Acta Andreae Apocrypha. A New Perspective on the Nature, Intention and Significance of the Primitive Text. With 12 Plates.

XVI-336-page volume and 12 plates, size 210 x 297 mm, Planobook paper 120 gm2, cloth bound.

Recent years have seen a renewed interest in the Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles. The Acts of Andrew has greatly profited from this development, as witnessed by numerous new editions, translations, congresses and articles. Due to its especially complex situation, however, the abundance of studies on Acta Andrae, instead of helping to clear up its genesis, have frequently enhanced this complexity. The uncertainty concerning what the primitive text looked like and the profusion of second-hand versions has produced a wide range of hypotheses on the original Acts as well as a plethora of interpretations concerning its mentality.

In point of fact, excluding a couple of testimonies, Acta Andreae survives in a large number of texts of various kinds which allegedly transmit the primitive text, although their relationship with it is not always easy to establish. Many of these versions are also imperfect since the majority are fragmentary, and the few cases that are completely preserved reveal traces of editorial activity. The most important problem posed by the sources, however, is the highly divergent nature ot thei accounts. According to some testimonies Acta Andreae included both the peregrinations and the martyrdom of the apostle; according to others it included the martyrdom with a couple of preliminary events only. As a result of this textual situation, not only the author, place and time of composition of the Acts of Andrew are unknown, its literary genre, contents, lenght, thought and intention are still a matter of conjecture.

The present book offers a fresh, innovative look at the Acts of Andrew. Instead of focusing on a doubtful reconstructin of the itinerary of Andrew’s apostolic career, it concentrates on the message and intention of the primitive text by examining the textual witnesses that are likely to preserve it in its most original state.

The meticulous investigation is divided into five chapters. The first presents a complete analysis, in chronological order, of the research thus far on Acta Andreae, designed to determine whether the hypotheses put forward by scholars rely on an objective selection and analysis of the textual material, and whether their selections influence their analyses or vice versa. Also included is a thorough overview of the main lines of investigations as well as of the text(s) used to support these investigations.

The second chapter proceeds to a profound textual analysis of the sources, discriminating different textual groups and attempts to establish their mutual relationships on the basis of their textual characteristics. This wide-ranging, comprehensive study of the different texts not only provides the basis for a hypothetical sketch of the Acts’ textual transmission, but also for an exciting new explanation of its textual diversification. Simultaneously, it also permits the isolation of a text, namely Acta Andreae’s fragment in Codex Vaticanus graecus 808, that provides a solid basis for the analysis of the original meaning and intention of the primitiveActa Andreae.

The third chapter is wholly devoted to a scrutiny of the Vatican fragment and, after a codicological and palaeographical introduction, provides a re-edition of the Greek text,
including three exhaustive and distinct apparatuses :   textual, conceptual and critical. In addition to the traditional critical one, the textual apparatus includes parallels for the Vatican fragment in the remaining extant witnesses, thus providing an overview of preserved, eliminated or transformed sections in the other versions. The conceptual apparatus contextualizes AA’s thought by placing it in the religious and philosophical world of of Hellenism, Imperial Rome and later antiquity. In addition, the English translation is furnished with numerous explanatory footnotes that comment upon many aspects of the AA’s though which have thus far not received due attention.

The fourth chapter offers a complete literary and conceptual analysis of the Vatican fragment, providing the basis for the fifth chapter, a systematic analysis of AA’s thought. The detailed review of AA’s position with regard to cosmology, theology, anthropology, epistemology and ethics allows the author to show not only the extent to which this text presents and extremely coherent and consistent body of thought without serious internal contradictions, but also that this thought was not a strange phenomenon in late antiquity.

The volume also includes three exhaustive indexes (locorum, rerum, nominum), which complete the book providing readers with an easier access to its contents, and a facsimile edition of the manuscript fragment ofActa Andreae in Codex Vaticanus graecus 808, ff. 507r-512v.

Prix : 200 chf

Demande d'information