Manuscripts of the Apologeticum

Introduction .... Stemma .... Standard Recension MSS        An Ms. of the Greek translation?     Extracts in other works....
The Fulda Ms.
....Other witnesses to the Fulda Recension  ... QAncient Quotations.....References


The Apologeticum exists in more manuscripts than any other work by Tertullian.  These may be divided into three groups.

  1. Manuscripts that contain only the Apologeticum.
  2. Manuscripts that contain the Apologeticum together with works by other authors.  Prior to the 12th century, it was sometimes combined with works by Cyprian; from the start of the 14th, Cologne seems to have been a centre of diffusion of manuscripts which also contain Lactantius, Institutiones divinae; e.g. Balliol 79 and Gotha I 55, which also have marginal notes in common 12.
  3. Manuscripts of the alpha branch (Cluny-Montpellier) of the Corpus Cluniacensis.  The Apologeticum was added to the end of the Montpellier Ms. (M) later, and copies derived from it, such as 'N', contain it also. Note that the Cluny-Hirsau manuscripts, including nearly all the Italici, do not contain the Apologeticum; but some later members have had it added.  In the Cod. Vat. Urb. 64, the words "Finis opera Tertulliani" appear after the last words of Adversus Hermogenem and before the Apologeticum; in V the Apologeticum is added in another hand; in Leidensis 2 similar words appear as in the Urbinas.13

According to the critical edition of Hoppe, all these MSS are closely related, and form the standard recension of the text. It is likely that further examples exist in libraries, unnoticed by scholars.

But there is evidence that a somewhat different recension did exist in the 9th century.  A copy of this still existed at Fulda in the 16th century and a collation was made from it which was printed in 1597 by Junius.  Other fragments of this recension exist.  Scholars have disagreed whether this indicates a different edition by Tertullian himself, or that the Vulgate text is a 9th century simplification of the Fulda text.


I am not aware of any stemma in existence.  However the Mss. have been classified into four families (see below).


The standard recension or Vulgata Recensio1 of the text is found in 39 codices today. The incunabula and early editions of the text (including the Editio Princeps of Rhenanus) also belong to this text form. (Hoppe)

Extant MSS

These are the extant MSS. The sigla are those used in CCSL. The detailed notes are from CSEL 69, pp. x ff., except where indicated.  CSEL also includes a lot of references to 19th century works, most of which I have omitted.  

According to CSEL and CCSL, the best of these MSS are the oldest - S, P and M.





Codex Petropolitanus Latinus I Q v. 40


In St.Petersburg (Leningrad), Russia. Formerly known as Codex Sangermanensis, and before that as Codex Corbeiensis. Parchment. 61 folios. 205mm x 170mm. 2 columns of 21 lines. Contains only the Apologeticum.

The volume originated at the Abbey of Corbie, from whence in 1638 400 MSS were transferred to the library of the monastery of St. Germain-des-Près.  In the catalogue of Corbie, dubiously dated to the 12th century, the MS is listed as no. 140.  After the French Revolution in 1791, many rare MSS were acquired by a Russian diplomat, Petrus Dubrowsky, and sent to St.Petersburg.  This MS was sent there as part of a batch in 1805.   In 1901 there were 50 MSS from St.Germain in the Imperial library in St.Petersburg, whose origin was in Corbie.  In some of them, including this one, may be seen clearly the words Ex Musco Petri Dubrowsky.  (See L.Delisle, Recherches sur l'ancienne bibliotheque de Corbie, in Memoires de l'academie des inscriptions et belles-lettres, Paris 1861, p.319, 330. for the Corbie MSS).  Bischoff apparently believed it originated at the Palace-school of Charlemagne.


Codex Parisinus Latinus 1623


In the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris. Parchment. Contains only the Apologeticum. Agrees in very many readings with S. On the first page is written Claudii Puteanj. (This refers to Claude Dupuy, d. 1594). Sometimes called from this the Codex Puteaneus.  Dupuy stole some MSS from Corbie, and the text of P is very close to that of S.  Dated to the mid-9th century by Ganz.

From the Catalogue général des manuscrits latins ed. by Ph. Lauer (Paris, 1940), pp.95-6: 
1623: IX-X.  Initials in colour.  Rubrics in colour.  Comes from Claude Dupuy whose name is on f.1.  Ms. des Dupuy 38; Regius 3971.  Parch. 80ff. 265 x 185 mm.  Rel. chagr. rouge au chiffre de Louis Phillipe.


Codex Montepessulanus H 54


In Montpellier. Contains ch 1-39.3, ending at the words spem erigemus. This contains the second half of the 'corpus Cluniacense', with the Apologeticum at the end. The Apologeticum is written in a later hand, of the 12th century, according to Kroymann (apud Hoppe).

There is a table of contents; after the first 6 titles, the following text appears in a later hand: Post sex superiores adpositus est elegantissimus liber Apologeticus de ignorantia dei in christo iesu qui perhibetur adversus gentes. On the first page of the codex at the top are the words: Tertulliani opera ex libris collegii Oratorii Trecensis, at the bottom: P. Pithoei, which tells us it belonged to Peter Pithou (d. 1596), after whose death it passed to the library in Montpellier. From this it has sometimes been called the Codex Pithoeanus.


Codex Luganensis - now Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS lat. th. d 34


Parchment. Written in a beautiful Caroline minuscule hand. Contains the Apologeticum and two other works. A second hand of the 12th corrected the MS and added other 'ecclesiastica'; a third hand of the 13th century is also visible. Thought to be of British origin, and once owned by Josephus Martini of Lucca, and Georgio Pasquali. Hoppe says that Martini identified the second hand as belonging to the Cambridge scriptorium.

Petitmengin (2004, p.71-2) identifies it as a member of an Anglo-Norman group together with the St. Evroult Ms., the other Bodleian Ms., and lost Mss from Bec and Durham.

(I have not managed to see this).


Codex Londiniensis, Mus. Brit. Reg. (Royal MSS) 5 F XVIII  Checked

11/ 12

In the British Library, London, among the Royal MSS. Parchment. Contains the Apologeticum, followed by, on folios 32r - 35v contain a sermon of Methodius. Harnack dated this MS to the 10th century, J.P. Gilson a century later, according to Hoppe.  Petitmengin (2004, p.71) identifies it as a member of an Anglo-Norman group together with the St. Evroult Ms. and lost Mss from Bec and Durham.


Codex Parisinus Lat. 1656 A


Parchment. The codex begins with work(s) by Cyprian, then there is the complete Apologeticum, and then various other works by other authors.

From the Catalogue général des manuscrits latins ed. by Ph. Lauer (Paris, 1940), pp.112-3: f.141-173v = Tertullian.  Cyprian, Prudentius, Maximus Taurinensis, Macer Floridus.


Codex Leidensis Vossianus latinus F. 108


At Leiden in the Netherlands, catalogue Bibl. publ. Lugdunum-Bataviorum. p.376. Parchment. Folios 28-54 contain the Apologeticum. There is an index on the first folio by P.Petavius. First used by Havercamp for his edition of 1718, praef. p.6.

Petitmengin (2004, p.88): Originally from Berri.  It was present in the library of the jurist Jacques Cujas.


Codex Alenconiensis 2


Once at St. Evroult ('S. Ebrulphus' in Hoppe); now Alençon, Bibliothèque Municipale 2. Parchment. 120 folios. The Apologeticum follows works of St. Jerome. See Harnack 1.1.I 676, also Catal. Gener. Depart. II (1888), p.476, also Petitmengin (2004) p. 71, where it is identified as belonging to an Anglo-Norman family together with lost Mss. from Bec and Durham, and the Salisbury Ms now in the British Library.


Codex Admontensis 136.  Stiftsbibliothek. Admont, Austria


Parchment. 12th century.  Works of Tertullian and Cyprian. According to CSEL 69, the Apologeticum is preceded by Jerome's Life and a chunk from the letter to Magnus, and is followed by works of St. Cyprian, ref Caspari, Kirchenhist. Anekdota 143 n.5.  However the following description differs.  Website of Stift Admont.:

Petitmengin says this is an example of a stable collection since the 12th century, and corresponds to the Salzburg Ms., written at the other end of Austrian influence.

More details on separate page from Hill Monastic Manuscript Library site search engine.


Codex Oxoniensis Additional C 284. Checked


In the Bodleian Library in Oxford. Parchment. Once known as Codex Maffeianus, as it came to Britain from the library of Maffeo of Verona (cf. Van der Vliet I. I. 53).  Date is discussed by Van der Vliet in Mnemosyne XVIII (1890), p.52, but 'Nicholson' disagrees.

I have now seen this.  It contains the Apologeticum alone.


Codex Romanus, S. Isidoro degli Irlandesi 208 (1/29). Checked

10? 12-13? 15?

Parchment.  Contains only the Apologeticum.  Quarto. Online complete.


Codex Parisinus Latinus 1689


Formerly the Codex Colbertinus.  Parchment.   The Apologeticum is preceded in the codex by various other items.  (Catal. bibl. reg. III 172).

From the Catalogue général des manuscrits latins ed. by Ph. Lauer (Paris, 1940), pp.126-7: f.50 = Tertullian, Apol. (incomplete).  Once the property of the abbey of Tulle, it became Colbert 5271, then Regius 3973.  81ff.  260x180mm.


Codex Ambrosianus S 51 sup.


Parchment.  Contains only the Apologeticum.   KROYMANN collated it, and noted (Die Tertullian-Ueberlieferung in Italien, 33ff) that it had a rather different text to the other Italian MSS of this work; Hoppe gives it a 14th century date.  But PETITMENGIN states (2004, p.73) that it is in the same hand as the codex Ottobonianus, and was copied at Paris around 1260, which explains the non-Italian text.


Codex Gotha I 55

14 - 15

Parchment, 279 folios, Apologeticum in 197v-214r. Preceded by Lactantius, followed by various others.  In the margins are various notes and readings.  Petitmengin (p.74) notes that Cologne was a centre of diffusion for manuscripts of the Apologeticum coupled with Lactantius, Institutiones divinae; this Ms. also shares notes in common with Balliol 79, which may go back to William of Malmesbury.

Refs:  E.Klussmann, Z.f.wiss.Theol. III (1860) 98; Harnack I 676; S.Brandt, Lact. ed. I p.LII; Helm, Fulgent. ed. p.XIII

Codex Erfortensis, Amplon. fol. 87

14 (end)

Parchment.  Copy of y, according to Wissowa.

[I have no information as to whether the codex contains any other works, or just the Apologeticum alone.]

Info about Erfurt libraries from HMML (I don't know which of these is relevant to this MS):

13. Erfurt. Domarchiv und Bibliothek. 107 MSS.  Status of cataloging: Franz Cramer, Die Handschriften der Dombibliothek zu Erfurt nebst den handschriftlichen Fragmenten, is a handwritten inventory list from the 1960s. HMML owns a microfilm copy of this and of earlier inventory catalogs.
14. Erfurt. Wissenschaftliche Allgemeinbibliothek. 878 MSS. Status of cataloging: Wilhelm Schum, Beschreibendes Verzeichniss der Amplonianischen Handschriften-Sammlung zu Erfurt (Berlin: Weidmann, 1887),
HMML collection (microfilm), contains short records for all of the manuscripts. No known plans for more extensive cataloging.


Codex Sandanielinus 228 (195)

14 - 15

Parchment.  The Apologeticum follows other items.  Nic. le Nourry seems to have had readings from this MS, according to Oehler (ed. mai. III 79ff).

Refs:  Mazzatini III 142.

Location is the Biblioteca Guarneriana in San Daniele del Friuli, Italy.


Codex Sandanielinus 19


Parchment.  Contains only the Apologeticum.  

Refs: Mazzatinti III 111.

Location is the Biblioteca Guarneriana in San Daniele del Friuli, Italy.


Codex Cusanus 42. Bernkastel-Kues, Germany. Checked


f162.jpg - 1944x2592 - 715Kb - 2005/05/03Paper. Once Cusanus 10, according to Hoppe.  The Apologeticum is folios 162r-193v.  Various other texts precede and follow it.  Online.

The manuscript belongs to the collection of the Cusanusstift, a charitable foundation created in the 15th century by the humanist St. Nicholas of Cusa in his home town.


Codex Florentinus BNC J.VI.9


The main example of the alpha (Cluny-Montpellier) branch of the 'corpus cluniacense'. Contains 28 works of Tertullian. 2 sections. Paper.
Codex Vaticanus 193


The Apologeticum is a copy of N, according to Hoppe; but the majority of the manuscript is a beta branch Ms. according to Kroymann.
Codex Florentinus Medicianus Faesulanus 60


The Apologeticum is a copy of N, according to Hoppe; but the rest of the manuscript is a beta branch Ms. according to Kroymann.
Codex Florentinus Laurentianus Plut. 26, 13 (includes some images)


The Apologeticum is a copy of N, according to Hoppe; but the manuscript is a beta branch Ms. according to Kroymann.  The volume contains Adversus Marcionem, Apologeticum, Adversus Iudaeos, Adversus Omnes Haereses, De Praescriptione Haereticorum, Adversus Hermogenem, and works by Chrysostom, Cassian and Prosper.


Codex Vaticanus 194


Parchment.  Contains only the Apologeticum.    Written during the papacy of Nicholas V (1447-1455) (Kroymann Die Tertullian-Ueberlieferung in Italien, p.33).

Folio 1r, thumbnail and expanded.  Taken from Pier Franco BEATRICE, Introduction to the Fathers of the Church: a teaching aid with color illustrations. Vicenza: Edizioni S. Gaetano (1983, English 1987).  ISBN 0854393013.  Illustration is on page140.

Petitmengin (2004, p.80): Annotated by Giovanni Tortelli.  Theodoricus Buchinck copied the first portion of the manuscript, Tortelli himself copied the second part (f. 32v-88r); this according to MANFREDI, I codici latini di Niccolo V: Edizione degli inventari e identificazione dei manoscritti, Città del Vaticano (1994) p.253, and J. MONFASANI, Collectanea Trapezuntiana, Binghamton NY (1984), p.86, following a suggestion by A. de la MARE.  But after examining the manuscript M. Cortesi came to the conclusion that it was entirely written by Tortelli: see his work, Giovanni Tortelli alla ricerca dei Padri, in Tradizioni umanistiche, cit., p.242.


Codex Bononianus, S. Salvat. 2844


Parchment. Contains only the Apologeticum.  


Codex Taurinensis XXXI d. III 36, (Bibl. Naz. IV, I)

15 (1470)

Parchment.  Apologeticum follows works of Vegetius and Lactantius.  The subscriptio reads: Michael de Verlatis curiae nobilis Vincentinus Petri filius rescripsit anno MeCCCCoLIIro.

From Pierre Petitmengin, L'Édition de Tertullien, De Nicolas Rigault à Migne, Tempus Edax Rerum: Le bicentenaire de la Bibliothèque nationale de Luxembourg (1798-1998), Bibliothèque nationale de Luxembourg 2001, pp.27-39, I learn that this MS was caught in the fire of the Royal Library of 1904 and reduced to 'miserable fragments'.  

Location: Turin University Library, not the Biblioteca Reale in the old Royal Palace.


Codex Neapolitanus VI C 36 -- now Neapolitanus 55


Another example of the beta (Hirsau) branch of the 'corpus cluniacense'. Once Vindobonensis (Vienna), now in the Bibliotheca Nazionale in Naples. In 2 volumes.  The Apologeticum has been added in another hand to the other works of Tertullian in this MS.


Codex Leidensis 2


Another example of the beta (Hirsau) branch of the 'corpus cluniacense'.   Kroymann says it came from Italy; he is not clear from his statement whether the Apologeticum is preceded by the words 'Finis opera Tertulliani.'  Purely a copy of V throughout.
Codex Vaticanus, Urbin. 64


Another example of the beta (Hirsau) branch of the 'corpus cluniacense'.  A copy of the Leidensis.  Kroymann notes that the Apologeticum is preceded by 'Finis opera Tertulliani.'


Codex Venetus, S. Marco XIX 2 (once VIII II)


Parchment.  Contains only the Apologeticum.   Once known as the Marcianus.


Codex Salisburgensis: Sankt Peter a VII 39.  Salzburg, Austria.


Parchment.  Subscriptio gives date as 1455, scribe as Briccius de Polanka, and first owner as Johannes Vitez, then bishop of  Varada/Oradea (Grosswardein) in Transylvania, and relates to the 12th century Admont Ms. 53 folios.  Contains only the Apologeticum.  Image of last folio online.


Codex Oxoniensis, Balliolensis 79.  Oxford, England. Checked

15 (1442-4)

Parchment.  In Balliol College, Oxford.   The Apologeticum follows the works of Lactantius, and then there is an index of those works of Lactantius on fol. 220.  Photographs of complete Tertullian portion online.  Petitmengin (p.74) notes that Cologne was a centre of diffusion for manuscripts of the Apologeticum coupled with Lactantius, Institutiones divinae; this Ms. also shares notes in common with Balliol 79, which may go back to William of Malmesbury.


Codex Volaterranus 298 (5404)


No information, except that this may have been used by Gelenius.

Location: the Guarnacci Library in Volterra ? (a guess on my part)


Codex Vindobonensis 3120 (Rec. 1670)


Paper.  Apologeticum is folios 181-214.   Various others before and after.

Details from Hill Monastic Manuscript Library site search engine. 

City: Wien 
Library: Österreichische Nationalbibliothek 
Manuscript Folio: 252 f. 
Physical Issues: Folio. 
Date: Saec. 15 
Part Folio: 252 f. 
Author: Q. Septimius Florens tertullianus. 
Supplied Title: Apologeticus, praemissis S. Hieronymi testimoniis. 
Language(s): Latin. 
Text Folio: 181a-214a 
ShelfMark: Codex Vindobonensis Palatinus 3120

Manuscript Text: 
Text Folio: 1a-180b
Author: L. Caelius Lactantius Firmianus.
Supplied Title: Institutiones divinae, quibus testimonia SS. Augustini,
Hieronymi et Francisci Petrarchae sujecta sunt.
Language(s): Latin.

Manuscript Text:
Text Folio: 181a-214a
Author: Q. Septimius Florens Tertullianus.
Supplied Title: Apologeticus, praemissis S. Hieronymi testimoniis.
Language(s): Latin.

Manuscript Text:
Text Folio: 214b-216b
Supplied Title: Vacant.
Language(s): Latin.

Manuscript Text 
Text Folio: 217a-252a
Supplied Title: Fabularius poeticus interspersis excerptis ex Luctantii
Placidi abbreviationibus Metamorphoseon.
Language(s): Latin.


Codex Erlangensis 225

15 (1469)

Once Heilsbronnensis. Parchment.   In the University library in Erlangen.  Said to be full of errors.   Apologeticum is f.154r-181r, preceded and followed by other works.


Codex Londiniensis, British Library, Additional MS 21187 Checked

15 (1486)

In the British Library, among the Additional MSS, in London.  Paper.   This came from Italy, where it was constructed from two damaged MSS, as can be seen in this note from the catalogue of addit. mss 1854-1860 (1875) p.336:  

At the beginning is a note: Est Tristani Chalci propie manus scriptura comparatus anno 1486.  Mediolani.  Ex duobus mutilatis codicibus uno Georgii Merule Alexandrini, alter Angeli Politiani Florentini, integer factus et emendatus and at the end a letter, Angelus Politianus Tristano Chalco, Florentiae pridie Id. Ianuar. 1490.  From the Piazzoni library at Brescia. Paper. Folio.

I have inspected this MS.  It contains the Apologeticum, followed by a letter from Angelo Politiano to Tristano Chalci.  Full description on the separate page.


Codex Parisinus Latinus 2616

15 (1492)

Once the Faurianus. Written in 1492 in Milan by Hieronymus Varadeus.  (Catal. Bibl. reg. III 304).

These details from the Catalogue général des manuscrits latins ed. by Ph. Lauer (Paris, 1940), pp.548: f.2 has copy of the letter LXVII of Angelo Politian to Tristano Calco.  f.3v is a table of contents.  f. 6, Hieronymus Varada, Ep. dedic. to Bartholomeo Calchi, dated Jan. 1492.  Humanist script. 

Petitmengin (2004, p.79): The manuscript contains just the Apologeticum.  It was copied at Milan.  Preceding the text on f6rv is a letter dated 12th January 1492 from Girolamo Varada to Bartolomeo Calco, first secretary of the Duchy of Milan: "Accipe igitur, candidissime Mecaenas, Tertuliani apollogeticum manu mea perscriptum."  Earlier he specifies the value of this libellus minime vulgaris: "Est enim opus non minus eruditum et propter raritatem ipsam, quae semper proetiosa semper est, omnibus qui norunt gratissimum...".  The guard-leaves are more recent and hold additional material clearly written in France: a copy of the letter of Politian (f.2rv) and a table of chapters (f.3v-4r).  The manuscript belonged to Guy de Rochefort († 1507), Chancellor of France and protector of the humanists such as Robert Gaguin and Guillaume Bude (brief presentation about him in Contemporaries of Erasmus: a biographical register of the Renaissance and Reformation, III: N-Z, Toronto (1987) pp.166-7).  He was very sensible of the value of this gift: Brasca wrote to Bartolomeo Calco from Paris on 1st May 1492, "Et ha hauto (i.e. Mons. el. Cancellero) tanto grato li libri de la M. V. quanto alcuna altra cosa li havesse potuto mandare: maxime el Tertuliano...".  Brasca had started to make a copy of a Tertullian (an Apologeticum) for himself, intending to give it to the Chancellor, who desired to read this work, when complete; the latter asked for his copy "con summa promptitudine" even though it was incomplete.  The arrival of the copy from Milan freed Brasca of the trouble of finishing his copy.  (Cf. C. Vecce, Pierantonio da Fosano a Poitiers: un mercante lombardo e le scoperte dei codici in Francia, Italia medioevale e umanistica 29 (1986), p.190).  The travel of this Ms. shows how even France, the medieval homeland of Tertullian, was now being supplied from Italy.  The once splendid Rochfort library is mostly dispersed now, and the Tertullian one of the rare survivals.


Codex Londiniensis, British Library, Additional 16901 Checked


This MS is on vellum and contains the Apologeticum, f.2; De Monogamia, f.48; De pallio, f.63; De Patientia dei, f.71; Adversus Praxean, f. 81; Adversus Valentinianos, f.109v.  It's in the online catalogue, but isn't mentioned in CSEL or CCL. According to the catalogue it's 15th century and written in Italy.  It's a small folio, with original stamped leather covers and clasps.  This Ms. is not recorded in the editions.

However Petitmengin records that it is mentioned by Hoppe (p.xv) as the lost "Codex Salisburgensis S.Petri a VIII 3" supposedly of the 10th century.


Codex Seitenstettensis 30.  Seitenstetten Abbey, Austria. Checked


First page of the ApologeticumContains Lactantius Divine Institutes followed by Tertullian's Apologeticum.  This Ms. is not recorded in the editions. 


Codex Batthyanensis 338.  Romania, Alba Iulia, Batthyaneum, 338


Contains the Apologeticum. This Ms. is not recorded in the editions. I have no other details of this manuscript, and my letter to the library went unanswered.  My thanks to Pierre PETITMENGIN for telling me of this Ms.  The library address is:

22. Biblioteca Nationala a României - filiala BATTHYANEUM
Str. Bibliotecii nr.1, Alba Iulia
Tel. : 0258-811939
Director : Ileana DÂRJA

Note that PETITMENGIN (2004, p.70) refers to a manuscript from Moissac, which may be one of those above, or perhaps a lost Ms., but does not identify it further.

Families among the MSS

Hoppe divides these MSS into 4 family groups:

 Lost MSS

There are a number of MSS of the Apologeticum known to us from the work of earlier writers, whose location is now unknown to scholars, and must therefore be presumed lost, perhaps for ever. The majority of this list is from Hoppe.




Codex Gorziensis
From Gorze, in Germany. Used by Beatus Rhenanus in his third edition.  We have readings of this.  This contained the Cluny collection of Tertullian's works, and included the Apologeticum
Codex Iacobi Bongarsii
Used by D. Heraldus (Paris 1603, p. XXXII).   We have readings of this.
Pamelius' MSS (Paris 1583/4) - 7 codices
3 Vatican MSS, 1 from Cologne, 3 from Belgium (Elnonensis St. Amandi; Gandavensis St. Bavonis; Leodinensis).  We have the readings in his edition.
No readings Codex Murbacensis 9 or older
From Murbach.  In the Breviarium of the books of Abbot Isghterus (who lived in the middle of the 9th century), which is preserved in a copy from 1464, the last entry (no.83) is Tertullianus.  It is noted by Ruinarto in 1696: alii codices optimae notae ... ab annis 800, quos singulatim recensere longius esset.  In his Tertulliani apologeticum.

Ref: H. Bloch, Strassb. Festschrift z. 46. Phil.-Vers. (1901) 274, 278.

No readings Codex Murbacensis 11-12
From Murbach.  Parchment.  Used by Nicholaus le Nourry. (Oehler, ed.mai. III 119). 

Ref: Montfaucon, Bibl. bibl. II 1177 D.

No readings Codex Achileis Harlei 11
Owned by Achille de Harlay.  According to Le Nourry, it had similar readings to P.  (See Oehler, ed. mai. III 119)
Extant Codex Iusti Fontanini (Romanus)
Le Nourry had readings of this.  (See Oehler, ed. mai. III 119).  According to Petitmengin, L'Édition, p.32, the Italian scholar Giusto Fontanini's MS is now at San Daniele del Friuli, although he does not indicate the shelfmark.
No readings Codex Bruxellensis 1766 12
Listed in an old catalogue, but missing from more recent ones.
No readings Two Codices Becenses
From the Monastery of B.M of Bec, which contained the Apologeticum alone.  One contained ch.1-25; the other c.1.

Ref: Montfaucon, Bibl. bibl. I.I.II p. 1250 D, 48. 49.  Extant in Montfaucon's time, according to Petitmengin l'Edition. Petitmengin (2004, p.71) identifies it as a member of an Anglo-Norman group together with the Salisbury and St. Evroult Ms. and the lost Ms. from Durham.

No readings Codex Monasterii S. Ebrulphi of Utica.
Contained the Apologeticum alone.

Ref: Montfaucon, Bibl. bibl. I.I.II p. 1269 C

No readings Codex Corbeiensis perhaps 12
Listed in the old catalogue of Corbie.

Refs: R. Naumann Serapeus (1841) p. 111; Aug. Maium, Spicil. Rom. V 207, cf. Kroymann, Mus. Rhen. 1915, 361 ff.

No readings Other codices used by early editors.
No readings Durham Cathedral Library Codex First mentioned 1091.
Listed in the mediaeval catalogues. Petitmengin (2004, p.71) identifies it as a member of an Anglo-Norman group together with the Salisbury and St. Evroult Ms. and the lost Mss. from Bec.
No readings Cluny Codices Recorded in the middle of the 12th century.
Two manuscripts of the Apologeticum are listed in the mediaeval catalogue, in addition to other works by Tertullian:

67. Volumen in quo continentur passio metrice, libri et epistole beati Cipriani et apologeticum Tertulliani.
68. Volumen in quo continentur passio et libri ejusdem, et apologeticum Tertulliani, cum aliis adjectionibus, et Pastoralis liber Gregorii.

No readings Manuscript of Filippo Beroaldo Probably renaissance
A copy of a Benalius incunable existed at the start of the 18th century which contained a collation of the now lost (or possibly unidentified) manuscript owned by Filippo Beroaldo.  It was held in the library of E.S.Cyprianus: cf. Bibliotheca Cyprianica...Editio auctior, Lipsiae (1733), p.9: "Tertulliani apologeticus castigatus notis MSS. ex codice Philippi Beroaldi.  Venetis per Benalium 1480". (Petitmengin 2004, p.81 and n.77).  It's current whereabouts are unknown.


A Greek translation of the Apologeticum did exist.  It was not very good, misunderstanding the Latin idiom cum maxime, and was used by Eusebius of Caesarea in his Historia Ecclesiastica.  A portion of chapter 5 is cited.  A monograph by Adolf v. Harnack was dedicated to this subject.

Listed in the CCSL table of codices is a manuscript containing the portions of the Greek text of the Apologeticum preserved in Eusebius' HE.  (From Addendum in Vol II).  Codex Vindobonensis graecus 64 (formerly 146) (from the end of the s. XIV) on f. 324r and 327v contains fragments of the Apologeticum (not however of De carne Christi as listed above) and chapter 5 in the version quoted in Eusebius.  The information was supplied to CCL by V.Bulhart.


1.  De Deo, angelis et hominibus

From Petitmengin, L'Édition, p.32, I learn that there is at Cambridge a copy of a text Archiformis theologia, still unedited, which is in fact a Florilegium created in the entourage of St. Anselm, and containing some extracts of the Apologeticum.  More details of the Cambridge extract and the text are given by Petitmengin, 2004.


At the back of the Junius edition of the works of Tertullian, published at Franeker in 1597, there are 21 pages of readings for the Apologeticum and the Adversus Judaeos, accompanied by a letter to the reader from Junius. The letter tells an interesting story (and is online here).

It seems that in September 1584 the manuscript-hunter Francois de Maulde (latinised as Modius) (1556-1597) who was moving about in Germany to be out of the troubles in France came to the Benedictine monastery at Fulda, and stayed there three months. He betook himself to the library and, among the MSS which he found there and collated, he came upon a codex containing the Apologeticum and Adversus Judaeos. He had with him a printed edition of the Apologeticum, published by Rene Laurent de la Barre (Barraeus) in Paris in 1580. With this, he very carefully collated his newly found MS, recording some 900 variants, but he did not publish his work. He gave it to a friend, Velser of Augsburg9, who handed it to the philologist Caspar Schoppe9 from whom it came into the hands of Francois de Jon (Junius). Junius was engaged on a new edition of Tertullian in Holland, and as his work was too far advanced to allow incorporation, he printed the collations as an appendix to his edition. The MS was lost, perhaps for ever, in the disorders of the next century; scholars have to depend on the collation2. Several attempts have been made to locate the MS, but without success.

Waltzing has pointed out that Junius, in his introduction to the collation, says that the collation is based on several manuscripts, above all the Fuldensis, and not as has often been said, the Fuldensis exclusively.5

Callewaert tells us that the Fuldensis was a quarto ms. He says that he bases this upon Modius' notes from the period 1581-88 in the Codex Gall. 399 in the Royal Library in Munich. This contains the entry:

Veni Francofurtum 23 sept 84. Francofurto cum nobili Rhenano Spiez veni Fuldam 26 sept. veni Fuldam, ubi excussi bibliothecam illam nobilem usque 12 decembris 84. Habitabam Fuldae in regione Jesuitarum apud institorum Phillipum Mentz. (Callewaert p.324)

The notes also contain a list of names of authors represented in the library; Raph. Volaterranus, Cyprianus, Lactantius, Arnobius. Among them is the entry Tertullianus 4o.8

Modius also must have collated various things against a copy of the Pamelius edition, as in the catalogue of books that he owned at his death in Aire is found the entry, Tertullianus Pamelii: coll. alii.8


In the early 1900's, some more evidence of the Fulda recension were discovered. This is a list of all the witnesses to this text version.


Codex Turicensis (XCV)


Found by A.Souter at Rhenau, and so known as Codex Rhenaugiensis. Currently in the Kantonsbibliothek, Zurich. The MS contains pages from various damaged MSS bound together. It contains ch 38-40 of the Apologeticum in folios 175-184. For details see A.Souter, "A lost fragment" (see bibliography).


Codex Bremensis, C 48


This MS contains in pages 131-146 a partial copy of the manuscript notes by Modius that Junius used. It was found by H.Hoppe. Currently in the Stadtbibliothek, Bremen.

Readings for ch. 1-15 in pages 131-146. The readings are copied as far as ch. 15, after which the copyist wrote that for the rest, the printed edition should be referred to 3 (p.xxxv)., 5 (p. 187)

In addition there is an MS in the Bibliotheque Nationale, Codex Paris Latinus 13097, containing fragments of the Adv. Iudaeos in the Fulda Recension, of the late 8th - early 9th C from Corbie, and two fragments from Hamburg and Copenhagen containing copies of the same text in the same recension.

The copy of the collation tells us that the collation did not end its life in the hands of the printers, but instead travelled on further. The material is almost, but not quite, the same as that printed by Junius.5 (p. 187)

There is an extensive addition in ch. 19 in the Fuldensis2, sometimes known as the Fragmentum Fuldense.

The other differences are sufficiently great that some have suggested that Tertullian may have written two editions. Nor do scholars agree which version is the better, most agreeing that both have suffered some corruption. Generally however it seems to be agreed that the Fuldensis is in the better state, and that Tertullian only wrote one edition, not two4.

According to Callewaert (p.331), all of the standard MSS have a lacuna in ch. 3 which makes the text hard to understand - Ego miror Lucium Titium (the italicised words are absent), but which is present in the readings of the Fulda MS. (The text goes on to refer to Lucius, rather than Titius, which of course makes no sense if you don't have those words). There are other places where the Fuldensis reading makes the passage simple and comprehensible, where the standard MSS differ among themselves and are obscure. Callewaert concludes from this that all the standard MSS go back to a single copy, made at some time after Tertullian's day. He also suggests that from ancient quotations, the work is only known in its Fuldensis version until the 8th century, and therefore that the standard recension is the product of a revision by a Carolignian scribe with the intention of producing a more comprehensible text. Are these two arguments compatible? If the standard text is the product of an exercise designed to make it clear and readable, why is it argued that the readings are often more obscure than that given in the the Fuldensis? One would have to view all the readings, and see how it all worked out, which Callewaert states he has no opportunity to do. 6

In the Chronica Tertullianea et Cyprianea (2007), at the bottom of p.363, entry 104, it states that the collation of the Codex Fuldensis, sent to Junius by Kaspar Schoppe, is a copy.  Schoppe's collation is written in a copy of the Pamelius edition of 1583-4.  This edition has been rediscovered, and is in the Grand Seminary in Padua.  Furthermore Emil Kroyman found it there, and was deeply disappointed to discover that it gave him nothing new about the lost manuscript (Rheinisches Museum 70, 1915, pp.365-7).


Some efforts have been made to locate quotations from the Apologeticum in other ancient authors, in order to see if they throw any light on whether there were one or two editions known in antiquity.

Eusebius quotes in Greek from the Apologeticum (presumably from the Greek version), in his Church History. Rufinus translated this into Latin. Rufinus' version of these quotes is close to the Fuldensis. Isidore of Seville is familiar with the work, and quotes it in his Etymologies, but all except one of his quotations are too loose to be useful for text-analysis purposes. That one can be said to reflect the Fulda text type. (Max Klussman has compiled a list of all the works of Tertullian quoted by Isidore). 6

There is also a lengthy extract from chapter 21 inserted in the Altercatio Heracliani laici cum Germinio episcopo Sirmiensi, dating from 366AD 7.

Callewaert argues that where the quotations are sufficiently clear to allow a comparison, they invariably reflect the Fulda text-type6.


See the bibliography for the full references.

1. E.Dekkers, Apologeticum, CCL I, 1954, p.78. Checked. Easy to read Latin, but only a few pages of details.

2. T.R.Glover, Tertullian: Apology, preface. Checked  Just a couple of pages, but in English. The whole preface is worth reading as an introduction. For more detail, it's really necessary to brush up your amo-amas-amat and turn to Dekkers, and to Hoppe. I had hoped to get someone to translate them and upload them to this site, but no-one seems to want to!

3. Heinrich Hoppe, QVINTI SEPTIMI FLORENTIS TERTVLLIANI APOLOGETICVM, CSEL 69 (1939), Vienna. Checked  This contains some 50 pages of preface - in Latin, although not too bad to read, luckily - which gives far more detail on the codices. I'll update all this when I get time from this reference.

4. Quasten, Vol II. Checked  A brief overview of the question, with a bibliography of those both for and against the idea of two editions.

5. Waltzing, J.P., Les trois principaux manuscrits de l'Apologetique de Tertullien, 1912, p185. Checked  He reprints the introduction, and the collation.

6. Callewaert, C, Le Codex Fuldensis : le meilleur manuscrit de l'Apologeticum de Tertullien. Checked  Note that he says he had no access to the Junius edition, and so had to rely for the Fuldensis on the quotations in Oehler.

7. Callewaert, C, Le Codex Fuldensis : le meilleur manuscrit de l'Apologeticum de Tertullien, p347-8. Checked  The  Altercatio Heracliani laici cum Germinio episcopo Sirmiensi was published for the first time by C.P.Caspari in Kirchenhistorische Anecdota, 1883, pp 133ff. Now online.

8. Callewaert, C, Le Codex Fuldensis : le meilleur manuscrit de l'Apologeticum de Tertullien, p324. Checked  I have not looked at the Codex Gall. 399 in the Royal Library in Munich (whatever "Gall." expands to).

9. Callewaert, C, Le Codex Fuldensis : le meilleur manuscrit de l'Apologeticum de Tertullien, p324. Checked   These bits only from Callewaert - the rest of the paragraph as Glover (although Callewaert says much the same, and with better references). Most of this information comes from the notes which Modius prepared for the edition of Panegryricae lectiones, says Callewaert at the foot of the same page, referring to another article which gives a life of Modius. If I ever get the chance to read up about Modius' life, I'll eliminate this chain of references, and give the ones which are based on primary evidence!

10.  Also "Franz Modius als Handschriftforscher" … [qqq add]

11.  Pierre Petitmengin, L'Édition de Tertullien, De Nicolas Rigault à Migne, Tempus Edax Rerum: Le bicentenaire de la Bibliothèque nationale de Luxembourg (1798-1998), Bibliothèque nationale de Luxembourg 2001, pp.27-39.  Checked  

12. 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.

13. Emil KROYMANN, Die Tertullien-Ueberlieferung in Italien, Sitzungsberichte der Philosophisch-Historischen Classe der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien, 138 (1897 or 1898) 3rd booklet (34 pages). also in English translation

This page has been online since 11th December 1999.

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