“As Far as My Poor Memory Suggested”: Cyprian’s Compilation of Ad Quirinum

in Vigiliae Christianae
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The question of who compiled Ad Quirinum remains unresolved. The previous consensus that it was indeed Cyprian, based largely on Koch’s work, was challenged by Bobertz over twenty years ago. Since then, the issue has received little attention. Here I refute Bobertz’s main arguments for believing that the collection existed prior to Cyprian’s conversion. I argue that textual variations between Ad Quirinum and Cyprian’s letters and treatises do not rule out Cyprian being the compiler, as similar variations also occur in Cyprian’s uncontested works. I examine the role of tradition and memory in scriptural citation and show how Cyprian’s own catechumenate assisted in his preparation of Ad Quirinum. I also demonstrate that there is no conflict between Test. 3.28 and Cyprian’s practice in the wake of the Decian persecution and consider why Pontius did not include the work in his list of treatises.

“As Far as My Poor Memory Suggested”: Cyprian’s Compilation of Ad Quirinum

in Vigiliae Christianae




For example Geoffrey D. Dunn“References to Mary in the Writings of Cyprian of Carthage,” in Studia Patristicaed. F. Young M. Edwards and P. Parvis (Leuven 2006) 370-71. Alexis-Baker “Ad Quirinum” 358.


Houghton“Use of the Latin Fathers” 393. Given Cyprian’s status it would not be surprising if some of the minor modifications he made to the text in his writings came to be viewed by some as the definitive text.


For a discussion see AlblScripture Cannot be Broken133-36.


Turner“Prolegomena” 255-62. Bobertz “Analysis of Vita Cypriani” 125-26.


Houghton“Use of the Latin Fathers” 383-84. Old Latin readings were even preserved into the eighth century due to earlier authors being quoted by commentators. Houghton “Use of the Latin Fathers” 384-85.


H. A. G. Houghton“Augustine’s Adoption of the Vulgate Gospels,” New Testament Studies 54 (2008): 456-58.


Turner“Prolegomena IV” 225. Houghton “Use of the Latin Fathers” 378.


OngOrality and Literacy2.


Alan Kreider“Changing Patterns of Conversion in the West,” in The Origins of Christendom in the Wested. Alan Kreider (Edinburgh: T&T Clark2001) 4-16.


Turner“Prolegomena IV” 229-30.


As noted by KochCyprianische Untersuchungen193.


As noted long ago by KochCyprianische Untersuchungen203.

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