Early Church Fathers
55 In the second chapter of the seventh book of his Ecclesiastical History, Eusebius says: "To this Stephen, Eusebius wrote the first of his epistles on the matter of baptism." And he calls this the first, because Dionysius also wrote other four epistles to Xystus and Dionysius, two of the successors of Stephen, and to Philemon, on the same subject of the baptizing of heretics.-Gallandi.
56 Eusebius introduces the letter thus: "When he had addressed many reasonings on this subject to him (Stephen) by letter, Dionysius at last showed him that, as the persecution had abated, the churches in all parts opposed to the innovations of Novatus were at peace among themselves." [See vol. v. p. 275.]
57 kai\ e@ti proswte/rw. These words are omitted in Codices Fulk, and Savil., as also by Christophorsonus; but are given in Codices Reg. Maz., and Med., and by Syncellus and Nicephorus.
58 Baronius infers from this epistle that at this date, about 259 A.D., the Oriental bishops had given up their "error," and fallen in with Stephen's opinion, that heretics did not require to be rebaptized,-an inference, however, which Valesius deems false. [Undoubtedly so.]
59 The name assigned by the pagans to Jerusalem was Aelia. It was so called even in Constantine's time as we see in the Tabula Peutingerorum and the Itinerarium Antonini, written after Constantine's reign. In the seventh canon of the Nicene Council we also find the name Aelia. [Given by Hadrian A.D. 135.]
60 The words koimhqentoj 'Aleca/ndrou are given in the text in connection with the clause Mari=noj e\n Tu/rw. They must be transposed however as in the translation; for Mazabanes had succeeded Alexander the bishop of Aelia, as Dionysius informs us in his Epistle to Cornelius. So Rufinus puts it also in his Latin version.-Vales.
61 Alluding to the generous practice of the church at Rome in old times in relieving the wants of the other churches, and in sending money and clothes to the brethren who were in captivity, and to those who toiled in the mines. To this effect we have the statement of Dionysius, bishop of Corinth, in his Epistle to Soter, which Eusebius cites in his fourth book. In the same passage, Eusebius also remarks that this commendable custom had been continued in the Roman church up to his own time; and with that object collections were made there, of which Leo Magnus writes in his Sermones.-Vales. [Note this to the eternal honour of this See in its early purity.]
62 [In vol. v., to illustrate the history of Cyprian, reference is made to this letter; and in the Clark edition another rendering is there given (a preferable one, I think) of this same letter, which I have thought better to reserve for this place. It belongs here, and I have there noted its appearance in this volume.]
63 [proestw=tej. See Euseb., Hist Eccles., book viii. capp. 2, 3 and 4; also vol. v., this series, as above mentioned.]
64 Dionysius mentions letters that had been written by him as well to the Presbyters Dionysius and Philemon as to Stephen, on the baptism of heretics and on the Sabellian heresy.
65 Lib. vii. ch. 6.
66 [i.e., Sixtus II.]
67 Of Sixtus, bishop of Rome. [A.D. 257].
68 1 Thess. v. 21. [Euseb., vi. 7. The apostle is supposed to refer to one of the reputed sayings of our Lord, gi/nesqe do/kimoi trapezitai = examinatores, i.e., of coins, rejecting the base, and laying up in store the precious. Compare Jer. xv. 19.]
69 [I find that it is necessary to say that the "Africans" of Egypt and Carthage were no more negroes than we "Americans" are redmen. The Carthaginians were Canaanites and the Alexandrians Greeks. I have seen Cyprian's portrait representing him as a Moor.]
70 Deut. xix. 14.
71 At that time presbyter of Xystus, and afterwards his successor. He teaches that Novatian is deservedly to be opposed on account of his schism, on account of his impious doctrine, on account of the repetition of baptism to those who came to him.
72 Of a man who sought to be introduced to the Church by baptism, although he said that he had received baptism, with other words and matters among the heretics.
73 [Vol. v. See a reference to Cyril's Catechetical Lectures.]
74 Eusebius, Hist. Eccles., vi. 40, vii. 11.
75 ou0demi/an e0p' e0mautou= ballo/menoj. In Codex Fuk. and in the Chronicon of Syncellus it is e0p' e0mautw=.. In Codices Maz. and Med. it is e0p' e0mauto/n. Herodotus employs the phrase in the genitive form-ballo/menoj e0f' e0autou= peprhxe, i.e., seipsum in consilium adhibens, sua sponte et proprio motu fecit.
76 a9lla\ kai\ pro/tepon. Christophorsonus and others join the pro/teron, with the diwgmou=, making it mean, "before the persecution." This is contrary to pure Greek idiom, and is also inconsistent with what follows; for by the au0th=j w@raj is meant the very hour at which the edict was decreed, diwgmo/j here having much the sense of "edict for the persecution."-Vales.
77 There was a body of men called frumentarii milites, employed under the emperors as secret spies, and sent through the provinces to look after accused persons, and collect floating rumors. They were abolished at length by Constantine, as Aurelius Victor writes. They were subordinate to the judges or governors of the provinces. Thus this Frumentarius mentioned here by Dionysius was deputed in obedience to Sabinus, the praefectus Augustalis.-Vales.
78 oi= pai=dej. Musculus and Christophorsonus make it "children." Valesius prefers "domestics."
79 a0ph/nteto/ tij tw@n xwritw=n. In Codices Maz., Med., Fuk., and Savil., a0ph/nta is written; in Georgius Syncellus it is a0phnta=to.
80 xwritw=n rendered indigenarum by Christophorsonus, and incolarum, "inhabitants," by the interpreter of Syncellus; but it means rather "rustics." Thus in the Greek Councils the tw=n xwrw=n presbu/teroi, presbyteri pagorum, are named. Instead of xwritw=n, Codices Maz., Med., and Fuk. read xwrikw=n; for thus the Alexandrians named the country people, as we see in the tractate of Sophronius against Dioscorus, and the Chronicon of Theophanes, p. 139.
81 a0strw/twn skimpo/dwn.
82 fora/dhn e0ch/gagon. The fora/dhn may mean, as Valesius puts it, in sella, "on a stool or litter."
83 Tobit xii. 7.
84 to\ teleutaion e0pi to\ prw=ton a0natre/xonti, i.e., to begin by interdicting him from holding Christian assemblies, while the great question was whether he was a Christian at all, would have been to place first what was last in order and consequence.
85 Acts v. 29.
88 Germanus had accused Dionysius of neglecting to hold the assemblies of the brethren before the persecutions broke out, and of rather providing for his own safety by flight. For when persecution burst on them, the bishops were wont first to convene the people, in order to exhort them to hold fast the faith of Christ; there infants and catechumens were baptized, to provide against their departing this life without baptism, and the Eucharist was given to the faithful.-Vales.
89 ai0sqhth=j meta\ tou= Kuri/ou sunagwgh=j.
90 w0j ei\pon. Codices Maz. and Med. give ei0pei=n, "so to speak;" Fuk. and Savil. give w0j ei\pen o a0po/stoloj, "as the apostle said." See on 1 Cor. v. 3.
91 [Acts xiv. 27; Rev. iii. 8. If the author here quotes the Apocalypse, it is noteworthy. Elucidation, p. 110.]
92 h9maj de\ mallon wn o0dw|= kai\ prw/touj katalhfhsome/nouj e$tacen.
93 ta0 Kollouqi/wnoj, supplying me/rh, as Dionysius has already used the phrase ta\ me/rh th=j Libu/hj. This was a district in the Mareotic prefecture. Thus we have mention made also of ta\ Bouko/lou, a certain tract in Egypt, deriving its name from the old masters of the soil. Nicephorus writes Kolou/qion, which is probably more correct; for Kollouqi/wn is a derivative from Colutho, which was a common name in Egypt. Thus a certain poet of note in the times of Anastasius, belonging to the Thebaid, was so named, as Suidas informs us. There was also a Coluthus, a certain schismatic, in Egypt, in the times of Athanasius, who is mentioned often in the Apologia; and Gregory of Nyssa names him Acoluthus in his Contra Eunomium, book ii.-Vales.
94 kata\ meroj sunagwgai. When the suburbs were somewhat distant from the city, the brethren resident in them were not compelled to attend the meetings of the larger church, but had meetings of their own in a basilica, or some building suitable for the purpose. The Greeks, too, gave the name proa/steion to places at some considerable distance from the city, as well as to suburbs immediately connected with it. Thus Athanasius calls Canopus a proa/steion; and so Daphne is spoken of as the proa/steion of Antioch, Achyrona as that of Nicomedia, and Septimum as that of Constantinople, though these places were distant some miles from the cities. From this place it is also inferred that in the days of Dionysius there was still but one church in Alexandria, where all the brethren met for devotions. But in the time of Athanasius, when several churches had been built by the various bishops, the Alexandrians met in different places, kata me/roj kai dih|rhme/nwj, as Athanasius says in his first Apology to Constantius; only that on the great festivals, as at the paschal season and at Pentecost, the brethren did not meet separately, but all in the larger church, as Athanasius also shows us-Vales.
96 Maximus, in the scholia to the book of Dionysius the Areopagite, De coelesti hierarchia, ch. 5, states that Dionysius was by profession a rhetor before his conversion: o9 gou=n me/gaj Dionu/sioj o0 'Alecandrewn e0piskopoj, o0 a9po\ r0hto/rwn, etc.-Vales.
97 tw=/n e0nanti/wn a9peilwsn.
98 This Sabinus had been prefect of Egypt in the time of Decius; it is of him that Dionysius writes in his Epistle to Fabius, which is given above. The Aemilianus, prefect of Egypt, who is mentioned here, afterwards seized the imperial power, as Pollio writes in his Thirty Tyrants, who, however, calls him general (ducem), and not prefect of Egypt.-Vales.
99 Eusebius, Hist. Eccles., vii. 1, 10, 23. Eusebius introduces this extract thus: "In an epistle to Hermammon, Dionysus makes the following remarks upon Gallus" the Emperor.
100 kata\ nou=n is the reading in the Codices Maz., Med., Fuk, and Savil., and adopted by Rufinus and others. But Robertus Stephanus, from the Codex Regius, gives kata\ r0ou=n, "according to the stream," i.e., favourably.
101 Eusebius prefaces this extract thus: "Gallus had not held the government two full years when he was removed, and Valerian, together with his son Gallienus, succeeded him. And what Dionysius has said of him may be learned from his Epistle to Hermammon, in which he makes the following statement."
102 e0co sia kai mh=nej tessarakontadu/o. Rev. xiii. 5. Baronius expounds the numbers as referring to the period during which the persecution under Valerian continued: see him, under the year 257 A.D., ch. 7. [See Introductory Note, p. 78, supra. Here is a quotation from the Apocalypse to be noted in view of our author's questionings, part i., i. 5, p. 83, supra]
103 The text is, kai tou/twn ma/lista ta\ pro\ au0tou= w9j ou@twj e@sxe sunnoei=u' e@wj h[pioj ,etc. Gallandi emends the sentence thus: kai au0tou= ta\ ma/lista pro\ tou/twn, w9j ou0x ou@twj e@sxe, sunnoei\n, ewj h[pioj, etc. Codex Regius gives w9j me\n h@pioj. But Codices Maz. and Med. give e/wj h\pioj, while Fuk. and Savil. give e@wj ga/r h@pioj.
104 He means the Emperor Philip who, as many of the ancients have recorded, was the first of the Roman emperors to profess the Christian religion. But as Dionysius speaks in the plural number, to Philip may be added Alexander Severus, who had an image of Christ in the chapel of his Lares, as Lampridius testifies, and who favoured and sustained the Christians during the whole period of his empire. It is to be noted further, that Dionysius says of these emperors only that they were said and thought to be Christians, not that they were so in reality.-Gallandi
106 Baronius thinks that this was that Magus who, a little while before the empire of Decius, had incited the Alexandrians to persecute the Christians, and of whom Dionysius speaks in his Epistle to Fabius. What follows here, however, shows that Macrianus is probably the person alluded to.
107 eu0daimh/sontaj. So Codices Maz., Med., Fuk. and Savil. read: others give eu0saimonh/santaj. It would seem to require eu0daimonh/sonta, "as if he would attain;" for the reference is evidently to Valerian himself.
108 By the au0toi=j some understand toi=j basileu=si; others better, toi=j daimosi. According to Valesius, the sense is this: that Macrianus having, by the help and presages of the demons, attained his hope of empire, made a due return to them, by setting Valerian in arms against the Christians.
109 e0pi tw=n kaqo/lou logwn. The Greeks. gave this name to those officials whom the Latins called rationales, or procuratores summae rei. Under what emperor Macrianus was procurator, is left uncertain here.
110 ou0de/n eu@logon ou0de\ kaqoliko\n efro/nhsen. There is a play here on the two senses of the word kaqoliko/j , as seen in the official title e0pi tw=n kaqo/lou logwn, and in the note of character in ou0de\ kaqoliko/n. But it can scarcely be reproduced in the English.
111 ouj0ai/ toi=j profhteu/ousin a0po\ kardiaj au0tw=n kai\ to\ kaqo/lou mh/ ble/pousin. The quotation is probably from Ezek. xiii. 3, of which Jerome gives this interpretation: Vae his qui prophetant ex corde suo et omnino non vident.
112 Robertus Stephanus edits th=j e9autou= e0kklhsi/aj, "from his Church," following the Codex Medicaeus. But the best manuscripts give swthri/aj.
113 A play upon the name Macrianus, as connected with makra/n, "at a distance." [This playfulness runs through the section.]