Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sallustius on the superiority of pagan over Christian truth

"The superiority of pagan over Christian truth was believed by Catholic Christianity's critics to subsist precisely in the fact that 'these things never happened, but always are.'"

     Markus Bockmuehl, quoting Sallustius (4th cent.), De dis et mundo 4.9 (Ταῦτα δὲ ἐγένετο μὲν οὐδέποτε, ἔστι δὲ ἀεί), against Hauerwas' Matthew; Pro ecclesia 17, no. 1 (Winter 2008): 27.  Cf. Sallustius, Concerning the gods and the universe, ed. & trans. Arthur Darby Nock (Hildesheim: Georg Olms Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1966 [1926]), p. 8, ll. 14-15 (Greek), p. 9, ll. 17-18 (English); and Saloustios Des dieux et du monde, ed. Rochefort (Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 1960), p. 8, ll. 9-10. Glancing through this quickly, I saw no direct reference to Christianity.  μὲν is absent in the footnote in Pro ecclesia, but present in the editions of Nock and Rochefort. Rochefort: “Ces événements n’eurent lieu à aucun moment, mais existent toujours: l’entendement voit tout, d’ensemble, tandis que la parole exprime les uns d’abord, les autres ensuite” (καὶ ὁ μὲν νοῦς ἅμα πάντα ὁρᾷ, ὁ δὲ λόγος τὰ μὲν πρῶτα τὰ δὲ δεύτερα λέγει).

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