Early Church Fathers
387 ek twn bibliwn. These words have been interpreted by many critics as implying that Papias considered the written Gospel accounts, which were extant in his time, of small value, and preferred to them the oral traditions which he picked up from "the elders." But as Lightfoot has shown (ibid. p. 390 sq.), this is not the natural interpretation of Papias' words, and makes him practically stultify and contradict himself. He cannot have considered the written documents which he laid at the base of his work as of little value, nor can he have regarded the writings of Matthew and Mark, which he refers to in this chapter as extant in his time, and the latter of which he praises for its accuracy, as inferior to the oral traditions, which came to him at best only at second hand. It is necessary to refer the twn bibliwn, as Lightfoot does, to "interpretations" of the Gospel accounts, which had been made by others, and to which Papias prefers the interpretations or expositions which he has received from the disciples of the apostles. This interpretation of the word alone saves us from difficulties and Papias from self-stultification.
388 See above, note 4.
389 The existence of two tombs in Ephesus bearing the name of John is attested also by Dionysius of Alexandria (quoted in Bk. VII. chap. 25, below) and by Jerome (de vir. ill. c. 9). The latter, however, says that some regard them both as memorials of the one John, the apostle; and Zahn, in his Acta Joannis, p. cliv. sq., endeavors to prove that a church stood outside of the walls of Ephesus, on the spot where John was buried, and another inside of the walls, on the site of the house in which he had resided, and that thus two spots were consecrated to the memory of a single John. The proof which he brings in support of this may not lead many persons to adopt his conclusions, and yet after reading his discussion of the matter one must admit that the existence of two memorials in Ephesus, such as Dionysius, Eusebius, and Jerome refer to, by no means proves that more than one John was buried there.
390 A similar suggestion had been already made by Dionysius in the passage quoted by Eusebius in Bk. VII. chap. 25, and Eusebius was undoubtedly thinking of it when he wrote these words. The suggestion is a very clever one, and yet it is only a guess, and does not pretend to be more. Dionysius concludes that the Apocalypse must have been written by some person named John, because it testifies to that fact itself; but the style, and other internal indications, lead him to think that it cannot have been written by the author of the fourth Gospel, whom he assumes to be John the apostle. He is therefore led to suppose that the Apocalypse was written by some other John. He does not pretend to say who that John was, but thinks it must have been some John that resided in Asia; and he then adds that there were said to be two tombs in Ephesus bearing the name of John,-evidently implying, though he does not say it, that he is inclined to think that this second John thus commemorated was the author of the Apocalypse. It is plain from this that he had no tradition whatever in favor of this theory, that it was solely an hypothesis arising from critical difficulties standing in the way of the ascription of the book to the apostle John. Eusebius sees in this suggestion a very welcome solution of the difficulties with which he feels the acceptance of the book to be beset, and at once states it as a possibility that this "presbyter John," whom he has discovered in the writings of Papias, may have been the author of the book. But the authenticity of the Apocalypse was too firmly established to be shaken by such critical and theological difficulties as influenced Dionysius, Eusebius, and a few others, and in consequence nothing came of the suggestion made here by Eusebius. In the present century, however, the "presbyter John" has again played an important part among some critics as the possible author of certain of the Johannine writings, though the authenticity of the Apocalypse has (until very recently) been so commonly accepted even by the most negative critics that the "presbyter John" has not figured at all as the author of it; nor indeed is he likely to in the future.
391 In chap. 31, above. On the confusion of the evangelist with the apostle Philip, see that chapter, note 6.
392 That is, in the time of Philip.
393 Acts i. 23.
394 Compare the extract from Papias given by Irenaeus (Adv. Haer. V. 32), in which is contained a famous parable in regard to the fertility of the millennium, which is exceedingly materialistic in its nature, and evidently apocryphal. "The days will come when vines shall grow, each having ten thousand branches, and in each branch ten thousand twigs, and in each twig ten thousand shoots, and in every one of the shoots ten thousand grapes, and every grape when pressed will give five and twenty measures of wine," &c.
395 Chiliasm, or millennarianism,-that is, the belief in a visible reign of Christ on earth for a thousand years before the general judgment, -was very widespread in the early Church. Jewish chiliasm was very common at about the beginning of the Christian era, and is represented in the voluminous apocalyptic literature of that day. Christian chiliasm was an outgrowth of the Jewish, but spiritualized it, and fixed it upon the second, instead of the first, coming of Christ. The chief Biblical support for this doctrine is found in Rev. xx. 1-6, and the fact that this book was appealed to so constantly by chiliasts in support of their views was the reason why Dionysius, Eusebius, and others were anxious to disprove its apostolic authorship. Chief among the chiliasts of the ante-Nicene age were the author of the epistle of Barnabas, Papias, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, and Tertullian; while the principal opponents of the doctrine were Caius, Origen, Dionysius of Alexandria, and Eusebius. After the time of Constantine, chiliasm was more and more widely regarded as a heresy, and received its worst blow from Augustine, who framed in its stead the doctrine, which from his time on was commonly accepted in the Church, that the millennium is the present reign of Christ, which began with his resurrection. See Schaff's Church History, II. p. 613 sq., for the history of the doctrine in the ante-Nicene Church and for the literature of the subject.
396 sfodra smikroz ton noun. Eusebius' judgment of Papias may have been unfavorably influenced by his hostility to the strongchiliasm of he latter; and yet a perusal of the extant fagments of Papias' writings wiil lead any one to think that Eusebius was not far wrong in his estimate of the man. On the genuineness of the words in his praise, given by some mss., in chap. 36, §2, see note 3 on that chapter.
397 See above, note 19.
398 We cannot, in the abscence of the context, say with certainty that the presbyter here refered to is the "presbyter John," of whom Papias has so much to say, and who ia mentioned in the previous paragraph, and yet this seems quite probable. Compare Weiffenbach's Die Papias Fragmente über Marcus und Mattaeus, p. 26 sq.
399 Papias is the first one to connect the Gospel of Mark wih Peter, but the tradition recorded by him was universally accepted by tshose who came after him (see above, Bk. II. chap. 15, note 4). The relation of this Gospel of Mark to our canonical ospel has been a very sharply disputed point, but there is no good reason for distinguishing the Gospel referred to here from our second Gospel which corresponds excellently to the description given by Papias. Compare the remarks of Lightfoot, ibid. p. 393 sq. We know from other sources (e.g. Justin Martyr's Dial. c. 106) that our second Gospel was in existence in any case before the middle of the second century, and therefore there is no reason to suppose that Papias was thinking of any other Gospel when he spoke of the Gospel written by Mark as the interpreter of Peter. Of course it does not follow from this that it was actually our second Gospel which Mark wrote, and of whose composition Papias here speaks. He may have written a Gospel which afterward formed the basis of our present Gospel, or was one of the sources of the synoptic tradition as a whole; that is, he may have written what is commonly known as the "Ur-Marcus" (see above, Bk. II. chap. 15, note 4). As to that, we cannot decide with absolute certainty, but we may say that Papias certainly understood the tradition which he gives to refer to our Gospel of Mark. The exact significance of the word ermhneuthj as used in this sentence has been much disputed. It seems best to give it its usual significance,-the significance which we attach to the English word "interpreter." See Weiffenbach, ibid. p. 37 sq. It may be, supposing the report to be correct, that Peter found it advantageous to have some one more familiar than himself with the language of the people among whom he labored to assist him in his preaching. What language it was for which he needed an interpreter we cannot say. We might think naturally of Latin, but it is not impossible that Greek or that both languages were meant; for Peter, although of course possessed of some acquaintance with Greek, might not have been familiar enough with it to preach in it with perfect ease. The words "though not indeed in order" (ou mentoi tacei) have also caused considerable controversy. But they seem to refer chiefly to a lack of chronological arrangement, perhaps to a lack of logical arrangement also. The implication is that Mark wrote down without regard to order of any kind the words and deeds of Christ which he remembered. Lightfoot and most other critics have supposed that this accusation of a "lack of order" implies the existence of another written Gospel, exhibiting a different order, with which Papias compares it (e.g. with the Gospel of Matthew, as Weiss, Bleck, Holtzmann, and others think; or with John, as Light-foot, Zahn, Renan, and others suppose). This is a natural supposition, but it is quite possible that Papias in speaking of this lack of order is not thinking at all of another written Gospel, but merely of the order of events which he had received from tradition as the true one.
1 On Xystus, see chap. 4, note 3.
2 Telesphorus was a martyr, according to Irenaeus, III. 3. 3 (compare below, chap. 10, and Bk. V. chap. 6), and the tradition is too old to be doubted. Eusebius here agrees with Jerome's version of the Chron. in putting the date of Telesphorus' accession in the year 128 a.d., but the Armenian version puts it in 124; and Lipsius, with whom Overbeck agrees, puts it between 124 and 126. Since he held office eleven years (according to Eusebius, chap. 10, below, and other ancient catalogues), he must have died, according to Lipsius and Overbeck, between 135 and 137 a.d. (the latter being probably the correct date), and not in the first year of Antoninus Pius (138 a.d.), as Eusebius states in chap. 10, below. Tradition says that he fought against Marcion and Valentinus (which is quite possible), and that he was very strict in regard to fasts, sharpening them and increasing their number, which may or may not be true.
3 We know nothing more about Eumenes. He is said in chap. 11 to have held office thirteen years, and this brings the date of his death into agreement with the date given by the Armenian version of the Chron., which differs by two years from the date given by Jerome.
4 His predecessor was Justus. See the previous chapter.
5 The rebellions of the Jews which had broken out in Cyrene and elsewhere during the reign of Trajan only increased the cruelty of the Romans toward them, and in Palestine, as well as elsewhere in the East, their position was growing constantly worse. Already during the reign of Trajan Palestine itself was the scene of many minor disturbances and of much bitter persecution. Hadrian regarded them as a troublesome people, and showed in the beginning of his reign that he was not very favorably disposed toward them Indeed, it seems that he even went so far as to determine to build upon the site of Jerusalem a purely heathen city. It was at about this time, when all the Jews were longing for the Messiah, that a man appeared (his original name we do not know, but his coins make it probable that it was Simon), claiming to be the Messiah, and promising to free the Jews from the Roman yoke. He took the name Bar-Cochba, "Son of a star," and was enthusiastically supported by Rabbi Akiba and other leading men among the Jews, who believed him to be the promised Messiah. He soon gathered a large force, and war finally broke out between him and Rufus, the governor of Judea, about the year 132. Rufus was not strong enough to put down the rebellion, and Julius Severus, Hadrian's greatest general, was therefore summoned from Britain with a strong force. Bar-Cochba and his followers shut themselves up in Bethar, a strong fortification, and after a long siege the place was taken in 135 a.d., in the fourth year of the war, and Bar-Cochba was put to death. The Romans took severe revenge upon the Jews. Hadrian built upon the site of Jerusalem a new city, which he named Aelia Capitolina, and upon the site of the temple a new temple to the Capitoline Jupiter, and passed a law that no Jew should henceforth enter the place. Under Bar-Cochba the Christians, who refused to join him in his rebellion, were very cruelly treated (cf. Justin Martyr, Apol. I. 31, quoted in chap. 8, below). Upon this last war of the Jews, see Dion Cassius, LXIX. 12-14, and compare Jost's Gesch. der Israeliten, III. p. 227 sq., and Münter's Füdischer Krieg.
6 Heb. )bbwb rb
, Bar-Cochba, which signifies "Son of a star" (cf. Num. xxiv. 17). After his defeat the Jews gave him the name )bywwb rb
, Bar-Coziba, which means "Son of a lie."
7 I.e. Aug. 134 to Aug. 135.
8 Biqqhra, Rufinus Bethara. The exact situation of this place cannot be determined, although various localities have been suggested by travelers (see Robinson's Bibl. Researches, III. p. 267 sqq.). We may conclude at any rate that it was, as Eusebius says, astrongly fortified place, and that it was situated somewhere in Judea.
9 Whether the whole of the previous account, or only the close of it, was taken by Eusebius from Aristo of Pella, we do not know. Of Aristo of Pella himself we know very little. Eusebius is the first writer to mention him, and he and Maximus Confessor (in his notes on the work De mystica Theol. cap. I. p. 17, ed. Corderii) are the only ones to give us any information about him (for the notices in Moses Chorenensis and in the Chron. Paschale-the only other places in which Aristo is mentioned-are entirely unreliable). Maximus informs us that Aristo was the author of a Dialogue of Papiscus and Jason, a work mentioned by many of the Fathers, but connected by none of them with Aristo. The dialogue, according to Maximus, was known to Clement of Alexandria and therefore must have been written as early as, or very soon after, the middle of the second century; and the fact that it recorded a dialogue between a Hebrew Christian and an Alexandrian Jew (as we learn from the epistle of Celsus, De Judaica Incredulitate, printed with the works of Cyprian, in Hartel's edition, III. p. 119-132) would lead us to expect an early date for the work. There can be found no good reason for doubting the accuracy of Maximus' statement; and if it be accepted, we must conclude that the writer whom Eusebius mentions here was the author of the dialogue referred to. If this be so, it is quite possible that it was from this dialogue that Eusebius drew the account which he here ascribes to Aristo; for such an account might well find a place in a dialogue between two Hebrews. It is possible, of course, that Aristo wrote some othe work in which he discussed this subject; but if it had been an historical work, we should expect Eusebius, according to his custom, to give its title. Harnack is quite correct in assuming that Eusebius' silence in regard to the work itself is significant. Doubtless the work did not please him, and hence he neither mentions it, nor gives an account of its author. This is just what we should expect Eusebius' attitude to be toward such a Jewish Christian work (and at the same time, such a `simple0' work, as Origen calls it in Contra Cels. IV. 52) as we know the dialogue to have been. We are, of course, left largely to conjecture in this matter; but the above conclusions seem at least probable. Compare Harnack's Ueberlieferung der griech. Apol., p. 115 sq.; and for a discussion of the nature of the dialogue (which is no longer extant), see his Altercatio Simonis Judaei et Theophili Christiani (Texte und Untersuchungen, I. 3), p. 115 sq. (Harnack looks upon this Latin altercatio as, in part at least, a free reproduction of the lost dialogue). See, also, the writer's Dialogue between a Christian and a Jew ('Antibolh Papiskou kai filwnoj 'Ioudaiwn proj monacon tina), p. 33.
The town of Pella lay east of the Jordan, in Perea. See Bk. III. chap. 5, note 10, above.
10 Of this Marcus we know nothing more. Upon the Gentile bishops of Jerusalem, see Bk. V. chap. 12.
11 yeudwnumou gnwsewj. Compare 1 Tim. vi. 20.
12 This statement is of course an exaggeration. See above, Bk. II. chap. 3, note 1.
13 These two paragraphs furnish an excellent illustration of Eusebius' dualistic and transcendental conception of history. In his opinion, heresy was not a natural growth from within, but an external evil brought upon the Church by the devil, when he could no longer persecute. According to this conception the Church conquers this external enemy, heresy, and then goes on as before, unaffected by it. In agreement with this is his conception of heretics themselves, whom he, in common with most other Christians of that age, considered without exception wicked and abandoned characters.
14 Eusebius' belief that persecution had ceased at the time of Hadrian is an illusion (see below, chap. 8, note 14) which falls in with his general conceptions upon this subject-conceptions which ruled among Christian writers until the end of the fourth century.
15 See Bk. III. chap. 26.
16 Saturninus is called Saturnilus by Hippolytus, Epiphanius, and Theodoret, and his followers Saturnilians by Hegesippus, quoted in chap. 22, below. Irenaeus (Adv. Haer. I. 24) and Hippolytus (VII. 16) give accounts of the man and his doctrine which are evidently taken from the same source, probably the lost Syntagma of Justin Martyr. Neither of them seems to have had any independent information, nor do any other writers know more about him than was contained in that original source. Irenaeus was possibly Eusebius' sole authority, although Irenaeus assigns Saturninus only to Syria, while Eusebius makes him a native of Antioch. Hippolytus says that he "spent his time in Antioch of Syria," which may have been the statement of the original, or may have been a mere deduction from a more general statement such as Irenaeus gives. In the same way Eusebius may have needed no authority for his still more exact statement.
17 Basilides was one of the greatest and most famous of the Gnostics. Irenaeus (I. 24) and the early Compendium of Hippolytus (now lost, but used together with Irenaeus' work by Epiphanius in his treatise against heresies) described a form of Basilidianism which was not the original, but a later corruption of the system. On the other hand, Clement of Alexandria surely, and Hippolytus, in the fuller account in his Philosoph. (VII. 2 sq.), probably drew their knowledge of the system directly from Basilides' own work, the Exegetica, and hence represent the form of doctrine taught by Basilides himself,-a form differing greatly from the later corruptions of it which Irenaeus discusses. This system was very profound, and bore in many respects a lofty character. Basilides had apparently few followers (his son Isidore is the only prominent one known to us); and though his system created a great impression at the start,-so much so that his name always remained one of the most famous of Gnostic names,-it had little vitality, and soon died out or was corrupted beyond recognition. He was mentioned of course in all the general works against heresies written by the Fathers, but no one seems to have composed an especial refutation of his system except Agrippa Castor, to whom Eusebius refers. Irenaeus informs us that he taught at Alexandria, Hippolytus (VII. 15) mentions simply Egypt, while Epiphanius (XXI. 1) names various Egyptian cities in which he labored, but it is evident that he is only enumerating places in which there were Basilidians in his time. It is not certain whether he is to be identified with the Basilides who is mentioned in the Acts of Archelaus as preaching in Persia. For an excellent account of Basilides and his system, see the article by Hort in the Dict. of Christ. Biog.; and in addition to the works of Neander, Baur, and Lipsius on Gnosticism in general, see especially Uhlhorn's Das Basilidianische System, Göttingen, 1855.
18 See Irenaeus, Adv. Haer. I. 24.
19 ekklhsiastikwn andrwn.
20 The only one of these-"that furnished posterity with means of defense against heresies"-whom Eusebius mentions is Agrippa Castor, and it is evident that he knew of no others. Moreover, it is more than doubtful whether Agrippa Castor belonged to that time. We do not know when he wrote, but it is hardly possible that the Church had at that period any one capable of answering such a work as the Commentary of Basilides, or any one who would wish to if he could. The activity of the Church was at this early period devoted chiefly if not wholly to the production of apologies for the defense of the Church against the attacks of enemies from the outside, and to the composition of apocalypses. Eusebius in the next chapter mentions Hegesippus as another of these "writers of the time." But the passage which he quotes to prove that Hegesippus wrote then only proves that the events mentioned took place during his lifetime, and not necessarily within forty or fifty years of the time at which he was writing. The fact is, that Hegesippus really wrote about 175 a.d. (later therefore than Justin Martyr), and in chap. 21 of this book Eusebius restores him to his proper chronological place. The general statement made here by Eusebius in regard to the writers against heresy during the reign of Hadrian rest upon his preconceived idea of what must have been the case. If the devil raised up enemies against the truth, the Church must certainly have had at the same time defenders to meet them. It is a simple example of well-meaning subjective reconstruction. He had the work of Agrippa Castor before him, and undoubtedly believed that he lived at the time stated (which indeed we cannot absolutely deny), and believed, moreover, that other similar writers, whose names he did not know, lived at the same time.
21 Of Agrippa Castor we know only what Eusebius tells us here. Jerome (de vir. ill. chap. 21) adds nothing new, and Theodoret's statement (Fab. I. 4), that Agrippa wrote against Basilides' son, Isidore, as well as against Basilides himself, is simply an expansion of Eusebius' account, and does not imply the existence of another work. Agrippa's production, of which we do not know even thetitle, has entirely disappeared.
22 eij euaggelion biblia. Clement of Alexandria (Strom. IV. 12) quotes from the twenty-third book of the Exegetica of Basilides. Origen (Hom. in Luc. I.) says that Basilides "had even the audacity to write a Gospel according to Basilides," and this remark is repeated by Ambrose (Exp. in Luc. I.), and seems to be Jerome's authority for the enumeration of a Gospel of Basilides among the Apocryphal Gospels in his Comment in Matt., praef. We know nothing more about this Gospel, and it is quite possible that Origen mistook the Exegetica for a Gospel. We do not know upon what Gospels Basilides wrote his Commentary (or Exegetica), but it is hardly probable that he would have expounded his own Gospel even if such a work existed. The passage from the Exegetica which Clement quotes looks to me like a part of an exposition of John ix. (although Lipsius, in the Dict. of Christ. Biog. II. 715, suggests Luke xxi. 12). Meanwhile, in the Acta Archelai, chap. 55 (see Gallandii Bibl. PP. III. 608), is a quotation from "the thirteenth book of the treatises (tractatuum) of Basilides," which is an exposition of the parable of Dives and Lazarus (Luke xvi.). If this is the same work, it would seem that the Exegetica must have included at least Luke and John, possibly Matthew also, for we know that the Gospels of Matthew, Luke, and John were all used by the Basiltitans. The respective positions in the work of the expositions of the passages from Luke and John (the former in the thirteenth, the latter in the twenty-third, book) would seem, however, to exclude Matthew, if the books were at all of equal length. If Lipsius were correct in regarding the latter passage as an exposition of Luke xxi. 12, there would be no evidence that the Commentary covered more than a single Gospel.
23 According to Epiphanius, some of the Ophites appealed to a certain prophet called Barcabbas. What his connection was with the one mentioned here we do not know. Clement of Alexandria (Strom. VI. 6) speaks of the Expositions af the Prophet Parchor by Isidore, the son of Basilides. This may be another of Basilides' prophets, but is more probably identical with the oft-mentioned Barcoph. In the second book of these Expositions, as quoted by Clement, occurs a reference to the prophecy of Cham or Ham. Rienstra (De Euseb. Hist. Eccles. p. 29) thinks that Agrippa Castor was mistaken in saying that Basilides mentioned these prophets; but there seems to be no good reason to deny the accuracy of the report, even though we know nothing more about the prophets mentioned. Hort (Dict. of Christ. Biog., article Barcabbas) thinks it likely that the prophecies current among the various Gnostic bodies belonged to the apocryphal Zoroastrian literature.
24 This was not a doctrine of Basilides himself, but of his followers (compare the accounts of Irenaeus and Hippolytus). If Agrippa Castor represented Basilides' position thus, as Eusebius says he did (though Eusebius may be only following Irenaeus), it is an evidence that he did not live at the early date to which Eusebius assigns him, and this goes to confirm the view stated above, in note 10. Basilides himself taught at least a moderate asceticism, while his followers went off into crude dualism and moral license (see the excellent account of Schaff, Ch. Hist. II. 466 sq.).
25 Exactly what is meant by this "five years of silence" is uncertain. Whether it denoted unquestioning and silent obedience of all commands, as it meant in the case of the Pythagoreans (if, indeed, the traditions in regard to the latter have any basis in fact), or strict secrecy as to the doctrines taught, cannot be decided. The report in regard to the Basilidians, in so far as it has any truth, probably arose on the ground of some such prohibition, which may have been made by some follower of Basilides, if not by the latter himself. A bond of secrecy wotdd lend an air of mystery to the school, which would accord well with the character of its later teachings. But we cannot make Basilides responsible for such proceedings. Agrippa Castor, as reproduced here by Eusebius, is our sole authority for the enjoinment of silence by Basilides.
26 See Irenaeeus, Adv. Haer. I. 25.
27 The date of the rise of Gnosticism cannot be fixed. Indeed, all the requisite conditions existed from the beginning. It was the "acute Verweltlichung" (as Harnack calls it) of Christianity, the development of it in connection with the various ethnic philosophies, and it began as soon as Christianity came in contact with the Greek mind. At first it was not heretical, simply because there were no standards by which to try it. There was only the preaching of the Christians; the canon was not yet formed; episcopacy was not yet established; both arose as safeguards against heresy. It was in the time of Hadrian, perhaps, that these speculations began to be regarded as heresics, because they contradicted certain fundamental truths to which the Christians felt that they must cling, such as the unity of God, his graciousness, his goodness, etc.; and therefore the Christians dated Gnosticism from that time. Gnosticism was ostensibly conquered, but victory was achieved only as the Church itself became in a certain sense Gnostic. It followed the course of Gnosticism a century later; that is, it wrote commentaries, systems of doctrine, &c., philosophizing about religious things (cf. Harnack's Dogmengeschichte, I. p. 162 sq.). It must be remembered in reading the Fathers' accounts of Gnosticism that they took minor and ummportant details and magnified them, and treated them as the essentials of the system or systems. In this way far greater variety appears to have existed in Gnosticism than was the case. The essential principles were largely the same throughout; the differences were chiefly in regard to details. It is this conduct on the part of the Fathers that gives us such a distorted and often ridiculous view of Gnosticism.
The Carpocratians are the first of whom Irenaeus expressly says that they called themselves Gnostics (adv. Haer. I. 25, 6), while Hippolytus first speaks of the name as adopted by the Naasseni (V. 1). The Carpocratians are mentioned by Hegesippus (quoted below in chap. 22). The system was more exclusively Greek in its character than any other of the Gnostic systems. The immorality of the sect was proverbial; Tertullian (de Anima, c. 35) calls Carpocrates a magician and a fornicator. He taught the superiority of man over the powers of the world, the moral indifference of things in themselves, and hence, whether he himself was immoral or not, his followers carried out his principles to the extreme, and believed that the true Gnostic might and even must have experience of everything, and therefore' should practice all sorts of immoralities.
Eusebius is probably right in assigning Carpocrates to this period. The relation of his system to those of Saturnthus and Basilides seems to imply that he followed them, but at no great interval. Other sources for a knowledge of Carpocrates and his sect are Irenaeus (I. 25 and II. 31-33), Clement of Alexandria (Strom. III. 2), Hippolytus (Phil. VII. 20), Tertullian (de Anima, 23, 35), Pseudo-Tertullian (adv. omnes Haer. 3), Epiphanius (Haer. 27), and Philaster (c. 35). Of these only Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, and the earlier treatise of Hippolytus (which lies at the base of Pseudo-Tertullian and Philaster) are independent; and probably, back of Irenaeus, lies Justin Martyr's lost Syntagma; though it is very likely that Irenaeus knew the sect personally, and made additions of his own. Compare Harnack's Quellenkritik des Gnosticismus, p. 41 sq.
28 ekeinoj, referring back to Basilides.
29 Where Eusebius secured the information that the Carpocratians made the magic rites of Simon public, instead of keeping them secret, as Basilides had done, I cannot tell. None of our existing sources mentions this fact, and whether Eusebius took it from some lost source, or whether it is simply a deduction of his own, I am not certain. In other respects his account agrees closely with that of Irenaeus. It is possible that he had seen the lost work of Hippolytus (see below, VI. 22, note 9), and from that had picked up this item which he states as a fact. But the omission of it in Philaster, Pseudo-Tertullian, and Epiphanius are against this supposition. Justin's Syntagma Eusebius probably never saw (see below, chap. 11, note 31).
30 The chief accusations urged against the early Christians by their antagonists were atheism, cannibalism, and incest. These charges were made very early. Justin Martyr (Apol. 1. 26) mentions them, and Pliny in his epistle to Trajan speaks of the innocent meals of the Christians, implying that they had been accused of immorality in connection with them. (Compare, also, Tertullian's Apol. 7, 8, and Ad Nationes, 7.) In fact, suspicions arose among the heathen as soon as their love feasts became secret. The persecution in Lyons is to be explained only by the belief of the officer, that these and similar accusations were true. The Christians corn monly denied all such charges in toto, and supported their denial by urging the absurdity of such conduct; but sometimes, as in the present case, they endeavored to exonerate themselves by attributing the crimes with which they were charged to heretics. This course, however, helped them little with the heathen, as the latter did not distinguish between the various parties of Christians, but treated them all as one class. The statement of Eusebius in the present case is noteworthy. He thinks that the crimes were really committed by heretics, and occasioned the accusations of the heathen, and he thus admits that the charges were founded upon fact. In this case he acts toward the heretics in the same way that the heathen acted toward the Christians as a whole. This method of exonerating themselves appears as early as Justin Martyr (compare his Apol. I. 26). Irenaeus also (I. 25, 3), whom Eusebius substantially follows in this passage, and Philaster (c. 57), pursue the same course.
31 Eusebius is correct in his statement that such accusations were no longer made in his day. The Church had, in fact, lived them down completely. It is noticeable that in the elaborate work of Celsus against the Christians, no such charges are found. From Origen (Contra Cels. VI. 27), however, we learn that there were still in his time some who believed these reports about the Christians, though they were no longer made the basis of serious attacks. Whether Eusebius' synchronization of the cessation of these slanderous stories with the cessation of the heresies of which he has been talking, is correct, is not so Certain, as we know neither exactly when these heresies ran out, nor precisely the time at which the accusations ceased. At any rate, we cannot fully agree with Eusebius' explanation of the matter. The two things were hardly connected as direct cause and effect, though it cannot be denied that the actual immoralities of some of these antinomian sects may have had some effect in confirming these tales, and hence that their extinction may have had some tendency to hasten the obliteration of the vile reports.
32 See above, note 10.