The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.


omedia, A.D. 327, and at Rome, A.D. 328. Eusebius's object in writing it was to give an account of ancient history previous to the time of Christ, in order to establish belief in the truth of the Old Testament history, and to point out the superior antiquity of the Mosaic to any other writings. In the course of the work Eusebius gives extracts from Berosus, San-choniathon, Polyhistor, Cephalion, and Manetho, which materially in­crease its value. Some of the other works of Eusebius, although not falling within our limits, may briefly be noticed here. These are, 1. The Praparatio Evangelica (EvayyehiKijs cbro5ei£eo>s irpoTrapacrKevfi), in fifteen books, a collection of various facts and quotations from old writers, by which it was supposed that the mind would be prepared to receive the evidences of Christianity. 2. The Demonstratio Evangelica (^XiK^ «7n)i56/£<s), in twenty books, of which ten are extant, a collection of evi­dences, chiefly from the Old Testament, addressed principally to the Jews. 3. The Ecclesiastical History ^EKKX^ffiaffriK^ 'Iffropta), in ten books, containing the history of Christianity from the birth of Christ to the death of Licinius, A.D. 324.

The Greek text of the Chronicon is lost, with the exception of some fragments preserved by George Syncellus in his Chronicle, and by Eusebius himself in his Pr&paratio Evan-gelica. There is extant, however, part of a Latin translation of it by Jerome, published by Scaliger, Leyden, 1606, of which another and enlarged edition appeared at Amsterdam, 1658. Subsequently, in 1792, an Armenian of Constantinople, named Georgius Johannis, discovered an Armenian translation of the entire work. He made a copy of this, and transmitted it, in 1794, to Dr. Zohrab, at Venice. Of this Armenian version Zohrab and Mai published a Latin translation at Milan, 1818, together with the Greek fragments. In the same year Aucher published at Venice the Chronicon in Armenian, Greek (as far as extant), and Latin. The best edition of the Prcsparatio Evangelica is by Heinichen, Leipzig, 1842, 2 vols. 8vo, and of the Ecclesiastical History, by the same, Leipzig, 1827, 3 vols. 8vo.

III. The first historian, properly so called, during the period we are at present considering, was praxagoras, a native of Athens, who lived after the time of Constantine the Great, probably under his sons. He wrote, at the age of nineteen, two books on the Athenian kings; at the age of twenty-two, two books on the history of Constantine ; and at the age of thirty-one, six books on the history of Alexander the Great. All these works were written in the Ionic dialect. None of them have come down to us, with the exception of a few extracts made by Photius from the history of Constantine. In this work Praxagoras, though a heathen, placed Constantine before all other emperors.

IV. Next in order is eunapius, a sophist and historian, born at Sardis in A.D, 347, and who seems to have lived till the reign of the Emperor Theodosius the younger. He wrote, 1. Lives of Sophists, still extant, con­taining twenty-three biographies of sophists, most of whom were con­temporaries of Eunapius, or had lived shortly before him. Though these biographies are exceedingly brief, and the style is intolerably inflated, yet they supply us with important information respecting a period in the his­tory of philosophy, which, without this work, would be buried in utter ob­scurity. 2. A continuation of the History of Dexippus, in fourteen books. It began with A.D. 270, and went down to 404. Of this work we have only extracts.

About | Preface | Contents | Index



page #  
Search this site
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.