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Alexander of Constantinople

(1,504 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Winrich
The date of Alexander’s accession to the bishopric of the predecessor town of Constantinople, Byzantium, is as unclear as the date of his death. According to Socrates Scholasticus, Alexander died in 340 CE, after a tenure of office of 23 years, at age 98, his predecessor being a certain Metrophanes (Socr. Hist. Eccl. 1.37.3; 2.6.2). Theodoret of Cyrrhus, however, seems to date the death of Alexander around the time of the foundation of Constantinople, that is, to 330 CE ( Hist. Eccl. 1.19.1). Both dates are likely to be wrong: modern scholarship agrees that the correct datin…
Date: 2019-08-09

Basilides

(3,445 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Winrich
Basilides was a Christian teacher in Alexandria during the time of Hadrian (Clem. Strom. 7.106.4). Irenaeus of Lyon claims that Basilides was inspired by Simon Magus and a certain Menander (Iren. Haer. 1.24.1). However, since Irenaeus credits Basilides with a doctrine that probably reflects the views of later Basilideans (see below), his doxographical construction is very doubtful. We know very little about the life of Basilides or his school: he had a son and pupil called Isidore ( Strom. 2.113.3).Eus. Hist. eccl. 4.7.5–8 cites a certain Agrippa Castor with additional infor…
Date: 2019-08-09

Homoeans

(962 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Winrich
[German Version] The Homoeans were a group of bishops in the Early Church who defined their faith in such a way that the relationship between Jesus Christ and his Father was to be described as ὅμοιος/ homoios (similar). Homoeanism refers to the first phase of the development of a confessional orthodoxy within the Roman Empire and the emergence of a multiconfessional “commonwealth” (Fowden) at its edges. I. Homoeanism arose in the conflicts of the 4th-century imperial church: from the time of the Synod of Serdica ¶ (342 or 343), there was a schism that was manifested in doctrinal …

Basilides/Basilidians

(287 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Winrich A.
[German Version] With his son and disciple Isidore, Basilides was active as a teacher of theology in the time of the emperors Hadrian (117-138) and Antoninus Pius (138-161). His Exegetica was a commentary on what was probably his own recension of Luke; two fragments have been preserved: Clement of Alexandria, Strom. IV, 81.1-83.1, and Acta Archelai 67.4-12. Fragments of the following works of Isidore have been preserved: Ethica (Clem. Alex. Strom. III, 1-3), On the Attached Soul ( Strom. II, 112.1-114.2), and An Explanation of the Prophet Parchor ( Strom. VI, 53.2-5). Additional dox…

Julian of Eclanum

(334 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Winrich A.
[German Version] (c. 385 – before 455), the son of a bishop and married, was consecrated bishop of Aeclanum prior to 417. In 418, Julian and 18 other bishops refused to sign the Epistola tractoria of the bishop of Rome Zosimus, which condemned Pelagianism (Pelagius), and called for a revision of the proceedings against Pelagius and Celestius. Deposed by Zosimus and banished from their sees by the emperor in 419, Julian and his companions traveled to Cilicia to join Theodore of Mopsuestia. In the autumn of 418, Julian had denounc…

Dionysius of Corinth

(154 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Winrich
[German Version] held office at the time of Roman bishop Soter (166?–175?). Eusebius of Caesarea discusses his correspondence ( Hist. eccl. IV 23) and mentions eight letters to the churches or bishops of Lacedaemonia, Athens (reference to Dionysius Areopagita as the first bishop there), Nicomedia, Gortyna (and other churches in Crete), Amastris (and other churches on the Black Sea), Knossos (reply from Bishop Pinytos), Rome (mentioning Peter and Paul as founders of the churches of Rome and Corinth and as martyrs; cf. Eus. Hist. eccl. II 25.8), as well as…

Bishop Lists

(316 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Winrich A.
[German Version] The first list of bishops is found in Irenaeus, Haer. III 3.3 (c. 185 ce) as a list of names of twelve Roman bishops who had handed down in the apostolic succession the teaching entrusted to them by the apostles Peter and Paul. This construction was used by Irenaeus to legitimize his own position of being in possession of the complete apostolic teaching against the claim of the Valentinian school (Valentinianism) to a secret tradition interpreting and transcending scripture. Examples of the succession of teachings are found in ancient Judaism (cf. m. Ab. 1.1–2.8) and in …

Lyon and Vienne, Martyrs of

(338 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Winrich
[German Version] In his Historia ecclesiastica (V 1), Eusebius of Caesarea includes fragments of a letter written by the churches of Lyon and Vienne in Gaul to the Christians in Asia and Phrygia during the episcopate of Bishop Eleutherus of Rome, with a hagiographically stylized account of a contemporary persecution of Christians. Clearly the Christians were initially detained on the basis of accusations; in conformity with the edict of Emperor Trajan, those who confessed their faith were imprisoned …

Prosper of Aquitaine (Saint)

(294 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Winrich
[German Version] (born in southern France; died after 455), cultured lay theologian and supporter of Augustine. Prosper’s oeuvre includes epigrams, poems, Augustinian florilegia, and a commentary on the Psalms based on Augustine of Hippo. In 428 he wrote to Augustine, challenging him to defend his doctrine of grace. He had been impressed by the criticism of certain monks in Marseille, who maintained that Augustine’s concept of predestination broke with tradition and ignored the value of moral and ascetic efforts…

Church Polity

(28,214 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Winrich | Dingel, Irene | Ohst, Martin | Weitlauff, Manfred | Pirson, Dietrich | Et al.
[German Version] I. Early Church – II. Middle Ages – III. Reformation – IV. Modern Period – V. Present – VI. Practical Theology I. Early Church The church polity projected and in part realized in early Christianity is one of the most significant institutional inventions of Late Antiquity. Since it has survived into the present, with many modifications and variations, it also represents an element of continuity between the ancient world and the modern world. Church polity as used here means all the institutions affecting the external organization of early Ch…

Pelagius/Pelagians/Semi-Pelagians

(2,236 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Winrich | Markschies, Christoph | Holmes, Stephen R.
[German Version] I. Church History Pelagius was an ascetic and theological writer from Britain. Before 410 he taught in Rome, and in 411/412, following the capture of Rome by the Goths, went to Palestine after a short stay in North Africa. His teaching, according to which the possibility of sinlessness was an essential part of human nature, provoked the criticism of Augustine and Jerome. This teaching had its setting in the pastoral care of members of the Roman elite. Pelagius stated that when one re…

Tyconius

(157 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Winrich
[German Version] (late 4th cent.), exegete. A member of the church of the Donatists (Donatism), he was condemned by the church’s head, Parmenianus of Carthage, because he taught that God’s promise of a universal church was not abrogated by the presence of sinners in the church. He made a fruitful contribution to Latin exegesis (V, 1) through his commentary on Revelation (possibly surviving in a frgm. on Rev 6:6–13) and his Liber regularum (surviving incomplete; “the first Christian exegetical textbook” [Alexander]), used intensively by Augustine of Hippo ( Doctr. chr. III 30–37); it…

Adoptionism

(449 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Winrich A.
[German Version] is the conventional term for a Christological conception that denies Christ's preexistence and generation before all time, maintaining instead that God adopted the human Jesus as Son. I. Two theologians from Asia Minor are mentioned as exponents of Adoptionism in early Christianity: Theodotus the Money-Changer (or Banker) and Theodotus (or Theodotus of Byzantium). As heads of schools in Rome in th…

Optatus of Milevis

(282 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Winrich
[German Version] Between 364 and 367, Optatus, an African bishop, wrote a treatise against the schismatic Donatists (Donatism), who had regained their strength as a result of the religious policies of Julian ¶ the Apostate. Initially his work comprised six books with an appended dossier of relevant documents, in response to a work by Parmenianus, the Donatist bishop of Carthage. During the pontificate of Siricius, Optatus added a seventh book. His argument was both historical and theological: in his polemical and apologetic rec…

Docetism

(1,489 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Winrich | van Ess, Josef
[German Version] I. Christianity – II. Islam I. Christianity 1. Early Church Docetism (Gk δοκέω/ dokéō, “to seem”) can be defined as any type of Christology that (a) limits the true humanity of the Son of God Jesus Christ through the assumption of a body of special quality, that (b) teaches the suffering and death of Jesus Christ as merely apparent, or that (c) characterizes the hum…

Domnus of Antioch (II)

(126 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Winrich
[German Version] (5th cent.), bishop of Antioch, spiritual student of Euthymius the Great, ¶ nephew and, after 442, successor of John of Antioch, was accused and deposed at the Council of Ephesus (449) led by Dioscorus of Alexandria (Flemming, 114–151). Domnus, sympathetic with the theology of Theodoret of Cyrrhus, Diodore of Tarsus and Theodore of Mopsuestia, turned …

Domnus of Antioch (I)

(99 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Winrich
[German Version] was appointed bishop of Antioch after his predecessor Paul of Samosata was deposed by two Antiochene synods (264 and 268 ce). His episcopate was probably brief (268–271?). Since Paul was unwilling to step down, Domnus was able to occupy the church building only after Emperor Aurelian, who had been asked for a ruling, decreed that those who were in epistolary contact with the bishops in Rome and Italy were legally entitled to it (Eus. Hist. eccl. VII 30.18–19). Winrich Löhr Bibliography E. Venables, DCB I, 1877, 878 E. Prinzivalli, EEC I, 1992, 246f.

Philoponus, John

(214 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Winrich
[German Version] (died after 575 in Alexandria), important Christian philosopher and exegete in Alexandria. A student of the Neoplatonic philosopher Ammonius Hermeiou, inter aliahe wrote commentaries on the writings of Aristotle and Porphyry of Gaza, and worked in the fields of grammar, mathematics, astronomy, and medicine. In his commentary on Aristotle’s Physica he developed the so-called theory of impetus, according to which, for example, someone throwing a stone transmits power to it directly. Theologically important are his polemics against…

Orange, Synod of

(297 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Winrich
[German Version] On Jul 3, 529, on the occasion of a church dedication, Caesarius of Arles convoked a synod in the southern French city of Orange to consider the controversial doctrine of grace (Grace, Doctrine of) espoused by Augustine of Hippo. Not long before, a synod in Valence, in the diocese of Vienne, then a rival see to Arles, had dealt with the same topic. The Synod of Orange approved a document, presumably edited by Caesarius, comprising 25 canons framed by an introduction and a credal s…

Celestius

(270 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Winrich
[German Version] (died after 431), a disciple of Pelagius, was born into an aristocratic family and became a public advocate. It was in Rome, c. 399, that he met the Syrian priest Rufinus, who denied the existence of original sin (Aug. Pecc. orig. III, 3). Pelagius and Celestius left ¶ Rome c. 410 in the face of the Gothic invasion (Goths). They fled to Carthage, where Celestius was condemned by synodal decree (c. 411/412), inter alia on account of his rejection of the doctrine of original sin. Though Celestius appealed to Rome, his sentence was confirmed …

Priscillian/Priscillianists

(452 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Winrich A.
[German Version] Priscillian was of noble descent. From 370 ce, he led a devotional movement that spread rapidly in Spain and southern Gaul, advocating asceticism (stricter fasting, poverty, celibacy), charisma (Spirit/Holy Spirit), and intensive private study of the Bible and the Apocrypha as the true form of Christianity for clergy and laity. The Priscillianists were soon suspected of Gnostic/Manichaean heresy (Gnosis, Manichaeism), also of superstition and magic. At the Synod of Saragossa (380), sharp criti-¶ cism of Priscillian apparently led to no formal condemnat…

Marius Mercator

(170 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Winrich
[German Version] (died before 450), early Christian writer who engaged in the conflict over the doctrine of grace and the debate over Christology. Around 418 ce in Rome he published works against the Pelagians (Pelagius), who had been condemned by the pope and emperor. In 429, now a monk in a Thracian monastery with ties to Constantinople, he addressed an attack on Pelagius's disciple Celestius to Emperor Theodosius II ( Commonitorium super nomine Caelestii). His theological position was dependent on Augus-¶ tine of Hippo, Jerome, and the party of Cyril of Alexandria. He col…

Francis of Assisi

(718 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Winrich A.
Francis of Assisi (1181/82–1226), baptized Giovanni Bernardone, was the founder of the Franciscan Order. The son of a wealthy cloth merchant, Peter Bernardone, and his French wife, Pica, Francis experienced the kind of wild youth appropriate for a later saint. After participating in a war between his hometown Assisi and Perugia in 1202 and being held captive for a year, and after a lengthy illness, he underwent a conversion (§1) during the years 1204–7, the details of which are difficult to unde…

Sethians

(4,600 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Winrich A.
Modern scholarship has as yet reached no agreement whether or not there existed in Late Antiquity a distinct religious group or sect that took its name from Adam's son Seth (Gen 4:25; 5:3). Whereas some scholars express scepticism (e.g. Wisse), others feel confident in demarcating a body of Sethian literature and in reconstructing the doctrine of a distinct group of Sethians (e.g. Schenke, Turner). They claim that the Sethians were as much a distinct group as the Valentinians [→ Valentinus and V…

Perates

(987 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Winrich A.
The Perates are a gnostic group whose name is first mentioned by → Clement of Alexandria ( Stromateis, VII, 108, 2). Hippolytus identifies two otherwise unknown persons as their founders ( Refutatio, V, 13, 9): Akembes (IV, 2, 1; Kelbes: V, 13, 9; Ademes: X, 10, 1), who is called ho Karystios (Karystos is a town in Euboia), and Euphrates, who is called ho Peratikos (also mentioned by Origen, Contra Celsum VI, 28 as a teacher of the → Ophites). Clement opines that the name Perates is derived from their place of origin. Different suggestions have been discussed: Eub…

Carpocratians

(2,168 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Winrich A.
The Carpocratians belong to the broad spectrum of Christian schools in the 2nd century that teach Christianity as a philosophy. Their founder, the Alexandrian Christian Carpocrates, was married to a lady called Alexandria who came from the island of Kephallenia in the Adriatic sea. They had a son called Epiphanes who received from his father an “encyclopaedic education”, wrote some treatises and died at the age of seventeen. Clement reports that the deceased Epiphanes was given divine honours: a temple and a mouseion were erected in Same on the island of Kephallenia and every…

Basilides

(3,880 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Winrich A.
Basilides,, 2nd century Basilides was a free Christian teacher who presumably lived and taught in Alexandria during the reign of the emperor Hadrian (cf. Jerome, Chronicle, 201, 1f Helm). He had a son who became his disciple, Isidore. The ancient evidence about Basilides and his school can be divided into three groups: 1. the fragments and testimonies preserved by → Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Eusebius of Caesarea and Hegemonius ( Acta Archelai); 2. the report of Irenaeus of Lyon, which influenced the heresiology of Pseudo-Tertullian, Epiphanius of Salamis and F…

Portrait Gallery

(5,136 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Winrich Alfried (Cambridge) | Löhr, Wolf-Dietrich
Löhr, Winrich Alfried (Cambridge) [German version] A. Definition (CT) Portrait gallery (PG) indicates the display of a series of portraits that are related to each other not by their aesthetic value, but by a feature that the persons represented in them have in common. Within such a group, the portrayed persons can generally stand as representatives ( exempla) of a historicity oriented by personal virtue ( virtus) and stimulate the audience towards moral edification or emulation by means of their memory. Similar to an ancestors' gallery, a PG can originate fr…

Satorninus

(193 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Winrich Alfried (Cambridge)
[German version] (Σατορνεῖλος/ Satorneîlos, Σατορνῖνος/ Satornînos, Latin Saturninus). Christian teacher at the time of the emperor Hadrian (first half of the 2nd century AD) in Antioch [1] (Euseb. Hist. eccl. 4,7,3; cf. also Hippolytus, Refutatio omnium haeresium 7,28), who was considered a heretic (Heresy; Gnosis). According to Eirenaeus [2] of Lyon, Adversus haereses 1,24,1-2, his doctrine presented as the supreme principle the unknown Father, creator of the angels. According to S., Man, as the 'ima…

Iulianus

(4,648 words)

Author(s): Giaro, Tomasz (Frankfurt/Main) | Nutton, Vivian (London) | Franke, Thomas (Bochum) | Johnston, Sarah Iles (Princeton) | Montanari, Franco (Pisa) | Et al.
Epithet of many gentilicia [1]. Famous persons: the jurist Salvius I. [1]; the doctor I. [2]; the emperor I. [11], called ‘Apostata’; the bishops I. [16] of Aeclanum and I. [21] of Toledo. [German version] [1] L. Octavius Cornelius P. Salvius I. Aemilianus Roman jurist, 2nd cent. AD Jurist, born about AD 100 in North Africa, died about AD 170; he was a student of  Iavolenus [2] Priscus (Dig. 40,2,5) and the last head of the Sabinian law school (Dig. 1,2,2,53). I., whose succession of offices is preserved in the inscription from Pupput, provi…

Theology

(3,332 words)

Author(s): M.v.P. | Löhr, Winrich Alfried (Cambridge)
(θεολογία/ theología). I. Greek-Roman [German version] A. Concept At first it is the poets who are described by Greek philosophers as 'theologians' ( theológos ); they engage in discourse (lógos) based on myths about the gods ( theoí), their acts and behaviour, their genealogical and dynastic evolution and the causal traits which they give to the world. In this sense Orpheus, Musaeus [1], Homerus [1] or Hesiodus are regarded as 'theologians' (Aristot. Metaph. 2,4,1000a). Yet where the nature of the gods is supposed to be accessible…

Theologie

(2,918 words)

Author(s): M.v.P. | Löhr, Winrich Alfried
(θεολογία). I. Griechisch-römisch [English version] A. Begriff Die griech. Philosophen bezeichnen als “Theologen” ( theológos ) zunächst die Dichter, die eine auf dem Mythos basierende Rede ( lógos) von den Göttern ( theoí) führen, von ihren Handlungen und Verhaltensweisen, ihren genealogischen und dynastischen Entwicklungen, den ursächlichen Prägungen, die sie der Welt geben. In diesem Sinne gelten etwa Orpheus, Musaios [1], Homeros [1] und Hesiodos als “Theologen” (Aristot. metaph. 2,4,1000a). Insofern die Beschaffenheit der…

Satorneilos

(157 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Winrich Alfried
[English version] (Σατορνεῖλος, Σατορνῖνος, lat. Saturninus). Christl. Lehrer z.Z. Kaiser Hadrians (1. H. 2. Jh. n. Chr.) in Antiocheia [1] (Eus. HE 4,7,3; vgl. auch Hippolytos, Refutatio omnium haeresium 7,28), galt als Häretiker (Häresie; Gnosis). Er lehrte laut Eirenaios [2] von Lyon, Adversus haereses 1,24,1-2, als oberstes Prinzip den unbekannten Vater als Schöpfer der Engel. Der Mensch als “Gleichnis” des transzendenten “Bildes” der oberen Macht war nach S. urspr. lebensunfähige Kreatur der sie…

Iulianus/-os

(4,346 words)

Author(s): Giaro, Tomasz (Frankfurt/Main) | Nutton, Vivian (London) | Franke, Thomas (Bochum) | Johnston, Sarah Iles (Princeton) | Montanari, Franco (Pisa) | Et al.
Beinamen bei vielen Gentilicia [1]. Bekannte Personen: der Jurist Salvius I. [1], der Arzt I. [2], der Kaiser I. [11], gen. “Apostata”, die Bischöfe I. [16] von Aeclanum und I. [21] von Toledo. [English version] [1] L. Octavius Cornelius P. Salvius I. Aemilianus röm. Jurist, 2. Jh. Jurist, geb. um 100 n.Chr. in Nordafrika, gest. um 170 n.Chr., war ein Schüler des Iavolenus [2] Priscus (Dig. 40,2,5) und der letzte Vorsteher der sabinianischen Rechtsschule (Dig. 1,2,2,53). I., dessen Ämterfolge die Inschr. aus Pupput/Prov. Africa (CIL VIII 24…

Orange, Synode von 529

(269 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Winrich
[English Version] . Am 3.7.529 versammelte Caesarius von Arles anläßlich einer Kirchweihe eine Synode in Orange (Südfrankreich), die sich mit der kontroversen GnadenlehreAugustins beschäftigte. Kurz zuvor hatte sich eine Synode in Valence in der Diözese des mit Arles rivalisierenden Bischofssitzes Vienne mit dem gleichen Thema befaßt. Die Synode von O. verabschiedete ein vermutlich von Caesarius redigiertes Dokument, bestehend aus 25 durch Einleitung und Glaubensdefinition gerahmten Kanones: cc.1–…

Priscillianus/Priscillianisten

(428 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Winrich
[English Version] . Priscillianus (P.), von vornehmer Herkunft, führte nach 370 eine sich rasch in Spanien und Südgallien ausbreitende Frömmigkeitsbewegung an, die Askese (verschärftes Fasten, Armut, Ehelosigkeit), Geistbesitz (Geist/Heiliger Geist) sowie ein intensives privates Studium von Bibel und Apokr. als wahres Christentum für Klerus und Laien propagierte. Die Priscillianisten wurden bald gnost./manichäischer Häresie (Gnosis; Manichäismus) sowie des Aberglaubens und der Magie verdächtigt. A…

Pelagius/Pelagianer/Semipelagianer

(2,025 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Winrich | Markschies, Christoph | Holmes, Stephen R.
[English Version] I. Kirchengeschichtlich Pelagius (P.) war ein aus Britannien stammender Asket und theol. Autor, der vor 410 in Rom lehrte und sich 411/12 anläßlich der Einnahme Roms durch die Goten nach kurzem Aufenthalt in Nordafrika nach Palästina begab. Seine Lehre, nach der die Möglichkeit zur Sündlosigkeit unverfügbar zum Wesen des Menschen gehört, provozierte die Kritik von Augustin und Hieronymus. Kontext dieser Lehre ist die Seelsorge an Angehörigen der röm. Elite: Wenn man den Klienten i…

Tyconius

(142 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Winrich
[English Version] (gegen Ende des 4.Jh.), Exeget, wurde als Mitglied der Kirche der Donatisten (Donatismus) von deren Oberhaupt Parmenianus von Karthago u.a. deshalb verdammt, weil er lehrte, daß die göttliche Verheißung einer universalen Kirche durch Sünder in der Kirche nicht aufgehoben werde. Er befruchtete die lat. Exegese (: V.,1.) durch einen Apokalypsekomm. (Frgm. zu Apk 6,6–13 erhalten [?]) und durch den intensiv von Augustin rezipierten (doctr.chr. III 30–37) Liber Regularum (unvollständi…

Optatus

(267 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Winrich
[English Version] von Mileve. O. schrieb als afrikanischer Bischof zw. 364 und 367 einen Traktat gegen die schismatischen Donatisten (Donatismus), die infolge der Religionspolitik des Kaisers Julian Apostata wieder erstarkt waren. Dieses Werk umfaßte zunächst sechs Bücher samt einem angehängten Dossier von einschlägigen Dokumenten und war gegen eine Schrift des donatistischen Bf. Parmenianus von Karthago gerichtet. Z.Z. des Papstes Siricius wurde es um ein siebtes Buch erweitert. O. argumentiert so…
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