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Religious figures biography (34)



KESSARIA (Ancient city) TURKEY
Arethas, archbishop of Caesareia in Cappadocia at an uncertain time (A. D. 540, according to Coccius and Cave), appears to have succeeded Andreas. He wrote a commentary on the Apocalypse (sulloge exegeseon ek diaphoron hagion andron eis ten Ioannou tou agapemenou kai euangelistou Apokalupsin), which, as its title implies, was compiled from many preprevious works, and especially from that of Andreas. It is usually printed with the works of Oecumenius.


Andreas, bishop of Caesarea

Bishop of that see in Cappadocia, assigned by Krumbacher to the first half of the sixth century, though he is yet variously placed by others from the fifth to the ninth century.
  His principal work is a commentary on the Apocalypse, important as the first commentary on the book that has come down to us, also as the source from which most of its later commentators have drawn. The writer differs from most of the Byzantine commentators by reason of his extensive acquaintance with early patristic literature.

A.T. Maas, ed.
Transcribed by: John Orr
This text is cited May 2003 from The Catholic Encyclopedia, New Advent online edition URL below.

Andreas, bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia, probably about 500 A. D., wrote a Commentary on the Apocalypse, which is printed in the principal editions of Chrysostom's works. He also wrote a work entitled " Therapeutica Spiritualis," fragments of which are extant in the " Eclogae Asceticae" of John, patriarch of Antioch. (Nessel, Cat. Vindob. Pt.i., cod. 276, No. 1.)

Acacius the Monophthalmos (One-eyed)

Acacius The One-eyed (ho Monophthalmos), the pupil and successor in the See of Caesarea of Eusebius A. D. 340, whose life he wrote. (Socrates, Hist. Eccl. ii. 4.) He was able, learned, and unscrupulous. At first a Semi-Arian like his master, he founded afterwards the Homoean party and was condemned by the Semi-Arians at Seleucia, A. D. 359. (Socrates, Hist. Eccl. ii. 39. 40 ; Sozomen, Hist. Eccl. iv. 22. 23.) He subsequently became the associate of Aetius [AETIUS], the author of the Anomoeon, then deserted him at the command of Constantius, and, under the Catholic Jovian, subscribed the Homoousion or Creed of Nicaea. He died A. D. 366. He wrote seventeen Books on Ecclesiastes and six of Miscellanies. (St. Jerome, Vir. Ill. 98.) St. Epiphanius has preserved a fragment of his work against Marcellus (c. Haer. 72), and nothing else of his is extant, though Sozomen speaks of many valuable works written by him.

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Sep 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Archelaus, bishop of Caesareia in Capadocia, wrote a work against the heresy of the Messalians, which is referred to by Photius (Cod. 52). Cave places him at 440 A. D. Hist. Lit. sub. ann.)


Helladius. Bishop of Caesareia, in Cappadocia, succeeded his master, Basil the Great, in that see. A. D. 378, and was present at the two councils of Constantinople in A. D. 381 and 394. His life of St. Basil is quoted by Damascenus (Orat. de Imag. i. ), but the genuineness of the work is doubtful. (Sozom. H. E. viii. 6; Tillemont, Mem. Eccles. vol. ix.; Cave, Hist. Lit. s. a. 378; Fabric. Bibl. Graec. vol. ix.)


Basilius the Great

  Bishop of Caesarea, and one of the most distinguished Doctors of the Church. Born probably 329; died 1 January, 379. He ranks after Athanasius as a defender of the Oriental Church against the heresies of the fourth century. With his friend Gregory of Nazianzus and his brother Gregory of Nyssa, he makes up the trio known as “The Three Cappadocians”
  St. Basil the Elder, father of St. Basil the Great, married Emmelia, the daughter of a martyr and became the father of ten children. Three of these, Macrina, Basil, an Gregory are honoured as saints; and of the sons, Peter, Gregory, and Basil attained the dignity of the episcopate. Under the care of his father and his grandmother, the elder Macrina, Basil was formed in habits of piety and study. He was still young when his father died and the family moved to Annesi in Pontus.
  As a boy, he was sent to school at Caesarea, then “a metropolis of letters”. Later, he went to Constantinople, at that time “distinguished for its teachers of philosophy and rhetoric”, and thence to Athens. Here he became the inseparable companion of Gregory of Nazianzus. According to him, Basil was already distinguished for brilliancy of mind and seriousness of character and associated only with the most earnest students. He was able, grave, industrious, and well advanced in rhetoric, grammar, philosophy, astronomy, geometry, and medicine. At the end of his sojourn at Athens, Basil being laden, says St. Gregory of Nazianzus “with all the learning attainable by the nature of man”, was well equipped to be a teacher. Caesarea took possession of him gladly “as a founder and second patron”, and as he tells us, he refused the splendid offers of the citizens of Neo-Caesarea, who wished him to undertake the education of the youth of their city.
  To the successful student and distinguished professor, “there now remained”, says Gregory, “no other need than that of spiritual perfection”. Gregory of Nyssa, in his life of Macrina, gives us to understand that Basil's brilliant success both as a university student and a professor had left traces of worldliness and self-sufficiency on the soul of the young man. Fortunately, Basil came again in contact with Dianius, Bishop of Caesarea, the object of his boyish affection, and Dianius seems to have baptized him, and ordained him Reader soon after his return to Caesarea. It was at the same time also that he fell under the influence of that very remarkable woman, his sister Macrina, who had meanwhile founded a religious community on the family estate at Annesi. Basil himself tells us how, like a man roused from deep sleep, he turned his eyes to the marvellous truth of the Gospel, wept many tears over his miserable life, and prayed for guidance from God: “Then I read the Gospel, and saw there that a great means of reaching perfection was the selling of one's goods, the sharing of them with the poor, the giving up of all care for this life, and the refusal to allow the soul to be turned by any sympathy towards things of earth”.
   To learn the ways of perfection, Basil now visited the monasteries of Egypt, Palestine, Coele-Syria, and Mesopotamia. He returned, filled with admiration for the austerity and piety of the monks, and founded a monastery in his native Pontus, on the banks of the Iris. Eustathius of Sebaste had already introduced the eremitical life into Asia Minor; Basil added the cenobitic or community form, and the new feature was imitated by many companies of men and women.Basil became known as the father of Oriental monasticism. Basil was drawn from his retreat into the area of theological controversy in 360 when he accompanied two delegates from Seleucia to the emperor at Constantinople, and supported his namesake of Ancyra. To this time (c. 361) may be referred the “Moralia”; and a little later came two books against Eunomius (363) and some correspondence with Athanasius. It is possible, also, that Basil wrote his monastic rules in the briefer forms while in Pontus, and enlarged them later at Caesarea.
  Basil still retained considerable influence in Caesarea. Eusebius having persuaded the reluctant Basil to be ordained priest, gave him a prominent place in the administration of the diocese (363). In ability for the management of affairs Basil so far eclipsed the bishop that ill-feeling rose between the two, and to avoid trouble Basil again withdrew into the solitude of Pontus. A little later (365) when the attempt of Valens to impose Arianism on the clergy and the people necessitated the presence of a strong personality, Basil was restored to his former position, being reconciled to the bishop by St. Gregory of Nazianzus. There seems to have been no further disagreement between Eusebius and Basil and the latter soon became the real head of the diocese. “The one”, says Gregory of Nazianzus, “led the people the other led their leader”.
  During the five years spent in this most important office, Basil gave evidence of being a man of very unusual powers. He laid down the law to the leading citizens and the imperial governors, settled disputes with wisdom and finality, assisted the spiritually needy, looked after “the support of the poor, the entertainment of strangers, the care of maidens, legislation written and unwritten for the monastic life, arrangements of prayers, (liturgy?), adornment of the sanctuary”. In time of famine, he was the saviour of the poor.
  In 370 Basil succeeded to the See of Caesarea, being consecrated according to tradition on 14 June. Caesarea was then a powerful and wealthy city. Its bishop was Metropolitan of Cappadocia and Exarch of Pontus which embraced more than half of Asia Minor and comprised eleven provinces. Basil's actual influence, covered the whole stretch of country “from the Balkans to the Mediterranean and from the Aegean to the Euphrates”. He became Bishop of Caesarea largely by the influence of the elder Gregory of Nazianzus. During his previous administration of the diocese Basil had so clearly defined his ideas of discipline and orthodoxy, that no one could doubt the direction and the vigour of his policy. St. Athanasius was greatly pleased at Basil's election; but the Arianizing Emperor Valens, displayed considerably annoyance and the defeated minority of bishops became consistently hostile to the new metropolitan. By years of tactful conduct, however, “blending his correction with consideration and his gentleness with firmness”, he finally overcame most of his opponents.
  Basil's letters tell the story of his tremendous and varied activity. If on the one hand he strenuously defended clerical rights and immunities, on the other he trained his clergy so strictly that they grew famous as the type of all that a priest should be. Basil did not confine his activity to diocesan affairs, but threw himself vigorously into the troublesome theological disputes then rending the unity of Christendom. He drew up a summary of the orthodox faith; he attacked by word of mouth the heretics near at hand and wrote tellingly against those afar. His correspondence shows that he paid visits, sent messages, gave interviews, instructed, reproved, rebuked, threatened, reproached, undertook the protection of nations, cities, individuals great and small. There was very little chance of opposing him successfully, for he was a cool, persistent, fearless fighter in defence both of doctrine and of principles.
  While assisting Eusebius in the care of his diocese, Basil had shown a marked interest in the poor and afflicted; that interest now displayed itself in the erection of a magnificent institution, the Ptochokomeion, or Basileiad, a house for the care of friendless strangers, the medical treatment of the sick poor, and the industrial training of the unskilled. Built in the suburbs, it attained such importance as to become practically the centre of a new city with the name of he kaine polis or “Newtown”. St. Basil was a practical lover of Christian poverty, and even in his exalted position preserved that simplicity in food and clothing and that austerity of life for which he had been remarked at his first renunciation of the world.
   Basil died 1 January, 379. His death was regarded as a public bereavement; Jews, pagans, and foreigners vied with his own flock in doing him honour. In the Greek “Menaea” he is commemorated on 1 January, the day of his death. In 1081, John, Patriarch of Constantinople, in consequence of a vision, established a feast in common honour of St. Basil, Gregory of Nazianzus, and John Chrysostom, to be celebrated on 30 January.
  By common consent, Basil ranks among the greatest figures in church history. Physically delicate and occupying his exalted position but a few years, Basil did magnificent and enduring work in an age of more violent world convulsions than Christianity has since experienced. By personal virtue he attained distinction in an age of saints; and his purity, his monastic fervour, his stern simplicity, his friendship for the poor became traditional in the history of Christian asceticism. In fact, the impress of his genius was stamped indelibly on the Oriental conception of religious life. In his hands the great metropolitan see of Caesarea took shape as the sort of model of the Christian diocese; there was hardly any detail of episcopal activity in which he failed to mark out guiding lines and to give splendid example.

Joseph McSorley, ed.
Transcribed by: Janet Grayson
This extract is cited May 2003 from The Catholic Encyclopedia, New Advent online edition URL below.

   (Basileios). A Christian writer, surnamed the Great, of Caesarea in Cappadocia. He was born of a noble family in A.D. 329, was educated in rhetoric at Constantinople and Athens by Libanius and Himerius, and subsequently took up the profession of advocate. But it was not long before he dedicated himself to the service of the Church. He distinguished himself especially by his resistance to Arianism and the measures he adopted for regulating the monastic system. He died, the bishop of his native city, in A.D. 379. He composed a revised liturgy still in use in the East, and known as the "Liturgy of the Holy Basil." Besides his writings on points of doctrine, we have an address by him to young men on the uses of Greek literature, the study of which he earnestly recommended, in opposition to the prejudices of many Christians. He has also left a collection of four hundred letters, which are models in their way. Among them are those addressed to Libanius, his pagan instructor. A standard edition of his works is that of the Abbe Migne in 4 vols. (29-32) of his Patrologia Graeco-Latina (Paris, 1866). The Greek Church celebrates the day of his death (January 1st), the Roman Church that of his ordination (June 14th).

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Basilius, (Basileios and Basilios), commonly called Basil. Bishop of Caesareia in Cappadocia, commonly called Basil the Great, was born A. D. 329, of a noble Christian family which had long been settled at Caesareia, and some members of which had suffered in the Maximinian persecution. His father, also named Basil, was an eminent advocate and teacher of rhetoric at Caesareia: his mother's name was Emmelia. He was brought up in the principles of the Christian faith partly by his parents, but chiefly by his grandmother, Macrina, who resided at Neocaesareia in Pontus, and had been a hearer of Gregory Thaumaturgus, bishop of that city. His education was continued at Caesareia in Cappadocia, and then at Constantinople. Here, according to some accounts, or, according to others, at Antioch, he studied under Libanius. The statements of ancient writers on this matter are confused; but we learn from a correspondence between Libanius and Basil, that they were acquainted when Basil was a young man. The genuineness of these letters has been doubted by Gamier, but on insufficient grounds. From Constantinople he proceeded to Athens, where he studied for four years (351-355 A. D.), chiefly under the sophists Himerius and Proaeresius. Among his fellow-students were the emperor Julian and Gregory Nazianzen. The latter, who was also a native of Cappadocia, and had been Basil's schoolfellow, now became, and remained throughout life, his most intimate friend. It is said, that he persuaded Basil to remain at Athens when the latter was about to leave the place in disgust, and that the attachment and piety of the two friends became the talk of all the city. Basil's success in study was so great, that even before he reached Athens his fame had preceded him; and in the schools of that city he was surpassed by no one, if we may believe his friend Gregory, in rhetoric, philosophy, and science. At the end of 355, he returned to Caesareia in Cappadocia, where he began to plead causes with great success. He soon, however, abandoned his profession, in order to devote himself to a religious life, having been urged to this course by the persuasions and example of his sister Macrina. The more he studied the Bible the more did he become convinced of the excellence of a life of poverty and seclusion from the world. About the year 357, he made a journey through Syria, Palestine, and Egypt, in order to become acquainted with the monastic life as practised in those countries. On his return from this journey (358), he retired to a mountain on the banks of the river Iris, near Neocaesareia, and there lived as a recluse for thirteen years. On the opposite bank of the river was a small estate belonging to his family, where his mother and sister, with some chosen companions, lived in religious seclusion from the world. Basil assembled round him a company of monks, and was soon joined by his friend Gregory. Their time was spent in manual labour, in the religious exercises of singing, prayer, and watching, and more especially in the study of the Scriptures, with the comments of Christian writers. Their favourite writer appears to have been Origen, from whose works they collected a body of extracts under the title of Philocalia (philokalia). Basil also composed a code of regulations for the monastic life. He wrote many letters of advice and consolation, and made journeys through Pontus for the purpose of extending monasticism, which owed its establishment in central Asia mainly to his exertions.
  In the year 359, Basil was associated with his namesake of Ancyra and Eustathius of Sebaste in an embassy to Constantinople, in order to gain the emperor's confirmation of the decrees of the synod of Seleuceia, by which the Homoiousians had condemned the Anomoians; but he took only a silent part in the embassy. He had before this time, but how long we do not know, been appointed reader in the church at Caesareia by the bishop Dianius, and he had also received deacon's orders from Meletius, bishop of Antioch. In the following year (360) Basil withdrew from Caesareia and returned to his monastery, because Dianius had subscribed the Arian confession of the synod of Ariminum. Here (361) he received a letter from the emperor Julian, containing an invitation to court, which Basil refused on account of the emperor's apostacy. Other letters followed; and it is probable that Basil would have suffered martyrdom had it not been for Julian's sudden death. In the following year (362), Dianius, on his death bed, recalled Basil to Caesareia, and his successor Eusebius ordained him as a presbyter; but shortly afterwards (364), Eusebius deposed him, for some unknown reason. Basil retired once more to the wilderness, accompanied by Gregory Nazianzen. Encouraged by this division, the Arians, who had acquired new strength from the accession of Valens, commenced an attack on the church at Caesareia. Basil had been their chief opponent there, having written a work against Eunomius; and now his loss was so severely felt, that Eusebius, availing himself of the mediation of Gregory Nazianzen, recalled Basil to Caesareia, and, being himself but little of a theologian, entrusted to him almost the entire management of ecclesiastical affairs. (365.) Basil's learning and eloquence, his zeal for the Catholic faith, and, above all, his conduct in a famine which happened in Cappadocia (367, 368), when he devoted his whole fortune to relieve the sufferers, gained him such general popularity, that upon the death of Eusebius, in the year 370, he was chosen in his place bishop of Caesareia. In virtue of this office, he became also metropolitan of Caesareia and exarch of Pontus. He still retained his monastic habit and his ascetic mode of life. The chief features of his administration were his care for the poor, for whom he built houses at Caesareia and the other cities in his province; his restoration of church discipline; his strictness in examining candidates for orders; his efforts for church union both in the East and West; his defence of his authority against Anthimus of Tyana, whose see was raised to a second metropolis of Cappadocia by Valens; and his defence of orthodoxy against the powerful Arian and Semi-Arian bishops in his neighbourhood, and against Modestus, the prefect of Cappadocia, and the emperor Valens himself. He died on the 1st of January, 379 A. D., worn out by his ascetic life, and was buried at Caesareia. His epitaph by Gregory Nazianzen is still extant. The following are his chief works: 1. Eis ten hexaemeron, Nine Homilies on the Six Days' Work. 2. XVII. Honilies on the Psalms. 3. XXXI. Homilies on various subjects. 4. Two Books on Baptism. 5. On true Virginity. 6. Commentary (hermeneia or exegesis) on the first XVI. chapters of Isaiah. 7. Antirretikos tou apologetikou tou dussebous Eunomiou, An Answer to the Apology of the Arian Eunomius. 8. Peri tou hagiou pneumatos, a Treatise on the Holy Spirit, addressed to Eunomius: its genuineness is doubted by Garnier. 9. Asketika, ascetic writings. Under this title are included his work on Christian Morals (ethika), his monastic rules, and several other treatises and sermons. 10. Letters. 11. A Liturgy. His minor works and those falsely ascribed to him are enumerated by Fabricius and Cave. The first complete edition of Basil's works was published at Basel in 1551; the most complete is that by Gamier, 3 vols. fol. Paris, 1721-1730. (Gregor. Nazian. Orat. in Laud. Basilii M.; Gregor. Nyss. Vit. S. Macrinae; Garnier, Vita S. Basilii; Socrates, H. E. iv. 26; Sozomen, H. E. vi. 17; Rufinus, H. E. xi. 9; Suidas, s. v. Basileios.)

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Sep 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Rule of St. Basil

Rule of St. Basil. Under the name of Basilians are included all the religious who follow the Rule of St. Basil. St. Basil drew up his Rule for the members of the monastery he founded about 356 on the banks of the Iris in Cappadocia. Before forming this community St. Basil visited Egypt, Palestine, Coelesyria, and Mesopotamia in order to see for himself the manner of life led by the monks in these countries. St. Gregory of Nazianzus, who shared the retreat, aided Basil by his advice and experience.
  In his Rule St. Basil follows a catechetical method; the disciple asks a question to which the master replies. He limits himself to laying down indisputable principles which will guide the superiors and monks in their conduct. He sends his monks to the Sacred Scriptures; in his eyes the Bible is the basis of all monastic legislation, the true Rule. The questions refer generally to the virtues which the monks should practice and the vices they should avoid. The greater number of the replies contain a verse or several verses of the Bible accompanied by a comment which defines the meaning.
  The most striking qualities of the Basilian Rule are its prudence and its wisdom. It leaves to the superiors the care of settling the many details of local, individual, and daily life; it does not determine the material exercise of the observance or the administrative regulations of the monastery. Poverty, obedience, renunciation, and self-abnegation are the virtues which St. Basil makes the foundation of the monastic life. The existence of the Rule of St. Basil formed a principle of unity.

J.M. Besse, ed.
Transcribed by: the Cloistered Dominican Nuns, Monastery of the Infant Jesus, Lufkin, Texas
This extract is cited May 2003 from The Catholic Encyclopedia, New Advent online edition URL below.

Liturgy of St. Basil

  Several Oriental liturgies, or at least several anaphoras, have been attributed to the great St. Basil, Bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia from 370 to 379.
  That St. Basil composed a liturgy, or rather reformed an existing liturgy, is beyond doubt, since besides the constant tradition of the Byzantine Church there are many testimonies in ancient writings to establish the fact. More certain testimony to the existence of a liturgical text which went under the name of St. Basil is given in a letter of Peter the Deacon, one of the Scythian monks sent to Rome to settle certain dogmatic questions. The Quinisext, or Trullan Council (692), in its thirty-second canon draws an argument from the written liturgy of the archbishop of the church of the Caesareans, St. Basil, whose glory has spread through the whole world. Finally, in the Barberini library there is a manuscript of the latter part of the eighth, or the early part of the ninth, century which contains a Greek liturgy entitled the “Liturgy of St. Basil”.
  It is not known precisely just what the nature of the Basilian reform was, nor what liturgy served as the basis of the saint's work. Very probably he shortened and changed somewhat the liturgy of his own diocese, which was akin to the Liturgy of St. James. In later times it underwent some development, so that with our present knowledge of its history it would be almost impossible to reconstruct it as it came from the pen of the Bishop of Caesarea. According to the tradition of the Greek Orthodox Church, their liturgy is practically the work of St. Basil, due allowance being made for changes and amelioration in the course of time. This is older than either of the other two Byzantine liturgies, and is mentioned under the name of St. Basil in ancient times as if it were then the normal liturgy.
  Of the anaphoras attributed to St. Basil the Syriac and Armenian are probably derived from the Byzantine Greek with some modifications. The Abyssinian is a translation of the Coptic, while the Coptic, Arabic, and Greek Egyptian liturgies are substantially the same. These Egyptian anaphoras of St. Basil are different from the Caesarean or Byzantine liturgy, and do not possess all the characteristics of the Alexandrian Rite, but appear rather to be modelled on the Syrian type, so they are probably an importation into Egypt. The Greek Egyptian contains several prayers (identical with those in the Byzantine liturgy) expressly ascribed to St. Basil, and from these it may derive its title. The Caesarean or Byzantine Liturgy is used in the countries which were evangelized from Constantinople, or which came under its influence for any considerable period. It is used, for example, by the Orthodox and Uniat Greek churches in the Orient, as well as by the Greek communities in Italy and Sicily. Translated into the Old Slavonic it is used by Orthodox and Uniat Catholics in Russia and in some parts of the Austrian Empire; translated into Georgian and Rumanian it is used respectively in Georgia and Rumania. It has also been translated into several other languages and dialects for use in the Russian dependencies and where the Russian Church has missions, as well as into Arabic for use in Syria.
  Since the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom has become the normal liturgy of the Greek Church, that of St. Basil is now used only on the Sundays of Lent with the exception of Palm Sunday, on Holy Thursday and Holy Saturday, on the vigils of Christmas and of the Epiphany, and on the feast of St. Basil, which in the Greek calendar occurs on the first day of January.
  The liturgy may be divided into the Mass of the catechumens and the Mass of the faithful. The first contains the prayers of the prothesis, of the antiphons, of the little entrance, and of the trisagion, the lessons, and the prayers of the ectenes and of the catechumens. The Mass of the faithful begins with the two prayers of the faithful, and contains the prayer of the great entrance, the prayers of the Offertory, which is expressly ascribed to St. Basil, the kiss of peace, the Creed, and the Anaphora. The Anaphora proper, starting with the Eucharistic Preface followed by the Sanctus, embraces the preparatory prayers for the Consecration, the Consecration itself, the Epiclesis or invocation of the Holy Ghost, the Great Intercession for the living and the dead, the Lord's Prayer, the inclination, Elevation, Communion, thanksgiving, and dismissal.

J.F. Goggin, ed.
Transcribed by: W.G. Kofron
This extract is cited May 2003 from The Catholic Encyclopedia, New Advent online edition URL below.

St. Macrina the Younger

  Born about 330; died 379. She was the eldest child of Basil and Elder Emmelia, the granddaugher of St. Macrina the Elder, and the sister of the Cappadocian Fathers, Sts. Basil and Gregory of Nyssa. The last-mentioned has left us a biography of his sister in the form of a panegyric.
  She received an excellent intellectual training, though one based more on the study of the Holy Bible than on that of profane literature. When she was but twelve years old, her father had already arranged a marriage for her with a young advocate of excellent family. Soon afterwards, however, her affianced husband died suddenly, and Macrina resolved to devote herself to a life of perpetual virginity and the pursuit of Christian perfection.
  She exercised great influence over the religious training of her younger brothers, especially St. Peter, afterwards Bishop of Sebaste, and through her St. Gregory received the greatest intellectual stimulation. On the death of their father, Basil took her, with their mother, to a family estate on the River Iris, in Pontus. Here, with their servants and other companions, they led a life of retirement, consecrating themselves to God. Strict asceticism, zealous meditation on the truths of Christianity, and prayer were the chief concerns of this community. Not only the brothers of St. Macrina but also St. Gregory of Nazianzus and Eustathius of Sebaste were associated with this pious circle and were there stimulated to make still further advances towards Christian perfection. After the death of her mother Emmelia, Macrina became the head of this community, in which the fruit of the earnest christian life matured so gloriously.
  On his return from a synod of Antioch, towards the end of 379, Gregory of Nyssa visited his deeply venerated sister, and found her grievously ill. In pious discourse the brother and sister spoke of the life beyond and of the meeting in heaven. Soon afterwards Macrina passed blissfully to her reward. Gregory composed a “Dialogue on the Soul and Resurrection” (peri psyches kai anastaseos), treating of his pious discourse with his dying sister. In this, Macrina appears as teacher, and treats of the soul, death, the resurrection, and the restoration of all things. Hence the title of the work, ta Makrinia.
  Her feast is celebrated on 19 July.

J.P. Kirsch, ed.
Transcribed by: Joseph P. Thomas
This text is cited May 2003 from The Catholic Encyclopedia, New Advent online edition URL below.

St. Barlaam

d.c. 304, feastday: November 19

St. Carterius

d. 304, feastday: January 8

St. Dorothea

  Virgin and martyr, suffered during the persecution of Diocletian, 6 February, 311, at Caesarea in Cappadocia. She was brought before the prefect Sapricius, tried, tortured, and sentenced to death. On her way to the place of execution the pagan lawyer Theophilus said to her in mockery: "Bride of Christ, send me some fruits from your bridegroom's garden." Before she was executed, she sent him, by a six-year-old boy, her headdress which was found to be filled with a heavenly fragrance of roses and fruits. Theophilus at once confessed himself a Christian, was put on the rack, and suffered death. This is the oldest version of the legend, which was later variously enlarged.
  Dorothea is represented with an angel and a wreath of flowers. She is regarded as the patroness of gardeners. On her feast trees are blessed in some places. In the West she has been venerated since the seventh century.

Gabriel Meier, ed.
Transcribed by: Marcia L. Bellafiore
This text is cited May 2003 from The Catholic Encyclopedia, New Advent online edition URL below.

St. Eupsychius

d.c. 130, feastday: September 7

St. Eupsychios of Caesarea

d. 362, feastday: April 9

St. Germanus

d. 250, feastday: November 3

St. Julitta, the martyr

d.c. 303, feastday: July 30

St. Mamas, the martyr

d.c. 275, feastday: September 2

St. Mercurius of Caesarea

d.c. 250, feastday: November 25

St. Nicetas of Caesarea

d. 824, feastday: April 3

St. Theophilus the Lawyer

d. 300, feastday: February 6

St. Sabas

  Hermit, born at Mutalaska near Caesarea in Cappadocia, 439; died in his laura 5 December, 532.
  He entered a Basilian monastery at the age of eight, came to Jerusalem in 456, lived five years in a cavern as a disciple of St. Euthymius, and, after spending some time in various monasteries, founded (483) the Laura Mar Sabe (restored in 1840) in the gorges of the Cedron, southeast of Jerusalem. Because some of his monks opposed his rule and demanded a priest as their abbot, Patriarch Salustius of Jerusalem ordained him in 491 and appointed archimandrite of all the monasteries in Palestine in 494. The opposition continued and he withdrew to the new laura which he had built near Thekoa.
  A strenuous opponent of the Monophysites and the Origenists he tried to influence the emperors against them by calling personally on Emperor Anastasius at Constantinople in 511 and on Justinian in 531. His authorship of a regulation for Divine worship throughout the year as well as his authorship of a monastic rule bearing the same title is doubtful.
  After him was named the Basilica of St. Sabas with its former monastery on the Aventine at Rome. His feast is on 5 December.

Michael Ott, ed.
Transcribed by: Paul Soffing
This extract is cited May 2003 from The Catholic Encyclopedia, New Advent online edition URL below.


Arethas, presbyter of Caesareia

Arethas, presbyter of Caesareia in Cappadocia, wrote a work "on the translation of St. Euthymius, patriarch of Constantinople". who died A. D. 911. The date of Arethas is therefore fixed at 920. (Oudinus, Comment. de Script. Eccles. ii., who, without sufficient reason, identifies the former Arethas with this writer.)

Arethas, the author of an epigram

Arethas, the author of an epigram "On his own Sister" (epi tei idiai adelphei), which is found in the Vatican MS. under the title of Aretha tou diakonou. If the words added in the margin, gegonotos de kai archepiskopou Kaisaoeias Kappadokias, may be taken as an authority, he was the same person as the Archbishop of Caesareia.

Gregorius, presbyter of Caesareia

Gregorius, of Caesareia. Gregory lived about A. D. 940, at the Cappadocian Caesareia: he was a presbyter, apparently of the church there. He wrote, 1. Vita Sancti Gregorii Nazianzeni. A Latin version of this life (which is chiefly derived from notices in the works of Nazianzen himself) was made by Billius, and prefixed to his edition of the works of Nazianzen. Billius cites an ancient MS. in the library of St. Denis as an authority for the statement that a Latin version, which he characterises as barbarous, was made by a certain Anastasius, about A. D. 960; and considers that if this statement is correct, the authorship of the work must be ascribed to an earlier Gregory; but this inference seems hardly necessary. The version of Billius is given in the De Probatis Sanctorum Vitis, of Surius, Maii. Some of our authorities state that the Greek original is given in the Acta Sanctorum of the Bollandists, Maii, vol. ii. ; but this is a mistake, the piece given there is not the Life by Gregory, but an anonymous panegyric. The author of the Life wrote also, 2. Scholia in Orationes XVI. Nazianzeni, which are quoted by Elias of Crete; but the age of Elias himself, which is variously fixed from the sixth to the twelfth century, is too uncertain to aid in determining that of Gregory. 3. In Patres Nicaenos. This panegyric is given with a Latin version in the Novum Auctarium of Combefis, vol. ii., &c.; the Latin version is given by Lipomannus in his De Vitis Sanctorum; and by Surius in the De Probatis Sanctorum Vitis, 10 Julii. (Fabric. Bibl. Gr. vol. viii., vol. x.; Cave, Hist. Litt. vol. ii.)

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Nov 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Eunomius, native of Dacora

Eunomius (Eunomios), was a native of Dacora, a village in Cappadocia, and a disciple of the Arian Aetius, whose heretical opinions he adopted. He was, however, a man of far greater talent and acquirements thin Aetius, and extended his views so far, that he himself became the founder of a sect called the Eunomians or Anomoei, because they not only denied the equality between the Father and the Son, but even the similarity (homoiotes). Eunomius was at first a deacon at Antioch, and in A. D. 360 he succeeded Eleusius as bishop of Cyzicus. But lie did not remain long in the enjoyment of that post, for he was deposed in the same year by the command of tile emperor Constantius, and expelled by tile inhabitants of Cyzicus (Philostorg. ix. 5; Theodoret, ii. 27, 29; Socrat. iv. 7; Sozom. vi. 8). In the reign of Julian and Jovian, Eunomius lived at Constantinople, and in the reign of Valens, he resided in tle neighbourhood of Chalcedon, until lie was denounced to the emperor for harbouring in his house the tyrant Procopius, in consequence of which he was sent to Mauritania into exile. When, on his way thither, he had reached Mursa in Illyricum, the emperor called him back. Theodosius the Great afterwards exiled him to a place called Halmyris, in Moesia, on the Danube (Sozom. vii. 17; Niceph. xii. 29). But being driven away from that place by the barbarians, he was sent to Caesareia. Here, too, he met with no better reception; for, having written against their bishop, Basilius, he was hated by the citizens of Caesareia. At length, he was permitted to return to his native village of Dacora, where he spent the remainder of his life, and died at an advanced age, about A. D. 394. Eroptius Patricius ordered his body to be carried to Tyana, and there to be entrusted to the care of the monks, in order that his disciples might not carry it to Constantinople, and bury it in the same tomb with that of his teacher Aetius. His works were ordered by imperial edicts to be destroyed. His contemporary, Philostorgius, who himself was a Eunomian, praises Eunomius so much, that his whole ecclesiastical history has not unjustly been called an encomium upon him. Philostorgius wrote, besides, a separate encomium upon Eunomius, which, however, is lost. Photius (Bibl. Cod. 138), poet who gives an abridgment of Philostorgius, and Socrates (iv. 7) judge less favourably of him; for they state that Eunomius spoke and wrote in a verbose and inflated style, and that he constantly repeated the same things over again. They further charge him with sophistry in his mode of arguing, and with ignorance of the Scriptures. It should, however, be remembered that these charges are made by his avowed enemies, such as Athanasius, Basilius the Grreat, Gregorius Nazianzenus, Gregorius of Nyssa, Chrysostom, and others, who attacked him not only in their general works on the history of the church, but in separate polemical treatises.
  Eunomius wrote several works against the orthodox faith; and Rufinus (H. E. i. 25) remarks that his arguments were held in such high esteem by his followers, that they were set above the authority of the Scriptures. After his death, edicts were repeatedly issued that his works should be destroyed (Philostorg. xi. 5; Cod. Theod. xvi. 34), and hence most of his works themselves have not come down to us, and all that is extant consists of what is quoted by his opponents for the purpose of refutig him.
The following works are known to have been written by him:
1. A commentary on the Epistle to the Romans, in seven books, which is censured by Socrates (iv. 7; comp. Suidas, s. v. Eunomios) for its verbose style and shallowness.
2. Epistles, of which Photius (Bibl. Cod. 138) read about forty, and in which he found the same faults as in the other works of Eunomius; but Philostorgius (x. 6; comp. Niceph. xii. 29) preferred them to his other writings.
3. An Exposition of Faith, which was laid before the emperor Theodosius at Constantinople in A. D. 383, when several bishops were summoned to that city to make declarations of their faith (Socrat. v. 10 ; Sozom. vii. 12). This little work is still extant, and has been edited by Valesius in his notes on Socrates, and after him by Baluz in the Nora Collect. The best edition is that of Ch. H. G. Rettberg, in his Marcelliana, Gotting. 1794, Apologetikos, or a defence of his doctrines. This is tile famous treatise of which Basilius wrote a refutation in five books, which accordingly contain a great many extracts from the Apologeticus. The beginning and the epi logue are printed in Cave's Hist. Lit. with a Latin translation; but the whole is still extant, and was published in an English translatilon by W. Whiston, in his Eunomianismus Redivivus, London, 1711. The Greek original bas never been published entire. After the refutation of Basilius had appeared, Eunomius wrote, Apologias Apologia, which, however, was not published till after his death. Like the Apologeticus, it was attacked by several orthodox writers, whose works, except that of Gregorius of Nyssa, have perished together with that of Eunomius.


Eunomianism, a phase of extreme Arianism prevalent amongst a section of Eastern churchmen from about 350 until 381; as a sect it is not heard of after the middle of the fifth century. The teaching of Arius was condemned by the Council of Nicaea, and the word homoousion adopted as the touchstone of orthodoxy. The subsequent history of the Arian history is the history of the endeavours of arianizing sympathizers to get rid of the obnoxious word. The diplomacy of court intriguers forms the dark background against which stand out Eusebians and Semi-Arians. Imperial influence had been all-powerful too long in the official religion to allow imperial ingerence in church affairs to cease with the imperial change of attitude towards Christianity. That influence was exercised through the court prelates tinged with the fundamental rationalism underlying Arianism. They skilfully avoided the real issue, represented the whole affair as merely a question of the propriety of using particular terms, and for a time deluded those who were unfamiliar with the metaphysics of the question. St. Athanasius was represented as a political fire-brand whose watchword was homoousion. The Emperor Constantius (337-361), to his great personal annoyance, was obliged to allow Athanasius to return from his second exile (339-346) to Alexandria (31 October, 346). The lull which seemed to follow the return of Athanasius was due to the political circumstances arising out of the disastrous Persian War and the civil war against Maxentius; and it was not until the victory of Mount Seleucus (13 August, 353) that the emperor's hands were freed.
  In the meantime a new and more defiant Arian school was arising, impatient of diplomacy, and less pliant to imperial dictation. It frankly returned to the fullest expression of the errors of Arius, and sought to defend it on the rationalizing basis of Aristotelean dialectics. The history of the new school coincides with the life-history of Aetius and Eunomius. Aetius, its founder, successively a goldsmith, physician, and grammarian, turned his attention to theology under Arian influences at Antioch and Alexandria. Aristotle's categories henceforth formed the limits of his knowledge, and the abuse of the syllogism his principal weapon. Ordained deacon at Antioch in 350, he was deposed by Leontius and sought refuge at Alexandria, where he found a disciple in Eunomius. Radical and uncompromising in their heretical thinking, they asserted that in substance and in all else the Son is unlike the Father: animoios, "unlike", became their watchword as against the homoousios of the Orthodox, the homoiousios of the Semi-Arians, and the later homoios of the Acacians. Hence the Arian extremists became known as Aetians, and later as Eunomians and Anomoeans. Their doctrines were received favourably by Eudoxius of Antioch and the Synod of Antioch in 358; but the formulation of their tenets produced a reaction, and in the same year they were condemned by the Semi-Arians at Ancyra and at the Third Synod of Sirmium, and the leaders were exiled for a short time to Pepuza. They reappeared, however, at the Semi-Arian Synod of Seleucia (September, 359), where Acacius of Caesarea rejected the animoios and the triumph of the Homoeans led to the exile of Aetius to Mopsuestia in Cilicia and later to Amblada in Pisidia. After 360 the Anomoean Arians ceased to be formidable. Julian the Apostate (361-363) allowed Aetius to return; he was rehabilitated in an Arian synod, and died c.370. Meanwhile Eunomius, supported by his friend Eudoxius, transferred from Antioch to Constantinople (January, 360), became Bishop of the Orthodox See of Cyzicus in Mysia. His flock appealed to Constantius, who obliged Eudoxius to take action against him. Deposed in his absence and banished, Eunomius founded a sect of his own, ordained and consecrated some of his followers. Julian recalled both Aetius and Eunomius, who acquired considerable importance in Constantinople. The Synod of Antioch, 362, explicitly set forth the Anomoean doctrine that "the Son is in all things unlike (kata panta anomoios) the Father, as well in will as in substance". The death of Eudoxius in 370 marks the beginning of the end of Eunomianism. The sectaries were excluded from the benefit of Gratian's edict of toleration (end of 378), were directly condemned by the Council of Constantinople (381), and were the objects of special repressive measures in addition to those directed against Arians and heretics in general. Moreover, disruptive forces were at work within the sect. Eunomius died about 395, and for all practical purposes the sect may be said to have died with him.
  The dogmatic system of Eunomius is characterized at once by its presumptuous dialectics and its shallowness. His errors concerning Christ are founded upon his erroneous theodicy, which involves the assertion that a God of simplicity cannot be a God of mystery at all, for even man is as competent as God to comprehend simplicity. Eunomius proclaims the absolute intelligibility of the Divine Essence: "God knows no more of His own substance, than we do; nor is this more known to Him, and less to us: but whatever we know about the Divine substance, that precisely is known to God; on the other hand, whatever He knows, the same also you will find without any difference in us" (Socrates, Hist. Eccl., IV, vii). Agennesia, he maintains, perfectly expresses the Divine Essence: as the Unbegotten, God is an absolutely simple being: an act of generation would involve a contradiction of His essence, by introducing duality into the Godhead. The Father is agennetos, the Son gennetos; hence, he held, there must be diversity of substance. The general line of his sophistical reasoning against the Orthodox was as follows: You allow agennesia to be a Divine attribute. Now the simplicity of God excludes all multiplicity of attributes. Consequently agennesia is the only attribute which befits the Divine nature, the only one therefore essential to Him. In other words, God is essentially incapable of being begotten. Hence it is folly to speak of a God begotten, of a Son of God. The one God, agennetos and anarchos, unbegotten and without beginning, could not communicate His own substance, nor beget even a consubstantial Son; consequently there could be no question of identity of substance (homoousios) or of likeness of substance (homoiousios) between the Father and the Son. There could be no essential resemblance (kat ousian), but at most a moral resemblance. for the Son is a being drawn forth from nothing by the will of the Father, yet superior to all Creation inasmuch as He alone was created by the One God to be the Creator of the world. He does not share in the incommunicable Divine Essence (ousia), but he does partake in the communicable Divine creative power (energeia), and it is that partaking which constitutes the Son's Divinity and establishes Him, as regards creation, in the position of Creator: and as the principle of paternity in God is not the ousia but the energeia, the sense in which the term Son of God may be used is clear.
  The works of Eunomius are of less importance in themselves than in the fact that they called forth the best efforts of St. Basil and St. Gregory of Nyssa. His Commentary on the Romans and his letters have perished. His "Apologeticus" (P.G., XXX, 835), written before 365, seeks to refute the Nicene teaching concerning the coeternal and consubstantial Divinity of the Son. It is extremely obscure, and has been frequently misunderstood. For example, Tillemont, VI, 501-516, needs careful checking. It was against this work of Eunomius that St. Basil wrote his "Adversus Eunomium" (Antirretikon) in five books. (It is clear, however, that books IV and V are from another pen.) Eunomius retorted with his Apologia hyper apologias (Defence of the Defence), written after the death of St. Basil (1 January, 379), wherein he does his best to defend more fully and by new arguments his teaching concerning the nature of God. This work was elaborately refuted by St. Gregory of Nyssa in his lengthy "Adversus Eunomium", of which some twelve books have come down to us preserving the fragmentary remains of the Apologia, which are gathered in Rettberg's "Marcelliana" (Gottingen, 1794, pp.124-147). A very full analysis of it is found in Diekamp, "Gotteslehre des hl. Gregor von Nyssa" (1896), I, 123 sqq. The third extant work is his ekthesis pisteos, or "Confession of Faith", presented by order to the Emperor Theodosius in 383. (See ARIANISM.)

Edward Myers, ed.
Transcribed by: Sean Hyland
This text is cited Dec 2005 from The Catholic Encyclopedia, New Advent online edition URL below.

Gregory of Nyssa - Against Eunomius

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