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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol I:
The Church History of Eusebius.: Chapter VI

Early Church Fathers  Index     

p. 221 Chapter VI.—Catalogue of the Bishops of Rome.

1. “The blessed apostles 1438 having founded and established the church, entrusted the office of the episcopate to Linus. 1439 Paul speaks of this Linus in his Epistles to Timothy. 1440

2. Anencletus 1441 succeeded him, and after Anencletus, in the third place from the apostles, Clement 1442 received the episcopate. He had seen and conversed with the blessed apostles, 1443 and their preaching was still sounding in his ears, and their tradition was still before his eyes. Nor was he alone in this, for many who had been taught by the apostles yet survived.

3. In the times of Clement, a serious dissension having arisen among the brethren in Corinth, 1444 the church of Rome sent a most suitable letter to the Corinthians, 1445 reconciling them in peace, renewing their faith, and proclaiming 1446 the doctrine lately received from the apostles.” 1447

4. A little farther on he says: 1448

“Evarestus 1449 succeeded Clement, and Alexander, 1450 Evarestus. Then Xystus, 1451 the sixth from the apostles, was appointed. After him Telesphorus, 1452 who suffered martyrdom gloriously; then Hyginus; 1453 then Pius; 1454 and after him Anicetus; 1455 Soter 1456 succeeded Anicetus; and now, in the twelfth place from the apostles, Eleutherus 1457 holds the office of bishop.

5. In the same order and succession 1458 the tradition in the Church and the preaching of the truth has descended from the apostles unto us.”



Namely, Peter and Paul; but neither of them founded the Roman church. See above, Bk. II. chap. 25, note 17.


On Linus, see above, Bk. III. chap. 2, note 1; and for the succession of the early Roman bishops, see the same note.


2 Tim. iv. 21.


On Anencletus, see above, Bk. III. chap. 13, note 3.


On Clement, see above, Bk. III. chap. 4, note 19.


Although the identification of this Clement with the one mentioned in Philip. 4.3 is more than doubtful, yet there is no reason to doubt that, living as he did in the first century at Rome, he was personally acquainted at least with the apostles Peter and Paul.


See the Epistle of Clement itself, especially chaps. 1 and 3.


Upon the epistle, see above, Bk. III. chap. 16, note 1.


νεοῦσα τὴν πίστιν αὐτῶν καὶ ἣν νεωστὶ ἀπὸ τῶν ἀποστόλων παρ€δοσιν εἰλήφει. The last word being in the singular, the tradition must be that received by the Roman, not by the Corinthian church (as it is commonly understood), and hence it is necessary to supply some verb which shall govern παρ€δοσιν, for it is at least very harsh to say that the Roman church, in its epistle to the Corinthians “renewed” the faith which it had received. The truth is, that both in Rufinus and in Irenæus an extra participle is found (in the former exprimens, in the latter annuntians), and Stroth has in consequence ventured to insert the word καταγγέλουσα in his text. I have likewise, for the sake of the sense, inserted the word proclaiming, not thereby intending to imply, however, the belief that καταγγέλουσα stood in the original text of Eusebius.


It is interesting to notice how strictly Eusebius carries out his principle of taking historical matter wherever he can find it, but of omitting all doctrinal statements and discussions. The few sentences which follow in Irenæus are of a doctrinal nature, and in the form of a brief polemic against Gnosticism.




Upon Evarestus, see above, Bk. III. chap. 34, note 3.


Upon Alexander, see Bk. IV. chap. 1, note 4.


Upon Xystus, see IV. 4, note 3.


Upon Telesphorus, see IV. 5, note 13.


Upon Hyginus, see IV. 10, note 3.


Upon Pius, see IV. 11, note 14.


Upon Anicetus, see IV. 11, note 18.


Upon Soter, see IV. 19, note 2.


Upon Eleutherus, see Introd. to this book, note 2.


διαδοχῇ, which is confirmed by the ancient Latin version of Irenæus (successione), and which is adopted by Zimmermann, Heinichen, and Valesius (in his notes). All the mss. of Eusebius, followed by the majority of the editors, read διδαχῇ, which, however, makes no sense in this place, and can hardly have been the original reading (see Heinichen’s note in loco).

Next: Chapter VII

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