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Edited by Madalina Toca and Dan Batovici

Ancient translations of late antique Christian literature serve to spread the body of knowledge to wider audiences in often radically new cultural contexts. For the texts which are translated, their versions are not only sometimes crucial textual witnesses, but also important testimonies of independent strands of reception, cast in the cultural context of the new language. This volume gathers ten contributions that deal with translations into Latin, Syriac, Armenian, Georgian, Coptic, Old Nubian, Old Slavonic, Sogdian, Arabic and Ethiopic, set in dialog in order to highlight the range of problems and approaches involved in dealing with the reception of Christian literature across the various languages in which it was transmitted.

The Coptic Life of Aaron

Critical Edition, Translation and Commentary

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Jacques van der Vliet and Jitse Dijkstra

The Life of Aaron is one of the most interesting and sophisticated hagiographical works surviving in Coptic. The work contains descriptions of the lives of ascetic monks, in particular Apa Aaron, on the southern Egyptian frontier in the fourth and early fifth centuries, and was probably written in the sixth century. Even though the first edition of this work was already published by E.A. Wallis Budge in 1915, a critical edition remained outstanding. In this book Jitse H.F. Dijkstra and Jacques van der Vliet present not only a critical text, for the most part based on the only completely preserved, tenth-century manuscript, but also a new translation and an exhaustive commentary addressing philological, literary and historical aspects of the text.

The Early Textual Transmission of John

Stability and Fluidity in its Second and Third Century Greek Manuscripts

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Lonnie Bell

In The Early Textual Transmission of John Lonnie D. Bell utilizes a fresh approach for assessing the character of transmission reflected in the second and third century Greek manuscripts of the Gospel of John. The textual transmission of New Testament writings in the period prior to the fourth century has been characterized by a number of scholars as error-prone, free, fluid, wild, and chaotic. This study is an inquiry into the validity of this general characterization. Since John is the most attested New Testament book among the early papyri, is the best attested in the second century, and has the highest number of papyri that share overlapping text, it serves well as a case study into the level of fluidity and stability of the New Testament text in the earliest period of transmission.

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Edited by Malcolm Choat and Mariachiara Giorda

As senders of letters, copyists of literary texts, compilers of accounts, readers, and teachers, the monks of late antique Egypt articulated their interactions with their ascetic and secular environments via their role as authors, scribes, and owners of written text. This volume edited by Malcolm Choat and Maria Chiara Giorda examines the presence and practice of writing, modes of written communication, and the symbolic and spiritual value of the written word in monastic communities. Contributions cover evidence from papyri and inscriptions to literature transmitted in manuscripts, positioned within the shift in recent scholarship away from literature such as hagiography as a source of positivistic history, towards evidence that derives more directly from the monk or period in focus.

Mani at the Court of the Persian Kings

Studies on the Chester Beatty Kephalaia Codex

Series:

Iain Gardner, Jason D. Beduhn and Paul Dilley

In Mani at the Court of the Persian Kings the authors explore evidence arising from their project to edit the Chester Beatty Kephalaia codex. This new text presents Mani at the heart of Sasanian Iran in dialogue with its sages and nobles, acting as a cultural mediator between East and West and interpreter of Christian, Iranian, and Indian traditions. Nine chapters study Mani’s appropriation of the ‘law of Zarades’ and of Iranian epic; suggest a new understanding of his last days; and analyse his formative role in the history of late antique religions.

These interdisciplinary studies advance research in several fields and will be of interest to scholars of Manichaeism, Sasanian Iran, and the development of religions in Late Antiquity.