SELECTIONS FROM EARLY CHRISTIAN WRITERS: ILLUSTRATIVE OF CHURCH HISTORY TO THE TIME OF CONSTANTINE by Henry Melvill Gwatkin, M.A. First Edition, Macmillan & Co., Ltd., 1893. Reprinted with additions and corrections, 1897, 1902, 1905. Prepared for katapi by Paul Ingram, 2013.
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XLVII. EUSEBIUS, Hist. Eccles. vi. 18.

Origen's conception of education

Ἐν τούτῳ καὶ Ἀμβρόσιος τὰ τῆς Οὐαλεντίνου φρονῶν αἱρέσεως, πρὸς τῆς ὑπὸ Ὠριγένους πρεσβευομένης ἀληθείας ἐλεγχθεὶς καὶ ὡς ἂν ὑπὸ φωτὸς καταυγασθεὶς τὴν διάνοιαν, τῷ τῆς ἐκκλησιαστικῆς ὀρθοδοξίας προστίθεται λόγῳ· καὶ ἄλλοι δὲ πλείους τῶν ἀπὸ παιδείας, τῆς περὶ τὸν Ὠριγένην φήμης πανταχόσε βοωμένης, ᾔεσαν ὡς αὐτόν, πεῖραν τῆς ἐν τοῖς ἱεροῖς λόγοις ἱκανότητος τἀνδρὸς ληψόμενοι· μυρίοι δὲ τῶν αἱρετικῶν φιλοσόφων τε τῶν μάλιστα ἐπιφανῶν οὐκ ὀλίγοι διὰ σπουδῆς αὐτῷ προσεῖχον, μόνον οὐχὶ πρὸς τοῖς θείοις καὶ τὰ τῆς ἔξωθεν φιλοσοφίας πρὸς αὐτοῦ παιδευόμενοι. εἰσῆγέν τε γὰρ ὅσους εὐφυῶς ἔχοντας ἑώρα, καὶ ἐπὶ τὰ φιλόσοφα μαθήματα, γεωμετρίαν καὶ ἀριθμητικὴν καὶ τἄλλα προπαιδεύματα παραδιδοὺς εἴς τε τὰς αἱρέσεις τὰς παρὰ τοῖς φιλοσόφοις προάγων καὶ τὰ παρὰ τούτοις συγγράμματα διηγούμενος ὑπομνηματι- ζόμενός τε καὶ θεωρῶν εἰς ἕκαστα, ὥστε μέγαν καὶ παρ᾿ αὐτοῖς Ἕλλησιν φιλόσοφον τὸν ἄνδρα κηρύττεσθαι· πολλοὺς δὲ καὶ τῶν ἰδιωτικωτέρων ἐνῆγεν ἐπὶ τὰ ἐγκύκλια γράμματα, οὐ μικρὰν αὐτοῖς ἔσεσθαι φάσκων ἐξ ἐκείνων ἐπιτηδειότητα εἰς τὴν τῶν θείων γραφῶν θεωρίαν τε καὶ παρασκευήν, ὅθεν μάλιστα καὶ ἑαυτῷ ἀναγκαίαν ἡγήσατο τὴν περὶ τὰ κοσμικὰ καὶ φιλόσοφα μαθήματα ἄσκησιν.

About this time Ambrose, who held the heresy of Valentinus, was convinced by Origen's presentation of the truth, and, as if his mind were illumined by light, he accepted the orthodox doctrine of the Church. Many other lovers of learning also, drawn by the fame of Origen, which resounded everywhere, came to him to make trial of his skill in sacred literature. And a great many heretics and not a few of the most distinguished philosophers studied under him diligently, receiving instruction from him not only in divine things, but also in secular philosophy. For when he perceived that any persons had superior intelligence he instructed them also in philosophic studies – in geometry, arithmetic and other preparatory studies – and then advanced to the systems of the philosophers and explained their writings. And he made observations and comments upon each of them, so that he became celebrated as a great philosopher even among the Greeks themselves. And he instructed many of the less learned in the common school studies, saying that these would be no small help to them in the study and understanding of the Divine Scriptures. On this account he considered it especially necessary for himself to be skilled in secular and philosophic learning.

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