Greek Literature in Late Antiquity: Dynamism, Didacticism, Classicism

Eusebius’ Praeparatio Evangelica as Literary Experiment

Aaron P. Johnson, University of Texas, Austin


Eusebius’ Praeparatio Evangelica is a masterful work that defies easy categorization. Written between 314 and 324, soon after Eusebius had become bishop of the metropolis of Caesarea in Palestine, its fifteen books offered a sustained critique of Greek thought by the formidably erudite librarian and scholar. [1] Together with its sister work, the Demonstratio Evangelica, the Praeparatio marks a monumental achievement based on Eusebius’ wide reading, comprehensive vision, and an apologetic zeal that carried a sometimes sarcastic edge. The Praeparatio, according to scholarly consensus, directed its polemical denunciations against the Greeks, in particular the defender of traditional Greek religion, Porphyry of Tyre. [2] The Jews, in turn, were the primary target of the Demonstratio’s twenty books, only the first ten of which survive along with fragments of the fifteenth book. [3] Together, the Praeparatio and Demonstratio formed a two-pronged assault against early Christianity’s most dangerous intellectual foes.

While the apologist labored at his magisterial defense of Christianity, the second decade of the fourth century was simultaneously producing dramatic yet still uncertain changes for Church and Empire alike. The so-called ‘Edict of Milan’ had recently been issued granting religious toleration following the Great Persecution, [4] and the defeat of the persecuting emperor Maximinus Daia at the hands of Licinius in 313 was deeply impressed upon Eusebius’ mind. [5] The stability of Church and Empire was, however, short-lived. Only an uneasy peace had patched up the friction between Licinius and Constantine following their clashes at Cibalae and Adrianople in 314. [6] In the East, Christians began to feel the brunt of Licinius’ withdrawal from the tolerant stance of Milan. [7] The Church in the West suffered the unsuccessful attempts of Constantine to resolve the Donatist schism. It would be a number of decades before anything like a ‘Constantinian turn’ could be fully envisioned. [8]

Eusebius had already set high standards for himself in a diverse range of genres and in numerous areas of inquiry. At the time of Eusebius’ ascendancy to the bishopric in the previous year, he had already established himself as an historian, apologist and biblical scholar of no small merit, [9] with works such as the Chronicle, an early edition of his Ecclesiastical History, [10] the General Elementary Introduction (a work to which I will return), and the short and somewhat anomalous Against Hierocles. [11] His mammoth apologetic project, the Praeparatio and Demonstratio Evangelica, would dwarf his previous works, as well as his predecessors in the apologetic tradition.

In comparison with contemporary apologies by Athanasius and Marcellus of Ancyra, [12] the massive bulk of the appeared as the apology to end all apologies, and could arguably be seen as the culmination of a rich tradition of Christian apologetics. Yet, in the estimation of some modern readers the Praeparatio may have missed its mark. Approximately 71 percent of its pages consisted of verbatim quotations from earlier sources. [13] A great many authors would only be names to us if it were not for Eusebius’ concern to let these sources speak in their own voice, sometimes for many pages. [14] Students of these otherwise lost works are understandably grateful for the precious fragments; evaluations of Eusebius himself have often been less kind. Eusebius is seen as the unoriginal and awkward compiler of an anthology of others’ writings. One modern account confesses, ‘[the Praeparatio] is tedious and laborious reading, made up of extracts from many authors’, [15] and, ‘the reader lays [it] aside…not without a sense of relief ’. [16] According to another, the Praeparatio reveals a ‘highly irregular’ author, who is ‘little inclined to investigate or solidly establish the ideas whose truth and validity he proclaims’; Eusebius has instead produced ‘a mosaic which lacks eloquence’. [17] Another treatment surmises, ‘[Eusebius’] part in the work is that of an editor or compiler rather than of an original author.’ [18]

His most important contribution thus seems to be an extravagant display of learning in order to prove that Christians did, in fact, know the works of their adversaries and had not converted to Christianity without careful consideration of the other options. [19] This may be true. Yet, his excessive citations and ‘documentary anxiety’ [20] comprise only one element of Eusebius’ apologetic enterprise. More recent approaches to the Praeparatio have attempted to look past the Herculean citational labors and instead consider its importance for the construction of Christian, Jewish or Greek identities. [21] Indeed, the early apologetic task in general was fundamentally about the construction of identities. [22] Non-Christian identities were polemically construed and artfully manipulated so as to be easily castigated, dismissed or appropriated into new Christian frameworks. At the same time, the apologists sought to articulate a defensible identity of who the Christians were, where they had come from, and what sort of communal life, or politeia, they embodied in their corporate existence.


The recent attentiveness to the identity-forming mechanisms of these texts has done much in elucidating early apologetics as a social as well as literary phenomenon. While this scholarly approach needs to be pursued further, in what follows I want to focus on the literary identity of the text itself, that is, on the issue of genre. In particular, I want to consider how Eusebius pushes the literary boundaries of Christian apologia in a decidedly pedagogical direction. [23] Hence, these considerations will enhance any analysis of the identities (Christian, Greek or Jewish) formulated in the text. I argue that the formation of Christian minds is at the heart of Eusebius’ apologetic undertaking; and hence, we catch a glimpse of the early fourth-century attempt to establish a Christian identity for a new age.

Eusebius refers to the Praeparatio as an apologia in a number of passages throughout the text. A biblical passage from First Peter provides the starting point for his conception of the apologetic task. He quotes it twice in the programmatic statements of Book One: ‘Quite reasonably he commends all of us, “to be ready with an apologia to all who ask us for a reason (logon) in regard to the hope within us”.’ [24] This exhortation would be alluded to periodically throughout the Praeparatio. For instance, at 4.1.5 Eusebius writes: ‘It is time to give the reason (logon) among us and to submit an apology (apologismon) of our Savior’s evangelic system.’ [25]

In these occurrences and others, Eusebius positions his apology as a defense of Christianity against a particular series of accusations. He had presented these accusations early on. According to Eusebius, ‘some Greek’ might reasonably want to know if the Christians were Greeks or barbarians, for they had rejected the gods and the way of life of their ancestors (a thing that was justly punishable); they had warred against the gods, and in their stead had adopted with unreasoning faith the mythologies of the Jews, who were the enemies of all the nations. [26]

Eusebius consistently kept these questions at the forefront throughout the Praeparatio, and especially in the other occurrences of apologia in the text. So at one point, he comments: ‘the aim of my project has proposed to submit an apology (apologismon) of our having preferred, not without reason, the Hebrew theology to the Greek philosophy.’ [27] In his summarizing remarks at the beginning of the last book, Eusebius claims: ‘I have wanted to refute the polytheistic error of the nations in a composition and in an apology (apologia) for our withdrawing from them…’ [28] Hence, through the evocation of the exhortation in First Peter and the recurrence of the terminology of apologia, Eusebius self-consciously identifies the Praeparatio as a sustained defense against the hostile accusations of Christianity’s opponents. Whatever innovations Eusebius may have seen himself as introducing, he nonetheless situated the work within the ongoing tradition of apologetics.

The extensive use of verbatim citations from other authors was meant, from this standpoint, to function as the invoking of witnesses to prove the innocence of the accused Christians against the indictments of their denouncers. The witnesses summoned as testimony, however, had to be drawn from the ranks of the accusers, not from Christian sources. ‘Whence indeed’, he asks, ‘shall we confirm our proofs? Surely not from our own literature, lest we should seem to make things easy for our argument; the witnesses presented by us are from the Greeks themselves and those boasting in philosophy and those who have explored the rest of the history of the nations.’ [29] And so begins his citational parade of Greek sources, from Diodorus and Plutarch to Plato and Numenius of Apamea. [30] Nearly every book of the Praeparatio possesses the persistent declaration that the witnesses to his case have been gathered from indigenous sources, their statements cannot be impugned as being unfairly favorable to Christianity. [31]

Eusebius was certainly not the first to use direct quotation from the opposition in an apologetic context. He had been preceded by the likes of Josephus, Tatian and Clement; [32] and his contemporaries Marcellus of Ancyra and Lactantius found a citational form of apologetic methodology amenable to their own projects. [33] The Praeparatio is distinguished from these, at the very least, by its sheer size, breadth and consistency. Beyond these distinctive marks, the Praeparatio’s sources were not meant merely to clear Christians from guilt under the charges brought against them, but were also manipulated so as to turn the accusations back against the Greeks themselves with a force unparalleled elsewhere in ancient literature. Porphyry’s writings provide both ‘testimony and refutation (elenchos)’, Eusebius wryly comments, scarcely concealing his delight at such an apt source (the virulent opponent of Christianity not only contradicted the other Greeks, but also himself); for the pagan philosopher’s works could be turned into ‘missiles and arrows’ against the Greeks (5.5.5). [34] The weapons of Christianity’s opponents were effectively made to ricochet back onto the ranks of Greek calumniators. [35] Far from being immune to the charges of impiety and misanthropy, it was the Greeks who had left the ways of piety and friendship with God, sacrificing animals or even humans, and deifying astral phenomena (at best) or their passions and sexual pleasure (at worst). [36] Furthermore, far from being the sole guardians of an ancient and pristine wisdom, the Greeks had been late-comers, who had stolen the fruits of barbarian wisdom for themselves, only to spoil them through deviation and discord. [37] The defense offered in the Praeparatio has turned into a prosecution; apologia has become elenchos.

This emphasis on accusation and rebuttal demonstrates Eusebius’ conscious and deliberate identification with the classic apologies of the second and third centuries. [38] While only the defense speeches put into the mouths of Christian martyrs at their trials were apologiai in a strict sense of a defense speech delivered at a trial, [39] a number of literary works addressed to emperors by apologists such as Quadratus, Aristides and Justin Martyr were also given the appellation of apology by Eusebius in his Ecclesiastical History. [40] Each of these works center upon, and relate themselves to, such forensic dealings, though at one remove, since they take their appeal for justice before the tribunal of the emperor or the Senate themselves. [41] Petitions for justice by interested parties in a dispute were common between inhabitants of the eastern Mediterranean and the Roman emperor. [42] The earliest apologies arose within this context, though the historicity of actual encounters, or even of the emperor reading their works, is impossible to prove. Whether these apologetic writings were ever actually heard by an emperor matters little here, however; the imagined forensic context defined their form and provided a site for literary self-positioning.

Though not named as such by Eusebius, Origen referred to his defense against the anti-Christian assault of Celsus as an apologia. [43] The prologue, in fact, explicitly recalls the trial of Christ before Pontius Pilate—an odd trial since the defendant refused to offer a verbal defense. Christ ‘returned no answer, believing that His whole life and conduct among the Jews were a better refutation than any answer to the false testimony, or than any formal defense against the accusations.’ [44] Whereas Christ had remained silent, however, Origen claims that he has been called upon by his patron Ambrosius to produce a written answer to the charges, even though such a written apologia would, if anything, weaken the defense already offered by Christ through the lives of his disciples, ‘which are a pre-eminent testimony, and one that rises superior to all false witness, and refutes and overthrows all unfounded accusation and charges’. [45]

In spite of this appeal to the effectiveness of unwritten witnesses to the truth of the Gospel, Origen sets out to meet Celsus’ accusations point by point (if he could, Origen claims, he would ‘extract each dart which wounded’ the readers of Celsus’ True Word). [46] The difficulty in mapping an overall coherent order to the Contra Celsum’s structure, as well as our ability to cull a larger number of Celsus’ fragments from this work, is due in no small part to this fact. [47] Throughout the Contra Celsum, Origen confines his literary horizons firmly within the limits of a detailed defense against the particular allegations of the pagan accuser. Origen’s work unproblematically joins the tradition of written rebuttals to the charges of Christianity’s opponents produced by Quadratus, Justin and others.


Eusebius’ repeated use of the term apologia in describing his work, combined with his use of quotations as witnesses for his defense, seems to establish the Praeparatio squarely within this apologetic tradition of formulating answers to the charges brought against the Christians. Yet he pushed the boundaries of apology beyond the defense genre. In his prologue, he included as his predecessors not only those who countered the hostile accusations of critics, [48] but also those who wrote commentaries and philological examinations of the Scriptures and those who gave homilies on certain passages. [49] Literary form, or genre in a strict sense, was not at issue. [50] It was the defensive function of these quite different writings that counted towards their inclusion under a broader apologetic rubric.

Even beyond this broadening of the apologetic genre to include other types of works, Eusebius boldly declares that he intends to approach the apologetic task in a way all his own. After enumerating the other apologetic approaches of those who have preceded him, Eusebius succinctly states, ‘The work in hand is fashioned by us in our own way (idiōs).’ [51] It has been suggested by Laurin that Eusebius’ distinctive approach lies in his thorough-going response to the charge that Christians had chosen their religion on the grounds of irrational faith. [52] Alternatively, his citational methodology, quoting from the Greeks’ own sources, has recently been recommended as defining Eusebius’ novelty. [53] These possibilities, however, hardly make sense of the immediate context of Eusebius’ claim, which had invoked a broad range of texts for the apologetic tradition within which he was placing himself. For this reason, others have argued that the Praeparatio’s particularity consisted in a mixing of the various genres that he had mentioned in that context: refutations of particular adversaries, exegetical commentaries, and polemical works of apologetics. [54] Yet, even here, the statements that directly follow his claim to novelty (containing quotations from the epistles of Paul) have been left out of consideration. [55] In addition, Eusebius, while he certainly exhibits a refusal to be confined by narrow restraints of genre as a particular literary form, hardly ventures into the genres that he claims his predecessors had used for apologetic ends. It is rather difficult to identify homiletic material (aside from various protreptic passages) [56] or exegetical commentary (aside from brief etymological notes) [57] in any depth in the Praeparatio. Nor does Eusebius provide a point-by-point response to the arguments of a pagan opponent.

Grappling with Eusebius’ originality in the Praeparatio must involve the material on either side of his distinctive claim. In other words, we must first attend to issues of genre and in particular to Eusebius’ crossing of generic boundaries. Secondly, we must give proper weight to Eusebius’ argument, based upon passages from Paul, for the power of the Gospel in its spread throughout the world—that is, to Eusebius’ conceptual crossing of ethnic boundaries. Both of these boundary-crossings, I would argue, are at the heart of the Praeparatio’s innovative particularity.

III.A The Praeparatio as Eisagoge

As already noted, most readers of this text have considered it to be aimed at the Greeks. Yet even before he mentions the accusations of the Greeks, he avers that he is providing an elementary introduction for new converts to Christianity. ‘For it seems to me’, he writes, ‘that with this arrangement the discourse will proceed to the more perfect teaching of the Demonstratio Evangelica and towards the comprehension of deeper doctrines, if the material of the Praeparation might be as a guide for us, taking the place of a primer and introduction (stoicheiōseōs kai eisagōgēs), being appropriate for those from the nations recently coming [to the faith].’ [58] Eusebius thus wishes to push beyond the boundaries of apologia to incorporate the function of an eisagōgē or introduction. The apology offered in the Praeparatio does not pretend to be addressed to non-Christians. The defense against outside criticism is, rather, turned inward to Christianity’s own recent converts. [59]

Interestingly, the phrase ‘primer and introduction’ recalls the title of a work Eusebius had produced in the latter years of the Great Persecution (roughly 310 AD). [60] The General Elementary Introduction survives only in part: Books 5–9 have been transmitted as Books 1–4 of the Prophetic Eclogues (a title which Eusebius himself gives these books), [61] while the tenth book may have survived as the misnamed Commentary on Luke—though this is far from certain. [62] Fortunately, we have enough of this work to get an idea of what Eusebius aimed at. [63] In the initial fragmentary pages of the first book of the Prophetic Eclogues (that is, the fifth book of the General Elementary Introduction) he says that his selections of prophetic passages will be like ‘the flower-cullings (apanthisma) from intellectual meadows’, [64] which will contribute ‘to the truly beneficial and sound orthodoxy’. [65]

It is necessary to attend [to this] not only for those advanced in their disposition…but also for those who have passed over and have just now come to the divine word for the first time; and I suppose the subject under discussion will be useful in different ways to them, so that they might be able to understand precisely from this the assurance regarding the words they have been instructed in (katēchēthēsan). [66]

Throughout the extant portions of the General Elementary Introduction, Eusebius follows the method of quoting from select passages of Scripture and then offering brief comments, sometimes of only a line or so, on the importance of the passage in light of the incarnation and establishment of the Church. By offering only brief notes on these quotations, he claims that his treatment will be ‘like an eisagōgē’. [67] In other words, Eusebius was attempting to produce something like a curricular text for students of the Hebrew scriptures; his Introduction sought to guide students through ancient texts that were surely mystifying to the new convert. Especially within a context of rival interpretations of these texts by heretics and Jews, the inexperienced recruits to the faith would have found the Hebrew writings troubling. [68] Eusebius’ guide to orthodoxy was aimed at training his pupils in how to read texts. The process, as well as the results, were by no means guaranteed, as the student had to be firmly and persistently directed away from interpretive pitfalls by the master reader. [69]

Introductory manuals (eisagōgai) for training students in reading a variety of texts (medical, mathematical, philosophical) became common in the Hellenistic and Roman periods in the eastern Mediterranean region. [70] They could be placed at the beginning of commentaries on individual texts or could stand as independent pieces. [71] Significant examples of independent isagogic texts have survived from the Platonic tradition. The Platonist teacher of Galen and sole representative of the ‘school of Gaius’, Albinus (c. 150 AD), was an important contributor to the development of a curriculum for the student of the Platonic corpus. [72] Albinus’ Eisagōgē or Prologos [73] commenced with a definition of ‘dialogue’ as a literary form. [74] He then proceeded to classify the dialogues by ‘character’, [75] and further offered his opinion on the best order of approaching Plato’s dialogues for the uninitiated reader (eschewing Thrasyllus’ tetralogical ordering). [76] He thus exhibits the early struggle of developing a systematic method for approaching the dialogues that would later find canonical form in Iamblichus. [77]

Alcinous’ Didaskalikos took a different line (and may, in any case, have been written for the teacher, rather than the student, of Platonic texts). [78] Hence, his introduction discussed key aspects of the philosopher’s thought under the tripartite structure of the dialectical, the theoretical (comprising both physics and theology), and the practical (or ethical), as an introduction (pros eisagōgēn) [79] to Plato’s thought for his students. [80] Similarly, Porphyry had composed an Eisagōgē to logic through treatment of Aristotle’s Categories, which was to have a profound effect upon medieval curricula, receiving in turn its own introductions and commentaries by later authors. [81] Porphyry’s work is unique from the introductions of Albinus or Alcinous in that it sought to introduce students to the field of logic, rather than to the works or thought of an individual philosopher. [82]

Among Christian thinkers, the one-time head of the Aristotelian school at Alexandria and later bishop of Syrian Laodicea, Anatolius, had, according to Eusebius, composed Arithmetical Introductions, which evinced his great learning in divine things. [83] If this Anatolius is identical with the teacher of Iamblichus mentioned by Eunapius, and the dedicatee of Porphyry’s Homeric Questions, then he was certainly a well-connected and influential figure in late antique intellectual circles. [84] Fragments of his Arithmeticae Eisagōgai discuss answers to basic questions for the beginner in the discipline of mathematics: What is mathematics? From what does mathematics receive its name? How many parts of mathematics are there? and so on. [85] Since mathematics is a branch of philosophy, Anatolius provides a survey of Aristotle’s divisions of philosophy. His students would be provided with a survey of mathematics’ place within scientific knowledge and the major figures in the history of mathematics.

The relation of the Arithmeticae Eisagōgai to the Anatolian text quoted in the Theologoumena Arithmeticae (attributed to Iamblichus) and the Peri Dekados (an epitome of Anatolius), both of which can be identified with some probability, [86] is unclear. Since the Arithmeticae Eisagōgai consisted of ten books, the material from the Theol. Arithmet. and the Peri Dekados, which contain a Pythagoreanizing treatment of the first ten numbers, could be epitomized or otherwise reworked from another portion of Anatolius’ Arithmeticae Eisagōgai that sought to offer a survey of number symbolism. Whatever the case might be, Anatolius’ works represent an introduction more like Porphyry’s than those of Albinus or Alcinous. Anatolius’ subject was, after all, the discipline of arithmetic as a whole, not of an individual philosopher. At the same time, the emphasis on defining relevant terms (What is mathematics?) is shared with Albinus (What is a dialogue?). It is, in any case, evident that eisagōgai by Christian intellectuals on philosophical subjects were available to the librarian of Caesarea.

These remarks on earlier eisagōgai, while scarcely exhausting the relevant material produced in the first three centuries, should exhibit the range and fluidity of introductory texts. Occupying no single literary form or rigid structure, [87] these works mark the creativity and assiduity of educators in a number of subjects and within varied frameworks and intellectual projects. Eusebius’ General Elementary Introduction thus joined a thriving tradition of isagogical literature, in which he was free to experiment in his development of a Christian curriculum. In the same way that earlier introductions sought to simplify and schematize the classic texts of their philosophical traditions for the easy comprehension of beginners, the General Elementary Introduction made a distinctively Christocentric (or rather, Logocentric) approach to sometimes obscure ancient Hebrew texts accessible to those who desired to progress in their Christian understanding of the Scriptures. The focus was firmly pedagogical. Even though Eusebius never missed an opportunity to attack the interpretations of Jews and heretics, his aim was the instruction of those who had commenced their schooling in the faith.

In a similar way, the Praeparatio, while offering answers to the critics of Christianity as an apologia, was directed towards Christian instruction as ‘a primer and introduction’ to a Christian understanding of pagan and Christian texts about God, the ‘so-called gods’, and the nations of the world. Both Albinus’ and Anatolius’ eisagōgai had commenced with the questions that would introduce their students to the subject at hand (What is a dialogue? What is mathematics?). Eusebius had correspondingly began the Praeparatio with the claim that he was seeking to answer the question, What is Christianity? His answer to this question took in the big picture—in fact, he sought to set his answer within world-historical terms, beginning with the greatest antiquity and following the histories of the nations up to his present day. Such a broad scope would require the many books of both the Praeparatio and the Demonstratio Evangelica. In each, Eusebius exercised his vast literary knowledge to guide students through the texts of numerous traditions to help them recognize in a comprehensive manner the answer to Christian identity. [88]

The Praeparatio guided Christian students in learning to read the texts of the religious and philosophical traditions that competed for their attention in a way that Eusebius felt would be distinctively Christian, and as such, distinctively rational, wise and pious. How was a Christian to understand the teachings of Plato or the other philosophical schools (Books 11–15)? How was a Christian to make sense of the three-fold division of theology under mythological, allegorical and political rubrics (Books 1–6)? Greek theological thought had developed in complex and seductive ways. Without ignoring the texts of this tradition and retreating into an irrational faith, how could a Christian read these texts in a way that was at once faithful to the Christian tradition and orthodoxy (as defined by Eusebius), as well as philosophically legitimate and rationally valid (again, as defined by Eusebius)?

These were the questions guiding the Praeparatio, with its lengthy quotations and brief comments, its attention to contradictions between texts (even of the same author), and its constant sign-posting and observance of the structure and progression of its citational argument. The exhortation to read and understand echoes throughout the Praeparatio’s fifteen books: ‘Come, let us look…’; [89] ‘let us see next…’; [90] ‘listen…’; [91] ‘it is good to examine this at leisure’; [92] ‘you will understand when you learn…’; [93] ‘take and read’. [94] The hortatory subjunctive recurs with force and persistence. [95] Eusebius invokes the student to read and understand these texts from within a Christian framework. Reading in the company of Eusebius, the master of ancient texts, we learn that the myths are actually histories of humans not gods, that the allegories were only embarrassed attempts to cover up this fact, that the theology of the polis cults was rooted in daemonic activity, [96] that Plato merely borrowed from Hebrew wisdom (though imperfectly), that the philosophical schools were riddled with contradictions and discord, that the Hebrew writings alone contained ancient wisdom and truth. [97]

Whether such instruction was to be undertaken alone by individual readers of Eusebius’ Praeparatio (as well as his General Elementary Introduction and his Demonstratio Evangelica), or was meant to guide a sort of ‘in class’ curriculum remains unclear. It may be that such introductions were meant to be manuals for teachers rather than students (as has been argued for Alcinous’ Didaskalikos). [98] The Praeparatio was, after all, dedicated to Theodotus of Laodicea, [99] whose duties as a bishop may have involved Christian education of a sort that Anatolius himself may have developed when he had been made bishop there in the late 270’s. [100] Eusebius’ conscientious use of chapter headings and indices would have made the Praeparatio an ideal reference tool for teachers; and his copious citations would have been useful for those without ready access to Greek texts like those held in the library at Caesarea.

Brief reflection on the curriculum of Origen may shed additional light on the potential uses of the Praeparatio and Demonstratio as they might have functioned together. [101] We know that Origen’s pedagogical method involved leading students through successive stages of learning, beginning with Greek philosophy and advancing to the deeper truths of scriptural doctrines. Because of his popularity as a teacher, Origen was forced to divide the students. He entrusted the beginners to Heraclas, one of Origen’s senior students, for ‘the first introduction (eisagōgē) of elementary matters’, while the advanced students were instructed by Origen himself. [102] For those who had a knack for intellectual pursuits, Origen ‘introduced’ them to the field of philosophy: leading them through the ‘preparatory studies’ (propaideumata) like geometry and arithmetic, he proceeded to instruction in the tenets of the philosophical schools, ‘commenting upon (hupomnēmatizomenos) and looking (theōrōn) into each of their writings’. [103] Even the less educated were encouraged in the study of the ‘liberal arts’ (enkuklia grammata) as a preparation for biblical studies.

Gregory Thaumaturgus presents his experience while a student of Origen as following the tripartite curricular structure of logic, physics, ethics, [104] and then culminating in theological studies based upon the Scriptures. [105] Engagement with the various tenets of the philosophical schools would inevitably reveal their disagreement, which would highlight the necessity of turning to the stability offered by the scriptural tradition. [106] Whether from the enigmatic nature of the oracles or from human ignorance, the student of the Scriptures required a teacher proficient in these sacred writings to lead them in the correct interpretation. [107] Origen was just such an expert guide. Further details on the actual day-to-day practice of Origen’s curriculum and pedagogical method elude us. [108] The importance of learning to read the pagan literature from a proper perspective, as a foundation for studying the deeper truths of the scriptures, remains clear. Furthermore, while we may be unable to delineate with precision Origen’s division of his students into beginning and advanced classes, and what the exact subjects covered by each group was, we recognize the distinction of appropriate levels of learning for various students as a common feature among other ancient authors with educational aims. [109]

Similarly, Eusebius’ Praeparatio focused extensively on Greek thought, offering brief comments on the quotations of Greek authors as a guide for the student learning to think ‘Christianly’ and understand in a new way elements of Greek history, religion and philosophy. The Demonstratio, on the other hand, delved into the true significations of the Hebrew Scriptures, like the Prophetic Eclogues, teaching the student to comprehend these texts within a Christian framework. The Praeparatio carried, therefore, a two-fold function: to provide an introduction to understanding non-Christian (especially Greek) texts, and to deal with material that Eusebius thought was preliminary to the more advanced knowledge that would be covered in the Demonstratio—in other words, to be a ‘preparation for the Evangelic Demonstration’. [110] The Praeparatio was simultaneously both ‘introduction’ and ‘preparation’.

Special emphasis needs to be given here to what Eusebius intends with a title like Praeparatio Evangelica, since there has been no little confusion about what Eusebius is doing in the Praeparatio. For too long, the Praeparatio has been deemed an argument defending the apologetic historical account of Greek wisdom as a ‘preparation for the Gospel’. Greek philosophical thought, according to this view, represented the Logos’ work in human history, preparing pagans for the incarnation—just as Moses and the prophets had served a preparatory function among the Jews. While this sort of view occurs elsewhere in early apologetic literature, attempts to find it expressed in the Praeparatio seriously misconstrue Eusebius’ position. In fact, Plato stole his best ideas from the Hebrews, according to Eusebius ‘all but translating’ the barbarian wisdom found in the writings of Moses, [111] while the Greek philosophers after Plato destroyed the fruits of Plato’s transmission of such wisdom through their incessant discord and sophistries. [112] The theory of progress that many have attributed to Eusebius, [113] is not to be found in the Praeparatio, [114] which expends great effort to narrate a story of decline into immorality and impiety among the nations. [115] It is the text of the Praeparatio itself, not any philosophical developments among the Greeks, that functions as a ‘preparation’ for students of Christianity. The ‘preparation’ of the Praeparatio’s title signifies its educative roll in a curriculum for Christian students—not a theory of the relationship between Greek thought and the doctrines of Christianity.

III.B Learning Christian Identity

Emphasis on the introductory and pedagogical function of Eusebius’ Praeparatio allows us to see his claim for novelty in a new light, but it fails to exhaust his self-acclaimed originality. We do a disservice to Eusebius’ assertion of writing idiōs, if we fail to take account of the remarks just following this claim. Here we find a boldly triumphalistic proclamation for the conquest of all nations under the sun by the teachings of Christ. While his apologetic predecessors had developed various responses to anti-Christian hostility, from commentaries to ‘philological demonstrations (grammikais apodeixesi)’, verbal or written responses were, in fact, unnecessary. The apostle Paul had, after all, declared, ‘Our speech and our preaching was not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in the demonstration of the Spirit and power.’ [116] Since this is so, Eusebius announces: ‘All words are superfluous, when the works are more manifest and plain than words—works which the divine and heavenly power of our Savior distinctly exhibits even now, while preaching good tidings of the divine and heavenly life to all men.’ [117]

The works that were so manifest as to make all words superfluous are seen in the marvelous rise of Christianity and its spreading throughout the known world in spite of persecution and daemonic attacks. [118] Christ’s power had wrought the demise of daemonic control over the nations of the world. Such power was exhibited not only among philosophic and brave men who had turned to the Gospel, but even women and children in the act of martyrdom, ‘showed by deeds rather than by words that the doctrine of the immortality of the soul is true’. [119] The prophetic words of Christ had been confirmed as true:

That the Church, which was afterwards gathered by his own power out of all nations, though not yet seen nor established in the times when he was living as man among men, should be invincible and undismayed, and should never be conquered by death, but stand and abide unshaken, settled and rooted upon his own power as upon a rock that cannot be shaken or broken. [120]

The Church had been created from Christ’s ‘calling of the nations’, [121] and hence received the recurrent epithet of ‘the Church from the nations’. [122] ‘The fame of his gospel has filled the whole world on which the sun looks down; and the proclamations concerning him ran through all nations, and are now still increasing and advancing…’ [123] Eusebius conceived of Christianity as essentially bound up with the act of ethnic boundary crossing.

Eusebius looked out upon the nations that had since ancient times practiced religious observances that were steeped in impiety and superstition and now saw flickering the flames of the true light of the Logos. Members of barbarian nations, who had once performed savage and horrific deeds of incest, cannibalism and human sacrifice, were now living lives of virtue and continence, their barbarian characters now made docile by the teaching of Christ. ‘Persians who have become his disciples no longer marry their mothers (mētrogamein),’ Eusebius avers:

Nor do Scythians feed on human flesh (anthrōpoborein), because of Christ’s word which has come even unto them, nor other races (genē) of barbarians have incestuous union with daughters and sisters, nor do men madly lust after men and pursue unnatural pleasures, [124] nor do those, whose practice it formerly was, now expose their dead kindred to dogs and birds, nor strangle the aged, as they did formerly, nor according to their ancient custom do they feast on the flesh (anthrōpothutein) of their dearest friends when dead, nor like the ancients offer human sacrifices to the daemons as to gods, nor slaughter their dearest friends and think it piety. [125]

The stereotypically barbarous behavior of these peoples could not resist the onrushing flood of the Christian message as it ran throughout the nations and overcame the ancestral customs handed down from their forefathers. Savage barbarians whom even Hellenism had been unable to civilize were domesticated through the gently illuminating rays of the Logos. The consequences of the Gospel teaching were both powerful and swift, and provided Eusebius with a more effective apologetic tool than mere words.

A vision of the Church as triumphant in spite of all opposition and victorious in spite of daemonic attack was at the heart of Eusebius’ introduction to Christianity for his recently converted students. The teacher of Caesarea was not only teaching his pupils how to read texts; he was teaching them to read the world and the identities of those nations in the world, the Church and their new identity in the Church, and the history and outcome of Christ’s victory over the daemons of the nations. These identities and this history were ultimately rooted in, and conveyed by, a master narrative of great complexity and richness, woven by Eusebius from the many textual strands of his sources. [126] It was a narrative that offered fledgling Christians an account of who they now were, whence they had come, and why they had abandoned the nations of their ancestors.

The early chapters of the Praeparatio resound with declarations of the marvelous spread of Christ’s teachings throughout the world and the stability of a Church, consisting of men, women, children, slaves, educated and uneducated, [127] from all the nations under the sun, who had stood firm through the years of persecution. The nations they had left (especially Phoenicians, Egyptians and Greeks) were found wanting: the historical narratives of these nations recorded only historical belatedness, dependency upon others, and ancestors who characterized irrationality, impiety and moral and philosophical confusion. [128]

Even the nation of the Jews was portrayed in similarly dark colors. [129] They had Egyptianized and forgotten the ways of their philosophic ancestors, [130] the Hebrew ‘friends of God’, and despite Moses’ best efforts could only attain to a secondary level of piety. [131] Only the Hebrew nation, whose descendants Eusebius claimed the Christians were, was found to model a primitive wisdom, clear-sightedness and ascetic purity unmatched by the other nations. Christ had restored the ancient Hebrew politeia and his teachings had quickly run through all the nations. [132] It was the contours of this vision of Christians as a ‘Church out of the nations’, as well as a ‘Church between the nations’—neither Greek nor Jew—victorious despite vicissitudes, and superior to the nations historically, morally and philosophically, that Eusebius sought to forge in the minds of recent converts. His apologia in answer to hostile antagonists served simultaneously as an introduction to identity.


Eusebius’ pushing of the boundaries of apologia to fulfill the needs of elementary Christian instruction and his fostering of a Christian identity founded on a triumphalist and world-historical vision provided powerful tools contributing to the creation and maintenance of a master narrative to shape the late antique Christian mind. Licinius would begin antagonizing the Church before Eusebius was to finish his apologetic labors, and the Church was facing divisive struggles in both the West and East (even before the explosive Arian controversy). Yet, from the account given in the Praeparatio one would never know of these political realities. His vision of the identities of Christians and others was sustained, comprehensive and total.

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[ back ] 1. See PE 4.2.10–11; Sirinelli, 1974: 8–14; Mras, 1954: 54–55.

[ back ] 2. See Barnes, 1981: 178–182.

[ back ] 3. For Eusebius’ polemic against the Jews, see Sirinelli, 1961: 157–160; Kofsky, 1996: 59–83; Johnson, 2004: 262–263.

[ back ] 4. See Lactantius, Mort. Persecut. 48; Eus., HE 10.5.1–14; O. Seeck, 1891: 381–386.

[ back ] 5. HE 9.2; 9.11.5–6; see Barnes, 1975: 64.

[ back ] 6. See Barnes, 1981: 62–77.

[ back ] 7. See Eus., Vigiliae Christianae 1.49–2.5.

[ back ] 8. The concept itself owes much to the rhetorical articulations of Christian authors, at the forefront of whom Eusebius stands. G. Fowden judiciously warns: ‘To depict Constantine’s reign as a revolution is to do no justice to the suspensefulness of the rest of fourth-century history’ 1993: 85.

[ back ] 9. See generally, Perrone, 1996: 515–530.

[ back ] 10. For the editions of the HE, see Louth, 1990: 111–123; Beggs, 1998: 53–85.

[ back ] 11. The authenticity of this work has been questioned by Hägg, 1992: 138–150; his doubts at this point, however, remain insufficient to reject its authenticity. See the paper by Christopher P. Jones in this volume.

[ back ] 12. For the attribution of Ps.-Justin, Cohortatio ad Graecos to Marcellus, see Riedweg, 1994: 167–182.

[ back ] 13. See Laurin, 1954: 358.

[ back ] 14. For the sources available to Eusebius, see Carriker, 2003.

[ back ] 15. Foakes-Jackson, 1933: 122.

[ back ] 16. Foakes-Jackson, 1993: 128.

[ back ] 17. Bounoure, 1982: 438.

[ back ] 18. Gifford, 1981: xvii.

[ back ] 19. See Laurin, 1954: 365; Schwartz, 1909: 1393.

[ back ] 20. Puech, 1930: 219.

[ back ] 21. See the bibliographical notice at Johnson, 2004: 25; to which should be added, Schott, 2003: 501–531.

[ back ] 22. Young, 1999: 81–104.

[ back ] 23. Irenaeus may have been attempting something similar in his Demonstratio; see Graham, 2001: 210–221.

[ back ] 24. First Peter 3.15 ap. PE 1.3.6; and also, 1.5.2.

[ back ] 25. See also, PE 14.1.4.

[ back ] 26. PE 1.2.1–4; a passage argued to derive from Porphyry. See Willamowitz-Moellendorf, 1900: 101–105.

[ back ] 27. PE 10.4.31; for apologismos, see also, PE 4.1.5; 14.27.13.

[ back ] 28. PE 15.1.1; for apologia, see also, PE 1.3.6; 1.5.2; 5.10.13; 12.1.1; 14.1.4; 15.1.13.

[ back ] 29. PE 1.6.8.

[ back ] 30. ‘…A deliberate, even ostentatious, parade of erudition’, Barnes, 1981: 178. In general, see Places, 1982; more specifically, see Bounoure, 1981: 115– 134; the relevant essays in Places, 1981.

[ back ] 31. See PE 2.8.13; 3.praef.2–3; 4.6.1; 4.15.7; 5.10.13; 7.8.1; 7.12.14; 8.1.3–4; 9.42.4; 10.1.8; 10.2.16; 10.9.28; 11.praef.1; 11.9.8; 14.1.2.

[ back ] 32. See Josephus, Contra Apionem 1.13,14,15, passim; Tatian, Cohort. 31; Clement, Protr. 2.39.1; Strom. 6.4.3.

[ back ] 33. See Marcellus (= Ps.-Justin), Orat. 9; Lactantius Div. Inst. 1.5.

[ back ] 34. Kofsky, 2000: 241, refers to Eusebius’ ‘well-stocked arsenal’. See also, e.g., 2.6.22; 4.2.14; 4.3.14; 4.10.1–3. Eusebius would use the method elsewhere; see his comments referring to the Contra Marcellum at Eccl.Theol. praef.

[ back ] 35. See König-Ockenfels, 1976: 355; Laurin, 1954: 365.

[ back ] 36. On sacrifice, see 4.9–21; on various deifications, see 7.2.

[ back ] 37. On Greek theft, see especially Book 10; on Greek deviation and discord, see 13.14–15.52.

[ back ] 38. In general see the collection of essays in Edwards, 1999; with Cameron, 2002: 219–227.

[ back ] 39. See Frede, 1999: 225–227.

[ back ] 40. See Young, 1999: 91–92; Frede, 1999: 227–228.

[ back ] 41. Pace, Bernjam, 2001: 177–183, who sets off the ambassadorial type from the protreptic type (that is, the kind that refutes criticisms).

[ back ] 42. See Millar, 1977: 561–566; Grant, 1955: 25–33; Barnes, 1975: 111–114.

[ back ] 43. Origen, C.Cels. 1.praef.1, 4, passim. See Frede, 1999: 135–136.

[ back ] 44. C.Cels. 1.praef.1 (Crombie, 1890).

[ back ] 45. C.Cels. 1.praef.2–3.

[ back ] 46. C.Cels. 5.1; see also 1.41.

[ back ] 47. Note Origen’s comments at C.Cels. 2.1; see Frede, 1999: 145–152.

[ back ] 48. Unfortunately the scholiast at PE 1.3.6, who offers Eusebius’ possible predecessors in offering ‘proofs with syllogisms’ as Justin, Athenagoras, Tatian, Clement, Origen and Pamphilus, does not suggest predecessors for the other categories of commentaries and homilies; see Mras, 1954: 427.

[ back ] 49. See PE 1.3.4, 6.

[ back ] 50. For criticisms of a narrow approach to defining the apologetic genre, see Cameron, 2002: 219–227; Bernjam, 2001: 177–183.

[ back ] 51. PE 1.3.4. Eusebius claimed originality for other works as well; see HE 1.1.3; 5.praef.3–4; LC praef.2.

[ back ] 52. Laurin, 1945: 355.

[ back ] 53. See Kofsky, 2000: 243–244 (in spite of his earlier claim that Eusebius’ novelty was not to be attributed to the extensive use of citation: 79); Perrone, 1994: 527.

[ back ] 54. See Sirinelli 1974: 234–235.

[ back ] 55. Though see, Ferrar, 1981: xv–xvi; Lyman, 1993: 86–88.

[ back ] 56. See. Johnson, 2004.

[ back ] 57. On etymology, see 7.8.passim; 11.6.passim. The exegetical style would have normally based itself upon the isolation of problematic words or phrases of a given passage; these would be given as lemmata and then explanatory comments ranging from a brief sentence to a number of pages followed. Eusebius’ own commentaries on Isaiah and the Psalms provided excellent examples of the commentary form. Interesting treatment on the development of this literary form in the Greek philosophical tradition has been offered by Sedley 1997: 110–129. For the Christian tradition, see Young, 1997: 76–96.

[ back ] 58. PE 1.1.12.

[ back ] 59. See Sirinelli, 1974: 43–44.

[ back ] 60. See Schwartz, 1909: 1387.

[ back ] 61. See Gen. Elem. Intro. 1.1 (PG 22.1024B); 3.praef (PG 22.1120D).

[ back ] 62. See Wallace-Hadrill, 1974: 55–63. Most subsequent discussions seem to take Wallace-Hadrill’s conclusions as proven, though stylistically the fragments of the so-called Commentary on Luke are rather different from those of the Prophetic Eclogues. This may merely be the result of the extraction and transmission of the fragments; but, in any case, further work needs to be done before the identification can be confirmed.

[ back ] 63. The Greek of the Gen. Elem. Intro. comprises roughly 125 columns of PG 22. For discussion, see Barnes, 1975: 167–174.

[ back ] 64. Gen. Elem. Intro. 1.1 (PG 22.1024B).

[ back ] 65. Gen. Elem. Intro. 1.1 (PG 22.1024C).

[ back ] 66. Gen. Elem. Intro. 1.1 (PG 22.1024C).

[ back ] 67. Gen. Elem. Intro. 1.1 (PG 22.1024D).

[ back ] 68. Against heretics and Jews, see Gen. Elem. Intro. 1.1 (PG 22.1025A); 1.20 (PG 22.1080AB); 2.2 (PG 22.1093B); 3.1 (PG 22.1121A); 3.19 (PG 22.1144B); 3.24 (PG 22.1149D).

[ back ] 69. For the process of learning to read Scriptures in early commentary literature, see Young 1997: 76–96.

[ back ] 70. The best overall treatment is Mansfeld, 2000 provides a useful survey of the use of books in the philosophical schools. See also Lamberton, 2003: 195–212.

[ back ] 71. For discussion of the schemata isagogica as prolegomena to commentaries, see Westerink, 1990: 325–348; J. Mansfeld, 1999: 10–57.

[ back ] 72. For biographical details and relation to Gaius, see Göransson, 1995: 34–77.

[ back ] 73. That Prologos was Albinus’ title (and that it may have been the notes taken at a lecture by Gaius and forming an initial part of Albinus’ Hypotyposeis on Gaius’ lectures), while Eisagōgē was added by a scribe to indicate its function in a codex containing the works of Plato, has convincingly been shown by Göransson, 1995: 51–52.

[ back ] 74. Prol. 1–2 (Hermann). Origen similarly began his Commentary on John with a discussion of the definition of ‘gospel’; for the early employment of elements of what would later become the standard schemata isagogica by Origen, see Mansfeld, 1994: 11–16; Heine, 2001: 421–439.

[ back ] 75. Prol. 3 (Hermann).

[ back ] 76. Prol. 4–6 (Hermann). On Thrasyllus’ arrangement, see Diogenes Laertius 3.56–61, with discussion of Mansfeld, 1994: 59–71.

[ back ] 77. See Westerink, 1962: xxxvii–xxxviii.

[ back ] 78. Dillon, 1993: xiv–xv. The attribution to Alcinous (rather than Albinus) has generally been accepted, following the discussion of Whittaker 1974: 320–354, 450–456; see also, Dillon, 1993: ix–xiii; Göransson, 1995: 13–27.

[ back ] 79. Didask. 36.

[ back ] 80. Dialectical: Didask. 5–6; theoretical: Didask. 7–26; ethical: Didask. 27–34.

[ back ] 81. E.g., Ammonius and Boethius; see Barnes, 2003: ix.

[ back ] 82. See Barnes, 2003: xiv–xvi.

[ back ] 83. HE 7.32.20; on his role in the school of Aristotle, see HE 7.32.6; on his ordination at Caesarea, then Laodicea, see HE 7.32.21. For his identification with the teacher of Iamblichus, see Dillon, 1973: 7–9; O’Meara, 1989: 23.

[ back ] 84. See Eunap. VS 5.1.2; Porph., Quaest.homer. 1.11 (Sodano). Goulet, 1989: 179–183.

[ back ] 85. The text is given at PG 10, cols 231–236; see also, Heiberg, 1912: 160–168. Pace Hultsch, 1894: 2074, followed by Goulet, 1989: 180–181, who assume the Arithmeticae Eisagōgai is the title of the Anatolian material from the Theologoumena Arithmeticae and Peri Dekados and cannot be applied to the material in PG 10, since the latter is too much like a catechesis. It is precisely this point that indicates Arithmeticae Eisagōgai as the appropriate title.

[ back ] 86. Pace Bucking, 1992: 131–134, who distinguishes the Anatolian sources for each as separate works. In Bucking’s favor, however, Eusebius refers to Anatolius’ work in the plural—eisagōgai (Bucking does not avail himself of the Eusebian material). For the text of the Peri Dekados, see Heiberg, 1900: 27–41.

[ back ] 87. Though see, Norden, 1905: 481–528.

[ back ] 88. My remarks here can hardly do justice to the complexity of these two texts; I only aim at suggesting the overall approach and concerns of Eusebius in composing them. See further, Johnson, 2006.

[ back ] 89. PE 1.5.13.

[ back ] 90. PE 1.10.3.

[ back ] 91. PE 2.1.56; 2.6.23; 3.3.21; 3.6.7; 3.7.2; etc.

[ back ] 92. PE 3.9.6.

[ back ] 93. PE 3.7.5.

[ back ] 94. PE 3.praef.4.

[ back ] 95. For the use of such subjunctives in isagogic literature, see Göransson, 1995: 51.

[ back ] 96. On Eusebius’ argument regarding this three-fold theological schema (mythological, allegorical-physical, and political theology) in PE 1–6, see Johnson, 2004.

[ back ] 97. On this last point, see Johnson, 2004.

[ back ] 98. Dillon, 1973: xiv.

[ back ] 99. PE 1.1.1; on Theodotus’ bishopric, see also, HE 7.32.23.

[ back ] 100. Anatolius was made bishop after having filled some sort of joint-bishopric with Theotecnus in Caesarea; see HE 7.32.21. Theotecnus himself had been ‘of the school of Origen’; see HE 7.14. For a date of 279, see Eus. Chron. ad loc.; Jerome Vir.Illust. 73; Hultsch, 1894. (for skepticism on Eusebius’ dating, see Goulet, 1989: 181).

[ back ] 101. One might also profitably compare the teaching methods of L. Calvenus Taurus or Plotinus; see H.G. Snyder, 2000: 111–118; Lamberton, 2001: 433–458; Dillon, 2004: 401–418.

[ back ] 102. HE 6.15.

[ back ] 103. HE 6.18.3; the passage goes on to describe Origen’s training of the uneducated in the basic liberal arts (enkuklia grammata), and hence seems to refer to the period before the division of his school with Heraclas.

[ back ] 104. See Greg. Thaum., Pan.Or. 7–9, 13.

[ back ] 105. For discussion of the spiritual and personal aspects of Origen’s school as depicted by Gregory, see Wilken, 1984: 15–30.

[ back ] 106. Greg. Thaum., Pan.Or. 14–15.

[ back ] 107. Greg. Thaum., Pan.Or. 15.

[ back ] 108. Though see Young, 1997: 82–89; Mansfeld, 1994: 11–16.

[ back ] 109. See, e.g., Albinus, Prol. 5–6; Galen, De Sectis, 86, 102; Eus., Gen.Elem.Intro., 1.1 (PG 22.1024C); 1.4 (PG 22.1037B); cp. also, 1.7 (PG 22.1041B); 1.9 (PG 22.1052B); 1.12 (PG 22.1068B).

[ back ] 110. PE 6.10.49; see also, 1.1.12. For discussion, see Ulrich, 1999: 30–31; and also, Schwartz, 1909: 74–85; Barnes, 1981: 182; Laurin, 1954: 345, 351.

[ back ] 111. See PE 12.11.1; 12.13.1.

[ back ] 112. The best treatment of Eusebius’ argument is Ridings, 1995: 141–196.

[ back ] 113. Eusebius’ theory of progress: Droge, 1989: 168–193; Grant, 1979: 62–70; Chesnut, 1986: 66–95; Kinzig, 1994: 517–553; Kofsky, 1996: 135–136.

[ back ] 114. Though see HE 1.2.17–27; DE 8.praef.5–12. I discuss the notions of progress and decline in Eusebius’ writings in an appendix to Ethnicity and Argument in Eusebius’ Praeparatio Evangelica.

[ back ] 115. See, e.g., PE 1.9.13–14, 16–19; 2.5.4–5; 2.6.11–15; 7.2.1–6; cp. Eus. SC 13.16; Athan. C. Gentes 3–11 (especially 9). See, König-Ockenfels, 1976: 354–358.

[ back ] 116. PE 1.3.5, citing 1 Corinthians 2.4. Sirinelli 1974: 235, oddly claim that, ‘la citation de saint Paul, tirée de la Première Épître aux Corinthiens, n’est pas très bien adaptée au sujet.’

[ back ] 117. PE 1.3.7.

[ back ] 118. See Ferrar, 1984: xv–xvi; Lyman, 1993: 86–88, 104–106.

[ back ] 119. PE 1.4.14. Similarly, see PE 6.6.71; Athenag., Leg. 11.

[ back ] 120. PE 1.4.8.

[ back ] 121. PE 1.3.14.

[ back ] 122. This epithet derives from Paul; see Rom. 16.4; cp. DE 3.7 (138a–141b).

[ back ] 123. PE 1.3.10. See also 1.3.13.

[ back ] 124. The terminology here is probably an allusion to Romans 1.26–27. A broad characterization of ‘the ancient nations’ that contains reference to similar behavior occurs at PE 7.2.6.

[ back ] 125. 1.4.6; the passage is adapted later at SC 16.9; Theoph. 3.7; 5.17.

[ back ] 126. See Johnson, 2004.

[ back ] 127. See PE 1.1.6; cp. Clem. Strom. 4.8.58.

[ back ] 128. See Johnson, 2004: 42–55.

[ back ] 129. Pace J. Ulrich, 1994: 79–88. See Sirinelli, 1961: 147–148; Kofsky, 1996: 59–83; M. Simon, 1996: 80–85; A.P. Johnson, 2004: 262–263.

[ back ] 130. PE 7.8.37.

[ back ] 131. On the sharp distinction of Jews from Hebrews, see PE 7.6.1.

[ back ] 132. See Gallagher, 1993: 256; Gallagher, 1989: 139–155, esp. 148.