Abdias

, a name admitted into various biographical collections, without much propriety. It has usually been | said that Abdias was an impostor, who pretended that he had seen our Saviour, that he was one of the seventy-two disciples, had been an eye-witness of the lives and martyrdom of several of the apostles, and had followed St. Simon and St. Jude into Persia, where he was made the first bishop of Babylon. From what he saw, he compiled a work entitled “Historia certaminis Apostolici.” This work Wolfgang Lazius, a physician of Vienna, and historiographer to the emperor Ferdinand I. (hereafter noticed) found in manuscript in a cave of Carinthia, and believing it to be genuine, originally written in Hebrew, translated into Greek by one Europius, a disciple of Abdias, and into Latin by Afrieanus, published it at Basil in 1551, after which it was several times reprinted, but, on examination both by Papist and Protestant writers, was soon discovered to be a gross imposture, from the many anachronisms which occur. Melancthon, who saw it in manuscript, was one of the first to detect it; and the greater part of the learned men in Europe, at the time of publication, were of opinion that Abdias was a fictitious personage, and that it was neither written in Hebrew, nor translated into Greek or Latin: Fabricius has proved from internal evidence that it was first written in Latin, but that the author borrowed from various ancient memoirs, which were originally in Greek. As to the age of the writer, some have placed him in the fifth and some in the sixth century, or later. The object of the work is to recommend chastity and celibacy .1

1

Fabricii Bibl. Græc.—Saxii Onomasticon.Bayle in Gen. Dict.—Cave, Hist. Lit. I. 27. The best account is ia Chaufepie,Dict. Hist.