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Three Millennia of Greek Literature


Gregory the Theologian Bilingual Anthology


from the Third Theological Oration (29), on the Son, * §§ 2, 3, 10
translated by C. G. Browne, J. E. Swallow.
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How then are They not alike unoriginate, i f They are coeternal? Because They are from Him, though not after Him. For that which is unoriginate is eternal, but that which is eternal is not necessarily unoriginate, so long as it may be referred to the Father as its origin. Therefore in respect of Cause They are not unoriginate; but it is evident that the Cause is not necessarily prior to its effects, for the sun is not prior to its light. And yet They are in some sense unoriginate, in respect of time, even though you would scare simple minds with your quibbles, for the Sources of Time are not subject to time.

πῶς οὖν οὐ συνάναρχα͵ εἰ συναίδια; ὅτι ἐκεῖθεν͵ εἰ καὶ μὴ μετ΄ ἐκεῖνον. τὸ μὲν γὰρ ἄναρχον, καὶ ἀίδιον· τὸ ἀίδιον δέ͵ οὐ πάντως ἄναρχον͵ ἕως ἂν εἰς ἀρχὴν ἀναφέρηται τὸν Πατέρα. οὐκ ἄναρχα οὖν τῷ αἰτίῳ· δῆλον δὲ τὸ αἴτιον ὡς οὐ πάντως πρεσβύτερον τῶν ὧν ἐστιν αἴτιον· οὐδὲ γὰρ τοῦ φωτὸς ἥλιος. καὶ ἄναρχά πως τῷ χρόνῳ͵ κἂν σὺ μορμολύττῃ τοὺς ἁπλουστέρους· οὐ γὰρ ὑπὸ χρόνον τὰ ἐξ ὧν ὁ χρόνος.

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