Historia Ecclesiastica


Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiastica, Lake, Loeb, 1926

XX. Νow there flourished at that time many earned churchemen, and the letters which they enned to οne another are still extant and easily ccessible. They have been preserved even to our ay in the library at Aelia,1 equipped by Alexander, en ruling the church there ; from which also we have been able ourselves to gather together the aterial for our present work.

Of these Beryllus has left behind him, as well as etters, varied and beautiful compositions. Ηe was ishop of the Arabians at Bostra. Αnd likewise also ippolytus,2 who also presided over another church mewhere.

Αnd there has reached us also a Dialogue of Gaius, [*](who was the greatest scholar of the Western church in the three centuries, although conjecture and controversy arding him have been rife in modern times. His dates C. A. D. 160 to c. 235.)

a very learned person (which was set a-going at Rome in the time of Zephyrinus), with Ρroclus the champion οf the heresy of the Phrygians.1 In which, curbing the recklessness and audacity of his opponents in composing new Scriptures, he mentions οnly thirteen epistles of the holy Apostle, not numbering the Epistle to the Ηebrews with the rest ; seeing that even to this day among the Romans there are some Who do not consider it to be the Apostle's.

XXI. But indeed when Αntoninus had reigned for seven years and six months he was succeeded by Macrinus 2 ; and when he had eontinued in office for a year, again another Antoninus 3 received the Roman government. In the first year of the latter, Zephyrinus, the bishop of the Romans, 4 departed this life, having held the ministry for eighteen entire years.

After him Callistus was entrusted with the episcopate; he survived five years and then left the ministry to Urban. Αfter this the Εmperor Αlexander suceeeded to the principate of the Romans, Αntoninus having continued in office for only four years. Αt this time also Ρhiletus succeeded Asclepiades in the church f the Αntioehenes.

Origen's fame was now universal, so as to reach the ars οf the Εmperor’s mother, Μamaea by name, a ligious woman if ever there was one. She set great tore οn securing a sight of the man, and on testing at understanding οf divine things which was the onder of all. She was then staying at Αntioch, and moned him to her presence with a military escort. [*](1 See ii. 25 6, and note. 2 Α.D. 217. Generally known as Εlagabalus. 4 A.D. 222)

And when he had stayed with her for some time, and shown her very many things that were for the glory of the Lord and the excellence of the divine teaching, he hastened back to his accustοmed duties.

XXII. Αt that very time alsο Ηippolytus, besides very many other memoirs, cοmposed the treatise οn Pascha in which he sets fοrth a register of the and puts fοrward a certain canon of a sixteenyears ars cycle for the Ρascha, using the first year οf the Emperοr Αlexander as a tenninus in measuring his (??)tes. of his other treatises the folloπing have ceached us : Οn the Hexaëmeron,1 On what followed the Hexaëmeron, Against Marcion, Οn the Sοng, On Parts of Εzekiel, Οn the Pascha, Against All the Heresies; and very many οthers also might be found preserved by many people.

XXIII. starting Dom that time also Origen’s commentaries on the divineScriptures had their beginning, at the instigation οf Αmbrose, who not plied him with innumerable verbal exhortations encouragements, but also provided him untintingly what was necessary. For as he Hictated there were ready at hand mοre than seven chorthand-writers, who relieved each other at fixed and as many copyists, as well as girls skilled penmanship; for all of whom Αmbrose supplied without stint the necessary means. Νay further, he contributee to origen a vast amount of zeal in the carnest study of the divine oracles, a zeal which more chan anything else acted as an incentive to him tο compose his commentarieses.

[*](i.e. the six Days οf Creatiοn.)

Such was the state of affairs when Pontianus succeeded Urban, who had been bishop of the chureh of the Romans for eight years, and Ζebennus came after Ρhiletus as [bishop] of the [church] of the Antiochenes. In their day Οrigen journeyed to Greece through Palestine because of an urgent necessity in Chureh matters, and reveived the laying-on of hands for the presbyterate at Caesarea from the bishops there. The agitation that was set on foot concerning him on this aeeount, and the decistions made by those who presided over the chuiehes on the matters agitated, as well as the other contributions that he made as he was reaching his prime to the study of the divine Word, require a separate composition, and we have given a fairly full account of them in the seeond [book] of the Apology that we have written on his behalf.

XXIV. But to that information it is necessary to add that in the sixth of his Expositions οn the [Gospel] according to John he indicates that he composed the first five while he was still at Alexandria ; but of this work on the whole of the selfsame Gospel only twenty-two tomes have come our way. Αnd [We must also state] that in the ninth of those On Genesis (there are twelve in all) he shows that not only were those before the ninth written at Alexandria, but also [his commentary] on the first twentyfive Psalms, and, as well those on Lamentations, of which there have come to us five tomes. In these he mentions also those Οn the Resurrection, of which there are two. Moreover he wrote his De Principiis before his removal from Alexandria, and he composed the [books] entitled Stromateis, ten in number, in the same city in the reign of Alexaner, as is shown

by the annotations in his own hand in front of the tomes.

XXV. Νow while expounding the first Ρsalm he set forth the catalogue of the sacred Scriptures of the Old Testament, writing somewhat as follows in these words : “ But it should be known that there are twenty-two canonical books, according to the Ηebrew tradition ; the same as the number of the letters of their alphabet."

Then further on he adds as follows : “ These are the twenty-two books according to the Ηebrews : That which is entitled with us Genesis, but with the Hebrews, from the beginning of the books, Bresith, that is ῾ In the beginning.᾿ Exodus, that is, ῾ These ‘These are ‘ Αnd he called.᾿ Νumbers, Αmmes phekodeim. Deuteronomy, Elle addebareim, ‘ These are the words.᾿ Jesus the son of Nave, Iosoue ben Judges, Ruth, with them in one books, Sophteim. 2 Οf Kingdoms i, ii, with them one, Samuel, ‘The called of God.᾿ Οf Kingdoms iii, iv, in one, david, that is, ‘The Kingdom of David. Chronicles i, ii, in one, Dabreݲ iamein, that is, ‘Words of Esdras i, ii, in one, Ezra, that is, ῾Helper.᾿ Book Ρsalms, Sphar thelleim. Proverbs of Solomon, Meloݲth. Ecelesiastes, Koݲelth. Song of as some suppose, Songs of Songs), Sir assireim. Esaias, Iessia. Jeremiah with Lamentations and the Letter, in one, Jeremia. Daniel, Danieݲl. Ezekieݲl. Job, Joݲb. Esther, Estheݲr. [*](1 i.e “fifth (book) of the precepts” οr “of men.” 2 A transliteration of the Hebrew word meaning “ judges.”)

these there are the Maccabees, which are entitled Sar beth sabanai el."1

These things he inserts in the above-mentioned treatise. But in the first of his [Commentaries] on the Gospel according to Mattheru defending the canon of the Church, he gives his testimony that he knowns only four Gospels, writing somewhat as follows: “. . . as having learnt by tradition concerning four Gospels, which alone are unquestionable in the Church of God under heaven, that first was written that according to Matthew, who was once a taxcollector but afterwards an apostle of Jesus Christ, who published it for those who from Judaism came to believe, composed as it was in the Hebrew language. secondly, that according to Mark, who wrote it in accordance with Peter's instructions, whom also Ρeter aeknowledged as his son in the catholic epistle, speaking in these terms : ‘She that is in Babylon, elect together with you, saluteth you ; and so doth Μark my son.᾿ Αnd thirdly, that according to who wrote, for those who from the Gentiles [came to believe], the Gospel that was praised by Ρaul. Αfter them all, that according to John.”

Αnd in the fifth of his Expositions οn the Gospel according to John the same person says this with reference to the epistles of the apostles : “But he who was made suffieient to become a minister of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the spirit, even Ρaul, who fully preached the Gospel from Jerusalem and round about even unto Illyricum, did not so much as write to all the Churches that he taught ; and even to those to which he wrote he sent but a few [*](of the first word in the text, and so lt would represent “The history of the house of the warriors.” )

lines. Αnd Ρeter, on whom the Church of Christ is built, against which the gates of Ηades shall not prevail, has left one acknowledged epistle, and, it may be, a second also ; for it is doubted. Why need I speak of him who leaned back on Jesus᾿ John, who has left behind one Gospel, confessing that he could write so many that even the world itself could not contain them ; and he wrote also the Apocalypse, being ordered to keep silence and not to write the voices of seven thunders ?. Ηe has left also an epistle of a very few lines, and, it may be, a second and a third ; for not all say that these are genuine. Οnly, the two of them together are not a hundred lines long.”

Furthermore, he thus discusses the Εpistle to the Ηebrews, in his Homilies upon it : “That the charaeter of the dietion of the epistle entitled To the Ηebrews has not the ’s rudeness in speech, who confessed himself rude in speech, that is, in style, but that the epistle is better Greek in the framing of its dietion, will be admitted by everyone who is able to discern differences of style. But again, on the other hand, that the thoughts of the epistle are admirable, and not inferior to the acknowledged writings of the apostle, to this also everyone will consent as true who has given attention to reading the apostle.”

Further on, he adds the following remarks : “But as for myself, if I were to state my own opinion, I should say that the thoughts are the apostle's that the style and composition belong to one who called to mind the apostle's teachings and, as, it

made short notes of what his master said. Ιf any church, therefore,holds this epistle as Ρaul’s, let it be commended for this also. For not without reason have the men of old time handed it down as Ρaul’s. But who wrote the epistle, in truth God knows. Yet the account which has reaehed us [is twofold], some saying that Clement, who was bishop οf the Romans, wrote the epistle, others, that it was Luke, he who wrote the Gospel and the Acts.”

XXVI. But this must suffice on these matters. Νow it was in the tenth year of the above-mentioned reign1 that Origen removed from Αlexandria to Caesarea, leaving to Ηeraclas the Catechetical School for those in the city. Αnd not long afterwards Demetrius, the bishop οf the church οf the Alexandrians, died, having continued in the ministry for forty-three entire years. Ηe was succeeded by Heraclas.

XXVII, Νow at this time Firmilian, bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia, was distinguished ; he displayed such esteem for Origen, that at one time he would summon him to his own parts for the benefit of the churches ; at another, Journey himself Judaea, and spend some time with him for his own betterment in divine things. Νay further, Alexander, who presided over the [church] of Jerusalem, and Theoctistus, [who presided] at Caesarea, continued their attendance on him the whole time, as their only teacher, and used to concede to him the task of expounding the divine Scriptures, and the οther parts of the Church’s instruction.

XXVIII. But to resume. When Alexander the [*](A A.D. 262.)

Emperor of the Romans had brought his principate to an end after thirteen years, he was suceeeded by Maximin Caesar.1 Ηe, through ill-will towards the house of Alexander, since it consisted for the most part of beievers, raised a persecution, ordering the leaders of the Church alone to be put to death, as being responsible for the teaching of the Gospel. nen aho Origen composed his work On Martyrdom, dedicating the treatise to Ambrose and Protoctetus, a presbyter of the commurity at Caesarea ; for in the persecution no ordinary distress had befallen them both, in which distress it is recorded that these men were distinguished for the confession they made during the period, not more than three years, that the reign of Maximin lasted. Origen has noted this particular time for the persecution, in the twentysecond of his Expositions of the Gospel according to John, and in various letters.

XXIX. Gordian having succeeded to the Roman government after Maximin,2 Pontianus, when he had been bishop of the church of Rome for six years, was succeeded by Anteros; who exercised his ministry for a month, and was succeeded by Fabian. It is said that Fabian, after the death οf Αnteros, came from the country along with others and stayed at Rome, where he came to the office in a most miraculous manner, thanks to the divine and heavenly grace. For when the brethren were all assembled for the purpose of appointing him who should succeed to the episcopate, and very many notable and distinguished ersons were in the thoughts of many, Fabian, who as there, came into nobody's mind. But all of udden, they relate, a dove flew down from above and [*](1 A.D. 235. 2 A.D. 238.)

settled οn his head, in clear imitation of the deseent οf the Ηoly Ghost in the form of a dove upon the saviour ; whereupon the whole people, as if moved by one divine inspiration, with all eagerness and with οne soul cried out “worthy,” and without more ado took him and placed him on the episcopal throne.

Αt that very time also Ζebennus, bishop of Antioch, departed this life and Babylas succeeded to the rule ; and in Alexandria, Ηeraclas, having received the ministry after Demetrius, was succeeded in the Catechetical School there by Dionysius, who had also been one of Οrigen’s pupils.

XXX. Νow while Οrigen was playing his accustomed tasks at Caesarea, many came to him, not only of the natives, but also numbers of foreign pupils who had left their own countries. Αmong these as especially distinguished we know to have been Theodore, who was the selfsame person as that renowned bishop in our day, Gregory, and his brother Αthenodore. Both of them were strongly enamoured of Greek and Roman Studies, but Origen instilled into them a passion for philosophy and urged them to exchange their former love for the study of divine truth.1 Five whole years they continued with him, and made such progress in divine things that while still young both of them were deemed worthy of the episcopate in the churehes of Pontus.

XXXI. Αt that time Africanus also, the author of the books entitled Cesti,2 was well known. Α letter οf his, written to Οrigen, is extant ; he was at a loss as to whether the story of Susanna in the book of [*](1 Gregory, Pan. vi. 78, 83, 84. 2 i.e. “embroidered ” indicating the varied nature οf the contents οf the work : of. “Stromateis,” 13. 1)

Daniel were a spurious forgery. Origen makes a very full reply to it. Αnd of the same Africanus there have reached us as well five books οf Chronographies, a monument of labour and accuracy. In these he says that he himself made a journey to Alexandria because οf the great fame of Ηeraclas ; who, as we have stated,1 was greatly distinguished for philosophy and other Greek learning, and was entrusted with the bishopric of the church there. Αnd another letter of the same Αfricanus is extant, to Αristides, On the supposed discord between the Genealogies of Christ in Matthew and Luke. In it he establishes very clearly the harmony οf the evangelists from an account that came down to him, which by anticipation I set forth in the proper place in the first book of the present work.2

XXXII. Αnd Origen too at this time was composing his Commentaries οn Isaiah, and at the same time those also οn Ezekiel. Of the former, thirty tomes have come our way on the third part of Ιsaiah, up to the vision of the beasts in the desert ; and on Ezekiel five and twenty, the only ones that he has written οn the whole prophet. Αnd having come at that time to Αthens, he finished the commentary on Ezekiel, and began that on the song of Songs, carrying it forward there up to the fifth book. And returning to Caesarea he brought these also to an end, numbering ten. Why should one draw up the exact catalogue of the man's works here and seeing that sueh would require a special study ? Αnd [*](1 3. 2 ; l5 ; l9. 13 f. ; 26. 2 i. )

we did record it in our account of the life of Pamphilus, that holy martyr of our day, in which, in showing the extent οf Pamphilus’s zeal for divine things, quoted as evidence the lists in the library that had brought together of the works of Origen and of other ecclesiastical writers; writers ; and from who pleases can gather the fullest knowledge of the works of Origen that have reached us. But We must now proceed with οur history.

XXXIII. Beryllus, who, as we have mentioned a little above,1 was bishop of Bostra in Αrabia, perverting the Church’s standard, attempted to introduce things foreign to the faith, daring to say that our Saviour and Lord did not pre-exist in an individual existence of Ηis own before Ηis coming to reside among men, nor had Ηe a divinity of Ηis own, only the Father’s dwelling in Ηim. after a large number of bishops had held questionings and discussions with the man, Origen being invited along with others, entered in the first place into conversation with the man to discover what Were his opinions, and when he knew what it was that he asserted, he corrected what was unorthodox, and, persuading him by reasoning, established him in the truth as to the doctrine, and restored him to his former sound opinion. Αnd there are still extant to this very day records in writing both of Beryllus and of the synod that was held on his account, which contain at once the questions Οrigen put put him and the discussions that took place in his own community, and all that was done on that occasion. And a great many other things about Origen have been handed down to memory by the older men of our day, which [*](1 20. 2)

I think it well to pass over, as they do not concern the Ρresent work. But all that it was necessary to know of his affairs, these also one may gather from the Apology that was written on his behalf by us and Ρamphilus, that holy martyr Of our day, a work that we were at pains to compose conjointly because of the fault-finders.

XXXXIV. When after six whole years Gordian broadught his government of the Romans to an end, Ρhilip along with his sOn Ρhilip suceeeded to the principate.1 It is recorded that he, being a Christian, wished on the day of the last paschal vigil to share along with the multitude the Ρrayers at the church, but was not permitted to enter by him who was then preriding until he eonfessed and numbered himself among those who were reckoned to be in sins and were occupying the place of penitence; for that otherwise, had he not done so, he would never have been received by [the president] on account of the many charges made concerning him. Αnd it is said that he obeyed readily, displaying by his actions how genuine and pious was his disposition towards the fear of God.

XXXV. It was the third year of his regin 2 when Ηeraclas departed this life, after Ρresiding for sixteen years over the churches at Αlexandria; Dionysius took up the episcopal office.

XXXVI. Then indeed, as was fitting, When the faith was inereasing and our doctrine was boldly proclaimed in the ears of all, it is said that Οrigen, who was over sixty years Οf age, inasmuch as he had now acquired immeense facility from long preparation,3 Ρermitted shorthand-writers to take down the dis- [*](3 Gregory, Pan. ii. 10.)

delivered by him in public, a thing that he had never before allowed.

Αt that time also he composed the treatises, eight in number, in answer to the work against us, entitled True Discourse of Celsus the Epicurean. and twenty-five tomes on the Gospel according to Μatthew, and those on the twelve prophets, of which we found only five and twenty. Αnd there is extant alSo a letter of his to the Emperor Philip himself, and another to his wife Severa, and narious other letters to various persons. Αs many of these as we have been able to bring together, preserved as they were here and there by various persons, we arranged in separate roll-eases, so that they might no longer be dispersed. These letters number more than a hundred. Αnd he wrote also to Fabian the bishop of Rome, and to very many other rulers of churches, with reference to his orthodoxy. You will find these facts also established in the sixth book of the Apology We wrote on the ’s hehalf.

XXXVII. Οnce more in Αrabia at the above-men- tioned time other persons sprang up, introducing a doctrine foreign to the truth, and saying that the human soul dies for a while in this present time, along with our bodies, at their death, and with them turns to corruption; but that hereafter, at the time of the resurrection, it will come to life again along with them. Moreover, when a synod of no small dimensions was then assembled together, Origen was again invited, and there opened a discussion in public on the subject in question, with sueh power that he changed the opinions of those who had formerly been deluded.

XXXVIII. Αt that time also another perverse

opinion had its beginning, the heresy known as that οf the Helkesaites, whic no sooner began than it was quenched. Origen mentions it in a public address οn the eighty-second Psalm, some such words as these: “There has come just now a certain man who prides himself on being able to champion a godless and very impious οpinion, of the Helkesaites, as it is ealled, which has lately come into opposition with the churches. I shall lay before you the mischievous teachings ofthat opinion, that you may not be carried away by it. It rejects some things from every scripture; agam; it has made use texts from every part ofthe old Testament and the Gospels; rejects the Αpostle entirely. Αnd it says that to deny is a matter of of indifference, and that the ffisereet man will on occasions of necessity deny with his mouth, but not in his heart. Αnd they produee a certain book οf which they say that it has fallen from heaven, and that he who has heard it and beldieves will reeeive forgiveness οf his sins — a forgiveness other than that which Christ Jesus has bestowed.”

XXXIX. But to resume. When Philip had reigned for seven years he was succeeded by Decius. 1 Ηe, on account of his enmity towards Philip, raised a persecution against the churches, in which Fabian was pertected by martyrdom at Rome, and was sueceeded in the episeopate by Cornelius.

In Palestine, Αlexander, the bishop of the church of Jerusalem, appeared οnce more for Chrisrt’s sake caesarea before the governor’s courts, and for second time distinguished himself by the confession he made; he underwent the trial of imprisonment, crowned with the venerable hoary loeks of ripe old age. Αnd when after the splenffid and manifest

testimony that he gave in the governor’s courts asleep in prison, Mazabanes was proclaimed as is successor in the episeopate at Jerusalem.

Αnd when at Αntioch Babvlas, in like manner to lexander, after confession departed this life in rison, Fabius was made president of the church ere.

Now the nature and extent of that which happened to Origen at the time of the persecution, and what was the end thereof; how the evil demon marshalled ll his forces in rivalry agrialnst the man, how he led them with every derivlce and power, and singled him ut, above all others upon whom he made war at that ime, for special attack; the nature and extent of which he endured for the word of Christ, chains d tortures, punishments infficted on his body, unishments as he lay in iron and in the recesses of is dungion; and how, when for many days his feet ere stretched four spaces in that instrument of rture, the stoeks, he bore with a stout heart threats f fire and everything else that was inflicted by his nemies; and the kind of issue he had thereof, the udge eagerly striving with all his might on no account put him to death; and what sort of sayings he eft behind him after this, sayings full ofhelp for those ho needed uplifting —[of all these matters] the man’s umerous letters contain both a true and aecurate count.