The Pokey Finger of God

meditations on religion and culture

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The Eusebian Connection

August 9th, 2008 · No Comments · christianity, history

I haven’t seen very much, if any, information regarding the relationship between and either (of Caesarea or of Nicomedia). The most detailed information found so far was within one of the Constantine biographies I read last Winter. Intimations there was that the Eusebians were the Katzajammer Kids with Constantine when they were all in Rome.

So how did they end up in his court? E of Caesarea says that he “saw” Constantine when the latter was in Syria in the court of Diocletian. But does that mean that one observed the other from some distance, or that they had shared lengthy conversations?

The reason this has interest to me is in the question of how Syrian-Hellenic Messianic theology, and a big chunk of the Hebrew bible, got co-opted into Constantine’s ego cult. We’re told that both Eusebii were trained by “Christian” theologians, but given that this is unlikely, we might speculate that they were trained by distinct, Hellenized Jewish schools and combined this with the other “Mystery” school initiations they had encountered.

But how did Constantine find these guys? Did they petition him for recognition? Were they referred by trusted advisors? To what degree was the inclusion of Jewish material Constantine’s idea? How much of it existed simply to ridicule the Jews? Was there a culture-wide recognition that the Jews had some sort of monopoly on divinity, or were they chosen to ridicule because they had caused so much trouble?

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