Gregory of Nazianzus: Poemata Arcana
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Publisher: Oxford University Press
Number of Pages: 312
Width: 14.5 cm
Height: 22.4 cm
Known as "the Theologian", St Gregory of Nazianzus (in the eastern part of Turkey) is, with St Basil and St Gregory of Nyssa, one of the celebrated Cappadocian Fathers of the fourth-century Christian Church. Highly educated in both Christian theology and classical Greek literature, he found himself torn between a solitary, contemplative life and the reluctantly accepted, though in actuality relished, public figure of bishop, vigorous in defence of orthodoxy against the attacks of the Arians. He was even, briefly, Bishop of Constantinople and chairman of the Council in 381 which produced what we now know as the Nicene Creed. This edition of his poems brings together his theological acumen in a formative period and shows his ability to operate in the genre of didactic verse going back to the eighth century BC. The poems cover a range of topics, from the strictly theological to others dealing more broadly with the creation of the world, providence, the world of spiritual beings, and the human soul. They give a unique new insight both on the theological ideas of the period and on the uneasy emergence of Christian culture from the pagan past.
This superb volume is a collaboration between two scholars who have each studied Gregory for many years...Moreschini provides the much needed critical edition while Sykes supplies a clear prose translation and a line by line commentary on the Greek text...this erudite commentary is a joy for specialists, to be read slowly and savored. For students it can serve as a valuable reference tool. Church History '...This volume, a much-needed critical edition with translation and commentary, has long been awaited. It has been prepared by two of the most eminent among modern Gregorian scholars, and maturity of judgement and style mark it throughout...Sykes and Moreschini are to be warmly congratulated on their achievement. This will be a standard text for years to come...' John McGuckin, Ecclesiastical History, 49/2 This edition, translation, and thorough commentary make this corpus of poetry fully accessible to students of late antiquity ... and it is good to have this important group of Gregory's to feed into the debates generated by Brown, and others. The Classical Review In this volume Moreschini was responsible for establishing the Greek text and Sykes for the English translation. Both are excellent. Even more impressive is Sykes' extensive commentary. Journal of Theological Studies It is always a pleasure to greet a new critical edition of patristic writings ... if Sykes' translation is not always perfectly graceful or clear, his work in the commentary as a textual scholar is of monumental value, shedding useful light at every step ... In bringing us these poems, both in the original Greek and in translation, and in providing a commentary produced by a uniquely qualified scholar in St. Gregory's poetic work, this edition is a service to patristic scholarship. Peter Bouteneff, St. Vladimir's Theological Quarterly