Latin Hagiographical Literature Translated into Greek

Authored by: Xavier Lequeux

The Ashgate Research Companion to Byzantine Hagiography

Print publication date:  December  2011
Online publication date:  April  2016

Print ISBN: 9780754650331
eBook ISBN: 9781315612799
Adobe ISBN: 9781317043966


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Over the past few decades, scholars interested in medieval texts have paid an increasing degree of attention to the literature of translation. The field of the Christian literature of the first 12 centuries was explored in 1949 by the Benedictine A. Siegmund, who presented a list of Latin translations of Greek texts. 1 1

Siegmund, Die Überlieferung der griechischen christlichen Literatur in der lateinischen Kirche bis zum zwölften Jahrhunder. For a recent survey of Latin translations of Greek texts, see Chiesa, ‘Le traduzioni in latino di testi greci’.

This precious catalogue, in which hagiographical works occupied the major part, was to open up new perspectives: the corpus of the texts thus constituted made it possible to evaluate knowledge of Greek in the medieval west, to analyse techniques of translation and to identify numerous specialised centres of translation. In general, these versions, which tended to be tackled contemporaneously with study of the indirect tradition of the original texts, 2 2

It sometimes happens that a version makes it possible to obtain a state of text older than what is attested in the most ancient copies of the original text. The case of the Homilie. of Gregory of Nazianzos is exemplary: several of these texts were translated into Latin by Rufin in the late years of the fourth c., while the most ancient surviving collection of Greek orations dates back no further than the ninth c.

gradually lost their status as secondary literature: henceforward they constituted a completely separate field of research.

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