The Apostolic Fathers corpus contains an interesting if motley sample of early Christian writings composed in Greek. The Greek text was edited several times in the past couple of decades, with new critical editions and commentaries being now produced for each book separately with OUP. The versions, although quite interesting and varied, tend to fall through the cracks.

The AnTrAF Project (Ancient Translations of the Apostolic Fathers) explores various approaches the AF reception in manuscript cultures of the languages in which they were translated. Despite a few exceptions, critical editions of these versions are either still lacking or a century old, even though new manuscripts have been discovered.

A first AnTrAF conference took place in May 2019 in Leuven, with papers on the AF transmission in Latin, Syriac, Coptic, Armenian, Slavonic, Middle Persian, Ethiopic and Arabic. A report is available hereThe proceedings—including further invited contributions on Ignatius in Slavonic and on the Shepherd of Hermas in indigenous Ethiopian Literature—will be published as a 2021 thematic issue of Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses (ETL).

The 2019 Conference won a Fritz-Thyssen Stiftung conference grant. For this project I have also secured two one-month fellowships at the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library (July ’19), and Dumbarton Oaks (August ’19).

Related publications:

Four New Syriac Witnesses to the Middle Recension of the Ignatian Corpus,“ in M. Toca and D. Batovici (eds.), Caught in Translation: Studies on Versions of Late-Antique Christian Literature (Texts and Studies in Eastern Christianity 17; Leiden: Brill, 2020), 122-137.

Dating, Split-Transmission Theory, and the Latin Reception of the Shepherd of Hermas,” Jahrbuch für Antike und Christentum 60 (2017 [2018]) 83-90.

Some Observations on the Coptic Reception of the Shepherd of Hermas,” Comparative Oriental Manuscript Studies Bulletin 3.2 (2017 [2018]) 81-96.

Two Lost Lines of the Coptic Hermas in BnF Copte 130 (2) f. 127,” Journal of Theological Studies 68.2 (2017) 572-75.

Hermas in Latin: Notes on a Recent Edition,” Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses 94.1 (2018) 151-57.

Related presentations:

“Canonical, Scholarly, Liturgical Uses: The Ancient Translations of the Apostolic Fathers” | Ghent Institute of Classical Studies, Universiteit Gent, November 2019.

Organising 1 Clement in Syriac and Coptic” | Scribal Habits in Middle Eastern Manuscripts, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, May 2019.

1 and 2 Clement in University Library, Cambridge, Add. MSS 1700” | AnTrAF Conference: Versions of Apostolic Past, May 2019.

“The Coptic Reception of the Shepherd” | North American Patristics Society Annual Conference, Chicago, May 2017.

If you’re interested in this project, do get in touch at dan.batovici@kuleuven.be.

Ign 309
Detail of HMML CFMM 309, from the vHMML Reading Room.