Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online

Get access

Irenaeus of Lyon
(3,534 words)

Irenaeus (c. 130–c. 200 CE) probably was born and grew up in (or close to) Smyrna in Asia Minor. We can deduce this from his letter to Florinus in which he writes that he in his youth had been listening to the teaching of Polycarp (this letter is mentioned by Eusebius of Caesarea in his Church History; Eus. Hist. eccl. 5.20.1–7). Polycarp was bishop in Smyrna (Polycarp of Smyrna) and died around 150 CE. If Irenaeus’ remarks can be trusted, he received his basic introduction to and education in Christian th…

Cite this page
Jacobsen, Anders-Christian, “Irenaeus of Lyon”, in: Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online, General Editor David G. Hunter, Paul J.J. van Geest, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte. Consulted online on 04 October 2023 <>
First published online: 2018

▲   Back to top   ▲