The Hexaemeron of St. Basil the Great is a collection of nine homilies on the creation of the world. Basil probably delivered them extemporaneously, and they were subsequently edited and published towards the end of the fourth century A.D.. Much of the work is concerned with the character and use of knowledge about the physical world. This is manifest in Basil?s discussions of ancient zoology, physics, and cosmology, and his prescriptions regarding the use of knowledge about the sensible world. As a whole, the homilies constitute and important contribution to Late Antique Christian cosmology.The Hexaemeron is a highly synthetic document which draws on many ancient intellectual traditions. This work explores three influences on the cosmology of the Hexaemeron: the ontology of the second century Alexandrian exegete Origen, Stoic epistemology, and the soteriology of the fourth century theologian St. Ephrem the Syrian.
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