More on the newly discovered sermons of St. Augustine of Hippo

Fellow patristiblogger Mike Aquilina has this over at his place:

Constanze Witt of the Department Of Classics at the University of Texas posted the following to a medieval list.

Not all sensational finds come out of the ground! Augustine scholars will be delighted at the news of 6 previously unknown sermons’ being discovered through a library “excavation” in Erfurt’s Bibliotheca Amploniana. Isabella Schiller and colleagues from the Austrian Academy of Sciences discovered these works while studying an 800-year-old manuscript in the summer of 2007.

Concealed in a medieval parchment manuscript amongst 70 other religious texts are ca. 26 sermons attributed to Augustine, 3 of them on brotherly love and alms-giving. These were known previously only by their titles cited in Possidius’ Indiculum. One sermon is on the martyrs Perpetua and Felicitas, and another on the recently martyred Cyprian, the latter of which condemns the copious drinking that took place on saints’ feast days. The final sermon deals with resurrection of the dead and biblical prophecies.

The 12th c. mss came from England(?) to Erfurt as part of the enormous collection of more than 630 books donated by the physician and theologue Amplonius Rating de Berka to the ‘Collegium Amplonianum’ which he founded in 1412.

For 24 amazing images of this absolutely pristine and gorgeous codex, see here.

The 6 new sermons will be published in Wiener Studien. Zeitschrift für Klassische Philologie und Patristik und lateinische Tradition
Sermones Erfurt 1, 5, and 6 in Bd. 121 (2008), pp. 227-284.
Sermones Erfurt 2, 3 and 4 in Bd. 122 (2009)
They can now be viewed on display in the Sondersammlung der UB Erfurt für Foto- und Filmaufnahmen. Several public lectures are
planned in the coming weeks.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. This is a monumental find!!!

  2. Denis Crnkovic says:

    Ausgezeichnicht! An incredible find. Wish I could be there to work on the textual analysis. The Erfurt location gave me pause; the Augustine- Augustinian-Luther connection has always intrigued me. Perhaps Luther himself found some merit on these very pages?

  3. Alice says:

    Ever ancient, ever new! How wonderful to keep finding these treasures of our Faith. If the talks ever make it online, please link to them.

  4. Manuel says:

    That is really awesome.

  5. Marcus says:

    Incredible! Looks like the University has most or all of the sermons on the web site – so how about a PODCAzT?

    The comment on excessive drinking on saint’s feast days reminded me of a comment made earlier this year by some numb-nutted “Irish club” president in New York about refusing to move their St. Patrick’s Day celebration to before Holy Week. He said something like, “We’re born Irish first, and baptized into the Church later.” Great excuse for a pub crawl during Holy Week. I’m sure St. Patricus was delighted.

    As always, a great blog Fr. Z.

  6. Marcus: If I had the texts in a usable form I might give it some consideration!

  7. Dennis Martin says:

    Actually Erfurt ought to be known not merely for Luther. There was a thriving Catholic culture there in the 1400s with large libraries at the Charterhouse and at the Benedictine monastery of St. Peter. The Carthusians were interacting extensively with lay people outside the monastery, providing counsel by means of written tractates on how to live a Christian life in the face of the rise of a new, well-to-do professional bourgeoisie. (This bourgeoisie has been claimed as the key demographic that “carried” the Reformation in Nuernberg and elsewhere, so the close and thoroughly Catholic leadership coming from cloistered religious in Erfurt is significant). Perhaps not coincidentally, Erfurt was one of the few cities to stay bi-confessional. Catholics retained a presence there and, under the Communists, managed to keep alive a seminary at which several Catholic theologians did very solid work in from the 1950s into the 1970s but which tended to be ignored in them major theological/historical centers in West Germany.

    The fact that Erfurt was in the East Zone meant that it’s modest in number but remarkable in theological content manuscript collections did not receive the same kind of working over that was happening in the much larger centers like Munich, Vienna, Wolfenbuettel etc.

  8. What an amazing find. If they are legitimate, they will be of much benefit to the scholarly world.

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