Episode 15 (Eusebius of Caesarea)

EUSEBIUS OF CAESAREA (III and IV c)

Eusebius of Caesarea was born around the year 263 and died around 339. He is known as the “Father of thechurch history”. It is unknown where he was born, and little is known about his youth. In 296 he stayed in Palestine where he personally met with the king Constantine the Great. He then stayed in the Palestinian city Caesarea where he studied biblical texts. Today, most of his works are preserved.

In his book “Chronicon”, Eusebius in great detail lists data about the rulers of different nations and states (names, the period while they ruled and so on). In the work dedicated to the Persian rulers, Eusebius mentions the end of the Persian Empire under Darius III, after which the Persian Empire was conquered by the Macedonians. He clearly states that the famous Egyptian queen Cleopatra (the 7th) was Macedonian, descending from the Macedonian dynasty that ruled Egypt after Alexander died.  Here we read:

          “After Alexander, there were Macedonian kings for 295 years, until the death of queen Cleopatra, who reigned in about the 187th Olympiad”.(SOURCE: Eusebius of Cesa­rea,“Chronicon, 2008, translated by Andrew Smith).

Eusebius also made a complete and detailed list of all Macedonian rulers (with names and periods of ruling). Here he also treats the Macedonians as a separate nation that subdued the Greeks. About the reign of the Macedonian kingAntigonus Gonatas, Eusebiuswrites:

          “Antigonus reigned in total for 44 years; before he gained control of Macedonia, he had already been king for 10 whole years…  Antigonus subdued Greece by force; he lived for 83 years in all…

          Eusebius of Caesarea mentions the Macedonians as separate nation from the Greeks in his book “Proof of the Gospel”. In the Third book (Chapter 7), while mentioning the peoples who fell under the Roman rulership, Eusebius writes:

“Since that day the Jewish people have become subject to the Romans, the Syrians likewise, the Cappadocians and Macedonians, the Bithynians and Greeks, and in a word all the other nations who are under Roman rule.”(SOURCE: Eusebius of Caesa­rea: “Demonstratio Evangelica”, Tr. W.J. Ferrar ,1920, Book 3Chapter VII).

We can see that Eusebius of Caesarea clearly pointed out differences between the ancient Macedonians and the ancient Greeks.

FLAMININUS (III and II c. BC)

Flamininus or Titus Quinctius Flamininus was born around 228 BC. He was a famous Roman general and politician. In 198 BC he became a consule. He was dispatched to participate as a general in the Second Macedonian-Roman war against the Macedonian king Philip V, who he defeated and chased out of the Greek therritories.After that, he became a true ruler of the Greek therritories, replacing the Macedonian slavery with Roman domination. In 196 BC he promised the Greek cities complete freedom, which caused the Greeks to proclaim him as their liberator from the Macedonians. Actually, Flamininus knew that he will have the Greeks as an ally if Rome and Macedonia eventually crash again. After this, Flamininus returned in Rome with glory.

In 192 BC he was dispatched to war against Antiochus III (the Macedonian king from the Seleucides dynasty who ruled over a part of Asia) andhe defeated him as well.

During the Roman-Macedonian negotiations that came after Macedonia was defeated from the Romans, Flamininus said:

          “…It is in the interest of the Greeks that the Macedonian dominion should be humbled for long, but by no means that it should be destroyed.” (SOURCE: Polybius, “Histories”, XVIII, I, 37).

A certain Phaeneas  responded to this, pointing out that Philip V of Macedon might renew his power, to which Flamininus responded:

          “Stop talking nonsense, Phaeneas; for I will so manage the peace that Philip will not, even if he wishes it, be able to wrong the Greeks.” (SOURCE: Polybius, “Histories”, XVIII, I, 37).

These direct statements from Flamininus speak very clearly that this Roman general clearly distinguished the Macedonians from the Greeks.