Eusebius

Eusebius of Caesarea (/jˈsbiəs/; Greek: Εὐσέβιος τῆς Καισαρείας, Eusébios tés Kaisareías; AD 260/265 – 339/340), also known as Eusebius Pamphili (from the Greek: Εὐσέβιος τοῦ Παμϕίλου), was a historian of Christianity, exegete, and Christian polemicist. He became the bishop of Caesarea Maritima about AD 314. Together with Pamphilus, he was a scholar of the biblical canon and is regarded as one of the most learned Christians of his time.[6] He wrote Demonstrations of the Gospel, Preparations for the Gospel and On Discrepancies between the Gospels, studies of the biblical text. As "Father of Church History"[note 1] (not to be confused with the title of Church Father), he produced the Ecclesiastical History, On the Life of Pamphilus, the Chronicle and On the Martyrs. He also produced a biographical work on Constantine the Great, the first Christian Emperor, who was augustus between AD 306 and AD 337. He is venerated as a Saint presently in the Syrian Orthodox Church.[8]

A portrait of St. Eusebius of Caesarea (left) and Ammonius of Alexandria (right), prefacing the letter Eusebius wrote to him in the Rabbula Gospels (6th cent. AD)
Eusebius of Caesarea
Eusebius in a modern image.
BornEusebius
260–265
Caesarea Maritima
Died339–340
(aged 74–80)
OccupationBishop, historian, theologian
PeriodConstantinian dynasty
Notable worksEcclesiastical History, On the Life of Pamphilus, Chronicle, On the Martyrs

Eusebius of Caesarea
Icon portrait of the church historian Eusebius of Caesarea as a saint from T'oros Roslin Gospel manuscript in Armenia dated 1262
The Father of Church History
Venerated inSyriac Orthodox Church
[1]
FeastMay 30 (ancient Syrian Church)[2] February 29 (Syrian Orthodox)
[3] June 21 (Roman Catholic; Suppressed by Pope Gregory XIII)[4][5]
InfluencesOrigen, St. Pamphilus of Caesarea, St. Constantine the Great, Sextus Julius Africanus, Philo, Plato
InfluencedSt. Palladius of Galatia, St. Basil the Great, Rufinus of Aquileia, St. Theodoret of Cyrus, Socrates of Constantinople, Sozomen, Evagrius Scholasticus, Gelasius of Cyzicus, Michael the Syrian, St. Jerome, Philostorgius, Victorius of Aquitaine, Pope St. Gelasius I, Pope Pelagius II, Henri Valois, George Bull, William Cave, Samuel Lee, J.B. Lightfoot, Henry Wace

Although Eusebius' works are regarded as giving insight into the history of the early church, he was not without prejudice, especially in regard to the Jews, for while "Eusebius indeed blames the Jews for the crucifixion of Jesus, he nevertheless also states that forgiveness can be granted even for this sin and that the Jews can receive salvation."[9] Some scholars question the accuracy of Eusebius' works. For example, at least one scholar, Lynn Cohick, dissents from the majority view that Eusebius is correct in identifying the Melito of Peri Pascha with the Quartodeciman bishop of Sardis. Cohick claims as support for her position that "Eusebius is a notoriously unreliable historian, and so anything he reports should be critically scrutinized."[10] Eusebius' Life of Constantine, which he wrote as a eulogy shortly after the emperor's death in AD 337, is "often maligned for perceived factual errors, deemed by some so hopelessly flawed that it cannot be the work of Eusebius at all."[11] Others attribute this perceived flaw in this particular work as an effort at creating an overly idealistic hagiography, calling him a "Constantinian flunky"[12] since, as a trusted adviser to Constantine, it would be politically expedient for him to present Constantine in the best light possible.