Unity in the Divine Eucharist and the Bishop, and the Formation of the "Catholic Church"



The identification of the Eucharistic assembly with the Church of God herself had as a direct consequence the preservation of one Eucharist in each Church under the leadership of the presiding Bishop. This appears clearly for the first time in the epistles of Ignatius who writes, "Take heed, then, to have but one Eucharist. For there is one flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ, and one cup for union with His Blood; one altar, as there is also one Bishop with the presbyterium and the deacons."1 From this passage it is quite clear that for St Ignatius, who, as we have seen, linked the Bishop inseparably with the Eucharist and the unity of the Church,2 unity in the Divine Eucharist and in the Bishop presupposed one Eucharistic assembly, one altar and one Bishop in each Church.

This raises the question: was there actually only one Eucharist, "under the leadership of the Bishop,"3 in each Church; or does this passage quoted represent merely a desire and exhortation on Ignatius' part? This question is fundamental from an historical viewpoint, and has important implications for ecclesiology which will be discussed in the following chapter.

Many scholars studying the passage of St Ignatius quoted above have maintained the view that at the time Ignatius was writing his epistles there were many Eucharistic assemblies in each Church because otherwise - according to them - he would not have written in those terms. This argument cannot be taken seriously because it is possible that Ignatius had simply discerned tendencies towards the creation of parallel Eucharistic assemblies without this meaning necessarily that the gathering of all the faithful of each Church into one Eucharist under the Bishop was not the regular state of affairs prevailing at the time. That such divisive tendencies did exist in the Churches to which Ignatius was writing is clear from his repeated admonitions to the Christians not to follow heretics and schismatics. Despite this, Ignatius repeatedly stresses that what he writes about schism is precautionary in character: "I say these things, my beloved, not because I know any of you to be so disposed; but, being as I am less than all of you, I want to protect you in advance."4 That his admonition to maintain one Eucharist under one Bishop and at one altar must have the same sense, is shown by the affirmation that comes immediately before it: "Not that I have found any division among you, but disintegration (apodiylismos5)."6 It is clear, then, that for Ignatius himself the admonition to maintain one Eucharist does not necessarily presuppose an existing state of affairs to the contrary.

But if Ignatius' exhortation to maintain one Eucharist in each Church is seen as reflecting a corresponding historical reality, this gives rise to two questions which are fundamental for the history of the Church's unity in the Divine Eucharist and in the Bishop.

Firstly: if it is true, as we have seen, that the "Church in the household" of apostolic times signified the assembly to celebrate the Eucharist, were there not more than one of these "household Churches" in each city, and therefore more than one Eucharistic assembly?

Secondly: what would happen with the Christians out in the countryside if the only Eucharistic assembly in each Church was initially that "under the leadership of the Bishop," as Ignatius would have it?

It is not easy to give an answer to these two questions because the sources are not only incomplete, but also indifferent to our historical curiosity. In consequence, the examination of the few sources we do have will require minute and penetrating observation.


1. The one Eucharist under the leadership of the Bishop and the "Church in the household"

The prevailing view is that the "Church in the household" (katí oikon ekklesia) was a sort of semi-official gathering in various houses within the local Church. This view is prevalent not only among those who identify the Church in the household with prominent Christian families,7 but also among those who accept it as an assembly to celebrate the Eucharist.8 If this view is accepted, it then follows that the "Church in the household" did not bring together the whole of the local Church, but formed a sort of smaller ecclesial unit within it, more than one of which could exist in each city. This view automatically comes into conflict with the fact that, as we have seen, Paul knows of only one Church in each city. So either the "Church in the household" is a "church," in which case there should not be more than one of them in a city; or else it is not a full "church," in which case the existence of more than one in the same city would be justified. It is, therefore, of cardinal importance for the present study to examine whether the prevailing view outlined above has any basis in the sources.

Of all the passages containing the term "Church in the household," Rom. 16:4 appears to be the only one capable of throwing light on our problem. If we take a look at the section of the text in which the term appears, we shall see that the "Church in the household" of Priscilla and Aquila is not the only group Paul refers to. "Greetings" are sent not only to individuals, such as Epaenetus, Mary etc., but also to groups and families in Rome. Thus, we find "those who belong to the family of Aristobulus" (v. 10), "those in the Lord who belong to the family of Narcissus (v.ll), "Rufus, eminent in the Lord, and his mother" (v. 13), "Asyncretus, Phlegon, Hennas, Patrobus, Hermes and the brethren who are with them" (v. 14), and "Philologus and Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them" (v. 15). These groups clearly show that at that time within the local Church certain Christians stood out who, it seems, had come to know Christianity and had perhaps spread it not as individuals, but as groups (cf. the baptism of whole "households," i.e. families, such as that of Stephanas in Corinth, etc.). But it is noteworthy and interesting that although a great number of such groups are referred to in Romans 16, only one of them, that of Priscilla and Aquila, is called by the name of "Church in the household." All the other groups are either not described at all, or else they are called "brethren" or "saints" - names common to all Christians. This highly significant detail, which has gone unnoticed by those who hold that there existed many "Churches in the household" within the local Church, forces us to ask: Why does Paul use the term "Church in the household" for only one of these groups? The answer cannot be that it is pure chance because the number of groups among which the "Church in the household" appears in the text under discussion is such that it would be natural to expect another instance of "Church in the household." Nowhere in the sources, however, do we find more than one "household Church" in each city. In Rome, we have the "Church in the household" of Priscilla and Aquila singled out amidst many other groups and families, none of which is described as a "church."9 In Colossae, we have that of Philemon during the period of Paul's imprisonment in Rome (Philem. 2); in Laodicea that of Nymphas (Col. 4:15); in Corinth that of Priscilla and Aquila while they were living there (1 Cor. 16:19).10 In which of the sources do we find support for the prevailing view that there were many "Churches in the household" in each city?

But there are also more explicit pieces of evidence against the prevailing view. In Rom. 16:23, we read about a certain Gaius who is called "host to me [Paul] and to the whole church." This is undoubtedly a reference to the "Church in the household"11 in Corinth from where Paul is writing to the Romans. As this passage informs us, Gaius used to offer his house to Paul whenever the latter was in Corinth, and also to the whole Church of Corinth for her Eucharistic assemblies, which, in keeping with the spirit of 1 Corinthians,12 expressed the very Church of God. If, then, as is usually believed, the "Church in the household" signified a semi-official assembly of Christians, and if there were many such "churches" in each city, how are we to understand the fact here that Gaius is called host to the whole Church? The phrase "the whole Church" is used by Paul also in 1 Cor. 14:23: "if therefore the whole church comes together in the same place." That this passage too refers to the Eucharistic assembly identified with the "whole Church" is shown by the verb "come together" (synelthé), and by the fact that the Eucharistic gathering or "church" in Corinth of 1 Corinthians 11 continues to be implied here.13 It follows that the Eucharistic gathering, which at the time of the Epistle to the Romans was hosted in Gaius' house in Corinth, included "the whole church," i.e. all the Christians in Corinth. Therefore, the "Church in the household" of Gaius was not a "semi-official" church or one of the many in Corinth, but the full and catholic14 Church of Corinth. Only when one "household Church" has ceased to exist should we look for another within the same local Church. As long as a "church in a household" existed, it constituted the whole Church of God in that city.15

These conclusions follow from the passages which refer clearly to the "Church in the household." The same conclusions can also be drawn from an examination of the passages which refer to the Church in the household without using that term. Thus, in Acts 2:46, we read that the Eucharist was celebrated "in the house" or "at home" (kat' oikon). 16 Despite the difficulties this passage presents to commentators, one detail should be underlined: the term "house" is used in the singular. We are unable to comprehend how it is possible to interpret this passage as meaning "breaking bread from house to house" or "in their houses."17 This not only makes the text, incomprehensible - how is it possible for the Eucharist to move from house to house18 or to be celebrated by each family at home? - but it also goes against the sense of the text which may be paraphrased roughly as follows: The prayer of the first Christians was performed in the Jewish temple, but not the breaking of bread; this took place in the house and not in the temple. If the phrase kat' oikon is kept strictly within its context, then the meaning of the passage becomes clear. The fact that the breaking of bread took place kat' oikon (singular) and not kat' oikous (plural) implies that the Eucharist was not celebrated at several houses simultaneously but only in one. This conclusion becomes more certain if it is taken into account that the author of Acts is not unaware of the plural form kat' oikous, as can be seen from Acts 8:3119 and 20:20, 20 but he never uses it in connection with the Eucharist. The question inevitably arises: why could other ecclesial activities, such as preaching, be performed "from house to house," whereas the Eucharist was celebrated "in the house"? The answer would perhaps be difficult were it not for the fact that all the texts we have looked at point in the same direction: to the existence of only one Eucharist in each city. Thus the "Church in the household" did not fragment the Church, but expressed in a quite real way the unity of each Church in one Eucharist.

If the "Church in the household" as a term appears exclusively in the Epistles of Paul, its content, as the "whole Church" united in one Eucharist in each city, should not be restricted either to the Pauline Churches or to apostolic times. It is, of course, a fact that the Epistles of Paul form our only source, but we are able to recognize a broader character in the information the Apostle gives owing to the fact that it seems he was aware of the prevailing situation in all the Churches as regards the Eucharist. This at least is the indication of his express conviction that he knows the traditions and "practices" of all the Churches,21 to which, besides, he extends his care.22 Besides, the Church of Jerusalem - the most powerful in terms of its influence on the other Churches around the world 23  - does not seem to have differed from the Pauline Churches in respect of the "Church in the household," as is shown by the passages of Acts examined above.

In the post-apostolic era the "Church in the household" no longer existed as a term,24 but it continued to exist in practice up till the time when the Christians acquired special church buildings of their own for the celebration of the Eucharist.25 The existence of the one Eucharist equally continued beyond the apostolic period as an expression of the oneness of the local Church, and despite the increase in the number of Christians. The earliest text of the post-apostolic era, 1 Clement, hints at the existence of one Eucharist26 while St Ignatius insists that the faithful of Philadelphia should come together into "one Eucharist."27 But a clear and noteworthy testimony to the preservation of the single Eucharist right up to the middle of the second century, or at a time when the number of Christians must have increased significantly, especially in Rome, is given by Justin. When in 163/5 Justin was facing a martyr's death, he tried to evade the prefect's questions. But, when asked again insistently, he replied that he knew only one place in Rome where the Christians gathered and that was the house of a certain Martinus by the Timiotinian Baths.28 This information does not of course tell us whether the gathering Justin refers to is for the Eucharist. But if this is assumed, then this information becomes highly significant. Apart from this vague piece of information, however, Justin gives us another quite clear indication, strictly historical in character, of the fact that in Rome around the middle of the second century the Christians (and this is still more significant) not only of Rome but also of the surrounding villages would come together for one sole Eucharist: "and on the day called Sunday, there is a gathering in the same place of all those living in cities or country areas."29

If this was what happened, then, in the large and diverse30 Church of Rome, we can imagine not only how much more naturally it would have happened in the other Churches, but, above all, how important the Church must have considered it to preserve the integrity of the Eucharist in each city. The conservatism of the Roman Church, known also from other areas,31 preserved the primitive ecclesiology unadulterated, at least up to the middle of the second century: where there is one Church, there is one Eucharist under the leadership of one Bishop, who presides over both.32 

Let us see now how this principle was preserved when Christianity spread outside the cities into the country areas.


2. The one Eucharist under the leadership of the Bishop and the Christians in the countryside

Christianity made its appearance as a religion of the cities.33 We find the first evidence for the spread of Christianity into the countryside around the beginning of the second century or end of the first.34 Already around the middle of the second century, Justin tells us that there were Christians in the villages around Rome.35 As regards civil organization, these Christians came under the rural prefectures know in the Roman empire as pagi (country areas) or vici (villages) as opposed to the cities (civitas, urbs, oppidum) which alone enjoyed full self-government as respublicae.36 But while for the pagans these "country areas" and "villages" formed independent religious communities united around the worship of the gods and often having their own genius pagi or local deity,37 the Christians of the country areas were from the beginning attached to the worship performed in the city. This is of great importance for history, and shows that it was wrong to seek the model for the rural parish and its origin in the political division of the Roman state.38 The organization of the Church appears to have developed in a manner of its own, dictated by the fundamental ecclesiological principles which we have seen. Appearing from the beginning as one Eucharistic assembly under the leadership of one Bishop, the Church developed her organization in a manner consistent with this original form of hers which, as we have seen, was inextricably bound up with serious theological presuppositions. Thus, as far as the sources allow us to discover, at least until the middle of the second century (composition of Justin's First Apology), the Christians of the villages formed one ecclesial unity with the Christians of the city near which they lived. This was true at least for Rome where Justin was writing without however excluding the Churches of the East whose life was not unknown to this writer and which he seems to have included in his description of the Eucharistic assemblies.39 In consequence, any investigation into the detachment of the village Christians from the city to form their own Eucharistic assembly has to begin after the middle of the second century.40 This coincides with the rapid spread of Christianity and increase in the number of Christians. Around the middle of the second century, the West saw the establishment of many new Churches. It was no longer easy to serve the rural areas through the religious assembly in the city, and for this reason the setting up of a special church community (paroikia) in the country became a necessity. How was this done, and what consequences did it have for the unity of the Church?

At this point in the question, an institution comes into the picture which is basic to the early Church, and the significance of which has not been adequately studied: that of the chorepiscopus. Examination of this institution reveals both the time at which the villages started to be formed into special ecclesial unities, and the way in which the early Church preserved her original understanding of unity. As to the time when chorepiscopi appeared, and therefore, when the villages became detached from the ecclesial unity of the city, scholars have put forward different views. In a valuable study,41 F. Gillmann considers that the beginnings of the institution should be sought actually in the first century because even then Christianity had begun to spread into the countryside. But apart from the fact that we do not get our first clear evidence for Christianity in the countryside before the beginning of the second century,42 Gillmann's view seems incorrect also because it presupposes that the chorepiscopi appeared automatically with the Christians of the villages which cannot be reconciled with the fact that initially the Christians from the villages congregated around the Bishop of the city.43 But if the first or even early second centuries provide no evidence of chorepiscopi, then, immediately after the middle of the second century, the institution appears clearly, especially in the West.44 Thus in the reign of Antoninus (138-161), a country area in Italy (a place called vicus Baccanensis, in Tuscany) had a Bishop called Alexander.45 A little later, around the end of the second century, evidence from the Acta Caeciliae (the historical core of which there is no reason to doubt) refers to a certain Bishop with the phrase urbanus papa which is accepted46 as meaning Triopius, Bishop of the pagus Appiae in Italy. Thus in the second half of the second century, we have two specific examples of Bishops of a pagus or a vicus in Italy, in other words chorepiscopi, even though they are not known by that title. After this, chorepiscopi in Italy appear in increased numbers. There is a reference to Novatian being ordained in Rome in 249 by Bishops of "villages,"47 in other words by chorepiscopi. Similarly, at the same period, we hear of the convocation of a synod of the Bishops in Africa who numbered 71, a number far exceeding the number of cities then existing in that area. In the East, we learn of chorepiscopi for the first time from Eusebius. Recounting the events concerning Paul of Samosata, Bishop of Antioch (267-70), he quotes a letter from the Council of Antioch which deposed him in which we read about Bishops "of the adjacent country areas and cities" who surrounded Paul and supported him.48 Although, of course, this information goes back only to the middle of the third century, this institution had certainly existed for a long time in the East49 as evidenced by the fact that the fourth century saw not its beginning, but its end.50

What exactly were the chorepiscopi? Did they have full episcopal jurisdiction, or were they rather presbyters? Both hypotheses have been put forward.51 Unfortunately, our earliest information as to the nature of the institution of the chorepiscopus comes only when it had already begun to decline. Our sources on the subject are the following Canons of local Councils: 13th of Ancyra (314), 14th of Neocaesarea (314-325), 10th of Antioch (341), 6th of Sardica (343-344) and 57th of Laodicea (343-385). Because the nature of the institution of chorepiscopi is of such importance for the history of the Church's unity, we shall attempt here to throw some light on it through a comparative study of these few sources.52

The Canon of the Council of Ancyra, despite the numerous variants in the manuscripts53 and the difficulties it presents in interpretation,54 undoubtedly treats the chorepiscopi in a different way from the following Canons and especially the last two listed. In general terms, what emerges from comparative study of these Canons is a steady diminution in the rights and importance of the chorepiscopi. Thus while the Canon of Ancyra is concerned, on the one hand to confine the episcopal rights of the chorepiscopus within his own territory (paroikia), and on the other to place these rights in close dependence upon the Bishop of the city,55 the Canon of Antioch about a generation later goes still further through a slight alteration which is of particular importance to history.56 In this Canon, we observe two points: a) It is clearly recognized that the chorepiscopi belong to the rank of Bishop ("although they have received the ordination of Bishop"). This is a link with the past. On the other hand, b) they are explicitly told to confine themselves to ordaining lower clergy only ("to appoint readers and subdeacons and exorcists and not go beyond these appointments").57 This is a preparation for the future. The attitude to chorepiscopi which had formed in the meantime is expressed by the Council of Sardica (344): in the country and the villages, a presbyter is sufficient where a presbyter is sufficient because of the small number of inhabitants,58 the appointment of a Bishop would be to degrade his name and his authority.59 The following generation, represented by the Council of Laodicea (381),60 takes the next step of making the institution completely obsolete ("bishops should not be appointed in country areas").61 From this we may conclude that a) the depreciation and disappearance of the institution of chorepiscopi happened gradually, the chorepiscopi having originally been full Bishops ("having received the ordination of Bishop"), and b) this movement from many bishops to fewer62 gathered pace during the fourth century,63 and was historically bound up with the increasing liturgical jurisdiction of the presbyters as evidenced by the 60th Canon of Sardica, which we have just looked at, and the 57th Canon of Laodicea, which abolished the chorepiscopi and replaced them with presbyters acting as visitors (periodeutai)-64

From these conclusions about the development of the institution of chorepiscopi, it becomes clear that when the Christians of the countryside were detached from the ecclesial unity in the city, they formed their own Churches under their own Bishops with their own Divine Eucharist. In consequence, when the Christians of the villages were detached from the Church of the city there was no question of breaking up the unity of each Church in the Eucharist. This detachment did not create parishes, but new full local Churches with their own Bishops.65 In this way, the principle that each Church is united in one Eucharist under one Bishop was preserved even after Christianity spread into the countryside.


3. The application of the principle of one Eucharist and one Bishop in all geographical regions. Some problems with Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History

The application of the above conclusions to all regions during the period under discussion seems at first sight problematic on account of certain passages in Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History. These passages call in question the existence of one Bishop in each Church in the regions of Pontus, Gaul, Palestine and Egypt, and therefore, need to be looked at.

Regarding Pontus, Eusebius writes that in the second century Dionysius of Corinth sent a letter "to the Church sojourning in Amastris together with those in Pontus... mentioning their Bishop Pahnas by name."66 Some67 have seen in this passage, the existence of only one Bishop in the whole region of Pontus, even given that at the time Eusebius is referring to, Christian numbers had risen significantly in Pontus.68 Eusebius does indeed give such an impression in this passage as he does elsewhere when he is referring to the region of Crete: "Writing also to the Church sojourning in Gortyna together with the other paroikies in Crete, he commends their Bishop Philip."69 But the question arises of whether these passages ought to be regarded as precise historical sources testifying to the existence of only one Bishop in such extensive areas, or evidence of confusion created by Eusebius when he allows later situations to find their way into his synthesis of the sources. On this question, it should be observed that in both the above passages it is implied that there are several paroikies in the regions of Pontus and Crete ("together with those in Pontus..." and "together with the other paroikies in Crete"). During the period in question, the term paroikia as we shall demonstrate in more detail below did not mean "parish" in the later sense, but a full local Church with her own Bishop.70 That the passages cited are not talking about paroikies without Bishops of their own, is evidenced by the fact that during precisely the years Eusebius is referring to there, apart from Gortyna in Crete there was also the Bishop of Knossos, Pinutus, whom Eusebius himself knows of and mentions a little later.71 It is therefore not legitimate to make the above unclear passages of Eusebius the basis for the view that in extended territories such as Pontus and Crete, there were in the second century "paroikies" without Bishops of their own, which all came under one Bishop. With the phrase "their (i.e. the paroikies') Bishop" (which, it should be noted, belongs to Eusebius and not to his sources), it is obvious that Eusebius' familiarity with the later metropolitan system is creeping in.

Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History presents similar problems in regard to Gaul during the time of Irenaeus. The obscurity of the passages Eccl. Hist. V.23.3 and V.l-4 has given rise to the opinion that Irenaeus was the only Bishop in the whole region of Gaul,72 and perhaps Bishop not only of Lyons, but also of Vienne at the same time.73 This gives the picture of an entire region with only one Bishop under whom was more than one Church. This, however, conflicts with the following points:

a)   In the inscription to the letter of the martyrs in Lyons, the phrase "those in Vienne and in Lyons in Gaul" (Eccl. Hist. V.I .3), on which Nautin bases his conclusions, does not necessarily mean that Lyons and Vienne formed one diocese; because in that case the parallel which follows, "to the brethren in Asia and Phrygia," would have to be interpreted in the same way, despite that fact that, as we well know, there were many dioceses in the regions of Asia and Phrygia at a very early date.74 But apart from that, in the same letter, it is made absolutely clear further on (V.I.13) that Lyons and Vienne formed two different Churches. The fact that Irenaeus composed the letter in the name of those in Vienne and Lyons does not mean that he was Bishop of both of these cities, but simply that because of what had happened to Pothinus, who was in prison, he was representing the Church of Lyons which was host to the martyrs from Vienne. Besides, the purpose of this letter is known: Irenaeus was interested in using the authority of the martyrs in order to persuade the conservative brethren in Asia to abandon their extreme position on the matter of penitents. It is obvious that this purpose would be better served if the letter were written also in the name of the martyrs from Vienne. The fact that Irenaeus does not put his name to the letter as author reveals not only the purpose of the letter, but also the fact that he did not represent the Churches of both Vienne and Lyons.

b)   The tradition knows of absolutely no Bishop of Vienne by the name of  Irenaeus even though it knows of a whole series of Bishops of other names.75

c)   It is doubtful whether Irenaeus was a bishop at the time when he composed the letter from the martyrs of Vienne and Lyons. Eusebius calls him "presbyter."76 And while it is true that in Irenaeus' time this term was understood to include bishops, we cannot unquestioningly take this fact, as Nautin does,77 as support for the view that Eusebius was misled by the terminology and thus placed Irenaeus in the rank of presbyter. For even if we accept that the terminology was of such decisive importance in this case, we should not overlook the terminological distinction that was made between a presbyter and  the presbyter,  the latter referring to the "presiding-presbyter," i.e. the Bishop.78 It would consequently be more natural for Eusebius to have written "as the presbyter of the Church" rather than "as a presbyter of the Church," as we have in the text.79 But apart from that, as is evident from the letter of the martyrs, Pothinus was still living, and was, therefore, the canonical Bishop of Lyons. In order to accept that Irenaeus was Bishop at the time when he composed the letter in the name of the martyrs of Vienne and Lyons, we have to suppose either that this letter was written after the martyrdom of Pothinus (which would be incompatible with the purpose and content of the letter), or that when Irenaeus wrote the letter he was Bishop of Vienne, and was later transferred to Lyons which would conflict with the existing ancient tradition which, as we have seen, knows no Bishop of Vienne by the name of Irenaeus. There remains no choice, then, but to accept that Irenaeus was simply a presbyter at the time when he wrote in the name of the brethren in Vienne and Lyons, and succeeded Pothinus in the see of Lyons - and only Lyons - after the latter's martyrdom.

d)   In consequence of the above, Eusebius' obscure statement that Irenaeus "oversaw" (epeskópei) the "paroikies in Gaul," does not imply that he was the only Bishop in that region in charge of more than one Church; instead, it should be regarded as a transposition of the concept of the rights of the metropolitan, already well developed in Eusebius' day, to the time of Irenaeus when such rights had not yet been definitively formed. Such anachronisms are common in Eusebius as we saw in the case of Pontus and Crete.80

If in the foregoing cases, Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History gives the mistaken impression that one Bishop headed more than one Church, in reference to Palestine, Eusebius gives the opposite and, as will be shown, equally mistaken impression that more than one Bishop was heading one and the same Church. Thus referring to Alexander of Jerusalem, he writes that he "was thought worthy of that bishopric, while Narcissus, his predecessor, was still living," and therefore describes the episcopacy of Jerusalem as "the presidency of Narcissus with him [i.e. Alexander]."81 As was natural, this led certain ancient82 and also more recent83 historians to speak of Alexander and Narcissus serving jointly as Bishops of Jerusalem for a time.

But if we leave aside once again the comments introduced by Eusebius and confine ourselves to the sources he has in view, the conclusion will be different. Thus the passage of a letter of Alexander's which Eusebius preserves,84 and which plainly forms the basis for his impressions set out above, reads: "Narcissus salutes you, who held the episcopate here before me, and is now reckoned with me through prayers, being 116 years of age; and he exhorts you, as I do, to be of one mind." The phrase in this letter "now reckoned with me through prayers" (synexetazómenós moi dia ton euchon) gave rise to the view that these two Bishops shared the episcopacy, among historians who interpreted it as meaning "holding the same position in prayers as I do." But the true meaning of synexetazesthai (translated above as "reckoned with") at that period was "to be present" or simply "to be [somewhere]," as is shown in texts preserved by Eusebius himself.85 In consequence, the meaning of this phrase is "who is present here with me through his prayers." This is supported by a more unequivocal reason why the theory of co-episcopacy is completely ruled out. In the passage of the letter cited, Narcissus is clearly described as "having held the episcopate here before me [sc. Alexander]." This phrase would not have been used if Narcissus and Alexander were leading the same Church jointly.86

But the region over which the greatest problems arise is Egypt owing to the total lack of relevant sources for the first three centuries. In regard to this region, the mistake has repeatedly been made of filling in the gaps in the sources from the first three centuries by transposing onto that period states of affairs which we know of from the fourth century and later. Thus as to the position of the Bishop in Egypt, the view was formed, and became generally accepted that there was originally only one Bishop for the whole of Egypt, and that as a result, the presbyters there showed themselves especially powerful.87 As to the power of the presbyters, this view prevailed because in the fourth century such power is indeed to be seen, particularly as a result of the Arian controversies; but this does not mean that the same situation also obtained earlier, when, as we shall see later, presbyters nowhere enjoyed such independence and power. As to the existence of only one Bishop in Egypt, this view is again due to certain obscure and misleading passages in Eusebius. Thus in Ecclesiastical History V.22, Eusebius writes: "in that year, when Julian had completed his tenth year, Demetrius received the charge of the paroikies at Alexandria;" and further on (VI.2.2) he comments: "Laitus was governor of Alexandria and the rest of Egypt, and Demetrius had lately taken on the episcopacy of the paroikies there [sc. in Alexandria and all Egypt] as successor to Julian." The problem with these passages lies in their reference to several "paroikies" and one Bishop in Alexandria and Egypt in the late second century. If the word paroikia is taken to mean "parish" here, then in Egypt, at least, the principle of the assembly of all the Christians into one Eucharist did not apply around the end of the second century. If, on the other hand, the term is taken to mean the local Church, then it appears that the Bishop of Alexandria is in charge of more than one Church. It is consequently essential to see what the term "paroikia" means in Eusebius, so that we can go on to clarify the position of the bishop of Alexandria.

The term paroikia occurs about forty times in Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History, but in none of these cases does it mean "parish" in the modern sense. The meaning of the term is always that of a whole local Church or bishopric. Thus he writes of the Church of Corinth, "First of all, it should be said of Dionysius that he held the throne of the paroikia and bishopric (episcope) of Corinth."88 Similarly of the Churches in Crete: "among these is included another letter to the people of Knossos, in which he exhorts Pinutus the Bishop of the paroikia..."89 and "Philip, whom we know from Dionysius' words as Bishop of the paroikia in Gortyna." Similarly, he writes of Lyons that "Irenaeus succeeded to the episcopacy (episcope) of the paroikia in Lyons, which had been headed by Potheinus;"90 and of Rome and Carthage, that "[Cornelius] made a list of the names and what paroikia each headed," and "first of all Cyprian, pastor of the paroikia in Carthage."91 Eusebius uses the word in the same sense of other bishop rics92 and also of Alexandria of which he writes: "About the twelfth year of the reign of Trajan the above-mentioned Bishop of the paroikia in Alexandria died, and Primus, the fourth in succession from the Apostles, was chosen to the office.'"93 The common and noteworthy characteristic of all these passages is that the term paroikia which occurs there is used interchangeably as a synonym for, or added as an explanation of, the terms "church," Bishop," "bishopric/episcopacy" (episcope), "pastor," "ministry" (leitourgia) etc., which denote a full local Church with its own Bishop.94

If, then, the term paroikia has this sense in Eusebius, it is clear that in the case of Alexandria and Egypt it cannot mean "parish," but "bishopric." In consequence, we have several bishoprics in Egypt during the second century not just one.

Unequivocal evidence for this comes from the statement of Eusebius himself that right at the beginning of Christianity in Egypt the Evangelist Mark established many "churches" there. 95 Specifically, indeed, we know that early in the fourth century it was possible to talk about many Bishops "around Egypt" serving "the paroikies around the country and the region."96

The existence of several bishoprics in Egypt already from the second century precludes the view that the Bishop of Alexandria was initially the only Bishop in that region. How do we then explain what Eusebius has to say about the leading position of Alexandria in relation to the paroikies around Alexandria and Egypt? First of all, it should be pointed out that in the first centuries the Christians in Egypt made a distinction between the Church of Alexandria, as the Church of the chief city, and the Churches around Alexandria which belonged to the countryside.97 The superiority of the Bishop of Alexandria in relation to the other Bishops in Egypt was evident from the beginning. In addition, it is noteworthy that even up to the time of Demetrius of Alexandria (189), Eusebius speaks of a paroikia, in the singular, in Alexandria,98 and only after that does he talk about "paroikies" around Alexandria. This timeframe fits in with the spread of Christianity outside the cities and the establishment of the institution of chorepiscopi as we have said above.99 It is, therefore, not improbable that the paroikies around Alexandria with which the Bishop of Alexandria is Jinked from Demetrius onwards were chorepiscopates. This probability accords both with the meaning of the term paroikia, which, as we have seen, presupposes a Bishop of its own, and with Alexandria's position of superiority vis-à-vis the other paroikies, which gave Eusebius cause to write, again under the influence of later situations, that the Bishop of Alexandria had "taken on the episcopacy of the paroikies there."100 In consequence, the region of Egypt too appears not to have ignored the principle of the unity of all the faithful in each paroikia - Church under the leadership of one Bishop.

In the light of this, we are able to conclude that Ignatius' exhortation to the various Churches to remain united in one Eucharist only, under one Bishop and at one altar, was a reflection of a corresponding historical reality. Throughout the first three centuries and, so far as we can tell, in all regions, the principle of the unity of each Church in one Eucharistic assembly under one Bishop was faithfully observed. Hence around the beginning of the fourth century, when developments take place which will be looked at the Part ………, the principle was being passed down that in each Church there was only one single altar (monogenes thysiasterion),101 while the First Ecumenical Council explicitly lays down, despite the existing practical difficulties, that there can be only one Bishop in each city.102 Here is the section of this Canon in which the consciousness of the Church of the first three centuries concerning one Bishop only in each Church reaches its climax: "Wherever, then, whether in villages or in cities, these [i.e. clergy of the "Cathari" returning to the Catholic Church] are the only people found to be ordained, let those who are in the clergy remain in the same rank. But if some of them come over where there is a Bishop or presbyter of the Catholic Church, it is clear that the Bishop of the Church will have the Bishop's dignity; he who was named Bishop by the so-called Cathari shall have the rank of presbyter, unless it shall seem fit to the Bishop to admit him to the honor of the title. If this should not be satisfactory to the Bishop, let the Bishop provide a place for him as chorepiscopus or presbyter, in order that he may be evidently seen to be of the clergy; that there may not be two Bishops in the city."

This insistent effort by the First Ecumenical Council to arrange things "so that there may not be two Bishops in the city" cannot be understood apart from the principle which already appears clearly from the time of Ignatius according to which the unity of each Church is necessarily expressed through one Eucharist and one Bishop. The preservation and application of this principle is an historical fact, as we have seen, until at least the beginning of the fourth century. The effects of this historical situation on the formation of the Catholic Church during the same period will be considered directly.



1. Ignatius, Philad. 4.

2. See above, p. 66f.

3. Ignatius, Smyrn. 8:1.

4. Ignatius, Magn. 11:1. Cf. also Tral. 8:1, "Not because I know of anything of the sort among you; but since you are dear to me I put you on your guard, knowing the wiles of the devil."

5. The term apodiylismos (Lat. abstractio) does not mean division into groups, but disintegration or divisions of an individualistic nature, as in 1 Corinthians ("I am of Paul," etc.) Cf. also the "passersby," or isolated people, in Ignatius Eph. 9:1 and Rom. 9:3.

6. Ignatius, Philad. 3:1. This should have been taken into account by W. Bauer Rechtglaubigkeit und Ketzerei im altesten Christentum, 19642, p. 67) who wrongly regards what Ignatius says about unity as a mere wish on the part of the apostolic Father and talks about an "Ignatian faction" (Ignatiusgruppe) in order to support his theories about the preexistence and prevalence of heresy in the early Church which are otherwise proved groundless.

7. See above, p. 50f.

8. Thus e.g L. Cerfaux, La Theologie de líEglise, p. 145: "As the Christians did not always gather as a full assembly but formed separate groups within the same city which gathered less officially in private houses, we intend to speak of domestic churches." The same view is also expressed by P. Batiffol, op. cit. p. 88; H. Lee] in DA.C.L. IV/2,1921, col. 2280; J. Jungmann, The Early Litur 13; E.A. Judge, op. cit. p. 37 and P. Trembelas, "Worship in Apostolic Times" (in Greek) (toe. cit). V. Stephanidis (op. cit. p. 34) so far as to assert that the household Churches were so numerous within the local Churches that they became centres of heretical teaching and that was why they were finally done away with. From what sources Stephanidis derived this information, we do not know. But these are representative examples of the widespread view there were many household Churches within a local Church. This idea formed the basis for the view of Protestant historiography that the Church grew gradually into catholicity; on this view, before 1 Clement, there was a variety of gatherings which is still preserved in the Didache while through 1 Clement and Ignatius we arrive at one assembly under the Bishop in place of several assemblies with corresponding implications for the elevation of the Bishop. See e.g. P. Carrington, The Early Christian Church, I, 1957, p.476. For earlier scholars see G. Konidaris, "New Research Towards Solving the Problems of the Sources of Early Christianity, in E.E.Th.S. (1957-58), 1959, p. 232. The question which is raised and addressed for the first time here, namely whether there was more than one "household church" in each city, is consequently of tremendous importance for the formation of the Catholic Church.

9. This is another indication of the clear distinction between notions of the "Christian family" and the Church, discussed above.

10. Aquila and Priscilla were Christians before they moved to  Corinth. Cf. Harnack, "Probabilia uber die Adresse und den Verfasser des Hebraerbriefs" in Z.N.T. W, 1 (1900), 16 f. Their move to Corinth was probably due to Claudius' edict expelling the Jews from Rome. Cf- F.F. Bruce, "Christianity under Claudius," in Bulletin of the John Ryiands Library 44 (1962), 310. The story of these two people, as far as it can be reconstructed on the basis of Acts, Romans and 1 Corinthians, reveals their importance for the Paul Churches. Both were linked with a Church "in their householdĒ both in Ephesus (1 Cor. 16:20) and in Rome (Rom. 16:4). This may suggest that the "Church in the household" was usually linked with prominent people.

11. See L. Cerfaux, La Theologie, p. 145, who accepts this, even though it is essentially incompatible with his view that the "household church" was a semi-official Church within the local Church.

12. See above, p. 48f.

13.  ibid

14. The significance of the expression "the whole church" (hole he ekklesia) for the origin of the term "catholic church" will be discussed below.

15. This does not preclude the possibility that the Christians moved from one house to another as they would often have had to on account of the persecutions. What is important is the fact that in whatever house the Eucharist was celebrated, it included all the faithful of the city and was in consequence one Eucharist expressing the one Church sojourning in that place.

16. This classic passage was probably the original form of the phrase "Church in the household," or vice versa.

17. This is how it is interpreted by e.g. E.A. Judge, op. cit. p. 37. Cf F.J. Foakes Jackson - K. Lake (ed.), The Beginnings of Christianity, IV, p. 29.

18. The reference to papyri (P. Ryl. 11, 76,10) in F.J. Foakes Jackson - K. Lake (ed.), op. cit. IV, p. 29, note 46, in support of such a meaning is unacceptable in the case of this passage because the verb with which the phrase "kat' oikon" is connected here does not signify motion. It is perhaps natural to understand "katí oikon" as meaning "from house to house" if the verb in the sentence implies motion (e.g. in the phrase "it was distributed kat oikon"). But this interpretation is impossible with a verb that connotes a state, such as "to break bread."

19. "Saul laid waste the church, entering house after house (kata tous oikous isporeuomenos)."

20. "I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you in public and from house to house (kat'oikous)."

21.1 Cor. 11:16.

22. 2 Cor. 11:28.

23. See e.g. its influence on the formation of the Church's polity in G. Konidaris, On the   Supposed Difference, p. 56.

24. Ignatius, who writes epistles in the Pauline manner, preserves the by now established term "church," and indeed in a purely Pauline sense, as we shall see below; but he uses the term ďhouse" with no connection to the Church (Smyrn. 13, Polyc. 8:2). This is the first indication in the sources that the phrase "Church in the household" has been abandoned. This is due to the fact that by Ignatius' time the term "church" had already prevailed as the expression of a reality which had formerly been expressed by several different terms.

25.This probably took place around the end of the third century. Cf. Noele Maurice - Denis Boulet, "Titres Urbains et Communaute"," in La Maison-Dieu, No. 36,1953, p. 14ff. In Alexandria, too, it seems that around the end of the third century the first Christian church building was established in honour of St Theonas. See Ch. Papadopoulos, History of the Church of Alexandria (in Greek), 1935, p.488.

26. Clem. 41:2: "It is not in every place, brethren, that the daily sacrifices are offered, or the prayers, or the sin-offerings, or the trespass-offerings, but in Jerusalem only. And even there they are not offered in every place, but only at the altar before the temple, once the offering has been carefully examined by the high priest and the ministers already mentioned. Those, therefore, who do anything contrary to the duty imposed by his will, are punished with death."

27. Ignatius, Philad. 4. Cf. Ignatius, Eph. 20:2, and p. 91 above.

28. "I live above one Martinus, at the Timotinian Baths; and during this time (I am now in Rome for the second time) I am unaware of any meeting of the Christians other than his" (.Martyrdom, Ch. II; P.G. 6:1568).

29. K Justin, 1 Apoi 67. Cf. also 65.

30. The Rome of the second half of the second century was a meeting place of many nationalities and of Christians from different parts of the empire. See G. La Piana, "Foreign Groups in Rome during the First Centuries of the Empire," in The Harvard Theological Review (1927), 183.

31. E.g. in the matter of accepting the term "episkopos." See G.Konidaris, op.cit. pp. 55-56.

32. It should be seen as highly significant that the Bishop initially went under the title "presiding presbyter" (proestos presbyteros) (see G. Konidaris, "Warum die Urkirche von Antiochia den "proestota presbyteron" der Ortsgemeinde als "ho Episkopos" bezeichnete," in Munchener Theologische Zeitschnft, 1961, pp. 269-84). This means that the institution of the Bishop was par excellence liturgical, and the whole of his authority stemmed from his position in the Eucharist. Because as Justin attests (1 Apol. 65 and 67), the term proestos ("president") was used to indicate the one who offered the Eucharist. Harnack (Mission und Ausbreitung des Christentutns in den drei ersten Jahrhunderten, II4, pp. 836, 841f.) talks about many places of worship and indeed parishes very early on, but on this point the following observations should be made:

a) Harnack's statistic which raises the number of believers in Rome to about 30,000 is based on Eusebius and relates to the middle of the third century, when, as we shall see later, the increase in the number of believers did indeed lead to the appearance of parishes;

b) as to the information given by Justin in his reply to the Prefect, it should not be forgotten that he is trying to conceal the location of the Eucharistic assembly, obviously so that the faithful would not be arrested; whereas, when he is writing his Apology and is not obliged to specify the location of the assembly, he does not hesitate to state clearly that all the faithful in Rome came together in one place for the celebration of the Eucharist;

c) as to the division of Rome into 25 parishes between the times of Dionysius (259-68) and Marcellus (308/9), our only source is the Liber Pontificalis, which even Harnack himself does not consider reliable. Anyway, leaving that aside, these tituli do not necessarily signify Eucharistic assemblies. Cf. also Part III below.

33. A. Harnack, Mission , II, p. 278; R. Knopf, Nachapostolischer Zeitatter, 1905, p. 61 and K.S. Latourette, A History of the Expansion of Christianity, 1,1953, p. 110.

34. Pliny the Younger, Ep. X, 97 and 98. Despite this, we consider that already in Paul's Epistles there is a suggestion that there were Christians in the countryside. The phrase "with all the saints who are in the whole of Achaea" (2 Cor. 1:1), placed in contradistinction to the Christians in the city of Corinth, probably indicates the existence of Christians outside the cities as well. Cf. above, p. 50f.

35. Justin, 1 Apol. 67.

36. J. Toutain, "Pagani, Pagus," in Diction, des Antiquitis Grecques et Romaines, VI, p. 273ff; A. Grenier, "Vicus, vicani," ibid. V, p. 854ff.

37. A. Grenier, Manuel d'Archeologie gallo-romaine, –ļ, Ů. 696, where the inscription discovered in Solicia and dated 28 June 232 is published: "Genio pagi Derveti peregrini qui posuer(unt) vico Soliciae..."

38. This theory was first developed by Imbart de la Tour in his work Les Paroisses Rurales du TV' au Xi£ Siecle, 1900 (this book was not available to us, but the gist of it can be found in La Revue Historique, vols. LX, LXT, LXVII and LXVIII). At least as regards the West, this had been the prevailing theory for a long time. W. Seston successfully set out to refute it in his article, "Note sur les Origines Religieuses des Paroisses Rurales," in Revue d'Hist. et Philos. relig. 15 (1935), 243-54.

39. We base this supposition on the general character of Justin's Apology, written as it is in the name of all Christians generally, and on the fact that he knew other Churches besides that of Rome.

40. This view is supported by the noteworthy fact that Dionysius of Corinth, who is writing at this time, knows of Churches only "in cities." See Eusebius, Eccl. Hist. IV.23.10: "For from the beginning this has been your practice, to do good to all the brethren in various ways, and to send supplies to many churches in all the cities."

41. Das Institut der Chorbischb'fe im Orient;historisch-kanonisch Studie (Veroffentlichungen aus dem Kirchenhistorischen Seminar II 1) 1903.

42. See above p. 94.

43. Justin, 1 Apol. 65 and 67.

44. There is, therefore, no basis for the view of earlier scholars such as Bergere {Etudes Historiques sur les Choreveques, 1905), according to which the West did not know of chorepiscopi before the  eighth century. The title certainly did not appear from the beginning, but the institution itself, as we shall see, existed earlier.

45. See Hefele-Leclercq, Histoire des Condles, II/2, col. 1210.

46. ibid.

47. Theodoret of Cyr, Compendium of Heretical Fables III.5, P.G. 83.408A.

48. Eusebius, Eccl. Hist., VII.30.10. Cf. Ch. Papadopoulos, On Chorepiscopi and Titular Bishops (in Greek), 1935, p. 6ff.

49. V. Stephanidis (Church History p. 87) also refers to the passage in Eusebius' Eccl. Hist., VII.24.6. But does that have to do with Bishops, or with presbyters according to the system of the Church of Alexandria?

50. The Councils of Sardica (Can. 6) and Laodicea (Can. 57) for bade the installation of chorepiscopi henceforth. See V. Stephanidis, op. cit. p. 87. The information in Clement of Alexandria (Who is the Rich Man who shall be Saved?. 42), that when John was in Ephesus "He was invited to go out also into the adjacent lands of the Gentiles, in some places to install Bishops and in others to set in order whole Churches," probably refers to dioceses and rural Churches around Ephesus, which were ancient in origin.

51. In the past, it was the view that the chorepiscopi were presbyters with semi-episcopal jurisdiction; that they were initially full Bishops has been maintained more recently, principally by F.Gillmann (op. cit.). Cf. Leclercq, D.A.C.L. –…/1, I435f. and Ch.Papadopoulos, On Chorepiscopi, p. 8.

52. The Greek text is taken from the edition of Prof. H. Alivizatos, The Sacred Canons (in Greek; ed. Apostoliki Diakonia), 19492, p. 161ff.

53. See Leclercq's detailed analysis of the texts in D.A.C.L. …–/1, 1425f. From examination of the manuscripts, it emerges that Prof.Alivizatos' text, used here, is the most probable.

54. Chiefly over the meaning of "alia men mede presbuterous poleos" and "en etera paroikia," on which see ibid. 1428f.

55. So the Canon is interpreted by the Byzantine canonists Balsamon and Aristinos (P.G. 137.1160), as also by more recent foreign scholars, including R.B. Seckham, The Text of the Canons of Ancyra (Studia Ecclesiastica, –…) 1891, p. 192. The text of the Canon is as follows: "Chorepiscopi are not allowed to ordain presbyters or deacons, not even presbyters of the city (alla men mede presbuterous poleos), without written permission from the Bishop, in another community (en etera paroikia).

56. It should be seen as indicative of this importance that the Canon of Neocaesarea, which is more or less contemporary with that of Ancyra, lays stress less on minimizing the importance of the chorepiscopi than on equating them with Bishops in the supreme ministry of the Divine Eucharist calling them "concelebrants" with the Bishops.

57. A similar clear sign of the gradual decrease in the importance of the chorepiscopi appears in the 8th Canon of the Council of Antioch which deprives them of the right to issue "letters pacifical."

58. V. Stephanidis (op. cit. p. 68) asks whether perhaps the concern here is with the name of Bishop being brought into disrepute because of quarrels between chorepiscopi and Bishops of the towns. But careful examination of the Canon makes it clear that the "degradation" is due to the smallness of the village: "but if there is a town that is growing so much in numbers of people that it is considered worthy of a bishopric, let it have [a Bishop]." H. Alivizatos, op. dtp. 187.

59. "It is not permitted simply to install a Bishop in a village or small town for which just one presbyter would suffice. For it is not  necessary for Bishops to be installed there, in order that the name and authority of a Bishop may not be degraded" (ibid.).

60. Among this generation was St Basil the Great, who contributed to the decrease in the importance of the chorepiscopi (Letter to a Chorepiscopus, in Alivizatos, op. cit. p. 390f.

61.  Alivizatos, op. cit. p. 207f.

62. The disappearance of the chorepiscopi is confirmed by the fact that, contrary to the prevailing view, the number of Bishops fell rather than rose as time went on. For the years immediately following the fourth century, it is worthwhile investigating this fall in the number of Bishops on the basis of sources such as the Acts of the Councils, Minutes etc., as well as the works of Gerland-Gelzer and G. Konidaris.

63. In earlier times, no one considered that the small number of Christians was degrading to the name and authority of a Bishop as the Council of Laodicea later thought. It is indicative of how things had changed in the meantime that when, for instance, Gregory the Wonderworker became Bishop of Neocaesarea in Pontus his flock initially numbered 17 Christians! (according to Gregory of Nyssa, Life of St Gregory the Wonderworker, P.G. 46.953).

64. "That Bishops should not be appointed in the villages and country areas, but visitors (periodeutai) instead" (H. Alivizatos, op cit. p.207).

65. The ordination of a chorepiscopus "at large" and not for a particular Church, which Ch. Papadopoulos talks about (On Chorepiscopi, p. 9), is in no way borne out by the sources. A Bishop without a specific Church is not to be found in the first centuries. As a basic ecclesiological principle, this applied to the chorepiscopus too.

66. Eusebius, Eccl. Hist. IV.23.6.

67. Thus for example K. Miiller, Beitrage zur Geschichte der Verfassung der alten Kirche (in the series Abhandlungen d. Preuss. Akad. d. Wiss., phil.-hist., kl., No. 3), 1922, p. 7.

68. See A. Harnack, Mission, II4, p. 574.

69. Eusebius, Eccl. Hist. IV.23.5.

70. See inter alia Eusebius, Eccl. Hist. IV.23.

71. Eccl Hist. IV23.7. Cf. G. Konidaris, Ecclesiastical History of Greece (in Greek), I, p. 407ff.

72. E.g. in L. Duchesne, Fastes Episcopaux de I'Ancienne Gaul, 19072, pp. 40-43.

73. E.g. in P. Nautin, Lettres et Ecrivains Chretiens des if et lit siecles, 1961, p. 93.

74. See W.M. Ramsey, O'fies and Bishoprics ofPhrygia, HI, 1897.

75. See L. Duchesne, Fasfes Episcopaux, p. 148.

76. Eccl. Hist. V.4.1.

77. Op.cit.p.46f.

78. For this distinction see G. Konidaris, On the Supposed Difference.

79. Eccl. Hist. V.4.2.

80. Despite the conclusions of W. Telfer, op. cit. p. 96.

81. Eccl. Hist. VI.8.7 and 113.

82. So the Chronic, ad annum 212 (ed. Helm, p. 213): "Alexander was ordained the thirty-fifth Bishop of Jerusalem while Narcissus was still alive, and governed the Church alongside him" (cum eo pariter).

83. Thus, G. Bardy in his edition of Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History in the series Sources Chretiennes, No. 41,1955, p. 156, note 13.

84. Eccl. Hist. V1.U3.

85. E.g. Eccl. Hist. VI.34: tois en paraptomasin exetazomenois (those found to be in transgression).

86. Eusebius is obviously making a similar mistake, on the basis of who knows what unclear sources, in the case of Anatolius Bishop of Caesarea in Palestine, of whom he writes: "Theotectus, bishop of Caesarea in Palestine, first ordained him as Bishop, intending to make him his successor in his own paroikia after his death, and for a short time both of them presided over the same Church. (Eccl. Hist. VII.32.21).

87. See e.g Ch. Papadopoulos, History of the Church of Alexandria (in Greek), p. 484 and G. Konidaris, G.C.H., pp. 142 and 243. Like wise E. Schwartz, Die Kirchengeschichte des Eusebius, –…, 1909, p. ccxxi; W. Bauer, op. cit. p. 68 and W. Telfer, op. cit. p. 106.

88. Eccl. Hist. IV.23.1.

89. Cf. also HI.4.11: "Besides these, that Areopagite, named Dionysius... is mentioned by another Dionysius, an ancient writer and pastor of the paroikia of the Corinthians, as the first Bishop of the Church in Athens."

90. Eccl Hist. IV.23.7.

91. ibid. VI.43.21 and VII.3.

92. ibid. VII.28.1: "Of these, the most eminent were Firmilianus, Bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia, the brothers Gregory and Athenodorus, pastors of the paroiktes in Pontus, and in addition Helenus of the paroikia in Tarsus and Nicomas of that in Iconium; and moreover, Hymenaeus of the Church in Jerusalem." Cf. ibid. V.24.14-15, where the same meaning should be given to the term paroikia. On this, see also below.

93. Ibid. IV.l. Cf. ……–4; IV.5.5; VI.8.3.

94. Cf. characteristically ibid. VII.30.17, where the terms "catholic church" and "paroikia" are equated: "Therefore we have been compelled to excommunicate him, since he sets himself against God and refuses to obey, and to appoint in his place another Bishop for the catholic church; by divine Providence, as we believe, [we appoint] Domnus, son of the blessed Demetrianus, who formerly presided in a distinguished manner over the same paroikia..."

95. Ibid. 11.16: "And they say that this Mark was the first to be sent to Egypt, and that he proclaimed the Gospel which he had composed, and first established churches at Alexandria."

96. …bid.VIII.13.7.

97. See Dionysius of Alexandria apud Eusebius, Eccl. Hist VII.11.12, where "Egypt" signifes the countryside as opposed to Alexandria which is called "the city."

98. "In the fourth year of Domitian, Annianus, the first [Bishop] of the paroikia in Alexandria, died after completing 22 years [in office], and was succeeded by the second [Bishop], Albius" (ibid. III.14). See likewise IV.l and IV.5.5. In connection with Demetrius himself, too, the term paroikia is often used in the singular. Thus, "When Demetrius, who presided over the paroikia there [in Alexandria], found out about this later..." (ibid. VI.8.3). Likewise ibid. VI.19.15: "to Demetrius the Bishop of the paroikia [of Alexandria].

99. See above, p. 94ff.

100. This view is supported by research on the liturgical texts from Egypt, which, as Prof. P. Trembelas shows (Mikron Euchologion, I, 1950, p. 216), remain inexplicable if what were later held to be "presbyters" of Alexandria during the first three centuries are not regarded as chorepiscopi. The way these pieces of evidence dovetail is noteworthy for the thesis of this work.

101. See Eusebius, Eccl. Hist. X.4.68.

102. First Ecumenical Council, Canon 8 (ed. Alvizatos, p. 28f.)





Article published in English on: 6-2-2008.

Last update: 19-2-2008.