Catalogus Translationum et Commentariorum: Medieval and Renaissance Latin Translations and Commentaries (review)
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Catalogus Translationum et Commentariorum: Medieval and Renaissance Latin Translations and Commentaries, Volume 7. Edited by Virginia Brown in association with Paul Oskar Kristeller and F. Edward Cranz. Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 1992. Pp. xxi + 356.

Launched in 1945-46 and in the process of publication since 1960, the Catalogus Translationum et Commentariorum is a cumulative inventory of two kinds of post-classical access to "classical" literature, namely (1) Latin versions of Greek texts and (2) Latin commentaries on texts in Greek or Latin. Its aim, announced by Professor Kristeller in the first volume, is to assist a "dispassionate, careful and critical stocktaking of the relevant textual, documentary or bibliographical evidence" for the study of ancient authors in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. For the purpose of this project, the lower limit of antiquity is set at 600 CE. and the study of reception stops around 1600. While there are some necessary exclusions (e.g., Aristotle and the Corpus Iuris), the intended coverage is remarkably full. Biblical versions and commentaries are ruled out; otherwise, early Christian authors receive the same treatment as their non-Christian peers. Since entries for strictly "classical" authors and texts almost always contain information about their reception in the patristic period, the interest of the work for students of early Christianity is not confined to the catalogue of scriptores ecclesiastici. Articles appear when they are ready for press, and so in no predictable order. Previous volumes included brief notices on Theophilus of Antioch, Salvian and Arator, and substantial monographs on Gregory of Nazianzus, Gregory of Nyssa and Nemesius of Emesa, as well as studies of the Nachleben of other major late-antique literary figures such as Ausonius, Claudian and Martianus Capella. The latest volume offers, inter alia multa, a supplement to the article on Gregory of Nyssa (Helen Brown Wicher) and a survey of the tradition of Plotinus (Dominic J. O'Meara). Its chief contribution to the historical study of patristic literature is a chapter on Irenaeus, essentially on the Adversus haereses (Otto Reimherr with the assistance of F. Edward Cranz).

After an introductory section summarizing modern scholarship on the fortuna of Irenaeus, we are provided with an extensive bibliography (half of which, however, has no direct bearing on the reception-history of the text) and a list of sixteenth-and seventeenth-century editions of the anonymous ancient Latin translation of Adversus haereses, beginning with the Erasmian editio princeps of 1526. Later editions by other scholars restored the millenarian chapters at the end of Book Five and incorporated a large fragment of the Greek text of Book One preserved in Epiphanius' Panarion. Since the Renaissance editors of the Latin Irenaeus also commented on the text, the same sequence of names is repeated in the section devoted to commentaries. Our attention is drawn to the editorial work of François Feuardent (1539-1610)—who urged his readers to compare the ancient Gnostics cum recentioribus Hu-Gnosticis!—but the biography given scarcely suggests his [End Page 67] achievements as a patristic scholar. Another early editor, Nicolas des Gallars (Gallasius) had been pastor of the French Protestant community in London in the 1560's before dedicating his Irenaeus to Bishop Edmund Grindal in 1569. Pastorship and dedication are separately recorded; nothing is made of the connection. There are long quotations from Janus Cornarius' 1542 version of the Panarion, although this material would seem to belong to a future article on Epiphanius. There are some errors and inconsistencies, e.g., Pierre Alexandre of Aries, recte Arras (p. 47), Augustine "attempting] to persuade Quodvultdeus to translate Epiphanius" (p. 44), the question of Tertullian's access to a Greek text of Irenaeus decided both ways (pp. 17, 32).

The Catalogus is designed as an instrument for the study of the classical (including patristic) tradition and articles like this one on Irenaeus are rich in suggestions for future work. If the information presented appears at times redundant or inconsequential, that may be partly the result of the format imposed for the series as a whole, partly because—at least in the case of early Christian authors and texts—the aims and requirements of students of the...