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words: · Brutusd relates that many christians suffered martyrdom in the fourteenth year of Domitian.'
There were several eminent men of this name in the sea cond century. There is ae letter of the younger Pliny to Præsens, whom some think to have been also called Brutius, or Bruttius. We meet with Bruttius Præsens, who was consul with Antoninus the pious, in the year 139; C. Bruttius Præsens, who was consul with Asturius Rufinus in the year 153; and L. Fulvius Bruttius Præsens, consul the sea cond time in the year 180, with Sex, Quintillius Condianus. The daughter of this Bruttius' was married to Commodus, with the consent of Marcus Antoninus. And® Pagi supposeth that to be the reason why he was honoured with a second consulship.
Scaligerh supposeth this Bruttius, who had been consul with Antoninus, and afterwards a second time, whose daughter was married to Commodus, or a relation of his, to be the historian intended by Eusebius.
Tillemonti says he may have been Bruttius Præsens who was consul in the year 139, or Præsens to whom the younger Pliny wrote: though, as he adds, there were others of the same name about that time.
Mr. Dodwell'sk conjecture is, that he is the same who was consul with Antoninus the pious, as I understand him, though his manner of expression is ambiguous.
Some remarks may now not be improper. In the first place it may be fit to observe, that Brutus, and Bruttius, and Brettius, as in the Greek of Eusebius's Chronicle, are all one and the same name, as Scaliger has shown.
Secondly, I suppose no one will hesitate to allow that Bruttius was an heathen historian, though he is not expressly Ισορει ο Βρετος, πολλες Χριστιανός κατα το ιδ ετος Δομετιανε μεμαρτυρηChron. Pasch. p. 250.
e L. 7. ep. 3. f Filio suo Brutii Præsentis filiam junxit (Marcus Aurelius]. Jul. Capitol. de M. Anton. Phil. c. 27. p. 394.
8 Erat Bruttius Præsens pater Crispinæ uxoris Commodi, ob idque altero Consulatu hoc anno a M. Aurelio decoratus. Pagi ann. 180. num. i.
h Aut Bruttius Præsens, qui cum Imp. Antonino Consul fuit, et cujus filia Imperatoris Antonini filio nupta fuit, aut saltem ejus gentilis quidam, fuerit historicus iste. Scalig. in Euseb. p. 205. a.
i Saint Fl. Domitille. Mem. Ec. T. 2. p. 127.
k Ethnicum scriptorem protulit Eusebius, quem Brutium appellat in Chronico, forte eundem, qui consulatum gesserit sub (forte cum] Antonino. Diss. Cypr. xi. sect. 16.
1 P. 80. m In Græcis est Bpettoog. In Casauboni Chronico Bostlos, ut hic. Nam non audiendi sunt, qui hic Brutius substituunt, aut Bruttianus. Sat enim est, eos Græcâ lectione confutari. Nam quemadmodum Bp8TTIOL et BPETTIOL, Italiæ populi, indifferenter vocantur; ita etiam Bp8ttios et BỌetrios pro eodem scriptore usurpari potuerit. Scal. ibid. p. 205. ,
called so in any of the places wliere he is named. The manner in which he is mentioned by Eusebius in his Chronicle, and by the author of the Paschal Chronicle, would lead us to suppose him not a christian. And the passage in the Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius, compared with his Chronicle, I think puts it out of doubt.
Thirdly, Nothing has appeared in our ancient authors to satisfy us whether Bruttius was a Latin or a Greek writer. Butn Vossius placeth bim among Latin historians.
Fourthly, Dion Cassius, to be hereafter quoted, will inforin us of a Flavia Domitilla, wife of the consul Clement, who was banished by Domitian for christianity into the island Pandeteria, which lay near to Pontia, upon the same coast of Italy. This has given occasion to a dispute whether there were two of this name who suffered for christianity about the same time: someo supposing one and the same person to be intended, others again contending that there
The matter is of no great importance; nevertheless, perhaps, we may hereafter give it some farther consideration in the chapter of Dion Cassius.
Fifthly, it seems somewhat probable that the author of the Paschal Chronicle did not copy Eusebius, but took his account from the work of Bruttius itself. For Eusebius, making particular mention of Domitilla only, who was not banished till the year 95, says that · historians of different
sentiment from us had accurately marked the time of that * persecution to be in the fifteenth year of Domitian.' But the Paschal Chronicle affirms from Bruttius that many suffered in the fourteenth year of that reign. And Pagi hence argues, and not without some appearance of probability, that the persecution began in the fourteenth year of Domitian.
Sixthly, I wish that either Eusebius, or the last mentioned author, bad given us the very words of Bruttius. He did not say "the christians suffered martyrdom.' The style of heathen authors in such matters is curious and entertaining, and more satisfactory than any other whatever.
Once more, seventhly, Eusebius, in his Ecclesiastical History, speaks in the plural number, and says that writers of
different sentiment from us had given an account of Do* mitian's persecution in their histories:' but we have not found more than one named in his Chronicle, nor in the Paschal Chronicle. Dion Cassius wrote before Eusebius:
n De Hist. Lat. lib. 3. B. fin.
• Basnag. ann. 95. num. vii. Vid. et Scal. ubi supr. p. 205.
p Tillem. Mem. Ec. Tom. 2. p. 126, 127.
? Ann. 94, num. V.
whether he ever read him does not now appear: but we shall quote him upon the same subject in his place and time.
I have been very much at a loss where to place this writer. One would think, from Eusebius's manner of ex pression in his Ecclesiastical History, that he had been contemporary with Domitian's persecution. And in his Chronicle Bruttius is placed at the year of Christ 95. Nevertheless, none can suppose that to be the real time of his writing. However, that I may not be charged with entering him too late, I place him at the year of Christ 136, the twentieth year of Adrian.
of Adrian. And if this Bruttius be the same (as divers learned men have thought) who was consul with Ì'itus Antoninus in the year 139, I have placed him early enough.
PHLEGON, THALLUS, AND DIONYSIUS THE AREOPAGITE.
1. Phlegon. His time and works. II. A passage in him
concerning our Saviour's foreknowledge. III. Another passage supposed to relate to the miraculous darkness at the time of our Saviour's crucifixion, with remarks and observations. IV. Thallus, supposed also to speak of the same darkness. V. Dionysius the Areopagite, supposed likewise to speak of the same event.
I. PHLEGON,a freed-man of the emperor Adrian, was born at Tralles in Lydia. He was author of several works; one of which was entitledb The Olympiads, oro A Collection of Olympiads and Chronicles, in sixteen books. It was a kind of general history of the world from the first to the two hundred and twenty-ninth olympiad, or to the times of Adrian. If the last olympiad was complete, asd some think,
a Vid. Spartian. in Hadrian. c. 16. Vopisc. Saturnin. c. 7, 8.
b Φλεγων Τραλλιανος-ισορικος. Εγραψε Ολυμπιαδας εν βιβλιοις ισ. δε μεχρι της σκθ ολυμπιαδος τα πραχθεντα πανταχο. Suid.
• Φλεγοντος Τραλλιανά, απελευθερ8 τ8 αυτοκρατορος Αδριανο, ολυμπιονικων και χρονικών συναγογη. Προσφωνει το συνταγμα προς Αλκιβιαδην τινα, ος εις ην των εις φυλακην τεταγμενων τ8 Αδριανο-κατεισε δε, ος αυτος φησι, μεχρι των Αδριαν8 χρονων. Phot. Cod. 97. p. 265.
d J. Scaliger. Animad. in Euseb. Chron. p. 185. Pagi ann. 136. n. vii. aliique
it reached to the fourth year of Antoninus the pious: if it was incomplete, ase others suppose, the work ended in the year 138, in which Adrian died; at which time I also place him. It was inscribed to Alcibiades, one of the bodyguards of Adrian: which may afford an argument that the work did not go lower than the reign of that emperor, and was published in the year 138, or soon after. Basnage speaks of Phlegon at the year 141.
I write not the history of Phlegon, or his works: I therefore refer tof other learned moderns.
Out of the large work abovementioned, some passages have been alleged by ancient christian writers, of which some notice must be taken here.
II. Origen, in his books against Celsus, has this passage: . However, Phlegon in the thirteenth, or, as I think, the • fourteenth book of his Chronicles, ascribes to Christ the • knowledge of some future things; though he makes a
mistake in the person, naming Peter instead of Jesus : and • he allows that the things foretold came to pass.
Upon this I must be allowed to say, first, that Origen seems to have trusted to his memory in this quotation. Secondly, If Phlegon named Peter instead of JESUS, it is a mark of carelessness and inaccuracy. Thirdly, We should have been glad to see this passage of Phlegon more at length; for want of which we cannot form any clear judgment about it. Fourthly, Phlegon was so credulous that his testimony concerning things of a marvellous kind must be of little weight. His credulity and uncommon regard for all sorts of oracles, are manifest in thel character of his Olympiads given by Photius, and in the fragments of his works, published by Meursius. I would also refer to the article. Tappaxıvn, in Stephanus Byzantinus, where Phlegon speaks of a child who was able to converse with others when it had been born not more that nine-and-forty days;
e Fabr. Bib. Gr. l. 4. c. 13. T. 3. p. 401.
s Voss. de Hist. Gr. 1.2. c. xi. Fabr. B. Gr. 1. 4. c. 13. Tillemont. Adrien. art. 18. Dictionnaire de Bayle, Phlegon.
8 Φλεγων μεντοι, εν τρισκαιδεκατω, η τεσσαρεσκαιδεκατω, οιμαι, των χρονικων, και την περι τινων μελλοντων προγνωσιν εδωκε το Χριση, συγχυθεις εν τοις περι Πετρ8, ως περι τε Ιησε και εμαρτυρησεν ότι κατα τα ειρημενα υπ' αυτά τα deyoueva ETNVTNDE. Contr. Cels. 1. 2. p. 69. al. sect. 14.
Και η περι τες χρησμες ακαιρος φιλοπονια τε και φιλοτιμια, εις κορον απαγεσα τον ακροατην-χρησμοις δε παντοιους ες υπερβολην εςι κεχρημενος. Phot. ibid.
Φλεγων ολυμπιαδι εκατοση ογδοηκοση πρωτη: “Οτι παιδιον, εκ δελης γενομενον, τη έννατη και τεσσαρακοση της γενεσεως τον προσαγορευσαντα αντιπροσαγορευσαι. Steph. V. Tαρραχινη.
and to Salmasius'sk character of Phlegon's Olympiads in his notes upon Spartian's Life of Adrian. Fifthly, Origen is the only person that has mentioned this. I do not reco)lect any other ancient writer who has taken any notice of it. Consequently, I think we must say that upon the whole this citation is of no great moment.
III. But there is another passage of this author which may be reckoned more material, many learned men of late times having been of opinion that it relates to the darkness at the time of our Saviour's crucifixion.
The Greek of Eusebius, in his Chronicle, which I must transcribe at large, is to this purpose : - Jesus Christm the * Son of God, our Lord, according to the prophecies con
cerning him, came to his passion in the nineteenth year of • the reign of Tiberius : about which time we find these
things related in other, even Gentile memoirs, in these very • words: “ the sun was eclipsed, there was an earthquake in • Bithynia, and many houses were overturned in Nice.” All • which things agree with what happened at the time of our * Saviour's passion.
So writes and says the author of the Olympiads, in the thirteenth book, in these words: “ In • the fourth year of the two hundred and second olympiad * there was an eclipse of the sun, the greatest of any known • before. And it was night at the sixth hour of the day, so * that the stars appeared in the heavens. And there was a
great earthquake in Bithynia, which overturned many • houses in Nice.” So writes the forementioned author.' I shall also transcribe and translate this article as it
in Jerom's Latin version of Eusebius's Chronicle. • Jesus Christ,” according to the prophecies which had
ķ Ex quo loco apparet, quale fuerit argumentum librorum Olympiadum Phlegontis. Nam sub quâque Olympiade, quid toto orbe gestum esset recensebat, prodigia præcipue et monstra, resque alias mirabiles, memorabilesque. Salmas. in Spartian. Hadrian. c. 16. p. 152. | De Domino etiam mentionem egit
, si fides Origeni.—Basnag. ann. 141. vii.
Ιησες ο Χριςος, ο υιος τε θε8, ο Κυριος ημων, κατα τας περι αυτό προφητειας, επι το παθος προηει, ετ8ς ιθ της Τιβεριε Καισαρος βασιλειας καθ' ον καιρον και εν αλλοις μεν Ελληνικους υπομνημασιν ευρομεν ισορεμενα κατα λεξιν ταυτα ο ήλιος εκλελιπεν: Βιθυνια εσεισθη: Νικαιας τα πολλα επεσεν. συναδει τους περι το παθος το σωτηρος ημων συμβεβηκοσι.-Γραφει δε και λεγει ο τας ολυμπιαδας.-Περι των αυτων εν τω ιγ, ρημασιν αυτοι ταδε τω δ ετει της CB ολυμπιαδος εγενετο εκλειψις ήλιε μεγιση των εγνωρισμενων προτερον, και νυξ ωρα ς της ημερας εγενετο, ωσε και αςερας εν ουρανω φανηναι, σεισμος τε μεγας κατα Βιθυνιαν γενομενος, τα πολλα Νικαιας κατεσρεψατο. Και ταυτα μεν ο onlwders avnp. Euseb. Chr. p. 77.
n Jesus Christus, secundum prophetias, quæ de eo fuerant prolocutæ, ad passionem venit anno Tiberii xvii. quo tempore etiam in aliis Ethnicorum