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E01234: Gregory of Nazianzus, in his Oration 43 of 382, praises the quality of the homilies (encomia) on the martyrs written by Basil of Caesarea. Written in Greek in Cappadocia (central Asia Minor).

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posted on 2016-03-31, 00:00 authored by CSLA Admin
Gregory of Nazianzus, Oration 43, On Basil of Caesarea (CPG 3010, BHG 245)

Offering an overview of the written works and teaching of Basil, the author states:

Ὅταν ἀθλητῶν ἐγκωμίοις προσομιλήσω, περιφρονῶ τὸ σῶμα καὶ σύνειμι τοῖς ἐπαινουμένοις καὶ πρὸς τὴν ἄθλησιν διεγείρομαι.

‘When I study his panegyrics on the athletes, I disregard my body, and am in the company of those whom he is praising, and rouse myself to their struggle.’

Text: Bernardi 1992
Translation: E. Rizos


Evidence ID


Type of Evidence

Literary - Sermons/Homilies


  • Greek

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Asia Minor Asia Minor

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Nazianzos Kaisareia/Caesarea in Cappadocia

Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Nazianzos Nicomedia Νικομήδεια Nikomēdeia Izmit Πραίνετος Prainetos Nicomedia Kaisareia/Caesarea in Cappadocia Nicomedia Νικομήδεια Nikomēdeia Izmit Πραίνετος Prainetos Nicomedia

Major author/Major anonymous work

Gregory of Nazianzus

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Transmission, copying and reading saint-related texts

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops


Gregory was born in c. 330 to a wealthy Christian family in Cappadocia. He was educated at Nazianzos, Kaisareia/Caesarea, Athens, and Alexandria, and in 361 he returned to Nazianzos where he was ordained priest by his father, Gregory the Elder, who was bishop of Nazianzos. He was ordained bishop of Sasima in Cappadocia by Basil of Caesarea in 372, but stayed in Nazianzos, administering the local community after the death of his father. After retreating as a monk in Isauria for some years, he moved to Constantinople in 379, in order to lead the struggle for the return of the city to Nicene Orthodoxy. Two years later, the Arians were ousted by the emperor Theodosius I, and Gregory became bishop of Constantinople. In 381, he convened the Council of Constantinople, at the end of which he resigned his throne and retired to Cappadocia where he died in 390. Oration 43 was probably delivered during a memorial for Basil held in Kaisareia/Caesarea, on 1 January 382 or later. On the manuscript tradition of this Oration (550 manuscripts), see Bernardi 1992, 40-45, and:


Text and French translation: Bernardi, Jean. Grégoire De Nazianze. Discours 42-43. Sources Chrétiennes 384. Paris: Cerf, 1992, 25-45, 116-307. English Translations: Schaff, P., and Wace, H. (eds.), A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church: Second Series. Vol. 7 (New York: Christian Literature Company, 1894), 395-423. McCauley, L.P., "On St. Basil the Great, Bishop of Caesarea," in: Funeral Orations by Saint Gregory Nazianzen and Saint Ambrose (Fathers of the Church 22; Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 1968), 27-99. Further reading: Bernardi, J., La prédication des pères Cappadociens (Université de Paris, Sorbonne, 1968). Daley, B.E., Gregory of Nazianzus (The Early Church Fathers; London: Routledge, 2006). McGuckin, J.A., St Gregory of Nazianzus: An Intellectual Biography (Crestwood, NY: St Vladimir's Seminary Press, 2001). Rousseau, P., Basil of Caesarea (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994).

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