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*Oi)koume/nios), a Greek commentator on various parts of the New Testament. Of this writer scarcely any thing is known : even the time in which he lived is not ascertained. He is cited very often in a MS. Catena in Epislolas Pauli, formerly in the Coislinian library at Paris, which Montfaucon (Biblioth. Coislin. cod. xxvii. p. 82) ascribes to the tenth century; and, as in his own Commentaries Oecumenius has cited Photius, who belongs to the latter half of the ninth century, I ardner is perhaps correct (Credib. bk. i. c. clxii.) in assigning him to the year 950. Cave's date (A. D. 990) is somewhat too late, if we can rely on Montfancon's judgment of the age of the Coislinian MS. Dupin places him in the eleventh century, later than Theophylact, which appears to be altogether too late. In a MS. cited by Montfaucon (ib. cod. ccxxiv. p. 277) he is styled bishop of Tricca in Thessaly.


The following commentaries are, or have been, ascribed to Oecumenius : --



Commentaria in Sacrosancta quatuor Christi, Evangelia, . . . Autore quidem (ut plurimi sentiant) Oecumenio interprete vero Joannie Hentenio, fol. Lovan. 1543. This is a Latin version of the Commentary now generally ascribed to Euthymius Zigabenus [EUTHYMIUS ZIGABENUS]. Hentenius himself seems to have been convinced of the authorship of Euthymius very soon after the publication of the work, and after a few months added to the copies not issued a new title-page, with the date 1544 and an Admonitio Studioso Lectori, vindicating the claim of Euthymius. This version has been repeatedly reprinted.

It may be as well here to correct the statement given elsewhere [EUTHYMIUS], that this commentary has been published only in Latin. The Greek text was published by C. F. Matthaei, in 3 vols. 8vo., Leipzig, 1792. Comparatively few copies of the edition of Hentenius, in the original form, appear to have got abroad, and few writers appear to have been aware of its real date (1543), and of its having borne the name of Oecumenius on the title-pge. The editor of the Oxford edition of Cave's Historia Litteraria (1740-43), in a note.and Lardner in his Credibility, notice that Le Long had in his Bibliotheca Sacra, ascribed a Commentary on the Gospels to Oecumenius ; but they evidently knew not which was the work referred to. Fabricius merely observes that some had conjecturally ascribed the Commentary of Euthvmius to Oecumenits. Ilaniberger, with more sagacity, inferred from the Admonitio, of Hentenius, which indeed speaks plainly enough, that the work had been issued in 1543, and probably under the name of Oecumenius; but Matthaei gravely disputes the correctness of his deduction. (See Harles, not. i. ad Fabric. vol. viii. p. 344.) A copy of the work in its original form, and with the date 1543, is in the library of the British Museum. It is to be obseryed that the ascription of this commentary, either to Oecumenius or Euthymius, rests only on internal evidence. In one MS. it bears the name of Nicetas of Serrae, or, as he is usually termed, Nicetas of Heracleia; in another of Theophylact. The authorship of Euthymius is inferred from the resemblance of the work to his Commentary on the Psalms. The editor of Cave states that Oecumenius himself refers in a passage in his commentary on St. Paul's Epistles, Ad Hebraeos, 100.6, to a commentary which he had written on the Gospels, but we have not been able to find the place.

2. Ἐξηγήσεις εἰς τὰς πράξεις τῶν Ἀποστόλων

Ἐξηγήσεις εἰς τὰς πράξεις τῶν Ἀποστόλων, Enarrationes (s.Commentarii) in Acta Apostolorum, compiled from the earlier Greek fathers, especially Chrysostom, with many additions by the compiler.

3. Ἐξηγγ́σεις εἰς τὰς Παύλου ἐπιστολὰς πάσας

Ἐξηγγ́σεις εἰς τὰς Παύλου ἐπιστολὰς πάσας, Commeatarii in Epistolas Panli omnes, of similar character to the Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles.

4. Ἐξηγήσεις εἰς τὰς ἑπτὰ καθολικὰς λεγομένας ἐπιστολάς

Ἐξηγήσεις εἰς τὰς ἑπτὰ καθολικὰς λεγομένας ἐπιστολάς, Commentarii in septem Epistolas quare Catholicae dicuntur.

5. Εἰς τὴν Ἰωάννονυ ἀποκάλυψιν

Εἰς τὴν Ἰωάννονυ ἀποκάλυψιν, In Joannis Apocalysim.


These various commentaries have been published. Those on the Acts and the Epistles, both the Pauline and the Catholic, were published by Donatus, together with the Commentary of Arethas of Caesareia on the Apocalypse, fol. Verona, 1532. They were again published at Paris, 2 vols. fol. 1631. A Latin version of these Commentaries on the Acts and Epistles, and of Arethas on the Apocalypse, by Hentenius, was published at Antwerp, fol. 1545. This version was reprinted, 4to. Frankfort. 1610; and with the Greek text of Oecumenius and Arethas in the Parisian edition of 1631. Another Latin version, by Felicianus, of the Commontaries on the Acts.and the Catholic Epistles, was published, 8vo. Basel, 1552, and Venice, 1556; and one by Maximus Florentinus of the Commentary on the Epistles of Paul, 2 vols. 8vo. Basel, 1553.

The Commentary on the Apocalypse has been lately published with a Catena in Catholicas Epistolas, and another Commentary on the Apocalypse, compiled from those of Andreas and Arethas of Caesareia, and of Oecnmenius, by J. A. Cramer, 8vo. Oxford, 1840. The proem of this commentary of Oecumenius on the Apocalypse had been previously published by Montfaucon (Biblioth. Coislin. p. 277) with a Latin version.


The title of Oecumenius to the authorship of the Commentaries on the Acts and the Epistles is doubted by Possevino on the authority of Fronto Ducaens, who regarded regarded Oecumenius simply as one of the writers from whom the work had been compiled; but Hentenius has shown good reason for believing him to be the author. Sixtus Senensis speaks of a Commentary of Oecumenius on the Pentateuch; but nothing is known of such a work : Sixtus refers to some notice of it by Oecumenius himself in his Commentary on the he srews. Oecumenius has the reputation of a judicious commentator, careful in compilation, modest in offering his own judgment, and neat in expression.

Further Information

Hentenius, Praef. ad Oecumen. Commentar. ; Mentar, Matthaei, Proleg. ad Euthymii Commentar. in Quatuor Evang. ; Simon, Hist. Critique des principaux Commentateurs du N. T., c. xxxii. ; Sixt. Senens. Biblioth. Sucra, lib. iv.; Possevino, Apparat. Sacer ; Cave, Hist. Litt. ad ann. 990, vol. ii. p. 112, ed. Oxford, 1740-43; Fabric. Biblioth. Graec. vol. viii. p. 343, &c. p. 692, &c. ; Dupipi, Nouvelle Biblioth. des Aut. Eccles. (Ilème siécle), p. 395. ed. 8vo. Paris 1698; Ceiliier, Auteurs Sucrécs, vol. xix. p.742; Oudin, Comment. de Scriptoribus Eccles. vol.ii.col.528; Lardner, Credib. book 1.100.162; J. C. Woltius, Exercit. in Catenas Patrum Graecor., apud Cramer. Praef. ad Catenam in Evang. SS. Matthaei et Marci, 8vo. Oxford, 1840; Cramer, Monitum ad Catenam in Epist. Cathol. &100.8vo. Oxford, 1840.)


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