Various Introductory Texts
on Virtues and Vices


Bellini, St, Jerome, 1573

Translation by Luke Dysinger, O.S.B.  (translation in public domain)

1. from the Praktikos:


Περὶ τῶν ὀκτὼ λογισμῶν

6. THERE are eight generic [tempting-] thoughts (logismoi), that contain within themselves every [tempting-]thought:

ςʹ. (6)  Ὀκτώ εἰσι πάντες οἱ γενικώτατοι λογισμοὶ ἐν οἷς περιέχεται πᾶς λογισμός.

first is that of gluttony;

and with it, sexual immorality;

third, love of money;

πρῶτος ὁ τῆς γαστριμαργίας,

καὶ μετ' αὐτὸν ὁ τῆς πορνείας·

τρίτος ὁ τῆς φιλαργυρίας·

fourth, sadness;

fifth, anger;

sixth acedia;

τέταρτος ὁ τῆς λύπης·

πέμπτος ὁ τῆς ὀργῆς·

ἕκτος ὁ τῆς ἀκηδίας·

seventh, vainglory;

eighth, pride.

ἕβδομος ὁ τῆς κενοδοξίας·

ὄγδοος ὁ τῆς ὑπερηφανίς.

Whether these thoughts are able to disturb the soul or not is not up to us; but whether they linger or not, and whether they arouse passions or not; that is up to us.

Τούτους πάντας παρενοχλεῖν μὲν τῇ ψυχῇ ἢ μὴ παρενοχλεῖν͵ τῶν οὐκ ἐφ΄ ἡμῖν ἐστι· τὸ δὲ χρονίζειν αὐτοὺς ἢ μὴ χρονίζειν͵ ἢ πάθη κινεῖν ἢ μὴ κινεῖν͵ τῶν ἐφ΄ ἡμῖν.



89. OF three parts does the rational soul consist, according to our wise teacher:

89 (πθʹ) Τριμεροῦς δὲ τῆς λογιχῆς ψυχῆς ὄυσης, κατὰ τὸν σοφὸν ἡμῶν διδάσκαλον·

[1] When it in the RATIONAL part that virtue comes into being it is called
1a] prudence and
[1b] understanding and
1c] wisdom;

ὅταν μὲν ἐν τῷ λογιστικῷ μέρει γένηται ἡ ἀρετή, καλεῖται
φρόνησις καὶ
σύνεσις καὶ

[2] in the CONCUPISCIBLE part,
[2a] temperance and
[2b] charity and
2c] self-control;

ὄταν δὲ ἐν τῷ ἐπιθυμητικῷ,
σωφροσύνη καὶ
ἀγάπη καὶ

[3] in the IRASCIBLE part,
3a] courage and
3b] patience.

ὅταν δὲ ἐν τῷ θυμικῷ,
ἀνδρεία καὶ

[4] But in the WHOLE of the SOUL [it] is justice.

ἐν ὅλῇ δὲ τῇ ψυχῇ, δικαιοσύνη

[1A] Now the task of PRUDENCE is

Καὶ φρονήσεως μὲν ἔργον

[1A.1] to plan the attack against the opposing powers and

[1A.2] to defend the virtues,

[1A.3] to stand prepared against the vices,

[1A.4] and to administer neutral matters according to the [requirements of the] times.

τὸ στρατηγεῖν πρὸς τὰς ἀντικειμένας δυνάμεἱς,

καὶ τῶν μὲν ἀρετῶν ὑπερασπίζειν,

 πρὸς δὲ τὰς κακίας παρατάττεσθαι,

τὰ δὲ μέσα πρὸς τοὺς καιροὺς διοικεῖν·

[1B] [The task] of UNDERSTANDING: to direct harmoniously all things which help us toward our goal.

συνέσεως δὲ τὸ πάντα τὰ συντελοῦντα ἡμῖν πρὸς τὸν σκοπὸν ἁρμοδίως οἰκονομεῖν·

[1C] [The task] of WISDOM: contemplation of the logoi of corporeal and incorporeal beings.

σοφίας δὲ τὸ θεωρεῖν λόγους σωμάτων καὶ ἀσωμάτων·

[2A] The work of TEMPERANCE: to look serenely upon those affairs which provoke within us irrational phantasies.

σωφροσύνης δὲ ἔργον τὸ βλέπειν ἀπαθῶς τὰ πράγματα τὰ κινοῦντα ἐν ἡμῖν φαντασίας ἀλόγους·

[2B] of CHARITY: all the images of God, showing one another to be as nearly like the prototype as possible no matter how the demons ply their arts to defile them.

ἀγάπης δὲ τὸ πάσῃ εἰκόνι τοῦ θεοῦ τοιαύτην ἑαυτὴν ἐμπαρέχειν οἵαν καὶ τῷ πρωτοτύπῳ σχεδόν, κἂν μιαίνειν αὐτὰς επιχειρῶσιν οἱ δαίμονες·

[2c] Of CONTINENCE: every pleasure of the palate with joy to decline.

ἐγκρατείας δὲ τὸ πᾶσαν ἡδονὴν τοῦ φάρυγγος μετὰ χαρᾶς ἀποσείσθαι·

[3A] Not to fear the enemies and

μὴ δεδιέναι δὲ τοὺς πολεμίους

[3B] eagerly to endure afflictions belongs to COURAGE and PATIENCE.

καὶ προθύμως ἐγκρατερεῖν τοῖς δεινοῖς τῆς ὑπομονῆς καὶ τῆς ἀνδρείας ἐστί·



[4] JUSTICE effects a certain symphony and harmony among the [different] parts of the soul.

δικαιοσύνης δὲ τὸ συμφωνίαν τινὰ καὶ ἁρμονίαν τῶν τῆς ψυχῆς μερῶν κατεργάζεσθαι.


2. from the Gnostikos:


6. [...] The Teacher [gnostikos] strives to practice all the virtues, equally, continuously, and in proper order; for there is an orderly sequence among them and within himself; for the intellect [nous] is naturally betrayed by that which is weakest.

[...] ὁ γνωστικός [...] πειράσθω πάσας ἐπίσης ἀεὶ τὰς ἀρετὰς κατορθοῦν͵ ἵνα ἀντακολουθῶσιν ἀλλήλαις καὶ ἐν αὐτῷ͵ διὰ τὸ πεφυκέναι τὸν νοῦν ὑπὸ τῆς ἐλαττουμένης προδίδοσθαι.


3. from Peri Logismōn (on Various Tempting Thoughts):




 1. OF the demons opposing the ascetical life [pratiké], those standing in the first [wave] for combat are:

[1] those entrusted with the appetites of gluttony,

[2] those that inspire us to love money, and

[3] those that entice us to seek human glory.

[p.148]1.Τῶν ἀντικειμένων δαιμόνων τῇ πρακτικῇ, πρῶτοι κατὰ τὸν πόλεμον συνίστανται

οἱ τὰς τῆς γαστριμαργίας ὀρέξεις πεπιστευμέοι,

καὶ οἱ τὴν φιλαργυρίαν ἡμῖν ὑποβάλλοντες,

καὶ οἱ πρὸς τὴν τῶν ἀνθρώπων δόξαν ἡμᾶς ἐκκαλούμενοι.

All the rest march behind and receive the wounded whom these three pass along to them.

Οἱ δ' ἄλλοι πάντες κατόπιν τούτων βαδίζοντες, τοὺς ὑπὸ τούτων [79.1201a] τιτρωσκομένους διαδ́εχονται.

[1] For it is impossible to fall into the spirit of adultery, unless one has succumbed to gluttony;

[2] it is impossible to be agitated by anger, unless one covets and fights for food, or money, or fame;

Οὐκ ἔστι γὰρ ἐμπεσεῖν εἰς χεῖρας τοῦ πνεύματος τῆς πορνείας, μὴ ὑπὸ τῆς γαστριμαργίας καταπεσόντα·

καὶ οὐκ ἔστι ταράξαι θυμὸν, μὴ ὑπὲρ βρωμάτων ἢ χρημάτων, ἢ δόξης ἀλόγων ἐπιθυμιῶν μαχόμενον·

[3] and it is impossible to avoid the demon of sadness, unless one has been deprived of all he wants to obtain;

[4] nor is it possible to escape pride, this first offspring of the devil, unless one has uprooted the love of money... the root of all evil (1Tim. 6.10); since Poverty brings a man low, according to the wise Solomon, (Prov.10:4).

καὶ οὐκ ἔστι τὸν τῆς λύπης δαίμονα διαφυγεῖν, τούτων πάντων στερηθέντα, ἢ μὴ δυνηθέντα τυχεῖν·

οὐδὲ ἀποφεύξεται τὴν ὑπερηφανίαν τις, τὸ πρῶτον γέννημα τοῦ διαβόλου, μὴ τὴν τῶν κακῶν ῥίζαν ἐξορίσας φιλαργυρίαν, εἴπερ καὶ πενία ἄνδρα ταπεινοῖ, κατὰ τὸν σοφὸν Σολομῶντα·

In other words, it is impossible for a man to fall under the power of any demon, unless he is first wounded by the three of the first wave.

 [p.152] καὶ συλλήβδην ἐιπεῖν, οὐκ ἔστιν ἄνθρωπον περιπεσεῖν δαίμονι, μὴ πρότερον ὑπ' ἐκείνων τῶν πρωτοστατῶν κατατρωθέντα,

THIS is why the devil suggested these three [tempting-] thoughts to the Lord (Mt 4:3, ff):

[1] the first, when he suggested that stones should become bread;

[2] the second, when he promised the whole world, if [the Lord] would fall down and worship him;

[3] and the third, when he said that if he would listen to him he would be glorified, suffering no harm from his fall [from the Temple].

διὸ καὶ τοὺς τρεῖς τούτους λογισμοὺς ὁ διάβολος τότε τῷ Σωτῆρι προσήγαγε. [Mt 4:3, ff]

Πρῶτον μὲν τοὺς λίθους, [79.1200b] ἄρτους γενέσθαι παρακαλῶν,

ἔπειτα δὲ τὸν κόσμον ὅλον ἐπαγγελλόμενος εἰ πεσὼν προσκυνήσει·

καὶ τρίτον εἰ ἀκούσοι δοξασθήσεσθαι λέγων, μηδὲν ἐκ τοῦ τηλικούτου πτώματος πεπονθότα,

But our Lord, showing himself to be above this, commanded the devil to get behind him (cf. Mat. 4:1-10), showing us by this that it not possible to banish the devil unless we depise these three [tempting-]thoughts.

ὧν, ὁ Κύριος ἡμῶν κρείττων φανεὶς, εἰς τοὐπίσω τῷ διαβόλῳ χωρεῖν προσέταττε, διὰ τούτων καὶ ἡμᾶς διδάσκων, ὡς οὐκ ἔστιν ἀπώσασθαι τὸν διάβολον, μὴ τῶν τριῶν τούτων καταφρονήσαντας λογισμῶν.



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