2 This and the following letter refer to the earlier of two missions of Dorotheus to the West. In the latter he carried Letter cclxiii. The earlier was successful at least to the extent of winning sympathy. Maran (Vit. Bas. cap. xxxv.) places it not earlier than the Easter of 376, and objects to the earlier date assigned by Tillemont.
5 Valens began the thirteenth year of his reign in the March of 376, and this fact is one of Maran's reasons for placing this letter where he does. Tillemont reckons the thirteen ears from 361 to 374, but Maran points out that if the Easterns had wanted to include the persecution of Constantius they might have gone farther back, while even then the lull under Julian would have broken the continuity of the attack. Vit. Bas. xxxv. cf. note on p. 48.
6 A rhetorical expression not to be taken literally. Some of the enormities committed under Valens. e.g. the alleged massacre of the Orthodox delegates off Bithynia in 370 (Soz. vi. 14. Theod. iv. 21), would stand out even when matched with the cruelties perpetrated under Nero and Diocletioan, if the evidence fro them were satisfactory. cf. Milman, Hist Christ. iii. 45. The main difference between the earlier persecutions, conventionally reckoned as ten, and the persecution of the Catholics by Valens, seems to be this, that while the former were a putting in force of the law against a religio non licita, the latter was but the occasional result of the personal spite and partizanship of the imperial heretic and his courtiers. Valens would feel bitterly towards a Catholic who thwarted him. Basil could under Diocletian hardly have died in his bed as archbishop of Caesarea.
4 For the midnight banishment. cf. the story of the expulsion of Eusebisu from Samosata in Theod. iv. 13. Of death following on exile Basil did not live to see the most signal instance - that of Chrysostom n 407.
15 I suggest this rendering of propompai\ tw=n e'codeuo/ntwn with hesitation, and feel no certainty about the passage except that the Ben. tr., "deductiones proficiscentium," and its defence in the Ben. note, is questionable. The escort of a bishop on a journey is quite on a different plane from the ministrations which Basil has in mind. propompaia\ is used by Chrysostom of funerals, and Combefis explains "excedentium deductae fune bres, deducta funera;" but the association of ideas seems to necessitate some reference to the effect of vicious teaching on the living. There may be an indirect allusion to the effect on the friends at a funereal, but to take e'codeuo/ntwn to mean "the dying" seems the simplest. e'codeuqei/j is used of Sisera in Judges v. 27, LXX. cf. p. 180 n., where perhaps this rendering might be substituted, an Canon bright on Canon xiii of Nicaea.
2 "Aigaiai is the more correct form." Ramsay, Hist Geog. A.M. 116. In the gulf of Issus, now Ayas. St Julianus, son of a senator of Anazarbus, is said to have suffered there. (Basil, Menol. and, possibly, Chrysost., Hom. in Jul. Mart.)
10 Fragments of Apollinarius are extant in the works of Theodoret and Gregory of Nyssa, and in Mai's Script. Vet. Nov. col. vii., and Spicil. Rom. x. 2. cf. Thomasius, Christ. Dogm. 451. cf. Ep. ccixiii. p. 302.
11 Diodorus now presbyter of Antioch, did not become bishop of Tarsus till about the time of Basil's death. On his services to the Church at Antioch, cf. Theod., H. E. ii. 19. and Soc., H. E. vi. 8. The controversy as to his alleged Nestorianism belongs to a later date. On the relations between Diodorus and Apollinarius, cf. Dorner, Christ. i. pp. 976 and 1022.
19 The Ben. note on this passage suggests that the reference to Jermiah is an argument supposed to be put forward by Eustathius, and immediately answered by Basil, but there seems no necessity of this. Basil says nothing for or against the powers of the bishops who condemned Eustathius; he only points out the inconsistency of Eustathius in accepting their powers to ordain when it suited his purpose, while he refused to admit their authority to depose. It is enough for Basil's argument that Eustathius treated him as having authority. On Basil's own views as to the validity of heretical ordination, cf. Canon I., Letter clxxxviii.
22 Constrast the famous appeal of Antigone in Soph., Ant. 454 to the eternal principles of right and wrong; ou' ga/r ti nu=n ge kaxqe\j, a'll0 a'ei/ pote zh= tau=ta kou'dei\j ai\den e'c o#tou 0fa/nh. The Christian saint can make the more personal reference to the a'yeude\j sto/ma.
24 cf. Letter lxxxi. p. 172. Hermogenes was bishop of Caesarea, in which see he preceded Dianius. He acted as secretary at Nicaea, when yet a deacon. "The actual creed was written out and read, perhaps in consideration of Hosius' ignorance of Greek, by Hermogenes." (Stanley, Eastern Church, p. 140, ed. 1862.)