Thursday, April 7, 2022

Pseudo-Chrysostomica: An Online Database on the Texts Wrongly Attributed to John Chrysostom

An Online Database on the Texts Wrongly Attributed to John Chrysostom

John Chrysostom, priest in Antioch until 387 and archbishop of Constantinople (388-404), died in exile on 14 September 407. His authentic oeuvre is very extensive, comprising mainly homilies, but also around 200 letters and a few treatises.

John Chrysostom’s genuine corpus has been enriched with a considerable number of spurious works created in and/or translated into a dozen ancient languages: Greek, Latin, Syriac, Armenian, Sahidic Coptic, Georgian, Arabic, Bohairic Coptic, Palestinian Aramaic, Nubian, Geez, Slavonic (also including later Slavic Languages).

Very little is known about these spuria and research on them has been hampered by several factors: there are no reliable figures (but they run into the thousands); many texts are still unpublished; some have been rewritten, shortened or supplemented; critical and comparative editions are few; provenance, date and authenticity have been rarely addressed…

The Pseudo-Chrysostomica project will primarily collect the known data about every textual form in an online database that, in turn, will become a tool for further research.

In due course, the database will also include the indirect tradition as witnessed by catenae, florilegia and secondary works (anthologies and centones).

The data are organised under six categories:

  • 1. general information about a text.
  • 2. its actual embodiments, namely its original form and translations.
  • 3. authorship / authenticity status.
  • 4. global bibliography. Since many texts have been used by other texts, areas
  • 5 and 6 show the reciprocal relations between texts as models and derivatives (“source” and “target”).

The Pseudo-Chrysostomica project started on 1 May 2017, and has been sponsored by the Louvain Centre for Eastern and Oriental Christianity (LOCEOC). The database is hosted by the Trimegistos platform and its content is supervised by Sever J. Voicu, known expert on Chrysostom’s spuria.


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