Smiling men with bad reputations

… Or so the Arians must have thought!  Yes, it’s the Cappadocian Fathers.  These are the group of clergymen who turned the tide against Arianism in the mid-4th century; Basil the Great, Gregory of Nyssa, and Gregory Nazianzen.

Less well known are some of their associates, such as Amphilochius.  I’ve been looking at his works with an eye to seeing whether any of them are (a) short and (b) untranslated.

One interesting text is the Iambics for Seleucus (PG 37, 1577-1600).  This is a set of moral advice to a friend, composed in verse form, and ending with a recommendation to study the scriptures and a list of canonical books.  There is a poor translation of the latter here – the portion of Hebrews misrepresents what Amphilochius writes.

I understand that a critical text of all the works of Amphilochius was made by C. Datema, Amphilochii Iconiensis Opera, CCSG 3 (Turnhout: Brepols, 1978).  I don’t know whether any translation of the Iambics exists, tho; I could find none.

Another interesting text was published in Leipzig in 1906 by Gerhard Ficker in his Amphilochiana, I., p.23-77, Against the Apotactites and Gemellites.  Quasten says this is a Coptic version, but it seems to be a mistake; there is a Greek text, and then another work on Isaac, presented in German translation only of a Coptic text.  Who the people attacked in the former are I do not know, but they seem to be ascetic or perhaps encratite heretics.  Thankfully Ficker’s book is online here.

Asterius of Amasea was another of the Cappadocian Fathers.  Fourteen homilies survive, and the same Datema made an edition with English notes (but no translation!) here.  The edition appeared from Brill in 1970, who have put online a limited preview.  It is a pity that they didn’t make the whole book available.  Five of his fourteen homilies are online in English at my site.


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