Eusebius of Caesarea as myth

Caesarea Maritima

Much of the claimed history for Christianity - and its relationship with imperial Rome - during the first three centuries of the modern era, derives from texts appearing centuries later; they claim to be copies of texts originally written by:
Eusebius (GreekΕὐσέβιος; 260/265 – 339/340 AD; also called Eusebius of Caesarea and Eusebius Pamphili), was a Roman historian, of Greek descent, exegete and Christian polemicist. He became the Bishop of Caesarea about A.D 314. Together with Pamphilus, he was a scholar of the Biblical canon and is regarded as an extremely well learned Christian of his time.[1] He wrote Demonstrations of the GospelPreparations for the Gospel, and On Discrepancies between the Gospels, studies of the Biblical text. As "Father of Church History" he produced the Ecclesiastical HistoryOn the Life of Pamphilus, the Chronicle and On the Martyrs.

This character is termed here a "ghost" because he left no footprint in the historical record; that is, looking at the cultural layers of the period in which he is supposed to have inhabited, there is no mention, or any other mark of him. As a prime example, archaeological study of the site in which he is supposed to have his episcopate (the see of a bishop) shows further how there was no Christian church there at that time and no Christian congregation.

In short, this character did not exist and could not have existed. Further, the very earliest texts attributed to this fictional character appear at least two centuries late. Note: the textual tradition, as with sacred texts, are very largely undated by any scientific, or reliable method; Christians try continually to move them back in time towards these "ghosts"; very possibly, the textual tradition is (much) more recent than claimed.

Caesarea Maritima

From 6 CE this port city was the centre of Roman administration in Judea:
Caesarea Maritima (GreekParálios Kaisáreia, Παράλιος Καισάρεια) is a national park on the Israeli coastline, near the town of Caesarea. The ancient Caesarea Maritima (or Caesarea Palestinae) city and harbor was built by Herod the Great about 25–13 BCE. The city has been populated through the late Roman and Byzantine era.

Caesarea Maritima was named in honor of Augustus Caesar. The city was described in detail by the 1st-century Roman Jewish historian Josephus. The city became the seat of the Roman prefect soon after its foundation. Caesarea was the "administrative capital" beginning in 6 CE...The emperor Vespasian raised its status to that of a colonia. After the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE, Caesarea was the provincial capital of the Judaea Province, before the change of name to Syria Palaestina in 134 CE, shortly before the Bar Kokhba revolt...After the revolt of Simon bar Kokhba in 132, which ended with the destruction of Jerusalem and expulsion of Jews, Caesarea became the capital of the new Roman province of Palaestina Prima.

Right: the Pilate Stone(replica casting on display in Caesarea Maritima) - the name given to a damaged block of carved limestone with a partially intact inscription attributed to, and mentioning, Pontius Pilate; a Prefect of the Roman-controlled province of Judea from 26–36 CE. The translation from Latin to English for the inscription reads:
To the Divine Augusti [this] Tiberieum
...Pontius Pilate
...prefect of Judea
...has dedicated [this]

The Christian, textual tradition for this imperial, Roman centre:

According to the Acts of the Apostles, Caesarea was first introduced to Christianity by Philip the Deacon, who later had a house there in which he gave hospitality to Paul the Apostle. It was there that Peter the Apostle came and baptized Cornelius the Centurion and his household, the first time Christian baptism was conferred on Gentiles. Paul's first missionary journey. When newly converted Paul the Apostle was in danger in Jerusalem, the Christians there accompanied him to Caesarea and sent him off to his native Tarsus. He visited Caesarea between his second and third missionary journeys, and later, as mentioned, stayed several days there with Philip the Deacon. Later still, he was a prisoner there for two years before being sent to Rome.

In the 3rd centuryOrigen wrote his Hexapla and other exegetical and theological works while living in Caesarea. The Nicene Creed may have originated in Caesarea.

As the capital of the province, Caesarea was also the metropolitan see, with ecclesiastical jurisdiction over Jerusalem, when rebuilt after the destruction in the year 70.

The team documented the rock cuttings on the promontory and began digging the one preserved side of the building: the east range of rooms. The results suggested a luxuriously-appointed building of some 110 x 55m...The dramatic siting of the building, its walls battered by the surf, provided the strongest evidence that the palace was Herod's, recalling his palaces at Masada, Jericho and the Roman period, the triclinium and its rooms were provided with a small caldarium, whose hypocaust and furnace were well-preserved. A tile used in the furnace bears the stamp of the Tenth Legion Fretensis. Atop destruction debris in the southernmost room of the east wing, excavators found two inscribed marble columns with six dedicatory inscriptions. These revealed important new information about officials of Caesarea from the 2nd-4th c. A.D., including a previously unattested "curator of ships of the colony of Caesarea."
At the bottom of well, a cache of some 60 lead defixione, or curse tablets, were recovered during wet-sieving. These tablets and an associated assemblage of coins, dating to the 4th c. A.D...
Note: Fretensis was centrally involved in the First Jewish-Roman War (66–73), under the supreme command of Vespasian.

A Latin inscription of the end of the 2nd century, found in the church of Abu Ghosh (at 15 km west of Jerusalem) marks the presence of a vexillatio (detachment) of X Fretensis:


We see how this Roman centre was manned by Roman troops and administrators right through the period claimed by the Christian, textual tradition; whatever religions were practised there, they did not include Christianity (though Chrestianity, with its links to the Herodian monarchy and imperial Rome must be a strong possibility).

The Herodian temple, built upon a raised platform, was destroyed about a century before a church was built in the late-fifth century:
In 1998 we excavated in two areas underwater, N and K, located within or adjacent to the main basin of King Herod's great harbor, and in two areas on land, area LL, located on the north side of the Inner Harbor basin, and area TP, the Temple Platform, site of Herod's temple to Roma and Augustus.

The Temple Platform, where Farland Stanley supervises, is the site overlooking the harbor where King Herod built his temple to Roma and Augustus, mentioned by Josephus. Avraham Negev of the Hebrew University cleared the site of modern buildings and excavated there in the early 1960s but discovered little. We began excavating in 1989, after Yoram Tsafrir and I recognized the foundations of an Early Christian  church among the remains that Negev left. The church, it turned out, was built squarely on the foundations of the temple. Clearly, the site has much to teach us about the process of Christianizing Caesarea, and the Roman Empire.

In TP25 and elsewhere, we likewise exposed further foundations of the octagonal church, in part heavily robbed. (32) The line of these foundations was already known, however, so other discoveries were more important. (33) In 1998 we exposed and studied a group of enigmatic foundations in TP19/23, TP1/2, and in TP25. (34) It is now clear that these foundations lay above remains of the temple and below the floors of the church. Thus the temple had been largely or completely destroyed up to a century before the church was built. Pottery and coins found below these foundations dates them to about 400-450, and we now think the church was built about 480-500. Nevertheless, numerous stones of the temple were incorporated into church (47), so many that we can say they shared the same fabric. From what we have recovered so far of the intermediate structure, or structures, there is no sign that they formed a monumental building, such as an intervening church.
(Combined Caesarea Expeditions: 1998 Summer Season by: Kenneth G. Holum, Project Director. Copy added below) Empasis added.

To summarise the chronology:
  1. "Eusebius" died 339/340
  2. First church built ca. 500
The archaeology makes clear how this Herodian, then imperial Roman centre of power, could not have been a centre of an illegal, covert cult such as claimed in the textual tradition.
The hard archaeological evidence is convincing.  On its northwestern flank the church foundations rest directly on the temple foundations--and in fact it may be assumed that the temple foundations survived because the Early Christian builders exploited the Herodian foundations as leveling where the bedrock sloped downward on the northwest of the site.  Furthermore, discovery of numerous kurkar architectural fragments from the temple embedded in the structure both of the church and of the staircase that provided access to it from the west makes it clear that the temple still stood--certainly long unused for cult purposes, and perhaps in a ruinous state--until about 500.  The bulk of its stones must have survived until then in their original positions.  This enabled the church builders to exploit the temple's superstructure as a convenient quarry for the kurkar blocks they needed for the church and staircase.
(From Paganism to Christianity on the Temple Platform by Kenneth G. Holum)

The textual tradition describes "Eusebius of Caesarea" as openly in communication with the imperial court:
(i) Eusebius succeeded Agapius as Bishop of Caesarea soon after 313 and played a prominent role at the Council of Nicaea in 325. Eusebius, a learned man and famous author, enjoyed the favour of the Emperor Constantine. Because of this he was called upon to present the creed of his own church to the 318 attendees."

(ii) The history of the preservation of the three letters, to Alexander of Alexandria, to Euphrasion, or Euphration, to the Empress Constantia, is sufficiently curious. Constantia asked Eusebius to send her a certain likeness of Christ of which she had heard; his refusal was couched in terms which centuries afterwards were appealed to by the Iconoclasts. A portion of this letter was read at the Second Council of Nicæa...(Eusebius of Cæsarea, Catholic Encyclopedia)

And yet he leaves no footprint, no mark at all of his existence? Nobody mentions him - he is a ghost.

The city had no Christian congregation in the first, second, third or fourth centuries; the city had no Christian bishop in that period.

On the other hand, Caesarea Maritima was a perfect location for Chrestians, being first, Herodian, then imperial Roman protected by Roman troops and with a port to link them with the empire.

Reliable archaeology thus expunges this "Eusebius of Caesarea" from the historical record; this tells us how the Christian textual tradition is mostly a fabrication. Most likely, the Chrestian history was remade as Christian, just as Chrest was altered to read Christ in the original New Testament.

The conversion of the emperor Constantine, the Council of Nicea, the Edict of MIlan - so much purported history - is dependent on this character (or others like him). None of these events exist in the historical record, just in the words of an unknown writer centuries later.

This also forces a review of the claimed author "Origen" (see above), as well as the vast number of characters claimed by "Eusebius" as Christian. The purported self-castration of Origen suggests, perhaps, that he was a priest of Cybele.
John Bartram,
31 Dec 2014, 06:02