Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers: Series II/Volume VII/S. Cyril/Introduction/S. Cyril's Writings
Chapter XI.—S. Cyril’s Writings.
§ 1. List of Works. Besides the Catechetical and Mystagogic Lectures translated in this volume, the extant works of S. Cyril include (1) the “Letter to the Emperor Constantius concerning the appearance at Jerusalem of a luminous Cross in the sky:” (2) “The Homily on the Paralytic at the Pool of Bethesda:” and (3) Fragments of Sermons on the Miracle of the water changed into wine, and on John xvi. 28, “I go to My Father.”
Another work attributed by some authorities to Cyril of Jerusalem and by others to Cyril of Alexandria is a Homily De Occursu Domini, that is, On the Presentation of Christ in the Temple, and the meeting with Symeon, called in the Greek Church ἡ ῾Υπαπαντή.
The other Fragments and Letters mentioned in the Benedictine Edition have no claim to be considered genuine.
§ 2. Authenticity of the Lectures. The internal evidence of the time and place at which the Lectures were delivered has been already discussed in chapters viii. and ix., and proves beyond doubt that they must have been composed at Jerusalem in the middle of the fourth century. At that date Cyril was the only person living in Jerusalem who is mentioned by the Ecclesiastical Historians as an author of Catechetical Lectures: and S. Jerome, a younger contemporary of Cyril, expressly mentions the Lectures which Cyril had written in his youth. In fact their authenticity seems never to have been doubted before the seventeenth century, when it was attacked with more zeal than success by two French Protestant Theologians of strongly Calvinistic opinions, Andrew Rivet (Critic. Sacr. Lib. iii. cap. 8, Genev. 1640), and Edmund Aubertin (De Sacramento Eucharistiæ, Lib. ii. p. 422, Ed. Davent., 1654). Their objections, which were reprinted at full length by Milles at the end of his Edition, were directed chiefly against the Mystagogic Lectures, and rested on dogmatic rather than on critical grounds. The argument most worthy of notice was that in a MS. of the Library of Augsburg the Mystagogic Lectures were attributed to John, Bishop of Jerusalem. This is admitted by Milles, who gives the title thus: Μυσταγωγικαὶ κατηχήσεις πέντε ᾽Ιωάννου ᾽Επισκόπου ῾Ιεροσολύμων, περὶ βαπτίσματος, χρίσματος, σώματος, καὶ αἵματος Χριστοῦ.
I do not find this Codex Augustinus mentioned elsewhere by any of the Editors under that name: but the Augsburg MSS. were removed to Munich in 1806, and in the older Munich MS. (Cod. Monac. i), the title of the first Mystagogic Lecture is Μυσταγωγία πρώτη ᾽Ιωάννου ἐπισκόπου ῾Ιεροσολύμων. Also in Codd. Monac. 2, Ottobon. there is added at the end of the Title, τοῦ αὐτοῦ Κυρίλλου καὶ ᾽Ιωάννου ἐπισκόπου. That John, Cyril’s successor, did deliver Catechetical Lectures, we know from his own correspondence with Jerome: and this very circumstance may account for his name having been associated with, or substituted for that of Cyril.
To Rivet’s objection Milles makes answer that if the mistakes of a transcriber or the stumbling of an ignorant Librarian (imperiti Librarii cæspitationes) have in one or two MSS. ascribed the Lectures to John or any one else, this cannot be set against the testimony of those who lived nearest to the time when the Lectures were composed, as Jerome and Theodoret. Also the internal evidence proves that the Lectures could not have been delivered later than the middle of the fourth century, whereas John succeeded Cyril about 386.
Moreover it is quite impossible to assign the two sets of Lectures to different authors. In Cat. xviii. § 33 the author promises, as we have seen, that he will fully explain the Sacramental Mysteries in other Lectures to be given in Easter week, in the Holy Sepulchre itself, and describes the subject of each Lecture; to which description the Mystagogic Lectures correspond in all particulars. Other promises of future explanations are given in Cat. xiii. § 19, and xvi. § 26, and fulfilled in Myst. iv. § 3, and ii. § 6, and iii. § i. On the other hand the author of Myst. i. § 9, after quoting the words, “I believe in the Father, and in the Son, and in the Holy Ghost, and in one Baptism of repentance,” adds, “Of which things I spoke to thee at length in the former Lectures.”
By these and many other arguments drawn from internal evidence Touttée has shewn convincingly that all the Lectures must have had the same author, and that he could be no other than Cyril.
§ 3. Early Testimony. Under the title “Veterum Testimonia de S. Cyrillo Hierosolymitano ejusque Scriptis,” Milles collected a large number of passages bearing on the life and writings of S. Cyril, of which it will be sufficient to quote a few which refer expressly to his Lectures.
S. Jerome, in his Book of Illustrious Men, or Catalogue of Ecclesiastical Writers, composed at Bethlehem about six years after Cyril’s death, writes in Chapter 112: “Cyril, Bishop of Jerusalem, having been often driven out from the Church, afterwards in the reign of Theodosius held his Bishopric undisturbed for eight years: by whom there are Catechetical Lectures, which he composed in his youth.”
Theodoret, born six or seven years after the death of Cyril, in his Dialogues (p. 211 in this Series) gives the “Testimony of Cyril, Bishop of Jerusalem, from his fourth Catechetical Oration concerning the ten dogmas. Of the birth from a virgin, “Believe thou this, &c.”
Theophanes (575 circ.) Chronographia, p. 34, Ed. Paris, 1655, defends the orthodoxy of Cyril, as follows: “It was right to avoid the word ὁμοούσιος, which at that time offended most persons, and through the objections of the adversaries deterred those who were to be baptized, and to explain clearly the co-essential doctrine by words of equivalent meaning: which also the blessed Cyril has done, by expounding the Creed of Nicæa word for word, and proclaiming Him Very God of Very God.”
Gelasius, Pope 492, De duabus in Christo naturis, quotes as from Gregory Nazianzen the words of Cyril, Cat. iv. § 9: Διπλοῦς ἦν ὁ Χριστός, κ.τ.λ.
Leontius Byzantinus (610 circ.) Contra Nestor. et Eutychem, Lib. 1. quotes the same passage expressly as taken “From the 4th Catechetical Oration of Cyril, Bishop of Jerusalem.”
Many other references to the Catecheses as the work of Cyril are given by Touttée, pp. 306–315.
§ 4. Editions. 1. Our earliest information concerning the Greek text and translations of S. Cyril’s Lectures is derived from John Grodecq, Dean of Glogau in Bohemia.
From his statement it appears that Jacob Uchanski, Archbishop of Gnessen and Primate of Poland, had obtained from Macedonia a version of the Catecheses in the Slavonic dialect, and had translated it into the Polish language some years before 1560.
2. In that year Grodecq himself published at Vienna an edition of the Mystagogic Lectures, thus described in the catalogue of the Imperial Library:—
“S. Cyril’s Mystagogic Lectures to the newly baptized, which now for the first time are edited in Greek and Latin together, that he who doubts the Latin may have recourse to the Greek, and he who does not understand Greek well may read the Latin, translated by John Grodecq.”
Nothing more is known of this edition: Fabricius, Milles, Touttée, and Reischl, all say that they have been unable to find any trace of it. Uchanski about this time sent to Grodecq his Slavonic and Polish versions, in order that they might be compared with the Greek original. The result according to Grodecq was that the fidelity of both versions was clearly shewn, and “there could not possibly remain any doubt that these Lectures of Cyril are perfectly genuine.”
Whether Uchanski’s book was written or printed is unknown, as no trace of it has hitherto been found.
3. S. Cyrilli Hier. Catecheses ad Illuminandos et Mystagogicæ. Interpretatus est Joannes Grodecius. Romæ 1564. 8°.
Grodecq had come to Rome in the suite of Stanislaus Hosius, Cardinal Legate at the Council of Trent, who in the year 1562 had published in the Confession of Petricow the 4th and part of the 3rd Mystagogic Lectures from a Greek MS. belonging to Cardinal Sirlet. From this MS. Grodecq made his Latin translation, using also the work of Uchanski before mentioned. The preface is dated from Trent, on the 9th of July, 1563. The translation was published in the following year at Rome, Cologne, Antwerp, and Paris, and often elsewhere until superseded by the new Latin Version of Touttée in the Benedictine Edition.
4. In the same year, 1564, the Mystagogic Lectures and Catecheses iv., vi., viii.–x., xv., xviii. were published at Paris by William Morel, the King’s Printer, under the following title:—
“S. Cyrilli Hier. Catecheses, id est institutiones ad res sacras, Græce editæ, ex bibliotheca Henrici Memmii, cum versione Latina. Cura Guil. Morellii. Paris. G. Morel., 1564. 4° min.”
The Greek text depending on de Mesme’s one MS., and that mutilated and faulty, is said by Touttée to have many faults and omissions, but to have been nevertheless very useful to him in correcting the text. The MS. itself had entirely disappeared. The Latin version, appended to the copy in the Royal (National) Library at Paris, but not always attached to the Greek, is said by Touttée to be a careful and elegant version, independent of Grodecq’s.
A copy of Morel’s Edition which formerly belonged to Du Fresne, containing various readings in the margin from two other MSS., was lent to Touttée from the Library of S. Geneviève (Genovef.).
Reischl describes the MS. as “Cod. Mesmianus (Montf. I. 185). Sec. xi.”
5. “S. Cyrilli H. Catecheses Græce et Latine ex interpretatione Joan. Grodecii nunc primum editæ, ex variis bibliothecis, præcipue Vaticana, studio et opera Joan. Prevotii. Paris. (Claude Morellus), 1608.” This was the first complete edition of the Greek text. Prevot, a native of Bordeaux, states in the Dedication to Pope Paul V., that by the help of MSS. “melioris notæ” found in the Vatican, he had both corrected the text of the Lectures previously published by Morel, and carefully transcribed the rest. He made, according to Touttée, many useful emendations, but did not mention the number, age, nor various readings of the MSS. employed.
6. “S. Cyrilli Hier. Arch. opera quæ supersunt omnia; quorum quædam nunc primum ex Codd. MSS. edidit, reliqua cum Codd. MSS. contulit, plurimis in locis emendavit, Notisque illustravit Tho. Milles S.T.B. ex Æde Christi Oxoniæ, e Theatro Sheldoniano, Impensis Richardi Sare Bibliopol. Lond. MDCCIII.”
The author of this fine Edition gives us in his Preface the following description of his work:—
“In the first place I wished to amend more thoroughly the text of J. Prevot, which, as I said, he himself largely corrected and supplied from MSS. in the Vatican, and which I have printed in this Edition: I have therefore compared it with all the other Editions that I could collect, and in this manner have easily removed many errors both of the printers and of Prevot himself. Afterwards I carefully compared all the Catecheses and the Epistle to Constantinus with two MSS. and some with three, namely iv., vi., viii.–x., xv., xvi., xviii. The first Codex, written on parchment apparently six hundred years ago, I found among those MSS. which Sir Tho. Roe, our first Ambassador from King James I. to the Great Mogul, brought from the East, and presented to the Bodleian Library. The second we owe to the diligence of Isaac Casaubon, who collated the Catecheses and Epistle to Constantius with a MS. which he chanced to find, I think, in some Library in France, and carefully noted all the various readings in the margin. This copy of Casaubon’s the Right Reverend Father in Christ, John Bishop of Norwich, very kindly lent to me out of his well-furnished Library, and of his great love for learning did not disdain to shew the highest favour to my slight endeavours.”
Touttée thinks that the MS. from which Casaubon drew his various readings was C. Roe itself, or that one of the two MSS. had been copied from the other, or both from the same.
7. “S. Cyrilli Arch. Hier, opera quæ exstant omnia et ejus nomine circumferuntur, ad MSS. codices necnon ad superiores Editiones castigata, Dissertationibus et Notis illustrata, cum nova interpretatione et copiosis indicibus. Cura et studio Domni Antonii-Augustini Touttéi, Presbyteri et Monachi Benedictini e Congregatione S. Mauri. Paris. Typis Jac. Vincent. 1720, fol. (Recusa Venet. 1763).”
Of the Greek text the Editor says, “I have collated it as carefully as I could with Grodecq’s translation, Morel’s and Prevot’s Editions, and with MSS. to be found in this City. The various readings of the Roman MSS. I have obtained by the help of friends: those which Milles had collected from the English Codices I have adopted for my own use.”
8. “S. Cyrilli Hier. Arch. opp. quæ supersunt omnia ad libros MSS. et impressos recensuit Notis criticis commentariis indicibusque locupletissimis illustravit Gulielm. Car. Reischl S. Th. D. et Reg. Lycei Ambergensis Professor. Vol. I Monac. M DCCC XLVIII.”
The Editor says in his Preface that he has altered the Benedictine text only when the evidence was very weighty, and has then given all the various readings in the critical notes. The exegetical commentary was to be reserved for the 2nd Volume, but this Dr. Reischl did not live to complete.
The Prolegomena contain (1) Touttée’s inordinately long “Life of Cyril,” (2) a Dissertation on the general character and authenticity of the Catecheses, and (3) an “Apparatus Litterarius,” to which I have been indebted.
Vol. ii., containing Catecheses xii.–xviii., Myst. i.–v., and the other works, genuine and spurious, attributed to Cyril, was published by J. Rupp at Munich, 1860.
The MSS. used in revising the text of this, the best critical edition, will be noticed below.
9. An Edition of the Catecheses only was published at Jerusalem in 1867, having been commenced in 1849 at the request of the Archbishop, Cyril II., by Dionysius Kleopas, Principal of the Theological School of Jerusalem, and, after his death in 1861, continued by his successor Photius Alexandrides, “Archdeacon of the Apostolic and Patriarchal See of Jerusalem, and Principal of the Theological School.”
The Editor gives in the Preface an interesting account of the life of Kleopas, and of the work which he left unfinished.
§ 5. Manuscripts. From the preceding account of the various Editions of S. Cyril we may obtain the following list of authorities which have been hitherto used in revising the Text.
1. Codex Sirletianus, known only by Grodecq’s Latin version, Rome, 1564. Cf. § 1. 3.
2. C. Mesmianus, known only in Morel’s edition, Paris, 1564. Cf. § i. 4.
3. Vatican MSS. used by Prevot. 1608, but not identified. Cf. § i. 5.
4. C. Roe, Bibl. Bodleian. Oxon. “Codex membranaceus in folio, ff. 223, sec. xi„ binis columnis bene exaratus;” [ol. 271].
5. C. Casaubon. On this and the preceding MS. see Milles as quoted above, § i. 6.
6. C. Ottobonianus (1) ol. Rom. iv. membran. sec. xi. “Continet Catecheses omnes et Epist. ad Constantium. Multas habet insignes ab editis varietates.”
C. Ottob. (2), “Chartaceus et recens est, nihil fere ab editis discrepans.”
These are the Roman MSS. mentioned by Touttée: see above, § i. 7.
7. C. Coislin. 227 (ol. 101). Membran. Sæc. xi. circ. “From this came many important emendations” (Touttée, Notitia Codicum MSS.).
In the descriptions of the following MSS. of the National Library at Paris there is so much discrepancy between Touttée and Reischl, that it is better to quote both.
8. “Catecheses xii., xiii., xiv., xv., comparavi cum Codice Reg. bibliothecæ num. 2503. Scriptus est in bombycina charta an. 1231, quam anni notam apposuit calligraphus” (Touttée, Not. Codd. MSS.).
Reischl has no notice of a MS. at all answering to this description.
9. Cod. Reg. alter, “ol. 1260, nunc 1824, qui S. Basilii opera complectitur, sub ejus nomine Procatechesin continet “ (Touttée, Not. Codd. MSS.): aliter, “Cod. Reg. ol. 260, nunc 1284, pag. 254, qui duodecimi circiter est sæculi, in quo habetur Procatechesis hæc sub nomine S. Basilii” (Id. Monit. in Procatechesin).
“Cod. Reg. 467 (apud Touttéum, 1824) Fonteblandensis, chartac. fol. sec. x. Continet sub S. Basilii nomine Orationem de Baptismo, quæ est S. Cyrilli Hier. Procatechesis. C. Reg. Touttéi” (Reischl).
10. “Cod. Reg. 969 (ol. Mazarin.) Epistolarum S. Basilii. 4°. Sec. xiv. Exhibet sub n. 7 Basilii homiliam quo (sic) ostenditur Deum esse incomprehensibilem, quæ non S. Basilii, sed Cyrilli est Procatechesis” (Reischl).
This description agrees in substance with Touttée’s.
11. C. Colbert. “Catecheses iv., vi., viii., ix., x., xv., xviii., contuli cum cod. Colbert. Biblioth. chartaceo et recenti 4863 notato…In omnibus pene cum Morelliana editione consentit” (Touttée, Notitia Codd. MSS.).
Reischl makes no mention of this MS.
12. C. Colbert. alter. “membran. sign. 1717, Sec. xiii. diversas Patrum homilias continet, et Cat. xiii. exhibet sub nomine Cyrillianæ in Crucem et Porasceven homiliæ” (Touttée, Notitia).
This is described by Reischl as “Cod. Reg. 771 (ol. 1717) Colbertinus. Membran. fol. seculi xiii.–xiv.”
The following MSS. have been used in Editions later than the Benedictine.
13. “C. Monacensis I. 394 membran. fol., titulis et initialibus miniatis, f. 261 nitidissime uncialibus minutis circiter seculo decimo in Oriente scriptus.”
This was regarded both by Reischl and by Rupp as the most important authority for the text: it is much older than Codd. Roe, Casaub., and seems to be related to Codd. Ottobon. Coislin.
C. Mon. 2 of the 16th Century is of little value.
14. “C. Vindobonensis, 55, membran. fol antiquissimus, sed incerto sæculo.”
A full account is given by Rupp in the Preface to Vol. ii. It was collated by Joseph Müller, 1848, and contains all Cyril’s Lectures, except the Procatechesis.
15. Codex A, found by Kleopas in the Library of the Archbishop of Cyprus, and used as the basis of his text, sometimes stands alone in preserving the true reading.
§ 6. Versions. Besides the Latin Translations published with the Greek text, as mentioned above, Reischl mentions the first three of the following:—
(a) Les catéchèses de Sainct Cyrille. Traduit par Louis Ganey. Paris, 1564.
(b) Cyrill’s Schriften übersetzt und mit Anmerkungen versehen von J. Mich. Feder.
(c) Cyrilli Hier. Catecheses in Armen. Linguam versæ. Viennæ 1832.
(d) The Catechetical Lectures of S. Cyril, Archbishop of Jerusalem, Translated, with Notes and Indices (Library of Fathers of the Holy Catholic Church.) Parker, Oxford, 1838. See Preface.
(e) S. Cyril on the Mysteries. (The five Mystagogic Lectures.) H. de Romestin. Parker, Oxford, 1887.
(f) On Faith and the Creed. C. A. Heurtley, D.D., Margaret Professor of Divinity, and Canon of Christ Church, Oxford. Parker, 3rd Ed., 1889. Contains, with other Treatises, the Fourth Catechetical Lecture of S. Cyril.
In the present volume the translation given in the Oxford “Library of Fathers” has been carefully revised throughout. Where it has been found necessary to depart from the Benedictine text, the Editor has consulted the readings and critical notes of Milles, Reischl, and Rupp, and the Jerusalem edition of Kleopas and Anaxandrides.
A few additions have been made to the index of Subjects: the Indices of Greek Words and of Scripture Texts have been much enlarged, and carefully revised. For any errors which may have escaped observation the indulgence of the critical reader will not, it is hoped, be asked in vain.
E. H. G