Early Church Fathers
LIFE OF CONSTANTINE
ORATION IN PRAISE OF CONSTANTINE
Prolegomena. The Life and Writings of Eusebius of Caesarea
Testimonies of the Ancients Against Eusebius
The Church History of Eusebius
Supplementary Notes and Tables
The Life of the Blessed Emperor Constantine
The Oration of the Emperor Constantine
The Oration in Praise of the Emperor Constantine
Prolegomena. The Life and Writings of Eusebius of Caesarea.
Chapter I. The Life of Eusebius.
§1. Sources and Literature.
Acacius, the pupil and successor of Eusebius in the bishopric of Caesarea, wrote a life of the latter (Socr. H. E. II. 4) which is unfortunately lost. He was a man of ability (Sozomen H. E. III. 2, IV. 23) and had exceptional opportunities for producing a full and accurate account of Eusebius' life; the disappearance of his work is therefore deeply to be regretted.
Numerous notices of Eusebius are found in the works of Socrates, Sozomen, Theodoret, Athanasius, Jerome, and other writers of his own and subsequent ages, to many of which references will be made in the following pages. A collection of these notices, made by Valesius, is found in English translation on p. 57 sq. of this volume. The chief source for a knowledge of Eusebius' life and character is to be found in his own works. These will be discussed below, on p. 26 sq. Of the numerous modern works which treat at greater or less length of the life of Eusebius I shall mention here only those which I have found most valuable.
Valesius: De vita scriptisque Eusebii Diatribe (in his edition of Eusebius' Histaria Eccles.; English version in Cruse's translation of the same work).
Cave: Lives of the Fathers, II. 95-144 (ed. H. Cary, Oxf. 1840).
Tillemont: Hist. Eccles. VII. pp. 39-75 (compare also his account of the Arians in vol, VI.).
Stroth: Leben and Schriften des Eusebius (in his German translation of the Hist. Eccles.).
Closs: Leben and Schriflen des Eusebius (in his translation of the same work).
Danz: De Eusebio Caesariensi, Historion of the sam' Eccles. Scriptore, ejusque fide historica recte rians in vol, VI.).and most val'stimanda, Cap. II.: de rebus ad Eusebii vitam pertinentibus (pp. 33-75).
Stein: Eusebius Bischof von Caesarea. Nach seinem Leben, seinen Schriften, and seinem dogmatischen Charakter dargestellt (Würzburg, 1859; full and valuable).
Bright, in the introduction to his edition of Burton's text of the Hist. Eccles. (excellent).
Lightfoot (Bishop of Durham): Eusebius of Caesarea, in Smith and Wace's Dictionary of Christian Biography, vol. II. pp. 308-348. Lightfoot's article is a magnificent monument of patristic scholarship and contains the best and most exhaustive treatment of the life and writings of Eusebius that has been written.
The student may be referred finally to all the larger histories of the Church (e.g. Schaff, vol. III. 871 sqq. and 1034 sq.), which contain more or less extended accounts of Eusebius.
§2. Eusebius' Birth and Training. His Life in Caesarea until the Outbreak of the Persecution.
Our author was commonly known among the ancients as Eusebius of Caesarea or Eusebius Pamphili. The former designation arose from the fact that he was bishop of the church in Caesarea for many years; the latter from the fact that he was the intimate friend and devoted admirer of Pamphilus, a presbyter of Caesarea and a martyr. Some such specific appellation was necessary to distinguish him from others of the same name. Smith and Wace's Dictionary of Christian Biography mentions 137 men of the first eight centuries who bore the name Eusebius, and of these at least forty were contemporaries of our author. The best known among them were Eusebius of Nicomedia (called by Arius the brother of Eusebius of Caesarea), Eusebius of Emesa, and Eusebius of Samosata.
The exact date of our author's birth is unknown to us, but his Ecclesiastical History contains notices which enable us to fix it approximately. In H. E. V. 28 he reports that Paul of Samosata attempted to revive again in his day kaq' h0maj)the heresy of Artemon. But Paul of Samosata was deposed from the episcopate of Antioch in 272, and was condemned as a heretic at least as early as 268, so that Eusebius must have been born before the latter date, if his words are to be strictly interpreted. Again, according to H. E. III. 28, Dionysius was bishop of Alexandria in Eusebius' time (kaq' hmaj). But Dionysius was bishop from 247 or 248 to 265, and therefore if Eusebius' words are to be interpreted strictly here as in the former case, he must have been born before 265. On the other hand, inasmuch as his death occurred about 340, we cannot throw his birth much earlier than 260. It is true that the references to Paul and to Dionysius do not prove conclusively that Eusebius was alive in their day, for his words may have been used in a loose sense. But in H. E. VII. 26, just before proceeding to give an account of Paul of Samosata, he draws the line between his own and the preceding generation, declaring that he is now about to relate the events of his own age (thn kaq' hmaj). This still further confirms the other indications, and we shall consequently be safe in concluding that Eusebius was born not far from the year 260 a.d. His birthplace cannot be determined with certainty. The fact that he is called "Eusebius the Palestinian" by Marcellus (Euseb. lib. adv. Marcell. I. 4), Bash (Lib. ad. Amphil. de Spir. Sancto, c. 29), and others, does not prove that he was a Palestinian by birth; for the epithet may be used to indicate merely his place of residence (he was bishop of Caesarea in Palestine for many years). Moreover, the argument urged by Stein and Lightfoot in support of his Palestinian birth, namely, that it was customary to elect to the episcopate of any church a native of the city in preference to a native of some other place, does not count for much. All that seems to have been demanded was that a man should have been already a member of the particular church over which he was to be made bishop, and even this rule was not universal (see Bingham's Antiquities, II 10, 2 and 3). The fact that he was bishop of Caesarea therefore would at most warrant us in concluding only that he had made his residence in Caesarea for some time previous to his election to that office. Nevertheless, although neither of these arguments proves his Palestinian birth, it is very probable that he was a native of that country, or at least of that section. He was acquainted with Syriac as well as with Greek, which circumstance taken in connection with his ignorance of Latin (see below, p. 47) points to the region of Syria as his birthplace. Moreover, we learn from his own testimony that he was in Caesarea while still a youth (Vita Canstantini, I. 19), and in his epistle to the church of Caesarea (see below, p. 16) he says that he was taught the creed of the Caesarean church in his childhood (or at least at the beginning of his Christian life: en th kathxhsei), and that he accepted it at baptism. It would seem therefore that he must have lived while still a child either in Caesarea itself, or in the neighborhood, where its creed was in use. Although no one therefore (except Theodorus Metochita of the fourteenth century, in his Cap. Miscell. 17; Migne, Patr. Lat. CXLIV. 949) directly states that Eusebius was a Palestinian by birth, we have every reason to suppose him such. His parents are entirely unknown. Nicephorus Callistus (H. E. VI. 37) reports that his mother was a sister of Pamphilus. He does not mention his authority for this statement, and it is extremely unlikely, in the face of the silence of Eusebius himself and of all other writers, that it is true. It is far more probable that the relationship was later assumed to account for the close intimacy of the two men. Arius, in an epistle addressed to Eusebius of Nicomedia (contained in Theodoret's Hist. Eccles. I. 5), calls Eusebius of Caesarea the latter's brother. It is objected to this that Eusebius of Nicomedia refers to Eusebius of Caesarea on one occasion as his "master" (tou destpotou mou, in his epistle to Paulinus contained in Theodoret's Hist. Eccles. I. 6), and that on the other hand Eusebius of Caesarea calls Eusebius of Nicomedia, "the great Eusebius" (Euseb. lib. adv. Marcell. I. 4), both of which expressions seem inconsistent with brotherhood. Lightfoot justly remarks that neither the argument itself nor the objections carry much weight. The term adelfoj may well have been used to indicate merely theological or ecclesiastical association, while on the other hand, brotherhood would not exclude the form of expression employed by each in speaking of the other. Of more weight is the fact that neither Eusebius himself nor any historian of that period refers to such a relationship, and also the unlikelihood that two members of one family should bear the same name.
From Eusebius' works we gather that he must have received an extensive education both in secular philosophy and in Biblical and theological science. Although his immense erudition was doubtless the result of wide and varied reading continued throughout life, it is highly probable that he acquired the taste for such reading in his youth. Who his early instructors were we do not know, and therefore cannot estimate the degree of their influence over him. As he was a man, however, who cherished deep admiration for those whom he regarded as great and good men, and as he possessed an unusually acquisitive mind and a pliant disposition, we should naturally suppose that his instructors must have possessed considerable influence over him, and that his methods of study in later years must have been largely molded by their example and precept. We see this exemplified in a remarkable degree in the influence exerted over him by Pamphilus, his dearest friend, and at the same time the preceptor, as it were, of his early manhood. Certainly this great bibliopholist must have done much to strengthen Eusebius' natural taste for omnivorous reading, and the opportunities afforded by his grand library for the cultivation of such a taste were not lost. To the influence of Pamphilus, the devoted admirer and enthusiastic champion of Origen, was doubtless due also in large measure the deep respect which Eusebius showed for that illustrious Father, a respect to which we owe one of the most delightful sections of his Church History, his long account of Origen in the sixth book, and to which in part antiquity was indebted for the elaborate Defense of Origen, composed by Pamphilus and himself, but unfortunately no longer extant. Eusebius certainly owed much to the companionship of that eager student and noble Christian hero, and he always recognized with deep gratitude his indebtedness to him. (Compare the account of Pamphilus given below in Bk. VII. chap. 32, §25 sq.) The names of his earlier instructors, who were eminently successful, at least in fostering his thirst for knowledge, are quite unknown to us. His abiding admiration for Plato, whom he always placed at the head of all philosophers (see Stein, p. 6), would lead us to think that he received at least a part of his secular training from some ardent Platonist, while his intense interest in apologetics, which lasted throughout his life, and which affected all his works, seems to indicate the peculiar bent of his early Christian education. Trithemius concluded from a passage in his History (VII. 32) that Eusebius was a pupil of the learned Dorotheus of Antioch, and Valesius, Lightfoot and others are apparently inclined to accept his conclusion. But, as Stroth remarks (Eusebii Kirchengeschichte, p. xix), all that Eusebius says is that he had heard Dorotheus expound the Scriptures in the church (toutou metriwj taj grafaj epi thj ekklhsiaj dihgoumenou kathkousamen), that is, that he had heard him preach. To conclude from this statement that he was a pupil of Dorotheus is certainly quite unwarranted.
Stroth's suggestion that he probably enjoyed the instruction of Meletius for seven years during the persecution rests upon no good ground, for the passage which he relies upon to sustain his opinion (E. E. VII. 32. 28) says only that Eusebius "observed Meletius well" (katenohsamen) during those seven years.
In C§sarea Eusebius was at one time a presbyter of the church, as we may gather from his words in the epistle to that church already referred to, where, in speaking of the creed, he says, "As we believed and taught in the presbytery and in the episcopate itself." But the attempt to fix the date of his ordination to that office is quite vain. It is commonly assumed that he became presbyter while Agapius was bishop of C§sarea, and this is not unlikely, though we possess no proof of it (upon Agapius see below, H. E. VII. 32, note 39). In his Vita Constantini, I. 19, Eusebius reports that he saw Constantine for the first time in Caesarea in the train of the Emperor Diocletian. In his Chron. Eusebius reports that Diocletian made an expedition against Egypt, which had risen in rebellion in the year 296 a.d., and Theophanes, in his Chron., says that Constantine accompanied him. It is probable therefore that it was at this time that Eusebius first saw Constantine in Caesarea, when he was either on his way to Egypt, or on his way back (see Tillemont's Hist. des Emp., IV. p. 34).
During these years of quiet, before the great persecution of Diocletian, which broke out in 303 a.d., Eusebius' life must have been a very pleasant one. Pamphilus' house seems to have been a sort of rendezvous for Christian scholars, perhaps a regular divinity school; for we learn from Eusebius' Martyrs in Palestine (Cureton's edition, pp. 13 and 14) that he and a number of others, including the martyr Apphianus, were living together in one house at the time of the persecution, and that the latter was instructed in the Scriptures by Pamphilus and acquired from him virtuous habits and conduct. The great library of Pamphilus would make his house a natural center for theological study, and the immense amount of work which was done by him, or under his direction, in the reproduction of copies of the Holy Scriptures, of Origen's works (see Jerome's de vir. ill. 75 and 8r, and contra Ruf. I. 9), and in other literary employments of the same kind, makes it probable that he had gathered about him a large circle of friends and students who assisted him in his labors and profited by his counsel and instruction. Amidst these associations Eusebius passed his early manhood, and the intellectual stimulus thus given him doubtless had much to do with his future career. He was above all a literary man, and remained such to the end of his life. The pleasant companionships of these days, and the mutual interest and sympathy which must have bound those fellow-students and fellow-disciples of Pamphilus very close together, perhaps had much to do with that broad-minded spirit of sympathy and tolerance which so characterized Eusebius in later years. He was always as far as possible from the character of a recluse. He seems ever to have been bound by very strong ties to the world itself and to his fellow-men. Had his earlier days been filled with trials and hardships, with the bitterness of disappointed hopes and unfulfilled ambitions, with harsh experiences of others' selfishness and treachery, who shall say that the whole course of his life might not have been changed, and his writings have exhibited an entirely different spirit from that which is now one of their greatest charms? Certainly he had during these early years in Caesarea large opportunities for cultivating that natural trait of admiration for other men, which was often so strong as to blind him even to their faults, and that natural kindness which led him to see good wherever it existed in his Christian brethren. At the same time these associations must have had considerable influence in fostering the apologetic temper. The pursuits of the little circle were apparently exclusively Christian, and in that day when Christianity stood always on its defense, it would naturally become to them a sacred duty to contribute to that defense and to employ all their energies in the task. It has been remarked that the apologetic temper is very noticeable in Eusebius' writings. It is more than that; we may say indeed in general terms that everything he wrote was an apology for the faith. His History was written avowedly with an apologetic purpose, his Chronicle was composed with the same end in view. Even when pronouncing a eulogy upon a deceased emperor he seized ever), possible opportunity to draw from that emperor's career, and from the circumstances of his reign, arguments for the truth and grandeur of the Christian religion. His natural temper of mind and his early training may have had much to do with this habit of thought, but certainly those years with Pamphilus and his friends in Caesarea must have emphasized and developed it.
Another characteristic which Pamphilus and the circle that surrounded him doubtless did something to develop in our author was a certain superiority to the trammels of mere traditionalism, or we might perhaps better say that they in some measure checked the opposite tendency of slavishness to the traditional which seems to have been natural to him. Pamphilus' deep reverence for Origen proclaims him at once superior to that kind of narrow conservatism which led many men as learned and doubtless as conscientious as himself to pass severe and unconditional condemnation upon Origen and all his teaching. The effect of championing his cause must have fostered in this little circle, which was a very hotbed of Origenism, a contempt for the narrow and unfair judgments of mere traditionalists, and must have led them to seek in some degree the truth solely for its own sake, and to become in a measure careless of its relation to the views of any school or church. It could hardly be otherwise than that the free and fearless spirit of Origen should leave its impress through his writings upon a circle of followers so devoted to him as were these Caesarean students. Upon the impressionable Eusebius these influences necessarily operated. And yet he brought to them no keen speculative powers, no deep originality such as Origen himself possessed. His was essentially an acquisitive, not a productive mind, and hence it was out of the question that he should become a second Origen. It was quite certain that Origen's influence over him would weaken somewhat his confidence in the traditional as such,-a confidence which is naturally great in such minds as his,- but at the same time would do little to lessen the real power of the past over him. He continued to get his truth from others, from the great men of the past with whom he had lived and upon whose thought he had feasted. All that he believed he had drawn from them; he produced nothing new for himself, and his creed was a traditional creed. And yet he had at the same time imbibed from his surroundings the habit of questioning and even criticising the past, and, in spite of his abiding respect for it, had learned to feel that the voice of the many is not always the voice of truth, and that the widely and anciently accepted is sometimes to be corrected by the clearer sight of a single man. Though he therefore depended for all he believed so completely upon the past, his associations had helped to free him from a slavish adherence to all that a particular school had accepted, and had made him in some small measure an eclectic in his relations to doctrines and opinions of earlier generations. A notable instance of this eclecticism on his part is seen in his treatment of the Apocalypse of John. He felt the force of an almost universal tradition in favor of its apostolic origin, and yet in the face of that he could listen to the doubts of Dionysius, and could be led by his example, in a case where his own dissatisfaction with the book acted as an incentive, almost, if not quite, to reject it and to ascribe it to another John. Instances of a similar mode of conduct on his part are quite numerous. While he is always a staunch apologist for Christianity, he seldom, if ever, degenerates into a mere partisan of any particular school or sect.
One thing in fact which is particularly noticeable in Eusebius' works is the comparatively small amount of time and space which he devotes to heretics. With his wide and varied learning and his extensive acquaintance with the past, he had opportunities for successful heresy hunting such as few possessed, and yet he never was a heresy hunter in any sense. This is surprising when we remember what a fascination this employment had for so many scholars of his own age, and when we realize that his historical tastes and talents would seem to mark him out as just the man for that kind of work. May it not be that the lofty spirit of Origen, animating that Caesarean school, had something to do with the happy fact that he became an apologist instead of a mere polemic, that he chose the honorable task of writing a history of the Church. instead of anticipating Epiphanius' Panarium?
It was not that he was not alive to the evils of heresy. He shared with nearly all good church-men of his age an intense aversion for those who, as he believed, had corrupted the true Gospel of Christ. Like them he ascribed heresy to the agency of the evil one, and was no more able than they to see any good in a man whom he looked upon as a real heretic, or to do justice in any degree to the error which he taught. His condemnations of heretics in his Church History are most severe. Language is hardly strong enough to express his aversion for them. And yet, although he is thus most thoroughly the child of his age, the difference between him and most of his contemporaries is very apparent. He mentions these heretics only to dismiss them with disapproval or condemnation. He seldom, if ever, discusses and refutes their views. His interests lie evidently in other directions; he is concerned with higher things. A still more strongly marked difference between himself and many churchmen of his age lies in his large liberality towards those of his own day who differed with him in minor points of faith, and his comparative indifference to the divergence of views between the various parties in the Church. In all this we believe is to be seen not simply the inherent nature of the man, but that nature as trained in the school of Pamphilus, the disciple of Origen.
§3. The Persecution of Diocletian.
In this delightful circle and engaged in such congenial tasks, the time must have passed very happily for Eusebius, until, in 303, the terrible persecution of Diocletian broke upon the Church almost like a thunderbolt out of a clear sky. The causes of the sudden change of policy on Diocletian's part, and the terrible havoc wrought in the Church, it is not my intention to discuss here (see below, Bk. VIII. chap. 2, note 3 sq.). We are concerned with the persecution only in so far as it bears upon the present subject. In the first year of the persecution Procopius, the first martyr of Palestine, was put to death at Caesarea (Eusebius' Martyrs of Palestine, Cureton's ed. p. 4), and from that time on that city, which was an important Christian center, was the scene of a tempest which raged with greater or less violence, and with occasional cessations, for seven years. Eusebius himself was an eyewitness of many martyrdoms there, of which he gives us an account in his Martyrs of Palestine. The little circle which surrounded Pamphilus did not escape. In the third year of the persecution (Mart. of Pal. p. 12 sq.) a youth named Apphianus, or Epiphanius (the former is given in the Greek text, the latter in the Syriac), who "resided in the same house with us, confirming himself in godly doctrine, and being instructed by that perfect martyr, Pamphilus" (as Eusebius says), committed an act of fanatical daring which caused his arrest and martyrdom. It seems that without the knowledge of his friends, concealing his design even from those who dwelt in the same house with him, he laid hold of the hand of the governor, Arbanus, who was upon the point of sacrificing, and endeavored to dissuade him from offering to "lifeless idols and wicked devils." His arrest was of course the natural consequence, and he had the glory of witnessing a good profession and suffering a triumphant death. Although Eusebius speaks with such admiration of his conduct, it is quite significant of the attitude of himself, and of most of the circle of which he was one, that Apphianus felt obliged to conceal his purpose from them. He doubtless feared that they would not permit him to perform the rash act which he meditated, and we may conclude from that, that the circle in the main was governed by the precepts of good common sense, and avoided that fanaticism which so frequently led men, as in the present case it led Apphianus, to expose themselves needlessly, and even to court martyrdom. It is plain enough from what we know of Eusebius' general character that he himself was too sensible to act in that way. It is true that he speaks with admiration of Apphianus' conduct, and in H. E. VIII. 5, of the equally rash procedure of a Nicomedian Christian; but that does not imply that he considered their course the wisest one, and that he would not rather recommend the employment of all proper and honorable precautions for the preservation of life. Indeed, in H. E. IV. 15, he speaks with evident approval of the prudent course pursued by Polycarp in preserving his life so long as he could without violating his Christian profession, and with manifest disapproval of the rash act of the Phrygian Quintus, who presumptuously courted martyrdom, only to fail when the test itself came. Pamphilus also possessed too much sound Christian sense to advocate any such fanaticism, or to practice it himself, as is plain enough from the fact that he was not arrested until the fifth year of the persecution. This unhealthy temper of mind in the midst of persecution was indeed almost universally condemned by the wisest men of the Church, and yet the boldness and the very rashness of those who thus voluntarily and needlessly threw their lives away excited widespread admiration and too often a degree of commendation which served only to promote a wider growth of the same unhealthy sentiment.
In the fifth year of the persecution Pamphilus was arrested and thrown into prison, where he remained for two years, when he finally, in the seventh year of the persecution, suffered martyrdom with eleven others, some of whom were his disciples and members of his own household. (Pal. Mart. Cureton's ed. p. 36 sq.; H. E. App. chap. 11.) During the two years of Pamphilus' imprisonment Eusebius spent a great deal of time with him, and the two together composed five books of an Apology for Origen, to which Eusebius afterward added a sixth (see below, p. 36). Danz (p. 37) assumes that Eusebius was imprisoned with Pamphilus, which is not an unnatural supposition when we consider how much they must have been together to compose the Apology as they did. There is, however, no other evidence that he was thus imprisoned, and in the face of Eusebius' own silence it is safer perhaps to assume (with most historians) that he simply visited Pamphilus in his prison. How it happened that Pamphilus and so many of his followers were imprisoned and martyred, while Eusebius escaped, we cannot tell. In his Martyrs of Palestine, chap. 11, he states that Pamphilus was the only one of the company of twelve martyrs that was a presbyter of the Caesarean church; and from the fact that he nowhere mentions the martyrdom of others of the presbyters, we may conclude that they all escaped. It is not surprising, therefore, that Eusebius should have done the same. Nevertheless, it is somewhat difficult to understand how he could come and go so frequently without being arrested and condemned to a like fate with the others. It is possible that he possessed friends among the authorities whose influence procured his safety. This supposition finds some support in the fact that he had made the acquaintance of Constantine (the Greek in Vita Const. I. 19 has egnwmen, which implies, as Danz remarks, that he not only saw, but that he became acquainted with Constantine) some years before in Caesarea. He could hardly have made his acquaintance unless he had some friend among the high officials of the city. Influential family connections may account in part also for the position of prominence which he later acquired at the imperial court of Constantine. If he had friends in authority in Caesarea during the persecution his exemption from arrest is satisfactorily accounted for. It has been supposed by some that Eusebius denied the faith during the terrible persecution, or that he committed some other questionable and compromising act of concession, and thus escaped martyrdom. In support of this is urged the fact that in 335, at the council of Tyre, Potamo, bishop of Heraclea, in Egypt, addressed Eusebius in the following words: "Dost thou sit as judge, O Eusebius; and is Athanasius, innocent as he is, judged by thee? Who can bear such things? Pray tell me, wast thou not with me in prison during the persecution? And I lost an eye in behalf of the truth, but thou appearest to have received no bodily injury, neither hast thou suffered martyrdom, but thou hast remained alive with no mutilation. How wast thou released from prison unless thou didst promise those that put upon us the pressure of persecution to do that which is unlawful, or didst actually do it?" Eusebius, it seems, did not deny the charge, but simply rose in anger and dismissed the council with the words, "If ye come hither and make such accusations against us, then do your accusers speak the truth. For if ye tyrannize here, much more do ye in your own country" (Epiphan. Har. LXVIII. 8). It must be noticed, however, that Potamo does not directly charge Eusebius with dishonorable conduct, he simply conjectures that he must have acted dishonorably in order to escape punishment; as if every one who was imprisoned with Potamo must have suffered as he did! As Stroth suggests, it is quite possible that his peculiarly excitable and violent temperament was one of the causes of his own loss. He evidently in any case had no knowledge of unworthy conduct on Eusebius' part, nor had any one else so far as we can judge. For in that age of bitter controversy, when men's characters were drawn by their opponents in the blackest lines, Eusebius must have suffered at the hands of the Athanasian party if it had been known that he had acted a cowardly part in the persecution. Athanasius himself refers to this incident (Contra Arian. VIII. 1), but he only says that Eusebius was "accused of sacrificing," he does not venture to affirm that he did sacrifice; and thus it is evident that he knew nothing of such an act. Moreover, he never calls Eusebius "the sacrificer," as he does Asterius, and as he would have been sure to do had he possessed evidence which warranted him in making the accusation (cf. Lightfoot, p. 311). Still further, Eusebius' subsequent election to the episcopate of Caesarea, where his character and his conduct during the persecution must have been well known, and his appointment in later life to the important see of Antioch, forbid the supposition that he had ever acted a cowardly part in time of persecution. And finally, it is psychologically impossible that Eusebius could have written works so full of comfort for, and sympathy with, the suffering confessors, and could have spoken so openly and in such strong terms of condemnation of the numerous defections that occurred during the persecution, if he. was conscious of his own guilt. It is quite possible, as remarked above, that influential friends. protected him without any act of compromise on his part; or, supposing him to have been imprisoned with Potamo, it may be, as Lightfoot suggests, that the close of the persecution brought him his release as it did so many others. For it would seem natural to refer that imprisonment to the latter part of the persecution, when in all probability he visited Egypt, which was the home of Potamo. We must in any case vindicate Eusebius from the unfounded charge of cowardice and apostasy; and we ask, with Cave, "If every accusation against any man at any time were to be believed, who would be guiltless?"
From his History and his Martyrs in Palestine we learn that Eusebius was for much of the time in the very thick of the fight, and was an eyewitness of numerous martyrdoms not only in Palestine, but also in Tyre and in Egypt.
The date of his visits to the latter places (H. E. VIII. 7, 9) cannot be determined with exactness. They are described in connection with what seem to be the earlier events of the persecution, and yet it is by no means certain that chronological order has been observed in the narratives. The mutilation of prisoners-such as Potamo suffered-seems to have become common only in the year 308 and thereafter (see Mason's Persecution of Diocletian, p. 281), and hence if Eusebius was imprisoned with Potamo during his visit to Egypt, as seems most probable, there would be some reason for assigning that visit to the later years of the persecution. In confirmation of this might be urged the improbability that he would leave Caesarea while Pamphilus was still alive, either before or after the latter's imprisonment, and still further his own statement in H. E. VII. 32, that he had observed Meletius escaping the fury of the persecution for seven years in Palestine. It is therefore likely that Eusebius did not make his journey to Egypt, which must have occupied some time, until toward the very end of the persecution, when it raged there with exceeding fierceness during the brief outburst of the infamous Maximin.
§4. Eusebius' Accession to the Bishopric of Caesarea.
Not long after the close of the persecution, Eusebius became bishop of Caesarea in Palestine, his own home, and held the position until his death. The exact date of his accession cannot be ascertained, indeed we cannot say that it did not take place even before the close of the persecution, but that is hardly probable; in fact, we know of no historian who places it earlier than 313. His immediate predecessor in the episcopate was Agapius, whom he mentions in terms of praise in H. E. VII. 32. Some writers have interpolated a bishop Agricolaus between Agopins and Eusebius (see e.g. Tillemont, Hist. Ecceles. VII. 42), on the ground that his name appears in one of the lists of those present at the Council of Ancyra (c. 314), as bishop of Caesarea in Palestine (see Labbei el Cossartii Conc. I. 1475). But, as Hefele shows (Conciliengesch. I. 220), this list is of late date and not to be relied upon. On the other hand, as Lightfoot points out, in the Libellus Synadicus(Conc. I. 1480), where Agricolaus is said to have been present at the Council of Ancyra, he is called bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia; and this statement is confirmed by a Syriac list given in Cowper's Miscellanies, p. 41. Though perhaps no great reliance is to be placed upon the correctness of any of these lists, the last two may at any rate be set over against the first, and we may conclude that there exists no ground for assuming that Agapius, who is the last Caesarean bishop mentioned by Eusebius, was not the latter's immediate predecessor. At what time Agapius died we do not know. That he suffered martyrdom is hardly likely, in view of Eusebius' silence on the subject. It would seem more likely that he outlived the persecution. However that may be, Eusebius was already bishop at the time of the dedication of a new and elegant Church at Tyre under the direction of his friend Paulinus, bishop of that city. Upon this occasion he delivered an address of considerable length, which he has inserted in his Ecclesiastical History, Bk. X. chap. 4. He does not name himself as its author, but the way in which he introduces it, and the very fact that he records the whole speech without giving the name of the man who delivered it, make its origin perfectly plain. Moreover, the last sentence of the preceding chapter makes it evident that the speaker was a bishop: "Every one of the rulers (arxontwn) present delivered panegyric discourses." The date of the dedication of this church is a matter of dispute, though it is commonly put in the year 315. It is plain from Eusebius' speech that it was uttered before Licinius had begun to persecute the Christians, and also, as Görres remarks, at a lime when Constantine and Licinius were at least outwardly at peace with each other. In the year 314 the two emperors went to war, and consequently, if the persecution of Licinius began soon after that event, as it is commonly supposed to have done, the address must have been delivered before hostilities opened; that is, at least as early as 314, and this is the year in which Görres places it (Kritische Untersuchungen ueber die licinianische Christenverfolgung, p. 8). But if Görres' date (319 a.d.) for the commencement of the persecution be accepted (and though he can hardly be said to have proved it, he has urged some strong grounds in support of it), then the address may have been delivered at almost any time between 315 and 319, for, as Görres himself shows, Licinius and Constantine were outwardly at peace during the greater part of that time (ib. p. 14, sq.). There is nothing in the speech itself which prevents this later date, nor is it intrinsically improbable that the great basilica reached completion only in 315 or later. In fact, it must be admitted that Eusebius may have become bishop at any time between about 311 and 318.
The persecution of Licinius, which continued until his defeat by Constantine, in 323, was but local, and seems never to have been very severe. Indeed, it did not bear the character of a bloody persecution, though a few bishops appear to have met their death on one ground or another. Palestine and Egypt seem not to have suffered to any great extent (see Görres, ib. p. 32 sq.).
§5. The Outbreak of the Arian Controversy. The Attitude of Eusebius.
About the year 318, while Alexander was bishop of Alexandria, the Arian controversy broke out in that city, and the whole Eastern Church was soon involved in the strife. We cannot enter here into a discussion of Arius' views; but in order to understand the rapidity with which the Arian party grew, and the strong hold which it possessed from the very start in Syria and Asia Minor, we must remember that Arius was not himself the author of that system which we know as Arianism, but that he learned the essentials of it from his instructor Lucian. The latter was one of the most learned men of his age in the Oriental Church, and rounded an exegetico-theological school in Antioch, which for a number of years stood outside of the communion of the orthodox Church in that city, but shortly before the martyrdom of Lucian himself (which took place in 311 or 312) made its peace with the Church, and was recognized by it. He was held in the highest reverence by his disciples, and exerted a great influence over them even after his death. Among them were such men as Arius, Eusebius of Nicomedia, Asterius, and others who were afterward known as staunch Arianists. According to Harnack the chief points in the system of Lucian and his disciples were the creation of the Son, the denial of his co-eternity with the Father, and his immutability acquired by persistent progress and steadfastness. His doctrine, which differed from that of Paul of Samosata chiefly in the fact that it was not a man but a created heavenly being who became "Lord," was evidently the result of a combination of the teaching of Paul and of Origen. It will be seen that we have here, at least in germ, all the essential elements of Arianism proper: the creation of the Son out of nothing, and consequently the conclusion that there was a time when he was not; the distinction of his essence from that of the Father, but at the same time the emphasis upon the fact that he "was not created as the other creatures," and is therefore to be sharply distinguished from them. There was little for Arius to do but to combine the elements given by Lucian in a more complete and well-ordered system, and then to bring that system forward clearly and publicly, and endeavor to make it the faith of the Church at large. His christology was essentially opposed to the Alexandrian, and it was natural that he should soon come into conflict with that church, of which he was a presbyter (upon Lucian's teaching and its relation to Arianism, see Harnack's Dogmengeschichte, II. p. 183 sq.).
Socrates (H. E. I. 5 sq.), Sozomen (H. E. I. 15) and Theodoret (H. E. I. 2 sq.), all of whom give accounts of the rise of Arianism, differ as to the immediate occasion of the controversy, but agree that Arius was excommunicated by a council convened at Alexandria, and that both he and the bishop Alexander sent letters to other churches, the latter defending his own course, the former complaining of his harsh treatment, and endeavoring to secure adherents to his doctrine. Eusebius of Nicomedia at once became his firm supporter, and was one of the leading figures on the Arian side throughout the entire controversy. His influential position as bishop of Nicomedia, the imperial residence, and later of Constantinople, was of great advantage to the Arian cause, especially toward the close of Constantine's reign. From a letter addressed by this Eusebius to Paulinus of Tyre (Theodoret, H. E. I. 6) we learn that Eusebius of Caesarea was quite zealous in behalf of the Arian cause. The exact date of the letter we do not know, but it must have been written at an early stage of the controversy. Arius himself, in an epistle addressed to Eusebius of Nicomedia (Theodoret, H. E. I. 5), claims Eusebius of Caesarea among others as accepting at least one of his fundamental doctrines ("And since Eusebius, your brother in Caesarea, and Theodotus, and Paulinus, and Athanasius, and Gregory, and 'tius, and all the bishops of the East say that God existed before the Son, they have been condemned," etc.). More than this, Sozomen (H. E. I. 15) informs us that Eusebius of Caesarea and two other bishops, having been appealed to by Arius for "permission for himself and his adherents, as he had already attained the rank of presbyter, to form the people who were with them into a church," concurred with others "who were assembled in Palestine," in granting the petition of Arius, and permitting him to assemble the people as before; but they "enjoined submission to Alexander, and commanded Arius to strive incessantly to be restored to peace and communion with him." The addition of the last sentence is noticeable, as showing that they did not care to support a presbyter in open and persistent rebellion against his bishop. A fragment of a letter written by our Eusebius to Alexander is still extant, and is preserved in the proceedings of the Second Council of Nicaea, Act. VI. Tom. V. (Labbei et Cossartii Conc. VII. col. 497). In this epistle Eusebius strongly remonstrates with Alexander for having misrepresented the views of Arius. Still further, in his epistle to Alexander of Constantinople, Alexander of Alexandria (Theodoret, H. E. I. 4) complains of three Syrian bishops "who side with them [i.e. the Arians] and excite them to plunge deeper and deeper into iniquity." The reference here is commonly supposed to be to Eusebius of Caesarean, and his two friends Paulinus of Tyre and Theodotus of Laodicea, who are known to have shown favor to Arius. It is probable, though not certain, that our Eusebius is one of the persons meant. Finally, many of the Fathers (above all Jerome and Photius), and in addition to them the Second Council of Nicaea, directly accuse Eusebius of holding the Arian heresy, as may be seen by examining the testimonies quoted below on p. 67 sq. In agreement with these early Fathers, many modern historians have attacked Eusebius with great severity, and have endeavored to show that the opinion that he was an Arian is supported by his own writings. Among those who have judged him most harshly are Baronins (ad ann. 340, c. 38 sq.), Petavius (Dogm. Theol. de Trin. I. c. 11 sq.), Scaliger (,In Elencho Trihoeresii, c. 27, and De emendatione temporum, Bk. VI. c. 1), Mosheim (Ecclesiastical History, Murdock's translation, I. p. 287 sq.), Montfaucon (Proelim. in Comment. ad Psalm. c. VI.), and Tillemont (H. E. VII. p. 67 sq. 2d ed.).On the other hand, as may be seen from the testimonies in Eusebius' favor, quoted below on, p. 57 sq., many of the Fathers, who were themselves orthodox, looked upon Eusebius as likewise sound on the subject of the Trinity. He has been defended in modern times against the charge of Arianism by a great many prominent scholars; among others by Valesius in his Life of Eusebius, by Bull (Def. Fid. Nic. II. 9. 20, III. 9. 3, 11), Cave (Lives of the Fathers, II. p. 135 sq.), Fabricius (Bibl. Groec. VI. p. 32 sq.), Dupin (Bibl. Eccles. IL p. 7 sq.), and most fully and carefully by Lee in his prolegomena to his edition of Eusebius' Theaphania, p. xxiv. sq. Lightfoot also defends him against the charge of heresy, as do a great many other writers whom it is not necessary to mention here. Confronted with such diversity of opinion, both ancient and modern, what are we to conclude? It is useless to endeavor, as Lee does, to clear Eusebius of all sympathy with and leaning toward Arianism. It is impossible to explain such widespread and continued condemnation of him by acknowledging only that there are many expressions in his works which are in themselves perfectly orthodox but capable of being wrested in such a way as to produce a suspicion of possible Arianistic tendencies, for there are such expressions in the works of multitudes of ancient writers whose orthodoxy has never been questioned. Nor can the widespread belief that he was an Arian be explained by admitting that he was for a time the personal friend of Arius, but denying that he accepted, or in any way sympathized with his views (cf. Newman's Arians, p. 262). There are in fact certain fragments of epistles extant, which are, to say the least, decidedly Arianistic in their modes of expression, and these must be reckoned with in forming an opinion of Eusebius' views; for there is no reason to deny, as Lee does, that they are from Eusebius' own hand. On the other hand, to maintain, with some of the Fathers and many of the moderns, that Eusebius was and continued through life a genuine Arian, will not do in the face of the facts that contemporary and later Fathers were divided as to his orthodoxy, that he was honored highly by the Church of subsequent centuries, except at certain periods, and was even canonized (see Lightfoot's article, p. 348), that he solemnly signed the Nicene Creed, which contained an express condemnation of the distinctive doctrines of Arius, and finally that at least in his later works he is thoroughly orthodox in his expressions, and is explicit in his rejection of the two main theses of the Arians,-that there was a time when the Son of God was not, and that he was produced out of nothing. It is impossible to enter here into a detailed discussion of such passages in Eusebius' works as bear upon the subject under dispute. Lee has considered many of them at great length, and the reader may be referred to him for further information.
A careful examination of them will, I believe, serve to convince the candid student that there is a distinction to be drawn between those works written before the rise of Arius, those written between that time and the Council of Nicaea, and those written after the latter. It has been very common to draw a distinction between those works written before and those written after the Council, but no one, so far as I know, has distinguished those productions of Eusebius' pen which appeared between 318 and 325, and which were caused by the controversy itself, from all his other writings. And yet such a distinction seems to furnish the key to the problem. Eusebius' opponents have drawn their strongest arguments from the epistles which Eusebius wrote to Alexander and to Euphration; his defenders have drawn their arguments chiefly from the works which he produced subsequent to the year 325; while the exact bearing of the expressions used in his works produced before the controversy broke out has always been a matter of sharp dispute. Lee has abundantly shown his Contra Marcel., his De Eccl. Theol., his Thephania (which was written after the Council of Nicaea, and not, as Lee supposes, before it), and other later works, to be thoroughly orthodox and to contain nothing which a trinitarian might not have written. In his Hist. Eccl., Proeparatio Evang., Demanstratio Evang., and other earlier works, although we find some expressions employed which it would not have been possible for an orthodox trinitarian to use after the Council of Nicaea, at least without careful limitation to guard against misapprehension, there is nothing even in these works which requires us to believe that he accepted the doctrines of Arius' predecessor, Lucian of Antioch; that is, there is nothing distinctly and positively Arianistic about them, although there are occasional expressions which might lead the reader to expect that the writer would become an Arian if he ever learned of Arius' doctrines. But if there is seen to be a lack of emphasis upon the divinity of the Son, or rather a lack of clearness in the conception of the nature of that divinity, it must be remembered that there was at this time no especial reason for emphasizing and defining it, but there was on the contrary very good reason for laying particular stress upon the subordination of the Son over against Sabellianism, which was so widely prevalent during the third century, and which was exerting an influence even over many orthodox theologians who did not consciously accept Sabellianistic tenets. That Eusebius was a decided subordinationist must be plain to every one that reads his works with care, especially his earlier ones. It would be surprising if he had not been, for he was born at a time when Sabellianism (monarchianism) was felt to be the greatest danger to which orthodox christology was exposed, and he was trained under the influence of the followers of Origen, who had made it one of his chief aims to emphasize the subordination of the Son over against that very monarchianism.1 The same subordinationism may be clearly seen in the writings of Dionysius of Alexandria and of Gregory Thaumaturgus, two of Origen's greatest disciples. It must not be forgotten that at the beginning of the fourth century the problem of how to preserve the Godhood of Christ and at the same time his subordination to the Father (in opposition to the monarchianists) had not been solved. Eusebius in his earlier writings shows that he holds both (he cannot be convicted of denying Christ's divinity), but that he is as far from a solution of the problem, and is just as uncertain in regard to the exact relation of Father and Son, as Tertullian, Hippolytus, Origen, Dionysius, and Gregory Thaumaturgus were; is just as inconsistent in his modes of expression as they, and yet no more so (see Harnack's Dogmengeschichte, I. pp. 628 sq. and 634 sq., for an exposition of the opinions of these other Fathers on the subject). Eusebius, with the same immature and undeveloped views which were held all through the third century, wrote those earlier works which have given rise to so much dispute between those who accuse him of Arianism and those who defend him against the charge. When he wrote them he was neither Arian nor Athanasian, and for that reason passages may be found in them which if written after the Council of Nicaea might prove him an Arian, and other passages which might as truly prove him an Athanasian, just as in the writings of Origen were found by both parties passages to support their views, and in Gregory Thaumaturgus passages apparently teaching Arianism, and others teaching its opposite, Sabellianism (see Harnack, ib. p. 646).
Let us suppose now that Eusebius, holding fast to the divinity of Christ, and yet convinced just as firmly of his subordination to the Father, becomes acquainted through Arius, or other like-minded disciples of Lucian of Antioch, with a doctrine which seems to preserve the Godhood, while at the same time emphasizing strongly the subordination of the Son, and which formulates the relation of Father and Son in a clear and rational manner. That he should accept such a doctrine eagerly is just what we should expect, and just what we find him doing. In his epistles to Alexander and Euphration, he shows himself an Arian, and Arius and his followers were quite right in claiming him as a supporter. There is that in the epistles which is to be found nowhere in his previous writings, and which distinctly separates him from the orthodox party. How then are we to explain the fact that a few years later he signed the Nicene creed and anathematized the doctrines of Arius? Before we can understand his conduct, it is necessary to examine carefully the two epistles in question. Such an examination will show us that what Eusebius is defending in them is not genuine Arianism. He evidently thinks that it is, evidently supposes that he and Arius are in complete agreement upon the subjects under discussion; but he is mistaken. The extant fragments of the two epistles are given below on p. 70. It will be seen that Eusebius in them defends the Arian doctrine that there was a time when the Son of God was not. It will be seen also that he finds fault with Alexander for representing the Arians as teaching that the "Son of God was made out of nothing, like all creatures," and contends that Arius teaches that the Son of God was begotten, and that he was not produced like all creatures. We know that the Arians very commonly applied the word "begotten" to Christ, using it in such cases as synonymous with "created," and thus not implying, as the Athanasians did when they used the word, that he was of one substance with the Father (compare, for instance, the explanation of the meaning of the term given by Eusebius of Nicomedia in his epistle to Paulinns; Theod. H. E. I. 6). It is evident that the use of this word had deceived our Eusebius, and that he was led by it to think that they taught that the Son was of the Father in a peculiar sense, and did in reality partake in some way of essential Godhood. And indeed it is not at all surprising that the words of Arius, in his epistle to Alexander of Alexandria (see Athan. Ep. de conc. Arim. et Seleuc., chap. II. §3; Oxford edition of Athanasius' Tracts against Arianism, P. 97), quoted by Eusebius in his epistle to the same Alexander, should give Eusebius that impression. The words are as follows: "The God of the law, and of the prophets, and of the New Testament before eternal ages begat an only-begotten Son, through whom also He made the ages and the universe. And He begat him not in appearance, but in truth, and subjected him to his own will, unchangeable and immutable, a perfect creature of God, but not as one of the creatures." Arius' use here of the word "begat," and his qualification of the word "creature" by the adjective "perfect," and by the statement that he was "not as one of the creatures" naturally tended to make Eusebius think. that Arius acknowledged a real divinity of the Son, and that appeared to him to be all that was necessary. Meanwhile Alexander in his epistle to Alexander of Constantinople (Theod. H. E. I. 4) had, as Eusebius says, misstated Arius' opinion, or at least had attributed to him the belief that Christ was "made like all other men that have ever been born," whereas Arius expressly disclaims such a belief. Alexander undoubtedly thought that that was the legitimate result to which the other views of Arius must lead; but Eusebius did not think so, and felt himself called upon to remonstrate with Alexander for what seemed to him the latter's unfairness in the matter.
When we examine the Caesarean creed2 which Eusebius presented to the Council as a fair statement of his belief, we find nothing in it inconsistent with the acceptance of the kind of Arianism which he defends in his epistle to Alexander, and which he evidently supposed to be practically the Arianism of Arius himself. In his epistle to Euphration, however, Eusebius seems at first glance to go further and to give up the real divinity of the Son. His words are, "Since the Son is himself God, but not true God." But we have no right to interpret these words, torn as they are from the context which might make their meaning perfectly plain, without due regard to Eusebius' belief expressed elsewhere in this epistle, and in his epistle to Alexander which was evidently written about the same time. In the epistle to Alexander he clearly reveals a belief in the real divinity of the Son, while in the other fragment of his epistle to Euphration he dwells upon the subordination of the Son and approves the Arian opinion, which he had defended also in the other epistle, that the "Father was before the Son." The expression, "not true God" (a very common Arian expression; see Athan. Orat. c. Arian. I. 6) seems therefore to have been used by Eusebius to express a belief, not that the Son did not possess real divinity (as the genuine Arians used it), but that he was not equal to the Father, who, to Eusebius' thought, was "true God." He indeed expressly calls the Son qeoj, which shows-when the sense in which he elsewhere uses the word is considered-that he certainly did believe him to partake of Godhood, though, in some mysterious way, in a smaller degree, or in a less complete manner than the Father. That Eusebius misunderstood Arius, and did not perceive that he actually denied all real deity to the Son, was due doubtless in part to his lack of theological insight (Eusebius was never a great theologian), in part to his habitual dread of Sabellianism (of which Arius had accused Alexander, and toward which Eusebius evidently thought that the latter was tending), which led him to look with great favor upon the pronounced subordinationism of Arius, and thus to overlook the dangerous extreme to which Arius carried that subordinationism.
We are now, the writer hopes, prepared to admit that Eusebius, after the breaking out of the Arian controversy, became an Arian, as he understood Arianism, and supported that party with considerable vigor; and that not as a result of mere personal friendship, but of theological conviction. At the same time, he was then, as always, a peace-loving man, and while lending Arius his approval and support, he united with other Palestinian bishops in enjoining upon him submission to his bishop (Sozomen, H. E. I. 15). As an Arian, then, and yet possessed with the desire of securing, if it were possible, peace and harmony between the two factions, Eusebius appeared at the Council of Nicaea, and there signed a creed containing Athanasian doctrine and anathematizing the chief tenets of Arius. How are we to explain his conduct? We shall, perhaps, do best to let him explain his own conduct. In his letter to the church of Caesarea (preserved by Socrates, H. E. I. 8, as well as by other authors), he writes as follows:-
"What was transacted concerning ecclesiastical faith at the Great Council assembled at Nicaea you have probably learned, Beloved, from other sources, rumour being wont to precede the accurate account of what is doing. But lest in such reports the circumstances of the case have been misrepresented, we have been obliged to transmit to you, first, the formula of faith presented by ourselves; and next, the second, which the Fathers put forth with some additions to our words. Our own paper, then, which was read in the presence of our most pious Emperor, and declared to be good and unexceptionable, ran thus:-
"`As we have received from the Bishops who preceded us, and in our first catechisings, and when we received the Holy Layer, and as we have learned from the divine Scriptures, and as we believed and taught in the presbytery, and in the Episcopate itself, so believing also at the time present, we report to you our faith, and it is this:-
"`We believe in One God, the Father Almighty, the Maker of all things visible and invisible. And in One Lord Jesus Christ, the Word of God, God from God, Light from Light, Life from Life, Son Only-begotten, first-born of every creature, before all the ages, begotten from the Father, by whom also all things were made; who for our salvation was made flesh, and lived among men, and suffered, and rose again the third day, and ascended to the Father, and will come again in glory to judge quick and dead, And we believe also in One Holy Ghost; believing each of These to be and to exist, the Father truly Father, and the Son truly Son, and the Holy Ghost truly Holy Ghost, as also our Lord, sending forth His disciples for the preaching, said, Go, teach all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Concerning whom we confidently affirm that so we hold, and so we think, and so we have held aforetime, and we maintain this faith unto the death, anathematizing every godless heresy. That this we have ever thought from our heart and soul, from the time we recollect ourselves, and now think and say in truth, before God Almighty and our Lord Jesus Christ do we witness, being able by proofs to show and to convince you, that, even in times past, such has been our belief and preaching.'
"On this faith being publicly put forth by us, no room for contradiction appeared; but our most pious Emperor, before any one else, testified that it comprised most orthodox statements. He confessed, moreover, that such were his own sentiments; and he advised all present to agree to it, and to subscribe its articles and to assent to them, with the insertion of the single word, `One in substance' (omoousioj), which, moreover, he interpreted as not in the sense of the affections of bodies, nor as if the Son subsisted from the Father, in the way of division, or any severance; for that the immaterial and intellectual and incorporeal nature could not be the subject of any corporeal affection, but that it became us to conceive of such things in a divine and ineffable manner. And such were the theological remarks of our most wise and most religious Emperor; but they, with a view to the addition of `One in substance,' drew up the following formula:-
"`We believe in One God, the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible:- And in One Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of the Father, Only-begotten, that is, from the Substance of the Father; God from God, Light from Light, very God from very God, begotten, not made, One in substance with the Father, by whom all things were made, both things in heaven and things in earth; who for us men and for our salvation came down and was made flesh, was made man, suffered, and rose again the third day, ascended into heaven, and cometh to judge quick and dead.
"`And in the Holy Ghost. But those who say, "Once He was not," and "Before His generation He was not," and "He came to be from nothing," or those who pretend that the Son of God is "Of other subsistence or substance," or "created," or "alterable," or "mutable," the Catholic Church anathematizes.'
"On their dictating this formula, we did not let it pass without inquiry in what sense they introduced `of the substance of the Father,' and `one in substance with the Father.' Accordingly questions and explanations took place, and the meaning of the words underwent the scrutiny of reason. And they professed that the phrase `of the substance' was indicative of the Son's being indeed from the Father, yet without being as if a part of Him. And with this understanding we thought good to assent to the sense of such religious doctrine, teaching, as it did, that the Son was from the Father, not, however, a part of His substance. On this account we assented to the sense ourselves, without declining even the term `One in substance,' peace being the object which we set before us, and steadfastness in the orthodox view. In the same way we also admitted `begotten, not made'; since the Council alleged that `made' was an appellative common to the other creatures which came to be through the Son, to whom the Son had no likeness. Wherefore, said they, He was not a work resembling the things which through Him came to be, but was of a substance which is too high for the level of any work, and which the Divine oracles teach to have been generated from the Father, the mode of generation being inscrutable and incalculable to every generated nature. And so, too, on examination there are grounds for saying that the Son is `one in substance' with the Father; not in the way of bodies, nor like mortal beings, for He is not such by division of substance, or by severance; no, nor by any affection, or alteration, or changing of the Father's substance and power (since from all such the ingenerate nature of the Father is alien), but because `one in substance with the Father' suggests that the Son of God bears no resemblance to the generated creatures, but that to His Father alone who begat Him is He in every way assimilated, and that He is not of any other subsistence and substance, but from the Father.
"To which term also, thus interpreted, it appeared well to assent; since we were aware that, even among the ancients, some learned and illustrious Bishops and writers have used the term `one in substance' in their theological teaching concerning the Father and Son. So much, then, be said concerning the faith which was published; to which all of us assented, not without inquiry, but according to the specified senses, mentioned before the most religious Emperor himself, and justified by the fore-mentioned considerations. And as to the anathematism published by them at the end of the Faith, it did not pain us, because it forbade to use words not in Scripture, from which almost all the confusion and disorder of the Church have come. Since, then, no divinely inspired Scripture has used the phrases, `out of nothing' and `once He was not,' and the rest which follow, there appeared no ground for using or teaching them; to which also we assented as a good decision, since it had not been our custom hitherto to use these terms. Moreover, to anathematize `Before His generation He was not' did not seem preposterous, in that it is confessed by all that the Son of God was before the generation according to the flesh. Nay, our most religious Emperor did at the time prove, in a speech, that He was in being even according to His divine generation which is before all ages, since even before he was generated in energy, He was in virtue with the Father ingenerately, the Father being always Father, as King always and Saviour always, having all things in virtue, and being always in the same respects and in the same way. This we have been forced to transmit to you, Beloved, as making clear to you the deliberation of our inquiry and assent, and how reasonably we resisted even to the last minute, as long as we were offended at statements which differed from our own, but received without contention what no longer pained us, as soon as, on a candid examination of the sense of the words, they appeared to us to coincide with what we ourselves have professed in the faith which we have already published."3
It will be seen that while the expressions "of the substance of the Father," "begotten not made," and "One in substance," or "consubstantial with the Father," are all explicitly anti-Arianistic, yet none of them contradicts the doctrines held by Eusebius before the Council, so far as we can learn them from his epistles to Alexander and Euphration and from the Caesarean creed. His own explanation of those expressions, which it is to be observed was the explanation given by the Council itself, and which therefore he was fully warranted in accepting,-even though it may not have been so rigid as to satisfy an Athanasius,-shows us how this is. He had believed before that the Son partook of the Godhood in very truth, that He was "begotten," and therefore "not made," if "made" implied something different from "begotten," as the Nicene Fathers held that it did; and he had believed before that the "Son of God has no resemblance to created' things, but is in every respect like the Father only who begat him, and that He is of no other substance or essence than the Father," and therefore if that was what the word "Consubstantial" (omoousioj) meant he could not do otherwise than accept that too.
It is clear that the dread of Sabellianism was still before the eyes of Eusebius, and was the cause of his hesitation in assenting to the various changes, especially to the use of the word omoousioj, which had been a Sabellian word and had been rejected on that account by the Synod of Antioch, at which Paul of Samosata had been condemned some sixty years before.
It still remains to explain Eusebius' sanction of the anathemas attached to the creed which expressly condemn at least one of the beliefs which he had himself formerly held, viz.: that the "Father was before the Son," or as he puts it elsewhere, that "He who is begat him who was not." The knot might of course be simply cut by supposing an act of hypocrisy on his part, but the writer is convinced that such a conclusion does violence to all that we know of Eusebius and of his subsequent treatment of the questions involved in this discussion. It is quite possible to suppose that a real change of opinion on his part took place during the sessions of the Council. Indeed when we realize how imperfect and incorrect a conception of Arianism he had before the Council began, and how clearly its true bearing was there brought out by its enemies, we can see that he could not do otherwise than change; that he must have become either an out and-out Arian, or an opponent of Arianism as he did. When he learned, and learned for the first time, that Arianism meant the denial of all essential divinity to Christ, and when he saw that it involved the ascription of mutability and of other finite attributes to him, he must either change entirely his views on those points or he must leave the Arian party. To him who with all his subordinationism had laid in all his writings so much stress on the divinity of the Word (even though he had not realized exactly what that divinity involved) it would have been a revolution in his Christian life and faith to have admitted what he now learned that Arianism involved. Sabellianism had been his dread, but now this new fear, which had aroused so large a portion of the Church, seized him too, and he felt that stand must be made against this too great separation of Father and Son, which was leading to dangerous results. Under the pressure of this fear it is not surprising that he should become convinced that the Arian formula-"there was a time when the Son was not "-involved serious consequences, and that Alexander and his followers should have succeeded in pointing out to him its untruth, because it led necessarily to a false conclusion. It is not surprising, moreover, that they should have succeeded in explaining to him at least partially their belief, which, as his epistle to Alexander shows, had before been absolutely incomprehensible, that the Son was generated from all eternity, and that therefore the Father did not exist before him in a temporal sense.
He says toward the close of his epistle to the Caesarean church that he had not been accustomed to use such expressions as "There was a time when he was not," "He came to be from nothing," etc. And there is no reason to doubt that he speaks the truth. Even in his epistles to Alexander and Euphration he does not use those phrases (though he does defend the doctrine taught by the first of them), nor does Arius himself, in the epistle to Alexander upon which Eusebius apparently based his knowledge of the system, use those expressions, although he too teaches the same doctrine. The fact is that in that epistle Arius studiously avoids such favorite Arian phrases as might emphasize the differences between himself and Alexander, and Eusebius seems to have avoided them for the same reason. We conclude then that Eusebius was not an Arian (nor an adherent of Lucian) before 318, that soon after that date he became an Arian in the sense in which he understood Arianism, but that during the Council of Nicaea he ceased to be one in any sense. His writings in later years confirm the course of doctrinal development which we have supposed went on in his mind. He never again defends Arian doctrines in his works, and yet he never becomes an Athanasian in his emphasis upon the omoousion. In fact he represents a mild orthodoxy, which is always orthodox-when measured by the Nicene creed as interpreted by the Nicene Council-and yet is always mild. Moreover, he never acquired an affection for the word omoousioj, which to his mind was bound up with too many evil associations ever to have a pleasant sound to him. He therefore studiously avoided it in his own writings, although clearly showing that he believed fully in what the Nicene Council had explained it to mean. It must be remembered that during many years of his later life he was engaged in controversy with Marcellus, a thorough-going Sabellian, who had been at the time of the Council one of the strongest of Athanasius' colleagues. In his contest with him it was again anti-Sabellianistic polemics which absorbed him and increased his distaste for omoousion and minimized his emphasis upon the distinctively anti-Arianistie doctrines formulated at Nicaea. For any except the very wisest minds it was a matter of enormous difficulty to steer between the two extremes in those times of strife; and while combating Sabeilianism not to fall into Arianism, and while combating the latter not to be engulfed in the former. That Eusebius under the constant pressure of the one fell into the other at one time, and was in occasional danger of falling into it again in later years, can hardly be cited as an evidence either of wrong heart or of weak head. An Athanasius he was not, but neither was he an unsteady weather-cock, or an hypocritical time-server.
§6. The Council of Nicoea.
At the Council of Nicaea, which met pursuant to an imperial summons in the year 325 A.D., Eusebius played a very prominent part. A description of the opening scenes of the Council is given in his Vita Constantini, III. 10 sq. After the Emperor had entered in pomp and had taken his seat, a bishop who sat next to him upon his right arose and delivered in his honor the opening oration, to which the Emperor replied in a brief Latin address. There can be no doubt that this bishop was our Eusebius. Sozomen (H. E. I. 19) states it directly; and Eusebius, although he does not name the speaker, yet refers to him, as he had referred to the orator at the dedication of Paulinus' church at Tyre, in such a way as to make it clear that it was himself; and moreover in his Vita Constantini, I. 1, he mentions the fact that he had in the midst of an assembly of the servants of God addressed an oration to the Emperor on the occasion of the latter's vicennalia, i.e. in 325 a.d. On the other hand, however, Theodoret (H. E. I. 7) states that this opening oration was delivered by Eustathius, bishop of Antioch; while Theodore of Mopsuestia and Philostorgius (according to Nicetas Choniates, Thes. de arthod. fid. V. 7) assign it to Alexander of Alexandria. As Lightfoot suggests, it is possible to explain the discrepancy in the reports by supposing that Eustathius and Alexander, the two great patriarchs, first addressed a few words to the Emperor and that then Eusebius delivered the regular oration. This supposition is not at all unlikely, for it would be quite proper for the two highest ecclesiastics present to welcome the Emperor formally in behalf of the assembled prelates, before the regular oration was delivered by Eusebius. At the same time, the supposition that one or the other of the two great patriarchs must have delivered the opening address was such a natural one that it may have been adopted by Theodoret and the other writers referred to without any historical basis. It is in any case certain that the regular oration was delivered by Eusebius himself (see the convincing arguments adduced by Stroth, p. xxvii. sq.). This oration is no longer extant, but an idea of its character may be formed from the address delivered by Eusebius at the Emperor's tricennalia (which is still extant under the title De laudibus Canstantini; see below, p. 43) and from the general tone of his Life of Constantine. It was avowedly a panegyric, and undoubtedly as fulsome as it was possible to make it, and his powers in that direction were by no means slight.
That Eusebius, instead of the bishop of some more prominent church, should have been selected to deliver the opening address, may have been in part owing to his recognized standing as the most learned man and the most famous writer in the Church, in part to the fact that he was not as pronounced a partisan as some of his distinguished brethren; for instance, Alexander of Alexandria, and Eusebius of Nicomedia; and finally in some measure to his intimate relations with the Emperor. How and when his intimacy with the latter grew up we do not know. As already remarked, he seems to have become personally acquainted with him many years before, when Constantine passed through Caesarea in the train of Diocletian, and it may be that a mutual friendship, which was so marked in later years, began at that time. However that may be, Eusebius seems to have possessed special advantages of one kind or another, enabling him to come into personal contact with official circles, and once introduced to imperial notice, his wide learning, sound common sense, genial temper and broad charity would insure him the friendship of the Emperor himself, or of any other worthy officer of state. We have no record of an intimacy between Constantine and Eusebius before the Council of Nicaea, but many clear intimations of it after that time. In fact, it is evident that during the last decade at least of the Emperor's life, few, if any, bishops stood higher in his esteem or enjoyed a larger measure of his confidence. Compare for instance the records of their conversations (contained in the Vita Canstantini, I. 28 and II. 9), of their correspondence (ib. II. 46, III. 61, IV. 35 and 36), and the words of Constantine himself (ib. III. 60). The marked attention paid by him to the speeches delivered by Eusebius in his presence (ib. IV. 33 and 46) is also to be noticed. Eusebius' intimacy with the imperial family is shown likewise in the tone of the letter which he wrote to Constantia, the sister of Constantine and wife of Licinius, in regard to a likeness of Christ which she had asked him to send her. The frankness and freedom with which he remonstrates with her for what he considers mistaken zeal on her part, reveal a degree of familiarity which could have come only from long and cordial relations between himself and his royal correspondent. Whatever other reasons therefore may have combined to indicate Eusebius as the most fitting person to deliver the oration in honor of the Emperor at the Council of Nicaea, there can be little doubt that Constantine's personal friendship for him had much to do with his selection. The action of the Council on the subject of Arianism, and Eusebius' conduct in the matter, have already been discussed. Of the bishops assembled at the Council, not far from three hundred in number (the reports of eye-witnesses vary from two hundred and fifty to three hundred and eighteen), all but two signed the Nicene creed as adopted by the Council. These two, both of them Egyptians, were banished with Arius to Illyria, while Eusebius of Nicomedia, and Theognis of Nicaea, who subscribed the creed itself but refused to assent to its anathemas, were also banished for a time, but soon yielded, and were restored to their churches.
Into the other purposes for which the Nicene Council was called,-the settlement of the dispute respecting the time of observing Easter and the healing of the Meletian schism,-it is not necessary to enter here. We have no record of the part which Eusebius took in these transactions. Lightfoot has abundantly shown (p. 313 sq.) that the common supposition that Eusebius was the author of the paschal cycle of nineteen years is false, and that there is no reason to suppose that he had anything particular to do with the decision of the paschal question at this Council.
§7. Continuance of the Arian Controversy. Eusebius' Relations to the Two Parties.
The Council of Nicaea did not bring the Arian controversy to an end. The orthodox party was victorious, it is true, but the Arians were still determined, and could not give up their enmity against the opponents of Arius, and their hope that they might in the end turn the tables on their antagonists. Meanwhile, within a few years after the Council, a quarrel broke out between our Eusebius and Eustathius, bishop of Antioch, a resolute supporter of Nicene orthodoxy. According to Socrates (H. E. I. 23) and Sozomen (H. E. II. 18) Eustathius accused Eusebius of perverting the Nicene doctrines, while Eusebius denied the charge, and in turn taxed Eustathius with Sabellianism. The quarrel finally became so serious that it was deemed necessary to summon a Council for the investigation of Eustathius' orthodoxy and the settlement of the dispute. This Council met in Antioch in 330 a.d. (see Tillemont, VII. p. 651 sq., for a discussion of the date), and was made up chiefly of bishops of Arian or semi-Arian tendencies. This fact, however, brings no discredit upon Eusebius. The Council was held in another province, and he can have had nothing to do with its composition. In fact, convened, as it was, in Eustathius' own city, it must have been legally organized; and indeed Eustathius himself acknowledged its jurisdiction by appearing before it to answer the charges made against him. Theodoret's absurd account of the origin of the synod and of the accusations brought against Eustathius (H. E. I. 21) bears upon its face the stamp of falsehood, and is, as Hefele has shown (Canciliengeschichte, I. 451), hopelessly in error in its chronology. It is therefore to be rejected as quite worthless. The decision of the Council doubtless fairly represented the views of the majority of the bishops of that section, for we know that Arianism had a very strong hold there. To think of a packed Council and of illegal methods of procedure in procuring the verdict against Eustathius is both unnecessary and unwarrantable. The result of the Council was the deposition of Eustathius from his bishopric and his banishment by the Emperor to Illyria, where he afterward died. There is a division of opinion among our sources in regard to the immediate successor of Eustathius. All of them agree that Eusebius was asked to become bishop of Antioch, but that he refused the honor, and that Euphronius was chosen in his stead. Socrates and Sozomen, however, inform us that the election of Eusebius took place immediately after the deposition of Eustathius, while Theodoret (H. E. I. 22) names Eulalius as Eustathius' immediate successor, and states that he lived but a short time, and that Eusebius was then asked to succeed him. Theodoret is Supported by Jerome (Chron., year of Abr. 2345) and by Philostorgius (H. E. III. 15), both of whom insert a bishop Eulalius between Eustathius and Euphronius. It is easier to suppose that Socrates and Sozomen may have omitted so unimportant a name at this point than that the other three witnesses inserted it without warrant. Socrates indeed implies in the same chapter that his knowledge of these affairs is limited, and it is not surprising that Eusebius' election, which caused a great stir, should have been connected in the mind of later writers immediately with Eustathius' deposition, and the intermediate steps forgotten. It seems probable, therefore, that immediately after the condemnation of Eustathius, Eulalius was appointed in his place, perhaps by the same Council, and that after his death, a few months later, Eusebius, who had meanwhile gone back to Caesarea, was elected in due order by another Council of neighboring bishops summoned for the purpose, and that he was supported by a large party of citizens. It is noticeable that the letter written by the Emperor to the Council, which wished to transfer Eusebius to Antioch (see Vita Const. III. 62), mentions in its salutation the names of five bishops, but among them is only one (Theodotus who is elsewhere named as present at the Council which deposed Eustathius, while Eusebius of Nicomedia, and Theognis of Nicaea, as well as others whom we know to have been on hand on that occasion, are not referred to by the Emperor. This fact certainly seems to point to a different council.
It is greatly to Eusebius' credit that he refused the call extended to him. Had he been governed simply by selfish ambition he would certainly have accepted it, for the patriarchate of Antioch stood at that time next to Alexandria in point of honor in the Eastern Church. The Emperor commended him very highly for his decision, in his epistles to the people of Antioch and to the Council (Vita Const. III. 60, 62), and in that to Eusebius himself (ib. III. 61). He saw in it a desire on Eusebius' part to observe the ancient canon of the Church, which forbade the transfer of a bishop from one see to another. But that in itself can hardly have been sufficient to deter the latter from accepting the high honor offered him, for it was broken without scruple on all sides. It is more probable that he saw that the schism of the Antiochenes would be embittered by the induction into the bishopric of that church of Eustathius' chief opponent, and that he did not feel that he had a right so to divide the Church of God. Eusebius' general character, as known to us, justifies us in supposing that this high motive had much to do with his decision. We may suppose also that so difficult a place can have had no very great attractions for a man of his age and of his peace-loving disposition and scholarly tastes. In Caesarea he had spent his life; there he had the great library of Pamphilus at his disposal, and leisure to pursue his literary work. In Antioch he would have found himself compelled to plunge into the midst of quarrels and seditions of all kinds, and would have been obliged to devote his entire attention to the performance of his official duties. His own tastes therefore must have conspired with his sense of duty to lead him to reject the proffered call and to remain in the somewhat humbler station which he already occupied.
Not long after the deposition of Eustathius, the Arians and their sympathizers began to work more energetically to accomplish the ruin of Athanasius, their greatest foe. He had become Alexander's successor as bishop of Alexandria in the year 326, and was the acknowledged head of the orthodox party. If he could be brought into discredit, there might be hopes of restoring Arius to his position in Alexandria, and of securing for Arianism a recognition, and finally a dominating influence in the church at large. To the overthrow of Athanasius therefore all good Arians bent their energies. They found ready accomplices in the schismatical Meletians of Egypt, who were bitter enemies of the orthodox church of Alexandria. It was useless to accuse Athanasius of heterodoxy; he was too widely known as the pillar of the orthodox faith. Charges must be framed of another sort, and of a sort to stir up the anger of the Emperor against him. The Arians therefore and the Meletians began to spread the most vile and at the same time absurd stories about Athanasius (see especially the latter's Apol. c. Arian. §59 sq.). These at last became so notorious that the Emperor summoned Athanasius to appear and make his defense before a council of bishops to be held in Caesarea (Sozomen, H. E. II. 25; Theodoret, H. E. I. 28). Athanasius, however, fearing that the Council would be composed wholly of his enemies, and that it would therefore be impossible to secure fair play, excused himself and remained away. But in the following year (see Sozomen, H. E. II, 25) he received from the Emperor a summons to appear before a council at Tyre. The summons was too peremptory to admit of a refusal, and Athanasius therefore attended, accompanied by many of his devoted adherents (see Sozomen, ib.; Theodoret, H. E. I. 30; Socrates, H. E. I. 28; Athanasius, Apol. c. Arian. §71 sq.; Eusebius, Vita Const. IV. 41 sq., and Epiphanius, Hoer. LXVIII. 8). After a time, perceiving that he had no chance of receiving fair play, he suddenly withdrew from the Council and proceeded directly to Constantinople, in order to lay his case before the Emperor himself, and to induce the latter to allow him to meet his accusers in his presence, and plead his cause before him. There was nothing for the Synod to do after his flight but to sustain the charges brought against him, some of which he had not stayed to refute, and to pass condemnation upon him. Besides various immoral and sacrilegious deeds of which he was accused, his refusal to appear before the Council of Caesarea the previous year was made an important item of the prosecution. It was during this Council that Potamo flung at Eusebius the taunt of cowardice, to which reference was made above, and which doubtless did much to confirm Eusebius' distrust of and hostility to the Athanasian party-Whether Eusebius of Caesarea, as is commonly supposed, or Eusebius of Nicomedia, or some other bishop, presided at this Council we are not able to determine. The account of Epiphanius seems to imply that the former was presiding at the time that Potamo made his untimely accusation. Our sources are, most of them, silent on the matter, but according to Valesius, Eusebius of Nicomedia is named by some of them, but which they are I have not been able to discover. We learn from Socrates (H. E. I. 28), as well as from other sources, that this Synod of Tyre was held in the thirtieth year of Constantine's reign, that is, between July, 334, and July, 335. As the Council was closed only in time for the bishops to reach Jerusalem by July, 335, it is probable that it was convened in 335 rather than in 334. From Sozomen (H. E. II. 25) we learn also that the Synod of Caesarea had been held the preceding year, therefore in 333 or 334 (the latter being the date commonly given by historians). While the Council of Tyre was still in session, the bishops were commanded by Constantine to proceed immediately to Jerusalem to take part in the approaching festival to be held there on the occasion of his tricennalia. The scene was one of great splendor. Bishops were present from all parts of the world, and the occasion was marked by the dedication of the new and magnificent basilica which Constantine had erected upon the site of Calvary (Theodoret, I. 31; Socrates, I. 28 and 33; Sozomen, II. 26; Eusebius, Vita Canst. IV. 41 and 43). The bishops gathered in Jerusalem at this time held another synod before separating. In this they completed the work begun at Tyre, by re-admitting Arius and his adherents to the communion of the Church (see Socrates, 1. 33, and Sozomen, II. 27). According to Sozomen the Emperor, having been induced to recall Arius from banishment in order to reconsider his case, was presented by the latter with a confession of faith, which was so worded as to convince Constantine of his orthodoxy. He therefore sent Arius and his companion Euzoius to the bishops assembled in Jerusalem with the request that they would examine the confession, and if they were satisfied with its orthodoxy would re-admit them to communion. The Council, which was composed largely of Arius' friends and sympathizers, was only too glad to accede to the Emperor's request.
Meanwhile Athanasius had induced Constantine, out of a sense of justice, to summon the bishops that had condemned him at Tyre to give an account of their proceedings before the Emperor himself at Constantinople. This unexpected, and, doubtless, not altogether welcome summons came while the bishops were at Jerusalem, and the majority of them at once returned home in alarm, while only a few answered the call and repaired to Constantinople. Among these were Eusebius of Nicomedia, Theognis of Nicaea, Patrophilus of Scythopolis, and other prominent Arians, and with them our Eusebius (Athanasius, Apol. c. Arian. §§86 and 87; Socrates, I. 33-35; Sozomen, II. 28). The accusers of Athanasius said nothing on this occasion in regard to his alleged immoralities, for which he had been condemned at Tyre, but made another equally trivial accusation against him, and the result was his banishment to Gaul. Whether Constantine banished him because he believed the charge brought against him, or because he wished to preserve him from the machinations of his enemies (as asserted by his son Constantine, and apparently believed by Athanasius himself; see his Apol. c. Arian. §87), or because he thought that Athanasius' absence would allay the troubles in the Alexandrian church we do not know. The latter supposition seems most probable. In any case he was not recalled from banishment until after Constantine's death. Our Eusebius has been severely condemned by many historians for the part taken by him in the Eustathian controversy and especially in the war against Athanasius. In justice to him a word or two must be spoken in his defense. So far as his relations to Eustathius are concerned, it is to be noticed that the latter commenced the controversy by accusing Eusebius of heterodoxy. Eusebius himself did not begin the quarrel, and very likely had no desire to engage in any such doctrinal strife; but he was compelled to defend himself, and in doing so he could not do otherwise than accuse Eustathius of Sabellianism; for if the latter was not satisfied with Eusebius' orthodoxy, which Eusebius himself believed to be truly Nicene, then he must be leaning too far toward the other extreme; that is, toward Sabellianism. There is no reason to doubt that Eusebius was perfectly straightforward and honorable throughout the whole controversy, and at the Council of Antioch itself. That he was not actuated by unworthy motives, or by a desire for revenge, is evinced by his rejection of the proffered call to Antioch, the acceptance of which would have given him so good an opportunity to triumph over his fallen enemy. It must be admitted, in fact, that Eusebius comes out of this controversy without a stain of any kind upon his character. He honestly believed Eustathius to be a Sabellian, and he acted accordingly.
Eusebius has been blamed still more severely for his treatment of Athanasius. But again the facts must be looked at impartially. It is necessary always to remember that Sabellianism was in the beginning and remained throughout his life the heresy which he most dreaded, and which he had perhaps most reason to dread. He must, even at the Council of Nicaea, have suspected Athanasius, who laid so much stress upon the unity of essence on the part of Father and Son, of a leaning toward Sabellianistic principles; and this suspicion must have been increased when he discovered, as he believed, that Athanasitis' most staunch supporter, Eustathius, was a genuine Sabellian. Moreover, on the other side, it is to be remembered that Eusebius of Nicomedia, and all the other leading Arians, had signed the Nicene creed and had proclaimed themselves thoroughly in sympathy with its teaching. Our Eusebius, knowing the change that had taken place in his own mind upon the controverted points, may well have believed that their views had undergone even a greater change, and that they were perfectly honest in their protestations of orthodoxy. And finally, when Arius himself presented a confession of faith which led the Emperor, who had had a personal interview with him, to believe that he had altered his views and was in complete harmony with the Nicene faith, it is not surprising that our Eusebius, who was naturally unsuspicious, conciliatory and peace-loving, should think the same thing, and be glad to receive Arius back into communion, while at the same time remaining perfectly loyal to the orthodoxy of the Nicene creed which he had subscribed. Meanwhile his suspicions of the Arian party being in large measure allayed, and his distrust of the orthodoxy of Athanasius and of his adherents being increased by the course of events, it was only natural that he should lend more or less credence to the calumnies which were so industriously circulated against Athanasius. To charge him with dishonesty for being influenced by these reports, which seem to us so absurd and palpably calumnious, is quite unwarranted. Constantine, who was, if not a theologian, at least a clear-headed and sharp-sighted man, believed them, and why should Eusebius not have done the same? The incident which took place at the Council of Tyre in connection with Potamo and himself was important; for whatever doubts he may have had up to that time as to the truth of the accusations made against Athanasius and his adherents, Potamo's conduct convinced him that the charges of tyranny and high-handed dealing brought against the whole party were quite true. It could not be otherwise than that he should believe that the good of the Alexandrian church, and therefore of the Church at large, demanded the deposition of the seditious and tyrannous archbishop, who was at the same time quite probably Sabellianistic in his tendencies. It must in justice be noted that there is not the slightest reason to suppose that our Eusebius had anything to do with the dishonorable intrigues of the Arian party throughout this controversy. Athanasius, who cannot say enough in condemnation of the tactics of Eusebius of Nicomedia and his supporters, never mentions Eusebius of Caesarea in a tone of bitterness. He refers to him occasionally as a member of the opposite party, but he has no complaints to utter against him, as he has against the others. This is very significant, and should put an end to all suspicions of unworthy conduct on Eusebius' part. It is to be observed that the latter, though having good cause as he believed to condemn Athanasius and his adherents, never acted as a leader in the war against them. His name, if mentioned at all, occurs always toward the end of the list as one of the minor combatants, although his position and his learning would have entitled him to take the most prominent position in the whole affair, if he had cared to. He was but true to his general character in shrinking from such a controversy, and in taking part in it only in so far as his conscience compelled him to. We may suspect indeed that he would not have made one of the small party that repaired to Constantinople in response to the Emperor's imperious summons had it not been for the celebration of Constantine's tricennalia, which was taking place there at the time, and at which he delivered, on the special invitation of the Emperor and in his presence, one of his greatest orations. Certain it is, from the account which he gives in his Vita Constantini, that both in Constantinople and in Jerusalem the festival of the tricennalia, with its attendant ceremonies, interested him much more than did the condemnation of Athanasius.
§8. Eusebius and Marcellus.
It was during this visit to Constantinople that another synod was held, at which Eusebius was present, and the result of which was the condemnation and deposition of the bishop Marcellus of Ancyra (see Socrates, I. 36; Sozomen, II. 33; Eusebius, Contra Marc. II. 4). The attitude of our Eusebius toward Marcellus is again significant of his theological tendencies. Marcellus had written a book against Asterius, a prominent Arian, in which, in his zeal for the Nicene orthodoxy, he had laid himself open to the charge of Sabellianism. On this account he was deposed by the Constantinopolitan Synod, and our Eusebius was urged to write a work exposing his errors and defending the action of the Council. As a consequence he composed his two works against Marcelins which will be described later. That Eusebius, if not in the case of Athanasius and possibly not in that of Eustathius, had at least in the present case good ground for the belief that Marcellus was a Sabellian, or Sabellianistic in tendency, is abundantly proved by the citations which he makes from Marcellus' own works; and, moreover, his judgment and that of the Synod was later confirmed even by Athanasius himself. Though not suspecting Marcellus for some time, Athanasius finally became convinced that he had deviated from the path of orthodoxy, and, as Newman has shown (in his introduction to Athanasius' fourth discourse against the Arians, Oxford Library of the Fathers, vol. 19, p. 503 sq.), directed that discourse against his errors and those of his followers.
The controversy with Marcellus seems to have been the last in which Eusebius was engaged, and it was opposition to the dreaded heresy of Sabellius which moved him here as in all the other cases. It is important to emphasize, however, what is often overlooked, that though Eusebius during these years was so continuously engaged in controversy with one or another of the members of the anti-Arian party, there is no evidence that he ever deviated from the doctrinal position which he took at the Council of Nicaea. After that date it was never Arianism which he consciously supported; it was never the Nicene orthodoxy which he opposed. He supported those members of the old Arian party who had signed the Nicene creed and protested that they accepted its teaching, against those members of the opposite party whom he believed to be drifting toward Sabellianism, or acting tyrannously and unjustly toward their opponents. The anti-Sabellianistic interest influenced him all the time, but his post-Nicene writings contain no evidence that he had fallen back into the Arianizing position which he had held before 325. They reveal, on the contrary, a fair type of orthodoxy, colored only by its decidedly anti-Sabellian emphasis.
§9. The Death of Eusebius.
In less than two years after the celebration of his tricennalia, on May 22, 337 a.d., the great Constantine breathed his last, in Nicomedia, his former Capital. Eusebius, already an old man, produced a lasting testimonial of his own unbounded affection and admiration for the first Christian emperor, in his Life of Constantine. Soon afterward he followed his imperial friend at the advanced age of nearly, if not quite, eighty years. The exact date of his death is unknown, but it can be fixed approximately. We know from Sozomen (H. E. III. 5) that in the summer of 341, when a council was held at Antioch (on the date of the Council, which we are able to fix with great exactness, see Hefele, Conciliengesch. I. p. 502 sq.) Acacius, Eusebius' successor, was already bishop of Caesarea. Socrates (H. E. II. 4) and Sozomen (H. E. III. 5) both mention the death of Eusebius and place it shortly before the death of Constantine the younger, which took place early in 340 (see Tillemont's Hist. des Emp. IV. p. 357 sq.), and after the intrigues had begun which resulted in Athanasius' second banishment. We are thus led to place Eusebius' death late in the year 339, or early in the year 340 (cf. Lightfoot's article, p. 318).
Chapter II. The Writings of Eusebius.
§1. Eusebius as a Writer.
Eusebius was one of the most voluminous writers of antiquity, and his labors covered almost every field of theological learning. In the words of Lightfoot he was "historian, apologist, topographer, exegete, critic, preacher, dogmatic writer, in turn." It is as an historian that he is best known, but the importance of his historical writings should not cause us to overlook, as modern scholars have been prone to do, his invaluable productions in other departments. Light-foot passes a very just judgment upon the importance of his works in the following words: "If the permanent utility of an author's labors may be taken as a test of literary excellence, Eusebius will hold a very high place indeed. The Ecclesiastical History is absolutely unique and indispensable. The Chronicle is the vast storehouse of information relating to the ancient monarchies of the world. The Preparation and Demonstration are the most important contributions to theology in their own province. Even the minor works, such as the Martyrs of Palestine, the Life of Constantine, the Questions addressed to Stephanus and to Marinus, and others, would leave an irreparable blank, if they were obliterated. And the same permanent value attaches also to his more technical treatises. The Canons and Sections have never yet been superseded for their particular purpose. The Topography of Palestine is the most important contribution to our knowledge in its own department. In short, no ancient ecclesiastical writer has laid posterity under heavier obligations."
If we look in Eusebius' works for evidences of brilliant genius we shall be disappointed. He did not possess a great creative mind like Origen's or Augustine's. His claim to greatness rests upon his vast erudition and his sterling sense. His powers of acquisition were remarkable and his diligence in study unwearied. He had at his command undoubtedly more acquired material than any man of his age, and he possessed that true literary and historical instinct which enabled him to select from his vast stores of knowledge those things which it was most worth his while to tell to the world. His writings therefore remain valuable while the works of many others, perhaps no less richly equipped than himself for the mission of adding to the sum of human knowledge, are entirely forgotten. He thus had the ability to do more than acquire; he had the ability to impart to others the very best of that which he acquired, and to make it useful to them. There is not in his writings the brilliancy which we find in some others, there is not the same sparkle and freshness of new and suggestive thought, there is not the same impress of an overmastering individuality which transforms everything it touches. There is, however, a true and solid merit which marks his works almost without exception, and raises them above the commonplace. His exegesis is superior to that of most of his contemporaries, and his apologetics is marked by fairness of statement, breadth of treatment, and instinctive appreciation of the difference between the important and the unimportant points under discussion, which give to his apologetic works a permanent value. His wide acquaintance, too, with other systems than his own, and with the products of Pagan as well as Christian thought, enabled him to see things in their proper relations and to furnish a treatment of the great themes of Christianity adapted to the wants of those who had looked beyond the confines of a single school. At the same time it must be acknowledged that he was not always equal to the grand opportunities which his acquaintance with the works and lives of other men and other peoples opened before him. He does not always reveal the possession of that high quality of genius which is able to interpret the most various forces and to discover the higher principles of unity which alone make them intelligible; indeed, he often loses himself completely in a wilderness of thoughts and notions which have come to him from other men and other ages, and the result is dire confusion.
We shall be disappointed, too, if we seek in the works of Eusebius for evidences of a refined literary taste, or for any of the charms which attach to the writings of a great master of composition. His style is, as a rule, involved and obscure, often painfully rambling and incoherent. This quality is due in large part to the desultoriness of his thinking. He did not often enough clearly define and draw the boundaries of his subject before beginning to write upon it. He apparently did much of his thinking after he had taken pen in hand, and did not subject what he had thus produced to a sufficiently careful revision, if to any revision at all. Thoughts and suggestions poured in upon him while he was writing; and he was not always able to resist the temptation to insert them as they came, often to the utter perversion of his train of thought, and to the ruin of the coherency and perspicuity of his style. It must be acknowledged, too, that his literary taste was, on the whole, decidedly vicious. Whenever a flight of eloquence is attempted by him, as it is altogether too often, his style becomes hopelessly turgid and pretentious. At such times his skill in mixing metaphors is something astounding (compare, for instance, H. E. II. 14). On the other hand, his works contain not a few passages of real beauty. This is especially true of his Martyrs of Palestine, where his enthusiastic admiration for and deep sympathy with the heroes of the faith cause him often to forget himself and to describe their sufferings in language of genuine fire or pathos. At times, too, when he has a sharply defined and absorbing aim in mind, and when the subject with which he is dealing does not seem to him to demand rhetorical adornment, he is simple and direct enough in his language, showing in such cases that his commonly defective style is not so much the consequence of an inadequate command of the Greek tongue as of desultory thinking and vicious literary taste.
But while we find much to criticise in Eusebius' writings, we ought not to fail to give him due credit for the conscientiousness and faithfulness with which he did his work. He wrote often, it is true, too rapidly for the good of his style, and he did not always revise his works as carefully as he should have done; but we seldom detect undue haste in the collection of materials or carelessness and negligence in the use of them. He seems to have felt constantly the responsibilities which rested upon him as a scholar and writer, and to have done his best to meet those responsibilities. It is impossible to avoid contrasting him in this respect with the most learned man of the ancient Latin Church, St. Jerome. The haste and carelessness with which the latter composed his De Viris Illustribus, and with which he translated and continued Eusebius' Chronicle, remain an everlasting disgrace to him. An examination of those and of some others of Jerome's works must tend to raise Eusebius greatly in our esteem. He was at least conscientious and honest in his work, and never allowed himself to palm off ignorance as knowledge, or to deceive his readers by sophistries, misstatements, and pure inventions. He aimed to put the reader into possession of the knowledge which he had himself acquired, but was always conscientious enough to stop there, and not attempt to make fancy play the role of fact.
One other point, which was mentioned some pages back, and to which Lightfoot calls particular attention, should be referred to here, because of its bearing upon the character of Eusebius' writings. He was, above all things, an apologist; and the apologetic aim governed both the selection of his subjects and method of his treatment. He composed none of his works with a purely scientific aim. He thought always of the practical result to be attained, and his selection of material and his choice of method were governed by that. And yet we must recognize the fact that this aim was never narrowing in its effects. He took a broad view of apologetics, and in his lofty conception of the Christian religion he believed that every field of knowledge might be laid under tribute to it. He was bold enough to be confident that history, philosophy, and science all contribute to our understanding and appreciation of divine truth; and so history and philosophy and science were studied and handled by him freely and fearlessly. He did not feel the need of distorting truth of any kind because it might work injury to the religion which he professed. On the contrary, he had a sublime faith which led him to believe that all truth must have its place and its mission, and that the cause of Christianity will be benefited by its discovery and diffusion. As an apologist, therefore, all fields of knowledge had an interest for him; and he was saved that pettiness of mind and narrowness of outlook which are sometimes characteristic of those who write with a purely practical motive.
§2. Catalogue of his Works.There is no absolutely complete edition of Eusebius' extant works. The only one which can lay claim even to relative completeness is that of Migne: Eusebii Pamphili, Coesarea Palestinoe Episcopi, Opera omnia qu' extant, curis variorum, nempe: Henrici Valesii, Francisci Vigeri, Bernardi Montfauconii, Card. Angelo Maii edita; collegit et denuo recognovit J. P. Migne. Par. 1857. 6 vols (tom. XIX.-XXIV. of Migne's Patrologia Groeca). This edition omits the works which are extant only in Syriac versions, also the Topica, and some brief but important Greek fragments (among them the epistles to Alexander and Euphration). The edition, however, is invaluable and cannot be dispensed with. References to it (under the simple title Opera) will be given below in connection with those works which it contains. Many of Eusebius' writings, especially the historical, have been published separately. Such editions will be mentioned in their proper place in the Catalogue.
More or less incomplete lists of our author's writings are given by Jerome (De vir. ill. 87); by Nicephorus Callistus (H. E. VI. 37); by Ebedjesu (in Assemani's Bibl. Orient. III. p. 18 sq.); by Photius (Bibl. 9-13, 27, 39, 127); and by Suidas (who simply copies the Greek version of Jerome). Among modern works all the lives of Eusebius referred to in the previous chapter give more or less extended catalogues of his writings. In addition to the works mentioned there, valuable lists are also found in Lardner's Credibility, Part II chap. 72, and especially in Fabricius' Bibl. Groeca (ed. 1714), vol. VI. p. 30 sq.
The writings of Eusebius that are known to us, extant and non-extant, may be classified for convenience' sake under the following heads: I. Historical. II. Apologetic. III. Polemic. IV. Dogmatic. V. Critical and Exegetical. VI. Biblical Dictionaries. VII. Orations. VIII. Epistles. IX. Spurious or doubtful works. The classification is necessarily somewhat artificial, and claims to be neither exhaustive nor exclusive.4
1. Historical Works.
Life of Pamphilus (h tou Pamfilou biou anagrafh; see H. E. VI. 32). Eusebius himself refers to this work in four passages (H. E. VI. 32, VII. 32, VIII. 13, and Mart. Pal. c. In the last he informs us that it consisted of three books. The work is mentioned also more than once by Jerome (De vir. ill. 81; Ep. ad Marcellam, Migne's ed. Ep. 34; Contra Ruf. I. 9), who speaks of it in terms of praise, and in the last passage gives a brief extract from the third book, which is, so far as known, the only extant fragment of the work. The date of its composition can be fixed within comparatively narrow limits. It must of course have been written before the shorter recension of the Martyrs of Palestine, which contains a reference to it (on its relation to the longer recension, which does not mention it, see below, p. 30), and also before the History, (i.e. as early as 313 a.d. (?), see below, p. 45). On the other hand, it was written after Pamphilus' death (see H. E. VII. 32, 25), which occurred in 310.
Martyrs of Palestine (peri twn en Palaistinh marturhsantwn). This work is extant in two recensions, a longer and a shorter. The longer has been preserved entire only in a Syriac version, which was published, with English translation and notes, by Cureton in 1861. A fragment of the original Greek of this work as preserved by Sirecon Metaphrastes had previously been published by Papebroch in the Acta Sanctorum (June, tom. I. p. 64; reprinted by Fabricius, Hippolytus II. p. 217), but had been erroneously regarded as an extract. from Eusebius' Life of Pamphilus. Cureton's publication of the Syriac version of the Martyrs of Palestine showed that it was a part of the original of that work. There are extant also, in Latin, the Acts of St. Procopius, which were published by Valesius (in his edition of Eusebius' Hist. Eccles. in a note on the first chapter of the Mart. Pal.; reprinted by Cureton, Mart. Pal. p. 50 sq.). Moreover, according to Cureton, Assemani's Acta SS. Martyrum Orient el Occidentalium, part II. p. 169 sq. (Romoe, 1748) contains another Syriac version of considerable portions of this same work. The Syriac version published by Cureton was made within less than a century after the composition of the original work (the manuscript of it dates from 411 a.d.; see Cureton, ib., preface, p. i.), perhaps within a few years after it, and there is every reason to suppose that it represents that original with considerable exactness. That Eusebius himself was the author of the original cannot be doubted. In addition to this longer recension there is extant in Greek a shorter form of the same work which is found attached to the Ecclesiastical History in most mss. of the latter. In some of them it is placed between the eighth and ninth books, in others at the close of the tenth book, while one ms. inserts it in the middle of VIII. 13. In some of the most important mss. it is wanting entirely, as likewise in the translation of Rufinus, and, according to Lightfoot, in the Syriac version of the History. Most editions of Eusebius' History print it at the close of the eighth book. Migne gives it separately in Opera, II. 1457 sq. In the present volume the translation of it is given as an appendix to the eighth book, on p. 342 sq.
There can be no doubt that the shorter form is younger than the longer. The mention of the Life of Pamphilus which is contained in the shorter, but is not found in the corresponding passage of the longer form would seem to indicate that the former was a remodeling of the latter rather than the latter of the former (see below, p. 30). Moreover, as Cureton and Lightfoot both point out, the difference between the two works both in substance and in method is such as to make it clear that the shorter form is a revised abridgment of the longer. That Eusebius himself was the author of the shorter as well as of the longer form is shown by the fact that not only in the passages common to both recensions, but also in those peculiar to the shorter one, the author speaks in the same person and as an eye-witness of many of the events which he records. And still further, in Chap. 11 he speaks of having himself written the Life of Pamphilus in three books, a notice which is wanting in the longer form and therefore must emanate from the hand of the author of the shorter. It is interesting to inquire after Eusebius' motive in publishing an abridged edition of this work. Cureton supposes that he condensed it simply for the purpose of inserting it in the second edition of his History. Lightfoot, on the other hand, suggests that it may have formed "part of a larger work, in which the sufferings of the martyrs were set off against the deaths of the persecutors," and he is inclined to see in the brief appendix to the eighth book of the History (translated below on p. 340) "a fragment of the second part of the treatise of which the Martyrs of Palestine in the shorter recension formed the first." The suggestion is, to say the least, very plausible. If it be true, the attachment of the shorter form of the Martyrs of Palestine to the Ecclesiastical History was probably the work, not of Eusebius himself, but of some copyist or copyists, and the disagreement among the various mss. as to its position in the History is more easily explained on this supposition than on Cureton's theory that it was attached to a later edition of the latter work by Eusebius himself.
The date at which the Martyrs of Palestine was composed cannot be determined with certainty. It was at any rate not published until after the first nine books of the Ecclesiastical History (i.e. not before 313, see below, p. 45), for it is referred to as a projected work in H. E. VIII. 13. 7. On the other hand, the accounts contained in the longer recension bear many marks of having been composed on the spot, while the impressions left by the martyrdoms witnessed by the author were still fresh upon him. Moreover, it is noticeable that in connection with the account of Pamphilus' martyrdom, given in the shorter recension, reference is made to the Life of Pamphilus as a book already published, while in the corresponding account in the longer recension no such book is referred to. This would seem to indicate that the Life of Pamphilus was written after the longer, but before the shorter recension of the Martyrs. But on the other hand the Life was written before the Ecclesiastical History (see above, p. 29), and consequently before the publication of either recension of the Martyrs. May it not be that the accounts of the various martyrdoms were written, at least some of them, during the persecution, but that they were not arranged, completed, and published until 313, or later? If this be admitted we may suppose that the account of Pamphilus' martyrdom was written soon after his death and before the Life was begun. When it was later embodied with the other accounts in the one work On the Martyrs of Palestine it may have been left just as it was, and it may not have occurred to the author to insert a reference to the Life of Pamphilus which had meanwhile been published. But when he came to abridge and in part rewrite for a new edition the accounts of the various martyrdoms contained in the work On Martyrs he would quite naturally refer the reader to the Life for fuller particulars.
If we then suppose that the greater part of the longer recension of the Martyrs was already complete before the end of the persecution, it is natural to conclude that the whole work was published at an early date, probably as soon as possible after the first edition of the History. How much later the abridgment was made we cannot tell.5
The differences between the two recensions lie chiefly in the greater fullness of detail on the part of the longer one. The arrangement and general mode of treatment is the same in both. They contain accounts of the Martyrs that suffered in Palestine during the years 303-310, most of whom Eusebius himself saw.
Collection of Ancient Martyrdoms (arxaiwn marturiwn sunagwgh). This work is mentioned by Eusebius in his H. E. IV. 15, V. praef., 4, 21. These notices indicate that it was not an original composition, but simply a compilation; a collection of extant accounts of martyrdoms which had taken place before Eusebius' day. The work is no longer extant, but the accounts of the martyrdom of Pamphilus and others at Smyrna, of the persecution in Lyons and Vienne, and of the defense of Apollonius in Rome, which Eusebius inserts in his Ecclesiastical History (IV. 15, V. 1, V. 21), are taken, as he informs us, from this collection. As to the time of compilation, we can say only that it antedates the composition of the earlier books of the History (on whose date, see below, p. 45).
Chronicle (Xronikoi kanonej). Eusebius refers to this work in his Church History (I. 1), in his Praeparatio Evang. X. 9, and at the beginning of his Eclogae propheticae. It is divided into two books, the first of which consists of an epitome of universal history drawn from various sources, the second of chronological tables, which "exhibit in parallel columns the succession of the rulers of different nations in such a way that the reader can see at a glance with whom any given monarch was contemporary." The tables "are accompanied by notes, marking the years of some of the more remarkable historical events, these notes also constituting an epitome of history." Eusebius was not the first Christian writer to compose a work on universal chronology. Julius Africanus had published a similar work early in the third century, and from that Eusebius drew his model and a large part of the material for his own work. At the same time his Chronicle is more than a simple revision of Africanus' work, and contains the result of much independent investigation on his own part. The work of Africanus is no longer extant, and that of Eusebius was likewise lost for a great many centuries, being superseded by a revised Latin edition, issued by Jerome. Jerome's edition, which comprises only the second book of Eusebius' Chronicle, is a translation of the original work, enlarged by notices taken from various writers concerning human history, and containing a continuation of the chronology down to his own time. This, together with numerous Greek fragments preserved by various ancient writers, constituted our only source for a knowledge of the original work, until late in the last century an Armenian translation of the whole work was discovered and published in two volumes by J. B. Aucher: Venice, 1818. The Armenian translation contains a great many errors and not a few lacunae, but it is our most valuable source for a knowledge of the original work.
The aim of the Chronicle was, above all, apologetic, the author wishing to prove by means of it that the Jewish religion, of which the Christian was the legitimate continuation, was older than the oldest of heathen cults, and thus deprive pagan opponents of their taunt of novelty, so commonly hurled against Christianity. As early as the second century, the Christian apologists had emphasized the antiquity of Judaism; but Julius Africanus was the first to devote to the matter scientific study, and it was with the same idea that Eusebius followed in his footsteps. The Chronology, in spite of its errors, is invaluable for the light it throws on many otherwise dark periods of history, and for the numerous extracts it contains from works no longer extant.
There are good and sufficient reasons (as is pointed out by Salmon in his article in Smith and Wace's Dictionary of Christian Biography) for supposing that two editions of the Chronicle were published by Eusebius. But two of these reasons need be stated here: first, the chronology of the Armenian version differs from that of Jerome's edition in many important particulars, divergencies which can be satisfactorily accounted for only on the supposition of a difference in the sources from which they respectively drew; secondly, Jerome states directly that the work was brought down to the vicennalia of Constantine,-that is, to the year 325,-but the Chronicle is referred to as an already published work in the Eclogae propheticae (I. 1), and in the Praeparatio Evang. (X. 9), both of which were written before 313. We may conclude, then, that a first edition of the work was published during, or more probably before, the great persecution, and that a second and revised edition was issued probably in 325, or soon thereafter.
For further particulars in regard to the Chronicle see especially the article of Salmon already referred to. The work has been issued separately a great many times. We may refer here to the edition of Scaliger, which was published in 1606 (2d ed. 1658), in which he attempted to restore the Greek text from the fragments of Syncellus and other ancient writers, and to the new edition of Mai, which was printed in 1833 in his Scriptorum veterum nova collectio, Tom. VIII., and reprinted by Migne, Eusebii Opera, I. 99-598. The best and most recent edition, however, and the one which supersedes all earlier editions, is that of Alfred Schoene, in two volumes: Berlin, 1875 and 1866.
Ecclesiastical History (ekklhsiastikh istoria). For a discussion of this work see below, p. 45 sq.
Life of Constantine (eij ton bion tou makariou Kwnstantinou tou basilewj).For particulars in regard to this work, see the prolegomena of Dr. Richardson, on pp. sq., of this volume.
II. Apologetic Works
Against Hierocles (proj touj uper Apollwniou tou tuanewj Ierokleouj logouj, as Photius calls it in his Bibl. 39). Hierocles was governor of Bithynia during the early years of the Diocletian persecution, and afterwards governor of Egypt. In both places he treated the Christians with great severity, carrying out the edicts of the emperors to the fullest extent, and even making use of the most terrible and loathsome forms of persecution (see Lactantius, De Mort. Pers. 16, and Eusebius, Mart. Pal. 5, Cureton's ed. p. 18). He was at the same time a Neo-Platonic philosopher, exceedingly well versed in the Scriptures and doctrines of the Christians. In a work against the Christians entitled logoj filalhqhj proj touj xristianouj, he brought forward many scriptural difficulties and alleged contradictions, and also instituted a comparison between Christ and Apollonius of Tyana, with the intention of disparaging the former. Eusebius feels called upon to answer the work, but confines himself entirely to that part of it which concerned Christ and Apollonius, leaving to some future time a refutation of the remainder of the work, which indeed, he says, as a mere reproduction of the arguments of Celsus, had been already virtually answered by Origen (see chap. 1). Eusebius admits that Apollonius was a good man, but refuses to concede that he was anything more, or that he can be compared with Christ. He endeavors to show that the account of Apollonius given by Philostratus is full of contradictions and does not rest upon trustworthy evidence. The tone of the book is mild, and the arguments in the main sound and well presented. It is impossible to fix the date of the work with any degree of certainty. Valesius assigns it to the later years of the persecution, when Eusebius visited Egypt; Stein says that it may have been written about 312 or 313, or even earlier; while Lightfoot simply remarks, "it was probably one of the earliest works of Eusebius." There is no ground for putting it at one time rather than another except the intrinsic probability that it was written soon after the work to which it was intended to be a reply. In fact, had a number of years elapsed after the publication of Hierocles' attack, Eusebius would doubtless, if writing against it at all, have given a fuller and more complete refutation of it, such as he suggests in the first chapter that he may yet give. The work of Hierocles, meanwhile, must have been written at any rate some time before the end of the persecution, for it is mentioned in Lactantius' Div. Inst. V. 2.
Eusebius' work has been published by Gaisford: Eusebii Pamph. contra Hieroclem et Marcellum libri, Oxon. 1852; and also in various editions of the works of Philostratus. Migne, Opera IV. 795 sq., reprints it from Olearius' edition of Philostratus' works (Lips. 1709).
Against Porphyry (kata Porfurion). Porphyry, the celebrated Neo-Platonic philosopher, regarded by the early Fathers as the bitterest and most dangerous enemy of the Church, wrote toward the end of the third century a work against Christianity in fifteen books, which was looked upon as the most powerful attack that had ever been made, and which called forth refutations from some of the greatest Fathers of the age: from Methodius of Tyre, Eusebius of Caesarea, and Apollinaris of Laodicea; and even as late as the end of the fourth or beginning of the fifth century the historian Philostorgius thought it necessary to write another reply to it (see his H. E. X. 10). Porphyry's work is no longer extant, but the fragments of it which remain show us that it was both learned and skillful. He made much of the alleged contradictions in the Gospel records, and suggested difficulties which are still favorite weapons in the hands of skeptics. Like the work of Porphyry, and all the other refutations of it, the Apology of Eusebius has entirely perished. It is mentioned by Jerome (de vir. ill. 81 and Ep. ad Magnum, §3, Migne's ed. Ep. 70), by Socrates (H. E. III. 23), and by Philostorgius (H. E. VIII. 14). There is some dispute as to the number of books it contained. In his Ep. ad Magn. Jerome says that "Eusebius et Apollinaris viginti quinque, et triginta volumina condiderunt," which implies that it was composed of twenty-five books; while in his de ver. ill. 81, he speaks of thirty books, of which he had seen only twenty. Vallarsi says, however, that all his mss. agree in reading "twenty-five" instead of "thirty" in the latter passage, so that it would seem that the vulgar text is incorrect.
It is impossible to form an accurate notion of the nature and quality of Eusebius' refutation. Socrates speaks of it in terms of moderate praise ("which [i.e. the work of Porphyry] has been ably answered by Eusebius"), and Jerome does the same in his Ep. ad Magnum ("Alteri [i.e. Porphyry] Methodius, Eusebius, et Apollinaris fortissime responderunt"). At the same time the fact that Apollinaris and others still thought it necessary to write against Porphyry would seem to show that Eusebius' refutation was not entirely satisfactory. In truth, Jerome (Ep. ad Pammachium et Oceanum, §2, Migne's ed. Ep. 84) appears to rank the work of Apollinaris above that of Eusebius, and Philostorgius expressly states that the former far surpassed the latter (epi polu kratein hgwnismenwn 'Eusebiw kat' autou). The date of Eusebius' work cannot be determined. The fact that he never refers to it, although he mentions the work of Porphyry a number of times, has been urged by Valesius and others as proof that he did not write it until after 325 a.d.; but it is quite possible to explain his silence, as Lardner does, by supposing that his work was written in his earlier years, and that afterward he felt its inferiority and did not care to mention it. It seems, in fact, not unlikely that he wrote it as early, or even earlier than his work against Hierocles, at any rate before his attention was occupied with the Arian controversy and questions connected with it.
On the Numerous Progeny of the Ancients (peri thj twn palaiwn andrwn polupaidiaj). This work is mentioned by Eusebius in his Praep. Evang. VII. 8. 20 (Migne, Opera, III. 525), but by no one else, unless it be the book to which Basil refers in his De Spir. Sancto, 29, as Difficulties respecting the Polygamy of the Ancients. The work is no longer extant, but we can gather from the connection in which it is mentioned in the Praeparatio, that it aimed at accounting for the polygamy of the Patriarchs and reconciling it with the ascetic ideal of the Christian life which prevailed in the Church of Eusebius' lifetime. It would therefore seem to have been written with an apologetic purpose.
Praeparatio Evangelica (proparaskeuh euaggelikh) and Demonstratio Evangelica ('Euaggelikh apodeicij). These two treatises together constitute Eusebius' greatest apologetic work. The former is directed against heathen, and aims to show that the Christians are justified in accepting the sacred books of the Hebrews and in rejecting the religion and philosophy of the Greeks. The latter endeavors to prove from the sacred books of the Hebrews themselves that the Christians do right in going beyond the Jews, in accepting Jesus as their Messiah, and in adopting another mode of life. The former is therefore in a way a preparation for the latter, and the two together constitute a defense of Christianity against all the world, Jews as well as heathen. In grandeur of conception, in comprehensiveness of treatment, and in breadth of learning, this apology undoubtedly surpasses all other apologetic works of antiquity. Lightfoot justly says, "This great apologetic work exhibits the same merits and defects which we find elsewhere in Eusebius. There is the same greatness of conception marred by the same inadequacy of execution, the same profusion of learning combined with the same inability to control his materials, which we have seen in his History. The divisions are not kept distinct; the topics start up unexpectedly and out of season. But with all its faults this is probably the most important apologetic work of the early Church. It necessarily lacks the historical interest of the apologetic writings of the second century; it falls far short of the thoughtfulness and penetration which give a permanent value to Origen's treatise against Celsus as a defense of the faith; it lags behind the Latin apologists in rhetorical vigor and expression. But the forcible and true conceptions which it exhibits from time to time, more especially beating on the theme which may be briefly designated `God in history,' arrest our attention now, and must have impressed his contemporaries still more strongly; while in learning and comprehensiveness it is without a rival." The wide acquaintance with classical literature exhibited by Eusebius in the Praeparatio is very remarkable. Many writers are referred to whose names are known to us from no other source, and many extracts are given which constitute our only fragments of works otherwise totally lost. The Praeparatio thus does for classical much what the History does for Christian literature.
A very satisfactory summary of the contents of the Praeparatio is given at the beginning of the fifteenth book. In the first, second, and third books, the author exposes the absurdities of heathen mythology, and attacks the allegorical theology of the Neo-Platonists; in the fourth and fifth books he discusses the heathen oracles; in the sixth he refutes the doctrine of fate; in the seventh he passes over to the Hebrews, devoting the next seven books to an exposition of the excellence of their system, and to a demonstration of the proposition that Moses and the prophets lived before the greatest Greek writers, and that the latter drew their knowledge from the former; in the fourteenth and fifteenth books he exposes the contradictions among Greek philosophers and the vital errors in their systems, especially in that of the Peripatetics. The Praeparatio is complete in fifteen books, all of which are still extant.
The Demonstratio consisted originally of twenty books (see Jerome's de vir. ill. 81, and Photius' Bibl. 10). Of these only ten are extant, and even in the time of Nicephones Callistus no more were known, for he gives the number of the books as ten (H. E. VI. 37). There exists also a fragment of the fifteenth book, which was discovered and printed by Mai (Script. vet. nova call. I. 2, p. 173). In the first book, which is introductory, Eusebius shows why the Christians pursue a mode of life different from that of the Jews, drawing a distinction between Hebraism, the religion of all pious men from the beginning, and Judaism, the special system of the Jews, and pointing out that Christianity is a continuation of the former, but a rejection of the latter, which as temporary has passed away. In the second book he shows that the calling of the Gentiles and the repudiation of the Jews are foretold in Scripture. In books three to nine he discusses the humanity, divinity, incarnation, and earthly life of the Saviour, showing that all were revealed in the prophets. In the remainder of the work we may assume that the same general plan was followed, and that Christ's death, resurrection, and ascension, and the spread of his Church, were the subjects discussed in this as in nearly all works of the kind.
There is much dispute as to the date of these two works. Stroth and Cave place them after the Council of Nicaea, while Valesius, Lightfoot, and others, assign them to the ante-Nicene period. In two passages in the History Eusebius has been commonly supposed to refer to the Demonstratio (H. E. I. 2 and 6), but it is probable that the first, and quite likely the second also, refers to the Eclogae Proph. We can, therefore, base no argument upon those passages. But in Praep. Evang. XII. 10 (Opera, III. 969) there is a reference to the persecution, which seems clearly to imply that it was still continuing; and in the Demonstratio (III. 5 and IV. 6; Opera, IV. 213 and 307), which was written after the Praeparatio, are still more distinct indications of the continuance of the persecution. On the other hand, in V. 3 and VI. 20 (Opera, IV. 364 and 474) there are passages which imply that the persecution has come to an end. It seems necessary then to conclude, with Lightfoot, that the Demonstratio was begun during the persecution, but not completed until peace had been established. The Praeparatio, which was completed before the Demonstratio was begun (see the prooemium to the latter), must have been finished during the persecution. It contains in X. 9 (Opera, III. 807) a reference to the Chronicle as an already published work (see above, p. 31).
The Praeparatio and Demonstratio are found in Migne's edition of the Opera, III. and IV. 9 sq. A more recent text is that of Dindorf in Teubner's series, 1867. The Praeparatio has been published separately by Heinichen, 2 vols., Lips. 1842, and by Gaisford, 4 vols., Oxon. 1843. The latter contains a full critical apparatus with Latin translation and notes, and is the most useful edition which we have. Seguier in 1846 published a French translation with notes. The latter are printed in Latin in Migne's edition of the Opera, III. 1457 sq. The French translation I have not seen.
The Demonstratio was also published by Gaisford in 2 vols., Oxon. 1852, with critical apparatus and Latin translation. H'nell has made the two works the subject of a monograph entitled De Eusebio Caesariensi religionis Christianae Defensore (Gottingae, 1843) which I know only from the mention of it by Stein and Lightfoot.
Praeparatio Ecclesiastica ('Ekklhsiastikh Proparaskeuh), and Demanstratio Ecclesiastica ( 'Ekklhsiastikh 'Apodeicij). These two works are no longer extant. We know of the former only from Photius' reference to it in Bibl. 11, of the latter from his mention of it in Bibl. 12
Lightfoot says that the latter is referred to also in the Fus Graeco-Romanum (lib. IV. p. 295; ed. Leunclav.). We know nothing about the works (except that the first according to Photius contained extracts), and should be tempted to think them identical with the Praeparatio and Demonstratio Evang. were it not that Photius expressly mentions the two latter in another part of his catalogue (Bibl. 10). Lightfoot supposes that the two lost works did for the society what the Praep. and Dem. Evang. do for the doctrines of which the society is the depositary, and he suggests that those portions of the Theophania (Book IV.) which relate to the foundation of the Church may have been adopted from the Dem. Ecclesiastica, as other portions of the work (Book V.) are adopted from the Dem. Evang.
If there is a reference in the Praep. Evang. I. 3 (Opera, III 33) to the Demanstratio Eccles., as Lightfoot thinks there may be, and as is quite possible, the latter work, and consequently in all probability the Praep. Eccles, also, must have been written before 313 a.d.
Two Books of Objection and Defense ('Elegxou kai 'Apologiaj logoi duo). These are no longer extant, but are mentioned by Photius in his Bibl. 13. We gather from Photius' language that two editions of the work were extant in his time. The books, as Photius clearly indicates, contained an apology for Christianity against the attacks of the heathen, and not, as Cave supposed, a defense of the author against the charge of Arianism. The tract mentioned by Gelasius of Cyzicus (see below, p. 64) is therefore not to be identified with this work, as Cave imagined that it might be.
Theophania or Divine Manifestation (qeofaneia). A Syriac version of this work is extant in the same ms. which contains the Martyrs of Palestine, and was first published by Lee in 1842. In 1843 the same editor issued an English translation with notes and extended prolegomena (Cambridge, 1 vol.). The original work is no longer extant in its entirety, but numerous Greek fragments were collected and published by Mai in 1831 and 1833 (Script. vet. nov. coll. I. and VIII.), and again with additions in 1847 (Bibl. Nova Patrum, IV. 110 and 310; reprinted by Migne, Opera, VI. 607-690. Migne does not give the Syriac version). The manuscript which contains the Syriac version was written in 411, and Lee thinks that the translation itself may have been made even during the lifetime of Eusebius. At any rate it is very old and, so far as it is possible to judge, seems to have reproduced the sense of the original with comparative accuracy. The subject of the work is the manifestation of God in the incarnation of the Word. It aims to give, with an apologetic purpose, a brief exposition of the divine authority and influence of Christianity. It is divided into five books which handle successively the subject and the recipients of the revelation, that is, the Logos on the one hand, and man on the other; the necessity of the revelation; the proof of it drawn from its effects; the proof of it drawn from its fulfillment of prophecy; finally, the common objections brought by the heathen against Christ's character and wonderful works. Lee says of the work: "As a brief exposition of Christianity, particularly of its Divine authority, and amazing influence, it has perhaps never been surpassed." "When we consider the very extensive range of inquiry occupied by our author, the great variety both of argument and information which it contains, and the small space which it occupies; we cannot, I think, avoid coming to the conclusion, that it is a very extraordinary work, and one which is as suitable to our own times as it was to those for which it was written. Its chief excellency is, that it is argumentative, and that its arguments are well grounded, and logically conducted."
The Theophania contains much that is found also in other works of Eusebius. Large portions of the first, second, and third books are contained in the Oratio de Laudibus Constantini, nearly the whole of the fifth book is given in the Dem. Evang., while many passages occur in the Praep. Evang.
These coincidences assist us in determining the date of the work. That it was written after persecution had ceased and peace was restored to the Church, is clear from II. 76, III. 20, 79, V. 52. Lee decided that it was composed very soon after the close of the Diocletian persecution, but Lightfoot has shown conclusively (p. 333) from the nature of the parallels between it and other writings of Eusebius, that it must have been written toward the end of his life, certainly later than the De Laud. Canst. (335 a.d.), and indeed it is not improbable that it remained unfinished at the time of his death.
III Polemic Works.
Defense of Origen ('Apologia uper 'Wrigenouj). This was the joint work of Eusebius and Pamphilus, as is distinctly stated by Eusebius himself in his H. E. VI. 33, by Socrates, H. E. III. 7, by the anonymous collector of the Synodical Epistles (Ep. 198), and by Photius, Bibl. 118. The last writer informs us that the work consisted of six books, the first five of which were written by Eusebins and Pamphilus while the latter was in prison, the last book being added by the former after Pamphilus' death (see above, p. 9). There is no reason to doubt the statement of Photius, and we may therefore assign the first five books to the years 307-309, and assume that the sixth was written soon afterward. The Defense has perished, with the exception of the first book, which was translated by Rufinus (Rufin. ad Hieron. I. 582), and is still extant in his Latin version. Rufinus ascribed this book expressly to Pamphilus, and Pamphilus' name alone appears in the translation. Jerome (Contra Ruf. I. 8; II. 15, 23; III. 12) maintains that the whole work was written by Eusebius, not by Pamphilus, and accuses Rufinus of having deliberately substituted the name of the martyr Pamphilus for that of the Arianizing Eusebius in his translation of the work, in order to secure more favorable acceptance for the teachings of Origen. Jerome's unfairness and dishonesty in this matter have been pointed out by Lightfoot (p. 340). In spite of his endeavor to saddle the whole work upon Eusebius, it is certain that Pamphilus was a joint author of it, and it is quite probable that Rufinus was true to his original in ascribing to Pamphilus all the explanations which introduce and connect the extracts from Origen, which latter constitute the greater part of the book. Eusebius may have done most of his work in connection with the later books.
The work was intended as a defense of Origen against the attacks of his opponents (see Eusebius' H. E. VI 33, and the Preface to the Defense itself). According to Socrates (H. E. VI. 13), Methodius, Eustathius, Apollinaris, and Theophilus all wrote against Origen. Of these only Methodius had written before the composition of the Defense, and he was expressly attacked in the sixth book of that work, according to Jerome (Contra Ruf. I. 11). The wide opposition aroused against Origen was chiefly in consequence not of his personal character, but of his theological views. The Apology, therefore, seems to have been devoted in the main to a defense of those views over against the attacks of the men that held and taught opposite opinions, and may thus be regarded as in some sense a regular polemic. The extant book is devoted principally to a discussion of Origen's views on the Trinity and the Incarnation. It is not printed in Migne's edition of Eusebius' Opera, but is published in the various editions of Origen's works (in Lommatzsch's edition, XXIV. 289-412). For further particulars in regard to the work, see Delarue's introduction to it (Lommatzsch, XXIV. 263 sq.), and Lightfoot's article on Eusebius, pp. 340 and 341.
Against Marcellus, Bishop of Ancyra (kata Markellou tou 'Agkuraj episkopou). The occasion of this work has been already described (see p. 25), and is explained by Eusebius himself in Book II. chap, 4. The work must have been written soon after the Council at which Marcellus was condemned. It aims simply to expose his errors, exegetical as well as theological. The work consists of two books, and is still extant (Opera, VI. 707-824).
On the Theology of the Church, a Refutation of Marcellus (oi proj Markellon elegxoi peri thj ekklhsiastikhj Qeologiaj). The occasion of this work is stated in the first chapter. In the previous work Eusebius had aimed merely to expose the opinions of Marcellus, but in this he devotes himself to their refutation, fearing that some might be led astray by their length and plausibility. The work, which consists of three books, is still extant, and is given by Migne in the Opera, VI. 825-1046. Both it and the preceding are published with the Contra Hieroclem in Gaisford's Euseb. Pamph. contra Hieroclem et Marcellum, Oxon. 1852. Zahn has written a valuable monograph entitled Marcellus von Ancyra (Gotha, 1867).
Against the Manicheans. Epiphanius (Haer. LXVI. 21) mentions, among other refutations of the Manicheans, one by our Eusebius. The work is referred to nowhere else, and it is possible that Epiphanius was mistaken in his reference, or that the refutation he has in mind formed only a part of some other work, but we are hardly justified in asserting, as Lightfoot does, that the work cannot have existed.
IV. Dogmatic Works.
General Elementary Introduction ('H kaqolou stoixeiwdhj eisagwgh). This work consisted of ten books, as we learn from a reference to it in the Eclogae Propheticae, IV. 35. It was apparently a general introduction to the study of theology, and covered a great variety of subjects. Five brief fragments have been preserved, all of them apparently from the first book, which must have dealt largely with general principles of ethics. The fragments were published by Mai (Bibl. Nova Patrum, IV. 316), and are reprinted by Migne (Opera, IV. 1271 sq.). In addition to these fragments, the sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth books of the work are extant under the title:
Prophetical Extracts (Profhtikai 'Eklogai). Although this formed a part of the larger work, it is complete in itself, and circulated independently of the rest of the Introduction. It contains extracts of prophetical passages from the Old Testament relating to the person and work of Christ, accompanied by explanatory notes. It is divided into four books, the first containing extracts from the historical Scriptures, the second from the Psalms, the third from the other poetical books and from the prophets, the fourth from Isaiah alone. The personality of the Logos is the main topic of the work, which is thus essentially dogmatic, rather than apologetic, as it might at first glance seem to be. It was composed during the persecution, which is clearly referred to in Book I. chap. 8 as still raging; it must have been written therefore between 303 and 313. The date of these books, of course, fixes the date of the General Introduction, of which they formed a part. The Eclogae are referred to in the History, I. 2. On the other hand, they mention the Chronicle as a work already written (I. I: Opera, p. 1023); a reference which goes to prove that there were two editions of the Chronicle (see above, p. 31). The four books of the Prophetical Extracts were first published by Gaisford in 1842 (Oxford) from a Vienna ms. The ms. is mutilated in many places, and the beginning, including the title of the work, is wanting. Migne has reprinted Gaisford's edition in the Opera, IV. 1017 sq.
On the Paschal Festival (peri thj tou pasxa eorthj). This work, as Eusebius informs us in his Vita Const. IV. 34, was addressed to the Emperor Constantine, who commends it very highly in an epistle to Eusebius preserved in the Vita Const. IV. 35. From this epistle we learn, moreover , that the work had been translated into Latin. It is no longer extant in its entirety, but a considerable fragment of it was discovered by Mai in Nicetas' Catena on Luke, and published by him in his Bibl. Nova Patrum, IV. p. 208 sq. The extant portion of it contains twelve chapters, devoted partly to a discussion of the nature of the Passover and its typical significance, partly to an account of the settlement of the paschal question at the Council of Nicaea, and partly to an argument against the necessity of celebrating the paschal feast at the time of the Jewish Passover, based on the ground that Christ himself did not keep the Passover on the same day as the Jews.
Jerome, although he does not mention this work in his catalogue of Eusebius' writings (de vir. ill. 81), elsewhere (ib. 61) states that Eusebius composed a paschal canon with a cycle of nineteen years. This cycle may have been published (as Lightfoot remarks) as a part of the writing under discussion. The date of the work cannot be determined with exactness. It was written after the Council of Nicaea, and, as would seem from the connection in which it is mentioned in the Vita Canstantini, before the Emperor's tricennalia (335 a.d.), but not very long before. The extant fragment, as published by Mai, is reprinted by Migne in the Opera, VI. 693-706.
V. Critical and Exegetical Works.
Biblical Texts. We learn from Jerome (Praef. in librum Paralip.) that Eusebius and Pamphilus published a numbe`r of copies of Origen's edition of the LXX., that is, of the fifth column of the Hexapla. A colophon found in a Vatican ms., and given in fac-simile in Migne's Opera, IV. 875, contains the following account of their labors (the translation is Lightfoot's): "It was transcribed from the editions of the Hexapla, and was corrected from the Tetrapla of Origen himself, which also had been corrected and furnished with scholia in his own handwriting; whence I, Eusebius, added the scholia, Pamphilus and Eusebius corrected [this copy]." Compare also Field's Hexapla, I. p. xcix.
Taylor, in the Dictionary of Christian Biography, III. p. 21, says: "The whole work [i.e. the Hexapla] was too massive for multiplication; but many copies of its fifth column alone were issued from Caesarea under the direction of Pamphilus the martyr and Eusebius, and this recension of the LXX. came into common use. Some of the copies issued contained also marginal scholia, which gave inter alia a selection of readings from the remaining versions in the Hexapla. The oldest extant ms. of this recension is the Leiden Codex Sarravianus of the fourth or fifth century." These editions of the LXX. must have been issued before the year 309, when Pamphilus suffered martyrdom, and in all probability before 307, when he was imprisoned (see Lardner's Credibility, Part II. chap. 72.
In later years we find Eusebius again engaged in the publication of copies of the Scriptures. According to the Vita Const. IV. 36, 37, the Emperor wrote to Eusebius, asking him to prepare fifty sumptuous copies of the Scriptures for use in his new Constantinopolitan churches. The commission was carefully executed, and the mss. prepared at great cost. It has been thought that among our extant mss. may be some of these copies which were produced under Eusebius' supervision, but this is extremely improbable (see Lightfoot, p. 334).
Ten Evangelical Canons, with the Letter to Carpianus prefixed (kanonej deka; Canones decem harmoniae evangeliorum praemissa ad Carpianum epistola). Ammonius of Alexandria early in the third century had constructed a harmony of the Gospels, in which, taking Matthew as the standard, he placed alongside of that Gospel the parallel passages from the three others. Eusebius' work was suggested by this Harmony, as he tells us in his epistle to Carpianus. An inconvenient feature of Ammonius' work was that only the Gospel of Matthew could be read continuously, the sequence of the other Gospels being broken in order to bring their parallel sections into the order followed by Matthew. Eusebius, desiring to remedy this defect, constructed his work on a different principle. He made a table of ten canons, each containing a list of passages as follows: Canon I. passages common to all four Gospels; II. those common to Matthew, Mark, and Luke; III. those common to Matt, Luke, and John; IV. those common to Matt., Mark, and John; V. those common to Matthew and Luke; VI. those common to Matt. and Mark; VII. those common to Matt. and John; VIII. those common to Luke and Mark; IX. those common to Luke and John; X. those peculiar to each Gospel: first to Matthew, second to Mark, third to Luke, and fourth to John.
Each Gospel was then divided into sections, which were numbered continuously. The length of the section was determined, not by the sense, but by the table of canons, each section comprising a passage common to four, to three, to two Gospels, or peculiar to itself, as the case might be. A single section therefore might comprise even less than a verse, or it might cover more than a chapter. The sections were numbered in black, and below each number was placed a second figure in red, indicating the canon to which the section belonged. Upon glancing at that canon the reader would find at once the numbers of the parallel sections in the other Gospels, and could turn to them readily. The following is a specimen of a few lines of the first canon:-
Thus, opposite a certain passage in John, the reader finds ib (12) written, and beneath it, A (1). He therefore turns to the first canon (A) and finds that sections ia (11) in Matthew, d (4) in Mark, and i (10) in Luke are parallel with ib in John. The disadvantage and convenience of such a system are obvious, and the invention of it shows great ingenuity. It has indeed never been superseded, and the sections and canons are still indicated in the margins of many of our best Greek Testaments (e.g., in those of Tregelles and of Tischendorf). The date of the construction of these canons it is quite impossible to determine. For further particulars in regard to them, see Lightfoot's article on Eusebius, p. 334 sq., and Scrivener's Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament, 2d ed. p. 54 sq. The canons, with the letter to Carpianus prefixed, are given to Migne, Opera, IV. 1275-1292.
Gospel Questions and Solutions. This work consists of two parts, or of two separate works combined. The first bears the title Gospel Questions and Solutions addressed to Stephanus (proj Stefanon peri twn en euaggelioij zhthmatwn kai lusewn), and is referred to by Eusebius in his Dem. Evang. VII. 3, as Questions and Solutions on the Genealogy of our Saviour (twn eij thn genealogian tou swthroj hmwn zhthmatwn kai lusewn). The second part is entitled Gospel Questions and Solutions addressed to Marinus (proj Marinon). The first work consisted of two books, we learn from the opening of the second work. In that passage, referring to the previous work, Eusebius says that having discussed there the difficulties which beset the beginning of the Gospels, he will now proceed to consider questions concerning the latter part of them, the intermediate portions being omitted. He thus seems to regard the two works as in a sense forming parts of one whole. In his de vir ill. 81, Jerome mentions among the writings of Eusebius one On the Discrepancy of the Gospels (De Evangeliorum Diaphonia), and in his Comm. in Matt. chap. I. vers. 16, he refers to Eusebius' libri diafwniaj euaggeliwn. Ebedjesu also remarks, "Eusebius Caesariensis composuit librum solutionis contradictionum evangelii." In the sixteenth century there were found in Sicily, according to the announcement of Latino Latini, "libri tres Eusebii Caesariensis de Evangeliorum diaphonia," but nothing more has been heard or seen of this Sicilian ms. There can be no doubt that the work referred to under the title De Evangeliorum Diaphonia is identical with the Gospel Questions and Solutions, for the discrepancies in the Gospels occupy a considerable space in the Questions and Solutions as we have it, and the word diafwnia occurs frequently. The three books mentioned by Latino Latini were therefore the two books addressed to Stephanus which Eusebius himself refers to, and the one book addressed to Marinus. The complete work is no longer extant, but an epitome of it was discovered and published by Mai, together with numerous fragments of the unabridged work, two of them in Syriac (Bibl. Nova Patrum, IV. 217 sq.; reprinted by Migne, Opera, IV. 879-1016). In the epitome the work addressed to Stephanus consists of sixteen chpaters, and the division into two books is not retained. The work addressed to Marinus consists of only four chapters.
The work purports to have been written in answer to questions and difficulties suggested by Stephanus and Marinus, who are addressed by Eusebius in terms of affection and respect. The first work devoted chiefly to a discussion of the genealogies of Christ, as given by Matthew and Luke; the second work deals with the apparent discrepancies between the accounts of the resurrection as given by the different evangelists. Eusebius does not always reach a solution of the difficulties, but his work is suggestive and interesting. The question as to the date of the work is complicated by the fact that there is in the Dem. Evang. VII. 3 a reference to the Questions and Solutions addressed to Stephanus, while in the epitome of the latter work (Quaest. VII. §7) there is a distinct reference to the Demonstratio Evang. This can be satisfactorily explained only by supposing, with Lightfoot, that the Epitome was made at a later date than the original work, and that then Eusebius inserted this reference to the Demonstratio. We are thus led to assume two editions of this work, as of the others of Eusebius' writings, the second edition being a revised abridgement of the first. The first edition, at least of the Qeaestions ad Stephanum, must have been published before the Demonstratio Evangelica. We cannot fix the date of the epitome, nor of the Quaestiones ad Marinum.
Commentary on the Psalms (eij touj yalmouj). This commentary is extant entire as far as the 118the psalm, but from that point to the end only fragments of it have been preserved. It was first published in 1707, by Montfaucon, who, however, knew nothing of the fragments of the latter part of the work. These were discovered and published by Mai, in 1847 (Bibl. Nov. Patrum, IV. 65 sq.), and the entire extant work, including these fragments, is printed by Migne, Opera, V. and VI. 9-76. According to Lightfoot, notices of extant Syriac extracts from it are found in Wright's Catal. Syr. mss. Brit. Mus. pp. 35 sq. and 125. Jerome (de vir. ill. 96 and Ep. ad Vigilantium, §2; Migne's ed. Ep. 61) informs us that Eusebius of Vercellae translated this commentary into Latin, omitting the heretical passages. This version is no longer extant. The commentary had a high reputation among the Fathers, and justly so. It is distinguished for its learning, industry, and critical acumen. The Hexapla is used with great diligence, and the author frequently corrects the received LXX. text of his day upon the authority of one of the other versions. The work betrays an acquaintance with Hebrew, uncommon among the Fathers, but by no means extensive of exact. Eusebius devotes considerable attention to the historical relations of the Psalms, and exhibits an unusual degree of good judgment in their treatment, but the allegorical method of the school of Origen is conspicuous, and leads him into the mystical extravagances so common to patristic exegesis.
The work must have been written after the close of the persecution and the death of the persecutors (in Psal. XXXVI. 12). In another passage (in Psal. LXXXVII. 11) there seems to be a reference to the discovery of the site of the Holy Sepulchre and the erection of Constantine's basilica upon it (see Vita Const. III. 28, 20, &c.). The basilica was dedicated in the year 335 (see above, p. 24), and the site of the sepulchre was not discovered until the year 356, or later (see Lightfoot, p. 336). The commentary must have been written apparently after the basilica was begun, and probably after its completion. If so, it is to be placed among the very latest of Eusebius' works.
Commentary on Isaiah (upomnhmata eij 'Hsaian). This work is also extant almost entire, and was first published in 1706, by Montfaucon (Coll. Nova Patrum et Script. Graec. II.; reprinted by Migne. Opera. VI. 77-526). In his de vir. ill. 81 Jerome refers to it as containing ten books (in Isaiam libri decem), but in the preface to his Comment. in Isaiam he speaks of it as composed of fifteen (Eusebius quoque Pamphili juxta historicam explanationem quindecim edidit volumina). In its present form there is no trace of a division into books. The commentary is marked by the same characteristics which were noticed in connection with the one on the Psalms, though it does not seem to have acquired among the ancients so great a reputation as that work. It must have been written after the close of the persecution (in Is. XLIV. 5), and apparently after the accession of Constantine to sole power (in Is. XLIX. 23 compared with Vita Const. IV. 28). If the commentary on the Psalms was written toward the close of Eusebius' life, as assumed above, it is natural to conclude that the present work was preceded that.
Commentary on Luke (eij to kata Loukan euallelion). This work is no longer extant, but considerable fragments of it exist and have been published by Mai (Bibl. Nova Patrum, IV. 159 sq.; reprinted by Migne, Opera, VI. 529-606). Although the fragments are all drawn from Catenae on Luke, there are many passages which seem to have been taken from a commentary on Matthew (see notes of the editor). A number of extracts from the work are found in Eusebius' Theophania (see Mai's introduction to his fragments of the latter work).
The date of the commentary cannot be fixed with certainty, but I am inclined to place it before the persecution of Diocletian, for the reason that there appears in the work, so far as I have discovered, no hint of a persecution, although the passages expounded offer many opportunities for such a reference, which it is difficult to see how the author could have avoided making if a persecution were in progress while he was writing; and further, because in discussing Christ's prophecies of victory and dominion over the whole world, no reference is made to the triumph gained by the Church in the victories of Constantine. A confirmation of this early date may be found in the extreme simplicity of the exegesis, which displays neither the wide learning, nor the profound study that mark the commentaries on the Psalms and on Isaiah.
Commentary on the First Epistle to the Corinthians. This work is no longer extant, and we know of it only from a reference in Jerome's Ep. ad Pammachium, §3 (Migne's ed. Ep. 49): "Origenes, Dionysius, Pierius, Eusebius Caesariensis, Didymus, Apollinaris latissime hanc Epistolam interpretati sunt."
Exegetical Fragments. Mai has published brief fragments containing expositions of passages from Proverbs (Bibl. Nova Patrum, IV. 316; reprinted by Migne, Opera, VI. 75-78), from Daniel (ib. p. 314; Migne, VI. 525-528), and from the Epistle to the Hebrews (ib. p. 207; Migne, VI. 605). Fabricius mentions also fragments from a commentary on the Songs of Songs as published by Meursius, and says that other commentaries are referred to by Montfaucon in his Epistola de Therapeutis, p. 151. We have no references in the works of the ancients to any such commentaries, so far as I am awarem and it is quite possible that the various fragments given by Mai, as well as those referred to by Fabricius may have been taken not from continuous commentaries, but from Eusebius' General Elementary Introduction, or others of his lost works. According to Migne (VI. 527) some Greek Catenae published by Cramer in Oxford in the year 1884 contain extensive fragments on Matthew and John, which, however, have been taken from Eusebius' Quaest. Evang. Other fragments in Catenae on the same Evangelists and on Mark, have been taken, according to Migne, from the Quaestiones ad Stephanum, or from the Commentary on Luke.
It is, however, quite possible, as it seems to me, that Eusebius wrote a commentary on Daniel. At any rate, the exegetical fragments which we have, taken with the extended discussions of certain passages found in the Dem. Evang. VIII. 2 and in the Eclogae Proph. III. 40 sq., show that he expounded at one time or another a considerable portion of the book.
VI. Biblical Dictionaries.
Interpretation of the Ethnological Terms in the Hebrew Scriptures. This work is no longer extant, but is known to us from Eusebius' reference to it in the preface to his work On the Names of Places, where he writes as follows: twn ana thn oikoumenhn eqnwn epi thn ellada fwnhn metabalwn taj th qeia lrafh keimenaj ebraioij onomasi prosrhseij. Jerome, in the preface to his Latin version of the same work, also refers to it in the following words: "... diversarum vocabula nationum, quae olim apud Hebraeos dicta sint, et nunc dicantur, exposuit." No other ancient authority mentions the work so far as I am aware.
Chorography of Ancient Judea with the Inheritances of the Ten Tribes. This work too is lost, but is referred to by Eusebius in the same preface in the following words: thj palai 'Ioudaiaj apo pashj Biblou katagrafqhn pepoihmenoj kai taj en auth twn dwdeka fulwn diairwn klhrouj. Jerome (ib.) says: "... Chorographiam terrae Judaeae, et distinctas tribuum sortes ...labaravit."
It is remarked by Fabricius that this work is evidently intended by Ebedjesu in his catalogue, where he mentions among the writings of Eusebius a Librum de Figura Mundi (cf. Assemani's Bibl. Orient. III. p. 18, note 7).
A Plan of Jerusalem and of the Temple, accompanied with Memoirs relating to the Various Localities. This too is lost, but is referred to by Eusebius (ib.) in the following words: wj en grafhj tupw thj palai diabohtou mhtropolewj authj (legw de thn 'Ierousalhm) tou te en auth iepou thn eikona diaxaracaj meta paraqeswj twn touj tupouj upomnhmatwn. Jerome (ib.) says: "ipsius quoque Jerusalem templique in ea cum brevissima expositione picturam, ad extremum in hoc opussulo laboravit."
On the Names of Places in Holy Scripture (peri twn topikwn onomatwn twn en th qeia grafh). In Jerome's version this work bears the title Liber de Situ et Nominibus Locorum Hebraicorum, but in his de vir. ill. 81, he refers to it as topikwn, liber unus, and so it is commonly called simply Topica. It is still extant, both in the original Greek and in a revised and partly independent Latin version by Jerome. Both are published by Vallarsi in Hieronymi Opera, III. 122 sq. Migne, in his edition of Eusebius' works, omits the Topica and refers to his edition of Jerome's works, where, however, he gives only Jerome's version, not the original Greek (III. 859-928). The best editions of the Greek text are by Larsow and Parthey (Euseb. Pamph. Episc. Caes. Onomasticon, &c., Berolini, 1862), and by Lagarde (Onomastica Sacra, I. 207-304, Gottingae, 1870). The work aims to give, in the original language, in alphabetical order, the names of the cities, villages, mountains, rivers, &c., mentioned in the Scriptures, together with their modern designations and brief descriptions of each. The work is thus of the same character as a modern dictionary or Biblical geography. The other three works were narrower than this one in their scope, but seem also have been arranged somewhat on the dictionary plan. The work is dedicated to Paulinus, a fact which leads us to place its composition before 325 a.d., when Paulinus was already dead (see below, p. 369). Jerome, in the preface to his version, says that Eusebius wrote the work after his History and Chronicle. We are to conclude, then either that the work was published in 324 or early in 325, within a very few months after the History, or, what is more probable, that Jerome is mistaken in his statement. He is proverbially careless and inaccurate, and Eusebius, neither in his preface-from which Jerome largely quotes in his own- nor in the work itself, gives any hint of the fact that his History and Chronicle were already written.
On the Nomenclature of the Book of the Prophets (peri thj tou bibliou twn profhtwn onomasiaj kai apo merouj ti periecei ekastoj). This work contains brief accounts of the several prophets and notes the subjects of their prophecies. It is thus, so far as it goes, a sort of biographical dictionary. It was first published by Curterius in his Procopii Sophistae Christinae variarum in Isaiam Prophetam commentationum epitome (Paris, 1850, under the title De vitis Prophetarum, by which it is commonly known. We have no means of determining the date of its composition. Curterius' text has been reprinted by Migne, Opera, IV. 1261-1272.
Panegyric on the Building of the Churches, addressed to Paulinus, Bishop of Tyre (Panhgurikoj epi th twn ekklhsiwn oikodomh, Paulinw Turiwn episkopw prospefwnhmenoj). This oration was delivered at the dedication of Paulinus' new church in Tyre, to which reference has already been made (see above, p. 11). It has been preserved in Eusebius' History, Book X. chap. 4 (see below, p. 370. sq.).
Oration delivered at the Vicennalia of Constantine. Eusebius refers to this in the Preface to his Vita Constantini as ei0kosaethrikoi\ u#mnoi. It is to be identified with the oration delivered at the opening of the Council of Nicaea (Vita Const. III.11), as stated above, on p. 19. It is unfortunately no longer extant.
Oration on the Sepulchre of the Saviour. In his Vita Const. IV.33 Eusebius informs us that he delivered an oration on this subject (a0mfi= tou\ swthri/ou mnh/matoj lo/goj) in the presence of the Emperor at Constantinople. In the same work, IV.46, he says that he wrote a description of the church of the Saviour and of his sepulchre, as well as of the splendid presents given by the Emperor for their adornment. This description he gave in a special work which he addressed to the Emperor (e0n oi0kei/w| suggra/mmati parado/ntej, au0tw=| basilei= prosefwnh/samen. If these two are identical, as has always been assumed, the Oration on the Sepulchre must have been delivered in 335, when Eusebius went to Constantinople, just after the dedication of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem (see above, p. 23), and just before the Oratio deo laudibus Constantini (see ib. IV.46). That the two are identical has always been assumed, and seems most probable. At the same time it is worthy of notice that in IV.33 Eusebius speaks as if he returned to Caesarea immediately after delivering his oration, and gives no hint of the delivery of his De laud. Const. at that time. It is noticeable also that he speaks in IV.46 of a work (su/ggramma) not of an oration (lo/goj), and that in IV.45 he mentions the fact that he has described the splendid edifice and gifts of the Emperor in writing (dia\ gra/mmatoj), which would seem to imply something else than an address. Finally, it is to be observed that, whereas, in IV. 46, he expressly refers to the church erected by Constantine and to his rich gifts in connection with its construction, in IV.33 he refers only to the sepulchre. It appears to me, in fact, quite possible that Eusebius may be referring to two entirely different compositions, the one an oration delivered after the discovery of the sepulchre and before the Emperor had built the church (perhaps containing the suggestion of such a building), the other a descriptive work written after the completion of that edifice. I present this only as a possibility, for I realize that against it may be urged the unlikelihood that two separate works should have been composed by Eusebius upon subjects so nearly, if not quite, identical, and also the probability that, if there were two, both, and not one only, would have been attached to the end of the Vita Const. with the De laud Const. (see IV.46). Neither the Oration on the Sepulchre of the Saviour nor the Work on the Church and the Sepulchre (whether the two are the same or not) is now extant.
Oration delivered at the Tricennalia of Constantine (ei0j Kwnstanti=non to\n basile/a triakontaethriko/j), commonly known under the title Oratio de laudibus Constantini. In his Vita Const. IV.46, Eusebius promised to append this oration, together with the writing On the Church and the Sepulchre, to that work. The de laudibus is still found at the end of the mss. of the Vita, while the other writing is lost. It was delivered in Constantinople in 335 on the occasion of the Emperor's tricennalia, very soon after the dedication of the church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem (see above, p. 25). It is highly panegyrical, but contains a great deal of theology, especially in regard to the person and work of the Logos. Large portions of it were afterward incorporated into the Vita Constantini and the Theophania. The oration is published in most, if not all, editions of the Vita Constantini; in Migne, Opera, II. 1315-1440.
Oration in Praise of the Martyrs. This oration is mentioned in the catalogue of Ebedjesu (et orationem de laudibus eorum [i.e. Martyrum Occidentalium]; see Assemani, Bibl. Orient. III. p. 19), and, according to Lightfoot, is still extant in a Syriac version, which has been published in the Journal of Sacred Literature, N. S., Vol. V. p. 403 sq., with an English translation by B. H. Cowper, ib. VI. p. 129 sq. Lightfoot finds in it an indication that it was delivered at Antioch, but pronounces it of little value or importance.
On the Failure of Rain. This is no longer extant, and is known to us only from a reference in thecatalogue of Ebedjesu (et orationem de defectu pluvioe; see Assemani, ib.).
To Alexander, bishop of Alexandria. The purpose and the character of this epistle have been already discussed (see above). A fragment of it has been preserved in the Proceedings of the Second Council of Nicaea, Act VI., Tom. V. (Labbei et Cossartii Conc. VII. col. 497). For a translation of the epistle, see below. This and the following epistle were written after the outbreak of the Arian controversy, but before the Nicene Council.
To Euphration, bishop of Balaneae in Syria, likewise a strong opponent of the Arians (see Athan. de Fuga, 3; Hist. Ar. ad Mon. 5). Athanasius states that this epistle declared plainly that Christ is not God (Athan. de Synod. 17). A brief fragment of it has been preserved in the Acts of the Second Council of Nicaea (l.c.), which probably contains the very passage to which Athanasius refers. Upon the interpretation and significance of the fragment, see above.
To Constantia Augusta, the sister of Constantine and wife of Licinius. Constantia had written toEusebius requesting him to send her a certain likeness of Christ of which she had heard. Eusebius, inthis epistle, rebukes her, and speaks strongly against the use of such representations, on the ground thatit tends toward idolatry. The tone of the letter is admirable. Numerous fragments of it have beendiscovered, so that we have it now almost entire. It is printed in Migne, Opera, II. 1545-1550 Wehave no means of ascertaining the date at which it was written.To the Church of Caesarea. This epistle was written from Nicaea in 325 a.d., during or immediately after the Council. Its purpose and character have been discussed above on p. 16 sq., where a translation of it is given. The epistle is preserved by Athanasius (de Decret. Syn. Nic. app.); by Socrates, H. E. I. 8; by Theodoret, H. E. I. 11, and others. It is printed by Migne, Opera, II. 1535-1544.
In the Acts of the Second Council of Nicaea (l.c.) we find a mention of "all the epistles" of Eusebius, as if many were at that time extant. We know, however, only of those which have been mentioned above.
IX. Spurious or Doubtful Works.
Fourteen Latin opuscula were discovered and published by Sirmond in 1643, and have beenfrequently reprinted (Migne, Opera, VI. 1047-1208).). They are of a theological character,and bear the following titles:-
De fide adv. Sabellium, libri duo.
De Resurrectione, libri duo.
De Incorporali et invisibili Deo.
De Incorporali Animal.
De Spiritali Cogitatu hominis.
De eo quad Deus Pater incorporalis est, libri duo.
De eo quad aft Dominus, Won vend pacem, etc.
De Mandato Domini, Quad aid, Quad dico vobis in aure, etc.
De operibus bonds et malis.
De operibus bonds, ex epist. II. ad Corinth.
Their authenticity is a matter of dispute. Some of them may be genuine, but Lardner is doubtless right in denying the genuineness of the two Against Sabellius, which are the most important of all (see Lardner's Credibility, Part II. chap. 72).
Lightfoot states that a treatise, On the Star which appeared to the Magi, was published by Wright in the Journal of Sacred Literature (1866) from a Syriac ms. It is ascribed to Eusebius, but its genuineness has been disputed, and good reasons have been given for supposing that it was written originally in Syriac (see Lightfoot, p. 345).
Fabricius (Bibl. Gr. VI. 104) reports that the following works are extant in ms.: Fragmentum de Mensuris ac Ponderibus (mss. Is. Vossii, n. 179); De Morte Herodis (ms. in Bibl. Basil.); Praefatio ad Canticum Mosis in Exodo (Lambec. III. p. 35).
Chapter III. Eusebius' Church History.
§1. Date of its Composition.
The work with which we are especially concerned at this time is the Church History, the original Greek of which is still extant in numerous mss. It consists of ten books, to which is added in most of the mss. the shorter form of the Martyrs of Palestine (see above, p. 29). The date of the work can be determined with considerable exactness. It closes with a eulogy of Constantine and his son Crispus; and since the latter was put to death by his father in the summer of 326, the History must have been completed before that time. On the other hand, in the same chapter Eusebius refers to the defeat of Licinius, which took place in the year 323 a.d. This gives a fixed terminus a quo. It is not quite certain from Eusebius' words whether the death of Licinius had already taken place at the time he wrote, but it seems probable that it had, and if so, the completion of the work must be put as late as the Summer of 324. On the other hand, not the slightest reference is made to the Council of Nicaea, which met in the summer of 325; and still further the tenth book is dedicated to Paulinus, at one time bishop of Tyre and afterward bishop of Antioch (see Euseb. Contra Marc. I. 4, and Philost. H. E. III 15), who was already dead in the summer of 325: for at the Nicene Council, Zeno appears as bishop of Tyre, and Eustathius as bishop of Antioch (see for further particulars Lightfoot, p. 322). We are thus led to place the completion of the History in the year 324, or, to give the widest possible limits, between the latter part of 323 and the early part of 325 a.d.
But the question has been raised whether the earlier books may not have been composed some years before this. Lightfoot (following Westcott) supposes that the first nine books were completed not long after the edict of Milan and before the outbreak of the quarrel between Constantine and Licinius in 314. There is considerable to be said in favor of this theory. The language used in the dedication of the tenth book seems to imply that the nine books had been completed some time before, and that the tenth is added as a sort of postscript. The close of the ninth book strengthens that conclusion. Moreover, it would seem from the last sentences of that book that Constantine and Licinius were in perfect harmony at the time it was written, a state of affairs which did not exist after 314. On the other hand, it must be noticed that in Book IX. chap. 9 Licinius' "madness" is twice referred to as having "not yet" seized him (in §1 oupw manentoj tote, and in §12 oupw tote ef hn usteron ekpeptwke manian, thn dianoian ektrapeij). It is necessary either to interpret both these clauses as later insertions (possibly by Eusebius' own hand at the time when he added the tenth book; cf. also p. 30, above), or to throw the composition of the ninth book down to the year 319 or later. It is difficult to decide between these alternatives, but I am inclined on the whole to think that Westcott's theory is probably correct, and that the two clauses can best be interpreted as later insertions. The very nature of his History would at any rate lead us to think that Eusebius spent some years in the composition of it, and that the earlier books, if not published, were at least completed long before the issue of the ten books as a whole. The Chronicle is referred to as already written in I. 1; the Eclogae Proph. (? see below, p. 85) in I. 2 and 6; the Collection of Ancient Martyrdoms in IV. 15, V. preface, 4, and 22; the Defense of Origen in VI. 23, 33, and 36; the Life of Pamphilus in VI. 32, VII. 32, and VIII. 13. In VIII. 13 Eusebius speaks also of his intention of relating the sufferings of the martyrs in another work (but see above, p. 30).
§2. The Author's Design.
That the composition of a history of the Church was Eusebius' own idea, and was not due to any suggestion from without, seems clear, both from the absence of reference to any one else as prompting it, and from the lack of a dedication at the beginning of the work. The reasons which led him to undertake its composition seem to have been both scientific and apologetic. He lived, and he must have realized the fact, at the opening of a new age in the history of the Church. He believed, as he frequently tells us, that the period of struggle had come to an end, and that the Church was now about entering upon a new era of prosperity. He must have seen that it was a peculiarly fitting time to put on record for the benefit of posterity the great events which had taken place within the Church during the generations that were past, to sum up in one narrative all the trials and triumphs which had now emerged in this final and greatest triumph, which he was witnessing. He wrote, as any historian of the present day would write, for the information and instruction of his contemporaries and of those who should come after, and yet there was in his mind all the time the apologetic purpose, the desire to exhibit to the world the history of Christianity as a proof of its divine origin and efficacy. The plan which he proposed to himself is stated at the very beginning of his work: "It is my purpose to write an account of the successions of the holy apostles, as well as of the times which have elapsed from the days of our Saviour to our own; and to relate how many and how important events are said to have occurred in the history of the Church; and to mention those who have governed and presided over the Church in the most prominent parishes, and those who in each generation have proclaimed the divine word either orally or in writing. It is my purpose also to give the names and the number and the times of those who through love of innovation have run into the greatest errors, and proclaiming themselves discoverers of knowledge, falsely so-called, have, like fierce wolves, unmercifully devastated the flock of Christ. It is my intention, moreover, to recount the misfortunes which immediately came upon the whole Jewish nation in consequence of their plots against our Saviour, and to record the ways and the times in which the divine word has been attacked by the Gentiles, and to describe the character of those who at various periods have contended for it in the face of blood and tortures, as well as the confessions which have been made in our own days, and finally the gracious and kindly succour which our Saviour afforded them all." It will be seen that Eusebius had a very comprehensive idea of what a history of the Church should comprise, and that he was fully alive to its importance.
§3. Eusebius as a Historian. The Merits and Defects of his History.
The whole Christian world has reason to be thankful that there lived at the opening of the fourth century a man who, with his life spanning one of the greatest epochs that has occurred in the history of the Church, with an intimate experimental knowledge of the old and of the new condition of things, was able to conceive so grand a plan and possessed the means and the ability to carry it out. Had he written nothing else, Eusebius' Church History would have made him immortal; for if immortality be a fitting reward for large and lasting services, few possess a clearer title to it than the author of that work. The value of the History to us lies not in its literary merit, but in the wealth of the materials which it furnishes for a knowledge of the early Church. How many prominent figures of the first three centuries are known to us only from the pages of Eusebius; how many fragments, priceless on account of the light which they shed upon movements of momentous and far-reaching consequence, have been preserved by him alone; how often a hint dropped, a casual statement made in passing, or the mention of some apparently trifling event, gives the clue which enables us to unravel some perplexing labyrinth, or to fit into one whole various disconnected and apparently unrelated elements, and thus to trace the steps in the development of some important historical movement whose rise and whose bearing must otherwise remain an unsolved riddle. The work reveals no sympathy with Ebionism, Gnosticism, and Montanism, and little appreciation of their real nature, and yet our knowledge of their true significance and of their place in history is due in considerable part to facts respecting the movements or their leaders which Eusebius alone has recorded or preserved. To understand the development of the Logos Christology we must comprehend the significance of the teaching of Paul of Samosata, and how inadequate would our knowledge of the nature of that teaching be without the epistle quoted in Book VII. chap. 30. How momentous were the consequences of the paschal controversies, and how dark would they be were it not for the light shed upon them by our author. How important, in spite of their tantalizing brevity and obscurity, the fragments of Papias' writings; how interesting the extracts from the memoirs of Hegesippus; how suggestive the meager notices from Dionysius of Corinth, from Victor of Rome, from Melito, from Caius; how instructive the long and numerous quotations from the epistles of Dionysius of Alexandria! He may often fail to appreciate the significance of the events which he records, he may in many cases draw unwarranted conclusions from the premises which he states, he may sometimes misinterpret his documents and misunderstand men and movements, but in the majority of cases he presents us with the material upon which to form our own judgments, and if we differ with him we must at the same time thank him for the data which have enabled us independently to reach other results.
But the value of Eusebius' Church History does not lie solely in the fact that it contains so many original sources which would be otherwise unknown to us. It is not merely a thesaurus, it is a history in the truest sense, and it possesses an intrinsic value of its own, independent of its, quotations from other works. Eusebius possessed extensive sources of knowledge no longer accessible to us. His History contains the results of his extended perusal of many works which are now irrecoverably lost, of his wide acquaintance with the current traditions of his day, of his familiar intercourse with many of the chief men of the age. If we cut out all the documents which he quotes, there still remains an extensive history whose loss would leave an irreparable blank in our knowledge of the early Church. How invaluable, for instance, to mention but one matter, are the researches of our author in regard to the circulation of the books of the New Testament: his testimony to the condition of the canon in his own time, and to the more or less widespread use of particular writings by the Fathers of preceding centuries. Great as is the value of the sources which Eusebius quotes, those that he does not give are still more extensive, and it is the knowledge gained from them which he has transmitted to us.
The worth of these portions of his History must depend in the first place upon the extent and reliability of his sources, and in the second place upon the use which he made of them.
A glance at the list of his authorities given in the index, reveals at once the immense range of his materials. The number of books which he either quotes or refers to as read is enormous. When to these are added the works employed by him in the composition of his Praep. Evang., as well as the great number which he must have perused, but does not mention, we are amazed at the extent of his reading. He must have been a voracious reader from his earliest years, and he must have possessed extraordinary acquisitive powers. It is safe to say that there was among the Fathers, with the possible exception of Origen, no more learned man than he. He thus possessed one of the primary qualifications of the historian. And yet even in this respect he had his limitations. He seems to have taken no pains to acquaint himself with the works of heretics, but to have been content to take his knowledge of them at second hand. And still further, he was sadly ignorant of Latin literature and of the Latin Church in general (see below, p. 106); in fact, we must not expect to glean from his History a very thorough or extended knowledge of western Christendom.
But his sources were not confined to literary productions. He had a wide acquaintance with the world, and he was enabled to pick up much from his intercourse with other men and with different peoples that he could not have found upon the shelves of the Caesarean or of any other library. Moreover, he had access to the archives of state and gathered from them much information quite inaccessible to most men. He was thus peculiarly fitted, both by nature and by circumstances, for the task of acquiring material, the first task of the genuine historian.
But the value of his work must depend in the second place upon the wisdom and honesty with which he used his sources, and upon the faithfulness and accuracy with which he reproduced the results thus reached. We are therefore led to enquire as to his qualifications for this part of his work.
We notice, in the first place, that he was very diligent in the use of his sources. Nothing seems to have escaped him that might in any way bear upon the particular subject in hand. When he informs us that a certain author nowhere mentions a book or an event, he is, so far as I am aware, never mistaken. When we realize how many works he read entirely through for the sake of securing a single historical notice, and how many more he must have read without finding anything to his purpose, we are impressed with his untiring diligence. To-day, with our convenient indexes, and with the references at hand which have been made by many other men who have studied the writings of the ancients, we hardly comprehend what an amount of labor the production of a History like Eusebius' must have cost him, a pioneer in that kind of work.
In the second place, we are compelled to admire the sagacity which our author displays in the selection of his materials. He possessed the true instinct of the historian, which enabled him to pick out the salient points and to present to the reader just that information which he most desires. We shall be surprised upon examining his work to see how little it contains which it is not of the utmost importance for the student of early Church history to know, and how shrewdly the author has anticipated most of the questions which such a student must ask. He saw what it was in the history of the first three centuries of the Church which posterity would most desire to know, and he told them. His wisdom in this respect is all the more remarkable when compared with the unwisdom of most of his successors, who filled their works with legends of saints and martyrs, which, however fascinating they may have been to the readers of that age, possess little either of interest or of value for us. When he wishes to give us a glimpse of the persecutions of those early days, his historical and literary instinct leads him to dwell especially upon two thoroughly representative cases,-the martyrdom of Polycarp and the sufferings of the churches of Lyons and Vienne,-and to preserve for posterity two of the noblest specimens of martyrological literature which the ancient Church produced. It is true that he sometimes erred in his judgment as to the wants of future readers; we could wish that he had been somewhat fuller and clearer on many points, and that he had not so entirely neglected some others; but on the whole I am of the opinion that few historical works, ancient or modern, have in the same compass better fulfilled their mission in this respect.
In the third place, we can hardly fail to be impressed by the wisdom with which Eusebius discriminated between reliable and unreliable sources. Judged by the modern standard he may fall short as a literary critic, but judged by the standard of antiquity he must be given a very high rank. Few indeed are the historians of ancient times, secular or ecclesiastical, who can compare with Eusebius for sound judgment in this matter. The general freedom of his work from the fables and prodigies, and other improbable or impossible tales which disfigure the pages of the great majority even of the soberest of ancient historians, is one of its most marked features. He shows himself uncommonly particular in demanding good evidence for the circumstances which he records, and uncommonly shrewd in detecting spurious and unreliable sources. When we remember the great number of pseudonymous works which were current in his day we are compelled to admire his care and his discrimination. Not that he always succeeded in detecting the false. More than once he was sadly at fault (as for instance in regard to the Abgarus correspondence and Josephus' testimony to Christ), and has in consequence been severely denounced or held up to unsparing ridicule by many modern writers. But the wonder certainly is not that he erred as often as he did, but that he did not err oftener; not that he was sometimes careless in regard to the reliability of his sources, but that he was ever as careful as, in the majority of cases, he has proved himself to be. In fact, comparing him with other writers of antiquity, we cannot commend too highly the care and the skill with which he usually discriminated between the true and the false.
In the fourth place, he deserves all praise for his constant sincerity and unfailing honesty. I believe that emphasis should be laid upon this point for the reason that Eusebius' reputation has often suffered sadly in consequence of the unjust imputations, and the violent accusations, which it was for a long time the fashion to make against him, and which lead many still to treat his statements with distrust, and his character with contempt. Gibbon's estimate of his honesty is well known and has been unquestioningly accepted in many quarters, but it is none the less unjust, and in its implications quite untrue to the facts. Eusebius does dwell with greater fullness upon the virtues than upon the vices of the early Church, upon its glory than upon its shame, and he tells us directly that it is his intention so to do (H. E. VIII. 2), but he never undertakes to conceal the sins of the Christians, and the chapter immediately preceding contains a denunciation of their corruptness and wickedness uttered in no faint terms. In fact, in the face of these and other candid passages in his work, it is the sheerest injustice to charge him with dishonesty and unfairness because he prefers, as almost any Christian historian must, to dwell with greater fullness of detail upon the bright than upon the dark side of the picture. Scientific, Eusebius' method, in this respect, doubtless is not; but dishonest, no one has a right to call it. The most severe attack which has been made upon Eusebius in recent years is found in an article by Jachmann (see below, p. 55). The evident animus which runs through his entire paper is very unpleasant; the conclusions which he draws are, to say the least, strained. I cannot enter here into a consideration of his positions; most of them are examined below in the notes upon the various passages which he discusses. The whole article, like most similar attacks, proceeds upon the supposition that our author is guilty, and then undertakes simply to find evidence of that which is already presupposed. I submit that few writers could endure such an ordeal. If Eusebius is tried according to the principles of common justice, and of sound literary criticism, I am convinced, after long and careful study, that his sincerity and honesty of purpose cannot be impeached. The particular instances which have been urged as proving his dishonesty will be discussed below in the notes upon the respective passages, and to those the reader is referred (compare especially pp. 88, 98, 100, 111, 112, 114, 127, 194).
Eusebius' critics are wont to condemn him severely for what they are pleased to call the dishonesty displayed by him in his Vita Constantini. Such critics forget, apparently, that that work pretends to be, not a history, but a panegyric. Judging it as such, I am unable to find anything in it which leads me to entertain for a moment a suspicion of the author's honesty, It is true that Eusebius emphasizes the Emperor's good qualities, and fails to mention the darker spots in his character; but so far as I am aware he misstates no facts, and does only what those who eulogize deceased friends are accustomed to do the world over. For a discussion of this matter the reader is referred to the prolegomena of Dr. Richardson, pp. 467 sq. of this volume. I am pleased to learn from him that his study of the Vita has shown him nothing which justifies the charge of dishonesty brought against Eusebius.
One of the most decisive marks of veracity upon the part of our author is the frankness with which he confesses his lack of knowledge upon any subject (cf. IV. 5), and the care with which he distinguishes between the different kinds of evidence upon which he bases his statements. How frequently the phrases logoj exei, fasi, legetai, &c., occur in connection with accounts which a less scrupulous historian would not hesitate to record as undoubted fact. How particular he is to mention his sources for any unusual or startling event. If the authorities seem to him quite inadequate, he simply omits all reference to an occurrence which most of his contemporaries and successors would have related with the greatest gusto; if the testimony seems to him strong, he records the circumstance and expressly mentions his authority, whether oral tradition, the testimony of eye-witnesses, or written accounts, and we are thus furnished the material from which to form our own judgments.
He is often blamed by modern writers for what they are pleased to call his excessive credulity. Those who accuse him thus seem to forget that he lived in the fourth, not in the nineteenth century. That he believed many things which we now declare to be incredible is perfectly true, but that he believed things that other Christians of his day pronounced incredible is not true. Judged, in fact, according to the standard of his age-and indeed of eleven succeeding centuries-he must be pronounced remarkably free from the fault of over-credulity, in truth uncommonly skeptical in his attitude toward the marvelous. Not that he denies the occurrence of prodigies and wonders in his own and other ages, but that he always demands the strongest testimony before he allows himself to be convinced of their truth. Compare, e.g., the care with which he gives his authorities for the anecdote in regard to the Thundering Legion (V. 5), and his final suspension of judgment in the matter; compare also the emphasis which he lays upon the personal testimony of the Emperor in the matter of the appearance of the sign of the cross in the sky(Vita Const. I. 28 sq.), a phenomenon which he himself tells us that he would have believed upon, no ordinary evidence. His conduct in this matter is a sign rather of a skepticism uncommon in his age than of an excessive and unusual credulity. Gibbon himself gives our author due credit in this respect, when he speaks of his character as "less tinctured with credulity, and more practiced in the arts of courts, than that of almost any of his contemporaries" (Decline and Fall, chap. XVI.).
On the other hand, Eusebius as an historian had many very grave faults which it is not my wish in the least to palliate or conceal. One of the most noticeable of these is his complete lack of any conception of historiography as a fine art. His work is interesting and instructive because of the facts which it records, but that interest is seldom if ever enhanced by his mode of presentation. There is little effective grouping, almost no sense of perspective, utter ignorance of the art of suggesting by a single line or phrase a finished picture of a man or of a movement. He was not, in other words, a Thucydides or a Tacitus; but the world has seen not many such as they.
A second and still more serious fault is our author's want of depth, if I may so express myself, his failure to look beneath the surface and to grasp the real significance of things, to trace the influence of opinions and events. We feel this defect upon every page. We read the annals, but we are conscious of no masterful mind behind them, digesting and comprehending them into one organic and imposing whole. This radical weakness in our author's method is revealed perhaps most clearly in his superficial and transcendental treatment of heretics and heresies, his failure to appreciate their origin and their bearing upon the progress of Christian thought. Of a development in theology, in fact, he knows nothing, and hence his work lacks utterly that which we now look upon as the most instructive part of Church history,-the history of doctrine.
In the third place, severe censure must be passed upon our author for his carelessness and inaccuracy in matters of chronology. We should expect that one who had produced the most extensive chronological work that had ever been given to the world, would be thoroughly at home in that province, but in truth his chronology is the most defective feature of his work. The difficulty is chiefly due to his inexcusable carelessness, we might almost say slovenliness, in the use of different and often contradictory sources of information. Instead of applying himself to the discrepancies, and endeavoring to reach the truth by carefully weighing the respective merits of the sources, or by testing their conclusions in so far as tests are possible, he adopts in many cases the results of both, apparently quite unsuspicious of the confusion consequent upon such a course. In fact, the critical spirit which actuates him in dealing with many other matters seems to leave him entirely when he is concerned with chronology; and instead of proceeding with the care and circumspection of an historian, he accepts what he finds with the unquestioning faith. of a child. There is no case in which he can be convicted of disingenuousness, but at times his obtuseness is almost beyond belief. An identity of names, or a resemblance between events recorded by different authors, will often be enough to lead him all unconsciously to himself into the most absurd and contradictory conclusions. Instances of this may be seen in Book I. chap. 5, and in II. 11. His confusion in regard to the various Antonines (see especially the note on the preface to Book V.) is not at all unusual among the writers of his day, and in view of the frequent and perplexing use of the same names by the different emperors, might be quite excusable in a less scholarly man than Eusebius, but in his case it is evidence of unpardonable want of care. This serious defect in our author's method is not peculiar to him. Many historians, critical almost to a fault in most matters, accept the received chronology without question, and build upon it as if it were the surest of foundations. Such a consideration does not excuse Eusebius; it relieves him, however, of the stigma of peculiarity.
Finally, the character of the History is greatly impaired by our author's desultory method. This is a characteristic of his literary work in general, and, was referred to in the previous chapter. All his works are marred by it, but few suffer more noticeably than the History. The author does not confine himself as strictly as he should to the logical limits of the subject which he is treating, but allows himself to be led away from the main point by the suggestions that pour in upon him from all sides. As Lightfoot remarks, "We have not unfrequently to pick out from various parts of his work the notices bearing on one definite and limited subject. He relates a fact, or quotes an authority bearing upon it, in season or out of season, according as it is recalled to his memory by some accidental connexion." This unfortunate habit of Eusebius' is one into which men of wide learning are very apt to fall. The richness of their acquisitions embarrasses them, and the immense number of facts in their possession renders a comprehension of them all into one logical whole very difficult; and yet unless the facts be thus comprehended, unless they be thoroughly digested and arranged, the result is confusion and obscurity. To exclude is as necessary as to include, if one would write history with the highest measure of success; to exclude rigidly at one time what it is just as necessary to include at another. To men like Eusebius there is perhaps nothing more difficult than this. Only a mind as intensive as it is extensive, with a grasp as strong as its reach is wide, can accomplish it, and few are the minds that are blessed with both qualities. Few are the writers whose histories stand upon our shelves that fail not sadly in the one or in the other; and in few perhaps does the failure seem more marked than in our author.
And yet, though it is apparent that the value of Eusebius' work is greatly impaired by its desultory method of treatment, I am confident that the defect is commonly exaggerated. The paragraph which Lightfoot quotes from Westcott on this subject leaves a false impression. Altogether too often our author introduces irrelevant matters, and repeats himself when repetition "mars the symmetry of his work"; and yet on the whole he follows a fairly well ordered plan with fairly good success. He endeavors to preserve a strictly chronological sequence in his arrangement of the books, and he adheres for the most part to his purpose. Though there may be disorder and confusion within the various periods, for instance within the apostolic age, the age of Trajan, of Hadrian, of the Antonines, &c., yet the periods themselves are kept reasonably distinct from one another, and having finished his account of one of them the author seldom returns to it. Even in his treatment of the New Testament canon, which is especially desultory, he says most of what he has to say about it in connection with the apostles themselves, and before passing on to the second century. I would not overlook the exceeding flagrancy of his desultoriness and repetitiousness in his accounts of the writings of many of the Fathers, especially of the two Clements, and yet I would emphasize the fact that he certainly had an outline plan which he designed to follow, and for which due credit should be given him. He compares favorably in this respect with at least most of the writers of antiquity. Only with our modern method of dividing history into periods, separated by natural boundary lines, and of handling it under clearly defined rubrics, have we become able wholly to avoid the confused and illogical treatment of Eusebius and of others like him.
§4. Editions and Versions.
The original Greek of Eusebius' History has been published in many editions.
1. The editio princeps is that of Robert Stephanus, which appeared at Paris in 1544, and again, with a few changes, and with the Latin translation of Christophorsonus and the notes of Suffridus Petrus, at Geneva in 1612.
2. Henr. Valesius (de Valois) published his first edition of the Greek text, with a new Latin translation and with copious critical and explanatory notes, at Paris in 1659. His edition was reprinted at Mainz in 1672, but the reprint is full of errors. In 1677, after Valesius' death, a revised edition was issued at Paris, which in 1695 was reprinted with some corrections at Amsterdam. In 1720 Valesius' edition of Eusebius, together with his edition of Socrates, Sozomen, and the other Greek historians, was republished at Cambridge by William Reading, in three folio volumes. This is the best edition of Valesius, the commentary being supplemented by ms. notes which he had left among his papers, and increased by large additions from other writers under the head of Variorum. A reprint of Reading's edition was issued in 1746-1748, but according to Heinichen it is not as accurate as that of 1720. For the elucidation of Eusebius' History we owe more to Valesius than to any other man. His edition of the text was an immense advance upon that of Stephanus, and has formed the basis of all subsequent editions, while his notes are a perfect storehouse of information from which all annotators of Eusebius have extensively drawn. Migne's edition (Opera, II 45-906) is a reprint of Valesius' edition of 1659.
3. F. A. Stroth (Halle, 1779). A new edition of the Greek text, of which, however, only the first volume appeared, comprising Books I.-VII.
4. E. Zimmermann (Frankfort-on-the-Main, 1822). A new edition of the Greek text, containing also the Latin translation of Valesius, and a few critical notes.
5. F.A. Heinichen (Leipzig, 1827 and 1828). An edition of the Greek text in three volumes, with a reprint of the entire commentary of Valesius, and with the addition of Variorum notes. The critical apparatus, printed in the third volume, is very meager. A few valuable excursuses close the work. Forty years later Heinichen published a second edition of the History in his Eusebii Pamphili Scripta Historica (Lips. 1868-1870, 3 vols.). The first volume contains the Greek text of the History, with valuable prolegomena, copious critical apparatus and very useful indices; the second volume contains the Vita Constantini, the Panegyricus or De laudibus Constantini, and Constantine's Oratio ad Sanctorum coetum, also accompanied with critical apparatus and indices; the third volume contains an extensive commentary upon the works included in the first two volumes, together with twenty-nine valuable excursuses. This entirely supersedes the first, and is on the whole the most complete and useful edition of the History which we have. The editor made diligent use of the labors of his predecessors, especially of Laemmer's. He did no independent work, however, in the way of collecting material for the criticism of the text, and was deficient in critical judgment. As a consequence his text has often to be amended on the basis of the variant readings, which he gives with great fullness. His commentary, is made up largely of quotations from Valesius and other writers, and is valuable for the material it thus contains as well as for its references to other works. It labors under the same incompleteness, however, that mars Valesius' commentary, and, moreover, contains almost nothing of independent value.
6. E. Burton (Oxford, 1838). The Greek text in two volumes, with the translation of Valesius and with critical apparatus; and again in 1845, with the critical apparatus omitted, but with the notes of Valesius, Heinichen and others added. Burton made large contributions to the criticism of the text, and had he lived to superintend the issue of the second edition, would perhaps have succeeded in giving us a better text than any which we now possess, for he was a far more sagacious critic than Heinichen. As it is, his edition is marred by numerous imperfections, largely caused by the inaccuracy of those who collated mss. for him. His text, with the translation, notes, and critical apparatus omitted, was reprinted by Bright at Oxford in 1872, and again in 1881, in a single volume. This is a very handy edition, and for school use is unsurpassed. The typography is superb, and the admirable plan is followed of discarding quotation marks and printing all citations in smaller type, thus making plain to the eye at a glance what is Eusebius' own and what is another's. The text is preceded by a very interesting and graphic life of the historian.
7. Schwegler (Tübingen, 1852, in one volume). The Greek text with critical apparatus, but without translation and notes. An accurate and useful edition.
8. Laemmer (Schaffhausen, 1859-1862). The Greek text in one volume, with extensive critical apparatus, but without explanatory notes. Laemmer had unusual opportunities for collecting material, and has made larger additions to the critical apparatus than any one else. His edition was issued, however, in a most slovenly manner, and swarms with mistakes. Great care should therefore be exercised in the use of it.
9. Finally must be mentioned the text of Dindorf (Lips. 1871), which is published in the Teubner series, and like most of the volumes of that series is handy and convenient, but of little value to the critical student.
There are few writings of the Fathers which more sadly need and more richly deserve a new critical edition than the History of Eusebius. The material for the formation of a reliable text is extensive and accessible, but editors have contented themselves too much in the past with the results of their predecessors' labors, and unfortunately those labors have not always been accurate and thorough. As a consequence a new and more careful collation of most of the mss. of the original, together with those of Rufinus' translation, must lie at the foundation of any new work which is to be done in this line. The publication of the Syriac version will doubtless furnish much valuable material which the next editor of the History, will be able to use to advantage. Anything less than such a thorough work as I have indicated will be of little worth. Unless the new edition be based upon extensive and independent labors, it will be little if any improvement upon that of Heinichen. It is to be hoped that a critical text, up to the standard of those of some other patristic works which we already possess, may yet be issued, which shall give us this, one of the noblest productions of the ancient Church, in a fitting and satisfactory form.
Translations of Eusebius' History are very numerous. Probably the earliest of all is the ancient Syriac version which is preserved in great part in two mss., one of which is at St. Petersburg and contains the entire History with the exception of Book VI. and large portions of Books V. and VII. The ms. is dated 462 a.d. (see Wright's description of it in his Catalogue of the Syriac mss. in the British Museum acquired since the year 1838, Part III. p. xv. sq.). The second ms. is in the British Museum, and contains Books I.-V., with some mutilations at the beginning of the first book. The ms. dates from the sixth century (see Wright's description of it in his Catalogue, p. 1039). From these mss. Wright was engaged in preparing an edition of the Syriac, which remained unfinished at the time of his death. Whether he left his work in such shape that it can soon be issued by some one else I have not yet learned. The version was probably made at a very early date, possibly within the lifetime of Eusebius himself, though of that we can have no assurance. I understand that it confirms in the main the Greek text as now printed in our best editions.
The original Latin version was made by Rufinus in the early years of the fifth century. He translated only nine books, and added to them two of his own, in which he brought the history down to the death of Theodosius the Great. He allowed himself his customary license in translating, and yet, although his version is by no means exact, it is one of our best sources for a knowledge of the true text of Eusebius, for it is possible, in many doubtful cases where our mss. are hopelessly divided, to ascertain from his rendering what stood in the original Greek. The version of Rufinus had a large circulation, and became in the Western Church a substitute for the original throughout the Middle Ages. It was first printed, according to Fabricius (ib. p. 59), in 1476 at Rome, afterward a great many times there and elsewhere. The first critical edition, which still remains the best, is that of Cacciari (Rome, 1740), which has become rare, and is very difficult to find. A new edition is a great desideratum. An important work upon Rufinus' version is Kimmel's De Rufino Eusebii Interprete, Gerae, 1838.
A new Latin translation, by Wolfgang Musculus, was published in Basle, in 1549, and again in 1557, 1562, and 1611, according to Fabricius (Bibl. Gr. VI. p. 60). I have myself seen only the edition of 1562.
Still another Latin version, from the hand of Christophorsonus, was published at Louvain in 1570. This is the only edition of Christophorsonus which I have seen, but I have notices of Cologne editions of 1570, 1581 and 1612, and of a Paris edition of 1571. According to Fabricius the Paris edition, and according to Brunnet the Cologne edition of 1581, contain the notes of Suffridus Petrus. A revision of Christophorsonus' version is said by Crusè to have been published by Curterius, but I have not seen it, nor am I aware of its date.
Another translation, by Grynaeus, was published at Basle in 1611. This is the only edition of Grynaeeus' version which I have seen, and I find in it no reference to an earlier one. I have been informed, however, that an edition appeared in 1591. Hanmer seems to imply, in his preface, that Grynaeeus' version is only a revision of that of Musculus, and if that were so we should have to identify the 1611 edition with the 1611 edition of Musculus mentioned by Fabricius (see above). I am able, however, to find no hint in Grynaeus' edition itself that his version is a revision of that of Musculus.
The translation of Valesius, which was first published in 1659 (see above), was a great improvement upon all that had preceded it, and has been many times reprinted in other editions of Eusebius, as well as in his own.
The first German translation was published by Caspar Hedio. The date of publication is given by Fabricius as 1545, but the copy which I have seen is dated 1582, and contains no reference to an earlier edition. It comprises only nine books of Eusebius, supplemented by the two of Rufinus. The title runs as follows: Chronica, das ist:wahrhaftige Beschreibunge aller alten Christlichen Kirchen; zum ersten, die hist. eccles. Eusebii Pamphili Caesariensis, Eilff Bücher; zum andern, die hist. eccles. tripartita Sozomeni, Socratis und Theodoreti, Zwölff Bücher; zum dritten die hist. eccles. sampt andern treffenlichen Geschichten, die zuvor in Teutschef Sprache wenig gelesen sind, ouch Zwölff Büucher. Von der Zeit an da die hist. eccles. tripartita aufhöret: das ist, yon der jarzal an, vierhundert nach Christi geburt, biss auff das jar MDXLV, durch D. Caspar Hedion zu Strassburg verteutscht und zusamen getragen. Getruckt zu. Franckfurt am Mayn, im jar 1582.
A second German translation of the entire History (with the exception of the Martyrs of Palestine, and the Oration an the Building of the Churches, X. 4), together with the Life of Constantine, was published by F. A. Stroth in Quedlinburg in 1777, in two volumes. Stroth prefaced the translation with a very valuable Life of Eusebius, and added a number of excellent notes of his own. The translation is reasonably accurate.
A much more elegant German version (including the Oration, but omitting the Martyrs of Palestine) was published by Closs in Stuttgart in 1839, in one volume. This is in my opinion the best translation of the History that exists. Its style is admirable, but pure German idiom is sometimes secured at the expense of faithfulness. In fact the author has aimed to produce a free, rather than a literal translation, and has occasionally allowed himself to depart too far from the original. A few brief notes, most of them taken from Valesius or Stroth, accompany the translation.
More recently a German translation has been published by Stigloher (Kempten, 1880) in the Kempten Bibliothek der Kirchenvaeter. It purports to be a new translation, but is practically nothing more than a poorly revised edition of Closs' version. The changes which are made are seldom improvements.
Fabricius mentions a French translation by Cloudius Seysselius, but does not give the date of it, and I have not myself seen it. Dr. Richardson, however, informs me that he has a copy of this translation (which is from the Latin, not from the Greek) bearing the following title: L'Histoire ecclesiastique translate de Latin au Français, par M. Claude de Seyssel, evesque lors de Marseille, et depuis archevesque de Thurin. Paris, 1532 [or 33], fº. He informs me also that there exist editions of the years 1537 and 1567.
More than a century later appeared a new French translation by Louis Cousin, bearing the following title: Historie de l'Eglise écritoré par Eusèbe Césarée, Socrate, Sozomène, Theodoret et Evangre, avec l'abrégé de Philostorge par Photius, et de Théodore par Nicephore Calliste. Paris, 1675-1676. 4 vol. 4º. Another edition appeared in Holland in 1686, 5 vol. 12º.
The first English translation was made by Hanmer, and was issued in 1584, and, according to Crusè, passed through five editions. The fourth edition, which lies before me, was published in London in 1636. The volume contains the Histories of Eusebius, of Socrates, and of Evagrius; Dorotheus' Lives, and Eusebius' Life of Constantine.
Another translation is said by Crusè to have been published about a century later by T. Shorting, and to be a decided improvement upon that of Hanmer. I have seen no copy bearing Shorting's name, but have examined an anonymous translation which bears the following title: The Ecclesiastical. History of Eusebius Pamphilus in ten books. Made into English from that edition set forth by Valesius, and printed at Paris in the year 1659; together with Valesius' notes on the said historian, which are done into English and set at their proper place in the margin. Hereto also is annexed an account of the life and writings of the aforesaid historian, collected by Valesius and rendered into English. Cambridge: John Hayes, 1683. This is evidently the translation of Shorting referred to by Crusè, for it answers perfectly the description which he gives of it.
An abridgment of this version, made by Porker, is mentioned both by Fabricius (ib. p. 62) and by Crusè, but I have not myself seen it. Fabricius gives its date as 1703, and Dr. Richardson informs me that he has seen an edition bearing the date 1729, and that he has a note of another published in 1703 or 1720.
The latest English translation was made by the Rev. C. F. Crusè, an American Episcopalian of German descent, and was published first in Philadelphia in 1833, with a translation, by Parker, of Valesius' Life of Eusebius prefixed. It has been reprinted a great many times both in England and America, and is included in Bohn's Ecclesiastical Library. In Bohn's edition are printed a few scattered notes from Valesius' commentary, and in some other editions an historical account of the Council of Nicaea, by Isaac Boyle, is added. The translation is an improvement upon its predecessors, but is nevertheless very faulty and unsatisfactory. The translator is not thoroughly at home in the English, and, moreover, his version is marred by many serious omissions and interpolations which reveal an inexcusable degree of carelessness on his part.
The literature upon Eusebius' History is very extensive. Many of the editions already mentioned discuss, in their prolegomena, the History itself and Eusebius' character as a historian, as do also all the lives of Eusebius referred to above, and all the larger histories of the Church. In addition to these we have numerous important monographs and essays, of which the following may be mentioned here: Möller, de Fide Eusebii in rebus christianis enarrandis, Havn. 1813; Danz, de Eusebio Caesariensi Hist. Ecclesiasticae Scriptore, Jenae, 1815. This was mentioned in Chapter I. as containing a valuable discussion of the life of Eusebius. Its chief importance lies in its treatment of the sources of the Church History, to which the author devotes the whole of Chap. III. which bears the title, de fontibus, quibus usus, historiam ecclesiasticam conscripsit Eusebius, pp. 76-144. Kestner, de Eusebii Historiae Eccles. conditoris auctoritate, et fide diplomatica, sive de ejus Fontibus et Ratione qua eis usus est, Gottingae, 1816; and by the same author, Ueber die Einseitigkeit und Partheiligkeit des Eusebius als Geschichtschreibers, Jenae, 1819; Reuterdahl, de Fontibus Historiae Eccles. Eusebianae, Londini Gothorum, 1826; Reinstra, de Fontibus, ex quibus Historiae Eccles. opus hausit Eusebius Pamphili, et de Ratione, qua iis usus est, Trajecti ad Rhenum, 1833; F. C. Baur, Comparatur Eusebius Historiae Eccles. Parens cum Parente Historiae Herodoto, Tüb. 1834; and pp. 9-26 of the same author's Epochen der kirchlichen Geschichtschreibung, Tüb. 1852; Dowling, Introduction to the Critical Study of Eccles. History, London, 1838, pp. 11-18; Hély, Eusèbe de Césarée, premier Historien de l'Église, Paris, 1877; J. Burckhardt, Zeit Constantins, 2d ed. 1880, pp. 307 sq. Burckhardt depreciates Eusebius' value and questions his veracity. The review articles that have been written on Eusebius' History are legion. I shall mention only Engelhardt's Eusebius als Kirchengeschichtschreiber, in the Zeitschrift für hist. Theol. 1852, pp. 652-657; and Jachmann's Bermerkungen über die Kirchengeschichte des Eusebius, ib. 1839, II. pp. 10-60. The latter contains one of the most unsparing attacks upon Eusebius' honesty that has ever been made (see above, p. 49).
Testimonies of the Ancients in Favor of Eusebius.6
From Constantine's Letter to the Antiochians (in Eusebius' Life of Constantine, Book III. chap. 60).
"I confess, then, that on reading your records I perceived, by the highly eulogistic testimony which they bear to Eusebius, bishop of Caesarea (whom I have myself long well known and esteemed for his learning and moderation), that you are strongly attached to him and desire to appropriate him as your own prelate. What thoughts then do you suppose that I entertain on this subject, desirous as I am to seek for and act on the strict principles of right? What anxiety do you imagine this desire of yours has caused me? O holy faith, who givest us in our Saviour's words and precepts a model, as it were, of what our life should be, how hardly wouldst thou thyself resist the course of sin were it not that thou refusest to subserve the purposes of gain! In my own judgment, he whose first object is the maintenance of peace seems to be superior to Victory herself; and where a right and honorable course lies open to one's choice, surely no one would hesitate to adopt it. I ask then, brethren, why do we so decide as to inflict an injury on others by our choice? Why do we covet those objects which will destroy the credit of our own character? I myself highly esteem the individual whom ye judge worthy of your respect and affection; notwithstanding, it cannot be right that those principles should be entirely disregarded which should be authoritative and binding on all alike; for example, that each should be content with the limits assigned them, and that all should enjoy their proper privileges; nor can it be right in considering the claims of rival candidates to suppose but that not one only, but many, may appear worthy of comparison with this person. For as long as no violence or harshness are suffered to disturb the dignities of the Church, they continue to be on an equal footing, and worthy of the same consideration everywhere. Nor is it reasonable that an enquiry into the qualifications of one person should be made to the detriment of others; since the judgment of all churches, whether reckoned of greater importance in themselves, is equally capable of receiving and maintaining the divine ordinances, so that one is in no way inferior to another (if we will but boldly declare the truth), in regard to that standard of practice which is common to all. If this be so, we must say that you will be chargeable, not with retaining this prelate, but with wrongfully removing him; your conduct will be characterized rather by violence than justice; and whatever may be generally thought by others, I dare clearly and boldly affirm that this measure will furnish ground of accusation against you, and will provoke factious disturbances of the most mischievous kind; for even timid flocks can show the use and power of their teeth when the watchful care of their shepherd declines, and they find themselves bereft of his accustomed guidance. If this then be really so, if I am not deceived in my judgment, let this, brethren, be your first consideration (for many and important considerations will immediately present themselves, if you adopt my advice), whether, should you persist in your intention, that mutual kindly feeling and affection which should subsist among you will suffer no diminution? In the next place remember that Eusebius, who came among you for the purpose of offering disinterested counsel, now enjoys the reward which is due to him in the judgment of heaven; for he has received no ordinary recompense in the high testimony you have borne to his equitable conduct. Lastly, in accordance with your usual sound judgment, do ye exhibit a becoming diligence in selecting the person of whom you stand in need, carefully avoiding all factious and tumultuous clamor: for such clamor is always wrong, and from the collision of discordant elements both sparks and flame will arise."
From the Emperor's Letter to Eusebius (in Eusebius' Life of Constantine, Book III. chap. 61).
"I have most carefully perused your letter, and perceive that you have strictly conformed to the rule enjoined by the discipline of the Church. Now to abide by that which appears at the same time pleasing to God, and accordant with apostolic tradition, is a proof of true piety: and you have reason to deem yourself happy on this behalf, that you are counted worthy, in the judgment, I may say, of all the world, to have the oversight of the whole Church. For the desire which all feel to claim you for their own, undoubtedly enhances your enviable fortune in this respect. Notwithstanding, your Prudence, whose resolve it is to observe the ordinances of God and the apostolic rule of the Church, has done excellently well in declining the bishopric of the Church at Antioch, and desiring to continue in that Church of which you first received the oversight by the will of God."
From Constantine's Letter to the Council (in Eusebius' Life of Constantine, Book III. chap. 62).
"I have perused the letters written by your Prudences, and highly approve of the wise resolution of your colleague in the ministry, Eusebius. Having, moreover, been informed of the circumstances of the case, partly by your letters, partly by those of our illustrious friends Acacius and Strategius, after sufficient investigation I have written to the people at Antioch, suggesting the course which will be at once pleasing to God and advantageous for the Church. A copy of this I have ordered to be subjoined to this present letter, in order that ye yourselves may know what I thought fit, as an advocate of the cause of justice, to write to that people: since I find in your letter this proposal, that, in consonance with the choice of the people, sanctioned by your own desire, Eusebius the holy bishop of Caesarea should preside over and take the charge of the Church at Antioch. Now the letters of Eusebius himself on this subject appeared to be strictly accordant with the order prescribed by the Church."
From a Letter of Constantine to Eusebius (in Eusebius' Life of Constantine, Book IV. chap. 35).
"It is indeed an arduous task, and beyond the power of language itself, worthily to treat of the mysteries of Christ, and to explain in a fitting manner the controversy respecting the feast of Easter, its origin as well as its precious and toilsome accomplishment. For it is not in the power even of those who are able to apprehend them, adequately to describe the things of God. I am, notwithstanding, filled with admiration of your learning and zeal, and have not only myself read your work with pleasure, but have given directions, according to your own desire, that it be communicated to many sincere followers of our holy religion. Seeing, then, with what pleasure we receive favors of this kind from your Sagacity, be pleased to gladden us more frequently with those compositions, to the practice of which, indeed, you confess yourself to have been trained from an early period, so that I am urging a willing man (as they say), in exhorting you to your customary pursuits. And certainly the high and confident judgment we entertain is a proof that the person who has translated your writings into the Latin tongue is in no respect incompetent to the task, impossible though it be that such version should fully equal the excellence of the works themselves."
From a Letter of Constantine to Eusebius (in Eusebius' Life of Constantine, Book IV. chap. 36).
"It happens, through the favoring providence of God our Saviour, that great numbers have united themselves to the most holy Church in the city which is called by my name. It seems, therefore, highly requisite, since that city is rapidly advancing in prosperity in all other respects, that the number of Churches should also be increased. Do you, therefore, receive with all readiness my determination on this behalf. I have thought it expedient to instruct your Prudence to order fifty copies of the sacred scriptures (the provision and use of which you know to be most needful for the instruction of the Church) to be written on prepared parchment in a legible manner, and in a commodious and portable form, by transcribers thoroughly practiced in their art. The procurator of the diocese has also received instructions by letter from our Clemency to be careful to furnish all things necessary for the preparation of such copies; and it will be for you to take special care that they be completed with as little delay as possible. You have authority also, in virtue of this letter, to use two of the public carriages for their conveyance, by which arrangement the copies when fairly written will most easily be forwarded for my personal inspection; and one of the deacons of your Church may be intrusted with this service, who, on his arrival here, shall experience my liberality. God preserve you, beloved brother!"
From the Epistle of Eusebius of Nicomedia, to Paulinus, Bishop of Tyre (given by Theodoret in his Eccles. Hist. I. 6).
"Neither has the zeal of my lord Eusebius concerning the truth, nor thy silence in this matter been unknown, but has reached even us. And, as was fitting, on the one hand we have rejoiced on account of my lord Eusebius; but on the other, we are grieved on thy account, since we look upon the silence of such a man as a condemnation of our cause."
From the Book of Basil, to Amphilochius, on the Holy Spirit (chap. 29).
"If to any one Eusebius of Palestine seem trustworthy on account of his great experience, we give his own words in the Difficulties concerning the Polygamy of the Ancients."
From the Book of Questions on the Old and New Testaments, which is published among the Works of Augustine (chap. 125).
"We remember to have read in a certain pamphlet of Eusebius, a man formerly distinguished among the rest of men, that not even the Holy Spirit knows the mystery of the nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ; and I wonder that a man of so great learning should have imposed this stigma upon the Holy Spirit."
From Jerome's Epistle to Pammachius and Oceanus (Ep. 65).
"Apollinarius wrote the very strongest books against Porphyry; Eusebius has excellently composed his Ecclesiastical History. Of these men, one taught an incomplete human nature in Christ; the other was a most open defender of the heresy of Arius."
From the Apology of Jerome against Rufinus (Book I. chap. 8).
"As I have already said, Eusebius, bishop of Caesarea, formerly leader of the Arian party, has written six books in defense of Origen-a very extensive and elaborate work; with much evidence he has proved that Origen was, from his point of view, a Catholic, that is, from ours, an Arian."
From the same book (chap. 9).
"For Eusebius himself, a friend, eulogist and companion of Pamphilus, has written three very elegant books comprising a life of Pamphilus. In these, after extolling other things with wondrous praises and exalting his humility to the skies, he also adds this in the third book," &c.
And a little farther on in the same book (chap. 11).
"I have praised Eusebius in his Ecclesiastical History, in his Chronological Canons, in his Description of the Holy Land; and turning these same little works into Latin I have given them to those of my own tongue. Am I therefore an Arian, because Eusebius who wrote these books is an Arian?"
From Jerome's second book against Rufinus (chap. 16).
"Eusebius, a very learned man (I have said learned, not Catholic; lest after the usual manner, even in this thing, thou heap calumny upon me), in six volumes does nothing else than show Origen to be of his own faith; that is, of the Arian heresy."
From the Preface of Jerome's Book on Hebrew Topography.
"Eusebius, who took his surname from the blessed martyr Pamphilus, after the ten books of his Ecclesiastical History, after his Chronological Canons, which we have published in the Latin tongue, after his Names of Various Nations, in which he showed how these were formerly, and are now, called among the Hebrews; after his Topography of the Land of Judea, with the inheritances of the tribes; after his Jerusalem, also, and his Plan of the Temple, with a very brief explanation,-after all these he has finally in this little work labored that he might collect for us from Holy Scripture the names of almost all the cities, mountains, rivers, villages, and divers places, which either remain the same, or have since been changed, or else have become corrupted from some source, wherefore we also, following the zeal of this admirable man," &c.
From Jerome's Book on Ecclesiastical Writers (chap. 61).
"Hippolytus, bishop of a certain church (I have not indeed been able to find out the name of the city), wrote a reckoning of Easter, and chronological tables up to the first year of the Emperor Alexander, and hit upon a cycle of sixteen years which the Greeks call ekkaidekaethrida; and gave an occasion to Eusebius, who also composed an Easter canon, with a cycle of nineteen years, that is enneadekaethrida."
From the same book (chap. 81).
"Eusebius, bishop of Caesarea in Palestine, a man most studious in the sacred Scriptures, and along with Pamphilus the martyr a most diligent investigator of sacred literature, has edited an infinite number of volumes, some of which are these: of the Demonstratio Evangelica, twenty books; of the Praeparatio Evangelica, fifteen books; of the Theophania, five books; of the Ecclesiastical History, ten books; a General History in Chronological Tables, and an Epitome of them; also, On the Discrepancies of the Gospels; On Isaiah, ten books; and Against Porphyry (who at the same time was writing in Sicily, as some think), thirty books, of which only twenty have come to my notice; of his Topica, one book; of the Apolagia, in defense of Origen, six books; On the Life of Pamphilus, three books; Concerning the Martyrs, other small works; also very learned commentaries on the hundred and fifty Psalms, and many other writings. He flourished chiefly under the emperors Constantine and Constantius; and on account of his friendship with Pamphilus the martyr, he took from him his surname."
From the same book (chap. 96).
"Eusebius, by nation a Sardinian, and, after being reader in Rome, bishop of Vercellae, on account of his confession of the faith banished by the Prince Constantius to Scythopolis, and thence to Cappadocia, under Julian the emperor sent back to the Church, has published the Commentaries on the Psalms of Eusebius of Caesarea, which he had translated from Greek into Latin."
Jerome in the Preface to his Commentaries an Daniel.
"Against the prophet Daniel Porphyry wrote a twelfth volume, denying that that book was composed by him with whose name it is inscribed, &c. To him Eusebius, bishop of Caesarea, has replied very skillfully in three volumes, that is, in volumes XVIII., XIX., and XX. Apollinarius also in one large volume, that is, in the twenty-sixth volume, and before these, in part, Methodius."
Jerome on the Twenty-fourth Chapter of Matthew.
"Concerning this place, that is, concerning the abomination of desolation which was spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place, Porphyry has uttered many blasphemies against us in the thirteenth volume of his work. To whom Eusebius, bishop of Caesarea, has replied in three volumes, that is, in volumes XVIII., XIX., and XX."
The same, in his Epistle to Magnus (Ep. 84).
"Celsus and Porphyry have written against us. To the former Origen, to the latter Methodius, Eusebius, and Apollinarius have very vigorously replied. Of whom Origen wrote eight books, Methodius proceeded as far as ten thousand lines, Eusebius and Apollinarius composed twenty-five and thirty volumes respectively."
The same, in his Epistle to Pammachius and Oceanus (Ep. 65).
"What more skillful, more learned, more eloquent men can be found than Eusebius and Didymus, the advocates of Origen? The former of whom, in the six volumes of his Apologia, proves that he [Origen] was of the same opinion as himself."
Jerome, in the Preface to his Commentaries an Isaiah."Eusebius Pamphili also has published an historical commentary in fifteen volumes."
The same, in the Preface to the Fifth Book of his Commentaries an Isaiah.
"Shall I take upon myself a work at which the most learned men have labored hard? I speak of Origen and Eusebius Pomphili. Of these the former wanders afar in the free spaces of alle gory, and his genius so interprets single names as to make out of them the sacred things of the Church. The latter, while promising in his title an historical exposition, meanwhile forgets his purpose, and yields himself up to the tenets of Origen."
The same, in the fifth book of his Commentaries on Isaiah.
"Eusebius of Caesarea, while promising in his title an historical exposition, strays off in divers notions: while reading his books I found much else than what he gave promise of in his title. For wherever history has failed him, he has crossed over into allegory; and in such a manner does he unite things that are distinct, that I wonder at his joining together by a new art of discourse stone and iron into one body."
Ferome an the first chapter of Matthew.
"This [chapter] also Africanus, a writer of chronology, and Eusebius of Caesarea, in his books on the Discrepancies of the Gospels, have discussed more fully."
Rufinus in his Epistle to the Bishop Chromatius.
"You charge me to translate into Latin the Ecclesiastical History, which the very learned Eusebius of Caesarea wrote in the Greek tongue."
Augustine, in his Book on Heresies(chap. 83).
"When I had searched through the History of Eusebius, to which Rufinus, after having himself translated it into the Latin tongue, has also added two books of subsequent history, I did not find any heresy which I had not read among these very ones, except that one which Eusebius inserts in his sixth book, stating that it had existed in Arabia. Therefore these heretics, since he assigns them no founder, we may call Arabians, who declared that the soul dies and is destroyed along with the body, and that at the end of the world both are raised again. But he states that they were very quickly corrected, these by the disputation of Origen in person, and those by his exhortation."
Antipater, Bishop of Bostra, in his First Book against Eusebius of Caesarea's Apology for Origen.
"Since now, this man was very learned, having searched out and traced back all the books and writings of the more ancient writers, and having set forth the opinions of almost all of them, and having left behind very many writings, some of which are worthy of all acceptation, making use of such an estimation as this of the man, they attempt to lead away some, saying, that Eusebius would not have chosen to take this view, unless he had accurately ascertained that all the opinions of the ancients required it. I, indeed, agree and admit that the man was very learned, and that not anything of the more ancient writings escaped his knowledge; for, taking advantage of the imperial co-operation, he was enabled easily to collect for his use material from whatever quarter."
From the First Book of Extracts from the Ecclesiastical History of Philostorgius.
"Philostorgius, while praising Eusebius Pamphili both as to whatever of worth belongs to his histories and as to other things, yet declares that with regard to religion he has fallen into great error; and that he impiously sets forth this error of his in detail, holding that the Deity is unknowable and incomprehensible. Moreover, he holds that he has also gone astray on other such things. But he unites with others in attesting that he brought his History down to the accession of the sons of Constantine the Great."
Socrates in the First Book of his Ecclesiastical History (chap. 1).
"Eusebius, surnamed Pamphilus (i.e. universally beloved), has composed a History of the Church in ten books, brought down to the time of the Emperor Constantine, when the persecution ceased which Diocletian had commenced against the Christians. But, in writing the life of Constantine, this author has very slightly treated of the Arian controversy, being evidently more intent on a highly wrought eulogium of the emperor than an accurate statement of facts."
The same Socrates in the Eighth Chapter of the same Book, speaking of Sabinus, Bishop of Macedonia, who had written a History of the Synod, says:-
"Yet he commends Eusebius Pamphilus as a witness worthy of credit, and praises the Emperor as capable in stating Christian doctrines; but he still brands the faith which was declared at Nice as having been set forth by ignorant men, and such as had no intelligence in the matter. Thus he voluntarily contemns the testimony of a man whom he himself pronounces a wise and true witness; for Eusebius declares that of the ministers of God who were present at the Nicene Synod, some were eminent for the word of wisdom, others for the strictness of their life; and that the Emperor himself being present, leading all into unanimity, established unity of judgment, and conformity of opinion among them."
The same Socrates, in Book II. chap.
"But since some have attempted to stigmatize Eusebius Pamphilus as having favored the Arian views in his works, it may not be irrelevant here to make a few remarks respecting him. In the first place, then, he was present at the council of Nice, and gave his assent to what was there determined in reference to the consubstantiality of the Son with the Father, and in the third book of the Life of Constantine, he thus expressed himself: `The Emperor incited all to unanimity, until he had rendered them united in judgment on those points on which they were previously at variance: so that they were quite agreed at Nice in matters of faith.' Since, therefore, Eusebius, in mentioning the Nicene Synod, says that all differences were composed, and that unanimity of sentiment prevailed, what ground is there for assuming that he was himself an Arian? The Arians are certainly deceived in supposing him to be a favorer of their tenets. But some one will perhaps say that in his discourses he seems to have adopted the opinions of Arius, because of his frequently saying by Christ. Our answer is that ecclesiastical writers often use this mode of expression, and others of a similar kind denoting the economy of our Saviour's humanity: and that before all these the apostle made use of such expressions without ever being accounted a teacher of false doctrine. Moreover, inasmuch as Arius has dared to say that the Son is a creature, as one of the others, observe what Eusebius says on this subject in his first book against Marcellus:
"`He alone, and no other, has been declared to be, and is the only-begotten Son of God; whence any one would justly censure those who have presumed to affirm that he is a Creature made of nothing, like the rest of the creatures; for how then would he be a Son? and how could he be God's only-begotten, were he assigned the same nature as the other creatures, and were he one of the many created things, seeing that he, like them, would in that case be partaker of a creation from nothing? The sacred Scriptures do not thus instruct us concerning these things.' He again adds a little afterwards: `Whoever then determines that the Son is made of things that are not, and that he is a creature produced from nothing pre-existing, forgets that while he concedes the name of Son, he denies him to be so in reality. Far he that is made of nothing cannot truly be the Son of God, any more than the other things which have been made: but the true Son of God, forasmuch as he is begotten of the Father, is properly denominated the only-begotten and beloved of the Father. Far this reason also, he himself is God: for what can the offspring of God be but the perfect resemblance of him who begat him? A sovereign, indeed, builds a city, but does not beget it; and is said to beget a son, not to build one. An artificer may be called the framer, but not the father of his work; while he could by no means be styled the framer of him whom he had begotten. So also the God of the Universe is the father of the Son; but would be fitly termed the Framer and Maker of the world. And although it is once said in Scripture, The Lord created me the beginning of his ways on account of his works, yet it becomes us to consider the import of this phrase, which I shall hereafter explain; and not, as Marcellus has done, from a single passage to subvert one of the most important doctrines of the Church.'
"These and many other such expressions are found in the first book of Eusebius Pamphilus against Marcellus; and in his third book, declaring in what sense the term creature is to be taken, he says: `Accordingly these things being established, it follows that in the same sense as that which preceded, these words also are to be understood, The Lord created me in the beginning of his ways on account of his works. For although he says that he was created, it is not as if he should say that he had arrived at existence from what was not, nor that he himself also was made of nothing like the rest of the creatures, which some have erroneously supposed: but as subsisting, living, pre-existing, and being before the constitution of the whale world; and having been appointed to rule the universe by his Lord and Father: the word created being here used instead of ordained or constituted. Certainly the apostle expressly called the rulers and governors among men creature, when he said, Submit yourselves to every human creature for the Lord's sake; whether to the king as supreme, or to governors as those sent by him. The prophet also does not use the word ektisen created in the sense of made of that which had no previous existence, when he says, Prepare, Israel, to invoke thy God. For behold he who confirms the thunder, creates the Spirit, and announces his Christ unto men. For God did not then create the Spirit when he declared his Christ to all men, since There is nothing new under the sun; but the Spirit was, and subsisted before: but he was sent at what time the apostles were gathered together, when like thunder, There came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind: and they were filled with the Holy Spirit. And thus they declared unto all men the Christ of God in accordance with that prophecy which says, Behold he who confirms the thunder, creates the spirit, and announces his Christ unto men: the word creates being used instead of sends down, or appoints; and thunder in a similar way implying the preaching of the Gospel. Again he that says, Create in me a clean heart, O God, said not this as if he had no heart; but prayed that his mind might be purified. Thus also it is said, That he might create the two into one new man, instead of unite. Consider also whether this passage is not of the same kind, Clothe yourselves with the new man, which is created according to God; and this, if, therefore, any one be in Christ, he is a new creature, and Whatever other expressions of a similar nature any one may find who shall carefully search the divinely-inspired Scripture. Wherefore one should not be surprised if in this passage, The Lord created me the beginning of his ways, the term created is used metaphorically, instead of appointed, or constituted.'
"These quotations from the books of Eusebius against Marcellus have been adduced to confute those who have slanderously attempted to traduce and criminate him. Neither can they prove that Eusebius attributes a beginning of subsistence to the Son of God, although they may find him often using the expressions of dispensation: and especially so, because he was an emulator and admirer of the works of Origen, in which those who are able to comprehend that author's writings, will perceive it to be everywhere stated that the Son was begotten of the Father. These remarks have been made in passing, in order to refute those who have misrepresented Eusebius."
Sozomen in the First Book of his Ecclesiastical History (chap. 1.).
"I at first felt strongly inclined to trace the course of events from the very commencement; but on reflecting that similar records of the past, up to their own time, had been compiled by the learned Clemens and Hegesippus, successors of the apostles, by Africanus the historian and Eusebius surnamed Pamphilus, a man intimately acquainted with the sacred Scriptures and the writings of the Greek poets and historians, I merely drew up an epitome in two books of all that is recorded to have happened to the churches, from the ascension of Christ to the deposition of Licinius."
Victorius in the Paschal Canon.
"Reviewing therefore the trustworthy histories of the ancients, namely the Chronicles and prologue of the blessed Eusebius, bishop of Caesarea, a city in Palestine, a man pre-eminently accomplished and learned; and likewise those things which have been added to these same Chronicles by Jerome of sacred memory."
Jerome, in his Epistle to Chromatius and Heliodorus, prefixed to the Martyrology which bears Jerome's Name.
"It is evident that our Lord Jesus Christ obtains triumphs at every martyrdom of his saints, whose sufferings we find described by the saintly Eusebius, bishop of Caesarea. For when Constantine Augustus came to Caesarea and told the celebrated bishop to ask some favors which should benefit the church at Caesarea, it is said that Eusebius answered: That a church enriched by its own resources was under no necessity of asking favors, yet that he himself had an unalterable desire, that whatever had been done in the Roman republic against God's saints by successive judges in the whole Roman world they should search out by a careful examination of the public records; and that they should draw from the archives themselves and send to Eusebius himself, by royal command, the names of the martyrs: under what judge, in what province or city, upon what day, and with what steadfastness, they had obtained the reward of their suffering. Whence it has come about that, being an able narrator and a diligent historiographer, he has both composed an Ecclesiastical History and has set forth the triumphs of nearly all of the martyrs of all the Roman provinces."
Pope Gelasius in his Decree concerning the Apocryphal Books.
"Likewise as to the Chronicles of Eusebius and the books of his Ecclesiastical History, although in the first book of his narration he has grown cold, and has afterwards written one book in praise and in defense of Origen the schismatic, yet on account of his singular knowledge of things which pertain to instruction, we do not say that they ought to be rejected."
The same in his book On the Two Natures.
"That saying the same thing with one heart and one mouth we may also believe what we have received from our forefathers, and, God giving them to us, that we may hand them down to posterity to be believed in, with which things the adduced testimony of the Catholic masters, being summed up, bear witness that a united faith in a gracious God endures."
And a little farther on.
"From the exposition of the seventh psalm, by Eusebius, bishop in Palestine, by surname Pomphili, etc. Likewise from his Praeparatio Evangelica, Book VII."
Pope Pelagius II. in his Third Epistle to Elias of Aquileia and other Bishops of Istria.
"For, indeed, among haeresiarchs who can be found worse than Origen, and among historiographers who more honorable than Eusebius? And who of us does not know with how great praises Eusebius extols Origen in his books? But because the holy Church deals more kindly with the hearts of her faithful ones than she does severely with their words, neither could the testimony of Eusebius remove him from his proper place among heretics, nor on the other hand has she condemned Eusebius for the fault of praising Origen."
Evagrius, in the First Book of his Ecclesiastical History (chap. 1).
"Eusebius Pomphili-an especially able writer, to the extent, in particular, of inducing his readers to embrace our religion, though failing to perfect them in the faith-and Sozomen, Theodoret, and Socrates have produced a most excellent record of the advent of our compassionate God, and his ascension into heaven, and of all that has been achieved in the endurance of the divine Apostles, as well as of the other martyrs," etc.
Gregory the Great in his Epistle to Eulogius, Bishop of Alexandria.
"I have now become one of the number of hearers, to whom your Holiness has taken the pains to write, that we ought to transmit the deeds of all the martyrs which have been collected by Eusebius of Caesarea in the age of Constantine of holy memory. But I was not aware before receiving your Holiness' letter whether these things had been collected or not. I therefore am thankful that being informed by the writings of your most holy learning, I have begun to know what I did not know before. For excepting these things which are contained in the books of this same Eusebius On the deeds of the holy martyrs, I have met with nothing else in the archives of this our church, nor in the libraries of Rome, except some few collected in a single volume."
Gelasius of Cyzicus in his Second Book On the Council of Nicaea (chap. 1).
"Let us hear now what says this the most illustrious husbandman in ecclesiastical farming, the most truth-loving Eusebius, surnamed after the celebrated Pamphilus. Licinius, indeed, he says, having followed the same path of impiety with the ungodly tyrants, has justly been brought to the same precipice with them, etc. (which may be found at the end of the tenth book of the Ecclesiastical History). As to Eusebius Pomphili, the most trustworthy of ancient ecclesiastical historians, who has investigated and set forth so many struggles, having made a choice from among his simply written works, we say that in all ten books of his Ecclesiastical History he has left behind an accurately written work. Beginning with the advent of our Lord he has, not without much labor, proceeded as far as those times. For how else could it be with him who took so great care to preserve for us the harmony of this collection? But as I have just said, he brought to bear upon it much study and an untold amount of labor. But let no one suppose, from those things which have been alleged with regard to him, that this man ever adopted the heresy of Arius; but let him be sure, that even if he did speak somewhat of, and did write briefly concerning the conjectures of Arius, he certainly did not do it on account of his entertaining the impious notion of that man, but from artless simplicity, as indeed he himself fully assures us in his Apology, which he distributed generally among orthodox bishops."
The author of the Alexandrian Chronicle (p. 582).
"The very learned Eusebius Pamphili has written thus: As the Jews crucified Christ at the feast, so they all perished at their own feast."
Nicephorus in the Sixth Book of his History (chap. 37).
"Upon whose authority also we know of the divine Pamphilus as both living the life of a philosopher and wearing the dignity of presbyter in that place. His life and every event in it, also. his establishing in that place the study of sacred and profane philosophy, also his confession of his religion in divers persecutions, his struggles, and at last his wearing the martyr's crown, Eusebius his nephew, who had such a regard for him as to take from him his surname, has comprehended in detail in one separate book; to this we refer those who may wish to find out accurately concerning him. This Eusebius, indeed, although having prosecuted many studies, especially excels in the study of sacred literature. His life extended until the time of Constantius. Being a man pre-eminently Christian, and endowed with great zeal for Christ, he has written the Paeporatio Evangelica in fifteen books, and in ten more the Demonstratio Evangelica. He was also the first one to take in hand this subject, having been the first to call his book an Ecclesiastical History; this work is contained in ten volumes. There is also another book of his extant which he entitled Canons, in which he accurately investigates chronological matters. He has also composed five books On the Life of Constantine, and another addressed to him which he calls triakontaethrikon. To Stephanus he also dedicates another concerning those things in the sacred Gospels which have been called in question; and he has also left behind divers other works which are of great benefit to the Church. Apart from being such a man as this, he in many ways seems to uphold the opinions of Arius," etc.
From the ms. Acts of Pope Silvester.
"Eusebius Pamphili, in writing his Ecclesiastical History, has in every case omitted to mention those things which he has pointed out in other works; for he has put into eleven books the sufferings of the martyrs, bishops, and confessors, who have suffered in almost all the provinces. But indeed as to the sufferings of women and maidens, such as with manly fortitude suffered for the sake of Christ the Lord, he records nothing. He is, moreover, the only one who has set forth in their order the sufferings of the bishops, from the Apostle Peter down. Moreover, he drew up for the benefit of the public a catalogue of the pontiffs of those cities and apostolic seats; that is, of the great city of Rome, and the cities of Alexandria and Antioch. Of the number then of those of whom, up to his own times, the above-mentioned author wrote in the Greek tongue, this man's life he was unable to paraphrase; that is, the life of the saint Silvester," etc.
An ancient author in the Passion of the Holy Valerian.
"The glorious struggles of the most blessed martyrs, for the honor of Christ the Lord and of our God, are celebrated by perpetual services and an annual solemnity, that while our faithful people know the faith of the martyrs, they may also rejoice in their triumphs, and may rest assured that it is by the protection of these that they themselves are to be protected. For it is held in repute that Eusebius the historian, of sacred memory, bishop of the city of Caesarea, a most blessed priest of excellent life, very learned also in ecclesiastical matters, and to be venerated for his extraordinary carefulness, set forth for every city, in so far as the truth was able to be ascertained, the Holy Spirit announcing the deeds that had been done,-inasmuch as the cities of single provinces and localities or towns have merited being made famous by the heavenly triumphs of martyrs,-set forth, I say, in the time of what rulers the innumerable persecutions were inflicted at the command of officials. Who, although he has not described entire the sufferings of individual martyrs, yet has truly intimated why they ought to be described or celebrated by faithful and devoted Christians. Thus this faithful husbandman has cultivated the grace of God, which has been scattered abroad in all the earth, while, as it were, from a single grain of wheat, plenteous harvests are produced on account of the fertility of the field, and go on in multiplied abundance. So through the narration of the above-mentioned man, diffused from the fountain of a single book, with the ever-spreading writings of the faithful, the celebrating of the sufferings of the martyrs has watered all the earth."
Usuardus in his Martyrology.
"On the twenty-first day of June, in Palestine, the holy Eusebius, bishop and confessor, a man of most excellent genius, and a historiographer."
Notker in his Martyrology."On the twenty-first day of June, the deposition in Caesarea of the holy bishop Eusebius."
Manecharius in his Epistle to Ceraunius, Bishop of Paris.
"Unceasing in thy continual efforts to equal in merit the very excellent persons of the most blessed bishops in all the conversation of the priesthood, zealous to adorn thyself every day with holy religion, by thy zeal for reading thou hast searched through the whole of the doctrines of the sacred Scriptures. Now as an addition to thy praiseworthiness thou dost faithfully purpose, in the city of Paris, to gather together for the love of religion, the deeds of the holy martyrs. Wherefore thou art worthy of being compared in zeal with Eusebius of Caesarea, and art worthy of being remembered perpetually with an equal share of glory."
From an old Manuscript Breviary of the Lemovicensian Church.
"Of the holy Eusebius, bishop and confessor.
"Lesson 1. Eusebius, bishop of Caesarea in Palestine, on account of his friendship with Pamphilus the martyr, took from him the surname of Pamphili; inasmuch as along with this same Pamphilus he was a most diligent investigator of sacred literature. The man indeed is very worthy of being remembered in these times, both for his skill in many things, and for his wonderful genius, and by both Gentiles and Christians he was held distinguished and most noble among philosophers. This man, after having for a time labored in behalf of the Arian heresy, coming to the council of Nicaea, inspired by the Holy Spirit, followed the decision of the Fathers, and thereafter up to the time of his death lived in a most holy manner in the orthodox faith.
"Lesson 2. He was, moreover, very zealous in the study of the sacred Scriptures, and along with Pamphilus the martyr was a most diligent investigator of sacred literature. At the same time he has written many things, but especially the following books: The Praeparatio Evangelica, the Ecclesiastical History, Against Porphyry, a very bitter enemy of the Christians; he has also composed Six Apologies in Behalf of Origen, a Life of Pamphilus the Martyr, from whom on account of friendship he took his surname, in three books; likewise very learned Commentaries on the hundred and fifty Psalms.
"Lesson 3. Moreover, as we read, after having ascertained the sufferings of many holy martyrs in all the provinces, and the lives of confessors and virgins, he has written concerning these saints twenty books; while on account of these books therefore, and especially on account of his Praeparatio Evangelica, he was held most distinguished among the Gentiles, because of his love of truth he contemned the ancestral worship of the gods. He has written also a Chronicle, extending from the first year of Abraham up to the year 300 a.d., which the divine Hieronymus has continued. Finally this Eusebius, after the conversion of Constantine the Great, was united to him by strong friendship as long as he lived."
In the Breviary of the same church, June twenty-first.
"Omnipotent, eternal God, who dost permit us to take part in the festivities in honor of Eusebius, thy holy confessor and priest, bring us, we pray thee, through his prayers, into the society of heavenly joys, through our Lord Jesus Christ," etc.7
From the book On the Lights of the Church.
"Eusebius of Caesarea, the key of the Scriptures and custodian of the New Testament, is proved by the Greeks to be greater than many in his treatises. There are three celebrated works of his which truly testify to this: the Canons of the Four Gospels, which set forth and defend the New Testament, ten books of Ecclesiastical History, and the Chronicon, that is, a chronological summary. We have never found any one who has been able to follow in all his foot-prints."
From the Miscellanies of Theodore Metochita (chap. 19)
"Eusebius Pamphili was also a Palestinian by birth, but as he himself says, he sojourner for quite a long time in Egypt. He was a very learned man, and it is evident indeed that he published many books, and that he used language thus."