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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…

Nilus

(410 words)

Author(s): Markschies, Christoph (Berlin) | Albiani, Maria Grazia (Bologna)
(Νεῖλος/ Neîlos, Latin Nilus). [German version] [1] N. of Ancyra Author of monastic letters and stories, c. 400 A number of monastic letters, stories, apophthegmata, treatises and fragments are attributed to a N. of Ancyra or an ascetic N. in MSS. The question of authorship is hardly fully resolved in any of the texts. If the autobiographical data in the Dihēgḗmata [1. 6044] are not held to be authentic (but so in [4]), little more is known of N. than that he lived in Galatia at the turn of the 4th and 5th cents. AD  (but cf. the critique of this in [7. …

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…

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…

Episkopos, Episkopoi

(1,802 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham) | Markschies, Christoph (Berlin)
[German version] [1] Greek official The lexical meaning of epískopos equates to ‘supervisor’. In the Greek world, episkopos habitually referred to an official, similar to   epimelētaí and   epistátai , but used less frequently. The Delian League sent epískopoi, who were Athenian officials, into allied cities, e.g. in order to set up a democratic constitution (Erythrae: ML 40; cf. Aristoph. Av. 1021-1034). Rhodian officials also included episkopoi (Syll.3 619), Massilia appointed an episkopos for its colony of Nicaea (ILS 6761), and Mithridates VI sent one to Ephesus …

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…
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