Didymus

, of Alexandria, was an ecclesiastical writer of the fourth century, who supplied a very important defect by dint of genius and application. Jerome and Ruffinus assure us that though he lost his eyes at five years of age, when he had scarcely learned to read, yet he applied himself so earnestly to study, that he not only attained in a high degree grammar, rhetoric, logic, arithmetic, music, and the other arts, but even was able to comprehend some of the most difficult theorems in mathematics. He was particularly attached to the study of the Scriptures; and was selected as the most proper person to fill the chair in the famous divinity-school at Alexandria. His high reputation drew a great number of scholars to him; among the principal of whom were Jerome, Ruffinus, Palladius, and Isidorus. He read lectures with wonderful facility, answered upon the spot all questions and difficulties relating to the Holy Scriptures, and refuted the objections which were raised against the orthodox faith. He was the author of a great number of works of which Jerome has preserved the titles in his catalogue of ecclesiastical writers; and of many more whose titles are not known. We have yet remaining a Latin translation of his book upon the Holy Spirit, to be found in the works of Jerome, who was the translator; and which is perhaps the best treatise the Christian world ever saw upon the subject. Whatever has been said since that time, in defence of the divinity and personality of the Holy Ghost, seems, in substance, to be foand in this book. His other works extant are, a treatise against the Manichees, in the original Greek, and “Enarrations upon the seven catholic epistles in Latin,” and in the Greek Chains are fragments of some of his commentaries. J. C. Wolff, of Hamburgh, published a large collection of notes and observations of Didymus upon the Acts of the Apostles, taken from a manuscript Greek chain, at Oxford. See Wolfii Anecdot. Graec. 1724. Didymus also wrote commentaries upon Origen’s books of Principles, which he defended very strenuously against all opposers. He was a great admirer of Origen, used to consider him as his master, and adopted many of his | sentiments; on which account he was condemned by the fifth general council. He died in the year 395, aged eightyfive years. 1

1

Cave. Lardner’s Works. Dupin. —Moreri. Milner’s Cb. Hist, vol. II. p. 250. —Saxii Onomast.