Vigiliae Christianae 5 (1951) pp. 65-79


A NEW MANUSCRIPT OF TERTULLIAN [Original text]

BY

J. W. PH. BORLEFFS

In preparing a while ago a new edition of selected works of Tertullian, among them both De patientia and De paenitentia1, we were far from supposing that our edition after its publication would find itself out of date.  Yet so it is.  For in 1946 a Swedish scholar, Gösta Claesson, Licenciate in Philology at Upsala, descovered at the Vatican during a trip to Italy a new manuscript containing with others extracts of selected works of Tertullian, among which figured precisely these two works mentioned.  Dr. Claesson being kind enough not only to inform us of his discovery but also to make a photocopy of that part of the manuscript which contained the framents of De patientia and De paenitentia, we can now present to the reader some detailed comments on the new manuscript and to show by some selected examples the great interest which it has for the reconstitution of the text of these two works.

The manuscript is Codex Ottobonianus latinus 25 of the Vatican Library, which according to Claesson was written in the 14th century.  It is bound in red decorated with gold and bears the arms of Pope Pius IX.  It contains two almost illegible leaves which come from some other  manuscript, followed by 261 folios measuring 210 x 142 mm of which each page contained 32 lines written in neat and very readable writing.  The form of the letters suggests that the manuscript is of French origin.  It is a codex miscellaneus, which contains exracts of works of many ecclesiastical writers of different eras, among which e.g. Petrus Comestor2, Hildebert, both of the 12th century, Lactantius and St. Cyprian.  However on folios 241V - 255r, immediately before the extracts of St. Cyprian, appear some fragments of text belonging to four treatises of Tertullian 3, namely De pudicitia, De paenitentia, De patientia, and De spectaculis in the order cited.  The interest of the new acquisition is obvious when one recalls that until  now we possessed no manuscript of the first of these works for which were had to be content with the edition of Martin Mesnart 4.

The new manuscript does not give us the complete text of these four works of Tertullian, but it gives separate fragments, all chosen by the copyist in such a way that they form a whole and give a continuous and intelligible text.  It is necessary to recognise that the copyist has carried out his task as compiler with much skill: it is only rarely that he is obliged, in order to obtain a readable and continuous text, to insert some words of his own invention to connect two fragments of the original text which go together poorly.    Thus in chap. 7 of De patientia, after omitting the verse 10 and f. : alioquin - inpatientiam adhibere, wanting to continue with qui rem pecuniariam fortasse animae anteponant, he allows himself to insert before qui the word sunt to re-establish the connection with the preceding text.  In chap. 7, 3 of De paenitentia, after having suppressed the words before it, he places before the absit the word sed to get a natural transition; he repeated this action 12,2 in writing Sed quid in place of quid, and so on.  It's only rarely that he inserts many words, entire phrases, as De Pat. 7, 2, where after invenitur he added the following: Omnia terrena bona contempsit Christus, ut in illis non quaereretur felicitas. Omnia terrena mala sustinuit, ut in his non timeretur infelicitas, words which are absent from all the other manuscripts and which one would hesitate to attribute to Tertullian himself.  He often abridges the passages which he transcribes by omitting some words or groups of words which he considers superfluous; sometimes he also makes some small changes to the original text to make comprehension easier.  For example, at the start of De patientia (1, 1) in the words Confiteor ad dominum, he substitutes apud for ad; some lines later he writes cum in place of quando; in §4 of the same chapter (cum vacent) he changes cum into quod etc.  It goes without saying that these variants are of no importance for the constitution of the authentic text of Tertullian.  But there are others which offer more interest,  as we shall see.  Because our manuscript, which we will designate with the siglum O hereafter, possesses some precious qualities, which it is easy to demonstrate everywhere that we can compare it to the best manuscripts which have been known for a long time.  This is notably the case in the treatise De paenitentia, preserved in great part in the Codex Trecensis (T), one of the best manuscripts of Tertullian known to us.  However, it emerges from the comparison of O and T on the one hand, and the deteriores on the other, that in many places O and T agree and give the true reading, while the other manuscripts show more or less serious deteriorations of the text.  Thus at the start of this work (1, 1), O and T have hoc genus homines, a reading shown to be right by the usage of the author, 5 the others hoc genus hominum. A little further (1, 3) O and T give evitare, the others vitare.  In De paen. 2, 5 : Iam enim salus nationibus adpropinquabat, dominus scilicet etc., the real reading appropinquabat, already conjectured by E. Preuschen is confirmed now by O; T has passed under the hand of a corrector who changed the original reading adpropinquabat into adpropinquabit; the other manuscripts all give appropinquabit.  

In chap. 7, 8 the author says that the devil, when he knows a man liberated by penitence, grieves and moans to see tot in homine mortis opera diruta, tot titulos damnationis retro suae erasos.  Thus it has been read until now, although there is a difficulty in the second part of the text.  De Labriolle translates: 'when … he sees so many works of death destroyed in a man, so many of the chief ones effaced from a condemnation which was like his own property'.  As can be see, he omits to translate the adverb retro; also his translation of suae is perhaps a little forced.  The German translator of Tertullian, Kellner, on the other hand gives the following translation: ' He (the devil) must be grieved …, when … he sees so many works of death in man destroyed, so many clauses of his earlier condemnation extinguished.'; he retains therefore the adverb retro, but he has wrongly thought that suae refers to the man saved by penitence and thus pulled out of the clutches of the devil, as according to the rules of grammar, in that case Tertullian would have to write eius and not suae.  However every difficulty disappears in a stroke if with T and O in place of damnationis we give the reading dominationis: the devil grieves in fact from the fact that he has lost the domination which he exercised at one time on the man, so long as the latter did not repent.  We see thus that here again that T and O not only agree but that they give also the only reading which offers a satisfactory sense. 6

The same opinion can be held about other passages.  Thus De paen. 7, 13, where we used to read: pigeat iterum periclitari, sed non iterum liberari. Neminem pudeat, we can restore the true reading with the aid of T and O, which both omit the word non; instead of pigeat O gives pudeat, while T gives pigeat, but corrected to pudeat by the copyist himself, from which we obtain the following text: pudeat iterum periclitari, sed iterum liberari neminem pudeat, a text fully confirmed by St. Pacien who in an imitation of our passages writes this(Epist. I 5) : Pudeat periclitari, sed non pudeat liberari.

In chap. 7, 14 T and O have denuo, the only reading which makes sense, against dominus of the other manuscripts.7 Likewise in chap. 8, 1 the Spirit reproaches the inhabitants of Laodicea as being divitiis fidentes, if we trust O and T, as we have done so far; the other manuscripts give these words in the reverse order  (fidentes divitiis).

We have seen that in all the passages of the text which we have examined, and the number could easily be augmented, 8 O and T give always not only the same reading, but also that which reasons either of style and language, or matter, force us to accept as the true reading. 9 However since the readings of O in all the cases examined are confirmed by the best manuscript of the text which we possess, I wonder whether it would not be appropriate to likewise prefer the text given by O for those passages where T is unavailable and where we can only compare against inferior manuscripts.  That this is often the case is what we propose to show below in examining some passages which offer a certain interest. 

In chapter 9 of De paenitentia, for which work we have to move away from the support of T,  Tertullian speaks of a second penitence or exomologesis, qua delictum domino nostrum confitemur (9, 1).  That is the text that all previous editions give here, and which is thus based on the known manuscripts.  But the order of words seems a little tortured : one would expect instead qua delictum nostrum domino confitemur, and this is preciseley what the new manuscript gives, a reading confirmed also by Isidore of Seville who has transcribed our passage in his Origins VI, 19, 76 with the same word order.

Chapter 12, 1 begins with these words: Si de exomologesi retractas, gehennam in corde considera etc. Considéra was conjectured by Rhenanus in the margin of his 1521 edition, and he has been followed in this by all the later editors; all the manuscripts have the obviously false reading desidera, except O, which itself has considera in this place.

A little further on Tertullian speaks of the volcanos which are scorched by a fiery interior; their flames are like a symbol of eternal fire in which are punished unrepentant sinners: (12, 4) Quis haec supplicia interim montium non iudicii minantis exemplaria deputabit? Quis scintillas tales non magni alicuius et inaestimabilis foci missilia et exercitoria iacula consentiet?  Here the word exercitoria has given rise to many doubts.  De Labriolle explains it by translating, 'the pieces, projected upwards as in a game, of an immense fire', an explanation which goes back to Justin Lipsius, cited by Oehler in his note on this passage. 10  But our passage is the only one where the word in question has this sense.  Apart from this passage of Tertullian, it is only found in the jurists who use it to designate a certain legal procedure, the actio exercitoria, i.e. the action which the plaintiff makes in a case where a woman has confided the control of a ship to another, and this person has failed in their obligations to a third person; 11  the woman is called the exercitor, the owner or lessor of the ship.  It would thus be very strange that in our passage the word exercitorius should have a sense totally different.12 However, here the new manuscript does not give exercitoria but exercitatoria, a word also itself very rare, 13 but which offers an excellent sense, as is shown by a passage of St. Augustine, who writes in a letter  (26, 2 [p. 84, 14]): sapientia quos alligaverit et exercitatoriis laboribus edomuerit, solvit postea. The Thesaurus interprets the word as exercens, probans vel temptans : in the same way the exercitatoria iacula of Tertullian are the pieces or barbs launched with the intention to force a man to recall the eternal fire which awaits him unless he has previously repented.

Every reader of Vergil will recall how, in book XII of the Aeneid, Venus gives a blessing to her son by way of the herb called dittany (vs. 412): dictamnum genetrix Cretaea carpit ab Ida / puberibus caulem foliis et flore comantem / purpureo ; non illa feris incognita capris / gramina, cum tergo volucres haesere sagittae. Tertullian alludes to the same herb in chap. 12, 6 of De paenitentia: to exhort sinners to penitence he says: Mutae quidem animae et inrationales medicinas sibi divinitus adtributas in tempore agnoscunt: cervus sagitta transfixus, ut ferrum et inrevocabiles moras eius de vulnere expellat, scit sibi dictamno medendum. This is the text given by all the editions prior to our own, following a conjecture of Rhenanus; in reality the manuscripts don't have dictamno but dictamnum.15 Tertullian here has not imitated the author of the Aeneid, who speaks of wild goats following Cicero, his model, 16  but he has borrowed his remark on the curative method of the deer from Pliny the Elder, who relates this in his Natural History (VIII 97) : dictamnum herbam extrahendis sagittis cervi monstravere percussi eo telo pastuque herbae eius eiecto, et qui y revient XXV 92: ostendere (cervae sc.) ut indicavimus dictamnum volneratae statim telis decidentibus. 17  Tertullian in turn inspired St. Pacian (De paenitentibus 11), who nevertheless instead of transcribing Tertullian himself as he so often does, has instead here combined Cicero and Vergil: Caprae, ut dicunt, ferae remedia sua noverunt: confixas quippe audio venenatis sagittis saltus peragrare Dictaeos, 18 quoad dictamni caule detonso salutarium virulento latice sucorum, pulsa decutiant tela corporibus. It may be seen that in all the passages quoted it is said that deer or goats heal themselves while grazing on ditany.  This is the reason we have admitted in our edition a conjecture by Kroymann, the Viennese editor of Tertullian, a conjecture he kindly communicated to us many years ago: the manuscript error should be sought, not in the word dictamnum which he prefers to retain, but in medendum, corrected very happily by him to edendum.  This conjecture is now confirmed in a brilliant way by the new manuscript which in fact gives : cervus . . . scit sibi diptamnum edendam. Diptamnum is a frequent variant of the word in the manuscripts, 19 which it is necessary to correct without any doubt to dictamnum; one could conserve perhaps the feminine edendam, since dictamnus or dictamnum is often employed in the feminine. 20 21

A little further on (12, 7), Tertullian begins to discuss the king of Babylon, Nabuchodonosor, who, after being severely punished, was reestablished on his throne by God for the sole reason that he practised exomologesis. Pro malae tractationis! writes the author, quem homines perhorrebant, deus recipiebat. But pro as a preposition does not take genetive; it is normally followed by the accusative or vocative; 22 the only example of the construction with the genetive known apart from this place is found in Terence, Phorm. 351, where someone exclaims: Pro deum immortalium! But here the genetive is easily explained by the ellipsis of the word fidem, ,23 while in Tertullian it would be difficult to find the exact word that must be supplied.  Now the word is furnished for us by O which in fact gives: Proh male tractationis felicitatem. It cannot be doubted that this is the true reading and, an important point, it can be understood how the error in the other manuscripts came about: a superficial reader, in a very remote period since the error is found in every other manuscript and so probably goes back to their common ancestor, who failed to understand how a bad experience could be described as happy, omitted the word that seemed to him out of place.  That felicitatem cannot be an arbitary addition by the copyist of O is shown by St. Pacian who, imitating this passage of Tertullian, gives the following paraphrase of it which resembles an echo (De paenitentibus 9) : Quem horrebant homines, deus recipiebat, ipsa illa malae tractalionis calamitate felicem.

In De patientia there are likewise many passages which we can now correct with the help of O. Thus at the start of chap. 3, where Tertullian gives Christ himself as an example of the virtue to which he has devoted this small masterpiece, one reads (3, 2): Nasci se deus in utero patitur matris et (et is omitted by some manuscripts) expectat et natus adolescere sustinet et adultus non gestit agnosci, sed contumeliosus insuper sibi est etc.  The words et expectat which fit badly into the context have been rejected by Kroymann in his edition of our treatise as a gloss on sustinet 24 and we followed him in our edition although we strongly doubted the accuracy of his correction and wondered  whether it was not necessary to look elsewhere for the fault.  For the start of the passage is also quite strange: Nasci se deus in utero patitur matris ; no-one is in fact born in his mother's womb; it is precisely on leaving this organ that every man sees the light of day.  Both difficulties are resolved at a stroke by the new manuscript, in which the order of the words here is different: in fact it reads: Nasci se deus patitur ; in utero matris expectat (thus with the omission of et): natus adolescere sustinet etc.  The most important fact of birth is placed first; followed by the particular facts which serve to inculcate again the idea of the extraordinary endurance of Christ, who, while being the son of God himself, submitted himself to the painful wait in the womb of his mother, and after being born again resigned himself to the slow process of growth, and so on.  We believe that everyone will agree with us that it is the new manuscript alone which reveals to us for the first time the exact sense of the passage.

We pass in silence over some new readings offered by O, although interesting enough themselves, 25 to come to chap. 14, 2, where the author speaks of Job as the most illustrious example of the virtue of endurance. O felicissimum illum, he exclaims, . . . quem . . . non ipsius. . . corporis in vulnere cruciatus a patientia fide domino dedita exclusit, at least if we place our faith in the other manuscripts.  But the words of the text are difficult to explain. 26 It is for this reason that in our edition of the text, following the late Dr. Hoppe, 27  we have corrected the last words into a patientiae fide domino debita 28 and for the combination patientiae fide -- Hoppe translated: 'ausharrende Treue' -- we have referred the reader to De paenitentia 6,13: paenitentiae fidem. 29  Now the conjecture patientiae is confirmed in a striking manner by O, which in fact gives: pacientie;  the words domino debita have unfortunately been omitted by the copyist.

Finally we would like to say a few more words on chap. 15.  In this chapter, Tertullian gives a detailed description of the man who practises the virtue of patience (15,4 ): Vultus illi tranquillus et placidus, frons pura, nulla maeroris aut irae rugositate contracta; remissa aeque in laetum modum supercilia, oculis humilitate, non infelicitate deiectis ;(§5) os taciturnitatis honore signatum, color qualis securis et innoxiis etc.  It is not easy to see why, right in the middle of all these nominatives, the author would suddenly put the ablative oculis. . . deiectis.  Here again the difficulty disappears thanks to O, which reads oculi. . . deiecti, in the nominative.  And a bit further on (15, 6), where at present it reads: Nam ubi deus, ibidem et alumna eius, patientia scilicet, the Ottobonianus gives ibi in place of ibidem, a reading corroborated by the other parallel places such as De bapt. 6, 2: ubi très, id est pater et filius et spiritus sanctus, ibi ecclesia quae trium corpus est.

The examples we have just quoted will suffice, we believe, to show the superior qualities of O, despite its faults and its omissions, qualities that are in reality those of the lost manuscript from  which O was copied. It remains to say a word about the place that it is necessary to assign O in the tradition of the manuscripts of Tertullian. This place is not easy to determine.  We have seen above that, in many places of De paenitentia, O agrees with T against the other manuscripts, but it would be a big mistake to conclude a close affinity between the two.  For in fact what is the question?  O contains some fragments taken from four works of Tertullian, as we have seen; of these four works we find in T only the one, De paenitentia.  If we admit that all the fragments in O come from a single ancestor manuscript -- which seems very likely, although definite proof cannot be given -- it is therefore impossible, without discussing further the differences of text between the two manuscripts, that the fragments were transcribed from the archetype of T, since nothing allows us to suppose that these four texts featured together in that archetype.  And again one may go further: in no other manuscript known of Tertullian does one find these four works together.  The celebrated manuscript of Tertullian owned by the Bibliothèque nationale in Paris, the so-called Codex Agobardinus of the IXth century (A), contained three of them, as is shown by the index at the head of the volume which lists the works which it once contained before it underwent the unfortunate mutilation which caused the loss of so many works of the great author which is Tertullian, but the treatise De pudicitia never figured among them, and consequently it is very improbable that the text of the three other works in O goes back to it. 30

Two of the four works in O are found together in the lost manuscripts which Mesnart and Ghelen used for their editions of the works of Tertullian.  That these two manuscripts in fact were one and the same has been shown to be very probable by G.F. Diercks.31  We know from Ghelen that his manuscript came from an English monastery and was brought to Europe by an English scholar, John Leland, who died in 1552.32  If Ghelen's notice on this manuscript is correct -- and we have no reason to doubt it -- it is therefore impossible that O can be a copy, since the latter was written in France in the XIVth century as far as we can tell, as discussed above, therefore more than a century before the other manuscript came to Europe.33  The manuscript of the Englishman John Clement, which Jacques de Pamèle consulted for his edition of 1579 also contained De spectaculis and De pudicitia without the other two;34  on the other hand the same works are missing from the other manuscripts,35 which according to Kroymann 36 all go back to a common archetype today lost and which was once to be found at Cluny; on the other hand, De patientia and De paenitentia are found in them or were found in them.  O is therefore the only manuscript in which these four works of Tertullien are found together, in extract form.  If the hypothesis that these extracts all go back to a single lost manuscript does not seem to be improbable, one wonders if we have discovered in O the traces of a new collection or corpus of the works of Tertullian which was not otherwise known to us and which contained precisely the four works of which O has preserved some fragments.  That this is not impossible is shown by the Codex Trecensis, for example, which contains a collection of five works that are not found collected together anywhere else, by the Codex Johannis Clementis Angli which contained six, and, in fact, by all the other manuscripts which all contain a collection more or less extended of the works of Tertullian which do not figure or do not all figure in the manuscripts of another group, or in those which are independent.  We have seen above that this lost manuscript, whatever its relation to its brother manuscripts, was not without a certain value as the good quality of readings offered by the Ottobonianus demonstrates. 37

La Haye, Waalsdorperweg 217.


[Notes have been moved here to the end]

1 Now available (1948) at the Hague from the publisher D. A. Daamen in the collection Scriptores Christiani primaevi under the title Q. Septimii Florentis Tertulliani libri De patientia, De baptismo, De paenitentia.

2 This is the Pietro Mangiadore of Dante's Paradiso 12, 134.

3 The name of Tertullian appears nowhere in the manuscript, except that a later hand of the XVIIth or XVIIIth century has written next to the text of De spectaculus the words: Est exerptum ex Tertull. de Spect.

4 As well as the entire treatise De pudicitia, the major part of chap. 13 of De patientia was only  known to us from the Mesnart edition of 1545. The new manuscript now furnishes us with some words in the lost part (13,5 Iam si altiores--13,6 denique proeliatur), which, while not of great importance for the constitution of the text -- although the conjecture of Ghelen digeramus (13, 5) is now confirmed by the Ottobonianus -- shows nevertheless that this work was complete in the lost manuscript from which ours was copied. -- We will not bore the reader by a detailed enumeration of the extracts of Tertullian which appear in the new manuscript; we only have access to the portion contained in the photographic copy.  For the fragments of De paenitentia the reader will be able to consult the preface in the fifth volume of the Viennese edition of Tertullian which will soon appear.

5Cf. H. Hoppe, Syntax und Stil des Tertullian (1903) p. 17 c.

6 This does not exclude however the possibility that the false reading damnationis dates from a more remote period, since St. Pacian, who has so often imitated our author, writes in his letter I 5: fraus illa serpentis quae primum subvertit hominem, quae posteris eius tot titulos damnationis inpressit. Here the word damnationis is properly in its place, but in a context which differs a lot from that of Tertullian; also there is nothing to say that the latter did not in reality write dominationis.

7 See Mnemosyne LX (1932) p. 101. 

8 Here are some other examples:

De paen. 4, 2: rursus TO, iterum codd. dett.
 ,,     ,,    4, 9: iterum TO, igitur codd. dett.
 ,,     ,,    5, 7: paenitentia sua TO, paenitentia codd. dett.
 ,,     ,,    5, 7: semetipsum TO, se ipsum codd. dett.
 ,,     ,,    7, 5: devitant TO, vitant codd. dett.

Nous avons traité de ces endroits dans Mnemosyne LX (1932) pp. 85 et ss., où nous croyons avoir démontré que partout la leçon de T, confirmée maintenant par O, est préférable à celle que donnent les autres manuscrits.

We have discussed these passages in Mnemosyne LX (1932) pp. 85 ff., where we believe that we have shown that everywhere the reading of T, confirmed now by O, is preferable to the one that is given by the other manuscripts.

9 It sometimes happens that O improves on T.  At the start of De paenitentia (1, 4) Tertullian speaks of penitence as something that the gentiles know, who apply the term even to their good actions: Paenitet fidei amoris simplicitatis libertatis patientiae misericordiae. The substantive libertatis, which does not appear in the other manuscripts, is given  by T; we have admitted it into the text of our edition after much hesitation: it is hard to see how the gentils can repent of liberty, a word which does not designate a movement or state of the soul, like the other substantives it accompanies, but rather a condition of the person.  The new manuscript makes the difficulty disappear: where may be read, not libertatis, but liberalitatis, a quality which accords admirably with the other qualities enumerated by the author.  That liberalitatis is not an arbitary insertion of the copyist is shown precisely by the presence of the word libertatis in T: anyone with some notion of Latin paleography knows well how many times these two words are confused in the manuscripts; there is a good example, in the same treatise even, in chap. 6, 11, where the Codex Florentinus Magliabechianus VI 9 has libertatem in place of the true reading liberalitatem given by the other manuscripts.

10 Kellner who translates this as  'Wer (wollte) nicht darin einstimmen, dass diese Funken Aussprühungen eines gewaltigen Feuerherdes und gewissermassen seine Versuchsgeschosse sind ' gives to exercitoria a sense which this word does not possess in reality.

11 Cf. e.a. J. C. v. Oven, Leerboek van Romeinsch privaatrecht (1945) p. 485; R. Monter, Manuel élémentaire de droit romain II (1944) p. 342; Gaïus IV 71: Tunc autem exercitoria (actio sc.) locum habet, cum pater dominusve filium servumve magistrum navi praeposuerit et quid cum eo eius rei gratia, cui praepositus fuerit, gestum erit. ; Heumann-Seckel, s.v. exercere ; Thes. 1. Lat. V 2 col. 1390, 20 and ff.

12 There is a beautiful parallel in the adjective institorius derived from institor (manager of a shop), a name given by Gaius (Le.) to an action of a similar nature to the exercitoria. Cf. in addition praetorius, quaestorius etc.

13 See Thes. 1. 1. V 2, 1384, 20 ff.

14 A quite different meaning of the word is found in an inscription (C. I. L. VII 965 = Dessau, Inscr. lat. sel. 2619), where a basilicam equestrem exercitatoriam is mentioned.-- However, it is curious to note that already Oehler, in the Index verborum of his edition, listed exercitatoria as being given in the text of Tertullian at our passage.

15 Rhenanus was visibly inspired by Pliny Hist. nat. VIII 97, who, after having mentioned  first the dittany and its curative virtue, continues thus: iidem (cervi sc.) percussi a phalangio quod est cancri genus, aut aliquo simili cancros edendo sibi medentur.

16 De nat. d. II 126 : capras autem in Creta feras, cum essent confixae venenatis sagittis, herbam quaerere quae dictamnus vocaretur, quam, cum gustavissent, sagittas excidere dicunt a corpore.

17 On Pliny depends Solinus, Collect. rer. memorab. 19, 15: dictamnum ipsi (cervi) prodiderunt, dum eo pasti excutiunt accepta tela,. --All the passages cited go back eventually to ps.-Aristote, Hist. an. IX 6 p. 612d 4: εν Κρήτῃ φασὶ τὰς αἰγας τὰς ἀγρίας, ὅταν τοξευθῶσι, ζητεῖν τὸ δίκταμνον. δοκεῖ δὲ τοῦτο ἐκβλητικὸν εἱναι τῶν τοξευμάτων ἐν σώματι. Cf. en outre ps. Arist. Mirab. auscult. 4 p. 830 a19, Théophraste Hist. plant. IX 16, 1, Antig. de Caryste 30 (36), Plutarque De sollertia animalium 974 D, id. Bruta ratione uti 991 E, Elien Var. hist. I 10, Val. Max. I 8 ext. 18, Apulée De herba 62.Cf. Schmidt dans PW-RE IX col. 582 s. We owe the knowledge of many of these passages toW. K. Kraak (Bussum), who we hope will accept this  expression of deep gratitude.

18 Cf. Virg. Aeneid IV 72: illa (cerva sc.) fuga silvas saltusque peragrat| Dictaeos.

19 Cf. German. Diptam, Engl. diptani, see French. diptam, diptame, dutch diptane (Maerlant, der natueren bloeme II 1114 var. : Dat syt cruut, dat hert diptane eerst den mensche makeden cont.).; cf. Murray's Engl. dictionary s.v. 'dittany'; Grimm, Deutsches Wtb. II col. 1084, Verwijs en Verdam, Middelned. Wdbk II col. 210.

20 E.g. Pliny Hist. nat. XXVI 142: dictamnum pota expellit sagittas. The indications on the genre of the word given by the Thesaurus 1. lat. are inexact.

21 There is still another word in the passage of De paenitentia which we have just studied, and which we perhaps can correct with the help of O.  This concerns the adjective inrationales, in place of which O gives irrationabiles.  There is no doubt that this is the form chosen by Tertullian, as he did elsewhere: cf. in the same work 1, 4, where most manuscripts give irrationabiliter, while the codex Magliabechianus gives irrationaliter.  Cf. in addition Ps. 48,21 ap. Tert. De carn. res. 52 (108, 19) : inrationabilibus iumentis; on the other hand, in De anima 32, 8, where the same psalm is cited, we read inrationalibus iumentis, corrected by Jacques de Pamèle to inrationabilibus ium. See also Lactance De ira dei 7, 2: rationale animal cum mutis et inrationabilibus coaequavit.

22 On the origin of this construction see H. Wagenvoort in  Mnemosyne IV series II (1949) p. 321 ff.

23 See Hauler ad l., who adds: 'Bei Tertullian de paen. 12 steht pro malae tractationis mit etwa vorschwebendem rationem.'

24 Sustinere very often means expectare in post-classical Latin: See Waszink in his edition of De anima (Amsterdam 1947) p. 568. All the same in our passahe it seems more likely that the sense is that of 'to support, endure,' as for example De fuga 11, 1 : Cum duces fugiunt, quis de gregario numero sustinebit ad gradum in acie figendum suadere?(cf. Thierry ad 1.).

25 For example in ch. 4, 6: Cui item dubium est, O (in lien de item donne enim, ou au ch. 5, 7 : palam cum sit, which we can now correct with O to cum palam sit.

26 This is why several early editors insert the conjunction et between the words patientia and fide, while Kroymann keeps the lectio tradita, defended recently as 'asindeto bimembre' by  Pellegrino in Rivista di filologia classica 28 (1950) p, 77, following the Studia Tertullianea (II p. 20) of Thörnell, who there gives other examples of this construction. But he forgets that in all the passages adduced by Thörnell both members of the asyndeton appear without any attribute. (-- for Ad nat. II 17, 15: omne regnum imperium is separated since the Codex Agobardinus, the only manuscript on which the text is based, inserts vel before imperium -- );in our passage on the contrary fide is accompanied by words domino dedita, while patientia remains without a  complement; the two members of the presumed asyndeton are therefore not equivalents.

27 Beitrage zur Sprache u. Kritik Tert.s, Lund 1932 p. 53. See also Waszink, edition of De anima (1947) p. 316.

28 The genitive patientiae is given by the second hand of the early Codex Vindobonensis, today at Naples, which all the same is simply a conjecture; debita is due to Fulvio Orsini.

29 The passage has been poorly understood both by de Labriolle ('Faisant violence à la foi de la pénitence') and by Kellner ('welche, wenn sie zum Glauben gelangt sind, das Gebäude ihrer Bekehrung auf Sand bauen'). The correct interpretation of the passage had already been given by  Gabriel d'Aubespine (Albaspinaeus) in his Notae in quosdam Tertulliani libros p. 159 (at the end of the Paris edition of 1676 of Optatus of Milevis) : qui incipiunt credere paenitendum esse, et tamen eos non vere paenitet; one may translate it as: 'the faithful accomplishment of the penitence' or something similar.

30 In addition it is easy to notice while comparing the readings of A and O in the only work they today have in common, namely De spectaculis, that the text as found in O has no rapport with that of A. At the start of this work, e.g., ch. 1, 2 (1, 8 RW) A gives (volupta)tium vis, O vis voluptatis ; the edition of Mesnart (B) has vis voluptatium. And a little further in the same paragraph (1, 10 RW) we read in A : Ad utrumque adhuc, in O aut utrumque adhuc, as also in B  (aut utrumque. Adhuc). We regret to have to state that the critical apparatus of the edition of De spectaculis by A. Boulanger (Paris 1933) has the  defect, here as elsewhere, of being too concise.

31 in the preface of his edition of De oratione (Bussum 1947) pp. XVII-XXII. Wissowa had already suspected this identity (CSEL XX p. XI).

32 Cf. Lupton in his edition of De baptismo (Cambridge 1908) p. XXXV ff.

33 We saw above (note 30) that, in De spectaculis O shows a greater affinity with B than with A. It is curious to note that it also confirms in certain passages the additions of Ghelen with which he corrected the text given by B.  Thus in De pudicitia, 22, 3 (271, 25 RW), where the words in axe iam, which are missing in B, have been inserted by Ghelen, O gives: in axiam, a striking proof in our opinion that Ghelen did not merely fantasise at this place but that he did indeed consult the manuscript of Leland.  And a little further on, 22, 13 (273, 9), the insertion of an after voluntarius by Ghelen is now confirmed by O.  The new edition of De pudicitia in preparation by Claesson will doubtless furnish other examples and will perhaps permit us to form an idea on the relation which existed between O and the manuscript of Leland.

34 Cf. Wissowa in CSEL vol. XX p. XI and Kroymann in CSEL vol. LXX p. XIX.

35 Cf. Kroymann CSEL vol. XXXXVII p. VII adn. 3. 

36 op. laud. p. VI ff.

37 It may be wondered perhaps, since we find on the one hand De spectaculis and De pudicitia together in one group of manuscripts, and on the other De patientia and De paenitentia in a second group, whether the fragments of O do not in fact come from two different manuscripts.  This hypothesis seems less likely in view of the order of the four works in O, where De pudicitia and De spectaculis which are found together in many manuscripts as we have seen, are separated by the other two works. 


© Brill Academic Publishers, 1951.  All rights reserved. Reproduced by permission. Greek text in unicode.


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