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Chapter XV.—Disputes between Eusebius, Bishop of Cæsarea, and Basil the Great. Hence the Arians took courage and came to Cæsarea, and were repulsed.

When Valens quitted Nicomedia, he went on to Antioch; 1455 and in passing through Cappadocia he did all in his power, according to custom, to injure the orthodox and to deliver up the churches to the Arians. He thought to accomplish his designs the more easily on account of a dispute 1456 which was then pending between Basil and Eusebius, who then governed the church of Cæsarea. This dissension had been the cause of Basil’s departing from Pontus, where he lived conjointly with some monks who pursued the philosophy. The people and some of the most powerful and the wisest men in the city began to regard Eusebius with suspicion, particularly as they considered him the cause of the withdrawal of one who was equally celebrated for his piety and his eloquence; and they accordingly began to plan a secession and the holding of separate church. In the meantime Basil, fearing to be a source of further trouble to the Church, which was already rent by the dissensions of heretics, remained in retirement in the monasteries at Pontus. The emperor and the bishops of the Arian heresy, who were always attached to his suite, were more inspirited in their designs by the absence of Basil and the hatred of the people towards Eusebius. But the event was contrary to their judgment. On the first intelligence of the intention of the emperor to pass through Cappadocia, Basil quitted Pontus and returned to Cæsarea, where he effected a reconciliation with Eusebius, and by his eloquence he opportunely aided the Church. The projects of Valens were thus defeated, and he returned with his bishops without having accomplished any of his designs.



Independent chapter.


Concerning this difference, see Greg. Naz. Or. xliii. 27–37, in praise of Basil.

Next: Basil becomes Bishop of Cæsarea after Eusebius; his Boldness towards the Emperor and the Prefect.