Fragments of lost works

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We have 7 extracts ascribed to Tertullian in the early church writings which belong to no extant work.  These are reprinted below.

This information on this page was printed by Adolf von Harnack, Tertullian in der Litteratur der alten Kirche, in Sitzungsberichte der Koniglich Preussischen Academie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin, II (1895), pp. 545-579, and reprinted in CCL II pp.1331-6.  It's also to be found in many of the 16th century editions, so I don't know what the original element by Harnack was.  I have not checked them against the original references (yet).

All of the attributions are conjectural (i.e. guesswork).  In each case the fragment (in Latin) is printed, followed by any variant readings in the manuscripts.   Then the source for the fragment, including the edition, and then any bibliography.   All these are still in Latin, as per CCL, and will be translated when I have time.

I. De fato II. Adversus Apelleiacos (2 fragments) III. De exstasi
IV. De censu animae V. Ad amicum philosophum VI. De paradiso or De spe fidelium

Fragment I

DE FATO

Nam et Tertullianus in libro quem 'De fato' scripsit, ita ait : Redde huic fratri primum problematis mancipatum.

Notes: fati al. municipatum cod. Paris. 7581

From: FVLGENTIVS MVTHOGRAPHVS, Expositio sermonum antiquorum, 16.

The works of Fulgentius the Mythographer were edited by Helm, Rudolf, ed.Fabii Planciadis Fulgentii V.C. Opera (Leipzig, 1898, rpr. Stuttgart, 1970). The 1970 reprint has an updated bibliography by J. Préaux, but is otherwise unchanged. The expositio is  pp. 109-126, and this quote on p. 116.  There is a translation into English: Whitbread, Leslie George, tr., Fulgentius the Mythographer (Columbus, Ohio, 1971) - but I understand it's pretty awful and the notes are unreliable.

The same author seems to have used this work of Tertullian in his Quaestiones Veteris et Novi Testamenti  (quaes. 115 - ed. A. SOUTER. Vienna, 1908, p. 318-349 - listed under Augustine in PL.35, col.2347). cfr H. Koch. Tertullianisches, I, in Theologische Studien,und Kritiken, CI, 1929, p.458-462.

There is a page on Fulgentius maintained by Greg Hays at http://www.people.virginia.edu/~bgh2n/fulgbib.html with a full bibliography, from which some of the above details were augmented.


Fragment II

ADVERSVS APELLEIACOS  (2 fragments)

a) Hic praeterea Philumenem quamdam puellam dicebat inspiratam diuinitus ad praenuntianda futura, ad quam somnia atque aestus sui animi referens diuinationibus seu praesagiis eius secretim erat solitus praemoneri, eodem phantasmate eidem Philumenae pueri habitu se demonstrante, qui puer apparens Christum se aliquando, aliquando esse assereret Paulum. A quo phantasmate sciscitans ea soleret respondere quae se audientibus diceret. Nonnulla quoque illam miracula operari solitam, inter quae illud praecipuum, quod in angustissimi oris ampullam uitream panem grandem immitteret eumque extremis digitulis leuare soleret illaesum, eoque solo quasi diuinitus sibi cibo dato fuisse contenta.

Notes: 1 hic] sc. Apelles, cfr. Haer. 23.

From: AVGVSTINVS, De haeresibus, 24 Appendix - Maurist edition, t. VIII, Parisiis, 1688, p. 9B, iuxta ueteres editores (reprinted J. MIGNE, Patrologia Latina vol. XLII, col. 30, note 1).

The appendices added to each chapter of this work of Augustine seem to have been put together in the 5th century.  Our fragment is not found in the manuscripts, not even in the codex Basileense B III 9, where all other appendices may be read.

cfr G. MORIN, Chapitres additionels au De haeresibus de saint Augustin, in Basler Zeithschrift fur Geschichte und Altertumskunde, XXVI, 1917, p.118 sq.

Tertulliano attribui potest, uel saltem a Tertulliani opere deperdito auctor ignotus argumenta sua mutuatus est. However nothing can be certainly established.

b)  Eleganter in hoc loco uir doctissimus Tertullianus aduersus Appellem et eius uirginem Philumenem, quam angelus quidem diabolici spiritus et peruersus impleuerat, hunc esse scribit angelum, cui, multo antequam Apelles nasceretur, Spiritus Sancti uaticinio sit anathema per apostolum prophetatum.

From: HIERONYMVS, Commentarii in epistulam ad Galatas, 1. 8 - edid. D. VALLARSI, t. VII, Veronae, 1737, p. 383 C-D (recudit J. MIGNE, Patr. Lat., t. XXVI [ed. 1884], col. 344 C).

Neque haec inueniuntur aliis in locis ubi Tertullianus contra Apellem et eius uirginem Philumenem dimicat. Conicere licet ea assumpta esse e proprio libello quem aduersus Apelleiacos composuit (cfr De carne Christi, VIII, 3 : « Nam est nobis et aduersus illos libellus »).


Fragment III

DE EXSTASI

Scripsit contra eos librum sanctus Soter papa Vrbis, et Apollonius Ephesiorum antistes. Contra quos scripsit Tertullianus presbyter Carthaginiensis. Qui cum omnia bene et prime et incomparabiliter scripserit, in hoc solum se reprehensibilem fecit, quod Montanum defendit, agens contra Soterem supradictum Vrbis papam, asserens falsa esse de sanguine infantis, trinitatem in unitate deitatis, paenitentiam lapsis, mysteriis eisdem unum pascha nobiscum. Hoc solum discrepamus, inquit, quod secundas nuptias non recipimus et prophetiam Montani de futuro iudicio non recusamus. Obiciunt quidem Tertuffiano, quod animam ex traduce, id est animam dixerit ita gigni ex anima sicut ex corporibus corpus, quod catholica fides uehementer execratur.

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Notes: 1 eos] sc. Cataphryges.

From: Praedestinatus, 1, 26 - ed. J. SIRMOND, Parisiis, 1643 (reprinted J. MIGNE, Patr. Lat., t. LIII, col. 596 B-C). Also now F.GORI, CCSL (see attached page for details).

Cfr 1, 86 (col. 617 A) : «Tertullianum autem catholica hinc reprehendit auctoritas, quod animam ex anima nasci dicit et defendit Montanum et Priscam et Maximillam contra fidem catholicam, et contra Apollonium episcopum Orientis, et contra Soterem papam Vrbis Romae, ut supra diximus, dum Cataphryges haereticos detegerimus. »

According to Harnack, this fragment seems to have come from that work of Tertullian, which Jerome mentions in these words :. « De exstasi libros sex, et septimum, quem 'Aduersus Apollonium' composuit» (De uiris Inlustr. 53 - edid. Richardson, p. 32. 4-5; cfr 40, p. 28, 10-12 : «Tertullianus, sex uoluminibus aduersum ecclesiam editis, quae scripsit 'De ekstasei', septimum proprie 'Aduersum Apollonium' elaborauit.»).

Gori in his edition of Praedestinatus disagrees with Harnack's view, but says no more than that. (p.xiv).


Fragment IV

His Tertullianus uehementer occurrit, ostendens Dei Filium impassibilem esse et ista diuinitati non iniuriam sed laudem adferre : Sicut rex qui uolens anulum aureum cum gemma de cloaca lettare, induit se seruilem tunicam et sic descendit ad cloacam, ut stercoreas iniurias tunica illa suscipiat. et mittens manum et anulum aureum cum gemma eripiens, aqua abluit et digito suo regali induit, posteaquam inde ascenderit. Ita procul dubio Dei Filius formam serui suscipiens, uenit non solum ad inferos caelorum, ubi nos sumus, qui uidemur uiuere in mundo, sed etiam ad inferos inferiores, qui tanto a nobis sunt profundius, quanto nos sumus caelo, et ut inde humanum genus eriperet, cunctarum sordium, non suarum sed nostrarum, est squalorem perpessus. Pro uiuentibus sic uixit sicut nos qui uiuimus, nihil aliud distans nisi hoc quod immaculatam uitam exercuit, habens intra se Deum ; pro mortuis sic mortuus, nihil distans nisi hoc, quod tertia die resurrexit a mortuis ; et quod propterea sic descendit, ut sanctos inde erueret et mortis principem religaret. Quod autem anulum aureum cum gemma posuit, hoc in sequenti lectione edocuit, quod anulum corpus posuerit, gemma uero inclusam esse animam declarauit. Hunc ergo anulum de stercoribus antiquis et de cloaca huius mundi Christus eleuans ac baptismatis unda perfundens, ab omni squalore abluens, in suis fecit sanctis manibus radiare. Siquidem ita legitur : Iustorum autem animae in manu Dei sunt ; et iterum : Pone me sicut anulum in manu tua ; et : In manus tuas commendo spiritum meum. Et infinita sunt his similia in sacris apicibus, quae nos causa breuitatis omittentes...

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Notes: 1 his] sc. Proclianistis 9/10 Cfr Phil. 2, 6 16/17 cfr Ps. 113, 18  29/30 Sap. 3, 1 30/31 Cant. 8, 6 31/32 Ps. 30, 6

From: Anon., Praedestinatus, Book I, ch. 60 (Migne col. 608 A-C).

Translation: "Tertullian vehemently opposes these persons [i.e. the Proclianists], showing that the Son of God was incapable of suffering and that, to divinity, those things bring not damage but praise; As a king who wants to pick a gold ring with a jewel out of a sewer, puts on the tunic of a servant and thus goes down into the sewer, to intercept the damage of ordure with that tunic, and putting out his hand and snatching up the gold ring with the jewel, washes it clean with water and puts it on his royal finger after he has come up from there. So beyond doubt the Son of God taking the form of a servant, came not only to those below the heavens, where we are who seem to live in the world, but also to the lower depths, which by the same distance are deeper than us, as we are than heaven, and that thence he would pluck out the human race endured the filth of all dirtinesses, not his but ours. For the sake of the living he lived like us who live, differing in no respect except this, that he conducted his life without fault, having God within him; for the sake of the dead he died, differing in no respect except this, that on the third day he rose again from the dead; and that the reason he so went down was, that he might dig up the saints from there and bind the prince of death. But that he put on [?] the gold ring with the jewel, [should this not be gemmam?] he explained that in the following reading, that in the ring, he put on the body, but he stated that the jewel set in it was the soul. Therefore Christ raising up this ring from the ancient ordures and from the sewer of this world and pouring over it the water of baptism, washing it clean of all dirt, made it shine upon his own sacred hands. For we read as follows: The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God; and again; Place me as a ring upon your hand; and; Into your hands I commend my spirit. And there are infinite things like these in the sacred literature which we omit for the sake of brevity..." (Translated by Robert Stonehouse in humanities.classics - thank you)

Both words and thought Tertulliani calamum patefaciunt. Harnack suggests that it comes from 'De censu animae contra Hermogenem', art. laud. p. 576, but on the basis of slender evidence.  Gori, in his edition of Praedestinatus (see attached page) says that the style is that of Arnobius, not Tertullian (p.xiv).

For the other references by Tertullian to this work, see J.H.WASZINK, Q. S. Fl. Tertulliani De Anima, edited with an Introduction and Commentary, Amsterdam, 1947, p. 7º-12º, containing also other writers, such as Filastrius (haer. 116) and Pseudo-Ambrose, De origine animae (edid. CASPARI, p. 229), who made use of a work of Tertullian.

Extra Note:  In CTC 1985, §25, reviewing Verwilgen, Albert, Ph 2, 6-8 dans l'oeuvre de Tertullien - Salesianum, 47 (1985), pp.433-465, we are told that this fragment quotes Philemon 2, 7b (formam serui suscipiens) as if attacking Appelles, and so may well be a fragment of Adversus Apelleiacos.


Fragment V

De secundo problemate tuo Tertullianus in libris de monogamia disseruit asserens, sanctos dici fidelium filios, quod quasi candidati sint fidei et nullis idololatriae sordibus polluantur.

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Notes: 3 candidatae sint fidei Hilberg cum nonnullis codd. Nullius al.

From: HIERONVMVS, Epistula 85, ad Paulinum, 5 - edid. I. HILBERG, II, Vindobonae, 1912, p. 137, 15-17

Translation: Tertullian discusses your second problem in the books on monogamy saying, "I speak of the holy sons of the faithful, who like candidates are clean and are polluted by no filth of idolatry".

There is no such text in 'de monogamia'. Perhaps the fragment is from 'ad amicum philosophum de angustiis nuptiarum', which Jerome himself praises writing to Eustochium (epist. 22, 22- HILBERG, I, p. 174 sq.) or against Jovinianus (I, 15 - Patr. Lat. XXIII [ed. 1883], col.241 A).


Fragment VI

Dicit sane etiam ipse animas hominum pessimas post mortem in daemones uerti [statum autem animae credit per traducem propagari] .

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Notes: 1 dicit] sc. Tertull. 2/3 statum usq. propagari] om.codd. add. edd. ueteres (cfr supra adn. ad fragm. II a).

From: AVGVSTINVS, De haeresibus, 86 - edit. Maurinorum. t. VIII, Parisiis, 1688, p. 25 B-C (reprinted J. MIGNE, Patr. Lat. t. XLII, .col. 47).

Translation: He does also say that the most evil human souls after death are transformed into demons [although he also believes the souls to be created in the womb].

A fragment of the same lost work de fine ultimo, perhaps 'De paradiso' (cfr De anima 15, 5 : « Habes etiam de paradiso a nobis libellum. quo constituimus omnem animam apud inferos sequestrari in diem Domini»), or more likely 'De spe fidelium', about which Hieronymus : « Neque enim iuxta Iudaicas fabulas, quas illi deuteroseis appellant, gemmatam et auream de caelo exspectamus Ierusalem, nec rursum passuri eircumcisionis iniuriam, nec oblaturi taurorum et arietum uictimas, nec sabbati otio dormiemus. Quod et multi nostrorum et praecipue Tertulliani liber, qui inscribitur 'De spe fidelium' ... pollicetur » (Comm. in Ezechiel. XI, XXXVI, 1 - Patr. Lat. xxv [ed. 1884], col. 339 B).

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