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Gregory the Theologian Bilingual Anthology

EDUCATION IS THE HIGHEST GOOD

from the funeral oration on St. Basil the Great, * § 11
translated by C. G. Browne, J. E. Swallow.
Greek Fonts / Gregory Theologian Home Page


ELPENOR EDITIONS IN PRINT

Icon of the Christ and New Testament Reader
TAKE it as admitted by men of sense, that the first of our advantages is education; and not only this our more noble form of it, which disregards rhetorical ornaments and glory, and holds to salvation, and beauty in the objects of our contemplation: but even that external culture which many Christians ill-judgingly abhor, as treacherous and dangerous, and keeping us afar from God. For as we ought not to neglect the heavens, and earth, and air, and all such things, because some have wrongly seized upon them, and honour God's works instead of God: but to reap what advantage we can from them for our life and enjoyment, while we avoid their dangers; not raising creation, as foolish men do, in revolt against the Creator, but from the works of nature apprehending the Worker, and, as the divine apostle says, bringing into captivity every thought to Christ.

παίδευσιν τῶν παρ΄ ἡμῖν ἀγαθῶν εἶναι τὸ πρῶτον

Οἶμαι δὲ πᾶσιν ἀνωμολογῆσθαι τὸν νοῦν ἐχόντων͵ παίδευσιν τῶν παρ΄ ἡμῖν ἀγαθῶν εἶναι τὸ πρῶτον· οὐ ταύτην μόνην τὴν εὐγενεστέραν καὶ ἡμετέραν͵ ἣ πᾶν τὸ ἐν λόγοις κομψὸν καὶ φιλότιμον ἀτιμάζουσα μόνης ἔχεται τῆς σωτηρίας καὶ τοῦ κάλλους τῶν νοουμένων· ἀλλὰ καὶ τὴν ἔξωθεν͵ ἣν οἱ πολλοὶ Χριστιανῶν διαπτύουσιν͵ ὡς ἐπίβουλον καὶ σφαλερὰν καὶ Θεοῦ πόρρω βάλλουσαν͵ κακῶς εἰδότες. Ὥσπερ γὰρ οὐρανὸν καὶ γῆν καὶ ἀέρα καὶ ὅσα τούτων͵ οὐκ ἐπειδὴ κακῶς τινες ἐξειλήφασιν ἀντὶ Θεοῦ τὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ σέβοντες͵ διὰ τοῦτο περιφρονητέον· ἀλλ΄ ὅσον χρήσιμον αὐτῶν καρπούμενοι πρός τε ζωὴν καὶ ἀπόλαυσιν ὅσον ἐπικίνδυνον διαφεύγομεν͵ οὐ τῷ κτίστῃ τὴν κτίσιν ἐπανιστάντες κατὰ τοὺς ἄφρονας͵ ἀλλ΄ ἐκ τῶν δημιουργημάτων τὸν δημιουργὸν καταλαμβάνοντες͵ καὶ ὅ φησιν ὁ θεῖος Ἀπόστολος͵ αἰχμαλωτίζοντες πᾶν νόημα εἰς Χριστόν·

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