Fourth-century Church historian; b. Borissus, Asia Minor, c. 368; d. probably Constantinople, 425 or 433. A layman well read and widely traveled, Philostorgius wrote a church history in 12 books known only through a summary and epitome in photius (Biblioth. Codex 40), and fragments in Suidas, the Martyrion of Artemius by John of Rhodes (ninth century), a Vita Constantini (H. Optiz, Cod. Ang. Gr. 22), and the Thesaurus orthodoxae fidei by Nicetas Acominatus. Philostorgius presented his work as a continuation of the Ecclesiastical History of eusebius of caesarea, and covered the period from 315 to 425. He was, however, obviously an Arian partisan and favored the cause of the neo-Arian heretic Eunomius of Cyzicus. While praising his style and diction, Photius maintained that Philostorgius was frequently inaccurate, particularly when he praised Eunomius, Aëtius of Antioch, and Eusebius of Nicomedia or condemned Acacius of Caesarea in Palestine and Basil of Cappadocia. His history is important for the citation of Arian sources that have not been preserved, for the evidence it offers of the attraction Arianism had for the cultured Greek mind, and for its thesis that the acceptance of the theology of athanasius of alexandria spelled the destruction of the Roman Empire. Philostorgius mentioned an Encomium on Eunomius and a Refutation of Porphyry of his own composition, which have not been preserved.
Bibliography: Patrologia Graeca, ed. j. p. migne, 161 v. (Paris 1857–66) 65:459–624. j. bidez, ed., Philostorgius: Kirchengeschichte (Die griechischen christlichen Schriftsteller der ersten drei Jahrhunderte 21; 1913) 1–150. h. opitz, Byzantion 9 (1934) 535–593. j. bidez, ibid. 10 (1935) 403–442. h. heseler, ibid., 399–402. h. beckby, ed. and tr., Anthologia Graeca, v. 3 (Munich 1958) 120–121. h. rahner, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner, 10 v. (2d, new ed. Freiburg 1957–65) 8:478. j. quasten, Patrology, 4 v. (Westminster, Md. 1950–86) 3:530–532. p. batiffol, Quaestiones Philostorgianae (Paris 1891). j. marquart, Theologische Literaturzeitung 38 (1913) 705–709. g. fritz, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, ed. a. vacant et al., 15 v. (Paris 1903–50; Tables générales 1951–) 12.2:1495–98. b. altaner, Patrology, tr. h. graef from 5th German ed. (New York 1960) 274. g. geutz, Paulys Realenzyklopädie der klassischen Altertumswissenschaft, ed. g. wissowa et al. 20.1 (1941) 119–122.
[f. x. murphy]