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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. III:
Jerome and Gennadius. Lives of Illustrious Men.: Dionysius the bishop.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter LXIX.

Dionysius2484 bishop of Alexandria, as presbyter had charge of the catechetical school under Heraclas, and was the most distinguished pupil of Origen. Consenting to the doctrine of Cyprian and the African synod, on the rebaptizing 2485 of heretics, he sent many letters to different people, which are yet extant; He wrote one to Fabius, bishop of the church at Antioch, On penitence, another To the Romans, by the hand of Hippolytus, two letters To Xystus, who had succeeded Stephen, two also To Philemon and Dionysius, presbyters of the church at Rome, and another To the same Dionysius, afterwards bishop of Rome; and To Novatian, treating of their claim that Novatian had been ordained bishop of Rome, against his will. The beginning of this epistle is as follows: “Dionysius to Novatian, his brother greeting. If you have been ordained unwillingly, as you say, you will prove it, when you shall willingly retire.”

There is another epistle of his also To Dionysius and Didymus, and many Festal epistles on the passover, written in a declamatory style, also one to the church of Alexandria On exile, one To Hierax, 2486 bishop in Egypt, and yet others On mortality, On the Sabbath, andOn the gymnasium, also one To Hermammon and others On the persecution of Decius, and two books Against Nepos the bishop, who asserted in his writings a thousand years reign in the body. Among other things he diligently discussed the Apocalypse of John, and wrote Against Sabellius and To Ammon, bishop of Berp. 377 nice, and To Telesphorus, also To Euphranor, also four books To Dionysius, bishop of Rome, to the Laodiceans On penitence, to Origen On martyrdom, to the Armenians On penitence, 2487 also On the order of transgression, to Timothy On nature, to Euphranor On temptation, many letters also To Basilides, in one of which he asserts that he also began to write commentaries on Ecclesiastes. The notable epistle which he wrote against Paul of Samosata, a few days before his death is also current. He died in the twelfth year of Gallienus.



Presbyter 232, exiled 250 and 257, died 265.


rebaptizing a e Val. Her.; baptizing A? H T 25 30 31.


Hieraxe Euseb. Val. Her. Heraclas A H T 25 30 31.


penitence A T 25 30 a Her.; penitence likewise Canon on penitence H 31 e 10 21 Val.

Next: Novatianus the heresiarch.