Ante-Nicene Fathers/Volume V/Hippolytus/Appendix to the Works of Hippolytus/Heads of the Canons of Abulide or Hippolytus

Heads of the Canons of Abulide or Hippolytus,

Which are used by the Æthiopian Christians.[1]

1. Of the holy faith of Jesus Christ.[2]

2. Of bishops.[3]

3. Of prayers spoken on the ordination of bishops, and of the order of the Missa.[4]

4. Of the ordination of presbyters.

5. Of the ordination of deacons.

6. Of those who suffer persecution for the faith.[5]

7. Of the election of reader and sub-deacon.[6]

8. Of the gift of healing.[7]

9. Of the presbyter who abides in a place inconvenient for his office.[8]

10. Of those who are converted to the Christian religion.

11. Of him who makes idols.[9]

12. Various pursuits[10] are enumerated, the followers of which are not to be admitted to the Christian religion until repentance is exhibited.[11]

13. Of the place which the highest kings or princes shall occupy in the temple.[12]

14. That it is not meet for Christians to bear arms.[13]

15. Of works which are unlawful to Christians.[14]

16. Of the Christian who marries a slave-woman.[15]

17. Of the free woman.[16]

18. Of the midwife; and that the women ought to be separate from the men in prayer.[17]

19. Of the catechumen who suffers martyrdom before baptism.[18]

20. Of the fast of the fourth and sixth holiday; and of Lent.[19]

21. That presbyters should assemble daily with the people in church.[20]

22. Of the week of the Jews’ passover; and of him who knows not passover (Easter).[21]

23. That every one be held to learn doctrine.[22]

24. Of the care of the bishop over the sick.[23]

25. Of him on whom the care of the sick is enjoined; and of the time at which prayers are to be made.[24]

26. Of the time at which exhortations are to be heard.[25]

27. Of him who frequents the temple every day.[26]

28. That the faithful ought to eat nothing before the holy communion.[27]

29. That care is to be well taken that nothing fall from the chalice to the ground.[28]

30. Of catechumens.[29]

31. That a deacon may dispense the Eucharist to the people with permission of a bishop or presbyter.[30]

32. That widows and virgins ought to pray constantly.[31]

33. That commemoration should be made of the faithful dead every day, with the exception of the Lord’s day.[32]

34. Of the sober behaviour of the secular[33] in church.[34]

35. That deacons may pronounce the benediction and thanksgiving at the love-feasts when a bishop is not present.[35]

36. Of the first-fruits of the earth, and of vows.[36]

37. When a bishop celebrates the holy communion (Synaxis),[37] the presbyters who stand by him should be clothed in white.[38]

38. That no one ought to sleep on the night of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.[39]


  1. These were first published in French by Jo. Michael Wanslebius in his book De Ecclesia Alexandrina, Paris, 1677, p. 12; then in Latin, by Job Ludolfus, in his Commentar. ad historiam Æthiopicam, Frankfort, 1691, p. 333; and by William Whiston, in vol. iii. of his Primitive Christianity Revived, published in English at London, 1711, p. 543. He has also noted the passages in the Constitutions Apostolicæ, treating the same matters.
  2. Constit. Apostol., lib. vi. ch. 11, etc.
  3. Lib. vii. ch. 41.
  4. Lib. vii. ch. 4, 5, 10. [The service of the faithful, Missa Fidelium, not the modern Mass. See Bingham, book xv. The Missa was an innocent word for the dismission of those not about to receive the Communion.  See Guettée, Exposition, etc., p. 433.]
  5. Lib. viii. ch. 17, 18, 19, 20, 23, 45.
  6. Lib. viii. ch. 21, 22.
  7. Lib. viii. ch. 1, 2.
  8. Lib. viii. ch. 46, 32.
  9. Lib. viii. ch. 46, 32.
  10. Studia.
  11. Lib. viii. ch. 46, 32.
  12. Wanting.
  13. Lib. viii. ch. 32.
  14. Lib. viii. ch. 32.
  15. Lib. viii. ch. 32.
  16. Lib. viii. ch. 32.
  17. Lib. ii. ch. 57.
  18. Lib. v. ch. 6.
  19. Lib. v. ch. 13, 15.
  20. Lib. ii. ch. 36.
  21. Lib. v. ch. 15, etc.
  22. Lib. vii. ch. 39, 40, 41.
  23. Lib. iv. ch. 2.
  24. Lib. iii. ch. 19, viii. ch. 34.
  25. Lib. viii. ch. 32.
  26. Lib. ii. ch. 59.
  27. Wanting.
  28. Wanting,
  29. Lib. vii. ch. 39, etc.
  30. Lib. viii. ch. 28.
  31. Lib. iii. ch. 6, 7, 13.
  32. Lib iv. ch. 14, viii. ch. 41–44.
  33. i.e., laymen.
  34. Lib. ii. ch. 57.
  35. Wanting.
  36. Or offerings. Lib. ii. ch. 25.
  37. [Synaxis. Elucidation II.]
  38. Lib. vii. ch. 29, viii. 30, 31. (See the whole history of ecclesiastical antiquity, on this point, in the learned work of Wharton B. Marriott, Vestiarium Christianum, London, Rivingtons, 1868.]
  39. Lib. viii. ch. 12, v. ch. 19.