Bishop Gregory (hgr) wrote,
Bishop Gregory

Папий в армянском, паки и паки

В 2008 в составе Дунаевских "Мужей апостольских" был переиздан без изменения мой перевод и комментарий на цитату из Папия в армянской версии "Толкования на Апокалипсис" Андрея Кесарийского (впервые издано в 2002). Надо было дождаться переиздания, чтобы исправить там одно важное и, как можно подумать, "темное" место. На самом деле, оно светлое. Оно не имеет отношения к наиболее интересному в этой цитате у Папия -- к цитате из ниоткуда более не известного произведения, связанного с пророком Даниилом. Но зато интересно для понимания самого Папия, его связей с традицией стоиков и  Corpus Macarianum.

2. Papias’ Armenian version and its Greek original


Andrew of Caesarea quotes Papias’ commentary on Rev 12:9, the fall of the Dragon on the earth. One phrase of our Armenian fragment is preserved in the extant Greek text of Andrew of Caesarea, and, because of this, has been recognized as belonging to Papias by Sigert[1].

The relevant passage of Andrew of Caesarea is quoted in English translation below. Within the text, in the (parentheses), I notice one slight difference between the Armenian version and the extant Greek text. Some key words I retranslate into Greek; they are put into the [brackets] together with the corresponding parts of the Armenian original. The text runs as follows:[2]


And Papias in his sermon [said] as following: “The heaven did not bear his [Dragon’s] earthly thoughts (խորհրդոց = φρονημάτων), because it is impossible to the light to have communion with darkness [cp. 2 Cor 6:14][3]. He [Dragon] was cast out into the earth [Rev 12:9] to live here, and, when the mankind came where he was, he did not allow [them] to behave [վարիլ = ἄγειν] according to the natural needs [ետ նմա բնական կրիւքն = κατὰ τὰς φυσικὰς χρείας], but led them astray into many evils. But Michael and his warriors who are the Watchers [վերակացուք = ἐγρήγοροι] of the universe did help to the mankind, as and Daniel taught, by giving the Law and by making the prophets wise.”


There is one difficult point in this text. Three previous translators including myself (in my translation into Russian) were understanding Armenian կիրք as a rendering of Greek πάθη “passions” (plural; the Armenian word, too, is in plural form) or πάθος “passion” (singular; this Armenian word can be used in plural in the sense of Greek singular, including an abstract sense such as “passibility”)[4]. In this case, it is difficult to understand what Papias means when he uses the phrase “natural passions/possibility” in the positive sense and especially in the sense of a direct opposition to the sinful behaviour. Even my previous understanding of կիրք as “passibility” would be fitting the wording of later patristic authors rather than that of Papias[5].

All of us, however, have neglected another sense of the Armenian word, “use, usage” or “need”, a rendering of Greek χρεία[6]. The phrase κατὰ τὰς φυσικὰς χρείας is fitting perfectly both context of Papias and the common philosophical language of his epoch.


3. Papias and Stoic naturalism


About one century after Papias whose floruit is ca. 100 AD,[7] Clement of Alexandria (Stromata II, 20, 119), quoting or paraphrasing some Stoic philosopher(s) enumerates φυσικαὶ χρεῖαι as “hunger, thirst, cold, marriage.”[8] Such was the common understanding of the human “natural needs” (φυσικαὶ χρεῖαι) in the natural sciences in Antiquity.[9]

We have no precise date for the ultimate source of Clement,[10] but it has good chances to be contemporaneous to Papias or even much earlier. In any case, it represents an established tradition to call “physical (natural) needs” the necessities related to maintain life. The whole Clement’s passage is a formulation of one of the main principles of the Stoic philosophy called “naturalism” by the modern scholars.

The Stoic naturalism can be summarised as “happiness and virtue consist in living in accord with nature.” Appropriately, any disaccord with nature produces an evil, especially unreasonable passion of soul.[11] It is in this line that Clement writes: “The passion of lust is absolutely not necessary, but it is an effect of some natural needs: hunger, thirst, cold, marriage.”[12]

Papias, in our citation, adds to this, that the cause of such an undesirable effect, when the man is going astray in pursuing of his natural needs, is “Dragon,” that is, Satan. Of course, this is somewhat beyond the Stoicism.

Chronologically not so far from Papias, somewhere in the late 2nd century, one Christian apologist expressed Stoic “naturalistic” views in an almost undigested manner: “It is usual to those who are obliged by the natural deficiency or need (διὰ φυσικὴν ἔνδειαν χρείαν) to steal and to rob such things as gold or silver or animal or something else required to food or shelter or usage.” This state of affairs is considered as natural and, as such, is opposed to another state of resurrection where nobody needs to steal or to rob because there is neither deficiency nor need at all.[13] Such an attitude of the apologist is not the same as that of Papias who expressly states that “many evils” are resulting from a manipulation by the human “natural needs” from outside, by the force of a foreign will. The anonymous apologist, as a genuine follower of the Stoics, highlights the role of the human will itself in its leading astray. Papias, on the contrary, marks out the role of a demonic will misleading the human one.

In the further Eastern Christian tradition, Papias’ approach becomes normative, its Stoic “naturalistic” component including, but the technical language of “natural needs” extinguishes. There is, however, the only but quite important exception, the late 4th century Corpus Macarianum (written in Greek, but mostly in Syria by a Syrian). One of its homilies (Collection I, homily 25) is completely dedicated to the demonic manipulations with the human will using human “fulfilment” (ἐκπλήρωσις) of the “natural needs” (αἱ φυσικαὶ χρεῖαι) as “pretext” (πρόφασις).[14]

[1] Siegert, Papaiszitate, 611, note 14.

[2] The whole Armenian fragment republished by F. Siegert was translated into German by him and into Russian by me. Moreover, it was translated into English by Dr Joseph Alexanian in: The Apostolic Fathers. Greek Texts and English Translations of Their Writings. Second Edition / J. B. Lightfoot and J. R. Harmer, Editors and Translators. Michael W. Holmes, Editor and Reviser (Baker Book House, 1992) 589–590, but this translation is somewhat vague and contains some mistakes which make this translation unsuitable for any research purpose [e. g., in the part of the text quoted below he translates “treatises” (instead of “treatise/sermon”) and “laws” (instead of “Law”) despite that the corresponding Armenian plural forms have normally the meaning of singular.

[3] The extant Greek text: οὐ γὰρ οὐρανὸς ἔφερε γήϊνον φρόνημα, ὅτι τῷ φωτὶ τὸ σκότος ἀκοινώνητον. Critical edition: J. Schmid, Studien zur Geschichte des griechischen Apokalypse-Textes. I. Der Apokalypse-Kommentar des Andreas von Kaisareia. 1. Text (München, 1955) (Münchener theologische Studien. I. Historische Abteilung. 1. Ergänzungsband) 130.8-9.

[4] Siegert: .... ; Alexanian: “passions”; Lourié: “страдательность” (τὸ παθητόν = “passibility”).

[5] Cf. a discussion in Lourié, Papias, p. 513–514. No such discussion in either Siegert or Alexanian.

[6] Cf. especially G. Awetik’ean, X. Siwrmēlean, M. Awgerean, Նոր Բառգիրք Հայկազեան լեզուի [New Lexicon of Armenian language], 2 vols. (Venice, 1836–1837), I, 1099, s.v.; now is available online within Jos J.S.Weitenberg et al., LALT: Leiden Armenian Lexical Textbase. Published by Scholarly Digital Editions,,Leicester UK, 2003. .

[7] See Körtner, Papias von Hierapolis..., 89–94, 167–172, 225–226, with the review of previous discussions.

[8] Published under number 405 among the fragmenta moralia of Chrysippus (280—206 BC) by Hans von Arnim, Stoicorum veterum fragmenta. Vol. III. Chrysippi fragmenta moralia. Fragmenta successorum Chrysippi (Leipzig, 1903) [reprinted many times, the latest one being Berlin/New York: W. de Gruyter, 2005] 98.21. The whole fragment, according to van Arnim, covers about one line from the previous section of Stromata (II.20.118). In fact, there is no firm ground to attribute the quote to Chrysippus himself, even if it is indeed a piece of the Stoic philosophy. See, for the criticism of von Arnim’s criteria in his search of Chrysippus’ fragments as too loose, Josiah B. Gould, The Philosophy of Chrysippus (Albany, N. Y.: SUNY Press, 1970) 1–3. Our fragment is known from only one source with no explicit attribution at all. It is worth to noting that dealing with our text of Clement, P. Karavites holds up as a parallel from the side of the Stoics the fragment 405 (van Arnim) of Chrysippus, without realizing that this fragment is nothing but a quote from Clement himself. Cf. Peter (Panayotis) Karavites, Evil, Freedom, & the Road to Perfection in Clement of Alexandria (Leiden/Boston/Köln: Brill, 1999) (Supplements to Vigiliae Christianae, 43) 40, note 75.

[9] Examples: Agatharchides (2nd cent. BC), Fragmenta (Jacoby; TLG 0067.004) F 2a,86,F fragment 19.125; Diodorus Siculus (1st cent. BC), Bibliotheca historica (TLG 0060.001) I,35,7.8 (in both cases, human needs in broad sense are meant), Claudius Ptolemaeus (2nd cent. AD), Apotelesmatica  (TLG 0363.007) IV,5,17.5, and Hephaestion Thebanus (4th cent. AD), Apotelesmatica (TLG 2043.001), p. 176.4 (Pingree) (almost the same text in both, where especially the “natural need” of ἀφροδίσια (sexuality) is meant).

[10] The terminus ante quem is the date of the composition of Stromata written by Clement in his late years, somewhere in the early 2nd century (he died between 211 and 216). Obviously, his source must be older than this, and so, closer to Papias or even to Chrysippus.

[11] T. H. Irwin, Stoic Naturalism and Its Critics, in: B. Inwood, ed., The Cambridge Companion to the Stoics (Cambridge UP, 2007) 345–364, esp. 345.

[12] Καθόλου γὰρ οὐκ ἀναγκαῖον τὸ τῆς ἡδονῆς πάθος, ἐπακολούθημα δὲ χρείαις τισὶ φυσικαῖς, πείνῃ, δίψει, ῥίγει, γάμῳ.

[13] Anonymous author of the treatise De resurrectione, 23,5, attributed, until recently, to Athenagoras of Athens; M. Marcovich, Athenagorae qui fertur De resurrectione mortuorum (Leiden/Boston/Köln: Brill, 2000) (Supplements to Vigiliae Christianae, 53) 48; on the authorship and date, see Introduction, p. 1–3.

[14] Macrius the Great/Symeon of Mesopotamia, Homily I.25, esp. § 13 cp. §§ 2 and 15–16; Η. Berthold, Makarios/Symeon, Reden und Briefe. Die Sammlung I des Vaticanus graecus 694 (B). I. Teil (Berlin, 1973) (GCS)



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