Epiphanius the Nicene

The incessant battles between Christianities from Nicaea to Constantinople I are clear in the case of Epiphanius of Salamis on Cyprus (c. 315-403), the great troubler of all he considered to be heretics. He repudiated theologians alive or dead, including Arius and Origen. Born in Eleutheropolis, Palestine, he saw himself as the arbiter of the faith throughout the Mediterranean basin. Epipha-nius kept contacts with Palestine by founding a monastery in his hometown around 335 and showed particular interest in the see of Jerusalem. When he travelled from Salamis to Jerusalem in order to uproot Origenism in Palestinian monasteries, John of Jerusalem asked him to fill his pulpit. The visitor proceeded to attack the bishop who was sitting in his own sanctuary! Epiphanius' Panarion, a history of heresy written in the 370s, is tightly organised, probably too trusting of friends and too distrusting of enemies, but it does show how one influential bishop understood heresy and offers invaluable material. His works took positions that were ratified at Constantinople in 381. He even travelled uncanonically to the synod of the Oak near Chalcedon in 403 to participate in the condemnation of the Tall Brothers, Origenistic monks from Egypt, but when he discovered that the emperor intended to depose Chrysostom he fled and died on the journey home.39

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