Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 1.djvu/663

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593

APELLES


593


APHRAATES


Academy, but did not live to take his seat. The works of Aparisi were publislied in Madrid during the years 1873 to 1877, in five volumes, containin); his biography as well as poems, discourses, [X)litical and academic, articles and treatises, and many forensic writings and speeches.

NocEt>AL. Dun Antonio AiHiriai y Gui^trro', diacurao necro- idffico; CiALlNDo Y UK Vkra. Apuntea butordficos de Apari*it Enciclopedui hispano-anuricana, (Barcelona, 1887) II.

Cecilio Uo.mez Rodeles.

Apelles, founder of a Gnostic sect: d. at an ad- vanced age late in the second centurj-. What little is known of his life is gleaned chiefly from fragments of the writings of his antagonist Hhodon, preserved by Eusebius (Hist. Eccl., V, xii), and from Tertullian's "Prescription against Heretics" (xx.\). At Rome he separated from Marcion, whose most famous pupil ne was, and went to .\lcxantlria. where he met the visionary Philumene. whose utterances he re- garded as inspired. Besides collecting her oracles m a book entitled " .Manifestations ", he wrote an exten.sive work, 2iiXXo7i<r/«)i, an attack on .Mosaic tlieology. The moral character of .Apelles is differ- ently estimated accordinjj as one is influenced either by Rhodon's uneoloured picture of the aged heresiarch, or by the stories of scandals in his early life to which Tertullian, not without exaggeration, refers.

Harnack, Oe Apt'Uia gnusi monarchicd (Leipzig, 1874); Idem in Telle umi Unlerauch. (Leipzig, 1890), VI, iii, 109-120, and ihid. (new .series, Leipzig, 1900). V, iii, 93-100; Bar- nENHKWER. aesch. der nllkirch. Lit. (Freiburg, 1902), I, 3-43, 344; TiLLEMONT. Mt-moire, (Venice, 1732). II, 282-285, 610. fill. Uareili-e in Ci<:<. <ie (A^o(. ca(A., I, 1455-57. HoRT in Diet, of Chriet. Biog. (London, 1877), I, 127. 128.

John B. Peterson.

Aphian (or Apian), S.\int, an illustrious martyr, under the Emperor Slaximian, c. 306. He was only eighteen when he entered the temple at Ctesarea, where the prefect I'rbanus was offering sacrifice. Seizing the outstretched hand that was presenting the incense, he reproached the magistrate with the idolatrous act. The guards fell upon him furiously and, after cruelly torturing him, flung him into a dungeon. The next day he was brought before the Prefect, torn with iron claws, beaten with clubs, and burned over a slow fire, and then sent back to confinement. After three days he was again taken from prison and thrown into the sea with stones tied to his feet. Eusebius, an eyewitness, declares that an earthquake simultaneously shook the city, and that the sea flung up his corpe on the shore. He belonged to Lycia, but had withdrawn to Cap- padocia liecause his parents, who were both dis- tinguished and rich, resisted his efforts to convert them to Christianity. St. Pamphilus was at Csesarea at the time, expounding Holy Scripture, and the young Aphian was one of his disciples. He lived at the house of Eusebius, but gave no intimation of his purpose to make the public protest which ended in nis martyrdom. The Greeks refer to him as the brother of St. -Edisius. In the old martyrologies his feast was on the fifth, but the BoUandists pro- nounce for the second of April as the correct date.

Acta SS.. I, .\pril; Butler, Li'im o/ the Saints. 2 April. T. J. Camphell.

Aphraates (Or., 'A^padrijs; Syr., Aphrahat or Pharhaii). — The long list of Synac writers whose works have come down to us is headed liy .-Aphraates (fourth ccnturj'). sumamed the "Persian Sage". The few biographical data which we pos-scss of this illustrious author are gleaned from liis own writings. From these we learn that he was bom of pagan parents during the last half of the third century, very probably on the frontier region of the Persian empire, .\fter his conversion to Christianity he embraced the religious life, and w.as later elevated to the epi.scopate, on which occjision he a.ssumed the Christian name of Jacob. The adoption of this


name subsequently led to a confusion of identity, and for centuries the works of .\phraates were as- cribed to the famous Jacob, Bishop of Nisibis (d. a. d. 338). It was not until the tenth century that the " Persian Sage" was finally itlentified with .\phraates, the name under which he is known to modern scholars. .According to a MS. of the Briti.sh Museum dated a. d. 1.3(i4 (Orient, 1017) .Aphraates was "Bishop of the monastery of .Mar Mattai", on the ea.stern shore of the Tigris, near the modern .Mosul in Mesopotamia. The ruins of this monasterj'. now called "Sheikh Malta", are still to be .seen. It was here that he seems to have spent most of his life. Regartling the date of his death, nothing is known. Barhebra>us (Cliron. Eccles., Part II, § 10) informs us that Pharhad, or .Aphraates, flourished in the time of Papas I, the Catholicus who died in a. d. 3.34. This is in accord with the data found in our author's writings which place the period of his literary act- ivitj' between a. d. 337 and 345.

The writings of .Aphraates consist of twenty-three "Demonstrations", or homilies on moral and con- troversial topics. The first twenty-two are alpha- betical, each beginning with one of the Sj'riac letters in alphabetic order, and may be divided into two groups according to the time of their composition. The first ten, which were written in a. d. 337, treat of (i) "Faith", (ii) "Charity", (iii) "Fasting", (iv) "Prayer", (v) "Wars", (vi) "Monks", (vii) "Penitents", (viii) "The Resurrection", (ix) "Hu- mility", and (x) "Pastors". The second group, composed in a. d. 344, are entitled, (xi) "Circum- cision", (xii) "The Passover", (xiii) "The Sabbath", (xiv) " Hortatory", (xv) " Divers Meats", (xvi) "The Call of the Gentiles", (xvii) "Jesus the Messias", (xviii) "Virginity", (xix) "The Dispersion of Israel", (xx) ".Almsgiving", (xxi) "Persecution", (xxii) "Death and the Latter Times". To this collection is subjoined a twenty-third "Demonstration", com- posed in A. D. 345 and entitled "Concerning the Grape ", in reference to Isaias, Ixv, 8. These homilies, which arc also called "Epistles" because they are in the form of answers to the queries of a friend, constitute the earliest extant document of the SjTian Church, and besides their linguistic importance are of the highest value for the Catholic apologist. They abound with precious information on the most important cjuestions of dogmatic and moral theologj', liturgj'. ecclesiastical, and even profane historj", and are pregnant with important conclusions in favour of the conformity of the doctrines of the Catholic Church with those of the early Christian Church in the fourth century. Some of these doctrines are, for example, the perpetual virginity of the Blessed Virgin and her Divine Maternity, the foundation of the Church on St. Peter, and the existence of all the .sacraments except matrimony, which is not men- tioned. In regard to the Holy Eucharist, Aphraates affirms that it is the real Body and Blood of Christ. In the seventh " Demonstration " he treats of penance and penitents, and represents the priest as a physi- cian who is charged with the healing of a man's wounds. The sinner must make kno«Ti to the phy.sician his infirmities in oriler to he healed, i. e. he must confess his sins to the priest, who is bound to secrecy. Because of the numerous quotations from Holy NVrit u.setl by .Aphraates, his writings are also very vidiiablc for the history of the canon of Sacred Scripture and of exegesis in the early Mesopotamian Church.

The cilitio prlncfps of the Syriac text of the twenty- three "Demonstrations" was issued by W. Wright, "The Homilies of Aphraates" (Lomlon, 1869). Since then another edition of the series of twenty- two has been published by the Benedictine scholar Dom Parisot [Graffin, Patrologia Syriaca (Paris, 1894), I], including a Latin version, and preceded