Eusebius of Caesarea, Life of Constantine 4.36-4.37
TextΒασιλέως ἐπιστολὴ περὶ τῆς τῶν θείων γραφῶν ἐπισκευῆς. "Νικητὴς Κωνσταντῖονς Μέγιστος Σεβαστὸς Εὐσεβίῶ. Κατὰ τὴν ἐπώνυμον ἡμῖν πόλιν τῆς τοῦ σωτῆρος θεοῦ συναιρομένης προνοίας μέγιστον πλῆθος ἀνθρώπων τῇ ἁγιωτάτῃ ἐκκλησίᾳ ἀνατέθεικεν ἑαυτό, ὡς πάντων ἐκεῖσε πολλὴν λαμβανόντων αὔξησιν σφόδρα ἄφιον καταφίνεσθαι καὶ ἐκκλησίας ἐν αὐτῇ κατασκευασθῆναι πλείους. τοιγάρτοι δέδεξο προθυμότατα τὸ δόξαν τῇ ἡμετέρᾳ προαιρέσει. πρέπον γὰρ κατεφάνη τοῦτο δηλῶσαι τῇ σῇ συνέσει, ὅπως ἂν πεντήκοντα σωμάτια ἐν διφθέραις ἐγκατασκεύοις εὐανάγνωστά τε καὶ πρὸς τὴν χρῆσιν εὐμετακόμιστα ὑπὸ τεχνιτῶν καλλιγάφων καὶ ἀκριβῶς τὴν τέχνην ἐπισταμένων γραφῆναι κελεύσειας, τῶν θείων δηλαδὴ γραφῶν, ὧν μάλιστα τήν τ’ ἐπισκευὴν καὶ τὴν χρῆσιν τῷ τῆς ἐκκλησίας λόγῳ ἀναγκαίαν εἶναι γινώσκεις. ἀπεστάλη δὲ γράμματα παρὰ τῆς ἠμετέρας ἠμερότητος πρὸς τὸν τῆς διοικήσεως καθολικόν, ὅπως ἂν πάντα τὰ πρὸς τὴν ἐπισκευὴν αὐτῶν ἐπιτήδεια παρασχεῖν φροντίσειεν· ἵνα γὰρ ὡς τάχιστα τὰ γραφέντα σωμάτια κατασκευασθείη, τῆς σῆς ἐπιμελείας ἔργον τοῦτο γενήσεται. καὶ γὰρ δύο δημοσίων ὀχημάτων ἐξουσίαν εἰς διακομιδὴν ἐκ τῆς αὐθεντίας τοῦ γράμματος ἡμῶν τούτου λαβεῖν σε προσήδει. οὕτω γὰρ ἂν μάλιστα τὰ καλῶς γραφέντα καὶ μέχρι τῶν ἡμετέρων ὄψεων ῥᾷστα διακομισθήσεται, ἑνὸς δηλαδὴ τοῦτο πληροῦντος τῶν ἐκ τῆς σῆς ἐκκλησίας διακόνων, ὃς ἐπειδὰν ἀφίκηται πρὸς ἠμᾶς, τῆς ἠμετέρας πειραθήσεται φιλανθρωπίας. ὁ θεός σε διαφυλάξει, ἀδελφὲ ἀγαπητέ.“ Ταῦτα μὲν οὖν βασιλεὺς διεκελεύετο. αὐτίκα δ’ ἔργον ἐπηκολούθει τῷ λόγῳ, ἐν πολυτελῶς ἠσκημένοις τεύχεσιν τρισσὰ καὶ τετρασσὰ σιαπερμάντων ἡμῶν . . .
TranslationThe emperor's letter on the provision of the Divine Scriptures. “Victor Constantine Maximus Augustus to Eusebius. It happens, through the favoring Providence of God our Savior, that great numbers have united themselves to the most holy Church in the city named after me. It seems, therefore, highly requisite, since that city is rapidly advancing in prosperity in all other respects, that the number of churches should also be increased. Do you, therefore, receive with all readiness my determination on this behalf. I have thought it expedient to instruct your Intelligence to order fifty volumes in elaborate leather binding to be written in a highly legible way, easy to carry with you for use, by skilled calligraphers, keenly knowledgable of their craft, copies that is of the Divine Scriptures, the provision and use of which you know to be necessary for reading in church. The catholicus of the diocese has also received instructions by letter from our Clemency to be careful to furnish all things necessary for the preparation of such copies; and it will be for you to take special care that they be completed with as little delay as possible. You have authority also, in virtue of this letter, to use two of the public carriages for their conveyance, by which arrangement the copies, when fairly written, will most easily be forwarded for my personal inspection; and one of the deacons of your church may be entrusted with this service, who, on his arrival here, will enjoy my generosity. God protect you, dear brother.” So the emperor ordered these things, and work immediately followed his instruction, as we [sent] threes and fours in lavishly prepared volumes …
- 1 section: 4.36-4.37. , section: 4.36-4.37.
- 2 Eusebius of Caesarea, Life of Constantine the Great: Machine Readable Text, ed. Philip Schaff, trans. Arthur Cushman McGiffert (Grand Rapids, MI: Christian Classics Ethereal Library, 1993), section: 4.36-4.37.
- Eusebius of Caesarea, Eusebius Werke I.1: Über das Leben des Kaisers ConstantinsEusebius Werke I.1: Über das Leben des Kaisers Constantins, ed. Friedhelm Winkelmann, Repr. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter 2008, Die grieschischen christlichen Schriftsteller der ersten drei Jahrhunderte n.F. 7 (Berlin: Akademie-Verlag, 1991), section: 4.36-4.37.
- section: 4.36-4.37. , section: 4.36-4.37.
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How to Cite This Entry
Bibliography:Joseph L. Rife et al., “Eusebius of Caesarea, Life of Constantine 4.36-4.37.” In Caesarea Maritima: A Collection of Testimonia, edited by Joseph L. Rife and Phillip I. Lieberman., edited by Joseph L. Rife et al.. Caesarea City and Port Exploration Project, 2020. Entry published June 10, 2020. https://caesarea-maritima.org/testimonia/131.
About this Entry
Entry Title: Eusebius of Caesarea, Life of Constantine 4.36-4.37
Authorial and Editorial Responsibility:
- Joseph L. Rife, general editor, Vanderbilt University
- Joseph L. Rife and Phillip I. Lieberman, editors, Caesarea Maritima: A Collection of Testimonia
- David A. Michelson, Daniel L. Schwartz, and William L. Potter, technical editors, “Eusebius of Caesarea, Life of Constantine 4.36-4.37”
- Joseph L. Rife and Eliana Yonan, entry contributors, “Eusebius of Caesarea, Life of Constantine 4.36-4.37”
- TEI encoding by William L. Potter
- Electronic text added by Eliana Yonan
- Testimonia identified by Joseph L. Rife