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NPNF2-02. Socrates and Sozomenus Ecclesiastical Histories
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Chapter VII.—Eunomius supersedes Eleusius the Macedonian in the See of Cyzicus, His Origin and Imitation of Aëtius, whose Amanuensis he had been.

The bishop of Constantinople being informed of these circumstances, constituted Eunomius bishop of Cyzicus, inasmuch as he was a person able by his eloquence to win over the minds of the multitude to his own way of thinking. On his arrival at Cyzicus an imperial edict was published in which it was ordered that Eleusius should be ejected, and Eunomius installed in his place. This being carried into effect, those who attached themselves to Eleusius, after erecting a sacred edifice without the city, assembled there with him. But enough has been said of Eleusius: let us now give some account of Eunomius. He had been secretary to Aëtius, surnamed Atheus, of whom we have before spoken,578578    II. 35, end. and had learnt from conversing with him, to imitate his sophistical mode of reasoning; being little aware that while exercising himself in framing fallacious arguments, and in the use of certain insignificant terms, he was really deceiving himself. This habit however inflated him with pride, and he fell into blasphemous heresies, and so became an advocate of the dogmas of Arius, and in various ways an adversary to the doctrines of truth. And as he had but a very slender knowledge of the letter of Scripture, he was wholly unable to enter into the spirit of it. Yet he abounded in words, and was accustomed to repeat the same thoughts in different terms, without ever arriving at a clear explanation of what he had proposed to himself. Of this his seven books On the Apostle’s Epistle to the Romans, on which he bestowed a quantity of vain labor, is a remarkable proof: for although he has employed an immense number of words in the attempt to expound it, he has by no means succeeded in apprehending the scope and object of that epistle. All other works of his extant are of a similar character, in which he that would take the trouble to examine them, would find a great scarcity of sense, amidst a profusion of verbiage. This Eunomius Eudoxius promoted to the see of Cyzicus;579579    Sozom. VI. 8, gives the same account; but Philostorgius (V. 3) and Theodoret (H. E. II. 37 and 39) say that Eunomius was made bishop of Cyzicus under the Emperor Constantius immediately after the Synod of Seleucia. He was banished by Valens because he favored the usurper Procopius. who being come thither, astonished his auditors by the extraordinary display of his ‘dialectic’ art, and thus a great sensation was produced at Cyzicus. At length the people unable to endure any longer the empty and assumptions parade of his language, drove him out of their city. He therefore withdrew to Constantinople, and taking up his abode with Eudoxius, was regarded as a titular580580    σχολαῖος, defined by Sophocles (Greek Lexicon of the Rom. and Byzantine Periods) as suspended. It appears, however, that among the civil and military officers in the Roman system there were some who bore the title without being concerned in the management of their offices, and that these were termed vacantes and therefore that Socrates is using the Greek equivalent of a Latin term and applying it in ecclesiastical matters as its original was applied in civil and military affairs. Cf., on the position of bishops without churches Bingham, Christ. Antiq. IV. ii. 14. This system of clerics without charges was abused so much that the Council of Chalcedon (Canon 6) forbade further ordination sine titulo. bishop. But lest we should seem to have said these things for the sake of detraction, let us hear what Eunomius himself has the hardihood to utter in his sophistical discourses concerning the Deity himself, for he uses the following language: ‘God knows no more of his own substance than we do; nor is this more known to him, and less to us: but whatever we know about the Divine substance, that precisely is known to God; and on the other hand, whatever he knows, the same also you will find without any difference in us.’ This and many other similar tedious and absurd fallacies Eunomius was accustomed to draw up in utter insensibility to his own folly. On what account he afterwards separated from the Arians, we shall state in its proper place.581581    See chap. 3, and on the Eunomians with their subsequent fortunes, V. 24.


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