A scholion on Lucian about Mithras, and a translation of Theodoret

Here’s a couple of stray thoughts, relating to previous posts.

Firstly, I can confirm that there is a translation into English of Theodoret’s Fabularum Haereticorum Compendium in the 1990 these by Glenn Melvin Cope, An analysis of the heresiological method of Theodoret of Cyrus in the “Haereticarum fabularum compendium”.  I got hold of a copy today, and all five books are translated.

Secondly … Andrew Eastbourne very kindly translated a scholion on Lucian, which related to Mithras.  I extracted it from Cumont’s Textes et Monumentes and asked him to do the honours.  Here’s what he says:

Cumont cites two scholia on Lucian which discuss Mithra(s), from the edition of Jacobitz.  For a more recent edition, see Rabe, Scholia in Lucianum (1906).[1]

Scholion on Lucian, Zeus Rants / Jupiter tragoedus 8 [cf. Rabe, p. 60]:

This Bendis…[2]  Bendis is a Thracian goddess, and Anubis is an Egyptian [god], whom the theologoi[3] call “dog-faced.”  Mithras is Persian, and Men is Phrygian.  This Mithras is the same as Hephaestus, but others say [he is the same as] Helios.  So then, because the barbarians would take pride[4] in wealth, they naturally also outfitted their own gods most expensively.  And Attis is revered by the Phrygians…

 Scholion on Lucian, The Parliament of the Gods / Deorum concilium 9 [cf. Rabe, p. 212] 

Mithrês [Mithras]…  Mithras is the sun [Helios], among the Persians.[5]

[1] I have noted points where Rabe’s edition differs in substance from the text printed by Cumont.  Rabe’s edition is available online at http://www.archive.org/details/scholiainlucianu00rabe
[2] Lucian’s text here mentions Bendis, Anubis, Attis, Mithrês [Mithras], and Mên.
[3] The Greek term normally refers to poets who wrote about the gods, like Hesiod or Orpheus.  Note that this is an emendation; the mss. read logoi (“words / discourses / accounts”), which Rabe adopts in his edition.
[4] Gk. ekômôn; lit., “wore their hair long / let their hair grow long.”
[5] Rabe’s text:  “Mithras is the same as Helios, among the Persians.”

 I will add this material to my collection of Mithras literary references.


14 thoughts on “A scholion on Lucian about Mithras, and a translation of Theodoret

  1. Upon further investigation, a friend of mine reports that the author of the book to which I linked offers a partial translation of the work and states that he depended on Cope’s translation.

  2. It’s certainly the same work; but there is something odd about that web page. The actual book is István Pásztori-Kupán’s “Theodoret of Cyrus”, which is in a series — an excellent one — that gives several chapters of study of the writer and then long excerpts from their work, often from untranslated sources. The one on Cyril of Alexandria by Norman Russell is the best introduction to Cyril that I have ever seen.

    But yes, it only contains part of the work.

  3. In the 19th century Rev. Robert Scott appears to have made a translation of Theodoret’s “Compendium of Heresies” for publication in “A Library Of Fathers Of The Holy Catholic Church: anterior to the division of the East and West (J. G. & F. Rivington, London: John Henry Parker, Oxford, 1838-1881)”. However, this translation was apparently never published as the Library of Fathers project was never completed. I wonder though, if this manuscript is sitting tucked away in some archive, having been long forgotten.

  4. Hi Roger, At your other website there is a page on the Library Of the Fathers series (http://tertullian.org/fathers/lfc_list.htm) where it states that “After page 548 in vol. 37 (Augustine on the Psalms, vol. 5), there is the following information:” Under this is an article by E. B. Pusey where he wrote about the progress of the series and he indicated that “They have also a translation of Theodoret’s Compendious account of Heresies; and his valuable Dialogues against heresy.” As you scroll down there is a section entitled “Works actually completed,” under which it includes “THEODORET Compendium of Heresies and Dialogues Rev. R. Scott, M.A. late Fellow of Balliol” as being in the list of completed, yet unpublished translations.

  5. Thank you very much for this. Now that is very interesting, isn’t it? I wonder where that material is, then? Pusey’s papers are at Pusey house.

    The article implies that the translation is in his hands; yet, if so, why did it never appear? The answer, perhaps, is that vol. 37 appeared in 1853, just before the hiatus to the remaining volumes. I don’t know why this gap happened — histories of the Oxford Movement seldom devote much space to the Library of the Fathers. The best account of the project is in Liddon, and it’s not so full as one might wish.

    Possibly the answer is to go and have a rummage at Pusey House. These archives never know what they have.

    Mind you, if the ms. was there, and was handwritten, in the handwriting of the 1850’s, how many of us could read it?

  6. Looking at the archives at Pusey House, here, I wonder if “R. Scott” is Robert Scott? There was a Robert Scott who was master of Balliol in 1853. I suspect perhaps it is.

  7. Hi Roger, You are welcome. I believe that Robert Scott is, most likely, the “R. Scott” mentioned in the Library Of The Fathers.

    On a side note, in a letter dated April 1839 J. H. Newman indicated that “I intend to put notes to our [A Library of the Fathers?] translation of Theodoret’s ‘Heresies’…” His letter is on p.251 of Vol 2 of “Letters and Correspondence of John Henry Newman During His Life in the English church” (http://books.google.com/books?id=uak8AAAAYAAJ&pg=PA251&dq=%22Translation+of+Theodoret%27s+Heresies%22&hl=en&ei=yaj_TfHOAqPz0gHA_uioAw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CDEQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=%22Translation%20of%20Theodoret%27s%20Heresies%22&f=false)

    Quite intriguing.

  8. Hmm. Now that’s interesting too.

    I’ve emailed Pusey House and asked to work in the archive in August, when I’m at the Oxford Patristics Conference. But I have an idea that the library is closed then.

  9. I contacted and received an email back from the National Institute for Newman Studies. They seemed to think that it was possible that the translation might be in the archives at the Birmingham Oratory. I contacted the Oratory probably about 6 or 7 weeks ago but have not heard anything back from them.

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