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Epiphanius, Weights and Measures 18.506-518


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. Apart from his staunch defense of Orthodoxy, he was also a renowned scholar. At the invitation of the emperors he wrote a compendium of linguistic, historical, metrological, geographical knowledge that was later entitled On Weights and Measures (Περὶ μέτρων καὶ στάθμων). It survives in a complete, earlier Syriac version and a fragmentary, later Greek version. In this passage from the Greek version on the reign of Decius, Epiphanius discusses the career of Origen.


Τοῦτον διεδέξατο Δέκιος καὶ ἐβασίλευσεν ἐνιαυτὸν ἕνα καὶ μῆνας γʹ. Ἐν τοῖς χρόνοις Δεκίου Ὠριγένης ἐγνωρίζετο ἀπὸ χρόνων Δεκίου ἀκμάσας ἕως χρόνων Γαλιήνου καὶ Οὐολουσιανοῦ καὶ ἐπέκεινα. Ἐπὶ δὲ τοῦ διωγμοῦ τοῦ προειρημένου Δεκίου γεγονότος ἐμαρτύρησε Βαβύλας μὲν ἐν Ἀντιοχείᾳ, Φλαβιανὸς δὲ ἐπὶ Ῥώμης, Ἀλέξανδρος ἐπίσκοπος Ἱεροσολύμων ἐν Καισαρείᾳ. Καὶ αὐτὸς δὲ Ὠριγένης ὁ καὶ Ἀδαμάντιος κληθεὶς πολλὰ πεπονθὼς εἰς τέλος τοῦ μαρτυρίου οὐκ ἔφθασεν. Ἐλθὼν δὲ εἰς Καισάρειαν τὴν Στράτωνος καὶ διατρίψας εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα χρόνον ὀλίγον, εἶτα ἐλθὼν εἰς Τύρον ἐπὶ ἔτη κηʹ, ὡς ὁ λόγος ἔχει, τὴν μὲν πολιτείαν ἐνησκεῖτο, τὰς δὲ γραφὰς ἡρμήνευσεν, ὅτε καὶ τὰ ἑξαπλᾶ καὶ τὰς δύο τῶν ἑβραϊκῶν σελίδας ἄντικρυ ἐκ παραλλήλου μιᾶς ἑρμηνείας πρὸς τὴν ἑτέραν συνέθηκεν ἑξαπλᾶ τὰς βίβλους ὀνομάσας, καθ’ ἅπερ ἄνω διὰ πλάτους εἴρηται.1

Textual Note

Ed. Moutsoulas 1973


Decius succeeded this one (sc. Philip the Arab) and ruled for one year and three months. In the time of Decius Origen grew famous, flourishing from the reign of Decius until the reigns of Gallienus and Volusianus and their successors. During the persecution of the aforementioned Decius, Babylas was martyred in Antioch, Flavianus in Rome, and Alexander the bishop of Jerusalem in Caesarea. Origen himself, called the Man of Steel, suffered many things but did not reach the end of his life in martyrdom. After he came to Straton’s Caesarea and spent a short time in Jerusalem, he went to Tyre. For 28 years, so the story goes, he devoted himself to an ascetic regimen and translated the Scriptures. He compiled six columns (of Greek text) opposite two columns of Hebrew (text), one translation facing opposite the other, calling the books Hexapla, just as has been fully related above.

Translation Note

Trans. J. L. Rife

Works Cited

  • 1 Epiphanius, Τὸ ‘Περὶ μέτρων καὶ σταθμῶν’ ἔργον Ἐπιφανίου τοῦ Σαλαμῖνος, ed. Elias D. Moutsoulas, Θεολογία 44, no. 1–2 (1973): 157–200, ch: 18.506-518, p: 180-181.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record


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How to Cite This Entry

Joseph L. Rife, “Epiphanius, Weights and Measures 18.506-518,” in Caesarea Maritima: A Collection of Testimonia, entry published October 19, 2022,


Joseph L. Rife, “Epiphanius, Weights and Measures 18.506-518.” 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, 2022. Entry published October 19, 2022.

About this Entry

Entry Title: Epiphanius, Weights and Measures 18.506-518

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, Weights and Measures 18.506-518
  • Joseph L. Rife, entry contributor, “Epiphanius, Weights and Measures 18.506-518

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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