Friday, 24 May 2019

Manon des Portes: Transmission of the Homilies on John : what we can learn from the ethica titles

John Chrysostom’s commentary In Iohannem consists of eighty-eight homilies and was transmitted through more than three hundred known manuscripts. At least twenty per cent of the witnesses containing either the whole series or the first or second part of the series also make mention of titles that were given to the hortatory part of each homily – the ethicon. For example, at the beginning of the ethicon of the third homily, the text in the margin reads Περὶ ἐλεημοσύνης, "About alms" and in the homily 45 Ὅτι ἡ τῆς ἀναστάσεως καὶ κρίσεως μνήμη τὰς ἀτοποὺς ὁρμὰς ἐκκόπτει· καὶ περὶ εἱμαρμένης καὶ ὅτ ιἐγγὺς τὸ τέλος :- "That remembering the resurrection and judgement cuts out improper impulses; about fate and that the end is near." These titles are not mentioned systematically in the witnesses so they indicate a redactional intervention which may reveal clues about the tradition of this work. Is it possible to determine their origin? Moreover, these titles can differ from one manuscript to another. What are the main variations? Can specific families of manuscripts be distinguished through the titles of the ethica? Our presentation shall draw a preliminary conclusion of our study of ethica titles.

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