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A Dictionary Of Christian Biography And Literature by Henry Wace

Letter D

Dalmatius, monk and abbat
Dalmatius (4), monk and abbat, near Constantinople at the time of the council of Ephesus (a.d.431). His influence arose from his eminent piety, strength of character, and fiery zeal. Under Theodosius the Great he had served in the 2nd company of Guards, married, had children, and led a virtuous life. Feeling a call to a monastic life, he left his wife and children, except a son Faustus, and went to be instructed by abbat Isaac, who had dwelt in the desert since his infancy. Isaac at his death made him Hegumenus, superior of the monastery, under the patriarch Atticus. Consulted by councils, patriarchs, and emperors, he remained in his cell 48 years without quitting it. He is sometimes addressed as chief of the monasteries of
Constantinople; but it is uncertain whether this was a complimentary or official title. He is not to be confounded with Dalmatius, monk at Constantinople, bp. of Cyzicus; because the latter was present at the council of Ephesus in that capacity.

During the supremacy of the Nestorian party at Ephesus, letters were conveyed by a beggar in the hollow of a cane from Cyril and the Athanasian or Catholic bishops to the emperor Theodosius II., the clergy and people at Constantinople complaining that they had been imprisoned three months, that the Nestorians had deposed Cyril and Memnon bp. of Ephesus, and that they were all in the greatest distress. A short memorial was added to the letter of the bishops, probably for Dalmatius. Dalmatius was greatly moved, and believed himself summoned to go forth at length from his retreat in the interests of truth. Accompanied by the monks of all the monasteries, led by their abbats, he went to the palace in a long procession, divided into two companies, and singing alternately; a vast crowd of sympathizers followed. The abbats were admitted to the emperor's presence; and the monks remained outside chanting. Returning to the people, the abbats asked them to go to the church of St. Mocius to hear the letter of the council and the emperor's reply. They went through the city, the monks chanting and carrying wax tapers. Great enthusiasm was excited against Nestorius. At the church the abbats read the letter of the bishops, which produced high excitement. Dalmatius, who was a presbyter, then mounted the pulpit, begged them to be patient, and in temperate and modest terms related his conversation with the emperor, and its satisfactory result. The emperor then wrote to Ephesus, ordering a deputation of each party to arrive at Constantinople. In a letter to Dalmatius the council acknowledged that to him only was owing the emperor's knowledge of the truth. Cyril, Ep.23, etc., Patr. Gk. lxxvii.; Concil. Gen. i.; Dalmatii Apol. p.477; St. Procl. CP. Episc. Ep. iii.; Patr. Gk. lxv. p.876, lxxxv. col.1797-1802; Ceillier, viii.290, 395, 396, 407, 594; Fleury, bk. xxvi.


Damasus, pope
Damasus, pope, said to have been a Spaniard, the son of Antonius. On the death of Liberius (Sept. a.d.366) the factions which had disgraced his election broke out with redoubled violence. The original root of bitterness had been Arianism; and Felix the Arian antipope [[139]Felix II.] had been expelled by Liberius. Seven days after the death of Liberius, Felix's partisans met and proclaimed Damasus pope in the Lucina [qy. the crypt of St. Lucina in the catacomb of Callistus?]. Damasus had previously taken up a middle position between the contending parties, which may have specially recommended him to the electors, who could not hope to carry an extreme man. Yet, about the same time apparently the party of Liberius met in the Julian basilica and elected Ursicinus or Ursinus.

It is difficult to ascertain the truth with regard to the strife between the rival popes. Our most detailed account is by personal enemies of Damasus, and the incidents of the struggle are recorded under Ursinus.

Damasus used his success well, and the chair of St. Peter, even if, as his enemies alleged, acquired by violent means, was never more respected nor vigorous than during his bishopric. He appears as a principal opponent of Arian and other heretics. Bp. Peter of Alexandria was his firm friend all along; and was associated with him in the condemnation of Apollinaris (Soz. vi.25), and in affixing the stigma of Arianism to Meletius of Antioch and Eusebius, who were upheld by Basil (Basil, Ep. cclxvi. iii.597, ed. Bened.). On Meletius's death Damasus struggled hard to gain the chair of Antioch for Paulinus, and to exclude Flavianus; nor was he reconciled to the latter till some time later (Socr. v.15).

His correspondence with Jerome, his attached friend and secretary, begins a.d.376, and closes only with his death a.d.384. Six of Jerome's letters to him are preserved, two being expositions of difficult passages of Scripture elicited by letters of Damasus asking the aid of his learning. Jerome's desire to dedicate to him a translation of Didymus's work on the Holy Ghost was only stopped by his death. In later letters Jerome speaks in high terms of Damasus; calls him |that illustrious man, that virgin doctor of the virgin church,| |eager to catch the first sound of the preaching of continence|; who |wrote both verse and prose in favour of virginity| (Epp. Hieron.22, 48). From this Milman (Latin Christ. i.69) conjectures that Damasus was a patron of the growing monastic party -- a not improbable conjecture, rendered more likely by the ardent attachment of Jerome, and the veneration in which the memory of pope Damasus was held by later times, when monasticism had taken firm root in the Roman church. But the best-known record of Damasus will always be his labour of love in the catacombs of Rome. Here he searched ardently and devotedly for the tombs of the martyrs, which had been blocked up and hidden by the Christians during the last persecution. He |removed the earth, widened the passages, so as to make them more serviceable for the crowd of pilgrims, constructed flights of stairs leading to the more illustrious shrines, and adorned the chambers with marbles, opening shafts to admit air and light where practicable, and supporting the friable tufa walls and galleries wherever it was necessary with arches of brick and stone work. Almost all the catacombs bear traces of his labours, and modern discovery is continually bringing to light fragments of the inscriptions which he composed in honour of the martyrs, and caused to be engraved on marble slabs, in a peculiarly beautiful character, by a very able artist, Furius Dionysius Filocalus. It is a singular fact that no original inscription of pope Damasus has ever yet been found executed by any other hand; nor have any inscriptions been found, excepting those of Damasus, in precisely the same form of letters. Hence the type is well known to students of Christian epigraphy as the 'Damasine character'| (Roma Sotterranea, by Northcote and Brownlow, p.97). Damasus also laid down a marble pavement in the basilica of St. Sebastian, recording by an inscription the temporary burial in that church of SS. Peter and Paul (ib. p.114). He built the baptistery at the Vatican in honour of St. Peter, where de Rossi thinks, from an inscription in the Damasine character, was an actual chair which went by the name of St. Peter's seat (ib. p.393). and he drained the crypts of the Vatican, that the bodies buried there might not be disturbed by the overflow of water (ib. p.334). He died in Dec.384, after a pontificate of 18 years. Before his death he had prepared his own tomb above the catacomb of Callistus, giving his reason in an inscription in what is called the Papal crypt of that catacomb:

|Hic fateor Damasus volui mea condere membra,

Sed timui sanctos cineres vexare priorum|

(ib. p.102). Cf. Hefele, Conciliengeschichte, vols. i. and ii.


Damianus (2), M. [[141]Cosmas.]

Daniel, the Stylite
Daniel (9) the Stylite, of the 5th cent., was a Mesopotamian by birth, and in his youth had visited Symeon the Stylite. After having lived a monastic life in convents for several years, at the age of 47 he received as a legacy the cowl of Symeon, and established his pillar 4 miles N. of Constantinople. The patriarch Gennadius ordained him presbyter against his will, standing at the foot of his column. Then the patriarch, by means of a ladder, administered the Eucharist, and received it in turn from the Stylite. He lived on his pillar for 33 years, and died at the age of 80. He was visited with reverence by kings and emperors as an oracle; but discouraged all who brought complaints against their bishops. Towards the end of his life, solicited eagerly by both sides, he took part in the dispute between the emperor Basiliscus, a Monophysite, and Acacius patriarch of Constantinople. Descending from his pillar, he appeared in the city, denounced Basiliscus, and inflamed the people with such zeal that Basiliscus published an orthodox edict. The following is his prayer before he began his life on the pillar: |I yield Thee glory, Jesus Christ my God, for all the blessings which Thou hast heaped upon me, and for the grace which Thou hast given me that I should embrace this manner of life. But Thou knowest that in ascending this pillar I lean on thee alone, and that to Thee alone I look for the happy issue of mine undertaking. Accept, then, my object; strengthen me that I finish this painful course; give me grace to end it in holiness.| In his last will to his disciples, after commending them to the common Father of all, and to the Saviour Who died for them, Daniel bade them |hold fast humility, practise obedience, exercise hospitality, keep the fasts, observe the vigils, love poverty, and above all maintain charity, which is the first and great commandment; avoid the tares of the heretics; separate never from the church your mother: if you do these things your righteousness shall be perfect.| Baronius places his death in a.d.489. Vita S. Daniel, ap. Surium, ad diem ii. decemb. cap. xli. xlii. xliii.; Robertson, Ch. Hist. ii.41-43, 274; Ceillier, x.344, 403, 485. Baronius, ed. Theiner, vol. viii. ad an.460, § 20; 464, § 2; 465, § 3, 12, 13; 476, § 48, 50, 51, 53; 489, § 4.


Dativus, celebrated senator
Dativus (3), celebrated senator, martyred under Diocletian Feb.11, a.d.304. In spite of orders to the contrary, a company of the faithful met in the town of Abitina, in the proconsulate of Africa, to celebrate Christian worship and communion, at the house of one Felix Octavius. Forty-nine men and women were surprised by the official and magistrates of the town. They marched cheerfully to their destination, chanting hymns and canticles, having at their head Dativus the senator and Saturninus the presbyter. They confessed Jesus Christ, were chained, and sent to Carthage. There the proconsul Anulinus examined them. Dativus, refusing to say who was the chief of their company, was tortured. As he lay under the iron, at a second examination, Dativus was accused by Fortunatianus, advocate, brother of the martyr Victoria one of the arrested, of enticing her and other young girls to Abitina. Victoria, however, indignantly denied that she had gone there but of her own accord. The executioners continued tormenting Dativus, till the interior of his breast could be seen. He went on praying and begging Jesus Christ for patience. The proconsul, stopping the torture, asked him again if he had been present. |I was in the assembly,| he answered, |and celebrated the Lord's Supper with the brethren.| They again thrust the irons into his side; and Dativus, repeating his prayer, continued to say, |O Christ, I pray Thee let me not be confounded.| And he added, |What have I done? Saturninus is our presbyter.| Dativus was carried to gaol. Here he soon afterwards died. Many of his companions were also tortured, and most of them were starved to death in prison. Ruinart, Acta Sinc. Mart. p.382; Ceillier, iii.20, etc.; AA. SS. Bolland. Feb. ii. p.513.


David, Welsh saint
David (5), St. (Degui; Welsh, Dewi), the most eminent Welsh saint.

His Period. -- The Annales Cambriae, our earliest authority for his existence, date his death a.d.601; and one reading, which the Monumenta only gives in brackets, under a.d.458, is: |St. Dewi nascitur anno tricesimo post discessum Patricii de Menevia| (M. H. B.830, 831). Geoffrey of Monmouth dates his death a.d.542, and William of Malmesbury a.d.546. Ussher argues that he died a.d.544, at the age of 82 (Brit. Eccl. Ant. Works, 1847; vi.43, 44, Chron. Index, ad ann.544); but Rice Rees, who has followed him in his computations, places his birth 20 years later, and fixes a.d.566 as the last date possible for his death. The a.d.601 of the Ann. Camb. is the date adopted by Haddan and Stubbs (Councils, i.121, 143, 148), who remark that David would thus come into view just as the history of Wales emerges from the darkness that conceals it for a century after the departure of the Romans.

A résumé of authorities for his Life is given by Jones and Freeman (Hist. of St. David's, 240), and a full and careful list of all known materials, manuscript and printed, by Hardy (Descr. Catal. i.766).

The Story of his Life. -- The asserted facts of St. David's life, omitting such as are clearly legendary, meet with various degrees of credence from authors of repute. Rees, in his Essay on Welsh Saints, while rejecting several circumstances as manifestly fabulous or incredible, such as his going to Jerusalem to be consecrated, is disposed to accept enough to make a biographical narrative.

His father was (in medieval Latin) Xantus or Sanctus, prince of Keretica -- i.e. modern Cardiganshire. David is said to have been educated first under St. Iltutus in his college (afterwards called from him Llanilltyd Fawr, or Lanwit Major), and subsequently in the college of Paulinus (a pupil of Germanus and one of the great teachers of the age), at Tygwyn ar Dâf (Rees, Welsh Saints, 178), or at Whitland in Carmarthenshire (Jones and Freeman); and here he spent ten years in the study of Holy Scripture. In course of time David became head of a society of his own, founding or restoring a monastery or college at a spot which Giraldus calls Vallis Rosina (derived, as is generally supposed, from a confusion between Rhos, a swamp, and Rhosyn, a rose), near Hen-Meneu, and this institution was subsequently named, out of respect to his memory, Ty Dewi, House of David, or St. David's. In those days, remarks Rees, abbats of monasteries were looked upon in their own neighbourhoods as bishops, and were styled such, while it is probable that they also exercised chorepiscopal rights in their societies (Welsh Saints, 182, 266; cf. Haddan and Stubbs, i.142, 143). Such dignity David enjoyed before his elevation to the archbishopric of the Cambrian church. It was the Pelagian controversy that occasioned his advancement. To pronounce upon the great heresy then troubling the church, archbp. Dubricius convened a synod at Brefi, and David, whose eloquence put the troublers to confusion, made such an impression that the synod at once elected him archbp. of Caerleon and primate of the Cambrian church, Dubricius himself resigning in his favour. The locality of this synod, which holds a marked place in Welsh ecclesiastical traditions, was on the banks of the Brefi, a tributary of the Teifi; Llanddewi Brefi it was afterwards called, from the dedication of its church to St. David. It is 8 miles from Lampeter, and from recent archaeological discoveries has been identified with an important Roman station, the Loventium of the itineraries (Lewis, Top. Dict. of Wales; cf. Haddan and Stubbs, Councils, i.117). The Pelagian heresy, however, still survived, and the new archbishop convened another synod, the issue of which was so decided as to gain it the name of the Synod of Victory. It is entered in the Annales Cambriae, |Synodus Victoriae apud Britones congregatur,| under a.d.569, but not with full confidence (M. H. B.831). It is also mentioned, without a date, in the Annales Menevenses (Wharton, Angl. Sac. ii.648). After residing for a while at Caerleon on Usk, where the seat of the primate was then established, David, by permission of king Arthur, removed to Menevia, the Menapia of the Itineraries, one of the ports for Ireland (Wright, Celt, Roman, and Saxon, 138). The Roman road Via Julia led to it; the voyage across was 45 miles; the Menapii, one of the tribes which held the E. coast of Ireland, were no doubt a colony from the opposite shore of Britain (ib.43); David's baptism by the bp. of Munster indicates a religious connexion between Menevia and Ireland. The tradition of a mission of the British church to Ireland to restore the faith there, under the auspices of David, Gildas, and Cadoc (Haddan and Stubbs, Councils, i.115) points the same way. May we not, therefore, assume that the see was removed because the tide of Saxon conquest drove the British church to cultivate closer relations with their Celtic brethren opposite?

As primate, David distinguished himself by saintly character and apostolic zeal, a glowing, not to say an overcharged, description of which is given in Giraldus. It is generally agreed that Wales was divided into dioceses in his time. Rees, in his learned essay on the Welsh saints, shews that of the dedications and localities of the churches of the principality, a large number terminate in David's native name, ddewi, or are otherwise connected with his memory (Welsh Saints, p.52). These instances, moreover, abound in a well-defined district; and Rees has ingeniously used these circumstances as indicating the limits of the diocese of archbp. David's immediate jurisdiction (ib. pp.197-199). David's successor was Cynog.

Jones and Freeman (St. David's, 246 seq.) conclude that we may safely accept as historical facts: that St. David established a see and monastery at Menevia early in the 7th cent., the site being chosen for the sake of retirement; that his diocese was co-extensive with the Demetae; that he had no archiepiscopal jurisdiction; that a synod was held at Brefi, in which he probably played a conspicuous part, but that its objects are unknown; and finally that of his immediate successors nothing is recorded (ib.257). These writers convey a vivid impression of the |strange and desolate scenery| of the spot now named after St. David, and give some curious antiquarian details. Haddan and Stubbs (Councils, i.115-120) give dates to the synod of Brefi and the synod of Victory, a little before 569 and in 569, later than Rees's latest possible date for David's death; and they regard the accounts given of the synods by Ricemarchus, and Giraldus after him, as purely fabulous, and directed to the establishment of the apocryphal supremacy of St. David and his see over the entire British church. They express much doubt as to the purpose of those assemblies being to crush Pelagianism. Valuable documentary information and references as to the whole subject of the early Welsh episcopate are given in Appendix C (op. cit.), and it is maintained that |there is no real evidence of the existence of any archiepiscopate at all in Wales during the Welsh period, if the term is held to imply jurisdiction admitted or even claimed (until the 12th cent.) by one see over another.|

David was canonized by pope Calixtus c. a.d.1120, and commemorated on Mar.1 (Rees, op. cit.201).


Decius, emperor
Decius. The reign of this emperor, though among the shortest in the Roman annals (a.d.249-251), has gained a pre-eminence in ecclesiastical history altogether disproportioned to its place in general history. It was burnt in on the memories of men as a fiery trial, and occasioned many memorable controversies.

When Cn. Messius Decius Trajanus first appears in history it is with a grown-up son, himself between fifty and sixty, as a member of the Roman senate, in the last year of the reign of Philip the Arabian. The army elected him as emperor, and forced him to lead them into Italy. Near Verona they encountered Philip, who was defeated and slain (June 17, a.d.249), and Decius began to reign. He associated his own son and Annius Maximus Gratus with him as Caesars.

The edict which made his name a byword of reproach may have been due to a desire to restore the rigorous morality of the old Roman life, and the old religion which gave that morality its sanctions. If we may judge by the confessions of the great Christian teachers, who owned that the church deserved its sufferings, the lives of its members did not then present a very lovely aspect. Christian men were effeminate and self-indulgent, trimming their beard and dyeing their hair; Christian women painted their faces, and brightened their eyes with cosmetics. The clergy were covetous and ambitious, looking on their profession as a path to wealth and influence. In addition to these evils they presented, even more than they had done in the days of the Antonines, the aspect of a secret society with a highly compact organization. That the late emperor had been supposed to favour it or even to have been secretly a member of it was enough to add another element to the policy which Decius now adopted.

That policy was opened early in a.d.250 by an edict no longer extant, of which we can form a fair estimate, partly from an account given by Gregory of Nyssa (Vit. Greg. Thaum.), and partly from the history of the persecution, as traced by Cyprian, in his epistles and the treatise de Lapsis, and by Dionysius of Alexandria (Eus. H. E. vi.40-42). It did not order any sharp measures of extermination. Magistrates throughout the empire were ordered, under heavy penalties, to put pressure upon the worshippers of Christ to abjure Christianity. Fear did its work on many whose faith had never had any real groundwork in conviction. The seats of the magistrates were thronged with apostates, some rushing eagerly to be conspicuous among the first to offer sacrifice and sprinkle incense on the altar; some pale and trembling, as if about to be themselves sacrificial victims. In that crowd of renegades were, too, not a few base and feeble-hearted priests of the church. Others found an ingenious way of satisfying their conscience, and securing their position and life. The magistrates were not above accepting bribes, and for a reasonable money payment would give a certificate (libellus) that sacrifice had been duly offered, without making the actual performance of the rite compulsory. The libellatici were rightly branded by Christian feeling with a double note of infamy. They added dishonesty and falsehood to cowardice and denial. Bad as the sacrificati, the thurificati, might be, they were not so contemptible as these. Next, severe measures were brought to bear on the faithful. They were dragged before the prefects and other magistrates, questioned as to their faith, required to sacrifice, exposed to insults and outrages if they refused, thrust into prison, and, in many instances, ill-treated till they died. The wiser and more prudent bishops, such as Dionysius of Alexandria and Cyprian of Carthage, followed the counsel of their Lord (Matt. x.23), and the example of Polycarp, fled from the storm themselves, and exhorted their followers to do the same. Some, who thus withdrew from the common life of men, never returned to it (e.g. Paul, the hermit of the Thebaid, and Maximus of Nice), and the Decian period has been commonly regarded, though with some exaggeration, as the starting-point of the anchoretic life. The wiser pastors continued, as far as they could, to watch over their flocks and keep them steadfast in the faith, even while exposed to taunts and suspicions of cowardice or deception. Others languished in prison, like the sufferers at Rome, of whom Cyprian tells, |sine solatio mortis.| Some courted death not in vain, or met it bravely.

The persecution of Decius (commonly reckoned as the seventh) may fairly be measured as to its extent, if not its actual severity, by the list of martyrs under it still found in the calendar of the Western church. It was more extensive and more systematic than any that had preceded it. Fabian, bp. of Rome, was among the foremost of the victims; Babylas of Antioch, Pionius of Smyrna (seized, it was said, while celebrating the anniversary of the martyrdom of Polycarp), Agatha of Sicily, Polyeuctes of Armenia, Carpus and his deacon of Thyatira, Maximus (a layman) of Asia, Alexander, bp. of Jerusalem, Acacius of the Phrygian Antioch, Epimachus and Nemesius of Alexandria, Peter and his companions of Lampsacus, Irenaeus of Neo-Caesarea, Martial of Limoges, Abdon and Sennen (Persians then at Rome), Cassian of Imola, Lucian a Thracian, Trypho and Respicius of Bithynia, the Ten Martyrs of Crete, have all found a place in the martyrologies of this period, and, after allowing uncertainty to some of the names, the list is enough to shew that there was hardly a province of the empire where the persecution was not felt. Among |confessors| (a title which seems to have been then, for the first time, used in this sense) were Origen, who was tortured on the rack, and the boy Dioscorus who, at the age of 15, offered himself for the crown of martyrdom, but was spared by the Alexandrian prefect in pity for his youth. To this reign belongs the well-known legend of the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus, told for the first time by Gregory of Tours (de Glor. Martyr. c.95). Confessing the faith, like Dioscorus, in the prime of early manhood, they were, it was said, walled up in a cave, and left to die. They fell asleep, and the place acquired a local fame for its sanctity. In the reign of Theodosius (a.d.447) the cave was opened, and the sleepers awoke, went forth, and were startled at the changes which they witnessed, temples destroyed and churches standing in their place. Their second life was, however, of short duration. They again lay down together and fell asleep, this time not to wake again.

Happily, the persecution was as short as it was severe. The attacks of the Goths (or the Carpi, probably a Gothic tribe) drew Decius and his son into Pannonia, where they fell in battle. In some respects the after-effects of the Decian persecution were more important than its direct results. It cleared off the crowd of half-hearted Christians, and left behind those who were prepared by its discipline for the severer struggles that were to come under Valerian and Diocletian. Questions arose as to the treatment of those who had apostatized (the lapsi of Cyprian's treatise). Were the libellatici to be dealt with on the same footing as the thurificati? Were either capable of readmission into the fold of Christ? Was that readmission to be conditional upon the church's normal discipline, or were the confessors to be allowed to give a certificate of absolution (the libellus pacis) to those whose weakness or repentance was sufficient reason for indulgence? Some of those who prided themselves, like many of the Roman confessors, on their constancy, looked down with scorn on the indulgence shown by Cyprian and Cornelius to the lapsi, and even taunted the latter with having been a libellaticus. The tendency to ascetic rigorism of discipline would doubtless have shown itself sooner or later in any case, but historically the Novatianist schisms had their beginning in the Decian persecution. Cf. Eus. H. E. vi.39-45; Cyprian, de Laps., and Epp. passim; the articles in this dict. on the persons named above; and an excellent paper on Decius by Hefele in Wetzer and Welte's Kirchen Lexicon. For the general history of the reign, see Gibbon (c. x.), whose narrative is based on Zosimus and Zonaras.


Demetrias, Roman virgin
Demetrias, a Roman virgin to whom Jerome wrote his treatise (Ep.130, ed. Vall.) on the keeping of virginity. Her family was illustrious at Rome, her grandmother Proba (who is much praised by Jerome) having had three sons, all consuls. Demetrias had in early life wished to take the vow of virginity, but feared her parents' opposition. They, however, fully approved, and it gladdened all the churches of Italy. Her father having died just before the sack of Rome by Alaric, the family sold their property and set sail for Africa, witnessing the burning of Rome as they left Italy; and, arriving in Africa, fell into the hands of the rapacious count Heraclian, who took away a large part of their property. Jerome exhorts Demetrias to a life of study and fasting; care in the selection of companions; consecration of her wealth to Christ's service; and to working with her own hands. He warns her not to perplex herself with difficult questions introduced by the Origenists; and recommends the study of Scripture. He exhorts her to prefer the coenobitic to the hermit life, and bears testimony, as he had done 30 years before to Eustochium, to the excellence of the virgin-state, notwithstanding the attacks made upon it.


Demetrius (2) succeeded Julianus A.D.189, as 11th bp. of Alexandria (Eus. H. E. v.22). He presided over the see for 43 years, and died a.d.231-232 (ib. vi.26). He appears to have been of an energetic and imperious nature. He took an active interest in the Catechetical School, and is said to have sent one of its early chiefs, Pantaenus, on a [second?] mission |to the Indians| on their own request (Hieron. de Vir. Ill.36). After Clement had left Alexandria, he placed Origen at its head, c.203 (Eus. H. E. vi.5), and strenuously encouraged him to continue his work, when his indiscreet zeal had exposed him to misrepresentation (ib. vi.8). Later (a.d.217), he sent Origen to the Roman governor of Arabia, at the governor's earnest invitation (ib. vi.19). Origen fulfilled his mission satisfactorily, but not long afterwards Demetrius's friendship for him was interrupted. [[143]Origen.] According to a late, and not very trustworthy, authority, Demetrius is reported to have written letters on the keeping of Easter, maintaining the view adopted at Nicaea (Eutychius, Ann. pp.363 ff.; Migne, Patrol. vol. cxi.). Other legendary stories of his life are given in the Chronicon Orientale (pp.72 f. ed 1685), and more briefly by Tillemont (Mémoires, Origène, art. vii. tom. iii. p.225, ed. Bruxelles).

The statement that Demetrius first changed the singular ecclesiastical arrangement of Egypt, by appointing three bishops in addition to the bp. of Alexandria, who had formerly governed the whole province, is probably correct, though the only direct authority for it is that of Eutychius, patriarch of Alexandria, in the 10th cent. (cf. Lightfoot, Philippians, p.230). Possibly this change was due to special views on church government, which may have influenced Demetrius in his harsh judgment on the ordination of Origen beyond the limits of his jurisdiction.


Demophilus, bp. of Constantinople, a.d.370; expelled 380; died 386; formerly bp. of Berea; born of good family in Thessalonica (Philostorg. H. E. ix.14). On the death of Eudoxius in 370 he was elected by the Arians to the bishopric of Constantinople (Socr. H. E. iv.14; Soz. H. E. vi.13). The people, however, were much divided (Philostorg. H. E. ix.10). The orthodox party chose Evagrius for their bishop, and he was ordained by Eustathius, the deposed bp. of Antioch. This was the signal for an outburst of fury on the part of the Arians. Eustathius and Evagrius were banished by Valens, and their followers bitterly persecuted (Socr. H. E. iv.14, 16; Soz. H. E. vi.13, 14). Demophilus, soon after his accession, went to Cyzicus in conjunction with Dorotheus, or Theodorus, of Heraclea, to procure the election of an Arian bishop, that see having been vacant since the banishment of Eunomius. But the people of Cyzicus refused to acknowledge them till they had anathematized Aetius, Eunomius, and their followers. They were then permitted to ordain a bishop chosen by the people. The bishop who was ordained straightway and clearly taught the consubstantial faith (Philostorg. H. E. ix.13).

In 380 changed times came and made the reign of Theodosius I. and the patriarchate of Demophilus memorable. The emperor Theodosius offered to confirm him in his see, if he would subscribe the Nicene Creed. Demophilus refused, and was immediately ordered to give up his churches. He then called his followers together, and retired, with Lucius of Alexandria and others, to a place of worship without the walls (Socr. H. E. v.7). The churches of Constantinople, which had for forty years been in Arian hands, were now restored to the orthodox; and similarly in other cities. It was, in fact, a general dis-establishment of Arianism and re-establishment of Catholicism. Philostorgius (H. E. ix.19) adds that Demophilus went to his own city, Berea. But this must have been some time afterwards, or he must have returned from exile, for he represented the Arian party at the synod held in Constantinople, a.d.383 (Socr. H. E. v.10; Soz. H. E. vii.12). The same writer says that Demophilus was wont to throw everything into confusion, especially the doctrines of the church, and quotes from a sermon at Constantinople, in which he spoke of the human nature of the Saviour as lost in the divine, as a glass of milk when poured into the sea. Philostorg. Patrol. Gk. lxv.; Soz. and Socr. Patrol. Gk. lxvii.


Dianius, bp. of Caesarea
Dianius or Dianaeus, for more than 20 years bp. of Caesarea in Cappadocia, a saintly man much venerated in the early church, notwithstanding his somewhat doubtful orthodoxy. He was almost certainly the bishop who baptized Basil the Great on his return from Athens, and ordained him lector (Basil, de Sp. Sancto, 29, p.357). Basil speaks of him in terms of most affectionate respect, describing him as remarkable for his virtues, frank, generous, and attractive from his amiability, venerable both in aspect and in character (Ep.51 ). We see him, however, in these troubled times weak and undecided, led by his peaceful disposition to deprecate controversy, and by his feebleness to side with the strongest; destitute of strong theological convictions, and wanting the clearness of thought to appreciate subtleties of doctrine. He was, therefore, too often found on the semi-Arian side of the church. If, as Tillemont holds, he is the Danius who heads the list of bishops to whom pope Julius directed his dignified reply to the insolent letter addressed to him from Antioch, he took a leading part in the synod held at that city in the early months of a.d.340, by which the deposition of Athanasius was confirmed, and George of Cappadocia placed on the throne of Alexandria (Epistola Julii, apud Athanas. Apolog. ii. p.239). He also took part in the famous synod of Antioch, in Encaeniis, a.d.341, and was present at Sardica, a.d.347, where, according to Hilary (p.29), he joined in the anathema against Julius and Athanasius. His weakness of character was still more fatally shewn when, after the council of Constantinople, a.d.359, the formula of Rimini was sought to be imposed on the church by the authority of the emperor. To the intense grief of Basil, Dianius yielded to pressure and signed the heretical document. Basil could not hold communion with one who had so far compromised his faith, and fled to Nazianzum. It was reported that he had anathematized his bishop, but this he indignantly denies (Basil, Ep.51 ). Dianius keenly felt the absence of his eloquent and able young counsellor, especially when Julian endeavoured to re-establish paganism. After two years he recalled Basil, and declared that he had signed the creed of Rimini in the simplicity of his heart, hoping to restore peace to the distracted church, with no idea of impugning the faith of Nicaea. Basil, satisfied with Dianius's explanations, returned to his former post of adviser of the bishop till his death, which occurred soon after, probably a.d.362. [[144]Basilius of Caesarea.]


Didymus, head of catechetical school
Didymus, head of the Catechetical School of Alexandria in the 4th cent., born a.d.309 or 314 (Tillemont, Mém. x.387). When only four years old he lost his sight from disease; and consequently was never taught, as he himself declared, even the usual rudiments of learning. But his extraordinary force of character and intense thirst for knowledge triumphed over all disadvantages. He prayed for inward light, |but added studies to prayers| (Rufin. ii.7). He learned the alphabet by touch from engraved wooden tablets, and words and syllables by attentive listening. Thus he became master of various sciences (Socr. iv.25; Soz. iii.15; Theod. iv.26), and attained a truly wonderful familiarity with the Scriptures. Athanasius made the blind scholar head of the Catechetical School, as a fitting successor to Pantaenus and Clement. He was the twelfth who occupied that chair. In his earlier manhood, Anthony, visiting Alexandria to support the Catholic cause against the Arians, entered Didymus's cell, and despite his modest reluctance obliged him to offer up prayers (Rosweyd. Vit. Patr.944, 539, ed.1617), and asked Didymus whether he was sad on account of his blindness. After the question had been twice repeated, Didymus owned that he did feel the affliction painfully. |Do not be distressed,| rejoined the saintly hermit, |for the loss of a faculty enjoyed by gnats and flies, when you have that inward eyesight which is the privilege of none but saints.| Jerome (Ep.68; cf. Socr. iv.29) stayed for a month at Alexandria in 386, mainly (see Prolog. in Eph.) to see Didymus and have Scripture difficulties explained by him (Soz. l.c.). |In many points,| wrote Jerome in a.d.400 (Ep.84), |I give him thanks. I learned from him things which I had not known; what I did know, his teaching has helped me to retain.| Rufinus was also, for a much longer time, a pupil of Didymus. Palladius (Rosweyd. l.c.), who visited him four times, states that he had a dream of the emperor Julian's death at the exact time it occurred in his Persian expedition. Sozomen says that in arguing for the Nicene faith, Didymus was successful by his extreme persuasiveness -- he seemed to make every one a judge of the points in dispute (iii.15); and Isidore of Pelusium (Ep. i.331) and Libanius (Ep.321) speak of his great ability.

Our fullest information about him is derived from Jerome, who frequently refers to him as his old teacher, and affectionately describes him as |my seer,| in allusion to the contrast between his physical blindness and his keenness of spiritual and intellectual perception. Jerome translated into Latin Didymus's treatise On the Holy Spirit, and prefixed a preface, in which he spoke of the author as having |eyes like the spouse in the Song of Songs,| as |unskilled in speech but not in knowledge, exhibiting in his very speech the character of an apostolic man, as well by luminous thought as by simplicity of words.| Writing in 392 (de Viris Illustr.109), Jerome gives a short biographical account of Didymus.

The extent to which Didymus may be called an Origenizer has been discussed. See Mingarelli's |Commentarius| prefixed to his edition of Didymus's de Trinitate (Bologna, 1769). In his extant writings there is no assertion of Origenian views as to the pre-existence of souls, and he affirms, more than once, the endless nature of future punishment; but seems to have believed that some of the fallen angels occupied a midway position between angels and demons, and would be ultimately forgiven. Neither Epiphanius nor Theophilus, nor indeed any one before the 6th cent. except Jerome, laid Origenism to his charge; and with regard to the alleged condemnation of his memory by the 5th general council, as he is never named in the Acts, the utmost that can be made of such a statement is, that the condemnation of Origen in that synod's 11th anathema (Mansi, ix.383) was somewhat largely construed as carrying with it, by implication, the condemnation of other writers more or less identified with his school of thought. See Tillemont's |comparison of Didymus with St. Gregory of Nyssa| (x.396). Didymus's work On the Holy Spirit was clearly a protest against Macedonianism (see Tillemont, x.393).

His comments on the Catholic Epistles are extant, as translated by Epiphanius Scholasticus (see Galland. Bib. Vet. Patr. ii.). His notes on I. Peter shew a dislike of Chiliasm, as a carnal and frivolous theory; he asserts free will, opposes Manicheans, admits the possibility of faults on the part of angels being cleansed through Christ; and in words very characteristic of the indomitable student and teacher, rebukes Christians who neglect sacred studies and attend only to practical life (on I. Peter iii.15). He comments briefly on II. Peter, but sets it aside as spurious and |not in the canon,| although (see infra) in the de Trinitate he cites it as Petrine. The chief features of his remarks on St. John's three Epistles are, (1) the earnestness against Docetism, Valentinianism, all speculations injurious to the Maker of the world, (2) the assertion that a true knowledge of God is possible without a knowledge of His essence, (3) care to urge the necessity of combining orthodoxy with right action. In the notes on Jude, he says that Christ is called the only Sovereign because He is the only true God. He speaks of the doom of those who turn away absolutely to evil as hopeless.

His treatise Against the Manicheans (pub. by Combefis in his Auctarium Novum, 1672) begins with logical formulae, intended to disprove the existence of two unoriginated Principles. From the blame and punishment attached to evil, he infers that Satan and his followers are not evil by nature; he discusses the terms |by nature children of wrath| (which he understands to mean |really children of wrath|), |children of this world,| |son of perdition,| |generation of vipers,| with the aim of shewing that they do not contravene the great moral facts of free will and responsibility. The devil, he urges, was created good, and became a devil by his own free will. If it be objected, why then did God make a being who was to become so pestilent? the objection really lies against the whole plan of God's moral government, which intends His rational creatures to become good by choosing goodness, and therefore leaves them capable of choosing evil, and drawing on themselves the result of such a choice. He also asserts the transmission of original sin: a Saviour born by ordinary generation would have incurred the sin entailed on Adam's whole posterity. His three books On the Trinity have not reached us in a perfect state. They are interesting as exhibiting the Athanasian character, so to speak, of his thought in presence of Anomoeans and of Macedonians. He admits II. Peter as genuine: perhaps the opinion he had formerly held as to its non-canonicity had been reconsidered. He is very earnest, almost in the style of the |Athanasian Creed,| on the co-equality of the Divine Hypostases (he uses that term in the sense which the younger generation of Catholics had adopted since the earlier days of the Arian strife). He enforces the perpetuity of Christ's kingdom (as if in controversy with Marcellians), and speaks of the Virgin Mother as Theotokos (ii.4). He bestows much time and pains on the Macedonian controversy. Occasionally he kindles and glows with strong devotional fervour, and concludes an eloquent passage on the glory of the Holy Trinity with a thrice-repeated Amen. Shortly before this passage he invokes the archangels, and expresses his belief in the intercession of the saints (ii.7).


Dimoeritae, followers of Apollinarius
Dimoeritae, another name for the followers of Apollinarius, probably to be explained by a passage in a letter of Gregory of Nazianzum to Nectarius of Constantinople (Ep.202, al. Or.46). Gregory says that Apollinarius's book affirmed that He Who had come down from above had no nous, but that ten theoteta tou Monogenous ten tou nou phusin anaplerosasan. Hence, as the Apollinarians maintained that our Lord assumed only (dimoiria) two of the three parts (soma, psuche, nous) of which perfect humanity consists, they were called Dimoeritae by Epiphanius, who says (Haer. lxxvii.) that |some denied especially the perfect Incarnation of Christ; some asserted His body consubstantial with His divinity; some emphatically denied that He had ever taken a soul; others not less emphatically refused to Him a mind.|

Among the leaders of the Dimoeritae was one Vitalius. Both Gregory of Nazianzum and Epiphanius came in contact with him; the former while Vitalius was, it would seem, a presbyter, the latter when he had been made a bishop of the sect. Epiphanius at Antioch, in a long discussion with Vitalius, put the crucial question: |You admit the Incarnation, do you also admit that Christ took a mind (noun)?| |The answer was, |No.| Epiphanius persisted: |In what sense then do you call Christ teleios?| The point was debated without results. Epiphanius urged that not only was nothing gained by excluding mind, as we understand it, from the nature of Christ; but also that by such exclusion much was lost which made His nature, character, and actions intelligible. Vitalius and his followers avoided Epiphanius's arguments by reverting to their favourite texts, e.g. |We have the mind of Christ| (I. Cor. ii.16), etc.

The Dimoeritae probably existed, as a sect, for a few years only, either under that name or as Vitalians, Synusiasts, Polemians, Valentinians, after some favourite leader or opinion. Then they died out, or merged themselves into other bodies holding similar views, or were brought back to the church. The books, psalteries, and hymns composed and issued by Apollinarius and his principal followers were met, and their effects counteracted, by books and hymns such as have given to Gregory of Nazianzum a name among ecclesiastical song writers. Epiphanius, Panaria, iii.11; Haer. lxxvii. (ed. Dindorf, iii.1, p.454); Oehler, Corpus Haereseolog. ii.330, etc.; and the usual Church histories, e.g. Neander, Niedner, Hase, Robertson, s.v. |Apollinarianism,| should be consulted.


Dinooth, Dinothus, abbat of Bangor Iscoed
Dinooth, Dinothus, abbat of Bangor Iscoed, a Welsh saint, placed by Rees between a.d.500 and 542. Originally a North British chieftain, reverses drove him into Wales, where he found a protector in Cyngen, prince of Powys. Like many other British chieftains who lost their lands in the Saxon conquest (Rees, Welsh Saints, 207), Dinooth embraced a life of religion, and, under Cyngen, founded, in conjunction with his sons, Deiniol, Cynwyl, and Gwarthan, the monastery of Bangor on the Dee, of which he was the first abbat. Bede mentions his name in his narrative of the second conference at Augustine's Oak (H. E. ii.2), but merely says, cautiously, |Tempore illo Dinoot abbas praefuisse narratur.| Bede, who wrote a century and a quarter after Augustine's time, shews no special acquaintance with the internal affairs of the Britons, and we cannot help suspecting that the present uncertainty as to the chronology of Welsh hagiology existed when Bede wrote. A later statement makes the founder of Bangor alive in a.d.602 or 603, and brings him to the conference, though he must have been in extremest old age, and would have had a mountain journey from the Dee to the lower Severn (see D. C. A. |Augustine's Oak|; also Haddan and Stubbs, iii.40, 41, on Augustine's journey); it even reports the speech he is said to have made in the name of the British church in answer to Augustine. For this document see Haddan and Stubbs (Councils, i.122), where the answer is quoted in the original Welsh with Spelman's Latin translation. Two copies of the original MS. exist in the Cottonian collection. It is accepted as genuine by Leland (Tanner, Biblioth.1748, art. |Dinotus,| p.228), Stillingfleet (Orig. Brit. i.536), Lappenberg (Hist. of Eng. i.135). On the other hand, the document does not mention the name of Augustine, nor allude to one subject of the conference which is markedly noted by Bede, the evangelization of the Anglo-Saxons. In fact it contains no name whatever, but is a firm and temperate repudiation of papal authority, and an assertion of the supremacy of |the bp. of Caerleon upon Usk| over the British church. For any internal evidence to the contrary, the |Answer| might have been penned in reply to some demand made upon the British church by the see of Canterbury centuries after Dinooth. It bears upon that subject, and that alone.

We know less about Dinooth than about his famous monastery upon the right bank of the Dee, 10 or 12 miles from Chester. The name of Bangor ys y coed (Bangor under the wood) distinguishes it from other Bangors, especially that of Carnarvonshire, where Deiniol, the son of Dinooth, founded another monastery, which was soon afterwards made the seat of a bishopric. So numerous were the monks of Bangor Iscoed that, as Bede puts it, on their being divided into seven parts with a ruler over each, none of those parts consisted of less than 300 men, who all lived by the labour of their hands. It thus rivalled the Irish Bangor [[146]Comgall], and, from the learned men mentioned by Bede as residing there, must have been as much a college as a monastery. Augustine's prediction was levelled, not against this institution in particular, but the British church and people at large; |if they would not preach the way of life to the English nation, they should at their hands undergo the vengeance of death.| The conjunction desired by Augustine (|una cum nobis,| Bede) involved their ecclesiastical submission. |Dinooth's Answer,| in recognizing this, may have appeared to some one in after-times a sufficient ground to assign the document to this occasion. The judgment came about 10 years afterwards, a.d.613 (Ann. Cambr. and Ann. Tighern., preferable to earlier dates, as 603 of Flor. Wig. and 606 or 607 of A. S. C.; cf. Haddan and Stubbs, i.123), when Ethelfrid, the pagan king of Northumbria, invaded the Britons at Chester. Being about to give battle, he observed their |priests,| who were there to pray for the soldiers, drawn up apart in a place of greater safety, and under the military protection of prince Brocmail. They had come chiefly from Bangor, after a three days' fast. The invader, regarding them as a contingent of his enemy, attacked them first and slew about 1,200, only 50 escaping. Bede either here uses the term |sacerdotes| and |monachi| as synonymous, or the priests were in charge of the monks, leading their devotions. It was a disastrous blow to Bangor, and was naturally handed down as a fulfilment of Augustine's words; but we do not hear that the monastery itself was attacked. Some 60 years later the annalists record |Combustio Bennchoriae Brittonum| (Hadd. and St. i.125), probably referring to this Bangor of the Dee. Malmesbury (G. R. ed. Hardy, i.66) describes the extensive ruins of the place in his day -- |tot semiruti parietes ecclesiarum, tot anfractus porticuum, tanta turba ruderum, quantum vix alibi cernas|; the credibility of which description has been almost destroyed by sometimes translating the first clause, |the ruined walls of so many churches.| The remains had nearly disappeared in the time of Camden. (Camd. ed. Gough, ii.422, 429; Smith, ad. Bed. E. H. ii.2; Tanner, Notit. ed. Nasmith, Flint. ii.) The site is on the road between Wrexham and Whitchurch, about 5 miles from each. Its modern state and surviving vestiges are described in Lewis (Topog. Dict. of Wales, art. |Bangor|). Leland's description is in his Itinerary (vol. v. p.30, 2nd ed. Hearne).


Diocletian, emperor
Diocletian (Docles, Diocles, Caius Valerius Diocletianus Jovius), a.d.284-305. The acts that make the reign of this emperor memorable in the history of the church belong to its closing years. Had he died before a.d.303 he would have taken his place among the rulers whose general tolerance helped Christianity to obtain its victory. As it is, his name is identified with the most terrible of its persecutions. For three centuries men reckoned from the commencement of his reign as from the era of martyrs; and the date is still recognized in the Coptic Church as the basis of its chronology.

The earlier years of Diocletian concern us only in connexion with the struggle which came to a head when his work seemed nearly over. Elected by the soldiers in Bithynia at the age of 39, after the murder of Numerian, he was formally installed at Nicomedia. In a.d.286 he chose Maximian as his colleague, gave him the title first of Caesar and then of Augustus, and sent him to command in the West, while he remained in the East, chiefly at Nicomedia, which he tried to make, by lavish outlay on its buildings, a new capital for the empire. It indicates his intention to uphold the religion of the state that he assumed the surname of Jovius, and gave to his colleague that of Herculius. Among the buildings with which he embellished the various provinces were temples of Zeus, Apollo, Nemesis, Hecate, at Antioch, of Isis and Serapis at Rome, of Isis at Phylae, of Mithras at Vindobona. He consulted haruspices and augurs as to the success of his enterprises, and in more difficult emergencies the oracle of the Milesian Apollo at Branchidae (Lactant. de Mort. Pers. cc.10, 11).

The appointment of Constantius Chlorus and Galerius in a.d.293 as Caesars under the two Augusti introduced new elements. Each was called on to prove his loyalty to the system into which he was adopted by a new marriage. Constantius divorced Helena and married Theodora, the step-daughter of Maximian. Galerius, also repudiating his former wife, received the hand of Valeria, the daughter of Diocletian and Prisca. To Constantius was entrusted the government of Gaul and Britain, to Galerius the provinces between the Adriatic and the Euxine. Diocletian kept the provinces of Asia under his own control. Maximian had those of Africa and Italy. The edict of Gallienus, a.d.259, had placed Christianity in the number of religiones licitae, and there had been no formal persecution since. Diocletian and Maximian began by adopting the same policy; and the martyrdoms which are referred to the earlier years of their reign, like those of St. Maurice and the Theban Legion at Martigny (Octodurum), of St. Victor at Marseilles, of SS. Cosmas and Damian and others in Cilicia, if more than legendary, must be referred to special causes, and not to a general policy of persecution. The somewhat cloudy rhetoric of Eusebius in describing the condition of the church of this time indicates that the last struggle with the old religion could not long be averted. The most trusted and influential eunuchs of the household, Dorotheus and Gorgonius, were avowedly Christians and excused from attending at heathen sacrifices (Eus. viii.1). Prisca the wife, and Valeria the daughter, of Diocletian were kept back from an open profession of faith; but their absence from all sacrifices made men look on them with suspicion (Lactant. de Mort. Persec. c.15). The church of Nicomedia was the most conspicuous edifice in the city. The adherents of the old system had good reason for alarm. They saw in every part of the empire an organized society that threatened it with destruction. Symptoms of the coming conflict began before long to shew themselves. Malchus, the disciple of Plotinus (better known as Porphyry), wrote against the religion of the Christians while maintaining a tone of reverence towards Christ Himself, and so became in their eyes their most formidable opponent. Hierocles, first as Vicarius of Bithynia and afterwards, probably, as prefect of Egypt, fought against them with pen and sword, and published Words of a Truth-lover to the Christians, in which Christ was compared with Apollonius of Tyana. Within the imperial circle itself some were impatient of the tolerance of Diocletian. The mother of Galerius, who gave sacrificial banquets almost daily, was annoyed because Christian officers and soldiers refused to come to them. The cases of Maximilian of Theveste, in proconsular Africa, who (a.d.295) had refused to serve as a soldier and take the military oath, as incompatible with his allegiance to Christ, and of Marcellus (a.d.298), who at Tingis in Mauritania solemnly renounced his allegiance to the emperor rather than take part in idolatrous festivals, had probably alarmed Galerius himself (Ruinart, Acta Sincera, pp.309, 312).

Occasions for decisive measures were soon found. Diocletian, who seems to have had a devout belief in divination, had offered sacrifice, and the haruspices were inspecting the entrails of the victim to see what omens were to be found there. The Christian officers and servants of the emperor were present as part of their duty, and satisfied their conscience by making the sign of the cross upon their foreheads. The diviners were, or pretended to be, struck with amazement at the absence, despite repeated sacrifices, of the expected signs. At last they declared their work hindered by the presence of profane persons. The emperor's rage was roused. His personal attendants and the officials in his palace were ordered to sacrifice under penalty of being scourged. Letters were sent to military officers bidding them to compel their soldiers to a like conformity under pain of dismissal. The mother of Galerius urged the emperor on, and found but a feeble resistance. He deprecated the slaughter and wished to confine the edict to servants of his household and soldiers. He would take counsel with his friends and consult the gods. One of the haruspices was accordingly sent to the oracle of the Milesian Apollo at Branchidae. The answer came, not from the priestess only, but, as it were, from the god himself speaking from the recesses of his cave, telling him that the presence of the self-styled |just ones| on the earth made it impossible for the oracles to speak the truth. This turned the scale and the emperor gave way. All he asked for was that bloodshed might, if possible, be avoided. Galerius had wished to condemn to the flames all who refused to sacrifice. After many divinations, the Feast of the Terminalia (Feb.23) of a.d.303 was chosen as the fit day for issuing the edict against the new society. At break of day the prefect, attended by officers and secretaries, went to the church of Nicomedia while Diocletian and Galerius watched the proceedings from the palace. The doors were broken open. Search was made for the image of the Christian's God, which they expected to find there. The books were burned, the church sacked. Fear of the fire spreading made Diocletian shrink from burning the church, but a body of pioneers with axes and crowbars razed it in a few hours. Next morning an edict ordained that (1) all churches were to be demolished; (2) all sacred books burnt; (3) all Christian officials stripped of their dignities, and deprived of civil rights, and therefore rendered liable to torture and other outrages; while Christian men who were not officials were to be reduced to slavery. A Christian who tore it down, with the sarcastic exclamation, |More triumphs of Goths and Sarmatians!| was seized, tortured, and burnt alive at a slow fire. Shortly after, a fire broke out in the palace and suspicion fell upon the Christians, notably upon the palace eunuchs. The use made of the occurrence to work upon Diocletian's fears justified the impression of Christian writers that it was a device contrived by Galerius and executed by his slaves. All who were suspected were examined by torture; within a fortnight there was another similar alarm, and now there was no limit to the old man's fury. His wife and daughter were compelled to free themselves from suspicion by joining in sacrifice. The eunuchs of his household, before so trusted, Dorotheus, Gorgonius, Petrus, were put to death. The persecution raged throughout the province. Some were burnt, some drowned, some thrust into dungeons. Altars were set up in every court of justice, and both parties to suits compelled to sacrifice. A second edict ordered that all the clergy, without option of sacrifice, should be imprisoned. Anthimus bp. of Nicomedia was beheaded (Eus. H. E. viii.6). Hierocles as author and magistrate silenced by torture those whom he failed to convince. Letters were sent to Maximian and Constantius in the West, urging them to adopt like measures. The former was but too willing an instrument. The latter, more humane and disposed to a policy of toleration, was compelled to join in destroying the buildings of the Christians, and was glad if he could save their lives (Lactant. de Mort. Persec. cc.12-16).

Individual martyrdoms may be found with more or less fulness in the Acta Sincera of Ruinart, in the Annals of Baronius, in most Church Histories, notably in Fleury, viii. and ix. Here we merely note the extent, continuance, and ferocity which distinguished this persecution from all others. In Syria, Palestine, Egypt, Western Africa, Italy, and Spain the passions of men were let loose, and raged without restraint. In Gaul and Britain only was there any safety. Constantius was said (Eus. Vit. Const. i.16) to have shewn a marked preference for those who were true to their religion, and refused to sacrifice. Elsewhere every town in the empire witnessed acts of incredible cruelty. The wish to destroy all the sacred books of the Christians, and all the accessories of their worship, led men to seize on the deacons, readers, and others connected with the churches, and to torture them till they gave them up. In Dec.303, Diocletian went to Rome to celebrate with Maximian the 20th anniversary of his accession. At the Vicennalia the licence of the people offended him, and he left after two weeks for Ravenna. There he was attacked by a severe illness, which detained him for some months. Slowly he made his way to Nicomedia, where he became worse. Prayers were offered for his recovery in all the temples. It was rumoured that his death was concealed till the arrival of Galerius. When he appeared to contradict the rumour, he was so altered that he could hardly be recognized. His mind, it was said, was seriously affected. Galerius came, but it was to press on the emperor the duty and expediency of resigning. Maximian had been already persuaded to do so. After a feeble resistance Diocletian yielded. The two Caesars were to become Augusti. He would fain have named Maxentius the son of Maximian and Constantine the son of Constantius to take their place; but Galerius coerced or persuaded him to appoint Maximin and Severus, in whom he hoped to find more submissive instruments. When the formal acts had been completed, the emperor laid aside his official names Diocletianus and Jovius, and returned to the simple Diocles of his youth. For the history of the following year see Galerius and Constantine. The retired emperor settled at Salona, on the coast of Dalmatia, and occupied himself with building and gardening, and refused to abandon his cabbages for the cares of the state. In 310 Maximian, after vainly struggling against the growing power of Constantine, who had succeeded Constantius, was compelled to end his life by his own hands. In 311 Galerius died in the agonies of a loathsome and horrible disease, and before his death confessed, by an edict of toleration, that the attempt which he had made to crush Christianity had failed. Diocletian survived to witness the alliance between Constantine and Licinius, to receive and decline an invitation to a conference with them at Milan, to hear that Constantine had charged him with conspiring first with Maxentius and then with Maximian, and had ordered his statue and that of Maximian to be thrown down in every part of the empire. In a.d.313 the end came, some said through poison (Aurel. Vict. Epist.39), to avoid a worse fate at the hands of Constantine and Licinius. It was characteristic of his fate as representing the close of pagan imperialism, that he was the last emperor who celebrated a triumph at Rome, and the last to receive the honour of apotheosis from the Roman senate (Preuss, p.169).


Diodorus, presbyter of Antioch
Diodorus (3), presbyter of Antioch, and c. a.d.379 bp. of Tarsus, of a noble family of Antioch, where he passed nearly the whole of his life until he became a bishop (Theod. H. E. iv.24). He studied philosophy or secular learning at Athens, where he probably was an associate of Basil and Julian, the future emperor (Facund. lib. iv. c.2, p.59). On his return to his native city, Diodorus and his friend Flavian, also of noble birth (subsequently bp. of Antioch), embraced a religious life. Here, while still laymen, during the reign of Constantius, they exerted themselves energetically for the defence of the orthodox faith against the Arians, who were covertly supported by bp. Leontius, c.350. They gathered the orthodox laity even by night around the tombs of the martyrs, to join in the antiphonal chanting of the Psalms, which, Theodoret tells us, was first instituted or revived by them, as a means of kindling religious zeal, after the model ascribed by tradition to the martyred bishop of their church, the holy Ignatius (Socr. H. E. vi.8; Theod. H. E. ii.24). These services strengthened the faithful to meet the persecutions. The weight of Diodorus and Flavian at Antioch was proved when in 350 their threat of withdrawal from communion induced Leontius to suspend Aetius from the diaconate (Theod. u.s.). On the accession of Julian, his attempt to rekindle an expiring paganism provided a new field for the energies of Diodorus. With pen and tongue he denounced the folly of a return to an exploded superstition, and so called forth the scurrilous jests of Julian.

The persecution of the Catholic cause by the Arian Valens recalled Diodorus, now a presbyter, to his former championship of the Nicene faith. During the frequent banishments of Meletius, the spiritual instruction of his diocese was chiefly entrusted to him and Flavian, and Diodorus saved the barque of the church from being |submerged by the waves of misbelief| (Theod. H. E. v.4). Valens having forbidden the Catholics to meet within the walls of cities, Diodorus gathered his congregation in the church in the old town S. of the Orontes. Immense numbers were there |fed by him with sound doctrine| (Chrys. Laus Diodori, § 4, t. iii. p.749). When forcibly driven out of this church, he gathered his congregation in the soldiers' exercising ground, or |gymnasium,| and exhorted them from house to house. The texts and arguments of his discourses were chiefly furnished by Flavian, and clothed by Diodorus in a rhetorical dress. His oratory is compared by Chrysostom to |a lyre| for melody, and to |a trumpet| for the power with which, like Joshua at Jericho, he broke down the strongholds of his heretical opponents. He also held private assemblies at his own house to expound the faith and refute heresy (Theod. H. E. iv.25; Chrys. l.c.; Facund. iv.22). Such dauntless championship of the faith failed not to provoke persecution. His life was more than once in danger, and he was forced to seek safety in flight (Chrys. l.c.). Once at least when driven from Antioch he joined his spiritual father Meletius in exile at Getasa in Armenia, where, in 372, he met Basil the Great (Basil, Ep.187). The intimate terms of Diodorus and Basil are seen from the tone of Basil's correspondence.

Even more than for his undaunted defence of the catholic faith Diodorus deserves the gratitude of the church as head of the theological school at Antioch. He pursued a healthy common-sense principle of exposition of Holy Scripture, which, discarding alike allegorism and coarse literalism, sought by the help of criticism, philology, history, and other external resources, to develop the true meaning of the text, as intended by the authors (Socr. H. E. vi.3; Soz. H. E. viii.2; Hieron. de Vir. Illust. No.119).

Meletius, on being restored to Antioch in 378, appointed Diodorus bp. of Tarsus and metropolitan of the then undivided province of Cilicia (Facundus, viii.5). His career as bishop, according to Jerome (l.c.), was less distinguished than as presbyter. He took part in the great council of Antioch a.d.379, which failed to put an end to the Antiochene schism, as well as in the 2nd oecumenical council at Constantinople a.d.381. By the decree of the emperor Theodosius, July 30, 381, Diodorus was named as one of the orthodox Eastern prelates, communion with whom was the test of orthodoxy (Cod. Theod. lib. xvi. tit. i.3; t. vi. p.9). Meletius having died during the session of the council, Diodorus, violating the compact made to heal the schism, united with Acacius of Beroea in consecrating Flavian as bp. of Antioch, for which both the consecrating prelates were excommunicated by the bishops of the West (Soz. H. E. vii.11). As Phalerius was bp. of Tarsus at a council at Constantinople in 394, the date of Diodorus's death is approximately fixed. Facundus and others tell us that he died full of days and glory, revered by the whole church and honoured by its chief doctors, by Basil, Meletius, Theodoret, Domnus of Antioch, and even by the chief impugner of the soundness of his faith, Cyril of Alexandria.

This high credit was disturbed by the Nestorian controversies of the next cent. His rationalizing spirit had led him to use language about the Incarnation containing the principles of that heresy afterwards more fully developed by his disciple Theodorus. Thus, not without justice, he has been deemed the virtual parent of Nestorianism and called |a Nestorian before Nestorius.| It was his repugnance to the errors of
Apollinarianism which led him to the opposite errors of Nestorianism. His sense of the importance of the truth of Christ's manhood caused him to insist on Its distinctness from His Godhead in a manner which gradually led to Its being represented as a separate personality. He drew a distinction between Him Who according to His essence was Son of God -- the eternal Logos -- and Him Who through divine decree and adoption became Son of God. The one was Son of God by nature, the other by grace. The son of man became Son of God because chosen to be the receptacle or temple of God the Word. It followed that Mary could not be properly termed the |mother of God,| nor God the Word be strictly called the Son of David, that designation belonging, according to human descent, to the temple in which the Divine Son tabernacled. Diodorus therefore distinguished two Sons, the Son of God and the son of Mary, combined in the person of Christ. When, then, the great Nestorian controversy set in, Cyril clearly saw that, apart from the watchword theotokos, which had not arisen in the days of Diodorus, what men called Nestorianism was substantially the doctrine of Diodorus as developed by Theodorus of Mopsuestia, and that Nestorianism could only be fully crushed by a condemnation of the doctrines of Diodorus as the fountain head. This condemnation was most difficult to obtain. No name was held in so much reverence throughout the East. Cyril, however, was of far too determined a spirit to hesitate. If orthodox views of the Incarnation were to be established, the authority of Diodorus must, at any cost of enmity and unpopularity, be destroyed. Every means was therefore taken to enforce, by the aid of the emperor and the patriarch Proclus, his condemnation, together with that of his still more heretical pupil Theodorus. Cyril himself, in a letter to the emperor, described them in the harshest terms as the fathers of the blasphemies of Nestorius (Theodoret, t. v. p.854), and in a letter to John of Antioch denounced them as |going full sail, as it were, against the glory of Christ.| It is not surprising that Diodorus began to be looked upon with suspicion by those who had been accustomed to regard him as a bulwark of the faith, insomuch that Theodoret, when himself accused of Nestorian leanings, did not venture to quote the words of Diodorus in his defence, though he regarded him with reverence (sebo), as |a holy and blessed father| (Theod. Ep.16). In the hope of rehabilitating his credit, Theodoret wrote a treatise to prove the orthodoxy of Diodorus, which led Cyril to peruse them and to pronounce them categorically heretical (ib. Epp.38, 52). All attempts, however, to depreciate the authority of Diodorus, both by Cyril and Rabbulas of Edessa, only exalted him in the estimation of the Nestorian party, and the opposition contributed to the formation of the independent and still existing Nestorian church, which looks upon Diodorus and Theodorus with deepest veneration as its founders. The presbyter Maris of Hardaschir, in Persia, translated the works of Diodorus into Persian, and they, together with those of Theodorus, were also translated into Armenian, Syriac, and other Oriental tongues (Neander, Ch. Hist. vol. iv. pp.209, 284; Clark's trans. Liberat. Breviar. c.10). Diodorus was naturally anathematized by Eutyches and his followers. Flavian III., also bp. of Antioch, was compelled by the Monophysites to pass an anathema on the writings of Diodorus and Theodorus in a.d.499. The controversy respecting the orthodoxy of Diodorus was revived in the 6th cent. by the interminable disputes about |the Three Articles.| There is a full defence of his orthodoxy by Facundus in his Defensio Trium Capitulorum| (lib. iv. c.2). Photius asserts that Diodorus was formally condemned by the fifth oecumenical council held at Constantinople a.d.553, but it does not appear in the acts of that council. Diodorus was a very copious author, the titles of between 20 and 30 distinct works being enumerated in various catalogues. The whole have perished, except some fragments, no less than 60 having been burnt, according to Ebed-Jesu, by the Arians. His writings were partly exegetical, mainly controversial. He wrote comments on all the books of O. and N. T., except the Ep. to the Hebrews, the Catholic Epistles (I. John however being commented on), and the Apocalypse. In these, according to Jerome (de Vir. Illust. No.119), he imitated the line of thought of Eusebius of Emesa, but fell below him in eloquence and refinement.


Diognetus, Epistle to
Diognetus, Epistle to. The Greek writing known under this name was first printed in 1592 by Henricus Stephanus, along with a companion piece To Greeks, as hitherto unknown writings of Justin Martyr, taken by him from a single faded exemplar.

In his edition, as in the transcript in his own handwriting extant at Leyden, the writing To Greeks was not prefixed, but appended to the writing To Diognetus; but in the MS. from which he took the pieces (identified by Gebhardt with that collated by Cunitz at Strasburg, where it perished in 1870) three works, each ascribed by name to Justin, were followed by the two pieces Of the Same to Greeks and Of the Same to Diognetus. The correctness of the ascription of each of these two pieces to Justin was separately called in question by subsequent critics; but the connexion between the two pieces, the contrast in style presented by both alike to the spurious or dubious works of Justin to which in the MS. they were appended, and the fact that it was not directly to Justin Martyr, but to the author of the address To Greeks that the address To Diognetus was in the MS. ascribed, were forgotten.

In the MS., again, the text given under the heading To Diognetus was broken into three fragments by two clear breaks with marginal notes from the old 13th-cent. scribe, saying, |Thus I found a break in the copy before me also, it being very ancient.| Of these two breaks the former, occurring near the end of c. vii., is ignored by Stephanus in his division of the writing into chapters. Whether more or less be missing, the writing comprised in cc. vii.-x. is plainly the continuation of the writing commenced in cc. i.-vii. In the concluding fragment (cc. xi. xii.), appended after the second break, the writer calls himself |disciple of apostles,| and on this ground the writer To Diognetus has been included among the apostolic Fathers. But the contrast between cc. i.-x. and cc. xi. xii. is so great that critics have concluded the final appended fragment to be no part of the writing to Diognetus, but the peroration of another treatise by another writer.

No other ancient copy of the Greek of any of the writings published in 1592 has been found; but the writer To Greeks, with whom the writer To Diognetus was in the MS. immediately identified, has been plainly distinguished from Justin by the discovery and publication by Cureton in his Spicilegium Syriacum from a 6th or 7th cent. MS. of a Syriac version of an almost identical discourse ascribed to one |Ambrosius, a chief man of Greece, who became a Christian, and all his fellow-councillors raised a clamour against him.| We may thus say that the true traditional writer To Greeks and To Diognetus is a certain otherwise unknown Ambrosius, convert like Justin from Hellenism to Christianity -- the reply To Greeks, the assailants of the writer, being naturally followed by the response To Diognetus, the inquirer.

This conclusion is confirmed by internal evidence. The style of the two writings is identical. In each there is the same Attic diction joined with the same Roman dignity. Nay, in each there is the same occurrence of two contrasted styles, the same passage from the scornful vigour of the satirist to the joyous sweetness of the evangelist.

|Come, be taught,| says the writer To Greeks (c. v.); and it seems that Diognetus came. Common as the name was, the only Diognetus known to us after Christ was a painting master who c.133 had charge of the young Marcus Aurelius. Whether this was the Diognetus who came to the Christian teacher we do not know. The writing addressed to him is not in form an epistle, it seems rather to be a discourse delivered in a Christian Assembly into which the eminent inquirer had found his way. His coming implied a triple question: (i) |On what God relying, Christians despise death and neither reckon those gods who are so accounted by the Greeks, nor observe any superstition of Jews|; (ii) |What the kindly affection is that they have one for another|; and (iii) |What, in short, this new race or practice might be that has invaded society now and no earlier.| To (i) the writer replies in cc. i.- vii., first bidding the Greek look at his manufactured gods (c. ii.), and convicting the Jews of vain oblations (c. iii.) and ungrateful service (c. iv.) to the Giver of all to all, then (c. v.) portraying the wondrous life of Christians, at home yet strangers everywhere, like the soul in the body of the world (c. vi.), and so (c. vii.) passing from the earthly things to the heavenly to tell how it was God Who implanted the Word by the mission of the Maker of all, sent as an imperial Son, in love, to be sent again as Judge. So the inquirer is answered that the reasons for non-compliance with Hellenism and Judaism are obvious, but the Christians' God is the one God of the Jews, and their religion consists of purity and charity, and was founded by the mission of the Son, Whom God will send again. At this point something has dropped out. The argument may be surmised to have continued after this fashion: |An end of all things is the doctrine of your Greek sages; but the Jews looked for a perpetual earthly kingdom, and when Christ proclaimed a kingdom not of this world, they slew Him, and yet He is not dead, and Christian worship is not to deny Him.| For as resumed (c. vii.) after a break in the middle of a sentence, the discourse points to martyrdoms as |signs,| not of the return but |of the presence| of the Lord, as though saying, |You see, He is still with us.| Then proceeding (c. viii.) to contrast the follies of philosophy with the assurance wrought by the Father's revelation of Himself to faith, he explains (c. ix.) how God waited to shew forth what He had prepared till unrighteousness had been made manifest, and then, when the time came, Himself took our sins and gave His own Son for us and would have us trust Him. So (c. x.) he passes from expounding |on what God Christians rely| to expound |what the love is that they bear one to another,| the outcome of their love to Him Who first loved them.

The first two questions of the inquirer are thus answered, and in answering them completely the third question, |What the new institution might be,| would be answered along with them; but that answer seems not to be completed before the second break. It could not be complete till it had been carried further than merely saying that |it was God Who implanted the Word,| and that He did so |when the time came.| |The Word that appeared new| must have been |found old|; and this is the answer that we find in the final fragment (cc. xi. xii.) after the second break. The style has become different. We find ourselves listening to the peroration of a homily, before the withdrawal of the catechumens and the celebration of the mysteries. It does not follow that the final fragment does not belong to the preceding discourse. If Diognetus had shewn his desire for instruction by coming into a Christian assembly, the whole discourse may have been delivered before such an audience as is addressed in the peroration at the close. We are brought into a new region. The satirist of superstition and evangelist of atoning, justifying mercy is succeeded by a mystical believer in a Christ born anew in hearts of saints. The new thing is portrayed as |that which was from the beginning,| yet ever new. |This is He that is ever reckoned a Son today.| But what it is can be known only by taking up the cross and so coming to be with Christ in Paradise, |Whose tree if thou bearest fruit and if thou choosest thou shalt eat those things that with God are desired.|

The loss of intervening matter makes the transition to the new region abrupt and the contrast patent. |The Lord's Passover cometh forth, and, teaching saints, the Word is gladdened.| But the course is still straightforward and the guide is not diverse. The style is different only so far as is necessitated by the difference of subject. It exhibits the same anarthrous use of nouns, the same accumulation of clause on clause, not pursued too far; the same unexpected turns at the close of the sentences; the same union of dignity with sweetness, the same blending of Pauline with Johannine teaching; the same persistent subordination of doctrine to life. On these grounds we may venture to differ from the wide consent of critics in imagining a second nameless author.

It is worth noting that an Ambrose, of the consecration of Antioch, is said in a Syriac tradition to have been the third primate of Edessa and the East (Burkitt, Early Eastern Christianity, p.29). The writer To Greeks and To Diognetus may have been this bringer of Greek Pauline Christianity to the regions beyond Euphrates conquered by Trajan and abandoned by Hadrian, and have been ancestor of the friend of Origen and of the great Milanese archbp. and of the legendary father of King Arthur.

Probably an old copy exhibited three works of Ambrosius -- an avowal of Christianity, and answers To Greeks and To Diognetus, each a brave act as well as a solid work, the first now lost, the second a fine sample of a class of controversial works of which samples are numerous, the third, To Diognetus, preserved in fragments only, but unique, not apologetic merely, but catechetical, a portraiture of early Christianity not in its manifestation only, but in its springs, bringing us to the gates of the Paradise of God.

In free allied states like Antioch and Athens avowal of Christianity may have been tolerated when not suffered in Roman or subject regions. In the 2nd cent. the world was not yet all Roman.

The date of the writings may be determined with great probability, not with absolute certainty, except that, if genuine, they cannot be post-Nicene. The picture of the church presented to Diognetus pretty plainly belongs to a date earlier than the accession of Commodus. The chief school of Christian thought would seem still to be at Athens, though on the eve of its transference to Alexandria by Athenagoras. It is among the writings of Tatian, Melito, and Theophilus and the fragments of Apollinaris, Abercius, etc., that these pieces seem most at home. The writer seems to appear in his freshness beside Justin in his ripeness, and to be the meeting-point of the teachings of Justin and Marcion, as he is at the point of departure of Irenaeus, Tertullian, Hippolytus, and Origen on the one hand, and Praxeas, Noetus, and Sabellius on the other.

Lost in the crowd of predecessors whom Irenaeus and Clement hardly ever name and merged in Justin's shadow, convinced that God alone can reveal Himself, and content to be hidden in his Saviour's righteousness, the old writer has gradually emerged by virtue of an inborn lustre, at once the obscurest and most brilliant of his contemporaries, and has cast a glory on the early church while remaining himself unknown.

Authorities. -- Gallandi, ap. Migne, Patr. Gk. ii.1159 ff.; Bickersteth, Christian Fathers, (1838); Dorner, Person of Christ, i.260 ff.; Hefele, Patres Apostolici (Tübingen, 1842); Neander, Church History, ii.420, 425 (Bohn); Westcott, Canon (ed.1875), pp.85 ff.; Bunsen, Hippolytus, i.187 ff., Analecta Antenicaena, i.103 ff.; Donaldson, Hist. Christ. Lit. ii.126 ff.; Davidson, Intro. to N. T. ii.399; Harnack, Patres Apostolici, i.205 ff . (Leipz.1875, 2nd ed.1878); Cureton, Spicilegium Syriacum (Lond.1854); Ceillier, Auteurs sacrés, i.412 (ed.1865); Bigg, Origins of Christianity; Lightfoot and Harmer, Apost. Fathers, p.487. An Eng. trans. of the Ep. to Diognetus is included in the Ante-Nicene Lib. and another by L. B. Radford is pub. cheaply by S.P.C.K.


Dionysia, virgin martyr at Lampsacus
Dionysia (1), virgin martyr at Lampsacus, a.d.250. Seeing Nicomachus suddenly seized with madness and dying in horror, after having denied the faith under torture, and sacrificed to the heathen gods, Dionysia cried out, |Miserable and most wretched man! Why, for one hour's respite, didst thou take to thyself unceasing and indescribable punishment!| The proconsul Optimus hearing her, asked if she were a Christian. |Yes,| she answered, |and that is why I weep for this unhappy man, who loses eternal rest by not being able to suffer a moment's pain.| The proconsul dismissed her with a brutal order. Next day, having succeeded in maintaining her chastity, she escaped, and joined Andrew and Paul, two Christians who were being stoned to death. |I wish to die with you here,| she said, |that I may live with you in heaven!| Optimus ordered her to be taken from Andrew and Paul, and beheaded, May 15, 250, the 2nd year of Decius. Ruinart, Act. Sinc. Mart. p.159; Ceillier, ii.118.


Dionysia, martyr at Alexandria
Dionysia (2), at Alexandria, a.d.251, mother of many children, who, loving her Lord more than her children, died by the sword, along with the venerable lady Mercuria, without being tried by torture, as the prefect had succeeded so ill with Ammonarion that he was ashamed to go on torturing and being defeated by women (Dion. Alex. ad Fab. ap. Eus. H. E. vi.41).


Dionysia, martyr in Africa
Dionysia (3), St., a Christian martyr in the 5th cent. According to the narrative of Victor Vitensis, her contemporary, she was a lady of rare beauty in Africa, who preferred tortures, shameful indignities, and death to renouncing her faith; a victim of the persecution of the orthodox or Catholic Christians by Hunneric, king of the Vandals. The date assigned for her martyrdom is 484.

See Victor Vitensis, de Persecutione Africanâ, V. c.1; ap. Migne, Patr. Lat. lvii.; Tillem., Mémoires, t. xvi. (Paris, 1701, 4to); Baronius, Annales Ecclesiastici, t. viii. p.463 (Lucae, 1741, fol.).


Dionysius, Pseudo-Areopagita
Dionysius (1), Pseudo-Areopagita. Under the name of Dionysius the Areopagite there has passed current a body of remarkable writings. Before shewing that the author of these writings was not the Dionysius converted by St. Paul (Acts xvii.34), we must discriminate both of them from a third Dionysius, the St. Denys of France. The identity of all three was popularly believed for many centuries, and even yet is maintained by some.

Was, then, the convert of St. Paul at Athens the first apostle of France? The answer would not seem doubtful from the statement of Sulpicius Severus, that the earliest martyrs in Gaul were under the reign of Aurelius (Sacr. Hist. ii.46), i.e. after a.d.160; and from the circumstance that neither the old martyrologies nor the old French chroniclers contain any hint of the identity of the two. Gregory of Tours (Hist. Franc. i.30) fixes the coming of St. Denys into France as late as the reign of Decius, i.e. after a.d.250; while Usuardus, who wrote his Martyrologium for Charlemagne, assigned Oct.3 to the memory of the Areopagite, and Oct.9 to that of the patron saint of France. The reasons for believing St. Denys of France to be the author of these writings are equally slight. Their style and subject-matter all betoken a philosophic leisure, not the active life of a missionary in a barbarous country; and a residence in the East is implied in the very titles of those to whom they are addressed. It is the opinion of Bardenhewer (Patrol. p.538) that the writings of Stiglmayr and Koch (see under Authorities, infra) have proved |that the Areopagitica were nothing more than a composition written under an assumed name, and in reality dating from about the end of the fifth century.|

We may deal with the writings under: (1) External History; (2) Nature and Contents.

(1) It is generally admitted that the first unequivocal mention of them is in the records of the conference at Constantinople in 532. The emperor Justinian invited Hypatius of Ephesus, and other bishops of the orthodox side, to meet in his palace the leaders of the Severians. During the debate, these alleged writings of the Areopagite were brought forward by the latter in support of their Monophysite views; and the objections of Hypatius have been preserved. If genuine, he asked, how could they have escaped the notice of Cyril and others? (Mansi, viii. col.821); and this question has never been satisfactorily answered. Supposed traces of them have been pointed out in Origen; and other ingenious reasons, explaining their concealment for five centuries, have been confuted again and again. Still, whatever their parentage, they are henceforward never lost sight of. Writers of the school which had at first objected to them soon found how serviceable to their own cause they might be made. Thus a chain of testimony begins to be attached to them in unbroken continuity.

In the Western church we first find them mentioned by pope Gregory the Great (c.590) ; but his manner of citing them makes it probable that he only knew them by report. In any case, they did not become generally known in the West till after a.d.827, when Michael the Stammerer sent a copy to Louis le Débonnaire, son of Charlemagne. The abbey of St. Denys, near Paris, was thought the most fitting receptacle for such a treasure; and its abbat, the superstitious and unprincipled Hilduin, compiled a collection of Areopagitica in honour of the event. This work professes to be based on documents then extant, but is described in equally unfavourable terms by Sirmond and by Cave. In the next reign, that of Charles the Bald, a Latin trans. of all the Dionysian writings was made by the great scholar Joannes Erigena. It is first publicly mentioned by pope Nicholas I., in a letter to Charles in 861, and is warmly praised by Anastasius Bibliothecarius in 865.

(2) The Dionysian writings consist of four extant treatises: On the Heavenly Hierarchy; On the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy; On the Names of God; On Mystic Theology; after which come ten letters or fragments of letters.

This list, from one point of view, is complete as an exposition of the Dionysian system, and is also in its proper order. For we may take as its epitome the words of St. Paul with which the first sentence in the volume concludes: |For of Him and to Him are all things| (Rom. xi.36). God, the centre towards which all tend, and at the same time the all-embracing circumference within which all are included; the constant streaming forth from Him, like rays from the visible sun, of divine influences whereby men are purified, illumined, and drawn upwards to Himself; man's powerlessness to know the real nature and being of God, while yet he may be drawn near to Him, in the mystic communion of a loving faith: such is, very briefly, the burden of the Dionysian strain. And if we take the de Divinis Nominibus as the central portion of the writings, and recognize the two Hierarchies as one consecutive whole, we have enough to fill up the outline sketched above. In the Celestial and Ecclesiastical Hierarchies, with their ninefold orders of heavenly and of earthly ministrations; we have the means, the machinery (so to speak), whereby God communicates Himself to man. In the Divina Nomina we have disclosed to us, so far as can be seen through veils and shadows, the Fountain-head of all light and being, the object of all thought and desire. In the Mystic Theology we have the converse of the path marked out in the Hierarchies, the ascent of the human soul to mystic union with God. The three great sections of the Dionysian writings thus answer very strikingly to the three elements of which he makes his hierarchy to consist: taxis, episteme, and energeia pros to theoeides aphoioumene (Eccl. Hier. iii. § 1).

Yet the author refers to a series of treatises, still more numerous than the preceding, as if he thought them necessary for the completion of his design. These are: On Divine Hymns; Symbolic Theology; On the Objects of Intellect and Sense; Theological Outlines; On the Soul; On the Just Judgment of God. To these are added by Sixtus Senensis and others: On the Properties and Orders of Angels; The Legal Hierarchy.

The question of these missing treatises is most perplexing. Did they ever exist? If so, what has become of them? Are they mere inventions of the author, designed to parry attacks on his own weak points, and to suggest the filling up of deficiencies which in reality he left unsupplied? This last seems very probable. But, if true, while our respect for the intellectual completeness of the author's mind is increased, our opinion of his moral straightforwardness must be diminished. However, he is certainly entitled to the credit of his conception of such a theological system, whether all the parts be duly filled in or not.

Limits of space do not here allow a minute analysis of the extant works. The Heavenly Hierarchy opens with what sounds almost like the keynote of the whole, the text pasa dosis agathe, k.t.l. of Jas. i.17. The language, in which the simple words of these Apostles are expanded and paraphrased, will convey no bad idea of the generally turgid style. To bring us to Himself, God graciously makes use of signs and symbols, and of intervening orders of ministers, by whose means we may be gradually raised to nearer communion with Him. Such an organization he calls a Hierarchy -- |a sacred order, and science, and activity, assimilated as far as possible to the godlike, and elevated to the imitation of God proportionately to the Divine illuminations conceded to it | (Cel. Hier. iii. § 1, tr. by Westcott). The members of the Heavenly Hierarchy are the nine orders of Angels -- the term Angel being sometimes used alike of all the orders, and sometimes, in a more proper and restricted sense, of the lowest of the nine. The names of the nine orders appear to be obtained by combining with the more obvious Seraphim, Cherubim, Archangels, and Angels, five deduced from two passages of St. Paul, Eph. i.21 and Col. i.16. In each of these passages four names are mentioned, of which three (archai, exousiai, kuriotetes) are common to both, while one is peculiar to each, dunameis to the former, thronoi to the latter. The nine are subdivided into triads, ranged thus in descending order:

1. Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones.

2. Dominations, Virtues, Powers.

3. Principalities, Archangels, Angels.

The long and important treatise On the Names of God (Peri theion onomaton) has been shewn by Stiglmayr and Koch to contain an extract from Proclus's treatise de Malorum Substitentia; which has reached us in a Latin trans. It is an inquiry into the being and attributes of God as indicated by the Divine Names in Holy Scripture. These Names, like all outward channels of spiritual knowledge, can reveal His real nature but very imperfectly; and even so, not without prayer, which, like the golden chain of Homer, lifts us up to Heaven while we seem to be drawing it down to earth; or like the rope thrown out to mariners from a rock, which enables them to draw their ship nearer to the rock, while they pull as if they would draw the rock to them (Div. Nom. iii. § 1). The first thing thus revealed is God's goodness, the far-reaching effulgence of His being, which streams forth upon all, like the rays of the sun (ib. iv. § 1). Evil is nothing real and positive, but a defect, a negation only: Steresis ara esti to kakon, kai elleipsis, kai asueneia, kai asummetria, k.t.l. (ib. iv. § 32). As what we call cold is but a deficiency of heat; or darkness, of light; so what we call evil is a deficiency of goodness. When the sky grows dark, as evening sets in, that darkness is nothing positive, superadded to what existed before: we are conscious of gloom merely from the disappearance of the light, which was the true existence (ib. iv. § 24). This subject is pursued in a very noble train of thought to some length, and is followed by a discussion of still other names and titles, adapted to the infirmity of human understanding, under which God's attributes are made intelligible to us. That the author is conscious of his theory of evil not being logically complete appears from his briefly referring to another supposed treatise, Peri dikaiou kai theiou dikaioteriou (ib. iv. § 35), for a settlement of the question how far evil, being such as is described, deserves punishment at the hands of God.

Of two legends, widely known in connexion with the name of Dionysius, from their insertion in the Breviary of the Latin church, one must be noticed here, as found in the present work. When Dionysius was present with Timothy, to whom he is writing, and James, ho adelphotheos, and Peter, he koruphaia kai presbutate ton theologon akrotes, and other disciples, |for the spectacle of the body which was the beginning of life and the recipient of God| (epi ten thean tou zoarchikou kai theodochou -- al. photodochou -- somatos (ib. iii. § 2)), no one but the apostles surpassed Hierotheus, his preceptor, in the inspired hymns and praises which he uttered. This is generally considered to refer to a gathering of the apostles round the deathbed of the Holy Virgin. The language is vague, and the passage comes in with singular abruptness, as a sequel to one on the power of prayer. In the paraphrase of Pachymeres, the names of the apostles are omitted. The explanation of Barradas (quoted by Hipler, ubi inf. p.48 n.) is that the gathering round the theotokos really represents the assembly of believers for the reception of the Holy Eucharist, bending (as the words of one liturgy express it) |ante splendida et theodocha signa cum timore inclinati.|

The short treatise on Mystic Theology indicates the means of approaching more nearly to God, previously set forth under the Divine Names, by reversing the procedure adopted in the Hierarchies. He who would aspire to a truer and more intimate knowledge of God must rise above signs and symbols, above earthly conceptions and definitions of God, and thus advance by negation, rather than by affirmation, kat' aphairesin, not kata thesin. Even in the Hierarchies (Cel. Hier. ii. § 3) Dionysius had spoken of apophasis as a surer way of penetrating the divine mystery than kataphasis, and now enforces the same truth by an illustration which, if not taken directly from Plotinus, presents a striking parallel to one used by him -- that of the sculptor, who, striving to fashion a beautiful statue, chips away the outer marble, and removes what was in fact an obstruction to his own ideal (Myst. Theol. c. ii.; cf. Plotinus, de Pulchritudine, ed. Creuzer, 1814, p.62).

Of the Letters, the first two are little more than detached notes on points of the Mystic Theology -- on our agnosia of God, and His transcendent nature. The third is a short fragment on the meaning of the word exaiphnes in Mal. iii.1, |The Lord . . . shall suddenly come to His temple,| and its application to the Incarnation. The fourth, addressed, like the three previous ones, to the monk Caius, treats briefly of the Incarnation, and the nature of that human body with which Christ could walk upon the waters (cf. Div. Nom. ii.9). The fifth, to Dorotheus, is on the meaning of the divine darkness (ho theios gnophos) spoken of in the Mystic Theology. The sixth, to Sosipater, teaches that labour is better spent in establishing truth than in confuting error. The seventh is a much longer letter, addressed to Polycarp, in which he bids him answer the taunts of the Sophist Apollophanes, by recalling the days when he and Dionysius were fellow-students at Hierapolis, and his own remark when they beheld the darkness of the Crucifixion: tauta, o kale Dionusie, theion amoibai pragmaton. The exclamation attributed to Dionysius himself, as it appears in the Latin Breviary, Aut Deus naturae patitur, aut mundi machina dissolvitur, or, as it is given by Syngelus in his Life, Ho agnostos en sarki paschei Theos, k.t.l., is not found in the Dionysian writings. The eighth letter, to a monk, Demophilus, is on gentleness and forbearance, and the topic is illustrated by a dream which St. Carpus had in Crete. The ninth, also a long letter, addressed to Titus, bp. of Crete, refers to matters treated in the Symbolic Theology. Many points are discussed in what to some would appear a strangely neologic spirit. The anthropomorphism of O.T., the bold metaphors of the Song of Songs (tas ton asmaton prosulous kai hetairikas polupatheias), and the like, can only be understood, he says, by true lovers of holiness, who come to the study of divine wisdom divested of every childish imagination (pasan ten paidariode phantasian epi ton hieron sumbolon aposkeuazomenois). In this letter we seem to see before us a disciple of Philo. The tenth, and last, is a mere fragment, addressed to St. John the Divine, an exile in Patmos, foretelling his approaching release from confinement.

Authorities. -- Isaac Casaubon, de Rebus sacris Eccl. Exercitt. xxi. (1615); Jean Launoy, Varia de duobus Dionysiis (1660); J. Dallaeus, de Scriptis quae . . . circumferunter (1666); P. F. Chifflet, Opuscula quatuor (1679); Ussher, Dissertatio de Scriptis . . . appended to his Historia Dogmatica (1690); M. Lequien, Dissertatio Secunda, prefixed to tom. i. of Joannis Damasceni Op. (1712); Cave, Script. Eccl. Hist. Lit. (1740); Brucker, Hist. Crit. tom. iii. (1766); J. L. Mosheim, Commentatio de Turbata per Recentiores Platonicos Ecclesia (1767); J. A. Fabricius, Biblioth. Graeca, tom. vii. (1801); J. G. Engelhardt, de Dionysio Areop. Plotinizante (1820); Milman, Lat. Christ. vol. vi. (1855); Dr. Franz Hipler, Dionysius der Areopagite (Regensburg, 1861); B. F. Westcott, Essay on Dionysius the Areopagite in the Contemp. Rev. May 1867; Dean Colet, On the Hierarchies of Dionysius (1869); J. Fowler, Essay on the works of St. Dionysius the Areopagite, in relation to Christian art, in the Sacristy, Feb.1872; H. Koch, in Theol. Quartalschrift, 1895 and 1898 Stiglmayr in Hist. Jahrbücher (1895).


Dionysius (2), St., apostle of France
Dionysius (2), St., apostle of France, and first bp. of Paris. Concerning his identity and era there are three principal opinions.

(1) That he was Dionysius the Areopagite, formerly bp. of Athens, who came to Rome and was sent by Clement, bp. of Rome, to preach in Gaul. This is the tradition of the Greek church, and of those of Gaul, Germany, Spain, and Italy. The corresponding legend shortly narrated in the Paris Martyrology, states that his companions were Rusticus, a presbyter and Eleutherus, a deacon, and that all three were put to death by the sword under Sisinnius Fescenninus, prefect of Gaul. This is the opinion of Flavius Lucius Dexter, d.444 (Chronicon. Patr. Lat. xxxi.270).

(2) That, although not the Areopagite, he was sent by Clement or the successors of the apostles. This is held in a poem in honour of Dionysius, attributed with some probability to Venantius Fortunatus of Poitiers, who had written a poem on the same subject committing himself to no opinion (Patr. Lat. lxxxviii.72, 98). It is also supported by Pagius in his notes on Baronius.

(3) That he was sent from Rome in the 3rd cent., and suffered martyrdom c. a.d.250. This is held by Sulpicius Severus, d. a.d.410, and Gregory of Tours, d.595. Sulpicius says, |Under Aurelius, son of Antoninus, raged the fifth persecution. Then first were martyrdoms seen in Gaul, for the religion of God was late in coming over the Alps| (Severi, Chronicon, ii.32, Patr. Lat. xx.147). Gregory (Hist. of the Franks, bk. i. c.28), speaking of the Decian persecution, quotes the Hist. Passionis S. M. Saturnini: |Under the consulship of Decius and Gratus, as is held in faithful recollection, the state of Toulouse began to have a bishop, St. Saturninus, her first and chief. These were the men sent: to Tours, Gatianus the bishop; to Arles, Trophimus the bishop; to Toulouse, Saturninus the bishop; to Paris, Dionysius the bishop, etc. Of these the blessed Dionysius, bishop of the Parisians, afflicted with many pains for the name of Christ, ended this present life under the sword.| Probably, therefore, he died under the emperor Aurelian in a.d.272 (cf. Gall. Christ. vii.4).


Dionysius (3), bp. of Corinth
Dionysius (3), bp. of Corinth, probably the successor of Primus, placed by Eusebius in his Chronicle under a.d.171, (see also Eus. H. E. ii.25, iii.4, iv.21, 23, 35; Hieron. Catal.27). He was the writer of certain pastoral letters, which gained so much authority in his own lifetime that heretics (probably the followers of Marcion) found it worth while, as he complains, to circulate copies falsified by interpolations and omissions. Eusebius mentions having met with 8 of these letters -- viz. seven which he calls |Catholic Epistles,| addressed to Lacedemon, Athens, Nicomedia, Gortyna and other churches in Crete, Amastris and other churches in Pontus, Cnossus and Rome; and one to |his most faithful sister Chrysophora.| Probably the letters were already collected into a volume and enumerated by Eusebius in the order they occurred there, or he would probably have mentioned the two Cretan letters consecutively. Nothing remains of them, except the short account of their contents given by Eusebius, and a few fragments of the letter to the Roman church which, though very scanty, throw considerable light on the state of the church at the time. Eusebius praises Dionysius for having given a share in his |inspired industry| to those in foreign lands. A bp. of Corinth might consider Lacedaemon and Athens as under his metropolitan superintendence, but that he should send letters of admonition to Crete, Bithynia, and Paphlagonia not only proves the reputation of the writer, but indicates the unity of the Christian community. A still more interesting proof of this is furnished by the letter to the Roman church, which would seem to be one of thanks for a gift of money, and in which he speaks of it as a custom of that church from the earliest times to send supplies to churches in every city to relieve poverty, and to support the brethren condemned to work in the mines, |a custom not only preserved, but increased by the blessed bp. Soter, who administered their bounty to the saints, and with blessed words exhorted the brethren that came up as an affectionate father his children.| The epithet here applied to Soter is usually used of those deceased in Christ; but there are instances of its application to living persons, and Eusebius speaks of him as still bishop when the letter of Dionysius was written. This letter is remarkable also as containing the earliest testimony that St. Peter suffered martyrdom in Italy at the same time as St. Paul. The letters indicate the general prevalence of episcopal government when they were written. In most of them the bishop of the church addressed is mentioned with honour; Palmas in Pontus, Philip and Pinytus in Crete, Soter at Rome. That to the Athenians reminds them of a former bp. Publius, who had suffered martyrdom during persecutions which reduced that church very low, from which condition it was revived by the zeal of Quadratus, the successor of Publius. This form of government was then supposed to date from apostolic times, for in the same letter Dionysius the Areopagite is counted as the first bp. of Athens; but the importance of the bishop seems to be still subordinate to that of his church. The letters, including that to Rome, are each addressed to the church, not to the bishop; and Soter's own letter, like Clement's former one, was written not in his own name, but that of his church (humon ten epistolen). The letters, indeed, of Dionysius himself were written in his own name, and he uses the 1st pers. sing. in speaking of them, but adds that they were written at the request of brethren. Eusebius mentions two, Bacchylides and Elpistus, at whose instance that to the churches of Pontus was written.

The letters also illustrate the value attached by Christians to their sacred literature. Dionysius informs the church of Rome that the day on which he wrote, being the Lord's day, had been kept holy, and that they had then read the letter of the Roman church, and would continue from time to time to read it for their instruction, as they were in the habit of reading the letter formerly written from the same church by the hand of Clement; and speaking of the falsification of his own letters, he adds, |No marvel, then, that some have attempted to tamper with the Scriptures of the Lord, since they have attempted it on writings not comparable to them (ou toiautais).| Thus we learn that it was then customary to read sacred books in the Christian assemblies; that this practice was not limited to our canonical books; that attempts were made by men regarded as heretics to corrupt these writings, and that such attempts were jealously guarded against. The value attached by Christians to writings was regulated rather by the character of their contents than by the dignity of the writer; for while there is no trace that the letter of Soter thus honoured at Corinth passed beyond that church, the letter of Dionysius himself became the property of the whole Christian community. But we learn the preeminent authority enjoyed by certain books, called the Scriptures of the Lord, which we cannot be wrong in identifying with some of the writings of our N.T. Dionysius, in the very brief fragments remaining, shews signs of acquaintance with the St. Matt., the Acts, I. Thess., and the Apocalypse. There is, therefore, no reason for limiting to the O.T. the |expositions of the divine Scriptures,| which Eusebius tells us were contained in the letter of Dionysius to the churches of Pontus. In speaking of attempts to corrupt the Scriptures, Dionysius probably refers to the heresy of Marcion, against which, we are told, he wrote in his letter to the church of Nicomedia, |defending the rule of truth.| We cannot lay much stress on a rhetorical passage where Jerome (Ep. ad Magnum, 83) includes Dionysius among those who had applied secular learning to the refutation of heresy, tracing each heresy to its source in the writings of the philosophers. Dionysius had probably also Marcionism in view, when he exhorted the church of Gortyna |to beware of the perversion of heretics,| for we are told that its bp. Philip had found it necessary to compose a treatise against Marcion. We may see traces of the same heresy in the subjects treated of in the letter to the churches of Pontus (the home of Marcion), to which Dionysius gave instructions concerning marriage and chastity (marriage having been proscribed by Marcion), and which he also exhorted to receive back those who returned after any fall, whether into irregularity of living or into heretical error. But the rigorist tendencies here combated were exhibited also, not only among the then rising sects of the Encratites and Montanists, but by men of undoubted orthodoxy. Writing to the Cnossians Dionysius exhorts Pinytus the bp., a man highly commended by Eusebius for piety, orthodoxy, and learning, not to impose on the brethren too heavy a burden of chastity, but to regard the weakness of the many. Eusebius reports Pinytus as replying with expressions of high respect for Dionysius, which were understood by Rufinus to imply an adoption of his views. But he apparently persevered in his own opinion, for he exhorts Dionysius to impart to his people some more advanced instruction, lest if he fed them always with milk instead of with more solid food, they should continue in the state of children.

We are not told anything of the time or manner of the death of Dionysius. It must have been before the Paschal disputes in a.d.198, when we find Palmas of Pontus still alive, but a new bishop (Bacchylus) at Corinth. The Greek church counts Dionysius among martyrs, and the Menaea name the sword as the instrument of his death; but there is no authority for his martyrdom earlier than Cedrenus, i.e. the end of the 11th cent. The Roman church only counts him among confessors. The abbey of St. Denis in France claimed to be in possession of the body of Dionysius of Corinth, alleged to have been brought from Greece to Rome, and given them in 1215 by Innocent III. The pope's bull is given by the Bollandists under April 8. See Routh, Rel. Sac. (2nd ed.), i.178-201.


Dionysius of Alexandria
Dionysius (6) of Alexandria. This |great bishop of Alexandria| (Eus. H. E. vi. Praef.) and |teacher of the catholic church| (Athan. de Sent. Dion.6), was born, apparently, of a wealthy and honourable family (Eus. H. E. vii.11, and Valesius ad loc.). He was an old man in a.d.265 (Eus. H. E. vii.27), and a presbyter in a.d.233 (Hieron. de Vir. Ill.69). His parents were Gentiles, and he was led to examine the claims of Christianity by private study (Ep. Dion. ap. Eus. H. E. vii.7). His conversion cost him the sacrifice of |worldly glory| (Eus. H. E. vii.11); but he found in Origen an able teacher (ib. vi.29); and Dionysius remained faithful to his master to the last. In the persecutions of Decius he addressed a letter to him On Persecution (ib. vi.46), doubtless as an expression of sympathy with his sufferings (c. A.D.259), and on the death of Origen (a.d.253) wrote to Theotecnus bp. of Caesarea in his praise (Steph. Gob. ap. Phot. Cod.232). Dionysius, then a presbyter, succeeded Heraclas as head of the Catechetical School, at the time, as the words of Eusebius imply, when Heraclas was made bp. of Alexandria, a.d.232-233 (Eus. l.c.). He held this office till he was raised to the bishopric, on the death of Heraclas, a.d.247-248, and perhaps retained it till his death, a.d.265. His episcopate was in troubled times. A popular outbreak at Alexandria (a.d.248-249) anticipated by about a year (Eus. H. E. vi.41) the persecution under Decius (a.d.249-251). Dionysius fled from Alexandria, and, being afterwards taken by some soldiers, was rescued by a friend, escaping in an obscure retirement from further attacks. In the persecution of Valerian, a.d.257, he was banished, but continued to direct and animate the Alexandrian church from the successive places of his exile. His conduct on these occasions exposed him to ungenerous criticism, and Eusebius has preserved several interesting passages of a letter (c. a.d.258-259), in which he defends himself with great spirit against the accusations of a bp. Germanus (ib. vi.40, vii.11). On the accession of Gallienus, a.d.260, Dionysius was allowed to return to Alexandria (ib. vii.13, 21), where he had to face war, famine, and pestilence (ib. vii.22). In a.d.264-265 he was invited to the synod at Antioch which met to consider the opinions of Paul of Samosata. His age and infirmities did not allow him to go, and he died shortly afterwards (a.d.265) (ib. vii.27, 28; Hieron. de Vir. Ill.69).

Dionysius was active in controversy, but always bore himself with prudence. In this spirit he was anxious to deal gently with the |lapsed| (Eus. H. E. vi.42); he pressed upon Novatian the duty of self-restraint, for the sake of the peace of the church, a.d.251 (ib. vii.45; Hieron. l.c.); and with better results counselled moderation in dealing with the rebaptism of heretics, in a correspondence with popes Stephen and Sixtus (a.d.256-257) (Eus. H. E. vii.5, 7, 9). His last letter (or letters) regarding Paul of Samosata seem to have been written in a similar strain. He charged the assembled bishops to do their duty, but did not shrink from appealing to Paul also, as still fairly within the reach of honest argument (Theod. Haer. Fab. ii.8). In one instance Dionysius met with immediate success. In a discussion with a party of Chiliasts he brought his opponents to abandon their error (Eus. H. E. vii.24.). His own orthodoxy, however, did not always remain unimpeached. When controverting the false teaching of Sabellius, the charge of tritheism was brought against him by some Sabellian adversaries, and entertained at first by his namesake Dionysius of Rome. Discussion shewed that one ground of the misunderstanding was the ambiguity of the words used to describe |essence| and |person,| which the two bishops took in different senses. Dionysius of Rome regarded hupostasis as expressing the essence of the divine nature; Dionysius of Alexandria as expressing the essence of each divine person. The former therefore affirmed that to divide the hupostasis was to make separate gods; the latter affirmed with equal justice that there could be no Trinity unless each hupostasis was distinct. The Alexandrine bishop had, however, used other phrases, which were claimed by Arians at a later time as favouring their views. Basil, on hearsay, as it has been supposed (Lumper, Hist. Patrum, xiii.86 f.), admitted that Dionysius sowed the seeds of the Anomoean heresy (Ep. i.9), but Athanasius with fuller knowledge vindicated his perfect orthodoxy. Dionysius has been represented as recognizing the supremacy of Rome in the defence which he made. But the fragments of his answer to his namesake (Athan. de Sent. Dionysii, epesteile Dionusio delosai . . . for the use of epistello see Eus. H. E. vi.46, etc.) shew the most complete and resolute independence; and there is nothing in the narrative of Athanasius which implies that the Alexandrine bishop recognized, or that the Roman bishop claimed, any dogmatic authority as belonging to the imperial see. To say that a synod was held upon the subject at Rome is an incorrect interpretation of the facts.

Dionysius was a prolific writer. Jerome (l.c.) has preserved a long but not exhaustive catalogue of his books. Some important fragments remain of his treatises On Nature (Eus. Praep. Ev. xiv.23 ff.), and On the Promises, in refutation of the Chiliastic views of Nepos (Eus. H. E. iii.28, vii.24, 25); of his Refutation and Defence, addressed to Dionysius of Rome, in reply to the accusation of false teaching on the Holy Trinity (Athan. de Sent. Dionysii; de Synodis, c.44; de Decr. Syn. Nic. c.25); of his Commentaries on Ecclesiastes and on St. Luke, and of his books Against Sabellius (Eus. Praep. Ev. vii.19).

The fragments of his letters are, however, the most interesting extant memorials of his work and character and of his time; and Eusebius, with a true historical instinct, has made them the basis of the sixth and seventh books of his history. The following will shew the wide ground covered:

a.d.251. -- To Domitius and Didymus. Personal experiences during persecution (Eus. H. E. vii.11).

a.d.251-252. -- To Novatian, to the Roman Confessors, to Cornelius of Rome, Fabius of Antioch, Conon of Hermopolis; and to Christians in Alexandria, Egypt, Laodicaea, Armenia, on discipline and repentance, with pictures from contemporary history (ib. vi.41, and vii.45).

a.d.253-257. -- To Stephen of Rome, the Roman presbyters Dionysius and Philemon, Sixtus II. of Rome on Rebaptism (ib. vii.4, 5, 7, 9).

a.d.258-263. -- To Germanus: incidents in persecution. Against Sabellians. A series of festal letters, with pictures of contemporary history (ib. vii.11, 22 ff., 26).

a.d.264. -- To Paul of Samosata (vi.40).

To these, of some of which only the titles remain, must be added an important canonical letter to Basilides, of uncertain date, discussing various questions of discipline, and especially points connected with the Lenten fast (cf. Dittrich, pp.46 ff.). All the fragments repay careful study. They are uniformly inspired by sympathy and large-heartedness. His criticism on the style of the Apocalypse is perhaps unique among early writings for clearness and scholarly precision (Eus. H. E. vii.25).

The most accessible and complete collection of his remains is in Migne's Patr. Gk. x. pp.1233 ff., 1575 ff., to which must be added Pitra, Spicil. Solesm. i.15 ff. A full monograph on Dionysius by Dittrich (Freiburg, 1867) supplements the arts. in Tillemont, Maréchal, Lumper, Moehler. An Eng. trans. of his works is in the Ante-Nicene Lib., and his Letters, etc., have been ed. by Dr. Feltoe for the Camb. Patristic Texts (1904).


Dionysius (7), bp. of Rome
Dionysius (7), bp. of Rome; a Greek by birth, consecrated July 22, a.d.259, on the death of Xystus, in the persecution of Valerian. His efforts against heresy are recorded. When Dionysius of Alexandria (q.v.) was accused of holding doctrines akin to those of Sabellius, the Roman Dionysius wrote to him, and extracted so satisfactory a defence that he declared him purged of suspicion (Athan. Ep. de Sent. Dionys. Opp. i.252; see an Eng. trans. of the Fragm. against Sabellius in Ante-Nicene Lib.). In 264 the Alexandrian and Roman Dionysii acted together with the council of Antioch in condemning and degrading Paul of Samosata. Dionysius of Rome died Dec.26, 269.


Dionysius (19), monk in Western church
Dionysius (19), surnamed Exiguus because of his humbleness of heart, was a Scythian by birth, and a monk in the Western church under the emperors Justin and Justinian. To him we owe the custom of dating events from the birth of our Saviour, though he is now acknowledged to have placed the era four years too late. His collection of canons laid the foundation of canon law. He knew Latin and Greek fairly; though it is obvious that neither was his vernacular. His Latin translations form the bulk of his extant works. Cassiodorus speaks of his moral and intellectual qualities with well-deserved praise. His performances were not original discoveries, but improvements on those of others.

I. The period called after him was borrowed from Victorius of Aquitaine, who flourished 100 years earlier, and is said to have invented it. It is a revolution of 532 years, produced by multiplying the solar cycle of 28 by the lunar of 19 years. It is called sometimes |recapitulatio Dionysii.| A note to § 13 of the preliminary dissertation to l'Art de vérif. les dates shews how he improved on his predecessor. His cycle was published in the last year of the emperor Justin, a.d.527. It began with March 25, now kept as the festival of the Annunciation; and from this epoch all the dates of bulls and briefs of the court of Rome are supposed to run (Butler's Lives of the Saints, Oct.15: note to the Life of St. Teresa). His first year had for its characters the solar cycle 10, the lunar 2, and the Roman indiction 4, thereby proclaiming its identity with the year 4714 of the Julian period, which again coincided with the 4th year of the 194th Olympiad, and the 753rd of the building of Rome. It was adopted in Italy soon after its publication; in France perhaps a century later. In England it was ordained a.d.816, at the synod of Chelsea, that all bishops should date their acts from the Incarnation.

II. In his letter to bp. Stephen, to whom he dedicates his collection of Canons, he admits the existence of an earlier, but defective, Latin translation, of which copies have been printed and named, after his naming of it, Prisca Versio by Justellus and others. His own was a corrected edition of that earlier version, so far as regards the canons of Nicaea, Ancyra, Neo-Caesarea, Gangra, Antioch, Laodicea, and Constantinople -- 165 in all -- together with 27 of Chalcedon: all originally published in Greek, and all, except the Laodicean, already translated in the Prisca Versio. The Laodicean, unlike the rest, are given in an abbreviated form, and the chronological order is interrupted to place the Nicene canons first. He specifies as having been translated by himself the 50 so-called canons of the Apostles, which stand at the head of his collection, which he admits were not then universally received: and, as having been appended by himself, the Sardican and African canons, which he says were published in Latin, and with which his collection ends. His collection speedily displaced that of the Prisca. Cassiodorus, his friend and patron, writes of it within a few years of his decease, |Quos hodie usu ecclesia Romana complectitur|; and adds, |Alia quoque multa ex Graeco transtulit in Latinam, quae utilitati possunt ecclesiasticae convenire| (de Inst. Div. Litt. c.23). It seems certain, from what Cassiodorus says, that Dionysius either translated or revised an earlier translation of the official documents of the 3rd and 4th councils, as well as the canons of the 1st and 2nd.

III. He published all the decretal epistles of the popes he could discover from Siricius, who succeeded Damasus, a.d.384, to Anastasius II., who succeeded Gelasius, a.d.496. Gelasius, he says himself, he had never seen in life; in other words, he had never been at Rome up to Gelasius's death. By this publication a death-blow was given to the false decretals of the Pseudo-Isidore, centuries before their appearance. His attestation of the true text and consequent rendering of the 6th Nicene canon, his translating the 9th of Chalcedon into plain Latin, after suppressing the 28th, which, as it was not passed in full council he could omit with perfect honesty, and, most of all, the publicity which he first gave to the canons against transmarine appeals in the African code and to the stand made by the African bishops against the encroachments of pope Zosimus and his successors in the matter of Apiarius, are historical stumbling-blocks which are fatal to the papal claims. Misquotations of the Sardican canons, by which those claims were supported, are, moreover, exposed by his preservation of them in the language in which he avers they were published. Aloisius Vincenzi, writing on papal infallibility (de Sacrâ Monarchiâ, etc.1875), is quite willing to abandon the Sardican canons in order to get rid also of the African code, which is a thorn in his side.


Dioscorus (1), patriarch of Alexandria
Dioscorus (1), patriarch of Alexandria, succeeded Cyril about midsummer 444, receiving consecration, according to one report (Mansi, vii.603), from two bishops only. He had served as Cyril's archdeacon. Liberatus says that he had never been married. It is difficult to harmonize the accounts of his character. Theodoret, whose testimony in his favour cannot be suspected, declared in a letter to Dioscorus, soon after his consecration, that the fame of his virtues, and particularly of his modesty and humility, was widely spread (Ep.60); on the other hand, after he had involved himself in the Monophysite heresy, he was accused of having gravely misconducted himself in the first years of his episcopate (Mansi, vi.1008). According to a deacon, Ischyrion, Dioscorus had laid waste property, inflicted fines and exile, bought up and sold at a high price the wheat sent by the government to Libya, appropriated and grossly misspent money left by a lady named Peristeria for religious and charitable purposes, received women of notorious character into his house, persecuted Ischyrion as a favourite of Cyril's, ruined the little estate which was his only support, sent a |phalanx of ecclesiastics, or rather of ruffians,| to put him to death, and, after his escape, again sought to murder him in a hospital; in proof, Ischyrion appealed to six persons, one of whom was bath-keeper to Dioscorus (ib.1012). According to a priest named Athanasius, Cyril's nephew, Dioscorus, from the outset of his episcopate (|which he obtained one knows not how,| says the petitioner), harassed him and his brother by using influence with the court, so that the brother died of distress, and Athanasius, with his aunts, sister-in-law, and nephews, were bereft of their homes by the patriarch's malignity. He himself was deposed, without any trial, from the priesthood, and became, perforce, a wanderer for years. According to a layman named Sophronius, Dioscorus hindered the execution of an imperial order which Sophronius had obtained for the redress of a grievous wrong. |The country,| he said, |belonged to him rather than to the sovereigns| (ton kratounton). Sophronius averred that legal evidence was forthcoming to prove that Dioscorus had usurped, in Egypt, the authority belonging to the emperor. He added that Dioscorus had taken away his clothes and property, and compelled him to flee for his life; and he charged him, further, with adultery and blasphemy (ib.1029). Such accusations were then so readily made -- as the life of St. Athanasius himself shews -- that some deduction must be made from charges brought against Dioscorus in the hour of his adversity; and wrongs done by his agents may have been in some cases unfairly called his acts. Still, it is but too likely that there was sufficient truth in them to demonstrate the evil effects on his character of elevation to a post of almost absolute power; for such, in those days, was the great |evangelical throne.| We find him, before the end of his first year, in correspondence with pope Leo the Great, who gave directions, as from the see of St. Peter, to the new successor of St. Mark; writing, on June 21, 445, that |it would be shocking (nefas) to believe that St. Mark formed his rules for Alexandria otherwise than on the Petrine model | (Ep.11). In 447 Dioscorus appears among those who expressed suspicion of the theological character of Theodoret, who had been much mixed up with the party of Nestorius. It was rumoured that, preaching at Antioch, he had practically taught Nestorianism; and Dioscorus, hearing this, wrote to Domnus, bp. of Antioch, Theodoret's patriarch; whereupon Theodoret wrote a denial (Ep.83) ending with an anathema against all who should deny the holy Virgin to be Theotokos, call Jesus a mere man, or divide the one Son into two. Dioscorus still assumed the truth of the charge (Theod. Ep.86), allowed Theodoret to be anathematized in church, and even rose from his throne to echo the malediction, and sent some bishops to Constantinople to support him against Theodoret.

Then, in Nov.448, the aged Eutyches, archimandrite of Constantinople and a vehement enemy of Nestorianizers, was accused by Eusebius, bp. of Dorylaeum, before a council of which Flavian was president, with an opposite error. He clung tenaciously to the phrase, |one incarnate nature of God the Word,| which Cyril had used on the authority of St. Athanasius; but neglected the qualifications and explanations by which Cyril had guarded his meaning. Thus, by refusing to admit that Christ, as incarnate, had |two natures,| Eutyches appeared to his judges to have revived, in effect, the Apollinarian heresy -- to have denied the distinctness and verity of Christ's manhood; and he was deprived of his priestly office, and excommunicated. His patron, the chamberlain Chrysaphius, applied to Dioscorus for aid, promising to support him in all his designs if he would take up the cause of Eutyches against Flavian (Niceph. xiv.47). Eutyches himself wrote to Dioscorus, asking him |to examine his cause| (Liberat. c.12), and Dioscorus, zealous against all anti-Cyrilline tendencies in theology, wrote to the emperor, urging him to call a general council to review Flavian's judgment. Theodosius, influenced by his wife and his chamberlain, issued letters (Mar.30, 449), ordering the chief prelates (patriarchs, as we may call them, and exarchs) to repair, with some of their bishops, to Ephesus by Aug.1, 449 (Mansi, vi.587).

This council of evil memory -- on which Leo afterwards fastened the name of |Latrocinium,| or gang of robbers -- met on Aug.8, 449, in St. Mary's church at Ephesus, the scene of the third general council's meeting in 431; 150 bishops being present. Dioscorus presided, and next to him Julian, or Julius, the representative of the |most holy bishop of the Roman church,| then Juvenal of Jerusalem, Domnus of Antioch, and -- his lowered position indicating what was to come -- Flavian of Constantinople (ib.607). The archbp. of Alexandria shewed himself a partisan throughout. He did indeed propose the acceptance of Leo's letter to the council, a letter written at the same time as, and expressly referring to, the famous |Tome|; but it was only handed in, not read, Juvenal moving that another imperial letter should be read and recorded. The president then intimated that the council's business was not to frame a new doctrinal formulary, but to inquire whether what had lately
appeared -- meaning, the statements of Flavian and bp. Eusebius on the one hand, those of Eutyches on the other -- were accordant with the decisions of the councils of Nicaea and Ephesus -- |two councils in name,| said he, |but one in faith| (ib.628). Eutyches was then introduced, and made his statement, beginning, |I commend myself to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, and the true verdict of your justice.| After he had finished his address, Flavian desired that Eusebius, who had been his accuser, should be called in and heard. Elpidius, the imperial commissioner, vetoed this proposal on the ground that the judges of Eutyches were now to be judged, and that his accuser had already fulfilled his task, |and, as he thought, successfully|: to let him speak now would be a cause of mere disturbance (ib.645). This unjudicial view of the case was supported by Dioscorus. Flavian was baffled, and the council resolved to hear the acts of the synod of Constantinople which had condemned Eutyches. The episcopal deputy of Leo, with his companion the deacon Hilarus, urged that |the pope's letter| (probably including the |Tome| in this proposal) should be read first, but this was overruled; Dioscorus moved that the |acts| should be first read, and then the letter of the bp. of Rome. The reading began (ib.649). When the passage was reached in which Basil of Seleucia and Seleucus of Amasia had said that the one Christ was in two natures after the incarnation, a storm of wrath broke out. |Let no one call the Lord 'two' after the union! Do not divide the undivided! Seleucus was not bp. of Amasia! This is Nestorianism.| |Be quiet for a little,| said Dioscorus; |let us hear some more blasphemies. Why are we to blame Nestorius only? There are many Nestoriuses| (ib.685). The reading proceeded as far as Eusebius's question to Eutyches, |Do you own two natures after the incarnation?| Then arose another storm: |The holy synod exclaimed, 'Away with Eusebius, burn him, let him be burnt alive! Let him be cut in two -- be divided, even as he divided!'| |Can you endure,| asked Dioscorus, |to hear of two natures after the incarnation?| |Anathema to him that says it!| was the reply. |I have need of your voices and your hands too,| rejoined Dioscorus; |if any one cannot shout, let him stretch out his hand.| Another anathema rang out (ib.737). Another passage, containing a statement of belief by Eutyches, was heard with applause. |We accept this statement,| said Dioscorus. |This is the faith of the Fathers,| exclaimed the bishops. |of what faith do you say this?| asked Dioscorus. |of Eutyches's: for Eusebius is impious| (asebes, ib.740). Similar approbation was given to another passage containing the characteristic formula of Eutychianism: |I confess that our Lord was of two natures before the incarnation; but after the incarnation [i.e. in Him as incarnate] I confess one nature.| |We all agree to this,| said Dioscorus. |We agree,| said the council (ib.744). Presently came a sentence in which Basil of Seleucia had denounced the denial of two natures after the incarnation as equivalent to the assertion of a commixture and a fusion. This aroused once more the zealots of the Alexandrian party; one bishop sprang forward, shouting, |This upsets the whole church!| The Egyptians and the monks, led by Barsumas, cried out, |Cut him in two, who says two natures! He is a Nestorian!| Basil's nerves gave way; he lost, as he afterwards said, his perceptions, bodily and mental (ib.636). He began to say that he did not remember whether he had uttered the obnoxious words, but that he had meant to say, |If you do not add the word 'incarnate' to 'nature,' as Cyril did, the phrase 'one nature' implies a fusion.| Juvenal asked whether his words had been wrongly reported; he answered helplessly, |I do not recollect| (ib.748). He seems to have been coerced into a formal retractation of the phrase |two natures|; but he added |hypostases| as explanatory of |natures,| and professed to |adore the one nature of the Godhead of the Only-begotten, who was made man and incarnate| (ib.828). Eutyches declared that the acts of the Constantinopolitan synod had been tampered with. |It is false,| said Flavian. |If Flavian,| said Dioscorus, |knows anything which supports his opinion, let him put it in writing . . . No one hinders you, and the council knows it.| Flavian then said that the acts had been scrutinized, and no falsification had been found in them; that, for himself, he had always glorified God by holding what he then held. Dioscorus called on the bishops to give their verdict as to the theological statements of Eutyches. They acquitted him of all unsoundness, as faithful to Nicene and Ephesian teaching. Domnus expressed regret for having mistakenly condemned him (ib.836). Basil of Seleucia spoke like the rest. Flavian, of course, was silent. Dioscorus spoke last, affirming the judgments of the council, and |adding his own opinion.| Eutyches was |restored| to his presbyterial rank and his abbatial dignity (ib.861). His monks were then released from the excommunication incurred at Constantinople. The doctrinal decisions of the Ephesian council of 431, in its first and sixth sessions, were then read. Dioscorus proposed that these decisions, with those of Nicaea, should be recognized as an unalterable standard of orthodoxy; that whoever should say or think otherwise, or should unsettle them, should be put under censure. |Let each one of you speak his mind on this. |Several bishops assented. Hilarus, the Roman deacon, testified that the apostolic see reverenced those decisions, and that its letter, if read, would prove this. Dioscorus called in some secretaries, who brought forward a draft sentence of deposition against Flavian and Eusebius, on the ground that the Ephesian council had enacted severe penalties against any who should frame or propose any other creed than the Nicene. Flavian and Eusebius were declared to have constructively committed this offence by |unsettling almost everything, and causing scandal and confusion throughout the churches.| Their deposition was decided upon (ib.907). Onesiphorus, bp. of Iconium, with some others, went up to Dioscorus, clasped his feet and knees, and passionately entreated him not to go to such extremities. |He has done nothing worthy of deposition . . . . if he deserves condemnation, let him be condemned.| |It must be,| said Dioscorus in answer; |if my tongue were to be cut out for it, I would still say so. |They persisted, and he, starting from his throne, stood up on the footstool and exclaimed, |Are you getting up a sedition? Where are the counts?| Military officers, soldiers with swords and sticks, even the proconsul with chains, entered at his call. He peremptorily commanded the bishops to sign the sentence, and with a fierce gesture of the hand exclaimed, |He that does not choose to sign must reckon with me.| A scene of terrorism followed. Those prelates who were reluctant to take part in the deposition were threatened with exile, beaten by the soldiers, denounced as heretics by the partisans of Dioscorus, and by the crowd of fanatical monks (ib. vii.68) who accompanied Barsumas, until they put their names to a blank paper on which the sentence was to be written (ib. vi.601 seq.625, 637, 988). They afterwards protested that they had signed under compulsion. Basil of Seleucia declared that he had given way because he was |given over to the judgment of 120 or 130 bishops; had he been dealing with magistrates, he would have suffered martyrdom.| |The Egyptians,| says Tillemont, |who signed willingly enough, did so after the others had been made to sign| (xv.571; cf. Mansi, vi.601).

Flavian's own fate was the special tragedy of the Latrocinium. He had lodged in the hands of the Roman delegates a formal appeal to the pope and the Western bishops (not to the pope alone; see Leo, Ep.43, Tillemont, xv.374). It was nearly his last act. He was brutally treated, kicked, and beaten by the agents of Dioscorus, and even, we are told, by Dioscorus himself (see Evagr. i.1; Niceph. xiv.47). He was then imprisoned, and soon exiled, but died in the hands of his guards, from the effect of his injuries, three days after his deposition (Liberatus, Brev.19), Aug.11, 449 He was regarded as a martyr for the doctrine of |the two natures in the one person| of Christ. Anatolius, who had been the agent (apocrisiarius) of Dioscorus at Constantinople, was appointed his successor.

Dioscorus and his council -- as we may well call it -- proceeded to depose Theodoret and several other bishops; |many,| says Leo, |were expelled from their sees, and banished, because they would not accept heresy| (Ep.93). Theodoret was put under a special ban. |They ordered me,| he writes (Ep.140), |to be excluded from shelter, from water, from everything.|

Confusion now pervaded the Eastern churches. It was impossible to acquiesce in the proceedings of the |Latrocinium.| Leo bestirred himself to get a new oecumenical council held in Italy: the imperial family in the West supported this, but Theodosius II. persisted in upholding the late council. In the spring of 450 Dioscorus took a new and exceptionally audacious step. At Nicaea, on his way to the court, he caused ten bishops whom he had brought from Egypt to sign a document
excommunicating pope Leo (Mansi, vi.1009, 1148; vii.104), doubtless on the ground that Leo was endeavouring to quash the canonical decisions of a legitimate council. His cause, however, was ruined when the orthodox Pulcheria succeeded to the empire, and gave her hand to Marcian, this event leading to a new council at Chalcedon on Oct.8, 451, which Dioscorus attended. The deputies of Leo come first, then Anatolius, Dioscorus, Maximus, Juvenal. At first Dioscorus sat among those bishops who were on the right of the chancel (ib. vi.580). The Roman deputies on the opposite side desired, in the name of Leo, that Dioscorus should not sit in the council. The magistrates, who acted as imperial commissioners (and were the effective presidents), asked what was charged against him? Paschasinus, the chief Roman delegate, answered, |When he comes in| (i.e. after having first gone out) |it will be necessary to state objections against him.| The magistrates desired again to hear the charge. Lucentius, another delegate, said, |He has presumed to hold a synod without leave of the apostolic see, which has never been done.| (Rome did not recognize the |second general council| of 381; which, in fact, was not then owned as general.) |We cannot,| said Paschasinus, |transgress the apostolic pope's orders.| |We cannot,| added Lucentius, |allow such a wrong as that this man should sit in the council, who is come to be judged.| |If you claim to judge,| replied the magistrates sharply, |do not be accuser too.| They bade Dioscorus sit in the middle by himself, and the Roman deputies sat down and said no more. Eusebius of Dorylaeum asked to be heard against Dioscorus. |I have been injured by him; the faith has been injured; Flavian was killed, after he and I had been unjustly deposed by Dioscorus. Command my petition to the emperors to be read.| It was read by Beronicianus, the secretary of the imperial consistory, and stated that |at the recent council at Ephesus, this good (chrestos) Dioscorus, disregarding justice, and supporting Eutyches in heresy -- having also gained power by bribes, and assembled a disorderly multitude -- did all he could to ruin the Catholic faith, and to establish the heresy of Eutyches, and condemned us: I desire, therefore, that he be called to account, and that the records of his proceedings against us be examined.| Dioscorus, preserving his
self-possession, answered, |The synod was held by the emperor's order; I too desire that its acts against Flavian may be read|; but added, |I beg that the doctrinal question be first considered.| |No,| said the magistrates, |the charge against you must first be met; wait until the acts have been read, as you yourself desired.| The letter of Theodosius, convoking the late council, was read. The magistrates then ordered that Theodoret should be brought in, because Leo had |restored to him his episcopate,| and the emperor had ordered him to attend the council. He entered accordingly. The Egyptians and some other bishops shouted, |Turn out the teacher of Nestorius!| Others rejoined, |We signed a blank paper; we were beaten, and so made to sign. Turn out the enemies of Flavian and of the faith!| |Why,| asked Dioscorus, |should Cyril be ejected?| (i.e. virtually, by the admission of Theodoret). His adversaries turned fiercely upon him: |Turn out Dioscorus the homicide!| Ultimately the magistrates ruled that Theodoret should sit down, but in the middle of the assembly, and that his admission should not prejudice any charge against him (ib.592). The reading went on; at the letter giving Dioscorus the presidency, he remarked that Juvenal, and Thalassius of Caesarea, were associated with him, that the synod had gone with him, and that Theodosius had confirmed its decrees. Forthwith, a cry arose from the bishops whom he had intimidated at Ephesus. |Not one of us signed voluntarily. We were overawed by soldiers.| Dioscorus coolly said that if the bishops had not understood the merits of the case, they ought not to have signed. The reading was resumed. Flavian being named, his friends asked why he had been degraded to the fifth place? The next interruption was in reference to the suppression, at the Latrocinium, of Leo's letter. Aetius, archdeacon of Constantinople, said it had not even been |received.| |But,| said Dioscorus, |the acts shew that I proposed that it should be read. Let others say why it was not read.| |What others?| |Juvenal and Thalassius.| Juvenal, on being questioned, said, |The chief notary told us that he had an imperial letter; I answered that it ought to come first; no one afterwards said that he had in his hands a letter from Leo.| Thalassius (evidently a weak man, though holding the great see of St. Basil) said that he had not power, of himself, to order the reading of the letter (ib.617). At another point the |Orientals,| the opponents of Dioscorus, objected that the acts of Ephesus misrepresented their words. Dioscorus replied, |Each bishop had his own secretaries . . . taking down the speeches.| Stephen of Ephesus then narrated the violence done to his secretaries: Acacias of Arianathia described the coercion scene. When the reader came to Dioscorus's words, |I examine the decrees of the Fathers| (councils), Eusebius said, |See, he said, 'I examine'; and I do the same.| Dioscorus caught him up: |I said 'examine,' not 'innovate.' Our Saviour bade us examine the Scriptures; that is not innovating.| |He said, Seek, and ye shall find,| retorted Eusebius (ib.629). One bishop objected to the record of |Guardian of the faith| as an acclamation in honour of Dioscorus, |No one said that.| |They want to deny all that is confessed to be the fact,| said Dioscorus; |let them next say they were not there.| At the words of Eutyches, |I have observed the definitions of the council,| i.e. the Ephesian decree against adding to the Nicene faith, Eusebius broke in, |He lied! There is no such definition, no canon prescribing this.| |There are four copies,| said Dioscorus calmly, |which contain it. What bishops have defined, is it not a definition? It is not a canon: a canon is a different thing.| The bp. of Cyzicus referred to the additions made in the council of 381 to the original Nicene creed (e.g. |of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary|). The Egyptians disclaimed all such additions. (Cyril, in fact, had never acknowledged that revised version of the Nicene formulary.) There was some further criticism of the profession of faith made by Eutyches; whereupon Dioscorus said, |If Eutyches has any heterodox opinion, he deserves not only to be punished, but to be burnt! My only object is to preserve the Catholic faith, not that of any man. I look to God, and not to any individual; I care for nothing but my own soul and the right faith| (ib.633). Basil of Seleucia described what had taken place as regarded his own statements. |If you taught in such a Catholic tone,| said the magistrates, |why did you sign the deposition of Flavian?| Basil pleaded the compulsory authority of a council of bishops. |On your own shewing,| said Dioscorus, |you betrayed the faith for fear of men.| Others who had given way with Basil cried, |We all sinned; we all ask pardon.| |But,| said the magistrates, |you said at first that you had been forced to sign a blank paper.| The |peccavimus| was reiterated (ib.639). When the reader came to the failure of Flavian's attempt to get Eusebius a hearing, Dioscorus threw the responsibility on Elpidius; so did Juvenal. Thalassius only said, |It was not my doing.| |Such a defence,| said the magistrates, |is no defence when the faith is concerned.| |If,| said Dioscorus, |you blame me for obeying Elpidius, were no rules broken when Theodoret was brought in?| |He came in as accuser.| |Why then does he now sit in the rank of a bishop?| |He and Eusebius sit as accusers,| was the answer; |and you sit as accused| (ib.649). Afterwards the magistrates recurred to this topic: |Eusebius, at Constantinople, when accusing Eutyches, himself asked that Eutyches should be present. Why was not a like course taken at Ephesus?| No one answered (ib.656). Cyril's letter to John of Antioch, |Laetentur coeli,| was read as part of the acts of Ephesus. Theodoret, by way of clearing himself, anathematized the assertion of |two Sons.| All the bishops -- so the acts of Chalcedon say expressly -- cried out, |We believe as did Cyril; we did so believe, and we do. Anathema to whoever does not so believe.| The opponents of Dioscorus then claimed Flavian as in fact of one mind with Cyril, as clear of Nestorianism. The |Easterns| added, |Leo believes so, Anatolius believes so.| There was universal protestation of agreement with Cyril, including even the magistrates, who answered, as it were, for Marcian and Pulcheria. Then came a fierce outcry against Dioscorus. |out with the murderer of Flavian -- the parricide!| The magistrates asked, |Why did you receive to communion Eutyches, who holds the opposite to this belief? Why condemn Flavian and Eusebius who agree with it?| |The records,| answered Dioscorus, |will shew the truth.| Presently, in regard to some words of Eustathius of Berytus, adopting Cyril's phrase, |one incarnate nature,| as Athanasian, the Easterns cried, |Eutyches thinks thus, so does Dioscorus.| Dioscorus shewed that he was careful to disclaim, even with anathema, all notions of a |confusion, or commixture,| of Godhead and manhood in Christ. The magistrates asked whether the canonical letters of Cyril, recently read (i.e. his second letter to Nestorius, Mansi, vi.660, and his letter to John, ib.665, not including the third letter to Nestorius, to which the 12 anathemas were annexed) bore out the language as cited from Eustathius. Eustathius held up the book from which he had taken Cyril's language. |If I spoke amiss, here is the manuscript: let it be anathematized with me!| He repeated Cyril's letter to Acacius by heart, and then explained: |One nature| did not exclude the flesh of Christ, which was co-essential with us; and |two natures| was a heterodox phrase if (i.e. only if) it was used for a |division| of His person. |Why then did you depose Flavian?| |I erred| (ib. v.677). Flavian's own statement, that Christ was of two natures after the incarnation, in one hypostasis and one person, etc., was then considered; several bishops, in turn, approved of it, including Paschasinus, Anatolius, Maximus, Thalassius, Eustathius. The Easterns called |archbp. Flavian| a martyr. |Let his next words be read,| said Dioscorus; |you will find that he is inconsistent with himself.| Juvenal, who had been sitting on the right, now went over to the left, and the Easterns welcomed him. Peter of Corinth, a young bishop, did the same, owning that Flavian held with Cyril; the Easterns exclaimed, |Peter thinks as does| (St.) |Peter.| Other bishops spoke similarly. Dioscorus, still undaunted, said, |The reason why Flavian was condemned was plainly this, that he asserted two natures after the incarnation. I have passages from the Fathers, Athanasius, Gregory, Cyril, to the effect that after the incarnation there were not two natures, but one incarnate nature of the Word. If I am to be expelled, the Fathers will be expelled with me. I am defending their doctrine; I do not deviate from them at all; I have not got these extracts carelessly, I have verified them| (ib. vi.684; see note in Oxf. ed. of Fleury, vol. iii. p.348). After more reading, he said, |I accept the phrase 'of two natures,' but I do not accept 'two'| (i.e. he would not say, |Christ has now two natures|). |I am obliged to speak boldly (anaischuntein); I am speaking for my own soul.| |Was Flavian,| asked Paschasinus, |allowed such freedom of speech as this man takes?| |No,| said the magistrates significantly; |but then this council is being carried on with justice| (ib.692). Some time later the Easterns denied that the whole council at Ephesus had assented to Eutyches's language; it was the language of |that Pharaoh, Dioscorus the homicide.| Eustathius, wishing, he said, to promote a good understanding, asked whether |two natures| meant |two divided natures.| |No,| said Basil, |neither divided nor confused| (ib.744) Basil afterwards, with Onesiphorus, described the coercion used as to the signatures (ib.827). The reading went on until it was necessary to light the candles (ib.901). At last they came to the signatures; then the magistrates proposed that as the deposition had been proved unjust, Dioscorus, Juvenal, Thalassius, Eusebius of Ancyra, Eustathius, and Basil, as leaders in the late synod, should be deposed; but this, it appears (ib.976, 1041), was a provisional sentence, to be further considered by the council. It was received with applause, |A just sentence! Christ has deposed Dioscorus! God has vindicated the martyrs!| The magistrates desired that each bishop should give in a carefully framed statement of belief conformable to the Nicene |exposition,| to that of the 150 Fathers (of Constantinople, in 381), to the canonical epistles and expositions of the Fathers, Gregory, Basil, Athanasius, Hilary, Ambrose, and Cyril's two canonical epistles published and confirmed in the first Ephesian council, adding that Leo had written a letter to Flavian against Eutyches. So ended the first session (ib.935).

The second session was held Oct.10 (ib.937); Dioscorus was absent. After some discussion as to making an exposition of faith, which led to the reading of the creed in its two forms -- both of which were accepted -- and of Cyril's |two canonical epistles,| and of Leo's letter to Flavian (the Tome), which was greeted with |Peter has spoken by Leo; Cyril taught thus; Leo and Cyril have taught alike,| but to parts of which some objection was taken by one bishop, and time given for consideration, the usual exclamations were made, among which we find that of the Illyrians, |Restore Dioscorus to the synod, to the churches! We have all offended, let all be forgiven!| while the enemies of Dioscorus called for his banishment, and the clerics of Constantinople said that he who communicated with him was a Jew (ib.976). In the third session, Sat. Oct.13, the magistrates not being present, a memorial to the council from Eusebius of Dorylaeum, setting forth charges against Dioscorus, was read (ib.985). It then appeared that Dioscorus had been summoned, like other bishops, to the session, and intimated his willingness to come; but his guards prevented him. Two priests, sent to search for him, could not find him in the precincts of the church. Three bishops, sent with a notary, found him, and said, |The holy council begs your Holiness to attend its meeting.| |I am under guard,| said he; |I am hindered by the officers| (magistriani, the subordinates of the |master of the offices,| or |supreme magistrate of the palace,| see Gibbon, ii.326); and, after two other summonses, positively and finally refused to come. He had nothing more to say than he had said to former envoys. They begged him to reconsider it. |If your Holiness knows that you are falsely accused, the council is not far off; do take the trouble to come and refute the falsehood.| |What I have said, I have said; it is enough.| They desisted, and reported their failure. |Do you order that we proceed to ecclesiastical penalties against him?| asked Paschasinus, addressing the council. |Yes, we agree.| One bishop said bitterly, |When he murdered holy Flavian, he did not adduce canons, nor proceed by church forms.| The Roman delegates proposed a sentence, to this effect: |Dioscorus has received Eutyches, though duly condemned by Flavian, into communion. The apostolic see excuses those who were coerced by Dioscorus at Ephesus, but who are obedient to archbp. Leo| (as president) |and the council; but this man glories in his crime. He prevented Leo's letter to Flavian| (the acts of Ephesus say the letter to the council, v. supra) |from being read. He has presumed to excommunicate Leo. He has thrice refused to come and answer to charges. Therefore Leo, by us and the council, together with St. Peter, the rock of the church, deprives him of episcopal and sacerdotal dignity| (ib.1045). A letter was written to Dioscorus, announcing that he was deposed for disregarding the canons and disobeying the council. Dioscorus at first made light of the sentence, and said that he should soon be restored; the council wrote to the two emperors, reciting his misdeeds, as before, and adding that he had restored the heterodox and justly-deposed Eutyches to his office, in contempt of Leo's letter, had done injury to Eusebius, and had received to communion persons lawfully condemned (ib.1097). The deposition of Dioscorus was confirmed by the emperor; he was banished to Gangra in Paphlagonia, and died there in 454. Proterius, archpriest of Alexandria, who adhered to the council of Chalcedon, was placed in the see of St. Mark, but never gained the goodwill of his people as a body; they regarded Dioscorus, though de facto deposed, as their legitimate patriarch; and his deposition inaugurated the schism which to this day has divided the Christians of Egypt, the majority of whom, bearing the name of Jacobites, have always disowned the council of Chalcedon, and venerated Dioscorus as |their teacher| (Lit. Copt. St. Basil), and as a persecuted saint (see Neale, Hist. Alex. ii.6). As to his theological position, there is, perhaps, little or nothing in his own words which might not be interpreted consistently with orthodoxy. Even as to his conduct, the charges brought by the Alexandrian petitioners at Chalcedon are too deeply coloured by passion to command our full belief; and a mere profligate oppressor would not have secured so largely the loyalty of Alexandrian churchmen. But his public acts in 449 exhibit the perversion of considerable abilities -- of courage, resolution, clear-headedness -- under the temptations of excessive power and the promptings of a tyrannous self-will. The brutal treatment of Flavian, which he practically sanctioned, in which perhaps he personally took part, has made his memory specially odious; and his name is conspicuous among the |violent men| of church history. [[152]Monophysitism.]


Dioscorus, the monk
Dioscorus (4), the eldest of four Nitrian monks, Dioscorus, Ammonius, Eusebius, and Euthymius, known from their stature as the |Tall Brethren,| who became conspicuous in Chrysostom's early troubles. They were reluctantly induced by Theophilus, patriarch of Alexandria, to leave the desert and to submit to ordination. Eusebius and Euthymius became presbyters, and Dioscorus was consecrated bp. of Hermopolis. Weary of city life and uncongenial duties, and shocked by the avarice and other vices of Theophilus, Dioscorus and his brethren returned to their solitudes, though the indignant patriarch tried to deter them by violent menaces (Socr. H. E. viii.12). As depositaries of dangerous secrets, they had become formidable to Theophilus, who resolved to wreak vengeance upon them. On the pretext of their adherence to the mystic views of Origen on the Person of the Deity, and their decided opposition to Anthropomorphism, which Theophilus had originally shared with them, Theophilus had them ejected from their monasteries and treated them with the utmost contumely and violence when they went to Alexandria to appeal (Pallad. p.54). Having procured their condemnation at a packed synod at Alexandria, a.d.401, Theophilus personally headed a night attack on their monastery, which was burnt and pillaged, and Dioscorus himself treated with violence and indignity (ib. p.57). Driven from Egypt, the |Tall Brethren| took refuge in Palestine, but later resolved to appeal for protection to the emperor and to Chrysostom in person. Chrysostom manifested much sympathy, but contented himself with writing to Theophilus, urging his reconciliation with them. Theophilus's only reply was an angry remonstrance against his harbouring heretics and interfering with another see. He sent emissaries to Constantinople to denounce the brethren as magicians, heretics, and rebels. The monks then announced their intention of appealing to the secular power for a judicial investigation of the charges against them, and demanded that Theophilus should be summoned to answer for his conduct before a council. The superstitious reverence of the empress Eudoxia, all-powerful with the feeble Arcadius, secured them their desire, and Theophilus was ordered to appear at Constantinople. This appeal to the civil authority displeased Chrysostom, who declined to interfere further in the controversy. For the manner in which Theophilus turned the tables on Chrysostom, becoming the accuser instead of the accused, and securing his deposition, see Chrysostom; Theophilus (8). His main object having been accomplished in the overthrow of his great rival, Theophilus now made no difficulty about reconciliation with the Nitrian monks, who he publicly restored to communion on their simple petition. Dioscorus and Ammonius had, however, died not long before. Socr. H. E. vi.16; Soz. H. E. viii.17; Pallad. p.157.


Docetism, the very early heresy that our blessed Lord had a body like ours, only in appearance, not in reality. St. Jerome scarcely exaggerates when he says (adv. Lucif.23): |While the apostles were still surviving, while Christ's blood was still fresh in Judea, the Lord's body was asserted to be but a phantasm.| Apart from N.T. passages, e.g. Eph. ii.9, Heb. ii.14, which confute this assertion, but do not bear clear marks of having been written with a controversial purpose, it appears from I. John iv.2, II. John 7, that when these epistles were written there were teachers, stigmatised by the writer as prompted by the spirit of Antichrist, who denied that Jesus Christ had come in the flesh, a form of expression implying a Docetic theory. Those who held that evil resulted from the inherent fault of matter found it impossible to believe that the Saviour could be Himself under the dominion of that evil from which He came to deliver men, and they therefore rejected the Church's doctrine of a real union of the divine and human natures in the person of our Lord, but our Lord's pre-existence and superhuman nature was regarded as so essential a part of Christianity that with two exceptions, or perhaps even only one (i.e. Justinus and perhaps Carpocrates), all the sects known as Gnostic ascribed to the Saviour a superhuman nature, some however separating the personality of that nature from His human personality, others reducing our Lord's earthly part to mere appearance. It is even doubtful whether we are not to understand in a technical sense the statement that he taught that |power| from the Father had descended on our Lord; that is to say, whether it was not his doctrine that one of the heavenly powers had united itself to the man Jesus. Teaching of this kind is unequivocally attributed to Cerinthus, whose other doctrines, as reported by Irenaeus, have great resemblance to those of Carpocrates. It is in opposition to the theory which makes our Lord's claim to be Christ date, not from his birth, but from some later period, that Irenaeus (iii.16) uses the argument, shewing his belief in the inspiration of the gospels, that Matthew might have said, |the birth of Jesus was in this wise,| but that the Holy Spirit, foreseeing and guarding against the depravation of the truth, said by Matthew |the birth of Christ was on this wise.| Baur (Christliche Gnosis, p.258) makes Docetism common to all the Gnostics, holding that the theory which has just been described is in a certain sense Docetic; inasmuch as while holding Jesus to be a real man, visibly active in the work of redemption, it teaches that this is but deceptive appearance, the work being actually performed by a distinct personality, Christ. But it is more usual and more natural to use the word Docetism only with reference to those other theories which refuse to acknowledge the true manhood of the Redeemer. For example, we are told (Iren. i.23) that, according to the system of Simon, the Redeemer (who, however, is not Jesus, but Simon himself) |had appeared among men as man, though he was not a man, and was thought to have suffered in Judea, though he did not suffer.| According to the system of Saturninus (Iren. i.24), the Saviour was without birth, without body, and without figure, and appeared a man in phantasm, not in truth. According to Basilides, as reported by Irenaeus (i.24), Christ or Nous is not distinguished from Jesus, but is said to be an incorporeal power, who transfigured Himself as He willed; that He appeared on earth as man and worked miracles, but that He did not suffer; that it was Simon of Cyrene, who, being transfigured into the form of Jesus, was crucified, while Jesus Himself, in the form of Simon standing by, laughed at His persecutors, and then, incapable of being held by them, ascended up to Him Who had sent Him, invisible to them all. The Docetism here described is strenuously combated in the Ignatian Epistles in their Greek form, esp. in ad Trall.9, 10, and ad Smyrn.2. In these the writer emphasises the statements that our Lord was truly born, did eat and drink, was truly persecuted under Pontius Pilate, was truly crucified, and truly rose from the dead; and he expressly declares that these statements were made in contradiction of the doctrine of certain unbelievers, or rather atheists, who asserted His sufferings to be but seeming. This polemic is absent from the Syriac Ignatius, and an argument has hence been derived against the genuineness of the Greek form. But in order to make the argument valid, there ought to be proof that the rise of Docetism was probably later than the age of Ignatius, whereas the probability seems to be quite the other way. Saturninus holds such a place in all heretical lists, that he must be referred to the very beginning of the 2nd cent., and, as he taught in Antioch, may very possibly have been encountered by Ignatius. Polycarp also (Ep.7) uses the words of I. John iv.3 in such a way as to shew that Docetism was in his time troublesome.

In the forms of Docetism thus far described there is no evidence that there was involved any more subtle theory than that the senses of the spectators of our Lord's earthly life were deceived. The Docetism of Valentinus was exhibited in a more artificial theory, which is fully set forth in our art. s.v. It appears that Valentinus was only partly docetic. He conceded to Jesus the possession of a real body capable of really affecting the senses, but held that that body was made of a different substance from ours and was peculiar as regards its sustenance by earthly nutriment (Letter to Agathopus, ap. Clem. Alex. Strom. iii.7, 451). Irenaeus, however (v.1, 2, and more fully iii.22), insists that the Valentinian doctrine did not practically differ from pure Docetism; for that if our Lord had not taken substance of flesh in the womb of the Virgin He could not have been the real man Who suffered hunger and thirst and weariness, Who wept at the grave of Lazarus, Who sweat drops of blood, from Whose wounded side came forth blood and water.

The Docetism of Marcion differed from that of preceding Gnostics. With them the great stumbling-block had been the sufferings of Christ, and accordingly it is the reality of Christ's passion and death that their antagonists sought to establish. Marcion, on the contrary, was quite willing to acknowledge the proof of our Lord's love exhibited in His sufferings and death, but it was repulsive to him to own His human birth, which according to his view would have made our Lord the debtor and the subject of the Creator of the world. Accordingly, while Basilides had admitted a real birth of the man Jesus, Valentinus at least a seeming birth in which the body elsewhere prepared was ushered into the world, Marcion would own no birth at all, and began his gospel with the sudden announcement that in the 15th year of Tiberius Christ came down (by which we are to understand came down from heaven) to Capernaum, a city of Galilee (Tert. adv. Marc. iv.7). Marcion's disciple Apelles so far modified his master's doctrine that he was willing to own that Jesus had a solid body, but denied that there had been a birth in which He had assumed it (Tert. de C. C.6); and he held that of this body our Lord made only a temporary use, and that when He had shewn it to His disciples after His resurrection He gave it back to the elements from which He had received it (Hipp. Ref. vii.38, 260). Something of this kind seems to have been also the view of the sect known as Docetae.

The fourth book of the dialogue against the Marcionites (Origen, i.853) contains a polemic against Docetism which is represented as defended by Marinus the disciple of Bardesanes, who adopts the Valentinian notion that our Lord had come dia Marias, not ek Marias, and who maintains that His earthly body was only such as the angels had temporarily assumed who ate and drank with Abraham. One argument on the orthodox side is used by several Fathers, and the form of words in which each has expressed himself has been much discussed in modern controversy. It occurs here in the form |If Christ were without flesh and blood, of what sort of flesh and blood are the bread and wine, the images (eikonas) with which He commanded that the memorial of Him should be made?| (cf. Ign. ad. Smyrn.7; Iren. iv.18, v.2; Tert. adv. Marcion. iv.40). Of later heretics, the most considerable who maintained a Docetic theory are the Manicheans. In the controversy with them the orthodox had exactly the same points to establish as in the controversy with Marcion, viz. that Christ had come into the world, not merely as sent by the Father, but as really born of the Virgin; that He was truly incarnate, and did not assume the form of a body merely as did the angels whose appearances have been recorded; that He was circumcised, baptized, tempted; that His death was a real one, as was necessary in order that His resurrection also should be real (see in particular the disputation between Augustine and Faustus). With regard to the disputes in the 6th cent. concerning our Lord's body, see Julianus (47) of Halicarnassus, and D. C. B. (4-vol. ed.) under Corrupticolae and Phantasiastae. It is well known that Mahommed also adopted the Docetic account of our Lord's crucifixion.

Besides formal heresies which have been tainted with Docetism, the same imputation has been cast on more than one of the Fathers. It is very strongly brought by Photius (Bibl.109) against the hypotyposes of Clement of Alexandria. This book has not survived, but there is no doubt from his extant writings that Clement ascribed to our Lord a real body. In a fragment probably from the lost Hypotyposes preserved in a Latin trans. (p.1009), he quotes from |the traditions| that when St. John handled the body of our Lord the flesh offered no resistance, but yielded place to the disciple's hand. Redepenning's conclusion (Origenes, ii.391) is that Clement's doctrine deviated from that subsequently recognised as orthodox, not in respect of our Lord's body, the reality of which he acknowledged, but in holding that His body was directly united to the Divine Logos without the intervention of a human soul capable of feeling pain or suffering. Redepenning (l.c.) also discusses how far Origen is chargeable with Docetism, on which also consult Huet's Origeniana, ii. Qu. iii.10, 11.

The traditions referred to by Clement have been identified with the contents of a work of Leucius Charinus, purporting to relate travels of the apostles, of which an account is given by Photius (Bibl.114), and from which extracts are also quoted in the Acts of the second council of Nicaea (Actio v.). In this work, which Grabe seems to have correctly regarded as Marcionite, it was taught that the Son was not man, but only seemed to be so; that He shewed Himself to His disciples sometimes young, sometimes old; sometimes a child, sometimes an old man; sometimes great, sometimes small; sometimes so great as to touch the heavens with His head; that His footsteps left no trace; and that He was not really crucified, but, according to Photius, another person in His place. The account given in the Nicene extracts of a vision seen by St. John on the mount of Olives, at the time of the crucifixion, teaches that the form crucified was not really our Lord, but does not suggest that it was any other person.


Domitianus, emperor
Domitianus (1), a.d.81-96. This emperor, though placed by Lactantius (de Mort. Persecut. c.3) and others among the persecutors of the church, can hardly be considered as having made any systematic effort to crush Christianity as such. Through the greater part of the empire the Christians seem to have been unmolested. The traces of persecution, such as they are, seem rather to belong to his general policy of suspicion and cruelty. Indirectly they are of interest in shewing how the new religion was attracting notice and spreading.

(1) Vespasian, before his death, had given orders (Eus. H. E. iii.12) that inquiry should be made for all who claimed to be descendants of the house of David, seeking thus to cut off all who might incite the Jews to a fresh revolt. The fears of Domitian led him to continue the search, and Hegesippus (in Eus. H. E. iii.19, 20) records one striking incident connected with it. The grandchildren of Judas, the brother of the Lord, were taken to Rome and brought into the emperor's presence. They acknowledged that they were of the kingly line, but stated that the only kingdom they looked for was one spiritual and angelic, to be manifested at the end of the world. The emperor, Hegesippus tells us, thought them beneath his notice, released them, and allowed them to go back to Judea, and put a stop to the persecution against the church which he had begun. This persecution was probably the inquiry itself. The Judean followers of the Christ, whom they habitually spoke of as the seed of David, would inevitably be suspected of being likely to appeal to the hopes of the conquered population.

(2) Towards the close of Domitian's reign a domestic tragedy occurred which there is good reason for connecting with the progress of Christianity. The emperor had a cousin named Flavius Clemens, whom at one time he held in high favour. He gave him his niece Flavia Domitilla in marriage, changed the names of his sons to Vespasian and Domitian and designated them as heirs to the empire, and nominated Clemens as his colleague in the consulship. Suddenly, almost within the year of his consulship, he put Clemens to death, banished his wife to Pandataria, and his daughter (or niece), who was also called Domitilla, to Pontia. Revenge for these acts had apparently no small share in the emperor's assassination. One of the most prominent conspirators concerned was Stephanus, an agent and freedman of the banished widow of Clemens. Thus the story is told by Suetonius (Domit. cc.15, 17). It remains to see on what grounds church writers like Eusebius (H. E. iii.18) claim the three members of the Flavian house as among the first illustrious martyrs of royal rank. (i) Flavius Clemens is described by Suetonius (l.c.) as |contemptissimae inertiae.| A Christian would naturally be so described by men of his own rank and by the outer world, just as Tertullian complains that the Christians of his time were stigmatized, when other charges failed, as |infructuosi negotiis| (Apol. c.42). (ii) The specific charge against Clemens and the two Domitillae is reported by Dio Cassius (lxvii.14) and Xiphilinus (p.766) to have been atheism. The same accusation, the latter adds, was brought against many others who shewed a bias towards Jewish customs. This again agrees with the general feeling of the Roman world towards the Christians at a later period, and may be regarded as the first instance of that feeling. (iii) Later tradition confirms these inferences. Jerome tells us (Ep.27) how Paula visited Pontia on her way to Jerusalem, as already an object of reverence, and saw the three cells in which Domitilla and her two eunuchs Achilleus and Nereus had lived during their exile. They were said to have returned to Rome and suffered martyrdom under Trajan. A church on the Coelian Hill at Rome dedicated to S. Clement, in which a tablet was discovered in 1725 to the memory of Flavius Clemens, martyr, and described by Cardinal Albiani (T. Flavii Clementis Viri Consularis et Martyris Tumulus Illustratus, 1727), seems therefore to have commemorated the consul and not the writer of that name. The name of Clement of Alexandria, Titus Flavius Clemens, may be regarded as an indication of the honour in which the martyr's memory was held. On the whole, everything seems to indicate that the received tradition is true, and that the Christian church was almost on the point, even before the close of the 1st cent., of furnishing a successor to the imperial throne.

(3) With the reign of Domitian is also connected the legend of St. John's presence at Rome, and of his being thrown, before the Porta Latina, at the command of the emperor, into a cauldron of boiling oil, and then banished to Patmos. Tertullian (de Praescript. c.36) is the first writer who mentions it. The apostle, as the chosen friend of the Son of David, may have been pointed out by the delatores of Ephesus as the descendants of Judas were in Judea. Tertullian, in speaking elsewhere (Apol. c.5) of Domitian's conduct towards the church, describes him as only attempting a persecution, and then, thinking better of it, recalling those whom he had condemned to exile. In other accounts (Eus. H. E. iii.20) the decree of recall was connected with the accession of Nerva.


Domitilla Flavia
Domitilla Flavia. [[166]Domitianus (1).]

Domnus I., bp. of Antioch
Domnus I. (2), bp. of Antioch, appointed a.d.269 on the deposition of Paul of Samosata, by the sole authority of the council, without any reference to the clergy and people, the bishops evidently fearing they might re-elect Paul (Eus. H. E. vii.30). Paul, relying on the support of Zenobia, retained for two years the episcopal residence and its church. The orthodox section appealed to Aurelian after he had conquered Zenobia and taken Antioch, a.d.272. The emperor decided that the right of occupation should belong to the party in communion with the bishops of Italy and the see of Rome. This decision was enforced by the civil power, and Paul was compelled to leave the palace in disgrace (Eus. u.s.). Domnus died a.d.274, and was succeeded by Timaeus (Till. Mém. eccl. t. iv. p.302; Neander, Ch. Hist. vol. i. p.193, Clark's trans.; Neale, Patr. of Antioch, pp.52-57).


Domnus II., bp. of Antioch
Domnus II. (4), bp. of Antioch, a friend of Theodoret. He was nephew of John, bp. of Antioch, brought up under Euthymius the famous anchoret of Palestine. He was ordained deacon by Juvenal of Jerusalem on his visit to the Laura of Euthymus in a.d.429. Two years afterwards, learning that his uncle the bp. of Antioch had become entangled in the Nestorian heresy, he besought Euthymius to allow him to go and extricate him. Euthymius counselled him to remain where he was, telling him that God could take care of his uncle without him; that solitude was safer for him than the world; that his design would not turn out to his ultimate advantage; that he might not improbably succeed to his uncle's dignity, but would become the victim of clever and unprincipled men, who would avail themselves of his simplicity, and then accomplish his ruin; but the old man's counsels were thrown away. Domnus left the Laura without even saying farewell to Euthymius (Vita S. Euthymii, cc.42, 56, 57). He obtained such popularity at Antioch that on the death of his uncle, a.d.441, he was appointed his successor, and at once ranked as the chief bishop of the Eastern world. In 445 he summoned a synod of Syrian bishops which confirmed the deposition of Athanasius of Perrha. In 447 he consecrated Irenaeus to the see of Tyre (Theod. Ep.110; Labbe, Concil. t. iii. col.1275); but Theodosius II., having commanded that the appointment should be annulled, Irenaeus being both a digamus and a favourer of the Nestorian heresy, Domnus, despite Theodoret's remonstrances, yielded to the imperial will (Theod. u.s.; Ep.80). Ibas, bp. of Edessa, being charged with promulgating Nestorian doctrines (Labbe, ib. t. iv. col.658), Domnus summoned a council at Antioch (a.d.448) which decided in favour of Ibas and deposed his accusers (ib.639 seq.). Domnus's sentence, though revoked by Flavian, bp. of Constantinople, was confirmed by three episcopal commissioners to whom he and the emperor Theodosius had committed the matter. Domnus was one of the earliest impeachers of the orthodoxy of Eutyches, in a synodical letter to Theodosius, c.447 (Facundus, viii.5; xii.5). At the Latrocinium, held at Ephesus, Aug.8, 449, on this matter, Domnus, in virtue of an imperial rescript, found himself deprived of his presidential seat, which was occupied by Dioscorus, while precedence over the patriarch of Antioch was given to Juvenal of Jerusalem (Labbe, ib.115, p.251). Cowed by the dictatorial spirit of Dioscorus, and unnerved by the violence of Barsumas and his monks, Domnus revoked his former condemnation of Eutyches, and voted for his restoration (ib. col.258) and for the condemnation of Flavian (ib. col.306). Domnus was, nevertheless, deposed and banished by Dioscorus. The charges against him were, approval of a Nestorian sermon preached before him at Antioch by Theodoret on the death of Cyril (Mercator, t. i. p.276), and some expressions in letters written by him to Dioscorus condemning the perplexed and obscure character of Cyril's anathemas (Liberatus, c.11, p.74). He was the only bishop then deposed and banished who was not reinstated after the council of Chalcedon. At that council Maximus, his successor in the see of Antioch, obtained permission to assign Domnus a pension from the revenues of the church (Labbe, ib. col.681; append. col.770). Finally, on his recall from exile Domnus returned to the monastic home of his youth, and ended his days in the Laura of St. Euthymius, where in 452, according to Theophanes, he afforded a refuge to Juvenal of Jerusalem when driven from his see (Theoph. p 92).


Donatus and Donatism
Donatus and Donatism. The Donatists were the first Christians who separated from the church on the ground of discipline, though the church had already been torn by heresies, such as Gnosticism and Manicheism, which had affected doctrines. It is important to remember that Donatism was not heresy, as the word is ordinarily understood. All heretics are, in one sense, schismatics, but all schismatics are not heretics; and the Donatists themselves protested, with justice, against being considered heretics.

Mensurius was bp. of Carthage during and after Diocletian's persecution (a.d.303). Having been required by consul Anulinus to give up any copies of Holy Scripture in his possession, he had hid them, and passed off heretical works in their stead. The consul, learning the |pious fraud,| declined to take further action. Mensurius felt it his duty to check the growing and inordinate reverence for martyrdom. He saw that there were too many would-be martyrs whose character would not bear close scrutiny, and, together with his archdeacon Caecilian, did his best to discountenance the reverence of good but mistaken Christians for these undeserving men. This naturally brought him into odium with those to whom martyrdom was the becoming conclusion of the Christian life.

During his lifetime the storm was brewing, and it fairly broke out when Caecilian succeeded him (a.d.311). That appointment was felt to be a blow to all who magnified martyrdom. His opponents rested their principal objection on the fact that he had been ordained by a traditor, Felix of Aptunga; and proceeded to elect Majorinus as successor to Mensurius. The charge was a strange one to be made by Caecilian's chief opponent, Secundus, bp. of Tigisis, for documents exist which prove Secundus himself a traditor, in spite of his boast to Mensurius. From that date Donatism, as it was afterwards called, had a separate and schismatical existence. Both sides appealed to Constantine, and the emperor at once subjected the alleged traditorship of Felix to a thorough examination by a council at Rome (a.d.313), which decided in favour of Felix, cleared his character, and consequently declared the ordination of Caecilian valid. The subject was again exhaustively discussed before the consul Aelianus, who, at the bidding of Constantine, gave the Donatists another opportunity (a.d.314), at Carthage, of proving their charge against Felix. The finding of the tribunal was unanimous: |Nemo in eum (Felicem) aliquid probare potuerit quod religiosissimas scripturas tradiderit vel exusserit.|

Bp. Majorinus died a.d.315, but had been a leader of little consequence. His followers had called themselves, for convenience' sake, the party of Majorinus; but after his death, if not before, they took the name -- Donatists -- by which they are best known. There were perhaps 2 bishops named Donatus; (1) of Casae Nigrae, who, before Caecilian's elevation, had shewn his schismatical tendencies; (2) the successor of Majorinus and surnamed |the Great.| But this distinction has lately been questioned; see Sparrow Simpson, St. Aug. and Afr. Ch. Divisions (1910), p.31; Monceaux, Revue de l'Hist. de Religion (1909).

In Donatus the Great personal hostility to Mensurius and Caecilian, and irritation against the decisions of Rome and Arles [[168]Caecilian], of Aelianus and Constantine, led to a defiant attitude against both Church and State. The dissentients to Caecilian had, consistently enough, refused to his church the title of the Church of God, and appropriated that distinction to themselves. The Caecilianist clergy were condemned for their league with a traditor and their acts repudiated as invalid; hence those who followed Majorinus were rebaptized. But Constantine's edict (a.d.316) took away from them their churches, and the heavy hand of Ursacius deprived them of their lives. The sectarians found in Donatus a man bold enough to denounce the imperial power and to infuse vigour into their strife against the Caecilianists. He was neither |the angel| his followers called him nor |the fiend| his opponents described him. He was a man of unquestionable ability, eloquence, and thoroughness -- the Cyprian of his party, as St. Augustine called him; but also hard and unloving to foe, proud and overbearing to friend. Optatus and St. Augustine were justified in comparing with the proud |prince of Tyre| (Ezek. xxviii.2) the man who in his lifetime permitted his followers to swear by his name and by his grey hairs, and could ask of the menial bishops, |What do you say to my party?| and who, after his death, was described by Donatists at the conference of Carthage as the miracle-worker, |the pride of the church of Carthage, the man with the reputation of a martyr.|

When the soldiers of Ursacius appeared in N. Africa, Donatus was ready to resist them, and his courage infected the timid people and prelates. His name became the rallying-point for every man who had real or imaginary grievances against existing ecclesiastical, civil, and social powers, amongst others the Circumcellions. |They were a class of men,| says St. Augustine, |who followed no kind of useful occupation, held their own lives in fanatical contempt, and thought no death too cruel for those who differed from them; they wandered about from place to place, chiefly in the country districts, and haunted the cells of the peasants for the purpose of obtaining food. Hence they were called 'Circumcelliones.'| The better class of Donatists turned away in horror from fanatics who imbrued their hands with the blood of the innocent as well as of the guilty; but the offer of partisanship having been once accepted, it was impossible to withdraw it altogether. Donatus, Parmenian, Petilian, and Cresconius in turn were forced to palliate as much as they could the actions of these allies, who preferred to be called Agonistici, Champions of Christ, and who rushed into the battle with |Deo laudes| as their war-cry, and with a weapon dubbed |Israelite| as their war-club.

Constantine soon found that Donatism was not to be put down by the sword. In a.d.317 Ursacius was bidden hold his hand, and Caecilian was exhorted to treat his opponents kindly, and leave vengeance to God. The emperor's letter was a mixture of truth and sarcasm: |All schisms,| he wrote, |are from the devil; and these Separatists proceed from him. What good can you expect from those who are the adversaries of God and the enemies of the holy church? Such men must split off from the church, and attach themselves to the devil. Surely we act most wisely, if we leave to them what they have wrenched from us. By patience and kindness we may hope to gain them. Let us leave vengeance to God. I rejoice to think that you meet their brutality with gentleness and good temper. As I understand that these men have destroyed a church in Constantinople, I have ordered my finance-minister to build you a new one. God grant that these mistaken Separatists may at last see their error and turn to the one true God!| It was not a letter calculated to soothe the Donatists. They presently replied to the emperor that he must distinctly understand that they would have nothing to do with his |fool of a bishop| (i.e. Caecilian), and that he might do his worst. With this mutual contempt and recrimination matters ended for the time. Constantine during the remainder of his life ignored the Donatists; but they increased largely in numbers in their own districts -- in a.d.330 they held a synod attended by 270 bishops -- and established a few insignificant stations elsewhere.

Constans, son of Constantine, succeeded to his father's N. African possessions; and, at first, endeavoured to conciliate the Donatists by kindness. He published (a.d.340) an edict requiring the Donatists to return to the church, urging that |unity must now exist, because Christ was a lover of unity,| and instructed his commissioners Ursacius (probably not the Ursacius already mentioned) and Leontius to distribute money, as alms, in Donatist as well as in Catholic churches. The Donatists spurned it as gold offered by the devil to seduce men from their faith. The sword of persecution was then unsheathed to deprive the Donatists of their churches; and the survivors regarded the victims as martyrs and their graves as platforms for preaching resistance. In a.d.345 Gregorius travelled through the province, offering not only alms but valuable church plate to all who would accept the imperial invitation to submit. Donatus sent circular letters through all the provinces, forbidding the acceptance of any presents; and wrote to Gregorius in a scurrilous style. In a.d.347 a third commission, composed of Paul, Macarius, and Taurinus, came to Donatus himself, with gold in their hands. The bishop listened impatiently, and at length broke out, |What has the emperor to do with the church?| They were words which meant much at the time, but have meant more since.

The language of Donatus was repeated from every Donatistic pulpit by preachers proclaiming the duty of separation from a church |which committed fornication with the princes of this world,| and whose prelates were mere tools of an emperor. Such obloquy served to madden the fanatics, even though it brought upon them furious persecution. The Circumcellions rose, and frightful bloodshed followed. These |Christian champions| traversed the country, subverting everything. Slaves and debtors were deemed brothers; masters and creditors tyrants. The excesses of the Circumcellions were so great that Donatus and his brother-bishops were forced to appeal to Taurinus to check them. The Circumcellions kissed the hands which betrayed them, and turned their fury upon themselves. They longed for martyrdom. They invaded pagan temples that death might be found from the sword of some infuriated idolator; they entered courts of justice and frightened judges ordered their instant execution; travellers were stopped and threatened with instant death if they did not slay the suppliants. Days, hours, and places were named that an admiring crowd might witness them cast themselves headlong from some rock into the graves which their posterity would reverence as those of the martyrs. Macarius did not discriminate between moderate Donatist and extreme Circumcellionist. With an iron hand he crushed both. Donatus was banished, and died in exile. The church was triumphant. Optatus saluted Constans as the servant of God who had been privileged to restore unity; but many regretted that unity had been won at such a price. When Donatists afterwards called Christians |Macarians,| in scornful allusion to the persecutor of their sect, St. Augustine replied: |Yes, we are Macarians, for that name means 'blessed,' and who is more blessed than Christ to Whom we belong?| but it was natural to him and worthy of him to add, |Don't let us call one another names. Don't cast at me the times of Macarius, and I won't remind you of the madness of the Circumcellions. Let us, as far as possible, work together, because we are all orphans.|

It was probably soon after the cessation of the persecution that Gratus, Caecilian's successor, summoned a synod at Carthage, which established (1) the non-iteration of baptism, when duly administered in the name of the Trinity; (2) the necessary restrictions on reverence for martyrs, and on the assignment of that title.

In a.d.361 Julian became emperor. His edict |recalled all the bishops and clergy banished in the reign of Constantius, and granted equal freedom to all parties of the Christian church.| The Donatists were not included in this. Two of their bishops, Rogatian and Pontus, waited on the emperor; and left with full permission to return to their country. The return was marked by violence and murder. The Donatists treated the churches as places which had been profaned, washed the walls and altars, tore the vestments to pieces, threw the holy vessels outside and the sacred elements to the dogs. Then they reintroduced their rigorous discipline. Apostates were received only after most humiliating penance, laymen were rebaptized, and clerics reordained. For two years Donatism was in the ascendant and basked in the imperial sunshine. But the cry which went up from the dying Julian's lips (a.d.363), |Galilean, Thou hast conquered,| was also the cry which told the Donatist that his day of triumph had ended.

Donatus had been succeeded by Parmenian, perhaps the ablest and least prejudiced of the Donatist episcopacy. A foreigner by birth, and actually ignorant of many of the saddest and cruellest episodes of Donatist history, he entered upon his duties at Carthage free from the passionate views which marked so many of his followers, and disposed to rate lightly much that to them was of great importance. His literary merit was great and excited the admiration of Optatus, bp. of Milevi, and of St. Augustine, each of whom has left a statement of the current Donatist opinions. The theological disputations between Optatus and Parmenian are preserved in the great work of the former, and evidently Parmenian's opinions are honestly given. Optatus was a man of unquestioned piety, dialectical skill, and orthodoxy; perfectly indifferent to Circumcellion threats, bribery, or corruption; earnestly desirous for unity, if it could be obtained without sacrifice of principle; and he sought as much common ground as possible, before stating unhesitatingly where he and his opponent must part. If the usual tone of kindliness and courtesy is occasionally forgotten, if the title |brother| given to Parmenian is replaced by |Antichrist| when Donatus is mentioned, if cool, argumentative reasoning is sometimes dropped for defiant passionate utterance, the difference is intelligible in a character so full of both charity and zeal that St. Augustine called him |a second Ambrose of Milan.|

There were two points about which, theoretically, both men were agreed: (1) That there was only one church; and (2) that in that one church there was only one baptism, and this not to be repeated. But disagreement soon began. |A church,| said the Donatist, |in which traditors both existed and dispensed the sacraments was no church, and baptism administered by traditors was no baptism.| Where, then, was the pure church? with the Catholic or Donatist? How far was the validity of the sacraments dependent upon the purity of the church and the personal character of those who dispensed them? These were old questions, but discussed between Optatus and Parmenian as they had never been before. [[169]Optatus (6); Parmenianus.]

The existence of Donatism was next threatened by divisions within. |As Donatus,| says St. Augustine, |sought to divide Christ, so was Donatus divided by the divisions which arose daily amongst his own followers.| Rogatists and Maximianists, or individuals like Tichonius, arose to contest or moderate the views of the founders of the sect. [[171]Tichonius.]

The fiercest blow to Donatism was, however, given by the Maximianist schism. [[172]Maximianus (2).] Parmenian died a.d.392, and was succeeded by Primian. Primian imposed a penance on one of his deacons, Maximian; the deacon protested, was excommunicated, and appealed to some neighbouring bishops, who took up his cause and respectfully solicited Primian to give them a hearing or to meet them. Primian declined. In a.d.393 more than 100 malcontent bishops assembled in synod at Cabarsussis, summoned Primian before them, and, on his again refusing to notice them, recited his misdeeds in an elaborate document, excommunicated him, and elected Maximian, procuring his consecration at Carthage. The Donatists of Carthage, now divided into Primianists and Maximianists, had, in their turn, to experience the misery of altar set up against altar. |God,| says St. Augustine, |was repaying to them the measure they had paid to Caecilian.| Primian and his party were, however, much the stronger. The bps. of Numidia and Mauritania to the number of 310 sided with him; and at the council of Bagai (a.d.394), presided over by Primian himself, Maximian was excommunicated, and his ordainers and coadjutors commanded to repent and return to the Primianist party before a certain date. The Maximianists shewed little disposition to acquiesce in this decision, and persecution began. Maximian's church was levelled to the ground and his house handed over to a heathen priest. The proconsul Seranus was asked to assist in carrying out the judgment of the council on the refractory. The Maximianists were hunted from place to place, and the treatment of the aged and beloved bp. of Membresa, Salvius, was scandalous and cruel beyond measure. But few Maximianists, however, returned to the main body; the majority struggled on as martyrs, rebaptizing and reordaining those who joined them. Donatism had received a mortal wound.

The action of the Catholic church and the state during this period further helped to check the extension of Donatism. Many Donatists, priests as well as laymen, disgusted with party squabbles and cruel excesses, turned their eyes to the church. They were met with kindness. In a.d.393 a council met at Hippo under the presidency of Aurelius, bp. of Carthage. The measures passed were liberal in spirit and intention. They allowed returning Donatist clergy to retain their clerical position and functions, if they had not rebaptized, and if they brought their congregations with them; and decided that children of Donatists, even if they had received Donatist baptism, should not be excluded from the service of the altar.

The action of the state had varied according as political events had directed imperial attention to Donatists or removed it from them. Valentinian's edict (a.d.373) deposing any clerical person who rebaptized, and Gratian's successive decrees -- the first (a.d.375) commanding the surrender of their churches; the second (a.d.377) issued to the Donatist, Flavian, the imperial representative in Africa, enjoining further the confiscation of houses used by them; the third (a.d.378) commanding the expulsion from Rome of one Claudian, who had gone there to propagate Donatist opinions -- produced a good deal of misery; but the political disquiet connected with the murder of Gratian (a.d.383), the wars between Maximus and Theodosius, the deposition of Maximus and restoration of Valentinian (a.d.388), made it impossible to enforce these or similar injunctions, and for the time the Donatists enjoyed a comparative freedom from interference. In a.d.392 Theodosius issued his laws against heretics generally, fining all such who performed priestly functions. This was not directed against the Donatists particularly, and was probably not enforced against them previous to the death of Theodosius (a.d.395). That event was followed by Gildo's usurpation of power in Africa, and his alliance with one of the cruellest Donatist bishops, Optatus of Thamugas. The ravages committed were only stayed by Honorius's victory over Gildo (a.d.398); and Theodosius's penalty was enforced by Seranus against Optatus and his followers. An edict of Honorius (a.d.398) decreeing the punishment of death to all who dared to violate churches and maltreat the clergy was evidently directed against the Circumcellions.

Yet the position of the Donatist body was better than that of the Catholic church. The greater part of Africa was Donatist, the church lay crushed and oppressed. Towards the end of the 4th cent. it seemed almost as if the place of the ancient, Catholic, and Apostolic church would be taken by the new usurping sect. Then the good providence of God raised up St. Augustine, whose piety and ability shielded then and since the true church of Christ. In a.d.391 he came to Hippo, and the popular vote at once pointed him out as the future successor of the aged Valerius. In a.d.395 he was consecrated coadjutor-bishop. Hippo was a hot-bed of Donatism. In a letter (Ep.33) to Proculeianus the Donatist bp. of Hippo, St. Augustine pathetically asks, |What has Christ done to us, that we rend His members asunder? Consider how sad a division reigns in Christian households and families. Husband and wife, who -- in their married life -- know no division, separate themselves at the altar of Christ! Children live with their parents in the same dwelling, but that dwelling is not also God's dwelling.| Full of zeal, St. Augustine threw himself into the thick of the fight. His sermons attracted Donatists as well as Catholics, and the sectarians threatened his life; but his works had great effect. Men like Petilian were silenced; priests, laymen, and even whole communities came back to the church. Twice in 401 a council met at Carthage to deal with the supply of Catholic clergy; Donatist enticement or persecution having so reduced their number that many churches had no deacons and therefore no future means for supplying the higher offices. The council at Hippo had imposed restrictions upon Donatist clergy, who returned to the church, exercising their office. An appeal to pope Anastasius to remove these restrictions was allowed. St. Augustine set the example of receiving Donatist-ordained deacons, though apparently he declined to receive again -- in an official capacity -- those who had previously passed from the church to the sectarians. These measures, though accompanied by loving words of greeting, roused the Donatists. They were still a majority, powerful and persistent. They called to their aid the brutal fanaticism of the Circumcellions, especially against apostate Donatists and the Catholic clergy. Once again fire and sword levelled churches and destroyed altars. St. Augustine was threatened, tracked, and surrounded; Catholic priests were stopped in the road, and the choice offered them: |Promise to preach no more, or prepare for ill-treatment.| Moderate-minded men among the Donatists looked on in horror, but were powerless to check the barbarities. The Catholics, before appealing to the state, desired (a.d.403) a conference. The Donatist bishop, Primian, repelled their advances with insult, saying, |The sons of the martyrs and the brood of traditors can never meet.| Equally unsuccessful were attempts of St. Augustine and Possidius to confer with leading Donatist bishops. At last a council at Carthage (a.d.404) determined to appeal to Honorius to enforce the laws of Theodosius against the Donatists and restrict the excesses of the Circumcellions. But before the deputation reached the emperor, his anger was kindled by accounts from his own officers. The cruelty of the Donatists to two Catholic bishops, Servus and Maximinian of Bagai, made him little disposed to accept the gentler measures proposed by the council of Carthage; and in 405 he issued an edict, fining those who had inflicted ill-usage, and threatening the Donatist bishops and clergy with banishment. In the same year imperial laws forbade rebaptism, condemned the Donatists as heretics, confiscated their meeting-houses and the goods of those who rebaptized, excluded them from testamentary inheritance, and proclaimed to all |that the one and true Catholic faith of Almighty God was to be received.| These and similar imperial edicts brought to the church many who had been wavering. The Catholics received them with love and forgiveness; and in some cities, as in Carthage, union between Catholics and Donatists was openly asserted and celebrated. But these edicts exasperated still further the more extreme Donatists. St. Augustine's own city, Hippo, and its neighbourhood suffered fearfully from the Circumcellions. In a.d.409 St. Augustine complained bitterly (Ep.111) of their plundering and ravages, their revengeful acts and cruelties to the Catholic bishops and laity. Letters to Donatist bishops or to imperial commissioners were of little use when the men to whom they referred would slay themselves if balked of their prey, or cast themselves into the fires they themselves had kindled. They heard of Stilicho's death (a.d.408). Rightly or wrongly they had considered him the originator of the stern decrees lately issued, and hailed the news by joining with heathen in slaying, ill-using, or putting to flight the hated Catholic bishops. Fresh deputations went to Rome; St. Augustine wrote letters to the chief minister Olympius; and fresh edicts, enforcing previous laws, fines, and punishments, were sent to Africa.

About this time St. Augustine issued other works which throw much light on the Donatist controversy: (a) On the One Baptism, written between a.d.406 and 411, an answer to a tract of Petilian's bearing the same title. (b) Against Cresconius, written a.d.409. Cresconius objected to his party being called Donatists: |Not Donatus, but Christ was their founder. It was not heresy but schism which separated them and the Catholic church|; and Cresconius claimed that it was not they who were in schism, but the Catholics, who thereby had lost church and baptism.

The invasion of Rome by Alaric king of the Goths took place a.d.408, and it was rumoured that the Donatists of Africa were ready to support the invader. The emperor Honorius rescinded his extreme decrees against heathen and schismatic; but in 410 a deputation of 4 bishops from Carthage again brought complaints against the Donatists to him. The deputation was charged to petition for a conference of Catholics and Donatists under imperial presidency. In Oct.410 Honorius instructed the proconsul of Africa, Marcellinus, to make all necessary preparations and act as president at the debates. He issued an edict (Jan.411) inviting Catholic and Donatist bishops to meet in June at Carthage and elect representatives, promising safe-conduct and suspending meanwhile all processes against Donatists. Both parties entered eagerly into the scheme: 286 Catholic and 279 Donatist bishops came to Carthage in May; and, after great difficulty in bringing the Donatists to the point, the president pronounced sentence. The official Acts and the testimony of Holy Scripture were taken to have proved the unsoundness of the accusations against Caecilian, and of the view that one man, through the sinfulness of another, became therefore a partaker in that other's guilt. |I therefore,| said Marcellinus, |warn all men . . . to hinder the assembling of Donatists in towns and villages, and to restore the churches to the Catholics. Every bishop of the community of Donatus must, on his return to his home, return to the one true church, or at least not impede the faithful execution of the law. If they have Circumcellions about them, and do not restrain and repress the excesses of these men, they shall be deprived of their places in the state.|

The condemned Donatists, among whom were the principal bishops, smarting at their defeat, reviled Marcellinus and appealed to the emperor. The reply came (a.d.412), terse and stern, and classed them as heretics. It bade them return to the church, fined them according to their rank and station, and in the event of contumacy confiscated their houses and goods. Many Donatists obeyed the edict, others scorned it. Whole communities, as at Cirta, bishops and laymen everywhere, returned to the church; some from conviction, others for reasons of expediency and comfort. The Circumcellions broke out afresh, fired churches, destroyed houses, cast into the flames those Scriptures which had been found to tell against them, and cruelly maltreated and even murdered ecclesiastics who expounded them. The less violent proclaimed with a sneer that the church chests and imperial coffers were enriched with the gold of the Separatists, and pointed to the death of Marcellinus (a.d.413) as a divine judgment upon their unrighteous judge. In a.d.414 a yet sterner decree announced that all Donatist church-buildings were to become the property of the Catholic church, and all Donatist clergy to be suspended and banished. Fines were doubled; confiscation and banishment stared the Separatists in the face; their testimony in courts of law was disallowed; their social condition was degraded to the lowest; that the penalties stopped short of death was owing chiefly to St. Augustine, who strove successfully to prevent others from imbruing their hands with the blood of mistaken fanatics. The church, to its credit be it recorded, by kindness and gentleness made the pain of defeat less bitter to its foes, while it did not neglect to avail itself of the advantages resulting from victory. As the Catholic bishops returned to their homes they spread everywhere the news of the victory, and in the following Lent publicly proclaimed it in their churches. Short summaries of the acts and judgment of the conference were circulated, one being by St. Augustine himself. These were intended principally for Catholics; others, as St. Augustine's |ad Donatistas post collectionem,| were addressed to the sectarians who might be swayed by one-sided reports circulated by Donatist bishops, or by their slanderous abuse of Marcellinus and the Catholics. In 418 a council at Carthage passed resolutions regulating the proceedings, when Donatist bishops, clergy, and congregations came back to the church. Nothing could prove more clearly to what a large extent this had taken place. The church was no longer suppliant, but triumphant; and the change is observable also in some letters and acts of St. Augustine at this period, which may be said to be his last words on the great Donatist controversy. His work de Correctione Donatistarum is addressed to a soldier, Bonifacius, and is written in a style and language almost military in its stern enforcement of discipline. Bonifacius had asked the difference between the Arians and Donatists. St. Augustine, after answering the question, went on to speak of Donatists as |rebels against the unity of the church of Christ.| The conference at Carthage and the emperor had laid down laws which they disobeyed, and thus deserved punishment (Dan. iii.29). The Lord had commanded His disciples to compel the resisting to come to the marriage-feast, and that marriage-feast was the unity of the Body of Christ. The church was that Body; so long as a man lived, God in His goodness would bring him to repentance, and lead him to that church, which was the temple of the Holy Ghost; but outside that Body, the Church, the Holy Ghost gave no man life. The same strong statement recurs in his exhortation to Emeritus, the Donatist bp. of Caesarea. The majority of Emeritus's congregation had returned to the church. St. Augustine pleaded with the bishop: |outside the church you may have everything except salvation. You may have offices, Sacraments, Liturgy, Gospel, belief, and preaching, in the name of the Trinity; but you can only find salvation in the Catholic Church.|

The last letters of St. Augustine were addressed to a Donatist bishop Gaudentius. Marcellinus had been succeeded by Dulcitius, who endeavoured to carry out the strong laws against the Donatists with all possible mildness, and specially interested himself in restraining the fanaticism of the Circumcellions. Unfortunately, some words of his were taken to mean that he would punish them with death unless they returned to the church. Gaudentius and his congregation assembled in their church, determined to set fire to it and perish in the flames. Dulcitius contrived to stop this by a letter to Gaudentius, who in two letters defended his proposed action and the views of his party. Dulcitius appealed to St. Augustine, who answered Gaudentius's arguments. His work, contra Gaudentium, in two books, goes over the old ground, also exposing the folly and crime of suicide.

Donatism had now lived its life. No new champions appeared to defend it; and once again only did the schism lift up its head. Towards the end of the 6th cent. there was a momentary revival of energy and proselytism; but popes such as Leo and Gregory the Great and imperial laws were irresistible. The movement died out. The Donatists lingered on till the invasion of Africa by the Mahommedans swept them away or merged them into come other schismatical body.

See Optatus, ed. Alba Spinaeus (Par.1631), or ed. Dupin (Antw.1702); S. Augustini, Opera, vol. vii. (Par. ed.1635); Vogel, |Donatisten| in Herzog's Real-Encyclop.; Hefele, do. in Wetzer's Kirchenlexicon and Concil-Geschichte; Neander, Church History, iii.258, etc. ed. Bohn; Niedner, Lehrbuch d. Christlichen Kirchengeschichte 324; Robertson, Hist. of the Christian Church, i.175, etc.; Hagenbach, Kirchengeschichte, i.547; Ribbeck, Donatus and Augustinus (1858); M. Deutsch, Drei Actenstücke zur Geschichte der Donatismus (Berlin, 1875); Harnack, Dog. Gesch. (3rd. ed.) iii.36 ff.; Thomasius, Dog. Gesch. (2nd ed.) i.606 ff.


Dorothea, virgin martyr
Dorothea, virgin, martyred with Theophilus the Advocate, and two other women, Christa and Callista, at Caesarea, in Cappadocia. Some doubt is entertained about these names, as they occur in no Greek menology or martyrology; but they are found in ancient Roman accounts; and details are given by the monk Usuard, bp. Ado, and Rabanus. They are celebrated on Feb.6. Baronius, Bollandus, and Tillemont all place the death of Dorothea in the persecution of Diocletian.

She was a young girl of Caesarea in Cappadocia, famed so widely for Christian piety that when the governor Fabricius, Sapricius, or Apricius arrived he had her brought before him and tortured. Unable to persuade her to marry, he sent her to Christa and Callista that they might induce her to give up her faith. She converted them; whereupon the governor put them to death in a boiling cauldron.

Dorothea was again tortured, and shewed her joy for the martyrdom of Christa and Callista and for her own sufferings. The governor, insulted and enraged, ordered her head to be cut off. On her way to execution an advocate named Theophilus laughingly asked her to send him some apples and roses from the paradise of her heavenly bridegroom. The legend states that these were miraculously conveyed to him, although Cappadocia was then covered with snow. Theophilus was converted, tortured, and decapitated.

Dorothea's body is said to have been taken to Rome, and preserved in the church across the Tiber which bears her name. On her festival there is a ceremony of blessing roses and apples. Migne, Dict. Hagiograph. i.779; Bollandus, Acta Sanct. Feb. i. p.771; Tillem. Hist. eccl. p.497 (Paris, 1702).


Dorotheus (3), presbyter at Antioch
Dorotheus (3), a presbyter of Antioch, ordained by Cyril of Antioch (Hieron. Chron.) c. a.d.290, who with his contemporary Lucian may be regarded as the progenitor of the sound and healthy school of scriptural hermeneutics which distinguished the interpreters of Antioch from those of Alexandria. Eusebius speaks of him with high commendation, as distinguished by a pure taste and sound learning, of a wide and liberal education, well acquainted not only with the Hebrew Scriptures, which Eusebius says he had heard him expounding in the church at Antioch, with moderation (metrios) but also with classical literature. He was a congenital eunuch, which commended him to the notice of the emperor Constantine, who placed him at the head of the purple-dye-house at Tyre Eus. H. E., vii.32; Neander, Eccl. Hist. vol. ii. p.528, Clark's trans.; Gieseler, Eccl. Hist. vol. i. p.247, Clark's trans.


Dorotheus (7), bp. of Martianopolis
Dorotheus (7), bp. of Martianopolis in Moesia Secunda, and metropolitan; a zealous supporter of the doctrines of Nesturios, and a determined enemy of the title theotokos. Preaching in Constantinople not long before the council of Ephesus, he declared that |if any one asserted that Mary was the mother of God he was anathema| (Ep. Cyrill. ap. Baluz. Concil. col.402). He attended that council, a.d.431, signing the appeal to the emperor against the dominant party (Baluz.701), and joining in the documents warning the clergy and people of Hierapolis and Constantinople against the errors of Cyril, and announcing Cyril's excommunication (ib.706, 725). He was deposed and excommunicated by Cyril and his friends. This deposition being confirmed by the imperial power, he was ordered by Maximinian's synod at Constantinople to be ejected from his city and throne. His influence, however, with his people was so great that they refused to receive his successor Secundianus, and drove him from the city (Ep. Doroth. ad Cyrill. Baluz.750), whereupon Dorotheus was banished by the emperor to Caesarea in Cappadocia. Two letters of his to John of Antioch are preserved in the Synodicon (Nos.78, 115; Baluz.781, 816), expressing his anxiety at Paul's setting out to Egypt and his distress at hearing that terms had been come to with Cyril, and a third (No.137; Baluz.840) to Alexander of Hierapolis and Theodoret, proposing a joint appeal to the emperor.


Dorotheus (10), bp. of Thessalonica
Dorotheus (10), bp. of Thessalonica 515-520. He wrote on April 28, 515, to pope Hormisdas, urging him to labour for the peace of the church. He testifies respect for the see of Rome, and wishes to see the heresies of Nestorius and Eutyches everywhere condemned.

But in the spring of 517 we find him a Eutychian schismatic, seeking to exercise over the province of Thessalonica the rights which belonged to its metropolis when in communion with the Catholic church. He persecuted John bp. of Nicopolis, employing the secular arm and persuading the emperor Anastasius to support his faction. Complaints were brought to pope Hormisdas, who pointed out that he might regain his rights if he rejoined the Catholic church; but the papal legates Ennodius and Peregrinus were to bring the affair before the emperor, if bp. Dorotheus should persist. The emperor Anastasius refused the message of the legates, tried to corrupt them, and wrote to the pope saying that he could suffer insults, but not commands (July 11, 517). The death of the emperor almost exactly a year afterwards altered the balance against the Eutychians. Justin I., the Thracian, wrote, on his accession, to the pope, expressing his own wish and that of the principal Eastern bishops for the restoration of peace between East and West. Hormisdas, with the advice of king Theodoric, sent a third legation to
Constantinople, Germanus bp. of Capua, John a bishop, Blandus a presbyter, and others. To these men at Constantinople Hormisdas wrote to inquire personally into the doings of the Eutychians at Thessalonica, and to cite bp. Dorotheus and his abettor Aristides the presbyter to Rome, that they might give account of their faith and receive resolution of their doubts. Two days before the arrival of the legates, Dorotheus baptized more than 2,000 people, and distributed the Eucharistic bread in large baskets, so that multitudes could keep it by them. On their arrival, the populace of Thessalonica, excited, as the legates thought, by Dorotheus, fell upon them, and killed John, a Catholic, who had received them in his house. News of these outrages arriving at Constantinople, the emperor Justin promised to summon Dorotheus before him. The pope wrote to his legates, saying that they must see Dorotheus deposed, and take care that Aristides should not be his successor. Dorotheus was cited before the emperor at Heraclea; he appealed to Rome, but the emperor thought it unadvisable to send him there, as his accusers would not be present. He was suddenly sent away from Heraclea, and the pope's legates, bp. John and the presbyter Epiphanius, who had remained at Thessalonica in his absence, wrote in alarm to the remaining legates at Constantinople lest Dorotheus and others should re-establish themselves in their sees by liberal use of money.

Dorotheus was now obliged by the emperor to send deputies to Rome to satisfy the pope. He accordingly wrote an agreeable letter, saying that he had exposed his life in defence of bp. John, when the populace had fallen upon him. Pope Hormisdas wrote back, saying that the crime was known to all the world, and required clearer defence; he remitted its examination to the patriarch of Constantinople. Hormisd. Epp., Patr. Lat. lxiii. pp.371, 372, 408, 445, 446, 452, 468, 473, 481, 499, etc.; Ceillier, x.616, 618, 619, 625, 626, 628, 632, 633.


Dositheus (1), leader of Jewish sect
Dositheus (1). The earliest ecclesiastical writers speak of a sect of Dositheans, which, though it never spread far outside Samaria, seems to have had some considerable duration in that quarter. It was rather a Jewish sect than a Christian heresy, for Dositheus was regarded rather as a rival than as a disciple of our Lord, but trustworthy information as to his history and his doctrines is very scanty. Only the name of himself and his sect occurs in Hegesippus's list of heresies, preserved by Eusebius (H. E. iv.22). He is there placed next after Simon and Cleobius. The earliest detailed account of him is given in the Clementine writings, and it is not unlikely that their account was derived from the treatise on heresies of Justin Martyr. The Recognitions (ii.8) and Homilies (ii.24) agree in making Simon Magus a disciple of Dositheus, and the Recognitions would lead us to suppose that Dositheus was clearly the elder. They represent him as already recognised as the prophet like unto Moses, whom Jehovah was to raise up; when Simon with difficulty and entreaty obtained election among his 30 disciples. The Homilies make Simon and Dositheus fellow disciples of John the Baptist, to whom in several places the author shews hostility. As our Lord, the Sun, had 12 apostles, so John, the Moon, had 30 disciples, or even more accurately answering to the days of a lunation, 29½, for one of them was a woman. On John's death Simon was absent studying magic in Egypt, and so Dositheus was put over his head into the chief place, an arrangement in which Simon on his return thought it prudent to acquiesce. Origen, who was acquainted with the Recognitions, probably had in his mind the story of the 30 disciples of Dositheus, when he says (contra Celsum, vi.11) that he doubts whether there were then 30 Dositheans in the world (ib. i.57) or 30 Simonians. Recognitions and Homilies agree that Simon after his enrolment among the disciples of Dositheus, by his disparagement among his fellow-disciples of their master's pretensions, provoked Dositheus to smite him with a staff, which through Simon's magical art passed through his body as if it had been smoke. Dositheus in amazement thereat, and conscious that he himself was not the Standing one as he pretended to be, inquired if Simon claimed that dignity for himself, and, being answered in the affirmative, resigned his chief place to him and became his worshipper. Soon after he died. Elsewhere (i.54) the Recognitions represent Dositheus as the founder of the sect of the Sadducees, a sect which, according to their account, had its commencement only in the days of John the Baptist.

Next in order of the early witnesses to the activity of Dositheus is Hippolytus, who, as we learn from Photius (Cod.121), commenced his shorter treatise on heresies with a section on the Dositheans. We gather the contents of this treatise from Epiphanius (Haer.13), Philaster (4), and Pseudo-Tertullian, and the opening sentence of the latter, which relates to the Dositheans, is almost exactly reproduced by St. Jerome (adv. Luciferianos, iv.304). The first section of the work of Hippolytus apparently contained a brief notice of pre-Christian sects, the foremost place being given to the Dositheans. Hippolytus seems to have adopted the account of the Recognitions as to the origin of the sect of the Sadducees, and to have also charged Dositheus with rejecting the inspiration of the prophets. A statement that Dositheus was a Jew by birth was understood by Epiphanius to mean that he had deserted from the Jews to the Samaritans, a change which Epiphanies attributes to disappointed ambition. Origen mentions Dositheus in several places (cont. Celsum u.s., tract 27 in Matt. vol. iii.851; in Luc. iii.962; in Johann. iv. vol. iv. p.237; de Princ. iv.1-17); but only in the last two passages makes any statement which clearly shews that he had sources of information independent of the Clementine Recognitions; viz. in the commentary on John he speaks of books ascribed to Dositheus as being then current among his disciples, and of their belief that their master had not really died; and in de Princ. he asserts that Dositheus expounded Exod. xvi.29 so as to teach that persons were bound to remain to the end of the sabbath as they found themselves at the beginning of it; if sitting, sitting to the end; if lying, lying. Epiphanius, who may have read Dosithean books, adds, from his personal investigations to the details which he found in Hippolytus. He describes the sect as still existing, observing the Sabbath, circumcision, and other Jewish ordinances, abstaining from animal food, and many of them from sexual intercourse either altogether, or at least after having had children; but the reading here is uncertain. They are said to have admitted the resurrection of the body, the denial of which is represented as an addition made by the Sadducees to the original teaching of Dositheus. Epiphanius adds a story that Dositheus retired to a cave, and there, under a show of piety, practised such abstinence from food and drink as to bring his life to a voluntary end. This story appears, in a slightly different shape, in a Samaritan chronicle, of which an account is given by Abraham Ecchellensis ad Hebed Jesu, Catal. lib. Chald. p.162, Rom.1653, the story there being that it was the measures taken by the Samaritan high-priest against the new sect, especially because of their use of a book of the law falsified by Dositheus (there called Dousis), which compelled Dositheus to flee to a mountain, where he died from want of food in a cave. The notes of Ecchellensis are not given in Assemani's republication of Hebed Jesu (Bibl. Or. iii.). This account is taken from Mosheim (v. infra), and from De Sacy's Chrestomathie Arabe, i.337.

It appears that the sect of Dositheans long maintained a local existence. In Hebed Jesu's catalogue of Chaldee books (Assemani, Bibl. Or. iii.42) we read that Theophilus of Persia, who was later than the council of Ephesus, wrote against Dositheus. And Photius (Cod.230) reports that he read among the works of Eulogius, patriarch of Alexandria (d. a.d.608), one entitled Definition against the Samaritans, the argument of which is that the people of Samaria being divided in opinion as to whether the |prophet like unto Moses| was Joshua or Dositheus, Eulogius held a synod there (in the 7th year of Marcianus according to the MSS.; if we correct this to the 7th year of Maurice, it gives a.d.588) and taught them the divinity of our Lord. The independent notices of the continued existence of the sect make it not incredible that Eulogius may have encountered it. He appears to have really used Dosithean books, and reports that Dositheus exhibited particular hostility to the patriarch Judah, and if he claimed to be himself the prophet who was to come, he would naturally be anxious to exclude the belief that that prophet must be of the tribe of Judah. The form (Dosthes) given by Eulogius for his name is a closer approach than Dositheus to the Hebrew Dosthai, which it probably really represents. Drusius (de Sectis Hebraeorum, iii.4, 6) and Lightfoot (Disquis. Chorograph. in. Johann. iv.) shew that this was, according to Jewish tradition, the name of one of the priests who was sent (II. Kings xvii.27) to teach the manner of the God of the land, and that the same name was borne by other Samaritans.

There seems no ground for Reland's conjecture (de Samaritanis, v.) that Dositheus was the author of the Samaritan book of Joshua, since published by Juynboll (Leyden, 1848). Juynboll, p.113, quotes the testimony of an Arabic writer, Aboulfatah (given more fully, De Sacy, p.335) that the sect still existed in the 14th cent. This writer places Dositheus in the time of John Hyrcanus, i.e. more than a hundred years before Christ. Jost (Gesch. des Judenthums, i.66) refers to Beer (Buch der Jubiläen) as giving evidence that the sect left traces in Abyssinia. Several critics who have wished to accept all the statements of the above-mentioned authorities, and who have felt the difficulty of making the founder of the sect of the Sadducees contemporary with John the Baptist, have adopted the solution that there must have been two Dosithei, both founders of Samaritan sects. But we may safely say that there was but one sect of Dositheans, and that there is no evidence that any ancient writer believed that it had at different times two heads bearing the same name. Considering that the sect claimed to have been more than a century old when our earliest informants tried to get information about its founder, we need not be surprised if the stories which they collected contain many things legendary, and which do not harmonise. Probably the Dositheans were a Jewish or Samaritan ascetic sect, something akin to the Essenes, existing from before our Lord's time, and the stories connecting their founder with Simon Magus and with John the Baptist may be dismissed as merely mythical. The fullest and ablest dissertation on the Dositheans is that by Mosheim (Institutiones Historiae Christianae majores, 1739, i.376). Cf. Harnack, Gesch. der Alt.-Chr. Lit. Theol. pp.152 f.


Dubhthach, king's poet
Dubhthach (Duach) (3), Mac Ui Lugair. When St. Patrick had come to Tara and was preaching before king Leogaire, we are told that the only one who rose on the saint's approach and respectfully saluted him was Dubhthach, the king's poet, who was the first to embrace the Christian faith in that place; and as Joceline says, |being baptized and confirmed in the faith, he turned his poetry, which in the flower and prime of his studies he employed in praise of false gods, to a much better use; changing his mind and style, he composed more elegant poems in praise of the Almighty Creator and His holy preachers.| This was Dubhthach Mac Ui Lugair, descended from Cormach Caech, son of Cucorb, in Leinster. His name occupies a large space in ancient Irish hagiology as a famous poet and the ancestor of many well-known saints. He was the teacher of St. Fiacc (Oct.12) of Sletty, and recommended him to St. Patrick for the episcopate. [Fiacc.] In the compilation of the Seanchus Mor, said to have been carried on under the auspices of St. Patrick, St. Dubhthach was one of the nine appointed to revise the ancient laws. Colgan says he had in his possession some of the poems of St. Dubhthach (Tr. Thaum.8 n^5.): the Poems of St. Dubhthach are given in O'Donovan's Book of Rights, and with translations and notes in Shearman's Loca Patriciana. His dates are uncertain, but his birth is placed after 370, his conversion in 433, and his death perhaps after 479. See Loca Patriciana, by the Rev. J. F. Shearman, in Journ. Roy. Hist. and Arch. Assoc. Ir.4 ser. vols. ii. iii., with Mr. R. R. Brash's papers in the same Journal, traversing several of Shearman's assertions; Ware, Irish Writers, 1; Ussher, Eccl. Ant. c.17, wks. vi.409-412, and Ind. Chron. a.d.433; Todd, St. Patrick, 130, 424, 446.


Dubricius, Dubric, archbp. of Caerleon
Dubricius, Dubric (Dibric, Dyfrig), arch-bp. of Caerleon, one of the most distinguished names in the story of king Arthur as related by Geoffrey of Monmouth. Arthur makes him archbp. of the city of Legions (Galf. Mon. Hist. viii.12); he crowns king Arthur (ix.1); makes an oration to the British army prior to the battle of Badon (ix.4); and is the director of all the ecclesiastical pomp of the court. He was grandson of Brychan king of Brecknockshire, and two localities, vaguely described as the banks of the Gwain near Fishguard and the banks of the Wye in Herefordshire, are claimed for his birthplace. Rees decides in favour of the latter for the following reasons. In the district of Erchenfield, in the county of Hereford, are a church (Whitchurch) and two chapels (Ballingham and Hentland, subject to Lugwardine) dedicated to Dubricius, and all of them near the Wye. At Henllan (i.e. Old-church, now Hentland) he is said to have founded a college, and to have remained seven years before removing to Mochros much farther up the Wye, supposed to be the present Moccas. In corroboration of this tradition there were lately remaining, says Rees, on a farm called Lanfrother in Hentland, traces of former importance. This author further suggests that St. Devereux, seven miles to the west of Hereford, might be a Norman rendering of Dubricius. Rees grants, in support of Ussher, that he may have been appointed bp. of Llandaff about a.d.470, and that he was raised by Ambrosius Aurelius, the brother of Uther and uncle of Arthur, to the archbishopric of Caerleon on the death of Tremounos or Tremorius, a.d.490. It does not appear that Wales was then divided into dioceses, or that there were any established bishops' sees except Caerleon. The jurisdiction of its archbishop, according to the rule observable elsewhere in the empire, would be co-extensive with the Roman province of Britannia Secunda, and his suffragans were so many chorepiscopi, without any settled places of residence. The influence of Dubricius and the liberality of Meurig ab Tewdrig king of Glamorgan made the see of Llandaff permanent; whence Dubricius is said to have been its first bishop. It appears, however, that after promotion to the archbishopric of Caerleon he still retained the bishopric of Llandaff, where he mostly resided, and from which he is called archbishop of Llandaff; but that the title belonged rather to Caerleon is clear since upon his resignation David became archbp. of Caerleon and Teilo bp. of Llandaff. Dubricius is distinguished as the founder of colleges; and besides those on the banks of the Wye already mentioned he founded, or concurred in founding, the collegiate monasteries of Llancarvan, Caergorworn, and Caerleon. In his time the Pelagian heresy, which had been once suppressed by St. Germanus, had increased again to such a degree as to require extraordinary efforts for its eradication, and a synod of the whole clergy of Wales was convened at Brefi in Cardiganshire. The distinction earned by David on that occasion gave Dubricius an excuse for laying down his office, and, worn with years and longing for retirement, he withdrew to a monastery in the island of Enlli or Bardsey, where he died. Rees, who puts the chronology of Dubricius and David early, gives a.d.522 for the date. He was buried in the island, where his remains lay undisturbed till a.d.1120, when they were removed by Urban bp. of Llandaff and interred with great pomp in the new cathedral which had been rebuilt a short time before. His death was commemorated on Nov.4, and his translation on May 29. The bones of the saint were with great difficulty discovered at Bardsey, the oldest writings having to be searched, as recorded in the Liber Landavensis (ed. Rees, 1840, p.329). Such in the main is Rees's account of Dubricius (Essay on the Welsh Saints, 171-193). Of ancient materials an anonymous Vita in Wharton (Angl. Sac. ii.667) is important as having been evidently compiled from earlier sources before the fables of Geoffrey of Monmouth appeared. Benedict of Gloucester wrote his Vita (Angl. Sac. ii.656) after Geoffrey. Capgrave has also a Life (N. L. A. f.87). For others see Hardy, Des. Cat. i.40-44. Haddan and Stubbs, Councils, i.146, 147, should be consulted on Dubricius's Llandaff bishopric, and on his connexion with Archenfield or Erchenfield; likewise Stubbs (Registrum, 154, 155) for the early and legendary successions to Llandaff and Caerleon. See also Ussher, Brit. Eccl. Antiq. Works, t. v.510; Chron. Index, sub ann.490, 512, 520-522. In regard to the period of Dubricius, authorities differ within limits similar to those assigned to St. David. The Annales Cambriae under a.d.612 give the obit of Conthigirnus and bp. Dibric, whom the editors of the Monumenta, with an |ut videtur,| name bps. Kentigern and Dubricius (M. H. B.831). The Liber Landavensis also (80) gives this date, and it is adopted in Haddan and Stubbs (i.146). Hardy (Des. Cat. i.41) refers to Alford's Annales, a.d.436, ss.2, 3, 4, for some critical remarks on the probable chronology of the life of Dubricius.


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