Early Church Fathers
1 Of the same date as the preceding.
2 Olympius was an influential friend f Basil's, and sympathized with him in his later troubles, and under the attacks of Eustathius. cf. Letters ccxi., lxiii., lxiv.
1 Placed with the preceding.
2 mh=lon. But, like the Latin malum, this word served for more than we mean by "apple." So the malum Cydonium was quince, the malum Persicum, peach, etc.
1 Placed after Basil's choice of his Pontic retreat. Translated by Newman, whose version is here given (Church of the Fathers, 126). On the topography, cf. Letters iii., x., ccxxiii., and remarks in the Prolegomena.
2 Omitted by Newman.
3 The hill of which the western half is covered by the ruins of Amphipolis, is insulated by the Strymon on the north-west and south, and a valley on the east. To the north-west the Strymon widens inot a lake, compared by Dr. Arnold to that formed by the Mincio at Mantua. cf. Thucyd. iv. 108 and v. 7.
4 Tiberina was a district in the neighbourhood of Gregory's home at Arianzus. cf. Greg. Naz., Ep. vi. and vii.
5 Alcamaeon slew his mother; but the awful Erinnys, the avenger of matricide, inflicted on him a long and terrible punishment, depriving him of his reason, and chasing him about from place to place without the possibility of repose or peace of mind. He craved protection and cure from the god at Delphi, who required him to dedicate at the temple, as an offering, the precious necklace of Kadmus, that irresistible bribe which had originally corrupted Eriphyle. He further intimated to the unhappy sufferer that, though the whole earth was tainted with his crime and had become uninhabitable for him, yet there was a spot of ground whihc was not under the eye of the sun at the time when the matricide was committed, and where, therefore, Alcmaeon might yet find a tranquil shelter. The promise was realised at the mouth of the river Achelous, whose turbid stream was perpetually depositing new earth and forming additional islands. Upon one of these Alcmaeon settled permanently and in peace." Grote, Hist. Gr.. I. 381.
1 Written from the Pontic retreat.
2 Comes rei privatae, "who managed the enormous revenues of the fiscus and kept account of the privileges granted by the Emperor (liber beneficiorum. Hyginus. De Const. Limit. p. 203, ed. Lachm. and Du Cange s.v.)." D.C.B. I. 634.
3 There is confusion here in the text, and the Benedictines think it unmanageable as it stands. But the matte is of no importance.
1 Placed by the Ben. Ed. in the reign of Julian 361-363.
2 Eunomius the Anomoean, bp. of Cyzicus, against whose Liber Apologeticus Basil wrote his counter-work. The first appearance of the ai/retiko\j a!nqrwpoj, the "chooser" of his own way rather than the common sense of the Church, is in Tit. iii. 10. ai/reti/zein is a common word in the LXX., but does not occur in Is. xlii. 1, though it is introduced into the quotation in Matt. xii. 18. a$iresij is used six times by St. Luke for "sect;" twice by St. Paul and once by St. Peter for "heresy." Augustine, C. Manich. writes: "Qui in ecclesia Christi morbidum aliquid pravumque quid sapiunt, si, correcti ut sanum rectumque sapiant, resistunt contumaciter suaque pestifera et mortifera dogmata emendare nolunt, sed defensare persistunt hoeretici sunt."
3 As an argument against Eunomius this Letter has no particular force, inasmuch as a man may be a good divine though a very poor entomologist, and might tell us all about the ant without being better able to decide between Basil and Eunomius. It is interesting, however, as shewing how far Basil was abreast of the physiology of his time, and how far that physiology was correct.
1 Placed during the reign of Julian.
2 Nothing is known of this Origen beyond what is suggested in this letter. He is conjectured to have been a layman, who, alike as a rhetorician and a writer, was popularly known as a Christian apologist.
1 Placed in the reign of Julian.
2 Ms. variations are Macrinus and Machrinus.
3 Phil. i. 21.
1 Placed by the Ben. Ed. shortly after Basil's ordination as priest.
2 i.e. Gregory of Nazianzus, and so Letter xiv.
1 Placed in 364.
2 cf. Letter xxxv.
1 Of about the same date as the preceding.
2 cf. Ep. ccxcii.
3 The Ben. note quotes Ammianus Marcellinus xxvi. 6, where it is said of Petronius, father-in-law of Valens: "ad nudandos sine discretione cunctos immaniter flagrans nocentes pariter et insontes post exquisita tormenta quadrupli nexibus vinciebat, debita jam inde a temporibus principio Aureliani persrutans, et impendio maerens si quemquam absolvisset indemnem;" and adds: "Est ergo quadruplum hoc loco non quadrimenstrua pensio, non superexactio, sed debitorum, quae soluta non fuerant, crudelis inquisitio et quadrupli poena his qui non solverant imposita."
4 tetraktuj was the Pythagorean name for the sum of the first four numbers (1+2+3+4=10), held by them to be the root of all creation. cf. the Pythagorean oath:
Nai\ ma\ to\n a 9mete/pa yu\xa parado/nta tetraktu'n,
Paga\n a'ena/ou fu/sewj p 9izw/mat0 e!cousan.
cf. my note on Theodoret, Ep. cxxx. for the use of tetraktu/j for the Four Gospels.
5 Toi=j kaloi=j pa/nta meta\ th=j tou= kalou= prosqh/khj gi/nesqai. The pregnant sense of kalo/j makes translation difficult.
1 Placed in 364.
2 cf. Heb. iii.
3 cf. Phil. i. 27.
4 cf. Luke xii. 29.
5 cf. Matt. v. 20.
6 Tit. iii. 2.
7 1 Tim. ii. 13.