(Aviricius Marcellus, [202]p.335, supra)

Like his great predecessor in Patristic research (Bishop Pearson), the learned and indefatigable Bishop Lightfoot will leave us gold-dust in the mere sweepings of his literary work. His recent voluminous edition of the Apostolic Fathers [2192] is encyclopedic in its treatment of the subject; and I had hardly corrected the last proofs of the fragments ascribed to Asterius Urbanus when I discovered, in one of his notes on Polycarp, a most brilliant elucidation of a matter which I had supposed involved in twofold obscurity. Asterius is a mere name embedded in Eusebius, and in his fragments there preserved is embedded the yet obscurer name of Aviricius Marcellus, which the reader will find, with its various spellings, in one of the translator's notes. [2193] Who could have supposed that even the learning and ingenuity of Lightfoot could fish out of very dark waters such shining booty as fills the network about "Abercius of Hierapolis?" While he does not even name Asterius, the mere nominis umbra of Aviricius Marcellus is material for a truly remarkable dissertation covering nine pages of fine print, and enabling us to conclude that this Aviricius is none other than the same "bishop of Hierapolis" about whom there is such a long story in the Bollandist Acta Sanctorum [2194] The story is a silly legend, but Lightfoot understands the art ex fumo dare lucem; and any one who enjoys following up such elaborations will find most curious and delightful reading in the pages to which I have referred. Our Aviricius, then, was bishop of "Hierapolis of Lesser Phrygia," not of Hierapolis on the Mæander, and flourished about a.d.163, during the reign of M. Aurelius. This date, therefore, must correct the conjecture of Tillemont and the date which I had accepted from him on the authority of Dr. Lardner. [2195]


[2192] London, Macmillans, 1885. Refer to part ii. vol. i.-pp. 476-485.

[2193] See p. 335, supra, note 2.

[2194] Lightfoot also gives a reference to Migne's Patrologia, vol. cxv. p. 1211.

[2195] See [203]p. 333, supra. "There is no clue to the authorship" of the fragments, says the translator; but, under the lead of a Lightfoot, who may not hope to find one? I commend the quarry to studious readers.

[2158] Being fragments of three books to Abercius Marcellus against the Montanists. Gallandi, vol. iii. p. 273, from Eusebius, Hist. Eccl., v. ch. 16, 17.

[2159] The manuscripts write the name Aoui'rkios, Avircius: but Nicephorus (book iv.) gives it as Abe'rkios, Abercius.

[2160] Nicephorus adds ison d' eipein Montano'n , which seems, however, to be but a scholium. It may appear difficult to account for the fact that the name of Miltiades rather than that of Montanus is associated with the heresy of the Cataphrygians, and some consequently have conjectured that we should read here Alcibiades, as that is a name mentioned in concert with Montanus and Theodotus in Euseb. v. 3. In the Muratorian fragment, however, as given above among the writings of Caius, we find again a Miltiades named among the heretics.

[Vol. v.

[204]p. 604, this series.]

[2161] episungra'phein e epidiata'ssesthai.

[2162] kata` po'nton. But the Codex Regius reads kata` to'pon, the church of the place, i.e., the church of Ancyra itself. This reading is confirmed by Nicephorus, book iv. 23, and is adopted by the Latin interpreter.

[2163] diatethrulleme'nen, "ringing with it," "deafened by it."

[2164] ekasta' te. Others propose eka'stote, "constantly," "daily."

[2165] antithe'tous. Others read antithe'ous, "the enemies of God."

[2166] Zotikou tou Otrenou. Nicephorus reads Ostrenou.


[205]p. 336, infra. This looks like a bishop or a presbyter attending Asterius (compare Cyprian, vol. v. p. 319,

[206]note 7, this series), and is a token that our author was a bishop.]

[2167] enstasis.

[2168] Ardabau. One codex makes it Ardabab

[2169] en te kata` te`n phrugian Musi'a. Rufinus renders it, apud Phrygiam Mysiæ civitatem; others render it, apud Mysiam Phrygiæ; Migne takes it as defining this Mysia to be the Asiatic one, in distinction from the European territory, which the Latins called Moesia, but the Greeks also Musi'a.

[2170] pneumatophorethenai.

[2171] diastoles.

[2172] eis to` meke'ti kolu'esthai siopan.

[2173] te`n apokekoimeme'nen, etc; the verb being used literally of the wife who proves false to her marriage vow.

[2174] elenktiko'n. Montanus, that is to say, or the demon that spake by Montanus, knew that it had been said of old by the Lord, that when the Spirit came He would convince or reprove the world of sin; and hence this false spirit, with the view of confirming his hearers in the belief that he was the true Spirit of God, sometimes rebuked and condemned them. See a passage in Ambrose's Epistle to the Thessal., ch. v. (Migne).


[Vol. ii.

[207]pp. 4, 5.]


[Compare Num. xvi. 41.]

[2177] ametropho'nous. So Homer in the Iliad calls Thersites ametroepe's, "unbridled of tongue," and thus also mendacious.

[2178] tou ono'matos. Nicephorus reads tou no'mou, "for the law."

[Compare Tertullian, vol. iii. cap. 28,

[208]p. 624.]

[2179] kata` de` to`n hekastou teleutes kairo'n.

[2180] oion epi'tropon. Rufinus renders it, "veluti primogenitum prophetiæ ipsorum." Migne takes it as meaning steward, manager of a common fund established among the Montanists for the support of their prophets. Eusebius (v. 18) quotes Apollonius as saying of Montanus, that he established exactors of money, and provided salaries for those who preached his doctrine.

[2181] parekstenai.

[2182] diskeuthe'ta, "pitched like a quoit."

[2183] The text is, alla` me`n aneu. But in various codices we have the more correct reading, alla` me` aneu.

[2184] These words are apparently a scholium, which Eusebius himself or some old commentator had written on the margin of his copy. We gather also from them that Asterius Urbanus was credited with the authorship of these three books, and not Apollinaris, as some have supposed.

[2185] Comana seems to have been a town of Pamphylia. At least a bishop of Comana is mentioned in the epistle of the bishops of Pamphylia to Leo Augustus, cited in the third part of the Council of Chalcedon,

[209]p. 391.

[See p. 335, note 9, supra.]

[2186] Themison was a person of note among the Montanists, who boasted of himself as a confessor and martyr, and had the audacity to write a catholic epistle to the churches like an apostle, with the view of commending the new prophecy to them. See Euseb., v. 18.

[2187] en tois peri` Ga'ion ... marture'sasi. It may be intended for, "In the case of the martyrs Caius and Alexander."

[2188] Migne is of opinion that there has been an interchange of names between this passage and the Exordium, and that we should read Miltiades here, and Alcibiades there. But see Exordium, note 3, p. 335.

[And compare Eusebius, book v. cap. 3, where two of this name are mentioned; also Ibid., cap. 17.]

[2189] This seems to be the sense of the text, which appears to be imperfect here: a`ll' ouk an echoien seixai tessareskaide'katon ede pou touto etos apo` tes Maximi'lles teleutes.

[2190] Vol. ii.

[210]p. 3, this series.

[2191] Ibid.,

[211]p. 56.

i the exordium
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