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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. II: The Ecclesiastical History of Socrates Scholasticus.: Of Eutychian the Monk.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter XIII.—Of Eutychian the Monk.

I have heard moreover concerning Eutychian, a devout person who flourished about the same time; who also belonged to the Novatian church, yet was venerated for the performance of similar miracles. I shall unequivocally state my authority for this narrative, nor will I attempt to conceal it, even though I give offense to some parties. It was Auxanon, a very aged presbyter of the Novatian church; who when quite a youth accompanied Acesius to the Synod at Nicæa, and related to me what I have said concerning him. His life extended from that period to the reign of Theodosius the Younger; and when I was a mere youth he recounted to me the acts of Eutychian, enlarging much on the divine grace which was manifested in him: but one circumstance he alluded to, which occurred in the reign of Constantine, peculiarly worthy of mention. One of those military attendants, whom the emperor calls his domestic [or body] guards having been suspected of treasonable practices, sought his safety in flight. The indignant monarch ordered that he should be put to death, wherever he might be found: who, having been arrested on the Bithynian Olympus, was bound with heavy and painful chains and kept imprisoned near those parts of Olympus where Eutychian was leading a solitary life, and healing both the bodies and souls of many. The aged Auxanon being then very young was with him, and was being trained by him in the discipline of the monastic life. Many persons came to this Eutychian, entreating him to procure the release of the prisoner by interceding for him with the emperor. For the fame of the miracles done by Eutychian had reached the ears of the emperor. He readily promised to go to the sovereign; but as the chains inflicted intolerable suffering, those who interested themselves on his behalf declared that death caused by the effect of his chains would anticipate both the emperor’s vengeance and any intercession that might be made for the prisoner. Accordingly Eutychian sent to the jailers requesting them to relieve the man; but they having answered that they should bring themselves into danger by relieving a criminal, he went himself to the prison, attended by Auxanon; and as they refused to open the jail, the grace which rested on Eutychian was rendered more conspicuous: for the gates of the prison opened of their own accord, while the jailers had the keys in their custody. As soon as Eutychian, together with Auxanon, had entered the prison, to the great astonishment of all then present the fetters spontaneously fell from the prisoner’s limbs. He then proceeded with Auxanon to the city which was anciently called Byzantium but afterwards Constantinople, where having been admitted into the imperial palace, he saved the man from death; for the emperor, entertaining great veneration for Eutychian, readily granted his request. This indeed occurred some time after [the period to which this part of our history refers].

The bishops who were convened at the council of Nicæa, after having drawn up and enrolled certain other ecclesiastical regulations which they are accustomed to term canons, again departed to their respective cities: and as I conceive it will be appreciated by lovers of learning, I shall here subjoin the names of such as were present, as far as I have been able to ascertain them, with the province and city over which they severally presided, and likewise the date at which this assembly took place. Hosius, who was I believe bishop of Cordova in Spain, as I have before stated. Vito and Vicentius, presbyters of Rome, Alexander, bishop of Egypt, Eustathius of Antiochia Magna, Macarius of Jerusalem, and Harpocration of Cynopolis: the names of the rest are fully reported in The Synodicon 200 of Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria. This Synod was convened (as we have discovered from the notation of the date prefixed to the record of the Synod) in the consulate of Paulinus and Julian, on the 20th day of May, and in the 636th year from the reign of Alexander the Macedonian. 201 Accordingly the work of the council was accomplished. It should be noted that after the council the emperor went into the western parts of the empire.


Footnotes

19:200

This work of Athanasius is not now extant.

19:201

May 20, 325 a.d.


Next: Eusebius Bishop of Nicomedia, and Theognis Bishop of Nicæa, who had been banished for agreeing in Opinion with Arius, having published their Recantation, and assented to the Creed, are reinstated in their Sees.

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