Greek Church historian; b. Bethelia near Gaza, Palestine, c. 400; d. Constantinople, c. 450. He was born of a Christian family converted by St. Hilarion. Salaminius Hermias Sozomen received his primary religious education in a monastery, studied law at Beirut, and practiced law in Constantinople under Theodosius II. He speaks of a historical epitome covering the history of the Church from the birth of Christ to the defeat of Licinius (323), but this work is lost. His Ecclesiastical History, written between 439 and 450 and dedicated to theodosius ii, covers the period from 324 to 439 in nine books; however, the years 425 to 439 are missing. Sozomen frequently follows his contemporary socrates, Historian, almost verbatim, but interpolates archival and Syriac material unknown to Socrates, for example, the persecution of the Christians in Persia under Sapor II, evidently based on the Acts of the Persian Martyrs. Stylistically, his work is superior to that of Socrates, but it is less critical and occasionally incorporates legendary material. A possible explanation for his less-critical sense arises from his desire to present monasticism as a guideline for his history of the Church.
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