IX. When Antoninus had held the empire for nineteen years, Commodus 2 received the sovereignty, and in his first year Julian was appointed to the episcopate of the Churches in Αlexandria when Agrippinus had completed his ministry after twelve years.[*](1 The source of this tradition seems to be the Letter of Aristeas, which purports to be the work of a Persian noble in the time οf Ρtolemy Ρhiladelphus (285–247 B.C.). see ürer, GJV. vol. ii 2 In A.D. 180.)
X. Αt that time a man very famous for his learning named Pantaenus had charge of the life of the faithful in Αlexandria, for from ancient custom a school of sacred learning eristed among them. This sehool has lasted on to our time, and we have heard that it is managed by men powerful in their learning and zeal for divine things, but tradition says that at that time Pantaenus was especially eminent, and that he had been influenced by the philosophic system of those called stoics. They say that he showed sueh Zeal in his warm disposition for the divine word that he was appointed as a herald for the goSpel of Christ to the heathen in the East, and was sent as far as India. For indeed there Were until then many evangelists of the word who had forethought to use inspired zeal on the apostolic model for the increases and the building up of the divine word. Οne of these was Pantaenus, and it is said that he went to the Indians, and the tradition is that he found there that among some of those there who had known Christ the Gospel according to MattheW had preceded his coming ; for Bartholomew, one of the apostles, had preached to them and had left them the writing of Matthew in Hebrew letters, which was preserved until the time mentioned. Pantaenus, after many achievementS, was at the head of the sehool in Alexandria until his death, and orally and in writing expounded the treasures of the divine doctrine.
XI. Ιn his time Clement. the namesake of the pupil of the apostles who had once ruled the ehurch οf Rome, was famous in Αlexandria for his study
XII. In their time there flourished Narcissus, bishop of the church at Jerusalem, who is still widely famous. Ηe held the succession in the fifteenth place after the siege of the Jews under Ηadrian, aud we have stated already that from that time the church in that city was composed οf Gentiles, in [*](1 See Introduction. p. xlv.) [*](2 That is, the district οf the Lebanon.)
XIII. Αt this time too Rhodo, of Asiatic race, was, as he narrates himself, the pupil at Rome of Tatian, whom we have mentioned above, and composed various books, among others especially one direeted against the heresy of Marcion. Ηe says that it was divided in his time into various opinions, and, describing accurately those who had caused the divergence, he refutes the fahe teaching devised by each οf them. Listen then to him when he writes thus : “ Therefore they have ceased to agree among themselves, maintaining inconsistent opinions. One of their herd is Αpelles, who is reverenced for his life and old age. Ηe admits that there is one Principle,2 but says that the prophecies are of an opposing spirit, and he was persuaded by the utteranees of a possessed maiden named Philoumene. But οthers, such as the eaptain himself (Mareion), introduced two Principles. To them belong Ρotitus and Basilicus. These followed the wolf of Pontus,3 not Perceiving [*](1 This only gives thirteen names from Marcus to Νareissus, but Εusebius says that Νarcissus is the fifteenth. Comparison with the Chronicon shows that after Capito the names οf Maximus the second and Antoninus should be inserted.) [*](2 or “Source οf ’’ “ “Beginning,” οr almost “God.”) [*](3 That is, Marcion, who is said to have been the son of a bishop in Pontus.)
The same writerd (Rhodo) says that he conversed with Αpelles, and states it thus : “ For the οld man Apelles when he consorted with us, was proved to make many false statements. Hence also he used to say that it is not necessary to investigate the argument fully, but that eaeh should remain in his own belief, for he asserted that those who placed their hope on the Crucffied would be saved, if they persisted in good works. But as we have srid before, the most obseure part of all the doctrines which he put forward were about God. For he kept on saying that there is only one Principle just as our doctrine ” Then after expounding all his opinions he goes on as follows: “ Αnd when I said to him, where is this proof of yours, οr how can you say that there is οne Ρrinciple ? Tell ’ he said that the prophecies refute themselves by not having spoken the truth at all, for they are inconsistent and false and contradict themselves, but as to how there is one Ρrinciple he said that he did not know it, but merely inclined to that riew. Then when adjured him to to speak the truth he swore that he was speaking the truth, when he said that he did not know how the unbegotten God is one but that he believed it. But I laughed at him and condemned him, because though he called himself a teacher he did not know how to establish what he taught.”
In the same work, speaking to Kallistio, the same
XIV. The enemy of the church οf God, who hates good and loves deeply all that is wicked, left untried no kind of plot against men and again strove to raise up strange heresies against the church. Οf these some like poisonous reptiles crawled over Asia and Pyrygia, and boasted that Montanus was the Paraclete and that the women οf his sect, Priscilla and Maximilla, were the prophetesses of Montanus.
XV. Others flourished in Rome of which Florinus was the leader. Ηe had been turned out of the presbytery of the church and with him was Blastus who had suffered a similar fall. These drew away more οf the church and brought them to their own opinion, each trying to introduce innovations about the truth in his own way.
XVI. Αgainst the so-called Cataphrygian 2 heresy the power which champions the truth raised up a powertul and invincible weapon at Hierapolis in [*](1 That is, the Νarrative of Creation in six days.) [*](2 i.e. Montanist.)
Continuing with other similar remarks at the beginning of his treatise, he proceeds to narrate as follows the cause of the heresy rererred to : — “ Their opposition and their recent heretical schism from the church had the following origin. In Phrygian Μysia there is said to be a Village called Ardabav. There they say that a recent convert called Montanus, when Gratus was proconsul of Asia, in the unbounded lust of his sould for leadership gave access tp himself to the adversary, became obsessed, and suddenly fell into frenzy and convulsions. He began to be ecstatic and to speak and to talk strangely, prophesying contrary to the custom which belongs to the tradition and succession of the church from the beginning. Οf those who at that time heard these bastard utterances some were vexed, thinking that he was possessed by a devil and by a spirit of error, and was disturbing the populace ; they rebuked him, and forbade him to speak, remembering the distinction made by the Lord, and his warning to keep watchful guard against the coming οf the false prophets ; but others, as though elevated by a holy spirit and a prophetic gift, and not a little conceited, forgot the Lord's distinction, and encouraged the mind-injuring and seducing and people-misleading
Ηe tells this story at the beginning, and throughout the book continues the refutation of the error, but in the second book he speaks as follows about the [*](2 That is to say, the false spirit speaking through Montanus. Ιt is important to notice that Abercius fully believed in the supernatural gift of Montanus but ascribed it to the Devil instead of to the Holy Spirit. Ιt a the difficulty of distinguishing except on subjective grounds between these two sources of inspiration which led to so much trouble.)
Again in the same book he says that the sacred bishops of that time tried to refute the spirit that
In the same book, again, after οther refutations of the false prophecies of Maximilla, in a single assage he both indicates the time at whieh he wrote this, and quotes her predictions, in which she foretold future wars and revolutions, and he corrects the falsehood of them as follows : “ Ηas it not been made obrious already that this is another lie ? For it is more than thirteen years to-day since the woman died, and there has been in the world neither local nor universal war, but rather by the mercy οf God continuing peace even for ”2
This is from his second book. Αnd from the third I will also quote a few words in which he speaks as [*](2 This probably means the period before the wars of Septimus severus. There seem to have been no important wars in the reign of Commodus, and though there were some persecutions there were less than in the earlier reigns.)
Αnd after a little he goes on as follows : “ Wherefore whenever members of the church who have been called to martyrdom for the true faith meet any of the so-called martyrs of the Montanist heresy, they separate from them and die without communicating with them, because they refuse to agree with the spirit in Montanus and the women. Αnd that this is true, and that it happened in our time in Αpamea on the Meander, is shown by the case of those who were martyred with Gaius and Αlexander οf Εumeneia.”
XVII. Αnd in this work he also quotes Miltiades as a writer who had also himself written a treatise against the heresy mentioned. Αfter quoting some
Ηe, therefore, so writes. But the Miltiades mentioned by him has also left us other monuments of his own zeal for the oracles of God in the treatises which
XVIII. Apollonius also, a writer of the ehurch when the so-called Montanist heresy was still flourishing in Ρhrygia, composed a refutation and published it as a separate work against them, proving word by word that their alleged prophecies are false and showing the true character of the life of the leaders of the heresy. Listen to the actual words which he uses about Montanus. “ But the deeds and the teachings of this recent teaeher show his eharaeter. Ιt is he Who taught the annulment of marriage, who enacted fasts, who gave the name οf Jerusalem to Pepuza and Tymion, which are little towns in Phrygia, and wished to hold assemblies there from everywhere, who appointed colleetors of money, who organimd the receiving of gifts under the name of offerings, who provided salaries for those who preached his doctrine in order that its teaching might prevail through gluttony.”
So he says about Montanus. Αnd a little further on he writes thus about the Ρrophetesses. “ Thus we prove that these first prophetesses themselves deserted their husbands from the moment that they were filled with the spirit. what a lie it is then for them to call Ρriscilla a ” Then he goes on saying : “Does not all Scripture seem to you to forbid a prophet from receiving gifts and money 7. There-
Then further on he says this about one of their confessors: “Moreover, Themiso too, who was garbed with specious covertousness, who did not endure the sign of confession but exchanged prison for wealth when he ought to have been humble-minded on this accound, and boasted that he was a martyr, dared, in imitation of the apostle, to compose an epistle general, to instruct those whose faith was better than his, and to contend with empty sounding words and to blaspheme against the Lord and the apostles and the holy ” Αnd again he writes thus about another of those who were honoured among them as martyrs: “But in order that we may not speak about more of them, let the prophetess 1 tell us the story of Alexander, who calls himself a martyr, with whom she joins in revels, to whom many pay reverence. We need not tell of his robberies and the other crimes for which he has been punished, but the record-house 2 has them. Which then forgives the ’s sins? Does the prophet absolve the martyr of robbery or the martyr forgive the prophet for avarice? For the Lord said, ‘Provide neither gold nor silver nor two ’; but these, doing wholly otherwise, have transgressed by the acquisition of these forbidden things. For we will show that their so-called prophets and martyrs make [*](2 ὀπισθόδομος, literally “baek ” It originally referred to a baek room in the temple of Athena on the Acropolis at Athens which was used as the treasury, and it was afterwards extended to any room used for this or similar public purposes.)
And again in another part of the book he says this about their boasted prophets: “If they deny that their prophets have taken gifts let them admit this, that if they have been convicted, they are not true prophets, and we will give countless proofs of this. But it is necessary to test all the fruits of a prophet. Tell me, does a prophet dye his hair ? Does he pencil his eyelids ? Does he love ornaments ? Does he gamble and dice ? Does he lend money ? Let them state [*](1 The story is an interesting parallel to Lucian's account Peregrinus.)
This same Apollonius in the same book says that it was forty years from the time when Montanus plotted his fictitious prophecy, to the time when he wrote his book. Αnd again he says that Zoticus, whom the former writer mentioned, when Maximilla pretended to prophesy in Pepuza had tried in opporition to confute the spirit which worked in her, but was prevented by those who agreed with her Ηe also mentions a certain Thraseas 1 as one of the martyrs οf that time. Moreover, he says, as though from tradition, that the Sariour ordered his apostles not to leave Jerusalem for twelve years. He also makes quotations from the Apocalypse of John and tells how by divine power a dead man was raised by John himseK at Ephesus. Αnd he says other things by which he demonstrated powertully and completely the error of the heresy under discussion. so far says Apollonius.
XIX. Tradition says that Serapion was bishop of Antioch after Maximinus at the time referred to, and he has mentioned the works of Apolinarius against the heresy described. Ηe mentions him in his own letter to Caricus and Pontius, in whieh he aho himself refutes the same heresy, and continues thus: : “Αnd in order that you may know this, that the working οf the so-called new prophecy of this false οrder is abominated in the whole οf Christendom [*](1 Cf. H.E. v. 24.)
XX. In opposition to those in Rome who were discarding the sound ordinance of the church, Irenaeus composed various letters. He addressed one to Blastus On Schism, another to Florinus, On the Sole Sovereignty 1 οr That God is not the Author of Evil, for Florinus seemed to be defending this opinion. For his sake too, when he a attracted by the Valentinian error, a work was composed by Irenaeus On the Ogdoad,2 in which he also indicates that he had himself received the first succession of the apostles, and in it, at the end of the work, we find a most acceptable notice from him which we are obliged to give in this book and it runs as follows: “Ι adjure thee, who shalt copy out this book, by our Lord Jesus Christ, by his glorious advent when he comes to judge the living and the dead, that thou [*](1 The μοναρχία became the technical term for the assertion οf the Unity of the Godhead, without—as it —due regard to the reality of the Persons of the Trinity, though “Person” (or ὑπόστασις) was not yet used in this sense. 2 Some Gnostics regarded God as eightfold.)
In the letter to Florinus, whieh we have spoken of above, Irenaeus again mentionS his intercourse with Polycarp, and says: “These opinions, Ο Florinus, that I may speak sparingly, do not belong to sound doctrine. These opinions are inconsistent with the church, and bring those who believe in them into the greatest impiety. These opinions not even the hereties outside the church ever dared to proclaim. These opinions those who were presbyters before us, they who accompanied the apostleS, did not hand on to you. For while 1 was still a boy Ι knew you in lower Asia in Polycarp's house when you were a man rank in the royal hall and endeavouring to stand well with him. I remember the eventS of those days more cleariy than those whieh happened recently, for what we learn as children grows up vith the soul and is united to it, so that I can speak even of the place in which the blessed Polycarp sat and disputed, how he came in and went οut, the character of his life, the appearance of his body, the discourses which he made to the people, how he reported his intercourse with John and with the others who had Seen the Lord, how he remembered their wordS, and what
XXI. Αnd at the same time in the reign of Commodus our treatment was changed to a milder one, and by the grace of God peace came on the churches throughout the whole world. The word of salvation began ` to lead every soul of every race men to the pious worship of the God of the universe, so that now many of those who at Rome were famous for wealth and family turned to their own salvation with all their house and with all their kin. This was unendurable to the demon who hates good, envious as he is by nature, and he again stripped for conflict,
XXII. In the tenth year ofthe reign οf Commodus 2 victor sueceeded Eleutherus who had served in the episcopate thirteen years. Ιn the same year Julian had completed his tenth year, and Demetrius was appointed to the administration of the Alexandrian dioceses, and at the same time the famous Serapion, whom we mentioned before, was bishop of the ehurch [*](1 See Introduction, p. xxlli. The facts as to Apollonius are obscurc; but the servant waS probably executed in accordance with the law against slaves who betrayed their mnsters.) [*](2 That is, in A.D. 189.)
XXIII. At thattime time no small controversy arose because all the dioceses of Asia thought it right, as though by more ancient tradition, to observe for the feast of the Saniour's passover tbe fourteenth day of the moon, on which the Jews had been commanded to kill the lamb. Thus it was necessary to finish tbe fast on that day, whatever day of the Week it might be. 1 Υet it was not the custom to celebrate in this manner in the churches throughout the rest of the world, for from apostolic tradition they kept the custom which still exists that it is not right to finish tbe fast on any day save that of the resurrection of our Saviour. Many meetings and conferences with bishops were beld on this point, and all unanimously formulated in their letters the doctrine of the church for those in every country country that the mystery of the Lord's resurrection from the dead could be celebrated on no day save Sunday, 2 and [*](1 That is, instead of Good Friday as the anniversary of the Lord's death the Asiatic Christians observed the Jewish feast on the fourteenth day after the new moon with which the month Nisan began. Hence they are often called Quartodecimans.) [*](2 And therefore the celebration of the crucifixion must come οn a Friday.)
XXIV. These iSsued the single definition which was given above; but the bishops in Asia were led by Polycrates in persisting that it was necessary to keep the custom whieh had been handed doWn to them of old. Polycrates himself in a document which he addreSsed to victor and to the church of Rome, expounds the traffition which had come to him as follows. “Therefore we keep the day undeviatingly, neither adding nor taking away, for in Αsia great luminaries 1 sleep, and they will rise on the day of the coming of the Lord, when he shall come with glory from heaven and seek out 2 all the saints. sueh were Philip of the twelve apostles, and two of his daughters Who grew old as virgins, who sleep in Hierapolis, and another daughter of his, who lived in the Ηoly spirit, reSts at Ephesus. Moreover, [*](1 στοιχεῖα in late Greek often means the planets.) [*](2 some Mss. (AB) read ἀναστήσει, “raise ” and this may be the right reading.)
Ηe continues about the bishops who when he wrote were with him and shared his opimon, and says thus: “And I could mention the bishops who are present whom you required me to summon, and I did so. If I should write their names they would be many multitudes; and they knowing my feeble
Upon this Victor, who presided at Rome, immediately tried to cut off from the common unity the dioceses of all Αsia, together with the adjacent churches, οn the ground of heterodoxy, and he indited letters announcing that all the Christians there were absolutely excommunicated. But by no means all were pleased by this, so they isSued counter-requests to him to consider the cause of peace and unity and love towards his neighbours. Thcir words are extant, sharply rebuking victor. Αmοng them too Irenaeus, writing in the name of the Christians whose leader he was in Oaul, though he recommends that the mystery of the ’s resurrection be observed only οn the Lord's day, yet nevertheless exhorts victor suitably and at length not to excommunicate whole churches of God for following a traffidltion οf ancient custom, and eontinues as follows: “For the controversy is not only about the day, but also about the actual character οf the fast; for some think that they ought to fast οne day, others two, others even more, some count their day as forty hours, day and night. 1 Αnd such variation of observance ffid not begin in οur own timep but much earlier, in the days of οur predecessors who, [*](3 The construction οf the Greek is harsh: γεγονυῖα seems a mistake for γέγονε.)
Ηe adds to this a narrative whieh I may suitably quote, running as follows: “Among these too were the presbyters before soter, who presided over church of which you are now the leader, I mean Anicetus and Ρius and telesphorus and Xystus. ney did not themselves observe it, 1 nor ffid they enjoin it οn those who followed them, and though they ffidId not keep it they Were none the less at peace with those from the ffioceses in which it was οbserved when tbey came to them, although to observe it was more objectionable to those who ffid not do so, 2 Αnd no οne was ever rejected for this reason, but the presbyters before you who did not observe it sent the Εucharist to those from other dioceses who did; and when the blessed Polycarp was staying in Rome in the time of Anicetus, though they disagreed a little about some other things as well, they immediately made peace, having no wish for strife between them on this marter. For neither waS Anicetus able to persuade Polycarp not to observe it, inasmuch as he had always done so in company with John the disciple of οur Lord and the other apostles with whom he had associated; nor did Polycarp persuade Anicetus to observe it, for he said that he ought to
Αnd Irenaeus, who deserVed his name, making an eirenicon in this vay, gaVe exhortations of this kind for the peace of the church and served as as ambassador, for in letters he diseussed the Various views on the issue vhieh had been raised, not Only with Vletor but with Vith many other rulers of churehes.
XXV. The Palestinians whom Ve bave reeenriy mentioned, that is to say Narcissus and Theophilus, and with them Cassius, the bishop of the church in Tyre, and Clarus, the birilop Of the church in Ptolemais, and thoSe Vho aembled rith them, treated at length the tradition concerning rile passover which had come down tO them frOm the succession of the apostles, and at the end Of their riring they add as follows: “Try tO send copies of Our letter to eVery diocese that ve may nOt be guilty towards thOse who easily deeeiVe tbeir own sOulS. Αnd Ve make it plain tO you that in Alexandria also they celebrate the Same day as do we, for letters have been eXehanged between them and us, so that we obserVe the holy day together and in agreement.”
XXVI. Ιn addition to the published treatises
When CommoduS had riniShed his relgn after thirteen years severus became emperor not quite six monthS after the death Or CommOdus, Pertinax coming in the interval. 1
XXVII. Many workes of the Virtuous zeal of the aneient members of rile church of that time have still been widely preserved until now, and we haVc read them OurselveS. such are the writings of Heraclitus on the Epistles, 2 and the writings of Maximus on the problem of the source of eVri; sO much traversed by the heretic, and on whether matter has an origin, the works of Candidus on the Hexaëmeron, 3 and of Apion On the same subject, also of seXtuS on the Resurrection, and another treatise of Arabianus, and eountless Others of whieh We are unable from lack of evidenee to give the date or any aecOunts Of their hiStOry. Αnd there are many otherS alSo which have reaehed uS, but we cannot even giVe their names, yet they are orthodox [*](2 Literally “on the apostle,” which in ecclesiastical Greek regularly means the Epistles of Paul, not the Acts of the Apostles. 3 That is, the the Six days of creation.)
XXVIII. In a treatise worked out by one of these against the heresy of Αrtemon, which Ρaul of Samosata has tried to renew in our time, there is extant an account which bears οn the history which we are examining. For he criticizes the abovementioned heresy (which claims that the sarivlour was a mere man) as a recent innovation, beeause those who introduced it wished to make it respectable as being ancient. Among many other points adduced in refutation of their blasphemous falsehood, the treatise rehtes this this: “For For they say that all who went before and the apostles themselves received and taught what they now say, and that the truth of the teaching was preserved until the times οf victor, who was the tffihlrteenth bishop in Rome after Ρeter, but that the truth had been corrupted from the time of his successor, Zephyrinus. What they said might perhaps be plausible if in the nrst place the dirine scriptures were not opposed to them, and there are also writings of certain christians, older than the time of Victor, wHch they wrote to the Gentiles οn behalf of the truth and against the heresies of their οwn time. 1 mean the works of Justin and Miltiades and Tatian and Clement and many others in all of which Christ is treated as God. For who is ignorant of the books of Irenaeus and Melito and the others who announced Christ as God
Such were the events of the time of Victor. When he had held his office ten yearS, Zephyrinus WaS appointed his suceessor in the ninth year of the reign οf Severus. 1 Αnd the author of the book mentioned about the founder of the above-mentioned heresy adds another incident which happened in the time of Zephyrinus and wTites as follows: “I will at least remind many of the brethren of an event whieh happened in our time whieh I think would have probably been a warning to the men of sodom had it happened in their city. There Was a certain confessor, Natalius, not long ago but in our own time. Ηe was deceived by Asclepiodotus and by a second Theodotus, a banker. These were both ffiscipleS of Theodotus the cobbler, who was first excommunicated by vietor, who, as I said, was then bishop, for this way [*](1 That is, A.D. 201. But reckoning backwards from the time οf Callistus who seems to have become bbhop of Romc in 217, when Zephyrinus had been bishop for eighteen years (cf. Eusebius, Hist. Eccl. vi. 21), It Would seem that this datc is somewhat too late.)
We would add to this some other Words of the same author on the same persons, Which run as follows : “ They have not feared to corrupt divine scriptures, they have nullified the rule of ancient faith, they have not known Christ, they do not inquire what the divine scriptures sa y, but in- dustriously consider what syllogistic Bgure may be found for the support of their atheiSm. Ιf anyone adduced to them a text of divine Scripture they [*](1 That is, rather more than 𝕷5. This is the hrst clear instanee οf the payment of bishops, but compare chapter 18. 2.) [*](2 This does not mean more than ἴ’ had been a confessor ’’ — a witness in court to the “sufferings of Christ.”)