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30. Vicus Ariacharum. et Occidentalium. 33. Vicus Ariathæ Saxosæ. 34. Vicus Bebdamus.
31. Neotes. 32. Clima Orientalium,
Province of Armenia Magna.
Concerning this, the author only remarks, that it is an autocephalus, or independent country, not subject to any apostolical throne, but honoured in respect to St. Gregory of Armenia, having two hundred cities and castles.
Province of Cyprus.
The author makes the same observation upon that it is an independent also, in honour of St. Barnabas, the Apostle, who was found here, having the Gospel of St. Mark laid upon his breast. The cities in this province are,
1. Constantia, the metropolis. 2. Citium. 3. Amathus. 4. Curium. 5. Paphus. 6. Arsenæ. 7. Soli. 8. Lapithus, the birthplace of Georgius Cyprius, who wrote the book out of which these were taken. 9. Cyrenia. 10. Tamasus. 11. Cythri. 12. Trimithus. 13. Carpasin.
There is added at the end of Goar's Notitia, This account was taken anno 6391, in the reign of the Emperor Leo Sapiens, and under the Patriarch Photius, that is, anno 891.
In this description of the Church, the reader may observe, that the author being a Greek, is much more accurate in his account of the Greek and Eastern Churches, than of the Western and Latin; for here is no account of France, Spain, Britain, Illyricum, and such confused and imperfect accounts of the provinces of Italy and Afric, as show plainly that the author was not rightly acquainted with the state of the Church in those countries, at least not in Italy; for in all Italy and Sicily here are not mentioned above an hundred dioceses, and yet it is clear from the accounts that have been given before out of the Subscriptions of the ancient Councils, that there were nearer three hundred dioceses in those regions. Above one hundred and fifty Italian bishops of distinct sees are found subscribed in one age in the Roman Councils held under Hilary, Felix, and Symmachus; and there were almost as many more not mentioned in those Councils, but to be found in other Councils and ancient records. And though when these Notitiæ
were made, several of the ancient dioceses might be united together, yet it appears from the Subscriptions of the Roman Councils under Eugenius II. and Leo IV. in the ninth century, that there were above double the number to what the Notitia mention. So that it must be owned that they give but an imperfect account of the Latin or Western Church. But the account of the Greek and Eastern Churches is more complete, and agrees very well with the Subscriptions collected out of the ancient Councils: and so they one confirm another, and both together fully make out the account that has been given both of the number and extent of dioceses in the ancient Church.
Of the division of dioceses into parishes, and the first
original of them.
1. THERE remains but one thing more to be inquired into on Of the anthis head, which is the division of dioceses into such lesser pre- of parishcincts as we now call parishes and parish-churches. Con- churches. cerning which I shall here need to say the less, because so much has already been said incidentally in speaking of the extent of ancient dioceses, which we have generally found too large to be confined to a single congregation. All that I shall add upon this subject therefore in this place, is only to make a few remarks upon the ancient names of parishes, because some of them are a little ambiguous, and shew when, and upon what account, and by what degrees, dioceses were divided into parishes, to bring them to the present state and form of the Church.
As to the ancient names, I have had occasion to shew before 63, that the words παροικία and διοίκησις, for the three first ages, were of the same importance, denoting not what we now call a parish-church, but a city with its adjacent towns or country region. But in the fourth and fifth ages we find both names promiscuously given as well to country-parishes as episcopal or city-churches. For now these lesser divisions of dioceses began to be called parochia, as may be seen in the Council of
63 See ch. 2. s. 2, last clause. p. 253 of this volume.
Chalcedon 64, which ordered that in every church such country parishes, as belonged of old time to any bishop, should continue in his possession without any molestation.' And in the Council of Vaison 65, anno 442, a decree was made that country parishes should have presbyters to preach in them, as well as the city-churches.' And so the word parochia is often used by St. Jerom 66, Sulpicius Severus 67, Theodoret 68, Innocentius 69, and other writers of those ages. Though still the name parochia continued to signify properly an episcopal diocese, from which it was transferred to denote those lesser parochia, because they were a sort of imitation of the former. Which is the account that Socrates 70 seems to give of them, when speaking of the villages of the region of Mareotes that were subject to the bishop of Alexandria, he says, 'they were as so many napotkiaι, or lesser dioceses, under his city.' And upon the same reason the name diocesis was sometimes given to a parish-church also, though it most properly belongs to an episcopal diocese. Thus Sidonius Apollinaris 71 speaks of his own visiting his dioceses,' meaning only the parish-churches under his episcopal jurisdiction. And so in the Collation of Carthage 72 it is said of one place, that there was perfect unity not only in the city, but in all the dioceses,' that is, the country-parishes or villages belonging to it. Baluzius 73 has
64 C. 16. [al. 17.] (t. 4. p. 763 b.) Τὰς καθ ̓ ἑκάστην ἐκκλησίαν ἀγροικικὰς παροικίας, ἢ ἐγχωρίους, μένειν ἀπαρασαλεύτως τοῖς κατέχουσιν αὐτὰς ἐπισκόποις, κ. τ. λ.
65 Vasens. I. c. 2. (ibid. p. 1680 a.) Hoc etiam.... placuit ut non solum in civitatibus, sed etiam in omnibus parochiis, verbum faciendi daremus presbyteris potestatem.
66 Cont. Vigilant. c. 2. [al. 3.] (t. 2. p. 389 d.) Auctores sunt hujus dictatiunculæ meæ sancti presbyteri Riparius et Desiderius, qui parochias suas vicinia istius scribunt esse maculatas.
67 Dialog. 1. c. 4. (p. 520.) Ecclesiam loci illius Hieronymus presbyter regit: nam parochia est episcopi, qui Hierosolymam tenet.
68 Ep. 113. ad Leon. (t. 4. part. 2. p. 1199.) . . . Τοσαύτας γὰρ ἡ Κύρρος παροικίας ἔχει.
69 Ep. ad Decent. c. 5. See before, ch. 5. s. I. p. 335. n. 15.
70 L. I. c. 27. (v. 2. p. 64. 1.) Τάττονται δὲ αὗται αἱ ἐκκλησίαι ὑπὸ τῷ τῆς ̓Αλεξανδρείας ἐπισκόπῳ, καὶ elσìv væò Tην aνтοû ñóλiv is ñapoikiai.
71 L. 9. Ep. 16. (p. 611.) Peragratis forte diocesibus cum domum veni, &c.
72 Die. 1. c. 176. (CC. t. 2. p. 1398 c.).... Unitas illic perfecta est, non solum in ipsa civitate, verum etiam in omnibus diocesibus.
73 Not. ad Gratian. p. 510. (Oper. Ant. August. t. 3. p. 194. col. dextr.) Diocesim, id est, pareciam, ecclesiam. Nam sicut paræciæ vocabulum usurpabatur antiquitus ad significandam integram episcopi diocesim.... ita diœcesis vocabulo exprimebantur interdum singulares presbyterorum ecclesiæ, quæ nunc vulgo
observed the same in Ruricius Lemovicensis 74, and Gregory of Tours 75, and some other writers; the reason of this appellation being, as I said before, for that these churches, whereupon presbyters were fixed, were a sort of lesser dioceses, as the author of the Pontifical 76 under the name of Damasus terms them; and some canons 77 give them the name of ecclesiæ diocesana, diocesan churches, and others, country or village churches, whence the presbyters residing on them were termed ¿mixóρioι прeσẞúτepol, country-presbyters, by the Council of Neocæsarea 78, in opposition to the city-presbyters in the cathedral or mother-church. Parish-churches were also peculiarly called tituli, as has been noted before 79, in contradistinction to the bishop's church, being such churches as had particular presbyters and deacons assigned to them, who upon that account are said to have a title; and some learned persons so are of opinion, that cardinal presbyters and deacons at first were no more but presbyters and deacons so deputed and affixed to the service of particular parish-churches, and that as well at Rome as at other places.
2. As to the original of parish-churches, there is no doubt Theoriginal but it was necessity, and the conveniences of celebrating Chris- of parishtian offices, and holding Christian communion with greater owing to ease, that first gave occasion to them. For when the multitude and foundof believers increased so in large and populous cities, that one ed upon the
vocantur ecclesiæ parœciales. Ruricius Lemovicensis, &c. See the
74 L. 2. Ep. 6. (ap. Baluz. ut supr. q. v.)... Has [ecclesias] ad sanctitatem vestram per presbyterum meum pro diœcesi Gemiliacensi, unde jam pridem vobis scripseram, destinavi.
75 Hist. Francor. 1. 4. c. 13. (p. 152 e. 1.) Erant autem quadragesimæ dies, et Cautinus episcopus in Brivatensem diœcesim psallendo adire disposuerat. [Conf. Ruinart. ad h. 1. Diœcesis hic pagum designat; nam Brivas, ubi celebris ecclesia S. Juliani, ex dioecesi erat Avernensi. Grischov.]-It. 1. 6. c. 38. (p. 315 a. 6.)... Transobadus presbyter rejicitur, et Innocentius Gabalitanorum comes eligitur ad episcopatum, opitulante Brunichilde regina. Sed, ad
sumpto episcopatu, confestim Ursi-
76 Vit. Marcelli. (CC. t. 1. p. 946
77 Vid. C. Tarracon. c. 8. See before, ch. 6. s. 22. p. 388. n. 55.
78 C. 13. See before, ibid. s. 21. p. 386. n. 46.
79 B. 8. ch. 1. s. 10. p. 19.
80 Vid. Joan. Fronto, Ep. de Canonicis Cardinalibus. Paris. 1661. (p. 5.) Aio presbyteros cardinales eos fuisse, qui apud veteres titulis potiti sunt. Fuere presbyteri uni loco affixi, &c.
apostolical church could not contain them, there was a necessity for diChristian Viding the assembly, and erecting other churches, where all the solemnities of the Christian worship and the usual offices of divine service might be performed, as well as in the motherchurch, to answer the apostolical ordinance of holding Christian communion one with another; which was according to what we read, Acts 2, 42, that men should "continue stedfastly in the Apostles' doctrine, and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers." The author of the Pontifical under the name of Damasus, in the Life of Marcellus, [cited in the preceding section,] seems to say that several of the Roman tituli, or parish-churches, were erected for the conveniency of baptizing great multitudes that were converted from paganism, and for burying the martyrs. But if there was any necessity upon that account, there was doubtless a greater necessity upon another for in those days the whole body of the Christian Church was used to communicate weekly at the Lord's table; and it being impossible that one church should suffice in large cities for this purpose, there was an absolute necessity of building more, that Christians might live in communion one with another. And so parish-churches must be as ancient as the necessities of the Church, and he that knows how to date the one, may easily date the original of the other, for any particular city or diocese in the universe.
3. But as cities and their appendent dioceses differed very them pro- much in their size and extent, so it is reasonable to believe bably as an
cient as the that some of them were obliged to build parish-churches much Apostles. sooner than others. And in such places as Jerusalem and
times of the
Rome, there is great probability, from several passages in the Acts and St. Paul's Epistles, that there were more churches than one from the days of the Apostles. However, it is undeniably evident from Optatus, as I have shewed before 81, that Rome had above forty churches in it before the end of the third century, or in the beginning of the Diocletian persecution. As for the lesser cities, it will be no wonder to find some of them which had but one church whilst the persecution lasted; such as that city in Phrygia which Lactantius speaks of, where 82 he says, ' the church and all the people were burnt 82 Instit. 1. 5. c. 11. (t. 1. p. 390.) Aliqui ad occidendum præcipites
81 See b. 8. ch. 1. s. 17. P. 35. n. 71.