Thursday, May 9, 2013

Andrew Carriker on Maximus, Methodius, and HE V.27–28

Andrew Carriker's the Library of Eusebius which is available here as a free PDF. He writes p. 226:

Maximus, Methodius, and HE V.27–28 Eusebius concludes PE VII with a series of four extracts all devoted to the defense of God’s creation of matter.[154] The last of these extracts (PE VII.22) Eusebius attributes to the Περὶ τῆς ὕλης (De materia) of one Maximus who is otherwise unknown, save for Eusebius’ reference to him at HE V.27.[155]. The library of Caesarea must certainly have contained the works from which the other three extracts in this section of Book VII are taken, Dionysius of Alexandria’s work against Sabellius (VII.19), Origen’s Commentarii in Genesim (VII.20), and Philo’s De providentia (VII.21), so one may expect that the library contained and Eusebius used firsthand Maximus’ De materia, rather than some compilation on the subject of matter. But, there are complications. The extract at PE VII.22 also appears in two other works: in a dialogue entitled De recta in deum fide, the “Adamantine dialogue,” so called because the primary speaker is named Adamantius, and in Methodius of Olympus’ De autexusio (or De libero arbitrio).[156] The relationship between the versions of Methodius and the Adamantine dialogue has been much debated, but it appears that the Adamantine dialogue made use of Methodius’ work.[157] A comparison of Eusebius’ text with the texts of Methodius and the Adamantine dialogue, furthermore, indicates that Eusebius’ text is related to Methodius’ text, and the most plausible reason for this is that Eusebius copied his text directly from Methodius.[158]

Yet, it is difficult to explain why Eusebius attributes the passage to Maximus, if he copied his text from Methodius. Robinson suggests that “Maximus” was the first interlocutor in Methodius’ text and that Eusebius misunderstood this to be the name of the author, but there is no evidence in the manuscripts to support this argument. [159] Others suppose that Eusebius used a text that either was anonymous or was attributed to a pseudonymous “Maximus”.[160] But in these cases there is no explanation why Eusebius should assign this Maximus to the late second or early third century in his HE (V.27). Barnes argues that Maximus is the author of the Adamantine dialogue, that Methodius copied from the Adamantine dialogue, and that Eusebius’ scribe mistakenly inserted the text of Methodius rather than the text of Maximus.[161] The first of Barnes’s propositions is credible, and the second is possible (though it is a view unsupported by others scholars), but the third requires the belief that Eusebius possessed Maximus’ Adamantine dialogue, but his scribe (although he did not intend to draw the passage of PE VII.22 from Methodius) did in fact draw his excerpt from Methodius and neglected to revise the introduction that names the author as Maximus. While such a mistake is possible, it seems unlikely. What seems more likely is that Eusebius intentionally quoted the passage from Methodius and intentionally named Maximus as the author.

In the text of HE V.27 Eusebius places in the late second and early third centuries a number of writers and their works:

πλεῖστα μὲν οὖν παρὰ πολλοῖς εἰς ἔτι νῦν τῶν τότε σῴζεται παλαιῶν καὶ ἐκκλησιαστικῶν ἀνδρῶν ἐναρέτου σπουδῆς ὑπομνήματα· ὧν γε μὴν αὐτοὶ διέγνωμεν, εἴη ἂν τὰ Ἡρακλείτου εἰς τὸν ἀπόστολον, καὶ τὰ Μαξίμου περὶ τοῦ πολυθρυλήτου παρὰ τοῖς αἱρεσιώταις ζητήματος τοῦ πόθεν ἡ κακία, καὶ περὶ τοῦ γενητὴν ὑπάρχειν τὴν ὕλην, τά τε Κανδίδου εἰς τὴν ἑξαήμερον, καὶ Ἀπίωνος εἰς τὴν αὐτὴν ὑπόθεσιν, ὁμοίως Σέξτου περὶ ἀναστάσεως, καὶ ἄλλη τις ὑπόθεσις Ἀραβιανοῦ, καὶ μυρίων ἄλλων, ὧν διὰ τὸ μηδεμίαν ἔχειν ἀφορμὴν οὐχ οἷόν τε οὔτε τοὺς χρόνους παραδοῦναι γραφῇ οὔθ' ἱστορίας μνήμην ὑποσημήνασθαι. καὶ ἄλλων δὲ πλείστων, ὧν οὐδὲ τὰς προσηγορίας καταλέγειν ἡμῖν δυνατόν, ἦλθον εἰς ἡμᾶς λόγοι, ὀρθοδόξων μὲν καὶ ἐκκλησιαστικῶν, ὥς γε δὴ ἡ ἑκάστου παραδείκνυσιν τῆς θείας γραφῆς ἑρμηνεία, ἀδήλων δ' ὅμως ἡμῖν, ὅτι μὴ τὴν προσηγορίαν ἐπάγεται τῶν συγγραψαμένων. Τούτων ἔν τινος σπουδάσματι κατὰ τῆς Ἀρτέμωνος αἱρέσεως πεπονημένῳ, ἣν αὖθις

So then, large numbers of treatises, composed with virtuous diligence by the ancient churchmen of that time, are still to this day preserved by many. Among those, however, of which we have personal knowledge, are the [works] of Heracleitus on the apostle; those of Maximus on that much-discussed question among the heretics, the origin of evil and that matter had a beginning; of Candidus on the Hexaemeron; of Apion on the same subject; of Sextus, likewise, on the Resurrection; and another work, of Arabianus; as well as the works of countless others, in whose case the lack of data prevents us from recording the times in which they lived or making any mention of their history. And the works also of many others, of whom we cannot recount even the names, have reached us: orthodox churchmen, as their several interpretations of the divine Scripture show, but nevertheless unknown to us, since such do not bear the names of their authors. HE V.27 (trans. Oulton [slightly altered])

The first part of the passage is a catalogue of the names of the authors and their works, providing, for example, no more information about Maximus’ writing than is given in the chapter-heading of PE VII.22.[162] Indeed, Eusebius admits that he has little information about these and countless other authors and, in the second part of the passage, in fact cannot furnish the names of other contemporary orthodox interpreters of Scripture.

At the beginning of the chapter Eusebius explains that the works (ÍpomnÆmata) he lists are ones that efiw ¶ti nËn . . . s–zetai, “are preserved still to [Eusebius’] day,” and are ones oen di°gnvmen, “of which we ourselves have learned.” Bauer casts some doubt on whether Eusebius, because of his somewhat vague words, actually knew these works.[163] But, these listed works are classified together with ka‹ êllvn d¢ ple¤stvn . . . Σlyon efiw ≤mçw lÒgoi, “the works of very many other orthodox ecclesiastical writers that have come down to us.” Eusebius’ language indicates that he possessed the works, in some form, of both the various writers listed in the first part of the passage and the anonymous interpreters of Scripture.

Eusebius seems, then, to have possessed a copy of a work on the origin of evil and the question of whether matter had a beginning, the author of which Eusebius believed was named Maximus. He also possessed copies of the works of the other writers listed: Heracleitus’ On the Apostle; Candidus’ On the Hexaemeron; Apion’s On the Hexaemeron; Sextus’ On Resurrection; a work of unknown title by Arabianus; and, apparently, other works, although Eusebius’ reference here may simply be a matter of exaggeration. Such a brief catalogue and such an admission of a lack of evidence do, however, indicate that Eusebius’ copies of these works were incomplete, perhaps even damaged.[164] Eusebius provides even less information about the orthodox interpreters of Scripture in this period than he provides about the writers listed before them. The works by these writers apparently were so similarly defective that Eusebius did not even know the names of the authors. Nevertheless, Eusebius seems to have possessed copies of these anonymous works.

There are two ways to solve the problems created by Eusebius’ references to Maximus. If Robinson’s argument is correct, then Eusebius possessed a copy of Methodius’ De autexusio (De libero arbitrio), although he only knew the work under the name of the author Maximus and under the title Per‹ t∞w Ïlhw. Perhaps because his copy was in some way defective, and perhaps also because the work was placed with other works of the late second or early third century, Eusebius incorrectly dated the work of this “Maximus.” When he chose to quote from the work in the PE, however, he accurately quoted the text he possessed, that is, the text of Methodius.

It is possible, on the other hand, that the work Eusebius knew as Maximus’ was actually the extant Adamantine dialogue.[165] If the Adamantine dialogue did use Methodius’ De autexusio (De libero arbitrio), then it will have been composed at some time in the late third century—after Methodius wrote his work but before Eusebius composed the HE.[166] Its author will, then, have been named Maximus, although from what Eusebius writes at HE V.27, he knew little more than Maximus’ name. Eusebius will have known so little that he incorrectly dated Maximus by two or three generations, perhaps, again, because of the defective condition of his copy and the placement of the work in the library. According to this reconstruction of events, Eusebius may have turned to Methodius’ De autexusio (De libero arbitrio) for the extract that he wanted in the PE because Methodius’ text was the more polished of the two versions. Moreover, Eusebius may have decided to name the earlier author simply in order to avoid mention of Methodius, for Methodius was, to judge from his De resurrectione and De creatis, a critic of Origen and therefore an intellectual foe. According to Jerome, Eusebius was quite aware of Methodius’ hostile attitude toward Origen.[167] Methodius’ millenarian views, with which Eusebius certainly disagreed, must have only separated the men further.[168]Although Eusebius ordinarily records accurately the authors of his quotations, he occasionally quotes a source as if firsthand that in reality comes from an intermediary.[169] Perhaps Eusebius did just this with Maximus and Methodius. There is no way to prove which of the foregoing explanations is the more accurate. I am myself inclined to think that Robinson conceives the more likely scenario, in part because it is the less complicated one. Eusebius’ relatively unspecific wording at HE V.27 suggests not that he did not possess any of the works listed there, for his vocabulary indicates otherwise, but that he had little knowledge of the identities and provenance of the authors. It is plausible that, as a result, he mistakenly believed that his copy of Methodius’ De autexusio (De libero arbitrio) was written by a late second or early third century author named Maximus. The scenario sketched here does not necessarily exclude the possibility that Eusebius consciously omitted Methodius’ name from the HE because of Methodius’ criticisms of Origen, for Eusebius’ statement in the Defense of Origen indicates that the library at Caesarea contained some other works by Methodius that were properly attributed to him.

Eusebius thus possessed a copy of Methodius’ De autexusio (De libero arbitrio), from which he drew the text of PE VII.22, although he believed the author to be named Maximus. He probably also had copies of some of other works by Methodius, most likely the Aglaophon: de resurrectione and Xeno: de creatis.[170] Eusebius will not necessarily have known the Adamantine dialogue.

A final note must be made about what Eusebius writes at HE V.27. Classed among the anonymous interpreters of Scripture is the author of a treatise against the heresy of Artemon, which Eusebius introduces at HE V.28.1 and then thrice quotes (HE V.28.3–6, 8–12, and 13–19).[171] Theodoret later supplies a title for this work, ı smikrÚw LabÊrinyow, the Little Labyrinth.[172] Artemon himself lived in at least the middle of the third century, since he is cited in the letter of the Synod of Antioch (268) (HE VII.30.16–17, in which he is called Artemas), so it is possible that the Little Labyrinth was composed as late as that period, somewhat later than Eusebius envisions it.[173]

[154] On this “dossier on matter,” see G. Schroeder, SC #215 (Paris, 1975), pp. 94–126, especially pp. 111–126.
[155] Eusebius places Maximus generally in the late second century or early third century, for he introduces the reign of Septimius Severus at HE V.26. Eusebius describes Maximus’ work thus: tå Maj¤mou per‹ toË poluyrulÆtou parå to›w aflresi≈taiw zhtÆmatow toË pÒyen ≤ kak¤a, ka‹ per‹ toË genhtØn Ípãrxein tØn Ïlhn (HE V.27) (translated below infra). Jerome’s notice of Maximus at De vir. ill. 47 derives from Eusebius.
[156] Less important appearances of this extract are the fragments in the Sacra Parallela and the epitome in Photius, cod. 236. The extract at Philocalia 24 is drawn from Eusebius’ text, although the passage is attributed to Origen under the mistaken apprehension that Origen composed the Adamantine dialogue (Adamantius was a nickname for Origen according to Eusebius, HE VI.14.10).
[157] Under the influence of T. Zahn, “Die Diologe des ‘Adamantius’ mit den Gnostikern,” ZKG 9 (1888), pp. 193–239, and J. A. Robinson, The Philocalia of Origen (Cambridge, 1893), pp. xl–xlix, scholars have maintained that the author of the Adamantine dialogue copied from the earlier work of Methodius. See, for example, L. G. Patterson, Methodius of Olympus: Divine Sovereignty, Human Freedom, and Life in Christ (Washington, DC, 1997), pp. 22–23, with note 12; R. A. Pretty, Adamantius, Dialogue on the True Faith in God: De recta in deum fide (Leuven, 1997), p. 12, with note 27. T. D. Barnes, “Methodius, Maximus, and Valentinus,” JTS 30 (1979), pp. 47–55, however, argues the reverse, that Methodius utilized the Adamantine dialogue.
[158] See J. A. Robinson, The Philocalia of Origen, pp. xl–xlvi.
[159] J. A. Robinson, The Philocalia of Origen, pp. xliv–xlvi. This view is criticized by A. Vaillant in his introduction to the Slavonic version of Methodius’ De autexusio, Patrologia Orientalis 22.5 (Paris, 1930), p. 639. Perhaps a similar explanation may be inferred from L. G. Patterson, “Methodius on Origen in De Creatis,” Origeniana Quinta (Leuven, 1992), p. 498, since Patterson, arguing that the De creatis was also called Xeno, makes analogy to Methodius’ other works, Maximus, on God and Matter and Aglaophon, on the Resurrection, the personal names coming from the principal speakers in the dialogues. Patterson, Methodius of Olympus, pp. 38–40, notes the absence of evidence in the manuscripts for a title “Maximus” or speakers named Maximus.
[160] Cf. A. Vaillant, ed., De autexusio, p. 652; E. Junod, “Particularités de la Philocalie,” Origeniana, H. Crouzel et al., edd., Quaderni di “Vetera Christianorum” 12 (Bari, 1975), pp. 184–185.
[161] T. D. Barnes, JTS (1979), p. 54.
[162] PE VII.22, chapter-heading: ˜ti mØ ég°nhtow ≤ Ïlh mhd¢ kak«n afit¤a.
[163] W. Bauer, Orthodoxy and Heresy in Earliest Christianity (Philadelphia, 1971), p. 149.
[164] G. Bardy, SC #41 (Paris, 1955), p. 74, note 2, suggests that the anonymous writers whose interpretations of Scripture were orthodox came in damaged copies, but this sugestion may apply equally to the other works that Eusebius names here. Perhaps Eusebius’ catalogue is a listing of the contents of a single incomplete or defective roll.
[165] T. D. Barnes, CE, p. 141, seems to accept this possibility.
[166] On dating the Adamantine dialogue, see R. A. Pretty, Adamantius, pp. 9–20.
[167] Jerome, Contra Rufinum, I.11: Eusebius . . . in sexto libro Apologias Origenis hoc idem obiicit Methodio episcopo et martyri, quod tu in meis laudibus criminaris, et dicit: Quomodo ausus est Methodius nunc contra Originem scribere, qui haec et haec de Origenis locutus est dogmatibus? (“Eusebius . . . in the sixth book of the Defence of Origen makes this same objection against the bishop and martyr Methodius that you complain of in my praises when he says: How did Methodius, who said such and such things about Origen’s doctrines, now dare to write against Origen?”) J. A. Robinson, The Philocalia of Origen, p. xlv, notes the possibility that Eusebius ignored Methodius out of hostility toward him. E. Junod, “L’Apologie pour Origène de Pamphile et la naissance de l’origénisme,” Studia Patristica 26 (1991), pp. 281–282, adds the suggestion that Pamphilus’ Defence of Origen was a response to Methodius’ De resurrectione. But, though he criticized Origen, Methodius also was indebted to Origen’s thought: see recently L. G. Patterson, Methodius of Olympus.
[168] On Methodius’ millenarianism, cf., Symposium 9.1–5. On Eusebius’ opposition to millenarianism, see, for example, W. Adler, “Eusebius’ Chronicle and Its Legacy,” Eusebius, Christianity, and Judaism, pp. 468–469. R. M. Grant, “Papias in Eusebius’ Church History,” Mélanges H.-C. Puech (Paris, 1974), p. 212, noticing this difference between Methodius and Eusebius, intimates that it was for this reason that Eusebius misnamed Methodius “Maximus” in the PE and HE.
[169] An example of Eusebius’ quotation of a source as if firsthand that in reality comes from an intermediary is: PE IX.4.2–9, 5.1–7, and 9.1–2, in which Eusebius ostensibly quotes Hecataeus of Abdera, Clearchus, and Choerilus of Samos, respectively, though all of the quotations come from Josephus’ Contra Apionem.
[170] P. Nautin, Lettres et écrivains chrétiens des II e et III e siècles (Paris, 1961), pp. 257–258, suggests that Jerome’s report of the works of Methodius at De viris ill. 83 was drawn from Eusebius’ catalogue of ecclesiasitcal works in the library at Caesarea that was included in Eusebius’ Vita Pamphili. If Jerome’s information does reflect what was available at Caesarea, then Eusebius’ library contained, in addition to the De resurrectione and De autexusio (De libero arbitrio), the Adversum Porphyrium, Symposium decem virginum, De pithonissa (another work against Origen), and commentaries In Genesim and In Canticum Canticorum. Nautin’s hypothesis, however, ought not to be given immediate approval, because Jerome clearly had a source different from Eusebius for his entry on Methodius, since Jerome confuses Eusebius’ contemporary, Methodius of Olympus, who perished in the Great Persecution, with a Methodius of Tyre, who reportedly perished under Decius or Valerian.
[171] HE V.28.1: toÊtvn ¶n tinow spoudãsmati katå t∞w ÉArt°mvnow aflr°sevw peponhm°nƒ . . . f°reta¤ tiw diÆghsiw ta›w §jetazom°naiw ≤m›n prosÆkousa flstor¤aiw. (“In a work composed by one of these against the heresy of Artemon . . . there is extant a narrative germane to our historical investigations” [trans. Oulton].) Apart from Eusebius’ quotations, his use of the word f°retai further indicates that the work was available to Eusebius.
[172] Theodoret, Haereticarum fabularum compendium, II.5 (PG 83:392).
[173] Artemon is not named in the extant fragments, and R. H. Connolly, “Eusebius H. E. V.28,” JTS 49 (1948), pp. 73–79, in arguing (following Lightfoot and Harnack) that Hippolytus was the author of the Little Labyrinth, necessarily suggests that the work cannot have been aimed at Artemon, since Artemon flourished a generation after Hippolytus. J. T. Fitzgerald, “Eusebius and The Little Labyrinth,” The Early Church in Its Context, A. J. Malherbe et al., edd., Suppl. to Novum Testamentum 90 (Leiden, 1998), pp. 120–146, rightly leaves the author anonymous; he would place the date of composition ca. 240–255 (p. 144).

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