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.
|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||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)
|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|
|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|
|–||The lives of the Prophets (spurious)||–||3505|
|–||On Weights and Measures (spurious)||–||3506|
|–||On the Star (spurious)||–||3507|
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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