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Some uses of Aristocles and Numenius in Eusebius' 'Praeparatio Evangelica.' (response to M. Smith, Journal of Theological Studies, vol. 39, p. 494, 1988)

In 1988 M. Smith offered a new solution to the problem of attributing sources to several quotations found in Eusebius' Praeparatio Evangelica (PE) (XIV.3.7 and XIV.19.10 of Protagoras; XIV.19.9 of Metrodorus of Chios; X.14.12 and XIV. 14.9 of Anaxagoras; XIV.3.7 and XIV. 19.9 of Democritus; and XIV.4.16 of Sextus Empiricus).(1) Smith proposed that, except for the quotation of Sextus Empiricus, Eusebius drew every passage from Porphyry's [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], which, according to Smith, Eusebius did not name in order to avoid treating his pagan enemy as an authority on Greek philosophy. Eusebius did, of course, know Porphyry's history of philosophy, which he used in his Chronicon, and it is possible that he did refer to Porphyry's work in the course of writing the PE.(2) There are, however, stronger reasons to attribute the quotations of Protagoras, Metrodorus, and Democritus to Aristocles of Messana and the quotation of Sextus Empiricus to Numenius of Apamea. The quotation of Anaxagoras must be left aside; Eusebius may have drawn it from Porphyry, although it is equally possible that this quotation comes from an unidentified doxography.

The first passage that Smith considers is from Protagoras' [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], quoted at XIV.3.7 and, in a somewhat different form, at XIV.19.10.(3) The second passage comes from Metrodorus of Chios, quoted at XIV.19.9, just prior to the second citation of Protagoras.(4) Smith is surely correct to reject Diogenes Laertius as a possible source for these two quotations. There are some verbal similarities between Diogenes' and Eusebius' versions of the passage of Protagoras, but the similarity between their quotations of Metrodorus is, as Smith says, only in content. Since the other parallels between Diogenes' text and Eusebius' text are not indicative of a direct knowledge, Eusebius, it seems, did not know the work of Diogenes Laertius.(5)

A more plausible solution to the problem of these two quotations has already been suggested by F. Trabucco in two articles devoted to the philosophy of Aristocles of Messana.(6) According to Trabucco, in the series of extracts from the eighth book of Aristocles' De philosophia preserved by Eusebius in XIV.17-21, the `connecting passages' (`passi di "collegamento"') at the ends of each of the chapters in this section, between the quotations of Aristocles, depend upon Aristocles for much of their information.(7) A pattern thus emerges in the course of Eusebius' quotations from Aristocles: first, Eusebius quotes Aristocles, and then in his own words he connects this quotation to a second quotation of Aristocles in the succeeding chapter. There are four connecting passages in the section XIV.17-21.

The first connecting passage appears at XIV.17.10. Prior to this passage, at XIV.17.1-9, Eusebius quotes Aristocles' criticism of the followers of Xenophanes and Parmenides, and at XIV.17.10 Eusebius himself recounts the succession of Xenophanes' disciples from Parmenides down to Pyrrho and the Sceptics, with a brief explanation of Sceptic doctrine. The whole of this connecting passage seems to derive from Aristocles' own information in the De philosophia.(8) At XIV.18.1-30 Eusebius then quotes Aristocles' criticism of Pyrrho and the Sceptics. Similarly, the second connecting passage at XIV.18.31-32, in which Eusebius introduces Aristippus of Cyrene and his homonymous grandson and explains their doctrines on pleasure and the perception of feelings,(9) is based on Aristocles, whose criticism of Aristippus' school Eusebius quotes at XIV.19.1-7.(10) The fourth and final connecting passage at XIV.20.13-14, which introduces Epicurus, his doctrine, and his education and precedes a quotation from Aristocles' criticism of the Epicureans, likewise depends on Aristocles for its information.(11)

The third connecting passage, at XIV.19.8-10 and including the disputed quotations of Metrodorus and Protagoras (XIV.19.9 and XIV.19.10, respectively), follows the same pattern as the other three. This passage, which is followed by an extract from Aristocles' De philosophia (XIV.20.1-8) that criticizes the followers of Metrodorus and Protagoras, must in its substance also be attributed to Aristocles.(12) Unlike the other connecting passages, the third includes direct quotations, but this fact ought not to disqualify it from the established pattern. Aristocles did include quotations in his work, including at least one other quotation of rotagoras (from the [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] at XIV.20.2).(13)

Eusebius did not only use connecting passages between the extracts from Aristocles at XIV.17-21. An instructive parallel occurs between quotations of Numenius of Apamea's De Academiae erga Platonem dissensu at XIV.7.1-13 and XIV.18.1.(14) The connecting passage at XIV.7.14-15, which follows a quotation devoted to the Academy under Lacydes and precedes a quotation that evaluates the Academy under Carneades, introduces Carneades in the line of succession at the Academy and summarizes his doctrines. The connecting passage is probably a summary of some part of Numenius' work that Eusebius chose not to quote.(15)

The quotations of Protagoras at XIV.19.10 and of Metrodorus at XIV.19.9, then, most likely derive from Aristocles' eighth book of his De philosophia, which Eusebius not only knew but also quoted extensively (unlike Porphyry's [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]). One may further suggest that the quotation of Protagoras at XIV.3.7 comes from the same source as that which appears at XIV.19.10. If this is true, and Eusebius did utilize Aristocles at XIV.3.7, then it is also plausible to attribute the passage of Democritus that Eusebius quotes immediately after the quotation of Protagoras, again at XIV.3.7, to Aristocles.(16)

Mras proposes this same attribution in his index, but he does not give a full argument.(17) The original source for this passage of Democritus seems to be, as Mras points out, Aristotle, Metaphysics, I.4.985b4 ff.(18) The Peripatetic Aristocles would be a reasonable source for Eusebius to find citations of Aristotle, a philosopher whom Eusebius nowhere quotes directly.(19) Moreover, as Smith points out, this passage of Democritus appears in a slightly truncated form at XIV.19.9.(20) Because the connecting passage of XIV.19.8-10 already derives from Aristocles, it is all the more probable that the quotation of Democritus at XIV.3.7 was, like the quotation of Protagoras that also appears in both passages, borrowed from Aristocles.

It is now possible to consider the passage of Sextus Empiricus, Pyrrhoneae hypotyposes, I.220, that Eusebius quotes without attribution at XIV.4.16. The passage appears in Eusebius' brief account of Plato's successors at the Academy (XIV.4.13-16), which itself follows quotations from Plato's Theaetetus and Sophist regarding Plato's predecessors, the physical philosophers (XIV.4.1-11). Smith admits that his thesis fails to answer the question of Eusebius' source for this passage of Sextus, since Porphyry's history of philosophy did not treat the period after Plato.(21) Yet, Smith is aware of another possible solution, that Eusebius drew the passage of Sextus from Numenius' De Academiae erga Platonem dissensu.(22) Eusebius, in fact, quotes from the first book of this criticism of Plato's successors at XIV.5 through XIV.9.3, so it is evident that Eusebius had Numenius' work at hand. Only approximate dates can be assigned to Numenius and Sextus: both seem to have lived and written in the second half of the second century AD.(23) But while the evidence for the dates of these two philosophers is insufficient to argue Sextus' priority to Numenius, the content of Eusebius' text at XIV.4.13-16 may suggest that Eusebius relied on Numenius when he composed these sections.

The text of XIV.4.13-16 and the succeeding extracts from Numenius both concern the succession at Plato's Academy. At XIV.4.13-14 Eusebius summarizes the first line of successors, Speusippus, Xenocrates, and Polemon, and their place in the development of the Academy. The criticism of the first two successors in this section seems related to the first two sections of the first quotation of Numenius (XIV.5.1-2), in which Numenius provides more substantial criticism of Speusippus and Xenocrates. It is therefore not surprising to find that M. Isnardi Parente, in her edition of the fragments of Speusippus, links XIV.4.13-14 (fr.31) to XIV.5.1 (fr.30) and acknowledges that the former passage derives from Numenius.(24) The successors after Polemon, from Arcesilaus to Carneades and Cleitomachus, to Philo, Charmides, and, finally, Antiochus mentioned at XIV.4.15-16 (including the passage of Sextus) are not all treated in the extant quotations of Numenius, but it is at least clear that Numenius wrote about the line of successors given at XIV.4.15-16 down to Antiochus: the quotation at XIV.5.10-6.14 treats Arcesilaus; that at XIV.8.1-14 treats Carneades; and that at XIV.9.1-3 treats Philo and Antiochus.(25) Admittedly, a quotation of Hesiod (Opera, 42, describing Arcesilaus) at XIV.4.15 cannot be directly related to Numenius, since the extant fragments of Numenius do not include any quotations from this poet. It nevertheless seems a plausible suggestion that the text of XIV.4.13-16, including the quotation of Sextus Empiricus, derives from Numenius' work on the successors of Plato.

While in the PE Eusebius does occasionally quote a source as if firsthand that actually comes through an intermediary, such a practice does not necessitate the search for hidden sources. In order to find the sources of quotations that Eusebius is unlikely to have known firsthand, the first step is to examine works that Eusebius obviously consulted when he composed sections of books, individual books,(26) or the PE as a whole. Only after these known sources have been examined can one give over to speculation.

(1) M. Smith, `A Hidden Use of Porphyry's History of Philosophy in Eusebius' Praeparatio Evangelica', JTS, 39 (1988), 494-504.

(2) Eusebius does not directly quote Porphyry's history of philosophy in his PE. The evidence of Eusebius' use of Porphyry's history of philosophy in the Chronicon may now be found in A. Smith (ed.), Porphyrii Philosophi Fragmenta (Stuttgart and Leipzig, 1993), 200F and 200aF; see also A. A. Mosshammer, The Chronicle of Eusebius and Greek Chronographic Tradition (Lewisburg, PA, 1979), pp. 194-96.

(3) The quotation of Protagoras is also printed in H. Diels and W. Kranz, Die Fragmente der Vorsokratiker (Berlin, 1964), fr.B4.

(4) Diels-Kranz, Frag. der Vorsokr., fr.B1 and fr.B2.

(5) Smith, JTS, p. 497, demonstrates this with regard to Eusebius' and Diogenes' quotations of Anaxagoras. The similarities between Diogenes, 11.84 and 86, and PE XIV.18.32 and between Diogenes, III.1 and 4, and PE XIV.4.14-15 recorded by K. Mras, Die Praeparatio Evangelica, Eusebius Werke, 8 (GCS, 43) (Berlin, 1954-56), in his Stellenregister (II.446) are also similarities in content only and are consequently not evidence of a direct link between Diogenes and Eusebius. G. Schroeder and E. des Places (SC 215 (Paris, 1975), p.220) note the similarity of Diogenes, VII.156, [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] to PE VII.11.13, [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], but, again, there need be no direct borrowing here. It is more likely that Diogenes Laertius and Eusebius have a number of common sources.

(6) F. Trabucco, `La polemica di Aristocle di Messene contro Protagoro e Epicuro,' Atti della Accademia delle Scienze di Torino 93 (1958-59), 473-515, and `La polemica di Aristocle di Messene contro lo Scetticismo e Aristippo e i Cirenaici,' Rivista critica di storia della filosofia 15 (1960), 115-40. Smith seems unaware of these articles.

(7) In order to account for Eusebius' misunderstanding of some of the philosophy in these connecting passages, as, for example, in XIV.19.8-10 (so Trabucco, Atti, p. 477), Trabucco cautiously suggests that `some elements' may be drawn from Aristocles (Atti, p. 475).

(8) Trabucco, Atti, pp.473-74; Rivista, p. 116, with note 5 for evidence that Eusebius' information in the connecting passage is Aristoclean: the teacher of Pyrrho is Anaxarchus at XIV.17.10, just as he is at XIV.18.27 in the quotation of Aristocles; in contrast, an alternate tradition holds that Bryson was Pyrrho's first teacher (Diogenes Laertius, IX.61; Suidas, s.v. Pyrrhon).

(9) Perhaps it is significant that in the beginning of the connecting passage at XIV.18.31 Eusebius repeats the technical formulation of this doctrine, [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], that is also found in Aristocles (XIV.19.1).

(10) Trabucco, Atti, pp. 473-74; Rivista, pp. 127-29. H. Heiland, Aristoclis Messenii reliquiae (Dies. Giessen, 1925), p. 70 and n. 85, pointed the way to Trabucco's view by attributing XIV.18.31-32 to Aristocles as a vestigium, a source of indirect information, and by approving Gaisford's opinion that the passage is a summary of Aristocles' text (though Trabucco, Rivista, p. 129, refuses to call it a `summary'). In his edition of PE XIV, E. des Places agrees that this connecting passage belongs to Aristocles (SC 338 (Paris, 1987), p. 163, n. 3), although he also notes that P. Moraux, Der Aristotelismus bei den Griechen, von Andronikos bis Alexander von Aphrodisias (Berlin, 1978-84), II.179, n. 330, rejects it. It is note-worthy that G. Giannantoni, I Cirenaici (Florence, 1958), pp. 313, 349, and 433-35, attributes the information on Aristippus and Aristippus Minor contained in this connecting passage (fr.I.B27, I.B75, and II.5, respectively) to Aristocles.

(11) Cf. Trabucco, Atti, p. 505, who merely notes this passage as a connecting passage but does not in this case explicitly attribute the information to Aristocles. Again, Giannantoni, I Cirenaici, p. 347, attributes the information found in this passage (fr.I.B73) to Aristocles.

(12) Trabucco, Atti, pp. 474-75 and 477-78.

(13) For the quotation of Protagoras at XIV.20.2, cf. Diels-Kranz, Frag. der Vorsokr., fr.B1.

(14) E. des Places, SC 338 (Paris, 1987), p. 163, n. 3, makes the comparison between the connecting passage at XIV.7.14-15 of Numenius and that of XIV.18.31-32 of Aristocles.

(15) E. des Places, Numenius Fragments (Paris, 1973), fr.26 on pp. 71-75, prints XIV.7.14-15 as part of the fragment that begins at XIV.7.1, a form of the text that he retains in his edition of PE XIV (SC 338 (Paris, 1987), pp. 82-90). Des Places, p. 75, n. 15, however, also notes that Gaisford, an earlier editor of the PE (Oxford, 1843), and Leemans, an earlier editor of the fragments of Numenius (Brussels, 1937), suggest that XIV.7.14-15 is simply a summary of Numenius. Mras, Die PE, II.280-81, excludes XIV.7.14-15 from the direct quotation of Numenius.

(16) Diels-Kranz, Frag. der Vorsohr., do not include Eusebius' text in their collection of fragments of Democritus, but cf. fr.B156 from Plutarch, adv. Colot., 4.

(17) Mras, Die PE, II.445. Smith, JTS, p. 498, n. 17, rejects Mras's suggestion because he believes that it is `impossible to verify' Mras's attribution, since Aristocles' fragments are preserved only by Eusebius. Smith, however, gives no consideration to Trabucco's studies and the possibility that the quotations of Metrodorus and Protagoras come from Aristocles.

(18) Mras, Die PE, II.262. The passage of Aristotle appears under Leukippos in Diels-Kranz, Frag. der Vorsokr., fr.A6. Cf. also fr.A16 of Leukippos from Aristotle, De caelo, III.2.300b8-9.

(19) Mras notes the absence of quotations of Aristotle in his index, Die PE, II.442. Smith, JTS, p. 498, n. 17, while rejecting Aristocles as a possible source, anticipates that Mras would defend the attribution to Aristocles by arguing that Aristocles is, as is stated above, a plausible source for Aristotelian material.

(20) Smith, JTS, p. 498, who also notes that the re-appearance of this passage of Democritus at XIV.19.9 is ignored by Mras and des Places and is attributed to Metrodorus by Diels-Kranz, Frag. der Vorsokr., fr.B1.

(21) Smith, JTS, p. 501. According to Eunapius, Vitne Sophist., 2.1 ( = 198T in A. Smith, Porphyrii Fragmenta) Porphyry's work ended with Plato.

(22) Smith, JTS, p. 499, n.21.

(23) Clement of Alexandria's citation of Numenius at Stromata, I.22.150.4 ( = PE IX.6.9), furnishes a terminus ante quem for Numenius, as des Places, Numenius Fragments, p. 7, points out. Des Places, followed by M. Frede, `Numenius,' ANRW II.36.2 (1987), pp. 1038-39, places Numenius in the second half of the second century. Sextus is ordinarily placed between Galen and Diogenes Laertius, as, for example, by H. von Arnim, `Sextus (4),' RE IIA.2, 26.2 (1923), colt 2057 (more specifically, in the last two decades of the second century) and by M. Baldassarri (ed.), Sesto Empirico, dai `Lineamenti pirroniani' II dal `Contro i matematici' VIII (Como, 1986), p. 5. D. K. House, `The Life of Sextus Empiricus,' CQ 30 (1980), 231, concludes that Sextus may be placed only broadly within the period from AD 100 to the first part of the third century. Most recently, in their translation Sextus Empiricus, Outlines of Scepticism (Cambridge, 1994), p. xii, J. Annas and J. Barnes have simply dated Sextus to the second century. It is possible, however, that the Sextus dated to the year 119 by Eusebius' (Jerome's) Chronicon (R. Helm, Die Chronik des Hieronymus, Eusebius Werke, 7.1 (GCS, 24) (Leipzig, 1913), p. 198) is Sextus Empiricus.

(24) M. Isnardi Parente (ed.), Speusippo Frammenti (Naples, 1980), p. 79, with commentary on pp. 236-37, where she calls XIV.4.13-14 a paraphrase made by Eusebius of Numenius' quotation.

(25) Des Places, Eusebe de Cesaree commentateur: platonisme et ecriture sainte (Theologie historique, 63) (Paris, 1982), p. 55, notices that Numenius essentially attributes to Antiochus the inauguration of a fifth Academy, which Sextus explicitly states. Des Places thus sees a connection between Numenius' thought and Sextus' words, but he does not go as far as to suggest that Eusebius actually draws Sextus' words from Numenius.

(26) In the following instances in the PE, in which Eusebius quotes a source as if firsthand that in reality comes from an intermediary, the actual source is named and quoted directly elsewhere in the same book: VIII.9.1-37 (Eusebius quotes Eleazer's outline of the meaning of sacred law, which he actually draws from Aristeas' Epistula ad Philocratem, which is directly quoted at VIII.2-5 and IX.38.2-3); IX.4.2-9, IX.5.1-7, and IX.9.1-2 (Eusebius quotes Hecataeus of Abdera, Clearchus, and Choerilus of Samos, respectively, all of which he actually draws from Josephus, (Contra Apionem, which is directly quoted at IX.40, IX.42.2-3, X.7, and X.13); and X.4.23 (Eusebius quotes Democritus, but the passage actually comes from Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, I, from which Eusebius quotes directly at X.6).
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Author:Carriker, Andrew J.
Publication:The Journal of Theological Studies
Date:Oct 1, 1996
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