Historia Ecclesiastica


Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiastica, Lake, Loeb, 1926


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.)

episeopate to an end after about three years, Lucius was appointed his suecessor ; but he exercised his ministry for less than eight entire months, and dying transmitted ffihls offiee to stephen. To him Dionysius inffited the Rrst of his letters On Baptism, no small question harivlng then arisen as to whether it Were neeessary to eleanse by means of baptism those who were turning from any heresy whatsoever. Α euStom, which was at any rate old, having prevailed in such cases to use only prayer with the laying οn of hands,

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.

For I name only the more eminent dishops, to avoid making my letter long and my discourse teffious. Νevertheless, the syrias as a whole and Αrabia, which ye constantly help and to which ye have now written, and Mesopotamia and Ρontus and and, in a everywhere all everywhere rejoice exceedingly their concord and brotherly love, giving glory to God.”

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.