Early Church Fathers
16 i.e. Caersarea in Cappadocia.
17 Basil, probably: who after Cyril's exile had been called in to heal the heresy of Apollinaris, which was spreading in the convents at Jerusalem. The factious purism, however, which Gregory deplores here, and which led to rival altars, seems to have evinced itself amongst the orthodox themselves. "quo majorem apud omnes opinionem de suâ praestantiâ belli isti cathari excitarent" (Casaubon). Cyril, it is true, had returned this year, 382; and spent the last years of his life in his see; but with more than twenty years interval of Arian rule (Herennius, Heraclius, and Hilarius, according to Sozomen) the communities of the Catholics must have suffered from want of a constant control: and unity was always difficult to maintain in a city frequented by all the ecclesiastics of the world. Gregory must have "succeeded" to this charge in his visit to Jerusalem after the `Council of Antioch in 379, to which he refers in his letter On Pilgrimages: but it is possible that he had paid even an earlier visit: see Letter XIV. p. 539, note 5.
1 The date of this letter is probably as late as 393. Flavian's authority at Antioch was now undisputed, by his reconciliation, after the deaths of Paulinus and Evagrius, with the Bishops of Alexandria and Rome, and, through them, with all his people. Gregory writes to him not only as his dear friend, but one who had known how to appease wrath, and to check opposition from the Emperor downward. He died in 404. The litigiousness of Helladins is described by Greg. Naz., Letter ccxv. He it was who a few years later, against Ambrose's authority, and for mere private interest, consecrated the physician Gerontius (Sozomen, viii. 6).
2 Sebasteia (Sivâs) was in Pontus on the tipper Halys: and the "mountain district" between this and Helladius' "metropolis" (Caesarea, ad Argaeum) must have been some offshoots of the Anti-Taurus.
3 His brother, who had urged him to write the books against Eunomius, and to whom he sent On the Making of Man.
4 marturiw, i. e. dedicated in this case to Peter; but the word is used even of a chapel dedicated to Christ.
5 hkhdiasen. Ps. cxliii. 4 (LXX.).
6 xalepwteron thj para twn exqrwn moi genomenhj ubrewj. The Latin does not express this, "quam si ab hostibus profecta fuisset."
7 twn kathmaceumenwn (so Paris Editt. and Migne, but it must be kaqhmaceumenwn, from amaca) toutwn thn suntuxian afosioumenwn.
8 plhn all' emoi, k. t. l. See note, p. 313.
9 en omotimw th fusei. Cf. oi omotimoi, the peers of the Persian kingdom.
10 Cf. Dies Dominica (by Thomas Young, tutor of Milton the poet): 'It's without controversie that the Oriental Christians, and others, did at that time hold assemblies on the Sabbath day. ...Yet did they not hold the Sabbath day holy," p. 35. Again, "Socrates doth not record that they of Alexandria and Rome did celebrate those mysteries on the Sabbath. While Chrysostom requireth it of the rich Lords of Villages, that they build Churches in them (Hom. 18 in Act.), he distinguisheth those congregations that were on other days from those that were held upon the Lord's day. `Upon those congregations (sunaceij) Prayers and hymns were had in these an oblation was made on every Lord's day,0' and for that" cause the Lord's day is in Chrysostom called, `dies panis`. Athanasius purgeth himself of a calumny imputed to him, for breaking the cup, because it was not the time of administering the holy mysteries; `for it is not,0' saith he, `the Lord's day.0'0' A law of Constantine had enacted that the first day of the week, "the Lord's day," should be observed with greater solemnity than formerly; which shows that the seventh day, the Sabbath, still held its place; and it does not follow that in remoter places, as here, both were kept. The hour of service was generally "in the evening after sunset; or in the morning before the dawn," Mosheim.
12 ton baqmon i. e. "a grade of honour": cf. 1 Tim. iii. 13. baqmon eautoij kalon peripoiounrai. So in the Canons often.
13 The Council of Constantinople.
14 the oversight of Catholic correction. "On July 30, 381, the Bishop of Nyssa received the supreme honour of being named by Theodosius as one of the acknowledged authorities in all matters of theological orthodoxy: and he was appointed to regulate the affairs of the Church in Asia Minor, conjointly with Helladius of Caesarea, and Otreius of Melitene:" Farrar's Lives of the Fathers, 1889.