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A Handbook of Patrology


  1. Alexandrians and Egyptians — Clement
  2. Origen
  3. Dionysius of Alexandria and Lesser Authors
  4. Syro-Palestinians — Julius Africanus — Pamphilus and Less Important Authors
  5. Anonymous and Disciplinary Writings
  6. Writers of Asia Minor — St. Gregory Thaumaturgus — Methodius

Until the end of the second century, the Eastern and Western Churches were both unmistakably characterized, the first by its speculative and philosophical tendencies, the second by its practical tastes and genius; and yet this difference was not nearly so pronounced as it became later. This was owing perhaps to the fact that, until then, the different authors had been mingled with one another. St. Justin, Tatian, and St. Irenaeus, for example, were Western churchmen, who had come from the East. In the third century two new factors came into play. One was the development of theological speculation under the impulse of Clement and Origen, a first step towards a more marked distinction. The other and concurrent factor was the adoption of Latin as the official language of the Western Church, and this rendered the distinction manifest. Henceforth, then, we shall have to deal separately with the Eastern and the Latin writers, for neither are their purposes altogether the same nor, though they have but one faith, are the languages of this faith identical.

Furthermore, the center of influence we have been acquainted with thus far, began at this time to change even in the Eastern Church. In the first and second centuries the only important churches were those of Syria and Asia Minor, - Antioch, Jerusalem, Smyrna, Ephesus, Hierapolis, etc. Asia produced in the second century the most numerous and the most distinguished writers, among them Papias, Polycarp, Apollinaris, Apollonius, Melito, and Irenaeus. But at the end of this century a church suddenly sprang up which pushed itself almost immediately to the first rank, - the Church of Alexandria, who maintained her precedence for more than a hundred and fifty years. Before speaking of the writers of Syria and Asia Minor, therefore, we will treat those of Alexandria and Egypt.



According to a tradition cited by Eusebius,[2] St. Mark is the founder of the Church of Alexandria. Between St. Mark and Bishop Demetrius, who governed that church in 221, Julius Africanus counts ten bishops. Valentine, Carpocrates, and Basilides went out from Alexandria to establish their dissident sects, a circumstance which alone implies that, already in the middle of the second century, the intellectual activity there was intense. A catechetical school had been founded there, dependent, to a certain extent, upon the official authority, without being precisely its organ. In this school not only were the elements of faith explained to the catechumens, but a more substantial theological teaching was given to those Christians desirous of learning, and the grounds of Catholic belief were discussed even before pagans. This school must have existed in the early part of the second century, although it does not appear to us before 180, with two of its earliest known presidents, Pantaenus and Clement.

Pantaenus, "The Sicilian Bee," was the teacher of Clement. He was appointed president of the catechetical school of Alexandria after he had been a missionary. He explained "by word of mouth and in writing the treasures of the Divine Scriptures."[3] Notwithstanding the assertion of Eusebius, it is doubtful whether Pantaenus published any works. The most ancient orthodox writer of Alexandria of whom we can be sure is Clement.

Clement was born probably c. 150 of heathen parentage at Athens. The circumstances of his conversion are not known. It is supposed that he was troubled, like Justin, by the problem of God and, like him, was attracted to Christianity by the nobility and purity of the evangelical doctrines and morals. His conversion, if it had not yet taken place, was at least imminent when he undertook the journeys spoken of in his writings. He set out from

[1] The best edition of his works is that of Staehlin, Leipzig, 1905-1909, in the collection of Christliche Schriftsteller in Berlin. That of Potter (1715) is reproduced in the Patrologia Graeca, VIII, IX. See Freppel, Clement d'Alexandrie, Paris, 1865. E. de Faye, Clement d'Al., 2nd edit., Paris, 1906. J. Patrick, Clement of Alexandria, Edinburgh, 1914.

[2] H. E., ii, 16.

[3] Eusebius, H. E., V, 10.


Greece and travelled through southern Italy, Palestine, and finally Egypt, seeking everywhere the society of Christian teachers. Towards 180, he met Pantaenus at Alexandria, and took up his permanent residence in that city. There he was ordained a presbyter and, from being a disciple of Pantaenus, became, in 190, his associate and fellow-teacher. In 202 or 203, he was forced to suspend his lessons on account of the persecution of Septimius Severus, which closed the Christian school of Alexandria. He withdrew into Cappadocia, residing there with his former disciple, Bishop Alexander. We meet him again in 211, carrying to the Christians of Antioch a letter from Alexander, in which are mentioned the services he, Clement, had rendered in Cappadocia.[4] In 215 or 216, the same Alexander, now bishop of Jerusalem, writes to Origen and speaks of Clement as having gone to his rest. Clement must therefore have died between 211 and 216. Ancient authors speak of him as St. Clement, but his name was not admitted to the Roman Martyrology by Benedict XIV.

Clement was naturally of a broad and noble mind. His character was sympathetic and generous, and he was always eager to help his disciples and readers. His erudition was prodigious; no other ancient writer, not even Origen, knew or cited so many pagan and Christian authors as he. No doubt his was not all first-hand knowledge but obtained largely by reading florilegia and miscellaneous collections of extracts. His learning is none the less surprising and, in any case, proves that he had read widely and remembered much of what he had read. Add to this a fluent, agreeable, and florid style, and you will be able to form some idea of Clement's ability as a writer. Unfortunately, these marvellous qualities are disparaged by considerable defects, which render the study of his works fatiguing. He never analyses the subjects he is treating, so as to present them in an orderly manner to the reader. He exposes his subject all at once and, as he never exhausts it, is constantly forced to retrace his steps and make up for omissions. Hence, a tiresome prolixity, aggravated by an excess of digressions and quotations. It is in the Stromata especially that this absence of plan and discrimination is felt the most. Again, his style, although fluent and easy, lacks finish and

[4] Eusebius, H. E., VI, 11, 5-6.


is often incorrect in both Attic grammar and syntax. Clement wrote very fast and cared little for Hellenic elegance of structure. We must remark, however, that many of his defects are less personal ones than defects of his sphere and time. At the end of the IInd century Greek had already lost much of its classical purity.

From a theological point of view, one of the chief aims of Clement was to determine the relations between faith and reason and to show what philosophy has achieved to prepare the world for Christian Revelation and how it must be used in order to transform the data of this revelation into a scientific theology. The solution given by Clement is, on the whole, exact. He is accused of a few errors in the details of his work which are not always proved to be such. It would be surprising if, in so vast and so new a subject, there could be found everywhere the finest discrimination and absolute exactness of expression.

Protrepticus, Paedagogus, Stromata. Nearly all the extant works of Clement are comprised under these three treatises, which form parts of one complete whole. The author gives the outline of this work in the Paedagogus. In the Protrepticus he exhorts the pagans to abandon their errors, - then he will convert them (προτρεπων); in the Paedagogus he will teach him how to lead an honest Christian life (παιδαγογων); finally, in a third work he will instruct him in the dogmas of the Catholic faith and will explain to him the speculative truths of his new religion (επι πασιν εκδιδασκων). It was therefore a complete theology, - apologetical, moral and dogmatic, - that Clement purposed to write.

The Protrepticus (προτρεπτικος προς Ελληνας: Exhortation to the Greeks), in twelve chapters, is an apology which is connected with similar writings of the second century. The author exposes the worthlessness and untruth of heathen beliefs and the powerlessness of philosophy to furnish men with a sufficient teaching on God and religion. He concludes that the entire truth must be sought from the Prophets and from Jesus Christ. Both the matter and the form of this book are well finished; it has all the merits of a beautiful literary composition.

In the Paedagogus appear for the first time the defects of Clement. The work is divided into three books. The first commences with a disputation with the false Gnostics.


These men regarded themselves as of superior intelligence and treated ordinary Catholics as children (νηπιοι), incapable of reaching perfection. Clement argues that by Baptism we are all the children of Christ, our Teacher, and that Baptism, which is an illumination rendering us capable of seeing God, contains the germ of Christian perfection; the true gnosis, therefore, is nothing more than a development of faith, effected through the educative influence of the Logos. This process, directed by goodness, is as old as the world itself, since the Logos who became incarnate is the same as He who created man and instructed him from the beginning.

The second and third books of the Paedagogus deal with practical questions. Clement makes a survey of the various circumstances of our everyday life and, under the guise of a lofty and sprightly chat, scores the current views of his time and gives advice on virtue and even on politeness and hygiene. He develops no special moral theory, but places before his readers a series of realistic illustrations, to which he joins exhortations to do good.

The Paedagogus reveals a moralist quite different from the speculative Clement we are generally accustomed to think of. He appears, however, in the latter capacity in the Stromata. From what has already been said one would expect to see this last work of Clement's trilogy entitled The Master ('Ο διδασκαλος) and to find it a treatise on Christian dogma. Instead of that, it is a collection of miscellanies, the full title of which is "Tapestries of Gnostic Memoirs on the True Philosophy." Is this the work announced by Clement? Probably it is, although it represents only rough sketches and preliminary studies.[5] Instead of giving a didactic exposition of Christian doctrine, the author preferred to personify Christian perfection and to offer a living portrait, most lovingly painted, of the true Gnostic, i.e., the perfect Christian. As in the Paedagogus, the facts are outstanding, while the theory is kept in the background.

Actually we possess only seven Stromata and perhaps enough material for an eighth one. The first proves that it is permissible for a Christian not only to write books,

[5] De Faye sees in the Stromata only a series of essays destined as a preface to serve Clement in the composition of the "Master," but forming no part of that work.


but to study Greek philosophy and, generally, the sciences. The second treats of the relations between faith and Christian gnosis; the third deals with marriage; the fourth speaks of martyrdom and the possibility for every Christian to become a true Gnostic, i.e., a perfect man; the fifth treats of symbols and allegory; the sixth recalls what has been said in the two preceding "stromata" and completes them; the seventh depicts the religious life of the Christian Gnostic. This last is the most interesting and the best written portion of the whole work.

It is certain that the Protrepticus was written before the Paedagogus, and the latter before the Stromata. The Stromata are generally regarded as Clement's last work, and the date of their composition is not placed before 202-203 or even 208-211. The Protrepticus and the Paedagogus may date from 189-200.

After the great trilogy, the most important of Clement's works is the Hypotyposes (υποτυποσεις, sketches, outlines). It contained in eight books a commentary on passages chosen from the Old and New Testaments, notably the Epistles of St. Paul, the Catholic Epistles (except the third of St. John), and the Acts of the Apostles. Clement's exegesis is especially allegorical. Photius, who read the work, passed a rather severe judgment upon its theological teaching. Many Greek citations have been preserved and, in Latin, the commentaries on the First Epistle of St. Peter, the First and Second Epistles of St. John, and the Epistle of St. Jude, gathered together under the single title of Adumbrattones dementis Alexandrini in Epistulas Canonicas.

Besides this great commentary, there is the Quis dives salvetur? (Who is the rich man that is saved?). It is a homily on Mark x, 17-31, and is preserved entire. Clement remarks that the spirit of detachment commanded by our Lord is not always effective and exterior, but more often affective and interior. Riches are no obstacle to salvation if good use is made of them, - rather, they may become a means of salvation, since they make works of mercy and charity easier for their possessor.

At the end of this homily is to be found the well known story of the thief converted by St. John the Apostle, which Eusebius reproduces in his Church History.[8] This little work was highly prized in antiquity; it is full of unction

[8] H. E., iii, 23, 5 ff.


and pious reflections. The date of its composition is unknown.

The other works contained in the editions of Clement are not so much treatises proper as excerpts Clement had made from other books, and notes he intended to use in future compositions. There is a fragment edited by Potter as the eighth Stromaton, but it is taken from a treatise on logic and deals with definition, genus, species, method, etc. The Excerpta ex Scriptis Theodoti, 86 in number, are selected fragments of Valentinian Gnostic works, especially of the works of Theodotus. Lastly, the 53 Eclogae ex Scripturis Propheticis are notes on various subjects whose origin it is hard to determine.

Eusebius in the sixth book[7] of his "Church History" enumerates a few other Clementine compositions: On Easter, On Fasting, On Calumny, Exhortation to Perseverance (or To the Newly Baptized), an Ecclesiastical Canon (or Against Judaisers). Only a few fragments remain of these writings.

2. ORIGEN[1]

ORIGEN ('Ωριγενης, i.e., son of Horus) was the most famous of Clement's pupils. He was born of Christian parents in Egypt, apparently at Alexandria, in 185 or 186, and received his first training from his father, Leonidas, who suffered martyrdom in 202 or 203. Later he became a disciple of Pantaenus and Clement. When seventeen years of age he displayed such talent and learning that he gave lessons in grammar, and at the age of eighteen, was selected by the bishop (Demetrius) to be the successor of Clement in the headmastership of the catechetical school of Alexandria.

Thus he began his life of teaching. It is divided into two distinct parts: from c. 204-230, Origen taught, with

[7] 13, 3, 9.

[1] Edition of his works by de la Rue (1733-1759) in the Patrologia Graeca, XI-XVII, which has added to them the Hexaplas of Montfaucon and different supplements. The edition of the Schriftsteller of Berlin numbers so far only 5 vol. See P. Huet, Origeniana (Rouen, 1668) in P. G., XVII, a fundamental work. E. R. Redepenning, Origenes, eine Darslellung seines Lebens und seiner Lehre, Bonn, 1841-1846. Freppel, Origene, Paris, 1884. Ch. Bigg, The Christian Platonists of Alexandria, Oxford, 1886. F. Prat, Origene (La Pensee Chretienne), Paris, 1907.


a few interruptions, at Alexandria; from 232 till his death, he taught at Caesarea in Palestine.

He not only taught during this first period, but continued his studies and, at the age of twenty-five, attended the school of the Neo-Platonist, Ammonius Saccas, in order to perfect his knowledge of philosophy. Besides this, he meditated upon the sacred Scriptures and learned — though very imperfectly — the Hebrew language. The year 212 was taken up by a journey to Rome to see "the most ancient Church." In 215 or 216, the persecution of Caracalla forced him to flee to Palestine, where Theoctistus, bishop of Caesarea, and Alexander, bishop of Jerusalem, induced him, though a layman, to expound the Scriptures in their churches. Demetrius recalled him, in 218-219, to Alexandria, that he might resume his position as a teacher. This is the most brilliant period of his teaching life. Secretaries and copyists were placed at his disposal in abundance by one of his disciples, the rich Ambrosius, so that Origen, now in his prime, was able to multiply the number of his works and writings.

An unfortunate occurrence interrupted his work. About 230, he undertook a journey into Achaia and again passed through Caesarea of Palestine. His two friends, Theoctistus and Alexander, seized the opportunity to ordain him to the priesthood without consulting Bishop Demetrius of Alexandria. This was a violation of the canons. Demetrius protested and for this, and perhaps also for other reasons, Origen was deposed (231 or 232) from his office as head of the school of Alexandria and degraded from the priesthood. Special letters to all the other churches notified them of the measures taken.

Origen could no longer remain in Egypt. Banished from Alexandria, he withdrew to Caesarea and there commenced the second period of his career. Among his listeners was, for a time, the future St. Gregory Thaumaturgus. Origen escaped the persecution of Maximinus (235-237). In 240, he undertook a journey to Athens, and in 244 another to Arabia, to bring back to the orthodox faith Beryllus, bishop of Bostra. During the Decian persecution (250-251) he was cast into prison and underwent many tortures which, although they did not kill him, hastened his death. He was set free, but died shortly afterwards, at Tyre in Phoenicia, in 254 or 255, at the end of his sixty-ninth yeal.


From an early date Origen received the surname of Adamantius ('Αδαμαντιος, man of steel) to signify, according to Eusebius, the power of his reasoning; according to St. Jerome, the everlasting duration of his writings; we might add, to signify his indefatigable ardor and diligence. Origen's was a mind of insatiable curiosity and of prodigious knowledge, more vast, however, than deep. He grasped all the philosophical, Scriptural, and theological knowledge of his time. Nothing of any importance escaped his notice in ancient literature, sacred or profane. If exception be made of the books of the Epicureans and the Atheists, which he neglected on purpose, he had read all the other works and drawn profit from them all. However, he had a special predilection for the Sacred Scriptures. Apart from the critical work he undertook on the text of Holy Writ, of which we shall speak later, he had carefully examined all the different accounts and teachings it contained. It is on the authority of the Scriptures that he loves to base his own teaching. Origen is essentially a Biblical theologian, who formulated almost his entire theology in writing his eommentaries on the Scriptures. This theology is not without faults, and its defects have drawn down upon the author many contradictions and even condemnations. On the whole, however, it has won for him first place among the theologians of the third century. Undoubtedly, one could desire more firmness and logical sequence in the work of Origen, and yet one cannot but admire the richness and variety of the vistas he opens up.

Origen ranks below Clement in purity, refinement, and harmony of style. In fact, he does not aim at writing well, but rather at writing clearly. Yet he is often prolix and diffuse. These defects may be accounted for, however, if we remember that many of his writings were merely lessons or discourses taken down in shorthand, and that the enormous productivity of his pen left him little time to polish his compositions.

Indeed, Origen is the most voluminous writer the Church has ever had and that even antiquity ever knew. St. Epiphanius speaks of 6,000 books written by him, but this is evidently an exaggeration since the catalogue of his works given by Eusebius, even though it comprises only the collection made by the priest Pamphylus at Caesarea, did not contain more than 2,000 titles. The catalogue made by St.


Jerome does not mention more than 800 titles, but it is not complete. Undoubtedly a great part of the literary output of Origen has been lost. This is due to two causes: first, the enormity of the work itself, so vast indeed that one was forced to make a choice in transcribing, since everything could not be copied; secondly, the condemnations which sully the memory of the author and throw discredit on his books. More than half of what has been preserved exists now only in Latin translations of the fourth or fifth centuries, and "these are too free and have been retouched too frequently to be taken ]at face value."[2]

We shall deal successively with Origen's Biblical works, with his apologetical and polemical works, with his theological works, and with his ascetical writings and letters.

I. Biblical Works. The first of Origen's Biblical works is the Hexapla (εξαπλα βιβλια, sixfold Bible). It contains Old Testament texts arranged in six columns: a) the Hebrew text in Hebrew characters; b) the Hebrew text in Greek characters; c) the Greek version of Aquila; d) the Greek version of Symmachus; e) the Greek version of the Septuagint; and f) the Greek version of Theodotion. The book of Psalms was written in eight columns (octapla} because there were two more versions. This disposition of the texts enables one to compare the original with the different versions and so detect at a glance the true meaning of a passage. To facilitate this work still more, Origen made additions to the fifth column, that of the Septuagint. He marked with an obelisk verses or passages found in the Septuagint but missing in the original Hebrew; those which existed in the Hebrew but were wanting in the Septuagint, were borrowed from another version, inserted in the proper column, and indicated by an asterisk. Origen's purpose was to further a disinterested textual criticism of the Scriptures, for he looked upon the Septuagint as a perfect translation and gave it preference over the original Hebrew. But he wished to furnish controversialists who wrote against the Jews and who were accused by them of not knowing the Hebrew text, with the text itself and its meaning. The composition of the Hexapla began at Alexandria and was completed at Caesarea, c. 245.

[2] The Philocalia is a collection of Origen's most beautiful passages made by St. Basil and St. Gregory of Nazianzus. It has been re-edited by A. Robinson, Cambridge, 1893.


It is doubtful whether any second copy was ever made of this gigantic work; probably the only complete text was that of the original copy. St. Jerome certainly made use of this copy, then in the library of Caesarea, for the composition of his own works. If the entire work was never copied, at least some parts of it were, especially the fifth column, the most important one of all. Of the other columns only a few fragments remain.[3]

The other Scriptural writings of Origen may be divided into three groups: the Scholia, the Homilies, and the Commentaries.

The Scholia (οχολια) are brief notes, often of a purely grammatical character, on the more difficult passages of Scripture. Origen wrote scholia on Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Leviticus, Isaias, the Psalms (especially the first fifteen), Ecclesiasticus, St. Matthew, St. John, and the Epistle to the Galatians. Only a few passages are preserved.

The Homilies are familiar talks with the faithful on the Scriptures. The author treats his subject from nearly all points of view: sometimes he discusses the text and fixes its meaning, like a professor; sometimes he draws lessons from the text and thus becomes a preacher and a moralist; sometimes he treats a question of dogma. About 500 of these homilies on the books of the Old and New Testaments are known, but Origen certainly composed a greater number than this. About 200 have been preserved, most cf them in Latin translations due to Rufinus and to St. Jerome.

The Commentaries. In his homilies Origen's main purpose was to edify; in his commentaries (τομοι), which were written works, he set himself the task of explaining the Sacred Text in a scientific way that would be fully understood by his readers. Unfortunately, Origen's interpretation is allegoristic, and his commentaries are nearly always incomplete. Before 244, Origen had commented upon the first four chapters of Genesis, a number of Psalms, the Proverbs, the Canticle of Canticles (twice,— the last time in 240-242), the first thirty chapters of Isaias (235), the Lamentations of Jeremias (at Alexandria), Ezechiel

[8] Edition by Fr. Field, Origenis Hexaplorum quae supersunt, Oxonii, 1867-1875. A few new fragments have since been discovered.


(completed c. 240), the minor prophets (except Abdias), and the gospels of St. Luke and St. John (at Alexandria and at Caesarea, completed after 238); and after 244, upon the Gospel of St. Matthew and the Epistles of St. Paul, except Corinthians and Timothy. He does not seem to have commented upon the Catholic Epistles or the Apocalypse.[4] Not one of these commentaries has reached us in its complete form. Only a few citations and some important portions from Greek or Latin translations remain. St. Jerome prized the second commentary on the Canticle of Canticles as the best of Origen's commentaries and even considered it the author's masterpiece.

The main reason why the greater part of Origen's commentaries has been lost is to be found in the author's neglect to explain the literal sense of the text and his abuse of allegorical exegesis. Convinced that the moral or spiritual sense was more important than the literal or historical meaning, which in some cases could not be accepted, he almost ignored the latter and developed the spiritual sense beyond due measure. Whilst some of his explanations are true, many are exaggerated and arbitrary. The School of Antioch arose and pointed out the danger of this exegetical subjectivism and kept men from reading such works.

2. Apologetical and Polemical Writings. Origen's principal apologetical work is the treatise Against Celsus, in eight books. Celsus was a learned Platonist, firmly attached to the national religion, who wrote, c. 177-178, an attack against Christianity entitled 'Αληθης λογος (True Discourse, or better, Demonstration of Truth). Thanks to Origen, we possess about nine-tenths of the substance of this work and seven-tenths of it verbatim. In it Celsus shows a knowledge of Christianity perhaps unique among the pagans of his time and, although he has apprehended neither the originality nor the entire depth of the Christian faith, he has really studied the religion which he attacks. He uses the Holy Scriptures; he marks its difficulties and apparent contradictions; he knows that there exist many sects among the Christians and draws an argument from this fact against the truth of their religion. Like Voltaire, he is caustic and scornful. Celsus' work does not seem to have had much success at the time when it appeared; it

[4] In the "Journal of Egyptian Archaeology" I. 1, 54, the reader will find a reference to what may well have been a "Commentary on the Apocalypse" by Origen. Translator's Note.


would, in all probability, have remained unnoticed, had not Origen brought it into prominence by writing, c. 244-249, a refutation of it at the request of his friend Ambrose. To the four books of the Demonstration of Truth Origen opposes eight of his work and they follow, step by step, the arguments of his opponent. He quotes him at length (except at the beginning) and answers his objections and arguments one by one. This work of Origen was held in great esteem in antiquity; in fact, he displayed such prodigious learning in no other book of his. The reader is greatly impressed by the firmness of the author's faith and the calm manner in which he meets and answers the objections of Celsus.

The Contra Celsum is the only work which remains of Origen's apologetical and polemical writings. We have only a reminder of a certain number of discussions which he had with either the Jews or certain heretics and which had been written down. It may well be that, besides the refutations of the principal heresies which he undertook in his works, he directed special treatises against the one or other of these in particular. If these treatises ever existed, they are no longer extant.

3. Theological Writings. Origen's most important theological writings is the περι αρχων (De Principiis). The Greek text of this work has been lost. Citations from it have been preserved, with two lengthy fragments, comprising the commencement of Book III and that of Book IV, in the Philocalia. The whole work has come down to us in a Latin translation by Rufinus. Unfortunately, this translation is very free; Rufinus has modified and even suppressed certain passages of questionable orthodoxy and introduced in their place passages from other parts of Origen's works. Of St. Jerome's literal translation we have only about twenty-seven short fragments.

The De Principiis was written at Alexandria shortly before 231, consequently about 229-230. Origen states his purpose in the introduction. Starting with the Apostolic and ecclesiastical preaching, which is the source of the whole Christian faith, he attempts to give a connected and systematic treatment of the fundamental teachings (αρχαι) of that faith by bringing together its scattered elements, clearing up difficulties, and completing what are often nothing more than mere indications. The whole idea is that of a


Summa Theologica and only a genius could have conceived it in Origen's time. Origen divided the De Principiis into four books. The first treats of God, His unity and spirituality, the Logos, the Holy Ghost and the Angels. The second deals with the world and its creation, man and his origin, the redemption of man by the Incarnation, and the last things. The third book discusses the nature of human freedom, the strife between good and evil, and the final triumph of good. The fourth is devoted to theories of Scriptural interpretation and exegesis.

This attempt of Origen to construct a synthesis of Christian doctrine was premature. Unhappily, errors crept into the text, which proved injurious to the reputation of the work. St. Jerome's opinion that the book contains "more evil than good" is exaggerated. The reader is much more struck by the depth of certain views it contains, than by the unfortunate temerity of some of its hypotheses.

Before writing the De Principiis, Origen had composed at Alexandria ten books of Stromata, known to us only through a few citations. This appears to have been a work in which, with the help of Scripture, he explained Christian beliefs, showing on the one hand how they differ from pagan doctrines, and on the other, how they are confirmed by the writings of philosophers.

Two works On the Resurrection should also be mentioned. The first, in two books, was composed at Alexandria; the second, also in two books, was written in dialogue form. Some fragments of this work are cited by Methodius of Olympus, Pamphilus, and St. Jerome.

4. Ascetical Works and Letters. Origen left two ascetical works,— On Prayer and an Exhortation to Martyrdom. The first is divided into two parts: a) chs. 1-17, on prayer in general, its necessity and efficacy; and b) chs. 18-30, a commentary on the Lord's Prayer. This little book is one of Origen's most prized works. It was written probably after 231. The Exhortation to Martyrdom, written in 235, at the beginning of the persecution of Maximinus, is addressed to Ambrose and to Protoctetus, a presbyter of Caesarea, whom Origen exhorts to confess their faith and even to die for it if necessary. It is a forceful and earnest address, which betrays the author's own attitude towards martyrdom.


Origen's fame must have entailed a very extensive correspondence. Several collections of letters written by him, or addressed to him, are mentioned at an early date. Eusebius had gathered more than a hundred.[5] Only two complete letters have reached us: the letter to St. Gregory Thaumaturgus, written probably at Nicomedia, 238-243; and the letter to Julius Africanus, written in the year 240. In the first Origen exhorts his former disciple, Gregory, not to give up the study of the Scriptures and always to subordinate the profane sciences to sacred science. In the second and more important letter Origen defends the canonicity of the history of Susanna, the episode of Bel and the dragon, and the prayers of Azarias and the three children, contained in the Greek text of the book of Daniel. We may add that, in certain other letters, mentioned by St. Jerome and Rufinus, Origen complained that some of his writings had been falsified and that errors had been imputed to him which he had never upheld.

Notwithstanding the doctrinal errors that may be laid to his charge, Origen is one of the greatest figures in ecclesiastical antiquity. He loved Christian truth most ardently and consecrated to it his whole genius and all his energies. He never separated the pursuit of knowledge from growth in personal holiness and charity towards others. His religion and piety equaled his learning and scholarship; and, if he was not a martyr, it is not because he failed to confess his faith, but because circumstances did not call on him to seal it with his blood.


The order of Origen's successors in the headship of the Alexandrine Catechetical School, up to the beginning of the fourth century, is probably as follows: Heraklas, Dionysius, Theognostus, Pierius, and Peter.

i. Heraklas (died 247 or 248) seems to have written nothing. His successor, Dinoysius, or Denis, surnamed the Great,[1] was one of the most influential men of the middle

[6] H. E., vi, 36, 3.

[1] The Migne edition, P. G., X, is incomplete. The student should consult that of Lett Feltoe, The Letters and Other Remains of Dionysius of Alexandria, Cambridge, 1904. See J. Burel, Denys d'Alexandrie, Paris, 1910.


of the third century, and his life and works deserve some notice. He was born c. 190, of heathen parents, but through diligent reading and earnest reflection became a Christian and began to attend Origen's lessons. In 231-232 he was made headmaster of the school and in 248-249 became bishop of Alexandria. From this moment his life was a continual struggle against persecution and difficulties of all kinds. He was seized twice under Decius and Valerian and banished, first to Kephro in Libya, and later to Colluthion in the Mareotis. He returned to his Church under the emperor Gallienus, only to find it ravaged by civil war, famine, and pestilence. He died c. 265.

Dionysius was a man of great executive ability and noble character. Kind and entirely devoted to his people, combining knowledge with broad sympathy, he enjoyed universal esteem among his contemporaries. The Oriental Church honors him as a martyr.

Dionysius wrote a number of treatises and conducted an extensive correspondence, of which only lengthy fragments have been preserved by Eusebius who mentions,[2] first, a work On Nature, written to refute the atomic theory of the formation of the world and to establish the Christian belief in creation. Several lengthy extracts from it are cited by Eusebius.[3] He wrote, secondly, a treatise (now lost) On Temptations, i.e., trials and external persecutions; and, third, a Commentary on the first chapters of Ecclesiastes, of which a few fragments are still extant. Eusebius speaks at length of two others books of Dionysius, On the Promises.[4] In the first he refutes the doctrine of the millennium; in the second he gives a mystical interpretation of the Apocalypse and contests the assertion that St. John the Evangelist was its author. This work may have been composed between 253 and 257. Between the years 257 and 262, some bishops of the Pentapolis fell into Sabellianism. Dionysius wrote several letters to condemn their error, but made use of incorrect expressions with regard to the unity in the Trinity and the divinity of the Son. He was rebuked by Dionysius of Rome and immediately wrote in self-defence four books of Refutation and Apology ('Ελεγχος και απολογια), which are known to us through St. Athanasius (De Sententia Dionysii).

[2] H. E., vii, 26, 2, 3.

[3] Evangelical Preparation, xvi, 23-27.

[4] H. E., vii, 24.


From his extensive correspondence we see that Dionysius was connected with all the great church movements of his time. Eusebius cites or mentions twelve letters of his relating to Novatianism; seven letters written on the occasion of the baptismal controversy between St. Cyprian and Pope Stephen; one letter to the bishops of the Council of Antioch against Paul of Samosata; other letters to various persons; and, notably, many festal letters. A letter of his to Bishop Basilides has been incorporated among the canonical documents of the Greek Church and divided into four canons. It treats of the duration of the Lenten fast and of the purity of the body necessary for the reception of Communion.

2. The successor of Dionysius in the catechetical school of Alexandria was Theognostus (264-280).[5] He wrote seven books of Hypotyposes or Essays, known to Photius.[6] They contained a systematic treatment of all Christian dogmas, strongly influenced by Origenistic theories. Photius praises their high tone and the purity and simplicity of their style.

3. Pierius,[7] who succeeded Theognostus, was a distinguished orator in the time of Bishop Theonas (282-300). The titles of some of his discourses, with a few fragments, are known to us through St. Jerome, Philip of Side, and Photius.[8] Among them is to be found one On the Mother of God (περι της θεοτοκου),— a remarkable thing for this period. Photius esteemed in Pierius originality of thought and facility of expression.

4. In Peter,[9] who became bishop of Alexandria in 300 and died a martyr in 311, we meet the first open opponent of Origen in that city. Of his works we have one or two complete letters and fourteen canons, extracts from a festal letter which he wrote in 306. He also wrote a work On the Divinity (περι της θεοτητος), cited by the Council of Ephesus, and two other works against Origen, viz., Against the Pre-existence of Souls and On the Resurrection. Only a few fragments of these remain.

[5] Patr. Graeca, X, to which must be added Fr. Diekamp, in Theologische Quartalschrift, LXXXIV, 1902. On Theognostus and the two following authors see L. B. Radford, Three Teachers of Alexandria, Theognostus, Pierius and Peter, Cambridge, 1908.

[6] Codex, 106.

[7] P. G., X, 241-246, and C. de Boor, Neue Fragmente, in Texte und Unters., v, 2, Leipzig, 1888.

[8] Codex, 119.

[9] P. G., XVIII, and Pitra, Analecta Sacra, IV, 189-193, 426-429.


5. After speaking of the successors of Origen in the Alexandrine catechetical school, we will simply name here a few other authors of Alexandria, or Egypt, who did not occupy that office nor acquire a high literary reputation: (i) Origen's patron, Ambrose (d. 248-253), author of a few letters; (2) Bishop Demetrius, some of whose letters are known; (3) Trypho of Alexandria, who wrote many short treatises (multa opuscula), mostly exegetical; (4) Ammonius — there may have been two or perhaps even three of that name,— who wrote on the Accord between Moses and Jesus and a synopsis of the Gospels; (5) Anatolius of Alexandria, bishop of Laodicea, c. 268, author of a book On Easter and some theological works; (6) Nepos, bishop of Arsinoe, whose views on the millennium and whose work Against the Allegorists were refuted by Dionysius of Alexandria; (7) Phileas, bishop of Thmuis, martyred in 306, from whom we have two letters or fragments of letters; (8) Hesychius, who lived towards the end of the third century and at the beginning of the fourth, and revised the text of the Septuagint and the Gospels, and whom St. Jerome handled pretty roughly; and (9) Hierakas (c. 300), head of a numerous community of ascetics of both sexes at Leontopolis, and the first ecclesiastical author to write in Coptic. Our only source of information concerning Hierakas is St. Epiphanius,[10] who mentions a work by him on the Hexaemeron and many new Psalms.


The Syro-Palestinian writers of the third century form three groups. The first centered around Caesarea and Jerusalem and was in more or less intimate relation with Origen; the second belongs to Antioch; and the third is made up of anonymous writers who wrote we know not exactly where. In this section we shall deal only with the two first-named groups.

1. Julius Africanus[1] was born c. 170 at the latest, perhaps

[10] Haer., lxvii.

[1] P. G., X and XI, and indications in A. Harnack, Geschichte der altchristl. Liter., i, 508-511. See H. Gelzer, Sextus Julius Africanus und die byzantinische Chronographie, Leipzig, 1880-1898. G. Salmon, in D. C. B., art. "Africanus."


in Libya, and in 195 made a campaign with the troops of Septimius Severus in Osrhoene, where he became acquainted with Abgar IX, king of Edessa. After many travels he settled at Emmaus — Nicopolis — six hours' journey from Jerusalem, and died there between 240 and 250. We do not know whether or not he was born a Christian; but it is certain that he remained a layman all his life and that his concept of Christianity was tainted with vulgar superstitions. He had great intellectual curiosity and was interested in everything, but unfortunately gathered his information without discrimination or criticism. His most important work is a chronicle in five books, entitled Chronographia. Not one of these books is intact; yet, as the work was much used by Eusebius, St. Jerome, and more recent chroniclers, its contents are well known to us. Starting with the idea that the exact chronology of the world is to be found in the Bible, Julius Africanus inscribes, opposite the dates and events given in the Scriptures, the synchronous events of the history of the gentile world. This was the second part of the work, the Canons, and was naturally preceded by a first and theoretical part, in which were discussed the dates and figures of both sacred and profane history. The Chronographia covered all history from the Creation to the year 221 A. D., the third year of Elagabal,— 5723 years. A second book of Julius Africanus is entitled Embroidered Girdles (κεοτοι), or miscellaneous knowledge. It deals with all kinds of subjects — warfare, medicine, agriculture, magic, etc.,— some of them entirely foreign to a Christian pen. A good many fragments of this work have reached us. It was written after the "Chronographia." Lastly we must mention two letters. One, addressed to Origen, is entirely preserved. It is against the canonicity of the history of Susanna in the Book of Daniel. The other, addressed to a certain Aristides, endeavors to reconcile the genealogies of St. Joseph in St. Matthew's and St. Luke's Gospels.

2. Alexander. Another of Origen's correspondents and friends was the former disciple of Clement, Bishop Alexander, who received Clement into his home after his flight from Alexandria and conferred the priesthood on Origen. He was born c. 160-170, probably in Asia Minor, and was at first bishop in Cappadocia or Cilicia. On the occasion of a pilgrimage to Jerusalem he was forcibly detained by the Christians of that city and installed as coadjutor to the aged


bishop Narcissus, whom he succeeded c. 216. Eusebius and St. Jerome mention many of his letters.

3. Beryllus. St. Jerome[2] speaks also of a correspondence between Origen and Beryllus, bishop of Bosra, converted by Origen to the orthodox Church. Beryllus lived under the reign of Caracalla (211-217) and his retractation took place under Gordianus (238-244). Besides letters, he composed a Philocalia or collection of extracts from foreign works.

4. Pamphilus. Pamphilus is the last of the Palestinian authors of the third century of whom we have to speak. He did not know Origen personally, but was one of his most fervent admirers. Born of rich parents, at Berytus in Phoenicia, he studied theology at Alexandria, under Pierius, and then took up his permanent residence at Caesarea in Palestine. There he was ordained priest, opened a theological school, and became known for his zealous efforts to enrich the magnificent library Origen had founded in that city. He died a martyr, in 309, during the persecution of Maximinus. His collaborator and friend, Eusebius, describes him in a biography as a model priest, adorned with all virtues. Besides his letters, no longer extant, Pamphilus, while in prison, wrote an Apology for Origen, in five books, to which Eusebius added a sixth. In it he discussed all the charges made against Origen. Only the first of these books has been preserved in a Latin translation by Rufinus.[3] Another of Pamphilus' occupations was to revise and correct the numerous copies of the Bible he had made from the text edited by Origen. But he never made a new recension of the Sacred Text, as some have thought.

5. The writers of Antioch during this period deserve only a brief mention from a literary point of view. They are: (1) Geminus, a priest under Alexander Severus (222-235), who, according to St. Jerome,[4] was the author of a few books; (2) Paul of Samosata (260-268), tried by three councils and finally deposed after the priest Melchior had convicted him of error. He seems to have written some discourses to Sabinus, from which five citations are preserved;

[2] Vir. Ill., 60.

[3] It may be found in P. G., XVII, 521-616.

[4] Vir. Ill., 64.


served; (3) Lucian, martyred in 312, the teacher of Arius and himself suspected of doctrinal error, founder of the first exegetical school of Antioch, who made a recension of the Sacred Text, still used in the fourth century in Syria, Asia Minor, Constantinople and Thrace, and to whom St. Jerome[5] attributed other works, professions of faith (De Fide Libelli) and letters.


The work entitled De Recta in Deum Fide (On the Right Faith in God)[1] is a dialogue which has reached us in Greek and Latin texts, the latter a translation by Rufinus, but more faithful than his translations generally are. It is a disputation between Adamantius, the champion of the Christian faith, and the Marcionites Megethius and Marcus; a follower of Bardesanes, Marinus, and two followers of Valentinian, Droserius and Valens. Adamantius wins the debate and the heathen Eutropius, chosen as arbiter, is himself converted. Although the dialogue gives evidence of dialectic skill, it is poorly written.

At an early date the De Recta in Deum Fide was attributed to Origen, but wrongly so, since it cites Methodius of Olympus, who wrote fifty years later. It is even doubtful whether Origen is indicated by the name of Adamantius. At any rate, the author is unknown. All that seems certain is that he wrote in the northern part of Syria, between 295 and 305.

The Didascalia Apostolorum was written very probably also in northern Syria.[2] It is the first of the disciplinary writings of which we have to speak. The original Greek text has perished or at best exists only in a considerably retouched form in the first six books of the Apostolic Constitutions. However, it has been completely preserved in a

[8] Vir. Ill., 77.

[1] P. G., vol. XI. Better edition by W. H. Van de sande Bakhuyzen, Der Dialog des Adamantius, Leipzig, 1901. See Hort, in D. C. B., art. "Adamantius."

[2] Edit. P. de Lagarde, Didascalia Apostolorum Syriace, Lipsiae, 1854. French transl. by F. Nau, La Didascalie des Douse Apotres, 2nd edit., Paris, 1912. Marg. Dunlop Gibson has given a new Syriac edition and an English translation, London, 1903. See M. Viard, La Didascalie des Apotres, Langres, 1906.


Syriac translation and partly in a Latin one dating from the fourth century.[3] Both of these translations faithfully represent the Greek text. The Syriac version is divided into 26 or 27 chapters whose contents are as follows. After some general advice to all Christians and especially to married persons (chs. i-iii), the author deals with the qualifications requisite for a bishop (chs. iv-xii). This is the most important part of the work. Ch. xiii is on assistance at the offices of the Church; chs. xiv and xv on widows; ch. xvi on the ordinations of deacons and deaconesses; chs. xvii-xix on the care of children and orphans; ch. xx on the care of confessors of the faith; ch. xxi on the resurrection of the dead; ch. xxii on Easter and fasting; chs. xxiii-xxiv on heresies and schisms; and chs. xxv-xxvii on the relation between the Old Law and the Gospel and on how the Apostles made the present regulations.

The Didascalia seems to have been written in the second half of the third century by the bishop of some large commercial town, a municipality of Upper Syria. Jewish practices and Novatian rigorism are fiercely attacked. The ecclesiastical hierarchy seems not yet to have reached any advanced stage of development, although some mention is made of subdeacons.

Side by side with the Didascalia may be placed another disciplinary work, much less extensive, first edited by Bickell, entitled Ordinances Transmitted by Clement and Ecclesiastical Canons of the Holy Apostles[4] Only the second part seems to be authentic. Bickell calls this little work "Apostolische Kirchenordnung" and Msgr. Batiffol proposed to name it "Egyptian Apostolic Constitutions." The latter title would settle in advance the question of origin.

The "Ordinances" comprise 30 sections. Aside from the introduction (1-3) and the conclusion, the book is divided into two distinct parts: a moral part (4-14), which merely retouches chs. i-iv, 8 of the Didache; and a disciplinary part (15-29), containing certain provisions relative to bishops, priests, lectors, deacons, widows, deaconesses, laymen, and the charitable ministrations of women. Each moral and disciplinary ordinance is given as the dictum of an individual

[3] This translation may be found in F. X. Funk, Didascalia el Constitutiones Apostolorum, I.

[4] Edit. F. X. Funk, Doctrina Duodecim Apostolontm, Canones Apostolorum Ecclesiastici, Tubingen, 1887.


Apostle, so that the book appears as the work of the whole Apostolic college.

Very probably this book is the one which St. Jerome[5] calls Liber Judicii and Rufinus[6] Duae Viae vel Judicium secundum Petrum because in it Peter directs all the decisions. Hauler has discovered a fragment of a Latin version of this work, which he says goes back to the second half of the fourth century. The original Greek text must have been from the second half of the third century. It was thought at first that its birthplace was Egypt, for the work forms part of a compilation, entitled the Octateuch, which seems to have been written in Egypt, but since then a few Syriac texts of the Octateuch have been discovered and, as this work was composed on the model of the Apostolic Constitutions, it is now generally believed to be of Syriac origin.

The Ecclesiastical Canons of the Holy Apostles must have had the same origin.


Asia Minor, which furnished so many eminent writers in the second century, was much less fruitful in the third. When we have mentioned Firmilian, bishop of Caesarea (d. 268), whose writings — no longer extant — are cited by St. Basil, and who has left us an important letter to St. Cyprian relative to the baptismal controversy,[1] only two authors deserve our attention, St. Gregory Thaumaturgus and St. Methodius of Olympus.

1. Gregory,[2] whose original name was Theodore, was born c. 213 at Neo-Caesarea (Pontus), of rich but heathen parents. After completing his studies in literature and law, he was on the point of setting out for Berytus in Phoenicia, c. 233, when providential circumstances turned his course to Caesarea. There he listened to Origen, became attached to him, and for five years followed his teaching. Soon after

[5] Vir. ill., I.

[6] Comment. in Symbol. Apostol., 38.

[1] We have only a Latin translation of this letter, made by St. Cyprian; among the letters of St. Cyprian, edit. Hartel, letter lxxv.

[2] Works in P. G., X. The treatise to Theopompus is in P. de Lagarde, Anecdota Syriaca, Lipsiae, 1858. See Ryssel, Gregorius Thaumaturgus, sein Leben und seine Schriften, Leipzig, 1880.


his return to Pontus, in 238, though still young, he was consecrated first bishop of Neo-Caesarea. From this moment his life was that of an apostle. He passed through the Decian persecution untouched. In 264 he took part in the synod of Antioch that condemned Paul of Samosata. He died, according to Suidas, in the reign of Aurelian, between 270 and 275. At an early date numerous miracles were attributed to his intercession, which incontestably proves the profound impression his holy life had made upon the people.

We have five of St. Gregory's authentic works:

a) The Discourse of Thanksgiving to Origen (Εις Ωριγενην 'προσφωνητικος). This is a panegyric delivered at Caesarea, in 238, thanking Origen at his departure for his kind solicitude. It is an academic oration, yet sincere and affectionate in tone, a very precious document on account of the information it contains on Origen's method and curriculum.

b) A Formula of Faith, supposed to have been revealed to Gregory by St. John the Evangelist. The authenticity of this work does not appear doubtful. It is brief, but very important on account of its exposition of the doctrine of the Trinity. It may have been written between 260 and 265.

c) A Canonical Letter to the Bishops of Pontus, written c. 254-258, on the occasion of the raids of the Goths and Boradi into Pontus. Gregory indicates the proper treatment, from the penitential point of view, of those Christians who had been guilty of various sins in these difficult circumstances. This letter has been placed in the Greek canonical collection.

d) A Paraphrase of Ecclesiastes, a reproduction in freer form of the contents of that inspired work.

e) On the Passibility and Impassibility of God, a work dedicated to Theopompus, extant in Syriac only. The author shows that God, although in Himself impassible, is not for that reason indifferent to human actions, and that, although He suffered in Jesus Christ, on the other hand He proved Himself impassible by His triumph over death. The treatise is a philosophical colloquy. It dates back to the first years of Gregory's episcopate.

Besides these preserved writings, we know through St. Basil[3] that St. Gregory also composed a dialogue with a

[3] Epist. ccx, 5.


pagan named Aelianus, in which the Sabellians pretended to discover their error. St. Jerome[4] also mentions a few epistles; but all are lost, except the canonical letter mentioned above.

2. Methodius.[5] The life of St. Methodius is practically unknown. Eusebius does not honor him with a mention, no doubt because he wrote against Origen. We know through St. Jerome[6] that he was bishop of Olympus — not of Patara — in Syria and died a martyr's death under Diocletian, in 311. He is a very elegant and painstaking writer. He aims at style and seeks in his works — nearly all couched in dialogue form — to imitate Plato. Although he was far from reaching the perfection of his model, we cannot deny him true literary talent. His theology, which reminds one of St. Irenaeus and Melito, is traditional and firm. He was a relentless opponent of Origen.

The writings of St. Methodius may be divided into two classes,— those preserved (at least in great part) in Greek and those extant only in Slavonic translations. These translations, discovered by Bonwetsch, are, as a rule, very literal, but incomplete.

a) The only Greek work of Methodius which exists in complete form, is The Banquet or On Virginity. It is a series of discourses rather than a dialogue. Ten virgins speak in turn and laud virginity as the perfection of Christian life, the means of becoming like Christ, etc. At the end, Thecla, the eighth speaker, secures the prize and intones a hymn of twenty-four strophes with a refrain. Notwithstanding the virtuosity displayed in the work, its author has not escaped monotony, as the same ideas necessarily recur again and again.

The dialogue on The Freedom of the Will (περι του αυτεξουσιου) is extant in a long Greek fragment, which may be completed from a Slavonic translation. The work attacks Gnostic dualism, which admitted two principles, one good, the other bad; and is directed also against determinism. The dialogue Aglaophon, or On the Resurrection, in three books, exists incomplete in a Greek text and a Slavonic version.

[4] Vir. Ill., 65.

[5] For the Banquet, see P. G., XVIII; for all his works, edit, by N. Bonwetsch, in the Christl. Schriftst., Berlin-Leipzig, 1917. See C. Carel, S. Methodii Patarensis Convivium Decem Virginum, Paris, 1890.

[6] Vir. Ill., 83.


It was directed against Origen. The author proves that the body which will rise again is our actual body, and not a new, pneumatic body, possessing only the form of the material one.

b) The writings preserved solely or principally in Slavonic are the following: On Life, an exhortation to be content with what Providence gives us in this world and promises us in the next, and three allegorical and symbolical explanations of various passages in Scripture: On the Difference of Foods and the Young Cow whose Blood Purified Sinners — the foods our works and the "young cow," Christ; To Sistelius on Leprosy; leprosy in its different forms is sin, from which we must purify ourselves; On the Bloodsucker and on the Words: "The heavens shozv forth the Glory of God," an allegorical explanation of Proverbs, xxx, 15 ff. and Psalm xviii, 2.

Besides these works, we know that Methodius wrote several books against the philosopher Porphyry. These.books were highly valued by St. Jerome, but are extant only in five fragments; an opuscule against Origen, entitled De Pythonissa; commentaries (now lost) on Genesis and the Canticle of Canticles; a commentary on Job; a discourse on the martyrs, cited by Theodoret; and, lastly, a dialogue, entitled Xenon, doubtless identical with the book On Created Beings (περι των γενητων) which is quoted at length by Photius,[7] in which Methodius refuted the opinion of Origen on creation ab aeterno.

[7] Codex, 235.

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