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EPILOGUE OF RUFINUS n dictating up to this point as we were able on the Epistle to the Romans, there has been expended a great deal of effort and time.1 In fact, I must confess , most loving brother Heraclius, that while I desire to satisfy your wishes, I have nearly forgotten the command where it is enjoined, “Do not lift a burden that is beyond your strength,”2 although in the others that we have translated into Latin at your insistence, or rather, at your exaction of a daily work quota , there was no lack of very great effort, as we sought to supply things that were discussed by Origen extemporaneously in the lecture hall of the Church, his intention being not so much commentary [M1293] as edification. This is what we did in the homilies, or brief sermons, on Genesis and on Exodus, and especially in those on the book of Leviticus that were dictated by him in a hortatory style, but translated by us into the form of a commentary. (2) This was the reason we took the trouble of filling in things that were missing, lest the investigations he strikes up and abandons frustrate the Latin reader, since in the homiletical style of speaking this is frequently customary for him. For what we have written on Joshua son of Nun, and on Judges, and on the Thirty-sixth, Thirty-seventh, and Thirty-eighth Psalms, we translated just as we found them, literally and without great effort.3 1. For the epilogue, the Hammond Bammel edition adopts the text of M. Simonetti , Tyrannii Rufini Opera, CCL 20 (1961), pp. 276–77. 2. Sir 13.2. 3. J. Daniélou, in Origen, tr. Walter Mitchell (New York: Sheed and Ward, 1955) p. xi, observes that this is a very valuable passage and shows exactly what Rufinus did when he translated the homilies. “His translations of the homilies on Judges and Josue can be relied upon, but in the other cases he filled out Origen’s text, perhaps with the help of commentaries now lost. He also added 311 (3) So, though even in the other [translations] mentioned above we expended effort by supplying things he had omitted, in this work on the Epistle to the Romans, however, an immense and extremely complex effort lay upon us for the reasons we recounted in the Preface.4 But it was a pleasure to have indulged in the efforts, if only malicious minds would not repay our vigils with insults, as we have experienced in other efforts; if they would not remunerate studies with detractions, and efforts with conspiracies. In their eyes we of course enter into a new kind of fault. For they say to me, “In what you write, since in them there is a great deal of your own work, put your own name in the title and write, for instance: The Books of the Commentary of Rufinus on the Epistle to the Romans, as also [is done] among secular authors,” they tell us. “The title contains the name not of the one who has been translated from Greek, but of the one who translated.”5 They confer all this upon me not because they love me, but because they hate the author.6 (4) But I, who defer more to my conscience than to my name, even if I seem to add some things and fill in what is missing and abbreviate what is too long,7 do not think it right, however , to steal the title from him who laid the foundations of the work and supplied the material for the construction of the 312 ORIGEN explanations as would be needed by the Latin-speaking public the translations were made for.” 4. See Preface of Rufinus (2). 5. Very many Latin authors, including Quintilian, Cicero, and Pliny the Elder , made substantial Latin translations of Greek authors and incorporated them into their own books without always crediting the Greek author. 6. The principal reference in this paragraph is Jerome, the ringleader of the anti-Origenist party whom Rufinus, in his magnanimity, does not name. Jerome evidently wanted to see Rufinus’s name on the title page of the Commentary in order to implicate him for Origen’s alleged heretical opinions. The “new kind of fault” is to make a translator responsible for the alleged errors of the author. Elsewhere Rufinus denied the validity of such a practice. Compare Apology to Anastasius 7 (= NPNF2, 3:431): “If there...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780813212043
Related ISBN
9780813220215
MARC Record
OCLC
647919726
Pages
358
Launched on MUSE
2013-05-20
Language
English
Open Access
No
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