Peogeess of Egyptology.
In a review of C. Schmidt's Alto Petrusakten, Montague James
expresses himself hardly in agreement with S.'s denial of the Gnostic
character of that work.11
This year the long looked-for edition of the Coptic Acta Pauli by C.
Schmidt has appeared12 (v. Report, 1897-98, 60). The text has been
laboriously pieced together from some 2,000 small fragments of papyrus,
dating, the editor now holds, from the 6th century or earlier. The text
is in an interesting idiom, intermediate between the Achmimic and Sa'idic.
S.'s theory as to the origin and history of the work is parallel to that
which he has proposed for the Acts of Peter. An imaginative story, based
upon the canonical history of the apostle, was early adopted into the
heretical corpus of the Manichees. Thus made unpalatable for the
orthodox, it was eventually re-edited; and it is to this later recension
that we owe the survival of those popular incidents from the story—the
Acts of Paul and Thecla, the correspondence of Paul with the Corinthians
and his martyrdom—which have generally been considered as independent
compositions, but which this ancient Coptic text now shows us as integral
portions of the Acts. "Paul and Thecla" was, according to Tertullian,
the work of a presbyter of Asia Minor; hence, S. argues, we may assume
this presbyter to be responsible for the whole Acts. The work has been
reviewed by Haenack13 and yon Dobschutz.13"
The Arabic text of the version current in Egypt of the apocryphal Acts
of the Apostles, though utilized by Guidi, had hitherto not been printed.
An edition with translation, from a 14th century MS. in the Nitrian
monasteries, has now been published by Mbs. Lewis.14 When shall we
have a collective, critical edition of the numerous remains of that ancient
Sa'idic version, whence both the Arabic and the Ethiopia derive ?
Fragments of an Apocalypse of Moses, in the Fayyumic dialect, and of
the Acts of St. John, are included in a series of texts from the Berlin
Museum, published by Leipoldt (nos. 181, 182).15
Hebbelynck's Mysteres des Lettres continues to attract critics. E.
Galtiee's study of some of its problems is among the most valuable that
have appeared.16 He shows that the supposed want of connection between
the fourth part of the text and the remainder is imaginary, and that the
writer was generally more logical than has been assumed. He gives further
proofs of the ultimate Greek origin of the Coptic text, and he has an
interesting discussion of the symbolic cosmology involved, and of other
A study by Jacoby1' of the ideas—often those relating to eternity—of
which the frog is, in later Egypt, a symbol, is rather difficult to follow : it