Early Church Fathers
183 Rev. xxii. 7, Rev. xxii. 8. Dionysius punctuates this passage peculiarly, and thus interprets it quite differently from all our versions of the Book of Revelation. The Greek text as given by him agrees with our received text of the Apocalypse; but the words kagw 'Iwannhj o akouwn kai blepwn tauta, which Dionysius connects with the preceding, should form an independent sentence: "And I, John, am he that heard and saw these things."
184 On the Gospel and Epistle, see Bk. III. chap. 24, notes 1 and 18.
185 thj tou bibliou diecagwghj legomenhj. Valesius considers diecagwgh equivalent to dispositionem or oikonomian, "for diecagwgein is the same as dioikein, as Suidas says." He translates ex libelli totius ductu ac dispositione, remarking that the words may be interpreted also as formam et rationem scribendi, seu characterem. The phrase evidently means the "general disposition" or "form" of the work. Closs translates "aus ihrer ganzen Ausführung"; Salmond, "the whole disposition and execution of the book"; Crusè, "the execution of the whole book."
186 i.e. never speaks of himself in the first person, as "I, John"; nor in the third person, as e.g. "his servant, John."
187 Rev. i. 1, Rev. i. 2.
188 Rev. i. 4.
189 1 John i. 1.
190 Matt. xvi. 17.
191 See 2 John, ver. 1, and 3 John, ver. 1.
192 Rev. i. 9.
193 Rev. xxii. 7, Rev. xxii. 8. See above, note 3.
194 See John xiii. 23, John xix. 26, John xx. 2, John xxi. 7, John xxi. 20.
195 See John xiii. 23, John xiii. 25. These words, oude ton anapesonta epi to sthqoj autou, are wanting in Heinichen's edition; but as they are found in all the other editions and versions and Heinichen gives no reason for their omission, it is clear that they have been omitted inadvertently.
196 In Acts xii. 12, Acts xii. 25, Acts xiii. 5, Acts xiii. 13, Acts xv. 37. On Mark and the second Gospel, see above, Bk. II. chap. 15, note 4.
197 Acts xiii. 5.
198 Acts xiii. 13.
199 See above, Bk. III. chap. 39, note 13; and on the "presbyter John," mentioned by Papias, see also note 4 on the same chapter, and on his relation to the Apocalypse, the same chapter, note 14.
200 i.e. the writer of the Apocalypse is different from the writer of the Gospel and Epistles.
201 John i. 1.
202 1 John i. 1.
203 John i. 14.
204 1 John i. 1, 1 John i. 2.
205 1 John i. 2, 1 John i. 3.
206 See 2 Cor. xii. 1 sq., Gal. ii. 2.
207 On Sabellius, and on Dionysius' attitude toward Sabellianism, see above, chap. 6, note 1.
208 The works addressed to Ammon, Telesphorus, Euphranor, and Euporus, are no longer extant, nor do we know anything about them (but see chap. 6, note 2, above). It is possible that it was in these epistles that Dionysius laid himself open in his zeal against the Sabellians to the charge of tritheism, which aroused complaints against him, and resulted in his being obliged to defend himself in his work addressed to Dionysius of Rome. If so, these letters must have been written before that work, though perhaps not long before. Of Ammon himself we know nothing. There were a number of cities in North Africa, called Berenice (the form Bernice is exceptional), but, according to Wiltsch, Berenice, a city of Libya Pentapolis, or Cyrenaica, is meant in the present case. This city (whose original name was Hesperides) lay on the Mediterranean some six hundred miles west of Alexandria.
209 Of Telesphorus, Euphranor, and Euporus, we know nothing.
210 On these books addressed to Dionysius of Rome, see below, p. 397.
211 oi peri fusewj. The date and immediate occasion of this work cannot be determined. The supposition of Dittrich, that it was written before Dionysius became bishop, while he had more leisure than afterward for philosophical study, has much in its favor. The young man, Timothy, to whom it was addressed, is perhaps to be identified with the one mentioned in Bk. VI. chap. 40, §4. That it was a work of considerable extent, embracing more than one book, is indicated by Eusebius in this passage. A long extract from it is given by Eusebius in his Praep. Evang. XIV. 23-27 (printed with commentary by Routh, Rel. Sac. IV. p. 393 sq.; translated in the Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. VI. p. 84-91), and a few fragments are still preserved in a Vatican codex, and have been published by Simon de Magistris, in his edition of Dionysius' works (Rome, 1796), p. 44 sq. (cf. also Routh, IV. p. 418, 419). In the extract quoted by Eusebius, Dionysius deals solely with the atomic theory of Democritus and Epicurus. This subject may have occupied the greater part of the work, but evidently, as Dittrich remarks (Dionysius der Grosse, p. 12), the doctrines of other physicists were also dealt with (cf. the words with which Eusebius introduces his extracts; Praaep. Evang. XIV. 22. 10: "I will subjoin from the books [of Dionysius] On Nature a few of the things urged against Epicurus." The translation in the Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. VI. p. 84, note 7, which implies that the work was written "against the Epicureans" is not correct). fusij seems to have been taken by Dionysius in the sense of the "Universe" (compare, for instance, the words of Cicero, De nat. deorum, II., to which Dittrich refers: Suni autem, qui naturae nomine rerum universitatem intelligunt), and to have been devoted to a refutation of the doctrines of various heathen philosophers in regard to the origin of the universe. For a fuller discussion of the work, see Dittrich, ibid. p. 12 sq.
212 This work on Temptations (peri peirasmwn) is no longer extant, nor do we know anything about the time or occasion of its composition. Dittrich strangely omits all reference to it. Of Euphranor, as remarked in note 3, we know nothing.
213 Of this Basilides we know only what Eusebius tells us here, that he was bishop of the "parishes in Pentapolis" (or Cyrenaica, a district, and under the Romans a province, lying west of Egypt, along the Mediterranean Sea), which would seem to imply that he was metropolitan of that district (cf. Routh, Rel. Sac. III. p. 235). A canonical epistle addressed to him by Dionysius is still extant (see above, Bk. VI. chap. 40, note 1). Eusebius tells us that Dionysius addressed "various epistles" to him, but no others are known to us.
214 It is possible that this work also, like that On Nature, was written, as Dittrich thinks, before Dionysius became bishop. Eusebius evidently had not seen the commentary himself, for he speaks only of Dionysius' reference to it. A few fragments, supposed to be parts of this commentary, were published in the appendix to the fourteenth volume of Galland's Bibliotheca Patrum Veterum, after the latter's death, and were afterward reprinted in De Magistris' edition of Dionysius' works, p. 1 sq. (English translation in the Ante-Nicene Fathers, VI. p. 111-114). The fragments, or at least a part of them, are ascribed to Dionysius in the codex in which they are found, and are very likely genuine, though we cannot speak with certainty. For fuller particulars, see Dittrich, p. 22 sq.
215 thn kaq hmaj genean. This seems to indicate that the events recorded by Eusebius from this point on took place during his own lifetime. See above, p. 4.
216 Xystus II. was bishop only eleven months, not eleven years. See chap. 5, note 5. Eusebius' chronology of the Roman bishops of this time is in inextricable confusion.
217 After the martyrdom of Xystus II. the bishopric of Rome remained vacant for nearly a year on account of the severe persecution of Valerian. Dionysius became bishop on the 22d of July, 259, according to the Liberian catalogue. Lipsius accepts this as the correct date. Jerome's version of the Chron. gives the twelfth year of "Valerian and Gallienus" (i.e. 265-266) which is wide of the mark. The Armenian Chron. gives the eighth year of the same reign. As to the duration of his episcopate, authorities vary considerably. Eusebius (chap. 30, §23, below) and Jerome's version of the Chron. say nine years; the Armenian Chron., twelve; the Liberian catalogue, eight. Lipsius shows that nine is the correct figure, and that five months and two days are to be read instead of the two months and four days of the Liberian catalogue. According to Lipsius, then, he was bishop until Dec. 27, 268. Dionysius of Alexandria addressed to Dionysius of Rome, while the latter was still a presbyter, one of his epistles on baptism (see above, chap. 7, §6, where the latter is called by Eusebius a "learned and capable man"). Another epistle of the same writer addressed to him is mentioned in chap. 9, §6. Dionysius of Alexandria's four books against the Sabellians were likewise addressed to him (see chap. 26, above, and Bk. VI. chap. 40, note 1). Gallienus' edict of toleration was promulgated while Dionysius was bishop (see chap. 13, note 3).
218 On Demetrianus, see Bk. VI. chap. 46, note 12.
219 Paul of Samosata was one of the most famous heretics of the early Church. He was bishop of Antioch and at the same time viceroy of Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra. Both versions of Eusebius' Chron. put the date of his accession to the see of Antioch in the seventh year of Valerian and Gallienus, the year of Abr. 2277 (2278), i.e. in a.d. 259 (260); and Jerome's version puts his deposition in the year of Abr. 2283, i.e. a.d. 265. These dates, however, are not to be relied upon. Harnack (Zeit des Ignatius, p. 51) shows that he became bishop between 257 and 260. Our chief knowledge of his character and career is derived from the encyclical letter written by the members of the council which condemned him, and quoted in part by Eusebius in chap. 30, below. This, as will be seen, paints his character in very black colors. It may be somewhat overdrawn, for it was written by his enemies; at the same time, such an official communication can hardly have falsified the facts to any great extent. We may rely then upon its general truthfulness. Paul reproduced the heresy of Artemon (see above, Bk. V. chap. 28), teaching that Christ was a mere man, though he was filled with divine power, and that from his birth, not merely from his baptism, as the Ebionites had held. He admitted, too, the generation by the Holy Spirit. "He denied the personality of the Logos and of the Holy Spirit, and considered them merely powers of God, like reason and mind in man; but granted that the Logos dwelt in Christ in a larger measure than in any former messenger of God, and taught, like the Socinians in later times, a gradual elevation of Christ, determined by his own moral development, to divine dignity. He admitted that Christ remained free from sin, conquered the sin of our forefathers, and then became the Saviour of the race" (Schaff). At various Antiochian synods (the exact number of them we do not know), efforts were made to procure his condemnation, but they were not successful. Finally one of the synods condemned and excommunicated him, and Domnus was appointed bishop in his place. The date of this synod is ordinarily fixed at 268 or 269, but it cannot have occurred in 269, and probably occurred earlier than 268 (see below, chap. 29, note 1). Since Paul was in favor with Zenobia, his deposition could not be effected until 272, when Aurelian conquered her. Being appealed to by the Church, Aurelian left the decision between the claims of Paul and Domnus to the bishops of Rome and Italy, who decided at once for Domnus, and Paul was therefore deposed and driven out in disgrace.
Our sources for a knowledge of Paul and his heresy are the letter quoted in chap. 30; a number of fragments from the acts of the council, given by Routh, Rel. Sac. III. 287 sq.; and scattered notices in the Fathers of the fourth century, especially Athanasius, Hilary, Gregory of Nyssa, &c. Cf. also Jerome's de vir. ill. 71, and Epiphanius' Haer. 65. See Harnack's article Monarchianismus, in Herzog, second ed. (abbreviated in Schaff-Herzog); also Smith and Wace's Dict. of Christ. Biog., art. Paulus of Samosata.
220 This synod to which Dionysius was invited was not the last one, at which Paul was condemned, but one of the earlier ones, at which his case was considered. It is not probable that the synod was called especially to consider his case, but that at two or more of the regular annual synods of Antioch the subject was discussed without result, until finally condemnation was procured (cf. Harnack, ibid. p. 52, and Lipsius, ibid. p. 228). Dionysius mentions the fact that he was invited to attend this synod in an epistle addressed to Cornelius, according to Eusebius, Bk. VI. chap. 46.
221 Jerome, de vir. ill. 69, tells us that Dionysius wrote a few days before his death, but that is only an inference drawn from Eusebius' statement. This epistle of Dionysius is no longer extant, although a copy of it was originally appended to the encyclical of the Antiochian synod (as we learn from chap. 30, §4), and hence must have been extant in the time of Eusebius, and also of Jerome. An epistle purporting to have been written by Dionysius to Paul of Samosata is given by Labbe, Concil. I. 850-893, but it is not authentic.
222 On Firmilianus, see Bk. VI. chap. 26, note 3.
223 Gregory Thaumaturgus. On him and his brother, Athenodorus, see Bk. VI. chap. 30, notes 1 and 2.
224 On Helenus, see Bk. VI. chap. 46, note 8. He presided at the final council which deposed Paul of Samosata, according to the Libellus Synodicus (see Labbe, Concilia, I. 893, 901), and this is confirmed by the fact that in the encyclical epistle written by this synod his name stands first (see chap. 30).
225 Of Nicomas, bishop of Iconium in Lycaonia, we know nothing. An earlier bishop of the same city, named Celsus, is mentioned in Book VI. chap. 19, above.
226 On Hymenaeus, see chap. 14, note 11.
227 On Theotecnus, see chap. 14, note 9.
228 Of Maximus, bishop of Bostra, in Arabia, we know nothing. On Beryllus, an earlier and more celebrated bishop of the same city, see above, Bk. VI. chap. 33.
229 i.e. Antioch.
230 In both versions of the Chron. the death of Dionysius is put in the eleventh year of Gallienus, i.e. August, 263, to August, 264, and this, or the date given here by Eusebius (the twelfth year, August, 264, to August, 265) is undoubtedly correct. Upon the dates of his accession and death, see Bk. VI. chap. 40, note 1.
231 Maximus had been a presbyter while Dionysius was bishop of Alexandria, and had shared with him the hardships of the Decian and Valerian persecutions (see above, chap. 11). In chap. 32, he is said to have held office eighteen years, and with this both versions of the Chron. agree, and there is no reason to doubt the accuracy of the report.
232 Eusebius here, as in his Chron., reckons the reign of Gallienus as beginning with the date of his association with his father in the supreme power; i.e. August, 253.
233 Claudius became emperor in March, 268, and died of an epidemic in Sirmium some time in the year 270, when he was succeeded by Aurelian, whom he had himself appointed his successor just before his death. It is, perhaps, with this in mind that Eusebius uses the somewhat peculiar phrase, metadidwsi thn hgemonian.
234 Eusebius puts this council in the reign of Aurelian (270-275), and in chap. 32 makes it subsequent to the siege of the Brucheium which, according to his Chron., took place in 272. The epistle written at this council (and given in the next chapter) is addressed to Maximus, bishop of Alexandria, and Dionysius, bishop of Rome, so that the latter must have been alive in 272, if the council was held as late as that. The council is ordinarily, however, assigned to the year 269, and Dionysius' death to December of the same year; but Lipsius has shown (ibid. p. 226 ff.) that the synod which Eusebius mentions here was held in all probability as early as 265 (but not earlier than 264, because Dionysius of Alexandria was not succeeded by Maximus until that year), certainly not later than 268, and hence it is not necessary to extend the episcopate of Dionysius of Rome beyond 268, the date which he has shown to be most probable (see chap. 27, note 2). Eusebius then is entirely mistaken in putting the council into the reign of Aurelian.
235 i.e. Paul of Samosata.
236 Malchion gained such fame from his controversy with Paul that an account of him is given by Jerome in his de vir. ill. 71. He tells us, however, nothing new about him, except that he was the author of an epistle to the bishops of Alexandria and Rome, referring probably to the encyclical letter given in the next chapter. We do not know upon what authority he bases this statement; in fact knowing the character of his work, we shall probably be safe in assuming that the statement is no more than a guess on his part. There is nothing improbable in the report, but we must remember that Jerome is our only authority for it, and he is in such a case very poor authority (nevertheless, in Fremantle's articles, Malchion, in the Dict. of Christ. Biog., the report is repeated as a fact). Both Eusebius and Jerome tell us that the report of his discussion with Paul was extant in their day, and a few fragments of it have been preserved, and are given by Leontius (de Sectis, III. p. 504, according to Fremantle).