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*filosto/rgios), an ecclesiastical historian.

He was a native of Borissus in Cappadocia, the son of Carterius and Eulampia. He was born in the reign of Valentinian and Valens in A. D. 358, according to Gothofredus (Proleg. ad Philost. p. 5, &c.), about A. D. 367, according to Vossius (de Hist. Gr. p. 314). He was 20 years old when Eunomius was expelled from Caesareia [EUNOMIUS]. Like his father Carterius, he warmly embraced the doctrines of Eunomius.


Ecclesiastical History

He wrote an ecclesiastical history, from the heresy of Arius in A. D. 300, down to the period when Theodosius the Younger conferred the empire of the West on Valentinian the Younger (A. D. 425). The work was composed in twelve books, which began respectively with the twelve letters of his name, so as to form a sort of acrostic. In this history he lost no opportunity of extolling the Arians and Eunomians, while he overwhelmed the orthodox party with abuse, with the single exception of Gregorius of Nazianzus. Photius charges him with introducing gross misrepresentations and unfounded statements, and says that his work is not a history, but a panegyric upon the heretics. Philostorgius nevertheless was a man of learning, and was possessed of considerable geographical and astronomical knowledge.

Being a heretic, it is not to be wondered at that his work has not come down to us. An abstract of it, however, was made by Photius in a separate work, which has been preserved. Photius characterises him as being elegant in his style, making use of figurative expressions, pressions, though not in excess. His figures were, however, sometimes harsh and far-fetched, and his narrative involved and indistinct. (Phot. Bibl. cod. xl.)


The abstract of Photius was published at Geneva in 1643 by Jac. Godefroi, or Gothofredus, and in a somewhat corrected form, with a new Latin translation by H. Valesius (Paris, 1673), together with the ecclesiastical history of Theodoritus, Evagrius and Theodorus; also by Reading, Cantabr. 1720.

Further Information

Fabric. Bibl. Gr. vii. p. 420, &c.; Voss. de Hist. Gr. p. 313, &c.; Schöoll, Gesch. der Griech. Lit. vol. iii. p. 313.


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