« Nectarius, archbp. of Constantinople Nemesius, bp. of Emesa Nero, Claudius Caesar »

Nemesius, bp. of Emesa

Nemesius (4), bp. of Emesa in the latter half of 4th cent., of whom nothing is certainly known but that he wrote a rather remarkable treatise, περὶ φύσεως ἀνθρώπου, de Natura Hominis, of which cc. ii. and iii. wrongly appear as a separate work, entitled περὶ ψυχῆς, de Anima, among the writings of Gregory Nyssen. Le Quien (Or. Christ. ii. 839) places Nemesius fifth among the bishops of Emesa, between Paul I., who attended the council of Seleucia, a.d. 359, and Cyriacus, the friend of Chrysostom. The date of his writing is tolerably certain from his mentioning the doctrines of Apollinaris and Eunomius and the Origenists, but not those of Nestorius, Eutyches, or Pelagius. He could hardly have avoided mentioning Pelagius if his teaching had been known to him, in the part of his treatise relating to free will. That he was bp. of Emesa is stated in the title of his treatise in the various MS. copies, and by Maximus (ii. 153, ed. Combefis) and Anastasius Sinaita (Quaest. xviii. and xxiv.) in quoting his work. He is also quoted, though without his name, by Joannes Damascenus, Elias Cretensis, Meletius, Joannes Grammaticus, and others. The treatise is an interesting work which will well reward perusal, and has received much praise from able judges of style and matter. Nemesius establishes the immortality of the soul against the philosophers, vindicates free will, opposes fatalism, defends God's providence, and proves by copious examples the wisdom and goodness of the Deity. He gives indications that he was not ignorant of the circulation of the blood and the functions of the bile (cc. xxiv. xxviii. pp. 242, 260, ed. Matthaei). The best ed. is by C. F. Matthaei (Halae, 1802), reprinted by Migne in Patr. Gk. The treatise has been translated into most modern European languages, into Italian by Pizzimenti (no date), English, G. Wilkes (1636 and 1657), German by Osterhammer (Salzburg, 1819), and French by J. R. Thibault (Paris, 1844). Cf. M. Evangelides, Nemesius und seine Quellen (Berlin, 1882).

[E.V.]

« Nectarius, archbp. of Constantinople Nemesius, bp. of Emesa Nero, Claudius Caesar »





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