Bryn Mawr Classical Review

Bryn Mawr Classical Review 1999.06.19

C. Moreschini, D.A. Sykes, St Gregory of Nazianzus. Poemata Arcana. Oxford Theological Monographs.   Oxford:  Clarendon Press, 1997.  Pp. xxi, 228.  ISBN 0-19-826732-0.  $85.00.  

Reviewed by Ian G. Tompkins, The University of Wales, Aberystwyth (
Word count: 6208 words

This volume is a collaborative venture: the textual introduction is by Claudio Moreschini (M.), and the introduction, translation and commentary by Donald Sykes (S.). The volume is published in the series Oxford Theological Monographs, and consists of text, translation and commentary on eight poems of Gregory of Nazianzus (G.), being the first eight of fourteen poems collected and commented on by Nicetas David (C9/10). These are numbered 1.1.1-5, and 7-9 in Patrologia Graeca 37, since Caillau ignored the manuscript tradition to insert another poem (1.1.6) whose subject matter was thought relevant to the themes of the collection. There is some evidence to suggest that the group of eight formed a pre-existing homogenous collection, to which N. added other poems on moral themes, and it is on this basis that the present work considers these eight poems on their own. This is the first edition of these poems since that of A. B. Caillau from 1842 (not 1840, as pp. 56 and 76). Apart from Arc. 2 (translated in a selection of G.'s poems by J. A. McGuckin), this is the first English translation of these poems. Both editors have previously written on the collection, S. in a number of articles published since 1970 and M. both in several articles and in an edition of Nicetas' commentary on the first five poems (Naples, 1992). The commentary examines a wide range of issues in relation to the poems: manuscript variants are considered, unusual word forms are identified and discussed, and G.'s arguments are set against the context of developments in religious and philosophical thought. The volume represents a substantial contribution to the growing body of scholarship on G.'s poetry, including the selection of autobiographical poems edited by C. White (Cambridge, 1996, reviewed in TMR 98.05.09 by R. Van Dam), and the several volumes published in Paderborn on individual poems from the Carmina Moralia and De Se Ipso.

There are some noticeable inconsistencies between M.'s text and apparatus and S.'s commentary: the apparatus does not always include variants and conjectures discussed in the commentary (2.6, reading reconstructed from Syriac version; 4.27, 4.51, 7.12), or actually introduced into the text (3.86, αὑτοῦ for αὐτοῦ). Text and commentary conflict over a reading in 8.21. It is not always clear if a particular reading is a conjecture or a manuscript (cf. the conflict between commentary and apparatus over 7.121). A proposal of Holford-Strevens (apparently unpublished) in respect of 2.34 is cited in the apparatus, but not discussed in the commentary. There is also some duplication between M.'s textual introduction (pp. ix-xx) and S.'s introduction to the commentary (pp. 51-76): both discuss the title of the collection (pp. ix and 51).

M.'s introduction on the text summarises a previous article ('La tradizione manoscritta dei Carmina Arcana di Gregorio Nazianzeno', Atti della Accademia Pontoniana 44 (1995), pp. 99-120 [strangely not in the bibliography]). It provides a description of the manuscript sources and analyses their inter-relation. M. identifies six distinct groups of sources (including paraphrases, translations and commentaries). The Ω family consists of Bodleianus Clarkianus 12 (C), Neapolitanus Graecus 24 (N), Vaticanus Graecus 482 (Va), and Marcianus Graecus 82 (Ma). The second family (Ψ) consists solely of Laurentianus VII.10 (L). Thirdly, it is possible to reconstruct to some degree the Greek text used by the author of a Syriac translation of around A.D. 800, found in Vaticanus Syriacus 105, edited by P. J. Bollig (Beirut, 1895). There appears to be no recent study of this text: it surely merits further consideration. Fourthly, Cosmas of Jerusalem's commentary on G.'s poems, found in Vaticanus Graecus 1260, provides some interesting readings. Fifthly, an anthology of around A.D. 700 (the Doctrina Patrum de incarnatione Verbi) preserves parts of Arc. 1 and 2. Sixthly, the Π family, which includes Nicetas' paraphrase, consists of eight manuscripts (Vaticanus Graecus 488 [VI], Cusanus 48 [Cu], Parisianus Coislinianus Graecus 262 [Co], Marcianus Graecus [Mb], Oxoniensis Baroccianus 96 [S], and Parisinus Graecus 1220 [Pj], together with two inferior manuscripts not used in the edition: Monacensis Graecus 488 [Mn] and Marcianus Graecus 494 [Md]). M. also considers which manuscripts were available to the previous editors (Jacques de Billy [Billius], 1575; D. Hoeschel, 1611; and A. B. Caillau, 1842).

S.'s introduction argues for the thematic unity of the collection: the poems present a view of the human condition and redemption through Christ against the context of the Trinity (pp. 55-6). The literary context for the poetic enterprise of G. is chiefly provided by the didactic tradition beginning with Hesiod through to Oppian, whereas there were no substantial precedents among earlier Christian writers (pp. 57-9). S. also considers some literary characteristics of the poems, including language, grammar, metre, word-order and imagery (pp. 59-63). While S. rightly stresses G.'s debt to the language of epic, tragedy, and other classical genres, he probably underestimates the extent to which a large number of forms are particular to Greek poets of the Roman empire (Oppian, Tryphiodorus, and Nonnus). This review seeks to show that Nonnus in particular shares a significant number of words with G. Regarding the date of the poems, S. locates them between the expulsion of the Arians from the church in Constantinople (November 380) and the much more hostile anti-Apollinarian stance adopted in Ep. 101 (382) (pp. 66-7). S. also considers G.'s sources but is somewhat inconclusive, particularly in respect of the extent to which G.'s knowledge of early Greek philosophy is dependent on a reading of Aristotle (pp. 73-6).

In respect of G.'s imagery, S. stresses the use of simile, and to a less extent, metaphor. To this can be added G.'s use of narrative, for instance: scenes from the life of Christ (2.65-77); Ascension and Pentecost (3.30-1); the procreation of Eve and Seth (3.37-9); the journey of the Magi (5.53-64); the evil kings of Israel (8.22-4); the nativity and baptism of Christ (8.60-3, 72-7). (S.'s article in BZ 72 [1979], pp. 6-15, considers the narrative technique in some more detail). One of the most striking aspects of this collection is G.'s ability to combine a range of styles of discourse. Passages of theology and philosophy, in which G. recasts the language of contemporary debate into poetic form, are effectively blended with vivid similes and scenes from biblical history. What is most noticeably missing are references to contemporary figures and events: Mani is addressed by name in 4, but this is exceptional. S. finds some possible allusions to the emperor Julian (5.19, 6.70), but these are at best indirect and fleeting. There is a possible allusion to the expulsion of the Arians from the church in Constantinople in 380, which may have taken place just before the time of writing (1.14-5), while a reference to a tongue at war with Godhead may alllude to Eunomius (3.3). In 3.44-5, G. refers briefly to baptismal practice.

In addition to the Manichees (in 4) and Eunomius (in 1, 2, and 3), G. seeks particularly to refute the views of Marcellus of Ancyra and the other Sabellians (in 1 and 3), together with the Macedonians (3). In contrast, as S. notes, any animosity to Apollinarius was at this time strictly muted (pp. 67, 93-4). In 5, G.'s concern is with the refutation of a series of theories relating to astrological determinism. The continued practice of astrology troubled many Christian writers, and became the object of several laws. As S. notes (p. 183), Julian's interest in astrology may have provided a particular focus for G.'s arguments. It is worth noting that the journey of the Magi following the star appears on three occasions in the collection (2.65-6, 5.53-64 and 8.62-3). In 6, G. criticises a wide range of theories on the nature and origin of the soul, but many of these were by his time obsolescent.

G. employs a wide range of typical poetic strategies in constructing these texts. The following are worthy of note: warnings to the impure to depart (1.9, 35-9); invocation of the Holy Spirit as the source of knowledge (1.22-4); an address to his own heart (3.1); tetracolon crescendo (3.3-4, 8.97-9); aposiopesis (3.49); rhetorical address to the power of baptism, evil Manichaean darkness, and the cosmos (3.47, 4.24, 4.55); inclusion of gnomes and proverbs (4.86, 7.42, 8.38-9); claimed hesitancy in pursuing a theme (6.27ff); mixing pleasure with didacticism (7.54); use of irony (7.82). Detailed comments follow.

Poem 1. On First Principles

2. The Scholiast on Aristophanes, Birds 1372 (ed. F. Dübner, Paris, 1877, p. 240), where the same image of the flight to Olympus on feeble wings is found, reports that he derived the line from Anacreon. K. Demoen, Pagan and Biblical Exempla in Gregory Nazianzen. A Study in Rhetoric and Hermeneutics (Turnhout, 1996), p. 390, suggests that the allusion is not to Icarus but to the charioteer of Plato's Phaedrus.

5. S.'s translation of ὅρους ('ordinances') is reinforced by the collocation of the same noun with νόμους in orat. 31.19, orat. 4 (M35.645), and orat. 18 (M35.993). The text erroneously introduces a rough breathing to οἵακα, but the lemma is correct. For theological uses, compare ps-Athanasius, Sermo contra omnes haereses, M28.524; Theodoret, Interpretatio in Jeremiam, M81.572, Interp. ep. S. Pauli, M82.61, and De providentia, orat. 2.17, M83.584. Given that G. has already introduced a nautical metaphor in l. 1, a similar sense may here be apposite.

9-10. As G. here restricts his discourse to the pure, so in the Theological Orations, he seeks to set limits and boundaries to theological discourse, categorising those whom he perceives to be lovers of dispute as social subversives and proposing a strategy based on good works, catechesis and an awareness of the incomprehensibility of God (see further the discussion of R. Lim, Public Disputation, Power, and Social Order in Late Antiquity [Berkeley, Los Angeles and London, 1995], pp. 158-71, reviewed in CR 46 [1996], pp. 287-9).

10. For βέβηλοι, compare orat. 6 (M35.744), referring to Jeremiah's lament over the fall of Jerusalem, πόδες βέβηλοι καὶ χεῖρες.

11. For κατ' οὔρεος ἀκροτόμοιο, compare carm. (M37.612): ἐπ' οὔρεος ἀκροτόμοιο. On Gregory of Nyssa's Life of Moses, note also the study of Colin Macleod, 'The preface to Gregory of Nyssa's Life of Moses', JTS 33 (1982), pp. 183-91 (= Collected Papers [Oxford, 1983], pp. 329-37).

13. For σκόπελος of a stone that can be thrown, compare Antimachus, frag. 89 (ed. B. Wyss, Berlin, 1936). αὐτίκα is omitted from the translation.

14. S. follows Nardi in preferring ὣς to Caillau's ὡς, but the apparatus criticus does not indicate what the manuscripts contain. The phrase κεῖνοι μὲν δὴ τοῖα is repeated in Arc. 7.18.

15. The earliest instance of θεημάχος is, in fact, Josephus, Ant. Jud. 14.310. The likely allusion in ἡμετέροιο χοροῖο to Aristophanes, Frogs 354 is reinforced by the reappearance of the phrase in carm. (M37.1462) (dative plural as in the chorus of the Frogs).

16. On poetic uses of αὐτὰρ ἐγών, cf. H. Lloyd-Jones, JHS 83 (1963), p. 92 (reprinted in his Greek Comedy, Hellenistic Literature, etc. [Oxford, 1990], p. 185). For σελίδεσσι, cf. also carm. (M37.563): ἐν σελίδεσσι γεγραμμένα γράμματα δισσαῖς.

23. S. takes ἀτρεκίης as a nominative adjective defining the Holy Spirit, but that would require ἀτρεκίες and the word-order is awkward. Rather, it is genitive singular of the noun, dependent on σάλπιγγα ἐρίβρομον ('loud-sounding trumpet of truth'). In addition to Homeric Hymn to Bacchus 26.1, cf. also H. Bacch. 7.56.

25. ἄναρχος and ἀναίτιος are also linked in ps-Athanasius, Sermo contra Latinos, M28.829, and in Theodoret, Curatio 4.6.

27. For ἀπείριτος, cf. Odyssey 10.195, and Theogony 109, both of the sea.

29. On Gregory's ἄλλος formula, cf. S.-P. Bergjan, Theodoret von Cyrus under der Neunizänismus. Aspekte der Altkirchlichen Trinitätslehre (Berlin and New York, 1994), pp. 59-60.

31. σφρηγίς and εἰκών are also linked together in orat. 38 (M36.325), and orat. 45 (M36.633), with the same phrase in both. Note also Basil, De fide, M31.468: καὶ τί γάρ, ἀλλ' σφραγὶς καὶ εἰκών. S. rejects the reading κιννυμένη, preferred by previous editors, in favour of κινυμένη: it is worth adding that the manuscript support for κιννυμένη is strictly limited (according to the apparatus, only a second hand in S).

34. There must be some word play in νωμεύς with the closely successive νόημα.

37. Cf. the similar metaphorical use of βένθος in Arc. 8.94. S. uses 'evil' for both κακῶς and ἄναγνον. The latter is better translated as 'unholy' ('who are instead evil to the core and sport an unholy tongue').

Poem 2. On the Son

There are two major problems in relation to the text. In 6, S. defends the manuscript reading ἀπήορος against Caillau's ὑπέρτερον and οἶδεν against οὐδὲν found in some manuscripts. In 32-5, S. rejects the radical repunctuation advocated by F. Scheidweiler, BZ 49 (1956), pp. 345-8. In 45, S. prefers λυτὸν (ΩL) to αὐτῶν followed by Caillau).

4. On αὐτο- compounds of terms for killing, see E. Fraenkel on Aeschylus, Agamemnon 1091 (Oxford, 1950), and R. C. T. Parker, Miasma: Pollution and Purification in Early Greek Religion (Oxford, 1983), pp. 350-1. Cf. Arc. 4.53.

6. The second citation from Aratus, Phaenomena, should be to 895 not 975.

12. S. omits ὁμῶς ('to all mortal beings alike').

15. Other uses of δετός in addition to the passage from Oppian cited by S. include carm. (M.37.1514): ἐν πάντεσσι νόμοισιν ὁμῶς, ἀδέτοις τε δετοῖς τε, and Herodianus, De prosodia catholica (ed. A. Lentz, Leipzig, 1867), p. 216, and Eustathius on Iliad 14.184 (ed. M. van der Valk, Leiden, 1979, vol. 3, p. 610), while according to Didymus on Zachariah 11.2 (ed. L. Doutreleau, Paris, 1962), τὰς δετὰς πλόκας is a synonym for δρυφάκτους, i.e. wooden lattice-work.

19. The text reads ἄναρχος, the lemma reads ἀνάρχου, but the accompanying note assumes ἄναρχος.

21. The commentary argues for 'principle' for ἀρχήν, but the translation has 'beginning'.

27. The text has a serious misprint: ἢέλησις for θέλησις.

42. The sense 'generation' for τὴν μὲν is rejected in the commentary in favour of 'divinity' but retained in the translation.

It is a general criticism that the commentary refers to the readings of previous editors without always making it clear that their choices have manuscript support, which becomes apparent only from the apparatus (e.g. 2.45, 46).

61. Again the translation and commentary differ: 'descend' for ἐπικύψας as opposed to 'condescend'. The sense 'stoop down', as in Aristophanes, Thesmophoriazusae 239, is suitable here.

63. For σαρκοφόρος, cf. carm. (M37.1466): κάλλεα σαρκοφόρα, and carm. (M37.1327): ὑστάτιον θνητῶν πήμασι σαρκοφόρε.

67. ὑπέρσχεθε is not as unattested as suggested, cf. Hesiod, frag. 302.2 (ed. R. Merkelbach - M. L. West, Oxford, 1967), from the Cerameis / Caminos) = Sudae Vita Homeri 154 (ed. T.W. Allen, Oxford, 1912).

73. πάρετος is also found in medical writers: 14 instances in Galen (De usu partium, p. 68.17; De locis affectis, p. 243.6; De dignoscendis pulsibus, p. 804.3, De diebus decretoriis, p. 928.4; De compositione medicamentorum secundum locos, p. 132.12 and 348.16; De compositione medicamentorum per genera, p. 1010.16, 1016.4, 1018.5, 1029.9, 1031.9; De antidotis, p. 152.11; In Hippoc. lib. vi epid. comm., p. 892.15; and In Hippoc. lib. de off. med. comm., p. 638.7).

78-9. On the descent of Christ into Hades, cf. A. E. Bernstein, The Formation of Hell: Death and Retribution in the Ancient and Early Christian Worlds (Ithaca and London, 1993), pp. 252-3, 272-82, 302-5, 320-1.

Poem 3. On the Spirit

S. sets the poem within the context of contemporary debate on the divinity of the Spirit, including Basil's De Spiritu Sancto and the Creed of Constantinople (381). G. is shown to approach this issue in three distinct ways: he argues from the evidence of the liturgy, i.e. baptismal practice (44-53); the silence of the Old Testament regarding the Spirit is explained in terms of progressive revelation accommodated to human weakness (10-36); and the distinctiveness and equality of relations within the Godhead are defended (37-43, 54-93). Of particular interest is how G. recasts the unmetrical terminology of the Creed of Constantinople to fit the constraints of hexameter verse (φερέσβιον for ζωοποιόν [6], and πατρόθεν ἐρχόμενον for ἐκπορευόμενον [7]). He also recalls the language of Marcellus (ἔνδοθι μίμνων for M.'s ἔνδον μένων [64], συνιοῦσα for συστέλλεσθαι [69], and μονὰς νήριθμος for μονὰς ... ἀδιαίρετος [72]). G. rejects a series of Trinitarian analogies, for which S. provides a wide range of parallels from other writers (61-70). S. suggests that in the case of close parallels between this poem and the metrical version of the psalms attributed to Apollinarius, G. is the source text.

Particular problems in relation to the text arise in 3-4, and 51-2: S. defends the manuscript reading μοι Θεός against ὁμοίθεον preferred by previous editors (3); καὶ ὃς is retained over the suggestions of Billius and Caillau (4); λον is defended against Caillau's λος (the reading of L) or λη (51), and τὸ δ' ἂν ἶσον against τὸ δ' ἄνισον (Billius, following Cu) (52); the rarer περίτρομος is preferred to the more common περίδρομος (66).

3-4. The translation confuses the order of the tetracolon crescendo.

4. S. suggests there is no direct evidence for the sense of 'clearly, openly' for ἔναντα (thus Caillau's 'manifeste'), but Hesychius glosses the word as φανερῶς.

5. The reference to Euripides, Hippolytus, should be 750 not 749; the reading ὀλβιόδωρος is retained by Barrett and by Diggle (Oxford, 1984), cf. Barrett's commentary ad loc. (Oxford, 1964).

5. Even if G. is referring to the heavenly choir, ἁγνῆς must be translated as 'holy' rather than 'heavenly' (in the next line S. uses 'heavenly' for οὐρανίων).

6. ὑψιθόωκον appears to be G.'s own coinage.

15. Cf. A. S. F. Gow on Theocritus 28.21 (Oxford, 1950) for other uses and the more usual sense of ἐραννος. The commentary on the Parmenides to which S. refers is usually attributed to Porphyry.

23. Homer's γλυκερὸν φάος is also echoed in Ap. Rhod., Arg. 2.184, Tragica Adespota, frag. 373.3 (ed. A. Nauck, Leipzig, 1889), and Lyrica Adespota, frag. 76.2 (ed. D. L. Page, Oxford, 1962).

25. αὐγάζεσκε is the only attested instance of the iterative form of αὐγάζω.

27. φαεινοτέρην is transliterated in the apparatus into Roman characters.

28. G. also uses the rare verb ὑπαστραπτω in orat. 2 (M35.457) and orat. 4 (M35.648), cf. also Anth. Gr. 1.10.54.

41. S.'s interpretation of the first part of this line is more sensible than those of Billius and Caillau. However, G. is not warning against the limitations of analogy, but drawing a conclusion from the analogy that he has just outlined.

43. Cf. Gow on Theocritus 23.7 for uses of the noun ἀμάρυγμα. The text of Strattis, frag. 66.5 (ed. T. Kock, Leipzig, 1880), should read χοροὺς ἑλίσσουσαι.

45. The reference to Sophocles, OT should be 193 not 192.

59. πολύσεπτος appears in Pindar, Paean, frag. 52ma 7 (ed. H. Maehler, Leipzig, 1975), Orphic Hymns 26.6 (ed. W. Quandt, Berlin, 1962), Porphyry, Contra Christianos, frag. 78 (ed. A. von Harnack, Berlin, 1916) and Hesychius as a gloss for πολύθεστος.

66. The adjective περίτρομος is also found in a scholiast on Sophocles, Ajax 140 (ed. G.A. Christodoulos, Athens, 1977): the chorus' fear is likened to the eye of a dove since this is a περίτρομος creature. The noun τοῖχοι can mean the sides of a ship rather a wall, and this may be the sense here (cf. Odyssey 12.420).

79. μονοκρατία is not entirely unique to G.: it appears as a gloss in the Suda for μοναρχία, but may well be G.'s coinage.

80. 'Babel' is somewhat inexact, and introduces a misleading image. According to the Suda, ἐν θεῶν ἀγορᾷ is a proverbial expression for τῶν καθ' ὑπερβολὴν κακηγορούντων, since this was a place-name in Eleusis. Hesychius explains it as describing one who dares to speak in company that is above him/her. Since G. is adapting a proverbial expression, the traditional imagery should be retained, e.g. 'a market-place of the gods with many rulers'. Ultimately, the proverb may go back to the divine gathering of Iliad 8.

86. S. introduces a minor emendation, changing a smooth to a rough breathing. The text and apparatus, however, do not indicate that this is an emendation.

91. For πέτασμα, cf. Fraenkel on Aeschylus, Agamemnon 909. θείου is omitted from the translation: it could govern either πετάσματος or νηοῦ.

Poem 4. On the Universe

S. sets the poem within the context of other cosmological writings by the Cappadocian fathers, particularly Basil's In Hexaemeron, and philosophical understandings of monotheism and cosmology, including views on the eternity of the world from Xenophanes and Aristotle and the eternal Forms. G. does not add anything of substance to the arguments of Basil and Gregory of Nyssa. His arguments in favour of the inseparability of form and matter (7-15) take place at a much less sophisticated level than his contemporaries'. The main object of his critique are initially πινυτοί ... (4), whom S. identifies as 'Platonists in general' (p. 145) rather than any specific contemporary philosopher, but this then leads into polemic against the Manichees (24-54). S. suggests that G. is initially criticising polytheistic views of creation, particularly through his assertion of the principle of εἷς Θεός (3), but G.'s intention is to refute not so much polytheistic views but rather the principle of eternal Forms, which would then have a status equal to that of God, but are in fact his creation. With regard to the anti-Manichaean arguments, S. shows there to be disparity between G.'s description of their position and what we know them actually to have believed regarding the principles of light and darkness (p. 153).

Particular textual problems arise in relation to 13: ἑστάμεν is preferred to ἑστάναι (Co) and ἕστακεν (Caillau); S. defends the manuscript reading οὐ against Caillau's suggestion ὃν (27). In 51, S. defends the manuscript reading ὀψιγόνοιο against the proposed ὑψιγόνοιο. There are also problems with the text of 85, which are considered below.

1. εἰ δ' ἄγε is used by G. in carm. (M37.526), introducing not a new poem but a new argument.

4. συνάναρχα appears in Gregory otherwise only in orat. 29.3.

7-8. S. slightly misquotes Damascius, In Parmenidem (Ruelle ii. 425, p. 281, 13ff): for σχέσεως read σχέσεων.

12-3. A transitive use of ἕστακεν is also found in Epictetus, Dissertationes ab Arriano digestae 3.22 (ed. H. Schenkl, Leipzig, 1916). S.'s claim that ἕστακα is found in Cercidas is unsupported. Frag. 3.2 has the perfect participle ἑστακυῖαν. S.'s distinction between the activeand the intransitive form would be better framed in terms of transitive and intransitive usages. The apparatus criticus has two misprints: for ἑστάμεν' read ἑστάμεν and for ἐστακεν read ἕστακεν.

20. ἐνεῖδος is also found in Melanippides, frag. 1 (ed. D. L. Page, Oxford, 1962), from Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae. 14.651F, but the text is corrupt; Page's apparatus follows Dobree in reading μορφᾶεν εἶδος.

21. Other instances of γενέτειρα include Gregory, carm. (M37.1546), Orphic Hymns 3.1, Philostratus, Imagines 1.10.3, Nonnus, Dionysiaca 9.153, Anthologia Graeca 7.493.1, and Epigrammata sepulcralia 429.1 and 558.7 (ed. E. Cougny, Paris, 1890).

24-54. Lieu's initials are S.N.C., and his Manichaeism in the Later Roman Empire and Medieval China is now in a second edition (Tübingen, 1992). Note also his more two more recent area studies: Manichaeism in Mesopotamia and the Roman East (Leiden, 1994), and Manichaeism in Central Asia and China (Leiden, 1998).

40. ὑψιθεόντων is also found in carm. (M37.1256).

53. S. overlooks the occurrence of αὐτοδάικτος in Aeschylus, Seven Against Thebes 735.

79. The feminine form ὑποδρήστειραν is also found in Nonnus, Dionysiaca 19.52 and 41.287.

80. Compare the metaphorical use of πλησιφαῆ in Nonnus, Dionysiaca 28.232. The order of words in the translation should be reversed, 'full of light' before 'great'.

83. ὄλβον ὀπάζειν may also allude to Odyssey 18.19.

85. The apparatus is seriously and irreparably flawed. The variant readings are misprinted, with rough breathings on both ὀλέσσῃ and ὀπάζει. A third alternative, ὀπάζῃ, the reading of Cu, is considered in the commentary but omitted from the apparatus. ὀπάζει is attributed in the apparatus to the Π family, which includes Cu. Either this is a further misprint and the apparatus should actually read ὀπάζῃ, in which case the attribution of ὀπάζει is not mentioned, or else the variant is attested in other manuscripts within the Π family, which the editors do not identify.

87. In Homer, αἰπύς is found exclusively with ὄλεθρος.

Poem 5. On Providence

S. sets the poem within the context of the views on providence of the Stoics and Plotinus, but does not mention Philo's De Providentia (pp. 174-5). G.'s reference to the automatic theory of the universe is considered against the background of earlier discussions including the Epicureans (pp. 178-9). S. also discusses at some length Christian attitudes to astrology (pp. 180-3). G.'s use of the Star of Bethlehem and the Magi is compared with those in other Christian writings (pp. 190-1). To the general literature on astrology in the ancient world should be added T. S. Barton, Ancient Astrology (London, 1994).

Textual problems are identified in lines 1 (regarding εὐρυθέμειλον and ἀπείρων) and 70 (regarding ἄνιμεν).

1. Pfeiffer's edition (Oxford, 1953) adopts εὐρὺ θέμειλον in Call. in Dian. 248 as also the Budé edition of E. Cahen (Paris, 1961). εὐρυθέμειλον is only otherwise attested in Epigrammata exhortatoria et supplicatoria 28.4 (ed. E. Cougny, Paris, 1890).

2. The quotation from Anxagoras omits the phrase καὶ ὅσα νῦν ἐστι after μὴ ἔστι.

5. There is some support for the sense of 'spinning-top' for ῥόμβος. Hesychius glosses βέμβιξ as ῥόμβος, and βέμβιξ is certainly a spinning-top (cf. Aristophanes, Birds 1461). S. is right to find a close connection between στρόμβος and ῥόμβος: both Hesychius and the Suda gloss the former by the latter. Note also the Scholiast on Ap. Rhod. Arg. 1.1139 (ed. K. Wendel, Berlin, 1935, p. 103): ῥόμβος· τροχίσκος, ὃν στρέφουσιν ἱμᾶσι τύπτοντες, καὶ οὕτως κτύπον ἀποτελοῦσι.

11. 'Shield and helmet' rather than 'shield or helmet'.

13. For ἀνηγεμόνευτος, compare Philo, De Somniis 2.286 (uncontrolled houses groan with tensions and disorder), cf. also Lucian, Icaromenippus 9.

14. The phrase θεῶν σημάντορι πάντων is also found in Hesiod, frag. 5.3M-W (from the Catalogue of Women) as well as in Scutum 56.

19. C. Th. 9.16.4 is a law of Constantius (357), but 9.16.8 belongs to Valentinian and Valens (370/373) and 9.16.12 to Honorius and Theodosius (409). The law of 409 prescribes deportation rather than execution for unrepentant astrologers. Constantius' other laws on astrology are 9.16.5-6. C. Th. 9.18.2 should be C.J.

30. The text prints ἑλίξεις, but the apparatus ἐλίξεις. ἑλίξεις is cited as an isolated reading of Cosmas (p. xiv), but it is not clear what the manuscripts of G. actually read at this point.

39. The image of the κευθμῶν of Hades in carm. (M37.1405) may go back to νεκρῶν κευθμῶνα in the opening line of Euripides, Hecuba.

43. ἐμοῦ is overlooked in the translation ('my life').

44. ἀνάστερος is also found in Aratus, Phaen. 228 and Sib. Or. 5.531. αὐτοκέλευθος appears in Tryphiodorus, Iliupersis 314. The Budé edition of B. Gerlaud (Paris, 1982) argues for a much earlier dating for Tryphiodorus than previously considered ('entre le milieu du IIIe siècle et le début du IVe' [p. 9]). Gerlaud suggests that G. draws extensively on T., and cites a number of apparent influences (p. 55). The present case is overlooked, but should certainly be added to the list. The adjective otherwise appears in Anthologia Graeca 9.362.5, Nonnus, Dionysiaca 6.369, 8.19, 21.169, 40.520, and Paraphrasis 11.161 (ed. A. Scheindler, Leipzig, 1881), and the Scholiast on Oppian, Halieutica 1.763 (ed. U. C. Bussemaker, Paris, 1849).

45. ὡροθέτας is translated as 'ascendant signs', but the commentary rejects this in favour of 'casters of horoscopes'. While Anthologia Graeca 11.160 may support the latter, 11.161 favours the former. The Loeb edition of W. R. Paton (1918) translates the former as 'take horoscopes from', and the latter as 'is your horoscope'. The translation requires 'circles' and 'measurements' rather than 'circle' and 'measurement'.

58. παῖδες is omitted in the translation. There is no C. Th. 3.16.8.

61. The verb τροχάω also appears in Aratus, Phaenomena 309.

63. μήδεα is perhaps better translated as 'plans' rather than 'cleverness'.

Poem 6. On Rational Natures

Most of this poem is concerned with the nature of angels, with particular reference to the fall of Lucifer (56-66).

2. περιωγή also appears as a gloss in the Scholiast on Oppian, Halieutica 1.364.

4. σελαγίζεται is not quite as uncommon as S. suggests: Callimachus, Hecale, fr. 238.26 (ed. R. Pfeiffer, Oxford, 1949 [a restored reading]), and Porphyry, De Philosophia ex Oraculis, quoted by Eusebius, Prep. Ev. 5.7.1 (ed. K. Mras, Berlin, 1954).

5. ἔκτοθε has some manuscript support (P), and is not unparalleled: Oppian, Cynegetica 4.90 and 252, and Epigrammata dedicatoria 201.5 (ed. E. Cougny, Paris, 1890). Nevertheless, ἔκτοθι may be preferred in that G. uses it on several other occasions.

8. For the expression 'source of the lights' may be compared Philo, De Opificio Mundi 30, where the ὑπερουάνιος ἀστήρ is the πηγὴ τῶν αἰσθητῶν ἀστέρων.

16. Compounds in -δρησσω are common in Nonnus, including ὑποδρήσσω (Dionysiaca 2.588, 15.125, 20.389, 33.136, 34.329, 36.418, 40.157, 40.189, 43.88, 43.104, 43.116, 43.365, 44.205, 48.297, and Para. 12.105), ἀφεδρήσσω (Dion. 11.127, 11.148, 20.36, 23.191, 26.332, 30.317, 39.91), παρεδρήσσω (Dion. 9.112, 40.472), and παραδρήσσω (Para. 16.19). Gregory also uses ὑποδρήσσω in carm. and, and ἀφεδρήσσω in (M37.500, 524, and 976).

30. τρηχαλέος is also relatively common in Nonnus (Dion. 2.268, 5.406, 6.201, 9.248, 14.383, 17.216, 21.9, 24.276, 28.224, 32.129, 36.302, 39.343, 43.27, 43.132, 44.63, 45.290, 47.581, and Para. 8.190).

52. For 'other' read 'ether'. On the αἴθηρ - ἀήρ distinction and on the senses of the terms, see M. R. Wright, Cosmology in Antiquity (London, 1993), pp. 109-25.

73-4. ἀπιχθόνοι ... δαίμονες may allude to Hesiod, Works and Days 122-3. For κακότητες compare Theognis 623.

85. G. may have in mind Aeschylus, Agamemnon 1299: οὐκ ἔστ' ἄλυξις, οὔ, ξένοι, χρόνον πλέω.

95. Most of the line is omitted from the translation: 'therefore there is punishment for the father of evils'.

Poem 7. On the Soul

The longest poem of the collection (129 lines) falls into two distinct sections, 1-52, in which G. considers false theories of the soul, and 53-129, in which G. develops his own anthropology. The critical interpretative issue with regard to this poem is the identification of the sources on which G. draws and the identity of those whose views he is seeking to refute in the course of the poem. S. explores in some detail the backgound to the theories refuted by G. (the soul as fire [7-8], as air [8-9], as blood [10], and as harmony [11-7], the common soul [22-31], and the transmigration and reincarnation of souls [32-52]), and identifies a wide range of proponents of these views beginning with the pre-Socratics. G.'s comments on the transmigration of souls should be seen against the background of ongoing contemporary debates, particularly with reference to the Neoplatonists, debates over the views of Origen, and the system of Mani. What remains unclear, however, is the precise identity, if any, of the opponents whom G. has here in mind, and also the extent to which G. had direct knowledge of these theories. It may be the case that he was heavily dependent on texts such as Aristotle's De Anima. G.'s anthropology is generally considered by G. Kontoulis, Zum Problem der Sklaverei bei den Kappadokischen Kirchenvätern und Johannes Chrysostomus (Bonn, 1993), pp. 263-70.

The significant textual problems relate to 12, where there is variant reading εἴδεος ἀνθρώποιο (unfortunately, although discussed in the commentary, it is omitted from the apparatus, and there is no indication of the manuscript(s) in which it is found); 116, where S. proposes ἔκερσεν ('cut short') rather than ἔκορσεν ('satisfied') as previous editors; 88, where the rarer ἀρτιγένεθλος is preferred to αὐτογένεθλος; 121 φυγεῖν rather than φαγεῖν; the commentary reports the latter as a variant reading, but the apparatus solely as a conjecture of Billius without identifying manuscript support); and 126, where S. prefers a reading derived from Nicetas (πεσόντες) to the text of Cu (πλέοντες).

8-9. The quotation from frag. 2 of Anaximenes omits πάλιν before ἀναλύεσθαι.

26. A full stop has been omitted from the end of the line.

32. ἔτι is omitted: 'yet more souls'.

32. On G.'s use and understanding of μῦθος, see Demoen, Pagan and Biblical Exempla, pp. 212-6.

42. Regarding λακέρυζα κορώνη, M. L. West's note on Hesiod, Op. 747 (Oxford, 1978) collects a fascinating range of information on corvine folk-lore. Note also Stesichorus, fr. 32, col. i, l. 9, λακέρυζα κορώνα (ed. D. L. Page, Oxford, 1962). Frag. 171 Rzach of Hesiod is numbered 304 by Merkelbach-West.

50. The Ionic form δορή is also attested in Nonnus, Dionysiaca 14.378.

60. θεουδής must mean 'God-fearing' in carm. and (M37.1277, 1490), which may add further support to this sense here over 'God-like'.

62. ἄγγελοι ἐσθλοί ... is omitted from the translation.

69. ὑμνητήρ also appears in carm., and and 255 (M37.515, 529, 541).

91. ἡγεσία appears in Eustathius on Iliad 1.298 (vol. 1, p. 166), and Amphilochius, In mulierem peccatricem (orat. 4) (ed. C. Datema, Turnhout, 1978), describing the journey of the Magi. S. also overlooks carm. and (M37.1317, 1576).

103. ἀμφιτάλαντος is also found in Eustathius on Iliad 2.108, and Gregory, Ep. 4. The compound verb ἀμφιταλαντεύω appears in Nonnus, Dionysiaca 1.183 and 6.110. Gregory also uses compounds in πολυ- in orat. 2 and orat. 4 (M35.480, 657), ἀντι- in orat. 5 (M35.655), carm.,, and (M37.770, 1393, 1495), and ἰσο- in carm. (M37.1244).

123. παλίνορσος ἁλίπλοος may recall Tryphiodorus 145: παλίνορσον ἐπὶ πλόον (cf. Gerlaud, ad. loc.).

Poem 8. On the Testaments and the Coming of Christ

The central critical problem of this poem concerns its unity. S. revises the view that he put forward in 'The Poemata Arcana of Gregory Nazianzus', JTS 21 (1970), pp. 32-42, concerning the status of the 60 lines found in manuscript L after line 18 (retained by Wyss). He now considers them to be genuine lines of G., but not part of this particular poem. Secondly, S. defends the unity of the remainder of the poem against Wyss, who followed the scribe of Bodleianus Clarkianus 12 (C) (cf. p. x) in introducing a break to the poem after line 81 (the scribe of C. also considered there to be a break after 30). It would have been of some help if the editors had chosen to print the athetised lines.

2. ἐξεφάνθη should be taken with both παλαιότερος and νέος. On Gregory's understanding of the relation between the Old and New Covenants, cf. Demoen, Pagan and Biblical Exempla, pp. 252-4.

4. For πείρασιν αἴης, cf. M.L. West on Theogony 335 (Oxford, 1966).

9. λυσσήεις is also found 18 times in Nonnus, Dionysiaca 2.292, 3.210, 5.353, 15.313, 22.207, 23.178, 24.136, 25.507, 28.283, 29.319, 30.56, 36.134, 45.2, 45.334, 46.101, 46.143, 48.85, and Paraphrasis 18.3. Contra S., in Euripides, Bacchae 977, λύσσα is a personification (thus E. R. Dodds, ad. loc. (Oxford, 2nd ed. 1960); in Hercules Furens, λύσσα is personified in 878, 884 and 899 as well as 823.

16. ἔτισε should perhaps be 'honoured' rather than 'came to worship', since the subject is μῦθος.

20. For λιταζομένοισιν, cf. Suda: λιτάζομαι: παρακαλῶ, δέομαι.

21. The text prints ὄλλυον, but the commentary ὤλλυον. Archilochus, frag. 26.6 West (= 27 Bergk) and Com. Adesp. 608 (ed. T. Kock, Leipzig, 1888) have the present tense ὀλλύεις.

24. The expression ὀρεων κορυφὰς is Homeric (Iliad 12.282, Odyssey 9.121, Homeric Hymn to Pan 7).

29. On Julian's plans for Jerusalem in relation to the reconstruction of the temple, cf. D. Levenson, 'Julian's attempt to rebuild the temple: an inventory of ancient and medieval sources', in H.W. Attridge, J.J. Collins, and T.H. Tobin (eds.), Of Scribes and Scrolls. Studies on the Hebrew Bible, Intertestamental Judaism and Christian Origins Presented to John Strugnell on the Occasion of his Sixtieth Birthday (Lanham, New York and London, 1990), pp. 261-79, esp. 264-7.

35. The epithet θυμοβόροιο is Homeric (Iliad 7.301, 16.476, 20.253, all at the end of the line as here).

38-9. οὐ ... ἄκος looks like a gnomic expression and should therefore be translated in the present tense. 42. βροτωθῆναι also appears in the Christus Patiens A20 and 22.

53. For 'This came about' read 'Thus it came about'.

59. For ἁλίκτυπον, cf. also Euripides, Hippolytus 754, and the note of W. S. Barrett, ad. loc. Other instances in Nonnus are Dionysiaca 3.81, 13.434, 25.86, 26.174, 38.183, and 39.22.

70. Cf. N. J. Richardson on the Homeric Hymn to Demeter 168 (Oxford, 1974).

80. For 'my Lord', read 'my God'.

86. Neither ἀμφιρεπῆ nor κλιτόν is a hapax legomenon as suggested, cf. on the former Mesomedes fr. 8.16 (ed. E. Heitsch, Göttingen, 1963): ζυγὸν ἀμφιρεπῆ, and on the latter Philoponus, In Aristotelis categorias commentarium, vol. 13, 1, p. 10 (ed. A. Busse, Berlin, 1898).

88. παῖδες has been omitted from the translation ('the children of the Hebrews').

There is a very full bibliography, and few useful supplements can be suggested, apart from the Paderborn commentaries and the studies of Demoen, Kontoulis, and Lim mentioned above. The volume is completed with three indexes (Greek words, scripture, and general), but G.'s writings and other primary sources are not indexed.

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