Historia Ecclesiastica


Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiastica, Lake, Loeb, 1926

XXXVIII. such writings, of course, were the letters of Ignatius of which we gave the list, and the Εpistle of Clement which is recognized by all, which he wrote in the name of the church of the Romans to that οf the Corinthians. In this he has many thoughts parallel to the Εpistle to the Ηebrews, and aetuahy makes some verbal quotations from it showing elearly that it was not a recent production, and for this reason, too, it has seemed natural to include it among the οther writings of the Apostle. For Ρaul had Spoken in writing to the Ηebrews in their native language, and some say that the evangelist Luke, others that this same Clement translated the writing. Αnd the truth οf this would be supported by the similarity of style preserved by the Epistle of Clement and that to the Hebrewss, and by the little difference between the thoughts in both writings.

It must be known that there is also a second [*](1 so Wendland: the Mss. read ἐνήργουν.)

letter ascribed to Clement, but we have not the same knowledge of its recognition as we have οf the former, for we do not even know if the primitive writers used it. some have also quite recently put forward other verbose and long treatises, purporting to be Clement's, containing dialogues with Ρeter and Apion, 1 but there is absolutely no mention of them among the ancient writers nor do they Ρreserve the purc type οf apostolic orthodoxy.

XXXIX. Thus the recognized writing of Clement is well known and the works of Ignatius and Polycarp have been spoken οf, and of Papias five treatises are extant which have also the title of “ Interpretation οf the oracles of the ” These are also mentioned by Irenaeus as though his οnly writing, for he says in οne place, “ “To these things also Ρapias, the hearer of John, who was a comanion of Ροlycarp and one of the ancients, 2 bears witness in writing in the fourth of his books, for five books were composed by ” so says Irenaeus. Yet Ρapias himself, according to the preface of his treatises, makes plain that he had in no way been a hearer and eyewitness of the sacred Αpostles, but teaches that he had received the articles of the faith from those who had known them, for he speaks as follows : “ Αnd I shall not hesitate to append to the interpretations all that I ever learnt well from the presbyters and remember well, for of their truth I am conndent. For unlike most I did not rejoice in them who say much, but in them who teach the truth, nor in [*](3 “Ρrimitive’’ would perhaps be a better rendering for the Greek, which at Ιeast sometimes seems to mean a man who belonged to “the ” Cf. the application οf the adjective to Mnason ἀρχαίῳ μαθητῇ) in Αcts xxi. 16)

them who recount the commandments οf others, but in them who repeated those given to the faith by the Lord and derived from truth itself; but if ever anyone came who had followed 1 the presbyters, I inquired into the words of the presbyters, what Andrew or Ρeter οr Philip or Thomas or James or John or Matthew, or any other οf the Lord's disciples, had said, and what Aristion and the Presbyter John, the Ιord’s disciples, were saying. For I did not suppose that information from books would help me so much as the word of a living and surviving voice.”

It is here worth nothing that he twiee counts the name of John, and reckons the first John with Ρeter and James and Matthew and the other Αpostles, clearly the the evangelist, but by changing his statement Ρlaces the seeond with the others outside the number of the Αpostles, putting Αristion Before him and clearly calling him a presbyter. This confirms the truth οf the story of those who have said that there were twp of the same name in Αsia, and that there are two tombs at Εphesus both still called John's. This calls for attention: for it is probable that the second (unless anyone prefer the fonner) saw the revelation which passes under the name οf John The Papias whom we are now treating confesses that he had received the words of the Αpostles from their followers, but says that he had aetually heard Αristion and the presbyter John. Ηe often quotes them by name and gives [*](1 Thc meaning οf the Greek is doubrtul ; see Jackson and Lake, Beginnings of Christianity, vol. ii. p. 501.) [*](1 Cf. vii. 25. 16 (excerpt from Dionysios).)

their traditions in his writings. Let this suffice to good purpose. But it is worth while to add to the words of Papias already given other sayings οf his, in which he tells certain marvels and other details which apparently reached him by tradition. It has already been mentioned that Philip the Αpostle lived at Ηierapolis with his daughters, but it must now be shown how Ρapias was with them and reeeived a wonderful story from the daughters of Ρhilip; for he relates the resurrection of a corpse in his time and in another Ρlace another miraele conneeted with Justus surnamed Barsabas, for he drank poiSon but by the Lord's graee suffered no harm. Of this Justus the Αcts relates that the sacred Apostles set him up and prayed over him together with Matthias after the ascension of the Lord for the choice of one to fill up their number in place of the traitor Judas, “and they set forth two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was called Justus, and Matthias ; and they prayed and said." The same adduees other accounts, as though they came to him from unwritten tradition, and some strange parables and teachings of the saviour, and some other more mythical accountS. Αmong them he says that there will be a millennium after the resurrection of the dead, when the kingdom of Christ will be set up in material form on this earth. I suppose that he got these notions by a perverse [*](1 cf. C. de Boor's fragments of Papias in texte und Untersuchungen, v. 2. 170.)
reading οf the apostolic aceounts, not realiring that they had spoken mystically and symbolically. For he was a man of very little intelligence, as is clear from his books. But he is responsible for the fact that so many Christian writers after him held the same opinion, relying on his antiquity, for inrtance Irenaeus and whoever else appears to have held the same views.

In the same writing he also quotes other interpretations of the words οf the Lord given by the Aristion mentioned above and traditions of John the presbyter. To them we may dismiss the studious; but we are now obliged to append to the words already quoted from him a tradtion about the Mark who wrote the Gospel, which he expounds as follows. “ Αnd the Presbyter used to say tffihls, Mark became Ρeter’s interpreter and wrote accurately all that he remembered, not, indeed, in order, of the things said or done by the Lord. For he had not heard the Lord, nor had he followed him, but later on, as I said, followed Ρeter, who used to give teaching as necessity demanded but not making, as it were, an auangement of the Lord's oracles, so that Mark did nothing wrong in thus writing down single Ρoints as he remembered them. For to one tHhIng he gave attention, to leave out nothing of what he had heard and to make no false statements in them.' " This is related by Ρapias about Mark, and about Matthew this was said, “ Matthew collected the oracles in the Ηebrew language, and eaeh interpreted them as best he could.”


The same writer used quotations from the rirrt Epistle οf John, and likewise also from that or Ρeter, and has expounded another Story about a woman who was accused before the Lord of many sins, which the Gospel according to the Ηebrews contains. Let this suffice us in addition to the extracts made.



The contents of the fourth book of the History of the Church is as follows:

Ι. Who were the bishops of Rome and Alexandria in the reign of Trajan.

II. What the Jews suffered in his time.

III. The apologistes for Christianity in the time of Ηadrian.

ΙV. The bishops of Rome and Alexandria in his time.

V. The bishops of Jerusalem, beginning from the Saviour down to the time mentioned.

VI. The last siege of the Jews under Hadrian.

VII. Who were the leaders of knowlege, falsely so-called, at that rime.

VIII. Who are the writers fo the church.

IX. Αletter of Hadrian to the effect that we must not be persecuted without being tried.

X. Who were thc bishops of Rome and Alexandria in the reign of Antoninus.

XI. Oh the leaders οf heresy in their times.

XII. On the apology of Justin to Antoninus.

XIII. Α letter of Antoninus to the Council of Asia On Our religion.


XIV. The story of Polycarp who had known the apostle.

XV. How in the time of Verus Polycarp with others was martyred in the city os Smyrna.

XVI. How Justin the philosopher was martyred in the city of Rome as an ambassador for the word of Christ.

XVII. On the martyrs whom Justin mentions in his own writings.

XVIII. What writings of Justin have come down to us.

XIX. Who were the leaders of the churcbes of Rome and Alexandria in the reign of Verus.

XX. Who were the bishops Of Antioch.

XXI. Οn tbe ecclesiastical writers who were famous in their time.

XXII. On Hegesippus and vbat he relates.

XXIII. Οn Dionysius, the bishop of Corinth, and the letters which he wrote.

XXIV. Οn Theophilus, hishop of Antioch.

XXV. Οn Philip and Modestus.

XXVI. Οn Melito and the statements which he makes.

XXVII. Οn Apolinarius.

XXVIII. On Musanus.

XXIX. Οn the heresy of Tatian.

XXX. Οn Bardesanes the Syrian and his extant books.



I. ABOUT the tweKth y ear of the reign of Trajan 1 the bishop 2 of the ffiocese of Alexandria, whom we men- tioned a little earlier, passed away, and Primus, the fourth from the Apostles, received the charge of those in that place. Αt this time, too, at Rome Alexander, when Evarestus had completed his eighth year, was the Rfth to succeed Feter and Paul, and took up the bishopric.

II. While the teaching of our Saviour and the church were nourishing daily and moving on to further progress the tragedy of the Jews was reaching the climax of successive woes. Ιn the course of the eighteenth year 3 οf the reign of the Emperor a rebellion of the Jews again broke out and destroyed a great multitude of them. For both in Alexandria and in the rest of Egypt and especially in Cyrene, as though they had been seized by some terrible spirit of rebellion, they rushed into sedition against their Greek fellow clblens, and increasing the seope of the rebellion in the following year started a great war while Lupus was governor of all Egypt. 4 In the nrst engagement they happened to overcome [*](1 A. D. 109. 2 Cerdon, cf. iii. 21. 3 A. D. 115. 4 Cf. Cassius, lxviii. 32 and lxix. 12 f.)

the Greeks, who fled to Alexandria and captured and killed the Jews in the city, but though thus losing the help of the townsmen, the Jews of Cyrene continued to plunder the countr y of Egypt and to ravage the districts in it under their leader Lucuas. The Emperor sent against them Marcius Turbo with land and sea forces including eavalry. Ηe waged war vigorously against them in many bartleS for a considerable time and killed many thousands of Jews, not οnly those of Cyrene but alSo those of Εgypt who had rallied to Lucuas, 1 their king. The Εmperor suspected that the Jews in Mesopotamia wollld also attack the inhabitants and ordered Lusius Quietus to clean them out of the province. Ηe organized a force and murdered a great multitude of the Jews there, and for this reform was appointed governor of Judaea by the Εmperοr. The Greek authors 2 who chronicle the same period have related this narrative in these very words.

III. When Trajan had reigned for nineteen and a half years Aelius Hadrian succeeded 3 to the sovereignty To him Quadratus addressed a treatise, composing a defence for our religion because some wicked men were trying to trouble the Christians. It is still extant among many of the brethren and we have a copy ourselves. From it can be seen the clear proof οf his intellect and apostle orthodoxy. Ηe shows his early date by what he says as follows [*](1 Dio Cassius (lxviii. 32) gives his name as Andreas.) [*](2 Εxcept for Dio Cassius these cannot be identffied.) [*](3 A.D. 117.)

in his own words : “But the works of our sariour werc always present, for they were true, those who were cured, those who rose from the dead, who not merely appeared as cured and risen, but were constantly present, not only wffihlle the sariour was living, but even for some time after he had gone, so that some of them surrived even till our own ” such was he. Aristides too, a man of faith and devoted to our religion, has, hke Quadratus, left behind a defence of the faith addressed to Hadrian. His writing, too, is still preserved hy many.1

IV. In the tffihlrd year οf the same reign 2 Alexander, the bishop of the Romans, ffied after eompleting the tenth year of his ministry; Xystus was his successor. Αnd at the same time, in the diocese of the Alexandrians, Justus succeeded Primus, who died in the twelfth year of his rule.

v. 1 have not found any written statement of the dates of the bishops in Jerusalem, for tradition says that they were extremely short-lived, but 1 have gathered from documents this much —that up to the siege of the Jews by Ηadrian the successions οf bishops were fifteen in number. It is said that they were all Ηebrews by origin who had nobly accepted the knowledge of Christ, so that they were counted worthy even of the episcopal ministry by those who had the power to judge such questions. For their whole church at that time consisted of Ηebrews who [*](1 The Syriac text was dicovered by J. Rendel Harris οn Mt. sinai and published by him in Texts and Studies, i. 1. see Introduction p. xlix.) [*](2 A.D. 120.)

had continued Christian from the Apostles down to the siege at the time when the Jews again rebelled from the Romans and were beaten in in a great war. since the Jewiril bishops then ceased, it is now necessary to give their names from the beginning. The first then was James who was called the Lord's brother, arld after him Simeon was the second. The third was Justus, Zacchaeus was the fourth, Tobias the fifth, the sixth Benjamin, the seventh John, the eighth Mattias, the ninth Philip, the telrth Seneca, the eleventh Justus, the twelfth Levi, the thirteenth Ephres, the fourteenth Joseph, and last of all the fifteenth Judas. such were the bishops in tbe crty of Jerusalem, from the Apostles down to the time mentioned, and riley were all Jews. now during the Llvelfth year of the reign of Hadrian, Telesphorus, the Seventh from the Apostles, suceeeded Xystus who had completed ten years in the bishopric of the Romalns, and one year and some months later Eumemes suceeeded to the government of tbe diocese or Alexandria as the sixth bishop, when his predecessor had completed eleven years.

VI. The rebellion of the Jews 1 once more progressed in character and extent, and Rufus, the governor of Judaea, when military aid had been sent him by the Emperor, moved out against them, treating their madness without mercy. He destroyed in heaps thousands of men, women, and children, and, under the law of war, enslaved their land. The Jews were at rilat time led by a certain Bar Chochebas, 2 which means “star,” a man who was [*](1 Cf. Dio Cassius, lxix. 12–14.) [*](2 Literall v “son of a star.” with a prbable reference to Numbers xxiv. 17. After his defeat the Jews called him Bar Choziba “son of a lie.”)

murderous and a bandit, but relied on his name, as if dealing with slaves, and claimed to be a luminary who had come down to them from heaven and was magically enligbtening those who were in misery. The War reaehed itS height in the eighteenth year of the reign of Hadrian in Beththera, 1 which was a strong eitadel not very rar from Jerusalem; the siege lasted a long time before the rebels were driven to final destruction by famine and thirst and the instigator of their madness paid the penalty he deserved. Hadrian then commanded that by a legal decree and ordinances the whole nation should be absolutely prevented from entering from theneeforth even the distriet round Jerusalem, So that not eVen from a distance couhl lt see it ancestral home. Ariston of Pella tells the story. 2 Thus when the city came to be bereft of the natlon of the Jews, and its ancient inhabitants had completely perished, it was colonized by foreigners, and the Roman city which afterwards arose changed its name, and in honour of the reigning emperor Αelius Hadrian was ealled Aelia. The chureh, too, in it was composed of Gentiles, and after the Jewish bishops the first who was appointed to minister to those there was Marcus.

VII. Like brilliant lamps the churches were noW shining throughout the World, and Faith in our saViour and Lord Jesus Christ was flourishing among all mankind, when the devil who hates what is good, as the enemy of truth, ever most hostile to man's salvation, turned all his devices against the church. [*](1 It has not been identified.) [*](2 The book is not extand.)

Formerly he had used persecutions from without as his weapon against her, but now that he was excluded from this he employed wicked men and sorcerers, like baleful weapons and ministers of destruction against the soul, and eonducted his campaign by other plotting by every means that sorcerers and deeeivers might assume the same name as our religion and at οne time lead to the depth of destruction those οf the faithful whom they caught, and at others, by the deeds whieh thev undertook, might turn away from the path to the saving word those who were ignorant of the faith. Thus from Menander, whom we have already mentioned as the successor οf Simon, there proceeded a certain snakelike power with two mouths and double head, and established the leaders of two heresies, Saturninus, an Antionchian by race, and Basilides of Αlexandria. The first established schools of impious heresy syria, the latter in Εgypt. Irenaeus makes it plain that Saturninus uttered for the most part the same falsehoods as Menander, but Basilides, under the pretext of secret doctrine, Stretehed fancy infinitely far, fabricating monstrous mythS for his impious heresy. Now while mort of the orthodox at that time were struggling for the truth, and fighting with great eloquence 1 for the glory of the Apostles and of the Church, some also by their writings provided for their successors methods of defence against the heresies which have been mentioned. Of these a most powerful refutation of Basilides has reached us from Agrippa Castor, a most famous [*](1 The Greek might naturally mean “logically,” but the antithesis with written defences shows what is intended.) [*](2 Not extant.)
writer of that time, revealing the cleverness of the man's deception. Ιn expounding his mysteries he SayS that he compiled twenty-four books on the gospel, and that he named his own prophets Bar Cabbas and Bar Coph, 1 and that he set up some others for himself vho bad never existed, but that he invented barbarous names for them to astonish those who vere inriuenced by such things. Ηe taught that there vas no harm in eating things offered to idols, or in light-heartedly denying the faith in times of persecution. Like Pythagoras he enjoined those who came to him to keep silence for five years. The same writer tells other similar things about Basilides, and offers a magnificent refutation of the error of the heresy described. Irenaeus also writes that Carpocrates was a contemporary of these, the father of another herey which was called that of the Gnoistics. These did not, like Barilides, derire to transmit the magie of Simon secreriy but Openly, a though it was some great thing, speaking almost with awe of their magieal ceremonies, of love charms, of the bringers of dreams and familiar spirits, and of other similar performances. In accordance wtih this they teach that those who purpose coming to initiation in their mysteries, or ratber in their obscenities, must perform all the shocking deeds beeause in no other way can they escape the “rulers of the ” as they would say, except by fulfilling to all of them what was necessary through their mysteries. By using these ministers the demon who rejoices in evil accomplished the piteous enslavement [*](1 Nothing is known of these persons, but for a suggested connexion of Gnostic prophecy with Zoroastrian writings see Hort's article on Barcabbas in the Dictionary of Christian Biography.)
to perdition of those who were thus deceived by them, and brought much weight of discredit upon the divine word among the unbelieving Gentiles, because the report Whieh started from them was scattered calumniously on the whole race Of Christians. It was especially in this way that it came to pass that a blasphemous and wicked suspicion concerning us was spread among the heathen of those days, to the effect that we practised unspeakable incest with mothers and sisters and took part in wicked food. 1 Yet this did not long succeed, for the truth vindicated itself and as time went on shone ever more brighriy. For by its power the machinations of its enemie were refuted; though new heresies were invented one after another, the earlier ones flowed into strange multiple and multifarious forms and perished in different ways at different times. But the brightness of the universal and only true church proceeded to increase in greatness, for it ever held to the same points in the same way, and radiated forth to all the race οf Greeks and barbarians the reVerent, sincere, and free nature, and the sobriety and purity of the divine teaching as to conduct and thought. Thus with the lapse of time the calumnies against the whole teaching were extinguished, and our doetrine remained as the only one which had power among all and was admitted to excel in its godliness and sobriety, 2 and its divine and wise doctrines. So that no one has daied to [*](2 These two words are peculiarly difficult to translate. The brst means the quality which demands reverence from others. The second is the moderation. self-restraint, and sobriety which are essential to a good life. There is no word in English which adequately translates either.)
continuue the base implications of calumny against our faith, such as those who were opposed to us were formerly accustomed to use.

Nevertheless, at the time spoken of, the truth again brought forward for itself more champions Who campaigned against the godless heresies not only by unwritten arguments but also in written demonstrations.

VIII. Among these Hegesippus was famous and of his words we have already made much use, for from his traffition we have quoted details as to the apostolic age. Ηe collected his material 1 in hve books, giving in the simplest style of writing the unerring tradition of the apostolic preaching. Ηe indicates the time in which he flourished by writing thus about those who had made idols : “To them they made cenotaphs and shrines until now, and among them is Antinous, a slave of the Emperor Hadrian, in whose honour the Antinoian games are held, though he was our contemporary. For he also built a city called after Antious, and instituted prophets for ” Αt the same time too, Justm; a genuine lover of true philosophy, was still continuing to practise the learning of the Greeks. And he also himself indicates this period in his Apology to Antoninus by writing thus, “And we thought it not out of place to mention at this point Antinous of the present day whom all were intimidated to worship as a god, though they knew his nature and origin.”

[*](2 Α ccnotaph is a monument in the form of a tomb but with no body in it.)[*](3 The sentence seems to break off in the middle, but the subject of the verb, though not expressed, is doubtless Hadrian.)

The same writer mentions the war of that time against the Jews and makes this observation, “For in the present Jewish war it was only Christians whom nar Chocheba, the leader of the rebellion of the Jews, commanded to be punished severely, if they did not deny Jesus as the Messiah and blaspheme him.”

In the same book he shows that his conversion from Greek philosophy to true religion did not take place irrationally, but as an act of deliberate judgment; for he writes thus : “For I myself, while I was rejoicing in the teaching of Plato, heard the Christians abused. But 1 saw that they were afraid neither of death, nor οf anything usually thought feadul, and I considered it was impossible that they were living in wickedness and liberinism. For what libertine or incontinent person, or οne who ands good in the eating of human flesh, could greet death, that it might take away all his lusts, and would not try to prolong by all means his present life and to avoid the notice οf the rulers, and not give himself up to be murdered ?”

Moreover, the same writer relates that Hadrian received a dispatch in favour of the Christians from Serennius Graninaus, a most distinguished governor, to the effect that it was not just to put them to death, without accusation or trial, to appease popular clamour, and that he wrote an answer to Minucius Fundanus, proconsul of Asia, οrdering him to try no one without inffictment and reasonable accusation, and Justin appends a copy of the letter, preserring the original Latin 1 as he had it, and prefixing these [*](1 This is not so in the extant Ms. οf Justin, which has replaced the Latin by the Greek οf Eusebius. The authem ticity οf the document has been warmly disputed, and there is not yct any agreement οn the point among critics.)

remarks: “Though we might have begged you to οrder trials to be held, as we desired, οn the strength of a letter from the great and glorious Emperor Hadrian, we preferrred to rest our request not on the command of Ηadrian but on our knowledge that we are making a righteous request. However, we also append a copy of the letter of Hadrian, that you may know that we are speaking the truth on this point, and here it is.”

The author quoted then appends the Latin rescript itself, but we have translated it to the best of our power into Greek as follows :