Which of Origen’s homilies on the Psalms were previously known, and more on Jerome

The new find of Origen’s homilies on the Psalms raised the question of what already existed.  Alin Suciu listed the homilies found, as I mentioned yesterday.

Previously we had only extracts from catenas, plus a Latin translation of 9 homilies on the Psalms: 5 on Psalm 36, 2 on Ps. 37, 2 on Ps. 38.  These were translated by Rufinus.[1]

In addition, a collection of 74 homilies on the psalms exists, attributed to Jerome.  V. Peri claimed that these were in fact translations of Origen’s homilies, but this seems probably mistaken.[2]

Yesterday I posted a translation of Jerome’s letter 33, which gave a list of Origen’s works.  I learn today from the Westminster handbook to Origen[3] that a complete English translation of this letter was published in 1989, by H. Crouzel.[4]

It seems that letter 33 was long known only in an incomplete form.  Crouzel (p.37) says:

Those who copied the letters of Jerome did not bother to transcribe more than the opening lines of this list, but shortly before the middle of the last century it was rediscovered by Sir Thomas Phillips in a manuscript at Arras; since then it has appeared in the editions of Jerome’s Letters.

In the letter, excerpta seems to be rendered as scholia by Crouzel, “learned notes of commentary”.

McGuckin adds:

A useful list of Origen’s homilies with a digest of their contents was made by B. F. Westcott for DCB 4: 104-18 (London, 1887) 

  1. [1]J. A. McGuckin, The Westminster handbook to Origen.  Preview here.
  2. [2]McGuckin: “Recently V. Peri (“Omelie origeniane sui Psalmi”. Studi e Testi 289. Vatican City, 1980; idem CCL 78) has restored to Origen a total of seventy-four homilies on the Psalms formerly attributed to Jerome, who was, it now appears, only their translator.” L. Perrone, “FOUR GOSPELS, FOUR COUNCILS” – ONE LORD JESUS CHRIST The Patristic Developments of Christology within the Church of Palestine.  p.378 (pdf p.22): “For this analysis we have emblematic evidence in the “mixed” text represented by the Homilies on the Psalms, circulating under the name of Jerome but for some scholars to a large extent merely translated and adapted by him from a corresponding work of Origen.(47)

    47. Tractatus sive homiliae in Psalmos, ed. G. Morin, CCL 78, Turnhout 1958. For the scholarly discussion on the authorship see lately Origene – Gerolamo. 74 omelie sul libro dei salmi, intr., trad. e note di G. Coppa, Milano 1993, 13-32. Their overall dependence on Origen was especially asserted by V. Peri, Omelie origeniane sui Salmi. Contributo all’identificazione del testo latino, Città del Vaticano 1980. His thesis has been rejected by P. Jay, “Les Tractatus in Psalmos”, in Jérôme entre l’Occident et l’Orient. Actes du colloque de Chantilly publiés par Y.-M. Duval, Paris 1988, 367-380, for whom the clear origenian inspiration of the homilies should not be an obstacle for considering them a work of Jerome, as is shown by their many actual connections.”

  3. [3]J. A. McGuckin, The Westminster handbook to Origen.  Preview here.
  4. [4]Origen: the Life and Thought of the First Great Theologian by Henri Crouzel and A. S. Worrall (Sep 1989), p. 37-39.  Snippet view here.

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