Eusebius, Bishop of Caesarea AD260/265 to AD339/340

Eusebius was probably born in Caesarea and became its Bishop in AD314. He was a Roman and Christian historian one of the most learned Christians of his time.

Caesarea was a pagan city with a minority of Jews and Christians. Eusebius was taught, baptised and ordained in Caesarea. He was taught at the Christian school of scholarship, dedicated to sacred learning, under Pamphilius. The school had and extensive library of Christian documents, which Eusebius was able to refer to for his many ecclesiastical writings. Eusebius later adopted the name Pamphilii as a mark of respect for his mentor. Sadly in AD310, Pamphilius was martyred in the persecutions by Diocletian. Eusebius himself was imprisoned for a short time. He was released without recanting his faith in order to save his life. His integrity intact he was appointed Bishop of Caesarea in AD314.

Eusebius was a prolific writer with many treatises to his name. The most significant were:-The Ecclesiastical History (History of the Christian Church from the time of the Apostles to his present time) His Chronicle (A calendar of the events from the creation) and a definitive work on the Life of Constantine.

While Bishop he became involved in disputes within the Church. In AD 318 Constantine asked him to try and resolve the conflict caused by the Arian heresy promulgated by Arius. This stressed the manhood of Christ and his subordination to God, rather than the accepted view that Christ was one with the Father. His role was that of a mediator, although it is said that he himself had Arian tendencies.Eusebius’s call to leadership was based on his reputation as a scholar and that he enjoyed the full confidence of Constantine, rather than the status of his Bishopric which did not rank with those of Alexandria orRome.

In AD325 he gave the opening address at the council of Nicocea and put forward the creed he used at Caesarea as the basis for unity. The assembly made alterations that condemned Arianism, which he accepted for the sake of peace and respect for Constantine. Eusebius hoped that this would settle the dispute, it did not and it raged on for a further 50 years. Differences persist today between the Anglican, Catholic and Greek Orthodox Churches. However his greatest legacy was that he had been instrumental in formulating the fundamental tenets of our Christian Faith , that even today we recite them in the Nicene creed.

Research by V Ill Kt Dr Keith Lowson P G H Chanc