Supernatural revelations of a divine figure (Christ or an angel) appearing before and conversing with a New Testament character (usually one or more of the apostles) were very popular in Early Christian literature. Besides being one of the most characteristic genres of gnostic literature, manifested in emblematic writings like the Sophia of Jesus Christ or the Apocryphon of James, this literary pattern, often described as Offenbarungsdiskurs, Dialog- or Erscheinungsevangelium, occurs in many other non-gnostic writings, such as Epistle of the Apostles or the Testament of the Lord, alike. It is much less known, however, that beside these early works of the 3-4th centuries there exists a rather large group of Byzantine texts, some of them still unedited and un-investigated, that use the same literary pattern of a revelation-dialogue. This talk focuses on these later Byzantine “apocryphal texts” investigating why and how the Early Christian genre of pseudo-biblical revelation-dialogue was re-used in the Middle Ages. After a short introduction to the history of the genre, I make an attempt to survey and systematize the extant Byzantine revelation-dialogues formulating a new theory about the origin and genesis of the surprisingly large number of Byzantine apocryphal revelations.
Peter Tóth earned his MA in Egyptology and Classics and his PhD in Classics at the University of Budapest. After a ten-year curatorship of medieval manuscripts at the University Library Budapest, he had various research projects at The Warburg Institute and King’s College London before he joined the British Library in 2016 as curator of ancient and medieval manuscripts. His main interest is in cultural interaction in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages via translations of texts and ideas from one language and tradition to the other. Besides editions and studies of unedited Latin, Greek and Syriac hagiographic texts, his research shed new light on the origin of texts like the Letters of St Anthony of Egypt or the Pseudo-Bonaventurean Meditationes Vitae Christi. He is currently working on the new critical edition of the pseudonymous Greek writings attributed to Justin the Martyr and a major monograph on the transmission of Classical dramatic traditions in Greek and Latin patristic homilies.
31.05.2016 | 15:00 c.t.
Sitzungsraum, Villa des Sonderforschungsbereichs 980 „Episteme in Bewegung“, Schwendenerstr. 8, 14192 Berlin-Dahlem
Kontakt: Dr. Emiliano Fiori, embfiori[at]gmail.com