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Headword: *)iwa/nnhs
Adler number: iota,463
Translated headword: Ioannes, Joannes, John [Chrysostom]
Vetting Status: high
[John] of Antioch, called Chrysostom ["Golden-mouth"].[1] A presbyter among the most prominent at Antioch, a follower of Eusebius the philosopher of Emesa and of Diodore.[2] He is said to have written many things, among which his discourse On the Priesthood is outstanding in sublimity and expression and smoothness, and in the beauty of the words.[3] This is rivaled by the homilies on the Psalms of David and the interpretation of the Gospel according to John and the commentaries on Matthew and Mark and Luke. The rest of his writings are beyond counting; for he commented on all the Jewish and Christian Scriptures as no one else [has done]. He enhanced the festivals of the martyrs by improvising without hindrance, [so that] his tongue flowed more than the cataracts of the Nile. So no one has ever supplied such a flow of speech, in which he alone was wealthy, and he alone acquired the unadulterated name of golden and divine from everyone. But to reckon the number of his compositions is not [the work] of a man, but rather of God who knows all.
This holy John Chrysostom[4] was an extreme ascetic, sleeping little and very fond of solitude, speaking frankly out of zeal for self-control and easily angered; for he used to indulge wrath rather than shame, and employed free-speaking immoderately towards those who met him. And in teaching he was extremely helpful, but in chance meetings he was considered boastful and contemptuous by those who did not know him. For this reason when elevated to the episcopate he used a greater superciliousness against his disciples with a view to the correction and salvation of each one, and changing [their] behavior and speech. If one is not a flatterer, he should not therefore be considered a braggart; nor either, if one is a flatterer and low-born, should he be called humble-minded. But [this term should be applied] to him who maintains himself in the appropriate status, as befits free men; for one should be magnanimous, not arrogant, courageous, not rash, gentle, not slavish. So he himself says; for this reason the shepherd and teacher should be versatile. I say 'versatile', not unsound, nor a flatter nor insolent, but full of much liberality and frankness, knowing both how to come to agreement appropriately, when the basis of the facts requires this, and to be pleasant and austere at the same time. For it is not right to treat all one’s followers in the same manner, since it is not good either for the servants of the physicians to prescribe only one medicine for all the sick, nor for the steersman to know only one road for the battle with the winds.[5] Think what kind of man one must be who is going to stand up against such a storm and such a surge and such great waves in order to 'become all things to all men', so that he may benefit all.[6] For such a man must be venerable and modest and awe-inspiring and kindly and authoritative and companionable and incorruptible and obsequious and humble and unslavish and cheerful and mild, so that he may easily combat these things. Therefore the productive and prudent man must avoid both flattering and accepting flattery; he must be neither boastful nor a flatterer, but chastise the excess of both these evils, and be a free man who does not either turn aside to willfulness or descend to slavishness. He should be humble with the good, but haughty with the rash. Since [the former] consider reasonableness to be virtue, but [the latter consider] rashness to be courage, [one should] present humble-mindedness to the former and to the latter the courage which quenches their self-importance which comes from rashness. There is a time for every matter, says Solomon;[7] that is for humility, authority, testing, encouragement, sparing, frankness, friendliness, severity, and in short for every matter; so that [it is right] at one time to demonstrate humility and to imitate the children in humbleness, according to the Lord’s saying,[8] and at another time to use authority, which the Lord gave for building up and not for destruction, when the situation calls for frankness. And in the time for encouragement [one ought] to show friendliness, but in the time for severity to reveal one’s zeal, and at each of the other [times] similarly to bring the appropriate and just consideration. For consideration is the judgment of the just. And Isidore[9] [writes]: "the ruler must be just and awe-inspiring, so that those who live a good life may take courage, but the sinners may hesitate. For one without the other is anarchy rather than rule. For if all were easily-persuaded and lovers of virtue, only goodness would be needed; but if they are lovers of sin, fear [is needed]. But since there are both good and bad [people], the ruler and leader must employ both".
Greek Original:
*)iwa/nnhs, *)antioxeu/s, o( e)piklhqei\s *xruso/stomos: presbu/teros me\n e)n prw/tois *)antioxei/as, *eu)sebi/ou de\ tou= *)emeshnou= filoso/fou kai\ *diodw/rou a)ko/louqos. ou(=tos polla\ suggra/yai le/getai, a)f' w(=n oi( peri\ i(erwsu/nhs u(perba/llousi lo/goi tw=| te u(/yei kai\ fra/sei kai\ th=| leio/thti kai\ tw=| ka/llei tw=n o)noma/twn. tou/tois e)fa/milloi kai\ oi( ei)s tou\s yalmou\s tou= *dabi\d lo/goi kai\ h( tou= kata\ *)iwa/nnhn *eu)aggeli/ou shmasi/a kai\ ta\ ei)s *matqai=on kai\ *ma/rkon kai\ *louka=n u(pomnh/mata. ta\ de\ loipa\ au)tou= suggra/mmata krei/ttona a)riqmou= tugxa/nei: a(/pasan ga\r *)ioudai+kh\n grafh\n kai\ *xristianikh\n u(pemnhma/tisen w(s a)/llos ou)dei/s. ta\s tw=n martu/rwn de\ panhgu/reis e)phu/chsen e)n tw=| sxedia/zein a)nempodi/stws, kai\ th\n glw=ssan au)tou= katarrei=n u(pe\r tou\s *neilw/|ous katarra/ktas. ou)dei\s ou)=n tw=n a)p' ai)w=nos toiau/thn lo/gou hu)po/rhsen eu)/roian, h(\n mo/nos au)to\s e)plou/thse, kai\ mo/nos a)kibdh/lws to\ xrusou=n te kai\ qei=on para\ pa/ntas e)klhrono/mhsen o)/noma. tw=n de\ suggramma/- twn au)tou= katale/gein to\n a)riqmo\n ou)k a)nqrw/pou, qeou= de\ ma=llon tou= ta\ pa/nta ginw/skontos. ou(=tos o( a(/gios *)iwa/nnhs o( *xruso/stomos a)skhth\s h)=n a)/krws kai\ polua/grupnos kai\ filh/suxos li/an kai\ dia\ zh=lon swfrosu/nhs eu)parrhsi/astos kai\ a)kro/xolos: qumw=| ga\r ma=llon h)\ ai)doi= e)xari/zeto kai\ e)leuqerostomi/a| pro\s tou\s e)ntugxa/nontas a)me/trws e)ke/xrhto. kai\ e)n me\n tw=| dida/skein polu\s h)=n pro\s w)fe/leian, e)n de\ tai=s suntuxi/ais a)lazoniko/s tis kai\ u(pero/pths e)nomi/zeto toi=s au)to\n a)gnoou=si. dio\ kai\ e)pi\ th\n e)piskoph\n problhqei\s mei/zoni o)fru/i+ kata\ tw=n u(phko/wn e)ke/xrhto pro\s dio/rqwsin e(ka/stou kai\ swthri/an kai\ tou\s tro/pous kai\ tou\s lo/gous metalla/ttwn. ou) toi/nun ei) mh/ tis ei)/h ko/lac, tou=ton a)lazo/na ei)=nai nomiste/on, ou)d' au)= pa/lin, ei) ko/lac ei)/h kai\ a)gennh/s, tou=ton metrio/frona lekte/on, a)lla\ to\n e)n th=| proshkou/sh| ta/cei th=| e)leuqe/rois prepou/sh| e(auto\n fula/ttonta: megalo/yuxon me\n ei)=nai prosh/kei ou)x u(perh/fanon, a)ndrei=on ou) qrasu/n, e)pieikh= ou) doulopreph=, metrio/frona ou) tapeinofrosu/nhn u(pokrino/menon, e)leuqe/rion ou)k a)ndrapodw/dh: w(s kai\ au)to\s le/gei: dia\ tou=to poiki/lon ei)=nai dei= to\n poime/na kai\ dida/skalon. poiki/lon de\ le/gw, ou)x u(/poulon ou)de\ ko/laka kai\ u(bristh/n, a)lla\ pollh=s e)leuqeri/as kai\ parrhsi/as a)na/meston, ei)do/ta kai\ sugkatie/nai xrhsi/mws, o(/tan a)paith=| tou=to h( tw=n pragma/twn u(po/qesis, kai\ xrhsto\n ei)=nai o(mou= kai\ au)sthro/n. ou) ga\r e(ni\ tro/pw| xrh=sqai toi=s a)rxome/nois a(/pasi de/on, e)pei\ mhde\ i)atrw=n paisi\n e(ni\ mo/nw| farma/kw| pa=si toi=s ka/mnousi prosfe/resqai kalo/n, mhde\ kubernh/th| mi/an o(do\n ei)de/nai th=s pro\s ta\ pneu/mata ma/xhs. e)nno/hson ou)=n o(poi=o/n tina ei)=nai xrh\ to\n me/llonta pro\s xeimw=na tosou=ton a)nqe/cein kai\ toiau/thn za/lhn kai\ tosau=ta ku/mata pro\s to\ gene/sqai toi=s pa=si pa/nta, i(/na pa/ntas kerdh/sh|. kai\ ga\r semno\n ei)=nai dei= to\n toiou=ton kai\ a)/tufon kai\ fobero\n kai\ proshnh= kai\ a)rxontiko\n kai\ koinwniko\n kai\ a)de/kaston kai\ qerapeutiko\n kai\ tapeino\n kai\ a)dou/lwton kai\ faidro\n kai\ h(/meron, i(/na tau=ta eu)ko/lws du/natai ma/xesqai. ou)kou=n dei= to\n e)nerge/staton kai\ e)xe/frona feu/gein to\ kolakeu/ein kai\ kolakeu/esqai, mh/te a)lazoniko\n ei)=nai mh/te ko/laka, a)ll' a)mfote/rwn tw=n kakw=n tou/twn kola/zein th\n a)metri/an, kai\ e)leu/qeron ei)=nai mh/te ei)s au)qa/deian a)pokli/nonta mh/te ei)s doulopre/peian katapi/ptonta. pro\s me\n ga\r xrhstou\s tapeino\n u(pa/rxein dei=, pro\s de\ qrasei=s u(yhlo/n. e)pei/per oi( me\n a)reth\n ei)=nai th\n e)piei/keian h(gou=ntai, oi( de\ a)ndrei/an th\n qrasu/thta, e)kei/nois me\n th\n tapeinofrosu/nhn prosfe/rein, tou/tois de\ th\n a)ndrei/an sbennu/ousan au)tw=n th\n a)po\ th=s qrasu/thtos do/can: i(/na tou\s me\n w)felh/sh|s, tw=n de\ tapeinw/sh|s to\ fro/nhma. kairo\s ga\r tw=| panti\ pra/gmati, fhsi\ *solomw=n: toute/sti tapeino/thtos, e)cousi/as, e)le/gxou, paraklh/sews, feidou=s, parrhsi/as, xrhsto/thtos, a)potomi/as kai\ a(pacaplw=s panto\s pra/gmatos: w(/ste pote\ me\n to\ th=s tapeino/thtos deiknu/ein kai\ mimei=sqai e)n tapeinw/sei ta\ paidi/a kata\ th\n kuriakh\n fwnh/n, pote\ de\ th=| e)cousi/a| kexrh=sqai, h(\n e)/dwken o( ku/rios ei)s oi)kodomh\n kai\ ou)k ei)s kaqai/resin, o(/tan h( xrei/a e)pizhth=| th\n parrhsi/an: kai\ e)n kairw=| me\n paraklh/sews to\ xrhsto\n e)ndei/knusqai, e)n kairw=| de\ a)potomi/as to\n zh=lon e)mfai/nein kai\ e)f' e(ka/stou tw=n a)/llwn o(moi/ws to\n e)/gkriton kai\ di/kaion logismo\n a)pofe/resqai. logismoi\ ga\r dikai/wn kri/mata. kai\ *)isi/dwros: to\n a)/rxonta di/kaion ei)=nai dei= kai\ fobero/n, i(/n' oi( me\n eu)= biou=ntes qarroi=en, oi( d' a(marta/nontes o)knoi=en. qa/teron ga\r qate/rou xwri\s a)narxi/a ma=llo/n e)stin h)\ a)rxh/. ei) me\n ga\r pa/ntes h)=san eu)peiqei=s kai\ fila/retoi, a)gaqo/thtos e)/dei mo/nhs: ei) de\ filamarth/mones, fo/bou. e)peidh\ de\ kai\ a)gaqoi/ ei)si kai\ kakoi/, a)mfo/tera kataxeiriste/on tw=| a)/rxonti kai\ proi+stame/nw|.
The Suda compiler omits the basic biographical details which we would expect in an encyclopedia, briefly mentioning his priesthood at Antioch and his elevation to the episcopate. We are assumed to know that his episcopate was served in Constantinople, that his frank language led to conflicts with the empress Eudoxia, and that he died in exile. The Catholic Encyclopedia biography may be accessed at web address 1.
[1] (An epithet already applied to delta 1240.) The compiler has adapted a passage of Jerome (On illustrious men 137), who writes: "John, presbyter of the church at Antioch, a follower of Eusebius of Emesa and Diodorus, is said to have composed many books, but of these I have only read his On the priesthood." See web address 2. Evidently this was written while John was still a priest at Antioch but already had a considerable reputation as an ecclesiastical writer.
[2] Eusebius of Emesa (c.300-c.360) was a pupil and homonym of epsilon 3737. For Diodore (of Tarsus) see delta 1149.
[3] Engish translation of On the Priesthood at web address 3.
[4] Beginning here, the Suda is using George the Monk, Chronicon 594.18 – 597.14.
[5] Or, spirits. It is not entirely clear when the metaphor ceases.
[6] I Corinthians 9.22.
[7] Ecclesiastes 3.1.
[8] Matthew 18.4.
[9] Presumably Isidore of Pelusium (iota 629).
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2,
Web address 3
Keywords: biography; children; Christianity; ethics; geography; historiography; imagery; medicine; philosophy; religion; rhetoric
Translated by: Catharine Roth on 17 April 2006@21:36:25.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented nn.1-2 and keywords; cosmetics) on 18 April 2006@03:16:09.
David Whitehead (more keywords; cosmetics) on 13 January 2013@07:35:20.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 14 April 2013@23:20:32.
Catharine Roth (coding, tweaked translation) on 28 January 2019@00:54:49.


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