Alberto Ferreiro

title.none: Carracedo Fraga, J., ed. Liber de ortu et obitu patriarcharum (Ferreiro)

identifier.other: baj9928.9809.015 98.09.15

identifier.issn: 1096-746X

description.statementofresponsibility: Alberto Ferreiro , Seattle Pacific University,

publisher.none: .

date.issued: 1998

identifier.citation: J. Carracedo Fraga, ed. Isidore, of Seville. Liber de ortu et obitu patriarcharum. Corpus Christianorum, Series Latina, 108E. Scriptores Celtigenae, Pars 1. Turnhout: Brepols, 1996. Pp. Pp. 67, 131. ISBN: ISBN 2-503-50510-4 (hb) ISBN 2-503-50511-2 (pb).

type.none: Review

relation.ispartof: The Medieval Review

The Medieval Review 98.09.15

J. Carracedo Fraga, ed. Isidore, of Seville. Liber de ortu et obitu patriarcharum. Corpus Christianorum, Series Latina, 108E. Scriptores Celtigenae, Pars 1. Turnhout: Brepols, 1996. Pp. Pp. 67, 131. ISBN: ISBN 2-503-50510-4 (hb) ISBN 2-503-50511-2 (pb).

Reviewed by:

Alberto Ferreiro
Seattle Pacific University

This volume is the result of a much larger collaborative scholarly effort that holds much promise for a variety of fields in medieval studies. The Scriptores Celtigenae sub-series, of which this is the first volume, was created in cooperation between Brepols and the Irish Biblical Association, the latter under the leadership of the Reverend Professor Martin McNamara, a scholar well known in academic circles. Moreover, the Scriptores Celtigenae is part of the more ambitious project, Dictionary of Medieval Latin from Celtic Sources ( DMLCS) under the auspices of the Royal Irish Academy and which Brepols is publishing in an electronic edition as An Archive of Celtic- Latin Literature. The Scholarly potential contribution of these collections to historical, linguistic, paleographical, theological, and literary medieval studies is all too obvious.

The editors of the series held a highly successful conference, "International Conference in Early Irish Exegesis and Homiletics," at Maynooth in 1993, whose proceedings have since then been published by Brepols. It was there that it was decided to name the sub-series Scriptores Celtigenae and where tribute was paid to Martin McNamara for being the catalyst reason for these scholarly activities to have come to fruition through his vision, enthusiasm, and encouragement (p. 6). The sub-series is perceived to be a continuation of the series Scriptores Hiberniae Minores which flourished under the guidance of the late Reverend Professor Robert McNally and to whom so many scholars are indebted.

The major stated purpose of the sub-series is to bring to print unprinted material for specialists to establish the origins and interconnections of these texts with other sources to illumine a little known era of Latin theological history, to advance the contribution of the Irish Church via these texts to medieval culture, both Irish/Anglo-Saxon and Continental (pp. 5-6).

This edition of Carracedo Fraga is the first edition of this work since the one published by Faustino Arevalo in 1803, reproduced in PL 83:1275-1294, and which the latter identified as a spurious work of Isidore of Seville (hereafter DOOP 2). Since then scholars oftentimes confused it with Isisdore's own authentic De ortu et obitu Patrum (hereafter DOOP 1). Isidore's work has appeared in the series initiated by Jacques Fontaine in the volume edited by C. Chaparro Gomez, University of Extremadura, titled Isidorus Hispalensis: De ortu et obitu Patrum (Paris: Belles Lettres, 1985). With these two editions scholars now have authoritative editions to work from to carry out the much needed comparitive analysis. Already, however, Robert McNaly saw the relationship between the pseudo-Isodorian Liber de numeris, of Irish origin, and the DOOP 2, the latter being of Irish origin, too. These seem to have come from Bavaria where there was a presence of Scoti peregrini in the scriptorium (p.10). Carracedo Fraga demonstrates similarities with other works of the era from the pen of Irish writers so as to establish the cultural milieu of DOOP 2.

The editor, moreover, argues that DOOP 2 is to be dated to the latter half fo the eighth century. In fact, due to striking similarities with the pseudo-Isidorian De numeris, Carracedo Fraga pinpoints the year 780, the same date for both works. He also believes that both fared from Salzburg on account of other works present bearing strong Irish influences. This is due mostly to the presence of Virgil of Salzburg, abbot of St. Peter in that same diocese, and himself of Irish provenance, and author of three commentaries on the gospels of Matthew, Luke, and John.

Carracedo Fraga offers a detailed exposition of the content and sources of DOOP 2. In general, DOOP 2 is a chronological list of the principal figures from the Old and New Testaments. For each personage it provides name, genealogy, birthplace, rank, character traits, notable deeds, and death and burial. The editor convincingly shows the depth of the dependency of DOOP 2 to DOOP1 (Isidore of Seville) and glosses from his Origines and Etymologiae. DOOP 2 also contains influences from Jerome's Liber interpretaionis Hebraicorum nominum, and Letters 53 and 73. The New Testament section of DOOP 2 has borrowed heavily from Eusebius's Historia ecclesiastica. The section on Mary has made generous use of Ambrose's Expositio evangelii secundum Lucam. Moreover, the author of DOOP 2 did not ignore the abudndant apocryphal sources abailable to fill in important gaps not found in the canonical writings. Carracedo Fraga notes that the first chapter of DOOP 2 made use of the Vita Adae, a work known only in Irish circles, which of course is relevant to the question of authorship regarding DOOP 2. The sections on the apostles have borrowed substantially from the apocryphal Acta and Passiones, particularly those of Andrew, Thomas, Bartholomew and John. The editor, however, fails to note that the chapters on Simon Peter (44.3 and 44.4) contain material from the Acts of Peter and the Passion of Peter and Paul. In short, the author of DOOP 2 reveals an acquaintance with a broad range of sources which have been masterfully woven into the narratives. The are also for the modern researcher a cornucopia of material to work with.

The editor presents in the introductory material a detailed description and analysis of the manuscripts of DOOP 2. Additionally, for each manuscript he includes major bibliography. The reader will also find a Stemma Codicum tracing the families of manuscripts. He concludes the paleographical discussion with a summary of the textual history of DOOP 2. On matters of paleography Carracedo Fraga has had the good fortune of obtaining the insights of eminent paleographers and patrologists such as Manuel C. Diaz y Diaz, Carmen Codoner Merino, C. Chaparro Gomez, and the Reverend Dr. Eugenio Romero Pose (now also Auxiliary Bishop of Madrid).

A brief glance at the Sigla et Notae reveals the depth and breadth of the research that Carracedo Fraga has engaged in and masterfully integrated into this edition. The select bibliography, however, needs to include all of the works cited throughout the introduction for easier consultation. As is standard in the CCSL series, the volume furnishes the reader with a number of indispensable indices on: Locorum Sacrae Scripturae, Scriptorum, Nomina, and Loci which encourages working with the text at a deeper level. As thorough as the Indices are, I would have liked to have seen the apocryphal sources mentioned in the Introduction also included in the Index Scriptorum, especially since we now possess an index to apocryphal works, also published by Brepols in the Series Apocryphorum.

The present edition by Carracedo Fraga is a welcome first volume of a new series that has exciting research potiential. This edition will be of interest to scholars who are engaged in the study of medieval biblical exegesis, the proliferation of medieval Irish texts, especially on the Continent, the use of apocryphal sources and their convergence with canonical texts and their entry into mainstream Christianity. The editor is to be commended for this splendid volume, and Brepols is to be praised for maintaining the rigorous, high standards that have come to characterize not only the CCSL series, but the many others that are in their hands. Scholars undoubtedly will be anxious to see the appearance of future volumes of the Scriptores Celtigenae.