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Short Words on Earth: Theological Geography in Rufinuss Commentary on the Apostles Creed

Catherine M. Chin

Journal of Early Christian Studies, Volume 21, Number 3, Fall 2013, pp. 391-412 (Article) Published by The Johns Hopkins University Press DOI: 10.1353/earl.2013.0036

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Short Words on Earth: Theological Geography in Runuss Commentary on the Apostles Creed
This article examines Runus of Aquileias approach to local textual variations in the baptismal creed, as presented in his Commentary on the Apostles Creed, which analyzes the creed very differently than other late-ancient Latin treatments of the creed. I argue that Runus sees local variations in the text of the creed as aspects of the divine mind that manifest differently in different places, following an Origenist framework in which geography is part of divine pedagogy for humans. Thus the creed, its reciters, and its local setting interact much like agents within a local ecosystem, which provides a specic environment to which its inhabitants must adapt, but which is also changed by its inhabitants as they live in it.

In the rst book of On First Principles, arguing for the immateriality of God, Origen remarks that mind is not dependent on space or place for the efcacy of its movements or thoughts.1 In making this claim, Origen anticipates only one possible objection to it: motion sickness. When men are traveling by sea and tossed by the waves, their mind is somewhat less vigorous than it is wont to be on land. . . .2 Nonetheless, Origen explains, this weakness is only a characteristic of minds that are composite with bodies in the material universe, not of mind in an absolute sense. The
1. Princ. 1.1.57. Edition is that of Henri Crouzel and Manlio Simonetti, Origne: Trait des Principes, SC 252 (Paris: Cerf, 1978); translations are from G. W. Butterworth, Origen: On First Principles (Gloucester, MA: Peter Smith, 1973), except where other wise noted. 2. Princ. 1.1.6 (SC 252:100; tr. Butterworth, 11).
Journal of Early Christian Studies 21:3, 391412 2013 The Johns Hopkins University Press


concession that terrestrial minds may well be constrained by travel and bodily location is what I would like to pursue here, in the thought of one of Origens peripatetic followers, Runus of Aquileia. I nd one of Runuss texts particularly attentive to the intersections between geography and intellectual change. Runuss Commentary on the Apostles Creed is notable for its attention to minor differences between the creed of Aquileia and other baptismal creeds.3 I argue that the relationship Runus suggests between the text of the creed and the place of its recitation presupposes a particular kind of theological geography, in which the creed is simultaneously local and translocal, and in which the ecclesial centers in which the creed occurs are considered part of a living network of divine mental activity. This geography is an extrapolation of a broadly Origenist stance in which differences between territories constitute different processes of divine education for souls on earth. Thus, I suggest, Runuss Apostles Creed moves and adapts itself geographically as part of the overall interaction of divine mind with its terrestrial bodies. LOCAL, EXPERIENTIAL, AND TEXTUAL To begin with the complex iterations of the local in Runuss commentary: the two most obvious contemporary Latin texts to which the Commentary can be compared are the Explanatio symboli ad initiandos attributed to Ambrose and the fth book of Niceta of Remesianas Libelli instructionis, both of uncertain date, but produced perhaps in the two or three decades before Runuss work and certainly in the milieu of northern Italy and the Adriatic.4 Runus may well have been aware of both
3. I use the Latin text and line numberings of Manlio Simonetti, Tyrannii Runi Scripta Varia, CSEA 5.2 (Rome: Citt Nuova, 2000), 98173; the text is the same as that printed in CCL 20. The standard English translation remains that of J. N. D. Kelly, Runus: A Commentary on the Apostles Creed (New York, NY: Newman, 1954), which I use here except where otherwise noted. On the date of the commentary, see also Caroline Hammond Bammel, The Last Ten Years of Runus Life and the Date of His Move South from Aquileia, Journal of Theological Studies n.s. 28 (1977): 38889, who dates it to around 400; and Francis X. Murphy, Runus of Aquileia (345411): His Life and Works (Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 1945), 17985, who dates it to around 402. 4. The attribution of the Explanatio to Ambrose has been much debated; for a review of the scholarship see the edition of Bernard Botte, Ambroise de Milan, Des Sacrements; des Mystres, SC 25 (Paris: Cerf, 1961), 2125; but see also Klaus Gamber, Geht di Sog. Explanatio symboli ad initiandos Tatschlich auf Ambrosius zurck? Byzantinische Forschungen 2 (1967): 184203, who attributes the work to Niceta of Remesiana. I use Bottes edition, with some reference to the edition and translation


these works.5 The production of these three works in close temporal and geographic proximity suggests a general interest in creedal interpretation and the public explication of baptismal instruction in late fourthand early fth-century North Italy and the Adriatic, where indeed the political implications of neo-Nicene and homoian theologies continued to play out well into the sixth century.6 This proximity also places Runuss work within a well-established Italian and Adriatic intellectual and ecclesiastical network: the inuence of Ambrose and Milan on northern Italian ecclesiastical politics is well known, and Niceta seems likewise to have been well-connected, from his friendship with Paulinus of Nola, appearance in the letters of Innocent, and notice in Gennadiuss continuation of the De viris illustribus of Jerome.7 As part of this network, Runuss Commentary may be understood as itself local in its production and imagined audience: nothing is known of the Bishop Lawrence for whom Runus wrote the work, but it has been suggested that he was either bishop of Runuss native Concordia, or that Laurenti is a corruption of Gaudenti, and that the work was written for Gaudentius of Brescia; in either case the work would be equally part of this North Italian network.8 Runuss indication that he is writing a commentary specically on the creed of Aquileia indicates the locality of the commentary very clearly.9
of R. H. Connolly, The Explanatio Symboli ad Initiandos, A Work of Saint Ambrose (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1952). For Nicetas Libelli instructionis, see the introduction and critical edition of A. E. Burn, Niceta of Remesiana: His Life and Works (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1905), lixlxxxiii and 654; although Niceta appears to have outlived Runus, Burn dates the Libelli instructionis to relatively early in Nicetas episcopal career, and suggests (lxxiii) that Runus knew the work. 5. The disagreements between Runus and the Explanatio have led to some speculation that the Explanatio could have been a response to Runus, and hence not Ambrosian, but this seems unlikely given the internal evidence for Ambrosian authorship: see R. H. Connolly, St. Ambrose and the Explanatio Symboli, Journal of Theological Studies 47 (1946): 18596. I would suggest instead that Runus may be responding to the Explanatio; I will discuss their differences in greater detail below. 6. See, e.g., Roger Grysons introduction to his edition of the Arian scholia to the Acta of the Council of Aquileia, Scolies ariennes sur le Concile dAquile, SC 267 (Paris: Cerf, 1980); and Neil B. McLynn, From Palladius to Maximus: Passing the Arian Torch, Journal of Early Christian Studies 4 (1996): 47793. 7. Gennadius, De vir. ill. 22; Innocent, epp. 21 and 22; Paulinus, ep. 29.14; carm. 17 and 27; see Burn, Niceta of Remesiana, xlixlix, and 13755. 8. Kelly, Runus, 89, dismisses both of these possibilities; on Runuss social network more generally, see Elizabeth A. Clark, Elite Networks and Heresy Accusations: Towards a Social Description of the Origenist Controversy, Semeia 56 (1992): 81107. 9. Sym. apos. 3.


The commentary also draws attention to the local through a set of striking omissions. As is well known, Runus draws heavily on the Catechetical Lectures of Cyril of Jerusalem. Runuss use of these lectures in sections 2030 of his Commentary is extensive enough that, as J. N. D. Kelly remarks, it would not be unfair to describe his treatise . . . as a rather free, drastically abbreviated presentation in Latin of St. Cyrils teaching....10 Niceta of Remesiana also draws extensively on Cyril, which suggests that Cyrils work had spread into Italian and Adriatic Greek-speaking circles, and might indeed have been familiar to at least some of Runuss audience.11 For some time, however, scholarship on Cyril has pointed to Cyrils emphatic connection between the words of the baptismal creed of Jerusalem and the experience of catechumens physically located in Jerusalem. Cyrils Lectures thus transform the creed into an intensely local experience. His repeated verbal gestures such as Golgotha, here, or You see before you . . . have led scholars to posit a strongly sensory argument for the centrality of Jerusalem itself in Cyrils Jerusalem liturgy.12 By contrast, Runuss commentary focuses almost exclusively on the words of the creed itself; his interest is not liturgical, although Runus refers to the recitation of the creed, nor is his argument sensory, despite the fact that Runuss lengthy earlier monastic career at the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem could easily have supplemented Cyrils descriptions of Jerusalem sites.13 Instead, Runus insists on the fundamentally verbal nature of the creed that is his subject. Runus disembodies the creed in the sense that he treats its words as separable, if not separate, from their non-textual physical surroundings, whether these surroundings are liturgical or geographical. For Runus, although the creeds words may be provisionally located in specic places and events, they are, as repeated and transmitted words, fundamentally removable from these contexts. The Italian and Adriatic texts of Ambrose and Niceta likewise demonstrate this contrast between Runuss treatment of the creed as separable
10. Kelly, Runus, 11. 11. Burn, Niceta of Remesiana, lxxlxxiii. 12. Dayna Kalleres, Cultivating True Sight at the Center of the World: Cyril of Jerusalem and the Lenten Catechumenate, Church History 74:3 (2005): 43159; on the relationship between visible and invisible experience in Cyril, see Georgia Frank, Taste and See: The Eucharist and the Eyes of Faith in the Fourth Century, Church History 70:4 (2001): 62330. On Cyril and liturgy more generally, see Jan Willem Drijvers, Cyril of Jerusalem: Bishop and City (Leiden: Brill, 2004), 7295, and A.J. Doval, Cyril of Jerusalem, Mystagogue: The Authorship of the Mystagogic Catecheses (Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 2001). 13. On Runuss relationship with Cyrils successor, John of Jerusalem, see Murphy, Runus of Aquileia, 55, 7881 and Clark, Elite Networks, 112 n.58.


from its physical surroundings and their own treatments of the creed as fully enmeshed in its human performance. While they do not use local landmarks in the way that Cyril does, they both focus extensively on the immediate, experiential aspects of baptism and its attendant rituals, as the occasion on which their audiences learn the creed. Niceta sets his writing on the creed in the context of an entire baptismal instruction: the fragments of the rst book, for example, address the segregation of catechumens from the rest of the congregation, and the exorcism of candidates for baptism;14 the second book explains that memorizing the creed is similar to memorizing the Lords prayer or making the sign of the cross;15 the fth book, on the creed, addresses catechumens consistently in the second person, explaining what exactly their recitation of the creedal clauses will mean.16 The Explanatio symboli, similarly, opens with reference to the exorcism prior to baptism, and then indicates its immediate context, and its status as a transcription, with the words: It is now the time and the day for us to hand on [tradamus] the creed.17 Interspersed through the interpretation of the creed are imperatives for the listeners to make the sign of the cross as they learn each clause.18 Thus these texts, like Cyril, insist on a vivid sensory and physical environment for the learning of the creed; the creed itself is merely the most verbal part of a richly orchestrated physical process.19 While they do not summon the same kind of local geography as Cyril does, they nonetheless create a setting of immediate physical specicity for the baptismal candidate. Runus, however, excludes even this kind of local and temporal specicity. Although Runus clearly states at the outset of his commentary that he has chosen to comment on the creed as taught at Aquileia,20 and was very likely in Aquileia at the time of writing,21 he makes no mention of the physical environment or experience of baptism in the city. If, as has been suggested,22 the Jonah mosaic cycle at Aquileia should be taken as a type of baptism, we might expect a reference to Jonah in Runuss commentary to take up this type, but there
14. Lib. ins. 1.frag.6 (Burn, Niceta of Remesiana, 7). 15. Lib. ins. 2.frag.4 (Burn, Niceta of Remesiana, 8). 16. Lib. ins. 5.114 (Burn, Niceta of Remesiana, 3852). 17. Exp. sym. 1 (SC 25:46). 18. Exp. sym. 3, 8 (SC 25:48, 56). 19. For a useful brisk overview of baptismal practices in Milan and north Italy, see Everett Ferguson, Baptism in the Early Church: History, Theology and Liturgy in the First Five Centuries (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2009), 63462. 20. Sym. apos. 3. 21. See Bammel, Last Ten Years, 38690; Kelly, Runus, 59. 22. Allan Doig, Liturgy and Architecture from the Early Church to the Middle Ages (Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2008), 4648.


is no such tie to the physical experience of Aquileia in the text.23 Thus, although Runus is careful to locate his commentary with reference to the particular creed at Aquileia, the physical markers of baptism are absent. Instead of embedding it within these localized sensory markers, we nd Runus presenting the creed as a text subject to typical late-ancient commentarial practice. His focus is on authorial intentionality as well as on the state and meanings of the text. The idea that the text of the baptismal creed is part of a verbal apostolic tradition is emphatically established in the rst two sections of Runuss Commentary, in a detailed origin story on the creation and purpose of the creed. The literal apostolic authorship of the baptismal creed is not commented on in sources earlier than the Explanatio, which simply says, So, when the holy apostles had come together, they created a summary of the faith, so that we could grasp the content of the faith completely and in brief.24 Later in the text, the Explanatio divides the creed into three groups of four sententiae, and says, Look: just as there are twelve apostles, so there are twelve sententiae.25 Runuss version elaborates such minimal statements of fact to more than fty lines of exposition on the apostolic authorship, setting, and purpose of the creed, and adds the detail that each of the twelve clauses of the creed was composed by an individual apostle.26 That the clauses authored by the apostles are the same words that these fourth- and fth-century writers had is stressed by Runus in his repeated use of tradere and traditio in this passage, six times in the rst sixty lines of the commentary, as opposed to reddere or redditio, the liturgical term for the catechumens recitation of the creed, which is only used once in the rst two sections of the commentary, and then as Runuss claim that he is returning simplicity to the apostolic words.27 It is clear that Runus intends to retroject a histori23. Y.-M. Duval, Jonas Aquile: de la mosaque Theodoriana sud aux textes de Jrme, Run, et Chromace? Antichit Altoadriatiche 47 (2000): 27396. For an overview of the relationship between the mosaics at Aquileia and the Christian community there, see Claire Sotinel, Identit Civique et Christianisme: Aquile du IIIe au VIe Sicle (Rome: cole franaise de Rome: 2005), 7689. 24. Exp. sym. 2 (SC 25:46). 25. Exp. sym. 8 (SC 25:56). 26. Sym. apos. 2. 27. Sym. apos. 1.2223 (CSEA 5.2:98). Runus does use reddere once in the following section, 3.82, when describing this point in the liturgy. Overall, trad- words occur about twice as often in the work as redd- words, 33 times as opposed to 13. Ambrose, Exp. sym. 1, also uses tradamus for the instruction of catechumens in the creed; we can legitimately infer a similar invocation of a historical past here, although it is not emphasized to the same degree. It is also likely true that the Latin baptismal creeds of the fourth century bear some genealogical relationship to each other, and


cal setting and verbal tradition from the baptismal creed of Aquileia that relies on apostolic authorship. Runus also emphasizes the particulars of this verbal tradition in a way that ts more comfortably within the setting of late-ancient commentarial work, both biblical commentary and commentary more broadly, than it does within the context of liturgical performance.28 For example, in sections 3536 of the commentary, on belief in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Church, the remission of sins, and the resurrection of the esh, Runus explains at great length why the creed has the word in before the Holy Spirit but not before the Holy Church, the remission of sins, and the resurrection of the esh.29 The prepositional distinction is precisely the sort of thing that could be found in biblical commentary, but also in, for example, Serviuss Aeneid commentary, in which Virgils particular uses of prepositions and declensions are taken to give information about both the author and the meaning of the text.30 Whereas other writers on the creed treat the learning of the creed as part of an overall process of catechesis and baptism, Runus frames it primarily as a document of the words that are authoritative for fth-century Christians, not unlike the way the words of Virgil carried cultural and religious authority for fthcentury Latin readers in general. Runuss treatment of the creed as a text upon which commentary can be written is all the more striking given the insistence, which Runus himself emphasizes, that the creed is not to be written down: . . . the reason why the creed is not written down on paper or parchment, but is retained in the believers hearts, is to ensure that it has been learned from the tradition handed down from the apostles, and not from written texts, which occasionally fall into the hands of unbelievers.31 The same prohibition is found in Cyril, Niceta, and the Explanatio, which even warns against
this may be partly behind the idea of apostolic origins: J. N. D. Kelly, Early Christian Creeds (3rd ed.; London: Longman, 1972), chapters 4 and 6 on the Old Roman Creed and its reception. 28. At this point in his career, Runus had not yet translated any of Origens formal commentaries, but had translated Origens homilies on Joshua, Judges, and Psalms 3638: Bammel, Last Ten Years, 39194. 29. Sym. apos. 3536 (CSEA 5:2:15456; tr. Kelly, Runus, 7172). 30. On Serviuss techniques, see Robert Kaster, Guardians of Language: The Grammarian and Society in Late Antiquity (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1988), ch. 5; on Runuss exegetical technique here, see also Calogero Riggi, Runo Catecheta, Antichit Altoadriatiche 31:1 (1986): 18087. 31. Sym. apos. 2.5660 (CSEA 5.2:100; tr. Kelly, Runus, 30). The corruption of written texts by heretics was of course a major preoccupation for Runus, and forms the backbone of his defense of Origen in On the Adulteration of the Works of Origen.


reciting the creed aloud as part of memorizing it, since this might cause the newly baptized to recite the creed accidentally in the hearing of catechumens or heretics.32 Given this tradition, it is perhaps not surprising that most of these earlier texts on the creed are found in written records of oral performance. Runus, however, is writing against the grain of this tradition, by treating the creed as if it were a written text, even as he insists that it is not. This treatment of the creed as written ts in, instead, with Runuss other preoccupations with earlier Christian words: his On the Adulteration of the Works of Origen, from 397, traces the textual corruption of works from the post-apostolic period to his own time. A few years after writing his commentary on the creed, in 407, Runus will translate the pseudo-Clementine Recognitions, attempting to establish the connection between Peters missionary sermons and the episcopal tradition of Rome. In Runuss account, the baptismal creed becomes another textual connection between apostolic preaching and the authority of specic repeatable words in the fth century.33 Placing the creed in this textual genealogy appears to move the creed from the sphere of local liturgy to the less immediately physical, and less immediately local, sphere of commentarial object. It may be tempting to see this absence of physical markers of locality as a typically Origenist claim, extrapolated from the passage in On First Principles with which I began, on the fact that the divine mind is independent of place. Yet R unus is not in fact removing the creed from a local context by treating it as a written text. Instead, he is outlining a relationship between texts and places that aligns locality with textual practice, rather than separating the two. It is to this alignment that I now turn. CREED AS TRAVELLING MIND Runus does distinguish local creeds from one another, and he occasionally goes into some detail about their variations. For example, in his examination of the beginning of the Aquileian creed, he sets out the opening as
32. Exp. sym. 9. 33. See especially Eric Hobsbawms seminal Introduction: Inventing Traditions, in The Invention of Tradition, ed. Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1983), 114. On the idea of apostolicity in Eusebius and some pseudo-Clementine literature, see Annette Yoshiko Reeds excellent Jewish Christianity as Counter-history? The Apostolic Past in Eusebius Ecclesiastical History and the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies, in Antiquity in Antiquity: Jewish and Christian Pasts in the Greco-Roman World, ed. Gregg Gardner and Kevin Osterloh (Tbingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2008), 173216.


I believe in God the Father Almighty, but then immediately explains, Almost without exception the Eastern Churches give this in the form, I believe in one God the Father Almighty.34 Runus suggests that the insertion of one is in deference to the Apostle Paul, a verbal reminiscence of 1 Cor 8.6. In the next section of the commentary, he explains that after God the Father Almighty, the Aquileian creed inserts the phrase invisible and impassible, but that these two predicates . . . are absent from the creed of the Roman church. They were interpolated . . . to meet the heresy of Sabellius. . . .35 This degree of specicity suggests that Runus is not in fact arguing that the creed is free from constraints of place. The local points of interest, however, are not themselves visible physical sites, but localized verbal events, occurring either under the inuence of scriptural precedent or to counter the inuence of local heresy. It should be noted, moreover, that this interpolation is explicitly criticized in the Explanatio symboli as a local deviation from the creed in Rome;36 Runus, by contrast, suggests that the adaptation of local creeds to local situations is thoroughly appropriate. Thus the local in Runuss commentary is particularly the local of specic verbal events engaged with particular intellectual tasks.37 In this sense, Runuss commentary is a peculiarly textual understanding of place: the difference between Rome and Jerusalem, or Alexandria and Aquileia, is not a matter of what sites are to be found there, but of what words can legitimately be said there. This setting of the conditions under which certain intellectual acts can occur is Origenist in the fuller sense of understanding terrestrial intellection as tied to specic environmental conditions.38 Nowhere does Runus suggest that the creeds of what he calls the Eastern Churches, the creed of Rome, or the creed of Aquileia are wrong in having local variation: the state of affairs is not pristine, but neither is it corrupt. Rather, despite their locality, Runus is at pains to
34. Sym. apos. 4.11315 (CSEA 5.2:104; tr. Kelly, Runus, 33). 35. Sym. apos. 5.2047 (CSEA 5.2:10810; tr. Kelly, Runus, 37). 36. Exp. sym. 4; see also Bottes introduction, 23. 37. Here I have found Tim Whitmarshs discussion, Thinking Local, in his Local Knowledge and Microidentities in the Imperial Greek World (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2010), 116, particularly helpful; Whitmarsh refers (6 n.20) to M. Kearney, The Local and the Global: The Anthropology of Globalization and Transnationalism, Annual Review of Anthropology 24 (1995): 54765, which I have also found useful. 38. This is particularly clear in Origenist-inected ascetic practice; for a good overview, see Blossom Stefaniw, Mind, Text, and Commentary: Noetic Exegesis in Origen of Alexandria, Didymus the Blind, and Evagrius Ponticus (Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 2010), chapter 4.


explain how the various creeds are correct to insert the words that they insert. The most famous example is of course his discussion of the clause the resurrection of the esh, which in its Aquileian version is the resurrection of this esh.39 This local safeguard, Runus argues, serves a good purpose; it is not a corruption of doctrine in any way, and in fact claries the doctrinal correctness of the Aquileian church and its members. Thus the local here cannot be assumed to be a departure from right doctrine, even if it is clearly a departure from other local verbal practices. By defending local verbal interpolations in this way, Runus is fundamentally arguing that the creed is a set of truth-bearing verbal traditions that adapt themselves to different environments, while retaining the same truth-value. That such a view can be found in the work of a longtime translator and theorist of translation should not be surprising.40 Instead, we can see in the Commentary on the Apostles Creed the same kind of principles of verbal locality and adaptation that underlie Runuss translations overall. As Runus presents the particular case of the creed, moreover, I would suggest that the adaptation of text to place is one of the dening conditions of creedal statements. Unlike his translations of other texts, such as the Recognitions of Clement or the homilies of the Cappadocians, R unus does not present the creed as particularly Eastern wisdom brought to the West or more broadly as thought that diffuses the value of one place across different places.41 Instead, the creed is presented as originally intended, and indeed composed, for a variety of places and in a variety of languages. Probably the most famous element of Runuss commentary is his account of the joint composition of the creed, clause by clause, by the apostles.42 The fact that this account is manifestly a ction has led to some neglect
39. Sym. apos. 43 (CSEA 5:2:168). Cf. Apol. c. Hier. 1.46. For the importance of this clause in Runuss defense of himself and of Origen, see Clark, The Origenist Controversy: The Social Construction of an Early Christian Debate (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1992), 175, 18587; Murphy, Runus of Aquileia, 18385; Kelly, Runus, 150 n.268. 40. For some time, much of the scholarship on Runuss translations focused on his indelity to his original texts; for the shift in scholarly opinion about the reliability of Runuss translations, see the classic study of M. Monica Wagner, Runus, the Translator (Washington, DC: Catholic University Press, 1945), especially chapters 1 and 6. On the problematic notion of delity in translation in general, see Douglas Robinson, Who Translates? Translator Subjectivities Beyond Reason (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 2001), especially chapters 1 and 2. 41. Rec. preface; Hom. Greg. preface. For an overview of the way Runuss translation career overall does participate in the tropes of East-to-West trade, see Toms Spidlck, Runo e lOriente, Antichit Altoadriatiche 31 (1987): 11524. 42. Sym. apos. 2.


of the context in which Runus places it. The creed, Runus argues, was specically designed for travel. In his account, after the apostles were granted facility in different languages at Pentecost, the Lord then commanded them to journey separately to different countries to preach the word of God. When they were on the point of taking leave of each other, they rst settled on a common form for their future preaching....43 This is the specic context in which Runus claims that the apostles drafted this short summary in fulllment of Isaiah 10.22, a short word will the Lord make upon the earth.44 The mobile and terrestrial nature of the creed is clear in this introductory section. In fact, Runus reiterates the point at the end of the introduction, and elaborates on it, arguing that the descent of languages upon the apostles at Pentecost is the mirror image of the story of the Tower of Babel. One group, on the eve of their separation... built a tower of pride, while the apostles, erecting a tower of faith, were rewarded with the knowledge of . . . all languages.45 This complex introduction to the creed emphasizes its overriding unity, but insists that this unity has as its originary point a multiplicity of languages and authors, who are divinely tied to movement across different territories. Thus the proof of the apostolic nature of the creed lies in its movement and adaptation to a series of places that require linguistic change. The purpose and origin of the creed is its own dispersion.46 Yet despite Runuss emphasis on the physical movement of the creed from place to place, he clearly does not consider that what is being transmitted is primarily material or terrestrial. The composite nature of Runuss creed is usually considered to be the contribution of one clause by each apostle; but of course the more vital component for Runus is the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, which oversees the content of the creed along with its attendant travel and translation needs.47 The role of the Holy Spirit in the commentary aligns closely with the description of the Holy Spirit in Runuss translation of On First Principles, possibly one of the more heavily revised sections of the text, in which Runus erases
43. Sym. apos. 2.3134 (CSEA 5.2:100; tr. Kelly, 29). 44. Sym. apos. 12 (CSEA 5.2:98; tr. Kelly, 29). 45. Sym. apos. 2.6772 (CSEA 5.2:102; tr. Kelly, 31). 46. Compare Whitmarshs discussion of the translocal Res Gestae in Thinking Local, 48. On the relationship between place and travel, and the way in which travel can create place, see Marc Aug, Non-Places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity, tr. John Howe (London: Verso, 1995), chapter 3, which relies heavily on Michel de Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life, vol. 1, tr. Stephen Rendell (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1984), part 3. 47. Sym. apos. 2.


Origens subordinationism.48 In Runuss Latin version, the Holy Spirit, while not divine rationality itself, is the mediator of correct divine thought to humans: For all knowledge of the Father, when the Son reveals him, is made known to us through the Holy Spirit.49 The Holy Spirit acts as the gatekeeper to different kinds of divine gifts, including access to divine thought: such as have been deemed worthy of advancing to this degree through the sanctication of the Holy Spirit obtain in addition the gift of wisdom by the power of the working of Gods Spirit.50 This notion of the Holy Spirit as the mediator of divine wisdom and various forms of spiritual gifts gives a particular signicance to the idea of the creed as adaptable local knowledge. In this system, a local creed is a geographical adaptation of the divine mind writ large. The adaptation and the local specicity of creedal variations are thus physical manifestations of divine mental activity; that is, textual variants represent physically situated instantiations of divine movement, as the Holy Spirit reveals the divine mind in different places and persons. Thus, what is moving in the transmission of the creed is not simply the verbal tradition, but the revelation of divine wisdom, and what is plotted in that movement are the terrestrial contours of the divine mind itself.51 The creed situates divinity in the human and in the terrestrial. In other words, the verbal differences in the text of the creedsometimes slight, sometimes less soare on this view the necessarily different physical manifestations of the activity of the divine mind, as far as it is bound to physical instantiation. THE NOETIC NETWORK Thus Runuss interest in textual variation is undergirded in part by a physical system of geographical variation in the visible presences of the divine. It is useful to place this imagined geographical system into the context of the
48. This at least is Jeromes claim in ep. 124.2; see discussion in Crouzel and Simonetti, Origne: Trait des Principes, vol. 2, SC 253 (Paris: Cerf, 1978), 14 n.21, 60 n.20, 62 n.23. For a fuller discussion of Origens pneumatology, see Maureen Beyer Moser, Teacher of Holiness: The Holy Spirit in Origens Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans (Piscatawy, NJ: Gorgias, 2005), who takes the Romans commentary as representative of Origens pneumatology as a whole; see chapter 4 especially for the interaction between the Holy Spirit and human beings. On the reception of Origens pneumatology in the fourth century, see also Andrew Radde-Gallwitz, Holy Spirit as Agent, not Activity: Origens Argument with Modalism and its Afterlife in Didymus, Eunomius, and Gregory of Nazianzus, Vigiliae Christianae 65 (2011): 22748. 49. Princ. 1.3.4 (SC 252:150; tr. Butterworth, 32). 50. Princ. 1.3.8 (SC 252; tr. Butterworth, 38). 51. On the substantiality of the Spirit as a necessary condition for its activity in the world, see Radde-Gallwitz, Holy Spirit as Agent, 22735.


three most prominent environments for Runuss commentary: Aquileia, Rome, and Jerusalem. The rst two are the only creedal locations mentioned by name in the text,52 and although Jerusalem is only mentioned as part of the crucixion narrative,53 it is clearly the source location for much of Runuss material.54 These three urban centers appear to have been thriving hubs in the late fourth century, even if Aquileia and Rome would be under military threat soon after the commentary was written, in the early fth.55 Travel and commercial routes between Jerusalem and North Italy were well established, as were routes between Jerusalem and Rome, and between Rome, eastern ports, and Aquileia.56 Runus, of course, would have traveled these routes himself in 397 and 399, making his way from Jerusalem to Rome, and then to Aquileia.57 The cities were, in addition to being commercial centers, episcopal centers as well, and the mapping of textual variants of the creed along these ecclesial routes suggests that the terrestrial network of divine mental activity overlaps predictably with ecclesiastical movement. In this case, the material presence of divine intellection is manifested according to the constraints imposed by the presence of ecclesial urban centers; the divine mind is visible in the particulars of the city. In such a system, the varieties of the text of the creed indicate not only regional distinctions in the material manifestations of the divine, but suggest that episcopal centers play a privileged role in the terrestrial movement of divine manifestations.58 The relationship between intellection and location is, moreover, reciprocal. The location of creeds in cities reects an obvious geographic reality,
52. At Sym. apos. 3, 5, 16. 53. Sym. apos. 20. 54. Given the references to Eastern Churches in the commentary (4, 5) we can also assume that Jerusalem is included in these, perhaps privileged; see Y.-M. Duval, Aquile et la Palestine entre 370 et 420, Antichit Altoadriatiche 12 (1977): 299. 55. See esp. Sotinel, Identit Civique, chapters 1 and 4; Drijvers, Cyril of Jerusalem, chapter 1; the bibliography on the city of Rome in late antiquity is of course vast, but for a useful guide to the interactions between religious and civic acitivty, see John R. Curran, Pagan City and Christian Capital: Rome in the Fourth Century (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), chapter 4. 56. Duval, Aquile et Palestine, 26789; Sotinel, Identit Civique, 1628; cf. also Sotinel, How were Bishops Informed? Information Transmission Across the Adriatic Sea in Late Antiquity, in Travel, Communication and Geography in Late Antiquity: Sacred and Profane, ed. Linda Ellis and Frank L. Kidner (Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2004), 6371. 57. Murphy, Runus of Aquileia, 8283, 111; Bammel, Last Ten Years, 38486. 58. This idea would also t neatly into the rise of the gure of the bishop as civic and urban leader: Claudia Rapp, Holy Bishops in Late Antiquity: The Nature of Christian Leadership in an Age of Transition (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2005), chapters 7 and 9.


in that such cities clearly served as physical network hubs for travel and exchange, and were the location of episcopal baptismal oversight.59 To the extent that Runus sees the creed as physically based in travel, then, the conation of creed and city is predictable. At the same time, this conation also creates a kind of noetic privileging of cities as moments in which divine activity becomes visible and reproducible. In this sense, the city should not be understood exclusively as a place, but also as a series of repeated actions, or repeated moments of collective intellectual reproduction, governed by a combination of divine mind, human baptism, and terrestrial motion between places.60 The idea of the city as a repetitive set of situated intellectual reproductions is in fact clear in Runuss commentary, in which the distinguishing characteristic of the cities that are its foundation is precisely the liturgical repetition of the local creed. For example, in noting his own use of the creed of Aquileia, Runus simply states that he will follow the sequence of the creed which I accepted through the grace of baptism.61 The tie between acceptance of the creed and acceptance of baptism in a particular urban center means, on the one hand, that the creed is reproduced in the situated community, but also that this particular community, on the other hand, is reproduced through the mechanism of the situated creed. The creedal urban center, then, is fundamentally a center of reproduction, but reproduction of a combined verbal, divine, human, and terrestrial kind.62 The privileging of the reproductive activity of episcopal urban centers, and particularly those tied to major travel and commercial routes, offers an alternative to the dominant narrative of the creation of Christian sacred

59. See Gisella Cantino Wataghin, Christianisation et Organisation Ecclsiastique des Campagnes: LItalie du Nord aux IVe-VIIIe Sicles, in Towns and Their Territories between Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages, ed. G. P. Broglio et al. (Leiden: Brill, 2002), 20934. 60. This notion of mental activity as distributed across multiple agents and in space is much more fully explored in Edwin Hutchins, Cognition in the Wild (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1995); for the idea of the city as a set of repeated actions (in this case physical movements), see Bill Hillier, Space is the Machine (London: Space Syntax, 2004), chapter 4, Cities as movement economies, but also de Certeau, Practice of Everyday Life, chapter 7. 61. Sym. apos. 3.8687 (CSEA 5.2:102; my translation). 62. I rely to some extent here on the model of social reproduction through verbal reproduction as outlined most famously in Pierre Bourdieu and Jean-Claude Passeron, Reproduction in Education, Society and Culture, 2nd ed., tr. Richard Nice (London: Sage, 1990), but would like to add to it, rst, the problem of the material situatedness of that reproduction, which necessarily varies over time and place, and, second, the problem of the invisible divine as co-agent in the activity of reproduction.


geography.63 Rather than focusing on sites in Palestine, sanctied in a variety of ways through the use of biblical texts,64 or on the creation of memorials to martyrdom, we see the creation of matrices of divine intellectual activity that manifest their unity and difference through the variations in the text of the creed. The relationship between text and place here is complex: as texts are understood to reproduce and change from place to place, materially, through repetition, interpolation, excision, or translation, so places have their invisible theological characteristics mapped through such reproductive changes. This guiding principle becomes clear in Runuss explanation of the main reason for variations between regional creeds: In other places, to the best of my knowledge, the presence of heretics seems to have occasioned the insertion of clauses, the idea being that they would help to exclude novelties of doctrine.65 Here heretics, like manuscripts, provide regional theological variants, and, as it were, constitute the landscape to which divine activity must adapt. Again we see Runus taking a stance opposed to that of the Explanatio symboli, which argues that the presence of heretics is not sufcient cause to alter the words of the creed: Where the faith is kept whole, the teachings of the apostles are enough: safeguards, even those of bishops, are not needed.66 In contrast to this concern about local variations in the creed, Runuss alternative stance frames textual variation not as textual corruption, but as appropriate adaptation to local conditions. Runus makes one notable exception to this principle of hereticallyinformed local variation: No such development . . . can be detected in the case of the church of the city of Rome. The reason, I suppose, is that no heresy has ever originated there.67 The Explanatio symboli, although it holds the creed of Rome as its standard for creedal consistency, nowhere offers an explanation for Romes primacy. Runuss commentary supports the
63. See especially Robert A. Markus, How on Earth Could Places Become Holy? Origins of the Christian Idea of Holy Places, Journal of Early Christian Studies 2 (1994): 25771; P. W. L. Walker, Holy City, Holy Places? Christian Attitudes to Jerusalem and the Holy Land in the Fourth Century (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990); and Brouria Britton-Ashkelony, Encountering the Sacred: The Debate on Christian Pilgrimage in Late Antiquity (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2005). 64. See especially Andrew Jacobs, Remains of the Jews: The Holy Land and Christian Empire in Late Antiquity (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2004), chapters 2 and 3. 65. Sym. apos. 3.8486 (CSEA 5.2:102; tr. Kelly, 32, with my modication). Note the emphatic initial In ceteris autem locis. 66. Exp. sym. 4 (SC 25:50). 67. Sym. apos. 3.7880 (CSEA 5.2:102; tr. Kelly, 31). The sentence balances that at 3.84 by opening, In ecclesia tamen urbis Romae.


notion that the creed of Rome is pristinely apostolic, but explains Romes consistency as yet another instance of local variation, or in this case, local invariance. The idea that Rome has never been the birthplace of heresy is a fascinating claim for Runus to make, particularly since he had at the time of writing recently left a Rome hotly divided over Origenism; he was certainly aware of the effects of disputes over doctrine in Rome, even if he considered these disputes imported, rather than domestic.68 Yet his claim reveals the imagined relationship between textual change, divine mental activity, and terrestrial geography: Runus does not claim that Rome is the originary point for the creed; to the extent that the originally multilingual creed can be said to have an originary point, it is clearly Jerusalem.69 Yet Rome is equally clearly imagined as a highly favorable physical environment for the reproduction of the creed. This is supported in part through physical events specic to that location: the ancient custom is maintained there whereby candidates who are on the point of receiving the grace of baptism deliver the creed publicly, in the hearing of the congregation of the faithful. As a result . . . the interpolation of even a single article is not tolerated.70 Thus location sets the conditions in a variety of ways for the terrestrial manifestation of divine thought in verbal practice. The idea that geography constrains mental activity is not new; Plinys Natural History and Ptolemys Tetrabiblos, among others, famously correlate regional variation in both bodies and temperaments with geographic location relative to the sun, moon, or other planets.71 More importantly for Runus, Origen himself subscribes to a version of this theory of geographical variation. In the second book of On First Principles, Origen suggests that souls are incarnated in different geographical regions to undergo appropriate corrective training.72 He elaborates on this argument in Against Celsus as part of an explanation of the Tower of Babel narrative: And each
68. Murphy, Runus of Aquileia, 9599 and 10510; Bammel, Last Ten Years, 385. 69. Sym. apos. 2. 70. Sym. apos. 3.8083 (CSEA 5.2:102; tr. Kelly, 3132). 71. On Plinys rather mild attempt to relate location and person in book 7 of the Natural History, see Trevor Morgan Murphy, Pliny the Elders Natural History: The Empire in the Encyclopedia (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), chapter 3. On Ptolemys Tetrabiblos, see Tamsyn S. Barton, Power and Knowledge: Astrology, Physiognomics, and Medicine under the Roman Empire (Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 1994), especially chapter 2. For an example of the close connection between geography and astrology in late antiquity, see Evelyn Edson and Emilie Savage-Smith, An Astrologers Map: A Relic of Late Antiquity, Imago Mundi 52 (2000): 729. 72. Princ. 2.9.58.


one is led by angels, who put in them their native language, to the parts of the earth which they deserve.73 Even the movements of the Israelites in and out of captivity, Origen says, were part of this geographical system of correction: in proportion to their sins they were abandoned to those beings who had obtained other countries.74 Thus ones place on earth is, on a large scale, part of the divine pedagogical plan for the training of thought. In his commentary, Runus has taken this general principle and applied it to the smaller scale of ecclesial urban centers, and indeed to his own history of travel. The variety of nations become cities, and the local educational differences Origen suggests become variations in the text of the creed, necessary to deal with regional intellectual problems. This geographical pedagogy should likewise be applied to the physical context of the liturgy as a whole. Rather than devaluing the liturgical status of the creed, Runus is instead attempting to expand the liturgical process in a particularly Origenist fashion. It is unclear what sort of baptismal creedal statements Origen himself would have been familiar with in third-century Alexandria or Caesarea,75 but from one of the works that Runus would later translate, the Commentary on Romans, we know that Origens primary understanding of baptism was as part of a lifelong pedagogical process: . . . Parents not only produce sons but they also educate them. . . . And just as [Christ] substituted birth with rebirth, so also he replaced one [instruction] with another. For when he sent his own disciples to do this task, he did not merely say, Go, baptize all nations, but Go, teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.76 It is of course a similar moment of apostolic dispersal and teaching with which Runus begins his own commentary on the creed. In other words, for Origen and in the tradition of his teaching, baptism is located within an ongoing process of divine instruction. This is more than appropriate for a thinker whose idea of paradise in the afterlife is, famously, a place of instruction and, so to speak, a lecture room or school for souls.77 Baptism is at best merely the beginning of
73. C. Cels. 5.30 (SC 147:90). Translation is that of Chadwick, Origen: Contra Celsum (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1953), 287. 74. C. Cels. 5.31 (SC 147:92; tr. Chadwick, 288). 75. Kelly, Early Christian Creeds, 18289. 76. Comm. Rom. 5.2.78 (SC 539:414). Translation is that of Thomas P. Scheck, with my modication: Origen: Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans, Books 15, tr. Thomas P. Scheck, FC 103 (Washington, D.C. Catholic University of America Press, 2001), 33233; n.b. the paragraph numbering of SC 539 (Paris: Cerf, 2010) differs slightly from the paragraph numbering used by Scheck. 77. Princ. 2.11.6 (SC 252:408; tr. Butterworth, 152).


this eschatological process of schooling, a process that is located for each individual in a specic location. This eschatological view, however, requires some elaboration to transplant into the context of fourth- and fth-century catechesis. As is well known, in the wake of Constantines conversion, fourth-century catechists began to emphasize a much more formalized, and much shorter, process of catechesis as part of the Lenten period of preparation for baptism.78 Thus catechesis over the course of the fourth century became known primarily as part of the Lenten baptismal process. This is the context in which instruction in the creed is located in Ambrose, Niceta, and Cyril: all are bishops serving as catechists during the Lenten preparation for baptism. Their explanations of the creed are embedded within the overall liturgical event. By contrast, Runus is writing a stereotypical textual commentary. The change shifts the location of creedal knowledge away from the liturgy and places liturgy itself into Origens cosmological lecture room. Rather than instruction occurring within liturgy, liturgy itself becomes part of instruction, turning the work of earlier creedal writers inside out. This does not devalue liturgy; indeed liturgy and instruction work together for the overarching pedagogical aim. It is, as already noted, the recitation of the creed in the liturgy in Rome that Runus claims is responsible for the preservation of the apostolic text.79 Likewise the interpolations in the creed that Runus mentions are intended to clarify and protect the apostolic tradition. This returns the creed to an Origenist pedagogical framework, but it does so while working with the realities of fth-century liturgy and scholarship. The manifestations of divine mental activity in different urban hubs are thus connected into an entire adaptive system of intellection that is simultaneously human, verbal, geographical, and divine. In the same way that Origens Israelites are sent where they are for the education of their souls, the catechumens in Rome, Aquileia, and Jerusalem learn the creeds that they do, and perform the liturgy that they do, in order to facilitate their own appropriate noetic activity. Thus the creed is certainly local but it is so in the service of a much larger mobile and changeable system of intellection. Urban centers and local bishops participate in a dynamic material environment of mind, manifested in the creed, providing focal points for the multifaceted reproduction of divine thought on earth.
78. For a useful and thorough narrative, see Ferguson, Baptism in the Early Church, part ve, The Fourth Century; and more specically on ritual aspects, Victor Saxer, Les rites dinitiation chrtienne du IIe au VIe sicle: Esquisse historique et signication daprs leur principaux tmoines (Spoleto: Centro italiano di studi sull alto medioevo, 1988). 79. Sym apos. 3.7883.


CONCLUSION: TEXTUAL ECOSYSTEMS AND TEXTUAL FUTURES Taking this Origenist view of creedal variation from place to place as the mapping of combined terrestrial and, as it were, extraterrestrial mental activity into earthly environments leads us quite obviously out of the realm of normal histories of text transmission, liturgy, or late-ancient travel. In concluding, I would like to suggest that this departure into the extra-human history of the creed allows for a way of understanding the complex experience, and perhaps the complex expectation, embedded in early Christian textuality more broadly. The links between geography, movement, verbal reproduction, and the physical constraints of divine and human thought that Runuss work reveals suggest a widely distributed, and richly populated, system of intellectual agency.80 This system accounts for the complex production of past texts, but also entails an equally complex production of future texts. In Runuss account, the creed is the product of ongoing divine and human interaction, but is also acted upon by its physical location, which determines the constraints of those interactions. The creed is thus a document of past interactivity, but it is also expected to become both an agent and a document of interactivity yet to come. Having been acted upon, the creed is expected to act in its turn upon its human agents, in and after the process of baptism; in this way it both reveals particular characteristics of the divine, and adapts itself to a variety of local environments over time, from past to future. To borrow a model from the biological sciences, this is essentially an ecosystemic view of the creed, in which multiple agents interact, adapt, and reproduce in ongoing and developing ways that are constrained or facilitated by each other and by their surroundings.81
80. Jane Bennett observes the ways in which the ostensibly inanimate becomes animate and active in Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2010), chapters 1 and 4; I would like to tie this to the idea of distributed cognition in Hutchins, Cognition in the Wild, as a way of thinking through the intellectual agency of entire systems. These systems also include invisible forces or what we might now deem the supernatural; for an attempt to re-integrate such invisible forces into the writing of religious history, see Robert Orsi, Abundant History: Marian Apparitions as Alternative Modernity, Historically Speaking 9 (2008): 1216; and Orsi, 2 + 2 = Five: The Quest for an Abundant Empiricism, Spiritus 6 (2006): 11321. 81. The use of ecological metaphors is not new to discourse or textual analysis; see Einar Haugen, The Ecology of Language, in Haugen, The Ecology of Language (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1972), 32539, who points out the use of biological metaphors in nineteenth-century linguistics (326); see also Bernard Cerquiglini, In Praise of the Variant: A Critical History of Philology, tr. Betsy Wing (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999), 6670, on the alignment of


This ecological or ecosystemic view is a product of the much larger scale cosmological systemic thinking that we nd in the theology of Origen, in which both terrestrial and non-terrestrial beings, human and non-human, play a variety of competitive or adaptive roles within a system that stretches beyond earth, through the planetary spheres or heavens, and ultimately into the divine.82 The lives and trajectories of these multiple agents intersect in a variety of ways, and depending on which agents are chosen as focal points, the narratives that can be produced around particular events or processes will inevitably change. The process that is the performance of the creed in a specic place may be understood variously as the performance of divinely-sanctioned thought by humans, the performance of situated humanness by the divine mind, or the performance of divine and human intellection by terrestrial territory.83 It is of course all of these things. In this system, the event that is the creed is performed by multiple human and non-human actors at once, all of whom are acting upon and manifesting themselves through the others.84 Thus the city of Rome thinks the creed in a particular way, untroubled by heresies, while Aquileia thinks the creed in a way that properly adapts the doctrine of the resurrection to other countervailing thoughts within its territory. The movement of the creed to other cities may generate other adaptations. Origen believed in
text criticism and biological thought in the early twentieth century. Note more recently the adaptation of ecosystems to discourse systems in Jay L. Lemke, Textual Politics: Discourse and Social Dynamics (London: Taylor and Francis, 1995), 10629. I have found the ecological model of mutualism, in which different species interact in a variety of ways, both cooperatively and competitively, to facilitate individual biological events, to be extremely helpful in its insistence on the multiple agents involved in this textual system: for a short introduction, see Judith L. Bronstein, Our Current Understanding of Mutualism, The Quarterly Review of Biology 69 (1994): 3151; Bronstein, The Costs of Mutualism, American Zoologist 41 (2001): 82539; and John J. Stachowicz, Mutualism, Facilitation, and The Structure of Ecological Communities, BioScience 51 (2001): 23546. 82. See especially Alan Scott, Origen and the Life of the Stars (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994). 83. See Lambros Malafouris and Colin Renfrew, The Cognitive Life of Things: Archaeology, Material Engagement and the Extended Mind, in The Cognitive Life of Things: Recasting the Boundaries of the Mind, ed. Malafouris and Renfrew (Cambridge, UK: McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, 2010), 112; a more literal account of how religious objects allow the supernatural to be thought is found in the same volume: Andy Clark, Material Surrogacy and the Supernatural: Reections on the Role of Artefacts in Off-line Cognition, 2328, but Clark begins from the premise that the supernatural is only thought, not thinking, which obviously cannot account for the presence of divine agency in Runuss model. 84. Cf. Bennett, Vibrant Matter, 100104, who expands John Deweys notion of conjoint action to non-human agencies.


both the angels of specic places and the intellectual capacity of planetary spheres;85 what we see here is the somewhat literalist working out of such principles in the apparently small-scale problem of the movement of words from one place to another. These divinely-directed verbal migrations allow for active engagement and adaptation between words and their physical environments, both human and otherwise. It will be useful here to return to the relationship between Runuss physical travels around Jerusalem, Rome, and Aquileia and his emphasis on these cities as hubs of creedal reproduction. Recent work on lateancient cities has focused on the physical and governmental structure of those cities, their building projects, populations, and economic activity.86 An ecosystemic view of the city that incorporates texts, thoughts, and invisible as well as human forces, into these physical and political structures can reframe the visible and physical features of the city as a variable, moving nexus of additional agents, all of which act upon their human and non-human inhabitants and travellers, ultimately encouraging or constraining certain kinds of repetitive movements.87 Thus the city can be understood as a variable, combined intellectual and physical system, localized in a specic setting, for the regulation and ongoing reproduction of both human and non-human rational agents. On the level of noetic activity, this is in fact the view of the city that we see implied in Runuss commentary. The text of the creed is one of the actors that engages with the city in their overlapping elds of movement, both being manipulated by the city and manipulating the city in its turn. Cities produce and reproduce texts, humans and thoughts, but they are also reproduced in those texts, humans, and thoughts. Thus, physically, we see Runuss own movements mapped in the text of his commentary, so that the inhabitation of cities by texts is reciprocated in the inhabitation of texts by cities. Runus himself moves through these places both with and within his commentary.88

85. Scott, Origen and the Life of the Stars, 12649. 86. See, for example, J. H. W. G. Liebeschuetz, The Decline and Fall of the Roman City (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001); the essays collected in Luke Lavan, Recent Research in Late-Antique Urbanism (Portsmouth: Journal of Roman Archaeology Supplementary Series, 2000); or in Jens-Uwe Krause and Christian Witschel, Die Stadt in der Sptantike: Niedergang oder Wandel? (Stuttgart: Fritz Steiner, 2006). 87. Hillier, Space is the Machine, chapter 9, The fundamental city; cf. Dolores Hayden, Urban Landscape History, in Understanding Ordinary Landscapes, ed. Paul Groth and Todd W. Bressi (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1997), 11133. 88. Cf. Catherine M. Chin, Through the Looking Glass Darkly: Jerome Inside the Book, in The Early Christian Book, ed. William E. Klingshirn and Linda Safran (Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 2007), 10115.


Thinking of textuality as a set of densely-populated local systems, in which textual events are distributed across a variety of human and nonhuman agents in specic places, acting in both competitive and adaptive ways, allows us to account in a more complex and textured way for the tension between variation and sameness as the creed seems to move from city to city. For the inhabitants of this intellectual system, like Runus, what we might consider the text-critical, historical, or theological problem of textual variation is not a problem at all: it is simply and directly a geography of this world in relation to the next. It is not a sacred geography of the kind we might expect from contemporary pilgrimage accounts, but is instead the geography of a complex intellectual ecosystem in which an abundance of human and non-human actors meet, use, and inhabit one another. Thinking of late-ancient textuality in such systemic terms allows us to account for the inuences, beyond the simply human, that late-ancient people experienced when encountering, or being encountered by, a text. The vitality of this kind of textual culture, and its relation to place, points to a sometimes-overlooked quality of pre-modern textualities, which is simply that texts are produced and experienced uniquely in places, and verbal traditions are local.89 We should, moreover, acknowledge the likelihood that textual practitioners in late antiquity thought in complex ways about texts both as reections of past changes and as agents susceptible to future change. Runus, as a theorist of textual change, accounts not only for the change of texts over time, but for the change of texts from place to place as well. Runuss Commentary on the Apostles Creed thus opens an analytic avenue into the intersections between the words, earths, and human and non-human intelligences that inhabited the late-ancient world. The variations of the creed from place to place are not a simple matter of historical reconstruction or textual genealogy; they are instead a manifestation of a complex invisible world within the limited visible bounds of human experience. Catherine M. Chin is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of California, Davis

89. Cf. John Dagenais, The Ethics of Reading in Manuscript Culture: Glossing the Libro de buen amor (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1994), chapter 1; Andrew Taylor, Textual Situations: Three Medieval Manuscripts and Their Readers (Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002), chapters 1 and 5.