Long ago I became aware that there were two related sermons in the Patrologia Graeca. The first was given by John Chrysostom, after the empress had interceded to patch up a dispute between him and another bishop, and entitled De Severiano Recipiendo – That Severian must be received. The other was delivered the next day, by his enemy, Severian of Gabala, and entitled De pace – On peace.
The peace did not last, and Chrysostom was driven into an exile from which he did not return.
The two sermons are very short, in the PG, and in Latin. They reach us as part of a collection of sermons, made in antiquity, perhaps by Ananias of Celeda. They take Greek sermons, and produce abbreviated Latin versions of them.
The original text of Chrysostom’s sermon has not reached us; but Severian’s Greek was discovered in the monastery of Mar Saba, and published in 1891.
I first tried to get these translated longer ago than I can remember. This failed. I then had another go in 2010, which also failed after a short sample – 3 sentences – was produced.
After his work on the 3 sermons of Chrysostom on the Devil, Bryson Sewell has kindly rattled off a translation of both of these. It is great to have them; and even better to have them so quickly.
Both are of the highest interest. Chrysostom’s sermon is interrupted by the cheers of his supporters, even in the abbreviated version; while Severian, clearly preaching to a not-very-friendly crowd, strains every nerve and produces a marvellous display of rhetoric.
As ever, the results are now online, and in the public domain. Copy freely and use as you will.
- Chrysostom_Severian_De_Severiano_Recipiendo_and_De_Pace_Sewell (PDF)
- Chrysostom_Severian_De_Severiano_Recipiendo_and_De_Pace_Sewell (Word .docx)
These files will also appear on Archive.org once its new and wonky uploader allows it!
UPDATE: Now at Archive.org here.
UPDATE: Files updated to correct an error in the introduction – the speeches were delivered before John’s first exile, not after it.
UPDATE (24/03/2022): A correspondent has asked me where he can find the Greek text of De Pace. It is hard to find. Here are the files from which both were translated: