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

Early Church Fathers  Index     

p. 274 Chapter XXVI.—Heraclas becomes Bishop of Alexandria.

It was in the tenth year of the above-mentioned reign that Origen removed from Alexandria to Cæsarea, 1996 leaving the charge of the catechetical school in that city to Heraclas. Not long afterward Demetrius, bishop of the church of Alexandria, died, having held the office for forty-three full years, 1997 and Heraclas succeeded him. At this time Firmilianus, 1998 bishop of Cæsarea in Cappadocia, was conspicuous.



The tenth year of Alexander Severus, 231 a.d. On Origen’s departure from Alexandria at this time, see below, p. 396. On Heraclas, see chap. 3, note 2.


On the episcopacy of Demetrius, see Bk. V. chap. 22, note 4. Forty-three years, beginning with 189 a.d., bring us down to 232 as the date of his death, and this agrees excellently with the statements of this chapter.


Firmilian, bishop of Cæsarea, the capital of Cappadocia (to be distinguished from Cæsarea in Palestine), was one of the most famous prelates of his day in the Eastern Church. He was a friend of Origen, as we learn from the next chapter, and took part in a council called on account of the schism of Novatian (see chap. 46), and also in councils called to consider the case of Paul of Samosata (see Bk. VII. chaps. 28 and 30). He was one of the bishops whom Stephen excommunicated because they rebaptized heretics (see Bk. VII. chap. 2, note 3, and chap. 5, note 4), and he wrote an epistle upon this subject to Cyprian, which is extant in a Latin translation made by Cyprian himself (Ep. 74, al. 75, in the collection of Cyprian’s epistles. See Dict. of Christ. Biog. I. 751, note). Basil (de Spiritu Sancto, 29) refers to works (λόγοι) left by Firmilian, but none of them are extant except the single epistle mentioned, nor do we hear from any other source that he was a writer. Jerome does not mention him in his De vir. ill. The exact date of his accession is unknown to us, as it very likely was to Eusebius also. He was a bishop already in the tenth year of Alexander (231 a.d.), or very soon afterward, and from Bk. VII. chap. 30, we learn that he died at Tarsus on his way to Antioch to attend a council which had been summoned to deal with Paul of Samosata. This synod was held about 265 a.d. (not in 272 as is commonly supposed; see Bk. VII. chap. 29, note 1), and it is at this time, therefore, that we must put the death of Firmilian; so that he was bishop of Cæsarea at least some thirty-four years.

Next: Chapter XXVII