Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History : Complete and Unabridged
by Eusebius Pamphilus
All ten books of Eusebius' famous church history are presented here complete in a superb and authoritative translation. Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History is one of the first comprehensive, chronologically arranged histories ever written about the Christian church, and it is consulted by scholars and historians to this day. Eusebius authored his history as the Roman Empire's influence upon the European continent waned amid insurgencies and surrender of Roman lands to other peoples. This also a time in which Christianity's influence upon Europe's peoples burgeoned and grew. As one of a very few learned and scholarly Christians of his era Eusebius enjoyed a rare privilege: access to the document archives of the early Christian church. Much of these archives have since been lost; Eusebius' use of these long lost texts is the only window which readers of today have to such records. Thus, a sense of mystery is present as events for which scant evidence still exists are told. Despite his being suspected as an Arian heretic by figures within the church of his time, Eusebius was highly scrupulous when collecting and making use of his sources. The information was collated and arranged in such a way that the author was beyond reproach. However later historians have noted that certain biases and omissions may have been included, given Eusebius' own opinions and tentative position within the church schema. Beginning with the familiar story of Jesus Christ and the Gospels, this complex and ambitious text attempts to organize and outline the history of the Christian teachers, the means by which bishops succeeded one another, the outbreak and suppression of various heresies, the history of the Jewish people, and the numerous martyrs who emerged and left their mark during the first three centuries of Christianity. At the time Eusebius authored his history in the 4th Century AD, Christianity had, in the space of a few centuries, risen to become one of the most influential religions ever seen. The Roman oppression of Christians, and the eventual conversion of the Roman Empire to the Christian creed as initiated by Emperor Constantine, and the organization of the church itself, are fascinating reading.