PitoGEEss or Egyptology.
passing, some criticisms on Amelineau's claims for Coptic originals of
other Greek works besides; equally for these lie believes the Coptic to
be but an adaptation from the Greek. How many so-called Coptic
literary works—besides Shenoute's—can to-day be claimed as more than
mere translations ?
From the fragments of a papyrus book, lately acquired by the
University of Heidelberg, Dr. C. Schmidt has succeeded in putting
together enougli for an important literary discovery,—the resuscitation
of the long-lost 'Acts of Paul/D the work which in the earliest stages
of the growth of the Canon was esteemed of all but equal value with the
apostle's Epistles, and with which Hippolitus shows himself acquainted.
This discovery allows us, however, besides, to replace in its true relations
another, better known work; for the 'Acts of [Paul and] TheclaJ are
found now to have formed originally but an incident in the Acts of
Paul, from which they later on became separated. Beyond this, two
other works, of which remnants are to be found among the Heidelberg-
fragments, are also shown to have been joined with the Acts and the
Thecla story : the martyrdom of Paul and his apocryphal correspondence
with the Corinthians. Dr. S. regards Greek as the probable language
of the original book, parts of which, he argues, should be ascribed to
Tertullian's ' Presbyter of Asia,' and he proposes to date the whole
collection between 120 and 170. The actual Coptic MS. he holds to be
of the seventh century, while its dialect, showing, as it does, the Sa'idic
consonants with Mid. Eg. vowels, is of a variety " hitherto unknown."
These statements must await confirmation in the promised publication
of the texts. An important and highly appreciative estimate of Dr..
S.'s paper by Prof. Harnack appeared in the Th. lit. Z. 1897, no. 24. The
fact is there emphasized that at a very early stage in church history
almost purely imaginative works such as these found ready, uncritical
acceptance, (v. also Anal, Bolland., 1898, 231 ff. and Th. lit. Z., 28. Mai
From among the endless texts of interest which the Paris collection
now contains, Dr. C. Schmidt has selected one to publish which gives us
a large part of the 39th Festal Letter of Athanasius.10 This letter is of
especial value, as it is that—known already from later Greek excerpts,—
in which the Alexandrian canonical books are enumerated. It is, perhaps,
a pity that Dr. Schmidt did not, when printing this fragment, add the
others in Paris and Oxford, which are not only from the same MS., but
preserve parts of this very letter. The present text, however, has given
him sufficient material for a lengthy dissertation, the starting point for