As I write this, I’m sitting in Reagan National, waiting to board my flight to Chicago.  I’ll be attending and presenting at my first NAPS conference (North American Patristics Society).  In my paper, I discuss a few techniques for digital stylometry, as well as share the results from some analysis I did on the homilies from the new Origen codex.  It won’t be mind-blowing or novel, but I think both Origenists and digital patristicists </insert_better_word_here> will find something interesting.  I look forward to hearing papers and meeting new people!

ἐν αὐτῷ,
ΜΑΘΠ 

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Although it required an embarrassingly long search, I finally found the passage to which Basil the Lesser refers in his commentary on Gregory’s 41st oration.  The reason for my aporia was that most of Maximus’s Ambigua is not in the TLG, which is where I was looking for it!  The Ambigua is a massive, sprawling work devoted to ambiguous passages in Gregory of Nazianzus.  It’s divided into two parts, the Ambigua to Thomas is in the TLG, but this only includes 5 “difficulties.”  The rest of the work, the Ambigua to John is much larger (well over 100 if the text I found is accurate), but is not in the TLG.  Of course after discovering this the hard way, and finding the text elsewhere, I discovered that the apparatus of the Sources Chrétiennes pointed me to the Patrologia Graeca vol. 91. I’ve learned a lesson though: don’t over rely on the TLG!  It’s a remarkable tool, but far from complete, especially for Patristic texts.

The text from Maximus can be found here, in section 173.  The discussion is only two hearty paragraphs, so I hope to post a translation and comments soon.  

ἐν αὐτῷ,

ΜΑΘΠ

As part of a project I hope to publish (regarding stylometrics and Origen), I’ve been transcribing more of his homilies on the Psalms. I don’t have the time to translate them, or really even to edit the Greek text properly at the moment, but I figure that even my transcriptions may be useful to someone. I’ve created an Origen page here, where you may find my transcriptions of (currently) two homilies on Psalm 36, in addition to the Greek text and translation of his third homily on Psalm 76.

Transcribing a text is a laborious task, and one bound to introduce errors into one’s copy. I’ve read over most of the transcribed material, but even still I’m sure more errors are present. If you find any, leave a comment or send me an e-mail.

ἐν αὐτῷ,

ΜΑΘΠ

"εἴδοσάν σε, ὕδατα ὁ θεός. ἔιδοσάν
σε ὕδατα καὶ ἐφοβήθησαν,
ἐταράχθησαν ἄβυσσοι πλῆθος ἤχους
ὕδάτων." "στενὴ γὰρ καὶ τεθλιμμένη
ἡ ὁδὸς, ἡ ἀπάγουσα εἰς τὴν ζωήν.
καὶ ὀλίγοι εἰσὶν οἱ εὑρίσκοντες αὐτήν." (Mt. 7:14)
καὶ ὁ λαὸς ὁ τοῦ θεοῦ, ὀλιγοστοί
εἰσι παρὰ πάντα τὰ ἔθνη τὰ ἐπὶ
τῆς γῆς. καὶ ἐν τῇ κιβωτῷ τοῦ Νῶε,
ὅσῳ ἀνωτέρῳ τοσούτῳ στενοτέρα,
καὶ ὀλιγότερα χωρεῖ τὰ ἀνωτέρῳ
ὅπου δὲ τὰ τεταραγμένα κατὰ
τὴν ἄβυσσον πράγματα, ἐκεῖ τὸ
πλῆθος ὠνομάσθη. "ἐταράχθησαν
ἄβυσσοι πλῆθος ἤχους ὕδατος."

καὶ ἐπὶ μὲν τῶν ὁρώντων τὸν θεὸν
ὑδάτων, ἦχος οὐκ ἔστιν, οὐδὲ ἄσημος
φωνῆ, ἀλλά τις εὐστάθεια καὶ
ἡσυχία, μόνον φοβουμένων τῶν θεορούντων
αὐτὸν ὑδάτων, ἐπὶ δὲ τῆς
ἀβύσσου, "ἐταράχθησαν ἄβυσσοι πλῆθος
ἦχους ὕδατος," ὁρᾶς, ὅτι ἦχος
ἐστὶν, ἐν τοῖς τεταραγμένοις, οὐ τρανὴ
οὐδὲ ἄσημος οὐδὲ διηρθρωμένη
φωνή;

“The waters saw you, O God.  The waters saw you, and were afraid.  The abysses were terrified, a depth of the sound of the waters.”  “Straight and narrow is the way that leads to life, and few are those who find it.” (Mt. 7:14)  The people of God, they are the fewest among all the nations on the Earth.  As with the ark of Noah, for whom things were much more narrow, so now the few advance to the things above, where the affairs of the abyss have been troubled; for there the depth is named, “The abysses were troubled, a depth of the sound of waters.”

With the waters that see God, there is no sound, nor an indistinct voice, but a certain tranquility and stillness, but only for those waters that see and fear him.  But about the abyss, it says, “The abysses were terrified, the depth of the sound of waters.”  Do you see, that there is a sound among the troubled, a voice that is not clear, nor unnoticed, nor articulate?

ἐν αὐτῷ,

ΜΑΘΠ

I’ve not posted in quite some time, and I can’t really say that this post represents a return to frequent posts.  However, I came across some Chrysostom that was too good not to share.  As is customary, I give my translation and then the Greek.  Enjoy!

Do you see, then, how powerful are both prayer and petition?  They make men into temples of Christ!  Just as gold, precious stones, and marble make the houses of kings, so prayer creates temples of Christ. “That Christ,” he says, “may dwell in your hearts.”  What greater praise of prayer could ever be, than that it creates temples for God?  The one whom the heavens do not contain, this is the one who enters the living soul through prayers.  “‘The heaven is my throne,'” he says, “‘and the earth my footstool.  What type of house will you build for me?’ says the Lord. ‘Or what place of rest for me?'”  But nevertheless Paul builds him a house through his holy prayers.  He says, “I bend my knees before the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, so that the Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.”  Indeed from that, one should know the power of holy prayers, since Paul, the one who ran as though with wings through the entire world, who made his residence in prison, who bore whips and chains, always living in blood and danger, who drove out demons and raised the dead, and who healed sicknesses, he trusted none of these things for the salvation of men, but defended the earth through his prayers, and after the signs and the raising of the dead, he ran again to prayers, just as an athlete returning to the training room right after receiving the crown.

 

And the Greek:

Ὁρᾷς, ὅσον ἰσχύει προσευχὴ καὶ δέησις; Ναοὺς Χριστοῦ τοὺς ἀνθρώπους ἐργάζεται· καὶ ὥσπερ χρυσὸς, καὶ λίθοι πολυτίμητοι, καὶ μάρμαρα ποιοῦσι τοὺς οἴκους τῶν βασιλέων· οὕτω προσευχὴ ναοὺς τοῦ Χριστοῦ. Κατοικῆσαι, φησὶ, τὸν Χριστὸν ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις ὑμῶν. Τί μεῖζον ἂν γένοιτο προσευχῆς ἐγκώμιον, ἢ ὅτι ναοὺς ἀπεργάζεται Θεοῦ; Ὃν οὐ χωροῦσιν οὐρανοὶ, οὗτος εἰς ψυχὴν εἰσέρχεται ζῶσαν ἐν προσευχαῖς. Ὁ οὐρανός μοι θρόνος, φησὶν, ἡ δὲ γῆ ὑποπόδιον τῶν ποδῶν μου. Ποῖον οἶκον οἰκοδομήσετέ μοι; λέγει Κύριος· ἢ τίς τόπος τῆς καταπαύσεώς μου; Ἀλλ’ ὅμως οἶκον ὁ Παῦλος οἰκοδομεῖ διὰ τῶν ἁγίων εὐχῶν. Κάμπτω, φησὶ, τὰ γόνατά μου πρὸς τὸν Πατέρα τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, ἵνα κατοικήσῃ ὁ Χριστὸς διὰ τῆς πίστεως ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις ὑμῶν. Καὶ μὴν κἀκεῖθεν ἴδοι τις ἂν τὴν δύναμιν τῶν ἁγίων εὐχῶν, ὅτι Παῦλος ὁ διὰ πάσης τῆς οἰκουμένης ὥσπερ ὑπόπτερος τρέχων, καὶ δεσμωτήριον οἰκῶν, καὶ μάστιγας ὑπομένων, καὶ φορῶν ἅλυσιν, καὶ ζῶν ἐν αἵματι καὶ κινδύνοις, καὶ δαίμονας ἐλαύνων, καὶ νεκροὺς ἐγείρων, καὶ παύων ἀῤῥωστήματα, οὐδενὶ τούτων ἐθάῤῥησεν εἰς σωτηρίαν τῶν ἀνθρώπων, ἀλλὰ ταῖς προσευχαῖς ἐτείχισε τὴν γῆν, καὶ μετὰ τὰ σημεῖα καὶ τὴν τῶν νεκρῶν ἀνάστασιν, ἐπὶ τὰς προσευχὰς ἔτρεχεν, ὥσπερ τις ἀθλητὴς ἐπὶ παλαίστραν ἀπὸ στεφάνου.

John Chrysostom, De Precatione (PG 60.783)

 

See part 1 for the introduction. Here’s another excerpt from a little latter in the homily. I was much more free with this translation, since the syntax was pretty far from anything resembling English. Corrections, as always, are welcome. The Greek text can be found here. I started at “θάνατος γὰρ ψυχῆς ἀσέβεια.”

“Ungodliness and the irreverent life are death for the soul. But is not the worship of God, and proper life, sustenance for the soul? Prayer leads to a life that is worthy of serving God, and it enriches our very souls. For if one extols virginity, or zealously honors the temperance of marriage, or rules over anger and lives with meekness, or is purified of envy , or practices one of the other virtues, then they will have an easy and light time on the race-path of godliness, for their path has been made smooth by the leadership of prayer.”
John Chrysostom, De Precatione.

As I’ve been plodding away trying to learn Latin, I thought that I’d write a bit about my process. Over the span of my Latin study, I’ve tried four or so different approaches. The first was Rosetta Stone. I honestly found Rosetta Stone frustrating. Maybe it was because I never got past “puer legit” and “puella edit” but it was boring and I often felt like the vocabulary being taught was useless. I suppose it is useful to know “radiophonam” is a modern word for radio, but that wasn’t going to help me read Augustine or Cicero. Granted, I do think immersion is a good thing (which entails learning modern words), but that didn’t help my interest.

At the same time, I was also using the traditional textbook: Wheelock. The traditional approach was similar to how I had approached Greek: memorize the basic charts and just start translating sentences. I do find Wheelock a bit daunting. The amount one has to memorize for Latin is significantly higher than one does for Greek (5 declensions versus 3!). I’m still working through it because I do like seeing all of the grammar laid out, but it’s not my sole approach any longer.

Recently, I purchased Ortberg’s excellent “Lingua Latina per se illustrata.” For those who aren’t familiar with this book, it’s an excellent way to get acquainted with reading Latin. The chapters start off very simple “Roma in Italia est. Italia in Europa est. Graecia in Europa est” etc. It progressively gets more difficult, but the entire textbook is in Latin. The exercises are mostly of the “fill in the the ending” sort, which is fantastic practice as I try to make the declensions second nature.

Since my knowledge of basic grammar has progressed somewhat, I’ve added a third practice that really seems to be helping. One thing I’ve realized about language is that I don’t even begin to internalize it until I start “producing” in the language. Thus, I’ve started translating bits of the Gospel of John into Latin (from Greek of course!). This is not only much more fun than Ortberg or Wheelock, but I’m learning quite rapidly. I’m having to look up most of the words I write, but certain things are starting to stick. Plus, there’s something that’s just fun about writing in Latin. Perhaps that’s the nerd in me though ;-). Oh, and if you really want to nerd out, then don’t dare translate from your printed/online Greek New Testament. Instead, pull up one of the beautiful Greek manuscripts online, like this one. Then you can practice your Latin, Greek, and Paleography!

Finally, I’ve found reading about the Church Fathers to be helpful also. I’m currently reading J.N.D. Kelly’s excellent biography of Jerome. As the early Church’s linguist par excellence, he definitely encourages me to press on. I want to be able to read what he wrote in the original!

in caritate Dei,
Alex