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Three Millennia of Greek Literature
Physis : World Creation  

Gregory of Nyssa : THE MAKING OF MAN

Α Partial Inquiry into the Nature of the World, and a More Minute Exposition of the Things Which Preceded the Genesis of Man

Patrologia Graeca 44.127-132  * Greek Fonts


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For if, the consideration of man being lacking in his Hexaemeron, none of those who had been his disciples contributed any earnest effort to supply the defect, the scoffer would perhaps have had a handle against his great fame, on the ground that he had not cared to produce in his hearers any habit of intelligence. But now that we venture according to our powers upon the exposition of what was lacking, if anything should be found in our work such as to be not unworthy of his teaching, it will surely be referred to our teacher: while if our discourse does not reach the height of his sublime speculation, he will be free from this charge and escape the blame of seeming not to wish that his disciples should have any skill at all, though we perhaps may he answerable to our censurers as being unable to contain in the littleness of our hear the wisdom of our instructor.

Εἰ γὰρ λειπούσης τῆς Ἑξαημέρου τῆς εἰς τὸν ἄνθρωπον θεωρίας͵ μηδεὶς τῶν μαθητευσάντων αὐτῷ σπουδήν τινα πρὸς τὴν τοῦ λείποντος ἀναπλήρωσιν εἰσενέγκαιτο͵ ἔσχεν ἂν εἰκότως κατὰ τῆς μεγάλης αὐτοῦ δόξης ὁ μῶμος λαβήν͵ ὡς μὴ βουληθέντος ἕξιν τινὰ κατανοητικὴν τοῖς ἀκροαταῖς ἐνεργάσασθαι. Νυνὶ δὲ κατὰ δύναμιν ἡμῶν ἐπιτολμησάντων τῇ ἐξηγήσει τοῦ λείποντος͵ εἰ μέν τι τοιοῦτον ἐν τοῖς ἡμετέροις εὑρεθείη͵ οἷον τῆς ἐκείνου διδασκαλίας μὴ ἀνάξιον εἶναι͵ εἰς τὸν διδάσκαλον πάντως τὴν ἀναφορὰν ἕξει· εἰ δὲ μὴ καθίκοιτο τῆς μεγαλοφυοῦς θεωρίας ὁ ἡμέτερος λόγος͵ ὁ μὲν ἔξω τῆς τοιαύτης ἔσται κατηγορίας͵ τοῦ μὴ βούλεσθαι δοκεῖν τοῖς μαθηταῖς ἐγγενέσθαι τι δεξιόν͵ ἐκφυγὼν τὴν μέμψιν͵ ἡμεῖς δ' ἂν εἰκότως ὑπεύθυνοι δόξωμεν τοῖς μωμοσκοποῦσιν͵ ὡς οὐ χωρήσαντες ἐν τῷ μικροφυεῖ τῆς καρδίας ἡμῶν τοῦ καθηγητοῦ τὴν σοφίαν.

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Cf. St Basil the Great, On the Creation of the World (Hexaemeron)

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