Journal of Ecclesiastical History 5 (1954) p.102


Corpus Christianorum: Series Latina: Tertulliani Opera: Pars I: Opera Catholica:
Adversus Marcionem
. Turnholti, Brepols editores pontificii, 1953. Pp. xxxiii
+ 75. n.p.

        The above is the title-page. Actually this fascicule contains the general
introductory matter to Tertullian's works, with the text of Ad martyras and Ad
nationes
. Our first reaction was to wonder whether the promoters of this series
command sufficient scholarship to justify their having undertaken it. The general
title cannot mean what it is intended to mean: since at least the fourth century
this expression has signified either the universal Church or one of its localised
congregations. The unnamed composer of the Preface writes more barbarous
Latin than one would have thought possible, and is ignorant of the correct
locative of Carthago. But we quickly changed our minds. What is lacking in
scholarship is made up for in learning. The preface, already referred to, is a
brilliantly concise account of the Tertullian manuscript tradition. There follows
an admirably complete and well-arranged Bibliography, supplemented by two
tables, one of Testimonia to Tertullian's works as a whole and to the several
treatises in authors from the third century to the sixth, and another of manu-
scripts and editions.

        The editing of Ad martyras was entrusted to Professor E. Dekkers, and of Ad
nationes to Professor J. G. Ph. Borleffs. It goes without saying, that this part of
the work also is excellently done, and the general editors are to be congratulated
on their choice of assistants. That is not to say that we agree that in every
instance the best text has been printed: but the apparatus criticus is complete
enough to enable the reader to form his own judgment. Some conjectures of
previous editors, recorded in the apparatus, might well have found a place in
the text: e.g., on page 13 Reifferscheid's elaborandam and Haverkamp's falsae,
on page 14. Gothofred's patriae and Kroymann's sono decorum, and others else-
where. Conversely, there are places where the manuscript reading seems pre-
ferable to that printed in the text: e.g., on page I I alone, certe makes sense and
needed no alteration, and mentis is manifestly better than menti. The two editors
have done an excellent work. Professor Borleffs in particular has been able, by
the aid of ultraviolet light, to recover many of the obliterated readings of the
Agobardine codex. If we have not here a definitive text, we have at least, as
far as is now possible, the materials for making an intelligible one.

HELLIFIELD VICARAGE, 
YORKS
ERNEST EVANS

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