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A Dictionary Of Christian Biography And Literature by Henry Wace

Letter I

Ibas, bp. of Edessa
Ibas, bp. of Edessa c. a.d.435-457, a Syrian by birth. His name in Syriac is Ihiba or Hiba = Donatus. He appears first as a presbyter of the church of Edessa during the episcopate of Rabbulas, and warmly espousing the theological views which his bishop uncompromisingly opposed. He was an ardent admirer of the writings of Theodore of Mopsuestia, which he translated into Syriac and diligently disseminated through the East. The famous theological school of Edessa, of which, according to some accounts, Ibas was head, and to which the Christian youth from Persia and adjacent lands resorted for education, offered great facilities for this propagation of Theodore's tenets. The growing popularity of doctrines which appeared to him decidedly heretical caused Rabbulas much alarm, and he endeavoured to get Theodore's works anathematized and burnt. The church of Edessa was generally favourable to Theodore's teaching, and Ibas was supported by the majority against their bishop. He attended the council of Ephesus in 431 as a presbyter, was cognizant of Cyril's autocratic conduct (Ep. ad Mar.; Labbe, Conc. iv.662), and wrote in 433 the letter to Maris, then or subsequently bp. of Hardaschir in Persia, to which subsequent events gave celebrity. Maris had been at Edessa previous to the Nestorian controversy, and Ibas wrote this letter to tell him what had occurred since his visit. Though evidently written under great exasperation, it shews Ibas as a man of independent judgment, free from party spirit. Nestorius is severely censured in it for refusing the title theotokos to the Virgin, and Ibas accuses Cyril of Apollinarianism, and denounces the heresy of his 12 chapters, charging him with maintaining the perfect identity of the manhood and Godhead in Christ, and denying the Catholic doctrine of the union of two Natures in One Person (Labbe, iv.661, v.510). Rabbulas dying in 435 or 436, a reactionary wave made Ibas his successor. This was very distasteful to those who held the strong anti-Nestorian views of their late bishop, and they speedily planned to secure his deposition, by spreading charges against him of openly preaching heretical doctrines. The accusations soon reached the ears of Theodosius II. and Proclus, patriarch of Constantinople. To Proclus the matter appeared so serious that towards the close of 437 he wrote to John of Antioch, as the leading prelate of the East, though really having no canonical jurisdiction over Osrhoene, begging him to persuade Ibas, if innocent, to remove the scandal by condemning publicly certain propositions chiefly drawn from Theodore's writings against the errors of Nestorius. The same demand was made by Proclus of all the Eastern bishops; but Ibas and the bishops generally refused to condemn Theodore's propositions (ib. v.511-514). Though foiled so far, the malcontents at Edessa maintained their hostile attitude to their bishop. Their leaders were four presbyters, Samuel, Cyrus, Eulogius, and Maras, acting at the instigation of one of Ibas's own suffragans, Uranius, bp. of Himeria, a pronounced Eutychian. Domnus, who had in 442 succeeded his uncle John as bp. of Antioch, visiting Hierapolis for the enthronization of the new bp. Stephen, the conspirators chose that moment for action. Cyrus and Eulogius formally laid before Domnus the accusation against Ibas, signed by about 17 clergy of Edessa, and supported by 30 (ib. iv.658). Ibas, when starting for Hierapolis to pay his respects to Domnus, heard of the accusation, and at once summoned his clergy, pronounced excommunication on Cyrus and Eulogius as calumniators, threatened the same treatment to all who participated in their proceedings. No immediate step seems to have followed the presentation of the libel. In 445 Ibas was summoned by Domnus to the synod held at Antioch in the matter of Athanasius of Perrha, but he excused himself by letter (ib. iv.739). The sympathies of Domnus inclined to Ibas, and he shewed no readiness to entertain the charges brought against him. At last, in Lent 448, the four chief delators presented their indictment before Domnus and the council of the East in a manner too formal to be neglected. Domnus consequently summoned Ibas to appear before him after Easter to answer the charges. The council was held at Antioch, and was attended by only a few bishops. The existing Acts bear only nine signatures (ib. iv.643). Ibas in person answered the 18 charges, mostly of a frivolous character and destitute of proof: e.g. that he had appropriated a jewelled chalice to his own use; that the wine at the Eucharist was inferior in quality and quantity; the malversation of sums given for the ransom of captives; simoniacal ordinations and the admission of unfit persons to the ministry and episcopate, especially his nephew Daniel, stated to be a scandalous person, whom he had made bp. of Charrae. The most weighty charges were that he had anathematized Cyril and charged him with heresy; that he was a Nestorian; and especially that at Easter 445, in the presence of his clergy, he had spoken the blasphemous words, |I do not envy Christ His becoming God, for I can become God no less than He.| |This is the day that Jesus Christ became God| (ib. iv.647-654 ; Liberat. c.12). The first charge he acknowledged, the others he indignantly repudiated as base slanders. Only two of the accusers appeared. Samuel and Cyrus had gone to Constantinople, in defiance of the terms on which the excommunication had been taken off, to lay their complaint before the emperor and patriarch, the favourable feeling of Domnus towards the accused being too evident for them to hope for an impartial trial. Domnus and the council declined to proceed in the absence of the chief witnesses, and the case seemed to be postponed indefinitely (Labbe, iv.642 seq.; Theod. Ep.111). Eulogius and Maras, thereupon, hastened to join their fellow-conspirators at Constantinople, where they found a powerful party strongly hostile to the Eastern bishops, Theodoret in particular. Their faction was soon strengthened by the arrival of Uranius, the prime mover of the whole cabal, and half a dozen more Edessene clergy. The emperor and Flavian, who had succeeded Proclus as patriarch, listened to their complaints, but declined to hear them officially. The case was remitted to the East, and by an imperial commission, dated Oct.26, 448, Uranius of Himeria, Photius of Tyre, just elected Sept.9, 448, on the deposition of Irenaeus, and Eustathius of Berytus were deputed to hear it, and Damascius, the tribune and secretary of state, was dispatched as imperial commissioner. The whole proceeding was manifestly illegal. It was contrary to the canons that bishops should be subjected to the judgment of other bishops, two belonging to another province, on the strength of an imperial decree. No one, however, protested. The imperial power was regarded as absolute. The tribunal also was grossly unfair. One of the three judges, Uranius, was ringleader of the movement against Ibas; the other two had obtained their sees by the instrumentality of Uranius (Martin, Le Brigandage d'Ephèse, pp.118-120). Tyre was named as the place of trial. The exasperation stirred up there by the blasphemies charged against Ibas was so great that it was thought politic to remove the trial to Berytus to avoid disturbances (Labbe, iv.636). The court sat in the hall of Eustathius's episcopal residence. The indictment was produced by Ibas's accusers. Ibas laid before his judges a memorial signed by many of his clergy, denying that he had ever uttered the alleged blasphemies (ib. iv.667-671). Only three witnesses supported the accusation, and brought forward a copy of the celebrated letter to Maris (ib. . iv.659-662). The commissioners, avoiding any judicial decision, brought about a friendly arrangement. His enemies agreed to withdraw their accusations on Ibas promising that he would forget the past, regard his accusers as his children, and remit any fresh difficulty for settlement to Domnus ; and that, to avoid suspicion of malversation, the church revenues of Edessa should be administered, like those of Antioch, by oeconomi. Ibas gave equal satisfaction on theological points. He engaged to publicly anathematize Nestorius and all who thought with him on his return, and declared the identity of his doctrine with that agreed upon by John and Cyril, and that he accepted the decrees of Ephesus equally with those of Nicaea as due to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The concordat was signed, Uranius alone dissenting, Feb.25, 449 (ib. . iv.630-648). The truce had no elements of permanence, and a very few weeks saw it broken. The Eutychian party, resolved on the ruin of Ibas and irritated at their failure at Berytus, left no stone unturned to overthrow it. All-powerful at Constantinople through the intrigues of Chrysaphius, Dioscorus and his partisans easily obtained from the feeble emperor, indignant at the condemnation of Eutyches, an edict summoning a general council at Ephesus for Aug.1, 449. Reports diligently spread in Edessa during his absence of Ibas's heterodoxy made his reception so unfavourable that he was obliged to leave the town and call upon the |magister militiae| for a guard to protect him. He soon discovered that all appeal to the civil power was idle; he was regarded as a public enemy to be crushed at all hazards. The count Chaereas as civil governor of Osrhoene, but with secret instructions from Constantinople emanating from Chrysaphius and Eutyches, was deputed to arrest and imprison him and reopen the suit. When Chaereas entered Edessa, Apr.12, 449, to commence the trial, he was met by a turbulent body of abbats and monks and their partisans, clamouring furiously for the immediate expulsion and condemnation of Ibas and his Nestorian crew. Ibas was |a second Judas,| |an adversary of Christ,| an |offshoot of Pharaoh.| |To the fire with him and all his race.| Two days later the inquiry began in the absence of Ibas amid violent interruptions. All Edessa knew that Chaereas had come merely to ratify under the colour of judicial proceedings a sentence of condemnation already passed. Chaereas, however, was moving too slowly for their hatred, and on Sun. Apr.17 the excitement in church was so violent that the count was compelled to promise that the verdict of the synod of Berytus should be reviewed and a new investigation commenced. This began on Apr.18 ; all the old charges were reproduced by the same accusers, amid wild yells of |Ibas to the gallows, to the mines, to the circus, to exile| drowning every attempt at explanation or defence. Chaereas, as had been predetermined, addressed a report to the imperial government, declaring the charges proved; and on June 27 the emperor, acknowledging the receipt of the document, ordered that a bishop who would command the confidence of the faithful should be substituted for Ibas (Perry, The Second Synod of Ephesus; Martin, u.s. t. ii. c. ix.). Only a legally constituted synod could depose him, but meanwhile his enemies' malice could be gratified by his maltreatment. He was forbidden to enter Edessa, apprehended and treated as the vilest of criminals, dragged about from province to province, changing his quarters 40 times and being in 20 different prisons (Labbe, iv.634; Liberat. c.12 ; Facund. lib. vi. c.1). The council of Ephesus, so notorious for its scandalous violence, which gained for it, from Leo the Great (Ep.95), the title of the |Gang of Robbers,| opened on Aug.3. One of its objects was to get rid finally of Ibas. This was the work of the second session, held on Aug.22. Ibas was not cited to appear, being then in prison at Antioch (Labbe, iv.626, 634). Before the witnesses were allowed to enter, the three bishops who had conducted the investigation at Tyre and Berytus were asked for an account of their proceedings. Instead of declaring the fact that, after examination made, they had acquitted Ibas, they made pitiful excuses as to their inability to arrive at the truth from the distance of the place of trial to Edessa, and endeavoured to shift the burden by saying that an investigation had subsequently been held at Edessa itself, which had received the approbation of the emperor, and that the wisest course for the council would be to inquire what was the decision there. This advice was followed. The monks of .Edessa and the other parties to the indictment were admitted, and the whole of the depositions and correspondence read to the assembly. As the reading of the document ended, wild maledictions burst forth, invoking every kind of vengeance, temporal and eternal, on the head of this |second Iscariot,| this |veritable Satan.| |Nestorius and Ibas should be burnt alive together. The destruction of the two would be the deliverance of the world.| Eulogius, the presbyter of Edessa, who had been one of the first accusers of Ibas before Domnus, followed with a summary of the proceedings from their commencement, specifying all the real or supposed crimes laid to his charge. The question of deposition was put to the council, and carried nem. con. Among those who voted for it were Eustathius of Berytus and Photius of Tyre, who had previously acquitted him on the same evidence The sentence was that he should be deposed from the episcopate and priesthood, deprived even of lay communion, and compelled to restore the money of which it was pretended he had robbed the poor. Ibas, twice acquitted, was condemned without being heard or even summoned; and no protest was raised in his favour, even by those who, a few months before, had given him their suffrage (Martin, u.s. t. iii. c. ii. p.181; Labbe, iv.674; Chron. Edess. anno 756; Assemani, Bibl. Or. i.202). We have no certain knowledge of what befell Ibas on his deposition. At the beginning of 451 the deposed and banished bishops were allowed to return from exile, but the question of their restoration was reserved for the fourth general council which met at Chalcedon a.d.451. In the 9th session, Oct.26, the case of Ibas came before the assembled bishops. On his demand to be restored in accordance with the verdict of Photius and Eustathius at Berytus and Tyre, the Acts of that synod were read, and the next day the pope's legates gave their opinion that Ibas, being unlawfully deposed, should be at once restored. After much discussion this was carried unanimously. The legates led the way, declaring his letter to Maris orthodox, and commanding his restitution. All the prelates agreed in this verdict, the condition being that he should anathematize Nestorius and Eutyches and accept the tome of Leo. Ibas consented without any difficulty. |He had anathematized Nestorius already in his writings, and would do so again ten thousand times, together with Eutyches and all who teach the One Nature, and would accept all that the council holds as truth.| On this he was unanimously absolved, restored to his episcopal dignity, and voted as bp. of Edessa at the subsequent sessions (Labbe, iv.793, 799; Facund. lib. v. c.3). Nonnus, who had been chosen bishop on his deposition, being legitimately ordained, was allowed to retain his episcopal rank, and on Ibas's death, Oct.28, 457, quietly succeeded him as metropolitan (Labbe, iv.891, 917). The fiction that Ibas had disowned the letter to Maris at Chalcedon (Greg. Magn. lib. viii. Ep.14), as he was asserted by Justinian to have done before at Berytus, as having been forged in his name; is thoroughly disproved by Facundus (lib. v. c.2, lib. vii. c.5). A controversy concerning his letter to Maris arose in the next century, in the notorious dispute about the |Three Articles,| when the letter was branded as heterodox (together with the works of Theodore of Mopsuestia and Theodoret's writings in favour of Nestorius) in the edict of Justinian, and was formally condemned in 553 by the fifth general council, which pronounced an anathema, in bold defiance of historical fact, against all who should pretend that it and the other documents impugned had been recognized as orthodox by the council of Chalcedon (Evagr. H. E. iv.38; Labbe, v.562-567). Ibas is anathematized by the Jacobites as a Nestorian (Assemani, t. i. p.202). According to the Chronicle of Edessa, Ibas, during his episcopate, erected the new church of the Apostles at Edessa, to which a senator gave a silver table of 720 lb. weight, and Anatolius, praefectus militum, a silver coffer to receive the relics of St. Thomas the Apostle, who was said, after preaching in Parthia, to have been buried there (Socr. H. E. iv.18).

Ibas was a translator and disseminator of the writings of others rather than an original author. His translations of the theological works of Theodore of Mopsuestia, Diodorus of Tarsus, Theodoret, and Nestorius, were actively spread through Syria, Persia, and the East, and were very influential in fostering the Nestorian tenets which have, even to the present day, characterized the Christians of those regions. His influence was permanent in the celebrated theological school of Edessa, in spite of the efforts of Nonnus to eradicate it, until its final overthrow and the banishment of its teachers to Persia. Tillem. Mém. eccl. t. xv.; Assemani, Bibl. Orient. t. i. pp.199 seq., t. iii. pp.70-74; Cave, Hist. Lit. t. i. p.426; Facund. Defens. Trium. Capitul.; Schröckh, xv.438, xviii.307-311; Perry, Acts of the Second Council of Ephesus; Abbé Martin, Actes du Brigandage d'Ephèse; Le Pseudo-synode d'Ephèse.


Idatius (3), author of well-known Chronicle
Idatius (3), (Idacius; surnamed Lemicensis), bp. of Aquae Flaviae (Chaves or Chiaves) in Gallicia, from c.427 to 470, and author of a well-known Chronicle which was one of the various continuations of Jerome. Our only sources for his life are notices in his own work, for the meagre Life by Isidore in de Vir. Ill. c. ix. is merely a summary of Idatius's own prologue. The existing material was elaborately sifted and put together by Florez (Esp. Sagr. iv., Madrid, 1749), and less completely by Garzon, whose ed. of Idatius was pub. at Brussels in 1845 by P. F. X. de Ram.

Birthplace and Bishopric. -- Idatius tells us in the prologue to his Chronicle that he was born |in Lemica civitate,| |Lemica| being a copyist's error for Limica in Portugal. He was born c.388, shortly after the execution of Priscillian and his companions at Trèves, and about the time when, as he tells us in his Chronicle (ad. ann.386), the Priscillianists, falling back on Spain after the death of their chief, took a special hold on the province of Gallicia. About a.d.400 he was in Egypt and Palestine, where, as he says (Prolog. and Chron. ad ann.435), he, |et infantulus et pupillus,| saw St. Jerome at Bethlehem, John bp. of Jerusalem, Eulogius of Caesarea, and Theophilus of Alexandria. His return to Gallicia may be dated c.402 (Florez, Esp. Sagr. iv.301). In 416, seven years after the irruption of the Suevi, Alani, and Vandals into the peninsula, Idatius entered the ministry, for so we must understand the entry in the Chron. Parvum (see below) under that year, |Idatii conversio ad Dominum peccatoris| (cf. Florez, l.c. p.302), and in 427 he was made bishop (see Prol. Esp. Sags. iv.348). In 431 the rule of the Suevi had become so intolerable that Idatius was sent by the Gallician provincials to Aetius in Gaul to ask for help. He returned in 432, accompanied by the legate Censorius, after whose departure from Gallicia the bishops persuaded Hermeric, the Suevian king, to make peace with the provincials. For about 24 years GaIlicia enjoyed tranquillity compared with the rest of Spain, and the Gallician bishops found themselves to some extent free to deal with the prevalent Priscillianist and Manichean doctrines, which had even infected some of the episcopate (Ep. Leo Magn. ad Turribium; Tejada y Ramiro, Colecc. de Can. etc. ii. p.889). Between 441 and 447 must be placed the letter of Turribius to Idatius and Ceponius (? bp. of Tuy) on the Priscillianist apocryphal books (Esp. Sagr. xvi.95; Tejada y Ramiro, ii.887). In 444-445 the confessions of certain Roman Manicheans having disclosed the names of their co-believers in the provinces, letters were sent to the provinces by pope Leo warning the bishops (Prosper ad ann.444; see Garzon's note 6, ed. De Ram, p.83). Accordingly we find Idatius and Turribius in 445 holding a trial of certain Manicheans discovered at Astorga, no doubt by aid of the papal letters, and forwarding a report of the trial to the neighbouring metropolitan of Merida, evidently to put him on his guard. In 447, in answer to various documents from St. Turribius on the Gallician heresies, Leo sent a long decretal letter to Spain to be circulated by him, urging the assembly of a national council, or at least of a Gallician synod, in which, by the efforts of Turribius and of Idatius and Ceponius, |fratres vestri,| a remedy might be devised for the prevailing disorder. Probably the synod never actually met, for Idatius's Chronicle, which rarely omits any ecclesiastical news he could give, does not mention it.

In the troubled times after the flight and execution of Rekiar, Idatius fell a victim to the disorders of the country. His capture at Aquae Flaviae by Frumari (July 26, 460) was owing mostly, no doubt, to his importance as a leader and representative of the Roman population, but partly, perhaps, as Florez suggests, to the hatred of certain Gallician Priscillianist informers (their names are Latin; cf. Chron. ad ann.) who had felt the weight of his authority. He was released in 3 months, and after his return to Chiaves lived at least 8 years under the Suevian kingdom which he had too hastily declared to be |destructum et finitum| in 456 (? |pene destructum,| as Isidore, his copyist in Hist. Suevorum, eod. loc.), but which took a new lease, on Frumari's death (464), under Remismund. His Chronicle ends with 469, and he must have died before 474, the year of the emperor Leo's death, under whom Isidore places that of Idatius (Esp. Sagr. iv.303, ed. De Ram, pp.15, 39).

Chronicle. -- The prologue to the Chronicle, composed apparently after its completion, at any rate in the extreme old age of its author, gives a full account of its intention, sources, and arrangement. It was intended to continue the Chronicle of Eusebius and Jerome, Idatius including his own works in one vol. with theirs (ed. De Ram, p.48, note 3, and p.59, note 4), and he divides it into two parts, the first starting from 379, where Jerome breaks off, and ending 427, when Idatius was made bishop; the second extending from 427 to the end. In the first division Sulpicius and Orosius seem to have been his main authorities, together with the works of SS. Augustine and Jerome (Esp. Sagr. iv.335, 356) and the lives and writings of certain contemporary bishops (John of Jerusalem, l.c.357. Paulinus of Beziers, ib., Paulinus of Nola, 358, etc.). |Thenceforward| (i.e. from 427), he says, describing his second division, |I, undeservedly chosen to the office of the episcopate, and not ignorant of all the troubles of this miserable time, have added both the falling landmarks ('metas ruituras') of the oppressed Roman empire, and also what is more mournful still, the degenerate condition of the church order within Gallicia, which is the end of the world, the destruction of honest liberty by indiscriminate appointments (to bishoprics), and the almost universal decay of the divine discipline of religion, evils springing from the rule of furious men and the tumults of hostile nations.| This is the note of the whole Chronicle, which gives a vivid and invaluable picture of one most important scene in the great drama of the fall of the Western empire, and without which we should be almost in the dark as to events of the first half of the 5th cent. in Spain. Idatius describes the entry of the Vandals, Alani, and Suevi into the Peninsula in Oct.409, and the two following years of indiscriminate pillage and ruin before the division of the country by lot amongst the invaders.

The Chronicle altogether embraces 91 years. On the chronology of the last five years and on possible interpolations of certain chronological notes by the copyist, see ed. De Ram, p.39, also Florez, iv.310.

The Fasti Idatiani were first attributed to Idatius by Sirmond, partly because in the ancient MS. from which he printed the Chronicle the Fasti followed immediately, and partly because he believed that there was strong internal evidence for the Idatian authorship (Op.1728, ii.287). This opinion has been generally adopted, notably by Dr. Mommsen (Corpus Inscr. Lat. i.484). Florez is an exception, but his grounds are extremely slight (see Esp. Sagr. iv.457, and Garzon's answer, ed. De Ram, p.41). The history of the Fasti has now been cleared up with great learning and acuteness by Holder-Egger in the Neues Archiv der Gesellschaft für ältere Deutsche Geschichtskunde, ii. pp.59-71. His general conclusions are (1) that the Fasti Idatiani are one of two derivatives of certain consular Fasti put together at Constantinople in 4th cent., the Chronicon Paschale (Migne, Patr. Gk. xcii.) being the other. (2) That the common source of the Fasti and of the Chron. Pasch. was itself compiled at Constantinople from older Roman Fasti, such as are still preserved in the Chronographus of 354 (Mommsen, op. cit. i.483; Wattenbach, Deutschlands Geschichtsquellen, p.48), the notices peculiar to Constantinople beginning from 330, when Byzantium became the second capital of the empire. (3) That after 390-395 when the Chron. Pasch. branches off from the Fasti Idatiani, a copy of the Constantinople Fasti came westward, received certain additions in Italy and then reached Spain, where a Spanish reviser and continuator gave them the shape under which we now know them as the Fasti Idatiani. That Idatius the author of the Chronicle revised the Fasti Holder-Egger does not believe, but is inclined to hold that their agreement is best explained by the theory that Idatius used but did not compose the Fasti. His arguments on this point seem scarcely conclusive, and he is indeed prepared to admit that certain trifling additions to and alterations in the Fasti were probably made by Idatius. For the latter use of the Fasti Idatiani, the East Roman Fasti as the Ravenna annals are the West Roman Fasti (Wattenbach, i.49), see Holder-Egger's art. Die Chronik des Marcellinus Comes und der Oströmischen Fasten, Neues Archiv, etc. ii.44.

The Chronicon Parvum Idatii is the work of an unskilful abbreviator of the larger Chronicle, who adds a continuation to the time of Justinian. It must not be confused with the excerpta from Idatius made under Charles the Great.

Besides the references already given see Adolf Ebert, Allgemeine Gesch. der Litt. des Mittelalters im Abendlande, i.1874; Teuffel, Gesch. der Römischen Litt.1875.


Ignatius, St., bp. of Antioch
Ignatius (1), St. (called Theophorus), Oct.17, the 2nd bp. of Antioch (c.70-c.107), between Evodius and Hero. He is sometimes reckoned the 3rd bishop, St. Peter being reckoned the first (Bosch, Pat. Ant. in Boll. Acta SS. Jul. iv. introd. p.8; Le Quien, Or. Chr. ii.700).

The question of the life and writings of Ignatius, including the connected subject of the Ep. of Polycarp to the Philippians, has been described by M. Renan as the most difficult in early Christian history next to that of the fourth gospel.

I. About 165 Lucian in his satire de Morte Peregrini relates (cc.14-41) that Peregrinus was made a prisoner in Syria. The Christians of Asia Minor sent messengers and money to him according to their usual custom when persons were imprisoned for their faith. Peregrinus wrote letters to all the more important cities, forwarding these by messengers whom he appointed (echeirotonese) and entitled nekrangelous and nerterodromous. The coincidence of this story with that of Ignatius, as told afterwards by Eusebius, would be alone a strong evidence of connexion. The similarity of the expressions with the prepei cheirotonesai tina hos dunesetai theodromos kaleisthai of ad Pol. vii. would, if the words stood alone, make it almost certain that Lucian was mimicking the words of the epistle. These two probabilities lead us to believe that the composition was by one acquainted with the story and even some of the letters of Ignatius. (Renan, i.38; Zahn, i.517; Pearson, i.2; Denzinger, 85; Lightfoot, ii. See Authorities at the foot of this art.)

Theophilus, bp. of Antioch (fl. before 167), has a coincidence with Ignat. ad Eph. xix.1, where the virginity of Mary is said to have been concealed from the devil. Irenaeus, c.180 (adv. Haer. iii.3, 4), bears witness that Polycarp wrote to the Philippians, and (v.28) mentions how a Christian martyr said, |I am the bread-corn of Christ, to be ground by the teeth of beasts that I may be found pure bread| -- words found in Ignat. ad Rom. iv.1. the passage of Irenaeus is quoted by Eusebius (H. E. iii.36) as a testimony to Ignatius. Origen, early in 3rd cent., Prol. in Cant. (Op. ed. Delarue, iii.30), writes, |I remember also that one of the saints, by name Ignatius, said of Christ, 'My love was crucified'| -- words found in Ignat. ad Rom. vii.2. Origen also (Hom. in Luc. vol. iii.938) says, |I find it well written in one of the epistles of a certain martyr, I mean Ignatius, 2nd bp. of Antioch after Peter, who in the persecution fought with beasts at Rome, that the virginity of Mary escaped the prince of this world| (Ignat. ad Eph. xix.1).

Eusebius, early in 4th cent., gives a full account which explains these fragmentary allusions and quotations. In his Chronicle he twice names Ignatius as 2nd bp. of Antioch after the apostles; in one case adding that he was martyred. In his Ecclesiastical History, besides less important notices of our saint and of Polycarp, he relates (iii.22, 37, 38, iv.14, 15) how Ignatius, whom he calls very celebrated among the Christians, was sent from Syria to Rome to be cast to the beasts for Christ's sake. When journeying under guard through Asia he addressed to the cities near places of his sojourn exhortations and epistles. Thus in Smyrna, the city of Polycarp, he wrote to Ephesus, Magnesia, and Tralles. He wrote to the Romans, begging them not to impede his martyrdom. Of this epistle Eusebius appends § v. at length. Then he tells how Ignatius, having left Smyrna and come to Troas, wrote thence to the Philadelphians and Smyrnaeans and to Polycarp. One sentence from Smyr. iii. Eusebius copies as containing a saying of Christ not otherwise handed down. The Apostolical Constitutions, in their uninterpolated form as known to us through the Syriac trans. of the Didascalia, in several places coincide very strikingly with the shorter Greek or 7 Vossian epistles. An epistle which passes under the name of Athanasius, and which if not by him is by a contemporary writer, quotes a passage from ad Eph. vii.2, as written by Ignatius, who after the apostles was bp. of Antioch and a martyr of Christ. (See, as to the genuineness of this epistle, Cureton, lxviii.; Zahn, i.578.) St. Basil (ed. Ben. ii.598) quotes, without naming Ignatius, the familiar sentence from ad Eph. xix.1, concerning Satan's ignorance of the virginity of Mary. St. Jerome's testimony is dependent on that of Eusebius. St. Chrysostom (Op. vol. ii.592) has a homily on St. Ignatius which relates that he was appointed by the apostles bp. of Antioch; was sent for to Rome in a time of persecution to be there judged; instructed and admonished with wonderful power all the cities on the way, and Rome itself when he arrived; was condemned and martyred in the Roman theatre crying, Ego ton therion ekeinon onaimen; and his remains were transferred after death with great solemnity to Antioch. (Zahn [i.33-49] does not believe that the genuine writings of Chrysostom shew that he was acquainted with the writings of Ignatius. But see the other side powerfully argued by Pearson, i.9; Denzinger, 90; Lipsius, ii.21.) Theodoret frequently cites the 7 Vossian epistles, and mentions Ignatius as ordained by St. Peter and made the food of beasts for the testimony of Christ. Severus, patriarch of Antioch (513-551), has a long catalogue of sayings from Ignatius, in which every one of the 7 epistles is laid under contribution. These are to be found in Syr. in Cureton, in Gk. in Zahn (ii.352). Cureton furnishes also a large collection of Syriac fragments, in which passages taken from the 7 Vossian epistles are declared to have the force of canons in the church.

II. We possess also a multitude of Acts of the martyrdom of St. Ignatius, which, if we could accept them, would supply very particular accounts of his life and death. Of these Ussher published 3 in whole or part: one in Lat. from two related MSS.; another in Lat. from the Cottonian library; a third in Gk. from a MS. at Oxford. The Bollandists published a Latin martyrdom in the Acta SS. for Feb.1; Cotelerius a Gk. one by Symeon Metaphrastes. Ruinart, and afterwards Jacobson (Pat. Ap. ii.), printed a Gk. MS. from the Colbertine collection (MS, Colb.); J. S. Assemani found a Syriac one which may be the same as that partly printed by Cureton (i.). Aucher, and afterwards Petermann (p.496), published an Armenian one. Dressel printed a Gk. version of the 10th cent. (MS. Vat.). The 9 are reducible to 5, possessing each a certain independence. But of these MS. Colb. and MS. Vat. are by far the most valuable, being completely independent, while the remaining versions are mixtures of these two.

MS. Colb. (see Zahn, ii. p.301) relates the condemnation of Ignatius by Trajan in Antioch, and incorporates the Ep. to the Romans. This MS. bears marks of interpolation, and its chief value lies in its incorporation of the Ep. to the Romans. The other epistles the author of the MS. has not read carefully. We conclude that this martyrdom, written in the 4th cent., assumed its present form after the first half of the 5th.

MS. Vat. (Zahn, ii.307) omits all judicial proceedings in Antioch. Ignatius is sent for by Trajan to Rome, as a teacher dangerous to the state; an argument takes place before the senate between the emperor and the saint; the lions kill him, but leave the body untouched, and it remains as a sacred deposit at Rome. Thus MS. Vat. seems to have arisen on the basis of an account of the journey and death of the saint, extant at the end of the 4th cent. On the whole, the martyrdoms are late and untrustworthy compositions, wholly useless as materials for determining the question of the epistles; we are thrown back on Eusebius.

III. Eusebius in the Chronicle (ed. Schöne, ii.152, I58, 162) omits (contrary to his custom) the durations of the episcopates of Antioch. We can, therefore, place Ignatius's death any time between Ab.2123, Traj.10, and 2132, Traj.19. In H. E. iii.22, Eusebius, in a general way, makes the episcopates of Symeon and Ignatius contemporary with the first years of Trajan and the last of St. John and (iii.36) with Polycarp and Papias. We may date his epistles, journey, and death in any year from 105; to 117. Funk fixes it at 107.

In 1878 Harnack published a tract (Die Zeit des Ign. Leipz.) impugning the tradition that Ignatius was martyred under Trajan. The argument rests upon the acts of the martyrdom being proved by Zahn, with the general assent of all his critics, to be untrustworthy; the date of the saint's death thus resting wholly on the testimony of Eusebius, who shews that he had no data except the untrustworthy information of Julius Africanus (Harnack, pp.66 sqq.). But it is very improbable that Eusebius had no tradition save through Africanus, or the latter no tradition save four names.

The theory of Volkmar; which the author of Supernatural Religion (i.268) regarded as |demonstrated,| was that the martyrdom of Ignatius happened not in Rome but in Antioch, upon Dec.20, 115 (on which day his feast was kept), in consequence of the excitement produced by an earthquake a week previously; but it is now known from the ancient Syriac Menologion, published by Wright (Journ. Sac. Lit. Jan.1866, p.45), that the feast was originally kept not upon Dec.20, but upon Oct.17. (Zahn, i.33, and Lightfoot, ii.352, note §, are to be corrected in accordance with this discovery.)

The other details in the martyrdoms and elsewhere are but expansions from hints supposed to be found in the letters, of which we find an instance in the long dialogue between Ignatius and Trajan upon the name Theophoros. There is no reason to suspect the genuineness of this addition to the saint's name. It is given untranslated in the 4th cent. Syriac version. The interpolator found it in his copy, for it stands in all his epistles except that to Polycarp and in all the MSS. of the shorter translation, both Greek and Latin. The 4th-cent. writers, regarding it as a title of honour, do not quote it; in the 6th it came to be regarded as a name.

The tradition that Ignatius was martyred at Rome can be traced higher than the records of Eusebius and Origen. The designation of world-famed, which Eusebius gives him, shews the general tradition; and the words of Origen are to the same effect. The testimony of Irenaeus which Eusebius adduces as perfectly agreeing with the tradition known to him, dates but 70 years after the fact. True, these expressions come from writers who knew the epistles; but the mere existence of the epistles at such a date, even if they were spurious, would be sufficient proof of the existence of the tradition; and it is impossible that such a story should have arisen so soon after Trajan, if it had contradicted known facts or prevalent customs of his reign.

Eusebius clearly wrote with the collection of letters before him, and knew of no other collection besides the 7 he mentions. These he arranges according to place and time of writing, gives his quotation from Romans as out of |the Epistles,| and cites Irenaeus's quotation from Ignatius, as proof of that writer's knowledge of them, although Irenaeus did not mention the author's name.

IV. The gradual presentation of the various Ignatian documents to the modern world is related in the introduction to Cureton's Corpus Ignatianum and is briefly as follows. Late in the 15th and in the beginning of the 16th cents.12 epistles, purporting to be by Ignatius, were given to the world, first in Latin translations, then in the original Greek, together with three others manifestly spurious, which existed in Latin alone. The epistles which bear non-Eusebian titles were soon suspected of spuriousness, and it was proved that the text of the Eusebian, as then known, was interpolated. Ussher first restored the genuine text by means of a Latin translation which he discovered, and his arguments (except as to his doubt whether Ignatius wrote separately to Polycarp) were confirmed by Vossius's publication of the Medicean MS. Thenceforward we have had the longer and the shorter (or Vossian) recensions, the former containing the 7 Eusebian epistles in a longer text and also epistles of Mary of Castabala to Ignatius, with his reply, of Ignatius to the Tarsians, Philippians, Antiochenes, and Hero, his successor; the Vossian comprising only the Eusebian letters and those in a shorter text. The longer recension has had few defenders, while the shorter had many and early assailants, moved especially by its support of episcopacy. Of these Daillé was perhaps the ablest, but he was sufficiently answered by bp. Pearson. The genuineness of the longer recension as a whole is now generally denied, the time and method of its interpolations and additions being the only points for consideration.

Cureton in 1839 transcribed from Syriac MSS. in the Brit. Mus. a fragment of the martyrdom of Ignatius and of the Ep. to the Romans therein contained. In 1847 he discovered, among Syriac MSS. acquired in the meantime, three epistles of Ignatius, viz. to Polycarp, to the Ephesians, and to the Romans, transcribed in the 6th or 7th cent. These epistles are in a form considerably shorter even than the shorter recension of the earlier time. Cureton believed this the sole genuine text, and argued the point very ably, but with a confidence which in its contrast with the present state of belief should be a warning to all who are tempted to be too positive on this difficult controversy. Many scholars at the time accepted the Curetonian theory, and Bunsen wrote a voluminous work in its defence. The Armenian version, first printed, though very incorrectly, in 1783, is mentioned by Cureton, who failed to perceive the effect its testimony was to have upon his own argument. The correct publication and due estimate of the Armenian version are due to Petermann. According to him, it was rendered out of Syriac in the 5th cent., and agrees with Ussher's Latin MS. in that, while it contains several post-Eusebian epistles united with the Eusebian, the latter are free from any systematic interpolations such as are in the longer recension.

V. Date of the Longer Recension. -- The latest ancient writer who cites only the Eusebian epistles in the uninterpolated text is the monk Antonius in the early part of the 7th cent. (Cureton, p.176; Zahn, ii.350). Severus of Antioch, 6th cent. (Cureton, 212; Zahn, 352) cites all the Eusebian epistles in a text free from interpolations.

We cannot doubt that in Ussher's MS. and in the Armenian translation we have (minute textual criticism apart) the 7 epistles as the Fathers from Eusebius to Severus of Antioch and as the interpolator had them. The arguments of Ussher upon this point remain unanswered. But the Armenian, with the Syriac translation from which it sprang, brings back the composition of the six additional epistles to a.d.400 at latest; and these are undoubtedly the work of the same hand which interpolated the others. On the other hand, the interpolation cannot have been before 325, or Eusebius would have cited or alluded to it; moreover, it shews undoubted marks of dependence on his history. The period of the interpolator is thus fixed at the latter part of the 4th cent. His doctrine, as Ussher shewed (p.221), is stark Arianism.

Several names in Pseudo-Ignatius are borrowed from the period a.d.360 to 380 (Philost. iii.15; Theod. i.5, v.7; Socr. iii.25, iv.12). The titles of the new letters are also easily accounted for in the same period. Pseudo-Ignatius interests himself against the Quartodecimans; proving that they must have been still strong when he wrote, which was not the case at the conclusion of the 4th cent. These oppositions point to the period 360-380. Thus all historical indications point to the 2nd half of the 4th cent. as the date of the interpolations.

Zahn conjectures the interpolator to have been Acacius, the scholar, biographer, and successor of Eusebius at Caesarea, who, as Sozomen (iv.23) informs us, was regarded as heir to the learning as well as the position of that divine. The roughness of the known character of Acacius (c.360) agrees with the abusiveness of Pseudo- Ignatius.

Different Syriac translations of Greek works give similar citations from Ignatius in somewhat varying language; probably because the authors cited from memory an existing Syriac version. Zahn contends that the Armenian version came from the one Syriac translation in the 5th cent., and from it the extracts were taken, perhaps somewhat later, which Cureton mistook for the original epistles. The connexion in which Cureton's epistles were found is that of a series of extracts from Fathers whose remaining works are not to be supposed rendered doubtful by their absence from this Syriac MS., and Petermann (xxi.) has corrected Bunsen's supposition that the concluding words of the MS. imply that the epistles of Ignatius, as known to the writer, were all comprised in what he copied. Zahn (pp.199, 200) compares the Syriac extracts numbered i. and ii. in Corp. Ignat., taken as they were, beyond doubt, from the existing Syriac translation, with S. Cur. (i.e. Cureton's Syriac Epp.); and apparently succeeds in making out that the same translator, whose work is presented in a fragmentary form in S. Cur., meets us in these extracts. E.g. the expression theriomachein, and many other peculiar words, are similarly rendered; though no. i. seems sometimes to preserve better the text from which it was copied. We might cull from S. Cur. itself certain proofs that it was not the original. Moreover, there are certain passages in it which are plainly not complete in themselves. It is surely a quite sufficient motive to suppose that the epitomator intended to make one of those selections of the best parts of a good work, which in all ages have been practised upon the most eminent writers without disrespect. Hefele (see Denzinger, pp.8, 196) thinks he can discern the practical ascetic purpose of the selection, and we observe that very naturally the abbreviator begins each epistle with a design of taking all that is most edifying; but his resolution or his space fails him before the end, when he abridges far more than at the beginning. His form of Ephesians has alone an uniform character of epitome from the first; but a number of personal names plainly fit to be omitted come very early. Denzinger powerfully urges (pp.77 seq.) the certainty that the Monophysites would have complained when the seven epistles were quoted against them had these been spurious, and he and Uhlhorn have fully shewn how entirely the epitomator is committed to any doctrines in the shorter recension which can be found difficult. What a useless and objectless task then would any one have in interpolating and extending Cureton's three into the seven! Upon the whole case we can pronounce with much confidence that the Curetonian theory is never likely to revive.

VI. The Ep. to the Romans differs from the other six Eusebian letters in being used by some authors who use no others and omitted by some who cite the others. Zahn suggests that it did not at first belong to the collection, but was propounded by itself, with or without a martyrdom. This seems supported by the fact that it escaped the interpolations which the other epistles suffered at the hand, probably, of Acacius.

VII. The circumstances of the journey and martyrdom of Ignatius, gathered from the seven epistles and from that of Polycarp, are as follows: He suffers under a merely local persecution. It is in progress at Antioch while he is in Smyrna, whence he writes to the Romans, Ephesians, Magnesians, and Trallians. But Rome, Magnesia (xii.), and Ephesus (xii.) are at peace, and in Troas he learns that peace is restored to the church in Antioch. Of the local causes of this Antiochene persecution we are ignorant, but it is not in the least difficult to credit. The imagined meeting of the emperor and the saint is not found in the epistles; it is |the world| under whose enmity the church is there said to suffer. All now recognize that, according to the testimony of the letters, Ignatius has been condemned in Antioch to death, and journeys with death by exposure to the beasts as the settled fate before him. He deprecates interposition of the church at Rome (quite powerful enough at the end of the 1st cent. to be conceivably successful in such a movement) for the remission of a sentence already delivered. The supposition of Hilgenfeld (i.200) that prayer to God for his martyrdom, or abstinence from prayer against it, is what he asks of the Romans seems quite inadmissible, and we could not conceive him so assured of the approach of death if the sentence had not been already pronounced. The right of appeal to the emperor was recognized, and could be made without the consent of the criminal, but not if the sentence had proceeded from the emperor himself. Thus the Colbertine Martyrdom, which makes Trajan the judge at Antioch, contradicts the epistles no less than the Vatican which puts off the process to Rome. MS. Colb. brings Ignatius by sea to Smyrna; but Eusebius, who had read the epistles, supposes the journey to be by land, and he is clearly right. The journey |by land and sea| (ad Rom. v.) may easily refer to a voyage from Seleucia to some Cilician port, and thence by road. The ordinary way from Antioch to Ephesus was by land, and Ignatius calls the messenger to be sent by the Smyrnaeans to Antioch theodromos (Pol. vii.). Ignatius did not, as was usual, pass through Magnesia and Ephesus, but left the great road at Sardis and came by Laodicea, Hierapolis, Philadelphia, and perhaps Colossae, as he had certainly visited Philadelphia and met there the false teachers from Ephesus (Zahn, 258 seq. also 266 seq.). The churches written to were not chosen at random, but were those which had shewn their love by sending messengers to him. The replies were thus, primarily, letters of thanks, quite naturally extending into admonitions.

We find him in the enjoyment of much freedom on his journey, though chained to a soldier. In Philadelphia he preaches, not in a church, but in a large assembly of Christians; in Smyrna he has intercourse with the Christians there and with messengers of other churches. He has much speech with the bishops concerning the state of the churches. That of Ephesus he treats with special respect, and anticipates writing a second letter (ad Eph. xx.); that of Tralles he addresses in a markedly different manner (ad. Tr.2, 12). He must, therefore, have had lime in Smyrna to acquaint himself with the condition of the neighbouring churches. If the writing of epistles under the circumstances of his captivity should cause surprise, it must be remembered that they are only short letters, not books. The expression biblidion, which in Eph. xx. he applies to his intended second missive, is often applied to letters. He dictated to a Christian, and thus might, as Pearson remarks, have finished one of the shorter letters in an hour, the longest in three. Perpetua and Saturus wrote in prison narratives as long as the epistles of Ignatius (Acta SS. Perp. et Fel. Ruinart). A ten days' sojourn would amply meet the necessities of the case; and there is nothing in the treatment to which the letters witness inconsistent with that used to other Christian prisoners, e.g. St. Paul. The numberless libelli pacis, written by martyrs in prison, and the celebrations of the holy mysteries there with their friends, shew that the liberty given Ignatius was not extraordinary; especially as the word euergetoumenoi which he applies to his guard points, doubtless, to money given them by the Christians. Ignatius is always eager to know more Christians and to interest them in each other. The news of the cessation of persecution in Antioch stirs him to urge Polycarp to take an interest in that church. The great idea of the Catholic church is at work in him. He does not deny that his request that messengers should be sent to Antioch is an unusual one, but dwells upon the great benefit which will result (Pol.7; Sm.11; Phil.10). But when Polycarp, a few weeks or months afterwards, writes to the Philippians, the messenger had not yet been sent. Ignatius had but lately passed through Philippi, by the Via Egnatia to Neapolis. The Philippians immediately after wrote to Polycarp, and forwarded a message to the Antiochenes, expecting to be in time to catch the messenger for Antioch before his departure. Ignatius had plainly been suggesting the same thoughts to them as to Polycarp; and this would be plainer still if the reading in Eus. H. E. iii.36, 14 (egrapsate moi kai humeis kai Ignatios) were more sure, and thus a second letter had been received by Polycarp from Ignatius. But this second epistle, if written, has been lost. Polycarp wrote immediately after receiving the epistle of the Philippians. He speaks of the death of Ignatius, knowing that the sentence in Antioch made it certain; probably knowing also the date of the games at which he was to die. But he is not acquainted with any particulars, since he asks for news concerning the martyr and those with him (Ep. Pol. xiii.), and at the request of the Philippians forwards all the epistles of Ignatius to which he had access, viz. those to the Asiatic churches; but not all that he knew to have been written.

VIII. The chief difficulty in accepting the epistles as genuine has always arisen from the form of church government which they record as existing and support with great emphasis. They display the threefold ministry established in Asia Minor and Syria, and the terms Episkopos and presbuteros are applied to perfectly distinct orders -- a state of things and use of language which are argued to be wholly incompatible with a date early in the 2nd cent. Hence Daillé derived his |palmary argument| (c. xxvi., answered by Pears. ii.13).

It is noteworthy that the testimony of the epistles on this point extends no further than the localities named. To the Romans Ignatius only once names the office of a bishop, and that in reference to himself; and in Polycarp's Ep. to the Philippians there is no mention of any bishop, while the deacons and presbyters are addressed at considerable length. The standpoint of the epistles is perfectly consistent with the supposition that episcopacy existing from the times of the apostles in Asia Minor and Syria and believed by the Christians there to be a divinely ordained institution, made its way gradually into other parts of the church, and that those who most valued it might yet know that it did not exist in churches to which they wrote, or not be assured that it did, and might feel it no part of their duty to enter upon a controversy concerning it.

Zahn fairly observes that there is no attempt, even in those epistles where obedience to the bishop is most urged, to recommend it in opposition to other forms of church government. Not only is the supposition that Ignatius was introducing episcopacy utterly out of the question, but none of the epistles bear the slightest trace of any recent introduction of it in the places in which it exists. The presbyterate is everywhere identified with the episcopate in its claims to obedience, and those who resist the one resist the other. It is extremely hard to reconcile these characteristics with the supposition that the letters were forged to introduce the rule of bishops or to uplift it to an unprecedented position in order to resist the assaults of heresy.

A good deal of uncertainty remains as to the relations which the smaller congregations outside the limits of the cities held in the Ignatian church order to the bishops of the cities. No provision appears for episcopal rule over country congregations whose pastors are not in the |presbytery| -- an uncommon expression in antiquity, but used 13 times by Ignatius.

The duties the epistles ascribe to bishops are very similar to those which St. Paul (Acts. xx.) lays upon presbyters. Only in one place (Pol.5) do they speak of the preaching of the bishop; and it is not peculiar to him, but common with the. presbyters. The deacons have duties wholly distinct, concerned with the meat and drink given to the poor and with the distribution of the mysteries of the Eucharist. But the presbyters are very closely united with the bishop. They are not his vicars, but his sunedrion (Phil.8; Pol.7), and yet the bishop is by no means a mere president of the college of presbyters. Zahn shews that even though the development of episcopacy were thought to have taken place through the elevation of one of a college to a presidency in those parts where it did not exist in the end of the 1st cent., it would still be impossible to hold this of Asia. The youth of many of the earliest Asiatic bishops puts this theory entirely out of the question there. Whatever development is implied in the passage from the state of things represented in I. Pet. and I. Tim. to organized episcopacy, took place, according to the testimony of all records both of Scripture and tradition, in the 30 years between the death of St. Paul and the time of Domitian, had Asia Minor for its centre, and was conducted under the influence of St. John and apostolic men from Palestine, in which country Jerusalem offers the records of a succession of bishops more trustworthy perhaps than that of any other see. Now the Syrian churches were from the first in closest union with Palestine. Thus all the most undoubted records of episcopacy in the sub-apostolic age centre in the very quarters in which our epistles exhibit it, a weighty coincidence in determining their authenticity.

It is certainly somewhat startling to those accustomed to regard bishops as the successors of the apostles that Ignatius everywhere speaks of the position of the apostles as corresponding to that of the existing presbyters, while the prototype of the bishop is not the apostles, but the Lord Himself. It would be hasty, however, to infer that Ignatius denied that the office and authority of the apostles was represented and historically succeeded by that of the bishops. The state of things visibly displayed when the Lord and His apostles were on earth is for Ignatius the type of church order for all time. (See Bp. Harold Browne, The Strife and the Victory, 1872, p.62.) If, however, the epistles had been forged to support episcopacy, they would not have omitted an argument of such weight as the apostolical authority and succession.

The duty of submission is with Ignatius the first call upon each member of the church, and exhortations to personal holiness go hand in hand with admonitions to unity and obedience. The word hupotassesthai denotes the duty of all, not (be it marked) towards the bishop alone, but towards authority in all its steps (Mgn.13 and 7). But the bishop represents the principle of unity in the church.

Sprintzl ingeniously argues (p.67) that the supremacy of the bp. of Rome is taught by Ignatius, on the ground that, first, he teaches the supremacy of the Roman church over others (Rom. prooem.), and secondly, the supremacy of the bishop in every church. But the explanation of the passage in Romans is very doubtful, and the marked omission of any mention of the bp. of Rome seems inconsistent with any supremacy apart from the natural position of his church.

The emphatic terms in which these letters propose the bishop as the representative of Christ have always presented a stumbling-block to many minds, even apart from the question of date. But before we pronounce these expressions exaggerated, we must remember that obedience to the bishop is valued by the writer for the sake of unity, while unity is for him the only fence against the heresy to which small and disunited bodies are subject (Phil.4., 8; Mgn.1, etc). Identification of the position of the church ruler with that of the Lord would be more easy to a writer of an age very close to Christ than to one of later date. When the divine nature of the Lord and His elevation in heaven came through lapse of time to overshadow the remembrance of His life on earth, it seemed a superhuman claim on the part of any office to say that it represented Him. But it would naturally be otherwise when the recollection of His human intercourse with men was fresh; for why should not men represent one so truly man? Thus the strong expressions may really be a mark of early date.

IX. In Sm.8 is first found the phrase Catholic church -- an expression pronounced by Lipsius (iii.) to prove of itself the later date of the epistles. Such a decision is very precarious, even if, with Lipsius, we reject the testimony of the Martyrdom of Polycarp to the use of the expression. Sprintzl remarks that the phrase |Where Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic church| naturally follows upon the preceding statement of the relation of the bishop to the particular church: what the bishop is to it, that Christ is to the Catholic church at large. Thus to Ignatius the church of each place is a miniature of the church at large (Sm.8) and its unity is guarded by all the sanctions of the Christian faith. The one faith is, in the epistles, the bond of the church. |The gospel| is that which the apostles proclaimed (Phil.5); not the four written gospels, but the substance of the message of salvation.

We find in the epistles the germ of the great ideas of worship afterwards developed in the church. The altar-idea and the temple-idea as applied to the church are there (Eph.5; Mgn.7; Phil.4). The Eucharist holds its commanding place (Rom.7; Phil.4, and probably Eph.5), though what its rites were at this early period is hard to answer from the letters. Agape (Sm.8) is applied to the Eucharist, and agapan (Sm.7) means to celebrate it. In Ignatian phraseology Eucharistia is used where the blessing of Holy Communion is denoted, Agape means the whole service of which the consecration is only a moment. In Sm.7 those who speak against the gifts of God are plainly those who deny ten eucharistian sarka einai tou soteros hemon Iesou Christou. Christians observed the Lord's Day, not the Jewish Sabbath (Mgn.8, 9).

X. As to the theology of the epistles, there have been great differences of opinion. The more significant theological statements are uncontroversial, though called out by heresies to which the writer opposes his conception of the nature of Christ. The originality and reality of the revelation in Christ is the great point with him. Hence follows the unreasonableness of Judaizing, which he sometimes presses in terms apparently inconsistent with the recognition of Jewish Christians as really believers. But probably, like St. Paul, he is treating the question from the Gentile standpoint alone. Prophets and the law are worthy of all honour in Christ; panta homou kala estin ean en agape pisteuete. The prophets were Christians in spirit, and Christ raised them from the dead (Mgn.9). They were believers in Christ; yea, even the angels must believe in His blood (Sm.6). But for this practical and real salvation finding its expression in history the heretics would substitute a shadowy representation of religious notions in a merely apparent and unreal life of Christ. Therefore we find Ignatius constantly adding the word alethos to his records of the acts of Christ (Sm.3, 4; Tr.10). En sarki is an equivalent phrase. The Blood is named with or instead of the Flesh to shew that the Lord had in death the same bodily constitution as in life, of which the faithful partake in the Eucharist. Being real flesh, Christ was the New Man, and the revelation of God in the earth (Eph.18). He is an eternal Person, but He is God's Son, as born of Mary and of God. When the writer speaks of an outcoming of Christ from God, he means the Incarnation, and not anything previous. Though he uses the epithet aidios with Logos, yet he does not seem to mean that it is as Logos that the Lord is eternal. It is as incarnate and as man that He is the Logos of God. His twofold nature furnishes the explanation of the opposite attributes ascribed to Him (Eph.7; Pol.3). Baur and Lipsius have discovered Patripassianism in the last-quoted passage. But this accusation is inconsistent with all the rest of the epistles, and seems, indeed, to have been since abandoned by Lipsius. In opposition to Baur's assertion that except in one suspected place there is no mention of Christ as Son of God, Zahn finds himself able to enumerate 29 such cases. The epistles lay vast stress upon the Godhead of the Lord; it is because of this that His birth is the entrance of the New Man, and His death the resurrection of the faithful. To them He stands in a personal and practical relation, which makes Him their God. His present invisible relation to them involves an increase of the activity of His Godhead, and of its revelation to men (ad Rom.3; ad Eph.15); but He was always God. Therefore Ignatius can speak of the blood and of the suffering of God (Eph.1; Rom.6). The tria musteria krauges, the three mysteries loudest in proclamation of truth to those who can hear, are the Incarnation, Birth, and Death of Christ, hid in their real significance from the devil and from the unbelieving. The terms Son and Logos are not applied to express the relations of the Divine Persons. Ignatius is content to maintain on the one hand the unity of God, on the other the eternal personality of Christ.

XI. The question what special heresies are denounced in the epistles possesses, in relation to their date, an importance scarcely below that of episcopacy. All, except Romans, contain warnings against heresy, and the exhortations to unity and submission to authority derive their urgency from this danger. It was long a question whether two forms of heresy, Judaic and Docetic, or only one, Judaeo-docetic, were aimed at. But already in 1856, despite the arguments of Hilgenfeld (i.230), it appeared to Lipsius (i.31) that the question was decided in the latter sense. The heretics were wandering teachers, ever seeking proselytes (Eph.7), and all the denunciations of heresy are directed against that mixture of Judaism with Gnosticism, represented by some whom Ignatius met in his journey (Mgn.8, 10, 11; Tr.9; Sm.1). The idea of Ritschl (Entst. der altk. Kirche, p.580) that they were Montanist teachers met with little favour.

Cureton and others have thought to find direct allusions to the teaching of Valentinus in the epistles (but see Pearson II. vi.). But the allusion Logos apo Siges proelthon (Mgn.8) is not applicable to Valentinus.

Basilides is probably early enough, and disciples of his might have been wandering in Asia Minor; Cerinthus too was of this age. I. and II. John contain warnings against Docetism, which Polycarp (Ep.7) applies to the heretics of his own time, which was also that of Ignatius. Of all the heretics whom Bunsen and others have supposed the epistles to denounce, Saturninus alone can be proved to have held the doctrines they condemn.

XII. From the epistles, as Hilgenfeld (i.225-226) truly remarks, different critics, according to their bias, have derived in some cases the very highest, and in some the very poorest, notion of the writer's character. The letters are indeed more characteristic than any we have between St. Paul and the great Fathers of the 4th cent.; but they give no record of the writer's surroundings or of his ways in his diocese when the times were quiet. His name is Latin; his style very Semitic. He had not seen the Lord or the apostles, and was not, as MS. Colb. makes him, a fellow-pupil with Polycarp of St. John. It is perhaps somewhat precarious to infer with Zahn, from his strong terms of self-reproach (Eph.21; Mgn.14), that he had led an un-Christian or anti-Christian life in early years. His longing for death is extreme, but is really for life under another and better form. We do not know that he courted martyrdom before his judges, since we only meet him after he has been condemned and is well used to the idea. All his exhortations have the one burden and object, closer union with Christ. He bids others seek, and seeks himself, that union in permanence and perfection which the Holy Eucharist gives here in part. He does not imagine death in itself to have any value (Rom.4; Tr.3, 4; Eph.12; Sm.4). The prayers he asks are not for his death, but for his due preparation (Eph.21; Mgn.14; Tr.12, 13). For an interesting summary of the moral aspect of the Ignatian epistles in respect to the personality of the writer and to the ideal which his teaching presents, see Sprintzl, pp.244 sqq.

XIII. The great majority of critics, whether adverse to the genuineness of the epistles or not, have recognized that the seven epistles professing to be of Ignatius, as shewn by the individuality of the author there displayed, and the one of Polycarp, form an indivisible whole. Romans, indeed, is the brightest and most interesting of the letters. This is because its chief subject is his personal eagerness for martyrdom; he is writing to the place where he expects to suffer, and to people who can help or hinder his object.

The Ep. of Polycarp contains a witness for the whole body of epistles, which (if it be genuine) renders almost all others superfluous; since it mentions letters written to Smyrna by Ignatius, and by Polycarp collected and sent to Philippi; and intimates the existence of others. Thus those who believe the Ignatian letters to be a production late in the 2nd cent. are forced to consider the Ep. of Polycarp a fraud also, in whole or in part. For its satisfactory defence see Lightfoot, Cont. Rev.1875. With it we may consider the genuineness of the Ignatian epistles proved. For a forger late in the 2nd cent., it would have been impossible to avoid mentioning Polycarp's connexion with the apostles, or alluding to the epistles to the seven Asiatic churches in Revelation; they are never mentioned. In all historical fictions of antiquity, reiterated pains are taken to make the facts to be maintained understood. In Ignatius they are hard to reach; the writer is not thinking of readers who have all to learn from him. Lastly, no ancient fiction has succeeded in individualizing character to the degree here displayed; e.g. in the picture of the false teachers. The improbabilities on which the author of Supernatural Religion, and even, though less decidedly, Hilgenfeld (17), rely to prove the whole story an undoubted fabrication, are recognized by M. Renan as established facts, even though he does not believe that the epistles we possess are those to which the story refers. Finally, by the great work of Bp. Lightfoot the genuineness of the seven Vossian epistles may be regarded as completely established. The Epp. of Ignatius in the longer and shorter recensions and the Syr. version were in Patr. Apost. ed. G. Jacobson (Clar. Press); and a trans. of the Epp. together with the Martyrdom and spurious Epp. are in the Ante-Nic. Lib.

Authorities. -- Ussher, Dissertatio de Ig. et Pol. (1644), in Works by Elrington, vii.87-295; Joannis Dallaei, de Scriptis quae sub Dion. Areop. et Ig. Ant. nominibus circumferuntur, lib. ii. (Genev.1666); Pearson, Vindiciae Ignatianae (ed. nov. Oxf.1852); Zahn, i. Ignatius von Antiochien, p.629 (Gotha, 1873), ii. Patrum Apostolicorum Opera, fasc. ii. (Lips.1876); Hilgenfeld, i. Die apostolischen Väter (Halle, 1853), ii. in his Zeitsch.1874, pp.96 seq.; Lightfoot, i. in Phil. pp.208-210, ii. in Cont. Rev. (Feb.1875); Petermann, S. Ign. Ep. (Lips.1849); Harnack, Die Zeit des Ignatius (Leipz.1878); Cureton, Corpus Ignatianum (Lond.1849); Denzinger, Ueber die Aechtheit der Ign. Briefe (Würzburg, 1849); Renan, i. Les Evangiles (Paris, 1877), ii. in Journal des Savants (1874); Uhlhorn, i. in Zeitschraft für hist. Theol. (1851, 283), ii. in Herzogs Encyc.; Funk, Op. Pat. Ap. (ed.5, Tübing.1878).

Cureton (Corp. Ign.) or (better still, except for Syriac scholars) Zahn (ii.) will furnish the student with all the documents and ancient testimonies. The special treatise of Zahn on Ignatius is, as Bp. Lightfoot remarks, little known in England, and is of an exhaustive character. The reader will understand that, while we have not hesitated to dissent from it where necessary, we have freely availed ourselves of its pages. The Epistles of Ignatius have been pub. in a cheap trans. by J. R. Srawley (S.P.C.K.2 vols.)


Innocentius, bp. of Rome
Innocentius (12) I., bp. of Rome, after Anastasius, from May 402, to Mar.12, 417.

The circumstances of his time and the character and talents of Innocent render his pontificate important. Christianity had now for nearly a century been the religion of the emperors; paganism was fast becoming a system of the past; the capture of Rome by Alaric during his pontificate, regarded as the divine judgment on the heathen city and causing the dispersion and ruin of the remains of the heathen nobility, completed the downfull of the ancient order. With the ascendancy of the church had grown that of the hierarchy, and especially of the head of that hierarchy in the West, the Roman bishop. The need of centres of unity and seats of authority to keep the church together amid doctrinal conflicts; the power and importance hence accruing to the patriarchal sees, and especially to Rome as the one great patriarchate of the West, the see of the old seat of empire and the only Western one that claimed apostolic origin; the view now generally received of the bp. of Rome as the successor of the prince of the apostles; the removal of the seat of empire to Constantinople, leaving the pope, when there was but one emperor, the sole Western potentate, and when there were two, as in Innocent's time, the fixing of the imperial residence at Ravenna instead of Rome, -- such were among the causes of the aggrandizement of the Roman see. The Western church had been comparatively free from the controversies which had divided the East, nor had the popes taken much personal part in them; but they had almost invariably supported the orthodox cause, received and protected the orthodox under persecution, and, after watching with quiet dignity the Eastern struggle, had accepted and confirmed the decisions of orthodox councils. Hence Rome appeared as the bulwark of the cause of truth, and its claim to be the unerring guardian of the apostolic faith and discipline gained extensive credence. Innocent himself was eminently the man to enter into, and make the most of, the position he was called to occupy. Unstained in life, able and resolute, with a full appreciation of the dignity and prerogatives of his see, he lost no opportunity of asserting its claims, and under him the idea of universal papal supremacy, though as yet somewhat shadowy, was already taking form. At his accession the empire had for seven years been divided between the two sons of Theodosius, Arcadius and Honorius; the latter, now 18 years of age, under the control of the great general Stilicho, ruling in the West. Two years after Innocent's accession (a.d.404) he fixed his residence at Ravenna.

I. WEST. (i) Illyria. -- Immediately after his election Innocent wrote to Anysius, bp. of Thessalonica, informing him of the event and giving him the oversight of the churches of eastern Illyria. The prefecture of Illyria had been dismembered since 388, the Eastern part, including Dacia and Macedonia, being assigned to the Eastern empire, but popes Damasus and Siricius had continued to claim ecclesiastical jurisdiction over the separated portion, delegating their authority to the bishops of Thessalonica. Innocent thus made no new claim, nor did he hereby assert any authority over the East generally (Innoc. Ep.1; Galland. Bibl. Patr.). When Rufus, some years after, succeeded Anysius as bp. of Thessalonica, a letter was at once sent to him, reversing the vicariate commission, defining its extent, and reminding him that his jurisdiction was derived from the favour of the apostolic see only. In 414 we find Innocent exercising authority of a summary kind, without the intervention of the bp. of Thessalonica, in East Illyria. The bishops of Macedonia had sent him a synodal letter, desiring directions as to: (1) Whether persons ordained by one Bonosus, a deceased heretical bishop, might be admitted to the priesthood. (2) Whether persons who had married widows might be ordained and made bishops, for which allowance they pleaded the custom of their church. (3) They had asked leave to raise to the episcopate one Photinus, who had been condemned by Innocent's predecessors, and to depose a deacon called Eustatius. Some at least of these questions had already been decided by Innocent, for he expresses surprise and displeasure at their being again mooted. He then authoritatively decides them. Those who had married widows he debars from ordination, citing the prohibition of such marriages to the high-priest under the Mosaic law. Those ordained by Bonosus are debarred the priesthood by the law of the Roman church (lex nostrae ecclesiae), which admitted to lay communion persons baptized by heretics, but did not recognize their orders. The Nicene canon about the Novatianists, he says, applied to them only, and the condonation by Anysius had only been a temporary expedient. The question whether those who had married one wife before and another after baptism were to be accounted deuterogamists, and so incapable of ordination, he discussed at length also in other epistles. He decides that they are to be so accounted, for baptism is not the commencement of a new life in such sort as to relax the obligations of a previous marriage. Though with hesitation and much anxiety, he allows the promotion of Photinus, notwithstanding the condemnation of him by previous popes, on the ground that they had been imposed on by false reports; and he disallows the deposition of Eustatius (Ep. xvii. Galland.). Another epistle, addressed to the bishops of Macedonia, confirms the deposition of Babalius and Taurianus, who had appealed to Rome from the sentence of the bishops of their province. This appeal the bishops seem to have taken amiss, for Innocent presses upon them the advantage of having their judgment revised (Ep. xviii. Galland.).

(ii) Gaul. -- Victricius, bp. of Rouen, having been in Rome towards the end of 403 (Ep. ad Victric. § 14, and Paul. Nolan. Ep. ad Victric. xxxvii.1), applied to the pope soon after for information as to the practice and discipline of the Roman church. Innocent sent him a letter containing 14 rules, of which he says that they are no new ones, but derived by tradition from the apostles and fathers, though too generally unknown or disregarded. He directs Victricius to communicate them to the bishops and others, with a view to their future observance. Among them were: (1) No bishop may ordain without the knowledge of his metropolitan and the assistance of other bishops. (3) Ordinary causes against bishops are to be determined by the other bishops of the province, saving always the authority of Rome. (4) Greater causes, after the judgment of the bishops, are to be referred to the apostolic see, |as the synod [referring, probably, to the canons of Sardica] has decreed.| (6, 7) No layman who has married a widow, or been twice married, may be ordained. (8) No bishop may ordain any one from another diocese without leave of its bishop. (9) Converts from Novatianism and Montanism are to be received by imposition of hands only, without iteration of baptism; but such as, having left the church, had been rebaptized by heretics, are only to be received after long penance. (10) Priests and Levites who have wives are not to cohabit with them. This rule is supported by argument, resting mainly on the prohibition of intercourse with their wives to priests under the old law before officiating. Christian priests and Levites, it is argued, ought always to be prepared to officiate. (11) Monks, taking minor orders, may not marry. (12) Courtiers and public functionaries are not to be admitted to any clerical order; for they might have to exhibit or preside over entertainments undoubtedly invented by the devil, and were liable to be recalled to his service by the emperor, so as to cause much |sadness and anxiety.| Victricius is reminded of painful cases he had witnessed in Rome, when the pope had with difficulty obtained from the emperor the exemption even of priests from being recalled to his service. (13) Veiled virgins who marry are not to be admitted even to penance till the husband's death; but (14) such as have promised virginity, but have not been |veiled by the priest,| may be reconciled after penance.

In 405 Innocent was similarly consulted by another bp. of Gaul, Exsuperius of Toulouse, whom he commends for referring doubtful questions to the apostolic see, and gives him the following directions: (1) Priests or deacons who cohabit with their wives are to be deprived, as pope Siricius had directed. The prohibition of conjugal intercourse to the priests in O.T. before officiating is adduced as before; also St. Paul's injunction to the Corinthian laity to abstain for a time, that they might give themselves unto prayer; whence it follows that the clergy, to whom prayer and sacrifice is a continual duty, ought always to abstain. When St. Paul said that a bishop was to be the husband of one wife, he did not mean that he was to live with her, else he would not have said, |They that are in the flesh cannot please God|; and he said |having children,| not |begetting| them. The incontinence of clergy whom the injunction of pope Siricius had not reached may, however, be condoned; but they are not to be promoted to any higher order. (2) To the question whether such as had led continually loose lives after baptism might be admitted to penance and communion at the approach of death, Innocent replies that, though in former times penance only and not communion was accorded in such cases, the strict rule may now be relaxed, and both given. (3) Baptized Christians are not precluded from inflicting torture or condemning to death as judges, nor from suing as advocates for judgment in a capital case. Innocent, however, elsewhere precludes Christians who had been so engaged from ordination (Ep. xxvii. ad Felicem). (4) To the question how it was that adultery in a wife was more severely visited than in a husband, it is replied that the cause was the unwillingness of wives to accuse their husbands, and the difficulty of convicting the latter of transgression, not that adultery was more criminal in one case than in the other. (5) Divorced persons who marry again during the life of their first consort and those who marry them are adulterers, and to be excommunicated, but not their parents or relations, unless accessory. Lastly, a list is given of the canonical books of Scripture, the same as are now received by the church of Rome; while certain books, bearing the names of Matthias, James the Less, Peter, John, and Thomas, are repudiated and condemned.

(iii) Spain. -- In 400 had been held the first council of Toledo, mainly to deal with Priscillianists returning to the church. Two such bishops, Symphorius and Dichtynius, with others, had been received by the council; but certain bishops of Baetica still refused to communicate with them. A Spanish bishop, Hilary, who had subscribed the decree of the council of Toledo, went with a priest, Elpidius, to Rome, to represent this to the pope; complaining also of two bishops, Rufinus and Minicius, who had ordained other bishops out of their own province without the knowledge of the metropolitan; and of other prevalent irregularities with respect to ordinations. The complainants do not appear to have been commissioned by any synod, or other authority of the Spanish church, to lay these matters before the pope, but Innocent took the opportunity to address a letter, after a synod held at Rome, to the bishops of the Toledo council, advising or directing them; though without asserting, as he does to other churches, the authority of the Roman see. He condemns those who refused to communicate with reconciled Priscillianists, and directs the bishops to inquire into the cases of Rufinus and Minicius and to enforce the canons. As to other prevalent irregularities -- such as the ordination of persons who had, after baptism, pleaded as advocates, served in the army, or as courtiers (curiales) been concerned in objectionable ceremonies or entertainments -- he directs that such past irregularities should be condoned for fear of scandal and disturbance, but avoided in the future. He insists, as so often in his letters, on the incapacity for ordination of such as had married widows or had married twice, and again protests that baptism cannot annul the obligation of a previous marriage. He supports these prohibitions by arguments from O.T. and from St. Paul, |Husband of one wife| (Ep. iii. Bibl. Patr. Galland.). We do not know how this admonitory letter was received in Spain.

(iv) Africa. -- In 412 or 413 Innocent wrote to Aurelius, bp. of Carthage, requesting him to announce in synod the day for keeping Easter in 414, with the view of its being announced, as was then customary, to the church by the bp. of Rome (Ep. xiv. Galland.). Towards the end of 416 he received synodal letters from councils at Carthage and Milevis in Numidia, and from St. Augustine (who had taken part in the latter council), with four other bishops, on the Pelagian controversy; to all of which he replied in Jan.417. This correspondence illustrates the relations then subsisting between the West African church and Rome. (For such relations at an early period see STEPHANUS; CYPRIANUS; SIXTUS II.) The synodal letters inform Innocent of the renewal of the condemnation of Pelagius and Coelestius pronounced five years previously at Carthage, and very respectfully request him to add the authority of the apostolical see to the decrees of their mediocrity (|ut statutis nostrae mediocritatis etiam apostolicae sedis auctoritas adhibeatur|); setting forth the heresies condemned, and arguments against them. They recognize the weight that the pope's approval would carry, but do not at all imply that the validity of their own condemnation depended on it. The five bishops imply some doubt as to his probable action, having heard that there were some in Rome who favoured the heretic; and they await the result with suspense, fear, and trembling. Innocent, in replying, assumes much greater dependence on the see of Rome on the part of the Africans than their language had implied, and asserts very large claims to general authority. He commends the bishops of the Carthaginian synod for referring the matter to his judgment, as knowing what was due to the see of the apostle from whom all episcopal authority was derived; and for having observed the decrees of the Fathers, resting on divine authority, according to which nothing done, even in remote and separated provinces, was to be considered settled till it had come to the knowledge of the Roman see and been confirmed by its authority, that all waters proceeding from the fountain of their birth, the pure streams of the uncorrupted head, might flow through the different regions of the whole world. The abundant stream of Rome, flowing, the bishops hoped, from the same fountainhead as the smaller stream of Africa, becomes in Innocent the fountain-head from which all streams must flow. He addresses the bishops of the Milevetan synod in the same strain. He then proceeds to condemn the Pelagian heresy in strong terms and to anathematize all its abettors and supporters. To adduce proofs, he says, is unnecessary, since his correspondents had said all that was wanted. He declines to accede to their suggestion that he should make overtures to Pelagius, or send for him to Rome. It is for the heretical, he says, to come to me of his own accord, if ready to retract his errors; if not ready, he would not obey my summons; if he should come, repudiate, his heresy, and ask pardon, he will be received (Epp. Augustine, xc.-xcv.; Epp. Innoc. clxxxi.-clxxxiii. Galland.).

In a letter to Decentius, bp. of Eugubium in Umbria (dated a.d.416), the claims of the Roman see are no less strongly asserted than in the letters to the African bishops. Innocent tells him that no one can be ignorant of the obligation of all to observe the traditions, and those alone, which the Roman church had received from St. Peter, the prince of the apostles, and which that church ever preserved -- especially as no churches had been founded in Italy, Gaul, Spain, Africa, Sicily, or the interjacent islands, except by St. Peter or his successors. The letter proceeds to require observance of various Roman usages. (1) The pax in the Eucharist must be given after communion, not before. (2) The names of such as offer oblations at the Eucharist are not to be recited by the priest before the sacrifice, or the canon. (3) Infants after baptism may not be confirmed by unction except by the bishop; but priests may anoint other parts of the body than the forehead, using oil blessed by the bishop. (4) Saturday as well as Friday in each week is to be observed as a fast, in commemoration of the whole time Christ was in the grave. (5) Demoniacs may receive imposition of hands from priests or other clergy commissioned by the bishop. (6) St. James's direction that the sick are to call for the elders of the church does not preclude the bishop from administering the unction; but not only priests, but any Christian may anoint, using chrism prepared by the bishop. Penitents, however, to whom the other sacraments are denied, may not receive unction, |quia genus sacramenti est.| It appears plain from the way the unction of the sick is spoken of that it was then used with a view to recovery, not as a last rite. (7) One Roman custom, that of sending, on the Lord's day, the Eucharist consecrated by the bishop to the presbyters throughout the city, that all on that day at least may partake of one communion, is not to be observed where it involved carrying the sacrament to great distances. Even in Rome it is not taken to the priests in the various cemeteries (Epp. xxv. Galland.).

II. EAST. -- In 404 Innocent began to intervene in the affairs of the East in the matter of St. Chrysostom, who had been deposed and driven from Constantinople after the synod of the Oak in 403, and finally expelled on June 20, 404. A letter reached Innocent from Chrysostom himself, another from the 40 bishops who remained in his communion, a third from his clergy. That from Chrysostom (given by Palladius in his Dialogus de Vita S. Johan. Chrysost.) was addressed to the bps. of Rome, Aquileia, and Milan, as the three great bishops of the West. It requests them to protest against what had been done, and to continue in communion with the writer. To all these letters Innocent replied that, while still in communion with both parties, he reprobated the past proceedings as irregular, and proposed a council of Easterns and Westerns, from which avowed friends and enemies of the accused should be excluded. A second letter arrived from Theophilus, patriarch of Alexandria, with the Acts of the synod of the Oak, shewing that Chrysostom had been condemned by 36 bishops, of whom 29 were Egyptians. Innocent's brief reply, is that he cannot renounce communion with Chrysostom on the strength of the past futile proceedings and demands that Theophilus should proffer his charges before a proper council, according to the Nicene canons. Communications from Constantinople continued to reach Innocent, one from about 25 bishops of Chrysostom's party, informing him of Chrysostom's banishment to Cucusus and the burning of his cathedral church. To them and to the banished prelate the pope sent letters of communion, being unable to render help. Cruel persecution of the friends of Chrysostom, set afoot by the Eastern emperor Arcadius, brought a number of letters to Rome from oppressed bishops and clergy, and the resort thither of many in person, including Anysius of Thessalonica, Palladius of Helenopolis (the author of the Dialogus de Vit. S. Johan. Chrysost.), and Cassianus, famous afterwards as a monk and a writer. Innocent represented the matter to the emperor Honorius, who wrote thrice to his brother Arcadius on the subject. His third letter, sent under the advice of a synod assembled by the pope at his request, urged the assembling of a combined council of Easterns and Westerns at Thessalonica. He desired Innocent to appoint five bishops, two priests, and one deacon as a deputation from the Western church; and these he charged with this third letter, in which he requested his brother to summon the Oriental bishops. He also sent letters addressed to himself by the bishops of Rome and Aquileia, as specimens of many so addressed, and as representing the opinion of the Western bishops on the question at issue (Innoc. Ep. ix. Galland.; Pallad. Dialog. c. iii.). The deputation was accompanied by four Eastern bishops who had fled to Rome. It failed entirely. Persecution was continued in the East; Honorius contemplated a war against his brother, but was deterred by a threatened invasion of the Goths; and Innocent, failing in his attempt to bring about an impartial council, separated himself from the communion of Atticus, Theophilus, and Porphyrius.

This appeal of St. Chrysostom and his friends involved no acknowledgment of any authority of the Roman bishop over the Eastern church. They apply to him not as a superior or a judge, but as a powerful friend whose support they solicit. Chrysostom's letter, which in Roman editions appears as addressed to the pope alone, was really written to the three principal bishops of the West. Its contents leave no doubt of this. Honorius, in his letters to his brother, speaks of the Western bishops generally having been applied to, and quotes their views as of equal moment with that of the bishops of Rome. Innocent in his replies makes no claim to adjudicate, nor does he make any assertion of the universal supremacy of his see, such as appears in his letters to the Africans and to Decentius, but recommends a council of Easterns and Westerns as the proper authoritative tribunal. For a view of papal claims over the East less than a century later see FELIX III. and ACACIUS (7).

After the death of Chrysostom the pope and all the West remained for some time out of communion with Constantinople, Alexandria, and Antioch. The church of Antioch was the first to be reconciled, when bp. Alexander in 413 replaced the name of Chrysostom in the diptychs of his church, and sent a legation to Rome to sue for restoration of communion. This was cordially granted in a synodal letter signed by 20 Italian bishops. Innocent wrote to Alexander congratulating him warmly and desiring a frequent interchange of letters. At the same time Acacius of Beroea, one of Chrysostom's bitterest opponents, was received into communion by Innocent through Alexander, to whom the letter of communion was sent for transmission. Atticus of Constantinople was reconciled a few years later. Moved partly by the threatening attitude of the populace, and partly by the advice of the emperor, he consented, with a bad grace, to place Chrysostom's name on the diptychs, and was received into communion. The church of Alexandria was the last to come to terms. Theophilus's nephew Cyril, succeeding him Oct.18, 412, was urged by Atticus to yield, and did so at last, though not till 417, ten years after the death of Chrysostom. Throughout Innocent appears to have acted with dignity, fairness, firmness, and moderation. Alexander having, later, consulted the pope as to the jurisdiction of his patriarchal see of Antioch, Innocent replied that in accordance with the canons of Nice (Can. vi.) the authority of the bp. of Antioch extended over the whole diocese, not only over one province. Diocese is here used, in its original sense, to denote a civil division of the empire comprising many provinces. The Oriental diocese here referred to included 15 provinces, over the metropolitans of which the patriarchal jurisdiction of Antioch is alleged to extend.

Two more letters, written in the last year of his life, further illustrate Innocent's attitude towards the churches of the East. St. Jerome had been attacked in his cell at Bethlehem by a band of ruffians and had narrowly escaped; the two noble virgins, Eustochium and her niece Paula, living in retirement under his spiritual direction, had been driven from their house, which had been burnt, and some of their attendants killed. The party of Pelagius was suspected. Innocent wrote to Jerome, offering to exert |the whole authority. of the apostolic see| against the offenders, if they could be discovered, and to appoint judges to try them; and to John, bp. of Jerusalem, who was no friend to Jerome, in an authoritative tone, reproving him severely for allowing such atrocities within his jurisdiction (Epp. xxxiv. xxxv. Galland.).

III. ALARIC. -- There were three Gothic invasions of Italy -- the first under Alaric, the second under Radagaisus, the third led by Alaric himself, who laid siege to Rome a.d.408. Innocent was within the city, the emperor at Ravenna. Famine and plague having ensued during the siege, Zosimus, the heathen historian, alleges that Pompeianus, the prefect of the city, having been persuaded by certain Etruscan diviners that their spells and sacrifices, performed on the Capitol, could draw down lightnings against the enemy, Innocent was consulted and consented, but the majority of the senators refused (v.40). Sozomen mentions the circumstance but does not implicate Innocent (ix.6). It seems highly improbable that Innocent would sanction such rites of heathenism. In 409 the offer of a ransom led Alaric to raise the siege, and two deputations were sent to the emperor at Ravenna to induce him to sanction the terms agreed on. The first having failed, Innocent accompanied the second, and thus was not in the city when it was finally taken on Aug.24, 410. Alaric's invasion was regarded as a judgment on heathen rather than Christian Rome, and as a vindication of the church, the pope's providential absence being compared by Orosius to the saving of Lot from Sodom. Undoubtedly the event was a marked one in the supersession of heathenism by Christianity. The destruction of the old temples, never afterwards restored, the dispersion and ruin of families which clung most to the old order, the view that judgment had fallen on old heathen Rome, which its deities had been powerless to protect, all helped to complete the triumph of the church and to add importance to the reign of Innocent. Soon after this great event Augustine (a.d.413) began his famous work, de Civitate Dei, though he took 13 years to complete it, in which he sees a vision of the kingdom of God rising on the ruins of the kingdom of the world -- a vision which gradually took more distinct shape in the idea already more or less grasped by Innocent, of a Catholic Christendom united under the Roman see.

Innocent's Epistolae et Decreta are printed in Galland's Bibl. Pat. t. viii. and in Migne, Patr. Lat. t. xx. Cf. Innocent the Great by C. H. C. Pirie-Gordon (Longmans; 4 maps and 8 genealogical tables).

[J.B -- Y.]

Irenaeus, bp. of Lyons
Irenaeus (1), bp. of Lyons. Very little is known of his personal history except that he was a native of Asia Minor; in early youth had seen and heard bp. Polycarp at Smyrna; afterwards came into Gaul, and during the persecution of 177 carried, as presbyter of Lyons, a letter from the Gallican confessors to the Roman bp. Eleutherus (174 or 175-189); after the death of bp. Pothinus of Lyons (177) became his successor (Eus. H. E. v.5), and was still bishop in the time of bp. Victor, who succeeded Eleutherus at Rome (189-198 or 199); and that he took a leading part in all ecclesiastical transactions and controversies of the time, St. Jerome speaks of him (de Vir. Ill.35) as having flourished in the reign of Commodus (180-192). His birth is assigned to widely distant epochs. The earliest and the latest dates proposed are 50 years apart (97-147). Various considerations lead us to fix on c.126, or possibly c.136, as the latest admissible date.

Of his youthful literary training and culture we can only judge from his writings, which shew some acquaintance with the Greek poets and philosophers; he cites Homer, Hesiod, Pindar, and Plato. Of his Christian training he tells us that, besides instructions from Polycarp, he had other teachers, |Presbyters| (of Asia Minor), whom he designates as mediate or immediate disciples of the apostles (Haer. ii.22, 5; iv.27, 1; 32, 1; v.5, 30, 1; 33, 3; 36, 1). Whether he was personally acquainted with Papias, whom he mentions so frequently, is uncertain. If he was in Rome a.d.156 he doubtless continued his studies there. The time of his removal into Gaul is unknown, but there were close ties between the missionary church of Gaul and the mother-churches of Asia Minor. At the time of the persecution, to which the aged bp. Pothinus fell a victim in the 17th year of Marcus Aurelius, a.d.177 (cf. my Chronologie der römischen Bischöfe, p.185), Irenaeus was a presbyter at Lugdunum. That Irenaeus wrote the epistle of the Gallican confessors to the churches of Asia Minor and Phrygia, which so vividly describes the persecution (ap. Eus. H. E. v.1), is an uncertain conjecture. There is indeed a fragment preserved by Oecumenius and assigned to Irenaeus (Fragm. Graec, xiii. ap. Harvey, ii.482 seq.), which really stands in very close connexion with that epistle, mentioning in a similar way the calumny about |Thyestean banquets,| which rested on depositions wrung from tortured slaves, the endeavours of the persecutors to force the martyrs Sanctus and Blandina to make alike confession, and Blandina's answer, which, though not identical with that in the epistle, is nearly related to it. Irenaeus's mission to Rome was undertaken to intercede with bp. Eleutherus for the Montanists of Asia Minor in the name and on behalf of the Gallican confessors (Eus. H. E. v.3, 4). That another object of the journey was that Irenaeus himself might obtain episcopal consecration at Rome is an unproved assertion of some Roman Catholic authors. The common assumption that there was then no episcopal see but Lyons in all Gaul is hardly warranted by the fact that in the narrative of the persecution at Vienne a deacon only and no bishop is mentioned. A better argument is that Eusebius (H. E. v.23) appears to speak of Irenaeus as bishop of all the churches of Gaul. But neither can be regarded as a sure proof.

As bp. of Lyons Irenaeus was distinguished for his zeal for the conversion of the heathen (cf. the Acts of St. Ferreolus and his companions, Boll. Acta SS.16 Jun. iii.), and yet more by his conflicts with heretics and his strenuous endeavours to maintain the peace of the church, in true accord with his name Eirenaios (Peace-man). His great work Against all Heresies was probably written during his episcopate. The preface informs us that he then first wrote as an ecclesiastical writer. We subsequently find him exerting himself to protect the churches of his native country (Asia Minor) from Roman pretensions and aggression. The Roman bp. Victor was endeavouring to compel these churches, which had hitherto kept Easter, with the Jews, on Nisan 14, to conform to the practice of Rome. On their refusal to abandon the custom of their forefathers, their reasons being given in a letter addressed to Victor by Polycrates, bp. of Ephesus, he had cut them off from his communion. This harsh treatment was highly disapproved by many even of those who, like the Roman bishop, kept Easter on the Sunday following the equinoctial full-moon. Among these was Irenaeus himself. In the name of all the Gallican churches he remonstrated with Victor, in a writing of which a considerable fragment is extant, reminding him of the example set by his predecessors, who had found no occasion in these differences of paschal observance for excommunicating their brethren of Asia Minor. Irenaeus (as Eusebius further informs us, H. E. v.23) also appealed to other foreign bishops, but without any effect on the harsh determination of the Roman. Another writing of Irenaeus mentioned by Eusebius (H. E. v.20), which seems to have referred to the same subject, was entitled peri schismatos and addressed to Blastus, head of the Roman Quartodecimans.

How long Irenaeus was bishop is uncertain. His death is commonly assigned to 202 or 203. This rests on the assumption that he was martyred under Septimius Severus. But such a martyrdom is by no means established. Tertullian, Hippolytus, Eusebius, Epiphanius, Ephrem, Augustine, Theodoret, are silent. In the Syriac fragments Irenaeus is frequently spoken of as |a disciple of Polycarp, bishop and martyr,| but not himself honoured with the martyr's title either there or in any quotations from his writings. The first witness for his martyrdom is found in Jerome's commentary on Isaiah, written c.410, where (c.64) Irenaeus is spoken of as vir apostolicus episcopus et martyr; but when elsewhere treating ex professo of his life and writings (de Vir. Ill. c.35), Jerome is silent as to his martyrdom. As Dodwell conjectures, the words et martyr may be an
interpolation. If not, Jerome must have learnt the alleged fact subsequently to 392, when the de Viris Illustribus was written. There is no witness for it earlier than the 5th cent.

Writings. -- The chief was the great work in five books against Gnosticism entitled Elengos kai anatrope tes pseudonumou gnoseus, Detectio et eversio falso cognominatae agnitionis. (The full Greek title is found in Eus. H. E. v.7; Phot. Bibl. Cod.120 and elsewhere; cf. also frequent references to it by Irenaeus in the praefationes to bks. ii. iv. v. and the conclusion of bk. iv.) It is commonly cited under the briefer title pros haireseis (contra Haereses) We possess it entire in the Latin version only, which, however, must have been made from the Greek original very soon after its composition, since the Latin was used by Tertullian some ten years after, in his tractate adv. Valentinianos. Its translator was a Celt (witness the barbarous Latinity); probably one of the clergy of Lyons. Most of the original work being now lost, the slavish literality of the translator imparts to his version a very high value. Many obscurities of expression, arising in part from a
misunderstanding of the Greek idiom, admit an easy solution when translated back into Greek. Beside this Latin version, which appears to have soon superseded the Greek original in the Western church, there was a Syriac translation, of which numerous fragments are extant and were first put together by Harvey in his ed. of Irenaeus (ii.431 seq.). They are derived from the Brit. Mus. collection of Nitrian MSS., some of which are as old as the 6th, 7th, and 8th cents. (cf. Harvey, ii.431, note). To these are added (Nos. xxi. xxxi. and xxxii.) fragments of an Armenian interpolated version first published by Pitra in his Spicilegium Solesmense, t. i. (Paris, 1852). Of these No. xxi. only is taken from the work Against Heresies. The almost entire agreement between these Syriac fragments and the Old Latin version further witnesses its genuineness and fidelity. The Greek original, said to have been still extant in the 16th cent., was made great use of by Hippolytus (or whoever wrote the Philosophumena), Epiphanius, and Theodoret. To the numerous extracts in these writers, esp. the first two, we owe the greater part of the original Greek of bk. i. -- the preface and cc.1-21 entire, and numerous fragments besides. Of the other books, the Greek has come down to us in isolated passages, mostly through citations by Eusebius. The ed. of Wigan Harvey (2 vols. Camb.1857) is based on a careful collation of the Codices Claromont. and Arundel. His Prolegomena contain minute investigations into the origin, characteristics and main phenomena of Gnosticism, as well as concerning the life and writings of Irenaeus.

Against Heresies was written in Gaul. (Irenaeus says so expressly, lib. i. praef.3, cf. i.13, 7. We follow Massuet's division of chapters.) The date of composition is determined iii.3, 3, in which he speaks of Eleutherus as then twelfth in succession to the apostles on the episcopal chair of Rome (nun dodekato topo ton tes episkopes apo ton apostolon katechei kleron Eleutheros). According to this, the third book was written at the earliest a.d.174 or 175, at the latest a.d.189 (cf. Chronologie der röm. Bischöfe, pp.184 sqq.). The commencement and completion of the work were possibly some years apart, but we cannot put the date of bks. iv. and v. so late as the episcopate of Victor (189-198 or 199). We may tentatively assume 182, the mid-period of Eleutherus's episcopate, or (since the first two books alone appear to have been written immediately after each other -- cf. the prefaces to bks. ii. and iii.-v.) we may propose from a.d.180 to 185 as the date of the whole work. To assign a more exact date is hopeless. That Irenaeus wrote as bishop, and not earlier than 178 as presbyter, is by far most probable, though it cannot be drawn with absolute certainty from the words of the preface to bk. v. to which Massuet appeals.

As the first external motive for its composition, Irenaeus himself mentions (lib. i. praef.; ii.17, 1; iii. praef.) the request of a friend for some instruction as to the heretical opinions of the Valentinians and how to refute them. The recent spread of the Valentinian sect through the Rhone district had already led Irenaeus to acquaint himself particularly with their writings and tenets. The dangerous character of their teaching had been fully recognized by others, whom he modestly designates as multo nobis meliores; but these had been (iv. praef.) unable through ignorance of the Valentinian |rule| or system of doctrine to adequately refute it. That it was his first object to refute Valentinianism, and only in a secondary and occasional way to attack other heresies, is evident from the whole construction and arrangement of bk. i., which is almost exclusively occupied with the Valentinians, and in a great measure bk. ii. also. Irenaeus repeatedly observes that he who refutes the Valentinians at the same time refutes all other heresies (cf. ii.31, 1) |destructis itaque his qui a Valentino sunt, omnis haereticorum eversa est multitudo,| an assertion of which he proceeds (31, 1-35, 5) to give detailed proof, in reference to various heretical parties. Thus in the preface to bk. iv. he speaks of the |doctrina eorum qui sunt a Valentino| as a |recapitulatio omnium haereticorum,| and in. bk. ii. of having taken them as an example of the way in which all heretics are to be refuted (|tanquam speculum habuimus eos totius eversionis |). In bks. iii. iv. and v. the circle of vision is enlarged. Taking the Scriptures for his guide, he goes through in order the fundamental doctrines of Gnosticism, and besides Valentinian dogmas reviews the cognate ones of other heretical schools, specially of the Marcionites but nowhere gives such a connected view and refutation of other Gnostic systems as of the Valentinian in bk. ii.

His sources were primarily the writings of the heretics themselves. In the preface of bk. i. he speaks of the hupomnemata of disciples of Valentinus, and observes that he has been in personal communication with some of them. More particularly it is the school of Ptolemaeus, an apanthisma tes Oualentinou scholes, whose dogmatic system he sets himself to describe. The detailed account (c. Haer. i.1-7) describes its development in the Western or Italian form, and this from several writings, one of which Clemens Alexandrinus also made use of in the excerpta ex scriptis Theodoti, cc.44-65. From another source were derived additional details, cc.11 and 12, of various opinions within the Valentinian system and of Valentinus himself, Secundus, Ptolemaeus, and others; c.13, 1-5, cc.14 and 15 are concerned with Marcus, his magic arts and theories about the symbolism of letters and numbers, concluding with a citation of some Iambic Senarii, written against him by a |Divinae aspirationis Senior et Praeco veritatis| (ho theopneustos presbutes kai kerux tes aletheias). The same authority is further designated, after the quotation, as |amator Dei senior,| which Epiphanius expresses by ho theophiles presbutes.

Two other sources, from which Irenaeus may have derived acquaintance with Gnostic opinions, have been conjectured by Harnack (Zur Quellenkritik der Geschichte des Gnosticismus, p.56) for the information in bks. iii.-v. concerning the details of Marcion's system, which with the Valentinian is the heresy most frequently referred to in that portion. These were Marcion's own writings and a refutation of Marcion by a presbyter of Asia Minor.

It would be of great interest to obtain more exact impressions of those other presbyters to whose words and writings Irenaeus makes frequent reference. Besides the |God-loving elder,| from whom he borrows the Iambic Senarii against Marcus, Irenaeus cites on various occasions from |presbyters and disciples of the apostles| ; under which title, besides Polycarp, bp. Papias of Hierapolis must certainly be included. From bk. iv. of Papias's Logion kuriakon exegeseis Irenaeus cites the saying traditionally attributed to our Lord on the alleged testimony of St. John concerning the glories of His millennial kingdom (v.33, 3 sqq.).

Of the writings of Polycarp there is no certain trace in Irenaeus, but he held in faithful remembrance his oral utterances. He knows indeed several writings of the bp. of Smyrna (Ep. ad Florin. ap. Eus. v.20) and specially mentions Polycarp's Ep. to the Philippians (Haer. iii.3, 4). Of the works of Justin Martyr Irenaeus knew and used -- besides the Syntagma against all Heresies, and the possibly identical Syntagma against Marcion -- the first Apologies, without, however, citing it (Quellen der ältesten Ketzergeschichte, p.63). From which of Justin's works the citation, v.26, 2, is derived cannot be decided. With far greater confidence we may assume Irenaeus to have used the Memoirs of Hegesippus (iii.3, 3; 4, 3, cf. Quellen der alt. Ketzergesch. p.73), and he makes one citation from the Ep. of Ignatius to the Romans (v.28, 4), but without mentioning his name.

Irenaeus's great work is divided into five books. Bk. i. contains a detailed account of the Valentinian system, together with a general view of the opinions of the other sects. Bk. ii. undertakes to exhibit the unreasonableness and
self-contradiction of the doctrines of Valentinianism. His chief object here is to combat the doctrine of the Demiurge or Creator as a subordinate existence outside the Pleroma, of limited power and insight, and separated from the |Father| by an infinite chasm. He also controverts the Valentinian doctrine concerning the Pleroma and its antithesis the Kenoma, the theory of Emanations, of the Fall of Achamoth, and the formation of the lower world through the sufferings of the Sophia; and finally, at great length, the Gnostic teaching concerning souls, and the distinction between Psychici and Pneumatici. Bks. iii. iv. and v. contain the refutation of Gnostic doctrines from Holy Scripture, preceded by a short dissertation on the sources of Christian truth. The one foundation of the faith is the gospel transmitted first by oral tradition and subsequently committed to writing. The Gnostics allow neither the refutation of their doctrines out of Scripture nor disproof from tradition. Against the one they appeal to a secret doctrine handed down among themselves, against the other to their own higher knowledge (gnosis). Irenaeus meets them by stating the characteristics of genuine apostolic tradition as ensuring the right interpretation of Holy Scripture. The chief media and transmitters of this tradition are the apostolic churches and their episcopal succession from the apostles themselves (Haer. iii.1-4). He proceeds to give the proof from Scripture -- first, against the doctrine of the Demiurge, then against the Gnostic Christology. There is but one God, Creator of the world and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who is the Son, the Eternal God-Logos, and has truly been made Flesh in order to redeem mankind from its fall in Adam. Under this head he combats the errors of both Docetae and Ebionites, and, returning to his main purpose, attacks the chief Gnostic doctrine in a refutation of Marcion's attempt to distinguish between the Good God and the Just or judicial God. This occupies him at the close of bk. iii. Bk. iv. is directed against the same doctrine. Irenaeus now attacks the distinction made between the lawgiver and the Father, shewing the identity of the divine revelation in O. and N. T., the close connexion between law and gospel, and the typical
pre-announcement of the N.T. in the Old. He shews that eternal happiness or endless misery will befall men from the same God, as reward or as punishment for their own free choice of good or evil. Bk. v. gives a detailed proof of the resurrection of the body and of the millennial kingdom.

Of other writings of Irenaeus, fragments only, or bare names, have been preserved. Whether he ever carried out the intention, announced i.27, 4 and iii.12, 12, of writing a special treatise against Marcion, cannot be determined. Eusebius (H. E. v.8) mentions this intention, and elsewhere (H. E. iv.25) reckons Irenaeus, with Philip of Gortyna and Modestus, among authors who had written against Marcion. Of his Epistle to Florinus, Eusebius has preserved a considerable fragment. FLORINUS was an older contemporary of Irenaeus and a disciple of Polycarp. He was afterwards a presbyter at Rome, and was deposed, apparently for heresy (Eus. H. E. v.15). The epistle of Irenaeus, addressed to him, bore also, according to Eusebius (H. E. v.20), the title peri monarchias e peri tou me einai ton Theon poieten kakon, which implies that he had adopted Gnostic opinions. The |God| whom he apparently regarded as the author of evil was the Gnostic Demiurge. He afterwards, according to Eusebius, inclined to Valentinianism; whereupon Irenaeus addressed him in another treatise, peri ogdoados, from which Eusebius quotes the concluding words, conjuring the copyists to make an accurate and faithful transcript of his words. The epistle peri monarchias is regarded by Leimbach (Zeitschrift für lutherische Theologie, 1873, pp.626 seq.) and Lightfoot (Contemp. Rev.1875, May, p.834) as one of Irenaeus's earliest writings. Leimbach would date it between 168 and 177, but his arguments are trivial. Of far greater importance is Lightfoot's argument that the treatise peri ogdoados was probably written before the great work Against Heresies, since its detailed treatment of the Valentinian system would have made a special tractate on the Ogdoad superfluous. But Lightfoot seems to have overlooked the fragmentary portion of an epistle to Victor of Rome, preserved among the Syriac fragments of Irenaeus (Fragm. xxviii. ap. Harvey, ii. p.457), which is introduced with the words, |And Irenaeus, bp. of Lyons, to Victor, bp. of Rome, concerning Florinus, a presbyter who was a partisan of the error of Valentinus, and published an abominable book, thus wrote:| whereupon follows the fragment itself. From these words it appears that the epistle from which the fragment was taken could not have been written till after the first three books Against Heresies, probably not till after the completion of the whole, and, at the earliest, c.190.

If Eusebius is right in making the deposition of the Roman presbyter Blastus contemporaneous with that of Florinus, the epistle addressed to the former by Irenaeus and entitled peri schismatos (Eus. H. E. v.20) must belong to the same period. Blastus was, according to Eusebius, the head of the Roman Montanists (H. E. v.15) -- cf. also Pacianus, Ep. ad Sympronian. c.1 -- and, according to Pseudo-Tertullian (Libell. adv. Omn. Haereses, 22), a Quartodeciman. Both are probably correct. We know that the Montanists of Asia Minor (like the Christians there) kept Easter on Nisan 14 (cf. Schwegler, Montanismus, p.251); it is therefore quite credible that Blastus, as a Montanist, may have conformed to Quartodeciman practice, and, as a member of the Roman presbytery, may have sought to introduce it into Rome. But if Blastus be the one referred to in another Syriac fragment (Fragm. xxvii. ap. Harvey, ii.456), he was not an Asiatic but an Alexandrian; and on this supposition his Quartodecimanism must have come from his close connexion with the Montanists of Asia Minor, since the Paschal calendar of Alexandria was the same as that of Rome. One can, moreover, quite understand bp. Victor's responding to any attempt on Blastus's part to create a schism in the Roman church by introducing the Asiatic custom, with deposition from the presbyteral office. Such a breach of discipline in his own diocese (the actual spectacle of some Roman Christians keeping Easter with the Asiatics on Nisan 14, and in opposition to the ancestral custom of the bps. of Rome) would naturally excite him to uncompromising harshness towards the brethren of Asia Minor generally; so that on these refusing to conform to the Roman custom, he at once cut off the churches of the Asiatic province and the neighbouring dioceses from his church-communion (cf. my art. in Zeitschrift für wissenschaftliche Theologie, 1866, pp.192 seq., and Chronologie der röm. Bischöfe, p.174). These ecclesiastical troubles moved the man of peace, Irenaeus, to send letters of remonstrance to both Blastus and bp. Victor. To the former, which according to Eusebius bore the title peri schismatos, may possibly be assigned the Syriac fragment (xxvii. ap. Harvey, ii.456) introduced with the following words: |Irenaeus, bp. of Lyons, who was a contemporary of Polycarp, disciple of the apostle, bp. of Smyrna and martyr, and for this reason is held in just estimation, wrote to an Alexandrian that it is right, with respect to the Feast of the Resurrection, that we should celebrate it upon the first day of the week.| But inasmuch as we know from Eusebius (H. E. v.24) that Irenaeus wrote on the same subject to several persons, it is possible that this Alexandrian may have been another than Blastus. Of the letter to Victor Eusebius (ib.) has preserved a considerable extract showing that the current controversies regarded also the mode and duration of the antecedent Paschal fast. Some kept one day, others two days, others several days; some again reckoned their fast-day at 40 hours of day and night (hoi de tessarakonta horas hemerinas te kai nukterinas summetrousi ten hemeran auton). But these differences of practice resting on ancient custom -- so Irenaeus proceeds to say -- have never yet disturbed the church's peace and unity of faith. For although former bishops of Rome, from Xystus to Soter, had never kept Nisan 14, they had always maintained full communion with any who came from dioceses where it was observed; e.g. Polycarp, whom Anicetus permitted to celebrate in his own church, both separating afterwards in peace. No title is given by Eusebius to this epistle, but according to the Quaestiones et Responsa ad Orthodoxos of Pseudo-Justin (c.115) it was entitled peri tou Pascha (cf. Fragm. Graec. vii. ap. Harvey, ii.478). In the same work Pseudo-Justin tells us further that the old Christian custom of refraining from kneeling on Easter Day, as a sign of Christ's resurrection, is carried back by Irenaeus to apostolic times, and the observance of this custom continued through the season of Pentecost, as the whole period (of 50 days after Easter) was regarded as equal to Easter Day itself.

Of other writings of Irenaeus Eusebius mentions (H. E. v.26) a short tractate, pres Hellenas, which bore also the title peri epistemes, an epideixis tou apostolikou kerugmatos, addressed to a certain Marcian; and a biblion dialexeon diaphoron, in which he is said to have cited Hebrews and the Wisdom of Solomon. Jerome, apparently copying Eusebius, makes, however, a distinction (de Vir. Ill.35) between the logos pros Hellenas and the peri epistemes (|scripsit . . . contra Gentes volumen breve et de Disciplina aliud|). The tractate on Apostolical Preaching addressed to Marcian appears to have been a catechetical work on the Rule of Faith. The biblion dialexeon diaphoron appears, in accordance with the early usage of the word dialexeis (cf. Harvey, i. p. clxvii. sqq.), to have been a collection of homilies on various Scripture texts. Rufinus incorrectly renders dialexeis by Dialogus; Jerome by Tractatus. From these homilies were probably taken the numerous Gk. fragments found in various catenae, containing expositions of various passages of the Pentateuch and the historical books of O.T. and of St. Matthew and St. Luke (Fr. Graec. xv.-xxiii., xxv.-xxix., xxxi., xxxiii., xxxiv., xxxix., xl., xlii.-xlvii.), as well as the Syriac fragment of an exposition of the Song of Solomon (Fr. Syr. xxvi. ap. Harvey, ii.455) and the Armenian homily on the Sons of Zebedee (Fr. Syr. xxxii. ap. Harvey, ii.464 sqq.). To the same collection would also belong a tractate on the History of Elkanah and Samuel, mentioned in a Syriac manuscript (Harvey, ii.507 note).

His Theology and Influence on Ecclesiastical
Development. -- Irenaeus, with Tertullian, Hippolytus, Cyprian, on the one side, and Clemens Alexandrinus and Origen on the other, was a main founder of the ancient Catholic church, as it rose amid conflicts with Gnosticism and Montanism, out of the church of the post-apostolic era. Baur and the Tübingen school were wrong in explaining the development of primitive Catholic Christianity as the fruit of a compromise effected by the Pauline and Petrine parties soon after the middle of the 2nd cent. to overcome the new opposition. The earliest
post-apostolic form of Christianity was no mere product of conflicting antitheses of the apostolic time, or of their reconciliation. The Jewish-Christian communities of Palestine and Syria formed, even towards the end of the 1st cent., a small and vanishing minority as compared to the swelling dimensions of the Gentile church. That to some extent Jewish-Christian influences did operate upon Gentile Christianity during the former half of the 2nd cent. need not wholly be denied; yet the one feature in which we are most tempted to trace them -- the conception of the gospel as a new law -- is quite as much the outcome of an internal development within the Gentile church itself. The ultimate triumph of Christian universalism, and the recognized equality between Jewish and Gentile members of the church of the Messiah, was a fruit of the life-long labours of St. Paul. The new Christian community, largely Gentile, regarded itself as the true people of God, as the spiritual Israel, and as the genuine heir of the church of the O.T., while the great mass of Jewish unbelievers were, as a penalty for their rejection of the true Messiah, excluded from the blessings of the kingdom of God. To this new spiritual Israel were speedily, in part at least, transferred the forms of the O.T. theocracy, and all the Jewish Scriptures were received as divinely inspired documents by the new church. But, whereas St. Paul had emphasized the antithesis between law and gospel, the Gentile churches after his time attached themselves more closely to the doctrinal norm of the older apostles, and laid stress on the continued validity of the law for Christians; though, as it was impossible to bind Gentiles to observe the ceremonial law, its precepts were given, after the example of the Jewish religious philosophy of Alexandria, a spiritual interpretation. Already, in Hebrews, we find the relations between O. and N. T. viewed under the aspect of Type and Anti-type, Prophecy and Fulfilment. The later Gentile Christianity learned to see everywhere in O.T. types of the gospel revelation, and thus combined freedom from the Mosaic ceremonial law with the maintenance of the entire continuity of the O. and N. T. revelation. The Moral Law, as the centre and substance of the Mosaic revelation, remained the obligatory norm of conduct for Gentile Christians; Christ had not abrogated the law of Moses, but fulfilled and completed it. The theological learning of the time confines itself too exclusively to a typological interpretation of O.T. So much the greater, on the other hand, is the influence exercised upon these writers by heathen philosophic culture. In the Apologists of the middle portion of the 2nd cent. -- Justin, Tatian, Theophilus, Athenagoras -- this influence appears specially strong. Justin makes constant endeavours to comprehend Christianity under the then generally accepted forms of philosophical speculation, and to commend it as a manifestation of the highest reason to the cultured minds of his time. In this way he became the first founder of a Catholic system of theology. The doctrine of the Divine Logos as the |Second God,| the Mediator through Whom all divine revelation is transmitted, was already for Justin an apologetic weapon, remained thence forward a standing basis for the philosophical defence of Christianity, and proved in after-times the strongest weapon in the church's armoury in the conflict with Gnostic opinions.

The widespread appearance of the manifold forms of Gnosticism in the 2nd cent. is a most significant proof of the far-reaching influence exercised by pagan thought and speculation on the Gentile church of that age. The danger from the influx on all sides of foreign thought was all the greater because the Gentile churches had as yet but a feeble comprehension of the ideas specially belonging to Christianity. The conflict with Gnosticism gradually gave fresh vigour to that revival of fundamental Christian and Pauline thought which distinguishes the theology of Irenaeus and of other early |Catholic| doctors at the end of the 2nd and beginning of the 3rd cent. from the simpler and poorer view of Christian truth presented in the works of the early Apologists. The perils with which the Gnostic speculation menaced the Christian system were, on the one hand, concerned with that which formed a common groundwork for Christianity and Judaism -- i.e. first and specially the Monotheistic principle itself, and then the doctrines of Divine Justice, Freedom of the Will, and Future Retribution; on the other hand, they had regard to the traditions peculiar to Christianity concerning the historical person and work of Jesus Christ, the genuine human realism of His life and sufferings, the universal application of His redeeming work to all believers, and the external and historical character of that final restitution to which Christians looked forward. The Monotheistic idea, the divine monarchia, was assailed by the Gnostic doctrine of the Demiurge, the Pleroma, and the series of Aeons; and the universally accepted doctrine of our Lord's Incarnation and Messiahship by the various forms of Gnostic docetism. Further, the whole ethical basis of Christian religion was destroyed by the distinctions which Gnostic teachers made between two or three separate classes of mankind, and by their view of redemption as a purely theoretical process, or as the impartation of true knowledge (gnosis) to those only who by their own originally pneumatic nature had from the beginning been predestined to reception into the heavenly realm of light. Instead of the Christian doctrine of Freewill and consequent responsibility, they taught an iron heathenish metaphysical Necessity, which arbitrarily determined the fortunes of men; instead of a future divine recompense according to the measure of faith and works, a one-sided over-estimation of mere knowledge as the one condition of ultimate salvation; instead of the original Christian notion of the final consummation as a series of great outward visible occurrences, the resurrection of the flesh, a day of final judgment, and the setting up on earth of a millennial kingdom, they taught the spiritualistic conception of a saving deliverance of pneumatic souls and their translation into the upper world; whereas for the Psychici was reserved only a limited share in such knowledge and salvation, and for the material (|hylic| or |choic|) man and for the earthly bodies of men, nothing but an ultimate and complete annihilation. It cannot be denied that both the Gentile Christianity of that era and the Catholic theology of following times appropriated various elements nearly related to these Gnostic speculations. A Catholic gnosis also appeared, which differed essentially from that heretical gnosis in intending to maintain unimpaired the received foundations of Christian faith. Yet, in truth, the idealistic speculations of the Alexandrine school were separated from those of the heretical gnosis by very uncertain lines of demarcation, and were afterwards, in some essential points, rejected by the church. Irenaeus, in contradistinction to the Alexandrine doctors, appears to have been less concerned with setting up a Catholic in opposition to the heretical gnosis, than with securing the foundations of the common Christian faith by strengthening the bands of existing church unity. He recognizes certain subjects which, as lying outside the rule of faith delivered to all, might be safely entrusted to the deeper and more searching meditations and inquiries of the more enlightened, but these related only to a clearer understanding of the details of the history of divine revelation, the right interpretation of parables, insight into the divine plan of human salvation (why God should bear with such long-suffering the apostasy of angels and the disobedience of man at the Fall), the differences and unity of the two Testaments, the necessity for the Incarnation of the Logos, the second coming of Christ at the end of time, the conversion of the heathen, the resurrection of the body, etc. (Haer. i.10, 3). These questions would arise in the course of the Gnostic controversy, but the form in which Irenaeus presents them assumes everywhere a clear antithesis to Gnostic speculation and a firm retention of the Catholic rule of faith. Only in quite an isolated form is once named the question why one and the same God should have created the temporal and the eternal, the earthly and the heavenly; while Irenaeus insists strongly on the narrow bounds of human knowledge and insight, and on the impossibility for mortal man to know the reasons for everything (ii.25, 3; 28, 1), and is never weary of chastising the arrogant presumption of the Pneumatici who exalt themselves above the Creator, while their impotence in the presence of His works is manifest to all (ii.30, 1 sqq.).

His theoretical refutation of Gnostc opinions, e.g. in bk. ii., is full of acute remarks. His main purpose is to repel the Gnostic assault on the divine monarchia. He shews that by the separation of the Creator from the highest God, the absolute being of God Himself is denied. Neither above nor beside the Creator Himself can there be any other principle, for so God Himself would cease to be the all-embracing Pleroma, and being limited from without would cease to be infinite. And so again, if the Pleroma be separated from all beneath it by an immeasurable discrepancy, a third principle is introduced, which limits the other two, and is greater than both, and the questions concerning the limiting and the limited become boundlessly insoluble. He urges similar arguments against the doctrine of creative angels. If their creative energies are independent of the Godhead, God ceases to be God; if dependent upon Him, He is represented as needing inferior assistants. Against the assumption of a vacuum (kenoma, skia kenomatos) outside the Divine Pleroma, he remarks that, if the world be thought of as produced out of this void and formless substratum without the knowledge of the protator, then the attribute of omniscience is denied Him. Nor can it be explained why for such endless times He should have left that space thus empty. Again, if God did actually beforehand form this lower world for Himself in thought, then was He its real creator. In that case its mutability and transient duration must have been fore-willed by the Father Himself, and not be due to any defect or ignorance on the part of an inferior maker. The origin of the kenoma also is incomprehensible. If it be an emanation from the Divine Pleroma, that Pleroma itself must be burdened with emptiness and imperfection. If it be self-originated, it is really as absolute as the Father of all Himself. Such a defect, again, in the Pleroma, like a spot on a garment, would have been at once removed, in the very beginning, had the Divine Father been able to remove it; if otherwise, the blame of letting it remain so long must fall upon Him, and He will have to be accounted, like the heathen Jupiter, repentant over His own ways. Nay, if He was unable to remove this defect in the beginning, He cannot remove it now. The imperfection of this lower world leads back then to the conclusion that there must have been something void or formless, dark or disorderly, an element of error or infirmity in the Father Himself or in His Pleroma. The like thought recurs in the further argument that the temporal and transient could not have been made after the image of the unchangeable and eternal without introducing into it an alien element of mutability. The image must be like its prototype, and not opposed to it, and therefore the earthly material composite cannot be the image of that which is spiritual without drawing down the spiritual into its own sphere of materialism. The same objection is made to the notion that the corporeal may be an image or shadow of the spiritual world. It is only something corporeal that can cast a shadow. Again, if it be maintained that the Creator could not make the world out of Himself, but only after a foreign archetype, the same must be true of the Divine Father. He also must have derived, from some other source, the archetype of that higher world of which He was the maker, and so on. The question about type and archetype would thus be drawn out into infinity (ii.1-8). But inasmuch as we must stop at some original at last, it is far more reasonable to believe that the Creator and the One only God are one and the same (ii.16, 1 sqq.).

In the interest of the same absolute divine Perfection and Unity, Irenaeus controverts the Valentinian doctrine of the Aeons. Besides noting the arbitrary way in which the Pleroma is made to consist of 30 Aeons, neither more nor less (ii.12, 1; 15, 1; 16, 1), he finds fault with the anthropomorphic conceptions behind the whole theory of emanations. The fact that the Propator Himself is reckoned as an Aeon, the unemanate, unborn, illimitable, formless One placed in the same class with emanations and births and limitations and forms, destroys the absolute perfection of the divine Nature (ii.12, 1). Again, the separation from the Godhead of its own indivisible elements, the conception of the divine Ennoia, the divine Nous, the divine Logos, etc., as so many hypostases, which in various stages have issued from its bosom, is an unwarrantable transfer of human passions and affections to the divine, which, on the contrary, is all Ennoia, all Nous, all Logos, and knows of no such division from itself (ii.13). He subjects to acute criticism the manner in which each Aeon is supposed to have been produced: was it without substantial separation, as the ray proceeding from the sun, or was it hypostatical, as one human being is personally distinct from all others, or was it by organic growth, as the branch from the tree? He asks whether these emanations are all of the same substance with those from which they proceed and contemporaneous with them, or have come forth in different stages? Whether they are all simple and alike, as spirits and lights, or composite and corporeal and of various forms? (ii.17, 1 sqq.). He insists on carrying to their literal consequences the mythological conceptions which regarded the Valentinian Aeons as so many distinct personalities, produced according to human analogy among themselves; and he offers the alternative, that they must either be like their original Parent the Father and therefore impassible as He is (in which case there could be no suffering Aeon like the Valentinian Sophia), or different from Him in substance and capable of suffering, upon which the question arises, how such differences of substance could come to exist in the unchangeable Pleroma.

So acute a polemic must have equally served the interests of philosophy by its maintenance of the absolute character of the divine idea and of religion by its assertion of the divine monarchia. Irenaeus, like other opponents of Gnosticism, was clearly convinced that the whole system betrayed influences of heathen thought. The theory that everything must return to the originals of its component parts, and that God Himself is bound by this Necessity, so that even He cannot impart to the mortal immortality, to the corruptible incorruption, was derived by the Gnostics from the Stoics; the Valentinian doctrine of the Soter as made up from all the Aeons, each contributing thereto the flower of his own essence, is nothing more than the Hesiodic fable about Pandora.

Yet the Gnostics wished and meant to be Christians, and indeed set up a claim to possess a deeper knowledge of Christian truth than the Psychici of the church. Like their opponents, they appealed to Scripture in proof of their doctrines, and also boasted to be in possession of genuine apostolical traditions, deriving their doctrines, some from St. Paul, others from St. Peter, others from Judas, Thomas, Philip, and Matthew. In addition to the secret doctrine which they professed to have received by oral tradition, they appealed to alleged writings of the apostles or their disciples. In conducting his controversy on these lines with the Valentinians, Irenaeus remarks first on their arbitrary method of dealing with Scripture; and describes their mode of drawing arguments from it as a |twisting ropes of sand| (i.8, 1; ii.10, 1). They indulge in every kind of perverse interpretation, and violently wresting texts out of their natural connexion put them arbitrarily together again after the manner of the centos made from Homer (i.9, 4). He compares this proceeding to that of a bungler who has broken up a beautiful mosaic portrait of a king made by skilful artists out of costly gems, and puts the stones together again to form an ill-executed image of a dog or fox, maintaining that it is the same beautiful king's portrait as before (i.8, 1). Since the Gnostics specially exercised their arts of interpretation on our Lord's parables, Irenaeus repeatedly lays down principles on which such interpretation should be made (ii.10, 2; 20, 1 sqq.; 27, 1 sqq.). Dark and ambiguous passages are not to be cleared up by still darker interpretations nor enigmas solved by greater enigmas; but that which is dark and ambiguous must be illustrated by that which is consistent and clear (ii, 10, 1). Irenaeus himself in interpreting Scripture, especially when he indulges in allegory, is not free from forced and arbitrary methods of exposition (cf. e.g. the interpretations of Judg. vi.37, in Haer. iii.17, 3; Jon. ii.1 sqq. Haer. iii.20, 1; Dan. ii.34, Haer. iii.21, 7); but in opposition to the fantastic interpretations which characterize the Valentinian school, he represents for the most part the historical sense of the written Word. His main purpose in the last three books is to refute the Gnostics out of Scripture itself. Irenaeus quotes as frequently from N.T. as from O.T. Whereas formerly men had been content with the authority of O.T. as the documentary memorial of divine revelation, or with the Lord's own words in addition to the utterances of law and prophets, they now felt more and more impelled, and that by the very example of the Gnostics themselves, to seek a fixed collection of N.T. Scriptures and to extend to them the idea of divine inspiration. The Gnostics in their opposition to O.T., which they supposed to have proceeded from the Demiurge or some subordinate angelic agency, had appealed to writings real or supposed of the apostles as being a more perfect form of divine revelation, and the first point to be established against them was the essential unity of both revelations -- Old and New. Bk. iv. is almost wholly devoted by Irenaeus to the proof of this point against Marcion. It is one and the same Divine Spirit that spake both in prophets and apostles (iii.21, 4), one and the same Divine Authority from which both the law and its fulfilment in Christ proceeds. The O.T. contains presages and fore-types of Christian Revelation (iv.15; 15, i.; 19, i. etc.); the literal fulfilment of its prophecies proves that it came from the same God as the N.T., and is therefore of the same nature (iv.9, 1). The prophets and the gospels together make up the totality of Scripture (|universae Scripturae,| ii.27, 2). That the Bible is one divinely inspired whole is thus clearly enunciated. Even Justin Martyr seems to regard the gospels rather as memoirs (apomnemoneumata) by apostles of the Lord's words and actions than as canonical Scriptures; but Irenaeus cites passages from the gospels as inspired words of the holy Spirit, using the same formulae of citation as for O.T. (iii.10, 4; 16, 2; cf. ii.35, 4 and 5), and similarly from the epistles and Apocalypse (iii.16, 9; v.30, 4). The two main divisions of the N.T. canon are for him the gospels and the apostolic writings (ta euangelika kai ta apostolika, i.3, 6). These two already constitute a complete whole, like the Scriptures of the O.T., and he therefore blames the Ebionites for using only the gospel of St. Matthew, the Docetae only that of St. Mark, Marcion St. Luke's gospel only and the Pauline epistles, and even these not unmutilated (iii.11, 7 and 12, 12). He remarks that those |unhappy ones| who reject the gospel of St. John cast away also the divine prophetic spirit of which it contains the promise (iii.11, 9). But he equally condemns the use of apocryphal writings. The teachers of Alexandria, with laxer notions about inspiration, made use of such without scrupulosity. Irenaeus draws a clear line of demarcation between canonical Scriptures and apocryphal writings. He blames the Valentinians for boasting to possess |more gospels than actually exist| (iii.11, 9) and the Gnostic Marcus for having used besides our Gospels |an infinite number of apocryphal and spurious works| (i.20, 1). He considers himself able to prove that there must be just four gospels, neither more nor less. The proof is a somewhat singular one. From the four regions of the earth, the four principal winds, the fourfold form of the cherubim, the four covenants made by God with man, he deduces the necessity of one fourfold gospel (iii.11, 8). This gospel first orally delivered, and then fixed in writing, Irenaeus designates the fundamentum et columna fidei nostrae (iii.1, 1). The N.T. canon of Irenaeus embraces nearly all now received; viz. the four gospels, twelve epistles of St. Paul (the omission of Philemon appears to be accidental), I. Peter, I. and II. John, the Acts, and the Revelation. The omission of III. John is most probably accidental also. From St. James there is probably a quotation at iv.16, 2 (cf. Jas. ii.23), and the frequently recurring expression |lex libertatis| appears to have been borrowed from Jas. i.25. The possible references to Hebrews are uncertain. Resemblances, perhaps echoes, are found in several places (cf. Harvey's Index), and Eusebius testifies (H. E. v.26) that both Hebrews and the Wisdom of Solomon are mentioned by Irenaeus in his dialexeis diaphoroi. The epistle is cited as a Pauline work in one fragment only, the second Pfaffian (Fr. Graec. xxxvi. ap Harvey.)

Irenaeus in his controversy with the Gnostics assumes the possibility that we might have had to be without N.T. Scriptures altogether. In this case we should have to inquire of the tradition left by the apostles of the churches (iii.4, 1: |quid autem si neque apostoli quidem Scripturas reliquissent nobis, nonne oportebat ordinem sequi traditionis quam tradiderunt iis quibus committebant, ecclesias?|). But the Gnostics also appealed to an apostolical tradition. Irenaeus complains that when one would refute them from the Bible they accused it of error, or declared the interpretation to be doubtful. The truth can only be ascertained, they said, by those who know the true tradition (iii.2, 1). But this teaching is identical with that of Irenaeus himself, and he insists on finding this true tradition in the rule of faith (kanon tes aletheias, Regula Fidei), as contained in the Baptismal Confession of the whole church (i.9, 4; cf.22, 1). Irenaeus thus obtains a sure note or token by which to distinguish the genuine apostolical tradition (he hupo tes ellkesias kerussouene aletheia, i.9, 5; praeconium ecclesiae, v.20, 2; apostolica ecclesiae traditio, iii.3, 3; or simply paradosis, traditio, i.10, 2; iii.2, 2 and frequently) from the so-called apostolical secret doctrine to which the Gnostics made their appeal. The Baptismal Confession (or Credo) acquired its complete form only through the conflicts of the Gnostic controversy. In the writings of Irenaeus, as in those of his contemporaries, it is cited in various, now longer now shorter, forms. This is no proof that one or other of these was the actual form then used in baptism. The probability is far greater that the shorter form of the old Roman credo still preserved to us was that already used in the time of Irenaeus. (Caspari, Ungedruckte, etc. Quellen zur Geschichte des Taufsymbols and der Glaubensregel, tom. iii.1875, pp.3 sqq.) The variations as we find them in the creeds of the Eastern churches appear to have been introduced in order to express, with greater distinctness, the antithesis of Christian belief to Gnostic heresy. So here a special emphasis is laid on the belief in |One God the Father Almighty, Who made heaven and earth,| and in |one Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Who became flesh for our salvation.| This rule of faith Irenaeus testifies that the church, scattered over the whole oikoumene, delivers as with one mind and mouth, even as she has herself received it from the apostles and their disciples (i.10, 1 and 2). A clear, determinate note is thus given by which to distinguish the genuine Christian tradition from that of heresy. To the pretended secret doctrine of the latter is opposed the public preaching of the faith of the apostolic churches; to the mutability and endless varieties of Gnostic doctrines the unity of the church's teaching; to their novelty her antiquity, and to their endless subdivisions into schools and parties the uniformity and universality of her traditional witness. That only which, from the times of the apostles, has been handed down in unbroken tradition by the elders of the church and publicly and uniformly taught in the churches, that doctrine which at all times and in every place may be learned by inquiry from the successors of the apostle in their teaching office, that alone is the Christian apostolic truth (i.10, 2; iii.2, 2; 3, 1, 3, 4; 4, 1 seq.; 24, 1; iv.33, 7 seq.; v.20, 1).

The learned church antiquarian Hegesippus had, c.170, undertaken long journeys to assure himself of the general agreement of Christian communities in their doctrinal traditions; in each apostolic church he had set himself to inquire for the unbroken succession of its pastors and their teaching, and records with satisfaction the result of his investigations: |In every succession in every city it is still maintained as the law announces and as the prophets and the Lord.| And again, |So long as the sacred choir of the apostles still lived, the church was like a virgin undefiled and pure, and not till afterwards in the times of Trajan did error, which so long had crept in darkness, venture forth into the light of day| (ap. Eus. H. E. iv.22; iii.32). Irenaeus is specially emphatic in everywhere contrasting the vacillation and variety of heretical opinions with the uniform proclamation of one and the same apostolic witness in all the churches of the world (i.8, 1; 10, 1). Truth, he remarks, can be but one; while each heretical teacher proclaims a different doctrine of his own invention. How impossible is it that truth can have remained so long hidden from the church and been handed down as secret doctrine in possession of the few! She is free and accessible to all, both learned and ignorant, and all who earnestly seek her find. With almost a shout of triumph he opposes to the unstable, ever-changing, many-headed doctrinal systems and sects of Gnosticism, with their vain appeals to obscure names of pretended disciples of the apostles or to supposititious writings, the one universal norm of truth which all the churches recognise.| The church, though dispersed through the whole world, is carefully guarding the same faith as dwelling in one and the same house; these things she believes, in like manner, as having one soul and the self-same heart; these, too, she accordantly proclaims, and teaches, and delivers, as though possessing but one mouth. The speeches of the world are many and divergent, but the force of our tradition is one and the same.| And again: |The churches in Germany have no other faith, no other tradition, than that which is found in Spain, or among the Celts, in the regions of the East, in Egypt and in Libya, or in these mid parts of the earth.| He compares the church's proclamation of the truth to the light of the sun, one and the same throughout the universe and visible to all who have eyes. |The mightiest in word among the presidents of the churches teaches only the same things as others (for no one here is above the Master), and the weak in word takes nothing away from what has been delivered him. The faith being always one and the same, he that can say much about it doth not exceed, he that can say but little doth not diminish| (i, 10, 2). |The tradition of the apostles made manifest, as it is, through all the world can be recognized in every church by all who wish to know the truth| (iii.3, 1). But this light from God shines not for heretics because they have dishonoured and despised Him (iii.24, 2). Cf. also the first of Pfaffian fragments (Fr. Graec. xxxv.).

The argument from antiquity is also employed by Irenaeus on behalf of church tradition. If controversies arise about matters of faith, let recourse be had to the most ancient churches in which the apostles themselves once resided and a decisive answer will then be found. This oral apostolic tradition exists even in the churches among barbarous nations, in whose hearts the Spirit, without ink or parchment, has written the old and saving truth (iii.4, 1 and 2). But while thus the genuine tradition may, in the apostolic churches, be traced back through the successions of the elders to the apostles themselves, the sects and their doctrines are all of later origin. There were no Valentinians before Valentinus, no Marcionites before Marcion. Valentinus himself and Kerdon (Marcion's teacher) did not appear in Rome till the time of Hyginus the ninth bishop after the apostles, Valentinus flourished under Pius, Marcion under Anicetus (iii.4, 3). All these founders of sects were much later than the apostles (iii.21, 3) and the first bishops to whom they committed the care of the churches (v.20, 1). In contradistinction to their pseudonumos gnosis the true gnosis consists in the doctrine of the apostles and the maintenance of the pure and ancient constitution of the church (to archaion tes ekklesias sustema) throughout the world (iv.33, 7). The main point then, on which all turns, is the clear proof of a pure transmission of apostolic teaching through immediate disciples of the apostles themselves and their disciples after them. What is the tradition of the elders (presbutai, presbuteroi), i.e. the heads of apostolic churches who stood in direct communication with the apostles themselves or with their disciples? -- is the question, therefore, which Irenaeus is everywhere asking. These elders are the guardians and transmitters of the apostles' teaching. As in the preceding generation Papias had collected the traditions of |disciples of the Lord,| so now Irenaeus is collecting reminiscences of their disciples, mediate or immediate, a Polycarp, a Papias, etc., and as Hegesippus had been careful to inform himself as to the succession of pastors from apostolic times, so Irenaeus, in opposition to the doctrines of the Gnostics, appeals not only to the ancestral teaching maintained in churches of apostolic foundation, such as Rome, Smyrna, Ephesus, but also to the lists of those men who, since the apostles, had presided over them (iii.3).

The main representatives therefore of genuine apostolical tradition are for Irenaeus the bishops of the churches as successors of the apostles and guardians of their doctrines. In the episcopate, as a continuation of the apostolic office, he finds the one sure pledge of the church's unity and the maintenance of her doctrine. Although the expression ekklesia katholike, which came into vogue towards the end of the 2nd cent., does not occur in his writings, the thing itself is constantly before him, i.e. the conception of one true church spread over the earth, and bound together by the one true Faith, in contrast to the manifold and variegated and apostate forms of |heresy.| Its external bond of unity is the episcopal office. The development of monarchical episcopacy was a primary consequence of the conflict with Gnosticism, and its origination out of simpler constitutional forms betrays itself in a mode of expression derived indeed from earlier times, but still common to Irenaeus, with Tertullian, Clemens Alexandrinus, Hippolytus, and others, the use, namely, of the official titles, presbuteroi and episkopoi, to designate alternately the same persons. Presbuteroi in this context are, in the first place, |elders,| i.e. |ancients| or fathers, who represent the immediate connexion of the early church with the apostolic time. This name or title is then transferred to the heads of churches, inasmuch as they in succession to the apostles have been faithful transmitters of what was handed down to them. The true unbroken apostolical succession and praeconium ecclesiae is therefore attributed to the same persons, now as presbuteroi now as episkopoi (iii.3, 2, cf. iii.2, 2; iv.26, 2, 4, 5; Ep. ad Victorem ap. Eus. H. E. v.24); nay, in so many words, the |successio episcopalis| was assigned to the presbuteroi (iv.26, 2). By these |presbyters,| however, we are certainly to understand heads of churches (especially those of apostolic foundation), who alone were capable of acting as the guardians and maintainers of church unity. The episcopate is for Irenaeus no mere congregational office, but one belonging to the whole church; the great importance attached by his contemporaries to the proofs of a genuine apostolical succession rests on the assumption that the episcopate was the guardian of the church's unity of teaching, a continuation, in fact, of the apostolic teaching-office, ordained for that purpose by the apostles themselves. The bishop, in reference to any particular congregation, is a representative of the whole Catholic church, the very idea of catholicity being indebted for its completion to this more sharply defined conception of the episcopal office. In the episcopate thus completely formed the Catholic church first manifested herself in organic unity as |the body of Christ.| As formerly the apostles, so now the bishops, their successors, are the |ecclesia repraesentativa.| Only through the episcopate as the faithful guardian and transmitter of the apostolical tradition do such congregations retain their hold on visible church unity and their possession of the truth (cf. iv.33, 7). The significance of the episcopal office rests therefore on the fact of an apostolical succession, and on this historical connexion of the bishops with the apostolic era depends the certainty of their being possessed of the true tradition. That this assurance is not illusory is proved by the actual uniformity of church teaching throughout the world, the agreement of all the apostolic churches in the confession of the same truth (iii.3, 3). Beyond this historical proof of the church's possession of the true teaching through her episcopate, the argument is not carried further by Irenaeus. The later dogma of a continua successio Spiritus Sancti, i.e. of an abiding special gift of the Holy Spirit attached to the episcopate of apostolical succession, has nevertheless some precursive traces in his writings. Though the Holy Spirit is a scala ascensionis ad Deum, of which all the faithful are partakers, yet the guidance of the church by the Spirit is mediated by apostles, prophets, and teachers, and they who would have the guidance of the Spirit must come to the church. |For, where the church is, there is the Spirit of God, and where the Spirit of God is, there is the church and all grace -- the Spirit, moreover, is the truth| (iii.24, 1). Expressly therefore is the |charisma veritatis| attached to the episcopal succession (iv.26, 2), not as a gift of inspiration enabling the bishops to discover fresh truths, but rather as such guidance as enables them to preserve the original truth. Therefore it is more particularly the churches of apostolical foundation, and in the West specially the church of Rome, which can give the surest warrant for the true and incorrupt tradition. In this sense the much-disputed passage is to be understood in which some would find a witness for the primacy of the Roman church: |For with this church must, on account of her more excellent origin ('propter potiorem principalitatem,' i.e. dia ten diaphoroteran archen), every church, that is, all the faithful coming from all quarters, put themselves in agreement, as being the church in which at all times by those who come from all quarters the tradition derived from the apostles has been preserved| (iii.3, 2). The potentior principalitas denotes here not only the superior antiquity of the Roman church as the greatest, oldest, and most widely known (i.e. in the West, where Irenaeus was writing), but also her nobler origin as founded by those |two most glorious apostles Peter and Paul.| The mention of the |faithful coming from all quarters| points again to the position of the great world's metropolis as a centre of intercourse, and therefore the place in which Christians could most easily convince themselves of the oneness of apostolical tradition in the whole church. Obscurations and corruptions of that tradition, quite possible in remoter churches, would at Rome be soonest discovered and most easily removed. It is not of any Roman lordship over other churches or a primatial teaching-office committed to the Roman bishop that Irenaeus is here speaking, but only of the surer warrant offered by the position of that church for the uncorrupt maintenance of the apostolical traditions. So, after reckoning the succession of Roman bishops down to Eleutherus, his own contemporary, Irenaeus proceeds: te aute taxei kai te aute diadoche, he te apo ton apostolon en te ekklesia paradosis kai to tes aletheias kerugma katenteken eis hemas (iii.3, 3). But just the same he says of the church of Ephesus founded by St. Paul, and till the times of Trajan under the guidance of St. John: alla kai he en Epheso ekklesia hupo Paulou men tethemeliomene, Ioannou de parameinantos autois mechri ton Traianou chronon, martus alethes esti tes apostolikes paradoseos (iii.3, 4).

The unity of the Catholic church, thus secured by the continuance of the apostolic office, is regarded by Irenaeus as mainly a doctrinal unity. Of her guardianship of sacramental grace he gives hints only. Yet he is certainly on the way to that conception when he singles out the continuance of spiritual gifts as a special note of the true church, meaning thereby not merely the charisma veritatis. but also the gifts of prophecy and miracle (ii.32, 4; cf. iii.11, 9). He is not less decided in opposing schismatics, who destroy the church's unity (iv.26, 2; 33, 7), than heretics who corrupt her doctrine. In internal divisions among the faithful he never wearies in urging the interests of peace. Neither in the Montanistic movement nor in the Paschal controversy does he see grounds for the severance of church communion. At the same time he determinedly opposes that separatist temper, which, denying the presence of the Spirit in the church, would claim His gifts exclusively for its own sect or party. Even if we are not warranted in identifying with the Montanists those |false prophets| of whom he speaks (iv.33, 6) as with lying lips pretending to prophesy, any more than those who (iii.11, 9) deny the gospel of St. John -- all the more applicable to them is the following description: |Men who bring about schisms, devoid of true love to God, seeking their own advantage rather than the unity of the church; wounding and dividing for petty reasons the great and glorious body of Christ, and so far as in them lies destroying it; speaking peace, but acting war, and in sober truth straining out the gnat and swallowing the camel. For no reformation which they could bring about would outweigh the evils produced by their schism| (iv.33, 7). The great importance attached by Irenaeus to the maintenance of church unity rests for him on the assumption that the church being sole depositary of divine truth is the only trustworthy guarantee of human salvation. While himself sharing, with the Montanists, not only the hope of the millennial kingdom but also the expectation of its outward visible glory (v.32-36) and delighting in reminiscences of what the |elders| (Papias) have handed down concerning it as from the lips of the apostle St. John (v.33, 3), Irenaeus does, on the other hand, with his conception of the church as an outward visible institution of prime necessity for human salvation, pave the way for that catholic ideal, which, in contrast to the dreams and aspirations of Montanism, would substitute for a glorious vision of the future the existing church on earth as God's visible kingdom. When the visible church as an outward institution comes to be regarded as the essential medium of saving grace, all its forms and ordinances at once acquire a quasi-legal or sacramental character. The church is for Irenaeus an earthly paradise, of the trees of which every one may eat, while heresy has only the forbidden tree of knowledge, whose fruits are death-bringing (v.20, 2). As the church's faith is the only faith which is true and saving (iii. praef.), so is he alone a Christian man who conforms to the church's institutions and laws (cf. iii.15, 2; v.20, 1). The church's sacrifices, the church's prayers, the church's works alone are holy (iv.18, 1 sqq.; ii.32, 5).

This essentially legal conception of Christianity was also that of the generation which followed the apostles. The great Catholic doctors gave to this legal conception of the church a further development. For Tertullian, Clement, and Origen the work of Christ was primarily the promulgation of a new divine law. Irenaeus calls indeed Christianity the N.T. of freedom (iii.12, 14; iv.16, 5; 34, 3; cf. iii.10, 5), but simply in reference to the exemption of Gentile Christians from obedience to the Mosaic ceremonial law. In antithesis to Marcion, who derived the Mosaic law from the Demiurge, the gospel from the good God, Irenaeus maintained the substantial identity of both covenants (|unius et ejusdem substantiae sunt,| iv.9, 1; cf.9, 2; 13, 3, etc.). When he appropriates the Pauline antithesis of bondage and liberty (cf. also iv.9, 1 seq.; 13, 2; 16, 5; 18, 2; 34, 1 seq., etc., etc.), the religious premises which led up in St. Paul's mind to that antithesis are perhaps wanting to Irenaeus. The N.T. consists for him in a body of divine prescripts. The bondsman and undisciplined has indeed one law, the free, the justified by faith, another (iv.9, 1); but inasmuch as the nucleus of both Testaments is one and the same -- namely, those natural precepts (naturalia praecepta) (iv.13, 4; cf.15, 1) which have from the beginning impressed themselves on the mind of man -- it follows that the evangelical law of liberty (iv.34, 4) differs only quantitatively, not qualitatively, from that of Moses. This difference consists on the one hand in the abolition of the precepts of the ceremonial law, which for the Israelites themselves had but a temporary purpose and validity, to restrain from idol worship, to uphold external discipline, or to serve as precursors and symbols of spiritual precepts (iv.13, 2; 14, 1 sqq.; 15, 1; 16, 3 sqq.; 19, 1; 23, 1 seq.; 24, 1 seq.), and on the other in the reinforcement of those natural precepts which have come down to us from the beginning (iv.9, 2; 13, 1; 16, 5). The laws of liberty (decreta libertatis) do not annul the duty of obedience; the difference between sons and servants from this point of view consists in the sons having a larger faith (iv.32, 2) and exhibiting a more ready obedience (iv.11, 4). Accordingly, the antithesis between the two Testaments is not an antithesis of fear and love. Love is the greatest commandment under the O.T. (iv.12, 3). Fear continues as a precept under the New. Christ has even enlarged the precept of fear -- the children must fear as well as love more than the servants (iv.16, 5). On the one side the children indeed are free, on the other they are still servants (iv.14, 1). The two law-givings differ only in the number and greatness (multitudine et magnitudine) of their commandments. The law of liberty, being the greater, is given not for Jews only, but for all nations (iv.9, 2); but the precepts of a perfect life (consummatae vitae praecepta) are for both Testaments the same (iv.12, 3).

The new precepts which characterize Christianity are, in the first place, the ordinances and institutions of the church. Among other distinguishing notes of the new law Irenaeus further emphasizes that Christians believe not in the Father only but also in the Son, that they do as well as say, and that they abstain from evil desires as well as from evil works (iv.13, 1). Even while largely using Pauline language in speaking of Justification by Faith (iv.5, 5; 9, 1; 16, 2; 21, 1), his legal conception is still there. Faith is opposed by Irenaeus to the pseudonumos gnosis of the heretics, and essentially consists in the reception of the Regula Fidei, the Rule of Faith; it is therefore simply defined as obedience to the will of God (iv.16, 5), i.e. a moral duty, and not, as for St. Paul, the subjective form in which a new religious life and relation is first constituted.

This legal conception leads Irenaeus further to insist on the freedom of the will, and on salvation as conditioned by a man's own ethical self-determination. All Catholic practical theology tends to limit the free forgiveness of sins to the moment of baptism, and after that to make salvation dependent on a godly life and the performance of good works. In the same spirit Irenaeus quite innocently puts in juxtaposition justification by obedience to the natural precepts and justification by faith |naturalia legis per quae homo justificatur quae etiam ante legislationem custodiebant qui fide justificabantur et placebant Deo| (iv.13, 1). He is led thus strongly to insist on the moral law by his opposition to the Gnostic teaching that the spiritual man is exempted from it and obtains salvation through his higher gnosis. His energetic assertion of the freedom of the will has also a polemical object -- to refute the Valentinian dualistic doctrine, which made the salvation of the spiritual man the result of his original pneumatic nature (cf. esp. iv.37). But this perfectly justifiable opposition leads Irenaeus to put too much in the background the doctrine of divine grace as the only source of human salvation. He even puts it as a divine requirement that in order to the Spirit's resting upon them, Christians must, beside their baptismal vocation, be also adorned with works of righteousness (iv.36, 6). This seems inconsistent with the Pauline teaching that it is only by the gift of the Spirit that Christians are enabled to do good works at all. But, on the other hand, he says that the Spirit dwells in men as God's creation, working in them the will of the Father and renovating into the newness of Christ (iii.17, 1). As dry ground, without dew from heaven, can bear no fruit, so neither can the soul perform good works without the irrigation of the water of life (iii.17, 2).

If in his legal conception Irenaeus may be said to anticipate the mode of thought which characterizes the Catholicism of a later time, the same cannot be said of his teaching on the sacraments. Indeed the sacramental side of Catholic theology did not take shape till through and after the Montanistic and Novatianist controversies. Whereas both these parties insisted on finding the church's sanctity in the spiritual endowments and personal holiness of individual members, |Catholics| sought for the note of holiness mainly in the church's sacramental ordinances, or in marvellous operations of the Holy Spirit in certain functions of her public life. The chief organ of these operations would be the episcopate, which thus came to be viewed as not merely the guardian of doctrinal purity, but also the bearer of supernatural grace and powers, and following the type of the O.T. priesthood as a kind of mediator between God and men. This side of the Catholic ideal of the church is not yet developed in the writings of Irenaeus. On the contrary, he insists on the original Christian conception of the universal priesthood and outpouring of the Spirit on all believers (iv.20, 6 sqq.; v.6, 1; cf. iv.13, 2 sqq.; 33, 1 sqq.), first, as against the Gnostics, and their claims to an exclusive possession of the divine pneuma, and, secondly, against the false prophets, and their denial of the presence of the Spirit in the church (iii.11, 9; iv.33, 6). The sacramental idea of grace imparted through the church is for Irenaeus restricted to baptism as a divine institution for the salvation of man, the type of which is the ark of Noah (iv.36, 4). Of priestly absolution and its sacramental significance he nowhere speaks; on the contrary, he adopts the saying of an elder which has a somewhat Montanistic ring about it -- that after baptism there is no further forgiveness of sins (iv.27, 2). This, as is clear from the epistle of the Gallican confessors, is not meant to exclude the possibility of indulgence being extended to the fallen under any circumstances. The familiar thought of the Ignatian epistles, that separation from the episcopal altar is a separation from the church herself, also finds no distinct utterance in the writings of Irenaeus. But in his time the ministration of the Eucharist by bishops and presbyters was undoubtedly a long-established custom. In regard to the dogma of the Holy Communion Irenaeus, like Justin Martyr, expresses the thought that through the invocation of Christ's name over the earthly elements the Divine Logos does actually enter into such mysterious connexion with the bread and wine as to constitute a union of an earthly and a heavenly pragma similar to that which took place at the Incarnation itself. In virtue of this union of the Logos with the bread and wine those earthly substances are made the flesh and blood of Christ; and it appears to have been with Irenaeus a favourite thought, that through the partaking of Christ's flesh and blood in the Holy Communion our earthly bodies are made partakers of immortality (iv.18, 4 seq.; 33, 2; v.2, 2 seq.; cf. also iv.17, 5 seq.; 18, 1 sqq., and the second Pfaffian fragment, Fr. Graec. xxxvi. ap. Harvey).

The chief significance of Irenaeus as a theologian consists in his doctrine concerning the Person and Work of Christ. The doctrine of Christ's Godhead was for the Gentile Christianity of the post-apostolic age the theological expression of the absolute significance of that divine revelation which was enshrined in His person and work. While the Gnostics regarded Christ as only one among numerous eradiations of the divine essence, thereby imperilling on the one hand the truth of the divine monarchia, and on the other the absolute and final character of the gospel revelation, the opposing doctrine of the Godhead of the Logos, and of His Incarnation in Jesus Christ, provided the exact theological truth and formula of which the Christian conscience felt the need, in order to gather into one the scattered elements which the multitude of Gnostic Aeons were dividing. Following the guidance of St. John's gospel, the more philosophically cultured teachers of the church -- Justin, Theophilus, Tatian, Athenagoras, the Alexandrine Clemens, Origen, Tertullian, and Hippolytus -- found in the doctrine of the Divine Logos the classical expression which they needed for the unique and absolute character of the gospel revelations. It was in antithesis both to the Gnostic doctrine of Aeons and the psilanthropism of the Ebionites that the Divine Logos or Eternal Thought of God Himself was conceived of as the personal organ of all divine revelation Which had issued from the inner life of the Divine Paternity. His manifestation in the flesh is therefore the climax of all the revelations of God in the world. This Logos-doctrine Irenaeus adopted. The invisible Father is visible in the Logos (iv.20, 7). The divine |Pleroma| (Irenaeus borrows the Gnostic term to express the fulness of divine perfection, ii.1, 3 seq.) is revealed therein. God Himself is all Intelligence, all Thought, all Logos; what He thinks He utters, what He utters He thinks; the all-embracing divine intelligence is the Father Himself, Who has made Himself visible in the Son (ii.28, 5). The infinite, immeasurable Father is, in the words of some old teacher of the church, become measurable and comprehensible in the Son (|immensus Pater in Filio mensuratus|), for the Son is the |measure of the Father,| the manifestation of the Infinite in finite form (iv.4, 2). In contrast with Tertullian, Irenaeus's first great purpose and object is to emphasize the absoluteness and spirituality of God, and therefore to reject anything like a physical emanation (prolatio) of the Logos, lest God should be made into something composite, and something other than His own infinite thought (principalis mens), or His own Logos (ii.28, 5). The older teachers of the Logos-doctrine conceived the generation of the Logos after the analogy of the temporal process from thinking to speaking, and assumed that His issuing from the Father as a distinct person, i.e. the outspeaking of the inward divine thought, first took place at the creation. Tertullian represented the same conception in a more sensuous form. The Father is for him the whole Godhead, the Son |portio totius|; and on this point he expressly recognizes the resemblance between his view and that of the Gnostics (c. Drax.8). Irenaeus, on the other hand, is driven by his own opposition to the Gnostic doctrine of Aeons to reject anything like a probole or prolatio from the Godhead as a limitation of His infinity or an anthropomorphism. He is therefore the first doctor of the church who maintained with the utmost distinctness the eternal coexistence of the Son with the Father (|semper coexistens Filius Patri,| ii.30, 9; iii.18, 1). His frequent designation of the Son and Holy Spirit as the |Hands of God| is a figurative expression to denote Their being not so much emanations of the Godhead as organs of its creative energy. To presumptuous endeavours to comprehend the way in which the Son comes from the Father he opposes our human ignorance, and mocks at the vain attempts of those who would transfer human relations to the Infinite and Unchangeable One (|quasi ipsi obstetricaverint prolationem enunciant,| ii.28, 6). These polemics, if directed primarily against the Gnostics, are not less applicable to the emanistic theories of other teachers. On the other hand, the clearly marked division between the Logos-doctrine of an Hippolytus and Tertullian and the Patripassian conception of it can hardly be said to exist for Irenaeus, who often speaks as if the eternal Logos were but the self-revealing side of the otherwise invisible and hidden Godhead, without one's being always able to see how the personal distinction between the two can be thus maintained. His doctrine of the Logos was developed (unlike that of Tertullian and Hippolytus) without any direct reference to Patripassianism (of which no mention is made in his writings), while the true human personality of the Son is maintained against the Gnostics with as much decision as His true Godhead against the Ebionites.

His conception of the Logos as the one great and absolute organ of all divine revelations leads Irenaeus, as it did Justin Martyr and the other Apologists, to refer back to His agency all the pre-Christian manifestations of God (iv.20, 7 seq.). But Irenaeus is the first Christian doctor who expressly applies this thought, in his conflict with the Gnostics, to the origination of the Mosaic law (iv.9). |Both Testaments proceeded from one and the same head of the family
(paterfamilias), our Lord Jesus Christ, the Word of God, Who spake (of old) to Abraham and to Moses | (cf. iv.12, 4). But Irenaeus nowhere maintains the precepts of the old ceremonial law as obligatory upon Christians.

The fulfilment of all previous revelations is attained in the personal manifestation of the Logos in the flesh. By the Incarnation of the Son the divine purpose in creation, the union (adunatio, communio, commixtio) of God and man, has been accomplished, and the end is brought back to the beginning (iv.20, 2, 4; 33, 4; v.2, 1, et passim).

Together with the Logos the Spirit of God is often spoken of as an organ of divine revelation. It is not, however, easy to determine their right relation one to the other. The designation of the Holy Spirit as Wisdom (Sapientia) reminds us of the Alexandrine phraseology, which logos and sophia are also distinguished without the distinction being fully worked out or consistently adhered to. Irenaeus uses the term |Sapientia| of the Divine Spirit always. But the comprehension of his meaning is made somewhat difficult by his sometimes speaking of our communion with the Son as mediated by the Spirit (v.26, 2), and sometimes of the historical manifestation of the Logos as the means whereby men become partakers of the Spirit of the Father (iv.38, 2). The solution probably is that Irenaeus uses the term |Spirit of God| in now a narrower, now a wider sense. In the narrower sense the Spirit is the organ of Divine Revelation in the heart and consciousness of man, and so distinguished from the Logos as the universal organ of Divine Revelation to all creatures and all worlds (v.1, 1; cf. iii.21, 4; iv.33, 1, 7, etc.). In the wider sense the Spirit is the inner Being of God Himself in contradistinction to the material universe and the sarx (caro) or human corporeity. The former sense is always to be assumed where the Spirit is distinguished from the Logos as another divine hypostasis, |progenies et figuratio Dei| (iv.7, 4; 20, 1 seq.); the latter, where the Spirit is spoken of as |the bread of immortality| (iv.38, 1) and the life-giving principle from which endless life wells forth (v.12, 2). It is with this latter meaning that Irenaeus, speaking of the humanity of Jesus Christ, expresses a thought, often recurred to by later theologians, that the Spirit is the anointing (unctio, chrisma) and bond of unity between the Father and the Son. The Holy Spirit is in fact, for him, also the uniting principle between God and man. God through the Spirit imparts Himself to man; man through the Incarnation enters into God (v.1, 1). This last thought leads us on to the grand conception which Irenaeus entertains of the development of the whole human race from Adam up to Christ. Man was not from the first, according to Irenaeus, made perfect and immortal, but designed, in God's purpose concerning him, to become so. But this can only be through the Spirit of God, and in order that man may be made partaker of the Spirit and thereby united to God, it was necessary that the Logos should become incarnate (iv.38, 1 sqq.). The image of God (eikon tou Theou), for which man was created, could not become visible before the Incarnation, and so man lost this image, the likeness of God, the possession of the Spirit (v.16, 2), falling into sin by his own fault, and thereby coming not only under the power of natural death, but rendered incapable of exhibiting the image of God (v.12, 2; 23, 1 seq.). Thus though Irenaeus regards sin, not like the Gnostics as a necessity of nature, but as man's own free act, he yet works out the thought that God has permitted the existence of evil because only by the contrast could goodness be appreciated, like health after sickness, light after darkness, life after death (iv.37, 7; 39, 1). Without sin there would have been no consciousness of need, no desire for union with God, no thankfulness for His mercy (iii.20, 1 seq.). The chief aim of Irenaeus in these disquisitions is again his conflict with Gnostic error, especially that of Marcion, who explained the origin of evil in the universe by the theory of two Gods -- the highest and an inferior one. Irenaeus appropriates the language of the prophet (Isa. xlv.6, 7), I am the Lord: I make peace, and create evil, and works out the thought that for the very sake of destroying evil a final recapitulatio totius iniquitatis may be necessary (v.29, 2). Two equally significant thoughts must be distinguished in the full doctrine of Irenaeus concerning the Incarnation of the Logos and the divine purpose in the Incarnation: the idea of humanity being raised to perfection in Christ through union with the divine nature, and that of the victory gained by humanity in the God-man its Head over sin and the devil.

The Incarnation is for Irenaeus not merely an historical fact, but has for its basis the eternal divine predestination of man. It was only by God becoming man that man could attain the predestined end of his original creation. The perfecting of humanity in Christ is also a realisation of the true idea of humanity -- the Logos first assimilating Himself to man, and then man to Himself (|semet ipsum homini et hominem sibimet ipsi assimilans|). |In past times it was said indeed that man had been made after God's image, but it was not shewn. For the Logos was still invisible after Whose image man had been made. And on this very account did man also easily forfeit the likeness. But when the Logos of God became flesh He established both points: He truly exhibited the [divine] image, by Himself becoming that which was the image of Himself, and firmly restored the likeness by making man to be like the unseen Father| (v.16, 2). Man's destination is to be like God, and by the attainment of this likeness God's great purpose is accomplished of indwelling in man, and so of uniting man to Himself (iii.20, 2). Hence follows the necessity that He by Whom the perfecting of man was accomplished should be Himself both God and man. Irenaeus is therefore as strongly opposed to the Ebionitic as to the Docetic error. To the Ebionites he objects that they do not receive the doctrine of the commixture of the heavenly wine with the earthly water, the union of God and man, but, retaining the leaven of the old birth (after the flesh), abide in mortal flesh and in that death which disobedience has incurred (v.1, 3; iii.19, 1). It was necessary that the Logos should become man in order that man, receiving the Logos and obtaining the sonship, might become son of God. We could not obtain incorruption and immortality except by being united to that which is incorruptible and immortal. Only through the absorption of the one by the other can we become partakers of the divine Sonship (iii.19, 1; cf. iii.18, 7). On the other hand, in opposition to Gnostic Docetism, Irenaeus insists no less strongly on the reality of the Incarnation of the Logos. If this were but putative, salvation would be putative also (iv.33, 5). The mediator between God and man must belong to both in order to unite both (iv.18, 7). If we are truly to know God and enter into fellowship with the Divine Logos, our teacher must Himself have become man. We need a teacher Whom we can see and hear, in order to be followers of His deeds and doers of His words (v.1, 1). This fundamental thought -- that the divine nature of which we are to be partakers can be brought nigh to us only in the form of a genuine human existence -- is expressed elsewhere still more emphatically, when Irenaeus insists that Christ, in order to conduct the human race to its divine destination, must Himself belong to it, and take upon Him human flesh and all the characteristics of humanity; that if man is to be raised to God, God must come down to man (iv.33, 4, pos anthropos choresei eis Theon, ei me ho Theos echorethe eis anthropon). The second Adam, the head of our spiritual humanity, must Himself come of the race of Adam in order to unite the end with the beginning (iii.22, 3 seq.; 23, 1; iv.34, 4; v.1, 3; 16, 1 seq.). The profound conception of a recapitulatio (anakephalaiosis) of humanity in Christ is one to which Irenaeus perpetually recurs. (See iii.18, 1; 22, 1, 3; 23, 1; iv.38, 1; v.1, 2 seq.; 14, 1; 23, 2; 36, 3; cf. iv.40, 3; v.16, 2). It was needful that Christ should recapitulate and pass through all the stages of an ordinary human life in order to consecrate each of them in us, by a likeness to Himself in each (ii.22, 4; iii.18, 7), and that He should come at the end of time in order to conduct all who from the beginning had hoped in Him to eternal life in fellowship with God (iv.22, 1 seq.; cf.27, 1). As Christ was typically pre-formed in Adam (iii.22, 3), so was Adam's destiny accomplished in Christ (v.1, 3; 16, 2 seq.). The Spirit of God descended on the Son of God made man that in Him He might accustom Himself to an indwelling in the human race (iii.17, 1). Man was to grow used to receive God, and God to indwell in man (ii.20, 2).

With this thought of the recapitulatio of the human race in Christ is combined another of equal depth and significance -- that of the victory over sin and deliverance of sin's captives from the power of Satan by the obedience of Christ. This deliverance or redemption was necessary before the divine purpose of the union of God and man could be accomplished. For if man, created by God for life, but corrupted by the serpent, had not returned to life, but been wholly subjected to death's power, God would then have been defeated, and the devil's iniquity proved itself stronger than His holy will. But God, triumphant and magnanimous, has by the second Adam (Christ) bound the strong man and spoiled his goods, and deprived death of its prey, and brought back man once slain to life. He who by false promises of life and the likeness of God had bound man in the chains of sin has now been justly made captive in his turn, and his prisoner, man, set free (iii.23, 1 seq.; cf.18, 7; iv.21, 3). The power of the devil over man consisted in man's sin, and the apostasy into which the devil had seduced him (v.21, 3), but now the disobedience of one man has been repaired by one man's obedience (iii.18, 7; 21, 10). The first Adam was initium morientium, the second Adam initium viventium, Who needed to be both God and man, no less in order to become the saviour than to be the perfecter of mankind (iii.22, 4; v.1, 3). Only One Who was Himself man could overcome man's enemy, and bind in his turn him by whom man had been bound; in this way alone could the victory over the enemy be altogether just. So, on the other hand, only One Who was also God could accomplish a redemption which should be stable and sure (iii.18, 7; v.21, 3). Christ must be truly man to be as man truly tempted, must be born of a woman to deliver those who by a woman had been brought under the devil's power, and must truly live and suffer as a man in order as man to fight and triumph. Again, He must also be the Logos in order to be glorified, in order as the strong one to overcome the enemy in whose power the whole human race found itself (iii.18, 6, 7; 19, 3; iv.33, 4; v.17, 3; 21, 1; 22, 1); and finally, that man might learn that it is not through himself but only through God's mercy that he obtains incorruption (v.21, 3). The recapitulation of mankind in Christ consists therefore not only in man's original destiny being accomplished by the beginner of a new humanity, but also in His taking up and conducting to a triumphant issue, at the end of time, the conflict wherein, at the beginning, man had been overcome. The victory of God made man is man's victory, since all humanity is summed up (recapitulated) in Christ. Man must himself leave the evil one bound with the same chains wherewith he himself had been bound -- the chains of transgression (v.21, 3); but the first man could not thus have triumphed, having been by him seduced and bound, but only the second man, the Son of God, after Whose image Adam was created, and Who has become man in order to take back His old creation (|antiquam plasmationem|) into Himself (iv.33, 4). The devil had obtained his dominion over the first man by deceit and violence; whereas the redemption of the new race had taken place not with violence but, as became God, by free persuasion (|secundum suadelam, quemadmodum decebat Deum suadentem, non vim inferentem, accipere quae vellet,| v.1, 1). The dominion of the devil is an unjust dominion, for he, like a robber, has seized and taken to himself what did not belong to him, estranged us from our original godlike nature, and made us into his own disciples. Divine justice demands that what the devil has obtained by conflict should in a lawful conflict be won back from him. The Son of God deals, according to His own sense of right, with the apostasy itself, redeeming from it, at a price, that which was His own (|non deficiens in sua justitia juste etiam adversus ipsam conversus est apostasiam, ea quae sunt sua redimens ab ea,| v.1, 1; cf.24, 4). Christ came not snatching with deceit that which was another's, but justly and graciously resuming that which was His own; justly in regard to the apostasy (the evil one) from whose power He redeemed us with His own blood, and graciously in reference to us whom He so redeemed (v.2, 1). The persuasion (suadela) of which the Son of God made use consisted, so far as the devil was concerned, in his free consent to accept the redemption price of the Lord's death for his prisoners; and so the Lord redeemed us, giving His soul for our souls and His flesh for our flesh (v.1, 1). Two thoughts are here to be distinguished. The first is that of Christ's victorious conflict with the evil one, maintaining, spite of all his temptations, full and entire obedience to the Father, unmasking Satan as rebel and deceiver, and thereby proving Himself the strong one (v.21, 2 seq.). The second is that of redemption through Christ's blood, which is expressly represented as a price paid to the devil and by him voluntarily received. The first thought is developed mainly with reference to the temptation in the wilderness. In the third temptation the evil one is completely exposed and called by his true name, the Son of God appears as victor, and, by His obedience to the divine command, absolves the sin of Adam (v.21, 2). With this chain of thought, complete in itself, the other theory of a redemption-price paid in the blood of Christ, is placed in no connexion. It is not said that the devil, acting up to his rights, caused the Saviour's death, which indeed is represented from another point of view as a price legitimately offered and paid down to him (v.1, 1). The thought, moreover, subsequently worked out by Origen, that the devil deceived himself with the hope of bringing under his power One Whom he was too weak to hold, is not found in Irenaeus. But along with this conception of the redemption-price offered to the devil appears another thought, that man has been reconciled to God by the sacrifice of the body of Christ and the shedding of His blood (v.14, 3).

It must be allowed that Irenaeus gives no complete dogmatic theory with regard to the nature of Christ's work of redemption, for his theological speculations nowhere appear as an independent system, but are simply developed in polemical contrast to those of the heretical gnosis. By this conflict with Gnosticism the currents of Christian religious thought were once more put in rapid movement and problems which had exercised St. Paul were again before the church.

A new letter of St. Irenaeus of considerable importance was discovered in 1904 by an Armenian scholar in the Church of the Virgin at Erivan in Russian Armenia, and trans. into German with notes by Dr. Harnack (1907). It was written to his friend Marcian and possibly intended as a manual for catechising (Drews, Der lit. Charakter der neuernt deckten Schrift des Iren.1907). For an account of it see Essay VI. in Dr. Knowling's Messianic Interpretation (S.P.C.K.1911).

Literature. -- The Vita Irenaei of Feuardent and that of Peter Halloix; the Dissertationes in Irenaeum of Dodwell and those of Massuet; the Prolegomena of Harvey (Preliminary Matter, I. Sources and Phenomena of Gnosticism; II. Life and Writings of St. Irenaeus); Tillemont, Mémoires, iii.77 sqq. and 619 sqq.; Lipsius, Die Zeit des Irenaeus von Lyon und die Entstehung der altkatholischen Kirche in Sybel's Histor. Zeitschrift, xxviii. pp.241 sqq.; Lightfoot, The Churches of Gaul, in Contemp. Review, Aug.1876, pp.405 sqq.; the posthumous work of Dean Mansel, The Gnostic Heresies of the First and Second Centuries (London, 1875). Some translations of Irenaeus are in the Ante-Nic. Fathers, and bk. iii. of adv. Haer. has been trans. by H. Deane with notes and glossary (Clar. Press). A critical ed. of adv. Haer. is pub. by the Camb. Univ. Press in 2 vols.


Irenaeus, bishop of Tyre
Irenaeus (7), count of the empire and subsequently bp. of Tyre, while a layman took a zealous interest in theological controversies and was ardently attached to the cause of his personal friend Nestorius. In 431 Irenaeus unofficially accompanied Nestorius to the council of Ephesus (Labbe, Concil. iii.443) employing his influence in behalf of his friend to the great irritation of Cyril and his party (ib.749, 762; Baluze, 496, 524). When, five days after Cyril had hastily secured the condemnation of Nestorius, the approach of John of Antioch and the Eastern bishops was announced, Irenaeus, accompanied by a guard of soldiers, hurried out to apprise them of the high-handed proceedings of the council. He was followed by deputies from the council, who, as Memnon relates, were at the count's instigation maltreated by the soldiers, and prevented from having an audience with John (Labbe, ib.764; Mercator, ii. praef. xxvii.). To counteract the influence of Dalmatius and the monastic party at Constantinople, the Eastern bishops deputed Irenaeus to proceed thither with letters to the emperor and the leading officers of state, narrating their side (Labbe, ib.717-720). Irenaeus obtained an audience of Theodosius, and his statement of the proceedings was so convincing that Theodosius was on the point of pronouncing the condemnation of Nestorius illegal, when the arrival of John, the Syncellus of Cyril, entirely frustrated his efforts.

The decree of Theodosius which banished Nestorius, Aug.435, pronounced the same sentence against Irenaeus and a presbyter named Photius, as propagators of his impiety. Stripped of his honours, his property confiscated, he was deported to Petra (Baluz. p.884, c. clxxxviii, clxxxix.), and passed 12 years in his Arabian banishment without once participating in Christian ordinances. His time was spent in the preparation of a history of the troubled scenes in which he had taken part, known as the Tragoedia Irenaei. The invectives in this work against Theodoret, Ibas, and all who had questioned Nestorius's perfect orthodoxy, render it probable that it was written early in his banishment, and that the lapse of tune brought calmer thoughts. His doctrinal views seem also to have received some modification during this period, for at its close the banished heretic suddenly reappeared as the unanimous choice of the bishops of the province of Phoenicia for the vacant metropolitical see of Tyre, their choice being ratified by the leading members of the episcopate of Pontus and Palestine and accepted with warm commendation by Proclus of Constantinople. The date of his ordination as bp. of Tyre must have been before the end of 446. Since the reconciliation of John of Antioch and Cyril, a kind of truce had existed between the two parties -- the Egyptians and Orientals -- which this elevation of a leading Nestorian sympathiser to the episcopate rendered no longer possible. Irenaeus had been consecrated by Domnus, the patriarch of Antioch, who, therefore, was the first object of attack. He was plied with missives from the dominant clerical party at Constantinople, asserting that the election of a convicted heretic and a digamus was ipso facto null and void and charging him under severe threats to proceed to a fresh election. The emperor's name was adroitly kept in the background; but it was implied that the malcontents were acting with his sanction. Domnus turned for counsel to Theodoret, who replied that |it was better to fall under the ill-will of man than to offend God and wound one's own conscience.| But the ruin of Irenaeus had been resolved on, and Theodosius was compelled to seal with his imperial authority the act of deposition. An edict was issued (Feb.17, 448), renewing those formerly published against the Nestorians and commanding that Irenaeus should be deposed from his see, deprived of the dress and title of priest, compelled to live as a layman in his own country and never set foot again in Tyre. Domnus, unwilling to consecrate a successor, sought to temporize, until fear of ulterior consequences prevailed over his scruples, and Photius was made bp. of Tyre, Sept.9, 448 (Actes du Brigand. pp.134, 143), and Irenaeus disappears entirely from the scene. The Latrocinium in 449 confirmed his deposition, after that of Ibas and Daniel of Charrae, and passed an anathema on him (Martin, Actes du Brigandage, pp.82-86; Evagr. H. E. i.10). As Irenaeus is not mentioned at the council of Chalcedon, he was probably no longer alive.

During the latter part of his career Irenaeus enjoyed the friendship and confidence of Theodoret, who speaks highly of his orthodoxy, magnanimity, liberality towards those in adversity, especially those who had known better times, and of his other virtues (Ep.35, 110), and wrote him frequent letters.

Irenaeus's great historical work, the Tragoedia, has unfortunately perished and is only known to us from an ill-executed Latin translation of large portions of it, made subsequently to the time of Justinian by a partisan of |the Three Chapters.| The anonymous translator, who has given very little more than the letters and other documents, invaluable for the light thrown on the transactions of the period, together with the summaries of Irenaeus and some interpolations and explanations of his own, sometimes barely intelligible, entitled his work Synodicon.

Tillem. Mém. eccl. xiv.606-608, 613, 614 et passim; xv.264-266, 578, 579 et passim; Cave, Hist. Lit. i.437; Le Quien, Or. Christ. ii.807; Labbe, Concil. tom. iii. passim; Baluze, Nov. Coll. Concil. passim; Abbè Martin, Le Brigandage d'Ephèse, pp.82-95, 183.


Isaacus I, catholicos of Greater Armenia, Saint
Isaacus (7) I., St. (Sahag the Great, Parthev the Parthian), catholicos of the church of Greater Armenia for 40 or 51 years, 390-441. Moses of Khorene states that he belonged to the house of the founder of the Armenian church, Gregory the Illuminator. His long patriarchate is remarkable for the invention of the Armenian characters by Mesrob, the translation of the Scriptures into the Armenian language, and the commencement of the golden age of Armenian literature; for the revision of the Armenian liturgy, first translated from the Greek by Gregory, which has continued unaltered ever since in the Armeno-Gregorian church; and for the destruction of the independence of Armenia. At the commencement of his patriarchate Isaac visited the Persian king at Ctesiphon; where, on behalf of his sovereign, he acknowledged Armenia to be tributary to Persia. Owng to the troubled state of the country he was virtually ruler for several years. In 428, from which date Armenian chronology becomes more certain (St. Martin, Mém. sur l'Arménie, i.320, n.), the Persian king deposed Ardaces IV., the last of the Armenian Arsacidae, and Isaac retired into Western Armenia, either by order of the Persian monarch or through the enmity of the satraps of his own country, whom it is said he had offended by refusing to join in their plans. Whilst in Western Armenia (428-439) he sent Mesrob to Constantinople with letters to Theodosius II., and the general Anatolius, who was commissioned by the emperor to build the city of Theodosiopolis (called Garin by the Armenians, Erzeroum by the Turks), near the sources of the Euphrates, as a place of refuge for Isaac. Meanwhile the Persian kings set up others as patriarchs in his, stead, but at length the Armenian satraps repented and invited Isaac to resume his throne. This he refused to do, but appointed one administrator in his stead, according to some Mastentzes, according to Moses of Khorene Samuel, nominated by the Persian king. After the death of his vicar he seems to have partially resumed his episcopal functions over the whole Armenian community. On account of the patriarch's expulsion, the archbp. of Cappadocian Caesarea disallowed the ordination of bishops, which had been conceded to Isaac; but by the influence of the Persians all connexion between Armenia and Caesarea was from this time forth broken off -- a fact which tended towards the isolation of the Armenian church. Isaac did not attend the general council of Ephesus. He died at the age of 110 years, being the last Armenian patriarch of the family of Gregory the Illuminator; he was followed to the grave in six months by his friend Mesrob. Moses of Khorene, bk. iii. cc. xlix.-lxviii., in Langlois, Hist. de l'Arménie, ii.159-173; St. Martin, Mém. sur l'Arménie, i.437; Galanus, Hist. Arm. c. vii.; Le Quien, Oriens Christ. i.1375; Malan, Life of St. Gregory, p.28.


Isaacus Ninivita, anchorite and bishop
Isaacus (14) Ninivita, anchorite and bishop towards the end of the 6th cent. An anonymous Life prefixed to his works states that he was by birth a Syrian, and, with his brother who became abbat, entered the great monastery of St. Matthew at Nineveh. Afterwards he retired to a lonely cell, where he long remained. Isaac's fame as an anchorite became so great that he was raised to the bishopric of Nineveh, which, however, he resigned on the very day of his consecration, owing to an incident which convinced him that his office was superfluous in a place where the gospel was little esteemed. Feeling also that episcopal functions interfered with the ascetic life, he finally retired to the desert of Scete or Scetis, where he died. Lambecius (Comment. lib. v. pp.74 sqq.), Cave (Hist. Lit. i.519) and others confuse him with another Isaacus Syrus.

Works. -- Ebedjesu (Cat. p.63) writes that |he composed seven tomes on spiritual guidance, and on divine mysteries, judgments, and government.| A considerable number, though not all, of these discourses are extant in Syriac, Arabic, and Greek MSS. in the Vatican and other libraries. Fifty-three of his homilies were rendered from Greek into Latin, c.1407, by a monk who freely abridged and altered the order of his original. In this form they appear in the various Bibliothecae Patrum, as a continuous treatise entitled de Contemptu Mundi, uniformly but wrongly attributed to Isaacus Antiochenus.

He is much quoted by the old Syrian writers. His style teems with metaphor; his matter is often interesting, both theologically and historically. He treats mainly of the ascetic life, its rules and spiritual experiences. Watching, fasting, silence, and solitude are means to self-mastery. There are three grades of anchorites -- novices, proficients, and the perfect. The worth of actions is gauged by the degree of the love of God which inspires them. By the thoughts which stir within, a man may learn to what grade of holiness he has risen. There are three methods by which every rational soul can approach unto God -- viz. love, fear, divine training. He who has gotten love feeds on Christ at all times, and becomes immortal (John vi.52). Sermons 8, 47, 48 (B. M. cod.694) treat of the alternations of light and darkness, the deep dejection and sudden ecstasy to which anchorites were subject. For the former Isaacus prescribes holy reading and prayer -- |infer tibi violentiam ad orandum, et praestolare auxilium, et veniet tibi te ignorante.| Serm.23 is directed against those who asked, If God be good, why did He create sin, Gehenna, Death, and Satan? Elsewhere Isaacus says that there is a natural faculty whereby we discern good from evil, to lose which is to sink lower than one's natural state; and this faculty precedes faith, and leads us thereto. There is also a faculty of spiritual knowledge which is the offspring of faith. He explains the |many mansions| of heaven as meaning the different capacities of the souls abiding there -- a difference not of place but of grace.

Zingerle (Mon. Syr. i.97 sqq.) has published Serm.31, On the natural offspring of the virtues, and Serm.43, On the various grades of knowledge and faith. Other titles are, On the differences of revelations and operations in holy men; In how many ways the perception of things incorporeal is received by the nature of man (B. M. cod.694, 14 and 24); That it is wrong without necessity to desire or expect any sign manifested through us or to us (do.695, 46).

A short tract, de Cogitationibus (peri logismon), attributed to this Isaacus, is given in Migne, vol. lxxxvi., along with the de Contemptu Mundi. A book, de Causa Causarum or Liber Generalis ad Omnes Gentes, treating of God and the creation and government of the universe, has been assigned to this Isaacus; it really belongs to Jacobus Edessenus (fl.710), see Pohlmann, Zeitschr. d. Morgenland. Gesellsch. (1861), p.648.

Cf. Wright's Cat. Syr. MSS. in Brit. Mus. vol. ii. pp.569-581; de Contemptu Mundi in Migne, Patr. Curs. Gk. lxxxvi. pp.811-885; Assem. Bibl. Orient. i.444-463, iii.104, etc.; Cave, Hist. Lit. i.519; Fabric. Biblioth. Graec. xi.114-122 Harl.; Casimir Oudin, Comment. de Scriptor. Eccl. i. coll.1400-1405; Ceillier, xii.100.


Isaacus, Donatist Martyr
Isaacus (21), a Donatist who, together with Maximianus, met his death at Carthage in consequence of the cruel punishment inflicted by order of the proconsul of Africa, a.d.348. The history is related by a fellow-Donatist named Macrobius; and though he does not mention the name of the proconsul, doubtless the tragedy took place in connexion with the mission into Africa of Paulus and Macarius. The narrative is told in barbarous Latin and a rhetorical style so turgid as to suggest the suspicion of exaggeration in the details. But these, horrible as they are, agree too well with what we know to have taken place in other cases. Maximianus suffered first, but Isaac provoked the anger of the judges by his taunting exclamations and was forthwith compelled to undergo a treatment no less brutal. Having been first scourged with |plumbata,| a whip armed with leaden bullets, and then beaten with sticks, they were both cast into prison, but Isaac disappointed the further violence of his tormentors by death. This took place on a Saturday. Crowds immediately flocked to the prison, singing hymns as if it were the eve of Easter, and they watched beside the corpse to ensure it Christian burial. To disappoint this intention, the proconsul on the day following gave orders that both the living man and the dead body should be cast together into the sea. To execute this command, the soldiers were obliged to clear the way from the prison by force, and many persons were wounded in the struggle. The two victims were thrown into the sea at some distance from each other in baskets weighted with sand to ensure their sinking. But the action of the waves, caused, according to the writer's belief, by divine interposition, tore away the sand, and after six days brought the two bodies together to shore, where they were received with welcome by their fellow-Christians on their way to the churches and received Christian burial, the malice of those who had sought to deprive them of it being thus gloriously defeated.

Notwithstanding the inflated style of the narrative (very different, as Mabillon remarks truly, from that of the existing accounts of the deaths of true Catholic martyrs), and notwithstanding the very slight notice St. Augustine takes of the event, into which he acknowledges that he had made very little inquiry, and also despite his evident success in convicting some accounts of Donatist martyrdoms of inaccuracy, if not of direct falsehood, there seems no reason for doubting the substantial truth of this narrative, especially as Marculus, in Dec. of the same year, suffered death for a similar cause and with similar circumstances of cruelty. Neither can we doubt that the cause for which these men suffered was essentially one of religion. True, St. Augustine compares such cases to that of Hagar, and elsewhere argues in favour of the duty of the state as the guardian of truth to repress heresy and insinuates that those guilty of this offence are punished not so much on account of religion as of treason or disloyalty; but we must bear in mind that (1) the proceedings here related took place six years before St. Augustine's birth, and had not been repeated in his time, and that thus he was no witness either to the truth or falsehood of the narratives; (2) the behaviour and language of Isaac remind us more of an angry partisan than a Christian martyr; (3) the glaring faults of the narrative in style and temper do not extenuate the treatment which, after every allowance for exaggeration, the sufferers must have endured. Aug. Tr. in Joann. xi.315; c. Cresc. iii.49, 54; Mabillon, Vet. Anal. p.185; Mon. Vet. Don. No.29, pp.237, 248, ed. Oberthür; Ceillier, v.106; Morcelli, Africa Christiana, ii.249.


Isaacus, Egyptian solitary
Isaacus (28). Several eminent solitaries of the Egyptian deserts in the 4th cent. bore this name. The references are scattered up and down in the Vitae Patrum, and it is not always clear which Isaac is intended. The following seem to be distinct persons.

(i) Abbat Isaacus, presbyter of the anchorites in the Scetic desert (he Sketis, Copt. Schiêt), S.W. of Lake Mareotis. At 7 years of age he withdrew from the world, a.d.358, and attached himself to Macarius of Alexandria, the disciple of St. Anthony. Palladius relates of abbat Isaac that he knew the Scriptures by heart, lived in utter purity, and could handle deadly serpents (kerastai) without harm. He lived in solitude for 50 years, his followers numbering 3150. Certain anecdotes in the Apophthegmata Patrum appear to belong to him. |Abbat Isaac was wont to say to the brethren, Our fathers and abbat Pambo wore old bepatched raiment and palm husks (sebenia); nowadays ye wear costly clothing. Hence! It was ye who desolated the district.| (Scetis was overrun, c.395, by the Mazices, a horde of merciless savages.)

Cassianus, who was in Scetis a.d.398, conversed with Isaacus, to whom he assigns the 9th and 10th of his Conferences (Collationes), which treat of prayer. In the former Isaacus distinguishes four kinds of prayer, according to I. Tim. ii.1 (Collat.9, cc.9-14). Then he expounds at length the Lord's Prayer (cc.18-23). The highest type, however, is prayer |unuttered, unexpressed,| like that of Christ on the mountain or in the garden (c.25, de qualitate sublimioris orationis). In c.36 he advises short and frequent petitions (|frequenter quidem sed breviter|), lest, while we linger, the foe suggest some evil thought.

The 10th Conference begins by relating how the patriarch Theophilus of Alexandria scandalized the Scetic anchorites by his Paschal Letter denouncing Anthropomorphism, and how the aged abbat Serapion, though convinced of his error, could not render thanks with the rest, but fell a-weeping and crying, |They have taken my God from me!| Cassianus and the other witnesses asked Isaacus to account for the old man's heresy. Isaacus made it a survival of heathen ideas of Deity in a simple and unlettered mind (cc.1-5). Isaacus proceeds to shew how to attain to perfect and unceasing prayer. That will be realized when all our love and desire, every aim, effort, thought, all that we contemplate, speak of, hope for, is God; when we are united with Him by an enduring and indissoluble affection. C.10 gives as a prayer suited to all emergencies the verse Ps. lxx.1. Ill prays he who only prays when upon his knees. He prays never, who even upon his knees is distracted by wandering thoughts. Such as we would be found when praying, such should we be before we pray.

When 50 years old Isaacus was expelled from his desert by Theophilus of Alexandria, albeit that prelate had made bishops of seven or eight of his anchorites. Isaacus turned for succour to St. Chrysostom and Olympias. He was still living in a.d.408.

Sources. -- Pallad. Dialog. de Vita Chrysost. in Patr. Gk. xlvii.59, 60; Cassiani Massil. Collat.9, 10, in Migne, xlix.770 sqq.; Apophthegmata Patr. ib. lxv.223; a number of anecdotes headed peri tou Abba Isaak tou presbuterou ton Kellion, but referring to several persons, cf. de Vit. Patr. lib. iii. col.752, in Migne, lxxiii.; Tillem. Mém. viii.650, 617, 648, and 813, n. vi.; Ceillier, viii.174-177.

(ii) Isaacus, presbyter and abbat of the Nitrian desert, sometimes called Presbyter of the Cells (Kellia N. of Nitria). The chief account of this Isaacus is also in Palladius (Dialog. Migne, xlvii. coll.59, 60). He was head of 210 recluses. His charity and humility were famous. He built a hospital for the sick and for the numerous visitors to his community. Like Isaacus of Scetis, he was an adept in the Scriptures. Like him, too, after 30 years in the desert, he was driven forth c.400 by the patriarch Theophilus, who had chosen a number of his disciples to be bishops. The Apophthegmata Patrum gives some stories about Isaac of the Cells. |The abbat Isaac said, In my youth I lived with abbat Cronius. Old and trembling as he was, he would never bid me do anything; he would rise by himself, and hand the water-cruse (to baukalion) to me and the rest. And abbat Theodore of Phermè, with whom also I lived, would set out the table by himself and say, 'Brother, if thou wilt, come and eat.' I said, 'Father, I came to thee to profit: why dost not bid me do somewhat?' He answered never a word; but when the old men asked him the same thing, he broke out with, 'Am I Coenobiarch, that I should command him? If he like, what he sees me doing, he will himself do.' Thenceforward I forestalled the old man's purposes. And I had learned the lesson of doing in silence.|

It appears that, after the persecution of Theophilus, Isaacus had returned to his desert. In the Apoph. Patr., Migne, t. lxv.223, 239, there are other anecdotes concerning him (cf. Tillem. Mém. viii.623-625).

(iii) Isaacus, called Thebaeus, an anchorite of the Thebaid, probably not identical with (ii), although Cronius, the master of the Cellia, at one time lived in the Thebaid (Vit. Patr. lib. vii. col.1044, Migne, t. lxxiii.). Alardus Gazaeus, the Benedictine annotator of Cassianus, writes (Collat.9 ad init.) that there were two chief anchorites named Isaac; one who lived in the Scetic desert, and another called Thebaeus, often mentioned in the Vitae Patrum and in Pratum Spirituale, c.161.

Once Isaac (|de Thebaida,| Vit. Patr. v.) had banished an offending brother from the congregation. When he would have entered his cell, an angel stood in the way. |God sends me to learn where you wish Him to bestow the solitary whom you have condemned.| The abbat owned his fault and was forgiven, but was warned not to rob God of His prerogative by anticipating His judgments. Isaac Thebaeus used to say to the brethren, |Bring no children hither. Four churches in Scetis have been desolated, owing to children.|

Sources. -- Apoph. Patr. col.240, in Migne, lxv.; de Vit. Patr. lib. v. in Migne, lxxiii. (version of an unknown Greek author by Pelagius, c.550), coll.909, 918; de Vit. Patr. iii. col.786 (prob. by Rufinus).

(iv) Isaacus, disciple of St. Apollos, probably lived at Cellia. He was accomplished in every good work. On his way to the church he would hold no converse with any, and after communion he would hurry back to his cell, without waiting for the cup of wine and the food (paxamates) usually handed round among the brethren after service. |A lamp goes out, if one hold it long in the open air; and if I, kindled by the holy oblation, linger outside my cell, my mind grows dark| (Apoph. Patr. col.241).


Isaacus Senior, disciple of Ephraim the Syrian
Isaacus (29) Senior, mentioned in an anonymous Life of Ephraim the Syrian among the more distinguished disciples of Ephraim who were also Syriac writers. He is cited by Joannes Maro (Tract. ad Nest. et Eutych.), by Bar-hebraeus (Hist. Dynast.91), and by many other Syriac and Arabic authors, most of whom, however, confuse him with Isaac presbyter of Antioch (Assemani, B. O. i.165). Gennadius in his de Scriptor. Eccl. c.26, says: |Isaac wrote, concerning the Three Persons of the Holy Trinity and the Incarnation of the Lord, a book of very dark disputation and involved discourse; proving that there are three Persons in the one Godhead, each possessing a proprium peculiar to himself. The proprium of the Father is that He is the origin of the others, yet Himself without origin; that of the Son is that, though begotten, He is not later than His begetter; that of the Holy Ghost is that It is neither made nor begotten, and yet is from another. Of the Incarnation he writes that two Natures abide in the one Person of the Son of God.| This chapter precedes those about Marcarius and Evagrius Pontinus, who lived ante 400. It is hence inferred that Isaac flourished about the end of the 4th cent. (Cave, i.415, places him c.430 (?), but some put him a century earlier.)

The work of Isaac, not unfairly described by Gennadius, is entitled Libellus Fidei SS. Trinitatis et Incarnationis Domini. It is a brief treatise, and is printed in Migne, Patr. Gk. xxxiii. In a codex Pithoeanus, teste Sirmond, the title is Fides Isaacis (or Isacis) ex Judaeo. Hence Isaac Senior has been identified by Tillemont (viii.409) with Isaac the converted Jew who calumniated pope Damasus. Assemani thinks that the silence of Gennadius and his epitomizer Honorius renders it doubtful that Isaac Senior, the author of the Libellus Fidei, was a Jew. Cf. also Galland. vii. Prol. p. xxv.; Ceillier, vi.290; Mansi, iii.504 B; Pagi, Crit. ad ann.378, xx.


Isaacus Antiochenus, priest of Antioch in Syria
Isaacus (31) Antiochenus, born at Amid (Diarbekir) in Mesopotamia, called |the Great| and |the Elder,| a priest of Antioch in Syria, said to have visited Rome. His teacher was Zenobius the disciple of St. Ephraim, not (as Cave) Ephraim himself. The Chronicle of Edessa speaks of him as an archimandrite, without specifying his monastery, which was at Gabala in Phoenicia. He died c.460. He is sometimes confused with Isaacus of Nineveh. Bar-hebraeus (Hist. Dynast. p.91) unjustly brands him as a heretic and a renegade. He was author of numerous works in Syriac, of which the chief were polemics against the Nestorians and Eutychians, and of a long elegy on the overthrow of Antioch by the earthquake of 459. He also wrote a poem on the Ludi Seculares, held by Honorius in his sixth consulship (a.d.404), and another on the sack of Rome by Alaric (a.d.410). Jacobus of Edessa reckons him among the best writers of Syriac. His poems are extant in MSS. in the Vatican and other European libraries. Many of them are wrongly ascribed to St. Ephraim, and included amongst his works in the Roman edition. In discourse No.7 Isaacus speaks of relic-worship and holy days. Besides Sunday, many Christians observed Friday, the day of the Passion. No.9 attacks prevalent errors on the Incarnation. Here Isaacus seems to fall into the opposite heresies, failing to distinguish Nature from Person; but elsewhere he uses language unmistakably orthodox. Assemani thinks his words have been tampered with by Jacobite copyists. No.24, Christ suffered as man, not as God. No.50 touches on future retribution: |The fault is temporal, the punishment eternal.| This aims at those Syrian monks who had adopted the opinion of Origen on this subject. No.59 is a hymn asserting, against the Cathari or Novatianists, that fallen man recovers innocence not only by baptism, but also by penitence. No.62 is a hymn of supplication, lamenting the disasters of the age, e.g. the inroads of Huns and Arabs, famine, plague, and earthquake. Johannes Maro quotes two discourses not found in the Vatican MSS. The first, on Ezekiel's chariot, clearly asserts two natures and one person in Christ: |duo aspectus, una persona; duae naturae, unus salvator.| Similarly, the second, on the Incarnation. Bickell printed both, so far as he found them extant (S. Isaac. Op. i.50, 52).

The library of the British Museum possesses about 80 of the discourses, hymns, prayers, etc., of St. Isaacus in MSS., ranging from the 6th to the 12th cent. Dr. Bickell, in the preface to his edition of the works of Isaac, gives a list of 178 entire poems, and of 13 others imperfect at the beginning or end (179-191); three prose writings dealing with the ascetic life (192-194); five sermons in Arabic, on the Incarnation, etc. (195-199); and a sermon in Greek, on the Transfiguration, usually assigned to St. Ephraim (200).

See S. Isaaci Antiocheni opera omnia ex omnibus quotquot exstant codd. MSS. cum varia lectione Syr. Arab. primus ed. G. Bickell, vol. i.1873, ii.1877; Gennadius, Vir. Illustr.66; Assem. Bibl. Orient. i.207-234; Cave, Hist. Lit. i.434; Ceillier, x.578; Wright's Cat. Syr. MSS. Brit. Mus. General Index, p.1289.

The poems of Isaac are important for the right understanding of the doctrines of the Nestorians, Eutychians, Novatianists, Pelagians, and other sects; besides being authorities for the events, manners, and customs of the writer's age.


Ischyras, Egyptian bp
Ischyras (2) (Ischyrion, Soz.), Egyptian pseudo-presbyter and finally bishop; a slanderer of Athanasius. His story, which begins under the predecessor of Athanasius, is made out from scattered passages in the Apol. c. Arian., and a slight outline is given by Socrates (i.27). He belonged to a hamlet in the Mareotis too small for a church of its own (§ 85, ed. Migne) and there had a conventicle attended by seven persons at most (77, 83). He did not bear a good moral character (63) and was once charged with insulting the emperor's statues (vol. i.185 B, n.). The Alexandrian synod of 324 disallowed his orders and pronounced him a layman (74, 75), disproving his pretensions to have been ordained by bp. Meletius, in whose breviarium his name did not appear (11, 28, 46, 71). He had given out that he was a presbyter of the pseudo-bishop COLLUTHUS (2), but no one out of his own family believed him, as he never had a church, and no one in the neighbourhood looked on him as a clergyman (74, 75). He never attended ecclesiastical assemblies as a presbyter (28). In spite of the synod, he continued to act as a presbyter, and was doing this in the cottage of Ision when Athanasius, being on a visitation in the Mareotis, sent his presbyter Macarius to bid him desist. When Macarius reached the house, Ischyras was reported ill in his cell or in a corner behind the door (28, 63, 83), certainly not officiating at the Eucharist (41). This occurrence may be assigned to c.329, between the latest date (June 8, 328) possible for the consecration of Athanasius and Nov.330, when the troubles broke out. Ischyras on his recovery went over to the Meletians, in conjunction with whom he framed his accusation against Macarius (63), and through Macarius against Athanasius. In the spring of 331 (see vol. i. p.184, and Hefele, ii.13) the three Meletians accused Macarius at Nicomedia of having broken a chalice, overturned a holy table, and burnt service books on the occasion of his visit. As his friends became ashamed of him (63), Ischyras confessed the fabrication to the archbishop and implored forgiveness (16, 28, 63, 74). This would be in mid-Lent 332. In the summer of 335 Ischyras, having meanwhile been gained over by the Eusebians, revived the accusation before the council of Tyre (13), and accompanied the synodal commission to the Mareotis to investigate its truth (17). For his reward his Eusebian patrons procured (85) an imperial order for the erection of a church for him at a place called Pax Secontaruri, and the document recognized him as a |presbyter.| They afterwards obtained for him the episcopal title (16, 41), and he figures as bp. of Mareotis among the bishops assembled at Sardica in 343 (Socr. ii.20; Soz. iii.12, here |Ischyrion|). He afterwards withdrew to Philippopolis. (Hilar. Frag. iii. in Patr. Lat. x.677 A; Mansi, iii.139), at which synod his name is corruptly written Quirius. No other instance of a bp. of Mareotis occurs. Le Quien, Or. Chr. ii.530.


Isdigerdes I., king of Persia
Isdigerdes (1) I. (Jezdedscherd, Yazdejirdus, Yezdegerdes; Isdigerdes and Isdegerdes by the Greeks; in Armenian Yazgerd; on his coins, yzdkrty, i.e. Izdikerti), king of Persia, surnamed Al Aitham (the Wicked), known in history as Isdigerd I., though an obscure and uncertain predecessor of the same name makes Mordtmann reckon him as Isdigerd II. Rawlinson thinks the best evidence favours 399 for the commencement of his reign, and 419 or 420 for his death. He was son of Sapor III., succeeding his brother Vararanes IV., and succeeded by his son Vararanes V. He reigned at Ctesiphon. With the Romans he appears to have lived in peace; Agathias (Hist. iv.26, p.264, ed. Bonn, 1828) and Theophanes (Chron. i.125, 128, p.69, ed. Bonn, 1839) relate how the emperor Arcadius on his death-bed directed his son Theodosius to be put under Isdigerdes's tutelage. (Petavius, Rat. Temp. pt. i. l. vi. c.19, p.249 Lugd.1710; Greg. Abul-Pharajius, Hist. Comp. Dyn. i. p.91, Oxf.1663.) For a time he was almost a Christian, and as Socrates (H. E. vii.8) says, gave every facility for the propagation of the gospel, yet probably closed his days in persecuting the church. Under the example and influence of Maruthas, bp. of Martyropolis in Mesopotamia, who had been sent on an embassy from the Romans early in his reign, he was very favourably disposed towards Christianity and the church in Persia had peace with full liberty of worship and church-building. He overcame and exposed the impostures of the magi, with the assistance of Maruthas and other Christians, and miracles are said to have been wrought before him for the confirmation of the gospel. A second visit of Maruthas seems to have deepened the impression (Socr. ib.), but the indiscreet and impetuous zeal of one of Maruthas's companions, Abdas bp. of Susa, lost this royal convert to the faith. Abdas burned one of the temples of fire (Theod. H. E. v.39). This offence Isdigerd was prepared to overlook, if Abdas would rebuild the burned pyreion; failing this, the king threatened to burn down and destroy all Christian churches in Persia. Abdas, esteeming it morally wrong to rebuild the temple, refused to comply, and the churches were burned. Abdas was among the first of the martyrs, and a persecution commenced in or towards the end of Isdigerd's reign, which his son and successor Vararanes or Bararanes carried on with most revolting cruelty and which was only ended by the presence of the Roman legions. From the odium of this persecution the memory of Isdigerd is specially shielded by Socrates (H. E. vii.18-21), who throws it on his son; but Theodoret (v.39) probably gives the truer account, though Isdigerd had probably neither the time nor inclination to carry out his edicts with severity. His character is described as noble and generous, tarnished only by this one dark spot in the last year of his reign or in a brief period in the middle of it. For the best modern literature of this reign see Isdigerdes (2).


Isdigerdes II., king of Persia
Isdigerdes (2) II., king of Persia, the son and successor of Vararanes V. All modern writers place his death A.D.457, but differ somewhat as to the length of his reign. For its commencement Rawlinson thinks the best evidence is for 440. Soon after he declared war against the Roman empire. Theodosius II. shortly made peace with him, and Isdigerd then undertook a war, which continued many years (443-451), against the Tatars of Transoxiana. He attempted to force the Zoroastrian religion on Christian Armenia. In this he was ably seconded by his vizier Mihr-nerses, whose proclamation, still extant, embodies the Zoroastrian objection to Christian doctrine [[313]Mesrobes]. It was answered in a council of eighteen Armenian bishops, headed by the patriarch Joseph, at Ardashad in 450. This document, also extant, is a lengthened apology for Christianity and contains a detailed confession of faith, with a resolution of adhering to it couched in these terms: |Do thou therefore inquire of us no further concerning these things, for our belief originates not with man. We are not taught like children; but we are indissolubly bound to God, from Whom nothing can detach us, neither now nor hereafter, nor for ever, nor for ever and ever| (Hist. of Vartan, tr. by Neumann, 1830). Isdigerd's attempt to convert Armenia to Zoroastrianism was manifestly dictated by a desire to detach the country from the Christian Roman empire. In 451 he attacked the Armenians. They endeavoured to secure the help of the emperor Marcian, who was, however, paralysed through fear of Attila and the Huns. In 455 or 456 the Persians triumphed in a great battle, wherein the patriarch Joseph and many nobles were taken prisoners and martyred. Agathias, iv.27; Tabari, Chronique, iii.127; Clinton, Fasti Romani, i. p.546; Tillem. Emp. vi.39; Saint-Martin, Mém. sur l'Armén. vol. i. p.322; Pathkanian, Histoire des Sassan. in Journal Asiatique (1866), pp.106-238; Mordtmann, Zeitschrift der deutschen Morgenlandischen Gesellschaft, t. viii.70; Rawlinson's Seventh Or. Monarchy (1876), c. xv. p.301, where other authorities will be found. Pathkanian's article gives a list of writers who have treated of this period. Isdigerd II. was succeeded by Perozes.


Isidorus, archbp. of Seville
Isidorus (18), archbp. of Seville, 600-636. Notwithstanding his prominent place in Spanish ecclesiastical history, the known facts of his life are few, and considerable uncertainty attaches to many points. It appears certain that his father was of the province of Cartagena, and that for some reason his parents left there for Seville either before or very shortly after his birth. It is not certain, therefore, whether Isidore was born at Seville or Cartagena, but probably at the latter. Arevalo (i.122) decides for Seville; so Dupin: Florez (Esp. Sag. ix.193, x.120) is in favour of Cartagena. All things tend to shew that his parents died when he was very young. He was the youngest of the family. Leander, the eldest, was archbp. of Seville c.579-599 and Fulgentius was bp. of Astigi or Ecija in the province of Seville. Isidore was archbp. of Seville for nearly 40 years, and died in 636. Leander received the pall from Gregory the Great in 599. Gams fixes 600 as the year of Leander's death, and consequently of Isidore's succession (ii.41). To date the birth of Isidore c.560 will not be far wrong. His early manhood was probably passed in a monastery, where he could pursue the studies which afterwards made him famous. Most probably he never belonged to a coenobite order.

We meet his name in connexion with the so-called decree of Gunthimar, the Gothic king, and a supposed synod of Toledo in 610 assigning metropolitan rank to the see of Toledo. In the list of subscriptions appended to the Decretum in the conciliar collections (e.g. Mansi, x.511) Isidore stands second, following the king. He next appears as presiding over the second council of Seville in Nov.618 or 619, in the reign of king Sisebut (Mansi, x.555). The church of Seville is spoken of as the |holy Jerusalem.| The governor of the city, Sisisclus, and the treasurer Suanilanus were present. The decrees set forth fully the doctrine of the Person of Christ against the Acephali, supporting it with appeals to Scripture, the Apostles' Creed, and the Fathers. This document was signed by 8 bishops, of whom Isidore subscribed first as metropolitan of Baetica. Some uncertainty hangs over Isidore's presence at a council held at Toledo c.625.

The fourth council of Toledo was held in 633, in the extreme old age of Isidore and shortly before his death, soon after Sisenand came to the throne. It met in the basilica of St. Leocadia, and was composed of prelates from Gaul and Narbonne, and from all the provinces of Spain. The king, with his court magnates, was present, and threw himself on the earth before the bishops, and with tears and sighs entreated their intercession with God, and exhorted them to observe the ancient decrees of the church and to reform abuses. The council issued 75 decrees, for a summary of which see D. C. A. ii.1968. They were signed by the six metropolitan archbishops of Spain. This council was the only one in which they were all present, and was the most numerously attended of all Spanish synods. Isidore signed first as the oldest metropolitan and oldest bishop present (Mansi, x.641). The council probably expressed with tolerable accuracy the mind and influence of Isidore. It presents a vivid picture of the church of Spain at that period. The position and deference granted to the king is remarkable, and nothing is said of allegiance to Rome. The church is free and independent, yet bound in solemn allegiance to the acknowledged king. The relations of the church to the Jews are striking, and the canons shew that there were many Jews in the Spanish community and that the Christian church had not yet emancipated itself from the intolerance of Judaism. This council was the last great public event of Isidore's life. He died three years afterwards. As he felt his end approaching he distributed his goods lavishly among the poor, and is said to have spent the whole day for six months in almsgiving. In his last illness he performed public penance in the church of St. Vincentius the martyr, gathered around him the bishops, the religious orders, the clergy, and the poor, then, as one bishop invested him with the penitential girdle, and another strewed ashes on his head, he made a pious and eloquent prayer, translated in full by Gams, received the Body and Blood of Christ in the sacrament, took affectionate leave of all present, retired to his cell, and in four days died.

Isidore was undoubtedly the greatest man of his time in the church of Spain. He was versed in all the learning of the age, and well acquainted with Greek, Latin, and Hebrew. His works shew him as a man of varied accomplishments and great versatility of mind; and the prominent place he long filled in his own country sufficiently indicates his general ability and character. His eloquence struck all who heard him with astonishment, and he represented in himself all the science of his time. His language is studiously scriptural. He is quoted as holding predestinarian views, but his language seems hardly to go so far. At the 8th council of Toledo in 653, the epithet Egregius was applied to him, and confirmed at the 15th council of Toledo, 688. Popes and councils vied in doing him honour, till Benedict XIV. permitted the office of St. Isidore to be recited with the antiphon |O doctor optime,| and the gospel, |Vos estis sal terrae.|

His works are many and multifarious. (1) His Etymologies or Origins was, according to Braulio and Ildefonsus, his last work. It is in 20 books, and treats of the whole circle of the sciences in a very concise, methodical, and convenient manner. It is for the period a really wonderful work, and the authors quoted in it shew his wide classical reading. The subjects of the books are: i. Grammar in 44 chapters, containing an immense amount of information in a convenient form. ii. Rhetoric and dialectics, in 31 chapters. iii. The four mathematical sciences: i.e. arithmetic, 9 chapters; geometry, 5 chapters; music, 9 chapters; and astronomy, 48 chapters; algebra not being yet invented. iv. Medicine, in 13 chapters. v. Laws, 27 chapters; Times, 12 chapters. vi. Ecclesiastical books and offices, 19 chapters. vii. Of God, angels, and the orders of the faithful, 14 chapters. viii. The church and divers sects, 11 chapters. ix. Languages, nations, kingdoms, warfare, citizens, and relationships, 7 chapters. x. An alphabetical index and explanation of certain words. A vast amount of erroneous ingenuity is displayed in deriving all the words of the Latin language from itself: e.g. |Nox, a nocendo dicta, eo quod oculis noceat. Niger, quasi nubiger, quia non serenus, sed fusco opertus est. Unde et nubilum diem tetrum dicimus. Prudens, quasi porro videns: perspicax enim est, et incertorum praevidet casus. Cauterium dictum quasi cauturium quod urat,| etc. xi. Of men and portents, in 4 chapters. xii. Animals, in 8. xiii. The universe (mundus), in 22. xiv. The earth and its parts, in 9. xv. Buildings, land-surveying, roads, etc., in 16. xvi. Mineralogy, stones, weights, measures, and metals, in 27. xvii. Agriculture, in 11. xviii. War and various games, in 69. xix. Ships, architecture, clothes of various kinds, in 34. xx. Food, domestic and agricultural implements, carriages, harness, etc., in 16. The treatise, which in the Roman edition occupies two quarto vols., is a singular medley of information and ignorance, and presents a remarkable picture of the condition of life and knowledge at the time. In bk. v., under the head of |De discretione temporum,| is a chronological summary of sacred and secular history from Adam to Heraclius, concluding in these striking words: |Eraclius xvii nunc agit imperii annum: Judaei in Hispania Christiani efficiuntur. Residuum sextae aetatis soli Deo est cognitum.| The whole period (after an idea common in Augustine) is divided into six ages, ending with Noah, Abraham, Samuel, Zedekiah, Julius Caesar, Heraclius. In bk. vi. is an introductory account of the several books of the Bible. It is probably not possible to overrate the value and the usefulness of this treatise to the age in which Isidore lived, and indeed for many ages it was the best available handbook.

(2) Libri Differentiarum sive de Proprietate Sermonum. -- Bk. i. treats of the differences of words, often with acuteness and accuracy. Bk. ii. treats in 40 sections and 170 paragraphs of the differences of things, e.g. between Deus and Dominus, Substance and Essence, etc. This is, in fact, a brief theological treatise on the doctrine of the Trinity, the power and nature of Christ, Paradise, angels, and men. He elaborately defines words denoting the members of the body, sin, grace, freewill, the law and the gospel, the active and contemplative life, virtues, vices, and the like.

(3) Allegoriae quaedam Sacrae Scripturae. -- A spiritual interpretation of the names of Scripture characters: 129 from O. T. and 121 from N. T.; the latter being often from our Lord's parables, miracles, etc., as the ten virgins, the woman with the lost piece of money, the man who planted a vineyard, and the like. The angered king who sent his armies and destroyed those murderers and burnt up their city is interpreted of God the Father, who sent Vespasian Caesar to destroy Jerusalem. He shews an intimate acquaintance with Scripture and with the wonderful way it had then permeated the teaching and life of the church. The treatise is of intrinsic interest.

(4) Somewhat similar to the last is de Ortu et Obitu Patrum qui in Scriptura Laudibus Efferuntur; 64 chapters on O.T. characters and 21 on New, from Adam to Maccabaeus and from Zacharias to Titus. The genuineness of this treatise has been much doubted.

(5) Proomeia in Libros Vet. et Nov. Test. -- Very brief introductions to the several books of O. and N.T., including Tobias, Judith, Esdras, and Maccabees, |ex quibus quidem Tobiae, Judith, et Maccabaeorum, Hebraei non recipiunt. Ecclesia tamen eosdem intra canonicas scripturas enumerat.|

(6) Liber Numerorumqui in sanctis Scripturis occurrunt. -- A mystical treatment of numbers from one to sixty, omitting some after twenty.

(7) Quaestiones tam de Novo quam de Veteri Testamento. -- A series of 41 questions on the substance and teaching of Scripture with appropriate answers. Some are very interesting.

(8) Secretorum Expositiones Sacramentorum, seu Quaestiones in Vetus Tastamentum. -- A mystical interpretation of the principal events recorded in the books of Moses, Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, Ezra, Maccabees. The preface states that he has gathered the opinions of ancient ecclesiastical writers, viz. Origen, Victorinus, Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine, Fulgentius, Cassianus, and pope Gregory the Great. Gen. is treated of in 31 chapters, Ex. in 59, Lev. in 17, Num. in 42, Deut. in 22, Josh. in 18, Judg. in 9 (including 1 on Ruth), I. Kings (i.e. Sam.) in 21, II. Kings in 6, III. Kings in 8, IV. Kings in 8, Ezra in 3, Mac. in 1. The mystical method of interpretation is pursued to an excessive degree.

(9) De Fide Catholica ex Veteri et Novo Testamento contra Judaeos. -- Addressed to his sister Florentina and apparently written at her request. It treats of the person of Christ from His existence in the bosom of the Father before the world was till His ascension and return to judgment; and the consequences of the Incarnation, viz. the unbelief of the Jews, the ingathering of the Gentiles, the conversion of the Jews at the end of the world, and the cessation of the Sabbath.

(10) Sententiarum Libri iii. -- A kind of manual of Christian faith and practice, treating of God and His attributes. It discourses also upon the world, the origin of evil, angels, man, the soul, and senses of the flesh, Christ and the Holy Spirit, the church and heresies, the heathen nations, the law, seven rules or principles for the understanding of Scripture, the difference between the two Testaments, symbol and prayer, baptism and communion, martyrdom, the miracles wrought by the saints, Antichrist and his works, the resurrection and judgment, hell, the punishment of the wicked, and the glory of the just. Great use is made throughout of the works of Augustine and Gregory.

(11) De Ecclesiasticis Officiis treats of the services of the church, and of clerics, their rules and orders, the tonsure, the episcopal office, vicars episcopal, presbyters, deacons, sacristans and subdeacons, readers, psalmists, exorcists, acolytes, porters, monks, penitents, virgins, widows, the married, catechumens, exorcism, salt, candidates for baptism, the creed, the rule of faith, baptism, chrism, imposition of hands, and confirmation.

(12) Synonyma de lamentatione animae peccatricis. -- One of the most curious of Isidore's works; a kind of soliloquy between Homo and Ratio. Homo begins by lamenting his lost and desperate condition in consequence of sin, and Ratio undertakes to direct him aright to a higher and holier condition issuing in the bliss of eternal felicity.

(13) Regula Monachorum. -- This treatise led some to suppose Isidore a Benedictine monk, the only order then established in the West; but Gams thinks the proof not sufficient.

(14) Thirteen short letters follow: to bp. Leudefred of Cordova; to Braulio, to whom he speaks of giving a ring and a pall; to Helladius of Toledo on the fall of a certain bp. of Cordova; to duke Claudius, whom he congratulates on his victories; to Massona, bp. of Merida; and to archdeacon Redemptus.

(15) De Ordine Creaturarum. -- This book has been doubted by some, and, though Arevalo maintains it to be genuine, he prints it in smaller type. Gams reckons it as Isidore's. It treats of faith in the Trinity, spiritual creation, the waters above the firmament, the firmament of heaven, the sun and moon, the devil and the nature of demons, the nature of waters and course of the ocean, Paradise, the nature of man after sin, the diversity of sinners and their place of punishment, purgatorial fire and the future life.

(16) De Natura Rerum Liber. -- One of the most celebrated of Isidore's treatises, dedicated to king Sisebut (acc. a.d.612), one of the best kings of Spain, whose death was universally lamented by the Goths. Isidore discourses of the days, the night, the seasons, the solstice and equinox, the world and its five zones, heaven and its name, the planets, the waters, the heavens, the nature, size, and course of the sun, the light and course of the moon, the eclipse of sun and moon, the course of the stars, the position of the seven planets, the light of the stars, falling stars, the names of the stars and whether they have any soul, thunder, lightning, the rainbow, clouds, showers, snow, hail, the nature and names of the winds, the signs of storms, pestilence, the heat, size, and saltness of the ocean, the river Nile, the names of sea and rivers, the position and motion of the earth, mount Etna, and the parts of the earth. He gives diagrams to illustrate his meaning. For a full analysis of the sources of this book see Gustavus Bekker's ed. (Berlin, 1857).

(17) Chronicon. -- A very brief summary of the principal events from the creation of the world to the reign of the emperor Heraclius and of king Sisebut. Hertzberg gives an elaborate analysis of the sources of Isidore's two chronicles in the Forschungen zur deutschen Gesch. xv.289.

(18) Historia de regibus Gothorum, Wandalorum et Suevorum. -- The Goths, according to Isidore, were descended from Gog and Magog, and of the same race as the Getae. They first appeared in Thessaly in the time of Pompey, and in that of Valerian devastated Macedonia, Greece, Pontus, Asia, and Illyricum. The history is brought down to 621, the reign of king Swintila. Isidore praises the Goths highly; and Spaniards of his time esteemed it an honour to be reckoned Goths. This brief sketch is invaluable as our chief authority for the history of the West Goths. Of the Vandals we learn less from him, and his sketch of the Suevi is very brief, the former compressing 123 years into a single page, and the latter 177 in the same space. The Vandals entered Spain under Gunderic and were destroyed on the fall of Gelimer; the Suevi entered under Hermeric in 409 and became incorporated with the Gothic nation in 585.

(19) De Viris Illustribus liber. -- Many Greeks and Latins had treated of the Christian writers before Isidore, but he determined to give a brief outline of those whom he had read himself. The list embraces 46 names, and Braulio has added that of Isidore himself in the celebrated |Praenotatio librorum S. Isidori a Braulione edita.| Among the 46 are Xystus the pope, Macrobius the deacon, Theodore of Mopsuestia, Hosius of Cordova, Eusebius of Dorylaeum, Chrysostom, Hilary of Arles, Gregory the pope, Leander his own brother, and Maximus of Saragossa. This is a valuable summary of important facts in ecclesiastical history, but too often disfigured by the fierce and illiberal polemical spirit of the day -- vide, e.g., his remarks on the death of Hosius.

Other minor works assigned, some doubtfully, to Isidore need not be enumerated.

His Latin is not pure. He uses many Spanish words, and Arevalo has collected no fewer than 1,640 words which would not be understood by the ordinary reader or would strike him as strange. The style is feeble and inflated, having all the marks of an age of decadence. He was a voluminous writer of great learning, well versed in Holy Scripture, of which he manifests a remarkable knowledge, had a trained and cultivated mind, but was rather a receptive and reproductive writer than one of strong masculine and original mind. He was a very conspicuous ornament of the Spanish church and shed great glory on the age he adorned. He did much to hand on the light of Christianity and make it effectual to the amelioration of a semi-barbarous nation, and his character contrasts favourably with those of a later period.

A full list of the Lives of Isidore up to his time may be seen in Chevalier's Sources historiques du Moyen-âge, p.1127, including those of Henschen in Boll. Acta SS.4 Apr. i.327; Arevalo in his ed. of Isidore's Works; Floret, Esp. Sag. ix.173 (ed.1752); Dupin, Eccl. Writ. t. ii. p.1 (ed.1724); Ceillier, xi.710; Cave, i.547; Gams, Kirchengeschichte von Spanien (3 vols.8vo, Regensburg, 1862-1874; the great want of this excellent work is an adequate index; the first vol. alone has a |Register|). Arevalo's ed. of Isidore's works has been reprinted by the Abbé Migne in his Patr. Lat. lxxxi.-lxxxiv., with the addition of an eighth vol., containing the Collectio Canonum ascribed to Isidore; vols. lxxxv.-lxxxvi. of Migne contain Liturgia Mozarabica secundum Regulam Beati Isidora. There is an excellent ed. of the de Natura Rerum Liber by G. Becker (Berlin 1857). Prof. J. E. B. Mayor has given a list of editions and authorities in his Bibliographical Clue to Latin Literature, p.212.


De Reg. Gothorum, Vandalorum, et Suevorum. -- The histories, of all Isidore's works, have the most practical value for the present day. The Historia Gothorum is still to us, as it was to Mariana, one of the main sources of Gothic history. Upon the histories in general was based all the later medieval history-writing of Spain. A most valuable contribution was made to our knowledge of the exact place of the histories in historical work by Dr. Hugo Hertzberg (Göttingen, 1874) in his Die Historien und die Chroniken des Isidorus von Sevilla: Eine Quellenuntersuchung, Erster Th., die Historien. Dr. Hertzberg's great merit lies in the clearness with which he shews exactly how Isidore worked, what were the kind and amount of his material, and the method employed in working it up.

Dr. Hertzberg's general conclusions are, that Isidore neither possessed large material nor used what he had well. In no case did he take all that earlier chronicles offered him, but only extracts; his choice and arrangement of statements are often bad, and the proper chronological order frequently disregarded. Notwithstanding these drawbacks, the permanent historical value of certain portions of the Hist. Goth. is very great. From the reign of Euric, where Idatius breaks off, Isidore becomes for a time our only informant. He alone preserves the memory of Euric's legislation, while our knowledge of Visigothic history under Gesalic, Theudis, Theudigisel, Agila, and Athanagild rests essentially on his testimony. In the prominent reigns of Leovigild and Recared, Joh. Biclarensis becomes our great source, but Isidore's additions are important. From Recared to Suinthila he is again our best and sometimes our only source. The Hist. Vand. is, however, historically valueless, as we possess the sources from which it is a mere extract, and the same may almost be said of the Hist. Suev. Just where Isidore might have drawn most from oral testimony and thus supplied a real gap in our historical knowledge, viz. in the 100 years of Suevian history between Remismund and Theodemir, he fails us most notably. The whole missing cent. is dismissed in one vague sentence which tells us nothing.

For a complete catalogue of the nine MSS. of the longer form of the text, and the two MSS. of the shorter, as well as of the editions of both texts, see Dr. Hertzberg's Diss.8-18. He gives a complete analysis of both texts according to the sources. For general references see Potthast, Bibl. Hist. Med. Devi. The longer text of the histories is printed in Esp. Sagr. vi. with an introduction and long notes by Floret.


Isodorus (Basilides)
Isidorus (24). [[314]Basilides.]

Isidorus Pelusiota, an eminent ascetic
Isidorus (31) Pelusiota, an eminent ascetic, theologian, and spiritual director in 5th cent., born at Alexandria (Photius, Bibl.228). His family was probably of high rank. The wide range of his reading, as shewn by his familiarity with Greek poets, historians, orators, and philosophers, witnesses to the best Alexandrian education. He also felt the full influence of that great development of Egyptian monasticism which was encouraged by the seclusion of Athanasius during his third exile and by the persecution of the |holy solitaries| after his death, and which made so deep an impression on the as yet unconverted Augustine (Confess. viii.6; cf. Isid. Ep. i.173, alluding to |the blessed Ammon|). Isidore resolved to adopt the monastic life in its coenobitic form, as it had been organized by Pachomius at Tabenna and was being exhibited by various communities in the Upper Thebaid which followed his rule, by others in the Lower Thebaid, and the 5,000 inmates of the cells of Nitria (cf. Fleury, bk. xx. c.9). The place he selected was near Pelusium, an ancient border-town at one of the Nile mouths. Jerome says it had |a very safe harbour| and was a centre of all |business connected with the sea| (Comm. in Ezech. ix.30), but its inhabitants were proverbial for dulness (Hieron. Ep. lxxxiv.9). It was the capital of the province of Augustamnica Prima, and as such the seat of a |corrector| or governor. When Isidore first knew it, it was |rich and populous| (Ep. iii.260). It suffered much from the maladministration of a Cappadocian named Gigantius. Believing that monastic life was the |imitation and receptacle of all the Lord's precepts| (Ep. i.278), Isidore became a thorough monk in his ascetic self-devotion. Whether he became abbat Tillemont considers uncertain (xv.101). We know from Facundus (Del. Tri. Capit. ii.4), and, indeed, virtually from himself (Ep. i.258), that he was ordained a presbyter, very likely by bp. Ammonius (Ep. ii.127), clearly not by his successor Eusebius, whom Isidore depicts as the centre of an ecclesiastical scandal which was to him a standing grief and offence.

Perhaps this ecclesiastical degeneracy near his own home led Isidore to generalize somewhat too despondingly as to its prevalence all around. Alluding to Eusebius's love of church-building he says: |It was not for the sake of walls, but of souls, that the King of Heaven came to visit us.| |Could I have chosen, I would have rather lived in apostolic times, when church buildings were not thus adorned but the church was decked with grace, than in these days, when the buildings are ornamented with all kinds of marble, and the church is bare and void of spiritual gifts| (Ep. ii.246; cf. ii.88). |once pastors would die for their flocks; now they destroy the sheep by causing the soul to stumble. . . . Once they distributed their goods to the needy; now they appropriate what belongs to the poor. Once they practised virtue; now they ostracize [a favourite phrase with Isidore] those who do. . . . I will not accuse all| (iii.223). |once men avoided the episcopate because of the greatness of its authority; now they rush into it because of the greatness of its luxury. . . . The dignity has lapsed from a priesthood into a tyranny, from a stewardship into a mastership [despoteian]. For they claim not to administer as stewards, but to appropriate as masters| (v.21, to a bishop). |It is not long since the church had splendid teachers and approved disciples;| and it might be so again if bishops would |lay aside their tyranny and shew a fatherly interest in their people . . . but until that foundation is well laid, I think it idle to talk about the top-stone| (v.126). He would say to worldly and arrogant prelates, |Abate your pride, relax your superciliousness, remember that you are but ashes. . . . Do not use the arms of the priesthood against the priesthood itself| (v.131). |When those who were crowned with the priesthood led an evangelical and apostolical life, the priesthood was naturally dreaded by the sovereignty; but now it is the sovereignty which is dreaded by the priesthood, or rather by those who seem to discharge it but by their conduct insult it| (v.268, to Cyril). |Some . . . openly reproach priests; others pay them outward respect but in secret revile them. . . . This does not surprise me. As they do not act like those of old, they are treated differently. Those of old corrected kings when they sinned; these do not correct even rich subjects; and if they try to correct some poor man, they are reproached as having been convicted of the same offences| (v.278). So, speaking to an ambitious deacon about I. Tim. iii.1, he corrects a misapprehension. |Paul did not say, 'Let every one desire the episcopate.' . . . It is a work, not a relaxation; a solicitude, not a luxury; a responsible ministration, not an irresponsible dominion; a fatherly supervision, not a tyrannical autocracy| (iii.216). Elsewhere he complains that bishops would receive persons excommunicated by other bishops, to the ruin of the discipline of souls (iii.259), and that in their bitter contests these official peacemakers would fain devour each other (iv.133). The secularization of the episcopal character he traces in one letter to the excessive honour paid by emperors to bishops, and adds: |There are bishops who take pains to live up to the apostolic standard; if you say, 'Very few,' I do not deny it; but . . . many are called, few are chosen.| Isidore exhibits an intense habitual moral earnestness, vigilant against all that implied or might tend to sin (v.17, 108). His downright censures, delivered under a serious conviction that he was specially appointed for the purpose (i.389; cf. Tillem. xv.102), naturally made him enemies among the higher clergy, who tried to put him under some sort of ban, and thereby |unintentionally set a crown upon his head| (Ep. v.131). But he was not less stern to faults in other orders, such as the inhospitality (i.50), gluttony (i.392), or |pugnacity| (i.298) of monks; their neglect of manual labour (i.49), the disorderliness of those who haunted cities, and frequented public shows, as if all that |the angelic life| required were |a cloak, a staff, and a beard| (i.92; cf. i.220, and Chalcedon, can.4). He rebukes a physician who is morally diseased (Ep. i.391), denounces a homicide who went |swaggering| through Pelusium (i.297), warns a wicked magistrate to flee from eternal punishment (i.31), remonstrates with a soldier for invading the cells of monks and teaching them false doctrine (i.327), and with a general for attempting to take away the privilege of sanctuary (i.174), etc. In a letter probably addressed to Pulcheria he reprobates the conduct of some imperial envoys, who had compromised their Christianity in the negotiation of a peace (iv.143).

The two great church questions in which Isidore took a decided part brought him into collision with his own patriarch, Cyril of Alexandria. The first related to the recognition of St. Chrysostom's memory as worthy of the reverence of faithful Christians. Theophilus of Alexandria had practically procured his deposition and exile; the West had supported Chrysostom while he lived and afterwards had suspended communion with churches which would not insert his name in their diptychs. Antioch had yielded; even Atticus of Constantinople had done so for peace' sake. Cyril, the nephew and successor of Theophilus, held fast to his uncle's position. Isidore had loved and honoured |holy John,| if he had not, as Nicephorus says (xiv.30), been instructed by him. In a letter to a grammarian he quotes Libanius's panegyric on his oratory (Ep. ii.42); to another Isidore he specially recommends |the most wise John's| commentary on the Romans (v.32); in another letter, recommending his treatise |on the Priesthood,| he calls him |the eye of the Byzantine church, and of every church| (i.156); and he describes the |tragedy of John| in the bitter words: |Theophilus, who was building-mad, and worshipped gold, and had a spite against my namesake| (see Socr. vi.9), was |put forward by Egypt to persecute that pious man and true theologian| (Ep. i.152). Similarly he wrote to Cyril: Put a stop to these contentions: do not involve the living Church in a private vengeance prosecuted out of duty to the dead, nor entail on her a perpetual division [aionion dichomoian] under pretence of piety| (i.570, transl. by Facund.). Cyril took this advice, and the |Joannite| quarrel came to an end, probably in 417-418 (Tillem. xiv.281; see Photius, Bibl.232).

The other matter was far more momentous. When Cyril was at the council of Ephesus endeavouring to crush Nestorianism, Isidore wrote to him: |Prejudice does not see clearly; antipathy does not see at all. If you wish to be clear of both these affections of the eyesight, do not pass violent sentences, but commit causes to just judgment. God . . . was pleased to 'come down and see' the cry of Sodom, thereby teaching us to inquire accurately. For many of those at Ephesus accuse you of pursuing a personal feud, instead of seeking the things of Jesus Christ in an orthodox way. 'He is,' they say, 'the nephew of Theophilus,'| etc. (Ep. i.310; cf. a Latin version, not quite accurate, by Facundus, l.c.). He had, however, no sympathy with Nestorius: in the close of the letter he seems to contrast him with Chrysostom; in the next letter he urges Theodosius II. to restrain his ministers from |dogmatizing| to the council, the court being then favourable to Nestorius. Isidore was, indeed, very zealous against all tendencies to Apollinarianism: he disliked the phrase, |God's Passion,| he insisted that the word |Incarnate| should be added -- it was the Passion of Christ (Ep. i.129); he urged on Cyril the authority of Athanasius for the phrase, |from two natures| (i.323), and he even uses the yet clearer phrase, ultimately adopted by the council of Chalcedon, |in both natures| (i.405); but he repeatedly insists on the unity of the Person of Christ, the God-Man, which was the point at issue in the controversy (i.23, 303, 405). He says that |the Lamb of God,| as the true Paschal victim, |combined the fire of the divine essence with the flesh that is now eaten by us| (i.219); in a letter to a Nestorianizing |scholasticus| he calls the Virgin (not simply Theotokos, but) |Mother of God Incarnate| (Theou sarkothentos metera,| i.54). When Cyril, two years later, came to an understanding with John of Antioch, Isidore exhorted him to be consistent and said that his most recent writings shewed him to be |either open to flattery or an agent of levity, swayed by vainglory instead of imitating the great athletes| of the faith, etc. (i.324). Perhaps these letters were |the treatise to| (or against) Cyril, which Evagrius ascribes to Isidore. Isidore was better employed when he uttered warnings against the rising heresy of Eutychianism: |To assert only one nature of Christ after the Incarnation is to take away both, either by a change of the divine or an abatement of the human| (i.102); among various errors he mentions |a fusion and co-mixture and abolition of the natures,| urging his correspondent, a presbyter, to cling to the |inspired| Nicene faith (iv.99).

His theology was generally characterized by accuracy and moderation. In a truly Athanasian spirit (cf. Athan. de Decr. Nic.22) he writes, |We are bound to know and believe that God is, not to busy ourselves as to what He is| (i.e. attempt to comprehend His essence; Ep. ii.299). He is emphatic against the two extremes of Arianism and Sabellianism. |If God was always like to Himself, He must have been always Father; therefore the Son is co-eternal| (i.241, cf. i.389; and Eunomians exceed Arians in making the Son a servant (i.246). Sabellians misinterpret John x.30, where hen shews the one essence, and the plural esmen the two hypostases (i.138). In the Trinity, the Godhead is one, but the hypostases are three (i.247). In Heb. i.3 the apaugasma indicates the coeternity, the charakter the personality; it is in things made that |before| and |after| have place, not in |the dread and sovereign Trinity;| (iii.18; cf. the Quicunque, ver.25). The belief in three Persons in one essence excludes alike Judaism and polytheism (Ep. iii.112). Of John xiv.28 he observes that |greater| or |less than| implies identity of nature (i.422). On Phil. ii.6 seq. he argues that, unless Christ was equal to the Father, the illustration is irrelevant; if He was equal, then it is pertinent. (iv.22). The passage is interesting as shewing that he, like St. Chrysostom, while interpreting ouch harpagmon -- Theo of the condescension, understood St. Paul to mean, |Christ could afford to waive the display of His co-equality, just because He did not regard it as a thing to which He had no right.|) He explains Rom. iii.25: when no other cure for a man's ills was possible, |God brought in the Only-begotten Son as a ransom; one Victim, surpassing all in worth, was offered up for all| (iv.100). He contends that the divinity of the Holy Spirit -- denied by Macedonians -- is involved in the divinity of the Son (i.20). Against the denial of the latter doctrine he cites a number of texts and explains the |humble language| used by Jesus as the result of the |economy| of the Incarnation, whereas the |lofty language| also used by Him would be inexplicable if He were a mere man (iv.166). |Baptism,| he writes to a count, |does not only wash away the uncleanness derived through Adam's transgression, for that much were nothing, but conveys a divine regeneration surpassing all words -- redemption, sanctification, adoption, etc.; and the baptized person, through the reception of the sacred mysteries [of the Eucharist: cf. i.228], becomes of one body with the Only-begotten, and is united to Him as the body to its head| (iii.195). He censures such abstinence as proceeds from |Manichean or Marcionite principles| (i.52); notices the omissions in the Marcionite gospel (i.371); accuses Novatianists of self-righteous assurance (i.100), but is credulous as to the scandalous imputations against the Montanists, much resembling the libels which had been circulated against the early Christians (i.242). His letters illustrate the activity of Jewish opposition to the Gospel. They tell us of a few who cavilled at the substitution of bread for bloody sacrifices in the Christian oblation (i.401); of one who criticized the |hyperbole| in John xxi.25 (ii.99); of another who argued from Haggai ii.9 that the temple would yet be restored (iv.17). Although Paganism, as a system and organized power, was defunct (i.270), yet its adherents were still voluble; they called Christianity |a new-fangled scheme of life| (ii.46), contemned its principle of faith (v.101), disparaged Scripture on account of its |barbaric diction| and its defects of style (iv.28), sneered at the |dead Jesus,| the Cross, the Sepulchre, and the |ignorance of the apostles| (iv.27), and Isidore heard one of them, a clever rhetorician, bursting into |a broad laugh| at the Passion, and presently put him to silence (iv.31). He wrote a |little treatise| (logidion) to prove that there was |no such thing as fate| (iii.253), and a book |against the Gentiles| to prove that divination was |nonsensical| (ii.137, 228), thus using in behalf of religion the |weapons and syllogisms of its opponents, to their confusion| (iii.87). Both are now lost. His familiarity with heathen writers -- among whom he criticizes Galen (iv.125) -- gave him great advantages in discussion with unbelievers; and he takes occasion from a question as to Origen's theory about the lapse of souls to cite a variety of opinions still current, apparently among those who still rejected the Gospel. |Some think that the soul is extinguished with the body . . . some have imagined that all is governed by chance; some have entrusted their lives to fate, necessity, and fortune . . . some have said that heaven is ruled by providence, but the earth is not| (iv.163). He speaks of the harm done to the Christians' argument by Christians' misconduct: |If we overcome heretics, pagans, and Jews by our correct doctrine, we are bound also to overcome them by our conduct, lest, when worsted on the former ground, they should think to overcome on the latter, and, after rejecting our faith, should adduce against it our own lives| (iv.226).

Very many of his letters are answers to questions as to texts of Scripture. Like Athanasius, he sometimes gives a choice of explanations (e.g. i.114); although a follower of Chrysostom, he shews an Alexandrian tendency to far-fetched and fantastic interpretation, as when he explains the live coal and the tongs in Isa. vi.7 to represent the divine essence and the flesh of Christ (i.42), or the carcase and the eagles to mean humanity ruined by tasting the forbidden fruit and lifted up by ascetic mortification (i.282), or when |he that is on the house-top| is made to denote a man who despises the present life (i.210). He reproves a presbyter for criticizing mystical interpreters (ii.81), but says also that those who attempt to make the whole of O.T. refer to Christ give an opening to pagans and heretics, |for while they strain the passages which do not refer to Him, they awaken suspicion as to those which without any straining do refer to Him| (ii.195). With similar good sense he remarks that St. Paul's concessions to Jewish observance were not a turning back to the law, but an |economy| for the sake of others who had not outgrown it (i.407). Again, he observes that church history should relieve despondency as to existing evils, and that even the present state of the church should remove mistrust as to the future (ii.5). Difficulties about the resurrection of the body are met by considering that the future body will not be like the present, but |ethereal and spiritual| (ii.43). He admits that ambition is a natural motive and can be turned to good (iii.34). Ascetic as he was, he dissuades from immoderate fasting, lest an |immoderate reaction| ensue (ii.45). Obedience to the government, when it does not interfere with religion, is inculcated, because our Lord |was registered and paid tribute to Caesar| (i.48). But he exhorts Theodosius II. (probably soon after his accession) to |combine mildness with authority| (i.35), intimating that his ears were too open to malicious representations (i.275); and he speaks to a |corrector| in the manly tones so seldom heard in those days, except from the lips of typical Christians: |He who has been invested with rule ought himself to be ruled by the laws; if he himself sets them aside, how can he be a lawful ruler?| (v.383). He considers that the genealogy traced through Joseph proves that Mary also sprang from David (i.7); that the fourth beast in Daniel meant the Roman empire (i.218); that the 70 weeks extended from the 20th year of Artaxerxes to the 8th of Claudius (iii.89); that Hebrews was by St. Paul (i.7). He interprets Mark xiii.32 evasively (i.117). He corrects the confusion between the two Philips (i.447). His shrewdness and humour, occasionally tinged with causticity, appear in various letters. |I hear that you have bought a great many books, and yet . . . know nothing of their contents;| take care lest you be called |a book's-grave,| or |moth-feeder|; then comes a serious allusion to the buried talent (i.127). He tells a bishop that he trains the younger ministers well, but spoils them by over-praising them (i.202). He hears that Zosimus can say by heart some passages of St. Basil and suggests that he should read a certain homily against drunkards (i.61). He asks an ascetic why he |abstains from meat and feeds greedily on revilings| (i.446). His friend Harpocras, a good |sophist| (whom he recommends for a vacant mastership, v.458, and urges to keep his boys from the theatre and hippodrome, v.185), had written a sarcastic |monody,| or elegy, on Zosimus and his fellows, as already |dead in sin|; Isidore, whom he had requested to forward it to them, defers doing so, lest he should infuriate them against the author; however, he says in effect, if you really mean it to go, send it yourself, and then, if a feud arises, you will have no one else to blame (v.52). He remarks that |some people are allowed to be tempted to cure them of the notion that they are great and invincible persons| (v.39). He points out to a palace chamberlain the inconsistence of being glib at Scripture quotations and |mad after other people's property| (i.27). But for all this keenness and didactic severity, and in spite of his expressed approval of the use of torture (i.116), he impresses us as a man of kindly disposition, warm in his friendships (see Epp. i.161, ii.31, v.125). He observes that |God values nothing more than love, for the sake of which He became man and obedient unto death; for on this account also the first-called of His disciples were two brothers . . . our Saviour thus intimating that He wills all His disciples to be united fraternally| (i.10). In this spirit he says of slaves, |Prejudice or fortune . . . has made them our property, but we are all one by nature, by the faith, by the judgment to come| (i.471); and he tells how a young man came to his cell, asked to see him, was introduced by the porter, fell at his feet in tears in silence, then, on being reassured, said that he was the servant of Iron the barrister, and had offended his master in ignorance, but too deeply for pardon. |I cannot think,| writes Isidore, |that the true Christian Iron, who knows the grace that has set all men free, can hold a slave| (oiketen echein, i.142). This tenderness is in harmony with the candour (|si sainte et si belle,| says Tillemont, xv.104) with which he owns that when he has tried to pray for them who have deliberately injured him, he has found himself doing so |with his lips only.| |Not that I doubt that some have attained that height of excellence: rather, I rejoice at and rejoice with them, and would desire to reach the same point| (v.398).

Isidore's letters naturally contain allusions to the religious customs or opinions of his age: such as pilgrimage to the shrines of the saints, as of St. Peter (ii.5; cf. i.160 on that of Thecla, and i.226 on the martyrs who |guard the city| of Pelusium); the benediction given by the bishop |from his high chair,| and the response |And with thy spirit| (i.122); the deacon's linen garment, and the bishop's woollen |omophorion| which he took off when the gospel was read (i.136); the right of sanctuary (i.174); the wrongfulness of exacting an oath (i.155).

His death cannot be placed later than 449 or 450 (see Tillem. xv.116).

Two thousand letters of his, we are told, were collected by the zealously anti-Monophysite community of Acoemetae, or |sleepless| monks, at Constantinople, and arranged in 4 vols. of 500 letters each. This collection appears to be identical with the extant 2,012 letters, distributed, without regard to chronology, into 5 books (see Tillem. xv.117, 847), of which the first three were edited by Billius, the fourth by Rittershusius, and the fifth by Andrew Schott, a Jesuit; the whole being included in the ed. pub. at Paris in 1638. Many of the letters are, in effect, repetitions. See Bouuy, De S. Isid. Pel. lib. iii. (Nîmes, 1885); also C. H. Turner and E. K. Lake in Journ. of Theol Stud. vol. vi. pp.70, 270.


Ivo, St., bp. in Britain
Ivo, St. (Yvo), June 19, a supposed Persian bp. in Britain, after whom the town of St. Ives in Hunts was named. His Life was written by the monk Goscelin when resident at Ramsey, towards the end of 11th cent., based on a more diffused account by a previous abbat Andrew, who collected his information while in the East on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem in 1020. Goscelin's Life is printed in Boll. Acta SS.10 June ii.288. It describes Ivo as a missionary bishop, a star of the East, a messenger of the true Sun, divinely marked out for work in Britain. Quitting Persia, he passed through Asia and Illyricum to Rome, enlightening every place he visited. From Rome he proceeded to Gaul, where the admiring king and nobles would have detained him, but he pushed forward to Britain with his three companions. There he rescued the people from idolatry. The first-fruit of his labours was |a youth of patrician dignity named Patricius, the son of a Senator.| Passing into Mercia, Ivo settled at the vill of Slepe, 3 English leucae (Gosc. c.2, § 8) from Huntedun. There he laboured many years, died, and was buried. About 100 lustra (c.1, § 4) had passed since the bishop's death, when a peasant of Slepe struck with his plough a stone sarcophagus, within which were found, besides human remains, a silver chalice and insignia of the episcopal rank. Slepe being one of the estates of the abbey of Ramsey, 8 leucae (c.2, § 8) distant, abbat Eadnoth was informed of this. The same night a man of Slepe saw in a vision one robed as a bishop, with ornaments like those in the sarcophagus, who said he was St. Ivo and wished to be removed to the abbey, with two of his companions, whose burial-places he described. The translation was accordingly effected, and on the spot where the saint was found a church was dedicated to him, connected with which was a priory as a cell of the parent abbey. The spot was thenceforth known as St. Ives. A later hand adds that temp. Henry I. the relics of the two companions were re-translated to St. Ives. As Ramsey abbey was founded about 991 or a little earlier (Mon. Hist. Brit.580 D; Monast. Angl. ii.547), Eadnoth the first abbat (Liber Eliens. ed. Stewart, p.188) would be living c.1000 (the common date of the translation is 1001). Reckoning back 100 lustra or 400 years (computing by the four-year lustrum), we arrive at a.d.600 as about the period of Ivo's death, and this is the year given by Florence of Worcester (Chron. in M. H. B.526). His mission at Slepe must thus be placed c.580-600, which nearly corresponds with the reign of the emperor Maurice, with whom Diceto (in Gale, iii.559) makes him contemporary. Thus Ivo's Mercian mission preceded the arrival of Augustine by about half a generation and anticipated by some 70 years the conversion of Mercia as narrated in Bede. The obvious improbability of this leaves the monks of Ramsey responsible for the legend.

Possibly there may be here a lingering tradition of old British Christianity and a reminiscence of its Oriental origin, leaving the period out of the question. It would not be surprising if a British remnant should have survived in that locality as late as the Conquest. There are indications that Britons did actually maintain themselves in E. Mercia and the fastnesses of the fens long after the conversion of the English race. Moreover, the name of Patrick gives the story a Celtic look, and the locality might have been a sort of eastern Glastonbury. The Celtic element in the first conversion of the Mercian Angles was likely to prolong the vitality of Celtic traditions. If there was Celtic blood surviving in the fens when Ramsey was founded, the Oriental colouring of the legend is accounted for. The stone sarcophagus may have been a genuine Roman relic, furnishing a material basis for the story and suggesting the occasion. If the above inferences are not unreasonable, the legend of St. Ivo contains a reminiscence that the Christian missionaries who reached Britain from the East came by way of Gaul and of the tradition of their having been sent from Rome.

Slepe is found in Domesday and is still the name of one of the manors of St. Ives.

The priory of St. Ives, the ruins of which survive, is described in Monast. Angl. ii.631. In the time of Brompton (Twysd. p.883) no saint in England was so eminent as St. Ivo at Ramsey for the cure of diseases.

The story was written again by John of Tynemouth in 14th cent., in whose Sanctilogium, before the MS. was burnt, it stood No.70 (Smith, Cat. Cotton MSS. p.29). It was one of those adopted by Capgrave in 15th cent. for his Nova Legenda (ff.199) and so is preserved. This version states that the pope commissioned him to Britain. The MS. Lives of Ivo are mentioned by Hardy (Desc. Cat. i.184-186), and the Life by Goscelin exists as a Bodleian manuscript in a fuller form than the recension given by the Bollandists, the Life in Capgrave being another abridgment. One of the MSS. mentioned by Hardy purports to be the very Life by abbat Andrew referred to by Goscelin.


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