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30Chapter V.—Mss. And Editions.

For the 13 Books Against Eunomius, the text of F. Oehler (S. Greg. Nyss. Opera. Tom. I. Halis, 1865) has in the following translations been almost entirely followed.

The 1st Book was not in the 1st Paris Edition in two volumes (1615); but it was published three years afterwards from the ‘Bavarian Codex,’ i.e. that of Munich, by J. Gretser in an Appendix, along with the Summaries (these headings of the sections of the entire work are by some admirer of Gregory’s) and the two introductory Letters. Both the Summaries and the letters, and also nearly three-quarters of the 1st Book were obtained from J. Livineius’ transcript of the Vatican ms. made at Rome, 1579. This Appendix was added to the 2nd Paris Edition, in three volumes (1638).

In correcting these Paris Editions (for mss. of which see below), Oehler had access, in addition to the identical Munich ms. (paper, 16th century) which Gretser had used, to the following mss.:—

1. Venice (Library of S. Mark; cotton, 13 Cent., No. 69). This he says ‘wonderfully agrees’ with the Munich (both, for instance, supply the lacunæ of the Paris Edition of Book I: he concludes, therefore, that these are not due to Gretser’s negligence, who gives the Latin for these passages, but to that of the printers).

2. Turin (Royal Library; cotton, 14 Cent., No. 71).

3. Milan (Library of S. Ambrose; cotton, 13 Cent., No. 225, Plut. 1; its inscription says that it was brought from Thessaly).

4. Florence (Library Medic. Laurent.; the oldest of all; parchment, 11 Cent., No. 17, Plut. vi. It contains the Summaries).

These, and the Munich ms., which he chiefly used, are “all of the same family:” and from them he has been able to supply more than 50 lacunæ in the Books against Eunomius. This family is the first of the two separated by G. H. Forbes (see below). The Munich ms. (No. 47, on paper, 16 Cent.), already used by Sifanus for his Latin version (1562), and by Gretser for his Appendix, has the corrections of the former in its margin. These passed into the two Paris Editions; which, however, took no notice of his critical notes. When lent to Sifanus this ms. was in the Library of J. J. Fugger. Albert V. Duke of Bavaria purchased the treasures of Greek literature in this library, to found that in Munich.

For the treatise On the Soul and the Resurrection, the Great Catechetical Oration, and the Funeral Oration on Meletius, John George Krabinger’s text has been adopted. He had mss. ‘old and of a better stamp’ (Oehler) than were accessible to the Paris editors. Krabinger’s own account of them is this:—

On the Soul. 5 mss. of 16th, 14th, and 11th Cent. All at Munich. In one of them there are scholia, some imported into the text by J. Naupliensis Murmureus the copyist; and Sifanus’ corrections.

The ‘Hasselman,’ 14th Cent. J. Christopher Wolf, who annotated this treatise (Aneedota Græca, Hamburgh, 1722), says of this ms. “very carefully written.” It was lent by Zach. Hasselman, Minister of Oldenburgh.

The ‘Uffenbach,’ 14th Cent., with var. lect. in margin. Lent to Wolf by the Polish ambassador at Frankfort on Main, at the request of Zach. Uffenbach.

Catechetical Oration. 4 mss. of 16th Cent., 1 of 13th Cent., ‘much mutilated.’ All at Munich.

On Meletius. 2 mss. of 16th Cent., 1 of 10th Cent. All at Munich.

His edition of the former appeared, at Leipzic, 1837; of the two latter, at Munich, 1838; all with valuable notes.

31For the treatise Against Macedonius, the only text available is that of Cardinal Angelo Mai (Script. Vet. Nova Collectio, Rome, 1833). It is taken from the Vatican ms. ‘on silk.’ The end of this treatise is not found in Mai. Perhaps it is in the ms. of Florence.

For fourteen of the Letters, Zacagni (Præfect of the Vatican Library, 1698–1713) is the only editor. His text from the Vatican ms., No. 424, is printed in his Collectan. Monument. ret. (pp. 354–400), Rome, 1698.

He had not the use of the Medicean ms. which Caraccioli (see below) testifies to be much superior to the Vatican; there are lacunæ in the latter, however, which Zacagni occasionally fills by a happy guess with the very words supplied by the Medicean.

For the Letter to Adelphius, and that (on Church Architecture) to Amphilochius, J. B. Caraccioli (Professor of Philosophy at Pisa) furnishes a text (Florence, 1731) from the Medicean ms. The Letters in this collection are seven in all. Of the last of these (including that to Amphilochius) Bandinus says non sincerâ fide ex Codice descriptas, and that a fresh collation is necessary.

For the treatise On the Making of Man, the text employed has been that of G. H. Forbes, (his first Fasciculus was published in 1855; his second in 1861; both at Burntisland, at his private press), with an occasional preference for the readings of one or other of the mss. examined by him or by others on his behalf. Of these he specifies twenty: but he had examined a much larger number. The mss. which contain this work, he considers, are of two families.

Of the first family the most important are three mss. at Vienna, a tenth-century ms. on vellum at S. Mark’s, Venice, which he himself collated, and a Vatican ms. of the tenth century. This family also includes three of the four Munich mss. collated for Forbes by Krabinger.

The other family displays more variations from the current text. One Vienna ms. “pervetustus” “initio mutilus,” was completely collated. Also belonging to this family are the oldest of the four Munich mss., the tenth-century Codex Regius (Paris), and a fourteenth-century ms. at Christ Church, Oxford, clearly related to the last.

The Codex Baroccianus (Bodleian, perhaps eleventh century) appears to occupy an independent position.

For the other Treatises and Letters the text of the Paris Edition of 1638 (‘plenior et emendatior’ than that of 1615, according to Oehler, probably following its own title, but “much inferior to that of 1615” Canon Venables, Dict. Christ. Biog., says, and this is the judgment of J. Fessler) and of Migne have been necessary as the latest complete editions of the works of Gregory Nyssene. (All the materials that had been collected for the edition of the Benedictines of St. Maur perished in the French Revolution.)

Of the two Paris Editions it must be confessed that they are based ‘for the most part on inferior mss.’ (Oehler.) The frequent lacunæ attest this. Fronto Ducæus aided Claude, the brother of F. Morel, in settling the text, and the mss. mentioned in the notes of the former are as follows:

1. Pithoeus’ “not of a very ancient hand,” “as like F. Morel’s (No. 2.) as milk to milk” (so speaks John the Franciscan, who emended ‘from one corrupt mutilated manuscript,’ i.e. the above, the Latin translation of the Books against Eunomius made by his father N. Gulonius.)

2. F. Morel’s. (“Dean of Professors” and Royal Printer.)

3. The Royal (in the Library of Henry II., Paris), on vellum, tenth century.

4. Canter’s (“ingens codex” sent from Antwerp by A. Schott; it had been written out for T. Canter, Senator of Utrecht).

5. Olivar’s. “Multo emendatius” than (2.)

6. J. Vulcobius’, Abbot of Belpré.

7. The Vatican. For the treatise On Virginity. (The Paris Editors used Livineius’ Edition, based on (7) and (8).

8. Bricman’s (Cologne). For the treatise On Virginity. (The Paris Editors used Livineius’ Edition, based on (7) and (8).

9. Œgidius David’s, I.C. Paris. For the treatise On Virginity. (The Paris Editors used Livineius’ Edition, based on (7) and (8).

3210. The Bavarian (Munich) for Books II.–XIII. Against Eunomius and other treatises; only after the first edition of 1615.

Other important mss. existing for treatises here translated are

On Pilgrimages: ms. Cæsareus (Vienna): “valde vetustus” (Nessel, on the Imperial Library), vellum, No. 160, burnt at beginning.

mss. Florence (xx. 17: xvi. 8).

ms. Leyden (not older than fifteenth century).

On the Making of Man:

ms. Augsburgh, with twelve Homilies of Basil, the two last being wrongly attributed to Gregory (Reizer).

ms. Ambrosian (Milan). See Montfaucon, Bibl. Bibliothec. p. 498.

On Infants’ Early Deaths:

ms. Turin (Royal Library).

On the Soul and Resurrection:

mss. Augsburgh, Florence, Turin, Venice.

Great Catechetical:

mss. Augsburgh, Florence, Turin, Cæsareus.

Many other mss., for these and other treatises, are given by S. Heyns (Disputatio de Greg. Nyss. Leyden, 1835). But considering the mutilated condition of most of the oldest, and the still small number of treatises edited from an extended collation of these, the complaint is still true that ‘the text of hardly any other ancient writer is in a more imperfect state than that of Gregory of Nyssa.’

Versions of Several Treatises.


1. Of Dionysius Exiguus (died before 556): On the Making of Man. Aldine, 1537. Cologne, 1551. Basle, 1562. Cologne, 1573. Dedicated to Eugippius.’ This Dedication and the Latin of Gregory’s Preface was only once printed (i.e. in J. Mabillon’s Analecta, Paris, 1677).

This ancient Latin Version was revised by Fronto Ducæus, the Jesuit, and Combeficius. There is a copy of it at Leyden. It stimulated J. Leünclaius (see below), who judged it “foeda pollutum barbariâ planeque perversum,” to make another. Basle, 1567.

2. Of Daniel Augentius: On the Soul. Paris 1557.

3. Of Laurent. Sifanus, I. U. Doct.: On the Soul and many other treatises. Basle, 1562 Apud N. Episcopum.

4. Of Pet. Galesinius: On Virginity and On Prayer. Rome, 1563, ap. P. Manutium.

5. Of Johann. Leünclaius: On the Making of Man. Basle, 1567, ap. Oporinum.

6. Of Pet. Morelius, of Tours: Great Catechetical. Paris, 1568.

7. Of Gentianus Hervetus, Canon of Rheims, a diligent translator of the Fathers: Great Catechetical, and many others. Paris, 1573.

8. Of Johann. Livineius, of Ghent: On Virginity. Apud Plantinum, 1574.

9. Of Pet. Fr. Zinus, Canon of Verona, translator of Euthymius’ Panoplia, which contains the Great Catechetical. Venice, 1575.

10. Of Jacob Gretser, the Jesuit: I. e. Eunom. Paris, 1618.

11. Of Nicolas Gulonius, Reg. Prof. of Greek: II.–XIII. c. Eunom. Paris, 1615. Revised by his son John, the Franciscan.

12. Of J. Georg. Krabinger, Librarian of Royal Library, Munich: On the Soul, Great Catechetical, On Infants’ Early Deaths, and others. Leipzic, 1837.


1. Of Glauber: Great Catechetical, &c. Gregorius von Nyssa und Augustinus über den ersten Christlichen Religions-unterricht. Leipzic, 1781.

2. Of Julius Rupp, Königsberg: On Meletius. Gregors Leben und Meinungen. Leipzic, 1834.

3. Of Oehler: Various treatises. Bibliothek der Kirchenväter I. Theil. Leipzic, 1858–59.

4. Herm. Schmidt, paraphrased rather than translated: On the Soul. Halle, 1864.

5. Of H. Hayd: On Infants’ Early Deaths: On the Making of Man, &c. Kempton, 1874.

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