Historia Ecclesiastica


Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiastica, Lake, Loeb, 1926

XX. Agrippinus took up the succession, and in the church οf the Αntiochians, the famous Theophilus was the sixth from the Αpostles, the fourth having been Cornelius, who was appointed after Ηero, and after Cornelius Εros had suceeeded to the bishopric in the fifth place.

XXI. At this time there flourished in the church [*](1 A. D. 168.)

Ηegesippus, whom we know from former narratives, and Dionysius, bishop of the CorinthianS, and Pinytus, another bishop of the Cretans, and Philip, and in addition to them Apolinarius and Melito and Musanus and Modestus and, above all, Irenaeus, and their eorreet opinions οn the sound faith οf the apostolic tradition have come down to us in writing.

XXII. Hegesippus has left a complete record his οwn opinion in five treatises which have come down to us. In them he explriaIns how when travelling as far as Rome he mingled with many bishops and that he found the same doctrine among them all. But it is well to listen to What he said after some remarks about the epistle of Clement to the Corinthians: “ Αnd the chureh οf the Corinthians remained in the truc doctrine until Ρrimus was bishop of Corinth, and I conversed with them οn my voyage to Rome, and spent some days with the corinthians during whieh we were refreshed by the true word. When 1 was in Rome Ι reeovered the list οf the succeSsion until Αnicetus, whose deacon was Εleutherus ; soter Suceeeded Αnicetus, and after him came EleutheruS. In each list and in each city things are as the law, the prophets, and the Lord preach.”

The same writer also deseribes the beginning of the heresies of his time as follows : “ Αfter James the Just had suffered martyrdom for the same reason as the Lord, symeon, his cousm; the son οf Clopas was appointed bishop, whom they all proposed because cause he was another cousin οf the Lord. For this cause they called the ehurch virgin, for it had not

yet been corrupted by vain messages, but Thebouthis, because he had not been made bishop, begins its corruption by the seven heresies, to which he belonged, among the people.1 Οf thee were simOn, Whenee the Simonians, and Cleobius, whence the Cleobians, and Dositheus, whence the Dosithians, and Gorthaeus, whence the Goratheni and the Μasbothei. From these come the Menandrianists and the Marcianists and the Carpocratians and the Valentinians and the Basilidians and Saturnilians; eacg of these puts forward in its own peculiar way its own opinion, and from them come the false Christs and false prophets and false apostles who detroy the unity of the church by their poisonous doctrine against God and against his Christ.”

The same writer also described the sects which onee existed among the Jews as follows: “ Now there were Various opinions among the circumcision, among the children of Israel, against the tribe of Judah and the Messiah, as folows: Essenes, Galileans, Hemerobaptists, Masbothei, Samaritans, saddueees, and Pharisees.”

Ηe also wrote much more, from which we have already made some quotations, arranging the narratives chronologically, and he makes extracts from the Gospel according to the Ηebrews, and from the and Ρartieularly from the Hebrev language, showing that he had been converted from among the Hebrews, and he mentions points as coming from the unwritten tradition of the Jews. Αnd not only he but also Irenaeus and the whole company of the ancients called the Proverbs the All-virtuous Wisdom. And in disseems

cussing the so-called Apocrypha, he relates that some οf them were fabricated by certain heretics in his own time. But we must now pass οn to another writer.

XXIII. Concerning Dionysius it must Rrst be said that he was appointed to the throne of the episcopate of the diocese of Corinth, and that he communicated his divine industry ungrudgingly not only to those under him but aho to those at a distance, rendering himself most useful to all in the general epistles which he drew up for the churches. 1 Αmοng them the lerter to the Lacedaemonians is an instrunction in orthodoxy on the subject of peace and unity, and the letter to the Athenians is a call to faith and to life according to the gospel, and for despising this he rehukes them as all but apostates from the truth since the martyrdom οf Publius, 2 their leader, in the persecution οf that time. Ηe mentions that Quadratus was appointed their bishop after the martyrdom οf Publius and testffies that through his zeal they had bcen brought together and received a rerival of their faith. Moreover, he mentions that Dionysius the Areopagite was converted by the Αpostle Ρaul to the frialth, accorffing to the narrative in the Αcts, and was the first to be appointed to the bishoprie of the diocese of Αthens. There is another extant Ietter of his to the Nicomedians in which he the heresy of Marcion and compares it with the rure ofthe truth. Ηe also mote to the ehurch sojourning in Gortyna together with the οther Cretan ffidIoceses, and welcomes their bishop Philip for the reputation [*](1 Νοne of his writings are ertant.) [*](2 Nothing more is known οf this Publius.)

of the church in his charge for many noble acts, and he enjoins care against heretical error. He also wrote to the church sojourning in Amastris, together with the churches in Pontus, and mentions that Bacchylides and Elpistus had urged him to write; he adduces interpretations of the divine scriptures, and mentions by name their bishop Palmas. Ηe gave them many exhortations about marriage and chastity, and orders them to receive those who are converted from any backsliding, whether of conduct or heretical To this list has been added another epistle to Cnossus, in which he exhorts Pinytos, the bishop of the diocese, not to put on the brethren a heavy compulsory burden concerning chastity and to consider the weaknesses of the many. To this Pinytos replied that he admircd and welcomed Dionysius, but exhorted him in turn to provide at some time more solid food, and to nourish the people under him with another more advanced letter, so that they might not be fed continually on milky words, and be caught unaware by old age Vbile still treated as children. In this letter the orthodoxy of Pinytow in the faith, his care for those under him, his learning and theological understanding are shown as in a most accurate image.

There is, moreover, extant a letter of Dionysius to the Romans addressed to Soter who was then boshop, and there is nothing better than to quote the words in which he welcomes the custom of the Romans, which was observed down to the persecution in our own times. “ This has been your custom from the be-

ginning, to do good in manifold ways to all Christians, and to send contributions to the many churches in every city, in some places relieving the poverty of the needy, and ministering to the Christians in the mines,1 by the contribution which you have sent from the beginning, preserving the ancestral custom of the Romans, true Romans as you are. Your blessed bishop soter has not only carried on this habit but has even increased it, by administering the bounty distributed to the saints and by exhorting with his blessed words the brethren who come to Rome, as a loving father would his children.”

In this same letter he also quotes the letter of Clement to the Corinthians, showing that from the beginning it had been the custom to read it in the church. “ To-day we observed the holy day of the Lord, and read out your letter, whieh we shall continue to read from time to time for our admonition, as we do with that which was formerly sent to us through Clement.” 2

The same writer speaks as follows about the falsification of his owh letters. “ When Christians asked me to write letters Ι wrote them, and the apostles of the derivll have filled them with tares, by leaving out some things and putting in others. But woe awaits them. Therefore it is no wonder that some have gone about to falsify even the scriptures of the Lord When they have plotted against writings so inferior.”

Besides these there is extant another lerter of Dionysius to Chrysophora, a most faithful Christian, [*](2 It is to be noticed that Dionysius regards both the letter of Soter and the Ιetter of clement as coming from the church of Rome of which they are the first and second epirtles. There is much to be saia for Α. von ’s view that the letter which we call II. Clement is really the letter of Soter.)

in which he writes to her, suitably imparting to her the proper spiritual food. Such are the facts about Dionysius.

XXIV. Of Theophilus, whom we have mentioned as bishop of the church of the Antiochians, three elementary treatises are extant, addressed to Autolycus, and another with the title, Against the Heresy of Hermogenes, in which he has quoted the Apocalypse of John, and there are also extant some οther books οf his on instruction. Heretics were evcn then no less defiling the pure seed of apostolic teaching like tares, and the shepherds ofthe churches in every place, as though driving off wild beasts from Christ's sheep, excluded them at one time by rebukes and exhortations to the brethren, at another by their more complete exposure, by unwritten and personal inquiry and conversation, and ultimately correcting their opinions by accurate arguments in written treatises. It is elear that Theophilus joined with the others in this campaign against them from a noble trcatise whieh he made against Marcion, which has heen preserved until now with the others that we have mentioned. His successor in the church οf the Antiochians was Maximinus, seventh from theapostles.

XXV. Philip, whom we know from the words of Dionysius as bishop of the diocese in Gortyna, also made a most excellent treatise against Marcion. Irenaeus, likewise, and Modestus, 1 who excels beyond [*](1 Νοthing more is known οf Modestus, though Jerome appears to have been acquainted with his writings (De uir. ill. 32))

the rest in exposing to everyone the man's error, did the same, and there are many others, too, whose works are still preserved among many Christians.

XXVI. In their time, too, Melito, bishop of the diocese of Sardis, and Apolinarius, bishop of Hierapolis, Vere at the height of their fame, and each addressed apologetic arguments of their own to the emperor 1 of the Romans of that day, who has been already mentioned. The following of their works have come to our knowledge. Of Melito two books Οn the Passover, a treatise Οn Christian Life and the Prophets, Οn the Church, and Οn the Lord's Day ; besides these Οn the Faith of Man, and On Creation, and Οn the Obedience of Faith, and On the Senses 2 ; besides these, On the Soul and Body,3 and On Baptism and Truth and Faith and Christ's Birth,4 and a treatise of his prophecy 5 and Οn Soul and Body, and On Hospitality, and the Key, and the books Οn the Deuil and the Apocalypse of John, and On God Incarnate ; above all, the little book To Antoninus.6

Αt the beginning of the book On the Passover he indicates the time at which he vas composing it as follows: “ Ιn the time Of Servillius Paulus, 7 proconsul, of Αsia, at the time when Sagaris was martyred, [*](4 These appear to be the cbapters of a single book.) [*](5 such must be tbe meaning of the Greek, but a πέρι may have dropped out by accident. It is found in some Mss., but probably only a an emendation.) [*](6 i.e. Antoninus Verlb, usually called Marcus Aurelius.) [*](7 Servilius Paulus is not known, but Rufinus emended the name to Sergius Paulus, who was consul for the second time in 168, and may have been proconsul of Asia about 164-166. See Waddington, Fastes des privinces asiatiques, and McGiffert's note ad loc.)

there was a great discussion about the Passover, which fell according to the season in those days, and this was written.” Clement of Alexandria this treatise in his own Οn the Passover, which he says that he compiled in consequence of the writing of Melito. Αnd in the book to the emperor he relates that in his time we were treated as follows : “ Ιt has never before happened as it is now that the race of the religious should be persecuted and driven about by new decrees throughout Αria. For shameless informers and lovers of other people's property have taken advantage of the decrees, and pillage us openly, harrying night and day those who have done nothing ” And after other points he says: “ Αnd if this is done as your command, let it be assumed that it. it is well done, for no righteous king would ever have an unrighteous policy, and we gladly bear the honour οf such death. But we submit to you this single request, that you will first take cognizance yourself of the authors of such strife, and judge righteously whether they are worthy of death and punishment, or of acquittal and immunity. But, if it be not from you that there comes this counsel and this new decree (and it would be improper even against barbarian enemies), we beseech you all the more not to neglect ust in this brigandage by a mob.” Ηe then continues as follows: “Our philosophy first grew up among the barbarians, but its full flower came among your nation in the great reign of your ancestor Augustus, and became an omen of good to your empire, for from that time the power of the Romans became great and splendid. You are now his
happy successor, and shall be so along with your son,1 if you protect the philosophy which grew up with the empire and began with Αugustus. Your ancestors nourished it together with the other cults, and the greatest proof that our doctrine flourished for good along with the empire in its noble beginning is the fact that it met no evil in the reign of Αugustus, but on the contrary everything splendid and glorious according to the wishes of all men. 2 The only emperors who were ever persuaded by malicious men to slander our teaching were Νero and Domitian, and from them arose the lie, and the unreasonable custom of falsely accusing Christians. But their ignorance was corrected by your pious fathers, who wrote many rebukes to many, whenever any dared to take new measures against Christians. Your grandfather Hadrian shows this in his letters to many, and especially to the proconsul Fundanus, the governor οf Αsia, and your father, while you were joined with him 3 in the administration οf the world, wrote to the cities that no new measures should be taken concerning us. Among these are letters to the Larisians and to the Thessalonians and the Athenians and to all the Greeks. sinee you hold the same opinion about them and, indeed, one which is far kinder and more philosophic, we are persuaded οf your doing all which we beg of you.”

These words are found in the treatise quoted, but in the Extracts which he wrote the same writer begins [*](1 The Εmperor and his son are Marcus Aurelius and his son the Εmperor Commodus.) [*](2 The defect in this argument is that Αugustus was dead some time before the foundation οf the Christian church.) [*](3 Translating Wilamowitz's emendation συνδιοικοῦντος, which must be right for Melito, even if not for Eusebius.)

in his preface by making a list of the recognized scriptures of the ΟΙd Testament, whcih it is necessary to enumerate here, and he writes as follows: “ Melito to Onesimus his brother, greeting. Since you often desired, in your zeal for the true word, to have extracts from the Law and the Prophets concerning the Saviour, and concerning all our faith, and, moreover, since you wished to know the accurate facts about the ancient writings, how many they are in number, and what is their order, Ι have taken pains to do thus, for Ι know your zeal for the faith and interest in the word, and that in your struggle for eternal salvation you esteem these things more highly than all else in your love towards God. Accordingly when I came to the east and reached the place where these things were preached and done, and learnt accurately the books of the Οld Testament, Ι set down the facts and sent them to you. These are their names : five books of Μoses, Genesis, Exodus, Νumbers, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Joshua the son of Νun, Judges, Ruth, four books of Kingdoms, two books of Chronicles, the Ρsalms of David, the Proverbs of Solomon and his Wisdom, Ecclesiastes, the Song of Songs, Job, the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, the Twelve in a single book, Daniel, Ezekiel, Ezra. From these Ι have made extracts and compiled them in six ” Such are the facts about Melito.

XXVII. Of the many writings of Apolinarius which have been widely preserved the following have reached us : Α treatise to the above mentioned emperor, 1 five books Against the Greeks, and books one and two Οn the Truth, one and to Against the [*](1 Marcus Aurelius.)

Jerus, and after this the treatises which he wrote against the heresy of the Phrygians, which had begun its innovations not long before and was then, as it were, beginning to sprout, while Montanus with his false prophetesses 1 was making the beginnings of the error.

XXVIII. Αnd of Musanus, whom we have mentioned in a previous passage, there is extant a certain very eloquent discourse which he wrote to some Christians who had fallen away to the heresy of the so-called Encratites, 2 which was at that time just beginning to sprout and to introduce into life its strange and corrupting false doctrine.

XXIX. The story goes that Tatian was the author of this error, whose words we quoted a little above concerning the marvellous Justin, and related that he was a disciple of the martyr. Irenaeus states this in his first book, Against the Heresies, and in the same place writes thus concerning him and his heresy. “ The so-ealled Encratites proceeding from Saturninus and Marcion preached against marriage, annulling the original creation of God, and tacitly condemning him who made male and female. They also introduced abstention from what they called ‘animate᾿ thigns in ingratitude to the God who has made all things, and they deny the salvation of the first created man. This innovation was recently made by them when a certain Tatian first introduced this blasphemy. Ηe had been a hearer of Justin but so long as he was with him, he produced nothing of this king, but after the martyrdom of Justin he left the church, being

exalted by the idea of becoming a teacher and puffed up as superior to others. He established his own type of doctrine, telling stories of invisible Aeons, like the followers of Valentinus, and rejecting marriage as corruption and fornication similarly to Marcion and Saturninus. Αnd as his own contribution he denied the salvation of Αdam.’’ Irenaeus wrote thus at that time. But a little later a certain man named Severus strengthened the above mentioned heresy, and is the reason why those who have sprung from it obtained the name of Severiani from him. These indeed use the Law and the Prophets and the Gospels, though they interpret the facts of the sacred scriptures in their own way, but they blaspheme the Apostle ΡauΙ, and reject his epistles and do no receive the Acts of the Apostles. Their former leader Tatian composed in some way a combination and collection of the gospels, and gave this the name of The Diatessaron, 1 and this is still extant in some places. And they say that he ventured to paraphrase some words of the apostle, as though correcting their style. Ηe has left a great number of writings, οf which the most famous, quoted by many, is his discourse Against the Greeks. Ιn it he deals with primitive history, and shows that Moses and the prophets of the Hebrews preceded all those who are celebrated among the Greeks. This seems to be the best and most helpful of all his writings. Such are the facts of this period.

[*](1 See Introduction, p. lii.)

XXX. In the same reign heresies increased in Mesopotamia, and Bardesanes, a most able man and skilled in Syriac, composed ffidlalogues against the Marcionites and other leaders of various opinions, and he issued them in his own language and script, together with many othcr οf his writings. Those who knew them; and they were many, for he was a powerful arguer, have translated them from Syriac into Greek. Αmong them is his very powerful dialogue with Antoninus Concerning Fate, and they say that he wrote many οther works in conscquence of the persecution of that time. Ηe had been first a member of the Valentinians, but condemned this school and refuted many oftheir fables, and himself thought that he had changed to orthodox opinion, but in fact he did not completely clean off the ffith of his ancient heresy.

Αt this time Soter, bishop of Rome, died.