2 It is rare to find in Basil's letters even so slight an allusion as this to the general affairs of the empire. At or about the date of this letter the Goths, hitherto kept in subjection by the legions of Valens, were being driven south by the Huns and becoming a danger to the empire. Amm. Marc. xxxi. 4. Turbido instantium studio, orbis Romani pernicies decebatur.
3 The word katakonduli/zw374 type=foot here used (it occurs in Aeschines) is a synonym, slightly strengthened, for the kolafizw of St. Paul. St. Basil seems plainly to have the passage quoted in his mind.
2 In the title the word dioi/khsij is used in its oldest ecclesiastical sense of a patriarchal jurisdiction commensurate with the civil diocese, which contained several provinces. cf. the Ixth Canon of Chalcedon, which gives an appeal from the metropolitan, the head of the province, to the exarch of the "diocese." "The title exarch is here applied to the primate of a group of provincial churches, as it had been used by Ibas, bishop of Edema, at his trial in 448; alluding to the 'Eastern Council' which had resisted the council of Ephesus, and condemned Cyril, he said. 'I followed my exarch,' meaning John of Antioch (Mansi vii. 237; compare Evagrius iv. 11, using 'patriarchs' and 'exarchs' synonymously). Reference is here made not to all such prelates, but to the bishops of Ephesus, Caesarea in Cappadocia, and Heraclea, if, as seems possible, the see of Heraclea still nominally retained its old relation to the bishop of Thrace." Bright, Canons of the First Four Gen. Councils, pp. 156, 157.
The Pontic diocese was on of Constantine's thirteen civil divisions.
3 cf. p. 184, n. cf. Proleg. Eupsychius, a noble bridegroom of Caesarea, was martyred under Julian for his share in the demolition of the temple of Fortune. Soz. v. 11. cf. Greg. Naz., Ep. ad Bas. lviii. September 7 was the day of the feast at Caesarea.
2 This and the tree following letters are complimentary and consolatory epistles conveyed by Sanctissimus on his return to Rome. It does not appear quite certain whether they are to be referred to the period of his return from his second journey to the East in 376, or that of his earlier return in 374. cf. Letters cxx. and ccxxi.