E. Schwartz on the book titles and kephalaia of Eusebius’ Church History

They certainly knew how to write scholarly editions, those editors of the Griechischen Christlichen Schriftsteller series.  A handful of pages on “titles and kephalaia” in GCS 9.3, by the editor, Eduard Schwarz[1], has nevertheless remained unchallenged for a century.

Of course one reason for this may be that it is incredibly hard for any non-German to read.  Anyway, I have prepared a rough translation of the pages in question, p.clxvii-cliii, with a view to making them better known.  I have also added English translations of the Greek kephalaia given in the text, and overparagraphed at one or two points.

In order to follow the argument, it is necessary to know that Schwartz believed that Eusebius revised his work several times, mainly to remove people who had been executed or whatever in the meantime, and so produced four “editions”, the last in 325 AD.

In Schwartz, the “kephalaia” are the tables of contents that appear at the top of each book.  Each entry in that table is a kephalaion.

*    *     *     *

IV. Headings and Kephalaia.

[p.cxlvii] In chapter 2 we showed that Eusebius originally issued the 7 books of  the original Church History with a  single book as a sort of appendix, and how from this single book in the  penultimate edition 3 more books were produced.  There is substantial evidence that the final edition, present in BDMSA,  was divided into two τεύχη  [codices] of five books, if not by Eusebius himself, at least prior to the  translation into Syriac.  In BD at the  end of book 5 the manuscripts suddenly shorten in a noticeable way: see the  notes on p.504, ll.14-16, 19/20, 21, 21-25, 26 – p.506, 6, 13-15.  This would not normally happen, and can only  be explained because the copyist of the exemplar of BD felt that he was running out of space, and that could only happen if a particular size τεῦχος was  specified for the first 5 books; and therefore also for the last 5 books.  Furthermore BD also change the spelling of “Moses” in the first and last books (see chapter 6); in the first books it is always given in the form Μωυσῆς, – the form used throughout in ATER – but in the last books they agree with M which always reads Μωσῆς.  This is only conceivable if the two halves circulated separately.  That this is not just a peculiarity of BD but that BD, as so often, represents BDM, may be shown by two further indicators: that 1. in the latter books, the special readings of DM cease almost entirely, and that 2. the London manuscript of the Syriac translation never contained more than 5 books.  The latter is shown by the presence of a colophon, which, although it  was erased, we learn that it was indeed present.

[p.cxlviii] At first sight the headings and subscriptions of the individual books look like a confused mess.  However arbitrary additions by copyists can easily be identified.

The simplest and most regular set are the headings in T.  At the top stands the complete text, Εὐσεβίου τοῦ Παμφίλου Ἐκκλησιαστικῆς ἱστορίας A.  In all subsequent books there is merely the numeral of the book.  The subscriptions read: Ἐκκλησιαστικῆς ἱστορίας A, Ἐκκλησιαστικῆς ἱστορίας B, etc., for every book up to book 9.  For book 10 the subscription is Εὐσεβίου τοῦ Παμφίλου Ἐκκλησιαστικῆς ἱστορίας τόμοι δέκα.

A and BD are next in order of simplicity.  In a, which must represent A here, the heading for the first book lacks name and title, consisting purely of λόγος A, and this runs through the manuscript, except that for the 8th and 10th books, instead of the numeral there is ὄγδοος and δέκατος respectively.  For subscriptions, the first two books are the same as T.  For books 3-5 they read, Ἐκκλησιαστικῆς ἱστορίας λόγος Γ’ or Δ’ or E’.  For books 6, 8 and 9 they read τέλος τοῦ ϛ’ or H’ or Θ’ λόγου τῆς Ἐκκλησιαστικῆς ἱστορίας.  For book 7 it reads τέλος τοῦ ἑβδόμου λόγου.  B and D differ in the title for book 1: Εὐσεβίου τοῦ Παμφίλου Ἐκκλησιαστικῆς ἱστορίας [= T] τόμος A’ B, while Εὐσεβίου Ἐκκλησιαστικῆς ἱστορίας βιβλίον B’  D.

In the following both name and title have been omitted, leaving only βιβλίον Γ’ [τρίτον B], βιβλίον Δ’, βιβλίον E’ [because of the gap in D] βιβλίον ἕκτον, βιβλίον ἕβδομον, βιβλίον H’ D, βιβλίον Θ’ D [in B the titles are missing from books 8 and 9] βιβλίον I’ D [δέκατον B].

The subscriptions display even more arbitrariness than in A. Uniformity is only seen in books 4 and 5: τῆς Ἐκκλησιαστικῆς  αστικῆς ἱστορίας βιβλίον Δ’ [τέταρτον D] or E.  For books 6-9 they are omitted completely from D.  B has τέλος τοῦ τῆς Ἐκκλησιαστικῆς ἱστορίας ἕκτου βιβλίον, τῆς Ἐκκλησιαστικῆς ἱστορίας [in book 7 the word Εὐσεβίου appears here] βιβλίον ἕβδομον or H’ or Θ’, and τέλος added at the end.  T follows D only for book 3: Ἐκκλησιαστικῆς ἱστορίας Γ’, where B again gives a prolix version: τέλος βιβλίον τρίτου τῆς Ἐκκλησιαστικῆς ἱστορίας Εὐσεβίου.  At the end of book 1, BD have: τῆς Ἐκκλησιαστικῆς ἱστορίας Εὐσεβίου τοῦ Παμφίλου λόγος [= A] A’, and at the end of book 2: τῆς Ἐκκλησιαστικῆς ἱστορίας [B adds Εὐσεβίου here] λόγος B’.

In B the subscription for the whole work does not appear at the end of book 10, but only beneath the attached excerpt from the Vita Constantini: τέλος σὺν τῆς ὅλης Ἐκκλησιαστικῆς ἱστορίας Εὐσεβίου τοῦ Παμφίλου ἤτοι τῶν δέκα τόμων: in D it has fallen out, together with the end of some excerpts [see above, p.xxii].

[p.cxlix] Leaving to one side all the one-off exceptions, it seems that firstly, the overall title, consisting of the name of the author and his distinctive title, the name of the work (without article), was only positioned over the start of book 1; then, that the individual books were provided only with numerals, as in the titles and colophons of T and the first two subscriptions in A: that the terms added in A and BD, λόγος or βιβλίον, cancel each other.  Now let us move onto the edition.  The subscriptions I shall not discuss further.

As with the kephalaia, the headings in ER are different.  M is influenced by this change.  In E, above book 1 is written: Εὐσεβίου τοῦ Παμφίλου Ἐκκλησιαστικῆς ἱστορίας [= TB] βιβλίον A’: M has the same heading and these run throughout all the books. For 4, 6 and 8 there is τέταρτον, ἕκτον, ὄγδοον instead of the numeral.  On the other hand in E the format is only gradually changed: for books 2-4 it reads Εὐσεβίου Καισαρείας Ἐκκλησιαστικῆς ἱστορίας τόμος B’ or Γ’ or Δ’, for 5 and 7-10 Εὐσεβίου ἐπισκόπου Καισαρείας τῆς Παλαιστίνης Ἐκκλησιαστικῆς ἱστορίας τόμος E’ or Z’ or H’ or Θ’ or I’; book 6 omits τῆς Παλαιστίνης.  R corresponds to E for books 3-5 and 7-10; for book 6 there is no article in Καισαρείας Παλαιστίνης; for book 2, the heading reads Εὐσεβίου τοῦ Παμφίλου ἐπισκόπου Καισαρείας Παλαιστίνης Ἐκκλησιαστικῆς ἱστορίας τόμος β’; there is no heading to book 1.

The subscriptions are missing in RM, against ancient usage; in E book 1 agrees with E; in book 2, the following is written with the letters descending the page vertically, Εὐσεβίου τόμος  B’; for books 3, 5, 8 and 9 it reads Εὐσεβίου Ἐκκλησιαστικῆς ἱστορίας τόμος Γ’ oder βιβλίον ϛ’; oder βιβλίον H’ oder βιβλίον Θ’, for book 4 Εὐσεβίου Καισαρείας Ἐκκλησιαστικῆς ἱστορίας λόγος Δ’, for book 5 Εὐσεβίου Καισαρείας Ἐκκλησιαστικῆς ἱστορίας τόμος E’.  Immediately after book 10 is τέλος τοῦ ι  τόμου, but beneath the appendix from the Vita Constantini is Εὐσεβίου Ἐκκλησιαστικῆς ἱστορίας βιβλίον δέκατον. The characteristic of this recension is that the complete title appears above each book, and the effort to insert Eusebius‘ title of bishop.

The original form of the kephalaia is only found in AT and the two ancient translations: the latter here in particular demonstrate their value as a control.  In BD they are abbreviated; in ER, at least from book 3 on, they have been thoroughly revised.  M offers its own recension for books 2-5 – the capitulatio for book 1 is missing –, which is similar to that for ER without being identical to it.  On the other hand the minor efforts in Tc in book 2 to correct the kephalaia agree with M; further evidence that Tc is not derived from E.

[p. cl] In the second τεῦχος, i.e. books 5-10, M agrees with AT and the translations; here also the division into two volumes makes itself felt: in the second one the corrector of the exemplar of M lost interest.

In all the manuscripts and translations, the kephalaia stand before each book.  They are designed to be read one after another; the various pronouns reveal this, which refer back to a preceding kephalaion, e.g. 2, 10. 12. 13*; 182, 8*. 18*; 294, 7*. 8 [τοὺς δηλουμένους, equivalent to a pronoun .]. 16; 296, 8; 396, 7; 510, 6; 512, 4. 10; 630, 3. 8; 798, 10, or the omission of common subjects, e.g. 182, 12*; 510, 5. 16; 512, 8. 9; 732, 9—13. 16 [where μαρτύρων is consistently added to Περὶ τῶν κτλ.] or verbs, e.g. 182, 18*; 184, 1. 15; 296, 7; 39, 12; also particles, which are only comprehensible if the kephalaia are collected together, e.g. 182, 17*; 396, 12.

From this it follows that the arrangement in AS, where the kephalaia are repeated within the text or in the margin or above the individual sections is not original, and is contrary to the intent of the author; these headings are indeed incomprehensible in isolation, to a great extent, and they had to be changed in Am and Σt, at the places indicated with an asterisk; although in Am the text of the kephalaia is treated in an entirely arbitrary manner, including those standing at the head of a book.  In some places it is almost impossible to turn the kephalaia directly into marginal notes or headings in the text.  The kephalaia 13-16 of book 3 read:

ΙΓ’    Ὡς δεύτερος Ἀλεχανδρέων ἡγεῖται Ἀβίλιος.
[XIII.  How Abilius was the second ruler of the Alexandrians.]
ΙΔ’    Ὡς καὶ Ῥωμαίων δεύτερος Ἀνέγκλητος ἐπισκοπεῖ.
[XIV.  And how Anencletus was the second bishop of the Romans.]
ΙΕ’    Ὡς τρίτος μετ’ αὐτὸν Κλήμης.
[XV. How, after him, Clement was the third.]
Iϛ’     Περὶ τῆς Κλήμεντος ἐπιστολῆς.
[XVI. On the epistle of Clement.]

This does not fit the text, because ΙΓ’ corresponds to 228, 17-19, ΙΔ’ 228, 12-15, IE’ to 228, 20-24, and Iϛ’ to 230, 1-7.  Eusebius has switched over the order of the first two, in order to collect together the notices referring to Rome.  In the main text it is different, because he recognises there that Anencletus lived in the time of Titus and Abilius under Domitian.  So if the kephalaia are broken up and inserted into the text, confusion must arise. Σ preserves the order of the kephalaia in the headings, and puts Kephalaion 13 over 228, 17, and 14 over 228, 20, where it does not belong, and 15 over 228, 21 [from ὂν συνεργὸν γενέσθαι on], where it also does not fit: because it is not in the 15th but in the 14th kephalaion that Clement followed Anencletus.

On the other hand Am makes a radical change; 13 and 14 are switched, and edited so that they can serve as headings:

[p. cli]

ΙΓ’     Ὡς δεύτερος Ῥωμαίων ἐπίσκοπος Ἀνέγκλητος.
[XIII.   How Anencletus was the second bishop of the Romans.]
ΙΔ’     Ὡς δεύτερος Ἀλεξανδρείας ἐπίσκοπος Ἀβίλιος.
[XIV. How Abilius was second bishop of the Alexandrians.]

A second case is book 6, kephalaia 26 and 27 [512, 10]:

Κϛ’   Ὅπως αὐτὸν [Origenes] ἑώρων οἱ ἐπίσκοποι.
[XXVI. How the bishops regarded him.]
ΚΖ’   Ὡς Ἡρακλᾶς τὴν Ἀλεξανδρέων ἐπισκοπὴν διεδέξατο.
[XXVII. How Heraclas succeeded to the episcopate of the Alexandrians.]

Κϛ’ corresponds to 580, 16-25; KZ’ to 580, 13-15: Eusebius reordered the kephalaia, in order to make 26 follow 23-25, the series dealing with Origen.  Here Am and Σarm give both, and in Σarm this interpolation has also entered the kephalaia at the start of the book; and further, while Am retains αὐτόν, although it has become meaningless, Σarm changes it in both places to αὑτούς, which does not fit Eusebius’ narrative.

In most of the manuscripts, and in the Syriac translation, the kephalaia are numbered, and thereby connected to the sections of the text itself, where the numbers are repeated in the margin.  Naturally there are great differences in the transmission.  But this is not an original feature; the same passages which indicate that the repetition of the kephalaia in the text is not original likewise disprove the repetition of the numerals.  Ms. T, in which the numerals are consistently missing – M omits them only in the last two books – here, as  in the headings, preserves the original.[2]

However I have nevertheless retained them and also placed them in the margin, so that the kephalaia can be more easily cited, and because the numerals, if one carefully locates their positions from the transmission, are an excellent means to identify the paragraphs intended by Eusebius: the numbered kephalaia also permit rapid orientation and finding of passages, so I have not replaced the numerals with modern numbers, and I hope this will be applauded and imitated in similar cases.

Existing opinion wrongly maintains that Eusebius did not compose these kephalaia.  All the same, they go back to the fourth century, as the translations show, and seem to be by Eusebius himself, because in several places he refers to himself as “we”.

On p.100, 19, in the notice which is at the bottom of the kephalaia of the second book, Συνῆκται ἡμῖν ἡ βίβλος ἀπὸ τῶν Κλήμεντος Τερτυλλιανοῦ Ἰωσήπου Φίλωνος. [Our book was compiled from those of Clement, Tertullian, Josephus and Philo.]


[Note: it looks as if something here has dropped out of the printed text, as Schwartz does not explain his next quotation.  But plainly these are more ‘we’ examples. – RP]

p. 632, 18    [book 7, #30] Περὶ τῶν καθ’ ἡμᾶς αὐτοὺς διαπρεψάντων ἐκκλησιαστικῶν  ἀνδρῶν…
[XXX.  On the distinguished churchmen of our own day…]
p. 732, 3     [book 8, #1] Περὶ τῶν πρὸ τοῦ καθ ἡμᾶς διωγμοῦ.
[I. On the events before the persecution in our day.]

The Eusebian formula τὸν Χριστὸν τοῦ θεοῦ [2, 7] would hardly have been used at a later period; in 182, 21 the kephalaion Περὶ Ἰωάννου τοῦ ἀποστόλου καὶ τῆς Ἀποκαλύψεως is carefully phrased, so that nothing is suggested of an apostolic origin for the Apocalypse.  632, 10 Περὶ τῆς Ἰωάννου ἀποκαλύψεως does not contradict this, as neither Dionysius nor Eusebius doubted that it was written by someone named John; only that it was written by the apostle of that name.  It is decisive that the differences between the last two editions of the work continue in the kephalaia.  Certainty is impossible in book 10, because that part is missing in both A and Σ.  However a remnant of the penultimate edition is visible in book 9:

Θ’    Περὶ τῆς τῶν τυράννων καταστροφῆς τοῦ βίου, καὶ οἵαις ἐχρήσαντο πρὸ τῆς τελευτῆς φωναῖς = 826,20 – 848,8
[IX. On the close of the tyrants’ lives, and the expressions they made use of before the end.]
Ι’      Περὶ τῆς τῶν θεοφιλῶν βασιλέων νίκης = 826, 20- 840, 19
[X.  On the victory of the god-beloved emperors.]
ΙΑ’   Περὶ τῆς ὑστάτης ἀπωλείας τῶν τῆς θεοσεβείας ἐχθρῶν = 848, 9 – 852, 6.
[XI.  On the final destruction of the enemies of godliness.]

Kephalaion 10 is in the wrong place.  It should be moved before no. 9, and instead of τῶν τυράννων [of the tyrants’] we would expect τοῦ τυράννου [of the tyrant’s]: apparently this is a remnant of the penultimate edition, in which Licinius still played the role of the emperor beloved by God, and should be replaced by no. 9, but the correction has been done carelessly.  It is unthinkable that any 4th century redactor, that anyone other than Eusebius himself would have given both Constantine and Licinius the title θεοφιλὴς βασιλεύς.

The same applies to the kephalaia of the Vita Constantini [3]; only Eusebius himself could have named at 72, 18 the “bishop Eusebius (of Nicomedia), at 75, 8 Eustathius, and at 39, 3 the Melitians, none of which are named in the text.  He also provided the Preaching of Constantine, which he published as an appendix of the Vita, with a summary, and there is no reason to doubt that the capitulations of the Praeparatio and Demonstratio evangelica are genuine; it is a natural assumption that the continuators of Eusebius’ Church History took from him his manner of prefacing each book with capitulations.  The custom of prefacing with a table of contents was brought across from the genre of Ἱστορίαι, to which the Church History belongs, where there story may not be consecutive but material is accumulated [see Nachr. d. Gött. Ges. d. Wiss. Geschäftl. Mitthlg. 1908, p.111]: [p.cliii] precisely because the contents are disparate, the reader needs a way to orient himself.  Well-known examples are Pliny’s Naturalis historia and Gellius’ Noctes Atticae, also Diodorus’ Βιβλιοθήκη, which Pliny [praef. 25] rightly considers as a compilation [4].  The index with which Stobaeus prefixed his great work can be compared to the capitulation of the Praeparatio and Demonstratio.  Throughout the practice is the same, that the capitulation appears at the front of the text, and not in the text itself.

*    *     *     *

What a marvellous examination of a very thorny issue!

  1. [1]Eusebius Werke. Zweiter Band. Die Kirchengeschichte. Dritter Teil. Leipzig, 1909.  All GCS volumes here; vol. 9.3 here.
  2. [2]1) For Diodorus, and the newly discovered book by Didymus, Περὶ Δημοσθένους, Laqueur has shown [Hermes 43, p.222] that the kephalaia stood at the front of a book without numbers. — Schwartz.
  3. [3][1] So, correctly, Giorgio Pasquali, Göttingische Gelehrte Anzeigen, 171 (1909), p.285. — Schwartz. Online here.
  4. [4][1] The Κεφάλαια of P.Oxy IV 665, from a history of Sicily, are hard to evaluate since we cannot guess to which work they belong.  Laqueur has shown that the Anonymus Argentoratensis published by Keil is nothing less than the capitulation of a book about Demosthenes’ Androtionea.

Some notes on Parthenius of Nicaea, and his “Peri Erotikon Pathematon”

Until a few weeks ago, I had managed to go through life without ever encountering the name of the ancient writer Parthenius of Nicaea, or being aware of the absence.   However today I found myself looking at his work, and so obliged to discover who he was, when he lived, and so forth.[1]

Our best information on Parthenius comes from the Suda.  Under the headword Παρθένιος (Adler number pi,664) we find the following text:

Son of Heracleides and Eudora (but Hermippus says Tetha was his mother). From Nicaea or Myrleia. A poet writing elegies and in various metres. He was taken by Cinna as war booty, when the Romans defeated Mithridates [sc. VI Eupator] in war. Then he was freed by reason of education and lived until the time of the Emperor Tiberius. He wrote elegies, Aphrodite, the funeral elegy for the wife Arete, an Encomium of Arete in three books, and many other works.

He wrote about metamorphosis.

The Stoa Online project adds helpfully:

See generally Oxford Classical Dictionary(3) p.1116.

and that Nicaea was enslaved in 73 BC.[2].

From this we learn that he was brought to Rome as a young man as a slave in 73 BC, and lived into the lifetime of Tiberius (born 42 BC, but who only became emperor in AD 14), and that he was famous as a poet.    From the 5th century writer Macrobius we learn that he was Vergil’s Grammaticus in Graecis,[3], which may mean his teacher of Greek, or possibly merely a literary consultant.  Aulus Gellius quotes a line of Parthenius which Virgil imitated.[4].  He was the favourite poet of the emperor Tiberius[5] and the emperor Hadrian thought highly of him and restored his grave in Tivoli.[6]

The only work surviving, however, is his prose Erotica pathemata, or The Sorrows of Love, a collection of 36 stories, all more or less mythological.  Consequently he may be included among the mythographical writers.

The work is dedicated to Cornelius Gallus, with a prefatory letter, indicating that Gallus might find it useful:

Thinking, Cornelius Gallus, that the collection of suffferings in love was very appropriate to you, I have selected them and sent them to you in as brief a form as possible. For those among the present collection that occur in certain poets where they are not narrated in their own right, you will find out for the most part from what follows. You too, will be able to render the most suitable of them in hexameters and elegiacs. Think none the worse of them because they lack that quality of refined elaboration which you pursue. For I have collected them after the fashion of a little notebook and they will, I trust, serve you in the same way.[7]

Gallus himself was a poet, and nine lines of his verse, lamenting an unhappy romance, turned up in a manuscript from the dusty Roman fort at Qasr Ibrim in Nubia.[8]

The text of the Peri Erotikon Pathematon is extant in a single manuscript, Vaticanus Palatinus gr. 398, of the 10th c. AD, which also contains the work of the mythographer Antoninus Liberalis.  In both writers each story is preceded by a heading, which states from which work the story had been obtained, and even the book number of that work.  Effectively both works are divided into chapters, and, since it is hard to believe that anyone but the author could have annotated the work with its sources thus, the division is authorial.  But of course a compendium must inevitably be divided into sections.

An English translation exists, thankfully, by S. Gaselee (1916), in the volume of the Loeb Classical Library series which contains Daphnis and Chloe.[9]  It is undoubtedly a minor piece of literature.  But it adds something to our knowledge of the literature of the late Republic.

  1. [1]The Loeb volume supplies some information; more came from the Suda Online entry; finally from Jacqueline J. H. Klooster, “The erotica pathemata of Parthenius”,  here.
  2. [2]The Stoa Online entry, to which I wish I could link directly, also gives the following useful bibliography: Clausen, Wendell, Virgil’s Aeneid and the Tradition of Hellenistic Poetry (Cambridge, 1987) 5-8; Dyer, Robert R., “Where did Parthenius Teach Vergil?” Vergilius 42 (1996) 19-24; Lightfoot, Jane L. Parthenius of Nicaea: the extant works (Oxford, 1999); Brodersen, Kai, Liebeslieden in der Antike: die Erotica Pathemata des Parthenios (Darmstadt, 2000)
  3. [3]Macrobius, Saturnalia, book V, 18: rendered by the Loeb as: “The following verse is by Parthenius, who was Virgil’s tutor in Greek.”
  4. [4]Aulus Gellius, Attic Nights, book XIII, 27: “…lines of Homer and Parthenius which Virgil seems to have imitated.”
  5. [5]Suetonius, Tiberius, 70.2.
  6. [6]IG xiv 1089 (Kaibel Ep. gr.1089; GVI 2050; Page, FGE p.568-571), an epigram to commemorate the restoration of Parthenius’ grave in Tivoli.
  7. [7]Klooster, p.314; “οἱονεὶ γὰρ ὑπομνηματίων τρόπον αὐτὰ συνελεξάμεθα, καὶ σοὶ νυνὶ τὴν χρῆσιν ὁμοίαν, ὡς ἔοικε, παρέξεται”. The translation is by Jane Lightfoot.
  8. [8]R.D. Anderson, P.J. Parsons, & R.G.M. Nisbet, “Elegiacs by Gallus from Qasr Ibrim”, Journal of Roman Studies 69 (1979) p.128
  9. [9]The Loeb translation may be found at Archive.org here. Most usefully it translates the quotations or references in later literature.

Detlefsen on the “indices” of Pliny the Elder’s “Natural History”

Pliny the Elder states, at the end of his preface to his Natural History, that a list of contents of the work follows.  In our modern editions this forms book 1 of the work.  The indices to each book are also found sometimes at the start of the book to which they relate.  The text of the NH was established by German scholars of the 19th century such as Sillig, Jan, Mayhoff and Detlefsen, and the only article on the transmission of these indices that I could find dates from that period.[1]  Although the author plainly does not have all the information he needs, and sometimes is less than clear, it is still quite interesting.  I have translated a large portion of that article using Google Translate, and it seems useful to give that extract below.  I cannot guarantee exact accuracy, note.  (In p.711 the technical detail became too dense for my command of German, but also less relevant to my investigation, and I was obliged to omit from there up to the top of p.716.)

Readers may find my previous post on the manuscripts of Pliny the Elder helpful.  To summarise what it said, there are the remains of 5 ancient codices, and then a mass of medieval mss.  The medieval mss. are divided into two groups, the vetustiores (=older) and recentiores (=younger).  I have not yet found a stemma for any of this.

Let us hear what Detlefsen has to say.

*    *    *    *    *

[p.701] 38a. The indices of the Naturalis Historia of Pliny.

(See above p. 284).

In connection with the earlier report on Pliny studies (p.284-337), it may be appropriate to mention a special portion of the NH, which has recently and rightly been receiving special attention, the indices.  Long neglected by scholarship, and disfigured by incredible corruptions and interpolations, they have for the first time in our own day been published by Sillig in a form that could satisfy the demands of scholarship.  How important they are for Pliny studies was demonstrated by Brunn in his useful work, de auctorum indicibus Plinianis, Bonn 1856, which on the one hand, proved from the NH that the principles of the ordering of the lists of authors arose from use intended, and on the other hand sought to determine what sources these were with more precision. Much that has come out about the results obtained so far has not been researched, although because of Jan’s edition and my own, as well as the recension of Urlich (Jahn’s Jahrb. bd. 71, 256 ff), questions raised by Jan (ibid., vol. 95, 858 f), and against Urlich’s recension of the text by Brunn (ibid., vol. 75, 336 ff) have produced better justification and new light on the subject. But work in this area is far from complete.

For us the work of Pliny is a treasure trove of notes of all kinds, of course depending on the sources of very different value, collected “ex exquisitis auctoribus centum” “lectione voluminum circiter II” (Plin. praef. 17); if we count the authors referenced by him, [p.702] the result is actually 146 Roman and 327 foreign authors. The ultimate goal of the necessary investigation must be to document in detail, what Pliny owes to each of these writers, to deconstruct his mosaic-like text into its component pieces, a process which, on the one hand, by looking at extant writers directly, can work out what has been borrowed, and on the other hand, where this is not possible, can only reach a conclusion through careful analysis.  In this connection, Brunn’s greatest service was to first make scholarly use of the indices auctorum; but I believe that the principles established by him require some modification.

Firstly, it seems to me that a careful examination of the NH. itself can show joins in the text not considered by Brunn, which may be exploited to uncover the history of the origins of the text, and which likewise may shed new light on the composition of the indices. But any investigation in this direction requires a sound basis of diplomatic corrected texts of the indices; and this correction must not refer solely to the individual words of the indices, but also on the sequence of lemmata. In that area, I confess that in my own edition I often just followed the statements of Sillig and Jan; it was difficult, almost impossible, to accurately give the many strange and rarely occurring names, particularly of plants, before the same were corrected in the text of the books from the relevant manuscripts.  However, I have tried to establish the order of the lemmata from the manuscripts more accurately than my predecessors, and you will often perceive deviations from the latter in my edition. For they had arbitrarily ordered some lemmata so that they exactly corresponded to the order in the text of the relevant books, while the manuscripts gave an entirely different order. In such cases, I have definitely followed the latter, although in some cases I do not know whether carelessness by the copyists, or by Pliny himself, or some other cause should be blamed for the inconsistency.  A repeated examination of the manuscript sources led me to ask the following questions.

For the last book of the NH., a special investigation was required to get clarity about its text tradition, different from that of the remainder of the book (see Jahn’s Jahrb. 95, 77 ff).  Likewise the data on the tradition of the first book offers special difficulties. Just like the last book, [p.703] it is either not found in most of the older manuscripts, or only partially.  It is well-known that the first and last leaves of manuscripts are particularly exposed to the rigours of time, but there is yet a further problem, that critically editing book I is one of the most difficult parts of the task of editing the NH.

However I now have far richer materials than before, provided by Sillig’s edition, and although it is now possible for me to determine the basic features of the transmission, I do not conceal from myself that further study on the manuscript tradition is desirable. From Sillig’s preface, and from his notes on book I, an insight into the outline of the tradition can only be obtained with effort.  In many places he obscured or misreported the truth, and only after lengthy collating of the manuscripts have I succeeded in discovering the key points in this part of the NH to which attention should be directed.  But very often the opportunity was lacking, and there was not enough time to examine the manuscripts a second time more precisely.  However I believe that the most important thing is to make known the preliminary results of my work, because the details are of some importance for the understanding of the transmission of the text and for the correction of it.

Sillig states in his first note on book 1 that, until the Hardouin edition of 1685, the indices as printed were simply erroneous, interpolated and spurious; and that Hardouin’s edition also suffered from careless distortions, which have caused confusion ever since.  He himself says, “Hinc neque Dalecampii neque Harduini vel Broterii editionibus in hoc indice respectis ego editionem eius, si ita dicere licet, principem feci, cuius haec ratio fuit, ut singulorum librorum indices e codi­cibus, qui eos continent et quorum sigla cuique libro apposui, ede­rem.

From this anyone without a personal knowledge of the manuscripts of Pliny would suppose that the problem is fixed.  It cannot be denied that Sillig’s edition of the indices marks a very significant degree of progress over all previous editions.  But as remarked, he has overlooked some serious problems.  He further states:  “In universum vero tenendum est in aliis codd. (Tbd = cod. Tolet. e d of my edition) hunc indicem suo loco legi et proinde primum naturalis historiae esse, in aliis (BVAp; the latter = O of my edition) ipsis libris, in aliis (Ra = RE in my ed.) et hoc loco omnibus libris et rursus singulis praemitti, ut bis in iis exstet, unde suspicio oritur paulo post Plinium exstitisse li­brarium, qui in lectorum suorum commodum indicem Plinianum [p.704] bis scriberet, semel suo loco, tunc in initio singulorum librorum.”

The three classes of manuscripts, which Sillig puts forward here are correctly distinguished, but not all the manuscripts that he cites have been classified correctly, as we shall soon see.

This study will concentrate on those manuscripts which I, in my edition, and in the article on p.284 f., on the mss. of Pliny, have named the “younger” manuscripts.  The main manuscripts of this group are the most complete that have come down to us, and the details of the transmission of the indices can be seen most clearly in them.  There is no doubt that in their archetype, X, the indices were not only united into a book which preceded the others, but also that each individual book had its respective index placed at the front of it.  This is what we find in mss. RF, and substantially in E, where book I is at least partially preserved, and we may presume that the same was originally true in D+V+G, where book I is now absent while the respective indices stand before the individual books, and the books themselves are numbered from 2-37.  (I should add that what I will show here is occasionally in conflict with my statement above, p.288 ff, that F is a direct copy of the single manuscript D+V+G, now divided into three pieces.  I have now received full collations of F and V from Leiden University, thanks to the kindness of Prof. Pluygers and Dr. du Rieu). Some significant exceptions should be noted, however.

In EF, the index for book II is not repeated at the start of the book, and no doubt it will have been the same in D and the other cited mss., where the start of book II is not preserved. The omission of this was no doubt because it had seemed superfluous to the scribe, who had already copied this index at the beginning of book I, to repeat it again before he had written even a word from the actual text of the NH.  No doubt in the archetypus X the same situation was to be seen.  But the index to book III is also missing in ED and its copy F, perhaps because here the repetition still seemed superfluous; whether it is absent in R, I have not noted, and Sillig gives no information on this. R agrees with ED, so this omission must have been found in X. Of the other peculiar omissions, in E, we will talk after we have discussed the other two classes of manuscript given by Sillig.

In both families, in the one in whose manuscripts the indices are purely collected in book I, as well as the one whose members  [p.705] completely omitted book I and where the indices are given only in the individual books, are, compared to the other younger codices, only relatively later.  To the scribes of these mss., it seemed a pointless effort to write each index twice, and they therefore soon left out the duplicate, and soon the first book.

The indices are only contained in book I, in the following descendants of E (see above p 299 ff.):  Vat. 1954, Borbon. V. A. I  and V. A. 2, Angelicus or Passionaeus, Paris. 6798, 6800, 6802, 6803, Taurin. CDLXv/vi, Luxemburg.; — in the following, probably associated with the archetype X3 (see p 303):  Borbon. V. A. 4 and Leopoldo-Laurent. CLXV; — in the following derived from F (or D+G+V) (see p. 289 ff.): Tolet., Paris. 6797, 6799, Vat. 1953, Vindob. CCXXXV; — in those probably related to R: Vat.-Palat. 1559 (see p. 295); — finally in the following manuscripts of uncertain lineage: Vat. 1951, 1952, 1955, 1956/7, 3533, Vat.-Ottob. 1593/4, Chigianus, Barberin. 758, 2303, Laurent.-S. Crucis XX sin. 1, Parmensis H. H. 1. 62, Ambros. E. 24 inf.

By contrast, in the following the indices are found only in the individual books: in the closely related to E: Vindob. a (= w in Sillig), which we will discuss in more detail below, and Vat.-Urb. 245 (see p.302 f.); — in the offspring of F (see p. 289 ff.): Laurent.-Slaglosianus, Laurent. LXXXII, 3 und 4; — and in the manuscripts of uncertain origin: Vat. 1950, Barberin. 2503, Borbon. VA. 3, Marcianus CCLXVI,
(see Sillig’s praef. p. XXI, Jan, observ. p. 11).

From this list we learn that the copyists already, from saec. XII onwards, regularly omitted one or the other copy of the indices which were duplicated in the older codices.  Certainly by far the majority of the younger manuscripts not mentioned belong to one of these two classes.  The youngest manuscript that I have recorded which provides the indices in both places is F, the eleventh century copy of D + G + V.

Let us return to the study of codex E by comparing it with the transmission of its nearest relative, Vindob. a.  We have already remarked that in E, book I was present; but the first and last leaves have been ruined with damp, are very old, and only partially readable.  Sillig makes the same observation in his editorial note.

Instead let us look at Paris. 6796 A (e in my edition), the oldest direct copy of E.  In this, the duplicate indices are missing from before books II and III, as already stated.  That before book IV is present, those before books V and VI are missing again, the one before book VII is present, although [p.706] the first half has fallen out together with the close of book VI, and been replaced by parts of the second volume added from a codex belonging to one of the vetustiores manuscript group (see. p.298). The indices are again missing before books VIII-XIII, that before book XIV is present, they are missing before books XV-XIX, and there is none before book XX either, but it is present before book XXI, and is there introduced with the following words: Libro XXI continentur; but it is not the index which belongs to this book, but rather the one for book XX.  The beginning of book XXII is now missing in E, and with it most likely its index.  That before book XXIII is present.  That before book XXIV is missing together with the start of the book.  Finally all are present for books XXV-XXXII, and the remaining books, whether they had indices or not, are no longer present in the manuscript.  (Sillig’s description of the codex is so very poor).  Apparently the presence of absence of an index before the individual books of E is random.  This naturally leads to the supposition that the original intention of he who laid out the manuscript was to write the indices only in book I, but that some of the copyists who succeeded him in the work added, here and there, an index to individual books because they found it in the original; so that for book XXII would not have been present, as originally intended.  Of course the arrival of the index for book XXI [in front of book XXII] must have happened in some other way.

Let us compare this with the tradition in codex a, the next nearest relation to E, which likewise is descended from archetype X3, but is not descended from E itself (see p.303, and Rhein. Mus. 15, 380 ff.).  From this relationship it follows that peculiarities in the tradition of the indices which are found in both must be attributed to that archetype.  One such feature is that, although the scribe of a completely omitted the indices in book I, he still often numbered the other books from 1-36, although not consistently.  Likewise in a before book XXI is found the index corresponding to book XX.  This is also found in E, but is then followed by a second index, really belonging to book XXI, but not the same one found in book I, but another, probably compiled by the copyist himself, or copied here from elsewhere.  It seems to be compiled from the text, like the chapter titles found in many other manuscripts which do not agree in wording with the lemmata of the genuine indices.  The peculiar displacement of the index of book XX must certainly be traced back to the archetype, X3.  Moreover a has the correct index before every book, except that it has the index to book XX twice and that of book XXI not at all in the manuscript.  Furthermore, for books XXII, XXVII, XXX, and XXXI, [p.707] after the genuine indices there are shorter items of the same type, like that for book XXI, and finally before book XXXII only the front half of the genuine index is present, followed by a shorter one of the same type, at the end of which is placed the list of authors used for the book, absent from the other shorter indices.

This relationship of E and a to one another, and to the other manuscripts and to the editions, is instructive in many ways for the history of the transmission of the indices.  From it we may conclude the following.

The matching testimony of all the older manuscripts of the younger group shows, that in their common archetype, X1, the indices were found both as book I, and before the individual books, except before book II and probably book III.  This arrangement persisted in archetype X2, a descendant of X1 and its older descendants D+G+V and R.

In contrast, the second descendant of X1, archetypus X3, from which E and a are descended, was different.  Book I remained in its place, but already a number of the indices before individual books had perhaps been omitted, and the index for book XX was placed before book XXI.  More of these indices fell out in E.

In contrast, the writer of a followed a different principle, left out book I, and placed indices once more before the individual books, although he was unable to provide the proper index before b. XXI. For this purpose he placed new indices before some books, and these are probably the ones which then gradually displaced the real ones, and finally until Hardouin’s edition even took their place in book I. Unfortunately, I can find no manuscripts other than a in which they may be found.  More information about such, and in particular the tradition of the indices in the manuscripts more closely related to E and a (see p. 298 ff.) would certainly allow a clearer insight into these complex relationships.

Let us now consider the tradition in the manuscripts belonging to the older group (see p. 306 ff.).

Very little can be said with certainty or probability, because from all of them we have only fragments, but none of them contain book I of the NH.  That Pliny himself prefixed the indices as book I to the following books is certain from his own words in the dedicatory letter to Titus 33, and the running count of the other books from II-XXXVII in all the older manuscripts demonstrates that this arrangement is authentic. One might therefore consider it certain that likewise in AMOB, the fragments of which have a similar numeration, that book I was originally present. [p.708] This is probably correct for the others, but for A it can be shown with certainty that book I was always missing.

Codex A is composed of thirty sequentially ordered pages:

(“quaternionzeichen = “quaternion numbers”; “gezeichnet” = “labelled”)

The quaternion marks, which are written in the original hand, show that only two quaternions are missing from the beginning of the manuscript.  If we calculate what these contained, based on what survives, it follows that the manuscript must have begun with book 2, and did not contain book 1, nor probably even the letter to Titus.  By contrast the index for book 2 probably was present, just like the indices for books 3-5, and the same arrangement can be assumed for the following, now missing, books.  Can this arrangement of the codex be attributed to the emendator, Junius Laurentius?  Note that we cannot suppose that this led to the similar arrangement in codex a and the other younger mss, since there is no other trace of a connection between the two.

In the following manuscripts of the older group, other than A, indices are preserved before the individual books.  In M they are preserved in fragmentary form before books XI-XV.  In O (p in Sillig), the same is true before book XXXIV.  In B they are preserved before the last six books.

Finally, it seems that some of the variants in book I, and in the indices before individual books, derive, as already noted, from a second hand in the [p.709] codex underlying ERD+G+VF (see p.306 f.), and in E the first half of the index to book VII comes entirely from this source.  In respect of the tradition of the indices in book I, however, we remain mostly in the dark for this large group of manuscripts.

So we have determined the scope and nature of the sources from which the text of the indices is to be taken.  This leaves the difficult question of how to use them, what their value is, compared to each other.  In this area Sillig and von Jan have gone completely in the wrong direction. The latter says only in his praefatio to vol. 1, p. iv: “In emendando libro I, qui continet ceterorum indicem, ut Silligius nihil fere re­cepi quin inveniretur in exemplaribus manuscriptis, sed e codicibus qui hunc librum continent ille magis secutus est Riccardianum (R) et Parisiensem primum (E), ego Toletanum et Parisiensem secun­dum (d), ut qui magis consentirent cum ipsis ceterorum librorum verbis.”  Both lack insight based on an in-depth investigation into the relationship of these manuscripts to one another and to the other sources.  The questions to be asked are as follows: if the indices are found twice in the base manuscripts of the younger group, what is the relationship between the two transmissions?  Are there interpolations or lacunae in one or the other of the divergent traditions? And how do they relate to the text of the older group?  For the sake of brevity, I shall refer in what follows, when discussing the text of the indices which are placed before the individual books, using the bracketed siglum of the codex.  E.g. I shall use R to refer to the text of the index in book I, and (R) for the text of the index repeated at the start of the relevant book.

First let us identify some key features of the text that will make it possible for us to learn about these questions. The most important of them are the following. The lemmata at the conclusion of book XXXIII from 52 quando repositoriis on, together with the index auctorum missing in one tradition;  instead of these are the lemmata of book XXXIII §.19 nobilitates ex aere, together with the index for this book, repeated, except for the words on p.65, 33 of my edition, CCLVII. Ex iis ad canis morsuus until p. 66, 1 contra lymphationes. Summa: res.  This is found in ERF (see Sillig’s praef. p. xiii; ind. 33 n. 53; 34 n. 15) and so it was, no doubt, in D, the original of F; the defect must also have been present in the archetype X. (What Sillig gives in the index auctorum on book XXXIII for FR is only a demonstration of his carelessness (see especially n. 71); it refers entirely to the wrongly repeated index for book XXXIV, [p.710] and in this area is the cause of a significant interpolation in index XXXIII, which we will discuss below).  From Sillig’s notes we learn further, that this alteration is not found in (B) (V) d and Toletanus; nor is it found in (F), the copy of (V), nor in (a).  We cannot say anything about the situation in (E), because the manuscript today ends at book XXXII, 135; but an investigation of manuscripts derived from it (see p.299 ff.) would perhaps permit conclusions about the original tradition.  In (R), however, the situation is as in (B)(V), although Sillig says nothing about it, as this source is first used from the index to book XXXIV (see Sillig ind. 34 n. 15).

—  So this change is found only in the text of book I in the younger group of manuscripts, except not in B in the index before book XXXIII.  The origin of this seems to be explicable in the following way.  The lemma at book XXXIII, 52, quando lances immodicae factae, must have been at the end of a leaf or a page in an archetype prior to X.  The copyist of the latter must have skipped a leaf or a page, and continued with the next leaf which began with nobilitates ex aere, and continued happily until the directory of authors at the end of book XXXIV.  Since he believed that he had copied the index of book XXXIII, he began with the beginning of index 34, and carried on, without ever detecting and correcting the error made earlier, so that the latter half of index 33 is missing, and that of index 34 is duplicate.  The size of the supposed leaf or page is 34 lines of Jan’s edition, so it is difficult to draw any other conclusion.  It remains only to suppose that the origin of the error was in the same codex in which the materials in books II-V were first switched (see p.288 and Rhein. Mus. 15, p.369), however the evidence for this is difficult to produce, because the indices were probably written intermittently and at longer intervals than the rest of the text, so this and that must be calculated according to different methods.

It should be noted that the change is not found in D and Toletanus (see Sillig’s notes), nor from my information in Vindob. CCXXXV. These three manuscripts derive, as I think I have probably said (see p. 289 ff.), from F (and I would very much like to know whether they too have the features of F described there), so we must assume that the copyist, who took the deviant arrangement from F, only gave the text of the indices in book I (see above), either compiled from those standing at the front of the individual books, [p.711] related to the originals, or else at least corrected the error in book I from the existing index before book XXXIII.  We will refer below to other similar cases, from which we may obtain some clarity.

Now we must discuss the interpolation of the index auctorum of book XXXIII mentioned earlier.  In book I of our best manuscripts, as noted, it is not present, so we are dependent on the tradition of (B)(V)(a) alone, and maybe also d Toletanus; because Sillig’s citation of RE has already been shown to be incorrect.

[snip technical details pp.711-716]

Let us briefly put together the general results of this investigation.  It has been found that the principal basis for the text of the indices is found in the manuscripts of the younger group, which are only present in the older group in rare cases.  In the archetype of these, as well as in book I, every index, with the exception of book II and sometimes even book III, was repeated in front of the book to which it related.  This arrangement must be very old, because individual errors in their archetype, X1, show that they were present in an even older manuscript, or possibly even be derived from Pliny himself and his publication of the NH.   The value of both texts is about equal; they complement and correct each other.  Little can be said here about the manuscripts of the older group.  Even the copyist of codex A omitted book I completely.  In this group the indices before b. XXXIV and XXXVI have been interpolated, and that interpolation is already present in book I in the oldest archetype of the younger group.  In the archetype X3, derived from X1, the arrangement was changed so that the individual indices before each book were omitted.  This  approach was followed both in E,  which was descended from X3, and in many more recent mss, while in a, and some others, book I was omitted instead, as in A.  To these belong d and Toletanus, whose text of book I, from combining the duplicate texts of their originals, …. Their value is, compared to other sources, only secondary and often doubtful.

D. Detlefsen.

  1. [1]D. Detlefsen, The indices of the Naturalis Historia of Pliny, Philologus 28, 1869, p.701-716 High res. PDF here.

Stephen Langton and the modern chapter divisions of the bible

If you read any book on the text of the bible, you will sooner or later come across a statement that the chapter divisions in our modern bibles are not ancient, but are the work of Cardinal Stephen Langton, the medieval Archbishop of Canterbury, who died in 1228 AD.  I have never seen this claim referenced to primary sources, however, which means that it is hard to check.

One of the better versions of this story is in Metzger’s Early versions of the New Testament.[1]  It reads as follows:

The custom of referring to chapters when quoting from the Scriptures was rare before the twelfth century. [1] The development of the lecture and reportatio method, however, must have shown the convenience of such a practice. The chief difficulty to its adoption arose from the lack of one generally agreed-upon system, for several systems of chapter-division from late antiquity and the early medieval period were current. The diversity was felt most acutely at the University of Paris, where the international provenance of the student body showed most clearly the absolute need for a standardized system of capitulation,[2] as well as a standardized canonical order of scriptural books.[3]  Uniformity was introduced amid such chaotic conditions by the Paris scholars, notably, as it appears,[4] by Stephen Langton (d. 1228), then a doctor of the University of Paris, afterwards archbishop of Canterbury and leader of the barons in the struggle which gave birth to the Magna Carta. His system, which is substantially the one in use today, was adopted in the earliest printed editions of the Vulgate. The chapters were at first subdivided into seven portions (not paragraphs), marked in the margin by the letters a, b, c, d, c, f, g, reference being made by the chapter number and the letter under which the passage occurred. In the shorter Psalms, however, the division did not always extend to seven.

[1] Cf. O. Schmidt, Über verschiedene Eintheilungen der heiligen Schrift (Graz, 1892), and A. Landgraf, ‘Die Schriftzitate in der Scholastik um die Wende des 12. zum 13. Jahrh.’, Bib., xviii (1937), 74-94.
[2] On the diversity of earlier chapter divisions, see the tabulation of differences in P. Martin, ‘Le texte parisien de la Vulgate latine’, Mu, viii (1889),444-66, and ix (1890), 55-70, and especially the important monographs by De Bruyne, Sommaires, divisions et rubriques de la Bible latine (Namur, 1920); for a summary of part of De Bruyne’s research, see Patrick McGurk, Latin Gospel Books from A.D. 400 to A.D. 800 (Les Publications de Scriptorium, vol. v; Paris-Brussels-Amsterdam, 1961), pp. 110-21.
[3] For a list of 284 different sequences of scriptural books in Latin manuscripts, see Berger, Histoire de la Vulgate, pp. 331-9; and for a list of twenty different sequences of the Pauline Epistles in Greek, Latin, and Coptic manuscripts, see H. J. Frede, Vetus Latina, xxiv/2, 4te Lieferung (Freiburg, 1969), pp. 290-303, and id., ‘Die Ordnung der Paulusbricfe’, Studia Evangelica, vi, ed. by E. A. Livingstone (TU cxii; Berlin, 1973), pp. 122-7.
[4] On the ambiguous evidence supporting the attribution to Langton, see Beryl Smalley, The Study of the Bible in the Middle Ages, 2nd edn. (New York, 1952), pp. 222-4.

The absence of primary sources in this bibliography may be noted.

Recently I was reading Diana Albino’s article on chapter divisions and chapter titles in ancient texts[2] and found some interesting statements:

The modern division into chapters of the books of the Bible was carried out in the West by Cardinal Stephen Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury (+ 1228), rather than by Lanfranc, also Archbishop of Canterbury (+ 1089), to whom it has been erroneously attributed.

In a manuscript in the Bodleian, no. 487, probably written in 1448, we find this precise testimony: “1228: Magister Stephanus de Langueton, archiepiscopus centuariensis obiit qui biblia apud parisium quotavit.” [28]. (I.e. “1228: Master Stephen Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury died, who divided up the bible at Paris.”)

Another witness, equally precise and also older, is that of Nicolas Trivet (1258-1328) [29], who wrote about Stephen Langton: “Hic super totam Bibliam postillas fecit et eam per capitula, quibus nunc utuntur moderni distinxit; ….”. (“Here he made postillas throughout the whole bible, and split it into chapters, which are now used by modern people; …”)

Otto Schmid [30] has collected the evidence of the manuscripts of the Bible, from which we may deduce with certainty that Stephen Langton divided the Bible into chapters.

We also know that the work was performed in 1204-1205, when he was a professor at the University of Paris [31]. This information was obtained by Martin from manuscript 1417 of the National Library of Paris. The Langtonian division into chapters was introduced in 1226 in the edition of the Vulgate known as the Paris Bible.

[28] According to the lexicon of Du Cange, “quotare” means: to divide into chapters and verses.
[29] N. Trivet, Annales sex regum angliae, ed. A. Hall, Oxford, 1719, p. 182.  [Archive.org; p.216 of the 1845 reprint]
[30] O. Schmid, Ueber verschieden Einteilungen der heiligen Schrift, insbesondere über die Capitel-Einteilung Stephan Langtone im XIII Jahrhunderte, Graz, 1892, p. 56-106. [Google books]
[31] Paulin Martin: Introduction à la critique générale de l’Ancien Testament, Paris, 1887-1888, t. II, p. 461-474.

These statements are very interesting, but for more details we need to refer to Schmid’s work, On the divisions of Holy Scripture and the chapter divisions of Stephen Langton in the 13th c.

Schmid states on p.56 that the first statement may be found on fol. 110 of Ms. Bodl. 487.  On p.58 he states that it first became known to scholarship via Casimir Oudin, Comment. de scriptoribus eccles., Lips. 1772, vol. 2, col. 1702.  This was repeated by later scholars.

According to Schmid, Trivet’s statement was also copied by a considerable number of scholars, whom he lists.

Schmid also has something to say about Paulin Martin’s statement.  Notably the ms. is not 1447, as Albino gives it, but Ms. Paris, BNF lat. 14417.  This codex is a 13th c. miscellaneous codex of 316 folios, originally from St. Victor.  On f. 125v-126v there is a list of chapters of scripture. (This is followed by commentary on scripture by Langton)  The list of chapters is headed, Capitula Canthuar. archiepiscopi super bibliotec. (Chapters of the archbishop of Canterbury on the bible.)  Schmid then gives an edition of the chapter title list verbatim on p.59-92. He then goes on to say (p.92):

From this list it will be seen that the chapter divisions of Stephan Langton are generally the same as those contained in the Clementine Vulgate, but are not the same in terms of both number of chapters of individual sacred books, as well as with regard to the beginnings of some chapters of the same. The difference is most striking for Judith and Esther.  The books Paralip., Esdras and Nehemiah are counted as one book, but otherwise the difference in the number of chapters is usually only 1. We give below a brief overview of the difference in the number of chapters, where there is one, between Langton’s division and the Clementine Vulgate. ….

We cannot decide whether Langton made and published a number of versions of his division of scripture into chapters, nor whether the version above is a later redaction of it, or the only version.  However it certainly leaves us with the question of when and where he worked out the division.

Trivet (see p.56) in his report leaves it vague as to where Langton worked on his chapter division.  But H. Knyghton  specifies Paris explicitly; apud Parisium quotavit.  This gives us a guide to determine the date.  Langton was made a cardinal on 22nd June 1206 by his patron Innocent III, who had studied in Paris and probably had Langton as a colleague.  This meant that Langton in 1207, when there were great disputes about the next appointment to the see of Canterbury, was elected to it in Rome.

From this he concludes that the work was done not long after 1201, probably in 1204-5, while he was teaching in Paris.  Robert de Courson, also an Englishman, quotes passages of scripture using the new system in his Summa, written between 1198-1216 (since it refers to Petrus Cantor, d. 1197, and a council held in 1201, but not to the revocation of a decretal in 1216).  It is extant in Ms. lat. Bibliotheque Nationale 8268, 8269 and other mss.  He adds:

Denifle in his Archiv für Literatur und Kirchengeschichte, l. c., p. 291, expresses the opinion that Langton’s divisions were propagated to France and other countries through the Paris Bible, the Exemplar Parisiense (so-called by Roger Bacon), on which Denifle’s thorough investigations have shed new light.  This view can only be accepted, since Paris and France in the 11th century, as in the 12th and 13th century, was the seat and centre of theological learning, where many distinguished men settled and where anyone who sought to study theology would choose to come.

The returning students, who had learned and used the new division in Paris, brought it back to their homes.  Langton’s work was also disseminated by the numerous copies of the Paris bible.  Sam. Berger has found confirmation of the author of the new division in ms. 340 of the town library of Lyons, in which the proverbs begin with the words, Incipiunt parabole Salomonis distincte per capitula secundum mag. Stephanum archiepis. (Here begin the parables of Solomon split into chapters according [to the system of] master Stephen the archbishop.)  The divisions are also found in the Paris, Bibliotheque Mazarine ms. 29, written in 1231 AD.  Certainly it will have appeared in bible manuscripts before this date.

It is not clear what inspired Langton’s work.  Perhaps it was the wish of the Paris theologians to have a simpler system by which to cite the scriptures, or, as some think, the chaos of different divisions and numbers in the manuscripts caused a need for a unified system.  Perhaps it was the industrious Langton’s studies on scripture – we have glosses from him on almost the whole of scripture – which led him to consider a simpler division as desirable.

Denifle, in his work, Die Universitäten des Mittelalters, Berlin 1886, and in other places, and in his Chartularium Univers. Paris., tom. I, Paris. 1889, Introd. p. VIII-X, notes that the university of Paris was born from the union of different teachers between 1200-1208, pretty much around the time when Langton was teaching in Paris and performing his division of the scripture into chapters.  Possibly it was this circumstance that caused Langton to perform his work for the newly formed institution.

He continues that in the 13th century older divisions are still seen, but either the new ones are added and the old erased, or else the new ones would be added in the margin.  This was so even in old manuscripts like the Codex Amiatinus, where the new divisions appear in the margins.  In the new 13th c. mss. the new divisions were placed right in the text.  In older mss. notes appeared in the margin: hic non notatur/signatur capitolum (here the chapter is not marked); hic non incipit cap. (here the chapter does not begin); or, secundum libros bene correctos hic debet incipit cap.( according to well-corrected mss, here the chapter should begin.)  Mixed witnesses appear in some mss., such as ms. Graz c. 186.  Writing a bible took time.  In this case it was begun with capitulationem at the start of the book and stichometric numbers at the end, and divided according to older systems.  Suddenly the new system appears, and the old Capitula, Tituli, Breves  and verse numbering is omitted.

Schmid then discusses the evidence for further tweaking of the system from the manuscripts.  Some books that he had treated as one were divided into  two (e.g. Esdras).  But the difference between the original and the Clementine Vulgate is usually only a verse or two.  He says that there is still some variation, even once printing begins.

The new divisions also made their way into Hebrew mss. of the Old Testament, although only marked in the margins by Christian hands.  The first printed edition of the Hebrew bible to have them was the 1523 Venice edition by Dom. Bomberg.

Greek manuscripts of the New Testament acquired these divisions only in the 15th century, especially after the fall of Constantinople, as Greeks fled to the west with their manuscripts.

Interestingly Schmid also discusses (p.108) the modern division into verses by Robert Stephanus, the printer.  In the preface to his 1551 bilingual edition of the New Testament, Greek and Latin, Stephanus states:

Quod autem per quosdam ut vocant versiculos opus distinximus, id vetustissima Graeca Latinaque exemplaria secuti fecimus, eo autem libentius sumus imitati, quod hac ratione utraque translatio posset omnino e regione graeco contextui respondere.

That is, he split the work into what are called “versiculos”, because in this way anyone could cross-reference the translation and the corresponding passage of Greek.

Schmid then continues with further details of how the division into verses appeared in the early editions, but at this point we must leave him.

  1. [1]B. Metzger, The early versions of the New Testament: Their origin, transmission and limitations, Oxford University Press (1977), p.347.
  2. [2] D. ALBINO, La divisione in capitoli nelle opera degli Antichi, in Università di Napoli. Annali della Facoltà di lettere e filosofia 10 (1962-63), pp. 219-234; see p.232.

Scribonius Largus – an authorial table of contents

Scribonius Largus was a physician in the time of Claudius.[1]  He was the author of a collection of medical recipes, written in 47-48 A.D.

The work begins with a preface; then there is an index; and then the recipes.[2]

At the end of the preface, Largus writes[3]:

Primum ergo ad quae vitia compositiones exquisitae et aptae sint, subiecimus et numeris notavimus, quo facilius quod quaeretur inveniatur.  Deinde medicamentorum, quibus compositiones constant, nomina et pondera vitiis subiunximus.


So firstly, the illnesses for which medicines are sought-for and found, we have subjoined and numbered, so that the seeker may find more easily.  Then we have subjoined the names and amounts of the medicaments which the medicines for illnesses consist of.

The second list has not been preserved, but these words are followed in the edition by a list of illnesses, and for each a numeral.

What this demonstrates is that the concept of producing a numbered table of contents did exist in the time of Claudius, and, therefore, probably earlier.

  1. [1]A note on his career will be found at Lacus Curtius.
  2. [2]I owe my knowledge of this instance of ancient book summaries to the Google Books preview of Bianca-Jeanette Schroder, Titel und Text, De Gruyter 1999, p.107.
  3. [3]I grabbed a random 1786 edition here, page 7.

More on chapter titles

I need to do some further research on chapter titles in ancient texts, and whether they are authorial.  A correspondent has drawn my attention to Bianca-Jeanette Schroder’s Titel und Text: Zur Entwicklung lateinischer Gedichtüberschriften. Mit Untersuchungen zu lateinischen Buchtiteln, Inhaltsverzeichnissen und anderen Gliederungsmitteln (De Gruyter, 1999, 349 pages).  It retails for the eye-watering sum of 160 euros; around $240, which is ridiculous.  An abstract is here, and in English here at the Google Books preview:

How old are the manuscript titles of Latin poems from Antiquity and Late Antiquity? Why were they written, and who created them? With these questions, the author enters virgin philological territory. Her interest is directed at the organisation of ancient texts.She shows that, contrary to conventional wisdom, the headings which subdivide poetry collections and provide preliminary information for the reader were not invented by medieval scribes or early modern editors; their development can in fact be traced back to Classical and Late Antiquity. The headings in collections of Latin poetry handed down through medieval mss. (incl. Horace, Ovid, Martial, Commodian, Ausonius, Luxurius) are partly authentic, and were partly added in late Classical Antiquity. In their function and linguistic form, they can be compared with book titles and other structural textual devices such as tables of contents and chapter headings. The present study also deals with the development of these devices, which are important for the history of books and of reading habits.

I have ordered a copy of this via interlibrary loan, not very hopefully.  It will probably take weeks for the sleepy civil servants to bestir themselves.  But at the price given, who can afford to buy a copy?

Matthieu Cassin on the chapter titles of Contra Eunomium I

In the Sources Chretiennes edition of Gregory of Nyssa’s Contra Eunomium,[1] there is an annex which is of wider interest.  Annex II — p.359-364 — was written by Matthieu Cassin, and summarises rather nicely the question of indices and chapter titles in the manuscripts of this work. 

I know that French is a closed book to rather too many anglophone scholars, so, in the interests of wider access, here is my own English translation of portions of it. 

The kephalaia of book I

Immediately preceding the text of Contra Eunomium, the majority of the manucripts include a list of chapters of book 1, either as a summary or a table of contents.  The numbers of these chapters are then given in the margins of the text, at the location corresponding to the beginning of each chapter.  Some manuscripts, whether or not they preserve the table at the front, also give the title of the chapter, either in the body of the text or in the margin.  Finally others, which don’t include any portion of the chapters titles anywhere, still retain traces of marginal numerals.  The antiquity of this system of structuring the work is confirmed by the witness of the indirect tradition: in fact the Treatise against Damian written at the end of the 6th century by Peter of Callinicus, patriarch of Antioch, furnishes us with ample citations of the Contra Eunomium of Gregory, and specifies the chapter from which the passages come. These indications correspond, in the vast majority of cases, with the system which appears in the Greek manuscript tradition, except around the great lacuna in the later parts of the book. In fact the text which Peter knew had not yet suffered this loss, and the numbering accordingly had not been disturbed in this area by the loss of an important section of the text.

The following table gives in the first column the number of the chapter, in the second the paragraph where the chapter begins; if the latter does not begin at the start of a paragraph, the difference is signalled by + or – and specified in a note, giving page and line from the edition of W. Jaeger. The following columns, which each correspond to one of the witnesses of the text, indicate if the chapter mark is present (+) or absent (-) from the manuscripts, or if it has not been possible for me to determine its status (?); signalled by a ≠ is a reported difference from the norm. The indication ‘mut.’ is utilised when the manuscript is mutilated for this portion of the text; ‘lac.’ signals the lacuna of chapters 29-31.

The copies of manuscripts where the original is extant are not represented in this table, except for D, which allows us to fill in some of the lacunas of S. B. (Lesbiacus 6), to the extent that it gives a single chapter numeral (κβ’), on f. 340v, in its usual place in the text.

The manuscripts not cited do not include any indication of chapters: mostly these are recent copies, except for V (Vaticanus gr. 447, 12th c.). The latter manuscript, on the other hand, indicates the position of chapters for book III, and for the Refutation; the manuscript from which it was copied, like L, had undoubtedly deteriorated since it was written, and the marks of the chapters were no longer visible. Two manuscripts could not be consulted (Hagion Oros, Mone Vatopediou, 541; Sinai, Mone tes Aikaterines, Metochion 8). Another, equally inaccessible to me, signals the beginning of chapters and their numeral, according to the catalogue which describes it (Brescia, Bibl. civica Queriniana, A IV 3).

There then follow five pages of data on the chapters, which may be conveniently viewed in the SC edition itself. Dr Cassin resumes the story afterwards as follows:

The editio princeps of 1618, based upon recent manuscripts which did not specify the positions of the chapters, could not indicate them. Fr. Oehler, who was in a position to consult manuscripts which carried the numbers of the chapters in their margins, such as L or M, did not report them in his edition, which appeared in 1865. W. Jaeger, whose position on this point is less than clear, chose not to indicate their position, believeing that the manuscripts did not agree among themselves, even though he had access to the majority of the witnesses of the text.

All this is of great interest.

Firstly the work of Peter of Callinicus indicates that by the 6th century at least, the chapter titles were as we see them. Since the transmitted text is likewise equipped, this must be strong evidence that the titles, divisions, and numerals are authentic. Secondly the tendency of scribes to interfere with them seems to be shown — it’s not quite clear from the article — by tinkering with the numbering once a lacuna had appeared in chapters 29-31.

If the summary, the chapter titles, and the marginal numerals are all authorial — and it looks like it — then we have to ask whether this is an innovation by Gregory; or whether, in fact, he is merely adopting a trend active in his own time.

Speculating, I would suggest the latter.  Half a century earlier, Eusebius of Caesarea had given summaries in his Ecclesiastical History (doubtless based on earlier Greek histories which did the same), but also in his theological works like the Praeparatio Evangelica.  It is less clear whether these items had made it into the text, or whether there were numerals.  But who can say?  The influence of the EH on all Greek patristic literature means that possibly this was the catalyst.  Is it possible that the division of theological books into chapters with numbers and marked in the body of the text is a 4th century innovation?  And that it spreads to the Latin world in the 5-6th centuries?

How valuable the SC series is!  For increasingly I notice that they include a section of just what the manuscripts actually contain.  As Dr C. rightly observes, editors simply ignored this stuff.  Those days, thankfully, must be behind us.

  1. [1]Gregoire de Nysse, Contre Eunome I, SC 524, 2010: Greek text by W. Jaeger from WNO I.1, translation by Raymond Winling.

Gregory of Nyssa on chapter titles

In his work De hominis opificio (On the making of man), in the praefatio, Gregory alludes explicitly to a list of chapter titles for the work:

…and for clearness’ sake I think it well to set forth to you the discourse by chapters, that you may be able briefly to know the force of the several arguments of the whole work.[1]

The Greek text of Migne does not print any chapter titles, but the English translators embedded them following this sentence.

The word rendered “chapters” is, of course, kephalaia.  Here at least we see that Gregory is familiar with the idea of a work which may be summarised in this way. 

  1. [1]PG 44, col. 128B.  English translation from the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers series, which then inserts a translation of the chapter headings which do not appear at this position in the Greek text of Migne.

Ancient texts with “indices”

A little while ago a kind correspondent sent me a partial list of ancient works where the manuscripts contain “indices”, or “tables of contents” of the chapters or subjects covered in the book or books. 

I had meant to go and investigate each of these, but my work life is eating all my time at the moment.  However the list is well worth publishing as it is (i.e. before I mislay it!):

Pline l’Ancien, Naturalis Historia livre I. C’est l’exemple le plus célèbre. L’auteur est évidemment Pline.

Valerius Maximus, Facta et dicta memorabilia, édition Briscoe, 2 vols., Teubner Stuttgart et Leipzig, 1998. Je ne sais pas si la récente édition de la Loeb contient les indices. Les éditions plus anciennes ne comportent pas les indices.

Hygin, Fabulae (ed. Schmidt sur Google)

Jérôme, De Viris Inlustribus et Gennadius, De Viris Inlustribus (ed. Richardson et Gebhardt, Texte und untersuchungen 14, 1896). Sur Google.

Florus, Epitomae Libri II, ed. Rossbach, Teubner 1896 (sur Google), ou édition de la collection Loeb.

Cassius Dio, Histoire Romaine, édition Boissevain, tomes 1-3 (sur Archiv.org). Les indices sont conservés pour les livres 37-59 et 80 (à vérifier dans le détail). Ils sont aussi dans l’édition de la Loeb.

Eusèbe de Césarée, Histoire ecclésiastique

Eusèbe de Césarée, Vie de Constantin

John of Nikiu, traduction anglaise Charles, 1916 (site Roger Pearse)

Fréchulf (orthographe très variable) de Lisieux, Historiae (début du 9e siècle), édition Allen, Corpus Christianorum, Continuatio Mediaevalis CLXIX et CLXIX A, Brepols 2002. N’est évidemment pas sur Internet. L’édition de la Patrologie de Migne (PL 106) ne contient pas les indices. Le meilleur manuscrit, de Saint-Gall, contemporain de l’auteur, contient les indices et se trouve sur Internet. Les indices sont sûrement de l’auteur.

Orose, Adversus paganos. Les éditions de Zangemeister, CSEL 1882 et Teubner 1889 (toutes les deux sur Archiv.org) donnent des indices différents.

Cassiodore, Variae, édition Mommsen, Monumenta Germaniae Historica

Cassiodore, Institutiones, édition Sir Roger Mynors

Cassiodore, Historia ecclesiastica, édition Hanslik 1952. Absente sur Internet …

Isidore de Séville, Etymologiae, ed. Lindsay, Oxford, OCT 1911 (2 volumes). A consulter par exemple sur le site de la « Bibliotheca Augustana ».

Grégoire de Tours, Historia Francorum (Monumenta Germaniae Historica)

Frédégaire, Chronique (Monumenta Germaniae Historica). Plusieurs indices.

I hope to investigate each of these, bit by bit.

From my diary

I’ve had an email with some material extracted from Matthieu Cassin’s thesis about Gregory of Nyssa, with the pages discussing the chapter titles in the manuscripts.  I’ve not had a chance to read it yet, but it looks fascinating.  Dr Cassin has done some real work here, and I will discuss it further.

Also I found myself thinking about Mithras today.  Readers will remember that between 2009 and the end of 2010 I revised the Wikipedia Mithras article, to produce something reliable, only to have the work hijacked by a troll.  The troll deleted all references to me — the author of most of it! — and changed it to “prove” that Mithras preceded Jesus, etc; and he has sat on it, dog-in-the-manger, ever since.  But in a way he did me a favour, since I was beginning to contribute far too much time to Wikipedia.

But the reason that I dedicated so much time to looking up and verifying and quoting so much material about Mithras was to dispose of the many myths that circulate online.  That reason is still valid, and it seems to me that it would be sensible to write a few pages about Mithras, using secondary sources of a reliable kind, in order to provide a useful resource to those who need it. 

The obvious thing to do would be to start with the last reliable version — nothing the troll did was of any value –, and remove whichever bits I have not written or validated myself, and then build on that.  

There would be a main page, consisting of short sections, each with a link to a page on that specific subject.  Each sentence in the short sections would be referenced; probably to a reference on the specific page, rather than on the main page.

It would be important to have a professional look to the pages.  I’m not sure how best to achieve that, short of hiring someone (which, of course, is an option).  Some nice graphics would be nice, if I knew a decent graphics designer who could draw…

Ideally the pages would be editable online; but at the moment I couldn’t spare the time for online editing anyway.  I don’t really want to install MediaWiki, so we may have to sacrifice that, and just fall back on some kind of HTML editing.

The object, as always, would be to allow a reader to access the subject, not to push a narrative or my opinions (indeed I have none on Mithras, except that I don’t want to see disinformation circulating).

As part of this, my policy is always to have references that quote the source in extenso, and to link to the online text where possible.  In this way the reader can verify for himself whether or not the reference is fair or accurate.  I did this, after I discovered that most of the references in the Wikipedia Mithras article, before I worked on it, were in fact bogus.  Quote and link makes that problem disappear, and I would continue it.

Naturally I would want to link closely to primary materials.  It would be right to do something about inscriptions and images, if one could.

A page on Mithra, the Persian deity whose name was probably borrowed by the unknown founder of the Mithras cult, would probably be useful.

A guestbook in which comments and feedback could be added would probably be useful also.

Ah, but when will I get the *time*!!!!