2. APOLLINARIS, father and son, the former presbyter, the latter bishop, of Laodicea.
The father was born at Alexandria.
He taught grammar first at Berytus and afterwards at Laodicea (about A. D. 335), where he married, and became a presbyter of the church. Apollinaris and his son enjoyed the friendship of the sophists Libanius and Epiphanius. They were both excommunicated by Theodotus, bishop of Laodicea, for attending the lectures of Epiphanius, but they were restored upon their profession of penitence. Being firm catholics, they were banished by Georgius, the Arian successor of Theodotus.
When Julian (A. D. 362) issued an edict forbidding Christians to teach the classics, Apollinaris and his son undertook to supply the loss by transferring the Scriptures into a body of poetry, rhetoric, and philosophy.
They put the historical books of the Old Testament into poetry, which consisted partly of Homeric hexameters, and partly of lyrics, tragedies, and comedies, in imitation of Pindar, Euripides, and Menander.
According to one account, the Old Testament history, up to the reign of Saul, formed a kind of heroic poem, divided into twenty-four books, which were named after the letters of the Greek alphabet, in imitation of Homer.
The New Testament was put into the form of dialogues, after the manner of Plato. Only two works remain which appear to have formed a part of these sacred classics, namely, a tragedy entitled "Christ Suffering," which is found among the works of Gregory Nazianzen, and a poetic version of the Psalms, entitled Metaphrasis Psalmotum.
The Metaphrasis Psalmotum. was published at Paris, 1552, 1580, and 1613; by Sylburg at Heidelberg, 1596 ; and in the various collections of the Fathers.
Apollinaris the Younger vs. Apollinaris the Elder
There is some difficulty in determining what shares the father and son had in these works. The Old Testament poems are generally ascribed to the father, who is spoken highly of as a poet, and the New Testament dialogues to the son, who was more distinguished as a philosopher and rhetorician.
In accordance with this view, Vossius (de Hist. Graec.
2.18, and de Poet. Graec.
9) and Cave (sub ann. 362), attribute both the extant works to the son.
Apollinaris the younger, who was bishop of Laodicea in 362 A. D., wrote several controversial works, the most celebrated of which was one in thirty books against Porphyry.
He became noted also as the founder of a sect.
He was a warm opponent of the Arians, and a personal friend of Athanasius; and in arguing against the former, he maintained, that the Divine Word (the *lo/gos) supplied the place of a rational soul in the person of Christ.
He died between 382 and 392 A. D. His doctrine was condemned by a synod at Rome, about 375 A. D., but it continued to be held by a considerable sect, who were called Apollinarists, down to the middle of the fifth century.
Hieron. de Vir. Illust.
104; Socrates, H. E.
2.46, 3.16 ; Sozomen, H. E.
5.18, 6.25; Suidas, s.v. Cave, Hist. Litt.;
Wernsdorf, Diss. de Apollin.