), one of the most eminent of the early Christian writers, not only for his intellectual powers and attainments, but also for the influence exercised by him on the opinions of subsequent ages, and for the dissensions and discussions respecting his opinions, which have been carried on through many centuries down to modern times.
Origen bore, apparently from his birth (Euseb. Hist. Eccl. 6.14
) the additional name of Adamantius (Ἀδαμάντιος
), though Epiphanius states (Haeres.
Ixiv. 73) that he assumed it himself. Doubtless, the name was regarded by the admirers of Origen as significant either of his unwearied industry (Hieron. Ep.
xliii. ad Marcellam,
100.1. vol. i. p. 190 ed Vallars.), or of the irrefragable strength of his arguments (Phot. Bibl.
cod. ll8); but these obviously laudatory interpretations of it render it improbable that Origen assumed it himself, as a boastful temper does not appear to have been at all characteristic of him.
The names "Chalcenterus" Χαλκέντερος
("brasen-bowels") given him by Jerome (l.c.
), and "Chalceutes" Χαλκεύτης
("brasier"), and "Syntactes" Συντάκτης
("Composer") conferred upon him by others (Epiph. Haeres.
63.1; and Tillemont. Mém.
vol. iii. p. 497), appear to have been mere epithets, expressive of his assiduity.
As he was in his seventeenth year, at the time of his father's death, which occurred apparently in April 203 (Huet. Origenian.
1.8), in the persecution which began in the tenth year of the reign of the Emperor Severus, his birth must be fixed in or about A. D. 186.
The year 187, given in the Chronicon Paschale,
is too late; and 185, given by most modern writers, too early. His father was Leonides (Αεωνίδης
), a devout Christian of Alexandria. Suidas (s. v. Ὠριγένης
) calls him "bishop;" but his authority, unsupported by any ancient testimony, is insufficient to prove his episcopal character. Porphyry (apud Euseb. Hist. Eccl. 6.19
) speaks of Origen, with whom he claimed to have been acquainted in early life, as having been educated a heathen, and afterwards converted to Christianity; but, as his acquaintance with Origen was apparently very slight, and when Origen was an old man, his authority in such a matter is of little weight. Leonides gave his son a careful education, not only in the usual branches of knowledge, but especially in the Scriptures, of which he made him commit to memory and recite a portion every day.
Origen was a pupil of Clement of Alexandria, and he also received some instruction of Pantaenus apparently after his return from India. [PANTAENUS.] He had Alexander, afterwards bishop of Jerusalem, for his early friend and fellow-student (Alex. ap. Euseb. Hist. Eccl. 6.14
In the persecution which commenced in the tenth year of Severus (A. D. 202) Leonides was imprisoned, and after a time beheaded. Origen was anxious to share with his father the glory of martyrdom; and when this desire was frustrated by the watchfulness of his mother, who, after vainly entreating him to give up his purpose, hid away all his clothes, and so prevented him from leaving home, he wrote a letter to his father, exhorting him to steadfastness, in the words "See that thou changes not thy mind for our sakes."
By the death of Leonides, his widow, with Origen and six younger sons, was reduced to destitution, the property of the martyr having been confiscated. Origen was, however, received into the house of a wealthy female, then living at Alexandria, who had, among her inmates at the time, one Paul of Antioch, whom she regarded as a son, who was in bad repute on account of his heretical opinions. Neander calls him a Gnostic. His eloquence, however, attracted a considerable audience, not only of those who symipathised in his views, but of the orthodox: yet Origen refused to unite in prayer with him, "detesting," as he has somewhere expressed it, "heretical teachings." (Euseb. Hist. Eccl. 6.2
This repugnance probably quickened his efforts to become independent, and his ardent application to study enabled him soon to extricate himself from difficulty by becoming a teacher of the branches of education comprehended under the epithet "grammaical" (τὰ γραμματικά
). (Euseb. ibid.
) His attainments included, according to Jerome (De Vir. Illustr.
c. 54) and Gregory Thuamaturgus (Paneg. in Origen.
100.7, 8, 9), ethics, grammar, rhetoric, dialectics or logic, geometry, arithmetic, music, and an acquaintance with the tenets of the various philosophical sects; to which may be added an acquaintance with the Hebrew language, a rare acquisition among the Christians of those days.
It is probable, however, that several of these attainments were made later in life than the time of which we are now speaking. His knowledge of Hebrew was most likely of later date; from whom he acquired it is not clear.
He often quotes (vid. Hieronym. in Rufin.
lib. i., Opera,
vol. iv. pars ii. col. 363, ed. Benedict, vol. ii. pars i. ed. Vallars.) Huillus, a patriarch of the Jews, of whom nothing appears to be known; but whether he was Origen's instructor in the Hebrew language is only conjecture. If Origen was, as Porphyry (ap. Euseb. Hist. Eccl. 6.19
) and Theodoret (Graecar. Affection. Curat.
lib. vi. Opera,
vol. iv. p. 573, ed. Sirmond. p. 869. ed Schulze) affirm, a hearer of Ammonius Saccas [AMMONIUS SACCAS], it was probably at a later period, when he attended a lecturer on philosophy, whom he does not name, to gain an acquaintance with the Greek philosophy. (Origen. ap. Euseb. Hist. Eccl. 6.19
.) Epiphanius (Haeres.
64.1) says that perhaps he studied at Athens; but it is not likely that he visited that city in early life, though he was there when he travelled into Greece many years afterward.
Within a very short time after he had commenced teacher of grammar, he was applied to by some heathens who desired instruction in Christianity.
The first of those who applied to him were Plutarchus, who suffered martyrdom at Alexandria very shortly after, and his brother Heraclas, who became in the sequel Origen's assistant and successor in the office of Catechist, and afterward bishop of Alexandria.
At the time of their application to Origen, the office of Catechist was vacant through the dispersion of the clergy consequent on the persecution; and Demetrius, the bishop, shortly after appointed Origen, though only in his eighteenth year, to the office.
The young teacher showed a zeal and self-denial beyond his years.
The persecution was still raging; but he shrunk not from giving every support and encouragement to those who suffered, frequently at the risk of his life.
The number of those who resorted to him as Catechist continually increased; and, deeming his profession as teacher of grammar inconsistent with his sacred work, he gave it up; and that he might not, in the failure of this source of income, become dependent on others, he sold all his books of secular literature, and lived for many years on an income of four oboli a day derived from the proceeds of the sale. His course of life was of the most rigorously ascetic character. His food, and his periods of sleep, which he took, not in a bed, but on the bare ground, were restricted within the narrowest limits; and, understanding literally the precepts of the Lord Jesus Christ, not to have two coats and to take no shoes (Matt. 10.10.), he went for many years barefoot, by which and by other austerities he had nearly ruined his health.
The same ascetic disposition, and the same tendency to interpret to the letter the injunctions of the Scriptures, led him to a strange act of self-mutilation, in obedience to what he regarded as the recommendation of Christ. (Matt. 19.12.)
He was influenced to this act also by the consideration of his own youth, and by the circumstance that his catechumens were of both sexes.
He wished, however, to conceal what he had done, and appears to have been much confused when it was divulged; but the bishop Demetrius, respecting his motive, exhorted him to take courage, though he did not hesitate, at a subsequent period, to make it a matter of severe accusation against him. (Euseb. Hist. Eccl. 6.3
; Epiphan. Hueres.
64.3; Hieron. Epist.
65, ed. vett., 41, ed. Benedict., 84, ed. Vallars.) Origen himself (Comment. in Matt.
tom. 15.1) afterwards repudiated this literal understanding of our Lord's words.
With the death of Severus (A. D. 211), if not before, the persecution (in which Plutarchus and others of Origen's catechumens had perished) ceased; and Origen, anxiously desiring to become acquainted with the church at Rome, visited the imperial city during the papacy of Zephyrinus, which extended, according to Tillemont, from A. D. 201, or 202, to 218. Tillemont and Neander place this visit in A.D. 211 or 212.
He made however a very short stay; and when he returned to Alexandria (Euseb. Hist. Eccl. 6.14
), finding himself unable to discharge alone the duties of Catechist, and to give the attention which he desired to biblical studies, he gave up a part of his catechumens (who flocked to him from morning till evening) to the care of his early pupil Heraclas.
It was probably about this time that he began to devote himself to the study of the Hebrew language (Euseb. Hist. Eccl. 6.15
); and also to the study of the Greek philosophy, his eminence in which is admitted by Porphyry (ap. Euseb. Hist. Eccl. 6.19
), that he might instruct and refute the heretics and heathens, who, attracted by his growing reputation, resorted to him to test his attainments, or to profit by them. Among those who thus resorted to him was one Ambrosius, or Ambrose, a Valentinian, according to Eusebius (Euseb. Hist. Eccl. 6.18
); a Marcionite, or a Sabellian, according to other accounts reported by Epiphanius (Haeres.
64.3); at any rate a dissenter of some kind from the orthodox church; a man of wealth, rank, and earnestness of character. Origen convinced him of his error; and Ambrose, grateful for the benefit, became the great supporter of Origen in his biblical labours, devoting his wealth to his service, and supplying him with more than seven amanuenses to write from his dictation, and as many transcribers to make fair copies of his works. (Euseb. Hist. Eccl. 6.23
.) About this time he undertook a journey into Petraea, the Roman Arabia, at the request of the governor of that province, who, wishing to confer with him on some matter not specified, had despatched an officer with letters to the governor of Egypt and the bishop of Alexandria, requesting Origen might be sent to him.
After a short absence on this business, he returned to Alexandria.
It was perhaps on this visit that he heard Hippolytus preach HIPPOLYTUS, No. 1].
After a time he again left Alexandria on account of a serious disturbance which arose there; and, not deeming himself safe in any part of Egypt, withdrew to Caesareia in Palestine. Huet (Origeniana,
lib. i. c. 2.6), Tillemont, and others identify the tumult (Eusebius calls it "the war") which compelled Origen to quit Alexandria, with the slaughter of the people of that city by Caracalla. [CARACALLA.] If this conjecture is admitted, it enables us to assign to Origen's removal the date A. D. 216. At Caesareia he received the most respectful treatment. Though not yet ordained to the priesthood, he was invited to expound the Scriptures, and to discourse publicly in the church. Theoctistus, bishop of Caesareia, and Alexander, bishop of Jerusalem, the latter of whom had been a fellowstudent of Origen, were among the prelates at whose invitation he was induced thus to come forward: and when Demetrius of Alexandria, who was growing jealous of Origen, objected to it as an unheard of irregularity, that a layman should preach before bishops, they vindicated him by citing several precedents.
It was perhaps during this visit to Palestine that Origen met with one of the Greek versions of the Old Testament, the Edition Quinta
which he published in his Hexapla,
and which is said to have been found in a wine jar at Jericho.
He returned to Alexandria, apparently about the end of Caracalla's reign, at the desire of Demetrius, who sent some deacons of his church to hasten him home (Euseb. Hist. Eccl. 6.19
He returned with zeal to the discharge of his office of Catechist, and to the diligent pursuit of his biblical labours.
His next journey was into Greece. Eusebius (Euseb. Hist. Eccl. 6.23
) describes the occasion in general terms, as being ecclesiastical business, but Rufintis (In version Eusebii, l.c.
) and Jerome (De Vir Illustr.
c. 54) more exactly describe the object as being the refutation of heretics who were increasing there. Passing through Palestine on his way, he was ordained presbyter by his friends, Theoctistus and Alexander, and the other bishops of that province, at Caesareia.
This aroused again the jealousy of Demitrius, and led to a decisive rupture between him and Origen, who, however, completed his journey, in the course of which he probably met with a Greek version of the O. T. (the Seta
or Quita Editio
of his Hexapla
), which had been discovered by one of his friends at Nicopolis, in Epeirus, near the Promontory of Actium, on the Ambracian Gulf (Synopsis Sacrae Scripturae,
Athanasio adscripta). Possibly it was on this journey that Origen had the interview with Mammaea, mother of the emperor Alexander Severus, mentioned by Eusebius (Euseb. Hist. Eccl. 6.21
). Mammaea was led by the curiosity which Origen's great reputation had excited, to solicit an interview with him when she was at Antioch. Tillemnont places this interview at an earlier period, A. D. 218, Huet in A.D. 223; but the date is altogether uncertain.
The journey of Origen into Greece is placed by Eusebius, as we understand the passage, in the episcopate of Pontianus at Rome, which extended from A. D. 230, or, according to other accounts, from 233 to 235, and of Zebinus at Antioch from A. D. 228 to 237; but Tillemont and Huet interpret the passage so as to fix the ordination of Origen in A. D. 228, about the time when Zehinus of Antioch succeeded Philetus. We are disposed to place it in A. D. 230.
On his return to Alexandria, he had to encounter the open enmity of Demetrius.
The remembrance of incidents of the former part of his life was revived and turned to his disadvantage. His selfmutilation, which had been excused at the time, was now urged against him; and a passage in Epiphanius (Haeres.
64.2) gives reason to think that a charge of having offered incense to heathen deities was also brought against him. Eusebius has omitted the account of the steps taken by Demetrius against Origen from his Ecclesiastical History,
on the ground that they were related in the Defence of Origen (Ὑπὲρ Ὠριγένους ἀπολογία
, Apoloygia pro Orige
) drawn up by Pamphilus and Eusebius; and the loss of this defence has deprived us of the most trustworthy account of these transactios. However, we learn from Photius, who has preserved (Bibl.
Cod. 118) a notice of the lost work, that a council of Egyptian prelates and presbyters was held by Demetrius, in which it was determined that Origen should leave Alexandria, and not be allowed either to reside or to teach there. His office of Catechist devolved or was bestowed on his colleague Heraclas. His ordination, however, was not invalidated, and indeed the passage in Photius seems to imply that the council expressly decided that he should retain his priesthood. But Demetrius was determined that he should not retain it; and, in conjunction with certain Egyptian prelates, creatures, it would appear, of his own, he pronounced his degradation. Origen had probably, before this second sentence, retired from Alexandria into Palestine, where he was welcomed and protected, and where he taught and preached with great reputation.
It was, perhaps, mortification at having failed to crush Origen that led Demetrius to take the further step of excommunicating him. and to write to the bishops of all parts of the world to obtain their concurrence in the sentence. Such was the deference already paid to the see of Alexandria, and to the decision of the Egyptian bishops, that, except in Palestine and the adjacent countries, Arabia and Phoenicia, in Greece, and perhaps in Cappadocia, where Origen was personally known and respected, the condemnation appears to have obtained general assent. Even the bishop and clergy of Rome joined in the general cry. (Hieron. Epist.
29, ed. Benedict., 33, ed. Vallars. and apud Rufin. Inrectiv.
2.19, ed. Vallars.)
It is probable that Origen's unpopularitv arose from the obnoxious character of some of his opinions, and was increased by the circumstance that even in his life-time (Hieron. In Rufin.
2.18) his writings were seriously corrupted.
It appears also that the indiscretion of Ambrosius had published some things which were not designed for general perusal. (Hieron. Epist.
65, ed. vett., 41, ed. Benedict., 84, ed. Vallars. 100.10.)
But what was the specific ground of his exile, deposition, and excommunication is not clear; it is probable that the immediate and only alleged ground was the irregularity of his ordination; and that whatever things in his writings were capable of being used to his prejudice, were employed to excite odium against him, and so to obtain general concurrence in the proceedings of his opponents. Possibly the story of his apostasy, mentioned by Epiphianius, was circulated at the same time, and for the same object.
Origen was, meanwhile, secure at Caesareia, where he preached almost daily in the church.
He wrote a letter in vindication of himself to some friends at Alexandria, in which he complains of the falsification of his writings.
According to Jerome (In Rufin.
2.18). he severely handled (laceret
) Demetrius, and "inveighed against (invehatur
) the bishops and clergy of the whole world," expressing his disregard of their excommunication of him: but from some quotations from the letter it appears to have been written in a milder and more forgiving spirit than Jerome's description would lead us to expect. Demetrius died about this time. Tillemont places his death in the same year as Origen's expulsion, viz. A. D. 231, correcting in a note the errors of Eusebius, in his Chronicon,
as to the dates of these events. Heraclas succeeded Demetrius; but though he had been the friend, pupil, and colleague of Origen, the change produced no benefit to the latter: the Egyptian clergy were too deeply committed to the course into which Demetrius had led them, to allow them to retract, and Origen remained in ekile till his death. About this time he met with Gregory Thaumaturgus, afterwards bishop of Neocaesareia [GREGORIUS THAUMATURGUS], and his brother Athenodorus, who were then youths pursuing their studies. They both became his pupils, and the former of them his panegyrist. (Greg. Thaumat. Plaegyrica Oratio in Origen.
§ 5.) Maximin, who had murdered the emperor Alexander Severus (A. D. 235) and succeeded to the throne, now commenced a persecution of the church in which Origen's friend Ambrose, who had also settled at Caesareia, where he had become a deacon, and Protoctetus, a presbyter of the same church, were involved. Origen, to encourage them to brave death for the truth, composed his treatise Περὶ Μαρτυρίου
, De Martyrio.
They escaped, however, with life. Origen himself is thought to have been at this time at Caesareia in Cappadocia, where Firmilianus the bishop was his friend: for he appears to have been concealed two years, during some persecution, in the house of a wealthy lady of the Cappadocian Caesareia, named Juliana (Pallad. Histor. Lausiae.
100.147; comp. Tillemont, Mém.
vol. iii. p. 542, and Huet, Origenian.
Iib. i. c. 3.2), from whom he received several works of Symmachus, the Greek translator of the Old Testament. (Pallad. l.c. Euseb. Hist. Eccl. 6.17
.) If his journey into Cappadocia be placed in the reign of Maximin, he probably returned about the time of Maximin's death (A. D. 238) to Caesareia in Palestine, and there continued, preaching daily and steadily pursuing his biblical studies, composing his commentaries on the prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel and on the Canticles (Euseb. H.E.
6.32), and labouring also at his Hexupla.
These labours were hardly interrupted by a journey into Greece; for he continued his works when on his travels, and finished his commentary on Ezekiel and commenced that on the Canticles at Athens. (Euseb. ibid.
) The date of this second journey into Greece is doubtful.
According to Suidas (s. v. Ὠριγένης
) the commentary on Ezekiel was composed when Origen was in his sixtieth year, i. e.
in A. D. 245, and Eusebius (Euseb. Hist. Eccl. 6.32
) says it was finished at Athens; but Tillemont infers from the order of events in the narrative of Eusebius that the journey took place before the death of the emperor Gordian III. (A. D. 244). If Tillemont's inference is sound, we must reject the statement of Suidas; and we must also place before the death of Gordian, the visit which Origen made to Bostra in Arabia (Euseb. Hist. Eccl. 6.33
), and his restoration to the then orthodox belief of Beryllus, bishop of Bostra, who had propagated some notions respecting our Lord's pre-existent nature, which were deemed heretical. [BERYLLUS.] During the reign of Philippus the Arabian (A. D. 244-249), Origen wrote his reply to the Epicurean Celsus, and his commentaries on the twelve minor prophets, and on the Gospel of Matthew; also a number of letters, among which were one to the emperor Philippus, one to the empress Severa his wife, and others to Fabianus, bishop of Rome, and other leading ecclesiastics, to correct their misconceptions respecting himself.
He made also a third journey into Arabia, where he convinced some persons of their error in believing that the soul died with the body and was raised again with it; and repressed the rising heresy of the Elcesaitae, who asserted, among other things, that to deny the faith in a time of persecution was an act morally indifferent, and supported their heresy by a book which they affirmed to have fallen from heaven. (Euseb. 6.36, 37, 38.)
But the life of this laborious and self-denying Christian was drawing near its close.
With the reign of Decius (A. D. 249-251) came a renewal of persecution [DECIUS
,] and the storm fell fiercely upon Origen. His friend Alexander of Jerusalem died a martyr : and he was himself imprisoned and tortured, though his persecutors carefully avoided such extremities as would have released him by death. His tortures, which he himself exactly described in his letters, are related somewhat vaguely by Eusebius. (Euseb. Hist. Eccl. 6.39
.) However, he survived the persecution, which ceased upon, if not before, the death of Decius (A. D. 251).
He received during, or after, the persecution letter on martyrdom from Dionysius, who had now succeeded Heraclas in the see of Alexandria. [DIONYSIUS, No. 2.] Whatever prospect this letter might open of reconciliation with the Alexandrian Church was of little moment now. Origen was worn out with years, labours, and sufferings.
He had lost by death his great friend and supporter Ambrosius, who had not bequeathed any legacy to sustain him during what might remain of life.
But poverty had been through life the state which Origen had voluntarily chosen, and it mattered but little to him that he was left destitute for the brief remainder of his pilgrimage.
After the persecution, according to Epiphanius. he left Caesareia for Jerusalem, and afterwards went to Tyre.
He died in A. D. 253, or, at the latest, early in 254, in his sixty-ninth year, at Tyre, in which city he was buried. (Hieron. De Viris Illustr.
c. 54.) His sufferings in the Decian persecution appear to have hastened his end, and gave rise to the statement, supported by the respectable authority of the martyr Pamphilus and others of the generation succeeding Origen's own time, that he had died a martyr in Caesareia during the persecution.
This statement, as Photins observes, could be received only by denying the genuineness of the letters purporting to have been written by Origen after the persecution had ceased. (Phot. Bibl.
It is remarkable that Eusebius does not distinctly record his death.
There are few of the early fathers of whom we have such full information as of Origen, and there are none whose characters are more worthy of our esteem. His firmness in time of persecution; his unwearied assiduity both in his office of catechist and his studies as a biblical scholar and theologian; his meekness under the injurious usage he received from Demetrius and other members of the Alexandrian church; the steadfastness of his friendship with Ambrose, Alexander of Jerusalem, and others; and his general piety and selfdenial, entitle him to our highest respect. His bitterest enemies respected his character, and have borne honourable testimony to his worth.
The chief ancient authorities for his life have been cited in the course of the article. Their notices have been collected and arranged by various modern writers: as Huet (Origeniana,
lib. i.); Cave (Apostolici,
or Lives of the Primitive Fathers,
and Hist. Litt.
ad A. D. 230, vol. i. p. 112, ed. Oxon. 1740-3); Doucin (Hist. De l'Origenisme,
liv. i. ii.); Tillemont (Mémoires,
vol. iii. p. 494, &c.); Dupin (Nouvelle Biblioth.
Trois Premiers Siècles, vol. i. p. 326, &100.8vo. Paris, 1698, &c.); Oudin (De Scriptorib. Eccles.
vol. i. col. 231, &c.); Ceillier (Auteurs Sacrés,
vol. ii. p. 584); Fabricius (Bibl. Graec.
vol. vii. p. 201, &c.); and Neander (Church History,
vol. ii. p. 376, &c. Rose's translation).
I. Editions of the Old Testament.
Origen prepared two editions of the Old Testament, known respectively as Tetrapla, "The Fourfold,"
and Hexapla, "The Six-fold."
To the latter the names Octapla, "The Eight-fold,"
and Enneapla, "The Nine-fold,"
have been sometimes given; but the last name is not found in any ancient writer.
There is a difference also in the form of these names. Origen himself, Eusebius, and Jerome use the plural forms τετραπλᾶ
but later writers use the singular forms, τετραπλοῦν
Epiphanius, in one place, speaks of ἑξαπλᾶς τὰς βίβλους
, Sextuplices Libros.
The names τετρασέλιδον, ἑξασέλιδον
, Quadruplex Columna (s. pagina), Sextuplex Columna, Octuplex Columna
were also applied to the work by ancient writers.
In one citation the name τὸ πεντασέλιδον
, Quintuplex Colziuna,
In some cases a book of Scripture is cited thus: ἑξαπλοῦς Ἰερεμίας
, Sexluplex Hieremias, i. e. "Jereniah in the Hexupla."
But this multiplicity of names must not mislead the reader into the supposition that Origen prepared more than the two works, known respectively as the Tetrapla
Which of the two was first published has been a subject of great dispute with the learned.
The text of Eusebius (Euseb. Hist. Eccl. 6.16
, ad fin.) is not settled in the place which refers to this point, nor would be decisive if it was. Montfaucon (Praclim in Hexapla,
c. iii.) has cited some passages from Origen and other writers, which indicate the priority of the Tetrapla;
and the supposition that the less complete and elaborate work was the earlier is the more probable, especially if we receive the testimony of Epiphanius, that the Hexapla
was finished at Tyre, during the time that Origen resided there. For as that residence appears to have extended only from the close of the Decian persecution to his death, it is not likely that he would have had either time or energy to publish the Tetrapla,
though it would, indeed, have been only a portion of the Hexapla
separated from the rest of the work.
consisted of several copies of the Old Testament, six in some parts, seven in others, eight in others, and nine in a few, ranged in parallel columns.
The first column to the right contained the Hebrew text in Hebrew characters, (i. e. those now in use, not the more ancient Samaritan letters,) the second the same text in Greek characters, the third the version of Aquila, the fourth that of Symmachus, the fifth the Septuagint, the sixth the version of Theodotion, the proximity of these several versions to the columns containing the Hebrew text being determined by their more close and literal adherence to the original; and the seventh, eighth, and ninth columns being occupied by three versions, known from their position in this work as ἡ πέμπτη καὶ ἡ ἕκτη καὶ ἡ ἑβδόμη ἐκδόσεις. Quinta, Sexta, et Septima Editiones,
i. e. versils, Each of the first six columns contained all the books of the Old Testament, and these six complete columns gave to the work its title Hexapla:
the other columns contained only some of the books, anil principally the poetical books, and from them the work derived the titles of Oclaola
which were therefore only partially applicable.
The assertion that the title Hexapla
was given to the work on account of its having six Greek versions, we believe to be erroneous. We give as a specillen a passage from Habakkuk 2.4, which is found in all the columns.
contained the four versions, the Septuagint, and those of Aquila, Symmnchus, and Theodotion. Of the versions of Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion, an account is given under their respective names. and of the Septuagint there is a brief notice under ARISTEAS. Of the three remaining versions we give here a brief account. The Quinta Editio,
according to Epiphanius (De Mensuris et I'onderib.,
100.17, 18), and the author of the Synopsis S. Scripturae,
which is ascribed to Athanasius, was found at Jericho in a wine jar, by one of the learned mnen of Jerusalem; and Epiphanius adds the date of the discovery, the seventh year of Caracalla (A. D. 217 or 218). The Editio Sexta,
according to the same authorities, was also found in a wine jar at Nicopolis, on the Ambracian gulf, in the reign of Alexander Severus.
These dates would accord respectively with the time of Origen's first visits to Palestine and to Greece. Ancient writers, however, differ as to the discovery of these versions.
According to one passage in Jerome (Prologus in Exposit. Cantic. Canticor. secundum Origen.
), Origen himself stated, that the Quinta Editio
was found at Nicopolis: according to Zonaras (Annal.
12.11), the Septima
was found at Jericho; and according to Nicephorus Callisti, both the Sexta
were found there. Eusebius states that one of the versions was found at Jericho and one at Nicopolis, but does not give their numbers.
The difference between these authorities is owing more probably to the carelessness or mistake of the writers or transcribers, than to any variation in the order of the versions in different copies of the Hexapla ;
for this appears to have been so fixed as to have suggested the common mode of referring to them by their place in the arrangement. The Quinfa, Sexta,
&c. versions, are anonymous; at least the authors are not known. Jerome (Adv. Rufin.
2.34, ed. Vallars.) calls the authors of the Quinta
Jews; yet a citation from the Editio Sexta,
which citation Jerome himself has given in Latin, shows that the author of that version was a Christian. Josephus, author of the Hypomnesticon
[JOSEPHUS, No. 12] mentions a current report that the author of the Editio Quinta
was a woman.
The author of the Editio Septima
was probably a Jew. (Montfauc. Praelim. in Hexapla,
These three versions are far less literal than the other four versions; the Sexta,
in particular, has some amplifications of most unauthorized character.
Beside the compilation and arrangement of so valuable a critical apparatus as these versions, Origen added marginal notes, containing, among other things, an explanation of the Hebrew names.
There is reason to think that he occasionally gave in his marginal notes a Greek version of the readings of the Syriac and Samaritan versions, of the former in various books, of the latter in the Pentateuch only. Certainly such readings are found, not only in extant MS. where the Hexapla is cited, but in the citations of it by the fathers of the fourth and fifth centuries.
It is to be observed also that Origen did not content himself with giving the text of the Septuagint as it stood in his own time, deeming it to have been much corrupted by the carelessness or unscrupulous alterations or additions or omissions of transcribers. (Origen. Comment. in Matth.
apud Hodium, De Text. Originalibus,
lib. iii. c. 4.8.)
He amended the text chiefly by the aid of Theodotion's version, allowing the received reading to remain, but marking his proposed alterations or additions with an asterisk (*), and prefixing an obelus to such words or passages as he thought should be omitted.
The use of another mark, the lemniscus , which he is said to have employed, can only be conjectured : the account of its use given by Epiphanius (De Mensur. et Ponderib.
c. viii.), is evidently erroneous. Origen's revision of the text of the Septuagint was regarded by succeeding generations as the standard ; it was frequently transcribed, and Latin, Syriac, and Arabic versions made from it.
In the preparation of this most laborious and valuable work, Origen was encouraged by the exhortations and supported by the wealth of his friend Ambrose.
It is probable that, from the labour and cost required, comparatively few transcripts were ever made; though there were a sufficient number for the leading ecclesiastical writers of succeeding ages to have access to it; as Pamphilus, Eusebius of Caesareia, (these two are said to have corrected the text of the work, and Eusebitis added Scholia
) Athanasius, Theodorus of Heracleia, the Arian, Diodorus of Tarsus, Epiphanius, Riiinus. Jerome, Chrysostom, Theodoret, Procopins of G(kiza. &c. Others of the fathers employed the work levssa frequently; and some borrowed their acquaintance with its various readings from the citations of their predecessors. Origen's own copies of the Tetrapla
with the corrections and Scholia
of Origen himself and of Pamphilus and Eusebiuis, long remained in the library of the martyr Pamphilus at Caesareia; and were probably destroyed in the seventh century, either at the capture of that city by Chosroes II. the Persian, or its subsequent capture by the Saracens.
The few transcripts that were made have perished also, and the work, as compiled by Origen, has been long lost. Numerous fragments have, however, been preserved in the writings of the fathers. Marry of these, containing scraps of the versions of Aquila and the other Greek translators, collected by Petrus Morinus, were inserted by Flaminius Nobilius in the beautiful and valuable edition of the Septuagint, fol. Rome, 1587.
These fragments, and some additional ones, with learned notes, were prepared for publication by Joannes Drusius, and published after his death with this title, Veterum Interpretum Graecorum in tolum, V. T. Fragmenta,
4to. Arnheinm, 1622.
But the most complete edition is that of the learned Benedictine Montfancon -- Hexaplorum Origenis quae supersunt,
2 vols. fol. Paris, 1714. Montfaucon retained the arrangement of the versions adopted by Origen, and also his asterisks and obeli, wherever they were found in the MSS. employed for the edition; aind added a Latin version both to the Hebrew text (for which he employed that of Santes Pagninus or of Arias Montamus with slight alterations, and also the Vulgate), and to the Greek versions.
He prefixeda valuable Praefatio
to which we have been much indebted, and added to the edition several Anecdota,
or unpublished fragments of Origen and others, and a Greek and a Hebrew Lexicon to the Hexapla.
An edition based on that of Montfaucon was published in 2 vols. 8vo. Leipzig and Lubec, 1769, 1770, under the editorship of C. F. Bahrdt: it omitted the Hebrew text in Greek letters, the Latin versions, the Anecdota,
or previously unpublished extracts from Origen. and others, and many of the notes. Bahrdt professed to correct the text, and increased it by some additional fragments; and he added notes of his own to those which he retained of Montfaiucon's. Bahrdt's preface intimated his purpose of preparing a Lexicon to the work, but it is not stubjoined to the copy now before us, nor can we find that it was ever published.
II. Ἐξηγητικά, Exegetical works.
These comprehend three classes. (Hieronym. Praef. in Translat. Homil. Origen. in Jerem. et Ezech.
) 1. Τόμοι
, which Jerome renders Volumina,
containing ample commentaries, in which he gave full scope to his intellect. 2. Σχόλια
, Scholia ;
brief notes on detached passages, designed to clear up obscurities and remove difficulties. 3. Homiliae,
poplar expositions, delivered chiefly at Ca(sareia; land in the latter part of his life (i. e. after his sixtieth year, A. l). 246), extemporaneously, being taken down the time of delivery by persons employed for the purpose.
Of the Τόμοι
there are few remains. Of the Scholia
a number have been collected chiefly from the citations of the fathers, and are gi en by Delarume under the title of Ἐκλογαί
Of the Homiliae
a few are extant in the original, and many more in the Latin versions (mot very ftithfil however) of Rufinus, Jerome, and others. Oir space does not allow us to give an ennmeration of Origen's Exegetical works, but they will be foand in Delarue's edition of his works.
In his various expositions Origen sought to extract from the Sacred Writings their historical, mystical or prophetical, and moral significance. (Orig. Homil. XVII. in Genesimr,
100.1.) His desire of finding continually a mystical sense led him frequently into the neglect of the historical sense, and even into the denial of its truth.
This capital fault has at all times furnished ground for depreciating his labours, and has no doubt materially diminished their value: it must not, however, be supposed that his denial of the historical truth of the Sacred Writings is more than occasional, or that it has been carried out to the full extent which some of his accusers (for instance, Eustathius of Antioch) have charged upon him. His character as a commentator is thus summed up by the acute Richard Simon (Hist. Critique des Principaux Commentateurs du NV. T.
ch. iii.): -- "Origen is every where too long and too much given to digressions.
He commonly says every thing which occurs to him with respect to some word that he meets with, and he affects great refinement in his speculations (il affected de paroitre subtil dans ses inventions), which often leads him to resort to airy (sublimes) and allegorical meanings.
But notwithstanding these faults, we find in his Commentaries on the New Testament profound learning and an extensive acquaintance with every thing respecting religion; nor is there any writer from whom we can learn so well as from him what the ancient theology was.
He had carefully read a great number of writers of whom we now scarcely know the names." His proneness to allegorical and mystical interpretations was probably derived from, at least strengthened by, his study of Plato, and others of the Greek philosophers.
III. Other Works.
The exegetical writings of Origen might well have been the sole labour of a long life devoted to literature. They form, however, only a part of the works of this indefatigable father. Epiphanius affirms (Haeres.
64.63) that common report assigned to him the composition of "six thousand books" (ἑζακισχιλίονς βίβλους ;
) and the statement, which is repeated again and again by the Byzantine writers, though itself an absurd exaggeration, may be taken as evidence of his exuberant authorship. Jerome compares him to Varro, the most fertile author among the Latins (Hieron. ad Paulum Epistol.
29, ed. Benedictin, 33, ed. Vallars., et apud Rufin. Invectiv.
lib. 2.19), and states that he surpassed him and all other writers, whether Latin or Greek, in the number and extent of his works. Of his miscellaneous works the following only are known: --
Origen wrote many letters, of which Eusebius collected as many as he could find extant, to the number of more than a hundred (H. E.
6.36). Most of them have long since perished. Delarne has given (vol. i. p. 1-32) those, whether entire or fragmentary, which remain.
, De Resurrectione.
Eusebius says this work was in two books (H. E.
6.24), and was written at Alexandria before the Commentaries on the Lamentations of Jeremiah, in which they are referred to. Jerome (ibid.) adds that he wrote two other Dialogi de Resurrectione ;
and in another place (Ad Pammach. Epistol.
61, edd. vet., 38, ed. Benedictin.; Lib. Contra Joannem Jerosolymitanum,
100.25, ed. Vallarsi) he cites the fourth book on the resurrection, as if he regarded the two works as constituting one.
The works on the resurrection are lost, except a few fragments cited by Jerome or by Pamphilus, in his Apologia pro Origene,
or by Origen himself in his De Principiis
(Delarue, vol. i. pp. 32-37)
s. Στρωματέων λόγοι ι᾽. Stromatewn
) Libri X.,
written at Alexandria, in the reign of Alexander Severus (Euseb. Hist. Eccl. 6.24
), in imitation of the work of the same name by Clemens Alexandrinus. [CLEMENS ALEXANDRINUS.] The tenth book was chiefly composed of Scholia
on the Epistle of Paul to the Galatians. Nothing is extant of the work, except two or three fragments cited in Latin by Jerome. (Delarue, vol.i. pp. 37-41.
, De Principiis.
This work, which was written at Alexandria (Eusebius, Euseb. Hist. Eccl. 6.24
), was the great object of attack with Origeni's enemies, and the source from which they derived their chief evidence of his various alleged heresies.
It was divided into four books.
The first treated of God, of Christ, and of the Holy Spirit; of the fall, of rational natures and their final restoration to happiness, of corporeal and incorporeal beings and of' angels: the second, of the world and the things in it, of the identity of the God of the old dispensation and of the new, of the incarnation of Christ, of the resurrection, and of the punishment of the wicked: the third book, of the freedom of the will, of the agency of Satan, of the temptations of nem, of the origin of the world in time and of its end: the fourth, of the divine original and proper mode of studying the Scriptures.
The heterodoxy of this work, according to the standard of the day, or rather perhaps of the next generation, was ascribed by Marcellus of Ancyra to the influence of the Greek philosophy, especially that of Plato, which Origen had been recently studying, and had not taken. time maturely to consider. Ensebius replied to Marcellus by denying the Platonism of Origen, and Pamphilus, in his Apologia pro Origene,
attempted to prove that he wsas orthodox. On the outbreak of the Arian controversy, Origen was accused of having been the real author of that obnoxious system; and Didymus of Alexandria, in his Scholia
on the Περὶ ἀρχῶν
of Origen, in order to refute this charge, endeavoured to show how far he differed from them. [DIDYMUS, No. 4.] But as the limits of orthodoxy became more definite and restricted, this mode of defence was abandoned; and Rutinus, no longer denying the heterodox character ofu many passages with respect to the Trinity, affirmed that they were interpolations. When, therefore, at the close of the fourth century, he translated the Περὶ ἀρχῶν
into Latin, he softened the objectionable features of the work, by omitting those parts relating to the Trinity, which appeared to be heterodox, and illustrating obscure passages hy the insertion of more explicit declarations from the author's other writings. On other subjects, however, he was said to have rather exaggerated than softened the objectionable sentiments. (Hieron. Contra Rufin.
1.7.) Such principles of translation would have seriously impaired the fidelity of his version, even if his assertion, that he had added nothing of his own, were true: but as He did not give reference to the places from which the inserted passages were taken, he rendered the credibility of that assertion very doubtful. Jerome, therefore, to expose, as he says (Ibid.), both the heterodoxy of the writer and the unfiithfulness of the translator gave another and more exact version of the work. Of the original work some important fragments, including a considerable part of the third and fourth books, have been preserved in the Philocalia ;
in the Epistola ad Mennam, Patriarcham CPolitanum
of the emperor Justinian, given in the various editions of the Concilia
(e.g. vol. v. p. 635, &c., ed. Labbe, vol. iii. p. 244, &c., ed. Hardouin); and by Marcellus of Ancyra (apud Eusebiumn, Contra Marcellum
). Of the version of Jerome, there are some small portions preserved in his letter to Avitus (Epistol.
59, edd. vett., 94, ed. Benedictin, 124, ed. Vallars.).
The version of Rufinus has come down to us entire; and is given with the fragments of Jerome's version and of the original by Delarue (vol. i. pp. 42-195).
, De Oratione.
This work is mentioned by Pamphilus (Apol. pro Orig.
c. viii.), and is still extant.
It was first published, 12mo. Oxford, 1685, with a Latin version. (Delarue, vol. i. pp. 195-272.)
Εἰς μαρτύριον προτρεπτικὸς λόγος
, Exhortatio ad Martyrium,
or Περὶ μαρτυρίου
, De Martyrio,
addressed to his friend and patron Ambrosius, and to Protoctetus of Caesareia, during the persecution under the emperor Maximin (A. D. 235-238), and still extant. (Delarue, vol. i. pp. 273-310.)
It was first published by Jo. Rud. Wetstenius (Wetstcin) the younger, 4to, Basel, 1574, with a Latin version and notes. Origen's letter of like purport, written when a mere boy to his father, has been already noticed.
Κατὰ Κέλσου τόμοι ή
, Celsum Libri VIII.,
written in the time of the emperor Philippus (Euseb. Hist. Eccl. 6.36
), and still extant.
In this valuable work Origen defends the truth of Christianity against the attacks of Celsus, an Epicurean, or perhaps a Platonic philosopher [CELSUS]. The Philocalia
is chiefly made up of extracts from it.
It was first printed in the Latin version of Christophoris Persona, fol. Rome, 1481, and in Greek by David Hoeschelius, 4to, Augsburg, 1605. (Delarue, vol. i. pp. 310-799.)
It may be as well here to mention that the Φιλοκαλία
so often mentioned, was a compilation by Basil of Caesareia, and his friend Gregory of Nazianzus [BASILIUS, No. 2; GREGORIUS NAZIANZENUS], almost exclusively from tle writings of Origen, of which many important fragments have been thus preserved, especially from his reply to Celsus.
It is divided into twentyseven chapters.
It was first published in the Latin version of Gilbertus Genebrardtus, in the second volume of that author's edition of Origen's works, fol. Paris, 1574, and in Greek by Joannes Tarinus, 4to, Paris, 1618.
It is not given as a whole by Delarue, but such of the extracts as are not eisewhere extant are distributed to their appropriate places.
Many works of Origen are totally lost.
An enumeration of those of which we have any information is given by Fabricius (Bibl. Graec.
vol. vii. p. 235, &c).
The majority of those which are lost were biblical and exegetical.
The others were chiefly directed against the various classes of heretics, and partly consisted of records of his disputations with them.
The book De Libero Arbitrio,
mentioned by himself in his Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans,
was perhaps that portion of his Περὶ ἀρχῶν
which relates to that subject. What the Monobiblia,
mentioned by Jerome (Ad Paulam Epistol.
29, ed Benedictin, 33, ed. Vallars. and apud Rufin. Invect.
lib. 2.19), was, we have no means of ascertaining.
There were, perhaps, other works beside those enumerated by Fabricius (l. c.
): for there is no complete list of Origen's works extant; those drawn up by Eusebius (see H. E.
6.32) in his Life of Pamphilus,
and by Jerome (see De Viris Illustr.
c. 54) in the mutilated >Epistle to Paula,
just cited, are now lost.
Works falsely asribed to Origen
Several works have been ascribed to Origen, and published under his name, which really do not belong to him. Of these, the most important are the following. (1) Διάλογος κατὰ Μαρκιανιστῶν ἢ περὶ τῆς εἰς Θεὸν ὀρθῆς πίστεως
, Dialogus contra Marcionitas sive de Recta in Deum Fide.
This was first published in the Latin version of Joannes Picus. 4to, Paris, 1555, and in Greek by Jo. Rud. Vetstenius, with a Latin version, 4to, Basel, 1674.
It is given by Delarue (vol. i. pp. 800-827), but not as Origen's.
It was ascribed to Origen, perhaps by Basil and Gregory Nazianzen, certainly by Anastasius Sinaita; but Huet has shown that internal evidence is against its being his; and it is in all probability the production of a later age. Adamantius is the "orthodox" speaker in the Dialogue
(comp. MAXIMUS HIEROSOLYMITANUS) ; and there is reason to believe, from the testimony of Theodoret (Haeret. Fabular. Praefat.
and 1.25), that the author really bore that name, and was a distinct person altogether from Origen; bult that, as Origen also bore the name of Adamantius, the work came to be erroneously ascribed to him. (2) Φιλοσοφούμενα
, s. τοῦ κατὰ πασῶν αἱρέσεων ἐλέγχου βιβλίον α᾽. Philosophumena
s. Adversus omnes Haereses, Liber Primus.
This work was first published with a Latin version and notes, vindicating Origen's title to the authorship, by Jac. Gronovius, in the tenth volume of his Thesaurus Antiquitatum Graecarum,
p. 249, &c., under the title of Origenis Philosophumenwn Fragmentum
This title is not quite correct: the Philosophumena,
or account of the systems of the ancient philosophy, appears to be entire, but is itself only a portion of a larger work against all "heresies" or sects holding erroneous views.
The author is not known; but he was not Origen; for in his prooemium
he claims episcopal rank, which Origen never held. (The work is in Delarue, vol. i. pp. 872-909.) (3) Σχόλια εἰς εὐχὴν κυριακήν
, Scholia in Orationema Dominicam,
published by Fed. Morellus, in 1601, as the production of "Origen or some other teacher of that age :" but Huet and Delarue deny that these Scholia
are his, and Huet ascribes them to Petrus of Laodiceia, following the editors of the Bibliotheca Patrum,
who have given a Latin version of them in that collection. (Delarule, vol. i. pp. 909, 911.)--The above, with (4), an ancient Latin version of a Commentary on Job,
are the only supposititious works given by Delarue. Others, however, are extant, asnd have been given by other editors, but do not require any further notice here.
Beside his own works, Origen revised the Lexicon of Hebrew names, Hebraicorum Nominum S. Scripturae et Mensurarum Interpretatio,
of Philo Judaeus [PHILO
]; and enlarged it by the addition of the names in the New Testament: the work is consequently ascribed to him in some MSS.: but after his reputed heresies had rendered him odious, the name of Cyril of Alexandria was prefixed to the work in some MSS. in place of his. The Lexicon
is extant in the Latin version of Jerome, among whose works it is usually printed. (Vol. ii. pars i. edit. Benedictin, vol. iii. ed. Vallars.)
The collected works of Origen, more or less complete, have been repeatedly published.
The first editions contained the Latin versions only ; they were those of Jac. Merlinus, 4 vols., or more exactly, 4 parts in 2 vols. fol. Paris, 1512-1519.
In this edition the editor published an Apologia pro Origenae,
which involved him in much trouble, and obliged him to defend himself in a new Apologia,
published in A. D. 1522, when his edition was reprinted, as it was again in 1530, and perhaps 1536. The second edition was prepared by Erasmus, who made the versions, and was published after his death by Beatus Rlietianus, fol. Basel. 1536. Panzer (Annales Typ. vol. vii.) gives the version of Erasmus as published in 4 vols. fol. Lyon (Lugdunum), 1536.
It was reprinted, with additions, in 1545, 1551, 1557, and 1571. The third and most complete Latin edition was that of Gilbertus Genebrardus, 2 vols. Paris, 1574, reprinted in 1604 and 1619.
The value of these Latin editions is diminished by the consideration, that some of the works of Origen, for instance, the De Martyrio
and De Oratione,
are not contained in them, and that the versions of Rufinus, which make up a large part of them, are notoriously unfaithful. We do not here notice any but professedly complete editions of Origen's works.
Of the Graeco-Latin editions the most important are the following: -- Origenis Opera Exegetica, 2 vols. fol. Rouen, 1668, edited by Pierre Daniel 1lluet, afterwards Bp. of Avranches.
An ample and valuable dissertation on the life, opinions, and works of Origen, entitled Origeniana,
was prefixed to this edition.
The fragments, collected from the Catenae
of Combefis, were sent to Huet, but were not inserted by him. Huet intended to publish the complete works of Origen, but did not execute his purpose. His edition was reprinted at Paris, in 1679, and at Cologne, or rather Frankfort, in 1685. But the standard edition of Origen's works is that of the French Benedictine, Charles Delarue, completed after his death by his nephew, Charles Vincent Delarue, a monk of the same order, 4 vols. fol. Paris, 1733-1759.
The first volume contains the Miscellaneous, including some of the supposititious works; and the other three the Exegetical works, including one of the supposititious Commen. tarii in Jobum.
The fragments of the Hexapla
and the Hebraicorum Nominum, &c. Interpretatio,
and a portion of the supposititious works, are not given. To the fourth volume are appended (1) Rufinus' version of the Apologia pro Origene
of the Martyr Pamphilus, with considerable fragments of the Greek, accompanied by a new Latin version of the fragments. (2) The Epilogus
of Rufinus on the interpolation of Origen's writings. (3) Εἰς Ὠριγένην προσφωνητικὸς καὶ πανηγυρικὸς λόγος. In Origenem Prosphonetica, ac Panegyrica Oratio,
addressed by Gregorius Thaumaturgus to Origen, his preceptor, on leaving him to return to his native land, with the Latin version of Gerard Vossius. (4) The Origeniana
of Hluet: and (5) an extract from Bishop Bull's Defensio Fidei Nicaenae,
cap. ix. on the Consubstantiality 'of tihe Son of God.
The whole works were accompanied by valuable prefaces, "monita," and notes.
The works of Origen, from the edition of Delarue, revised by Oberthül, were reprinted without notes, in 15 vols. 8vo. W¨rzburg, 1785, &c.
A number of additional passages from Origen, chiefly gleaned form various Catenae,
and containing Scholia
on several of the books of Scripture, are given in the Appendix
to the xivth (posthumous) volume of Galland's Bibliotheca Patrum.
The most important of these additions are to the Scholia
on the books of Deuteronomy, Samuel, Kings, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, and the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. Some additions to the Scholia
on the Canticles, and to the Hexaplar readings on the same book, are contained in the Εἰς τὰ ᾁσματα
, Catena in Canticum,
of Procopius of Gaza, published in the Classicorum Auctorum e Vaticanis Codd. editorum
of Angelo Mai, vol. ix. p. 257, &100.8vo. Rome, 1837. Two fragments of Origen, one considerable one, Εἰς τὸ κατὰ Λουκᾶν
, In Evangelium Lucae
(pp. 474-482), and one of a few lines, Εἰς Λευιτικόν
, In Leuiticum,
appear in vol. x. of the same series. Some Scholia
of Origen are contained in a collection, Εἰς τὸν Δανιὴλ ἑρμνεῖαι διαφόρων
, In Danielem Variorum Commentarii,
published in vol. i. pars ii. p. 161, &c. of the Scriptorum Veterum Nova Collectio,
10 vols. 4to. Rome, 1825, &c. of the same learned editor.
On the writings of Origen, see Huet, Origeniana,
lib. iii.; Cave, Hist. Litt.
ad ann. 230, vol. i. p. 112, ed. Oxford, 1740-43; Tillemont, Mémoires,
vol. iii. p. 551, &c., 771, &c.; Dupin, Nouvelle Biblioth. des Aut. Ecclés. des I. II. Ill. Siécles,
vol. i. p. 326, &100.3d ed. 8vo. Paris, 1698; Fabric. Bibl. Graec.
vol. iii. p. 708, &c., vol. vi. p. 199, &c., vol. vii. p. 201; Oudin. Comment. de Scriptoribus Eccles.
vol. i. col. 231, &c.; Ceillier, Auteurs Sacrés,
vol. ii. p. 601, &c.; Lardner, Credibilily,
&c. part 2.100.38.
Few writers have exercised greater influence by the force of their intellect and the variety of their attainments than Origen, or have been the occasion of longer and more acrimonious disputes. His influence is the more remarkable as he had not the advantage of high rank and a commanding position in the church; and his freedom in interpreting the Scriptures, and the general liberality of his views were in direct opposition to the current of religious opinion in his own and subsequent times.
Of the more distinctive tenets of this father, several had reference to the doctrine of the Trinity, on which he was charged with distinguishing the οὐσία
of the Father from that of the Son, with affirming the inferiority of the Holy Spirit to the Son, with making both the Son and Spirit creatures, and with various other errors either asserted by him, or regarded as necessarily flowing from his assertions, which it is not requisite to mention. Others of his opinions had reference to the difficult subject of the incarnation, and to the pre-existence of Christ's human soul, which, as well as the pre-existence of other human souls, he affirmed.
He was charged also with holding the corporeity of angels, and with other errors as to angels and daemons, on which subjects his views appear to have fluctuated.
He held the freedom of the human will, and ascribed to man a nature less corrupt and depraved than was consistent with orthodox views of the operation of divine grace.
He held the doctrine of the universal restoration of the guilty, conceiving that the devil alone would suffer eternal punishment. Other points of less moment we do not notice here.
A full discussion of them is contained in the Origeniana
of Huet (lib. ii. e. 2, 3).
Origen lived before the limits which separated orthodoxy and heterodoxy were so determinately and narrowly laid down, as in the following centuries ; and therefore, though his opinions were obnoxious to many, and embittered the opposition to him, he was not cast out of the church as a heretic in his lifetime, the grounds of his excommunication relating rather to points of ecclesiastical order and regularity, tlhim to questions of dogmatic theology.
But some time after his death, and especially after the outbreak of the Arian controversy, and the appeal of the Arians to passages in Origen's works, the cry of heresy was raised by the orthodox party against his writings.
The tone, however, of the earlier orthodox leaders, Athanasius, Basil, and Gregory Nazianzen was moderate; others, as Hlilary of Poitiers. John of Jerusalem, Didymns, Gregory Nyssen, Eusebius of Vercellae, Titus of Bostra, Ambrose, Palladius, Isidore of Pelusiunm, and even Jeromie himself in his earlier life. defended Origen, though Jerome's change of opinion in respect of Origen afterwards led to his famous quarrel with Rlufinus. About the close of the fourth century, Theophilus of Alexandria expelled some monks from Egypt on account of their Origenism; but the oppressive deed was not approved at Constantinople, where the monks were kindly received by the Patriarch Chrysostomn and the Empress Eudoxia.
The monks were restored : but the conflict of Theophilus and Chrysostom led to the deposition of the latter, one of the charges against whom was that of Origenism.
The memory and opinions of Origen were now more decidedly condemned both in the East and West, yet they were favourably regarded by some of the more eminent men, among whom were the ecclesiastical historians Socrates, Sozomen and Theodoret.
In the reign of Justinian, Origenism revived in the monasteries of Palestine, and the emperor himself wrote his Epistola ad Menam
) Patriarcham CPolitanum
against the Origenists, who were expelled from their monasteries in Palestine, and condemned in the fifth oecumenical (second Constantinopolitan), council A. D. 553. The Greeks generally followed the decision of the council, and a new element, the question of the salvation of Origen, was added to the controversy respecting the truth or error of his doctrines.
In the West the dispute was revived with the revival of learning. Merlinus, Erasmus, and Genebrardus, his editors, Joannes Picus of Mirandula, Sixtus of Sena, and the Jesuit Halloix, defended Origen, and affirmed his salvation.
The cardinals Baronius and Bellarmin took the opposite side, as did the reformers Luther and Beza. Stephen Binet, a Jesuit, published a little book, De Salute Origenis,
Paris, 1629, in which he introduces the leading writers on the subject as debating the question of Origen's salvation, and makes Baronius propose a descent to the infernal regions to ascertain the truth. (Bayle, Dictionnaire,
s. v. Origene,
A summary of the history of Origenism is given by Ituet (Origeniana,
lib. 2. c.4), and by the Jesuit Doucin, in his Histoire de l' Origenisme.