Origen: the Manuscripts of "Contra Celsum"

This work is a paragraph by paragraph demolition of the lost anti-Christian pamphlet "The True Doctrine" (Alhqej logoj) by the philosopher Celsus.  Celsus wrote around 178 AD, but the work did not come into Origen's hands until the early third century.  Origen questions whether anyone will ever have seen the pamphlet -- he had not himself before now -- but at the request of a friend he has refuted it.

All the manuscripts are descendants of the Vatican gr. 386, and so of no independent value.

Siglum

Location

Shelfmark & Notes

Date /
Century

? Rome, Vatican. Bibliotheca Apostolica. Codex Vaticanus Graecus 386.  Also contains the panegyric on Origen by Gregory Thaumaturgus, which is prefixed likewise to many of its copies.  At the end of the first book is the following note: 

pro_j to_n epigegramme/non ke/lsou a)lhqh~ lo&gon w)rige/nouj to&moj a :-- meteblh&qh kai_ a)nteblh&qh e)c a)ntigra&fwn tw~n au)tou~ w)rige/nouj bibli/wn.

In the 15th or 16th century a leaf had disappeared from Bk. 2, c. 13 ff.  However as early as the 14th century, passages by Celsus had been erased.  For example in Bk. 1, 32 a slander about the birth of Christ had been erased, perhaps as blasphemous.

13th

? Paris Codex Parisinus Suppl. 616.  Copy of Vat. Gr. 386. Parchment, with large red headings and capitals.  The text is prefixed with Gregory Thaumaturgus' panegyric, and followed by Origen, Exhortatio ad Martyrium.  It differs from Vat. gr. 386 as the headings are different and the note at the end of book 1 omits the second part after the ":--".  Some obvious blunders in Vat. gr. 386 have been corrected.

This Ms. was written by Lucas Monachus for the emperor Andronicus III in 1340 AD.  A note at the beginning by a later hand tells us that when the codex came into the hands of Manuel Rhetor he erased the name of Andronicus.

1340

? Basle Codex Basil. A. iii. 9.  Copy of Paris S. 616.  Also contains the Philocalia of Origen.  Written by a monk named Cyril.   1565 AD
? Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale. Codex Parisinus Graecus 945.  Copy of Paris S. 616.  The 'Codex Regius' of the early editor, Delarue.  Also contains the Philocalia of Origen. ?
? Venice, San Marco Codex Venetus 44. 

14

? Rome, Vatican. Bibliotheca Apostolica. Codex Vaticanus Palatinus Graecus 309.  The 'Codex Palatinus' of Hoeschel.  Copy of Ven. 44. ?
? Milan, Bibliotheca Ambrosiana Codex Ambrosianus I. 119 P inf.  Fragments only.  Copy of Ven. 44. ?
? Oxford, Bodleian Library Codex Bodleianus Graecus Misa. 21.  Probably copy of Ven. 44. ?
? Oxford, New College New College MS No. 146.  Probably copy of Ven. 44. ?
? Venice, San Marco Codex Venetus 48.  Written by the same scribe as Ven. 44.  The fly-leaf is torn away, but undoubtedly it belonged to Cardinal Bessarion, whose hand can be seen in the margin on f.220 v.  It is a paper quarto with 220 leaves.  There are no corrections, other than a very few by the first hand, which makes it difficult to work out which Mss. have been copied from it.  It contains the Philocalia also.

14

? Leyden Codex Ludg. Batav. 17.  Copy of Ven. 48 ?
? Venice, San Marco Codex Venetus 46.  Copy of Ven. 48. ?
? Paris Codex Parisinus Suppl. 293.  Copy of Ven. 46.  Also known as the 'Codex Jolianus'. ?
? ? Matrit. O. 6.  Copy of Ven. 48. Written by George Trypho.

1555 AD

? Rome, Vatican. Bibliotheca Apostolica. Codex Vaticanus Graecus 387.  Copy of Ven. 48. ?
? Rome, Vatican. Bibliotheca Apostolica. Codex Vaticanus Ottobonianus 3.  Copy of Ven. 48.  Only an extract. ?
? Rome, Vatican. Bibliotheca Apostolica. Codex Vaticanus Ottobonianus 75.  Copy of Ven. 48.  Only an extract. ?
? ? Codex Monac. 64.  Copy of Ven. 48. ?
? ? Codex Monac. 517.  Copy of Monac. 64 made for Hoeschel, and by him corrected for the press. ?

Indirect Tradition

Long extracts are also preserved in the Philocalia.

Subtitles, summaries, chapter headings and divisions

[Unknown]

Bibliography

J. Armitage ROBINSON, The Philocalia of Origen: The text revised with a critical introduction and indices.  Cambridge University Press/New York:Macmillan (1893).  This is the primary source for all the information given.  However it abbreviates the shelfmarks very aggressively, which I have done my best to restore.

Journal of Philology 18, no. 35, p.62ff.  Not checked.  Reference from Robinson, p.xxix.  This apparently gives further details of the Mss.

WALLIS, Classical Review, Nov. 1889.  Not checked.  Reference from Robinson, p.xxix.  This apparently gives further details of the Mss.

Constructive feedback is welcomed to Roger Pearse. Corrections and additions are very welcome.

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