Codex Trecensis 523 / Troyes, Bibliothèque Municipale, 523

-----------------------------

Discovered by Dom Andre Wilmart, O.S.B. of St Michael's, Farnborough in 1916 in the municipal library at Troyes. This library was formed at the French Revolution from the collection of the Benedictine monastery at Clairvaux, most of which had been created by St. Bernard in the 12th Century. Dom Wilmart was particularly interested in the works of Eusebius of Emesa, which led him to examine this manuscript1,3 while he was present on military duties as a hospital assistant at Troyes during WW1 5.

The manuscript is 12th century, written on vellum in two columns in minuscule, with red titles and coloured initial letters. There is a table of contents on the reverse of the first leaf (folio 1 recto). There are 208 leaves in the codex1.

The manuscript contains 21 treatises. 1-15 are by Eusebius of Emesa. 16-20 are by Tertullian: Adversus Judaeos, De carne Christi, De Resurrectione Carnis, De Baptismo, and De Paenitentia, in that order. 21 is by Pontius Maximus1.

Folios Works
124va- Adversus Judaeos
142v - 157r De carne Christi2
De Resurrectione Carnis
De Baptismo
-205vb De Paenitentia

Ancestry of the manuscript1

The Tertullian part of the manuscript is not absolutely complete. Chunks of a remarkably fixed size are missing from some of the works, or transposed. This can have only one meaning. The manuscript was copied from an original which had small pages, containing the same as about one column of our manuscript (18 lines in Oehler's edition). Each line held about 30 letters. One leaf was lost from De Resurrectione Carnis, two from De Baptismo, and three from De Paenitentia. Also, three leaves of the De Baptismo, which had become detached, were inserted by mistake after, instead of before, a particular leaf of the manuscript. Such losses would most easily occur in the case of a papyrus codex, and if the original of our manuscript was made of papyrus, it was a very venerable manuscript, probably not later than the sixth or maybe seventh century. However it seems likely that there was at least one copy between that original and our codex, as a palaeographical study of the manuscript suggests. The words enim, autem, tantum are omitted several times as the copyist could not understand the old and unfamiliar abbreviations (notae), and various letters were confused.

An interesting feature of the manuscript points to the earlier history of the text. The frequency of the aspirate before the vowel, and the corresponding absence of it, where it should be found, as well as the use of -qu- for -c- suggest a Spanish stage in transmission. Souter suggests that this should be identified with the 6th/7th century manuscript identified above, and points out that Isidore of Seville in the first third of the 7th century is known to have access to the Apologeticum at least.

Features of the text1

It shows some 12th century characteristics, such as the spellings michi, nichil, dampnare, but also some spellings that hint at its ancestry. There are many indications that the words were not separated in its original. One curious feature is the presence of a symbol which often occurs between sentences. Souter suggests this may be the cryphia symbol, described by Isidore and of unknown meaning to him, and known from no other manuscript. It seems to have been copied mechanically by the scribe without knowing its meaning. Souter writes:

APPENDIX

COLLATION OF THE TROYES (CLAIRVAUX) MANUSCRIPT WITH THE TEXT OF KROYMANN (Vienna, 1906)

IN the Catalogue General des Manuscrits des Bibliothèques des Départements, tome second (Paris, 1855), pp. 227 ff. occurs the following description :

(MANUSCRITS DE LA BIBLIOTHÈQUE DE TROYES) 523

Un volume in-folio sur beau vélin. (Recueil)— Eusebii Emeseni libelli. . . . 16° Adversus Judeos. "Proximè accidit et disputatio habita est. . . ."—17° De carne Christi. " Qui fidem resurrectionis ante istos Saduceorum propinquos. . . ."—18° De resurrectione mortuorum. "Fidutia christianorum resurrectio mor-tuorum. . . ."—19° De baptismo. "De Sacramento aque nostre qua ablutis. . . . "—20° De Penitentia. "Ceci sine Domini lumine natura tenus norunt passionem animi quamdam esse. ..." ... XIIe SIÈCLE.

Clairvaux. M. 40. Manuscrit de 208 feuillets, a deux colonnes, en belle minuscule, avec titres à l'encre rouge et initiales coloriées.

Thus far the catalogue. To all appearance the contents of the manuscript are homogeneous throughout, with the exception of the twenty-first (and last) treatise, which is assigned to one Pontius Maximus.1 The cataloguer failed to notice the contemporary list of the contents on fol. 1r, in which treatises 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 are correctly attributed to "Septimius Tertullianus".  His failure to note this fact led him to assign treatises 1 to 20 to Eusebius of Emesa. The fact that there were five treatises of Tertullian in this manuscript thus remained unknown even to the Vienna editor Kroymann. The credit of their discovery (in 1916) is due to the erudite patristic scholar Dom André Wilmart, O.S.B., of Farnborough, who is particularly interested in the part of the manuscript containing works of Eusebius of Emesa.2 He most kindly consented to allow me to collate the Tertullian part of the manuscript, and this I have been able to do by means of a research grant which the Managers of the Hort Fund at Cambridge did me the honour to confer upon me.3

The Tertullian part of the manuscript is not absolutely complete. The following striking omissions occur :

De carnis resurrectione, c. 27, p. 64, 1. 20 (ed. Kroymann), resurrecturae
------------c. 28, p. 66, 1. 3, per (alt.) = 36 lines of Oehler.
De baptismo, c. 18, p. 51, 1. 5 (ed. Lupton), occurrit in tempore
------------c. 20 (the end) = 64 lines of Oehler.
De paenitentia, c. 8, p. 659, 1. 16 (ed. Oehler, vol. i), deliqui
------------c. 12, p. 665, 1. 5, non = 116 lines of Oehler.
A striking transposition occurs in the De baptismo : c. 12, p. 31, 1. 8 (ed. Lupton), -ficit sed alii
------------c. 15, p. 42, 1. 10 (ed, Lupton) iam nobis in
Graeco being displaced. It is remarkable that this passage =117 lines of Oehler ; also that the passage after which it is found in our manuscript measures 36 lines of Oehler.

As to the meaning of this evidence there can be little doubt. The original of our manuscript must have been a small manuscript, because it contained only the equivalent of 18 lines of Oehler on a page, or about the same amount as one column of our manuscript. Each line appears to have contained thirty letters (cf. p. 85, 1. 8). One leaf was lost from the De carnis resurrectione, two leaves from the De baptismo, and three leaves from the De paenitentia. Also, three leaves of the De baptismo which had become detached, were inserted by mistake after, instead of before, a particular leaf of the manuscript. Such losses would most easily occur in the case of a papyrus codex like the famous Hilary at Vienna, and if the original of our manuscript was a papyrus codex, it was a very venerable manuscript, probably not later than the sixth or seventh century.4

It is not necessary to suppose that this very ancient copy was the immediate parent of our manuscript. In fact a pateographical study of our manuscript suggests that it passed through an "insular" stage. The words enim, autem, tantum are omitted several times because the old notae for these were not understood by our copyist; r and s, a and e, r and t, u and a, c and f, h and n, n and r, were confused; et is fairly often written instead of ex.

A different class of phenomena points rather to the still earlier stage already suggested. The frequency of the aspirate before a vowel, and the corresponding absence of it where it should be found, as well as the use of -qu- for -c- suggest a Spanish stage in transmission. I should propose to identify this Spanish stage with the sixth or seventh century manuscript above suggested. We know that Isidore of Seville in the first third of the seventh century had access to Tertullian's Apology at least.5 And this Spanish manuscript would doubtless be a copy of one that came from Africa, Tertullian's own country. But Dom Wilmart will have something to say about the ancestry of our manuscript.

Whatever be the truth about the original of our manuscript, the manuscript itself is of great importance. It does not appear to bear a close relationship to any hitherto known manuscript, nor does any editor of Tertullian seem to have seen it. Until its discovery by Wilmart, it was believed that no existing manuscript contained the De baptismo. The manuscript shows twelfth-century characteristics like the spellings michi, nichil, dampnare, but it has preserved many of the excellences of its ancestry in such spellings as Enoc, Eleazarus, disparsio, obtunsio, thensaurus, prode est, dœmonicus, as well as the non-assimilation of prepositions in compounds. There are many indications that words were not separated in its immediate parent. One curious characteristic is worthy of mention, namely the occurrence of a symbol like a Greek minuscule omega which occurs a good many times between the end of a sentence and the beginning of another (p. 93 ff.). I conjecture that this symbol represents the or cryphia, which Isidore6 thus defines, "circuit pars inferior cum puncto ponitur in his locis ubi quœstio dura et obscura aperiri uelsolui non potuit." I think this is the only manuscript in which I have ever encountered the symbol. Our scribe seems to have copied it mechanically without knowing its meaning.

The manuscript has been very carefully corrected, principally by erasure, but also by interlinear and marginal notes. The correctors seem to have been two in number, both contemporary with the original scribe. Moreover, the corrections are nearly all made according to the original, and are not conjectures of the correctors. This original in front of our scribe seems, in fact, to have been in places rather difficult to read, whether because of the insular script, or because the writing was faded, or for both reasons combined. The correctors took great trouble to represent the original writing accurately. 

1 On this treatise see Dom Wilmart in the Journal of Theological, Studies, vol. xix (1917-18), pp. 316 f.
2
See his announcement about the MS. in his L'Ancienne Bibliothèque de Clairvaux (Troyes, 1918), p. 43 ; Anal. Boll, xxxviii. (1920), pp. 241-284. This superb library, formed nder the direction of St. Bernard himself, still in great part exists, at Troyes, Montpellier, Paris.
3 I have to state, once for all, that I have left certain facts about this MS., which are perfectly well known to me, to be stated by Dom Wilmart.
4 Cf. Sir E. M. Thompson, Introduction to Greek and Latin Palaeography (Oxford, 1912), pp. 27, 53.
5 M. Klussmann, Excerpta Tertullianea in Isidori Hispalensis Etymologiis (Hamburg, 1892).
6
Etym. I. 21, § 10.

Corrections have been made, principally by erasure, but also by interlinear and marginal notes. There seem to have been two correctors, both contemporary with the copyist. The corrections do not seem to be conjectures, but rather from the original. This seems to have been rather hard to read in places, whether because of the script or because the writing was faded, or a combination of the two. The correctors seem to have tried hard to reproduce the original writing accurately.

On f.124v, after explicit de hominis assumptione the copyist starts a new line and begins at once with the first words of Adversus Iudaeos, "Proxime accidit".  There is no incipit, but the 'P' is an initial 5 lines deep, indicating a change of some kind.  There is a table of contents on f1r which clearly states Septimi Tertulliani aduersus iudaeos, so probably an accident of transmission removed the incipit when the copy was made. (Petitmengin, p.65).

Catalogue details1

The catalogue entries are as follows:

In the Catalogue General des Manuscrits des Bibliotheques des Departments, tome second (Paris 1855), pp. 227 ff occurs the following description:

(MANUSCRITS DE LA BIBLIOTHEQUE DE TROYES) 523

Un volume in-folio sur beau velin. (Receuil) - Eusebii Emesini libelli ... 16o Adversus Judeos. "Proxime accidit et disputatio habita est..." - 17o De carne Christi. "Qui fidem resurrectionis ante istos Saduceorum propinquos... " - 18o De resurrectione mortuorum. "Fidutia christianorum resurrection mortuorum ..." - 19o De baptismo. "De Sacramento aque nostre qua ablutis..." - 20o De Penitentia. "Ceci sine Domini lumine natura tenus norunt passionem animi quamdam esse..." ... XIIe SIECLE

Clairvaux. M. 40. Manuscrit de 208 feillets, a deux colonnes, en belle minuscule, avec titres a l'encre rouge et initialies coloriees.

The cataloguer did notice that treatise 21 was by Pontius Maximus. The failure to notice the contemporary table of contents with Tertullian's name meant that he assigned treatises 1-20 to Eusebius of Emesa, and so the codex remained unknown to Tertullian scholars.

References

1. Alexander SOUTER, Tertullian : Concerning the Resurrection of the Flesh, London: SPCK (1922) p. 162 f.  Contains the catalogue entries relating to the manuscript, and more detail on most points mentioned.

2. Jean-Pierre MAHÉ, Tertullien : La Chair du Christ, Sources Chretiennes 216 (1975), p171. French critical edition, introduction, translation. Checked.

3. Dom André WILMART, Un manuscrit de Tertullien retrouve, Academie des inscriptions et belles-lettres : comptes rendus des seances de l'annee 1920, p380ff. also in English translation. The discovery.

4. E.M.BUYTAERT, Eusèbe d'Émèse: Discours conservés en Latin, tome premier: la collection de Troyes (discours I à XVII).  Louvain: Spicilegium Sacrum Louvaniense 26 (1953), pp.xiv-xxvii.  This is  the fullest description of this manuscript, in the critical edition of the works of Eusebius of Emesa, and I hope to add this description when time permits. Checked.

5.  Pierre PETITMENGIN, Tertullien entre la fin du XIIe et le début du XVIe siècle, in M. CORTESI (ed), Padri Greci e Latini a confronto: Atti del Convegno di studi della Società Internazionale per lo Studio del Medioevo Latino.  Firenze: SISMEL (2004).  pp. 63-88.  Checked.  

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