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Headword: Γρηγόριος
Adler number: gamma,450
Translated headword: Gregorios, Gregorius, Gregory
Vetting Status: high
[Gregory,] bishop of Nazianzus (this is a way-station in Cappadocia),[1] a most famous man, and a close friend of Basil, bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia.[2] This man was not only well-versed in the arts of grammar and poetry but excelled even more in philosophy, and was an accomplished rhetor. This man wrote many prose works; for his compositions count together approximately 30000 lines. Amongst them are the following: On the death of his brother Caesarius,[3] Funeral Oration for his father, another one for his sister Gorgonia, On loving the poor, Praises of the Maccabaeans, Praises of Cyprian, Praises of Athanasius, Praises of the philosopher Heron, two orations Against the Emperor Julian, two orations Against Eunomius, one oration On theology, two orations On the Son, one oration On the Holy Spirit, ten Festival orations; also many others that are known to everybody. In this he followed the example of Polemon of Laodicea, who lectured in Smyrna and became the teacher of Aristides the rhetor.[4] He wrote another book in hexameters, discussing in this mode virginity and marriage as well as several other subjects in all sorts of different metres, all together approximately 30000 lines. The Arian Philostorgius, too, mentions this Gregory in his history of his own times, and says: "For in those days Gregory was flourishing in Nazianzus (this place is a way-station in Cappadocia) and Basil in Caesarea in Cappadocia and Apollinarius in Laodicea in Syria. These three men, of course, were then fierce defenders of consubstantiality against difference of substance, completely overshadowing all those who previously, or subsequently up to my own time, had stood up for that heresy; Athanasius could be judged a child by comparison with them. For they were very advanced in the so-called 'external' education, and they had great proficiency in everything that contributes to the study and prompt recollection of Holy Scripture, and Gregory most of all of them. Each of them was very well able to write in his own manner. At any rate Apollinarius far excelled in the style that suits commentaries; Basil was most brilliant in panegryic; but Gregory, compared with the two of them, had the soundest basis for written composition. Apollinarius was more powerful, Basil weightier, in speech. Such was their ability in speech and written composition; and in the same degree these men presented a character attractive to the public gaze. So all who saw them or heard them or received their writings were drawn into their communion, if they could easily be caught by any of their arguments." That is what Philostorgius the Arian wrote about them in passing.[5] After having been for some time in his home-town, Gregory appointed a bishop in the church community which he was assigned to but chose for himself a solitary life in a barren desert. Having run ninety years and more, he left this life in the thirteenth year of Theodosius, suffering from the fact that it had been unworthy to his talents: he was knocked off the (episcopal) seat of the imperial city and preference was given to persons more common than this man who on the basis of his talent and splendour of his life surpassed them all.
Greek Original:
Γρηγόριος, Ναζιανζοῦ ἐπίσκοπος [σταθμὸς δέ ἐστιν οὗτος Καππαδοκίας], ἀνὴρ ἐλλογιμώτατος, ἀναγκαῖος δὲ φίλος Βασιλείου τοῦ τῆς Καισαρείας ἐπισκόπου τῆς ἐν Καππαδοκίᾳ. οὗτος οὐ μόνον γραμματικὸς καὶ τὰ ἐς τὴν ποίησιν δεξιός, ἀλλὰ πολλῷ πλεῖον καὶ ἐς φιλοσοφίαν ἐξήσκητο, καὶ ῥήτωρ ἦν ἀμφιδέξιος. οὗτος ἔγραψε καταλογάδην πολλά: εἰς γὰρ τρεῖς μυριάδας στίχων τὰ συντάγματα αὐτοῦ συνέθηκεν: ἀφ' ὧν εἰσι τάδε: Περὶ τῆς τελευτῆς τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ Καισαρίου, Ἐπιτάφιος εἰς τὸν ἑαυτοῦ πατέρα, ἕτερος εἰς τὴν ἀδελφὴν Γοργονίαν, Περὶ φιλοπτωχίας, Ἐπαίνους τῶν Μακκαβαίων, Ἐπαίνους Κυπριανοῦ, Ἐπαίνους Ἀθανασίου, Ἐπαίνους Ἥρωνος φιλοσόφου, Κατὰ Ἰουλιανοῦ τοῦ βασιλέως λόγοι β#, Κατὰ Εὐνομίου λόγοι β#, Περὶ θεολογίας α#, Περὶ Υἱοῦ λόγοι β#, Περὶ τοῦ ἁγίου πνεύματος λόγος α#, Πανηγυρικοὶ λόγοι ι#: καὶ ἕτεροι πλεῖστοι καὶ πᾶσι γνώριμοι. ἠκολούθησε δὲ τῷ Πολέμωνος χαρακτῆρι τοῦ Λαοδικέως, τοῦ σοφιστεύσαντος ἐν Σμύρνῃ: ὃς ἐγεγόνει διδάσκαλος Ἀριστείδου τοῦ ῥήτορος. ἐγράφη δὲ αὐτῷ καὶ ἑτέρα βίβλος δι' ἑξαμέτρων, παρθενίας καὶ γάμου καθ' ἑαυτοὺς διαλεγομένων: καὶ εἰς ἑτέρας ὑποθέσεις ἐν παντοίοις καὶ διαφόροις μέτροις, ἅτινα συνάγονται εἰς ἐπῶν μυριάδας τρεῖς. τοῦ δὲ Γρηγορίου τούτου καὶ Φιλοστόργιος ὁ Ἀρειανὸς ἐν τῇ κατ' αὐτὸν ἱστορίᾳ μνήμην πεποίηται καί φησι: Γρηγόριος γὰρ ἤκμαζε κατ' ἐκείνους τοὺς χρόνους ἐν τῇ Ναζιανζῷ [σταθμὸς δὲ οὗτος ὁ τόπος Καππαδοκίας] καὶ Βασίλειος ἐν Καισαρείᾳ τῆς Καππαδοκίας καὶ Ἀπολινάριος ἐν τῇ Λαοδικείᾳ τῆς Συρίας. τρεῖς δὴ οὗτοι ἄνδρες τότε τοῦ ὁμοουσίου προυμάχουν κατὰ τοῦ ἑτεροουσίου, μακρῷ πάντας παρενεγκόντες τοὺς πρότερον καὶ ὕστερον ἄχρις ἐμοῦ τῆς αὐτῆς αἱρέσεως προστάντας, ὡς παῖδα παρ' αὐτοῖς κριθῆναι τὸν Ἀθανάσιον. τῆς τε γὰρ ἔξωθεν καλουμένης παιδεύσεως ἐπιπλεῖστον οὗτοι προεληλύθεισαν καὶ τῶν ἱερῶν γραφῶν, ὁπόσα εἰς ἀνάγνωσιν καὶ τὴν πρόχειρον μνήμην ἐτέλει, πολλὴν εἶχον τὴν ἐμπειρίαν, καὶ μάλιστά γε αὐτῶν ὁ Γρηγόριος. καὶ μὴν καὶ συγγράφειν ἕκαστος αὐτῶν ἐς τὸν ἑαυτοῦ τρόπον ἦν ἱκανώτατος. τῷ μέν γε Ἀπολιναρίῳ τὸ ὑπομνηματικὸν εἶδος τῆς λέξεως μακρῷ ἄριστα εἶχε, Βασίλειος δὲ πανηγυρίσαι λαμπρότατος ἦν, τῷ δέ γε Γρηγορίῳ καὶ παρ' ἀμφοτέροις ἐξεταζομένῳ μείζω βάσιν εἰς συγγραφὴν εἶχεν ὁ λόγος. καὶ ἦν εἰπεῖν Ἀπολιναρίου μὲν ἁδρότερος, Βασιλείου δὲ σταθερώτερος. τοσαύτης δὲ αὐτοῖς ἐν τῷ λέγειν καὶ γράφειν δυνάμεως οὔσης, καὶ τὸ ἦθος οὐδὲν ἧττον οἱ ἄνδρες παρείχοντο πρὸς τὴν τῶν πολλῶν θέαν ἐπαγωγότατον: ὥστε καὶ οἷς ὡρῶντο καὶ οἷς ἔλεγον καὶ ὁπόσα γράφοντες διεδίδοσαν, διὰ πάντων ᾕρουν εἰς τὴν ἑαυτῶν κοινωνίαν τοὺς καθ' ὁτιοῦν αὐτῶν εὐμαρέστερον ἁλίσκεσθαι δυναμένους. τοσαῦτα περὶ αὐτῶν ὡς ἐν παραδρομῇ Φιλοστόργιος καὶ ταῦτα Ἀρειανὸς ὢν ἔγραψεν. ἔτι γοῦν περιὼν εἰς τὸν οἰκεῖον τόπον ὁ Γρηγόριος ἐπίσκοπον καταστήσας ἐν τῇ λαχούσῃ αὐτὸν ἐκκλησίᾳ, αὐτὸς ἐν ἀγρῷ τινι βίον μοναδικὸν ἀπηνέγκατο. ἐλάσας δὲ περὶ τὰ ἐνενήκοντα ἔτη καὶ ἐπέκεινα, Θεοδοσίου τρίτον καὶ δέκατον ἔτος ἄγοντος, καταλύει τὸν βίον, ἀνάξιον τοῦτο τῆς αὐτοῦ παθὼν ἀρετῆς, τὸ τῆς καθέδρας ἀποκρουσθῆναι τῆς βασιλευούσης τῶν πόλεων, καὶ προκριθῆναι μᾶλλον τοὺς φαυλοτέρους ἢ τὸν ἐπ' ἀρετῇ καὶ λαμπρότητι βίου πάντων μᾶλλον ὑπερανέχοντα.
Catholic Encyclopedia entry at web address 1.
[1] So already under alpha 3397 and beta 150 (as 'Nadiandus'), and again at sigma 993. For Nazianzos/Nazianzus, present-day Nenezigozu, see generally Barrington Atlas map 63 grid E4.
[2] Basil the Great: beta 150.
[3] For Caesarius see kappa 1202.
[4] cf. pi 1889.
[5] Philostorgius pp. 111-113 Bidez-Winkelmann; quoted also at alpha 3397 and beta 150.
Brian E. Daley, S.J., Gregory of Nazianzus (London & New Yrok 2006)
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: biography; Christianity; chronology; economics; ethics; gender and sexuality; geography; meter and music; philosophy; poetry; religion; rhetoric; women
Translated by: Leemans Johan on 24 May 2000@08:05:22.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (modified translation slightly, added notes, link, keywords) on 16 January 2002@00:38:30.
David Whitehead (modified translation; augmented notes and keywords; cosmetics) on 3 September 2002@10:02:10.
David Whitehead (added x-ref) on 12 June 2003@06:05:22.
Catharine Roth (augmented reference in note 5) on 28 November 2004@23:32:40.
Catharine Roth (added keyword) on 3 October 2005@00:54:40.
David Whitehead (augmented n.1) on 25 July 2006@08:34:38.
David Whitehead (more) on 25 July 2006@08:38:00.
David Whitehead (added bibliog) on 10 March 2008@03:55:02.
David Whitehead (more keywords; cosmetics) on 11 June 2012@07:59:03.
Catharine Roth (typo) on 6 October 2012@21:51:30.
Catharine Roth (tweaked punctuation) on 16 September 2015@23:19:00.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 15 April 2016@01:49:04.


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