(EUS. PRAEP. EV ANG. viii. 14, 386—399)
 1Κατασκευάζει δὲ τὸν λόγον τοῦτον τὸν τρόπον·
Πρόνοιαν εἶναι λέγεις ἐν τοσαύτῃ τῶν πραγμάτων ταραχῇ καὶ συγχύσει; τί γὰρ τῶν κατὰ τὸν ἀνθρώπινον βίον διατέτακται; τί μὲν οὖν οὐκ ἀταξίας γέμει καὶ φθορᾶς; ἢ μόνος ἀγνοεῖς, ὅτι τοῖς μὲν κακίστοις καὶ πονηροτάτοις ἄφθονα ἐπικωμάζει τὰ ἀγαθά, πλοῦτος, εὐδοξία, τιμαὶ παρὰ τοῖς πλήθεσιν· ἡγεμονία πάλιν, ὑγεία, εὐαισθησία, κάλλος, ἰσχύς, ἀπόλαυσις ἡδονῶν ἀκώλυτος, διά τε παρασκευῶν περιουσίαν καὶ διὰ τὴν εἰρηνικωτάτην σώματος εὐμοιρίαν; οἱ δὲ φρονήσεως καὶ ἀρετῆς ἁπάσης ἐρασταί τε καὶ ἀσκηταὶ πάντες εἰσίν, ὀλίγου δέω φάναι, πένητες, ἀφανεῖς, ἄδοξοι, ταπεινοί;
2 Ταῦτα εἰς ἀνασκευὴν καὶ μυρία ἄλλα πλείω τούτων εἰπών,
This is the method in which he conducts this discussion.1 Alexander saysa:
“Do you maintain the existence of providence amid this vast welter and confusion of things? For what part of human life is subject to order, nay, what is not brimful of disorder and corruption? Or are you alone ignorant that to the worst and vilest of men good things in abundance come crowding in, wealth, high repute, honours paid to them by the masses, again authority, health with efficiency of the senses, beauty, strength, unimpeded enjoyment of pleasures through the abundance of their resources and the bodily well-being free from all disturbance which they possess, while the lovers and practisers of wisdom and every virtue are almost universally poor, obscure, of little repute and in a humble position?”
After stating these and a host of othersb on the negative2
- aSee Introduction, p. 448.
- bAlexander goes on to enlarge on all these injustices and to argue that they cannot be the work of a just providence. He then mentions specific cases, Polycrates and the elder Dionysius, both of which are later answered by Philo. He also says that the fall of the son of Dionysius is not to the point, for a just ruler does not punish the children for the guilt of the father (see § 55). He then speaks of the martyrdoms of Socrates, Zeno and Anaxarchus (cf. Quod Omn. Prob. 106 ff.). Philo in his reply does not deal with these. In fact Alexander is represented as more or less answering himself. For he says of Zeno that by his endurance he earned high praise and of Anaxarchus that he could not really suffer affliction, “qui divinae partis dignus est factus.” The first part of Philo’s reply is not given by Eusebius. In it in answer to Alexander’s assertion of the poverty of the just, he points out that Democritus and Anaxagoras voluntarily resigned their property (cf. De Vit. Cont. 14 and 15, where a somewhat different view of their conduct is taken).