Eusebius of Caesarea (ca. 264-ca. 340) was a bishop, philologist, and scholar who is remembered most for being the first major historian of the church.

Eusebius was born in Palestine and educated in Caesarea. He studied under Pamphilus, the most learned of Origen’s disciples, and devoted himself to him and the tradition of Origen. Pamphilus became a father figure to Eusebius and so he even took his name, Eusebius Pamphili. Although not directly affected by Diocletian’s persecution, his mentor, Pamphilus was martyred (310). To escape the persecution, Eusebius traveled to Tyre and then to Egypt. In Egypt, however, he was arrested and imprisoned, but soon the edict of toleration of 311 allowed him to return to Palestine. He was elected bishop of Caesarea in 313, in which position he played an important role for some 30 years.

Eusebius was involved with the outbreak of the Arian controversy. He appears to have initially supported Arius, although he did not fully share his ideas. In 325 he was excommunicated by the Council of Antioch for refusing to condemn Arius’s teachings. However, he still took part in the Council of Nicaea (325) where he ultimately subscribed to Arius’s condemnation. Yet after the council he continued to work on behalf of Arius and cooperated with Eusebius of Nicomedia in deposing bishops, Eustathius of Antioch, Athanasius of Alexandria, and Marcellus of Ancyra, defenders of the Nicene position. In 336 he gave the official address for the thirtieth anniversary of Constantine’s reign. His final years were taken up in editing his previous writings and in his controversy with Marcellus of Ancyra whom he suspected of Sabellianism.

Below is a listing of his works with information about texts, translations, bibliographies, etc.

Date Title Incipit CPG
before 303 Introduction to the General Elements - 3475
before 303 Against Hierocles Ἀρ᾿ οὖν ὧ πιλνότης κἀκεῖνα 3485
307-309 In Defense of Origen - 3476
After 309 Commentary on Luke (no longer extant) - 3469
c. 311 Chronicle - 3494
c. 311 On the Martyrs of Palestine Ἔτος τοῦτο ἦν 3490
311-313 Life of Pamphilus (no longer extant) - -
before 313 The Polygamy of the Patriarchs (no longer extant) - -
before 313 Collection of the Ancient Martyrs Ἐπι Μάρκου Ἀντωνίνου καὶ Λουκίου Βήρου διωγμοῦ 3491
? Encomium on the Martyrs - 3493
? Passion of the Ten Holy Martyrs of Egypt Καλός, ὤ ἀγαπητοί, 3492
c. 313 Church History - 3495
313-318 Preparation for the Gospel Τὸν χριστιανισμόν, ὅ τι 3486
313-318 Demonstration of the Gospel Ἰδοὺ δή σοι, θεῖον 3487
c. 318 Letter to Euphration - 3500
c. 320 Letter to Alexander - 3501
c.320 Questions to Stephen - 3470.1
c.320 Questions to Marinus - 3470.2
c.320 Additional Questions to Stephen - 3470.2a
c.320 Additional Questions to Marinus - 3470.2b
c.320 Additional Minor Questions to Marinus - 3470.2c
321-324 Oration to the Saints
(actually written by Constantine)
- 3497
c. 325 Commentary on Isaiah - 3468
325 On the Solemnity of Easter Ἐγὼ μὲν ᾤμην ὲξαπρκεῖν 3479
325 Letter to the Church of Caesarea Τὰ περὶ τῆς ἐκκλησιαστικῆς 3502
? Letter to Constantia (dubious) - 3503
326-330 Onomasticon - 3466
335 Against Marcellus Ἡ ὑπόθεσις αὐτῷ τῆς 3477
335 Letter to Flacillus - 3478
335 Ecclesiastical Theology Ἐγὼ μὲν ᾤμην ὲξαπρκεῖν 3478
335 In Praise of Constantine - 3498
335-339 Commentary on the Psalms - 3467
337 Life of Constantine - 3496
after 337 Theophany - 3488
- Eusebian Canons - 3465
- The lives of the Prophets (spurious) - 3505
- On Weights and Measures (spurious) - 3506
- On the Star (spurious) - 3507

Bibliography

Barnes, Timothy D. “Eusebius of Caesarea.” The Expository Times 121, no. 1 (2009): 1-14

Lyman, R. “Eusebius of Caesarea.” In Encyclopedia of Early Christianity. Edited by Everett Ferguson. New York: Garland Publishing, Inc. 1990, p. 325-327.

Moreschini, Claudio, and Enrico Norelli. Early Christian Greek and Latin Literature:A Literary History. Translated by Matthew J. O’Connel. Vol. 1. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2005.

Curti, C. “Eusebius of Caesarea in Palestine.” In Encyclopedia of the Early Church. Edited by Angelo Di Berardino. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992, p. 299-301.

Created by JRZ, revised by JJW

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