Testimonia Gentilium de Secta Christiana: a Critical Edition and Analysis

Orlando, Thomas Alfonso, Department of Classics, University of Virginia
Colker, M.L., Department of Classics
Stocker, Arthur J., Department of Classics, University of Virginia

The Testimonia Gentilium de Secta Christiana is a compilation of ancient and medieval writings which purport to evidence the historicity of Christ and the verity of Christian doctrines. The compilation probably was made in Paris during the last decade of the thirteenth century or the first years of the 1 fourteenth century. The title of this tract is comparatively modern,2 but seems clearly to have derived from the colophon of Oxford ms Lincoln 81: " ... determinatio de secta Christiana per testimonium gentilium."3 Echard4 and Fabricius5 list the work as De Christo et Antichristo, a title which confuses two distinct tracts not always bound together or succeeding on another in the 6. Andrew Little, in his addenda to "Roger Bacon's lvorks," records three titles: Tractatus de Incarnatione sive de Secretis Philosophiae, De Probatione Fidei Christianae per Auctoritates Paganorum, and De Adventu Christi Secundum Carnem,7 all three of which derive from subscriptions relatively contemporary with the first hands.8

In 1911, Ferdinand M. Delorme announced that he was preparing an edition of this work to be called De Probatione Fidei.9 The edition never appeared.10 In 1938, Alois Wachtel published excerpts from the Testimonia in a short article in which he discussed the authorship and medieval source of the text.11 Marvin L. Colker announced his intention to edit the text in 1970,12 but has since abandoned this project in my favor. The present work, therefore, is the first critical edition of the text, and will offer a commentary, an evaluation of the classical sources, and a more comprehensive literary analysis than has already been made.

MA (Master of Arts)
Christian doctrines, ancient writings, historicity of Christ, medieval writings
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