Archive for the 'Georgian' Category

More lust for the CPG – works of Eusebius in Armenian and Georgian

I’ve been unable to stop thinking about the object of my obsession.  Yes, this is another “why the Clavis Patrum Graecorum is like Paris Hilton” post.  Both might make you go blind, for instance, although probably for different reasons.  How many people realise just how wonderful this object is?

What brought this on, I hear you say?  Well, thinking about Eusebius of Caesarea, and his “Tough questions about the Gospels” (Quaestiones ad Stephanum/Marinum — and if I owned a copy of the CPG, I’d give the work’s CPG reference number).  As everyone knows, this work is lost but a large chunk survives, plus some fragments in Medieval Greek bible commentaries which were made up purely of chains of quotations from the Fathers of the Church. I commissioned David Miller to translate the Greek fragments; someone else is doing fragments extant in Syriac.

But I’m a sad person.  (Sorry Paris).  I started wondering what other languages Eusebius’ work might have been translated into in late antiquity.  Coptic is an obvious choice, and there are fragments in that language. 

But what about Armenian?  The Armenians were converted to Christianity around the time of Eusebius.  They set up a monastery in Jerusalem, to copy Greek books, translate them into Armenian, and send them back to the old country.  We know that at least two works by Eusebius were indeed translated into Armenian.  His famous Church History exists in Armenian.  Better still, his Chronicle exists; book 1 of that work only exists in Armenian, in a single copy.  That copy was found by a traveller who  was staying in Armenia in the 18th century in a rural district, who got up in the night for a glass of water and found the book being used as the water-pot cover!

Anyhow, I started asking around.  Maxime Yevadian mentioned that the Canon and the letter to Carpianus also existed in Armenian 1.  The excellent Dominique Gonnet of the CNRS in France then pointed me to the CPG!  To my astonishment, this lists information about Georgian works by Eusebius (please forgive rough OCR):

3465. Epistula ad Carpianum. Canones euangeliorum.Versio georgica. B. UT’IE, Evsevis ep’ist’elisa … Udzvelesi kartuli versiebi, in Mravalthavi 17 (1992),p.117-123.
3467. Commentarii in psalmos. (1) in ps.37. Versio georgica (introductio in psalmos). M. SANIDZE, Psalmunis dzveli kartuli redakciebi, 1 (Anciennes rédactions géorgiennes des Psaumes), Tbilisi, 1960, p. 470-475.
3495Historia ecclesiastica. Versio georgica (fragmentum de S. Iacobo fratre Domini: H.E., Il,23). Cf. M. VAN EsBROECK, Les homéliaires, p. 123,189,213.

Of course the most exciting bit of that is the portion of the unpublished and untranslated monster-work, the Commentary on the Psalms.  Nothing on the Quaestiones, but what a book, that contains stuff like this!

<swoon>

1 Thomson, Bibliography of Armenian Literature, Brepols, 1995, pp. 51-2.