The Acts of Phileas, Bishop of Thmuis (Including Fragments of the Greek Psalter). P. Chester Beatty XV (With a New Edition of P. Bodmer XX, and Halkin’s Latin Acta).

Edited with Introduction, Translation and Commentary. With full facsimile of the C. B. text, 1984, 120 pp. et 34 pll., avec un encart in-12 de 18 pp.: «Reconstructed quire of P. Chester Beatty XV».

The Acts of Phileas, the Bishop of Thmuis, until 1964 known only in Latin translation, captured the limelight of scholarly interest with the appearance of Martin’s Papyrus Bodmer XX: Apologie de Philéas, évêque de Thmouis. Martin’s splendid new text, documenting the fifth and final court appearance of the bishop, was not only written in Greek but could be dated to within 50 years of Phileas’ death. However, while supporting the general historical reliability of the Acts and even exhibiting a formal feature of the official acta of the Roman court, the Greek text’s more doctrinal and apologetic interest, in comparison with its Latin counterpart, tended to cast doubt on its historical authenticity and had scholars perplexed.

P. Chester Beatty XV, here presented in its editio princeps, is another exciting new text on Phileas, which sheds much light on the problems that had produced the scholarly impasse. Like P. Bodmer XX its text is in Greek and again, like the famous Bodmer text, the Chester Beatty version has been dated to the fourth century A.D. Textually, however, it gives us the Vorlage of the more pristine Latin Acts and in form-critical terms reflects the official acta more convincingly than its Bodmer rival; in fact, this remarkable document presents us with a text vastly closer to official acta than any other in our entire hagiographical corpus. A comparative study of the two Greek versions, both written within living memory of Phileas, Bishop of Thmuis, elucidates various facets of development from protocol to literary composition.

Cahiers d’Orientalisme 7 not only includes the new text with full description, facsimile and commentary, but also, along with François Halkin’s Latin Acts, a revised edition of P. Bodmer XX.

Prix : 100 chf

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