as man has.’

53. ”After all these, on the last day of the contests, Blandina was
again brought in, with Ponticus, a boy about fifteen years old. They
had been brought every day to witness the sufferings of the others, and
had been pressed to swear by the idols. But because they remained
steadfast and despised them, the multitude became furious, so that they
had no compassion for the youth of the boy nor respect for the sex of
the woman.

54. Therefore they exposed them to all the terrible sufferings and took
them through the entire round of torture, repeatedly urging them to
swear, but being unable to effect this; for Ponticus, encouraged by his
sister so that even the heathen could see that she was confirming and
strengthening him, having nobly endured every torture, gave up the

55. But the blessed Blandina, last of all, having, as a noble mother,
encouraged her children and sent them before her victorious to the
King, endured herself all their conflicts and hastened after them, glad
and rejoicing in her departure as if called to a marriage supper,
rather than cast to wild beasts.

56. And, after the scourging, after the wild beasts, after the roasting
seat, [1388] she was finally enclosed in a net, and thrown before a
bull. And having been tossed about by the animal, but feeling none of
the things which were happening to her, on account of her hope and firm
hold upon what had been entrusted to her, and her communion with
Christ, she also was sacrificed. And the heathen themselves confessed
that never among them had a woman endured so many and such terrible

57. ”But not even thus was their madness and cruelty toward the saints
satisfied. For, incited by the Wild Beast, wild and barbarous tribes
were not easily appeased, and their violence found another peculiar
opportunity in the dead bodies. [1389]

58. For, through their lack of manly reason, the fact that they had
been conquered did not put them to shame, but rather the more enkindled
their wrath as that of a wild beast, and aroused alike the hatred of
governor and people to treat us unjustly; that the Scripture might be
fulfilled: He that is lawless, let him be lawless still, and he that is
righteous, let him be righteous still.’ [1390]

59. For they cast to the dogs those who had died of suffocation in the
prison, carefully guarding them by night and day, lest any one should
be buried by us. And they exposed the remains left by the wild beasts
and by fire, mangled and charred, and placed the heads of the others by
their bodies, and guarded them in like manner from burial by a watch of
soldiers for many days.

60. And some raged and gnashed their teeth against them, desiring to
execute more severe vengeance upon them; but others laughed and mocked
at them, magnifying their own idols, and imputed to them the punishment
of the Christians. Even the more reasonable, and those who had seemed
to sympathize somewhat, reproached them often, saying, Where is their
God, and what has their religion, which they have chosen rather than
life, profited them?’

61. So various was their conduct toward us; but we were in deep
affliction because we could not bury the bodies. For neither did night
avail us for this purpose, nor did money persuade, nor entreaty move to
compassion; but they kept watch in every way, as if the prevention of
the burial would be of some great advantage to them.”

In addition, they say after other things:

62 . ”The bodies of the martyrs, having thus in every manner been
exhibited and exposed for six days, were afterward burned and reduced
to ashes, and swept into the Rhone by the wicked men, so that no trace
of them might appear on the earth.

63. And this they did, as if able to conquer God, and prevent their new
birth; that,’ as they said, they may have no hope of a resurrection,
[1391] through trust in which they bring to us this foreign and new
religion, and despise terrible things, and are ready even to go to
death with joy. Now let us see if they will rise again, and if their
God is able to help them, and to deliver them out of our hands.'”

[1350] Lougdounos kai Bienna, the ancient Lugdunum and Vienna, the
modern Lyons and Vienne in southeastern France.

[1351] marturon. This word is used in this and the following chapters
of all those that suffered in the persecution, whether they lost their
lives or not, and therefore in a broader sense than our word ”martyr.”
In order, therefore, to avoid all ambiguity I have translated the word
in every case ”witness,” its original significance. Upon the use of the
words m?rtur and m?rtus in the early Church, see Bk. III. chap. 32,
note 15.

[1352] The fragments of this epistle, preserved by Eusebius in this and
the next chapter, are printed with a commentary by Routh, in his Rel.
Sacr�. I. p. 285 sq., and an English translation is given in the
Ante-Nicene Fathers, VIII. p. 778 sq. There can be no doubt as to the
early date and reliability of the epistle. It bears no traces of a
later age, and contains little of the marvelous, which entered so
largely into the spurious martyrologies of a later day. Its genuineness
is in fact questioned by no one so far as I am aware. It is one of the
most beautiful works of the kind which we have, and well deserves the
place in his History which Eusebius has accorded it. We may assume that
we have the greater part of the epistle in so far as it related to the
martyrdoms. Ado, in his Mart., asserts that forty-eight suffered
martyrdom, and even gives a list of their names. It is possible that he
gained his information from the epistle itself, as given in its
complete form in Eusebius’ Collection of Martyrdoms; but I am inclined
to think rather that Eusebius has mentioned if not all, at least the
majority of the martyrs referred to in the epistle, and that therefore
Ado’s list is largely imaginary. Eusebius’ statement, that a
”multitude” suffered signifies nothing, for muria was a very indefinite
word, and might be used of a dozen or fifteen as easily as of
forty-eight. To speak of the persecution as ”wholesale,” so that it was
not safe for any Christian to appear out of doors (Lightfoot, Ignatius,
Vol. I. p. 499), is rather overstating the case. The persecution must,
of course, whatever its extent, appear terrible to the Christians of
the region; but a critical examination of the epistle itself will
hardly justify the extravagant statements which are commonly made in
regard to the magnitude and severity of the persecution. It may have
been worse than any single persecution that had preceded it, but sinks
into insignificance when compared with those which took place under
Decius and Diocletian. It is interesting to notice that this epistle
was especially addressed to the Christians of Asia and Phrygia. We know
that Southern Gaul contained a great many Asia Minor people, and that
the intercourse between the two districts was very close. Iren�us, and
other prominent Christians of Gaul, in the second and following
centuries, were either natives of Asia Minor, or had pursued their
studies there; and so the Church of the country always bore a
peculiarly Greek character, and was for some centuries in sympathy and
in constant communication with the Eastern Church. Witness, for
instance, the rise and spread of semi-Pelagianism there in the fifth
century,–a simple reproduction in its main features of the
anthropology of the Eastern Church. Doubtless, at the time this epistle
was written, there were many Christians in Lyons and Vienne, who had
friends and relations in the East, and hence it was very natural that
an epistle should be sent to what might be called, in a sense, the
mother churches. Valesius expressed the opinion that Iren�us was the
author of this epistle; and he has been followed by many other
scholars. It is possible that he was, but there are no grounds upon
which to base the opinion, except the fact that Iren�us lived in Lyons,
and was, or afterward became, a writer. On the other hand, it is
significant that no tradition has connected the letter with Iren�us’
name, and that even Eusebius has no thought of such a connection. In
fact, Valesius’ opinion seems to me in the highest degree improbable.

[1353] Rom. viii. 18.

[1354] Of course official imprisonment cannot be referred to here. It
may be that the mob did actually shut Christians up in one or another
place, or it may mean simply that their treatment was such that the
Christians were obliged to avoid places of public resort and were
perhaps even compelled to remain somewhat closely at home, and were
thus in a sense ”imprisoned.”

[1355] chiliarches, strictly the commander of a thousand men, but
commonly used also to translate the Latin Tribunus militum.

[1356] Of the various witnesses mentioned in this chapter (Vettius
Epagathus, Sanctus, Attalus, Blandina, Biblias, Pothinus, Maturus,
Alexander, Ponticus) we know only what this epistle tells us. The
question has arisen whether Vettius Epagathus really was a martyr.
Renan (Marc Aur�le, p. 307) thinks that he was not even arrested, but
that the words ”taken into the number of martyrs” (�10, below) imply
simply that he enjoyed all the merit of martyrdom without actually
undergoing any suffering. He bases his opinion upon the fact that
Vettius is not mentioned again among the martyrs whose sufferings are
recorded, and also upon the use of the words, ”He was and is a true
disciple” (�10, below). It is quite possible, however, that Vettius,
who is said to have been a man of high station, was simply beheaded as
a Roman citizen, and therefore there was no reason for giving a
description of his death; and still further the words, ”taken into the
order of witnesses,” and also the words used in �10, ”being well
pleased to lay down his life,” while they do not prove that he suffered
martyrdom, yet seem very strongly to imply that he did, and the
quotation from the Apocalypse in the same paragraph would seem to
indicate that he was dead, not alive, at the time the epistle was
written. On the whole, it may be regarded as probable, though not
certain, that Vettius was one of the martyrs. Valesius refers to
Gregory of Tours (H. E. chaps. 29, 31) as mentioning a certain senator
who was ”of the lineage of Vettius Epagathus, who suffered for the name
of Christ at Lyons.” Gregory’s authority is not very great, and he may
in this case have known no more about the death of Vettius than is told
in the fragment which we still possess, so that his statement can
hardly be urged as proof that Vettius did suffer martyrdom. But it may
be used as indicating that the latter was of a noble family, a fact
which is confirmed in �10, below, where he is spoken of as a man of

[1357] Luke i. 6.

[1358] kleron, employed in the sense of ”order,” ”class,” ”category.”
Upon the significance of the word kleros in early Christian literature,
see Ritschl’s exhaustive discussion in his Entstehung der
altkatholischen Kirche, 2d ed., p. 388 sq.

[1359] par?kleton; cf. John xiv. 16.

[1360] pneuma is omitted by three important mss. followed by Laemmer
and Heinichen. Burton retains the word in his text, but rejects it in a
note. They are possibly correct, but I have preferred to follow the
majority of the codices, thinking it quite natural that Eusebius should
introduce the pneuma in connection with Zacharias, who is said to have
been filled with the ”Spirit,” not with the ”Advocate,” and thinking
the omission of the word by a copyist, to whom it might seem quite
superfluous after par?kleton, much easier than its insertion.

[1361] See Luke i. 67

[1362] Compare John xv. 13.

[1363] Rev. xiv. 4.

[1364] diekrinonto. Valesius finds in this word a figure taken from the
athletic combats; for before the contests began the combatants were
examined, and those found eligible were admitted (eiskrinesthai), while
the others were rejected (ekkrinesthai).

[1365] exetrosan, with Stroth, Zimmermann, Schwegler, Burton, and
Heinichen. exepeson has perhaps a little stronger ms. support, and was
read by Rufinus, but the former word, as Valesius remarks, being more
unusual than the latter, could much more easily be changed into the
latter by a copyist than the latter into the former.

[1366] Gieseler (Ecclesiastical History, Harper’s edition, I. p. 127)
speaks of this as a violation of the ancient law that slaves could not
be compelled to testify against their masters; but it is to be noticed
that it is not said in the present case that they were called upon to
testify against their masters, but only that through fear of what might
come upon them they yielded to the solicitation of the soldiers and
uttered falsehoods against their masters. It is not implied therefore
that any illegal methods were employed in this respect by the officials
in connection with the trials.

[1367] i.e. of cannibalism and incest; for according to classic legend
Thyestes had unwittingly eaten his own sons served to him at a banquet
by an enemy, and OEdipus had unknowingly married his own mother. Upon
the terrible accusations brought against the Christians by their
heathen enemies, see above, Bk. IV. chap. 7, note 20.

[1368] John xvi. 2.

[1369] kai di’ ekeinon rhethenai ti ton blasphemon. The word blasphemon
evidently refers here to the slanderous reports against the Christians
such as had been uttered by those mentioned just above. This is made
clear, as Valesius remarks, by the kai di’ ekeinon, ”by them also.”

[1370] Valesius maintains that Sanctus was a deacon of the church of
Lyons, and that the words apo Biennes signify only that he was a native
of Vienne, but it is certainly more natural to understand the words as
implying that he was a deacon of the church of Vienne, and it is not at
all difficult to account for his presence in Lyons and his martyrdom
there. Indeed, it is evident that the church of Vienne was personally
involved in the persecution as well as that of Lyons. Cf. �13, above.

[1371] Pergamos in Asia Minor (mentioned in Rev. ii. 12, and the seat
of a Christian church for a number of centuries) is apparently meant
here. As already remarked, the connection between the inhabitants of
Gaul and of Asia Minor was very close.

[1372] Cf. 1 Cor. i. 27, 28.

[1373] huper p?nta anthropon.

[1374] Blasphemy against Christianity, not against God or Christ; that
is, slanders against the Christians (cf. �14, above), as is indicated
by the words that follow (so Valesius also).

[1375] See Bk. IV. chap. 16, note 9.

[1376] The compassion of Jesus appeared not in the fact that those who
denied suffered such terrible punishments, but that the difference
between their misery in their sufferings and the joy of the faithful in
theirs became a means of strength and encouragement to the other
Christians. Compare the note of Heinichen (III. p. 180).

[1377] Cf. 2 Cor. ii. 15. Cf. also Bk. IV. chap. 15, �37, above.

[1378] meta tauta de loipon eis pan eidos diereito ta marturia tes
exodou auton.

[1379] dia pleionon kleron; undoubtedly a reference to the athletic
combats (see Valesius’ note in loco).

[1380] tas diexodous ton mastigon tas ekeise eithismenas. It was the
custom to compel the bestiarii before fighting with wild beasts to run
the gauntlet. Compare Shorting’s and Valesius’ notes in loco, and
Tertullian’s ad Nationes, 18, and ad Martyras, 5, to which the latter

[1381] Among the Romans crucifixion was the mode of punishment commonly
inflicted upon slaves and the worst criminals. Roman citizens were
exempt from this indignity. See Lipsius’ De Cruce and the various
commentaries upon the Gospel narratives of the crucifixion of Christ.

[1382] Compare Isa. xxvii. 1, which is possibly referred to here.

[1383] hos nekrous exetrose. Compare �11, above.

[1384] Ezek. xxxiii. 11.

[1385] apotumpanisthenai. The word means literally ”beaten to death,”
but it is plain that it is used in a general sense here, from the fact
that some were beheaded and some sent to the wild beasts, as we are
told just below.

[1386] Renan (Marc Aur�le, p. 329) identifies this with the meeting of
the general assembly of the Gallic nations, which took place annually
in the month of August for the celebration of the worship of Augustus,
and was attended with imposing ceremonies, games, contests, &c. The
identification is not at all improbable.

[1387] Cf. Matt. xxii. 11.

[1388] teganon: literally, ”frying-pan,” by which, however, is
evidently meant the instrument of torture spoken of already more than
once in this chapter as an iron seat or chair.

[1389] The Christians were very solicitous about the bodies of the
martyrs, and were especially anxious to give them decent burial, and to
preserve the memory of their graves as places of peculiar religious
interest and sanctity. They sometimes went even to the length of
bribing the officials to give them the dead bodies (cf. �61, below).

[1390] Rev. xxii. 11. The citation of the Apocalypse at this date as
Scripture (hina he graphe plerothe) is noteworthy.

[1391] These words show us how much emphasis the Christians of that day
must have laid upon the resurrection of the body (an emphasis which is
abundantly evident from other sources), and in what a sensuous and
material way they must have taught the doctrine, or at least how
unguarded their teaching must have been, which could lead the heathen
to think that they could in the slightest impede the resurrection by
such methods as they pursued. The Christians, in so far as they laid so
much emphasis as they did upon the material side of the doctrine, and
were so solicitous about the burial of their brethren, undoubtedly were
in large part responsible for this gross misunderstanding on the part
of the heathen.

Chapter II.–The Martyrs, beloved of God, kindly ministered unto those
who fell in the Persecution.

1. Such things happened to the churches of Christ under the
above-mentioned emperor, [1392] from which we may reasonably conjecture
the occurrences in the other provinces. It is proper to add other
selections from the same letter, in which the moderation and compassion
of these witnesses is recorded in the following words:

2. ”They were also so zealous in their imitation of Christ,–who, being
in the form of God, counted it not a prize to be on an equality with
God,’ [1393] –that, though they had attained such honor, and had borne
witness, not once or twice, but many times,–having been brought back
to prison from the wild beasts, covered with burns and scars and
wounds,–yet they did not proclaim themselves witnesses, nor did they
suffer us to address them by this name. If any one of us, in letter or
conversation, spoke of them as witnesses, they rebuked him sharply.

3. For they conceded cheerfully the appellation of Witness to Christ
the faithful and true Witness,’ [1394] and firstborn of the dead,’
[1395] and prince of the life of God; [1396] and they reminded us of
the witnesses who had already departed, and said, They are already
witnesses whom Christ has deemed worthy to be taken up in their
confession, having sealed their testimony by their departure; but we
are lowly and humble confessors.’ [1397] And they besought the brethren
with tears that earnest prayers should be offered that they might be
made perfect. [1398]

4. They showed in their deeds the power of testimony,’ manifesting
great boldness toward all the brethren, and they made plain their
nobility through patience and fearlessness and courage, but they
refused the title of Witnesses as distinguishing them from their
brethren, [1399] being filled with the fear of God.”

5. A little further on they say: ”They humbled themselves under the
mighty hand, by which they are now greatly exalted. [1400] They
defended all, [1401] but accused none. They absolved all, but bound
none. [1402] And they prayed for those who had inflicted cruelties upon
them, even as Stephen, the perfect witness, Lord, lay not this sin to
their charge.’ [1403] But if he prayed for those who stoned him, how
much more for the brethren!”

6. And again after mentioning other matters, they say:

”For, through the genuineness of their love, their greatest contest
with him was that the Beast, being choked, might cast out alive those
whom he supposed he had swallowed. For they did not boast over the
fallen, but helped them in their need with those things in which they
themselves abounded, having the compassion of a mother, and shedding
many tears on their account before the Father.

7. They asked for life, and he gave it to them, and they shared it with
their neighbors. Victorious over everything, they departed to God.
Having always loved peace, and having commended peace to us [1404] they
went in peace to God, leaving no sorrow to their mother, nor division
or strife to the brethren, but joy and peace and concord and love.”

8. This record of the affection of those blessed ones toward the
brethren that had fallen may be profitably added on account of the
inhuman and unmerciful disposition of those who, after these events,
acted unsparingly toward the members of Christ. [1405]

[1392] Namely, Antoninus Verus (in reality Marcus Aurelius, but wrongly
distinguished by Eusebius from him), mentioned above in the
Introduction. Upon Eusebius’ separation of Marcus Aurelius and
Antoninus Verus, see below, p. 390, note.

[1393] Phil. ii. 6.

[1394] Rev. iii. 14.

[1395] Rev. i. 5.

[1396] archego tes zoes tou theou. Cf. Rev. iii. 14.

[1397] homologoi. The regular technical term for ”confessor,” which
later came into general use, was homologetes

[1398] teleiothenai; i.e. be made perfect by martyrdom. For this use of
teleioo, see below, Bk. VI. chap. 3, �13, and chap. 5, �1; also Bk.
VII. chap. 15, �5, and see Suicer’s Thesaurus, s.v.

[1399] pros tous adelphous.

[1400] Compare 1 Pet. v. 6.

[1401] pasi men apologounto. Rufinus translates placabant omnes;
Musculus, omnibus rationem fidei su� reddebant; Valesius, omnium
defensionem suscipiebant, though he maintains in a note that the
rendering of Musculus, or the translation omnibus se excusabant, is
more correct. It is true that pasi apologounto ought strictly to mean
”apologized to all” rather than ”for all,” the latter being commonly
expressed by the use of huper with the genitive (see the lexicons s.v.
apologeomai). At the same time, though it may not be possible to
produce any other examples of the use of the dative, instead of huper
with the genitive, after apologeomai, it is clear from the context that
it must be accepted in the present case.

[1402] The question of the readmission of the lapsed had not yet become
a burning one. The conduct of the martyrs here in absolving (?luon)
those who had shown weakness under persecution is similar to that which
caused so much dispute in the Church during and after the persecution
of Decius. See below, Bk. VI. chap. 43, note 1.

[1403] Acts vii. 60.

[1404] hemin, which is found in four important mss. and in Nicephorus,
and is supported by Rufinus and adopted by Stephanus, Stroth, Burton,
and Zimmermann. The majority of the mss., followed by all the other
editors, including Heinichen, read aei.

[1405] Eusebius refers here to the Novatians, who were so severe in
their treatment of the lapsed, and who in his day were spread very
widely and formed an aggressive and compact organization (see below,
Bk. VI. chap. 43, note 1).

Chapter III.–The Vision which appeared in a Dream to the Witness

1. The same letter of the above-mentioned witnesses contains another
account worthy of remembrance. No one will object to our bringing it to
the knowledge of our readers.

2. It runs as follows: ”For a certain Alcibiades, [1406] who was one of
them, led a very austere life, partaking of nothing whatever but bread
and water. When he endeavored to continue this same sort of life in
prison, it was revealed to Attalus after his first conflict in the
amphitheater that Alcibiades was not doing well in refusing the
creatures of God and placing a stumbling-block before others.

3. And Alcibiades obeyed, and partook of all things without restraint,
giving thanks to God. For they were not deprived of the grace of God,
but the Holy Ghost was their counselor.” Let this suffice for these

4. The followers of Montanus, [1407] Alcibiades [1408] and Theodotus
[1409] in Phrygia were now first giving wide circulation to their
assumption in regard to prophecy,–for the many other miracles that,
through the gift of God, were still wrought in the different churches
caused their prophesying to be readily credited by many,–and as
dissension arose concerning them, the brethren in Gaul set forth their
own prudent and most orthodox judgment in the matter, and published
also several epistles from the witnesses that had been put to death
among them. These they sent, while they were still in prison, to the
brethren throughout Asia and Phrygia, and also to Eleutherus, [1410]
who was then bishop of Rome, negotiating for the peace of the churches.

[1406] Of this Alcibiades we know only what is told us in this
connection. Doubtless Eusebius found this extract very much to his
taste, for we know that he was not inclined to asceticism. The
enthusiastic spirit of the Lyons Christians comes out strongly in the
extract, and considerable light is thrown by it upon the state of the
Church there. Imprisoned confessors were never permitted to suffer for
want of food and the other comforts of life so long as their brethren
were allowed access to them. Compare e.g. Lucian’s Peregrinus Proteus.

[1407] On Montanus and the Montanists, see below, chap. 16 sq.

[1408] Of this Montanist Alcibiades we know nothing. He is, of course,
to be distinguished from the confessor mentioned just above. The
majority of the editors of Eusebius substitute his name for that of
Miltiades in chap. 16, below, but the mss. all read Milti?den, and the
emendation is unwarranted (see chap. 16, note 7). Salmon suggests that
we should read Miltiades instead of Alcibiades in the present passage,
supposing that the latter may have crept in through a copyist’s error,
under the influence of the name Alcibiades mentioned just above. Such
an error is possible, but not probable (see chap. 16, note 7).

[1409] Of the Montanist Theodotus we know only what is told us here and
in chap. 16, below (see that chapter, note 25).

[1410] On Eleutherus, see above, Bk. V. Introd. note 2.

[1411] It is commonly assumed that the Gallic martyrs favored the
Montanists and exhorted Eleutherus to be mild in his judgment of them,
and to preserve the peace of the Church by permitting them to remain
within it and enjoy fellowship with other Christians. But Salmon (in
the Dict. of Christian Biog. III. p. 937) has shown, in my opinion
conclusively, that the Gallic confessors took the opposite side, and
exhorted Eleutherus to confirm the Eastern Church in its condemnation
of the Montanists, representing to him that he would threaten the peace
of the Church by refusing to recognize the justice of the decision of
the bishops of the East and by setting himself in opposition to them.
Certainly, with their close connection with Asia Minor, we should
expect the Gallic Christians to be early informed of the state of
affairs in the East, and it is not difficult to think that they may
have formed the same opinion in regard to the new prophecy which the
majority of their brethren there had formed. The decisive argument for
Salmon’s opinion is the fact that Eusebius calls the letter of the
Lyons confessors to Eleutherus ”pious and most orthodox.” Certainly,
looking upon Montanism as one of the most execrable of heresies and as
the work of Satan himself (cf. his words in chap. 16, below), it is
very difficult to suppose that he can have spoken of a letter written
expressly in favor of the Montanists in any such terms of respect.
Salmon says: ”It is monstrous to imagine that Eusebius, thinking thus
of Montanism, could praise as pious or orthodox the opinion of men who,
ignorant of Satan’s devices, should take the devil’s work for God’s.
The way in which we ourselves read the history is that the Montanists
had appealed to Rome; that the Church party solicited the good offices
of their countrymen settled in Gaul, who wrote to Eleutherus
representing the disturbance to the peace of the churches (a phrase
probably preserved by Eusebius from the letter itself) which would
ensue if the Roman Church should approve what the Church on the spot
had condemned….To avert, then, the possibility of the calamity of a
breach between the Eastern and Western churches, the Gallic churches,
it would appear, not only wrote, but sent Iren�us to Rome at the end of
177 or the beginning of 178. The hypothesis here made relieves us from
the necessity of supposing this presbeia to have been unsuccessful,
while it fully accounts for the necessity of sending it.”

Chapter IV.–Iren�us commended by the Witnesses in a Letter.

1. The same witnesses also recommended Iren�us, [1412] who was already
at that time a presbyter of the parish of Lyons, to the above-mentioned
bishop of Rome, saying many favorable things in regard to him, as the
following extract shows:

2. ”We pray, father Eleutherus, that you may rejoice in God in all
things and always. We have requested our brother and comrade Iren�us to
carry this letter to you, and we ask you to hold him in esteem, as
zealous for the covenant of Christ. For if we thought that office could
confer righteousness upon any one, we should commend him among the
first as a presbyter of the church, which is his position.”

3. Why should we transcribe the catalogue of the witnesses given in the
letter already mentioned, of whom some were beheaded, others cast to
the wild beasts, and others fell asleep in prison, or give the number
of confessors [1413] still surviving at that time? For whoever desires
can readily find the full account by consulting the letter itself,
which, as I have said, is recorded in our Collection of Martyrdoms.
[1414] Such were the events which happened under Antoninus. [1415]

[1412] On Iren�us, see above, Bk. IV. chap. 21, note 9.

[1413] homologeton. Eusebius here uses the common technical term for
confessors; i.e. for those who had been faithful and had suffered in
persecution, but had not lost their lives. In the epistle of the
churches of Lyons and Vienne, the word homologoi is used to denote the
same persons (see above, chap. 2, note 6).

[1414] Cf. �2 of the Introduction to this book (Bk. V.). On Eusebius’
Collection of Martyrdoms, see above, p. 30.

[1415] i.e. Antoninus Verus, whom Eusebius expressly distinguishes from
Marcus Aurelius at the beginning of the next chapter. See below, p.
390, note.

Chapter V.–God sent Rain from Heaven for Marcus Aurelius C�sar in
Answer to the Prayers of our People.

1. It is reported [1416] that Marcus Aurelius C�sar, brother of
Antoninus, [1417] being about to engage in battle with the Germans and
Sarmatians, was in great trouble on account of his army suffering from
thirst. [1418] But the soldiers of the so-called Melitene legion,
[1419] through the faith which has given strength from that time to the
present, when they were drawn up before the enemy, kneeled on the
ground, as is our custom in prayer, [1420] and engaged in supplications
to God.

2. This was indeed a strange sight to the enemy, but it is reported
[1421] that a stranger thing immediately followed. The lightning drove
the enemy to flight and destruction, but a shower refreshed the army of
those who had called on God, all of whom had been on the point of
perishing with thirst.

3. This story is related by non-Christian writers who have been pleased
to treat the times referred to, and it has also been recorded by our
own people. [1422] By those historians who were strangers to the faith,
the marvel is mentioned, but it is not acknowledged as an answer to our
prayers. But by our own people, as friends of the truth, the occurrence
is related in a simple and artless manner.

4. Among these is Apolinarius, [1423] who says that from that time the
legion through whose prayers the wonder took place received from the
emperor a title appropriate to the event, being called in the language
of the Romans the Thundering Legion.

5. Tertullian is a trustworthy witness of these things. In the Apology
for the Faith, which he addressed to the Roman Senate, and which work
we have already mentioned, [1424] he confirms the history with greater
and stronger proofs.

6. He writes [1425] that there are still extant letters [1426] of the
most intelligent Emperor Marcus in which he testifies that his army,
being on the point of perishing with thirst in Germany, was saved by
the prayers of the Christians. And he says also that this emperor
threatened death [1427] to those who brought accusation against us.

7. He adds further: [1428]

”What kind of laws are those which impious, unjust, and cruel persons
use against us alone? which Vespasian, though he had conquered the
Jews, did not regard; [1429] which Trajan partially annulled,
forbidding Christians to be sought after; [1430] which neither Adrian,
[1431] though inquisitive in all matters, nor he who was called Pius
[1432] sanctioned.” But let any one treat these things as he chooses;
[1433] we must pass on to what followed.

8. Pothinus having died with the other martyrs in Gaul at ninety years
of age, [1434] Iren�us succeeded him in the episcopate of the church at
Lyons. [1435] We have learned that, in his youth, he was a hearer of
Polycarp. [1436]

9. In the third book of his work Against Heresies he has inserted a
list of the bishops of Rome, bringing it down as far as Eleutherus
(whose times we are now considering), under whom he composed his work.
He writes as follows: [1437]

[1416] The expression logos ?chei, employed here by Eusebius, is
ordinarily used by him to denote that the account which he subjoins
rests simply upon verbal testimony. But in the present instance he has
written authority, which he mentions below. He seems, therefore, in the
indefinite phrase logos ?chei, to express doubts which he himself feels
as to the trustworthiness of the account which he is about to give. The
story was widely known in his time, and the Christians’ version of it
undoubtedly accepted by the Christians themselves with little
misgiving, and yet he is too well informed upon this subject to be
ignorant of the fact that the common version rests upon a rather
slender foundation. He may have known of the coins and monuments upon
which the emperor had commemorated his own view of the matter,–at any
rate he was familiar with the fact that all the heathen historians
contradicted the claims of the Christians, and hence he could not but
consider it a questionable matter. At the same time, the Christian
version of the story was supported by strong names and was widely
accepted, and he, as a good Christian, of course wished to accept it,
if possible, and to report it for the edification of posterity.

[1417] toutou de adelphon: the toutou referring to the Antoninus
mentioned at the close of the previous chapter. Upon Eusebius’
confusion of the successors of Antoninus Pius, see below, p. 390, note.

[1418] It is an historical fact that, in 174 a.d., the Roman army in
Hungary was relieved from a very dangerous predicament by the sudden
occurrence of a thunder-storm, which quenched their thirst and
frightened the barbarians, and thus gave the Romans the victory. By
heathen writers this event (quite naturally considered miraculous) was
held to have taken place in answer to prayer, but by no means in answer
to the prayers of the Christians. Dion Cassius (LXXI. 8) ascribes the
supposed miracle to the conjurations of the Egyptian magician Arnuphis;
Capitolinus (Vita Marc. Aurelii, chap. 24, and Vita Heliogabali, chap.
9), to the prayer of Marcus Aurelius. The emperor himself expresses his
view upon a coin which represents Jupiter as hurling lightning against
the barbarians (see Eckhel. Numism. III. 61). As early as the time of
Marcus Aurelius himself the Christians ascribed the merit of the
supposed miracle to their own prayers (e.g. Apolinarius, mentioned just
below), and this became the common belief among them (cf. Tertullian,
Apol. chap. 5, quoted just below, and ad Scap. chap. 4, and the forged
edict of Marcus Aurelius, appended to Justin Martyr’s first Apology).
It is probable that the whole legion prayed for deliverance to their
respective deities, and thus quite naturally each party claimed the
victory for its particular gods. That there were some Christians in the
army of Marcus Aurelius there is, of course, no reason to doubt, but
that a legion at that time was wholly composed of Christians, as
Eusebius implies, is inconceivable.

[1419] This legion was called the Melitene from the place where it was
regularly stationed,–Melitene, a city in Eastern Cappadocia, or

[1420] Kneeling was the common posture of offering prayer in the early
Church, but the standing posture was by no means uncommon, especially
in the offering of thanksgiving. Upon Sunday and during the whole
period from Easter to Pentecost all prayers were regularly offered in a
standing position, as a symbolical expression of joy (cf. Tertullian,
de Corona, chap. 3; de Oratione, chap. 23, &c.). The practice, however,
was not universal, and was therefore decreed by the Nicene Council in
its twentieth canon (Hefele, Conciliengesch. I. 430). See Kraus’
Real-Encyclop�die der Christlichen Alterth�mer, Bd. I. p. 557 sqq.

[1421] logos ?chei. See above, note 1.

[1422] Dion Cassius and Capitolinus record the occurrence (as mentioned
above, note 2). It is recorded also by other writers after Eusebius’
time, such as Claudian and Zonaras. None of them, however, attribute
the occurrence to the prayers of the Christians, but all claim it for
the heathen gods. The only pre-Eusebian Christian accounts of this
event still extant are those contained in the forged edict of Marcus
Aurelius and in the Apology of Tertullian, quoted just below (cf. also
his de Orat. 29). Cyprian also probably refers to the same event in his
Tractat. ad Demetriadem, 20. Eusebius, in referring to Apolinarius and
Tertullian, very likely mentions all the accounts with which he was
acquainted. Gregory Nyssa, Jerome, and other later Christian writers
refer to the event.

[1423] i.e. Claudius Apolinarius, bishop of Hierapolis. Upon him and
his writings, see above, Bk. IV. chap. 27, note 1. This reference is in
all probability to the Apology of Apolinarius, as this is the only work
known to us which would have been likely to contain an account of such
an event. The fact that in the reign of the very emperor under whom the
occurrence took place, and in an Apology addressed to him, the
Christians could be indicated as the source of the miracle, shows the
firmness of this belief among the Christians themselves, and also
proves that they must have been so numerous in the army as to justify
them in setting up a counter-claim over against the heathen soldiers.
Apolinarius is very far from the truth in his statement as to the name
of the legion. From Dion Cassius, LV. 23, it would seem that the legion
bore this name even in the time of Augustus; but if this be uncertain,
at any rate it bore it as early as the time of Nero (as we learn from
an inscription of his eleventh year, Corp. Ins. Lat. III. 30). Neander
thinks it improbable that Apolinarius, a contemporary who lived in the
neighborhood of the legion’s winter quarters, could have committed such
a mistake. He prefers to think that the error is Eusebius’, and
resulted from a too rapid perusal of the passage in Apolinarius, where
there must have stood some such words as, ”Now the emperor could with
right call the legion the Thundering Legion.” His opinion is at least
plausible. Tertullian certainly knew nothing of the naming of the
legion at this time, or if he had heard the report, rejected it.

[1424] In Bk. II. chap. 2, �4, and Bk. III. chap. 33, �3 (quoted also
in Bk. III. chap. 20, �9).

[1425] Apol.chap. 5.

[1426] A pretended epistle of Marcus Aurelius, addressed to the Senate,
in which he describes the miraculous deliverance of his army through
the prayers of the Christians, is still extant, and stands at the close
of Justin Martyr’s first Apology. It is manifestly the work of a
Christian, and no one now thinks of accepting it as genuine. It is in
all probability the same epistle to which Tertullian refers, and
therefore must have been forged before the end of the second century,
although its exact date cannot be determined. See Overbeck, Studien zur
Gesch. d. alten Kirche, I.

[1427] The epistle says that the accuser is to be burned alive (zonta
kaiesthai). Tertullian simply says that he is to be punished with a
”condemnation of greater severity” (damnatione et quidem tetriore).
Eusebius therefore expresses himself more definitely than Tertullian,
though it is very likely that the poor Greek translation which he used
had already made of damnatio tetrior the simpler and more telling
expression, thanatos.

[1428] Apol. ibid.

[1429] See Bk. III. chap. 12, note 1.

[1430] Upon Trajan’s rescript, and the universal misunderstanding of it
in the early Church, see above, Bk. III. chap. 33 (notes).

[1431] Upon Hadrian’s treatment of the Christians, see above, Bk. IV.
chap. 9.

[1432] Upon Antoninus Pius’ relation to them, see above, Bk. IV. chap.

[1433] Whether Eusebius refers in this remark only to the report of
Tertullian, or to the entire account of the miracle, we do not know.
The remark certainly has reference at least to the words of Tertullian.
Eusebius had apparently not himself seen the epistle of Marcus
Aurelius; for in the first place, he does not cite it; secondly, he
does not rest his account upon it, but upon Apolinarius and Tertullian;
and thirdly, in his Chron. both the Armenian and Greek say, ”it is said
that there are epistles of Marcus Aurelius extant,” while Jerome says
directly, ”there are letters extant.”

[1434] See above, chap. 1, �29.

[1435] Upon Iren�us, see Bk. IV. chap. 21, note 9.

[1436] Cf. Adv. H�r. II. 3. 4, &c., and Eusebius, chap. 20, below.

[1437] Adv. H�r. III. 3. 3.

Chapter VI.–Catalogue of the Bishops of Rome.

1. ”The blessed apostles [1438] having founded and established the
church, entrusted the office of the episcopate to Linus. [1439] Paul
speaks of this Linus in his Epistles to Timothy. [1440]

2. Anencletus [1441] succeeded him, and after Anencletus, in the third
place from the apostles, Clement [1442] received the episcopate. He had
seen and conversed with the blessed apostles, [1443] and their
preaching was still sounding in his ears, and their tradition was still
before his eyes. Nor was he alone in this, for many who had been taught
by the apostles yet survived.

3. In the times of Clement, a serious dissension having arisen among
the brethren in Corinth, [1444] the church of Rome sent a most suitable
letter to the Corinthians, [1445] reconciling them in peace, renewing
their faith, and proclaiming [1446] the doctrine lately received from
the apostles.” [1447]

4. A little farther on he says: [1448]

”Evarestus [1449] succeeded Clement, and Alexander, [1450] Evarestus.
Then Xystus, [1451] the sixth from the apostles, was appointed. After
him Telesphorus, [1452] who suffered martyrdom gloriously; then
Hyginus; [1453] then Pius; [1454] and after him Anicetus; [1455] Soter
[1456] succeeded Anicetus; and now, in the twelfth place from the
apostles, Eleutherus [1457] holds the office of bishop.

5. In the same order and succession [1458] the tradition in the Church
and the preaching of the truth has descended from the apostles unto

[1438] Namely, Peter and Paul; but neither of them founded the Roman
church. See above, Bk. II. chap. 25, note 17.

[1439] On Linus, see above, Bk. III. chap. 2, note 1; and for the
succession of the early Roman bishops, see the same note.

[1440] 2 Tim. iv. 21.

[1441] On Anencletus, see above, Bk. III. chap. 13, note 3.

[1442] On Clement, see above, Bk. III. chap. 4, note 19.

[1443] Although the identification of this Clement with the one
mentioned in Phil. iv. 3 is more than doubtful, yet there is no reason
to doubt that, living as he did in the first century at Rome, he was
personally acquainted at least with the apostles Peter and Paul.

[1444] See the Epistle of Clement itself, especially chaps. 1 and 3.

[1445] Upon the epistle, see above, Bk. III. chap. 16, note 1.

[1446] aneousa ten pistin auton kai hen neosti apo ton apostolon
par?dosin eilephei. The last word being in the singular, the tradition
must be that received by the Roman, not by the Corinthian church (as it
is commonly understood), and hence it is necessary to supply some verb
which shall govern par?dosin, for it is at least very harsh to say that
the Roman church, in its epistle to the Corinthians ”renewed” the faith
which it had received. The truth is, that both in Rufinus and in
Iren�us an extra participle is found (in the former exprimens, in the
latter annuntians), and Stroth has in consequence ventured to insert
the word katangelousa in his text. I have likewise, for the sake of the
sense, inserted the word proclaiming, not thereby intending to imply,
however, the belief that katangelousa stood in the original text of

[1447] It is interesting to notice how strictly Eusebius carries out
his principle of taking historical matter wherever he can find it, but
of omitting all doctrinal statements and discussions. The few sentences
which follow in Iren�us are of a doctrinal nature, and in the form of a
brief polemic against Gnosticism.

[1448] Ibid.

[1449] Upon Evarestus, see above, Bk. III. chap. 34, note 3.

[1450] Upon Alexander, see Bk. IV. chap. 1, note 4.

[1451] Upon Xystus, see IV. 4, note 3.

[1452] Upon Telesphorus, see IV. 5, note 13.

[1453] Upon Hyginus, see IV. 10, note 3.

[1454] Upon Pius, see IV. 11, note 14.

[1455] Upon Anicetus, see IV. 11, note 18.

[1456] Upon Soter, see IV. 19, note 2.

[1457] Upon Eleutherus, see Introd. to this book, note 2.

[1458] diadoche, which is confirmed by the ancient Latin version of
Iren�us (successione), and which is adopted by Zimmermann, Heinichen,
and Valesius (in his notes). All the mss. of Eusebius, followed by the
majority of the editors, read didache, which, however, makes no sense
in this place, and can hardly have been the original reading (see
Heinichen’s note in loco).

Chapter VII.–Even down to those Times Miracles were performed by the

1. These things Iren�us, in agreement with the accounts already given
by us, [1459] records in the work which comprises five books, and to
which he gave the title Refutation and Overthrow of the Knowledge
Falsely So-called. [1460] In the second book of the same treatise he
shows that manifestations of divine and miraculous power continued to
his time in some of the churches.

2. He says: [1461]

”But so far do they come short of raising the dead, as the Lord raised
them, and the apostles through prayer. And oftentimes in the
brotherhood, when, on account of some necessity, our entire Church has
besought with fasting and much supplication, the spirit of the dead has
returned, [1462] and the man has been restored through the prayers of
the saints.”

3. And again, after other remarks, he says: [1463]

”If they will say that even the Lord did these things in mere
appearance, we will refer them to the prophetic writings, and show from
them that all things were beforehand spoken of him in this manner, and
were strictly fulfilled; and that he alone is the Son of God. Wherefore
his true disciples, receiving grace from him, perform such works in his
Name for the benefit of other men, as each has received the gift from

4. For some of them drive out demons effectually and truly, so that
those who have been cleansed from evil spirits frequently believe and
unite with the Church. Others have a foreknowledge of future events,
and visions, and prophetic revelations. Still others heal the sick by
the laying on of hands, and restore them to health. And, as we have
said, even dead persons have been raised, and remained with us many

5. But why should we say more? It is not possible to recount the number
of gifts which the Church, throughout all the world, has received from
God in the name of Jesus Christ, who was crucified under Pontius
Pilate, and exercises every day for the benefit of the heathen, never
deceiving any nor doing it for money. For as she has received freely
from God, freely also does she minister.” [1464]

6. And in another place the same author writes: [1465]

”As also we hear that many brethren in the Church possess prophetic
gifts, and speak, through the Spirit, with all kinds of tongues, and
bring to light the secret things of men for their good, and declare the
mysteries of God.”

So much in regard to the fact that various gifts remained among those
who were worthy even until that time.

[1459] In the various passages referred to in the notes on the previous

[1460] elenchou kai anatropes tes pseudonumou gnoseos (cf. 1 Tim. vi.
20). This work of Iren�us, which is commonly known under its Latin
title, Adversus H�reses (Against Heresies), is still extant in a
barbarous Latin version, of which we possess three mss. The original
Greek is lost, though a great part of the first book can be recovered
by means of extensive quotations made from it by Hippolytus and
Epiphanius. The work is directed against the various Gnostic systems,
among which that of Valentinus is chiefly attacked. The first book is
devoted to a statement of their doctrines, the second to a refutation
of them, and the remaining three to a presentation of the true
doctrines of Christianity as opposed to the false positions of the
Gnostics. The best edition of the original is that of Harvey: S. Iren�i
libros quinque adv. H�reses., Cambr. 1857, 2 vols.; English translation
in the Ante-Nicene Fathers, I. p. 309 ff. For the literature of the
subject, see Schaff, II. p. 746 ff. On Iren�us himself, see Book IV.
chap. 21, note 9.

[1461] Adv. H�r. II. 31. 2. The sentence as it stands in Eusebius is
incomplete. Iren�us is refuting the pretended miracles of Simon and
Carpocrates. The passage runs as follows: ”So far are they [i.e. Simon
and Carpocrates] from being able to raise the dead as the Lord raised
them and as the apostles did by means of prayer, and as has been
frequently done in the brotherhood on account of some necessity–the
entire Church in that locality entreating with much fasting and prayer
[so that] the spirit of the dead man has returned, and he has been
bestowed in answer to the prayer of the saints–that they do not even
believe this can possibly be done, [and hold] that the resurrection
from the dead is simply an acquaintance with that truth which they
proclaim.” This resurrection of the dead recorded by Iren�us is very
difficult to explain, as he is a truth-loving man, and we can hardly
conceive of his uttering a direct falsehood. Even Augustine, ”the iron
man of truth,” records such miracles, and so the early centuries are
full of accounts of them. The Protestant method of drawing a line
between the apostolic and post-apostolic ages in this matter of
miracles is arbitrary, and based upon dogmatic, not historical grounds.
The truth is, that no one can fix the point of time at which miracles
ceased; at the same time it is easy to appreciate the difference
between the apostolic age and the third, fourth, and following
centuries in this regard. That they did cease at an early date in the
history of the Church is clear enough. Upon post-apostolic miracles,
see Schaff, Ch. Hist. II. p. 116 ff., J. H. Newman’s Two Essays on
Biblical and Eccles. Miracles, and J. B. Mozley’s Bampton lectures On

[1462] See the previous note.

[1463] Adv. H�r. II. 32. 4.

[1464] Cf. Matt. x. 8

[1465] Adv. H�r. V. 6. 1.

Chapter VIII.–The Statements of Iren�us in regard to the Divine

1. Since, in the beginning of this work, [1466] we promised to give,
when needful, the words of the ancient presbyters and writers of the
Church, in which they have declared those traditions which came down to
them concerning the canonical books, and since Iren�us was one of them,
we will now give his words and, first, what he says of the sacred
Gospels: [1467]

2. ”Matthew published his Gospel among the Hebrews in their own
language, [1468] while Peter and Paul were preaching and founding the
church in Rome. [1469]

3. After their departure Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter,
also transmitted to us in writing those things which Peter had
preached; [1470] and Luke, the attendant of Paul, recorded in a book
the Gospel which Paul had declared. [1471]

4. Afterwards John, the disciple of the Lord, who also reclined on his
bosom, published his Gospel, while staying at Ephesus in Asia.” [1472]

5. He states these things in the third book of his above-mentioned
work. In the fifth book he speaks as follows concerning the Apocalypse
of John, and the number of the name of Antichrist: [1473]

”As these things are so, and this number is found in all the approved
and ancient copies, [1474] and those who saw John face to face confirm
it, and reason teaches us that the number of the name of the beast,
according to the mode of calculation among the Greeks, appears in its
letters….” [1475]

6. And farther on he says concerning the same: [1476]

”We are not bold enough to speak confidently of the name of Antichrist.
For if it were necessary that his name should be declared clearly at
the present time, it would have been announced by him who saw the
revelation. For it was seen, not long ago, but almost in our
generation, toward the end of the reign of Domitian.” [1477]

7. He states these things concerning the Apocalypse [1478] in the work
referred to. He also mentions the first Epistle of John, [1479] taking
many proofs from it, and likewise the first Epistle of Peter. [1480]
And he not only knows, but also receives, The Shepherd, [1481] writing
as follows: [1482]

”Well did the Scripture [1483] speak, saying, [1484] First of all
believe that God is one, who has created and completed all things,'”

8. And he uses almost the precise words of the Wisdom of Solomon,
saying: [1485] ”The vision of God produces immortality, but immortality
renders us near to God.” He mentions also the memoirs [1486] of a
certain apostolic presbyter, [1487] whose name he passes by in silence,
and gives his expositions of the sacred Scriptures.

9. And he refers to Justin the Martyr, [1488] and to Ignatius, [1489]
using testimonies also from their writings. Moreover, he promises to
refute Marcion from his own writings, in a special work. [1490]

10. Concerning the translation of the inspired [1491] Scriptures by the
Seventy, hear the very words which he writes: [1492]

”God in truth became man, and the Lord himself saved us, giving the
sign of the virgin; but not as some say, who now venture to translate
the Scripture, Behold, a young woman shall conceive and bring forth a
son,’ [1493] as Theodotion of Ephesus and Aquila of Pontus, [1494] both
of them Jewish proselytes, interpreted; following whom, the Ebionites
say [1495] that he was begotten by Joseph.”

11. Shortly after he adds:

”For before the Romans had established their empire, while the
Macedonians were still holding Asia, Ptolemy, the son of Lagus, [1496]
being desirous of adorning the library which he had founded in
Alexandria with the meritorious writings of all men, requested the
people of Jerusalem to have their Scriptures translated into the Greek

12. But, as they were then subject to the Macedonians, they sent to
Ptolemy seventy elders, who were the most skilled among them in the
Scriptures and in both languages. Thus God accomplished his purpose.

13. But wishing to try them individually, as he feared lest, by taking
counsel together, they might conceal the truth of the Scriptures by
their interpretation, he separated them from one another, and commanded
all of them to write the same translation. [1498] He did this for all
the books.

14. But when they came together in the presence of Ptolemy, and
compared their several translations, God was glorified, and the
Scriptures were recognized as truly divine. For all of them had
rendered the same things in the same words and with the same names from
beginning to end, so that the heathen perceived that the Scriptures had
been translated by the inspiration [1499] of God.

15. And this was nothing wonderful for God to do, who, in the captivity
of the people under Nebuchadnezzar, when the Scriptures had been
destroyed, and the Jews had returned to their own country after seventy
years, afterwards, in the time of Artaxerxes, king of the Persians,
inspired Ezra the priest, of the tribe of Levi, to relate all the words
of the former prophets, and to restore to the people the legislation of
Moses.” [1500]

Such are the words of Iren�us.

[1466] Eusebius is apparently thinking of the preface to his work
contained in Bk. I. chap. 1, but there he makes no such promise as he
refers to here. He speaks only of his general purpose to mention those
men who preached the divine word either orally or in writing. In Bk.
III. chap. 3, however, he distinctly promises to do what he here speaks
of doing, and perhaps remembered only that he had made such a promise
without recalling where he had made it.

[1467] Adv. H�r. III. 1. 1.

[1468] See above, Bk. III. chap. 24, note 5. Iren�us, in this chapter
traces the four Gospels back to the apostles themselves, but he is
unable to say that Matthew translated his Gospel into Greek, which is
of course bad for his theory, as the Matthew Gospel which the Church of
his time had was in Greek, not in Hebrew. He puts the Hebrew Gospel,
however, upon a par with the three Greek ones, and thus, although he
does not say it directly, endeavors to convey the impression that the
apostolicity of the Hebrew Matthew is a guarantee for the Greek Matthew
also. Of Papias’ statement, ”Each one translated the Hebrew Gospel of
Matthew as he was able,” he could of course make no use even if he was
acquainted with it. Whether his account was dependent upon Papias’ or
not we cannot tell.

[1469] See above, Bk. II. chap. 25, note 17.

[1470] See above, Bk. II. chap. 15, note 4.

[1471] See above, Bk. III. chap. 4, note 15.

[1472] See above, Bk. III. chap. 24, note 1.

[1473] Iren�us, Adv. H�r. V. 30. 1.

[1474] Rev. xiii. 18. Already in Iren�us’ time there was a variation in
the copies of the Apocalypse. This is interesting as showing the
existence of old copies of the Apocalypse even in his time, and also as
showing how early works became corrupted in the course of transmission.
We learn from his words, too, that textual criticism had already begun.

[1475] The sentence as Eusebius quotes it here is incomplete; he
repeats only so much of it as suits his purpose. Iren�us completes his
sentence, after a few more dependent clauses, by saying, ”I do not know
how it is that some have erred, following the ordinary mode of speech,
and have vitiated the middle number in the name,” &c. This shows that
even in Iren�us’ time there was as much controversy about the
interpretation of the Apocalypse as there has always been, and that at
that day exegetes were as a rule in no better position than we are.
Iren�us refers in this sentence to the fact that the Greek numerals
were indicated by the letters of the alphabet: Alpha, ”one,” Beta,
”two,” &c.

[1476] i.e. concerning the Beast or Antichrist. Iren�us, Adv. H�r. V.
30. 3; quoted also in Bk. III. chap. 18, above.

[1477] See above, Bk. III. chap. 18, note 1.

[1478] Upon the Apocalypse, see Bk. III. chap. 24, note 20.

[1479] In Adv. H�r. III. 16. 5, 8. Iren�us also quotes from the second
Epistle of John, without distinguishing it from the first, in III. 16.
8, and I. 16. 3. Upon John’s epistles, see Bk. III. chap. 24, notes 18
and 19.

[1480] In Adv. H�r. IV. 9. 2. In IV. 16. 5 and V. 7. 2 he quotes from
the first Epistle of Peter, with the formula ”Peter says.” He is the
first one to connect the epistle with Peter. See above, Bk. III. chap.
3, note 1.

[1481] i.e. the Shepherd of Hermas; see above, Bk. III. chap. 3, note

[1482] Adv. H�r. IV. 20. 2.

[1483] he graphe, the regular word used in quoting Scripture. Many of
the Fathers of the second and third centuries used this word in
referring to Clement, Hermas, Barnabas, and other works of the kind
(compare especially Clement of Alexandria’s use of the word).

[1484] The Shepherd of Hermas, II. 1.

[1485] Adv. H�r. IV. 38. 3. Iren�us in this passage quotes freely from
the apocryphal Book of Wisdom, VI. 19, without mentioning the source of
his quotation, and indeed without in any way indicating the fact that
he is quoting.

[1486] apomnemoneum?ton. Written memoirs are hardly referred to here,
but rather oral comments, expositions, or accounts of the
interpretations of the apostles and others of the first generation of

[1487] Adv. H�r. IV. 27. 1, where Iren�us mentions a ”certain presbyter
who had heard it from those who had seen the apostles,” &c. Who this
presbyter was cannot be determined. Polycarp, Papias, and others have
been suggested, but we have no grounds upon which to base a decision,
though we may perhaps safely conclude that so prominent a man as
Polycarp would hardly have been referred to in such an indefinite way;
and Papias seems ruled out by the fact that the presbyter is here not
made a hearer of the apostles themselves, while in V. 33. 4 Papias is
expressly stated to have been a hearer of John,–undoubtedly in
Iren�us’ mind the evangelist John (see above, Bk. III. chap. 39, note
4). Other anonymous authorities under the titles, ”One superior to us,”
”One before us,” &c., are quoted by Iren�us in Pr�f. �2, I. 13. 3, III.
17. 4, etc. See Routh, Rel. Sacr�, I. 45-68.

[1488] In Adv. H�r. IV. 6. 2, where he mentions Justin Martyr and
quotes from his work Against Marcion (see Eusebius, Bk. IV. chap. 18),
and also in Adv. H�r. V. 26. 2, where he mentions him again by name and
quotes from some unknown work (but see above, ibid. note 15).

[1489] Iren�us nowhere mentions Ignatius by name, but in V. 28. 4 he
quotes from his epistle to the Romans, chap. 4, under the formula, ”A
certain one of our people said, when he was condemned to the wild
beasts.” It is interesting to note how diligently Eusebius had read the
works of Iren�us, and extracted from them all that could contribute to
his History. Upon Ignatius, see above, III. 36.

[1490] Adv. H�r. I. 27. 4, III. 12. 12. This promise was apparently
never fulfilled, as we hear nothing of the work from any of Iren�us’
successors. But in Bk. IV. chap. 25 Eusebius speaks of Iren�us as one
of those who had written against Marcion, whether in this referring to
his special work promised here, or only to his general work Adv. H�r.,
we cannot tell.

[1491] theopneuston

[1492] Adv. H�r. III. 21. 1.

[1493] Isa. vii. 14. The original Hebrew has lmh, which means simply a
”young woman,” not distinctively a ”virgin.” The LXX, followed by Matt.
i. 23, wrongly translated by parthenos, ”virgin” (cf. Toy’s Quotations
in the New Testament, p. 1 sqq., and the various commentaries on
Matthew). Theodotion and Aquila translated the Hebrew word by neanis,
which is the correct rendering, in spite of what Iren�us says. The
complete dependence of the Fathers upon the LXX, and their consequent
errors as to the meaning of the original, are well illustrated in this
case (cf. also Justin’s Dial. chap. 71).

[1494] This is the earliest direct reference to the translations of
Aquila and Theodotion, though Hermas used the version of the latter, as
pointed out by Hort (see above, Bk. III. chap. 3, note 23). Upon the
two versions, see Bk. VI. chap. 16, notes 3 and 5.

[1495] Upon the Ebionites and their doctrines, see Bk. III. chap. 27.

[1496] Ptolemy, the son of Lagus, or Ptolemy Soter (the Preserver), was
king of Egypt from 323-285 (283) b.c. The following story in regard to
the origin of the LXX is first told in a spurious letter (probably
dating from the first century b.c.), which professes to have been
written by Aristeas, a high officer at the court of Ptolemy
Philadelphus (285 [283]-247 b.c.). This epistle puts the origin of the
LXX in the reign of the latter monarch instead of in that of his
father, Ptolemy Soter, and is followed in this by Philo, Josephus,
Tertullian, and most of the other ancient writers (Justin Martyr calls
the king simply Ptolemy, while Clement of Alex. says that some connect
the event with the one monarch, others with the other). The account
given in the letter (which is printed by Gallandius, Bibl. Patr. II.
771, as well as in many other editions) is repeated over and over
again, with greater or less variations, by early Jewish and Christian
writers (e.g. by Philo, Vit. Mos. 2; by Josephus, Ant. XII. 2; by
Justin Martyr, Apol. I. 31; by Clement of Alexandria, Strom. I. 22; by
Tertullian, Apol. 18, and others; see the article Aristeas in Smith’s
Dict. of Greek and Roman Biog.). It gives the number of the elders as
seventy-two,–six from each tribe. That this marvelous tale is a
fiction is clear enough, but whether it is based upon a groundwork of
fact is disputed (see Sch�rer, Gesch. der Juden im Zeitalter Jesu
Christi, II. p. 697 sqq.). It is at any rate certain that the
Pentateuch (the original account applies only to the Pentateuch, but
later it was extended to the entire Old Testament) was translated into
Greek in Alexandria as early as the third century b.c.; whether under
Ptolemy Philadelphus, and at his desire, we cannot tell. The
translation of the remainder of the Old Testament followed during the
second century b.c., the books being translated at various times by
unknown authors, but all or most of them probably in Egypt (see
Sch�rer, ibid.). It was, of course, to the interest of the Christians
to maintain the miraculous origin of the LXX, for otherwise they would
have to yield to the attacks of the Jews, who often taunted them with
having only a translation of the Scriptures. Accepting the miraculous
origin of the LXX, the Christians, on the other hand, could accuse the
Jews of falsifying their Hebrew copies wherever they differed from the
LXX, making the latter the only authoritative standard (cf. Justin
Martyr’s Dial. chap. 71, and many other passages in the work). Upon the
attitude of the Christians, and the earlier and later attitude of the
Jews toward the LXX, see below, Bk. VI. chap. 16, note 8.

[1497] poiesantos tou theou hoper hebouleto. This is quite different
from the text of Iren�us, which reads facturos hoc quod ipse voluisset
(implying that the original Greek was poiesontas touto hoper ebouleto),
”to carry out what he [viz. Ptolemy] had desired.” Heinichen modifies
the text of Eusebius somewhat, substituting poiesontas ta for
poiesantos tou, but there can be little doubt that Eusebius originally
wrote the sentence in the form given at the beginning of this note.
That Iren�us wrote it in that form, however, is uncertain, though, in
view of the fact that Clement of Alex. (Strom. I. 22) confirms the
reading of Eusebius (reading theou gar en boulema), I am inclined to
think that the text of Eusebius represents the original more closely
than the text of the Latin translation of Iren�us does. Most of the
editors, however, both of Eusebius and of Iren�us, take the other view
(cf. Harvey’s note in his edition of Iren�us, Vol. II. p. 113).

[1498] ten auten hermeneian gr?phein, as the majority of the mss.,
followed by Burton and most other editors, read. Stroth Zimmermann, and
Heinichen, on the authority of Rufinus and of the Latin version of
Iren�us, read, ten auten hermeneuein graphen.

[1499] kat’ epipnoian

[1500] This tradition, which was commonly accepted until the time of
the Reformation, dates from the first Christian century, for it is
found in the fourth book of Ezra (xiv. 44): It is there said that Ezra
was inspired to dictate to five men, during forty days, ninety-four
books, of which twenty-four (the canonical books) were to be published.
The tradition is repeated quite frequently by the Fathers, but that
Ezra formed the Old Testament canon is impossible, for some of the
books were not written until after his day. The truth is, it was a
gradual growth and was not completed until the second century b.c. See
above, Bk. III. chap. 10, note 1.

Chapter IX.–The Bishops under Commodus.

1. After Antoninus [1501] had been emperor for nineteen years, Commodus
received the government. [1502] In his first year Julian [1503] became
bishop of the Alexandrian churches, after Agrippinus [1504] had held
the office for twelve years.

[1501] i.e. Marcus Aurelius. See below, p. 390, note.

[1502] March 17, 180 a.d.

[1503] Of this Julian we know nothing except what is told us by
Eusebius here and in chap. 22, below, where he is said to have held
office ten years. In the Chron. he is also said to have been bishop for
ten years, but his accession is put in the nineteenth year of Marcus
Aurelius (by Jerome), or in the second year of Commodus (by the
Armenian version).

[1504] Upon Agrippinus, see above, Bk. IV. chap. 19, note 5.

Chapter X.–Pant�nus the Philosopher.

1. About that time, Pant�nus, [1505] a man highly distinguished for his
learning, had charge of the school of the faithful in Alexandria.
[1506] A school of sacred learning, which continues to our day, was
established there in ancient times, [1507] and as we have been
informed, [1508] was managed by men of great ability and zeal for
divine things. Among these it is reported [1509] that Pant�nus was at
that time especially conspicuous, as he had been educated in the
philosophical system of those called Stoics.

2. They say that he displayed such zeal for the divine Word, that he
was appointed as a herald of the Gospel of Christ to the nations in the
East, and was sent as far as India. [1510] For indeed [1511] there were
still many evangelists of the Word who sought earnestly to use their
inspired zeal, after the examples of the apostles, for the increase and
building up of the Divine Word.

3. Pant�nus was one of these, and is said to have gone to India. It is
reported that among persons there who knew of Christ, he found the
Gospel according to Matthew, which had anticipated his own arrival. For
Bartholomew, [1512] one of the apostles, had preached to them, and left
with them the writing of Matthew in the Hebrew language, [1513] which
they had preserved till that time.

4. After many good deeds, Pant�nus finally became the head of the
school at Alexandria, [1514] and expounded the treasures of divine
doctrine both orally and in writing. [1515]

[1505] Pant�nus is the first teacher of the Alexandrian school that is
known to us, and even his life is involved in obscurity. His chief
significance for us lies in the fact that he was the teacher of
Clement, with whom the Alexandrian school first steps out into the full
light of history, and makes itself felt as a power in Christendom.
Another prominent pupil of Pant�nus was Alexander, bishop of Jerusalem
(see below, Bk. VI. chap. 14). Pant�nus was originally a Stoic
philosopher, and must have discussed philosophy in his school in
connection with theology, for Origen appeals to him as his example in
this respect (see below, Bk. VI. chap. 19). His abilities are testified
to by Clement (in his Hypotyposes; see the next chapter, �4), who
speaks of him always in terms of the deepest respect and affection. Of
his birth and death we know nothing. Clement, Strom. I. 1, calls him a
”Sicilian bee,” which may, perhaps, have reference to his birthplace.
The statement of Philip of Side, that he was an Athenian, is worthless.
We do not know when he began his work in Alexandria, nor when he
finished it. But from Bk. VI. chap. 6 we learn that Clement had
succeeded Pant�nus, and was in charge of the school in the time of
Septimius Severus. This probably means not merely that Pant�nus had
left Egypt, but that he was already dead; and if that be the case, the
statement of Jerome (de vir. ill. 36), that Pant�nus was in charge of
the school during the reigns of Septimius Severus and Caracalla, is
erroneous (Jerome himself expressly says, in ibid. chap. 38, that
Clement succeeded Pant�nus upon the death of the latter). Jerome’s
statement, however, that Pant�nus was sent to India by Demetrius,
bishop of Alexandria, is not necessarily in conflict with the
indefinite account of Eusebius, who gives no dates. What authority
Jerome has for his account we do not know. If his statement be correct,
the journey must have taken place after 190; and thus after, or in the
midst or, his Alexandrian activity. Eusebius apparently accepted the
latter opinion, though his statement at the end of this chapter is
dark, and evidently implies that he was very uncertain in regard to the
matter. His whole account rests simply on hearsay, and therefore too
much weight must not be laid upon its accuracy. After Clement comes
upon the scene (which was at least some years before the outbreak of
the persecution of Severus, 200 a.d.–when he left the city) we hear
nothing more of Pant�nus. Some have put his journey to India in this
later period; but this is contrary to the report of Eusebius, and there
is no authority for the opinion. Photius (Cod. 118) records a tradition
that Pant�nus had himself heard some of the apostles; but this is
impossible, and is asserted by no one else. According to Jerome,
numerous commentaries of Pant�nus were extant in his time. Eusebius, at
the close of this chapter, speaks of his expounding the Scriptures
”both orally and in writing,” but he does not enumerate his works, and
apparently had never seen them. No traces of them are now extant,
unless some brief reminiscences of his teaching, which we have, are
supposed to be drawn from his works, and not merely from his lectures
or conversations (see Routh, Rel. Sac. I. p. 375-383).

[1506] The origin of this school of the faithful, or ”catechetical
school,” in Alexandria is involved in obscurity. Philip of Side names
Athenagoras as the founder of the school, but his account is full of
inconsistencies and contradictions, and deserves no credence. The
school first comes out into the light of history at this time with
Pant�nus at its head, and plays a prominent part in Church history
under Clement, Origen, Heraclas, Dionysius, Didymus, &c., until the end
of the fourth century, when it sinks out of sight in the midst of the
dissensions of the Alexandrian church, and its end like its beginning
is involved in obscurity. It probably owed its origin to no particular
individual, but arose naturally as an outgrowth from the practice which
flourished in the early Church of instructing catechumens in the
elements of Christianity before admitting them to baptism. In such a
philosophical metropolis as Alexandria, a school, though intended only
for catechumens, would very naturally soon assume a learned character,
and it had already in the time of Pant�nus at least become a regular
theological school for the preparation especially of teachers and
preachers. It exercised a great influence upon theological science, and
numbered among its pupils many celebrated theologians and bishops. See
the article by Redepenning in Herzog, 2d ed. I. 290-292, and Schaff’s
Ch. Hist. II. 777-781, where the literature of the subject is given.

[1507] Jerome (de vir. ill. c. 36) states that there had always been
ecclesiastical teachers in Alexandria from the time of Mark. He is
evidently, however, giving no independent tradition, but merely draws
his conclusion from the words of Eusebius who simply says ”from ancient
times.” The date of the origin of the school is in fact entirely
unknown, though there is nothing improbable in the statement of Jerome
that ecclesiastical teachers were always there. It must, however, have
been some years before a school could be developed or the need of it be

[1508] pareilephamen

[1509] logos ?chei.

[1510] Jerome (de vir. ill. 36) says that he was sent to India by the
bishop Demetrius at the request of the Indians themselves,–a statement
more exact than that of Eusebius, whether resting upon tradition
merely, or upon more accurate information, or whether it is simply a
combination of Jerome’s, we do not know. It is at any rate not at all
improbable (see above, note 1). A little farther on Eusebius indicates
that Pant�nus preached in the same country in which the apostle
Bartholomew had done missionary work. But according to Lipsius (Dict.
of Christ. Biog. I. p. 22) Bartholomew’s traditional field of labor was
the region of the Bosphorus. He follows Gutschmid therefore in claiming
that the Indians here are confounded with the Sindians, over whom the
Bosphorian kings of the house of Polemo ruled. Jerome (Ep. ad Magnum;
Migne, Ep. 70) evidently regards the India where Pant�nus preached as
India proper (Pant�nus Stoic� sect� philosophus, ob pracipue
eruditionis gloriam, a Demetrio Alexandri� episcopo missus est in
Indiam, ut Christum apud Brachmanas, et illius gentis philosophos
pr�dicaret). Whether the original tradition was that Pant�nus went to
India, and his connection with Bartholomew (who was wrongly supposed to
have preached to the Indians) was a later combination, or whether, on
the other hand, the tradition that he preached in Bartholomew’s field
of labor was the original and the mission to India a later combination,
we cannot tell. It is probable that Eusebius meant India proper, as
Jerome certainly did, but both of them may have been mistaken.

[1511] esan gar, esan eiseti. Eusebius seems to think it a remarkable
fact that there should still have been preaching evangelists. Evidently
they were no longer common in his day. It is interesting to notice that
he calls them ”evangelists.” In earlier times they were called
”apostles” (e.g. in the Didache), but the latter had long before
Eusebius’ time become a narrower, technical term.

[1512] See note 6.

[1513] If the truth of this account be accepted, Pant�nus is a witness
to the existence of a Hebrew Matthew. See above, Bk. III. chap. 24,
note 5. It has been assumed by some that this Gospel was the Gospel
according to the Hebrews (see Bk. III. chap. 25, note 24). This is
possible; but even if Pant�nus really did find a Hebrew Gospel of
Matthew as Eusebius says (and which, according to Jerome, de vir. ill.
36, he brought back to Alexandria with him), we have no grounds upon
which to base a conclusion as to its nature, or its relation to our
Greek Matthew.

[1514] Eusebius apparently puts the journey of Pant�nus in the middle
of his Alexandrian activity, and makes him return again and teach there
until his death. Jerome also agrees in putting the journey in the
middle and not at the beginning or close of his Alexandrian activity.
It must be confessed, however, that Eusebius’ language is very vague,
and of such a nature as perhaps to imply that he really had no idea
when the mission took place.

[1515] See above, note 1.

Chapter XI.–Clement of Alexandria.

1. At this time Clement, [1516] being trained with him [1517] in the
divine Scriptures at Alexandria, became well known. He had the same
name as the one who anciently was at the head of the Roman church, and
who was a disciple of the apostles. [1518]

2. In his Hypotyposes [1519] he speaks of Pant�nus by name as his
teacher. It seems to me that he alludes to the same person also in the
first book of his Stromata, when, referring to the more conspicuous of
the successors of the apostles whom he had met, [1520] he says: [1521]

3. ”This work [1522] is not a writing artfully constructed for display;
but my notes are stored up for old age, as a remedy against
forgetfulness; an image without art, and a rough sketch of those
powerful and animated words which it was my privilege to hear, as well
as of blessed and truly remarkable men.

4. Of these the one–the Ionian [1523] –was in Greece, the other in
Magna Gr�cia; [1524] the one of them was from Coele-Syria, [1525] the
other from Egypt. There were others in the East, one of them an
Assyrian, [1526] the other a Hebrew in Palestine. [1527] But when I met
with the last, [1528] –in ability truly he was first,–having hunted
him out in his concealment in Egypt, I found rest.

5. These men, preserving the true tradition of the blessed doctrine,
directly from the holy apostles, Peter and James and John and Paul, the
son receiving it from the father (but few were like the fathers), have
come by God’s will even to us to deposit those ancestral and apostolic
seeds.” [1529]

[1516] Of the place and time of Titus Flavius Clement’s birth we have
no certain knowledge, though it is probable that he was an Athenian by
training at least, if not by birth, and he must have been born about
the middle of the second century. He received a very extensive
education, and became a Christian in adult years, after he had tried
various systems of philosophy, much as Justin Martyr had. He had a
great thirst for knowledge, and names six different teachers under whom
he studied Christianity (see below, �4). Finally he became a pupil of
Pant�nus in Alexandria, whom he afterward succeeded as the head of the
catechetical school there. It is at this time (about 190 a.d.) that he
comes out clearly into the light of history, and to this period
(190-202) belongs his greatest literary activity. He was at the head of
the school probably until 202, when the persecution of Severus having
broken out, he left Alexandria, and we nave no notice that he ever
returned. That he did not leave Alexandria dishonorably, through fear,
may be gathered from his presence with Alexander during his
imprisonment, and from the letters of the latter (see below, Bk. VI.
chaps. 11 and 14, and cf. Bk. VI. chap. 6, notes). This is the last
notice that we have of him (a.d. 212); and of the place and time of his
death we know nothing, though he cannot have lived many years after
this. He was never a bishop, but was a presbyter of the Alexandrian
church, and was in ancient times commemorated as a saint, but his name
was dropped from the roll by Clement VIII. on account of suspected
heterodoxy. He lived in an age of transition, and his great importance
lies in the fact that he completed the bond between Hellenism and
Christianity, and as a follower of the apologists established
Christianity as a philosophy, and yet not as they had done in an
apologetic sense. He was the teacher of Origen, and the real father of
Greek theology. He published no system, as did Origen; his works were
rather desultory and fragmentary, but full of wide and varied learning,
and exhibit a truly broad and catholic spirit. Upon his works, see Bk.
VI. chap. 13. Upon Clement, see especially Westcott’s article in Smith
and Wace, I. 559-567, and Schaff, II. 781-785, where the literature is
given with considerable fullness. For an able and popular presentation
of his theology, see Allen’s Continuity of Christian Thought, p. 38-70.

[1517] sunaskoumenos

[1518] Upon Clement of Rome and his relation to the apostles, see Bk.
III. chap. 4, note 19.

[1519] On Clement’s Hypotyposes, see Bk. VI. chap. 13, note 3. The
passage in which he mentions Pant�nus by name has not been preserved.
Eusebius repeats the same statement in Bk. VI. chap. 13, �1.

[1520] tous emphanesterous hes kateilephen apostolikes diadoches
episemainomenos. Rufinus reads apostolic� pr�dicationis instead of
successionis. And so Christophorsonus and Valesius adopt didaches
instead of diadoches, and translate doctrin�. But diadoches is too well
supported by ms. authority to be rejected; and though the use of the
abstract ”succession,” instead of the concrete ”successors,” seems
harsh, it is employed elsewhere in the same sense by Eusebius (see Bk.
I. chap. 1, �1).

[1521] Strom.I. 1.

[1522] i.e. his Stromata.

[1523] This is hardly a proper name, although many have so considered
it, for Clement gives no other proper name in this connection, and it
is much more natural to translate ”the Ionian.” Various conjectures
have been made as to who these teachers were, but none are more than
mere guesses. Philip of Side tells us that Athenagoras was a teacher of
Clement, but, as we have seen, no confidence can be placed in his
statement. It has been conjectured also that Melito may be the person
referred to as ”the Ionian,” for Clement mentions his works, and wrote
a book on the paschal question in reply to Melito’s work on the same
subject (see above, Bk. IV. chap. 26, note 23). This too, however, is
mere conjecture.

[1524] The lower part of the peninsula of Italy was called Magna
Gr�cia, because it contained so many Greek colonies.

[1525] Coele-Syria was the valley lying between the eastern and western
ranges of Lebanon.

[1526] This has been conjectured to be Tatian. But in the first place,
Clement, in Strom. III. 12, calls Tatian a Syrian instead of an
Assyrian (the terms are indeed often used interchangeably, but we
should nevertheless hardly expect Clement to call his own teacher in
one place a Syrian, in another an Assyrian). And again, in II. 12, he
speaks very harshly of Tatian, and could hardly have referred to him in
this place in such terms of respect and affection.

[1527] Various conjectures have been made as to the identity of this
teacher,–for instance, Theophilus of C�sarea (who, however, was never
called a Hebrew, according to Valesius), and Theodotus (so Valesius).

[1528] Pant�nus. There can be no doubt as to his identity, for Clement
says that he remained with him and sought no further. Eusebius omits a
sentence here in which Clement calls Pant�nus the ”Sicilian bee,” from
which it is generally concluded that he was a native of Sicily (see the
previous chapter, note 1).

[1529] This entire passage is very important, as showing not only the
extensiveness of Clement’s own acquaintance with Christians, but also
the close intercourse of Christians in general, both East and West.
Clement’s statement in regard to the directness with which he received
apostolic tradition is not definite, and he by no means asserts that
his teachers were hearers of the apostles (which in itself would not be
impossible, but Clement would certainly have spoken more clearly had it
been a fact), nor indeed that they were hearers of disciples of the
apostles. But among so many teachers, so widely scattered, he could
hardly have failed to meet with some who had at least known those who
had known the apostles. In any case he considers his teachers very near
the apostles as regards the accuracy of their traditions. The passage
is also interesting, as showing the uniformity of doctrine in different
parts of Christendom, according to Clement’s view, though this does not
prove much, as Clement himself was so liberal and so much of an
eclectic. It is also interesting, as showing how much weight Clement
laid upon tradition, how completely he rested upon it for the truth,
although at the same time he was so free and broad in his speculation.

Chapter XII.–The Bishops in Jerusalem.

1. At this time Narcissus [1530] was the bishop of the church at
Jerusalem, and he is celebrated by many to this day. He was the
fifteenth in succession from the siege of the Jews under Adrian. We
have shown that from that time first the church in Jerusalem was
composed of Gentiles, after those of the circumcision, and that Marcus
was the first Gentile bishop that presided over them. [1531]

2. After him the succession in the episcopate was: first Cassianus;
after him Publius; then Maximus; [1532] following them Julian; then
Gaius; [1533] after him Symmachus and another Gaius, and again another
Julian; after these Capito [1534] and Valens and Dolichianus; and after
all of them Narcissus, the thirtieth in regular succession from the

[1530] The date of Narcissus’ accession to the see of Jerusalem is not
known to us. The Chron. affords us no assistance; for although it
connects him among other bishops with the first (Armen.) or third
(Jerome) year of Severus, it does not pretend to give the date of
accession, and in one place says expressly that the dates of the
Jerusalem bishops are not known (non potuimus discernere tempora
singulorum). But from chap. 22 we learn that he was already bishop in
the tenth year of Commodus (189 a.d.); from chap. 23, that he was one
of those that presided at a Palestinian council, called in the time of
Bishop Victor, of Rome, to discuss the paschal question (see chap. 23,
�2); from Bk. VI. chap. 8, that he was alive at the time of the
persecution of Severus (202 sq.); and from the fragment of one of
Alexander’s epistles given in Bk. VI. chap. 11, that he was still alive
in his 116th year, sometime after 212 a.d. (see Bk. VI. chap. 11, note
1). Epiphanius (H�r. LXVI. 20) reports that he lived until the reign of
Alexander Severus (222 a.d.), and this in itself would not be
impossible; for the epistle of Alexander referred to might have been
written as late as 222. But Epiphanius is a writer of no authority; and
the fact is, that in connection with Origen’s visit in Palestine, in
216 (see Bk. VI. chap. 19), Alexander is mentioned as bishop of
Jerusalem; and Narcissus is not referred to. We must, therefore,
conclude that Narcissus was dead before 216. We learn from Bk. VI.
chap. 9 that Narcissus had the reputation of being a great
miracle-worker, and he was a man of such great piety and sanctity as to
excite the hatred of a number of evil-doers, who conspired against him
to blacken his character. In consequence of this he left Jerusalem, and
disappeared entirely from the haunts of men, so that it became
necessary to appoint another bishop in his place. Afterward, his
slanderers having suffered the curses imprecated upon themselves in
their oaths against him, Narcissus returned, and was again made bishop,
and was given an assistant, Alexander (see Bk. VI. chaps. 10 and 11). A
late tradition makes Narcissus a martyr (see Nicephorus, H. E. IV. 19),
but there is no authority for the report.

[1531] Upon the so-called bishops of Jerusalem down to the destruction
of the city under Hadrian, see Bk. IV. chap. 5. Upon the destruction of
Jerusalem under Hadrian, and the founding of the Gentile Church in �lia
Capitolina, and upon Marcus the first Gentile bishop, see Bk. IV. chap.
6. The list given here by Eusebius purports to contain fifteen names,
Marcus being the sixteenth, and Narcissus being the thirtieth; but only
thirteen names are given. In the Chron., however, and in Epiphanius
(H�r. LXVI. 20) the list is complete, a second Maximus and a Valentinus
being inserted, as 26th and 27th, between Capito and Valens. The
omission here is undoubtedly due simply to the mistake of some scribe.
The Chron. puts the accession of Cassianus into the 23d year of
Antoninus Pius (160 a.d.), and the accession of the second Maximus into
the sixth year of Commodus (185 a.d.), but it is said in the Chron.
itself that the dates of the various bishops are not known, and hence
no reliance can be placed upon these figures. Epiphanius puts the
accession of the first Gaius into the tenth year of Antoninus Pius,
which is thirteen years earlier than the date of the Chron. for the
fourth bishop preceding. He also puts the death of the second Gaius in
the eighth year of Marcus Aurelius (168 a.d.) and the death of the
second Maximus in the sixteenth year of the same reign, thus showing a
variation from the Chron. of more than nine years. The episcopate of
Dolichianus is brought down by him to the reign of Commodus (180 a.d.).
As shown in note 1, however, the date given by him for Narcissus is
quite wrong, and there is no reason for bestowing any greater credence
upon his other dates. Syncellus assigns five years to Cassianus, five
to Publius, four to Maximus, two to Julian, three to the first Gaius,
two to Symmachus, three to the second Gaius, four to the second Julian,
two to an Elias who is not named by our other authorities, four to
Capito, four to the second Maximus, five to Antoninus, three to Valens,
four to Narcissus the first time, and ten the second time. His list,
however, is considerably confused,–Dolichianus being thrown after
Narcissus with an episcopate of twelve years,–and at any rate no
reliance can be placed upon the figures given. We must conclude that we
have no means of ascertaining the dates of these various bishops until
we reach Narcissus. We know nothing about any of them (Narcissus
excepted) beyond the fact that they were bishops.

[1532] Called Maximinus by the Armenian Chron., but all our other
authorities call him Maximus.

[1533] The name is given G?ios in this chapter, and by Syncellus; but
Jerome and the Armenian give Gaianus, and Epiphanius Gaianos. All the
authorities agree upon the name of the next Gaius (who is, however,
omitted by Rufinus).

[1534] Eusebius has Kapiton, so also Epiphanius, with whom Jerome
agrees, writing Capito. The Armenian, however, has Apion, and Syncellus
says ‘Apion, hoi de Kapiton.