Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online

Get access Subject: Biblical Studies and Early Christianity
General Editors: David G. HUNTER, University of Kentucky, United States, Paul J.J. van GEEST, Tilburg University, Netherlands, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands.

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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(1,578 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: 2019-08-09

Caesarea in Palestine

(3,432 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 sebastos (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: 2019-08-09


(1,695 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 Ca…
Date: 2019-08-09


(2,486 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/ Khanaan 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 las…
Date: 2019-08-09


(549 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: 2019-08-09

Canon Tables, Eusebian

(1,857 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: 2019-08-09


(6,542 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: 2019-08-09


(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: 2019-08-09

Carmen de Sodoma/Carmen de Iona

(1,995 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: 2019-08-09


(6,149 words)

Author(s): Heydemann, Gerda
The family of Flavius Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus Senator (c. 485–c. 580 CE), originally from the East (Syria), is attested in Italy (Calabria) since the mid-5th century CE, where they built up a tradition of service in the administration of the Western Empire. Cassiodorus’ father had served under Odoacer before going over to Theoderic in 490 CE. His support seems to have been decisive in ensuring the local loyalty in Bruttium and Lucania, and he acted as Praetorian Prefect in circa 503/507 CE and as an advisor at court (Cassio. Var. 1.3.3–4; 3.28; Jones & Martindale, 1980, 264f.). …
Date: 2019-08-09


(2,815 words)

Author(s): Maritano, Mario
The name Cataphrygians was given to the followers of Montanus, a name derived from the place where this movement originated, between Phrygia and Mysia, in the second half of the 2nd century CE (see Markschies, 2012, 1197–1199; Berruto Martone, 1999, 127–130). From the beginning, ancient Christian authors used the expression “the Phygrian heresy” (Eus. Hist. eccl. 5.16.1; 5.18.1; 6.20.3), or even more briefly “Phrygians” (Clem. Strom. 4.93.1; 7.108.2; Anonimus ap. Eus. Hist. eccl. 5.16.22), “according to the Phrygians” (Epiph. Haer. 48.1.1; 48.1.3; 49.1; in Lat. secundum Phrygas: …
Date: 2019-08-09


(5,925 words)

Author(s): Day, Juliette J.
Catechesis (κατήχησις = catechesis, instruction; from κατηχεῖν = to teach or instruct orally) originally referred to any oral teaching, but in Christianity was applied exclusively to the instruction given to new Christians usually in connection with baptism. Latin adopted these Greek terms within an entirely Christian context to give catechizare, catechismus, catechumenus. Discerning the origin and development of early Christian catechesis is complicated by the application of these terms: is catechesis instruction that is only given to catechume…
Date: 2019-08-09
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