EPIPHANIUS
 
(c.345-420)
 

 


EPIPHANIUS, (c.315–403), Bishop of Salamis. A native of Palestine, he became an enthusiastic supporter of the monastic movement and founded c.335 a monastery near Eleutheropolis in Judaea. His reputation for earnestness and organization was such that in 367 he was elected by the bishops of Cyprus to become their metropolitan, as Bp. of Salamis (at that time called Constantia). He continued throughout his life an ardent upholder of the faith of Nicaea, and was intolerant of all suspicion of heresy. Of his writings in defence of orthodox belief, the most important was his ‘Panarion’, commonly known as the ‘Refutation of all the Heresies’, in which he described and attacked every heresy known to him from the beginning of the Church. Though, like all his works, it is badly constructed and far too receptive of statements and legends which support his position, it preserves much invaluable historical material.

    In his later life he took an active part in the Apollinarian and Melitian controversies, and after meeting St Jerome in Rome in 382, joined forces with him in his attack on Origenism. A visit to Jerusalem for the purpose in 394 led to serious friction with the bishop, John, in which Jerome also became involved. In 400 he travelled to Constantinople on behalf of Theophilus, Bp. of Alexandria, who had expelled the Origenist monks; but, seeing that he was being used as a tool against John Chrysostom, he set out again for Salamis and died at sea on the way back. Besides the ‘Panarion’ he also wrote a doctrinal treatise, the ‘Ancoratus’ (Ἀγκυρωτός), in the MSS of which the Nicene-Constantinopolitan creed appears perhaps for the first time; treatises ‘On Measures and Weights’ and ‘On Gems’; and also against the use of images in Christian worship. Feast day, 12 May.

Editio princeps of Epiphanius’ chief works by J. Oporinus, Basle, 1544. Much improved text ed. D. Petavius, SJ, 2 vols., Paris, 1622; repr. in J. P. Migne, PG 41–3. More recent text by W. Dindorf, 5 vols., Leipzig, 1859–62. Crit. text of ‘Ancoratus’ and ‘Panarion’ (or ‘Haereses’), ed. K. Holl (GCS, 3 vols., 1915–33); ‘Panarion’ revised by J. Dummer (ibid., 2 vols., 1980–85). Eng. tr. of ‘Panarion’, by F. Williams (Nag Hammadi Studies, 35 and 36; Leiden, 1987–94); Eng. tr. of selected passages by P. R. Amidon, SJ (New York and Oxford, 1990). Syr. text of ‘De Mensuris et Ponderibus’, ed. J. E. Dean (Chicago, 1935); Georg. text ed., with Fr.tr., by M.-J. van Esbroeck, SJ (CSCO, 460–1; Scriptores Iberici, 19–20; 1984); Georg. text of ‘De Gemmis’, by R. P. Blake and H. de Vis (Studies and Documents, ed. K. Lake, 2; London, 1934). K. Holl, ‘Die Schriften des Epiphanius gegen die Bilderverehung’, Sb. (Berl.), 1916, pp. 828–68, repr. in his Gesammelte Aufsätze zur Kirchengeshichte, 2 (Tübingen, 1928), pp. 351–87. J. F. Dechow, Dogma and Mysticism in Early Christianity: Epiphanius of Cyprus and the Legacy of Origen (Patristic Monograph Series, 13; Louvain and Macon, Ga. [1988]). A. Pourkier, L’hérésiologie chez Épiphane de Salamine (Christianisme Antique, 4 [1992]). CPG 2 (1974), pp. 324–41 (nos. 3744–807), and Suppl. (1998), pp. 207–19. A. Louth in CHECL (2004), pp. 286–8. W. Schneemelcher in RAC 5 (1962), cols. 909–27; P. Nautin in DHGE 15 (1963), cols. 617–31, s.v. ‘Épiphane (10), Saint de Salamine’.


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