Ammianus Marcellinus was a Roman soldier and historian who wrote the penultimate major historical account surviving from antiquity. His work, known as the Res Gestae, chronicled in Latin the history of Rome from the accession of the Emperor Nerva in 96 to the death of Valens at the Battle of Adrianople in 378, although only the sections covering the period 353–378 survive. Ammianus was born in the Greek-speaking East in Syria or Phoenicia, his native language was most Greek. The surviving books of his history cover the years 353 to 378. Ammianus served as a soldier in the army of Constantius II and Julian in Gaul and in the Roman–Persian Wars, he professes to have been "a former soldier and a Greek", his enrollment among the elite protectores domestici shows that he was of middle class or higher birth. Consensus is that Ammianus came from a curial family, but it is possible that he was the son of a comes Orientis of the same family name, he entered the army at an early age, when Constantius II was emperor of the East, was sent to serve under Ursicinus, governor of Nisibis in Mesopotamia, magister militum.
He returned with Ursicinus to Italy when Ursicinus was recalled by Constantius to begin an expedition against Claudius Silvanus. Silvanus had been forced by the false accusations of his enemies into proclaiming himself emperor in Gaul. Ammianus campaigned in the East twice under Ursicinus. On one occasion, he became separated from the officer's entourage and took refuge in Amida during the siege of the city by the Sassanids under King Shapur II; when Ursicinus was dismissed from his military post by Constantius, Ammianus too seems to have retired from the military. He accompanied Julian, for whom he expresses enthusiastic admiration, in his campaigns against the Alamanni and the Sassanids. After Julian's death, Ammianus accompanied the retreat of the new emperor, Jovian, as far as Antioch, he was residing in Antioch in 372 when a certain Theodorus was thought to have been identified the successor to the emperor Valens by divination. Speaking as an alleged eyewitness, Marcellinus recounts how Theodorus and several others were made to confess their deceit through the use of torture, cruelly punished.
He settled in Rome and began the Res Gestae. The precise year of his death is unknown, but scholarly consensus places it somewhere between 392 and 400 at the latest. Modern scholarship describes Ammianus as a pagan, tolerant of Christianity. Marcellinus writes of Christianity as being a pure and simple religion that demands only what is just and mild, when he condemns the actions of Christians, he does not do so on the basis of their Christianity as such, his lifetime was marked by lengthy outbreaks of sectarian and dogmatic strife within the new state-backed faith with violent consequences and these conflicts sometimes appeared unworthy to him, though it was territory where he could not risk going far in criticism, due to the growing and volatile political connections between the church and imperial power. He was not blind to the faults of Christians or of pagans, and he condemns his hero Julian for excessive attachment to sacrifice, for his edict barring Christians from teaching posts. While living in Rome in the 380s, Ammianus wrote a Latin history of the Roman empire from the accession of Nerva to the death of Valens at the Battle of Adrianople, in effect writing a continuation of the history of Tacitus.
He completed the work before 391, as at 22.16.12 he praises the Serapeum in Egypt as the glory of the empire. The Res Gestae was composed of thirty-one books, but the first thirteen have been lost; the surviving eighteen books cover the period from 353 to 378. It constitutes the foundation of modern understanding of the history of the fourth century Roman Empire, it is lauded as a clear and impartial account of events by a contemporary. Although criticised as lacking literary merit by his early biographers, he was in fact quite skilled in rhetoric, which has brought the veracity of some of the Res Gestae into question, his work has suffered from manuscript transmission. Aside from the loss of the first thirteen books, the remaining eighteen are in many places corrupt and lacunose; the sole surviving manuscript from which every other is derived is a ninth-century Carolingian text, Vatican lat. 1873, produced in Fulda from an insular exemplar. The only independent textual source for Ammianus lies in Fragmenta Marbugensia, another ninth-century Frankish codex, taken apart to provide covers for account-books during the fifteenth
Julian known as Julian the Apostate, was Roman Emperor from 361 to 363, as well as a notable philosopher and author in Greek. A member of the Constantinian dynasty, Julian was orphaned as a child, he was raised by the Gothic slave Mardonius, who had a profound influence on him, providing Julian with an excellent education. Julian became Caesar over the western provinces by order of Constantius II in 355, in this role he campaigned against the Alamanni and Franks. Most notable was his crushing victory over the Alamanni at the Battle of Argentoratum in 357, leading his 13,000 men against a Germanic army three times larger. In 360, Julian was proclaimed Augustus by his soldiers at Lutetia, sparking a civil war with Constantius. However, Constantius died before the two could face each other in battle, named Julian as his successor. In 363, Julian embarked on an ambitious campaign against the Sassanid Empire; the campaign was successful, securing a victory outside Ctesiphon. However, while campaigning into Persian territory, the Persians flooded the area behind him and Julian took a risky decision to withdraw up the valley of the Tigris River.
During the Battle of Samarra, Julian was mortally wounded under mysterious circumstances, leaving his army trapped in Persian territory. Following his death, the Roman forces were obliged to cede territory in order to escape, including the fortress city of Nisibis. Julian was a man of unusually complex character: he was "the military commander, the theosophist, the social reformer, the man of letters", he was the last non-Christian ruler of the Roman Empire, he believed that it was necessary to restore the Empire's ancient Roman values and traditions in order to save it from dissolution. He purged the top-heavy state bureaucracy, attempted to revive traditional Roman religious practices at the expense of Christianity, his attempt to build a Third Temple in Jerusalem was intended to harm Christianity rather than please Jews. Julian forbade the Christians from teaching and learning classical texts, his rejection of Christianity, his promotion of Neoplatonic Hellenism in its place, caused him to be remembered as Julian the Apostate by the church.
Flavius Claudius Julianus was born at Constantinople in May or June 332, the son of Julius Constantius, consul in 335, half-brother of the emperor Constantine, by his second wife, Basilina, a woman of Greek origin. Both of his parents were Christians. Julian's paternal grandparents were the emperor Constantius Chlorus and his second wife, Flavia Maximiana Theodora, his maternal grandfather was Julius Julianus, Praetorian Prefect of the East under the emperor Licinius from 315 to 324, consul suffectus in 325. The name of Julian's maternal grandmother is unknown. In the turmoil after the death of Constantine in 337, in order to establish himself and his brothers, Julian's zealous Arian cousin Constantius II appears to have led a massacre of most of Julian's close relatives. Constantius II ordered the murders of many descendants from the second marriage of Constantius Chlorus and Theodora, leaving only Constantius and his brothers Constantine II and Constans I, their cousins and Gallus, as the surviving males related to Emperor Constantine.
Constantius II, Constans I, Constantine II were proclaimed joint emperors, each ruling a portion of Roman territory. Julian and Gallus were excluded from public life, were guarded in their youth, given a Christian education, they were saved by their youth and at the urging of the Empress Eusebia. If Julian's writings are to be believed, Constantius would be tormented with guilt at the massacre of 337. Growing up in Bithynia, raised by his maternal grandmother, at the age of seven Julian was under the guardianship of Eusebius of Nicomedia, the semi-Arian Christian Bishop of Nicomedia, taught by Mardonius, a Gothic eunuch, about whom he wrote warmly. After Eusebius died in 342, both Julian and Gallus were exiled to the imperial estate of Macellum in Cappadocia. Here Julian met the Christian bishop George of Cappadocia, who lent him books from the classical tradition. At the age of 18, the exile was lifted and he dwelt in Constantinople and Nicomedia, he became a lector, a minor office in the Christian church, his writings show a detailed knowledge of the Bible acquired in his early life.
Julian's conversion from Christianity to paganism happened at around the age of 20. Looking back on his life in 362, Julian wrote that he had spent twenty years in the way of Christianity and twelve in the true way, i.e. the way of Helios. Julian began his study of Neoplatonism in Asia Minor in 351, at first under Aedesius, the philosopher, his Aedesius' student Eusebius of Myndus, it was from Eusebius that Julian learned of the teachings of Maximus of Ephesus, whom Eusebius criticized for his more mystical form of Neoplatonic theurgy. Eusebius related his meeting with Maximus, in which the theurgist invited him into the temple of Hecate and, chanting a hymn, caused a statue of the goddess to smile and laugh, her torches to ignite. Eusebius told Julian that he "must not marvel at any of these things as I marvel not, but rather believe that the thing of the highest importance is that purification of the soul, attained by reason." In spite of Eusebius' warnings regarding the "impostures of witchcraft and magic that cheat the senses" and "the works of conjurers who are insane men led astray into the exercise of earthly and material powers", Julian was intrigued, sought out Maximus as his new mentor.
According to the historian Eunapiu
Saint George was a soldier of Cappadocian Greek origins, member of the Praetorian Guard for Roman emperor Diocletian, sentenced to death for refusing to recant his Christian faith. He became one of the most venerated saints and megalo-martyrs in Christianity, was venerated as a military saint since the Crusaders. In hagiography, as one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers and one of the most prominent military saints, he is immortalised in the legend of Saint George and the Dragon, his memorial, Saint George's Day, is traditionally celebrated on 23 April. England and several other nation states, universities and organisations all claim Saint George as their patron. Little is known about St George’s life, but it is thought he was a Roman officer of Greek descent from Cappadocia, martyred in one of the pre-Constantinian persecutions. Beyond this, early sources give conflicting information. There are two main versions of the legend, a Greek and a Latin version, which can both be traced to the 5th or 6th century.
The saint's veneration dates to the 5th century with some certainty, still to the 4th. The addition of the dragon legend dates to the 11th century; the earliest text preserving fragments of George's narrative is in a Greek hagiography identified by Hippolyte Delehaye of the scholarly Bollandists to be a palimpsest of the 5th century. An earlier work by Eusebius, Church history, written in the 4th century, contributed to the legend but did not name George or provide significant detail; the work of the Bollandists Daniel Papebroch, Jean Bolland, Godfrey Henschen in the 17th century was one of the first pieces of scholarly research to establish the saint's historicity via their publications in Bibliotheca Hagiographica Graeca. Pope Gelasius I stated that George was among those saints "whose names are justly reverenced among men, but whose actions are known only to God." A critical edition of a Syriac Acta of Saint George, accompanied by an annotated English translation, was published by E. W. Brooks in 1925.
The compiler of this Acta Sancti Georgii, according to Hippolyte Delehaye, "confused the martyr with his namesake, the celebrated George of Cappadocia, the Arian intruder into the see of Alexandria and enemy of St. Athanasius". In the Greek tradition, George was born in Cappadocia, his father died for the faith when George was fourteen, his mother returned with George to her homeland of Syria Palaestina. A few years George's mother died. George joins the Roman army. George is persecuted by one Dadianus. In versions of the Greek legend, this name is rationalized to Diocletian, George's martyrdom is placed in the Diocletian persecution of AD 303; the setting in Nicomedia is secondary, inconsistent with the earliest cultus of the saint being located in Diospolis. George was executed by decapitation before Nicomedia's city wall, on 23 April 303. A witness of his suffering convinced Empress Alexandra of Rome to become a Christian as well, so she joined George in martyrdom, his body was returned to Lydda for burial.
The Latin Acta Sancti Georgii follows the general course of the Greek legend, but Diocletian here becomes Dacian, Emperor of the Persians. George dies in Melitene in Cappadocia, his martyrdom is extended, to more than twenty separate tortures over the course of seven years. Over the course of his martyrdom, 40,900 pagans are converted to Christianity, including the empress Alexandra; when George dies, the wicked Dacian is carried away in a whirlwind of fire. In Latin versions, the persecutor is the Roman emperor Decius, or a Roman judge named Dacian serving under Diocletian. There is little information on the early life of Saint George. Herbert Thurston in The Catholic Encyclopedia states that based upon an ancient cultus, narratives of the early pilgrims, the early dedications of churches to Saint George, going back to the fourth century, "there seems, therefore, no ground for doubting the historical existence of St. George", although no faith can be placed in either the details of his history or his alleged exploits.
According to Donald Attwater, "No historical particulars of his life have survived... The widespread veneration for St George as a soldier saint from early times had its centre in Palestine at Diospolis, now Lydda. St George was martyred there, at the end of the third or the beginning of the fourth century, and that Saint George in all likelihood was martyred before the year 290. Although the Diocletianic Persecution of 303, associated with military saints because the persecution was aimed at Christians among the professional soldiers of the Roman army, is of undisputed historicity, the identity of Saint George as a historical individual had not been ascertained as of Edmund Spenser's day, Edward Gibbon argued that George, or at least the legend from which the above is distilled, is based on George of Cappadocia, a notorious Arian bishop
The Christian holy day of Pentecost, celebrated on the seventh Sunday after Easter, commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus Christ while they were in Jerusalem celebrating the Feast of Weeks, as described in the Acts of the Apostles. In Christian tradition, this event represents the birth of the early Church. In Eastern Christianity, Pentecost can refer to the entire fifty days of Easter through Pentecost inclusive. Since its date depends on the date of Easter, Pentecost is a moveable feast; the holy day is called "White Sunday" or "Whitsunday" in the United Kingdom, where traditionally the next day, Whit Monday, was a public holiday. In Germany Pentecost is called "Pfingsten" and coincides with scholastic holidays and the beginning of many outdoor and springtime activities, such as festivals and organized outdoor activities by youth organizations; the Monday after Pentecost is a legal holiday in many European nations. The term Pentecost comes from the Greek Πεντηκοστή meaning "fiftieth".
It refers to the festival celebrated on the fiftieth day after Passover known as the "Feast of Weeks" and the "Feast of 50 days" in rabbinic tradition. The Septuagint uses the term Pentēkostē to refer to the "Feast of Pentecost" only twice, in the deuterocanonical Book of Tobit and 2 Maccabees; the Septuagint writers used the word in two other senses: to signify the year of Jubilee, an event which occurs every 50th year, in several passages of chronology as an ordinal number. The term has been used in the literature of Hellenistic Judaism by Philo of Alexandria and Josephus. In Judaism the Festival of Weeks was a harvest festival, celebrated seven weeks and one day after the first Sabbath of the Feast of Unleavened Bread in Deuteronomy 16:9 or seven weeks and one day after the Sabbath in Leviticus 23:16; the Festival of Weeks was called the feast of Harvest in Exodus 23:16 and the day of first fruits in Numbers 28:26. In Exodus 34:22 it is called the "firstfruits of the wheat harvest." The date for the "Feast of Weeks" came the day after seven full weeks following the first harvest of grain.
In Jewish tradition the fiftieth day was known as the Festival of Weeks. The actual mention of fifty days comes from Leviticus 23:16. During the Hellenistic period, the ancient harvest festival became a day of renewing the Noahic covenant, described in Genesis 9:8-17, established between God and "all flesh, upon the earth". By this time, some Jews were living in Diaspora. According to Acts 2:5-11 there were Jews from "every nation under heaven" in Jerusalem visiting the city as pilgrims during Pentecost. In particular the hoi epidemountes are identified as "visitors" to Jerusalem from Rome; this group of visitors includes both Jews and "proselytes". The list of nations represented in the biblical text includes Parthians, Elamites, Judaea, Pontus, Phrygia, Egypt and those who were visiting from Rome. Scholars have speculated about a possible earlier literary source for the list of nations including an astrological list by Paul of Alexandria and various references to the Jewish diaspora by writers of the Second Temple era.
After the destruction of the temple in 70 AD offerings could no longer be brought to the Temple and the focus of the festival shifted from agriculture to the giving of the law on Sinai. It became customary to gather at synagogue and read the Book of Ruth and Exodus Chapters 19 and 20; the term Pentecost appears in the Septuagint as one of names for the Festival of Weeks. The biblical narrative of the Pentecost includes numerous references to earlier biblical narratives like the Tower of Babel, the flood and creation narratives from the Book of Genesis, it includes references to certain theophanies, with certain emphasis on God's incarnate appearance on Sinai when the Ten Commandments were presented to Moses. Theologian Stephen Wilson has described the narrative as "exceptionally obscure" and various points of disagreement persist among bible scholars; some biblical commentators have sought to establish that the οἶκος given as the location of the events of in Acts 2:2 was one of the thirty halls of the Temple, but the text itself is lacking in specific details.
Richard C. H. Lenski and other scholars contend that the author of Acts could have chosen the word ἱερόν if this meaning were intended, rather than "house"; some semantic details suggest that the "house" could be the "upper room" mentioned in Acts 1:12-26 but there is no literary evidence to confirm the location with certainty and it remains a subject of dispute amongst scholars. The events of Acts Chapter 2 are set against the backdrop of the celebration of Pentecost in Jerusalem. There are several major features to the Pentecost narrative presented in the second chapter of the Acts of the Apostles; the author begins the narrative by noting that the disciples of Jesus "were all together in one place" on the "day of Pentecost". The verb used in Acts 2:1 to indicate the arrival of the day of Pentecost carries a connotation of fulfillment. There is a "mighty rushing wind" and "tongues as of fire" appear; the gathered disciples were "filled with the Holy Spirit, a
Epiphania was a city in Cilicia Secunda, in Anatolia. The city was called Oiniandos, was located in the area of the northern tip of the Gulf of Iskenderun on the route from Missis to Antioch. In the 2nd century BC the city was renamed Epiphania, in honour of Antiochus IV Epiphanes, King of Syria from 175 BC to 164 BC; the city is mentioned in the writings of Pliny the Elder. Cicero stayed there during his exile. In 66 BC the Roman general Pompey led a campaign against the Mediterranean pirates. After the surrender of the pirates, they were dispersed and many were settled at Epiphania. According to Gibbon, Saint George was born here, in the late 4th century. Saint Amphion was the earliest known bishop of Epiphania in 325, as a suffragan of the Bishop of Anazarbus, he attended the First Council of Nicaea in 325, suffered under the persecutions of Diocletian. Hesychius Polychronius Marinus Nicetus Basilius PaulToday its ruins include the remains of walls, a temple, an acropolis, an aqueduct, many houses, all built in basalt.
Titular bishopric of the Roman Church Vartan Hunanian Franz Anton von Harrach zu Rorau Giovanni Domenico Xiberras, Giovanni Battista Albrici Pellegrini Tommaso Vespoli Johann Nepomuk Augustin von Hornstein zu Hohenstoffen Pierre Feghali Pietro Sfair Volodymyr Malanczuk, Catholic Encyclopedia This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed.. "article name needed". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton
Manichaeism was a major religion founded by the Iranian prophet Mani in the Sasanian Empire. Manichaeism taught an elaborate dualistic cosmology describing the struggle between a good, spiritual world of light, an evil, material world of darkness. Through an ongoing process that takes place in human history, light is removed from the world of matter and returned to the world of light, whence it came, its beliefs were based on Gnosticism. Manichaeism was successful and spread far through the Aramaic-speaking regions, it thrived between the third and seventh centuries, at its height was one of the most widespread religions in the world. Manichaean churches and scriptures existed as far east as China and as far west as the Roman Empire, it was the main rival to Christianity before the spread of Islam in the competition to replace classical paganism. Manichaeism survived longer in the east than in the west, it appears to have faded away after the 14th century in south China, contemporary to the decline of the Church of the East in Ming China.
While most of Manichaeism's original writings have been lost, numerous translations and fragmentary texts have survived. An adherent of Manichaeism was called a Manichaean or Manichean, or Manichee in older sources. Mani was an Iranian born in 216 near Seleucia-Ctesiphon in the Parthian Empire. According to the Cologne Mani-Codex, Mani's parents were members of the Jewish Christian Gnostic sect known as the Elcesaites. Mani composed seven works, six of which were written in the Syriac language, a late variety of Aramaic; the seventh, the Shabuhragan, was written by Mani in Middle Persian and presented by him to the Sasanian emperor, Shapur I. Although there is no proof Shapur I was a Manichaean, he tolerated the spread of Manichaeism and refrained from persecuting it within his empire's boundaries. According to one tradition, it was Mani himself who invented the unique version of the Syriac script known as the Manichaean alphabet, used in all of the Manichaean works written within the Sasanian Empire, whether they were in Syriac or Middle Persian, for most of the works written within the Uyghur Khaganate.
The primary language of Babylon at that time was Eastern Middle Aramaic, which included three main dialects: Jewish Babylonian Aramaic and Syriac, the language of Mani, as well as of the Syriac Christians. While Manichaeism was spreading, existing religions such as Zoroastrianism were still popular and Christianity was gaining social and political influence. Although having fewer adherents, Manichaeism won the support of many high-ranking political figures. With the assistance of the Sasanian Empire, Mani began missionary expeditions. After failing to win the favour of the next generation of Persian royalty, incurring the disapproval of the Zoroastrian clergy, Mani is reported to have died in prison awaiting execution by the Persian Emperor Bahram I; the date of his death is estimated at 276–277. Mani believed that the teachings of Gautama Buddha and Jesus were incomplete, that his revelations were for the entire world, calling his teachings the "Religion of Light". Manichaean writings indicate that Mani received revelations when he was 12 and again when he was 24, over this time period he grew dissatisfied with the Elcesaite sect he was born into.
Mani began preaching at an early age and was influenced by contemporary Babylonian-Aramaic movements such as Mandaeism, Aramaic translations of Jewish apocalyptic writings similar to those found at Qumran, by the Syriac dualist-gnostic writer Bardaisan. With the discovery of the Mani-Codex, it became clear that he was raised in a Jewish-Christian baptism sect, the Elcesaites, was influenced by their writings, as well. According to biographies preserved by Ibn al-Nadim and the Persian polymath al-Biruni, he received a revelation as a youth from a spirit, whom he would call his Twin, his Syzygos, his Double, his Protective Angel or Divine Self, it taught. His divine Twin or true Self brought Mani to self-realization, he claimed to be the Paraclete of the Truth. Manichaeism's views on Jesus are described by historians: Jesus in Manichaeism possessed three separate identities: Jesus the Luminous, Jesus the Messiah and Jesus patibilis; as Jesus the Luminous... his primary role was as supreme revealer and guide and it was he who woke Adam from his slumber and revealed to him the divine origins of his soul and its painful captivity by the body and mixture with matter.
Jesus the Messiah was a historical being, the prophet of the Jews and the forerunner of Mani. However, the Manichaeans believed, he never experienced human birth as notions of physical conception and birth filled the Manichaeans with horror and the Christian doctrine of virgin birth was regarded as obscene. Since he was the light of the world, where was this light, they asked, when he was in the womb of the Virgin? Jesus the Messiah was bor