Ecclesiastical writer and author of a number of homilies well known in the sixth and seventh centuries and of much ascetical and dogmatic value. There has been much dispute regarding the details of his life and the age in which he lived. Galland (Vet. Patr. Biblioth., VIII, 23) says: "de Eusebio qui vulgo dicitur episcopus Alexandræ incerta omnia" (Concerning Eusebius, commonly called bishop of Alexandria there is nothing sure). His writings have been attributed to Eusebius of Emesa, Eusebius of Cæsarea, and others. According to an old biography said to have been written by his notary, the monk John, and discovered by Cardinal Mai, he lived in the fifth century and led a monastic life near Alexandria. The fame of his virtues attracted the attention of Cyril, Bishop of Alexandria, who visited him with his clergy, and in 444, when dying, had him elected his successor, and consecrated him bishop, though much against his will. Eusebius displayed great zeal in the exercise of his office and did much good by his preaching. Among those he converted was a certain Alexander, a man of senatorial rank. After having ruled his see for seven or, according to another account, for twenty years, he made Alexander his successor and retired to the desert, whence Cyril had summoned him and there died in the odor of sanctity.
While Mai seems to have established the existence of a Eusebius of Alexandria who lived in the fifth century, it had been objected than neither the name of Eusebius or his successor Alexander, appears in the list of the occupants of that ancient see. Dioscurus is mentioned as the immediate successor of Cyril. Nor does the style of the homilies seem on the whole in keeping with the age of Cyril. It may be noted, however, that the biographer of Eusebius expressly states that the Cyril in question is the great opponent of Nestorius. Various solution of the difficulty have been proposed. Thilo (Ueber die Schriften des Eusebius v. Alexandrian U. des Eusebius von Emesa, Halle, 1832) thinks that the authorship of the homilies is to be assigned either to a certain monk — one of four brothers 3 of the fifth century, or to a presbyter and court chaplain of Justinian I, who took an active part in the theological strifes of the sixth century. Mai suggests that after the death of Cyril, there were two bishops at Alexandria, Dioscurus, the Monophysite leader, and Eusebius, the head of the Catholic party. The homilies cover a variety of subjects, and the author is one of the earliest patristic witnesses to the doctrine regarding the descent of Christ into Hell. A list of homilies with the complete text is given by Mai (Spicilegium Romanum IX). They may also be found in Migne, P.G., LXXXVI. The "Sermo de Confusione Diaboli" was published with an introduction by Rand in "Modern Philology", II, 261.
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online