Robinson. Texts and studies: contributions to Biblical and Patristic literature. Volume 1. 1891.

Previously announced here, the 4 issues of the first volume has been published by Internet Archive, and may be now accessed through the Bibliotheca Pretiosa and Scribd too.

3 items has been digitized at full color, and one of them [THE PASSION OF S. PERPETUA] is available only as microfilm, in b/w images.

The handwritten note in the front-cover of the issue 4 was done not to correct an ‘errata’, but as a misplaced warning to help the readers. The back-cover show that a single page is attached to the 4th. issue, as a main front-page of the whole volume 1; that’s the reason the 4 issues appear listed there:

Vol. I.

No. 1. THE APOLOGY OF ARISTIDES : by J. Rendel Harris, M. A. : with an Appendix by the editor.
No. 2. THE PASSION OF S. PERPETUA, with an Appendix on the Scillitan Martyrdom : by the editor.
No. 4. THE FRAGMENTS OF HERACLEON : by A. E. Brooke, M. A.

Harris, Robinson. The Apology of Aristides on behalf of the Christians : from a Syriac ms. preserved on Mou… by Patrologia Latina, Graeca et Orientalis

Robinson. The Passion of S. Perpetua [microform]. 1891. by Patrologia Latina, Graeca et Orientalis

Chase. The Lord's prayer in the early church. 1891. by Patrologia Latina, Graeca et Orientalis

Robinson. Texts and studies : contributions to Biblical and Patristic literature. 1891. Volume 1. by Patrologia Latina, Graeca et Orientalis

Quote. Robert M. Grant. ‘Early Christians and Animals’, Ch. 4, “Alexandrians and the Phisiologus”, 3: Clement. 1999.

The primary work of Clement of Alexandria, in eight books, was his Stromateis or Miscellanies. Like Aelian, he used a good source (an epitome of Aristotle’s History of Animals by Aristophanes of Byzantium), but added a good deal of erudite nonsense. As an Alexandrian, Clement is naturally concerned with Egyptian matters. He refers to “the gods of Egypt such as cats and weasels,” as well as “cat or crocodile or native snake.” On a literary level he analyzes Egyptian writing as epistolographic (= demotic) or hieratic or hieroglyphic. There are two kinds of hieroglyphs, literal and symbolical, while the symbolical in turn is divided into three: (1) literal by imitation (the sun is a circle, the moon looks like a moon), (2) figurative, and (3) allegorical using enigmas. He illustrates the third type by stars depicted as snakes because of their oblique orbits, the sun as a beetle because it fashions a ball of ox-dung and rolls it before its face. Later he discusses the symbolical meanings of animals in the hieroglyphs. Some Egyptians show the sun on a ship, others on a crocodile; they mean that the sun generates time, or else that the crocodile symbolizes time. On the sacred Pylon at Diospolis there was a boy, the symbol of generation, and an old man, decay. A hawk was the symbol of God, a fish of hatred, while the crocodile can mean shamelessness. Taken together, the symbols mean this: “You who are born and die, God hates shamelessness.” (This last account is close to Plutarch, except that he locates the carving in the temple of Athena at Sais and identifies the shameless animal as the hippopotamus.) In addition, the lion symbolizes strength and vigor; the ox, agriculture and nourishment; the horse, courage and boldness; the sphinx, strength with understanding, for it has the body of a lion, the face of a man. A man symbolizes intelligence, memory, power, and art. In the processions of the gods they carry gold images: two dogs, one hawk, and one ibis. The dogs symbolize two hemispheres; the hawk the sun, the ibis the moon; or else the dogs are the tropics, the hawk the equinoctial line, and the ibis the ecliptic. The errors in this exegesis are comparable only to those in the Hieroglyphics of Horapollo, who wrote several centuries after Clement, but relied on similar sources. Both authors took the symbols seriously but did not know what they meant.

When Clement attacked anthropomorphists who held that God literally enjoys smelling the smoke of sacrifices (Gen. 8:21), he turned to natural history for analogies. Do insects breathe or not? Clement marshalled a scientific account of breathing, to combat the idea that God breathes. Aristotle (On Respiration) had argued that insects do not breathe because when centipedes are cut up the parts stay alive, and flies and bees can swim in liquid for a long time. On the other hand, in his History of Animals he noted that all insects die if covered with oil, a point suggesting that they do breathe. Clement deals with the question by defining terms. Plants are nourished from the density of the air, while hibernating bears are nourished from the exhalation arising from their own bodies. Demons ventilate internally (diapneitai). Fish inhale (empneitai) through the dilation of their gills. Insects circumspire (peripneitai) through pressure of membranes on the waist. Finally, there are creatures that inhale (anapnei) by rhythmic beats corresponding to the counter-dilation (anti-diastole) of the lungs against the chest. A little later, Clement notes that land animals and birds inhale as human beings do, though fish breathe the air infused into the water at the creation. Theophilus too had remarked on this infusion.

Clement dealt with diet from points of view both moral and philosophical. He quoted Paul as saying, “It is good not to eat meat or drink wine” (shortened from Romans 14:21), in agreement with the Pythagoreans – for whose opinions he quotes the Stoic Musonius Rufus: “meat, though appropriate for wild animals, darkens the soul.” He adds, however, that he who eats meat sparingly does not sin. In his view the best diet consists of bulbs, olives, herbs, milk, cheese, fruits, and “all kinds of cooked food without sauces.” (The list comes from Plato through Plutarch.) But Clement is willing to include meat, preferably roasted, not boiled. He cites the frugal disciples, who offered the risen Lord “a piece of broiled fish, which he ate before them” (Luke 24:42–43).

In a later work Clement reflects deeper concerns. Christians can abstain from meat on reasonable grounds, not the Pythagorean dream about the transmigration of souls. One might abstain because animal meat has “already been assimilated to the souls of irrational creatures.” In addition, wine and meat harm the mind, as (the Pythagorean) Androcydes said. Similarly one of the late second-century Sayings of Sextus, authoritative for both Clement and Origen, claims that though abstinence is more rational, eating animate beings is really a matter of indifference.

Egyptian priests in their purifications abstain from meat and fish, for “such food makes the flesh flabby.” Elsewhere Clement lists a few fishes “venerated” at various places: one kind at Syene, another at Elephantine, yet another at Oxyrhynchus. This kind of information reflects the interests of the age, not those of Christians generally save for the literary-minded author himself.

He also tells how some Phoenician Syrians “venerate” fishes, while Porphyry mentions Syrians in general, as well as initiates into the mysteries at Eleusis. The Christian apologist Athenagoras says Syrians “venerate” fish because of the mythical Derceto (who had a fish’s tail). “Venerate” again means “not eat.”

Clement identifies the serpent with the devil but usually, after Philo, relates his work to pleasure. He adds that the serpent is now the cause of idol-worship, and acts like barbarians who bind their captives to corpses. The simile comes from the Exhortation of Aristotle, but Clement obviously makes it his own.

Since Clement knew something of zoology he could question animal lore, either tacitly or explicitly. In his Miscellanies he paraphrases much of the letter of “the apostle Clement,” but not the section about the phoenix, a bird he mentions elsewhere only as an Egyptian astrological symbol. Presumably he did not accept the story. When he commented on Barnabas, whom he regarded as an apostle, he relied on Aristotle for questioning the story about the hyena, though without naming either the apostle or the philosopher. He agreed with Barnabas that Moses spoke allegorically but rejected his ideas about what he meant. “I do not agree with this exegesis of what was said symbolically.” Closer to Aristotle than to Barnabas, Clement says the hare really has a bifurcated uterus. And as for the weasel, the Hellenistic Jewish Epistle of Aristeas said that the weasel conceives through the ear and gives birth through the mouth; Plutarch states that “many suppose and say that the weasel conceives through the ear and gives birth through the mouth.” Harnack and others thought Zeno of Verona was expressing a like thought when he said that “Christ enters Mary through the ear.” They did not notice that Zeno was simply giving allegorical exegesis of the angel’s speaking a word to her, just as when he said that the devil crept into Eve through her ear. This was not Barnabas’ notion. The author of the Clementine Recognitions rather sensibly supposed that these unusual habits prove that the Creator specifically chose the usual modes of conception and birth as norms. The Physiologus, as usual, went back to gossip, claiming that the hyena is androgynous, alternating sexes, while the weasel conceives through the mouth and gives birth through the ears. The latter statement simply reverses Aristeas’ notion.

Robert M. Grant. ‘Early Christians and Animals’, Ch. 4, “Alexandrians and the Phisiologus”, 3: Clement, pp. 46.48. Routledge, 1999.

Article. Il Vaticano II all’interno della «traditio ecclesiae»: La prospettiva patristica. Daniele Gianotti. 2012

Il Vaticano II all’interno della «traditio ecclesiae».
La prospettiva patristica.
Daniele Gianotti
Rivista di scienze religiose
(Molfetta), 26 (2012) 329-346


Il contributo si propone di indicare i tratti principali dell’influsso avuto sul concilio Vaticano II dal «ressourcement» patristico del Novecento. Dopo aver richiamato le discussioni in merito alla vigilia del Vaticano II e nei primi dibattiti conciliari, vengono indicati tre snodi centrali, nei quali il riferimento ai Padri della Chiesa ha giocato un ruolo importante: l’inizio della discussione sul de Ecclesia, l’adozione dello «schema Philips», il dibattito sulla collegialità episcopale. Nella parte conclusiva, vengono indicati alcuni aspetti più significativi dell’ecclesiologia patristica accolta dal Vaticano II.

Article available here.

Watts. St. Augustine’s Confessions : with an English translation. 1912.

St. Augustine’s Confessions :

with an English translation (1912)

Author: Augustine, Saint, Bishop of Hippo; Watts, William, 1590?-1649; Rouse, W. H. D. (William Henry Denham), 1863-1950
Volumes: 2
Publisher: London : W. Heinemann ; Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press
Possible copyright status: NOT_IN_COPYRIGHT
Language: English
Call number: SRLF_UCLA:LAGE-5959408
Digitizing sponsor: Internet Archive
Book contributor: University of California Libraries
Collection: cdl; americana

Watts. St. Augustine's Confessions : with an English translation. 1912. Volume 1.

Watts. St. Augustine's Confessions : with an English translation. 1912. Volume 2.

Cureton. Corpus Ignatianum : a complete collection of the Ignatian epistles, genuine, interpolated, and spurious. 1849.

Corpus Ignatianum :

a complete collection of the Ignatian epistles,

genuine, interpolated, and spurious …


Author: Ignatius, Saint, Bishop of Antioch, d. ca. 110
Publisher: Berlin : Asher
Language: English
Call number: ALG-4438
Digitizing sponsor: University of Toronto
Book contributor: PIMS – University of Toronto
Collection: pimslibrary; toronto

Commentary. John Cooper. Noteworthy Lectures (11.28.11)

Today, Ryan Clevenger announced in his blog the Lectures of John Cooper “delivered the John Locke Lectures at Oxford this year on “Ancient Greek Philosophy as a Way of Life” examining four ancient philosophies: Socrates, Aristotelianism, Stoicism, and Platonism (mostly on Plotinus).”

The 4 readings are available as audio files, directly from the Oxford University.

As the same Clevenger says, “The last lecture was the most interesting for me as it has the most to bear on our understanding of the intellectual world within which Christianity swam from the 3rd-6th century.”

Comment. Clevenger. A Romp through the History of the Holy Spirit: From Scripture to Athanasius.

Today, Ryan Clevenger deals with this topic: “A Romp through the History of the Holy Spirit”.

This short article is full of biblical quotations, bringing us a very interesting Conclusion:

What we have seen so far is that

  1. the evidence in Scripture is not really as clear as we might want it to be and it demands some sort of reconciliation.
  2. The history up until this point bears that fact out as we see Patristic writers emphasizing specific texts over others and attempting to organize the disparate data. In other words, the issue of the Holy Spirit couldn’t be put off any longer. The debate with the Arians over the nature of the Son forced the question: what about the Holy Spirit? Their task was primarily exegetical, but even then everything had to be brought together. Not as some sort of abstract intellectual speculation, but a fundamental aspect of the life of the Church, of salvation, and of the nature of the God whom we worship.

The full article available here.

Commentary. The early Church Fathers, most of whom were fanatics with an axe to grind…

El día de ayer comencé la lectura de un librito cuyo título es por demás atractivo: The Gnostics. The first Christian heretics.

Escrito por Sean Matin, este libro ofrece una visión más o menos bien documentada sobre el gnosticismo, sin preocuparse en demasía por los aspectos más áridos de su tema, y en cambio, sí resaltando los elementos más sórdidos, y que debieran tratarse con un mínimo de cuidado.

Apenas en las primeras páginas, el polemista enconado hace su aparición, en un párrafo por demás cuestionable:

Despite the writings of the early Church Fathers, most of whom were fanatics with an axe to grind, the term ‘Gnostic’ was not universally used by Gnostic teachers such as Valentinus and Marcion, who usually simply referred to themselves as Christians, nor by Church apologists such as Tertullian and Irenaeus, who often called them simply ‘heretics’. The problem is further compounded by the fact that the Gnostics themselves were comprised of diverse groups which did not have a uniform set of beliefs; indeed, diversity is one of the hallmarks of Gnosticism. Furthermore, not all Gnostics were Christian – some were Jews, some Pagan.
Modern scholarship is divided over what is actually meant by the term ‘Gnosticism’. In 1966, a colloquium of scholars met at Messina in Italy to establish exactly what is meant by Gnosticism and gnosis. They concluded that Gnosticism refers to the religious systems developed in the early centuries of the Common Era, while gnosis is the attaining of knowledge. One could therefore have gnosis, but not be a Gnostic. (For the present book, we will try to adhere to the Messina definitions.) The political theorist Eric Voegelin further muddied the waters when he attempted to define Gnosticism as being derived from a general feeling of alienation and disconnectedness with society. As a result, he detected Gnosticism in Marxism, Communism and Nazism, all of which, according to Voegelin, were movements which wanted to bring about apocalypse (he dubbed it ‘immanentising the eschaton’).
Gnostic tendencies have since been spotted in a wide variety of writers, thinkers, political and spiritual movements, and also across the spectrum of popular culture, from Hollywood movies to computer games and comics. This bewilderingly diverse group includes the likes of not only Jung, but also William Blake, Goethe, Herman Melville, Albert Camus, Hegel, Nietzsche, WB Yeats, Franz Kafka, Existentialists, all manner of Theosophists, Jack Kerouac, Philip K Dick, computer games such as the Xenosaga series, comics such as Neil Gaiman’s Sandman and Alan Moore’s Promethea and movies such as The Truman Show and the Matrix trilogy.

Martin, The Gnostics. The first Christian Heretics, pp. 15-17.  2006.

Dejando de lado ese tono sensacionalista, ávido de publicidad y reconocimiento, hay un punto a favor que este libro tiene de manera indudable: obliga al lector a repensar por completo su visión de la Iglesia, y en cuanto tal, ofrece la posibilidad de indicar un sendero de estudio e investigación por demás válido, que quienquiera que esté interesado en el tema podrá sortear, tomando sus propios riesgos y obteniendo también sus propias conclusiones.

La visión panorámica -si bien afectada por ese afán de polémica- de la Historia de la Iglesia de los primeros tiempos, resalta de una manera práctica y también continua los altibajos que adolece dicho periodo histórico. Y sin dudar en llamar a Pablo ‘verdadero fundador del cristianismo’ o al mismo Pablo ‘el primer hereje cristiano’, el autor también repasa los testimonios más importantes sobre el tema, en este libro de divulgación que involuntariamente resulta estar muy bien formado, aunque la argumentación general no se atreve a sacar las últimas conclusiones de semejantes tramas.

Un libro por demás interesante, que puede leerse como una curiosidad, y de la que, escudriñando atentamente, puede obtenerse y sin duda alguna, un gran provecho.

México, Frontera Norte. 9 de Noviembre de 2011.

Church history: Works, studies, theses related to the Church history.

The PLGO Community is offering a brief but useful collection, including items related to the Church History.

All these items can be accessed in the next link, as a permanent collection in our Scribd account:



Jstor Patristic/Patrological contents before 1923 year.

The PLGO Community is working in the articles related to the Patristic/Patrological fields, recently disclosed in the Jstor service.

To do this, we have created a special collection in our account of Scribd, where these articles will be added in the close future.

We hope this will facilitate the access to these materials, helping our visitors and spreading the capabilities of use of this valuable source.

The administrators.

Robinson. Texts and studies: contributions to Biblical and Patristic literature. 1891.

Texts and studies :

contributions to Biblical and Patristic literature

Author: Robinson, J. Armitage (Joseph Armitage), 1858-1933
Subject: Ambrosiaster; Palladius, Bishop of Aspuna, d. ca. 430; Euthalius; Athanasian Creed; Egyptian Church Order; Nicene Creed; Bible; Bible; Codex purpureus petropolitanus; Liturgies
Publisher: Cambridge : University Press
Possible copyright status: NOT_IN_COPYRIGHT
Language: English
Call number: AFD-7083
Digitizing sponsor: MSN
Book contributor: Robarts – University of Toronto
Collection: robarts; toronto


Collection available in the Bibliotheca Pretiosa.

Available too in Scribd.

Robinson. Texts and studies : contributions to Biblical and Patristic literature. 1891. Volume 1. by Patrologia Latina, Graeca et Orientalis