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Headword: Σισίννιος
Adler number: sigma,482
Translated headword: Sisinnios, Sisinnius
Vetting Status: high
This man became a bishop of [the] Novatians,[1] an extremely eloquent man, learned both in philosophical doctrines and in sacred scriptures, and ready for logical disputes, so that even Eunomios, who was well-regarded in such matters and made this his work, often begged off disputes with him. He was self-controlled in his way of life, so as to be above criticism; but in his lifestyle luxurious and diverse, so those who did not know him doubted whether he could practice self-control in the midst of such luxury. His character was witty and pleasant in conversation, and because of this he was liked by the bishops of the catholic church and by those with political authority and literary accomplishment. He was very well able to tease with grace and to accept teasing and to remain free of hatred and to reply cleverly and quickly to questions. So when once someone asked him, why, being a bishop, he bathed twice a day, he answered, because he couldn't manage a third time. And since he continually wore a white garment, someone from the catholic church mocked him for this, but he replied to him, "So you tell me, where is it written that one 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.' 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." I think Sisinnios also said other witty things, including the following. For Leontios the bishop of Ankyra in Galatia, where a church had been taken away from the Novatians, was visiting in Constantinople, [Sisinnios] went to him and begged him to give the church back. But when he did not restore it, but reviled the Novatians as not being worthy to have churches, saying that they took away repentance and the loving-kindness of God. But Sisinnios said, "Truly, no one repents like me." When [Leontios] asked in return, "How do you repent?" Sisinnios answered, "That I am visiting you." And they report much other well-aimed repartee of his. They say that many not unsubtle speeches are attributed to him. He was praised especially for his speaking, as performing excellently, and being prepared to captivate the audience with voice and glance and charming countenance. With such a nature and conduct and life-style was Sisinnios endowed.
Greek Original:
Σισίννιος: οὗτος ἐπίσκοπος ἐγένετο Ναυατιανῶν, ἀνὴρ ἐλλόγιμος ὅτι μάλιστα καὶ τῶν φιλοσόφων δογμάτων καὶ τῶν ἱερῶν βίβλων ἐπιστήμων καὶ πρὸς διαλέξεις ἕτοιμος: ὡς καὶ Εὐνόμιον ἐπὶ ταύταις εὐδοκιμοῦντα καὶ τοῦτο ἔργον ποιούμενον πολλάκις παραιτήσασθαι τοὺς πρὸς αὐτὸν διαλόγους. ἐγένετο δὲ σώφρων τὸν βίον, ὡς κρείττων εἶναι διαβολῆς: περὶ δὲ τὴν δίαιταν ἁβρὸς καὶ ποικίλος, ὡς τοὺς ἀγνοοῦντας ἀπιστεῖν, εἰ σωφρονεῖν δύναιτο, τοσοῦτον τρυφῶν. τὸ δὲ ἦθος ἦν χαρίεις καὶ ἡδὺς ἐν ταῖς συνουσίαις, καὶ διὰ ταῦτα τοῖς ἐπισκόποις τῆς καθόλου ἐκκλησίας καὶ τοῖς ἐν ἀρχῇ καὶ λόγῳ καταθύμιος ἦν. σκώπτειν δὲ σὺν χάριτι καὶ σκωμμάτων ἀνέχεσθαι καὶ ἀπεχθείας ἐκτὸς ὑπομένειν κομψῶς τε σὺν τάχει πρὸς τὰς ἐρωτήσεις ἀπαντᾶν εὖ μάλα ἐπιτηδείως εἶχεν. ἐρωτηθεὶς οὖν ποτε, ὅτου ἕνεκα δεύτερον λούοιτο ἐπίσκοπος ὤν, ὅτι μὴ τρίτον, ἔφη, φθάνω. ἐπεὶ δὲ λευκῇ ἐσθῆτι διετέλει χρώμενος, ἐπέσκωψέ τις αὐτῷ τῶν ἀπὸ τῆς καθόλου ἐκκλησίας. ὁ δὲ πρὸς αὐτόν: οὐκοῦν εἰπέ, ποῦ εἴρηται ἐσθῆτα μέλαιναν χρῆναι ἀμφιέννυσθαι. τοῦ δὲ ἀπορήσαντος, ὑπολαβὼν ἔφη: σὺ μέν, ἔφη, οὐκ ἂν τοῦτο ἐπιδεῖξαι δυνήσῃ: ἐμοὶ δὲ καὶ Σολομὼν ὁ σοφώτατος, ἔστωσάν σοι ἱμάτια λευκά, παραινεῖ, λέγων: καὶ αὐτὸς ὁ Χριστὸς λευχείμων ἐν τοῖς Εὐαγγελίοις φαινόμενος, Μωσῆν τε καὶ Ἠλίαν τοιούτους τοῖς ἀποστόλοις δεικνύς. οὐ μὴν ἀλλὰ κἀκεῖνο τῶν εἰρημένων Σισιννίῳ χάριεν οἶμαι. ἐνεδήμει μὲν γὰρ τῇ Κωνσταντινουπόλει Λεόντιος, ὁ τῆς παρὰ Γαλάταις Ἀγκύρας ἐπίσκοπος. ἐκκλησίας δὲ τῶν ἐκεῖσε Ναυατιανῶν ἀφῃρημένης, ἧκε πρὸς αὐτόν, ἀπολαβεῖν ταύτην δεόμενος. ἐπεὶ δὲ οὐκ ἀπεδίδου, ἐλοιδορεῖτο δὲ τοῖς Ναυατιανοῖς ὡς οὐκ ἀξίως ἐκκλησιάζειν, μετάνοιαν καὶ τὴν παρὰ θεοῦ φιλανθρωπίαν ἀναιρεῖν αὐτοὺς λέγων, ἀλλὰ μήν, ἔφη Σισίννιος, οὐδεὶς οὕτως ὡς ἐγὼ μετανοεῖ. ἐρομένου δὲ Λεοντίου τίνα τρόπον, ὅτι σε τεθέαμαι, ἀπεκρίνατο. καὶ ἕτερα δὲ πολλὰ αὐτοῦ εὐστόχως εἰρημένα ἀπομνημονεύουσιν. οὐκ ἀκόμψους τε πολλοὺς λόγους αὐτοῦ φέρεσθαί φασιν. ἐπῃνεῖτο δὲ μᾶλλον λέγων, ὡς ἄριστα ὑποκρινόμενος, φωνῇ τε καὶ βλέμματι καὶ χαριεστάτῳ προσώπῳ τὸν ἀκροατὴν ἑλεῖν ἱκανός. τοιαύτης ἔλαχε φύσεως ἀγωγῆς τε καὶ βίου Σισίννιος.
Sozomenus, Ecclesiastical History 8.1; cf. Socrates, Ecclesiastical History 5.10 and especially 6.22
[1] See nu 51, sigma 481.
Keywords: biography; Christianity; clothing; daily life; ethics; geography; historiography; history; religion; rhetoric
Translated by: Catharine Roth on 31 August 2009@00:53:46.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented primary note; more keywords; cosmetics) on 31 August 2009@06:17:51.
David Whitehead (another keyword; cosmetics) on 29 December 2013@05:22:42.


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