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E00818: Basil of Caesarea, in his Letter 100 of 372, invites Eusebios, bishop of Samosata, to attend the festival of *Eupsychios (martyr of Kaisareia, S00470) in Kaisareia/Caesarea of Cappadocia (central Asia Minor), on 7 September. Basil hopes to hold an episcopal council during the festival, which will elect new bishops. Written in Greek at Kaisareia.

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posted on 30.10.2015, 00:00 by erizos
Basil of Caesarea, Letters (CPG 2900), Letter 100

ΕΥΣΕΒΙῼ ΕΠΙΣΚΟΠῼ ΣΑΜΟΣΑΤΩΝ

(…………) Ἐμὲ δὲ ἐπέλειπε παντελῶς τὸ σῶμα, ὡς μηδὲ τὰς σμικροτάτας κινήσεις δύνασθαι ἀλύπως φέρειν. Πλὴν ἀλλ’ εὔχομαι δυνηθῆναί μοι τὴν παλαιὰν ἐπιθυμίαν νῦν γοῦν διὰ τῆς βοηθείας τῶν σῶν προσευχῶν ἐκπληρωθῆναι, εἰ καὶ ὅτι πολλήν μοι πεποίηκε τὴν δυσκολίαν ἡ ἀποδημία αὕτη, τοσούτῳ χρόνῳ ἀμεληθέντων τῶν κατὰ τὴν ἡμετέραν Ἐκκλησίαν πραγμάτων. Ἐὰν δὲ ὁ Θεός, ἕως ἐσμὲν ὑπὲρ γῆς, καταξιώσῃ ἡμᾶς ἰδεῖν ἐπὶ τῆς Ἐκκλησίας ἡμῶν τὴν σὴν θεοσέβειαν ὄντως ἀγαθὰς ἐλπίδας καὶ ἐπὶ τοῖς μέλλουσιν ἕξομεν ὡς οὐ πάντῃ ἀπόβλητοι τῶν δωρεῶν γενησόμεθα τοῦ Θεοῦ. Τοῦτο γοῦν, ἐὰν ᾖ δυνατόν, παρακαλοῦμεν ἐπὶ τῆς συνόδου γενέσθαι ἣν δι’ ἔτους ἄγομεν ἐπὶ τῇ μνήμῃ τοῦ μακαριωτάτου μάρτυρος Εὐψυχίου ἐγγιζούσῃ λοιπὸν κατὰ τὴν ἑβδόμην τοῦ Σεπτεμβρίου μηνὸς ἡμέραν. Καὶ γὰρ καὶ φροντίδος ἄξια ἡμῖν περίκειται πράγματα τῆς παρὰ σοῦ δεόμενα συνεργίας, εἴς τε κατάστασιν ἐπισκόπων καὶ εἰς βουλὴν καὶ σκέψιν τῶν μελετωμένων καθ’ ἡμῶν παρὰ τῆς χρηστότητος Γρηγορίου τοῦ Νυσσαέως, ὃς συνόδους συγκροτεῖ κατὰ τὴν Ἄγκυραν καὶ οὐδένα τρόπον ἐπιβουλεύων ἡμῖν ἀφίησιν.

‘To Eusebios, Bishop of Samosata

(…………) My body has failed me so completely that I am unable to make even the slightest movement without pain. However, I pray that now, at any rate, my old desire can be fulfilled through the assistance of your prayers; although it is true that this absence abroad has caused me great difficulties, since the affairs of our own church have been neglected for so long a time. Yet if God, while we are still on earth, will deem us worthy to see your Piety in our church, we shall have truly bright hopes for the future also, that we shall not be wholly excluded from the gifts of God. This, then, if it be possible, we beg you to take place during the festival we celebrate every year on the seventh of September in memory of the blessed Eupsychios, an event which is now approaching. Moreover, we are encompassed by matters worthy of serious attention which stand in need of your assistance, namely, the question of appointing bishops, and the matter of investigating and deliberating about the actions meditated against us by Gregory of Nyssa in his simplicity, who convenes assemblies according to Ancyra, and misses no way to plot against us.’

Text: Courtonne, vol. 1, 218-219.
Translation: Deferrari, vol. 2, p. 185-187 (modified).
Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

Categories

Keywords

History

Evidence ID

E00818

Saint Name

Eupsychios, martyr in Kaisareia/Caesarea of Cappadocia : S00470

Saint Name in Source

Εὐψύχιος

Type of Evidence

Literary - Letters

Language

Greek

Evidence not before

372

Evidence not after

372

Activity not before

372

Activity not after

372

Place of Evidence - Region

Asia Minor

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Kaisareia/Caesarea in Cappadocia

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

Kaisareia/Caesarea in Cappadocia Nicomedia Νικομήδεια Nikomēdeia Izmit Πραίνετος Prainetos Nicomedia

Major author/Major anonymous work

Basil of Caesarea

Cult activities - Festivals

  • Saint’s feast

Cult activities - Activities Accompanying Cult

  • Meetings and gatherings of the clergy

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops

Source

Born around 330 to an aristocratic Christian family of Neokaisareia/Neocaesarea of Pontus Polemoniacus (Anatolia), Basil was educated in Kaisareia/Caesarea, Antioch, and Athens. After his studies, he spent time in the monasteries in Egypt, before returning to Pontus, where he organised an ascetic community on his family estate in Pontus. In the 360s, Basil was ordained in Kaisareia/Caesarea, and, on 14 June 370, he was consecrated bishop there. He died on 1 January 379. Basil was a prolific writer, composing homilies, theological, ascetical, and liturgical works. His 369 letters form a major corpus on ecclesiastical politics and the broader history of Anatolia and the Christian East. On the manuscript tradition, editions and translations of this letter, see: Fedwick, P.J., Bibliotheca Basiliana Universalis. 5 vols. Vol. I (Corpus Christianorum; Turnhout: Brepols, 1993), 422. http://pinakes.irht.cnrs.fr/notices/oeuvre/5913/

Discussion

By this letter, Basil invites his fellow bishop and friend, Eusebios of Samosata to Kaisareia/Caesarea in order to attend the festival (σύνοδος/synodos) of the local martyr *Eupsychios on 7 September. From other letters of Basil (E00772; E00819), we know that bishops from all the diocese of Pontus were invited to attend, and thus the feast became the occasion for regular episcopal councils. Interestingly, Basil here mentions the agenda of the episcopal council, which included the election of new bishops and the discussion of ecclesiastical politics, like the initiatives of Basil’s own brother and fellow bishop, Gregory of Nyssa. Gregory apparently participated in meetings of bishops in communion with Marcellus of Ancyra, who were in conflict with Basil.

Bibliography

Text edition and French Translation: Courtonne, Y., Saint Basile. Lettres. 3 vols (Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 1957-1966). Text and English Translations: Deferrari, R.J., Saint Basil, the Letters. 4 vols. Vol. 2 (Loeb Classical Library; Cambridge, MA/London: Harvard University Press, 1928). Way, A.C., Saint Basil. Letters, Volume 1 (1‒185) (Fathers of the Church 13; Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 1951). Silvas, A.M., Gregory of Nyssa, The Letters: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (Supplements to Vigiliae Christianae 83; Leiden: Brill, 2007), 80-81. Further Reading: Courtonne, Y., Un témoin du IVe siècle oriental: saint Basile et son temps d'après sa correspondance (Collection d'études anciennes; Paris: Les Belles lettres, 1973), esp. 356-359. Radde-Gallwitz, A., "The Letter Collection of Basil of Caesarea," in: C. Sogno, B.K. Storin, and E. Watts (eds.), Late Antique Letter Collections: A Critical Introduction and Reference Guide (Oakland: University of California Press, 2017), 69-80. Rousseau, P., Basil of Caesarea (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994).

Licence

Exports

Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

Categories

Keywords

Licence

Exports