'A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For a journey, and such a long journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter.'
The celebrated opening of T. S. Eliot's ‘Journey of the Magi' adapts a passage from Lancelot Andrewes’ fifteenth sermon on the Nativity (1622). This is well known, but less familiar may be the fact that Andrews himself was making free use of St. John Chrysostom's Homily vi on Matt. 2:1,2—the scriptural text which describes the coming of the ‘wise men’ from the east to Jerusalem to worship Jesus. The number of wise men (once thought to be twelve), their station in life, their origin, and the nature and meaning of their journey were questions which gave rise to a long tradition of patristic and later commentary on the Epiphany, as the manifestation of Christ to the world and the commemorative feast of the Church came to be called.