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A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography

Pegasius, Bishop of Troas

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Pegasius (1) , bp. of Troas c. 350–360. His name was found in a previously unknown letter of the emperor Julian, first published in Hermes (1875), pp. 257–266. This letter gives a very interesting description of a visit paid by Julian to Troy before he became emperor. It describes the graves of Hector and Achilles, and the temple of Minerva as being still honoured with sacrifices; while the bishop of the place Pegasius seems to have acted as custodian of the temple and of the images which were in their places and in good order. He had evidently discerned Julian's tendency to paganism. Julian, upon entering the temple, recognized traces of sacrifices, and asked if the people still sacrificed to the gods. The bishop defended the practice on the analogy of the honour paid by Christians to the martyrs. The bishop turned pagan on the accession of Julian, whose letter was written to plead his cause on the ground that such converts needed encouragement. This letter is of great interest in view of modern explorations of the site of Troy. Cf. Boissier's art. on Julian in Revue des deux mondes , July 1880, pp. 106–108.


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Bibliography Information
Wace, Henry. Entry for 'Pegasius, Bishop of Troas'. A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography. 1911.

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