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Headword: Sisinnios
Adler number: sigma,481
Translated headword: Sisinnios, Sisinnius
Vetting Status: high
Translation:
bishop of [the] Novatians,[1] an eloquent man and a consummate philosopher. He concerned himself especially with dialectic, so that even Eunomios the heretic[2] often avoided dialogue with him. He did not have a simple life-style, but with the height of self-control he lived expensively, both habitually luxuriating in white garments and two or three times a day bathing at the public baths. And when once someone asked him, why, being a bishop, he bathed twice a day, he answered, because he could not manage a third time. At another time visiting the bishop Arsacius[3] out of respect, he was asked by one of Arsaciu' followers why he wore a garment unsuitable for a bishop, and "Where is it written, that a man in priestly orders should wear white?" He said, "First you tell me where it is written that a bishop should wear a black garment." And when the questioner was puzzled about his reply, Sisinnios added, "But you will not be able to prove that a man in priestly orders should wear black; but even Solomon has advised me, saying, 'Let your cloaks be white.'[4] And the Savior in the Gospels appears wearing a white garment. Not only so, but he showed to his apostles Moses and Elijah both dressed in white."[5] He caused amazement by these and many other sayings. And when Leontios the bishop of Ankyra in Galatia, who had taken a church away from the Novatians, was visiting in Constantinople, Sisinnios went to him and begged him to give the church back. But he replied hotly and said, "You Novatians ought not have a church, since you take away repentance and shut off the loving-kindness of God."[6] But Sisinnios said, "Truly, no one repents like me." When [Leontios] asked in return, "How do you repent?" Sisinnios said, "That I visited you." When John the bishop said that a city cannot have two bishops, Sisinnios said, "It does not." When John became annoyed and said, "You see, because you want to be the only bishop?" And Sisinnios said, "I am not saying this, but that with you alone I am not a bishop, I who am [a bishop] for everyone else." But John said, "I will stop you from preaching, for you are a heretic." But Sisinnios wittily said, "But I will pay you, if you relieve me from such great toil." But John being softened said, "I will not stop you from preaching, if indeed speaking gives you distress." So witty was Sisinnios. He wrote many things, and in them he hunts for [clever] words. He impressed people more by speaking than by being read, for there was such grace in his countenance and his voice and his glance and in the whole movement of his body.
Greek Original:
Sisinnios, Nauatianôn episkopos, anêr ellogimos kai akros philosophos. dialektikês de sphodra epemeleito, hôs kai ton Eunomion ton hairetikon pollakis autou phugein tên dialexin. tên de diaitan ên ou litos, all' en akrai sôphrosunêi polutelei tautêi ekechrêto, truphôn te en esthêti leukêi, kai dis tês hêmeras en loutrois dêmosiois louomenos dietelei. kai pote eromenou auton tinos, tou charin episkopos ôn dis louoito tês hêmeras: epeidê to triton ou phthanei, apekrinato. allote de Arsakion ton episkopon kata timên horôn êrôtêthê hupo tinos tôn peri Arsakion, diati anoikeion episkopôi esthêta phoroiê, kai pou gegraptai, leuka ton hierômenon amphiennusthai; ho de, su proteron, ephê, eipe, pou gegraptai, melainan esthêta phorein ton episkopon; tou de erôtêsantos en aporôi genomenou pros tên anterôtêsin, epêgagen ho Sisinnios: alla su men ouk an, ephê, deixai dunêsêi, hôs dei ton hierômenon melainan amphiennusthai: emoi de kai ho Solomôn parêinese, legôn: estôsan soi himatia leuka. kai ho Sôtêr en tois Euangeliois phainetai leukêi esthêti chrêsamenos. ou mên alla Môsên kai Êlian leukophorountas tois apostolois edeixe. tauta kai alla polla eipôn ethaumasthê. Leontiou de tou Ankuras tês Galatias episkopou Nauatianôn ekklêsian aphairoumenou kai têi Kônstantinou polei epidêmountos, ho Sisinnios elthôn par' auton parekalei apodounai tên ekklêsian. ho de thermôs apêntêse kai phêsin: humeis hoi Nauatianoi ouk opheilete ekklêsian echein, tên metanoian anairountes kai tên philanthrôpian tou theou apokleiontes. ho de Sisinnios ephê: kai mên oudeis houtô metanoei hôs egô. tou de palin epagontos, pôs metanoeis; ephê ho Sisinnios, hoti se eidon. Iôannou de tou episkopou legontos, hoti ou dunatai polis duo episkopous echein, ho Sisinnios ephê, oude gar echei. tou de Iôannou chalepênantos kai phêsantos, horais, hoti monos einai boulei episkopos; kai ho Sisinnios, ou touto, ephê, legô, all' hoti egô para soi monôi ouk eimi episkopos, hos tois allois eimi. ho de Iôannês, all' egô se, ephê, pausô prosomilein: hairetikos gar huparcheis. ho de Sisinnios charientôs: all' egô, ephê, kai misthous parexô, ei ge têlikoutou kamatou apallaxeias. ho de Iôannês diamalachtheis, all' ouk an se, ephê, pausô tou prosomilein egô, eige holôs to legein lupei se. houtôs ên charieis ho Sisinnios. polla de autôi gegraptai: lexithêrei de en autois. legôn de mallon ê anaginôskomenos ethaumazeto: prosên gar autôi charis tôi te prosôpôi kai têi phônêi kai tôi blemmati kai têi holêi kinêsei tou sômatos.
Notes:
Socrates, Ecclesiastical History 6.22 (translation at web address 1).
[1] See nu 50, nu 51 (where some of these anecdotes appear), sigma 482.
[2] Eunomios: epsilon 3598.
[3] Arsacius was archbishop of Constantinople from 404 up to 405, after the expulsion of John Chrysostom. See alpha 4361.
[4] Ecclesiastes 9.8 LXX.
[5] At the Transfiguration.
[6] The Novatians withheld forgiveness from those who had weakened under persecution: cf. nu 50.
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: biography; Christianity; clothing; ethics; geography; historiography; history; philosophy; religion; rhetoric
Translated by: Catharine Roth on 30 August 2009@01:21:29.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (more keywords; cosmetics) on 31 August 2009@06:13:49.
Catharine Roth (tweaked note) on 5 June 2013@01:15:53.
David Whitehead (another keyword; cosmetics) on 29 December 2013@05:21:18.
David Whitehead (coding) on 26 May 2016@03:32:51.

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