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Reviews Octave Merlier, Solomos et Origène suivi de deux autres essaL·. Athens: Center of Asia Minor Studies (Archives Melpo and Octave Merlier, 2). 1990. Pp. 67. The French neohellenist Octave Merlier (1897-1976) displayed in various ways his great admiration for Dionysios Solomos (1798-1857), Greece's "national poet." It was he, for example, who organized the celebrated Solomos Exhibition at the French Institute in Athens in 1957 to honor the centenary of the poet's death, an event memorialized in the catalogue Exposition du centenaire de Solomos (Athens: Insütut Français d'Athènes, 1957). He was also responsible for the publication in the same year of Solomós's Éloge de Foseólo et autres textes, traduits de l'italien par Joseph Peretti et présentés par Octave Merlier (Athens: Collection de l'Institut Français d'Athènes, 104). After Linos Politis produced his two-volume edition of Solomós's works (Thessaloniki, 1964), Merlier presented to the third Pan-Ionion Congress, in September 1965, exemplary interpretative observations on the poet's manuscript notes and thoughts; these were published in the Πϕακτικά Τϕίτου Παντονίου Συνεδϕίου (Athens, 1969), vol. 2, pp. 113-118. For a general appreciation of Merlier's contributions to Solomos studies during his lifetime, see my obituary notice «O Octave Merlier (1897-1976) και q πϕοσφοϕά του στα νεοελληνικά γϕάμματα» that appeared originally in volume 25 of the Επιστημονική ΕπετηϕίςτηςΦιλοσοφικήςΣχολήςτουÎανεπιστημίουΑθηνών(1978)and is reprinted in my Εεοελληνικά. ΜελÎ-τες και ápdpa (Athens: Gnosis, 1984), volume 2, pp. 270-272. Merlier's most significant contribution to Solomos studies, in my opinion, is La Vhion prop^ique du moine Dionysios ou La femme de Xante. Essai d'anastylose de l'oeuvre. Introduction, traduction et commentaires par Octave Merlier (Paris: Société d'Édition Les Belles Lettres, 1987; Athens: Center of Asia Minor Studies [Archives Melpo and Octave Merlier, 1])—the edition of H γυναίκα της ΖάκυΟος to which he devoted twenty years of his life and which was not published until after his death. In reviewing this work (JMGS 7 [1989]: 174-177; also HΛÎ-ξη no. 73 [March-April 1988]: 318-320), I expressed the wish that in the future the Center of Asia Minor Studies might "offer us additional studies on Solomos from Octave Merlier's unpublished papers, prepared with the same exemplary care." This wish has now been fulfilled by the Center's new volume that makes available three interesting essays from the French neohellenist's posthumous papers: "Solomos et Origène" (pp. 5-20), "Solomos et Azaïs" (pp. 21^42), Journal of Modem Greek Studies, Volume 10, 1992. 271 272 Reviews and "Italien et grec chez Solomos" (pp. 43-58). In addition the new volume contains a preface by Paschalis M. KitromilÃ-dis, the Center's director (pp. 34 ). The index of proper names (pp. 59-67) was compiled by Eléni Papanicolaou , the Merliers' dedicated collaborator and friend. The stimulus to the first essay is a passage of Origen's that Solomos used as the epigraph to his manuscript Ot ελεϕθεϕοι πολιοϕκημÎ-νοι (where, more precisely, the title is Οι ελεϕθεϕοι πολιοϕκισμÎ-νοι—see p. 8 of Merlier's book). Merlier attempts to interpret Solomós's work according to the cosmological and anthropological theories of this great Christian thinker of the third century. Solomos quotes the passage in French: Le Père embrasse tout ce qui existe. Le Fils est borné aux seuh êtres intelligents et l'esprit aux seuL· élus. Origène (The Father embraces everything that exists. The Son is restricted to intelligent beings alone, the Holy Spirit to the elect alone). After specifying the source of this quotation to be none other than Origen's On First Principles, Merlier attempts unsuccessfully to locate the French translation from which Solomos took his quotation. Having failed in this quest, Merlier suggests that Solomos probably found the passage in some philosophic book that dealt with the subject of divine grace and free will or that referred to the history and theology of the persecuted Christian church. Merlier then attempts to explain Solomós's quotation within the context of Origen's overall cosmology. In an effort to overthrow Valentinus's and Marcion's gnostic theories about the existence of two creative principles, one good and the other evil, Origen formulated the theory that the...


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