Origen page updated with new transcriptions

My page on Origen of Alexandria has been updated with a few more transcriptions from the manuscript (homilies 1 and 2 on Psalm 76).  I’ve already posted some of homily 1 with translation here.  If you read Greek, but don’t read Byzantine handwriting, you might find them helpful (the page also has directions for downloading a PDF of the manuscript).  The transcriptions are simple text files, no notes or translation.  I’ve not done a whole lot of proofreading, so if you spot any errors let me know.  

ἐν αὐτῷ,

More from Origen, On angelic administrators and their duties

In this passage, Origen discusses further the relationship between “powers” (ie, angelic beings), and the matters over which they preside.  He distinguishes between the place, and the power.  For example, Hades is both a place for souls, and the angelic being which presides over Hades. In the next passage, Origen will “take refuge in allegory.” 

εἰ οὖν πάντα
δυνάμεων ἐπιστατουσῶν καὶ μεμερισμένων
πάντα τὰ ἐν τῶ κόσμῳ οίκονομεῖται,
τί ἄτοπον ὁμωνύμως
τοῖς  οἰκονομουμένοις , τὰ οἰκονομοῦντα
ὀνομάζεσθαι.  καὶ λέγεσθαι
ὕδατα τὰς δυνάμεις τὰς ἐπὶ  τῶν
ὑδάτων, λέγεσθαι θαλάσσας, τὰς
δυνάμεις τὰς ἐπὶ ταης θαλάσσης, καὶ
οὕτως ἀβύσσους τὰς δυνάμεις τὰς
ἐπὶ τῆς ἀβύσσου, ὅτι γὰρ ὁμωνύμως
τοῖς τόποις καὶ χωρίοις

ὀνομάζονται οἱ διοικοῦντες τοὺς τόπους,
μαρτυρήσει μοι τὸ ἐν τῷ Ἠσαΐα
πνεῦμα λέγον: ὁ ἅδης κάτωθεν ἐπικράνθη
συναντήσας σοι, ὁρᾶς ὅτι
ἅδης ἐστὶ τόπος ψυχῶν, περὶ οὗ
γἐγραπται, ἀποσταφήτωσαν οἱ ἀμαρτωλοὶ
εἰς τὸν ἅδην.  καί ἔστιν ἅδης
ζῶον ὁμώνυμον τῶ τόπῳ ἐκείνῳ,
ὅ ἅδης ὁνομάζεται; ἐὰν
οὖν πρὸς τὴν θάλασσαν λέγηται
ὅτι εἶδεν καὶ ἔφυγεν, ὁμωνύμως τῇ
θαλάσσῃ ἡ δύναμις ἡ διοικοῦσα τὰ
κατὰ τὴν θάλασσαν καὶ ὁδοποιοῦσα
τῷ λαῷ τοῦ θεοῦ, ὡνομάσθη.
ἐὰν οὖν λέγηται ὁ ἰορδάνης ἀπεστράφη
εἰς τὰ ὀπίσω, ὁμωνύμως τῷ ἰορδήνῃ
ποταμῷ, ἡ δύναμις ἡ ἐγκεχειρισμένη
τὴν δύναμιν τοῦ ποταμοῦ, ἰορδάνης ὀνομάζεται.

Thus, if the powers preside over all things, and have divided all things, and all things in the world are thus administered, how is it not fitting that the rulers are named the same as that which they rule? Thus the powers which oversee the waters are called waters, those which oversee seas are called seas, and those which oversee the abysses are called abysses, since those who oversee places are named according to their place and region.

The Spirit testifies for me in Isaiah, saying. "Hades is embittered, having met you." (Is. 14:9) Don’t you see that Hades is a place for souls, about which it is written, "may the sinners be turned to Hades." Yet also there is a being named after this place, who is called Hades? If it is said about the sea that it "saw and fled," then it was about the power who managed the matters of the sea and prepared the way for the people of God, who was likely called the same name.  If it is said that “the Jordan turned its back,” then it is likely that the power who was entrusted with the power over the river is called Jordan, like the river. 

ἐν αὐτῷ,


More Transcription and Translation of Origen’s Homilies

I’ve continued transcribing and translating from the recently discovered codex. The material continues to be quite speculative, though I *think* I’m following it. Origen is commenting further on the division of the waters during the creation narrative (those above the firmament, and those below). He takes the passage in an allegorical manner: in his mind we aren’t dealing with “waters perceptible to our eyes,” but δυνάμεις, (spiritual powers). If you spot any errors, or have any suggestions, do let me know.


“εἴδοσάν σε ὑδατα καὶ ἐφοβήθησαν.”
ἐγὼ καὶ ἐν
ἀρχῇ τῆς κοσμοποιίας, ὁρῶν πνεῦμα
θεοῦ ὡς φησὶν ὁ προφήτης τῇ διατάξει
τῶν ὁλῶν επιφερόμενoν ἐπάνω
τοῦ ὕδατος, καὶ σκότος οὐχὶ ἐπάνω
τοῦ ὕδατος, ἐκεῖ γαρ τὸ πνεῦμα
τοῦ θεοῦ ἦν, ἀλλ’ἐπάνω τῆς ἀβύσσου,
ὅπου τὸ σκότος, καὶ ὕδατος ὅπου
τὸ πνεῦμα τοῦ θεοῦ, καὶ μετὰ πολλῆς
εὐχῆς παρακαλῶν [1] τὸν θεὸν κινοῦναι
περὶ τῶν κατὰ τοὺς τόπους. ἐπεὶ καὶ
δι’ὕδατα γίνεται τὸ στερέωμα, ἵνα
τὰ μέν τινα μείνῃ ἀνωτέρω, τὰ δέ μείνῃ
κατωτέρω. μήτε ὁ Ισραήλ ἐστιν. οὐ περὶ
αἰσθεντῶν ὑδάτων, ἀλλὰ περὶ δυνάμενων
θειοτέρων κάτω μενουσῶν τοῦ
στερεώματος. τούτων αἵτινες ἦσαν,
ἡ ἄβυσσος, ἧς ἐπάνω τὸ σκότος ἦν,
καὶ γὰρ παλαίομεν πρὸς τοὺς κοσμοκράτορας
τοῦ σκότους τούτου. τὸ δὲ
ὕδωρ, οὗ έπάνω τὸ πνεῦμα ἦν τοῦ θεοῦ,
δυνάμεις ἦσαν κρείττονες. ἄρτι οὖν τοῦ
κόσμου κτιζομένου, ἦν ἕν ούκ οἶδ’ὅπως
ταῦτα, οὐδέπω διακεκριμένα. ἡδε
κοσμοποιϊα, διέκρινε τὰ κρείττονα,
καὶ οἷς οἰκεῖον ἦν τὸ πνεῦμα τοῦ
θεοῦ, ἀπὸ τῶν χειρόνων, καὶ τὰ χείρονα,
καὶ οἷς συνέζευκται τὸ σκότος,
τὸ λεγόμενον εἶναι ἐπὶ πρόσωπον τῆς
ἀβύσσου, ὅτι δὲ ταῦτα οὐ συντυχικά
ἔστιν ἐν τῇ γενέσει, δηλοῖ καὶ ἡ ἐνταῦθα
λέξις λέγουσα, “εἴδοσάν σε ὕδατα, ὁ θεός,
εἴδοσάν σε ὕδατα καὶ έφοβήθησαν.”

[1] In the translation, I’ve understood this as παρακαλοῦν, that is, a neuter rather than a masculine participle. From what I recall πνεῦμα could take on masculine forms in certain instances, but I don’t recall the details.


“The waters beheld you, and were afraid.”
In the beginning of the creation narrative, I see
the spirit of God, as the prophet says, by an order [from God]
brooding over all of the waters; and I see the darkness,
not upon the water, for there the Spirit of God was,
but in some places the darkness was upon the abyss, and
in some places the Spirit of God was upon the water, and
he (the Spirit) cried out with a great prayer that God would move
each their respective places. Thus, because of the waters
the firmament was created, so that some water would
remain above, and some would remain below. But is not
Israel [ie, this is a spiritual matter]; it is not about waters
perceptible to our senses, but about divine powers
remaining below the firmament. There were several of these,
and the abyss, over which there was darkness, was one of them:
we wrestle against the cosmic powers of this darkness. But
the waters, over which the Spirit of God was, were mightier
powers. Now just prior to the world’s creation, they were
one, and I don’t know what their nature was, before they
were divided. But the creation narrative distinguishes
the greater things, those to which the Spirit of God was suitable,
from the lesser ones, to which darkness was joined, which is
said to be over the face of the abyss. Because these things
are not found in Genesis, the reading here makes is clear
saying, “The waters saw you, O God. The waters saw you and
were afraid.”