CONTENTS ΟF BOOK VII
The Seventh Book of the Ecclesiastical History contains the follorving:
Ι. Οn the evil disposition of Deeius and Gallus.
ΙΙ. The bishops of Rome in their day.
III. How Cyprian, along with the bishops on hls side, Was the rirst to hold the opinion that those who were turning from heretical error ought to be cleansed by baptism.
ΙV. How many letterS DionySius composed on this subject.
V. Οn the peace after the persecution.
VI. Οn the heresy of Sabellius.
VII. Οn the abominable error of the heretics and the God-sent vision of Dionysius, and the rule of the Church which he had reeeiVed.
VIII. Οn the heterodoxy of Novatus.
IX. Οn the ungodly baptism of the hereties.
X. On Valerian and the persecution in his day.
XI. On the things that then happened to DiOnySiuS and those in Egypt.
XII. On those who were martyred at Caesarea in Palestine.
XIII. On the peaee under Gallienus.
XIV. The bishops who flourished at that time.
XV. Ηow Marinus was martyred at Caesarea.
XVI. The story of Astyrius.
XVII. On the signs at Paneas of the mighty working of our saviour.
XVIII. Οn the throne of James.
XIX. On the festal letterS of DionySiuS, where also he draws up a eanon conerning the Pascha.
XX. On the happeningS at Alexandria.
XXI. Οn the disease that visited it.
XXII. Οn the reign of Gallienus.
XXIII. Οn Nepos and his schism.
XXIV. On the Apocalypse of John.
XXV. Οn the letters of Dionysius.
XXVI. On Paul of samoSata and the heresy put together by him at Antioch. XXVII. On the illustrious bishops who were well known at that time. Ηow Ρaul was refuted and excommunh cated. on the perverse heterodoxy of the Manicheans, which began precisely at time.
XXX. On the distinguished churchmen of our own day, and which of them remained until the attaek upon the churches. 1[*](1 This Table of Contents does not tally with the new universally adopted division of Book VII. into thirty-two chapters.)
In the composition of the seventh book of Ecclesiastical History Dionysius, the great bishop of the Alexandrians, 1 will again assist us in our task by his own words, indicating in turn eaeh of the things that were done in his day, by means of the letters he has lert behind. From that point of time my record will take its beginning.
Ι. when Deeius had reigned for an entire period of less than two years, he was forthwith murdered along with his sons, and Gallus sueeeeded him. 2 Αt this time 3 Origen died, having completed the year save one of his life. Νow when writing to Hermammon, Dionysius speaks as follows, with reference to Gallus: “But not even did Gallus recognize the fault [in the policy] of Decius, nor yet ffid he look to that which caused his fall, but he stumbled against the same stone that was before his eyes. For when his reign was prospering, and matters were moing accorffing to his mind, he drove away the holy men who were supplicating God for his peaee and health. Therefore along with them he banished -ho their prayers on his behalf.”
ΙΙ. so much, then, concerning him. But in the city of the Romans, when Cornelius brought his [*](3 Α vague date: origen died apparently in 255, in the reign οf Valerian.)
III. Cyprian, pastor of the community at Carthage, was the Rrst of thoSe of his day to consider that they οught not to be admitted otherwise than by having been first eleansed from their error by baptism. But stephen, thinking that they ought not to make any innovation contrary to the traffition that had prevailed from the beginning, was full of indignation thereat.
Iv. Dionysius, therefore, haring communi- cated with him on this point at very great length in a letter, at its close shows that with the abatement οf the persecution the churches everywhere, having now rejected the innovation of Novatus, had resumed peace among themselves. Ηe writes thus:
V. “ But know now, brother, that all the ehurches in the East and still further away, which were fonnerly divided, have been united, and all their presidents eveqwhere are of like mind, rejoicing above measure at the unexpeeted arrival of peaee: Demetrian at Αntiοch, Theoctistus at Caesarea, Mazabanes at Aelia, marinus at Tyre (Alexander having fallen asleep), Heliodorus at Laodicea (for Thelymidres has entered into his rest), Helenus at TarSus and all the churches of Cilicia, Firmilian and all Cappadocia.
such is the aceount of Dionysius. But when stephen had fulRlled his ministry for two years, he was succeeded by Xystus. To him Dionysius penned a second letter on Baptism, showing the opinion and decision both of stephen and of the οther bishops. About stephen he speaks thus: ‘‘Νow he had written fonnerly with reference both to Ηelenus and Firmilian and all those from Cilicia and Cappadocia and, in fact, Galatia and all the prorinees that border on these, to the eKect that he would not hold communion in future with them either, for this same reason; since, says he, they rebaptize heretics. Αnd look thou at the importance of the matter. For deerees on this question have been actually passed in the largest synods of bishops, as 1 learn, so that those who come over from heresies are nrst placed under instruction, then washed and purged again from the ffith of the old and impure leaven. Αnd I wote beseeching him οn all these matters.”
Αnd, after other remarks, he says: “Αnd to οur beloved fellow-presbyters aho, Dionysius and Philemon, who had formerly been of the same opinion as stephen and mote [some letters] to me about the same matters, at Rrst I wrote briefly, but now at greater length.”
so much with regard to the question of which am speaking.
vI. But when inffidlcating in the same letter, with reference to the followers of the Sabellian heresy,1 that they were prevalent in his day, he speaks thus: “For as to the doetrine now set on foot at Ρtοlemais in the Pentapolis, an impious doctrine which contains great blasphemy concerning the Almighty ood, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and great unbelief as to Ηis only-begotten Son, the firstborn of all creation, the word who was made man, and whieh is without pereeption of the Ηοly Spirit, — when there eame to me nom both both both documents and also the brethren who were ready to discuss the question, I wrote some letters, as 1 was able by the help of God, giving an exposition of the marter in a somewhat didactic manner; οf which scnd thee the copies.”
VII. Αnd in the third οf those on Baptism, which the same Dionysius wrote to Philemon the Roman presbyter, he relates the following: “But as for me, 1 read both the compositions and the traditions ofthe heretics, polluting my soul for a little with their abominable thoughts, yet all the while deriving this advantage from them, that I could refute them for myself and loathed them far more. Αnd indeed a certain brother, one of the presbyters, attempted to dissuade and frighten me from becoming involved in the mire of their wickedness, for he said that I should injure my own soul; and said truly, as Ι perceived. nut a vision sent by ood came and strengthened me, and a word of command was given me, saying expressly: ‘Read all things that may come to thy [*](only πρόσωπα or characters by which God is revealed to the Trinity being one οf revclation, not essence. See 26. 1.)
Then, making certain renlarks about all the heresies, he goe On tO say: “This rule and pattern I reeeiVed from our blessed pope 2 Ηeraclas. For those Who came over frOm the hereries, although they had departed from the Church (Or rather, had not eVen done that, but, while srill reputed members Of the congregation, were charged with frequenting some false teacher), he drOve rrom the Church, and refused to listen to their entreaties until they pubhely declared all that they had heard frOm them that oppose themselves.’ and then he admitted them to the congregation, without requiring of them a second baptism. For they had fOrmerly receiVed the holy [baptism] from him.’’
Αnd again, after a protracted discussiOn of the question, he adds as follows: “I have learnt this also, that the Africans did nOt intrOduee this practice noW for the rlrst time, but that long befOre, in the days of the bishops that were before us, in the most populous churches and the synods of the brethren, in Iconium and Synnada and in many places, this eOurse was adOpted. Αnd Ι do not dare to overturn their deeirions and involve them in strife and comtention. ‘ For ‘For thou shalt not remove,’ he says, neighbour’s landmarks, which thy fathers placed.’
The fourth of hls letters on baptism was written to [*](2 πάπα: this is the eariiest known occasion on which an Alexandrian bishop is entitled “pope,” though later on are several instances of the praCbee. )
VIII. “For it is with good reason indeed that we feel enmity towards Novatian, who caused a in the church and drew away some of the brethren to impieues and blasphemies, and introduced as well most profane teaching about God, and falsely accouses our most compassionate Lord Jesus Christ of being without mercy; and above all this, he sets at naught the holy washing, and overturns the faith and confession that precede it, and entirely banishes the Ηoly sprit from them, even though there was some hope οf Ηis remaining with or even returning to them.”
IX. Αnd his fifth letter was written to Xystus, bishop of the Romans. In it, speaking much against the heretics, he sets forth the following thing that happened in his day, saying: “of a truth, brother, I have need of counsel, and ask an opinion of thee. The following matter has come before me, and 1 am fearful lest after all I be mistaken. of the brethren who meet together for worship there is one, reckoned faithful, of long stanffing, a member of the congregation before my ordination, and, I think, before the appointment of the blessed Heraclas. Having been present with those who were recently being baptized, and having heard the questions and answers, he came to me in tears, bewailing himself and falling before
In addition to the above-mentioned letters, there is extant also another of his On Baptism, addressed by him and the community over which he ruled to Xystus and the church at Rome, in which with a long proof he gives a protracted discussion of the the subject in question. Αnd, after these, there is yet another letter of his extant, to Dionysius at Rome, that with reference to Lucian. so much for these matters.
X. But to resume. Gallus and his associates held [*](1 συνεστάναι ταῖς προσευχαῖς: see vi. 42. 5. )
And in addition he goes on to say: “Goodly at all events were the thank-offerings that Macrianus made to them for the Empire of his hopes. 1 Formerly when he was regarded as minister over the imperial accounts as a whole, he displayed neither a reasenable nor a catholic mind. But he has fallen under the prophetic curse which says: ‘Woe unto them that prophesy from their heart, and see not the whole.᾿ For he did not understand the universal nor did he suspeet the judgement of Him who is before all and through all and over all. Therefore he has come to be at enmity with His Catholic Church, and so alienated and estranged himself from God's mercy and banished himself as far as possible from his own salvations, in this proving true his name.”
Αnd again, after Other remarks, he says: “For Valerian, being induced by him to this course of aetion, Was given over to insults and reproaches, according to that which was said to Isaiah: “Αnd these have Chosen their own ways and abominations, in which their soul delighteth, and I will their mockings, and their sins I will recompense them.᾿ now this man,3 in his mad desire for [*](εὔλογον (“reasonable”) and also between καθόλου καθολικόν; and, in order to maintain this latter play, Dionysius, in his quotation οf Ezek. xiii. 3 (LXX), takes τὸ καθόλου as the object of the sentence (“the whole”) instead of adverbially (“not at all’’). 2 Another play upon words: Μacrianus and μακρός ("far off’’). 3 i.e. Μacrianus; he was lame. )
This is the account given by dionysius concerning valerian.
XI. But With regard to the storm of persecution that raged fiercely in his day, What the same Dionysius, and others with him, underwent for their piety toward the God of the universe will be made plain by his own words which he wrote at length against Germanus, one of the bishops of his day who was attempting to defame him. Ηe makes his statement in the following manner: “But Ι am in danger of falling, in truth, into great foolishness and stupidity, being foreed to the point of compulsion to recount the wonderful dispensation of God concerning us. But since ῾it is good,᾿ he says, ῾to keep close the secret of a king, but glorious to reveal the works of God,᾿ God,῾ I will join issue with the Germanus. I came before Aemilianus,1 not alone, but there followed me my fellow-presbyter maximus, and Faurtus, Εusebius, Chaeremon, deacons; and one of the brethren who had come from Rome entered in along with us. And Aemilianus did not lead off with the words ῾Do not hold essemblies.' For that would have been superfluous for him to say, and the last thing [to be mentioned] by one who was going back to the very beginning. For his discourse
“But hear the things themselves that were spoken ὢ both sides, as they were placed on record: When Dionysius and Faustus and Maximus and Marcellus and chaeremon were brought into eourt, Aemilianus, the deputy-prefect, said, ‘ . . . Αnd verbally I discoursed with you concerning the kindness that our lords 1 have displayed on your behalf. For they gave you the opportunity of safety if ye were willing to turn to that which is according to nature and worship the gods which preserve their Εmpire, and forget those gods which are contrary to nature. What, therefore, say ye to these things? For I do not expect that ye will be ungrateful for their kindess, forasmuch as they urge you on to the better urse.'
“Dionysius replied : ‘Νot all men Worship all ods, but each one certain whom he regards as such. therefore both worship and adore the οne God and aker of all things, who also committed the Εmpire the Augusti, most highly favoured of God, Valerian d Gallienus; and to Ηim we unceasingly pray for their Empire, that it may remain unshaken.[*](1 i.e. Valerian and Gallienus. )
“Aemilianus, the deputy-prefect, said to them: ῾ Αnd who prevents you from worshipping this also, if he be a god, along with the natural gods? For ye were bidden to worship gods, and gods whom all know.'
“Dionysius replied: ‘We worship no other God.'
“Aemilianus, the deputy-prefect, said to them: ‘ I see that ye are at onee ungrateful and insensible of the clemency οf οur Αugusti. Wherefore ye shall not be in this city, but ye shall betake yourselves to the parts of Libya and [remain] in a place ealled Cephro. For this is the place 1 chose in accordance with the command οf our Augusti. Αnd it shall in no wise be permitted either to you or to any others either to hold assemblies or to enter the cemeteries, 1 as they are called. If anyone be proved not to have gone to the place that I commanded, or be found at any assembly, he will bring the peril upon himself, for there shall be no laek οf the necessary observation. Be gone therefore whither ye were bidden.'
“Αnd even though I was sick, he hurried me away without granting me a single ’s respite. What spare time had I then remaining either for holding οr not holding an assembly?’’
Then after other remarks he says:“ But we did not abstain from even the visible assembling of ourselves with the Lord; nay, 1 strove the more earnestly to gather together those in the city, as if Ι were with them, ‘being abSent in body,' as he 2 said, ‘but present in spirit,᾿ and at Cephro a large churck also sojourned with us, some brethren following us from the city, οthers joining us from Egypt. And [*](1 It was felt to be dangerous to allow Christians to assemble at the grave οf martyrs: cf. ix. 2. 2 i.e. St. Ρaul.)
‘‘For Aemilianus wished to remove us to rougher, as he thought, and more Libyan-like places, and he ade those [who were seattered] in every direction to stream together to the Mareotian [nome], assigning mparate rillages in the district for each party; but us he posted more on the road, so that we should be he first to be arrested. For he eridently was managing and arranging it, that, whenever he wished to eize us, he might find us all easy of capture. Αs οr me, when I had been bidden to depart to Cephro, did not even know in what direction the place lay, carcely haring heard so much as the name before; evertheless I departed with a good grace and made o disturbance. But when it was told me that I was remove to the parts of Colluthion, those who were resent know how I was affected (for here I shall be own aecuser): at nffirs 1 was vexed and exceedly angry; for although the places happened to better known and more familiar to us, yet it was rmed that the district was without brethren or ersons of good character, and exposed besides to oyances of travellers and incursions of robbers. ut I found encouragement when the brethren reinded me that it was nearer the city,1 and that, hile Cephro used to bring us much intercourse with [*](1 i.e Alexandria. )
Αnd, after other remarks with referenee to hat happened to him, he writes again as follows: “Μany, to be sure, are the confessions on which Germanus prides himself, many the happenings to his hurt of which he has to tell—even all the things that he make a list of as regards us: sentenees, confiscations, proscriptions, spoiling of possessions, losses of dignities, despisings of worldly glory, disdainings of commendations and the reverse from prefect and council, endurance of threats, outcries, perils, persecutions, wanderings, anguish and divers tribulations, such as happened to me under Deeius and sabinus, up to the present time under Aemilianus. But Where did Germanus appear? What talk was there about him? But Ι must cease from the great folly into which Ι am falling on account of Germanus; wherefore also I forbear to give in detail to the brethren who know them an account of the events."
The same Dionysius, in the letter also to Domitius and Didymus, mentions again the happenings of the persecution, aS follows: : “ But it is superfluous to recount by name our people, since they are numerous and unknown to you. Οnly understand that men and women, both οld men and lads, both girls and aged women, both soldiers and civilians, both every race and every age, some enduring scourgings and fire,
Αnd a little further down he says: “But in the city there have concealed themselves, secretly visiting e brethren, of the presbyters Maximus, Dioscorus, emetrius, Lucius. For those who are better known the world, Faustinus and Aquila, are wandering bout in Εgypt. Αs to the deacons, they who surived those that died in the island are Faustus, usebius, chaeremon: that Εusebius, whom from beginning God strengthened and prepared to nder with all energy the services to the confessors at were in prison, and at no small risk to perform e task of laying out the corpses οf the blessed and erfect martyrs. For even to this day the prefect not cease from putting to a cruel death, as I have id before of those who are brought before
Such is the aceount given by Dionysius. It should be observed, however, that Εusebius, whom he calls a deacon, shortly afterwards was appointed bishop of Laodicea in syria; and Maximus, of whom he speaks 38 a presbyter then, succeeded Dionysius himself in his ministry to the brethren in Alexandria; but that Faustus, who along with him was distinguished at that time for his confession, was preserved until the perseeution in our day, and, when quite an old man and full οf days, was perfeeted by martyrdom in our οwn time, being beheaded.
XII. so it happened to Dionysius at that time. But during the perseeution of Valerian, of whieh we are speaking, three persons at Caesarea in Palestine, conspicuous for their confession of Christ, were adorned with a divine martyrdom, becoming food for wild beasts. of these οne was called Priscus, the second Malchus, and the name of the third was Alexander. It is said that these men, who were living in the country, at first reproached themselves for their carelessness and sloth, because instead of hastening to secure the crown of martyrdom, they were proving contemptuous of prizes, though the present opportunity was bestowing them upon sueh as yearned with a heavenly desire. But that when they had taken counsel thereon, they started for caesarea, appeared before the judge and met the
XIII. But not long afterwards Valerian underwent slavery at the hands of the barbarians,1 and his succeeding to the sole power,2 conducted the government with more prudence, and immediately by means of edicts put an end to the persecution against us. Ηe granted free power to those who preSided over the word to perform their accustomed duties, by a rescript which runs as follows: “The Emperor Caesar Publius Licinius Gallienus Ρius Felix Augustus to Dionysius and Ρinnas and Demetrius and the other bishops. I have given my order that the benent of my bounty should be published throughout all the world, to the intent that they should depart from the places οf worship,3 and therefore ye also may use ordinance contained in my rescript, so that none may molest you. Αnd this thing which it is within your power to accomplish has long since been conceded by me; and therefore Aurelius Quirinius, who is in charge of the Εxchequer, will observe the ordinance given by me.”
Let this, which for the sake of greater clearness was translated from the Latin, be inserted. Αnd there is also extant another of the same emperor’s ordinances, which he addressed to other bishops, [*](2 Gallienus, who had been associated in rule with his father Valerian since A.D. 253, became sole Augustus in 260 or 261.) [*](3 i.e. that the heathen should depart from them, and give them up to the Christians. )
XIV. Αt that time Xystus was still ruling the church of the Romans, Demetrian, who came after Fabius, the chureh at Αntioch, and Firmilian at caesarea in Cappadocia; and moreover Gregory and his brother Athenodore were ruling the churches of Ρontus, pupils of origen. Αs to Caesarea in Palestine, on the death of Theoctistus, Domnus succeeded to the episcopate, but after he had continued in office a short time Theotecnus, our contemporary, was appointed to succeed him. Ηe also was of the school of Origen. But at Jerusalem, when Mazabanes had entered into his rest, Ηymenaeus succeeded to the throne, the same who was distinguished for very many years in our day.
XV. In the time of those persons, when the churches everywhere were at peace, a man at caesarea in Ρalestine called Μarinus, honoured by high rank in the army and distinguished besides by birth and wealth, was beheaded for his testimony to christ, on the following account. There is a certain mark of honour among the Romans, the vine-switch, and those that obtain it become, it is said, centurions. Α post was vacant, and according to the order of promotion Marinus was being called to this advancement. Indeed he was on the point of receiving the honour, when another stepped forward before the tribunal, and stated that in accordance with the ancient laws Marinus could not share in the rank that belonged to Romans, since he was a Christian and did not sacrifice to the emperors; but that the οffice fell to himself. Αnd [it is said] that the (his name was Αchaeus) was moved thereat, and first
When he came outside the court Theotecnus, the bishop there, approaehed and drew him aside in conversation, and taking him by the hand led him forward to the church. Οnce inside, he placed him close to the altar 1 itself, and rairing his cloak a little, pointed to the sword with which he was girded; at the same time he brought and placed before him the book of the divine Gospels, and bade him choose which of the two he wished.
Without hesitation he stretched forth his right hand and took the divine book. “Ηold fast then,” said Theotecnus to him, “hold fast to God; and, strengthened by Him, mayest thou obtain that thou hast chosen. Go in peace.” As he was thence immediately a herald cried aloud, summoning him before the court of justice. For the appointed time was now over Standing before the judge he displayed still greater zeal for the faith; and straightway, even as he was, was led away to death, and so was perfected.
XVI. In that place Astyrius also is commemorated for the boldness whieh is dear to God. Ηe was a member of the Roman Senate, a favourite of emperors, and well known to all both for birth and wealth. Ηe was present with the martyr when he was being perfected, and raising the corpse2 upon his shoulder he placed it upon a splendid and costly robe, and laying it out with great magnificence gave it a fitting burial.[*](2 Lit. “tabernacle” σκῆνος). )
Α great many other facts are mentioned about this man by his friends, who have survived to οur day, and also the following wonderful event.
XVII. Αt caesarea Philippit, which Phoenicians call Paneas, is said that on a certain festival a victim is thrown down among the springs that are shown there, on the slopes of the mountain called Paneion, from which the Jordan takes its source; and that it becomes invisible in some miraculous way through the power, a circumstance, they say, that is looked upon by those present as a far-famed marvel. Νow story goes] that once Astyrius was there when this was being done, and when he saw the multitude stuck with amazement at the affair, in pity for their error he looked up toward heaven and besought God who is over all, through Christ, to confound the demon who was causing the people to err, and put an end to the deception of these men. Αnd it is said that, when he had thus prayed, of a sudden the sacrifice floated on the surface οf the springs; and thus their miracle came to an end, and no further marvel ever took place in connexion with that spot.
XVIII. But since I have come to mention this city. I do not think it right to omit a story that is worthy to be recorded also for those that come after us. For they say that she who had an issue of blood, and who, as we leam from the sacred Gospels, found at the hands of our Sariour relief from her affliction, came from this place, and that her house was pointed out in the city, and that marvellous memorials of the good deed, which the Saviour wrought upon her, still remained. For [they said] that there stood on a lofty stone at the gates of her house a brazen figure in relief a woman, bending on her knee and stretching