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A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography

Epiphanius Scholasticus

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Epiphanius (39) Scholasticus , an ecclesiastic c. a.d. 510, of whom we know scarcely anything except that he was the friend of Cassiodorus, the celebrated head of the Monasterium Vivariense . He apparently bore the name Scholasticus, not so much because of any devotion to literature or theology, but in the sense that word frequently had in the middle ages, meaning a chaplain, amanuensis, or general assistant of any dignitary of the church (Du Cange, Glossarium , s.v.). In this relationship, in all probability, Epiphanius stood to his distinguished master, by whom he was summoned to take a part in urging his monks to classical and sacred studies, and especially to the transcription of manuscripts. To Epiphanius was assigned the translation into Latin of the histories of Socrates, Sozomen, and Theodoret. Cassiodorus revised the work, corrected faults of style, abridged it, and arranged it into one continuous history of the church. He then published it for the use of the clergy. The book attained a high reputation. It was known as the Tripartite History; and, along with the translation of Eusebius by Rufinus, it became the manual of church history for the clergy of the West for many centuries. The book is generally pub. as if Cassiodorus were its author, under the title of Historiae Ecclesiasticae Tripartitae Epitome .

Epiphanius translated several additional works, such as the commentaries of Didymus upon the Proverbs of Solomon and the seven Catholic Epistles, those of Epiphanius bp. of Cyprus upon the Canticles, and perhaps others, of which one survives, and may be found in Labbe (Conc. t. v.), namely, his Codex Encyclicus , a work to which he was also urged by Cassiodorus. It is a collection of letters addressed by different synods to the emperor Leo in defence of the decrees of the council of Chalcedon against Timotheus Aelurus.


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Bibliography Information
Wace, Henry. Entry for 'Epiphanius Scholasticus'. A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography. 1911.

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