Moses in the Wilderness: Basil of Caesarea on Formation of the Prophet
At the end of the homily IX In Hexaemeron St. Basil the Great promises to continue his Genesis exegesis with an account of man’s creation (Hex. 9. 6. 90−91: ἐν τίνι μὲν οὖν ἔχει τὸ κατ' εἰκόνα Θεοῦ ὁ ἄνθρωπος, καὶ πῶς μεταλαμβάνει τοῦ καθ' ὁμοίωσιν). However, he never got to it (the two homilies De hominis opificio were probably written by another person). Nevertheless, a close analysis of the homily In illud: attende tibi ipsi shows that in his account of man’s creation Basil’s is very much endebted to the Alexandrian tradition which adjusted Plato’s Timaeus to the interpretation of the biblical text. A special attention will be paid to the term ζῷον θεόπλαστον.
The paper considers some protreptic motifs of the First Alcibiades in St. Basil’s homily On the Words ‘Give Heed to Thyself’. Dealing with a verse from Deuteronomy (15. 9: Πρόσεχε σεαυτῷ) St. Basil evidently considers it as a biblical counterpart of the Delphic maxim «γνῶθι σαυτόν», using the sacred text to impel his audience to virtue and self-knowledge. In the second part of the paper we highlight some parallels between St. Basil’s text and the writings of Porphyry and Eusebius of Caesarea, as well as the Address to Origen, written by St. Gregory of Neocaesarea or, as some scholars suppose, by some other student of Origen. The third part is dedicated to the possible influence of Philo Judaeus and Clement of Alexandria upon St. Basil’s approach to the verse of Deuteronomy.
The article considers some protreptic motifs of the First Alcibiades in St. Basil’s homily On the Words ‘Give Heed to Thyself’. Dealing with a verse from Deuteronomy (15:9: Πρόσεχε σεαυτῷ etc.). St. Basil evidently regards it as a biblical counterpart of the Delphic maxim γνῶθι σαυτόν, using the sacred text to impel his audience to virtue and self-knowledge. In the second part of this article we highlight some parallels between St. Basil’s text, Porphyry’s writing Περὶ τοῦ γνῶθι σαυτόν, the Preparation for the Gospel XI 27 of Eusebius of Caesarea and the Address to Origen traditionally ascribed to Gregory Thaumaturgus. We finally point to similar interpretations of Πρόσεχε σεαυτῷ in Philo’s treaty On the migration of Abraham and in Clement of Alexandria’s Stromata. In conclusion, we argue that both in choice and in elaboration of his subject St. Basil follows the platonic tradition; in compliance with this tradition St. Basil associates the protreptic motifs of the First Alcibiades with the motifs of immortality and the knowledge of God. Just like for Porphyry and (as far as we can judge) for Origen, self-knowledge is not an end in itself for him; impelling his audience to ‘give heed’ he urges them to ascend towards the knowledge of God, which is the true philosophy for him. The genre of the philosophical protreptic, whose traits we find in the homily, turns out to be opportune precisely because for St. Basil, along with the earlier Christian writers, it is Christianity which is the only real philosophy.
The present article continues the investigation of the Soqotri verbal system undertaken by the Russian-Soqotri fieldwork team. The article focuses on the so-called “weak” and “geminated” roots in the basic stem. The investigation is based on the analysis of full paradigms (perfect, imperfect and jussive) of more than 170 “weak” and “geminated” Soqotri verbs.