Introductory Notice to Julius Africanus.
[a.d. 200-232-245.] In a former volume, strengthened by a word from Archbishop Usher, 1 I have not hesitated to claim for Theophilus of Antioch a primary place among Christian chronologists. It is no detraction from the fame of our author to admit this, and truth requires it. But the great Alexandrian school must again come into view when we speak of any considerable achievements, among early Christian writers, in this important element of all biblical, in fact, all historical, science. Africanus was a pupil of Heraclas, and we must therefore date his pupilage in Alexandria before a.d. 232, when Dionysius succeeded Heraclas in the presidency of that school. It appears that in a.d. 226 he was performing some duty in behalf of Emmaus (Nicopolis) in Palestine; but Heraclas, who had acted subordinately as Origen's assistant as early as a.d. 218, could not have become the head of the school, even provisionally, till after Origen's unhappy ordination. 2 Let us assume the period of our author's attending the school under Heraclas to be between a.d. 228 and a.d. 232, however. We may then venture to reckon his birth as circa a.d. 200. And, if he became "bishop of Emmaus," it could hardly have been before the year 240, when he was of ripe age and experience. He adds additional lustre to the age of Gregory Thaumaturgus and Dionysius, as well as to that of their common mother in letters and theology, the already ancient academy of Pantaenus and of Clement. His reviving credit in modern times has been largely due to the learned criticism of Dr. Routh, to whose edition of these Fragments the student must necessarily apply. Their chief interest arises from the important specimen which treats of the difficult question of the genealogies of our Lord contained in the evangelists. For a succinct statement of the points involved, and for a candid concession that they were not preserved to meet what modern curiosity would prefer to see established, I know of nothing more satisfactory than the commentary of Wordsworth, 3 from which I have borrowed almost wholly one of my elucidations.
The reader will remember the specimen of our author's critical judgment which is given with the works of Origen. 4 He differed with that great author, and the Church Catholic has sustained his judgment as just. I regret that the Edinburgh editors thought it necessary to make the Letter to Origen concerning the Apocryphal Book of Susannah a mere preface to Origen's answer. It might have been quoted there as a preface; but it is too important not to be included here, with the other fragments of his noble contributions to primitive Christian literature.
It does not clearly appear, from the Edinburgh edition, who the translator is; but here follows the