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Augustine's Commentary on GalatiansIntroduction, Text, Translation, and Notes$

Eric Plumer

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199244393

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: April 2004

DOI: 10.1093/0199244391.001.0001

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(p.237) Appendix 1 The Latin Text of Augustine's Commentary on Galatians

(p.237) Appendix 1 The Latin Text of Augustine's Commentary on Galatians

Augustine's Commentary on Galatians

Eric Plumer

Oxford University Press

The most notable printed editions of the Latin text of Augustine's Commentary on Galatians are as follows. In the sixteenth century it appeared in three great collected editions of Augustine's works: that of Johannes Amerbach1 (Basle, 1506), that of Erasmus (Basle, 1528–9), and that of the theologians of Louvain (Antwerp, 1576–7). In the following century an even greater edition of Augustine's collected works was produced by the French Benedictines of St Maur (Paris, 1679–1700). Augustine's Commentary appeared in vol. iii, pt. 2 of the Maurist edition in 1680. More than a century and a half later the collected edition of the Maurists was reproduced with few changes in J.‐P. Migne's Patrologia Latina (Paris, 1841–2), with Augustine's Commentary appearing in vol. 35 in 1841. In the twentieth century Johannes Divjak edited Augustine's Commentary for Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum, 84 (Vienna, 1971), and more recently an edition was printed with facing Italian translation in Nuova Biblioteca Agostiniana, X/2 (Rome, 1997). The Rome edition is not, however, an independent critical edition based upon a fresh collation of the manuscripts, but rather a conflation of the CSEL and Maurist printed editions.2

The text produced by Divjak for CSEL is the most authoritative Latin text of Augustine's Commentary currently available and has therefore been used as the basis for the translation presented here.3 In comparison with the Maurists, who examined fourteen manuscripts of Augustine's Commentary,4 Divjak examined sixty‐three, of which he chose twenty‐eight for inclusion in his apparatus criticus. The thirty‐five excluded were either exact copies of ones already included or they were ‘contaminated’.5 Divjak divided the twenty‐eight manuscripts chosen for (p.238) inclusion into three families, of which the first is superior to the other two and is therefore used as the primary basis for the text.6 The first family comprises four principal manuscripts together with seven manuscripts of secondary importance. In Divjak's judgement the best of the principal manuscripts is one copied in a monastery in Angers in the eleventh century and housed today in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, where it is catalogued as Codex Parisinus Latinus 2700. The other three principal manuscripts are: Codex Andegavensis 159 (eleventh century); Codex Bruxellensis 1058 (fifteenth century); and Codex Parisinus Latinus 12225 (twelfth century).7 The oldest manuscript containing Augustine's Commentary is an eighth‐century parchment manuscript from northern Italy (Codex Vaticanus Latinus 491) which Divjak assigns to his third family.8

In a major review of CSEL 84,9 Jean Rousselet proposed an alternative stemma based on his own collation of manuscripts (including one that Divjak had omitted10) and on his examination of quotations of Augustine's commentaries in later authors, most notably the important ninth‐century figures Rabanus Maurus and Claudius of Turin. With regard to Rousselet's corrections of particular readings for the Commentary on Galatians in CSEL 84, I have examined each correction and where I have thought Rousselet's proposal made better sense of the text I have adopted it and alerted the reader to it in a footnote. In all I have adopted five of Rousselet's corrections, to which I have added three of my own.11 In each case I have attempted to ensure that the alternative reading is both well attested in the manuscripts and faithful to Augustine's thought as expressed elsewhere in the text or in other works from this period of his life. In addition to incorporating various corrections of the Latin text into my translation, I have often presented as biblical quotations passages and phrases that Divjak has not so presented. Here it must be admitted that judging what Augustine intended to be taken as a quotation is often highly subjective, since he was not normally worried about whether he was quoting verbatim.

The cataloguing of all extant manuscripts of Augustine is one of the great (p.239) ongoing projects of the Vienna Academy.12 There is no doubt that additional manuscripts and other witnesses to Augustine's Commentary, together with more sophisticated methods of analysis such as those made possible by computer technology, will eventually enable scholars to produce a text superior to that produced by Divjak for CSEL 84. In the meantime it is interesting to note that since editing that volume Divjak has continued to play an important role in this project. Indeed, it was in the course of cataloguing all the Augustinian manuscripts in France that he discovered a collection of previously unknown letters of Augustine,13 a momentous discovery which has put all students of Augustine in his debt.


(1) Augustine's Commentary on Galatians was not among the works of Augustine published by Amerbach prior to his collected edition of 1506 (see Halporn, Johann Amerbach's Collected Editions, 142–4), and in fact I have not been able to find any printed edition of the Commentary earlier than the one included in Amerbach's collected edition.

(2) Explicitly acknowledged on p. 459.

(3) Except where indicated otherwise by a footnote, my comments below on Divjak's CSEL edition are derived from his Praefatio to that edition (CSEL 84: vii–xxxi), supplemented by his communication to the 1971 Oxford Patristics Conference, ‘Zur Textüberlieferung’.

(4) The list of MSS may be found in the first edition (Paris, 1680), vol. iii, pt. 2, cols. 983–4.

(5) That is, they were each copied from more than one source and hence reflect a mixture of traditions rather than a single tradition.

(6) Divjak does not give his reasons for judging the first family to be superior to the other two.

(7) Divjak gives further information about these and other MSS in both the Praefatio to CSEL 84 and in his Oxford communication.

(8) There is a facsimile of one section of Codex Vaticanus Latinus 491, showing the concluding paragraph of exp. prop. Rm., in E. A. Lowe, Codices Latini Antiquiores, pt. I, facing p. 3. Divjak considers that the value this codex might have had owing to its antiquity is offset by the fact that it was corrected, altered, and added to by a number of different scribes in the eighth and ninth centuries, so that it is often difficult to determine what is original and what is the work of later hands. In view of the more sophisticated methods of analysis available today, however, it is doubtful whether Divjak's judgement of thirty years ago can still stand.

(9) ‘A propos d'un édition critique: pour mieux lire les Commentaires d’ Augustin sur les Epîtres aux Romains et aux Galates', Revue des Études Augustiniennes, 18 (1972), 233–47.

(10) Berlin Görres 97 (ii) (tenth century).

(11) For Rousselet's corrections see the footnotes at exp. Gal. 1. 5, 9. 1, 21. 3, 54. 2, and 61. 8. For my own corrections see the footnotes at 15. 1, 16. 3, and 51. 7.

(12) For the results of the Academy's work to date see the volumes that have appeared in Die handschriftliche Überlieferung der Werke des heiligen Augustinus (Sitzungsberichte der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften; Vienna, 1969–).

(13) Edited by Divjak and published in CSEL 88 (Vienna, 1981), the collection includes twenty‐seven new letters by Augustine. There is an English translation by Robert Eno in FC 81.