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§ 159. Literature.


I. General Patristic Collections.


The Benedictine editions, repeatedly published in Paris, Venice, etc., are the best as far as they go, but do not satisfy the present state of criticism. Jesuits (Petavius, Sirmond, Harduin), and Dominicans (Combefis, Le Quien) have also published several fathers. These and more recent editions are mentioned in the respective sections. Of patristic collections the principal ones are:

Maxima Bibliotheca veteru Patrum, etc. Lugd. 1677, 27 tom. fol. Contains the less voluminous writers, and only in the Latin translation.

A. Gallandi (Andreas Gallandius, Oratorian, d. 1779): Bibliotheca Graeco-Latina veterum Patrum, etc. Ven. 1765–88, 14 tom. fol. Contains in all 380 ecclesiastical writers (180 more than the Bibl Max.) in Greek and Latin, with valuable dissertations and notes.

Abbé Migne (Jacques Paul, b. 1800, founder of the Ultramontane L’Univers religeux and the Cath. printing establishment at Montrouge, consumed by fire 1868): Patrologiae cursus completus sive Bibliotheca universalis, integra, uniformis, commoda, oeconomica, omnium SS. Patrum, Doctorum, Scriptorumque ecelesiasticorum. Petit Montrouge (near Paris), 1844–1866 (Garnier Frères). The cheapest and most complete patristic library, but carelessly edited, and often inaccurate, reaching down to the thirteenth century, the Latin in 222, the Greek in 167 vols., reprinted from the Bened. and other good editions, with Prolegomena, Vitae, Dissertations, Supplements, etc. Some of the plates were consumed by fire in 1868. but have been replaced. To be used with great caution.

Abbé Horoy: Bibliotheca Patristica ab anno MCCXVI. usque ad Concilii Tridentini Tempora. Paris, 1879 sqq. A continuation of Migne. Belongs to mediaeval history.

A new and critical edition of the Latin Fathers has been undertaken by the Imperial Academy of Vienna in 1866, under the title: Corpus scriptorum ecclesiasticorum Latinorum. The first volume contains the works of Sulpicius Severus, ed. by C. Halm, 1866; the second Minucius Felix and Jul. Firmicus Maternus, by the same, 1867; Cyprian by Hartel, 1876; Arnobius by Reifferscheid; Commodianus by Dombart; Salvianus by Pauly; Cassianus by Petscheig; Priscillian by Schepss, etc. So far 18 vols. from 1866 to 1889.

A new and critical edition of the Greek fathers is still more needed.

Handy editions of the older fathers by Oberthur, Richter, Gersdorf, etc.

Special collections of patristic fragments by Grabe (Spicilegium Patrum), Routh (Reliquiae Sacrae), Angelo Mai (Scriptorum vet. nova Collectio, Rom. 1825–’38, 10 t.; Spicilegium roman. 1839–’44, 10 t.; Nova Patrum Bibliotheca, 1852 sqq. 7 t.); Card. Pitra (Spicilegium Solesmense, 1852 sqq. 5 t.), Liverani (Spiciles Liberianum, 1865), and others.


II. Separate Collections of the ante-Nicene Fathers.


Patres Apostolici, best critical editions, one Protestant by Oscar Von Gebhardt, Harnack, and Zahn (ed. II. Lips. 1876–’78, in 3 parts); another by Hilgenfeld (ed. II. Lips. 1876 sqq. in several parts); one by Bp. Lightfoot (Lond. 1869 sqq.); and one, R. Catholic, by Bp. Hefele, fifth ed. by Prof Funk, Tübingen (1878 and ’81, 2 vols.). See § 161.

Corpus Apologetarum Christianorum Seculi II., Ed. Otto. Jenae, 1847–’50; Ed. III. 1876 sqq. A new critical ed. by O. v. Gebhardt and E. Schwartz. Lips. 1888 sqq.

Roberts and Donaldson: Ante-Nicene Christian Library. Edinburgh 1857–1872. 24 vols. Authorized reprint, N. York, 1885–’86, 8 vol.


III. Biographical, critical, doctrinal. Patristics and Patrology.


St. Jerome (d. 419): De Viris illustrious. Comprises, in 135 numbers, brief notices of the biblical and ecclesiastical authors, down to a.d. 393. Continuations by Gennadius (490), Isidor (636), Ildefons (667), and others.

Photius (d. 890): Μυριοβίβλιον, ἥ βιβλιοθήκη, ed. J. Becker, Berol. 1824, 2 t. fol., and in Migne, Phot. Opera, t. III. and IV. Extracts of 280 Greek authors, heathen and Christian, whose works are partly lost. See a full account in Hergenröther’s, Photius, III. 13–31.

Bellermin (R.C.): Liber de scriptoribus ecclesiasticis (from the O. T. to a.d. 1500). Rom. 1613 and often.

Tillemont (R.C.): Memoirs pour servir à l’histoire ecclés. Par. 1693 sqq. 16 vols. The first six centuries.

L. E. Dupin (R.C. d. 1719): Nouvelle Bibliothèque des auteurs ecclesiastiques, contenant l’histoire de leur vie, etc. Par. 1688–1715, 47 vols. 8°, with continuations by Coujet, Petit-Didier to the 18th century, and Critiques of R. Simon, 61 vols., 9th ed. Par. 1698 sqq.; another edition, but incomplete, Amstel. 1690–1713, 20 vols. 4°.

Remi Ceillter (R.C. d. 1761): Histoire générale des auteurs sacrés et ecclesiastiques. Par. 1729–’63, 23 vols. 4°; new ed. with additions, Par. 1858–1865 in 14 vols. More complete and exact, but less liberal than Dupin; extends to the middle of the thirteenth century.

Will. Cave (Anglican, d. 1713): Scriptorum ecelesiasticorum Historia a Christo nato usque ad saecul. XIV. Lond. 1688–98, 2 vols.; Geneva, 1720; Colon. 1722; best edition superintended by Waterland, Oxf. 1740–43, reprinted at Basle 1741–’45. This work is arranged in the centurial style (saeculum Apostolicum, s. Gnosticuni, s. Novatianum, s. Arianum, s. Nestorianum, s. Eutychianum, s. Monotheleticum, etc.) W. Cave: Lives of the most eminent fathers of the church that flourished in the first four centuries. Best ed. revised by Henry Cary. Oxf. 1840, 3 vols.

Chas. Oudin (first a monk, then a Protestant, librarian to the University at Leyden, died 1717): Commentarius de scriptoribus ecclesiae antiquis illorumque scriptis, a Bellarmino, Possevino, Caveo, Dupin et aliis omissis, ad ann. 1460. Lips. 1722. 3 vols. fol.

John Alb. Fabricius ("the most learned, the most voluminous and the most useful of bibliographers." born at Leipsic 1668. Prof. of Eloquence at Hamburg, died 1736): Bibliotheca Graeca, sive notilia Scriptorum veterum Graecorum; ed. III. Hamb. 1718–’28, 14 vols.; ed. IV. by G. Chr. Harless, with additions. Hamb. 1790–1811, in 12 vols. (incomplete). This great work of forty years’ labor embraces all the Greek writers to the beginning of the eighteenth century, but is inconveniently arranged. (A valuable supplement to it is S. F. G. Hoffmann: Bibliographisches Lexicon der gesammten Literatur der Griechen, Leipz. 3 vols.), 2nd ed. 1844–’45. J. A. Fabricius published also a Bibliotheca Latina mediae et infimae aetatis, Hamb. 173 ’46, in 6 vols. (enlarged by Mansi, Padua, 1754, 3 tom.), and a Bibliotheca ecclesiastical Hamb. 1718, in 1 vol. fol., which contains the catalogues of ecclesiastical authors by Jerome, Gennadius, Isidore, Ildefondus, Trithemius (d. 1515) and others.

C. T. G. Schönemann: Bibliotheca historico-literaria patrum Latinorum a Tertulliano usque ad Gregorina M. et Isidorum . Lips. 1792, 2 vols. A continuation of Fabricius’ Biblioth. Lat.

G. Lumper (R.C.): Historia theologico-critica de vita, scriptis et doctrina SS. Patrum trium primorum saeculorum. Aug. Vind. 1783–’99, 13 t. 8°.

A.. Möhler (R.C. d. 1838): Patrologie, oder christliche Literärgeschichte. Edited by Reithmayer. Regensb. 1840, vol. I. Covers only the first three centuries.

J. Fessler (R.C.): Institutiones patrologicae. Oenip. 1850–’52, 2vols.

J. C. F. Bähr: Geschichte der römischen Literatur. Karlsruhe, 1836, 4th ed. 1868.

Fr. Böhringer (d, 1879): Die Kirche Christi u. ihre Zeugen, oder die K. G. in Biographien. Zür. 1842 (2d ed. 1861 sqq. and 1873 sqq.), 2 vols. in 7 parts (to the sixteenth century).

Joh. Alzog (R.C., Prof. in Freiburg, d. 1878):Grundriss der Patrologie oder der älteren christl. Literärgeschichte. Frieburg, 1866; second ed. 1869; third ed. 1876; fourth ed. 1888.

James Donaldson: A Critical History of Christian Literature and Doctrine from the death of the Apostles to the Nicene Council. London, 1864–’66. 3 vols. Very valuable, but unfinished.

Jos. Schwane (R.C.):Dogmengeschichte der patristischen Zeit. Münster, 1866.

Adolf Ebert: Geschichte der christlich-lateinischen Literatur von ihren Anfängen bis zum Zeitalter Karls des Grossen Leipzig, 1872 (624 pages). The first vol. of a larger work on the general history of mediaeval literature. The second vol. (1880) contains the literature from Charlemagne to Charles the Bald.

Jos. Nirschl (R.C.): Lehrbuch der Patrologie und Patristik. Mainz. Vol. I. 1881 (VI. and 384).

George A. Jackson: Early Christian Literature Primers. N. York, 1879–1883 in 4 little vols., containing extracts from the fathers.

Fr. W. Farrar: Lives of the Fathers. Sketches of Church History in Biographies. Lond. and N. York, 1889, 2 vols.


IV. On the Authority and Use of the Fathers.


Dallaeus (Daillé, Calvinist): De usu Patrum in decidendis controversiis. Genev. 1656 (and often). Against the superstitious and slavish R. Catholic overvaluation of the fathers.

J. W. Eberl (R.C.): Leitfaden zum Studium der Patrologie. Augsb. 1854.

J. J. Blunt (Anglican): The Right Use of the Early Fathers. Lond. 1857, 3rd ed. 1859. Confined to the first three centuries, and largely polemical against the depreciation of the fathers, by Daillé, Barbeyrat, and Gibbon.


V. On the Philosophy of the Fathers.


H. Ritter: Geschichte der christl Philosophie. Hamb. 1841 sqq. 2 vols.

Joh. Huber (d. 1879 as an Old Catholic): Die Philosophie der Kirchenväter. München, 1859.

A. Stöckl (R.C.): Geschichte der Philosophie der patristischen Zeit. Würz b. 1858, 2 vols.; andGeschichte der Philosophie des Mittelalters. Mainz, 1864–1866. 3 vols.

Friedr. Ueberweg. History of Philosophy (Engl. transl. by Morris & Porter). N. Y. 1876 (first vol.).


VI. Patristic Dictionaries.


J. C. Suicer (d. in Zurich, 1660): Thesaurus ecclesiasticus e Patribus Graecis. Amstel., 1682, second ed., much improved, 1728. 2 vols. for. (with a new title page. Utr. 1746).

Du Cange (Car. Dufresne a Benedictine, d. 1688): Glossarium ad scriptores mediae et infimae Graecitatis. Lugd. 1688. 2 vols. By the same: Glossarium ad scriptores mediae et infimae Latinitatis. Par. 1681, again 1733, 6 vols. fol., re-edited by Carpenter 1766, 4 vols., and by Henschel, Par. 1840–’50, 7 vols. A revised English edition of Du Cange by E. A. Dayman was announced for publication by John Murray (London), but has not yet appeared, in 1889.

E. A. Sophocles: A glossary of Latin and Byzantine Greek. Boston, 1860, enlarged ed. 1870. A new ed. by Jos. H. Thayer, 1888.

G. Koffmane: Geschichte des Kirchlateins. Breslau, 1879 sqq.

Wm. Smith and Henry Wace (Anglicans): A Dictionary of Christian Biography, Literature, Sects and Doctrines London, Vol. I. 18771887, 4 vols. By far the best patristic biographical Dictionary in the English or any other language. A noble monument of the learning of the Church of England.

E. C. Richardson (Hartford, Conn.): Bibliographical Synapsis of the Ante-Nicene Fathers. An appendix to the Am. Ed. of the Ante-Nicene Fathers, N. York, 1887. Very complete.


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