Epiphanius of Salamis (or Constantia), on Cyprus (ca. 315-403) was born near Eleutheropolis in Palestine, but he received his monastic education in Egypt. At age 20, he returned to Palestine where he founded a monastery. There he served as the monastery’s head for some three decades until he was ordained Bishop of Eleutheropolis. In 366 he was appointed Bishop of Salamis (then called Constantia). His time among the Egyptian monks had made him into a firm supporter of Nicene theology. His two great works are refutations of many types of heresies. While visiting Jerusalem in 393, he joined Jerome in a struggle against Origenist heretics, and in 402 opposed John Chrysostom in Constantinople over the matter of the Origenist Tall Brothers, even ordaining a deacon without Chrysostom’s consent. He did not remain in Constantinople for long because he sensed he was being used as a pawn in political games. Thus he soon set sail for Salamis but died at sea on the way back, possibly May 12, 402.

His two most important works are Ancoratus (CPG 3744), which means “the [doctrinally] anchored one,” and Panarion (CPG 3745) or “medicine chest” against heresies. Both refute a wide variety of heresies and defend Nicene doctrine. A third work, On Weights and Measures (CPG 3746), contains important notes on the text of the Greek Old Testament versions used by Origen, notes on biblical geography, and an extensive study of the meaning and sizes of all the biblical terms used for weights and measures. Some of his correspondence also survives. Because of his commendable reputation, his works spread quite widely in Syriac versions, and fragments survive in Latin, Coptic, Arabic and Georgian as well.

Further reading: Epiphanius of Cyprus: Imagining an Orthodox World by Young Richard Kim.

Chart coming soon.


Drobner, Hubertus R. The Fathers of the Church. Translated by Siegfried S. Schatzmann. Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 2007.

Norris, Frederick W. “Epiphanius of Salamis.” In Encyclopedia of Early Christianity. Edited by Everett Ferguson. New York: Garland Publishing, 1990, pp. 307-308.

Riggi, C. “Epiphanius of Salamis.” In Encyclopedia of the Early Church. Edited by Angelo Di Berardino. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2006, pp. 827-828.


No Responses yet