According to Zonaras (Annales,
lib. 13. c.23, vol. ii. p. 44, ed. Paris, p. 35, ed. Venice) the Homero-Centra,
or Homero-Centrones, Ὁμηρόκεντρα ἃ καὶ Κέντρωνες,
composed by the Empress Eudocia, wife of the younger Theodosius [EUDOCIA, No. 1], had been begun but left unfinished by a certain Patricius, or, for the expression (Πατρικίου τινος
) ambiguous, by a certain Patrician. If a MS. noticed below is right in terming him Sacerdos, Patricius must be understood as a name, not as a title. Cedrenus (p. 354, ed. Paris, 621, ed. Bonn) ascribes the Homero-Centra
to a certain Pelagius Patricius, or (for there is the same ambiguity as in Zonaras), "Pelagius the Patrician" (Πελάγιον τὸν Πατρίκιον
), who was put to death by the Emperor Zeno. If we understand Zonaras to say that Patricius left the Homero-Centra
unfinished at his death, and that they were afterwards finished by Eudocia, who herself died in A. j. 460 or 461, he must have been a different person from the Pelagius Patricius slain by Zeno. who did not become emperor till A. D. 474.
But it is not necessary so to understand Zonaras. A MS. in the king's library at Paris (formerly No. 2891) is supposed to contain the Homero-Centra
as written by Patricius, consisting of only two hundred and three lines, yet noticing all those events in the Saviour's History which are recapitulated in the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds. Two other MSS. in the same library (formerly Nos. 2977 and 3260) are thought to contain the poem as completed by Eudocia, consistinig of six hundred and fifteen verses, and comprehending not only thle work of Patricins, but also narratives of many of the miracles of Christ inserted in the appropriate places, and a description of the last judgment.
In the account of a MS. in the Esecurial, the poem is described (Fabric. Bibl. Gr.
vol. xi. p. 706) as composed by "Patricius Sacerdos," but arranged and corrected by Eudocia.
It is not unlikely therefore that the poem of Patricius was not properly left unfinished, as Zonaras states, but composed onl a less comprehensive plan, and that Eudocia enlarged the plan, and re-arranged the poem. inserting her own additions in suitable places.
There is then little difficulty in believing that Patricius was contemporary with Eudocia, but survived to the reign of Zeno, and was put to death by him as related by Cedrenus.
The difficulty would be removed sby supposing the correctness of the title of one of the above MSS. in the king's library at Paris (formerly No. 2977), which ascribes the poem in its complete state to the later Empress Eudocia of Macrembolis [EUDOCIA, No. 8]; but the supposition is contrary to all other evidence.
as they appear in the printed editions, are still further enlarged by the addition of prefixed narratives of thle creation and the fall of man. and by the insertions of various episodes and descriptions. These Homero-Centra were first published with the Latin version of Petrus Candidus, 4to. Venice, 1502, in the second volume of the Collection of the ancient Christian Poets, printed by Aldus. It was reprinted l8vo. Frankfort, 1541 and 1554, by Henry Stephens, l2mo. Paris, 1578
, and by Claudius Chapelet, 8vo. Paris, 1609
, with various other pieces.
In all these editions they were given anonymously. They were afterwards inserted in the Appendix to the Bibliotheca Patrum, ed. fol. Paris, 1624
, and in vol. xi. of the edition of the Bibliotheca Patrum, fol. Paris, 1644
, and vol. xiv. of the edition of 1654. The Latin version had appeared in the Bibliotheca as compiled by De la Bigne, A. D. 1575.
In all the editions of the Bibliotheca
are ascribed to Eudocia or to Patricius Pelagius and Eudocia conjointly. They were reprinted, 12mo. Leipsic, 1793, by L. H. Teucher, who professed to have revised the text.
In this edition the poem consists of two thousand three hundred and forty-three lines.
Fabric. Biblioth. Graec.
vol. i. p. 552, &c., vol. xi. p. 706; Cave, Hist. Litt.
vol. i. p. 403, ed. Oxford, 17400-43; Olearius, De Poctriis Graecis,
100.32, apud Wolfium. Poetriariimn Octo Fraglmental,
4to. Hamb. 1734, with Wolfius' notes.