Caesarea, School of
CAESAREA, SCHOOL OF
An offshoot of the theological school of alexan dria, stemming from the same doctrinal tradition. The school of Caesarea in Palestine possessed the most important library in Christian antiquity.
Origen. Banished from Alexandria by Bp. Demetrius (231–33) after his ordination by Bp. Theoctistus of Caesarea, origen settled in that city and began to lecture. A short while later gregory thaumaturgus and his brother Athenodorus became his disciples. Gregory's farewell address (In Gratitude to Origen ) traced the program and pedagogic method of his master.
Teaching was given according to the divisions of the philosophy of the time. Logic, a mixture of dialectics and criticism, followed the Socratic method. Physics, which meant above all geometry and astronomy, demonstrated the work of God in His creation. Moral doctrine gave a knowledge of oneself and one's purpose in the study of virtues. Finally, theology was taught in two fashions: by readings in the philosophers and poets of all the schools except the atheists, to form a critical sense in avoiding systematic and exclusive attachments; then by the study of Scripture, for it was thought that one should attach himself only to the word of God. This method had a strong spiritual orientation, and Origen stressed the practice of virtue. Certain of Gregory's expressions that are confirmed by two fragments of letters (from Origen on Ambrose according to the 11th-century Byzantine antiquarians, George Kedrenos and Suidas; of Ambrose to Origen according to Jerome, Epist. 43, to Marcella) suggest a community life of the master with his Maecenas, Ambrose, and his students in prayer, the reading of Scripture, and intellectual activities.
At Jerusalem (then called Aelia) Bishop Alexander, a friend of Origen, had founded a Christian library. That of Caesarea contained from the beginning the books possessed by Origen and his own writings, particularly an original copy of the hexapla, which Jerome consulted and which seems never to have been reproduced in its entirety; but the text of the septuagint that it contained was copied constantly. The group of copyists that the affluent Ambrose supported for Origen followed the latter from Alexandria to Caesarea. The letter preserved in Kedrenos and Suidas shows Origen and Ambrose making a collation of the texts and verifying copies.
Pamphilus. Was the school continued after the death of Origen under the direction of an able disciple from Caesarea, possibly Theotecnus? It is not possible to affirm this. However, the library was preserved, and 40 years later (c. 290) pamphilus was installed at Caesarea by the new bishop, Agapius, after having been the disciple of Pierius, who was nicknamed Origen the Younger, in the Didascalion of Alexandria. Ordained by Agapius, Pamphilus remained faithful to the method of Origen, taught him by Pierius. Two students, Apphianus and Aidesius, are known to have lived with him in a community together with Eusebius (De mart. Pales. 4.6; 5.2). The only writing of Pamphilus is his Apologia for Origen.
Pamphilus paid particular care to the library, which he enriched considerably (Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 6.33), and in the lost biography he wrote of Pamphilus, eusebius of caesarea had transcribed a catalogue of the works of Origen and other ecclesiastics, which his master had assembled; the list of Origen's writings was reproduced in part by Jerome (Epist. 33, ad Paulam ). He had likewise gathered a collection of more than 100 scattered letters of Origen (Hist. eccl. 6.36.3).
Pamphilus also employed a group of copyists to reproduce MSS that were in poor condition or those he could not acquire otherwise, as well as to furnish copies of his own holdings for others. Among the copyists was the young slave Porphyry, whom Pamphilus had brought up as a son and who desired to suffer martyrdom with him (De mart. Pales. 11.1.15–19). Certain MSS of the Hexapla Septuagint show traces of the corrections made by Pamphilus in the volume that served as a model for the copyists; thus, in the Sinaiticus after II Esdras there is a note: "Antoninus has made the collations; I, Pamphilus, have corrected it."
According to an interesting hypothesis of C. Martin ["Le Testamonium Flavianum: Vers une solution définitive?," Revue belge de philologie et d'histoire 20 (1941) 409–65], a copyist of Pamphilus and his corrector were guilty of error in respect to the testimony of Flavius Josephus (Ant. 18.63–64) on Jesus. Origen presents this testimony definitely as that of an unbeliever (Origen, Contra Cels. 1.47). Sixty years later Eusebius cited the passage in Josephus as a profession of Christian faith (Hist. eccl. 1.11.7–9), basing his position on the reading of the text of Josephus that he had—and which is the extant text— containing these clauses: "if he is really to be called a man," "he was the Christ," and "he appeared to them the third day, alive again, the divine prophets having foretold these wonderful things and many others about him." Martin suggests that these clauses were marginal notes, perhaps made even by Origen himself, and that between the time of Origen and Eusebius they were inserted into the text of Josephus by a careless copyist. The rest of the text of Josephus regarding the rise of Christianity is to be regarded as genuine.
Eusebius. The spiritual son of Pamphilus, Eusebius returned to Caesarea after the persecution and became its bishop, perhaps in 315. Acacius of Caesarea is supposed to have written a life of Eusebius referring to him as his master (didascalos ), which would seem to imply that Eusebius taught at Caesarea. In any case, Eusebius used for his erudite works the libraries at Jerusalem and Caesarea, the latter of which he developed through the use of his own group of copyists. Constantine demanded 50 copies of the Bible from him for his new capital (Vita Const. 4.36).
Acacius and Euzoius. According to Jerome (De vir. ill. 113; Epist. 34, ad Marcellam ), these successors of Eusebius had all the volumes recopied from papyrus onto the more durable parchment, a fact that MSS mention. Jerome frequently speaks of the library at Caesarea, where he had labored and received a good part of his learning. Regarding a visit by hilary of poitiers and eusebius of vercelli during their exile in the East there is no certain evidence. isidore of seville speaks of 30,000 volumes there (Etymol. 6.6). The destruction of the library by either the Persians or the Arabs in the 7th century was a great loss. Many of the MSS of the Bible or of Christian antiquity now known go back through copies to a volume or codex of the library of Origen and Pamphilus at Caesarea.
Bibliography: a. ehrhard, "Die griechische patriarchal Bibliothek von Jerusalem," Römische Quartalschrift für christliche Altertumskunde und für Kirchengeschichte 5 (1891) 217–63; 6 (1892) 329–31. f. cavallera, Saint Jérôme, 2 v. (Spicilegium sacrum Lovaniense 1922) 2:88–89. r. cadiou, "La Bibliothèque de Césarée," Revue des sciences religieuses 16 (1936) 474–83. j. de ghellinick, Patristique et moyenâge: Études d'histoire littéraire et doctrinale v.2, 3 (Brussels 1947–48) 2:259–68.