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Epiphanius, Medicine Cabinet, or Against Heresies 73.23.2-4


Epiphanius, who spent his early life and career as a student and monk in southern Palestine and Egypt, was appointed bishop of Salamis on Cyprus in ca. 365-367 C.E., a post he held until his death in 403 C.E. He became a formidable champion of Orthodoxy, repeatedly entering into bitter controversy with the sees at Jerusalem and Alexandria. His Medicine Cabinet (πανάριον, κιβώτιον, panarion, arcula), or Against Heresies (κατὰ αἱρέσεων, adversus haereses), was a long compendium of portraits in wayward sectarianism, stretching from the Greek philosophers and Judaism up to his own time. The aim was to furnish theological and rhetorical antidotes to heresy. It has great historical value for its detailed information on figures of the eastern Church, frequently paraphrasing or quoting from earlier works or otherwise lost documents. In his chapter on the Semi-Arians, Epiphanius discusses the internal conflict during the mid-4th century among Arius’ successors, the Homoiousians, which involved a powerful party lead by Acacius, the formidable bishop of Caesarea.


(2) διηνέχθησαν οὖν οἱ αὐτοὶ πάλιν πρὸς τοὺς σὺν αὐτοῖς διὰ μίση τινῶν καὶ ζῆλον ἀνθρώπινον ἐρεσχελοῦντες ἑκάτερος πρὸς ἑκάτερον καὶ φιλαρχοῦντες, καὶ ἐκρατύνθη τότε τὸ μέρος τούτων τῶν Ἡμιαρείων, τῶν περὶ Βασίλειον φημὶ καὶ Γεώργιον καὶ Σιλουανὸν καὶ λοιπούς· <…> ἔχοντες μεθ’ ἑαυτῶν σαρκὸς δεξιάν, Κωνστάντιον τὸν βασιλέα, οἱ περὶ Εὐδόξιον καὶ Γεώργιον τὸν Ἀλεξανδρέα καὶ Εὐζώϊον τὸν Ἀντιοχέα. καὶ οἱ μὲν περὶ Βασίλειον καὶ Γεώργιον τὸν Λαοδικέα ἐταπεινώθησαν, καίπερ πολλὰ ἰσχύσαντες, ἐξ ὧν πάλιν ἕτεροι διῃρέθησαν τῆς αὐτῆς αἱρέσεως καὶ συνόδου, καὶ γέγονε τὸ τῶν Ἀρειανῶν σύστημα εἰς τρία τάγματα. Ἀκάκιος γὰρ ὁ Παλαιστινὸς ὁ Καισαρείας ἅμα Μελιτίῳ καὶ Οὐρανίῳ τῷ Τυρίῳ καὶ Εὐτυχίῳ τῷ Ἐλευθεροπολίτῃ, διὰ τὸν πρὸς Κύριλλον τὸν Ἱεροσολυμίτην ζῆλόν τε καὶ μῖσος, ἀνθίστατο τοῖς περὶ Βασίλειον καὶ Γεώργιον τὸν Λαοδικέα καὶ Σιλουανὸν τὸν Ταρσέα, Ἐλεύσιόν τε τὸν Κυζίκου, Μακεδόνιον τὸν Κωνσταντινουπολίτην, Εὐστάθιον τὸν Σεβαστείας, καὶ Ἀνιανὸν τὸν Ἀντιοχέα, τότε κατασταθέντα, κατ’ αὐτῶν <τε> ἑαυτὸν στρατεύσας ὁ αὐτὸς Ἀκάκιος πολλὴν φύρσιν εἰργάσατο.1

Textual Note

Ed. Holl 1933


(2) And so the (Semi-Arians) fell out with their allies, and they quarreled with each other and competed for leadership because of the hatred of some of them and from jealousy, that human emotion. And at that time the party of these Semi-Arians—I mean Basil, George, Silvanus, and the rest of them—were in control. But <the others>—the party of Eudoxius, George of Alexandria, and Euzoeus of Antioch—<opposed them>, having (on their side) the right hand of human flesh, the emperor Constantius. (3) Although they flexed their muscles a lot, the party of Basil and George of Laodicea was humiliated. Still others of them broken with this faction and confederacy, and the Arian movement became three groups. (4) For because of his envy and hatred of Cyril of Jerusalem, Acacius of Caesarea in Palestine, along with Melitius, Uranius of Tyre, and Eutychius of Eluetheropolis opposed the party of Basil, George of Laodicea, Silvanus of Tarsus, Eleusius of Cyzicus, Macedonius of Constantinople, Eustathius of Sebaste, and the newly consecrated bishop of Antioch, Anianus. <And> by leading his troops against them, Acacius caused a great deal of confusion.2

Translation Note

Adapted from Williams 2013

Works Cited

  • 1 Epiphanius, Epiphanius: Panarion haereses 65-80; De fide, ed. Karl Holl, vol. 3, Die griechischen christlichen Schriftsteller 37 (Leipzig: J. C. Hinrichs, 1933), bk: 73.23, p: 296.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
  • 2 Burchard of Mt. Sion, Burchard of Mt. Sion OP: Description of the Holy Land (1274-85), in Pilgrimage to Jerusalem and the Holy Land, 1187-1291, trans. Denys Pringle, Crusade Texts in Translation 23 (London: Routledge, 2018), 241–320, bk: 73.23.2-4, p: 468.Link to Zotero Bibliographic RecordLink to Worldcat Bibliographic record


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How to Cite This Entry

Joseph L. Rife, “Epiphanius, Medicine Cabinet, or Against Heresies 73.23.2-4,” in Caesarea Maritima: A Collection of Testimonia, entry published June 14, 2021,


Joseph L. Rife, “Epiphanius, Medicine Cabinet, or Against Heresies 73.23.2-4.” In Caesarea Maritima: A Collection of Testimonia, edited by Joseph L. Rife, Phillip I. Lieberman and David A. Michelson., edited by Joseph L. Rife et al.. Caesarea City and Port Exploration Project, 2021. Entry published June 14, 2021.

About this Entry

Entry Title: Epiphanius, Medicine Cabinet, or Against Heresies 73.23.2-4

Authorial and Editorial Responsibility:

  • Joseph L. Rife, general editor, Vanderbilt University
  • Joseph L. Rife, Phillip I. Lieberman, and David A. Michelson, editors, Caesarea Maritima: A Collection of Testimonia
  • David A. Michelson, Daniel L. Schwartz, and William L. Potter, technical editor, “Epiphanius, Medicine Cabinet, or Against Heresies 73.23.2-4
  • Joseph L. Rife, entry contributor, “Epiphanius, Medicine Cabinet, or Against Heresies 73.23.2-4

Additional Credit:

  • TEI encoding by William L. Potter
  • Electronic text added by Joseph L. Rife
  • Testimonia identified by Joseph L. Rife
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