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Eusebius and the History of the Church - Term Paper Example

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EUSEBIUS AND THE HISTORY OF THE CHURCH Eusebius, an elected bishop of Caesaria, is known for being a prolific writer who has written much of the most noted histories of the early Christian church. His name means “reverent, pious or devout”, and being true to his name he is now celebrated as the father of church history.1 It is presumed that he was born around year 260, and was active in writing many works, giving speeches and orations, as well as counseling until his death in 339…
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Eusebius and the History of the Church

the lines, it is also to Eusebius’ merit that most, if not all of his sources were properly credited, and acknowledged, which is very unusual for historians at that time. One of the most noted and referred books written by Eusebius is Ekklestiastices Historias, or The History of the Church, was originally in Greek, and was translated in numerous languages during the course of history. This paper will focus on the eighth book, which tells about the persecutions of emperors from Diocletian to Maximian, and the tenth book, which is about the reign of Constantine and the tolerance of the Romans to Christians that resulted in the time of peace and tranquility. The eighth book in Eusebius’ Ekklestiastices Historias tells of the rise of the Christian faith, as well as its fall, which he accounts to the events that he himself experienced in his own time.3 Initially, the Roman rulers and officers were very favorable with regards to those of the Christian faith. Aside from letting the lesser of the people worship in accord to their own chosen faith, Christians were also able to hold offices, govern and rule, as well as to mingle with the upper ranks of the Roman Empire. Moreover, the clergy and other church leaders were also treated with respect not just by their own people, but also those Romans with noble birth.4 With the arrival of peace and tolerance, however, internal discord starts to brew within the structure of the Christian church itself. Due to the gains the Christians had in freedom, fights among them became common. These fights not only included the worshippers, but also their church leaders as well. Eusebius attributed the succeeding events to Divine intervention, when persecutions to Christians in the government offices and the army started. While initially there was not much thought given about it, as the changes in the governance kept sliding past the Christian groups bit by bit, after several generations the Christians were once again subject to the punishments that the early martyrs undertook. The different manners that the Roman Empire tortured its citizens of the Christian faith were described in detail by Eusebius. Among these forms of capital punishments are: death by strangling; beheading; being burned while still alive; bodies thrown into the depths of the sea; even digging up the corpses of some and being thrown in the sea as well, thinking that these bodies might become the subject of worship by those who remain. 5 The destruction of churches and the burning of scriptures during the reign of Diocletian during his reign in 284-305 were also recorded in full detail. As the festival of the Savior’s passion (Easter) approached, aside from the demolition of churches and the eradication of Christian scriptures, those of the Christian faith holding ranks in offices were immediately removed, and those who continue to ... Read More
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