Origen, BardaiṢan, and the Origin of Universal Salvation Author(s): Ilaria L. E. Ramelli

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Origen, Bardaisan, and the Origin of Universal Salvation*

Ilaria L. E. Ramelli
Catholic University of the Sacred Heart Milan, Italy

■ The Question at Stake

Is Origen of Alexandria the inventor of the eschatological doctrine of apokatastasis- of the eventual return of all creatures to the Good, that is, God, and thus universal

salvation? Certainly, he is one of its chief supporters in all of history, and he is,

as far as we know, the first to have maintained it in a complete and coherent way,

so that all of his philosophy of history, protology, and anthropology is oriented

toward this telos.1 There are, however, significant antecedents to his mature and

articulate theorization, at least some of which he surely knew very well, and there

is even a possible parallel. For this conception did not appear ex nihilo, but in a

cultural context rich in suggestions and premises, and in a philosophical framework

of lively discussions concerning fate, free will, theodicy, and the eternal destiny of rational creatures.

* This article is a significantly revised and expanded version of a paper I delivered at the SBL International Meeting, Vienna; 22-26 July, 2007. I am very grateful to all colleagues and friends who discussed it with me at various stages and to the anonymous readers of HTR, who offered helpful suggestions.

1 See most recently Panayiotis Tzamalikos, Origen: Philosophy of History and Eschatology (Leiden: Brill, 2007); Ilaria L. E. Ramelli, Apocatastasi (Milan: Vita e Pensiero, 2009); eadem, “Christian Soteriology and Christian Platonism: Origen, Gregory of Nyssa, and the Biblical and Philosophical Basis of the Doctrine of Apokatastasis,” VChr 61 (2007) 313-56; eadem, “Origene ed il lessico dell’eternita,” Adamantius 14 (2008) 100-29.

HTR 102:2 (2009) 135-68

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■ Premises in Early Christian Apocrypha: Interce Postmortem Conversion, and Christ’s Role

I shall argue that a few early Christian apocrypha2 are extr understanding the background to Origen’s concept of apok important of these are above all the Apocalypse of Peter and in addition to the Apocalypse of Elijah, the Epistula Apostol Adam and Eve. Some of these works were well known to bot of Alexandria3 and were considered by them to be inspired though these texts do not present a full-blown theory of un are likely to have constituted a common ground and source o development of the doctrine of apokatastasis.

The Apocalypse of Peter (Apoc. Pet.),4 which was probably context, attests to the doctrine of the intercession of the bless the eschatological scene, a conception that returns, in almost id

2 On this category and the debate about it I limit myself to referrin such as Jean-Claude Picard, “L’apocryphe a l’etroit,” Apocrypha I (1 “‘Apocryphes du Nouveau Testament’. Une appellation errone’e et un Apocrypha 3 (1992) 17-46; Angelo Di Berardino, “Gli apocrifi cristiani Storia della teologia (ed. Angelo Di Beradino and Basil Studer; Casale Mo 1:273-303; Tobias Nicklas, “Ecrits apocryphes Chretiens. Ein Samme weitreichenden Paradigmenwechsels in der Apokryphenforschung,” VC ample documentation.

3 Many studies have been devoted to the relationship between Clement and the school of Alexandria, some of which question the very notion of a Chris see, e.g., Annewies van den Hoek, “The ‘Catechetical’ School of Early Ch 90 (1997) 59-87; JuttaTloka, Griechische Christen, Christliche Griechen 2006) 1 12-24 with wide-ranging documentation (she notes that Eusebius h expressions to denote the so-called School of Alexandria in the days of Anthony Grafton and Megan Williams, Christianity and the Transformatio Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2006) 78, who accept Eusebius ‘s infor a disciple of Clement but think, as the majority of scholars do nowaday should be interpreted in a much less institutional way; it was not an ins bishop of Alexandria from the very beginning. Origen obtained support f private patronage (that of Ambrose). According to Emanuela Prinzivall scuola alessandrina da Eracla a Didimo,” in Origeniana Octava (ed. L Peeters, 2003) 911-37, it is possible to speak of private schools of Pant public school from Origen onward. The difference between the situatio of his day is due to the influence of the episcopal institution, which th didactic activity already existing in Alexandria in more independent form

4 See Dennis D. Buchholz, Your Eyes will be Opened: A Study of the Gree of Peter (Atlanta: SBL, 1988); The Apocalypse of Peter (ed. Jan N. Brem Leuven: Peeters, 2003), esp. Kristi Barrett Copeland, “Sinners and Po the Acherusian Lake,” 92-107; Das Petrusevangelium und die Petrusap Kraus and Tobias Nicklas; Berlin: de Gruyter, 2004) with an edition of fragments. Additional studies of Apoc. Pet. include: Richard John Bauck Peter,” Apocrypha 5 (1994) 7-111; idem, The Fate of the Dead: Studies on Apocalypses (Leiden: Brill, 1998); idem, “Jews and Jewish Christians in Time of the Bar Kochba War, with Special Reference to the Apocalyps

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Apocalypse of Elijah and in the Epistula Apostolorum. The Apoc. particularly ancient, as its Christology is extremely archaic5: It ca Alexandrian or Egyptian milieu, ca. 100-135 C.E., according to Mii to Norelli,7 it may represent an important oral tradition indepen the canonical Gospels. As Heinrich Weinel observed, the Jewish persecutes Christians mentioned in chapter 2 may be an allusion to dating of the Apocalypse to the Bar Kochba war is upheld by a num although not by all. 10 James supposed that the Apoc. Pet. might be of John.11 In any case, the Apoc. Pet. is the earliest Christian docum the kingdoms of the other world with its attendant rewards and pu terminology is specifically Judaic, and so is the use of “just” in good and the blessed, which comes as no surprise given the con

and Intolerance in Early Judaism and Christianity (ed. Graham N. Stanton an Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998) 228-38.

5 See Buchholz, Your Eyes, 388-98: It is a “low” Christology, “perhaps the all.” It is Jewish-Christian, strongly focused on eschatology, so that Jesus’ m appear during his own life, but at his return in glory, a conception whose ar shown, for example, also by Giorgio Jossa, Gesu Messia? (Roma: Carocci, 200 in apocalyptic texts, see Richard Bauckham, “The Worship of Jesus in Apocal NTS 27 (1981) 322-41.

6 It is included in the Muratorian Canon of the second century and in the Cod catalogue of the fourth to sixth centuries.

7 See Enrico Norelli, s.v. “Apocrifi cristiani antichi,” in Dizionario di omilet and Achille M. Triacca; Torino: LDC/Leumann, 1998) 102-11.

8 The terminus post quern should be established on the basis of 4 Esdra dat since it seems to be employed in the Apoc. Pet., ch. 3; also 2 Pet seems to Apoc. Pet. For the dating of this apocalyptic text and bibliography on it, se colpa antecedente come ermeneutica del male in sede storico-religiosa e nei te (2007) 11-64.

9 Bauckham, The Fate of the Dead, 160-61; Paolo Marrassini, “L’Apocal Etiopia e oltre, Studi in onore di L. Ricci (ed. Yaqob Beyene; Naples: Istituto Univ

1994) 171-232; Enrico Norelli, “Pertinence theologique et canonicite. Les prem chr6tiennes,” Apocrypha 8 (1997) 147-64, at 157; Attila Jakab, “The Reception of Peter in Ancient Christianity,” in The Apocalypse of Peter (ed. Bremmer and at 174; J6nos Bolyki, “False Prophets in the Apocalypse of Peter,” in The A


10 Eibert Tigchelaar argues against the supposed allusions to Bar Kochba in this Apocalypse (“Is the Liar Bar Kochba?” in The Apocalypse of Peter [ed. Bremmer and Czachesz] 63-77), mainly on the basis of the fact that they are not in the Greek fragments but in the Ethiopic translation, which is often inaccurate and full of textual problems.

11 Montague Rhodes James, The Apocryphal New Testament (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1924) introduction.

12 Enrico Norelli has pointed out some typically Petrine themes in the three apocryphal texts that are related to the Petrine tradition: the Kerygmata Petri, the Apoc. Pet., and the Gospel of Peter (“Situation des apocryphes petriniens,” Apocrypha 2 [1991] 31-38). There emerges an ancient Petrine tradition historically connected with Antioch. From the doctrinal point of view, see Michel Tardieu, “Here*siographie de 1′ Apocalypse de Pierre,” in Histoire et conscience historique dans les civilisations du Proche-Orient ancien (Actes du colloque de Cartigny 1986; Leuven: Peeters, 1989) 33-39.

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document to the tradition attached to Peter, who in Rome intr ritu ludaico according to Ambrosiaster.13 The presence of this Egypt in an early period is also related to the Egyptian traditi disciple and “interpreter” (ep^r|ve\)Tr|<;).14 An Egyptian origi would explain: 1) the reference in it to Egyptian elements, abo cult of animals (e.g., cat and reptile idols); 2) the synthesis of traditions (and, I would add, Platonic traditions, given the allu that I shall mention shortly), which, as Jan Bremmer posits place in Alexandria;15 3) the mention of the angel Tartarouk classical literature but occurring in a Cypriote and an Egyptian t of Alexandria’s knowledge of the text shortly after its compos it in the Passio Perpetuae;11 and 5) the presence of both Jew motifs, such as the use of the term “just” and allusions to Plato18 seems to me to point to Hellenistic Judaism (compare Philo) a particular. Not only did Clement know the Apoc. Pet., but he inspired writing, like those of the New Testament. For this reas it in his Hypotyposeis, as attested by Eusebius (Hist. eccl. 6.14 in this work Clement commented on all the books of the New

13 See Ilaria Ramelli in collaboration with Marta Sordi, “Commodiano e (2004) 3-23.

14 According to Richard Bauckham, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The G Testimony (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 2006), the term should be und translator” of Peter’s words into Latin or Greek. For Papias, see The Apost Ehrman; Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2003) 2:85-1 18. For th gospel of Mark, see Ilaria Ramelli, “Fonti note e meno note sulle origini d per una valutazione dei dati della tradizione,” Aevum 81 (2007) 171-85. On Mark,” attested by Clement of Alexandria and first studied by Morton Smit Brown, Marks Other Gospel (Waterloo, Ont.: Wilfrid Laurier University, 200 From Q to “Secret” Mark (London: T&T Clark, 2006); Henny F. Hagg, Clem the Beginning of Christian Apophaticism (Oxford: Oxford University Pr Jeffery, The Secret Gospel of Mark Unveiled (New Haven: Yale University Piovanelli, “L’£vangile secret de Marc trente-trois ans apres,” RB 1 14 (20 Pantuck and Scott G. Brown, “Morton Smith as M. Madiotes,” Journal for the Jesus 6 (2008) 106-25. Within the Petrine tradition the Apoc. Pet. played a is there the principal witness to Jesus’ resurrection and the recipient of fur he authoritatively transmits, first of all to his disciple Clement (2 Clem. 5).

15 Jan Bremmer, “The Apocalypse of Peter: Greek or Jewish?” in The Apo

Bremmer and Czachesz), 1-14. The same mixture is found in the Testament from the same environment.

16 Respectively SEG 44.1279 and 38.1837. This connection is noted Apocalypse” 8.

17 On postmortem salvation in this document, for Dinocrates, Perpetua’s br Trumbower, Rescue for the Dead (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001 “Alle origini della figura deH’intercessore,” in Mediadores con lo divino en el Actas del Congreso Internacional de Historia de las Religiones, Palm de Mallorca: Universitat de les Illes Balears, 2009).

18 Regarding these motifs, see below.

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omitting … the so-called Apocalypse of Peter.”19 It is probable tha considered this document to be very authoritative.

Several elements in the Apoc. Pet. are relevant to our question and as premises of the doctrine of apokatastasis. One such element is Chr ad inferos,20 which is well attested in “Petrine” texts such as 1 Pet 3 Christ is said to have announced salvation even to the wicked who in the flood and are a type (t6tio<;) of the non-baptized- and the Gos datable to the second century like the Apoc. Pet. Another element is of Hades, related to the descensus; a third is the idea that spiritual d always possible, even in the other world.21 Most important, however, i of the final salvation of sinners together with the blessed, so that, or shorter period of suffering in the afterlife, sinners too will be communion with God and the saints, thanks to their own conversio or to the intercession of the blessed on their behalf. Moreover, in E quotes a passage from the Apoc. Pet., ascribing it to Peter himself ( Apocalypse says that . . .”) and at 41 he even quotes a section from th assigning it to “Scripture” (“Scripture says that . . .”), just as Method deeply influenced by Clement and Origen, did a century later in S has been handed down to us in divinely inspired Scriptures that . . passages corresponding to Clement’s and Methodius’s quotations are the Ethiopic translation of the Apoc. Pet., which constitutes its widest we can conclude with certainty that they actually belong to the Apoc

19 See James Brooks, “Clement of Alexandria as a Witness to the Developmen Testament Canon,” SCent 9 ( 1 992) 4 1-55; Annewies van den Hoek, “Clement and Or on ‘Noncanonical’ Scriptural Traditions,” in Origeniana Sexta (ed. Gilles Doriv Boulluec; Leuven: Peeters, 1995) 93-113.

20 Trumbower, Rescue, 9 1 -1 07; Henryk Pietras, L’escatologia della Chiesa (Rome: 2006) 37-46; for later developments (fourth to sixth cent.), see Remi Gounelle, Christ aux enfers (Turnhout: Brepols, 2000).

21 The specific reference is to little children who have died and to their opportun baptism and conversion even in the next life, according to a dynamic conception of between the present and the future life. This will be expressed by Gregory of infantibus praemature abreptis (PG 46.161-192; ed. Hadwiga Homer, GNO 3.2. also takes over the notion of the angels’ role in this, already present in the Apoc. Pet On this role in Origen and some Gnostics, see Riemer Roukema, “Les anges attend defunts,” in Origeniana Octava (ed. Lorenzo Perrone; Leuven: Peeters, 2003) 367-

22 It presents Peter’s revelation to Clement concerning the world from creatio See Buchholz, Your Eyes, with status quaestionis, particularly 139-52 and 413-23 fragment, found in a Giza manuscript, preserved at Cairo. Two other short Gr concerning suffering in hell, are in a folio of a fifth-century manuscript in the Library (Madan’s Summary Catalogue, no. 31810). The Coptic Apocalypse of P 3 is different; see The Coptic Apocalypse of Peter (ed. Henrietta Wilhelmina Ha Akademie, 1999) edition with English translation and commentary.

23 Apart from a fragment preserved by Macarius of Magnesia, Apocr. 4.16, all transmitted by ancient authors have corresponding passages in the Ethiopic translat

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In the Ethiopic text, Christ affirms that he personally ba endows with eternal life those for whom he is supplicated, even he says that he will be happy to do so: “Then I shall give to tho the elect and justified, the bath and the salvation for which th in the Acherusian valley, called Elysian Fields, and I shall go with them.24 1 shall have the peoples enter my eternal Kingdo them that which I and my heavenly Father had promised them. Rainer fragment, which is far more ancient than the Ethiop the third century,26 runs as follows: “I shall grant to my su those whom they ask me to remove from punishment [napr Hoi) Kai eicteKTOiq |no\) 6v edv aixr|acovxai jne bk xfjq KoA grant them a beautiful baptism in salvation [ko^ov pd7txiG|j Acherusian Lake, which is said to be in the Elysian valley, a justification with my saints [|iepo<; Succcioawnq nexd xcov d my elect will go and rejoice together with the Patriarchs in

[Kai ct7ce^e\)ao|xai ey© Kai oi ekXekzoi jlio\) dyaAAidwxec; ji eiq xfjv aicoviav \io\) fkxaiteiav], and with them I shall kee by me and by my Father who is in heaven [Kai noixyj® \iex av |io\) aq ejrayyeiAdjiTiv ey© Kai rcaxf|p jioi) 6 ev xoiq oupavo text is secondary, and it is significant that precisely in the

24 The reference to the Acherusian Valley and the Elysian Fields led, suppositions of Norden and Dieterich that the sources of the eschatolo Pet. were pagan more than Jewish, and especially Orphic. See Bremme Buchholz, Your Eyes, 98-1 18, who shows how subsequently the Jewish her its relationship to Jewish texts, the Apostolic Fathers, etc., has been inves

25 1 cite Buchholz’s translation of the Ethiopic text in Your Eyes, 224-3

26 See Montague Rhodes James, “The Rainer Fragment of the Apoca (1931) 270-79; Buchholz, Your Eyes, 152-55; James Keith Elliott, “The A The Apocryphal New Testament (Oxford: Clarendon, 1993) 593-613; Casp “Offenbarung des Petrus,” in Neutestamentliche Apokryphen (ed. Edg Schneemelcher; 2 vols.; 5th ed.; Tubingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1989) 2:562 “The Apocalypse of Peter: An Account of Research,” ANRW 2.25.6 (1 Conflict of Justice and Mercy,” in idem, The Fate of the Dead, 132-48. T Wesseley as a part of the Acts of Peter, in Patrologia Orientalis 18 (19 Karl Prumm, “De genuino Apocalypsis Petri textu,” Biblica 10 (1929) 62- Pet., and by James, who has given the best edition of it. More recently, K Das Petrusevangelium und die Petrusapokalypse, which is not a complet D. Ehrman remarks in his review in VC 61 (2007) 96-1 17, but includes a of the Apoc. Pet. The editors question whether the second part of the Akhm to the Apoc. Pet. but to the Gospel of Peter (on these texts, see also Enr apocryphes pe*triniens,” Apocrypha 2 [ 1 99 1 ] 3 1-83). In any case, the editors fragment of the Apoc. Pet., with detailed notes, together with the other

27 See Buchholz, Your Eyes, 228 and 345; Elliott, “The Apocalypse of Rainer Fragment,” 271 for the Greek text. This section corresponds to ch. whereas the section is completely lacking in the Akhmim fragment, which a different recension. A detailed comparison between the Rainer fragment a is provided by Buchholz, Your Eyes, 344-62. According to James, “The

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to the Rainer fragment it plainly underwent modifications, in all the fact that the reviser tried to eliminate the patent reference to t damned (and, according to some scholars, even universal salvat these are all limited modifications, which did not prevent scholars the original version even before the discovery of the Rainer fragme of the Acherusian Lake as a place passing through which the sin salvation in the afterworld is remarkable because, even in such an clear reference to Plato’s Phaedo. In Phaedo 1 13D- which is, not Eusebius’s lengthy quotation- the sinners are said to be purified Lake, which frees them (drcoMco) through expiation; in the Rain very lake is present and functions in the very same way.30

The Ethiopic translation of the Apoc. Pet., being complete, hel valuable Rainer fragment in context. In chapter 12 the descripti torments ends with the river of fire creating a wheel which will ” times.” Chapter 13 states that the just watch the punishment of th is described as “eternal,” but the Greek Vorlage surely had the scri Kotaxaiq aicivioq, indicating not an “eternal” punishment, but rath for an indefinite period in the world to come.31 The conclusion of c runs as follows: “The aionios punishment is for each one accord

telling them: ‘You repent now that there is no time left for

the Rainer and the Bodleian fragments of this Apocalypse originally belong recension, but even to the same manuscript.

28 Buchholz, Your Eyes, 348; Lautaro Roig Lanzillotta, “Does Punishment R The Justice Pattern Underlying the Apocalypse of Peter? in The Apocalypse and Czachesz) 127-57, at 151-52.

29 See Buchholz, Your Eyes, 342-62; 425-26. The Ethiopic text is much of the Akhmim fragment, and includes a lengthy section on Christ’s seco judgment (chs. 1-6) and a shorter one on the Ascension (ch. 17) which are ab fragment, as are the Ethiopic chs. 13-14. Furthermore, in the Ethiopic tr of the damned comes before that of the blessed, whereas in the Akhmim f the case. Moreover, in the Akhmim fragment both descriptions are narrate tense, whereas in the Ethiopic only that of the blessed is such, while that c a prophecy. The Ethiopic expands much more on the description of the dam of the blessed. The Ethiopic seems to translate the Greek from the Bodleian from the Akhmim recension. See ibid., 417-18.

30 This is rightly noted by Copeland, “Sinners,” 98.

31 See Ilaria Ramelli and David Konstan, Terms for Eternity (Piscatawa Heleen Maria Keizer, Life, Time, Entirety: A Study of A1QN in Greek Li and Philo (Ph.D. diss., Universiteit van Amsterdam, 1999). This is why th between the Rainer fragment and the rest of the Greek Apocalypse of Peter of punishment noted by Peter van Minnen, “The Greek Apocalypse of P of Peter (ed. Bremmer and Czachesz), 15-39, at 32 seems to be misguide not mean “eternal punishment.” (According to van Minnen, the Rainer frag the cessation of the punishment of the damned, “is completely out of tune w even with what little remains of the Greek, because the punishments are

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have no life left.’ And they all will say: ‘God’s judgment is rig and known that his judgment is good, because we have paid eac his/her actions.'” The “aiOnios punishment” is the ultra-munda the eternal punishment, and its aim is therapeutic and pedagogic is stressed in Clement, Origen, and Gregory of Nyssa.32 Alth in the Apoc. Pet. speak of “eternal” punishment for the dam Jesus unequivocally announces their final salvation. There is no however, since behind the Ethiopic “eternal” stands the Greek in the biblical lexicon signifies “eternal” only when it refers t means “ancient,” “remote,” “enduring,” “divine, heavenly” or future world.”34 The adjective aicivioq for punishment and fir both in the Bible and in the Apoc. Pet., does not imply their a does not contradict the salvation of the damned expressed in cha the beginning of Jesus’ revelation to Peter (chs. 3-4), when Pe the sinners’ fate, says to Jesus: “O my Lord, please permit me words concerning these sinners, namely, ‘Better if they had n Jesus immediately reminds him of God’s mercy: “O Peter, why d having been created would have been better for them? It is y in this way! But you certainly do not have more mercy than G them.” If Peter pities the damned, but God is said to have even Peter has, it is already possible to foresee an outcome of salva after this, Jesus, who is about to speak of the eschatologica Peter, who is worrying about the damned, that “there is nothi God, nothing that is impossible for him” (4.5).35 In 5.8-9, infe described through traditional images employed in the Gospels, su cannot be put out” (7cup aopeaxov) and the “gnashing of teeth. are evidently not deemed to be opposed to the eventual salvat anticipated in chapters 3^ and proclaimed in chapter 14, wher Jesus will pull the damned out of the torments. This is all the that the Apoc. Pet. is a coherent text, endowed with a strong un beginning we find hints of the notion of the salvation of the da

32 Documentation in Ramelli, Apocatastasi.

33 E.g., at 14.2 behind the Ethiopic “eternal Kingdom” there lies aicovia (k is attested in the Rainer fragment (in other Greek texts we have ai(6vioq

34 See Ramelli and Konstan, Terms for Eternity, 37-70.

35 The kind of death that is at stake here is not simply bodily death, w by universal resurrection, but the sinners’ spiritual death, the resurrectio with salvation. This is also the case in Origen, where “death” and “life” be illustrated, e.g., in his Dialogue with Heraclides. A good parallel to this p Pet. is provided, in my view, by a scene in the synoptic gospels in which resurrection, to which Jesus refers when he declares that everything is possi Mark 10:27, Luke 18:27).

36 This is well demonstrated by Buchholz, Your Eyes, 387-98.

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The fundamental role of Jesus as Savior of the sinners is evident w them from the torments and plunges them into the Acherusian Lak early as 3.5 he is called “the Savior” in the discussion concerning of sinners. The cross that precedes him on his Parousia in 1 .6 ind power of Christ’s sacrifice, which will be revealed only in the esc This is thus not in sharp contrast with passages such as 6.6: “They them a place where they will be punished ‘eternally,’ each one in his own sin,” where the Greek had aicovictx;, “indefinitely, in the 6.9: “They will be burnt together with them in the ‘eternal’ fire . . . them ‘eternally,'” where the underlying Greek was the New Testa 7rup aiciviov, the fire of the world to come, which lasts indefinitel 7.8: “We didn’t know that we were to come to the ‘eternal’ punis the Greek Vorlage surely had KoXaaiq aicovio<;, the only biblica corresponds- for there exists no KoAxxoiq ax&wc, (eternal punishme no Odvaxoq dtSioq (eternal death), no nvp dt8iov (eternal fire).37

The Ethiopic translation of the Apoc. Pet. is found within the E

of the Pseudo-Clementines,38 in which a long dialogue between P

entirely devoted to the problem of sinners’ salvation (139rb-144r the final salvation of sinners39 after their torments. In this case, i

who intercedes for them, rather than the blessed. Peter asks Jesus the fate of the sinners on the last day and is upset at the thoug death (139rb-140ra). Jesus answers that sinners will not repent if (140ra), that is, if they know that they will eventually be saved i is an idea that Origen, who read and knew the Apoc. Pet., would convinced that awareness of universal salvation might facilitate morally immature persons who need to be motivated by fear in o (Origen expresses this concern several times and says that it is be eternal damnation and repent than not to believe in it and remai

37 In fact, when sinners arrive at their punishment, they cannot realize that it know perfectly well that it is the punishment of the other world. Likewise, in didn’t know that we would come to this ‘eternal’ place of punishment,” wher had xonoq ai(6vio<;, which means, not “eternal place,” but “other-worldly plac

38 On which, in addition to Buchholz, see Monika Pesthy, “Thy Mercy, O Lord, and thy Righteousness Reaches into the Clouds,” in The Apocalypse of Peter Czachesz), 40-5 1 . Pesthy is concerned only with the Ps. Clementine work entitle of Christ and the Resurrection of the Dead, edited by Sylvain Grebaut in RO 307-23, 425-39. Both this work and another Ps. Clementine text that follows the Judgment of Sinners (ed. Sylvain Grebaut in ROC 12 [1907] 139-51, an are considered to contain Origenistic elements by Gianfrancesco Lusini, “Trad Etiopia,” in Origeniana Octava, 1 177-84. That these two writings form one Roger W. Cowley, “The Ethiopic Work Which is Believed to Contain the Mate Greek Apocalypse of Peter,” JTS 36 (1985) 151-53.

39 See Buchholz, Your Eyes, 376-81.

40 See Ilaria Ramelli, “Origen’s Exegesis of Jeremiah: Resurrection Announ Bible and its Twofold Conception,” Augustinianum 48 (2008) 59-78.

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intervenes as a defender, observing that he is the first sinn the Lord three times (140rab). Jesus replies that it will be up t mercy (l40rb-140vb): “Because the mercy of my Father is rises and the rain falls in the same way, so shall we have m for all of our creatures” (140rb). When Peter asks him to s answers that upon his return he will destroy the devil and sinners (140vb-141 vb). Peter then expresses his concern abo consisting in other-worldly punishment for sinners (14 1 vb), will have no more mercy on the sinners than I do, for / wa the sinners, in order to obtain mercy for them by my Fathe mercy upon them and will give each of them “life, glory, a end,” in that Jesus will intercede for them, but this ought to b not to provoke sin (141 vb-142bv). This was a real concern, w felt also by those who believed in the ultimate salvation of a

Peter thanks Jesus for the explanation and says that he now doubting any more, after knowing that only Satan and the d Sheol (143vb-144ra). Peter concludes by describing the vari humanity according to Paul’s words in 1 Cor 15, on which well: “each one in his/her own order.” This dialogue is reported with the recommendation to keep this mystery secret: truth co salvation of the damned should not be communicated overtl encourage sin.

Thus, the Apoc. Pet. seems to have been a good basis f apokatastasis, even though it does not yet maintain it expre was known to both Clement and Origen. Moreover, it stress role of Christ’s sacrifice in the final restoration of the sinne that will be emphasized by Origen, according to whom the possible by Christ’s cross.

But the Apoc. Pet. is not the only ancient “apocryphal” tex suggestions. Other texts, some of which depend on it, exp intercession for the damned, which paves the way for their Apocalypse of Elijah, a text that is related to Jewish apocalyp derives from the Egyptian region, dating to the second or third a passage that bears a close resemblance to the conception ex

41 A strong supporter of universal salvation, Gregory of Nyssa, howe touched by this concern, and preached the doctrine of apokatastasis every it (including the salvation of the devil!) in Oratio Catechetica 26, among th doctrines to be taught by catechists.

42 See David T. M. Frankfurter, Elijah in Upper Egypt: The Apocalyp Egyptian Christianity (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1997); also Giovanni M nel Giudaismo ellenistico,” ASE 16 (1999) 21-34; Edmondo Lupieri, “E apocalittico,” ASE 16 (1999) 35-43.

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fragment. Here it is the just, already blessed, who intercede for s in a text of apostolic tradition which originated in Syria in the firs second century,44 the Epistula Apostolorwn 40.45 Another examp book of the Oracula Sibyllina,46 which derives from the Apoc. P the mid-second century. (The first two books of the Oracula are c to one another and are Christian).47 The Oracula are well known in and are quoted by Justin, Clement, and Origen.48 They contain a long section of the Apoc. Pet. in Greek hexameters. Indeed, some Oracula 2.190-338 as an appendix to the Apoc. Pet.49

The context of the relevant portion of the Oracula is eschatolog describing the terrible torments of the damned, which are abundan in the Apoc. Pet. as well, the Oracula depict the dwelling place of

43 “The just will contemplate sinners in their sufferings, and those who have pe or handed them [to hostile people].” The sinners “will contemplate the place w be living, and will take part in Grace. In that day the just will be granted that f often have prayed,” that is, salvation for the sinners (23.11-24.12). In H. P. Ho Apocalypse, III, Akhmimite: The Apocalypse of Elias,” Aegyptus 39 (1959) Apocalypse of Elijah was based on that of Peter was already supposed by Jame is accepted by Buchholz, Your Eyes, 60-61.

44 For an Asiatic context in the second century C.E., see Alistair Stewart-Sykes, of the New Prophecy and of Epistula Apostolorum,” VChr 51 (1997) 416-38; Hill, “The Epistula Apostolorum” JECS 1 (1999) 1-53, who places the Epist the first half of the second century, probably soon after 120 C.E., or at the late the second century, on the basis of parallels with works of the same area and contextual ization of its group, and the historical circumstances reflected in the d also takes the document to reflect early-second-century traditions: Hills, Traditi in the Epistula Apostolorum (2d ed.; Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University P

45 The very expression in the Apocalypse of Elijah here occurs in Jesus’ words: for the sinners, and pray for them. . . . And I shall listen to the prayer of the ju for the sinners.” Editions: Epistula Apostolorum, nach dem dthiopischen und kop Hugo Duensing; Bonn: Adolph Marcus und Eduard Weber, 1925); Manfred Hor Epistula Apostolorum (Berlin: de Gruyter, 1965); Buchholz, Your Eyes, 47-48; trans., “Epistula Apostolorum,” in New Testament Apocrypha (ed. Edgar Hen Schneemelcher; trans. R. Mel. Wilson; Louisville: John Knox, 2003) 1:249-84.

46 These Oracles as a whole are a collection of texts from different epochs, from t B.C.E. to the fourth century C.E. Editions: Sibyllinische Weissagungen (ed. Alfon Gauger; Diisseldorf-Zurich: Artemis, 1998); Peter Dronke, Hermes and the S and Creations (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990); Thomas H. To Sibyl,” StudPhilon 9 (1997) 84-103.

47 See Emil Schiirer et al.. The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Je Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1986) 3/1:645; Sibyllinische Weissagungen (ed. Alfons Dieter Gauger) 418-19. According to Jane L. Lightfoot, The Sibylline Oracles Press, 2007) 150, the author of books 1-2 is a second-century Christian.

48 See Gerard J. M. Bartelink, “Die Oracula Sibyllina in den friihchristlic Schriften von Justin bis Origenes,” in Early Christian Poetry (ed. Jan Den Boeft Leiden: Brill, 1993) 23-33.

49 So James, The Apocryphal New Testament, 521-24; Elliott, “The Apocalypse 50 There will be no seasons or days, no marriage or death, but a single long d

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Immediately after comes the relevant passage (2.330-38): “An persons immortal and omnipotent God will grant another gi ask him, he will grant them to save the human beings from

from the aitovioq gnashing of teeth, and will do so after hav of the imperishable flame and removed them, destining them, own elect, to the other life, that of the world to come, for imm dKandtoio aXXx>& drcocrrriaac; rce|i\|/ei 8id Axxov eaynov ei aiciviov dOavdxoiaw], in the Elysian Fields, where there are the Acherusian Lake, imperishable, which has a deep bed.”51 T with the Rainer fragment of the Apoc. Pet. is striking. Moreov that the intercession of the just frees the damned not from pur theological construction, but from hell itself, according to its ev (gnashing of teeth, unquenchable flame, etc.). It is significant th tradition, in correspondence to this fundamental passage, som uncertain date protest against the doctrine of apokatastasis that expressed here and rightly connect this passage to Origen’s doctr of these passages in the Apoc. Pet. and the Sibylline Oracles to patent, and I deem it probable that such texts influenced the Ale in the elaboration of his hypothesis.

Another apocryphal text is very interesting in this connect recension of the Life of Adam and Eve 37.3-6,53 Adam is fo and brought into heaven before the Final Judgment, for whic with Eve. He is washed three times by a seraph and is introdu paradise. In this way, the text indicates that even after death original sinners, it is possible to obtain forgiveness and salvat Latin codex54 that is particularly close to the Greek text, God

51 Vv. 332-38 run as follows: ek uatepoio 7rupd<; Kai dOavdxcDv drco pp arikjai Sfflaer Kai xovxo Ttoiiiaer / te£duevo<; yap eaaf)6i<; and <j>A.oy6 djcooxr|oa<; rceuxj/ei Sid Xaov eauxov / eiq £<ofiv exepav Kai ai<6viov dGavd 081 oi 7ieXe Kiiuaxa uaKpd / Xi\ivi)<; devdov Axepovaid5o<; paGuKoXTcou the Apoc. Pet., see Trumbower, Rescue, 49-54.

52 At the assertion that the damned will be removed from the torments, is completely false, because the fire will never cease to torment the damned be the case, since I am marked by the deep scars of transgressions that are i Grace. But shame be on Origen for his mendacious words, who claims that the torments.*’ Likewise, in the manuscript tradition of Gregory of Nyssa’s D glosses are scattered throughout endeavoring to explain that Gregory did heretical doctrine of universal salvation, and that passages referring to puri should be understood in reference to purgatory. Origen himself lamented interpolated already during his life, and Rufinus attests to this also for the De adulteratione librorum Origenis.

53 See Daniel A. Bertrand, La vie grecque d’Adam et d’fcve (Paris: M Michael Stone, A History of the Literature of Adam and Eve (Atlanta: Sc

54 Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale, lat. 3832, edited by Jean-Pierre Pettorelli d’feve. La recension de Paris, BNF, lat. 3832,” Archivum Latinitatis Medi

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end he will have mercy on all, by way and for the sake of his

these words to Michael: “Put him [Adam] in Paradise, in the th

the day of dispensation, which is called oikonomia, when I shall

all, through my most beloved Child” (pone eum [Adam] in Par

caelo, usque in diem dispensationis qui dicitur economia, quando

misericordiam per dilectissimum Filium meum). The term omni

relevant, since in the documents I have analyzed so far it is no

that all the damned will be saved, whereas here it is said that

be bestowed upon all.55 Here, as in the Apoc. Pet., the centra

universal salvation is manifest (per dilectissimum filium)’, this

by Origen, who ascribes to Christ a crucial function in the apok

should be stressed.56 By way of example, I limit myself to quot

text, Comm. Rom. 4.10, from which it is clear that Origen has

depend on Christ, and in particular on his sacrifice: “I declare t

effectiveness of Christ’s cross and of this death of his are so gr

to set right and save, not only the present and the future aeon

past ones, and not only this order of us humans, but also the h

powers.”57 In Cels. 8.72, too, it is Christ-Logos who determines

which is made possible by the complete elimination of evil: ”

powerful than any illness that may exist in the souls: he appli

necessary therapy, according to God’s will, and the end (teXoq in the elimination of evil.”

55 In Christian Greek, oiicovouia precisely means God’s saving action to it refers to Christ, in the Greek Fathers the expression (evaapKoq) oiicovouia plan of his incarnation, his permanence on earth up to his death, e.g., in Maxim Massimo il Confessore, Ambigua (ed. Claudio Moreschini; Milan: Bompiani, Christ’s divine nature is often called 8eoA.OYia by the Greeks, his human nat In the Bible, in Gal 4 and Eph 1 there decidedly emerges the meaning of salvi God’s government in history; in the classical world, instead, oiicovouia me order- especially in rhetoric- or government, mainly in philosophy, among th Philo. The biblical meaning was inherited by the Fathers, who focus this econo

beginning with Ignatius in his Epistle to the Ephesians, then Polycarp, Ath Justin, and Irenaeus, who uses this term in an anti-gnostic meaning in the co of the dvaK£<|>a?Uxia>ai<; of all in Christ. See Giulio Maspero, “Storia e sa oikonomia fino all’inizio del secolo III,” in Pagani e cristiani, 239-60.

56 See Samuel Fernandez Eyzaguirre, “El caracter cristol6gico de la biena Origeniana Octava, 641-48; Tzamalikos, Origen: Philosophy of History, “The Universal and Eternal Validity of Jesus’ High-Priestly Sacrifice,” in The Theology of Hebrews in Its Ancient Contexts (ed. Richard J. Bauckham Testament Studies 387; London: T&T Clark, 2008) 210-21; eadem, “La dot

eredita origeniana nel pensiero escatologico del Nisseno,” in Ilaria Rame Sull’anima e la resurrezione (Milan: Bompiani, 2007), with new edition, ess on this dialogue.

57 Tantam esse vim crucis Christi et mortis huius . . . asserimus, quae ad sa

non solum praesentis et futuri, sed etiam praeteritorum saeculorum, et no nostro ordini, sed etiam caelestibus virtutibus ordinibusque sufficiat.

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■ Antecedents in Clement: Pedagogical Perspectiv

Ubiquitousness of God’s Providence

Seeds of the theory of apokatastasis were already presen Clement of Alexandria,58 who, as I mentioned, knew at leas considered it inspired just like the other texts that subseque canonical New Testament. Clement, who, like Origen, st free will and responsibility,59 insisted on the pedagogical an of all suffering inflicted by God60 and on God’s salvific wil each and every creature (npbq xf|v xov 6A,o\) acoxripiav x© xaw eaxi Siaxexayjieva Kai KaGokou Kai eni [xepoDq), since “God eternity and eternally saves through his Son” and “the task o lead each being to what is better” (Strom. 7.2. 12; see also 1 .1 the necessary instructions (7iai5ei>G£i<;) are not retributive inflicted by God out of goodness (dya06xr|xi), not only in pr but also in the final judgment, and “they force even those hardened to convert” (eK(3id^ovxai jiexavoeiv) (Strom. 7.2. 12 to Clement, salvific repentance (jiexdvoia) is always possible, and on the other side” because God’s goodness operates abso (Strom.; see also 6.6.45-47). Clement states that God’s in two ways, either through good deeds or through punishment is salvation through conversion from evil to virtue (Strom.

Moreover, as will be the case in Origen’s thought, the main a providence is Christ-Logos, who always “encourages, admon 1.6.2; see also 9.87.6). Above all, in Strom. Clemen

Rom 6:22, identifies the “end” (xeXoq) with life in the other and expressly affirms that Paul teaches that this end is the ho (xetax; 8i5daK£i xf|v xrjq efoci8o<; drcoKaxdaxaoiv). In 7. 10.5 describes the apokatastasis as the passage from unbelief to fa knowledge (yvtioiq), which yields love (dydjcTi)- which wil to apokatastasis by Origen as well- and leads to the restorat drcoKaxdaaaic; and described as peace and rest (dvd7ia\)oi<;).61

58 John R. Sachs, “Apocatastasis in Patristic Theology,” ThSt 54 (1993) 61 Clement; complete demonstration with further arguments in Ramelli, Gre 833, 843, 849, 883-900.

59 E.g., in Strom.; 2.14-15.60-71; 5.14.136; indeed, like Origen, h

rational creature, including the devil, who was not forced by nature to

2.3 he maintains the freedom of human will in polemic against the Valentin and Basilides.

60 E.g., in Strom. 2.15.69-71;; regarding the rcvp aicoviov, which is not “eternal” but “of the other world.” See Ramelli, Apocatastasi. Clement also regarded this world as a place of instruction, a 7iai6ei)xf|piov.

61 Compare to Peter’s description of the drcoKaxdcrcaaK; rcdvxcov as dvd\|ru£i<; in Acts 3:20-21, a passage Origen, and probably Clement, read as referring to the eventual universal restoration.

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5 Clement explains that the apokatastasis, which he nominally me come after the necessary purification of all our sins through a “salv (rcai8e\)Gi<;)”; then we shall enjoy “the apokatastasis in eternal co be sure, Clement did not develop a consistent and thorough theory but all this clearly paved the way to the theory of universal salva

If Origen drew inspiration from Clement for his conception of th Clement and Origen seem to me to have been inspired by Philo did not believe in universal salvation.62 In Her. 293 Philo interp (TexdpxT] 8e yeveoi (X7tooTpa<|)f|oovTai ©5e) allegorically, observi said “in order to present the perfect restoration of the soul” (\m dTroKaxdaxaaiv \|/i)%fi<; rcapaaxfjaai), that is, its return to its orig unsullied by sins. In fact, as Philo explains in 293-99, at the begi a wax tablet without any mark, but soon it begins to acquire ev (d|iapxf||iaxa), and passions (na,dr\). This requires the interventio in its therapeutic function (iaxpiKTj (|>iA,oao(|)ia) with its reasonin health (^oyoiq iryieivoiq Kai oarnipioic;). As a result, vigor and st the soul, which will be steadfast in all virtues. This is the apokatast which, from sin, returns to its original purity (drcoaxpa^eica xo and inherits wisdom (icAjpovouxx; drcoSeiKVDxai ao^iaq). This a also described as a restoration of the soul to health (uyieia) after t of evil (drcoaxpe(|>6u£voi xd cjxx’uA.a). This therapeutic and medi will be dear to Clement and Origen as well.

Both Clement and Origen, as I have mentioned, knew at least among the Christian “apocrypha” that seem to have anticipated, the theory of universal salvation, and they considered the Apo inspired writing. In this regard, it is important to highlight that th of the doctrine of apokatastasis, especially Origen and Gregory their writings continually based it on Scriptures- what became Scripture- especially on Paul (their favorite passage is 1 Cor 1 5:2 on many other passages from both the Old and the New Testamen regarded the entire Bible as full of hints of universal salvation, w in their exegesis, and they believed that the foremost antecedent of apokatastasis were to be found in Scripture.

62 See Ilaria Ramelli, “Philosophical Allegoresis of Scripture in Philo and Its of Nyssa,” SPhilo 20 (2008) 55-99.

63 See Ramelli, “Christian Soteriology”; eadem, “Origen’s Interpretation of Eventual Elimination of Evil and the Apokatastasis,” Augustinianum 47 (200 Mud: Tune et Ipse Filius . . . (ICor 15,27-28): Gregory of Nyssa’s Exegesis, from Origen, and Early Patristic Interpretations Related to Origen’s,” semina the 2007 Oxford Patristic Conference, forthcoming in StPatr.

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■ Bardaisan’s Parallel: Apokatastasis and Defe FreeWill

Among the precursors of Origen in supporting universal salvation, the hellenized Syrian philosopher Bardaisan of Edessa- who probably knew at least the Oracula Sibyllina passage concerning the eventual salvation of the damned, and perhaps also the Epistula Apostolorum and some of the other early Christian apocrypha that are a prelude to the doctrine of apokatastasis- is the one who presents this theory in its most developed, coherent, and philosophical form, closest to that of Origen. Indeed, a deep and impressive connection exists between Bardaisan’s and Origen’s eschatological doctrines, which, to my knowledge, has never been pointed out by scholars: Origen and Bardaisan64 both held the same doctrine of apokatastasis, in addition to both writing in defense of human free will against deterministic theories. Both were Christian philosophers and teachers of philosophy, deeply engaged in the controversies of their own day, and deeply committed to scriptural exegesis.

Bardaisan, a very learned Christian philosopher and theologian, had a school in Edessa where Greek philosophy was studied just as it was at the school of Origen, both in Alexandria and in Caesarea.65 Bardaisan, like Origen, was later accused of Gnosticism, but this allegation in both cases was ultimately unfounded: although both these Christian philosophers were notoriously objects of harsh polemics, reflected respectively in the heresiological reports on Bardaisan and in the so-called Origenistic controversy,66 both wrote against gnostic and Marcionite doctrines,67 above all against the Valentinian theory of predestination, with its anthropology of differentiation into categories of human beings, and against

64 On Bardaisan, see, among others, Han J. W. Drijvers, Bardaisan of Edessa (Assen: van Gorcum, 1 966), with an overview on the sources concerning Bardaisan; Ilaria Ramelli, “Linee generali per una presentazione e per un commento del Liber legum regionum, con traduzione italiana del testo siriaco e dei frammenti greci,” Rendiconti delVIstituto Lombardo, Accademia di Scienze e Lettere 133 (1999) 311-55; eadem, “Bardesane e la sua scuola tra la cultura occidentale e quella orientale: il lessico della liberta nel Liber legum regionum (testo siriaco e versione greca),” in Pensiero e istituzioni del mondo classico nelle culture del Vicino Oriente (ed. Rosa Bianca Finazzi and Alfredo Valvo; Alessandria: Dell’Orso, 2001) 237-55, with further documentation; eadem, Bardesane Kata HeimarmeneS (Bologna: ESD, 2009).

65 See, e.g., Tloka, Griechische Christen, 47-50 and 64-76, 79-85.

66 The heresiological accounts on Bardaisan, after Drijvers, have been further investigated by Alberto Camplani, “Rivisitando Bardesane. Note sulle fonti siriache del Bardesanismo e sulla sua collocazione storico-religiosa,” CNS 1 9 (1998) 5 1 9-96; on the Origenistic controversy, see especially Elizabeth A. Clark, The Origenist Controversy (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1992) and Emanuela Prinzivalli, Magister Ecclesiae. II dibattito su Origene fra III e IV secolo (SEA 82; Rome: Augustinianum, 2002).

67 For Origen’s polemic against the gnostics, see below; he also constantly opposed the Marcionites, who separated the OT and the NT, their respective divinities, and justice and mercy in God. For Bardaisan’s refutations of gnostics and Marcionites the main sources are Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 4.30; Jerome, Vir. ill. 33; Epiphanius, Pan. 56, and Moses of Chorene, Patmut’iwn Hayoc’ 2.66.

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astrological determinism; their position was to be inherited by Gre Han J. W. Drijvers and other scholars have presented Bardaisan a following Ephraem who called him “the Aramaic philosopher,” a are good reasons to do so, although Ute Possekel has rightly ca the remarkable theological aspects of his thought,70 without den used many philosophical categories. Surely the distinction betw and theology is more a modern than an ancient idea, and in pat it is hardly correct, from an historical and methodological point of philosophy as separate from theology and vice- versa. Posse however, is well grounded in Bardaisan’s way of presenting an himself, his ethics, his doctrine of the resurrection, the communit of his school, etc., and is perfectly true: Bardaisan considered h a Christian who tried to render his faith acceptable from an in view. This characterization, I believe, is also perfectly suited to O philosopher71 who played an essential role in making Christianit to the most intellectually demanding, among whom were many and Bardaisan played the same role in the intellectual landscape o and early third centuries, when Christianity was endeavoring to

and even specifically philosophical, credibility.
Bardaisan (154-222 c.E.) lived somewhat earlier than Orig

C.E.), which would assign him priority in the formulation of the t salvation. However, his doctrine of apokatastasis is attested Liber legum regionum, which is preserved in a single Syriac ma probably written by a disciple of Bardaisan. Eusebius, who exce in Praep. ev. 6.10, says that it was composed by Bardaisan hims

68 For Gregory’s polemic against astrology, see, e.g., Beatrice Motta, “L’as fatum di Gregorio di Nissa,” in La cultura scientifico-naturalistica nei Padr Incontro di studiosi dell’antichita cristiana, Rome, 4-6.V. 2006; SEA 101; Ro

2007) 677-84. Above all, Gregory adopted Origen’s defense of free will and doct see Ramelli, Gregorio di Nissa Sull’anitna, first integrative essay.

69 E.g., Drijvers, Bardaisan’, idem, “Bardaisan of Edessa and the Hermeti 1 90-210; Taeke Jansma, Natuur, lot en vrijheid. Bardesanes, de filosoof der Ar (Cahiers bij het Nederlands Theologisch Tijdschrift 6; Wageningen: Veenman, 1 “Liberty et destin dans l’Antiquite tardive,” RTP 121 (1989) 129^+7; Javier d’fcdesse: la premiere philosophie syriaque (Paris: Cerf, 1992); John F. H Milieu and the Birth of Syriac,” Hugoye 10 (2007) §§ 1-34, who describes B “philosophical works in Syriac” (§31).

70 Ute Possekel, “Bardaisan of Edessa: Philosopher or Theologian?” ZAC

71 On Origen as fully philosopher and fully Christian and the polemics that t among both pagans and Christians, see Ilaria Ramelli, “Origen, Patristic Phil Platonism: Re-Thinking the Christianization of Hellenism,” VC 63 (2009) 10

72 See, most recently, Tloka, Griechische Christen, ch. 2, with my revie (2008) 641-45; Christoph Markschies, Origenes undsein Erbe (Berlin: de Gruy a review of mine forthcoming in Adamantius.

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original title, Ilepi eijxapjLievTiq SidAoyoq (Hist. eccl. 4.30).73 In dialogue, and, again according to Eusebius (Hist. eccl. 4.30), an “Antoninus” whom Jerome identifies with Marcus Aur emperor (Vir. ill. 33: liber quern Marco Antonino de fato t situate this dialogue within the lifetime of Bardaisan: the pers places under “Antoninus” perfectly fits the great anti-Christian place under Marcus Aurelius.74 This is further supported by Ep that under this emperor Bardaisan was, if not a martyr, certai Christian faith.75 Scholars, however, tend to think that the ad or Elagabalus (although no persecution occurred under their dialogue was written by a disciple of Bardaisan.76 In any c

73 Even if we assume that the Liber legum regionum, as we have it i of a disciple, it is probable that it faithfully reflects his master’s thoug eiuapuevTiq, or better, according to Epiphanius and Theodoretus, Kaxd Bardesane kata heimarmene~s, with thorough argument and documentation

74 ‘Ev ot<; eaxw K<xi 6 rcpd<; Avxcovivov iicavc&xaxoq ai)xo\) Flepi eiuxxp aXXa (|>aaiv avxov rcpo<J>daei xo\> xoxe Skqyjao’U auyvpayai. Under Marcu several Christian apologies were written. On this persecution, see Marta So romano (2d ed.; Milan: Jaca Book, 2004) 103-16; Ilaria Ramelli, “Montan nel giudizio di Marco Aurelio,” Contributi dell’htituto di Storia Antica di Milano 25 (1999) 81-97; eadem, “Protector Christianorum” Aevum the connection between this persecution and Bardaisan’s dialogue, se


75 Pan. 56: ATtoAAxovitp 8e xa> xo\> Avxcovivoi) exaipcp dvxfjpe Jiapaivo’uuevcp dpvr|aao6ai xo Xpiaxiavov ecruxov Xeyeiv, 6 8e axe86v ev xd^ei 6uoA,oyia<; Kaxeaxri, Xoyoix; xe cruvexoxx; djceKpivaxo, imep evcEfieiaq dv8pei<o<; anoXoyox>[i£vo<;, 8dvaxov \ir\ 8e8ievai <|>r|aa<;, 6v dvdyKT| eaeaOai, Kdv xe xq> paaiXei ufj dvxeircoi (Apollonius, Antoninus’s friend, exhorted him to deny that he was a Christian, but Bardaisan resisted and almost joined the number of the confessors. He replied with intelligent discourses, courageously defending piety, and said that he did not fear death, since it would necessarily come, even if he had not opposed the emperor.)

76 Porphyry, De Styge, fr. 376 Smith (ap. Stob. 1.3.56 = 1.66.24-70.13 Wachsmuth), places the composition of Bardaisan’s work on India at the time of the emperor “Antoninus from Emesa,” i.e., Elagabalus; the same is indicated by Moses of Chorene, PH 2.66, who locates Bardaisan’s floruit under “the last Antoninus.” Elagabalus’s name was Varius Avitus. Now, Bardaisan’s interlocutor in the Liber is Avidd, the Syriac transposition of Avitus. In the initial frame he is presented as a heathen who is philosophically interested in Christian monotheism and theodicy. Moreover, the other interlocutor is the young Philip, who might even be M. Julius Philippus “the Arab,” from Bostra, who was either

a Christian or not hostile to Christianity; see Ramelli, “Linee generali,” 315-18. Origen’s letters to Philip and his wife in defense of his own orthodoxy (Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 16.36.3-4) and the hostility of all pagan sources to Philip may suggest that he was a Christian, as is implied by Eusebius, Hist, eccl. 6.34, who mentions that a bishop forbade him to take part in the church’s prayers on Easter’s eve before penitence for his crimes (cf. Jerome, Vir. ill. 54). John Chrysostom, Bab. 6 identifies that bishop with Babylas of Antioch, who died during Decius’s persecution, which was a reaction to Philip according to Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 6.39.1. Philip’s contemporary, Dionysius of Alexandria, a disciple of Origen, in a letter speaks of emperors who were said to have been publicly Christian (oi XexGevxeq dva(j>av86v Xpiaxiavoi Yeyovevai, ap. Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 1.7.10), which cannot but refer to Philip. On Philip, see Pat Southern, The Roman Empire from Severus to Constantine (London: Routledge, 2001) 71-74. Favorable to the theory that he was a Christian are John M. York, Philip the Arab, the First Christian Emperor of Rome (Ph.D. diss., University of Southern

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expresses Bardaisan’s thought, is an important example of helle Edessan milieu. John Healey admits that “Bardaisan forms a pr Hellenism” in the landscape of the early Edessan environment of Syr and that he had a group of supporters and followers who share although “it is not clear that he is the tip of an iceberg of any gr in that landscape.77 In fact, notwithstanding that in those days Ede detachment of the Roman Empire and its rulers were at home in parallel for Bardaisan, his intellectual activity, and his school seems by Origen’s activity and his school in Alexandria (and later in Ca than by the Osrhoene environment, as I shall endeavor to demons Bardaisan, just like Origen according to Eusebius’s biographical acc a Greek education in liberal disciplines and philosophy.81

In this connection, the most interesting features of the Libe philosophical doctrines: that of free will, held against astrological d at the very end of the dialogue, that of apokatastasis, which, surp has never been realized by scholars. This theory is here express Bardaisan, who is by far the main character of the dialogue. Let u both these doctrines, which are strongly interrelated in Bardaisa constitute a close parallel to- and perhaps an anticipation of -Ori of apokatastasis and rational creatures’ free will.

California, 1965), Dissertation Abtracts 25 (1965) 5230-31 and Sordi, / Cristi case, Philip was not at all hostile to Christianity.

77 Healey, “The Edessan Milieu,” quotations from §32.

78 Steven K. Ross, Roman Edessa: Politics and Culture in the Eastern Frin Empire (London: Routledge, 2001); Ilaria Ramelli, “Abgar Ukkama e Abgar il recenti apporti storiografici,” Aevum 78 (2004) 103-8.

79 When Origen moved to Caesarea, Bardaisan had already died, but his sch and well: His followers continued to exist for centuries.

80 Origen studied the customary curriculum of the “Greek disciplines” (rfj x©v ey x©v ‘EAAt|vik©v ua0T|u.dx©v), which were crowned by philosophy, and after

he deepened his knowledge of them (Hist. eccl. 6.2.15). Many learned pagans a philosophical education (x©v xe and 7iai8eia<; Kai (|>iXoao<|>ia<;) were won o (6.3.13). Even after handing the teaching of the axoixeia to Heraclas (6.15 stop teaching philosophy, and “many renowned philosophers” attended his cla instructed not only in the divine things, but also in pagan philosophy,” consisti liberal arts, but also in the doctrines of the various philosophical sects (6.17.2-3) a letter claims that while he was studying Scripture, he was approached by here and experts in “Greek disciplines” (‘EAATivucd uxx9r|uaxa), and thus he had ” heretics’ opinions and what the philosophers claimed to say concerning the Pantaenus and Heraclas, Christian philosophers in Alexandria, whom he imi Hist. eccl. 6.19.12-14).

81 He was taught the Greek paideia together with king Abgar the Great, as E Pan. 56: “In his youth he was friends with Abgar, king of Edessa, a very pious a shared his Greek education and collaborated with him” (Aifydp© 8e x© x©v ‘E8

dv8pi ooiwxdx© Kai Xoyitoxdx© e£oiKeioi3nevo<; xd rcpwxa, Kai a\>UTipdxx©v x \ietolox(ov naideiaq). He received a Greco-Roman instruction, and also knew

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The doctrine of free will is the core thesis of the dialogue, w protagonist, supports, arguing that human beings do not dep of stars in their choices. Their habits vary from nation to nat to religion, but do not depend on celestial bodies or on the (KAijiaTa). The doctrine of free will, which was already str of Alexandria (e.g., in Strom. 1.1.4; 2.14.60-62; 2.16.75; elaborated at length and strongly defended by Origen, lik both astrological determinism and the Valentinian tripartiti into classes, which asserts their predestination “by nature.” polemics in many passages and especially in Book 3 of his De devoted to free will and the philosophical and theological pro an issue that was hotly debated in the philosophy of his time.8 to Book 1 of De Principiis, 5, he argues against astral determ maintains as a dogma that every rational creature is endowed not subject to necessity. In several commentaries on Old T as Horn. Judic. 3.3; Horn. Jes. Nav. 7.4) and in Philocalia 23, lost Commentary on Genesis, Origen continues his critique. and astrological determinism, he insists that God is not respons conditions of the rational creatures (A,oyiKoi), that he is no (Rom 9:14; Origen, Princ. 1.7.4), and that there is no unrigh Present sufferings must be explained either as pedagogical s God, or as a result of one’s demerits in an existence previous a choice of some generous souls who are willing to suffer in assist the process of salvation (Princ. 2.9.7).83

Indeed, my hypothesis is that the doctrine of human fr very basis of Origen’s theoretical elaboration of the doctri as is evident, again, in Book 3 of his De Principiis. Here, in

82 See Ilaria Ramelli, “La coerenza della soteriologia origeniana: d determinismo gnostico all’universale restaurazione escatologica,” in Paga della salvezza (Atti del XXXIV Incontro di Studiosi dell’Antichita Cristia SEA, 96; Rome: Augustinianum, 2006) 661-88, and George Boys-Ston Fate and Human Autonomy,” in Greek and Roman Philosophy 100 BC-2 and Robert W. Sharpies; London: Institute of Classical Studies, 2007) Boulluec, “La place de la polemique antignostique dans le Peri Archo Edipuglia, 1975) 47-61; Albrecht Dihle, “Die Vorstellung philosophische und Freiheit in der Fruhchristlichen Theologie,” JAC 30 (1987) 14-28; H Construction and Research: Origen on Freewill,” in Scripture, Tradition Drewery and Richard Bauckham; Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1988) 239-65;

e gli gnostici sul libero arbitrio e la polemica di Origene,” in // cuore indu e il problema del libero arbitrio (ed. Lorenzo Perrone; Genova: Marietti Camps, “Origenes frente al desafio de los gnosticos,” in Origeniana 1992) 57-78; Hendrik S. Benjamins, Eingeordnete Freiheit. Freiheit und (Leiden: Brill, 1994).

83 See Clark, The Origenist Controversy, 195-96.

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contrasting the mainly Valentinian84 deterministic theory of the t of humanity into “fleshly,” “psychic,” and “spiritual” persons (aapK and 7cve\)^aTiKoi), destined respectively to damnation, an inferi perfect salvation; then he goes on to argue that the Bible supports th will everywhere, and he explains away such passages as the harden heart, which would seem to contradict this doctrine, by invoking G care and the conciliation of universally saving Providence and ind At the same time, he also polemicizes against the gnostic and Marcio between the Old and New Testaments and between the justice and Thus, he paves the way for the doctrine of apokatastasis of all r after the purification and instruction needed by each one, as the not only of divine justice, but also of divine goodness. It is pre doctrine that he concludes this strongly coherent book, which cons argument and significantly begins with the polemic against the o doctrine of human free will. In this way, Book 3 of De Principiis an “archaeological” reconstruction of the theoretical genesis of Or for the apokatastasis as not at all undermining each human being indeed grounded in his defense of it against predestinationism.85 M theoretical basis, grounded in theodicy, of Origen’s doctrine of ap defense of human free will and of the coincidence of justice and

was well seen by Rufinus, who in Apol. Hier. 2.12 remarked that of apokatastasis- especially Origen- intended “to defend Go counter those who maintain that all is determined by fate or ch

wishing to defend God’s justice … it becomes that good, immut nature of the Trinity to eventually restore all of its creatures in in which they were created at the beginning, and, after long suff for whole aeons, to finally put an end to torments.”*6 The theor the apokatastasis, according to Rufinus- who of course knew th Origen’s De Principiis perfectly well- is the defense of both Go God’s justice against determinism.

84 Rather than “gnostic” tout court. Of course, when speaking of “Gnost necessary to be aware of the often puzzling complexity of this category. See Ka Gnosticism? (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2003); Ilaria Ramel book, Invigilata Lucernis 25 (2003) 331-34; eadem, “Gnosticismo,” in Nuovo D e di Antichitd Cristiane (ed. Angelo Di Berardino; Genoa: Marietti, 2007) 2:2

85 Full demonstration in Ramelli, “La coerenza,” 661-88, where, on the ba other evidence, it is hypothesized that Origen elaborated the doctrine of apokat to Valentinian predestinationism and Marcionite division of justice and mercy in the separation of the two Testaments.

86 Dei iustitiam defendere et respondere contra eos qui vel fato vel casu cu

Dei iustitiam defendere cupientes . . . bonae illi et incommutabili ac simplic convenire ut omnem creaturam suam in fine omnium restituat in hoc quod e

post longa et spatiis saeculorum exaequata supplicia finem statuat aliquando p

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Now, both the polemic against determinism and the s and goodness in God and the doctrine of apokatastasis mar Bardaisan’s philosophical reflection as well. Bardaisan too, i Origen and very probably a little earlier than he, maintained t of apokatastasis, which is clearly stated at the end of the Li albeit briefly. Indeed, after a long confutation of astrologica of Chaldaic doctrines, and after arguing that God is both g endowed each rational creature with free will, Bardaisan offe in which he expounds what is evidently the doctrine of ap like Origen, links the defense of free will and the polemic agai

justice from goodness in God to universal salvation, and grou

in the theory of free will. This is the relevant passage, in t Bardaisan’s Liber:

What should we say, then, concerning the new race of us, the Christians, whom Christ established in every land and in all regions at his coming? For, behold, in whatever land we are, we are all called Christians, from the one name of Christ. And in the same day, the first of the week, we come together, and in the prescribed days we fast. And neither do our brothers who are in Gaul marry men, nor are those who live in Judea circumcised . . . nor do those who live in Edessa kill their wives who commit fornication, or their sisters, but they separate themselves from them and hand them to God’s judgment. Nor do those who live in Hatra stone thieves, but in whatever land they are, and in whatever place, local laws cannot separate them from the law of their Christ: the Principates’ power does not force them to do or use things that are impure for them, but illness and good health, richness and poverty, all that does not depend on their freewill happens to them wherever they are. For, just as human freewill is not governed by the necessity of the Seven [sc. planets], and, if it is governed, it is able to stand against its governors, so this visible human being, too, is unable to easily get rid of its Principalities’ government, since he is a slave and a subject- for, if we could do all, we would be all; if we couldn’t decide anything, we would be the instruments of others.

But whenever God likes, everything can be, with no obstacle at all. In fact, there is nothing that can impede that great and holy will. For, even those who are convinced to resist God, do not resist by their force, but they are in evil and error, and this can be only for a short time, because God is kind and gentle, and allows all natures to remain in the state in which they are, and to govern themselves by their own will, but at the same time they are condi- tioned by the things that are done and the plans that have been conceived [sc. by God\%1 in order to help them. For this order and this government that have been given [sc. by God], and the association of one with another, damps the natures’ force, so that they cannot be either completely harmful or completely harmed, as they were harmful and harmed before the creation of the world.

87 Bardaisan often uses theological passives, just as the Bible and Origen do.

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And there will come a time when even this capacity for harm that rem them will be brought to an end by the instruction that will obtain in a di ent arrangement of things: and, once that new world will be constitut evil movementsTM will cease, all rebellions will come to an end, and the will be persuaded, and the lacks will be filled, and there will be safe peace, as a gift of the Lord of all natures}9

Saving divine Providence (the plans conceived by God to help all the total eviction of evil- a state in which it is impossible that an remain forever- the instruction and purification of the wicked, th renunciation of rebellion, and the apokatastasis are here clearly foresee to Bardaisan’s argument, each creature endowed with reason is free will is not conditioned by the stars, but God does not allow this free the creature itself to total perdition: Till the end of time (aiwveq), the the creatures govern themselves by their free will, but in the end, o its own plans conceived in order to help them, it will annihilate all e to its purely negative nature from the ontological point of view. This in evil is being, not in force, but in weakness and error, and such a endure forever. As a consequence, all creatures, once purified and se evil, through persuasion and teaching and the filling of all lacks, w the Good, that is God, voluntarily. “The fools will be persuaded” no submission.

Now, all these ideas are present both in Bardaisan’s and in Orige Furthermore, the apokatastasis is expressly characterized by Bardai gift of God (“a gift of the Lord of all natures” or beings), just as it is Origen, who, quoting St. Paul, affirmed in Comm. Rom. Catenae 2 xoi) 0eo\) £ayf| atwvioq* oi) yap e£ fpcDv 0eo\) to 8copov. (The true in Origen’s view, is, on the spiritual plane, ultimate salvation, acco polysemy of “life” and “death” that is typical of both Origen and Again, the apokatastasis is described as complete peace by Bardaisan same way as Origen depicts it, for example, in Horn. Luc. 36: God established peace . . . there is still war due to the existence of evil, b definitely be an absolute peace”; Comm. Jo. 10.39: “when peace will be p the years of the oikonomia” (oxav x\ eipf|vri xeteicoOf] ^lexct em. tt|< One of the closest resemblances between Bardaisan and Origen is th

88 Remarkably, the language is exactly the same as in Origen: “Movement” here i of will. See, e.g., Princ. 3.3.5: “Freewill is always moved to good or evil by the so our rational faculty, that is, our mind or soul, never can be without any movement evil. These movements constitute the rationale for deserts” (motibus suis [animae] . . vel ad bona semper vel ad mala movetur, nee umquam rationabilis sensus, is est m sine motu aliquo esse vel bono vel malo potest, quos motus causas praestare meri

89 Patrologia Syriaca, ed. Franc,ois Nau, 2.608-11. [My translation; emphasis m

90 As documented by Ramelli, “Origen’s Exegesis of Jeremiah” for Origen, and id kata heimarmenSs for Bardaisan.

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to both, Providence does not force our free will, but acts in yet does not fail to achieve its objective, which is universa speaks of “things that are done and plans that have been c order to help the creatures”; Origen says that “Providence i all, in accord with each one’s freewill” (Cels. 5.21). Both em passive and express the very same thought: God’s Providence will, but it infallibly leads all rational creatures to salvation.9

Ultimate annihilation of evil is one of the main metaphy doctrine of apokatastasis, and it is clearly asserted by Barda subsequently, thanks to Origen’s influence, by all the suppor especially Gregory ofNyssa and Evagrius.92 Moreover, both maintained the centrality of Christ in soteriology. Indeed, Bar Jesus Christ to be generated by God and by the Virgin (as a and Philoxenus of Mabbug), thought that, just as he interv creation (as attested by Moses Bar Kepha), he plays a core ro salvation, and ascribed a universal salvific effect to his cross.93 on India, ap. Porphyry, De Styge fr. 376 Smith (= Stob. 1.3 statue located in a place where all possible sins are tested, re universe with all its inhabitants, including the angels, in the sh standing with its arms outstretched in the symbol of the cros 6p06<;, e%®v xaq xeipaq fi7itaou£va<; ev runco oxavpov). Th Jesus Christ’s crucifixion in its cosmic value,94 is further r through the Logos ‘s activity in creation, since (in a manner Timaeus) it was given by the Father to the Son as a model fo world (8e8(0Kevai xov 0e6v x© m©, onriviKa xov koouov e e%Ti TtapaSeuyuci). Thus, just as it is evident in Origen, in B Logos plays an essential role both in creation and in soteriol in Bardaisan just as in Origen, culminates in the apokatasta of both these authors, as will be the case with Gregory of

91 For this notion in Origen, see Ramelli, “La coerenza.”

92 Documentation in Ramelli, Apocatastasi and, for Gregory of Nyss Nissa, integrative essay 2.

93 All these testimonia de Bardesane are collected and discussed at length kata heimarmenes, including a strong valorization of Porphyry’s fragments widely neglected in the reconstruction of his thinking. On the cross in ea Barnabas, Gospel of Peter, Justin, Oracula Sibyllina, Irenaeus, Hippolytu Prieur, La croix chez les Peres (Strasbourg: Universite Marc Bloch, 200

94 On the cosmic Christ and cross, see Werner Thiede, Wer ist der kosmis Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2001); Ramelli, Gregorio di Nissa sulVanima, 95 For the christological foundation of Gregory ‘s doctrine of apokatastas “The Work of Jesus Christ and the Universal Apokatastasis,” in Jesus Chris Theology (ed. Elias Moutsoulas; Athens: Eptalophos, 2005) 225-43, with v

argumentation; much more complete argumentation in Ramelli, “La dot Illud . . . Gregory of Nyssa’s Exegesis.”

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apokatastasis, far from being a pagan doctrine- as it has been re of being especially in the course of the Origenist controversy- is in Christology.

All these convergences in thought between Origen and Bardai around the doctrine of apokatastasis are striking. It is not unlike actually knew Bardaisan’s thinking to some extent, just as many did, as I shall show. One possibility, among others, is that Clem brought to Alexandria the knowledge of Bardaisan’s ideas. Indeed, (xi<; x©v Aaaupicov) whom Clement mentions in Strom. 1. 1. 1 1 teacher whom he met in the dvaxo Wj, just before meeting Pantaen may well be Bardaisan. (It has also been suggested that it was T this very unlikely, because Clement criticizes Tatian, especially fo whereas he speaks of his teachers, including his Syrian teacher, as worthy of veneration, who received the tradition96 from the apost transmission, and we know from the testimonia that Bardaisan b Scripture but also on an esoteric tradition.97) This would explain and admiration of Bardaisan on the part of Origen and his foll of course, certainty is difficult to reach, and there are many oth Origen may have learned of Bardaisan’s ideas, particularly given writings were soon translated into Greek by his disciples (Eusebiu and that he knew and used Greek as well as Syriac (Epiphanius, also corresponded about scriptural exegesis with Julius Africanus, for a long time in Edessa at Abgar’s court as an instructor of Ma the Great’s son, and in that city knew and frequented Bardaisan, attests in his Keaxoi 1 .20.” Thus, he too may well represent a go between the Alexandrian and the Edessan thinker.

It is very probable that such knowledge existed and that there w between these two Christian philosophers and exegetes and their

96 Tfjv aXr\Qr\ Tfj<; uctKapicu; aw^ovxec; SiSaGKaMa<; rapti8oaiv.

97 For this aspect, see the lengthy essay devoted to the testimonia in Ram heimarmene’s.

98 See Ilaria Ramelli, “La Chiesa di Roma in eta severiana: cultura classica, cultura cristiana, cultura orientate,” Rivista di Storia della Chiesa in Italia 54 (2000) 13-29; Grafton-Williams, Christianity, ch. 2.

99 See Ilaria Ramelli, “Edessa e i Romani tra Augusto e i Severi,” Aevum 73 (1999) 107^43, at 135-36, and eadem, “La Chiesa.” On Julius, see also Tiziana Rampoldi, “I Kestoi di Giulio Africano e l’imperatore Severo Alessandro,” ANRW 2.34.3 (1997) 2451-70, and, more for his chronicle than for his Kestoi, Julius Africanus und die christliche Weltchronistik (ed. Martin Wallraff; Berlin: de Gruyter, 2006); Iulius Africanus, Chronographiae (ed. Martin Wallraff et al.; GCS 15; Berlin: de Gruyter, 2007), also with biography of Africanus and relevant testimonia. On Africanus’s stay in Edessa, see W. Adler, “Sextus Julius Africanus and the Roman Near East in the Third Century,” JTS 55 (2004) 520-50, esp. 530-39.

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■ Further Relations and Confirmations: Origen’s a Followers and Environments

It is no accident, I believe, that Bardaisan was appreciated by Eusebius, who speaks well of him in Praep. ev. 6.9.32100 and in Hist. eccl. 4.30.1-3, where he praises his extraordinary capacities and excellent dialectic skill and his refutations- exactly parallel to Origen’s- of the Marcionites and other “heretics” among whom there surely were some gnostic groups.101 Furthermore, Eusebius preserves very long passages from the Liber translated into Greek in Praep. ev. 6.10.1-49. Eusebius was a fervent admirer of Origen and a disciple of the holy martyr Pamphilus, who wrote a vibrant apology for Origen while he was in prison waiting to be martyred (307-310); Eusebius helped him to compose this apology and wrote the sixth and last book himself.102 And in his Hist. eccl. 6 he devotes a remarkably extensive treatment to Origen along with many praises,103 which he also bestows on Pamphilus and his master Pierius, a convinced Origenist, who wrote in praise of Pamphilus and was called “Origen the Younger” according to Jerome (Vir. ill. 76)- such was his admiration for Origen. It even seems that Eusebius was not hostile to the theory of apokatastasis itself (Marc. 2.4; Eccl. theol. 2.8; 3.14-16, 18-20; Comm. Isa. 1.85).104

It is notable, likewise, that Didymus the Blind, another deeply committed Origenist and a supporter of the doctrine of apokatastasis, including the restoration

100 Here he presents him as a Syrian “who had reached the highest expertise in the Chaldaic doctrine” (etc’ dicpov xfj^ XaX8aiKf\<; en\avi\\x.x\q eA.TjA,aic6xo<;).

101 For, immediately after, Eusebius reports that Bardaisan, after abandoning the Valentinian sect, turned to writing refutations of the gnostics (see below). This is Eusebius ‘s account: “Under the same reign there were plenty of heresies. In Mesopotamia Bardaisan, an excellent man and very well versed in the Syriac language, composed and published in his own language and alphabet dialogues against Marcionites and other supporters of different doctrines, in addition to a great many other works of his. His disciples- very numerous, as he strongly attracted them by means of words and argument- translated them from Syriac into Greek” (‘Etci 8e Tfj<; auxri<; paaiteicu;, 7cXTi6\)O\)a©v x©v aipeaewv, em xfiq Mecniq x©v rcoxauxdv BapSeadvrjq, iicavwxaxoc; xiq dvf|p ev xe xfj Ii>p©v <|>covfj 8iaA£KxiK(6xaxo<;, npoq xovq Kaxd MapKicova icai xivaq exepoix; 8ia(J)6pcov rcpoiaxauevoix; 8oyudx©v SiaXoyaoq auaxtiaduevoq xfj oiiceig rcape8©Kev yA,©xxt) xe icai YP^fi ueTa Ka* Ttteiaxcov exepcov amov avyypamadxtov ovq oi yv©piuoi [nXelaxoi 8e fjaav ai)x© 8/uvax©<; x© Xoy® rcapiaxauev©] erci xfjv ‘EM.r|v©v and xr\q Zt>p©v uexapepXr|Kaoi <t>a>vf|q).

102 Eric Junod, “L’apologie pour Origene de Pamphile et la naissance de l’orige*nisme,” in StPatr 26 (Leuven: Peeters, 1993) 267-86; Grafton and Williams, Christianity, 179-93.

103 See Robert M. Grant, “Eusebius and His Lives of Origen,” in Forma Futuri. Studi in onore del Card. Pellegrino (Torino: Bottega d’Erasmo, 1975) 635-49; Manlio Simonetti, “Eusebio e Origene. Per una storia dell’Origenismo,” Augustinianum 26 (1986) 323-34; Emanuela Prinzivalli, “Per un’indagine sull’esegesi del pensiero origeniano nel IV secolo,” Annali di Storia dell’Esegesi

11 (1994) 433-60; Holger Strutwolf, “Der Origenismus des Euseb von Caesarea,” in Origeniana Septima (ed. Wolfgang A. Bienert and Uwe Kuhneweg; Leuven: Peeters, 1999) 141-48; Grafton and Williams, Christianity, 133-232.

104 So Ramelli, “In Illud:. . . Gregory of Nyssa’s Exegesis.”

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of the devil,105 presents Bardaisan in a fully positive light, in co other sources which curse him as a heretic or even a pagan. In a Commentary on the Psalms he depicts Bardaisan as a convert fr gnosis to Christian orthodoxy, when he became a presbyter.106 information is similar to that offered by Eusebius (Hist. eccl. 4. speaks of Bardaisan’s passage from Gnosticism to the church and refutations of Gnosticism,107 but Didymus presents Bardaisan i positive light: His priestly dignity is not mentioned by Eusebius. I is the only source, aside from Theodorus Bar Konai, to attest that presbyter, like Origen; according to Theodorus, however, in Liber Bardaisan then abandoned the church, whereas Didymus praises him remained in the orthodox church as a presbyter until his death, ju In fact, according to Pamphilus’s Apology, Origen “was a teacher and grew old inside the catholic [sc. universal] Church.”109 Many o very negative and depict Bardaisan as an utter heretic; Didymus, of Origen’s, instead presents the Christian philosopher and theolog a very positive light, and agrees with him about the eventual apo

It is highly significant, too, that Eusebius closely links Bardaisa when he quotes ample sections of Bardaisan from the Liber legu Praep. ev. 6.10. Immediately after these excerpts, he also quotes very same subject- human free will (Praep. ev. 6.11). This strongl

105 On Didymus ‘s Origenism, see Emanuela Prinzivalli, “La metamorfosi della s da Eracla a Didimo,” in Origeniana Octava, 911-37; Michael Ghattas, “Die E Origenes und Didymos dem Blinden von Alexandria,” in Origeniana Septim A. Layton, “Judas Yields a Place for the Devil: The Appropriation of Origen’s Ephesians by Didymus of Alexandria,” Origeniana Septima, 531-43.

106 Michael Gronewald, Didymos der Blinde. Psalmenkommentar (Tura- Papyru Habelt, 1969) 182-84 = p. 181, 11. 7-9 of the papyrus: “Bardaisan lived in the Antoninus, the emperor of the Romans. At first he belonged to the Valentinian sc to the church and became a presbyter” (Sifiyev 5e 6 Bapxrjadvrn; ev xolq eurcpoa f|uepaiq Avxwvivov xov (JaaiXeax; ‘Pcouaiwv. Ovxoq 8e Kax’ dp^Tiv xf\<; a%oA.f|< uexeoxri eiq xf)v EKKXr\oiav, yeyovev rcpeapuxepoq). See Sebastian Brock, ” on Bardaisan,” JTS 22 (1971) 530-31.

107 “At first he belonged to the Valentinian school, but then he condemned it a many Valentinian mythological constructions. He believed he had passed to ort not liberate himself quite completely from the dirtiness of his old heresy” fHv xfjq KCtxct OixxJlevxtvov axoXf\<;, Kaxctyvoix; Se xai>xrj<; rctetaxd xe xf\<; Kaxd drceJtey^cu;, eSoicei uev rcox; cmxdq eaux© eiti xf|v opGoxepav yvcouriv |iexaxe Ttavxe^wq ye aneppvyaxo xov xf|<; 7taA,aid<; aipeaeax; pimov).

108 Addai Scher edition, CSCO Syri 26.2.307, lines 24-26.

109 Apol. 16 (Ren6 Amacker and £ric Junod, Pamphile et Eusebe de Cesari Origene [2 vols; Paris: Cerf, 2002] 1.54.3-6, in Rufinus’s translation): “Some e against him and, with the publication of booklets, derogate this great man, who was a teacher of the Church and grew old inside the catholic Church.” (Quidam adversus eum ausi sunt, et libellis editis derogare ei viro, qui per tot annos magis qui in Ecclesia catholica senuit.)

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Eusebius was perfectly aware of the similarities between Bard thought. Moreover, he is one of the few sources favorable to Bar accident, in my opinion, that precisely all the favorable source these, turn out to be represented by admirers of Origen, such Didymus the Blind, Eusebius himself, and the early Jerome, w drawing inspiration from Eusebius’s portrait of Bardaisan, pr dialectical ability, and his literary activity against heresies (no Pamphilus commended in Origen).110

A confirmation of the long overlooked connection betw Bardaisan’s doctrines of apokatastasis comes, to my mind, al composed more than a century after Bardaisan, the Dialogue the Orthodox Faith in God, probably written in Greek by a di who was deeply influenced by Origen and even took part in debate on free will.111 The Dialogue seems to have been rework 330 c.E. and was ascribed to Origen himself by the redactors and for this reason translated into Latin by Rufinus at the end of perhaps with some Origenistic additions (Rufinus directly ide and Origen).112 Now, in the eschatological section, the or

110 “His great brilliance and keenness in discussion are celebrated by t infinite works against almost all heretics who sprouted in his day, among w and vigorous book On Fate that he presented to Marcus Antoninus, and m the occasion of the persecution. His followers translated them from Syria translations maintain all the force and splendor that we guess there were in (Ardens eius a Syris praedicatur ingenium et in disputatione vehemens; sc omnes paene haereticos, qui aetate eius pullulaverant, in quibus clarissimus es quern Marco Antonino de fato tradidit, et multa alia super persecutione vo eius de Syra lingua verterunt in Graecam, si autem tanta vis est et fulgor in i putamus in sermone proprio.) All the sources mentioned are collected an

Bardesane kata heimarmenSs.

111 Methodius in his Symposium, inspired by the homonymous Platonic dialogue, devotes a long section to the defense of free will (8.13.161B-17.173C) and to polemic against determinism, above all in its astrological form, just as Bardaisan too did in the Liber. He also wrote a work on free will, where, however, as observed by Claudio Moreschini, Storia delta filosofia patristica (Brescia: Morcelliana, 2004) 178, the theme is treated at much less depth than by Origen. Methodius, at any rate, was deeply influenced by Origen, although he disagreed with him, or with what he thought Origen maintained, on some points, especially concerning the resurrected bodies. But he finally retracted his attack and wrote a dialogue in praise of Origen, the Xenon (Socrates, Hist. eccl. 6.13; Photius, BibL, cod. 235 also mentions this lost dialogue of Methodius); above all, he did share the doctrine of apokatastasis with Origen, and with Bardaisan. See Ilaria Ramelli, “L’Inno a Cristo- Logos nel Simposio di Metodio,” in Motivi e forme del la poesia cristiana antica tra Scrittura e tradizione classica (XXXVI Incontro di studiosi dell’Antichita cristiana, Rome, 4-6. V. 2007; SEA 108; Rome: Augustinianum, 2008) 257-80.

112 Rufinus’s translation is found in the edition of Vinzenz Buchheit, Tyranii Rufini Librorum Adamantii Origenis adversus haereticos interpretatio (Munich: Beck, 1966); the Greek is available in the edition of W. Hendrik van de Sande Bakhuyzen, Dialog des Adamantius (GCS 4; Leipzig: Hinrichs, 1901); a recent commentary and translation is provided by Robert A. Pretty, Dialogue on the True Faith in God: De recta in Deumfide (ed. Garry W. Trompf; Leuven: Peeters, 1997).

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represented by Adamantius, who bears Origen’s second name and ho that Methodius in his De resurrectione attributed to Memianus, Origen; it is patent that Rufinus, through the identification betw and Origen, aims at presenting Origen as fully orthodox. Most argument, the character who, in the Adamantius dialogue, re-propo in Methodius’s dialogue were supported by Aglaophon, who denied of the body, is Marinus, who is a follower of Bardaisan;113 thus, as an Origenist, and even more radical than Origen.114 1 think t is to be identified with Bar Yamma, a character who appears in t regionum as an interlocutor of Bardaisan: Bar Yamma in Syriac the Sea” and Marinus is the best translation of this Syriac name conclusions, drawn by Eutropius as a judge, are in line with Orige This dialogue confirms that both in Bardaisan and in Origen th question was central, and that Bardaisan’s views, in this respect, even more drastic than Origen’s.115

In this connection, it is significant that an Alexandrian contempo and Bardaisan, Achilles Tatius, in his novel on Leucippe and Clei

113 For Bardaisan’s view on the resurrection, see Ute Possekel, “Bardaisan Resurrection: Early Syriac Eschatology in Its Religious-Historical Context,” Or (2004) 1-28; eadem, “Expectations of the End in Early Syriac Christianity,” Hugoy on Bardaisan’s refraining from apocalyptic eschatology, but with no mention

114 Of course, it is by no means certain that we ought to ascribe this pos himself.

115 We may add the intriguing detail that a passage in the Dialogue is almost id from Methodius’s writing On Freewill reported by Eusebius in his Praep. ev., bu it to a work entitled On Matter by a certain Maximus who lived far earlier than days of Commodus and Septimius Severus, that is, precisely the epoch of Ba by chance, I believe, that Methodius, a follower of Origen, probably took and piece, precisely in his discussion on free will, a theme that is central to bot Origen’s reflection. This is all the more noteworthy in that this Maximus, ac (Hist. eccl. 5.27.1), polemicized against the gnostics, just as Origen and Bardai days. Eusebius attests that Maximus belonged to the church- he lists him amo church” (eKK?lT|aiaoxiKoi &v8pe<;), who included the presbyters Origen and Bard his writings he treated the problems of whether matter has been created (rcepi to rfjv x>Xr\v) and the origin of evil (rcepi zov noX\)Qp\)Xj\xov napa xoiq aipeoia>T 7t66ev r\ KaKia), which were also addressed by Bardaisan, as is evident from many attestations concerning him collected by Drijvers (Bardaisan, 60-76; 16

analyzed by Camplani (“Rivisitando,” 521-26). One may even wonder whet a follower of Bardaisan’s or a double of Bardaisan himself, possibly a transla Bardaisan’s works (we know from Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 4.30, that Bardaisan’s his Syriac works into Greek). The author of the Dialogue of Adamantius, a fo (?), proves to know the works of Bardaisan and his school- at least the Liber, the character Marinus/Bar Yamma and surely the discussion on free will, and th who seems to be somehow related to Bardaisan. This also confirms that the

was rich in discussions.

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draws inspiration from two passages of Bardaisan’s writing

confirming the knowledge of Bardaisan’s work in Alexand

Porphyry117 quotes or paraphrases two passages from Bardaisa

text based on direct testimonies of ambassadors from India.

an ordeal involving the Brahmans. It is significant that Ba

with his own view, which is very similar to that of Origen,

because they did not put the convicted sinner to death, but rath

and educated (7cai5ei)9fivai x^P^ OavaxiKfjc; KaxaSiicriq

shares Clement’s, Origen’s, and Gregory of Nyssa’s concepti

and pedagogical aim of punishments, as is clear both from

concluding section of the Liber legum regionum, where, as I ha

of instruction and persuasion of the fools in the end, rather th or eternal chastisement.

In the second passage on India, Bardaisan’s words are quoted by Porphyry Kaxa Xe^iv. Again emphasis is put on the didactic and therapeutic treatment of the sinners, who, far from being punished against their will, confess their sins and ask the others to pray for them, and are purified by fasting (oixiveq Pict£6|H£voi mo xo\) 8oKi|Liaaxr|pio\) e£o^oA,oyo\)VTai enx x©v exeprov ei xi ii|iapxov, 8et|aiv rcoio’uvxai iva oi tanrcoi e\i%G)vxai rcepi axraov, Kai vt|axei)o\)ai xpovov xivd iicavov). Moreover, here an Indian statue is also mentioned, which Bardaisan presents as a paradigm of the world given by God to his child while he was creating the world (8e8©Kevai xov Geov xcp \)iw, 67CT|viKa xov kogjiov eicxi^ev, iva 9eaxov e%T| TcapdSeiy^a). This seems to be an echo of the Demiurge of Plato’s Timaeus; the androgyny of the statue itself, whose matter was unknown to anyone (nr|8eva eiSevai noiaq \)Xx\q eaxiv), was a symbol of the union of the Monad and the Dyad, the two supreme principles of Plato inherited by the Platonic tradition.118 Now, the tests by ordeal described by Bardaisan apud Porphyry show close analogies with the ordeal described by Achilles Tatius in his novel (8.12.9 and 8.6.12-14). I believe, with Camplani, Boll, and partially Drijvers119 and Castelletti,120 that Achilles was

116 Castelletti is correct to note the close affinities between the ordeals described by Achilles and Bardaisan. Porfirio, Sullo Stige (ed. and trans. Cristiano Castelletti; Milan: Bompiani, 2006) 272-73.

117 F376 Smith = 7 Castelletti (ap. Stob. 1.3.56). Wide-ranging documentation in Castelletti, Porfirio, 245-80.

118 See also Wayne A. Meeks, “The Image of the Androgyne: Some Uses of a Symbol in Earliest Christianity,” HTR 13 (1974) 165-208.

119 Camplani (“Rivisitando,” 522 n. 6) argues for the direct dependency of Achilles on Bardaisan, as does Franz Boll, “Zum griechischen Roman,” Philologus 66 (1907) 1-15. Drijvers {Bardaisan, 175) who dates Achilles to the second half of the third century, hypothesizes a dependence either on Bardaisan or on Porphyry, which, however, is less probable because Achilles conserves typically Indian details, such as a tablet hanging from the neck of the accused person (as noted by Boll), which are absent in Porphyry and must derive from the Indians whom Bardaisan met.

120 Castelletti {Sullo Stige, 274) hypothesizes Achilles’ dependence either on Bardaisan or on a common source, in that he dates the novel to the second century on the basis of its papyri dating to the late second and third century. See Graham Anderson, “Perspectives on Achilles Tatius,” in ANRW

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quoting not Porphyry- who lived several decades later and wou toward the end of the third century at least for Achilles- but Bardai according to Epiphanius, knew Greek, too,121 and whose works w were soon translated into Greek by his friends and disciples (Eus 4.30). Achilles, according to the Suda, his manuscripts, and the e name Tdnoq- probably related to the Egyptian deity Tat- was f which would constitute a further very interesting case of knowledg work in the late-second to early-third century on the part of intellectual. This seems to be meaningful in light of the deep an Origen of Alexandria’s and Bardaisan of Edessa’s thought that I ha and of the Origenists’ esteem for Bardaisan, so different from th virtually all other sources.

Another indication of a relationship between Origen and his one hand, and, on the other, Bardaisan and his school in Edessa, by Porphyry himself. This neoplatonist knew Origen in his youth the latter had already left Alexandria and moved to Caesarea.122 Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 6. 19) attests that he saw and heard Origen and embracing Christianity and living “against the laws” (7iapav6|na)<;) as a Greek (Platonic) philosopher in metaphysics and theology and

2.34.3 (1997) 2278-99, at 2295-96. See also Garnaud’s edition of Achilles’ Le et Clitophon (ed. with commentary by Jean-Philippe Garnaud; Paris: PUF, 199 account the Robinson-Cologne papyrus, reviewed by Graham Anderson, Classi 439. But the dating to the second century is uncertain and the final redaction of to the third (see Achille Tazio, Leucippe e Clitofonte [ed. Federica Ciccolella; A 1 999] , with introduction and bibliography on 43-56; Ilaria Ramelli, / romanzi antich [Madrid: Signifer, 2001] ch. 4). It is relevant to our argument that the parts pres do not include the passages drawn from Bardaisan. Franz Winter, Bardesanes von (Innsbruck: Thaur, 1999) 88-96, rejects the hypothesis of a dependency of Ba given that the Edessan scholar depends on the Indian ambassadors. But this ve Winter’s hypothesis of a common source: if Achilles or the final redactor of th second century- the motive adduced for doubting the novelist’s dependence could he possibly know what the ambassadors reported to Bardaisan at the begin We should be forced to give the lie to Bardaisan or Porphyry and imagine that information from the Indians, but from a written source, which is an unnecessa Antoninus in whose days, according to Porphyry, Bardaisan met the Indians mi “Antoninus of Emesa,” but Marcus Aurelius: Porphyry may have easily conf Elagabalus too was made emperor under the name of Marcus Aurelius Anton in his work on India probably did not specify under which Antoninus he me under Marcus Aurelius would perfectly fit both Bardaisan ‘s lifetime (we hav identifies with Marcus Aurelius the dedicatee of Bardaisan ‘s On Fate, simply by Eusebius) and the dating of Achilles to the second century.

121 Pan. 56: “He was fluent in both languages, Greek and Syriac” (Aoyioq x yX6aoonq, ‘EXXtivikt) xe SiaXeKx© Kai xfj x©v lupwv <J><ovf\).

122 We cannot know with certainty whether Porphyry was a Christian at th suggests in Hist. eccl. 3.23, drawing his information from Eusebius’s refutatio he is certainly not mistaken when he identifies our Origen with a disciple (<XKp Hist. eccl. 6.19.6) of Ammonius Saccas.

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(Stoic) allegorical method to Scripture; he also offers us re Origen’s readings in philosophy,123 on which he manifestly wa probably thanks to his direct acquaintance with Origen.124

I even wonder whether Origen himself, who met Porphyry the death of Bardaisan,125 might have brought Bardaisan’s w Porphyry cites Bardaisan not only in his De Styge, as we hav Indian ordeals and statue with approval of the pedagogical attit but also in De abstinentia 4.17.1-2, where he speaks of the “Indian philosophers,” the Gymnosophists, the Brahmans, (Sanskrit sramana). After introducing them, he goes on to expo about them from Bardaisan, who in turn had learned it from I by Dandamis.126 What Porphyry borrows from Bardaisan pe interests and way of thinking, too.

Indeed, I suspect that many connections between the two a traced and investigated. Surely there seem to be many theo and historical elements that connect Origen to Bardaisan, th which is the theory of apokatastasis, which for both of them to the defense of human free will, and the polemic against p separation of justice and goodness in God. The investigatio between these two Christian thinkers casts much new light up doctrine of apokatastasis, where Bardaisan too played a sign completely neglected by scholars.

123 These readings were Plato, Middle-Platonists, Neo-Pythagoreans, who allegorized Greek and barbarian myths. See now Ramelli, “Origen, P with previous bibliography.

124 A less probable, but nevertheless possible, alternative may be that Porph Origen’s philosophical formation and readings was his master Plotinus, of Origen’s at Ammonius Saccas’s school in Alexandria. Our Origen, i homonymous neoplatonist repeatedly mentioned by Porphyry also in hi see my “Origen, Patristic Philosophy.”

125 In his Eusebian fragment on Origen, Porphyry states that he met O Porphyry was born in 232/3 C.E., and Origen died toward 255 c.E. (He was he died, according to Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 7.1. Since he was not yet sev father during Septimius’s persecution in 202 C.E.- the tenth year of his re Hist. eccl. 6.2.2- he was born in 186 C.E.; hence, he was 69 in 255, when 256 c.E.). Therefore, Porphyry was twenty-two or younger when he met O

126 They are likely to be those located under the Antoninus of Eme may have met Bardaisan in the days of his namesake Marcus Aurelius concerns them runs as follows, as Bardaisan wrote; he was a man com who lived in the time of our fathers, and met the Indians who partook in Caesar.” (“Exei 8e xd kcit’ cnjxoix; xotixov xov xporcov, ebq BctpSTiadvr Tcov Ttaxeptov r\\xm yeyovcaq, Kai evxvxebv xoiq jcepi Adv8auiv Tterceu Kaiaapa, dveypa\j/ev.)

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■ Conclusions: Contribution to Research

It emerges from this investigation that the conception of apokatastasis had a variegated background and certainly did not emerge with Origen all at once. It was present toward the end of the second century and at the beginning of the third in different Christian philosophical environments such as those of Alexandria (Didaskaleion) and Caesarea (school and library of Origen), and that of Edessa (Bardaisan and his school). All these connections, which shed new light on the origin of the doctrine of universal salvation, seem to me worthy of reflection and close analysis. Origen is usually seen as the initiator of this theory, and indeed he was the first Christian philosopher who expressed it in a complete and fully coherent form, making it the essence of his theoretical system.127 But as Clement and, even more, Bardaisan suggest, Origen’s insight did not emerge in a vacuum. It was evoked by reflection on human free will and its relationship to God’s justice and goodness and love, in a polemic that was directed above all against predestinationism. The same polemic against determinism and predestination- on the part of an author who, just like Origen, wrote against Valentinian and Marcionite theories, as several testimonia and the Liber itself indicate- was the basis for the development of Bardaisan ‘s thought concerning human free will and apokatastasis. It is remarkable that almost at the same time both Origen and Bardaisan, one in Alexandria and the other in Edessa, held the very same doctrine of apokatastasis. Bardaisan may even have supported it somewhat before Origen. The latter certainly found important premises for his doctrine in Clement’s conceptions and in the necessity of arguing against determinism, which Bardaisan too had to face.

My hypothesis is that both Origen and Bardaisan developed this doctrine in polemic with determinism, particularly Valentinian and astrological predest- inationism. This is indicated, respectively, by Princ. 3, as I have argued, and by the whole argument presented by Bardaisan in the Liber. In order to oppose such forms of determinism and, as Rufinus realized, to deny that everything depends either on fate or on chance, they created an alternative theodicy by postulating the very same nature for all rational beings, their free will, and its consequences during the worlds or aeons (aiwveq) (i.e., the different conditions in which the intellectual creatures [voeq] are found to be during the aeons, depending on their own choices and regulated by God’s justice) and at the same time posited providential action on God’s part that is respectful of each individual’s free will but leads all to salvation as a gift of grace and as a consequence of the final eviction of evil.

Both Origen and Bardaisan supported the doctrine of apokatastasis against determinism and predestinationism, just as, one and a half centuries after them, Gregory of Nyssa supported it against “Arianism,” especially in his In Mud. Tune

127 See Ramelli, “Christian Soteriology”; eadem, Apocatastasi\ and Tzamalikos, Origen: Philosophy of History.

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etlpse Filius and elsewhere.128 This doctrine was formulated an polemical framework at the philosophical and theological leve emergence of the theory of apokatastasis in Clement, Bardaisan that this theory took shape in the context of philosophical discu fate, theodicy, and the eternal destiny of rational creatures.

I think that a comparative study of Origen and Bardaisan

deeper, and wider understanding of the historical and theor

doctrine, which was stimulated by a philosophical framework

free will and theodicy. These seem to have influenced its first

expositions in Christian philosophy, that is to say, not only O

but also that of Bardaisan. Even though Origen’s codification

and extensive, that of Bardaisan, which is strikingly similar

have endeavored to point out, may have shortly preceded it, an

an impact upon it. Moreover, premises are to be found in Clem

a narrative and not theoretical form, in some early Christian

which were surely known to Clement- who regarded the Ap

Scripture- Origen and Bardaisan. They are very likely to have

in addition of course to what subsequently became the canoni

of which Origen and Nyssen continually have recourse in ord doctrine of universal salvation.

128 See the essay on Gregory’s In Mud. Tune et Ipse Filius in Ramelli, Gregorio di Nissa SuU’anima; eadem, *7n Illud. . . . Gregory of Nyssa’s Interpretation.” On “Arianism” I refer to Lewis Ayres, Nicaea and Its Legacy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004) who challenges several assumptions on Nicene and Arian theology, and to the discussion of his study in HTR 100 (2007) 125-241, especially the frame provided by Sarah Coakley’s introduction at 125-38. Interesting novelties are also proposed by Henryk Pietras, “Lettera di Costantino alia Chiesa di Alessandria e Lettera del sinodo di Nicea agli Egiziani (325)- i falsi sconosciuti da Atanasio?” Gregorianum 88 (2008), who argues that the two letters cited in the title, which most stress the condemnation of Arius, were unknown to Eusebius and Athanasius because they are apocryphal. I am very grateful to Henryk Pietras for letting me read his study before its publication.

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