Untangling the homilies of Chrysostom “on the resurrection”

A correspondent has written to me, enquiring about “9 homilies on the resurrection”.  He’s been trying to find a text, and getting confused by what he finds, which includes spuria.

Looking at the Clavis Patrum Graecorum vol. 2, that list of the works of Chrysostom, is always a pleasure.  One day I must make a list of all Chrysostom’s works and place it online, for not even Quasten’s Patrology deals with more than a handful.

Two editions of Chrysostom are listed in the CPG.  Monfaucon’s edition, as reprinted by the Patrologia Graeca; and Henry Savile’s edition.  Both can be found online.

  • CPG 4340 is De resurrectione mortuorum.  This is found in PG50, 417-432; and Savile 6, 703-713.  It begins Περὶ δογμάτων ὑμῖν ἔμπροσθεν διελέχθημεν (Peri\ dogma/twn u(mi=n e!mprosqen diele/xqhmen).  An Armenian version also exists.
  • CPG 4341 is De resurrectione domini nostri Iesu Christi.  This is PG50, 433-442, Sav.6 581-587. Incipit: Ἀπεθέμεθα τῆς νηστείας τὸ φορτίον (A0peqe/meqa th=j nhstei/aj to\ forti/on).

The importance of Chrysostom is so great, in Greek manuscripts, that a great number of writings have acquired his name in the process of transmission, among them works by Severian of Gabala, his enemy, and of course very many sermons.  The Migne and Savile editions differ in what they include, each having material omitted by the other.

Among the spuria and dubia the CPG lists the following:

  • CPG 4526 is In triduanam resurrectionem domini.  PG50, 821-4. Sav.5, 592-5.  Incipit: Χαίρετε ἐν κυρίῳ … Ὁ κύριος ἐκ νεκρῶν. (Xai/rete e)n kuri/w| … O( ku/rioj e)k nekrw=n).
  • CPG 4673 is In resurrectione domini.  PG62, 753-756; Sav.7, 500-502.  Incipit: Σφοδά μοι καὶ νῦν, ὡς ἀεὶ κρατεῖ τῆς διανοίας. (Sfoda/ moi kai\ nu=n, w(j a)ei\ kratei= th=j dianoi/as).  Attributed to Proclus by Marx (Procliania, n.76, p.70 f.).
  • CPG 4740 is In resurrectionem domini.  Incipit: Θεία τις ὡς ἔοικεν ἡ παροῦσα πανήγυρις (Qei/a tij w(j e!oiken h( parou=sa panh/gurij) See C. Baur, Traditio 9 (1953), p.116-9.  Edited by M. Aubineau, Sources Chretiennes 187, 320-325.
  • CPG 4853 is unpublished, found only in Ms. Jerusalem Saba 103, fol. 109v-111.   Incipit: Ἀναστάσεως ἡμέρα  (A0nasta/sewj h(me/ra). This is In resurrectionem domini.
  • CPG 4996 is two unpublished homilies In resurrectionem domini. These are apparently discussed in C. Datema and P. Allen, Text and tradition of two Easter homilies of Ps. Chrysostom, in JÖB 30 (1981), 87-102, esp. 94-7.  Incipit for 1: Πάντοτε μὲν χαίρειν πάρεστι τῇ καθ ἡμᾶς τοῦ Χριστοῦ ἐκκλησίᾳ (Pa/ntote me\n xai/rein pa/resti th=| kaq h(ma=j tou= Xristou= e0kklhsi/a|).  Incipit for 2 is very like that for #1, but not given in full in CPGS.

And that’s our lot.  There is no group of 9 homilies on the resurrection among the works of Chrysostom.

So where does our reference come from?

A set of 9 homilies on the resurrection appears in volume 3 of the 1546 Paris edition (“apud Guillielem Roland”) of Chrysostom’s works.  In the table of contents here the item appears.  On p.192 is a heading: “Divi Ioannis Chrysostomi episcopi Constantinopolitani de resurrectione homiliae novem”.  According to this,[1] it seems as if the Latin translation is by Erasmus himself!  The opening words of the first homily are “De fidei nostrae placitis, deque gloria unigeniti filii dei”.

But what about the text, the 9 homilies on the resurrection?  I confess that I am beaten.  Anybody got any ideas?

UPDATE (5/12/13): The real objective here, if I understand it, is to locate the origin of “dies dominicus, alii diem panis, alii dicunt diem lucis” which appears in a Google search in homily 5 in a 1687 reprint of the 1547 edition here.  The search on the words “Nox bonae”, also found in homily 5, finds several witnesses.

Both phrases appear in a homily by Augustine here, in  Angelo Mai, “Nova Patrum bibliothecae”, vol. 1, Rome, 1852, p.344 f.  This volume contains a collection of new sermons of Augustine, found in Vatican mss.  Homily 152, on the resurrection of the Lord, published from ms. Vaticanus Latinus 1270, folio 4v, is the same material as “Chrysostom” in the 1546 edition.

If the early editor was printing bits of Augustine under Chrysostom’s name, clearly it is futile to look for any such work as Chrysostom.

The item publication postdates Migne, of course.  Being Latin it will probably be listed in the Clavis Patrum Latinorum (CPL), which I don’t have access to at the moment.  There is probably a CSEL publication, and a CCSL publication, which should be our reference of choice.

But of course the question then arises; is Mai right?  Or is this spuriously attributed to Augustine?  I learn from Google that most of these new sermons in Mai were not generally accepted as authentic.

UPDATE: The incipit for the “homily 5” is “Fratres, quam preciosa et grata hodie ecclesia nobis inclaruit”.

  1. [1]J. Glomski, Annotated catalogue of early editions of Erasmus…, p.111.

18 thoughts on “Untangling the homilies of Chrysostom “on the resurrection”

  1. Where did your correspondent get his ‘nine homilies’ reference? Did s/he say?

    My guess is that you have found the most plausible answer. The early print editions (‘opera omnia’) have never been replaced and people still cite them or repeat their assertions centuries later.

    I had a look at the Latin tome you linked to (beautifully produced edition by the look of it). Some of those nine ‘homilies’ are really quite short but even running a search on the latin incipits hasn’t turned up anything. Yet.

    I am just jealous you can get hold of a CPG2. Annoyingly CPG vol 2 – precisely that volume – is missing at my nearest available university library. I wouldn’t be surprised if a disgruntled student deliberately poached it.

  2. Well I tried to guess how the Greek would read for the latin phrase in question and the incipit and ran a few lemma searches on Chrysostom’s works in TLG. Zip so far. Does your correspondent have a source for the phrase in question? That would be a better place to start.

  3. Nothing if I do a proximity search for ἡμέρα (day) ἄρτος (bread) φῶς (light) on all works tagged THEOL in TLG

  4. I don’t think it’s Chrysostom or Augustine. I bet its medieval. Do you have access to Cetedoc? A Latin search might turn up something.

  5. Yes I would almost put money on it’s not Chrysostom. And maybe take a two way bet it’s not Augustine. I don’t have access to Cetedoc but…let me try something else. A source from your correspondent would be most helpful.

  6. PL99
    Severinus Binius I think? (the database I am looking at is really lousy on pinpointing the source)


    I. Paulinus hoc canone exponit excellentiam diei Dominicae, et modum quo et is et caeteri dies festi colendi. Sanctus Ignatius, ep. 7, ad Magnes., «reginam et principem omnium dierum;» sanctus Gaudentius, tract. III, ad neophytos, «natalem reparationis mundi,» et tract. X, «primum diem saeculi;» Sophronius, orat. I de Natal. Dom., «dierum dominam;» Theodorus Studita, serm. 11, «pacis diem;» sanctus Chrysostomus, hom. 5 de Resurrect., «diem Dominicam, diem lucis, [H]diem panis, diem regalem;» et hom. de Eleemosyna ex l. ad Corinth., «Natalitium totius humanae naturae» appellant, ex resurrectionis mysterio petitis nominibus; siquidem «omnes dies Dominici sunt octavae hujus festi,» ait Durandus Rational. l. VI, c. 86, n. 6, [Col.0336A] quod forte hauserat a sancto Leone serm. 10 de Quadrag., qui de resurrectione Dominica ait: «Per quam in Ecclesia Dei universarum solemnitatum dignitas consecratur.» Haec dies sabbati Judaici loco substituta est ab Ecclesia, cujus rei rationem affert sanctus Athanasius, lib. de Sabb. et Circumcis., sic: «Finis prioris creationis sabbatum; secundae autem creaturae initium Dominicus dies, in quo veterem hominem renovavit et instauravit. Sicuti igitur prioribus temporibus sabbati diem servari voluit in monumentum priorum; ita Dominicum diem veneramur ut monumentum exordii secundae reparationis.»

  7. The incipit – and various phrases forming the incipit – are drawing blanks.
    (I’m looking in a Patrologia Latina database put out by pro quest but I have never used this database before so don’t know how good its search engine is or if I am using it correctly).

  8. Here’s what he wrote back:

    I was researching a reference in the early 17th century Puritan work on the Christian Sabbath or Lord’s Day by Nicholas Bownd (Sabbathvm Veteris et Novi Testamenti, 1606; cf. I, 93, 114, II, 341), which I’m editing for publication thru my imprint Naphtali Press. There was reference to the church fathers’ calling the day not only the Lord’s day but, the day of light and the day of bread. Bownd referenced Chrysostom for this distinction in nine homilies on the resurrection which appear in Latin editions of his works from the 16th century, which have been referenced in this hunt already. While I can prove Bownd had access to the 1539 third Erasmus edition of Chrysostom (Bownd helped found the Parish Library of St. James and the 1539 edition is on the 1599 inventory list; cf. John Craig, Reformation, Politics and Polemics, The Growth of Protestantism in East Anglian Market Towns 1500–1610 (Ashgate, 2001) 207), I am not sure the author was citing directly. The quotations/exposition seem to be straight from Franciscus Junius’s commentary on Genesis. But in either event, when trying to find a standard Greek source to cite the nine homilies I discovered that in their customary place in the earlier Latin works, there were two different homilies/texts instead. That led to the query and hunt as it now stands.

    Here are some links to citations to the 5th homily in Junius and a couple others.





    The above is a note on canon 13 of Concilium Forojuliense in Migne XCIX (Paulin d’Aquilée/Paulinus Aquileiensis) which the commenter on your blog also discovered; I don’t read Latin so don’t know the source of the note or the dating of it.

    I cannot find the 1539 Erasmus edition online but it would be good to know if the nine homilies are in that edition as well as the Paris edition of 1546 which is online.

  9. Let me email you a screenshot. Also the other reference I found is to the council of Friuli, held in 796, where Paulinus defended the addition of the filioque which was creeping in at the time.

  10. Thanks! The text on that page is:

    ob[jection] 2a delyverance at the last wordes
    Chrysost[om] to. 3.859 de Resur[rectione] ab ipsa est dies quem fert dominus dies dominicus alii diem panis. vide Tom. 4. 667.[160] in 1 Cor(inthians) 16. In una Sabb. alii dicunt diem lucis etc. 1. die dominicae etc.

    160 Opera D. Ioannis Chrysostomi (Basel, 1539). Although this edition was not the one used by Tey, the reference is to ‘De resurrectione. Homiliae 9’ found in book 3, and to ‘ex epistola 1 Corinthians xvi de elemosyna et collatione in sanctos’. found in book 4.

  11. Evidently the author of that book(Patrick Collinson, John Craig, Brett Usher(eds), “Conferences and Combination Lectures in the Elizabethan Church: Dedham and Bury St Edmunds, 1582-1590”, Boydell Press, 2003) does indeed have access to the 1539 edition.

  12. The context is some notes of a conference about matters of church order, in which some of the early Puritans discuss whether the church should be “retaining the Sabbath”; they’re looking at quotes from the fathers endorsing the concept, Chrysostom among them, in order of bible passages. This is stuff from 1 Corinthians. In this case they’re looking at his comment on 1 Corinthians 16.

  13. Yes it was interesting to see separate references, ‘diem lucis’, ‘diem panis’ etc are from different sources, not a single phrase.

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