1 Sent as an Easter present to Eusebius, bishop of Chalcis, in Coele-Syria, a staunch Catholic, who attended the Council of Constantinople. For this custom amongst the Eastern Christians of exchanging presents at the great festivals, cf. On the Making of Man (p. 387), which Gregory sent to his brother Peter: Gregory Naz. Letter 54 to Helladius, and Letter 87 to Theodore of Tyana.
5 A corrupt passage. Probably some lines have been lost. A double opposition seems intended; (1) between the night of evil and our Saviour's coming like the Sun to disperse it; and (2) between walking in darkness and walking in light on the part of the individual (H. C. O.).
6 en tw merei, or "on her part" or "at that particular season." To support this last, Col. ii. 16, en merei eorthj,, may be compared, as Origen interprets it, "in a particular feast," c. Cels. viii. 23: "Paul alludes to this, when he names the feast selected in preference to others only `part of a feast,0' hinting that the life everlasting with the Word of God is not `in the part of a feast, but in a complete and continuous one.0' Modern commentators on that passage, it is true, interpret en merei "with regard to," "on the score of." But has Origen's meaning been sufficiently considered?
1 Marcellus of Ancyra had been deposed in the Council of Constantinople in 336, for teaching the doctrine of Paul of Samosata. Basil and Athanasius successively separated from their communion all who were united to Marcellus; and these, knowing that Valens the Emperor had exiled several bishops of Egypt to Diocaesarea, went to find them (375) and were admitted to their communion. Armed with letters from them, they demanded to be received into that of the other bishops of the East, and at length Basil and others, having examined the matter closely, admitted them. Gregory followed Basil's example, being assured of their Catholicity: and to justify himself wrote this letter to the Catholics of Sebasteia.
3 peplhroforhmeqa; a deponent, the same use as in Rom. iv. 21, of Abraham, plhroforhqeij oti o ephggeltai k.t.l.: cf. plhroforia pistewj, Heb. x. 22: plhroforia thj elpidoj, Heb. vi. 11. The other N. T. use of this word, as an active and passive, is found 2 Tim. iv. 5, "fulfil thy ministry;" 2 Tim. iv. 17; S. Luke i. 1, peplhroforhmenwn, "most surely believed" (A. V.): in all which the R.V. follows the Vulgate interpretation. In the latin translation of this passage in Gregory, "(professionem) qua sacris nos Scripturis ac Patrum traditioni penitus inhaerere persuasum omnibus foret," the meaning put upon plhroforeisqai by A. V. in the last text is adopted, "we are fully believed to follow," with a very harsh construction.
4 There is some repetition and omission here. Gregory ought to have said in one of the clauses, "Nor is Baptism in the name of the Son and Holy Ghost sufficient, without the name of the Father" (H. C. O.).
1 This Letter must have been written, either (i) After the first journey of Gregory to Constantinople, i.e. after the Council, 381; or (2) On his return from exile at the death of Valens, 378. The words at the end, "rejoiced and wept with my people," are against the first view.
2 0Earsou. The distance prevents us conjecturing "Tarsus" here, though, Gregory was probably coming from the sea (and the Holy Land). But "Garsaura" is marked on the maps as about 40 miles south of Nyssa with the "Morimene" mountains (Erjash Dagh) intervening. (Nyssa lay on a southern tributary of the Halys, N.W. of Nazianzum.) The Medicean ms. is said by Migue to read eautwn here-"we left behind us." Nothing is known of Vestena below.
3 Adopting the conjecture of the Latin translator bareia for braxeia. His translation, however, though ingenious, would require something different in the Greek. It runs "jamque nubes, quae nostro impendebat capiti, postquam acri vehementique vento abrepta alio delata fuit, hiemem peperit." As the text stands upolhfqeisa cannot bear this translation (H. C. O.)
1 Cynegius was "prefect of the praetorium," from 384 to 390. Cod. Medic. has on the title, 9Ieriw 9Hgemoni: but this must be wrong. It was this Cynegius, not then Prefect of the East, whom Libanius was to lead however unwilling, to the study of eloquence (see end of Letter xi.). The four Praetorian Prefects remained, after Diocletian's institution of the four Princes, trader whom they served, hail been abolished by Constantine. The Prefect of the East stretched his jurisdiction "from the cataracts of the Nile to the banks of the Phasis, and from the mountains of Thrace to the frontiers of Persia." From all inferior jurisdictions an appeal in every matter of importance, either civil or criminal, might be brought before the tribunal of the Prefect; but his sentence was final: the emperors themselves refused to dispute it. Hence Gregory says, that, "next to God, Cynegins had the power to remove his young relative from danger." How intimate Gregory was, not only with the highest officers but at the Court itself, is shown in his orations on Pulcheria and Flacilla. He must have been over sixty when this letter was written.
1 dihghmasin. "He believed in fidelity, and was capable of the sublimest, most intimate friendships. He loved Hephaestion so fervently, that . ...he remained inconsolable for his loss."-F. Schlegel. Achilles was his hero: for he too knew the delight of a constant friendship.
1 qau,atpoiountaj ...qaumatopoiiaj; something more than ordinary mime playing, or than the optical illusion of tableaux-vivants, but less than what we should call conjuring seems to be meant (H. C. O.).
2 The text here seems hopelessly corrupt. Or the meaning may be, "Our main text shall be his exultation at the generous rivalry between Ulysses and Telemachus, though his mention of his exploits against the Cephallenians shall also contribute to illustrate our discussion;" but this can hardly be got out of the Greek. The reference is to Odyssey, xxiv. 514. Gregory was evidently fond of Homer: the comparison of Diomede to a winter torrent (Iliad, v. 87) is used De Virginit. c. 4: and Menelaus' words about the young and old (Iliad, iii. 108), c. 23: and in Letter II. of the seven edited by Caraccioli (Letter XV.) describing the gardens of Vanota, Od. vii. 115, xiii. 589. For other quotations from the classics see Letters XI. and XII. of this Series (H. C. O.).
4 Reading mnhsthrej, for the unmeaning krathrej; "they are suitors not so much for the hand of Penelope as for her money" (H. C. O.). The Medicean has brwsthrej, "devourers." Just below the allusion is to Melantho's rudely threatening Ulysses, and getting hanged for it.
1 For the climate, cf. Sozoomen, H. E. vi. 34: "I suppose that Galatia, Cappadocia, and the neighbouring provinces contained many other ecclesiastical philosophers at that time (i. e. reign of Valens). These monks, for the most part; dwelt in communities in cities and villages, for they did not habituate themselves to the tradition of their predecessors. The severity of the winter, which is always a natural feature of that country, would probably make hermit life impracticable."
1 This and the following letter appear to have been written when Gregory still publicly professed belles lettres. They are addressed to one of the masters whom Basil had had at Athens. For these see socrates, H. E. iv. 26: it was probably Libanius; rather than Prohaeresius, who did not live in Asia Minor, or Himaerius who (according to Eunapius, Philosoph. Vit. p. 126) had become a Christian before the reign of Julian, and it is clear that this Letter is written to a pagan. The Cod. Medic. has Libanius' name as a title to both Letters. No Letter to Gregory certainly is to be found amongst Libanius' unpublished Letters in the Vatican Library. as Zacagni himself testifies: but no conclusion can be drawn from this.