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HE LATIN VERSION which follows has a special interest for Englishmen, as being a product of the remarkable but premature literary revival which distinguished the thirteenth century, and as giving the Ignatian letters in the only form in which they were known in this country till several years after the invention of printing. Its connexion with Robert Grossteste has been investigated in an earlier part of this work.
The two MSS of this Latin collection, Caiensis and Montacutianus, designated L, and L, respectively, have been already described. Previous editors, even where they have printed the whole collection, have disturbed the arrangement of the epistles as found in the мss, so as to adapt it to the special purposes which they had in view. In the present edition the arrangement is preserved; and thus the whole body of Ignatian literature is now presented, as I believe, for the first time, as it was read by the more learned of our fellow-countrymen from the middle of the thirteenth to the end of the fifteenth century.
The collection comprises sixteen epistles in all besides the Acts of Martyrdom; the Epistle to the Romans, which is incorporated in these Acts, being reckoned as one of the sixteen. In L, however, where the epistles are numbered in order', the Acts themselves are
1 In L1 the number of the epistle is always noted in the margin, and sometimes incorporated in the title as well. In L, the number is never given in the title (for the apparent exception of the Epistle to the Antiochenes see below,
p. 635), and probably also it was wanting in the margin. Ussher indeed has frequently left it in the margin in his collation of Lg with the transcript of L1; but it is plain that he did not pay much attention to these margins.
reckoned as one of the epistles (the twelfth), and the Epistle to the Romans as another (the thirteenth). Thus according to this reckoning there are seventeen epistles in all.
This collection falls into two parts.
(1) The first, which ends with the Acts of Martyrdom and the accompanying Epistle to the Romans, includes twelve epistles. This portion is a translation from a Greek original. The circumstances under which it was probably made have been already considered. It corresponds exactly in arrangement and contents with the Greek collection represented by the Medicean and Colbert MSS, and must have been translated by Bishop Grossteste or his assistants from some similar Greek MS. At the close of this part is a summary of the contents. This is the main indication in the Latin Mss that the first part is separate from the second.
(2) The second part consists of the four short epistles, which make up the correspondence of the saint with the Virgin and S. John. These epistles, as I have already stated, appear never to have existed in the Greek, and therefore cannot have formed part of Grossteste's version. How they came to be attached to this version it is impossible to say; but inasmuch as they occur in both the MSS L, L,, in the same form and arrangement, though these two MSS are independent of each other, they must have held this position at a very early date, and it is not improbable that they were appended soon after the version was made. They were very popular in the middle ages, and appear to have been much read about this time'; so that no collection of the Ignatian Epistles would have appeared complete without them.
The great importance of this Anglo-Latin version of the Ignatian Epistles for textual criticism has been explained in the Introduction. But notwithstanding its acknowledged value it has never yet been treated with the consideration which it deserves. I hope that I have
1 The following is an extract from a MS in the Bodleian, Laud. Miscell. 210, fol. 132 b (15th century): This letter suying wrot oure lady Marye where owne hand and sende hit to ignacie the martyr The blessed virgyn marye wrote a pystyl to ygnacie the martyr in persecucion and seyde thus stonde you and doo manly in the feith; and thi spirit fuloute joy in god, and how myche Ion the evangelist
was pursuyd for prechyng of the gospel and destitute of mannus help and so myche he was relevyd be goddis help etc. Hugo de sancto victore in prologo super apocalipsi.' In the Catalogue (p. 182) these words 'Hugo etc.' are wrongly treated as the title to the next treatise. They refer to what has gone before, and give the source of the preceding quotation.