« Cairns, John Caius Cajetan, Thomas »


CAIUS, kê´Us: The name of several characters in Roman history, of whom only two need be included here.


1. Roman author early in the third century, mentioned by Hippolytus, Dionysius of Alexandria, and Eusebius. What Theodoret and Jerome tell of him rests on Eusebius; Photius's account is worthless, as the tradition from which he derived it confused Hippolytus and Caius. It is doubtful whether he was a Roman presbyter, to say nothing of the title of "bishop of the nations" given him by Photius from tradition. In the library at Jerusalem Eusebius found a work of his, the "Dialogue with Proclus" (the head of the Roman Montanists); but this is the only one known. From the quotations of Eusebius it appears that Caius rebuked the audacity of the Montanists in manufacturing new Scriptures, that he rejected millenarianism and with it the Apocalypse, and that he recognized only thirteen epistles of Paul. Ebed Jesu (in Assemani, Bibl. Orient., III. i., p. 15) says that Hippolytus wrote some Capita adversus Caium; and this statement is now confirmed by the discovery of John Gwynn, who found in the British Museum and published five fragments of these very Capita (Hermathena, vi., Dublin, 1888). From the statements of Caius here attacked it is clear that he spoke strongly against the contents of the Apocalypse (presumably in the "Dialogue"), and considered it as unworthy of credence and conflicting with the Holy Scriptures. Thus from one of Eusebius's references (Hist. eccl., III. xxviii. 1–2) the conclusion is almost certainly justified that Caius held the Apocalypse to be the work of Cerinthus. Since this view is also that of the Alogians of Asia Minor, and since the method of his polemic against the book strikingly suggests theirs, a connection between them is a plausible hypothesis.

(A. Harnack.)

Bibliography: A. Harnack, Die Gwynn’schen Cajus und Hippolytusfragmente, in TU, vi. 3 (1891), 121–128; idem, Litteratur, i. 601–603; Krüger, History, pp. 320–321 (gives further literature); DCB, i. 384–386; NPNF, i. 129, 160, 163, 268.

2. Pope 283–296. These dates, Dec. 17 for his election and Apr. 22 for his death, are given in the Catalogus Liberianus; Eusebius (Hist. eccl., VII. xxxii. 1) ascribes to him a pontificate of about fifteen years. In any case, his role falls in the peaceful period before the outbreak of the persecution of Diocletian, and for this reason, if for no other, the tradition that he died a martyr is incredible. According to the Depositio episcoporum he was buried in the cemetery of St. Calixtus.

(A. Hauck.)

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