First English edition of the Nuremberg chronicle: being the Liber chronicarum of Dr. Hartmann Schedel…

Year of the World 5473

Year of Christ 274

Eutychian (Euticianus) the pope from Tuscia (Thuscus), a native of the city of Luna, sat at Rome after Felix. He was a very pious and learned man. He ordained that the new fruits, particularly grapes and beans, were to be blessed upon the altar. Item: that those who wished to bury the martyrs should not bury with them the clothing prescribed for church service, but leave them behind. It is said that with his own hands he buried three hundred martyrs. But after he had consecrated 14 priests, five deacons, and nine bishops, he too was crowned with martyrdom and was buried in the cemetery of Calixtus on the Appian Way on the 25th day of the month of July. He sat one year, one month, and one day; and at that time the chair was vacant eight days. Some say he was in the papal see eight years and ten months. Damasus, however, was the author of the first thought.

Eutychian (Eutychianus) buried 300 martyrs with his own hands. His term as pope is given as 275-283 CE.

The last sentence in this paragraph is not found in the German edition of the Chronicle.

Caius the pope, a Dalmatian and of the family clan of the emperor Diocletian, was a godly man. He divided the consecrations into stages without passing through which no one could attain to the office of bishop. He also assigned to the deacons the respective regions in which the histories of the martyrs were to be written; that no layman was to summon the consecrated ones before the court; and that no pagan or heretic should have the right to lodge complaint against any Christian. But as in the time of Diocletian, a greater persecution than ever before arose, he concealed himself in hidden places underground. Finally he was taken prisoner by the persecutors, and was crowned with martyrdom, together with Gabinius, his brother, and Susanna, his brother’s daughter; and he was buried on the Appian Way in the cemetery of Calixtus on the 22nd day of the month of April. He sat 11 years, four months, and eleven days. Eusebius writes that this pope was in office fifteen years.[Caius, a Dalmatian, devised six orders preliminary to ordination as a bishop: ostarius, lector, exorcist, acolyte, subdeacon and deacon. His term is given as 283-296 CE.]

Paul (Paulus) the bishop of Samosata, and a highly informed man, at this time, is said to have resurrected the heresy of Artemas (Arthemonis), a heresy that deviates from the orthodox faith. This heresy denied the virginity of Mary, and held that Mary, after the birth of Christ, had intercourse with Joseph and bore other sons. Then this Paul was crowned bishop of Antioch, carried himself about with too much pride, read letters to his followers, and sent out epistles. In consequence of his vanity many people looked down upon the Christian faith. But if these same people in our own time should see his courtly fashions, his vanity, pomp, and excessive ecclesiastical show, and so many expensively clad young courtiers riding on horseback, and the swarm of priests following, clad in dress ornamented with gold, and the horses caparisoned in the best and most colorful manner, they would curse and say that such a bishop or cleric, except for his assumed spirituality, had nothing in common with Christ. This Paul denied that the Son of God descended from heaven, and claimed that Christ came of Mary and had an earthly origin. Therefore in the Council of Antioch he was condemned by the common consent of all the bishops attending, and chiefly by Gregory the bishop of Caesaria, a pious man, who was also present and was later martyred for his Christian faith.[Eusebius, 7.27-30; Bohn, pp. 286-292. According to Eusebius, Paul "entertained low and degrading notions of Christ, contrary to the doctrine of the church, and taught that he was in nature but a common man . . . But the other heads of the churches, assembled in all haste from different parts, at Antioch, as against one who was committing depredations on the flock of Christ. . . . And this arch-heretic at Antioch, being detested, and now evidently discarded by all, was excommunicated from the whole Catholic Church under heaven." The specific charges against Paul are set forth in the epistles issued against him and sent forth to the bishops of the churches at distant places: "But in those instances where he abandoned the rule of faith, and went over to spurious and corrupt doctrines, there is no necessity of judging his conduct, when he was yet in no connexion with the church; nor that he was in poverty and beggary; and that he who had received neither wealth from his fathers, nor obtained possessions by any art, or any trade or business, has now arrived at excessive wealth, by his iniquities and sacrileges, and by those various means which he employed to exact and extort from the brethren, depressing the injured, and promising to aid them for a reward; and yet how he deceived them, and without doing them any good, took advantage of the readiness of those who were in difficulties, to make them give anything to be freed from their oppressors. We shall say nothing of his making merchandise of piety; nor how he affected lofty things, and assumed with great haughtiness worldly dignities, wishing rather to be called a magistrate than a bishop, strutting through the forum, and reading letters, and repeating them as he walked in public, and how he was escorted by multitudes going before and following after him: how he, also, brought envy and odium upon the faith, by his pomp, and the haughtiness of his heart. We shall say nothing of the vanities and pretensions with which he contrived, in our ecclesiastical assemblies, to catch at glory and empty shadows, and to confound the minds of the more simple, with such things as these; nothing of his preparing himself a tribunal and a throne, not as a disciple of Christ, buy having like the rulers of this world, a secretum, and calling it by his name; nothing of his striking his thigh and his stamping on the tribunal with his feet, and his reproving and insulting those that did not applaud; . . . nothing of his harsh invectives in the congregation, against the expounders of the word, who had departed this life, and of his magnifying himself, not as a bishop, but as a sophist and juggler. Besides this he stopped the psalms that were sung in honor of Christ Jesus Christ, as the late compositions of modern men, but in honor of himself he had prepared women to sing at the great festival in the midst of the church, which one might shudder to hear. He suborned, also, those bishops and presbyters of the neighboring districts and cities of his party, to advance the same things in their addresses to the people. . . . He did not wish to confess with us that the Son of God descended from heaven . . . And as to those women, those adopted sisters, as the inhabitants of Antioch call them, which belong to him, and the presbyters and deacons about him, whose incurable sins, in this and other respects, he conceals with them, though he is conscious of the facts, and has convicted them, he dissembles, in order to have them subservient to his purposes; so that, fearing for themselves, they dare not venture to accuse him in regard to his impious conduct and doctrine . . . We have been compelled therefore to excommunicate this man . . . and to appoint another bishop in his place over the catholic church." And they named Domnus, a man they believed fully endowed with all the qualities of a bishop.]

Manes, the heretic, a native of Persia, a cunning devilish man of coarse life and manners, lived at this time. This heretic dared to call himself Christ and chose twelve disciples for himself whom he brought to believe in him; and to kill the souls of the deceived he made an unspeakable poem of shameful teachings of ungodliness and gross lies, with which he deluded himself and also his followers; for he said that Christ was not a true body, but an idle image. This heretic and his followers said that there are two origins—one of good, the other of evil; one of darkness, the other of light. He disregarded the Old Testament, and looked alone to the New. And from him the heresy of the Manichees had its origin.

For Manes, cf. Eusebius (Ecclesiastical History 7.31; Bohn p. 293):

In the meantime, also, that madman Manes, as he called himself, well agreeing with his name, for his diabolical heresy, armed himself by the perversion of his reason, and at the instigation of Satan, to the destruction of many. He was a barbarian in his life, both in speech and conduct, but in his nature as one possessed and insane. Accordingly he attempted to form himself into a Christ, and then also proclaimed himself to be the very Paraclete, and the Holy Spirit, and with all this was greatly puffed up with his madness. Then, as if he were Christ, he selected twelve disciples, the partners of his new religion, and after patching together false and ungodly doctrines, collected from a thousand heresies long since extinct, he swept them off like a deadly poison, from Persia, upon this part of the world. Hence the impious name of the Manichees spreading among many, even to the present day.

Eusebius’ final words were prescient, for of all the heresies (perhaps more properly we should say ‘alternative belief systems’) that came out of the complex web of early Christian communites (however loosely defined these communities were in relationship to what later became Orthodox/Catholic beliefs), none, perhaps, has had a more long-lasting and profound influence on the culture and ideology of the West in terms of its (admittedly sporadic) embrace of the idea of dualism, especially that between the forces of light and dark, good and evil. The most famous adherent (and later opponent) of Manicheism was Augustine himself. Possible Manichee-influenced (or Manichee-like) movements from later times include the Bogomils, Paulicians, and the Cathars, as well as certain evangelical and fundamentalist religious groups of many different religious traditions (e.g., Judaism, Christianity, and Islam).

But while this heretic Manes is descried for his ill will and vanity, Anatolius the Laodecian bishop is highly praised for his holiness and teachings.

Felix the priest and Eusebius the monk were slain at Terracina in the country of Campania during this persecution because of their Christian faith. For after Eusebius had buried the pious martyrs, Julianus and Caesarius (Cesarium), the priests, and on their account had converted many people to the faith and had baptized them, he, together with Felix the pope, was taken before the court; and as he would not sacrifice to the gods, he was beheaded on the fifth day of November. Caesarius the deacon, and Julianus the priest, were slain on the same day in the same city. After Caesarius had spent many days alone in prison, and was there enlightened, he, together with Julianus, were put in a sack and thrown into the sea on the first day of November. Adiochus the priest, Tyrasius the deacon, and Felix the subdeacon, former disciples of Polycarp (Policarpus) whom he thanked for preaching from the East to Gaul, were crowned with glorious martyrdom in the city of the Gauls, Augusta; finally they died, pierced with spears.