Damastheis

Franz von Stuck, Luzifer, ca. 1890
Franz von Stuck, Luzifer (ca. 1890)

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

Τοίη μὲν κείνων στρατιή, τοῖος δὲ τε ἀρχός,
Χριστὸς δ’ οὔτε μιν ἔσχεν ἀϊστώσας ἰότητι
ᾗ καὶ κόσμον ἔτευξεν ὅλον. καὶ τόνδ’ ἂν ὄλεσσεν
αἶψ’ ἐθέλων (χαλεπὴ δὲ Θεοῦ κοτέοντος ἄλυξις)
οὐδὲ μὲν οὐδ’ ἀνέηκεν ἐλεύθερον ἐχθρὸν ἐμεῖο,
ἀλλὰ μέσον μεθέηκεν ὁμῶς ἀγαθῶν τε κακῶν τε,
δῶκε δ’ ἐπ’ ἀλλήλοισι κακὸν μόθον, ὡς ὁ μὲν αἰνὸν
αἶσχος ἔχῃ καὶ τῇδε, χερείονί περ πτολεμίζων,
οἱ δ’ ἀρετῇ μογέοντες ἑὸν κλέος αἰὲν ἔχωσιν,
ὡς χρυσὸς χοάνοισι καθαιρόμενοι βιότοιο
ἢ τάχα κεν μετέπειτα δίκας τίσειεν ἀτειρής,
ὕλης δαπτομένης, ὅτε ἔμπυρός ἐστιν ἄμειψις,
πολλὰ πάροιθεν ἑοῖσιν ἐνὶ δρηστῆρσι δαμασθεὶς
τειρομένοις· τὸ γάρ ἐστι κακῶν γεννήτορι τίσις.
ταῦτα μὲν ἀγγελικῆς αἴγλης πέρι Πνεῦμ’ ἐδίδαξε
πρώτης θ’ ὑστατίης τε. μέτρον δέ τε κἀνθάδ’ ἀνεῦρον,
μέτρον δ’ αὖ Θεός ἐστιν. ὅσον πελάει τις ἄνακτι,
τοσσάτιον φάος ἐστίν, ὅσον φάος, εὖχος ὁμοῖον.
(Gregory of Nazianzus, Poëmata Arcana 6.82-98)

Such is their army, such their leader. Christ did not by any act of will hold him in destruction, that will by which he had also created the whole world. Had he willed it, he could have annihilated Lucifer immediately (for it is hard to escape the anger of God). Yet it is not that he left my enemy in total freedom. Rather did he dismiss him to a midpoint between good and evil men. He provoked a dreadful struggle between Lucifer and humanity, that he might incur further awful shame, inasmuch as he was warring against a weaker opponent, whereas his human adversaries, striving through the exercise of goodness, might gain their everlasting glory, being purified like gold in the melting-pots of life. Perhaps also might Lucifer, for all his stubborn resistance, hereafter pay his penalty, his substance consumed, when there is requital by fire, though indeed he was to a great degree subdued before in the persons of his harried minions. These truths the Spirit has taught me concerning the radiance of angels, whether in first or later state. I have discovered even in this world a standard, and that standard, moreover, is God. The closer a man comes to the King, the more he is light and represents a corresponding glory. (tr. Donald A. Sykes)

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)

Theotētos

Engelenkoor, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Département des manuscrits, Latin 920, fol. 51v
Bibliothèque nationale de France, Département des manuscrits, Latin 920, fol. 51v.

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

Οἵη δ’ ὑετίοιο κατ’ ἠέρος εὐδιόωντος
ἀντομένη νεφέεσσιν ἀποκρούστοις περιωγαῖς
ἀκτὶς ἠελίοιο πολύχροον ἶριν ἑλίσσει,
ἀμφὶ δέ μιν πάντη σελαγίζεται ἐγγύθεν αἰθὴρ
κύκλοισιν πυκινοῖσι καὶ ἔκτοθι λυομένοισι·
τοίη καὶ φαέων πέλεται φύσις, ἀκροτάτοιο
φωτὸς ἀποστίλβοντος ἀεὶ νόας, ἥσσονας αὐγάς.
ἤτοι ὁ μὲν πηγὴ φαέων, φάος οὔτ’ ὀνομαστὸν
οὔθ’ ἑλετόν, φεῦγόν τε νόου τάχος ἐγγὺς ἰόντος,
αἰὲν ὑπεκπροθέων πάντων φρένας, ὥς κε πόθοισι
τεινώμεσθα πρὸς ὕψος ἀεὶ νέον, οἱ δέ τε φῶτα
δεύτερα ἐκ Τριάδος βασιλήϊον εὖχος ἐχούσης,
ἄγγελοι αἰγλήεντες, ἀειδέες, οἵ ῥα θόωκον
ἀμφὶ μέγαν βεβαῶτες, ἐπεὶ νόες εἰσὶν ἐλαφροί,
πῦρ καὶ πνεύματα θεῖα δι’ ἠέρος ὦκα θέοντες
ἐσσυμένως μεγάλῃσιν ὑποδρήσσουσιν ἐφετμαῖς,
ἁπλοῖ τε νοεροί τε, διαυγέες, οὔτ’ ἀπὸ σαρκῶν
ἐρχόμενοι (σάρκες γὰρ ἐπεὶ πάγεν αὖθις ὀλοῦνται),
οὔτ’ ἐπὶ σάρκας ἰόντες, ὅπερ δ’ ἐγένοντο μένοντες.
ἤθελον εἰ καὶ πάμπαν ἀτειρέες. ἀλλ’ ἄνεχ’ ἵππον
καὶ μάλα θερμὸν ἐόντα, νόου ψαλίοισιν ἐέργων.
καί ῥ’ οἱ μὲν μεγάλοιο παραστάται εἰσὶ Θεοῖο,
οἱ δ’ ἄρα κόσμον ἅπαντα ἑαῖς κρατέουσιν ἀρωγαῖς,
ἄλλην ἄλλος ἔχοντες ἐπιστασίην παρ’ ἄνακτος,
ἄνδρας τε πτόλιάς τε καὶ ἔθνεα πάνθ’ ὁρόωντες,
καὶ λογικῶν θυέων ἐπιίστορες ἡμερίοισι.
θυμέ, τί καὶ ῥέξεις; τρομέει λόγος οὐρανίοισι
κάλλεσιν ἐμβεβαώς, ἀχλὺς δέ μοι ἀντεβόλησεν,
οὐδ’ ἔχω ἢ προτέρω θεῖναι λόγον ἢ ἀναδῦναι.
ὡς δ’ ὅτε τρηχαλέῳ ποταμῷ περάων τις ὁδίτης
ἐξαπίνης ἀνέπαλτο καὶ ἴσχεται ἱέμενός περ,
πολλὰ δέ οἱ κραδίη πορφύρεται ἀμφὶ ῥεέθρῳ·
χρειὼ θάρσος ἔπηξε, φόβος δ’ ἐπέδησεν ἐρωήν·
πολλάκι ταρσὸν ἄειρεν ἐφ’ ὕδατι, πολλάκι δ’ αὖτε
χάσσατο, μαρναμένων δέ, φόβον νίκησεν ἀνάγκη,
ὣς καὶ ἐμοὶ Θεότητος ἀειδέος ἆσσον ἰόντι,
τάρβος μὲν καθαροῖο παραστάτας ὑψιμέδοντος
θεῖναι ὑπ’ ἀμπλακίῃ, φωτὸς κεκορημένον εἶδος,
μή πως καὶ πλεόνεσσιν ὁδὸν κακίης στορέσαιμι,
τάρβος δ’ ἄτροπον ἐσθλὸν ἐμοῖς ἐπέεσσι χαράξαι,
μέσφ’ ὅτε καὶ σκολιόν τιν’ ὁρῶ κακίης μεδέοντα.
οὔτε γὰρ ἦν ἀγαθοῖο, κακοῦ φύσιν ἄμμι φυτεῦσαι,
ἠὲ μόθον προφέρειν καὶ ἔχθεα οἷσι φίλοισιν,
οὔτε μὲν ἀντιθόωκον ἀναστῆναι κακότητα
ὕστατον, ἢ καὶ ἄναρχον ἔχειν φύσιν ὥσπερ ἄνακτα.
ὧδέ μοι ἀσχαλόωντι Θεὸς νόον ἔμβαλε τοῖον.
(Gregory of Nazianzus, Poëmata Arcana 6.1-46)

Even as a sunbeam, travelling through rain-heavy, calm air, encountering clouds in its refracted, revolving movements, produces the many-coloured rainbow curve; everywhere around, the upper air gleams brightly with many circles dissolving towards the edges; such is the nature of lights also, the highest light always shining brightly upon minds which are lesser beams. There is one who is the source of lights, a light inexpressible, eluding caputre, fleeing the speed of a pursuing mind whenever it approaches, for ever outstripping the minds of all, that we may be drawn by desires to a height which is ever new. There are others who are second lights after the Trinity which holds the royal pride of precedence, shining angels without visible form, moving around the mighty throne, as they are nimble intelligences. As fire and divine spirits they run swiftly through the air, eagerly obeying God’s great behests, being simple, intellectual, radiant, emanating not from flesh (for flesh when once compacted is afterwards destroyed), nor again coming into relationship with flesh, but rather remaining in their original state. I might have wished them also quite unyielding. But restrain the horse, for all its impetuosity, checking it with the curb of the mind. Some are attendants of the mighty God, while others use their powers to maintain the whole world, holding from the sovereign’s hand varying offices, overseeing men, cities, and all nations, acquainted with the sacrifices reasonable for mortals to make.
My heart, I ask what you will do now. Reason trembles to enter upon the beauties of the heavenly world. A mist has come upon me. I do not know whether to advance my speaking or to withdraw. I am like a traveller attempting to cross a raging stream who is suddenly borne upwards by the current and is held fast for all his eagerness to cross. His heart is in a great swirl because of the current. Necessity stiffens his courage, while fear constrains his urge to go on. Often he raises his foot upon the water and as often he falls back. With emotions in conflict, necessity overcomes fear. This is my case, as I come closer to the Godhead which lies beyond visible form. I fear to ascribe sin to the attendants of the pure one who rules on high, them who are a form of being sated with light, in case I should somehow pave a way to evil for still more beings. I am also afraid to set down in my account the idea of changeless good, as long as I see a crooked being holding sway in the realm of evil. For it was not the way of a good being to plant in us the nature of evil and to produce strife and hatred in creatures he loves. Nor would he later establish evil upon a rival throne nor allow it an eternal nature, as if it were sovereign. Such was the thought God planted firmly in my distressed mind. (tr. Donald A. Sykes)

Kuniskos

untitled.bmp

Ἦν τίς ποθ’ ἡμῖν ἐν πόλει θηλυδρίας,
Αἰγύπτιον φάντασμα, λυσσῶδες κακόν,
κύων, κυνίσκος, ἀμφόδων ὑπηρέτης,
ἄρις, ἄφωνον πῆμα, κητῶδες τέρας,
ξανθὸς μελάνθριξ, οὖλος ἁπλοῦς τὴν τρίχα—
τὰ μὲν παλαιά, τὰ δ’ ἀρτίως εὑρημένα·
τέχνη γάρ ἐστι δημιουργὸς δευτέρα.
πλεῖστον γυναικῶν ἔργον, εἴτ’ οὖν ἀρρένων,
χρυσοῦν, ἑλίσσειν τὴν φιλόσοφον σισόην.
τὰ τῶν γυναικῶν ἐν προσώποις φάρμακα
σοφοὶ φερόντων· εἰς τί γὰρ μόναι σοφαί
τὴν ἀπρεπῆ τε καὶ κακὴν εὐμορφίαν,
ἣ πρόγραμμ’ ἐστὶ καὶ σιωπῶν τοῦ τρόπου,
ὡς οὐκ ἐχόντων Μαξίμους καὶ ἀρρένων;
ἡ κουρὰ τοῦτ’ ἔδειξε λανθάνον τέως.
τοιαῦτα θαύμαθ’ ἡμὶν ἐκ τῶν νῦν σοφῶν,
διπλοῦν τιν’ εἶναι τὴν φύσιν τὸ σχῆμά τε
ἀμφοῖν μερίζειν τοῖν γενοῖν τρισαθλίως,
κόμην γυναιξίν, ἀνδράσιν βακτηρίαν.
ἐξ ὧν ἐκόμπαζ’ ὥς τι τῇ πόλει δοκῶν,
ὤμους σκιάζων βοστρύχοις ἀεὶ φίλοις,
πέμπων λογισμοὺς σφενδονωμέναις κόμαις,
πᾶσαν φέρων παίδευσιν ἐν τῷ σώματι.
(Gregory of Nazianzus, Poëm. 2.1.11.750-772)

There was amongst us in the city at that time an effeminate creature,
a phantom from Egypt, a pestilential fanatic,
a dog*, a puppy, a street-walker,
a disaster with no sense of smell, no bark, a great hulking monster,
a raven-haired blond, his hair both straight and curled,
(the one his original state, the other recently acquired,
for art is a second creator).
To dye the philosopher’s curls gold and curl them
is usually women’s work, but now it became men’s.
Let these wise men wear women’s cosmetics
on their faces, for why should wise women alone
possess this unseemly and foul beauty
(which offers a silent indication of their character),
as if men did not have their Maximuses too?
This was revealed by his curls, hitherto concealed.
Such are the wonders we owe to our present-day sages—
that a person is ambiguous as to nature and shape,
having thrice-wretchedly a share of both sexes,
in hairstyle like women but like men in carrying a staff**.
He liked to show these things off, as if he were of some importance in the city,
with his darling curls falling over his shoulders,
shooting forth his clever ideas with swinging locks
and wearing all his learning on his body.

* This term of abuse is also a reference to Maximus’ Cynic beliefs, for the term Cynic was derived from this adjective meaning ‘dog-like’. In the following passage Gregory plays constantly with this double meaning.
** This was one of the marks of a Cynic.

(tr. Carolinne White)

Arkusi

Χριστὲ ἄναξ, τί με σαρκὸς ἐν ἄρκυσι ταῖσδε ἐνέδησας;
τίπτε με τῷδε βίῳ θῆκας ὑπ’ ἀντιπάλῳ;
πατρὸς μὲν γενόμην θεοειδέος, οὐκ ὀλίγης δὲ
μητέρος· ἐς δὲ φάος ἤλυθον εὐξαμένης.
ηὔξατο, καὶ μ’ ἀνέθηκε θεῷ βρέφος· ἀφθορίης δὲ
θερμὸν ἔρωτα χέεν ὄψις ἐμοὶ νυχίη.
Χριστὸς μὲν δὴ τοῖα· τὰ δ’ ὕστατα κύμασι βράσθην,
ἁρπαλέαις παλάμαις ἤρκεσα, σῶμα λύθην,
ποιμέσιν οὐ φιλίοισι συνέδραμον, ηὗρον ἄπιστα,
χηρώθην τεκέων, πήμασι χασσάμενος.
οὗτος Γρηγορίοιο βίος· τὰ δ’ ἔπειτα μελήσει
Χριστῷ ζωοδότῃ. γράψατε ταῦτα λίθοις.
(Gregory of Nazianzus, Poëm. 2.1.92)

Lord Christ, why have you bound me in these toils of the flesh?
Why have you subjected me to this painful life?
Of a godlike father I was born and of a mother who was not
insignificant. As a result of her prayers I came into the light.
She prayed and dedicated me as a child of God.
A nocturnal vision instilled in me a burning desire for purity.
Christ was responsible for all this, but later I was dashed by the waves,
snatched by greedy hands, my body crushed.
I fell among uncaring shepherds and experienced treachery.
I was deprived of my children and overwhelmed by misfortune.
Such has been the life of Gregory: what remains will be the concern
of Christ the giver of life. Inscribe these words on my tombstone.
(tr. Carolinne White)