The goal of this project is to make available in parallel columns English translations of the three most important ancient accounts of fourth-century church history – those of the fifth-century historians Socrates Scholasticus, Sozomen, and Theodoret. It is hoped that by arranging these accounts chronologically and topically and displaying them in parallel columns, students will consult these narratives more often and with more benefit. For information on each of the histories or historians, please consult their homepages on this site.

We began our work using the English translations of the three great continuators of Eusebius’s Church History which have been available for a century and a half in volumes 2 and 3 of the Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers, 2nd Series. The church histories of Socrates, Sozomen, and Theodoret were translated independently by A.C. Zenos, C. Hartranft, and B. Jackson, respectively. Our general policies are as follows:

  1. We re-arranged the material topically and, as much as possible, put it in chronological order.
  2. We have provided titles to the subsections to reflect the content. These titles are not taken from the manuscript evidence. Where possible, we have added dates to these titles to assist the reader. We normally follow the chronology developed in the works of Timothy D. Barnes.
  3. We have updated the English to make it more understandable for the modern reader.
  4. Whenever possible we have checked the translation against the Greek texts to make sure the English accurately communicates the original. For this purpose, we used the most recent GCS editions, as well as consulting recent SC volumes.
  5. When two or more of the sources quote the same original, we have tried to indicate that by having identical translations in the relevant columns. (This is not the case in the NPNF translations which were done independently of one another.)
  6. We have followed the book and section numbers of the Greek editions of the GCS, as well as adding their sentence numbers. This will allow for more accurate citation of individual passages. Note, however, that the section numbers at time differ from the NPNF translations.
  7. Because of the inherent problem of displaying three parallel columns properly on the web, for the present the text will open in PDF form.

This is a multi-year project involving a number of students and scholars. Special mention should be given to Julius Buelow, Aaron Jensen, Nathanael Jensen, Orie Thomford, and Glen L. Thompson. We also thankfully acknowledge the support of the Fischer Family Foundation in helping to fund the project.

As the complexity of the project became apparent, we have opted to post the first parts of the text in beta version at this time. We encourage users to contact us with corrections and suggested improvements—or to volunteer to become involved with the project. Comments can be sent to fourthcentury@wlc.edu or glen.thompson@wlc.edu.

 

A Harmony of Socrates, Sozomen, and Theodoret:
1. The Church under
Constantine (300-337)
1.1 Prefaces to the Histories
1.2 Political Events to Nicaea (305-325)
1.3 Rise of Arianism to Nicaea (300-325)
1.4 The Council of Nicaea (325)
1.5 The Melitians
1.6 Controversy on the Date of Easter (325)
1.7 Athanasius’s Early Career/Continued Arian Controversy (325-327)
1.8 Political Events from Nicaea to Constantine’s Death (325-337)
1.9 Early Monasticism
1.10 Building Churches
1.11 Spread of the Gospel/Missions
1.12 Persecutions/Miscellaneous
2. The Church under Constantine’s Sons (337-361) Coming Soon!
3. The Church under Julian/Jovian (360-364)
4. The Church under Valens (364-378)
5. The Church under Theodosius (379-395)
6. The Church under Arcadius/Theodosius II (395-c. 430)

Created by GLT and OT 1/26/17

Last updated by NJ 2/20/17

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