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INTRODUCTION TO CYPRIANUS GALLUS (Cyprian the Poet)1. This information is abbreviated from the section on Cyprian the Poet in J. QUASTEN, Patrology, vol. 4 (1985), pp.312-317. Further information has also been found in the Chronica Tertullianea … Continue reading
In 1891 R. Peiper published a critical edition in the Vienna Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum (CSEL 23) series of a series of poetic compositions on the historical books of the Old Testament under the name of Cyprianus Gallus. By so doing he provided a more or less precise paternity for various works which had floated around for centuries in more or less mutilated forms as spuria for various authors, to whom they plainly did not belong.
This drew a line under a long period of confusion:
Pieper gave the work the title Heptateucos. References to such a work did exist in ancient MSS, while a catalogue of Lorsch mentioned extra books of Kings, Esther, Judith and Maccabees. A catalogue of Cluny mentioned also Paralipomenon. Pieper also found some verses of Job. From s.VII onward these works had been mingled in the MSS with others of similar content (e.g. Avitus) which had caused confusion.
At the end of the 19th and start of the 20th century discussions on the author and date took place which ended in agreement that the work was by a certain Cyprian and should be dated to around 400AD. The author was familiar with the work of Ausonius and Claudianus; while Genesis was known to Claudius M. Victorius who died before 450. Also a pre-Jerome Latin text of the Bible was used, and sometimes the Greek itself. It is suggested (by Brewer) that the author is the same as the learned presbyter and biblicist Cyprian who was the addresse of Jerome’s letter 140, and praised by him, and that he lived in North Italy, rather than Gaul as Pieper thought. He should therefore be referred to as Cyprian the Poet rather than Cyprianus Gallus, but the name is used in the literature.
The De Sodoma and De Iona seem to be a single work in two parts by this author. The other verses belong to the same period and climate, even if not by Cyprianus Gallus, and are discussed with them in the literature.
All these verses arrived in the collected editions of Tertullian in the edition of PAMELIUS (1583-4). RIGAULT dismissed them as spurious, but reprinted them little altered, and they continued to be printed in an appendix until the Patrologia Latina text of 1844, the last incarnation of RIGAULT. The next edition, OEHLER, omitted Ad Senatorem; all were omitted in both CSEL and CCSL.
• Rudolf PEIPER, Cyprianus Gallus: Heptateuchos, Fragmenta, De Sodoma, De Iona propheta, Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum 23, Vienna (1891). Checked.
• D.J. NODES, Doctrine and Exegesis in Biblical Latin Poetry. ARCA Classical and Medieval Texts, Papers and Monographs, vol. 31. Leeds: Francis Cairns, 1993. Pp.133 + bibliog. and index. £20. ISBN 0905205863. Reviewed by BMCR
• Josep. M. ESCOLÀ TUSET, Cuestiones varias sobre los Carmina Pseudocyprianea, Actas del Congreso Internacional «Cristianismo y tradición latina», Malaga (2000). Published in AnMal electrónica, número 6 extraordinario. This briefly presents the 6 poems; Genesis, Sodoma, Iona, Ad senatorem, Lign., CRes., published by Hartel. The author intends a fresh edition with Catalan translation of all except Genesis. English translation.
There is a further bibliography in QUASTEN 4.
|↑1||1. This information is abbreviated from the section on Cyprian the Poet in J. QUASTEN, Patrology, vol. 4 (1985), pp.312-317. Further information has also been found in the Chronica Tertullianea et Cyprianea volume under ‘Cyprien (Pseudo-)’. Checked.|
|↑2||2. PITRA, Spic. Solesm. I, Paris (1852), pp.171-258. Not checked. (Details from Quasten 4, p.312).|
|↑3||3. PITRA, Analecta sacra et class. I, Paris-Rome (1888). Not checked. (Details from Quasten 4, p.312).|