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Macarius Magnes

A Christian apologist of the end of the fourth century

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* Published by Encyclopedia Press, 1913.


Macarius Magnes , a Christian apologist of the end of the fourth century. Some authorities regard the words Macarius Magnes as two proper names, while others interpret them to mean either the Blessed Magnes or Macarius the Magnesian, but he is almost generally considered identical with Macarius, Bishop of Magnesia, who at the "Synod of the Oak" (Chalcedon, 403), accused He aclides, Bishop of Ephesus, of Origenism. He is the author of a work called "Apocritica", purporting to be an account of a dispute between Macarius and a pagan philosopher, who attacks or ridicules passages from the New Testament. There are also extant fragments of an exposition of Genesis which are ascribed to Macarius. Four hundred years after the "Apocritica" was written it was made use of by the Iconoclasts to defend their doctrines. This caused an account of it to be written by Nicephorus (see "Spicilegium Solesmense", I, 305), who until then had evidently never heard of Macarius and only secured the work with great difficulty. It developed that the passage quoted by the Iconoclasts had been distorted to serve their ends, Macarius having had in mind only heathen idolatry.

Subsequent to this Macarius was again forgotten until the end of the sixteenth century, when the Jesuit Turrianus quoted from a copy of the "Apocritica" which he had found in St. Mark's Library, Venice, his quotations being directed against the Protestant doctrines concerning the Holy Eucharist, etc. When this copy was sought it had disappeared from St. Mark's, and it was only in 1867 that it was found at Athens. Blondel, a member of the French school at Athens, prepared it for publication, but he died prematurely, and it was published at Paris in 1876 by Blondel's friend, Foucart. In 1877 Duchesne published a dissertation on Macarius, to which he added the text of Macarius's Homilies on Genesis.

BLANCHE M. KELLY


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