Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Peter Toth: The Questions of Pseudo-Justin: New Manuscripts, New Texts and a New Author?

The collection of some 150 chapters, originally entitled as Answers to the Orthodox faithful (QRO) and attributed to Justin the Martyr, is one of the earliest Christian representatives of the Late Antique genre of question-and-answer literature. The importance of the work stands in that it is the first known example of a new patristic type of erotapokriseis which constitute an encyclopedic collection of all available secular and religious knowledge of the time.
The paper presents a survey of my latest research on the manuscript tradition of the work, resulting in the discovery of two new witnesses. These manuscripts, one from the early tenth and another from the thirteenth century, contain not only some portions of the QRO, but also two hitherto unknown and unedited series of questions and answers that seem to represent new items of the Pseudo-Justinian corpus.

In the second part of my paper I will present a closer study of these new texts, a collection of cosmological erotapokriseis and a series of Christological aporiae. A deeper analysis of the philosophical terminology of the first text with its explicit quotations from Aristotle and Julian's Contra Galilaeos, sheds new light on the philosophical background of Pseudo-Justin. While the further examination of the Christology and textual transmission of the second work, which also seems to be connected to the QRO, may help us to shed new light on the date and identity the mysterious author hiding behind the name of Justin the Martyr and Philosopher.

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