Identity, Inquisition, and Censorship in the editio princeps of Theodoret of Cyrus’s Anti-Heretical Works (1545–1547)

In: Erudition and the Republic of Letters
Sam Kennerley Hannah Seeger Davis Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies, Princeton University, Princeton, USA,

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This article reconstructs the troubled history behind the editio princeps of Theodoret of Cyrus’s anti-heretical works, which was printed at Rome in 1547. It is split into three parts, each of which corresponds to a key word in its title. The first part of this article identifies the manuscript of Theodoret used for this edition, its scribe, exemplar, and the timeline, circumstances, and methods of its creation. It then explores the uproar that the initial printing of this edition created among the Greek community of Rome, using this incident to examine the prosecution of Greeks by the inquisitions in Italy. The final part of this article analyses how different members of the Catholic hierarchy sought either to save or to suppress the edition of Theodoret, uncovering the documents and assumptions that ultimately ensured its survival. A conclusion summarises the main findings of this article, while highlighting paths for future research.

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