Montfaucon on Eusebius’ Commentary on the Psalms

Volume 23 of the Patrologia Graeca contains the start of Eusebius’ monster commentary on the Psalms.  At the start of it is a preface, presumably by Bernard de Montfaucon, the 18th century Benedictine scholar.  It’s the size of a small book itself!

It would be interesting to know whether Eusebius takes a literal or allegorical approach in this work.  He was very much a disciple of Origen, whose enthusiasm for the allegorical method led him to the curious statement that the literal meaning of some passages of scripture is of no importance.  But he was also his own man.

I had wondered about commissioning a translation of the preface; but not at that length!


3 thoughts on “Montfaucon on Eusebius’ Commentary on the Psalms

  1. It is indeed lengthy, I just took a look at it myself. My Latin’s even worse than my Greek, but if you look at CAPUT IV in the introduction, I think that’s where he discusses literal and mystical interpretations. I see subsections entitled “De litteralli explantione” and “De mystagogica.”

    My guess is that he mixes both. He was a disciple of Origen, but he was also interested enough in real events to write the Ecclesiastical History. There’s several short sections near the beginning of the work where he talks about the Psalms in general. I’ll try to come up with a translation of a few of these section and post them on my blog. This is good practice for me and helps me to understand rather than just skip over the tough parts.

    One group of folks who should love Eusebius is textual scholars. He had access to Origen’s hexapla and makes extensive use of it in his writings. Hardly a psalm goes by where he doesn’t make a reference to the other translations.

  2. Yes, I saw that section in Montfaucon.

    Whatever you can translate, even as a first attempt, will help others. It’s always hardest for the pioneer.

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