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Hierocles [1]

governor of Bithynia, and afterwards of Alexandria (A.D. 306), is said by Lactantius (Inst. Divin. 5, 2; De Morte Persec. c. 17) to have been the principal adviser of the persecution of the Christians in the reign of the emperor Diocletian (A.D. 302). He also wrote two books against Christianity, entitled Λᾠγοι Φιλαλήθεις Πρὸς Τοὺς Χριστιανούς (Truth-Loving Words To The Christians), which, like Porphyry's (q.v.) work, have been destroyed by the mistaken zeal of the later emperors, and they are known to us only by the replies of Eusebius of Caesarea. In these, according to Lactantius, "he endeavored to show that the sacred Scriptures overthrow themselves by the contradictions with which they abound; he particularly insisted upon several texts as inconsistent with each other; and indeed on so many, and so distinctly, that one might suspect he had some time professed the religion which he now attempted to expose. He chiefly reviled Paul and Peter, and the other disciples, as propagators of falsehood. He said that Christ was banished by the Jews, and after that got together 900 men, and committed robbery. He endeavored to overthrow Christ's miracles, though he did not deny the truth of them, and aimed to show that like things, or even greater, had been done by Apollonius of Tyana" (Inst. Divin. 5, 2, 3). Eusebius's treatise above referred to is "Against Hierocles;" in it he reviews the Life of Apollonius written by Philostratus (published by Olearius, with Latin version, Leips. 1709). See Fabricius, Bibliotheca Graeca, 1, 792; Cave, Hist. Lzt. anno 306; English Cyclopedia; Farrar, History of Free Thought, p. 62. 64; Neander, Ch. Hist. 1, 173; Schaff, Ch. History, 1, 194; Brockhaus, Encyklop. 7, 916; Lardner, Works, 7, 207, 474, etc.