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“Eusebius of Caesarea - On the Origins of Montanism - original Greek Text with English translation”

From Historia Ecclesiastica, 5.16. Eusebius outlines the origins of this apocalyptic, ascetic and prophetic movement which started in the late 2nd century.

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Click here to read at earlychurchtexts.com in the original Greek (with dictionary lookup links). The English translation below is from the NPNF series.

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Relevant books
available at Amazon

Eusebius studies and translations
with links to Amazon

Several also below

TEXTS & TRANSLATIONS

History of the Church

Andrew Louth ed.

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Cameron and Hall

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In Praise of Constantine: Historical Study and New Translation of Eusebius' Tricennial Orations (University of California publications, classical studies ; v. 15)

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W. J. Ferrar

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Eusebii Pamphili Evangelicae Praeparations, Tomus I (Greek Edition)
Edwin Hamilton Gifford

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Eusebius, Bishop of Caesarea - the Ecclesiastical History and the Martyrs of Palestine. Two Volumes

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Eusebius ... On the Theophania Or Divine Manifestation of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, Tr. with Notes: To Which Is Prefixed a Vindication of the ... of That Distinguished Writer, by S. Lee

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Notley and Safrai

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STUDIES

 

Eusebius, Christianity and Judaism

Harold W. Attridge

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Constantine and Eusebius

Timothy Barnes

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Glenn Chesnut

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Robert Grant

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Eusebius of Caesarea Against Paganism

Aryeh Kofsky

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 Eusebius of Caesarea and the Arian Crisis

C. Luibheid

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Christ as Mediator: A Study of the Theologies of Eusebius of Caesarea, Marcellus of Ancyra, and Athanasius of Alexandria

Jon M. Robertson

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 Eusebius of Caesarea

Wallace-Hadrill

 

Against the so-called Phrygian heresy, the power which always contends for the truth raised up a strong and invincible weapon, Apolinarius of Hierapolis, whom we have mentioned before, and with him many other men of ability, by whom abundant material for our history has been left. A certain one of these, in the beginning of his work against them, first intimates that he had contended with them in oral controversies. He commences his work in this manner: “Having for a very long and sufficient time, O beloved Avircius Marcellus, been urged by you to write a treatise against the heresy of those who are called after Miltiades, I have hesitated till the present time, not through lack of ability to refute the falsehood or bear testimony for the truth, but from fear and apprehension that I might seem to some to be making additions to the doctrines or precepts of the Gospel of the New Testament, which it is impossible for one who has chosen to live according to the Gospel, either to increase or to diminish. But being recently in Ancyra in Galatia, I found the church there greatly agitated by this novelty, not prophecy, as they call it, but rather false prophecy, as will be shown. Therefore, to the best of our ability, with the Lord’s help, we disputed in the church many days concerning these and other matters separately brought forward by them, so that the church rejoiced and was strengthened in the truth, and those of the opposite side were for the time confounded, and the adversaries were grieved. The presbyters in the place, our fellow-presbyter Zoticus of Otrous also being present, requested us to leave a record of what had been said against the opposers of the truth. We did not do this, but we promised to write it out as soon as the Lord permitted us, and to send it to them speedily.” Having said this with other things, in the beginning of his work, he proceeds to state the cause of the above-mentioned heresy as follows:

“Their opposition and their recent heresy which has separated them from the Church arose on the following account. There is said to be a certain village called Ardabau in that part of Mysia, which borders upon Phrygia. There first, they say, when Gratus was proconsul of Asia, a recent convert, Montanus by name, through his unquenchable desire for leadership, gave the adversary opportunity against him. And he became beside himself, and being suddenly in a sort of frenzy and ecstasy, he raved, and began to babble and utter strange things, prophesying in a manner contrary to the constant custom of the Church handed down by tradition from the beginning. Some of those who heard his spurious utterances at that time were indignant, and they rebuked him as one that was possessed, and that was under the control of a demon, and was led by a deceitful spirit, and was distracting the multitude; and they forbade him to talk, remembering the distinction drawn by the Lord and his warning to guard watchfully against the coming of false prophets. But others imagining themselves possessed of the Holy Spirit and of a prophetic gift, were elated and not a little puffed up; and forgetting the distinction of the Lord, they challenged the mad and insidious and seducing spirit, and were cheated and deceived by him. In consequence of this, he could no longer be held in check, so as to keep silence. Thus by artifice, or rather by such a system of wicked craft, the devil, devising destruction for the disobedient, and being unworthily honored by them, secretly excited and inflamed their understandings which had already become estranged from the true faith. And he stirred up besides two women, and filled them with the false spirit, so that they talked wildly and unreasonably and strangely, like the person already mentioned. And the spirit pronounced them blessed as they rejoiced and gloried in him, and puffed them up by the magnitude of his promises. But sometimes he rebuked them openly in a wise and faithful manner, that he might seem to be a reprover. But those of the Phrygians that were deceived were few in number. “And the arrogant spirit taught them to revile the entire universal Church under heaven, because the spirit of false prophecy received neither honor from it nor entrance into it. For the faithful in Asia met often in many places throughout Asia to consider this matter, and examined the novel utterances and pronounced them profane, and rejected the heresy, and thus these persons were expelled from the Church and debarred from communion.”

 



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