the Simonides and Tischendorf Hermas editions in the 1850s

Steven Avery

Sister Threads

Tischendorf 1860 Hermas retraction - Notitia editionis codicis Bibliorum Sinaitici

And a few more, in the Barnabas-Hermas section.


James Keith Elliott offers some info on p. 182-184, this is from the Stewart Memoir.

It is when he is at Leipzig that we find our next piece of background information for Simonides’ anti-German attitude. We pick up the story when Simonides reaches Leipzig on July 15th 1855.

He soon became intimate with the German professors in that city— Anger, Gersdorf, and Dindorf—and then communicated to them his views, at which they expressed great delight. On the 27th of July, 1855, being in the University library of Leipsic with Professor Anger and M. Lycurgus, who interpreted between them, he showed to the Inspector of the Library the manuscripts he intended to publish first, which were works of the fathers of the Greek Church unknown till that time. Gersdorf, who was about to undertake the publication of them, having taken the manuscripts in his hands, discovered most unexpectedly a portion of the pastoral writings of the Apostolic Father Hermas. This discovery greatly delighted all present, and from that day they never ceased intreating Simonides to present the discovered portion to the University Library, promising that he should receive an equivalent return, and he, though he would not consent at first, was subsequently persuaded to accede to their request. Having handed over the manuscript and a copy of the part wanting, which Simonides had made himself while in Mount Athos (for he had not the whole of the manuscript with him) and also a clean copy for publication, he received the money agreed upon shortly after the publication of the work.

A short time before the publication of the Hermas he communicated to Lycurgus the existence of another Hermaean manuscript, preserved in palimpsests. He afterwards communicated the like intelligence to Anger, and this manuscript was brought from Alexandria to Leipsic, after the publication of the Hermas, at the reiterated request of Anger and Dindorf. This preference, given to the two latter gentlemen appears to have given considerable annoyance to Professor Tissendorf, and hence arose a jealousy that was most unfavourable to Simonides. It was reported by Tissendorf that there was a deception in the manuscript of Hermas, and that the deception was evidently intended to mislead. A controversy arose in consequence, in which Tissendorf was supported by Lycurgus; and Simonides, who was greatly enraged against Lycurgus, published a pamphlet under the title of «The Sycophant Lycurgus», and in which he explained the whole matter, and put his adversaries to shame by showing that the manuscript Hermas was correct and that the common Latin translations from which it differed had been made, not in accordance with the Greek originals, but to suit the views of the Latin translators, who had put into the mouth of the Apostolic Father Hermas doctrinal opinions quite inconsistent with the apostolical announcement, but eminently calculated to strengthen the position of the Church to which the translators belonged. The affair caused considerable excitement among theologians, and as some of the chief dogmas of the Latin Church were severely attacked by an exposure of the fraud in the Latin translations, Simonides gained much ill-will among the members of that Church. It may here be observed that, up to the present time two editions of Hermas have appeared from two copies of Simonides. The first is the correct one, which was discovered in the monastery of Gregory in Mount Athos, written by Clemens of Larissa in 1475, and first published by Anger and Dindorf at Leipsic in 1856. The second transcribed in the vernacular by Abraham of Telos in 1821, and therefore corrupt, was discovered in Mount Athos in the monastery of Dionysius in 1851, and published at Leipsic in the series of the Apostolic Fathers by Tissendorf, though he must certainly have been acquainted with the corrupt state of the book. Both, however, are incomplete towards the end; but Simonides has lately published the remainder in his book of the Four Theological Writings, preceding it by the life of the Apostolic Father Hermas, so important to ecclesiastical history, and together with of those bearing the same name as Hermas, and other matters no less curious, since they were all unknown till their publication by Simonides. But besides the two manuscripts of Hermas in question, which he discovered in Mount Athos, he discovered seven others, some of which are of the earliest centuries after Christ, and others more recent. To proceed, however, a little while before the publication of the Hermas, Professor Dindorf being informed of another palimpsest manuscript, very important, and entitled «Three Books of Records of the Egyptian Kings, by Uranius of Alexandria, son of Anax-imenesw1 and having seen it with his own eyes and handled it with his own hands, came to Simonides together with Anger, and was almost beside himself with joy and offered him a large price for it, adding that he would purchase it for the Bodleian library, of which he stated himself to be the representative.

Do we have the Four Theological Writings from Simonides?