The Mission and Expansion of Christianity in the First Three Centuries

by Adolph (von) Harnack
translated and edited by James Moffatt
Second, enlarged and revised English edition;
London: Williams and Norgate / New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1908 (from the 2nd German edition)..
Theological Translation Library, volumes 19-20

From the German, Die Mission und Ausbreitung des Christentums in den ersten drei Jahrhunderten (1902, revised 1906, 1915, and finally 1924)

[[Book 4, Chapter 3, section 3, parts 1-7 (scanned and proofed, Elana Newberger 3/2004), edited RAK 4/2004; checked by Francisco Lameiro 2/2005 (parts 2-7); some ETs still needed, and one Greek passage (Egyptian Church Order), names and British spellings; see further the updated version, which incorporates material from the 1924 final German edition]]

[[97 = 77]]


The first stages in the diffusion of the gospel throughout Palestine (Syria-Palestina) are described, though merely in salient outline, by the Acts of the Apostles, whose narrative I presuppose as quite familiar to my readers. From the outset it was Jerusalem (not the towns of Galilee, as one might imagine) that formed the centre of Christendom in Palestine. It was in Jerusalem that James, the Lord's brother,\2/ took over the government of the church, after the twelve disciples had finally realized that their vocation meant the mission-enterprise of Christianity (probably twelve years after the resurrection, as one early tradition in the Preaching of Peter has it, and not immediately after the resurrection). The choice of James was determined by his relationship to Jesus. He, in turn, was succeeded (60/61 or 61/62) by another relative of Jesus, namely, his cousin Simeon, the son of Cleopas, who was martyred under Trajan at the great age of 120. Thereafter, according to an early tradition,\3/ thirteen Jewish-Christian bishops covered the period between (the tenth year of?) Trajan and the eighteenth year of Hadrian. This statement cannot be correct, and the likelihood is that relatives of Jesus\4/ or presbyters are included in the list.\5/ All these bishops were circumcised persons, which proves that the church was Jewish Christian — as indeed is attested directly for the apostolic age by Paul's epistles and the book of Acts (21.20). It cannot, however, have adhered to the extreme claims of the Jewish Christians; that is, if any basis of fact, however late, underlies the decision of Acts 25.28 f.  At the first investment of Jerusalem the Christians forsook the city (Eus. H.E. 3.5, and Epiph. Hœr. 29.7, [[98]] de Mens et Pond. 15,after Hegesippus or Julius Africanus), and emigrated to Pella;\6/ it was only a small number who eventually returned after the city had once more risen from its ruins.\7/ In any case, the local church was small. We have no means of ascertaining its previous size, but the exodus of 68 CE precludes any large estimate.\8/ All we know is that it comprised priests (Acts 6.7), Pharisees (15.5), and Greek-speaking Jews from the Diaspora (6.5), and that it was not rich.\9/ It disappeared completely, after Hadrian, on the conclusion of the war with Barcochba, had forbidden any circumcised person to so much as set foot within the city.

\1/ Cp. Map 3. See Schürer's Gesch. d. jüd. Volkes, 1 (\3/) (1900), 2(\3/) (1898); Mommsen's Röm. Geschichte, 5, pp.487 f. [ Eng. trans., vol. 2, pp. 151 f.]; Marquardt's Röm. Staatsverwaltung, 1, pp.247 f.; and the map in Klostermann's edition of the Onomasticon of Eusebius (1904).

\2/ His episcopal chair was still shown in the days of Eusebius ( H.E. 7.19).

\3/ Details in my Chronologie, 1, pp.129 f., 218 f.

\4/ Zahn's (Forschungen 6.300) idea is that the number includes the names of contemporary bishops throughout Palestine.

\5/ Cp. Knopf, Nachapost. Zeitalter, pp. 25 f.

\6/ At the outbreak of the Jewish war Pella , like some other Hellenistic and pagan towns, was surprised by the Jewish revolutionaries, but it can hardly have been in the hands of the rebels when the Christians took shelter there. They sought refuge in a pagan town. This is all we can say with any show of probability. According to Renan (Antéchrist, p. 237), "no wiser choice could have been made." Scythopolis and Pella were the nearest neutral cities to Jerusalem . "But Pella , by its position across the Jordan , must have offered much greater quiet than Scythopolis, which had become one of the Roman strongholds. Besides, Pella was a free city, though apparently it had allied itself to Agrippa II. To take refuge here was to express open horror at the revolution."

\7/ This is clearly brought out by Epiph. Hœr. 39.7; also de Mens. et Pond. 14 f. {line 400}, where we learn that there were only seven poor synagogues and one little church in Jerusalem when Hadrian visited the city prior to the revolt of Barcochba. The church was on Mount Zion , and the congregation is said to have been composed of those who had returned from Pella (Μετὰ δὲ τὴν ἐρήμωσιν ῾Ιερουσαλὴμ ἐπαναστρέψαντες, ὡς ἔφην, εἰς τὰ ῾Ιεροσόλυμα σημεῖα μεγάλα, ὡς προεῖπον, ἐπετέλουν = "After the devastation of Jerusalem when they returned, as I said, into Jerusalem, they performed great signs, as I reported earlier"). Eusebius (Demonstr. 3.5.108 [124d]), on the other hand, relates: καὶ ἡ ἱστορία δὲ κατέχει ὡς καὶ μεγίστη τις ἦν ἐκκλησία Χριστοῦ ἐν τοῖς ῾Ιεροσολύμοις ἀπὸ ᾿Ιουδαίων συγκροτου μένη μέχρι τῶν χρόνων τῆς κατ’ ᾿Αδριανὸν πολιορκίας  {"And the record shows that there was also an impressive church of Christ in Jerusalem; which was composed of Jews/Judeans, down to the times of the siege of the city under Hadrian"} (cp. Theophania 5.45).

\8/ Eusebius and Epiphanius (or their authorities) explicitly assert that all the Christians of Jerusalem withdrew to Pella . The statements of Acts (2.41, 47; 4.4; 6.7) upon the increase and size of the church at Jerusalem are unreliable. The "myriads" of Christians mentioned in 21.20 are not simply Jerusalemites, but also foreigners who had arrived for the feast. But even so, the number is exaggerated.

\9/ Cp. the collection for Jerusalem , which Paul promoted so assiduously. Gal. 2.10 is a passage which will always serve as a strong proof that the name "Ebionite" is not derived from a certain "Ebion," but was given to Jewish Christians on account of their poverty. (As against Hilgenfeld, and Dalman: Worte Jesu, 1898, p. 42; Eng. trans., pp. 52, 53).

The new pagan city of Ælia Capitolina, founded on the site of Jerusalem, never rose to any great importance.\10/ Gentile [[99]] Christians, however, at once settled there, and the date at which the first Gentile Christian bishop (Marcus) entered on his duties is fixed by Eusebius, on reliable tradition, as the nineteenth year of Hadrian's reign, or one year after the war had ended. But before we put together the known facts regarding the church at Jerusalem , we must survey the spread of Jewish Christianity throughout Palestine .

\10/ Cp. Mommsen's Röm. Geschichte 5, p. 546 [ Eng. trans., 2.225]: "The new city of Hadrian continued to exist, but it did not prosper."

"Churches in Judæa" (where there were numerous villages, Tac., Hist. 5.8) are mentioned by Paul in Gal. 1.22 (cf. Acts 11.29), and in 1 Thess. 2.14 he writes: ὑμεῖς γὰρ μιμηταὶ ἐγενήθητε, ἀδελφοί, τῶν ἐκκλησιῶν τοῦ θεοῦ τῶν οὐσῶν ἐν τῇ ᾿Ιουδαίᾳ ἐν Χριστῷ ᾿Ιησοῦ, ὅτι τὰ αὐτὰ ἐπάθετε καὶ ὑμεῖς ὑπὸ τῶν ἰδίων συμφυλετῶν καθὼς καὶ αὐτοὶ ὑπὸτῶν ᾿Ιουδαίων ....{ = "For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus which are in Judea; for you suffered the same things from your own countrymen as they did from the Jews....)   In Acts we hear of churches on the seaboard, in Galilee and in Samaria. The larger number of these were Hellenized\11/ during the following century and passed over into the main body of Christendom.\12/ When we [[100]] ask what became of the Jewish Christians who could not agree to this transition,\13/ we are obliged to cast back for a moment to the removal of the Christian community from Jerusalem .

\11/ The Hellenizing forces were already in operation; in the independent Greek cities of Palestine and the neighbourhood lying over against the Jewish districts, the large municipal communities and even their rural surroundings were under Hellenistic influence. All that is known of their size, composition, and history will be found in Schürer 2, pp. 72-175 (Eng. trans., div. 2, vol. 1, pp. 57 f.).The following are the 33 (29?) towns:—Raphia, Gaza , Anthedon, Ascalon, Azotus, Jamnia, Joppa, Apollonia, Straton's Tower (Cæsarea), Dora, and Ptolemais in the maritime districts; also the cities of the so-called Decapolis , i.e., Damascus , Hippus, Gadara , Abila, Raphana, Kanata (?), Kanatha (=Kanawat), Scythopolis, Pella (=Butis), Dium, Gerasa, and Philadelphia ( Arabia ). Further, Sebaste ( Samaria ), built by Herod, Gaba (on Carmel ), Esbon (=Heshbon), Antipatris, Phasælis, Cæsarea Paneas, Julias (= Bethsaida ), Sepphoris (the leading city of Galilee , afterwards called Diocæsarea), Julias (=Livias), and Tiberias (rivalling Sepphoris in size and position; its population predominantly Jewish, despite its Greek constitution). In the case of some (e.g., Antipatris, Phasælis, and Julias), it is doubtful whether they had a Greek constitution and independent position. In the post-Neronic age some other towns acquired the rank of independent communes; e.g., Neapolis (Sichem), Capitolias in the Decapolis , Diospolis (Lydda), Eleutheropolis, and Nicopolis (Emmaus), besides Ælia. Greeks also resided in other cities, e.g., in Jericho .

\12/ Till then the brothers and relatives of Jesus (who took part in the Christian mission; cp. 1 Cor. 9.5) played a leading rôle also in these Christian communities outside Jerusalem ; as may be inferred even from the epistle of Africanus to Aristides (Eus., H.E. 1.7.14), where we are told how the relatives of Jesus from Nazareth and Kochaba scattered over the country, and how they bore the title of "desposunoi"   ὀλίγοι δὴ τῶν ἐπιμελῶν ἰδιωτικὰς ἑαυτοῖς ἀπογραφὰς ἢ μνημονεύσαντες τῶν ὀνομάτων ἢ ἄλλως ἔχοντες ἐξ ἀντιγράφων, ἐναβρύνονται σῳζομένῃ τῇ μνήμῃ τῆς εὐγενείας· ὧν ἐτύγχανον οἱ προειρημένοι, δεσπόσυνοι καλούμενοι διὰ τὴν πρὸς τὸ σωτήριον γένος συνάφειαν ἀπό τε Ναζάρων καὶ Κωχαβα κωμῶν ᾿Ιουδαϊκῶν τῇ λοιπῇ γῇ ἐπιφοιτήσαντες καὶ τὴν προκειμένην γενεαλογίαν ἔκ τε τῆς Βίβλου τῶν ἡμερῶν, ἐς ὅσον ἐξικνοῦντο, ἐξηγησάμενοι. The tradition of Hegesippus is quite clear. He begins by recounting that "Those who were related to the Lord in the flesh" met after the death of James to elect his successor "for the greater number of them were still alive" (Eus., H.E. 3.11: Μετὰ τὴν ᾿Ιακώβου μαρτυρίαν καὶ τὴν αὐτίκα γενομένην ἅλωσιν τῆς ῾Ιερουσαλὴμ λόγος κατέχει τῶν ἀποστόλων καὶ τῶν τοῦ κυρίου μαθητῶν τοὺς εἰς ἔτι τῷ βίῳ λειπομένους ἐπὶ ταὐτὸν πανταχόθεν συνελθεῖν ἅμα τοῖς πρὸς γένους κατὰ σάρκα τοῦ κυρίου -- πλείους γὰρ καὶ τούτων περιῆσαν εἰς ἔτι τότε τῷ βίῳ). Then he tells of two grandsons of Jude, the brother of Jesus, who were brought before Domitian (3.19, 20). Finally, he states that, after being released by Domitian, they "ruled over the churches, inasmuch as they were both witnesses and also relations of the Lord" (3.20.6: τοὺς δὲ ἀπολυθέντας ἡγήσασθαι τῶν ἐκκλησιῶν, ὡς ἂν δὴ μάρτυρας ὁμοῦ καὶ ἀπὸ γένους ὄντας τοῦ κυρίου); cp. also 3.32.6: ἔρχονται οὖν καὶ προηγοῦνται πάσης ἐκκλησίας ὡς μάρτυρες καὶ ἀπὸ γένους τοῦ κυρίου (" So they come and assume the leadership in every church as witnesses and relatives of the Lord "). This statement about ruling is vague, but it is hardly possible to take προηγοῦνται merely as denoting a general position of honour. Probably they too had the rank of "apostles" in the Christian churches; in 1 Cor. 9.5, at any rate, Paul groups them with the latter as missionaries.

\13/ A priori, it is likely that there were also Jewish Christians who spoke Greek (and Greek alone). And this follows from the fact that a Greek version of the gospel according to the Hebrews existed during the second century. Outside Palestine and the neighbouring provinces (including Egypt), Jewish Christians who held aloof from the main body of the church were, in all likelihood, so few during the second century that we need take no account of them in this connection. Jerome (Ep. ad Aug. 112, c. 13) does assert that Nazarenes were to be found in every Jewish synagogue throughout the East. “What am I to say about the Ebionites who allege themselves to be Christians? To this day the sect exists in all the synagogues of the Jews, under the title of ‘the Minim’; the Pharisees still curse it, and the people dub its adherents ‘Nazarenes,’” etc. (“Quid dicam de Hebionitis, qui Christianos esse se simulant? usque hodie per totas orientis synagogas inter Judaeos heresis est, quae dicitur Minaeorum et a Pharisaeis nunc usque damnatur, quos vulgo Nazaraeos nuncupant”). But this statement is to be accepted with great caution, and it must be qualified. Jewish Christianity also got to the length of India (= South Arabia or perhaps the Axumite kingdom, Eus., H.E. 10.3; Socrat., 1.19; Philostorgius, 2.6), as well as Rome . But the circles which it formed there were quite insignificant.

Eusebius writes as follows (H.E. 3.5.3): τοῦ λαοῦ τῆς ἐν ῾Ιεροσολύμοις ἐκκλησίας κατά τινα χρησμὸν τοῖς αὐτόθι δοκίμοις δι’ ἀποκαλύψεως ἐκδοθέντα πρὸ τοῦ πολέμου μεταναστῆναι τῆς πόλεως καί τινα τῆς Περαίας πόλιν οἰκεῖν κεκελευσμένου, Πέλλαν αὐτὴν ὀνομάζουσιν, τῶν εἰς Χριστὸν πεπιστευκότων ἀπὸ τῆς ῾Ιερουσαλὴμ μετῳκισμένων ... ("The people belonging to the church at Jerusalem had been ordered by an oracle revealed to approved men on the spot before the war broke out, to leave the city and dwell in a town of Perœa called Pella. Then after those who believed in Christ had withdrawn thither," etc.). Epiphanius writes thus (Hœr. 29.7 [vol. 1, p. 330, lines 4ff]):
ἔστιν δὲ αὕτη ἡ αἵρεσις ἡ Ναζωραίων ἐν τῇ Βεροιαίων περὶ τὴν Κοίλην Συρίαν καὶ ἐν τῇ Δεκαπόλει περὶ τὰ τῆς Πέλλης μέρη καὶ ἐν τῇ Βασανίτιδι ἐν τῇ λεγομένῃ Κωκάβῃ, Χωχάβῃ δὲ ῾Εβραϊστὶ λεγομένῃ. ἐκεῖθεν γὰρ ἡ ἀρχὴ γέγονε, μετὰ τὴν ἀπὸ τῶν ῾Ιεροσολύμων μετάστασιν πάντων τῶν μαθητῶν ἐν Πέλλῃ ᾠκηκότων, Χριστοῦ φήσαντος καταλεῖψαι τὰ ῾Ιεροσόλυμα καὶ ἀναχωρῆσαι δι’ ἣν ἤμελλε πάσχειν πολιορκίαν. καὶ ἐκ τῆς τοιαύτης ὑποθέσεως τὴν Περαίαν οἰκήσαντες ἐκεῖσε, ὡς ἔφην, διέτριβον.
("Now this sect of the Nazarenes exists in Berœa in Cœle-Syria, and in Decapolis in the district of Pella, and in Kochaba of Basanitis — called Khoraba in Hebrew. For thence it originated after the migration from Jerusalem of all the disciples who resided at Pella, Christ having instructed them to leave Jerusalem and retire from it on account of the impending siege. It was owing to this counsel that they went away, as I have said, to reside for a while at Pella").
Also Hœr. 18.1 (vol 1, p. 215, lines 14ff):
τοὺς ῾Ημεροβαπτιστὰς καλουμένην τῶν Νασαραίων, οἵτινες ᾿Ιουδαῖοί εἰσι τὸ γένος, ἀπὸ τῆς Γαλααδίτιδος καὶ Βασανίτιδος καὶ τῶν ἐπέκεινα τοῦ ᾿Ιορδάνου ὁρμώμενοι
("the so-called Hemerobaptists of the Nasarenes, who are Jewish by race, came forth from Galaaditis and Basanitis and other places beyond the Jordan"; so that they were a pre-Christian sect!); and Hœr. 30.2 (vol 1 page 335 lines 6ff):

ἐπειδὴ γὰρ πάντες οἱ εἰς Χριστὸν πεπιστευκότες τὴν Περαίαν
κατ’ ἐκεῖνο καιροῦ κατῴκησαν τὸ πλεῖστον, ἐν Πέλλῃ τινὶ πόλει καλουμένῃ τῆς Δεκαπόλεως τῆς ἐν τῷ εὐαγγελίῳ γεγραμμένης πλησίον τῆς Βαταναίας καὶ Βασανίτιδος χώρας, τὸ τηνικαῦτα ἐκεῖ μεταναστάντων καὶ ἐκεῖσε διατριβόντων αὐτῶν, γέγονεν ἐκ τούτου πρόφασις τῷ ᾿Εβίωνι. καὶ ἄρχεται μὲν τὴν κατοίκησιν ἔχειν ἐν Κωκάβῃ τινὶ κώμῃ ἐπὶ τὰ μέρη τῆς Καρναὶμ τῆς καὶ ᾿Ασταρὼς ἐν τῇ Βασανίτιδι χώρᾳ, ὡς ἡ ἐλθοῦσα εἰς ἡμᾶς γνῶσις περιέχει [meaning that the Nazarenes also were to be looked for there]. ἔνθεν ἄρχεται τῆς κακῆς αὐτοῦ διδασκαλίας, ὅθεν δῆθεν καὶ οἱ Ναζωραῖοι, οἳ ἄνω μοι προδεδήλωνται. συναφθεὶς γὰρ οὗτος ἐκείνοις καὶ ἐκεῖνοι τούτῳ, ἑκάτερος ἀπὸ τῆς ἑαυτοῦ μοχθηρίας τῷ ἑτέρῳ μετέδωκε. καὶ διαφέρονται μὲν ἕτερος πρὸς τὸν ἕτερον κατά τι, ἐν δὲ τῇ κακονοίᾳ ἀλλήλους ἀπεμάξαντο. ἤδη δέ μοι καὶ ἐν ἄλλοις λόγοις καὶ κατὰ τὰς ἄλλας αἱρέσεις περὶ τῆς τοποθεσίας Κωκάβων καὶ τῆς ᾿Αραβίας διὰ πλάτους εἴρηται
(“For when all who believed in Christ had settled down about that time in Peræa, the majority of the emigrants taking up their abode at Pella, a town belonging to the Decapolis mentioned in the gospel, near Batanea and the district of Basanitis, ... Ebion got his excuse and opportunity. At first their abode was at Kochaba, a village in the district of Carnaim, Arnem, and Astaroth, in the region of Basanitis, according to the information which we have received. ... But I have spoken, in other connections and with regard to other heresies, of the [[102]] locality of Kochaba and Arabia ").
Also Epiph., de Mens. et Pond. 15 (lines 395ff):
῾Ηνίκα γὰρ ἔμελλεν ἡ πόλις ἁλίσκεσθαι ὑπὸ τῶν ῾Ρωμαίων καὶ
ἐρημοῦσθαι προεχρηματίσθησαν ὑπὸ ἀγγέλου τοῦ Θεοῦ πάντες οἱ μαθηταὶ μεταστῆναι ἀπὸ τῆς πόλεως, μελλούσης ἄρδην ἀπόλλυσθαι. Οἵτινες μετανάσται γενόμενοι ᾤκησαν ἐν Πέλλῃ τῇ προγεγραμμένῃ πόλει, πέραν τοῦ ᾿Ιορδάνου· ἡ δὲ πόλις ἐκ Δεκαπόλεως λέγεται εἶναι
("For when the city was about to be captured and sacked by the Romans, all the disciples were warned beforehand by an angel to remove from the city, doomed as it was to utter destruction. On migrating from it they settled at Pella , the town already indicated, across the Jordan . It is said to belong to Decapolis. ").
Cp. lastly Epiph., Hœr. 30.18 (vol. 1, p. 357, lines 12ff): [The Ebionites] “spring for the most part from Batanea\14/ [so apparently we must read, and not NabateaV] and Paneas, as well as from Moabitis and Kochaba in Basanitis on the other side of Adraa"
(Οὗτος μὲν οὖν ὁ ᾿Εβίων καὶ αὐτὸς ἐν τῇ ᾿Ασίᾳ ἔσχεν τὸ κήρυγμα καὶ ῾Ρώμῃ, τὰς δὲ ῥίζας τῶν ἀκανθωδῶν παραφυάδων ἔχουσιν ἀπό τε τῆς Ναβαταίας καὶ Πανεάδος τὸ πλεῖστον, Μωαβίτιδός τε καὶ Κωκάβων ἐν τῇ Βασανίτιδι γῇ ἐπέκεινα ᾿Αδραῶν, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐν τῇ Κύπρῳ).

\14/ The Christian inscriptions found in Batanea include some from the pre-Constantine period; cp. Le Bas, No. 2145.

These passages and their sources (or source), together with the whole geographical and political situation, afford a wide field for discussion and a still wider for conjecture.\15/ The above-mentioned Kochaba is hardly to be identified with the Kochaba of Julius Africanus.\16/ But their importance for our present purpose lies in the fact that they attest the scattering of most of the Jewish Christians resident in Palestine, west of [[103]] the Jordan as well as at Jerusalem, in connection with and in consequence of the great war, and also their establishment, especially at Pella\17/ in Perea (or Decapolis), at Kochaba in Basanitis,\18/ and in Berea and its surroundings (Cœle-Syria).\19/ Epiphanius, it is true, adds Batanea, Paneas, and Moabitis, but we cannot be sure that the dispersed Jewish Christians reached these districts at the same early period.\20/ Flying from [[104]] hatred and persecution at the hands of the Palestinian Jews, they rightly supposed that they would fare, not comfortably indeed, but at least better in the Greek towns of the East and in the country. This migration, which had been carried out once before in the dispersion of the Jerusalem church after the outburst against Stephen, was repeated in a later age, when a number of Christian heretics during the fourth and fifth centuries fled from the state church into the eastern districts across the Jordan. All these movements of flight presuppose a group of people comparatively small in numbers, with little to lose in the shape of property. They lead us to form a moderate estimate of the numbers of these "Ebionites."\21/ The latter, broken up more than once and subsequently exposed in part to foreign influences, survived in these districts along the Jordan and the Dead Sea as late as the fourth century, and even later. Persecuted by the Jews, treated by the Gentile Christians as semi-Jews (and Jews indeed they were, by nationality and language [Aramaic]), they probably dragged out a wretched existence. The Gentile Christian bishops (even those of Palestine ) and teachers rarely noticed them. It is remarkable how little Eusebius, for example, knows about them, while even Justin and Jerome after him evince but a slender acquaintance with their ways of life. Origen and Epiphanius knew most about them. The former gives an account of their numbers, which is more important than the statement of Justin in his Apology (1.53.3: πλείονάς τε καὶ ἀληθεστέρους τοὺς ἐξ ἐθνῶν τῶν ἀπὸ ᾿Ιουδαίων καὶ Σαμαρέων Χριστιανοὺς εἰδότες; see above, p. 4). He remarks (Tom. 1.1 in Joh., ed. Brooke, 1.pp. 2 f.), in connec­tion with the 144,000 sealed saints of the Apocalypse, that this could not mean Jews by birth or Jewish Christians, since one might quite well hazard the conjecture that there was not that number of Jewish Christians in existence. Now this remark furnishes us with a rough idea of the number of Jewish [[105]] Christians during the first half of the third century. Origen knew the districts where Jewish Christians chiefly resided, as is proved by his travels from Cæsarea to Bostra. He also knew the extent of the Jewish Christian synagogues in Alexandria and Lower Egypt. And these were their headquarters. Besides, we can appeal to yet another estimate of their numbers in this connection. Justin, himself a Samaritan by birth, observes in his Apology ( 1. 26) that "almost all the Samaritans, with only a few foreigners, hail Simon Magus as their chief god." A hundred years later, Origen writes thus (c. Cels. 1.57 ): "At present the number of Simon's disciples all over the world does not amount, in my opinion, to thirty. Perhaps that is even putting it too high. There are extremely few in Palestine , and in the other parts of the world, where he would fain have exalted his name, they are totally unknown."\22/

\15/ For examples of these, see Zahn's Forschungen 6, p. 270, and Renan's Les Evangiles, pp. 39 f.

\16/ There is a Kôkab el Hawâ S.E. of Tabor (cp. Baedeker's Palestine (\5), p. 252), but Kâkab is still less distant (only 3 hours north) from Nazareth ; it is natural, therefore, to take this as the village mentioned by Africanus (in Eus., H.E. 1.7) along with Nazareth . We can hardly think of the Kokaba of Epiphanius, which lay east of the JordanF, as Africanus mentions Nazareth and the other village in the same breath as the home of the relatives of Jesus, who were Galileans. It must therefore be regarded as accidental that the home of the relatives of Jesus and also a place east of the Jordan, where many Christians afterwards resided, were called by almost the same name. — Note, as a curious detail, that Conon, whose martyrdom is put by legend under Decius, and who lived and died as a gardener at Magydus in Pamphilia, declared at his trial that he came from Nazareth and was a relative of Jesus (cp. von Gebhardt's Acta Mart. Selecta, p. 130).

\17/ From Pella came the Aristo who composed, in the first half of the second century, the dialogue between the Hebrew Christian Jason and the Alexandrian Jew Papiscus. Only a few fragments of it are extant, unfortunately. Perhaps Aristo himself was a Jew by birth who had gone over to Gentile Christianity. This dialogue ends with the triumph of Jason.

\18/ Kochaba (or Kochabe, a favourite place-name) is not the Kôkab situated about twenty kilometres [12½  miles] S.W. of Damascus (cp. Baedeker, pp. 295,348, and the map), where Paul's conversion was located during the Middle Ages, for this spot disagrees with the detailed statements of Epiphanius, and, besides, Eusebius writes as follows in his Onomasticon (p.172 line 2):  Χωβά ἥ ἐστιν ἐν ἀριστερᾷ Δαμασκοῦ. ἔστιν δὲ καὶ Χωβὰ κώμη ἐν τοῖς αὐτοῖς μέρεσιν, ἐν ᾗ εἰσιν ῾Εβραίων οἱ εἰς Χριστὸν πιστεύσαντες, ᾿Εβιωναῖοι καλούμενοι ("Khoba, which is on the left of Damascus. There is also a village of Khoba in the same district where Hebrews are to be found, who believe in Christ; their name is Ebionites." So Jerome). This Khoba, as Fürrer kindly informs me, is the modern Kâbun, north of Damascus. With this all the statements of Epiphanius agree (see further, Hœr. 40.1: 3 [vol. 2, p. 81, lines 15ff, on the "Archontics"]: καὶ ἀπελθὼν κατῴκησεν ἐν τῇ ᾿Αραβίᾳ ἐν Κωκάβῃ, ἔνθα αἱ τῶν ᾿Εβιωναίων τε καὶ Ναζωραίων ῥίζαι ἐνήρξαντο = ... in Arabia at Kochaba, where the origins of the Ebionites and Nazarenes lay). The locality, however, has not been rediscovered. Its site awaits future research, very possibly westward of Adraa (Der'at; cp. Baedeker, p. 186) and in the vicinity of Tell-el-Asch'ari, which lies not far N.N.W. from Der'at, and may be identified with Karnaim-Astaroth (Baedeker, p. 183). Basanitis, or Batanæa, belonged to Arabia in the days of Epiphanius. Zahn (Forsch. 1, .pp. 330 f.) is inclined to look for Kochaba much farther south; but in order to make such a site probable, he has to cast doubts upon the precise language of Epiphanius. For this there is no obvious reason, especially as Epiphanius (Hœr. 30.2) observes that elsewhere he has given an explicit topographical account of Kochaba. Fürrer kindly informs me that "Kochaba, or Chorabe in Hebrew, may be identified with Kharaba about 8 kilometres N.W. of Bostra. Kharaba, indeed, lies pretty far from Astaroth (Tel Astura) and Karnaim (Dschurên in Ledscha), E. and S. of these places. The name favours the identification. The form Kochaba has disappeared in the course of time." Cp. Renan, 43 f.

\19/ It is doubtful if this migration took place at so early a period. It may have occurred later. Jerome found Jewish Christians in Berœa (de Vir. Ill . 3).

\20/ Moabitis owes its mention perhaps to the impression produced by the fact that the Elkesaites (Sampsæans) were mainly to be found there; cp. Hœr. 53.1 (vol. 2, p. 314, lines 24ff): Σαμψαίων τινῶν ἐν τῇ Περαίᾳ, περὶ ὧν ἤδη ἐν ταῖς ἄλλαις αἱρέσεσιν ἐπεμνήσθημεν, τῶν δὴ καὶ ᾿Ελκεσαίων καλουμένων, αἵρεσίς τις ὑπάρχει ἐν τῇ Περαίᾳ οὕτω καλουμένῃ χώρᾳ πέραν τῆς ἁλυκῆς ἤτοι νεκρᾶς καλουμένης θαλάσσης, ἔν <τε> τῇ Μωαβίτιδι χώρᾳ περὶ τὸν χειμάρρουν ᾿Αρνὼν καὶ ἐπέκεινα ἐν τῇ ᾿Ιτουραίᾳ καὶ Ναβατίτιδι, ὡς καὶ ἤδη μοι πολλάκις περὶ τούτων δεδήλωται
("Certain Sampsæans in Peræa ... beyond the Dead Sea in Moabitis, in the vicinity of the Arnon torrent and across the borders in Ituræa [[105b]] and Nabatitis ..."). Whether the sect of the "Peratæ," first mentioned by Clem. Alex. (Strom. 7.17.108) has anything to do with Peræa, as Hort and Mayor suppose (Comment. on Strom. 7, p. 354, 1902), is uncertain. Clement himself thinks that the name arose from some locality.

\21/ I need not raise the vexed question as to the relationship between Nazarenes and Ebionites.

\22/ Cp. with this Tertullian's notice (de Anima, 7) — though it is not, of course, equally important — of the sect of Menander, which must be also sought in Palestine ( Samaria ) especially. He calls Menander's adherents "paucissimi" {("very few")} and adds: "Suspectam faciam tantam raritatem securissimi et tutissimi sacramenti [i.e., Menander's baptismal rite] . . . . cum contra omnes iam nationes adscendant in montem domini" ("I think it is suspicious when a rite of such protective and saving efficacy is so seldom observed . . . . when, on the contrary, all nations are going up to the mountain of the Lord").

{extra space}

We now come back to Ælia-Jerusalem and to the Gentile Christian communities of Palestine which replaced the Jewish Christians. Marcus (135/136 C.E.) was the first Gentile Christian president in Ælia.\23/ Like the town, the church of Ælia never attained any importance, as is abundantly plain from the negative evidence of Eusebius's Church-History, even when we take into account the fact that Eusebius was bishop of Cæsarea, the natural rival of Ælia. The latter was called “Ælia” even in ecclesiastical terminology (cp., e.g., Eus., H.E. 2.12.3; Dionys. Alex., ibid. 7.5 ; Mart. Pal. 11, though "Jerusalem" also occurs); which shows that even the church [[106]] at first held that the old tradition had been broken.\24/ Nevertheless, as is well known, the sacred Christian sites\25/ were sought out during the second and third centuries; some of them were actually found and visited. A certain amount of theological activity is attested by the existence of a library which bishop Alexander established in Ælia at the opening of the third century (Eus., H.E. 6.20).\26/

\23/ The episcopal list (cp. my Chronologie 1, pp. 220 f.) up to 250 C.E. shows nothing but Greco-Roman names: Cassianus, Publius, Maximus, Julianus, Gaius, Symmachus, Gaius, Julianus, Capito, Maximus, Antoninus, Valens, Dolichianus, Narcissus, Dius, Germanion, Gordius, Alexander. Then come four names — Mazabanes, Hymenæus, Zabdas, and Hermon — two of which, of course, are Syrian.

\24/ By 300 C.E. the name " Jerusalem " had become wholly unfamiliar in wide circles. A good example of this is afforded by Mart. Pal. 11.10, which tells how a confessor described himself to the Roman governor as a citizen of Jerusalem (meaning the heavenly Jerusalem ). "The magistrate, however, thought it was an earthly city, and sought carefully to discover what city it could be, and wherever it could be situated." Even were the anecdote proved to be fictitious, it is still conclusive.

\25/ Eusebius (H.E. 6.2, apropos of Alexander of Cappadocia) gives an early instance of this, in the year 212/213. In consequence, the repute of the Jerusalem church must have gradually revived or arisen during the course of the third century. The first serious evidence of it occurs in the case of Firmilian of Cæsarea (Cyprian's Ep. 75.6), who upbraids the Roman church with failing to observe the exact methods followed by the church of Jerusalem. But even this evidence must not be overrated. Prominent Cappadocian Christians had been for long in close touch with Palestine. The real revival of the Jerusalem church belongs to the age just before Constantine, when the worship of heroes, martyrs, and sacred relics became part and parcel of the faith. Constantine then did his utmost to exalt Jerusalem.

\26/ We have only one important early trace of this library, and even it is enigmatic. It is to be found in the abrupt and paradoxical statement of Cod. Ambros. H. 150. Inf. Sæc. 9: "In commentariis Victorini inter plurima hæc etiam scripta reperimus: invenimus in membranis Alexandri episcopi qui fuit in Hierusalem quod transcripsit manu sua de exemplaribus apostolorum" {[give an ET]} (whereupon a perverse chronology of the life of Jesus follows); cp. von Dobschütz in Texte u. Unters. 11.1.

Once the metropolitan system came to be organized, the bishop of Cæsarea was metropolitan of Syria-Palestina;\27/ but it is quite clear, from the history of Eusebius, that the bishop of Ælia not merely stood next to him, but somehow shared with him the [[107]] management of the synod. And as time went on, he gradually eclipsed his rival.\28/ Under Origen, Cæsarea became a second Alexandria in point of theological learning and activity. Pamphilus, who founded the great local library there for the purpose of biblical interpretation and in order to preserve the works of Origen, has the credit of having adhered firmly to the traditions of his great master, and of having made the work of Eusebius possible.

\27/ The prestige of Cæsarea dates from the days of Herod the Great, who rebuilt the city on an imposing scale. It was the headquarters of the Roman procurators, and consequently became the ecclesiastical capital. Tacitus, (Hist. 2.78) calls it "Judææ caput" {="chief city of Juaea"}; while after Severus Alexander it was the capital of the province Syria-Palestina. The city was always predominantly Greek, not Jewish; hence it was possible to master and massacre the local Jews at the outbreak of the Jewish war {Josephus??}. Acts relates how the first real Gentile Christian was converted at Cæsarea, and that his conversion became the basis of the Gentile mission (Acts 10). He was the military captain of the place! The troops under command of the procurator were stationed at Cæsarea.

\28/ The metropolitan nexus cannot be traced earlier than c. 190 C.E. (the Paschal controversy). Eusebius (5.23) tells how Theophilus of Cæsarea and Narcissus of Jerusalem were then at the head of the Palestinian churches and synod. In noticing the synodal communication (5.23), he puts Narcissus first, while he distinguishes the bishops of Tyre and Ptolemais, who attended the synod, from the Palestinian bishops. The communication is interesting, as it incidentally mentions a constant official intercourse between the provincial churches of Palestine and the church of Alexandria . The leading bishops of Palestine were favourable to Origen. When he was in Cæsarea, in 215/216, he preached in church, though a layman, "at the request of the bishops" (of the local synod in session). Alexander, bishop of Jerusalem , and Theoktistus, bishop of Cæsarea (mentioned in this order), defended this permission against the complaints of Demetrius, the bishop of Alexandria , in a joint letter (Eus., H.E. 6.19.16 f.). The consecration of Origen to the office of presbyter seems also to have taken place at a synod in Cæsarea (Eus., 6.23). Eusebius, however, puts the matter very strangely: τὴν διὰ Παλαιστίνης, πρεσβείου χειροθεσίαν ἐν Καισαρείᾳ πρὸς τῶν τῇδε ἐπισκόπων ἀναλαμβάνει {[supply ET]}
We have also to assume a Palestinian synod about the year 231/232, which refused to recognize the condemnation of Origen by Demetrius (cp. Jerome's Epp. 33.4). In his epistle to Stephanus (Eus., H.E. 7.5.1), Dionysius of Alexandria puts Theoktistus, bishop of Cæsarea, before Mazabanes, bishop of Ælia. But in the synodal document of the great Eastern synod of Antioch in 268 (Eus., 7.30.2), the bishop of Jerusalem precedes the bishop of Cæsarea, while at the synod of Nicæa Macarius of Jerusalem voted before Eusebius of Cæsarea. Eusebius only gives the episcopal list of Cæsarea as far back as 190 C.E., and that of Jerusalem as far back as James. But did Eusebius know of bishops at Caesarea before 190? I pass over, as untrustworthy, the statement of Eutychius (cp. my Chronol. 1, p. 222) that Demetrius of Alexandria addressed a circular letter to Victor of Rome, Maxim(in)us of Antioch, and "Gabius" (Gaius?) of Jerusalem.

We know nothing about the size of the Jerusalem church or the percentage of Christians in the city. But until the intervention of Constantine they were unable to secure possession of the holy sepulchre (or what they both took to be its site; the pagans had erected a temple to Venus on it; cp. Eus., Vit. Const. 3.26), which shows their lack of power within the city.\29/

\29/ The Christian community in Cæsarea seems to have been more influential. According to Socrates (3.23), who depends upon Eusebius, the later Neoplatonist Porphyry {early 3rd century} was beaten by Christians in Cæsarea.

[[108]] In Acts we hear of Christians, outside Jerusalem , at Samaria (and in Samaritan villages; cp. 8.25), Lydda (Diospolis), Saron,\30/ Joppa, and Cæsarea. Codex D of the New Testament locates Mnason, the old disciple (Acts 21.16), at an unnamed village between Cæsarea and Jerusalem .  

\30/ Acts 9.35 seems to take Saron as a group of places.

At Nicæa there were present the bishops of Jerusalem, Neapolis\31/ (Sichem), Sebaste (Samaria),\32/ Cæsarea, Gadara, Ascalon, Nicopolis, Jamnia, Eleutheropolis, Maximianopolis, Jericho, Sebulon, Lydda, Azotus, Scythopolis, Gaza, Aila, and Capitolias.\33/ Elsewhere we have direct or inferential evidence\34/ for the presence of Christians (though in very small numbers at particular spots) at Sichar ('Asker), Bethlehem, Anea near Eleutheropolis in the district of Beth Gubrin, Batanea\35/ near Cæsarea (Aulana), Anim, Jattir, and Phæno. Eusebius (H.E. 6.11.3) mentions bishops of churches which were situated round (πέριξ ) Jerusalem , even in the year 212/213; but we do not know who are meant. Similarly, in Mart. Pal. 1.3, he mentions τῶν ἐπιχωρίων ἐκκλησιῶν ἄρχοντες, "rulers of the country churches" (in the neighbourhood of Cæsarea), who were martyred at Cæsarea under Diocletian. But unfortunately he does not specify the localities. Nor do we know anything about the [[109]] church of Asclepius , the Marcionite bishop who was martyred in the persecution of Daza (Eus., Mart. Pal. 10. 1), or about the place to which the bishop mentioned by Epiphanius in Hœr. 63.2 (vol. 2, p. 400, line 8) ( ἐν πόλει μικρᾷ τῆς Παλαιστίνης τὸν τοῦ ἐπισκόπου κλῆρον = in a small town of Palestine ), belonged. The latter outlived the era of the great persecution,\36/ as he is expressly termed a confessor.  

\31/ The birthplace of Justin the apologist. Epiphanius (Hœr. 78.24 [vol. 3, p. 473, lines 22ff]) describes a peculiar local cult:
᾿Εν γὰρ Σικίμοις, τουτέστιν ἐν τῇ νυνὶ Νεαπόλει, θυσίας οἱ ἐπιχώριοι τελοῦσιν εἰς ὄνομα τῆς Κόρης, δῆθεν ἐκ προφάσεως τῆς θυγατρὸς ᾿Ιεφθάε, τῆς ποτὲ προσενεχθείσης τῷ θεῷ εἰς θυσίαν· καὶ τοῖς ἠπατημένοις τοῦτο γέγονεν εἰς βλάβην εἰδωλολατρείας καὶ κενολατρείας {[do ET]}
He can also report a remarkable statement about Sichem (Hœr. 80.1 [vol. 3, p. 485, lines 19ff]):
ἀλλὰ καὶ προσευχῆς τόπος ἐν Σικίμοις,ἐν τῇ νυνὶ καλουμένῃ Νεαπόλει, ἔξω τῆς πόλεως ἐν τῇ πεδιάδι ὡς ἀπὸ σημείων δύο, θεατροειδὴς οὕτως ἐν ἀέρι καὶ αἰθρίῳ τόπῳ ἐστὶ κατασκευασθεὶς ὑπὸ τῶν Σαμαρειτῶν πάντα τὰ τῶν ᾿Ιουδαίων μιμουμένων {[do ET]}

\32/ The signatures to the Nicene council (Gelzer, Hilgenfeld, and Cunitz, 1898, p. lx) give a double entry: MarinoV SebasthnoV and GaianoV SebasthV. Schwartz (Zur Gesch. des Athanas., 6, p. 286) thinks that the town and the district formed two churches — which is quite likely.

\33/ The presence of bishops or Christians in several of these towns is attested also by Alexander of Alexandria (in Athanas., de Synod. 17, and Epiph., Hœr. 69.4), and Eusebius (Mart. Pa1.).

\34/ I leave out the pseudo-Clementines.

\35/ "Batanea near Cæsarea may be identified with Khirbet Bethân (Ibthân); it is the one ruin S. of Zeita, and W. of Attil, in the district of Saron, about 4 hours E.S.E. from Cæsarea. But this identification seems to me problematical. I would have rather discovered the holy springs of Betaænea (Batanea)"; so Fürrer writes. On the Guthe-Fischer map Batanea is put due E. of Cæsarea.

\36/ This can hardly mean the persecution under Julian, as the bishop in question was dead by 370 C.E., after a long tenure of the episcopate.

The large majority of the localities in Palestine where bishops or Christians can be traced are Greek cities. It was among the Greek population that Palestinian Christianity from Hadrian onwards won most adherents. If we further assume that in general, until Constantine mastered Palestine, there were no Christians\37/ at all in Tiberias — which, with Jabne (Jamnia) and Lydda (Diospolis) formed the headquarters of rabbinic learning,\38/ — in Diocæsarea (Sepphoris), in Nazareth, and in Capernaum\39/ (for the local Christians in primitive times had been driven out by the fanatical Jews); assuming also that [[110]] they were extremely scanty in the territory stretching away to the south of Jerusalem,\40/ then it is impossible to speak of Palestine being Christianized before the time of Constantine. Save for a few exceptions, the lowlands were Jewish, while in Jewish towns and localities Christians were only tolerated against the will of the inhabitants, if they were tolerated at all. In Diocæsarea, e.g., even under Constantine , the Jews were still so numerous that they essayed a rising (Socrat., H.E. 2.33);and Theodoret (H.E. 4.19) relates how in the reign of Valens the town was inhabited by Jews who murdered Christians. In the Hellenistic towns Christians were to be met with, but even there — with the exception of Cæsarea, perhaps — they were not very numerous, while several important pagan towns with ancient shrines — especially those on the seaboard of Philistia — offered them a sharp resistance, and refused to harbour them at all. Thus in Gaza itself no Christian bishop was in residence, as may be certainly inferred from Eus., H.E. 8.13, where Silvanus is described as bishop of “the churches round Gaza ” (cp. Mart. Pal. [short version] 13.4: ὧν ἡγεῖτο ἐκ τῆς Γαζαίων ἐπίσκοπος ὁρμώμενος Σιλβανός = “Silvanus, a bishop from Gaza ") at the time of the great persecution. Not until after 325 C.E. was the church organized strongly by Constantine amid the obstinate paganism of these towns (cp. Vit. Const. 4.38);thus even Asclepas, who was present at the council of Nicea (cp. Epiph., Hœr. 69.4),was no more than the bishop of the churches round Gaza ,\41/ although a rather small (and secret?) Christian conventicle is to be assumed for Gaza itself as early as the age of the persecution (see Eus., Mart. Pal. 8.4, 3.1).\42/  

\37/ This does not follow from Epiph., Hœr. 30.4, for the permission granted by Constantine to Joseph to build churches there, might per contra suggest the presence of local Christians. But in 30.11 (vol. 1, p. 347, lines 13ff) we read that Joseph merely secured one favour, viz., permission to build churches in those Jewish towns and villages throughout Palestine "where no one had ever been able to erect churches, owing to the absence of Greeks, Samaritans, or Christians. Especially was this the case with Tiberias, Diocæsarea, Sepphoris, Nazareth, and Capernaum, where members of all other nations were carefully excluded"
(ἔνθα τις οὐδέποτε ἴσχυσεν προστήσασθαι ἐκκλησίας διὰ τὸ μήτε ῞Ελληνα μήτε Σαμαρείτην μήτε Χριστιανὸν μέσον αὐτῶν εἶναι. τοῦτο δὲ μάλιστα ἐν Τιβεριάδι καὶ ἐν Διοκαισαρείᾳ τῇ καὶ Σεπφουρὶν καὶ ἐν Ναζαρὲτ καὶ ἐν Καπερναοὺμ φυλάσσεται <τὸ> παρ’ αὐτοῖς [τοῦ] μὴ εἶναι ἀλλόεθνον).
This is not contradicted by the statement of Epiphanius himself (30.4 [vol. 1, p. 339, lines 5f]) regarding a "bishop whose district adjoined that of Tiberias" (ἐπίσκοπον πλησιόχωρον τῆς Τιβερι<>ων ὄντα) in the pre-Constantine period; for this bishop was not exactly bishop of Tiberias. -- There must have been numerous purely Jewish localities in Palestine; thus Origen (in Matt. 16.17.1) describes Bethphage as a village of Jewish priests. In Mart. Pal. p. 61 (ed. Violet) we read that "in Palestine there is one populous city whose inhabitants are entirely Jewish, called Lud in Aramaic and Diocæsarea in Greek." — It may be purely accidental that rabbi Elieser met on the upper street of Sepphoris a disciple of Jesus called Jacob of Kephar Sechanja (cp. Aboda Sara, 16b, 17a, and Midrash rabba on Koh. 1.8; cp.Hennecke's NTliche Apocryphen 1, pp. 68f).

\38/ On the Jewish schools at Lydda and Jabne ("une sorte de petite Jérusalem resuscitée"), cp. Renan's Les Évangiles, pp. 19 f.

\39/ But a priori it is likely that originally there was a Jewish Christian community at Capernaum, and a passage in the Jerusalem Talmud confirms this supposition.

\40/ On some exceptions to this (Anim and Jattir), see below. — For idolatry in Mamre, see Vit. Const. 3.51-53. Constantine had a church built at Mamre. Sozomen (H.E. 2.4) describes the summer festival attended by Christians, pagans, and Jews there.  

\41/ The seaport of Gaza , Majuma, undoubtedly belonged to this group of churches. But other towns and townships in the vicinity were still pagan entirely. Thus Sozomen (H.E. 5.15.14) declares that his grandfather and his grandfather's family were the first converts in Bethelia: Ταύτης δὲ τῆς φυγῆς μετέσχον πολλοὶ τῶν ἐμῶν προγόνων καὶ ὁ ἐμὸς πάππος. καθότι πατρὸς ῞Ελληνος ὤν, αὐτός τε πανοικὶ καὶ οἱ ἀπὸ τοῦ γένους ᾿Αλαφίωνος Χριστιανοὶ πρῶτοι ἐγένοντο ἐν Βηθελέᾳ κώμῃ Γαζαίᾳ, πολυανθρώπῳ τε οὔσῃ καὶ ἱερὰ ἐχούσῃ ἀρχαιότητι καὶ κατασκευῇ σεμνὰ τοῖς κατοικοῦσι, καὶ μάλιστα τὸ πάνθεον ὡς ἐπὶ ἀκροπόλεως χειροποιήτου τινὸς λόφου κείμενον καὶ πανταχόθεν πάσης τῆς κώμης ὑπερέχον. {do ET} Incidentally, we learn that Jews as well as pagans resided there.

\42/ A Christian woman "from the country of Gaza " ( τούτων ἡ μὲν προτέρα τῆς Γαζαίων χώρας ἐλέγετο) is mentioned in Eus., Mart. Pal. 8.8 (short version).

[[111]] Palestinian Greek Christianity and its bishops gravitated southwards to Alexandria more readily than to Antioch and the north\43/ (see above, on Eus, H.E. 5.25); even in spiritual things it depended upon Alexandria throughout our period. This was the natural outcome of the purely Greek, or almost purely Greek, character of Christianity in Palestine, which is brought out very forcibly by the names of the martyrs recounted by Eusebius (in his Mart. Pal.). In that catalogue Jewish or Syrian names are quite infrequent (yet cp. Zebinas of Eleutheropolis, and Ennathas, a woman from Scythopolis, Mart. Pal. 9.5-6).\44/

\43/ Eus., Mart. Pal. 3.3, supports the view that in the seacoast towns of Palestine Christianity was to be found among the floating population rather than among the old indigenous inhabitants. Six Christians voluntarily reported themselves to the governor for the fight with wild beasts. "One of them, born in Pontus , was called Timolaos; Dionysius, another, came from Tripolis in Phœnicia; the third was a subdeacon of the church in Diospolis, called Romulus : besides these there were two Egyptians, Paësis and Alexander, and another Alexander from Gaza .'' Hardly any of the martyrs at Cæsarea were citizens of the town. — The relations between Palestine (Cæsarea) and Alexandria were drawn still closer by Origen and his learning. We also know that Africanus went from Emmaus to Alexandria in order to hear Heraclas, and so forth.

\44/ Old Testament names — after the end of the third century, at least — do not prove the Jewish origin of their bearers; cp. Mart. Pal. 11.7 f.: "The governor got by way of answer the name of a prophet instead of the man's proper name. For instead of the names derived from idolatry, which had been given them by their parents, they had assumed names such as Elijah, or Jeremiah, or Isaiah, or Samuel, or Daniel."

Unfortunately, this treatise of Eusebius furnishes far less illustrative or statistical material for the church of Palestine than one would expect. We can only make out, from its contents, that it corroborates our conclusion that even in the Hellenistic towns of Palestine — which Eusebius has alone in view — during the great persecution there cannot have been very many Christians. This conclusion is ratified by all we can ascertain regarding the history of Christianity in Palestine during the fourth century, especially along the Philistine seaboards.\45/ The attempt made by Constantine and his successors to definitely acclimatize Christianity in Palestine did not [[112]] succeed. Numberless churches, no doubt, were built on the sacred sites of antiquity as well as at spots which were alleged to mark past deeds and events or martyrs' graves.\46/ Hordes of monks settled down there. Pilgrims came in their thousands. But there was no real Christianizing of the country as an outcome of all this, least of all in the proud cities on the south-west coast. As late as 400 C.E. Gaza and Raphia remained essentially pagan. Look at Sozom., 7.15, and the Vita Porphyrii of Marcus (ed. Teubner, 1895). Here we are told that but a very few Christians — 127 in all\47/ — were to be found in Gaza, before Porphyry entered on his duties (394 C.E.), while the very villages near the city were still entirely pagan.\48/ For our purpose that number (127) is most valuable. It teaches us the necessity of confining within a very small limit any estimate we may choose to form of the Christianity which prevailed on the Philistine seaboard during the previous century. There is also significance in the fact that the name of "the old church" (p. 18.6) was given to the church which Asclepas, who was bishop of Gaza during the great persecution and under Constantine , had erected shortly after 325. This means that previous to 325 there were no Christian edifices in the place. Ascalon,\49/ too, had a strongly pagan population as late as the fourth century, just as Diocæsarea (see above) was inhabited by a preponderating number of Jews.\50/ The seaport [[113]] of Anthedon remained entirely pagan as late as Julian's reign.\51/  

\45/ See some data upon this in V. Schultze's Gesch. des Untergangs des griechischrömischen Heidentums (1892), 2, .pp. 240 f., and especially the "Peregrinatio Silviæ" (ed. Gamurini, 1887).

\46/ Cp. the important passage in Eus., Mart. Pal., p. 162 (ed. Violet).

\47/ Mark the Deacon , Vita Porphyrii episcopi Gazensis p. 12.1 {Teubner = TLG 11 line 12}: οἱ τότε ὄντες Χριστιανοί, ὀλίγοι καὶ εὐαρίθμητοι τυγχάν οντες (cp. p. 74.15 Teubner), "The Christians of that day were few and easily counted." It is also noted (p. 20.2 Teubner) that Porphyry added 105 Christians in one year to the original nucleus of 127. Compare the following numbers: on p. 29.10 (Teubner) there are sixty named, on p. 52.1 (Teubner) thirty-nine, then on p. 61.16 {Teubner = TLG 74 line 9} we have one year with three hundred converts, καὶ ἐξ ἐκείνου καθ’ ἕκαστον ἔτος αὔξησιν ἐπεδέχετο τὰ Χριστιανῶν ("And thenceforward every year saw an increase to the strength of local Christianity").

\48/ Vit. Porphyr., p. 16.7 {= TLG 17 line 6}: Πλησίον Γάζης κῶμαι τυγχάνουσιν παρὰ τὴν ὁδὸν αἵτινες ὑπάρχουσι τῆς εἰδωλομανίας ("Near Gaza there are wayside villages which are given over to idolatry").

\49/ Sozomen (H.E. 5.15) does mention Christians at Ascalon who venerated his grandfather, but this refers to the second half of the fourth century.

\50/ Cp. Socrates, H.E. 2.33: Οἱ γὰρ ἐν Διοκαισαρείᾳ τῆς Παλαιστίνης ᾿Ιουδαῖοι κατὰ ῾Ρωμαίων ὅπλα ἀντῇραν, καὶ περὶ τοὺς τόπους ἐκείνους κατέτρεχον. ᾿Αλλὰ τούτους μὲν Γάλλος, ὁ καὶ Κωνστάντιος, ὃν Καίσαρα καταστήσας ὁ βασιλεὺς εἰς τὴν ἑῴαν ἐξαπέστειλεν, δύναμιν ἀποστείλας κατηγωνίσατο· καὶ τὴν πόλιν αὐτῶν Διοκαισάρειαν εἰς ἔδαφος κατενεχθῆναι ἐκέλευσεν ("The Jews who inhabited Palestinian Diocæsarea took up arms against the Romans, and began to lay waste the neighbourhood. Gallus, however, who was also called Constantius, whom the emperor had sent to the East after creating him Cæsar, despatched an armed force against them and routed them; whereupon, by his orders, their city, Diocæsarea, was razed to the ground").

\51/ Cp. Sozomen, H.E. 5.9.7:
ἐπεὶ καὶ αὐτὸς τότε μικροῦ συλληφθεὶς παρὰ τῶν Γαζαίων ἀνῃρέθη· ἀσχολουμένου δὲ τοῦ πλήθους περὶ τὸν φόνον τῶν αὐτοῦ ἀνεψιῶν καιρὸν εὑρὼν ἔφυγεν εἰς ᾿Ανθηδόνα πόλιν ἐπὶ θάλασσαν, ἀφεστῶσαν Γάζης ὡσεὶ σταδίους εἴκοσι, παραπλησίως δὲ τηνικαῦτα τῷ ῾Ελληνισμῷ χαίρουσαν καὶ περὶ τὴν θεραπείαν τῶν ξοάνων ἐπτοη μένην {provide ET}.


I now proceed to give a list of towns and localities in which Christians can be traced prior\52/ to 325, adding very brief annotations.

\52/ During the second century in particular, these Gentile Christian churches were certainly to some extent infinitesimal. They were exposed to the double fire of local Jews and pagans, and they had no relations with the Jewish Christians. The following decision of the so-called Egyptian Church-Constitution is scarcely to be referred to Egypt . It rather applies to Palestine or Syria. <gr> {not in TLG?} </gr>
("Should there be a dearth of men, and should it be impossible to secure the requisite number of twelve capable of taking part in the election of a bishop, let a message be sent to churches in the neighbourhood"); Texte u. Unters. 2.5.71 f.

Jerusalem, represented by bishop Macarius at Nicæa; “churches round Jerusalem" in the year 212/213 are noted in Eus., H.E. 6.11.3. For the episcopal list, see above, p. 105.

Nazareth (Julius Africanus: relatives of Jesus here, but afterwards no Christians at all).

Cæsarea, the best harbour on the coast, and perhaps the largest Greek city in Palestine, though with a number of Jewish residents (Acts 10). Bishops are to be traced from 190 C.E., viz., Theophilus (circa 190, Eus., H.E. 5.22.25); Theoktistus (at the crisis over Origen in Alexandria, also at the time of the Antiochene synod upon Novatian and bishop Stephanus of Rome, Eus., H.E. 6.19.17; 6.46.3 [where he is called “bishop in Palestine,” as a metropolitan]; we do not know if he was the immediate successor of Theophilus); Domnus (who only ruled for a short period, according to Eus., H.E. 7.14; he succeeded Theoktistus in the reign of Gallienus); Theoteknus (who succeeded Domnus in the same reign, and took part in the synods against Paul of Antioch, Eus., 7.14.28, 30; 7.32.21, [[114]] 24), and Agapius (Eus., 7.32.24). Ambrosius, Origen's friend, was a deacon, Proteknus a presbyter of Cæsarea (cp. Orig., Exhort. ad Mart.). Romanus was a deacon and an exorcist in a neighbouring village (Violet, Mart. Pal., p. 11). Catholic Christians and a Marcionite woman, from the country near Cæsarea, were martyred under Valerian (cp. Eus., H.E. 7.12). Counc. Nic. (bishop Eusebius). Legend makes the tax-gatherer Zacchæus the first bishop of Cæsarea. For “churches at Caesarea,” see Mart. Pal. 1.3. Christianity in Palestine had its headquarters at Cæsarea. Even the pagan population circa 300 C.E. seems to have been inclined that way.\53/ In the fourth century the house of the chief captain Cornelius was shown, built into the church, “et Philippi aediculas et cubicula quattuor virginum prophetarum” {=add ET} (Jerome, Ep. 108.8).

\53/ Eusebius (Violet's ed., p. 42) tells how the miracle of the corpse of Appianus the martyr took place before the eyes of the whole city, "and the whole city (young men and old, women of all ages, and virgins) gave with one accord the glory to God alone, and confessed with loud voice the name of Christ." Cp. also pp. 69 f.

Samaria-Sebaste (Acts 8, Counc. Nic., bishop Marinus; here John the Baptist was buried, acc. to Theod., H.E. 3.3).\54/

\54/ Simon Magus came from Gitta, a Samaritan village, and Menander from the village of Capparetæa .

Lydda-Diospolis (Acts 9; Theod., 1.4; Counc. Nic., bishop Antius. Close by was Arimathæa, a place visited by pilgrims, etc., Jerome).

Joppa (Acts 9).

Localities on the plain of Saron (Acts 9).

Emmaus-Nicopolis (Julius Africanus; Counc. Nic., bishop Petrus. The local church in the fourth century was held to be built out of the house of Cleopas, according to Jerome, loc. cit.).

Sichem-Neapolis (Counc. Nic., bishop Germanus).

Scythopolis\55/ (Mart. Pal. 6, p. 4.7.110, cp. longer form of Mart. Pal., ed. Violet in Texte u. Unters. 14.4; Alex. of Alex. in Athanas., de Synod. 17; cp. Epiph., Hœr. 30.5; Counc. Nic., bishop Patrophilus). [[115]]

\55/ The biblical Beth-san (Baischan, Bêsân).

Eleutheropolis (Mart. Pal. 9.5, cp. Violet, p. 73; Epiph., Hœr. 68. 3, 66.1; Counc. Nic., bishop Maximus).\56/

\56/ Clermont-Ganneau, Compt. rend. de l'Acad. des Inscr. et Bell Lettr., 1904, Jan.-Feb., pp. 54 f.; recently discovered inscriptions have laid bare the opening of this city's era (199 C.E.), when, as we now know, Septimius Severus was in Egypt and Palestine and conferred autonomy on the city. — Epiphanius was born at Besanduke, a place near Eleutheropolis, c. 320 C.E. (according to the "Life"), probably of Christian parents, but possibly of Jewish.

Maximianopolis (Counc. Nic., bishop Paulus).\57/

\57/ It may be the town between Cæsarea (Straton's Tower) and Scythopolis. Probably it is. But we may also think of the town N. of Bostra in the S. Hauran (now es-Suweda, cp. Baedeker, p. 191).

Jericho (Counc. Nic., bishop Januarius ; cp. also Euseb., 6.16).

Sabulon\58/ (Count. Nic., bishop Heliodorus).

\58/ "Sabulon," says Fürrer, "I take to be the Zabulon of Josephus, which is the same as his Chabolo, the modern Kabûl, on the border of the plain of Ptolemais."

Jamnia (Mart. Pal. 11.5; Alex. of Alex. in Epiph., Hœr. 69.4; Counc. Nic., bishop Macrinus).

Azotus (Counc. Nic., bishop Silvanus).

Ascalon (Mart. Pal. 10.1; Alex. of Alex. in Epiph., Hœr. 69.4 ; Counc. Nic., bishop Longinus).

Gaza (for a small local conventicle with no bishop and the “churches round Gaza,” under bishop Asclepas,\59/ see above; Epiph., Hœr. 68.3; Counc. Nic. Among the churches round Gaza, the seaport of Majuma was noted for its large number of Christians\60/).

\59/ St Hilarion was born (about 250 C.E.) at Tabatha, "a village lying about 5000 paces from Gaza ," but his parents were pagan. Commodian calls him "Gasæus," but this has nothing whatever to do with Gaza .

\60/ On account of its Christianity, Julian took away its civic rights and attached them to Gaza . Eusebius (Vita Const. 4.37-38, and after him Sozomen, 2.5, 5.3) tells how the local pagans suddenly were converted to Christianity under Constantine , and how the town received from the emperor its civic rights and the name of Constantia. Naturally, being a seaport, it contained a number of Christians before it openly professed the Christian faith. Constantine made it independent, in order to injure the pagan Gaza .

 Aila (a seaport on the north-east corner of the Red Sea, included in Palestine at that period; Counc. Nic., bishop Petrus).

Gadara (Zacchæus a local deacon, Violet, p. 8; Counc. Nic., bishop Sabinus).

Capitolias (perhaps= Bêter-Râs; Counc. Nic., bishop Antiochus). [[116]]

Bethlehem (the existence of local Christians is deducible from Orig., c. Cels. 1.51).\61/

\61/ Tertullian (adv. Jud. 13) writes: "Animadvertimus autem nunc neminem de genere, Israel in Bethlehem remansisse, et exinde quod interdictum est ne in confinio ipsius regionis demoretur quisquam Iudaeorum" ("We notice now that none of the race of Israel has remained in Bethlehem; such has always been the case since all Jews were prohibited from lingering even in the confines of the district"). Constantine had a church built on the grotto of the birth (Vita 3.41).

Anea, a village in the territory of Eleutheropolis (Πέτρος ἀσκητὴς ὁ καὶ ᾿Αψέλαμος ἀπὸ ᾿Ανέας κώμης τῶν ὅρων ᾿Ελευθεροπόλεως Mart. Pal. 10.2 [shorter version]. Petrus Balsamus, the martyr, came from the district of Eleutheropolis; see Ruinart, p. 525).

Anim and Jether, two villages south of Hebron (on Jether or Jethira or Jattir, see Baedeker, p. 209; Anim = Ghuwîn = Ruwen, as Seybold kindly informs me (so Guérin); cp. Buhl's Geogr. Pal., p. 164), which Eusebius, in his Onomasticon, declares were exclusively inhabited by Christians. This is a striking statement, as we are not prepared for Christians in these of all districts.\62/ We must not, however, measure the density of the Christian population on the soil of Palestine by this standard. These two villages must have formed an exception to the general rule,\63/ although it remains a notable fact that there were villages already which were completely Christian.\64/ [[117]]

\62/ Fürrer, however, calls attention to the fact that many famous rabbis had also fled south.

\63/ Eusebius (7.12) tells of three Palestinian martyrs (Priscus, Malchus, and Alexander) in the reign of Valerian, stating expressly that they lived on the land, and that they were reproached for thus enjoying an unmolested life whilst their brethren in the city were exposed to suffering. Hence they voluntarily betook themselves also to Cæsarea, etc. Unfortunately, Eusebius has not specified their original home.

\64/ Fürrer writes to me as follows: "There is a slight confusion about Anim, Anea, and Anab. In the Onomasticon we read that Anab was in the district of Eleutheropolis (p. 26 line 9) : ᾿Ανάβ (Jos 15, 50). φυλῆς ᾿Ιούδα. κώμη εἰς ἔτι νῦν ἐν ὁρίοις ᾿Ελευθεροπόλεως. ἀλλὰ καὶ ᾿Αναία ἐστὶ κώμη ᾿Ιουδαίων μεγίστη καλουμένη <ἐν τῷ> Δαρωμᾷ πρὸς νότον Χεβρὼν ἀπὸ σημείων θʹ. {do ET} Then, on Anim (p. 26 line 13): ᾿Ανείμ (Jos 15, 50). φυλῆς ᾿Ιούδα. ἄλλη ᾿Αναιὰ πλησίον τῆς προτέρας, ἣ νῦν ὅλη Χριστιανῶν τυγχάνει, οὖσα ἀνατολικὴ τῆς προτέρας. {do ET} Anim has for long been identified with Ghuwîn in the south of Hebron . There are an upper and a lower Ghuwîn. The former is north-east of the latter, and would be the Christian Anim. (In Anab, about six hours south of Eleutheropolis, there are ruins of a church which seem to date from the Roman period.) They were distinguished by their sites on two hills separated by a small valley; the aforesaid ruins lie on the eastern hill. I would be disposed to look for the two Aneas here. In the west, Jews resided; in the east, Christians. On the western hill there are also ruins of a shrine, which afterwards served as a mosque; the traces of its Christian origin are still distinct." — In the Onomasticon (p. 58. 18) Eusebius writes thus: Βηθααβαρά (Ioh 1, 28). «ὅπου ἦν ᾿Ιωάννης βαπτίζων», «πέραν τοῦ ᾿Ιορδάνου». καὶ δείκνυται ὁ τόπος, ἐν ᾧ καὶ πλείους τῶν ἀδελφῶν εἰς ἔτι νῦν τὸ λουτρὸν φιλοτιμοῦνται λαμβάνειν.  {get ET} This notice does not permit us to infer the existence of any spot; on the contrary, it suggests the absence of any such spot (cp. Orig., Comm. in Joh. 6.50, and Preuschen in D. Berliner Philol. Wochenschrift, 1903, col. 1358).

Sichar-`Asker (as Eusebius observes in his Onomasticon that a church was already built there, it follows that there must have been some local Christians at an earlier date).

Batanæa, a village beside Cæsarea (Mart. Pal. 11.29; where we are not to read Manganæa, Baganæa, Balanea, or Banea; see Mercati's "I Martiri di Palestina nel Codice Sinaitico," Estr. dai Rendiconti del R. Instit. Lombard . di sc. e lett., Serie 2, vol. 30, 1897).

Phæno (according to Mart. Pal. 7.2, and Epiph., Hœr. 68.3, Christians laboured in the mines at Phæno in South Palestine [cp. Mart. Pal. 8.1, and the Onomasticon]; according to Mart. 13.1, they built houses into churches,\65/ and were consequently dispersed by force into settlements throughout the various districts of Palestine.\66/ The Apology of Pamphilus for Origen is directed "To the confessors sentenced to the mines of Palestine" [“ad confessores ad metalla Palestiniae damnatos”]; cp. Routh's Reliq. Sacrœ 4(\2), p. 341).\67/ [[118]]

\65/ In the larger recension of the Mart. Pal. (Violet, pp. 105f.) we are told that the Coptic prisoners of Phæno were for a time together at Zoara (=Zoar). "Much people were with them, some who had come from elsewhere to see them, and many others who provided them with what they required, sought them out affectionately, and ministered to their wants. The whole day they spent in prayer, worship, teaching, and reading . . . . they lived all the while as if it were a festival and convocation. But God's enemy could not bear this. Forthwith a governor was sent to them. His first act was to separate them," etc.

\66/ Phæno has been again discovered; it lay in Eastern Edom , at a place where two valleys meet. The ruins are now called "Phenân" (Fürrer).

\67/ In one town, Aulona, Petrus Balsamus is said to have been martyred. He came from the district of Eleutheropolis (according to the longer Syriac recension of the Mart. Pal., he was born "in the district of Beth Gubrin"). The name of the place is perhaps misspelt, and we may identify it with Anea (see above). [Fürrer tells me, however, that there is a Beth-'Alam S.E. of Eleutheropolis, which reminds one of Aulona; so that Aulona perhaps should be distinguished from Anea.] Nor was he martyred there. It was, on the contrary, the place of his birth. No chor-episcopi from Palestine took part in the council of Nicæa. Was it because there were none at all, or very few, in Palestine ? If so, it is a fresh corroboration of the fact that Christianity had penetrated but slightly into the (Jewish) population of the country. One can hardly refute this by appealing to the bishop "of the churches round Gaza " (see above), for probably in Gaza itself there could not be any bishop. Still, there were churches in the country districts of Palestine , as we have seen, and in all likelihood they had bishops.

To sum up, we may say that, judged from a purely statistical standpoint, the policy of Maximinus Daza, which aimed at the utter eradication of Christianity, was by no means so insensate a venture in the case of Palestine as it was in that of Syria. Christianity won but a slender footing amid the Jewish population of the Holy Land ; such Jewish Christians as there were, had for the most part withdrawn across the Jordan . Amid the Greek population, again, Christianity had not as yet any numerical preponderance;\68/ evidently it drew its adherents from the fluctuating, poorer classes, rather than from the ranks of stable and propertied people.\69/ It is perfectly obvious, to judge from the treatise on the Palestinian martyrs (see above), that the latter section was hardly represented at all in local Christianity, and that so far as it did exist, it knew how to evade persecution. Thus it formed an unreliable asset for the church.\70/ The lengthy communication of Constantine to the [[119]] Palestinian cities (Eus., Vita Const. 2.23-42), issued shortly after the defeat of Licinius, also gives one the impression that local Christians were quite an inferior minority.

\68/ We must not, indeed, underestimate their numbers, for Eusebius would never have been able to say that "Christians are nowadays, of all nations, the richest in numbers" (H.E. 1.4.2), unless this factor had been both noticeable and superior to the religious associations of the country. The historian could not have \pronounced such a verdict, if Christianity had been an insignificant factor in his own surroundings at Cæsarea. From Eus., H.E. 9.1.8 ( μέγαν τε καὶ μόνον ἀληθῆ τὸν Χριστιανῶν θεὸν = "The Christians' God is great, and the only true God"), it follows also that public feeling, in Cæsarea at any rate, was not absolutely unfavourable to Christians; cp. also the passage quoted above (p. 114), with 9.1.11 (ὡς καὶ τοὺς πρότερον καθ’ ἡμῶν φονῶντας τὸ θαῦμα παρὰ πᾶσαν ὁρῶντας ἐλπίδα, συγχαίρειν τοῖς γεγενημένοις = "So that even those who formerly had raged against us, on seeing the utterly unexpected come to pass; congratulated us on what had occurred"), and especially 9.8.14 (θεόν τε τῶν Χριστιανῶν δοξάζειν εὐσεβεῖς τε καὶ μόνους θεοσεβεῖς τούτους ἀληθῶς πρὸς αὐτῶν ἐλεγχθέντας τῶν πραγμάτων ὁμολογεῖν·  = "Glorify the Christians' God, and acknowledge, under the demonstration of the facts themselves, that Christians were truly pious and the only reverent folk").

\69/ It would be important to know the nationality of the inhabitants of the villages which Eusebius describes as entirely Christian, i.e., the villages in which any Christians resided. They were Catholic Christians, not Jewish Christians — otherwise Eusebius would have noticed the point. They might be Greeks, but more probably they were Aramaic or Arabic speaking pagans who had been converted.

\70/ The excavations in Palestine , so far as I am aware, have as yet yielded extremely little for the history of local Christianity during the pre-Constantine age (cp. Kaufmann, Handbuch d. christl. Archäol., pp. 103 f.),but a thorough investigation of the country has hardly begun. Some Christian graves can be shown to be ancient, but we do not know how far they go back.

Christians in Palestine used Greek\71/ as the language of their worship; but, as we might a priori conjecture, several churches were bilingual (Greek and Aramaic). Direct proof of this is forthcoming in the case of Jerusalem and Scythopolis (Mart. Pal., longer edition, pp. 4, 7, 110, ed. Violet). Procopius, we are told, himself a native of Ælia, did the congregation of Scythopolis the service of translating\72/ from Greek into Aramaic (Syriac), a statement which also proves that the service­books were still (c. 300 A.D).) untranslated into the vernacular. Translated they were, but orally.\73/ This statement also shows that the need of translation was not yet pressing. Translations of the Scriptures into the Palestinian Aramaic dialect (I pass over what is said in Epiph., Hœr. 30.3.12) were [[120]] not made, so far as we have yet ascertained, until a later age. Fresh fragments of these versions have been recently made accessible,\74/ and we may expect still more of them. But it is unlikely that their originals will be pushed back into the third century.

\71/ We have already (cp. p. 105)called attention to the fact that the Gentile Christian bishops of Jerusalem down to the middle of the third century were wholly Greek — to judge from their names; two of them, however, had Syriac names after that period. The names of the nineteen Palestinian bishops at Nicæa are almost entirely Greek (the Roman name of "Longinus" occurs, at Ascalon). Two bishops indeed (Nicopolis and Aila) were called Petrus and Paulus, but this is no clue to their origin. Thus in 325 C.E. the Palestinian bishops were wholly or almost wholly Greek. At the same time, Semites, it must be recollected, took Greek names. At any rate, they were within the range of Greek civilization. For the names of the martyrs, etc., cp. above, pp. 111 f.

\72/ In Gaza a boy of the lower classes, about 400 C.E., only spoke Syriac. His mother affirmed that neither she nor her son knew Greek υἱὸς τὴν ἑλληνικὴν γλῶσσαν. ἣ δὲ διεβεβαιοῦτο ὅρκοις μηδὲ αὐτὴν μηδὲ τὸ αὐτῆς τέκνον εἰδέναι ἑλληνιστί {do ET} Mark the Deacon, Vita Porphyrii episcopi Gazensis (ed. Teubner, 1895), 66f. {= TLG 68 line 17}.

\73/ Cp. here Silviœ Peregrinatio 47: "Et quoniam in ea provincia [Palestina] pars populi et graece et siriste novit, pars etiam alia per se graece, aliqua etiam pars tantum siriste, itaque, quoniam episcopus, licet siriste noverit, tamen semper graece loquitur et numquam siriste, itaque ergo stat semper presbyter, qui, episcopo graece dicente, siriste interpretatur, et omnes audiant quae exponuntur. lectiones etiam, quaecumque in ecclesia leguntur, quia necesse est graece legi, semper stat, qui siriste interpretatur propter populum, ut semper discant. sane quicumque hic [sc. in Jerusalem] latini sunt, i.e., qui nec siriste nec graece noverunt, ne contristentur, et ipsis exponit episcopus, quia sunt alii fratres et sorores graeci-latini, qui latine exponunt eis" ("And as in the province of Palestine one section of the population knows both Greek and Syriac, whilst another is purely Greek, and a third knows only Syriac, therefore, since the bishop, though he knows Syriac, always speaks in Greek and never in Syriac, a presbyter always stands beside him to interpret his Greek into Syriac, so that all the congregation may know what is being said. Also, as the readings from Scripture in the church have to be in Greek, a Syriac interpreter is always present for the benefit of the people, that they may miss nothing of the lessons. Indeed, in case Latins here [in Jerusalem], i.e. people who know neither Greek nor Syriac, should be put out, the bishop expounds to them by themselves, since there are other brethren and sisters, Græco­Latins, who expound to them in Latin").

\74/ Cp. Lewis and Gibson, The Palestinian Syriac Lectionary of the Gospels (1899), and Violet's discovery in Damascus (see the Lexicon of Schulthess, 1903).

The inner development of the Palestinian Greek churches during our period shows — though our materials are scanty — no special features of any kind. The connection with Alexandria and the tenacious reverence for Origen, to which we have called attention, are the outstanding traits. In the history of the origin and growth of monasticism Palestine also runs parallel to Egypt. Furthermore, the veneration of heroes and martyrs (cp. the erection of martyr-chapels) can be proved for Palestine as well as for the rest of the East during the pre-Constantine age.\75/

\75/ Cp., e.g., Mart. Pal. 11.28 (fuller version), p. 102 (Violet): ἐπὶ τέτταρας δῆτα ἡμέρας τοσαύτας τε νύκτας προστάξει τοῦ Φιρμιλιανοῦ τὰ πανάγια σώματα τῶν τοῦ θεοῦ μαρτύρων εἰς βορὰν τοῖς σαρκοβόροις θηρίοις ἐξέκειτο· ὡς δὲ οὐδὲν αὐτοῖς προσῄει, οὐ θήρ, οὐκ ὄρνεον, οὐ κύων, ἐξ οἰκονομίας θεοῦ ληφθέντα σῶα καὶ ἀβλαβῆ, τῆς προσηκούσης τιμῆς καὶ κηδείας λαχόντα, τῇ συνήθειπαρεδόθη ταφῇ, ναῶν οἴκοις περικαλλέσιν ἀποτεθέντα ἐν ἱεροῖς τε προσευκτηρίοις εἰς ἄληστον μνήμην τῷ τοῦ θεοῦ λαῷ τιμᾶσθαι παραδεδομένα. {do ET}

[[Book 4, Chapter 3, section 3, part 2 (page 120 = 2nd German ed p. 98) (scanned and proofed, Elana Newberger 4/2004), edited RAK 5/2004; checked by Francisco Lameiro 2/2005; Greek added,  some ETs still needed]]

[[120 = 98]]


As we learn from Acts, Christianity reached the cities of Phoenicia at a very early period. When Paul was converted, there were already Christians at Damascus (Acts 10.2, 12 f., 19); [[121]] for Christians in Tyre see 21.4, for Ptolemais see 21.7, for Sidon 27.3, and in general 11.19.\2/

\1/ Phoenicia, as a special province, separated from Syria by Septimius Severus, was equivalent to Phoenicia proper with the adjoining interior eastward, but without Auranitis, Batanea, and Trachonitis, which Diocletian added to the province of Arabia (cp. signatures of Nicaea, and Marquardt's Staatsverwalt., 1. pp. 264 f.). That an ecclesiastical province of this name existed in 231-232 C.E. is proved by Jerome, Ep. 30.4: "Damnatur Origenes a Demetrio episcopo exceptis Palaestinae et Arabiae et Phoenicis atque Achaiae sacerdotibus." -- Cp. Maps 3, 4.

\2/ In the pseudo-Clementine Homilies, the island of Aradus (12.12), Orthosia (12.1), and Paltus (13.1), the frontier-town between Syria and Phoenicia, are all mentioned. Whether Christians existed there at that early date is uncertain.

The metropolitan position of Tyre, which was the leading city in the East for manufactures and trade, made it the ecclesiastical capital of the province; but it is questionable if Tyre enjoyed this pre-eminence as early as the second century, for at the Palestinian synod on the Easter controversy Cassius, the bishop of Tyre, and Clarus, the bishop of Ptolemais, took counsel with the bishops of AElia and of Caesarea (Eus., H.E. 5.25), to whom they seem to have been subordinate.\3/ On the other hand, Marinus of Tyre is mentioned in a letter of Dionysius of Alexandria (ibid., 7.5.1) in such a way as to make his metropolitan dignity extremely probable. Martyrs in or from Tyre, during the great persecution, are noted by Eusebius, 8.7.1 (8.8), 8.13.3 (bishop Tyrannion), Mart. Pal. 5.1 (Ulpian: a common name in Tyre; the famous jurist and this martyr were not the only Tyrians who bore this name), 7.1 (Theodosia, the woman martyr). Origen died at Tyre and was buried there. It is curious also to note that the learned Antiochene priest Dorotheus, the teacher of Eusebius, was appointed by the emperor (Diocletian, or one of his immediate predecessors) to be the director of the purple-dying trade in Tyre (Eus., H.E. 7.32). A particularly libellous edict issued by the emperor Daza against the Christians, is preserved by Eusebius (9.7), who copied it from the pillar in Tyre on which it was cut, and the historian's work reaches its climax in the great speech upon the reconstruction of the church at Tyre, "by far the most beautiful in all Phoenicia" (10.4). This speech is dedicated to Paulinus, bishop of Tyre, in whose honor indeed the whole of the tenth book of its [[122]] history is written. Unfortunately we get no information whatever, in this long address, upon the Christian community at Tyre. We can only infer the size of the community from the size of the church building (which may have stood where the ruins of the large crusading church now astonish the traveller; cp. Baedeker's Palestine, pp. 300 f.). Tyre as a Christian city was to Phoenicia what Caesarea was to Palestine. It seems to have blossomed out as a manufacturing and trading center during the imperial age, especially in the third century. A number of passages in Jerome give characteristic estimates of its size and importance.

\3/ Phoenicia was then attached to Syria; it was not a separate province of the empire. We should expect the local bishops to associate with those of Syria during the second century, but this was not so. Were they specially invited to the Palestinian synod, or did they take part in its proceedings as regular members? In the matter of Origen, they were at one with the bishops of Palestine (cp. p. 120, note 3), while the Syrian bishops seem to have condemned Origen.

In Sidon, Origen stayed for some time (Hom. 14.2, in Josuam), while it was there that the presbyter Zenobius (Eus., H.E. 8.13.3) died during the great persecution, as did some Christians at Damascus (9.5).

Eleven bishops, but no chor-episcopi, were present at the council of Nicaea from Phoenicia; namely, the bishops of Tyre, Ptolemais, Damascus, Sidon, Tripolis, Paneas, Berytus, Palmyra, Alassus\4/, Emesa, and Antaradus.\5/

\4/ Where is this town to be sought for? Perhaps the name is misspelt. Perhaps we are to think of Alalis on the Euphrates (N.E. of Palmyra), for the province of Syro-Phoenicia reached thus far, probably, in the third century.

\5/ The last-named is not quite certain (see Gelzer, op. cit., pp. 65. f.). Perhaps a twelfth still falls to be added, if the Θελέη of some MSS is genuine, and if we may identify it with "Thelsea," or "Thelseae," near Damascus (Itin. Ant. 196.2). So far as I am aware, we cannot tell where to look for the Phoenician locality mentioned by Eusebius in Vit. Const. 4.39: Ταὐτὸν δὲ καὶ ἕτεραι πλείους διεπράττοντο χῶραι, ὡς ἡ ἐπὶ τοῦ Φοινίκων ἔθνους αὐτοῦ βασιλέως ἐπώνυμος, ἧς οἱ πολῖται δυσεξαρίθμητα ξοάνων ἱδρύματα πυρὶ παραδόντες τὸν σωτήριον ἀντικατηλλάξαντο νόμον (ΕΤ= ). What was it called? Constantinople? Constantine?

Already (under Palestine) I have noted that Jewish Christians also resided in Paneas (on which town see, too, Eus., H.E. 7.17.18).\6/

\6/ This passage at any rate leads us to infer that Christians existed there, whether the well-known statue (see above, vol. 1. p. 119, and Philostorg., H.E. 7. 3) really was a statue of Christ, or was merely taken to represent him.

Tripolis is mentioned even before the council of Nicaea (in Mart. Pal. 3., where a Christian named Dionysius comes from Tripolis); the Apostolic Constitutions (7. 46) declare that Marthones was bishop of this town as early as the apostolic age; while, previous to the council of Nicaea, Hellenicus, the [[123]] local bishop, opposed Arius (Theodoret, H.E. 1.4), though Gregory, bishop of Berytus, sided with him (loc. cit.; for Berytus, see also Mart. Pal. 4. The local church was burnt under Julian; cp. Theod., H.E. 4.22).

Eusebius (8.13) calls Silvanus, at the period of the great persecution, bishop, not of Emesa but of "the churches round Emesa" (τῶν ἀμφὶ τὴν Ἔμισαν ἐκκλησιῶν ἐπίσκοπος).\7/ Emesa thus resembled Gaza; owing to the fanaticism of the inhabitants, Christians were unable to reside within the town itself, they had to quarter themselves in the adjoining villages. Anatolius, the successor of Silvanus, was the first to take up his abode within the town. Theodoret (H.E. 3.7), writing of the age of Julian, says that the church there was νεόδμητος. With regard to Heliopolis we have this definite information, that the town acquired its first church and bishop, thanks to Constantine, after 325 C.E. (cp. Vita Constant. 3.58, and Socrat., 1.18).\8/ The Mart. Syriacum mentions one martyr, Lucian, at Heliopolis. Christians also were deported (Mart. Pal. 8.2) by Daza to Lebanon for penal servitude.

\7/ In 9.6 he is simply called bishop, and he is said to have been martyred by Daza after an episcopate of forty years.

\8/ Eusebius emphasizes the unprecedented fact of a church being founded and a bishop being appointed even at Heliopolis. Then he proceeds: "In his zealous care to have as many as possible won over to the doctrine of the gospel, the emperor gave generous donations for the support of the poor at this place also, so as even thus to stir them up to receive the truths of salvation. He, too, might almost have said with the apostle, 'Whether in pretence or in truth, let Christ anyhow be proclaimed.'" How tenaciously paganism maintained itself, however, in Heliopolis (which was still predominantly pagan in the sixth century) is shown by Schultze, op. cit., 2. pp. 250 f. On the local situation towards the close of the fourth century, note the remark of Peter of Alexandria (Theod., H.E. 4.19): "In Heliopolis no inhabitant will so much as listen to the name of Christ, for they are all idolaters…..The devil's ways of pleasure are in full vogue there…..The governor of the city himself is one of the leading idolaters" (cp. Sozom., 5.10, 7.15). As late as 579 the pagans were still in the majority at Heliopolis, but shortly before the irruption of Islam the local church had got the upper hand.

One martyrdom makes it plain that there were Christians at Byblus. --Further, and finally, we must recall an interesting inscription, dated in the year 318-319 C.E. (630 of the Seleucid era), which was discovered at Deir Ali (Lebaba), about three [[124]] miles south of Damascus, by Le Bas and Waddington. It runs as follows: --

Συναγωγη Μαρκιωνιστων κωμ(ης)
  Λεβαβων του κ(υριο)υ και σω(τη)ρ(ος) Ιη(σου) Χρηστου
προνοια(ι) Παυλου πρεσβ(υτερου) -- του λχ' ετους.\9/

["The meeting-house of the Marcionists, in the village of
Lebaba, of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Erected by the forethought of Paul a presbyter -- In the year 630."]

\9/ Insc. Grec. et Latines, 3. 1870, No. 2558, p. 582; cp. Harnack in Zeitschr. f. wiss. Theol. (1876), pp. 103 f.

Thus there was a Marcionite community near Damascus in the year 318 (319) C.E. (Already, p. 109, we have found a Marcionite bishop in Palestine about the same period.)

At Choba (Kabûn), north of Damascus, there were also numerous Jewish Christians in the days of Eusebius (cp. above, p. 103).

We have no information in detail upon the diffusion and density of the Christian population throughout Phoenicia.\10/ Rather general and satisfactory information is available for Syria, a province with which Phoenicia was at that time very closely bound up; even the Phoenician tongue had long ago been dislodged by Syriac. From the letters of Chrysostom and the state of matters which still obtained in the second half of the sixth century, however, it is quite clear that Christianity got a firm footing only on the seaboard, while the inland districts of Phoenicia remained entirely pagan in the main.\11/ Yet it was but recently, not earlier than the third century, that these Phoenician-Hellenic cults had experienced a powerful revival.

\10/ On Constantine's destruction of the temple of Aphrodite at Aphaka, in the Lebanon, see Vita Const. 3.55; Sozom., 2.5.

\11/ They show (especially those dating from 406-407 C.E.) that missionary operations were carried out in the interior of Phoenicia then, as they are to-day in purely heathen lands. There must have been populous towns and districts where Christianity was as yet entirely unknown, or where the local inhabitants would not tolerate it.

The situation is quite clear; wherever Christianity went, it implied Hellenizing, and vice versa. Christianity, in the first instance, only secured a firm footing where there were Greeks. The majority of the Phoenician towns where Christian bishops [[125]] can be traced, lay on the coast; i.e., they were towns with a strong Greek population.\12/ In the large pagan cities, Emesa and Heliopolis, on the other hand, Christians were not tolerated. Once we leave out inland localities where "heretics," viz., Marcionites and Jewish Christians, resided, the only places in the interior where Christians can be found are Damascus, Paneas, and Palmyra. Damascus, the great trading city, was Greek (cp. Mommsen's Röm. Gesch. 5. p. 473; Eng. trans. 2. 146); so was Paneas. In Palmyra, the headquarters of the desert-trade, a strong Greek element also existed (Mommsen, pp. 425 f.; Eng. trans. 2. 96 f.). The national royal house in Palmyra, with its Greek infusion, was well disposed not towards the Greek but towards the scanty indigenous Christians of Syria, as may be inferred from the relations between Paul of Samosata and Zenobia, no less than from the policy adopted by Rome against him.\13/ The overthrow of this metropolitan bishop meant a victory for Hellenism.

\12/ The names of the Phoenician bishops and Christians known to us are Greco-Roman, with two exceptions. Bishops Zeno, AEneas, Magnus, Theodorus, Hellenicus, Philocalus, Gregory, Marinus, Anatolius attended the council of Nicaea; the bishop of Alassus alone has a Semitic name, "Thadoneus" (not given in Pape-Benseler), while "Zenobius" may be the Greek form of a Semitic name. It was in Phoenicia as in Palestine; Christianity appears as a Greek religion.

\13/ For the great catholic federation of churches must at that time have been felt to be a Greco-Roman institution, and consequently a menace to Palmyra.

[[Book 4, Chapter 3, section 3, part 3 (page 125 = 2nd German ed p. 102) (scanned and proofed, Elana Newberger 4/2004), edited RAK 5/2004; checked by Francisco Lameiro 2/2005; Greek added,  some ETs still needed]]

[[125 = 102]]


In accordance with its tendency towards universal dominion, Christianity streamed from Jerusalem as far as Antioch (Acts 11.), the greatest city of the East and the third city\2/ in the Roman empire, ere a few years had passed over its head. It was in Antioch that it got its name, which in all probability was originally a nickname;\3/ for Antioch was a city of nicknames [[126]] and of low-class literature.\4/ Here the first Gentile Christian community grew up; for it was adherents of Jesus drawn from paganism who were called "Christians" (cp. vol. 1. pp. 411 f.). Here Barnabas labored. Here the great apostle Paul found his sphere of action for some years, and ere long the Christian community became so important, endowed with such a vigorous self-consciousness and such independent activity, that its repute rivalled that of the Jerusalem church itself.\5/ Between the churches of Jerusalem and Antioch the cardinal question of the Gentile Christians was debated; it was the church of Antioch-mentioned along with Syria and Cilicia in Acts 15.23, and the only city noted in this connection-which took the most decided step forward in the history of the gospel; and as early as the second century it gave further expression to its church-consciousness by designating the apostle Peter as its first bishop-although, to judge from Gal. 2.11 f., it was no glorious role that he had played in Antioch.\6/ One of its churches was traced back to the apostolic age (see above, p. 85).

\1/ Cp. Map 4.-Marquardt., op. cit. 1. pp. 324 f.; Mommsen, 5, pp. 446 f. (Eng. trans. 2.120 f.).

\2/ So, from Josephus to the author of the Chron. Paschale. We need only allude to the incomparable position of Antioch in the East.

\3/ According to Theophilus, ad Autol. 1.12, the pagans in Antioch even as late as 180 C.E. took the name "Christian" as a term of ridicule ( περὶ τοῦ σε καταγελᾶν μου, καλοῦντά με χριστιανόν, οὐκ οἶδας ὃ λέγεις).

\4/ We hear of this in the reign of Julian.

\5/ In this connection special moment attaches to Acts 11.27 f. (where the wealthier church of Antioch supports the brethren in Judæa), and further, to Acts 13.1 f.: Ἦσαν δὲ ἐν Ἀντιοχείᾳ κατὰ τὴν οὖσαν ἐκκλησίαν προφῆται καὶ διδάσκαλοι ὅ τε Βαρναβᾶς καὶ Συμεὼν ὁ καλούμενος Νίγερ, καὶ Λούκιος ὁ Κυρηναῖος, Μαναήν τε Ἡρῴδου τοῦ τετραάρχου σύντροφος καὶ Σαῦλος.  (2.)  λειτουργούντων δὲ αὐτῶν τῷ κυρίῳ καὶ νηστευόντων εἶπεν τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον, Ἀφορίσατε δή μοι τὸν Βαρναβᾶν καὶ Σαῦλον εἰς τὸ ἔργον, κ.τ.λ.  At the very outset a certain Nicolaus, προσήλυτος Ἀντιοχεύς (a proselyte from Antioch), appears as a guardian of the poor in Jerusalem (Acts 6.6).

\6/ As also by the device of placing a great apostolic synod at Antioch (see the Excursus, in the first edition of this work, to Chap. 5, Book 1). The great importance of Antioch is well brought out by Knopf in his Nachapost. Zeitalter, pp. 50 f. -- We have frequent evidence that church music spread from Antioch throughout the whole church. Socrates (6.8) notices the legend that Ignatius the local bishop learned responsive chanting from the angels.

We know next to nothing of the history of Christianity in Cœle-Syria during the first three centuries,\7/ but a succession of data is available for Antioch itself. We possess, for example, the list of the Antiochene episcopate, and the very names [[127]] are instructive.\8/ Euodius, Ignatius, Heron, Cornelius, Eros, Theophilus, Maximinus, Serapion, Asclepiades, Philetus, Zebinus, Babylas, Fabius, Demetrianus, Paulus, Domnus, Timaeus, Cyrillus, Tyrannus -- the large majority of these names are Greek, and Greek was the language of the church. Its fame is established by Ignatius, after Paul. Several features (though they are not many) in the contemporary situation of the church at Antioch can be made out from the epistles of Ignatius, who proudly terms it "the church of Syria." In Smyrn. 11.2, he says that after the persecution it had regained its proper size (ἴδιον μέγεθος). The claim which he advances, under cover of an exaggerated modesty, to instruct foreign churches probably sprang, not simply from his personal attainments as a confessor, but also from the ecclesiastical and commanding position of the city of which he was bishop. The central position of the church is indicated by the fact that all the Asiatic churches sent envoys to congratulate the church of Antioch upon its recovery. It now occupied the place once held by Jerusalem.

\7/ We know that a seat, or the seat, of the sect of the Elkesaites was at Apamea, whence the Elkesaite Alcibiades travelled to Rome (Hipp., Philos. 9.13). The Elkesaites, however, belong to the history of Jewish Christianity. They were not a sect of the Catholic church.

\8/ Cp. my Chronologie 1, pp. 208 f. and elsewhere.

In later times it was given out that Euodius, the predecessor of Ignatius, had also been an author. This is erroneous. The bishops Theophilus, Serapion, and Paulus,\9/ however, were authors (writing, like Ignatius, in Greek), as was the Antiochene presbyter Geminus (Jerome, de Vir. Ill. 64). There were also letters from Fabius. Famous schools of learning were held by the presbyter Malchion (Eus., H.E. 7.29), the presbyter Dorotheus (7.23), and above all by Lucian. The church of [[128]] Antioch also took part in the great general controversies, the Montanist, the Origenist (siding against Origen), the Novatian, the baptismal, and the Christological, and it maintained a vital intercourse with other churches. It mediated between the church at large, which was substantially Greek, and the Syriac East, just as the Roman church did between the former and the Latin-speaking West.\10/ Further, unless the evidence is deceptive, it was the church of Antioch which introduced into the cultus of Greek Christendom its strongly rhetorical element-an element of display and fantasy. Once more, it was in this church that the dynamic Christology received its most powerful statement; here Arianism arose; and here the ablest school of exegesis flourished. Thanks to the biblical scholarship of Lucian, the teacher of Arius, Antioch acquired a widespread importance for the development of exegesis and theology in the East (Arianism, the Antiochene school of exegesis, Nestorianism).

\9/ The Apology of pseudo-Melito (Otto's Corp. Apol. 9), composed about the beginning of the third century, was probably written in Syriac originally (and in Cœle-Syria), but it is the only Syriac writing which can be named in this connection (cp. my Chronologie 1, pp. 522 f.; 2, pp. 129 f.). Investigations into the Acts of Thomas have not yet advanced far enough to enable us to arrive at any certain decision upon the question whether they belong to the province of Edessa or to that of Western Syria. The great probability is, however, that they were composed in Syriac, and that they belong (cp. my Litt. Gesch. 1, pp. 545 f.; 2.2, pp. 175 f.) to Edessa -- in fact, to the circle of that great Eastern missionary and teacher, Bardesanes; cp. Nöldeke in Lipsius' Apokr. Apostelgeschichten 2.2, pp. 423 f., and Burkitt in the Journal of Theological Studies 1, pp. 280 f. The Syriac version of the gospels also belongs to Edessa, rather than to Western Syria. The gnostic Saturninus (Satornil) also belonged to Antioch (cp. Iren., 1.24.1), and other gnostic sects and schools (Ophites, etc.) originated in Syria. Their language was Greek, but interspersed with many Semitic loan-words.

\10/ It is instructive to note how Cornelius of Rome plumes himself upon the greatness of Rome, in writing to Fabius of Antioch (Eus., H.E. 6.43). He had reason to do so, in face of Antioch's prestige.

The central position of the church is reflected in the great synods held at Antioch from the middle of the third century onwards. Dionysius of Alexandria (Eus., H.E. 6.46) wrote to Cornelius of Rome that he had been invited to a synod at Antioch (251 C.E.) upon the baptism of heretics, by Helenus of Tyre and the other bishops of the country, as well as by Firmilian of Cappadocia and Theoktistus, a Palestinian bishop (of Cæsarea). The outcome of the synod is described by him in a letter to Stephen of Rome (ibid. 7.5): "Kow that all the churches of the East, and even beyond it, which previously were divided, have once more become united. All over, the bishops are harmonious and unanimous, greatly delighted at the unexpected restoration of peace among the churches." He then proceeds to enumerate the bishops of Antioch, Cæsarea, Ælia, Tyre, Laodicea, Tarsus, "and all the churches of Cilicia, besides Firmilian and all Cappadocia-for, to avoid making my letter too long, I have merely named the most prominent bishops. Add all Syria and Arabia,….with Mesopotamia, Pontus, and Bithynia." Setting aside the two last-named provinces, we may [[129]] say that this forms a list of the provinces over which the influence of Antioch normally extended.\11/ To the last great synod at Antioch against Paulus, the Antiochene bishop, no fewer than seventy or eighty bishops gathered from all the provinces, [[130]] from Pontus to Egypt;.\12/ for, it must be remembered, the Christological crisis, in which their metropolitan was the "heretic" of the hour, was of supreme moment to the church Unfortunately, we know nothing of the seats of these bishops.\13/

\11/ This also serves to explain the well-known passage in the sixth canon of Nicæa: ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ κατὰ Ἀντιόχειαν καὶ ἐν ταῖς ἄλλαις ἐπαρχίαις τὰ πρεσβεῖα σώζεσθαι ταῖς ἐκκλησίαις  ("Likewise with regard to Antioch and throughout the other provinces, the due prerogatives are to be secured for the churches"). This certainly refers to a kind of super-metropolitan authority, not simply to the metropolitan constitution (in Rome, Alexandria, and Antioch). The first sign of the metropolitan constitution emerges at Antioch, in relation to Syria (cp. Lübeck's Reichseinteilung und kirchliche Hierarchie, pp. 42 f.), and it is there also that we come upon the beginnings of the super-metropolitan authority (prior to Diocletian). This is established by one fact after another. The bishops of the "East" were conscious of forming, within the catholic church, a powerful group by themselves, with a unity of their own, centring in Antioch. There was a diocese of "the East" within the church long before the political division arose. (1) The great synods of Antioch were attended by bishops from many provinces, i.e., of the "East" in general (excluding proconsular Asia and Egypt: bishops did come from the later diocese of Pontus, but the Alexandrian bishop Dionysius only seems to have been invited out of regard for his high personal reputation). Even when there was reason to make common cause against the bishop of Antioch at a synod, Antioch was chosen as the meeting-place; cp. the cases of Fabius and Paul of Samosata. (2) When Antioch had to be passed over, and another city selected as the place of meeting, the bishop of Antioch still presided over the Synod, as at Ancyra and Neo-Cæsarea in the beginning of the fourth century. (Lübeck's contention, pp. 104 f., that the pre-eminence of Antioch grew up gradually out of the synodal custom, seems to me to confuse cause and effect. The starting-point of it certainly lay in the prestige of the city as the capital of what was an exceptionally large province at the beginning of the imperial period, as well as in the primitive importance of the local church. It is surprising that Antioch does not come forward at the Paschal controversy of 190 C.E., when the separate Eastern provinces act quite independently.) (3) According to reliable traditions, the first catholic bishop of Edessa was ordained by Serapion, the bishop of Antioch. (4) The bishop of Antioch exercised supervision over Rhossus in Cilicia at the opening of the third century, though Cilicia had been an independent province since Hadrian (Eus., H.E. 6.12). (5) He had also certain rights in connection with the mission and the episcopate in mission-districts like Persia, Armenia, and Georgia.-- The actual prerogatives (πρεσβεῖα) of the Antiochene bishop were distinct from those of the bishops of Alexandria and Rome. The facts of the case prove this. While the latter had the right of episcopal ordination in several provinces, all that can be shown to have been possessed by the Antiochene bishop was the right of ordaining the metropolitans of the Eastern provinces (and even this is not quite certain), the privilege of summoning Eastern synods, and the exercise of a certain control over then, together with the supervision of the propaganda (as missionary archbishop). For a true account of these functions, cp. Lübeck, pp. 134 f. The distinctive and superior privileges of the Antiochene bishop, over against the metropolitans, must have consisted in practice [[130b]] and custom rather than in definite, prescribed functions; in this respect he differed from the bishops of Rome and Alexandria. Hence, in the sixth canon of Nicæa Rome is bracketed with Alexandria, not with Antioch; it is with reference to Antioch that the general term πρεσβεῖα is employed.

\12/ Eusebius (H.E. 7.28) speaks of μύριοι ("thousands"), Athanasius gives seventy (de Synod. 43), and Hilarius (de Synod. 86), eighty bishops. Basilius Diaconus (fifth century) reckons a hundred and eighty.

\13/ The document issued by the Antiochene synod to the bishops of Rome and Alexandria as well as to the whole church (Eus., H.E. 7.30) mentions, in its address, the names of Helenus (Tarsus), Hymenæus (Jerusalem), Theophilus (? perhaps Tyre), Theoteknus (Cæsarea), Maximus (Bostra), Proclus (?), Nicomas (?), Ælianus (?), Paulus (?), Bolanus (?), Protogenes (?), Hierax (?), Eutychius (?), Theodorus (?), Malchion (presbyter of Antioch), and Lucius (probably also a presbyter of Antioch). Unfortunately, the bishoprics of most are unknown, nor do we know why these alone are mentioned. Did the Eastern metropolitans, with some presbyters of Antioch, name themselves alone as the senders of the document? Photius thinks these were only a few prelates who ratified the deposition; he mentions twelve.

Although the information which we possess about Paul at Antioch in the role of bishop comes from a hostile pen, it throws light on the size and "secularism" of the local Christian community in the second half of the third century (Eus., H.E. 7.30).\14/ "At an earlier period he was poor and a beggar. He neither inherited any means from his parents, nor did he make any money by any craft or trade whatever; yet he is now in possession of extravagant wealth, thanks to his iniquitous transactions, his acts of sacrilege, and his extortionate demands upon the brethren. For he officiously recommends himself to people who are wronged, promising to help them for a consideration. Yet all he does is to cheat them, making a profit for himself, without any service in return, out of litigants who are quite ready to pay money in order to get quit of a troublesome [[131]] business. Thus he treats piety as a means of making some profit. He is haughty and puffed up; he is invested with secular dignities; he would rather be called 'ducenarius' [an imperial procurator of the second rank] than 'bishop'; he strides ostentatiously up and down the public squares, reading or dictating letters publicly in the middle of his walk, and having a numerous retinue who escort him in front and behind. Thus, owing to his arrogance and insolence, our faith wins ill will and hatred from the public. In the assemblies of the church his inordinate ambition and vainglorious pride make him behave in an inexplicable fashion, and thus he captivates the minds of simple folks till they actually admire him. He has a platform and a high throne erected for himself, unlike a disciple of Christ. Also, like secular officials, he has his private cabinet (secretum). He strikes his hand upon his thigh, stamps with his feet upon the platform, and inveighs with insolent insults against those who, instead of breaking out in applause of himself, or waving their handkerchiefs like the audience in a theatre, or shouting aloud and jumping like the men and women of his own company who behave in this indecent fashion, prefer to listen to him reverently and quietly as befits the house of God. Dead expositors of the word of God are assailed in public with coarse and vulgar taunts, while the speaker exalts himself in swelling terms as if he were a sophist or juggler and not a bishop. Hymns in praise of our Lord Jesus Christ he puts a stop to, as too recently composed by modern men; whereas he has songs sung to his own praise and glory by women in the public congregation on the opening day of the paschal feast, songs which might well make any audience shudder. Similar courses are advocated, at his instigation, by the bishops of neighboring localities and towns who fawn upon him, as well as by the priests in their addresses to the people. Thus he will not acknowledge, with us, that the Son of God has come down from heaven…..Jesus, he says, is from below. Whereas those who sing hymns in his own honor and publicly praise him, assert that he himself has come down as an angel from heaven; and instead of checking such outbursts, the arrogant fellow listens when they are uttered. Furthermore, he has 'virgines subintroductæ' [[132]] of his own, 'lady companions,' as the people of Antioch call them. So have the priests and deacons in his company. Of this, as of all the rest of their pernicious errors, he is perfectly cognisant. But he connives at them, in order to attach the men to himself and prevent them, through fear of personal consequences, from daring to challenge his own unrighteous words and deeds…..Even if he should have committed no act of immorality [with regard to the 'virgines'], still he ought to have eschewed the suspicion of it…..He has indeed dismissed one such woman, but he still retains two in the bloom and beauty of their sex, takes them with him on his travels, and lives meanwhile in sumptuous and luxurious fashion. Such practices make everyone groan and lament in private. But no one dares to bring him to task, such is their dread of his authority and tyranny. Yet for such practices one would call him to account [i.e., not condemning him outright, nor conniving at his actions], if he still were a catholic and belonged to our own number."

\14/ According to later Oriental sources (cp. Westphal, Unters. über die Quellen und die Glaubwürdigkeit der Patriarchalchroniken des Mari ibn Sulaiman, etc., 1901, pp. 62 f.), Demetrianus, Paul's predecessor in the see of Antioch, was exiled to Persia. This tradition, which answers to the general situation (the city was sacked by the Persians in 260 C.E.) and has nothing against it, proves that about 260 C.E. both the church of Antioch and its bishop possessed some political weight. Labourt, however, questions its authenticity (Le Christianisme dans l'empire Perse, 1904, p. 19).

I have quoted this passage in extenso, as I consider it is extremely important evidence for the spread and the position of the church in Antioch at that period.\15/ The best-established feature in the whole description (for a large number of the malicious charges, which are a proof of Antiochene journalism, may be brushed aside) is that the bishop had by this time assumed, perhaps had had to assume, the customs and bearing of a high state-official. This feature brings out very clearly the development and importance of the local Christian community. Besides, the relations between Paul and the royal house of Palmyra (Syrian by race), so far as these are known or may be conjectured, show that Christianity already played a political role in Antioch.\16/ Furthermore, the authentic document [[133]] preserved by Eusebius tells us that Paul refused to admit his condemnation, nor would he evacuate his episcopal residence. Whereupon-Zenobia meanwhile having been conquered by Rome, and the collateral rule of the house of Palmyra having been overthrown in Egypt and throughout the East -- the matter was laid before the emperor Aurelian, who ordered (272 C.E.) the residence to be handed over to the bishop with whom the Christian bishops of Italy and Rome were in epistolary communion. This forms one conspicuous proof of the political significance attaching to the church of Antioch. The Antiochene bishop was to be a support of Roman power in the chief city of the East; such was the meaning of Aurelian's decision. It throws light on Constantine's policy of making bishops the pillars of his rule.

\15/ One of Paul's successors, Philogonius, was "caught up from the forum" (ἐκ μέσης τῆς ἀγορᾶς ἁρπασθείς, Chrys., t. 1,  p. 495) and made a bishop, at the beginning of the fourth century. He was evidently a jurist.

\16/ Paul's entrance on his episcopate at Antioch fell at the very period, and probably in the very year, when the Persians captured Antioch. As soon as the Persians retreated, Gallienus appointed Odænathus to a position of practically independent authority over Palmyra and the East. Paul must have understood admirably how to curry favour with this ruler and his queen Zenobia, for, in spite of his episcopal position, he was imperial procurator in Antioch.

It is impossible to draw up any statistical calculations with regard to the church about 320 C.E., but at any rate there were several churches in the city (Theod., H.E. 1.2),\17/ and if the local Christians really were in the majority in Julian's reign, their number must have been very large as early as the year 320. Diodorus and Chrysostom preached in what was substantially a Christian city, as the latter explicitly attests in several passages. He gives the number of the inhabitants (excluding slaves and children) at 200,000 (Hom. In Ignat. 4), the total of members belonging to the chief church being 100,000 (Hom. 85 [86], c. 4).\18/ Antioch in early days was always the stronghold of Eastern Christianity, and the local church was perfectly conscious of its vocation as the church of the metropolis. The horizon and effective power of the Antiochene bishop extended as far as Mesopotamia and Persia, Armenia and Georgia. He felt himself in duty bound to superintend the missions and the consolidation of the church [[134]] throughout these countries. The execution of this task led to the steady growth of certain rights, which were never formally defined, but which were exercised by the Antiochene bishop throughout the East. Similarly, he recognized his duties with regard to the defence of the church against heretics, who were fond of resorting to the East.\19/ It was from Antioch that the missionary impulse of Chrysostom proceeded, as well as the vigorous campaign against the heretics waged by the great exegetes, by Diodorus and Theodoret, and by Chrysostom and Nestorius.

\17/ He writes as follows: when the peace began Vitalius was bishop, "who built the church ἐν τῇ Παλαιᾷ which the tyrants had destroyed. Philogonius, his successor, completed the buildings" (ὃς καὶ τὴν ἐν τῇ Παλαιᾷ καταλυθεῖσαν ὑπὸ τῶν τυράννων ᾠκοδόμησεν ἐκκλησίαν· Φιλογόνιος δὲ μετὰ τοῦτον τὴν προεδρίαν λαβὼν τά τε λειπόμενα τῇ οἰκοδομίᾳ προστέθεικε). The words may also be understood to mean, of course, that ἡ ἐκκλησία ἐν τῇ Παλαιᾷ was the only local church.

\18/ Cp. Schultze (op. cit., 2. p. 263); Gibbon (The Decline and Fall, Germ. trans. by Sporschil, 2. p. 219) takes the 100,000 to represent the total of the Christians in Antioch itself.

\19/ This was the case with the Marcionites and several gnostic sects, as is shown by the works of Theodoret, who boasts (e.g., in Ep. 63.) that over a thousand Marcionites had been converted in his diocese alone, and also by the writings of later authors (even in Arabic).

Outside the gates of Antioch, that "fair city of the Greeks" (see Isaac of Antioch's Carmen 15, ed. Bickell, 1.294), Syriac was the language of the people; in fact it was spoken by the lower classes in Antioch itself (Nöldeke), and only in the upper classes of the Greek towns was it displaced by Greek. The Syriac spirit was wedded to Greek, however, even here, and remained the predominant factor in religious and in social life,\20/ although at first and indeed for long it did not look as if it would.\21/ Yet in this Syrian world, Christianity\22/ operated from [[135]] Edessa (see below) rather than from Antioch, unless we are wholly mistaken. The wide territory lying between these cities was consequently evangelized from two centres during the third century; from Antioch in the West by means of a Greek Christian\23/ propaganda, and from Edessa in the East by means of one which was Syro-Christian. The inference is that the larger towns practically adopted the former, while the country towns and villages went over to the latter. At the same time there was also a Western Syrian movement of Christianity, though it did not amount to much, both in and after the days of Paul of Samosata and Zenobia.

\20/ Even in the Greek cites there were bishops who spoke Greek with a Syrian accent; cp. Socrates, 6.11, on Severianus, bishop of Gabbala: Σεβηριανὸς δοκῶν πεπαιδεῦσθαι, οὐ πάνυ τῇ φωνῇ τὴν Ἑλληνικὴν ἐξετράνου γλῶσσαν· ἀλλὰ καὶ Ἑλληνιστὶ φθεγγόμενος Σύρος ἦν τὴν φωνήν ("Though Severianus was reputed to be cultured, he was very defective in his pronunciation of Greek, since he spoke Greek with a Syrian accent").

\21/ Mommsen, op. cit., p. 451: "The relations between the Greeks and the older population of Syria may be inferred clearly from the local terminology. The majority of the towns and districts bore Greek names, mainly derived, as we have seen, from Macedonia-e.g., Pieria, Anthemusias, Arethusa, Berœa, Chalcis, Edessa, Europos, Cyrrhus, Larissa, Pella. Others were called after Alexander or some member of the Seleucid house -- e.g., Alexandria, Antioch, Seleucis and Seleucia, Apameia, Laodicea, Epiphaneia. The old native names kept their place indeed, as in the case of Berœa (formerly Chalep in Aramaic, or Chalybon), Edessa or Hierapolis (previously Mabug or Bambyce), and Epiphania (previously Hamath or Amathe); but the newer names mostly displaced the old, and only a few districts (e.g., Commagene, Samosata, etc.) did without new Greek names."

\22/ It was in alliance with Greek that Syriac literature first arose; cp. Wright, A Short History of Syriac Literature (1894), and Duval, La Littérature Syriaque (1899).

\23/ The peculiarity of the Antiochene (upper) bishop in early days was that his interest in missions, extending as far as Mesopotamia, was confined to the spread of a Greek Christianity; he did little for the establishment of a national Syrian church. This was where Edessa came in. But I think it too much to say, with Burkitt (Early Eastern Christianity, p. 10), that "the church of Antioch was, so far as we know, wholly Greek. The country districts, where there was a Semitic-speaking population, seem to have remained unevangelized. Where the Jews had settled, the new Jewish heresy followed, but the country-side remained pagan."

The work of conversion, so it would appear, made greater headway in Cœle-Syria, however, than in Phœnicia. No fewer than twenty-two bishops from Cœle-Syria attended Nicæa (two chor-episcopi, observe!), including several who had un-Hellenic names.\24/ Hence we may infer the existence of no inconsiderable number of national Syrian Christians. By about 325 the districts round Antioch seem to have contained a very large number of Christians, and one dated (331) Christian inscription from a suburban village runs as follows: "Christ, have mercy; there is but one God."\25/ In Chrysostom's day these Syrian villages appear to have been practically Christian. Lucian, the priest of Antioch, declares in his speech before the magistrate in Nicomedia (311 C.E.) that "almost the greater part of the world now adheres to this Truth, yea whole cities; even if any of this evidence seems suspect, there is no doubt regarding multitudes of country-folk, who are innocent of guile" ("pars [[136]] paene mundi iam maior huic veritati adstipulatur, urbes integrae, aut si in his aliquid suspectum videtur, contestatur de his etiam agrestis manus, ignara figmenti"); and although this may reflect impressions which he had just received in Bithynia, there was substantial ground for the statement in the local circumstances of Syria.\26/ The numbers of the clergy in 303 throughout Syria are evident from Eus., H.E. 8.6: "An enormous number were put in prison at every place. The prisons, hitherto reserved for murderers and riflers of graves, were now packed everywhere with bishops, priests, deacons, lectors, and exorcists." The data at our command are as follows:-

\24/ Eustathius, Zenobius, Theodotus, Alphius, Basanius, Philoxenus, Salamanes, Piperius, Archelaus, Euphrantion, Phaladus, Zoilus, Bassus, Gerontius, Manicius, Eustathius, Paulus, Siricius, Selencus, Petrus, Pegasius, Bassones.

\25/ In a fragment from a debate with Paul of Samosata, which Pitra (Anal. 3. p. 600 f.) has edited, Malchion is called πρεσβύτερος Ἀλχέων. Is this the name of some unknown place near Antioch?

\26/ If the Didascalia Apost., of which Achelis has just published a scholarly edition (Texte u. Unters. 25.2), belongs to Western Syria, it would supply a large amount of information on the ecclesiastical situation and the spread of local Christianity during the third century. But I think it more likely (though I am not sure) that it belongs to the province of Arabia (see below).

(1) Acts (15.) already mentions churches in Syria besides Antioch.

(2) Ignatius, apropos of Antioch (ad Philad. 10), mentions "churches in the neighborhood" (ἔγγιστα ἐκκλησίαι) which had already bishops of their own.\27/ These certainly included Seleucia, the seaport of Antioch mentioned in Acts 13.4.

\27/ Some scholars, however, place these ἔγγιστα ἐκκλησίαι in Asia Minor.

(3) Apamea was a center of the Elkesaites (cp. above, vol. 1, p. 62).

(4) Dionys. Alex. (in Eus., H.E. 7.5.2) observes that the Roman church frequently sent contributions to the Syrian churches.\28/

\28/ Unfortunately, we know no particulars. Were they town churches or country churches, Greek or Syrian? Had the Persian invasion reduced churches in Syria to the need of begging? Did the Roman bishop intervene of his own accord? In any case, we can understand Aurelian's edict still better when we put it beside this remark of Dionysius: αἱ Συρίαι ὅλαι (i.e., not merely Cœle-Syria)  καὶ ἡ Ἀραβία, οἷς ἐπαρκεῖτε  (you, Romans) ἑκάστοτε καὶ οἷς νῦν ἐπεστείλατε. It appears from this that the Roman church regularly intervened there in cases of distress. This is very significant. If Antioch had already secured a certain authority over the churches of the Eastern provinces, the Roman bishop had also gained an informal influence by means of help in local cases of need, for a generous benefactor always acquires influence and power.

(5) The document of the Antiochene synod of 268 (Eus., 7.30) mentions, in connection with Antioch, "bishops of the [[137]] neighboring country and cities" (ἐπίσκοποι τῶν ὁμόρων ἀγρῶν τε καὶ πόλεων). The towns in the vicinity of Antioch, far and near, must already have had bishops, in all or nearly all cases, if country bishops were in existence. From Eus., 6.12, we learn that by about 200 C.E., there was a Christian community (and a bishop?) at Rhossus which was gravitating towards Antioch.

(6) Two chor-episcopi from Cœle-Syria attended the council of Nicæa. In Martyrol. Hieron. (Achelis, Mart. Hieron., p. 168), a martyrdom is noted as having occurred "in Syria vico Margaritato," as well as another (p. 177 f.) "in Syria provincia regione Apameae vico Aprocavictu," but both these places are unknown.

(7) The number of bishops from Cœle-Syria who were at Nicæa was as follows: Antioch, Seleucia, Laodicea,\29/ Apamea, Raphaneæ, Hierapolis (=Mabug, Bambyce), Germanicia (=Marasch; Theodoret, H.E. 2.25: Γερμανίκεια πόλις ἐστὶν ἐν μεθορίῳ τῆς Κιλίκων καὶ Σύρων καὶ Καππαδοκῶν κειμένη), Samosata, Doliche, Balaneæ (cp. Hom. Clem. 13.1),\30/ Gabula, Zeugma, Larisa, Epiphania, Arethusa,\31/ Neocæsarea (Theodoret, H.E. 1.7: φρούριον δὲ τοῦτο ταῖς τοῦ Εὐφράτου παρακείμενον ὄχθαις), Cyrrhus, Gindaron, Arbokadama (Harba Q'dam, unidentified; cp. Schwartz. Zur. Gesch. der Athan. 6. p. 285), and Gabbala. These towns lay in the most diverse districts of this wide country, on the seaboard, in the valley of the Orontes, in the Euphrates valley, between the Orontes and the Euphrates, and in the north. Their distribution shows that Christianity was fairly uniform and fairly strong in Syria about 325,\32/ as is strikingly shown by the rescript of Daza to Sabinus (Eus., [[138]] H.E. 9.9α.1) -- for we must understand the experiences undergone by the churches of Syrian Antioch and Asia Minor, when we read the emperor's words about σχεδὸν ἅπαντας ἀνθρώπους καταλειφθείσης τῆς τῶν θεῶν θρῃσκείας τῷ ἔθνει τῶν Χριστιανῶν ἑαυτοὺς συμμεμιχότας ("almost all men abandoning the worship of the gods and attaching themselves to the Christian people"). This remark is not to be taken simply as a rhetorical flourish. For after speaking in one place about the first edict of Diocletian, Eusebius proceeds as follows : οὐκ εἰς μακρὸν δ’ ἑτέρων κατὰ τὴν Μελιτηνὴν οὕτω καλουμένην χώραν καὶ αὖ πάλιν ἄλλων ἀμφὶ τὴν Συρίαν ἐπιφυῆναι τῇ βασιλείᾳ πεπειραμένων, τοὺς πανταχόσε τῶν ἐκκλησιῶν προεστῶτας εἱρκταῖς καὶ δεσμοῖς ἐνεῖραι πρόσταγμα ἐφοίτα βασιλικόν ("Not long afterwards, as some people in the district called Melitene and in other districts throughout Syria attempted to usurp the kingdom, a royal decree went forth to the effect that the head officials of the churches everywhere should be put in prison and chains," 8.6.8). Eusebius does not say it in so many words, but the context makes it quite clear that the emperor held the Christians responsible for both of these outbreaks (that in Melitene being unknown to history). This proves that the Christians in Melitene and Syria must have been extremely numerous, otherwise the emperor would never have met revolutionary outbursts (which in Syria, and, one may conjecture, in Melitene also, originated with the army) with edicts against the Christian clergy.

\29/ It is, of course, the Laodicea on the sea-coast that is meant, not that on the Lebanon (S.W. of Emesa).

\30/ For the names, cp. Cuntz ("Stadiasmus Maris Magni") in Texte u. Unters. 29.1. p. 9.

\31/ For the local events in Julian's reign, cp. Theodoret, H.E. 3.7.

\32/ The opposition offered to Christianity varied considerably in the various towns. In Apamea it would seem to have been particularly keen. Even for the period c. 400 C.E., Sozomen (7.15.12) observes: Σύρων δὲ μάλιστα οἱ τοῦ νομοῦ Ἀπαμείας τῆς πρὸς τῷ Ἀξίῳ ποταμῷ· οὓς ἐπυθόμην ἐπὶ φυλακῇ τῶν παρ’ αὐτοῖς ναῶν συμμαχίαις χρήσασθαι πολλάκις Γαλιλαίων ἀνδρῶν καὶ τῶν περὶ τὸν Λίβανον κωμῶν, τὸ δὲ τελευταῖον ἐπὶ τοσοῦτον προελθεῖν τόλμης, ὡς καὶ Μάρκελλον τὸν τῇδε ἐπίσκοπον ἀνελεῖν ("I have been told [[138b]] that the Syrian inhabitants of Apamea often employed the men of Galilee and the Lebanon villages to aid them in a military defence of their temple, and that at last they actually went so far as to slay the local bishop") [who had had the temple demolished].

All that we know about the earlier history of Christianity in the towns is confined to some facts about Laodicea (where bishop Thelymidres was prominent about 250 C.E.; cp. Eus., 6.46; he was followed by Heliodorus, 7.5, and subsequently by Eusebius of Alexandria, and the famous Anatolius, 7.32), Arethusa (cp. Sozom., 5.10; Vit. Const. 3.62), and Samosata (the birthplace of Paul of Antioch, though we do not know if [[139]] he was of Christian birth).\33/ The bishop of Rhossus was not at Nicæa (Rhossus, however, may also be assigned to Cilicia). But, as we have seen above, Rhossus did possess a Christian church about 200 C.E., which came under the supervision of the church at Antioch. There was a Jewish Christian church at Berœa (Aleppo) in the fourth century (cp. p. 101).\34/ The local Gentile Christian church cannot have been important; cp. the experiences of Julian there (Ep. 27, p. 516, ed. Hertlein).

\33/ The spelling of this name as "Thelymitres" occurs in Pape-Benseler (in inscriptions) and in one manuscript of Eusebius.

\34/ One bishop in Syria (προεστώς τις τῆς ἐκκλησίας), Hippolytus relates (in Daniel, p. 230, ed. Bonwetsch; see above, p. 79), by his enthusiastic fanaticism seduced his fellow-members into the wilderness with their wives and children in order to meet Christ. The local governor had them arrested, and they were almost condemned as robbers, had not the governor's wife, who was a believer (οὖσα πιστή), interceded on their behalf. Unfortunately, Hippolytus does not name the locality. -- There were also Novatian churches in Syria (cp. the polemical treatise by Eusebius of Emesa, in the fourth century; Fabius of Antioch had sided with the Novatians). But we do not know where to look for them.

Finally, we have to consider the pseudo-Clementine epistle de Virginitate, which probably dates from the beginning of the third century, either in Palestine or in Southern Syria.\35/ It contains directions for itinerant ascetics, and five kinds of places are enumerated where such people stayed and passed the night (2.1-6), viz.: (1) places with a number of married brethren and ascetics; (2) places with married brethren but without ascetics; (3) places where there were only Christian wives and girls; (4) places where there was only one Christian woman; and (5) places where there were no Christians at all. The third and fourth classes are of special interest. They corroborate what is otherwise well known, viz., that women formed the majority within the Christian communities (cp. above, p. 83). We also get an instructive picture of the state of morals and manners, in the directions given for the behavior of an itinerant ascetic in places where no Christians were to be found at all. This account [for which see vol. 1, pp. 355 f.] relates to small country churches. And their number must have been considerable. Theodoret (Ep. 113.) observes that [[140]] his diocese of Cyrrhus contained 800 parishes. By that time, of course, over a century had passed since the days of Constantine; still, a number of these parishes were certainly earlier than the emperor's reign.

\35/ Cp. my study of it in the Sitzungsberichte d. k. Pr. Akad. Wiss., 1891, pp. 361 f., and Chronologie, 2.133 f. The epistle is only complete in the Syriac version, but we have large fragments of the Greek original.

The rôle of the Syrians in the empire, alongside of the Jews, is well known, especially from the Antonines onwards. Syrian traders ("The Syrians are merchants and the most greedy of men," Jerome, Ep. 130.7) made their way into every province; they even went beyond the bounds of the empire. But Syrian settlers were also to be found engaged everywhere in trade. In their train the missionaries of the Syrian deities, with "mathematici" and sages, pushed westward and northward. Each, as a rule, preached one exclusive god; the religion was a kind of monotheism. The Syrian Greeks were also enamoured of this itinerant and commercial life, as philosophers, orators, litterateurs, and jurists. When one recollects that Antioch was the mother-church of Gentile Christianity, the spread of Christianity can be illustrated even from the standpoint of Syrian trade activity. The Romans and the Greeks did not esteem the Syrians very highly. Cicero reckons then among the nations which were born to be slaves. "Yet even this characteristic guaranteed to them the future," says Renan (Les Apôtres, Germ. ed., p. 308), "for the future belonged then to slaves."

[[Book 4, Chapter 3, section 3, part 4 (page 140 = 2nd German ed p. 116) (scanned and proofed, Elana Newberger 4/2004), edited RAK 5/2004; checked by Francisco Lameiro 2/2005; Greek added,  some ETs still needed]]

[[140 = 116]]

4. CYPRUS\1/

At Salamis (=Constantia) and Paphos Barnabas the Cypriote and Paul had once done mission-work (Acts 13.), while Barnabas and Mark returned to the island later on as missionaries (Acts 15.). Jews abounded in Cyprus, so that the way lay open for the Christian propaganda. It was Cypriote Jewish Christians who brought the gospel to Antioch (Acts 11.20). The heretic Valentinus is said ultimately to have labored in Cyprus, and during the great persecution Christians from the mainland were banished to the mines of Cyprus (Mart. Pal. 13.2). Three Cypriote bishops-Gelasius from Salamis, [[141]] Cyril from Paphos, and Spyridon from Trimithus-were present at the council of Nicæa, and three bishoprics for an island of no great size meant a strong church. Nor were these all; for in the history of Spyridon we hear of "bishops of Cyprus," amongst whom was Triphyllius, bishop of Ledræ\2/ (Sozom., 1.l1, cp. Jer., de Vir. Ill. 92). Besides, Sozomen (7.19) relates that there were bishops in Cyprus even in the villages, while at the synod of Sardica the signatures show that there were no fewer than twelve Cypriote bishops in attendance.\3/ We do not know to what lengths the claim of Cyprus went, which insisted on autocephaly (i.e., the right of self-ordination) as against the jurisdiction of Antioch. The Cypriote bishops at Ephesus (431 C.E.) declared they had exercised this right since the apostolic age. But bishop Alexander of Antioch explained (in his letter to Innocent I.) that the Cypriotes had not broken off from Antioch until the Arian controversy (cp. Lübeck's Reichseint. und kirchl. Hierarchie, pp. 165 f.). Rufinus, Socrates (1.12), and Sozomen all tell us about the facetious and breezy Spyridon. He was a wealthy yeoman and herdsman, and remained so even after he was elected a bishop-which throws light upon the classes of the population to which Christianity had penetrated. Triphyllius, his colleague, again, was a man of high culture who had studied jurisprudence at Berytus. Sozomen relates a good story about the relations between the two men. At a provincial synod in Cyprus, Triphyllius was preaching, and in describing the story of the paralytic man he used the word σκίμπους ("bed") instead of the popular term κράββατον ("pallet"). καὶ ὁ Σπυρίδων ἀγανακτήσας «οὐ σύ γε», ἔφη, «ἀμείνων τοῦ κράββατον εἰρηκότος, ὅτι ταῖς αὐτοῦ λέξεσιν ἐπαισχύνῃ κεχρῆσθαι;» ("Whereupon Spyridon wrathfully exclaimed, 'Are you greater than he who spoke the word "bed," that you art ashamed to use the very words which he used?'" Sozomen 1.11.9). The story illustrates a phase of the history of culture. Luke had already deleted the "vulgarisms" in [[142]] Mark and Matthew, but a number of terms in the gospels were still offensive to cultured Greeks.

\1/ Cp. Map 4.

\2/ Ἀνὴρ ἄλλως τε ἐλλόγιμος καὶ διὰ νόμων ἄσκησιν πολὺν χρόνον ἐν τῇ Βηρυτίων πόλει διατρίψας ("Αn eloquent and learned man who had spent many years at Berytus in studying law"). Cp. the Life of Gregory Thaumaturgus. -- Ledræ=Leucontheon.

\3/ Athanas., Apol. c. Arian. 50.

[[Book 4, Chapter 3, section 3, part 5 (page 142 = 2nd German ed p. 117) (scanned and proofed, Elana Newberger 4/2004), edited RAK 5/2004; checked by Francisco Lameiro 2/2005; Greek added,  some ETs still needed]]

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One of the most remarkable facts in the history of the spread of Christianity is the rapid and firm footing which it secured in Edessa (Urhâi).\2/ The tradition about the correspondence between Jesus and king Abgar "the Black," and about the local labors of Thomas or Thaddaeus (Eus., H.E.1.13), is of course entirely legendary, while Eusebius is wrong in asserting (2.1.7) that the entire city had been Christian from the apostolic age to his own time.\3/ But the statement must hold true of the age at which he wrote. In part, also, it has an earlier reference. For there is no doubt that even before 190 C.E. Christianity had spread vigorously within Edessa and its surroundings,\4/ and that (shortly after 201 or even earlier?) the [[143]] royal house joined the church,\5/ so that Christianity became the state-religion; while even during the Easter controversy (c. 190 C.E.) "the churches in Osrhoene and the local towns" (implying that there were several bishoprics)\6/ addressed a communication to Rome.\7/ Christianity in Edessa, which was originally distinct from catholicism, starts with two persons, Tatian "the Assyrian" and Bardesanes (born 154 C.E.). The former compiled his volume of the gospels (or "Diatessaron") for the Syrian church, while the latter established and acclimatized Christianity by dint of his keenness in teaching, his fanciful theology, and his sacred songs. (Bardesanes was closely connected with the school of Valentinus. His party in Edessa was called the Valentinian party; cp. Julian's Ep. 43.). Neither was a "catholic" Christian. Measured by the doctrinal standards of the catholic confederation, both were [[144]] heretics. But they were "mild" heretics.\8/ And from the beginning of the third century onwards, the Edessene church came more and more into line, at least partially, with the church at large; henceforward, catholics (Palutians) and Bardesanists opposed each other in Edessa. Rome, in ending the royal house of Edessa, ended the state-religion also; but the number of local Christians was not diminished.

\1/ Cp. Map. 4. -- Mommsen's Geschichte, 5. pp. 339 f. (Eng. trans., 2. pp. 30 f.); Burkitt's Early Christianity outside the Roman Empire (1899), and his Early Eastern Christianity (1904; the best work on the subject which we possess); Duval's Hist. d'Édesse (1892); Labourt's Le Christianisme dans l'empire Perse sous la dynastie Sassanide, 224-632 (1904); and Chabot on "Synodicon Orientale" in Recueil des actes synodaux de l'église de Perse, Notices et extraits des MSS., tome 37, with Hallier's Untersuch. über die edess. Chronik. (in the Texte u. Unters., 9.1, 1892), and E. Meyer's article on "Edessa" in Pauly-Wissowa's Lexicon. Labourt also gives a map of the western provinces of the Persian empire (Mesopotamia).

\2/ An earlier parallel is the conversion of the royal house of Adiabene to Judaism in the reign of the emperor Claudius (see above, vol. 1., p. 2).

\3/ It still finds defenders, however. -- At a comparatively early date the tomb of the apostolic missionary was also shown at Edessa, but there was great diversity of opinion upon his identity (Judas Jacobi, Thomas, or Thaddæus?).

\4/ The strong local Judaism undoubtedly formed a basis for the spread of Christianity both here and still farther eastward to the bounds of Persia (cp. Schürer, 3, pp. 5 f., Eng. trans. 2.2, pp. 222 f.; Acts 2.9 f.; Joseph., Antiq. 11.5.2, 15.2.2, 15.3.1). Schürer thinks the Jews in these provinces numbered millions, not thousands; their headquarters were Nehardea (Νάαρδα) and Nisibis. --The Aramaic element always predominated in the population of Edessa; only a thin Greek stratum overlaid it (cp. Chrysostom's remark on Edessa, πολλῶν ἀγροικοτέρα εὐσεβεστέρα δέ, 2, p. 641). Caracalla put an end to the semi-regal native dynasty of the Abgars (semi-Syrian, semi-Arabian) in 216 C.E.; but Edessa had already been for long under the suzerainty of Rome, while Mesopotamia remained as it was till Septimus Severus. After 216, Edessa and [[143b]] Osrhoene were a Roman province till the Persian conquest in the seventh century. The names of the bishops from Edessa and Mesopotamia who attended the council of Nicæa show a mixture of Aramaic and Greek: Æithilas (Edessa), Jacobus, Antiochus, Mareas (Macedonopolis), and Johannes.

\5/ On the "Acta Edessena" see Tixeront's Les origines de l'église d'Édessa (1888), Carrière's La légende d'Abgar (1895), von Dobschütz's "Christusbilder" in the Texte u. Unters., N.F. 3, and my Litt.-Geschichte 1, pp. 533 f., 2.2, pp. 161 f. The great church-buildings were not erected till 313 (cp. the chronicle of Edessa in Texte u. Unters. 9.1, p. 93), but there was a Christian church as early as 201 (cp. ibid., p. 86). The same chronicle contains some other interesting items on the church and the church-buildings. Julius Africanus had already claimed the Christian king Abgar as his friend (cp. Eus., Chron. 2234-2235) while the Liber Pontific. preserves an ancient tradition (which was misunderstood and applied to Britain) to the effect that this Abgar corresponded with bishop Eleutherus of Rome (cp. my essay in the Sitzungsberichte d. Preuss. Akademie, 1904, pp. 909 f.)

\6/ According to the Liber Synod., there were eighteen of them.

\7/ In the Doctrina Addaei (p. 50; Phillips) Serapion of Antioch (192-209) is said to have consecrated Palut as bishop of Edessa. This may he, but Palut can hardly have been the first teacher and president in the see; he was simply the first catholic bishop. The beginnings of the Christianizing of Edessa may still be made out in vague outline from this native "Doctrina Addæi" (legendary material of the fourth century), the Acts of Scharbêl, and the martyrdom of Barsamya, together with the chronicle of Edessa (cp. Burkitt's Eastern Christianity, lecture 1.). First we have an apostolic missionary, subsequently identified with a well-known apostolic personality; then a native teacher and leader, Aggai; then bishop Palut. Catholicism now comes upon the scene, for Palut was ordained by Serapion, it is said, and Serapion was ordained by Zephyrinus of Rome. Palut was succeeded by bishop Abschalama, and he by bishop Barsamya. The last-named converted the great pagan priest Scharbê1, was a contemporary of [[144b]] Fabian the bishop of Rome (this is emphasized), and lived to see the Decian persecution. This emphasis on dates, when taken together with the statements that Eleutherus wrote to Abgar and that Palut was contemporaneous with Zephyrinus, and with the fact of Osrhoenic bishops sending a letter to Victor of Rome, is a sure proof that there was an ecclesiastical connection now between Rome and Edessa. Zephyrinus was insignificant (it is erroneous, of course, to allege that he ordained Serapion), and he would never have been mentioned had he not played some role in the life of Abgar and the origins of the church at Edessa. At the time of Diocletian's persecution, Qônâ was bishop of Edessa, and Schamona and Guria (cp. Nöldeke, "Über einige Edess. Märtyrakten," Strassburger Festschrift, 1901) were martyred then; under Licinius, the deacon Habbîb was martyred (cp. the old Syrian Kalendarium of 411 C.E.). Qônâ was succeeded by Sa'ad (died 324). -- The mission to Eleutheropolis in Palestine, under Tiberius, with which the Abgar-Addæus-Aggai legend commences, may be historical, but it belongs to the reign of Septimus Severus (so Burkitt, rightly), as is plain from the mention of Eleutheropolis and the name of Serapion of Antioch. As the legend puts only one teacher and missionary before Palut, the Christianizing of Edessa cannot have begun much before the middle of the second century. The legend antedates itself by far more than a century; as a result, it puts under Trajan what happened under Decius. In the chronicle of Michael the Syrian (died 1999) two bishops are mentioned before Palut in connection with Bardesanes, viz. Hystaspes, who is said to have converted Bardesanes and his predecessor Îzanî (Yaznai), besides another bishop who excommunicated Bardesanes, viz. Aquai, the successor of Hystaspes. The first two may have actually been Christian (though not catholic) leaders prior to Palut. In Aquai we may perhaps recognize Aggai; only, in that case, he is put too far down, and the account of him is unauthentic. Burkitt (pp. 34 f.) takes a somewhat different view.

\8/ "As heresies were increasing in Mesopotamia, Bardesanes wrote against the Marcionites and other heretics." This remark of Eusebius (4.30) displays astonishing ignorance. In the Philosoph. (7.31) of Hippolytus, Bardesanes is called "The Armenian." A distinguished pupil of Marcion, Prepon, is also mentioned and described as an "Assyrian"; he wrote against Bardesanes. -- See above, p. 127, for the probable connection of the Acta Thomae with the circle of Bardesanes.

Tatian's Diatessaron was retained by the catholic party in Edessa, although it was not entirely orthodox. The "Gospel of the Separated (ones)," which lies before us in the Syrus Sinaiticus and the Syrus Curetonianus, most likely originated within Edessa also. It came not long after the Diatessaron. Finally, [[145]] Burkitt has recently shown almost to a certainty that the Peshitta (of the gospels) also arose in Edessa, and was issued by bishop Rabbula about 420 C.E.\9/ It was Edessa, and not Antioch or any town in Cœle-Syria, which became the headquarters and missionary center of national Syrian Christianity during the third century.\10/ From Edessa issued the Syriac versions of early Christian literature, and thus Syriac, which had been checked by the progress of Greek, became a civilized and literary tongue, owing to Christianity.

\9/ Cp. Nestle's article on "'Translations of the Bible" in Prot. Real-Encykl.(3) 3, pp. 167 f.; and Merx, Die vier kanonischen Evangelien nach ihrem ältesten bekannten Texte 2.1 (1902), pp. 10. f. Burkitt (in his second lecture) shows that, prior to Tatian, Edessa probably had no version of the gospels at all (though the Peshitta of the Old Testament was probably earlier than Tatian), that the translation of "The Separated (ones)," Acts, and the Pauline epistles goes bach to Palut or to his age (the version of "'The Separated (ones)" is extant in Syr. Cur. and Syr. Sin.), and that the Peshitta is the revision completed by Rabbula. The differences in Syr. Cur. and Syr. Sin. show plainly how necessary a revision and adaptation of the current Greek text had come to be, but the Diatessaron was still the most widely circulated text of the gospels about 400 C.E. Syr. Sin. and Syr. Cur. have no liturgical traces; they were not liturgical texts at all.

\10/ Its influence was only remote and vague.

The Christian city of Edessa, which probably had a larger percentage of Christians among its population than any of the larger towns during the period previous to Constantine, was certainly an oasis and nothing more. Round it swarmed the heathen. A few Christians were indeed to be found at Carrhæ (=Haran), a town which was the seat of Dea Luna and contained numerous temples. This we know from the martyrdoms.\11/ But in the Peregrinatio Silviae, c. 20 (circa 385 C.E.) we read: "In ipsa civitate extra paucos clericos et sanctos monachos, si qui tamen in civitate conmorantur [in the country districts they were numerous], penitus nullum Christianum inveni, sed totum gentes sunt" ("In the city itself, apart from a few clerics and holy monks, who, however, stay inside its walls, I found not a single Christian; all were pagans"). Cp. also Theodoret (H.E. 4.15), who describes Carrhæ, in the reign of Valens, as (κεχερσωμένη) a barbarous place full of the thorns of paganism [[146]] (cp. 5.4, 3.26, and similar statements in Ephraem).\12/ The existence of Christian churches, previous to 325 C.E., can be verified accurately for Nisibis, Resaina, Macedonopolis (on the Euphrates, west of Edessa), and Persa (=Perra), as the bishops of these towns, together with their colleagues from Edessa, attended the Nicene councils.\13/ (For other evidence regarding Nisibis, see Theodoret, H.E. 1.7.)

\11/ No bishop, however, was permitted there. The name of the first bishop occurs under Constantius.

\12/ Haran was predominantly pagan even as late as Justinian's age (Procop., de Bello Pers. 2.13). Christianity could never get a firm foothold there (cp. Chwolson, Die Ssabier und der Ssabismus, 1856).

\13/ (=Antiochia Mygdonia) where Ephraem, the famous Syrian author, was born of Christian parents at the beginning of the fourth century. A Christian school can be shown to have existed at Nisibis not long afterwards. By the middle of the fourth century the city was for the most part Christian. Sozomen (5.3.5) writes: Νισιβηνοῖς ὡς παντελῶς χριστιανίζουσι καὶ μήτε τοὺς ναοὺς ἀνοίγουσι μήτε εἰς τὰ ἱερὰ φοιτῶσιν ἠπείλησε (sc. the emperor Julian) μὴ βοηθεῖν, κ.τ.λ. ("He threatened that he would not help the people of Nisibis, since they were entirely Christian and neither opened their temples nor frequented the sacred places").

As regards the spread of Christianity\14/ in Mesopotamia and Persia, no store whatever can be set by the statement (Assemani, Bibl. Orient. 3.1. p. 611) that there were about 360 churches in Persia by the second century.\15/ There is no doubt, however, [[147]] that Epiphanius (Hœr. 62.1) speaks of many local Sabellians, or that Dionysius of Alexandria (circa 250 C.E.) not only knew churches in Mesopotamia, but mentioned their intercourse and relations with other churches (Eus., 7.5; they took part in the controversy over the baptism of heretics); while the dialogue of Philip, a pupil of Bardesanes ("On the Laws of Countries" -- circa 220), presupposes a considerable extension of Christianity, even among the natives, as far as the eastern districts of Persia (cp. Eus, Praep. Evang. 6.10.46),\16/ and Eusebius himself (8.12) mentions martyrs in Mesopotamia after the rise and conquests of the Sassanidæ, and during the persecution of Diocletian.\17/ Furthermore, the great Persian persecution during the fourth century\18/ points to a serious spread of Christianity in the course of the third century (cp. also the origin of Manichæism\19/ and the history of Mani in the Acta Archelai, which are of some use, though of course they are partly fictitious -- Archelaus himself being described by Jerome in the Vir. Illustr. 72. as bishop of [Kaschkar] Mesopotamia). Constantine writes thus to king Sapur: "I am delighted to learn that the finest districts in Persia also are adorned with the presence of [[148]] Christians."\20/ Finally, reference must be made to Aphraates. His homilies, composed between 337 and 345, reflect a Christianity which is substantially unaffected by the course of Greek Christianity, and which therefore occupied the same position before 325 as after.\21/ They also reflect, at the same time, a vigorous and far-reaching ecclesiastical system confronted by a large Jewish population and dependent on Jewish exegetical tradition.\22/ The number of organized churches in Mesopotamia [[149]] before 250 C.E. must have been small.\23/ In one or two localities we can definitely assume the presence of Christians before 325, as, e.g., at Amida (=Diarbekir; cp. the Abgar legend, Acta Thadd. 5; the retrospective inferences are certain), and above all at Gundêschabur (Beth Lapath), whither the captive Western Syrians were chiefly deported (Labourt, pp. 19 f.), and Seleucia-Ctesiphon (as may certainly be inferred from Aphraates, the history of bishop Papa, and the episcopal 1ists, which are not wholly useless).\24/ The Persian bishop at Nicæa, however, did not come from Seleucia.\25/ The existence of Christians at Batana, [[150]] previous to Constantine, may be deduced from the Silviœ Peregr. 19; and we may infer from the Acts of the Persian martyrs (edited by Hofmann\26/) that there were also Christians at Harbath Glal, Kerkuk (=Karkha dh Bheth Slokh), Arbela,\27/ Shargerd, Dara, and Lasom. This holds true perhaps (to judge from the Acta Archelai) of the village of Diodoris in Mesopotamia as well, and of Sibapolis (where there was a martyrdom).\28/ A Christian church may also be assumed to have existed at Kaschkar (Carchar) before 325.\29/

\14/ Reference may also be made to Acts 2.9 ("Parthians and Medes and Elamites and the dwellers in Mesopotamia"), but the results among those who were born Jews cannot have been large, here any more than elsewhere. A passage from the Jerusalem Talmud (cp. Graetz's Hist. des Juifs, 3. p. 51, quoted by Labourt, p. 16) seems to corroborate this. Hananias, a nephew of rabbi Joshua, is said to have attached himself to the Christian church in Capernaum, and, in order to withdraw him from Christian influences, his uncle sent him to Babylon. No reliable data can be got from the history of the Mandæans (cp. Brandt, Die mandäische Religion, etc., 1889) bearing on the history of early Christianity in Persia. All we learn is that this pagan sect was influenced by Christianity. But it is not necessary to assume that this took place in the second or the third century. Sozomen (H.E. 2.8.2) puts it cautiously: καὶ Περσῶν δὲ χριστιανίσαι τὴν ἀρχὴν ἡγοῦμαι, ὅσοι προφάσει τῆς Ὀσροηνῶν καὶ Ἀρμενίων ἐπιμιξίας, ὡς εἰκός, τοῖς αὐτόθι θείοις ἀνδράσιν ὡμίλησαν καὶ τῆς αὐτῶν ἀρετῆς ἐπειράθησαν ("I think the introduction of Christianity among the Persians was due to their intercourse with the people of Osrhoene and Armenia, in all probability; associating with these godly men they were incited to imitate their virtues also"). It is natural to suppose that after the conquest of Western Syria by the Persians, many Christians of the district (together with bishop Demetrianus of Antioch, cp. above, p. 130) were deported to Mesopotamia and Persia. For the "Messalians" in Mesopotamia, see the confused accounts in Epiph., Hœr. 80. (which include, perhaps, Mandæan traits).

\15/ The Nestorian patriarch Timotheus I. (died 823 C.E.) writes to the monks of St Maron (ep. Pognon, Une version Syriaque des aphorismes d'Hippocrate I., [[147b]] Leipzig, 1903, p. 28., in Syriac and French; German by Nestle in Zeitsch. f. k. Gesth., 26.95): "No one will believe that Nestorius converted or baptized all the districts and peoples under this patriarchate. We had our Christianity about 500 years (!) before Nestorius was born, and about twenty years after the ascension of our Lord." Which is absurd.

\16/ Οὔτε οἱ ἐν Παρθίᾳ Χριστιανοὶ πολυγαμοῦσι, Πάρθοι τυγχάνοντες, οὔθ’ οἱ ἐν Μηδίᾳ κυσὶ παραβάλλουσι τοὺς νεκρούς, οὐχ οἱ ἐν Περσίδι γαμοῦσι τὰς θυγατέρας αὐτῶν, Πέρσαι ὄντες, οὐ παρὰ Βάκτροις καὶ Γήλοις φθείρουσι τοὺς γάμους, κ.τ.λ. ("Nor are the Parthian Christians polygamists, nor do Christians in Media expose their dead to dogs, nor do Persian Christians marry their daughters, nor are those in Bactria and among the Gelæ debauched," etc.).

\17/ The Persians are referred to in Constantine's remark (Vit. Const. 2.53) that the barbarians nowadays boasted of having taken in the refugees from the Roman empire during the Diocletian persecution, and of having detained them in an extremely mild form of captivity, permitting them the unrestricted practice of their religion and all that pertained thereto.

\18/ According to Sozom., 2.13 (cp. Marutha), the chor-episcopus Mareabdes was taken captive and killed by the Persians, in the persecution under Sapur, together with his bishop Dausas of Bethzabde and about 250 clerics.

\19/ Manichæism showed a decidedly anti-Christian and anti-catholic front from the very first, though some time afterwards it modified its anti-Christian tendency. Hence Christianity must have been already an important factor in Persian life.

\20/ Vit. Const. 4.13; cp. 4.8.1: πυθόμενος γέ τοι παρὰ τῷ Περσῶν γένει πληθύειν τὰς τοῦ θεοῦ ἐκκλησίας λαούς τε μυριάνδρους ταῖς Χριστοῦ ποίμναις ἐναγελάζεσθαι, κ.τ.λ. ("On learning that churches of God abounded among the Persians, and that thousands of people were gathered into the fold of Christ," etc.).

\21/ The place of their compostion (in Mesopotamia, within the Persian realm) is uncertain; possibly it was the monastery of Mar Mattai, about four hours north from the ruins of ancient Ninive (cp. Texte u. Unters. 3.3.4, pp. 17 f.).

\22/ His fifth homily shows plainly, as indeed we can easily understand, how the sympathies of the Syrian Christians in the territory of Sapur were entirely with the Romans in the Persian war. The characteristics and idiosyncrasies of the ancient Syrian church have been excellently described by Burkitt (in his third and fourth lectures; cp. also Labourt, pp. 31 f.), who has discovered fresh items (in the works of Ephraem and Aphraates) bearing upon the theology of the church, especially upon the doctrine of marriage and the sacraments. The primitive Jewish Christian substratum of Syrian Christianity cones out even in Aphraates; it confirms the opinion that during the brief initial epoch of Christianity in Eastern Syria (of which we know nothing), the converts were principally drawn from converted Jews. One very remarkable trait is that of sexual asceticism (derived from Tatian, of course, not from Judaism). Baptized persons are not to marry; any one who desires to marry is to abstain from baptism, for baptism is a spiritual marriage with Christ. Burkitt (p. 126) rightly speaks of "a deliberate reservation of baptism for the spiritual aristocracy of Christendom" (cp. also his conclusions upon the b'nai Q'yâmâ). This standpoint goes far beyond that of the Novatians, but it is quite in keeping with that of Eustathius of Sebaste; it denotes a conmon Oriental type of primitive Christianity, which probably was focussed at Edessa (cp., however, the account of the preaching of repentance at Caesarea Capadocia in Socrates, 5.22). A doctrinal and practical position of this kind must have made it difficult to oppose the Marcionites, who were numerous in Eastern Syria, for they too refused to baptize any except unmarried persons. From the works of Ephraem and the heresy-catalogue of Maruta of Maipherkat (Texte u. Unters. 19.1, 1899) we can judge how heresies swarmed in Eastern Syria and Persia even in the third century. -- Monasticism entered Mesopotamia at the latest under Constantine, thanks to Mar Awgin [Eugenius]; cp. Butler's Lausiac History of Palladius (1898), p. 218, and Budge's Book of the Governors, p. 44. Mar Awgin came from Egypt; he was a pupil of Pachomius and subsequently a friend of Jacob of Nisibis. He founded a monastery in the mountains near Nisibis. He died in 363, after living for more than thirty years in this monastery, which possibly was founded, as later Syrian witnesses assert, before 325 C.E.

\23/ Labourt, however, seems to me to go too far when he denies that there were any organized churches in Persia before the Sassanid dynasty ("Tout nous porte à croire qu'avant 1'avènement de la dynastie Sassanide, 1'empire perse ne contenait pas des communautés chrétiennes organisées," p. 17).

\24/ According to Ebed Jesu, both the bishop of Amida and the bishop of Gustra (=Ostra? cp. Bratke's Religiongespräch am Hof der Sassaniden, 1899, p. 264) were at Nicæa.

\25/ According to Greg. Barhebr., Chron. 3.22 f., and other legendary writers, Seleucia had three successive bishops who were relatives of Jesus (!). They were called Abres, Abraham, and Jacob. Which shows us what to make of them! On Mari, the founder of the patriarchate of Seleucia-Ctesiphon, cp. Raabe's Die Geschichte des Dom. Mari (1893), and Westphal's Unters. über die Quellen u. die Glaubwürdigkeit der Patriarchenchroniken (1901), pp. 30 f.; and on an alleged correspondence of the catholicus Papa of Seleucia (died 326), see Braun in Zeitschr. f. kathol. Theol. 18. (1894), pp. 167 f. On Papa, see Westphal, op. cit., pp. 60 f., and Labourt, 20 f. The personality of this energetic and therefore sorely persecuted bishop, who died full of years, and perhaps the historicity of the synod which he convened (in 313-314 C.E.?), may be regarded as indubitable. His successor was Simeon bar Sabta'e, the martyr. Eusebius describes how at the consecration of the church in Jerusalem there was present one of the Persian bishops, who was a master of the divine oracles (παρῆν δὲ καὶ Περσῶν ἐπισκόπων ἱερὸν χρῆμα, τὰ θεῖα λόγια ἐξηκριβωκὼς ἀνήρ, Vit. Const. 4.43.3). Hence there must have been several of them. -- The aforesaid Mari may have been (so Labourt, p. 15) some actual bishop and missionary on the Tigris, but legend has treated him as if he were one of the twelve apostles, making him the founder of Christianity throughout the entire Eastern Orient. While the legends, which are connected with the central seat of Seleucia-Ctesiphon, and which endeavor to throw a special halo round the episcopate as well as to claim apostolic origin (Thomas) for the Nestorian church, are exceptionally full of tendency and quite audacious, they are nevertheless transparent enough and mutually contradictory; their numerous discrepancies indicate every possible variety of ecclesiastical interests (connection by delegation with Antioch, with Jerusalem, with Jesus himself; complete independence; and so forth). Labourt has recently criticized these legends (pp. 13 f.). Even from falsified sources and unreliable traditions, however, we can still see, as I have pointed out, that the Persian church of Mesopotamia must have been loosely organized before the great persecution of the fourth century. Thus there were [[150b]]two bishops in Gundêschabur about the year 340, both of whom were martyred together; and this is not the only instance of the kind. Bishop Papa was probably the first to organize the Persian church.

\26/ Abh. z. Kunde des Morgenlands, 7.3., pp. 9 f., 46 f., 52, 268 (also Nöldeke, in Gött. Gel. Anz. 1880, p. 873, who opines that the first organized Christian church arose on the lower Tigris about 170 C.E.).

\27/ The bishop who attended Nicæa probably came from one or other of the two last-named towns (cp. Westphal, p. 66).

\28/ In regard to the spread of Christianity throughout the East, Nöldeke has been kind enough to write me as follows (Sept. 27, 1901): "It is a bold venture to attempt to exhibit the spread of Christianity in close detail, but you have certainly fixed a large number of points. Scarcely any serious aid is to be got from the East, as the few reliable sources which are older than the fourth century yield very little in this connection beyond what is generally known. Aphraates and the early Acts of the martyrs certainly suggest that in the districts of the Tigris Christianity was widely diffused, with an organization of bishops and clergy, about the middle of the fourth century; but it is a sheer fable to assert that these Persian Christians constituted at that period a definite church under some catholicus. Simeon bar Sabta'e was merely bishop of Seleucia and Ctesiphon. The erection of churches, which subsequently became Nestorian, did not take place until the beginning of the fifth century, and at a still later period the Christian church of Persia (whose origin is unfortunately obscure) declined to submit to the catholicus. The stubborn adhesion of the people of Haran to paganism was partly due, perhaps, to a feeling of local jealousy of Edessa, which had early been won over to Christianity. It is a pity that none of the original Syriac writings of the pagans in Haran ('Sabians'), dating from the Islamic period, have been preserved." Mesopotamia was the birthplace of the monk Audius, who started a religious movement of his own in the days of Arius (cp. Epiph., Hœr. 70.1) -- The figures relating to the martyrs during the persecution of Sapur are quite useless, but it is remarkable to find that here the Jews are still described as the chief instigators of the persecution.

\29/ Cp. Westphal, p. 34; Labourt, p. 20. Kaschkar lay on the great canal between the Euphrates and the Tigris in the district Σπασίνου Χάραξ, and the discussions between Manichæans and Christians about 270 C.E. are said to have taken place there. In the Acta Archelai a village called Diodoris in the region of Kaschkar is also mentioned. One account of a martyrdom mentions a martyr in Sibapolis. Does this mean India (the god Siva?).

"Your investigation into the Christian names," Nöldeke now [[151]] writes to me," has moved me to examine the only large and ancient list of Christian Oriental names which is known to me, viz., that of the martyrs during Sapur's persecution (in Wright's Martyrologium, from the famous manuscript of 411 C.E.). It deals with clerics alone. There are over ninety persons mentioned. Aramaic names preponderate by far. It is not always possible to distinguish them accurately from the Persian names, especially as frequent conformations occur which admit of more than one interpretation. Several of the Aramaic names are palpably pagan, like those compounded with "Bôl" (so even in Palmyra), etc.; others are specifically Christian (according to the standard of the age), e.g., "'Abdiso," "servant of Jesus," which occurs five times. The Persian names include Hormuzd and Narse; perhaps their pagan meaning was no longer felt. Only a few are Greco-Roman: Longinus, Sabinus, and Menophilus (none of which I can find in the lists of Jewish teachers in the Mishna or the Talmud, where several other Greek and Roman names occur). I do not include among these Greco-Roman names "Andrew" (twice), which occurs alongside of Paul (thrice) and Peter (once); it was certainly chosen as an apostolic name. Similarly with John (six times), though it was a favorite local name of the Jews. Simon (thrice) is doubtful; the name does occur often among the pagans of Palmyra, as well as among Jews and Christians. Silas (twice) need as little be derived from the New Testament, since it was common among Jews and pagans alike, either in its fuller form <heb>ShAWLaA</heb> (Σἐ ιλας, Palmyra) or abbreviated into <heb>ShYLA</heb> (Gk. Σειλας, Σιλας). It is remarkable that Abraham, which the Jews of that age still refrained from using as a common name, appears five times here, with Isaac (five times) and Jacob (twice). The two latter were common among the Jews. The occurrence of an Ithamar, which is from the Old Testament but was not used by the Jews, is very remarkable. We cannot make much of the list with regard to the Jewish environment. I must admit I had expected more from it."

The Syro-Persian church deserves our unqualified sympathy. It was the only large church which never enjoyed the official protection of the state. It maintained the traditions of Antiochene [[152]] exegesis, it translated the works of Christian antiquity into Syriac with great assiduity, and it could pride itself on knowing Justin, Hippolytus, Methodius, Athanasius, Basil, the three Gregorys, Chrysostom, Diodorus, Amphilochius, Ambrose, and Theodore as well as the Greeks did themselves (cp. the evidence of the Nestorian patriarch Timotheus I., who died in 823). It also assimilated Greek philosophy and science, which it transmitted to the Arabians. At the present day it is crushed, impoverished, and down-trodden, but it can face its downfall with the consciousness that it has not lived in vain, but upon the contrary that it has filled a real place in the history of civilization.

In the third book of his commentary on Genesis, Origen alludes to a tradition that Thomas the apostle took Parthia as his missionary sphere, while Andrew's was Scythia (cp. Eus., H.E. 3.1). From this it may be inferred that Christians were known to exist there by the first half of the third century. The same holds true of India. Of course the India to which Pantænus journeyed from Alexandria (Eus., 5.10) may be South Arabia (or even the Axumitic kingdom). But the India where the early (third century) Acts of Thomas locate that apostle's work is the N.W. territory of our modern India (for it is only Cod. Pani, 1617, of the Martyrdom of Thomas, that drags in Axum; cp. Bonnet, p. 87). Andrapolis is mentioned in Acta Thom. 3 as the scene of the apostle's labors; for other localities mentioned there, see Lipsius, Apokr. Apostelgesch. 1. p. 280 (after Gutschmid). I pass over the traditions about Andrew, which mention various localities, as well as the traditions about Simon and Judas (cp. my Chronologie 1. pp. 543 f.). They are all posterior to Constantine.\30/ It cannot be shown that the "Thomas-Christians," discovered in India in the sixteenth century, go back to the third century.

\30/ Compare, however, the passage from Origen already quoted on p. 13: "Nec apud Seras nec apud Ariacin audierunt Christianitatis sermonem." -- Note that the first Protestant history of missions, published in Germany, was devoted to India, viz., M.V. La Croze, Hist. du Christ. des Indes, 1724 (cp. Wiegand in the Beiträge z. Förd. christl. Theol. 6.3. pp. 270 f.). La Croze, however, hardly touches the primitive age, as he regards the legends about Thomas as unauthentic.

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6. ARABIA\1/

The large regions south of Palestine, Damascus, and Mesopotamia which bear the name of "Arabia" were never civilized -- they were not even subdued -- by the Romans, with the exception of the country lying east of the Jordan and several positions south of the Dead Sea (cp. Mommsen's Rom. Gesch. 5. pp. 471 f.; Eng. trans. 2. pp. 143 f.). Consequently we can look for Christians during our epoch\2/ only in the districts just mentioned, where Arabian, Greek, and Roman cities were inhabited by people of superior civilization.\3/ Immediately after his conversion Paul betook himself to "Arabia" (Gal. 1.17), i.e., hardly to the desert, but rather to the province south of Damascus.\4/ Arabians are also mentioned in Acts 2.11.

\1/ Cp. Map 3. -- For the changes in the political terminology and the metropolitan organization in Arabia, cp. Lubeck, op. cit., pp. 42 f., 75, 86 f., 91, 101, 161.

\2/ There are no Arabic versions of the Bible previous to Islam, a fact which proves irrefragably that in its primitive period Christianity had secured no footing at all among the Arabs. Indeed it never secured such a footing, for the Arabic versions were not made for Arabs at all, but for Copts and Syrians who had become Arabians.

\3/ Mommsen, p. 485 (Eng. trans. 2.158): "At this eastern border of the empire there was thus secured for Hellenic civilization a frontier domain which may be compared to the Romanized region of the Rhine; the arched and domed buildings of eastern Syria compare admirably with the castles and tombs of the great men and merchants of Belgica." Bostra flourished greatly after the downfall of Palmyra. The emperor Philip (the Arab) made his birthplace, a small town, into a city called Philippopolis, which rapidly increased in size. We do not know whether this emperor's friendly attitude towards Christians was due to memories and impressions of his childhood, but his correspondence with Origen makes this probable.

\4/ What drove Paul to Arabia, and what he did there, we simply do not know. I retract my former conjecture that he retired to a region in which be might hope to avoid Jews.

We have already seen how the Palestinian Jewish Christians settled at Pella and Kochaba. Possibly this led the later Christians of the country to feel they were heirs of the primitive church.

Hippolytus (Philos. 8.12) knew a Christian heretic whom he calls "the Arabian Monoimus," and whom he refutes. In the days of Origen there were numerous bishoprics in the towns [[154]] lying south of the Hauran and the Dead Sea,\5/ all of which were grouped together in a single synod. Bishop Beryllus of Bostra, well known (according to Eusebius, H.E. 6.20) for his letters and writings, caused a great sensation, about 240 C.E., by propounding a Christological thesis to the effect that no personal hypostasis belonged to the Redeemer before he appeared in time. The doctrine may have been designed to repudiate current conceptions of pre-existence as being Hellenic, and thus to give expression to a national Christian spirit (cp. Paul of Samosata's doctrine). But this is uncertain. What is certain (for Eusebius, H.E. 6.33, reports it) is that "a large number of bishops" carried on discussions and debates with him, and for these combatants we must look to Arabia especially, although Palestinian bishops may have also taken part in the controversy.\6/ Eusebius further relates that a synod was held at Bostra, to which Origen was invited, and of which he was the intellectual leader. Shortly afterwards a second synod was held at the same place, at which the rather untrustworthy Liber Synodicus declares that fourteen bishops were present. Origen again was invited, and again attended. The topic of discussion was a doctrine put forward by one section of the Arabian bishops, who held that the soul expired and decayed along with the body, and was revived along with it at the resurrection (Eus., H.E. 6.37). The Semitic cast of mind in those who held this view, as well as their aversion to Hellenic speculation (with its essential immortality of the soul), are unmistakable. Christianity seems therefore to have penetrated such strata of the Arabian population as might be called national -- i.e., it spread among people who, while they rejected the Christianity of Alexandrian theology, were not barbarians, but worked out a theology of their own.\7/ [[155]]

\5/ Hom. in Luc. 12. (Opp. 5. p. 128, Lomm.): "Quia plerique de Aegyptiis et Idumaeis proselyti accipiebant fidem Christi," etc. ("Since most of the proselytes among the Arabians and Idumaeans accepted the faith of Christ").

\6/ Some years earlier a provincial synod of Arabia had been held in connection with the proceedings against Origen; it decided in the latter's favor (cp. Jerome's Ep. 33.4). Origen was known personally by that time to the Arabian bishops, for about 215 C.E. he had travelled as far as Arabia at the request of the Roman governor, before whom he laid his views (Eus., H. E. 6.19).

\7/ Whatever we may think of those two characteristic doctrinal views put forward in Bostra and "Arabia," in opposition to the Alexandrian theology, they furnish [[155b]] a strong proof, at any rate, of independence and mental activity among the "Arabian" Greeks. We may rank them with the peculiar buildings whose ruins are to be found in Bostra, as evidence of a distinctive civilization. We do not know whether the idea, which was widely current in Arabia during the fourth century (Epiph., Haer. 78.), that Mary became the real wife of Joseph after the birth of Jesus, goes back to Jewish-Christian traditions. For Mariolatry in Arabia, cp. under Thrace. -- Photius (Cod. 48) calls Caius ἐπίσκοπος τῶν ἐθνῶν, which is a twofold confusion: Caius=Hippolytus, and Hippolytus=Beryllus of Bostra. The latter must have been described in some contemporary source as ἐπίσκοπος τῶν ἐθνῶν (bishop of the Gentiles), which perhaps refers to widely scattered pagan tribes (cp. below, p. 156, note 3).

The Arabian churches were connected with the church of Rome; and they required assistance from it, as we are fortunate enough to learn from an allusion which Dionysius of Alexandria happens to make in Eus., H.E. 8.5.\8/ The same passage also declares that Arabian bishops took part in the great Synod of Antioch (as to the question of the baptism of heretics).

\8/ From Optatus (2.12) we learn, casually, that there was intercourse also between Arabia and North Africa: "Quid Arabia provincial unde probamus venientes a vobis [sc. Donatistis] esse rebaptizatos?" ("What of the province of Arabia, emigrants from which, we aver, have been re-baptized by you?"). In the burial-ground of the Great Oasis (Kaufmann, Ein altchristl. Pompeii in der libyschen Wuste, 1902, p. 22) this inscription has been found: Αὐθειὼ υἱὸς Μά[ρκο]υ Μωγαβέω ἀπὸ κώμης νω .... μητρόπολις ἡ Βόστρα. [ἐ]τυχῶ[ς τῷ γρ]άψαντι καὶ τῷ ἀναγινώ[σ]κοτι.

Both the Onomasticon of Eusebius and the Acts of the Council of Nicaea show that Christians existed, during the days of Eusebius, in the towns lying east and north-east of the Dead Sea. On Cariathaim (Kerioth, Kurejat, Kariatha; cp. Baedeker, p. 176) the Onomasticon observes, Καριαθαείμ  ... καὶ νῦν ἐστιν ὅλη Χριστιανῶν κώμη, παρὰ Μηδαβὰν πόλιν τῆς  Ἀραβίας, λεγομένη Καραιάθα\9/ (on Madaba, cp. Baedeker, pp. 173 f.). There were present at Nicaea bishops from Philadelphia,\10/ Esbus (=Hesbon, Isbunda), and Sodom (whose site, so far as I know, has not been discovered; Usdum, south of the Dead Sea?). From the north there were the bishops of Bostra, the most important and finely situated city\11/ of the whole country, and [[156]] Dionysias. The Nicene lists further contain, under Arabia, the name of a bishop called Sopater Beretaneus. Where this place (Beritana?) lay we do not know, for it cannot be identified with Bereitan (equivalent to Berothai? Baedeker, p. 358), wbich was situated in Lebanon. One tradition, which is not of course entirely trustworthy, makes an Arabian bishop from Zanaatha (?=Thana, south-east of the Dead Sea) attend Nicaea, but nothing is known of such a place.\12/ Finally, we may conclude, although the conclusion is not certain, from Epiph. 51.30 that there were Christians at Gerasa. It is impossible to prove that Christians lived in the Nabatean city of Petra earlier than Constantine; but Sozomen (7.19) says there were bishops even in the villages of Arabia.\13/

\9/ "Cariathaim is now an entirely Christian village close to the Arabian city of Madaba, and called Karaitha."

\10/ Epiphanius (Haer. 85, and Epitome) observes that in Bakatha [Bakathus] μητροκωμία τῆς  Ἀραβίας τῆς Φιλαδελφίας [or ἐν Βακάθοις τῆς Φιλαδελφηνῆς χώρας πέραν τοῦ Ἰορδάνου], the sect of the Valesians resided.

\11/ It was the capital; cp. Lubeck, pp. 43 f., 86 f., 91. In a petition to the emperor Julian bishop Titus observes, apropos of Bostra, ἐφάμιλλον εἶναι τ [[156b]]  Ἑλληνικ πλήθει τὸ Χριστιανικόν (Christians are equal in numbers to the Greek populace). This is an important statistical notice.

\12/ The names of the bishops (Nicomachus, Cyrion, Gennadius, Severus, Sopater, another Severus, and Maron) are all Greek or Latin.

\13/ According to Sozomen (7.5) the inhabitants of Petra and Areopolis (=Rabba, east of the middle of the Dead Sea) offered a vigorous resistance to Christianity even as late as 400 C.E. As for Petra, Epiphanius (Haer. 51. c. 22; in Oehler, Appendix, t. 2, p. 631), after describing the festival of the Virgin who had given birth to the "AEon," proceeds as follows:  τοῦτο δὲ καὶ ἐν Πέτρᾳ τῇ πόλει (μητρόπολις δέ ἐστι τῆς Ἀραβίας, ἥτις ἐστὶν Ἐδὼμ ἡ ἐν ταῖς γραφαῖς γεγραμμένη) ἐν τῷ ἐκεῖσε εἰδωλείῳ οὕτως γίνεται, καὶ Ἀραβικῇ διαλέκτῳ ἐξυμνοῦσι τὴν παρθένον, καλοῦντες αὐτὴν Ἀραβιστὶ Χααμοῦ τουτέστιν Κόρην  εἴτ’ οὖν παρθένον καὶ τὸν ἐξ αὐτῆς γεγεννημένον Δουσάρην τουτέστιν μονογενῆ τοῦ δεσπότου ("The same thing goes on at the city of Petra, the metropolis of Arabia, ... in the local temple, where they sing hymns in Arabic to the Virgin, calling her by the Arabic name of Chaabos, i.e., Maiden or Virgin, and her son Dusares, i.e., the only-begotten of the Lord").

The efforts made to introduce Christianity among the nomad tribes, efforts that were both rare and rather fruitless, fall outside our period, and consequently must be passed over here.\14/ Perhaps we should recall, in this connection, the fact that Pantaenus travelled from Alexandria to India, i.e., to Soutbern Arabia, about 180 C.E., and that many Jewish colonists and many more proselytes were living in the latter district (Eus., H.E. 5.10.3). "He is said to bave found there, among some of the inhabitants who were acquainted with Christ, the gospel of Matthew, which had reached that country before him. [[157]] For Bartholomew is said to have preached to these people and to have left with them a Hebrew version of Matthew's gospel, which they had kept until the time of which I speak."\15/

\14/ Cp., e.g., Rufin., 2.6 (=Socrat., 4.36; Theodoret, 4.20); Cyrillus Scythopolit, Vita Euthymii (ἐπίσκοπος τῶν παρεμβολῶν); and see Duchesne's Les missions chretiennes au sud de 1'empire Romain (1896), pp. 112 f.

\15/ Judaism carried on a vigorous mission in Southern Arabia and Abyssinia (the Abyssinian Jews were Hamites, not Semites), and for a time managed to secure local control. It is inherently probable that Christians also reached this region at an early date, but we know nothing of the presence of primitive Jewish Christians.

The extant Didascalia Apostolorum (cp. Achelis in Texte u. Unters. 25.2, 1904, and my Chronologie 2, pp. 488 f.) is a unique and invaluable source of information upon the organization and life of an Arabic or Syrian (Greek-speaking) church during the first half or about the middle of the third century. Achelis (pp. 266-317) has drawn the picture for us. It portrays, not a village community, but a large church in an important city (Bostra?), lying far from the main current of developing Christianity. We see its seductions, temptations, and complicated relationships. Jews and Jewish Christians lived in its environment, and a slight Jewish-Christian element is discernible within the church itself. The latter was so large in numbers that the bishop could no longer keep himself personally acquainted with all those who were in distress, or master each individual case. Still, there was only one church, and two deacons sufficed for the administration of poor-relief. The members seem for the most part to have belonged to the middle classes; few wealthy people were members, but the church was not wholly composed of poor and destitute persons. Worship was attended sometimes by distinguished men and women. Despite the lofty position already attained by the local clergy, brotherly feeling was still active. The lovefeasts (which were distinct from the services of worship) were banquets to which the wealthier Christians invited their poorer fellow-members; the bishop seems to have been usually present at them. Hospitality towards travelling brethren was still a feature of the church's life, and the duty of looking after all its poor members was also recognized. The execution of the latter task devolved on the bishop, who administered the lovegifts of the church. The spirit of generous self-sacriflce was apparently strong. Several widows were so well provided for [[158]] that they could over and again realize their capital and loan it to usurers! Impure gifts were not to be received, but the writer knew some bishops who did take them. The list of those from whom no gift was to be taken (c. 18, p. 89, Achelis) is instructive; it shows the sort of people who either belonged to the churches or gave them money. They included people who were imprisoned for debt, masters who were tyrannical to their slaves, public prostitutes (even of the male sex), dishonest traders, criminal advocates, unjust prosecutors, factious lawyers, painters and bronze-workers and jewellers who worshipped idols or swindled, unjust revenue-officials, fortune-tellers, licensed victuallers who diluted their wines, rascally soldiers, murderers, executioners, "any official of the Roman empire who had been defiled in war or had shed innocent blood without due trial," usurers, etc. "If the churches are so poor that they need the contributions of such people to maintain their charitable work, then it were better to perish of hunger than to live by such means."

The solution of the difficulty always was to keep aloof from the heathen as far as possible in every relation of life. Emphasis repeatedly falls on the broad gulf between Christians and pagans. This church, however, does not feel it is oppressed by its pagan neighbors; on the contrary, it is living in peace and quiet, and it does not appear to be unpopular at all. Its aim is to make the best impression on the world by its manner of life (by simple living, decorum, diligence, etc.), and thereby to distinguish itself from the common ways of the world. Apparently it was still successful in this endeavor.

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The worst gap in our knowledge of early church history is our almost total ignorance of the history of Christianity in Alexandria and Egypt (in the wider as well as in the narrower [[159]] sense of the term) up till 180 C.E. (the episcopate of Demetrius), when for the first time the Alexandrian church appears in the daylight of history. It is then a stately church with a powerful bishop and a school of higher learning attached to it by means of which its influence was to be diffused and its fame borne far and wide. Eusebius found nothing in his sources bearing on the primitive history of Christianity at Alexandria\2/\3/; and although we may conjecture, with regard to one or two very ancient Christian writings (e.g., the epistle of Barnabas, the Didachê, the Preaching of Peter, the Apostolic Constitutions, etc.), that their origin is Egyptian or Alexandrian, this can hardly be proved in the case of any one of them with clearness.\4/

\1/ Cp. Map 5. -- Politically, Pentapolis (Cyrenaica) belonged to Crete; but I group it as above, since ecclesiastically, so far back as we can see, it gravitated to Alexandria and was added by Diocletian to Egypt. Apart from several seaports, [[159b]] it was a dismal region; cp. Dionys. Alex. in Eus., H.E. 7.11.14, ὁ γὰρ Αἰμιλιανὸς εἰς τραχυτέρους μέν, ὡς ἐδόκει, καὶ λιβυκωτέρους ἡμᾶς μεταστῆσαι τόπους ἐβουλήθη. The independence of Egypt within the empire (from Augustus to Diocletian), as well as its secluded position, can be made out from ecclesiastical as well as from civil history. Hence one must take care to avoid postulating for Egypt the general ecclesiastical condition which prevailed throughout the empire. The characteristic division into nomes, the primacy of Alexandria, and the lack of towns, were also of great significance for the development of local Christianity

\2/ Renan (Les Apôtres, Germ. ed., pp. 297 f.; cp. Les Évangiles, p. 158) thinks that Christianity must have at first been slow to take any hold of Egypt, and refers for proof of this to the scanty intercourse maintained by the Alexandrian and the Palestinian Jews(!), as well as to the fact that the Judaism of Egypt "developed to a certain extent along its own lines: it had Philo and the Therapeutæ, and that was all its Christianity." He also believes that the Egyptian religion, as it then existed, afforded no favorable basis for Christianity(!). But it is very doubtful whether the scanty notices of Christianity in Egypt prior to 180 C.E. justify us in holding that Christianity was really weak and scanty. Even supposing that a long interval elapsed during which it was comparatively small, we would not be in a position, I think, to offer any explanation of the fact.

\3/ So that we also know next to nothing of the relations between the powerful Judaism of Egypt and of Alexandria and the development of the church. It is more than a conjecture, however, that a larger number of Jews were converted to Christianity in the Nile valley than anywhere else; for (1) the inner development of Judaism never approximated so closely to a universal religion as it did in Alexandria, and (2) we know that the gospel according to the Hebrews circulated in a Greek version in Egypt during the second century -- which implies the existence of an original Jewish Christianity (details below). We cannot, of course, appeal to Jerome (de Vir. Ill. 8.: "Alexandriae prima ecclesia adhuc iudaizans").

\4/ Cp. also the recently discovered "Sayings of Jesus" among the papyri [= Gospel of Thomas].

The following items sum up all our knowledge of the Alexandrian or Egyptian church previous to Demetrius.\5/ [[160]] (1) There was a local gospel, described by Clement of Alexandria and others as "the gospel according to the Egyptians"  (εὐαγγέλιον κατ' Αἰγυπτίους), but orthodox Christians had already dropped it from use by the end of the second century. The heretical asceticism and Modalism which characterize it throw a peculiar light upon the idiosyncrasies of early Egyptian Christianity. Originally it was not used merely by actually heretical parties, who retained it ever afterwards, but also by Egyptian Christians in general, as is plain from Clement's position, and still more so from its very title. For the latter either implies that the book was originally used by the Gentile Christians of Egypt as distinguished from the local Jewish Christians who read the εὐαγγέλιον καθ' Ἑβραίους in an Aramaic or Greek version,\6/ or else it implies a contrast between κατ' Αἰγυπτίους and κατ' Ἀλεξάνδρειαν. In this event, the gospel would be the book of the provincials in contradistinction to the Alexandrians.\7/ (2) The heretic Basilides labored in Egypt. Of him Epiphanius writes as follows (Hœr. 24.1): [[161]] ἐν τῇ τῶν Αἰγυπτίων χώρᾳ στειλάμενος τὴν πορείαν ἐκεῖσε τὰς διατριβὰς ἐποιεῖτο, εἶτα ἔρχεται\8/ εἰς τὰ μέρη τοῦ Προσωπίτου καὶ Ἀθριβίτου, οὐ μὴν ἀλλὰ καὶ περὶ τὸν Σαΐτην [καὶ Ἀλεξάνδρειαν] καὶ Ἀλεξανδρειοπολίτην χῶρον ἤτοι νομόν. (νομὸν γὰρ οἱ Αἰγύπτιοί φασι τὴν ἑκάστης πόλεως περιοικίδα ἤτοι περίχωρον ("After spending some time in Egypt, he went to the districts of Prosopitis and Athribis, not but that he also visited the district or nome of Sais and Alexandria and Alexandreiopolis. For the Egyptians give the name of 'nome' to the environments or suburbs of a city"). (3) Another Egyptian, who probably began his work in Egypt, was Valentinus. Epiphanius (31.2), who declares that none of the early heretics mentioned his birthplace, writes that only one piece of information, and that of doubtful weight, was extant regarding this Egyptian: ἔφασαν γὰρ αὐτόν τινες γεγενῆσθαι Φρεβωνίτην [Φαρβαιθίτην] τῆς Αἰγύπτου Παραλιώτην, ἐν Ἀλεξανδρείᾳ δὲ πεπαιδεῦσθαι τὴν τῶν Ἑλλήνων παιδείαν ("Some said he was born at Phrebonitis [or Pharbæthus] in Egypt, and educated after the Greek fashion in Alexandria"); cp. also 31.7:  Ἐποιήσατο δὲ οὗτος τὸ κήρυγμα καὶ ἐν Αἰγύπτῳ ὅθεν δὴ καὶ ὡς λείψανα ἐχίδνης ὀστέων ἔτι ἐν Αἰγύπτῳ περιλείπεται τούτου ἡ σπορά, ἔν τε τῷ Ἀθριβίτῃ καὶ Προσωπίτῃ καὶ Ἀρσινοΐτῃ καὶ Θηβαΐδι καὶ τοῖς κάτω μέρεσι τῆς Παραλίας καὶ Ἀλεξανδρειοπολίτῃ ("He also preached in Egypt. And one result is that his brood still survives in that country, like the remains of a viper's bones, in Athribis and Prosopitis, and Arsinoites, and Thebais, and the lower regions of the coast, and Alexandreiopolis").\9/ This is confirmed by the author of the Muratorian Canon, who says that Valentinus was born at Arsinoë; but the meaning of the phrase is not quite certain. (4) Justin (Apol. 1.29.) relates how an Alexandrian Christian had recently applied to the proconsul Felix for permission to be castrated, in order to refute the bitter calumnies levelled against Christians; he was refused. The popular fury [[162]] had evidently been whetted against Christians in Egypt also by means of calumnies. (5) From the Palestinian document of 190 C.E., mentioned by Eusebius (H.E. 5.25), we learn that the Palestinian church had exchanged letters, for a larger or shorter period, with the church of Alexandria in reference to the celebration of Easter on the same date. (6) According to the extant fragments of an Armenian epistle, Irenæus wrote once to an Alexandrian Christian (Harvey's Opp. Iren. 2.456). (7) Eusebius introduces with a φασίν ("they say") the statement (which may be referred back to the opening of the third century) that Mark the disciple of the apostles preached the gospel in Egypt and founded "churches first of all at Alexandria, itself" (ἐκκλησίας τε πρῶτον ἐπ' αὐτῆς Ἀλεξανδρείας, H.E. 2.16). We have no means of checking this statement.\10/ But the expression "churches" (so all MSS) is very singular. Alexandria was evidently a sort of province. (8) An Alexandrian list (originally extant, so far as we know, in the Chronicle of Africanus, and therefore dating at the latest from the reign of Elagabalus) gives the bishops of Alexandria from Mark downwards; but unluckily it is quite fictitious, and hardly anything is to be learned from its contents\11/ (cp. my Chronol. 1. pp. 124 f., 202 f.). Such is the sum total of our knowledge regarding the history of early Christianity in Egypt!

\5/ Reference may be made to Apollos of Alexandria (Acts 18.24), who appears to have joined the Baptist's followers in Alexandria (though this is not [[160b]] certain). We should possess an important account (though one which would have to be used with caution) of early Christianity in Alexandria, were Hadrian's epistle to Servianus authentic. This is controverted, however, and consequently cannot be employed except for the third century. The passage in question runs as follows (Vita Saturn. 8): "Aegyptum, quam mini laudabas, totam didici levem pendulam et ad omnia famae momenta volifantem, illic qui Serapidem colunt Christiani sunt et devote sunt Serapidi qui se Christi episcopos dicunt; nemo illic archisynagogus Judaeorum, nemo Samarites, nemo Christianorum presbyter, non mathematicus, non haruspex, non aliptes. ipse ille patriarcha cum Aegyptum venerit, ab aliis Serapidem adorare, ab aliis cogitur Christum…..unus illis deus nummus est; hone Christiani, hunc Judaei, hunc omnes venerantur et gentes" ("The Egypt which you praised to me, I have found altogether fickle, flighty, and blown about by every gust of rumor. There people who worship Serapis are Christians, while those who call themselves bishops of Christ are adherents of Serapis. There no chief of a Jewish synagogue, no Samaritan, no Christian presbyter, but is an astrologer, a soothsayer, a vile wretch. When the patriarch himself visits Egypt, he is forced by some to worship Serapis, and by others to worship Christ…. Christians, Jews, and all nations worship this one thing -- money"; cp. vol. 1. p. 275).

\6/ Clement still used both side by side, but he sharply distinguishes them from the canonical.

\7/ Such is the opinion advocated by Bardenhewer, Gesch. der altkirchl. Litt., 1. p. 387; but I do not think it probable. It is incredible that the provincial Christians of Egypt had any independent position at so early an age, over against the Alexandrian Christians. Preuschen (Zur Vorgeschichte des Evangelienkanons, Programm des Ludwig Georg Gymnasiums in Darmstadt, 1905) adheres to my [[161b]] view, and tries boldly to develop it. In the sources, "Egyptians," as distinct from Greeks, mean the old inhabitants, i.e., the Copts. But we can hardly interpret the title of the gospel κατ' Αἰγυπτίους in the light of this.

\8/ I do not understand this expression.

\9/ Apelles, the son of Marcion, stayed for some time at Alexandria, as we know.

\10/ The same passage mentions local work on the part of Barnabas.

\11/ The names are partly Greek and partly Roman: Arrianus, Abilius, Cerdo, Primus, Justus, Eumenes, Marcus, Celadion, Agrippinus, Julianus, and Demetrius. The predecessor of Demetrius is quite unknown to us.

Matters become clearer with the entrance of Clement of Alexandria and of the long-lived Demetrius (bishop from 188/189 to 231) upon the scene.\12/ But unfortunately the [[163]] former yields us very little concrete evidence regarding either the former philosopher, who lived on ideal heights, or the church. We learn that the church and its school already had by no means an insignificant role in Alexandria, that the school was frequented by pagans as well as by Christians, that presbyters, deacons, and "widows" were to be found in the church, that it counted members from all classes and ranks, that it was partly secularized (cp. the Pœdagogus), and that many Christian heretics disquieted the Alexandrian church.\13/ But this is about all, though Clement does remark (in Strom. 6.18.167) that Christianity had spread "to every nation and village and town" (κατὰ ἔθνος καὶ κώμην καὶ πόλιν πᾶσαν), gaining whole households and families, and including even philosophers in its membership. As regards the local organization, so much is certain, viz., that throughout the province (including the Thebais and Libyæ) the Christian churches in each nome were at first, and for a long while, ruled simply by presbyters and deacons, or by presbyters and teachers (cp. Dion. Alex. in Eus., H.E. 7.24), under the supervision, we may assume, of the Christian church in Alexandria. How old the monarchical episcopate is here, we cannot tell, for no certain conclusions, unfortunately, can be drawn from the relevant statements in Clement. Possibly it was instituted by, or shortly before, Demetrius. But once it was set up, all the powers of use and wont hitherto exercised by the Alexandrian [[164]] church were transferred to it.\14/ The course of affairs seems to have been as follows. Alexandria at first and alone had a monarchical bishop, who very soon came to rank himself and to act\15/ as the counterpart of "the chief priest of Alexandria and all Egypt."\16/ This bishop then began to consecrate other bishops for the chief towns in the various nomes. "Like the towns, the nomes also became the basis of the episcopal dioceses, in the Christian epoch" (Mommsen, p. 546; Eng. trans. 2. p. 235). According to one account (Eutychius, 1.332), which is not to be despised, Demetrius only consecrated three such bishops at first, while Heraclas, his successor, created as many as twenty.\17/ During the third century, perhaps all the leading towns in the nomes came to have bishops of their own (see below), under the autocratic supervision of the metropolitan, who was also the head metropolitan during the third century (as the sixth Nicene canon proves) of Egypt (including the Thebais), Libyæ, and Pentapolis. He had the power of ordaining all bishops, of issuing general disciplinary regulations, and of presiding over all judicial proceedings of the church. The late rise of the episcopate in Egypt explains how he possessed this power.\18/ Towards the close of his life Demetrius [[165]] held synods (against Origen); cp. Photius, Cod. 118: σύνοδος ἀθροίζεται κατὰ Ὠριγένους ἐπισκόπων καί τινων πρεσβυτέρων (followed at once by the words, Ἀλλ’ ὅ γε Δημήτριος ἅμα τισὶν ἐπισκόποις Αἰγυπτίοις) [a synod of bishops and certain presbyters…..Demetrius too, along with certain Egyptian bishops].

\12/ The importance of Alexandria throughout the church at large begins also at this period. We do not know how old was the custom, attested by Dionysius of Alexandria, of the local bishop fixing the date of Easter for the whole church, but perhaps it began with Demetrius (cp. the Coptic-Arabic Synaxarium on the 10th Hatur). Origen made the school of Alexandria a standard for the East, and it held this position even after he left the city. We learn incidentally, for example, that Julius Africanus (Eus., H.E. 6.31) hurried thither to hear Heraclas. The church and the school, which hitherto had not always co-operated, were closely united by Dionysius, who also succeeded by means of his personal influence, his learning, wisdom, and discretion, in acquiring an authoritative position throughout Christendom which was challenged only by the Roman bishop. This lofty position the see of Alexandria managed to retain under Petrus, while it was secured for quite a century by the powerful authority of Athanasius. The subordination of Egypt to the diocese of the "East" (i.e., under Antioch) could not upset the authority and independent position of the patriarch; on the contrary, the latter could attempt to gain control over the entire political diocese of the "East," and thus to add a fresh chapter to the perennial conflict between Syria and Egypt. When the victory was wellnigh over, the Chalcedon catastrophe occurred. During the fourth and the first half of the fifth century, Egypt was a semi-sovereign ecclesiastical state.

\13/ The Marcionites and the Montanists both made their way to Egypt. Clement mentions the Valentinians, the followers of Basilides and Marcion, the Peratæ, the Encratites, the Docetists, the Haimatites, the Cainites, the Ophites, the Simonians, and the Eutychites. Eusebius, in describing the youth of Origen, tells an interesting story about an Antiochene heretic called Paul in Alexandria (H.E. 6.2).

\14/ The rights of the Alexandrian bishop were not affected by the political division into provinces; on the contrary, he laid claim to authority over them all. We learn, e.g., that Heraclas, the successor of Demetrius, deposed the bishop of Thmuis.

\15/ "The pagan high priest himself had a far-reaching influence, even in respect of learning, over the entire country; he was ἐπιστάτης τοῦ Μουσείου" (Marquardt, 1.(2) p. 505). Here we get the complete prototype of the Alexandrian bishop and his school.

\16/ See Mommsen's Röm. Geschichte, 5.558 f., 568 (Eng, trans. 2.238 f., 249), Lübeck (op. cit., pp. 106 f.). Reference may also be made to the position of the Jewish ethnarch over all Egypt, as a prototype.

\17/ Schwartz (Athanasiana, 5. pp. 182 f., in the second number of the Nachr. d. K. Gesellsch. d. W., Göttingen, 1905) rightly calls attention to the fact that the decision of Demetrius to ordain bishops for the χώρα of Alexandria, i.e., for Egypt, is to be connected with Septimius Severus' gift (in 202 C.E.) of a nominal civic autonomy to prominent "villages" (improperly called capitals). But Demetrius was very prudent. He only ordained three bishops. Hence we must conclude that he only wanted to do what was absolutely essential. Heraclas was the first who really tackled the new situation and the needs of the growing Christian population outside the capital.

\18/ Into the origin and development of the organization in Alexandria and Egypt we cannot enter any further (cp. Lübeck, op. cit., 102 f., 105 f., 110 f., 114 f.). [[165b]]  I do not know what to make of the statement in Epiph., Haer. 68.7, that Alexandria, unlike other cities, never had two bishops. With regard to the metropolitan powers of the bishop of Alexandria, one gets the impression that they were not only as despotic as these of the ἀρχιερεὺς πάσης Αἰγύπτου, but as those of the emperor in the sphere of politics. Cp., e.g., Epiph., Haer. 68.1.: τοῦτο γὰρ ἔθος ἐστί, τὸν ἐν τῇ Ἀλεξανδρείᾳ ἀρχιεπίσκοπον πάσης τε Αἰγύπτου καὶ Θηβαΐδος, Μαρεώτου τε καὶ Λιβύης, Ἀμμωνιακῆς, Μαρμαρίδος τε καὶ Πενταπόλεως ἔχειν τὴν ἐκκλησιαστικὴν διοίκησιν ("The custom is for the archbishop of all Egypt, the Thebais, Mareotis and Libya, Ammoniace, Mareotis and Pentapolis, to have his ecclesiastical headquarters at Alexandria"). This confirms the evidence of the sixth canon of Nicæa. Schwartz (p. 185) deletes Mareotis twice; its mention is certainly remarkable in this connection. Seybold would read Μαρμαρικῆς..

As Eusebius (H.E. 6.1.) informs us that by 202 C.E. Christians were dragged to Alexandria "from Egypt and all the Thebais" (ἀπ' Αἰγύπτου καὶ Θηβαΐδος ἁπάσης) and martyred, there must have been Christians in all parts of the country. He says μύριοι (6.2.3) -- which is an exaggeration.\19/

\19/ It is difficult to believe the statement of Suidas that Julius Africanus was a Libyan by birth.

From the writings and history of Origen, a man to whom, far more than to Clement, the whole Eastern church was indebted for its fusion with intellectual culture, ample information (see above, pp. 10 f.) can be gained regarding the external and internal expansion of Christianity even beyond the confines of Alexandria and Egypt. No doubt, as he concedes to Celsus that the number of Christians was still "extremely scanty," relatively to the Roman empire, we cannot form any extravagant estimates of their number in Origen's native land down to the year 240 (cp. also his statement that Christian martyrs were rare and easily counted); but, on the other hand, as he finds the steady extension of Christendom (even in the upper circles of society) to be so marked that he can already contemplate its triumph, it follows that the number of Christians must have been quite considerable.\20/

\20/ Accurate statistics of the inhabitants of Alexandria were drawn up in connection with the relief of the poor, as is proved by the remarks of Dionysius Alex. (in Eus., H.E. 7.21) upon the great plague of 260 C.E.: "Yet people are astonished… our great city no longer containing such a multitude of inhabitants -- even if one now includes little children and very old people in the census -- as formerly it could number of those who were merely in the prime of life, so called. In those days people between forty and seventy constituted so large a majority of the inhabitants that their number cannot be made up nowadays even by the inclusion of people between fourteen and eighty in the list compiled for the purposes of public charity -- those who, to appearance, are quite young, being now, as it were, coeval with those who formerly were full of years [so that the dispensing of food was extended to such persons]. Yet, although they see how the human race continues to diminish and waste away, they tremble not at the destruction of mankind which is ever advancing upon themselves." We must accordingly assume that a very serious diminution took place in the population of Alexandria about the middle of the third century.

[[166]] The number of nomes or cities in which we can prove that there were Christians previous to Meletius, to the Nicene council, and to the accounts furnished by Athanasius (i.e., earlier than Diocletian), is extremely small, although the fault lies solely with our sources of information, They are as follows: --

\21/ ἐν μὲν οὖν τῷ Ἀρσενοΐτῃ γενόμενος, ἔνθα, ὡς οἶδας, πρὸ πολλοῦ τοῦτο ἐπεπόλαζεν τὸ δόγμα [chiliasm], ὡς καὶ σχίσματα καὶ ἀποστασίας ὅλων ἐκκλησιῶν γεγονέναι [so that there were several, or many, local churches even before 250 C.E.], συγκαλέσας τοὺς πρεσβυτέρους καὶ διδασκάλους τῶν ἐν ταῖς κώμαις ἀδελφῶν,  παρόντων καὶ τῶν βουλομένων ἀδελφῶν, δημοσίᾳ τὴν ἐξέτασιν ποιήσασθαι τοῦ λόγου προετρεψάμην ("When I was at Arsinoë, where this view had been current for a long while, so that there had been schisms and apostasies of whole churches, I summoned the presbyters and teachers of the brethren in the villages, and when those who were willing had gathered, I exhorted them to examine the doctrine openly").

\22/ There was an estate of Rostoces at Thmuis (Martyr. Hieron.).

\23/ According to Dionys. Alex. (Eus., 6.40), there seem to have been Christians at Taposiris (a small town about twenty-five miles south-west of Alexandria, at the end of a long arm of the Mareotic lake) as well. In the village of Cephro (otherwise unknown) "near the desert" (τὰ μέρη τῆς Λιβύνης), the exiled Dionysius first spread abroad the word of God successfully, according to his own account. (ἐν δὲ τῇ Κεφροῖ καὶ πολλὴ συνεπεδήμησεν ἡμῖν ἐκκλησία, τῶν μὲν ἀπὸ τῆς  πόλεως ἀδελφῶν ἑπομένων, τῶν δὲ συνιόντων ἀπ’ Αἰγύπτου [note the contrast]. κἀκεῖ θύραν ἡμῖν ὁ θεὸς ἀνέῳξεν τοῦ λόγου). In the Mareotic district, where the village of Colluthion (the fresh place of exile appointed for him) was situated (otherwise unknown), there were no Christians, or practically none, about the middle of the third century, although the district lay close to Alexandria (cp. Dionys. in Eus., H.E. 7.11.12). There, too, it was he who planted Christianity. Mareotis (for Mareotic Christians, see Dionys., Eus. H.E. 7.11) is mentioned in a document of the Jerusalem Synod (Athanas., Apol. c. Arian 85): "Mareotis is a district of Egypt. There never was a bishop there, nor a territorial bishop; the churches throughout the entire district were under the bishop of Alexandria. The separate presbyters had charge of the larger villages, to about the number of ten and upwards"; cp. Socrates, 1.27: Μαρεώτης χώρα τῆς Ἀλεξανδρείας ἐστί· κῶμαι δέ εἰσιν ἐν αὐτῇ πολλαὶ σφόδρα καὶ πολυάνθρωποι, καὶ ἐν αὐταῖς ἐκκλησίαι πολλαὶ καὶ λαμπραί· τάττονται δὲ αὕται αἱ ἐκκλησίαι ὑπὸ τῷ τῆς Ἀλεξανδρείας ἐπισκόπῳ, καὶ εἰσὶν ὑπὸ τὴν αὐτοῦ πόλιν ὡς παροικίαι ("M. is a district of Alexandria. It contains a very large number of populous villages, in which there are many splendid churches. These churches are under the jurisdiction of the bishop of Alexandria, and are subject to his city as parishes"). On the Christians in Mareotis, see also Athanas., op. cit., 74., and Epiph., Hœr. 68.7 (a number of local churches as early as 300 C.E.).

\24/ Deissmann, Ein Originaldokument aus der dioklet. Verfolgung (1902), pp. 12 f. [Eng. trans.].

\25/ Cp. Violet, Mart. Pal., pp. 60 f. (Texte u. Unters. 14.4): "Down to the sixth year of the persecution the storm blew hard, which had risen against us, and many companies of the faithful were in the mines called the 'Porphyritis,' in the district of Egyptian Thebes. Those who broke the temple marble were also called Porphyrites. Such were the names borne by the large companies of the faithful who were condemned, all over Egypt; there were ninety-seven local martyrs."

The fragments of the correspondence of Dionys. Alex., and the record of the persecutions, give one the impression that the number of Christians in Alexandria was large, and that the spread of Christianity throughout the country, in towns and villages alike (Eus., 6.42.1), was considerable. Quite incidentally, for example, we find (in Eus., H.E. 7.11.17) that "special meetings" were regularly held "in the more remote suburbs" of Alexandria (ἐν προαστείοις πορρωτέρω κειμένοις κατὰ μέρος ἔσονται συναγωγαί). Egypt (Lower Egypt), after the middle of the third century, certainly belonged to those territories in which Christians were particularly plentiful,\26/ although Dionysius (Eus., H.E. 7.7) was aware that there were provinces in Asia Minor where the churches were still more numerous.\27/

\26/ By the time of the Decian persecution, Christians were already occupying public positions in Alexandria, and many were to be found among the rich (Eus., 6.41, 7.11). Libelli, or certificates of exemption granted to apostates, survive from towns of no great size; but this proves at most the large number of local Christians. Dionysius, in his account of the Alexandrian victims in the persecution (Eus., H.E. 6.41), distinguishes between Greeks and Egyptians (details below), but Christians were to be found among both classes of the population.

\27/ Practically no information upon ecclesiastical geography is furnished by the history of Egyptian monasticism previous to 325 C.E. The monastic settlements of Pachomius in Tabennisi (not Tabenne Nesus; cp. v. Schubert's Lehrb. d. k. Gesch. 1. pp. 405 f.) and Pbow, however, are to be fixed within that period (not later than c. 320 C.E.), and we are also told how Pachomius was converted at Schenesit (=Chenoboscium) on the Nile in the Thebais district. It lay near the town of Diospolis parva in Southern Thebais (cp. Grützmacher, Pachomius und das älteste Klosterleben, 1896). -- I hesitate to infer from the Coptic-Arabic Synaxarium the localities which it connects with the stories of the Diocletian martyrs, as legend (connected with graves and relics) may have invented a good deal. For example (Wüstenfeld, Synaxarium, 1. pp. 18-19), on 8 and 9 Tut it is noted: "The presbyter Timotheos from Dirschaba, belonging to the see of Dantu, martyred in the town of Atripe"; "The bishop Basura in the town of Masil." For the date of the rise of monasticism, cp., as against Weingarten's untenable hypothesis, especially Butler (The Lausiac History of Palladius, 1898, pp, 215 f.). Antony, the father of all monks, began his significant work c. 305, after twenty years' sojourn in the wilderness. Thus the monastery of Antonius (i.e., the colony of monks) near the Red Sea, in the latitude of Heracleopolis, was founded at the beginning of the fourth century. The monastic settlements in the Nitrian and Scetic deserts belong to c. 330 C.E.

[[170]] As regards the Egyptian episcopal hierarchy at the opening of the fourth century, we find ourselves in a particularly fortunate position. The episcopal lists certainly give a most imperfect idea of the spread of Christianity in Egypt, as each nome had at first only one bishop, while many large churches, in town and country alike, were governed by presbyters, and small villages had not even so much as a presbyter. But, on the other hand, we have to take account (1) of the statement of Alexander (of Alex.) in his encyclical letter, that he had gathered, c. 320 C.E., a synod of almost 100 bishops (Socrat., H.E. 1.6). Then (2) there is the corroborative statement of Athanasius, for the age of the synods of Sardica (and especially for the earlier synod of Alexandria in 339), that "there are close upon 100 bishops in Egypt, the Thebais, Libyæ, and Pentapolis." See Apol. c. Arian, 1 and 71. Thus there were no bishoprics founded between 320 and 340. This is important evidence. Had not the episcopal organization been fully organized in Egypt by the opening of the fourth century, we should have expected a number of bishoprics to be established just between 320 and 340. At the synod of Sardica 94 Egyptian bishops were actually present, or subsequently signed the resolutions (so Apol. c. Ar. 50, where their names but not their dioceses are given). Athanasius had all his bishops summoned to that council. (3) There is also the fragmentary record, compiled by Meletius, of his adherents among the Egyptian hierarchy, which was laid by him before the council of Nicæa (325). This list includes twenty-nine or thirty bishops (cp. Athan., op. cit., 71); viz., in

\28/ Perhaps Diospolis parva (not D. magna=Thebes), as it is mentioned between Cusæ and Tentyra.

\29/ It is remarkable that no bishopric within our period (i.e., pre-Nicene) is ever assigned to Ptolemais, though it was the second city in Egypt. This omission cannot be a mere accident. The city perhaps for long sharply excluded Christianity. Meletius, bishop of Lycopolis, discharged the duties of metropolitan in the Thebais, under Diocletian. As the town was not the political capital of the Thebais, Schwartz (p. 185) conjectures that Petrus delegated his metropolitan functions to him.

\30/ Quentin (Anal. Boll. 24.1905, pp. 321 f.) has recently discovered and edited the Passio Dioscuri. The scene is in Cynos (Anacipolis in Mart. Hieron.), "praeside Culciano" (305-306), apparently in upper Cynos (p. 331). The father of D. was reader there, and he himself "debitor fisci" in virtue of his position as "curialis" (pp. 327, 329).

\31/ "No heretic or pagan is to be found there: all the citizens are Christians." The continued existence of pagan conventicles at Oxyrhynchus, assumed by Wilcken (Archiv f. Papyrusforschung 1.3, pp. 407 f.), rests, in my opinion, upon a misinterpretation of παγανικαὶ συντέλειαι, an expression which occurs in a document of 426 C.E.

\32/ I do not know what authority Larsow has for putting Phthenegys in the extreme north of Egypt, south of Paralos, on the map in his edition of the festal epistles of Athanasius (1852). I have tried in vain to find the place in any source outside of Athanasius.

\33/ In the notices of martyrdom during the great persecution, as well as in Eusebius (Dionys. Alex.), some further Egyptian episcopal names are preserved, but the localities are unknown; cp., e.g., the names in Eus., H.E. 8.13. The presbyters who followed Meletius in Alexandria were Apollonius, Irenæus, Dioscurus, Tyrannus (and Macarius from Parembolê); the deacons, Timotheus, Antonius, and Hephæstion.

We also have the list of bishops from Egypt, the Thebais and both Libyas, who were present at Nicaea. These came from

\34/ "The site of the town is not known; the memory of it seems to have perished by the beginning of the Middle Ages. Two Coptic-Arabic writings note Alphocranon among the suppressed sees (cp. Amélineau, La géographie de 1'Égypte à 1'époque Copte, Paris, 1893, pp. 572, 576, and 4639)," Gelzer, Conc. Nic., p. 233.

\35/ It is surprising that Ptolemais, the capital of Pentapolis, occurs here, and not in its proper place before Berenicë. We must not think of Ptolemais Hermia, as at first we might be inclined to do; for the bishop's name (Secundus) is definitely fixed as that of the metropolitan of Pentapolis at that date (cp. above, p. 171).

\36/ For Memphis, see Constantine's speech to the holy synod (apud Eus, 16.2): τοιγάρτοι καρπὸν ἤραντο τὸν προσήκοντα τῇ τοιαύτῃ θρησκείᾳ Μέμφις καὶ Βαβυλών, ἐρημωθεῖσαι καὶ ἀοίκητοι καταλειφθεῖσαι μετὰ τῶν πατρῴων θεῶν. καὶ ταῦτα οὐκ ἐξ ἀκοῆς λέγω, ἀλλ’ αὐτός τε παρὼν καὶ ἱστορήσας ἐπόπτης τε γενόμενος τῆς οἰκτρᾶς τῶν πόλεων τύχης. Μέμφις ἔρημος. The heretic Marcus came from Memphis; he went to Spain and there gained a noble lady, Agape, and an orator, Helpidius, who thereupon won over Priscillian (cp. Sulp. Sev., Chron. 2.46).

\37/ I follow here the Coptic recension.

\38/ An inscription was found here in 1902, which shows that a Jewish community, modelled on Greek lines, existed here as early as Ptolemy Euergetes (247-222 B.C.E.). It had a synagogue of its own, "in honor of the king, the queen, and their children."

\39/ Antæopolis (cp. the Coptic list) is uncertain; it is only attested by a single witness.

\40/ The latter six are from Libya superior and inferior. -- The names of the bishops are obviously not Egyptian, but almost entirely Greco-Latin. Paphnutius, bishop of an unknown town in Upper Thebais, was also at Nicæa. -- Very likely there were Christians, and a Christian bishop also, at Darnis (Dardanis) before 325 C.E., as it was the metropolitan's headquarters for Libya II. during the days of Athanasius (cp. the 39th [367] festal letter of Athanasius, published by Schmidt in the Nachr. d. Gesells. d. Wiss. zu Gött., 1901, 3. p. 5). -- Immediately after 325 we get evidence for Christian churches (cp. Athan., Apol. 64.) at the following Egyptian localities (none of which, in spite of great efforts, can be identified; so far as I know, they are never mentioned elsewhere; they were in the vicinity of Alexandria, viz., in Mareotis), viz., Dikella, Phasko, Chenebri, Myrsinë, and Bomotheus. Add Taposiris (see above). Hypselis, where Arsenius, the opponent of Athanasius, was a bishop, may also be added to the places which possessed a church previous to 325.

[[174]] Down to 325 C.E., therefore, we may assume Christians to have existed in about fifty towns (or nomes) of these provinces, more than forty of which were episcopal sees.\41/ In Alexandria there was quite a number of churches (cp. also Eusebius, as above, p. 162, on Mark's work at Alexandria), and we have actual knowledge of those in which Arius preached, besides those of Dionysius and those of Pierius, called after the famous head of the local school (cp. my Litt.-Gesch. 1. p. 439), and several others.\42/ The Novatians also had several churches in Alexandria, which Cyril had ultimately closed (Socrat., 7.7). The number of the Alexandrian clergy (including the Mareotic) at the opening of the fourth century may be calculated with fair precision. Epiphanius (Hœr. 69.3) declares that Arius won over in Alexandria not only 700 consecrated virgins but 7 presbyters and 12 deacons. The epist. encycl. of Alexander of Alexandria was signed by 17 presbyters and 24 deacons. In Mareotis 19 presbyters and 20 deacons also sided with Alexander. This gives us 24 presbyters and 36 deacons for [[175]] the city of Alexandria, while, if the Mareotic clergy are included, we get no fewer than 43 presbyters and 56 deacons.\43/ Evidently we are handling large numbers here. From the activity and position of Anatolius in Alexandria (cp. above, p. 39), we may conclude that Christians then formed a strong and influential party in the city. A further proof of the wide spread of Christianity in Egypt is furnished by the fact that it continued to be a power in Upper Egypt at the opening of the fourth century (compare the description of the Diocletian persecution which raged so fiercely in the Thebais itself), and also by the outburst and the propaganda of monasticism during the last thirty years of the third century. In Alexandria, more than in any other city and province, the church understood how to present Christianity in forms which were suited to the varied grades of human culture, and this feature undoubtedly proved an extraordinary aid to the propaganda of the religion, although at a subsequent period, of course, the multitude of uneducated Christians overmastered alike the educated members of the church and the bishop of Alexandria himself.

\41/ Philostorgius (H.E. 7.13) mentions a bishop of Thebes, Heron by name, who fell away in the reign of Julian. In the 12th (19th) festal letter of Athanasius the following bishoprics, hitherto unmentioned, occur (it is true that we cannot be sure if they existed prior to 325 C.E., but the great likelihood is that they did, as the notices of them refer to successors of dead occupants of the respective sees): Paralus (at the extreme north of Egypt), Bucolia (not far east of Alexandria, on the coast, but deserted), Thebes, Apollonopolis inferior (where?), Aphroditon (east of Memphis, north of Nilopolis), Rhinocorura (on the Philistine border), Stathma (where? near Rhinocorura?), Garyatis orient. and merid. (both in Marmarika, but, so far as I know, unidentified), Syene, Latopolis, Hypselis, Prosopitis (cp. above, p. 161), Diosphacus ("which is on the sea-border," Athanasius adds: the place was evidently unfamiliar, and seems still to be unidentified), Saites (cp. above, p. 161), Xois (north of Sais), and Clysma (to the north of the Red Sea). These seventeen names bring up the number of bishoprics in Egypt, prior to the Nicene council, to about sixty.

\42/ Epiph., Hœr. 69.2: εἰσὶ τοίνυν πλείους τὸν ἀριθμὸν ἐν τῇ Ἀλεξανδρείᾳ [ἐκκλησίαι] .... εἰσι πλείους, ὡς ἔφην, Διονυσίου καλουμένη ἐκκλησία καὶ ἡ τοῦ Θεωνᾶ καὶ ἡ Πιερίου καὶ Σεραπίωνος καὶ ἡ τῆς Περσαίας καὶ ἡ τοῦ Διζύας καὶ ἡ τοῦ Μενδιδίου καὶ ἡ Ἀννιανοῦ καὶ ἡ τῆς  Βαυκάλεως καὶ ἄλλαι. ἐν μιᾷ δὲ τούτων Κόλλουθός τις ὑπῆρχεν, ἐν ἑτέρᾳ δὲ Καρπώνης, ἐν ἄλλῃ δὲ Σαρματᾶς, καὶ Ἄρειος οὗτος, κ.τ.λ. ("The churches in Alexandria are more numerous. There are the churches of Dionysius [also mentioned by Philostorg., H.E. 2.11; Athanasius was consecrated bishop in it], of Theonas [cp. Theod., H.E. 4.22], of Pierius and Serapion, of Persaia, of Dizus, of Mendidius, of Annianus, of Baucalis, etc.; in one there was a certain Colluthus, in another Carpones, in another Sarmatas and Arius," etc.). Hœr. 68.4: ἦν γὰρ οὗτος [ὀ Ἄρειος] ἐν Βαυκάλει τῇ ἐκκλησίᾳ οὕτω καλουμένῃ Ἀλεξανδρείας πρεσβύτερος. καθ’ ἑκάστην γὰρ εἷς πρεσβύτερός ἐστιν ἀποτεταγμένος· ἦσαν γὰρ πολλαὶ ἐκκλησίαι, νῦν δὲ πλείους ("For Arius was presbyter in Baucalis, the church so named in Alexandria; for one presbyter is appointed to each church. There were many churches then, but there are more now"). The statement of the Coptic-Arabic Synaxarium (Wüstenfeld, 2. pp. 210) that the believers had to meet in private houses and holes (??) till the era of bishop Theonas (i.e., the reign of Diocletian), and that Theonas built the first church in Alexandria (in the name of the Virgin), may be untrustworthy, but it deserves notice. Theonas may have built a church to Mary, and it may have been the first large building. For the Alexandrian churches in the fourth century, cp. Schwartz (Athanas., 1.336).

\43/ Cp. Snellmann, Der Anfang des arianischen Streits (1904), p. 49.

The uneducated were more strongly represented in the original population of Egypt (afterwards called Copts). But Christianity, as has been remarked, soon pushed its propaganda [[176]] among them also. Bishop Dionysius distinguishes Greeks and Egyptians among the Decian martyrs (Eus., H.E. 6.41); the latter bear purely Coptic names.\44/ Αἰγύπτιοι, as Feltoe proves from the papyri (The Letters and other Remains of Dionysius of Alexandria, 1904, p. 13), even elsewhere at that period denoted natives as opposed to Greeks. In one place Dionysius also calls a (Coptic) martyr ὁ Λιβύς  (Eus., H.E. 6.41). The present state of our knowledge regarding the origin and early development of national Egyptian Christianity has been recently sketched by Leipoldt (Die Entstehung der koptischen Kirche, 1905).

\44/ Even in Origen there are several passages which incidentally prove that Christianity was welcomed even by the native Egyptians; e.g., Hom. 12. in Lucam. (Opp. 5. p. 128, Lomm.); cp. above, p. 154.

The first Christian who, to our knowledge, published his biblical studies in the Egyptian (Coptic) language was the ascetic Hieracas (Epiph., Hœr. 67.), an older contemporary of Arius, who was suspected as a semi-heretic. Pachomius also belongs to the pre-Constantine age; his monasteries were assigned to Coptic Christians. Antony, who lived as an ascetic after 270 C.E., was a Coptic Christian. The three versions of the Bible, the Sahidic (Thebaic),\45/ the Akhmimic,\46/ and the Fayyumic\47/ (erroneously called the Bashmuric or Middle Egyptian), were extant by 350 C.E. (although the whole Bible perhaps had not yet been completely issued in these dialects; the Bohairic version is not earlier than the close of the fifth century). We may conjecture, though we cannot prove, that these versions partly go back to the third century. Christianity, in Egypt more than anywhere else perhaps, with the exception of Greece, adjusted itself to certain cardinal traits of the old national religion (e.g., its conception of the dead, its vivid grasp of the future, its moral tone, [[177]] its use of spells to safeguard life, etc.). Coptic Christianity lived amid these elements (cp. also its predilection for ardent apocalypses). It came forward as a transformed popular religion, without any philosophy or profound speculations or dogma. The peculiar affinity between Coptic Christianity and monasticism has not yet been adequately explained. But here too the leading role was that of beliefs about the dead and a passion for the world to come. If the Egyptians were for the most part Christians by the middle of the fourth century (what Leipoldt, pp. 5 f., adduces from Schenute regarding merciless pagan landowners about the beginning of the fifth century refers to Greeks), then they had created a sort of national religion for themselves out of the new religion by grafting on the latter to the cravings and remnants of the old. If the years between 350 and 450 are to be taken as the blossoming period of the Coptic church, then the number of Coptic Christians c. 300 C.E. must have been very considerable. Who can tell how many of all these millions were Christians (cp. Mommsen, p. 578, Eng. trans. 2.259 f.; Lübeck, p. 106) when the great persecution broke out? Certain it is, however, that the Christians had long ago outstripped the Jews numerically, and by the opening of the fourth century they were over a million strong. Their large numbers are also evident from the fact that during the fourth century there was a comparatively rapid decline of paganism, native and Hellenic, throughout Egypt -- apart, that is, from the cults at Philæ and other outstanding temple-cities (cp. Wilcken, Archiv für Papyrusforschung 1.3. pp. 396 f., who shows, however, that there were Christian churches even in Philæ by the beginning of the fifth century). The outlying district of Bucolia, no doubt, is reported (Jerome, Vita Hilarion. 43) to have been still entirely pagan in the fourth century, while almost the whole of the city of Antinoë was still given up to idolatry in the reign of Valens. These, however, were the exceptions. And that was why inconvenient clerics were banished thither by the emperor (Theodoret, H.E. 4.15). Other exiled clerics are said, about the same period, to have found nothing but pagans and an idolatrous temple on an island of the Nile (Socrat., 4.24). But whatever value one [[178]] might attach to this disappears when one considers the question put by the pagans to the Christians when they landed, "Have you come hither also to drive us out?" (ἤλθετε καὶ ἐνταῦθα ἐξελάσαι ἡμᾶς). The tale thus becomes a witness to the spread of Christianity. Judaism and Hellenism had plainly paved an open way for Christianity in Egypt, while the national religion, with all its peculiarities, which had long ago become quite meaningless,\48/ did not possess the same powers of attraction and resistance as certain of the Syro-Phoenician cults evinced.

\45/ "The Berlin Sahidic MS. of the Apocalypse of John certainly belongs to the fourth century, and the Apocalypse was by no means the first scripture translated by the Copts into their vernacular. In fact, we know MSS. of the Psalter and the Wisdom of Solomon which may be very little later than that of the Apocalypse."

\46/ "This version was, even in the fifth century, the memorial of a decaying dialect, and was practically supplanted by the Sahidic." The Akhmimic version contains the oldest writings extant in any Coptic MS.

\47/ "I think it very likely that it is just as old as either the Akhmimic or the Sahidic."

\48/ For the religion of Egypt, see Erman (Die aegypt. Religion, 1905). Its final period, together with the social and political position of the natives from the third to the fifth century, may be seen most clearly in Leipoldt's Schenute von Atripe (Texte u. Unters. 25.1.22 f., 26 f., 29 f.). -- It is extremely remarkable how little notice is taken of Egyptian religion -- for all its deep influence on the Greco-Roman empire -- in early Christian literature. Even Christian Greek gnosticism, so powerfully influenced by the lore of Syrian and Asiatic rites, betrays few traces of the Egyptian cultus, apart from magical spells (yet cp. the Pistis Sophia). The latter must have been disintegrated during the second and third centuries, yielding place to Hellenism, and in part to rude household cults. Reitzenstein's Poimandres ("Studien zur griech. -- ägypt. u. frühchristl. Literatur," 1904) has certainly unearthed some lines of connection which had hitherto lain unobserved; but he goes too far, I think, with his bold speculative constructions.

We know nothing about the early history of Christianity in Pentapolis (Cyrenaica), where a very large number of local Jews had already created an atmosphere for the new faith.\49/ Irenæus (1.10) declares there were Christians in Libya.\50/ But the fact of Basilides being metropolitan (in Ptolemais) of Pentapolis in the days of Dionysius of Alexandria (Dionys., Ep. ad Basil.; Eus., H.E. 7.20; Routh's Reliq. Sac. 3.(2) pp. 223 f.) shows [[179]] that church life had been organized there, with a number of bishoprics (e.g., Berenicê, p. 168), by the middle of the third century.\51/ The modalistic Christology gained a specially large and resolute number of adherents in this district about the same time. Sabellius was a Libyan, and came from Pentapolis. We have also evidence for martyrs in these provinces.\52/

\49/ Cyrene is mentioned in the N.T. (Acts 2.10), which proves, at any rate, that converted Jews from this district were known about 100 C.E.; cp. also the synagogue of the Cyrenians (Acts 6.9) in Jerusalem, as well as the fact (noted in Acts 11.20) that converted Jews from Cyrene and Cyprus were the first (in Antioch) to preach the gospel to pagans. Finally, Acts knows of a Christian teacher, Lucius of Cyrene, in Antioch (13.1); while the gospel mentions a Simon of Cyrene (Mark 15.21 and parallels) who was obliged to carry the cross of Jesus. The Bible Christian Africans (like the negroes in America) nowadays honour this Simon as their hero. Jews and Greeks and Romans shared in the crucifixion of Jesus, but an African carried his cross!

\50/ There is some likehood that Tertullian's story about the proconsul Pudens (in ad Scapulam, 4.) had been enacted even in Cyrenaica previobs to 166 C.E., which would prove the existence of Christians there at that period. But the transference of the tale is not quite assured. Crete also might be meant; cp. Neumann's Röm. Staat. u. allgem. Kirche, 1. pp. 33 f.

\51/ We cannot tell how or when the Alexandrian bishop succeeded in bringing Pentapolis, which did not belong to Egypt politically, under his control. The local metropolitan, as such, was his colleague, but in one aspect was only his subordinate. We have no details about the demarcation of authority and jurisdiction between the metropolitans and the Alexandrian super-metropolitan for the fourth century, let alone for the third. Nor do we know how many metropolitans there were in the large territory over which the Alexandrian bishop presided. Perhaps during the third century -- apart from the metropolitan of Pentapolis -- there were no metropolitans there at all, in the strict sense of the term. But whether there was one or more, they were quite unsuccessful in their efforts to be independent metropolitans like their colleagues elsewhere in the empire. For the provinces and metropolitans in Egypt, cp. Schwartz, pp. 180 f" Lübeck, pp. 109 f., 116 f.

\52/ Catacombs are said to have been discovered in Cyrene, dating from the pre-Constantine period; cp. Smith and Porcher, History of the Recent Discoveries at Cyrene (London, 1864). -- The coast of the Syrtes was as barren and barbarous then as it is today. "Vacua humano cultu omnia…..ubi aversa quaedam a mari promuntoria ventis resistunt, terra aliquantulum solidior herbam raram atque hispidam gignit: ea ovibus pabulum est satis utile; incolae lacte vivunt" (Sulpic. Sev., Dial. 1.3 f.). There were no churches there, but perhaps one or two Christian settlers at the end of the fourth century.

Not until the fourth century (Socrates, 1.19; Philost. 3.4 f.) did Christianity penetrate the wide stretches of country south of Philæ towards Abyssinia and Southern Arabia; cp. Duchesne's Les missions chrétiennes au sud de l'empire Romain (1896). All tales relating to an earlier period are legendary.\53/ What we may call the "papal" power of Alexandria is further shown by the fact that the Abyssinian church rose and remained in a position of entire dependence on Alexandria.

\53/ Which does not exclude the possibility of Christianity having been preached ere this to certain "Ethiopians" on the borders. Origen seems to know of such cases having occurred. He writes: "Non fertur praedicatum esse evangelium apud omnes Aethiopas, maxime apud eos, qui sunt ultra flumen" ("The gospel is not said to have been preached to all the Ethiopians, especially to such as live beyond the River"; in Matth. Comment., Ser. 39, t. 4. pp. 269 f., ed. Lonmatzsch).