(c. 150-215)

 Stromata (TLG 555.4): tr. W.L. Alexander, ser. The Ante Nicene Fathers  v. 2, (Grand Rapids, 1986) pp. 340-341. Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, ed. Stählin, Früchtel,& Treu, Clemens Alexandrinus, vols. 2, (3rd edn.) & 3, (2nd edn.), ser.  Die griechischen christlichen Schriftsteller 52(15), 17 (Berlin, Akademie-Verlag, v.2:1960; v.3:1970): pp. 2:3-518; 3:3-102.

St. Clement of Alexandria,
Byzantine fresco.

THE STROMATA (or Miscellanies) I, 28

tr. W.L. Alexander, ser. The Ante Nicene Fathers  v. 2, (Grand Rapids, 1986) pp. 340-341.
Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, ed. Stählin, Früchtel,& Treu, Clemens Alexandrinus, vols. 2, (3rd edn.) & 3, (2nd edn.), ser.  Die griechischen christlichen Schriftsteller 52(15), 17 (Berlin, Akademie-Verlag, v.2:1960; v.3:1970): pp. 2:3-518; 3:3-102. [TLG: 0555,004]

of the


[ld] The Mosaic philosophy is accordingly divided into four parts: namely,

 Ἡ μὲν οὖν κατὰ Μωυσέα φιλοσοφία τετραχῇ τέμνεται, εἴς τε

[1] the historical and 

τὸ ἱστορικὸν καὶ

[2]  that which is properly called the legislative

τὸ κυρίως λεγόμενον νομοθετικόν,

which two pertain to ethical exposition

ἅπερ ἂν εἴη τῆς ἠθικῆς πραγματείας ἴδια,

[3] third, the hierurgical [“priestly”], which concern the contemplation of nature;

τὸ τρίτον δὲ εἰς τὸ ἱερουργικόν, ὅ [176.2] ἐστιν ἥδη τῆς φυσικῆς θεωρίας·

[4] [ld] fourth, and superior to all, [is] the theological class, or “epoptics,” which Plato says concerns the truly great mysteries, while Aristotle calls this class metaphysics.

καὶ τέταρτον ἐπὶ πᾶσι τὸ θεολογικὸν εἶδος, ἡ ἐποπτεία, ἥν φησιν ὁ Πλάτων τῶν μεγάλων ὄντως εἶναι μυστηρίων,Ἀριστοτέλης δὲ τὸ εἶδος τοῦτο μετὰ τὰ φυσικὰ [176.3 ] καλεῖ.

   [p.340]  Dialectics, according to Plato, is, as he says in The Statesman, a science devoted to the discovery of things.  And it is to be acquired by the wise man, not for the sake of saying or doing ought of what we find among men (as the dialecticians, who occupy themselves in sophistry do) but to be able to say and do, as far as possible, what is pleasing to God.

καὶ ἥ γε κατὰ Πλάτωνα διαλεκτική, ὥς φησιν ἐν τῷ Πολιτικῷ, τῆς τῶν ὄντων δηλώσεως εὑρετική τίς ἐστιν ἐπιστήμη, κτητὴ δὲ αὕτη τῷ σώφρονι οὐχ ἕνεκα τοῦ λέγειν τε καὶ πράττειν τι τῶν πρὸς τοὺς ἀνθρώπους, ὥσπερ οἱ νῦν διαλεκτικοὶ περὶ τὰ σοφιστικὰ ἀσχολούμενοι ποιοῦσιν, ἀλλὰ <τοῦ> τῷ θεῷ κεχαρισμένα μὲν λέγειν [177.1] δύνασθαι, κεχαρισμένα δὲ πράττειν, τὸ πᾶν εἰς δύναμιν.

       But the true dialectic, being philosophy mixed with truth, by examining things and testing forces and powers, gradually ascends in relation to the most excellent essence of all, and essays to go beyond to the God of the universe, professing not the knowledge of mortal affairs, but the science of things divine and heavenly, in accordance with which follows a suitable course of practice with respect to words and deeds, even in human affairs.

μικτὴ δὲ φιλοσοφίᾳ οὖσα τῇ ἀληθεῖ ἡ ἀληθὴς διαλεκτικὴ ἐπισκοποῦσα τὰ πράγματα καὶ τὰς δυνάμεις καὶ τὰς ἐξουσίας δοκιμάζουσα ὑπεξαναβαίνει ἐπὶ τὴν πάντων κρατίστην οὐσίαν τολμᾷ τε ἐπέκεινα ἐπὶ τὸν τῶν ὅλων θεόν, οὐκ ἐμπειρίαν τῶν θνητῶν, ἀλλ' ἐπιστήμην τῶν θείων καὶ οὐρανίων ἐπαγγελλομένη, ᾗ συνέπεται καὶ ἡ [περὶ] τῶν ἀνθρωπείων περί τε τοὺς λόγους καὶ τὰς πράξεις οἰκεία χρῆσις.

Rightly, therefore, the Scripture, in its desire to make us such dialecticians, exhorts us: “Be skillful money-changers”[1] rejecting some things, but retaining what is good.

[177.2] εἰκότως ἄρα καὶ ἡ γραφὴ τοιούτους τινὰς ἡμᾶς διαλεκτικοὺς οὕτως ἐθέλουσα γενέσθαι παραινεῖ· < γίνεσθε δὲ δόκιμοι τραπεζῖται, > τὰ [177.3] μὲν ἀποδοκιμάζοντες, τὸ δὲ καλὸν κατέχοντες·

       For this true dialectic is the science which analyses the objects of thought, and shows abstractly and by itself the individual substratum of existences, or the power of dividing things into genera, which descends to their most special properties, and presents each individual object to be contemplated simply as it is.

αὕτη γὰρ τῷ ὄντι ἡ διαλεκτικὴ φρόνησίς ἐστι περὶ τὰ νοητὰ διαιρετική, ἑκάστου τῶν ὄντων ἀμίκτως τε καὶ εἰλικρινῶς τοῦ ὑποκειμένου δεικτική, ἢ δύναμις περὶ τὰ τῶν πραγμάτων γένη διαιρετική, μέχρι τῶν ἰδικωτάτων καταβαίνουσα, παρεχομένη ἕκαστον τῶν ὄντων καθαρὸν οἷον [] ἔστι φαίνεσθαι.

       Wherefore it alone conducts to the true wisdom, which is the knowledge of entities as entities, which grasps what is perfect, and is freed from all passion; not without the Saviour, who withdraws, by the divine word, the gloom of ignorance arising [p.341] from evil training, which had overspread the eye of the soul, and besows the best of gifts: “That we might well know or God or man.”

            διὸ καὶ μόνη αὕτη ἐπὶ τὴν ἀληθῆ σοφίαν χειραγωγεῖ, ἥτις ἐστὶ δύναμις θεία, τῶν ὄντων ὡς ὄντων γνωστική, τὸ τέλειον ἔχουσα, παντὸς πάθους ἀπηλλαγμένη, οὐκ ἄνευ τοῦ σωτῆρος τοῦ καταγαγόντος ἡμῶν τῷ θείῳ λόγῳ τοῦ ὁρατικοῦ τῆς ψυχῆς τὴν ἐπιχυθεῖσαν ἐκ φαύλης ἀναστροφῆς ἄγνοιαν ἀχλυώδη καὶ τὸ βέλτιστον ἀποδεδωκότος, < ὄφρ' εὖ γινώσκοιμεν ἠμὲν θεὸν ἠδὲ καὶ ἄνδρα. >

       It is He who truly shows how we are to know ourselves.  It is he who reveals the Father of the universe to whom He wills, and as far as human nature can comprehend.

[178.2] οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ τῷ ὄντι δείξας ὅπως [τε] γνωστέον ἑαυτούς, οὗτος ὁ τῶν ὅλων τὸν πατέρα ἐκκαλύπτων, ᾧ ἂν βούληται, [καὶ] ὡς οἷόν τε τὴν ἀνθρωπίνην φύσιν χωρῆσαι [νοεῖν]·

“For no man knows the Son but the Father, nor the Father but the Son, and he to whom the Son shall reveal him.” (Mt 11:27)

< οὐδεὶς γὰρ ἔγνω τὸν υἱὸν εἰ μὴ ὁ πατήρ, οὐδὲ τὸν πατέρα εἰ μὴ ὁ υἱὸς καὶ ᾧ ἂν ὁ υἱὸς ἀπο[] καλύψῃ.

       Rightly then the Apostle says that it was by revelation that he knew the mystery: “As I wrote afore in few words, according as ye are able to understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ.” (Eph 3:3,4)  “According as ye are able”, he said,  since he knew that some had received milk only, and had not yet received meat, nor even milk simply.

 >εἰκότως ἄρα ὁ ἀπόστολος < κατὰ ἀποκάλυψιν > φησὶν ἐγνωκέναι < τὸ μυστήριον, καθὼς προέγραψα ἐν ὀλίγῳ, πρὸς ὃ δύνασθε ἀναγινώσκοντες νοῆσαι τὴν σύνεσίν μου ἐν τῷ μυστηρίῳ τοῦ [] Χριστοῦ. > < πρὸς ὃ δύνασθε > εἶπεν, ἐπεὶ ᾔδει τινὰς γάλα μόνον [] εἰληφότας, οὐδέπω δὲ καὶ βρῶμα, αὐτίκα οὐχ ἁπλῶς γάλα.

     [ld] We are to understand in a fourfold way the meaning of the law: . . . or as displaying a symbol; or as ratifying a commandment for right conduct; or as declaring a prophecy.

τετραχῶς δὲ ἡμῖν ἐκληπτέον καὶ τοῦ νόμου τὴν βούλησιν, ‚‚ ἢ ὡς σημεῖον ἐμφαίνουσαν ἢ ὡς ἐντολὴν κυροῦσαν εἰς πολιτείαν ὀρθὴν ἢ θεσπίζουσαν [] ὡς προφητείαν.

       [The missing text above is restored in Evagrius’ citation of this passage
                 scholion 15 on Psalm 76:21 (cf. Pitra 76:21, vol. 3, p. 109).:

We are to take the purpose of the law in a certain fourfold sense: 

τετραχῶς δὲ ἡμῖν ἐκληπτέον καὶ τοῦ νόμου

[1] as indicating a type; 

τὴν βουλὴν ὡς τύπον τινὰ δηλοῦσαν,  

[2] or as revealing a sign; 

ὡς σημεῖον ἐμφαίνουσαν,  

[3] or as confirming a commandment for proper living; 

ὡς ἐντολὴν κυροῦσαν εἰς πολιτείαν ὀρθὴν  

[4] or foretelling, like a prophecy. 

θεσπίζουσαν ὡς προφητείαν.  
By this method did Moses and Aaron lead the people journeying from vice to virtue. ταύτῃ τῇ μεθόδῳ Μωϋσῆς καὶἈαρὼν ὁδηγοῦσι τὸν ἀπὸ κακίας ἐπ' ἀρετὴν ὁδεύοντα λαόν.


This Webpage was created for a workshop held at Saint Andrew's Abbey, Valyermo, California in 1990....x....   “”.