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money, that is, eloquence and understanding, and who are in need of skill for the harmonious balance of their discourse, should turn to the living water and drink from the water from its vessels and wells, for it is not seemly to go to an alien kind of education and learning."[63] The action is set throughout on the sacred plane; both emperor and patriarch are advised and helped in prophetic dreams, but the power that Eutychius receives (before the Fifth Council, for which this is in fact the major literary source) is inevitably the power of rhetoric: "holiness rested upon him as if on one of the holy apostles, given to them by fiery tongues, and filled by the Holy Spirit he began to speak."[64] Similarly, the orator himself calls on the power of God for eloquence: "The material for building the tower of David is plentiful, but I am an ignorant architect and an inexperienced builder. But the Lord God is all-powerful. He makes the ignorant wise and gives words . . . to those who preach the good news, opening the ears of the deaf with His own finger, that is the Holy Spirit, and clearing the way before a clumsy tongue."[65] Having taken Gregory of Nyssa's speech on Basil as a primary model throughout, the orator hopes at the end to have "laid the poor fare of his speech before banqueters and connoisseurs."[66] Like the great Basil, his subject has embraced all the secular and sacred virtues: "all praise him [Eutychius] for being all to all people," that is, both to the clergy and the lay.[67] The totalizing discourse is finally claimed.

What does it mean that the Christian discourse becomes in practical terms the prevailing one? One enormously important factor affected both East and West from now on, namely the increasing limitations on the availability of the system of education that had been shared for centuries by nearly all members of the upper class. Books ceased to be readily available,

Figure 15.

The Patriarch Eutychius, with Constantine and Helena. (Mykonos, Cathedral of Theotokos Pigadiotissa)

Figure 15.

The Patriarch Eutychius, with Constantine and Helena. (Mykonos, Cathedral of Theotokos Pigadiotissa)

and learning became an increasingly ecclesiastical preserve; even those who were not ecclesiastics were likely to get their education from the Scriptures or from Christian texts.[68] In this situation, whereas an important factor in the spread of Christianity from early times had been its opportunistic quality—its ability to ride on the back of contemporary trends and to draw, if in

[68] In the West the situation was the more complex: Cassiodorus's schema for his monastery at Vivarium preserves classical authors even while relegating them to second place. In the East, the position after the mid-seventh century seems to have been much worse: see Cameron and Herrin, eds., Constantinople in the Eighth Century, 34 ff.; Mango, Byzantium, 136 ff.; C. A. Mango, "The Availability of Books in the Byzantine Empire, A.D. 750-850," in Byzantine Books and Bookmen (Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks, 1975), 29-45; N. G. Wilson, Scholars of Byzantium (London: Duckworth, 1983), 61-62. On books in the West, see G. Cavallo, "La circulazione libraria nell'eta di Giustiniano," in L'imperatore Giustiniano: storia e mito. Giornate di Studio a Ravenna, 14-16 ott. 1976, ed. G. G. Archi, Circolo toscano di diritto romano e storia del diritto 5 (Milan, 1978), 201-36; and A. Giardina, ed., Societa romana e impero tardoantico, vol. 4: Tradizione dei classici, trasformazioni della cultura (Rome: Laterza, 1986).

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