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Proaeresius

(154 words)

Author(s): Markschies, Christoph (Berlin)
[German version] (Προαιρέσιος/ Pro(h)airésios). Christian Sophist (cf. Second Sophistic), born c. AD 276 in Caesarea (Cappadocia) to an Armenian family; studied in Antioch [1] and Athens (Eunap. VS 10,3,3-9), where he was subsequently a celebrated teacher for many years, reflecting the continuity of the education provided there. His provenience from Asia Minor apparently attracted students particularly from that part of the Roman Empire. Constans [1] honoured him numerous times; as a Christian, he did not…

Polycarpus of Smyrna

(540 words)

Author(s): Markschies, Christoph (Berlin)
(Πολύκαρπος/ Polýkarpos). [German version] I. Life P. was one of the most important figures among the second generation of Christian teachers, who still had contact with the members of the first, 'apostolic' generation (Eirenaeus [2] according to Eus. HE 5,20,6). He is described as bishop of Smyrna in the correspondence of Ignatius [1] (Ignatius, Epistula ad Magnesios 15), while another letter is addressed to bishop P. himself ( Epistula ad Polycarpum). He was evidently regarded not only as a representative of the congregations of Asia Minor, but also as a guardia…

Antiochene School

(216 words)

Author(s): Markschies, Christoph (Berlin)
[German version] This modern name describes a group of theologians who worked as exegetes. A true bond as a school can only be demonstrated for theologians who temporarily resided in Antiochia between c. 350 and c. 430, e.g.,  Diodorus of Tarsus, his students  Theodorus of Mopsuestia,  Iohannes Chrysostomos and their (?) student  Theodoretus of Cyrrhus. The characteristics of this school are apparent in its exegetical work, such as the methodological prologues of a commentary on the Psalms attributed to Diodorus (CPG 2,3818): int…

Ruricius of Limoges

(170 words)

Author(s): Markschies, Christoph (Berlin)
[German version] Christian bishop and author; initially married (wedding song: Sid. Apoll. Carm. 11), under the influence of Faustus [3] Reiensis he decided in 477 to lead an ascetic life and ultimately became a bishop in 485. He died shortly after 507. An epitaph on him and his successor, his grandson R. II, can be found in Venantius Fortunatus (Carm. 4,5). Two books with 18 or 64 (65) letters, as well as 14 letters to R., survive. They are primarily testimonials and 'everyday correspondence' of …

Heraclas

(196 words)

Author(s): Markschies, Christoph (Berlin)
[German version] Before his conversion to the Christian faith H. took lessons from the Platonic philosopher  Ammonius [9] Saccas (Euseb. Hist. eccl. 6,19,13) with his brother Plutarchus, who later died a martyr's death. After five years of instruction he met  Origenes there as a fellow student and then visited his class in Alexandria (Euseb. Hist. eccl. 6,3,2). At a certain point Origen made H. responsible for the beginning students (Euseb. Hist. eccl. 6,15). H. himself was a celebrated teacher (Euseb. Hist. eccl. 6,31,2) and apparently belonged to the presbyters who…

Hermas, Hermae Pastor

(628 words)

Author(s): Markschies, Christoph (Berlin)
[German version] The work ‘The shepherd of H.’ (Greek only Ποιμήν; Poimḗn, Latin Liber pastoris nuntii paenitentiae or Liber Hermae prophetae) is a Christian prophetic script with the stylistic character of an  apocalypse but not wholly corresponding to this genre. The work places H. among the  Apostolic Fathers. The title ‘Shepherd’ (Ποιμήν) for the entire work appeared in the Canon Muratori, a substantial index of canons (more likely dated end of the 2nd cent. than the 4th cent.: l. 74), but it refers only to the second part of the work (visio 5 to sim…

Sozomenus

(363 words)

Author(s): Markschies, Christoph (Berlin)
[German version] Salamanes Hermeias (Σῳζομενός/ Sōizomenós, Σαλαμάνης Ἑρμείας/ Salamánēs Hermeías), probably born in Bethelea near Gaza (possibly modern Bait Lāhiyā) into a well-to-do Christian family (cf. Phot. Cod. 30; Sozom. Hist. eccl. 5,15,14). The dates of his birth and death cannot be determined. The Palestinian and partially monastic context of his youth (Monasticism) characterizes his Ἐκκλησιαστικὴ ἱστορία/ Ekklēsiastikḕ Historía or 'History of the Church' (= HC; Sozom. Hist. eccl. 1,1,19), which was written between AD 439 and 450. After 425, …

Apostolic Fathers

(178 words)

Author(s): Markschies, Christoph (Berlin)
[German version] According to J. B. Cotelier, who coined it, the term includes the writings of three presumed students of Paul: 1.   the Epistle of Barnabas (Gal 2,1; 1 Cor 9,6); 2. two Epistles attributed to  Clement of Rome (Phil 4,3); 3. the ‘Shepherd of Hermas’ (Rom 16,4); and the works of two presumed students of John; 4. seven letters by bishop  Ignatius of Antioch; 5. a letter and other writings by Polycarp of Smyrna. Today it is customary to include: 6. fragments by bishop  Papias of Hiera…

Collectio Avellana

(126 words)

Author(s): Markschies, Christoph (Berlin)
[German version] Between 556 and 561 a private collection was made in Rome of 243 letters from the pope and the emperor, emperor's edicts and rescripts, official reports, synodal decrees and creeds (inventory with evidence [1. 274-281]). The name of the collection derives from a MS earlier kept in the Umbrian monastery Santa Croce di Fonte Avellana; it is today kept in Rome (Vat. Lat. 4916). The inventory goes back to a (lost) document, which constituted a semi-official product of the Church polit…

Apostles, Letters of the

(262 words)

Author(s): Markschies, Christoph (Berlin)
[German version] The Letters of the Apostles are ancient Christian ‘epistles’ attributed to an ἀπόστολος ( apóstolos): a) those that were included in the NT  canon in the first four cents. and b) those that belong to the  apocryphal literature: thus, 1. the pseudo-Pauline Laodicene Epistle, which is found in many Latin Bible MSS; 2. the correspondence between Paul and the Corinthians; 3. the correspondence between  Seneca and Paul; 4. the Epistle of pseudo-Titus ‘On the State of Chastity’; 5. the Epistula Petri, also from the correspondence preserved in the  Nag Hammadi G…

Papias

(159 words)

Author(s): Markschies, Christoph (Berlin)
[German version] (Παπίας; Papías). Bishop or congregational leader in his home town of Hierapolis [1]. In around AD 125/130, he wrote an 'Exegesis of the oracles of the Lord in five books' (Λογίων κυριακῶν ἐξηγήσεως συγγράμματα πέντε), of which only fragments remain. The information contained in the foreword on the authors of the NT (Eus. HE 3,39,15f.) is significant but controversial. However, P. preferred the oral Jesus tradition; according to Eirenaeus [2] (different in Eusebius [7]), he was a student of Iohannes [1] and a ‘ companion’ (ἑταῖρος) of Polycarpus (Iren. Adversus h…

Cyprianus

(1,077 words)

Author(s): Markschies, Christoph (Berlin)
[German version] [1] C. Gallus Heptateuch poet see  Heptateuch poet Markschies, Christoph (Berlin) [2] C. Thascius Caecili(an)us From AD 248/9 bishop of Carthago [German version] A. Biography Caecilius Cyprianus qui et Thascius (his transmitted name, combining his original Punic cognomen Thascius C. with a newly adopted Christian cognomen after his godfather Caecilianus, according to Pontius, vita 4 -- or rather Caecilius, according to Jer. Vir. ill. 67 [1. 110, n. 1]) was the son of wealthy parents. Prior to his conversion t…

Victricius

(212 words)

Author(s): Markschies, Christoph (Berlin)
[German version] Born c. AD 340; after his conversion to the Christian faith, between 360 and 363 he ended his military service (according to Paul. Nol. epist. 18,7, at any rate, with detailed description of the circumstances) and c. 380/386 became bishop of Ratomagus (modern Rouen). Letters to him from Paulinus [5] of Nola (Epist. 18 and 37) and from the Roman bishop Innocentius I ([1. vol. 1, 286]: a liber regularum) from this period survive. The focus of his work was the battle against Homoean theology in the Imperial church (Trinity III; Arianism), the advanc…

Sermon, Homily

(1,744 words)

Author(s): Markschies, Christoph (Berlin)
[German version] I. General remarks, concept and origins The term sermon refers to a type of speech (Greek ὁμιλία/ homilía, Latin sermo) given, beginning in the 2nd cent. AD, as part of an ancient Christian religious service (Cult, Cultus IV) following readings from the Holy Scriptures (Bible). The sermon dealt either with topics of the readings or with the current feast or festal period of the liturgical year, but also and increasingly with saints (B). Methods of interpretation that had been generally introduced (e…

Christian Palestinian language and literature

(627 words)

Author(s): Markschies, Christoph (Berlin)
[German version] A. Language Christian Palestinian is a dialect of  Aramaic, more precisely of Western Aramaic, to which belong Nabataean, Palmyrenian, Judaeo-Aramaic, Samaritan and the still extant New Western Aramaic (Maalūla linguistic enclave near Damascus, Syria). As it uses one of the older Syriac- (i.e. Estrangelō, in reality στρογγύλη; stroggýlē) related scripts, in the non-German language area it tends to be called Syro-Palestinian, although it lies closer to the Judaeo-Palestinian Aramaic of some targumim than to classical Syriac. It was evidently used in…

Priscillianus, Priscillianism

(1,193 words)

Author(s): Markschies, Christoph (Berlin)
Spanish ascetic and Christian theologian of Late Antiquity; term used for the ascetic movement he founded. [German version] I. Life of Priscillianus and history of Priscillianism A great deal of P.' biography remains unknown and has been distorted by a hostile tradition. P. was probably born prior to AD 350; he is believed to have been from a wealthy Spanish family. His training in rhetoric indicates an education befitting his class. In connection with his decision to lead an ascetic life, he chose to be baptized as an a…

Pacianus

(130 words)

Author(s): Markschies, Christoph (Berlin)
[German version] After AD 343, bishop of Barcinona (modern Barcelona), died before 393; of his life practically nothing is known. Three letters from him to the Novatian Sympronianus survive, in which he opposes Novatianism (Novatianus) (CPL 561), also a pamphlet Paraenesis sive Exhortatorius Libellus ad Paenitentiam ( Exhortation to Penitence, CPL 562) and a Sermo de Baptismo ( Sermon on Baptism, CPL 563). A Cerv(ul)us ('Stag') against the pagan celebration of the new year, mentioned by Hieronymus  (Vir. ill. 106), is lost. The author was well educated and t…

Pachomius

(296 words)

Author(s): Markschies, Christoph (Berlin)
[German version] (Παχώμιος; Pachmios). P. was born in AD 292, probably in Latopolis/Esna, and died of the plague in AD 346. He is regarded as the founder of cenobitic monasticism in Egypt and the author of the first regulations for monks. The Pachomian monastic community, which he founded, is called koinóbion (in the sense of koinōnía, 'community') throughout the Vita prima [2. 24]. P. was born into a pagan Egyptian family and converted to Christianity around the age of twenty when he enrolled in the army. He was baptised after he had returned to the tow…

Philostorgius

(207 words)

Author(s): Markschies, Christoph (Berlin)
[German version] (Φιλοστόργιος; Philostórgios). The Church historian P. was born around AD 368 in Borissus/Cappadocia and remained a layman throughout his life. From 388 on he lived in Constantinople and expanded through travel the good education he had received. Of significance for his theological views was an encounter with his countryman Eunomius, whose neo-Arianism influenced his theology (Arianism B.3.; he rejected the concept of 'Anomoean' [3. 65,11-14 et passim]). Fragments of his history of the Arian controversy are found notably in the Passio of Artemius [2] [1. 169…

Abgar Legend

(327 words)

Author(s): Markschies, Christoph (Berlin)
[German version] The Abgar legend is a pseudepigraphic correspondence between  Jesus of Nazareth and king Abgar V. Ukkāmā (= the Black; Tac. Ann. 12,12,2) of Edessa, who ruled the kingdom of Osroene from 4 BC to AD 50. The oldest version in  Eusebius, who allegedly found the letters in the Edessene archives and translated them from Syriac (H.E. 1,13,6-21). A. supposedly heard of Jesus' healing and invited him to Edessa to be healed by him. In his answer Jesus praised the king as blessed but would …
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