Philoxenus, Ascetic Discourses (1894) pp.i-xvi. Title Page, Preface, Contents
DISCOURSES OF PHILOXENUS
BISHOP OF MABBÔGH, A.D. 485-519.
DISCOURSES OF PHILOXENUS
BISHOP OF MABBOGH, A. D.485-519.
FROM SYRIAC MANUSCRIPTS OF THE SIXTH AND SEVENTH
CENTURIES IN THE BRITISH MUSEUM,
WITH AN ENGLISH TRANSLATION
E. A. WALLIS BUDGE, LITT. D., F. S. A.,
FORMERLY SCHOLAR OF CHRIST'S COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE, AND TYRWHITT SCHOLAR,
KEEPER OF THE EGYPTIAN AND ASSYRIAN
ANTIQUITIES, BRITISH MUSEUM.
PUBLISHED UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY
OF LITERATURE OF THE UNITED KINGDOM.
VOL. II. INTRODUCTION, TRANSLATION, ETC.
ASHER & Co., PUBLISHERS
13 BEDFORD STREET, COVENT GARDEN
WITH HEARTFELT GRATITUDE
I DEDICATE THESE VOLUMES
TO MY MANY COLLEAGUES AND FRIENDS
WHO DID NOT FAIL ME IN THE HOUR OF TRIAL AND DISTRESS.
The present volume contains an English translation of the complete Syriac text of the Discourses of Philoxenus upon Christian Life and Character which was published early this year as Volume I of this work.
Among the Nitrian collection of Syriac MSS. in the British Museum, there are preserved some nineteen volumes which contain the Discourses or extracts from them, and they range in date from the early part of the VIth to the XIIIth century. Nine of these volumes have no critical value for the text, as they contain short passages only. Of the remaining ten one (the MS. C) belongs to the VIth century; two (the MSS. D and E) belong to the VIth or VIIth century; one (the MS. A) belongs to the VIIth or VIIIth century; one to the VIIIth or IXth century; three (the MSS. B, G and H) belong to the IXth century; and two to the Xth century; from eight of these the published text has been taken. When I first copied the Discourses in 1883-4 I selected the text in A as a base, because, though written by two hands, it contained the whole |viii of the thirteen Discourses complete; with this MS. B agrees closely. In a conversation which I had with the late Prof. Wright in 1888 on the matter, he advised that the older MSS. C and D should be taken as first authorities, and in deference to his mature opinion I in many cases substituted readings from them in the place of those which I found in A and B. It became apparent, however, when I came to print the work that the more correct readings were often found in A and B. Indeed each of the MSS. frequently made the same mistake, although in different places. Some of the readings of B and C I again relegated to the notes, and finally decided to print the text as it stood in my original copy. As a result of these changes it will be seen that, in some cases, the better readings are given in the notes and the less good in the text. To the English reader this will offer no difficulty, for throughout my translation I have followed what I believe to be the correct reading. The Syriac scholar on his part will, of course, choose his own text. I have in no way attempted to emend the text which in places I believe to have suffered through the unintentional mistakes of weary scribes, but have, to the best of my power, reproduced it as I found it in the various MSS. With a view of shewing how little change the text has undergone in passing from copyist to copyist |ix during the course of nearly four centuries I have added the variant readings from the MSS. E, H, G, and F. of the VIth, VIIth, IXth and Xth centuries respectively. A list of the Errata, almost unavoidable in a printed text of such a length, is given on p. clxxxviii f. Some of these I owe to the kindness of Prof. Rubens Duval of Paris, and I beg the reader to make the necessary corrections before he uses the book.
The translation has been made as literal as possible, and all words added have been indicated by brackets. A list of the passages in the Bible either quoted or referred to in the Discourses has been given on p. clxvii ff. A comparison of the quotations with existing Syriac versions of the Bible seems to shew that Philoxenus was perfectly acquainted with the Syriac text, but that he, in many cases, quoted from memory. The version used by him was the Peshîttâ, which he quoted loosely, or with such modifications as his argument required or his fancy dictated. Books like the Psalms which we know were learned by heart in Syrian schools and colleges he generally quotes accurately, but at times his ostensible quotations (introduced by mL) are scarcely recognizable, at others he confuses two or more distinct passages, at others he gives the general sense, and at others a mere paraphrase. Every one of his quotations which differs from extant versions is of |x interest, and that the reader may be able easily to judge of the variations from the Pëshîttâ I have drawn up a list of the more important typical quotations and given them above their equivalents in that text on pp. cxxxviii-clxvi. From about the year 481 to 519 the name of Philoxenus was, according to his theological opponents, in the dioceses of Western Asia synonymous with turmoil and strife. The Bishops and Patriarchs who leaned secretly towards Nestorian doctrines regarded him with terror and feared him as one of the ablest, most energetic and eloquent opponents of those who maintained two natures in our Lord's Person. For a period of nearly forty years he waged unflinching war against this doctrine, and amidst persecutions in Antioch, Apamea, and Constantinople maintained his views both by word of mouth and in writing, and produced a series of works, the like of which exist not in the Syriac literature of the Monophysite Church. His expulsion from the diocese by Calandio and the threats of the greatest ecclesiastics of the time neither silenced him nor stayed his hand; and at length he proved the sincerity of the conviction of the truth of his doctrine by suffering martyrdom in the second year of Jovian, A.D. 519. Hitherto his doctrine has been represented chiefly by the accounts thereof written by his theological opponents, but in the Introduction to this volume are |xi given for the first time, I believe, in the language in which he wrote them his professions of faith and a brief list of the points on which he differed from the Nestorians and his other adversaries. I had hoped to have supplemented these by a number of extracts from his great work on the Incarnation and how "One Person "of the Trinity became man and suffered for us", but as the space at my disposal was insufficient it has been found necessary to omit them.
Until the early part of this year the writings of Philoxenus were only known by the extracts from them given by Assemânî in the second volume of his splendid Bibliotheca Orientalis, by the letter to Abu Nafîr of al-Hîrah, published by the Abbé Martin, by the letter to the monks of Tell-'Addâ, published by Professor Guidi, by the letter to the priests Abraham and Orestes of Edessa regarding Stephen bar Sûdh-ailê, published by Mr. Frothingham, and by the necessarily very brief quotations given by Dean Payne Smith in his Thesuurus Syriacus; so recently as 1887 Professor Wright was compelled to say concerning Philoxenus, "Unfortunately scarcely any of his numerous works have as yet been printed".1 The estimation in which his works were held in the Monophysite Church will be seen from the quotations from |xii the works of its famous scholars given on pp. xxv-xxvii, and among the opinions of occidental scholars on his writings may be mentioned those of Assemânî and Wright, the former of whom said,2 "scripsit Syriace, si quis alius, elegantissime, atque adeo inter optimos hujusce linguae scriptores a Jacobo Edesseno collocari meruit", and the latter, "he was a scholar and an elegant writer".3 Since the publication of the Discourses upon Christian Life and Character these opinions have been confirmed by Nöldeke, who thinks that "Der Ruf des Philoxenus als eines Meisters des syrischen Stils wird durch dieses Buch noch in weit höherem Grade gerechtfertigt als selbst durch den von Guidi herausgegebenen Brief an die Mönche von Tel'edâ. Er beherrscht die Sprache mit vollkommener Freiheit. Liebenswürdiger ist Aphraates, aber zur Grundlage für eine syrische Syntax eignet sich sein Werk mindestens so gut wie die Homilien dieses Mannes".4 In a private communication 5 Professor Guidi of Rome writes, "Lei confesso che non sarei alieno dal riconoscere nei Discorsi di Filosseno da lei publicati, la piu bella prosa siriaca, nella quale all' eleganza finissima della lingua è unita l'energia e la forza dello stile. La sua publicazione è di grande utilità ed importanza anche al |xiii semplice punto di vista filologica, per lo studio della lingua e della sintassi siriaca, nel periodo classico". In a recent notice Prof. Rubens Duval says, "Philoxène appartient à l'époque la plus brillante de la littérature syriaque. Son style est élégant sans recherche, ses périodes courtes mais harmonieuses. Jacques d'Édesse le tenait pour un écrivain de premier ordre. Assémani, qui déteste les doctrines hérétiques de Philoxène, partage l'admiration de l'évêque d'Édesse pour son talent littéraire".6
It is now my pleasing duty to thank the Council of the Royal Society of Literature of the United Kingdom for undertaking the publication of this work, which they have issued in a form worthy of their high reputation; their munificence has brought into the light the greatest work of one of the greatest Syrian writers, and lays all Syriac scholars under an obligation. A word of thanks too is due to Mr. Drugulin and to Dr. Chamizer his manager for the care which they have taken in the typographical portion of the work.
E. A. WALLIS BUDGE.
LONDON, November 1, 1894.
THE LIFE OF PHILOXENUS xvii
THE CREED OF PHILOXENUS xxvii
THE WORKS OF PHILOXENUS xliv
THE MSS. OF THE DISCOURSES OF PHILOXENUS lxvi
THE DISCOURSES OF PHILOXENUS----ARGUMENT lxxiii
TABLE OF THE MSS. OF THE DISCOURSES xciv,xcv
A MAN'S REPLY CONCERNING HIS BELIEF xcvi
A CONFESSION OF FAITH xcviii
AGAINST THOSE WHO DIVIDE OUR LORD c
AGAINST THOSE WHO MAINTAIN TWO NATURES civ
AGAINST EVERY NESTORIAN cxx
AGAINST NESTORIUS cxxiii
ON THE HERESIES OF MANI, NESTORIUS, AND OTHERS cxxxvi
A COMPARISON OF SCRIPTURAL QUOTATIONS IN THE DISCOURSES WITH THE PESHÎTTÂ AND OTHER VERSIONS cxxxviii
A LIST OF THE BIBLE PASSAGES QUOTED OR REFERRED TO IN THE DISCOURSES clxvii
APHRAATES ON FAITH clxxv
THE PROLOGUE 1 |xvi
ON FAITH 24
ON FAITH 49
ON FAITH AND SIMPLICITY 70
ON SIMPLICITY 115
ON THE FEAR OF GOD 153
ON THE FEAR OF GOD 184
ON POVERTY 214
ON POVERTY 247
ON THE LUST OF THE BELLY 337
ON ABSTINENCE 403
ON FORNICATION 472
ON FORNICATION 524
[Footnotes renumbered and placed at the end]
1. 1 Encyclopaedia Britannica (art. Syriac Literature), vol. xxii, pp. 824-856.
2. 1 B. O., ii. 20.
3. 2 Op. cit., p. 832.
4. 3 Literarisches Centralblatt, No. 19, 1894, p. 678.
5. 4 Dated Frascati, August 10th 1894.
6. 1 Revue Critique, Nos. 37-38, Sept. 10-17, 1894, p. 123.
This text was transcribed by Roger Pearse, Ipswich, UK, 2003. All material on this page is in the public domain - copy freely.
Greek text is rendered using the Scholars Press SPIonic font, free from here.
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