The Identity Of 'Church Father' 'Origen'
In this article, I will be presenting evidence and data from primary sources and respected secondary sources showing that the 'Church father' known to us as 'Origen' was another member of the Roman elite. The data will show he was an ancestor of Emperor Constantine the Great and descendant of Emperor Trajan.
When Emperor Caracalla was murdered in 217 C.E., in revenge for murdering his younger half-brother, Domitius Ulpianus of the Ulpii took the role of 'Christian leadership'. The evidence presented here will hopefully show that as being the case.
At this time, the promoting of Christianity by certain members of the aristocracy was becoming increasingly difficult. Roman leadership would soon put into practice sun-god worship, with the emperors becoming "divine", that is, the living representatives of the sun-god. However, certain members of the aristocracy still pursued the promotion of Christianity, one of those members was Ulpian, who would write as 'Origen', and Ulpian looks to have encouraged his two sons to write Christian writings also. Ulpian died when he had used murder to eliminate the praetorian leaders in an attempt to free the emperor (Severus Alexander) to support Christianity again. This murder by Ulpian resulted in other praetorian guards murdering him.
At this point, Ulpian's brother-in-law, Julius Paulus (Gordian I), and Paulus's son, Herodian, look to have taken on the role of Christian leadership, dying whilst revolting on behalf of Christianity, as did Paulus's son-in-law, Macrianus and his sons. As a result of the unsuccessful revolt, the emperor strengthened sun-god worship, even providing pontiffs to perform ceremonies.
By the time of Emperor Diocletian's reign, in 284 C.E., most of the aristocracy were conforming to sun-god worship, but, as the evidence shows, some were not.
Origen of Alexandria
‘Origen of Alexandra’ Ὠριγένης (also known as Origen Adamantius), Origenes in Greek, is recorded as an early Christian scholar, some Christian groups consider him to be a Church Father, who was born in 184 C.E. in Alexandria, Roman Egypt. His father, stated to have been called ‘Leonides’, was apparently a professor of literature and a ‘Christian’, who was imprisoned when Emperor Septimius Severus began ‘persecuting Christians’.
‘Origen’ wrote approximately 2000 treatises on textual criticism, biblical exegesis and hermeneutics, homiletics, and spirituality. This man, we read, became a philosopher and teacher, achieving much fame, and became known throughout the empire. Traveling widely, and writing prolifically, we read he defended the ‘Christian’ faith against Celsus, the pagan philosopher.
The Cambridge History of the Bible, Volume 1, page 434, describes Origen as the leader among Christian writers of the first three centuries in sophistication and philosophic ability.
According to the historical record, a conflict between Origen and the bishop of Alexandria (Egypt), whose name is given as ‘Demetrius’, broke out. Origen then moved to Caesarea Maritima in Palestine, opened a successful school, and gained such a reputation that Julia Avita Mamaea, mother of Emperor Severus Alexander, invited him to teach philosophy to her. We read that in the year 250 C.E., a plague broke out and ‘Christians’ were blamed by Emperor Decius. Origen was imprisoned, tortured by the authorities, who attempted to force him to abandon his ‘faith’. He survived this experience, but was weakened from his injuries and passed away a few years later.
However, as with previous research done regarding this particular part of history. All is not what it seems. In this article, I will explain and show why ‘Origen’ was a pen name for the Roman jurist, Ulpian/Ulpianus, or, Gnaeus Domitius Annius Ulpianus.
Ulpian As A Jurist
Ulpian produced many works. As a jurist, he was known as Domitus Ulpianus, and his legal decisions comprise a greater proportion of Justinian's Digest, of the 500s C.E. than any other
ancient jurist. Ulpian also dedicated the Ulpian library in Rome and wrote commentaries on Demosthenes.
Ulpian is recorded as stating that: ‘one could call us lawyers priests’ quis nos sacerdotes appellet, (Justinian’s 6th-century Digest, 188.8.131.52). As Tony Honoré in his ‘Ulpian: Pioneer Of Human Rights, Second Edition’ states, on page 56:
“It is a little more difficult to assess Ulpian’s use of the plural nos or nobis (‘we, us’) of himself. Of about 58 such texts in the Digest 31 come from our author, which is, again, at 53 per cent, more than proportionate to the volume of his surviving texts, but lower than for the first person singular. It is sometimes difficult to know whether nos means ‘lawyers’ or ‘those interested in the question’, or ‘the author’.”
Honoré’s puzzlement over the ‘we, us’ use by Ulpian is interesting. I would argue that Ulpian could be referring to, albeit secretly, his activities as both a lawyer and a "priest", that is, as ‘Origen’. At this stage, I am aware that that is a bold statement to make. However, as we work through the evidence, hopefully, you will understand why I have come to that conclusion.
We must remember that the evidence shows that the ancient authors were members of the elite aristocracy, and of the same family circles, and they were not writing about just anybody, they wrote about their relatives and immediate family. This is important when 'connecting the dots.'
The historical data presents us with the knowledge that Ulpian and ‘Origen’ were contemporaries:
Dates for Ulpian are: born 160-170 C.E. died 223-235 C.E.
Dates for Origen are: born 184 C.E. died approximately 253 C.E.
Ulpian was the leader of the Ulpii, the most distinguished members of which were the Ulpii Trajani, and best known from the Emperor Marcus Ulpius Trajanus (Emperor Trajan; his father looks to have had multiple names, Marcus Ulpius Trajanus; M. Lucius Salvius Otho Titianus (aka Trajanus). Emperor Otho looks to be the brother of Trajan's father, Otho's name at birth is recorded as Marcus Salvius Otho. Therefore, the father of M. Lucius Salvius Otho Titianus (Trajanus) and Marcus Salvius Otho looks to be Lucius Salvius Otho, with 'Salvus' being a combining of S(extus) (C)alvius, as will be shown below. Lucius Salvius Otho looks to have also used the name Servius Sulpicius Galba (M. Lucius Salvius Galbius Galba Domitius Otho, who married Julia Calva Milonia Caecena Terentia - 'Junia Alba Terentia'; L and N were interchangeable in Biblical Hebrew, and B and V are interchangeable, as were L and R).
This marriage is recorded with Galba as Lucius Vitellius II, son of Lucius Vitellius I (Tullius) 7 B.C.-51 C.E. (virtual co-emperor with Claudius Caesar - he governed Rome whilst Emperor Claudius was absent on his invasion of Britain.) Lucius Vitellius I had married Sestillia/Sextillia and Valeria Messalina.
The Ulpii had been male-line descendants of Emperor Trajan, through his marriage to Ulpia Marcella.
Emperor Trajan had used the name Ulpius and the name ‘Lupus’, which can be seen as a form of Ulpius rearranged. Emperor Trajan was also a Domitius by adoption when Emperor Domitian took his mother from his father.
Emperor Trajan’s son was Marcus Rutilius Lupus, who looks to have used other names, such as Pompeius Falco and Bruttius Praesens, and was married to Pliny the Younger’s daughter; Emperor Trajan and Pliny the Younger had mutual ancestry, through their great-grandmother, Sexta Sextillia Vistilia I (Sr.). Rutilius had been governor in Alexandria and Egypt in 115 C.E. Arrian, his brother, was a military commander. The pair were unsuccessful in quelling the Judean uprising in Alexandria.
Marcus Rutilius Lupus’s name looks to have come from the name 'Ruso' and ‘Tullus’, which was his grandfather's name, the father of Emperor Trajan. Emperor Trajan's father (40 – 103 C.E.) and uncle look to have been adopted by the wealthy Gnaeus Domitius Afer, who died in 59 C.E., according to 'Jerome' in the Chronicon of Eusebius. Pliny the Younger states that Afer adopted Titius Marcellus Curvius Lucanus and Titius Marcellus Curvius Tullus on condition they take on his name. Their father is recorded as Sextus Curvius Tullus and their mother Titia Marcella; (Ref: Pliny, Epsitulae, VIII.18; P.G. Walsh, Pliny the Younger; Complete Letters, Oxford University Press, Pages 205ff; Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum VI, 1772 = ILS 1230; Olli Salomies, Adoptive and polyonymous nomenclature in the Roman Empire, (Helsinski: Societas Scientiarum Fenica, 1992), pp. 37f)
Emperor Trajan's father's name would become Gnaeus Domitius Curvius Tullus (Ref: Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum XI, 5211 = ILS 991; remember Emperor Trajan's father's other name as M. Lucius Salvius Titianus - S(extus) (C)alvius Titianus (masculine for of Titia). Marcus Ulpius Traianus (Trajan's father) was a member of the gens Ulpia and is recorded as being born in Italica, which was founded by Scipio Africanus in 206 B.C., and the Traii, Ulpii, and the Aelii were among the leading families. (Ref: Karl Strobel, Kaiser Traian: eine Epoche der Weltgeschichte)Traianus's sister, Ulpia, is recorded as the mother of Publius Aelius Hadrianus Afer, she would become the grandmother of Emperor Hadrian.
Rutilius Lupus’s son was called L. Ulpius Marcellus, born approximately 110 C.E., this would be Trajan’s grandson. The name Marc-ellus is a 1) a form of Trajan’s name Marcus, 2) could also be a combination of the names Marc(us) and (T)ullus; in ancient languages vowels were switchable, and in nomenclature, the initial letter of a name would drop, and 3) is a masculine form of Marcella. L. Ulpius Marcellus (Marcellus Lupus) was in Emperor Antoninus Pius’s legal council, and also Emperor Marcus Aurelius’s that followed. (Ref: Henry John Roby, An Introduction to the Study of Justinian's Digest, page 174, who cites the Historia Augusta)
The son of Ulpius Marcellus, the next Marcellus Lupus (Ulpius), born approximately 135 C.E., looks to have been governor of Egypt during the attempted revolt of Avidius Cassius in 175 C.E., using the name Fl. Calvisius, Calvisius being an ancestral name of Emperor Trajan; P. Calvisius Tullus Ruso, consul ordinary in 109 C.E. (Further reference: 'Domitius Calvisius' in Plutarch, C.F.Konrad, Zeitschrift fur Papyrologie und Epigraphik, Bd. 103 (1994), Pages 139-146 Fl. Calvisius supported Cassius’s revolt, which led to him being exiled by Marcus Aurelius to an island. (Ref: Dio Cassius, 73.28.3; Vol. 9, page 49, Loeb Classical Library)
After, we find what looks to be the same Ulpius Marcellus (Fl. Calvisius) being sent by Emperor Commodus against the Britons, in the 180’s C.E. (Ref: Donald Atkinson, The Governors of Britain from Claudius to Diocletian, The Journal of Roman Studies, Volume 12 (1922), Pages 60-73 - number 29 on the list presented there.)
Therefore, this individual must have been pardoned. (Ref: Dio Cassius, 73. 8.8; A.P. Burns, The Romans in Britain, page 109)
This L. Ulpius Marcellus (Marcellus Lupus II) looks to be the father of Domitius Ulpian, through his marriage to a lady called Julia Avidia Cassia (Julia Cassia). This makes Ulpian a fourth-generation descendant of Emperor Trajan.
Marcus Ulpius Traianus
(/M. Lucius Salvius Titianus/Gnaeus Domitius Tullus)
(born approximately 29 C.E. - died approximately 100 C.E.)
Emperor Marcus Ulpius Trajanus
Marcus Rutilius Lupus (Ulpius)
Ulpius Marcellus (I)
Ulpius Marcellus (II)
Ulpian’s public name of Domitius Ulpianus shows his high status, of all of Trajan’s descendants, he looks to be the only one privileged enough to use both names of Domitian and Trajan; Emperor Trajan also looks to have used the name 'Marcus Hirrius Fronto Neratius Pansa'
Ulpian as ‘Origen’
The first clue that jumps out when looking at these two names, is that they become the same when it is understood how ancient languages worked and how the aristocracy used those languages, including the use of phonetics.
Ulpian becomes Origen by the following:
O = U (through flexible vowel use)
I = L
R = P (Greek 'R' looks like the Latin 'P')
‘G’ is a ‘Y’ sound in Greek
A becomes E, and then we have N
Essentially what is revealed is:
In a quote attributed to Ulpian in Justinian’s Digest, Ulpian says
“the most splendid colony of the Tyrians (which) is my place of origin...”
The Latin word used there is “origo” for origin. (Ref: This quote was noted in the ‘Historical Introduction to the Study of Roman Law', page 393); it is interesting to note here that when Tacitus "historicized" Christianity, he wrote that Judaea was the origin of this disease, using the word 'originem'.
"...non modo per Iudaeam, originem eius mali, sed per urbem etiam, quo cuncta undique atrocia aut pudenda conrluunt celebranturque." - Tacitus, Annals, Book XV, Page 282
‘Eusebius’, in his Ecclesiastical History, 6.23, states an individual called ‘Ambrosius’ supplied Origen with more than seven amanuenses, who relieved one another regularly, and more than seven transcribers who took turns. We are also told that he wrote with young girls who were experienced in calligraphy. This tells that, until the invention of movable type, these large writings were a laborious and expensive task, which required the cooperation and labor of many people. It is extremely doubtful this could be done without the emperor’s approval.
One of ‘Origen’s’ most famous works is the Contra Celsum, a long discourse against an individual who had purportedly written an anti-Christian polemic based on information from a Judaean. The Contra Celsum includes ‘Origen’s’ famous statement that ‘Josephus’ did not believe in Jesus as the Christ. (Ref: Origen Against Celsus, Book 1, Chapter 47; Volume 4, page 416) In that work, the disciples are attacked as having been tax-gatherers and sailors. (Ref: Origen Against Celsus, Book 1, Chapter 63, page 424)
The reason for ‘Origen’ writing his discourse against a supposed anti-Christian individual named Celsus appears to be a delayed revenge response against the individual who wrote as ‘Juvenal’. This writer appears to have written various attacks against Arrius Piso. This ‘Juvenal’ appears to be the famous Roman jurist, Publius Juventius Celsus II (The Jurist)
As ‘Origen’, Ulpian also wrote letters to ‘Africanus’ saying that in the book of Job, in the Hebrew, there are “even 14, and 19, and 16” verses which are lacking in the Christian copies. (Ref: Origen to Africanus, Chapter 4, Volume 4, Page 387)
It seems Ulpian is using humor to express ‘concern’ that there are differences between the Greek texts, written by the Piso family, and the translations done after, by the Judaeans. This led to him writing his famous Hexapla, which covered the entire Old Testament. This work contains six vertical columns, the first being Hebrew text, the second was the Hebrew translation into Greek, the other four columns were four different Greek versions, of which one was the revised Septuagint. (Ref: Cambridge History of the Bible, Volume 1, Page 458)
The manuscript above shows faint text in the upper part of the page; a much younger Hebrew text has been written over part of the page.
The Judaeans had made changes in their Hebrew translations of the Pisos Greek texts when they were able. Ulpian (Origen) undoubtedly realized this and so attempted to downplay the differences by presenting four different Greek versions of the biblical writings.
We also read that Origen self-castrated himself, becoming a eunuch. Apparently, this was due to his being impressed by Jesus’s warning in Matthew 19 regarding self-gratification of the flesh. However, this cannot be true, as ‘Origen’ had two sons, Church history even states the names of the two sons were Gregory and Dionysius, Dionysius being the name of the pagan god of wine. (Ref: Introductory Notice to Dionysius, Bishop of Alexandria, Volume 6, page 77) ‘Origen’s’ son, Gregory, is described as thaumaturgus, meaning the miracle or wonder-worker. Writing to Gregory, ‘Origen’ calls him his “venerable son Gregory”, as he is Origen’s/Ulpian’s son. (Ref: A Letter from Origen to Gregory, Chapter 4, page 393, Volume 4, Ante-Nicene Fathers)
Gregory Thaumaturgus would become important as the link to the Church’s triumph under Emperor Constantine. Through this son of Ulpian, Constantius Chlorus, the father of Constantine and ‘Eusebius’, would be born. Constantine and 'Eusebius', along with their sons, would later honor their ancestors. Gregory, who we will see was recorded as ‘Eutropius’ (U-TRO (Troy) -PIUS), father of Constantius Chlorus, also had another son who seems to have been hidden in history. This son was called Carus/Carterius, he was Constantius’s brother. Therefore, any descendants of this brother will too be able to claim descent from Trajan through Ulpian/Ulpius. The descendants of Constantius's brother, Carus, would be the Valentinian-Theodosian dynasty, of the later 300s C.E.
In regards to the death of 'Origen', the Church (aristocracy) knew that Origen had passed away around the year 223, in his actual identity as Ulpian. Therefore, Church history seems to have deliberately "made a mistake" regarding the year of death. We read that 'Origen' died approximately 30 years later in the mid-250's C.E., the reason appears to be that when 'Eusebius' created his "martyrs" in the 250s C.E., he had included the name Ulpian. (Ref: Eusebius, History of the Church, 8.13.3.; Eusebius, Palestine Martyrs 5.) Later, a heresy called 'Origenism' would be created by the Church. This would be a 'tongue in cheek' fight by the Church against some of Ulpian's (Origens) writings.
'Origen' would later be praised, albeit, secretly, as the most important link between Arrius Piso and Constantine in making Christianity continue. The praise comes from Eusebius, the great Church "historian" and half-brother of Constantine. Writing a little under 100 years later, 'Eusebius' would praise the three individuals he felt had worked the most to support the triumph of Christianity, those three being Arrius Piso, Origen, and himself.
Ulpian/'Origen's' Son Gregory
Regarding Ulpian's son, Gregory, information to decipher this comes from discovering Ulpian as writing under two other names, those being 'Oppian' (U[l]pian) and 'Aelian'.
The first thing to notice about data connected with these names is the coinciding of their dates with those of Ulpian. 'Oppian' wrote on zoology, information regarding him is found in the Introduction to Oppian, Loeb Classical Library edition. (Ref: Pages 13-23) Oppian's father was apparently 'Zenodote', which means 'gift of Zenos' (the founder of stoicism), meaning Oppian is presented as being of noble descent.
Cynegetica, or 'the chase', was one of 'Oppians' works, dedicated to Emperor Caracalla. (Ref: Oppian, Intro, Page 18) 'Oppian' was stated as being born in Anazarbos, in Cilicia, which was the province in which Tarsus was located, just to the north was Tyana. Oppian also wrote Halietica/Halieutica, which meant fishing. (Ref: Oppian, Intro, Page 13) This work was dedicated to Marcus Aurelius Antoninus and his son Commodus. The individual known as Athenaeus mentioned 'Oppian' as the author of this work (Ref: Athenaeus, The Deipnosophists), 'Athenaeus' looks to have been Herodian. When Ulpian was killed, Herodian survived as a secular writer and jurist. Herodian was a member of the Gordian family, of which Ulpian was related. See video here; the Halieutica is not considered a sufficient guide for fishing, as the humans and animals described in the work provide examples of good and bad behavior. Their emotions are motivated by hate, love, greed, jealousy, and friendship. The work also seems to be subtly hinting at the 'fishers of men' event in Josephus and the Gospels.
Writing As Claudius Aelianus
Claudius Aelianus is more commonly known today as Aelian, Aelian was Emperor Hadrian's name. After Arrius Pisos son, C. (S.) Julius Severus/Servianus defeated Bar C(K)ochba in 135 C.E. and then leveled Jerusalem, Emperor Hadrian renamed Jerusalem 'Aelia Capitolina', after his family name, Aelius. Aelius looks to have been Emperor Trajan's family name before Hadrian's use. Hadrian was the son of Trajan's father's sister. Trajan used the name 'Aulus', which is likely a form of the name Aelius.
The name Claudius is recognizable as the masculine form of the name Claudia Phoebe, Trajan's second wife, whose name appears in the New Testament as 'Phoebe', in The Epistle to the Romans 16:25-27 :
"To [the] Romans written from Corinth, by Phoebe servant of the Cenchrea assembly" - many copies of the New Testament leave this out, it appears, because it was written by a women.
'Aelian', known as the honey-voiced or tongued (Ref: Philostratus, Lives of the Sophists, Page 40; Aelian, Introduction, Page 40), learned rhetoric from Pausanius when still young (Ref: Philostratus, Lives of the Sophists, Page 31; Aelian, Introduction, Page 31). This must be an alias name for Papinian, teaching Ulpian/Origen another discipline, which would make Papinian Ulpian's mentor in law, theology, philosophy, and rhetoric. Aelianus's first mention is in the Lives of the Sophists by 'Philostratus', 'The Athenian', who appears to be Gordian I who praises Aelianus, says that Aelianus sometimes imitated the vigorous style of 'Dio Cassius' - which looks to be yet another name used by Ulpian.
Whilst praising Aelian, 'Philostratus' fails to mention the title of Aelian's work called 'On the Characteristics of Animals', dealing with animals, fish, and birds.
Ulpian as 'Oppian' and 'Claudius Aelianus' indicates to us that Ulpian's praenomen (personal name) was Claudius. Additional independent proof that 'Oppian' and 'Claudius Aelianus' were the same people comes in the form of archeological evidence, that being a found inscription in the province of Caria, modern central Asiatic Turkey. A base built into a wall contains an inscription honoring a Titus Oppius Aelianus Asclepiodotus (Ref: The Journal of Roman Studies, Volume 71, Page 108) Titus Oppius Aelianus Asclepiodotus being the governor and consular of Phrygia and Caria.
"The homeland - Good Fortune - (has honoured)
Titus Oppius Aelianus Asclepiodotus, the
most splendid consular, governor of Caria and
Phrygia, proconsul and corrector of Asia,
founder and saviour also of his homeland; Tiberius
Claudius Marcianus, the first archon, (set this up)."
The dedicator of the inscription is listed as Tiberius Claudius Marcianus, which was Ulpian's son using his father's first name, Claudius. If we remember back to Ulpian as Origen stating his son was called Gregory, we realize that Marcianus must have been Gregory's public name. This data tells us Ulpian was serving as governor in this location, and Gregory (Marcianus) must have been his legate. Ulpian was banished from Rome by Elagabalus (better known as Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus - also known as Heliogabalus; helios comes from the Greek, meaning “sun.”, but was reinstated in 222 C.E. under Severus Alexander. (ref: Cassius Dio, 80.14.3‒4; Scriptores Historiae Augustae, Heliogabalus, 16.4.) Therefore, the inscription by Gregory to his father must have been done before 220 C.E. As 'Cassius Dio', Ulpian also states he was, for some time in Asia. (ref: Cassius Dio, 80.3-4); 'These facts I ascertained while still in Asia...'
When Ulpian died in approximately 223-235 C.E. it looks like he desired his son Gregory to continue the leadership of the 'Church'. Ulpian choosing the name Gregory for the name of his son is interesting, as Gregory in Greek can either mean 'watchful' or 'shepherd', quite fitting for a leader of the 'Church'. Ulpian/Origen writes to Gregory and addresses him as his "most excellent and venerable son", as previously mentioned. (Ref: Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 4, Page 393) In response, Gregory writes an Oration and Panegyric Addressed to Origen, apparently written around the year 238 C.E. - later added to by 'Eusebius' (Ref: Ante-Nicene Fathers, Page 20; 117), and presented within it are 19 arguments or sections. (Ref: Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 6, Pages 21ff). Also within this work, Gregory states he lost his father when he was fourteen. (Ref: Ante-Nicene Fathers, Page 25)
Further, within the Oration and Panegyric to Origen, Gregory's co-student is described as being "his brother Athenodorus". (Ref: Heading of Argument VI of Gregory's Oration, Volume 6, Pages 27-28, Eerdmans 1972) 'Eusebius' would state that those especially distinguished included Theodore (who is described as identical with the renowned bishop Gregory by 'Eusebius') "and his brother Athenodore":
"WHILE Origen was carrying on his customary duties in Caesarea, many pupils came to him not only from the vicinity, but also from other countries. Among these Theodorus, the same that was distinguished among the bishops of our day under the name of Gregory, and his brother Athenodorus..." (Ref: Eusebius Ecclesiastical History, VI. XXX.)
Therefore, by 'Eusebius' stating Gregory was 'Theodore', and Church history regarding Eusebius's writings as authoritative, it indicates that another name used for Gregory was Theodore/Diodorus.
As seems to be the case concerning the information regarding those involved with promoting Christianity and writing Christian literature, Ulpian and his sons are disguised as the teacher and students. Essentially we have discovered 'Origen's' two sons in Church history, finding them in secular Roman history, however, requires an additional link. The work that provides that link is the Historia Augusta. In this work, we find an individual called 'Theodotus', which means the same as Theodorus, 'gift of god'. This person is acting as the general of Emperor Gallienus (sole emperor in 260-268 C.E.). He defeats in battle and captures an insurrectionist general called Aemilianus in Egypt. (Ref: Historia Augusta, The Two Gallieni, IV.2.) Emperor Gallienus then rewarded Theodotus with Egypt, Gallienus also wanted to name him proconsul, but "the priests forbade it" (Ref: Historia Augusta, The 30 Pretenders, XXII.10)
The priests portrayed were most likely the priests of the sun-god, who denied Gregory the proconsulship, perhaps out of fear of his Christian leadership? But it is highly unlikely that priests would have had the power to act against the emperor. However, because the author of the Historia Augusta appears to be Flavius Julius Constantius I, half brother of Emperor Constantine, this appears to be showing the religious opposition between Gregory and the leaders of sun-god worship. Gregory, now using the name Marcianus, later turned against Gallienus and participated in a plot in 268 C.E. which led to the emperor's death. (Ref: Historia Augusta, The Two Gallieni, XIV) The troops of the dead emperor were provided with payments by Marcianus. (Ref: Historia Augusta, The Two Gallieni, XV) Following this, Marcus Aurelius Claudius "Gothicus" (Claudius II), of the Gordians, was chosen as the succeeding emperor; Emperor Claudius Gothicus was a maternal ancestor of Emperor Constantine.
Regarding Gregory's pseudonym of 'Marcianus', this was 1) a longer form of Trajan's name, Marcus, and 2) was the masculine form of the name of Trajan's, elder, what looks to be, half-sister, Ulpia Marciana; as well as the names presented earlier, Trajan's father may have also been married to Domitia Longina, daughter of general Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo and Cassia Longina.
Gregory was also a lawyer, as in his Oration and Panegyric Addressed to Origen, he writes that he had abandoned the study of oratory (worship) for eight years. He continues to say that during that period he studied law, and mentions "those admirable laws of our sages by which the affairs of the empire are directed". The footnote there states Gregory is referring to Caius (Gaius), Papinian, Ulpian, therefore, the jurists are members of the family. (Ref: Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume VI, Page 21)
In Justinian's Digest, Gregory appears as Aelius Marcianus, Aelius being a shorter form of Ulpian's name, Aelianus. Gregory as Marcianus wrote 16 books of Institutes, five books of Rules, among others, and also notes on Papinian's work. (Ref: Henry John Roby, An Introduction to the Study of Justinian's Digest, Page 205) Gregory's (Aelius's/Theodotus's) brother, Dionysius, is also mentioned; Dionysius is also recorded as being a student of 'Origen'.
As 'Camsisoleus', he is also a general of Emperor Gallienus. He defeats an insurrection by Trebellius in Isauria, northwest of Cilicia, and slays him. Camsisoleus is referred to as "an Egyptian by race." (Ref: Historia Augusta, The Thirty Pretenders (Tyrants), XXVI.4) 'Camsisoleus', as it appears in the Historia Augusta, seems to be a variant form of the name 'Kompsos', which is presented in "Josephus's" Vita, Section 33.
It appears as the name 'Kompsos son of Kompsos', a fictitious citizen of Tiberius created to agree with council members that the city remain loyal to Rome and to King Herod Agrippa II; The works of the man known as "Josephus" contain many fictitious names, including that of "Josephus" himself.
The name 'Kompos', in Greek, meant elegant, pretty, clever, witty, exquisite, affected. Derivatively, in Latin, it was 'Komeo', meaning, well dressed, neat, fine, a 'good' man., A suitable way to describe a man of the aristocracy. Kompsos being the son of Kompsos, can also be seen as the same concept appearing in the Fourth Gospel, that is, father and son were one. 'Camsisoleus' is quoted in the Historia Augusta as being the brother of 'Theodotus', which was Gregory (Claudius Marcianus, etc.). Kompsos being lengthened to 'Camsisoleus' in the Historia Augusta can be deciphered as 'Camsis', a form of Kompsos, 'Sol', meaning Sun (sun-god, part of the composite that created the Jesus character), and 'Leus', meaning Leo/Lion, which was 'Origen's' father's name, 'Leonidas' Leus could also be seen as an allusion to Bacchus, the Roman god of the vine.
Gregory's brother, as 'Dionysius the Great', is considered by Church history as one of the most important men of the mid-third century. Apparently, he was appointed headmaster of the Alexandria Catechetical School (231-232 C.E.), and then bishop of Alexandria (248-249 C.E.) (Ref: Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume VI, Pages 77ff) This provides a reason as to why 'Camsisoleus', another name for Dionysius, a general of Emperor Gallienus, was described as an "Egyptian by race". There is another Dionysius honored in Church tradition (Ref: Raymond Davis, The Book of Pontiffs (Liber Pontificials), Introduction, Page 21), which appears to actually be the same person, Gregory's brother. This Dionysius is recorded as a former monk with an untraceable ancestry but was bishop of Rome in 260-267 C.E., which, in the above reference (Appendix 1, Page 93), is noted as being in Gallienus's time. The name Dionysius (Greek god of the vine) does not seem to be appropriate for a son of Ulpian, and, a leader of Christianity, therefore, we should look for his true name by examining individuals connected with the family of Ulpian and Trajan.
Ulpius Crinitus - Another Son Of Ulpian
The Historia Augusta reveals that during Emperor Aurelian's reign (270-275 C.E.), there was a general and important statesman and very wealthy man named Ulpius Crinitus; Emperor Valerian, at one time, even intended to appoint him caesar. (Ref: Historia Augusta, Deified Aurelian, X.2) Here we see the name Ulpius, and Crinitius was one of Emperor Trajan's names. (Ref: Eutropius, Book VIII, Chapter II) Young Aurelian was given to Ulpius Crinitus as a deputy by Emperor Valerian, and persuaded him to adopt him. Aurelian writing to Crinitus calls him his father, 'patri' in Latin. (Ref: Historia Augusta, Deified Aurelian, X.3; XXXVIII.3) Aurelian and Crinitus were even painted together in the 'Temple of the Sun'. Aurelian founded the cult of sun-god worship in 271 C.E., after apparently experiencing an appearance of a divine form which encouraged his forces to defeat Queen Zenobia. This story, which appears in the Historia Augusta, written during Constantine's reign, is remarkably similar to the story of Constantine's "vision".
Crinitus was a consul three times, meaning he had to have been very wealthy and influential, this must be the true identity of Dionysius. Aurelian was married to Ulpia Severina, (Ref: David R. Sear, The Emperors of Rome and Byzantium, Page 20) an apparent family member, Severina must have been born around 210-215 C.E. to be able to have married Aurelian, and she must have been the granddaughter of the greatly respected and admired Ulpian, either by Gregory or Crinitus. Upon the death of her husband (around April 275 C.E.), the government carried on under Severina's name for six months.
Some Final Information On 'Dionysius'
The 'Christian' writings of Dionysius (Crinitus) would eventually become well known, however, they were not all written by him. The writings of 'Dionysius' would only appear well into the next century, the reason being that 'Eusebius' would combine them with his writings, in his Ecclesiastical History, and they would appear as "excerpts" or "extracts" from the writings of 'Dionysius'.
'Eusebius' the writer would appear by the year 300 C.E. He was a seventh-generation male descendant of Emperor Trajan, and, together with his half-brother Constantine, an eighth-generation male descendant of Arrius Piso. His writings not only covered the "history" of 'Christianity', but Roman history also. But 'Eusebius' looks to have produced writings under the name of Ulpius Crinitus's name of 'Dionysius', bishop of Alexandria. 'Eusebius' even created an 'alter-ego', so to speak, in the form of 'Dionysius the Great' bishop of Alexandria; Alexandria seems to have been a favorite location in which to state these writers had resided, i.e. Papinian as 'Clement of Alexandria' is purported as coming from there, as is his pupil, 'Origen'.
The data points to 'Dionysius the Great' as being a creation of 'Eusebius'. 'Eusebius' wrote purported fragments from 'Dionysius' and included them in his Ecclesiastical History. (Ref: The Works of Dionysius, Extant Fragments, Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume VI, Part I, Pages 77ff) This was done around sixty years after 'Dionysius the Great' had apparently lived. Why did Eusebius call Dionysius 'the Great'? A logical answer seems to be because as his half-brother Constantine was called 'the Great', essentially Eusebius created an alter-ego for himself and calls him 'the Great'.
The extracts of 'Dionysius' included in the Ecclesiastical History present clues as to Eusebius's authorship of them; later writers of the family look to have followed suit, including Basil, Athanasius, and Jerome. (Ref: The Works of Dionysius, Extant Fragments, Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume VI, Part I, Page 78, n.l) In part one of the above reference, Dionysius mentions Diodorus (Ref: I.11.1), which has the same meaning as 'Theodorus', a name used for Gregory, as mentioned earlier. Then a third Dionysius is presented, Dionysius the bishop of Rome. (Ref: Section IV of the above reference) This is Eusebius writing to himself as 'Dionysius', as he would write to 'Basilides' his 'beloved son and brother' (Ref: Section V of the above reference); Basileos is the word for 'king' in Greek. Therefore, 'Eusebius' is writing to his brother Constantine, the king at that time.
The second part of the Writings of Dionysius contains Epistles, or fragments of Epistles, filled with fictional martyrdoms of 'innocent Christians'. The names presented are alias names of the deceased family, and are placed during the alleged persecution of 'Christians' by Emperor Decius (249-251 C.E.) Here Eusebius writes to Domitius (Epistle 1), as he is pretending to be Dionysius, who was Ulpius Crinitus and whose father was Domitius Ulpianus. Faustinus, a presbyter, and Faustus are also mentioned (II. Epistle 1.2), this, based on evidence, appears to be Constantine's wife Fausta, whom Constantine had just married in 307 C.E.
The name 'Aquila', which means 'eagle' in Latin, is also mentioned. This was one of the names used for Arrius Piso in the New Testament; Aquila and his wife Priscilla are in Acts 18:18,26; Romans 16:3; I Corinthians 16:19. Aquila also appears with 'Prisca' in 2 Timothy 4:19. (Further ref: Creating Christianity A Weapon of Ancient Rome, page 120) The writings also very much praise 'Eusebius'. Essentially here Eusebius is praising himself. 'Fabius, bishop of Antioch', is also apparently written to, but this 'Fabius' must be Fabius Justus, who was long dead, Fabius Justus can be found in Pliny the Younger letters, and Arrius gave the names of his sons in his 'Vita' as "Josephus", one of those names was Justus, and Tacitus dedicated his Dialogues on Oratory to “dear Fabius Justus". Lastly, a 'Julianus' is praised, which is a form of 'Eusebius's' true name, Julius Constantius.
It does not surprise me that the data points to yet another member of the aristocracy producing 'Christian' writings. Of course, I am aware people may not like the results, but I feel they need to be presented. Some may also argue that the Historia Augusta cannot be used reliably as evidence. That may be true, in some cases, however, that is why an investigation of this nature must be sober and careful. When archeological evidence supports what is stated in historical sources, then there is a valid reason to investigate further.
The evidence points to the Historia Augusta being written for members of the aristocracy/elite, which, as the evidence suggests, were all related to each other in some way. The Historia Augusta allowed the aristocracy, and those privileged enough to know the literary techniques being used and why they were being used, to trace the ancestry of the emperors back to Emperor Augustus. It appears to be the case that the Historia Augusta contains much more information than is currently realized. But only when it is known that literary techniques were used to give connections, i.e., nomenclature, abbreviations, acrostics, vowel/letter switching, can genealogies be reconstructed.
Sir Ronald Syme produced great works on the Historia Augusta. In one publication, Emperors and Biography: Studies In The Historia Augusta, Syme gave ten ways to examine the created names contained within the Historia Augusta. For the tenth way, Syme stated:
'So far, nine categories. The most significant has been reserved for the climax, the fictitious characters who by their names reflect families eminent in the Roman aristocracy in the second half of the fourth century: Ceionii, Faltonii, Ragonii, etc. It will not be necessary to recapitulate the arguments of Dessau, which many have doubted, nobody has demolished.'
More information regarding Gregory/ Tiberius Claudius Marcianus as 'Eutropius', the father of Constantius Chlorus can be viewed in this video.