The early translations of Chrysostom into Latin — 5. The collection of 38 homilies

The next section in Voicu’s article discusses a collection of 38 sermons by John Chrysostom in a Latin version, which are found in various manuscripts of the 9th century onwards, including the one online at Cologne which I referred to a few posts back.

Dom Andre Wilmart drew up a list of the contents in his 1918 article.  Let’s give that list here, together with where they appear in Migne’s Patrologia Graeca.

1.-2.)  In Psalmum 50 homiliae 1-2 (PG 55, 565-588)
3) In Psalmum 122 (PG 55, 351-353)
4) In Psalmum 150 (PG 55, 495-498)
5) De beata Iob (not actually by Chrysostom, but an extract from Augustine, De excidio urbis Romae)
6) De ascension Eliae (original Latin; Wenk 1988, p. 100-108)
7) De septem Macchabaeis (PG 50, 617-624)
8. De tribus pueris (original Latin; Wenk 1988, p. 117-121)
9) De sancta Susanna (again not by Chrysostom, but a cento of Augustine, De Susanna et Ioseph sermo)
10) De proditione Iudae homilia I (PG 49, 373-382)
11) De cruce et latrone homilia 1 (PG 49, 399-418): quoted by Leo the Great.
12) De cruce et latrone (original Greek in Wenger, 1954)
13) In uenerabilem crucem sermo (Browne 1990, PG 50, 815-820): quoted by Augustine.
14) In ascensionem D. N. Iesu Christi (PG 50, 441-452): quoted by Leo the great.
15) In pentecosten sermo 1 (PG 50, 803-808)
16) De nativitate Domini (original Latin by Jerome; PLS 2, 188 to 193)
17) De natiuitate Domini et Iohannis Baptistae (ed. Botte 1932, pp. 93-105; provenance unknown, possibly from a Greek model, cf. CPL 2276)
18) In resurrectionem Lazari (original Latin Potamius of Lisbon, ed. Wilmart 1918b): cited by Augustine.
19) De Chananaea (pC 52, 449-460) ruled in Constantinople in 403;
20-23) Four works on the gospels, actually by Jerome (PLS 2, 125-188)
24) De recipiendo Seueriano (PG 52, 423-426) given in Constantinople in 401 AD.
25) Severian of Gabala, De pace (ed. Kerameus-Papadopoulos 1891, p. 15-26): also 401 A.D.  Migne does print a text of this in Latin.
26) In Genesim sermo 1 (PG 54, 581-585);
27) De eruditione disciplinae (actually a compilation from the works of Cyprian, ed. Wenk 1988. pp. 127-138)
28) In Eutropium (PG 52, 391-396) given at Constantinople in 399.
29) Cum de expulsione eius ageretur (PG 52, 427-436) given at Constantinople in 403.
30) Ad Theodorum lapsum liber 2 (PG 47, 309-316; Greek text and Latin version in Dumortier, 1966a, p. 46-79 and 241-256)
31) De militia spiritali (Greek text transmitted under the name of Basil of Cesarea; PG 31, 620-625; cf. CPL 1147; CPG 288)
32) De militia christiana (Latin text ed. Wenk 1988, pp. 145-156)
33) De patre et duobus filiis (actually by ps. Jerome; cf. CPL 766; ed. Wenk 1988, pp. 170-188).
34) Sermo ad Neophytos (Greek text and Latin version: Wenger 1970, pp.150-181 ): version citated by Julian of Eclanum.
35) De turture seu de Ecclesia sermo (PG 55, 599-602)
36) Quando ipse de Asia regressus est (Greek text and Latin version: Wenger 1961, pp. 110-123).
37) Post reditum a priore exsilio (Greek text omitted from PG; found in old editions, e.g., Montfaucon 1721, pp. 424-425; ancient Latin version : PG 52, 441-442).
38) De fide in Christo (possibly from a lost Greek original).

Some mss add a further four texts as an appendix.

Bouhot in 1971 analysed a version of the Wilmart collection which added extra works, omitted 1-2, and omitted 14-15 although it retained mention of them in the index of contents.  The order differed as well; consisting of 3-9, 16-17, 10-13; then 34, in a revised recension used by Augustine; then Ad illuminandos catechesis 1 (PG 49,  223-232); then 18-38; then De paenitentia homilia 5 (PG 49, 305-312; the Latin version is divided into two parts); Ad populum Antiochenum homilia 1 (PG 49, 15-34); Epistula 3 (Greek Malingrey 1968, pp. 242-305; PG 52, 572-590): cited by Augustine.

A comparison of the two editions of the collection indicates that the Bouhot version is closer to that used by Augustine.  But neither matches exactly, or includes all the works referenced by Augustine.

Voicu then proceeds to analyse this collection at some length.  It has been asserted that this collection was also translated by Anianus of Celeda.  But nothing suggests this.  There are no dedicatory epistles, and the standard of comprehension of the Greek seems to be inferior.

Various citations of the collection in the 5th century indicate that this collection circulated in that period.

Some manuscripts add what has been called the “ascetic appendix”:

39) Quod nemo laeditur nisi a seipso (ed. Malingrey 1964; PG 52, 459-480).
40-41 ) Ad Demetrium de compunctione liber I and Ad Stelechium de compunctione liber 2 (PG 47, 399-422; in latin under the single title De
compunctione cordis).
42) Ad Theodorum lapsum liber I (PG 47, 277-308; Greek text and Latin version: Dumortier I 966a, pp. 80-218 and 257-322).

The date of the addition is unclear, but must be quite early, as it is mentioned in a ms. of the 7th century, Cod. Vaticanus Reginensis Latinus 2077, which lists some works of Chrysostom:

De compunctione animae liber unus, Neminem posse laedi nisi a semet ipso, In laudem beati Pauli apostoli volumen egregium, De excessibus et offensione Eutropii praefecti praetorio.

These may easily be recognised as nos 40, 41 and 39 of the collection, then the translation by Anianus of Celeda of the works on Paul, and finally no 28.  A similar list is found in Isidore of Seville.

Voicu finishes his splendid article by telling us that there are further Latin translations from the 6-8th centuries, and refers us to Bouhot (1989, p.34).  The article ends with three pages of incredibly useful bibliography.  My only question is why this useful article is not online?  And that, I fear, we all know the answer to: copyright.


4 thoughts on “The early translations of Chrysostom into Latin — 5. The collection of 38 homilies

  1. Hi Roger,

    André Wilmart, (1876-1941), the Benedictine scholar, also wrote a lot on Potamius of Lisbon, including La Lettre de Potamius a Saint Athanase (1913). This is especially interesting because we have Potamius, writing to Athanasius, affirming the heavenly witnesses verse from John!

    He does similar at least three more times in the extant writings. This is decades before Priscillian, and has to be Old Latin because it is also before the Vulgate.

    His letter to Athanasius (Athansius did write to Potamius but we only have excerpts from Alcuin) changes the narrative of the 4th century history of the heavenly witnesses verse! Those who begin with Priscillian and claim the verse was absent in the Arian controversies will have to rewrite their sections.:)

    1 John 5:7 (AV)
    For there are three that bear record in heaven,
    the Father, the Word,
    and the Holy Ghost:
    and these three are one.

    The context of his writings, direct scriptural quotations, does not allow for the common hand-waving attempt of allegorizing the earthly witnesses.

    More information available at:

    Potamius of Lisbon

    Letter to Athanasius the Bishop of Alexandria on the consubstantiality of the Son of God. … Since the Son is named second, therefore he who precedes is greater: but, because “these three are one” (I John 5:7), the substance of him who sends and of him who is sent, in the context of the unity of the Godhead, is one: “I and the Father are one.” (John 10:30), and “He sees me, sees the Father.” (John 14:9) and, as the Savoir himself said to the Apostles: “I have been so long with you and yet you do not know the Father.” (John 14:9)

    (Potamius of Lisbon. “Letter to Athanasius the Bishop of Alexandria on the consubstantiality of the Son of God” in the life and works of Potamius of Lisbon edited and translated by Marco Conti, 1998, p. 136)


    Steven Avery
    Dutchess County, NY, USA

Leave a Reply