1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Evagrius

EVAGRIUS (c. 536–600), surnamed Scholasticus, Church historian, was born at Epiphania in Coele-Syria. His surname shows him to have been an advocate, and it is supposed that he practised at Antioch. He was the legal adviser of Gregory, patriarch of that city, whom he successfully defended at Constantinople against certain serious charges. Through this connexion he was brought under the notice of the emperor Tiberius Constantine, who honoured him with the rank of quaestorian; Maurice Tiberius made him master of the rolls. His influence and reputation were so considerable that on the occasion of his second marriage a public festival was celebrated in his honour, which was interrupted by a terrible earthquake. Evagrius’s name has been preserved by his Ecclesiastical History in six books, extending over the period from the third general council (that of Ephesus, 431) to the year 593. It thus continues the work of Eusebius, Socrates, Sozomen and Theodoret. Though not wholly trustworthy, and often very credulous, this work is on the whole impartial, and appears to have been compiled from original documents, from which many valuable excerpts are given. It is particularly helpful to the student of the history of dogma during the 5th and 6th centuries, while the political history of the time is by no means neglected. Evagrius made use of the writings of Eustathius, John of Epiphania, John Malalas, Procopius, and (possibly) Menander Protector.

The best edition of the History is that of L. Parmentier and J. Bidez (London, 1898), which contains the Scholia; it is also included in Migne’s Patrologia Graeca, lxxxvi. There is an English translation in Bohn’s Ecclesiastical Library. See Krumbacher, Geschichte der byzantinischen Litteratur (1897); F. C. Baur, Die Epochen der kirchlichen Geschichtsschreibung (1852); L. Jeep, Quellenuntersuchungen zu den griechischen Kirchenhistorikern (1884).