Euno'mius（*Eu)no/mios), was a native of Dacora, a village in Cappadocia, and a disciple of the Arian Aetius, whose heretical opinions he adopted. He was, however, a man of far greater talent and acquirements thin Aetius, and extended his views so far, that he himself became the founder of a sect called the Eunomians or Anomoei, because they not only denied the equality between the Father and the Son, but even the similarity (ὁμοιότης). Eunomius was at first a deacon at Antioch, and in A. D. 360 he succeeded Eleusius as bishop of Cyzicus. But lie did not remain long in the enjoyment of that post, for he was deposed in the same year by the command of the emperor Constantius, and expelled by the inhabitants of Cyzicus. (Philostorg. 9.5; Theodoret, 2.27, 29 ; Socrat. 4.7; Sozom. 6.8.) In the reign of Julian and Jovian, Eunomius lived at Constantinople, and in the reign of Valens, he resided in the neighbourhood of Chalcedon, until he was denounced to the emperor for harbouring in his house the tyrant Procopius, in consequence of which he was sent to Mauritania into exile. When, on his way thither, he had reached Mursa in Illyricum, the emperor called him back. Theodosius the Great afterwards exiled him to a place called Halmyris, in Moesia, on the Danube. (Sozom. 7.17; Niceph. 12.29.) But being driven away from that place by the barbarians, he was sent to Caesareia. Here, too, he met with no better reception; for, having written against their bishop, Basilius, he was hated by the citizens of Caesareia. At length, he was permitted to return to his native village of Dacora, where he spent the remainder of his life, and died at an advanced age, about A. D. 394. Eroptius Patricius ordered his body to be carried to Tyana, and there to be entrusted to the care of the monks, in order that his disciples might not carry it to Constantinople, and bury it in the same tomb with that of his teacher Aetius. His works were ordered by imperial edicts to be destroyed. His contemporary, Philostorgius, who himself was a Eunomian, praises Eunomius so much, that his whole ecclesiastical history has not unjustly been called an encomium upon him. Philostorgius wrote, besides, a separate encomium upon Eunomius, which, however, is lost. Photius (Bibl. Cod. 138), poet who gives an abridgment of Philostorgius, and Socrates (4.7) judge less favourably of him; for they state that Eunomius spoke and wrote in a verbose and inflated style, and that he constantly repeated the same things over again. They further charge him with sophistry in his mode of arguing, and with ignorance of the Scriptures. It should, however, be remembered that these charges are made by his avowed enemies, such as Athanasius, Basilius the Great, Gregorius Nazianzenus, Gregorius of Nyssa, Chrysostom, and others, who attacked him not only in their general works on the history of the church, but in separate polemical treatises.
WorksEunomius wrote several works against the orthodox faith; and Rufinus (H. E. 1.25) remarks that his arguments were held in such high esteem by his followers, that they were set above the authority of the Scriptures. After his death, edicts were repeatedly issued that his works should be destroyed (Philostorg. 11.5; Cod. Theod. 16.34), and hence most of his works themselves have not come down to us, and all that is extant consists of what is quoted by his opponents for the purpose of refutig him. The following works are known to have been written by him :
1. A commentary on the Epistle to the Romans, in seven booksThis is censured by Socrates (4.7; comp. Suidas, s. v. Εὐνόμιος) for its verbose style and shallowness.
2. EpistlesOf which Photius (Bibl. Cod. 138) read about forty, and in which he found the same faults as in the other works of Eunomius; but Philostorgius (10.6; comp. Niceph. 12.29) preferred them to his other writings.
3. An Exposition of FaithThis was laid before the emperor Theodosius at Constantinople in A. D. 383, when several bishops were summoned to that city to make declarations of their faith. (Socrat. 5.10 ; Sozom. 7.12.)
EditionsThis little work is still extant, and has been edited by Valesius in his notes on Socrates (l.c.）, and after him by Baluz in the Nora Collect. Concil. vol. i. p. 89. The best edition is that of Ch. H. G. Rettberg, in his Marcelliana, Götting. 1794, 8vo.
4. Ἀπολογητικός, or a defence of his doctrines.This is the famous treatise of which Basilius wrote a refutation in five books, which accordingly contain a great many extracts from the Apologeticus.
EditionsThe beginning and the epilogue are printed in Cave's Hist. Lit. vol i. p. 171, &c. with a Latin translation; but the whole is still extant, and was published in an English translatilon by W. Whiston, in his Eunomianismus Redivivus, London, 1711, 8vo. The Greek original bas never been published entire.
Ἀπολογίας Ἀπολογία. This, however, was not published till after his death. Like the Apologeticus, it was attacked by several orthodox writers, whose works, except that of Gregorius of Nyssa, have perished together with that of Eunomius.