Friday, 24 May 2019

Nicolas De Maeyer: Augustinus egit, Beda compegit. The value of Beda Venerabilis’ Augustinian florilegium for the edition of Augustine’s writings.

One of the most influential exegetes at the forefront of the Carolingian Renaissance was Beda Venerabilis, whose Scriptural commentaries were heavily influenced by the writings of the Church Fathers and functioned as an important mediator between Patristic and Medieval exegesis. One of Bede’s most exemplary commentaries in this respect is the Collectio ex opusculis sancti Augustini in epistulas Pauli apostoli, a compilation of fragments from Augustine’s works rearranged to form a Pauline commentary.            Together with the florilegia of Eugippius and Florus, Bede’s Collectio is a key-text in the Late Antique/Early Medieval indirect transmission of Augustine’s writings and, as such, has been often relied on by editors of Augustine’s works. Due to the lack of a critical edition, however, these editors usually consulted only one or a few witnesses of the commentary, mainly Saint-Omer, Bibl. Mun. 91, the critical value of which is limited. Based on the edition of the Collectio I am preparing for the CCSL, I will evaluate, in this paper, the use of the commentary made by earlier editors of Augustine’s works and assess the general value of Bede’s florilegium for the edition of the Church Father’s oeuvre. Particular attention will be given to the Collectio’s paratextual material, namely its titles and book/chapter numbers. This analysis will further provide insight into which Augustinian works were available to Bede during the compilation of his exegetical commentaries and via which textual channels (direct transmission/other florilegia…) he knew these works.

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