Pantaenus

PANTAENUS

According to Eusebius (Historia ecclesiastica V.10.4), master of a school in Alexandria (c. A.D. 180). Pantaenus had been a Stoic 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 India he found the Gospel of Matthew already existing in Hebrew (Aramaic), taken there by Bartholomew. cites a letter of Alexander of Jerusalem in which the writer claims that both he and were pupils of Pantaenus. This is difficult to accept because of the relative ages of the three concerned.

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

BIBLIOGRAPHY

  • 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