Thursday, 7 February 2019

Barthélémy Enfrein: Manipulating Cyril of Alexandria’s In Lucam : Three Texts for the 3rd Homily between Selecting, Rewriting and Preserving.

The one hundred and fifty six homilies that Cyril of Alexandria dedicated to Luke's gospel have experienced a turbulent textual history. In this corpus, the third homily, commenting on Lk 2, 21-24, enjoys a special place. Indeed, we are facing three different descendants of the lost Urtext. As is the case with the other homilies, we can read some fragments of it in the catenae; like two of them, the third homily is transmitted through the Greek direct tradition and, since Mgr Sauget discovered the Damascus Patr. 12/20, we have access to a Syriac translation. These three different forms sustain complex relationships with the original text but all of them are, in various ways, vestigia,manipulations, and rewritings of it. This paper thus proposes to focus on the phenomena of manipulating and recreating the text of Cyril’s third homily which depend on various needs, either exegetical in the catenae, or liturgical in the direct tradition. How do the different textual vestiges that have reached us represent evidence of a distinct relationship to the written material in each instance? The Syriac translation is, without any doubt, the most faithful to the hypotext; nonetheless, it changes the language. The catenists, for sure, selected passages and rewrote them but sometimes preserved a more conservative text in comparison with the direct tradition. Finally, the direct tradition does not hesitate to add a liturgical incipit and to cut the explicit of the homily in the process of fusion with the fourth homily.

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