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Origĕnes

usually called Orĭgen. A learned Christian Father, born at Alexandria in A.D. 185. He was converted to Christianity by Clement of Alexandria, and after the martyrdom of his father, Leonides, Origen opened a school in which at first he taught Greek literature only, but soon after Christian doctrine also. Being made head of the catechetical school of Alexandria, he became distinguished for his severe asceticism as for his profound learning, not only in theology, but also in Greek philosophy and Hebrew, which he learned at Rome. In A.D. 228, during a visit to Palestine, he was ordained presbyter, but Bishop Demetrius of Alexandria refused his assent to this both as not being given by himself as diocesan bishop and because Origen, through a fanatical interpretation of Matt. xix. 12, had castrated himself. Later, the controversy which began over this decision led to a close investigation of Origen's theological views, and these were condemned by a synod in A.D. 231. Many Eastern bishops, however, supported him, and he reopened his school at Caesarea. During the later persecutions of the Christians by Maximinus and Decius he suffered greatly, so that, his health breaking down, he died at Tyre in A.D. 254. His most controverted teachings were those on the subject of the ultimate salvation of all, as he taught that even the devils would finally be redeemed—a doctrine known as Restorationism. His writings in all numbered some 6000, of which comparatively few have been preserved. An important one (the De Principiis) survives only in a Latin version by Rufinus. There are also a treatise on martyrdom and a defence of Christianity against Celsus; and of his Hexapla—an edition of the Old Testament in six parallel columns in Hebrew, Hebrew transliterated in Greek letters, and the four versions by Aquila, Symmachus, the Septuagint, and Theodotion—a number of fragments remain. Editions of Origen by Migne (vols. xi.-xvii.), and Lommatzsch in 25 vols. (Berlin, 1831-48). Separate editions of the De Principiis by Redepenning (Leipzig, 1836); of the Hexapla by Field (Oxford, 1875). Translations of some of the works in Clark's Ante-Nicene Library. See Freppel, Origène (Paris, 1868); and Farrar's Lives of the Fathers (1889).

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