Museum Helveticum 

Text Critical Remarks on Several Poems of Gregory of Nazianzus

MH Band 78Text Critical Remarks on Several Poems of Gregory of Nazianzus10.24894/2673-2963.00025 02.06.2021Museum Helveticum Band 78:53-60Alex PoulosText Critical Remarks on Several Poems of Gregory of Nazianzus Alex Poulos, Washington, DC Abstract: In diesem Aufsatz werden Emendationen für den Text einiger Gedichte Gregors von Nazianz vorgeschlagen (Carm. 1.1.3 29; 2.1.1 294 und 353; 2.1.32 7; 2.1.39 58–62). Keywords: Textual Criticism, Greek Poetry, Late Antiquity, Gregory of Nazianzus. Gr. Naz. Carm. 1.1.3 (De spiritu) 29 In De spiritu, Gregory argues that the divinity of the Holy Spirit has not been fully revealed until his own time. I reproduce the apparatus and line as they appear in the edition of Moreschini and Sykes.1 βαιὸν τοῖσδ’ ὑπέλαμψε, τὸ δὲ πλέον ἡμὶν2 ἔλειπεν. He (i. e. the Spirit) shone suggestively on them to a limited extent, but left the greater part to us.3 Moreschini prints the oxytone form of the dative second person plural pronoun. Of the codices Moreschini used to constitute the edition, I have only been able to consult Va (Vat. gr. 482), but I presume that like Va the other codices transmit the unmetrical ἡμῖν. Though Moreschini’s conjecture is a modest improvement, it is unlikely that in a hexametric poem Gregory would use a form attested only in Sophocles. We should instead write the properispomenon ἧμιν, which is attested in Homer.4 The reading of L, ἄμμιν, would also be suitable, but it is paleographically more likely that the original reading (ΗΜΙΝ, lacking diacritical signs) produced the error ἡμῖν than that ΑΜΜΙΝ was corrupted to ἡμῖν.5 * I wish to thank Christos Simelidis and the editor of MH, Christoph Riedweg, for numerous comments and suggestions on the text of this note. 1 See D. A. Sykes and C. Moreschini, St. Gregory of Nazianzus. Poemata Arcana. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997). 2 ἄμμιν L. 3 That is, the Spirit’s divinity was only partially revealed to the church in apostolic times, but made more clear in Gregory’s own day. 4 For ἧμιν, see Il. 17.417, ed. M. L. West, Homeri Ilias (Stuttgart: Teubner, 1998). 5 The reading of L may be a Byzantine conjecture. For such conjectures in L, see C. Simelidis, Selected Poems of Gregory of Nazianzus: 1.2.17; 2.1.10, 19, 32 : A Critical Edition with Introduction and Commentary (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2009), 91. Museum Helveticum 78/1 (2021) 53–60 | DOI 10.24894/2673-2963.00025 54 Alex Poulos Gr. Naz. Carm. 2.1.1 (De rebus suis) 294–295 In this passage, Gregory juxtaposes his present spiritual suffering with past periods of blessing and spiritual prosperity. I print from the edition of Tuilier and Bady.6 In citations of their edition, I report selectively from their apparatus, omitting variants that are plainly scribal slips.7 Νῦν δὲ δὴ ἐξαπόλωλε κειμήλια πάντ’ ἀπ’ ἐμοῖο ψυχῆς. Yet now all these heirlooms have been lost from my soul. The editors have printed the unmetrical κειμήλια (“heirlooms” or “inheritance”), which must be scanned k l k k, even though the syllable κει- is by nature long. Gregory does depart from classical prosody on occasion; yet this is a license he uses more often in iambic poetry, and nearly always with dichrona (α ι υ) rather than with diphthongs.8 There is one other instance where a stream of the tradition of Gregory’s poetry presents κειμήλια with a short first syllable. At Carm. 2.2.6 108, the majority of the manuscripts (C, Mq and Lb) carry either κειμήλιον or κιμήλιον. L, by contrast, reads γαμείλιον (“wedding gift”), the source of the reading γαμήλιον adopted by Bacci for her edition.9 The reading of L is perhaps a Byzantine conjecture, for several scholars have suspected the scribe of L in engaging in scholarly See G. Bady, A. Tuilier, and J. Bernardi, eds., Gregoire de Nazianze, Œuvres Poetiques: Tome I, 1re Partie. Poemes Personnels (Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 2004). 7 The apparatus of Tuilier and Bady’s edition reports even nonsense singular readings. See the reviews by Christos Simelidis and Caroline Macé: C. Simelidis, “Review of: Saint Grégoire de Nazianze, Œuvres Poétiques. Tome I. Partie 1. Poèmes Personnels II, 1, 1–11. Collection Budé,” Antiquité Tardive 12 (2004): 445–450 and C. Macé, “Review of: Saint Grégoire de Nazianze, Œuvres Poétiques. Tome I. Partie 1. Poèmes Personnels II, 1, 1–11. Collection Budé,” BMCR (August 2004). 8 C. Crimi, M. Kertsch, and J. Guirau, Gregorio Nazianzeno. Sulla virtù: carme giambico: [I,2,10], Poeti cristiani 1 (Pisa: ETS, 1995), 104–107 provide a list of prosodic irregularities in Gregory’s iambic 1.2.10 De virtute. Their list is too capacious, as they occasionally note irregularities even when there is classical precedent. For instance, they include ὑμὶν in 1.2.10 513 as a prosodic irregularity, but there is Sophoclean precedent for this form, which they observe in a note. From this larger list, I have noted 27 irregularities in 998 lines, or about 1 every 36 lines. In the 192 lines of hexameter that I have examined (Carm. 1.1.3 and Carm. 2.1.1 294–392), I have found 3 prosodic irregularities, 2 of which have likely emendations. Even if we follow the manuscripts and print the false quantities, this is only 1 irregularity in every 64 lines. If we emend, then the ratio jumps to 1 in 192 lines. For treatments of Gregory’s departures from classical prosody, see C. Crimi, “Il problema delle ‘false quantities’ di Gregorio Nazianzeno alla luce della tradizione manoscritta di un carme, I,2,10 De virtute,” Siculorum Gymnasium 25 (1972): 1–26 and M. Oberhaus and M. Sicherl, Gregor von Nazianz. Gegen den Zorn: (carmen 1, 2, 25): Einleitung und Kommentar (Paderborn: Schöningh, 1991), 26–31. These departures are typically called “false quantities,” but this appellation is too classicizing, for at least some of them may be intentional. See Simelidis, Selected Poems of Gregory of Nazianzus 36, 54–55. 9 L. Bacci, Gregorio Nazianzeno. Ad Olimpiade: carm. II,2,6., Poeti cristiani 2 (Pisa: Edizioni ETS, 1996), ad loc. 6 Museum Helveticum 78/1 (2021) 53–60 | DOI 10.24894/2673-2963.00025 Text Critical Remarks on Several Poems of Gregory of Nazianzus emendation.10 Yet if γαμήλιον is his conjecture, then it is a remarkably good one, for Carm. 2.2.6 is presented as a wedding gift for a young bride. It thus seems unlikely that Gregory would have scanned κειμήλιον with a short first syllable; we ought to look for another solution. At De rebus suis (DRS) 294, Gregory is indebted to Il. 18.290: νῦν δὲ δὴ ἐξαπόλωλε δόμων κειμήλια καλά (“But now all the lovely heirlooms have been lost from the house”). According to the TLG, DRS 294 is the only other hexametric line attested that begins νῦν δὲ δὴ ἐξαπόλωλε. There are two solutions to the problem. First, we may suppose that Gregory wrote κιμήλια instead of κειμήλια. This does not fix the prosodic inconsistency, but it would suggest that Gregory deliberately shortened the vowel. Such an adaptation, however, would be quite clumsy, for comparison with the Homeric source would immediately reveal the change in scansion. Rather, I suspect that κειμήλια has intruded improperly from the Iliad into DRS 294. I propose instead that Gregory wrote θεμείλια (“foundations”). We may thus translate, “but now all the foundations have disappeared from my soul.” Reading θεμείλια would increase the resonance with DRS 322 (θεμείλια σείετο πάντα), where the foundations of Greece are shaken in an earthquake, and DRS 359 (καὶ νηοῦ μεγάλοιο θεμείλια χερσὶ βάληται), where the foundations of Solomon’s temple are destroyed by the Babylonians. For the metaphor of the “foundations of the soul,” compare Philo, De vita contemplativa 3411 and [Origen] In Ps 136:7.12 If I am correct, the corruption of θεμείλια to κ(ε)ιμήλια occurred quite early. Not only would the corruption be easier in uncial, but Hesychius’ entry for κιμήλιον almost certainly derives from this passage.13 10 Simelidis, Selected Poems of Gregory of Nazianzus, 91. ἐγκράτειαν δὲ ὥσπερ τινὰ θεμέλιον προκαταβαλλόμενοι τῆς ψυχῆς τὰς ἄλλας ἐποικοδομοῦσιν ἀρετάς (“after setting down in advance self-control like a foundation of the soul, they build the rest of the virtues on top of it”). I cite the edition of L. Cohn and S. Reiter, Philonis Alexandrini opera quae supersunt, vol. 6 (Berlin: Reimer, 1915). 12 δηλοῖ δὲ τοὺς παλαίοντας ἡμῖν πειρωμένοις* τῶν φυσικῶν τῆς ἀρετῆς ἅπτεσθαι σπερμάτων ἅπερ τροπικῶς ὠνόμασε θεμέλιον, ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς καταβεβλημένον ἐν αὐτῇ τῇ ψυχῇ (“Now he means those who are contending against us as we try to grasp the natural principles of virtue, which he figuratively calls a ‘foundation’, because it was placed within the soul itself from the beginning”). The passage is among the dubia, and authorship is naturally thorny when material comes to us through catenae. This scholium does strike me as plausibly Origenic in both content and expression. For the collocation φυσικὰ σπέρματα, compare Orig. Comm. Mt. 10.2: ταῖς καλουμέναις ὑπό τινων φυσικαῖς ἐννοίαις καὶ σπέρμασι καλοῖς τοῖς ἀπὸ τοῦ λόγου. I have cited from PG 12 D. Carol and C. V. de la Rue, Origenis opera omnia, Patrologia Graeca 12 (Paris, 1862). Note that I have corrected the plural accusative participle πειρωμένους to the plural dative participle πειρωμένοις, as this is what the sense demands. 13 For Gregory’s works as source material for later lexica, see Simelidis, Selected Poems of Gregory of Nazianzus, 48 n. 84; 75–76. 11 Museum Helveticum 78/1 (2021) 53–60 | DOI 10.24894/2673-2963.00025 55 56 Alex Poulos Gr. Naz. Carm. 2.1.1 (De rebus suis) 351–57 Gregory expresses his desperate need for purification and exhorts his reader to benefit from his example. I print the text of Tuilier and Bady with select readings from their apparatus. ὥς14 τις ἔμ’ εἰσορόων τρομέῃ καὶ φέρτερος εἴη φεύγων Αἰγύπτοιο μέλαν πέδον ἔργα τε πικρὰ καὶ Φαραὼ βασιλῆα, πατρὴν δ’ ἐπὶ θείαν ὁδεύῃ15 μηδὲ μένῃ Βαβυλῶνος ἐνὶ κραναῆς πεδίοισι 355 δουριαλής, ὄχθῃσι παρεζόμενος ποταμοῖο, ᾠδῆς ὄργανα πάντα παρακλίνας ἀτίνακτα δακρυόεις, σπευδῇ δ’ ἱερῆς ἐπὶ τέρματα γαίης And so, let whoever looks upon me tremble and improve themselves by escaping the black plain of Egypt, its bitter works, and king Pharaoh, and make their way to a divine homeland. Let them not remain captive on the plains of harsh Babylon, sitting on the shores of the river, tearfully laying aside and leaving untouched every instrument of song. Instead, let them hasten to the borders of a holy land. Bernardi and Meehan have both rightly translated lines 351–357 as a wish.16 Such a rendering, however, is difficult to justify as the text stands, for, unlike Latin, Greek, even Late Greek, does not normally use the independent 3rd person subjunctive to express a positive wish.17 The subjunctives suggest that we translate the lines as a subordinate purpose clause, as did Caillau, but this results in extremely difficult syntax, for we would need to take 348–350 (ἦ γὰρ ἄριστον … σάκκος ἐρυμνός) as a long parenthetical. Instead, we should print optatives in 351 (τρομέοι), 353 (ὁδεύοι, following S and La) and 357 (σπεύδοι). The subjunctive in 354 (μένῃ) should stand, for the 3rd person independent subjunctive is typical for ὥστ’ εἰς Lc : ὅστις Β. ὁδεύῃ L Lc Pc Pa Mq Lb Vp Pj Mb : ὁδεύει Ur B ὁδεύοι S La ὁδεύσῃ Ma (Bady and Tuilier report ὁδεύην (vid.) for L, but after inspecting the plates it seems more likely to me that the reading of L is ὁδεύῃ). 16 See Bady, Tuilier, and Bernardi, Gregoire de Nazianze, Œuvres Poetiques and D. Meehan, Three Poems: Concerning His Own Affairs, Concerning Himself and the Bishops, and Concerning His Own Life (Catholic University of America Press, 1987), ad loc. 17 A. N. Jannaris, An Historical Greek Grammar (London: Macmillan, 1897, Appendix 5.16 lists sufficient examples in Christian authors to establish that the independent subjunctive was used in Gregory’s period to express wishes (Jannaris cites examples, among others, from Basil, Athanasius, and Eusebius of Caesarea). I suspect, however, that Gregory would have felt such a use of the subjunctive inappropriate in a hexametric poem, particularly when he was perfectly at ease with the optative, as S. R. de L. Henry, The Late Greek Optative and Its Use in the Writings of Gregory Nazianzen (Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 1943), 1–6 shows. As the use of the optative declined in later Greek, circumlocutions of ὄφελον often were used instead to express wishes. See A. T. Robertson, A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research (New York: Hodder & Stoughton, 1914), 1003. 14 15 Museum Helveticum 78/1 (2021) 53–60 | DOI 10.24894/2673-2963.00025 Text Critical Remarks on Several Poems of Gregory of Nazianzus prohibitions, even if the present tense is unusual (one would expect the aorist subjunctive).18 In 353, the α in θείαν is long by nature but Gregory has scanned it as a short. Gregory not infrequently scans the final alpha of a noun or adjective short, even when it is long by nature. This is, however, a liberty he more frequently uses in iambic than hexametric verse. Gregory scans this particular adjective (θείαν) as a trochee (l k) also at 2.1.10 147 (iambic) and 2.1.34a 49 (elegiac). Rather than printing θείαν we should take our cue from Lc and print δῖαν.19 The sense of θεῖος and δῖος is more or less the same (“divine”). Homer uses δῖαν in this sedes at Il. 9.662, 21.43, 24.32 and Od. 19.50, 540. Gregory uses δῖαν at Carm. 2.1.22 9 (σπεύδων ἐς χθόνα δῖαν, ἐμὸν λάχος, ὥσπερ ὑπέστης, “hurrying toward that land divine, my lot, just as you promised”). It would be easy for the rare δῖαν to be replaced by the more common θείαν, as by Gregory’s period δ was pronounced as a voiced dental fricative (the ‘th’ in “this”) instead of a voiced alveolar plosive (the ‘d’ in “do”).20 Gr. Naz. Carm. 2.1.32 (De vitae huius vanitate atque incertitudine) 1–9 Gregory expresses the desire to escape from human company altogether, or to take up an aerial position and thunder forth like an Old Testament prophet. I print the edition of Simelidis with a selection of his apparatus:21 5 Ἤθελον ἠὲ πέλεια τανύπτερος, ἠὲ χελιδὼν ἔμμεναι, ὥς κε φύγοιμι βροτῶν βίον, ἤ τιν’ ἔρημον ναιετάειν θήρεσσιν ὁμέστιος (οἳ γὰρ ἔασι πιστότεροι μερόπων), καὶ ἠμάτιον βίον ἕλκειν, νηπενθῆ, νήποινον, ἀκηδέα· ἓν τόδ’ ἄθηρον μοῦνον ἔχειν, θεότητος ἴδριν νόον, οὐρανοφοίτην, ὥς κε γαληνιόωντι βίῳ φάος αἰὲν ἀγείρω22· ἤ τινος ἠερίης σκοπιῆς καθύπερθεν ἀερθεὶς, βρονταῖον πάντεσσιν ἐπιχθονίοισιν ἀῧσαι23· 18 D. B. Monro, A Grammar of the Homeric Dialect (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1882), 255 notes Od. 5.356, 15.19, and 16.87 as examples of prohibitions with the present subjunctive and μή rather than the aorist. 19 Lc prints δείαν ante corr., which the scribe then corrected to δίαν. Bady, Tuilier, and Bernardi, Gregoire de Nazianze, Œuvres Poetiques mistakenly represent this as δ’ εἴαν in their apparatus. I am grateful to Christos Simelidis for providing a plate of the relevant folio from Lc for my inspection and noting the scribe’s correction. 20 F. T. Gignac, A Grammar of the Greek Papyri of the Roman and Byzantine Periods (Milano: Istituto editoriale cisalpino, 1976), 75. 21 See Simelidis, Selected Poems of Gregory of Nazianzus. 22 ἀγείρω Am S Di Gu : ἀγείρων L PcLa RiVcPaE ε ND : ἀγείρειν BVm : ἀγειρον Cg Va γ Pj Ph. 23 ἀΰσαι Ri Cg Gu Mb : ἀείσαι BVm : ἀεῖσαι Va : ἀῆσαι Di : βοήσω E : ἀΰσω cett. Museum Helveticum 78/1 (2021) 53–60 | DOI 10.24894/2673-2963.00025 57 58 Alex Poulos I wished to be like a long-winged dove, or a swallow, that I might escape the life of men, dwell instead in some abandoned place, and share a hearth with beasts (these are, after all, more trustworthy than human beings), and spend my daily life without concern or punishment, and without care, to have but one thing separating me from beasts: a mind knowledgeable of divinity that traverses heaven, that in a life of repose I might gather light. Or [I wished] to take some lofty vantage point above and thunder down on every mortal below. According to Simelidis, the manuscripts all transmit a form of ἀγείρω in line 7. Yet, “so that in a life of repose I may gather light” is a strange locution, and unprecedented so far as I can gather from the TLG.24 I suspect that Gregory instead wrote ἐγείρω (“raise”). We may then understand φάος in line 7 to refer to the eye: “so that in a life of repose I may continually raise my eye [towards heaven].”25 This fits nicely with the emphasis on the visual in lines 8–9, where the poet takes up an aerial vantage point (ἠερίης σκοπιῆς) and looks down on the rest of humanity.26 It was a topos that human beings were more dignified than other animals because they walk upright and can look upward to the heavens. For instance, consider Plato Rep. 586a, where those without prudence and virtue have “never looked above” (οὔτε ἀνέβλεψαν πώποτε) but “like beasts are bent over and continually have their eyes on the earth” (βοσκημάτων δίκην κάτω ἀεὶ βλέποντες καὶ κεκυφότες εἰς γῆν). For other instances of the topos, see Bömer on Ov. Met. 1.84.27 Plato’s verb ἀναβλέπω ( “look above”) was also quite common in the Greek Bible.28 Simelidis has selected the less-well attested ἀΰσαι in line 9 on the grounds that it is subordinate to ἤθελον in line 1 and parallel with ἔμμεναι (2), ναιετάειν (3), ἕλκειν (4), and ἔχειν (6). The external evidence shows, however, that the reading of the archetype is ἀΰσω, for the aorist infinitive is confined to the α branch of the tradition.29 The first person subjunctive ἀΰσω is syntactically licit so long as we regard the ἤ in line 8 as subordinate to the purpose clause beginning in line 7 (ὥς κε …) instead of in parallel with the alternatives expressed in 1–6. We may thus translate, “… to have a mind that traverses heaven, so that in peace I may continually raise my eye or rise up above to some aerial vantage point and thunder down on all mortals below.” One must grant that the aorist infinitive ἀΰσαι is the lectio difficilior. I suspect that a Byzantine editor has changed ἀΰσω to ἀΰσαι on the I find no other instances ἀγείρω with φῶς as the direct object. For “eye” as a meaning of φάος, see LSJ s.v. A 3. 26 I thank the reviewer for noting Gregory’s appropriation of Plat. Rep. 445c4, where Socrates speaks “as it appears to me from a high vantage point” (ὥσπερ ἀπὸ σκοπιᾶς φαίνεται), ed. S. R. Slings, Platonis Rempublicam (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2002). 27 F. Bömer, Metamorphosen, I-III: Kommentar, Wissenschaftliche Kommentare zu Griechischen und Lateinischen Schriftstellern (Heidelberg: Winter, 1969), 46. 28 E. g. Gen 15:5 (Abraham looking up to the heavens); Mk 7:34 (Jesus looking up to the heavens). 29 See Simelidis, Selected Poems of Gregory of Nazianzus, 89 for the stemma of Gedichtgruppe 1, with the important note that Mb, though belonging to the γ branch, shows signs of contamination with α. 24 25 Museum Helveticum 78/1 (2021) 53–60 | DOI 10.24894/2673-2963.00025 Text Critical Remarks on Several Poems of Gregory of Nazianzus model of lines 2 and 3, where a purpose clause with ὡς is followed by infinitives subordinate to the main verb ἤθελον in line 1. Gr. Naz. Carm. 2.1.39 (In versus suos) 58–62 I print here the preliminary text of De Blasi (with the exception of the punctuation after τῶν ἔνδον):30 60 Πρὸς ταῦτα νῦν γινώσκεθ’31 ἡμῖν, οἱ σοφοί, τῶν ἔνδον. εἰ δ’ ἥττησθε, τῶν αὐτῶν λόγων πλεῖστον τὸ χρῆμα καὶ τὰ παιζόντων λόγοι χωρεῖτε. μακρὸν δ’ οὐδὲν οὐδ’ ὑπὲρ κόρον ἀλλ’ οὐδ’ ἄχρηστον ὡς ἐγῷμαι παντελῶς. Moreover, take note for me, smart ones, of the [sc. poem’s] contents. If you yield, the usefulness of the very same words is quite substantial and, words (?),32 accept these things of those who play. It’s not long, nor beyond what would sate you, and by no means without use, as I see it. In line 59, De Blasi has removed the punctuation that Caillau placed after τῶν ἔνδον.33 However, the εἰ δέ that follows shows that τῶν ἔνδον belongs with the prior line.34 We should thus punctuate with a full stop after ἔνδον, as did Caillau. In line 60, I would punctuate after χρῆμα and then take the following καί as adverbial (“even”) rather than conjunctive (“and”).35 The end of the line (τὰ παιζόντων λόγοι) is nonsensical, as De Blasi notes.36 Emending the nominative plural (λόγοι) to the dative plural (λόγοις) restores the sense of the lines. Gregory asserts the utility of his verse (τῶν αὐτῶν λόγων / πλεῖστον τὸ χρῆμα “there is great utility in the words themselves!”) and then bids his opponents to accept even the things characteristic of those who play with words (καὶ τὰ παιζόντων λόγοις / χωρεῖτε), i. e. stylistic adornment and tropes. The lines that follow offer further See A. De Blasi, “Gregorio di Nazianzo. εἰς τὰ ἔμμετρα (carme II 1, 39)” (MA thesis, Università degli Studi di Padova, 2018). 31 οὖν γινώσκεθ GLW : συγγινώσκεθ’ Va. 32 Along with De Blasi, I consider line 60 corrupt and untranslatable as transmitted but have tried my best to render it as it stands. 33 D. A. B. Caillau, ed., S. patris nostri Gregorii Nazianzeni omnia quae extant opera, vol. 4: Carmina et epistula (Paris: P. Mellier, 1842), ad loc. 34 A sense pause before the second princeps is attested in 8 % of iambic lines, according to M. L. West, Greek Metre (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1982), 41. 35 This does result in asyndeton, but Gregory is fond of the device, especially in polemical sections like this one. 36 De Blasi, “Gregorio di Nazianzo. εἰς τὰ ἔμμετρα (carme II 1, 39)” ad loc. 30 Museum Helveticum 78/1 (2021) 53–60 | DOI 10.24894/2673-2963.00025 59 60 Alex Poulos support for this interpretation, for there are several verbal parallels with Gregory’s discussion of tropes in Ep. 51.5–6.37 Compare the following: Carm. 2.1.39 Ep. 51 μακρὸν δ’ οὐδὲν … οὔτε μακρότερα γραπτέον … (“One should not write at greater length …”). οὐδ’ ὑπὲρ κόρον. τὸ δ’ἄπληστον (“Inability to be satisfied”). οὐδ’ ἄχρηστον … ἔστι δὲ μέτρον τῶν ἐπιστολῶν ἡ χρεία (“The measure of a letter is its use- παντελῶς fulness”). Correspondence: Dr. Alex Poulos The Washington Post 1301 K Street NW Washington, DC 20071 Τρίτον ἐστὶ τῶν ἐπιστολῶν, ἡ χάρις. ταύτην δὲ φυλάξομεν, εἰ μήτε παντάπασι ξηρὰ καὶ ἀχάριστα γράφοιμεν καὶ ἀκαλλώπιστα, ἀκόσμητα καὶ ἀκόρητα, ὃ δὴ λέγεται, οἷον δὴ γνωμῶν καὶ παροιμιῶν καὶ ἀποφθεγμάτων ἐκτός, ἔτι δὲ σκωμμάτων καὶ αἰνιγμάτων, οἷς ὁ λόγος καταγλυκαίνεται· μήτε λίαν τούτοις φαινοίμεθα καταχρώμενοι· τὸ μὲν γὰρ ἀγροῖκον, τὸ δ’ ἄπληστον. (6) καὶ τοσαῦτα τούτοις χρηστέον, ὅσα καὶ ταῖς πορφύραις ἐν τοῖς ὑφάσμασι. τροπὰς δὲ παραδεξόμεθα μέν, ὀλίγας δέ, καὶ ταύτας οὐκ ἀναισχύντους. ἀντίθετα δὲ καὶ πάρισα καὶ ἰσόκωλα τοῖς σοφισταῖς ἀπορρίψομεν· εἰ δέ που καὶ παραλάβοιμεν, ὡς καταπαίζοντες μᾶλλον τοῦτο ποιήσομεν ἢ σπουδάζοντες. (“The third characteristic of letters is grace. We will preserve this so long as we do not write letters that are entirely dry and without charm, letters unadorned and unsatisfying, which is to say, letters without gnomes, proverbs, and sayings, or even without jokes and riddles. By these, the work is made more sweet. But neither should we appear to use these too often. For their absence is rustic but their abuse is self-indulgent. We should use them like purple dye in a web of cloth. As for figures of speech, we will use them but only a few, and only ones that are not garish. We will leave antitheta, parisa, and isocola to the sophists. If we use these, it will be more in jest than in earnest” Gr. Naz. ep. 51.5–6). 37 Museum Helveticum 78/1 (2021) 53–60 | DOI 10.24894/2673-2963.00025