Erasmus - Ps-Cyprian - De duplici Martyrio

Steven Avery

Textus Receptus Bibles{"tn":"R"}

My reference to a controversial book is De Duplici Marytrio, which has two allusions to the section (earthly, however one implies heavenly) in 1 John.

Jortin here discusses the question as to whether it was authentic.

* It (u-Vol. i. p. 180.) is somewhat strange, says the last editor of St. Cyprian, that Erasmus should have inserted amongst the works of this father a book, which he had found, entitled De duplici Martyrio, wherein mention is made of Diocletian, and of the Turks. Gravius and Pamelius are inclined to think that Erasmus himself composed this book, to delude the public. But the judicious Tillemont, though not at all prejudiced in favour of Erasmus, justifies him, and says that Erasmus had too much sense to make a work which carried in itself its own confutation.’

Tillemont here follows Du Pin, whom see tom. iii. p. 178. and Tillemont, tom. iv. p. 196
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Steven Avery

an Erasmus left-field fabrication? - De duplici martyrio

In Biblical Criticism, there is a very curious Erasmus-Cyprian note:

In the treatise On the two kinds of martyrdom, which he had passed off under the name of Cyprian, Erasmus included an oblique reference to Cyprian's Trinitarian interpretation of i Jn 5:8:

'Although these three are one, there is one God, who through the spirit, water, and blood declares his virtue and goodness to the human race; or they are called one because their testimony is entirely consistent, and nowhere self-contradictory; just as they who are joined by a common opinion are said to be one mind.’110

110 Erasmus 1530, 510. - p. 54

ed. Divi Caecilii Cypriani episcopi Carthaginensis et martyris opera iam quartum accuratiori uigilantia a mendis repurgata, per Des. Erasmum Roterod. Accessit liber eiusdem apprime pius ad Fortunatum De duplici martyrio, antehac nunquam excusus. Basel: Froben, 1530.
We should be given the text of what are "these three". eg. Word or Son?

.... in Beelzebub eiecit daemonia. cetorum ubi uentum est ad sanguinem, ibi deiectum est satanae regnum, ibi subactus est mundus. commemorat et Ioannes enangelista triplex in terra testimonium, spiritus aqua et sanguis, quod efficacissimum est postremo recensens loco, spiritum in columbae specie descendentem super Iesum uidere meruit Ioannes baptista, an alii uiderint incertum. corte hoc testimonium Ioanni datum est, quo desineret dubitare de Domino Iesu, an ille esset qui baptizaret spiritu et igni. aquae testimonium uidit Ioannes euangelista, nec satis constat solusne uiderit an cum multis. erat quidem hoc ingens mysterium sacri lauacri quo delentur peccata: sed uidit aquam simuleffluere cum sanguine, qui nisi adfuisset inefficax erat aqua, quid enim prodest aboleri peccata, nisi succedat uita iustitiae quam confert sanguis? quamquam hi tres unum sunt; unus enim Deus est, qui per spiritum aquam et sanguinem declarat hominum generi uirtutem ac bonitatem suam: aut ideo dicuntur unum esse, quoniam undique sibi constat testimonium nec ulla ex parte dissonat, quemadmodum quos artissima iungit amicitia propter summum animorum consensum unus animus esse dicuntur.

S. Thasci Caecili Cypriani opera omnia, Volume 1 (1871)
William Hartel
If Erasmus wrote this, it is surprising that he includes "in terra", (which is also six times in Facundus per Porson) an evidence for the dual heavenly and earthly witnesses.

For this reason, Porson, who did not claim it to be Erasmus, conjectures a textual emendation.

We also have:

More problematically, Erasmus’ fourth edition of the works of Cyprian (1530) includes the treatise De duplici martyrio, which Erasmus wrote himself to promote his conviction that the daily martyrdom of the everyday Christian is equal to the more conspicuous self-sacrifice of the traditional martyr.56 To Erasmus, the idea of ‘adapting’ sacred texts was thus nothing new. He had done it himself.

56 Erasmus 1530, 508-527; in the list of contents (b3v), Erasmus describes the work thus: ‘Liber unus De duplici martyrio ad Fortunatum, quem in uetustissima bibliotheca repertum adiecimus: utinam liceat & caetera huius uiri salutifera scripta peruestigare.’ Further, see Opus Epist. 4:24; Seidel Mcnchi 1978; Grafton 1990, 43-45; Kraye 1990, 44-48; Hallyn 1999.

Biblical Criticism p. 32
In the earlier Ghost of Arius, Grantley has "which Erasmus actually seems to have written himself".

Also in the bibliography:

Seidel Menchi, Silvana. ‘Un'opera misconosciuta di Erasmo? II trattato pseudo-ciprianico De duplici martyrio' Rivista storica italiana 90 (1978): 709-743.
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Steven Avery

Forgers and Critics, New Edition: Creativity and Duplicity in Western Scholarship (2019)
Anthony Grafton

In 1530, Erasmus published his fourth edition of the works of Saint Cyprian. This included as a stop-press supplement a treatise, De duplici martyrio (On the Two Forms of Martyrdom), which, as its table of contents said, was “discovered in an ancient library; may it be possible to search out other valuable works of his as well.”15 The treatise praised the virtues of martyrs in the traditional sense, those who died to bear witness to the truth; but it went on to praise other forms of Christian life—the life of those willing to die but not called upon to do so, the life of the virgin who struggles to avoid a sin—as equivalent in merit to martyrdom. It takes a position highly sympathetic to Erasmus, who had always disliked the kind of Christianity that equated suffering with virtue, and had always preferred the human Christ hoping to avoid death in Gethsemane to the divine Christ ransoming man by dying at Calvary. It is preserved in no known manuscript or ancient library. It explicates scriptural passages in peculiar ways, ways also found in Erasmus’ New Testament commentaries. And it is written in a beautiful but peculiar Latin honeycombed with biblical and patristic citations and marked by a frequent use of nouns with diminutive endings—the very Latin in which Erasmus wrote the great literary works that he acknowledged, like The Praise of Folly, and the funnier one that he did not, the Julius Excluded from Heaven. De duplici martyrio is not Erasmus’ discovery but his composition; it marks an effort to find the support of the early Church for his theology at the cost—which he elsewhere insisted must never be paid—of falsifying the records of that Church. The greatest patristic scholar of the sixteenth century forged a major patristic work.16

Erasmus was not the only grave and learned gentleman to hoax the entire world of learning with an uncharacteristic piece of fakery.

15- See S. Seidel Menchi, “Un ’opera misconosciuta di Erasmo? II trattato pseudo-ciprianico 'De duplici martyrio,' ” Rivista storica italiana 90 (1978): 709—43; the older treatment by F. Lezius, “Der Verfasser des pseudocyprianischen Tractates de duplici martyrio: Ein Beitrag zur Charakteristik des Erasmus, ” Neue Jahrbücher für Deutsche Theologie 4 (1895): 95-110, 184-243, retains considerable value.

16. Cf. Erasmus’ provision by back-translation from the Vulgate of the Greek text of the last six verses of the Apocalypse, in its own way a form of invention of evidence that his manuscripts did not provide. See B. M. Metzger, The Text of the New Testament, id ed. (Oxford, 1968), 99-100.

The Revelation discussion is clearly an absurd anology attempt.
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Steven Avery


Position changed
letter to the praesidius
Hilmar Pabel - look for Vulgate Prologue - Grantley ref below

Herculean Labours: Erasmus and the Editing of St. Jerome's Letters in the Renaissance

Julius Exclusus -

Pabel, Hilmar M. ‘Credit, Paratexts, and the Editorial Strategies in Erasmus of
Rotterdam’s Editions of Jerome.’ In Cognition and the Book. Ed. K. A. E.
Enenkel and Wolfgang Neuber. Leiden: Brill, 2005: 217-256.

One writer thought Erasmus did it but was far gentler in interpretation of motive.

Erasmus: The Scholar (1907)
John Alfred Faulkner

Appendix II
Did Erasmus Forge the Pseudo-Cyprianic De Duplici Martyrio ?

This argument of the book fits Erasmus’s case exactly, who, with bodily tortures and with the onsets of extreme Catholics on the one hand and of extreme Protestants on the other, was, in 1529, daily fighting with beasts of Ephesus, and who wished to show that martyrdom, which his opponents declared him incapable of undergoing on account of moral weakness, he was in a true sense enduring. For further light the reader must refer to Lezius’s interesting and able essay. Nor with one of Erasmus’s training does the forgery reflect on his character, not at least till Ecclesiastes is thrown out of the canon. It is not an “ugly stain on the famous name of the King of the Humanists,” as Lezius says (page 243), but a literary fault which he justified under the extraordinary circumstances in which he was placed. Perhaps he thought that with its modern references and Erasmian tone it would deceive no one.

Friedrich Lezius
(“Neue Jahrbücher für deutsche Theologie,” Bonn, 1895, IV, 95-110, 184-243)

For Clarification explain the other Cyprian martyr book, and Hundredfold martyrs and the Ps-Cyprian designation in the apparatus (various refs not discussed by Grantely)