Philip of Side
Philip Of Side
(ὁ Σιδίτης or ὁ σιδέτης , or ὁ ἀπο Σίδης), a Christian writer of the first half of the 5th century, was born probably in the latter part df the 4th century. He was a native of Side, in Pamphylia, and according to his own account in the fragment published by Dodwell (see below), when Rhodon. who succeeded Didymus in charge of the catecheticai school of Alexandria, transferred that school to Side, Philip became one of his pupils. If we suppose Didymuns to have retained the charge of the school till his death, A.D). 396, at the advanced age of eighty-six, the removal of the school cannot have taken place long before the close of the century, and we may infer that Philip's birth could scarcely have been earlier than A.D. 380. He was a kinsman of Troilus of Side, the rhetorician, who was tutor to Socrates the ecclesiastical historian, and was indeed so eminent that Philip regarded his relationship to him as a subject of exultation (Socrates, Hist. Eccles. 7:27). Having entered the Church, he was ordained deacon, and had much intercourse with Chrysostom; in the titles of some MSS. he is styled his Syncellus, or personal attendant, which makes it probable that he was, from the early part of his ecclesiastical career, connected with the Church at Constantinople. Liberatus (Breviar. c. 7) says he was ordained deacon by Chrysostom; but Socrates, when speaking of his intimacy with that eminent man, does not say he was ordained by him. Philip devoted himself to literary pursuits, and collected a large library. He cultivated the Asiatic or diffuse style of composition, and became a voluminous writer. At what period of his life his different works were produced is not known. His Ecclesiastical History was, as we shall see, written after his disappointment in obtaining the patriarchate; but as his being a candidate for that high office seems to imply some previous celebrity, it may be inferred that his work or works in reply to the emperor Julian's attacks on Christianity were written at an earlier period. On the death of Atticus, patriarch of Constantinople, A.D. 425, Philip, then a presbyter, apparently of the great Church of Constantinople, and Proelus, another presbyter, were proposed, each by his own partisans, as candidates for the vacant see; but the whole people were bent upon the election of Sisinnius, also a presbyter, though not of Constantinople, but of a Church in Elaea one of the suburbs (Socrates, Hist. Eccles. 7:26). The statement of Socrates as to the unanimity of the popular wish leads to the inference that the supporters of Philip and Proclus were among the clergy. Sisinnius was the successful candidate; and Philip, mortified at his defeat, made in his Ecclesiastical History such severe strictures on the election of his more fortunate rival that Socrates could not venture to transcribe his remarks; and has expressed his strong disapproval of his headstrong temper. On the death of Sisinnius (A.D. 428) the supporters of Philip were again desirous of his appointment, but the emperor, to prevent disturbances, determined that no ecclesiastic of Constantinople should succeed to the vacancy; and the ill- fated heresiarch Nestorius, from Antioch, was consequently chosen. After the deposition of Nestorius at the Council of Ephesus (A.D. 431), Philip was a third time candidate for the patriarchate, but was again unsuccessful. Nothing is known of him after this. It has been conjectured that he was dead before the next vacancy in the patriarchate, A.D. 434, when his old competitor Proclus was chosen. Certainly there is no notice that Philip was again a candidate; but the prompt decision of the emperor Theodosius in Proclus's favor prevented all competition, so that no inference can be drawn from Philip's quiescence.
Philip wrote, Multa volumina contra Imperatorem Julianum Apostata (Liberatus. Breviar. c. 7; comp. Socrat. H.E. 7:27). It is not clear from the expression of Liberatus, which we have given as the title, whether Philip wrote many works, or, as is more likely, one work in many parts, in reply to Julian: — ῾Ιστορία Χριστιανική, Historia Christianae. The work was very large, consisting of thirty-six Βίβλοι or Βιβλία, Libri, each subdivided into twenty-four τόμοι or λόγοι, i.e., sections. This voluminous work seems to have comprehended both sacred and ecclesiastical history, beginning from the creation, and coming down to Philip's own day, as appears by his record of the election of Sisinnius, already noticed. It appears to have been finished not very long after that event. Theophanes places its completion in A.M. 5922, Alex. aera =A.D. 430; which, according to him, was the year before the death of Sisinnius. That the work was completed before the death of Sisinnius is probable from the apparent silence of Philip as to his subsequent disappointments in obtaining the patriarchate; but as Sisinnius, accortding to a more exact chronology, died A.D. 428, we may conclude that the work was finished in or before that year, and, consequently, that the date assigned by Theophanes is rather too late. The style was verbose and wearisome, neither polished nor agreeable; and the matter such as to display ostentatiously the knowledge of the writer rather than to conduce to the improvement of the reader. It was in fact, crammed with matter of every kind, relevant and irrelevant questions of geometry, astronomy, arithmetic, and music; descriptions of islands, mountains, and trees, rendered it cumbersome and unreadable. Chronological arrangement was disregarded. The work is lost, with the exception of three fragments. One of these, De Scholae Catecheticae Alexandrines Successione, on the succession of teachers in the catechetical school of Alexandria, was published from a MS. in the Bodleian Library at Oxford, by Dodwell, with his Dissertationes in Irenaeun (Oxf. 1689, 8vo), and has been repeatedly reprinted. It is given in the ninth volume of the Bibliotheca Patrum of Galland, page 401. Another fragment in the same MS., De Constantino Maximiano, et Licinio Augustis, was prepared for lpublication by Crusius, but has never, we believe, been actually published. The third fragment, τὰ γενόμενα ἐν Περσίδι μεταξὺ Χριστιανῶν ῾Ελλήρων τε καὶ Ι᾿ουδαίων, Act Disputationis de Christo, in Perside, inter Christianos, Gentiles, et Judceos habitse, is (or was) in the Imperial Library at Vienna. Philip was present at the disputation. See Socrates, H.E. 7:26, 27, 29, 35; Liberatus, l.c.; Phot. Bibl. cod. 35; Theophan. Chronog. page 75, ed. Paris; page 60, ed. Venice; 1:135, ed. Bonn; Tillemont, Hist. des Empereurs, 6:130; Cave, Hist. Litt. ad ann. 418, 1:395; Oudin, De Scriptoribus Eccles. volume 1, col. 997; Fabricius, Bibl. Graec. 6:739, 747, 749; 7:418; 10:691; Galland, Biblioth. Patrum, volume 9, Pol. c. 11; Lambecius, Commentar. de Biblioth. Caesaraea, lib. s. volume 5, col. 289; volume 6, pars 2, col. 406, ed, Kollar.