An interesting email arrived today, asking about the manuscript tradition of this work. The email ran:
I was wondering if you could offer me any comments on the textual tradition of the treatise “de Christo et Antechristo,” the authorship of which is typically attributed to a Hippolytus of Rome (I understand this to be debated considerably).
To my knowledge, there are four major ms traditions that Hans Achelis identified back in the late 19th cent; the first three are Greek and the last one a Slavonic translation-H (10 cent.), E (15th cent), R (16th cent.) and S (old Slavonic, date I’m not sure).
According to Achelis, H is the superior ms. My question is, other than because of its age, why should this be the case? Please let me know any thoughts you have on this question or any of the broader issues at hand.
I confess that I knew nothing about this work before now, but of course I am always willing to learn. My first port of call was Quasten, of course.
Quasten tells me that the authorship is certainly Hippolytan because H. refers to it in his Commentary on Daniel. The edition by Achelis is online at Google books. But Quasten also tells me of a study by Achelis in TU, NF 1, 4, 1897, p.65 f. which perhaps would clarify things? This must also be online, I would have thought. I wonder if anyone has indexed the TU volumes?
He also says that there is a Georgian version, and fragments in Armenian, as well as the three Greek and several old Slavonic mss, all 15th century or later. In languages that did not acquire printing until later than the rest of us, late manuscripts are the norm, I sometimes feel.
I wrote back to this effect. An English translation of the work appears in the ANF 5, and there is also a German translation in the 1873 BKV.