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The Letters: A General Introduction

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Chapter Summary

Hints that Gregory of Nyssa was a frequent letter writer that occurs throughout the letters of all three Cappadocians. Letters and treatises show that Gregory often wrote in response to specific enquiries, which were more often than not requests for help in doctrinal and theological matters. This chapter gives the reader in English a sufficient overview of Gregory's style to enhance the appreciation of his letters, and discusses aspects of his vocabulary, and then a few of his most characteristic rhetorical figures. The letters of Gregory yield a picture of a many-sided and rich personality. Gregory, a man of formidable intellectual stature in the church of his day and indeed of any age, was also possessed of a sensitive and emotional nature. The chapter also presents the manuscripts used for the Pasquali edition. A tentative dating of the letters is proposed in the end of the chapter.

Keywords: Gregory's letters; Pasquali edition; rhetorician



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