More on Anianus of Celeda

An email reminded me of this post about Anianus (or Annianus) of Celeda, who flourished ca. 413 AD and translated a number of the works of Chrysostom into Latin, in which form they circulated in the Middle Ages.  I’ve been looking for a bit more information about him.

An index entry for Anianus at CERL is here, which I found by searching for Anianus von Celeda.  A Chrysostom PDF here also refers to his work.  I also found a reference here to “Baur, Chrysostomus.  «L’entrée littéraire de saint Jean Chrysostome dans le monde latin.»  RHEccl.  8 (1907) 249-265.  Anianus of Celeda and Pelagian controversy.”  Another important reference for Chrysostom in Latin and Anianus seems to be “Altaner, Berthold. 1967. “Altlateinische Übersetzungen von Chrysostomusschriften.” Kleine patristische Schriften, 416–36. TU 83. Berlin. Reprinted from Historisches Jahrbuch 61 (1941): 208–26.” 

I learn from here:

In the West a work [supporting Pelagius] was written by Anianus, a deacon of Celeda, of which a copy was sent to Jerome (letters cxliii. 2) by Eusebius of Cremona, but to which he was never able to reply.

This is good news, because it’s the first sign of a primary source.  I find a Russian site with the Latin (why aren’t Jerome’s letters online in English?) here, but I can’t copy from it.  However the same material is on an Italian site (as letter 202 of the letters of Augustine) here.  The letter is from Jerome to Augustine and Alypius, explaining why he hasn’t refuted the books of Annianus “the pseudo-deacon of Celeda”, whom he describes as acting for Pelagius at the synod of Diospolis.


1. Sanctus Innocentius presbyter, qui huius sermonis est portitor, anno praeterito, quasi nequaquam in Africam reversurus, mea ad Dignationem vestram scripta non sumpsit. Tamen Deo gratias agimus quod ita evenit, ut nostrum silentium vestris epistolis vinceretis. Mihi enim omnis occasio gratissima est, per quam scribo vestrae Reverentiae; testem invocans Deum quod si posset fieri, assumptis alis columbae, vestris amplexibus implicarer, semper quidem pro merito virtutum vestrarum, sed nunc maxime, quia cooperatoribus et auctoribus vobis, haeresis Celestiana iugulata est: quae ita infecit corda multorum, ut cum superatos damnatosque esse se sentiant, tamen venena mentium non omittant; et, quod solum possunt, nos oderint, per quos putant se libertatem docendae haereseos perdidisse.

Quod autem quaeritis utrum rescripserim contra libros Anniani, pseudodiaconi Celedensis, qui copiosissime pascitur, ut alienae blasphemiae verba frivola subministret: sciatis me ipsos libros in schedulis missos a sancto fratre Eusebio presbytero suscepisse, non ante multum temporis; et exinde vel ingruentibus morbis, vel dormitione sanctae et venerabilis filiae vestrae Eustochii, ita doluisse, ut propemodum contemnendos putarem. In eodem enim luto haesitat, et exceptis verbis tinnulis atque emendicatis, nihil aliud loquitur. Tamen multum egimus; ut dum epistolae meae respondere conatur, apertius se proderet, et blasphemias suas omnibus patefaceret. Quidquid enim in illa miserabili synodo Diospolitana dixisse se denegat, in hoc opere profitetur; nec grande est ineptissimis naeniis respondere. Si autem Dominus vitam tribuerit et notariorum habuerimus copiam, paucis lucubratiunculis respondebimus; non ut convincamus haeresim emortuam, sed ut imperitiam atque blasphemiam eius, nostris sermonibus confutemus: meliusque hoc faceret Sanctitas tua; ne compellamur contra haereticum nostra laudare.

An English translation of the letter is here (Augustine, Letters 156-210:Epistulae II, New City Press, 2004):

To his truly holy lords, Alypius and Augustine, bishops who are to be venerated with all affection and by every right, Jerome sends greetings in the Lord.

1. The holy priest Innocent, the bearer of this letter, did not take with him my letter to Your Reverence last year, on the grounds he was not going to return to Africa. But we thank God that it turned out that you overcame our silence by your letters. For every occasion on which I write to Your Reverence is most pleasant for me. I call upon God as my witness that, if it were possible, I would take up the wings of a dove and wrap myself in your embraces. This would always be in accord with the merits of your virtues, but it is so now especially because the Caelestian heresy1 has been slain by your cooperation and initiative. It had so infected the hearts of many that, though they perceive that they have been defeated and condemned, they still do not give up their poisonous ideas. And they hate us—the only thing they can do—because they think that through us they lost the freedom to teach heresy.

2. But you ask2 whether I replied to the books of Annianus,3 the fake deacon of Celeda, who dines most lavishly in order that he may serve up the frivolous words of a strange blasphemy. You should know that I received not long ago on little scraps of parchment those books sent to me by my holy brother, the priest Eusebius and then, because of either the worsening illnesses or the death of your holy and venerable daughter. Eustochium,4 I was so saddened that I almost thought that they should be ignored. For he is stuck in the same mud,5 and apart from some ringing and borrowed words he says nothing else. Still we worked hard in order that, when he tries to reply to our letter, he may reveal himself more …

1. Caelestius was am ally of Pelagius; he was condemned at the Council of Carthage in 411. Augustine wrote The Perfection of Human Righteousness against a work of Caelestius entitled Definitions.
2. The letter of Augustine to Jerome is not extant.
3. Annianus was a lesser-known follower of Pelagius.
4. Eustochium. the daughter of Paula, was the first young lady of the Roman nobility to consecrate her life to God as a virgin. Paula and Eustochium followed Jerome to Bethlehem. Eustochium assumed direction of the monastery after the death of her mother; Eustochium herself died in 418 or 419.
5. See Terence. Phormio 780.

(The preview of the translation ends there, and I don’t have time to complete it this evening).

A search by “annianus of celeda” also produces information.  I find a reference to this interesting-sounding paper!

  • Kate Cooper, ‘Annianus of Celeda and the Latin Readers of John Chrysostom’, Studia Patristica 27 (1993), 249–55

It would be good to gather whatever primary sources there are for Annianus.


Back to Isidore of Pelusium’s letters

An email reached me today from a chap volunteering to take on a commission for some Greek and Syriac (and Armenian for that matter, although I have none in mind at the moment).  I’ve written back and asked for some details.  It might be nice to get him to do a few of the letters of Isidore of Pelusium, at least as a starter.

This reminded me that someone translated 14 of Isidore’s letters during the summer, and that — as I dimly remembered — I commissioned some more, as I remarked here.  I wonder if I ever published those 14 letters online?  I certainly meant to!  I paid for them, after all, and the last revision was rather good and rather readable.  I must hunt them out.  Meanwhile I have written to the translator asking what happened with regard to the next chunk. 

There’s no lack of material to commission.  There’s sermons by Chrysostom, such as the two on Christmas.  I think I listed a bunch of Chrysostom material some time back.

There’s also material by Severian of Gabala.  That reminds me that I ought to write to two other people, each of whom was going to do a sermon and neither of whom I have heard from since.  There is such a thing as being too busy, and I suspect I probably qualify!   But it illustrates why reliability is such a virtue in a translator. 

Then there are works by Cyril of Alexandria, such as his Apologeticus ad imperatorem, explaining himself after the Council of Ephesus.  There’s John the Lydian, On the Roman Months (De Mensibus), book 4 of which is intensely interesting.  Andrew Eastbourne translated the section on December for us a while back.  Indeed John’s work might form a nice volume three in the series of translations I am publishing, although I suspect a UV photographic copy of the manuscript might be a necessary precursor.

Who knows?  The email is welcome, and let’s see if we can get something done.


Literary activity of Sir Henry Savile

Following on from this post and this one, inter alia, I received an interesting email this morning about other work by Henry Savile, in his days at Eton.

From John Warwick Montgomery, “Ecumenicity, Evangelicals, and Rome”, p. 52.

Sir Henry Savile “was responsible for translating sections of the Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, and the Book of Revelation for the King James Bible”.

“The Chrysostom was printed by William Norton, the royal printer, in a private press which Sir Henry erected at his own expense, and the type for it was specially imported by Sir Henry; the edition cost its editor eight thousand pounds.”

“At the present time this magnum opus can be most readily consulted as University Microfilms No. 20191 (STC entry 14629).” [written 1969]

There’s been a lot written since on the translation process and editorial revision of the KJV – one does wonder what became of the press (Etonae – still in some storeroom there?).

A press is a big and bulky thing, and might well still exist.  On the other hand the types could equally well have been melted down to throw off a wall during some siege during the Civil War.


Chrysostom’s sermon on new year (in kalendas) now online in English

The translation that I commissioned of John Chrysostom’s sermon on the new year festivities is now online here.  I hope it will be useful!  It’s public domain – do whatever you like with  it!


Translation of Chrysostom “In Kalendas” has arrived

The translation that I commissioned of John Chrysostom’s sermon In Kalendas, on the kalends of January — i.e. on New Year — has arrived and looks good.  It will be released into the public domain and placed online this evening.

There may be a bit of a hiatus with various projects over the summer.  I imagine that translators will want to get a break — to run barefoot in the meadows and bathe in the mountain streams, frisking with … with whatever is frisking at this season.  I find my own urge to sit before a keyboard is diminishing too!

UPDATE (June 19th).  After writing which, I promptly forgot all about it!  Oops!


From my diary

Portions of this post are written under the UK government legislation controlling criticism of homosexuality.

Summer has suddenly arrived, with massive heat and glaring sun.  I’ve had to go and lie down with a headache!  Not used to the bright light, I’m afraid.  I have some interesting emails to deal with, but they’ll have to wait until Monday.

Something made me search around the web last night for information on the Lex Scantiniana, which prohibited unnatural vice.  I found quite a lot of politically-motivated rubbish, pretending that in fact it did not prohibit homosexuality. If Juvenal wasn’t one of my favourite authors, and his second satire not more or less engraved on my mind verbatim, I might have been more impressed.  Yet those writing were evidently academics.  It reminded me of just why I always held the humanities in contempt in the 80’s, as merely a bunch of people decorating their politics and prejudices with the aid of handbooks. 

But it caused me to look again at Juvenal, who indeed says what I remembered him saying.  Ramsay’s translation omits the grosser elements of the translation, and quite properly — who wants to know such things?  But it leaves little doubt that homosexuality was prohibited by the Scantinian law; indeed the remarks made would have no point otherwise.

Apparently the text of the Scantinian Law is lost, and all we have are references, starting with Cicero ca. 50 BC.  It would probably be good to compile all the data on a page.  But not while I can’t see straight!  And anyway… who really wants to chase down the facts about a vice and its practice and regulation?  Let’s think of things about which we can be enthusiastic.  The squalid elements of human society have always been with us; it is the other side that makes mankind noble and worthwhile, and the study of his history a delight. 

On, then, to other things.

A copy of Shapland’s translation of the Letters to Serapion by Athanasius arrived yesterday.  Bless Glasgow University library, who once again came to my rescue with a loan of an obscure book.  I owe more than I can say to the staff at that institution, which I have never visited.  Down the years they have been prepared to lend me all sorts of things. 

I scanned the text in Finereader 10, which I detest more and more.  Attempts to export the result as a PDF failed; or rather, the PDF was complete rubbish.  I thought I would just pick up the raw TIFF files and combine them using Adobe Acrobat; but in FR10 they have decided to hide the image files inside some kind of proprietary format.  FR10 also fought me when I wanted to split images and when I wanted to export the scanned text to a Word document.  It just isn’t designed for book scanning these days, I think.

A note back from the translator of the Coptic portions of Eusebius Gospel Problems and Solutions; apparently the transcription of the Coptic isn’t that good, with lines missing.  This is a blow.  Also the font used — Keft — is really for Sahidic.  I had not known that the different dialects of Coptic used different fonts, but it seems to be so.  I wonder if a Bohairic font exists anywhere?

Another email tells me that the translation of Chrysostom’s sermon In Kalendas is still progressing, which is good news.


Chrysostom sermons that exist

It looks as if some of the sermons by Chrysostom that I was thinking of getting translated already exist in English.  The sermon on his return according to this is said to be included in W. Mayer and P. Allen, John Chrysostom (The Early Church Fathers), London: Routledge, 2000.  A look at the table of contents confirms this. I certainly don’t want to spend money on texts already translated.


Sermons of Chrysostom after his first exile

John Chrysostom made a lot of enemies very quickly in Constantinople after he became patriarch, especially among the more corrupt clergy and court officials who objected to his campaign for higher standards of behaviour. They quickly arranged for him to be deposed and exiled.  But when the Constantinople mob found out, a riot was threatened and he was quickly recalled.

After his return, attempts were made to patch things up, especially with Severian of Gabala who had been insulted pretty seriously by John’s deacons. 

I find in Migne three sermons; De Regressu Sancti Joannis (PG52, col. 421), De Recipiendo Severiano (col. 423), and Severian’s reply De Pace (col. 425).  All three are given in Latin, and seem far too short to be full versions.  I don’t know if there are more sermons than these three.

The full Greek text of Severian’s reply exists, and indeed it turns out to be online.  But what about the Chrysostom sermons?  Are there Greek versions of these, and if so where?


Anianus of Celeda and Chrysostom’s sermons in the West

The sermons of John Chrysostom became known to fathers such as Augustine at a very early date.  Apparently a bunch of them were translated by the deacon Anianus of Celeda in the early 5th century.  Emilio Bonfiglio has written a dissertation on the translations of Anianus, although I have not seen this, and it may be in Italian anyway.

Quasten’s Patrology gives Anianus as the translator of some of the sermons on Matthew, and the encomiums on St. Paul; but also of other works.  It would be very interesting to learn more about this activity.  We’re all familiar with the Latin translations that appear in Migne’s Patrologia Graeca opposite the Greek; but what proportion of these are in fact ancient translations, rather than renaissance?

I’ve managed to find online a paper about Anianus of Celeda, given by Kate Cooper and published in the papers of the Oxford Patristic Conference here.  This tells us that he wrote a prefatory letter to each of those two translations (PG50, 472-3, to Evangelius before the Paul texts and PG58 975-6 to Orontius for the homilies).  A new and rather different version of the letter to Orontius was uncovered in 1972 by Adolf Primmer (Die Originalfassung von Anianus’ epistula ad Orontium, in Antidosis: Festschrift für Walther Kraus, ed. R. Hanslik, A. Lesky, and H. Schwabl, 278–89. Vienna, 1982).  It would certainly be worth getting an English version of these.