Early Church Fathers
1 Placed about 371, or, at all events, according to Maran, before the year 373, when the ill will of Atarbius towards Basil was violently manifested.
2 Atarbius is recognised as bishop of Neocaesarea, partly on the evidence of the Codices Coislinanus and Medicaeus, which describe him as of Neocaesarea, partly on a comparison of Letters lxv. and cxxvi., addressed to him with the circumstances of the unnamed bishop of Neocaesarea referred to in Letter ccx. Moreover (cf. Bp. Lightfoot, D.C.B. i. 179) at the Council of Constantinople he represented the province of Pontus Polemoniacus, of which Neocaesarea was metropolis. On the authority of an allusion In Letter ccx/sec/ 4. Atarbius is supposed to be a kinsman of Basil..
3 1 Cor. xiii. 7 and 8.
4 cf. Gal. v. 22.
5 i.e. the attacks of Valens on the Church.
1 Placed in 371. cf. Letter lxii.
2 u 9per th=j paroiki/aj tw=n kaq0 h 9ma=j merw=n. On the use of paroiki/a in this sense, cf. Bp. Lightfoot, Ap. Fathers I. ii. 5. So Apollon. in Eus., H.E. v. 18. h 9 i 9di/a paroiki/a, of the Christian society. Thus the meaning passes to parochia and parish.
3 "Them" is referred by the Ben. Ed. not to the sovereigns (tw=n kratou/ntwn they understand to mean Valens) but to the Western bishops.
4 A various reading ("Tres mss. et secunda manu Medicoeus," Ben. Ed.) for pogia=j reads politei/aj "the life and conversation of your Holiness." - Athanasius was now about 75. His death is placed in 373.
5 To end the schism caused by the refusal of the Eustathian or old Catholic party to recognise Meletius as bishop of the whole orthodox body. The churches of the West and Egypt, on the whole, supported Paulinus, who had been ordained by Lucifer of Cagliari, bishop of the old Catholics. The Ben. Ed. supposes the word oi'konomh=sai, which I have rendered "control," to refer to Paulinus. The East supported Meletius, and if the oi/konomi/a in Basil's mind does refer to Paulinus, the "management" meant may be management to get rid of him.
1 Of the same year as the preceding.
2 i.e. Paulinus and his adherents.
1 Of the same time.
2 f. Letter ccli.
1 Of the same period as the preceding.
2 i.e. the Romans; specially the proposed commissioners. It was a sore point with Basil that Marcellus, whom he regarded as a trimmer, should have been "received into communion by Julius and Athanasius, popes of Rome and Alexandria." Jer., De Vir. Illust. c. 86.
3 On the heretical opinions attributed to Marcellus of Ancyra, cf. Letters cxxv. and cclxii.
4 Although he strongly espoused the Catholic cause of Nicaea later in attacking the errors of Asterius, he was supposed to teach that the Son had no real personality, but was merely an external manifestation of the Father.
5 u 9festa/nai.
1 Of the same period as the preceding.
2 "This letter is obviously addressed to Pope Damasus." - Be Ed. n.
3 The Ben. Ed. points out that what is related by Basil, of the kindness of the bishops of Rome to other churches, is confirmed by the evidence both of Dionysius, bishop of Corinth (cf. Eusebius, Hist. Ecc. iv. 23), of Dionysius of Alexandria (Dionysius to Sixtus II. Apud Euseb., Ecc. Hist. vii. 5), and of Eusebius himself who in his history speaks of the practice having been continued down to the persecution in his own day. The troubles referred to by Basil took place in the time of Gallienus, when the Scythians ravaged Cappadocia and the neighbouring countries. (cf. Sozomen, ii. 6.) Dionysius succeeded Sixtus II. at Rome in 259.
1 Placed in the same period.
2 When Gregory, on the elevation of Basil to the Episcopate, was at last induced to visit his old friend, he declined the dignities which Basil pressed upon him (th/nde th=j kaqe/draj tiuh/n, i.e. the position of chief presbyter or coadjutor bishop, Orat. xliii. 39), and made no long stay. Some Nazianzene scandal-mongers had charged basil with heterodoxy. Gregory asked him for explanations, and Basil, somewhat wounded, rejoins that no explanations are needed. The translation in the text with the exception of the passages in brackets, is that of Newman. cf. Proleg. and reff. to Greg. Naz.
1 Placed at about the same period as the preceding.
2 cf. Letter lxiv. Letters lxxii. and lxxiii. illustrate the efforts made by basil to mitigate the troubles caused by slavery, and to regulate domestic as well as ecclesiastical matters.
1 Of the same date as the preceding.
1 About the same date as the preceding.
2 A dignitary of Cappadocia otherwise unknown, whom Basil asks to intercede with the Emperor Valens to prevent that division of Cappadocia which afterward led to so much trouble. Basil had left Caesarea in the autumn of 371, on a tour of visitation, or to consecrate his brother bishop of Nyssa (Maran, Bit. Bas. Cap. xix.), and returned to Caesarea at the appeal of his people there.
3 cf. the opening of the Odyssey, and the imitation of Horace, De Arte Poet. 142:
Qui mores hominum multorum vidit et urbes."
4 Now Podando, in Southern Cappadocia, made by Valens the chief town of the new division of the province.
5 So the Spartans named the pit into which condemned criminals were thrown. Pausanias, Book IV. 18, 4. Thucyd., i. 134. Strabo, viii. 367.