Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Rufinus of Aquileia: History of the Church

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Rufinus of Aquileia: History of the Church

Article excerpt

Rufinus of Aquileia: History of the Church. Translated by Philip R. Amidon, SJ. [Fathers of the Church, Volume 133.] (Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press. 2016. Pp. xiii, 509. $39.95. ISBN 978-0-81322902-7.)

Philip Amidon has already translated Epiphanius's massive Panarion (from Greek) and Cyril of Alexandria's Festal Letters (from Greek). He had previously published a translation from Latin of the additional two books that Rufinus of Aquileia added to his Latin translation of Eusebius of Caesarea's Ecclesiastical History. Amidon's former translation is incorporated in a revised and updated form in this new English translation of the entirety of Rufinus's Latin translation of Eusebius.

In the Introduction Amidon summarizes the career of Rufinus of Aquileia (345-411) and narrates the Origenist controversies with great skill and brevity. The request to translate Eusebius's Church History was made by St. Chromatius of Aquileia (on whom Pope Benedict XVI gave a Wednesday audience). Amidon has saved students work by noting and discussing Rufinus's alterations of Eusebius. Amidon does not do this exhaustively (unfortunately), but the work overall will aid students in understanding how Rufinus interprets for his Latin audience the meaning of Eusebius's Greek formulations. One essential point is that Rufinus clearly views Eusebius as a proto-Nicene and not a proto-Arian (as the later Jerome viewed Eusebius). Rufinus translates Greek language that could easily be read in a subordinationist sense as equivalent with Nicene orthodoxy (for example, see p. 27, n. 23; p. 34, n. 38). Amidon summarizes the tendency as follows:

For him [Rufinus] the one faith of Christianity is that declared by the Council of Nicaea of 325, whose creed and canons are the final documents he cites in his history. Their crowning place at the beginning of his continuation suggest their sufficiency as the constitution of the church. All passages of even the mildest subordinationist flavor in the original version of Eusebius's history are overwritten with a broad pro-Nicene nib (pp. 8-9).

Rufinus conceals any evidence of change in doctrine or discipline in the Christian faith (see p. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.