SOME SYRIAC EXCERPTS FROM GREEK COLLECTIONS OF PAGAN PROPHECIES BY SEBASTIAN BROCK For James Drescher, aet. LXXX Some time in the late fifth century, and perhaps in Alexandria, an anonymous author compiled a work entitled Theosophia in eleven books; the first seven books of this were devoted to an exposition of the orthodox faith, while the last four consisted of a collection of pagan oracles and sayings thought to predict or support certain Christian teachings. The original work is unfortunately lost, apart from a short fragment,' I but an abstract, generally known as the Tubingen Theosophy,2 survives, as well as a number of other later collections under such titles as Symphonia, Chresmoi or Propheteiai;3 these latter texts, which mainly consist of sayings of Greek philosophers and poets, proved to be immensely popular, and use was made of them in popular sermons (in Coptic4 as well as in Greek), and in art,5 with provision even being made for the portrayal of these pagan prophets in the eighteenth- century manual of Greek ecclesiastical art by Dionysios of Fourna. Drawing on this type of material a Syriac writer of c. 600 compiled a short work addressed to the pagans of Harran,
Vigiliae Christianae – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1984
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