Self-representation in the will of Gregory of Nazianzus.
In the later Roman empire upward social mobility usually entailed geographical mobility, and the expansion of Constantinople now influenced the traditional patterns of enhancing rank and status. Previously, Greek provincial elites had acquired higher ranks by holding offices in the imperial administration or by special grants; now they had the opportunity of direct adlection into the senate of Constantinople. Since an emperor and his entourage often resided in or near Constantinople, these notables could in addition hope to serve in the palatine ministries, at the tribunals of emperors or prefects, in the government of the city, or in the imperial bureaucracy. And men who set out on careers as professional teachers could now aspire to hold the salaried professorships that emperors established at Constantinople.
In contrast, the expansion of Constantinople had little impact on career patterns within the eastern Church. Provincial bishops certainly travelled to Constantinople or nearby cities to attend large councils, most notably the general council that met at Constantinople in 381. But upward mobility within the ecclesiastical hierarchy in general had never presupposed much geographical mobility, for two important reasons: most clerics, including bishops, served in their local regions, often at their home towns; and, unlike imperial offices and academic professorships, episcopacies were supposed to be held for life, which supposedly precluded promotion to a more prestigious see. For provincial notables with ambitions of a civil or academic career, the expansion of Constantinople opened up more and new opportunities; but despite the accelerating importance of the city and its bishops in ecclesiastical affairs, to enter the clergy or to hold an episcopacy was still effectively to choose a local career. Men usually became bishops within their home regions or native provinces.
Gregory of Nazianzus and his younger brother, Caesarius, were members of a locally prominent family in southern Cappadocia. Although their father, Gregory the Elder, had become bishop at the family's home town of Nazianzus, the two brothers left to study at some of the important university towns in the Greek world. In the later 350s both had to choose between service back in their native province of Cappadocia or a wider career that would likely have included residence in Constantinople. Despite his family's misgivings Caesarius eventually served at the imperial court before acquiring an office in the provincial administration. Gregory returned to Cappadocia, in part to keep in touch with his friend Basil, and in part to assist his elderly parents, especially his father in his episcopacy. Even though he did become a priest at Nazianzus in 362, Gregory nevertheless seemed reluctant to commit himself to a local ecclesiastical career and rejected various offers of serving as a bishop, until in 379 he went to revive the Catholic congregation at Constantinople.
Because Caesarius became a 'shining morning star at the imperial court', and because Gregory served briefly as bishop of Constantinople, both were among those many provincials unable to resist the 'singing of the Sirens' at the new imperial capital in the eastern provinces.(2) But both too, through letters, friendships, familial responsibilities, and personal obligations, never lost their connections with Cappadocia. Their last wishes were especially revealing of this constant interaction between their local ties and their wider horizons. Although he died as an imperial magistrate in Bithynia, Caesarius wanted to leave his wealth to the poor; and during his episcopacy at Constantinople Gregory dictated a will that left his possessions to the church at Nazianzus. An investigation into the circumstances surrounding Caesarius' death and Gregory's will is hence one way of examining how Greek provincial elites took account of the unprecedented prominence of an eastern capital in redefining themselves and their status during the mid- and later fourth century. Subsequent sections will discuss the complications arising from Caesarius' death, the contents of Gregory's will, its connections with his short episcopacy at Constantinople, and its role in easing his final transition back to Cappadocia; the appendix includes a translation (the first into English) of Gregory's will. Gregory had come of age in Athens, with which he always associated his love of classical culture and the beginnings of his friendship with Basil, and initially 'golden Athens' and the academic career it symbolized represented an attractive alternative to life at Nazianzus. After his formal academic studies, and again after his parents' deaths, he choose a life of contemplative seclusion in Pontus and Isauria. But for a few years later in his life the contrasting option to Nazianzus was Constantinople. Gregory's vacillations between his provincial home town and 'the preeminent city in the East'(3) are evident in his letters, his poems, his orations, and, not least, his will.
After receiving his initial education in Cappadocia, Caesarius went to Alexandria and studied medicine in particular.(4) He then travelled to Constantinople, where some attempted to convince him to remain by offering public honours, marriage into a distinguished family, and membership in the senate, and by requesting the emperor (Constantius) to appoint him as a doctor for the city.(5) But this time Caesarius listened to the advice of Gregory who, while returning from his years of study in Athens, had also stopped at Constantinople, and they travelled together back to Cappadocia.(6) Eventually, however, Caesarius did serve at the imperial court. As he once explained to Gregory, his desire for fame motivated him to become the foremost man at Constantinople. Caesarius soon became the leading doctor and a 'friend' of the emperor (probably still Constantius), acquired great honours, and subsequently seemed destined for greater honours by the emperors (by now Constantius and Julian).(7) But once Julian became sole emperor in late 361, he and Caesarius quarrelled, and Caesarius left the court to live in retirement in Cappadocia.(8)
His brother was probably only too pleased about his return. Earlier Gregory had sent him a letter in which he had candidly expressed his despondency and fear upon hearing about Caesarius' attendance at the court of the pagan Julian. Not only were their parents upset, but people at Nazianzus had been gossiping about the apparent impropriety of a bishop's son serving at the imperial court. A few years later, however, Caesarius was again welcome at the court of the new emperors (Valentinian and Valens), who reputedly competed for his friendship.(9) One emperor (Valens) appointed him as a magistrate, probably a comes thesaurorum, responsible for imperial revenues in Bithynia.(10) In the autumn of 368 Caesarius survived an earthquake that levelled Nicaea and destroyed some of his own possessions.(11) This earthquake, 'the most devastating in memory', motivated him to reassess his career and to write to his brother about his decision to exchange service in one kingdom for another.(12) Gregory had previously, and now again, encouraged him to reconsider his career; Basil also wrote and reminded Caesarius of previous conversations.(13) But soon thereafter, later in 368 or in 369, Caesarius died from an illness.(14)
Caesarius died a wealthy man. Some of his possessions presumably came from his family; he had also received fees, salaries, and gifts while practising as a doctor and serving as a magistrate, although Gregory was proud to claim, rather disingenuously, that Caesarius had worked without accepting any payments. Gregory also noted that his brother had received 'many revenues from many sources' while at Constantinople.(15) At the moment of his death Caesarius was reported to have said that he wished to leave all his possessions to the poor.(16) But the disposition of his possessions turned out to be neither easy nor direct; in fact, because of the significance attached to Caesarius' last words on his deathbed, it seems plausible to assume that he had left no written will. A year or two after his brother's death Gregory was still complaining about the harassment caused by 'rapacious rogues' who were similar to dogs barking at his heels. A decade later he listed the problems that followed his brother's death among the trials that had prepared him for his own troublesome experiences as bishop of Constantinople. Even then he classified all the opponents who had appeared as a 'pack of dogs'. He also claimed that at the time he could easily have avoided these problems by flying away like a bird; and, in fact, throughout his life Gregory had often resorted to flight in order to resolve personal difficulties. But this time he remained in order to help his aged father.(17)
Although Gregory provided no specific details, his friend Basil did elaborate about the problems involved in the settlement of Caesarius' estate. First, Caesarius' slaves and other men who were 'no better than slaves' had, 'with full permission', distributed the most valuable of Caesarius' possessions to unspecified recipients and reserved very little for 'these men', that is, presumably, the executors of the estate.(18) Reliance upon managers, either slaves or free men, to administer properties was certainly common, and so was the practice of leaving them legacies (as, for instance, Gregory was to do in his own will). Since Caesarius may well have intended, or been expected, to leave legacies to these managers, perhaps Gregory and Basil misunderstood or overreacted to this initial distribution of Caesarius' possessions. Second, since Caesarius was unmarried and had no children, these unnamed executors were probably Gregory and his father, Gregory the Elder. After they decided that the small remaining reserve was not pledged to anyone, they distributed it to the needy, in accordance with their own preferences and Caesarius' final wish.(19) A third factor also complicated this dispersal of property when some men claimed that Caesarius had borrowed money from them; in their attempts to secure payment of these debts they threatened Gregory and perhaps also his father. At first Gregory apparently satisfied these claims without complaint, presumably from Caesarius' assets, perhaps from his family's resources. Then other men, after noting the success of these initial claimants, came forward with their own demands. At this point Gregory 'gladly' turned over 'the remainder of Caesarius' estate' to the imperial treasury, whose own advocate was to evaluate and verify these claims.(20)
Neither Basil nor Gregory provided any additional details about this dispute over Caesarius' estate or its resolution, although some of Caesarius' belongings must have remained in the family, since over a decade later, in his own will, Gregory could still refer to some clothes and carriages at his disposal as his brother's former possessions. But challenging wills or, as in this case, oral expressions of final intentions was not unprecedented. Gregory once tried to convince two brothers who had received inheritances to respect their mother's wish to leave a legacy to the poor; he was also concerned that a young girl might not receive her inheritance from the grandmother who had raised her.(21) Basil once criticized childless men in general for their meanness because they preferred to assist the poor only after their deaths by designating them as their heirs in letters and wills. This criticism was certainly applicable to Caesarius, who seems to have indicated his altruism only at the end of his life. But Basil's further observation on these wills and letters was also relevant: a seal might be forged, two or three witnesses might lie, and the inheritance would go to others.(22)
Debts were especially tricky to settle. In one case, a man seems to have become guardian of some heirs contingent upon the settlement of a debt owed him by the widow. This guardian agreed, in Basil's presence, to extend additional time for the payment of this debt; the widow agreed to pay the entire debt upon dismissal of any accumulated interest. In another case, although a bishop's will had clearly specified the existence of a debt, how it was to be paid, and who was to pay it, the men responsible still needed the compulsion of a law court to settle the debt.(23)
Assuring the successful fulfillment of someone's final wishes, whether in an attested will or as oral statements, was hence an unenviable chore. One strategy was to resort to local courts, as Basil had hinted in the case of the bishop's debt. Another was to solicit the assistance of imperial magistrates. When Basil had intervened on behalf of the widow, he had, in addition, written to a member of the prefect's staff.(24) In the affair of Caesarius both Basil and Gregory appealed directly to important imperial magistrates. Basil wrote to Sophronius, the magister officiorum, and asked that he intercede with a comes thesaurorum; Gregory also sent a rambling letter to Sophronius and requested his assistance against the 'enemies' who were pillaging Caesarius' possessions.(25) Basil furthermore asked Aburgius to speak to a comes thesaurorum or other magistrates.(26) Although requesting the assistance of imperial magistrates was customary for both Basil and Gregory, as well as for other local aristocrats, these two particular magistrates seem somewhat odd choices, since neither was involved directly in the administration of imperial finances or in the disposition of private estates. Friendship was a more influential factor. Both Sophronius and Aburgius were native Cappadocians; both were long-time friends of Basil and Gregory; and Sophronius had also been a beloved friend of Caesarius.(27)
Despite their emotional impact upon Gregory and his family the difficulties involved in the settlement of Caesarius' wealth were hence not uncommon. In a society in which ownership of land, great wealth, and extravagant generosity were the indicators that distinguished local elites from the ordinary population as well as from each other, disputation and uncertainty were perhaps predictable in a situation involving a wealthy but childless man who had died without a will. But Gregory's final recourse of turning the dispute, and the remainder of Caesarius' estate, over to the treasury was uncommon because, although the imperial patrimony was prepared to claim vacant lands and properties left without an heir, the treasury tried to avoid assuming responsibility for private debts.(28) The fact that in this case it apparently took over the dispute suggests that part of the problem involved the settlement not simply of Caesarius' private estate, but also of his public accounts. Upon retirement the collectors and administrators of imperial revenues were required to submit their accounts for an audit at the regional treasuries that served as storage depots for these revenues before subsequent distribution.(29) But because Caesarius had died while still holding office,(30) he had never submitted his accounts for a final audit. Basil's requests for intercession with a comes thesaurorum, the magistrate in charge of a regional treasury, were perhaps direct attempts to influence this audit of Caesarius' accounts. Gregory finally allowed an imperial magistrate to settle the various claims against Caesarius' estate; and in the process of relieving himself and his father of the dunning of creditors he also satisfied the concerns of the public treasury.
Caesarius had been one of the many Cappadocians who served in the imperial administration after the middle of the fourth century. For them the increasing influence of Constantinople and the proximity of an imperial court had offered additional options for enhancing their prestige in a larger arena. Despite his brother's hesitations and his parents' misgivings Caesarius might well have anticipated higher offices, in part because of his friendships with other successful Cappadocians. Instead he, and his career, had flared only briefly, like a 'flash of lightning' at the imperial court. 'Cappadocians grieved', including Gregory.(31) His brother's death was the beginning of several years' worth of anguish that included the deaths of his sister and a cousin, painful strains in his friendship with Basil, and increasing concern for his elderly parents. With the deaths of his parents in 374 Gregory was alone.
The memory of his distress over the settlement of Caesarius' estate lingered in Gregory's mind for years. Since he too had no obvious heirs, his own situation also posed potential uncertainties; and eventually he arranged for the disposition of his property in a properly attested will. This is 'the earliest complete Roman law will'(32) - a characterization that is surprising both because Gregory's will is from the post-classical period and because it was in Greek. The use of Greek in a valid will had been conceded in the early third century, and in the early fourth century Constantine had abolished the requirements of formal wording in wills, legacies, and trusts. Gregory nevertheless followed classical expectations in the composition of his will, and even used some appropriate Latin legal terminology.(33) In the absence of formal requirements, the use of witnesses became all the more vital to certify the authenticity of wills, and Gregory gathered the required seven witnesses, who were apparently all participants with him at the council of Constantinople in 381.(34) But even if complete and largely 'classical' in a formal sense, Gregory's will also included a few oddities, especially regarding the three most important components of a will, heirs, possessions, and the testator's own memory.
Although wills were often attempts to safeguard a family's standing by preserving its accumulated wealth, Gregory was now the only survivor of his parents and siblings, and he had no immediate family members, and certainly no 'caring wife' or 'beloved children', to designate as heirs.(35) He did have some close relatives, in particular some cousins. The most notable of his cousins was Amphilochius, by now bishop of Iconium, who served as one witness for Gregory's will. Another relative whom Gregory remembered in his will with a lifetime annuity was Russiana, who seems to have been an older woman. Gregory's nearest descending relatives, however, were three nieces, his sister's daughters. Two of these nieces Gregory dismissed as unworthy of consideration; not only were they themselves 'reprehensible', but the husband of one was improperly occupying another man's estate. With these moralizing comments Gregory's will, like many others, became 'a kind of confession' or 'a manifesto',(36) in which he ensured himself the final judgment in evaluating his relatives' behaviour. The third niece, Alypiana, he may have considered a 'daughter', but he still left her nothing in his will. Gregory's choices were not unprecedented, since testators without children or direct descendants commonly showed little interest in other relatives; instead, childless testators often designated friends as their heirs.(37) But although Gregory did mention some of his friends at the end of his will, he left them only gifts, 'the small tokens of friendship'. Rather than selecting a distant relative or a friend, Gregory instead designated as his heir Gregorius, who had once been a slave in his household but who had become a deacon and a monk after being manumitted. With this choice Gregory had decided to privilege affection over kinship and friendship. Since Gregorius, upon becoming a freedman, had presumably taken his name from his former master, he was also already the nearest Gregory had to a direct descendant. The freedman Gregorius would now preserve both the family's possessions and Gregory's name.
Although selecting a favoured freedman as an heir was not uncommon, designating him as the sole heir was. In this case, however, even though Gregory named Gregorius as his sole heir and did not describe the inheritance as a trust, he nevertheless seems to have expected Gregorius to act like a fiduciary heir, who would soon transmit the entire inheritance, excepting legacies, annuities, and gifts, to the church at Nazianzus. Since Constantine had explicitly permitted people to leave property to churches,(38) it is not clear why Gregory merely 'dedicated' his possessions to this church, rather than designating it directly as his heir. But Gregory now instructed Gregorius to act more like a trustee than an heir, since he and two other monks, one another freedman, were to administer the management of Gregory's possessions as an endowment for the relief of the poor. Gregory also, like many other testators, left legacies and gifts to a series of freedmen and slaves; but contrary to convention he now left most of these gifts with no conditions attached.(39) Gregorius and Eustathius were given ownership of an estate and its herds and flocks; Gregorius also received fifty gold coins; Theophilus received five gold coins; Eupraxius and Theodosius received their freedom and five gold coins apiece. The normal family in the Roman world may well have been the nuclear family of parents and children, but premature deaths and a commitment to virginity among Christians led to the creation of many substitute configurations. After his parents' deaths, Gregory's immediate 'family' consisted of domestic slaves and fellow clerics, some of whom were former household slaves.
Gregory's will covered the disposition of landed properties, slaves, animals, coins, and moveable possessions. He mentioned two of his properties specifically. One was an estate at Arianzus that Gregory had once acquired (or perhaps inherited) from the possessions of Reginus (who is otherwise unknown) and that also included herds and flocks. A second estate was at Kanotala, and Gregory now presented the deed of sale to his cousin Amphilochius. Gregory may also have alluded to a third estate when he specified the arrangements for his relative Russiana, who was to receive an annuity that would allow her to maintain an appropriate household. Since this household was to support her for the rest of her life, and since upon her death it was to revert to the church of Nazianzus, perhaps it was in fact a small estate. Among Gregory's slaves were the two girls who were to continue serving Russiana, although she had the option of eventually manumitting them; if she did not do so, then upon her death they were to belong to the church of Nazianzus. Gregory also mentioned two other slaves whom he was manumitting in his will, including his secretary. Other legatees included former slaves whom Gregory had previously manumitted; two of them had already assumed ownership of the flocks on the estate at Arianzus, and now acquired the estate too. Finally, Gregory mentioned his cash reserves and some moveable property. In his will he distributed 135 gold coins, some of which he kept in his native land. He also still had some clothes and carriages that had previously belonged to Caesarius. And he distributed some of what were apparently his own clothes, three wool robes, five tunics, five cloaks, and one plain garment.
Gregory's father had most likely been of curial rank before becoming bishop of Nazianzus,(40) but it is difficult to determine whether his, and now Gregory's, wealth was comparatively large or small in Cappadocia. Some families were fabulously wealthy, such as that of Olympias, an heiress at Constantinople who possessed properties in Cappadocia as well as in other provinces throughout central and northern Asia Minor.(41) These wealthy families owned enormous estates with spectacular villas, gardens, and ponds, and sometimes indulged in the expensive hobby of breeding race horses 'with impressive pedigrees, just like their owners'.(42) Since Gregory liked to use analogies with horses and horse racing, he had probably attended local races Caesarea;(43) but since he did not mention any horses in his will, his family had most likely not been wealthy enough to raise them. His friends Basil and Gregory of Nyssa were members of another prominent family in Cappadocia and Pontus. Their maternal grandfather had reputedly lost his possessions during a persecution of Christians in the early fourth century; but their mother had married a rhetorician from Pontus who probably had curial rank, and after his death she owned enough estates scattered throughout northeastern Asia Minor to pay taxes to the governors of three provinces.(44) The disposition of these properties among their many children is unknown, although Basil once mentioned an estate or household of his own in Galatia, and Gregory of Nyssa owned a settlement near Ibora.(45) But their parents had also dedicated some of their possessions to the Church, and Basil seems to have given away so much of his wealth that he once wrote that he was supported by friends and relatives because he owned nothing of his own.(46) In one of his homilies Basil insisted that a single tunic and a single outer garment were adequate; he may well have taken his own injunction seriously, because when a prefect once threatened him with confiscation of his property, he replied that he owned only some tattered rags and a few books.(47) Yet another churchman with an estate near Caesarea was the influential Arian theologian Eunomius.(48) Like other men in Cappadocia who made careers in the Church Gregory was comfortably but not spectacularly wealthy.
The most surprising aspect of Gregory's will was his lack of concern for his own memory. He never mentioned his own tomb, an epitaph, or commemorative celebrations. Instead, Gregory seems to have preferred to look back to the memory and wishes of his parents. The focus of his will was the church at Nazianzus, which was itself already a gift from Gregory's family. Gregory the EIder, Gregory's father who had served as bishop of Nazianzus for forty-five years, had constructed it as a 'beautiful and celestial' replacement for the 'wild and rustic' church he had inherited from his predecessor. But his new church was also a 'memorial to his generosity', both a concrete realization and a conspicuous reminder of his own and his family's local prominence.(49) Gregory, too, was aware of the significance of this church both for his family's standing and for his own, since he had subsequently financed its completion and maintenance.(50) But Gregory the Elder seems also to have intended that his home town would eventually inherit another family heirloom to serve in that church - his son Gregory, whom he had had ordained as a priest a few years after his return from Athens. Thereafter Gregory had assisted his elderly father, and had even rejected his consecration as bishop at Sasima in favour of remaining at Nazianzus. After his father's death he had served briefly as acting bishop of Nazianzus. Yet even though Gregory had once acknowledged that he was the 'living temple' that his father wanted to serve in his church at Nazianzus,(51) he had also struggled to combine ecclesiastical service at Nazianzus with his own fondness for a life of solitary contemplation. In 375 his ascetic side won out again, and he disappeared to live at the shrine of St Thecla in Seleucia. Years later he finally returned from this hibernation to serve at Constantinople. But his will in 381 reflected again his longstanding ambivalence about his obligations to Nazianzus. By leaving most of his possessions to the church at Nazianzus he would continue to follow his parents' wishes, 'to ignore whose intention I consider disrespectful and disloyal'; but he seems to have had no inclination to serve there again himself. He was now the bishop of Constantinople.
In late November 380 the emperor Theodosius arrived in Constantinople. Gregory had already been helping the small Nicene community in the capital for over a year, but now, with the emperor's overt assistance, he was able to claim control from the Arians over the churches in the city. In May 381 Theodosius convened a large general council to ratify (and supplement) Nicene orthodoxy. One of this council's first actions was to consecrate Gregory as bishop of Constantinople. In the past Gregory had been reluctant to become a bishop anywhere, even at Constantinople, but this time he acquiesced, thinking (as he wrote later) that he might be able to mediate various ecclesiastical quarrels, in particular that over the episcopacy of Antioch.(52) Yet shortly after his consecration Gregory composed his will. Was he thinking about his own mortality so soon after this triumph?
By late spring two concerns had converged. One was for his property and his relatives in Cappadocia. In a letter requesting assistance he claimed that his household was being mangled and might be completely destroyed; he eventually sent a priest to look after 'the household of my relatives'; and when he finally did resume control of his ancestral estate, he found it in poor condition? His second concern was for his health and safety. Gregory seems to have been ill during most of his stay at Constantinople: 'my body is weak, old age is upon my head;. . .[I am] a ship in the night'.(54) During the triumphal march with Theodosius and his army Gregory had become nauseous, scarcely able to breathe. If his poor health were not enough of a concern, his Arian opponents also tried to assassinate him while he was recovering from an illness. Events during the council did not help. After the death of Meletius, one of the contending bishops of Antioch, Gregory seems to have taken over presiding at the council. But his charitable proposal to resolve the standoff over the episcopacy at Antioch produced only a 'whirlwind' of opposition. Gregory became ill again, enough so that he remained at home and began to contemplate his 'departure': 'this was an escape from all my problems'.(55)
If this 'departure' was a veiled reference to imminent death,(56) then Gregory had indeed been thinking about the end of his life, and his will should be interpreted as an attempt to get his affairs in order first. More likely, however, Gregory had been contemplating using yet again his customary solution of flight when faced with difficult circumstances. In fact, in his valedictory oration to the bishops at the council, Gregory had already asked for their evaluation of his 'departure'.(57) Gregory furthermore suggested in a proposal to the council that he preferred 'a life without a throne'.(58) But departing from a major bishopric such as Constantinople was not an easy matter, for several reasons. One involved questions of doctrinal orthodoxy. Upon his arrival at Constantinople Theodosius had expelled Demophilus, the Arian bishop who declined to sign an orthodox creed; Gregory's departure, so soon after his consecration and in the middle of a council, might leave unresolved questions about his own orthodoxy. The selection of witnesses for his will was perhaps one means for Gregory to dispel any such rumours. His seven witnesses were all bishops from the provinces of Lycaonia and Pisidia and included the two metropolitans, Amphilochius of Iconium and Optimus of Antioch. Both metropolitans would acquire the support of Olympias, the wealthy heiress who was noted for her patronage of orthodox bishops.(59) More significantly, in the imperial constitution issued immediately after the council, both Amphilochius and Optimus would be named among the arbiters of Catholic orthodoxy.(60) So at the same time that these bishops witnessed Gregory's will they could also implicitly certify his orthodoxy.
Other factors hampering departure from a major see were prestige and wealth. Gregory might readily concede that he would exchange the prestige for his security;(61) but at the end of a century during which emperors had repeatedly reaffirmed the fiscal privileges of churches and their clerics, the bishops of Constantinople, and of other major sees, consistently faced lingering suspicions about their use of their churches' wealth. A bishop of Ephesus, for instance, would soon be accused of mismanagement of ecclesiastical funds, including the sale of lands acquired as an inheritance from the emperor Julian's mother.(62) At the Council of the Oak in 403 the accusations against John Chrysostom, then bishop of Constantinople, included the unwise sale of an inheritance and uncertainty about the expenditure of ecclesiastical revenues.(63) Although accusations and complaints are not the most reliable sources of information, contemporaries had obviously concluded that some bishops could, and did, make themselves wealthier than Croesus and Midas.(64)
Gregory seems to have realized that he, too, was vulnerable to accusations concerning his management of the resources of the churches at Constantinople, since he had himself once conceded that 'ecclesiastical revenues' were one catalyst behind the ongoing dispute with the Arians.(65) In his later writings he attempted to explain his situation. After Theodosius had finally granted him control over these churches, Gregory claimed that he had been unable to find any accounting of their 'much discussed revenues', either in previous bishops' accounts or among the stewards in charge; he nevertheless resisted suggestions to bring in an outside auditor who might undermine authority.(66) Shortly after the arrival of bishops from Egypt at the general council he decided to abandon the episcopacy of Constantinople. In his valedictory oration Gregory asked how the participants at this council would evaluate his tenure and whether they would be generous auditors. 'Or is it necessary that I too, just like those required [to submit] an account of the funds [handled] during their generalship or magistracy or administration, publicly submit to you the accounts of what I have administered?'(67) Although he went on to justify his successes at bolstering the Catholic community at Constantinople, this analogy at the very beginning of his oration indicates that he was strongly concerned about reactions to his handling of ecclesiastical funds. So another way of interpreting his will is that it represented his attempt to give a public accounting of his assets and to have it notarized by his fellow bishops. Years earlier Gregory and his family had suffered because his brother had died before obtaining a final audit of his handling of state revenues; now Gregory would use the listing of his possessions in his will to assure this council that he was not appropriating any of the resources of the church at Constantinople as he left. The bishops at this council could therefore issue him a 'certificate of discharge, just as emperors [do] for magistrates'(68) - and exactly what Caesarius had not received because of his untimely death.
As further reassurance Gregory insisted in his will that he was now reaffirming prior arrangements for the dispersal of his property. Not only was he fulfilling his parents' wishes, but he mentioned that he had already 'in person' given an estate to Gregorius and Eustathius, and that his provisions for his relative Russiana were 'in accordance with the arrangement that I have established.' He also noted that he had already indicated his intention of dedicating all his possessions to the church at Nazianzus for the support of the poor. An appropriate moment for these earlier dispositions would be after his father's death in 374, when Gregory continued for a short time to supervise the Christian community at Nazianzus. One of his duties then was to request favours for clerics, monks, and the poor from the peraequator, the 'equalizer', in charge of tax assessments at Nazianzus. Gregory also used the opportunity to request special consideration for 'my wealth, all of which I have of course given as an offering to the poor'.(69) Since Gregory soon abandoned Nazianzus in favour of a secluded life at the shrine of St Thecla, perhaps he had already then made extensive arrangements for the disposition of his possessions.
If this will was not Gregory's first word about the distribution of his possessions, then it was probably not his last word either. First, he had not mentioned all his possessions in this will. In particular, he also owned books, including volumes of classical authors such as copies of Demosthenes' orations and Aristotle's letters, some tomes of rhetoric, now 'moth-eaten and smoke-stained', and volumes of Christian authors such as Apollinaris and Origen. Books were not only expensive, they were so precious to learned men that the emperor Julian, once a student with Gregory at Athens, had tried to appropriate the extensive library of the bishop whose books he had borrowed during his exile in Cappadocia: 'a powerful passion to own books has inspired me since my youth'. After his return to Cappadocia in 381 Gregory nevertheless began to give his books to acquaintances.(70) Second, Gregory lived for almost another decade after he made this will. Upon his return to Cappadocia he lived on his family's domain at Arianzus, near Nazianzus, part of which he had decided in his will to leave to two of his heirs.(71) Since he did not die until about 390,(72) he may well have outlived some of his heirs and legatees; and as his circumstances and feelings changed, he would probably anyway have wanted to remember others in his final wishes. During the early 380s, for instance, Nicobulus the Elder, the husband of Gregory's niece Alypiana, had nursed his ill-health and served as his 'prop and staff'; Gregory hence considered him his 'most noble and most precious son'. In return Gregory began to look after the education of Nicobulus' sons, in particular Nicobulus the Younger, 'the most important of the relatives I care about'.(73) Gregory also seems to have looked to Gregorius, probably another grandnephew, to care for him in his old age, although he had to abandon that hope when Gregorius died young.(74) In 383 Eulalius, a cousin of Gregory, finally ended a decade of uncertainty over the episcopal leadership at Nazianzus by becoming bishop there. Gregory was so pleased at Eulalius' accession that he again (but, as so often, prematurely) contemplated his own death: 'in his hands I might die'.(75) So although in his will of 381 Gregory had designated a favourite freedman as his heir, upon his return to Cappadocia relatives had cared for him and looked after his interests, and he had reciprocated with his affection. In the end, whatever the final disposition of his property, these relatives took the initiative in helping to promulgate his literary heritage. Nicobulus the Younger, his favorite grandnephew, was able to convince Gregory to put together a collection of his letters, and Eulalius edited a collection of his orations.(76)
Gregory's will hence served a number of functions. For the bishops who attended the council of Constantinople it was an assurance of his orthodoxy and a settling of his accounts with the church that he was now intending to leave; for his relatives and friends it was a reaffirmation of his earlier declared intentions for the distribution of his own possessions and a candid declaration of his sentiments; and for modern historians (lest we forget) it is both an indication of Gregory's wealth and a preview of the final disposition of his possessions. Gregory's will may well have carefully followed the legal requirements for the composition of a Roman will, but in the process he had exceeded its usual expectations by including so many implicit intentions. He had also been unable to disengage himself from another lifelong preoccupation about his essential identity. 'It is commonly believed that men's wills are a mirror of their character';(77) even in the dictation of a document that looked to the future, Gregory was drawing upon memories of his past.
Gregory consistently professed disdain for wealth and possessions. In the period of depression following Caesarius' death he had insisted that Christ was his 'most significant wealth', not 'fields of grain, beautiful gardens, herds of cattle, flocks of plump sheep, and obedient slaves'.(78) Yet his will alone demonstrates that to the end of his life he in fact continued to own several estates, flocks, and slaves. The dissonance here is not only the discrepancy between Gregory's conception of himself as someone unimpressed by wealth and the realities of his standing as the scion of a wealthy family and a local property owner; in addition, it was precisely Gregory's wealth that made possible his disdain for wealth. In the ancient world most people were born to poverty; only the wealthy could afford to scorn wealth and deliberately choose a life of seclusion, retirement, and voluntary simplicity. After their return from Athens, Basil and Gregory had lived together in an ascetic retreat that, they claimed, imposed a lifestyle of hardship characterized by rocky mountains, an endless desert, long winters, plain clothes, and a diet of biscuits 'as sticky as mud'. Yet they had not rejected their families' wealth, since Gregory had first suggested that they reside on an estate belonging to his family, and they ended up on an estate in Pontus belonging to Basil's family, supported by his mother's generosity.(79) Gregory and Basil were hence reluctant to assume not so much their family's wealth, as the expectations of public service and the obligations of public munificence that went along with that wealth. Basil had finally resolved that apprehension by becoming a bishop, which gave him a dominant (and permanent) position at Caesarea, but within a set of values and expectations different enough from those of traditional landowning aristocrats that he could even castigate their extravagant behaviour. Gregory, in contrast, declined to become bishop at his home town of Nazianzus (and disregarded his precipitous, and unwanted, consecration as bishop of Sasima). Occasionally he helped his father at Nazianzus, and eventually served briefly as acting bishop there; but after his father's death the see remained effectively vacant for almost a decade, until finally a cousin became bishop in 383. Gregory was also reluctant to fulfill the conventional role of a local landowning aristocrat, since after his father's death he soon disappeared to Isauria for a few years. Gregory's wealth had raised expectations among the local population that he had consistently rejected; yet it was also his wealth that made possible his repeated retirements to a life of seclusion, first with Basil in Pontus, then in Isauria, and eventually on his own estate near Nazianzus.
This tension between Gregory's image of himself and the expectations of others hints at a deeper and more discomfitting uneasiness about the consistency of his personality and the stability of his identity. The frequent switches between isolated seclusion and active participation in local affairs seem sometimes to have left him with no sense of a consistent trajectory in his life. One indication of this uncertainty about the continuity of his personal identity was his constant anxiety over whether to assume or abandon service as a cleric; rather than making the decision once and then preserving that vow, Gregory seems to have had to decide the same issue again and again, when he discarded his academic career at Athens, when he joined Basil in ascetic seclusion, when he was ordained a priest by his father, and when he faced the prospect of an episcopacy at Sasima or Nazianzus. At Constantinople, within a month of his formal consecration as bishop (and in the middle of the general council) Gregory had withdrawn again from public appearances. Another indication was the fragmented state of his memories about his own past. In the poems he wrote throughout his life, for instance, and especially those from his later years, he persistently reduced his past behaviour and thinking to a series of discrete critical episodes that he then honed down over the years to their aphoristic essence. One brief epitaph summarized his whole life in ten transitional moments, each noted in one line of verse; another, equally brief, was almost nonchalant in its clarity: 'this is Gregory's life;. . .inscribe it on stones'.(80)
In the process of fragmenting his past in this way, however, Gregory also repeatedly reshaped and reinterpreted these episodes. Moulding accounts of the past to conform with the concerns of the present was certainly a standard apologetic and didactic technique among Christian writers of late antiquity, which appeared perhaps most clearly in the composition of panegyrics and saints' lives. Gregory, however, seems to have been fascinated with the interpretation of various episodes from his own life; but rather than merely remembering them, he repeatedly recreated them in his imagination. One such episode was his experience of a terrifying storm at sea while sailing from Egypt to Greece in the early 350s, of which he later provided three versions, each with a different signification. In the immediate aftermath of his brother's death, while he was struggling against 'the evil thorns of life', he claimed that his current obstacles were more threatening than that earlier storm, even though it had lasted twenty days. In his funeral oration for his father he highlighted the assistance he had received from his parents, who had learned of his danger in a dream. Finally, in the long poem about his life composed in Cappadocia after his return from Constantinople he insisted that the terror he had experienced during that storm had led him to reaffirm his dedication to Christ.(81) Gregory's own past had become a text that he could now remember, and read, in different ways, depending upon the specific circumstances, and each episode assumed its meanings in accordance with his current concerns about grief over his brother, the loss of his father, or the end of his episcopacy at Constantinople. With regard to doctrinal formulations, opponents accused Gregory of being a 'stubborn anvil', unwilling to compromise or modify the views he had forged;(82) but in composing his own past Gregory, like many who write their autobiographies, was consistently unable, or unwilling, to settle upon a definitive reading. The man whom contemporaries and subsequent readers admired for the fluency of his theological treatises about the nature of the Trinity seemingly 'stuttered' as he remembered and recorded memories about himself.(83)
Another episode that took on varying significances was his brief tenure at Constantinople. In a scathing caricature Gregory later belittled one of his opponents as 'Proteus', a 'shape-shifter' who had initially supported him and then tried to steal the episcopacy of Constantinople.(84) Gregory's own vacillations, however, left him open to a similar evaluation. As he left Constantinople he was concerned to acquire the approval of the emperor Theodosius, the bishops at the council, and the members of his congregation; but he also had to prove to himself, again, that he was still his same self, and that he had acted in accordance with his lifelong cultural and religious values. Gregory seems to have begun to interpret and justify his tenure at Constantinople immediately upon his decision to leave the see. Initially he was predictably defensive and recriminatory. In his valedictory oration he emphasized his achievements by claiming credit for expanding the size of the congregation, improving links with churches in the West, and keeping the episcopacy pure; while in a long poem he wrote immediately upon his departure he accused the bishops who had opposed him of being 'murderers'(85) By the time he returned to Cappadocia he had recast the incident into considerations of loyalty and continuity. Because Nectarius, the new bishop of Constantinople, was a friend, Gregory could share in his good fortune; in return, Nectarius honoured Gregory 'just as a loving son comforts an old father'.(86) And finally, within a year after his departure, Gregory composed a lengthy poem that placed his stay at Constantinople in the longer context of his entire life. In this poem he presented himself as a victim who had nevertheless remained unwaveringly true to himself and his beliefs, even in the face of misfortunes. His opponents had been deceptive; his friends had changed, even Basil upon becoming a bishop; but he had consistently been devoted to his family and friends and candidly honest about his theology. As someone who had 'overcome everything that changes', he had lived up to his own recommendation 'to display the same character to everyone".(87) In these autobiographical reflections Gregory was again searching for and insisting upon the unswerving continuity of his own self hood, 'redeeming in a final appeal a destiny that doubted its own value'.(88) The consistency of viewpoint in this version of the story of his life became a demonstration of the stability of his identity throughout his life: 'to tell one's story. . .becomes an affirmation of power, even when the story contains emphatic defeats'.(89) In the end Gregory thought of his departure from Constantinople as his reaction to another storm at sea. This time 'I became the prophet Jonah'; so he had jumped overboard not to desert, but to save his ship.(90)
Gregory composed these retrospective letters and poems in Cappadocia, where he finally had the time and leisure to reflect upon his past. Back in his native province Constantinople soon became simply another memory, 'my city, which is no longer mine'. He even stopped dreaming about his beloved church there.(91) But leaving Constantinople had also meant that Gregory had had to reconcile himself, yet again, with returning to his home town after an extended absence. This time his will helped him make this transition. Gregory had not lived in Cappadocia for six years when, upon his departure for Isauria, he had apparently settled some of the particulars of the disposition of his property. As Gregory reviewed those details in his will, he also began to recast his relationship with his home town. Although he signed the will as the bishop of Constantinople, his primary concern as a testator was to respect his parents' wishes by leaving most of his possessions to the church at Nazianzus. By the time he left Constantinople he had clearly begun to reconcile himself to accepting his ancestral roots again, because he signed the canons of the council of 381 as the bishop of Nazianzus.(92) Gregory was also apparently now willing finally to embrace the expectations of his family's local prominence, because in 382 he again began to serve (even if for only a year) as acting bishop of Nazianzus, 'out of respect for my father'.(93) After having once served as bishop of Constantinople he had now become, like his father, a 'small-town bishop';(94) and after having once presided in the churches of the capital, he was now officiating again in his father's home-town church. Even after he ceased to serve as bishop he did not, as in the past, vanish into seclusion. Instead he acted like a local patron by sending many letters to imperial magistrates on behalf of friends and petitioners, and he began to look after some of his relatives' interests, in particular by taking over the supervision of a grandnephew's education. In the process of thinking again about his parents' hopes, the making of his will had finally compelled Gregory to face, not his impending death, but his longstanding ambivalence about service in his home town.
Eventually Gregory thought about his own death, too, in particular by settling some matters usually resolved in a will, the arrangements for his tomb and his epitaph. However far away men's careers in the Roman administration took them, their families wanted them to be buried in their homeland; so one father had brought back the bones of a son who had served as a legal advisor in Bithynia to be buried with his ancestors in Pontus.(95) The body of Gregory's brother, Caesarius, had likewise been returned to Cappadocia to share a tomb with their mother;(96) Gregory would now share a tomb with their father. And although he once jokingly suggested that a noted rhetorician might supply an appropriate epitaph, in the end he wrote his own. Even in this task Gregory could not reconcile the outlook of an apologist who looked for a stable, unwavering identity throughout his entire autobiography, with the perspective of a historian who knew that the past, even his own, had to be interpreted over and over again. So Gregory wrote for himself not one epitaph, but ten, each with a slightly different emphasis.(97)
RAYMOND VAN DAM
APPENDIX: TRANSLATION OF THE WILL OF GREGORY OF NAZIANZUS
Translated from the almost identical texts edited by the Maurists in PG 37.389-96 (used here as the reference edition), and by J B. Pitra, in his Iuris Ecclesiastici Graecorum Historia et Monuments, Vol. 2 (Rome, 1868), 155-59; neither edition has an adequate critical apparatus. The French translation of Martroye, 219-25, was reprinted in H. Leclercq, 'Nazianze', in F. Cabrol and H. Leclercq (eds.) Dictionnaire d'archeologie chretienne et de liturgie vol. 12.1 (Paris, 1935), 1057-59.
'A copy of the will of the holy Gregory the Theologian, transcribed from the original document in which are preserved the autograph signatures of [Gregory] himself and of the witnesses who signed.'(98)
389a During the consulships of the most distinguished Flavius Eucherius and the most distinguished Flavius Evagrius, one day before the Kalends of January.(99)
I, Gregory, bishop of the Catholic church of Constantinople, alive and in my right mind, with sound judgment and sane reasoning, have composed this my will. I direct and I wish that it be legitimate and valid in every court and before every magistrate. For I have already openly revealed my intention, and I have dedicated all my possessions to the Catholic church at Nazianzus for the provision of the poor who are dependent upon the aforementioned church. In conformity with this preference of mine I have therefore appointed three men to be responsible for the management of poor-relief: the deacon and monk Marcellus; 389b the deacon Gregorius, who was [a slave] of my household; and the monk Eustathius, who was also [a slave] of my household. Now I still maintain the same intention toward the holy church of Nazianzus, and I hold the same preference.
Whenever I happen to meet the end of my life, the aforementioned deacon and monk Gregorius, who was [a slave] of my household and whom I manumitted long ago, is to be heir of the entirety of all my possessions, both moveable and fixed, wherever my possessions are. All the others are to be disinherited. As a result, Gregorius may restore all my possessions, both moveable and fixed, to the holy Catholic church of Nazianzus, exempting nothing at all except 389c whatever I specifically leave someone in this my will as a legacy or a trust. As I have already said, he may instead carefully preserve everything for the church, keeping the fear of God before his eyes and knowing that I have decided to add all my possessions to the provision of the poor of that same church and that I have designated him as heir so that he might completely preserve everything for the church.
392a With regard to the household slaves whom I have manumitted either by my own decision or in accordance with the instructions of my most blessed parents, I wish that all of them remain still now in freedom and that all their property remain guaranteed and undisturbed. I also wish that my heir the deacon Gregorius, along with the monk Eustathius, who were once [slaves] of my household, possess the estate in Arianzus that came to us from the possessions of Reginus.(100) With regard to the herds and the flocks that I already instructed in person to be given to them and whose pasturage and ownership I granted to them, I wish that Gregorius and Eustathius retain them undisturbed for their lawful ownership. I furthermore especially wish that the deacon Gregorius, my heir who has faithfully served me, keep for his own lawful ownership 392b fifty gold coins.
I have directed that a specified amount be given annually to the most venerable virgin Russiana, my relative, so that she might live independently. I wish and I direct that this entire amount, in accordance with the arrangement that I have established, be given to her annually without delay. In the past I did not decide about her residence, because I did not know where she preferred to live. But now I wish also this, that in whatever place she chooses a household might be prepared that is suitable for her, an independent woman, [and] for the respectable life of a virgin. She will of course possess this household for her use and sustenance without any disturbance until the end of her life; then it will revert to the church. I wish that two [slave] girls whom 392c she has chosen also be given her on the understanding that the girls stay with her until the end of her life. And if she is satisfied with them, she is allowed to honour them with manumission; if not, they are to belong to the same church.(101)
I have already manumitted Theophilus, the [former slave] boy who remains with me. Now I wish also to give him five coins as a legacy. I wish to manumit his brother Eupraxius and give him five gold coins as a legacy. I furthermore wish to manumit my secretary Theodosius and give him five gold pieces also as a legacy.
With regard to my very dear daughter Alypiana (the others, Eugenia and Nonna, whose lives are reprehensible, [deserve] little consideration), I wish her to forgive me if I have been unable to leave anything to her, 392d for I have already promised everything to the poor. Or rather, I have followed the undertaking of my most blessed parents, to ignore whose intention I consider disrespectful and disloyal. But with regard to whatever has survived from the possessions of my blessed brother Caesarius among the silk clothes, the linen clothes, the wool clothes, or the carriages, 393a I wish to transfer this to her children. [I wish that] in no way is she or her sisters to give trouble either to my heir or to the church.(102)
Let my son-in-law Meletius realize that he improperly possesses the estate at Apenzinsus that is part of the properties of Euphemius.(103) I have already in the past often written to Euphemius concerning this property, accusing him of cowardice unless he retrieved his estate. But now I testify before all magistrates and subjects that Euphemius is being wronged. For it is necessary that the estate be returned to Euphemius.(104)
I wish that the deed of sale for the property at Kanotala be delivered to my most venerable son, bishop Amphilochius. For the deed is [kept] in our papers, and everyone knows that the contract was paid, that I received the price, and that long ago I surrendered the pasturage and 393(b) the ownership of the estate.(105)
To Evagrius the deacon, who often toiled with me and shared my thoughts and in many instances offered his goodwill, I confess gratitude before both God and men. God will repay him with greater [rewards]. But so that we not neglect the small tokens of friendship, I wish that he be given one wool robe, one tunic, two cloaks, and thirty gold coins.(106) Likewise I wish that our most delightful fellow deacon and brother Theodulus be given one wool robe, two of the tunics in my native land, and twenty of the gold coins from the account in my native land. I wish that Elaphius, who is a versatile secretary and who has well assisted us during the time he served, be given one wool robe, two tunics, three cloaks, 393(c) a plain garment,(107) and twenty of the gold coins in my native land.(108)
I wish that this my will be legitimate and valid in every court and before every magistrate. If it is not valid as a will, I wish that it be valid as a final desire or a codicil. But whoever attempts to overturn this will give explanation on judgment day and will settle the account.
In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
I, Gregory, bishop of the Catholic church in Constantinople, have read the will and have approved all that is written. I signed with my own hand, and I direct and wish that it be valid.
I, Amphilochius, bishop of the Catholic church 393(d) in Iconium, witnessed the will of the most venerable bishop Gregory. Having been summoned by him I signed with my own hand.
I, Optimus, bishop of the Catholic church at Antioch, witnessed the 396(a) most venerable bishop Gregory making his will in the terms recorded above. Having been summoned by him I signed with my own hand.(109)
I, Theodosius, bishop of the Catholic church in Ide, witnessed the will of the most venerable bishop Gregory. Having been summoned by him I signed with my own hand.(110)
I, Theodulus, bishop of the holy Catholic church at Apamea, witnessed etc.(111)
I, Hilarius, bishop of the Catholic church at Isauria, witnessed etc.(112)
I, Themistius, bishop of the Catholic church at [H]adrianopolis, witnessed etc.(113)
I, Cledonius, presbyter of the Catholic church 396b in Iconium, witnessed etc.(114)
'I, Joannes, reader and secretary of the most holy church in Nazianzus, have transcribed and published this copy of the sacred will of the holy and illustrious theologian Gregory that has been deposited with me in the most holy church.'(115)
1 The name apparently preferred by Constantine: see Socrates, HE 1.16.
2 GNaz, Carm. II. 1. 1. 177-78, Caesarius; B, Ep. 1, Sirens at Constantinople.
3 Both quotes from GNaz, Orat. 43.14.
4 GNaz, Orat. 7.6-7. The treatise transmitted under Caesarius' name (PG 38.852-1189) was wrongly attributed: see Hauser-Meury, 50 n. 64 and R. Riedinger, Pseudo-Kaisarios. Uberlieferungsgeschichte und Verfasserfrage. Byzantinisches Archiv 12 (Munich, 1969), 439-59.
5 GNaz, Orat. 7.8. Throughout his account of Caesarius' career Gregory did not name the emperors, although he did use singular and plural references. This emperor was most likely Constantius, even though after promoting Julian as Caesar for the Rhine frontier in late 355 he no longer reigned alone; Constantius resided in Milan and Sirmium until returning to Constantinople during the winter of 359-360: see O. Seeck, Regesten der Kaiser und Papste fur die Jahre 311 bis 476 n. Chr. (Stuttgart, 1919), 201-207 for the chronology and locations. These offers to Caesarius coincided with the peak period of recruitment to the senate at Constantinople: see G. Dragron, Naissance d'une capitale. Constantinople et ses institutions de 330 a 451 (Paris, 1974), 132-33.
6 GNaz, Orat. 7.9. Jungck, 231-33, dated Gregory's return from Athens to Cappadocia to 356, Gallay, Vie 65, 243-44, to c.358/359.
7 GNaz, Orat. 7.9-10, with Hauser-Meury, 49 n. 61, for his appointment as archiatros.
8 GNaz, Orat, 7.11-13. Perhaps factors other than a conflict between pagan emperor and Christian doctor motivated Caesarius' departure; cf. Ammianus Marcellinus 22.4, for Julian's dismissal of superfluous court functionaries.
9 GNaz, Ep. 7, gossip; Orat. 7.14. Valens may have recruited Caesarius during his stay in Caesarea during summer 365 (see Ammianus Marcellinus 26.7.2); since Valens was then about to face an attempted coup by Procopius, a relative of the former emperor Julian, Caesarius' dismissal by Julian made him all the more attractive.
10 GNaz, Orat. 7.15: 'Caesarius lived in Bithynia and held an important office [that he had received] from the emperor. His responsibility was to manage the possessions of the emperor and scrutinize his treasuries.' O. Seeck, 'Caesarius 3', RE 3.1 (Stuttgart, 1897), 1299 identified Caesarius as a comes sacrarum largitionum, a top magistrate in charge of finances who served at the imperial court; it is more likely that he held a lesser magistracy as a comes thesaurorum who administered a local storage depot: see now R. Delmaire, Largesses sacrees et res privata. L'aerarium imperial et son administration du [IV.sup.e]au [VI.sup.e]siecle (Paris/Rome, 1989), 186-87, 271.
11 GNaz, Carm. II.1.1.172-3, Epitaph. 15 = Anthologia Palatina 8.94. For the date see Socrates, HE 4.11.
22 GNaz, Orat. 7.15: Caesarius had also at some time been baptized.
13 GNaz, Ep. 20, mentioning that he had written often; B, Ep. 26.
14 GNaz, Orat. 7.15: in this funeral oration for his brother Gregory still referred to the earthquake as 'recent' ([GREEK TEXT OMITTED]).
15 GNaz, Orat. 7.9-10.
16 B, Ep. 32.1.
17 GNaz, Carm. II.1.1.173-74, 183-84; II.1.11.371-73, 377-80.
18 The description in B, Ep. 32.1 is ambiguous; this summary follows the translations of Y. Courtonne, Saint Basile, Lettres (Paris, 1957-1966), 1:74; M. Forlin Patrucco, Basilio di Cesarea. Le lettere 1 (Turin, 1983), 169; and W.-D. Hauschild, Basilius yon Caesarea, Briefe, erster Teil. Bibliothek der griechischen Literatur, Abteilung Patristik 32 (Stuttgart, 1990), 79. According to the translation and note in R. J. Deferrari, Saint Basil, The Letters (Cambridge, Mass., 1957-1966), 1:180-81, after Caesarius' servants had looted his house the executors distributed both the most valuable possessions and the small reserve. Basil wrote Ep. 32 on behalf of 'our brother Gregory the bishop'. This letter is usually dated to 369: see M. Clauss, Der Magister Officiorum in der Spatantike (4.-6. Jahrhundert). Der Amt und sein Einfluss auf die kaiserliche Politik (Munich, 1980), 190 on the date of Sophronius' office; but if it is to be dated before Gregory actually became a bishop in 372, [GREEK TEXT OMITTED] must be a marginal gloss that later crept into the text: see Forlin Patrucco, op. cit. 388-89. Hauschild, op. cit. 180 n. 168 now revives the implausible suggestion that this 'Gregory the bishop' was Gregory the Elder, bishop of Nazianzus; R. Pouchet, Basile le Grand et son univers d'amis d'apres sa correspondance. Une strategie de communion (Rome, 1992), 306-308 dates B, Ep. 32-33 to 372.
19 See also GNaz, Orat. 7.20 for a hint that their mother Nonna had a say in distributing these possessions to the poor during Caesarius' funeral; and Orat. 18.21 for Nonna's remark that she would sell herself and her children to benefit the poor. GNaz, Carm. II.1.1.184 explicitly noted that no relatives now assisted him.
20 B, Ep. 32.2.
21 GNaz, Ep. 61, 160.
22 B, Hom. 7.8, dated to perhaps 369 by J. Bernardi, La predication des Peres Cappadociens. La predicateur et son auditoire (Paris, 1968), 61. If this date is correct, then this may well be an oblique comment on the distribution of Caesarius' wealth.
23 B, Ep. 107-109, guardian and widow; 320, bishop, although it is not clear whether he had been the lender or the debtor.
24 B, Ep. 109.
25 B, Ep. 32; GNaz, Ep. 29.
26 B, Ep. 33. This letter mentions the difficulties of 'our brother Gregory the bishop'; if it refers to Gregory of Nazianzus and was written before he became bishop in 372, then [GREEK TEXT OMITTED] must again be a scribal notation later inserted into the text: see n. 18. Although O. Seeck, Die Briefe des Libanius zeitlich geordnet (Leipzig, 1906), 36 and PLRE 1:5 suggest that Aburgius was comes rei privatae, R. Delmaire, Les responsables des finances imperiales au Bas-Empire romain ([IV.sup.e]-[VI.sup.e] s.). Etudes prosopographiques (Brussels, 1989), 61-62 now argues that he was the comes Orientis.
27 GNaz, Ep. 29.4.
28 See A. H. M. Jones, The Later Roman Empire 284-602. A social, economic, and administrative survey (Norman, 1964), 420-24, and F. De Marini Avonzo, 'S. Gregorio Nazianzeno e la donazione della lite al fisco', in Studi in onore di Guiseppe Grosso 2 (Turin, 1968), 327-41 on imperial claims; Delmaire, op. cit. (n. 10) 81-82, on the assumption of private debts; and Ammianus Marcellinus 18.5.1 for a private debt transferred to the treasury 'through deception'.
29 Audits: CTh 1.32.3, 8.7.14 both addressed to a comes sacrarum largitionum and dated to 377; thesauri: CJ 10.23.1.
30 GNaz, Carm. II.1.11.368-71.
31 GNaz, Epitaph. 16=Anthologia Palatina 8.95, lightning; Epitaph. 17 = Anthologia Palatina 8.96, grief.
32 E. Champlin, Final Judgments, Duty and emotion in Roman wills, 200 B.C.-A.D.250 (Berkeley, 1991), 29 n. 1: an observation on the fragmentary nature of the surviving evidence from earlier centuries, rather than on the incidence of wills, especially among property-owning elites.
33 R. Taubenschlag, The Law of Greco-Roman Egypt in the Light of the Papyri 332 B.C.-640 A.D. (New York, 1944), 145-46, use of Greek; CJ 6.23.15+6.37.21 considered parts of a single constitution of Constantine by D. Johnston, The Roman Law of Trusts (Oxford, 1988), 213-14. Latin legalese: 389c, 392c, legatum; 389c, fideicommissum; 392a, peculium; 393c, codicillus; other Latin words: 392c, 393b, 396b, notarius; 393b, pallium. Elsewhere Gregory admitted that he did not know Latin (Ep. 173.1).
34 Johnston, op. cit. (n. 331) 145-48 on the necessity of witnesses.
35 As conceded, rather wistfully, by GNaz, Carm. II.1.1.601-4.
36 P. Veyne, 'The Roman Empire', in P. Veyne (ed.), A History of Private Life. I: From Pagan Rome to Byzantium (Cambridge, Mass., 1987), 30-31.
37 Champlin, op. cit. (n. 32) 142-44.
38 CTh 16.2.4, dated to 321.
39 See L. Boyer, 'La fonction sociale des legs d'apres la jurisprudence classique', Revue historique de droit francais et etranger, [4.sup.me] serie, 43 (1965), 342-55, 360-63, and Champlin, op. cit. (n. 32) 131-42 on freedmen and slaves as heirs and legatees.
40 See Hauser-Meury, 88; T. A. Kopecek, 'The social class of the Cappadocian Fathers', Church History 42 (1973), 454-56; and Coulie, 25-28.
41 Vita Olympiadis 5, in A.-M. Malingrey (ed.), Jean Chrysostome, Lettres a Olympias. Seconde edition augmentee de la Vie anonyme d'Olympias. SChr. 13 bis (Paris, 1968), 416, estates in Thrace, Galatia, Cappadocia Prima, and Bithynia.
42 B, Hom. 7.2; J. J. Rossiter, 'Roman villas of the Greek East and the villa in Gregory of Nyssa Ep. 20', Journal of Roman Archaeology 2 (1989), 101-10.
43 B, Hom. 18.3, horse and chariot races in a stadium in Caesarea.
44 GNys, Vita Macrinae 2, 4, 20-21, with Kopecek, op. cit. (n. 40) 461-66 who argues for Basil the Elder's curial rank; Vita Macrinae 5, estates and taxes.
45 B, Ep. 313, [GREEK TEXT OMITTED]; GNys, Encomium in XL martyres 2 (PG 46.784b).
46 GNaz, Orat. 43.9, parents' dedications; B, Ep. 36-37.
47 B, Hom. 7.2; GNaz, Orat. 43.49; also 43.61: Basil had owned one tunic and a threadbare cloak.
48 Philostorgius, HE 10.6; Sozomen, HE 7.17.
49 GNaz, Oral. 1.6, new church; 18.16, old church; 18.39, [GREEK TEXT OMITTED].
50 On the assumption that the church mentioned in GNaz, Ep. 57 was his father's church; also Ep. 141.8 for a church in Nazianzus that Gregory built for God.
51 GNaz, Oral. 1.6 on himself shortly after being ordained a priest: 'a living temple joined to an inanimate temple'.
52 GNaz, Carm. II.1.11.1525-38.
53 GNaz, Ep. 82, 85, dated to possibly 380 by Gallay, Lettres 1:104-6, but left undated by Hauser-Meury, 26-27; Carm. II.1.33.9-10.
54 GNaz, Ep. 80, dated to 380 or 381/382 by Gallay, Lettres 1:103 n. 1.
55 GNaz, Carm. II.1.11.1337-38, procession; 1442-65, assassin; 1680-89, opposition; 1745-48, [GREEK TEXT OMITTED].
56 So Gallay, Vie 205.
57 GNaz, Orat. 42.1, [GREEK TEXT OMITTED]. Even if not composed until after his departure from Constantinople, Orat. 42 still indicated Gregory's thinking during the council: see Bernardi, op. cit. (n. 22) 226-28 and 'La composition et la publication du Discours 42 de Gregoire de Nazianze', in Memorial Dom Jean Gribomont (1920-1986). Studia Ephemeridis 'Augustinianum' 27 (Rome, 1988), 131-43.
58 GNaz, Carm. II.1.11.1671.
59 Palladius, Dialogus de vita Iohannis Chrysostomi 17.197-201, ed. A.-M. Malingrey and P. Leclercq, Palladios, Dialogue sur la Vie de Jean Chrysostome SChr. 341-42 (Paris, 1988), 1:348; and Vita Olympiadis 14, op. cit. (n. 41) 436. For a suggestive argument that Gregory himself was a distant relative of Olympias by marriage, see J. Bernardi, 'Nouvelles perspectives sur la famille de Gregoire de Nazianze', Vigiliae Christianae 38 (1984), 352-59.
60 CTh 16.1.3. Perhaps it is not surprising that Gregory's witnesses included no bishops from Cappadocia, since he had not lived there since 375; but it is puzzling that Gregory of Nyssa was not included, since he too would be named as an arbiter of orthodoxy and Gregory of Nazianzus had continued to correspond with him.
61 GNaz, Carm. II.1.11.1672.
62 Palladius, Dialogus de vita Iohannis Chrysostomi 13.156-176, op. cit. (n. 59) 1:274-76.
63 Acta excerpted in Photius, Bibliotheca, cod. 59, ed. Malingrey and Leclercq, op cit. (n. 59) 2:100-14.
64 So GNaz, Carm. II.1.12.434-35.
65 GNaz, Orat. 26.16.
66 GNaz, Carm. II.1.11.1475-85.
67 GNaz, Orat. 42.1.
68 GNaz, Orat. 42.25, [GREEK TEXT OMITTED], [GREEK TEXT OMITTED]. For the ranking of civil servants as 'soldiers', see Jones, op. cit. (n. 28) 566.
69 GNaz, Carm. II.2.2.19-20 (PG 37.1479), with R. Van Dam, 'Governors of Cappadocia during the fourth century' (forthcoming), on the peraequator Julianus.
70 Julian, Ep. 23, ed. W. C. Wright, The Works of the Emperor Julian 3 (Cambridge, Mass., 1923), 72-74; GNaz, Ep. 31.7, 115.3, 202.9, 234.1, 235.3. On the value of books, see N. G. Wilson, 'Books and readers in Byzantium', in Byzantine Books and Bookmen (Washington, D.C., 1975), 3-4. As one indication of his great wealth, the will of Eustathius Boilas, an eleventh-century Byzantine official, listed almost one hundred volumes (including a copy of Gregory's poems): see S. Vryonis, Jr., 'The will of a provincial magnate, Eustathius Boilas (1059)', Dumbarton Oaks Papers II (1957), 269-70, and P. Lemerle, Cinq etudes sur le [XI.sup.e] siecle byzantin (Paris, 1977), 24-25.
71 GNaz, Ep. 122, 132-33.
72 Gallay, Vie 243-44.
73 GNaz, Ep. 126, 147, 174, Nicobulus the Elder; 167, Nicobulus the Younger.
74 GNaz, Epitaph. 125 = Anthologia Palatina 8.165. This epitaph identified Gregory as the boy's [GREEK TEXT OMITTED], specifically 'maternal uncle', more generally 'relative on the mother's side'. Hauser-Meury, 94 n. 189 concluded that this Gregorius was an otherwise unknown nephew; he would then be a son of Alypius and Gorgonia. But unless he had died by 381, it is difficult to understand why in his will Gregory did not mention him with his sisters. It is more likely that this Gregorius was a grandnephew, a son of Nicobulus the Elder and Alypiana and one of the elsewhere unnamed brothers of Nicobulus the Younger (cf. GNaz, Ep. 157, 195).
75 GNaz, Ep. 182.
76 GNaz, Ep. 53, collection; Hauser-Meury, 182 n. 4, with the heading to Orat. 13 (PG 35.852), for Eulalius' edition.
77 Pliny, Ep. 8.18.1.
78 GNaz, Carm. II.1.1.75-79.
79 B, Ep. 2, 14; GNaz, Ep. 2, 4, 5.4, Basil's mother.
80 GNaz, Carm. II.1.92, 93.
81 GNaz, Carm. II.1.1.50, 307-21, dated to the late 360s by Gallay, Vie 92 n. 1, to c. 371 by D. M. Meehan, Saint Gregory of Nazianzus, Three Poems (Washington, D.C., 1987), 20; Orat. 18.31; Carm. II.1.11.121-209. For further discussion of these three versions, see B. Coulie, 'Les trois recits de la tempete subie par Gregoire de Nazianze', in B. Coulie (ed.), Versiones orientales, repertorium ibericum et studia ad editiones curandas. Corpus Christianorum, series graeca 20 = Corpus Nazianzenum 1 (Brepols, 1988), 157-80.
82 GNaz, Carm. II.1.11.712.
83 L. A. Renza, 'The veto of the imagination: a theory of autobiography', in J. Olney (ed.), Autobiography: essays theoretical and critical (Princeton, 1980), 279: 'the project of writing about oneself to oneself. . .is therefore prone to. . .a "stuttering", fragmented narrative appearance'. For a similar process of reinterpretation in Basil's writings, see P. Rousseau, 'Basil of Caesarea: choosing a past', in G. Clarke et al. (eds.), Reading the past in late antiquity (Rushcutters Bay, 1990), 37-58. Scholars of late antiquity might find intriguing similarities with Edward Gibbon, who never finished an autobiography even after composing six drafts: see W. B. Carnochan, Gibbon's Solitude. The inward world of the historian (Stanford, 1987), 124-51.
84 GNaz, Carm. II.1.11.808, on Maximus the Cynic.
85 GNaz, Carm. II.1.12.15; at the end of this poem Gregory implied that a successor had not yet been chosen (Carm. II.1.12.818-19).
86 GNaz, Ep. 88.2, good fortune; 185.1, comfort. Gregory occasionally requested Nectarius' assistance: see Ep. 91, 151, 186.
87 GNaz, Carm. II.1.11.792, 1043, dated soon after early 382 by Jungck, 169. For Gregory's struggle to maintain his friendship with Basil, see R. Van Dam, 'Emperor, bishops, and friends in late antique Cappadocia', JTS NS 37 (1986), 68-73.
88 G. Gusdorf, 'Conditions and limits of autobiography', in J. Olney (ed.), Autobiography: essays theoretical and critical (Princeton, 1980), 39.
89 P. M. Spacks, Imagining a Self. Autobiography and novel in eighteenth-century England (Cambridge, Mass., 1976), 308.
90 GNaz, Carm. II.1.11.1838-39; same comparison in Ep. 135.4.
91 GNaz, Carm. II.1.11.574, memory; II.1.16.47-48, the end of his dream.
92 C. H. Turner, 'Canons attributed to the Council of Constantinople, A.D.381, together with the names of the bishops, from two Patmos MSS POB[prime] PO[Gamma][prime], JTS 15 (1914), 169, last in the list of the six bishops from Cappadocia.
93 GNaz, Ep. 182.5.
94 GNaz, Ep. 41.1, Orat. 18-34.
95 R. Cagnat and G. Lafaye (eds.), Inscriptiones Graecae ad res Romanas pertinentes 3 (Paris, 1906), no. 103 = J. G. C. Anderson, F. Cumont, and H. Gregoire (eds.), Recueil des inscriptions grecques et latines de Pont et de l'Armenie. Studia Pontica 3-1 (Brussels, 1910), no. 103.
96 GNaz, Carm. II.1.91, Epitaph. 8-11,16 = Anthologia Palatina 8.87-90, 95.
97 GNaz, Ep. 187.2, rhetorician; Carm. II.1.90-99.
98 On this superscription, see n. 115.
99 'Evagrius' should be corrected to Syagrius; Flavius Eucherius and Flavius Syagrius were consuls in 381. 'January' should be corrected to June, when Gregory was still bishop of Constantinople and the bishops who served as witnesses were gathered together for the council at Constantinople: see Coulie, 10-11. With these corrections Gregory drew up this will on 31 May 381.
100 Arianzus was about ten miles south of Nazianzus: see F. Hild and M. Restle, Kappadokien (Kappadokia, Charsianon, Sebasteia und Lykandos). Tabula Imperii Byzantini 2 (Vienna, 1981), 150-51. Hauser-Meury, 151, does not identify this Reginus with the monk Reginus for whom Gregory requested a tax exemption in 372 (GNaz, Carm. II.2.1.203).
101 Gregory described Russiana as [GREEK TEXT OMITTED], who lived [GREEK TEXT OMITTED]. Since she was his relative, she was not a liberta, a freedwoman. So [GREEK TEXT OMITTED] here signifies 'independent' or 'unencumbered' with property (so LSJ, s.v.); or 'unconcerned' with this world, as commonly in ascetical writings; or 'unmarried', as in B, Ep. 199, can. 21; or perhaps even 'widow', as in GNaz, Ep, 208.3, B, Ep. 108.
102 Alypiana, Eugenia, and Nonna were Gregory's nieces, the daughters of his sister Gorgonia and her husband Alypius. This warning was presumably against harassment, since nieces were not eligible to contest the will through a querela inofficiosi testamenti: see W. W. Buckland, A Textbook of Roman Law from Augustus to Justinian, rev. P. Stein (Cambridge, 1963), 327-31.
103 Meletius was probably the husband of one of Gregory's nieces, either Eugenia or Nonna: see Hauser-Meury (1960), 124. The location of Apenzinsus in Cappadocia is uncertain: see Coulie, 16 n. 32; Hild and Restle, op. cit. (n. 100) 154, identify it with Aspenzinsos, near Antigus, about twenty-eight miles south of Nazianzus.
104 Gregory had a cousin named Euphemius, the brother of Amphilochius of Iconium: see Hauser-Meury, 71. Since cousin Euphemius had died during the 360s before his marriage (GNaz, Epitaph. 29-30 = Anthologia Palatina 8.122-23), this Euphemius was not his son. But since Gregory was here in his will clearing up family affairs, this Euphemius may still have been a relative. Perhaps he can be identified with the Euphemius whom Gregory called 'son' (Ep. 83.3), and/or (more likely) with the Euphemius who was a relative and an orphan and on whose behalf Gregory had repeatedly petitioned an imperial magistrate during the early 380s (Ep. 103.3-5): see Hauser-Meury, 72.
105 Amphilochius was Gregory's cousin; for the location of Kanotala, about six miles south of Nazianzus, see Hild and Restle, op. cit. (n. 100) 198, and Coulie, 17. Whatever the precise circumstances of this transaction, this passage indicates the retention in post-classical law of the classical distinctions of a contract for sale, transfer of ownership to the buyer, and payment of the price: see T. Honore, 'Conveyances of land and professional standards in the later empire', in P. Birks (ed.), New perspectives in the Roman law of property. Essays for Barry Nicholas (Oxford, 1989), 149-52.
106 Elsewhere Gregory celebrated Evagrius' conversion to 'philosophy' (Ep. 228). This Evagrius is probably to be identified with Evagrius Ponticus, who served as a deacon with Gregory at Constantinople: see Palladius, Historia Lausiaca 38, with Hauser-Meury, 64-65.
107 [GREEK TEXT OMITTED], [GREEK TEXT OMITTED]: this translation follows the punctuation of the editions of the Maurists in PG and of Pitra, and the definition of G. W. H. Lampe, A Patristic Greek Lexicon (Oxford, 1961), s.v., who equates [GREEK TEXT OMITTED] (apparently a hapax legomenon) with the Latin singilio, 'a plain, short garment', mentioned in SHA, Claudius 17.6 (apparently another hapax legomenon). Martroye, 261-63, omits the comma and translates the phrase as three embroidered cloaks ('manteaux ornes de figures'); Coulie, 18, accepts Martroye's interpretation.
108 Martroye, 249-52, argues that Gregory's distinction of some gold coins as [GREEK TEXT OMITTED] implies that their weight deviated from accepted standards. But since Gregory distinguished some tunics in the same way, more likely he was only being specific about the location of the coins and tunics.
109 Antioch in Pisidia. In the Greek list of subscribers to the Council of Constantinople the name of this bishop is misspelled as Optisius: see Turner, op. cit. (n. 92) 169, 175, and EOMIA 2:3, 454-55.
110 According to Pitra's critical apparatus, some manuscripts listed Theodosius' see as 'Yde' or 'Lydia'; in the Greek list of subscribers to the Council of Constantinople his see was listed as Hyde: see Turner, op. cit. (n. 92) 169, and EOMIA 2:3, 452-53, with Hauser-Meury, 170 n. 363, and K. Belke, Galatien und Lykaonien. Tabula Imperii Byzantini 4 (Vienna, 1984), 174-75, on Hyde in Lycaonia.
111 Theodulus is the only one of these bishops who served as witnesses not to appear in the list of subscribers at the Council of Constantinople. The list included no representative from Apamea in Bithynia; Apamea in Pisidia was represented by a priest, Apamea in Syria by its bishop. Hauser-Meury, 171 n. 364, rightly rejects the suggestion of Martroye, 231 n. 4, of emending the text here to make this Theodulus into bishop Theodulus of Chalcedon. Since all the other witnesses were from the provinces of Lycaonia and Pisidia, Theodulus was probably bishop of Apamea in Pisidia; it is then not clear why a priest signed in his place, although Turner, in EOMIA 2:3, 456-57, suggested that he had died by then or gone home, and A. M. Ritter, Das Konzil von Konstantinopel und sein Symbol. Studien zur Geschichte und Theologie des H. Okumenischen Konzils (Gottingen, 1965), 84 n. 3, 108 n. 3, that he had left in protest at Gregory's departure.
112 Isauria is another spelling for Isaura, that is, Isaura Nea (later Isauropolis), in Lycaonia: see Belke, op. cit. (n. 110) 180-81. In the Greek list of subscribers to the Council of Constantinople the name of this bishop is spelled as Ilyrius: see Turner, op. cit, (n. 92) 169, EOMIA 2:3, 454-55, and Hauser-Meury, 98 n. 198.
113 Hadrianopolis in Pisidia: see K. Belke and N. Mersich, Phrygien und Pisidien. Tabula Imperii Byzantini 7 (Vienna, 1990), 171-72. In the Greek list of subscribers to the Council of Constantinople the name of this bishop is spelled as Themistus: see Turner, op. cit. (n. 92) 169, and EOMIA 2:3, 454-55.
114 Hauser-Meury, 53-55, suggested that this Cledonius is to be identified with the priest Cledonius who administered the church at Nazianzus from mid-381 until mid/late 382 (GNaz, Carm. II.1.19.65), and whom Gregory urged to refute the teachings of Apollinaris (GNaz, Ep. 101.2, 11, 102.1). If so, then he presumably came to Constantinople with Amphilochius of Iconium and left with Gregory.
115 Since Hauser-Meury did not include this Joannes in her prosopography, she apparently did not consider him a contemporary of Gregory; so the date at which he copied Gregory's will is also unknown.
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|Author:||Van Dam, Raymond|
|Publication:||The Journal of Theological Studies|
|Date:||Apr 1, 1995|
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