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ORIGENES, ORYGENES. Origines Adamantius was born c. A.D. 186 in Alexandria. His father Leonides was martyred in 202, when Origen was not quite seventeen, during a persecution against Christians and Jews under Septimius Severus. After his father's death Origen's devotion increased so that he sought martyrdom himself, but it escaped him. He was a brilliant scholar, and by the time he was eighteen Demetrius, bishop of Alexandria, made him head of the Catechetical School, a post he held until 231. Both boys and girls came to the school and, to avoid temptation, Origen took Jesus's saying in Matthew 19:12 literally and castrated himself. Because of this action, Demetrius later denied him the priesthood, and Origen eventually left Alexandria. He settled in Caesarea, where a friendly bishop ordained him. There he established a school surpassing in renown that at Alexandria. During the Decian persecution between 250 and 251, Origen was repeatedly tortured, and his death in 255 perhaps resulted from his sufferings (Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History VI). Influenced by the Platonic allegories of Philo Judaeus, also of Alexandria, Origen became the father of allegorical interpretation of certain books of the Bible. He wrote commentaries on Matthew, John, Isaiah, Ezekiel and, most famous of all, on the Canticle of Canticles, which interprets the Beloved as the Church and the Bridegroom as Christ. A thirteenth-century work entitled Homilia Origenis de Maria Magdalena was attributed to Origen, but it is in the Latin tradition, not the Greek tradition, to which Origen belonged.

Alceste reminds the God of Love that Chaucer has translated Orygenes upon the Maudeleyne, LGW F 428, LGW G 418. [Magdalene]

Origenes, the ME variant of Greek and Latin Origenes, appears initially, LGW F 428; Orygenes, a spelling variant, appears initially, LGW G 418.


Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, ed. and trans. J.E.L. Oulton, II: 9-85; M. Jennings, "The Art of the Pseudo-Origen Homily De Maria Magdalena." Medievalia et Humanistica, new series 5 (1974): 139-152; J.P. McCall, "Chaucer and the Pseudo-Origen de Maria Magdalena." Speculum 46 (1971): 491-509; Origen, The Song of Songs: Commentary and Homilies, trans. R.P. Lawson.
From CHAUCER NAME DICTIONARY
Copyright © 1988, 1996 Jacqueline de Weever
Published by Garland Publishing, Inc., New York and London.

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