ed. and tr., Tertullian's Treatise against Praxeas. London:
Society for Promotion of
Christian Knowledge, 1949. Pp. 335. 21s.
THE format and the remarkably low price at which this important work
do infinite credit to the S.P.C.K.; probably no commercial firm could
undertaken publication of a treatise necessarily restricted in its
appeal at less
than twice or thrice this price. The Latin text occupies only thirty-one
and the translation some fifty pages. The remainder of the book consists
of an in-
troduction giving the historical and theological background, and copious
on points of reading, semantics, and technical points in syntax,
vocabulary. Canon Evans, who is lexicographer, theologian and historian
one, has performed a difficult task with admirable success. He seems to
all the relevant Greek and Latin Fathers, from whose writings he quotes
ously and appositely. Tertullian's Latin style is crabbed but crisp and
and he is perhaps the most difficult of all Latin Fathers to translate
language. There is no authoritative text for this treatise but it is
able that the one here printed will be regarded as the norm for a long
time to come.
It is a great pity that Dr Evans has not ventured to suggest further
of obviously false readings, but he has the modest diffidence of the
rarely lets himself go. His notes on the technical terms persona,
forma, species, substantia and potestas,
are examples of his skill as a lexicographer,
while his excursuses on Tertullian's theological antecedents, on the
the Trinity and Montanism, reveal the hand of the theologian ad
Though I have followed the Latin text in the English translation (which
without being slavish) I have found very few places in which to differ
Just before he died, Dr A. Souter, one of the greatest authorities on
Latin, brought out a monumental glossary of Latin words in use from A.D.
to the beginning of the seventh century, but probably had not seen Dr
work on Tertullian; otherwise he would undoubtedly have made use of its
of learning. Dr Evans says in his foreword that he has other works on
in hand; it is to be hoped that they will soon appear.
AUSTIN H. BIRCH,
Newport (Mon.), Wales.