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Pamphilus [1]

a Christian martyr, was an Eastern prelate of such extensive learning that he was called a second Origen. He was a native of Phoenicia, was born probably at Berytus, and educated by Prierius, after which he was received into the body of the clergy at Caesarea, where he established a library, and lived in the practice of every Christian virtue. He was a man of profound learning, and devoted himself chiefly to the study of the Scriptures and the writings of the early Church fathers. Jerome states that Pamphilus copied most of the works of Origen with his own hand; and, assisted by Eusebius, gave a correct copy of the Old Testament, which had suffered greatly from the ignorance or negligence of former transcribers. He likewise gave lectures on literary and religious subjects in an academy established by him for that purpose, until A.D. 307, when he was apprehended and carried before Urban, the governor of Palestine. Urban, having in vain: endeavored to turn him to paganism, ordered him to be tortured severely, and to be imprisoned; which was accordingly done. He was beheaded in A.D. 309. Pamphilus founded a library at Caesarea, chiefly consisting of ecclesiastical worlds, which became celebrated throughout the Christian world. It was destroyed before the middle of the 7th century. He constantly lent and gave away copies of the Scriptures. Both Eusebius and Jerome speak in the highest terms of his piety and benevolence. Jerome states that Pamphilus composed an apology for Origen before Eusebius; but at a later period, having discovered that the work which he had taken for Pamphilus's was only the first book of Eusebius's apology for Origen, he denied that Pamphilus wrote anything except short letters to his friends. The truth seems to be that the first five books of the Apology for Origen were composed by Eusebius and Pamphilus jointly, and the sixth book by Eusebius alone, after the death of Pamphilus. Another work which Pamphilus effected in conjunction with Eusebius was an edition of the Septuagint, from the text in Origen's Hexapla. This edition was generally used in the Eastern Church. Montfaucon and labricius have published Contents of the Acts of the Apostles as a work of Pamphilus; but this is in all probability the production of a later writer. Eusebius wrote a Life of Pamphilus, in three books, which is now entirely lost, with the exception of a few fragments, and even of these the genuineness is extremely doubtful. We have, however, notices of him in Eusebius (Hist. Eccles. 7:32), and in the De Viris Illustribus and other works of Jerome. See Smith, Dict. of Greek and Roman Biog. and Mythol. s.v.; Hagenbach, [Hist. of Doct. 1:230; Neander, Ch. Hist. 1:720; Gieseler, Eccles. Hist. 1:118, 144; Alzog, Patrologie, 34; Pressense, Hist. of the Early Years of Christianity (Doctrines, p. 411); Lardner, Credibility, pt. ii, c. 59, and the authorities there quoted.