Prolegomena Part 3

Chapter III

Eusebius’ Church History.

S:1. Date of its Composition

The work with which we are especially concerned at this time is the
Church History, the original Greek of which is still extant in numerous
mss. It consists of ten books, to which is added in most of the mss.
the shorter form of the Martyrs of Palestine (see above, p. 29). The
date of the work can be determined with considerable exactness. It
closes with a eulogy of Constantine and his son Crispus; and since the
latter was put to death by his father in the summer of 326, the History
must have been completed before that time. On the other hand, in the
same chapter Eusebius refers to the defeat of Licinius, which took
place in the year 323 a.d. This gives a fixed terminus a quo. It is not
quite certain from Eusebius’ words whether the death of Licinius had
already taken place at the time he wrote, but it seems probable that it
had, and if so, the completion of the work must be put as late as the
summer of 324. On the other hand, not the slightest reference is made
to the Council of Nicaea, which met in the summer of 325; and still
further the tenth book is dedicated to Paulinus, at one time bishop of
Tyre and afterward bishop of Antioch (see Euseb. Contra Marc. I. 4, and
Philost. H. E. III. 15), who was already dead in the summer of 325: for
at the Nicene Council, Zeno appears as bishop of Tyre, and Eustathius
as bishop of Antioch (see for further particulars Lightfoot, p. 322).
We are thus led to place the completion of the History in the year 324,
or, to give the widest possible limits, between the latter part of 323
and the early part of 325 a.d.

But the question has been raised whether the earlier books may not have
been composed some years before this. Lightfoot (following Westcott)
supposes that the first nine books were completed not long after the
edict of Milan and before the outbreak of the quarrel between
Constantine and Licinius in 314. There is considerable to be said in
favor of this theory. The language used in the dedication of the tenth
book seems to imply that the nine books had been completed some time
before, and that the tenth is added as a sort of postscript. The close
of the ninth book strengthens that conclusion. Moreover, it would seem
from the last sentences of that book that Constantine and Licinius were
in perfect harmony at the time it was written, a state of affairs which
did not exist after 314. On the other hand, it must be noticed that in
Book IX. chap. 9 Licinius’ ”madness” is twice referred to as having
”not yet” seized him (in S:1 oupo manentos tote, and in S:12 oupo tote
eph’ hen husteron ekpeptoke manian, ten diEURnoian ektrapeis). It is
necessary either to interpret both these clauses as later insertions
(possibly by Eusebius’ own hand at the time when he added the tenth
book; cf. also p. 30, above), or to throw the composition of the ninth
book down to the year 319 or later. It is difficult to decide between
these alternatives, but I am inclined on the whole to think that
Westcott’s theory is probably correct, and that the two clauses can
best be interpreted as later insertions. The very nature of his History
would at any rate lead us to think that Eusebius spent some years in
the composition of it, and that the earlier books, if not published,
were at least completed long before the issue of the ten books as a
whole. The Chronicle is referred to as already written in I. 1; the
Eclogae Proph. (? see below, p. 85) in I. 2 and 6; the Collection of
Ancient Martyrdoms in IV. 15, V. preface, 4, and 22; the Defense of
Origen in VI. 23, 33, and 36; the Life of Pamphilus in VI. 32, VII. 32,
and VIII. 13. In VIII. 13 Eusebius speaks also of his intention of
relating the sufferings of the martyrs in another work (but see above,
p. 30).

S:2. The Author’s Design.

That the composition of a history of the Church was Eusebius’ own idea,
and was not due to any suggestion from without, seems clear, both from
the absence of reference to any one else as prompting it, and from the
lack of a dedication at the beginning of the work. The reasons which
led him to undertake its composition seem to have been both scientific
and apologetic. He lived, and he must have realized the fact, at the
opening of a new age in the history of the Church. He believed, as he
frequently tells us, that the period of struggle had come to an end,
and that the Church was now about entering upon a new era of
prosperity. He must have seen that it was a peculiarly fitting time to
put on record for the benefit of posterity the great events which had
taken place within the Church during the generations that were past, to
sum up in one narrative all the trials and triumphs which had now
emerged in this final and greatest triumph, which he was witnessing. He
wrote, as any historian of the present day would write, for the
information and instruction of his contemporaries and of those who
should come after, and yet there was in his mind all the time the
apologetic purpose, the desire to exhibit to the world the history of
Christianity as a proof of its divine origin and efficacy. The plan
which he proposed to himself is stated at the very beginning of his
work: ”It is my purpose to write an account of the successions of the
holy apostles, as well as of the times which have elapsed from the days
of our Saviour to our own; and to relate how many and how important
events are said to have occurred in the history of the Church; and to
mention those who have governed and presided over the Church in the
most prominent parishes, and those who in each generation have
proclaimed the divine word either orally or in writing. It is my
purpose also to give the names and the number and the times of those
who through love of innovation have run into the greatest errors, and
proclaiming themselves discoverers of knowledge, falsely so-called,
have, like fierce wolves, unmercifully devastated the flock of Christ.
It is my intention, moreover, to recount the misfortunes which
immediately came upon the whole Jewish nation in consequence of their
plots against our Saviour, and to record the ways and the times in
which the divine word has been attacked by the Gentiles, and to
describe the character of those who at various periods have contended
for it in the face of blood and tortures, as well as the confessions
which have been made in our own days, and finally the gracious and
kindly succour which our Saviour afforded them all.” It will be seen
that Eusebius had a very comprehensive idea of what a history of the
Church should comprise, and that he was fully alive to its importance.

S:3. Eusebius as a Historian. The Merits and Defects of his History.

The whole Christian world has reason to be thankful that there lived at
the opening of the fourth century a man who, with his life spanning one
of the greatest epochs that has occurred in the history of the Church,
with an intimate experimental knowledge of the old and of the new
condition of things, was able to conceive so grand a plan and possessed
the means and the ability to carry it out. Had he written nothing else,
Eusebius’ Church History would have made him immortal; for if
immortality be a fitting reward for large and lasting services, few
possess a clearer title to it than the author of that work. The value
of the History to us lies not in its literary merit, but in the wealth
of the materials which it furnishes for a knowledge of the early
Church. How many prominent figures of the first three centuries are
known to us only from the pages of Eusebius; how many fragments,
priceless on account of the light which they shed upon movements of
momentous and far-reaching consequence, have been preserved by him
alone; how often a hint dropped, a casual statement made in passing, or
the mention of some apparently trifling event, gives the clue which
enables us to unravel some perplexing labyrinth, or to fit into one
whole various disconnected and apparently unrelated elements, and thus
to trace the steps in the development of some important historical
movement whose rise and whose bearing must otherwise remain an unsolved
riddle. The work reveals no sympathy with Ebionism, Gnosticism, and
Montanism, and little appreciation of their real nature, and yet our
knowledge of their true significance and of their place in history is
due in considerable part to facts respecting the movements or their
leaders which Eusebius alone has recorded or preserved. To understand
the development of the Logos Christology we must comprehend the
significance of the teaching of Paul of Samosata, and how inadequate
would our knowledge of the nature of that teaching be without the
epistle quoted in Book VII. chap. 30. How momentous were the
consequences of the paschal controversies, and how dark would they be
were it not for the light shed upon them by our author. How important,
in spite of their tantalizing brevity and obscurity, the fragments of
Papias’ writings; how interesting the extracts from the memoirs of
Hegesippus; how suggestive the meager notices from Dionysius of
Corinth, from Victor of Rome, from Melito, from Caius; how instructive
the long and numerous quotations from the epistles of Dionysius of
Alexandria! He may often fail to appreciate the significance of the
events which he records, he may in many cases draw unwarranted
conclusions from the premises which he states, he may sometimes
misinterpret his documents and misunderstand men and movements, but in
the majority of cases he presents us with the material upon which to
form our own judgments, and if we differ with him we must at the same
time thank him for the data which have enabled us independently to
reach other results.

But the value of Eusebius’ Church History does not lie solely in the
fact that it contains so many original sources which would be otherwise
unknown to us. It is not merely a thesaurus, it is a history in the
truest sense, and it possesses an intrinsic value of its own,
independent of its quotations from other works. Eusebius possessed
extensive sources of knowledge no longer accessible to us. His History
contains the results of his extended perusal of many works which are
now irrecoverably lost, of his wide acquaintance with the current
traditions of his day, of his familiar intercourse with many of the
chief men of the age. If we cut out all the documents which he quotes,
there still remains an extensive history whose loss would leave an
irreparable blank in our knowledge of the early Church. How invaluable,
for instance, to mention but one matter, are the researches of our
author in regard to the circulation of the books of the New Testament:
his testimony to the condition of the canon in his own time, and to the
more or less widespread use of particular writings by the Fathers of
preceding centuries. Great as is the value of the sources which
Eusebius quotes, those that he does not give are still more extensive,
and it is the knowledge gained from them which he has transmitted to

The worth of these portions of his History must depend in the first
place upon the extent and reliability of his sources, and in the second
place upon the use which he made of them.

A glance at the list of his authorities given in the index, reveals at
once the immense range of his materials. The number of books which he
either quotes or refers to as read is enormous. When to these are added
the works employed by him in the composition of his Praep. Evang., as
well as the great number which he must have perused, but does not
mention, we are amazed at the extent of his reading. He must have been
a voracious reader from his earliest years, and he must have possessed
extraordinary acquisitive powers. It is safe to say that there was
among the Fathers, with the possible exception of Origen, no more
learned man than he. He thus possessed one of the primary
qualifications of the historian. And yet even in this respect he had
his limitations. He seems to have taken no pains to acquaint himself
with the works of heretics, but to have been content to take his
knowledge of them at second hand. And still further, he was sadly
ignorant of Latin literature and of the Latin Church in general (see
below, p. 106); in fact, we must not expect to glean from his History a
very thorough or extended knowledge of western Christendom.

But his sources were not confined to literary productions. He had a
wide acquaintance with the world, and he was enabled to pick up much
from his intercourse with other men and with different peoples that he
could not have found upon the shelves of the Caesarean or of any other
library. Moreover, he had access to the archives of state and gathered
from them much information quite inaccessible to most men. He was thus
peculiarly fitted, both by nature and by circumstances, for the task of
acquiring material, the first task of the genuine historian.

But the value of his work must depend in the second place upon the
wisdom and honesty with which he used his sources, and upon the
faithfulness and accuracy with which he reproduced the results thus
reached. We are therefore led to enquire as to his qualifications for
this part of his work.

We notice, in the first place, that he was very diligent in the use of
his sources. Nothing seems to have escaped him that might in any way
bear upon the particular subject in hand. When he informs us that a
certain author nowhere mentions a book or an event, he is, so far as I
am aware, never mistaken. When we realize how many works he read
entirely through for the sake of securing a single historical notice,
and how many more he must have read without finding anything to his
purpose, we are impressed with his untiring diligence. To-day, with our
convenient indexes, and with the references at hand which have been
made by many other men who have studied the writings of the ancients,
we hardly comprehend what an amount of labor the production of a
History like Eusebius’ must have cost him, a pioneer in that kind of

In the second place, we are compelled to admire the sagacity which our
author displays in the selection of his materials. He possessed the
true instinct of the historian, which enabled him to pick out the
salient points and to present to the reader just that information which
he most desires. We shall be surprised upon examining his work to see
how little it contains which it is not of the utmost importance for the
student of early Church history to know, and how shrewdly the author
has anticipated most of the questions which such a student must ask. He
saw what it was in the history of the first three centuries of the
Church which posterity would most desire to know, and he told them. His
wisdom in this respect is all the more remarkable when compared with
the unwisdom of most of his successors, who filled their works with
legends of saints and martyrs, which, however fascinating they may have
been to the readers of that age, possess little either of interest or
of value for us. When he wishes to give us a glimpse of the
persecutions of those early days, his historical and literary instinct
leads him to dwell especially upon two thoroughly representative
cases,–the martyrdom of Polycarp and the sufferings of the churches of
Lyons and Vienne,–and to preserve for posterity two of the noblest
specimens of martyrological literature which the ancient Church
produced. It is true that he sometimes erred in his judgment as to the
wants of future readers; we could wish that he had been somewhat fuller
and clearer on many points, and that he had not so entirely neglected
some others; but on the whole I am of the opinion that few historical
works, ancient or modern, have in the same compass better fulfilled
their mission in this respect.

In the third place, we can hardly fail to be impressed by the wisdom
with which Eusebius discriminated between reliable and unreliable
sources. Judged by the modern standard he may fall short as a literary
critic, but judged by the standard of antiquity he must be given a very
high rank. Few indeed are the historians of ancient times, secular or
ecclesiastical, who can compare with Eusebius for sound judgment in
this matter. The general freedom of his work from the fables and
prodigies, and other improbable or impossible tales which disfigure the
pages of the great majority even of the soberest of ancient historians,
is one of its most marked features. He shows himself uncommonly
particular in demanding good evidence for the circumstances which he
records, and uncommonly shrewd in detecting spurious and unreliable
sources. When we remember the great number of pseudonymous works which
were current in his day we are compelled to admire his care and his
discrimination. Not that he always succeeded in detecting the false.
More than once he was sadly at fault (as for instance in regard to the
Abgarus correspondence and Josephus’ testimony to Christ), and has in
consequence been severely denounced or held up to unsparing ridicule by
many modern writers. But the wonder certainly is not that he erred as
often as he did, but that he did not err oftener; not that he was
sometimes careless in regard to the reliability of his sources, but
that he was ever as careful as, in the majority of cases, he has proved
himself to be. In fact, comparing him with other writers of antiquity,
we cannot commend too highly the care and the skill with which he
usually discriminated between the true and the false.

In the fourth place, he deserves all praise for his constant sincerity
and unfailing honesty. I believe that emphasis should be laid upon this
point for the reason that Eusebius’ reputation has often suffered sadly
in consequence of the unjust imputations, and the violent accusations,
which it was for a long time the fashion to make against him, and which
lead many still to treat his statements with distrust, and his
character with contempt. Gibbon’s estimate of his honesty is well known
and has been unquestioningly accepted in many quarters, but it is none
the less unjust, and in its implications quite untrue to the facts.
Eusebius does dwell with greater fullness upon the virtues than upon
the vices of the early Church, upon its glory than upon its shame, and
he tells us directly that it is his intention so to do (H. E. VIII. 2),
but he never undertakes to conceal the sins of the Christians, and the
chapter immediately preceding contains a denunciation of their
corruptness and wickedness uttered in no faint terms. In fact, in the
face of these and other candid passages in his work, it is the sheerest
injustice to charge him with dishonesty and unfairness because he
prefers, as almost any Christian historian must, to dwell with greater
fullness of detail upon the bright than upon the dark side of the
picture. Scientific, Eusebius’ method, in this respect, doubtless is
not; but dishonest, no one has a right to call it. The most severe
attack which has been made upon Eusebius in recent years is found in an
article by Jachmann (see below, p. 55). The evident animus which runs
through his entire paper is very unpleasant; the conclusions which he
draws are, to say the least, strained. I cannot enter here into a
consideration of his positions; most of them are examined below in the
notes upon the various passages which he discusses. The whole article,
like most similar attacks, proceeds upon the supposition that our
author is guilty, and then undertakes simply to find evidence of that
which is already presupposed. I submit that few writers could endure
such an ordeal. If Eusebius is tried according to the principles of
common justice, and of sound literary criticism, I am convinced, after
long and careful study, that his sincerity and honesty of purpose
cannot be impeached. The particular instances which have been urged as
proving his dishonesty will be discussed below in the notes upon the
respective passages, and to those the reader is referred (compare
especially pp. 88, 98, 100, 111, 112, 114, 127, 194).

Eusebius’ critics are wont to condemn him severely for what they are
pleased to call the dishonesty displayed by him in his Vita
Constantini. Such critics forget, apparently, that that work pretends
to be, not a history, but a panegyric. Judging it as such, I am unable
to find anything in it which leads me to entertain for a moment a
suspicion of the author’s honesty. It is true that Eusebius emphasizes
the Emperor’s good qualities, and fails to mention the darker spots in
his character; but so far as I am aware he misstates no facts, and does
only what those who eulogize deceased friends are accustomed to do the
world over. For a discussion of this matter the reader is referred to
the prolegomena of Dr. Richardson, pp. 467 sq. of this volume. I am
pleased to learn from him that his study of the Vita has shown him
nothing which justifies the charge of dishonesty brought against

One of the most decisive marks of veracity upon the part of our author
is the frankness with which he confesses his lack of knowledge upon any
subject (cf. IV. 5), and the care with which he distinguishes between
the different kinds of evidence upon which he bases his statements. How
frequently the phrases logos zchei, phasi, legetai, &c., occur in
connection with accounts which a less scrupulous historian would not
hesitate to record as undoubted fact. How particular he is to mention
his sources for any unusual or startling event. If the authorities seem
to him quite inadequate, he simply omits all reference to an occurrence
which most of his contemporaries and successors would have related with
the greatest gusto; if the testimony seems to him strong, he records
the circumstance and expressly mentions his authority, whether oral
tradition, the testimony of eye-witnesses, or written accounts, and we
are thus furnished the material from which to form our own judgments.

He is often blamed by modern writers for what they are pleased to call
his excessive credulity. Those who accuse him thus seem to forget that
he lived in the fourth, not in the nineteenth century. That he believed
many things which we now declare to be incredible is perfectly true,
but that he believed things that other Christians of his day pronounced
incredible is not true. Judged, in fact, according to the standard of
his age–and indeed of eleven succeeding centuries–he must be
pronounced remarkably free from the fault of over-credulity, in truth
uncommonly skeptical in his attitude toward the marvelous. Not that he
denies the occurrence of prodigies and wonders in his own and other
ages, but that he always demands the strongest testimony before he
allows himself to be convinced of their truth. Compare, e.g., the care
with which he gives his authorities for the anecdote in regard to the
Thundering Legion (V. 5), and his final suspension of judgment in the
matter; compare also the emphasis which he lays upon the personal
testimony of the Emperor in the matter of the appearance of the sign of
the cross in the sky (Vita Const. I. 28 sq.), a phenomenon which he
himself tells us that he would have believed upon no ordinary evidence.
His conduct in this matter is a sign rather of a skepticism uncommon in
his age than of an excessive and unusual credulity. Gibbon himself
gives our author due credit in this respect, when he speaks of his
character as ”less tinctured with credulity, and more practiced in the
arts of courts, than that of almost any of his contemporaries” (Decline
and Fall, chap. XVI.).

On the other hand, Eusebius as an historian had many very grave faults
which it is not my wish in the least to palliate or conceal. One of the
most noticeable of these is his complete lack of any conception of
historiography as a fine art. His work is interesting and instructive
because of the facts which it records, but that interest is seldom if
ever enhanced by his mode of presentation. There is little effective
grouping, almost no sense of perspective, utter ignorance of the art of
suggesting by a single line or phrase a finished picture of a man or of
a movement. He was not, in other words, a Thucydides or a Tacitus; but
the world has seen not many such as they.

A second and still more serious fault is our author’s want of depth, if
I may so express myself, his failure to look beneath the surface and to
grasp the real significance of things, to trace the influence of
opinions and events. We feel this defect upon every page. We read the
annals, but we are conscious of no masterful mind behind them,
digesting and comprehending them into one organic and imposing whole.
This radical weakness in our author’s method is revealed perhaps most
clearly in his superficial and transcendental treatment of heretics and
heresies, his failure to appreciate their origin and their bearing upon
the progress of Christian thought. Of a development in theology, in
fact, he knows nothing, and hence his work lacks utterly that which we
now look upon as the most instructive part of Church history,–the
history of doctrine.

In the third place, severe censure must be passed upon our author for
his carelessness and inaccuracy in matters of chronology. We should
expect that one who had produced the most extensive chronological work
that had ever been given to the world, would be thoroughly at home in
that province, but in truth his chronology is the most defective
feature of his work. The difficulty is chiefly due to his inexcusable
carelessness, we might almost say slovenliness, in the use of different
and often contradictory sources of information. Instead of applying
himself to the discrepancies, and endeavoring to reach the truth by
carefully weighing the respective merits of the sources, or by testing
their conclusions in so far as tests are possible, he adopts in many
cases the results of both, apparently quite unsuspicious of the
confusion consequent upon such a course. In fact, the critical spirit
which actuates him in dealing with many other matters seems to leave
him entirely when he is concerned with chronology; and instead of
proceeding with the care and circumspection of an historian, he accepts
what he finds with the unquestioning faith of a child. There is no case
in which he can be convicted of disingenuousness, but at times his
obtuseness is almost beyond belief. An identity of names, or a
resemblance between events recorded by different authors, will often be
enough to lead him all unconsciously to himself into the most absurd
and contradictory conclusions. Instances of this may be seen in Book I.
chap. 5, and in II. 11. His confusion in regard to the various
Antonines (see especially the note on the preface to Book V.) is not at
all unusual among the writers of his day, and in view of the frequent
and perplexing use of the same names by the different emperors, might
be quite excusable in a less scholarly man than Eusebius, but in his
case it is evidence of unpardonable want of care. This serious defect
in our author’s method is not peculiar to him. Many historians,
critical almost to a fault in most matters, accept the received
chronology without question, and build upon it as if it were the surest
of foundations. Such a consideration does not excuse Eusebius; it
relieves him, however, of the stigma of peculiarity.

Finally, the character of the History is greatly impaired by our
author’s desultory method. This is a characteristic of his literary
work in general, and was referred to in the previous chapter. All his
works are marred by it, but few suffer more noticeably than the
History. The author does not confine himself as strictly as he should
to the logical limits of the subject which he is treating, but allows
himself to be led away from the main point by the suggestions that pour
in upon him from all sides. As Lightfoot remarks, ”We have not
unfrequently to pick out from various parts of his work the notices
bearing on one definite and limited subject. He relates a fact, or
quotes an authority bearing upon it, in season or out of season,
according as it is recalled to his memory by some accidental
connexion.” This unfortunate habit of Eusebius’ is one into which men
of wide learning are very apt to fall. The richness of their
acquisitions embarrasses them, and the immense number of facts in their
possession renders a comprehension of them all into one logical whole
very difficult; and yet unless the facts be thus comprehended, unless
they be thoroughly digested and arranged, the result is confusion and
obscurity. To exclude is as necessary as to include, if one would write
history with the highest measure of success; to exclude rigidly at one
time what it is just as necessary to include at another. To men like
Eusebius there is perhaps nothing more difficult than this. Only a mind
as intensive as it is extensive, with a grasp as strong as its reach is
wide, can accomplish it, and few are the minds that are blessed with
both qualities. Few are the writers whose histories stand upon our
shelves that fail not sadly in the one or in the other; and in few
perhaps does the failure seem more marked than in our author.

And yet, though it is apparent that the value of Eusebius’ work is
greatly impaired by its desultory method of treatment, I am confident
that the defect is commonly exaggerated. The paragraph which Lightfoot
quotes from Westcott on this subject leaves a false impression.
Altogether too often our author introduces irrelevant matters, and
repeats himself when repetition ”mars the symmetry of his work”; and
yet on the whole he follows a fairly well ordered plan with fairly good
success. He endeavors to preserve a strictly chronological sequence in
his arrangement of the books, and he adheres for the most part to his
purpose. Though there may be disorder and confusion within the various
periods, for instance within the apostolic age, the age of Trajan, of
Hadrian, of the Antonines, &c., yet the periods themselves are kept
reasonably distinct from one another, and having finished his account
of one of them the author seldom returns to it. Even in his treatment
of the New Testament canon, which is especially desultory, he says most
of what he has to say about it in connection with the apostles
themselves, and before passing on to the second century. I would not
overlook the exceeding flagrancy of his desultoriness and
repetitiousness in his accounts of the writings of many of the Fathers,
especially of the two Clements, and yet I would emphasize the fact that
he certainly had an outline plan which he designed to follow, and for
which due credit should be given him. He compares favorably in this
respect with at least most of the writers of antiquity. Only with our
modern method of dividing history into periods, separated by natural
boundary lines, and of handling it under clearly defined rubrics, have
we become able wholly to avoid the confused and illogical treatment of
Eusebius and of others like him.

S:4. Editions and Versions.

The original Greek of Eusebius’ History has been published in many

1. The editio princeps is that of Robert Stephanus, which appeared at
Paris in 1544, and again, with a few changes, and with the Latin
translation of Christophorsonus and the notes of Suffridus Petrus, at
Geneva in 1612.

2. Henr. Valesius (de Valois) published his first edition of the Greek
text, with a new Latin translation and with copious critical and
explanatory notes, at Paris in 1659. His edition was reprinted at Mainz
in 1672, but the reprint is full of errors. In 1677, after Valesius’
death, a revised edition was issued at Paris, which in 1695 was
reprinted with some corrections at Amsterdam. In 1720 Valesius’ edition
of Eusebius, together with his edition of Socrates, Sozomen, and the
other Greek historians, was republished at Cambridge by William
Reading, in three folio volumes. This is the best edition of Valesius,
the commentary being supplemented by ms. notes which he had left among
his papers, and increased by large additions from other writers under
the head of Variorum. A reprint of Reading’s edition was issued in
1746-1748, but according to Heinichen it is not as accurate as that of
1720. For the elucidation of Eusebius’ History we owe more to Valesius
than to any other man. His edition of the text was an immense advance
upon that of Stephanus, and has formed the basis of all subsequent
editions, while his notes are a perfect storehouse of information from
which all annotators of Eusebius have extensively drawn. Migne’s
edition (Opera, II. 45-906) is a reprint of Valesius’ edition of 1659.

3. F. A. Stroth (Halle, 1779). A new edition of the Greek text, of
which, however, only the first volume appeared, comprising Books

4. E. Zimmermann (Frankfort-on-the-Main, 1822). A new edition of the
Greek text, containing also the Latin translation of Valesius, and a
few critical notes.

5. F. A. Heinichen (Leipzig, 1827 and 1828). An edition of the Greek
text in three volumes, with a reprint of the entire commentary of
Valesius, and with the addition of Variorum notes. The critical
apparatus, printed in the third volume, is very meager. A few valuable
excursuses close the work. Forty years later Heinichen published a
second edition of the History in his Eusebii Pamphili Scripta Historica
(Lips. 1868-1870, 3 vols.). The first volume contains the Greek text of
the History, with valuable prolegomena, copious critical apparatus and
very useful indices; the second volume contains the Vita Constantini,
the Panegyricus or De laudibus Constantini, and Constantine’s Oratio ad
Sanctorum coetum, also accompanied with critical apparatus and indices;
the third volume contains an extensive commentary upon the works
included in the first two volumes, together with twenty-nine valuable
excursuses. This entirely supersedes the first, and is on the whole the
most complete and useful edition of the History which we have. The
editor made diligent use of the labors of his predecessors, especially
of Laemmer’s. He did no independent work, however, in the way of
collecting material for the criticism of the text, and was deficient in
critical judgment. As a consequence his text has often to be amended on
the basis of the variant readings, which he gives with great fullness.
His commentary is made up largely of quotations from Valesius and other
writers, and is valuable for the material it thus contains as well as
for its references to other works. It labors under the same
incompleteness, however, that mars Valesius’ commentary, and, moreover,
contains almost nothing of independent value.

6. E. Burton (Oxford, 1838). The Greek text in two volumes, with the
translation of Valesius and with critical apparatus; and again in 1845,
with the critical apparatus omitted, but with the notes of Valesius,
Heinichen and others added. Burton made large contributions to the
criticism of the text, and had he lived to superintend the issue of the
second edition, would perhaps have succeeded in giving us a better text
than any which we now possess, for he was a far more sagacious critic
than Heinichen. As it is, his edition is marred by numerous
imperfections, largely caused by the inaccuracy of those who collated
mss. for him. His text, with the translation, notes, and critical
apparatus omitted, was reprinted by Bright at Oxford in 1872, and again
in 1881, in a single volume. This is a very handy edition, and for
school use is unsurpassed. The typography is superb, and the admirable
plan is followed of discarding quotation marks and printing all
citations in smaller type, thus making plain to the eye at a glance
what is Eusebius’ own and what is another’s. The text is preceded by a
very interesting and graphic life of the historian.

7. Schwegler (Tuebingen, 1852, in one volume). The Greek text with
critical apparatus, but without translation and notes. An accurate and
useful edition.

8. Laemmer (Schaffhausen, 1859-1862). The Greek text in one volume,
with extensive critical apparatus, but without explanatory notes.
Laemmer had unusual opportunities for collecting material, and has made
larger additions to the critical apparatus than any one else. His
edition was issued, however, in a most slovenly manner, and swarms with
mistakes. Great care should therefore be exercised in the use of it.

9. Finally must be mentioned the text of Dindorf (Lips. 1871), which is
published in the Teubner series, and like most of the volumes of that
series is handy and convenient, but of little value to the critical

There are few writings of the Fathers which more sadly need and more
richly deserve a new critical edition than the History of Eusebius. The
material for the formation of a reliable text is extensive and
accessible, but editors have contented themselves too much in the past
with the results of their predecessors’ labors, and unfortunately those
labors have not always been accurate and thorough. As a consequence a
new and more careful collation of most of the mss. of the original,
together with those of Rufinus’ translation, must lie at the foundation
of any new work which is to be done in this line. The publication of
the Syriac version will doubtless furnish much valuable material which
the next editor of the History will be able to use to advantage.
Anything less than such a thorough work as I have indicated will be of
little worth. Unless the new edition be based upon extensive and
independent labors, it will be little if any improvement upon that of
Heinichen. It is to be hoped that a critical text, up to the standard
of those of some other patristic works which we already possess, may
yet be issued, which shall give us this, one of the noblest productions
of the ancient Church, in a fitting and satisfactory form.

Translations of Eusebius’ History are very numerous. Probably the
earliest of all is the ancient Syriac version which is preserved in
great part in two mss., one of which is at St. Petersburg and contains
the entire History with the exception of Book VI. and large portions of
Books V. and VII. The ms. is dated 462 a.d. (see Wright’s description
of it in his Catalogue of the Syriac mss. in the British Museum
acquired since the year 1838, Part III. p. xv. sq.). The second ms. is
in the British Museum, and contains Books I.-V., with some mutilations
at the beginning of the first book. The ms. dates from the sixth
century (see Wright’s description of it in his Catalogue, p. 1039).
From these mss. Wright was engaged in preparing an edition of the
Syriac, which remained unfinished at the time of his death. Whether he
left his work in such shape that it can soon be issued by some one else
I have not yet learned. The version was probably made at a very early
date, possibly within the lifetime of Eusebius himself, though of that
we can have no assurance. I understand that it confirms in the main the
Greek text as now printed in our best editions.

The original Latin version was made by Rufinus in the early years of
the fifth century. He translated only nine books, and added to them two
of his own, in which he brought the history down to the death of
Theodosius the Great. He allowed himself his customary license in
translating, and yet, although his version is by no means exact, it is
one of our best sources for a knowledge of the true text of Eusebius,
for it is possible, in many doubtful cases where our mss. are
hopelessly divided, to ascertain from his rendering what stood in the
original Greek. The version of Rufinus had a large circulation, and
became in the Western Church a substitute for the original throughout
the Middle Ages. It was first printed, according to Fabricius (ib. p.
59), in 1476 at Rome, afterward a great many times there and elsewhere.
The first critical edition, which still remains the best, is that of
Cacciari (Rome, 1740), which has become rare, and is very difficult to
find. A new edition is a great desideratum. An important work upon
Rufinus’ version is Kimmel’s De Rufino Eusebii Interprete, Gerae, 1838.

A new Latin translation, by Wolfgang Musculus, was published in Basle,
in 1549, and again in 1557, 1562, and 1611, according to Fabricius
(Bibl. Gr. VI. p. 60). I have myself seen only the edition of 1562.

Still another Latin version, from the hand of Christophorsonus, was
published at Louvain in 1570. This is the only edition of
Christophorsonus which I have seen, but I have notices of Cologne
editions of 1570, 1581 and 1612, and of a Paris edition of 1571.
According to Fabricius the Paris edition, and according to Brunnet the
Cologne edition of 1581, contain the notes of Suffridus Petrus. A
revision of Christophorsonus’ version is said by Cruse to have been
published by Curterius, but I have not seen it, nor am I aware of its

Another translation, by Grynaeus, was published at Basle in 1611. This
is the only edition of Grynaeus’ version which I have seen, and I find
in it no reference to an earlier one. I have been informed, however,
that an edition appeared in 1591. Hanmer seems to imply, in his
preface, that Grynaeus’ version is only a revision of that of Musculus,
and if that were so we should have to identify the 1611 edition with
the 1611 edition of Musculus mentioned by Fabricius (see above). I am
able, however, to find no hint in Grynaeus’ edition itself that his
version is a revision of that of Musculus.

The translation of Valesius, which was first published in 1659 (see
above), was a great improvement upon all that had preceded it, and has
been many times reprinted in other editions of Eusebius, as well as in
his own.

The first German translation was published by Caspar Hedio. The date of
publication is given by Fabricius as 1545, but the copy which I have
seen is dated 1582, and contains no reference to an earlier edition. It
comprises only nine books of Eusebius, supplemented by the two of
Rufinus. The title runs as follows: Chronica, das ist: wahrhaftige
Beschreibunge aller alten Christlichen Kirchen; zum ersten, die hist.
eccles. Eusebii Pamphili Caesariensis, Eilff Buecher; zum andern, die
hist. eccles. tripartita Sozomeni, Socratis und Theodoreti, Zwoelff
Buecher; zum dritten die hist. eccles. sampt andern treffenlichen
Geschichten, die zuvor in Teutschef Sprache wenig gelesen sind, auch
Zwoelff Buecher. Von der Zeit an da die hist. eccles. tripartita
aufhoeret: das ist, von der jarzal an, vierhundert nach Christi geburt,
biss auff das jar MDXLV, durch D. Caspar Hedion zu Strassburg
verteutscht und zusamen getragen. Getruckt zu Franckfurt am Mayn, im
jar 1582.

A second German translation of the entire History (with the exception
of the Martyrs of Palestine, and the Oration on the Building of the
Churches, X. 4), together with the Life of Constantine, was published
by F. A. Stroth in Quedlinburg in 1777, in two volumes. Stroth prefaced
the translation with a very valuable Life of Eusebius, and added a
number of excellent notes of his own. The translation is reasonably

A much more elegant German version (including the Oration, but omitting
the Martyrs of Palestine) was published by Closs in Stuttgart in 1839,
in one volume. This is in my opinion the best translation of the
History that exists. Its style is admirable, but pure German idiom is
sometimes secured at the expense of faithfulness. In fact the author
has aimed to produce a free, rather than a literal translation, and has
occasionally allowed himself to depart too far from the original. A few
brief notes, most of them taken from Valesius or Stroth, accompany the

More recently a German translation has been published by Stigloher
(Kempten, 1880) in the Kempten Bibliothek der Kirchenvaeter. It
purports to be a new translation, but is practically nothing more than
a poorly revised edition of Closs’ version. The changes which are made
are seldom improvements.

Fabricius mentions a French translation by Claudius Seysselius, but
does not give the date of it, and I have not myself seen it. Dr.
Richardson, however, informs me that he has a copy of this translation
(which is from the Latin, not from the Greek) bearing the following
title: L’Histoire ecclesiastique translatie de Latin au Franc,ais, par
M. Claude de Seyssel, evesque lors de Marseille, et depuis archevesque
de Thurin. Paris, 1532 [or ’33], f-o. He informs me also that there
exist editions of the years 1537 and 1567.

More than a century later appeared a new French translation by Louis
Cousin, bearing the following title: Histoire de l’Eglise ecrite par
Eusebe Cesaree, Socrate, Sozomene, Theodoret et Evagre, avec l’abrege
de Philostorge par Photius, et de Theodore par Nicephore Calliste.
Paris, 1675-1676. 4 vol. 4-o. Another edition appeared in Holland in
1686, 5 vol. 12-o.

The first English translation was made by Hanmer, and was issued in
1584, and, according to Cruse, passed through five editions. The fourth
edition, which lies before me, was published in London in 1636. The
volume contains the Histories of Eusebius, of Socrates, and of
Evagrius; Dorotheus’ Lives, and Eusebius’ Life of Constantine.

Another translation is said by Cruse to have been published about a
century later by T. Shorting, and to be a decided improvement upon that
of Hanmer. I have seen no copy bearing Shorting’s name, but have
examined an anonymous translation which bears the following title: The
Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius Pamphilus in ten books. Made into
English from that edition set forth by Valesius, and printed at Paris
in the year 1659; together with Valesius’ notes on the said historian,
which are done into English and set at their proper place in the
margin. Hereto also is annexed an account of the life and writings of
the aforesaid historian, collected by Valesius and rendered into
English. Cambridge: John Hayes, 1683. This is evidently the translation
of Shorting referred to by Cruse, for it answers perfectly the
description which he gives of it.

An abridgment of this version, made by Parker, is mentioned both by
Fabricius (ib. p. 62) and by Cruse, but I have not myself seen it.
Fabricius gives its date as 1703, and Dr. Richardson informs me that he
has seen an edition bearing the date 1729, and that he has a note of
another published in 1703 or 1720.

The latest English translation was made by the Rev. C. F. Cruse, an
American Episcopalian of German descent, and was published first in
Philadelphia in 1833, with a translation, by Parker, of Valesius’ Life
of Eusebius prefixed. It has been reprinted a great many times both in
England and America, and is included in Bohn’s Ecclesiastical Library.
In Bohn’s edition are printed a few scattered notes from Valesius’
commentary, and in some other editions an historical account of the
Council of Nicaea, by Isaac Boyle, is added. The translation is an
improvement upon its predecessors, but is nevertheless very faulty and
unsatisfactory. The translator is not thoroughly at home in the
English, and, moreover, his version is marred by many serious omissions
and interpolations which reveal an inexcusable degree of carelessness
on his part.

S:5. Literature.

The literature upon Eusebius’ History is very extensive. Many of the
editions already mentioned discuss, in their prolegomena, the History
itself and Eusebius’ character as a historian, as do also all the lives
of Eusebius referred to above, and all the larger histories of the
Church. In addition to these we have numerous important monographs and
essays, of which the following may be mentioned here: Moeller, de Fide
Eusebii in rebus christianis enarrandis, Havn. 1813; Danz, de Eusebio
Caesariensi Hist. Ecclesiasticae Scriptore, Jenae, 1815. This was
mentioned in Chapter I. as containing a valuable discussion of the life
of Eusebius. Its chief importance lies in its treatment of the sources
of the Church History, to which the author devotes the whole of Chap.
III. which bears the title, de fontibus, quibus usus, historiam
ecclesiasticam conscripsit Eusebius, pp. 76-144. Kestner, de Eusebii
Historiae Eccles. conditoris auctoritate, et fide diplomatica, sive de
ejus Fontibus et Ratione qua eis usus est, Gottingae, 1816; and by the
same author, Ueber die Einseitigkeit und Partheiligkeit des Eusebius
als Geschichtschreibers, Jenae, 1819; Reuterdahl, de Fontibus Historiae
Eccles. Eusebianae, Londini Gothorum, 1826; Reinstra, de Fontibus, ex
quibus Historiae Eccles. opus hausit Eusebius Pamphili, et de Ratione,
qua iis usus est, Trajecti ad Rhenum, 1833; F. C. Baur, Comparatur
Eusebius Historiae Eccles. Parens cum Parente Historiae Herodoto, Tueb.
1834; and pp. 9-26 of the same author’s Epochen der kirchlichen
Geschichtschreibung, Tueb. 1852; Dowling, Introduction to the Critical
Study of Eccles. History, London, 1838, pp. 11-18; Hely, Eusebe de
Cesaree, premier Historien de l’Eglise, Paris, 1877; J. Burckhardt,
Zeit Constantins, 2d ed. 1880, pp. 307 sq. Burckhardt depreciates
Eusebius’ value and questions his veracity. The review articles that
have been written on Eusebius’ History are legion. I shall mention only
Engelhardt’s Eusebius als Kirchengeschichtschreiber, in the Zeitschrift
fuer hist. Theol. 1852, pp. 652-657; and Jachmann’s Bemerkungen ueber
die Kirchengeschichte des Eusebius, ib. 1839, II. pp. 10-60. The latter
contains one of the most unsparing attacks upon Eusebius’ honesty that
has ever been made (see above, p. 49).

Testimonies of the Ancients in Favor of Eusebius. [6]


From Constantine’s Letter to the Antiochians (in Eusebius’ Life of
Constantine, Book III. chap. 60).

”I confess, then, that on reading your records I perceived, by the
highly eulogistic testimony which they bear to Eusebius, bishop of
Caesarea (whom I have myself long well known and esteemed for his
learning and moderation), that you are strongly attached to him and
desire to appropriate him as your own prelate. What thoughts then do
you suppose that I entertain on this subject, desirous as I am to seek
for and act on the strict principles of right? What anxiety do you
imagine this desire of yours has caused me? O holy faith, who givest us
in our Saviour’s words and precepts a model, as it were, of what our
life should be, how hardly wouldst thou thyself resist the course of
sin were it not that thou refusest to subserve the purposes of gain! In
my own judgment, he whose first object is the maintenance of peace
seems to be superior to Victory herself; and where a right and
honorable course lies open to one’s choice, surely no one would
hesitate to adopt it. I ask then, brethren, why do we so decide as to
inflict an injury on others by our choice? Why do we covet those
objects which will destroy the credit of our own character? I myself
highly esteem the individual whom ye judge worthy of your respect and
affection; notwithstanding, it cannot be right that those principles
should be entirely disregarded which should be authoritative and
binding on all alike; for example, that each should be content with the
limits assigned them, and that all should enjoy their proper
privileges; nor can it be right in considering the claims of rival
candidates to suppose but that not one only, but many, may appear
worthy of comparison with this person. For as long as no violence or
harshness are suffered to disturb the dignities of the Church, they
continue to be on an equal footing, and worthy of the same
consideration everywhere. Nor is it reasonable that an enquiry into the
qualifications of one person should be made to the detriment of others;
since the judgment of all churches, whether reckoned of greater
importance in themselves, is equally capable of receiving and
maintaining the divine ordinances, so that one is in no way inferior to
another (if we will but boldly declare the truth), in regard to that
standard of practice which is common to all. If this be so, we must say
that you will be chargeable, not with retaining this prelate, but with
wrongfully removing him; your conduct will be characterized rather by
violence than justice; and whatever may be generally thought by others,
I dare clearly and boldly affirm that this measure will furnish ground
of accusation against you, and will provoke factious disturbances of
the most mischievous kind; for even timid flocks can show the use and
power of their teeth when the watchful care of their shepherd declines,
and they find themselves bereft of his accustomed guidance. If this
then be really so, if I am not deceived in my judgment, let this,
brethren, be your first consideration (for many and important
considerations will immediately present themselves, if you adopt my
advice), whether, should you persist in your intention, that mutual
kindly feeling and affection which should subsist among you will suffer
no diminution? In the next place remember that Eusebius, who came among
you for the purpose of offering disinterested counsel, now enjoys the
reward which is due to him in the judgment of heaven; for he has
received no ordinary recompense in the high testimony you have borne to
his equitable conduct. Lastly, in accordance with your usual sound
judgment, do ye exhibit a becoming diligence in selecting the person of
whom you stand in need, carefully avoiding all factious and tumultuous
clamor: for such clamor is always wrong, and from the collision of
discordant elements both sparks and flame will arise.”

From the Emperor’s Letter to Eusebius(in Eusebius’ Life of Constantine,
Book III. chap. 61).

”I have most carefully perused your letter, and perceive that you have
strictly conformed to the rule enjoined by the discipline of the
Church. Now to abide by that which appears at the same time pleasing to
God, and accordant with apostolic tradition, is a proof of true piety:
and you have reason to deem yourself happy on this behalf, that you are
counted worthy, in the judgment, I may say, of all the world, to have
the oversight of the whole Church. For the desire which all feel to
claim you for their own, undoubtedly enhances your enviable fortune in
this respect. Notwithstanding, your Prudence, whose resolve it is to
observe the ordinances of God and the apostolic rule of the Church, has
done excellently well in declining the bishopric of the Church at
Antioch, and desiring to continue in that Church of which you first
received the oversight by the will of God.”

From Constantine’s Letter to the Council (in Eusebius’ Life of
Constantine, Book III. chap. 62).

”I have perused the letters written by your Prudences, and highly
approve of the wise resolution of your colleague in the ministry,
Eusebius. Having, moreover, been informed of the circumstances of the
case, partly by your letters, partly by those of our illustrious
friends Acacius and Strategius, after sufficient investigation I have
written to the people at Antioch, suggesting the course which will be
at once pleasing to God and advantageous for the Church. A copy of this
I have ordered to be subjoined to this present letter, in order that ye
yourselves may know what I thought fit, as an advocate of the cause of
justice, to write to that people: since I find in your letter this
proposal, that, in consonance with the choice of the people, sanctioned
by your own desire, Eusebius the holy bishop of Caesarea should preside
over and take the charge of the Church at Antioch. Now the letters of
Eusebius himself on this subject appeared to be strictly accordant with
the order prescribed by the Church.”

From a Letter of Constantine to Eusebius (in Eusebius’ Life of
Constantine, Book IV. chap. 35).

”It is indeed an arduous task, and beyond the power of language itself,
worthily to treat of the mysteries of Christ, and to explain in a
fitting manner the controversy respecting the feast of Easter, its
origin as well as its precious and toilsome accomplishment. For it is
not in the power even of those who are able to apprehend them,
adequately to describe the things of God. I am, notwithstanding, filled
with admiration of your learning and zeal, and have not only myself
read your work with pleasure, but have given directions, according to
your own desire, that it be communicated to many sincere followers of
our holy religion. Seeing, then, with what pleasure we receive favors
of this kind from your Sagacity, be pleased to gladden us more
frequently with those compositions, to the practice of which, indeed,
you confess yourself to have been trained from an early period, so that
I am urging a willing man (as they say), in exhorting you to your
customary pursuits. And certainly the high and confident judgment we
entertain is a proof that the person who has translated your writings
into the Latin tongue is in no respect incompetent to the task,
impossible though it be that such version should fully equal the
excellence of the works themselves.”

From a Letter of Constantine to Eusebius (in Eusebius’ Life of
Constantine, Book IV. chap. 36).

”It happens, through the favoring providence of God our Saviour, that
great numbers have united themselves to the most holy Church in the
city which is called by my name. It seems, therefore, highly requisite,
since that city is rapidly advancing in prosperity in all other
respects, that the number of Churches should also be increased. Do you,
therefore, receive with all readiness my determination on this behalf.
I have thought it expedient to instruct your Prudence to order fifty
copies of the sacred scriptures (the provision and use of which you
know to be most needful for the instruction of the Church) to be
written on prepared parchment in a legible manner, and in a commodious
and portable form, by transcribers thoroughly practiced in their art.
The procurator of the diocese has also received instructions by letter
from our Clemency to be careful to furnish all things necessary for the
preparation of such copies; and it will be for you to take special care
that they be completed with as little delay as possible. You have
authority also, in virtue of this letter, to use two of the public
carriages for their conveyance, by which arrangement the copies when
fairly written will most easily be forwarded for my personal
inspection; and one of the deacons of your Church may be intrusted with
this service, who, on his arrival here, shall experience my liberality.
God preserve you, beloved brother!”

From the Epistle of Eusebius of Nicomedia, to Paulinus, Bishop of Tyre
(given by Theodoret in his Eccles. Hist. I. 6).

”Neither has the zeal of my lord Eusebius concerning the truth, nor thy
silence in this matter been unknown, but has reached even us. And, as
was fitting, on the one hand we have rejoiced on account of my lord
Eusebius; but on the other, we are grieved on thy account, since we
look upon the silence of such a man as a condemnation of our cause.”

From the Book of Basil, to Amphilochius, on the Holy Spirit (chap. 29).

”If to any one Eusebius of Palestine seem trustworthy on account of his
great experience, we give his own words in the Difficulties concerning
the Polygamy of the Ancients.”

From the Book of Questions on the Old and New Testaments, which is
published among the Works of Augustine (chap. 125).

”We remember to have read in a certain pamphlet of Eusebius, a man
formerly distinguished among the rest of men, that not even the Holy
Spirit knows the mystery of the nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ; and
I wonder that a man of so great learning should have imposed this
stigma upon the Holy Spirit.”

From Jerome’s Epistle to Pammachius and Oceanus (Ep. 65).

”Apollinarius wrote the very strongest books against Porphyry; Eusebius
has excellently composed his Ecclesiastical History. Of these men, one
taught an incomplete human nature in Christ; the other was a most open
defender of the heresy of Arius.”

From the Apology of Jerome against Rufinus (Book I. chap. 8).

”As I have already said, Eusebius, bishop of Caesarea, formerly leader
of the Arian party, has written six books in defense of Origen–a very
extensive and elaborate work; with much evidence he has proved that
Origen was, from his point of view, a Catholic, that is, from ours, an

From the same book (chap. 9).

”For Eusebius himself, a friend, eulogist and companion of Pamphilus,
has written three very elegant books comprising a life of Pamphilus. In
these, after extolling other things with wondrous praises and exalting
his humility to the skies, he also adds this in the third book,” &c.

And a little farther on in the same book (chap. 11).

”I have praised Eusebius in his Ecclesiastical History, in his
Chronological Canons, in his Description of the Holy Land; and turning
these same little works into Latin I have given them to those of my own
tongue. Am I therefore an Arian, because Eusebius who wrote these books
is an Arian?”

From Jerome’s second book against Rufinus (chap. 16).

”Eusebius, a very learned man (I have said learned, not Catholic; lest
after the usual manner, even in this thing, thou heap calumny upon me),
in six volumes does nothing else than show Origen to be of his own
faith; that is, of the Arian heresy.”

From the Preface of Jerome’s Book on Hebrew Topography.

”Eusebius, who took his surname from the blessed martyr Pamphilus,
after the ten books of his Ecclesiastical History, after his
Chronological Canons, which we have published in the Latin tongue,
after his Names of Various Nations, in which he showed how these were
formerly, and are now, called among the Hebrews; after his Topography
of the Land of Judea, with the inheritances of the tribes; after his
Jerusalem, also, and his Plan of the Temple, with a very brief
explanation,–after all these he has finally in this little work
labored that he might collect for us from Holy Scripture the names of
almost all the cities, mountains, rivers, villages, and divers places,
which either remain the same, or have since been changed, or else have
become corrupted from some source, wherefore we also, following the
zeal of this admirable man,” &c.

From Jerome’s Book on Ecclesiastical Writers (chap. 61).

”Hippolytus, bishop of a certain church (I have not indeed been able to
find out the name of the city), wrote a reckoning of Easter, and
chronological tables up to the first year of the Emperor Alexander, and
hit upon a cycle of sixteen years which the Greeks call
hekkaidekaeterida; and gave an occasion to Eusebius, who also composed
an Easter canon, with a cycle of nineteen years, that is

From the same book (chap. 81).

”Eusebius, bishop of Caesarea in Palestine, a man most studious in the
sacred Scriptures, and along with Pamphilus the martyr a most diligent
investigator of sacred literature, has edited an infinite number of
volumes, some of which are these: of the Demonstratio Evangelica,
twenty books; of the Praeparatio Evangelica, fifteen books; of the
Theophania, five books; of the Ecclesiastical History, ten books; a
General History in Chronological Tables, and an Epitome of them; also,
On the Discrepancies of the Gospels; On Isaiah, ten books; and Against
Porphyry (who at the same time was writing in Sicily, as some think),
thirty books, of which only twenty have come to my notice; of his
Topica, one book; of the Apologia, in defense of Origen, six books; On
the Life of Pamphilus, three books; Concerning the Martyrs, other small
works; also very learned commentaries on the hundred and fifty Psalms,
and many other writings. He flourished chiefly under the emperors
Constantine and Constantius; and on account of his friendship with
Pamphilus the martyr, he took from him his surname.”

From the same book (chap. 96).

”Eusebius, by nation a Sardinian, and, after being reader in Rome,
bishop of Vercellae, on account of his confession of the faith banished
by the Prince Constantius to Scythopolis, and thence to Cappadocia,
under Julian the emperor sent back to the Church, has published the
Commentaries on the Psalms of Eusebius of Caesarea, which he had
translated from Greek into Latin.”

Jerome in the Preface to his Commentaries on Daniel.

”Against the prophet Daniel Porphyry wrote a twelfth volume, denying
that that book was composed by him with whose name it is inscribed, &c.
To him Eusebius, bishop of Caesarea, has replied very skillfully in
three volumes, that is, in volumes XVIII., XIX., and XX. Apollinarius
also in one large volume, that is, in the twenty-sixth volume, and
before these, in part, Methodius.”

Jerome on the Twenty-fourth Chapter of Matthew.

”Concerning this place, that is, concerning the abomination of
desolation which was spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the
holy place, Porphyry has uttered many blasphemies against us in the
thirteenth volume of his work. To whom Eusebius, bishop of Caesarea,
has replied in three volumes, that is, in volumes XVIII., XIX., and

The same, in his Epistle to Magnus (Ep. 84).

”Celsus and Porphyry have written against us. To the former Origen, to
the latter Methodius, Eusebius, and Apollinarius have very vigorously
replied. Of whom Origen wrote eight books, Methodius proceeded as far
as ten thousand lines, Eusebius and Apollinarius composed twenty-five
and thirty volumes respectively.”

The same, in his Epistle to Pammachius and Oceanus (Ep. 65).

”What more skillful, more learned, more eloquent men can be found than
Eusebius and Didymus, the advocates of Origen? The former of whom, in
the six volumes of his Apologia, proves that he [Origen] was of the
same opinion as himself.”

Jerome, in the Preface to his Commentaries on Isaiah.

”Eusebius Pamphili also has published an historical commentary in
fifteen volumes.”

The same, in the Preface to the Fifth Book of his Commentaries on

”Shall I take upon myself a work at which the most learned men have
labored hard? I speak of Origen and Eusebius Pamphili. Of these the
former wanders afar in the free spaces of allegory, and his genius so
interprets single names as to make out of them the sacred things of the
Church. The latter, while promising in his title an historical
exposition, meanwhile forgets his purpose, and yields himself up to the
tenets of Origen.”

The same, in the fifth book of his Commentaries on Isaiah.

”Eusebius of Caesarea, while promising in his title an historical
exposition, strays off in divers notions: while reading his books I
found much else than what he gave promise of in his title. For wherever
history has failed him, he has crossed over into allegory; and in such
a manner does he unite things that are distinct, that I wonder at his
joining together by a new art of discourse stone and iron into one

Jerome on the first chapter of Matthew.

”This [chapter] also Africanus, a writer of chronology, and Eusebius of
Caesarea, in his books on the Discrepancies of the Gospels, have
discussed more fully.”

Rufinus in his Epistle to the Bishop Chromatius.

”You charge me to translate into Latin the Ecclesiastical History,
which the very learned Eusebius of Caesarea wrote in the Greek tongue.”

Augustine, in his Book on Heresies (chap. 83).

”When I had searched through the History of Eusebius, to which Rufinus,
after having himself translated it into the Latin tongue, has also
added two books of subsequent history, I did not find any heresy which
I had not read among these very ones, except that one which Eusebius
inserts in his sixth book, stating that it had existed in Arabia.
Therefore these heretics, since he assigns them no founder, we may call
Arabians, who declared that the soul dies and is destroyed along with
the body, and that at the end of the world both are raised again. But
he states that they were very quickly corrected, these by the
disputation of Origen in person, and those by his exhortation.”

Antipater, Bishop of Bostra, in his First Book against Eusebius of
Caesarea’s Apology for Origen.

”Since now this man was very learned, having searched out and traced
back all the books and writings of the more ancient writers, and having
set forth the opinions of almost all of them, and having left behind
very many writings, some of which are worthy of all acceptation, making
use of such an estimation as this of the man, they attempt to lead away
some, saying, that Eusebius would not have chosen to take this view,
unless he had accurately ascertained that all the opinions of the
ancients required it. I, indeed, agree and admit that the man was very
learned, and that not anything of the more ancient writings escaped his
knowledge; for, taking advantage of the imperial co-operation, he was
enabled easily to collect for his use material from whatever quarter.”

From the First Book of Extracts from the Ecclesiastical History of

”Philostorgius, while praising Eusebius Pamphili both as to whatever of
worth belongs to his histories and as to other things, yet declares
that with regard to religion he has fallen into great error; and that
he impiously sets forth this error of his in detail, holding that the
Deity is unknowable and incomprehensible. Moreover, he holds that he
has also gone astray on other such things. But he unites with others in
attesting that he brought his History down to the accession of the sons
of Constantine the Great.”

Socrates in the First Book of his Ecclesiastical History (chap. 1).

”Eusebius, surnamed Pamphilus (i.e. universally beloved), has composed
a History of the Church in ten books, brought down to the time of the
Emperor Constantine, when the persecution ceased which Diocletian had
commenced against the Christians. But, in writing the life of
Constantine, this author has very slightly treated of the Arian
controversy, being evidently more intent on a highly wrought eulogium
of the emperor than an accurate statement of facts.”

The same Socrates in the Eighth Chapter of the same Book, speaking of
Sabinus, Bishop of Macedonia, who had written a History of the Synod,

”Yet he commends Eusebius Pamphilus as a witness worthy of credit, and
praises the Emperor as capable in stating Christian doctrines; but he
still brands the faith which was declared at Nice as having been set
forth by ignorant men, and such as had no intelligence in the matter.
Thus he voluntarily contemns the testimony of a man whom he himself
pronounces a wise and true witness; for Eusebius declares that of the
ministers of God who were present at the Nicene Synod, some were
eminent for the word of wisdom, others for the strictness of their
life; and that the Emperor himself being present, leading all into
unanimity, established unity of judgment, and conformity of opinion
among them.”

The same Socrates, in Book II. chap. 21.

”But since some have attempted to stigmatize Eusebius Pamphilus as
having favored the Arian views in his works, it may not be irrelevant
here to make a few remarks respecting him. In the first place, then, he
was present at the council of Nice, and gave his assent to what was
there determined in reference to the consubstantiality of the Son with
the Father, and in the third book of the Life of Constantine, he thus
expressed himself: `The Emperor incited all to unanimity, until he had
rendered them united in judgment on those points on which they were
previously at variance: so that they were quite agreed at Nice in
matters of faith.’ Since, therefore, Eusebius, in mentioning the Nicene
Synod, says that all differences were composed, and that unanimity of
sentiment prevailed, what ground is there for assuming that he was
himself an Arian? The Arians are certainly deceived in supposing him to
be a favorer of their tenets. But some one will perhaps say that in his
discourses he seems to have adopted the opinions of Arius, because of
his frequently saying by Christ. Our answer is that ecclesiastical
writers often use this mode of expression, and others of a similar kind
denoting the economy of our Saviour’s humanity: and that before all
these the apostle made use of such expressions without ever being
accounted a teacher of false doctrine. Moreover, inasmuch as Arius has
dared to say that the Son is a creature, as one of the others, observe
what Eusebius says on this subject in his first book against Marcellus:

”`He alone, and no other, has been declared to be, and is the
only-begotten Son of God; whence any one would justly censure those who
have presumed to affirm that he is a Creature made of nothing, like the
rest of the creatures; for how then would he be a Son? and how could he
be God’s only-begotten, were he assigned the same nature as the other
creatures, and were he one of the many created things, seeing that he,
like them, would in that case be partaker of a creation from nothing?
The sacred Scriptures do not thus instruct us concerning these things.’
He again adds a little afterwards: `Whoever then determines that the
Son is made of things that are not, and that he is a creature produced
from nothing pre-existing, forgets that while he concedes the name of
Son, he denies him to be so in reality. For he that is made of nothing
cannot truly be the Son of God, any more than the other things which
have been made: but the true Son of God, forasmuch as he is begotten of
the Father, is properly denominated the only-begotten and beloved of
the Father. For this reason also, he himself is God: for what can the
offspring of God be but the perfect resemblance of him who begat him? A
sovereign, indeed, builds a city, but does not beget it; and is said to
beget a son, not to build one. An artificer may be called the framer,
but not the father of his work; while he could by no means be styled
the framer of him whom he had begotten. So also the God of the Universe
is the father of the Son; but would be fitly termed the Framer and
Maker of the world. And although it is once said in Scripture, The Lord
created me the beginning of his ways on account of his works, yet it
becomes us to consider the import of this phrase, which I shall
hereafter explain; and not, as Marcellus has done, from a single
passage to subvert one of the most important doctrines of the Church.’

”These and many other such expressions are found in the first book of
Eusebius Pamphilus against Marcellus; and in his third book, declaring
in what sense the term creature is to be taken, he says: `Accordingly
these things being established, it follows that in the same sense as
that which preceded, these words also are to be understood, The Lord
created me in the beginning of his ways on account of his works. For
although he says that he was created, it is not as if he should say
that he had arrived at existence from what was not, nor that he himself
also was made of nothing like the rest of the creatures, which some
have erroneously supposed: but as subsisting, living, pre-existing, and
being before the constitution of the whole world; and having been
appointed to rule the universe by his Lord and Father: the word created
being here used instead of ordained or constituted. Certainly the
apostle expressly called the rulers and governors among men creature,
when he said, Submit yourselves to every human creature for the Lord’s
sake; whether to the king as supreme, or to governors as those sent by
him. The prophet also does not use the word zktisencreated in the sense
of made of that which had no previous existence, when he says, Prepare,
Israel, to invoke thy God. For behold he who confirms the thunder,
creates the Spirit, and announces his Christ unto men. For God did not
then create the Spirit when he declared his Christ to all men, since
There is nothing new under the sun; but the Spirit was, and subsisted
before: but he was sent at what time the apostles were gathered
together, when like thunder, There came a sound from heaven as of a
rushing mighty wind: and they were filled with the Holy Spirit. And
thus they declared unto all men the Christ of God in accordance with
that prophecy which says, Behold he who confirms the thunder, creates
the spirit, and announces his Christ unto men: the word creates being
used instead of sends down, or appoints; and thunder in a similar way
implying the preaching of the Gospel. Again he that says, Create in me
a clean heart, O God, said not this as if he had no heart; but prayed
that his mind might be purified. Thus also it is said, That he might
create the two into one new man, instead of unite. Consider also
whether this passage is not of the same kind, Clothe yourselves with
the new man, which is created according to God; and this, if,
therefore, any one be in Christ, he is a new creature, and Whatever
other expressions of a similar nature any one may find who shall
carefully search the divinely-inspired Scripture. Wherefore one should
not be surprised if in this passage, The Lord created me the beginning
of his ways, the term created is used metaphorically, instead of
appointed, or constituted.’

”These quotations from the books of Eusebius against Marcellus have
been adduced to confute those who have slanderously attempted to
traduce and criminate him. Neither can they prove that Eusebius
attributes a beginning of subsistence to the Son of God, although they
may find him often using the expressions of dispensation: and
especially so, because he was an emulator and admirer of the works of
Origen, in which those who are able to comprehend that author’s
writings, will perceive it to be everywhere stated that the Son was
begotten of the Father. These remarks have been made in passing, in
order to refute those who have misrepresented Eusebius.”

Sozomen in the First Book of his Ecclesiastical History (chap. 1.).

”I at first felt strongly inclined to trace the course of events from
the very commencement; but on reflecting that similar records of the
past, up to their own time, had been compiled by the learned Clemens
and Hegesippus, successors of the apostles, by Africanus the historian
and Eusebius surnamed Pamphilus, a man intimately acquainted with the
sacred Scriptures and the writings of the Greek poets and historians, I
merely drew up an epitome in two books of all that is recorded to have
happened to the churches, from the ascension of Christ to the
deposition of Licinius.”

Victorius in the Paschal Canon.

”Reviewing therefore the trustworthy histories of the ancients, namely
the Chronicles and prologue of the blessed Eusebius, bishop of
Caesarea, a city in Palestine, a man pre-eminently accomplished and
learned; and likewise those things which have been added to these same
Chronicles by Jerome of sacred memory.”

Jerome, in his Epistle to Chromatius and Heliodorus, prefixed to the
Martyrology which bears Jerome’s Name.

”It is evident that our Lord Jesus Christ obtains triumphs at every
martyrdom of his saints, whose sufferings we find described by the
saintly Eusebius, bishop of Caesarea. For when Constantine Augustus
came to Caesarea and told the celebrated bishop to ask some favors
which should benefit the church at Caesarea, it is said that Eusebius
answered: That a church enriched by its own resources was under no
necessity of asking favors, yet that he himself had an unalterable
desire, that whatever had been done in the Roman republic against God’s
saints by successive judges in the whole Roman world they should search
out by a careful examination of the public records; and that they
should draw from the archives themselves and send to Eusebius himself,
by royal command, the names of the martyrs: under what judge, in what
province or city, upon what day, and with what steadfastness, they had
obtained the reward of their suffering. Whence it has come about that,
being an able narrator and a diligent historiographer, he has both
composed an Ecclesiastical History and has set forth the triumphs of
nearly all of the martyrs of all the Roman provinces.”

Pope Gelasius in his Decree concerning the Apocryphal Books.

”Likewise as to the Chronicles of Eusebius and the books of his
Ecclesiastical History, although in the first book of his narration he
has grown cold, and has afterwards written one book in praise and in
defense of Origen the schismatic, yet on account of his singular
knowledge of things which pertain to instruction, we do not say that
they ought to be rejected.”

The same in his book On the Two Natures.

”That saying the same thing with one heart and one mouth we may also
believe what we have received from our forefathers, and, God giving
them to us, that we may hand them down to posterity to be believed in,
with which things the adduced testimony of the Catholic masters, being
summed up, bear witness that a united faith in a gracious God endures.”

And a little farther on.

”From the exposition of the seventh psalm, by Eusebius, bishop in
Palestine, by surname Pamphili, etc. Likewise from his Praeparatio
Evangelica, Book VII.”

Pope Pelagius II. in his Third Epistle to Elias of Aquileia and other
Bishops of Istria.

”For, indeed, among haeresiarchs who can be found worse than Origen,
and among historiographers who more honorable than Eusebius? And who of
us does not know with how great praises Eusebius extols Origen in his
books? But because the holy Church deals more kindly with the hearts of
her faithful ones than she does severely with their words, neither
could the testimony of Eusebius remove him from his proper place among
heretics, nor on the other hand has she condemned Eusebius for the
fault of praising Origen.”

Evagrius, in the First Book of his Ecclesiastical History (chap. 1).

”Eusebius Pamphili–an especially able writer, to the extent, in
particular, of inducing his readers to embrace our religion, though
failing to perfect them in the faith–and Sozomen, Theodoret, and
Socrates have produced a most excellent record of the advent of our
compassionate God, and his ascension into heaven, and of all that has
been achieved in the endurance of the divine Apostles, as well as of
the other martyrs,” etc.

Gregory the Great in his Epistle to Eulogius, Bishop of Alexandria.

”I have now become one of the number of hearers, to whom your Holiness
has taken the pains to write, that we ought to transmit the deeds of
all the martyrs which have been collected by Eusebius of Caesarea in
the age of Constantine of holy memory. But I was not aware before
receiving your Holiness’ letter whether these things had been collected
or not. I therefore am thankful that being informed by the writings of
your most holy learning, I have begun to know what I did not know
before. For excepting these things which are contained in the books of
this same Eusebius On the deeds of the holy martyrs, I have met with
nothing else in the archives of this our church, nor in the libraries
of Rome, except some few collected in a single volume.”

Gelasius of Cyzicus in his Second Book On the Council of Nicaea (chap.

”Let us hear now what says this the most illustrious husbandman in
ecclesiastical farming, the most truth-loving Eusebius, surnamed after
the celebrated Pamphilus. Licinius, indeed, he says, having followed
the same path of impiety with the ungodly tyrants, has justly been
brought to the same precipice with them, etc. (which may be found at
the end of the tenth book of the Ecclesiastical History). As to
Eusebius Pamphili, the most trustworthy of ancient ecclesiastical
historians, who has investigated and set forth so many struggles,
having made a choice from among his simply written works, we say that
in all ten books of his Ecclesiastical History he has left behind an
accurately written work. Beginning with the advent of our Lord he has,
not without much labor, proceeded as far as those times. For how else
could it be with him who took so great care to preserve for us the
harmony of this collection? But as I have just said, he brought to bear
upon it much study and an untold amount of labor. But let no one
suppose, from those things which have been alleged with regard to him,
that this man ever adopted the heresy of Arius; but let him be sure,
that even if he did speak somewhat of, and did write briefly concerning
the conjectures of Arius, he certainly did not do it on account of his
entertaining the impious notion of that man, but from artless
simplicity, as indeed he himself fully assures us in his Apology, which
he distributed generally among orthodox bishops.”

The author of the Alexandrian Chronicle (p. 582).

”The very learned Eusebius Pamphili has written thus: As the Jews
crucified Christ at the feast, so they all perished at their own

Nicephorus in the Sixth Book of his History (chap. 37).

”Upon whose authority also we know of the divine Pamphilus as both
living the life of a philosopher and wearing the dignity of presbyter
in that place. His life and every event in it, also his establishing in
that place the study of sacred and profane philosophy, also his
confession of his religion in divers persecutions, his struggles, and
at last his wearing the martyr’s crown, Eusebius his nephew, who had
such a regard for him as to take from him his surname, has comprehended
in detail in one separate book; to this we refer those who may wish to
find out accurately concerning him. This Eusebius, indeed, although
having prosecuted many studies, especially excels in the study of
sacred literature. His life extended until the time of Constantius.
Being a man pre-eminently Christian, and endowed with great zeal for
Christ, he has written the Praeparatio Evangelica in fifteen books, and
in ten more the Demonstratio Evangelica. He was also the first one to
take in hand this subject, having been the first to call his book an
Ecclesiastical History; this work is contained in ten volumes. There is
also another book of his extant which he entitled Canons, in which he
accurately investigates chronological matters. He has also composed
five books On the Life of Constantine, and another addressed to him
which he calls triakontaeterikon. To Stephanus he also dedicates
another concerning those things in the sacred Gospels which have been
called in question; and he has also left behind divers other works
which are of great benefit to the Church. Apart from being such a man
as this, he in many ways seems to uphold the opinions of Arius,” etc.

From the ms. Acts of Pope Silvester.

”Eusebius Pamphili, in writing his Ecclesiastical History, has in every
case omitted to mention those things which he has pointed out in other
works; for he has put into eleven books the sufferings of the martyrs,
bishops, and confessors, who have suffered in almost all the provinces.
But indeed as to the sufferings of women and maidens, such as with
manly fortitude suffered for the sake of Christ the Lord, he records
nothing. He is, moreover, the only one who has set forth in their order
the sufferings of the bishops, from the Apostle Peter down. Moreover,
he drew up for the benefit of the public a catalogue of the pontiffs of
those cities and apostolic seats; that is, of the great city of Rome,
and the cities of Alexandria and Antioch. Of the number then of those
of whom, up to his own times, the above-mentioned author wrote in the
Greek tongue, this man’s life he was unable to paraphrase; that is, the
life of the saint Silvester,” etc.

An ancient author in the Passion of the Holy Valerian.

”The glorious struggles of the most blessed martyrs, for the honor of
Christ the Lord and of our God, are celebrated by perpetual services
and an annual solemnity, that while our faithful people know the faith
of the martyrs, they may also rejoice in their triumphs, and may rest
assured that it is by the protection of these that they themselves are
to be protected. For it is held in repute that Eusebius the historian,
of sacred memory, bishop of the city of Caesarea, a most blessed priest
of excellent life, very learned also in ecclesiastical matters, and to
be venerated for his extraordinary carefulness, set forth for every
city, in so far as the truth was able to be ascertained, the Holy
Spirit announcing the deeds that had been done,–inasmuch as the cities
of single provinces and localities or towns have merited being made
famous by the heavenly triumphs of martyrs,–set forth, I say, in the
time of what rulers the innumerable persecutions were inflicted at the
command of officials. Who, although he has not described entire the
sufferings of individual martyrs, yet has truly intimated why they
ought to be described or celebrated by faithful and devoted Christians.
Thus this faithful husbandman has cultivated the grace of God, which
has been scattered abroad in all the earth, while, as it were, from a
single grain of wheat, plenteous harvests are produced on account of
the fertility of the field, and go on in multiplied abundance. So
through the narration of the above-mentioned man, diffused from the
fountain of a single book, with the ever-spreading writings of the
faithful, the celebrating of the sufferings of the martyrs has watered
all the earth.”

Usuardus in his Martyrology.

”On the twenty-first day of June, in Palestine, the holy Eusebius,
bishop and confessor, a man of most excellent genius, and a

Notker in his Martyrology.

”On the twenty-first day of June, the deposition in Caesarea of the
holy bishop Eusebius.”

Manecharius in his Epistle to Ceraunius, Bishop of Paris.

”Unceasing in thy continual efforts to equal in merit the very
excellent persons of the most blessed bishops in all the conversation
of the priesthood, zealous to adorn thyself every day with holy
religion, by thy zeal for reading thou hast searched through the whole
of the doctrines of the sacred Scriptures. Now as an addition to thy
praiseworthiness thou dost faithfully purpose, in the city of Paris, to
gather together for the love of religion, the deeds of the holy
martyrs. Wherefore thou art worthy of being compared in zeal with
Eusebius of Caesarea, and art worthy of being remembered perpetually
with an equal share of glory.”

From an old Manuscript Breviary of the Lemovicensian Church.

”Of the holy Eusebius, bishop and confessor.

”Lesson 1. Eusebius, bishop of Caesarea in Palestine, on account of his
friendship with Pamphilus the martyr, took from him the surname of
Pamphili; inasmuch as along with this same Pamphilus he was a most
diligent investigator of sacred literature. The man indeed is very
worthy of being remembered in these times, both for his skill in many
things, and for his wonderful genius, and by both Gentiles and
Christians he was held distinguished and most noble among philosophers.
This man, after having for a time labored in behalf of the Arian
heresy, coming to the council of Nicaea, inspired by the Holy Spirit,
followed the decision of the Fathers, and thereafter up to the time of
his death lived in a most holy manner in the orthodox faith.

”Lesson 2. He was, moreover, very zealous in the study of the sacred
Scriptures, and along with Pamphilus the martyr was a most diligent
investigator of sacred literature. At the same time he has written many
things, but especially the following books: The Praeparatio Evangelica,
the Ecclesiastical History, Against Porphyry, a very bitter enemy of
the Christians; he has also composed Six Apologies in Behalf of Origen,
a Life of Pamphilus the Martyr, from whom on account of friendship he
took his surname, in three books; likewise very learned Commentaries on
the hundred and fifty Psalms.

”Lesson 3. Moreover, as we read, after having ascertained the
sufferings of many holy martyrs in all the provinces, and the lives of
confessors and virgins, he has written concerning these saints twenty
books; while on account of these books therefore, and especially on
account of his Praeparatio Evangelica, he was held most distinguished
among the Gentiles, because of his love of truth he contemned the
ancestral worship of the gods. He has written also a Chronicle,
extending from the first year of Abraham up to the year 300 a.d., which
the divine Hieronymus has continued. Finally this Eusebius, after the
conversion of Constantine the Great, was united to him by strong
friendship as long as he lived.”

In the Breviary of the same church, June twenty-first.

”Omnipotent, eternal God, who dost permit us to take part in the
festivities in honor of Eusebius, thy holy confessor and priest, bring
us, we pray thee, through his prayers, into the society of heavenly
joys, through our Lord Jesus Christ,” etc. [7]

From the book On the Lights of the Church.

”Eusebius of Caesarea, the key of the Scriptures and custodian of the
New Testament, is proved by the Greeks to be greater than many in his
treatises. There are three celebrated works of his which truly testify
to this: the Canons of the Four Gospels, which set forth and defend the
New Testament, ten books of Ecclesiastical History, and the Chronicon,
that is, a chronological summary. We have never found any one who has
been able to follow in all his foot-prints.”

From the Miscellanies of Theodore Metochita (chap. 19)

”Eusebius Pamphili was also a Palestinian by birth, but as he himself
says, he sojourned for quite a long time in Egypt. He was a very
learned man, and it is evident indeed that he published many books, and
that he used language thus.”

[6] The following Testimonies of the Ancients were collected by
Valesius, and are printed in the original languages in his edition of
Eusebius’ Historia Ecclesiastica, at the close of his Vita Eusebii. The
order of Valesius has been preserved in the following pages, but
occasionally a passage, for the sake of greater clearness, has been
given more fully than by him. A few extracts have been omitted (as
noted below), and one or two, overlooked by him, have been added. The
extracts have all been translated from the original for this edition,
with the exception of the quotations from the Life of Constantine, and
from the Greek Ecclesiastical Historians,–Socrates, Sozomen,
Theodoret, and Evagrius,–which have been copied, with a few necessary
corrections, from the version found in Bagster’s edition of the Greek
Ecclesiastical Historians. The translation has been made at my request
by Mr. James McDonald, of Shelbyville, Ky., a member of the senior
class (1890) of Lane Theological Seminary.

[7] Valesius adds brief extracts from other missals of the same church,
which it is not necessary to quote here.

Testimonies of the Ancients Against Eusebius.


From the Epistle of Arius to Eusebius, Bishop of Nicomedia (in
Theodoret’s Eccles. Hist. I. 5). [8]

”Eusebius, your brother bishop of Caesarea, Theodotius, Paulinus,
Athanasius, Gregory, AEtius, and all the bishops of the East, have been
condemned because they say that God had an existence prior to that of
his Son.”

From the Book of Marcellus of Ancyra against the Arians.

”Having happened upon a letter of Narcissus, bishop of Neronias, which
he wrote to one Chrestus and to Euphronius and to Eusebius, in which it
seems that Hosius, the bishop, had asked him whether or not like
Eusebius of Palestine he believed in the existence of two essences, I
read in the writing that he answered that he believed in the existence
of three essences.”

From the Synodical Epistle of the Bishops of Egypt, met in the City of
Alexandria, to All the Bishops of the Catholic Church (which Athanasius
gives in his second apology against the Arians).

”For what sort of a council of bishops was that? What sort of an
assembly having truth for its aim? Who out of the great majority of
them was not our enemy? Did not the followers of Eusebius rise up
against us on account of the Arian madness? Did not they bring forward
the others who held the same opinions as themselves? Were we not
continually writing against them as against those who held the opinions
of Arius? Was not Eusebius of Caesarea in Palestine accused by our
confessors of sacrificing?”

Epiphanius in the Heresy of the Meletians (Haer. LXVIII.).

”The emperor upon hearing these things becomes very angry and orders
that a synod be convoked in Phoenicia in the city of Tyre; he also gave
orders that Eusebius and some others should act as judges: these
persons moreover had leaned somewhat too far toward the vulgarity of
the Arians. There were also summoned the bishops of the Catholic Church
in Egypt, also certain men subject to Athanasius, who were likewise
great and who kept their lives transparent before God, among whom was
the great Potamo of blessed memory, bishop and confessor of Heraclea.
But there were also present Meletians, the chief accusers of
Athanasius. Being zealous for truth and for orthodoxy, the
above-mentioned Potamo of blessed memory, a free-spoken man, who
regarded the person of no man,–for he had been deprived of an eye in
the persecution for the truth,–seeing Eusebius sitting down and acting
as judge, and Athanasius standing up, overcome by grief and weeping, as
is the wont with true men, he addressed Eusebius in a loud voice,
saying, `Dost thou sit down, Eusebius, and is Athanasius, an innocent
man, judged by thee? Who could bear such things? Do thou tell me, wert
thou not in confinement with me at the time of the persecution? I have
parted with an eye for the sake of the truth, but thou neither seemest
to be maimed at all in body, nor hast thou suffered martyrdom, but art
alive, and in no part mutilated. How didst thou escape from the
confinement unless that thou didst promise those who have inflicted
upon us the violence of persecution to perform the ungodly act, or
didst actually perform it?'”

From the Epistle of the Catholic Bishops of Egypt to the Synod of Tyre
(which Athanasius gives in the above-mentioned Apology).

”For ye also know, as we have said before, that they are our enemies,
and ye know why Eusebius of Caesarea has become our enemy since last

Athanasius in his Epistle on the Decrees of the Council of Nicaea.

”The strange thing is that Eusebius of Caesarea in Palestine, who had
denied on one day, but on the next day had subscribed, sent to his
church, saying that this is the faith of the Church, and that this is
the tradition of the Fathers. He plainly showed to all that before they
had been in error, and had been vainly striving after the truth; for
although he was then ashamed to write in just these terms, and excused
himself to the Church as he himself wished, yet he plainly wishes to
imply this in his Epistle, by his not denying the `Homooeusion,’ `one
in substance,’ and `of the substance.’ He got into serious difficulty,
for in defending himself, he went on to accuse the Arians, because,
having written that `the Son did not exist before that he was
begotten,’ they thereby denied that he existed before his birth in the

The same, in his Treatise on the Synods of Ariminum and Seleucia.

”Most of all, what would Acacius say to Eusebius his own teacher? who
not only signed in the synod at Nicaea, but also made it known by
letter to the people under him that that was the true faith, which had
been agreed upon at the council of Nicaea; for although he defended
himself as he pleased through the letter, yet he did not deny the
grounds taken. But he also accused the Arians, since, in saying that
`the Son did not exist before that he was begotten,’ they also deny
that he existed before Mary.”

The same, in his Epistle to the Bishops of Africa.

”This also was known all the while to Eusebius, bishop of Caesarea,
who, at first identifying himself with the Arian heresy, and having
afterwards signed at the self-same synod of Nicaea, wrote to his own
particular friends, firmly maintaining that, `We have known of certain
learned and renowned bishops and writers among the ancients who have
used the term homoousios in reference to the divinity of the Father and

The same, in his Treatise on the Synods of Ariminum and Seleucia.

”Eusebius of Caesarea in Palestine, writing to Euphration the bishop,
did not fear to say openly that Christ is not true God.”

Jerome, in his Epistle to Ctesiphon against the Pelagians.

”He did this in the name of the holy martyr Pamphilus, that he might
designate with the name of the martyr Pamphilus the first of the six
books in defense of Origen which were written by Eusebius of Caesarea,
whom every one knows to have been an Arian.”

The same, in his Second Book against Rufinus.

”As soon as he leaves the harbor he runs his ship aground. For, quoting
from the Apology of Pamphilus the Martyr (which we have proved to be
the work of Eusebius, prince of Arians),” etc.

The same, in his First Book against Rufinus.

”Eusebius, bishop of Caesarea, of whom I have made mention above, in
the sixth book of his Apology in behalf of Origen, lays this same
charge against Methodius the bishop and martyr, which you lay against
me in my praises [of him]; he says: `How did Methodius dare to write
against Origen after having said this and that concerning his
opinions?’ This is no place to speak in behalf of a martyr, for not all
things ought to be discussed in all places. Now let it suffice to have
barely touched upon the matter, that this same thing was charged
against a most renowned and most eloquent martyr by an Arian, which you
as a friend praise in me, and, being offended, censure me for.”

The same, in his Epistle to Minervius and Alexander.

”I both in manhood and in extreme old age am of the same opinion, that
Origen and Eusebius of Caesarea were indeed very learned men, but went
astray in the truth of their opinions.”

Socrates, in the First Book of his Ecclesiastical History (chap. 23).

”Eusebius Pamphilus says that immediately after the Synod Egypt became
agitated by intestine divisions; but as he does not assign the reason
for this, some have accused him of disingenuousness, and have even
attributed his failure to specify the causes of these dissensions to a
determination on his part not to give his sanction to the proceedings
at Nice.”

Again, in the same chapter.

”Eustathius, bishop of Antioch, accuses Eusebius Pamphilus of
perverting the Nicene Creed; but Eusebius denies that he violates that
exposition of the faith, and recriminates, saying that Eustathius was a
defender of the opinion of Sabellius. In consequence of these
misunderstandings, each of them wrote volumes as if contending against
adversaries: and although it was admitted on both sides that the Son of
God has a distinct person and existence, and all acknowledged that
there is one God in a Trinity of Persons; yet, from what cause I am
unable to divine, they could not agree among themselves, and therefore
were never at peace.”

Theodoritus, in his Interpretation of the Epistle of Paul to the
Hebrews, speaking of the Arians, writes as follows:

”If not even this is sufficient to persuade them, it at least behooves
them to believe Eusebius of Palestine, whom they call the chief
advocate of their own doctrines.”

Nicetas, in his Thesaurus of the Orthodox Faith, Book V. Chap. 7.

”Moreover, Theodore of Mopsuestia relates that there were only nine
persons out of all whom the decrees of the Synod did not please, and
that their names are as follows: Theognis of Nicaea, Eusebius of
Nicomedia, Patrophilus of Scythopolis, Eusebius of Caesarea in
Palestine, Narcissus of Neronias in Cilicia, which is now called
Irenopolis, Paulinus of Tyre, Menophantus of Ephesus, Secundus of
Ptolemais, which borders upon Egypt, and Theonas of Marmarica.” [9]

Antipater, Bishop of Bostra, in his First Book against Eusebius’
Apology for Origen.

”I deny that the man has yet arrived at an accurate knowledge of the
doctrines; wherefore he ought to be given place to so far as regards
his great learning, but as regards his knowledge of doctrine he ought
not. But, moreover, we know him to have been altogether lacking in such
accurate knowledge.”

And a little farther on.

”So now, that we may not seem to be trampling upon the man,–concerning
whom it is not our purpose for the present to speak,–examining into
the accuracy of his Apology, we may go on to show that both were
heretics, both he who composed the Apology, and he in whose behalf it
was composed.”

And farther on.

”For as to your attempting to show that others as well as he [Origen]
have spoken of the subordination of the Son to the Father, we may not
at first wonder at it, for such is your opinion and that of your
followers; wherefore we say nothing concerning this matter for the
present, since it was long ago submitted and condemned at the general

From the Acts of the Seventh OEcumenical Council.

”For who of the faithful ones in the Church, and who of those who have
obtained a knowledge of true doctrine, does not know that Eusebius
Pamphili has given himself over to false ways of thinking, and has
become of the same opinion and of the same mind with those who follow
after the opinions of Arius? In all his historical books he calls the
Son and Word of God a creature, a servant, and to be adored as second
in rank. But if any speaking in his defense say that he subscribed in
the council, we may admit that that is true; but while with his lips he
has respected the truth, in his heart he is far from it, as all his
writings and epistles go to show. But if from time to time, on account
of circumstances or from different causes, he has become confused or
has changed around, sometimes praising those who hold to the doctrines
of Arius, and at other times feigning the truth, he shows himself to
be, according to James the brother of our Lord, a double-minded man,
unstable in all his ways; and let him not think that he shall receive
anything of the Lord. For if with the heart he had believed unto
righteousness, and with the mouth had confessed the truth unto
salvation, he would have asked forgiveness for his writings, at the
same time correcting them. But this he has by no means done, for he
remained like AEthiops with his skin unchanged. In interpreting the
verse `I said to the Lord, Thou art my Lord,’ he has strayed far away
from the true sense, for this is what he says: `By the laws of nature
every son’s father must be his lord; wherefore God who begat him must
be at the same time God, Lord, and Father of the only-begotten Son of
God.’ So also in his epistle to the holy Alexander, the teacher of the
great Athanasius, which begins thus: `With what anxiety and with what
care have I set about writing this letter,’ in most open blasphemy he
speaks as follows concerning Arius and his followers: `Thy letter
accuses them of saying that the Son was made out of nothing, like all
men. But they have produced their own epistle which they wrote to thee,
in which they give an account of their faith, and expressly confess
that ”the God of the law and of the prophets and of the New Testament,
before eternal ages begat an only-begotten Son, through whom also he
made the ages and the universe; and that he begat him not in
appearance, but in truth, and subjected him to his own will,
unchangeable and immutable, a perfect creature of God, but not as one
of the creatures.” If, therefore, the letter received from them tells
the truth, they wholly contradict thee, in that they confess that the
Son of God who existed before eternal ages, and through whom he made
the world, is unchangeable and a perfect creature of God, but not as
one of the creatures. But thy epistle accuses them of saying that the
Son was made as one of the creatures. They do not say this, but clearly
declare that he was not as one of the creatures. See if cause is not
immediately given them again to attack and to misrepresent whatever
they please. Again thou findest fault with them for saying that He who
is begat him who was not. I wonder if any one is able to say anything
else than that. For if He who is is one, it is plain that everything
has been made by Him and after Him. But if He who is is not the only
one, but there was also a Son existing, how did He who is beget him who
was existing? For thus those existing would be two.’ These things then
Eusebius wrote to the illustrious Alexander; but there are also other
epistles of his directed to the same holy man, in which are found
various blasphemies in defense of the followers of Arius. So also, in
writing to the bishop Euphration, he blasphemes most openly; his letter
begins thus: `I return to my Lord all thanks’; and farther on: `For we
do not say that the Son was with the Father, but that the Father was
before the Son. But the Son of God himself, knowing well that he was
greater than all, and knowing that he was other than the Father, and
less than and subject to Him, very piously teaches this to us also when
he says, ”The Father who sent me is greater than I.”‘ And farther on:
`Since the Son also is himself God, but not true God.’ So then from
these writings of his he shows that he holds to the doctrines of Arius
and his followers. And with this rebellious heresy of theirs the
inventors of that Arian madness hold to one nature in hypostatic union,
and affirm that our Lord took upon himself a body without soul, in his
scheme of redemption, affirming that the divine nature supplied the
purposes and movements of the soul: that, as Gregory the Divine says,
they may ascribe suffering to the Deity; and it is evident that those
who ascribe suffering to the Deity are Patripassians. Those who share
in this heresy do not allow images, as the impious Severus did not, and
Peter Cnapheus, and Philoxenus of Hierapolis, and all their followers,
the many-headed yet headless hydra. So then Eusebius, who belongs to
this faction, as has been shown from his epistles and historical
writings, as a Patripassian rejected the image of Christ,” etc. [10]

Photius, in his 144th Epistle to Constantine.

”That Eusebius (whether slave or friend of Pamphilus I know not) was
carried off by Arianism, his books loudly proclaim. And he, feeling
repentance as he pretends, and against his will, confesses to his
infirmity; although by his repentance he rather shows that he has not
repented. For he cannot show, by means of those writings in which he
would seem to be defending himself, that he has withdrawn from his
former heretical doctrines, nor can he show that he agreed with the
holy and OEcumenical Synod. But he speaks of it as a marvel that the
upholders of the Homoousion should concur with him in sentiment and
agree with him in opinion: and this fact both many other things and the
epistle written by him to his own people at Caesarea accurately
confirm. But that from the beginning he inwardly cherished the Arian
doctrines, and that up to the end of his life he did not cease
following them, many know, and it is easy to gather it from many
sources; but that he shared also in the infirmity of Origen, namely,
the error with regard to the common resurrection of us all, is to most
persons unknown. But if thou thyself examine carefully his books, thou
shalt see that he was none the less truly overcome by that deadly
disease than he was by the Arian madness.”

Photius, in his Bibliotheca (chap. 13).

”Of the Objection and Defense of Eusebius two books have been read;
also other two, which although differing in some respects from the
former two, are in other respects the same with regard to both diction
and thought. But he presents certain difficulties with regard to our
blameless religion as having originated with the Greeks. These he
correctly solves, although not in all cases. But as regards his
diction, it is by no means either pleasing or brilliant. The man is
indeed very learned, although as regards shrewdness of mind and
firmness of character, as well as accuracy in doctrine, he is
deficient. For also in many places in these books it is plain to be
seen that he blasphemes against the Son, calling him a second cause,
and general-in-chief, and other terms which have had their origin in
the Arian madness. It seems that he flourished in the time of
Constantine the Great. He was also an ardent admirer of the excellences
of the holy martyr Pamphilus, for which cause some say that he took
from him the surname Pamphili.”

Photius, in the Same Work (chap. 127).

”There has been read the work of Eusebius Pamphili In praise of the
great emperor Constantine, consisting of four books. In this is
contained the whole life of the man, starting with his very boyhood,
also whatever deeds of his belong to ecclesiastical history, until he
departed from life at the age of sixty-four. Eusebius is, however, even
in this work, like himself in diction, except that his discourse has
risen to a somewhat more than usual brilliancy, and that sometimes he
has made use of more flowery expressions than he is wont. However, of
pleasantness and beauty of expression there is little, as indeed is the
case in his other works. He inserts, moreover, in this work of his in
four books very many passages from the whole decalogue of his
Ecclesiastical History. He says that Constantine the Great himself also
was baptized in Nicomedia, he having put off his baptism until then,
because he desired to be baptized in the Jordan. Who baptized him he
does not clearly show. However, as to the heresy of Arius, he does not
definitely state whether he holds that opinion, or whether he has
changed; or even whether Arius held correct or incorrect views,
although he ought to have made mention of these things, because the
synod occupied an important place among the deeds of Constantine the
Great, and it again demands a detailed account of them. But he does
state that a `controversy’ arose between Arius and Alexander (this is
the name he cunningly gives to the heresy), and that the God-fearing
prince was very much grieved at this controversy, and strove by
epistles and through Hosius, who was then bishop of Cordova, to bring
back the dissenting parties into peace and concord, they having laid
aside the strife existing between them with regard to such questions;
and that when he could not persuade them to do this he convoked a synod
from all quarters, and that it dissolved into peace the strife that had
arisen. These things, however, are not described accurately or clearly;
it would seem then that he is ashamed, as it were, and does not wish to
make public the vote cast against Arius in the Synod, and the just
retribution of those who were his companions in impiety and who were
cast out together with him. Finally, he does not even mention the
terrible fate which was inflicted by God upon Arius in the sight of
all. None of these things he brings to the light, nor has he drawn up
an account of the Synod and the things that were done in it. Whence,
also, when about to write a narrative concerning the divine Eustathius,
he does not even mention his name, nor what things were threatened and
executed against him; but referring these things also to sedition and
tumult, he again speaks of the calmness of the bishops, who having been
convened in Antioch by the zeal and cooperation of the Emperor, changed
the sedition and tumult into peace. Likewise as to what things were
maliciously contrived against the ever-conquering Athanasius, when he
set about making his history cover these things, he says that
Alexandria again was filled with sedition and tumult, and that this was
calmed by the coming of the bishops, who had the imperial aid. But he
by no means makes it clear who was the leader of the sedition, what
sort of sedition it was, or by what means the strife was settled. He
also keeps up almost the same mode of dissimulating in his account of
the contentions existing among bishops with respect to doctrines, and
their disagreements on other matters.”

Joannes Zonaras, in his Third Volume, in which he relates the Deeds of

”Even Eusebius Pamphili, bishop of Caesarea in Palestine, was at that
time one of those who upheld the doctrines of Arius. He is said to have
afterwards withdrawn from the opinion of Arius, and to have become of
like mind with those who hold that the Son is coequal and of the same
nature with the Father, and to have been received into communion by the
holy Fathers. Moreover, in the Acts of the first Synod, he is found to
have defended the faithful. These things are found thus narrated by
some; but he makes them to appear doubtful by certain things which he
is seen to have written in his Ecclesiastical History. For in many
places in the above-mentioned work he seems to be following after
Arius. In the very beginning of his book, where he quotes David as
saying, `He spake and they were made, he commanded and they were
established,’ he says that the Father and Maker is to be considered as
maker and universal ruler, governing by a kingly nod, and that the
second after him in authority, the divine Word, is subject to the
commands of the Father. And farther on he says, that he, as being the
power and wisdom of the Father, is entrusted with the second place in
the kingdom and rule over all. And again, a little farther on, that
there is also a certain essence, living and subsisting before the
world, which ministers to the God and Father of the universe for the
creation of things that are created. Also Solomon, in the person of the
wisdom of God, says, `The Lord created me in the beginning of his
ways,’ etc., and farther on he says: And besides all this, as the
pre-existent word of God, who also preexisted before all ages created,
he received divine honor from the Father, and is worshipped as God.
These and other things show that Eusebius agreed with Arian doctrines,
unless some one say that they were written before his conversion.”

Suidas, under the word Diodoros

”Diodorus, a monk, who was bishop of Tarsus in Cilicia, in the times of
Julian and Valens, wrote divers works, as Theodorus Lector states in
his Ecclesiastical History. These are as follows: A Chronicle, which
corrects the error of Eusebius Pamphilus with regard to chronology,”

The same Suidas, from Sophronius.

”Eusebius Pamphili, a devotee of the Arian heresy, bishop of Caesarea
in Palestine, a man zealous in the study of the holy Scriptures, and
along with Pamphilus the martyr a most careful investigator of sacred
literature, has published many books, among which are the following.”

[8] This extract is not given by Valesius.

[9] Valesius inserts after this extract a brief and unimportant
quotation from Eulogius of Alexandria, which, however, is so
obscure,–severed as it is from its context, which is not accessible to
me,–that no translation of it has been attempted.

[10] This extract is translated from the original Greek of the Acts of
the Second Nicene Council, Act VI. Tom. V. (as given by Labbe and
Cossartius in their Concilia, Tom. VII. p. 495 sq.). Valesius gives
only a Latin translation, and that in a fragmentary form.

[11] The remainder of this extract from Sophronius is a translation of
the chapter of Jerome’s de viris illustribus, which is quoted above, on
p. 60, and is therefore omitted at this point. Valesius adds some
extracts from Baronius and Scaliger; but inasmuch as they are to be
classed with modern rather than with ancient writers, it has seemed
best to omit the quotations from their works.