Bishop Gregory (hgr) wrote,
Bishop Gregory

атрибуция Ареопагитик и винопитие (2)

1.1.1.      Attitude toward wine as a marker


It is tempting to ask whether the attitude toward wine could help to identify the opponents of Areopagite. Those who would be treated by John of Scythopolis as the worshipers of Theandrites, “who does not drink wine,” could be principal teetotallers, too.

Indeed, in the Corpus, the attitude toward wine is quite positive: the whole Letter IX is dedicated to the wine in the Chalice of Wisdom and the sober inebriation from it. The same was the attitude of both Peter the Iberian[1] and Proclus.[2] It is important that, in all these milieus, the wine was considered as a symbol of something good.

Were there any factions who use wine as a symbol of something negative per se, not by misuse only? Presently I am unable to answer definitively. Of course, abstinence from wine unless you are sick or elderly is a very common monastic practice and certainly not a ground for far-reaching speculations.

Nevertheless, there is a peculiar pair of biblical quotes in Evagrius repeated by him from one work to another, a combination of Deut 32:33 (“Their wine is the wrath of dragons”) and Num 6:3 (the Nazirites abstained from wine)—“[c]ombinaison ingéneuse de deux textes scripturaires pour assimiler vin et colère,” as Antoine Guillaumont commented Evagrian scholion 206 to Proverbs (on Prov 20:1 “Wine is an intemperate thing”), where Evagrius concluded: “Thus, the Law ordained to the Nazirites to be without wrath.”[3] Here, Evagrius provides reason of this correspondence between wine and wrath: “for the same inebriation used to become from flushing with wrath (αὕτη γὰρ ἡ μέθη ἀπὸ ζέοντος τοῦ θυμοῦ πέφυκε γίνεσθαι).”[4] The same pair of quotes reappears in De malignis cogitationibus, 5 (chapter consecrated to control of irascibility)[5] and in Kephalaia Gnostica, V, 44.[6]

The case of the two recensions of the Kephalaia Gnostica is of special interest. The genuine recension S2 has nothing to add to the Evagrian scholion to Proverbs. But the recension S1, the fruit of the efforts of censorship to reduce Evagrian Origenism, adds some attenuation: “Si ‘la colère du dragon est un vin’ mauvais...” The word “bad” (ܒܝܫܐ) is here added deliberately by the editor while Evagrius himself meant wine in general. It is not Evagrian at all, as the above parallels from other Evagrian works show clearly.

Thus, there was something peculiar in Evagrian attitude toward wine. The wine is not a polemical topic in Areopagite; however, the camp of his adversaries—connected with god-teetotaller Theandrites by John of Scythopolis—was presumably inclined to reject wine in a higher extent than the usual monastic asceticism requires. Therefore, Evagrian attitude toward wine corroborates the idea that the adversaries meant, at least, in the pseudonymised Corpus Areopagiticum were Evagrian Origenists.

[1] Cf., in the Life of Peter the Iberian, § 137, a miracle by Peter for some orthodox named Dionysius (!) the Scholastic (ܐܣܟܘܠܣܛܝܩܐ; Horn and Phenix translate “lawyer”) near Gaza: Peter’s blessing of Dionysius’ vineyards makes their yield “many times double”; C. B. Horn, R. R. Phenix Jr, John Rufus: The Lives of Peter the Iberian, Theodosius of Jerusalem, and the Monk Romanus. Edited and Translated with an Introduction and Notes (Atlanta, GA, 2008) (Writings from the Greco-Roman world, 24) 198/199–200/201 (txt/tr.), with notes by Cornelia Horn who refers to Ph. Mayerson, The Wine and Vineyards in Gaza in the Byzantine Period, Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 257 (1985) 75–80 [reprint in: idem, Monks, Martyrs, Soldiers and Saracens: Papers on the Near East in Late Antiquity (1962–1993) (Jerusalem, 1994)].

[2] Cf., e. g., Proclus’ In Cratylo, CLXXXII, on the theme of the wine of Dionysus as a symbol of the individual intellect: R. M. van den Berg, Proclus’ Commentary on the Cratylus in Context. Ancient Theories of Language and Naming (Leiden, 2008) (Philosophia antiqua, 112) 190–191.

[3] A. Guillaumont, Un philosophe au désert Évagre le Pontique (Paris, 2004) (Textes et traditions, [8]) 314.

[4] Text according to P. Géhin, Évagre le Pontique, Scholies aux Proverbes (Paris, 1987) (SC 340), quoted according to TLG 4110.030.

[5] Text according to A. Guillaumont, C. Guillaumont, P. Géhin, Évagre le Pontique, Sur les pensées (Paris, 1998) (SC 438), quoted according to TLG 4110.034.

[6] A. Guillaumont, Les six centuries des « Kephalaia Gnostica » d’Évagre le Pontique. Édition critique de la version syriaque commune et édition d’une nouvelle version syriaque, intégrale, avec une double traduction française (Paris, 1958) (PO 28,1) 194 (version S1 “commune”), 195 (version S2 “intégrale”).


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