Kephalaia Gnostica

1,1 - 1,90)

Based on: Form and Matter, BNF FR 136, Bartholomeus Anglicus, On the Properties of Things,  fol. 1.  15th c. (image modif.)

Translation by Luke Dysinger,O.S.B. (translation in public domain)

Note that the the majority of the Greek text below is  Frankenberg’s retroversion from the [UNRELIABLE!] Syriac S1 MS. This text should be used with extreme caution: it is NOT the basis for this English translation, which relies principally on: [1] Guillaumont’s Syriac S2 version, [2] his French translation of S2, and [3] assorted Greek fragments. [1]











 I,1. TO the first good there is nothing opposed, because He is essentially [good]; thus there is no opposition as regards essence.

1,1. Τῷ πρώτῳ ἀγαθῷ οὐδέν ἐστιν ἐναντίον, διότι κατ' οὐσίαν ἐστίν· ἐναντίον δὲ οὐδὲν τῇ οὐσίᾳ. [Muyld Evag 1, p. 56]

[S1] Το πρωτον αγαθον ουκ εχει αντικειμενον ως τηι ουσιαι αγαθον· η δε ουσια ουκ εχει εναντιον.



 I,2. THE opposition is in the qualities, and the qualities are in the creatures; opposition is therefore in the creatures.

Although evil, vice, and death arise in the wake of creation (cf KG 1.44) there are nevertheless primordial seeds of virtue implanted in the soul at its creation (KG 1.39-40)

̈1,2.̈Ἡ ἐναντιότης ἐν ταῖς ποιότησιν· αἱ δὲ ποιότητες ἐν τοῖς κτίσμασιν· ἡ ἐναντιότης ἄρα ἐν τοῖς κτίσμασιν. [Muyld Evag 2, p. 56]

[S1] Εναντιοτης εστιν εν ταις ποιοτησι, ποιοτητες δε εν τοις σωμασι· εναν[[τιοτης]] αρα εν τοις κτισμασιν.



 I,3. EVERY reasoning nature is a knowing (knowledge-seeking) essence, but our God is known to Himself: indivisibly He dwells in those in whom He dwells, like earthly art; but He is superior to this in that He exists substantially.

̈1,3. Πᾶσα λογικὴ φύσις οὐσία γινώσκουσά ἐστιν· ὁ δὲ Θεὸς ἡμῶν αὐτὸ γινωσκόμενόν ἐστιν, ἀμερίστως μὲν ἐγγινόμενος, οἷ ἂν ἐγγένηται· καθάπερ ἡ ἐπίγειος ἐπιστήμη· διαφέρων δὲ ταύτης τὸ ἐνυπόστατος εἶναι.̈ [Muyld, Evag 3, p. 56]

[S1] Πασα φυσις λογικη κτισις νοερα εστι, θεος δε μονος νοητος εστιν ου διασχισθεις εν οις κατοικει· πως δε νοειται θεος εν οις κατοικει; ως τεχνη εν τεχνιταις· διαφερει δε τωι ουσιωδως κατοικειν εν οις κατοικει.



 I,4. ALL that exists is either susceptible to opposition or is constituted of opposition. But those who are susceptible to opposition are not all yoked to those constituted of opposition.

̈1,4. Πάντα τὰ γεγονότα ἢ τῶν ἐναντίων ἐστὶν δεκτικὰ, ἢ ἐκ τῶν ἐναντίων συνέστικεν· οὐ πάντα δὲ τὰ τῶν ἐναντίων δεκτικὰ καὶ τοῖς ἐκ τῶν ἐναντίων συνεστῶσι συνέζευκται. [Muyld, Evag 4, p. 56]

[S1] Παν γενομενον η δεκτικον της εναντιοτητος η εξ εναντιων κατεστη· αλλ ου παν δεκτικον της εναντιοτητος προς τα εξ εναντιων συνεστωτα προσδεδεται.



 I,5. PRINCIPLES do not engender and are not engendered, but the intermediate (mesotēs) engenders and is engendered.

 1,5. Αἱ ἀρκότητες οὔτε γεννῶσιν, οὔτε γεννῶνται· ἡ δὲ μεσότης καὶ γεννᾷ καὶ γεννᾶται. [Muyld, Evag 5, p. 5, 57]

[S1] Αι αρχαι ουτικτουσιν ουδε τικτονται αι πρωται αιτιαι ου τικτουσι τικτονται δε {Δ}, η δε μσοτης και τικτει και τικτεται.

This kephalaion may be interpreted in at least two ways: First at the level of praktiké, in the sense of Aristotelian ethical theory.  Evagrius familiarity with Aristotle’s theory (Nich Eth.II.5-6) is clear in his definition of virtue as a mean/μεσότης between two opposing vices in scholion 53 on Proverbs 4.27. In that scholion he also cites Aristotle's example of courage as a mean between timidity and rashness (Nich Eth.II.7). Here Evagrius indicates that a moral extreme/ἀκρότης (i.,e. excess or deficiency) is not “productive” of virtue, which is the mean/μέσότες and is “productive”.  Evagrius uses  ἀκρότη[τε]ς  in this sense of “excessive” in Eulog. 31 (PG 79.1137) and twice in Peri.Log. 35: concerning gluttony (SC 438. 35.3, p.274); and acedia (SC 438: 35.25, p.276).   This assumes that ἀκρότης  understood as “extreme/excess” is the underlying Greek term (as in the Muyldermans fragment) and not Frankenberg’s retroversion of ἀρχαὶ.

   At the level of physiké this kephalaion may explicate Evagrius’ cosmology and protology. In patristic usage ἀκρότης can also mean “excellence” (Lampe, p.66). Thus the text can be interpreted to mean that Excellences/ Principalities/ angels neither beget nor are begotten; whereas humans (who are midway/μέσότες between angels and demons) both beget and are begotten.  This second interpretation may explain Frankenberg’s preference for ἀρχαὶ in the sense of principalities/angels (Rom. 1.16, cited by Evagrius de Orat. 112).



 I,6. BY way of comparison: [1] we are one thing but [2] that which is in us is another thing; and [3] that in which we are is [yet] another [thing]; but they [all exist] together, namely: [a] that in which we are; and [b] that which [contains] that in which we are.

̈[S1] 1,6. Κατα συγκρισιν ημεις αλλο τι εσμεν και αλλο το εν ημιν και αλλο το ρν ω ημεις· ως δε εν {ταυτο δε ε.} εστι το εν ω ημεις.



 I,7. WHEN those that are together are withdrawn, number will also be withdrawn; and when this is withdrawn, that which is in us and that in which we are will be one.

 1,7. ’Αναιρουμένων τῶν ἅμα, ἀναιρεῖται καὶ ὁ ἀριθμός· καὶ τούτου ἀναιρεθέντος, ταὐτὸν ἔσται τὸ ἐν ἡμῖν καὶ τὸ ἐν ᾧ ἐσμεν. [Muyld, Evag 6, p. 57]

[S1] Εαν εκ μεσου αρθηι το εν ον αριθμωι συναιρεται και ο αριθμος· του δε αριθμου αρθεντος εν εσται το εν ημιν και εν ωι ημεις.



 I,8. WHEN that in which we ought to have been was separated, it engendered that in which we [now] are; but when that which is in us is mixed, He will withdraw that which will be withdrawn with number.

[S1] 1,8. Οτε αφωρισθη το εν ωι μελλομεν εσεσθαι εγεννησε το εν ωι ημεις· οταν δε το εν ημιν συγκραθηι αρει εκ μεσου το αριθμῳ διασχιζον ημας.



 I,9. WHEN we are in that which is, we see that which is; but when [we are] in that which is not, we engender that which is not. But when those [things] in which we are is withdrawn, then that which is not will cease to be.

̈1,9. Γενομενοι εν τωι οντι ορωμεν την αληθειαν αυτου ως εστι· γενομενοι δε εν τωι ουκ οντι γεννησομεν το ουκ ον· αρθεντος δε εκ ͅ μεσου τουτου του εν ωι εσμεν ευθις ουκ εσται το ουκ ον.



 I,10. AMONG the demons, some oppose the practice of the commandments, others oppose thoughts of nature, and others oppose words [logoi] about divinity because the knowledge of our salvation is constituted from these three.

̈1,10. Των δαιμονων εναντιουνται οι μεν τηι των εντολων θρησκειι, {τηι πρακτικηι} οι δε τηι των φυσεων επιγνωσει, οι δε τοις περι του θειου λογοις, {͂της θεολογιαι} δι οτι και η της σωτηριας ημων γνωσις εν τουτοις τοις τρισι καθεστηκε.

Having raised the subject of “opposition” to God and nature in the first nine kephalia, Evagrius here offers his model of spiritual progress in the context of demonology.  Evagrius believed that all intelligent beings participated in a primordial “movement” or fall from union with God.  Angels are the least fallen, while demons are farthest from God and agents of “opposition”. Human beings are in an intermediate state, capable of ascent from ascetical practice (praktiké), to the contemplation of nature (physiké), and finally to knowledge of God (theologiké) (Praktikos 1; Ad Mon.118-120).They are aided in this return by angels and impeded by demons that are differentiated according to (among other characteristics): their distance from God; their cruelty and violence; and as described here  their specialized opposition to different aspects of spiritual progress (Praktikos 84; cf. 43; 50; Scholia: 1 On Ps.78.2; 2 On Ps.117.10; 266 On Prov.24.6; ).

Evagrius highlights different aspects of the nature and activity of demons throughout the Kephalia Gnostica, especially in: KG  1.21, 1.22, 1.53, 1.57, 1.68, II.48, II.53, III.4, III.34, III.41, III.50, III.76, III.78, III.79, III.90, IV.33, IV.35, IV.37, IV.47, IV.59, IV.60, IV.82, IV.85, V.11, V.18, V.78, V.82, VI.2, VI.25, VI.26, VI.37, VI, 52, VI.69.



 I,11. ALL those who now possess spiritual bodies reign over the worlds that have been made; and those who are joined to praktike bodies or to opposing [bodies], will exercise their reign over worlds yet to come.

Here Evagrius describes the three orders of intelligent beings: (1) angels, who possess spiritual bodies and mediate God's providential care; (2) human beings who practice asceticism in praktike bodies; and (3) demons who are agents of opposition.   The latter two groups, humans and demons, will undergo a series of transformation intended to aid them in making spiritual progress. Evagrius calls these transformations "judgments" (kriseis),not in the sense of condemnation, but rather God's providential bestowal on them of new bodies and environments ("worlds and ages") best suited to their particular needs.(Sch 8 In Ps 1 on praktike bodies and judgment. These healing transformations culminate in  apokatastasis -, restoration of all to union with God: see KG 3.9 for discussion of restoration of the demons, cf. Sch 136 On Prov 14.9.

̈1,11. Παντες οσοι τα νυν σωματα πνευματικα κεκτηνται βασιλευουσι εν τοις γενομενοις αιωσιν· οσοι δε εν σωμασιν εργαταις συνεχονται εν τοις μελλουσιν αιωσι βασιλευσουσιν.



 I,12. ONE [“unique”] is He Who is without intermediaries, and thus He is also, by means of mediations, in all. (for unique  see also KG 3,1;  KG 4,16)

̈1,12. Εις εστιν ο ων ανευ μεσιτειας και εις αυθις ουτος ο δια μεσιτων εν πασιν ων.



 I,13. AMONG the logikoi, some possess spiritual contemplation and [spiritual] praktiké, others praktiké and contemplation; and still others hindrance and judgment.

̈1,13. Των λογικων οι μεν θεωριαν τε και θρησκειαν πνευματικην κεκτηνται οι δε θρησκειαν και θεωριαν, οι δε εν εμποδισμωι και κρισει κατεχονται.



 I,14. FOR each one of the arts, you see in it [something] of the one who made it; but you will discover in all things the knowledge of Him who is, if our Lord made everything with wisdom. (Ps 104:24)

̈1,14.̈Ἑκάστην τῶν ἐπιστημῶν ἐν τῷ οἰκίῳ̈μόνῳ θεωρίσεις ἐπιστητῷ· τὴν δὲ τοῦ ὄντως γνῶσιν ἐν πᾶσιν τοῦ́τοις εὑρήσεις. [Muyld, Evag 7, p. 57]

[S1]Εν παντι τεχνηματι τον αυτου προεστωτα ορας· εν δε θεωριαι της γνωσεως της αληθινης εν πασι τουτοις ευρησεις, διοτι παν ο κυριος εν σοφιαι εκτισεν.



 I,15. WHEN the four are withdrawn, the five will also be withdrawn; but when the five are withdrawn, the four will not be withdrawn with them.

The “five” are probably the five corporeal senses. the “four” may refer to the “four virtues necessary for contemplation:” prudence, courage, temperance/continence, and justice (Gnostikos 44),  Thus the virtues remain even when corporeality disappears.  A similar interpretation of this kephalaion applies if the “four” signifies the fourfold spiritual senses of scripture described by Clement of Alexandria (Stromateis 128.76.1-3) and cited by Evagrius (schol.15 on Ps. 76.21): namely, the  historical, the legislative, the liturgical, and the theological senses; or  [1] as a type of something evident; [2] or as a revealed [visible] sign [3] or as a commandment instituted for proper living; [4] or fortelling, like a prophecy.

̈1,15. Τεσσαρων αρθεντων αιρονται και πεντε· των πεντε δε αρθεντων ουκ αιρονται δια ταυτα και τα τεσσαρα.



 I,16. THAT which has been separated from the five will not be separated from the four, but that which has been separated from the four is also delivered from the five.

̈1,16. Ος αφωρισται των πεντε ουκ αφεστηκε των τεσσαρων. ος δε αφωρισται των τεσσαρων ἀπεδρα και τα πεντε.



 I,17. WHEN that which is in us is changed, those [things] in which we are will be changed; and this even to the extent that He Who is will no longer be named with modes.

̈1,17. Κατορθουμενον εν ημιν το εν ημιν κατορθοι εν ημιν το εν το εν ωι ημεις και ουτως αυξανει η κατορθωσις εως ουκετι τροπικως ονομαζεται το ον.



 I,18. THE goal of the praktiké and of suffering is the heritage of the saints (Col 1.12), but that which is opposed to the first is the cause of the second; and the end result of this is the heritage of those who are opposed.

̈1,18. Περας εργασιας τε και βασανισμου η των αγιων κληρονομια εστι· το δε εντικειμενον τωι πρωτωι αιτια του δευτερον εσται· και περας τουτου κληρονομια εστι των εναντιων.

An allusion to Col. 1.12 (and perhaps also to Eph 1.18), where Paul extols the heritage of the saints in light. Evagrius regarded the suffering caused by demons who oppose the praktiké as potentially beneficial for the saints, but defiling for the demons responsible:  “an unclean soul is the heritage of the demons.” Sch 3 on Ps 82.13..




 I,19. KNOWLEDGE that is in the four is the knowledge of thoughts of creatures, but the knowledge of the One is the knowledge of Him Who alone is.

̈1,19. Η εν τεσσαρσι γνωσις εστι συνεσεως των φυσεων· η δε ενος γνωσις εστι του μονου οντος.



 I,20. WHEN only thoughts of all that was made by accident remain in us, then only he who is known will be known - and  only by him who knows. (Matt 24:35)

Evagrius distinguishes between transitory things and events (pragmata) that “pass aways” and the contemplation of both these things and God that “does not pass away” Mt 24.35 (Schol 72 On Prov. 6.8).

̈1,20. Οταν παντες οι λογοι μονον των οντων μεινωσιν προς ημας τοτε το γνωστον υπο του γιγνωσκοντος μονον γνωσθησεται κατα το γεγραμμενον· ο ουρανος και η γη παρελευσεται και οι λογοι μου ου μη παρελθωσιν.



 I,21. AMONG the goods and evils that are regarded as unnecessary, some are found in the soul and others outside it; but [as for] those said naturally to be evil, it is impossible that they would be outside it.

̈1,21. Αγαθα τε και κακα τα γε ανευ χρησεως νομιζομενα τα μεν εντος της ψυχης τα δε εκτος αυτης ευρισκεται· τα δε αληθως κακα ͅ εκτος αυτης ουχ οιον τε [[---εθηναι.



 I,22. THE bodies of demons have color and form but they escape our senses, because their composition (krasis/blending of elements) is not the composition of bodies that our senses apprehend. For when they wish to appear as persons, they transform themselves into the complete likeness of our body, while not showing us their bodies.

. 1,22. Τα λεπτα των δαιμονων σωματα χρωματος και σχηματος μονον δεκτικα αλλα τας αισθησεις ημων φευγει δια το μη ομοιον ͅ ειναι εκεινην την κρασιν τηι των σωματων των ασθητων. βουλομενοι γαρ οραθηναι τοις ανθρωποις εν ομοιωματι των αισθητων σωματων ορωνται ου δεικνυντες τα λεπτα αυτων σωματα.



 I,23. THE thoughts [logoi] of things on earth are the good [things] of the earth; but if the holy angels know them, according to the word of Teqoah (2Sam 14:20), the angels of God eat the goods of the earth. But it is said, Man eats the bread of angels. (Ps 78:25)  Thus, clearly, certain men know the thoughts [logoi] of that which is on the earth.

̈1,23. Συνεσεις των λογων των εν τηι γηι ονομαζονται αγαθα της γης εν [ει] δε ταυτα καλως γιγνωσκουσιν οι αγιοι αγγελοι κατα το ρημα της εκ θεκωε γυναικος οι τε αγγελοι του θεου τα αγαθα της γης εσθιουσι, κατα το γεγραμμενον αρτον των αγγελων εσθιει ο ανθρωπος, δηλον οτι τους των εν γηι συνεσεων λογους και εκ των ανθρωπων εγνωσιν.

Evagrius defines “the goods of earth”as the logoi or inner purposes of terrestrial affairs known to the angels who minister God's providence. (cf. Scholion 7 on Ps.15.7)   Here he composes a syllogism employing this definition and two biblical texts: Ps 78.25,  “mere men ate the bread of angels;”(cf Scholion 103 on Prov 9.2)and 2 Sam 14:20, where the servant-woman Tekoah praises David who possesses “wisdom like an angel of God,  knowing all things on earth.”(cf. Scholia on Ps.29.8; 38 on Prov.5.7)

These texts and his conclusion that some human beings attain to angelic knowledge recur throughout his biblical scholia: Scholia 6 on Ps. 4.7(2); 4 on Ps.68.5(3); 10 on Ps. 77.25; 24 on 88.51; 8 on Ps. 138,16(2); 1 on Ps 144.1.  Sch. 103 on Prov 9.2;.Sch. 38 on Prov 5.7.  cf, Gnostikos 16.



 I,24. IF the sprout is potentially (in potentia / kata dunamin) in the seed with power, then perfection (telos) is also potentially in the one able to receive it. But if this is so, the seed and that which is in are not the same, nor is the sprout the same as that which is in the grain. But the seed of that which is held by the sprout and the sprout of this seed are the same. For although the seed becomes the sprout, the seed of that which is in the sprout has not yet received the sprout. But when it is liberated from sprout and seed, it will have the sprout of the first seed. (cf. Mt 13.24)

̈1,24. Εἰ ὁ στάχυς κατὰ δύναμιν ἐν τῷ κόκκῳ, καὶ τὸ τέλος κατὰ δύναμιν ἐν τῷ αἰτίῳ· οὐτ' αὐτὸν ὁ κόκκος καὶ τὰ ἐν τῷ κόκκῳ, οὐδ' ὁ στάχυς καὶ τὰ ἐν τῷ κόκκῳ. [Muyld Evag 8, p. 57]

[S1] Ει ο σταχυς δυναμει κεκρυπται ͅ εν τωι κοκκωι και η τελειωσις δυναμει κεκρυπται εν τοις δεκτικοις· ει δε ταυτα ουτως εχει ου ταυτον εστιν ο κοκκος και το εν αυτωι ουδε ο σταχυς και το εν τωι κοκκωι· το δε αυτο εστιν ο χορτος ο αμφι τον σταχυν και ο σταχυς τουτου του κοκκου· ει γαρ ο κοκκος γενησεται σταχυς αλλ ουκετι ο κοκκος ο εν τωι σταχυι τον αυτου σταχυν εδεξατο· εαν δε ο κοκκος αποβαληι τον σταχυν και τον αυτου σταχυν αποληψεται.

cf Gnost 44; cf  KG 1.39-40; Peri Log 31; Eulog. 11; Letter 18.2; 41.4; 43.3; 45.1; 59.3; Let.Mel, concl; Sch. Prov 62.6; 132.3




 I,25. THERE are those who would sift us (Luke 22:31) with temptations, either questioning the reasoning part of the soul, or striving to seize the impassioned part, either with regard to the body or the body’s environment.

̈1,25. οι θελοντες σινιασαι ημας πειρασμοις η την λογικην δυναμιν της ψυχης ζητουσι η το απαθες μερος εν αυτηι καταλαβειν διισχυριζονται η το σωμα η παντα τα περι το σωμα.



 I,26. IF the human body is  part of this world, but the form of this world is passing [away], (1Cor 7:31) then it is evident that the form of the body will also pass [away].

̈1,26. Ει μερος εστι του κοσμου τουτου το ανθρωπινον σωμα παραγει δε το σχημα του κοσμου τουτου δηλον οτι και το σχημα του σωματος παραγει.



 I,27. FIVE are the principal contemplations under which all contemplation is placed. It is said that the first is contemplation of the adorable and holy Trinity; the second and third are the contemplation of incorporeal beings and of corporeal beings; the fourth and the fifth are the contemplation of judgment and of providence.

Similar ranking of the types of contemplation: Scholia 2 on Prov. 1.1; 2 on Ps. 3.4

̈1,27. Πεντε θεωριαι αρχικαι εισιν ων ο σκοπος περιεχει πασας τας θεωριας. η μεν πρωτη εστι καθως λεγουσιν οι πατερες θεωρια της προσκυνητης Τριαδος, η δευτερα τε και η τριτη θεωρια των ασωματων και των σωματων, η δε τεταρτη και η πεμπτη θεωρια της κρισεως τε και της προνοιας του θεου.



 I,28. AMONG the many ways, there are three ways of salvation that have in common that they destroy sins; but two of them obtain alone that they might deliver from passions, and the virtue of the third is that it will be the cause of glory. However, glory accompanies the first, psalmody the second, and exaltation the third.

̈1,28. εν πληθει των οδων τρεις εισιν ͅ οδοι τς σωτηριας αι κοινως κεκτηνται το τας αμαρτιας εξαλειψαι, ιδιως δε δυο κεκτηνται το ελευθερωσαι ημας παθων· η δε αρετη ιδια της τριτης εστιν οτι αιτια της δοξης γινεται. επεται δε τηι πρωτηι δοξα {} της ψαλμδιας τηι δε δευτεραι επιφωνησις της ψαλμωδιας τηι δε --πρατηι δοξα της υψωσεως.

Here Evagrius returns to the three “ways” of salvation described above in KG 1.10: ascetical practice (praktiké), the contemplation of nature (physiké), and knowledge of God (theologiké). The first two, ascetical practice and contemplation, free the soul from suffering or “passion”/πάθος by teaching the skills of resisting temptation and attaining virtue.  Psalmody is a means of engaging in the “richly-varied contemplation of nature” (de Oratione 86, Scholia 8 on Psalm 44:10 and 1 on Psalm 122:1. cf. Eph. 3:9-10), to which the soul responds in “hymnody with glorification” (Sch 4 on Ps 39.4). “Exaltation” accompanies theologiké , the imageless wordless perception of God that Evagrius also calls “most intense love” and “the state of prayer” (de Orat. 53; Sch. 1 on Ps. 144.1).




 I,29. JUST as color, form, and number disappear along with bodies, so too matter is destroyed along with the four elements; for together with them it acquired what did not exist but which came to be.

At the time of prayer the monk should not seek form, shape or color.(Prayer 114)

̈1,29.Ὡς χρῶμα καὶ σχῆμα καὶ ἀριθμὸς τοῖς σώμασι συναπέρχεται, οὕτως καὶ τοῖς τέτρασι στοιχίοις ἡ ὕλη συνδιαφθείρεται. [Muyld, Evag 9, p. 57]

[S1]Ωσπερ μετα των σωματων υπαγει χρωματα και σχηματα και αριθμοι ουτως  μετα των τεσσαρων στοιχειων και η υλη αφανιζεται· μετ' αυτων γαρ κεκτηται το οτι ουκ ην και οτι εγενετο.



 I,30. ONLY fire is distinct from the four elements, because of what is alive within it.

̈1,30. Μονον το πυρ των τεσσαρων στοιχειων διαφερει τωι εν αυτωι ζωντι.



 I,31. AS among the peoples there is Israel, and among the lands [there is] the land of Judah, and among cities [there is] Jerusalem (cf. Gal 4.26); so also the purpose of the allegories of thoughts  (cf. Gal 4.24) is the portion of the Lord. (Deut 32:9)

̈1,31. Ωσπερ εν τοις ανθρωποις Ισραηλ και εν τας χωραις η της Ιουδαιας και εν ταις πολεσιν Ιεροσολυμα μερος του Κυριου κεκληται ουτως και ο σκοπος των αλληγοριων των διδακτικων εν πασι λογοις μερος του Κυριου εστιν.

For Evagrius the phrase “The portion of the Lord” (Deut. 32.9) describes the gnostikos’ capacity for allegorical interpretation.  Thus the “Lord’s portion” is “knowledge of the Lord” (Sch 8 on Ps 47.8) “knowledge of God” (Sch 18 on Ps 72.26; Sch. 42 on Ecclesiastes 5.17-19 (SC 397 p. 38) and “wisdom” (Sch 3 on Ps. 141.6).




 I,32. THOSE who have seen something of that which is in the natures have seen only their common appearance; for only the just have received their spiritual knowledge. But one who disputes this is like him who said, I was acquainted with Abraham when he traveled with two wives .(Gen 16-17) He spoke the truth but he did not see the two covenants (Gal 4:22-31) and did not understand those who are born from them.

̈1,32. Οιτινες τι των φυσεων ειδον ευχερει {ευτελει} θεωριαι μονον επεβλεψαν· τνη γαρ πνευματικην των φυσεων γνωσιν δικαιοι μοννον εδεξαντο· ο δ'αν ισχυριζομενος προς ταυτα ομοιος εστι τωι λεγοντι οτι ωμιλησα Αβρααμ οτε μετα των δυο γυναικων ην· ουτος μεν το αληθες ειπε τας δε δυο διαγηκας ουχ εωρακε τε και τους υπ' αυτων τεχθεντες ου διενοηθη.

Only the just can have spiritual knowledge: Cf. Scholion 15 On Eccl. 3.10-13. Here and in the preceding chapter Evagrius alludes to the sole instance in the scriptures where the term allegory is used: Gal. 4.22-31, where Hagar represents Mount Sinai and the old covenant (i.e. slavery), while Sarah is the Jerusalem above and the new covenant which signifies freedom.




 I,33. JUST as each of the arts needs a sharpened sense that conforms to its matter, so also the intellect needs a sharpened spiritual sense to distinguish spiritual things.

The “sharpened spiritual sense” of the nous is characterized by attained by  “continually increasing yearning for God” (Prayer 118). It is attained through a kind of anesthesia with regard to created things by becoming “immaterial and wholly dispossessed” during prayer, its “highest activity” (Prayer 35, 119 and 120)

̈1,33. [79] Ωσπερ εκαστη τεχνη τρανους αισθησεως αρμοζουσας προς αυτην χρειαν εχει ουτως και ο νους πνευματικης αισθησεως χρειαν εχει προς το διακρινειν τα πνευματικα.



 I,34. THE sense, naturally by itself, senses sensory things, but the mind [nous] always stands and waits [to ascertain] which spiritual contemplation gives it vision.

̈1,34. Αισθησις πεφυκε αισθανεσθαι τα αισθητα· το δε νοητικον παντα καρον εστηκε προσδοκων ητις αν θεωρια πνευματικη διδωι αυτην εις ορασιν.



 I,35. JUST as light, while enabling us to see everything, [itself] needs no light to be seen; so God, while making all things visible, needs no light by which to be known, for he is light. (1Jn 1:5) in His essence.

God is essentially light.  On the reflection of divine light in the nous cf. KG 1.35, 1.74; 1.81, 2.29; 3.44, 3.52, 5.15; Sch.258 on Prov. 23.22 ; Prak. 64; Gnost. 45 Prayer 75.; Thoughts/Peri.Log. 17, 39, 40, 42; Skem. 2, 42325, 27; Letter 39.5; Antiret. 6.16.

 1,35. Ωσπερ το φως παντα ημιν αποδεκνυον αλλου φωτος ου δειται προς το θεαθηναι εν αυτωι ουτως ουδε ο θεος αποδεικνυων ημιν παν τι φωτος δειται εις το γνωσθηναι εν αυτωι. αυτος γαρ τηι ουσιαι φως εστι.[
S1: Even as the light, as it makes us see all, does not need another light with which it will be seen, so God as well when he makes everything seen, does not need another light with which he will be known; He, in fact, in his essence,"is light"]



 I,36. THE organ of sense is not the same thing as sensation nor is the one who senses the [same as the thing] sensed. For sense is the power by which we lay hold of matters; the sense organ is the member in which the sense resides; the one who senses is the living being who possesses the senses; the [thing] sensed is what is apprehended by the senses. But it is not thus with the nous, for it was deprived of one of the four.

[S1: This is not the same thing as the sense and the organ of sense , nor the sensitive and the sensible. The sense, in fact, is the power with which we are accustomed to feel the matter; the organ of the senses is the member in which the sense resides; the sensitive is the living subject which possesses the sense organs; the sensible is that which falls under the organs of sense. But the nous is not like that, because it is deprived of one of the four.]

 1.36  Αἴσθησις μέν ἐστιν ἡ δύναμις καθ' ἣν ἀντιλαμβανόμεθα τῶν ὑλῶν· αἰσθητήριον δὲ τὸ ὄργανον δι' οὗ πέφυκεν αὕτη ἐνεργεῖν· αἰσθητικὸν δὲ αὐτὸ τὸ κεκτημένον τὴν αἴσθησιν· αισθητὸν δὲ τὸ αἰσθήσεσιν ὑποπίπτειν. [Muyl ‘A travers’ p. 89.]

 [Οὐτ' αὐτὸν αἴσθησις καὶ αἰσθητήριον, οὐδ' αἰσθητηκόν τε καὶ αἰσθητόν· αἴσθησις μὲν γάρ ἐστιν ἡ δύναμις, καθ' ἣν εἰώθαμεν ἀντιλαμβάνεσθαι τῶν αἰσθητῶν· αἰσθητήριον δὲ τὸ ὄργανον ἐν ᾧ καθίδρυται αὕτη· αἰσθητηκὸν δὲ τὸ ζῷον αὐτὸ τὸ κεκτιμένον τὰς αἰσθήσεις· αἰσθητὸν δὲ τὸ πεφυσικῶς ταῖς αἰσθήσεσιν ὑποπίπτειν. [Sch 6 on Psalm 113; Muyld, Evag 10, p. 57]

[S1] Ου ταυτο εστιν αισθησις και αισθητηριον ουδε αισθητκον και αισθητον· η αισθησις εστι δυναμις ηι ειωθαμεν αισθανεσθαι τας υλας· το δε αιστητηριον εστι μελος εν ωι ενεργει η αισθησις· το δε αισθητικον εστι ζων οργανον ο κεκτηναι τα αισθητερια· το δε αισθητον εστιν οτι τοις αισθητηριοις υποκεται. αλλ' ουχ ουτως κα ο νους εν τι των τεσσαρων απεστερηται.



 I,37. SPIRITUAL “sensation” is apatheia of the reasoning soul, produced by the grace of God.

[S1 =S2: The spiritual sense is the dispassion of the reasoning soul, which is produced by the grace of God]

As above in 1.33 the nous should become spiritually insensible . . .immaterial and wholly dispossessed at the time of prayer (Prayer 119-120)

 1,37. Η πνευματικη αισθησις εστιν απαθεια της λογικης φυσεως παρα θεου χαριζομενη.



 I,38. WE say various things about sleep while awake; but [it is] during sleep that we experience the proof.  It is the same with regard to all the things we hear about God while outside of Him: we will experience the proof of them [once we are] within Him.

[S1: Just as, being awake, we say diverse things about dreams and that, when we are asleep, we learn them  by experience, so all that we learn about God, when we were outside of him, it is when we will have been inside of him that we will receive the demonstration of them  by experience.]

 1,38. Ωσπερ ημεις γρηγορουντες αλλα τινα περι των ενυπνιων λεγομεν ενυπνοι δε γενομενοι πειραι μανθανομεν ουτως οτου αν ποτε ακουωμεν περι του θεου εκτος αυτου οντες οταν εν αυτωι γενωμεθα πειραι αποδεξομεθα.



 I,39.  WE had the seeds of virtue [within us] when we were made [in the beginning] - not [the seeds] of vice.  For if we were not receptive of something would we have [within us] all its power?  And since we have no power to cease existing, we do not have [within us] the power of the non-existent: that is if the powers are qualities and the non-existent not is not a quality.

[S1: When we were first made, the seeds of virtue  were found naturally in us, but malice not at all. It is not that, in fact, that to which we are susceptible, has its power also in us, because that, because we can not have been that, the power of  what we are not is not in us, if powers are qualities and what is not is not a quality.]

 1.39.Ἀρετῆς μὲν γεγόναμεν ἔχοντες σπέρματα, κακίας δὲ οὔ· οὐ γὰρ εἴ τινος δεκτικοί ἐσμεν, τούτου πάντως καὶ τὴν δύναμιν ἔχομεν· ἐπεὶ καὶ μὴ εἶαι δυνάμενοι, τοῦ μὴ ὄντος οὐκ ἔχομεν δύναμιν, εἴπερ αἱ δυνάμεις ποιότητες, τὸ δὲ μὴ ὂν οὐκ ἔστιν ποιότης. [Muyld, Evag 11, p. 57]

'Αρετῆς γεγόναμεν σπέρματα, κακίας δὲ οὔ· οὐ γὰρ εἴ τινος δεκτικοί ἐσμεν, τούτου πάντως καὶ τὴν δύναμιν ἔχομεν, ἐπεὶ και μὴ εἶναι δυνάμενοι, τοῦ μὴ ὄντος οὐκ ἔχομεν δύναμιν· εἴπερ αἱ δυνάμεις ποιότητες, τὸ δὲ μὴ ὄν οὐκ ἔστι ποιότης. [Hr-nfg 230=E11]

[S1]Οτε απαρχης εγενομεθα σπερματα της αρετης πεφυκεν εν ημιν της δε κακιας ου· ου γαρ ει τινος δεκτικοι εσμεν τουτου παντως και την δυναμιν εχομεν επει και μη ειναι δυναμενοι του μη οντος ουκ εχομεν δυναμιν· ειπερ αι δυναμεις ποιοτητες εισι το δε μη ον ουκ εστι ποιοτης·

Evagrius has divided a favorite theme into two kephalaia, KG 1.39 and 1.40.  Here he describes the capacity to exist and to change as “seeds of virtue” that were “implanted” within us from our beginning (cf. Praktikos 57; Gnostikos 44 and 45). In addition to four texts in which he discusses this concept in more detail (see note below on 1.40)  the metaphor of “seeds of virtue” recurs frequently in the Scholia on Psalms: Sch.21 on Ps.36.25;  Sch.3 on Ps.125.5;  sch. 3 on Ps. 135.6; sch.  7 on Ps. 136.7; sch. 3 on Ps. 147.3. [cf. KG 1.24]




 I,40. THERE was [a time] when evil did not exist, and there will be [a time] when it no longer exists; but there was never [a time] when virtue did not exist and there will never be [a time] when it does not exist: for the seeds of virtue are indestructible. And I am convinced by the rich man [almost but not completely given over to every evil] who was condemned to hell because of his evil, and who felt compassion for his brothers (Luke 16:19-31). For to have pity is the most beautiful beautiful seed of virtue.

[S1: There was a time when evil did not exist, and there will be a time when it will no longer exist; but there was never a time when virtue did not exist, and there will never be a time when it will not exist. Indestructible, in effect, are the seeds of virtue. I am  also convinced of this by the rich man who was condemned in the Shéol because of his evil and had pity for his brothers; thus to have pity is a beautiful seed of virtue]

 1.40 Ἦν ὅτε οὐκ ἦν κακὸν, καὶ ἔσται ὅτε οὐκ ἔσται· οὐκ ἦν δὲ ὅτε οὐκ ἦν ἀρετή, οὐδὲ ἔσται ὅτε οὐκ ἔσται· ἀνεξάλειπτα γὰρ τὰ σπέρματα τῆς ἀρετῆς· Πείθει δέ με . . . καὶ ὁ πλούσιος ἐν τῷ ᾅδῃ διὰ κακίαν κρινόμενος καὶ οἰκτείρων τοὺς ἀδελφούς. Τὸ δὲ ἐλεεῖν, σπέρμα τυγχάνει τὸ κάλλιστον τῆς ἀρετῆς. [= scholion 62 On Prov 5:14, pp 152 & 154] Italicized portion is not found in critical edition of Syriac

 For Rich man/Lazarus qv  KG I,40;   Letters 43   & 59; Peri.Log. 65

Muyld, Evag 12, pp. 57-58= Peri.Log. 65; PG 40.1240B : .  ̓͂Ην ὅτε οὐκ ἦν κακία, καὶ ἔσται ὅτε οὐκ ἔσται· οὐκ ἦν δὲ ὅτε οὐκ ἦν ἀρετὴ, οὐ δὲ ἔσται ὅτε οὐκ ἔσται· πείθει δέ με ὁ ἐν τῷ ᾅδῃ πλούσιος διὰ κακίαν, καὶ ἐλεῶν τοὺς ἀδελφούς· τὸ δὲ ἐλεεῖν ἀρετή.

[S1] Ην οτε ουκ ην κακια και εσται οτε ουκ εσται· ανεξαλειπτα γαρ τα σπερματα της αρετης·ͅ πειθει δε με και εκεινος ο πλουσιος εν τωι αιδηι δια κακιαν κρινομενος και οικτειρων τους αδελφους· το δε ελεειν σπερμα εστι καλον της αρετης.

The “imperishable seeds of virtue” which Evagrius defined in the preceding kephalion and discusses in more detail elsewhere (Sch. 62 on Proverbs 5:14, Peri Logismon 31, and Letters 43.3 and 59.3) allude to the possibility of change and healing after death and thus to the possibility of apokatastasis, or universal restoration of all beings to union with God. He invokes the parable of Lazarus and the rich man (Luke 16.20-31), and interprets it as suggesting that the rich man’s suffering in Sheol matured the “seeds of virtue” into repentance and a capacity for mercy.  [cf. also KG 1.24]




 I,41. IF death is subsequent to life, and sickness subsequent to health, it is evident that vice is subsequent to virtue. Death and sickness of the soul are evil, and virtue is more ancient than the intermediary.

[S1=S2:  If death is second compared to life, and sickness second compared to health, it is evident that evil is second by comparison to virtue. Death and sickness of the soul, in effect, is evil, and virtue is more ancient also than that which is in the middle.]

 1,41. Ει ο θανατος δευτερος της ζωης και η νοσος δευτερα της υγιειας δηλοντι και η κακια δευτερα της αρετης· θανατος γαρ και νοσος της ψυχης εστιν η κακια· η δε αρετη και της μεσοτητος αρχαιοτερα εστι.

In light of his meditation on the primordial quality of virtue in the two previous kephalaia, Evagrius concludes that the Aristotelian definition of virtue as a mean/μεσότης between two opposing vices, (KG I.10) is insufficient.  The seeds of virtue do not depend on vice for their definition or existence: rather they precede vice and have existed from the beginning (KG I.40).  As Evagrius has already noted, there is no opposition in God, the first good; (KG 1.1) opposition (evil and vice) arise with creation (KG 1.2)




 I,42.  IT is said that God is [present] where He acts, and where he acts most, there he is most present; And since He acts most in the reasoning and holy natures, it is therefore in the celestial powers that He is most present.

Muyl. A travers p. 89]:It is said that God is where he acts; and where he acts most, there he is present most: but he acts most in the noetic powers, [therefore] he is most [present] in them.]

 1,42.Ἐκεῖ λέγεται παρεῖναι ὁ Θεὸς, ὅπου ἐνεργεῖ· καὶ μᾶλλον παρεῖναι, ὅπου πλέον ἐνεργεῖ· ἐνεργῶν δὲ πλέον ἐν ταῖς νοεραῖς δυνάμεσιν, ἐν αὐταῖς ἐστι πλὲον.  

 1,42. Ἐκει λέγεται Θεὸς παρεῖναι, ἔνθα καὶ ἐνεργεῖ· ὅπου δὲ μᾶλλον ἐνεργεῖ, μᾶλλον πάρεστιν· ἐνεργεῖ δὲ πλέον ἐν ταῖς οὐρανίαις δυνάμεσιν, πλέον οὖν ἐκεῖσαι πάρεστιν. [Muyld, Evag 13, p. 58]

[S1] Ενθα λεγεται ο θεος αιναι οπου ενεργει και απου μαλλον ενεργει ενθα μαλλον εγγιζει· ενεργει δε μαλλον εν ταις λογικαις και αγιαις φυσεσι· ͅ εν ταις ουρανιαις δυναμεσιν αρα μαλλον εγγιζει.



 I,43. GOD is in every place and he is not in a place; He is in every place for He is in all that exists by his manifold wisdom.(Eph 3:10). He is not in a place because He is not [one] among other [beings].

[S1: God is everywhere, and He is not somewhere; He is everywhere, because everything that has been produced is by His "wisdom full of variety"; but He is not somewhere, because He is not from among beings.

 1,43. Ὁ Θεὸς καὶ πανταχοῦ πάρεστιν καὶ οὐδαμοῦ· πανταχοῦ μὲν, ὅτι πᾶσιν ἐνυπάρχει τοῖς γεγονόσιν· οὐδαμοῦ δε, διότι ἕτερος αὐτῶν ἐστιν. [Muyld, Evag 14, p. 58]

[S1]Ο θεος εν παντι τοπωι εστι και ουκ εν τοπωι εστι· εν παντι τοπωι ως εν παντι γεγονοτι ων δια την πολυποικιλον σοφιαν, ουκ εν τοπωι δε ως ουκ ων των γεγονοτων.



 I,44. IF the kingdom of the heavens is known by what is contained and that which contains, so torment will be known by the opposite of these things.

[S1: If the kingdom of heaven is known by what came before everything and what contains everything, the torment also of those who will be judged will be known by what is opposed]

 1,44. [87] Ει η βασιλεια των ουρανων εν τωι παντων προυπαρχοντι τε και πααν οριζοντι γιγνωσκεται, και ο βασανισμος των νοητων εν τωι εναντιωι γιγνωσκεται.



 I,45. THERE is nothing among incorporeal [beings] that has power in bodies; for our soul [nous?] is incorporeal.

[S1: There is nothing among the bodiless which is in power in bodies; and bodiless is our nous, when it renders itself similar to God]

 1,45. Ουεν των ασωματων δυναμει εστιν εν τοις σωμασι· ασωματος δε εστιν ο νους ημων οτε αφομοιουται τωι θεωι.



 I,46. EVERYTHING in power in bodies is naturally in them in act, as well; they are connatural with those from whom they come. But the nous is free of [both] form and matter.

[S1: All that is in power in the body, it possesses in act, and they are of the same nature as those from which they derive. But the nous which contemplates God is liberated from imprint and matter]

 1,46. ΑΑν κατα δυναμιν ͅ ηι εν τοις σωμασι ενεργειαι κταται, και ομοφυη εστι των παρ ων ενεγετο· των δε τυπων και της υλης απηλευθερωται ο νους ο ἀποβλεπων εις τον θεον.



 I,47. NOTHING in power in the soul is able to leave it through action and then to subsist independently, for [the soul] was by its nature made to exist in bodies.

[S1: There is nothing which could be in power in the soul which similarly could be naturally in it also in act; it is by liberty, in effect, that it grows and it is the power of God which perfects it]

 1,47. [89] Ουδενος ου η δυναμις εστιν τηι ψυχηι ουτως και η ενεργεια πεφυκεν εν αυτηι τωι γαρ αυτεξουσιωι αυτης κατορθουνται και η δυναμις του θεου τελειοι αυτην.



 I,48. EVERYTHING linked to bodies is associated with those who engender them; but nothing from them is linked to the soul.

[S1: The imprints which are in the bodies similarly exist in those which have engendered them. But the soul, by the liberty which was given it by God, imprints its being as it wishes, either to render itself similar to God, or to render itself similar to the animals]

 1,48. Οι τυποι οι οντες εν τοις σωμασιν οι αυτοι εισιν εν τοις γεννησασιν αυτα· η δε ψυχη κατα το αυτεξουσιον το δοθεν αυτηι υπο του θεου τυποι αυτην καθως εθελει η εις το αφομοιωθναι τωις κτηνεσιν.

Evagrius addresses the question of the extent to which the human person is influenced by inheritance.  From our parents we receive everything that pertains to our bodies;  but our forebears are not responsible for what we do with and to our souls.




 I,49. THE Monad is not moved in itself: rather, it is moved by the receptivity of the nous which through inattentiveness turns its face away [from the Monad],  and which through this deprivation begets ignorance.

[S1 =S2: It is not the Unity which apart from itself puts itself in motion; but it is put in motion by the receptivity of the nous, which, by its negligence, turns away its face and, by the fact of being deprived of it, engenders ignorance ]

 1,49. Η μεν μονας ιδιως ου κινειται κινειται δε εν τωι δεκτικωι του νοος ος εν τηι αμελειαι αυτου αποστρεφει το προσωπον αυτου απ' αυτης και δια την αποστερησιν αυτης γενναι την αγνωσιαν.



 I,50. EVERYTHING that exists, exists through the knowledge of God; but among beings some are first and some are second. [spiritual] Knowledge is older than first beings; and the movement is older than second beings.

[S1 =S2: All that was produced was produced for the knowledge of God; but among beings, some are firsts, and others seconds. Older than the first beings is (spiritual) knowledge, and (older) than the second beings is movement]

 1,50. [91] Παν γεγονος δια την του θεου γνωσιν γεγονε· αλλα των γεγονοτων τα μεν εστι προτερα, τα δε δευτερα· των πρωτων γεγονοτων αρχαιοτερα εστιν η πνευματικη γνωσις, των δε δευτερων αρχαιοτερα η κινησις.



 I,51. THE movement is the cause of evil but virtue is destructive of evil. However, virtue is the daughter of names and modes, and the cause of these is the movement.

[S1: Movement is the cause of evil, and the destroyer of evil is virtue; but the names of virtue are in the modes of conduct, and the cause of these is movement]

 1,51. Η κινησις εστιν αιτια της κακιας, εξαλειπτικον δε της κακιας εστιν η αρετη τα δε ονοματα της αρετης εν τροποις της πολιτειας· αιτια τουτων η κινησις εστιν.



 I,52. WHEN the knowledge of those who are first in their administration and who are second by their creation will be in the principles, only then will those who are first in their administration receive the knowledge of the Trinity.

 1,52 [93] Οταν η αληθινη γνωσις εν τοις πρωτοις γενομενοις γενηται τοτε και αυτοι χαριτι της της αγιας Τριαδας γνωσεως αξιωθησονται.


[S1: When the true knowledge will be in those which are first by their genesis, then those also will obtain by grace also the knowledge of the holy Trinity.]



 I,53. DEMONS who fight against the nous are called birds; those who trouble indignation (thumos) [are called] [wild] beasts; those who move desire (epithumia) [are called] cattle [beasts].

cf. Mal.Cog 18; Eulogius 4: block the indignation of the beast ἐμφράξῃς τοῦ θηρὸς τὸν θυμόν
[cf. Sch 9 In Ps 73.19
:beasts are the demons that arouse beastly indignation.   Μὴ παραδῷς τοῖς θηρίοις ψυχὴν ἐξομολογουμένην σοι.

9. Εἰ θηρία λέγεται τὰ δαιμόνια, ἐν δὲ τοῖς θηρίοις ἐπικρατεῖ ὁ θυμὸς, ἐν τοῖς δαίμοσιν ἄρα ἐπικρατεῖ ὁ θυμός. Καὶ ἐν τῷἸὼβ λέγει·« Θῆρες ἄγριοι εἰρηνεύσουσί σοι.»

(For birds (πετηνά) , beasts (θηρία ) cattle (κτήνη ), cf. Gen. 7.14 -creation; & Gen. 8.9 - out of ark)

 1.53. Τὰ μὲν τῷ νοῒ μαχόμενα δαιμόνια καλοῦνται πετηνά, θηρία δὲ τὰ τὸν θυμὸν ἐκταράσσοντα, κτήνη δὲ ὀνομάζεται τὰ τὴν ἐπιθυμίαν κινοῦντα. [Hr-nfg 230=E4]

[S1=S2] Το δαιμονια τα τωι νωι μαχομενα πετεινα ονομάζεται θηρια δε τα τον θυμον ταρασσοντα κτηνη δε ονομαζεται τα την επιθυμιαν δελεαζοντα.

[S1=S2: The demons which fight with the nous  are called birds, animals those which trouble thumos,  and beasts those which excite epithumia



 I,54. LIMITLESS is the fullness of those who are first in their administration, but for emptiness limits have been set. (Phil 2:7)  And while second beings are coextensive with emptiness, they rest when the fullness causes the receptive to approach immaterial knowledge. 

[S1: Without end is the fullness of those who are first by their genesis, and within ends is the emptiness contained . The second beings are coextensive with emptiness , and they will rest when the perfect fullness will lead those who are receptive of it toward the knowledge of the Unity of the Holy Trinity.]

 1,54. Απεραντον εστι το πληρωμα των πρωτων γεγονοτων περατι δε περιγεγραπται η ματαιοτης· τα δε δευτερα γεγονοτα συμπαρεκτεινεται τηι ματαιοτητι. αναπαυσεται δε οταν η τελεια πληροφορια τους δεκτικους αυτης αγαγηι προς την της μονοειδους αγιας Τριαδος γνωσιν.



 I,55. ONLY those who are first in their creation will be delivered from the corruption [inherent] in action; but none among beings [will be delivered] from the corruption [inherent] in power.

[S1: Those who are first by their genesis will be delivered only from the act of corruption; but the deliverance from all will be achieved when the will of the Lord of all will have occurred]

 1,55. [95] Οι πρωτοι γενομενοι ηλευθερωνται μονον της φθορας ενεργειας τελειωθησεται δε η των παντων ελευθερια εαν θεληι ο των παντων κυριος.



 I,56. THE good are the cause of knowledge and torment, but the evil only of torment.

[S1=S2:  The good will be cause of knowledge and of torment, and the bad47 of torment only.]

 1,56. Οι μεν αγαθοι αιτια εισι της γνωσεως τε και του βασανισμου οι δε κακοι μονου του βασανισμου.



 I,57. MEN fear Sheol, while demons fear the abyss; but there exist [beings] even more cruel, such as the indescribable serpents.

On the terrible subterranean demons: KG 4.33.

 1,57. Οι ανθρωποι τον αιδην φοβουνται τα δε δαιμονια τον αβυσσον -- φριττει.



 I,58. ONE [kind of] death has birth as its first cause; another is from the saints against those who do not live justly; and the mother of the third is forgiveness. And if “mortal” [means] one who is by nature made to be freed from the body to which he is joined, than “immortal” must [mean] one who is not naturally made for that. For all who have been joined to bodies will necessarily be liberated from them.

[S1: Among deaths, some  are caused by the first condemnation. For others that cause is liberating grace; and the cause of the third death is remission that is done through mercy. But immortal are those for whom none of these occur.]

 1,58.  Θνητόν ἐστι τὸ πεφυκὸς ἀπὸ τοῦ συνεζευγμένου σώματος λυέσθαι· ἀθάνατον δὲ ὃ μὴ διαλυέσθαι πέφυκεν· πάντα γὰρ ἀναγκαίως τὰ συνδεθέντα σώμασιν καὶ λυθήσεται ποτέ. [Muyld, Evag 15, p. 58]

FRB - Των θανατων των μεν αιτια εστιν η πρωτη κρισις των δε αιτια η χαρις -- η απελευθερουσα του δε τριτου θανατου αιτια εστιν η αφεσις η δι' ελεος· αθανατος δε εστι ωι ουδεν τουτων συμβαινει.



 I,59. JUST as light and shadow are accidents of air, so virtue and vice, as well as knowledge and ignorance, are united with the rational soul.

[S1:  Just as light and shadow are accidental things of the air, the same for the reasonable soul virtue and evil, knowledge and ignorance, virtue and knowledge being both first in it]

 1,59. [99] Ωσπερ το φως και ο σκοτος ͅ τυχικα το αερος ουτως η αρετη τε και η κακια η γνωσς τε και η αγνοια της λογικης ψυχης προυπαρχουσων εν αυτηι δυο της τε αρετης και της γνωσεως.



 I,60. IF today they have received the wise steward in their homes, it is clear that yesterday they sat and modified their bills. However, he was called wise (Lk 16:1-8) because he gave more than he was receiving.

Evagrius combines “If today”: Hebrews 3:15; Ps. 95.8 (“If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts”) - where “today” is understood as the day of judgment - together with Luke 12:42-43, a parable concerning the return of the Son of God to the earth. 

 1,60. Ει σημερον δεχονται τον φρονιμον οικονομον εν ταις οικιαις αυτων δηλοντι εχθες εκαθισε και ελογισατο τα μυστηρια αυτων· αλλα γαρ φρονιμος ωνομασται οτι των του κυριου υπαρχοντων αφιει τοις αυτου.

[S1: If today they receive the well advised accountant in their houses it is obvious that yesterday they sat down and counted their bonds. However, he was called well advised because he gave to his colleagues part of the assets of the property.]



 I,61. THERE are no second beings receptive of knowledge, nor any first beings who were first in a place.

[S1: There are none of the second beings which would not be 49 susceptible of the knowledge, and none of the first beings which would be contained in a place.]

 1,61. [103] Ουδεν των δευτερων γεγονοτων ου δεκτικου της γνωσεως και ουδεν των πρωτων ο τοπωι περιεχεται.  



 I,62. KNOWLEDGE is said to be in a place when one who is receptive of it is united to one the second beings, which is accurately and principally said to be in a place.

[S1: Knowledge is said to be in a place, when it frequents the intellections of creatures, but in no place when it admires the Holy Trinity]

 1,62. Η γνωσις εν τοπωι λεγεται ειναι ει τοις των κτισεων νοημασιν εμπεριφερεται ανευ τοπου δε ει εν τηι αγιαι Τριαδι εξισταται.



 I,63. WHETHER the logikoi exist always or do not exist depends on the will of the Creator; but whether they are immortal or mortal depends on their own will, as does [the question] whether they are joined or not joined to one thing or another.

To physically separate soul from body belongs only to God; but the logikoi may  choose to separate their souls from reated things (Praktikos 52)

 1,63. Το γενεσθαι τους λογικους και το μη γενεσθαι προς τωι του θεου θεληματι εστι, το δε γενεσθαι θνητους η αθανατους επ' αυτοις εστιν.

[S1 =S2: Whether the logikoi would be or would not be, that is the affair of the will of the Creator; but that they would be mortal or immortal, that is the affair of their will]



 I,64. THE true life of the logikoi is their natural activity, while their death is an activity against nature. But if such death is so mortal as to naturally extinguish true life, who among beings is immortal? For every reasoning nature is susceptible to opposition.

[S1: All reasonable nature, in fact, is susceptible of an opposition.50 The true life of the logikoi is their activity in spirit, and their death is the activity against nature.]

 1,64. Ζωὴ ὄντως ἐστὶν ἡ κατὰ φύσιν ἐνέργεια τῶν ἐμψυχομένων· θάνατος δὲ ἡ παρὰ φύσιν. [Muyld, Evag 16, p. 58]

FRB - [105] Η αληθινη των λογικων ζωη εστιν η δια πνευματος αυτων εργασια· ο δε θανατος αυτωη εστι πραξις παρα την φυσιν.



 I,65. IN the knowledge of those who are second by their creation various worlds are constituted and indescribable battles take place. But in the Unity nothing like this occurs: it is unspeakable peace and there are only the naked noes that constantly quench their insatiability, if according to the word of our Savior, the Father judges no one, but he has given all judgment to Christ. (John 5:22). 

Two interpretations are possible,and both may be intended. The citation from Jn 5,22 recalls Sch. 275 on Prov. 24.22 which describes the judgment (krisis) whereby  God creates “an age/world which distributes to each of the reasoning beings a body corresponding to its state.” However the  logikoi can also “create worlds” within their nous from richly diverse knowledge (KG 5.12 and 5.81). In this kephalaion the tumultuous conflicts within these worlds are contrasted with the peace and longing of naked noes (KG 3.6) in the world to come.  On unquenchable desire for God (epektasis) see KG 1.71.

 1,65. Εν αυξησει των νοηματων των κτισεων πονοι εισι και πολεμοι· η δε της αγιας Τριαδος θεωρια ειρηνη και ησυχια αρρητος.

[S1: In the growth of the intellections of the creatures there are works and combats. But in contemplation of the Holy Trinity it is peace and an ineffable quietude.]



 I,66. VIRTUES are said to be in front of us, in the direction where we have the senses; while vices are behind us, on the side where we do not have senses. For we are commanded to flee fornication (1 Cor 6:18)  and pursue  hospitality. (Rom 12:13)

Behind this kephalaion is common moral teaching regarding progress in the virtues, prokope. Cf. Origen, Commentary on the Song of Songs 2.5; Homilies on Numbers 23.2.4; Peri Archon 1.8.4. Evagrius combines two hortatory sentences from different letters of Paul, the first continuing to identify the body as the temple of the Holy Spirit, and therefore to purify it of vice; and the second commanding readers to “share in the needs of the saints, and pursue hospitality (philoxenia)” See Praktikos 66, on progress (and in KG 1.67, below)

 1,66. Αι αρεται ενωπιον ημων λεγονται ειναι εναντον των αισθησεων αυτων ορατικων, οπισω ημων δε λεγονται ειναι αι κακιαι διοτι εν σκοτωι πραττονται· κελευομεθα φυγειν την πορνειαν και διωκαιν την φιλοξενιαν. {cf. Rom 12.13}

[S1: The virtues are said to be before us, facing the senses which see them; but it is behind us that are said to be the bad actions, because they are accomplished in the shadows.  We are ordered, in fact, to "flee fornication" and to "pursue hospitality".]



 I,67. WHO can know the composition of the world and the activity of the elements? And who can understand the composition of this organ of the soul? And who can determine how one is joined to the other, in what their dominion consists, and how they participate with one another in such a way that the praktike becomes a chariot for the reasoning soul, which strives to attain the knowledge of God?

On the pathetikon (part of the soul subject to passion) as the chariot of the nous:  Plato, Phaedrus 246a-254e

 1,67. [107] Τις εγνω την τουκοσμου τουτου συστασιν και την τω στοιχειων ενεργειαν και την εργασιαν του οργανου τουτου πως δια την των εντολων τηρησιν αρμα γενομενον υψουται αναλημψει πνευματικηι προς την αγιαν Τριαδα. 

[S1: Who will know the sustasis of this world, the activity of the elements and the practice of this instrument, how it will become a chariot by the practice of the commandments and will raise itself up by a spiritual ascension toward the Holy Trinity.]



 I,68. IN angels nous and fire predominate, but in human beings epithumia and earth, and among demons thumos and air. It is said that the third approaches  intermediaries through the nostrils, while the first [approach] the second through the mouth.

See also : KG 2.51;  KG 6.25, Sch. 60 on Prov. 5.9. Mal.Cog 33. On the respective functions and physical effects of demons and angels: cf. Prak 24 & 76; Ant.4.22

 1,68. Εν τοις αγιοις αγγελοις περισσεια του νοος εστιν εν δε τοις ανθρωποις περισσεα της επιθυμιας· εν δε τοις δαιμοσι περισσεια του θυμου· λεγουσι δε οι πατερες οτι οι πρωτοι προς τους μεσους δια στοματος πλησιαζουσιν οι δε τελευταιοι προς τους μεσους δια των ρινω. [S1

[S1: Among the holy angels there is a predominance of the nous,  among the humans, predominance of the  épithumia, and among the demons predominance of the thumos. The Fathers say that the first approach the intermediaries by the mouth, and the last the intermediaries by the nostrils]



 I,69. ONE who excels in knowledge has one after him, while one who excels in ignorance has none.

[S1 =S2: The one who leads in knowledge has someone after him; but he who leads in ignorance has none.]

 1,69. [109] Ο πρωτευων εν τηι γνωσει εχει τον μετ' αυτον ο δε πρωτευων εν τηι αγνοιαι ουκ εχει. [S1



 I,70. WITH God is said to be: first, the one who knows the Holy Trinity; and next after him one who contemplates the logoi concerning the intelligible [beings]; third, then, is one who also sees the incorporeal beings; and then fourth is one who understands the contemplation of the ages; while one who has attained apatheia of his soul is justly to be accounted fifth.

The previous kephalaion establishes the extremes of knowledge and ignorance; this kephalaion describes levels of  knowledge in descending order. The first level is theoria theologike; the second, third and fourth are theoria physike; the fifth is not knowledge, but a subject who has attained the apatheia that makes the ascending order possible.

 1,70 μετὰ θεοῦ λέγεται εἶναι, πρῶτος μὲν ὁ τὴν ἁγίαν γινώσκων Τριάδα, καὶ μετ' αὐτὸν ὁ τοὺς λόγους τοὺς περὶ τῶν νοητῶν θεωρῶν, τρίτος δὲ πάλιν ὁ καὶ αὐτὰ τὰ ἀσώματα βλέπων, καὶ πάλιν τέταρτος ὁ τὴν θεωρίαν ἐπιστάμενος τῶν αἰώνων· ὁ δὲ τὴν τῆς ψυχῆς ἀπάθειαν κεκτημένος, πέμπτος ἂν συγκαταχθείη δικαίως . = scholion 15 on Psalm 72:23 cf. Pitra 72:23, vol. 3, p.96): [v.=72.23.  καὶ ἐγὼ διαπαντὸς μετὰ σοῦ.]



 I,71. THE end of natural knowledge is the holy Unity, but ignorance [or incomprehensibility?] has no end; for as it is said, there is no limit to his greatness. (Ps 145:3)

On unquenchable desire for God see KG 1.65..Evagrius echoes Gregory of Nyssa's doctrine of epektasis: eternal straining forward towards the God whose goodness is without limits (Greg.Nys. Life of Moses, 7-8)

 1,71. [111] Περας της των φυσεων γνωσεων γνωσεως η της αγιας μοναδος γνωσις εστι· περας δε τωι ακαταληπτωι καθως λεγουσιν οι πατερες ουδεν κατα το γεγραμμενον· -- οια εστιν εξευρεσις {τελος̣} της φρονησεως αυτου

[S1: The end of the knowledge of nature is the knowledge of holy Unity; but to incomprehensibility, as the Fathers say, there is no end, as it is written: "There is no limit to His intelligence".]



 I,72. THE Lord takes pity on those to whom he gives spiritual knowledge if the just walk in the light, but the foolish in darkness. (Eccl 2:14). But the Lord also pities the foolish, in that he does not torment him immediately, but rather impels him from evil towards virtue.

[S1: The Lord has pity on those to whom he gives spiritual knowledge, because it is written: "The just walk in the light and the insane in the shadows". But the Lord has pity also on the insane, in that it is not right away that He torments him  but He fixes for him  a model in order that he converts and lives.]

 1,72. Τουτον ελεει ο κυριος ωι γνωσιν πνευματικην διδωσι διοτι γεγραπται ο δικαιος εν φωτι περιπατει ο δε ασεβης εν σκοτωι.  ελεει δε ο κυριος -- αει τον ασεβη εν τωι μη εφαπαξ βασανιζειν αυτον αλλα διδοναι καιρον το μετανοειν -- και ζην {σωθηναι}.



 I,73. THE life of man consists of holy knowledge, but the mercy of God is the contemplation of beings. Many of the wise of this world have promised us knowledge, but the mercies of God are better than life. (Ps 62:4)

Irenaeus: Vita hominis visio Dei: Adv.Haer.4.20.7

 1,73 ἡ μὲν ζωὴ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἡ ἁγία γνῶσις ὑπάρχει· τὸ δὲ ἔλεος κυρίου ἡ τῶν γεγονότων θεωρία ἐστίν· πολλοὶ δὲ ἡμῖν τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου σοφοὶ καθυπέσχοντο γνώσεις, ἀλλὰ κρεῖσσον τὸ ἔλεος κυρίου ὑπὲρ ζωάς.  = Sch 2 on Psalm 62:4

[Ps.62:4. Ὅτι κρεῖσσον τὸ ἔλεός σου ὑπὲρ ζωὰς]



 I,74. THE light of the nous is divided into three:

knowledge of the adorable and holy Trinity;

and the incorporeal nature created by it;

and the contemplation of beings.

Evagrius undertook a journey in the company of Ammonius to consult with John of Lycopolis (or of the Thebaid) on the question whether the inner “light of the nous” perceived during contemplation is a reflection of the divine light, or whether  it arises from the inherent luminosity of the nous itself (Antirrhetikos 6.16). John did not commit himself to a definitive answer; however, in this kephalaion Evagrius suggests three possible sources of the light: [1] reflection (“knowledge”) of or “mixture with” the divine light (cf. KG 1.35, 2.29; 3.52; Skemm.27); [2] the incorporeal nature of the nous (KG 3.44); [3] the act of contemplating beings (KG 5.15; 1.81). Additional sources on the light of the nous: cf. KG 1.74;  KG 1.81; Prak 64; Gnost 45; Sc.Prov.258; On Prayer 74 & 75.; P.Log. 17, 39, 40 & 42; Skem 24;  23; 25 Letter 39.5.

 1,74. το του νοος φως διακρινεται {μεριζεται} τρισσως εις την γνωσιν της αγιας και προσκυνητης Τριαδος και εις την φυσιν την τε ασωματον και ενσωματον -- και εις την συνεσιν των φυσεων των κτισματων.

[S1: The light of the nous is divided in three, that is: in the knowledge of the adorable and holy Trinity, in bodiless and embodied nature, and in the intellection of the natures of creatures]



 I,75. IF “the crown of justice” is holy knowledge, and the gold, moreover, that contains the stones denotes the worlds that have been or will be, the contemplation of corporeal and incorporeal nature is therefore the crown that is placed by the “just judge” (2Tim 4:8) upon the head of those who fight.

Crown designates knowledge: Scholion 7 On Prov. 1.9.

 1,75. Ει ο στεφανος της δικαιοσυνης γνωσις της αγιας Τριαδος εστι -- δηλοντι εν τωι του δρομου τελει αγιοι αυτωι στεφανωθησονται.



 I,76. IT is not to the knowledge hidden in objects that unknowing [ignorance] is opposed, but rather to the knowledge of the intelligible forms of the objects. For unknowing [ignorance] is not naturally found in corporeal nature.

 1,76. Ου τηι αληθινηι γνωσει τηι αποκεκρυμμενηι εν ταις φυσεσιν αντικειται η αγνοια αλλ' η τηι των παιδων {νηπιων} γνωσει· εαν δε τελειωθωσιν οι παιδες νικησουσιν την αγνοιαν.

[S1: It is not to the true knowledge which is hidden in the natures that ignorance is made the opposite, but to the knowledge of children. But, when children have become adults, they will win over ignorance.




 I,77. THE second nature is the sign of the body,

and the first [nature is] the [sign] of the soul.

And the [sign of the] nous is

the Christ who is united to the knowledge of the Unity.

 1,77. Νους παντων των λογικων των τηι ομοιωσει του κτιστου αυτων τετυπωμενων Χριστος εστιν ο σωτηρ ημων και αυτος τελειωσει αυτους τηι της αγιας Τριαδος γνωσει.

[S1 THE nous of all the logikoi which are imprinted in the resemblance of their Creator is Christ our Savior; and it is He who  perfects them in the knowledge of the holy Trinity.]

Here Evagrius juxtaposes two parallel models of mystical ascent. One is human (body / soul / nous) and and concerns spiritual anthropology; the other is cosmic (second nature / first nature / Christ) and encourages reflection on eschatological destiny. The threefold anthropological model of body, soul, and nous, is a sequence that illustrates the hierarchical ordering of different levels of creation, perceptible both in the exterior world of cosmic history and the interior world of human psychology.  The second, parallel set of draws attention to the origin and destiny of the nous: second (fallen) nature; first (unfallen) nature; and Christ who enjoys “knowledge of the Unity”.  A similar analogy is found in Evagrius’ Letter to Melania: ‘And just as the [human] nous  acts in the body through the mediation of the soul, in the same way the Father acts through the mediation of the “soul” [i.e. the Son and the Spirit] in his “body”, which is the [human] nous.’ Letter to Melania (Letter 64) 15, Frankenberg, p. 514. 

This kephalaion has been cited as evidence that Evagrius supported the christology condemned in the Anathemas Against Origin issued by the Emperor Justinian in 543 and 553.  This heretical christology allegedly identified Christ with a primordial unfallen nous that was united to the Divine Logos at the incarnation.  (A. Guillaumont, Les ‘Kephalaia Gnostica’, d’Evagre le Pontique et l’histoire de l’Origénisme chez les Grecs et chez les Syriens, Patristica Sorbonensia 5, Paris: Editions du Seuil, 1962, p. 152)



 I,78. THE first renunciation is voluntary abandonment of the objects of this world for the sake of the knowledge of God. [=Peri.Log. 26.19-25]

 1.78. Ἀπόταξις μὲν πρώτη ἐστὶ κατάλειψις κοσμικῶν πραγμάτων ἑκούσιος τῆς τοῦ Θεοῦ γνώσεως ἕνεκεν· [Hr-nfg 230=E5]

[S1] [117] Η μεν πρωτη αποταγη του κοσμου εν ψυχηι γενομενη εστι το απολειπειν τινα αγαθηι προαιρεσει τα του κοσμου τουτου πραγματα δια την του θεου γνωσιν.

[S1: The first renunciation of the world, which is done in the soul, is such: that with good will one abandons the things of this world for the science of God.

The following three kephalaia, 1.78-80 together with 1.85, occur together in narrative form at the end of chapter 26 of Evagrius’ On Thoughts (Peri Logismon).  Evagrius often depicts spiritual progress as triads, here consisting of three successive renunciations: first, of worldly things; second, of vice or evil; and third, of ignorance.  Antecedents of this threefold ascent are found in sources Evagrius knew, including Philo, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, and the Letters of Antony.  For Philo the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are allegories of the classical pedagogical triad: teaching, nature, and moral-ascetical practice (The Life of Moses, 1.76).  Clement described ascent from ethics to the contemplation of nature, and then to theologiké, or metaphysics (Stromateis 1.28.176, 1-2).  Origen depicted the three biblical wisdom books of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Songs as exemplars of the three progressive stages of purification, discernment, and love (Commentary on the Song of Songs 3.16). These he associated with the classical ascent from ethics (moral practice) to physics (nature); and finally to epoptics (contemplation) (Comm.SOS 3.1-3).

     Antony the Great describes three “repentances” or “gates” corresponding to three kinds of souls: first, those who like Abraham eagerly renounce everything, repent, and follow Christ; second, those who like David in the Psalms repent only after hearing of the divine punishments promises; and third, those who repent only when afflicted by hardships and trials (Letter 1).

the reader of the text is being invited to meditate simultaneously on two parallel symbols of spiritual ascent. The first is anthropological and consists of the threefold ‘signs’ of body, soul, and nous. From the perspective of Evagrius’ cosmology these three ‘signs’ also suggest the fallen state of the nous. Thus the second,  parallel set of concepts for meditation is a more overt reminder of the origin and destiny of the nous: second (fallen) nature; first (unfallen) nature; and Christ who enjoys knowledge of the Unity. The capstone of this passage is clearly the reference to ‘knowledge of the Unity’, which Evagrius elsewhere refers to as ‘essential knowledge’. Christ now ‘knows the Unity’, and the implication is that the reader, too, should ascend from ‘the sign of the body’ through the ‘sign of the soul’ to the ‘sign of the nous’ in order to ‘know’ what Christ knows.



 I,79. THE second renunciation is the laying aside of vice, which happens through divine grace and human diligence. [=Peri.Log. 26.19-25]

The next step after abandonment of the world (ascetic apotaxis or withdrawal from secular society,KG 1.78) is praktiké, the struggle against vice or evil (κακία).  This struggle entails not only ascetical effort or “diligence” but the grace that comes from “asking of Christ the inner meanings (logoi)” of temptations, thus engaging in ascetical practice “more contemplatively” (γνωστικώτερος), Prak. 50 SC p. 614; cf. Eulog. 24 (PG 79.1128C)=

 1.79. ἀπόταξις δὲ δευτέρα ἀπόθεσις κακίας χάριτι Θεοῦ καὶ σπουδῇ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου προσγινομένη: [Hr-nfg 230=E5]

[S1]Η δε δευτερα αποταγη εστι το απαλλοτριωθηναι της κακιας οτι ζηλωι του ανθρωπου τε και χαριτι του θεου γινεται.

[S1: The second renunciation is distancing oneself from evil, which is produced by the application of man and by the grace of God.



 I,80. THE third renunciation is separation from ignorance, which naturally becomes apparent to people according to state they have attained. [=Peri.Log. 26.19-25]

Evagrius’ third “renunciation” is the ascent from ascetical practice to spiritual knowledge or contemplation (theoretiké/gnostiké).  The capacity for this depends on success in the struggle against vice and the attainment of some measure of apatheia as taught in the Praktikos.   The ascetic may then attempt insofar as their spiritual state permits, the twin art of contemplative exegesis of the scriptures, described in the Gnostikos, and the perception of God’s purposes (logoi) in history and creation, the subject of the Kephalaia Gnostica.

 1.80. ἀπόταξις δὲ τρίτη ἐστὶ χωρισμὸς ἀγνοίας τῶν πεφυκότων ἐμφανίζεσθαι τοῖς ἀνθρώποις κατ᾿ ἀναλογίαν τῆς καταστάσεως. [Hr-nfg 230=E5]

[S1] Η τριτη ἀποταγη εστιν αφορισμος της αγνοιας ητις ειωθοτως οραται τις ανθρωποις ως φαντασιαι εν τωι πολεμωι κατα το μετρον της αυξησεως αυτων.

[S1: The third renunciation is the separation from ignorance, which usually appears to men as certain fantasies in combat, according to the degree of their growth.



 I,81. WHILE the glory and light of the nous is knowledge, the glory and light of the soul is apatheia.

On the light of the nous and its possible origins: cf. KG 1.35, 1.74; 1.81, 2.29; 3.44, 3.52, 5.15; Sch.258 on Prov. 23.22 ; Prak. 64; Gnost. 45Prayer 75; Thoughts/Peri.Log. 17, 39, 40, 42; Skem. 2, 42325, 27; Letter 39.5; Antiret. 6.16.

 1.81 1. Δόξα οὖν καὶ φῶς τοῦ νοός ἐστιν ἡ γνῶσις, δόξα δὲ καὶ φῶς ζωῆς ἡ ἀπάθεια. [Hr-nfg 230=E7] 1.81 [S1 ]

[S1] [119] Δοξα και φως του νοος εστιν η πνευματικη γνωσις· δοξα δε και φως της ψυχης η απαθεια.

[S1: The glory and light of the nous is spiritual knowledge, the glory and light of the soul is its apatheia.



 I,82. THAT which sensible death normally does in us, the just judgment of God (2Th 1:5) will similarly accomplish for the other logikoi when he is ready to judge the living and the dead (1Pet 4:5) and to render to each according to his works. (Rev 22:12)

 1,82. Οτι ο αισθητος θανατος ειωθε ποιεν εν ημιν ͅ ως αυτως η -- δικαια του θεου κρισις απασι τοις λογικοις ποιησει εν ωι καιρωι μελλει κρινειν ζωντας τε και νεκρους και ανταποδωσει ενι εκαστωι κατα τα εργα αυτου. [S1=S2]



 I,83. IF the Gihon is the Egyptian river that surrounds the whole land of [Ethiopia] Cush, (Gen 2:13) from which Israel was commanded by one of the prophets not to drink, (Jer 2:18 ) we also know the three other sources and the river from which the four sources are separated.

 1,83. Ει Γιων ποταμος αιγυπτος εστι κυκλων πασαν την γην Αιθιοπιας -- εφ' ου δι ενος ͅ των προφητων εκελευσθη Ισραηλ μη πιειν γιγνωσκομεν και τας τρεις -- αλλας αρχας και τον ποταμον αφ' ου αφοριζονται αι τεσσαρες αρχαι. [S1=S2]

Evagrius alludes to two biblical texts that had become favorite subjects of mystical exegesis since the time of Philo.  In Jeremiah 2.18 the prophet warns against drinking from the river Gihon, associated with Egypt and Ethiopia/Kush, and thus a symbol of  sin and vice (Philo, Leg. alleg, 1.68; Origen In evang. Ion., 6.47;  Didymus Comm. Zach, 3.158; Athanasius, Festal Letter 7.5; Evagrius, KG 4.64, 5.6, 5.21, 6.49, Sch. 19 on Ps. 67.32).  The second text is Gen. 2.10-15 where the single headwater and the four outflowing rivers of paradise are described.  

These became allegories of primordial goodness and the four cardinal virtues of prudence, temperance, courage and justice (Philo, Leg. alleg, 1.63); or the four gospels (cf. Greg. Nyssa, Easter Homily 4: Orat IV in Christi Resurrect.).



 I,84. KNOWLEDGE and ignorance are united in the nous, while epithumia is receptive of self-control and [shameful] lust, and love and hate normally affix to thumos. But the first accompanies first [beings], and the second, second [beings].

On the virtues and vices of the tripartite soul: Prak. 89; Gnost. 44. The hegemonikon or nous is the principal feature of first beings while the pathetikon (moved by epithumia and thumos) is secondary, material, and intended as a means of spiritual re-ascent (Mal.Cog/Thoughts. 17; cf.Schol.3 On Ps 22.4 )..

 1,84. [121] Ο των λογικων νους δεκτικος εστι της τε γνωσεως και της αγνοιας, το δε επιθυμητικον δεκτικον της σωφροσυνης και της αισχυνης, μετα δε τον ζηλον {͂θυμον} η αγαπη και το μισος τρεχει· κολλαται δε τωι πρωτευοντι εν τοις πρωτοις το πρωτευον εν τοις δευτεροις και τωι πρωτευονται εν τοις δευτεροις το πρωτευον εν τοις τριτοις.

S1: The nous  of the logikoi is receptive of knowledge and ignorance, epithumia is receptive of chastity and of luxury, and following the thumos go love and hatred That which is first among the firsts is accompanied by what is first among the seconds, and what is first among the seconds (is accompanied) by what is first among the thirds.



 I,85. THE nous circles around [or: wanders] when impassioned and is uncontrolled when it regards the material causes of its pleasures; but it ceases from distraction when it achieves apatheia and attains the company of incorporeal [beings] who fulfill all its spiritual desires. [=Peri.Log. 26.15-17]

As noted above on KG 1.78, this text is found in Peri.Log. 26.15-17, where it immediately precedes the three renunciations Evagrius has divided into KG 1.78-80.  The attainment of apatheia, freedom from obsessive-compulsive thoughts and actions, renders the ascetic more stable and thus less subject to distractions. In this state it becomes possible to perceive both the logoi, God’s inner purposes within events and beings, and the angels who are the messengers and instruments of these logoi. Prak 15, 49, 61; Mal.Cog/Thoughts 17-19; Skem 25; Cf. Prayer 46

 Κυκλεύι γὰρ ὁ νοῦς ἐμπαθὴς ὢν καὶ δυσκάθεκτος γίνεται, τὰς ποιητικὰς τῶν ἡδονῶν ὕλας ἐπισκεπτόμενος. Ἵσταται δ̀ τῆς πλάνης ἀπαθὴς γεγονὼς καὶ τοῖς ἀσωμάτοις περιτυχῶν τοῖς ἀποπληροῦσι τὰς πνευματικὰς ἐπιθυμίας αὐτῷ. P.Log.26 15-17

1,85. [123] Ο νους περιαγεται εμπαθης γεγομενος ουδε συνεχεται πραττων ποικιλας επιθυμιας· αφεστηκε δε τοις ορμης και παυεται της πλανης της κυκλωι αυτου απαθης γενομενος και ομιλων τοις ασωματοις ατινα πληροι πασας τας πνευματικας επιθυμιας αυτου.

[S1: The nous wanders, when it becomes impassioned, that it is to say it is uncontrollable when it achieves its diverse desires. But it restrains itself in its rush and renounces its distractions which surround it when it becomes dispassionate and when it has arrived in the company of those who are  bodiless, those who fulfill all its spiritual desires.



 I,86. LOVE is the excellent state of the reasoning soul; [for] in it one cannot love anything among corruptible things more than the knowledge of God.

[S1=S2:   Love is the excellent state of the reasonable soul, which in this cannot love anything which is among corruptible things more than the knowledge of God.

 1,86. Αγαπη εστιν υπερβαλλουσα της λογικης ψυχης καταστασις καθ' ην αδυνατον αγαπαν τι του κοσμου τουτου μαλλον η την του θεου γνωσιν. [S1]



 I,87. ALL beings came into being through the knowledge of God, but everything that came to exist by another is less than that for which it exists. Because of this, the knowledge of God is superior to all.

Cf. Scholion 15 On Eccl. 3.10-13; Sch 7 On Ps 17.12; Let. Trin 12.

 1,87. Πάντα τὰ γεγονότα διὰ τὴν γνῶσιν γέγονε τοῦ Θεοῦ, ἵνα ἐκ μεγέθους καὶ καλλονῆς {cf. Sap. XIII, 5} ὃ γέγονεν γινώσκεται· πᾶν δὲ ὃ ἐτέρου γίνεται χάριν, τοῦτο ἔλαττον ἐκείνου ἐστὶν οὗ ἕνεκα γίνεται· πάντων ἄρα τιμιωτέρα ἐστὶν ἡ γνῶσις τοῦ Θεοῦ.[Muyld, Evag 17, p. 58]

[S1] Παν γεγομενον δια την του θεου γνωσιν γεγονε παν δε δι' αλλο τι γενομενον -- ηττον εστι παρα το δι' ο εγενετο· δια τουτο παντα υπερβαλλει η του θεου γνωσις, οτι δι' αυτην παντα γεγονε.

[S1: Everything that was created was created for the knowledge of God; on the other hand, everything that was created for something else is less than what it was created for; in consequence, the knowledge of God is superior to everything, because everything was created for it



 I,88. NATURAL knowledge is true understanding of those [things/beings] that were created through knowledge of the Blessed Trinity.

[S1: Natural knowledge is true understanding of those created on account of the knowledge of the Holy Trinity.]

 1,88. [125] Η φυσικη γνωσις εστι συνεσις αληθινη των δια την της αγιας Τριαδος γνωσιν γεγομενων.



 I,89. EVERY reasoning nature was naturally made in order to exist and to know; and God is essential knowledge. And while non-existence is opposed to reasoning nature, and knowledge is [opposed] to evil and ignorance – there is in these no opposition to God.

[S1 All reasoning nature was naturally made to understand true knowledge, and God is essential knowledge. The reasoning nature that has been created therefore has opposed to it the fact of not being created; and opposed to liberty are evil and ignorance; but not one of those things is opposed to God.]

 1,89. Πασα λογικη φυσις πεφυκε μανθανειν την αληθινην γνωσιν ο ͅ δε θεος γνωσις ουσιωδης εστι· τηι λογικηι φυσει ουν ητις εκτισθη εναντιον εστι το οτι ουκ αν εκτισθη, εναντιον δε τωι αυτεξουσιωι αυτης η κακια τε και η αγνοια, εν δε τουτων ουκ εστιν εναντιον τωι θεωι.



 I,90. IF this is the day called “Friday”, on which our Savior was crucified, then all who died are a symbol of his grave; for with them [also] died the righteousness of God that will live again on the third day and will be raised clothed with a spiritual body ( 1Cor 15:44) - if today and tomorrow he works miracles and on the third day it is finished. ( Luke 13:32)

The kephalaion ends by quoting Luke 13.32, Jesus’ response to the Pharisees warning him that Herod wanted to kill him. “He said to them, “Go and tell that fox, ‘Listen, I am casting out demons and performing cures today and tomorrow, and on the third day I finish my work.”  Evagrius, following Jesus’ anticipation of his death, identifies the three days with the Friday of Jesus’ crucifixion, the Saturday of his entombment, and the Sunday of his resurrection. These, in turn, become a prophecy of the revival of all the dead by the removal of evil (ignorance and non-being), symbolized by exorcism.  It is then that rational minds gain a “spiritual body,” 1 Cor 15.42a-44: “It is sown a natural (psychikon) body, it is raised a spiritual (pneumatikon) body.”
     Evagrius alludes to the eschaton using the symbols of weekdays (Friday, Saturday, Sunday; the sixth, seventh, and eighth days; today, tomorrow, and the third day: KG 4.26; 5.83; 6.7 ) and the sabbatical year (KG 5.8; Letter 41). See Gehin, SC 340, p. 305 and Guillaumont, Keph.Gn. pp.238-239.

 1,90. Ει σημερον η παρασκευη εστιν εν ηι ο σωτηρ ημων εσταυρωθη, παντες [127] οι απεθανον εν Χριστωι τυπος εισι του ταφου αυτου εν οις η του θεου δικαιοσυνη τεθαπται ητις αναστησεται τηι τριτηι ημεραι ημφιεσμενη σωμα πνευματικον· αληθης γαρ ο του σωτηρος ημων λογος οτι σημερον και αυριον δυναμεις ποιησει ͅ τηι δε τριτηι ημεραι τελειουται.  



(Century of the Kephalaia Gnostica)





[1] The complete text of Evagrius’ Kephalaia Gnostica survives only in Syriac and Armenian translations with extant Greek fragments and parallels available for only about one-sixth of the complete text.  The majority of these fragments are reproduced in the Greek text above, BUT the Greek text above largely consists of a retroversion into Greek of Frankenberg’s 1912 edition of the UNRELIABLE Syriac text (which includes a commentary by the seventh-century anti-Origenist abbot, Babai the Great).  Guillaumont designated this the S1 version of the Kephalaia Gnostica: it contains no evidence of the controversial Origenist doctrine condemned by councils from the sixth century onwards.  The problematic nature of this S1 version was clarified in 1958, when Antoine Guillaumont published the critical edition of a new Syriac version based on a manuscript tradition he designated S2. This version exists in only a single manuscript. Although known in antiquity, it had been denounced by ancient Syriac authors as the work of heretical forgers who were alleged to have intentionally altered texts by ‘the blessed abbot Evagrius’ in order to justify their own teachings.

    The surviving Greek fragments of the Kephalaia Gnostica uniformly attest to the priority of the S2 version, revealing the more widespread S1 tradition to be a drastic re-editing of Evagrius’ text ,in which all passages suggestive of controversial Origenist doctrine had either been eliminated or modified. This (expurgated) S1 version appeared very quickly, possibly anticipating by several decades the anathemas of 543 and 553. The Syriac manuscript evidence places it no later than the first third of the sixth century; and an Armenian translation of S1 may have been made sometime in the fifth century, that is within a century of Evagrius’ death in 399. The existence of both expurgated and unexpurgated versions of Evagrius’ works during the sixth century reflects an uneasy attitude of reverence for his writings combined with anxiety concerning their orthodoxy which is well-attested elsewhere in the monastic literature of the period.

    The Syriac and Greek Versions used here include the following: the critical edition of Syriac S1 and S2 texts ed. and trans. by A. Guillaumont, Les six Centuries des ‘Kephalaia Gnostica’ d’Évagre le Pontique, Patrologia Orientalis 28.1, Nº 134 (Paris, 1958). Syriac S1 text with commentary by Babai the Great and Greek retroversion, ed. and trans. by by W. Frankenberg, Evagrius Ponticus, Abhandlungen der königlichen Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen, Phil.-hist. Klasse, Neue Folge, vol. 13, no. 2. (Berlin, 1912), pp. 8-471. Principal Greek fragments ed. by: 1) I. Hausherr, ‘Nouveaux fragments grecs d’Evagre le Pontique’,Orientalia Christiana Periodica 5 (1939), pp. 229-233; 2) Muyldermans, ‘À Travers la Tradition Manuscrite d’ Èvagre le Pontique’, Bibliothèque du Muséon 3 (Louvain: Istas, 1933), pp. 74, 85, 89, 93; 3) Muyldermans, ‘Evagriana. Extrait de la revue Le Muséon, vol. 42, augmenté de nouveaux fragments grecs inédits’ (Paris, 1931), pp. 38-44; 4) Géhin, ‘Evagriana d’un Manuscrit Basilien, (Vaticanus Gr. 2028; olim Basilianus 67)’, Le Muséon 109 (1996), pp. 59-85.

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