The Ancient Library
 

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Peucestas

228

PETRUS.

narrowed, his morals were preserved pure ; and if he fell short of his more eminent brothers in variety of attainments, he equalled them in holiness of life. The place of his education appears to have been a nunne^ at Annesi or Annesa on the river Iris, in Pontus, established by his mother and sister: and with them, or in the monastery which his brother Basil had established on the other side of the river, much of his life was passed. In a season of scarcity (a. d. 367, 368?) such was his benevolent exertion to provide for the destitute, that they flocked to him from all parts, and gave to the thinly-peopled neigh­bourhood in which he resided the appearance of a populous town. He had the satisfaction of being present with his sister at his mother's death-bed, and received her dying benediction. Her death appears to have occurred about the time of Basil's elevation to the bishoprick of the Cappadocian Caesareia, about A. d. 370 : soon after which, appa­rently, Peter received from Basil ordination to the office of presbyter, probably of the church of Cae­sareia ; for Basil appears to have employed his brother as his confidential agent in some affairs. (Basil. Maritimis Episcopis Epistola Ixxvii. editt. vett., cciii. edit. Benedictin.) Peter, however, re­tained a house, which Basil describes as near Neo-caesareia (Basil, Meletio Epistola cclxxii. editt. vett., ccxvi. edit. Benedictin), but which was pro­bably at or near Annesi, where he had been brought up, and where his sister Macrina still resided. It was probably after the death both of Basil and Macrina, about the year 380, as Tillemont judges, that Peter was raised to the bishopric of Sebaste, (now Si was) in the Lesser Armenia. A passage of Theodoret (H. E. iv. 30) has been thought to imply that he was raised to the episcopate during the reign of Valens, which terminated in a. d. 378 ; but the passage only implies that he took an active part in the struggle carried on during that reign by the bishops of the orthodox party against, Arianism, which he might very well do, though not himself a bishop. His elevation preceded the second general council, that of Constantinople, a. d. 380— 381, in which he took part. (Theodoret, H. E. v. 8.) In what year he died is not known: but it was probably after a. d. 391 ; and certainly before the death of his brother, Gregory of Nyssa (who sur­vived till a.d. 394, or later), for Gregory was pre­sent at Sebaste at the first celebration of his bro­ther's memory, i. e. the anniversary of his death, winch occurred in hot weather, and therefore could not have been in January or March, where the martyrologies place it. (Greg. Nyssen, EpistoL ad Flavian. Opera, vol. iii. p. 645, &c. ed. Paris, 1638.)

The only extant writing of Peter is a letter pre­fixed to the Contra Eunomium Libri of Gregory of Nyssa, and published with the works of that father. It is entitled Toy kv dyiois Trdrpos r\^6ov Ylerpov ^eSacrreias eTrtcrToA?} irpbs tov ayiov Nucnnys tov avrov aSeAjtpoy, Sancti Patris nostri Pt-tri Episcopi Sebasteni ad S. Grego-rium Nyssenum fratrem suum Epistola. Peter does not appear to have been ambitious of author­ship, and probably felt the disqualification arising from his restricted education. Some of the works of his brother Gregory were, however, written at his desire, such as the above-mentioned treatises against Eunomius and the Explicatio Apologetica in Hexa'eme.ron. The De Ilominis Opificio is also addressed to him by Gregory, who, both in this

PEUCESTAS.

treatise and in the Explicatia in Hexaemeron, speaks of him in the highest terms. A work ex­tant in Arabic, bearing the title of Demonstratio, cited by Abraham Echellensis (Eutycli. Vindic. Pars ii. p. 486, and Not. ad Catalog. Hebedjesu, p. 51), is ascribed to the three brothers, Basil, Gregory, and Peter ; but its genuineness is, to say the least, very doubtful. (Greg. Nyssen. De Vita S. Ma-crinae ; Basil. II. cc. ; Theodoret, II. cc.; Tillemont, Memoires, vol. ix. p. 572, &c. ; Le Quien, Oriens Christianus, vol. i. col. 424 ; Cave, Hist. Litt. ad ann. 370,>ol. i. p. 246.)

31. siculus. [No. 7.] [J.C. M.]

PEUCESTAS (He^o-ras). 1. Son of Ma-cartatus, a Macedonian officer in the service of Alexander, who was appointed by the king to com­mand the troops left in Egypt, b. c. 331. (Arr. Anab. iii. 5. § 6 ; Curt. iv. 8. § 4.)

2. Son of Alexander, a native of the town of Mieza, in Macedonia, was a distinguished officer in the service of Alexander the Great. His name is first mentioned as one of those appointed to command a trireme on the Hydaspes (Arr. Ind. 18). Previous to this we do not find him holding any command of importance ; but it is evident that he must have distinguished himself for his per­sonal valour and prowess, as he was the person selected by Alexander to carry before him in battle the sacred shield, which he had taken down from the temple of Athena at Ilium. In this capacity he was in close attendance upon the king's person in the assault on the capital city of the Malli ; and all authors agreed in attributing the chief share in saving the life of Alexander upon that occasion to Peucestas, while they differed as to almost all the other circumstances and persons concerned (Arr. Anab. vi. 9, 10, 11 ; Plut. Alex. 63 ; Diod. xvii. 99 ; Curt. ix. 5. § 14). For his services on this occasion he was rewarded by the king with almost every distinction which it was in his power to confer. On the arrival of Alexander at Persepolis, he bestowed upon Peucestas the important satrapy of Persia, but, previous to this, he had already raised him to the rank of somatophylax, an honour rendered the more conspicuous in this instance by the number of those select officers being augmented on purpose to make room for his admission. At Susa, also, Peucestas was the first of those rewarded with crowns of gold for their past exploits (Arr. ib. vi. 28, 30, vii. 5). After this he proceeded to take possession of his government, where he con­ciliated the favour of the Persians subject to his rule, as well as that of Alexander himself, by adopting the Persian dress and customs, in exchange for those of Macedonia. (Id. vi. 30, vii. 6 ; Diod. xix. 14.)

In the spring of b. c. 323, Peucestas joined the king at Babylon, with an army of 20,000 Persian troops; and is mentioned as one of those in attendance upon him durifig his last illness. It does not appear that he took any leading part in the discussions that ensued upon the death of Alex­ander, but in the division of the provinces that followed, he obtained the renewal of his govern­ment of Persia, which he also retained in the second partition at Triparadeisus, b.c. 321 (Arr. Anab. vii. 23, 24, 26, ap. Phot. p. 69, b. 71, b.; Diod. xvii. 110, xviii. 3, 39 ; Dexipp. ap. Phot. p. 64, b. ; Justin. xiii. 4). All his attention seems to have been directed to the strengthening, himself in this position, and extending his power and in-

Pages
About | First

226

227

228
letter/word  
volume
page #  
Search this site
Google


ancientlibrary.com
WWW
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of Isidore-of-Seville.com.