Friday, August 19, 2016

Patzold and the Origins of the C Recension: II

A multi-part ode upon aspects of a recent book and the C recension of the False Decretals. First post here.

C receives material from the Collectio Sangermanensis. That means something. Unfortunately, the Sangermanensis is also very hard. The best extant manuscript, Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Ms. lat. 12098 (hereafter, P), indeed hails from Corbie. It was copied in the third quarter of the ninth century and its margins have received various annotations. Patzold wonders whether these annotations are evidence that the Pseudo-Isidorians or the compilers of C took an interest in the volume. Yet P coexists with Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Ms. 397 (hereafter, W). And a third copy was once known at Beauvais but has since been lost. Finally, Hincmar of Reims demonstrates knowledge of some of the items assembled in the Sangermanensis

For Patzold, this suggests that Hincmar had access to a version of the False Decretals very much like C. That is a possibility, but at this stage the blunter and simpler approach is simply to acknowledge that we have four distinct witnesses to the Sangermanensis from the ninth century: three of them direct (P, W and the lost Beauvais codex) and one indirect (Hincmar). Of these four, three hail from the archiepiscopal province of Reims (P, Beauvais, Hincmar). To argue that the Sangermanensis points to Corbie is therefore not wrong so much as it might be overly precise—a neglect of the forest for the trees. The synoptic view must be that the Sangermanensis has ties to Reims generally. The Reims province, of course, is not only Pseudo-Isidore’s stomping grounds, but the epicenter of his ecclesiastical concerns and the environment in which the False Decretals first circulated and where they were the most used.

Readers at Corbie have annotated the folios of P. You can study the annotations yourself. So far I have found nothing obviously Pseudo-Isidorian about these annotations. That is to say, P does not have the distinctive Pseudo-Isidorian marginal cipher that Klaus Zechiel-Eckes discovered in the source codices directly exploited by the forgers. Furthermore, I cannot spot any direct relationship between marginal annotations in P and material appropriated by the C recension. I am open to being corrected on this point, but until I am, I must write that I see no evidence that ties Sangermanensis material in the C recension to P specifically. Patzold’s argument on this front resembles somewhat his assertions surrounding the Bobbiensis and the Grimanica: It is possible to lean upon the evidence such that a Corbie connection becomes arguable, but that connection does not emerge unforced from the sources.

The Collectio Sangermanensis can be divided into four parts:

1. A substantial fragment of the Codex Encyclius. The Codex Encyclius, issued by Emperor Leo I in 458, consists of letters from the pope and metropolitans from across the empire on the orthodoxy of the Council of Chalcedon and the case of Timothy Aelurus, patriarch of Alexandria. Timothy’s predecessor, Proterius, had been driven from his see and killed by anti-Chalcedonians, who then installed Timothy as an ideologically acceptable replacement. The Codex Encyclius is a resounding statement against Timothy and in favor of Chalcedon. It was translated into Latin under the aegis of Cassiodorus at Vivarium. 

2. The Breviarium of Liberatus of Carthage, essentially a polemical history in defense of the Three Chapters that opens with the consecration of Nestorius as patriarch of Constantinople in 428, and that concludes with the Second Council of Constantinpole in 553. The Breviarium draws heavily on the Historia Tripartita of Cassiodorus/Epiphanius.

3. Five items that seem out of step with the rest of the Sangermanensis. These include 
i) Prosper of Aquitaine’s Contra collatorem, a treatise on the necessity of grace written in refutation of John Cassian’s Conlatio XIII;
ii) a letter of Aurelius of Carthage on the condemnation of Pelagius (Clavis Patrum Latinorum no. 395);
iii) excerpts from Augustine, Ep. 186, also relating to Pelagianism; 
iv) Pope Gelasius I to Euphemius of Constantinople, Quod plena cupimus, JK 620, in which Gelasius rebuffs the attempts of Euphemius to restore communion during the Acacian schism in 492; 
v) Damasus to Paulinus of Antioch, Per filium meum, JK 235, in the usual form with anathemas appended from the Roman council of 380. 
There are two reasons to suspect these pieces might not belong: The dominant concern of the second half of the Sangermanensis, from the Breviarium in Part 2 through the letters in Part 4 below, is a defense of the Three Chapters. The items in Part 3 address other matters, particularly, in i-iii, Pelagiansim. Moreover, some of them seem to hail from the Collectio Quesnelliana or a related collection (ii, iii, v). The rest of the Sangermanensis manifests no Quesnelliana connection.

4. A concluding sequence of letters and other brief items purporting to bear, like the Breviarium of Liberatus, on the Three Chapters.

Eduard Schwartz, editor of the Sangermanensis, argued that Part 3 did not belong and he excluded it as a later accretion from his edition. This third part is nevertheless present in both extant witnesses to the Sangermanensis, P and W. We cannot know for certain whether it stood in the lost codex from Beauvais. What textual evidence there is, however, suggests that the lost Beauvais witness aligns textually with P as against W, so it would not be surprising to find that this lost manuscript did attest to all four parts. For what it's worth, Hincmar, our indirect witness, cites Propser's Contra collatorem (from Part 3?) and he also knows the Breviarium in Part 2.

Did the architects of C also have access to a four-part Sangermanensis like that described above? Well, maybe. They appropriate both the Breviarium in Part 2 and the concluding letters in Part 4, along with the entirety of Prosper’s Contra collatorem., this later very probably from Part 3. They also include Gelasius to Euphemius, JK 620, another constituent of Part 3, though there is some question about their source for this letter.[1] Patzold concludes that "Whoever was responsible for the C-class must have had, as a basis for his work, a codex like that which we can still grasp in the two aforementioned manuscripts" W and P (37). 

For Patzold, it seems especially probative that the architects of C knew not only the hard and fast constituents of the Sangermanensis, but also the accretions in Part 3. Yet this is precisely where it gets hard. The majority of Sangermanensis content in C is appended to the Leonine dossier that we discussed last time. We get 102 letters of Leo the Great, followed by the Breviarium of Liberatus (Part 2 above), followed by the greater part of the concluding letters (Part 4 above). It is only later on, disconnected from Leo and from these appropriations, that we find possible traces of Part 3: Prosper’s Contra collatorem comes after the decretals of Silverius in C; and JK 620, Gelasius to Epiphanius, stands among the Gelasian decretals in C. Schwartz, who took into account the Pseudo-Isidorian tradition when editing the Sangermanensis, did not think that the items in Part 3 belonged and he preferred to read them as a later accretion; and he was confirmed in this by the Pseudo-Isidorian tradition on hand in C, which appears to leap directly from the Breviarium in Part 2 to the concluding letters in Part 4. Schwartz either did not notice or he did not care that the architects of C might well have known some of these supposed accretions, though they inserted them elsewhere.

It could surely be a coincidence that C is arranged in such a way as to provide Schwartz with a text-critical argument to exclude Part 3, which he wished to read as extraneous to the Sangermanensis for separate, internal reasons. Keep in mind, however, that my four-part division of the Sangermanensis is artificial and calibrated to the purposes of this discussion. In manuscript this collection presents itself as an undifferentiated sequence, beginning with the Codex Encyclius, continuing with the Breviarium, followed immediately by Prosper, then Aurelius, then the anti-Pelagian statement from Augustine, then Gelasius, then Damasus, and then—again without any differentiation—the final fund of letters that return the focus to the Three Chapters. How likely is it that the architects of C could have neatly excluded, from their appendix to the Leo letters, all the material that strikes Schwartz, and perhaps us as well, as a later addition? How likely is it that their knife should have excised those letters associated, at a formal level, with the Quesnelliana? If I have learned anything from Gratianus, it is that I should pay attention whenever a formal source leaves the building. Even an abiding interest in the Three Chapters could not account for C's leap from Part 2 to Part 4, for the connection of various items in Part 4 to the Three Chapters is less than obvious, requiring some explanation on Schwartz’s part.[2] 

For all of these reasons, I would find it far from crazy to argue that the C recension draws on a different tradition than P, the Corbie copy of the Sangermanensis—one that provided the accretions in Part 3 not between Part 2 and Part 4, but perhaps in some other connection.

In conclusion, and by way of affirming that there is reason to believe that the architects of C knew the subcollection in Part 3 in some form, I provide an overview of how the material in Part 3 of the Sangermanensis is handled by Pseudo-Isidore/C overall:

i) Prosper, Contra collatorem, ends up in C, attached to the decretals of Silverius.

ii) Aurelius of Carthage on the condemnation of Pelagius ends up in the anti-Pelagian appendix to the collection of Leo’s letters that, last time, we called 71L. This is Stage 4 in Chavasse’s progression. This appendix is replaced sometime after Stage 5, so that its material does not occur in the Leonine dossier of the C recension.

iii) Excerpts from Augustine, Ep. 186, likewise flow to the disappearing anti-Pelagian appendix in 71L.

iv) Gelasius, JK 620, ends up in C, attached to the rest of the Gelasius decretals on hand there.

v) Damasus to Paulinus, JK 235, Per filium meum, with its appendix of conciliar anathemas, was available to Pseudo-Isidore from the beginning in the Hispana. C does not take it up anew.[3]

The contents of Sangermanensis/Part 3 are distributed throughout the world of Pseudo-Isidore/C in very complementary fashion. Nothing is wholly neglected; ii) and iii), which seem at first to have been neglected by the architects of C, were in fact taken up in an antecedent collection. And as v) reveals, nothing is ever duplicated.[3] Otherwise, in the world of C, any association between the supposed accretions in Part 3 of the Sangermanensis and material from Part 2 or Part 4 of the collection are very consistently lacking. Whether we are talking about the appendix to 71L, or the decretals of Silverius and Gelasius in C, items from Part 3 never appear with Sangermanensis content from Part 2 or Part 4.

Next, thoughts on Hincmar and the C recension.


[1] Detlev Jasper, "Papal Letters and Decretals Written from the Beginning through the Pontificate of Gregory the Great (to 604)," in Papal Letters in the Early Middle Ages (Washington DC, 2001), 64. The Gelasius dossier in the C recension reproduces exactly the order of the Gelasius dossier in the Collectio Frisingensis (Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Clm 6243, s. VIII): "Whether this sequence has occurred by coincidence or is the result of the textual tradition remains unanswered." Relevant to this puzzle are Patzold's remarks in Gefälschtes Recht, 36-37, note 70.

[2] As a final proof, consider that the ninth-century table of contents in P does not demarcate the contents of Part 3 in any way at all. This account divides the context of the codex into the Codex Encyclius, the Breviarium of Liberatus, and Prosper’s Contra collatorem, and then finally a series of “epistolae sanctorum patrum et exceptiones quaedam satis utillimae.”

[3] This is in contrast to the handling of JK 235 in the A1 recension. As noted above, the letter is divided into two parts, an initial statement to Paulinus followed by the conclusions of a Roman council anathematizing various heresies. The conciliar anathemas also occur in Cassiodorus/Epiphanius, Historia Tripartita, IX.15-16. A1 folds both of these chapters from the Historia Tripartita into its Damasus dossier, and the curious consequence is that the A1 recension (and therefore Hinschius’s edition) provides the conciliar anathemas from 380 twice, once from the Hispana and once from Cassiodorus/Epiphanius. The Tripartita borrowing corresponds to an excerpt mark in Pseudo-Isidore’s codex of the Tripartita (Zechiel-Eckes, "Ein Blick in Pseudoisidors Werkstatt," Francia 28 [2001], 43).

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