Johannes Scotus Eriugena

Steven Avery

Johannes Scotus Eriugena,- Erigena - (815-877)
"highly proficient in Greek""tres unum"&f=false


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Steven Avery

hi Mike this is interesting On p. 413 John Scotus Eriugena (c. 800–c. 877) is placed under John Duns Scotus .. perhaps because of the similarity of names, it is likely that Eriugena could use his own section!

Steven Avery

Joannes Scotus Erigena (c. 800 – c. 877)
John Scotus Eriugena[a] or Johannes Scotus Erigena or John the Scot (c. 800 – c. 877)[3] was an Irish
Catholic Neoplatonist philosopher, theologian and poet of the Early Middle Ages. Bertrand Russell dubbed him
"the most astonishing person of the ninth century". The Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy states he "is the
most significant Irish intellectual of the early monastic period. He is generally recognized to be both the
outstanding philosopher (in terms of originality) of the Carolingian era and of the whole period of Latin
philosophy stretching from Boethius to Anselm."

He wrote a number of works, but is best known today for having written De Divisione Naturae (The Division of
Nature), or Periphyseon, which has been called the "final achievement" of ancient philosophy, a work which
"synthesizes the philosophical accomplishments of fifteen centuries." The principal concern of De Divisione
Naturae is to unfold from φύσις, which the Scot defines as "all things which are and which are not", the entire
integrated structure of reality. Eriugena achieves this through a dialectical method elaborated through exitus
and reditus, that interweaves the structure of the human mind and reality as produced by the λόγος of God.
He succeeded Alcuin of York (c. 735–804) as head of the Palace School at Aachen. He also translated and
made commentaries upon the work of Dionysius the Areopagite, and was one of the few Western European
philosophers of his day who knew Greek, having studied in Byzantine Athens. A later medieval tradition
recounts that Eriugena was stabbed to death by his students at Malmesbury with their pens, although this may
rather be allegorical.
John Scotus Eriugena. Wikipedia. <>

De Divisione Naturae ("The Division of Nature") is the title given by Thomas Gale to his edition (1681) of
the work originally titled by 9th-century theologian Johannes Scotus Eriugena Periphyseon.[1] The work was
probably carried out beginning in the early 860s and completed around 866–67. This is based on a dedication
in the book identifying as frater (brother) Wulfad, who was made a bishop in 866, making it unlikely that
Eriugena would have used so casual a reference after that elevation. The work was not widely circulated in the
author's lifetime. Eriugena was assisted by one, possibly two other persons in writing the book, based on the
presence of margin notes indicating the penmanship of two separate persons. One of these is believed to have
been Eriugena himself, while the script indicates that the second writer was a fellow Irishman. The work is
arranged in five books. The original plan was to devote one book to each of the four divisions, but the topic of
creation required expansion. The form of exposition is that of dialogue; the method of reasoning is the
syllogism. Natura is the name for the universal, the totality of all things, containing in itself being and non-
being. It is the unity of which all special phenomena are manifestations.

The Division of Nature has been called the final achievement of ancient philosophy, a work which
"synthesizes the philosophical accomplishments of fifteen centuries and appears as the final achievement of
ancient philosophy."[10] It is presented, like Alcuin's book, as a dialogue between Master and Pupil. Eriugena
anticipates Thomas Aquinas, who said that one cannot know and believe a thing at the same time. Eriugena
explains that reason is necessary to understand and interpret revelation. "Authority is the source of
knowledge", but the reason of mankind is the norm by which all authority is judged.
De divisione naturae. Wikipedia. <>

[Carnes] One reason Gregory was not taken up into the theological stream in the West is that he was little
translated into Latin. John Scotus Eriugena (c. 800–c. 877) should be greatly credited for the influence Gregory
did have. Not only was Eriugena himself influenced by Gregory, but he also translated 'On the Making of the
Human' into Latin. Even more: He also translated many of the works of fifth-century thinker Pseudo-Dionysius,
whose writings bear the mark of Gregory's influence. Much of Gregory's influence in the West comes through
Pseudo-Dionysius by way of Eriugena. (N. Carnes, Beauty: A Theological Engagement with Gregory of Nyssa,
2014, p. 15)

 A. I now see the reply of the holy theologian [Gregory] to be completely supported by the truth. For, as
has been shown, whether in the Divine Nature of the human, the name of a relation cannot be applied
to a substance or essence. But I should like to hear from you, clearly and succinctly, whether all
the categories - for they are then in number - [can truly and properly be predicated] of the
supreme One Essence in Three Substances of the Divine Goodness, and of the Three
Substances in the same One Essence. (John Scotus Eriugena, The Division of Nature, Book 1;
Translated by I. P. Sheldon-Williams and JJ O'Meara, 1987)

o Latin: DISC. Jam video praedicti sancti Theologi responsum omnino veritate suffultum. Non
enim potest, ut suasum est, sive in divina, sive in humana natura, relationis nomen in substantia
seu essentia recipi. Nosse tamen aperte et breviter per te velim, utrum omnes categoriae,
cum sint numero decem, de summa divinae bonitatis una essentia in tribus substantiis,
(0458A) et de tribus substantiis in eadem una essentia, vere proprieque possint
praedicari. (John Scotus Eriugena, De divisione naturae, Book 1; Migne Latina, PL 122.458)
 A. Concerning the difference between the Divine Essence and the Substances the divine word handed
down from the Holy Fathers of both tongues, that is, the Greek and the Latin, has instructed me. St.
Dionysius the Areopagite and Gregory the Theologian and their most subtle commentator Maximus say
that there is a difference between οὐσία, that is, essence, and ὑπόστασις, that is substance;
understanding by οὐσία that one and simple Nature of the Divine Goodness, and by ὑπόστασις the
proper and individual Substance of each of the Persons. For they say: μίαν οὐσίαν ἐν τρισὶν
ὑποστάσεσιν, that is One Essence in Three Substances. Also St. Augustine and the other Holy
Fathers who write in Latin expound their belief in the Holy Trinity by saying: One Substance in Three
Persons, indicating the Unity of the Divine Nature by the name of Substance, and the threefold property
of the Substances by the names of the three Persons; and this is accepted by the modern writers
among the Greeks too ; for they say : μίαν ὑπόστασιν, that is One Substance, and three πρόσωπα, that
is, Three Persons. For all believe the same thing even if they express it in different terms. So,
following the Greeks we say: The οὐσία of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit is
one and the same, but the ὑπόστασις is not one and the same. (John Scotus Eriugena, The
Division of Nature, Book 2; Translated by I. P. Sheldon-Williams and JJ O'Meara, 1987)

o Latin: DISC. De differentia divinae essentiae atque substantiae docuit me theologia ex sanctis
Patribus utriusque linguae, graecae videlicet atque latinae, tradita. Siquidem sanctus Dionysius
Areopagita, et Gregorius Theologus, eorumque elegantissimus expositor Maximus, differentiam
esse dicunt inter οὐσίαν, id est essentiam, et (0613B) ὑπόστασιν, id est substantiam; οὐσίαν,
quidem intelligentes unicam illam ac simplicem divinae bonitatis naturam, ὑπόστασιν vero
singularum personarum propriam et individuam substantiam. Dicunt enim μίαν οὐσίαν ἐν
τρίσιν ὑποστάσεσιν, hoc est, unam essentiam in tribus substantiis. Sanctus quoque
Augustinus, ceterique sancti Patres latialiter scribentes, fidem sanctae Trinitatis exprimunt,
dicentes unam substantiam in tribus personis, significantes unitatem divinae naturae eo nomine,
quod est substantia, trinam vero substantiarum proprietatem trium personarum vocabulis. Quod
etiam moderni Graecorum recipiunt; dicunt enim μίαν ὑπόστασιν, id est unam substantiam, et
τρία πρόσωπα, id est tres personas. Una eademque fides est in omnibus, (0613C) quamvis
significationum diversitas videatur. Itaque secundum Graecos dicimus, una eademque est οὐσία
Patris et Filii et Spiritus sancti, sed non una eademque est ὑπόστασις. Habet enim Pater suam
propriam ὑπόστασιν, quae neque Filii neque Spiritus sancti est, sed solius Patris; similiter Filius
suam propriam ὐπόστασιν, quae neque Patris neque Spiritus sancti est, sed solius Filii. Eodem
modo de Spiritu sancto dicendum, propriam ὑπόστασιν habere, quae neque Patris est, neque
Filii, sed solius Spiritus sancti. Neque aliud praeter hoc latina vox edocet, tres personas in una
substantia pronuntians. Substat ergo Pater per se, substat Filius, substat Spiritus sanctus,
et tres substantiae in una essentia substant, quoniam tres unum sunt. (John Scotus
Eriugena, De divisione naturae, Book 2; Migne Latina, PL 122.613