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Texts beyond Borders

Multilingualism and Textual Scholarship

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Edited by Wout Dillen, Caroline Macé and Dirk Van Hulle

Contacts between languages, especially translations, have always played a crucial role in the making of European culture, from Antiquity until today. Bilingual or multilingual documents, literary works created in another language than their creators’ mother tongue, translations and translated texts are special textual objects, which require appropriate editorial treatment. This volume explores how textual scholarship responds to multilingualism in its various forms; how important multilingualism can be in creative processes; how textual scholarship can make multilingual texts available and accessible; and how it can contribute to their interpretation.
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Series:

Edited by Wout Dillen, Caroline Macé and Dirk Van Hulle

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Series:

Edited by Wout Dillen, Caroline Macé and Dirk Van Hulle

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Susan R. Holman, Caroline Macé and Brian J. Matz

Abstract

This paper introduces an anonymous work attributed to Basil of Caesarea entitled, De beneficentia, or “On beneficence.” The text is known from one manuscript dating to the thirteenth or fourteenth century, Berlin, Deutsche Staatsbibliothek, Phillipps 1467 (gr. 63), a collection of genuine and pseudonymous Basilian homilies. Although pseudonymous and extant (as far as we can determine) only in this sole manuscript, in some quoted fragments from the ninth and twelfth centuries, and in a sixteenth-century Latin translation, De beneficentia, shares a number of characteristics common to social homilies preached in the late fourth and early fifth centuries. This paper discusses the Berlin manuscript text in the context of the known fragments, other spurious, dubious, or pseudonymous homilies attributed to Basil, and its attributed relationship to social preaching in Christian late antiquity, and offers a new edition of the Greek text with its first English translation.