The Sentences of Sextus by Walter T. Wilson

By Walter T. Wilson

Defined by means of Origen as a writing that even the hundreds of believers have learn, the Sentences of Sextus deals specified insights into renowned Christian notion in the course of the overdue moment century C.E. even though it attracts widely on canonical texts for the composition of its sayings, it truly is specifically interesting for the way within which it integrates those texts with fabric derived from generically comparable collections of Pythagorean maxims. This quantity offers a serious version together with proof from the Greek, Latin, Syriac, and Coptic types; a brand new translation; and the 1st statement for the Sentences, a huge record for investigating the heritage of early Christian knowledge, asceticism, and ethics.

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403). Knowledge of the divine, then, is presented as a matter of self-knowledge, while assimilation to the divine is conceived as a matter of self-actualization, the domain of the noetic serving both as the medium mediating between the realm of the transcendent and the realm of the soul and as the modality by which the soul recognizes its essential kinship with the divine and realizes its potential for deification. This is more than a matter of acquiring learning (vv. 251, 290, 353, 384) or knowledge (vv.

82c and 201. INTRODUCTION 37 self-formation and a configuration through which the sage is manifested to the world as a vessel of divinity. 1. To begin with, the sage commits himself to a life of personal holiness, one defined especially by disciplined deportment in matters of diet (vv. 108a–111, 265–270), sexual activity (vv. 231, 239–240), social intercourse (v. 112), sleep (v. 253b), and the accumulation of material possessions (vv. 137, 264a, 274b). A regimen organized around such somatic austerities represents an essential means of training the soul, whose pleasures (vv.

Pythag. 102a has a parallel in Sext. 381 and Sent. Pythag. 102c has a partial parallel in Sext. 402. Similarly, the six members of Sent. Pythag. 110 occur in the same order and (essentially) the same wording in Marc. 14, while Sent. Pythag. 110c has a parallel in Sext. 76 and Sent. Pythag. 110d has a partial parallel in Sext. 138. 58 This would best account both for Porphyry’s tendency to agree with the two Pythagorean collections against Sextus and for the absence in the Ad Marcellam of Sextus’s distinctively Christian material.

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