Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online

Get access Subject: Biblical Studies And Early Christianity
General Editors: David G. Hunter, Boston College, United States, Paul J.J. van Geest, Tilburg University, Netherlands, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands.

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 The Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity focuses on the history of early Christian texts, authors, ideas. Its content is intended to bridge the gap between the fields of New Testament studies and patristics, covering the whole period of early Christianity up to 600 CE. The BEEC aims to provide a critical review of the methods used in Early Christian Studies and to update the historiography.

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(1,577 words)

Author(s): Tilley (†), Maureen A.
Caecilian (fl. c. 300–c. 325 CE) was bishop of Carthage in Africa Proconsularis (modern Tunisia) during a critical period in the early 4th century CE when his supporters and those of a succession of rival bishops split the Christian church and precipitated what came to be known as the Donatist schism (Donatism/Donatists). Nothing is known of Caecilian’s family background or early life. Notice of the first acts of his ecclesiastical career is found in two documents. They do not seem to be eyewitnesses or even contemporaries. One is the work of Optatus of Milevis ( Against Parmenian the Don…
Date: 2021-12-14

Caesarea in Palestine

(3,431 words)

Author(s): Patrich, Joseph
Caesarea, founded by King Herod the Great in the years 22–10 BCE, served as a military stronghold, administrative capital, and main harbor for his vast kingdom of Judaea. He named it after his patron in Rome – Caesar Augustus. The harbor was likewise named σεβαστός (Greek for Augustus). A network of five paved Roman roads connected the city with its countryside and with other inland cities. During the circa 650 years of its existence under Roman regime, it was a prospering city.In 68 CE Vespasian was proclaimed emperor by his troops in Caesarea (Jos. Bell. 4.488–506). In 71 CE it became …
Date: 2021-12-14


(1,694 words)

Author(s): Ramelli, Ilaria L.E.
Nothing is known about Calcidius’ life (4th cent. CE); no ancient author mentions his name. Since he supports the divine inspiration of Moses and Genesis, alludes to Jesus’ birth, and speaks of the end of human life in apparently Christian terms, it is probable that he was a Christian. However, this did not significantly influence the philosophical outlook of his work, which is broadly Middle Platonist. He cites Origen, which supplies a terminus post quem, hence the general tendency to dating Calcidius before the mid-4th century CE. The preface to his work includes a …
Date: 2021-12-14


(2,484 words)

Author(s): Barry, Jennifer
The term Canaan has its roots in the Hebrew כנען/ knʿn and combines the Semitic root k-n-c with a common suffix –(a)n. The term translates into Greek as Χαναάν and into Latin as Canaan. Of the multiple ways to read the word “Canaan” in late antiquity this article focuses on three: Canaan as land, as a people, and as a person.LandScholars connect the name Canaan with the land of Kana'an, the general Northwest Semitic name for this region. Canaan appears as KURki-na-ah-na in the Amarna letters (tablets from the 14th cent. BCE), and knʿn appears on coins from Phoenicia in the last half o…
Date: 2021-12-14


(547 words)

Author(s): Marjanen, Antti
Candidus was a Christian teacher, active at the beginning of the 3rd century CE. Very little is known about him. The first explicit reference to Candidus is made by Jerome, who in his critique of Rufinus of Aquileia’s apology for Origen (Jer. Ruf. 2.18–19) indicates that there was a theological dispute, evidently at Athens, between Origen and Candidus, whom Jerome regarded as Valentinian. The written dialogue of the dispute, to which Jerome referred in his text, is no longer extant. Rufinus is also aware of the dispute, although he does not mention Candidus by name (Ruf. Adul. Orig. 7). Bo…
Date: 2021-12-14

Cannibalism, Accusation of

(2,069 words)

Author(s): McGowan, Andrew
The accusations of cannibalism made against the early Christians have often been seen as a misunderstanding of the body and blood imagery of Jesus’ last supper (1 Cor 11; see John 6), employed in reference to continuing eucharistic meals. The remarkable use of such symbolism demands some reflection, but the obvious symbolic correspondence between sacrament and accusation may not be as important as it appears, since comparison with other ancient accusations (and of instances in quite different se…
Date: 2021-12-14

Canon Muratori

(3,012 words)

Author(s): Guignard, Christophe
The Canon Muratori – or, more neutrally, the Muratorian Fragment – is a short yet incomplete Latin text about the New Testament books whose author is unknown. It owes its name to its discoverer, the Italian historian L.A. Muratori (1672–1750). He found it in Milan, in a manuscript (Cod. Ambr. 1.101, sup, fol. 10r–11r) of the second half of the 7th or the first half of the 8th century CE (Ferrari, 1989, 25). Perhaps due to the loss of some leaves in the manuscript, the text begins on the hedge of a recto, in the middle of a sentence. Accordingly, o…
Date: 2021-12-14

Canon Romanus

(3,064 words)

Author(s): Romano, John F.
The Canon Romanus is an anaphora (eucharistic prayer), intended to transform the bread and wine offered at a Mass into the body and blood of Jesus. Although it may have been composed as a single prayer, in written form it would normally be presented as a series of individual formulas. The boundaries of what marked the beginning of the Canon Romanus in the context of the Mass are unclearly demarcated in our earliest manuscripts, but it was chanted after the offertory (in which the bread and wine were ceremonially offered) and before the praying of the “Pa…
Date: 2021-12-14

Canon Tables, Eusebian

(1,845 words)

Author(s): Crawford, Matthew R.
The system known today in English as the Eusebian Canon Tables (following the German “Kanontafeln”) is a paratextual apparatus designed by Eusebius of Caesarea to serve as a cross-referencing guide to the fourfold gospel. It consists of three components. First, the text of each gospel is marginally annotated with a series of numbers that demarcate discrete sections of text, beginning with the number one at the start of each narrative and continuing to the end, resulting in 355 sections for Matth…
Date: 2021-12-14


(6,550 words)

Author(s): Ramelli, Ilaria L.E.
The Cappadocian Fathers were prominent 4th-century CE Christian theologians and bishops, profoundly influenced by Origen: Basil of Caesarea (b. 329/c. 330, d. end 378 CE), Gregory of Nazianzus (Nazianzen, b. 329/c. 330, d. 389/390 CE in Arianzus), Gregory of Nyssa (Nyssen), younger than Basil by some years (on Gregory’s life, see Ramelli, 2007; Silvas, 2007) – and the Cappadocian mother Macrina the Younger, the eldest sister of Basil and Nyssen and founder and leader of a double house-monastery,…
Date: 2021-12-14


(696 words)

Author(s): Caruso, Matteo
Capreolus was the bishop of Carthage between 427 and 437 CE, and the successor of the bishop of Carthage Aurelius, who died between 429 and 430 CE. Capreolus was bishop during the Vandalic occupation of North Africa. The emperor Theodosius II summoned the Council of Ephesus in 431 CE. Because of Vandalic invasion, Capreolus refused to go to Ephesus and sent a deacon, called Bestula, as his representative to the council. Bestula read a letter written by Capreolus in front of the bishops gathered …
Date: 2021-12-14

Carmen de Sodoma/Carmen de Iona

(1,991 words)

Author(s): Döpp, Siegmar
Carmen de Sodoma (167 dactylic hexameters) and Carmen de Iona (105 dactylic hexameters) are two thematically related narrative poems that fall outside the canon of the biblical epic in late antiquity and appear in the manuscript tradition as works of Tertullian or of Cyprian of Carthage, although neither can be regarded as their true author for a variety of reasons, not least due to considerations of style (Peiper, 1891, xxviii). There is a good deal of uncertainty as to the poems' original titles. Specu…
Date: 2021-12-14
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