Preparation for the Gospel (Greek: Εὐαγγελικὴ προπαρασκευή), commonly known by its Latin title Praeparatio evangelica, was a work of Christian apologetics written by Eusebius in the. : Eusebius of Caesarea: Praeparatio Evangelica (The Preparation of the Gospel) eBook: Eusebius of Caesarea: Kindle Store. Eusebius’ Praeparatio Evangelica is a masterful work that deﬁes easy categorization. Written between and , soon after Eusebius had become bishop of.
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Praeparatio Evangelica Preparation for the Gospel. Gifford — Book WE have previously explained for what reasons we Christians have preferred the philosophy of the Hebrews to that of the Greeks, and on what kind of considerations we accepted the sacred Books current among the former people; and then afterwards we proved that the Greeks themselves were not ignorant of that people, but mentioned them by name, and greatly admired their mode of life, and have given a long account evangeilca of their royal capital, and other matters of their history.
Now then let us go on to observe how they not only deemed the record of these things worthy to be written, but also became zealous imitators of the like teaching and instruction in some of the doctrines pertaining to the improvement of the soul. I shall show then almost immediately how, from various sources, one and another of these wonderful Greeks, by going about among the Barbarians, collected the other branches of learning, geometry, arithmetic, music, eevangelica, medicine, and the very first elements of grammar, and numberless other artistic and profitable studies.
Ethnicity and Argument in Eusebius’ Praeparatio Evangelica – Oxford Scholarship
In the previous part of my discourse I proved that they had received from Barbarians their opinion concerning a multitude of gods, and their mysteries and initiations, and moreover their histories, and their fabulous stories about gods, and their physical explanations of the fables as expressed in allegory, and the rest of their superstitious error. This, I say, was proved at the time when we convicted the Greeks of having wandered over evangelicca of the earth, and then set up their own.
Or otherwise, if any one should say that they were moved to the same conclusions by innate conceptions, even this would be in our favour, that we preferred to be zealous followers of the doctrines delivered not only to Hebrews from the earliest ages by prophets who eusegius of God, but also, if not to all, yet to some, and those certainly the very men who were greatly renowned in Greece, doctrines carefully examined also in the discussions of the philosophers.
Now these men you would find to be few in number, because all excellence is proverbially difficult to attain; but nevertheless they have been honoured with the first place among the philosophers of Greece, so that through evangelicz great fame they overshadow the reputation of their fellows.
But you must not be surprised if we say that possibly the doctrines of the Hebrews have been plagiarised by them, since they are not only proved to have stolen the other branches of learning from Egyptians and Chaldees and the rest of the barbarous nations, but even to the present day are detected in robbing one another of the honours gained in their own writings.
At all events one after another they surreptitiously steal the phrases of their neighbours together with the thoughts and whole arrangement of treatises, and pride themselves as if upon their own labours. And do not suppose that this is my statement, eusebihs you shall again hear the very wisest of them convicting one another of theft in their writings.
And this very fact, since we have once mentioned it, we must consider as evidence before all else of the character of the said persons.
Our Clement then, in his sixth Miscellany, has arranged the proof of this point at full length: For if they do not keep their hands off even from one another, it is not likely that they will from our writers. But after employing a few testimonies of men familiarly known and renowned among the Greeks, and exposing their style of plagiarism, by dealing with various periods, I shall turn to the subjects next in order. After these statements by way of preface, he brings forward his proofs in order, using all kinds of evidence, and calls the poets first to account as having stolen the thoughts from other poets, by a comparison of their respective utterances.
Then he successively compares passages of Orpheus, Heracleitus, Plato, Pythagoras, Herodotus, Theopompus, Thucydides, Demosthenes, Aeschines, Lysias, Isocrates, and ten thousand others, of whose sayings it euwebius superfluous for me to make a catalogue, as the author’s praepparatio is ready at hand, in which, after the evidences concerning the said authors, he again speaks as follows:. But further they have been detected not only in filching and paraphrasing the thoughts and the expressions, but, as shall be shown, they have stolen the works of others wholesale, and brought them out as their own; as Eugamon of Cyrene stole the entire book Concerning the Thesprotians from Musaeus.
Clement having afterwards added to these very many proofs eavngelica his argument, again at the end makes this addition: False they would not say; for they would not willingly convict themselves of the great folly of recording falsehoods; but they would of necessity confess that they are true. For the Almighty God in His care for all men tries to convert them to salvation, some by commandments, some by threatenings, some by miraculous signs, and some by gentle promises.
And she answered them that there was only one way of escape from the calamity, that they should employ the prayer of Aeacus, So Aeacus was persuaded by them, and went up to the Hellenic Mount, and, stretching out his pure hands to heaven, called upon God as the common Father, and prayed Him to have pity upon Hellas in her distress.
Thence an abundant and rich harvest, produced by the husbandry of the prayers of Aeacus, is brought to perfection. To this Clement subjoined countless instances, and convicted the Greeks of having been plagiarists by indisputable proofs. But if you do not think him trustworthy, inasmuch as he, like us, has himself preferred the philosophy of the Barbarians to that of Greece, well then let him be dismissed, although he conducted his argument not in words of his own, but in those of Greeks themselves.
But what would you say. Eusebijs then to their testimonies also. Now the disputants were Caystrius and Maximus: Then he has committed a theft of facts, by transferring what he found told of some men to others, that in this way he might also be convicted of falsehood. And after adding some other remarks to these, he proceeds:. If he had mentioned Pythagoras, perhaps others also would have known about it, and said, The Master also said that.
But now the change of the name has made the plagiarism manifest; for he has made use rpaeparatio the same facts, but substituted another name: Evanglica the incident about the ship was observed, he says, not from Megara in Sicily, but from Samos: But Latinus in six books, which he entitled Of Menander’s Appropriations, exposed the multitude of his plagiarisms. And Caecilius, thinking that he has discovered something of great importance, says that Menander transcribed a whole drama, The Augur of Antiphaues, from beginning to end, into The Superstitious Man.
Now I suspect that the one who has stolen is Hyperides: Or how Herodotus in his second Book has transferred many passages of Hecataeus of Miletus from the Geography, verbally with slight falsifications, as the account of the bird Phoenix, and of the hippopotamus, and of the hunting of crocodiles? This author has not only taken the suggestion from that passage, but has also employed the very words; and he craftily preferred to give it a proverbial character, and to employ it as a saying used by many, rather than to seem to have taken it from its original author.
I say nothing, since Homer has been ridiculed in comedy by Cratinus because of his frequent repetition of. There are two books of Lysimachus Concerning the Plagiarism of Ephorus. Alcaeus also, the poet of the vituperative Iambics and Epigrams, has detected and parodied the plagiarisms of Ephorus: I not only say, replied Prosenes, but I also offer the proof of my statement.
Now the books of Plato’s predecessors are rare: As to one, however, which I myself lighted upon by chance, in reading the discourse of Protagoras Concerning Being against those who represent “Being ” as one, I find him employing answers of the following kind; for I was careful to remember wlfat he said in his very words.
But I think that out of numberless examples those which have been mentioned are sufficient prapearatio show what was the character of the Greek writers, and that they did not spare even evangelicz exposure one of another.
Ethnicity and Argument in Eusebius’ Praeparatio Evangelica
Yet in farther preparation for showing the benefit which has overflowed to the Greeks from the Hebrew Scriptures, I think it will be right and necessary for me to prove generally that all the celebrated learning and philosophy of the Greeks, both their elementary studies, and their grand system of logical science, have been collected by them from Barbarians, so that none of them may any longer lay blame upon us, because forsooth we have preferred the religion and philosophy of the Barbarians to their grand doctrines.
You may judge that not without sound reason have we given a eusebihs place to the doctrines of the Greek philosophy, and preferred the theology of the Hebrews, when you learn that even among the Greeks themselves those who have most of all treated philosophy correctly, and thought out something more and better than the vulgar talk about the gods, have discovered no other true doctrines than those which had received a previous sanction among the Hebrews. For some of them, being carried evangellca hither and thither by various false opinions, were driven about into an abyss of idle prating; while others, who have in some degree employed candid reasoning, have shown themselves partakers in the teaching of the Hebrews praeparatii those eeusebius wherein they attained to the conception of the truth.
It is probable at all events that having become very learned, and having curiously investigated both the customs and the learning of the nations, they were not unacquainted with the philosophy of the people just mentioned, being younger in time, so to speak, than all men, not Hebrews only, nor yet Phoenicians and Egyptians only, but also than the ancient Greeks themselves.
For these ancients some doctrines derived from Phoenicia were arranged by Cadmus son of Agenor; and others concerning the gods from Egypt or elsewhere, mysteries and rites, the setting up of statues, and hymns, odes, and epodes, either by the Thracian Orpheus, or some other Greek or Barbarian, who became their leaders in error: They say at least that Orpheus nourished first of all, uesebius Linus, and afterwards Musaeus about the time of the Trojan war, or a little before.
But certainly in their time nothing more than the theology of the Phoenicians and Egyptians, with its manifold errors, had a home among the Greeks. Moreover, among the other nations, in all countries and cities, these very doctrines and others similar to them were carefully observed in sacrifices and mysteries. At all events, the aforesaid doctrine concerning the gods largely prevailed among all mankind: And further, there was among them all a manifold and profuse abundance of oracles.
Indeed a certain god especially revered and mighty among the Greeks was praepartio that time most nourishing, the Pythian, Clarian, and Dodonaean god: But at length, long ages after them, philosophy arrived among the Greeks, and found among their forefathers nothing that properly belonged to herself, but discovered that the sanctities and antiquities of the theology which had come to them from their fathers, and even the marvellous and universally famous divinities and oracles, were in reality superfluous and unprofitable.
Wherefore she proceeded to put these back into a secondary place, as they could not be of any use to her for the discovery of things necessary and true: For indeed she began to discover that not only the true theology was lacking to the Greeks, but also the most useful in daily evangeljca of all the other arts and sciences.
Indeed the Greeks themselves confess that it was after Orpheus, Linus, and Musaeus, the most ancient of all their theologians and the first to introduce among them the error of polytheism, that their seven men whom they surnamed Sages were celebrated for wisdom. And these nourished about the time of Cyrus king of Persia. Now this was the time in which the very latest of the Hebrew prophets were prophesying, who lived more than six hundred years after the Trojan war, and not less than fifteen hundred years after the age of Moses: Born somewhere about this recent period the Seven Sages are remembered for a reform of moral conduct, but nothing more is recorded of them than their celebrated maxims.
But somewhat late, and lower down in time, the philosophers of the Greeks are reported to have flourished. First among these Pythagoras the pupil of Pherecydes, who invented the name ‘philosophy,’ was a native, as some say, of Samos, but according to others of Tyrrhenia; while some say that he was a Syrian or Tyrian, so that yon must admit that the first of the philosophers, celebrated in the mouth of all Greeks, was not a Greek but a Barbarian.
Pherecydes also is recorded to have been a Syrian, and Pythagoras they say was his disciple. He is not, however, the only teacher with whom, as it is said, Pythagoras was associated, but he spent some time also with the Persian Magi ; and became a disciple of the Egyptian prophets, at the time when some of the Hebrews appear to have made their settlement in Egypt, and some in Babylon.
In fact the said Pythagoras, while busily studying the wisdom of each nation, visited Babylon, and Egypt, and all Persia, being instructed by the Magi and the priests: Such then was Pythagoras. And first in succession from him the so-called Eusdbius philosophy was formed, which derived its title to the name from its abode in Italy: Even Thales, however, as some relate, was a Phoenician, but as others have supposed, a Milesian: Solon also who was himself one of the Seven Sages, and is said to have legislated for the Athenians, is stated by Plato to have resorted in like manner to the Egyptians, at the time when Hebrews were again dwelling in Egypt.
At least he introduces him in the Timaeus as receiving instruction from the Barbarian, in the passage where the Egyptian says evanhelica him, ‘O Solon, Solon, you Greeks are always children, and there is not one old man among the Greeks, This same Plato, too, after having attended the teaching of the Pythagoreans in Italy, was not contented with his studying with them only, but is said to have sailed to Egypt and devoted a very long time to their philosophy.
This praepadatio indeed he himself bears euzebius the Barbarians in many passages of his own discourses, and therein, I think, does well, and candidly confesses that the noblest doctrines are imported into philosophy from the Barbarians. Accordingly prarparatio many places, and especially in the Epinomis, you may hear him mentioning both Syrians and Egyptians in the following manner:. Whence the knowledge has reached to all countries, including our own, after having been tested by thousands of years and time without end.
But Democritus also, still earlier, is said to have appropriated the ethical doctrines of the Babylonians. And somewhere, boasting about himself, he says:.
For this euswbius also visited Babylon, and Persia, and Egypt, and was a disciple of the Egyptians and their priests. What if I were to count up to you Heracleitus and all the other Greeks, by whom civil life among the Greeks is proved to have been left for long ages very poor, and devoid of all learning.
It was embellished indeed with temples of the gods, and images and statues, and prophecies and oracles, and the manifold pomp of the fraudulent daemons, but eusebiue true wisdom and of useful science it was utterly destitute.
Nor did their useless oracles contribute aught to the discovery of good counsels: But wandering hither and thither, and running about all their life they bedecked themselves, according to the fable, with borrowed plumes; so evangelida now their whole philosophy consisted of what they begged.
For by copying different sciences from different nations, they got geometry from the Egyptians, and astrology from evzngelica Chaldeans, and other things again from other countries; but nothing among any other nations like the benefit which some of them found from the Hebrews. For this was the knowledge of the God of the universe, and the condemnation of their own gods, which our argument as it proceeds a little farther will prove.
But thus much at present it indicates to the readers, that the ancient Greeks were destitute not dvangelica of true theology, but also of the sciences which are profitable to philosophy; and not of these only, but also of the common habits of civil life.
And I believe that this indication will assist ptaeparatio in the demonstration of the object which I have proposed; inasmuch as my proposal is to uphold the plea, that we have not eusegius preferred the theology of the Hebrews, and that of the Barbarians, as they would call it, eusebiua the philosophy of the Greeks.
If then it should be seen they have themselves gathered it all long before from Barbarians, and have received from their own gods no help at all in philosophy, but have even found fault justly with their gods; and if some of them for these reasons have preferred atheism to the worship of the gods, then what right have they any praepxratio to find fault with us, instead of welcoming and commending us, because from having loved the better part, or rather from having found and recovered that which alone is true, we have withdrawn from the falsehood, without either turning round like the wise eusenius of the Greeks to atheistic reasoning, or on the other hand mixing up the error of polytheism with the knowledge of the Supreme God, in a similar way to their admirable philosophers, nor yet have confused the falsehood with the truth?
Let us not, however, discuss these points yet, but first let me ask you to consider those proofs by which, the Greeks are convicted of having stolen everything from Barbarians, not only their philosophical science, but also the common inventions which are useful in daily life. FIRST therefore he who introduced to the Greeks the common letters, even the very first elements of grammar, namely Cadmus, was a Phoenician by birth, from which circumstance some of the ancients have surnamed the alphabet Phoenician.
But some say that the Syrians were the first who devised letters. Now these Syrians would be Hebrews who inhabited the neighbouring country to Phoenicia, which was itself called Phoenicia in old times, but afterwards Judaea, and eusebijs our time, Palestine.
And it is evident that the sound of the Greek letters is very closely evangelkca with these.
For example, each letter among the Hebrews has its name from some significant idea, a circumstance which it is not possible to trace among the Greeks: Now the Hebrews have in all twenty-two letters: Then after these is a sixth letter called among them ‘Wau,’ which is ‘in it’: After these a ninth letter, ‘Teth,’ which is ‘good’: