The Ecclesiastical History of Evagrius (Christian Roman Empire series Book 5)

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But what makes Evagius most interesting is his inclusion of his own eye-witness testimony. Born in the mids AD in Apamea near Antioch, Evagrius witnessed the devastation of Roman Syria by the Persians and experienced first-hand the first recorded outbreak of Bubonic Plague which swept the Mediterranean world beginning in the s.

He saw and even conversed with several of the myriad saints and scoundrels who lived in his time and he witnessed the miracles and catastrophes that occurred with astounding regularity. He is the first to record the existence of the fabled Mandylion of Edessa—a miraculous image of Christ that some have attempted to link to the Shroud of Turin.

It has been completely re-typeset and includes a modern bibliography and recommended further reading list, as well as explanatory notes at the end of each chapter by the current editor to help bring the text up to date. In straight-forward, unadorned prose, Possidius shows Augustine as a powerful intellect, voluminous writer, and compelling orator, willing and able to defend the Church against all comers be they pagans, Donatists, Arians or Manichaeans. But he also presents an Augustine who humbly endured the everyday trials and difficulties of life as a bishop in Roman Africa. He shows a man who ate sparingly, worked tirelessly, despised gossip, shunned the temptations of the flesh, and exercised prudence and frugality in the financial stewardship of his see.

He poignantly describes Augustine's final illness as he lay locked inside Hippo Regius with the barbarian host literally at the city gates. More than simply the biography of a great saint, The Life of Saint Augustine provides a tantalizing glimpse into life in late Roman Africa—a prosperous society on the verge of destruction. This edition of Weiskotten's translation has been completely re-typeset for the modern reader. The text has been amended to include several corrections from an errata sheet that accompanied the original publication.

It includes an expanded bibliography, updated citations, and a revised map. Note: this edition does not include Weiskotten's revised Latin text. But the vita also contains a wealth of information about monastic and penitential practices and provides dozens of vignettes chronicling daily Christian life and the many hardships faced by ordinary citizens of the late Roman Empire in the East. Lent's English translation of Bedjan's Syriac vita has been augmented with a preface, updated bibliography, additional editorial notes, and an index. Torrey in , this article offers English translations of several letters purportedly written by Simeon, along with a useful discussion of the controversy over the saint's opinion of the Council of Chalcedon.

Lauded, both then and now, as a military hero who ended the brutal persecutions of Christians and as the first Roman emperor to himself embrace Christianity, Constantine is just as often vilified as a destructive innovator, a coddler of heretics, and a tyrannical hypocrite with the blood of his own family on his hands. Gardner Having witnessed the endless string of disasters that shattered his beloved Italy in the late 6th century AD, Pope Saint Gregory the Great set down in the Dialogues a sequence of tales to help his contemporaries escape from their worldly troubles and contemplate eternal life.

To set him straight, Gregory offers an entire litany of stories of Italian saints—from Honoratus of Funda who pinned a great rock to a mountainside to prevent it from crushing an abbey, to the holy virgin Tarsilla who received a vision of Pope Felix immediately before her death. Several of these stories are well known even to this day, while others, like the story of Florentius and his ill-fated bear, are merely strange and picturesque. This portion of the Dialogues represents the most detailed and lengthy biography of Benedict from a near contemporary and is the source of many of the stories told about this important saint.

To modern readers, these tales of visions, miracles and extraordinary Christian virtue paint a vivid portrait of daily life amid the wreckage of once-prosperous Roman Italy. In addition, the Dialogues offer a glimpse into the theology of one of the great minds of the Church during the time when Roman authority ebbed forever in the West and ecclesiastical authority emerged to fill the void.


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A convert to Christianity in mid-life, Cyprian was acclaimed bishop of Carthage during a time of intense Empire-wide persecution by the Roman imperial authorities under the emperor Decius. In the twelve year span between his conversion and his martyrdom in AD during the reign of Valerian, Cyprian wrote some of the most important foundational documents of the ante-Nicene Church. This volume contains the entirety of Saint Cyprian's writing treatises and all of his correspondence, 82 letters in all. His writings encompass the major issues of his day including the Roman persecutions, the unity of the Church, dealing with those who renounced the faith under threat from the state the lapsi , the Novatian heresy and the rebaptism controversy.

Read and cited frequently by theologians down through the ages, Saint Cyprian's writings are of surpassing authority and were considered works of genius "brighter than the sun" by Saint Jerome. Aside from their obvious ecclesiastical import, the works of Cyprian also offer a detailed and unique glimpse into Roman society at the height of the anti-Christian persecutions and demonstrate the growth and struggles of the early Church during a time of intense external political pressure.

Based on the translation originally published as part of The Ante-Nicene Fathers [], this new edition includes a new introduction, updated commentary, an updated bibliography, and several new appendices including "The Quotable Cyprian". It is logically organized with appropriate comments added to the translated fragments to ensure clarity and a continuous story.

The author is intent on emphasizing Priscus's unique voice.

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In this he succeeds remarkably. Given the fragmentary nature of Priscus's work, this is no mean feat. The author's writing style is clear and lucid, and will greatly appeal to a non-specialist audience. I teach a required historiography course which uses debates over barbarians as a case study. I would assign the present translation to this class without hesitation because of its clarity and its faithfulness to the spirit of the fragments. Mark W. Graham, Grove City College Attila, king of the Huns, is a name universally known even 1, years after his death. His meteoric rise and legendary career of conquest left a trail of destroyed cities across the Roman Empire.


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At its height, his vast domain commanded more territory than the Romans themselves, and those he threatened with attack sent desperate embassies loaded with rich tributes to purchase a tenuous peace. Yet as quickly he appeared, Attila and his empire vanished with startling rapidity. His two decades of terror, however, had left an indelible mark upon the pages of European history.

Persecution in the Early Church: Did | Christian History | Christianity Today

Priscus was a late Roman historian who had the ill luck to be born during a time when Roman political and military fortunes had reached a nadir. An eye-witness to many of the events he records, Priscus's history is a sequence of intrigues, assassinations, betrayals, military disasters, barbarian incursions, enslaved Romans and sacked cities. Many fled; few wished to defy the emperor openly.

Alexandria and Carthage saw massive apostasies. In Smyrna, the bishop himself performed sacrifice. Those who defied the authorities, like the presbyter Pionius of Smyrna, were often regarded as simpletons or fanatics eager to throw away their lives. The edict caused deep divisions among Christians, moreover, that brought merriment to pagan authorities. Decius died in June on a campaign against the Goths, and Bishop Cyprian, who had fled, returned to Carthage to aid demoralized and disorganized congregations.

The church recovered its adherents rapidly but faced problems: what to do about the multitudes who had lapsed, and how to treat the Novatianist schism in Rome and North Africa, which had repercussions throughout much of the church. Their movement foreshadowed more permanent division in the Christian church between those who put its integrity above all other values, and those who regarded universality the Katholike as all important.

The new emperor, Valerian —60 , at first tolerated the Christians but in the summer of suddenly altered his attitude. Other bishops were sent to the mines. In addition, Christian places of worship and cemeteries were closed, and anyone entering did so at risk of execution.

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For nearly a year there was an uneasy calm. The Christians, however, were not cowed as they were a few years before. We learn of numbers of visitors to Curubis, where Cyprian was living; of forbidden Christian assemblies in a suburb of Alexandria; and of proselytizing by Dionysius where he had been exiled. Around July , Valerian ordered that bishops, priests, and deacons be executed, that church property be confiscated, that socially superior honorati laity lose their privileges and imperial civil servants Caesariani be reduced to slavery a status from which many had emerged.

In some parts of the Empire this persecution of was the bloodiest the church endured. On August 6 Pope Sixtus II was discovered conducting a service in the Catacomb of Praetextatus and was martyred, as were all seven of his deacons. Next month, Cyprian was brought from his place of exile to face the ailing governor, Galerius Maximus.

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Once again Cyprian refused to perform sacrifice. You have set yourself up as an enemy of the Roman gods and of their sacred rites. And the pious and most religious emperors Valerian and Gallienus Augusti, and Valerian, the most noble Caesar, have been unable to bring you back to the observance of their own sacred rituals. Therefore, having been apprehended as the instigator and ringleader of a criminal conspiracy … you will be executed.

Christian could still be arrested, however. For example, a Christian soldier, Marinus, lost his life when a jealous fellow soldier found that Marinus was to be promoted to the rank of centurion and denounced him as a Christian. Yet bishoprics multiplied, and church building seems to have gone on unhindered.

In the imperial capital at Nicomedia on the opposite side of the Bosporus to Constantinople , the Christian church stood in full view of the imperial palace. More important, the church now became a movement of the countryside as well as of the towns. How and why, after 43 years of peace, did this happen? First, while the church appeared to be accepted, opposition to it was never far below the surface. Since the pagans, inspired by the Neo-Platonist philosopher, Porphyry, had begun to mount a serious intellectual assault on Christianity.

In March he appointed a comrade-in-arms, Maximian, as co-emperor Augustus in the West; and on March 1, , the two Augusti appointed two other military men, Constantius and Galerius, as their assistants, or Caesars. They imposed a uniform system of administration, currency and, in , prices throughout the Empire. Uniformity and discipline were the watchwords of the age, yet Christian remained a standing challenge to the unifying and conservative ideals of the emperors.

Persecutions might not have occurred, however, but for the fortunes of war. In Caesar Galerius, who was strongly anti-Christian, won a decisive victory over the Persians. With his victory his influence over Diocletian increased. The die was now cast. On February 23, , the Feast of Terminalia, repression would start. Churches were destroyed, Christian services banned, and the Scriptures seized and burned. One concession Diocletian secured: no bloodshed. A second edict imposed an obligation on all clergy to sacrifice, but the prisons became too full, and in the autumn of this was modified and most of those imprisoned for refusing were released.

So far the persecution had not been as severe as under Valerian. Scriptures were seized, but among Christians there was often consternation and grudging compliance. Only a minority of determined souls held out. In , with Diocletian ill in Rome, Galerius seized his chance and imposed a universal obligation to sacrifice on pain of death. Up to then only the clergy had been involved directly; now the pressure was on every Christian.

The number of martyrs increased, as did the defiance of the Christians. This phase ended on May 1, , when Diocletian and his western colleague, Maximian, formally abdicated, to be succeeded by Galerius and Constantius respectively. In the West, Constantius took no further action, and on his death, his son Constantine was proclaimed emperor by his troops.

In the East, however, Galerius renewed persecution, accompanied by anti-Christian propaganda and a great effort to reorganize paganism along Christian hierarchical structures. It was too late. Steam gradually ran out of the enforcement of the edicts, and no martyrs are recorded in this phase after June , May 21, Ebeltoft, Denmark. November , Haifa, Israel. March , March 2, October , Andrews, Scotland. December 11, December 5, Thierry on the Union of the Soul with God. November 13, Liverpool, England. Manchester, England. March 1, December 6, Leeds, England. July , June

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