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Book 1 discusses why remarriage is wrong. In Book 2, he points out the problems of remarriage outside the faith. In two books, each of 8 short chapters.
These are two letters to his wife. Tertullian had married a Christian girl. Here he talks about marriage and remarriage. He isn’t keen on the latter, but if she must remarry, then it should be another Christian. (In later works he definitely regards remarriage as serial polygamy). The context is a gnostic denial of all marriage as a sin. This Tertullian rebuts. He discusses the difference between a woman married to a heathen who then becomes a Christian, and a Christian woman who marries a heathen. In the former case, the husband’s conversion is likely; in the latter, the woman is likely to be ruined.
Book 2 finishes with a lovely picture of the Christian marriage.
This is the Ancient Christian Writers translation (ACW 13, p.35-6):
OTHER POINTS OF INTEREST
He attacks the pagan practise of abortion, while pointing out the difficulties of parenthood:
A description of a pagan cult, probably of Punic origin:
• In I.3:4 he allows flight in time of persecution.
• In I.5:1 he refers to imminent persecution.
• In I.6:4 he refers to the cults of the Achaean Juno, the priestesses at Delphi, and the cult of the African Ceres as all practising celibacy.
• In I.7:5 we learn that the pagan pontifex maximus was not allowed to marry a second time.
• In II.4, a list of the ‘duties of believers’ is outlined. This includes the all-night celebration of Easter.
• In II.6, pagan celebrations are described.
The text of this work was transmitted to us in two collections.
1. The Agobardine collection. Only one MS now exists, the 9th century Codex Agobardinus (A) or Parisinus Latinus 1622.
2. The work is also contained in the members of the Cluny collection. (q.v.). The witnesses, therefore, are:
• The Payerne MS, Codex Paterniacensis 439 (P), now at Selestat. (From the Alpha branch)
• The 15th century Florence MS, Codex Florentinus BNC Conventi soppressi J.6.9 (N). (From the Alpha branch). The text is not in the remaining portion of M, the earlier codex from which N was copied.
• There are also readings from D and G for this work.
• The 15th century Luxembourg MS, Codex Luxemburgensis 75 (X).
• The 15th century(1426) Florence MS, Codex Florentinus BNC Conventi soppressi J.6.10 (F).
• Rhenanus edition of 1521. This is because his only source for this work was the now lost Hirsau MS (H), the ancestor of F and X.
Possibly also to be considered are:
• The Naples MS, Codex Neapolitanus, Mus. Naz. 55, portions of which were once in Vienna as Codex Vindobonensis 4194 (V).
• The BPL Leiden MS, Codex Leidensis latinus 2 (L) has been considered independent but is merely a copy of V.
which may or may not have some independent witness. Many consider them simply copies of F, however.
|INCIPIT AD VXORE LIB I||Agobardinus (A)|
|Incipit liber primus DE VXORE||Florentinus Magliabechianus,|
|.||Conv. Soppr I, VI, 9 (N)|
|Incipit liber primus Tertulliani de Vxore||Florentinus Magliabechianus,|
|.||Conv. Soppr I, VI, 10 (F)|
Note: The MSS have the overscore above the letter, but this will only be visible in modern browsers (N4+/IE4+). It signifies an abbreviation.
[Note: I need to add some biblio, from l’Annee Phil. for the years 1954-1974 and from CTC after that].
• A. KROYMANN, CSEL 70 (1942) 96-124. Checked.
• A. KROYMANN, CCSL 1 (1954) 371-394. Checked.
• Adrianus STEPHAN, Tertulliani ad uxorem libri duo. Denuo editi apparatu critico commentario exegetico batave scripto indice verborum et nominum instructi. Disputatio litteraria. Excelsior Den Hague 1954 224pp. Latin text with Dutch commentary. (From a dealer catalogue).
• Charles MUNIER, A son Épouse. Sources Chrétiennes 273 (1980). 207 pp. Checked. (Personal copy). Latin text only online.
• C. DODGSON, Library of Fathers 10. Oxford, 1842, 409-431.
• S. THELWALL, ANCL 11 (1869) pp.279-303; reprinted ANF 4 (1885), pp. 39-49. Online. Checked.
• W. P. LE SAINT, Treatises on Marriage and Remarriage (Ancient Christian Writers 13). Westminster, Md., 1951, 10-36.
• A. DE GENOUDE, Ŕ sa femme. Oeuvres de Tertullien2, Paris (1852). t. 3, pp.333-356. Checked.
• Charles MUNIER, loc. cit., 1980.
• H. U. MEYBOOM, Aan mijn echtgenoote (Oudchristel. geschriften, dl. 46). Leiden, 1931.
• CHR. MOHRMANN, Aan mijn vrouw (MC 1, 3). Utrecht, 1951, 329-356.
• Selvaggia BORGHINI, Opere di Tertulliano tradotte in Toscano. Rome (1756). p.379-406. Personal copy. Checked.
• Pier Angelo GRAMAGLIA, Tertulliano, Il matrimonio nel cristianesimo preniceno. Roma : Borla, . 519 p. ; 21 cm. ( Cultura cristiana antica) Contiene, in trad. italiana: Ad uxorem, De exortatione castitatis, De monogamia. ISBN 88-263-0452-1 : L. 40000. (Details from BN Florence OPAC).
• László VANYÓ &c, Tertullianus muvei (The works of Tertullian), Budapest: Szent István Társulat (1986) 1100pp. (Ókeresztény frók 12). (Details CTC 2002.75). The older translations of István Városi (Pat, Apol, Orat, Ux, Cult) and Marcell Mosolygó (Mart) have been recycled; the rest are new.
• H. KOCH, Zur Agapen-Frage (Tertullian, Ad uxor. 2, 4): ZNW (1915) 139-146.
• H. PREISKER, Christentum und Ehe in den ersten drei Jahrhunderten. Berlin, 1927, 187-200.