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Agape

(299 words)

Author(s): Markschies, Christoph (Berlin)
[German version] (ἀγάπη; agápē) In the NT (Jud 12) agápē is also used for the ‘love feast’ if it is an occasion of brotherly love (Tert. Apol. 39,16: agápē is equal to dilectio). Tertullian described a communal meal of the congregation comparable to ancient sacral meals. Since  Ignatius ( c. AD 110) admonished the community in Smyrna not to hold the agape without the bishop, he was probably referring to a joint celebration of the Eucharist with the ordinary meal as documented by Paul for Corinth (1 Cor 11,20-34) and which was in part custom until the 5th …

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…

Carmen contra paganos

(123 words)

Author(s): Markschies, Christoph (Berlin)
[German version] The Parisian Cod. Lat. 8084 of Prudentius transmits in fol. 156r-158v 122 v. an anonymous defamatory poem (CPL 1431), directed against a praefectus ( urbis or praetorio orientis), presumably Virius Nicomachus  Flavianus [2] the Elder, but alternatively perhaps  Vettius Agorius Praetextatus. The text is not only a Christian reaction to the pagan Roman renaissance under  Symmachus, but also a testimony of the Christian reception of Virgil. The Carmen contra paganos belongs to the genre of apologetic poetry, and makes interesting references to the pag…

Fortunat(ian)us

(124 words)

Author(s): Markschies, Christoph (Berlin)
[German version] F., an African, held office in 342-368/370 as bishop of  Aquileia. According to Jerome he wrote a gospel commentary Titulis ordinatis brevi sermone rusticoque (Jer. Vir. ill. 97,1) under Constantius [2] II (337-361). Perhaps three smaller fragments have been preserved (CPL 104); Jerome used the work for his own Matthew commentary (Praef.: PL 26,200 and Ep. 10,3). F. received  Athanasius in Aquileia in 345 but then pressured  Liberius of Rome to be lenient towards the Homoean movement ( Arianism) under e…

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, …

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…

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 …

Doketai

(403 words)

Author(s): Markschies, Christoph (Berlin)
[German version] (δοκηταί; dokētaí). With this generic term or τῶν ... δοκιτῶν αἵρεσις ( tôn ... dokitôn haíresis, Theod. Epist. 82,1) ancient Christian theologians from the middle of the 5th cent., as also recent academic research, designated various points of view that (in the minds of their critics at any rate) call into question or even repudiate the real humanity of  Jesus Christ and postulate a ‘pseudo-body’. Opponents of  Ignatius of Antioch maintained for example that Christ had only appeared to suffer (…

Pectorius inscription

(202 words)

Author(s): Markschies, Christoph (Berlin)
[German version] Inscription (IG XIV 2525 = SEG 29, 825 = [1]) on a marble panel discovered in 1839 at Augustodunum/ Autun. It consists of three elegiac distychs (V. 1-6) and five hexameters (V. 7-11). Alongside the Abercius inscription, it is one of the most significant examples of ancient Christian epigraphy; in its current form, it constitutes a funerary inscription commissioned by one Pectorius for his mother. The first six verses form the acrostic ΙΧΘΥΣΕ, so it must be assumed that this section of text is incompletely preserved ([1] ventures a completion: ἰχθύς/ ichthýs, ἐλπίς/ elpís…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Vincentius of Lerinum

(598 words)

Author(s): Markschies, Christoph (Berlin)
[German version] I. Life Theologist, died before AD 450 V. of Lerinum (Lérins) died before AD 450, perhaps c. 435. According to Gennadius ( De viris illustribus 65) and Eucherius [3] ( De laude heremi 42; Instructiones I, praef. p. 66,5 Wotke) he was born in northern France and led a secular life, until he took up residence before 427 as a priest-monk on the smaller of the two islands of Lerinum/Lérins off the coast at Cannes (Saint-Honorat), which was used primarily by noble refugees from Gaul as a 'monastery of asylum' [5]. V. describes the seclusion of the place with traditional topoi as an e…

Barnabas

(144 words)

Author(s): Markschies, Christoph (Berlin)
[German version] The well-off Levite B., who came from Cyprus, belonged temporarily to the closest circle of co-workers of  Paulus and, before that, to the prominent heads of the Antiochene community. After a missionary period together in Cyprus and Galatia with Paulus, it came to a severe conflict between both, as B. together with others in Antioch ( c. AD 48), revoked the table community between Jewish Christians and pagan-Christians (Gal 2,11-16). Whether he then went to Egypt, like some individual traditions seem to believe (e.g. Ps.-Clem. Hom. 1, …

Meletius of Antioch

(577 words)

Author(s): Markschies, Christoph (Berlin)
[German version] came from a wealthy family from Melitene/Armenia Minor (Greg. Nyss. in Meletium, p. 444 Spira; Philostorgius, Hist. eccl. 5,5 = GCS 69,11 Bidez/Winkelmann), was privileged with a thorough education and then apparently lived as an ascetic. He was elected to be the successor of the deposed Homoiousian Eustathius [6], bishop of Sebaste, and advocated a theology in the tradition of Eusebius [7] of Caesaria from AD 357 as well as supporting the ecclesiastical politics of his successor …

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 …

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…
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