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Aristo of Pella

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Aristo of Pella
Bornc. 100 CE [citation needed]
Pella, Jordan
Diedc. 160 CE [citation needed]
Pella, Jordan
Other namesAristo Pellaeus (Latin)
Occupation(s)Apologist, Chronicler

Ariston of Pella (Greek: Ἀρίστων; Latin: Aristo Pellaeus; c. 100[citation needed] – c. 160[citation needed]), was an apologist and chronicler, who is known only from a mention by Eusebius that "as Aristo relates" in connection with accounts of emperor Hadrian and Simon bar Kokhba.[1] Aristo is Eusebius's source for Hadrian's permanent banishment of Jews from Jerusalem (4.6.3), renamed to Aelia Capitolina.[2][3]

"the whole nation from that time was strictly forbidden to set foot on the region about Jerusalem, by the formal decree and enactment of Adrian, who commanded that they should not even from a distance look on their native soil!" So writes Aristo of Pella." Eusebius

Eusebius supplies no biographical data, although some later readers have assumed that like many of Eusebius' sources he was possibly a Greek-speaking Christian.

A secondary mention by the Armenian chronicler Moses of Chorene is probably based on Eusebius, but expanded with the comments that he was secretary of "Ardasches", which were read, or misread, to suggest that Aristo was secretary of Mark, first Gentile bishop of Jerusalem.[4] A mention in the Chronicon Paschale reproduces Eusebius.

His name was later connected by Maximus the Confessor (7th century) to the Dialogue of Jason and Papiscus (c.140), although earlier generations evidently did not know the author of that text. This text was also cited by Jerome, leading to confusion in older sources that Jerome mentioned Aristo by name - which he did not.[5] Since the Dialogue was known to Celsus, Origen, Jerome and a later Latin translator, while none of them names the author, the testimony of Maximus - who also mentioned that it was attributed by others to Luke the Evangelist, is not considered reliable.[6]


  1. ^ Karl Otfried Müller, Theodor Müller, Letronne (Antoine-Jean, M.) Fragmenta historicorum graecorum 1867 Page 391 "ARISTON DE PELLA. Ariston de Pella (1) en Palestine, surnommé aussi de Chaldée (a), était, à ce que l'on croit, secrétaire de Marc, évêque de Jérusalem (3); il florissait dans la première moitié du second siècle de notre ère, et pour ...
  2. ^ Timothy David Barnes Constantine and Eusebius Page 348 1981 "Eg, Aristo of Pella, who is adduced as the source for Hadrian's permanent banishment of Jews from Jerusalem (4.6.3)."
  3. ^ The name of Aristo Pellaeus, or Aristo of Pella, occurs in three ancient writers. The first is Eusebius. He says : " When the war had reached its height in the eighteenth year of the reign of Adrian, at the city of Biththera, ... ....even from treading at all on the land round about Jerusalem, for Adrian gave command by the appointment of a law and by injunctions, so that they should not behold their native soil even from a distance. Aristo of Pella relates*.
  4. ^ James Hastings A Dictionary of Christ and the Gospels: Volume I Page 118 - reprint 2004 "His statement that Aristo was secretary of Ardasches, which was so unfortunately ambiguous as to seem to make him secretary of Mark, bishop of Jerusalem, seems to be the starting-point for the last stage of the process.
  5. ^ William Ralph Churton (the younger) The influence of the Septuagint version of the Old Testament Page 46 - 1861 "In the passage which Jerome quotes from the work of Aristo Pellaeus, there is a trace of a controversy on this subject; where in Gen. i. 1, for " In the beginning," he read " In the Son." This paraphrase seems to be founded on the LXX."
  6. ^ Fergus Millar, Emil Schürer, Geza Vermes, The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ 1973 p38 "Since the Dialogue was known to Celsus, Origen, Jerome and the Latin translator as being anonymous (for none of them names the author), it is very questionable whether the testimony of Maximus Confessor describing Ariston as the author deserves any credit"