Thursday, 30 April 2015

Notes on the tradition, sources and origin of the corpus attributed to Pseudo-Sisbert of Toledo

This paper deals with a corpus consisting of three penitential Latin texts whose editio princeps was published in 1601 by J. du Breul among Isidore of Seville's Opera Omnia, namely Lamentum poenitentiae (CPL 1227, a trochaic poem of alphabetically-arranged stanzas), Exhortatio poenitendi (CPL 1533, a poem written in rhythmical hexameters) and Oratio pro correptione uitae (CPL 1228, a prose composition). The Oratio has never been critically edited and the last edition of Lamentum and Exhortatio was prepared by K. Strecker using 12 manuscripts. This latter edition states the communis opinio concerning these texts: although they were not Isidorian, they are likely Visigothic. In this sense, in 1926, J. Pérez de Urbel proposed the Visigothic bishop Sisbert of Toledo as their author; only A. Vega in the sixties and recently J. Elfassi and P. Alberto have argued that the corpus might be Carolingian. Within the framework of the preparation of the first critical edition of the whole corpus, this presentation aims to provide a survey of its textual tradition and sources. The first one currently encompasses more than 30 manuscripts, including an early 9th-century witness, newly rediscovered, and the identification of two versions of the Lamentum; regarding the second aspect, new sources are identified, especially concerning the Oratio, whose terminus post quem could be eventually re-evaluated. A careful study of both textual tradition and literary sources makes it possible to analyse the possibilities and implications of the hypothesis regarding the origin, chronology and even unitary composition of this barely-studied pseudo-Isidorian corpus.

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