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Headword: Ἰωάννης
Adler number: iota,463
Translated headword: Ioannes, Joannes, John [Chrysostom]
Vetting Status: high
Translation:
[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:
Ἰωάννης, Ἀντιοχεύς, ὁ ἐπικληθεὶς Χρυσόστομος: πρεσβύτερος μὲν ἐν πρώτοις Ἀντιοχείας, Εὐσεβίου δὲ τοῦ Ἐμεσηνοῦ φιλοσόφου καὶ Διοδώρου ἀκόλουθος. οὗτος πολλὰ συγγράψαι λέγεται, ἀφ' ὧν οἱ περὶ ἱερωσύνης ὑπερβάλλουσι λόγοι τῷ τε ὕψει καὶ φράσει καὶ τῇ λειότητι καὶ τῷ κάλλει τῶν ὀνομάτων. τούτοις ἐφάμιλλοι καὶ οἱ εἰς τοὺς ψαλμοὺς τοῦ Δαβὶδ λόγοι καὶ ἡ τοῦ κατὰ Ἰωάννην Εὐαγγελίου σημασία καὶ τὰ εἰς Ματθαῖον καὶ Μάρκον καὶ Λουκᾶν ὑπομνήματα. τὰ δὲ λοιπὰ αὐτοῦ συγγράμματα κρείττονα ἀριθμοῦ τυγχάνει: ἅπασαν γὰρ Ἰουδαϊκὴν γραφὴν καὶ Χριστιανικὴν ὑπεμνημάτισεν ὡς ἄλλος οὐδείς. τὰς τῶν μαρτύρων δὲ πανηγύρεις ἐπηύξησεν ἐν τῷ σχεδιάζειν ἀνεμποδίστως, καὶ τὴν γλῶσσαν αὐτοῦ καταρρεῖν ὑπὲρ τοὺς Νειλῴους καταρράκτας. οὐδεὶς οὖν τῶν ἀπ' αἰῶνος τοιαύτην λόγου ηὐπόρησεν εὔροιαν, ἣν μόνος αὐτὸς ἐπλούτησε, καὶ μόνος ἀκιβδήλως τὸ χρυσοῦν τε καὶ θεῖον παρὰ πάντας ἐκληρονόμησεν ὄνομα. τῶν δὲ συγγραμμά- των αὐτοῦ καταλέγειν τὸν ἀριθμὸν οὐκ ἀνθρώπου, θεοῦ δὲ μᾶλλον τοῦ τὰ πάντα γινώσκοντος. οὗτος ὁ ἅγιος Ἰωάννης ὁ Χρυσόστομος ἀσκητὴς ἦν ἄκρως καὶ πολυάγρυπνος καὶ φιλήσυχος λίαν καὶ διὰ ζῆλον σωφροσύνης εὐπαρρησίαστος καὶ ἀκρόχολος: θυμῷ γὰρ μᾶλλον ἢ αἰδοῖ ἐχαρίζετο καὶ ἐλευθεροστομίᾳ πρὸς τοὺς ἐντυγχάνοντας ἀμέτρως ἐκέχρητο. καὶ ἐν μὲν τῷ διδάσκειν πολὺς ἦν πρὸς ὠφέλειαν, ἐν δὲ ταῖς συντυχίαις ἀλαζονικός τις καὶ ὑπερόπτης ἐνομίζετο τοῖς αὐτὸν ἀγνοοῦσι. διὸ καὶ ἐπὶ τὴν ἐπισκοπὴν προβληθεὶς μείζονι ὀφρύϊ κατὰ τῶν ὑπηκόων ἐκέχρητο πρὸς διόρθωσιν ἑκάστου καὶ σωτηρίαν καὶ τοὺς τρόπους καὶ τοὺς λόγους μεταλλάττων. οὐ τοίνυν εἰ μή τις εἴη κόλαξ, τοῦτον ἀλαζόνα εἶναι νομιστέον, οὐδ' αὖ πάλιν, εἰ κόλαξ εἴη καὶ ἀγεννής, τοῦτον μετριόφρονα λεκτέον, ἀλλὰ τὸν ἐν τῇ προσηκούσῃ τάξει τῇ ἐλευθέροις πρεπούσῃ ἑαυτὸν φυλάττοντα: μεγαλόψυχον μὲν εἶναι προσήκει οὐχ ὑπερήφανον, ἀνδρεῖον οὐ θρασύν, ἐπιεικῆ οὐ δουλοπρεπῆ, μετριόφρονα οὐ ταπεινοφροσύνην ὑποκρινόμενον, ἐλευθέριον οὐκ ἀνδραποδώδη: ὡς καὶ αὐτὸς λέγει: διὰ τοῦτο ποικίλον εἶναι δεῖ τὸν ποιμένα καὶ διδάσκαλον. ποικίλον δὲ λέγω, οὐχ ὕπουλον οὐδὲ κόλακα καὶ ὑβριστήν, ἀλλὰ πολλῆς ἐλευθερίας καὶ παρρησίας ἀνάμεστον, εἰδότα καὶ συγκατιέναι χρησίμως, ὅταν ἀπαιτῇ τοῦτο ἡ τῶν πραγμάτων ὑπόθεσις, καὶ χρηστὸν εἶναι ὁμοῦ καὶ αὐστηρόν. οὐ γὰρ ἑνὶ τρόπῳ χρῆσθαι τοῖς ἀρχομένοις ἅπασι δέον, ἐπεὶ μηδὲ ἰατρῶν παισὶν ἑνὶ μόνῳ φαρμάκῳ πᾶσι τοῖς κάμνουσι προσφέρεσθαι καλόν, μηδὲ κυβερνήτῃ μίαν ὁδὸν εἰδέναι τῆς πρὸς τὰ πνεύματα μάχης. ἐννόησον οὖν ὁποῖόν τινα εἶναι χρὴ τὸν μέλλοντα πρὸς χειμῶνα τοσοῦτον ἀνθέξειν καὶ τοιαύτην ζάλην καὶ τοσαῦτα κύματα πρὸς τὸ γενέσθαι τοῖς πᾶσι πάντα, ἵνα πάντας κερδήσῃ. καὶ γὰρ σεμνὸν εἶναι δεῖ τὸν τοιοῦτον καὶ ἄτυφον καὶ φοβερὸν καὶ προσηνῆ καὶ ἀρχοντικὸν καὶ κοινωνικὸν καὶ ἀδέκαστον καὶ θεραπευτικὸν καὶ ταπεινὸν καὶ ἀδούλωτον καὶ φαιδρὸν καὶ ἥμερον, ἵνα ταῦτα εὐκόλως δύναται μάχεσθαι. οὐκοῦν δεῖ τὸν ἐνεργέστατον καὶ ἐχέφρονα φεύγειν τὸ κολακεύειν καὶ κολακεύεσθαι, μήτε ἀλαζονικὸν εἶναι μήτε κόλακα, ἀλλ' ἀμφοτέρων τῶν κακῶν τούτων κολάζειν τὴν ἀμετρίαν, καὶ ἐλεύθερον εἶναι μήτε εἰς αὐθάδειαν ἀποκλίνοντα μήτε εἰς δουλοπρέπειαν καταπίπτοντα. πρὸς μὲν γὰρ χρηστοὺς ταπεινὸν ὑπάρχειν δεῖ, πρὸς δὲ θρασεῖς ὑψηλόν. ἐπείπερ οἱ μὲν ἀρετὴν εἶναι τὴν ἐπιείκειαν ἡγοῦνται, οἱ δὲ ἀνδρείαν τὴν θρασύτητα, ἐκείνοις μὲν τὴν ταπεινοφροσύνην προσφέρειν, τούτοις δὲ τὴν ἀνδρείαν σβεννύουσαν αὐτῶν τὴν ἀπὸ τῆς θρασύτητος δόξαν: ἵνα τοὺς μὲν ὠφελήσῃς, τῶν δὲ ταπεινώσῃς τὸ φρόνημα. καιρὸς γὰρ τῷ παντὶ πράγματι, φησὶ Σολομῶν: τουτέστι ταπεινότητος, ἐξουσίας, ἐλέγχου, παρακλήσεως, φειδοῦς, παρρησίας, χρηστότητος, ἀποτομίας καὶ ἁπαξαπλῶς παντὸς πράγματος: ὥστε ποτὲ μὲν τὸ τῆς ταπεινότητος δεικνύειν καὶ μιμεῖσθαι ἐν ταπεινώσει τὰ παιδία κατὰ τὴν κυριακὴν φωνήν, ποτὲ δὲ τῇ ἐξουσίᾳ κεχρῆσθαι, ἣν ἔδωκεν ὁ κύριος εἰς οἰκοδομὴν καὶ οὐκ εἰς καθαίρεσιν, ὅταν ἡ χρεία ἐπιζητῇ τὴν παρρησίαν: καὶ ἐν καιρῷ μὲν παρακλήσεως τὸ χρηστὸν ἐνδείκνυσθαι, ἐν καιρῷ δὲ ἀποτομίας τὸν ζῆλον ἐμφαίνειν καὶ ἐφ' ἑκάστου τῶν ἄλλων ὁμοίως τὸν ἔγκριτον καὶ δίκαιον λογισμὸν ἀποφέρεσθαι. λογισμοὶ γὰρ δικαίων κρίματα. καὶ Ἰσίδωρος: τὸν ἄρχοντα δίκαιον εἶναι δεῖ καὶ φοβερόν, ἵν' οἱ μὲν εὖ βιοῦντες θαρροῖεν, οἱ δ' ἁμαρτάνοντες ὀκνοῖεν. θάτερον γὰρ θατέρου χωρὶς ἀναρχία μᾶλλόν ἐστιν ἢ ἀρχή. εἰ μὲν γὰρ πάντες ἦσαν εὐπειθεῖς καὶ φιλάρετοι, ἀγαθότητος ἔδει μόνης: εἰ δὲ φιλαμαρτήμονες, φόβου. ἐπειδὴ δὲ καὶ ἀγαθοί εἰσι καὶ κακοί, ἀμφότερα καταχειριστέον τῷ ἄρχοντι καὶ προϊσταμένῳ.
Notes:
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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