2 This, the first of twenty-two letters addressed by Basil to Eusebius of Samosata, has no particular interest. Eusebius, the friend of Basil, Gregory of Nazianzus, and of Melctius, was bishop of Samosata (in Commagene on the Euphrates, now Samsat) from 360 to 373, and was of high character and sound opinions. Theodoret (Ecc. Hist. iv. 15), in mentioning his exile to Thrace in the persecution under Valens, calls him "that unflagging labourer in apostolic work," and speaks warmly of his zeal. Concerning the singular and touching circumstance of his death, vide Theodoret, E.H. v. 4, and my note in the edition of this series, p. 134.
2 ie.e on the death of Musonius, bp. of Necoaesarea. Musonius is not named, but he is inferred to be the bishop referred to in Ep. ccx., in which Basil asserts that sound doctrine prevailed in Neocaesarea up to the time of "the blessed Musonius, whose teaching still rings in your ears."
2 i.e. Magister officiorum. Sophronius was a fellow student with Basil at Athens, and a friend of Gregory of Nazianzus. He secured the favour of Valens, who was staying at Caesarea in 365, by conveying him intelligence of the usurpation of Procopius at Constantinople. (Amm. Marc. xxv. 9.) On the circumstance which gave rise to this letter, cf. Greg. Naz., Ep. xviii. Letters lxxvi., xcvi., clxxvii., xlxxx., cxcii., and cclxxii. are addressed to the same correspondent, the last, as it will be seen, indicating a breach in their long friendship.
3 The word Episcopus in this and in the following letter is supposed by Maran to have crept into the text from the margin. Gregory of Nazianzus is referred to , who was not then a bishop. Gregory the Elder, bishop of Nazianzus, was in good circumstances, and had not adopted the monastic life.
2 cf. Ep. xxxiii., lxxv., cxlvii., clxxviii., ccciv., and also ccxcvi., though the last is also attributed to Greg. Naz. He was an important lay compatriot of Basil. Tillemont was of opinion that the dear brother Gregory referred to in this letter is Gregory of Nyssa; but Maran points out that the events referred to tare the same as those described in Letter xxxii., and supposes the word episcopus to have been inserted by a commentator.
2 Silvanus, Metropolitan of Tarsus, one of the best of the Semi-Arians (Ath., De synod. 410, died, according to Tillemont, in 373, according to Maran four years earlier, and was succeeded by an Arian; but events did not turn out so diastrously as Basil had anticipated. The majority of the presbyters were true to the Catholic cause, and Basil maintained friendship and intercourse with them. cf. Letters lxvii., cxiii., cxiv.
1 This important letter is included as among the works of Gregory of Nyssa, as addressed to Peter, bp. of Sebaste, brother of Basil and Gregory. The Ben. note says "Stylus Basilii fetum esse clamitat." It was moreover, referred to at Chalcedon as Basil's. [Mansi, T. vii. col. 464.]