Eusebios of Emesa

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Eusebios of Emesa (* around 295 in Edessa , Mesopotamia , † around 359 in Antioch ) was a theologian and bishop of Emesa .


Eusebios came from a respected family in Edessa. In 312 he studied at the thriving theological school of Antioch. His teachers were Eusebius of Caesarea and Patrophilus of Scythopolis . Then he went on to Alexandria to expand his philosophical education there.

Eusebios was an important exegete , a forerunner of the interpretation of Antiochene theology. He was also a follower of the doctrine of Arianism and was close to the Homousians .

His reputation as an astrologer meant that he was in high favor with the Roman Emperor Constantius II . Eusebius accompanied him on several trips and went with him in 338 to the war against the Persian great king Shapur II (see also Roman-Persian Wars ).

Before 340 he returned to Antioch, having made a name for himself as an orator and theologian. The Synod of Antioch wanted to appoint him in 341 to succeed the deposed Bishop Athanasius of Alexandria. Since Eusebios refused the appeal, the synod chose Gregory of Cappadocia . Eusebios was given the small Phoenician diocese of Emesa .

The superstitious Emesians distrusted him because of his extensive knowledge of mathematics , astronomy and astrology and accused him of practicing magic . Therefore he was forced to flee to Laodicea before the Patriarch of Antioch arranged for his reinstatement. Eusebius, however, has probably never actively exercised his office and has remained in Antioch ever since.

Eusebius of Vercelli and Gaudenzio of Novara were each the later first bishops of their dioceses. They visited the Holy Land around 355 to 359, where Gaudenzio of Novara met the exiled Eusebios of Emesa around 355 in Scythopolis .

His biography was written by his friend George of Laodicea . Eusebios died in Antioch around the year 359.

His many writings are mostly preserved in Latin and Armenian translations. Greek there is now only a collection of fragments.