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E00819: Basil of Caesarea, in his Letter 142 of 373, mentions that he had invited the chorepiskopoi of his jurisdiction to the festival of *Eupsychios (martyr of Kaisareia, S00470) in Kaisareia/Caesarea in Cappadocia (central Asia Minor), in order to introduce them to the accountant (noumerarios) of the prefect. Written in Greek at Kaisareia.

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posted on 30.10.2015, 00:00 by erizos
Basil of Caesarea, Letters (CPG 2900), Letter 142

ΝΟΥΜΕΡΑΡΙῼ ΕΠΑΡΧΩΝ

(1.) Συνήγαγον μὲν πάντας ἐν τῇ συνόδῳ τοῦ μακαρίου μάρτυρος Εὐψυχίου τοὺς ἀδελφοὺς ἡμῶν τοὺς χωρεπισκόπους, ὥστε γνωρίμους ποιῆσαι τῇ τιμιότητί σου. Ἐπεὶ δὲ ἀπελείφθης, διὰ γραμμάτων αὐτοὺς ἀναγκαῖόν ἐστι προσαχθῆναί σου τῇ τελειότητι. Γνώριζε τοίνυν τὸν ἀδελφὸν τόνδε ἄξιον ὄντα τοῦ πιστεύεσθαι παρὰ τῆς σῆς φρονήσεως διὰ τὸν φόβον τοῦ Κυρίου. (......)

‘To the Prefects’ Accountant

I convened all our brethren, the Chorepiskopoi, at the festival of the blessed martyr Eupsychios, in order to introduce them to your Honour. But since you were absent, it is now necessary that they be introduced to your Perfection by letter. Know, then, that this present brother is worthy of being trusted by your Wisdom for his fear of the Lord. (......)’


Text: Courtonne, vol. 2, p. 64-65.
Translation: Deferrari, vol. 2, p. 345 (modified).

History

Evidence ID

E00819

Saint Name

Eupsychios, martyr in Kaisareia/Caesarea of Cappadocia : S00470

Saint Name in Source

Εὐψύχιος

Type of Evidence

Literary - Letters

Language

Greek

Evidence not before

373

Evidence not after

373

Activity not before

373

Activity not after

373

Place of Evidence - Region

Asia Minor

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Kaisareia/Caesarea in Cappadocia

Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Kaisareia/Caesarea in Cappadocia Nicomedia Νικομήδεια Nikomēdeia Izmit Πραίνετος Prainetos Nicomedia

Major author/Major anonymous work

Basil of Caesarea

Cult activities - Festivals

  • Saint’s feast

Cult activities - Activities Accompanying Cult

  • Meetings and gatherings of the clergy

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops Officials

Source

Born around 330 to an aristocratic Christian family of Neokaisareia/Neocaesarea of Pontus Polemoniacus (Anatolia), Basil was educated in Kaisareia/Caesarea, Antioch, and Athens. After his studies, he spent time in the monasteries in Egypt, before returning to Pontus, where he organised an ascetic community on his family estate in Pontus. In the 360s, Basil was ordained in Kaisareia/Caesarea, and, on 14 June 370, he was consecrated bishop there. He died on 1 January 379. Basil was a prolific writer, composing homilies, theological, ascetical, and liturgical works. His 369 letters form a major corpus on ecclesiastical politics and the broader history of Anatolia and the Christian East. On the manuscript tradition, editions and translations of this letter, see: Fedwick, P.J., Bibliotheca Basiliana Universalis. 5 vols. Vol. I (Corpus Christianorum; Turnhout: Brepols, 1993), 523. http://pinakes.irht.cnrs.fr/notices/oeuvre/5913/

Discussion

This is a letter of recommendation written for a chorepiskopos (an auxiliary bishop administering a rural district) visiting the noumerarios (head of the finances office) of the Praetorian Prefecture of Pontus, in order to request tax exemption for a charitable establishment. Basil states that he had planned to introduce all the chorepiskopoi of his jurisdiction to the noumerarios during the festival of *Eupsychios, but the official did not attend it. This is an important attestation of the fact that state officials were expected to attend the feasts of martyrs.

Bibliography

Text edition and French Translation: Courtonne, Y., Saint Basile. Lettres. 3 vols (Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 1957-1966). Text and English Translations: Deferrari, R.J., Saint Basil, the Letters. 4 vols. Vol. 2 (Loeb Classical Library; Cambridge, MA/London: Harvard University Press, 1928). Way, A.C., Saint Basil. Letters, Volume 1 (1‒185) (Fathers of the Church 13; Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 1951). Further Reading: Courtonne, Y., Un témoin du IVe siècle oriental: saint Basile et son temps d'après sa correspondance (Collection d'études anciennes; Paris: Les Belles lettres, 1973), esp. 356-359. Radde-Gallwitz, A., "The Letter Collection of Basil of Caesarea," in: C. Sogno, B.K. Storin, and E. Watts (eds.), Late Antique Letter Collections: A Critical Introduction and Reference Guide (Oakland: University of California Press, 2017), 69-80. Rousseau, P., Basil of Caesarea (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994).

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