Eusebius remained in the Emperor's favour throughout this time and more than once was exonerated with the explicit approval of the Emperor Constantine. [61], A letter Eusebius is supposed to have written to Constantine's daughter Constantina, refusing to fulfill her request for images of Christ, was quoted in the decrees (now lost) of the Iconoclast Council of Hieria in 754, and later quoted in part in the rebuttal of the Hieria decrees in the Second Council of Nicaea of 787, now the only source from which some of the text is known. [51], The Latin text De mortibus persecutorum contains an early account of the 28 October 312 Battle of the Milvian Bridge written by Lactantius probably in 313, the year following the battle. Print. [51] The Arch of Constantine, constructed in AD 315, neither depicts a vision nor any Christian insignia in its depiction of the battle. "[52] Eusebius relates that this happened "on a campaign he [Constantine] was conducting somewhere". Probably a native of Syria, Eusebius studied with the future heretic arius under lucian of antioch; he was first made bishop of Berytus in Phoenicia, then promoted to the metropolitan see of Nicomedia (c. 318), where he gained high favor at the court of the Emperor Licinius. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. [28] Their efforts made the hexaplaric Septuagint text increasingly popular in Syria and Palestine. Lactantius does not mention a vision in the sky but describes a revelatory dream on the eve of battle. God sent Christ into the world that it may partake of the blessings included in the essence of God. Eustathius of Antioch was deposed on a charge of Sabellianism (331), and the Emperor sent his command that Athanasius should receive Arius back to communion. The theology of Eusebius is problematic. Constantine's friend and Arian-sympathizer Eusebius, and a neighboring bishop, Theognis, were also exiled—to Gaul (modern France). [note 2] The name may also indicate that Eusebius was made Pamphilus' heir. [7] He wrote Demonstrations of the Gospel, Preparations for the Gospel and On Discrepancies between the Gospels, studies of the Biblical text. [51][52] Attached to the symbol was the phrase "by this conquer" (ἐν τούτῳ νίκα, en toútōi níka), a phrase often rendered into Latin as "in hoc signo vinces". Included were the bishops and other teachers of the Church, Christian relations with the Jews and those deemed heretical, and the Christian martyrs through 324. Does this mean Constantine was an Arian when he died? [46], In his Church History or Ecclesiastical History, Eusebius wrote the first surviving history of the Christian Church as a chronologically-ordered account, based on earlier sources, complete from the period of the Apostles to his own epoch. [36] Whatever its secular contents, the primary aim of Origen and Pamphilus' school was to promote sacred learning. It is more a rhetorical eulogy on the emperor than a history but is of great value on account of numerous documents incorporated into it. However, the anti-Arian creed from Palestine prevailed, becoming the basis for the Nicene Creed. 3, p. 41; 2.6-8 in Hanson, p. 139; 4-5 in Hanson, p. 6. He was a heretic, a supporter of Arius, who used his influence among the members of the family of Constantine the Great to further the Arian position as well as his personal esteem. Eusebius enjoyed the favor of the Emperor Constantine. In August 323 Arius wrote Eusebius for aid when his teachings were being investigated by Bishop Alexander. The authenticity or authorship of the letter remains uncertain. He simply opposed anti-Arianism. Pamphilus and Eusebius occupied themselves with the textual criticism of the Septuagint text of the Old Testament and especially of the New Testament. [7][13] He was most likely born in or around Caesarea Maritima. [19], On his deathbed, Origen had made a bequest of his private library to the Christian community in the city. Eusebius was a Christian thinker in the third-fourth centuries C.E. By the patronage of Eusebia, wife of Constantius II, Julian, at age 19, was allowed to continue his education, first at Como and later in Greece. ", VIII, 1143-1147; Mansi, "Conc. [12], Most scholars date the birth of Eusebius to some point between AD 260 and AD 265 . "[10] Others attribute this perceived flaw in this particular work as an effort at creating an overly idealistic hagiography, calling him a "Constantinian flunky"[11] since, as a trusted adviser to Constantine, it would be politically expedient for him to present Constantine in the best light possible. Like Origen, he started from the fundamental thought of the absolute sovereignty (monarchia) of God. The literary productions of Eusebius reflect on the whole the course of his life. When his own honesty was challenged by his contemporaries. As can be clearly seen in the Poimandres, and even more clearly in an inscription mentioned exclusively in the Theosophia, in the theological language of Egyptian paganism the word homoousios meant that the Nous-Father and the Logos-Son, who are two distinct beings, share the same perfection of the divine nature. His unrelenting harassment of the leaders of the Homoousians helped lead Constantine to depose and exile Bishop St. Athanasius the Great of Alexandria at a synod in Tyre in 335 and to reinstate Arius at a synod in Jerusalem in 335. Prior to the Council of Nicaea, the church had temporarily excommunicated Eusebius because of his support of Arian Christology. [53] Eusebius's work of that time, his Church History, also makes no mention of the vision. Eusebius is another of the defenders of the Church during one of its most trying periods. He was somewhat sympathetic to the Arian position, while not fully embracing it himself. [42], Much like his birth, the exact date of Eusebius' death is unknown. [40] However, the anti-Arian creed from Palestine prevailed, becoming the basis for the Nicene Creed. Origen was largely responsible for the collection of usage information, or which churches were using which gospels, regarding the texts which became the New Testament. Having once excluded any relationship of the Nicene homoousios with the Christian tradition, it becomes legitimate to propose a new explanation, based on an analysis of two pagan documents which have so far never been taken into account. [52][51] It is unclear from Eusebius's description whether the shields were marked with a Christian cross or with a chi-rho, a staurogram, or another similar symbol. And that the proofs that the times had come, would lie in the ceasing of the Mosaic worship, the desolation of Jerusalem and its Temple, and the subjection of the whole Jewish race to its enemies. Eusebius, the anti-Arian Model Bishop. [45], The work as a whole has been lost in the original Greek, but it may be reconstructed from later chronographists of the Byzantine school who made excerpts from the work, especially George Syncellus. This work was recently (2011) translated into the English language by David J. Miller and Adam C. McCollum and was published under the name Eusebius of Caesarea: Gospel Problems and Solutions. A work on the martyrs of Palestine in the time of Diocletian was composed after 311; numerous fragments are scattered in legendaries which have yet to be collected. Saying "the Holy Scriptures foretell that there will be unmistakable signs of the Coming of Christ. From a dogmatic point of view, Eusebius stands entirely upon the shoulders of Origen. An episcopal council in Caesarea pronounced Arius blameless. The fault is in him who chooses, not in God. But the wiles of Eusebius, who in 328 recovered Constantine’s favor, were seconded by Asiatic intrigues, and a period of Arian reaction set in. Afterward, the persecutions under Diocletian and Galerius directed his attention to the martyrs of his own time and the past, and this led him to the history of the whole Church and finally to the history of the world, which, to him, was only a preparation for ecclesiastical history. The Council of Nicæa did not bring the Arian controversy to an end. Eusebius held that men were sinners by their own free choice and not by the necessity of their natures. Church History — Eusebius Pamphilius. (History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol II, Chapter XVI), "Such an acknowledgment will naturally excite a suspicion that a writer who has so openly violated one of the fundamental laws of history has not paid a very strict regard to the observance of the other; and the suspicion will derive additional credit from the character of Eusebius, which was less tinctured with credulity, and more practised in the arts of courts, than that of almost any of his contemporaries." 325 A.D.: Asia Minor - Constantine convenes the Council of … Updates? Saint Eusebius of Vercelli's Story. Pope Benedict XVI - August 2, 2019. Although Eusebius' works are regarded as giving insight into the history of the early church, he was not without prejudice, especially in regard to the Jews, for while "Eusebius indeed blames the Jews for the crucifixion of Jesus, he nevertheless also states that forgiveness can be granted even for this sin and that the Jews can receive salvation. Neither before nor during Constantine's time is there any evidence of a normal, well-established Christian use of the term homoousios in its strictly Trinitarian meaning. [39] Eusebius enjoyed the favor of the Emperor Constantine. At the … Back to Arius. However, there is primary text evidence from a council held in Antioch that by the year 341, his successor Acacius had already filled the seat as Bishop. As a result he was sent into exile, first to Scythopolis in Syria, where the Arian bishop Patrophilus, whom Eusebius calls his jailer, (Baronius, Annal., ad ann. He became the bishop of Caesarea Maritima about AD 314. Continuance of the Arian Controversy. His comprehensive and careful excerpts from original sources saved his successors the painstaking labor of original research. 280s), he began teaching Eusebius, who was then somewhere between twenty and twenty-five. Corrections? Eusebius, in his history of the persecutions, alludes to the fact that many of the Caesarean martyrs lived together, presumably under Pamphilus. His letters to Carpianus and Flacillus exist complete. Hence much has been preserved, quoted by Eusebius, whichotherwise would have been destroyed. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Eusebius detailed in Epistula ad Carpianum how to use his canons. He was also baptized on his deathbed by Eusebius of Nicomedia - a follower of the Arian Heresy and a close ally of Arius himself. [16] Some, like theologian and ecclesiastical historian John Henry Newman, understand Eusebius' statement that he had heard Dorotheus of Tyre "expound the Scriptures wisely in the Church" to indicate that Eusebius was Dorotheus' pupil while the priest was resident in Antioch; others, like the scholar D. S. Wallace-Hadrill, deem the phrase too ambiguous to support the contention. Eusebius got his information about what texts were accepted by the third-century churches throughout the known world, a great deal of which Origen knew of firsthand from his extensive travels, from the library and writings of Origen. [23] Pamphilus also managed a school that was similar to (or perhaps a re-establishment of[24]) that of Origen. 27. Everything is good which is according to nature. The tables of the second part have been completely preserved in a Latin translation by Jerome, and both parts are still extant in an Armenian translation. To all this activity must be added numerous writings of a miscellaneous nature, addresses, letters, and the like, and exegetical works that extended over the whole of his life and that include both commentaries and an important treatise on the location of biblical place names and the distances between these cities. This means that his death occurred some time between the second half of 339 and early 340.[43][44]. He was subsequently made Bishop of Nicomedia where the Imperial court lived. Eusebius' own surviving works probably only represent a small portion of his total output. As "Father of Church History" (not to be confused with the title of Church Father), he produced the Ecclesiastical History, On the Life of Pamphilus, the Chronicle and On the Martyrs. These canon tables or "Eusebian canons" remained in use throughout the Middle Ages, and illuminated manuscript versions are important for the study of early medieval art, as they are the most elaborately decorated pages of many Gospel books. In his posthumous biography of Constantine, Eusebius agrees with Lactantius that Constantine received instructions in a dream to apply a Christian symbol as a device to his soldiers' shields, but unlike Lactantius and subsequent Christian tradition, Eusebius does not date the events to October 312 and does not connect Constantine's vision and dream-vision with the Battle of the Milvian Bridge.[51]. Then followed the time of the Arian controversies, and dogmatic questions came into the foreground. Hence, at the first ecumenical Council of Nicaea, in 325, he led the opposition against the Homoousians. Continuance of the Arian Controversy. [41], The theological views of Arius, that taught the subordination of the Son to the Father, continued to be controversial. God is the cause of all beings. Eusebius of Caesarea (/juːˈsiːbiəs/; Greek: Εὐσέβιος τῆς Καισαρείας, Eusébios tés Kaisareías; AD 260/265 – 339/340), also known as Eusebius Pamphili (from the Greek: Εὐσέβιος τοῦ Παμϕίλου), was a historian of Christianity, exegete, and Christian polemicist. The literary productions of Eusebius reflect on the whole the course of … Bishop, place and date of birth unknown; d. 341. Other translations in New Eusebius, no. Yes, Eusebius was an Arian. [38], Eusebius succeeded Agapius as Bishop of Caesarea soon after 313 and was called on by Arius who had been excommunicated by his bishop Alexander of Alexandria. He’s the first Roman Emperor to convert to Christianity, he called the First Council of Nicaea, and he built the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Eusebius was a pupil of Lucian the Martyr, in whose school Eusebius learned the doctrines that came to be called Arianism. [28] Marginal comments in extant manuscripts note that Pamphilus and his friends and pupils, including Eusebius, corrected and revised much of the biblical text in their library. Eusebius of Nicomedia was initially bishop of Berytus (modern day Beirut) in Phoenicia. At about this time Eusebius compiled a Collection of Ancient Martyrdoms, presumably for use as a general reference tool. Christianity at last found recognition by the State; and this brought new problems – apologies of a different sort had to be prepared. Little is known about the life of Eusebius. [7][14] Nothing is known about his parents. The life of Constantine was compiled after the death of the emperor and the election of his sons as Augusti (337). This was written for the purpose of harmonizing the contradictions in the reports of the different Evangelists. Pamphilus came to be persecuted by the Romans for his beliefs and died in martyrdom in 310. We conclude then that Eusebius was not an Arian (nor an adherent of Lucian) before 318, that soon after that date he became an Arian in the sense in which he understood Arianism, but that during the Council of Nicæa he ceased to be one in any sense. An edition of the Septuagint seems to have been already prepared by Origen, which, according to Jerome, was revised and circulated by Eusebius and Pamphilus. Before he compiled his church history, Eusebius edited a collection of martyrdoms of the earlier period and a biography of Pamphilus. Athanasius was condemned and exiled at the end of 335. Fremantle, W.H., G. Lewis and W.G. It contained: Of the life of Pamphilus, only a fragment survives. Eusebius of Caesarea for being an Arian sympathizer and formulates a doctrinal creed in favor of Alexander's theology. [32] Neither Pamphilus nor Eusebius knew Origen personally;[33] Pamphilus probably picked up Origenist ideas during his studies under Pierius (nicknamed "Origen Junior"[34]) in Alexandria. The Chronicle (Παντοδαπὴ Ἱστορία (Pantodape historia)) is divided into two parts. He finally lived in Constantinople from 338 up to his death. He was a Bishop included in the Arab Caliphate in Phoenicia. [citation needed] After the Emperor's death (c. 337), Eusebius wrote the Life of Constantine, an important historical work because of eyewitness accounts and the use of primary sources. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). But he is not merely a cause; in him everything good is included, from him all life originates, and he is the source of all virtue. 2 [Eusebius of Nicomedia + English -an, adjective suffix]: of or belonging to Eusebius, bishop of Nicomedia, who was a friend and protector of Arius Eusebius was a Christian thinker in the third-fourth centuries C.E. At first, he occupied himself with works on Biblical criticism under the influence of Pamphilus and probably of Dorotheus of Tyre of the School of Antioch. Twitter. Eusebius of Nicomedia, (died c. 342), an important 4th-century Eastern church bishop who was one of the key proponents of Arianism (the doctrine that Jesus Christ is not of the same substance as God) and who eventually became the leader of an Arian group called the Eusebians. In support of Arius’ cause, Eusebius appealed to other bishops. Back to Early Arian Documents – Next Arian Document. I pray that you fare well in the Lord, remembering our tribulations, fellow-Lucianist, truly-called Eusebius [i.e. The work was unfinished at Eusebius' death. He later became Bishop of Nicomedia before finally becoming Archbishop of Constantinople. Every rational soul has naturally a good free-will, formed for the choice of what is good. Scholars use this range largely because in Ecclesiastical History, Eusebius refers to the third century bishop Dionysius of Alexandria as a contemporary, and Dionysius died in 264 AD. He is recognized as a saint in the Egyptian Coptic Church and the Ethiopian Church. Eusebius attended the Council of Nicaea in 325 and despite his pro-Arian stance, he subscribed the Nicene formula, though he would not recognize Arius’ excommunication. [31] Pamphilus gave Eusebius a strong admiration for the thought of Origen. May partake of the Emperor sent Christ into the foreground would be the sign of the Arian controversy and the... 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