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The Cambridge History of Christianity


  • Page extent: 776 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 1.417 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 270.1
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: BR165 .O66 2006
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Church history--Primitive and early church, ca. 30-600

Library of Congress Record

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 (ISBN-13: 9780521812399 | ISBN-10: 0521812399)

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  • Published February 2006

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The Cambridge History of Christianity

The first of the nine-volume Cambridge History of Christianity series, Origins to Constantine provides a comprehensive overview of the essential events, persons, places and issues involved in the emergence of the Christian religion in the Mediterranean world in the first three centuries. Over thirty essays written by scholarly experts trace this dynamic history from the time of Jesus through to the rise of imperial Christianity in the fourth century. The volume provides thoughtful and well-documented analyses of the diverse forms of Christian community, identity and practice that arose within decades of Jesus’ death, and which through missionary efforts were soon implanted throughout the Roman empire. Origins to Constantine examines the distinctive characteristics of Christian groups in each geographical region up to the end of the third century, while also exploring the development of the institutional forms, intellectual practices and theological formulations that would mark Christian history in subsequent centuries.

MARGARET M. MITCHELL is Professor of New Testament and Early Christian Literature at the University of Chicago. She is the author of Paul and the rhetoric of reconciliation: an exegetical investigation of the language and composition of 1 Corinthians and The heavenly trumpet: John Chrysostom and the art of Pauline interpretation, and is co-executive editor of Novum Testamentum Supplements monograph series.

FRANCES M. YOUNG is a Fellow of the British Academy and received an OBE for services to Theology in 1998. She became Professor and Head of the Department of Theology, University of Birmingham, in 1986, Dean of the Faculty of Arts in 1995, served as Pro-Vice Chancellor from 1997–2002 and is now Emerita Professor of Theology. Her many publications include From Nicaea to Chalcedon and Biblical exegesis and the formation of Christian culture, as well as more popular works such as The making of the creeds, Can these dry bones live? and Face to face.

The Cambridge History of

The Cambridge History of Christianity offers a comprehensive chronological account of the development of Christianity in all its aspects – theological, intellectual, social, political, regional, global – from its beginnings to the present day. Each volume makes a substantial contribution in its own right to the scholarship of its period and the complete History constitutes a major work of academic reference. Far from being merely a history of western European Christianity and its offshoots, the History aims to provide a global perspective. Eastern and Coptic Christianity are given full consideration from the early period onwards, and later, African, Far Eastern, New World, South Asian and other non-European developments in Christianity receive proper coverage. The volumes cover popular piety and non-formal expressions of Christian faith and treat the sociology of Christian formation, worship and devotion in a broad cultural context. The question of relations between Christianity and other major faiths is also kept in sight throughout. The History will provide an invaluable resource for scholars and stu- dents alike.

List of volumes:

Origins to Constantine

Constantine to c. 600

Early Medieval Christianity c. 600–c. 1100

Christianity in Western Europe c. 1100–c. 1500

Eastern Christianity

Reform and Expansion 1500– 1660

Enlightenment, Reawakening and Revolution 1 660–1 81 5

World Christianities c. 1815–c. 1914

World Christianities c. 1914–c. 2000


Origins to Constantine

Edited by




Assistant editor
K. Scott Bowie

Cambridge, New York, Melbourne, Madrid, Cape Town, Singapore, São Paulo

Cambridge University Press
The Edinburgh Building, Cambridge CB2 2RU, UK

Published in the United States of America by Cambridge University Press, New York
Information on this title:

© Cambridge University Press 2006

This book is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception
and to the provisions of relevant collective licensing agreements,
no reproduction of any part may take place without
the written permission of Cambridge University Press.

First published 2006

Printed in the United Kingdom at the University Press, Cambridge

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

Library of Congress Cataloguing in Publication data

Origins to Constantine / edited by Frances M. Young, Margaret M. Mitchell ; assistant editor, K. Scott Bowie.
p. cm. – (The Cambridge history of Christianity; v. 1)
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 0 521-81239-9 (hardback)
1. Church history – Primitive and early church, ca. 30–600. I. Young, Frances M. (Frances Margaret) II. Mitchell, Margaret Mary, 1956-- III. Bowie, Kenneth Scott. IV. Title. V. Series.
BR165.066 2006 270.1 – dc22 2005012926

ISBN-13 978-0-521-81239-9 hardback
ISBN-10 0-521-81239-9 hardback

Cambridge University Press has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or third-party internet websites referred to in this book, and does not guarantee that any content on such websites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.


  List of illustrations ix
  List of maps x
  List of contributors xi
  Preface xiii
  Acknowledgements xxi
  Chart: Roman emperors and bishops of Rome and Alexandria xxii
  List of abbreviations of primary and secondary sources xxv
  Prelude: Jesus Christ, foundation of Christianity 1
1   Galilee and Judaea in the first century 37
2   The Jewish diaspora 53
3   The Roman empire 69
4   Jewish Christianity 87
5   Gentile Christianity 103
6   Johannine Christianity 125
7   Social and ecclesial life of the earliest Christians 145
8   The emergence of the written record 177
9   Marcion and the ‘canon’ 195
10   Self-definition vis-à-vis the Jewish matrix 214
11   Self-definition vis-à-vis the Graeco-Roman world 230
12   Self-differentiation among Christian groups: the Gnostics and their opponents 245
13   Truth and tradition: Irenaeus 261
14   The self-defining praxis of the developing ecclesia 274
15   From Jerusalem to the ends of the earth 295
16   Overview: the geographical spread of Christianity 302
17   Asia Minor and Achaea 314
18   Egypt 331
19   Syria and Mesopotamia 351
20   Gaul 366
21   North Africa 381
22   Rome 397
23   Institutions in the pre-Constantinian ecclesia 415
24   Monotheism and creation 434
25   Monotheism and Christology 452
26   Ecclesiology forged in the wake of persecution 470
27   Towards a Christian paideia 485
28   Persecutions: genesis and legacy 503
  W. H. C. FREND
29   Church and state up to c. 300 CE 524
30   Constantine and the ‘peace of the church’ 538
31   The first Council of Nicaea 552
32   Towards a Christian material culture 568
  Conclusion: retrospect and prospect 586
  Bibliographies 590
  Index 683


Fig. 1 Titulus in reliquary, Santa Croce in Gerusalemme (Rome) page xlviii
Fig. 2 Santa Pudenziana (Rome) altar mosaic, Church of Gentiles, Church of Circumcision 86
Fig. 3 Fish and loaves, Catacomb of San Callisto (Rome) 144
Fig. 4 Abercius inscription fragments, Museo Pio Cristiano, Musei Vaticani 172
Fig. 5 P46 Chester Beatty Papyrus, fo. 21r: end of Romans, incipit of Hebrews 176
Fig. 6 Reconstruction of Christian baptistery, Dura Europos 414
Fig. 7 Christ as Philosopher, Catacomb of Domitilla (Rome) 484
Fig. 8 Temple of Trajan at Pergamum 502
Fig. 9 Christ/Apollo mosaic, Vatican Necropolis 571
Fig. 10 Christ as Good Shepherd, Via Salaria sarcophagus, Museo Pio Cristiano, Musei Vaticani 578
Fig. 11 Jonah/Endymion sarcophagus relief, Museo Pio Cristiano, Musei Vaticani 580
Fig. 12 Santa Sabina, exterior view (Rome) 584
Fig. 13 Christogram on fourth-century sarcophagus, Museo Pio Cristiano, Musei Vaticani 587


Map 1. The Roman Empire in the time of Marcus Aurelius page xlvi
Map 2. Palestine in the first century CE 36
Map 3. Centres of Jewish population in the Herodian period 52
Map 4. The spread of Christianity (1st–4th centuries CE) 294
Map 5. Roman Egypt 330


HAROLD W. ATTRIDGE, Yale Divinity School

JOHN BEHR, St Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary

DAVID BRAKKE, Indiana University

AVERIL CAMERON, Keble College, Oxford

A. J. DROGE, University of California, San Diego

MARK EDWARDS, Christ Church, Oxford

W. H. C. FREND, emeritus, University of Glasgow, Bye-Fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge

SEAN FREYNE, Trinity College, Dublin

HARRY Y. GAMBLE, University of Virginia

STUART GEORGE HALL, emeritus, King’s College London, University of St Andrews, Scotland


ROBIN M. JENSEN, Vanderbilt Divinity School

HANS-JOSEF KLAUCK, University of Chicago

JUDITH LIEU, King’s College London

JOEL MARCUS, Duke Divinity School

GERHARD MAY, emeritus, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität, Mainz

DENIS MINNS, Blackfriars, Oxford

WAYNE A. MEEKS, emeritus, Yale University

MARGARET M. MITCHELL, University of Chicago

CAROLYN OSIEK, Brite Divinity School

BIRGER A. PEARSON, emeritus, University of California, Santa Barbara

TESSA RAJAK, University of Reading

ADOLF MARTIN RITTER, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität, Heidelberg

MAUREEN A. TILLEY, University of Dayton

CHRISTINE TREVETT, University of Cardiff

FRANK TROMBLEY, University of Cardiff

MARKUS VINZENT, University of Birmingham

FRANCES M. YOUNG, emerita, University of Birmingham


Once upon a time, historians of the early church wrote a simple story of a pristine faith received from Jesus Christ and communicated to his disciples. With an agreed gospel summed up in the Apostles’ Creed, they dispersed to spread the word in all directions. In time, however, this unified message was frustrated by distortions called heresies, which produced their own offspring, multiplying and diversifying, by contrast with the one truth entrusted to the apostles. Despite heresy and persecution, however, Christianity triumphed with the conversion of Constantine.

   Doubtless that is an over-simplification of an over-simplification, yet it is towards the goal of emancipation from such a schematised view of earliest Christianity (a perspective inherited from the ancient sources themselves) that much modern critical scholarship has been directed. The recognition of diversity within Christianity from the very beginning has transformed study of its origins. Simple models of development, or single theory explanations, whether they be applied to organisational, liturgical, doctrinal or other aspects of early church history, are recognisably inadequate. We have endeavoured to capture the complexity of early Christianity and its socio-cultural setting, whilst also indicating some of the elements that make it possible to trace a certain coherence, a recognisable identity, maintained over time and defended resolutely despite cultural pressure that could have produced something other.

   It is thanks to interdisciplinary scholarship, together with the variety of new evidence provided by archaeological activities and by chance finds such as the Dead Sea scrolls and the Nag Hammadi library, that this project is possible. Inevitably, the essays assembled here are brief overviews of what have become vast areas of research, but we hope that their virtue is the fact that, both severally and together, they provide balance and perspective, coherence and diversity, as well as the means to explore further the complex topics with which they engage.

   Perhaps the greatest conundrum for the historian of Christian origins is how to deal with the figure of Jesus. Most movements are generated by a founder whose biography would seem to be the natural starting-point. But in the case of Jesus, it is not so simple. In a significant sense, Christian faith is founded upon the person of Jesus Christ himself. The Prelude to the volume, ‘Jesus Christ, foundation of Christianity’, engages the consequent problems: is it possible to write the kind of historical biography of Jesus that we expect in the case of other significant figures, and, even if it were, would it do justice to what he has actually represented for Christian believers?

   In part I, ‘The political, social and religious setting’, we present three essays which sketch the three major formative contexts within which early Christianity developed. The first outlines the local setting of the life of Jesus and his earliest Jewish followers in Galilee and Judea. The second moves onto a wider stage, as it considers the presence of Jews outside that immediate locality, in the ‘diaspora’, and their response to the broader context of Graeco-Roman culture. It was both within and alongside the Greek-speaking Jewish communities outside Palestine that Christianity first spread, and it owed a considerable debt to Jewish precursors in developing an apologetic stance towards ‘pagan’ society. The third sketches the political and social realities of the Roman empire which both facilitated and thwarted the growth of Christian communities, as subsequent chapters demonstrate. The story of the first three centuries of Christianity may be depicted, broadly speaking, as a process whereby a counter-cultural movement is increasingly enculturated, and the task of writing that story may be undertaken through an analysis of the ways in which the movement both fitted within and challenged the various cultural environments in which it found itself.

   The essays in part II, ‘The Jesus movements’, explore the forms of Christianity that can be traced behind the New Testament documents, the final essay considering the nature of early Christian communities as social entities in the world of the late first century. It is clear that Jesus was a Jew, and his immediate followers were likewise Jews. The continuing existence of Jewish Christianity has become a subject of significant historical research, though bedevilled by questions of definition. It is also clear that our earliest Christian documents, namely the Pauline epistles, bear witness to the rapid incorporation of non-Jews into the community of believers in Jesus Christ, as well as to controversy about the terms on which that incorporation should take place. The first two essays therefore seek to trace the lineaments of Jewish and Gentile Christianity respectively. Their ultimate separation obscures the difficulties of differentiation in some New Testament texts, not least the gospel of John, where hostility to ‘the Jews’ may betray disputes within a Jewish community about where true Jewishness is to be found, rather than the more obvious possibility of a community defining itself over against Judaism. Be that as it may, the Johannine literature merits special attention, seeming as it does to represent Christian communities with a distinctive interpretation of the Jesus tradition, despite its ultimate acceptance within the common canon of New Testament writings. Yet these differing Christian groups have a family likeness, and their characteristic community ethos, organisational patterns and ritual forms are considered as a climax to the section.

   The following section, part III, ‘Community traditions and self-definition’, considers various ways in which Christian identity was formed in the next generation or two. The first essay examines the emergence of the written record, and the way in which the Christian movement early on developed a literary culture that was crucial to its sense of self and its propagation. The second is devoted to the complex figure of Marcion, whose legacy for the history of the Christian canon as well as its theological foundations is inestimable. What Marcion and his opponents had in common was the same process of identity formation through differentiation from others. In each such case, both among those who called themselves Christians, and between Christians and ‘others’ (Jews and ‘pagans’), this was a complex interactive process as the significant others were themselves undergoing identity transformations even as they were being configured as the opponent in Christian consciousness or apologetic. Attempts to capture such a process may take several forms: one might paint on a broad canvas, endeavouring to collect the broadest possible base of information and produce a carefully nuanced position; or one might present a more detailed analysis of a particular dialectical interchange. The essay on ‘Self-definition vis-à-vis the Jewish matrix’ appropriately adopts the first approach, given the intense debates about the parting of the ways between Judaism and Christianity which have characterised scholarship in the late twentieth century. The other tactic is evident in the following essay on ‘Self-definition vis-à-vis the Graeco-Roman world’, which offers insight into the complexity of defining exactly what distinguished the Christian discourse from that of others through a case study of Justin Martyr and Celsus, the opponent of Christianity. When over-arching models have essential similarities, the question of differentiation becomes the more urgent: Jews, philosophers and Christians had subtly different versions of a hierarchically ordered universe with a single divine Being at its apex but argued profoundly over what or who should be worshipped and how.

   A defining discourse was necessitated also by groups (often uncritically lumped together as ‘Gnostic’) experienced by Christians as too close for comfort and, therefore, doubly threatening. Their teachings were eventually rejected by the ‘great church’ because they were perceived to subvert sharply the core legacy from Judaism, characterised as insistence on the one true God who created the universe, declared it good, and through the prophets revealed the divine providential plan to be realised at the climax of history. Both sides of that dialogue are presented and considered in this section. By the end of the second century, a sense of what constituted the true tradition of Christian teaching was being articulated and claimed as universal, notably in the work of Irenaeus, who may be regarded as the first great systematiser of Christian theology. The final essay moves the issues of Christian self-definition into a broader social framework, turning from questions of doctrine, discourse and world-view to matters of family life and social practice, highlighting the ambivalent status of Christians in Graeco-Roman society. This reflects a notable shift in scholarship at the turn of the twenty-first century towards social history, in response to what some have perceived as an over-emphasis on intellectual history. Broadly speaking, section III brings us to the end of the second century.

   Part IV, ‘Regional varieties of Christianity in the first three centuries’, focuses on the spread of Christianity ‘from Jerusalem . . . to the ends of the earth’ (as Luke terms it, in Acts 1:8) within the first three centuries. An essay on ‘the geographical spread of Christianity’ first engages the evidentiary and methodological issues involved in making demographic estimates of ‘Christianisation’ in the empire. Subsequent chapters are devoted to each of the major regions where Christian populations were found in the period up until Constantine: Asia Minor (and Achaea), Egypt, Syria and Mesopotomia, Gaul, North Africa and Rome. The chapters in this section reflect a notable historiographic shift in the study of earliest Christianity. Since the work of Walter Bauer,1 which suggested that in some regions the earliest form of Christianity was heretical rather than orthodox, there has been radical reappraisal of the history of the early period: maybe diversity rather than uniformity characterised Christianity from the beginning; maybe what was heretical was only discerned by hindsight; maybe uniformity was imposed by the dominance of an emerging authority such as the Roman church. The last was Bauer’s thesis, a view that has been demolished in subsequent discussion. Nevertheless much else has directed scholars to regional variations, not least because different parts of the Roman empire had different roots and differing responses to Romanitas, especially the ruler cult, so that the religio-political context of Christian communities was not uniform, and this produced some variety in cultural and confessional ethos. In addition, research has turned up local varieties of liturgical practice and organisational structure in the churches. Scholars increasingly recognise the need for in-depth studies of the evidence for the presence of Christian communities, and an analysis of their particular character, in different localities.2 Each of the essays in this section gathers the key pieces of literary, documentary and archaeological evidence and sketches the outlines of the principal events, controversies and personalities for that particular region, while also highlighting the essential fact that no area stood in complete isolation. Indeed, letters and travellers brought influences from one end of the Roman empire to another, and interaction was a significant reality.

   Part V, ‘The shaping of Christian theology’, mediates between these regional varieties and the ideologies of institutional unity that made the church appear to Constantine as a useful vehicle for his programme of uniting the empire. Here we trace the creation of a Christian world-view which instantiated itself in institutional structures which were pan-Mediterranean as well as local. Classic debates about doctrine we have set in a broader context than earlier church histories would have placed them, and we have avoided notions of development which imply a necessary outcome. Struggles over monotheism and the doctrine of creation set up the context for arguments about the nature of Jesus Christ and his relationship with the one God, while particular local controversies with more universal implications provide material for the discussion of Christology and ecclesiology. The section concludes by drawing attention to the fact that the larger context for doctrinal affirmations was the school-like character of early Christian discourse and the self-conscious development of a Christian intellectual culture to rival the paideia of the Graeco-Roman world. In the late fourth century and beyond, the traditional pagan educational programme, so far from being replaced, was gradually Christianised, but this process owed much to the earlier adaptation to study of the Bible of the curriculum and techniques traditionally taught in Graeco-Roman schools of rhetoric and philosophy.

   Part VI, ‘“Aliens” become citizens: towards imperial patronage’, traces the way in which Christians became increasingly at home in the world, despite their initial tendency to adopt the biblical motif of the resident alien or sojourner,3 claiming that their citizenship was in heaven. From the time of Paul, individual Christians may have held Roman citizenship, yet there was an ambivalence in their civic attitude as the diaspora mentality was, in a way, carried over to Gentile converts, and loyalty to Christ displaced loyalty to Caesar. Experience of persecution reinforced this, though it is important to grasp that, as the first essay shows, persecution was largely local and sporadic, and official empire-wide procedures directed against Christians mostly appear late in our period. The Roman perception that in some sense Christians did not belong is reflected in Christian views of the Roman empire, and the second essay provides a nuanced view of shifting attitudes to the question that is later phrased as the relation between ‘church and state’. The chapter on Constantine reflects on the crucial impact of this first ‘Christian emperor’, while also warning against oversimplified accounts of the socio-political and religious shifts that came with his reign. The essay on the Council of Nicaea provides a sense of the interplay of doctrinal and political factors as the search for unity was driven by the one who claimed to be ‘the bishop for those outside’, namely the emperor Constantine. The climax to the section is provided by a review of art and architecture spanning the whole story of this counter-cultural movement to its incorporation into the socio-cultural patterns of the Roman world and eventual articulation of a distinctive material culture. The section as a whole traces the changing parameters within which the question about the place of Christians in the world was considered in the pivotal period of the early fourth century. We conclude with a few remarks about how ancient Christianity is, in some complex configurations, foundational for the long and varied history to come.

   This conspectus is intended to show that, so far from being a ‘hotch-potch’ of unrelated essays, this collection as a whole has a sequence which hangs together, despite the various perspectives represented. The volume may be read as a consecutive history of the period, which the essays address from a multiplicity of angles. Readers are encouraged to follow up the subjects and questions raised in each essay by drawing on the chapter bibliographies each author has provided, and consulting the full details for primary and secondary literature cited across the essays, which can be found in the general bibliography.

   The editors would like to acknowledge with gratitude the efforts of all the authors, with thanks for their gracious response to feedback so that the volume as a whole could come together as effectively as it has. They have particularly appreciated the invaluable assistance provided by K. Scott Bowie, who, amongst other things, compiled the unified bibliography from the many provided by the authors, sorted out standard abbreviations, and produced the final copy in both hard and electronic form. They thank the University of Chicago Divinity School for generous institutional and financial support of this project. They would also like to express their gratitude to Cambridge University Press for the support of this project from inception through production. Finally they would like to dedicate this volume to Robert M. Grant, by whom both were taught and inspired.

December 2004


The editors acknowledge with gratitude permission to reprint maps from the Cambridge Ancient History and Cambridge History of Judaism, and Der Neue Pauly/Brill’s New Pauly (vol. III, pp. 262–3, our map 4), published by Metzler Verlag and E. J. Brill.

   We are grateful also to the University of Michigan, Yale University Art Gallery, and the International Catacomb Society for granting us permission to reprint images from their photo archives. All the photographs by individual photographers are reprinted here with their written permission and our thanks. We would particularly like to express gratitude to Professor Robin M. Jensen for valuable assistance in procuring the images.

Chart: Roman emperors and bishops of Rome and Alexandria

Roman emperors Bishops of Rome Bishops of Alexandria

27, BCE–14, CE Augustus
14–37 Tiberius
37–41 Gaius (Caligula)
41–54 Claudius 42–62 St Mark
54–68 Nero St Peter (mart. c. 64) 62–84 Annianus
67–76 Linus
68–9 Galba
69 Otho
69 Vitellius
69–79 Vespasian 76–88 Anacletus
79–81 Titus
81–96 Domitian 88–97 Clement 84–98 Abilius
96–98 Nerva 97–105 Evaristus
98–117 Trajan 105–15 Alexander 98–109 Cerdo
115–25 Xystus I 109–19 Primus
117–38 Hadrian 125–38 Telesphorus 119–31 Justus
131–44 Eumenes
138–61 Antoninus Pius 138–41 Higinus 144–54 Marcus
141–55 Pius 154–67 Celadion
155–66 Anicetus
161–80 Marcus Aurelius 166–75 Soter 167–79 Agrippinus
161–69 Lucius Verus
175–89 Eleutherus
180–92 Commodus 189–99 Victor 179–89 Julian
189–232 Demetrius Ⅰ
193 Pertinax
193–211 Septimius Severus 199–217 Zephyrinus
211–17 Caracalla 217–22 Callistus
217–18 Macrinus
218–22 Elagabalus
222–35 Alexander Severus 222–30 Urban 232–47 Heraclas
230–5 Pontianus
235–8 Maximinus Thrax 235–6 Anteros
236–50 Fabian
238 Gordiani
238–44 Gordian Ⅲ
244–9 Philip the Arabian 247–64 Dionysius
249–51 Decius
251–3 Decius’s sons and others 251–3 Cornelius
253–60 Valerian 253–4 Lucius
254–7 Stephen
257–8 Xystus Ⅱ
259–68 Dionysius
260–8 Gallienus 269–74 Felix 265–82 Maximus
268–70 Claudius Gothicus 275–83 Eutychianus
270–5 Aurelian
275–6 Tacitus
276–82 Probus
282–3 Carus 282–300 Theonas
283–4 Carinus 283–4 Numerian 283–96 Gaius
284–6 Diocletian 284–305 Diocletian
286–305 Maximian 296–304 Marcellinus 300–11 Peter Ⅰ
305–6 Constantius 305–11 Galerius 308–9 Marcellus
Chlorus 310–12 Maximinus
306– Constantine 308– Constantine 309–10 Eusebius 311–12 Achillas
308–24 Licinius 311–14 Miltiades 313–26 Alexander Ⅰ
314–35 Silvester
324–37 Constantine alone 336 Marcus 326–73 Athanasius I

Sources: for Roman emperors and bishops, Robert M. Grant, Augustus to Constantine, 313–14; for Alexandrine bishops, Birger A. Pearson (produced for this volume, as adapted from the traditional list).



ET English translation
LXX The Septuagint
NRSV The Bible, New Revised Standard Version, ed. Bruce M. Metzger et al. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990)
NTApoc New Testament Apocrypha, 2 vols., W. Schneemelcher and R. McL. Wilson (eds.), rev. ed. (Cambridge: James Clarke & Co. Ltd.; Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1991–2)
NHL Nag Hammadi Library in English, J. M. Robinson (ed.), 4th rev. ed. (Leiden: Brill, 1996).

Primary sources

Books of the Bible

Old Testament

Gen Genesis
Exod Exodus
Lev Leviticus
Num Numbers
Deut Deuteronomy
Josh Joshua
Judg Judges
1–2 Sam 1–2 Samuel
1–2 Kgs 1–2 Kings
Nah Nahum
Hab Habakkuk
1–2 Chr 1–2 Chronicles
Neh Nehemiah
Esth Esther
Ps Psalms
Prov Proverbs
Eccl Ecclesiastes
Song Song of Songs
Isa Isaiah
Zeph Zephaniah
Hag Haggai
Jer Jeremiah
Lam Lamentations
Ezek Ezekiel
Dan Daniel
Hos Hosea
Obad Obadiah
Jon Jonah
Mic Micah
Zech Zechariah
Mal Malachi
1–4 Macc 1–4 Maccabees
Sir Sirach
Wis Wisdom of Solomon

New Testament

Matt Matthew
Rom Romans
1–2 Cor 1–2 Corinthians
Gal Galatians
Eph Ephesians
Phil Philippians
Col Colossians
1–2 Thess 1–2 Thessalonians
1–2 Tim 1–2 Timothy
Tit Titus
Phlm Philemon
Heb Hebrews
Jas James
1–2 Pet 1–2 Peter
1–3 John
Rev Revelation


Exp. Ps. 118 Explanatio psalmi CXVIII
Ob. Theo. De obitu Theodosii

Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles

Acts Joh. Acts of John
Acts Pet. Acts of Peter
Acts Thom. Acts of Thomas

Apostolic fathers

1–2 Clem. 1–2 Clement
Did. Didache
Ep. Barn. Epistle of Barnabas
Ep. Diognet. Epistle to Diognetus
Herm. Mand. Shepherd of Hermas, Mandates
Herm. Sim. Shepherd of Hermas, Similitudes
Herm. Vis. Shepherd of Hermas, Visions
Ign. Eph. Ignatius, To the Ephesians
Ign. Magn. Ignatius, To the Magnesians
Ign. Phild. Ignatius, To the Philadelphians
Ign. Pol. Ignatius, To Polycarp
Ign. Rom. Ignatius, To the Romans
Ign. Smyr. Ignatius, To the Smyrneans
Ign. Trall. Ignatius, To the Trallians
Poly. Phil. Polycarp, To the Philippians
Fl. Florida
Met. Metamorphoses
Pl. De Platone


Ep. Arist. Epistle of Aristeas


Apol. Apologia

Aristotle (Arist.)

Pol. Politica


Adv. nat. Adversus nationes

Athanasius (Ath.)

Apol. sec. Apologia (secunda) contra Arianos
Decr. De decretis Nicaenae synodi
Dion. De sententia Dionysii
Ep. Epistulae
Ep. Jov. Epistula ad Jovianum
H. Ar. Historia Arianorum ad monachos
Syn. De synodis
Tom. Tomus ad Antiochenos


Leg. Legatio pro Christianis
Res. De resurrectione mortuorum

Augustine (August.)

Cresc. Contra Cresconium Donatistam
De civ. D. De civitate Dei
Doctr. Chr. De doctrina Christiana
Retract. Retractationes
Trin. De Trinitate

Aurelius Victor (Aurel. Vict.)

Caes. Liber de Caesaribus

Basil (Bas.)

Ep. Epistulae

Julius Caesar (Caes.)

B. Gall. Bellum Gallicum

Cassius Dio (Cass. Dio)

Chrysostom, John (Chrys.)

Adv. Jud. Adversus Judaeos
Hom. 1–88 in Jo. Homiliae 1–88 in Johannem

Cicero (Cic.)

Acad. Academicae quaestiones
Clu. Pro Cluentio
Fin. De finibus
Har. resp. De haruspicum responso
N.D. De natura deorum
Rep. De republica

Clement of Alexandria (Clem. Al.)

Paed. Paedagogus
Protr. Protrepticus
q.d.s. Quis dives salvetur
Str. Stromateis

Clementina ([Clem.])

Asc. Jas. Ascents of James
Ep. Petr. Epistula Petri ad Jacobum
Hom. Homiliae
Keryg. Pet. Kerygmata Petrou
Recogn. Recognitiones

Constantine (Const.)

Or. s.c. Oratio ad sanctorum coetum

Cyprian (Cypr.)

Ep. Epistulae
Hab. virg. De habitu virginum
Laps. De lapsis
Unit. eccl. De catholicae ecclesiae unitate

Cyril of Jerusalem (Cyr. H.)

Catech. 1–18 Catecheses illuminandorum
Catech. 19–23 Catecheses mystagogicae
Ep. Const. Epistula ad Constantium de visione crucis

Dead Sea scrolls and related texts

1QHa Hodayota or Thanksgiving hymnsa
1QS Rule of the community
1Qsa Rule of the congregation (appendix a to 1QS)
1QM War scroll
CD Cairo Geniza copy of the Damascus document
4QShirShaba Songs of the sabbath sacrificea
4QDibHama Dibre hame’orotaor Words of the luminariesa
11QPsa Psalm scrolla

Diodorus Siculus (Diod. Sic.)

Diogenes Laertius (Diog. Laert.)

Epiphanius (Epiph.)

Mens. De mensuris et ponderibus
Pan. Panarion seu Adversus lxxx haereses

Eusebius (Euseb.)

Chron. Chronicon
D.E. Demonstratio evangelica
E.Th. De ecclesiastica theologia
Ep. Caes. Epistula ad Caesarienses
HE Historia ecclesiastica
L.C. Laus Constantini
Marcell. Contra Marcellum
Mart. Pal. De martyribus Palestinae
Onomast. Onomasticon
P.E. Praeparatio evangelica
V.C. De vita Constantini

Gelasius of Cyzicus (Gel.)

HE Historia ecclesiastica

Gregory of Nazianzus (Gr. Naz.)

Or. Orationes

Gregory of Nyssa (Gr. Nyss.)

V. Gr. Thaum. De vita Gregorii Thaumaturgi

Gregory Thaumaturgus (Gr. Thaum.)

Ep. can. Epistula canonica

Herodotus (Hdt.)

Hist. Historiae

Hilary of Poitiers (Hil. Poit.)

Ad. Val. et Ur. adversus Valentem et Ursacium

Hippolytus (Hipp.)

Antichr. Demonstratio de Christo et antichristo
Ben. Is. Iac. De benedictionibus Isaaci et Jacobi
Dan. Commentarium in Danielem
Fr. 1–81 in Gen. Fragmenta in Genesim
Haer. Refutatio omnium haeresium
Noët. Contra Noëtum
Trad. ap. Traditio apostolica

Irenaeus (Iren.)

Epid. Epideixis tou apostolikou kērygmatos
Frag. Syr. Fragments in Syriac
Haer. Adversus haereses


Comm. Am. Commentariorum in Amos
Comm. Ezech. Commentariorum in Ezechielem
Comm. Gal. Commentariorum in Epistulam ad Galatas
Comm. Habac. Commentariorum in Habacuc
Comm. Isa. Commentariorum in Isaiam
Comm. Jer. Commentariorum in Jeremiam
Comm. Mt. Commentariorum in Matthaeum
Ep. Epistulae
Onom. Onomasticon
Vir. ill. De viris illustribus


AJ Antiquitates Judaicae
Ap. Contra Apionem
BJ Bellum Judaicum
Vit. Vita
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