Severian of Gabala

Steven Avery

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Severian of Gabala - (* before 380; † after 408, but probably before 425)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Severian_of_Gabala

(may overlap with Ps-Chrysostom from Charles Forster, or Basil)

Also Peter Chrysologus is in the mix.

Severian
The Codex Ambrosianus of Milan, c. 77 sup. (VII-VIII saec.) contains eighty-eight "sermones sancti Severiani"; the "Homilarium Lacense" (Berlin Cod. lat. 341) has addresses of Peter Chrysologus under the name of "Severianus episcopus".

Wikipedia
Severian, Bishop of Gabala in Syria (* before 380; † after 408, but probably before 425), was a popular preacher in Constantinople from around 398/399 until 404. He became the enemy of John Chrysostom and helped condemn him at the Synod of the Oak.

Details of his life are scanty, and are preserved in Socrates Scholasticus and Sozomen. There is a brief life in Gennadius of Massilia.[1] These tell us that he came to Constantinople around 398/399. He preached in a definite Syrian accent, and became a favourite of the empress Eudoxia. When, by the end of 401, the then archbishop John Chrysostom went to Asia, he charged Severian with the pastoral care of the church of Constantinople. But Severian was opposed and insulted by the deacon Sarapion, whom Chrysostom had delegated the economical affairs of the church. When Chrysostom backed his own men, the two became enemies. Johannes Quasten described him as "full of hate" for Jews and heretics [2]

More than 50 of his sermons are extant. In Greek almost all of his homilies survive only among the works of his enemy Chrysostom. Several homilies, some of them lost in Greek, were translated into other languages (Latin, Coptic, Georgian, Armenian, Slavonic and Arabic, perhaps also in Syriac.[3]) Eight of his sermons were published in Venice in 1827 from an ancient Armenian translation by J. B. Aucher: six of them are lost in Greek or known only from catena quotations.[4] Almost none have been edited critically,[5] some have never been published, and the list is not certainly complete. Details of his works can be found in the Clavis Patrum Graecorum nos. 4185-4295. One is edited by Migne in the Patrologia Graeca 65; many among the spuria attributed to John Chrysostom (Patrologia Graeca 48-63).

Severian belonged to the Antiochene school of exegesis, and his interpretations can be very literal. He is notorious for his six sermons on the Creation, in which he expresses "absurdly literal"[6] views including support for the Flat Earth.[7]

His Discourse on the Seals discusses the canon of the four Gospels.[8]

His biblical commentaries also contributed to Greek catenas.

He is sometimes confused with Eusebius of Emesa in manus
cripts, especially in Armenian.
 
Last edited:

Steven Avery

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Preliminary English translation of Severian's of Gavala (Ps-Chrysostom's) In illud In principio erat verbum (Eἰς τὸ ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος)
Pavlos D. Vasileiadis
https://zenodo.org/record/4265309#.YwKtJJYpCxM

Greek title: Προκαταρκτική αγγλική μετάφραση του έργου Eἰς τὸ ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος του Σεβεριανού Γαβάλων (Ψευδο-Χρυσοστόμου)
1661120473391.png

It is necessary, then, that this chorus of the apostles gives place to the holy Trinity, which the Father proclaims A triad of apostles
testifies to the heavenly triad [or, Trinity]. We in sincerity join in that chorus and say: “The children of the deserted woman [will be] more than those of the woman who has a husband.” That is, every heretical sect has a human teacher instead of God. Let us therefore pray and petition our common Father and Teacher that we all may be gathered together with the apostles and martyrs in right belief in Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom be glory and power with the Father and the holy Spirit, now and forever, and for ages of ages Amen
 

Steven Avery

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AN INDEX OF SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES IN THE HOMILIES OF SEVERIAN OF GABALA
Robert E. Carter
https://www.jstor.org/stable/27831981

PG 65: Severianus, Theophilus, Palladius, Philostorgius, Atticus, Proclus, Flavianus, Marcus Eremita, Marcus Diadochus, and Marcus Diaconus
https://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/greek-texts/fathers/migne-patrologia-graeca.asp?pg=6
PG 65
ed2k://|file|Complete%20Migne%20Patrologia%20Graeca%20PG%20v.%2065%20-%20bySYMPASCHEIN.zip|175994700|30B14C447E4627BE3B1E9A0E0E34214A|h=HBD54SYNMIFFLZIRW5D37EPA5OWAUUEU|/

Severian of Gabala :: Bibliography and Editions
https://www.academia.edu/24411415/Severian_of_Gabala_Bibliography_and_Editions
Kathie
inepti.graeculi@gmail.com

THE CHRONOLOGY OF TWENTY HOMILIES OF SEVERIAN OF GABALA on JSTOR (2000)
Robert E. Carter
https://www.jstor.org/stable/27831985
 

Steven Avery

Administrator
TWOGIG

Severian, Bishop of Gabala in Syria (d. 425)

• Severian, Bishop of Gabala in Syria (* before 380; † after 408, but probably before 425), was a popular
preacher in Constantinople from around 398/399 until 404. He became the enemy of John Chrysostom and
helped condemn him at the Synod of the Oak. Details of his life are scanty, and are preserved in Socrates
Scholasticus and Sozomen. There is a brief life in Gennadius of Massilia.[1] These tell us that he came to
Constantinople around 398/399. He preached in a definite Syrian accent, and became a favourite of the
empress Eudoxia. When, by the end of 401, the then archbishop John Chrysostom went to Asia, he charged
Severian with the pastoral care of the church of Constantinople. But Severian was opposed and insulted by the
deacon Sarapion, whom Chrysostom had delegated the economic affairs of the church. When Chrysostom
backed his own men, the two became enemies. Johannes Quasten described him as "full of hate" for Jews
and heretics.[2]
• More than 50 of his sermons are extant. In Greek almost all of his homilies survive only among the works of
his enemy Chrysostom. Several homilies, some of them lost in Greek, were translated into other languages
(Latin, Coptic, Georgian, Armenian, Slavonic and Arabic, perhaps also in Syriac.[3]) Eight of his sermons were
published in Venice in 1827 from an ancient Armenian translation by J. B. Aucher: six of them are lost in Greek
or known only from catena quotations.[4] Almost none have been edited critically,[5] some have never been
published, and the list is not certainly complete. Details of his works can be found in the Clavis Patrum
Graecorum nos. 4185-4295. One is edited by Migne in the Patrologia Graeca 65; many among the spuria are
attributed to John Chrysostom (Patrologia Graeca 48-63). Severian belonged to the Antiochene school of
exegesis, and his interpretations can be very literal. He is notorious for his six sermons on the Creation, in
which he expresses "absurdly literal"[6] views including support for the Flat Earth.[7] His Discourse on the
Seals discusses the canon of the four Gospels.[8] His biblical commentaries also contributed to Greek catenas.
• Severian of Gabala. Wikipedia. <en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Severian_of_Gabala>.

HITS:
 "And he measured a thousand, and water of remission passed through the water. And he measured another thousand, and the water rose up to the loins, and he measured for the third time a thousand." (cf. Ezek 47:3-5) When the fullness of knowledge was reached, it was then that a third time was added. There was one measure, but applied three times: that is the one divinity, one power, one might of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, proclaimed in three names.
(Severian of Gabala, In Psalm 96)


o Greek: Καὶ διεμέτρησε χιλίους· καὶ διῆλθε διὰ τοῦ ὕδατος ὕδωρ ἀφέσεως. Καὶ ἐμέτρησεν ἄλλους χιλίους, καὶ ἀνέδη τὸ ὕδωρ ἕως ὀσφύος, καὶ ἐμέτρησε τρίτον χιλίους. Ὅτε τὸ πλήρωμα τῆς γνώσεως, τότε τὸ τρίτον ἐπετέθη. Καὶ ἓν μὲν τὸ μέτρον, τρίτον δὲ ἐπιτιθέμενον, τουτέστι Πατρὸς, Υἱοῦ, καὶ ἁγίου Πνεύματος, μία θεότης, μία δύναμις, μία ἐξουσία, ἐν τρισὶν ὀνόμασι κηρυττομένη. (Severian of Gabala, In Psalmum 96; CPG 4190; PG 55.610)

Comment:
• [Translator] That “he measured…” is some version or paraphrasis of Ezek. 47:3-5. See: <www.ellopos.net/elpenor/greek-texts/septuagint/chapter.asp?book=48&page=47> (The numbering of the verses isn’t quite the same in the English as in the Greek; the relevant passage starts in verse 3 in the Greek and verse 4 in the English.) The words διῆλθε διὰ τοῦ ὕδατος (or διῆλθεν ἐν τῷ ὕδατι in the link above) ὕδωρ ἀφέσεως, if taken as one sentence, mean "the water… passed through the water". I saw earlier in the Migne text that that is how our commentator interpreted it. In the English version in the link above, though, the corresponding words are taken as two sentences: διῆλθεν ἐν τῷ ὕδατι — "he passed through the water" — and ὕδωρ ἀφέσεως — "[it was] water of a fountain". The word ἀφέσεως also seems problematic. It’s translated as "fountain" in the link. That isn’t the usual meaning of the word. But I suppose it could be applied by extension to a discharge of water, and thus a spring. The Latin translator, on the other hand, rendered it as remissionis, which in Christian Latin usually means "(of) remission/forgiveness (of sins)". I followed that in my translation, thinking it was likely that both the Latin translator and the original Greek commentator had taken it that way; but I still had to mention the ambiguity.
(Sarah Van der Pas, Correspondence, October, 2021)

See definition of ἀφέσεως:
<www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0058%3Aentry%3Da)%2Ffesis>.

Severian : De zelo ac pietate, et de caeco nato
• [Marx] The actual subject of this homily is already sufficiently indicated in the first part of the heading. The other details relate to irrelevant matters; for the blind-born and the good haggle are treated only as prime examples of "zealous piety". If it is to be ascribed to Severian, it is, like no other speech by the Syrian bishop, indicative of his initial attitude towards Chrysostomiis and, in the light of later events, instructive for an assessment of his character. Then she falls into the beginning of his guest role in Constantinople and is completely calculated to win the uninvited guest the full trust of the patriarch. But it is not to be regarded as his introductory sermon. This seems to me to be present in his speech in Apparitionem (P. gr. 65, 15-2,5), which are artfully distinguished by their relative brevity, their linguistic purity and elegance, by the array of all rhetorical artifacts, such as antitheses, isocola The chiastic position of the clauses, anaphoras, rhymes, etc., by which they come closer to the style of Proclus and his imitator Basil of Seleucia, finally also noticeably differentiated from his later "conferences'' through the refusal of any polemics. In contrast to these, it is carefully prepared sentence by sentence and shows that the speaker is not yet in an inner relationship with his audience. There is no evidence that it exists in a shortened form, as Zełlinger suspects (Studien S. p. 46). It represents a skilful combination of scriptures, which are exegesis with the obvious intention of the speaker, with this homily, to prove both his rhetorical and his exegetical-dogmatic mastery. - When Montfaucon sends out the remark in his edition of our speech de zelo ac pietate (Monitum op , ais that one can most appropriately describe his homilies, is really true, but is easily explained by the fact that he had not yet "warmed up" in the ambo of the imperial capital. The fact that it was held in Constantinople is clear from the references to the magnificent imperial garb (col. 544) and the imperial courts of justice with their "Reich lawyers" (col. 546). Incidentally, Mtf jerks. ourselves our speech in the temporal proximity of Chrysostom. Full proof that we have a homily by Severian von Gabala, which was presented under the specified circumstances and with calculated intention in the presence of the great patriarch, the later victim of his injured self-love, will be provided by the analysis of the speech according to content and form which follows.
(B. Marx, “Severiana unter den Spuria Chrysostomi bei Montfaucon-Migne”, Orientalia Christiana Periodica 5, 1939, p. 299-300)

HITS:
 For our God is light; and his Word, which was begotten of him without passion before the ages, is called light; and the holy, consubstantial, life-giving Spirit is light. Light, and light, and light; but one light. The soul that has received the word is called light, too. But God is a trihypostatic light by nature, while we are light through communion with him. Again, our Lord Jesus Christ himself is light, about whom John the Evangelist says "That was the true light, which enlighteneth every man that cometh into this world."
(John 1:9) (Chrysostom, De xelo ac pietate, et de caeco nato, 1; Migne Graeca, PG 59.543)

o Greek: Ἔστι γὰρ ὁ Θεὸς ἡμῶν φῶς· καὶ ὁ Λόγος αὐτοῦ ὁ ἐξ αὐτοῦ πρὸ αἰώνων ἀπαθῶς
γεννηθεὶς, φῶς λέγεται· καὶ τὸ ἅγιον καὶ ὁμοούσιον καὶ ζωαρχικὸν Πνεῦμα, φῶς. Φῶς,
καὶ φῶς, καὶ φῶς· ἀλλ' ἓν φῶς· καὶ ἡ ψυχὴ ἡ δεξαμένη τὸν λόγον, φῶς ὀνομάζεται. Ἀλλ' ὁ
μὲν Θεὸς φύσει τρισυπόστατον φῶς, ἡμεῖς δὲ κατὰ μετουσίαν ἐκείνου· καὶ πάλιν αὐτὸς ὁ
Κύριος ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς φῶς, περὶ οὗ ὁ εὐαγγελιστὴς Ἰωάννης φησίν· Ἦν τὸ φῶς τὸ
ἀληθινὸν, ὃ φωτίζει πάντα ἄνθρωπον ἐρχόμενον εἰς τὸν κόσμον. (Chrysostom, Περὶ ζήλου καὶ
εὐσεβείας, καὶ εἰς τὸν ἐκ γενετῆς τυφλόν, 1; Migne Graeca, PG 59.543)

Comments:
• [Marx] The very first words reveal his way of introducing himself. One source of light is the word of God. God himself is light and also the Logos and τὸ ἅγιον καὶ ὁμοούσιον καὶ ζωαρχικὸν Πνεῦμα, φῶς. Φῶς, καὶ φῶς, καὶ φῶς · ἀλλ 'ἓν φῶς (col. 543). The strong emphasis on the deity of St. Spirit does not come by chance. Wherever the speaker speaks, Macedonius had led the shepherd's staff around 20 years ago and his heresy still has followers (see the previous speech!). Spiritually following "ternary formula" is not as characteristic of any preacher of his epoch as it is of Severian
(Zellinger, Studien, pp. 171-173!). The believer also becomes light through participation in the divine light. (B. Marx, “Severiana
unter den Spuria Chrysostomi bei Montfaucon-Migne”, Orientalia Christiana Periodica 5, 1939, p. 300- 301)
 

Steven Avery

Administrator
CARM
cjab

Before I progress with the topic in hand, here is the intro by Migne to this interesting homily.

Latin
Quem habeat auctorem haec concio,non facile percipitur, necnon quo tempore, qoa in civitate habita fuerit. Dictam fuisse planum est contra Pneumatomachos et Anomoeos Eunomiique sectatores, qui non ita pridem in civitate ista primas obtinuerant & Catholicos oppresserant. Quam rem ita describit orator hic circa medium concionis:

"Cum enim floreret impietas, cum hanc urbem devastaret haeresis, absumti erant Ecclesiae filii....... Verum hodie, dilecti, ejecta est pestifera illa doctrina, et ingressa est salutaris gratis."

Hic omnino videtur agi de pulsis a Theodosio Magno Anomoeis et Arianis, qui ecclesias multas Constantinopoli occupabant. Illud accidit anno Christi 380. atque adeo dicta fuerit haec Homilia anno circiter 381. quae item fuit Tillemontii sententia in vita Chrysostomi, pag. 392 et 587.

Ad hanc vero opinionem omnia quadrant. Nam Constantinopoli, ubi habita fuisse putatur Homilia, plurimi erant Pneumatomachi, et Anomoei multi, quos exagitat hic quisquius sit scriptor; hi ab Ecclesiis ejecti sunt: contra Catholicos tamen digladiabantur, quod etiam ad usque Chrysostomi tempora perseveravit, ut videre est in ejus contra Anomoeos Homilia Constantinopoli habita, Tom I. p.541 (col. 701 et seq). In fine autem homiliae, concionator totum coetum communis Patris & doctoris precibus commendat. Ille vero adhuc fortassis erat S. Gregorius Nazianzenus, qui eodem anno episcopatum "Patriarcha Constantinopolitanus" pacis servandae causa abdicavit.

Stylus omnino perplexus et ferreus, unde quidam illam Severiano Gabalorum Episcopo ob dicendi affinitatem adscripserunt. Verum haec Severiani concionantis aetatem praecedunt: neque ipse solus hoc styli vitio laborabat, ut saepe vidimus. Interpretationem Latinam Joannis Jacobi Beureri, quod ea "paraphrastice" esset concinnata, rejecimus, novamque paravimus.

English'ished (mainly though not exclusively by google translate)

It is not easily understood who the author of this sermon was, and at what time he lived in the city. It was said that it was plainly against the Pneumatomachi and the Anomoeans and the followers of Eunomia, who not so long ago had obtained the first place in that city and had oppressed the Catholics. About the middle of the sermon the speaker describes the matter thus:

"For when impiety flourished, when this city was ravaged by heresy, the children of the Church were taken away.... But today, beloved, that harmful doctrine has been thrown out, and a savior has entered freely."

Here we seem to be talking entirely about the beating of the Anomoeans and the Arians, who occupied many churches in Constantinople, by Theodosius the Great. This happened in the year of Christ 380, and so this homily was said in about the year 381, which was also the opinion of Tillemontius in the life of Chrysostom, p. 392 and 587. To this truth all things agree. For in Constantinople, where the Homilies are supposed to have been held, there were many Pneumatomachi, and many Anomoeans which, whosoever is the writer, here exhorts them; these were cast out of the Churches: yet they fought against the Catholics, which continued even to the time of Chrysostom, as may be seen in his Homilies against the Anomoeans held in Constantinople, Tom I. p.541 (col. 701 et seq.)

At the end of the homily, the preacher commends the whole group to the common prayers of the Father and the teacher. But he was still perhaps St. Gregory Nazianzen, who in the same year resigned the episcopate of "Patriarch of Constantinople" for the sake of preserving peace. The style is completely perplexing and inflexible, whence some have ascribed it to Severian*, the Bishop of Gabalus, because of the affinity of his speech. It is true that this predates the age of Severian* the preacher: he was not the only one who suffered from this defect of style, as we have often seen. We rejected the Latin translation of John Jacobus Beureri, because it was "paraphrastically" prepared, and we prepared a new one.

* Severian (an eventual enemy of Chrysostom): More than 50 of his sermons are extant. In Greek almost all of his homilies survive only among the works of his enemy Chrysostom. Several homilies, some of them lost in Greek, were translated into other languages (Latin, Coptic, Georgian, Armenian, Slavonic and Arabic, perhaps also in Syriac.[3]) Eight of his sermons were published in Venice in 1827 from an ancient Armenian translation by J. B. Aucher: six of them are lost in Greek or known only from catena quotations.[4] Almost none have been edited critically,[5] some have never been published, and the list is not certainly complete. Details of his works can be found in the Clavis Patrum Graecorum nos. 4185-4295. One is edited by Migne in the Patrologia Graeca 65; many among the spuria attributed to John Chrysostom (Patrologia Graeca 48-63). (wiki)

========================


It looks like the "unknown" author of the writing "In Illum: In precipio erat verbum" is Bishop Severian of Gabala (in residence at Constantinople), and the homily is precisely dated to Jan 6. AD 401, according to
THE CHRONOLOGY OF TWENTY HOMILIES OF SEVERIAN OF GABALA
ROBERT E. CARTER
Traditio
Vol. 55 (2000), pp. 1-17 (17 pages)

========================

the orthodox 1 John 5:8 position, as alluded to in the homily In illud: In principio erat verbum, of Bishop Severian of Galalus, which seems to allude to 1 John 5:8 as a triad of witnesses to the 'Trinity' (i.e. to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit).

========================


The individual symbols can be construed in an orthodox manner: Blood = Christ = Word, Father = Eternal life = Water, Spirit = Holy Spirit.
I seem to recall mentioning Servian in a sermon, In illud, In principio erat uerbum, saying:

"For it is necessary to concede the Holy Trinity to the chorus of the ones sent forth, which the Father announces. The triad of the ones sent forth is the witness/testimony of the heavenly Trinity."


If this is an allusion to 1 John 5:8, it is witness to the application of the allegorical method. Not sure what else it can mean (the only problem with this interpretation is that Severian has replaced the word "witness" in 1 John 5:8 with "apostle" or "one sent forth" but the sense is made out). It can't be an allusion to 1 John 5:7, because it refers to the jurisdiction of the earth.
 
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