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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(1,349 words)

Author(s): Judge-Mulhall, Julia
The ephebeia (Gk ἐφηβεία; “ephebate”) was a state-controlled institution of citizen education and military training for young men in the ancient Greek world. The institution continued to play a significant role in the culture of cities in the Greek East during the Roman imperial period.The origins of the institution in the form that became widespread in later periods can be traced to the Athenian ephebeia, which was formalized in the 4th century BCE (Friend, 2019; Arist. Ath. Pol. 42). At the age of 18, boys of citizen families from the demes of Athens were admitted into the ephebeia, a two…
Date: 2022-09-22

Ephesus, First Ecumenical Council

(5,477 words)

Author(s): Price, Richard
The First Council of Ephesus (431 CE) is one of the events in ancient history of which we are most fully informed. The “acts” of the council, in the various editions in which they have come down to us (both Greek and Latin), provide a mass of contemporary documentation – principally records of meetings (incomplete, however), related correspondence (between bishops and between factions at the council and various parties in Constantinople), and pamphlets on the theological issues. There is an exemplary edition of this material in the Acta Conciliorum Oecumenicorum. Further material su…
Date: 2022-09-22


(1,554 words)

Author(s): Boter, Gerard
Epictetus was born circa 50 CE in Hierapolis in southern Phrygia, possibly as the son of a slave mother. At an unknown date he moved to Rome, where he became a slave (Slave/Slavery) in the household of Nero’s freedman Epaphroditus. Still a slave, he attended the lectures of the Stoic philosopher Musonius Rufus. When Domitian expelled all philosophers from Rome circa 93 CE, he went to Nicopolis in Epirus, where he founded a school. He is said to have met the emperor Hadrian, and therefore it is supposed that he died circa 125 CE.Epictetus did not compose any philosophical writings himsel…
Date: 2022-09-22


(6,969 words)

Author(s): Keener, Craig
Epicureans constituted one of the major philosophic schools of antiquity. They were known especially for their distinctive philosophic interest in pleasure (which they defined differently than did their detractors), their affirmation of atomism, and their disbelief in traditional religion and an afterlife. This article traces first the development of the school, its distinctive beliefs most relevant to early Christianity, and the critiques of its detractors and its relation to early Christianity…
Date: 2022-09-22

Epiphanius of Salamis

(2,710 words)

Author(s): Berzon, Todd S.
According to the ecclesiastical historian Sozomen (c. 400–450 CE), Epiphanius (c. 315–403 CE) was born in Besanduc, a village in Palestine, near Eleutheropolis. Born in the early 4th century, circa 315 CE (the precise date of his birth remains unknown), Epiphanius spent his youth in Egypt. It seems his parents sent him to Egypt to receive an education. Our knowledge of his education comes, again, from Sozomen, who emphasizes only that Epiphanius was instructed from his youth by the most celebrated ascetics, and having on this account passed most of his time in Egypt…
Date: 2022-09-22


(3,843 words)

Author(s): Rouwhorst, Gerard
“Epiphany” is the name of a feast that, since the 4th century CE, was celebrated by all the eastern and western churches on Jan 6. The most common Greek designation is ἐπιφάνεια (sometimes pl. τα ἐπιφάνια; Lat. epiphania or apparitio, or manifestatio) which has the meaning of “appearance, manifestation,” in particular of a divine person. Besides this term, one also meets θεοφάνια (sometimes with the article in pl. τα θεοφάνια), that is, “appearance of God” and occasionally τα φῶτα (“lights”); see C. Mohrmann (1961, esp. 256–257).Debated IssuesThe origins and early history of the …
Date: 2022-09-22


(3,086 words)

Author(s): Livneh, Atar
The Essenes were a Jewish sect that flourished in Israel during the late Hellenistic and early Roman periods, and which was characterized by its simple and communal way of life.The SourcesThe Essenes are explicitly mentioned only in Greek and Latin texts. Our principal sources were penned by four authors, who, while not Essenes themselves, were contemporaneous with the sect: Philo of Alexandria (b. 15–10 BCE, d. 45–50 CE), Pliny the Elder (23–79 CE), Flavius Josephus (b. 37–38, d. 100 CE), and Dio Chrysostom (b. c. 40, d. 11…
Date: 2022-09-22


(3,654 words)

Author(s): Parani, Maria G.
Since the 19th century, the Greek name hetoimasia (or etimasia), literally meaning “preparation,” has been traditionally employed by students of Christian art to describe the iconographic (Iconography) theme of an empty (“prepared”) throne, on or around which are displayed various attributes in different combinations, such as a cross, a mantle, a crown, a Gospel book, a scroll sealed with seven seals, a dove, a lamb, and, in 11th-century contexts and later, the instruments of the passion (Bogyay, 1960; 1…
Date: 2022-09-22


(6,912 words)

Author(s): Rouwhorst, Gerard
The term comes from the Greek word eucharistia which means “thanksgiving,” and is used to designate ritualized communal meals held by early Christian communities which included the breaking and sharing of bread and the drinking from a cup (usually filled with wine) together with prayers of thanksgiving (Prayer). By these ritualized acts Christian communities celebrated their communion with the risen Christ, in remembrance of his life and death and in anticipation of the final fulfillment of God’s kingdo…
Date: 2022-09-22

Eucherius of Lyon

(3,535 words)

Author(s): Waarden, Joop van
Eucherius (c. 381–393–c. 449–456 CE) is a characteristic representative of the early 5th-century CE milieu of aristocratic converts to the ascetic life centered on the island of Lérins. He subsequently became the backbone of the southern-gallic episcopate. Together with his wife Galla, their sons Salonius and Veranus, and (according to Ado Mart. 16 Nov.; PL 123.395) two daughters Consortia and Tullia, he retreated to Lérins some time between 411 and 423 CE, later to withdraw into even deeper solitude on the twin island of Lero. At Lérins, the sp…
Date: 2022-09-22

Eudoxius of Antioch

(1,483 words)

Author(s): Vaggione, OHC, Richard Paul
Eudoxius of Antioch (c. 295–370 CE) was successively bishop of Germanicia, Antioch, and Constantinople, and in ancient sources can be described as bishop of any (depending on the ecclesiastical allegiance of the writer). He was born in the decade just before 300 CE to a Christian family in Arabissus, a town of Armenia Minor (southeastern Turkey, modern Afşin). This family was not notably devout but was sufficiently prominent that in the winter of 311/312 CE, Eudoxius’ father Caesarius was martyr…
Date: 2022-09-22


(1,482 words)

Author(s): Villegas Marín, Raúl
Eugenius (d. Sep 6, 394 CE) was a teacher of grammar (Socr. Hist. eccl. 5.25.1) and rhetoric (Zos. Hist. 4.54.1; John Ant. Frgm. 187) in his own school at Rome. He might have entered the imperial service before 385 CE (Sym. Ep. 3.61 styles him clarissimus [eminent man]). After that date he was appointed magister scrinii (imperial secretary; Socr. Hist. eccl. 5.25.1: ἀντιγραφεὺς τοῦ βασιλέως; Philost. Hist. eccl. 11.2: μάγιστρον τὴν ἀξίαν) in a western court. Thanks to his friendship with Flavius Richomeres, Eugenius joined the entourage of General Arbogast (Zos. Hist. 4.54.1–2), under…
Date: 2022-09-22

Eugenius of Ancyra

(782 words)

Author(s): Prinzivalli, Emanuela
Eugenius of Ancyra is a minor character and has attracted the attention of scholars only in relation to his letter containing a profession of faith.Eugenius was deacon of Ancyra (4th cent. CE) . He emerges as the compiler and conveyer of a letter that Marcellus of Ancyra’s followers sent to Athanasius of Alexandria, around the year 371 CE. The Marcellians (four names appear in the subscription of the letter: Theodoulos of Oxyrhynchos, Plenios of Hermonthis, Ischyrion of Leontopolis and an Isaac of unknown see) found th…
Date: 2022-09-22

Eugenius of Carthage

(828 words)

Author(s): Caruso, Matteo
Eugenius was ordained bishop of Carthage in 480–481 CE, although R. Delmaire (1987) thinks he was ordained bishop of Carthage in 478–479 CE (Ordination; Bishop [Episcopos]). On  request of the emperor Zenon, Huneric authorized the ordination of Eugenius as the new bishop of Carthage after the death of Deogratias in 453 CE. The see of Carthage remained without a bishop for over 24 years (see CSEL 7. 24–26; PL 58.202–203). Eugenius participated in the Council of Carthage in 484 CE (Carthage, 02: C…
Date: 2022-09-22


(1,472 words)

Author(s): Van Haitsma Kotva, Alyssa
Eugippius (c. 467–c. 535 CE) was a monk and an abbot of a monastery at Castellum Lucullanum in Naples. Best known as the hagiographer of Saint Severinus of Noricum, Eugippius was also the author of an Augustinian florilegium, Excerpta ex Operibus Sancti Augustini ( Excerpts from the Works of Saint Augustine), and, less securely, a monastic rule, Eugippii Regula ( Rule of Eugippius). While little is known about Eugippius’ own life, his migration to Ostrogothic Italy afforded him access to a network of strikingly prominent Christian correspondents and patrons.BiographyEugippius was …
Date: 2022-09-22


(2,664 words)

Author(s): Vaggione, OHC, Richard Paul
This essay will consider the teaching of Eunomius of Cyzicus and/or his followers as a systematic whole. The ancients rarely described ideological movements as “-isms” in our sense; they were much more likely to classify them in terms of a characteristic doctrine (“homoousians,” “heteroousians,” “anomoeans”) or an eponymous leader (“Athanasians,” “Arians,” “Eunomians”). Since these terms were almost always created by outsiders, they need to be used cautiously by the modern reader – no actual fol…
Date: 2022-09-22

Eunomius of Cyzicus

(3,384 words)

Author(s): Vaggione, OHC, Richard Paul
Eunomius of Cyzicus (c. 325–396/397 CE) was a non-Nicene bishop and theologian active in the last four and a half decades of the 4th century CE. Because of his pronounced theological opinions, posterity has treated him more as a symbol of a particular theological position than as an actual human being. This is regrettable, as he is one of the few opponents of Nicaea whom it is still possible to discuss in those terms. His traditional title, “of Cyzicus,” is a case in point. It refers to the comb…
Date: 2022-09-22
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