The Greek Historia Monachorum in Aegypto by Andrew Cain

615ae9a2d3c68f9-261x361.jpg Author Andrew Cain
Isbn 9780198758259
File size 2MB
Year 2016
Pages 368
Language English
File format PDF
Category religion


OUP CORRECTED PROOF – FINAL, 22/3/2016, SPi OXFORD EARLY CHRISTIAN STUDIES General Editors Gillian Clark Andrew Louth OUP CORRECTED PROOF – FINAL, 22/3/2016, SPi THE OXFORD EARLY CHRISTIAN STUDIES series includes scholarly volumes on the thought and history of the early Christian centuries. Covering a wide range of Greek, Latin, and Oriental sources, the books are of interest to theologians, ancient historians, and specialists in the classical and Jewish worlds. TITLES IN THE SERIES INCLUDE Cyril of Alexandria’s Trinitarian Theology of Scripture Matthew R. Crawford (2014) The Canons of Our Fathers Monastic Rules of Shenoute Bentley Layton (2014) Gregory of Nyssa’s Tabernacle Imagery In its Jewish and Christian Contexts Ann Conway-Jones (2014) John Chrysostom on Divine Pedagogy The Coherence of his Theology and Preaching David Rylaarsdam (2014) The Practical Christology of Philoxenos of Mabbug David A. Michelson (2014) Law and Legality in the Greek East The Byzantine Canonical Tradition 381–883 David Wagschal (2014) The Role of Death in the Ladder of Divine Ascent and the Greek Ascetic Tradition Jonathan L. Zecher (2015) Theophilus of Alexandria and the First Origenist Controversy Rhetoric and Power Krastu Banev (2015) Debates over the Resurrection Constructing Early Christian Identity Outi Lehtipuu (2015) The Consolation of Boethius as Poetic Liturgy Stephen Blackwood (2015) The Theological Anthropology of Eustathius of Antioch Sophie Cartwright (2015) OUP CORRECTED PROOF – FINAL, 22/3/2016, SPi The Greek Historia monachorum in Aegypto Monastic Hagiography in the Late Fourth Century ANDREW CAIN 1 OUP CORRECTED PROOF – FINAL, 22/3/2016, SPi 3 Great Clarendon Street, Oxford, OX2 6DP, United Kingdom Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University’s objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. Oxford is a registered trade mark of Oxford University Press in the UK and in certain other countries © Andrew Cain 2016 The moral rights of the author have been asserted First Edition published in 2016 Impression: 1 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing of Oxford University Press, or as expressly permitted by law, by licence or under terms agreed with the appropriate reprographics rights organization. Enquiries concerning reproduction outside the scope of the above should be sent to the Rights Department, Oxford University Press, at the address above You must not circulate this work in any other form and you must impose this same condition on any acquirer Published in the United States of America by Oxford University Press 198 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, United States of America British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data Data available Library of Congress Control Number: 2015958908 ISBN 978–0–19–875825–9 Printed in Great Britain by Clays Ltd, St Ives plc Links to third party websites are provided by Oxford in good faith and for information only. Oxford disclaims any responsibility for the materials contained in any third party website referenced in this work. OUP CORRECTED PROOF – FINAL, 22/3/2016, SPi Preface The Greek Historia monachorum in Aegypto was one of the most widely read and disseminated Greek hagiographic texts during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages. To this day it remains, alongside Athanasius’ Life of Antony, one of the core primary texts on fourth-century Egyptian monasticism as well as one of the most famous pieces of hagiographic literature to survive from the entire patristic period. This book provides the first full-scale scholarly study in any language on this fascinating yet perplexing work. Each of the eleven chapters seeks to break new ground and revise current scholarly orthodoxy about a wide range of topics. I have adopted a cross-disciplinary approach which, depending upon the particular issue or problem being addressed, incorporates insights from source criticism, stylistic and rhetorical analysis, literary criticism, historical and geographical studies, and theological analysis. The staff at Oxford University Press, as always, were the model of efficiency and grace in guiding this book to publication. I offer my thanks to Gayathri Manoharan, Karen Raith, Albert Stewart, Elizabeth Stone, and above all the senior Commissioning Editor of Religion at Oxford University Press, Tom Perridge, with whom I have had the immense pleasure of working on (now) three books. Especially warm thanks are due to Gillian Clark and Andrew Louth, editors of the Oxford Early Christian Studies series, for accepting this book for publication. OUP CORRECTED PROOF – FINAL, 22/3/2016, SPi OUP CORRECTED PROOF – FINAL, 22/3/2016, SPi Table of Contents List of Abbreviations ix Introduction 1 1. The Text Deconstructing the “Lost Primitive Greek HM” Theory Restoring the Primacy of G Syriac Translations of the HM Status of the Greek Text 2. Provenance, Date, and Authorship Provenance Date of Composition Candidates for Authorship Intentional Anonymity 3. Genre Itineraria Collective Biography Encomium Acta martyrum Apophthegmata patrum Sui generis 4. Literary Influences and Intertexts Classical Greek Literature The Bible The Life of Antony 5. Style Figures of Sound Figures of Repetition Figures of Redundancy Figures of Parallelism Figures of Imagery Other Figures of Rhetoric Prose Rhythm Conclusion 6. The Pilgrimage: Reality and Representation Preliminary Considerations From Jerusalem to Egypt 9 10 17 26 31 33 33 39 40 49 58 58 62 64 66 70 72 74 74 76 80 92 93 97 103 107 112 115 118 119 125 126 127 OUP CORRECTED PROOF – FINAL, 22/3/2016, SPi viii Table of Contents The Egyptian Itinerary A Divinely Ordained Pilgrimage 129 135 7. The New Prophets and Apostles 146 148 152 158 165 178 Direct Typology (Old Testament) Indirect Typology (Old Testament) Indirect Typology (New Testament) Indirect Typology (Inter-Testamental) The HM as Post-Biblical “Scripture” 8. Characterization and the Unholy Other Pagans Syrian Ascetics Manichaean “Heretics” Conclusion 9. “Through Them the World is Sustained” Paradise Regained Conservators of Humanity Ministers of Salvation 10. A Manual for Monastic Living Intended Audience The Monks as Exemplars and Teachers The Monastic Regimen Conclusion 11. Piety and Propaganda Evagrius in the HM Active vs. Contemplative Monasticism Pure Prayer Apatheia Demons and Impure Thoughts Evagrius and His Teachings in Rufinus’ Latin HM Conclusion Bibliography General Index Index of Greek Words Index of Latin Words Index of Biblical Citations Index of Ancient Sources 182 183 188 190 193 195 196 200 205 214 214 221 225 243 245 246 247 250 252 253 259 265 271 309 315 317 318 320 OUP CORRECTED PROOF – FINAL, 22/3/2016, SPi List of Abbreviations AATC Atti e Memorie dell’Accademia Toscana di Scienze e Lettere La Colombaria A&R Atene e Roma AB Analecta Bollandiana ABR American Benedictine Review AC L’Antiquité Classique ACF Annuaire du Collège de France AH Ancient History AHB Ancient History Bulletin AJPh American Journal of Philology ANRW Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt AnnSE Annalidi Storia dell’Esegesi ArchRom Archivum Romanicum AU Der altsprachliche Unterricht AugStud Augustinian Studies BASP Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists BICS Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies BLE Bulletin de Littérature Ecclésiastique BSFE Bulletin de la Société Française d’Égyptologie BSl Byzantinoslavica BZ Byzantinische Zeitschrift CCR Coptic Church Review CE Chronique d’Égypte CF Classical Folia CFC Cuadernos de Filología Clásica ChHist Church History CivCatt Civiltà Cattolica CJ Classical Journal ClAnt Classical Antiquity ClassStud Classical Studies CollCist Collectanea Cisterciensia CPh Classical Philology CQ Classical Quarterly OUP CORRECTED PROOF – FINAL, 22/3/2016, SPi x List of Abbreviations CSEL Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum CSQ Cistercian Studies Quarterly CTh Codex Theodosianus DACL Dictionnaire d’Archéologie Chrétienne et de Liturgie DOP Dumbarton Oaks Papers EMC Echos du Monde Classique EphL Ephemerides Liturgicae EphThL Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses EuA Erbe und Auftrag FZPhTh Freiburger Zeitschrift für Philosophie und Theologie G&R Greece and Rome GRBS Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies HSCP Harvard Studies in Classical Philology HThR Harvard Theological Review JbAC Jahrbuch für Antike und Christentum JBL Journal of Biblical Literature JEA Journal of Egyptian Archaeology JECS Journal of Early Christian Studies JEH Journal of Ecclesiastical History JHS Journal of Hellenic Studies JHSex Journal of the History of Sexuality JJP Journal of Juristic Papyrology JLA Journal of Late Antiquity JML Journal of Medieval Latin JÖByz Jahrbuch der Österreichischen Byzantinistik JRA Journal of Roman Archaeology JRS Journal of Roman Studies JSAN Journal of the Society of Ancient Numismatics JThS Journal of Theological Studies JWAS Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences LICS Leeds International Classical Studies LingBibl Linguistica Biblica LO Lex Orandi MD Materiali e Discussioni per l’Analisi dei Testi Classici MEFRA Mélanges d’Archéologie et d’Histoire de l’École Française de Rome, Antiquité MisCath Missions Catholiques OUP CORRECTED PROOF – FINAL, 22/3/2016, SPi List of Abbreviations M&L Music and Letters MonStud Monastic Studies Mus Le Muséon NT Novum Testamentum NTS New Testament Studies OC Oriens Christianus OLP Orientalia Lovaniensia Periodica Or Orientalia PBSR Papers of the British School at Rome PEQ Palestine Exploration Quarterly PP Parola del Passato PThR Princeton Theological Review QS Quaderni di Storia RAC Reallexikon für Antike und Christentum RAM Revue d’Ascétique et de Mystique RBén Revue Bénédictine RBi Revue Biblique RdÉ Revue d’Égyptologie RE Real-Enzyklopädie der klassischen Altertumswissenschaft REA Revue des Études Anciennes REAug Revue des Études Augustiniennes RecAug Recherches Augustiniennes RecTh Recherches de Théologie Ancienne et Médiévale REL Revue des Études Latines RHE Revue d’Histoire Ecclésiastique RHR Revue de l’Histoire des Religions RicSRel Ricerche di Storia Religiosa RM Revue Monastique RomForsch Romanische Forschungen SIFC Studi Italiani di Filologia Classica SJOT Scandanavian Journal of the Old Testament SO Symbolae Osloenses SOCC Studia Orientalia Christiana Collectanea StLit Studia Liturgica StudAns Studia Anselmiana StudMon Studia Monastica StudPatr Studia Patristica xi OUP CORRECTED PROOF – FINAL, 22/3/2016, SPi xii List of Abbreviations SVTQ St. Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly TAPA Transactions of the American Philological Association Th&Ph Theologie und Philosophie VChr Vigiliae Christianae VT Vetus Testamentum WissWeis Wissenschaft und Weisheit WS Wiener Studien YClS Yale Classical Studies ZAC Zeitschrift für Antikes Christentum ZDMG Zeitschrift der deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft ZKG Zeitschrift für Kirchengeschichte ZPE Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik ZST Zeitschrift für systematische Theologie ZTK Zeitschrift für Theologie und Kirche OUP CORRECTED PROOF – FINAL, 24/3/2016, SPi Introduction On September 6, 394, the emperor Theodosius scored one of the most significant military victories of the fourth century when his army defeated the battalions of the usurper Eugenius and his co-conspirator Arbogast at the Battle of the Frigidus. Around this very same time, on the other side of the Roman Empire, another event was taking shape which would prove to have extraordinarily significant implications of its own—not for the political fate of the Empire but rather for the evolution of ancient monastic hagiography and the modern academic study of Egyptian monasticism. In early September, seven monks set out from their monastery on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem and began making their way to Egypt, where they would spend the next several months visiting an array of monastic celebrities from the Thebaid in the south to the delta town of Diolcos in the north. Not long after the monks’ return, one of them composed a lively and entertaining account of their experiences. He entitled the work Ἡ κατ’ Αἴγυπτον τῶν μοναχῶν ἱστορία. This title sometimes has been translated into English as “History of the Monks of Egypt.”1 However, ἱστορία in this case does not have historiographic connotations. As is evident from the form and content of his narrative, the author did not venture to write anything resembling a linear “history” of contemporary Egyptian monasticism.2 This Greek abstract noun is etymologically related to the Indo-European verbal root weid-, woid-, wid- (“see,” “know”), and it here involves the gathering of knowledge through autopsy and the subsequent writing down of the results of these investigations.3 As such, Ἡ κατ’ Αἴγυπτον τῶν μοναχῶν ἱστορία may succinctly 1 E.g. D. Brakke, Demons and the Making of the Monk: Spiritual Combat in Early Christianity (Cambridge, Mass., 2006), 128. 2 Incidentally, the same can be said of Palladius’ Lausiac History, which has the word ἱστορία in the title but does not resemble classical or late antique historiography any more than the work in question does; see D. Katos, Palladius of Hellenopolis: The Origenist Advocate (Oxford, 2011), 106–7. 3 See B. Snell, Die Ausdrücke für den Begriff des Wissens in der vorplatonischen Philosophie (Berlin, 1924), 59–71; R. Thomas, Herodotus in Context: Ethnography, Science, and the Art of OUP CORRECTED PROOF – FINAL, 24/3/2016, SPi 2 The Greek Historia monachorum in Aegypto be translated as “Inquiry about the Monks of Egypt.”4 Nevertheless, modern scholars typically refer to the writing as Historia monachorum in Aegypto, the title of Rufinus of Aquileia’s Latin translation of the Greek original. I adopt this scholarly convention in this book and refer to the work by the shorthand “HM.” Additionally, because the HM was written anonymously and because its author’s identity is irrecoverable, we are not afforded the convenience of calling him by name, and so I refer to him throughout the book variously as “Anon.” (shorthand for “Anonymous”), “the author,” “the narrator,” and so on. The HM was one of the most widely read and disseminated Greek hagiographic texts throughout Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages. The sun of its popularity has not shone nearly so brightly in modern times. Even though in the past fifty years it has been made accessible to mainstream audiences through translations into French,5 German,6 English,7 and Dutch,8 overall the work has attracted only sporadic and incidental attention from specialists, usually being accessed as a source for fourth-century Egyptian monastic mores and oral traditions not preserved elsewhere. In recent decades the HM has been the subject of surprisingly few individualized studies—articles, notes, book chapters, and published conference papers which discuss matters of genre,9 textual criticism,10 prosopography,11 and Persuasion (Cambridge, 2000), 161–7; L. Zgusta, “History and its Multiple Meaning,” in L. Zgusta, History, Languages, and Lexicographers (Tübingen, 1992), 1–18. 4 Cf. “Inquiry on the Monks of Egypt”: B. Flusin, “Palestinian Hagiography (Fourth–Eighth Centuries),” in S. Efthymiadis (ed.), The Ashgate Research Companion to Byzantine Hagiography, Vol. I: Periods and Places (Farnham, 2011), 199–226 (204). Cf. also “Enquiry about the Monks of Egypt”: J. Konstantinovsky, Evagrius Ponticus: The Making of a Gnostic (Aldershot, 2009), 12. 5 A.-J. Festugière (ed. and trans.), Historia monachorum in Aegypto. Édition critique du texte grec et traduction annotée (Brussels, 1971). 6 F. Suso (trans.), Mönche im frühchristlichen Ägypten (Historia Monachorum in Aegypto) (Düsseldorf, 1967). 7 N. Russell (trans.) and B. Ward (intr.), The Lives of the Desert Fathers: The Historia monachorum in Aegypto (Kalamazoo, 1980). 8 P. W. van der Horst (trans.), Woestijn, begeerte en geloof. De Historia monachorum in Aegypto (ca. 400 na Chr.) (Kampen, 1995). 9 P. Cox Miller, “Strategies of Representation in Collective Biography: Constructing the Subject as Holy,” in T. Hägg and P. Rousseau (eds.), Greek Biography and Panegyric in Late Antiquity (Berkeley, 2000), 209–54; G. Frank, “The Historia monachorum in Aegypto and Ancient Travel Writing,” StudPatr 30 (1997): 191–5; G. Frank, “Miracles, Monks and Monuments: The Historia monachorum in Aegypto as Pilgrims’ Tales,” in D. Frankfurter (ed.), Pilgrimage and Holy Space in Late Antique Egypt (Leiden, 1998), 483–505. 10 C. Bammel, “Problems of the Historia monachorum,” JThS n.s. 47 (1996): 92–104; A.-J. Festugière, “Le problème littéraire de l’Historia monachorum,” Hermes 83 (1955): 257–84; Tóth, “Syriac Versions of the Historia monachorum in Aegypto: A Preliminary Investigation on the Basis of the First Chapter,” OC 94 (2010): 58–104; Tóth “Lost in Translation: An Evagrian Term in the Different Versions of the Historia monachorum in Aegypto,” in G. Heidl and R. Somos (eds.), Origeniana, IX (Leuven, 2009), 613–21. 11 J. Gascou, “La vie de Patermouthios moine et fossoyeur (Historia Monachorum X),” in C. Décobert (ed.), Itinéraires d’Égypte. Mélanges M. Martin (Cairo, 1992), 107–14. OUP CORRECTED PROOF – FINAL, 24/3/2016, SPi Introduction 3 minor points of historical interest.12 Not a single monograph dots the sparse bibliographic landscape. On account of the relative neglect from which the HM has suffered, its rich complexity as a literary artifact—as opposed to its bare utility as a primary source for fourth-century Egyptian monasticism—has gone vastly underappreciated across the board. It is my intention with the present book to help turn this tide and to show that the anonymous author was executing far more nuanced and multi-tiered literary and theological agenda than scholars have previously recognized. Indeed, I argue that his writing was one of the most innovative and sophisticated pieces of Christian literature of its time and that he himself deserves, despite his anonymity, to be classed as one of the elite patristic authors in Greek. Each of the eleven chapters seeks to break new ground and to revise current scholarly orthodoxy about a wide range of topics, and I have aimed to be comprehensive in scope and to leave as few stones unturned as possible. This has necessitated a cross-disciplinary approach which, depending upon the particular issue or problem being addressed, incorporates insights from source criticism, stylistic and rhetorical analysis, literary criticism, historical and geographical studies, and theological analysis. Furthermore, one of my secondary aims is to contextualize the HM in the broader literary tradition of early monastic hagiography and also to underscore its exemplarity within this tradition. To this end, I adduce in the text and the notes a great many parallel passages, episodes, and literary commonplaces from comparable late antique writings. In the past century and a half, most debates in the scholarship on the Greek HM have been centered on the nature of the surviving text itself. Do we possess what is essentially the author’s autograph? Many scholars have answered resoundingly in the negative, maintaining that what has come down to us is a mutilated redaction of the autograph, itself a lost primitive Greek original on which Rufinus based the Latin translation he made within a decade of the composition of this alleged Vorlage. They observe that Rufinus’ version is longer than the extant Greek text and diverges from it in a number of substantial respects, and they also note that in his account of Egyptian monasticism in his Ecclesiastical History Sozomen, the earliest independent (Greek) witness to the text of the HM, generally follows the Latin more faithfully than the Greek and includes details found in the Latin but not in the Greek. Because these scholars assume that Sozomen could not have accessed Rufinus’ Latin HM, much less been proficient enough at reading Latin to make meaningful use of it, they conclude that the Greek version he had in hand closely resembled Rufinus’ source-text and that the surviving D. Woods, “An Imperial Embassy in the Historia monachorum,” JThS n.s. 48 (1997): 133–6. 12 OUP CORRECTED PROOF – FINAL, 24/3/2016, SPi 4 The Greek Historia monachorum in Aegypto Greek text must be the outcome of extensive bowdlerization. In Chapter 1 (“The Text”) I employ philological and source-critical analysis to show that their argument is based on faulty presuppositions and suffers fatally from internally inconsistent logic. I argue that the Greek text as it has been reconstructed by André-Jean Festugière approximates the author’s autograph, notwithstanding of course minor and ultimately inconsequential variant readings resulting from scribal errors and interventions which crept into the text over the centuries of its transmission—none of which rises to anywhere near the level of substance to justify suspicion of a lost Greek archetype along the dramatic lines that some scholars have proposed. I point out that Sozomen not only could read Latin but even competently accessed Latin sources (e.g. Rufinus’ Ecclesiastical History), and I contend that he used both the Greek original and Rufinus’ translation simultaneously, following one more closely than the other for his treatments of individual monks. This conclusion has two important implications for our purposes. First, the significant differences between the Greek HM and Latin HM are attributable to Rufinus’ translation technique and other factors which are explored in Chapter 11. Second, the Greek HM may be appreciated and studied on its own terms as a complete, rather than badly fragmented, literary artifact. Having established that we do indeed possess the Greek HM in a reliable form, in Chapter 2 (“Provenance, Date, and Authorship”) we move on to address other vital questions surrounding the text: where and when was it composed, and who authored it? Careful consideration of the primary-source evidence and of various pieces of circumstantial evidence enables us to identify, with a very high degree of probability, the seven monks’ monastery of origin as Rufinus’ monastery on the Mount of Olives, which formed part of the monastic compound he co-founded with Melania the Elder around 380. The chronological book-ends of their travels may likewise be fixed with a fair degree of precision: they left Jerusalem in early September of 394 and returned home in late January or early February of 395. The author composed his account of their travels at some point between the spring of 395 and 397, though perhaps more likely at the earlier end of this chronological spectrum. Late antique and medieval scribes attributed the Greek HM incorrectly to Bishop Timothy of Alexandria, Jerome, and Palladius. However, the author’s identity remains shrouded in a thick, impenetrable cloud of mystery, largely because he released his writing anonymously. His voluntary suppression of his name, I argue, was a literary device calculated to accentuate his humility as a monastic author and to prioritize his subject matter by passing himself off as nothing more than a nameless mouthpiece of inspired spiritual teachings handed down by the Egyptian monks. In recent years various scholars have assigned the Greek HM to one or other ancient literary genre. Some read it principally as a first-person travelogue, others as collective biography, and still others as encomium. In Chapter 3 OUP CORRECTED PROOF – FINAL, 24/3/2016, SPi Introduction 5 (“Genre”) I review the status quaestionis and weigh in with my own contribution to this ongoing conversation by adducing the work’s generic affiliations with not only the itinerarium, collective biography, and encomium, but also acta martyrum and the aphoristic-hagiographic tradition of “Sayings of the Fathers.” I argue, in nuce, that the HM defies the kind of rigid generic categorization that modern scholars overwhelmingly tend to impose upon it. It is sui generis—an innovative hybrid composition in which multiple literary forms work together in synergy. Indeed, Anon. brilliantly typifies the contemporary practice of experimenting with a mix-and-match compositional technique to produce literary works which are conspicuous for their deviation from stale generic templates. One of the most fundamental exercises that can be performed on a piece of ancient literature is the identification of its literary antecedents and intertexts. In Chapter 4 (“Literary Influences and Intertexts”) the HM is subjected to a formal source-critical analysis along these lines. Somewhat surprisingly, given that Anon. had received a classical education, no phraseological echoes of secular literature are evident in his prose. His prose is, however, larded with biblical quotations, paraphrases, and allusions, and representative case studies highlight the author’s sophisticated handling of biblical subtexts and intertexts. In the second half of the chapter we explore the nuances of the intertextual relationship that the HM carries on with Athanasius’ Life of Antony. I first cite evidence, in the form of a phraseological borrowing from the Life, to confirm that Anon. indeed had read this wildly popular hagiographic work. I then map the extensive Antonian material from the HM against that from the Life and show that Anon. deliberately included stories about Antony not preserved in the Life and yet did not replicate any stories already found in the Life. His primary intention here, I argue, was to make his own independent contribution to the continuation of Antonian lore. Furthermore, his “Antony,” unlike Athanasius’, does not tower over all others as the preeminent figure in the desert monastic movement. Rather, he shares the stage with other great monks and in fact often is seen playing a subordinate role to them. He thus subverts the Athanasian archetype and offers a more even-handed (and more historically accurate) assessment of Antony’s importance in the grand scheme of fourth-century Egyptian monasticism. We continue our investigation of Anon.’s literary prowess in Chapter 5 (“Style”), this time turning to his prose style. Scholars traditionally have denigrated his style as simplistic and lacking in refinement. I demonstrate, however, that his prose actually is rich in rhetorical embellishment and registers the same stylistic pretensions that are associated with the literary aesthetic of the Second Sophistic. Indeed, he systematically deploys an impressive range of rhetorical figures and shows a marked preference for aggregating multiple figures in close proximity. What is more, he consistently incorporates into his sentences rhythmic clausulae, a hallmark of artistic late OUP CORRECTED PROOF – FINAL, 24/3/2016, SPi 6 The Greek Historia monachorum in Aegypto Greek prose. All these features not only affirm that Anon. was a skilled wordsmith who took great pride in his craft but also strongly suggest that he had received advanced training in rhetoric during his youth, and this in turn indicates that he came from a privileged socioeconomic background. The HM purports to be a trip-diary documenting an expedition throughout monastic Egypt. In Chapter 6 (“The Pilgrimage: Reality and Representation”) we investigate the party of seven’s travels both as an historical reality and, in its literary form in the HM, as an idealized religious pilgrimage. I first use the HM as a documentary source for reconstructing the itinerary of the party’s expedition and then, moving from reality to representation, I argue that Anon. did not set out to compose simply a bare transcript of his travels. In this, as in all other aspects of his narrative, he is painstakingly deliberate in how he shapes readers’ perception of his experience in Egypt. In the Prologue and Epilogue he portrays his pilgrimage as a divinely ordained affair from start to finish: God inspired him and his fellow monks to go in the first place and led them safely back to Jerusalem. Anon. dramatizes the many life-threatening perils they faced in part to provide an element of pulse-pounding entertainment for the reader, but mainly to emphasize God’s providential care for them, for it is God whom he credits with preserving them unharmed through all their harrowing misadventures. In the Prologue Anon. portrays his pilgrimage as something of a reverse biblical exodus—whereas the Israelites fled from Egypt to find the Promised Land, he and his fellow monks temporarily left the Promised Land (i.e. the fourth-century “Holy Land”) to go to Egypt. What he leads readers to believe they found there was a land full of divine wonder, a place where the Holy Spirit’s power was so intensely focalized that Egypt seemed like a contemporary land of the Bible. Anon. makes this point by using typological figuration to cast the Egyptian monks as “prophets” and “apostles,” latter-day successors to their biblical counterparts. In Chapter 7 (“The New Prophets and Apostles”) I analyze the nuances of his sophisticated typological technique through close readings of numerous stories about the Egyptian monks and their miracles. I observe that Anon. was the first hagiographer on record to develop the prophet-apostle successorship premise so emphatically that it ascends to prominence as the overt guiding motif of his writing. Indeed, the resulting implication of his typological technique is that the HM comes across to readers as a virtual extension of the Bible, a piece of post-biblical “Scripture,” as it were. In the drama that unfolds in the HM, the Egyptian monks of course assume the starring roles. There is a rich supporting cast of human characters who complement the monks by reifying their resemblance to biblical archetypes— for instance, people from all walks of life who are grateful beneficiaries of their miracles, which more often than not conspicuously echo miracles recorded in the Bible. Other human characters complement the monks, but do so OUP CORRECTED PROOF – FINAL, 24/3/2016, SPi Introduction 7 indirectly as foils. These people play the part of the hostile “other” in contrast to whom the monks appear even more godly than they otherwise would. In Chapter 8 (“Characterization and the Unholy Other”) we look closely at three different types of rivals of the Egyptian monks—pagans, Syrian ascetics, and Manichaeans—whom Anon. appropriates as oppositional and inherently flawed characters in order to legitimize the monks as spiritual authorities and to make his own broader, real-world criticisms about the three classes of people whom these characters represent. In the Prologue Anon. asserts of the Egyptian monks that “people depend on their prayers as if on God himself” and that “it is clear to all who dwell there that through them the world is sustained and on account of them human life is sustained and is honored by God.” In Chapter 9 (“‘Through Them the World is Sustained’”) I explore the implications of these daring claims, whereby Anon. attaches grand cosmic significance to the monks’ lives and ministries. I focus in particular on the three primary areas in which he establishes the universal reach of their spiritual authority and positions them as being indispensable to the divine plan for redemption. They are cast implicitly as new Adams who have restored a measure of prelapsarian equilibrium to the cosmos through their close communion with God. Through their various miracles of healing and prophecy they preserve human lives from destructive forces (e.g. disease and famine) and they mitigate the harsh realities of everyday life for those who desperately seek their help. Finally, and most importantly, the Egyptian monks are key figures in the unfolding drama of salvation history, acting as divinely appointed emissaries through whom God redeems the souls of the lost. In the penultimate chapter (“A Manual for Monastic Living”) we address one of the most pressing questions of all: why, and for whom, was the HM composed? This question is deceptively simple, yet the response it merits is complex. I begin the chapter by isolating Anon.’s stated target audience: male ascetics ranging from rank neophytes to seasoned veterans. I then show that he adopts a two-pronged, open-ended approach to edifying this readership. First, he sets up the Egyptian monks as Christ-like exemplars who are worthy of being emulated; the example of their holy lives thus is itself a vehicle of instruction. Second, he presents them as divinely inspired teachers and preserves their teachings as a motley compilation of discourses, anecdotes, and aphorisms, all of which the monks relay ostensibly in their own voices. The cumulative result is a free-form “guidebook” for the monastic life in which the didactic content is conveyed in a rather fragmented yet lively fashion. In addition to providing a chrestomathy of generalized instruction in the ascetic life, Anon. was motivated to compose the HM by another important factor, as I argue in Chapter 11 (“Piety and Propaganda”). I first show that most of the monks’ discourses promulgate the core spiritual teachings of Evagrius of Pontus. This ideological common ground is no accident. Evagrius

Author Andrew Cain Isbn 9780198758259 File size 2MB Year 2016 Pages 368 Language English File format PDF Category Religion Book Description: FacebookTwitterGoogle+TumblrDiggMySpaceShare Winner of the Kayden Book Award The Greek Historia Monachorum in Aegypto was one of the most widely read and disseminated Greek hagiographic texts during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages. To this day it remains, alongside Athanasius’ Life of Antony, one of the core primary sources for fourth-century Egyptian monasticism as well as one of the most fascinating, yet perplexing, pieces of monastic hagiography to survive from the entire patristic period. However, until now it has not received the intensive and sustained scholarly analysis that a monograph affords. In this study, Andrew Cain incorporates insights from source criticism, stylistic and rhetorical analysis, literary criticism, and historical, geographical, and theological studies in an attempt to break new ground and revise current scholarly orthodoxy about a broad range of interpretive issues and problems.     Download (2MB) A Study Of The Gospels In Codex Alexandrinus: Codicology, Palaeography, And Scribal Hands Aristotle’s Rhetoric in the East: The Syriac and Arabic Translation and Commentary Tradition The Old Greek Of Isaiah: An Analysis Of Its Pluses And Minuses From Qumran to Aleppo Be Wise, My Son, and Make My Heart Glad Load more posts

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