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E00278: Eusebius of Caesarea, in his Ecclesiastical History, mentions that *Phaustos/Faustus (martyr of Alexandria, S00238) suffered martyrdom by beheading in Alexandria (Egypt), under the Tetrarchs. Written in Greek in Palestine, 311/325.

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posted on 05.02.2015, 00:00 by Bryan
Eusebius of Caesarea, Ecclesiastical History 7.11.26

Summary:
After quoting a lengthy letter of Dionysios of Alexandria concerning the Decian persecution in Egypt, Eusebius notes that Phaustos (Faustus), one of Dionysios’ companions mentioned in the letter, lived till old age and died a martyr by beheading in Eusebius' own times, during the persecutions of the Tetrarchs.

Text: Schwartz et al. 1999. Summary: E. Rizos.

History

Evidence ID

E00278

Saint Name

Phaustos/Faustus, deacon and martyr of Alexandria : S00299

Saint Name in Source

Φαῦστος

Type of Evidence

Literary - Other narrative texts (including Histories)

Language

Greek

Evidence not before

311

Evidence not after

325

Activity not before

300

Activity not after

313

Place of Evidence - Region

Palestine with Sinai

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Caesarea Maritima

Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Caesarea Maritima Caesarea Maritima Καισάρεια Kaisareia Caesarea Kayseri Turris Stratonis

Major author/Major anonymous work

Eusebius of Caesarea

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Composing and translating saint-related texts

Source

Eusebius lived in Caesarea Maritima in Palestine between c. AD 260 and 340. He was a pupil and friend of the martyred Christian intellectual Pamphilus. Under Constantine, he emerged as one of the most influential Christian figures of the Roman Empire, and was ordained bishop of Caesarea. Written between 311 and 325, Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History is the first literary work to employ the methodology and objectives of classical historiography – which, since Herodotus and Thucydides, had traditionally focused on military and political events – in a novel field, the history of the Christian community. The first paragraphs of the work outline its chronological framework and thematic range: it is a narrative of events in the life of the Christian community from the times of Christ and the Apostles to the times of Eusebius (c. AD 260-340); it records the leaders of the most important communities (i.e. successions of bishops in Alexandria, Antioch, Rome and Jerusalem); it records the most notable exponents of Christian doctrine and their works, and also the main heresies and their proponents; it finally records persecutions and people that suffered and were martyred during them. The Ecclesiastical History is mostly a synthesis of quotations and summaries from other sources, for which Eusebius often gives concrete references. Thus his work preserves excerpts from early Christian texts which do not survive in their full form. Eusebius’ source material consists mostly of Greek texts, originating from Christian communities in Anatolia, Syria, Palestine, and Egypt. These areas constitute the main geographical range of his narrative, while his information about Christianity in the western provinces of the Roman Empire (except Rome) is very limited. The text survives in several Greek manuscripts, in a Latin translation by Rufinus, and in Syriac and Armenian translations.

Discussion

Phaustos is mentioned as a deacon in Dionysios' letter, which was written during the persecution under Decius in 250/251. He is subsequently named by Eusebius (Ecclesiastical History 8.13: E00318) as one of three presbyters who were martyred alongside *Petros (martyred bishop of Alexandria, S00247) in 311.

Bibliography

Edition: Schwartz, E., Mommsen, T., and Winkelmann, F., Eusebius Werke II: Die Kirchengeschichte. 3 vols. (Die Griechischen Christlichen Schriftsteller der ersten drei Jahrhunderte NF 6/1-3; Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 1999). Translations: Lake, K., Oulton, J.E.L., and Lawlor, H.J., Eusebius of Caesarea: The Ecclesiastical History. 2 vols. (Loeb Classical Library; London and Cambridge, MA: Heinemann and Harvard University Press, 1926). Williamson, G.A., and Louth, A., Eusebius: The History of the Church from Christ to Constantine (London: Penguin, 1989). Further reading: Chesnut, G. The First Christian Histories: Eusebius, Socrates, Sozomen, Theodoret, and Evagrius. Atlanta: Mercer University, 1986.

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