REVUE BÉNÉDICTINE (Suppl): BULLETIN D’ANCIENNE LITTÉR. CHRÉTIENNE LATINE, vol. 1 (1921-8), pp. 272-277


691.     H. VON SODEN. Der Lateinische Paulustext. bei Marcion und Tertullian (Festgabe... Jülicher). Tübingen (1927) Mohr p. 229-281.

    H. v. Soden published in 1910 a significant study on the Latin New Testament in Africa at the time of Cyprian. Now he goes back still furtherl, to the time of Tertullian and the Marcionite Latin Bible. This is because he admits that Tertullian quotes Marcion according to a Latin translation made in Rome, and that he knows and quotes himself a catholic Latin translation. These two translations have a different vocabulary, e.g. the marcionite Bible said serere, baptizare, peccatum, the Bible of Tertullian seminare, tinguere, delinquentia. These two translations are compared then with citations by Cyprian. The differences between Tertullian and Cyprian are an enigma of which the solution escapes us.

D. De Bruyne.

|p273

B. — EXTRA-BIBLICAL LITTERATURE.

692.     C. FRIES. Ad. Minuc. Fel. Octav. 34, 2. — Philol. Wochens. 48 (1928) 350-351.

Some corrections.

693.     G. D[E] S[ANCTIS]. Minucio Felice e Lucio Vero. — Riv. di Filol. ed. Istr. class. 55 (1927) 233-235.

Back-to-back comparison of Gudeman and Meyer, on the subject of Octavius 18, 5-6.  Conclusion: Minucius Felix wrote either before 161 or after 200.

694.     G. THÖRNELL. Studia Tertullianea IV. De Tertulliani Apologetico bis edito. — Uppsala, 1926 ; 154 p. 8°.

695.     TERTULLIANI Apologeticum recensuit, praefatus est, appendice critica et indicibus instruxit Dr S. COLOMBO (Corpus Scr. lat. parav., 46). — Turin (1926) Paravia; xxvii-118 p. 8°. Lire 9.50.

    It has been admitted for a very long time that the codex Fuldensis is very clearly distinct from all the other manuscripts of the Apologeticum of Tertullian. Some twenty-five years ago, our studies on the legal basis for the persecutions led us to note that all the codices, except that of Fulda, come from the same common prototype which was only a copy, and we made a comparative examination of some significant alternatives in Le codex Fuldensis le meilleur manuscrit de l’Apologeticum de Tertullian (Rev. d’hist. et de litt. relig., VII, 1922, p. 322. 353).

Since then the question has been examined in full by all the editors of the Apologeticus and several philologists of reputation have devoted erudite monographs to the study of the relative value and source of the two traditions. The majority of the authors — e.g. Harnack, Loefstedt, Essen, Rauschen, Waltzing — estimate, with different nuances obviously, that the recension of Fuldensis approaches most closely to the  original. The vulgate recension has been subjected to a significant rehandling in order to make clearer or "standardize" a crowd of obscure or irregular passages.

Long ago Havercamp had already put forth the hypothesis - reprised in 1914 by H. Schrörs — of a double edition originating with Tertullian himself. After having published a series of erudite philological studies on the text of Tertullian (Studia Tertullianea, 1917, 1921, 1922)  Thörnell returned to this hypothesis, refining it and placing it on a broader footing. The Fulda codex would have contained the first provisional draft. This used, especially in the second part of the treatise, a series of hard or unpolished expressions,  |p274  which was to still undergo the polishing of the author. But without the knowledge and probably against the wishes of Tertullian, somebody would have published this work, so that the author hastened to revise it in order to produce a corrected edition, now preserved in the vulgate recension. It is striking enough that a similar adventure befell the treatise Adversus Marcionem, which Tertullian issued three times. It is in this first form that the author or the editor inserted into chap. XIX a long fragment, which critics generally consider as an authentic piece but in an unpolished style, of a provisional redaction (chap. VII).

To support this thesis, Thörnell selects a great number of variants, grouped according to their philological character, compares them with the parallel passages of the treatise Ad Nationes or with the quotations of old authors, studies them from the point of view of Tertullian's style and seeks to establish that the alternatives of the vulgate as well as those of Fuldensis are or can be in the style of the author of the  Apologeticus.

In this examination of the variants, Thörnell displays a truly remarkable profusion of scholarship, and an astonishing knowledge of the language of Tertullian. The editors of Apologeticus will find there much to inform. But we doubt that he has converted all the critics to his way of thinking. In more than one correction allotted by Thörnell to Tertullian himself, we would see instead, with Loefstedt, Waltzing and Rauschen, the rehandling of a scribe who did not grasp the true thought of the apologist (e.g. p. 82, in libidinum impiarum verecundiam) or who wanted to introduce his own theological concepts. In the text of chap. XXI, 28 and 30, for example he has inserted the words et in eo into the sentence:  per eum [Christum] ET IN EO se cognosci et coli Deus voluit, and added further on in the same sense commentari divinitatem REM PROPRIAM (p. 94). The same theological concern appears in the text of chap. XXIII, 18 (p. 102).

The learned professor of Upsala could not examine every variant. He has neglected a good number of those which not only do not have the form, the expression, the style of Tertullian, but which touch on the thought even of the Apologist. Thörnell has studied the text of Tertullian almost exclusively from the purely philological point of view. It is, in our humble opinion, the weak point of the argumentation in favour of a thesis which requires that the corrections of the vulgate remain not only in the style but still and above all within the thought of Tertullian. And it seems clear that more than one correction presents an idea which does not tally with the thought of the apologist. Can one believe, e.g. that in a legal discussion on the value of the laws of persecution, a juristic spirit like Tertullian writes initially (ch. IV, 4): um JURE definitis dicendo non licet esse vos..., and which he retracts later by replacing the legal consequences of his argumentation by a consideration of a sentimental nature: cum DURE definitis?

But here is something which seems more decisive. The corrector did not grasp the plan of the Apologeticus. Tertullian has marked it very clearly in chap. IV. After his introduction (praefatus), he states his proposal: I will prove the innocence of the Christians  |p275  (de causae innocentia consistam), not only by refuting the charges (refutabo), but while turning over them against the indicters (retorquebo). I will answer ad singula: accusations of secret crimes (quae in occulto admittere dicimur = infanticide and incest, chap. VII-IX, in quibus scelesti) and of public offences (QUAE PALAM ADINVENIUNTUR, chap. X-XLIX = in quibus vani, chap. X-XVIII; in qui bus damnandi, chap. XXVIII-XLV; in quibus inridendi XLVI­XLIX deputamur). At the end of chap. VI the author reconsiders this distinction: "Nunc enim ad illam OCCULTORUM FACINORUM infamiam respondebo (ch. VII­IX) ut viam mihi ad MANIFESTIORA purgem". And at the end of chap. IX he  announces the second part: "nunc de MANIFESTIS". However the scribe of the vulgate recension replaced the words "quae palam adinveniuntur" by these others "quae illos palam admittentes invenimus " which are inspired by the preceding sentence (retorquebo), but which completely destroy the logical sequence of Tertullian's plan. Is it acceptable that such a rehandling comes from the author himself? And this case is not isolated.

C. Callewaert,

695.  Whatever opinion one professes on the respective origin of the "Vulgatus" and "Fuldensis" text, it appears wise not to try to combine the two recensions, without a better criterion than the favorable or unfavourable impression that one or the other produced on the editor: there is indeed, at the origin of the double manuscript tradition, something more than a gradual degradation due to the copyists: one is presented with a learnedly revized text. One will thus publish the two forms side by side, or one will make a choice of one. But one will not correct the form chosen by means of the other than when the first does not offer an acceptable direction. It is then corrupt and one has some chance that the competitor text kept the original content of the passage. Such are the problems with this, that it would be better to give some specific examples.

But to choose hanc itaque (I, 4) against Fuldensis (= F) which has hanc igitur, then to follow it when it omits homines after propterea oderunt (I, 5); or, a little further (II, 10) to admit sed nec in isto with F (against itaque nec in illo) but extorquetis against F (= exquiritis), it is to engage in conjectural criticism without a documented basis and to plunge into arbitrary changes, because at each step it will be necessary to make a miserable choice.

Ainsi semble avoir fait le Dr S. Colombo dans son édition de l’Apologeticum. Je dis «semble» car il ne formule nulle part ses principes : la préface renseigne sur les manuscrits et éditions puis sur le genre littéraire de l’ouvrage. Le problème textuel n’est pas abordé ex professo, il est plutôt évité (cf. p. xv) et l’éditeur laisse à ses lecteurs le soin de déduire de son oeuvre les critères adoptés pour l’établir. On s’aperçoit vite que, contrairement à Callewaert, M. Colombo estime peu le Fuldensis et qu’il s’est imposé de ne le suivre que rarement. La demi-mesure qui résulte de ce système se montre clairement dans le passage suivant (n° 5 du dernier chapitre). La leçon admise par le Dr Colombo est en italiques. 

This is what Dr. S. Colombo seems to have done in his edition of Apologeticum. I say "seem" because he does not formulate his principles anywhere: the foreword discusses the manuscripts and editions and then the literary genre of the work. The textual problem is not tackled ex professo, it is rather avoided (cf p. xv) and the editor leaves to his readers the effort of deducing from his work the criteria adopted to establish it. One realizes quickly that, contrary to Callewaert, Mr. Colombo has a low estimate of the Fuldensis and that he made it essential only to follow it occasionally. The half-measure which results from this system shows clearly in the following passage (n° 5 of the final chapter). The reading given by Dr. Colombo is in italics.|p276

LEÇONS DU FULD. LEÇONS « VULGATE»
sese Aetnaeis sese Atheniensium Athenaeis
donat donavit
rogo rogo se
evadit dedit
castitatis et pudicitiae castitatis

One suspects that the choice of variant is totally subjective. Admittedly Mr. Colombo did not decide without reasons, but are these of a systematic nature? Nothing suggests it.

One thus understands, without sharing it absolutely, the unfavourable impression of Mr. A. G. Amatucci (in Rivista di Filol. ed. Istr. class. 1927, p. 396-402). He notes that Dr. Colombo was allowed less freedom in the edition of the same work, published by him ten years earlier.

696.    Q. SEPTIMI FL. TERTULLIANI De Oratione, with Introduction and Notes by R. W. MUNCEY. — Londres (1926) Scott; LXVI­92 p. 80. Sh. 10,6.

The importance of De Oratione is considerable, especially from the liturgical point of view. Mr. Muncey thought that a commentary addressed to a public wider than merely specialists would be useful. He thus outlines initially the life of Tertullian, then examines the circumstances in which the treatise was written, gives some analysis of it  and discusses the text and the editions. He also highlights the influence of the author, the originality of his style, and the complex problem of his biblical text.

The author has made a creditable effort to document what he says, without always succeeding in correctly orienting his readers. Here and there appear enormous mistakes: Gorze is not close to Milan (p. xxvii), the Agobardinus is not of s.XVII (p. xxix). The edition of Rigault which first used the Agobardinus, when the parchment was less corroded than today by moisture, should have been mentioned. The information concerning the Latin versions of the Bible is superficial and not always well thought-out.  The work of Hans von Soden was not used; I do not believe the monograph of Rönsch was consulted either.

After the introduction, the text of de Oratione itself is transcribed from that of Reifferscheid.  It is followed by notes of which some will be useful, and by a rapid overview of on the African liturgy in the time of Tertullian.

697.   TERTULLIANI De Corona liber, ad fidem praecipue cod. Agobardini recensuit, praefatus est, appendice critica, criticis adnotationibus et indicibus instruxit J. MARRA. (Corp. Script. lat. parav. 49). — Turin (1927) Paravia; XXVII-47 p. 8°. Lire 6,50.

An excellent edition, the first which may be truly called critical. |p277

The foreword is brief. It locates the work with precision and it discusses the criteria adopted for the establishment of the text. It is based on the Agobardinus, carefully recollated by Mr. H. Lebègue, a friend of the author. I regret greatly that he did not re-examine this collation himself: the ms has become difficult to read and, with his knowledge, Mr. Marra had a unique competence to help himself in the decypherment of uncertain passages.

3 Florentine MSS are joined to the Agobardinus, which have been collated by the editor. One of them: Magliabech. VI. 9 is significant. Very neat apparatus. It is followed by a dozen adnotationes criticae which deal at greater length with the passages which are particularly difficult to restore. An index of the names and another of the words supplement this very good work.

See the review of A. Gudeman in Philol. Wochens. 1928, p. 207-212. The volume there receives the praise which it deserves. But how this reviewer is impressed!

698.     [R] St. W. J. TEEUWEN. Sprachlicher Bedeutungswandel bei Tertullian (cf. Bull. 571). — Theol. Revue 26 (1927) 67-68 Fr. Schulte.

Admits almost all the conclusions, but rectifies several points of detail.

699.    A. D. NOCK. Pagan baptisms in Tertullian. — Journ. of th. St. 28 (1926-27) 289-290.

Short note but very critical, on a passage of De Baptismo c. 5. Nock defend the reading ludis Pelusiis which some have arbitrarily changed.  The Egyptian usages to which Tertullian refers are little known, but ther existence seems assured.

700.     J. G. P. BORLEFFS. Observationes criticae ad Tertulliani Ad Nationes libros. — Mnemosyne 56 (1928) 193-201.

Observations of detail. The first passage examined compares Ad Nat. 1, 3 with Apol. 2, 18. The parallelism of the two texts is so striking that the majority of the authors restore, by correction, Ad Nat. to the meaning of the Apologeticum. Mr. Borleffs, lacking anything to change, believes that in the Ad Nat. it is not a question of the crimes charged to the Christians, but their virtues. This is improbable: the term even of "praesumptio criminum" shows well that these are the crimina of which they wanted to avoid the proof while being satisfied to suppose them.

701.    TH. BIRT. Marginalien zu lateinischen Prosaikern. — Philologus 83 (1927-28) 164-182.

Tertullian (De Idol. 19 ; Ad Nat. I 2. 4. 7. 10. 16) .Minucius Felix (8, 4 ; 14, 1; 34, 1) Arnobius (I, 26) Ambrose (Exam. IV, 1) et Ennodius (Pan. Theod. p. 268, 14) are examined. Mr. Birt corrects easily.


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