Eusebius of Caesarea: Tradition and Innovations

  Johnson, Aaron, and Jeremy Schott, eds. 2013. Eusebius of Caesarea: Tradition and Innovations. Hellenic Studies Series 60. Washington, DC: Center for Hellenic Studies.

11. Origen as an Exegetical Source in Eusebius’ Prophetic Extracts

Sébastien Morlet

The study of the relationship between Eusebius and Origen as exegetes is still conditioned by Carmelo Curti’s article “L’esegesi di Eusebio di Cesarea: caratteri e sviluppo.” [1] This article contains, in my view, three major hypotheses:

  1. Throughout his life, Eusebius was attached to the principle that Scripture contains two meanings, the letter and the spirit. In the Prophetic Extracts (hereafter Ecl. Proph.), Eusebius would concentrate on the search for the “allegorical” meaning; the Demonstratio Evangelica (hereafter DE) would witness a certain balance between the two senses; in the Commentary on the Psalms (hereafter CPs), finally, Eusebius would have favored the literal meaning.
  2. These differences would attest to an evolution of Eusebius’ exegetical practice.
  3. The search for the “allegorical” sense in Eusebius would be indebted to Origen; on the contrary, the “literalism” of the CPs would foreshadow the so-called “Antiochene school.”

In an earlier analysis of the first two hypotheses, [2] I tried to show that Curti’s description seems correct, generally speaking, but that his hypothesis of an evolution of Eusebius is difficult to sustain, since it appears, rather, that Eusebius could have commented differently on the same text because he had specific interests in doing so. This is not to say that Eusebius was a “cynical” interpreter. But his interpretation may slightly change according to his rhetorical strategy (i.e. more or less polemical) or the literary genre of the work (i.e. commentary, apology, theological speculation, etc.). Hence, it is often not necessary to hypothesize an intimate evolution of Eusebius’s exegesis.

What is particularly striking in Curti’s article is that the scholar discusses the relationship between Eusebius and Origen only in terms of general hermeneutics, according to the principle “allegory is Origenian” (which is, moreover, extremely reductive); he never tries to evaluate the debt of Eusebius to Origen’s commentaries and, significantly, he never quotes any text by Origen in the core of his demonstration. This gives his inquiry a very abstract turn. Our aim is to proceed along more philological grounds. We already began this inquiry in the case of the DE. We would like to ask here how far we can identify the Origenian background of the Ecl. Proph. Such an inquiry, as one knows, is far from simple, since huge parts of Origen’s commentaries are no longer extant, at least in direct tradition. But this study will show that the research is not impossible.

Eusebius’ Method in the Ecl. Proph.

The Ecl. Proph. are a collection of proof-texts (testimonia) about Christ and associated ecclesiological themes (the calling of the nations, the rejection of the Jews), with a commentary by Eusebius. The work contains several passages in which Eusebius explains his own method. [8] At the beginning of the Ecl. Proph., he specifies the kind of interpretation he will make:

῎Εσται δὲ καὶ διὰ βραχέων μετρία τις ἡμῶν ἐξήγησις, ὅτε μὲν ἀπόδειξιν περιέξουσα τοῦ κατὰ μόνον τὸν ἡμετέρον Σωτῆρα πεπληρῶσθαι τὰς ἱερὰς τοῦ Θεοῦ προρρήσεις, ὅτε δὲ τὴν ἡμετέραν γνώμην ἣν ἐχόμεν περὶ τῶν ἐκτεθησομένων σημαίνουσα.

“And our interpretation will be short and moderate. On the one hand, it will contain a proof that the sacred predictions of God have been accomplished only at the time of our Savior. On the other hand, it will show the opinion we have concerning the passages we will quote.”

This text defines the σκοπός [
9] of the commentary in a twofold way: not only will Eusebius comment on a selection of passages, but he will also content himself with a selective commentary. The latter will be based on the demonstration that Jesus has fulfilled the prophecies. But Eusebius states that he will also give his own opinion concerning the texts. At first sight, this way of defining the commentary is rather puzzling, since one does not clearly see why Eusebius’ opinion could not be the same thing as the conviction that Christ has fulfilled the prophecies. Besides, this conviction is expressed in every commentary. For this reason, it seems impossible to understand the text as if Eusebius was saying that he will “sometimes” (ὅτε μέν) demonstrate the accomplishment of the predictions, and “sometimes” (τότε δέ) give his own opinion. One should probably rather understand ὅτε μέν . . . τότε δέ as meaning “on the one hand, on the other hand.” Thus, the text could mean that Eusebius intends primarily to show that Jesus accomplished the prophecies, and also (probably secondarily) to provide other comments, which do not necessarily correspond directly to the first and fundamental issue of his commentary.

“Concluding Formulas” in the Ecl. Proph. as Indications to Readers

Sometimes, Eusebius concludes commentaries by noting that he cannot go further, but does not include any indication to the reader who would like to know more. At other times, Eusebius explains the kind of exegesis which the text would need: he may indicate that it needs a spiritual interpretation, or give a more specific indication, for instance, that the text is to be understood with reference to Christ alone, or that the reader would only have to adapt to the whole text Eusebius’ comments about another passage or passages (see Appendix 1).

Eusebius’ Exegesis of the Psalms in the Ecl. Proph.

Psalm 1, 1-2 [40] (= Ecl. Proph. 2.1)

Eusebius’ commentary aims at showing that the text can in no way refer to a simple man, but only to Christ, since the virtue of the man mentioned in the Psalm “surpasses every human nature.” [

This passage is often referred to in the first three centuries, though always as an allusion to the faithful or the just man (not to Christ). [43] The only two exceptions before Eusebius are Hippolytus and Origen. The former left a very short commentary applying the text to Christ. [44] The other commented many times upon the two verses. Most often, Origen reads it as an allusion to the faithful, [45] and sometimes more precisely to those who are eager to find the deepest meaning of the Scriptures (they “meditate on the law day and night”). [46] There are, however, at least two fragments of Origen’s Tomoi on the Psalms, preserved in the catenae, which apply the text to Christ. The first fragment is attributed to Origen in three manuscripts. [47] Because Origen seems more often to apply the text to the faithful, E. Goffinet is a bit skeptical towards this fragment. He judges that it does not reflect Origen’s “usual doctrine” (sic) but that it “might” have been contained in his commentary on the Psalms as an illustration of a “current theory” (that is to say, an interpretation that Origen did not completely admit). The problem is that we also have another fragment from the same commentary, which contained two close parallels with Eusebius’ commentary in the Ecl. Proph. [48] This fragment explains that Christ alone must be indicated in the Psalm, because of his exceptional virtue, and argues, exactly like Eusebius in the Ecl. Proph., that this interpretation is confirmed by reference to the Hebrew text, which contains an article before the word ἀνήρ, which demonstrates, to the commentator’s view, that the text does not refer to “a” man, but to “the” only man who could accomplish the prophecy. [49]

In any case, these different testimonies attest that:

We can thus demonstrate that in his Tomoi, Origen suggested at least two interpretations (and referred to a third, “Jewish” one, if Jerome follows him in this as well): first, that the Psalm refers to the just man; second, that it would refer to Josias, according to the Jews; third, but that it better applies to Christ. Thus, Origen was not reluctant towards the Christological interpretation of the text, as Goffinet tended to think. [
52] The testimony of the Ecl. Proph. could already have permitted Goffinet to revise his opinion, since at the end of the commentary, Eusebius, as we noted, tells the reader that he will find every detail of the christological meaning of the text in commentaries which, as we have shown, are Origen’s Tomoi.

Psalm 2, 1-2 (= Ecl. Proph. 2.2)

1 Why have the nations been in an uproar
      And the peoples devised a vain thing?
2 The kings of the earth have taken their stand
      And the rulers have taken counsel together
      Against the Lord and against His Anointed.

Eusebius’ commentary is that the text not only (οὐ μόνοι) refers to those who plotted against Christ during his lifetime (e.g. Herod and Pilate), but also (ἀλλὰ καί) to all the kings and even to all those who ever plotted against him in any time. Besides, the “kings” and the “rulers” would not only refer to the human and visible sort, but also, and far better (πολὺ μᾶλλον) to the “intelligible and invisible rulers of this age” (τοὺς νοητοὺς καὶ ἀοράτους ἄρχοντας τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου). The “nations” and the “peoples” could also be the Jews.

Psalm 18, 4-7 (= Ecl. Proph. 2.10)

4 There is no speech, nor words;
      Their voice is not heard.
5 Their sound has gone out through all the earth,
      And their utterances to the end of the world
      In the sun He has placed his tent.
6 Like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
      It rejoiced as a giant to run his course.
7 Its exit is from one end of the heaven,
      And its circuit to the other end of it.

According to Eusebius, the beginning of the text could only refer to the apostles. The “sun” could be the “divinity” in which Christ took his “sojourn” (μονή, κατασκήνωσις) or the body he took from the Virgin. Verse 6 would refer to Christ as the Church’s “bridegroom,” victorious over his enemies. The end of the passage would be a prophecy of Christ’s Ascension.

Origen’s commentary in the Tomoi is not directly known, apart from Origen’s comment about the “sun” (thanks to Pamphilus’ Apology of Origen [78] ) and Jerome’s Commentarioli (which do not comment on the other verses). Jerome only writes that “By ‘sun,’ we understand mystically ‘Christ’” (Per solem mystice de Christo intellegitur). [79] In the fragment preserved in the Apology, Origen refutes the Hermogenian exegesis, which consists in seeing the “tent” as the body that Christ will bring to the “belt of the sun.” Instead, he thinks that the tent is the Church, which Christ has placed in the sun of justice. This interpretation recalls Clement, but Origen refers to the first coming of Christ, and identifies the “sun” with the “sun of justice,” which was, however, probably identified in another passage of the Tomoi with Christ himself. [80] Here, the only common point between Eusebius and Origen is that both, it seems, applied the passage to Christ. Eusebius’ exegesis stems, perhaps, from Clement’s own Prophetic Extracts. Even if it is not Clement’s own exegesis, the latter may be the source for Eusebius’ identification of the “tent” as the body of Christ and of the “sun” as his divinity (or God, in Clement). It is all the more tempting to think that Eusebius’ Prophetic Extracts depend here on Clement’s work of the same title. But it remains of course possible that this exegesis, though it may be inspired by Clement, was also mentioned in Origen’s Tomoi as another way of understanding the text—this would be quite consistent with his habits as a commentator, even if Origen may have preferred the interpretation preserved in Pamphilus’ (and Eusebius’) Apology for Origen. As a variant of this hypothesis, we could imagine that the identification “tent” = “body” stems from Origen’s preserved passage in the Apology of Origen, and that Origen had said in another passage that the “sun” could also be understood, as Clement did, as the “divinity.”

The conclusion here is more problematical than in the previous two cases. First, Eusebius agrees with Origen only on verse 2, but here his exegesis is also traditional. Second, there is an apparent contradiction between Eusebius’ and Origen’s interpretations of the end of verse 5. And, third, there is no clear connection between their interpretations of verse 6, though the theme of Eusebius’ commentary recalls Origen (but also Tertullian). We should not, however, automatically conclude that this commentary is not derived from Origen. On the contrary, there is no reason to think that Eusebius elaborated this commentary differently from the others. We must think that he used, as a primary material, a commentary by Origen. But this time, two possibilities appear:

On the basis of the available evidence, Eusebius seems to have followed Origen’s commentary, except in the case of the “tent” placed in the “sun.” His commentary appears here to be original. He may have drawn it from Clement, because he could not find in Origen a clear christological interpretation of the text.

Another hypothesis would be that every element of Eusebius’ commentary stems from Origen’s Tomoi. But this hypothesis is less economical than the first, because it is not based on facts, but on an assumption. It is not impossible, but it has no philological foundation.


This analysis tends to confirm that Origen’s Tomoi were Eusebius’ main source in Ecl. Proph. 2. [84] The same must be true in the other books. Origen was his main source, but that did not prevent him from using other authors (such as Clement) and giving original comments. [85] Moreover, some of the texts mentioned above tend to confirm the comparison between the prologue of Book IV and Origen’s Against Celsus: Eusebius may follow his master so close that when he does, he sometimes reproduces literally (with little or no modifications) what Origen writes. [86] The consequence is that the Ecl. Proph. are a major witness of Origen’s lost exegesis. [87] This is not surprising. At that time, Eusebius had learned, in the circle of Pamphilus, to read and admire the Alexandrian. Before the death of Pamphilus in 310, he had spent a long time copying Origen’s opera omnia along with his friend. We can guess that the “teaching” of Pamphilus, alluded to in the History of the Church and the Martyrs of Palestine, was based of course on the Bible, but probably as much on Origen’s works. [88] The friends of Pamphilus would have spent a long time reading and meditating on the thought of their spiritual master. We can imagine that Eusebius knew whole passages of Origen by heart. [89] But that should not lead us to think that in a work like the Ecl. Proph., he draws upon Origen from memory. The fact that he may rewrite Origen’s commentaries proves that he had a text under the eyes. On the other hand, this text cannot be constituted of Origen’s whole commentaries. We should not imagine Eusebius sat at a desk writing the Ecl. Proph. with Origen’s opera omnia (in the form of rolls, possibly) [90] on the table (a rather awkward way to compose a work, I may add). As writers in antiquity were accustomed to do, [91] he used one or several anthologies of extracts derived from Origen’s works. [92] These anthologies cannot be confused with the one he made with Pamphilus when both friends composed the Apology for Origen. The latter anthology contained passages supposed to show the orthodoxy of Origen’s thought. We may assume that before Eusebius worked at the Ecl. Proph., he had composed at least two other anthologies: an anthology from the Against Celsus, from which he took at least the passages on the prophets he used in book 4, and an anthology derived from Origen’s commentaries, where he selected only the christological comments. But since readers in antiquity were often reluctant to read without also taking notes (in the form of extracts), we are also quite sure that Eusebius had made specific anthologies when he read each one of Origen’s works. We cannot know whether these “primary” anthologies where already selections of exclusively christological passages, or also contained other kinds of extracts which could not be used directly for the purpose of a demonstration about Christ. In any case, the Ecl. Proph. are not only extracts from the Bible; they also are or at least reflect extracts from Origen’s commentaries. Such a conclusion should lead us to reexamine the hypothesis that at least some of Origen’s “extracts” on the Psalms known to Jerome were actually anthologies constituted from his works, perhaps by Pamphilus and Eusebius. [93]

If this analysis is correct, it sheds new light on a work that has long been considered as a minor work or as an “early work” of Eusebius (which is paradoxical: if Eusebius was born around 260/265 as we think, he would have been around forty years old when he composed it). The Ecl. Proph. were not only a collection of proof-texts. They were also a kind of epitome of Origen’s exegesis addressed to the beginners. The “concluding formulas” show that it could even be used, in Eusebius’ view, as an introduction to Origen’s commentaries.

Appendix 1: “Concluding formulas” in the Ecl. Proph.

Ecl. Proph.   Passage
I 2 μυστικῆς δὲ καὶ ἀπορρήτου θεωρίας ἐχόμενα τὰ κατὰ τὸν τόπον οὐ νῦν ἀναπτύσσειν καιρός. Gen 11, 5–7
I 3 πολλῆς δὲ καὶ βαθυτάτης δεομένων θεωρίας τῶν κατὰ τὸν τόπον, ἱκανὰ καὶ ταῦτα πρὸς τὴν παροῦσαν ὑπόθεσιν. Gen 12, 1–19, 19
I 6 ἅπερ εἰ οὕτως ἔχοι ὁ φιλομαθὴς ἑκάστην λέξιν νόμοις ἀλληγορίας ἐξετάσας εἴσεται. Gen 27, 29
I 8 τὰ δ’ ἑξῆς ἀπὸ τοῦ, δεσμεύων πρὸς ἄμπελον τὸν πῶλον αὐτοῦ, τῆς δι᾿ ἀλληγορίας ὑπονοίας ἀρτημένα τοῖς φιλομαθέσι ζητεῖν καταλείψομεν, πλεονάσαντες καὶ ἐν τοῖς εἰρημένοις, οὐ κατὰ τὸν προτεθέντα μὲν σκοπόν, ὅμως δ᾿ ἐξ ἀνάγκης ὑπὲρ σαφοῦς διηγήσεως τῶν κατὰ τὸν τόπον. Gen 49, 1; 8–10
I 12 πῶς τε εἴρηται τό, σκεπάσω τῇ χειρί μου ἐπὶ σέ, καλύμματος καὶ σκέπης ἐπιτιθεμένου τῷ νόμῳ, ὡς διὰ τοῦτο τὸ καλύμμα τὰ μὲν ὀπίσω δύνασθαι ὁρᾶν, οὐκέτι δὲ τὰ προηγούμενα καὶ διαφέροντα· ἰδίᾳ κατὰ καιρόν, ᾧ μέλει τῆς τούτων ἐρεύνης, ἐπιστήσας εἴσεται. Ex 33, 9–34, 9
I 19 πλείονος δὲ σαφηνείας δεομένων τῶν τόπων, τούτοις ὡς οἷόν τε ἦν διὰ βραχέων εἰρημένοις ἀρκεσθησόμεθα. 1 Kings 2, 27; 35–36
I 23 καὶ ταῦτα, ὅμοια ὄντα τοῖς ἐκ  τῆς δευτέρας τῶν Βασιλειῶν προεκτεθείσης, σημειωσάμενοι, διὰ τὸ μὴ πολλὴν εἶναι τὴν τούτων πρὸς ἐκεῖνα παραλλαγὴν ἀρκεσθησόμεθα τοῖς εἰς ἐκεῖνα εἰρημένοις. 1 Chr 17, 11–14
II 1 ὅτῳ δὲ φίλον διαγνῶναι τὸ ἀκριβὲς τῆς ἐπὶ τὴν Σωτῆρα τῶν ἐν τῷ ψαλμῷ λεγομένων ἀναφορᾶς,  τοῖς εἰς αὐτὸν ὑπομνηματισαμένοις ἐντυχὼν εἴσεται. Ps 1, 1–3
II 2 ὅλα δὲ τὰ κατὰ τὸν ψαλμὸν διηγεῖσθαι οὐ τοῦ παρόντος τυγχάνει καιροῦ, μάλιστα ὅτε πληρεστάτης ἤδη τετύχηκεν διηγήσεως. Ps 2, 1–2; 4–5; 6–8
II 7 τοῦ δὴ Πέτρου τοίνυν ἀποδεδωκότος εἰς τὸν Σωτῆρα τὴν τῆς προφητείας ἑρμηνείαν, παρέσται τῷ μὴ πάρεργον τὴν τούτων ἔρευναν ποιουμένῳ, ἤτοι ἐπ᾿ αὐτῷ πᾶσαν τὴν ἐν τῷ Ψαλμῷ λέξιν ἀκολούθως ἐφαρμόζειν οἷς καὶ ὁ Πέτρος ἐξείληφεν, ἢ τοῖς ὑφ᾿ ἑτέρων εἰς τὸν Ψαλμὸν ὑπομνηματισθεῖσιν ἐντυχεῖν· ἡμῖν γὰρ ὁ σκοπὸς οὐδέν τι πλεῖον τῶν εἰρημένων λέγειν εἰς τοὺς τόπους ἐπιτρέπει. Ps 15, 8–11
II 9 οἶμαι δὲ καὶ τὰ περὶ τῆς θεότητος καὶ τῆς εἰς ἀνθρώπους καταβάσεως αὐτοῦ ἐν τοῖς πρώτοις δηλοῦσθαι τοῦ Ψαλμοῦ· ἅπερ οὐ τῆς ἐν παρέργῳ καὶ παραδρομῇ δέοιτ᾿ ἂν ἐξηγήσεως ἀπορρητότερον εἰρημένα, οἷα ἐστὶν ἀπὸ τοῦ, καὶ ἔκλινεν οὐρανοὺς καὶ κατέβη, καὶ γνόφος ὑπὸ τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ· καὶ ἐπέβη ἐπὶ Χερουβὶν καὶ ἐπετάσθη, ἐπετάσθη ἐπὶ πτερύγων ἀνέμων· καὶ ὅσα τούτοις παραπλησίως ἐπὶ τὸν τοῦ Θεοῦ Λόγον ἀναφέρεται. Ps 17, 10–11; 44–46
II 10 εὐχερῶς δ᾿ ἄν τις ἑαυτῷ τούτοις ἀναλόγως ἐξεργάσεται τὰ κατὰ τὸν τόπον. Ps 18, 4–7
II 11 καὶ ὅλα δὲ τὰ κατὰ τὸν τόπον ἐφαρμοσθείη ἂν αὐτῷ τῆς προσηκούσης τυχόντα ἐξηγήσεως. Ps 19, 6–7
II 12 καὶ τὰ λοιπὰ δὲ τὰ ἐν τῷ ψαλμῷ ὡς περὶ τῆς τοῦ βασιλέως δόξης λεγόμενα, οὐ μικρὰ ὄντα, ἁρμόττοι ἂν  τῷ Χριστῷ μᾶλλον ἢ τῷ Δαυὶδ τῆς ἀξίας τυχόντα σαφηνείας. Ps 20, 2; 5
II 13 καὶ ὅλα δὲ τὰ ἐν τῷ ψαλμῷ ἐφαρμόσαι ἂν τῷ Χριστῷ, τὰ κατὰ τὴν ἐνανθρώπησιν αὐτοῦ, καθ᾿ ἣν ἐπεβουλεύθη, περιέχοντα. Ps 141, 8; 3–4; 7
II 14 καὶ τὰ λοιπὰ δὲ τοῦ ψαλμοῦ πνευματικῶς ἐκλαμβάνων νοήσειας. Ps 143, 3–5
III 6 καὶ ὅσα ἄλλα ἐναποκέκρυπται τῇ βίβλῳ ἀπορρητότερα μαθήματα, ἃ καὶ πληρεστάτης ἤδη σαφηνείας ἔτυχεν, ἐν οἷς ὁ φιλοπονώτατος τῶν θείων γραφῶν ἐξηγητὴς ὑπεμνηματίσατο. Song of Songs (whole book)
III 14 καὶ διὰ τούτων σαφῶς τὰ τῆς εἰς ἀνθρώπους ἐπιδημίας τοῦ Χριστοῦ προφητεύεται· ἐπὶ σχολῆς δ᾿ ἂν ἑκάστη λέξις ἀκριβεστέρας τύχοι σαφηνείας. Am 4, 12–13
III 23 πολλῆς δὲ τῶν κατὰ τὸν τόπον δεομένων ἐξηγήσεως ἱκανὰ καὶ ταῦτα ὡς πρὸς τὴν παροῦσαν ὑπόθεσιν. Zech 3, 1; 4–5; 8; 6, 9–10; 11–14
III 27 καταλείψαντες αὐτὸν οἱ μαθηταὶ διεσκορπίσθησαν· τούτου δὴ χάριν καὶ ἡμεῖς ἐσημειωσάμεθα τὸ ῥητόν, ὃ καὶ πολλῆς δεόμενον ἐξετάσεως εἰς ἐπιτήδειον ἀναθησόμεθα καιρόν. Zech 13, 7
III 33 εἰ δὲ καὶ βαθυτέρας ἔχοιτο θεωρίας τὰ κατὰ τὸν τόπον, οὐδὲν πρὸς ἐκεῖνο λυπεῖ καὶ τὰ εἰρημένα. Jer 11, 18–19
III 46 ἀλλὰ ταῦτα μὲν ἐπιτεμόμενοι τὴν διήγησιν παρατεθείμεθα.  
IV 4 τὰ δὲ κατὰ τὴν λέξιν ἕκαστα ὁποῖον ἔχει νοῦν, τοῖς εἰς τοὺς τόπους τοῦ θαυμασίου ἀνδρὸς ἐξηγητικοῖς ἐντυχὼν ὁ φιλομαθὴς εἴσεται. Isa 7, 10–16
IV 7 δι᾿ ὅπερ ἀναπέμψαντες τοὺς φιλομαθεῖς ἐπὶ τὰ εἰς τοὺς τόπους ὑπομνήματα, ἡμεῖς τὸ προτεθὲν διαπερανούμεθα. Isa 9, 5–7
IV 10 τὰ δ᾿ ἑξῆς τῆς προφητείας ἅπαντα διὰ μόνης ἀποδοθήσεται τροπολογίας. Isa 19, 1
IV 11 καὶ ὅλα δὲ τὰ ἑξῆς τῆς προφητείας βαθυτέρας ἤρτηται διανοίας, ἣν οὐχ ὁ παρὼν ἀναπτύσσειν καιρός. Isa 19, 19–21
IV 17 ἐν τῇ πάλαι δὲ ἐρήμῳ, τῇ ἐξ ἐθνῶν ἐκκλησίᾳ, ἡ τοιαύτη γενομένη φωνὴ ἑτοιμάζειν παρακελεύεται τὴν ὁδὸν Κυρίου, καὶ τὰ ἑξῆς· ἅπερ ἐπὶ σχολῆς ᾧ μέλει τῆς τούτων γνώσεως ἐρευνήσας εἴσεται.  Isa 40, 3–5
IV 18 τὰ μέντοι γε λοιπὰ οὐκ ἔτι νῦν καιρὸς ἀπαιτεῖ διηγεῖσθαι· ὅθεν ἐφ᾿  ἑτέραν τραπησόμεθα περικοπήν. Isa 40, 9–11
IV 20 πρόκειται δὲ τῷ φιλομαθεῖ ἑκάστην ἐξετάζειν τῆς προφητείας λέξιν, καὶ ἀναλόγως τοῖς ὑφ᾿ ἡμῶν εἰρημένοις ἐπὶ τὸν Χριστὸν τοῦ Θεοῦ τὰ ὑποπίπτοντα μεταφέρειν. Isa 42, 1–7
IV 23 ἑκάστην μέντοι γε λέξιν  τῆς περικοπῆς ἐξετάζειν οὐ τῆς παρούσης ἐστὶν πραγματείας. Isa 48, 12–16
IV 24 ἅπερ ἐπιπλεῖον βασανίζειν πνευματικώτερα ὄντα, καὶ κατὰ μόνην διάνοιαν ἀποδιδόμενα, οὐ τῆς παρούσης  πραγματείας τυγχάνει. Isa 49, 1–11
IV 26 ὁποῖον ἔχει νοῦν ὁ φιλομαθὴς ἐρευνήσας εἴσεται. Isa 52, 5–7
IV 27 ἐπιμελέστερον οὗτος ἐρευνήσας τὰ ἐν αὐτοῖς εἴσεται. Isa 52, 10–54, 1

Appendix 2: Eusebius’ Use of Origen’s Against Celsus in Ecl. Proph. IV Prol.

Eusebius’ Ecl. Proph. IV Prol.* Origen Against Celsus
(main source of the passage)
Other parallels in Origen
Τὰς ἀπὸ τῶν Ἡσαΐου Προφητικὰς
Ἐκλογὰς μόνας ἡμῖν λειπούσας
ἀπανθίσασθαι πειρώμενοι, πρὸς
τοὺς ἀπίστως περὶ τὰς προφητείας
διακειμένους  ὀλίγα προδιαληψόμεθα
εἰς παράστασιν τῆς τῶν προφητῶν
ἀληθείας. Καὶ δὴ πρῶτον καλῶς καὶ τοῖς
πρὸ ἡμῶν τετηρημένον παραθήσομαι
Εὖ γοῦν εἰρηκέναι μοι δοκοῦσιν, ὡς ἄρα
τοῖς ὑπὸ τὸν Μωσέως νόμον αὐτὸς ὁ
διαμαρτύρεται, ὅτι δὴ τὰ ἔθνη ὧν
μεταξὺ πολιτεύσονται κληδόνων καὶ
μαντειῶν ἀκούσονται· σοὶ δέ, φησιν, οὐχ
οὕτως ἔδωκε Κύριος ὁ Θεός σου
· καὶ ἔτι
γε εἴργων αὐτοὺς ὁ θεῖος λόγος ἔκ τε
οἰωνιστικῆς καὶ πάσης τῆς διὰ δαιμόνων
περιέργου μαντείας ἐπιφέρει,
λέγων, προφήτην ἐκ τῶν ἀδελφῶν σου
ἀναστήσει σοι Κύριος ὁ Θεός σου
. Ἆρ᾿
οὖν τούτων αὐτοῖς ἀναγεγραμμένων,
μὴ ἔργῳ δὲ γενομένων, μηδὲ παρόντων
αὐτοῖς προφητῶν ἀνδρῶν, δύνατον ἦν
αὐτοὺς πιστεύειν τῷ νόμῳ, καὶ τῷ ταῦτα
ἐπαγγειλαμένῳ λόγῳ οὕτω προφανῶς
καὶ ἐναργῶς ψευδομένῳ, ἢ δῆλον
ὅτι ὑπ’ αὐτῆς τῆς περὶ τὴν πρόγνωσιν
τῶν ἐσομένων λιχνείας ἀγόμενοι
κατεφρόνησαν <μὲν ἂν> τῶν ἰδίων,
ὡς οὐδὲν ἀληθὲς ἐχόντων οὐδὲ θεῖον
διὰ τὸ μὴ εἶναι παρ᾿ αὐτοῖς προφήτας,
αὐτόμολοι δὲ ἐπὶ τὰ τῶν ἐθνῶν μαντεῖά
τε καὶ χρηστήρια μετῄεσαν <ἄν>
Ἀλλὰ γὰρ φαίνονται οὐ μόνον Μωσέα,
ἀλλὰ καὶ πλείους μετ᾿ αὐτὸν ὡς Θεοῦ
προφήτας προσιέμενοι, οὐκ ἄλλως
δῆλον ὅτι ἢ τῷ πείραν τῆς ἐν αὐτοῖς
θειότητος εἰληφέναι· οἵδε γὰρ
αὐτοῖς οὐ μόνον περὶ τῶν μακροῖς
ὕστερον χρόνοις μελλόντων ἔσεσθαι
προὐθέσπιζον, ἀλλὰ καὶ περί τινων
προχείρων καὶ βιωτικῶν
οἷον περὶ ὄνων ἀπολωλυιῶν, καὶ περὶ
νοσούντων ἐπισφαλῶς εἰ βιώσονται
ἢ μή
, καὶ περὶ μελλούσης ἔσεσθαι τῷ
λαῷ εὐθηνίας, καὶ περὶ ἄλλων μυρίων,
ἃ ταῖς κατ᾿ αὐτοὺς ἱστορίαις ἐμφέρεται·
ἅπερ εἰ μὴ τοῦτον γεγόνει τὸν τρόπον,
ἀποκρινέσθω τις, τίνι δή ποτε οὖν λόγῳ
προφήτας ἡγοῦντό τε καὶ ἀπεκάλουν, ἢ
διὰ τί γραφῆς τοὺς λόγους αὐτῶν ἠξίουν;
Τίς δ’ ἡ αἰτία, δι᾿ ἣν καὶ τοῖς μετέπειτα
παισὶν ἑαυτῶν, ὡς ἂν δὴ θείας, αὐτῶν
τὰς γραφὰς παρεδίδοσαν; μηδὲν γάρ τι
θεῖον μήδε παράδοξον ἐν τοῖς ἀνδράσιν
ἑορακότας εἰκῇ καὶ μάτην οἴεσθαι περὶ
αὐτῶν τοιαῦτα διειληφέναι πάντων
ἐστὶν ἀπιθανώτατον.
Εἰ δ’ ἀναδράμοι τις ἐπὶ τοὺς τότε χρόνους
τῇ διανοίᾳ, τί ἄρα ἐπινοήσειεν, ὁρῶν
ἄνδρας ἀγροίκους καὶ τὸ σχῆμα λιτοὺς,
αἰπολοὺς τινὰς καὶ ποιμένας, εἰς μέσον
παντὸς τοῦ ἔθνους παριόντας, καὶ ὡς
ἐκ προσώπου τοῦ Θεοῦ τινα λέγοντας,
καὶ  τάδε λέγει Κύριος ἀναβοωμένους,
ἐπί τε βασιλέων καὶ παντὸς τοῦ λαοῦ
μετὰ παραστήματος ἀκαταπλήκτου
δημηγοροῦντας, καὶ σοφίαν ὑπὲρ
ἄνθρωπον ἐνδεικνυμένους, τὴν
καὶ εἰς ἔτι νῦν ἐν ταῖς προφητείαις
αὐτῶν φερομένην, μυρία τε ἄλλα
δι᾿ αἰνιγμάτων καὶ παραβολῶν
ἀπόρρητα φιλοσοφοῦντας, ἠθικήν τε
καὶ δογματικὴν τῇ Ἑβραίων φωνῇ
διδασκαλίαν τῷ λαῷ παραδιδόντας, καὶ
πρὸς ἐπὶ τούτοις τὸν βίον τοῖς λόγοις
αὐτῶν κατάλληλον ἐνδεικνυμένους, καὶ
τοῖς πᾶσιν ἀκολακεύτως ὁμιλοῦντας, εἰς
πρόσωπόν τε τοὺς ἀσεβεῖς διελέγχοντας,
ὡς καὶ ἐπιβουλεύεσθαι πρὸς αὐτῶν
μέχρι θάνατον
, ῥωμαλέῳ καὶ γεννικῷ
παραστήματι τῷ ἀληθεῖ
λόγῳ παρισταμένους; Ταῦτά τις εἰς
νοῦν εὐγνωμόνως θέμενος, πῶς οὐκ ἂν
ὁμολογήσειεν  κατὰ θείαν ὡς ἀληθῶς
ἐπίπνοιαν ταῦτα πάντα περὶ αὐτοὺς
γεγονέναι; Διὸ καὶ τότε θαυμάζεσθαι
αὐτοὺς εἰκὸς ἦν παρὰ τοῖς ἔμφροσιν, καὶ
τοὺς λόγους αὐτῶν ἀναγράπτους παρὰ
τοῖς ἱερογραμματεῦσι φυλάττεσθαι, εἰς
ἔτι τε νῦν παρ᾿ ὅλῳ τῷ ἔθνει προφήτας
γεγονέναι τοῦ Θεοῦ πιστεύεσθαι· ὃ καὶ
ἐναργέστατα μάλιστα παρίστησιν ἡ
ἡμετέρα περὶ τοῦ Χριστοῦ διάληψις, καθ’
ἣν ἀποδείκνυμεν πᾶσαν τὴν κατ᾿ αὐτὸν
οἰκονομίαν γεγενημένην, τά τε περὶ τῆς
διδασκαλίας αὐτοῦ, καὶ τῆς ἐξ ἁπάντων
ἐθνῶν γενομένης δι᾿ αὐτοῦ κλήσεως
ἀκριβῶς προεγνῶσθαί τε καὶ πρὸ μυρίων
ὅσων ἐτῶν τοῖς θεσπεσίοις ἐκείνοις
ἀνδράσι προειρῆσθαι· ὧν τὰς ἱερὰς βίβλους
Ἰουδαῖοι μᾶλλον ἂν ἡμῶν εἶεν
ἀξιοπιστότεροι μετὰ πάσης σεβασμίου
τιμῆς περιέποντές τε καὶ προφέροντες.

Τὸ δ’ ἀναγκαῖον οὕτω παραστήσομεν.
Τὰ ἔθνη, ὡς γέγραπται καὶ ἐν  αὐτῷ
τῷ τῶν Ἰουδαίων νόμῳ
, κληδόνων
καὶ μαντειῶν ἀκούσονται
· τῷ δὲ λαῷ
ἐκείνῳ εἴρηται· Σοὶ δὲ οὐχ οὕτως ἔδωκε
κύριος ὁ θεός σου
. Καὶ ἐπιφέρεται τούτῳ
τὸ Προφήτην ἐκ τῶν ἀδελφῶν σου
ἀναστήσει σοι κύριος ὁ θεός σου

Εἴπερ οὖν τῶν ἐθνῶν χρωμένων
μαντείαις εἴτε διὰ κληδόνων εἴτε
δι᾿ οἰωνῶν εἴτε δι᾿ ὀρνίθων εἴτε δι᾿
ἐγγαστριμύθων εἴτε καὶ διὰ τῶν τὴν
θυτικὴν ἐπαγγελλομένων εἴτε καὶ
διὰ Χαλδαίων γενεθλιαλογούντων,
ἅπερ πάντα Ἰουδαίοις ἀπείρητο,
Ἰουδαῖοι εἰ μηδεμίαν εἶχον παραμυθίαν
γνώσεως τῶν μελλόντων, ὑπ’ αὐτῆς
ἂν τῆς  ἀνθρωπίνης περὶ τὴν γνῶσιν
λιχνείας τῶν ἐσομένων ἀγόμενοι
κατεφρόνησαν μὲν ἂν τῶν ἰδίων
ὡς οὐδὲν ἐχόντων θεῖον
ἐν ἑαυτοῖς
καὶ οὐκ ἂν μετὰ Μωϋσέα προφήτην
οὐδ’ ἀνέγραψαν αὐτῶν τοὺς
λόγους, αὐτόμολοι δὲ ἐπὶ τὰ τῶν ἐθνῶν
μαντεῖα καὶ χρηστήρια μετέστησαν

ἐπεχείρησαν ἂν ἱδρῦσαί τι τοιοῦτον καὶ
παρ᾿ ἑαυτοῖς. Ὣστ᾿ οὐδὲν ἄτοπόν ἐστι
καὶ περὶ τῶν τυχόντων τοὺς παρ᾿ αὐτοῖς
προφήτας εἰς παραμυθίαν τῶν τὰ
τοιαῦτα ποθούντων προειρηκέναι, ὥστε
καὶ περὶ ὄνων ἀπολωλυιῶν προφητεύειν
τὸν Σαμουὴλ καὶ περὶ νόσου παιδὸς
τὸν ἐν τῇ  τρίτῃ τῶν Βασιλειῶν
ἀναγεγραμμένον. (I.36)

Ἆρα γὰρ ὡς ἔτυχε ταῦτ᾿ ἔλεγον
οἱ  προφῆται σὺν οὐδεμιᾷ πιθανότητι,
τῇ κινούσῃ αὐτοὺς ἐπὶ τὸ μὴ μόνον
εἰπεῖν ἀλλὰ καὶ ἀναγραφῆς ἀξιῶσαι
τὰ λεγόμενα; Ἆρά γε τὸ τοσοῦτο τῶν
Ἰουδαίων ἔθνος, πάλαι χώραν ἰδίαν
εἰληφὸς οἰκεῖν, σὺν οὐδεμιᾷ πιθανότητί
τινας μὲν ὡς προφήτας ἀνηγόρευον
ἑτέρους δὲ ὡς ψευδοπροφήτας
ἀπεδοκίμαζον; Καὶ οὐδὲν ἦν παρ᾿
αὐτοῖς τὸ προκαλούμενον συναριθμεῖν
ταῖς ἱεραῖς εἶναι πεπιστευμέναις
Μωϋσέως βίβλοις τοὺς λόγους τῶν ἑξῆς
νενομισμένων εἶναι προφητῶν; (III.2)

… διὰ τὸ τοῦ βίου δυσμίμητον καὶ
σφόδρα εὔτονον καὶ ἐλευθέριον καὶ
πάντῃ πρὸς θάνατον καὶ κινδύνους
ἀκατάπληκτον (. . .). Δι᾿ ἀλήθειαν γοῦν
καὶ τὸ ἐλευθερίως ἐλέγχειν τοὺς
ἁμαρτάνοντας … (VII.7)
Τῶν δ’ ἐν Ἰουδαίοις προφητῶν οἱ μὲν
πρὸ τῆς προφητείας καὶ τῆς θείας
κατακωχῆς ἦσαν σοφοί, οἱ δ’ ἀπ’ αὐτῆς
τῆς προφητείας φωτισθέντες τὸν νοῦν
τοιοῦτοι γεγόνασιν … (VII.7)
Οὗτοι δὴ καὶ ἄλλοι μυρίοι
προφητεύσαντες τῷ θεῷ καὶ τὰ περὶ
Ἰησοῦ τοῦ Χριστοῦ προεῖπον. (VII.7)
Ταῦτα δι᾿ αἰνιγμάτων καὶ ἀλληγοριῶν
καὶ τῶν καλουμένων σκοτεινῶν λόγων
καὶ τῶν ὀνομαζομένων παραβολῶν
παροιμιῶν ἀπεφήναντο. (VII.10)
Ἐλιθάσθησαν, ἐπρίσθησαν, ἐπει-
ράσθησαν, ἐν  φόνῳ  μαχαίρας  ἀπέθανον.
Ἐπεὶ δ’ἅπαξ εἰς τὸν περὶ τῶν προφητῶν
ἤλθομεν λόγον, Ἰουδαίοις μέν, τοῖς
πιστεύουσι θείῳ πνεύματι αὐτοὺς
λελαληκέναι, οὐ μόνον οὐκ ἔσται
ἀχρήσιμα τὰ ἐποισθησόμενα καὶ τοῖς
εὐγνωμονοῦσι δὲ τῶν Ἑλλήνων. (I.36)

Οὐ μόνον προφητείας Ἱερεμίας
ἀνέγραψεν, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἴδια πάθη, ταῖς
μὲν διδάσκων βασιλείας οὐρανῶν
μυστήρια, τοῖς δὲ διδάσκων ὑπομονῆς
παραδείγματα, τῶν ψευδοπροφητῶν
τοιοῦτον οὐδὲν διὰ τὴν κολακείαν
πασχόντων. (FrJr 63)

Ἐλιθάσθησαν, ἐπρίσθησαν, ἐπει-
ράσθησαν … (CmMt X.18)

Notes to Appendix 2 [95]

Eusebius’ text is inspired by several passages from Against Celsus, and probably by other parallels in Origen’s works. Such parallels may also indicate that he also depends on a lost work by Origen, maybe the prologue of the lost commentary on Isaiah. This would account for the presence of this discussion at the beginning of a book devoted to Isaiah.

Since Eusebius speaks about his “predecessors” at the beginning of the passage, we cannot exclude that he also depends on other writers (we have already noticed possible echoes of Clement of Alexandria: see Morlet 2009:338–339).

The comparison shows the way Eusebius can rewrite Origen: sometimes, he is very close to his source (cf. Against Celsus 1.36 here); sometimes, he rewrites Origen more freely (see here Against Celsus 7.7 and 10).

The comparison also shows that Gaisford’s text, which makes no sense, has to be corrected (the mistake is in the codex Vindobonensis Theol. Gr. 29, fol. 43v). According to this edition, one reads that the Jews despised (κατεφρόνησαν) the prophets and passed (μετῄεσαν) to the pagan ones. That is exactly the contrary to what Eusebius means: if God would not have allowed the Jewish prophets to speak about daily problems, the Jews would have despised (κατεφρόνησαν <μὲν ἄν>) them and would have passed (μετῄεσαν <ἄν>) to the pagan prophets. Origen’s text confirms that we ought to assume the fall of the word ἄν in both cases, probably due to the similarity of the word with the ending of both verbs. The copyist thought Eusebius was dealing with the anger of the Jews against the prophets, to which Eusebius indeed alludes, but only in the second part of the text.

Works Cited

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[ back ] 1. See Curti 1985. The influence of this article is notable in Kannengiesser 2004, though the author seems to have totally misunderstood Curti’s description of the Ecl. Proph. as witnessing a taste for allegorical interpretation (p. 677: “In the Eclogae he stresses the literal meanings of the prophecies”). The first global study on Eusebius’ exegesis is C. Sant’s study (Sant 1964). After C. Curti, M. J. Hollerich provided the first monograph on Eusebius’ Commentary on Isaiah (Hollerich 1999). A few studies dealt with Eusebius’ possible use of Origen in the Demonstratio Evangelica, the Commentary on Isaiah, or the Commentary on the Psalms (see, in chronological order: Curti 1980; Carpino 1986; Guinot 1987; Tuccari 1987; Hollerich 1992 and 1992b; Dorival 1996; Pennachio 2002; Morlet 2009:585–622; Bandt 2011 and forthcoming). Such a study should take into account the recent discovery of homilies on the codex Monacensis gr. 314 by Marina Molin Pradel. According to Lorenzo Perrone, these homilies must be attributed to Origen.

[ back ] 2. See Morlet 2007 and 2009:585–622.

[ back ] 3. Morlet 2009:333–339. A. P. Johnson, without knowing my argument, also noticed the use of Against Celsus, 1.36 in this passage (Johnson 2011).

[ back ] 4. We are still dependent on T. Gaisford’s edition (Gaisford 1842). I am preparing a new critical edition for the Sources chrétiennes. Very few studies have dealt with that work since Gaisford’s edition. Except A. P. Johnson’s recent article (Johnson 2011), most of them are not “studies,” properly speaking, but aim at correcting Gaisford’s text or filling in the lacunas of the works (in books 1 and 2): Nolte 1861; Selwyn 1872; Smith, 1916–1917; Mercati 1948; Dorival 2004. Note the French translation, with a few comments, by M. Jaubert Philippe (Jaubert Philippe 2001).

[ back ] 5. Burgess 1997: the first edition of the Chronicle would date to 311. Burgess thinks however that at the time Eusebius was working on the Ecl. Proph., he had probably not finished the Chronicle, which is a way of interpreting the vague mention of the Chronological canons at the beginning of the Ecl. Proph. E. Schwartz thought he could date the work before 310 because of a supposed allusion to Pamphilus, who died in 310, in Ecl. Proph. 4.31; but his analysis seems incorrect (Morlet 2009:81n109).

[ back ] 6. It remains to be seen if such an introduction could have been a real “manual” used at Caesarea in a course (see Schwartz 1907:1386; Barnes 1981:169), or a “literary” introduction, such as the Preparation appears to be.

[ back ] 7. The few fragments we possess from the first part of the Gen. El. Intr. indicate a discussion about ethical themes (good and evil, free will). Fragment 2, from book 1, alludes to the Logos. Eusebius says at the beginning of the Ecl. Proph. that he has spoken about the doctrine and life of Christ before (so, in the previous book or books). It is thus difficult to know if the ethical themes were treated for themselves, or rather within a demonstration about Christ, which is very possible. This discussion was founded on “the testimonies about our Lord and Savior” (= probably the Gospels); “true demonstrations and syllogisms” (= logical argumentation); also, “at the end,” short quotations from the OT, because, as Eusebius indicates, it was not time for him to give a long exposition of the prophecies for readers who were still not convinced that the Scriptures are divinely inspired. The previous development about the prophecies contained, however, a proof of that point, so that the reader is supposed, now (ἤδη), to believe that the Scriptures are divinely inspired. The Ecl. Proph. will thus complete (ἀποπληροῦντα) what “is lacking to them” (τὸ λεῖπον ἐκείναις), viz. the Scriptures or, more probably, the “expositions” (τὰς συστάσεις) mentioned before. At the end of book 4 of the Ecl. Proph. (viz. book 9 of the Gen. El. Intr.), Eusebius announces a discussion on the heresies. This tends to undermine D. S. Wallace Hadrill’s contention that Eusebius’ fragments on Luke (see PG 24.529–606) originally come from book 10 (Wallace-Hadrill 1974:55–63) of the Gen. El. Intr. A. P. Johnson recently refuted Wallace Hadrill’s hypothesis and suggested that these fragments may come from a commentary on Luke (Johnson 2011).

[ back ] 8. This makes the Ecl. Proph. a very valuable (and underestimated) testimony about ancient exegetical practices.

[ back ] 9. The word is used in 1.8; 2.7.

[ back ] 10. There are some exceptions: in 1.8, Eusebius admits that he has gone beyond his σκοπός, because a clear understanding of the passage needed such a development.

[ back ] 11. 1.19.

[ back ] 12. 2.9.

[ back ] 13. 3.46.

[ back ] 14. See Appendix 2. We have already discussed analogous passages contained in the DE (Morlet 2009:117–134).

[ back ] 15. 1.6.8; 4.7.20.

[ back ] 16. 4.11.18.

[ back ] 17. 3.14; 4.17.

[ back ] 18. See 2.2; 3.6.

[ back ] 19. 3.6.

[ back ] 20. The question remains: why does Eusebius not name Origen (the same phenomenon occurs in Ecl. Proph. 4 Prologue: Eusebius depends on Origen, but speaks about his “predecessors,” οἱ πρὸ ἡμῶν)? He may have done so in the first books of the Gen. El. Intr. or in the “lacuna” of the Ecl. Proph.’s book 2. If he had not done so, one could wonder if his silence has to do with the fact that Origen’s ideas (and commentaries) were suspected at that time, as the Apology for Origen witnesses. Is it a literary device or even a kind of “code” for the happy few? Do we have to think that Eusebius did not need to name Origen for his audience (which would suggest that the work was intended primarily for a circle of friends, that of Pamphilus); and/or, that this audience revered Origen so much that it would have seemed too irreverent to name the master? Significantly, perhaps, Eusebius does not refrain from naming Origen at the beginning of his Against Hierocles (see note 22), but he probably addresses here an external audience, which did not necessarily know who he was.

[ back ] 21. The other exegete who is known to have written a commentary on the Psalms before Eusebius is Hippolytus (see Jerome, De uiris illustribus 61, and the so-called “statue of Hippolytus” [see Prinzivalli 1983]). If such a commentary existed, the question remains to be seen if the few fragments on the Psalms preserved belong to this work (see CPG 1882). Apart from the fragments, we possess a “homily” edited by P. Nautin (Nautin 1953). The question of whether the bishop of Caesarea knew and used these commentaries must remain open. The question is not posed by A. J. Carriker (Carriker 2003:209–215). On the one hand, there is no clear evidence that Eusebius knew any of them. In the catalogue of Hippolytus’s works, he does not mention them, though he names a few of Hippolytus’ books (HE 6.22: About the Hexaemeron; About what follows the Hexaemeron; On the Song of songs; On parts of Ezechiel). On the other hand, Eusebius states that apart from the list he gives, there were other works of Hippolytus that were not in his possession, but were “preserved among many people” (HE 6.22): thus, he also heard of other works by Hippolytus, and one cannot exclude that he had a knowledge of at least parts of his commentaries on the Psalms (which he may have copied, for instance, from another library than his own one). In Ecl. Proph. 2.7, he refers to the commentaries written by “others” (ἑτέρων): the plural sometimes hides a single source, but if Eusebius has not only Origen in mind, he may also refer here to Hippolytus. The fact that both Origen and Hippolytus seem to be the only ones to have interpreted Ps 1 as a prophecy about Christ before Eusebius (see infra) makes it possible to believe that, though Origen appears to be his main source when he comments on the Psalm, he may also have Hippolytus in mind. One must admit, however, that Origen is, generally speaking, a more “natural” source for Eusebius: if he used Hippolytus (which is not clear), the bishop of Caesarea must have used him only as a very marginal source.

[ back ] 22. About Hierocles’ arguments: ἃ τύχοι μὲν ἂν καὶ αὐτὰ τῆς προσηκούσης κατὰ καιρὸν ἀπελέγξεως, δυνάμει δ᾿ ἤδη καὶ πρὸ τῆς ἰδίας κατ᾿ αὐτῶν γραφῆς ἀνατέτραπται καὶ προαπελήλεγκται ἐν ὅλοις ὀκτὼ συγγράμμασι τοῖς Ὠριγένει γραφεῖσι πρὸς τὸν ἀλαζονικώτερον τοῦ Φιλαλήθους ἐπιγεγραμμένον Κέλσου Ἀληθῆ λόγον, ᾧ τὰς εὐθύνας ἀπαραλείπτως, ἐν ὅσοις εἰρήκαμεν, ὁ δεδηλωμένος παραγαγὼν συλλήβδην ὅσα εἰς τὴν αὐτὴν ὑπόθεσιν παντί τῳ εἴρηταί τε καὶ εἰρήσεται, προλαβὼν διελύσατο, ἐφ᾿ ἃ τοὺς ἐπ᾿ ἀκριβὲς τὰ καθ᾿ ἡμᾶς διαγνῶναι ἔχοντας φιλαλήθως ἀναπέμψαντες. The way Eusebius refers here to Origen’s Against Celsus recalls our “concluding formulas” (except that he names Origen: see note 20). This would be a confirmation that Eusebius, in the Ecl. Proph., does refer to Origen.

[ back ] 23. 1.19; 3.27: πολλὴ ἐξέτασις.

[ back ] 24. 1.1; 3.14.

[ back ] 25. 1.6; 3.14; 4.4; 4.20; 23.

[ back ] 26. 2.9; 3.6; 33: βαθυτέρας θεωρίας; 4.11.

[ back ] 27. 1.8.

[ back ] 28. 2.14 (νοήσειας).

[ back ] 29. 4.24.

[ back ] 30. 1.3; 3.33.

[ back ] 31. 2.14. See also 4.24.

[ back ] 32. 4.10. Compare to 4.24: κατὰ μόνην διάνοιαν.

[ back ] 33. 1.6.

[ back ] 34. 3.27; 4.23.

[ back ] 35. 1.12; 4.27.

[ back ] 36. Origen quotes seven times the passage of John 5:39, ἐρευνᾶτε τὰς γραφάς (Against Celsus 3.33; 5.16; Commentary on John 5.6.1; 6.20.109; On Principles 4.3.5; Philocalia 1.21; 5.5). About the necessity of ἐξετάζειν, see for instance Commentary on John 6.14.84; 41.215; Commentary on Matthew 13.4; 15.6; 16.2; Homilies on Jeremiah 10.1; On prayer 5.2.

[ back ] 37. The “Enchiridion” mentioned in Jerome’s Commentarioli in Psalmos is sometimes seen as a third collection of excerpts (see for the problem Rondeau 1982:46–47). E. Prinzivalli notices that it is usual to identify this Enchiridion with the Excerpta in totum Psalterium (Prinzivalli 2000:422). It is sometimes believed that at least one of the two collections of “excerpts” was a collection of extracts from Origen’s other commentaries, viz. Tomoi, Homilies, and Scholia (if one accepts the idea that the other collection of “excerpts” was actually a selective commentary by Origen himself, and not a collection of extracts constituted by later exegetes): see Rondeau 1982:48–49, who notes V. Peri’s hypothesis that the Tractatus in Psalmos attributed to Jerome are a Latin translation of passages from Origen’s homilies and are identical with the Excerpta in totum Psalterium. Many scholars have remained sceptical towards this hypothesis. M.-J. Rondeau admits however that the Excerpta in totum Psalterium would have been extracts from Origen’s homilies.

[ back ] 38. Commentarioli in Psalmos, Prologus, 18–21 Morin.

[ back ] 39. This research is indebted to the Biblia patristica, now on the Internet under the name “Biblindex.” From the many texts attributed to Origen in the catenae, some are now placed among the spuria, others, in the dubia. In the following analysis, I concentrate exclusively on the texts whose authenticity is not questioned.

[ back ] 40. The Psalms are quoted according to the Septuagint numbering.

[ back ] 41. The translations of the Septuagint text are inspired by the New American Standard Bible.

[ back ] 42. Gaisford 1842:68.21–22.

[ back ] 43. Epistle of Barnabas 10.10; Justin Apology 1.1–6; Irenaeus Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching 2; Against Heresies 5.8.3; Tertullian Against Marcion 2.19.1–3; 4.42.8; On Modesty 6.4; On Spectacles 3.3; 5; 8; To his Wife 1.4.4; Clement of Alexandria The Pedagogue 1.90.1; 92.1; Stromateis 2.67.1; 3–4; 68.1; 5.31.1; 7.109.2; Cyprian On the Unity of the Church 10; To Quirinus 3.120; Teaching of the Apostles (anonymous work of the third century) 26; Lactantius Divine Institutes 4.16.6; Methodius of Olympus Banquet 5.4; On foods 14.2; On the leech 1.5.

[ back ] 44. See Homily on the Psalms 20 (Nautin 1953:183).

[ back ] 45. Against Celsus 3.60; Commentary on the Song of Songs 3 (p. 181.21 Baehrens); Commentary on Matthew 10.15; Commentary on Romans 9.2; Fragments on Ezechiel C 543.34; Fragments on Lamentations 260.24; Fragments on the Psalms PG 12.1085 B; Fragments on Romans 31 Ramsbotham; Homilies on Leviticus 6.1; 6; 7.6; 9.5; 11.1; 12.4; Homilies on the Psalms 3.10 (PG 12 1346 A 5); On Prayer 29.9.

[ back ] 46. Commentary on the Song of Songs Prologue (p. 77.17 Baehrens); Homilies on Leviticus 7.6; Homilies on Lu ke 39.218.3.

[ back ] 47. See fr. 1 Goffinet (Goffinet 1963): cod. Vindobonensis Theol. Gr. 8; cod. Coislianus 80; cod. Vatopedinus 240.

[ back ] 48. See fr. 3 Goffinet. Another problem is that there is no evidence that this theory was “current” at that time, at least concerning verses 1 and 2 of the Psalm.

[ back ] 49. See both texts: Τὸ δ’ ἐπιδεδεγμένον τῆς ἐκδοχῆς παρίστησιν ἡ κατὰ τὸ Ἑβραϊκὸν ἐντεῦξις ἐπιτετηρημένως οὕτως ἔχουσα, μακάριος ὁ ἀνὴρ, μετὰ τῆς ἄρθρου προσθήκης (Eusebius, Gaisford 1842:68.28–69.1); τοῦτο δ’ ἔοικεν ἡ Ἑβραϊκὴ φωνὴ παριστᾶν, καθ’ ἣν μακάριος ὁ ἀνὴρ μετὰ τῆς ἄρθρου προσθήκης εἴρηται (fr. 3 Goffinet).

[ back ] 50. “Le caténiste a eu en mains le texte d’Eusèbe et celui d’Origène. Il a donné sa préférence à celui d’Eusèbe (. . .). La seule interprétation possible de ὁμοίως est que le caténiste n’a pas voulu faire de répétition et qu’il a éliminé ce qui se trouvait déjà dans le texte d’Eusèbe” (p. 157).

[ back ] 51. Commentarioli in Psalmos, in Ps 1:26–43 Morin.

[ back ] 53. In the Commentary on Romans PG 14.1255 A1, Origen does not go so far as to say that the text is a prophecy of Christ alone, but underlines the difficulty of being perfectly faithful to God. In his Homilies on Numbers 26.2, he admits that the Psalm must only refer to an elite. This recalls Eusebius’ commentary.

[ back ] 54. See for instance Irenaeus Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching 74; Against Heresies 3.12.5; Melito On the Passover 62; Tertullian Against Praxeas 28.10; Against Marcion 1.21.1; 3.22.3; 5.3.8; 4.9; 14.8; On Resurrection 20.4; Cyprian To Quirinus 1.13; 3.119; Hippolytus On Genesis p. 56.13 Achelis; Homily on the Psalms 20 (Nautin 1853:183).

[ back ] 55. Irenaeus seems to apply the text only to Herod and Pilate (Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching 74; Against Heresies 3.12.5).

[ back ] 56. On Resurrection 20.4.

[ back ] 57. Commentary on Matthew 12.1; 13.9; Fragments on Lamentations 107; Fragments on the Psalms (SC 189, 226, 4); Homilies on Genesis 9.3; Homilies on Numbers 26.7; Homilies on Ezechiel 13.1; On First Principles 3.3.2.

[ back ] 58. Commentary on Matthew 12.1.

[ back ] 59. Commentary on Matthew 13.9.

[ back ] 60. Fragments on the Psalms (SC 189, 226, 4); On First Principles 3.3.2.

[ back ] 61. Commentary on Matthew A 125.

[ back ] 62. Homilies on Ezechiel 13.1.

[ back ] 63. Commentary on Matthew A 115.

[ back ] 64. Commentarioli in Psalmos, in Ps 2:4–6 Morin.

[ back ] 65. PG 12.1109 A 9ff.

[ back ] 66. Justin Dialogue with Trypho 42.1; Irenaeus Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching 21; 86; Tertullian Against the Jews 7.3; On Flight from Persecution 6.5; Against Marcion 3.22.1; 4.43.9; 5.19.2; Hippolytus Benedictions of Isaac 2 (Patrologia Orientalis 27 p. 176.7); Methodius of Olympus On the leech 7.1; 9.7.

[ back ] 67. Justin Apology 1.54.9; Dialogue with Trypho 69.3.

[ back ] 68. Against Marcion 4.11.7.

[ back ] 69. On Trinity 13.4.

[ back ] 70. To Quirinus 2.18.

[ back ] 71. Irenaeus Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching 85; Against Heresies 4.33.13; Novatian On Trinity 13.4. Hippolytus seems to be the first one to apply the verse to the second coming of Christ (On Antichrist 64).

[ back ] 72. See R. Gounelle 1994.

[ back ] 73. Ecl. Proph. 56–57.

[ back ] 74. Ecl. Proph. 56–57.

[ back ] 75. Ecl. Proph. 56–57.

[ back ] 76. Ecl. Proph. 56–57.

[ back ] 77. See Gounelle 1994:211.

[ back ] 78. Apology of Origen, 147–148.

[ back ] 79. Commentarioli in Psalmos, in Ps 18:8 Morin.

[ back ] 80. Jerome identifies the “sun” with the Christ (see supra) and Didymus, who probably uses Origen’s commentary, clearly identifies the “sun of justice” with Christ (Expositio in Psalmos 155 Mülhenberg). Besides, Mal 3:20, from which Origen draws the phrase “sun of justice,” was often read in antiquity as a prophecy of Christ. Thus, one can imagine that after saying that Christ has placed his Church in the “sun of justice,” Origen identified the latter with Christ himself.

[ back ] 81. Against Celsus 1.62; 3.2; Commentary on John 4 (99.1); 13.115; Commentary on Matthew A 46; Commentary on Romans PG 14 848 B 15; 853 A 11; 1171 C 14–1172 A 3 (the text commented on here corresponds exactly to Eusebius’ initial lemma); Homilies on Genesis 13.3; Homilies on Joshua 3.3; Homilies on Jeremiah 10.2; Homilies on Luke 6 (Rauer:38.24).

[ back ] 82. Fragments on the Song of Songs A 277 D 8; Homilies on Leviticus 12.2.

[ back ] 83. Fragments on the Song of Songs A 277 D 8.

[ back ] 84. See Morlet 2009:453 for the assumption that Eusebius used Origen’s Commentary on Genesis in book 1 of the Ecl. Proph.

[ back ] 85. The fact that Eusebius used Origen’s commentaries as his primary material is not contradictory to the fact that he could also express more personal comments, but it remains very difficult to determine precisely the part of his originality. One should probably be careful about interpreting Eusebius’ own remarks about his “personal” ideas (see for instance, the allusion to his γνώμη in the already mentioned prologue, Gaisford 1842:3.26) as reliable testimonies about his originality. In the Demonstratio Evangelica (10.5.2–3), he says he found a portion of Jeremiah that is not contained in the Septuagint; but the same “biographical” testimony occurs first in Origen (Homilies on Jeremiah 16.10), and it is obvious that Eusebius simply reproduces what his master says (see Morlet 2009:612–614). In a few instances, Eusebius feels the need to justify the quotation of a text within a collection of testimonia about Christ (3.15; 3.27). But such passages tend to show Eusebius’ originality in the testimonia tradition; they do not prove that he is not dependent on Origen. Moreover, we have shown that Eusebius’ originality in the testimonia tradition often stems from the fact that he is the first to quote as a christological proof-text a biblical passage which Origen was apparently the first to apply to Christ (Morlet 2009:358–404).

[ back ] 86. There is, apparently, a great variability in the way Eusebius can use Origen: sometimes, he simply copies the text he has under the eyes; sometimes, he rewrites his source more freely.

[ back ] 87. That is not to say of course that one may uncritically use the Ecl. Proph. to reconstruct Origen’s lost exegesis. We only mean that the work certainly contains an important trace of Origen’s commentaries. Only the careful use of the work, along with a comparison of other supposed testimonies of Origen’s commentaries, may sometimes lead to what Origen could have written.

[ back ] 88. About the nature of Pamphilus’ teaching, see the Martyrs of Palestine (long recension) 4.6 and Morlet 2010; Le Boulluec 2012.

[ back ] 89. Learning by heart was a current practice in Late Antiquity: Palladius tells that Ammonius, a monk from Nitria, had learned by heart passages from Pierius, the master of Pamphilus, himself the master of Eusebius (Lausiac History 12; 14). Amelius, Plotinus’ disciple, had learned by heart passages from Numenius (see Porphyry, Life of Plotinus 3.44).

[ back ] 90. It seems that the process of transferring the rolls contained in the library of Caesarea onto codices did not begin before the successors of Eusebius, Acacius, and Euzoius (see Jerome, De uiris illustribus, 113; Letter 34, 1). See Carriker 2003:23–24 (who discusses the question whether the allusion to a transfer from “papyri” to “parchments,” according to Jerome, is to be understood as a transfer from “rolls” to “codices”) and Cassin/Debié/Perrin 2012:205.

[ back ] 91. See, for instance, the famous testimony of Pliny the Younger Letters 3.5.17; Suetonius Diuus Augustus 89.4; Aulus Gellius Attic Nights Praefatio. We have organized at the University of Paris/Sorbonne, with Olivier Munnich, a project about ancient extracting practices called “Lire en extraits: une contribution à l’histoire de la lecture et de la littérature, de l’Antiquité au Moyen Âge” / “Reading in extracts: a contribution to the history of reading and literature, from Antiquity to the Middle Ages” (2010–2012).

[ back ] 92. Such a hypothesis is all the more probable that Eusebius himself appears to have been a notable user of the Extracts as a literary genre (the Praeparatio Evangelica contains a collection of pagan texts; the Demonstratio Evangelica, a collection of prophecies; the History of the Church itself is presented by Eusebius as a literary library: see HE 1.1.4). The composition of personal anthologies is coherent with his activities as a scholar (see Grafton and Williams 2006:205; Morlet 2011:31).

[ back ] 93. See note 37. As far as we know, the idea that both friends could be the “authors” of at least one of Origen’s collections of “excerpts” stems from R. Cadiou (Cadiou 1936 and 1936b). In the same way, we recall that É. Junod suggested some years ago that the Philocalia may have originated in the circle of Pamphilus and Eusebius (Junod 1988:360).

[ back ] 94. For the very reasonable assumption that Eusebius composed a Josephan anthology, see Inowlocki 2006:212.

[ back ] 95. For a more thorough commentary, see Morlet 2009:333–339.