Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Studia Patristica on Wikipedia

From today Studia Patristica has got a Wikipedia entry. So, if you want to find out who the former editors were and who the present editors are, have a look. You'll also see who published the proceedings of the Oxford Patristics Conference, and, of course, you will find links to these people and publishers. Thanks to all those who have worked towards it and thanks to those in the future who are going to expand it!

Monday, 12 March 2012



Applications are invited for Postdoctoral Fellowships at  the International Institute for Asian Studies. We are particularly looking  for researchers focusing on the three clusters: ‘Asian  Cities’, ‘Asian  Heritages', and ‘Global  Asia’ (click on the links for a description of the  clusters),

Application deadline: 1 April  2012

Dowload application  form

The  positions are intended for outstanding post-doctoral researchers from around  the world, to work on an important piece of research in the social sciences  and humanities. Interdisciplinary interests are encouraged. We also welcome  researchers who would like to work on a collaborative grant proposal or  develop their PhD thesis into book publication.

Areas of  research focus
We are particularly looking for researchers  focusing on the three clusters 'Asian cities', 'Asian heritages' and 'Global  Asia'. However some positions will be reserved for outstanding projects in  any area outside of those listed. Applications which link to more than one  field are also welcome.

Terms and  conditions
Applicants must have fulfilled all  requirements of the PhD. If you are a PhD candidate at the point of  application, you may also apply provided that you are confirmed for  graduation within 6 months after the deadline. A letter from your university  will be required to confirm your graduation before your proposed start  date.
If you are applying for a grant from IIAS to cover your  research period in the Netherlands, the fellowship will be tenable for a  maximum period of 6 months.
Support for research (office facilities,  library access, networks, etc.) will be provided.
Affiliated fellows  are expected to participate in IIAS events, including the fellow seminars and  monthly lunches and drinks.

If  IIAS decides to sponsor your research by awarding a grant, the fellowship at  IIAS will include:

 An all-inclusive and fixed monthly  allowance (2,000 Euro) for the agreed period.
Travel expenses  (economy class) to and from IIAS.

Invitation to  apply
Interested applicants are invited to email/post their  applications, consisting of:
Application form  (word)
Curriculum VitaeA minimum of two letters of  reference,
Please ensure that a minimum of two letters of reference  is sent to us in confidence via email or post, commenting on your academic  abilities and the value of your research project by the appropriate deadline  (1 April).
List of publications

1. If you are sending us your  application via email you will receive a reply acknowledging receipt of your  email/application;
2. Please send us your application only once. If  you have already sent in your application via email, kindly do not send the  same application via post (and vice versa);
3. Emails larger than 10MB  are rejected by our email system. Please keep your email and attachments  below 10MB by zipping any large files.

Application  address
Address for submission of applications, reference  letters and/or queries:
(1) Email:
(2)  Fellowship Programme
     c/o Ms Sandra van der  Horst
     International Institute for Asian  Studies
     Rapenburg 59
      2311 GJ Leiden
     The  Netherlands

See for more information on fellowships and  fellows at IIAS:

Saturday, 10 March 2012





Rome, 20-21 September 2012

Palazzo Falconieri, Accademia dell’Ungheria, Via Giulia 1, Roma

An International Conference

with the support of the

Accademia dell’Ungheria di Roma

  Department of Medieval Studies, Central European University, Budapest

Reading the fourth and fifth century Roman Empire in terms of the interactions of ’pagans’ and ’Christians’ has provided the leading paradigm for historical and theological discourse from late antiquity until the middle of the twentieth century when András Alföldi presented a Christian Constantine in conflict with a ’pagan’ Rome.  This conflictual model has met with resistance as subsequent generations of scholars have uncovered new evidence that has led to new interpretive models to better understand the social, cultural and political changes in Rome.  Emphases on assimilation, inculturation, and tolerance for multiculturalism have replaced conflict.  Even the categories of interpretation -  `pagan’ and `Christian’ – have been called into question as useful heuristic terms.
It is time now for a new assessment of what we know about ’pagans’ and `Christians’ in late antique Rome.  This conference seeks to consider the  religious roles, identities and the discourses of power after the battle at the Milvian Bridge opened the way for a new formulation of social and religious life in Rome. We propose to discuss new material and textual evidence for the survival of paganism and the expansion of Christianity in the fourth and fifth century city.  New models for interpreting the complex evidences from the city will be considered along with shifting historical paradigms that bear on changing interpretations of  fourth-fifth century Rome. 
In an effort to facilitate a wide-ranging, interdisciplinary conversation, we encourage scholars working in any discipline – history, archaeology, art history, religious studies, classical studies - to submit abstracts for papers. The organizers are particularly interested in papers that focus on new material evidence, new interpretations of texts or new interpretive paradigms with which to approach the nature of relations between pagans and Christians in fourth and fifth century Rome. The proceedings of the conference will be published.

Participants whose papers are accepted for presentation will be offered accommodation in the Palazzo Falconieri and meals for the duration of the conference.  We cannot, however, underwrite travel expenses.

Please send proposals of 400 words for 20-minute papers in English

by 15 April 2012

Michele Salzman                            Rita Lizzi Testa                   Marianne Sághy

University of California Riverside   Università di Perugia                             CEU Budapest

Johan Leemans, Review: Codices chrysostomici graeci. VII

Codices chrysostomicigraeci. VII: Codicum Parisinorum pars prior,tem priorem, descripsit Pierre Augustin, adiuvante Jacques-Hubert Sautel, Paris, CNRS Editions, 2011, LXXI+305 pp.

The pinakes database of the IRHT in Paris (available at is an unrivalled tool for anybody interested in the textual transmission of the writings of the Greek Christian writers. Pinakes is the result of decades of painstaking detailed work of description, identification and classification of manuscripts and text. Moreover, in its present electronic format this wealth of information is really at one’s fingertips. Just introducing the CPG-number 4109 suffices to get an extensive if not yet exhaustive documentation of the transmission of Chrysostom’s “long series” of sermons on Genesis. The list comprises 482 manuscript witnesses, varying from very beautiful complete codices to fragmentary, mutilated ones. Crucial witnesses to the text’s transmission stand alongside ones that are much less important with regard to the reconstruction of the text. This one example suffices to explain why of so many important works of Chrysostom no modern critical edition exists and why a more than moderate portion of hubris is necessary even to begin to start one. Almost heroic individual scholars have provided an edition of a few texts (e.g. Francesca Barone’s edition of the Homilies on David and Saul in the CChr.SG-series). The sheer number of textual witnesses and the complexity of the transmission (including a huge number of Pseudo-chrysostomica) seem to defy larger scale-enterprises which are, from a scholarly point of view, urgently necessary though. The good news, however, is that already many decades here and there scholars are laying the groundwork for these larger enterprises.
The Codices Chrysostomici Graeci is one of these foundational, longterm-enterprises. Coordinated by the IRHT it endeavours to provide repertories of the writings attributed to John Chrysostom in Greek manuscripts worldwide. The material is presented in geographical order. To date volumes on Britain and Ireland (I), Germany (II), America and western Europe (III), Austria (IV), Italy and Rome (V), Vatican City (VI) have been published. The volume under review is number VII in the series. It is the first of three volumes that will cover the manuscripts from France. The core of the volume is the section “notice des manuscrits”. This section contains 193 detailed descriptions of manuscripts, all from the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (BNF). With a few exceptions, all these manuscrips are containing for the lion’s share or exclusively Chrysostomian writings. Each manuscript description (in Latin!) rests on a solid and almost palpably intimate knowledge of these manuscripts. Besides an exhaustive survey of all the writings that the manuscript contains, each entry offers a wealth of other data.  Item nr. 60, devoted to the Parisinus graecus 606 is a good example. Besides date, size and detailed observations regarding the handwriting and the lay out of the page (margins and interlinear distance) are included. Moreover, we learn that folio 9 with part of Gregory of Nazianze’s oratio 43 is a Fremdkörper in this codex that had been inserted much later. Even purchase details are communicated: this specific manuscript was bought in Ankara; on 12 May 1730 it was introduced by F. Sevin into the Royal Library (one of the basic collections of the Bibliothèque Nationale). Furthermore the entry tells us that the manuscript has never been collated (“nondum collatus”)  and that a first closer inspection reveals that overall it’s readings come close to those in the manuscripts on which Savile’s edition was based. References to the catalogue of the BNF and to two of Omont’s catalogues conclude the introductory description. This is followed by a detailed description of the content of the manuscript: each writing of Chrysostom is mentioned, with folio-numbers between brackets. The reader is informed  that Paris. Gr. 606 contains hom. 12-32 in Genesim but along the way he also gets precious information about deviations in incipit or desinit, lacunae and other relevant data. Several detailed indices complete the work.
This is first and foremost a work for specialists on John Chrysostom in general and those interested in the study of the transmuission of his writings in particular. Moreover, this tool only reaches its full scholarly potential when taken together with the 6 previous volumes of the serie. Of course, this aggregate value will markedly increase with every new volume that is being published in the series. This doesn’t mean, though, that this book wouldn’t have value as a stand alone volume. Besides getting acquainted on paper with these Paris manuscripts (and preparing a possible visit to the BNF?), especially the general introduction is worth reading for anybody interested in intellectual history. In 40 dense pages this introduction traces the origin and development of what is today the “fonds grec” of the BNF in the years 1500 to 1800. This introduction gives an excellent survey of the French contribution to scholarship on Chrysostom’s writings and their transmission in this period. This has enduring relevance as about a third of these parisini graeci have been used between 1728 et 1748 by Dom Bernard de Montfaucon and between 1834 à 1839 by the brothers Gaume for their revised edition of de Monfaucon’s edition. Editions on which, in the 19th century, the text reprinted by Migne was heavily dependent. As the text printed in the Patrologia Graeca is for many writings still widely used, it’s history with it’s many twists and turns should be recommended reading.
With this seventh volume in the series the CCG have reached a new culmination point: fascinating subject matter for the general introduction and an unparallelled exhaustive description of almost 200 key Chrysostom-manuscripts make this both a tool for the specialist and an interesting read for the more generally interested audience. Especially the latter audience would have benefitted from pictures of the manuscripts.

Johan Leemans

Thomas Humphries, Review: Marín, Raúl Villegas, Pseudo-Próspero de Aquitania Sobre la providencia de Dios

Universitat de Barcelona, 2011). Pp. 346. Paper. €35.00. ISBN 9788447534869.
These days, one expects very little change in the fifth century. Yet, the figure of Prosper of Aquitaine has changed a great deal in our day, even a millenium and a half after his death. It is, of course, not Prosper himself who changes, but our understanding of Prosper that varies, and Raúl Villegas Marín has contributed to our changing understanding of Prosper. One of the key claims he defends in his recent study of the fifth century Carmen de providentia Dei (CDP) is that Prosper did not write this poem. Given that recent scholarship on Prosper (e.g. A. Hwang, Intrepid Lover, M. Marcovich, De prov. Dei.) accepts Prosperian authorship of CDP, Marín’s argument is a significant change within the scholarship. Even apart from questions of authorship, Marín’s dating of CDP to the late 420s is also a signficant departure from other scholars, since many date the work earlier. Dating and authorship are inter-dependent for Marín.
The question of Prosper’s authorship of CDP is particularly vexing because the poem favors theological opinions about grace and free will that other works of Prosper reject. Scholars debate whether Prosper changed his mind early in his career or whether he was always consistent with his later defense of St. Augustine’s mature position. Since Augustine is Prosper’s great hero, it is easy to find a parallel between a Prosper who changes his mind about the interaction between grace and human will and Augustine, who also rejected his own earlier views on the subject. Perhaps most scholars even identify with this kind of development in their own thoughts. It is not uncommon to change one’s mind. However, Prosper’s conversion would have happened well after Augustine’s, and so, we struggle to envision a young Prosper who read the mature Augustine and still fell prey to the same theological positions which his hero (Augustine) had already rejected. Since CDP would be the earliest and only text Prosper wrote in defense of the notion that human will sometimes precedes grace, one’s picture of Prosper is at stake with Marín’s arguments about CDP. If Prosper wrote it, he wrote it early in the 5th century and then reversed his theologial opinion by 427. If Prosper did not write it, then Prosper’s early career is not marked by an unannounced shift in opinion, but we must find another plausible explanation for its authorship.
Marín argues that CDP was not written by an inconsistent Prosper, but rather was written by one of Prosper’s opponents sometime around 426/427. This position is internally consistent. Dating CDP to c. 416, which is the current majority opinion, is internally consistent with Prosperian authorship, provided that Prosper changes his mind. Marín is careful to note that Augustine’s change of position is not a good parallel, as other scholars have attempted to argue, because Prosper does not offer a retractio (p56). Instead of presenting himself as having a change of position, Prosper speaks of theological enemies who hold heretical positions. The basic form of Prosper’s “later” claims makes it difficult to hold that the CDP is, in fact, an “earlier” text of Prosper’s. Prosperian texts like his letter to Augustine and de ingrat. speak of the positions presented in CDP as positions other people hold. Furthermore, Prosperian texts from the late 420s argue that the positions presented in CDP are heretical. This indicates not that Prosper’s position on grace and free will developed, but that he consistently rejected the theology of his Gallic neighbors. Additionally, those who argue for Prosperian authorship on philological grounds find a tough critic in Marín. His response to this scholarship is well formed (p55-59); We expect strikingly similar vocabulary from a range of authors who are arguing about the same technical terms. Use of these technical terms is not enough to establish Prosperian authorship because several authors use them. In short, Marín’s thesis that Prosper cannot be the author of this text depends on his arguments that the theology of the CDP is not Prosper’s theology. He is not alone in this position (p62), but much rests on dating the text later rather than earlier so that there is no chance for Prosper to change his mind.
The theology of CDP certainly fits the theologial milieu which Marín articulates. But CDP laments the destruction which has come about from political instability and war. Scholars have been very happy to see the civil unrest described in the poem as the result of the complicated “barbarian” military and political activity of the early fifth century (pp1-23). The reference to suffering under Vandal swords for ten years fits with the date 416 for the poem. This directly contradicts Marín’s thesis. Marín is at his weakest when having to intepret caede decennis / Vandalicis gladiis sternimur et Geticis as meaning something less literal (p 53, 144-145). However, his arguments for dating the text based on its use of and response to other theological texts is more convincing. Marín argues that the text is later than the Papal condemnations of Pelagianism in 417 and 418 (p39-40) because CDP accepts the Roman position. Once we grant that CDP is later than 418, it becomes apparent that CDP belongs to the discussion that occured at end of the 420s. CDP fits theologically with Augustine’s de corr., Cassian’s Coll. 13, and Prosper’s contentious and vociferous response to his fellow Gallic theologians (p47-55). The text cannot belong to Prosper. Thus, Marín argues that it is easier to read decinnis figuratively than to suppose the theology is prescient of a decade of Gallo-Roman discussions influenced by African sources.
Marín considers that the text could have circulated anonymously (which makes it easier to explain various attributions in manuscripts, p55-63), but ultimately suggests that it was written by a monk at St. Victor’s monastery under Cassian (p63-70). Still, one finishes Marín’s work wishing the constraints of time and space had not forced him to omit more speculation on how his argument impacts our picture of Prosper. The focus of his work on the text and not the man made it possible for Marín to format his work with 74 pages of introduction which summarize the 220 pages of line-by-line commentary on the poem. One must constantly flip from the thematically organized introduction to the more detailed discussions of individual phrases as though the commentary were endnotes for the introduction. Marín’s insightful discussion is sometimes complicated by the multiplicity of passages from within his book which must be held in the reader’s mind, but his contribution to scholarship on the issue will be appreciated by all who read it, as will his translation, the first in a modern Romance language.
Thomas Humphries, Saint Leo, USA