Tertullian, De Baptismo – new text and Italian translation available online

Francesco Pieri kindly writes to let me know of a new edition and Italian translation of one of the works of Tertullian:

I have just edited a slightly revised edition of De Baptismo: it is fully available on line and free for download:


Looking at the site, I find this useful notice (I’ve tweaked the English version slightly).

Francesco Pieri , QSF Tertulliani De baptismo liber (Bologna 2023)

After an extensive historical-literary presentation of Tertullian’s treatise De baptismo, against the background of the main divergent doctrinal positions taken into account by the Latin apologist, the study provides a textual revision of the work, based on the readings of the two manuscripts, the Agobardinus (9th century) and Trecensis 523 (12th century), as well as on a certain number of the most significant ancient editions and all the proposals of modern editors. Compared to the most recent reference edition by Bruno Luiselli (1960), the text offered here presents a dozen correction proposals.

These cheap Italian editions are quite frankly a marvel.  You can find them anywhere in Rome, even in Termini, the railway station.  I am always utterly envious of the mass access to patristic texts that publishers like this make possible.  And in this case, they’ve even made it available in free PDF!

This is how it should be done.  Download it, and buy it in paper form!


4 thoughts on “Tertullian, De Baptismo – new text and Italian translation available online

  1. I like your comment about affordable Italian editions of classic texts. They are often bilngual and of the highest scholarly standards, including major achievements like the complete works of Au. In English, however, we are usually at the mercy of ultra-high-priced publishers like Brill and Brepols, with their $300+ books. Any criticism is met with lengthy explanations of the costs and low profit margins. But if the Italians, French, and Spanish can have these relatively low-cost (often bilgual) editions why can’t we?

  2. Well, there is indeed a remarkable market for scholarly religious books in Italy, but there are only about 60 million Italian speakers, a relatively small market compared to 400 million native English speakers and another billion-plus who have English as a second language. I’ve never understood the economics of this.

  3. There are several bilingual cheap editions of the Greek classics with facing ancient and modern Greek text. I am not surprised this is also the case in Italy with Latin text, there is a mass market for them. Reading ancient Greek texts in Greece is not just for the classically trained, it is for everyone that made it through secondary education. How much of Latin and Greek are today part of secondary education in the English speaking world? Not that much any more

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