Translated by Ch. Browne and J. Swallow.
2. Yet it would be most unreasonable of all, if, while we refuse to regard it as a righteous thing to defraud, insult, accuse, or treat unjustly in any way, great or small, those who are our kindred, and consider wrong done to those nearest to us the worst of all; we were yet to imagine that it would be an act of justice to deprive them of such an oration as is due most of all to the good, and spend more words upon those who are evil, and beg for indulgent treatment, than on those who are excellent and merely claim their due. For if we are not prevented, as would be far more just, from praising men who have lived outside our own circle, because we do not know and cannot personally testify to their merits, shall we be prevented from praising those whom we do know, because of our friendship, or the envy of the multitude, and especially those who have departed hence, whom it is too late to ingratiate ourselves with, since they have escaped, amongst all other things, from the reach of praise or blame.
3. Having now made a sufficient defence on these points, and shown how necessary it is for me to be the speaker, come, let me proceed with my eulogy, rejecting all daintiness and elegance of style (for she whom we are praising was unadorned and the absence of ornament was to her, beauty), and yet performing, as a most indispensable debt, all those funeral rites which are her due, and further instructing everyone in a zealous imitation of the same virtue, since it is my object in every word and action to promote the perfection of those committed to my charge. The task of praising the country and family of our departed one I leave to another, more scrupulous in adhering to the rules of eulogy; nor will he lack many fair topics, if he wish to deck her with external ornaments, as men deck a splendid and beautiful form with gold and precious stones, and the artistic devices of the craftsman; which, while they accentuate ugliness by their contrast, can add no attractiveness to the beauty which surpasses them. For my part, I will only conform to such rules so far as to allude to our common parents, for it would not be reverent to pass unnoticed the great blessing of having such parents and teachers, and then speedily direct my attention to herself, without further taxing the patience of those who are eager to learn what manner of woman she was.
4. Who is there who knows not the Abraham and Sarah of these our latter days, Gregory and Nonna his wife? For it is not well to omit the incitement to virtue of mentioning their names. He has been justified by faith, she has dwelt with him who is faithful; he beyond all hope has been the father of many nations,  she has spiritually travailed in their birth; he escaped from the bondage of his father's gods,  she is the daughter as well as the mother of the free; he went out from kindred and home for the sake of the land of promise,  she was the occasion of his exile; for on this head alone I venture to claim for her an honour higher than that of Sarah; he set forth on so noble a pilgrimage, she readily shared with him in its toils; he gave himself to the Lord, she both called her husband lord and regarded him as such, and in part was thereby justified; whose was the promise, from whom, as far as in them lay, was born Isaac, and whose was the gift.
 Rom. iv. 18.
 His father's gods. These words, together with the reference to idols and idolators in S: 5 and the lines (Poem, Hist. I. i. 123-4, tome 2. p. 636) hup' eidolois paros een zoon have led some writers (esp. Ullmann and Clericus) to attribute the worship of idols to the Hypsistarii, and Clemencet points out that zoon is only the Ep. and Ion. partic. of zao, and does not mean "of animals." The weakness of a reliance on a poetical expression is shown in Dict. Christ. Biog. Here the words are the mystical application of the actual experience of Abraham, and eidolon does not necessarily connote material idols. It is applied by S. Greg. Nyssen, Orat. funebr. de Placilla, p. 965. B (ed. 1615) to the worship of Jesus Christ by the Arians. Cf. Introd. to Orat. xviii.
 Gen. xii. 1; Heb. xi. 8.
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