Early Church Fathers
56 [Alluding to his desire of being buried in the church of the apostles, and sharing their honors, as noticed in ch. 60.-Bag.]
57 [It appears that an interregnum of about three months took place, during which all the laws and edicts continued to be issued in the name of Constantine, as before his death.-Bag.]
58 The sharp sarcasms of Julian's Caesars seem almost to have taken their text from this challenge. He marshals the great emperors before the gods, where each presents his claim to greatness. Constantine is greatly ridiculed, and yet to choose between Julian and Eusebius, if regard is had to Constantine's real effect on world history, Eusebius is the truer judge, and is at least not so far wrong that his superlative enthusiasm for his imperial friend cannot be readily pardoned.
1 Or "once suffering."
2 ermaiou, "gift of Hermes"; i.e. providential good-fortune. Valesius wrongly conjectures erma, "foundation" of promise.
3 Valesius, followed by various translators, substitutes "God" for "Nature." But all ms. authority, and the context as well, is against.
4 1709, Molz., Vales., Cous., render "substitute in place thereof their own superstition."
5 [The bishop who is thus metaphorically addressed as the guide and controller of the Church.-Bag.]
6 Some mss. read poma, "draught."
7 "I read auth frasei ...but regarding frasei as derived not from the verb frazein, but from the noun frasij."-Hein.
8 "Ought not to shrink or to be neglectful."
9 Valesius, followed by 1709 and substantially by Bag., omitting proj, renders "enter upon the head and principal matter of our design." Hein. retains proj, and like Molz. renders "proceed, as well as I may, to my theme." He means rather that having God's help he will not fear to "essay great things."
11 Presiding "overseer," "president," or "ruler." It is the one who has charge of games or ships or public works, &c.
12 Cf. John i. 3, John i. 13, John i. 14, and Eph. i. 10. There is the greatest variety in the rendering of this passage, of which Bag.'s is the worst. The writer draws here on a philosophy of the Logos, which recognizes the second person of the Trinity as the creator and head of created things. The free version of Cousin gives the best flavor ofthe idea. "He was produced by the inexhaustible fecundity of hiseternal mind to preside over the creation and government of thisvisible world." A better translation waits on a better exposition of the doctrine of the Logos and its history.
13 Molz. renders "und die Organe, mir Hilfe deter das Wahrgenommene innerlich zur Idee erhoben wird."
14 Chr. substantially "natural and artificial"; Molz. "lifeless and live"; perhaps "inorganic and organic" is meant.
15 [Alluding to the fabulous division of the world between the brothers Jupiter, Neptune, and Pluto. Valesius in loc.-Bag.] Or rather Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades. Zeus had the heavens, Poseidon the sea, and Hades the underworld, while the earth remained "with high Olympus, common to us all"-a fruitful source of dissension. Cf. Homer, Il. XV. 184-195, ed. Doederlein, 2 (1864), p. 64-65; tr. Bryant, XV. ll. 227-245.
16 A possible reading here is ecairetwj, i.e. take as the chief object, &c.-Vales. and Hein.
17 Valesius remarks that many instances are recorded where the oracle of Apollo replied to those who consulted him that Bacchus or Saturn must be placated in order to their liberation.
19 A favorite theme of the Christian apologists. Cf. long list given in the Clementine Recognitions, X. 22.
20 Or "perfections."
21 "To be referred not to the preceding `Christ0' but ...the supreme God."-Hein. (?).
22 [Constantine seems to have supposed the Paradise of our first parents to be somewhere apart from this earth. In this fanciful idea, which is obviously indefensible from Scripture he is countenanced by the opinions of Tertullian, Tatian, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Valentinian, and Jerome, some of whom placed it in or above the third heaven, others in the fourth, others again in a world superior to the present, &c. See the note of Valesius, who quotes from some of these Fathers. In reference to what follows, we may ask, Was Constantine acquainted with, or does he avoid noticing, the circumstances of the fall?-Bag.] Ans. Constantine like many another to our own day seems to regard the "fall" as a fall upwards-that complacent optimism which ignores Scripture and Schopenhauer alike.
23 Without the logoj, i.e. inarticulate or (as here) irrational.
24 For a full discussion of various definitions and usage of the word Fate (h eiriarmenh) in Greek philosophy, compare Zeller, Stoics, Epicureans, and Sceptics (Lond. 1880), p. 170-171, notes.
25 automaton. The usual word for chance or accident is tuxh. These may be here, as is often the case, simple synonyms, but both words are used in the same phrase later in such way as to suggest that tuxh is parallel with "fate" rather than "chance" in the author's mind. automaton seems to be used of "self-originating," tuxh of originating from some unknown cause or without any cause. The former is the modern, self-energized, "lift-yourselves-by-your-own-boot-straps" evolution. The latter is a form of agnosticism. Aristotle (Metaph. 10. 8) defines chance (tuxh) as a "cause by accident" (sumbebhkoj), or more literally "coincidence," which is substantially what Janet (Final Causes, 1878, p. 19) means by defining chance as the coincidence of causes. At the end of the same chapter Aristotle uses automaton in contrast with tuxh-"tuxh or even automaton," which has been rendered (M'Mahon) "chance or even spontaneity." In modern phrase those who hold these three various views of the universe might be characterized as "material evolutionists," "transcendental idealists," and "philosophical (or perhaps `agnostic0') evolutionists."
26 i.e. "plan."
27 dikaiosunh, better "righteousness," "correctness of thinking, feeling, and acting" (Thayer, Lex. p. 149). So its opposite mentioned below (adikia) is better "unrighteousness," as generally in the revised English version of the N. T., "mammon of unrighteousness" (Luke xvi. 9, e.g.). The word means more than our "just," "more," as Socrates said (Plat. Rep. 1. 331), "than to speak the truth and pay your debts." Righteousness is the better translation, but we are met with the difficulty. that it has generally been rendered justice in translations of the philosophers.
28 swfrosunh, temperance, vs. akolasia, intemperance, below; soundness of mind vs. insanity (cf. use in Acts xxvi. 25, and of verb in Mark v. 15; Luke viii. 35; also use in Plato, Rep. 332, &c.); self-control vs. unbridled desire. This same contrast of swfrosunh and akolasia is found in Aristotle, Eth. 2, vii. 3; 7, vii. I; and especially 7, ix. 5.
29 ti dikaion, not dikaiosunh.
30 This is very free, and follows translation of Valesius and 1709 text. 1709 marg. translates more literally, "But either crimes, or, on the other hand, brave performances, which are [the property] of a good and right purpose of mind, if they happen sometimes one way, at others another," and Molz. somewhat similarly. It is possible that it should read: "Granted that either evil actions proceeding from a good and upright will, or contrariwise, good actions [from an evil will] which issue directly contrary [to their own nature or to just expectation] may be ascribed to chance or fate, how can the right," &c.
34 nooj was not narrowed to the mere intellectual functions. "Intellectual" is not to be taken of brain function only, but of brain and heart,-real knowing, as against the "intellectuation" which men nowadays try to force the word "know" to mean.
35 "Quire of the stars," 1709.
36 The "logoj endiaqetoj" of Philo, frequent in Alexandrian theologians. It is the unuttered thought vs. the expressed word.
37 Fore-ordination, or plan.
39 yuxhj = "soul." In the absence of a proper Biblical psychology the word has been most sadly abused in translations. The only way back to a proper conception of the words "spirit" and "soul" and "life," &c., is to re-establish a uniform rendering for them. It is as bad as the rendering, of our English version, where nephesk (= yuxh) is rendered "life."
40 This is almost identically the form of what Socrates (Apol. c.2) declared to be the falsehood circulated by his enemies to his prejudice. "But far more dangerous are those who began when you were children and took possession of your minds with their falsehoods, telling of one Socrates, a wise man who ...made the worse appear the better cause" (logon, "reason"), Tr. Jowett, 1 (1874), 316. This example does peculiar discredit either to the learning or the mental honesty of the author.
41 Rather "deriving existence from," "proceeding from," gives strict idea, but may be confounded with the technical "proceeding from" of the "filioque" controversy, which is quite another phrase.
43 "The one simple" is not in the text, but is a conjectural addition of Valesius, followed by most translators. "Consisting of bodily structure" seems possibly to be an epexegetical phrase relating to the "all things" which he divides into intellectual and sensible, making the intellectual as well as the sensible to have bodily (somatic) structure. "All things," or "the universe," a plural technical term, is regarded as his mind passes to the explanation as "the all." This psychological probability appears a simpler solution than the various textual conjectures.
44 Heinichen suspects that there has been an inversion of words here, and that it should have been, "He further teaches the admirable and profitable doctrine," and "a doctrine not merely to be admired" omitted.
45 "All the Greek-speaking world, and foreign lands as well."
46 Rhadamanthus was a son of Jove (or Vulcan) and Europa. Cf. Hom. Il. 14. 322; Od. 4. 564, 7. 323.
47 [There can be no doubt (though the fact is not immediately apparent from the wording of the text), that the spirit of this passage is ironical.-Bag.]
48 Rather "cheat," or "delude." Mr. Charles Dudley Warner, essayist and novelist, says in an interesting essay on the relation of fiction to life, that the object of fiction is to produce illusions, and the test of its art is its power to produce such illusion.
49 There is a temptation here to adopt the translation of Molz. "Truth lies in the fiction, however, when what is told corresponds to reality." Mr. Warner, in his lecture, goes on to say that the object of fiction is to reveal what is,-not the base and sordid things rely or peculiarly, but the best possibilities, and gives an exquisite exposition of the fact that the idealism of true fiction is simply the realism of the nobler characteristics and truths. The truth is, that the object of fiction or poetry as art is to produce the image,-fill the whole personality with a picture. This is only gained in its highest form when every detail exactly corresponds to truth or reality. The function of fiction is not illusion, but realization. Its object is the reproduction of truth. Molz. makes Constantine say that fiction is true when it corresponds to reality, though the forms be not historical or actual. This is a true observation, but not what Constantine says. He says in substance, with Mr. Warner, that the object is to produce illusion or deceive, while the idea of truth is just the reverse.