Eusebius on Montanism: the Latin, Greek and English source texts

The actual Greek and Latin text of Eusebius’ account of the Montanist movement along with an English translation.

The Greek and Latin supplied here was input and corrected by the author of this blog. As usual this comes with a disclaimer titled Notes on ancient Greek copy and this website. This text was also compared against a digital Greek copy located at Skeptic.net in pdf format. The related portion inside the pdf starts at 5.16.7. Where there was a discrepancy on where to place the difficult-to-read Greek accents between the author’s input text and the pdf, the pdf usually set the precedent. In the matter of punctuation, the pdf supplies corrections of what appears to be many flaws in the MPG typesetting. This blog text, except in one or two instances, retains the original punctuation found in MPG.

Note: These are not the full chapters. Only the portions relevant to Montanism and glossolalia have been provided.

The Parallel Greek from Eusebius. Historiæ Ecclesiasticæ. MPG. Vol. 20. Lib. V:XVI. Col. 465ff

«… Κώμη τις εἶναι λέγεται ἐν τῇ κατὰ τὴν Φρυγίαν Μυσίᾳ, καλουμένη Ἀρβαδαν τοὔνομα • ἔνθα φασί τινα τῶν νεοπίστων πρώτως, Μοντανὸν τοὔνομα, κατὰ Γράτον Ἀσίας ἀνθύπατον, ἐν ἐπιθυμίᾳ ψυχῆς ἀμέτρῳ φιλοπρωτείας δόντα πάρoδον εἰς ἑαυτὸν τῷ ἀντικειμένῳ, πνευματοφορηθῆναί τε καὶ αἰφνιδίως ἐν κατοχῇ τινι καὶ παρεκστάσει γενόμενον, ἐνθουσιᾶν, ἄρξασθαί τε λαλεῖν καὶ ξενοφωνεῖν, παρὰ τὸ κατὰ παράδοσιν καὶ κατὰ διαδοχὴν ἄνωθεν τῆς Ἐκκλησίας ἔθος δῆθεν προφητεύοντα. Τῶν δὲ κατ’ ἐκεῖνο καιροῦ ἐν τῇ τῶν νόθων ἐκφωνημάτων ἀκροάσει γενομένων, οἳ μὲν ὡς ἐπὶ ἐνεργουμένῳ καὶ δαιμονῶντι καὶ ἐν πλάνης πνεύματι ὑπάρχοντι καὶ τοὺς ὄχλους ταράττοντι ἀχθόμενοι ἐπετίμων, καὶ λαλεῖν ἐκώλυον, μεμνημένοι τῆς τοῦ Κυρίου διαστολῆς τε καὶ ἀπειλῆς, πρὸς τὸ φυλάττεσθαι τὴν τῶν ψευδοπροφητῶν ἐγρηγορότως παρουσίαν • οἳ δὲ ὡς ἁγίῳ Πνεύματι καὶ προφητικῷ χαρίσματι ἐπαιρόμενοι καὶ οὐχ ἥκιστα χαυνούμενοι, καὶ τῆς διαστολῆς τοῦ Κυρίου ἐπιλανθανόμενοι, τὸ βλαψίφρον καὶ ὑποκοριστικὸν καὶ λαοπλάνον πνεῦμα προὐκαλοῦντο, θελγόμενοι καὶ πλανώμενοι ὑπ’ αὐτοῦ, εἰς τὸ μηκέτι κωλύεσθαι σιωπᾷν. Τέχνῃ δέ τινι, μᾶλλον δὲ τοιαύτῃ μεθόδῳ κακοτεχνίας ὁ διάβολος τὴν κατὰ τῶν παρηκόων ἀπώλειαν μηχανησάμενος, καὶ παρ’ ἀξίαν ὑπ’ αὐτῶν τιμώμενος, ὑπεξήγειρέ τε καὶ προσεξέκαυσεν αὐτῶν τὴν ἀποκεκοιμημένην ἀπὸ τῆς κατὰ ἀλήθειαν πίστεως διάνοιαν, ὡς καὶ ἑτέρας τινὰς δύο γυναῖκας ἐπεγεῖραι, καὶ τοῦ νόθου πνεύματος πληρῶσαι, ὡς καὶ λαλεῖν ἐκφρόνως καὶ ἀκαίρως καὶ ἀλλοτριοτρόπως ὁμοίως τῷ προειρημένῳ, καὶ τοὺς μὲν χαίροντας καὶ καυχωμένους(1)χαυνουμένος ἐπ’ αὐτῷ, μακαρίζοντος τοῦ πνεύματος, καὶ διὰ τοῦ μεγέθους τῶν ἐπαγγελμάτων ἐκφυσιοῦντος, ἔσθ’ ὅπη(2)ὅπῃ δὲ καὶ κατακρίνοντος(3)κατα κρίνοντος στοχαστικῶς καὶ ἀξιοπίστως αὐτοὺς ἄντικρυς, ἵνα καὶ ἐλεγκτικὸν εἶναι δοκῇ (4) δοκῇ • ὀλίγοι ὀλίγοι δ’ ἦσαν οὗτοι τῶν Φρυγῶν ἐξηπατημένοι(5)ἐξηπατημένοι • τὴν τὴν δὲ καθόλου καὶ πᾶσαν τὴν ὑπὸ τὸν οὐρανὸν Ἐκκλησίαν βλασφημεῖν διδάσκοντος τοῦ ἀπηυθαδισμένου πνεύματος, ὅτι μήτε τιμὴν μήτε πάροδον εἰς αὐτὴν τὸ ψευδοπροφητικὸν ἐλὰμβανε πνεῦμα. Τῶν γὰρ κατὰ τὴν Ἀσίαν πιστῶν πολλάκις καὶ πολλαχή τῆς Ἀσίας εἰς τοῦτο συνελθόντων, καὶ τοὐς προσφάτους λόγους ἐξετασάντων καὶ βεβήλους ἀποφηνάντων καὶ ἀποδοκιμασάντων τὴν αἵρεσιν, οὕτω δὴ τῆς τε Ἐκκλησίας ἐξεώσθησαν, καὶ τῆς κοινωνίας εἴρχθησαν. » Ταῦτα ἐν πρώτοις ἱστορήσας, καὶ δι’ ὅλου τοῦ συγγράμματος τὸν ἔλεγχον τῆς κατ’ αὐτοὺς πλάνης ἐπαγαγὼν, ἐν τῷ δευτέρῳ περὶ τῆς τελευτῆς τῶν προδεδηλωμένων ταῦτά φησιν • [Col. 469] « Ἐπειδὴ(6)Ἐπειδὰν τοίνυν καὶ πρφητοφόντας ἡμᾶς ἀπεκάλουν, ὅτι μὴ τοὺς ἀμετροφώνους αὐτῶν προφήτας ἐδεξάμεθα • τούτους γὰρ εἶναί φασιν, οὕσπερ ἐπηγγείλατο τῷ λαῷ πέμψειν ὁ Κύριος, ἀποκρινάσθωσαν ἡμῖν πρὸς Θεοῦ, ἔστι τις(7)ἔστιν τις, ὦ βέλτιστοι, τούτων τῶν ἀπὸ Μοντανοῦ καὶ(8)καὶ τῶν γαναικῶν γαναικῶν λαλεῖν ἀρξαμένον, ὅστις ὑπὸ Ἰουδαίων ἐδιώχθη, ἤ ὑπὸ παρανόμων ἀπεκτάνθη ; οὐδείς οὐδἐ(9)οὐδείς. οὐδἐ γέ τις αὐτῶν κρατηθεὶς ὑπὲρ τοῦ ὀνόματος ἀνεσταυρώθη ; οὐ γὰρ οὖν • οὐδὲ μὴν οὐδὲ ἐν συναγωγαῖς Ἰουδαίων τῶν γυναικῶν τις ἐμαστιγώθη ποτὲ, ἤ ἐλιθοβολήθη ; οὐδαμόσε οὐδαμως. Ἄλλῳ δὲ θανάτῳ τελευτῆσαι λέγονται Μοντανός τε καὶ Μαξίμιλλα. Τοὐτους γὰρ ὑπὸ πνεύματος βλαψίφρονος ἑκατέρους ὑποκινήσαντος, λόγος ἀναρτῆσαι ἑαυτοὺς, οὐχ ὁμοῦ, κατὰ δὲ τὸν τῆς ἐκάστου τελευτῆς καιρὸν φήμη πολλή καὶ(10)πολλή • καὶ οὕτω δὲ τελευτῆσαι καὶ τὸν βίον καταστρέψαι, Ἰούδα προδότου δίκην. Καθάπερ καὶ τὸν θαυμαστὸν ἐκεῖνον τὸν πρῶτον τῆς κατ’ αὐτοὺς λεγομένης προφητείας οἷον ἐπίτρόπον τινα Θεόδοτον, πολὺς αἱρεῖ λόγος, ὡς αἰρόμενόν ποτε καὶ ἀναλαμβανόμενον εἰς οὐρανοὺς παρεκστῆναι τε καὶ καταπιστεῦσαι ἑαυτὸν τῷ τῆς ἀπατς πνεύματι καὶ δισκευθέντα, κακῶς τελευτῆσαι. Φαςὶ γοῦν τοῦτο οὕτως γεγονέναι. Ἀλλὰ μὴ ἄνευ τοῦ ιδεῖν ἡμᾶς, ἐπίστασθαί τι τῶν τοιοῦτων νομίζομεν, ὦ μακὰριε.

The Parallel Latin from Eusebius. Historiæ Ecclesiasticæ. MPG. Vol. 20. Lib. V:XVI. Col. 466ff

« …Vicus quidam esse dicitur in Mysia contermina Phrygiæ nomine Ardaba. In quo aiunt Monatanum quemdam ex iis qui fidelium numero recens ascripti fuerant, immodica primi loci cupididate captum, primum sub Grato Asiæ proconsule aditum in se adversario spiritui præbuisse : et dæmone repletum subito quodam furore ac mentis excessu concuti cœpisse, et nova quædam atque inaudita proloqui ; hariolantem ac prædicentem futura, præter morem atque institutum Ecclesiæ a majoribus traditum et continua deinceps successione propagatum. Porro ex his qui tunc temporis adulterinos hominis sermones audierant, alii quidem ut abreptitium et dæmoniacum ac spiritu erroris actum, turbasque in populo excitantem indignabundi objurgabant, et loqui ulterius prohibebant. Quippe qui in mente haberent discrimen a Domino prænotatum, minasque quibus jubemur adventum falsorum prophetarum vigilanter ac sollicite observare. Alii vero velut sancto Spiritu et prophetiæ gratia elati inflatique, mirum in modum, et distinctionis a Domino præmonstratæ penitus obliti, illum infatuantem et adulatorem vulgique seductorem spiritum ultro ad loquendum provocabant, capti ejus illecebris, et in fraudem inducti. Hac igitur arte seu potius fraude ac versutia diabolus adversus eos qui dicto Domini audientes non erant, exitium machinatus, cum ab illis immerito coleretur, mentes eorum a vera fide secubantes semnoque oppressas excitavit paulatim ac vehementius inflammavit. Quippe duas alias mulierculas suscitavit, et adulterino spiritu replevit, adeo ut ipsæ quoque perinde ac supra memoratus ille, insana quædam et importuna atque aliena loquerentur. Et eos quidem qui ea re delectabantur atque intumescebant, spiritus ille beatos prædicabat, et promissorum magnitudine supra modum inflabat. Interdum tamen conjecturis et fide dignis argumentis utens, palam eos condemnabat, quo scilicet etiam objurgatorius videretur. Hi perpaucie erant Phryges, hujusmodi fraude decepti. Universam vero, quæ per orbem terrarum sparsa est, Ecclesiam, idem ille arrogantissimus spiritus maledictis appetere eos docebat, eo quod nec honorem, nec auditum ullum ad ipsam pseudopropheticus spiritus reperiret. Nam cum fideles qui in Asia erant, sæpius et in plurimis Asiæ locis ejus rei causa convenissent, novamque illam doctrinam examinassent, et profanam atque impiam judicassent, damnata hæresi isti ab Ecclesia et fidelium communione expulsi sunt. » His in principio operis commemoratis, ac per totum deinceps librum confutatione illorum erroris adjecta, supradictus scriptor in secundo libro de illorum quos dixi obitu ita scribit : « Quando igitur, inquit, prophetarum nos interfectores vocarunt, propterea quod loquaces ipsorum prophetas non admisimus (hos enim esse affirmant, quos Dominus populo se missurum esse promiserit), respondeant nobis, quæso, per Deum : esine aliquis eorum qui jam inde a Montano et mulierculis garrire primum cœperunt, qui a Judæis persecutionem passus sit, aut ab impiis trucidatus ? Nemo certe. Nec vero ullus eorum pro Christi nomine prehensus, in crucem actus et : sed neque ulla mulier in Judæorum synagogis aut flagris cæsa aut lapidibus impetita ets. Nusquam profecto, nec unquam. Imo longe alio mortis genere interiisse dicuntur Montanus et Maximilla. Ambo enim, ut fama est, ab insano spiritu incitati, laqueo sibi gullam fregerunt : non quidem simul, sed suæ quisque mortis tempore : atque ita instar proditoris Judæ vitam finierunt. Sic etiam admirabilis ille Theodotus, qui primus prophetiæ illorum quasi procuratur quidam fuit, plurimorum sermone perhibetur false mentis excessu abreptus fuisse, perinde ac si levaretur aliquando et assumeretur in cœlum : cumque se totum fraudulentissimo spriritui permisisset, ab eo in altum jactatus miserabili exitu perisse. Et id quidem ita factum esse narrant. Sed quoniam ipsi non bidimus, nequaquam existimamus nos quid quam eorum certo cognoscere. »

The English from A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church:(11)A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church. Second Series. Translated into English with Prologema and Explanatory Notes. Philip Schaff ed. Volumes I-VII. Eusebius Pamphilus. Church History. Volume 1. Michigan: Eerdmans. Pg. 234.

7. There is said to be a certain village called Ardabau in that part of Mysia, which borders upon Phrygia. There first, they say, when Gratus was proconsul of Asia, a recent convert, Montanus by name, through his unquenchable desire for leadership, gave the adversary opportunity against him. And he became beside himself, and being suddenly in a sort of frenzy and ecstasy, he raved, and began to babble and utter strange things, prophesying in a manner contrary to the constant custom of the Church handed down by tradition from the beginning.

8. Some of those who heard his spurious utterances at that time were indignant, and they rebuked him as one that was possessed, and that was under the control of a demon, and was led by a deceitful spirit, and was distracting the multitude; and they forbade him to talk, remembering the distinction drawn by the Lord and his warning to guard watchfully against the coming of false prophets. But others imagining themselves possessed of the Holy Spirit and of a prophetic gift, were elated and not a little puffed up; and forgetting the distinction of the Lord, they challenged the mad and insidious and seducing spirit, and were cheated and deceived by him. In consequence of this, he could no longer be held in check, so as to keep silence.

9. Thus by artifice, or rather by such a system of wicked craft, the devil, devising destruction for the disobedient, and being unworthily honored by them, secretly excited and inflamed their understandings which had already become estranged from the true faith. And he stirred up besides two women, and filled them with the false spirit, so that they talked wildly and unreasonably and strangely, like the person already mentioned. And the spirit pronounced them blessed as they rejoiced and gloried in him, and puffed them up by the magnitude of his promises. But sometimes he rebuked them openly in a wise and faithful manner, that he might seem to be a reprover. But those of the Phrygians that were deceived were few in number. “And the arrogant spirit taught them to revile the entire universal Church under heaven, because the spirit of false prophecy received neither honor from it nor entrance into it.

10. For the faithful in Asia met often in many places throughout Asia to consider this matter, and examined the novel utterances and pronounced them profane, and rejected the heresy, and thus these persons were expelled from the Church and debarred from communion.”

11. Having related these things at the outset, and continued the refutation of their delusion through his entire work, in the second book he speaks as follows of their end:

12. “Since, therefore, they called us slayers of the prophets because we did not receive their loquacious prophets, who, they say, are those that the Lord promised to send to the people, let them answer as in God’s presence: Who is there, O friends, of these who began to talk, from Montanus and the women down, that was persecuted by the Jews, or slain by lawless men? None. Or has any of them been seized and crucified for the Name? Truly not. Or has one of these women ever been scourged in the synagogues of the Jews, or stoned? No; never anywhere.

13. But by another kind of death Montanus and Maximilla are said to have died. For the report is that, incited by the spirit of frenzy, they both hung themselves; not at the same time, but at the time which common report gives for the death of each. And thus they died, and ended their lives like the traitor Judas.

14. So also, as general report says, that remarkable person, the first steward, as it were, of their so-called prophecy, one Theodotus—who, as if at sometime taken up and received into heaven, fell into trances, and entrusted himself to the deceitful spirit—was pitched like a quoit, and died miserably.

15. They say that these things happened in this manner. But as we did not see them, O friend, we do not pretend to know. …”

The Greek from Eusebius. Historiæ Ecclesiasticæ. MPG. Vol. 20. Lib. V:XVII :

(Col. 473) Περί Μιλτιάδου καὶ ὦν σθνέταξε λόγων

Ἐν τούτῳ δὲ τῷ συγγράμματι καὶ Μιλτιάδου συγγραφέως μέμνηται, ὡς λόγον τινὰ καὶ αὐτοῦ κατὰ τῆς προειρημένης αἰρέσεως γεγραφότος. Παραθέμενος γοῦν αὐτῶν λέξεις τινάς, ἐπιφέρει λέγων • « Ταῦτα εὑρὼν ἔν τινι συγγράμματι αὐτῶν ἐνισταμένων τῷ Μιλτιάδου τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ συγγράμματι, ἐν ᾧ ἀποδείκνυσι περὶ τοῦ μὴ δεῖν προφήτην ἐν ἐκστάσει λαλεῖν, ἐπετεμόμην. » ᾽Υποκαταβὰς δὲ ἐν ταὐτῷ τοὺς κατὰ τὴν Καινὴν Διαθήκην προπεφητευκότας καταλέγει, ἐν οἷς καταριθμεῖ Ἀμμίαν τινὰ καὶ Κοδρᾶτον, λέγων οὕτως • « Ἀλλ’ ὅ γε ψευδοπροφήτς ἐν παρεκστάσει, ᾧ ἕπεται ἄδεια καὶ ἀφοβία, ἀρχομενος μὲν ἐξ ἑκουσίου ἀμαθιας, καταστρέφων δὲ εὶς ἀκούσιον μανίαν ψυχῆς, ὡς προείρηται. … »

The Latin from Eusebius. Historiæ Ecclesiasticæ. MPG. Vol. 20. Lib. V:XVII :

(Col. 474) De Miltiade et illius scriptis.

In eodem quoque libro Miltiadis cujusdam scriptoris mentionem facit, qui adversus supradictam hæresim librum conscripserit. Citatis enim quibusdam verbis illorum hæreticorum, ita deinde scribit : « Hæc ego cum reperissem in quodam libro ipsorum adversus Miltiadem fraterm nostrum, qui peculiari oper docuerat no deceere prophetam in exstasi loqui, in compendium redegi. » Deindi aliquanto post in eodem libro universos Novi Testamenti prophetas enumerat, inter quos Ammiam quamdam et Quadratum recenset his verbis : « Pseudo-propheta autem, inquit, in falso mentis excessu, cujus comes est licentia et audacia, a spontanea quidem imperitia initium sumens, in amentiam autem, ut jam dixi, involuntariam desinens. Hujusmodi vero spiritu nullum unquam nec in Vetere nec in Novo Testamento prophetam afflatum poterunt demonstrare. …»

The English from A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church:(12)A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church. Second Series. Translated into English with Prologema and Explanatory Notes. Philip Schaff ed. Volumes I-VII. Eusebius Pamphilus. Church History. Volume 1. Michigan: Eerdmans. Pg. 234.

…Chapter XVII.—Miltiades and His Works.

1. In this work he mentions a writer, Miltiades, stating that he also wrote a certain book against the above-mentioned heresy. After quoting some of their words, he adds:

“Having found these things in a certain work of theirs in opposition to the work of the brother Alcibiades, in which he shows that a prophet ought not to speak in ecstasy, I made an abridgment.”

2. A little further on in the same work he gives a list of those who prophesied under the new covenant, among whom he enumerates a certain Ammia and Quadratus, saying:

“But the false prophet falls into an ecstasy, in which he is without shame or fear. Beginning with purposed ignorance, he passes on, as has been stated, to involuntary madness of soul.

3. They cannot show that one of the old or one of the new prophets was thus carried away in spirit. …”

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charlesasullivan

Charles Sullivan is a researcher and writer on topics of textual criticism, linguistics, theology, Christian mysticism and philosophy. He also frequently likes to delve into contemporary social and ethical issues from a faith perspective.
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