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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(1,189 words)

Author(s): Halfond, Gregory I.
Two ecclesiastical councils (Councils/Synods) are attested as having assembled in the Gallic civitas (city) of Vaison between the 5th and 6th centuries CE, in 442 and 529 CE, respectively. While both were regional meetings, the canons produced at the two councils later would prove influential beyond southern Gaul thanks to their inclusion in multiple canonical collections and their utilization as precedents in subsequent conciliar legislation.The Council of Vaison (442 CE)Although the acta (acts) of the council of 442 CE (dated to Nov 13) are preserved – in their …
Date: 2022-09-22


(1,864 words)

Author(s): Berndt, Guido M.
Flavius Valens, born in 321 CE in the Pannonian city Cibalae (Vinkovci, Croatia), was of humble origins. As a young man, Valens became a soldier; his first attested rank was protector domesticus (member of the palace guard) during the short reign of Emperor Jovian (363/364 CE). On Mar 1, 364 CE, Valentinian I (r. 364–375 CE) appointed him tribunus stabuli (stable master), which earned him a position close to the emperor. Valentinian was well aware that the empire was too large to be governed by one man; the army likewise expressed its wishes for a co-em…
Date: 2022-09-22


(3,357 words)

Author(s): Auvinen, Risto
Valentinianism was one of the first attempts to intellectualize Christian teachings and raise it to the level of Greco-Roman philosophy. Its foundation goes back to Valentinus the Gnostic, who was influential during the mid-2nd-century CE in Rome (Iren. Haer. 3.4.3; Markschies, 1992, 293–336). Irenaeus of Lyon says that Valentinus adopted the principles of his teaching from the so-called gnostic school of thought (Gnosis/Gnosticism) and founded a school of his own ( Haer. 1.1.11). Although it is certain that there is a historical relation between the gnostic and Va…
Date: 2022-09-22


(738 words)

Author(s): Orton, Robin
Valentinus was a follower of Apollinaris of Laodicea about whom we have no biographical information and who cannot be precisely dated. He writes against his fellow-Apollinarian Timotheus, bishop of Beirut (Timotheus of Beirut), who appears to have been a contemporary and who was alive in 381 CE, when he signed the protocol of the Council of Constantinople (Lietzmann, 1904, 31; Constantinople, 02: First Council of [Second Ecumenical; 381 CE]). Valentinus describes Apollinaris himself, who died so…
Date: 2022-09-22


(5,687 words)

Author(s): Berndt, Guido M.
Vandals are a people known for its role in the “migration period” who maintained a kingdom in North Africa from 429 to 534 CE. Their name has remained a synonym for willful destruction.Prehistory and First Contacts with the Roman EmpireThe Vandals, a people speaking one specific form of the Eastern Germanic that is related to the Gothic language, are first mentioned in Greek and Roman ethnographic writing of the 1st century CE. Designations in these texts, however, differ. Thus, it is far from clear where they originated. In the time…
Date: 2022-09-22


(804 words)

Author(s): Halfond, Gregory I.
Vannes was provincial council (Councils/Synods) held in the Gallic province of Lugdunensis Tertia sometime between 461 and 491 CE, most likely in the mid-460s CE (Hefele, 1908, vol. II/2, 904–906; Pietri, 1983, 146–147; Mathisen, 1989, 192n88). At the time, this region constituted a veritable “no man’s land […] in a political vacuum between the Visigothic kingdom to the south, and the rudderless frontier provinces of northern Gaul” (Brown, 2003, 109).At the council, Paternus of Vannes was ordained bishop. The council’s acts, which contain 16 canons, assume the f…
Date: 2022-09-22


(7,448 words)

Author(s): Liverani, Paolo
In the republican and early imperial periods, the right bank of the Tiber was occupied by the Ager Vaticanus (Plin. Nat. 3.53), which extended from a point facing the town of Fidenae to the north to the prata Quinctia facing the navalia, the river port, to the south (Livy 3.26.8; Plin. Nat. 18.20). From the 2nd century CE onward, sources use the toponym Vaticanum, comprising Vatican Hill and the little valley to the south of it, an area corresponding to the current Vatican City. We can define its extension in an approximate way on the basis of various indications: the definition in Vaticano is a…
Date: 2022-09-22

Venantius Fortunatus

(3,011 words)

Author(s): Roberts, Michael
Venantius Honorius Clementianus Fortunatus was born in Duplavis, modern Valdobbiadene, near Treviso, northern Italy, sometime in the 530s CE. He received in the schools of Ravenna the literary education traditional in late antiquity. In the mid-560s CE, though, for reasons that are unclear, he moved to Merovingian Gaul, establishing himself initially at the Austrasian court of Sigibert in Metz, where he wrote an epithalamium for the king’s marriage to Brunhild (For. Carm. 6.1). All but two ( Carm. 1.1 and 1.2) of his poems date from his time in Gaul. To this earlier peri…
Date: 2022-09-22


(3,113 words)

Author(s): Edelmann-Singer, Babett
T. Flavius Vespasianus (Nov 17, 9 CE–Jun 24, 79 CE), commonly known as Vespasian, ruled as Roman emperor from 69 to 79 CE. He was the founder of the Flavian dynasty, which followed the reign of the Julio-Claudians (27 BCE–68 CE) and the so-called Year of the Four Emperors (68/69 CE).The SourcesMost of the information available on Vespasian's life can be gathered from his biography by the Roman author Suetonius (Jones, 2000). The Historiae ( Histories) of Tacitus, dealing with the reign of the Flavians, are incomplete but at least the first four books covering the years…
Date: 2022-09-22