διὸ καὶ μεταλάττουσι τὴν φυσικὴν χρῆσιν εἰς τὴν παρὰ φύσιν αἱ δοκοῦσαι παρθένοι τῶν εἰδώλων -> therefore those professing to be virgins of the idols even change the natural use into the unnatural (Origen, commentary on Romans 1:26)

wings

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Thanks, that's very helpful--it makes more sense that way.

Here's another, which should probably be a different thread, but let's try it here.

διὸ καὶ μεταλάττουσι τὴν φυσικὴν χρῆσιν εἰς τὴν παρὰ φύσιν αἱ δοκοῦσαι παρθένοι τῶν εἰδώλων.
My translation: "Therefore it seems those virgins of the idols changed the natural use into the unnatural."  

This one is another fragment, so again no context.  It's Origen's Commentary on Romans, most of which we just have in the Latin from Rufinus, but here's a bit of the Greek that Staab found (1928) that relates to my research--by the numeration it's a comment on Rom 1:26.  Unfortunately Rufinus cut out a lot of the original when he translated it, so I don't find anything like this in his reworking of Origen's Commentary.

What I'm struggling with is the last phrase, αἱ δοκοῦσαι παρθένοι τῶν εἰδώλων.  I can't find this construction from any other ancient sources--the closest I've found (from TLG) is from Procopius' Commentary on Isaiah (500s?), εἰδωλολατρείας παρθένος, which I assume is something like "the women in service to idols,"  but I'm hesitant to automatically impute the same intent back onto Origen (230CE), although it doesn't seem like an unreasonable translation.

I thought perhaps παρθένοι τῶν εἰδώλων maybe a reference to the Vestal Virgins, although Plutarch calls them παρθένος ἱέρεια.

« Last Edit: 28 Jun, 2020, 20:52:35 by spiros »


jtownsle

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Some follow-up on this.  Elsewhere, Origen uses a similar phrase in Contra Celsum, in a context where he quotes all of Rom 1:21-28--interestingly, except for Rom 1:26b.  He has a larger discussion of these verses, and the discussion is interspersed with the quotes of the verses.  Where we might expect to find Rom 1:26b (the women who exchange natural relations for unnatural), instead we find:
"εἶναι θεοῖς παρθένοι"
So if I take this finding back to the commentary fragment, I think it supports the interpretation that παρθένοι τῶν εἰδώλων from the Romans Commentary fragment are a reference to the women in the goddess cults, such as the Vestal Virgins.
« Last Edit: 21 Aug, 2010, 18:45:27 by jtownsle »



 

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