A Christian's Guide to Greek Culture

A Christian's Guide to Greek Culture : The Pseudo-Nonnus 'Commentaries' on 'Sermons' 4, 5, 39 and 43 by Gregory of Nazianus

Translated with commentary by 

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The Commentaries translated here, dating from the sixth century, show the persisting survival of Greek learning in an increasingly Christianised world. The work takes the form of a series of explanations and glosses of classical references in Gregory's original Sermons. Although the author uses an elementary technique of the schools to structure his text, which has little in the way of eloquence or literary art, there is a striking single-mindededness and confidence in his explanations. Some of the information given is inaccurate, and the author is not averse to rewriting texts that he cannot explain. Nonetheless, the work displays a lively interest in Greek learning, and presents a fascinating insight into the attitude of one particular Christian to its continuing validity.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 192 pages
  • 147 x 210 x 12.7mm | 266g
  • Liverpool, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0853239177
  • 9780853239178
  • 1,336,950

Table of contents


The Pseudo-Nonnus Commentaries: translation and notes
Commentary on Sermon 4
Commentary on Sermon 5
Commentary on Sermon 39
Commentary on Sermon 43

Appendix I Additional stories found in some witnesses at the end of Commentary 5
Appendix 2 Stories listed in order of appearance in the Commentaries

Select Bibliography

Index of ancient authors, general sources and proverbs
Index of etymologies
Index of historical figures
Index of constellations, mythological deities, heroes and monsters, pagan cults and sacred animals
Index of peoples and places
Index of principal themes

The Topography of the Commentaries
Map I The 'World-view' of the Commentaries Map 2 The 'Western Sea' and its environs
Map 3 Mainland Greece
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Review quote

Everyone interested in the Early Byzantine period will be grateful for Nimmo Smith's efforts to make this information readily available. For historians of theology these Commentaries will be a reminder that the Byzantine world was surely a Christian world, but a Christian world of which mythological tales about Heracles, Zeus, Diogenes or Dionysius were still part and parcel.

The Heythrop Journal
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