Extra Seriem Textsorten
Textsorten und Textkritik, hrsg. von Adolf Primmer – Kurt Smolak – Dorothea Weber. – Wien: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften 2002.
It is a demanding task to edit a Latin text of the patristic era according to strictly scholarly philological methods: besides theological, linguistic and paleographic skills the editor has to take into account the specific genre to which the text to be edited belongs. This complex situation becomes even more evident when one considers the different criteria by which the manuscript tradition of different texts must be judged. On the one hand, there are pieces of very high literary pretension handed down in many manuscripts, as it is the case with most of the Christian artistic poetry of the 4th and the 5th century. On the other hand, we have sermons like those of Augustine, which were preached to an audience of simple people. These sermons were at times delivered ex tempore, but were still well structured; their texts were taken down in shorthand and are preserved in even more manuscripts. The present volume contains fourteen articles in which philologists, theologians and church historians deal with the topic indicated in the title. The articles are based on papers given in February 2001 at an international meeting that was organised by the ‘Kirchenväterkommission’ of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. By discussing examples of their editing work, which is being done mainly for the CSEL, the contributors demonstrate how diverse the difficulties are with which they have to cope. Since the problems involved with different genres of texts and textual criticism belong to the basic ones of every philology that has to do with producing a critical edition, the volume will be of interest to others besides for scholars in Latin and patristics.