Mnemosyne III, 2 (1935) 299-308 (RP) [Original language]




Some studies have already been made, first by van der Vliet 2 and then a new and careful one by Souter 3, on manuscript no. 75 kept in the National library of Luxembourg, which contains a selection of the writings of Tertullian. The library catalogue 4 describes it as follows [in French]:

"Paper manuscript from the end of the XVth century 5 - 269 leaves. Fol. 1-118 at 31 lines per page, fol. 131-269 of 37-41 lines per page - H.: 270 mm; L: 200 mm. Comes from the abbey of Munster at Luxembourg, proven by an ex libris of Pierre Roberti, Abbot of Munster, stuck on the guard-leaf (there follows a description of the exlibris).
The manuscript contains the following works of Tertullian:
1. Fol. 1. (De Carne Christi). Most of the superscription is missing; there remain only these words: liber unicus qui floruit anno Domini ducentesimo. Qui fidem resurrectionis...
(Fol. 14 V.) Finit liber de carne Christi.
(a list of the titles and the opening words of the individual writings follows, viz. Schanz III3 P. 332)
22. Fol. 257 back. Adversus Hermogenem. Solemus hereticis compendii.. This work, incomplete at the end, has been completed on the fol. 268 and 269 by a hand of XVIIth century."

The manuscript - hereafter referred to as X - is written in an angular script. It is hard to say from the script-type alone whether it was written in Italy or in Germany; but the latter could be more likely for another reason, of which more later.

I had a photograph manufactured of that portion of the manuscript which contains De paenitentia in order to use it for the new edition of this work to appear in the Vienna corpus. This short portion is enough to permit us to integrate the manuscript with the rest of the text tradition and to determine its value rather exactly.

Tertullian's De paenitentia is transmitted in many mss and editions, which can be divided for our purpose into two groups. The members of the first and junior group all go back (following Kroymann 6 ) to a lost Codex Hirsaugiensis. From that were copied Cod. Florentinus Magliabechianus VI 10 (F), Cod. Leidensis lat. 2 (L), and finally one previously in Vienna, now in Naples (V) 7, all from the XVth century, and also the first edition of the Rhenanus (R1), the single direct copy of the Hirsaugiensis for those writings of Tertullian, such as De paenitentia, which were not transmitted in the Paterniacensis 8. The second group covers some partially older, more or less independent manuscripts, of which the Trecensis (T) is by far the most important 9; there is also the lost Gorziensis (G), which Rhenanus used for his third edition (R3), and Cod. Florentinus Magliabechianus VI 9 (N) from the XVth century

X belongs to the first group, derived from the Hirsaugiensis, as is immediately proven by the following comparisons:

De Paenit. 1, 1 (1644, 1 Oehl.)

prioris N R3 T: peioris F L R1 V X

" 1, 5 (644 13)

Paenitentiae G N R3 T: patientia F L Rl V X

" 2, 4 (645 18)

ante conponeret G N R3 T. anteponeret F L Rl V X

" 2, 6 (646, 6)

foras N R T. foris F L V X

" 2,12(647 1)

suae GNR3T. om. F L Rl V X

" 9, 3 (660, 5)

mollificandi N. humilificandi FLRVX

" 10, 4 (661, 15)

superscenditur N R. superscendetur F L V X

" 10, 4 (661, 16)

do hos N cod. Divion.. tuos F L R V X 10

Within these mss, LV forms a subgroup of lesser value 11; X against it associates with the better representatives of the whole class. Viz.:

De paenit.

1, 3 (644, 7)

conuersationem F RX. conuersionem LV


1.5 (644, 12)

semetipsos execrantur R, seuiret ipsos execuntur F, Siiret ipsos execuntur X: seruire ipsos execuntur LV


2, 1 (645, 1)

augmentum F R, augmentam X. augumentum LV


2, 6 (646, 6)

mundam F R X: nudam LV


3, 7 (648, 1)

utrique FR, utique X: uterque L V


4, 3 (650, 5)

perennat F R X: praemiat LV


4, 6 (650, 15).

obsequii F R X: praecepti LV


6, 5 (653, 12)

new rasus F R X: ne neresus L V


6 17 (656, 1)

semel F R X. solam LV


7, 14 (658, 8)

tibi F R X. ter LV


10, 1 (661, 3)

Plerosque R X, plerusque F. plerunque LV


10, 1 (661, 7)

pereunt F R X. if L pariunt, V parcunt


11, 4 (663, 1)

et F R X. etiam LV


12, 6 (664, 5)

irrational F R X. irrationabiles LV

The number of proof locations could easily be increased. The evidence for this view is also reinforced by the fact that X does not contain the large gap in adv. Marc., which occurs 12 in LV.

De pat. 1 (2, 1):

obire FRX, obicere NP (in M the word is smeared and has become illegible)

" 3 (4, 15)

subiendae FNX, subeundae R: subiciendae (icien corr. in ien) M, subiciendae (corr. R) P. This shows that the Hirsaugiensis group originally had subiendae. The other group had subiciendae, which was improved in M to subiendae, and so N also has subiendae; subeundae in R is obviously based only on Rhenanus' own (and false) assumption. 

" 8 (13, 23)

coinquinari F Hirsaugensis according to Rhenanus, comquari X; communicare NMP. Thus the ancestor of X had coinqnari.

" 9 (14, 23)

enim FX: ergo NMP.

Within the group of F R and X, R and X often witness together against F, as is shown by the following places:

De paenit. 3, 4 (647, 20)

inter se RX. : intra se F L V

" 4, 2 (649, 11)

dominis R X : deus F L V

" 4, 3 (650,1 )

proleuabit R X : prolauauit F, perlauabit L V .

" 5, 3 (651, 11 )

ita in R, om. X. iam ita in F L V

" 5 3 (651, 12)

segregaris R X. segregatis F L V

" 5; 3 (651, 12)

in tantum contumaciae adglutinaris RX : om. F LV

" 5, 3 (652, 15)

quorum indiuidua cum diabolo amicitia est, quorum paenitentia numquam fidelis R X : quorum paenitentia numquam fidelis, quorum indiuidua cum diabolo amicitia est F L V

" 6, 6 (654, 2 )

tantisper R X : per F L V

" 6, 13 (655, 7 )

collocant R X. collocauit F L V

" 6, 15 (655, 12)

seruo R X : uerbo F L V

" 6, 17 (656, 1 )

amplexata R X : implexata F L V

" 6, 19 (656, 6 )

concupiscentiis R X : concupiscentes F L V

" 6, 19 (656, 7 )

obstructi R X : abstructi F, astructi LV

" 7, 5 (657,12)

nolunt R X : uolunt F L V

" 7, 9 (657, 25)

traditionibus R X : conditionibus F L V

" 7, 10 (657, 29)

secundo R X. seculo F L V

" 8, 1 (658, 13)

sardos R X. sar FLV

" 8, 3 (658, 21)

illic R X : illi F L V

" 9, 2 (660, 2 )

nostrum R X : nostro F L V

" 9, 4 (660 11)

dies noctesque R, diesque noctes X, noctos diesque F L V

" 9, 4 (660; 12)

aris R X : caris F L V

" 10, 3 (661, 10)

de R X. om. F L V

" 10,8 (662,1 )

est damnatum R, e damnata X. condampnatum F, condem(p)notum L V

" 11, 4 (662, 22)

pudet R X. pendet F L V.

" 11, 6 (663, g )

offenso R X : offendo F L V

In contrast to this the few places, in which X corresponds with F against R. Viz.:

De paenit. 3, 4 (647, 20)

alioquin R . adqn X, adqm F, but atquin is the correct reading, instead of which alioquin probably only by a mistake in R.

" 6, 2 (652, 24)

desiderandum R, diserandum F X

" 6, 9 (654, 10)

fenuo R, rennuo F renuo X

" 7, 4 (657, 8 )

hactenus R : actenus F actinus X

" 9,6 (660, 18)

releuat R : reuelat F X

" 10, 10 (662, 5 )

anxiari R. cruciari F X; the latter is alone correctly

" 12, 1 (663, 14)

poenae R, p(o)ena F X

" 12, 1 (663, 14)

suscitent R, suscitentur F X

" 12, 6 (664 8 )

dictamno R : dictamnum F X. The latter is correct, and dictamno is probably only based on Rhenanus' conjecture.

" 12, 7 (664, 14)

praeferente R : praeferentem F X

Remarkably however there is a large agreement between F and X in the following abbreviations. De paenit. 3; 8 (648, 4). spiritalia R: spalia F X (spiritualia L V); 9.1 (659, 20) poenitentiae secundae R, penitentie scde F penitetie scde X; finally 9, 4 (660, 12) presbyteris R, ppris F X (pris L V), which, hardly probably, may be due to coincidence, but is probably attributable to the common archetype of F X and (L V).

Where X stands alone against all other representatives of the group, its readings are based almost without exception on obvious errors, so we learn almost nothing here of the constitution of the text from it 13. A few examples of such readings will be sufficient here: viz. 2, 4 (647 6). cur potentiam (instead of paenitentiam) inuadit. 4 7 (650, 19). credi his (instead of sibi). 4, 8 (651, 4).

[ snipped about half a page of detail ]

Now what conclusion is one to draw from these facts? There are only two possibilities; either F and X originate together from a single, now lost ms, which was a direct copy of the Hirsaugiensis14, or X, just like R1 was copied directly from the Hirsaugiensis. In view of the many and important agreements with R1 (as above p.303) this does not appear impossible. The crucial place is De paenit. 8, 1 (658; 13), where R1 and X offer both sardos, F L V only sar. This cannot be coincidence. Therefore we can hardly err in accepting that the latter are to be traced back to the lost ms from the monastery at Pforzheim, from which F was copied directly, LV indirectly, by following this single, likewise lost link 15, which had sar at this point. In which case X cannot originate also from that missing Pforzheim manuscript 16; it must go back rather to the Hirsaugiensis directly and thus was probably also written in Germany like its brother, the Pforzheim Codex.

It is hardly possible to find other places in the De paenitentia from which proof may be obtained17. But in the De patientia there is one, which is almost equal to the aforementioned in conclusive force. It is in chapter 1 (2, 2 Kroymann): bonum eius (sc. 'patientiae') etiam qui caeca vivunt, summae virtutis appellatione honorant, so also the pagan 18 honours patience as a virtue just as the Christians. However the reading of qui cacca vivunt (so R1) was early attacked, although it can well be defended 19 and results in perfect sense: already Rhenanus wanted to read caecutiunt instead of caeca uiuunt, an assumption on his part, which Vollmer had given in his Thesaurus (III 47, 61) 20. Thus we find in F qui ex ea uiuunt, while we read que ex ea uiuunt in LV (after Oehler) ; these three had in common an archetype in Pforzheim which therefore already had qui ex ea uiuunt. What about X? If this likewise came via the Pforzheim manuscript, then we would expect it to offer the same reading, just like F L V 21; however if it derived directly from the Hirsaugiensis, then it must correspond with R1. Actually X has qui ceca uiuiit, which gives a shining acknowledgement of the assumption that it is a direct offshoot of the Hirsaugiensis 22.

I believe that these two places are already sufficient to obtain a correct view of the relation between X and R1 on the one hand, and X and F L V on the other hand, which an investigation into the other works also transmitted in X merely acknowledges. So what are the consequences of this now for a future editor?

It is clear from the foregoing that the reconstruction of the missing Hirsaugiensis is theoretically possible using with Rl both X and F and L V: from F L V we first win back the Pforzheim manuscript; from this together with X and R1 the Hirsaugiensis. Thus could be stated the readings of all of these text witnesses in the apparatus of a new edition. However in practice this procedure can be probably considerably simplified nevertheless. Already Kroymann left L V quite aside in the apparatus of his edition (C S E L of volume of 47) without noticeable damage and used F only as a check of the first edition of the Rhenanus. Similarly let us do the same now for X; since F in all crucial places, where it deviates from X, indicates without exception an inferior reading than that one - the reader found above examples of this in detail and abundance -, then one can calmly leave it aside; its value is only purely historical; but it remains important as almost the entire tradition of Tertullian's works in Italy goes back to it, as Kroymann proved.

For the constitution of the text thus F must relinquish its place in the apparatus in the future to the manuscript X, and be treated rather as L V, although these are throughout more incorrect than F. F L V form with R1 the basis for those writings of Tertullian, which are missing in the Agobardinus, the basis of the Oehler edition. On that again were based all later individual editions of different writings, as far as these had not yet appeared in the sections of the Viennese corpus.

These editors now made new conjectures for the emendation of a spoiled or doubtful place using repeatedly readings from L V; if a future editor wanted to mention such conjecture in the apparatus, then he had to state also the reading of L V; otherwise the emendation would remain incomprehensible and would do their author an injustice 23. F however was not consulted by Oehler with apart from a few places and therefore need not figure too much longer in the apparatus of an edition. At the most its readings could be stated, where obvious errors occur in X.

1) I am grateful to record my thanks to Mr. P. Frieden, director of the national library in Luxembourg, who not only allowed a partial photograph of the manuscript to be made at my request, but also in a very kind way always gave me information on my questions, in the same way Mr. G. Burgada, director of the Biblioteca Nazionale in Naples for his messages of concern of the former codex Vindobonensis, in not smaller measure finally the Academy of Sciences in Vienna, which helped me subsequently with the costs of the photography (not cheap, even in Luxembourg). Also thanks to Mrs. M. Breemer-Elter (Haag), who took over the linguistic and stylistic correction work.

2) Mnemosyne 18 (1890) p. 66f.

3) In Mayor's edition of the Apologeticus, Cambridge 1917 p.XVI.

4) Supplement du catalogue de la bibliotheque de Luxembourg, 3me portion, Luxemb, 1894 p. 177. The catalogue was written by Mr. N. van Werveke.

5) The note "s X ex." in Schanz III3 p 332, is probably based on a misprint. Van der Vliet assigned the manuscript to the XVI. century; in this circumstance, it would not be impossible that it might have been copied from one of the three editions of the Rhenanus (1st: 1521, 2nd: 1528, 3rd: 1539).

But this is not the case; it does not originate anyhow from R1, because De paenit. 4.8 (Oehler's editio maior I 650, 19) is missing the nos and in 9.4 (660, 7) mandat, while our manuscript has both.

In addition, the later editions of Rhenanus or his successors cannot really have been collated against it: proven already, apart from many deviations in the manuscript reading e.g. De paenit. 5.10 (652, 8) falsa instead of salua, 6, 5 (653,12) pacistimor instead of paciscuntur and many different; viz. on p. 305f. - which is also not identical to the manuscript as indeed was hardly to be expected, for Rigaltius used the Codex Divionensis (which since that time has gone missing), and the Rigaltius for Paenit. 10, 4 (661, 17) expressly has hos; the Luxemburger Manuscript has however tuos.

6. Die Tert.-Überlieferung in Italien (Tradition of Tertullian in Italy), S B Vienna, Phil. hist. Cl. 138 (1898) p1-32; the same: Krit. Vorarb. etc., Ebenda 143 (1900) p. 6f. and in the Praefatio of his edition of Tertullian, CSEL volume 47, p. XX.

7. This is the former Vindobonensis 4194, now Neapolitanus lat. 55, which is kept in the Biblioteca Nazionale "Vittorio Emanuele III" at Naples.

8. Viz. Kroymann in the Praefatio of his edition p. XVI ff.

9. Viz. Mnemosyne 60 (1932) p. 41 ff - a new text of De paenit. based on all the manuscript material, together with the Index Verborum, however without critical apparatus; published by me in Mnemosyne 60 (1932) p. 254 ff; the same is to be again printed with quite few modifications and naturally with an apparatus in the second part of the still pending edition of the Viennese corpus of Tertullian.

10. The close relationship of X with the group which can be derived from the Hirsaugiensis shows up likewise in those writings, which are derived from the Paterniacensis (P) and Montepessulanus (M). As is to be expected, in particular X in De paenit. at the beginning stands out clearly against N, which is probably a copy of a now lost portion of the Montepessulanus (Kroymann Praef. p. XXII). Viz. the following places, which sufficiently illuminate the mutual relation of the two groups:

De pat. 1 (1, 11): suggestum imus RX, suggestum unus F. suggestu minus P, suggestum inus MN

11) Kroymann, the Tert.-Überlieferung p. 26-30.

12) See Kroymann, a. a. o. p. 6 and 27. The conclusion of book III and the start of IV are missing.

13. Sometimes X gives a more correct orthography, as De paenit. 6.15 (655, 11): isdem: 8, 6 (659, 7): inmolat. 12, 6 (664, 6): ad tributas. That 9, 4, (660, 7) has cinere (instead of cineri) both in X and with Isidor Orig. VI 19, 79, is probably only coincidence. But at 6.6 (654, 4), where the correct reading meremur (instead of meretur) was printed by Rhenanus in R3 perhaps only by conjecture, X gives mere2 (at the end of the line) i.e. mereur; perhaps, thus the model had mere2, which would result in manuscript evidence for meremur; all other Mss. certainly, also N and T, has meretur. Likewise at 8, 9 (659,17) X alone of its class (together with GNR3) retained the correct reading delictum, while F R1 L V give falsely delictorum.

14) This manuscript is (according to Kroymann) known from the closing Subscriptio; there was kept in the monastery at Pforzheim a copy of the Hirsaugiensis, from which F was copied in the year 1426 by two different hands. Viz. Kroymann, the Tert.-Uberlieferung, p.13, Krit. Vorarb., p.6 f. and in the Praefatio of his edition in CSEL, p. XX.

15) Kroymann, die Tert.-Uberlieferung, p.30.

16) Because what copyist would ever improve sar, even if found in its model, into Sardos? The latter is most rare as name of the inhabitants of the city Sardis (viz. Plaut. Miles 44 and Plin N. h. 37; 105 over the stone sarda; first found in Sardis)? Will he not rather give the ordinary name form Sardianos there, or in N in our place deliver Sardenses, well-known from e.g. from Hieronymus Vir. ill. 24? That Sardos was essentially transmitted in the Hirsaugiensis is certain from Rl; also Pacian epist. 1, 5 in his imitation of this place has the same form.

17) If one regards our hypothesis as justified, then naturally the places listed on p. 303 f. can be added to the proof.

18) Viz. e.g. Min. Fel. 3, 1: in hac imperitiae vulgaris caecitate, 28, 2: adhuc caeci hebetes et; Tert. de bapt. 1, 1: ablutis delictis pristinae caecitatis, ad Nat. l 4, 9: per stultitiae caecitate, de paenit. 1, 1: caeci sine domini lumine and in many other places: viz. J. Lortz, Tertullian as Apologist, l (1927), p.37 ff.

19) See Kroymann on this place and Mnemos. 60 (1932), p. 89 note 2.

20) In Oehler's edition is qui extra eam vivunt, which is taken from a worthless manuscript in Florence.

21) Because no-one who read ex ea would have gone back independently from this to caeca.

22) The conclusion from this place alone is not yet however quite mandatory. There is a possibility that in the manuscript in Pforzheim caeca was also over-written ex ea, although it is convenient, so that in their descendants the two readings would have stood next to each other. Nevertheless this possibility can probably be left out of consideration if only because of the previous place (sardos) and in view of the large number and importance of the differences between X on the one hand and FLV on the other hand.

Also in the writing De patientia, which Rhenanus gave from the Paterniacensis, the readings of X are throughout identical to those, which are aforementioned by Rhenanus in the margin of his edition from the Hirsaugiensis with names. There are two exceptions, which however do not signify much: in chapter 3 (5, 1 Kroymann) the Hirsaugiensis had (after Rhenanus) instructio instead of structio . X offers instructo, which as everyone detects immediately, is a simple copyist error instead of instructio. And chapter 5 (8, 6) in X reads succubuit instead of the reading of the Paterniacensis succidit, whereas Rhenanus for the Hirsaugiensis expressly testified cubuit.

However it is possible that Rhenanus testified cubuit as a version only of the second half of the word (usually giving suc)cidit, so that in the Hirsaugiensis also succubuit could have been attested. How otherwise also should the latter have come into FLVX ? In the above also F(LV) in all the places in De patientia for which Rhenanus indicates the readings from the Hirsaugiensis have exactly the same as R and X, so that unfortunately the question cannot be decided on these places alone whether X goes back directly to the Hirsaugiensis.

23) An example may illuminate the forementioned details. De paenit. 6, 5 I (Mnemos. 60 [1932], p. 49-54) gave the following text from the Trecensis: Si ergo qui venditant prius nummum quo paciscuntur examinant, ne scalptus, ne uersus, ne adulter etc. instead of ne uersus offer most other manuscripts neue rasus, in LV however ne neresus, the direct model of these two thus had probably ne ueresus. It is possible the fact that in this case LV exceptionally retained something from the original one, could have been questioned because it is not easy to see how neue rasus, which results in apparently a good sense, becomes ne neresus. It might be advisable thus to mention this ne neresus as support and confirmation for a variant of ne uersus in the apparatus, although circumstances are not quite unique. In addition, if one would prefer to see a simple corruption into ne neresus only out of neue rasus, this deserves mention in the apparatus.

ne neresus was improved in V by someone into ne peresus, which Oehler reports (falsely) as a reading unique to V. This peresus again appeared in Rauschen's edition (together with De pudic., Bonn 1915) due to the Oehler apparatus, as a manuscript authenticated reading. If now a future editor in his apparatus only reported 'ne peresus - Rauschen' without the reading of LV in addition joints, it thereby does a large injustice to the memory of this learned scholar, by ascribing to him an incomprehensible and unnecessary conjecture. It is easy to fall into other traps of this type.

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