Disappointed… yet again

Though also, I may add, slightly relieved.

In one of my forays into the periodical literature of the turn of the twentieth century, a time at which so many discoveries of church order literature were made, I came across the assertion of F.X. Funk, (“Das achte Buch der Apostolischen Konstitutionen und die verwandten Schriften” Historisches Jahrbuch 16 (1895), 473 – 509, at 483, n.3), that there was an Ethiopic manuscript of the Canones Hippolyti in Oxford. I was surprised to read this, as Coquin had edited the Canones and I would not have expected him to miss something like that. Nonetheless, the thought crossed my mind that I should go and take a look. Having in the last week finished my book on Canones Hippolyti and sent it for peer review, my heart slightly sank at the thought that I would have to recall it! However, I had the sense to check the catalogue first, namely A. Dillmann, Catalogus codicum manuscriptorum Bibliothecae Bodleianae Oxoniensis. Pars VII: codices Aethiopici. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1848). The MS in question is described at pp 24-31. I have, after all, been disappointed before in the quest to find a non-Arabic version of these Canones.

I saved myself a fare by checking as sure enough there is no such thing. The manuscript to which Funk refers is a manuscript of canonical material, starting with the Fetha Nagast (the Ethiopic version of the Nomocanon of Ibn al-Assal.) This incorporates, as Coquin notes, some material from Canones Hippolyti. Within his work, Ibn al-Assal tells us of his sources, and says something of the Canones Hippolyti, namely that the Copts had translated it and found it useful, and that Gabriel (ibn Turayk (ACS)) had employed them in his collection of canons. This was carried over to the Fetha Nagast and cited at this point by Dillmann.

It is thus not a Ethiopic version of the Canones Hippolyti at all.

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4 Comments

Filed under Canons of Hippolytus

4 responses to “Disappointed… yet again

  1. danivaucher

    Very interesting, thank you. As libraries are all closed, I check the web for old articles, too! and while working on something completely else, the Church Orders keep crossing my ways – and by accident, it was the 8th book of the Apostolic constitutions that got my attention just yesterday…
    How are things over in the UK? I hope you do well in these difficult times.

    yours, daniel

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    • Nice to hear you Dani. Lots of time to write blog posts then! I am getting on with the work I started in 2013… so far I have not needed the library as I have collected so much unread material in the past six years!

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  2. danivaucher

    Thanks for your upcoming book, I’m looking forward to it! Somehow your email doesn’t accept any new messages, mine keep coming back…
    I’ve seen that a new book on Antiochia has an article on the Apostolic Constitutions in its Antiochene context
    https://bmcr.brynmawr.edu/2020/2020.04.23/
    for now, I can’t get to it. Maybe you know the author.

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