‘Severian of Gabala’ on the sufferings and death of our Lord

In 1827 J.B.Aucher published a set of sermons from Armenian at the press of the Mechitarist Fathers in Venice, Severiani sive Seberiani Gabalorum episcopi Emesensis homiliae nunc primum ex antiqua versione armena in latinum sermonem translatae, Venetiis, 1827.  A homily on the sufferings and death of our Lord appears on p.428 of that edition.  Unfortunately it is not listed among the sermons of Severian of Gabala in the Clavis Patrum Graecorum 2, so is perhaps pseudonymous [but see below].

A reader of these posts has discovered an English translation of this obscure text in S.C.Malan, Meditations on every Wednesday and Friday in Lent (1859).  The book itself is a curiosity, printed using the long-s (which looks like ‘f’ without part of the cross-stroke) which had then ceased to be in use for more than a century.  It is dedicated to Charles Marriot, the editor of the Oxford Movement Library of the Fathers translations.

This is Holy Week.  I admit my own thoughts have been far from the sufferings of the Lord.  But as I scanned this translation, I found myself moved by the words of this ancient writer.  The sermon is a little long to post here, and I have left the English archaic as it was.  If anyone has difficulty with this, I would like to know. 

But here it is.

UPDATE (1/4/10).  The Aucher publication is online here!  It’s remarkable, really, what Google books now contains.  After looking at the index of sermons, I must ask whether this sermon is really by Eusebius of Emesa, like the one that follows it?  A look at the CPG reveals that, indeed, both are by Eusebius of Emesa.


5 thoughts on “‘Severian of Gabala’ on the sufferings and death of our Lord

  1. Thanks for digging this out!
    It actually is the earliest (even though indirect) reference to Mk 15:28.
    I will add it in the next edition of the online commentary.

  2. It is really quite an interesting text, isn’t it? Make sure you attribute it correctly to Eusebius of Emesa, tho — the attribution is given in the CPG.

  3. Note that there is a book on these Armenian sermons: “Henning Lehmann, Per Piscatores: Studies in the Armenian version of a collection of Homilies by Eusebius of Emesa and Severian of Gabala (Arhus, 1975)”.

    Also Robert Winn did a dissertation on the sermons of Eusebius of Emesa (Latin and Armenian), and Catholic University of America press will be publishing a revised version next year.

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