UCL/FLTR - Département d'études grecques, latines et orientales (GLOR)

Institut Orientaliste:
Centre d'Études sur Grégoire de Nazianze

The Greek Indirect Tradition
of Gregory of Nazianzus' Homilies

by Caroline MACÉ

Over the last years the study of the indirect tradition of Gregory of Nazianzus' works has taken an increasingly large part in the project of the critical edition and analysis of his works. This effort is proportionate to the value of this tradition. Gregory is considered the most often quoted author in Byzantine literature beside the Bible. He was used and referred to both as a doctrinal authority and as a cultural reference. His work was an important constituent of Byzantine culture, transmitted through education. Numerous eulogies (a.o. those of George of Pisidia, Theodore of Stoudios, John Mauropous, Theodore Metochites) and commentaries (a.o. those of Pseudo-Nonnos, Maxim the Confessor, John of Damascos, Photios, Basilius Minimus) as well as countless florilegia, lexica, mathemataries and rhetorical treatises (John Sikeliotes) originated from his works. Gregory was at the same time the Theologian of Byzantium and its "supreme source of stylistic inspiration", as I. Sevcenko wrote.

The proposed study pursues two main goals, philological and cultural. First, the analysis of ancient quotations of known date and origin may help to set the manuscripts' readings within a historical context. Secondly, it is interesting to understand how and why Gregory remained a cultural and religious authority throughout the history of Byzantium.

Much research work has already been, or is currently, carried out on related subjects: V. Frangeskou (Cyprus) on the councils, J. Nimmo Smith (Edinburgh) on Pseudo-Nonnos' mythological commentaries, T. Schmidt on Basilius Minimus, P. Van Deun and his team on Maxim the Confessor, K. Demoen and C. Crimi on the iconoclastic period, M. Kertsch on various authors.

Information is collected in a database, which already consists of some 1500 records of quotations. Any suggestion or information can be directed to Prof. B. Coulie (coulie@ori.ucl.ac.be).

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