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Nicholas Geoffrey Lemprière Hammond

Thessalonica, a city of *Macedonia, founded by *Cassander, who synoecized the small towns at the head of the Thermaic Gulf (see synoecism); perhaps on the site of Therme (Strabo 7 fr. 24). It was named after Cassander's wife. It stood at the junction of the Morava–Axius route from the Danube basin with the route from the Adriatic to Byzantium (the later *via Egnatia). An open roadstead sheltered by *Chalcidice, Thessalonica became the chief Macedonian port, displacing *Pella when its harbour was silted up. Strongly fortified, it withstood a Roman siege but surrendered after the battle of *Pydna. It became the capital of the Roman province of Macedonia (see provincia), and it served as Pompey's base in the Civil War. As a ‘*free city’ and as the main station on the *via Egnatia, it enjoyed great prosperity, to which its prolific *coinage bears witness.

Article

theurgy  

Anne Sheppard

Theurgy was a form of pagan religious *magic associated with the *Chaldaean Oracles and taken up by the later Neoplatonists. It covered a range of magical practices, from rain-making and cures to animating statues of the gods. Like other forms of *magic, theurgy was based on a theory of cosmic sympathy but in theurgy, as in Neoplatonist metaphysics, sympathy was thought to extend beyond the material world and to unite it with a higher, divine world. Theurgy was accordingly believed to promote the union of the human soul with the divine. Plotinus shows no interest in theurgy but in the next generation it became the focus of a dispute between *Porphyry and *Iamblichus (2). Iamblichus' On the Mysteries argues, against Porphyry, that the human soul cannot attain union with the divine purely by its own efforts of philosophical contemplation; such union requires the assistance of the gods, which can be brought about by theurgy. Most of the later Neoplatonists accepted Iamblichus' position, although they varied in the emphasis they placed on theurgy. *Eunapius records that the pupils of Iamblichus' pupil *Aedesius differed on this point: Eusebius of Myndus apparently disapproved of theurgy while Chrysanthius and *Maximus (3) were enthusiastic practitioners.

Article

John Francis Lockwood and Robert Browning

Thomas Magister was the secretary of the Byzantine emperor Andronicus II (1282–1328 ce), but withdrew to a monastery, where he devoted himself to scholarship.

1. Ecloga Vocum Atticarum (Ἐκλογὴ ὀνομάτων καὶ ῥημάτων Ἀττικῶν, ‘Selection of *Attic nouns and verbs’), based especially on *Phrynichus (3), *Ammonius (1), *Herodian (1), and *Moeris, but with much added material that is less valuable, drawn from his own reading, e.g. in *Herodotus(1), *Thucydides(2), Aelius *Aristides, and *Synesius.

2. Texts, with *scholia, of *Aeschylus; *Sophocles (1), Aj., El., OT; *Euripides, Hec., Or., Phoen.; *Aristophanes (1), Plut., Nub., Ran.; and *Pindar. These give an insight into the oral instruction provided by a late Byzantine teacher. Thomas is well informed on realien, tolerably knowledgeable on rare words, and totally ignorant of metre. Lives of these poets appear under his name in some manuscripts.

Article

Ulfila  

Peter Heather

Ulfila, “little wolf,” Gothic bishop (see goths), fl. c. 340–382 ce, was born in Gothia of the stock of Roman prisoners from Cappadocia. Famous for translating the Gothic Bible, of which the surviving Gospels closely reflect his work. Closely involved in Gotho-Roman diplomatic relations, he worked in Gothia for only seven years before being expelled (c. 348); his precise role in the formal conversion of the Goths as they crossed the Danube in 376 is unclear. He also played a major role in eastern Church affairs as a leader of the anti-Nicene coalition dominant in the mid-4th century.

Article

Vatican  

Bryan Ward-Perkins

Vatican, an extramural area of the city of Rome, on the right bank of the *Tiber around the mons Vaticanus. In the early empire the Vatican was the site of an imperial park (the horti Agrippinae); and of entertainment structures, the Naumachiae (see naumachia), where mock sea-battles were exhibited, and the Vatican *circus, where *Gaius(1) set up a great obelisk from Heliopolis and which was traditionally the site of the martyrdom of St Peter. There was also an important shrine of *Cybele (or the Magna Mater) attested in inscriptions; and along the two roads that crossed the area, the via Cornelia and the via Triumphalis, were cemeteries. A group of mausolea on the foot-slopes of the mons Vaticanus were excavated under St Peter's in the 1940s, and within this cemetery (directly under the high altar of St Peter's) was found a small 2nd-cent. shrine, marking the probable burial-site of Peter, apostle and first bishop of Rome.

Article

John Frederick Drinkwater

Praetorian prefect (see praefectus praetorio) of the Gallic usurper, *Postumus, whom he succeeded in 269 AD after the ephemeral reign of Marius. Though he abandoned *Spain and lost eastern Narbonensis (see gaul (transalpine)) to *Claudius II Gothicus, he successfully resisted other efforts to undermine his regime and suppressed a major revolt at Autun (*Augustodunum).

Article

Marius Victorinus is one of the few direct links between the Platonist schools of late antiquity and Latin theology. A professor of rhetoric in mid-4th century Rome, Victorinus is perhaps the only Latin author whose writings, composed before and after his conversion to Christianity, survive. His school works of grammar and rhetoric were used for over a millennium, and he anticipated Boethius in integrating logic and dialectic into the rhetorical curriculum. He also translated the Neoplatonic works that deeply impacted Augustine. After conversion, Victorinus composed theological works of various genres: treatises and hymns in defense of the Nicene Creed and commentaries on the Pauline epistles, the first in Latin. The treatises reveal his chief contribution to the history of Christian thought: a philosophical interpretation of the trinity that drew deeply on late antique Platonist language and conceptuality to formulate a pro-Nicene theology. His commentaries on Paul employ the grammarian’s literal treatment of the text to identify the situational context of the epistles and the apostle’s rhetorical strategy. Victorinus was a pioneer of the synthesis of Christianity and Platonism in the Latin church, which reached its heights in late antiquity with Augustine and Boethius and flowered variously in the medieval Latin church.

Article

Vulgate  

J. H. D. Scourfield

Latin version of the Bible. The first Latin translations of Scripture (Vetus Latina, Old Latin) began to appear in the 2nd cent. ce. By the late 4th cent., the situation was chaotic: some books existed in more than one version, while some versions were subject to considerable local variation. An attempt to impose order was made in the early 380s by Pope Damasus, who commissioned Jerome to revise the Latin text of the Gospels, and perhaps of the whole of the Bible, in the light of the Greek. The gospel revision was completed in 384, and during his early years in the Holy Land (386–c.390) Jerome went on to produce Latin versions of the Psalter (the ‘Gallican Psalter’) and of other books of the OT (Old Testament) on the basis of the LXX (see septuagint). But around 390 Jerome became convinced of the need for a translation of the OT based on the Hebrew text used in Jewish communities, from which the LXX sometimes differed significantly. This immense undertaking, which occupied him for some fifteen years, resulted in a completely new translation of the Hebrew books of the OT, carried out on the basis of the original and with the aid of the Greek versions of Aquila and Symmachus. At the request of friends, and with the assistance of an interpreter, he also translated from the Aramaic the books of Tobit and Judith, which he did not recognize as part of the canon.

Article

Zachariah rhetor or scholasticus, following an education at Gaza and Alexandria, trained as a lawyer in Beirut (Berytus). A close friend of the future patriarch Severus of Antioch, he wrote a detailed biography of his life until his nomination as patriarch in 512; he also composed biographies of three other anti-Chalcedonian holy men and an Ecclesiastical History. The one biography that survives and the latter work exist only in a Syriac translation because of their anti-Chalcedonian line. Zachariah spent much of his life in Constantinople practising as a lawyer, where he composed two works refuting Manichaeanism and a philosophical dialogue, set in Alexandria, rebutting pagan views. He appears to have accepted the pro-Chalcedonian policies of Justin I and Justinian, becoming metropolitan bishop of Mytilene at some point before 536, the year in which he attended the Council of Constantinople. At this gathering he was absent for the session that condemned Severus and other leading opponents of Chalcedon.