Friday, 24 May 2019

Emilio Bonfiglio: Pseudo-Chrysostomica in the Medieval Oriental Traditions: A Preliminary Assessment

The ensemble of writings which the medieval Greek manuscript tradition ascribes to John Chrysostom represents one of the largest ancient corpora of literary Greek texts. Since the first great editions of John Chrysostom’s Opera omnia prepared by Henry Savile, Fronton du Duc, and Bernard de Montfaucon, editors and scholars have undertaken a considerable amount of research to assess the paternity of the homilies, commentaries, treatises, and letters that are traditionally attributed to John Chrysostom. Of the three broad categories of texts that are customarily identified – authentic, dubious, and spurious –, the Pseudo-Chrysostomica are by far the least edited and studied, in spite of their high number and well-documented manuscript tradition. In addition to an already complex Greek tradition of the Corpus Chrysostomicum, medieval translators rendered extensive parts of it into many ancient oriental linguistic areas. This resulted in parallel, but not identical, Chrysostomian corpora also in Arabic, Armenian, Coptic, Ethiopic, Georgian, and Syriac.This paper deals with the medieval oriental traditions of the Corpus Chrysostomicum. After presenting a brief overview of the status quaestionis, I shall focus on the significance of the presence of the Pseudo-Chrysostomica in non-Greek, medieval traditions, paying particular attention to clusters of texts, parallels, chronological distribution, and hypothetical criteria of texts selection in the making of these corpora in the various oriental traditions. The findings presented in this paper will result in a preliminary assessment of the Pseudo-Chrysostomica in the medieval oriental traditions and pave the way for further future research on the oriental Chrysostom.

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