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Three Millennia of Greek Literature


Gregory the Theologian Bilingual Anthology


from the Speech on the Theophany (38), * §§ 7-11 & 13, Patrologia Graeca 36.317-325
translated by C. G. Browne, J. E. Swallow.
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VIII. And when Infinity is considered from two points of view, beginning and end (for that which is beyond these and not limited by them is Infinity), when the mind looks to the depth above, not having where to stand, and leans upon phenomena to form an idea of God, it calls the Infinite and Unapproachable which it finds there by the name of Unoriginate. And when it looks into the depths below, and at the future, it calls Him Undying and Imperishable. And when it draws a conclusion from the whole it calls Him Eternal. For Eternity is neither time nor part of time; for it cannot be measured. But what time, measured by the course of the sun, is to us, that Eternity is to the Everlasting, namely, a sort of time-like movement and interval co-extensive with their existence. ...

Διχῆ δὲ τοῦ ἀπείρου θεωρουμένου͵ κατά τε ἀρχὴν καὶ τέλος (τὸ γὰρ ὑπὲρ ταῦτα καὶ μὴ ἐν τούτοις ἄπειρον)͵ ὅταν μὲν εἰς τὸν ἄνω βυθὸν ὁ νοῦς ἀποβλέψῃ͵ οὐκ ἔχων ὅποι στῇ καὶ ἀπερείσηται ταῖς περὶ Θεοῦ φαντασίαις͵ τὸ ἐνταῦθα ἄπειρον καὶ ἀνέκβατον͵ ἄναρχον προσηγόρευσεν· ὅταν δὲ εἰς τὰ κάτω καὶ τὰ ἑξῆς͵ ἀθάνατον καὶ ἀνώλεθρον· ὅταν δὲ συνέλῃ τὸ πᾶν͵ αἰώνιον. Αἰὼν γὰρ οὔτε χρόνος͵ οὔτε χρόνου τι μέρος· οὐδὲ γὰρ μετρητόν· ἀλλ΄ ὅπερ ἡμῖν ὁ χρόνος͵ ἡλίου φορᾷ μετρούμενος͵ τοῦτο τοῖς ἀϊδίοις αἰών͵ τὸ συμπαρεκτεινόμενον τοῖς οὖσιν͵ οἷόν τι χρονικὸν κίνημα καὶ διάστημα. ...

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