Devreesse: catenas on Mark

Let’s continue to extract relevant material to Eusebius from Devreesse’s massive article on catenas.

VIII.  THE CATENAS ON St. MARK. — 1.  OVERVIEW. — The most ancient edition of a catena on St. Mark is due to the Jesuit, Poussines:  Catena graecorum Patrum in evangelium secundum Marcum couectore atque interprete Petro POSSINO Soc. Iesu presbytero qui et adiecit, titulo spicilegii commentarium, ad loca selecta quatuor evangeliorum: accessere collationes graeci contextus omnium librorum novi Testamenti cum XXII codd. antiquis mss. ex bibliotheca Barberina. Romae. typis Barberinis, MDCLXXII. [1672].

Three sources were available for this edition; 1.  A manuscript which Poussines cites under the name of the Anonymous of Tolouse, belonging to Charles de Montchal, archbishop of that town, today Paris gr. 194.  Most of the exegesis in this manuscript is anonymous: it is astonishingly closely related to that work known as the commentary on Mark of Theophylact (Patrologia Graeca, vol. 123, cols. 487-682); the rest consists of 20 citations scattered through the work.  — 2.  An interpretation of St. Mark attributed to a certain Victor of Antioch by a German manuscript, a copy of which was sent to him by Cordier.  According to Sickenberger (Titus von Bostra, p. 128 f.) this would today be the Monac. 99.  An exegesis of almost identical content is given in Vatican gr. 1423, but that manuscript bears no attribution on it.  — 3.  An anonymous manuscript in the Vatican, of which Cordier also sent him a copy.  We have identified this manuscript, which Poussines cites as Ἀνωνύμου Βατικ or even Ἀνωνύμου as the Vatican gr. 1692 A, fol. 177 ff. Its content can be found in Poussines, as will appear below, although not always very faithfully.

In 1840 [sic]  following his catena on Matthew, Cramer published a catena on St. Mark, based on Bodleian Laud 33 and Coislin gr. 23, already used with profit by him for the catena on the first gospel.  Some lacunas were filled with the aid of Paris 178.  Cramer likewise took from Bodleian Barocci 156 a scholion attributed to Justin in the catena of Macarius Chrysocephalus on St. Luke.  There are few named citations in this collection printed by Cramer.  One is credited to Cyril of Alexandria, another to Irenaeus, a third to Basil and a fourth to Theodore of Mopsuestia.  A few others are cited from time to time, but inside the texts.  Other manuscripts like the Vindob. 154 (Lambec. 29) have a few more lemmas [=author’s names], but never more than twenty.

One name dominates all the catenas on St. Mark; that of Victor of Antioch.  The Jesuit Peltanus edited  a commentary on the second gospel under this name… [1580]…  It is also from ps. Victor that another pseudepigraph already mentioned is derived: Peter of Laodicea, whose content was edited by Matthaei as a commentary by ps.Victor … [Moscow, 1775].

I don’t think the lengthy discussion of Victor of Antioch is relevant here.

Let us summarise this collection of literary facts from which the catenas on Mark derive.  1.  A bloc of scholia for the most part anonymous: the pseudo-Victor of Poussines.  2.  To this have been added other citations, not numerous: from which derive the text of Cramer, and the ps.Peter of Laodicea; the first reproduces integrally the fundus and adds a few (anonymous) extracts; the second rearranges the fundus and interpolates new scholia, some related to the additions in the catena of Cramer.

There remain two other collections of scholia; those of Vatican gr. 1692 A, and those of Paris 194, incompatible with each other.  The second agrees almost word for word, as in Poussines, with what is contained in the commentary of Theophylact on Mark.  As for the first, the state in which it has reached us does not permit us to say whether the few named citations encountered in it are the remains of a primitive state in which every citation had a name against it, and the source from which the catenist excerpted it, or on the contrary, whether we must envisage a two-stage process of compilation, perhaps an anonymous collection to which named patristic extracts were added later with an indication of their provenance.  Let us add that this collection also is far from covering the whole of the second gospel.

There remain the Scholia vetera (PG 106, col. 1173- 1178; also edited in Thomas, Les collections anonymes de scholies grecques aux evangiles, vol. 2, p. 181-9).  Their rare extracts correspond sometimes with ps.Victor.  Most often, they form a group apart.


Let’s now skip to Eusebius.  I’ve added some paragraphing.

Eusebius. — There was mention of a passage of Clement on the origins of the second gospel, collected by Eusebius.  The catenas cite various works of the bishop of Caesarea [=Eusebius].  In its prologue, the Anonymous of the Vatican (Poussines, p.3-4) refers to an opinion ἐν τρίτῃ βίβλῳ τῆς εὐαγγελικῆς ἀποδείξεως.  

Likewise the testimony of the questions to Marinus is invoked (Cramer, p. 266, 10-12; Poussines, p. 343 (on Mk. 25:25), 364 (on 16:18-20); these two passages on Simon of Cyrene and the appearance to Madeleine have been reproduced from Poussines  in PG vol. 22, col. 1009).  The same anonymous bears on Mk 13:32-39 (Poussines p. 297) the statement of Eusebius: ὡς γὰρ ἱστορεῖ ὁ Εὐσέβιος ἐν τῷ χρονικῷ κάνωνι.  Likewise on Mk 8:27 (Poussines, p. 269) Εὐσέβιος ἐν τῇ ἐπιτομῇ τῶν χρονικῶν

Finally Eusebius is named three times, though without references, once in Paris gr. 194 (=Poussines p. 46 on Mk 2:12), twice in ps.Victor of Antioch on Mk. 16:18-20 (Cramer 446, 19 f.) and by the anonymous of Poussines  on Mk. 15:15 (p. 340).

I think that is a very useful summary both of the printed catenas, and what is to be found in them.

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