Greek texts from the library of the Patriarch in Jerusalem

John Chrysostom was exiled from Constantinople at the instigation of the empress Eudoxia, assisted by Severian of Gabala.  But the people rioted before he had gone far, and Chrysostom was recalled.  An armistice was patched up between the two men.

In Migne there is a little group of three sermons, only in Latin, all headed De PaceOn Peace.  The first two are by Chrysostom, and refer to “our brother Severian”.  The third is by Severian himself in reply.

Quasten tells us that the latter is only fragments, and that the full Greek text only appeared in print at the hands of Papadopoulos-Kerameus, St. Petersburg in 1891, in vol. 1 of Analekta hierosolumitikes stakuologias, p.15-26.  My heart sank as I saw this, and contemplated how on earth I would ever even locate such a volume. 

Slightly hopelessly I entered his name in Google; and a list on came up.  And here it is, courtesy of the good and generous people at Harvard Library, who have given freely of their store to the world!  There’s also a catalogue of manuscripts in that library.

Looking at the PDF of vol. 1, after the prologue in Greek, sure enough, on p. 15 (Roman numerals; p.50 of the PDF), is the sermon peri eirenes, taken from ms. Saba 32, fol. 130a-135b.  Migne’s Latin text is printed in parallel where it exists; no translation where it does not.

Anyone fancy translating it into English, for money?

On p.556 of the PDF is a list of contents.  Any care to give us an idea of that lot in English?  I can see it starts with Andrew of Crete, then Severian, then Paulinus’ Life of Ambrose…


13 thoughts on “Greek texts from the library of the Patriarch in Jerusalem

  1. I’ve only read the first page of Severian’s sermon, and there are quite substantial differences between the Greek and the Latin texts. From the contents, the short dialog by Cyril Loucaris about, other things, the Jesuit involvement in the Eastern church might be interesting. Or the earlier writing by Nikephoros the Ist of Constantinople against “the iconomachi and the Manicheans”.

  2. Thanks!

    The differences in the Severian are interesting, and I wonder where the Latin version comes from.

    I’m not sure that Cyril Lucaris is that interesting; but the Nicephorus does sound more like the sort of thing.

  3. I can very vaguely remember reading an English translation of an Egyptian text of a sermon attributed to John Chrysostom — I think it was in a collection translated by one of the Lewis sisters. Could it be related?

    Yours in Christ,

    James Snapp, Jr.

  4. Hello!
    I’m working on a doctorate on Severian of Gabala right now (his Armenian and Georgian translations mainly), and I’d be interested in translating this text in English, if You, of course, would trust a Russian guy studying in such a matter 🙂
    I’ve got some rare works on Severian that I could eventually share with You.
    In Christ,

  5. I was looking up Severian of Gabala in various works and there seems to be some confusion as to whether Gabala or Laodicea is to be identified with Latakia, the main port city of modern Syria and home to the Alawite sect. Any idea which is which?

  6. Re: Latakia

    That’s the sort of thing where a list of road distances and stations would actually come in handy.

  7. I think they do exist, from antiquity. The sort of dull but factual text that gets buried in collections and doesn’t appear online, I suspect.

  8. I’ve been noticing that the Syrians themselves on tourist sites identify Gabala as being another port city beside Laodicea.

    “Between the town of Banias and Syria’s main port of Latakia lies the small port of Jableh. Known as Gabala, another Phoenician port belonging to the Arvadians, it was named Zibel under the crusaders and then was given its name back under the Mamelukes.

    It passed through the usual hands that have occupied Syria and flourished relatively under the Romans and the crusaders whence it was split between the Templars and the Hospitallers. In 1285 it was taken by the Mameluke Sultan Qalaun, and has been of little importance since then.

    The historical background of Jableh has been mostly destroyed by the growth in population. However the remains of a magnificent Roman amphitheater comparable to the one in Bosra, is still evident. It is over 90 meters across and originally had 30 rows, although only 20 exist now. This theater was turned into a fortress by the crusaders. Some of its remains can be seen at a nearby mosque called ‘Mosque of Sidi Ibrahim Bin Adham’; this mosque stands on the site of a church built by the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius in the 7th century.”

    From the perspective of an ignorant outsider, identifying Laodicea with Latikia and Gabala with Jableh makes intuitive sense. I wonder whether some confusion has crept into the history books because of an unfamiliarity with Syrian geography.

    Google maps (what would we do without Google!) shows how close they are to one another hence the confusion:,+Syria&gl=us&ei=edXES80MkKyxA_jXzIYO&sa=X&oi=geocode_result&ct=image&resnum=1&ved=0CAgQ8gEwAA

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