Revue d'Histoire Ecclésiastique 43 (1948) pp.195-7
| G. F. DIERCKS. Q.
Septimius Florens Tertullianus, De
oratione. Critische uitgave met prolegomena, vertaling en
philologisch-exegetisch-liturgische commentaar. Bussum, Paul
Brand, 1947. In-8, civ-312 p.
Cette thèse doctorale, présentée
à la faculté de philosophie et
comprennent dix chapitres. Y sont traitées, de
Au beau milieu des prolégomènes,
on trouve un tableau analytique
Pour établir le texte
critique, on ne dispose à l'heure actuelle que
Dans l'apparat critique,
l'éditeur a voulu nous donner une image
donne les références scripturaires; celles-ci ont été recherchées
Quant à la version néerlandaise,
elle est des mieux réussies. Elle
Enfin le commentaire,
d'une belle tenue scientifique, est rédigé
A la fin de son étude, M.
D. donne une bibliographie assez étendue
This doctoral thesis, presented at the faculty of philosophy and letters of the university of Amsterdam, includes three quite distinct parts: the prolegomena (p. v-cv); the Latin text of Tertullian's De oratione with Dutch translation (p. 5-49); a philological, exegetic and liturgical commentary (p. 51-292).
The prolegomena comprises ten chapters. In it are treated, in a brief and lucid way, all the questions concerning the manuscript tradition, the various editions and versions, the date of composition, the sources, the influence and the nature (oral or written) of the treatise De oratione. We note that the author gives the date of composition as the first four years of the IIIrd century. He admits the basic originality of the treatise, although he considers it probable that Tertullian made profited from the commentary of Theophilus of Antioch on the Lord's Prayer, as well as others Greek or Latin exegetes, nowadays unknown, and the catechetical tradition of his birthplace. The influence exerted by De oratione on the posterior Christian literature is examined thoroughly for the pre-carolingian period; it is, in the opinion of the author, much more notable than one is used to believe.
Right in the middle of the prolegomena, one finds an analytical table of the treatise (chap. IV) and a synoptic table, accompanied by some short remarks, the text of the Lord's Prayer such as it is read in St. Matthew and St. Luke, in the Didache, in Tertullian and Cyprian, in Africa, Italy and the Vulgate and in Augustine (chap. V). Finally chap. VI examines the reasons which led Tertullian to discuss the third request of Our Father before the second. We believe that this chapter is out of place in a general prolegomena, more especially as the author reconsiders the question in his commentary and that he solves it according to the exegetic and didactic rules.
To establish the critical text, one has at the present time only two manuscripts: Agobardinus (s.IX.) and Ambrosianus (s.XI.), which derive, according to Mr. Diercks, from a common prototype. The difficult circumstances of the post-war period unfortunately did not make it possible for the author to get a photocopy of Ambrosianus. For the readings of this manuscript, he thus had to rely on the former editors who used this same manuscript, Oehler in particular and Reifferscheid (in CSEL, vol.XX). Those, however, contradict each other sometimes when they quote Ambrosianus! Consequently, Mr. D. cannot yet give us the best critical text of De oratione. We however in no way regret that he decided to publish his edition just as it is, considering that he proposes to publish the Ambrosianus as soon as the circumstances allow him. The collation of this manuscript will require certainly only some light final improvements to the text and, in any event, the commentary will retain all its high scientific value.
In the critical apparatus, the editor wanted to give us a complete image of the manuscript tradition and various tests undertaken during centuries in order to reconstitute the gaps or to correct corruptions of the text. We understand less well a similar concern. When, for serious reasons, one has relegated certain editions as deprived of any value, there is no longer any purpose in reproducing their readings. Another stage of notes gives the scriptural references; those require the greatest care. It is known that, on this point, the edition of Reifferscheid is of doubtful validity.
As for the Dutch version, it is most successful. It tries to give, as far as possible, the very personal style of Tertullian, while giving in marginal notes the paraphrase of those passages which are far too difficult.
Finally the commentary, of a fine scientific flavour, is written with remarkable scholarship and constitutes a rich source of many types of information. Let us announce that it contains six excursus on the following subjects: a comparison between De oratione, 8 and De fuga, 1 and 2; reasons of the displacement of the third request of Pater; the washing of the hands before prayer; the use of the genuflection during public meetings; the origin of the canonical hours; the way of praying during the public meetings.
At the end of his study, Mr. D. gives a rather wide bibliography and an extremely invaluable index of the Latin words, explained during the commentary. His work is excellent from all points of view; it reveals a clear and sure working method and testifies to an informed critical and philological direction.
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