Funeral Orations (The Fathers of the Church, Volume 22)

Funeral Orations (The Fathers of the Church, Volume 22)

LEO P. McCAULEY
JOHN J. SULLIVAN
MARTIN R. P. McGUIRE
ROY J. DEFERRARI
With an Introduction on the Early Christian Funeral Oration by Martin R. P. McGuire
Copyright Date: 1953
Pages: 368
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt32b2vt
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  • Book Info
    Funeral Orations (The Fathers of the Church, Volume 22)
    Book Description:

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    eISBN: 978-0-8132-1122-0
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. The Early Christian Funeral Oration
    (pp. vii-xxiv)
    Martin R. P. McGuire

    The Christian funeral oration is one of the most elaborate of Christian literary forms. It represents an attempt to adapt to Christian use a pagan Greek form with many hundreds of years of tradition behind it, a form which in itself is only one branch, but an important branch, of the literary genre known as the encomium. Beside the funeral oration, there arose also a closely related literary genre, the treatise on grief or consolation, which was often given an epistolary form. It was inevitable that the systematic, philosophical treatment of grief and consolation in such treatises should have an...

  4. ST. GREGORY NAZIANZEN
    • INTRODUCTION
      (pp. 3-4)

      Caesarius, whose early and untimely death is the subject of this funeral oration, was the younger brother of St. Gregory. Celebrated as a physician, he was highly esteemed by Emperors Constantius and Julian. While holding an imperial office in the province of Bithynia, he escaped death in the earthquake at Nicaea in 368, but shortly thereafter fell a victim to an unspecified disease. His remains were brought back to Nazianzus and interred in the family vault. On this occasion St. Gregory delivered the present oration in the presence of his parents.

      The eulogy of Caesarius has the usual rhetorical divisions....

    • ON HIS BROTHER, ST. CAESARIUS
      (pp. 5-26)

      Perhaps you think, my dear friends, brethren, fathers–you who are dear to me in fact as well as in name–that I eagerly undertake this address, that it is my purpose to indulge freely in mourning and lamentation for the deceased, or to deliver a long and elegant discourse for the delight of men. Some of you are prepared to grieve and lament with me, to bewail your own sorrows in my sorrow–if any of you have been similarly afflicted–and to learn how to grieve through the sorrows of a friend; but others have come to gratify...

    • On St. Basil the Great, Bishop of Caesarea
      (pp. 27-100)

      It was inevitable that the great Basil, who constantly used to furnish me with subjects for my discourses—and he gloried in them as no man ever gloried in his own—should now present me in the person of himself with the loftiest theme ever given to those who have engaged in oratory. For I believe that if anyone, testing his oratorical power, wished to gauge it with reference to one discourse selected from all others as a standard, as painters do with model pictures, he would set this subject aside as beyond the power of eloquence, and choose what...

    • ON HIS SISTER, ST. GORGONIA
      (pp. 101-118)

      In praising my sister, I shall be honoring my own family. Yet, while she is a member of my family, I shall not on that account praise her falsely, but because what is true is for that reason praiseworthy. Moreover, this truth is not only well founded but also well known. Nor would I be allowed to speak with partiality even if I wished to do so. The reason is that my listener stands like a skillful arbiter, between my discourse and the truth, and censures unmerited praise, yet also demands what is due, at least if he be just....

    • On His Father, in the Presence of St. Basil
      (pp. 119-156)

      Man of god,¹ and faithful servant,² and dispenser of the Mysteries of God,³ and man of desires of the Spirit:⁴ for these are the appellations Scripture gives to those who have attained sublimity and are superior to visible things. I will also call you the God of Pharao,⁵ of all the Egyptian and hostile powers; I will call you a pillar and mainstay of the Church,⁶ and the pleasure of the Lord,⁷ and a star in the world holding fast the word of life,⁸ a support of the faith and a resting place of the Spirit. Why should I enumerate...

  5. ST. AMBROSE
    • ON THE DEATH OF HIS BROTHER SATYRUS
      (pp. 159-260)

      Uranius Satyrus, brother of St. Ambrose, died early in the year 378 (not in 375, as is still stated in most books of reference). The two brothers had been closely associated from boyhood and were unusually devoted to each other through similarity of temperament and their common pursuit of the highest Christian ideals. Both had entered upon careers in the imperial service and had risen to high posts. When Ambrose was unexpectedly elected Bishop of Milan, Satyrus resigned his position in the imperial government and returned to Milan, where he devoted himself to the administration of the family property and...

    • CONSOLATION ON THE DEATH OF EMPEROR VALENTINlAN
      (pp. 263-300)

      The consolation on the death of Valentinian is, substantially, the funeral sermon delivered by St. Ambrose at the burial of the remains of the youthful Valentinian II, Emperor of the West.

      One of the first acts of Theodosius, Emperor of the East, after his victory over Maximus had been to send one of his generals, a pagan Frank named Arbogast, to Gaul. Arbogast had been a soldier in the army of Gratian, Valentinian’s older brother and his predecessor as Emperor of the West, and had remained loyal to him during the defection of his troops. He had also served ably...

    • FUNERAL ORATION ON THE DEATH OF EMPEROR THEODOSIUS
      (pp. 303-332)

      The oration on the death of Theodosius was delivered by the Bishop of Milan, St. Ambrose, on February 25, 395, the fortieth day after the death of the emperor. The date of February 26, often given in handbooks, is an error created by a failure to include the day of his death in this reckoning. The occasion of the eulogy was the memorial service, held before the departure of the funeral cortege for Constantinople.

      A loyal and manly friendship had existed between the emperor and the bishop, who, as they worked for a common cause, found their mutual aims and...

  6. INDEX
    (pp. 335-344)