Early Church Fathers
256 Our author tacitly admits in this paragraph, what he has denied in §12, above, that the Montanists had martyrs among their number; and having admitted it, he endeavors to explain away its force. In the previous paragraph he had claimed that the lack of martyrs among them proved that they were heretics; here he claims that the existence of such martyrs does not in any way argue for their orthodoxy. The inconsistency is glaringly apparent (cf. the remarks made in note 23, above).
257 This shows the bitterness of the hostility of the Catholics toward the Montanists. That even when suffering together for the one Lord they could not recognize these brethren seems very sad, and it is not to be wondered at that the Montanists felt themselves badly used, and looked upon the Catholics as "slayers of the prophets," &c. More uncompromising enmity than this we can hardly imagine. That the Catholics, however, were sincere in their treatment of the Montanists, we cannot doubt. It is clear that they firmly believed that association with them meant association with the devil, and hence the deeper their devotion to Christ, the deeper must be their abhorrence of these instruments of Satan. Compare, for instance, Polycarp's words to Marcion, quoted in Bk. IV. chap. 14, above. The attitude of these Catholic martyrs is but of a piece with that of nearly all the orthodox Fathers toward heresy. It only shows itself here in its extremest form.
258 Apamea Cibotus in Eastern Phrygia, a large and important commercial center. Of the two martyrs, Gaius and Alexander, we know only what is told us here. They were apparently both of them from Eumenia, a Phrygian town lying a short distance north of Apamea. We have no means of fixing the date of the martyrdoms referred to here, but it seems natural to assign them to the reign of Marcus Aurelius, after Montanism had become somewhat widespread, and when martyrdoms were a common thing both in the East and West. Thraseas, bishop of Eumenia, is referred to as a martyr by Polycrates in chap. 24, but he can hardly have suffered with the ones referred to here, or his name would have been mentioned instead of the more obscure names of Gaius and Alexander.
259 This Miltiades is known to us from three sources: from the present chapter, from the Roman work quoted by Eusebius in chap. 28, and from Tertullian (adv. Val. chap. 5). Jerome also mentions him in two places (de vir. ill. 39 and Ep. ad Magnum; Migne's ed. Ep. 70, §3), but it is evident that he derived his knowledge solely from Eusebius. That Miltiades was widely known at the end of the second century is clear from the notices of him by an Asiatic, a Roman, and a Carthaginian writer. The position in which he is mentioned by Tertullian and by the anonymous Roman writer would seem to indicate that he flourished during the reign of Marcus Aurelius. His Apology was addressed to the emperors, as we learn from §5, below, by which might be meant either Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus (161-169), or Marcus Aurelius and Commodus (177-180). Jerome states that he flourished during the reign of Commodus (Floruit autem M. Antonini Commodi temporibus; Vallarsi adds a que after Commodi, thus making him flourish in the times of M. Antoninus and Commodus, but there is no authority for such an addition). It is quite possible that he was still alive in the time of Commodus (though Jerome's statement is of no weight, for it rests upon no independent authority), but he must at any rate have written his Apology before the death of Marcus Aurelius. The only works of Miltiades named by our authorities are the anti-Montanistic work referred to here, and the three mentioned by Eusebius at the close of this chapter (two books Against the Greeks, two books Against the Jews, and an Apology). Tertullian speaks of him as an anti-Gnostic writer, so that it is clear that he must have written another work not mentioned by Eusebius, and it was perhaps that work that won for him the commendation of the anonymous writer quoted in chap. 28, who ranks him with Justin, Tatian, Irenaeus, Melito, and Clement as one who had asserted the divinity of Christ. Eusebius appears to have seen the three works which he mentions at the close of this chapter, but he does not quote from them, and no fragments of any of Miltiades' writings have been preserved to us; he seems indeed to have passed early out of the memory of the Church.
A very perplexing question is his relation to Montanism. According to Eusebius, he was the author of an anti-Montanistic work, but this report is beset with serious difficulties. The extract which Eusebius quotes just below as his authority has "Alcibiades," not "Miltiades," according to the unanimous testimony of the mss. and versions. It is very difficult to understand how Miltiades, if it stood originally in the text, could have been changed to Alcibiades. Nevertheless, most editors have thought it necessary to make the change in the present case, and most historians (including even Harnack) accept the alteration, and regard Miltiades as the author of a lost anti-Montanistic work. I confess that, imperative as this charge at first sight seems to be, I am unable to believe that we are justified in making it. I should be inclined to think rather that Eusebius had misread his authority, and that, finding Miltiades referred to in the immediate context (perhaps the Montanist Miltiades mentioned in chap. 16), he had, in a hasty perusal of the work, overlooked the less familiar name Alcibiades, and had confounded Miltiades with the author of the anti-Montanistic work referred to here by our Anonymous. He would then naturally identify him at once with the Miltiades known to him through other works. If we suppose, as Salmon suggests, that Eusebius did not copy his own extracts, but employed a scribe to do that work (as we should expect so busy a man to do), it may well be that he simply marked this extract in regard to the anti-Montanistic work without noticing his blunder, and that the scribe, copying the sentence just as it stood, correctly wrote Alcibiades instead of Miltiades. In confirmation of the supposition that Eusebius was mistaken in making Miltiades the author of an anti-Montanistic work may be urged the fact that Tertullian speaks of Miltiades with respect, and ranks him with the greatest Fathers of the second century. It is true that the term by which he describes him (ecclesiarum sophista) may not (as Harnack maintains) imply as much praise as is given to Proculus in the same connection; nevertheless Tertullian does treat Miltiades with respect, and does accord him a high position among ecclesiastical writers. But it is certainly difficult to suppose that Tertullian can thus have honored a man who was known to have written against Montanism. Still further, it must be noticed that Eusebius himself had not seen Miltiades' anti-Montanistic work; he knew it only from the supposed mention of it in this anonymous work from which he was quoting. Certainly it is not, on the whole, difficult to suppose him mistaken and our mss. and versions correct. I therefore prefer to retain the traditional reading Alcibiades, and have so translated. Of the Alcibiades who wrote the anti-Montanistic treatise referred to, we know nothing. Upon Miltiades, see especially Harnack's Texte und Untersuchungen, I. I, p. 278 sqq., Otto's Corpus Apol Christ. IX. 364 sqq., and Salmon's article in the Dict. of Christ. Biog. III. 916.
260 Alkibiadou, with all the mss. and versions, followed by Valesius (in his text), by Burton, Laemmer, and Crusè; Nicephorus, followed by Valesius in his notes, and by all the other editors, and by the translations of Stroth, Closs, and Stigloher, read Miltiadou. See the previous note.
261 This was the first work, so far as we know, to denounce the practice of prophesying in ecstasy. The practice, which had doubtless fallen almost wholly into disuse, was brought into decided disrepute on account of the excesses of the Montanists, and the position taken by this Alcibiades became very soon the position of the whole Church (see the previous chapter, note 14).
262 Of this prophetess Ammia of Philadelphia, we know only what we can gather from this chapter. She would seem to have lived early in the second century, possibly in the latter part of the first, and to have been a prophetess of considerable prominence. That the Montanists had good ground for appealing to her, as well as to the other prophets mentioned as their models, cannot be denied. These early prophets were doubtless in their enthusiasm far more like the Montanistic prophets than like those whom the Church of the latter part of the second century alone wished to recognize.
263 This Quadratus is to be identified with the Quadratus mentioned in Bk. III. chap. 37, and was evidently a man of prominence in the East. He seems to have been a contemporary of Ammia, or to have belonged at any rate to the succession of the earliest prophets. He is to be distinguished from the bishop of Athens, mentioned in Bk. IV. chap. 23, and also in all probability from the apologist, mentioned in Bk. IV. chap. 3. Cf. Harnack, Texte und Unters. I. I. p. 102 and 104; and see Bk. III. chap. 37, note I, above.
264 On Agabus, see Acts xi. 28, Acts xxi. 10.
265 On Judas, see Acts xv. 22, Acts xv. 27, Acts xv. 32.
266 On Silas, see Acts xv.-Acts xviii. passim; also 2 Cor. i. 19, 1 Thess. i. 1, 2 Thess. i. 1, and 1 Pet. v. 12, where Silvanus (who is probably the same man) is mentioned.
267 On the daughters of Philip, see Acts xxi. 9; also Bk. III. chap. 31, note 8, above.
268 On the date of Maximilla's death, see the previous chapter, note 32. To what utterance of "the apostle" o "apostolo", which commonly means Paul) our author is referring, I am not able to discover. I can find nothing in his writings, nor indeed in the New Testament, which would seem to have suggested the idea which he here attributes to the apostle. The argument is a little obscure, but the writer apparently means to prove that the Montanists are not a part of the true Church, because the gift of prophecy is a mark of that Church, and the Montanists no longer possess that gift. This seems a strange accusation to bring against the Montanists,-we might expect them to use such an argument against the Catholics. In fact, we know that the accusation is not true, at least not entirely so; for we know that there were Montanistic prophetesses in Tertullian's church in Carthage later than this time, and also that there was still a prophetess at the time Apollonius wrote (see chap. 18, §6), which was some years later than this (see chap. 18, note 3).
269 peri ta qeia logia. These words are used to indicate the Scriptures in Bk. VI. chap. 23, §2, IX. 9. 7, X. 4. 28, and in the Martyrs of Palestine, XI. 2.
270 en te oij proj Ellhnaj sunetace logoij, kai toij proj Ioudaiouj. Eusebius is the only one to mention these works, and no fragments of either of them are now extant. See above, note 1.
271 ekateraidiwj upoqesei en dusin upanthsaj suggrammasin.
272 Or, "to the rulers of the world" (proj touj kosmikouj arxontaj.) Valesius supposed these words to refer to the provincial governors, but it is far more natural to refer them to the reigning emperors, both on account of the form of the phrase itself and also because of the fact that it was customary with all the apologists to address their apologies to the emperors themselves. In regard to the particular emperors addressed, see above, note 1.
273 Or events (tinwn).
274 On the name, see chap. 16, note 2.
275 Of this Apollonius we know little more than what Eusebius tells us in this chapter. The author of Praedestinatus (in the fifth century) calls him bishop of Ephesus, but his authority is of no weight. Jerome devotes chap. 40 of his de vir. ill. to Apollonius, but it is clear that he derives his knowledge almost exclusively from Eusebius. He adds the notice, however, that Tertullian replied to Apollonius' work in the seventh book of his own work, de Ecstasi (now lost). The character of Apollonius' work may be gathered from the fragments preserved by Eusebius in this chapter. It was of the same nature as the work of the anonymous writer quoted in chap. 16, very bitter in tone and not over-scrupulous in its statements. Apollonius states (see in §12, below) that he wrote the work forty years after the rise of Montanism. If we accepted the Eusebian date for its beginning (172), this would bring us down to 212, but (as remarked above, in chap. 16, note 12) Montanism had probably begun in a quiet way sometime before this, and so Apollonius' forty years are perhaps to be reckoned from a somewhat earlier date. His mention of "the prophetess" as still living (in §6, below) might lead us to think that Maximilia was still alive when he wrote; but when the anonymous wrote she was already dead, and the reasons for assigning the latter to a date as early as 192 are too strong to be set aside. We must therefore suppose Apollonius to be referring to some other prophetess well known in his time. That there were many such prophetesses in the early part of the third century is clear from the works of Tertullian. Jerome (ibid.) states that an account of the death of Montanus and his prophetesses by hanging was contained in Apollonius' work, but it has been justly suspected that he is confusing the work of the anonymous, quoted in chap. 16, above, with the work of Apollonius, quoted in this chapter. The fragments of Apollonius' work, preserved by Eusebius, are given, with a commentary, in Routh's Rel. Sac. I. p. 467 sq., and an English translation in the Ante-Nicene Fathers, VIII. p. 775 sq.
276 We are not to gather from this that the Montanists forbade marriage. They were, to be sure, decidedly ascetic in their tendencies, and they did teach the unlawfulness of second marriages,-which had long been looked upon with disfavor in many quarters, but whose lawfulness the Church had never denied,-and magnified the blessedness of the single state; but beyond this they did not go, so far as we are able to judge. Our chief sources for the Montanistic view of marriage are Tertullian's works ad Uxorem, de Pudicit., de Monogamia, de Exhort. ad castitat., and Epiphanius' Haer. XLVIII. 9.
277 One great point of dispute between the Montanists and the Catholics was the subject of fasts (cf. Hippolytus, VIII. 12, X. 21, who makes it almost the only ground of complaint against the Montanists). The Montanist prophetesses ordained two new fasts of a week each in addition to the annual paschal fast of the Church; and the regulations for these two weeks were made very severe. Still further they extended the duration of the regular weekly (Wednesday and Friday) fasts, making them cover the whole instead of only a part of the day. The Catholics very strenuously opposed these ordinances, not because they were opposed to fasting (many of them indulged extensively in the practice), but because they objected to the imposition of such extra fasts as binding upon the Church. They were satisfied with the traditional customs in this matter, and did not care to have heavier burdens imposed upon the Christians in general than their fathers had borne. Our principal sources for a knowledge of the dispute between the Montanists and Catholics on this subject are Tertullian's de Jejuniis; Epiphanius, Haer. XLVIII. 8; Jerome, Ep. ad Marcellam (Migne, Ep. XLI. 3), Comment. in Matt. c. 9, vers. 15; and Theodoret, Haer. Fab. III. 2.
278 Pepuza was an obscure town in the western part of Phrygia; Tymion, otherwise unknown, was probably situated in the same neighborhood. Pepuza was early made, and long continued, the chief center-the Jerusalem-of the sect, and even gave its name to the sect in many quarters. Harnack has rightly emphasized the significance of this statement of Apollonius, and has called attention to the fact that Montanus' original idea must have been the gathering of the chosen people from all the world into one region, that they might form one fold, and freed from all the political and social relations in which they had hitherto lived might await the coming of the Lord, who would speedily descend, and set up his kingdom in this new Jerusalem. Only after this idea had been proved impracticable did Montanism adapt itself to circumstances and proceed to establish itself in the midst of society as it existed in the outside world. That Montanus built upon the Gospel of John, and especially upon chaps. x. and xvii., in this original attempt of his, is perfectly plain (cf. Harnack's Dogmengeschichte, I. p. 319 and 323. With this passage from Apollonius, compare also Epiphanius, Haer. XLVIII. 14 and XLIX. I., and Jerome Ep. ad Marcellam).
279 This appointment of economic officers and the formation of a compact organization were a part of the one general plan, referred to in the previous note, and must have marked the earliest years of the sect. Later, when it was endeavoring to adapt itself to the catholic Church, and to compromise matters in such a way as still to secure recognition from the Church, this organization must have been looked upon as a matter of less importance, and indeed probably never went far beyond the confines of Phrygia. That it continued long in that region, however, is clear from Jerome's words in his Epistle to Marcella already referred to. Compare also chap 16, note 25.
280 There can be little doubt that the Church teachers and other officers were still supported by voluntary contributions, and hence Apollonius was really scandalized at what he considered making merchandise of spiritual things (cf. the Didache, chaps. XI. and XII.; but even in the Didache we find already a sort of stated salary provided for the prophets; cf. chap. XII.). For him to conclude, however, from the practice instituted by the Montanists in accordance with their other provisions for the formation of a compact organization, that they were avaricious and gluttonous, is quite unjustifiable, just as much so as if our salaried clergy to-day should be accused, as a class, of such sins.
281 See chap. 16, note 18.
282 See note 8.
283 On Themiso, see chap. 16, note 31.
284 kaqoloikhn epistolhn. Catholic in the sense in which the word is used of the epistles of James, Peter, John, and Jude; that is, general, addressed to no particular church. The epistle is no longer extant. Its "blasphemy" against the Lord and his apostles lay undoubtedly in its statement of the fundamental doctrine of the Montanists, that the age of revelation had not ceased, but that through the promised Paraclete revelations were still given, which, supplemented or superseded those granted the apostles by Christ.
285 This fragment gives us our only information in regard to this Alexander. That there may be some truth in the story told by Apollonius cannot be denied. It is possible that Alexander was a bad man, and that the Montanists had been deceived in him, as often happens in all religious bodies. Such a thing might much more easily happen after the sect had been for a number of years in a flourishing condition than in its earlier years; and the exactness of the account, and the challenge to disprove it, would seem to lend it some weight. At the same time Apollonius is clearly as unprincipled and dishonest a writer as the anonymous, and hence little reliance can be placed upon any of his reports to the discredit of the Montanists. If the anonymous made so many accusations out of whole cloth, Apollonius may have done the same in the present instance; and the fact that many still "worshiped" him would seem to show that Apollonius' accusations, if they possessed any foundation, were at any rate not proven.
286 A very common accusation brought against various sects. Upon the significance of it, see Harnack, Dogmengeschichte, I. p. 82, note 2.
287 opisqodomoj, originally the back chamber of the old temple of Athenae on the Acropolis at Athens, where the public treasure was kept. It then came to be used of the inner chamber of any temple where the public treasure was kept, and in the present instance is used of the apartment which contained the public records or archives. Just below, Apollonius uses the phrase dhmosion arxeion, in referring to the same thing.
288 Matt. x. 9, Matt x. 10.
289 Matt. xii. 33.
290 We know, unfortunately, nothing about this proconsul, and hence have no means of fixing the date of this occurrence.
291 i.e. of Christ.
293 eita epiyeusamenoj tw onomati tou kuriou apolelutai planhsaj touj ekei pistouj. The meaning seems to be that while in prison he pretended to be a Christian, and thus obtained the favor of the brethren, who procured his release by using their influence with the judge.
294 We have no means of controlling the truth of this statement.
295 dhmosion arxeion.
296 on o profhthj sunonta polloij etesin agnoei, as is read by all the mss., followed by the majority of the editors. Heinichen reads w o profhthj sunwn polloij etesin agnoei, but the emendation is quite unnecessary. The agnoei implies ignorance of the man's true character; although with him so many years, he knows nothing about him, is ignorant of his true character! The sentence is evidently ironical.
297 phn upostasin.
300 Knowing what we do of the asceticism and the severe morality of the Montanists, we can look upon the implications of this passage as nothing better than baseless slanders. That there might have been an individual here and there whose conduct justified this attack cannot be denied, but to bring such accusations against the Montanists in general was both unwarranted and absurd, and Apollonius cannot but have been aware of the fact. His language is rather that of a bully or braggadocio who knows the untruthfulness of his statements, than of a man conscious of his own honesty and of the reliability of his account.
301 On the date of Apollonius' work, see above, note 3.
302 See chap. 16, §17.
303 This Thraseas is undoubtedly to be identified with Thraseas, "bishop and martyr of Eumenia," mentioned by Polycrates, as quoted in chap. 24, below. We know no more about him than is told us there.
304 Clement (Strom. VI. 5) records the same tradition, quoting it from the Preaching of Peter, upon which work, see Bk. III. chap. 3, note 8, above.
305 Compare Eusebius' promise in Bk. III. chap. 24, §18, and see note 21 on that chapter.
306 No one else, so far as I am aware, records this tradition, but it is of a piece with many others in regard to John which were afloat in the early Church.
307 Both versions of the Chron. agree in putting the accession of Serapion into the eleventh year of Commodus (190 a.d.), and that of his successor Asclepiades into the first year of Caracalla, which would give Serapion an episcopate of twenty-one years (Syncellus says twenty-five years, although giving the same dates of accession for both bishops that the other versions give). Serapion was a well-known person, and it is not too much to think that the dates given by the Chron. in connection with him may be more reliable than most of its dates. The truth is, that from the present chapter we learn that he was already bishop before the end of Commodus' reign, i.e. before the end of 192 a.d. Were the statement of Eutychius,-that Demetrius of Alexandria wrote at the same time to Maximus of Antioch and Victor of Rome,-to be relied upon, we could fix his accession between 189 and 192 (see Harnack's Zeit des Ignatius, p. 45). But the truth is little weight can be attached to his report. While we cannot therefore reach certainty in the matter, there is no reason for doubting the approximate accuracy of the date given by the Chron. As to the time of his death, we can fix the date of Asclepiades' accession approximately in the year 211 (see Bk. VI. chap. II, note 6), and from the fragment of Alexander's epistle to the Antiochenes, quoted in that chapter, it seems probable that there had been a vacancy in the see of Antioch for some time. But from the mention of Serapion's epistles to Domninus (Bk. VI. chap. 12) we may gather that he lived until after the great persecution of Severus (a.d. 202 sq.). From Bk. VI. chap. 12, we learn that Serapion was quite a writer; and he is commemorated also by Jerome (de vir. ill. c. 41) and by Socrates (H. E. III. 7). In addition to the epistle quoted here, he addressed to Domninus, according to Bk. VI. chap. 12, a treatise (Jerome, ad Domninum ...volumen camposuit), or epistle (the Greek of Eusebius reads simply ta, but uses the same article to describe the epistle or epistles to Caricus and Pontius, so that the nature of the writing is uncertain), as well as some other epistles, and a work on the Gospel of Peter. These were the only writings of his which Eusebius had seen, but he reports that there were probably other works extant. There are preserved to us only the two fragments quoted by Eusebius in these two chapters. Serapion also played a prominent rôle in the tradition of the Edessene church, as we learn from Zahn's Doctrina Addai (Gött. Gel. Anz. 1877, St. 6, p. 173, 179, according to Harnack's Zeit des Ignatius, p. 46 sqq.).
308 On Maximinus, see Bk. IV. chap. 24, note 6.
309 See Bk. IV. chap. 27, note 1.
310 Caricus and Pontius (called Ponticus in this passage by most of the mss. of Eusebius, but Pontius by one of the best of them, by Nicephorus, Jerome, and Eusebius himself in Bk. VI. chap. 12, which authorities are followed by Stroth, Burton, Schwegler, and Heinichen) are called in Bk. VI. chap. 12, ekklhsiastikouj andraj. They are otherwise unknown personages. In that chapter the plural article ta is used of the writing, or writings, addressed to Caricus and Pontius, implying that upomnhmata is to be supplied. This seems to imply more than one writing, but it is not necessary to conclude that more than the single epistle mentioned here is meant, for the plural upomnhmata was often used in a sort of collective sense to signify a collection of notes, memoranda, &c.
311 This fragment is given by Routh, Rel. Sacrae, and, in English, in the Ante-Nicene Fathers, VIII. p. 775.
312 See Bk. IV. chap. 27, note 5.
313 Valesius justly remarks that Eusebius does not say that these bishops signed Serapion's epistle, but only that their signatures or notes (uposhmeiwseij) were contained in the epistle. He thinks it is by no means probable that a bishop of Thrace (the nationality of the other bishops we do not know) should have signed this epistle of Serapion's, and he therefore concludes that Serapion simply copies from another epistle sent originally from Thrace. This is possible; but at the end of the chapter Eusebius says that other bishops put in their signatures or notes with their own hands (autografoi shmeiwseij), which precludes the idea that Serapion simply copies their testimony from another source, and if they signed thus it is possible that the Thracian bishop did likewise. It may be that Serapion took pains to compose a semi-official communication which should have the endorsement of as many anti-Montanistic bishops as possible, and that, in order to secure their signatures he sent it about from one to the other before forwarding it to Caricus and Pontius.
314 Of this Aurelius Cyrenius we know nothing. It is possible that he means to call himself simply a witness (martuj) to the facts recorded by Serapion in his epistle, but more probable that he uses the word to indicate that he has "witnessed for Christ" under persecution.
315 Aelius Publius Julius is also an otherwise unknown personage. Debeltum and Anchialus were towns of Thrace, on the western shore of the Black Sea.
316 Lightfoot (Ignatius, II. 111) suggests that this Sotas (Swtaj) may be identical with the Zoticus (Zwtikoj) mentioned in the preceding chapter, the interchange of the initial S and Z being very common. But we learn from chap. 16 that Zoticus was bishop of Comana, so that he can hardly be identified with Sotas, bishop of Anchialus.