The Cambridge extract: Apologeticum 22:8-9

Introduction   Oxford Ms.   Bibliography

INTRODUCTION

In Cambridge University Library, England, there is a 12th century manuscript of a medieval work thus far unedited.  The manuscript is Ii.IV.19.  It contains a verbatim quotation of Tertullian, Apologeticum 22:8-9.  

The manuscript was signalled in 1600 by Thomas JAMES in his Ecloga Oxonio-Cantabrigiensis, p. 61, in these words:  

"Liber Tertulliani (ut habet nota marginalis) de Deo, angelis et hominibus.  Pr. Archiformis theologia." -- "A book of Tertullian (so a marginal note asserts) about God, angels and men.  Starts: Archiformis theologia..."

This caused the Maurist fathers some perplexity and obliged them to use their English contacts to discover more.

The work is a medieval treatise, possibly written in the entourage of Eadmer, the biographer of St. Anselm (for a brief account, see LUSCOMBE).  There is a note on f.82r written vertically which reads:

Opus hoc creditur esse Tertulliani

On the same page the following notes written horizontally:

N(ota) tertull(ianum) and in another hand, Auctor hic sibimet ipsi facit questionum more heretici, ac si alius auctor esset.

The passage compares the power of demons and angels, and begins with a quotation from Augustine, De civitate dei IX,22.  Passages in italics indicate where the Cambridge Ms. (c.) differs from the text given in Hoppe, CSEL 69 (1939), and in the other contemporary anglo-Norman 12th century Mss. of the Apologeticum, Alencon BM 2 (Saint-Evroult); London, BL, Royal 5 F XVIII (Salisbury); Oxford, Bodleian Add. C. 284; Oxford, Bodleian Lat. theol. d. 34.

Vnde non iam equiformes sed inferiores sunt eis in scientia.  Nunc ut ait Augustinus: "Ipsi sancti angeli temporalia et mutabilia ista nouerunt quia eorum principales causas in uerbo dei conspiciunt per quod factus est mundus, quibus causis quedam probantur, quedam reprobantur, cuncta ordinatur.  Demones autem non eternas temporum causas et quodam modo cardinales in dei sapientia contemplatur, sed quorundam signorum nobis occultorum maiori experientia multo plura quam homines futura prospiciunt.  Dispositiones quoque suas aliquando prenuntiant (pron- Ox.). Denique sepe isti, nunquam illi omnino falluntur".  Et hec quidem Augustinus in libro de ciuitate dei.

Quid uero tu Tertulliane sentias de his, minime pretereundum.  Inquis enim: "Omnis spiritus ales est.  Hoc et angeli, hoc et demones.  Igitur momento ubique sunt, totus terrarum orbis locus illis unus est.  Quid ubi geratur, tam facile sciunt quam annuntiant.  Velocitas diuinitas creditur, quia substantia ignoratur.  Sic et interdum auctores uideri uolunt eorum que annuntiant, et sunt plane malorum nonnunquam, bonorum uero nunquam.  Dispositiones etiam dei et tunc prophetis concionantibus excerpunt, et nunc lectionibus resonantibus carpunt, et ita hinc  assumunt quasdam temporis sortes, emulantur diuinitatem dum furantur diuinitatem."

Sed dum hec Tertulliane inquis, ostendis eos non solum ab angelis, sed etiam ab hominibus edoceri... Sunt igitur et prophetiis et angelis inferiores scientia et ordine quantum et merito.

et  add. c (sic Fuldensis): om. codd.
hoc  add. c
terrarum  add. c
interdum auctores   transp. c
uero   c:  tamen  codd.
excerpunt   c, codd. : exceperunt Fuldensis, edd.
et ita    transp. c
assumunt  c:  sumentes  codd.
temporis  c: temporum  codd.
diuinitatem  c:  diuinationem codd.

Note: John Eldevik has examined this ms. and writes (19th February 2010):

I just wanted to let you know that the correct shelfmark is C.U.L. Ii.IV.19, not 9. I can also say that it appears to be rather later than the twelfth century -- perhaps mid-thirteenth, and does not contain the explicit noted in the Cambridge catalog. It is corrected by what appears to be the authors' own hand and at the end (fol. 89r.) a later hand (14 c.?) has noted "hic sit finis non scribat ulterius".

THE OXFORD MANUSCRIPT

A second manuscript of the same work exists in the Bodleian Library in Oxford, shelfmark Lat. misc. f.14.  This also is of the 12th century.  It contains only differences of orthography.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

-- 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.
-- D. LUSCOMBE, The reception of the writings of Denis the pseudo-Areopagite into England, in Tradition and Change. Essays in honour of Marjorie Chibnall.  Cambridge (1985), pp.128-131.  Not checked. (Details from Petitmengin 2004, p.70 n.33) Brief presentation.

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