"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

New Greek Father Discovered!

Is it cruel and unusual punishment for you to be asked to wait until June to learn about a newly discovered Greek Father? Surely such exciting news should be heralded by immediate trumpet blasts and rushed to the presses of the world for immediate dissemination? But if you have learned nothing else during Great Lent, at least let it be a bit of patience which shall be rewarded soon enough with the publication of P. Tzamalikos, A Newly Discovered Greek Father: Cassian the Sabaite Eclipsed by John Cassian of Marseilles (Vigiliae Christianae, Supplements, Brill, 2012), 505pp.

About this book the publisher tells us:
This is a critical edition of texts of Codex 573 (ninth century, Monastery of Metamorphosis, Meteora, Greece), which are published along with the monograph identifying The Real Cassian, in the same series. They cast light on Cassian the Sabaite, a sixth century highly erudite intellectual, whom Medieval forgery replaced with John Cassian. The texts are of high philological, theological, and philosophical value, heavily pregnant with notions characteristic of eminent Greek Fathers, especially Gregory of Nyssa. They are couched in a distinctly technical Greek language, which has ameaningful record in Eastern patrimony, but mostly makes no sense in Latin, which is impossible to have been their original language. The Latin texts currently attributed to John Cassian, the Scythian of Marseilles, are heavily interpolated translations of this Greek original by Cassian the Sabaite, native of Scythopolis, who is identified with Pseudo-Caesarius and the author of Pseudo Didymus' De Trinitate.


  1. Tzamalikos's writing is very confusing to me. It's not at all clear to me what he's claiming to have actually found. Is he claiming that the Latin Conferences and Institutes of Cassian are later expansions of a Greek work?

  2. Well, no trumpet blasts announcing a "new" father are warranted for some time. Writing a revisionist monograph doesn't fully establish Tzamalikos's case, even if well argued. It would be better to write, "The author argues that ..." rather than making pronouncements. It will take time and plenty of peer review, and will likely be debated for quite some time. Still, it is interesting and intriguing! Thanks.

  3. This explains a bit;



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