While this article does not presume to answer the old question “Was Socrates of Constantinople a Novatian?”, it does offer a hitherto-unnoticed observation that may bear on the question. Socrates, as has been noted, is very reticent to use the term “catholic” in describing the church in his Historia ecclesiastica. This is unlikely to be a stylistic quirk, as a comparison to the history of Sozomen shows. No one yet has connected his reticence to the Novatian Sympronian, who objects to the same term on theological grounds in letters exchanged with Pacian of Barcelona. Given Socrates’ reluctance to use the term and a(nother) Novatian’s rejection of the same term, we may well have more evidence suggesting that Socrates was at the very least sympathetic not only to Novatians as a community but to their theological positions as well. In any case, the resistance of both Sympronian and Socrates to the notion of a “catholic” church stands in contrast to the usual interpretation of late antiquity as a period of growing universalism. The article also discusses whether it is even valid to ask whether Socrates was a Novatian or whether this question falls into less useful confessional dichotomies.
Gregory of Nazianzus’s Ep. 4 to Basil features a hapax that has given pause to readers Byzantine and modern alike. A conjecture is proposed that restores sense to the passage and in such a way that it engages with Basil’s own letter.
Earlier scholarship faced a number of limitations in classifying catena manuscripts on the Acts of the Apostles. This study makes a comparison of exegetical scholia in selected text passages (Acts 2:1–16, 8:9–25, 28:19–31) in order to determine the different types of catena and how they relate to each other. This survey reveals the diversity of the tradition: some manuscripts are merely copies, which repeat the same text with only small variations, but others are unique and cannot be directly identified with a particular catena type. It is therefore necessary to expand the classification of catenae on Acts in the Clavis Patrum Graecorum so as to mark subdivisions within the individual types.