FIRMILIAN: Bishop of Cæsarea in Cappadocia; d. at Tarsus in Cilicia 264, while on the way to the synod in Antioch against Paul of Samosata. He became bishop of Cæsarea in 232 (Eusebius, Hist. eccl., vi. 26), and with Dionysius of Alexandria (q.v.) ranked as one of the most eminent churchmen of his time in the East. He was a friend of Origen (Eusebius, vi. 27), and an opponent of the Novatians (Eusebius, Hist. eccl., VI., xlvi. 3; cf. VII., v. 1). He is especially known for his antagonism to Pope Stephen I. in the strife over baptism by heretics (see HERETIC BAPTISM). In a long letter to Cyprian of Carthage, preserved in Latin translation among Cyprian's letters (lxxv. [lxxiv]; Eng. transl, in ANF, v. 390-397), he emphatically maintains that heresy lacks the Spirit, and that a heretic baptism is invalid. He also speaks of the "audacity, insolence," and "pride" of the Roman bishop, and, under cover of reference to the paschal controversies, deduces the conclusion that Rome by no means invariably appeared as the custodian of true tradition. This letter is his only extant work. Of its genuineness, once contested in Roman Catholic quarters, there should be no doubt; and Ritschl's assumption of interpolations is to be rejected. Firmilian is celebrated in the Oriental Church on Oct. 28.