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Libros quinque adversus Haereses
TEXTU GRÆCO IN LOCIS NONNULLIS LOCUPLETATO, VERSIONE
ET INDICIBUS VARIIS
THE EDITOR'S PREFACE.
In preparing for the Syndics of the Cambridge University Press this edition of the Works of S. Irenæus, it has been deemed advisable to collate afresh the two most ancient representatives of the Latin translation; the Clermont and the Arundel MSS., both of which are in England. The former is one of the gems of the rich collection of Sir Thomas Phillipps at Middlehill; the second, as the property of the nation, is in the British Museum. The result of these collations has shewn that Grabe and Massuet performed their work with fidelity; not many readings of importance having escaped their observation. The Clermont MS. upon which principally Massuet formed his text, is fairly written in an Italian hand of the tenth century; possibly however two transcribers were employed upon it, a second hand being observable, as it is imagined, from fol. 189 to 274. The entire MS. is in good preservation, though it is ? defective at the end, and exhibits occasional omissions from careless copying, with a more
1 Those who are conversant with early European MSS. will agree that it is difficult to judge of the period in which writing was executed, before the tenth century, but easy after the twelfth.
The CLERMONT MS. is an early production of the transitional period.
% It ends abruptly near the commencement of V. xxvi.
lengthened 'hiatus, in the Fifth Book. The editor gladly takes this opportunity of returning his most grateful thanks to Sir Thomas and Lady Phillipps, for the kindly hospitality that relieved the tedious work of collation of much of its irksome character.
The Arundel MS. is in a bold Flemish hand, and is of later date than the Clermont MS. by perhaps two centuries. Its readings, however, are very valuable as marking a different family of codices, from that represented by the Clermont copy. This MS. also is imperfect towards the end, the defect being caused, not by its own original loss, but by mutilation of some antecedent copy; thus the last column is left partly blank. Grabe's text represents the readings principally of the Arundel MS. A ’lithographed fac-simile has been prepared of an entire page from each of these MSS. A third MS. is still in existence and accessible; the Voss MS. of the Leyden collection; it has been recently collated by Stieren for his edition, and he frequently notes inaccuracies in Grabe's report of variæ lectiones obtained from this copy. But it should be borne in mind that Grabe read it with other eyes; and that he depended upon the friendly offices of Dodwell for his report upon the readings of this MS. The Voss copy is later again than the Arundel, and does not date earlier than the fourteenth century. Still it is the only perfect copy; or rather, it contains as much as any other MS. that has been known since the discovery of
i See II. 359.
simile is the first in order, after page 2 The work of Messrs Standidge xii. A specimen page of the Voss MS. and Co. London. The CLERMONT fac." is found in STIEREN's edition.
printing. It being no longer necessary to report in the present edition every difference of reading, the text has been formed upon a comparison of these three MSS. with previous editions; the more remarkable variations being expressed in the notes. The principal object of the notes has been to explain more clearly the mind of the author by reference to contemporaneous authority, such as the Excerpta from Theodotus, or the Didascalia Orientalis, subjoined to the Hypotyposes of Clement of Alexandria; Hippolytus in his Philosophumena, and Tertullian in his Treatise c. Valentinum. The notions against which the great work of Irenæus was directed, have so many points of contact with Greek philosophy, that occasional illustrations from this source have been found necessary. A point of some interest will be found of frequent recurrence in the notes; which is, the repeated instances that Scriptural quotations afford, of having being made by one who was as familiar with some Syriac version of the New Testament, as with the Greek originals. Strange variæ lectiones occur, which can only be explained by referring to the 'Syriac version. It will not be forgotten that S. Irenæus resided in early life at Smyrna; and it is by no means improbable that he may have been of Syrian extraction, and instructed from his earliest infancy in some Syriac version of Scripture. It is hoped also that the Hebrew attainments of Irenæus will no longer be denied.
The Syriac fragments, at the end of the second
1 See General Index, Syriac Analogies.
? Ib. Irenæu3—knowledge of Hebrew.