Eusebius of Alexandria

Eusebius Of Alexandria.

I. In the Eastern churches, a number of homilies, ascribed to one Eusebius of Alexandria, enjoyed a great reputation, especially during the 6th and 7th centuries. They are either dramatic representations of the chief events in the life of Christ, or discussions of moral and practical questions. Their author is variously designated as monk, bishop, archbishop, or papa; most frequently bishop or archbishop of Alexandria. An ancient biography, published by cardinal Mai (Spicileg. Romans 9, page 103), represents him as a sainted monk living near Alexandria, and endowed with the faculty of working ciracles, who became successor of Cyril in the see of Alexandria, transferred his episcopal functions, after seven years (another reading says twenty years), to a noble Alexandrine named Alexander, and died in the retirement of a monastery. That this account is false we know from the list of bishops of Alexandria, which nowhere leaves room for a bishop Eusabius. According to Thilo (Ueber die Schriften des Eusebius von Alexandrien und des Eusebius von Emesa, Halle, 1832), the author was either one of the four monks known in the Origenistic controversies under the name of the four "tall brothers," and distinguished among the monks of the Nitrian desert for piety and theological learning, or a presbyter at the court of Justinian I, who, honored with the title Papa, took an active part in the dogmatic controversies of the 6th century. Semisch (in Herzog's Real-

Encyklop. s.v.) thinks that neither of these two men has all the qualifications which one would expect from the author of the Homilies. The only thing certain, in his opinion, is that the homilies were compiled in the 5th or 6th century. The number of homilies that are at present known is twenty-one. Some of them were published at Paris, 1575, and Antwerp, 1602. Augusti (Euseb. Emes qua supersunt opuscula, Elberfeld, 1829) wrongly attributed three of the homilies (of the dramatic class) to Eusebius of Emesa. Thilo, in the work already mentioned, combated the views of Augusti, and in an appendix published a revised text of four of the homilies, to which, in 1834, he added an edition of a new homily on astrology. His views were confirmed by cardinal Mai (Spicil. Roman. 9), who, from a Vatican manuscript, published a number of homilies for the first time. A homily on alms, which has never been printed is to be found in the Vienna Imperial Library. — Herzog, Real-Encyklop. 4:226; Fabricius, Bibl. Graec. (ed. Harles), 7:409. (A.J.S.)

II. Eusebius, bishop of Laodicea, being a native of Alexandria, is sometimes called Eusebius of Alexandria.

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