Historia Ecclesiastica


Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiastica, Lake, Loeb, 1926


The contents of the fifth book of the History of the Curch are as follows :

I. The number and behaviour of those those who in the time of verus underwent in Gaul the struggle for religion.

II. Ηow the martyrs, beloved οf God, gave the hand οf fellowship and healing to those who had fallen in the persecution.

IΙI. ne vision which appeared in a dream to the martyr Αttalus.

IV. Ηow the martyrs commended Irenaeus by a letter.

v. Ηοw God sent rain from heaven to Marcus Aurelius Caesar in response to the prayers of the christians.

VI. The list of those who were bishops in Rome.

VII. Ηow even until those times strange miracles were wrought by the faithful.

VIII. Ηow Irenaeus quotes the divine Scriptures.

IX. Those who were bishops under Commodus.

X. On Ρantaenus the philosopher.

XI. On Clement οf Αlexandria.

XII. On the bishops in Jerusalem.

XIII. On Rhodo and the dissensions which he mentions among the Marcionites.


XIV. On the Montanist 1 false prophets.

XV. About the schism at Rome under BlastuS.

XVL The tradition concerning Montanus and those who were false prophets together with him.

XVII. Οn Miltiades and the treatises which he composed.

XVIII. Ηow Apollonius also refuted the Montanists and the quotations which he made.

XIX. Οf Serapion On Montanism.

XX. The discussions of Irenaeus in writing with the schimatics at Rome.

XXI. How Apllonius was martyred in Rome.

XXII. What bishops were famous in these times.

XXIII. Οn the paschal controversy which was then active.

XXIV. On the division in Asia.

XXV. How unanimous decision was reaehed concerning Easter.

XXVI. How much of the eloquent work of Irenaeus has come down to us.

XXVII. How much also of the others who flourished with him at that time.

XXVIII. Οn those who at the beginning put forward the heresy of Artemon, what manner of men they were, and how they have dared to corrupt the holy Scriptures.

[*](1 Literahy “Among Phrygians” but this is one of usual name οf the Montanists, and passed into Latin as “Catafrygae”)


SORER, the bishop of the church of Rome, ended his life in the eighth year οf his rule. To him succeeded Elutherus, the twelfth from the apostles, and it was the seventeenth year of the Emperor Antonius Verus.1 Ιn this time the persecution οf us in some parts of the world was rekindled more violently by popular violence in the cities, and, to judge from the events in οne nation, myriads were distinguished by martyrdom. The story has chanced to be handed down in writing for posterity, and it is truly worthy of unceasing remembrance. sincc the whole reeord of its complete treatment has been embodied in our collection οf martyrs, 2 and contains not merely the narrahve itself but also an exposition οf doctrine, I will at present select and quote merely such points as belong to the present undertaking. Other writers οf historical works have confined themselves to the written tradition of victories in wars, of trimnphs οver enemies, of the exploits of generals and the valour of soldiers, men stained with blood and with countless murders for the sake of children and country and other possessions ; but it is wars most peaceful, [*](1 That B; Marcus Aurelius. Ηis seventeenth year was A. D. 177.) [*](2 That is the Acts of the Martyrs which Eusebius collected. see Introdution, p. xxiii.)

waged for the very peace of the sOul, and men who therein have been valiant for truth rather than for country, and for piety rather than for rileir dear ones, that our reeord of those who order their lives according to God will inscribe on everlasting monuments : it is the struggles of the athletes of piety and their valour which braved so much, trophies won from demons, and victories against unseen adversaries, and the crowns at the end of all, that it will proclaim for everlasting remembrance.

1. Gaul was the country in which was prepared the stage for these events. Its capital cities, famous and more renowned than the others in the distriet, were Lyolb and Vienne, through both of which passes the river Rhone, flowing in an ample stream through the whole district. The distingtliSlled churches of this country sent the document about the martyrs to the churches in Asia and Phrygia, in this way recording what happedned among them, and I will quote their words : “ The servants sojourning in Vienne and Lyons in Gaul to the brethren in Αsia and Phrygia, who have the same faith and hope of redemption as you. Ρeace, grace, and glory from God the Father and Jesus Christ, our Lord.”

Then after other prefatory remarks they begin their narrative thus : “ The greatness of the persecution here, and the terrible rage of the heathen against the saints, and the suffering of the blessed martyrs, are more than we can narrate accurately, nor can they be put down in writing. For with all

his might the adversary attaeked us, foreshadowing his coming which is shortly to be, and tried everything, practising his adherents and training them ngainst the servants of God, so that we were not merely excluded from houses and baths and markets, but we were even forbidden to be seen at all in any place whatever. But against them the grace of God did eaptain us ; it reseued the weak, and marshalled against them steadfast pillars of men able by patience to draw to themselves all the attack of the enemy. They cmne together and endured every kind of abuse and punishment, they eounted many things as few in their zeal for Christ, and ffidld indeed prove that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to bc compared with the glory which shall be revealed to us.

“First they endured nobly all that was heaped upon them by the mob, howls and stripes and dragging about, and rapine and imprisonment and stoning, and all things which are wont to happen at the hands of an infuriated populace against its supposed enemies and foes ; then they were dragged into the market-place by the tribune and by the chief authorities of the city, were indicted and eonfessed, and at last they were shut up until the coming οf the governor. Then they were brought before the governor, and When he used all his eruelty against them, then intervened Vettius Εpagathus, one οf the brethren, mled filled with love towards and towards his neighbour, the strietness οf whose life

had gone so far that in spite οf his youth his reputation was equal to that οf the elder Zacharias. 1 Ηe walked in all the commanmnents and orffinances of the Lord blameless and was unwearied in all ministrations to his neighbours, having much zeal toward God and being fervent in spirit. Ηis character forbade him to endure the unreasonable judgement given agninst us, and, overcome with indignation, he asked to be heard himself in defence of the brethren to the effect that there was nothing atheistic or impious among us. Ηe was howled down by those around the judgement-seat, for he was a man οf position, 2 and the governor would not tolerate the just requests which he had put forward but merely asked if he were a Chrirtian hinBeK. Ηe then confessed in clear tones and was himself taken into the ranks of the martyrs. Ηe was called the ‘ Comforter of Christians,’ but had the Comforter in himself, spirit of Zacharias which he had shown by the fullness of his love when he chose to Ιay down even his οwn life for the defence of the brethren, for he was and he is 3 a true ffidlsciple οf christ, and he follows the Lamb wheresoever he goes.

“The rest were then ffidIrided and the first martyrs were obviously ready, and they fulffiled the confession of martyrdom with all reaffiness, but some οthers appeared not to be ready, and failcd in training and in strength, unable to endure the strain [*](1 Ζacharias the father οf John the Baptist, as is shown by the allusion to Luke i. 6 in the following line.) [*](2 Apparently the meaning is that his social position made the crowd even more indignant at his advocacy of Christians.) [*](3 It is almost incredible that this “ is ’’ was interpreted by Rcnan and others as showing that Vertius was not actually put to death.)

of a great cOnffiet, and abOut ten in nmber failed, as those born out of due time. They caused us great grief and immeasurable mourning, and hindered the zeal of the others wo had not been arrerted. Yet they, although suffering all the terrors, nervertheless remained with the martyrs and did not desert them. But at that point we were all greatly terrified by uncertainty as to their confession, not fearillg the threatened punishment but looking towards the end and afraid lest some one should fall away. Yet day by day those who were worthy went on being ariested, completing their number, so as to collect from the two churches all the zealous and those through whom the life of the locality was kept together. There were also arrested certain heathen slaves of our members, since the governor had publicly commanded that we should all be prosecuted, and these by the snare of Satan, fearing the tortures which they saw the saints suffering, when the soldiers urged them, falsely accused us of Theyestean feasts and Oedipodean intercourse, 1 and things which it is not right for us either to speak οf or to think of or even to believe that such things could ever happen among men. When this rumour spread all men turned like beab againt us, so that even if any had formerly been lenient for friendship's sake they then became furious and raged against us, and there was fulfilled that which was spoken by our Lord that ‘the rime will come when whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God ’ Then at last the holy martyrs endured sufferings beyong all description, for Satan was striving to wring some [*](l According to Greek mythology Thyestes had unconsciously eaten his children and Oedipus bad married his mother.)
blasphemy eVen from them, and all the fury of the mob and of the gOVernor and Of the soldiers was raised beyond meaSure against sanetus, the deacon from Vienne, and against Maturus, who was a noviee but a noble contender, and against Attalus, a pergamene by race, who had always been a pillar and support of the Christians there, and against Blandina, through whom Christ showed that things which are mean and obscure and contemptible among men are vouehsafed great glory with God beeause or the love towardS him shown in powere and not boasted of in appearance. For while we were all afraid, and her human mistress, who was herself one of the contenders among the martyrs, was in distress lest she should not be able, through the weakness of her body, to be bold enough even ro make confession, Blandina was ffiled with such power that she was released and rescued from those who took turns in torturing her in every way from morning until evening, and they themselves eonfessed that they were beaten, for they had nothing left to do to her, and they marvelled that she still remained alive, seeing that her whole body was broken and opened, and they testified that any one of these tortures was suffieient to destroy life, even when they had not been magnffied and multiplied. But the blessed woman, like a noble athlete, kept gaining in vigour in her confession, and found comfort and rest and freedom from pain from what was done to her by saying, ‘I am a Christian woman and nothing wicked happens among us.’

“Sanctus also himself endured nobly, beyond measure or human power, all the ill- treament of

men, for though the wieked hoped through persistence and the rigour of his tortures to wring from him something wrong, he resisted them with such constancy that he did not even tell his own name, or the race or the city whence be was, nor whether he was slave or free, but to all questions answered in Latin, ‘I am a Christian.’ This he said for and city and race and for everything else, and the heathen heard no other sound from him. For this reason the governor and the torturers were very ambitious to subdue him, so that when they bad nothing left at all to do to him at last they fastened plates of heated brass to the tenderest parts of his body. His limbs were burnig, but he continued himself unbending and unyielding, firm in his confession, refreshed and strengthened by the heavenly spring of the water of life which proceeds forth from the body of Christ. His body was a witness to his treatment it was all one wound and bruise, wrenehed and torn out of human shape, but Christ suffering in him manifested great glory, overthrowing the adversary and showing for the example of the others how there is nothing fearful where there is the love of the Father nor painful where there is the glory of Christ. For when the wicked after some days again tortured the martyr they thought that they might overcome him how that his body was swollen and inflamed if they applied the same tortures, seeing that he could not even endure to be
touched by the hand, or that by dying under torture he would put fear into the rest. Yet not only did nothing of this kind happen, but, beyond all human expectation, he raised himself up and his body was straightened in the subsequent tortures, and he regained his former appearance and the use of his limbs, so that through the grace of Christ the second torturing became not torment but cure.

“Biblis, too, one of those who had denied, did the devil bring to torture (thinking that he had already swallowed her up and wishing to condemn her through blasphemy as well), to force her to say immpious things about us, as though she were already broken and weak. But she recovered under torture, and, as it were, woke up out of deep sleep, being reminded through this transitory punishment of the eternal torments in hell, and contradicted the blasphemers, saying, ‘How would such men eat children, when they are not allowed to eat the blood even of irrational animals?’ And after this she confessed herself a Christian and was added to the ranks of the martyrs.

“But when the tyrant's torments had been brought to naught by Christ through the endurance of the blessed saints, the devil thought of other devices, imprisonment in the jail in darkness and in the most horrible place, and stretching their feet in the stocks, separated to the fifth hole, and the other outrages which angry warders filled with the devil are accustomed to inflict on the prisoners. Thus most of them were strangled in the prison, being all those whom the Lord had chosen thus to depart manifesting his glory. Some were tortured so cruelly

that it seemed impossible for them to live even if they had had every care, yet surrived in the prison, bereft of human attention but strengthened by the Lord and given power in body and soul, and looking after and comforting the rest. But the younger ones, who had lately been arrested, whose boffidles had not become accustomed to it, did not endure the burden οf cofinement but died in prison.

“The blessed Pothinus, who had been entrusted with the ministry of the bishoprie at Lyons, was over nunety years old and very weak physically. Ηe was scarcely breathing through the physical weakness which had aheady come upon ffihlm, but was strengthened by zeal of spirit through urgent desire of martyrdom. Ηe was dragged before the judgementseat, and although his body was weakened by old age and disease, his soul was kept in him in order that through it Christ might triumph. Ηe was brought by soldiers to the judgement-seat ; the local authorities accompanied him, and all the populace, uttering all kinds of howls at him as though he was Christ himself, but he gave noble testimony. When asked by the governor, Who was the God of the Christians, he said, ‘ If you are worthy, you will ’ And then he was dragged about without mercy, and suffered many blows ; for those who were near ilhtreated him with feet and hands and in every way, without respect even for his old age, and those who were at a ffistance each threw at him whatever he had at hand, and all thought that it would be a great transgression and impiety to omit any abuse against him. For they thought that in

this way they would vindicate their gods. Αnd he was thrown into prison scarcely breathing and after two days yielded up the ghost.

“Then a great ffispensation of God was given, and the measureless mercy of Jesus was so manifested, as has rarely happened among the brethren, but is not beyond the skill of Christ. For those who at the nrst arrest had denied were imprisoned themselves and shared in the terrors, for this time not even their denial was any advantage to them ; but those who confessed what they were Were imprisoned as Christians, no other accusation being brought against them, the others however were held as murderers and foul persons and punished twiee as much as the rest. For the burden of the former was lightened by the joy of martyrdom and the hope of the promises, and by love towards Christ and by the spirit of the Father ; but the latter were greauy punished by their conscience so that they were conspicuous among all the rest by their faces when they were taken out. For the one went forth gladly; glory and great grace were mingled on their faces, so that they wore even their fetters as a becoming ornament, like a bride adorned with golden lace of many pattems, and they were perfumed with the sweet savour οf Christ, so that some supposed that they had been anointed with worldly unguents ; but the others were depressed and humble and wretched and ffiled with every kind of unseemliness, and in addition were insulted by the heathen as ignoble and cowardly ; they had gained the accusation οf murder, but had lost the name which is full of honour and glory and gives life. wben the others saw this they were strengthened and those who

were arrested confessed without hesitation and gave no thought to the argumentS of the devil.”

Αfter a few more sentences they go on again: “After this the testimony of their death fell into every kind of variety. For they wove various colours and all kinds of Rowers into one wreath to offer to the Father, and so it was necessary for the noble athletes to undergo a varied conteSt, and after great victory to receive the great crown of immortality. Maturus and sanctus and Blandina and Αttalus were led forth to the vild beasts, to the public, 1 and to a common exhibition οf the inhumanity of the heathen, for the day of fighting with beasts was specially appointed for the Christians. Maturus and Sanctus passed again through all torture in the amphitheatre as though they had suffered nothing before, but rather as though, having conquered the opponent in many bouts, 2 they were now striving for his crown, οnce more they ran the gauntlet in the accustomed manner, endured the worrying of the wild beastS, and everything which the maddened public, some in οne way, some in another, were howling for and commanding, finally, the iron chair on which the roasting οf their own bodies clothed them with its reek. Their persecutors did not stop even here, but went on growing more and more furious, wishing to eonquer their endurance, yet gained nothing from sanctus beyond the sound of the confession Which he had been accustomed to make from the beginning.

[*](2 Literally, “lots, ” but the word was used in a sense, for the gladiators used to draw lost as to who should fight. See the note of Valesius οn this passage, and compare Lucian, Hermotimus. The opponent is satan.)

“Thus after a long time, when their life still remained in them through the great contest, they were at last sacrificed, having been made a spectacle to the world throughout that day as a substitute for all the variations of gladiatorial eontests ; but Blandina was hung on a stake and offered as a prey to the wild beasts that were let in. She seemed to be hanging in the shape of a croSS, and by her continuous prayer gave great zeal to the combatants, while they looked οn during the cntest, and with their outward eyes saw in the form of their sister him who was crueffied for them, to persuade those who believe on him that all who suffer for the glory of Christ have for ever fellowship with the living God Then when none of the beasts Would touch her she was taken down from the stake and brought baek into the jail, and was thus preserved for another contest, in order that by winning through more trials she might make irrevocable the condemnation of the crooked serpent, and might encourage the brethren ; for small and weak and despised as she was, she had put on the great and invincible athlete, Christ ; she had overcome the adversary in many contests, and through the struggle had gained the crown of immortality.

“But Αttalus waS himSelf loudly ealled for by the crowd, for he was well known. Ηe went in, a ready combatant, for his conscience was clear, and he had been nobly trained in Christian discipline and had ever been a witness for truth among us. Ηe was led round the amphitheatre and a placard was earried before him on which was written in Latin, This Attalus, the ’ The people were very bitter

against him, but when the governor learnt that he was a Roman, he commanded him to be put back with the rest, who were in the jail, about whom he had written to the emperor and was waiting for his reply.

“But the intervening time was not idle or fruitless for them but through their endurance was manifested the immeasurable mercy of Christ, for through the living the dead were being quickened and martyrs gave grace to those who had denied. Αnd there was great joy to the Virgin Mother who had miscarried with them as though dead, and was receiving them back alive. For through them the majority of those who had denied were again brought to birth 1 and again conceived and quickened again, and learned to confess, and now alive and vigorous, made happy by God who wills not the death of the sinner, but is Hnd towards repentance, went to the judgement-seat, in οrder that they might again be interrogated by the governor. For caesar had written that they should be tortured to death, but that if any should reeant they should be let go, and at the beginning οf the local feast (and this is widely attended by the eoncourse οf all the heathen to it) the govemor led them to the judgement-seat, making a show and spectacle οf the blessed men to the mob. Ηe accordingly examined them again, beheaded all who appeared to possess Roman citizenship, and sent the rest to the beasts. Αnd Christ was greatly glorified by those who had formerly denied but theu confessed contrary to the expectation of the people. For they were examined by themselves with the intention of then letting them [*](1 The Greek text ἀνεμετροῦντο is meaningless. 1 have translated Schwartz's ἀνεμαιοῦντο, “ brought to ’’ though it is not quite satisfactory.)

go, but confessed and were added to the ranks of the martyrs. nose indeed remained without who had never had any vestige of faith, nor perception οf the bridal garment, nor idea οf the fear of God, but even tbrough their behaviour blasphemed the Way — they are the sons of perdition — but all the rest were added to the church. when they too were being examined a certain Alexander, a Ρhrygian by race and a physician by profession, who had lived in Gaul for many years and was known to almost every one for his love toward ood and boldness of speech (for he was not without a share of the apostolic gift), stood by the judgement-seat and by signs encouraged them to confession, and seemed to those who were standing by as though he were in travail. But the crowd, angry that those who had formeriy denied were confessing again, howled at Αlexander as though he were responsible for this. The govemor summoned him and asked him who he was, and when he said a Christian,’ he flew into a rage and him to the beasts. Αnd the next day he went into the arena together with Αttalus ; for to please the mob the governor had given Αttalus back to the beasts. ney passed through all the instruments οf torture which were prepared in the amphitheatre, and endured a great contest. Finally they too were sacrificed. Αlexander uttered neither groan nor moan at all, but conversed with God in his heart, and Αttalus, when he was put on the iron chair and was being bumed, and the reek arose from his body, said to the crowd in Latm; ‘ Lo, this which
you are doing is to eat men, but we neither eat men nor do anything else wicked.’ Αnd when was asked what name God has, he replied, ‘ God has not a name as a man has.’

“In addition to all this, on the last day of the gladiatorial sports, Blanffina was again brought in with Ponticus, a boy of about fifteen years old, and they had been brought in every day to see the torture of the others, and efforts were made to force them to swear by the idols, and the mob was furiolls against them beeause they had remained steadfast and disregarded them, so that there was neither pity for the youth οf the boy nor respeet for the sex οf the woman. They exposed them to all the terrors and put them through every torture in turn, trying to make them swear, but not being able to do so. For Ronticus was encouraged by the Christian sister, so that even the heathen saw that she was exhorting and rtrengthening him, and after nobly enduring every torture he gave up his spirit. But the blessed Blandina, last οf all, like a noble mother who had encouraged her children and sent them forth triumphant to the king, having herself endured all the tortures of the cffildren, haStened to them, rejoicing and glad at her departure as though invited to a marriage feast rather than cast to the beaSts. Αnd after scourging, after the beasts, after the gridiron, she was at last put in a net and thrown to a bull. she was tossed about a long time by the beast, haring no more feeling for what happened to her through her hope and hold on what had been en-

trusted to her and her converse with ChriSt. And so she too was sacrificed, and the heathen themselves confessed that never before among them had a woman suffered so much and so long.

“ Not even thus was their madness and cruelty to the SaintS satished, for, incited by a wild beast, 1 wild and barbarous tribes could scarcely stop, and their violenee began again in a new way on the bodies ; for that they had been conquered 2 did not shame them, because they had no human reason, but it rather inflamed their wrath as of a wild beast, and the governor and the people showed the like unrighteous hatred against us that the Scripture might be fulfilled, Let him that is unlawful be unlawful still, and he that iS righteous be righteouS ’ For thoSe who had been strangled in the jail they threw to the dogs, and watched carefully night and day that none should be cared for by us. Then they threw out the remains left by the beasb and by the nre, torn and charred, and ror many days watched with a mihtary guard the heads of the rest, together with their trunks, all unburied. And some raged and gnashed their teeth at the iemains, seeking some further vengeance from them, others laughed and jeered, glorifying their idols and ascribing to them the punishment of the Christians, and the gentler, who seemed to have a little sympathy, mocked greatly, saying, ‘ Where is their god and what good to them was their worship, which they preferred beyond their ’ Their conduct thus [*](1 That is, by the Devil.) [*](2 Because they had been unablc to break the courage of the martyrs.)

varied, but in οur cirele great grief obtained, because we could not bury the bodies in the earth, for night did not avail us for this, nor did money persuade nor entreaty shame, but in every way they watehed, as though they would make some great gain, that the bodies should not obtain burial.”

Further on they say : “ Thus the bodies οf the martyrs, after having been exposed and insulted in every way for six days, and afterwards burned and turned to ashes, were swept by the wicked into the river Rhone which flows near by, that not even a relic of them might still appear upon the earth. Αnd this they did as though they could coquer God and take away their rebirth in order, as they said, ‘ that they might not even have any hope of resurrection, through trusting in which they have brought in strange and new worship and despised terrors, going readily and with joy to death ; now let us see if they will rise again, and if their God be able to help them and to take them out of our hands.’”

II. Such things happened to the churehes of Christ under the emperor mentioned, and from them it is possible to from a reasonable conclusion as to what was done in the other provinces. It is worth while to add other statements from the same document, in which the genueness and the kindness of the martyrs already mentioned have been set down in these very words. “ And they carried so far their zeal and imitation οf Christ, ‘ who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God,’ that for all their glory, and though they had

testified not once οr twice but many times, and had been taken back from the beasts and were covered with burns and scars and wounds, they neither proclaimed themselves as martyrs, nor allowed us to address them by this title. But if ever any one of us called them martyrs either in a letter οr in speech they rebuked him sharply. For they gladly conceded the title of martyrdom to Christ, the frialthful and true martyr 1 and first-born from the dead and author of the life of God. Αnd they reminded us of the martyrs who had already passed away, and said ‘they are already martyrs, whom Christ vouchsafed to be taken up at their confession, and sealed their witness by their departure, but we are lowly and humble ’ 2 Αnd they besought the brethren with tears, begging that earnest prayers might be made for their consecration. The power οf martyrdom they actually showed, having great boldness towards the heathen, and they made plain their nobleness by endurance and absence of fear or timidity; but the title of martyr they refused from the brethren, for they were filled with the fear οf God.”

Α little further οn they say: “They humbled themselves under the mighty hand and by it they have now been greatly exalted. At that time they made defence for all men, against none did they bring accusation; they released all and bound none; [*](3 The sense must be as given above, but the Greek word does not appear to be used in this sense. It is corrected in later manuscripts to ὁμολογηταί. Schwartz thinks that it is a primitive error for ὁμολογο[ῦντες ἔτ]ι, and Wendland suggested ὁμόδουλοι.)

and they Ρrayed for those who had inflicted torture, even as did Stephen, the perfect martyr, ‘Lord, lay not this sin to their ’ Αnd if he prayed for those who were stoning him how much more for the brethren?”

Αnd again after οther details, they Say: “For their greatest contes, through the genuineness of their love, was this, that the beast 1 should be choked into throwing up alive those whom he had at first thought to have swallowed down. For they did not boast over the fallen, but from their own abundance supplied with a mother's love those that and shedding many tears for them to the Father, they prayed for life, and he gave it to them, and they divided it among their neighbours, and then departed to God, having in all things carried off the victory. They ever loved Ρeace; peace they commended to us; and with peace they departed to God; for their mother2 they left behind no sorrow, and for the brethren no strife and war, but glory, Ρeace, concord, and ” Let this profitable extract suffice concerning the love of those blessed ones for their brethren who had fallen, for the sake οf the inhuman and merciless disposition οf those who after these events acted unsparingly to the members οf Christ.3

ΙII. The same document οf the aforementioned martyrs contains also another story worthy οf memory, and none could grudge οur bringing it to [*](3 Eusebius wishes to emphasize the charity οf these martyrs towards backsliders in contrast to the hardness οf soul οf his οwn contemporaries, notably the Donatists and Νovatians.)

the knowledge οf those who are about to study. It runs thus: There was among them a certain Alcibiades, who was living a very austere life, and at first was not partaking οf anything at all, but used merely bread and water and was trying to live thus even in the jail. But it was revealed to Attalus after the first contest which he underwent in the amphitheatre that Alcibiades was not doing well in not making use οf the creations οf God, and offering an example of offence 1 to others. Alcibiades was persuaded and began to partake οf everything without restraint and gave thanks to God; for they were not without help from the grace of God but the Ηoly Spirit was their counsellor. Let this suffice for this point.

Just at that time the party οf Montanus and Αleibiades and Theodotus in Ρhrygia began first to engender among many their views concerning prophecy (for the many other wonderful works of the grace of God which Were still being wrought up to that time in divers churches produced the belief among many that they also were prophets), and when dissension arose about the persons mentioned the brethren in Gaul again formulated their οwn judgement, pious and most orthodox, concerning them, subjoining various letters from the martyrs who had been consecrated among them, which letters while they were still in prison they had composed for the brethren in Αsia and Ρhrygia, and also for Εleutherus, who was then bishop οf the Romans, and so they were ambassadors for the sake οf the peace of the churches.

[*](1 Αn “example of ” because it might seem to support the heretical doctrine that matter is evil, as some Gnostics maintained.)

IV. Irenaeus also, who was at that time already a presbyter of the diocese at Lyons, the same martyrs commended to the afore-mentioned bishop οf Rome, and gave him much good testimony, as is shown by words to the following effect: “Once more and always, Father Εleutherus, we wish you greeting in God. We have asked our brother and companion, Irenaeus, to bring this letter to you and we beg you to hold him in esteem, for he is Ζealous for the covenant οf Christ. For had we known that rank can confer righteousness οn anyone, we should first of all have recommended him as being a presbyter of the church, for that is his position.”

What need is there to transcribe the list οf the martyrs in the above mentioned document, some consecrated by beheading, some cast out to be eaten by the wild beasts, οthers who fell asleep in the jail, and the number of the confessors which still survived at that time ? For whoever wishes can easily read the full aecount by taking the description which has been included in our collection of martyrs,1 as I said before. Such were the events which happened under Αntοninus.

V. It is said that when his brother, Marcus Aurelius Caesar, was engaging in battle with the Germans and Sarmatians, he was in difficulties, because his army was oppressed by thirst; but the soldiers of the legion which is called after Melitene,2 knelt on the ground according to our own custom οf prayer, in the faith which has sustained them from that time to this in their contests with their enemies, and turned [*](1 see Introduction, p. xxiii.) [*](2 Melitene is in eastern Cappadocia.)

towards supplications to God. Now though this kind of spectacle seemed strange to the enemy, the story goes that another still more marvellous overcame them at once, for lightning drove the enemy to flight add destruction, and a shower falling on the army which had prayed to God, refreshed them all when they were on the point of destruction from thirst.

The story is both told among writers who are foreign to our faith who have undertaken to write of the times of the above mentioned emperors,1 and has also been recorded by Christians. By the heathen writers, inasmucb as they were strangers to the faith, the miracle is related, but it was not confessed that it happened through the prayers of the Christians; but in our own writers, inasmuch as they are the friends of truth, what happened has been described in a simply and harmless fashion. Αmong these would be also Apolinarius, who states that after that time the legion which had wrought the miracle through prayer had received a name from the emperor appropriate to what had happened, and was called in Latin the “Thundering ’’2 Tertullian is also a worthy witness of these things, who in addressing in Latin an apology for our faithto to the Senate, which we have quoted already, confirmed the story with more and clearer proof. In his writing he says that letters of Marcus, the most prudent emperor, were still extant, in which he testifies himself that when his army was on the point [*](2 But from Dio Cassius and from inscriptions, it would appear that the legion had certainly this name in the time of Nero, and probably in that of Augustus.)

οf destruction in Germany from lack οf water it had been saved by the Ρrayers of the Christians, and Tertullian says that the emperor also threatened death to those who attempted to accuse us. The author goes on as fohows: “What kind of laws are these which wicked, unrighteous, and cruel men use against us alone? Vespasian did not observe them although he conquered the Jews. Trajan partially allowed them, but forbade Christians to be sought οut. Neither Ηadrian, though busy in all curious matters, nor Pius, as he is called, ratified them.” But let these things be as anyone will, we must pass οn to the train of further events.

When Ρothinus was consecrated with the martyrs in Gaul at the age of full ninety years, Irenaeus received the episcopacy οf the diocese in Lyons,1 of which Ροthinus had been the head, and we have been told that he had been a listener to Polycarp in his early youth. In his third book against the heresies he gives the succession οf the bishops in Rome as far as Εleutherus, the events of whose days are now being discussed by us, as though his book had been composed at that time, and he gives the list, writing as follows.

VI. “Therefore when the blessed apostles had found and built the church they gave the ministry of the episcopate to Linus. Paul mentioned this Linus in his epistle to Timothy. Anencletus succeeded him, and after him Clement obtained the episcopate in the third place from the apostles. He had seen the blessed apostles and [*](1 That is, in A.D. 177. Cf. v. 1. 1, p. 407.)

conversed with them and the teaching of the apostles still rang in his ears, their tradition was held before his eyes. Nor was he alone in this, for there were still many surviving at that time who had been taught by the apostles. When in the time οf this Clement no little dissenstion arose among the Chrirtians at Corinth, the church in Rome sent a most powerful letter to the Corinthians urging them to peace and renewing their faith and the tradition which they had recently received from the apostles.1”

Αnd after a little he says: “Εvarestus succeeded to this Clement and Αlexander to Εvarestus, and then Xystus was appointed as the sixth from the apostles, and after him Telesphorus, who also was martyred gloriously; then Hyginus, then Pius, after him Anicetus. Soter succeeded Anicetus, and now, in the twelfth place from the apostles, Eleutherus holds the lot of the episcopate. The tradition from the apostles in the church and the preaching of the truth have reached us in the same οrder and the same teaching.”2

VII. These things Irenaeus recounts, according to the extracts which we have made already, in the books, five in number, to which he gave the title of Refutation and Overthrow of Knowledge falsely socalled, and in the second book of this work he proves in the following words that manifestations of the divine and marvellous power had remained in some [*](2 It is probable that “teaching’’ is a mistake in the text οf Eusebius for διαδοχή, “succession,” which is implied by the Latin version of Irenaeus.)

churches even as far as his time : “ But they fall so far 1 short of raising the dead, as did the Lord and his apostles through prayer (and often among the brethren, because of necessity and at the request of the whole church in the neighbourhood, with fasting and much supplication, the spirit of him who had died returned, and the man was given to the prayers of the ” Αnd again he says after other things : “ But if they say that the Lord has done all these things merely in appearance we will take them back to the prophetic writings, and show from them that all these things had been foretold concerning him, and that they certainly happened, and that he alone is the Som of God ; for which cause also his true disciples having reeeived graee from him use it in his name for the benefit of the rest of men, even as each has received the gift from him. For some drive out demons with certainty and truth, so that often those who have themselves been cleansed from the evil spirits believe and are in the church, and some have foreknowledge of things to be, and visions and prophetic speech, and others cure the rick by the haying on of hands and make them whole, and even as we have said, the dead have been raised and remained with us for many years. Αnd why should Ι say more 7. Ιt is not possible to tell the number of the gifts which the chureh throughout the whole worid, having received them from God in the name of Jesus Christ, who was crucified under Pontius Pilate, uses each day for the
benefit of the heathen, deceiving none and making profit from none. For as it received freely from God, it ministers also ” And in another place the same author writes : “ Just as also we hear many brethren in the church who have gifts of prophecy, and who speak through the Spirit with all manner of tongues, and who bring the hidden things of men into clearness for the common good and expound the myrteries of ” So much on the point that variety of gifts remained among the worthy up till the time spoken of.

VIII. Αt the beginning of this work we made promise to quote from time to time the sayings of the presbyters and writers of the church of the first period, in which they have delivered the traditions which came down to them about the canonical Scriptures. Now Irenaeus was one of these, so let us quote his words, and in the first place those which refer to the saered Gospels, as follwos : “ Now Matthew published among the Hebrews a written gospel 1 also in their own tongue, while Ρeter and Paul were preaching in Rome and founding the church. But after their death Mark also, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, himself handed down to us in writing the things which were preached by Ρeter, and Luke also, who was a follower of Paul, put down in a book the gospel which was preached by him. Then John, the disciple of the Lord, who had even reted on his breast, himself also gave forth the gospel, while he was living at Ephesus in Asia.”

[*](1 The point of the λαὶ γραφήν is that it was a written as well as a spoken gospel.)

These things were said by the writer referred to in the third book of his treatise which has been quoted before, and in the fifth book he discourses thus about the Apocalypse of John and the number of the name of the Antichrist.1 “ Now since this is so, and since this number is found in all the good and ancient copies, and sinee those Who have seem John face to face testify, and reason teaches us that the number of the name of the beast appears according to the numeration of the Greeks by the letters in it . . . ” Αnd going on later he says concerning the same point, “ We therefore will not take the risk of making any positive statement concerning the name of the Antichrist. For if it had been necessary for his name to have been announeed cleariy at the present time, it would have been spoken by him who also saw the Revelation ; for it was not even seen a long time ago, but almost in our own generation towards the end of the reign of Domitian.”

The author quoted says this about the Apocalypse, and he also mentions the first Epistle of John, making many quotations from it, and likewise the first Epistle of Ρeter. Αnd he not only knew but also received 2 the writing of the Shepherd, saying, “ Well did the scripture say ‘ first of all believe that God is one who created and fitted together all ’ and so ” Ηe also made some quotations all but verbally from the WiSdom of Solomon, “ Αnd [*](1 According to Rev. xiii. 18 the Νumber of the Beast is 666. The point is that in ancient times the letters of the alphabet were used as numbers ; thus the writer means that if the letters in the name of the Beart be taken as numbers they will when added up amount to 666. The difficulty is that with a little ingenuity this can be proved to be true of almost any unpopular person. 2 i.e. as Scripture.)

the vision of God produces incorruptibility and incorruptibility brings us near to ” Ηe also quotes treatises οf a certain apostolic presbyter whose name he passes by in silence and gives his interpretaion οf divine Scripture. Moreover, he has made mention of Justion Martyr and Ignatius, making frequent quotations from their writings, and he promised to give in a special work a refutation of Marcion from his own writings.

Hear also, word for word, what he writes about the interpretation οf the inspired Scriptures accorffing to the Septuagint. “ So God became man and the Lord himself saved us, giving us the sign of the virgin, but not as some say, who at the present time venture to translate the scriptures, ‘ behold a young woman shall conceive and bear a ’ as Theodotion the Εphesian tranriated it and Αquila from Ρontus, both οf them Jewish proselytes, whom the Εbionites follow and aver that he was begotten by Joseph. ’’ After a little he goes on thus : ‘‘ For before the Romans established their government, while the Macedonians still possessed Asia, Ρtolemy, the son of Lagus,1 being very anxious to adorn the library, which he had founded in Αlexandria, with all the best extant writings of all men, asked from the inhabitants of Jerusalem to have their Scriptures translated into Greek. They, for they were at that time still subject to the Macedonians, sent to Ptolemy seventy elders, the most experienced they had [*](1 Usually called Ptolemy Soter ; he reigned from 323 to 285 B.C.)

in the scriptures and in both languages, and God thus wrought what he willed. But Ptolemy, wishing to make trial of them in his own way, and being afraid lest they should have made some agreement to conceal by their translation the truth in the Scriptures, separated them from one another and commanded them all to write the same translation. Αnd this he did in the case of all the books. when they came together to Ptolemy, and compared each his own translation, God was glorffied and scriptures were recognized as truly divine, for they all rendered the same things in the same words and the same names, from beginning to end, so that even the heathen who were present knew that the Scriptures had been translated by the inspiration of God. Αnd it is no marvel that God did this, for when the Scriptures had been destroyed in the captivity οf the people in the days of Nebuchadnezzar, and the Jews had gone back to their country after seventy years, then in the times of Artaxerxes, the king of the Ρersians, he inspired Ezra, the priest of the tribe of Levi, to restore all the sayingS of the prophets Who had gone before, and to restore to the people the law given by ” 1 so much sayS Irenaeus.

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.)