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Bible Encyclopedias
Lucian (Martyr)

1911 Encyclopedia Britannica

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LUCIAN (d. 312), Christian martyr, was born, like the famous, heathen writer of the same name, at Samosata. His parents, who were Christians, died when he was in his twelfth year. In his youth he studied under Macarius of Edessa, and after receiving baptism he adopted a strictly ascetic life, and devoted himself with zeal to the continual study of scripture. Settling at Antioch when Malchion was master of the Greek school he became a presbyter, and, while supporting himself by his skill as a rapid writer, became celebrated as a teacher, so that he is regarded as the founder of the famous theological school of Antioch. He did not escape suspicion of heresy, and is represented as the connecting link between Paul of Samosata and Arius. Indeed, on the deposition of the former (A.D. 268) he was excluded from ecclesiastical fellowship by three successive bishops of Antioch, while Arius seems to have been among his pupils (Theodoret, Hist. Eccl. i. 3, 4). He was, however, restored before the outbreak of persecution, and the reputation won by his high character and learning was confirmed by his courageous martyrdom. He was carried to Nicomedia before Maximin Daza, and persisting in his faith perished on the 7th of January 312, under torture and hunger, which he refused to satisfy with food offered to idols. His defence is preserved by Rufinus (ix. 6; on Eusebius, Hist. Eccl. ix. 9). His remains were conveyed to Drepanum in Bithynia, and under Constantine the town was founded anew in his honour with the name of Helenopolis, and exempted from taxes by the emperor (A.D. 327) (see Chron. Pasch., Bonn ed., p. 527). Here in 387, on the anniversary of his death, Chrysostom delivered the panegyrical homily from which, with notices in Eusebius, Theodoret and the other ecclesiastical historians, the life by Jerome ( Vir. Ill. cap. 77), but especially from the account by S. Metaphrastes (cited at length in Bernhardy's notes to Suidas, s.v. v00e5ec), the facts above given are derived. See also, for the celebration of his day in the Syriac churches, Wright, Cat. of Syr. MSS. p. 283.

Jerome says that Lucian wrote Libelli de fide and several letters, but only a short fragment of one epistle remains ( Chron. Pasch., ed. Dindorf, i. 516). The authorship of a confession of faith ascribed to Lucian and put forth at the semi-Arian synod of Antioch (A.D. 341) is questioned. Lucian's most important literary labour was his edition of the Greek Old Testament corrected by the Hebrew text, which, according to Jerome ( Adv. Ruf. ii. 77), was in current use from Constantinople to Antioch. That the edition of Lucian is represented by the text used by Chrysostom and Theodoret, as well as by certain extant MSS., such as the Arundelian of the British Museum, was proved by F. Field ( Prol. ad Origenis Hexapla, cap. ix.). Before the publication of Field's Hexapla, Lagarde had already directed his attention to the Antiochian text (as that of Lucian may be called) and ultimately published the first part (Genesis, 2 Esdras, Esther) of a provisional reconstructed text. The distinguishing marks of the Lucianic recension are thus summarized by S. R. Driver, Notes on Heb. Text of Samuel, p. li. seq.: (I) The substitution of synonyms for the words employed by the Septuagint; (2) the occurrence of double renderings; (3) the occurrence of renderings "which presuppose a Hebrew original self-evidently superior in the passages concerned to the existing Massoretic text," a peculiarity which makes it very important for the criticism of the Hebrew Bible. From a statement of Jerome in his preface to the gospels it seems probable that Lucian had also a share in fixing the Syrian recension of the New Testament text, but of this it is impossible to speak with certainty. He was associated in his work with the Hebraist Dorotheus.

See, generally, A. Harnack's art. in Hauck-Herzog, Realencyk. vol. xi., and for "remains" Routh, Rel. Sac. iv. 3-17. A full account of his recension of the Septuagint is given in H. B. Swete's Introduction to the Old Testament in Greek, p. 81 sqq.; and a good account of his doctrinal position in the prolegomena to the volume on Athanasius in the series of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers (p. xxviii.) and A. Harnack's History of Dogma, especially vol. iv.

Bibliography Information
Chisholm, Hugh, General Editor. Entry for 'Lucian (Martyr)'. 1911 Encyclopedia Britanica. https://www.studylight.org/​encyclopedias/​eng/​bri/​l/lucian-martyr.html. 1910.
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