Church Fathers: Post-Nicene Fathers Vol 05: 25.01.02 Book I Part 1

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Church Fathers: Post-Nicene Fathers Vol 05: 25.01.02 Book I Part 1

TOPIC: Post-Nicene Fathers Vol 05 (Other Topics in this Collection)
SUBJECT: 25.01.02 Book I Part 1

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Book I

§1. Preface.-It is Useless to Attempt to Benefitthose Who Will Not Accept Help.

It seems that the wish to benefit all, and to lavish indiscriminately upon the first comer one's own gifts, was not a thing altogether commendable, or even free from reproach in the eyes of the many; seeing that the gratuitous waste of many prepared drugs on the incurably-diseased produces no result worth caring about, either in the way of gain to the recipient, or reputation to the would-be benefactor. Rather such an attempt becomes in many cases the occasion of a change for the worse. The hopelessly-diseased and now dying patient receives only a speedier end from the more active medicines; the fierce unreasonable temper is only made worse by the kindness of the lavished pearls, as the Gospel tells us. I think it best, therefore, in accordance with the Divine command, for any one to separate the valuable from the worthless when either have to be given away, and to avoid the pain which a generous giver must receive from one who `treads upon his pearl,' and insults him by his utter want of feeling for its beauty.

This thought suggests itself when I think of one who freely communicated to others the beauties of his own soul, I mean that man of God, that mouth of piety, Basil; one who from the abundance of his spiritual treasures poured his grace of wisdom into evil souls whom he had never tested, and into one among them, Eunomius, who was perfectly insensible to all the efforts made for his good. Pitiable indeed seemed the condition of this poor man, from the extreme weakness of his soul in the matter of the Faith, to all true members of the Church; for who is so wanting in feeling as not to pity, at least, a perishing soul? But Basil alone, from the abidinghyperlink ardour of his love, was moved to undertake his cure, and therein to attempt impossibilities; he alone took so much to heart the man's desperate condition, as to compose, as an antidote of deadly poisons, his refutation of this heresyhyperlink , which aimed at saving its author, and restoring him to the Church.

He, on the contrary, like one beside himself with fury, resists his doctor; he fights and struggles; he regards as a bitter foe one who only put forth his strength to drag him from the abyss of misbelief; and he does not indulge in this foolish anger only before chance hearers now and then; he has raised against himself a literary monument to record this blackness of his bile; and when in long years he got the requisite amount of leisure, he was travailling over his work during all that interval with mightier pangs than those of the largest and the bulkiest beasts; his threats of what was coming were dreadful, whilst he was still secretly moulding his conception: but when at last and with great difficulty he brought it to the light, it was a poor little abortion, quite prematurely born. However, those who share his ruin nurse it and coddle it; while we, seeking the blessing in the prophet ("Blessed shall he be who shall take thy children, and shall dash them against the stoneshyperlink ") are only eager, now that it has got into our hands, to take this puling manifesto and dash it on the rock, as if it was one of the children of Babylon; and the rock must be Christ; in other words, the enunciation of the truth. Only may that power come upon us which strengthens weakness, through the prayers of him who made his own strength perfect in bodily weaknesshyperlink .

§2. We Have Been Justly Provoked to Make This Answer, Being Stung by Eunamius' Accusations of Our Brother.

If indeed that godlike and saintly soul were still in the flesh looking out upon human affairs, if those lofty tones were still heard with all their peculiarhyperlink grace and all their resistless utterance, who could arrive at such a pitch of audacity, as to attempt to speak one word upon this subject? that divine trumpet-voice would drown any word that could be uttered. But all of him has now flown back to God; at first indeed in the slight shadowy phantom of his body, he still rested on the earth; but now he has quite shed even that unsubstantial form, and bequeathed it to this world. Meantime the drones are buzzing round the cells of the Word, and are plundering the honey; so let no one accuse me of mere audacity for rising up to speak instead of those silent lips. I have not accepted this laborious task from any consciousness in myself of powers of argument superior to the others who might be named; I, if any, have the means of knowing that there are thousands in the Church who are strong in the gift of philosophic skill. Nevertheless I affirm that, both by the written and the natural law, to me more especially belongs this heritage of the departed, and therefore I myself, in preference to others, appropriate the legacy of the controversy. I may be counted amongst the least of those who are enlisted in the Church of God, but still I am not too weak to stand out as her champion against one who has broken with that Church. The very smallest member of a vigorous body would, by virtue of the unity of its life with the whole, be found stronger than one that had been cut away and was dying, however large the latter and small the former.

§3. We See Nothing Remarkable in Logical Force in the Treatise of Eunomius, and So Embark an Our Answer with a Just Confidence.

Let no one think, that in saying this I exaggerate and make an idle boast of doing something which is beyond my strength. I shall not be led by any boyish ambition to descend to his vulgar level in a contest of mere arguments and phrases. Where victory is a useless and profitless thing, we yield it readily to those who wish to win; besides, we have only to look at this man's long practice in controversy, to conclude that he is quite a word-practitioner, and, in addition, at the fact that he has spent no small portion of his life on the composition of this treatise, and at the supreme joy of his intimates over these labours, to conclude that he has taken particular trouble with this work. It was not improbable that one who had laboured at it for so many Olympiads would produce something better than the work of extempore scribblers. Even the vulgar profusion of the figures he uses in concocting his work is a further indication of this laborious care in writinghyperlink . He has got a great mass of newly assorted terms, for which he has put certain other books under contribution, and he piles this immense congeries of words on a very slender nucleus of thought; and so he has elaborated this highly-wrought production, which his pupils in error are lost in the admiration of;-no doubt, because their deadhess on the vital points deprives them of the power of feeling the distinction between beauty and the reverse:-but which is ridiculous, and of no value at all in the judgment of those, whose hearts' insight is not dimmed with any soil of unbelief. How in the world can it contribute to the proof (as he hopes) of what he says and the establishment of the truth of his speculations, to adopt these absurd devices in his forms of speech, this new-fangled and peculiar arrangement, this fussy conceit, and this conceited fussiness, which works with no enthusiasm for any previous model? For it would be indeed difficult to discover who amongst all those who have been celebrated for their eloquence he has had his eye on, in bringing himself to this pitch; for he is like those who produce effects upon the stage, adapting his argument to the tune of his rhythmical phrases, as they their song to their castenets, by means of parallel sentences of equal length, of similar sound and similar ending. Such, amongst many other faults, are the nerveless quaverings and the meretricious tricks of his Introduction; and one might fancy him bringing them all out, not with an unimpassioned action, but with stamping of the feet and sharp snapping of the fingers declaiming to the time thus beaten, and then remarking that there was no need of other arguments and a second performance after that.

§4. Eunomius Displays Much Folly and Fine Writing, But Very Little Seriousness About Vital Points.

In these and such like antics I allow him to have the advantage; and to his heart's content he may revel in his victory there. Most willingly I forego such a competition, which can attract those only who seek renown; if indeed any renown comes from indulging in such methods of argumentation, considering that Paulhyperlink , that genuine minister of the Word, whose only ornament was truth, both disdained himself to lower his style to such prettinesses, and instructs us also, in a noble and appropriate exhortation, to fix our attention on truth alone. What need indeed for one who is fair in the beauty of truth to drag in the paraphernalia of a decorator for the production of a false artificial beauty? Perhaps for those who do not possess truth it may be an advantage to varnish their falsehoods with an attractive style, and to rub into the grain of their argument a curious polish. When their error is taught in far-fetched language and decked out with all the affectations of style, they have a chance of being plausible and accepted by their hearers. But those whose only aim is simple truth, unadulterated by any misguiding foil, find the light of a natural beauty emitted from their words.

But now that I am about to begin the examination of all that he has advanced, I feel the same difficulty as a farmer does, when the air is calm; I know not how to separate his wheat from his chaff; the waste, in fact, and the chaff in this pile of words is so enormous, that it makes one think that the residue of facts and real thoughts in all that he has said is almost nil. It would be the worse for speed and very irksome, it would even be beside our object, to go into the whole of his remarks in detail; we have not the means for securing so much leisure so as wantonly to devote it to such frivolities; it is the duty, I think, of a prudent workman not to waste his strength on trifles, but on that which will clearly repay his toil.

As to all the things, then, in his Introduction, how he constitutes himself truth's champion, land fixes the charge of unbelief upon his opponents, and declares that an abiding and indelible hatred for them has sunk into his soul, how he struts in his `new discoveries,' though he does not tell us what they are, but says only that an examination of the debateable points in them was set on foot, a certain `legal' trial which placed on those who were daring to act illegally the necessity of keeping quiet, or to quote his own words in that Lydian style of singing which he has got, "the bold law-breakers-in open courts-were forced to be quiet;" (he calls this a "proscription" of the conspiracy against him, whatever may be meant by that term);-all this wearisome business I pass by as quite unimportant. On the other hand, all his special pleading for his heretical conceits may well demand our close attention. Our own interpreter of the principles of divinity followed this course in his Treatise; for though he had plenty of ability to broaden out his argument, he took the line of dealing only with vital points, which he selected from all the blasphemies of that heretical bookhyperlink , and so narrowed the scope of the subject.

If, however, any one desires that our answer should exactly correspond to the array of his arguments, let him tell us the utility of such a process. What gain would it be to my readers if I were to solve the complicated riddle of his title, which he proposes to us at the very commencement, in the manner of the sphinx of the tragic stage; namely this `New Apology for the Apology,' and all the nonsense which he writes about that; and if I were to tell the long tale of what he dreamt? I think that the reader is sufficiently wearied with the petty vanity about this newness in his title already preserved in Eunomius' own text, and with the want of taste displayed there in the account of his own exploits, all his labours and his trials, while he wandered over every land and every sea, and was `heralded' through the whole world. If all that had to be written down over again,-and with additions, too, as the refutations of these falsehoods would naturally have to expand their statement,-who would be found of such an iron hardness as not to be sickened at this waste of labour? Suppose I was to write down, taking word by word, an explanation of that mad story of his; suppose I were to explain, for instance, whothat Armenian was on the shores of the Euxine, who had annoyed him at first by having the same name as himself, what their lives were like, what their pursuits, how he had a quarrel with that Armenian because of the very likeness of their characters, then in what fashion those two were reconciled, so as to join in a common sympathy with that winning and most glorious Aetius, his master (for so pompous are his praises); and after that, what was the plot devised against himself, by which they brought him to trial on the charge of being surpassingly popular: suppose, I say, I was to explain all that, should I not appear, like those who catch opthalmia themselves from frequent contact with those who are already suffering so, to have caught myself this malady of fussy circumstantiality? I should be following step by step each detail of his twaddling story; finding out who the "slaves released to liberty" were, what was "the conspiracyhyperlink of the initiated" and "the calling outhyperlink of hired slaves," what `Montius and Gallus, and Domitian,' and `false witnesses,' and `an enraged Emperor,' and `certain sent into exile' have to do with the argument. What could be more useless than such tales for the purpose of one who was not wishing merely to write a narrative, but to refute the argument of him who had written against his heresy? What follows in the story is still more profitless; I do not think that the author himself could peruse it again without yawning, though a strong natural affection for his offspring does possess every father. He pretends to unfold there his exploits and his sufferings; the style rears itself into the sublime, and the legend swells into the tones of tragedy.

§5. His Peculiar Caricature of the Bishops, Eustathius of Armenia and Basil of Galatia, is Not Well Drawn.

But, not to linger longer on these absurdities in the very act of declining to mention them, and not to soil this book by forcing my subject through all his written reminiscences, like one who urges his horse through a slough and so gets covered with its filth, I think it is best to leap over the mass of his rubbish with as high and as speedy a jump as my thoughts are capable of, seeing that a quick retreat from what is disgusting is a considerable advantage; and let us hasten onhyperlink to the finale of his story, lest the bitterness of his own words should trickle into my book. Let Eunomius have the monopoly of the bad taste in such words as these, spoken of God's priestshyperlink , "curmudgeon squires, and beadles, and satellites, rummaging about, and not suffering the fugitive to carry on his concealment," and all the other things which he is not ashamed to write of grey-haired priests. Just as in the schools for secular learninghyperlink , in order to exercise the boys to be ready in word and wit, they propose themes for declamation, in which the person who is the subject of them is nameless, so does Eunomius make an onset at once upon the facts suggested, and lets loose the tongue of invective, and without saying one word as to any actual villainies, he merely works up against them all the hackneyed phrases of contempt, and every imaginable term of abuse: in which, besides, incongruous ideas are brought together, such as a `dilettante soldier,' `an accursed saint,' `pale with fast, and murderous with hate,' and many such like scurrilities; and just like a reveller in the secular processions shouts his ribaldry, when he would carry his insolence to the highest pitch, without his mask on, so does Eunomius, without an attempt to veil his malignity, shout with brazen throat the language of the waggon. Then he reveals the cause why he is so enraged; `these priests took every precaution that many should not' be perverted to the error of these heretics; accordingly he is angry that they could not stay at their convenience in the places they liked, but that a residence was assigned them by order of the then governor of Phrygia, so that most might be secured from such wicked neighbours; his indignation at this bursts out in these words; `the excessive severity of our trials,' `our grievous sufferings,' `our noble endurance of them,' `the exile from our native country into Phrygia.' Quite so: this Oltiserianhyperlink might well be proud of what occurred, putting an end as it did to all his family pride, and casting such a slur upon his race that that far-renowned Priscus, his grandfather, from whom he gets those brilliant and most remarkable heirlooms, "the mill, and the leather, and the slaves' stores," and the rest of his inheritance in Chanaanhyperlink , would never have chosen this lot, which now makes him so angry. It was to be expected that he would revile those who were the agents of this exile. I quite understand his feeling. Truly the authors of these misfortunes, if such there be or ever have been, deserve the censures of these men, in that the renown of their former lives is thereby obscured, and they are deprived of the opportunity of mentioning and making much of their more impressive antecedents; the great distinctions with which each started in life; the professions they inherited from their fathers; the greater or the smaller marks of gentility of which each was conscious, even before they became so widely known and valued that even emperors numbered them amongst their acquaintance, as he now boasts in his book, and that all the higher governments were roused about them and the world was filled with their doings.

§6. A Notice of Aetius, Eunomius' Master in Heresy, and of Eunomius Himself, Describing the Origin and Avocations of Each.

Verily this did great damage to our declamation-writer, or rather to his patron and guide in life, Aetius; whose enthusiasm indeed appears to me to have aimed not so much at the propagation of error as to the securing a competence for life. I do not say this as a mere surmise of my own, but I have heard it from the lips of those who knew him well. I have listened to Athanasius, the former bishop of the Galatians, when he was speaking of the life of Aetius; Athanasius was a man who valued truth above all things; and he exhibited also the letter of George of Laodicaea, so that a number might attest the truth of his words. He told us that originally Aetius did not attempt to teach his monstrous doctrines, but only after some interval of time put forth these novelties as a trick to gain his livelihood; that having escaped from serfdom in the vineyard to which he belonged,-how, I do not wish to say, lest I should be thought to be entering on his history in a bad spirit,-he became at first a tinker, and had this grimy trade of a mechanic quite at his fingers' end, sitting under a goat's-hair tent, with a small hammer, and a diminutive anvil, and so earned a precarious and laborious livelihood. What income, indeed, of any account could be made by one who mends the shaky places in coppers, and solders holes up, and hammers sheets of tin to pieces, and clamps with lead the legs of pots? We were told that a certain incident which befell him in this trade necessitated the next change in his life. He had received from a woman belonging to a regiment a gold ornament, a necklace or a bracelet, which had been broken by a blow, and which he was to mend: but he cheated the poor creature, by appropriating her gold trinket, and giving her instead one of copper, of the same size, and also of the same appearance, owing to a gold-wash which he had imparted to its surface; she was deceived by this for a time, for he was clever enough in the tinker's, as in other, arts to mislead his customers with the tricks of trade; but at last she detected the rascality, for the wash got rubbed off the copper; and, as some of the soldiers of her family and nation were roused to indignation, she prosecuted the purloiner of her ornament. After this attempt he of course underwent a cheating thief's punishment; and then left the trade, swearing that it was not his deliberate intention, but that business tempted him to commit this theft. After this he became assistant to a certain doctor from amongst the quacks, so as not to be quite destitute of a livelihood; and in this capacity he made his attack upon the obscurer households and on the most abject of mankind. Wealth came gradually from his plots against a certain Armenius, who being a foreigner was easily cheated, and, having been induced to make him his physician, had advanced him frequent sums of money; and he began to think that serving under others was beneath him, and wanted to be styled a physician himself. Henceforth, therefore, he attended medical congresses, and consorting with the wrangling controversialists there became one of the ranters, and, just as the scales were turning, always adding his own weight to the argument, he got to be in no small request with those who would buy a brazen voice for their party contests.

But although his bread became thereby well buttered he thought he ought not to remain in such a profession; so he gradually gave up the medical, after the tinkering. Arius, the enemy of God, had already sown those wicked tares which bore the Anomaeans as their fruit, and the schools of medicine resounded then with the disputes about that question. Accordingly Aetius studied the controversy, and, having laid a train of syllogisms from what he remembered of Aristotle, he became notorious for even going beyond Arius, the father of the heresy, in the novel character of his speculations; or rather he perceived the consequences of all that Arius had advanced, and so got this character of a shrewd discoverer of truths not obvious; revealing as he did that the Created, even from things non-existent, was unlike the Creator who drew Him out of nothing.

With such propositions he tickled ears that itched for these novelties; and the Ethiopian Theophilushyperlink becomes acquainted with them. Aetius had already been connected with this man on some business of Gallus; and now by his help creeps into the palace. After Gallushyperlink had perpetrated the tragedy with regard to Domitian the procurator and Montius, all the other participators in it naturally shared his ruin; yet this man escapes, being acquitted from being punished along with them. After this, when the great Athanasius had been driven by Imperial command from the Church of Alexandria, and George the Tarbasthenite was tearing his flock, another change takes place, and Aetius is an Alexandrian, receiving his full share amongst those who fattened at the Cappadocian's board; for he had not omitted to practice his flatteries on George. George was in fact from Chanaan himself, and therefore felt kindly towards a countryman: indeed he had been for long so possessed with his perverted opinions as actually to dote upon him, and was prone to become a godsend for Aetius, whenever he liked.

All this did not escape the notice of his sincere admirer, our Eunomius. This latter perceived that his natural father-an excellent man, except that he had such a son-led a very honest and respectable life certainly, but one of laborious penury and full of countless toils. (He was one of those farmers who are always bent over the plough, and spend a world of trouble over their little farm; and in the winter, when he was secured from agricultural work, he used to carve out neatly the letters of the alphabet for boys to form syllables with, winning his bread with the money these sold for.) Seeing all this in his father's life, he said goodbye to the plough and the mattock and all the paternal instruments, intending never to drudge himself like that; then be sets himself to learn Prunicus' skillhyperlink of short-hand writing, and having perfected himself in that he entered at first, I believe, the house of one of his own family, receiving his board for his services in writing; then, while tutoring the boys of his host, he rises to the ambition of becoming an orator. I pass over the next interval, both as to his life in his native country and as to the things and the company in which he was discovered at Constantinople.

Busied as he was after this `about the cloke and the purse,' he saw it was all of little avail, and that nothing which he could amass by such work was adequate to the demands of his ambition. Accordingly he threw up all other practices, and devoted himself solely to the admiration of Aetius; not, perhaps, without some calculation that this absorbing pursuit which he selected might further his own devices for living. In fact, from the moment he asked for a share in a wisdom so profound, he toiled not thenceforward, neither did he spin; for he is certainly clever in what he takes in hand, and knows how to gain the more emotional portion of mankind. Seeing that human nature, as a rule, falls an easy prey to pleasure, and that its natural inclination in the direction of this weakness is very strong, descending from the sterner heights of conduct to the smooth level of comfort, he becomes with a view of making the largest number possible of proselytes to his pernicious opinions very pleasant indeed to those whom he is initiating; he gets rid of the toilsome steep of virtue altogether, because it is not a persuasive to accept his secrets. But should any one have the leisure to inquire what this secret teaching of theirs is, and what those who have been duped to accept this blighting curse utter without any reserve, and what in the mysterious ritual of initiation they are taught by the reverend hierophant, the manner of baptismshyperlink , and the `helps of nature,' and all that, let him question those who feel no compunction in letting indecencies pass their lips; we shall keep silent. For not even though we are the accusers should we be guiltless in mentioning such things, and we have been taught to reverence purity in word as well as deed, and not to soil our pages with equivocal stories, even though there be truth in what we say.

But we mention what we then heard (namely that, just as Aristotle's evil skill supplied Aetius with his impiety, so the simplicity of his dupes secured a fat living for the well-trained pupil as well as for the master) for the purpose of asking some questions. What after all was the great damage done him by Basil on the Euxine, or by Eustathius in Armenia, to both of whom that long digression in his story harks back? How did they mar the aim of his life? Did they not rather feed up his and his companion's freshly acquired fame? Whence came their wide notoriety, if not through the instrumentality of these men, supposing, that is, that their accuser is speaking the truth? For the fact that men, themselves illustrious, as our writer owns, deigned to fight with those who had as yet found no means of being known naturally gave the actual start to the ambitious thoughts of those who were to be pitted against these reputed heroes; and a veil was thereby thrown over their humble antecedents. They in fact owed their subsequent notoriety to this,-a thing detestable indeed to a reflecting mind which would never choose to rest fame upon an evil deed, but the acme of bliss to characters such as these. They tell of one in the province of Asia, amongst the obscurest and the basest, who longed to make a name in Ephesus; some great and brilliant achievement being quite beyond his powers never even entered his mind; and yet, by hitting, upon that which would most deeply injure the Ephesians, he made his mark deeper than the heroes of the grandest actions; for there was amongst their public buildings one noticeable for its peculiar magnificence and costliness; and he burnt this vast structure to the ground, showing, when men came to inquire after the perpetration of this villany into its mental causes, that he dearly prized notoriety, and had devised that the greatness of the disaster should secure the name of its author being recorded with it. The secret motivehyperlink of these two men is the same thirst for publicity; the only difference is that the amount of mischief is greater in their case. They are marring, not lifeless architecture, but the living building of the Church, introducing, for fire, the slow canker of their teaching. But I will defer the doctrinal question till the proper time comes.

§7. Eunomius Himself Proves that the Confession of Faith Which He Made Was Not Impeached.

Let us see for a moment now what kind of truth is dealt with by this man, who in his Introduction complains that it is because of his telling the truth that he is hated by the unbelievers; we may well make the way he handles truth outside doctrine teach us a test to apply to his doctrine itself. "He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much, and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much." Now, when he is beginning to write this "apology for the apology" (that is the new and startling title, as well as subject, of his book) he says that we must look for the cause of this very startling announcement nowhere else but in him who answered that first treatise of his. That book was entitled an Apology; but being given to understand by our master-theologian that an apology can only come from those who have been accused of something, and that if a man writes merely from his own inclination his production is something else than an apology, he does not deny-it would be too manifestly absurd-hyperlink that an apology requires a preceding accusation; but he declares that his `apology' has cleared him from very serious accusations in the trial which has been instituted against him. How false this is, is manifest from his own words. He complained that "many heavy sufferings were inflicted on him by those who had condemned him"; we may read that in his book.

But how could he have suffered so, if his `apology' cleared him of these charges? If he successfully adopted an apology to escape from these, that pathetic complaint of his is a hypocritical pretence; if on the other hand he really suffered as he says, then, plainly, he suffered because he did not clear himself by an apology; for every apology, to be such, has to secure this end, namely, to prevent the voting power from being misled by any false statements. Surely he will not now, attempt to say that at the time of the trial he produced his apology, but not being able to win over the jury lost the case to the prosecution. For he said nothing at the time of the trial `about producing his apology;' nor was it likely that he would, considering that he distinctly states in his book that he refused to have anything to do with those ill-affected and hostile dicasts. "We own," he says, "that we were condemned by default: there was a packedhyperlink panel of evil-disposed persons where a jury ought to have sat." He is very labored here, and has his attention diverted by his argument, I think, or he would have noticed that he has tacked on a fine solecism to his sentence. He affects to be imposingly Attic with his phrase `packed panel;' but the correct in language use these words, as those familiar with the forensic vocabulary know, quite differently to our new Atticist.

A little further on he adds this; "If he thinks that, because I would have nothing to do with a jury who were really my prosecutors he can argue away my apology, he must be blind to his own simplicity." When, then, and before whom did our caustic friend make his apology? He had demurred to the jury because they were `foes,' and he did not utter one word about any trial, as he himself insists. See how this strenuous champion of the true, little by little, passes over to the side of the false, and, while honouring truth in phrase, combats it in deed. But it is amusing to see how weak he is even in seconding his own lie. How can one and the same man have `cleared himself by an apology in the trial which was instituted against him,' and then have `prudently kept silence because the court was in the hands of the foe?' Nay, the very language he uses in the preface to his Apology clearly shows that no court at all was opened against him. For he does not address his preface to any definite jury, but to certain unspecified persons who were living then, or who were afterwards to come into the world; and I grant that to such an audience there was need of a very vigorous apology, not indeed in the manner of the one he has actually written, which requires another still to bolster it up, but a broadly intelligible onehyperlink , able to prove this special point, viz., that he was not in the possession of his usual reason when he wrote this, wherein he ringshyperlink the assembly-bell for men who never came, perhaps never existed, and speaks an apology before an imaginary court, and begs an imperceptible jury not to let numbers decide between truth and falsehood, nor to assign the victory to mere quantity. Verily it is becoming that he should make an apology of that sort to jurymen who are yet in the loins of their fathers, and to explain to them how he came to think it right to adopt opinions which contradict universal belief, and to put more faith in his own mistaken fancies than in those who throughout the world glorify Christ's name.


1 Reading,-

to monimon ...epitolmwnta. This is the correction of Oehler for ton monon ...epitolmwn which the text presents. The Venetian ms. has epitolmwnti.

2 his refutation of titis heresy. This is Basil's 'Anatreptikoj tou apologhtikou tou duosebouj Eunomiou. `Basil,

0' says Photius, `with difficulty got hold of Eunomius' book,

0' perhaps because it was written originally for a small circle of readers, and wasin a highly scientific form. What happened next may be told in the words of Claudius Morellius (Prolegomena to Paris Edition of 1615): `When Basil's first essay against the foetus of Eunomius had been published, he raised his bruised head like a trodden worm, seized his pen, and began to rave more poisonously still as well against Basil as the orthodox faith.

0' This was Eunomius' `Apologia Apologiae:

0' of it Photius says, `His reply to Bash was composed for many Olympiads while shut up in his cell. This, like another Saturn, he concealed from the eyes of Basil till it had grown up, i.e. he concealed its by devouring its as long as Basil lived.

0' He then goes on to say that after Basil's death, Theodore (of Mopsuestia), Gregory of Nyssa, and Sophronius found it and dealt with it, though even then Eunomius had only ventured to show it to some of his friends. Philostorgius, the ardent admirer of Eunomius, makes the amazing statement that Basil died of despair after reading it.

3 Psalm cxxxvii. 9.

4 `He asks for the intercession of Saint Paul

0' (Paris Edit. in marg.).

5 apoklhrwqeisan. This is probably the meaning, after the analogy of apoklhrwsij, in the sense (most frequent in Origen), of `favour,

0' `partiality,

0' passing into that of `caprice,

0' `arbitrariness,

0' cf. below, cap. 9, tij h apoklhrwsij,k.t.l. `How arbitrarily he praises himself.


6 Photius reports very much the same as to his style, i.e. he shows a `prodigious ostentation:

0' uses `words difficult to pronounce, and abounding in many consonants, and that in a poetic, or rather a dithyrambic style:

0' he has `periods inordinately long:

0' he is `obscure,

0' and seeks `to hide by this very obscurity whatever is weak in his perceptions and conceptions, which indeed is often.

0' He `attacks others for their logic, and is very fond of using logic himself:

0' but `as he had taken up this science late in life, and had not gone very deeply into it, he is often found making mistakes.


The book of Eunomius which Photius had read is still extant: it is his `Apologeticus

0' in 28 sections, and has been published by Canisius (Lectiones Antiquoe, I. 172 ff.). His ekqeoij thj tistewj, presented to the emperor Theodosius in the year 383, is also extant. This last is found in the Codex Theodosius and in the mss. which Livineius of Ghent used for his Greek and Latin edition of Gregory, 1574: it follows the Books against Eunomius. His `Apologia Apologiae,

0' which he wrote in answer to Basil's 5 (or 3) books against him, is not extant: nor the deuteroj logoj which Gregory answered in his second 12th Book.

Most of the quotations, then, from Eunomius, in these books of Gregory cannot be verified, in the case of a doubtful reading, &c.

7 Cf. 1 Corinth. ii. 1-8.

8 that heretical book, i.e. the first `Apology

0' of Etmomius in 28 parts: a translation of it is given in Whistoh's Eunomianismus Redivivus.

9 sxesin.

10 tacin. We have no context to explain these allusions, the treatise of Eunomins being lost, which Gregory is now answering, i.e. the Apologia Apologiae.

11 Reading proj te to peraj.

12 This must be the `caricature

0' of the (Greek) Summary above. Eustathius of Sebasteia, the capital of Armenia, and the Galatian Basil, of Ancyra (Angora), are certainly mentioned, e. 6 (end). Twice did these two, once Semi-Arians, oppose Aetius and Eunomius, before Constantius, at Byzantium. On the second occasion, however (Sozomen, H.E. iv. 23, Ursacius and Valens arrived with the proscription of the Homoousion from Ariminum: it was then that "the world groaned to find itself Arian" (Jerome). The `accursed saint

0' `pale with fast,

0' i.e. Eustathius, in his Armenian monastery, gave Basil the Great a model for his own.

13 twn ecwqen logwn.

14 Oltiseris was probably the district, as Corniaspa was the village, in which Eunomius was born. It is a Celtic word: and probably suggests his half-Galatian extraction.

15 This can be no other than the district Chammanene, on the east bank of the Halys, where Galatia and Cappadocia join.

16 Probably the `Indian

0' Theophilus, who afterwards helped to organize the Anomoean schism in the reign of Jovian.

17 Gallus, Caesar 350-354, brother of Julian, not a little influenced by Aetius, executed by Constantius at Flanon in Dalmatia. During his short reign at Antioch, Domitian, who was sent to bring him to Italy, and his questor Montius were dragged to death through the streets by the guards of the young Caesar.

18 The same phrase occurs again: Refutation of Eunomius' Second Essay, p. 844: oi th prounikou sofia eggumnasqentej: ec ekeinhj gap dokei moi thj paraskeuhj ta eirhmena proenhnocenai: In the last word there is evidently a pun on prounikou; proferhj, in the secondary sense of `precocious,

0' is used by Iamblichus and Porphyry, and prounikoj; appears to have had the same meaning. We might venture, therefore, to translate `that knowing trick

0' of short-hand: but why Prunicus is personified, if it is personified, as in the Gnostic Prunicos Sophia, does not appear. See Epiphanius Haeres. 253 for the feminine Proper name.

The other possible explanation is that given in the margin of the Paris Edition, and is based on Suidas, i.e. Prunici sunt cursores celeres; hic pro celer scriba. Hesychius also says of the word; oi misqou komizontej ta wnia apo thj agoraj, ouj tinej paidariwnaj kalousin, dromeij, traxeij, oceij, eukinhtoi, gorgoi, misqwtoi. Here such `porter's

0' skill, easy going and superficial, is opposed to the more laborious task of tilling the soil.

19 For the baptisms of Eunomius, compare Ephiphanius Haer. 765. Even Arians who were not Anomoeans he rebaptized. The `helps of nature

0' may possibly refer to the `miracles

0' which Philostorgius ascribes both to Aetius and Eunomius.

Sozomen (vi. 26) says, "Eunomius introduced, it is said, a mode of discipline contrary to that of the Church, and endeavoured to disguise the innovation under the cloak of a grave and severe deportment." ...His followers "do not applaud a virtuous course of life much as skill in disputation and the power of triumphing in debates."

20 upoqesij.

21 The mh is redundant and owing to ouk.

22 Eisfrhsantwn. A word used in Aristophanes of `letting into court,

0' probably a technical word: it is a manifest derivation from eisforein. What the solecism is, is not clear; Gretser thinks that Eunomius meant it for eisphdan.

23 genikhj.

24 sunekrotei. The word has this meaning in Origen. In Philo (de Vita Mosis, p. 476, 1. 48, quoted by Viger.), it has another meaning, sunekrotoun alloj allon, mh apokamnein, i.e. `cheered.