Evagrius Scholasticus

, an ancient ecclesiastical historian, was born at Epiphania, a city of Syria, about the year 536. He was sent to a grammar school at four years, of age; and two years after, was seized with the plague, as he himself informs us. He says, that this pestilence raged two and fifty years, and in a | manner desolated the earth; and that he afterwards lost, during the several stages of it, many of his children, his wife, and several of his relations and servants. Quitting the. grammar-school, he applied himself to rhetoric; and making a great progress in that art, was registered among the advocates, whence he obtained the name of Scholas­Ticus, a term signifying a lawyer. He practised Jaw at Antioch, where he gained the friendship of George the patriarch of that city, and was made his counsellor and assessor. His authority appears to have been great in that city for, in the year v>92, when deprived of his wife and children, he married again, an holiday was kept, and a public marriage festival celebrated in pompous shows. In jthe reign of Tiberias Constantinus, he had the dignity of qusestor conferred upon him; and not long after, when he had made an oration in praise of Mauricius Augustus, upon, the birth of Theodosius, he was appointed prefect by Mauricius. In the year 589 he attended Gregory, patriarch of Antioch, to Constantinople, in quality of counsellor, when he appealed to the emperor and synod upon an accusation of incest, brought against him by a silversmith. After this he published “Six Books of Ecclesiastical History,” beginning with the year 431, where Theodoret, Socrates, and Sozomen, conclude, and ending with the year 594. It is not certain when he died. Phocius tells us, that his style is not unpleasant, though sometimes too redundant; but that, of all the Greek historians, he has most strictly adhered to the orthodox faith. Valesius observes, that he has been less diligent in collecting the monuments of ecclesiastical antiquity than those of profane history; and indeed almost his whole sixth book is spent in giving an account of the Persian war. Cave remarks of him, that he is too credulous in relating upon all occasions, fabulous stories of miracles said to be performed by the cross and relics of saints. His ecclesiastical history was published in Greek, by Robert Stephens, Paris, 1544; at Geneva, in Greek and Latin, in 1612 at Paris in 167.'}, with a new version and notes by Henry Valesius and afterwards re-published at Cambridge, 1720, by William Reading, with additional notes of various authors; all of them in folio. Besides this history, there were “Letters, relations, decrees, orations, and disputations,” written chiefly in the name of Gregory of Antioch; but these are now lost; | as is likewise his “Panegyric to the emperor Mauricius, upon the birth of Theodosius.1


Gen. Dict. Care, vol. 1. Dnpin. Blount’s Censura. —Saxii Onomast.