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Church History by Eusebius Pamphilius

Chapter XXIII.--Origen's Zeal and his Elevation to the Presbyterate.

1. At that time Origen began his commentaries on the Divine Scriptures, being urged thereto by Ambrose, who employed innumerable incentives, not only exhorting him by word, but also furnishing abundant means.

2. For he dictated to more than seven amanuenses, who relieved each other at appointed times. And he employed no fewer copyists, besides girls who were skilled in elegant writing. For all these Ambrose furnished the necessary expense in abundance, manifesting himself an inexpressible earnestness in diligence and zeal for the divine oracles, by which he especially pressed him on to the preparation of his commentaries.

3. While these things were in progress, Urbanus, who had been for eight years bishop of the Roman church, was succeeded by Pontianus, and Zebinus succeeded Philetus in Antioch.

4. At this time Origen was sent to Greece on account of a pressing necessity in connection with ecclesiastical affairs, and went through Palestine, and was ordained as presbyter in Cæsarea by the bishops of that country. The matters that were agitated concerning him on this account, and the decisions on these matters by those who presided over the churches, besides the other works concerning the divine word which he published while in his prime, demand a separate treatise. We have written of them to some extent in the second book of the Defense which we have composed in his behalf.

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