PANTAENUS

According to Eusebius (Historia ecclesiastica V.10.4), master of a school in Alexandria (c. A.D. 180). Pantaenus had been a philosopher who displayed love and zeal for the divine word. He took the to the nations of the East, traveling even to India. In his day there were many apostolic evangelists, and in he found the of already existing in Hebrew (Aramaic), taken there by Bartholomew. Eusebius cites a letter of Alexander of in which the writer claims that both he and ORIGEN were pupils of Pantaenus. This is difficult to accept because of the relative ages of the three concerned.

More certain is his influence on CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA (Stromateis I.11.2). Jerome (De viris illustribus 36) claims that Pantaenus was sent to by Bishop DEMETRIUS I of Alexandria (189-231), and that he brought back a copy of in Hebrew. However, since Pantaenus became head of the school in Alexandria around 180 after returning from his trip to India, but Demetrius was not ordained bishop until 189, it is unlikely that it was Demetrius who sent Pantaenus on this expedition. Two passages from Pantaenus are preserved. The first claims that God knows existing things as of His will and not by sense or reason (Maximus the Confessor, Scholia to Saint Gregory of Nazianzen). The second declares that in prophecy tenses are indefinite; a present tense may refer to any time. Pantaenus has been considered a possible author of To .

  • Bardy, G. “Aux origines de l’école d’Alexandrie.” Recherches des sciences religieuses 27 (1937):65-90.
  • Cose, P. Biography in Late Antiquity: A Quest for the Holy Man. Berkeley, Calif., 1983.
  • Lilla, S. “Panteno.” Dizionario patristico e di antichità cristiana, Vol. 2. Rome, 1984.
  • Marrou, H. I. “A Diognète.” Scientia 33 (1951):266-68.

ERIC FRANCIS OSBORN