Methodius, St

Methodius, ST

(surnamed also Ebullas and Eubulius), a noted theologian of-the Eastern Church of the 3d century, one of the "fathers" and "martyrs" of the Church, flourished first as bishop of Olympus and Patara, in Lycia (hence also oftentimes surnamed Patarensis), and later presided over the see of Tyre, in Palestine. He is supposed to have died early in the 4th century. According to Suidas, he suffered a martyr's death at Chalcis (Α᾿νατολῆς) during the reign of Decius (249-251) and Valerian. This seems improbable, however, since Valerian reigned after and not contemporary with Decius, and since the chronology of the reign of these emperors is far from accurate. It seems pretty well established now that Methodius was a contemporary of Porphyry; and if he died in a persecution, it was probably, as Cave supposes, in that of AD. 303, or, as Fabricius thinks, in that of AD. 311. The last-named date is quite generally accepted as the year of Methodius's decease. Epiphanius says that " he was a very learned man, and a strenuous assertor of the truth." Jerome has ranked him in his catalogue of Church writers, but Eusebius has not mentioned him; which silence is attributed by some, though merely upon conjecture to Methodiuls's having written very sharply against Origen, who was favored by Eusebius. His principal works are, Περὶ Α᾿ναστάσεως, De Resurrectione, against Origen, divided into two or three parts; fragments of it are to be found in Epiphanius (Panarium), in Photius (Bibliotheca), and in the works of Damascenus:- Περὶ τῶν γενετῶν, De Creatis, in Photius :- Περὶ Αὐτεξουσίου καὶ πόθεν τὰ κακὰ, 'De Libero A rbitrio. Leo Allatiusgave the full text, together-with a Latin version, but the worr, as contained in Combdfis's edition of Methodius, is not complete:- Περὶ τῆς ἀγγελομμήτου παρθενεαίς καὶ ἁγνεαίς, De Angelica Virginitate et Castitate, written in the form of a dialogue: it is a curious work, partaking at once of the character of Plato's Banquet and of the Song of Solomon, thoroughly Christian in its doctrines, but very free in its language. Photius claims that it was interpolated, and contains traces of Arianism, these, however, have disappeared from the MSS. at present extant, from which the work was first published by Leo Allatius, under the title S. Methodii, episcopi et martyris, Convivium decent Virginum Leo Allatius hactenus non editumn primsus Greece vulgavit, Latine verit; notas et diatriben e Methodiorsum scriptis adjecit (Rome, 1656, 8vo). About the same time Possinus prepared another edition, which was published at Paris under the' title S. Methodii Convivium Virginum Greece et Latine nuncprimumr editum (1657, 8vo). - It is also to be found in Combefis, Auctuar. Bibl. Patr. (Paris, 1672) — Oratio de Sinteone et Anna, sen In Festun Occursus et Purificationis B. Marica, published by Petris Plantinus (Antwerp, 1598); this has by some been considered as the work of a later Methodius. but this opinion is contradicted by Allatius:- Λόγος περὶ Μαρτύρων, Sermo de Martyribus: — Εἰς τὰ Βαϊvα, In Ramos Palmarum: Photius gives extracts of this oration, but some doubt Methodius being its author:-Libri Adversus Porphyrium, fragments of which are given by Damascenus:- De Pythonissa cozntra Origenem, lost: — Commentarii in Cantica Canticorunb, of which only fragments remain : — Ξένων, lost: etc. Another work, De Revelatione, sometimes attributed to him, is more likely from a later Methodius. The De Libero Arbitrio, De Resurrectione, De Angelica Virginitate et Castitate, two homilies, and the extracts contained in Photius, were published by Combofis in Greek and Latin, with notes (Paris, 1644, fol.), together with the works of Amphilochus and Andreas Cretensis. Galland has collected the preserved works supposed to be the production of Methodius, as well as all fragments, and published them in his Biblioth. Patr. vol. 3:See Photius, Cod. p. 234-237; Mai, Script. vet. nov. coll. 7:1; Cave, Histor. Litt.; Henschenin the Bollandists, Acta Sanctorum, vol. iv; Nath. Lardner, Credibility of the Gospel History, vol. v; Oudin, Comment. de Scriptoribus ecclesvol. i; Andrea Sixt, Dissert. de lMethodio (Altorf, 1787, 4to); Fabricius, Bib. Grceca (edit. of Harless), 7:746 et al.; Donaldson, Hist. Ch. Lit.; Milman, Hist. Lat. Christianity (see Index); Schaff, Ch. Hist. 1:356

sq., 511; Neander, Christ. Dogmas, 1:121, 256; Meth. Qu. Revelation 1871, January, p. 164.

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