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Headword: Ὠριγένης
Adler number: omega,183
Translated headword: Origen
Vetting Status: high
[Origen] had as his father Leonides, bishop and martyr, who attained perfection under the emperor Severus.[1] Being in Alexandria, Origen devoted great zeal to the divine word.[2] Many became his followers and especially Ambrosius, who relinquished the heresies of Valentinus and Marcion in his eagerness to gain knowledge of him.[3] Many non-Christian philosophers also studied with him and harvested great benefit. He was acknowledged as great by them, imparting geometry and arithmetic and the other preliminary studies. On that account, not a few of the philosophers among the Greeks mention him as a teacher. Precocious in childhood, at that time he was already disposed greatly to inquiry. As he understood the deepest meaning of the divine writings at a young age, his father repeatedly rebuked him lest he seek out matters beyond his years. When his father Leonides stood over the boy at night and looked at him, he kissed the boy's breast as if a divine spirit were enshrined within it and blessed himself for his good fortune in parenthood. Origen practiced from his youth such holiness and continence that he was satisfied each day with only four obols for sustenance. Without question he continued doing this for many years. Lying on the ground on a rush mat, he slept a few hours of the night, spending the greater part in study of the Holy Scriptures. He continued on to such a degree with these practices, as well as mortifying himself with vigils and fasting and nakedness, that he completely overpowered the vigor of his body, so that he appeared to have withered away.[4] Abstaining from wine and oil and other foodstuffs, he endured the greatest sloughing-off of the body.[5] Then truly it became widely known how he was distinguished above all in both word and deed, and having persuaded many Hellenes to abominate the madness of idol worship, he readied the martyr's crown to be fitted upon him.[6] With many reports flying about him and many flowing toward him from afar, not only did he draw to proper worship famous Hellenes, both philosophers and heretics, but he also ordered into closer formation those who were already Christians.[7] The aforesaid Ambrosius often entreating him, and constraining [him to live] in Caesarea, providing seven stenographers to attend him and more calligraphers, made him interpret the holy texts. Ambrosius also provided the necessities for his life. Origen, being engaged in his studies, dictated to the stenographers, and the book scribes (along with women who were well-trained in calligraphy) wrote up [their notes]. He interpreted the whole of the Scripture in eighteen years. It is said that Origen's oeuvre comprised six thousand books. Ambrosius displayed such a zeal in regard to the interpretation of Scripture that Origen, witnessing his repeated earnestness, wrote to some person, saying: "The holy Ambrosius, who is genuinely dedicated to God, sent many greetings. He, recognizing that I am a friend of God and that I thirsted exceedingly [for him], put me to shame with his own diligence in his love for learning. Whence, he outstripped me so far that [I] risked falling short of his hypotheses. It is neither the case that he does not converse while dining, nor, having dined, is it permitted to take walks and rest the body, but indeed at those times we are compelled to study and to make accurate copies. Nor are we permitted to sleep through the night for the health of the body, but more often he spent the time in arduous study. At dawn [we] read and from dawn until the ninth or tenth hour. All who are choosing to be industrious dedicate these times to the close examination of the Scriptures and to their reading." Thus he interpreted all of the holy text. During that time, running across the Old Testament in a storage jar in Jericho, Origen wisely and cleverly set this up.[8] In the end, however, his renown did not remain unextinguished. There came for him an exceptional fall from the pinnacle of experience. And of course, he bcame a pitfall and a cause of destruction for many. Wishing that none of the Scripture remain unexplained, in the course of his work he cast himself into the attraction of sin and became the fomenter of deadly interpretations. For Arius took from Origen his first propositions, and soon thereafter came the Anomoeans and unholy ones and all the rest.[9] Origen dared to affirm that at the beginning, the Only-begotten Son was unable to see the Father, nor was the Holy Spirit able to see the Son, nor the angels the Holy Spirit, nor mankind the angels. Furthermore, he does not accept that the Son is from the essence of the Father, but is a created being, and was called Son by grace, that his human soul existed beforehand, and his other blasphemies one after the other.[10] He certainly did make a fine composition in each of his works, and whenever he inquired into the nature of living things and animals in his introductory statements he carried himself impartially, many times writing graceful narratives. Whenever, though, he rendered opinions on faith, he has been found the most fallible of all. It was taught by him that one should undertake the ascetic life in this manner, as it was said that his body was ruined due to the excess of hunger and hard training. For he contrived against his body, some say to sever the member in order that he not be vexed by pleasure, others that he placed a drug on his genitals and withered them up, and others report other things about him.[11] Origen is said to have suffered many tribulations on behalf of Christ, being exceedingly well-versed in the Word and reared up in the Church. Calumniated due to envy by the rulers of the world through the evil machination of diabolical thoughts, they say that he was attacked as a man of the greatest shame by these workers of wickedness. They prepared for him an Ethiopian for the abuse of his body. He, however, being unable to bear such a filthy idea screamed loudly, and with two choices put before him, he agreed to make a sacrifice. Carrying frankincense in his hands unto the altar he kindled a fire. And thus, by these choices, he was rejected from martyrdom by the judges and he was forced out of the Church.[12] Leaving behind Alexandria on account of the disgrace, he seized upon Judea. Coming to Jerusalem as an exegete and learned man, he was persuaded by the priesthood to speak to the Church. He was previously a presbyter. Urged on by the bishops, he stood alone and said: "God said to the sinner, 'Why do you recite my statutes and receive my covenant in your mouth?'"[13] When he folded up the book, he sat down, shedding tears and wailing, with all weeping alike with him. There are many other statements and praises about him due to the magnitude of this man's knowledge and the composition of the books. Whence he is called Syntacticus because he made many books, not heeding, apparently words of Solomon who said: "Son, beware lest you write many books, and be not hasty with your mouth, and let your heart not hurry to carry a word from before the face of God. Because God is in heaven above and you are on earth below. Therefore let your words be few.[14] Many words increase foolishness.[15] Nor become overly righteous. The just man is slain in his righteousness. And, do not claim to know too much, lest you be impious."[16] Having pushed aside all this, Origen fell away from what was fitting.
Greek Original:
Ὠριγένης Λεωνίδην εἶχε πατέρα, ἐπίσκοπον καὶ μάρτυρα, ἐπὶ Σεβήρου βασιλέως ἀκμάσας. ὅστις Ὠριγένης ἐν Ἀλεξανδρείᾳ τυγχάνων μεγάλην εἰς τὸν θεῖον λόγον σπουδὴν κατεβάλλετο. οὗ ζηλωταὶ πολλοὶ καὶ ἄλλοι καὶ μάλιστα Ἀμβρόσιος ἐγένετο, ὃς ἐς γνῶσιν αὐτοῦ ἀφικέσθαι σπουδάσας ἀπέστη τῆς Οὐαλεντίνου καὶ Μαρκίωνος αἱρέσεως. πλεῖστοι δὲ καὶ τῶν ἔξωθεν φιλοσόφων πρὸς αὐτὸν φοιτῶντες μεγίστην ὠφέλειαν ἐκαρποῦντο: μέγας γὰρ καὶ παρ' αὐτοῖς ἐνομίζετο, παραδιδοὺς γεωμετρίαν καὶ ἀριθμητικὴν καὶ τἄλλα προπαιδεύματα. διόπερ οὐκ ὀλίγοι τῶν παρ' Ἕλλησι φιλοσόφων μέμνηνται αὐτοῦ ὡς διδασκάλου. καὶ γὰρ εὐφυὴς παιδόθεν ὑπῆρχε σφόδρα καὶ ζητητικὸς λίαν. ὃς ἐν τῇ παιδικῇ ἡλικίᾳ τὸ τῆς θείας γραφῆς βούλημα πυνθανόμενος βαθύτερον, τοῦτον ἐπέπληττεν ὁ πατήρ, μηδὲν ὑπὲρ ἡλικίαν περαιτέρω ζητεῖν. νύκτωρ δὲ ἐπιστὰς καὶ ἰδὼν τὰ στέρνα ὡς θείου πνεύματος ἔνδοθεν αὐτοῖς ἀφιερωμένου κατεφίλει καὶ τῆς εὐτεκνίας ἑαυτὸν ἐμακάριζεν. ἁγνείαν δὲ καὶ ἐγκράτειαν τοσαύτην ἤσκησεν ἐκ νέου τοῦ σώματος, ὡς ὀβολοῖς τέσσαρσι καὶ μόνοις πρὸς διατροφὴν ἑκάστης ἡμέρας ἀρκούμενος. καὶ μέντοι καὶ ἐν πολλοῖς ἔτεσι τοῦτο ποιῶν διετέλει, καὶ ἐπ' ἐδάφους καὶ ψιαθίου καθεύδων καὶ ὀλίγον καιρὸν τῆς νυκτὸς ἀναπαυόμενος τὸν πλείονα εἰς τὴν ἱερὰν μελέτην τῶν ἱερῶν λογίων διήνυε, καὶ ἐν τούτοις ἐπεκτεινόμενος ἐπί τε ἀσιτίᾳ καὶ ἀγρυπνίᾳ καὶ γυμνότητι ἑαυτὸν ὑπωπιάζων τοσοῦτον κατεδάμασε τὴν ἀκμὴν τοῦ σώματος, ὡς ὁρᾶσθαι παντελῶς αὐτὸν ἀπεσκληκέναι: οἴνου γὰρ καὶ ἐλαίου καὶ τῶν λοιπῶν ἀπεχόμενος ἀνατροπὴν τοῦ θώρακος μεγίστην ὑπέμεινεν. ἔνθεν γέ τοι διαβόητος γενόμενος, ὡς διαπρέπων ἔργῳ καὶ λόγῳ, καὶ πολλοὺς Ἕλληνας τὴν εἰδωλομανίαν βδελύττεσθαι πείσας μαρτυρίου στέφανον ἀναδήσασθαι παρεσκεύασεν. πολλῆς οὖν φήμης περὶ αὐτοῦ τρεχούσης, καὶ πολλῶν μακρόθεν πρὸς αὐτὸν συρρεόντων, οὐ μόνον Ἕλληνας καὶ φιλοσόφους καὶ αἱρετικοὺς ἐλλογίμους πρὸς τὴν εὐσέβειαν εἵλκυσεν, ἀλλὰ καὶ τοὺς ὄντας Χριστιανοὺς μᾶλλον στοιχειώσας ἐπεβεβαίωσεν. ὃν ὁ προλεχθεὶς Ἀμβρόσιος ἱκετεύσας πολλὰ καὶ παραβιασάμενος ἐν Καισαρείᾳ καὶ ταχυγράφους αὐτῷ παραστήσας ἑπτά, πλείους δὲ καλλιγράφους, ἑρμηνεῦσαι τὰς θείας γραφὰς αὐτὸν πεποίηκε. καὶ ὁ μὲν τὴν δέουσαν χρείαν παρεῖχεν, ὁ δὲ ἐπὶ σχολῆς γενόμενος ὑπηγόρευε τοῖς ταχυγράφοις καὶ οἱ βιβλιογράφοι σὺν γυναιξὶν ἔγραφον ἐπὶ τὸ καλλιγραφεῖν ἐξησκημέναις. πᾶσαν τε θείαν γραφὴν ἡρμήνευσεν ἐπὶ ἔτη ιη#. λέγεται δὲ ὅτι #22#2# βίβλους συνέταξε: τοσοῦτον γὰρ ζῆλον ἐς τὴν ἐξήγησιν τῶν θείων λογίων ὁ Ἀμβρόσιος ἐπεδείξατο, ὥστε τὴν πολλὴν αὐτοῦ σπουδὴν Ὠριγένης μαρτυρῶν γράφει πρός τινα λέγων: ὁ ἱερὸς θεῷ καὶ γνησίως ἀνακείμενος Ἀμβρόσιος πολλὰ προσηγόρευσεν: ὅστις νομίζων με φίλον εἶναι καὶ πάνυ διψᾶν τοῦ θείου ἤλεγξε τῇ ἰδίᾳ φιλοπονίᾳ τῷ πρὸς τὰ μαθήματα ἔρωτι. ὅθεν ἐπὶ τοσοῦτόν με παρελήλυθεν, ὥστε κινδυνεύειν ἀπαυδᾶν πρὸς τὰς αὐτοῦ προτάσεις: οὔτε γὰρ δειπνῆσαι ἔστιν ὅτι μὴ ἀντιβάλλοντα, οὔτε δειπνήσαντα ἔξεστι περιπατῆσαι καὶ διαναπαῦσαι τὸ σωμάτιον, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐν τοῖς καιροῖς ἐκείνοις φιλολογεῖν καὶ ἀκριβοῦν τὰ ἀντίγραφα ἀναγκαζόμεθα. οὔτε μὴν ὅλην ἐπὶ θεραπείᾳ τοῦ σώματος τὴν νύκτα ἔξεστιν ἡμῖν κοιμᾶσθαι, ἐπὶ πολὺ ταῖς φιλολογίαις παρατείνοντα. ἐῶ δὲ λέγειν καὶ τὰ ἕωθεν μέχρις ἐννάτης καὶ δεκάτης ὥρας: πάντες γὰρ οἱ θέλοντες φιλοπονεῖν τοὺς καιροὺς ἐκείνους τῇ ἐξετάσει τῶν θείων λογίων καὶ ταῖς ἀναγνώσεσιν ἀνατιθέασι. πᾶσαν τοίνυν ἡρμήνευσε τὴν θείαν γραφήν. κατὰ γὰρ τοὺς χρόνους τούτους ἐν Ἱεριχῷ ἔν τινι πίθῳ περιτυχὼν τὴν Παλαιὰν εὐφυῶς μάλα καὶ ἐπιστημόνως ταύτην κατεσκεύασεν. ἀλλ' οὐκ εἰς τέλος ἄσβεστον αὐτοῦ τὸ κλέος διέμεινε: συμβεβήκει γὰρ αὐτῷ τὸ τῆς πολυπειρίας δραστήριον πτῶμα ἐξαίσιον: καὶ μέντοι σκάνδαλον πολλοῖς καὶ ἀπωλείας πρόξενος γέγονε. βουλόμενος γὰρ τῶν θείων γραφῶν μηδὲν ἐᾶσαι ἀνερμήνευτον εἰς ἐπαγωγὴν ἑαυτὸν περιέβαλεν ἁμαρτίας καὶ θανάσιμα ἐξηγήσατο ῥήματα. ἐξ αὐτοῦ γὰρ καὶ Ἄρειος τὰς ἀφορμὰς εἴληφε καὶ οἱ καθεξῆς ἀνόμοιοί τε καὶ ἀνόσιοι καὶ οἱ λοιποὶ πάντες. φάσκει γὰρ οὗτος τολμήσας κατὰ τὴν ἀρχήν, ὅτι ὁ μονογενὴς υἱὸς ὁρᾶν τὸν πατέρα οὐ δύναται οὔτε τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον τὸν υἱὸν οὔτε οἱ ἄγγελοι τὸ πνεῦμα οὔτε οἱ ἄνθρωποι τοὺς ἀγγέλους. καὶ ἐκ τῆς οὐσίας τοῦ πατρὸς οὐ θέλει εἶναι τὸν υἱόν, ἀλλὰ κτίσμα, καὶ κατὰ χάριν υἱὸν λέγεσθαι, τὴν δὲ ἀνθρωπίνην ψυχὴν προϋπάρχειν, καὶ τὰ ἑξῆς τῶν βλασφημιῶν αὐτοῦ. πολλὴν γοῦν πεποίηκε σύνταξιν εἰς ἑκάστην γραφήν, καὶ ὅσα μὲν ἐν προσομιλίαις καὶ διὰ προοιμίων ἐς ἤθη τε καὶ ἐς φύσεις ζῴων καὶ ἀλόγων εἴρηται μέσως φερόμενος πολλάκις χαρίεντα διηγήματα γράφει: ὅσα δὲ περὶ πίστεως ἐδογμάτισε, τῶν πάντων ἀτοπώτερος εὑρίσκεται. ἔδοξε δὲ αὐτῷ καὶ ἀσκητικὸν βίον ἐπανῃρῆσθαι τοιοῦτον, ὡς καὶ τὸν θώρακα αὐτοῦ φασι δι' ὑπερβολὴν ἀσιτίας τε καὶ σκληραγωγίας ἀνατραπῆναι, ἐπινενόηκε δὲ καὶ κατὰ τὸ σωμάτιον, οἱ μὲν ὅτι νεῦρον ἀποτετμηκέναι διὰ τὸ μὴ ἡδονῇ παρενοχλεῖσθαι, οἱ δὲ φάρμακον ἐπιθεῖναι τοῖς μορίοις εἶπον καὶ ἀποξηρᾶναι, ἄλλοι δὲ ἄλλα εἰς αὐτὸν ἀναφέρουσιν. οὗτος πολλὰ λέγεται πεπονθέναι ὑπὲρ τοῦ Χριστοῦ, λόγιος ὢν σφόδρα καὶ ἐν τῇ ἐκκλησίᾳ ἀνατεθραμμένος, φθόνῳ δὲ διαβληθεὶς πρὸς τοὺς τῆς ἐξουσίας ἄρχοντας κακομηχανίᾳ διαβολικῆς ἐπινοίας εἰς αἰσχρότατον ἄνδρα φασὶν ἐπινοηθῆναι παρὰ τῶν τῆς κακίας ἐργατῶν: Αἰθίοπα γὰρ αὐτῷ παρεσκεύασαν εἰς παράχρησιν τοῦ σώματος αὐτοῦ. ὁ δὲ μὴ φέρων τὴν τοσαύτην βδελυρὰν ἐπίνοιαν ἔρρηξε φωνήν, ἀμφοτέρων προτεθέντων αὐτῷ πραγμάτων, καὶ καθωμολόγησε θῦσαι. καὶ βαλόντες ἐπὶ τὰς χεῖρας αὐτοῦ λιβανωτὸν εἰς τὴν τοῦ βωμοῦ πυρὰν καθῆκε. καὶ οὕτω τοῦ μαρτυρίου ἀπὸ τῶν κρινάντων ἀπεβλήθη καὶ τῆς ἐκκλησίας ἐξεώσθη. τὴν δὲ Ἀλεξάνδρειαν καταλιπὼν διὰ τὸν ὄνειδον τὴν Ἰουδαίαν κατέλαβεν. ἀνελθὼν δὲ εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα ὡς ἐξηγητὴς καὶ λόγιος προετρέπετο ἀπὸ τοῦ ἱερατείου ἐπὶ τῆς ἐκκλησίας εἰπεῖν: πρεσβύτερος γὰρ προϋπῆρχε, καὶ πολλὰ καταναγκασθεὶς ὑπὸ τῶν ἱερέων, ἀναστὰς καὶ τοῦτο μόνον τὸ ῥητὸν εἰπών: τῷ δὲ ἁμαρτωλῷ εἶπεν ὁ θεός: ἵνα τί σὺ ἐκδιηγῇ τὰ δικαιώματά μου καὶ ἀναλαμβάνεις τὴν διαθήκην μου διὰ στόματός σου; πτύξας τὸ βιβλίον ἐκάθισε μετὰ κλαυθμοῦ δακρύων, πάντων ὁμοῦ συγκλαιόντων αὐτῷ. εἰσὶ δὲ καὶ ἄλλα πολλὰ λεγόμενά τε καὶ ᾀδόμενα διὰ τὸ πλῆθος τῆς γνώσεως αὐτοῦ καὶ συντάξεως τῶν βιβλίων. ὅθεν καὶ Συντακτικὸς ὠνομάσθη, διὰ τὸ πεποιηκέναι πολλὰ βιβλία, μὴ ἀκούων, ὡς ἔοικε, τοῦ Σολομῶντος λέγοντος: υἱέ, φύλαξαι τοῦ ποιῆσαι βιβλία πολλά: καί, μὴ σπεῦδε ἐπὶ στόματί σου, καὶ καρδία σου μὴ ταχυνάτω τοῦ ἐξενεγκεῖν λόγον ἀπὸ προσώπου τοῦ θεοῦ, ὅτι ὁ θεὸς ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ ἄνω καὶ σὺ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς κάτω. διὰ τοῦτο ἔστωσαν οἱ λόγοι σου ὀλίγοι: εἰσὶ γὰρ λόγοι πολλοὶ πληθύνοντες ματαιότητα. καὶ μὴ γίνου δίκαιος πολύ: ἔστι γὰρ δίκαιος ἀπολλύμενος ἐν δικαιώματι αὐτοῦ. καί, μὴ σοφίζου περισσά, μήποτε ἀσεβήσῃς. ταῦτα πάντα παρωσάμενος παρεσφάλη τοῦ πρέποντος.
For Origen see already omega 192. The present entry reproduces the Chronicon of George the Monk, ed. C. de Boor (Stuttgart, 1978), 2:452.18-459.4. The passage also appears in Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus, Excerpta de virtutis et vitiis, ed. by Theodor Büttner-Wobst and Anton Roos, 1:137.5-140.29 (Berlin, 1906). Both draw upon the extensive biography of Origen around which Eusebius constructed Book 6 of the Ecclesiastical History, vol.II, trans. by J.E.L. Oulton, Loeb Classical Library (Cambridge MA, 1964). A more full and coherent version of George's biography is found in Cedrenus, Historiarium compendium, PG:121.483-490.
Catholic Encyclopedia entry at web address 1. See further below, under 'Additional Bibliography.'
[1] Origen's dates are c.185-c.254 CE. Leonides died in 203/204 during the reign of Septimius Severus (193-211).
[2] Origen was almost certainly a native of Alexandria.
[3] Ambrosius (d.251), was a rich court official and an adherent of the gnostic views propagated by Valentinus. According to Eusebius, Origen converted Ambrosius, who became a close friend and patron (EH 6.18, 6.23). Marcion, a suffragan and son of the bishop of Pontic Sinope, became prominent in Rome during the 140's and attempted to dissociate Christianity from its Jewish roots. Marcion's Platonic theology instructed that Jesus was the son of the Ultimate God, the Good, and not the son of the Hebrew God of the Old Testament. Valentinus (d. c.161) developed an elaborate religious and philosophical system which integrated Christian and Platonic principles. This Gnosticism taught its adherents to free their souls from material constraints so as to seek a union with God through a spiritual ascent. See the Catholic Encyclopedia entry on Marcionites at web address 2; on Valentinians, see web address 3.
[4] When Eusebius described Origen as "persevering in cold and nakedness," he understood γυμνότητι in its usual sense (EH 6.3.11). Minimalism in clothing as well as sleep and food is attested as a feature of Christian asceticism. George the Monk (or the source that he used) uses the idea of nakedness to construct a vision of Origen as a Christian ephebe. Γυμνότητι is the first of several allusions to a discourse drawn from the world of the military and the gymnasium, a discourse often used in connection with Christian ascetics. "Nakedness" conveys the sense of a Christian soldier who, stripped of weapons, trains in the nude.
[5] Ἀνατροπὴν τοῦ θώρακος μεγίστην ὑπέμεινεν , a problematic passage, again taken from Eusebius (EH 6.3.12: ὥστε ἤδη εἰς κίνδυνον ἀνατροπῆς καὶ διαφθορᾶς τοῦ θώρακος περιπεσεῖν ). Oulton admitted that he did not understand the meaning of θώρακος and relied upon the Latin of Rufinus to clarify the passage: "so that he actually incurred the risk of upsetting and injuring his stomach." "Thorax" does mean "trunk" or "stomach," the parts of the body covered by a "cuirass," the usual reading. ἀνατροπὴν τοῦ θώρακος μεγίστην ὑπέμεινεν could thus form a pun and read either "endured the upheaval" of the "breastplate," or of the breast or stomach covered by it. George thus continues the ephebic and gymnastic metaphor from the previous sentence. "Thorax" also means the "sloughed off skin of a serpent," a further allegorical treatment of the spiritual advancement attained through ascetic training. H.A. Drake discusses the polysemic quality of Eusebius' language, In Praise of Constantine (Berkeley CA, 1975).
[6] Further ephebic imagery, ἀναδήσασθαι means "to tie the victor's fillet around the brow".
[7] Στοιχειώσας ἐπεβεβαίωσεν completes the military metaphor by likening the Church to both cosmic order and an army of spiritual powers.
[8] This refers to Origen's gathering up of the various Greek translations of the Old Testament and their compilation, along with the Hebrew text, into the Hexapla. The story of the text found in the jar in Jericho occurs in Eusebius 6.16.3, and refers specifically to the discovery of a version of the Psalms, of which Origen included seven in the Hexapla.
[9] Arius is credited with the boldest affirmation of the Son as a creature, a theological concept countered by the Doctrine of the Trinity. "Anomoeans" are those who believe that the Son is not like (homoios) the Father. On Arius and Arians, see web address 4 and web address 5.
[10] All explained most fully in De principiis. Eusebius summarized Origen's theology, christology and cosmology in a lost Apologia which he wrote on Origen's behalf when his works were under scrutiny during the Arian controversy. Eusebius also clarified the reason for Origen's eventual exile from Alexandria as resulting from his bishop's anger at his irregular ordination as a priest by the church of Greek Caesarea. Photius reproduced parts of the lost Apologia in his Bibliotheca, Cods. 117 and 118, PG103:393-399.
[11] This is a reticent allusion to the story of Origen's self-castration found in Eusebius 6.8.1-5.
[12] A reference to the persecution loosed in Alexandria by Caracalla which resulted in Origen's first trip to Palestine (c.215/216?). The story of his refusal of martyrdom is surely a ribald rhetorical attack. Does it appropriate and invert the story of the Ethiopian eunuch from Acts 8.26-39 as an assault upon the castrated non-martyr? See also pi 493.
[13] Psalm 49.16 LXX (50.16 NRSV).
[14] Ecclesiastes 12:12 and 5:2.
[15] Ecclesiastes 6:11.
[16] Ecclesiastes 7:16-17.
The remnants of Origen's original works in Greek, and the Latin translations of Rufinus and Jerome, appear in PG:11-17. There are numerous English translations of De principiis and Contra Celsum, while the homiletical and exegetical works can be found among the Fathers of the Church Series. The Sources Chrétiennes Series offers original editions and French translations. Fragments and quotations appear in the Philocalia.
Origen studies have generated an enormous bibliography. A start can be made by consulting:
Jean Daniélou, Origen (New York, 1955) and The Angels and Their Mission, trans. D. Heimann (Westminster MD, 1957);
R.P.C. Hanson, The Search for the Christian Doctrine of God (Edinburgh, 1988) 60-98;
H. Koch, Pronoia und Paideusis: Origenes und sein Verhaltnis zum Platonismus (Berlin, 1932);
Henri de Lubac, Medieval Exegesis (Grand Rapids MI, 1998); Origeniana Tertia: Third International Colloquium for Origen Studies, edited by R. Hanson and H. Crouzel (Rome, 1985);
Origen of Alexandria: His World and His Legacy, edited by C. Kannengiesser and W. Petersen, Christianity and Judaism in Antiquity 1 (South Bend IN, 1988);
M. Simonetti, Biblical Interpretation in the Early Church, (Edinburgh, 1994).
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2,
Web address 3,
Web address 4,
Web address 5
Keywords: athletics; biography; children; Christianity; chronology; economics; ethics; food; gender and sexuality; geography; historiography; history; imagery; mathematics; military affairs; philosophy; religion; women; zoology
Translated by: John Arnold on 27 June 2000@17:15:57.
Vetted by:
John Arnold on 27 June 2000@17:25:28.
John Arnold on 28 June 2000@16:43:04.
David Whitehead (added note and keywords; cosmetics) on 8 September 2002@08:27:58.
Catharine Roth (modified translation) on 21 June 2004@00:53:53.
Catharine Roth (further modified translation, lowered status) on 21 June 2004@01:56:09.
Catharine Roth (further modified translation) on 23 June 2004@02:06:44.
Catharine Roth (betacode cosmetics; modified translation and note 4) on 26 June 2004@01:19:45.
Catharine Roth (modified translation) on 15 July 2004@18:32:51.
Catharine Roth (augmented note 9) on 15 July 2004@18:37:33.
Catharine Roth (added keywords) on 29 September 2005@11:34:05.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 28 November 2005@10:35:37.
David Whitehead (tiny tweak to tr) on 15 March 2010@05:24:21.
Catharine Roth (tweaks, cosmetics, cross-reference) on 21 September 2011@01:36:45.
David Whitehead (more keywords; tweaks and cosmetics; raised status) on 3 November 2013@05:02:22.
Catharine Roth (tweaked notes, deleted a link, coding) on 13 November 2013@01:28:07.
Catharine Roth (re-ordered links) on 9 November 2014@22:40:52.
David Whitehead (coding) on 20 May 2016@08:59:13.
Ronald Allen (cosmeticule) on 24 April 2018@21:44:47.


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