Heōsphoros

Maestro degli angeli ribelli, Gli angeli ribelli, 14e eeuw
Anonymous (Sienese School), Gli angeli ribelli (14th c.)

This is part 2 of 3. Part 1 is here. Part 3 is here.

Πρώτη μὲν Θεότητος ἁγνὴ φύσις ἄτροπος αἰεί,
ἀνθ’ ἑνὸς οὔ ποτε πολλά. τί γὰρ Θεότητος ἄρειον
εἰς ὃ μετακλίνοιτο; τὸ δὲ πλέον ὄντος ἄλυξις.
δεύτερον ἀκροτάτοιο φάους μεγάλοι θεράποντες,
τόσσον πρωτοτύποιο καλοῦ πέλας, ὁσσάτιόν περ
αἰθὴρ ἠελίοιο. τὸ δὲ τρίτον ἠέρες ἡμεῖς.
εἰς πᾶν ἄτροπός ἐστι Θεοῦ φύσις. ἐς κακίην δὲ
δύστροπος ἀγγελική, καὶ τὸ τρίτον εὔτροπος ἡμεῖς,
ὅσσον τῆλε Θεοῖο, τόσον κακίῃ πελάοντες.
τοὔνεκεν ὁ πρώτιστος Ἑωσφόρος ὑψόσ’ ἀερθεὶς
(ἦ γὰρ δὴ μεγάλοιο Θεοῦ βασιληΐδα τιμὴν
ἤλπετο, κῦδος ἔχων περιώσιον) ὤλεσεν αἴγλην,
καὶ πέσεν ἐνθάδ’ ἄτιμος, ὅλον σκότος ἀντὶ Θεοῖο·
καὶ κοῦφός περ ἐὼν χθαμαλὴν ἐπὶ γαῖαν ὄλισθεν,
ἔνθεν ἀπεχθαίρει πινυτόφρονας, οὐρανίης δὲ
εἵργει πάντας ὁδοῖο, χολούμενος ἣν διὰ λώβην.
οὐδ’ ἐθέλει θεότητος, ὅθεν πέσεν, ἆσσον ἱκέσθαι
πλάσμα Θεοῦ. ξυνὴν γὰρ ἔχειν ἐπόθησε βροτοῖσιν
ἀμπλακίην σκοτίην τε. τὸ καὶ βαλεν ἐκ παραδείσου
κύδεος ἱμείροντας ὁ βάσκανος ἰσοθέοιο.
ὣς ἄρ’ ὅγ’ οὐρανίης ἐξ ἄντυγος ἦλθεν ἀερθείς·
ἀλλ’ οὐ μοῦνος ὄλισθεν, ἐπεὶ δέ μιν ὤλεσεν ὕβρις,
κάππεσε σὺν πλεόνεσσιν, ὅσους κακίην ἐδίδαξεν
(ὡς στρατὸν ἐκ βασιλῆος ἀπορρήξας τις ἀλιτρός),
βασκανίῃ τε χοροῖο θεόφρονος ὑψιμέδοντος,
καὶ πλεόνεσσι κακοῖσιν ἔχων πόθον ἐμβασιλεύειν.
ἔνθεν ἄρ’ ἐβλάστησαν ἐπιχθόνιοι κακότητες,
δαίμονες ἀνδροφόνοιο κακοῦ βασιλῆος ὀπηδοί,
ἀδρανέα, σκιόεντα, δυσαντέα φάσματα νυκτός,
ψεῦσταί θ’ ὑβρισταί τε, διδάσκαλοι ἀμπλακιάων,
πλάγκται, ζωροπόται, φιλομειδέες, ἐγρεσίκωμοι,
χρησμολόγοι, λοξοί, φιλοδήριες, αἱματόεντες,
Ταρτάρεοι, μυχόεντες, ἀναιδέες, ἀρχιγόητες,
ἐρχόμενοι καλέουσιν, ἀπεχθαίρουσι δ’ ἄγοντες·
νύξ, φάος, ὥς κεν ἕλωσιν, ἢ ἀμφαδὸν ἢ λοχόωντες.
(Gregory of Nazianzus, Poëmata Arcana 6.47-81)

The primary pure nature of Godhead is always unchangeable; there are never many realities in place of one. For what state is superior to Godhead into which it might change? Anything added would be a departure from absolute being. Second come the great servants of the highest light, as close to the original good as the other is to the sun. We human beings are the third rank, the air. The nature of God is changeless in relation to all. Angelic nature is hard to change towards evil, whereas we who occupy third place are easily susceptible to change, in as much as our distance from God brings us close to evil. Thus it was that first of all Lucifer, raised on high (for he aspired to the royal honour of the mighty God, though already granted outstanding glory), lost his radiant splendour and fell to dishonour in this world, becoming total darkness, rather than God. Although of light composition, he yet slipped to this lower earth, from where he displays hatred against the wise and, fired by anger at his own ruin, tries to turn all others from the path which leads to heaven. He has no wish that the beings fashioned by God should approach the place from which he fell. He conceived a desire to share with mortals the darkness of his sin. Therefore, the envious one cast out of paradise also the beings who sought glory equal to God’s.
Thus did Lucifer, originally exalted, descend from the vault of heaven. But he did not slip alone when his pride ruined him. In his crash he brought down the many companions he had schooled in evil (like some wicked man detaching an army from allegiance to the Emperor), through envy of the godly host which serves the God who rules on high, possessed by desire to lord it over a great number of evil beings. This is the origin of the evils which sprang up on this earth, demons, associates of the evil king who slays humanity, feeble, shadowy phantom shapes of the night, portending evil, liars, insolent wretches, teachers of error, deceivers, hard drinkers, lovers of foolish laughter, rousers of revelry, soothsayers, dealers in ambiguity, contentious, murderous, hellish beings skulking in dark corners, shameless, sorcerers, coming on summons, yet full of hatred for those they lead off. They take the forms of darkness or light at will, acting openly or lying in wait. (tr. Donald A. Sykes)

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