Peter in Rome and Eusebius

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Secret Alias
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Re: Peter in Rome and Eusebius

Post by Secret Alias » Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:25 pm

Schaff:
The tradition of a twenty-five years’ episcopate in Rome (preceded by a seven years’ episcopate in Antioch) cannot be traced beyond the fourth century (Jerome), and arose, as already remarked, from chronological miscalculations in connection with the questionable statement of Justin Martyr concerning the arrival of Simon Magus in Rome under the reign of Claudius (41–54). The "Catalogus Liberianus," the oldest list of popes (supposed to have been written before 366), extends the pontificate of Peter to 25 years, 1 month, 9 days, and puts his death on June 29, 65 (during the consulate of Nerva and Vestinus), which would date his arrival in Rome back to a.d. 40. Eusebius, in his Greek Chronicle as far as it is preserved, does not fix the number of years, but says, in his Church History, that Peter came to Rome in the reign of Claudius to preach against the pestilential errors of Simon Magus.312 The Armenian translation of his Chronicle mentions "twenty" years;313 Jerome, in his translation or paraphrase rather, "twenty-five" years, assuming, without warrant, that Peter left Jerusalem for Antioch and Rome in the second year of Claudius (42; but Acts 12:17 would rather point to the year 44), and died in the fourteenth or last year of Nero (68).
Smith:
The Armenian gives its length as twenty years, and the years as 2055-2082; Jerome makes the length twentyfive years, and the years 2058–2084. Jerome places Peter's arrival in Rome in the second year of Claudius, the Armenian two years before that emperor's accession. Now, in addition to Roediger's Syriac epitome already mentioned, there have been published by Bruns, in El'chhorns R¢pertorium fiir bib]. and morgcnl. Litteratur, xi. 273, extracts from another Syriac chronicle. These two witnesses are independent, for the latter agrees with the Armenian in making Peter's episcopate twenty years, the former makes it twenty-five with Jerome. But both agree in entering Peter's But both agree in entering Peter's arrival at Rome after the accession of Claudius. We conclude therefore that the earlier date of the Armenian has only arisen in an inaccuracy of transcription.
Second year of Claudius = 42 CE which means that a 20 year reign of Peter (= 62 CE) and 25 year (= 67 CE).
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Re: Peter in Rome and Eusebius

Post by andrewcriddle » Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:08 pm

Secret Alias wrote:
Wed Jun 06, 2018 12:27 pm
Thanks Ben

The context of Eusebius's statement is interesting to - viz. a meeting between Peter and Philo?
It is also said that Philo in the reign of Claudius became acquainted at Rome with Peter, who was then preaching there. [396] Nor is this indeed improbable, for the work of which we have spoken, and which was composed by him some years later, clearly contains those rules of the Church which are even to this day observed among us.
Quite baffling to speculate what sort of source Eusebius had in mind!
Taylor Jewish Women Philosophers IIUC argues that Eusebius had a tradition that Peter was in Rome in the early years of Claudius and authentic evidence that Philo was in Rome meeting Claudius and the senate in the early years of Claudius,
And he [Philo] is said to have read in the presence of the whole Roman Senate during the reign of Claudius the work which he had written, when he came to Rome under Caius, concerning Caius' hatred of the gods, and to which, with ironical reference to its character, he had given the title On the Virtues. And his discourses were so much admired as to be deemed worthy of a place in the libraries.
Eusebius decided that having Peter and Philo in Rome at the same time amounts to a tradition of them meeting.

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Re: Peter in Rome and Eusebius

Post by Secret Alias » Wed Jul 04, 2018 12:40 pm

She has an "optimistic" tendency in her research.
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Re: Peter in Rome and Eusebius

Post by John2 » Wed Jul 04, 2018 1:51 pm

Andrew wrote:
The claim that Peter was in Rome in the time of Claudius is certainly unhistorical, was it introduced by Eusebius ?
I'm posting a lot of notes so I can see what there is to see about Peter being in Rome. I've been looking over this question, and to me it looks like it boils down to Simon Magus, and the earliest Christian reference to him is in Acts 8:9-25:
Now for some time a man named Simon had practiced sorcery in the city and amazed all the people of Samaria. He boasted that he was someone great, and all the people, both high and low, gave him their attention and exclaimed, “This man is rightly called the Great Power of God.” They followed him because he had amazed them for a long time with his sorcery. But when they believed Philip as he proclaimed the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw.

When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to Samaria. When they arrived, they prayed for the new believers there that they might receive the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”

Peter answered: “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord in the hope that he may forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.”

Then Simon answered, “Pray to the Lord for me so that nothing you have said may happen to me.”

After they had further proclaimed the word of the Lord and testified about Jesus, Peter and John returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel in many Samaritan villages.
Since I think Luke/Acts used Josephus, I'm thinking this is the same Simon Josephus mentions in Ant. 20.7.2:
2. But for the marriage of Drusilla with Azizus, it was in no long time afterward dissolved upon the following occasion: While Felix was procurator of Judea, he saw this Drusilla, and fell in love with her; for she did indeed exceed all other women in beauty; and he sent to her a person whose name was Simon one of his friends; a Jew he was, and by birth a Cypriot, and one who pretended to be a magician, and endeavored to persuade her to forsake her present husband, and marry him; and promised, that if she would not refuse him, he would make her a happy woman. Accordingly she acted ill, and because she was desirous to avoid her sister Bernice's envy, for she was very ill treated by her on account of her beauty, was prevailed upon to transgress the laws of her forefathers, and to marry Felix; and when he had had a son by her, he named him Agrippa. But after what manner that young man, with his wife, perished at the conflagration of the mountain Vesuvius, in the days of Titus Caesar, shall be related hereafter.
I gather that Simon Magus is thought to have been a Samaritan and thus could not be Josephus' Simon (whom he says was Jewish), but I don't see anything in Acts 8 above that suggests Simon was a Samaritan, only that he preached to Samaritans in addition to people in Jerusalem ("A man named Simon had practiced sorcery in the city and amazed all the people of Samaria"). And the key that this is Josephus' Simon is "and all the people, both high and low, gave him their attention," which fits what Josephus says about his Simon, that he had, "endeavored to persuade her [Drusilla] to forsake her present husband, and marry him [Felix]." This at least covers the "high" part of the "high and low" of "all the people" (which included, I presume, people in Jerusalem, like Felix and Drusilla) whom Acts says gave their attention to him.

The next thing seems to be the Acts of Peter (c. 150-200 CE), which places Simon Magus in Rome and has Peter confront him there.

Around the same time, Irenaeus is the first person I'm aware of who interprets Acts 8 to mean that Simon was a Samaritan (AH 1.23.1), but in any event it is an interpretation I don't agree with. And while he doesn't appear to mention Rome, Irenaeus says that Simon was active during the time of Claudius, though without naming a source other than "he is said," which I assume refers to the Acts of Peter ("Such was his procedure in the reign of Claudius Cæsar, by whom also he is said to have been honoured with a statue, on account of his magical power").

Acts of Peter: "I set up a statue to him with this inscription: 'To Simon the new (young) God.'"

So I'm thinking that the Simon in Acts is based on the Simon in Josephus, and that both of them are Jewish and not Samaritan, and that Irenaeus interprets Acts to mean that he was a Samaritan, and that Irenaeus' statement that Simon was active in the time of Claudius is based on the Acts of Peter.

Okay, now we come to Eusebius, who I suppose could be dependent on Irenaeus and/or the Acts of Peter for the information that Simon was active during Claudius' time, but appears to not give any sources for it and gives what to me are very fanciful reasons for it (e,g, as a battle between "the evil power" that inspired Simon and "that divine and celestial grace" that inspired Peter).

EH 2.14.1-6:
1. The evil power, who hates all that is good and plots against the salvation of men, constituted Simon at that time the father and author of such wickedness, as if to make him a mighty antagonist of the great, inspired apostles of our Saviour.

2. For that divine and celestial grace which co-operates with its ministers, by their appearance and presence, quickly extinguished the kindled flame of evil, and humbled and cast down through them “every high thing that exalted itself against the knowledge of God.” 2 Corinthians 10:5

3. Wherefore neither the conspiracy of Simon nor that of any of the others who arose at that period could accomplish anything in those apostolic times. For everything was conquered and subdued by the splendors of the truth and by the divine word itself which had but lately begun to shine from heaven upon men, and which was then flourishing upon earth, and dwelling in the apostles themselves.

4. Immediately the above-mentioned impostor was smitten in the eyes of his mind by a divine and miraculous flash, and after the evil deeds done by him had been first detected by the apostle Peter in Judea, he fled and made a great journey across the sea from the East to the West, thinking that only thus could he live according to his mind.

5. And coming to the city of Rome, by the mighty co-operation of that power which was lying in wait there, he was in a short time so successful in his undertaking that those who dwelt there honored him as a god by the erection of a statue.

6. But this did not last long. For immediately, during the reign of Claudius, the all-good and gracious Providence, which watches over all things, led Peter, that strongest and greatest of the apostles, and the one who on account of his virtue was the speaker for all the others, to Rome against this great corrupter of life. Clad in divine armor like a noble commander of God, He carried the costly merchandise of the light of the understanding from the East to those who dwelt in the West, proclaiming the light itself, and the word which brings salvation to souls, and preaching the kingdom of heaven.
And though he doesn't give any sources, it sounds to me like he put Irenaeus and the Acts of Peter together to craft the above story.

I think we're on firmer ground regarding Peter being in Rome during the time of Nero and being martyred there by what Eusebius says in EH 2.25.1-8, where he provides several sources for it:
1. When the government of Nero was now firmly established, he began to plunge into unholy pursuits, and armed himself even against the religion of the God of the universe.

2. To describe the greatness of his depravity does not lie within the plan of the present work. As there are many indeed that have recorded his history in most accurate narratives, every one may at his pleasure learn from them the coarseness of the man's extraordinary madness, under the influence of which, after he had accomplished the destruction of so many myriads without any reason, he ran into such blood-guiltiness that he did not spare even his nearest relatives and dearest friends, but destroyed his mother and his brothers and his wife, with very many others of his own family as he would private and public enemies, with various kinds of deaths.

3. But with all these things this particular in the catalogue of his crimes was still wanting, that he was the first of the emperors who showed himself an enemy of the divine religion.

4. The Roman Tertullian is likewise a witness of this. He writes as follows: “Examine your records. There you will find that Nero was the first that persecuted this doctrine, particularly then when after subduing all the east, he exercised his cruelty against all at Rome. We glory in having such a man the leader in our punishment. For whoever knows him can understand that nothing was condemned by Nero unless it was something of great excellence.”

5. Thus publicly announcing himself as the first among God's chief enemies, he was led on to the slaughter of the apostles. It is, therefore, recorded that Paul was beheaded in Rome itself, and that Peter likewise was crucified under Nero. This account of Peter and Paul is substantiated by the fact that their names are preserved in the cemeteries of that place even to the present day.

6. It is confirmed likewise by Caius, a member of the Church, who arose under Zephyrinus, bishop of Rome. He, in a published disputation with Proclus, the leader of the Phrygian heresy, speaks as follows concerning the places where the sacred corpses of the aforesaid apostles are laid:

7. “But I can show the trophies of the apostles. For if you will go to the Vatican or to the Ostian way, you will find the trophies of those who laid the foundations of this church.”

8. And that they both suffered martyrdom at the same time is stated by Dionysius, bishop of Corinth, in his epistle to the Romans, in the following words: “You have thus by such an admonition bound together the planting of Peter and of Paul at Rome and Corinth. For both of them planted and likewise taught us in our Corinth. And they taught together in like manner in Italy, and suffered martyrdom at the same time.” I have quoted these things in order that the truth of the history might be still more confirmed.
So I don't think that Peter was in Rome during the time of Claudius, but he perhaps could have been there during Nero's time, and his confrontation with Simon Magus there seems to be based on the Acts of Peter (whatever that is worth).
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Re: Peter in Rome and Eusebius

Post by John2 » Wed Jul 04, 2018 3:07 pm

I suppose it might be possible to argue that both Irenaeus and the Acts of Peter are independently based on an oral tradition (at least as far as Simon's statue goes), since Irenaeus says "he is said" rather than "it is written." But either way, it seems like a shaky tradition.
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Re: Peter in Rome and Eusebius

Post by Ben C. Smith » Wed Jul 04, 2018 3:09 pm

John2 wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 1:51 pm
I gather that Simon Magus is thought to have been a Samaritan and thus could not be Josephus' Simon (whom he says was Jewish), but I don't see anything in Acts 8 above that suggests Simon was a Samaritan, only that he preached to Samaritans in addition to people in Jerusalem ("A man named Simon had practiced sorcery in the city and amazed all the people of Samaria").
What do you make of Justin Martyr, Apology 1.26.1, the Apostolic Constitutions 6.7.1, and the Clementine Recognitions all affirming that Simon Magus was a native of Gitta/Gath in Samaria?
And the key that this is Josephus' Simon is "and all the people, both high and low, gave him their attention," which fits what Josephus says about his Simon, that he had, "endeavored to persuade her [Drusilla] to forsake her present husband, and marry him [Felix]." This at least covers the "high" part of the "high and low" of "all the people" (which included, I presume, people in Jerusalem, like Felix and Drusilla) whom Acts says gave their attention to him.
It is not certain that Simon is the correct name here. Niese's text follows (at least) two variant manuscripts of Josephus and has Atomos instead of Simon at this juncture:

Josephus, Antiquities 20.7.2 142: 142 καθ᾽ ὃν χρόνον τῆς Ἰουδαίας ἐπετρόπευε Φῆλιξ θεασάμενος ταύτην, καὶ γὰρ ἦν κάλλει πασῶν διαφέρουσα, λαμβάνει τῆς γυναικὸς ἐπιθυμίαν, καὶ Ἄτομον ὀνόματι τῶν ἑαυτοῦ φίλων Ἰουδαῖον, Κύπριον δὲ τὸ γένος, μάγον εἶναι σκηπτόμενον πέμπων πρὸς αὐτὴν ἔπειθεν τὸν ἄνδρα καταλιποῦσαν αὐτῷ γήμασθαι, μακαρίαν ποιήσειν ἐπαγγελλόμενος μὴ ὑπερηφανήσασαν αὐτόν. / While Felix was procurator of Judea, he saw this Drusilla, and fell in love with her; for she did indeed exceed all other women in beauty; and he sent to her a person whose name was Simon/Atomos, one of his friends; a Jew he was, and by birth a Cypriot, and one who pretended to be a magician, and endeavored to persuade her to forsake her present husband, and marry him; and promised, that if she would not refuse him, he would make her a happy woman.

Interestingly, Elymas in Acts 13 is both a Cypriot and a magician, and Bezae renders his name with Ἐτοίμας, which resembles a Greek adjective meaning "ready," but also resembles a cross between Elymas and Atomos:

Acts 13.4-12: 4 So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia and from there they sailed to Cyprus. 5 When they reached Salamis, they began to proclaim the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews; and they also had John as their helper. 6 When they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they found a magician, a Jewish false prophet whose name was Bar-Jesus, 7 who was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, a man of intelligence. This man summoned Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God. 8 But Elymas [Bezae Ἐτοίμας, "Etoimos"] the magician (for so his name is translated) was opposing them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. 9 But Saul, who was also known as Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, fixed his gaze on him, 10 and said, “You who are full of all deceit and fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease to make crooked the straight ways of the Lord? 11 Now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you will be blind and not see the sun for a time.” And immediately a mist and a darkness fell upon him, and he went about seeking those who would lead him by the hand. 12 Then the proconsul believed when he saw what had happened, being amazed at the teaching of the Lord.

The whole topic is fairly complex. Each decision relies upon a manuscript reading which is not universal.
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Re: Peter in Rome and Eusebius

Post by John2 » Wed Jul 04, 2018 3:29 pm

Ben wrote:
What do you make of Justin Martyr, Apology 1.26.1, the Apostolic Constitutions 6.7.1, and the Clementine Recognitions all affirming that Simon Magus was a native of Gitta/Gath in Samaria?
I think it could be a confusion between the similarity of the word for Cyprus (Kittim), where Josephus' Atomos/Simon was from, and the word for Samaritans (Kutim), and both seem somewhat similar to Gitta.

http://bibleatlas.org/kittim.htm
In the Talmud, a central post-exilic religious text of Rabbinic Judaism, the Samaritans are called Cutheans (Hebrew: כּוּתִים‎, Kutim) ...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samaritans
It is not certain that Simon is the correct name here. Niese's text follows (at least) two variant manuscripts of Josephus and has Atomos instead of Simon at this juncture
I gather some Latin manuscripts say Simon though. Not sure what to make of that or the Elymas in Acts 13.
Last edited by John2 on Wed Jul 04, 2018 4:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Peter in Rome and Eusebius

Post by John2 » Wed Jul 04, 2018 4:10 pm

Eisenman argues something along these lines, but the topic seems complex, as you said, and I can't quite get my mind around it.

https://books.google.com/books?id=XhJcW ... us&f=false
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Re: Peter in Rome and Eusebius

Post by John2 » Wed Jul 04, 2018 4:35 pm

And I don't know if Justin Martyr knew Acts (I gather it is uncertain), but if so, maybe he interpreted Acts 8 to mean that Simon Magus was a Samaritan (like Irenaeus appears to). Perhaps the idea that Simon was a Samaritan is ultimately based on nothing more than that.

https://books.google.com/books?id=D4Jv0 ... ts&f=false
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Re: Peter in Rome and Eusebius

Post by John2 » Wed Jul 04, 2018 6:26 pm

I think the proof that Simon Magus (whether he existed or not or was Josephus' Atomos/Simon or not) was not a Samaritan could be that he preached in Jerusalem in addition to Samaria.

Acts 8:9:
Now for some time a man named Simon had practiced sorcery in the city and amazed all the people of Samaria.
Why would a Samaritan preach in Jerusalem, the home of the Jewish Temple?
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