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The Viaticum of Constantine the African: Manuscript Puzzles and Editorial Prospects

The Viaticum of Constantine the African: Manuscript Puzzles and Editorial Prospects
59 Queen's Park Crescent, Room A, PIMS
Time: Mar 7th, 3:10 pm End: Mar 7th, 5:00 pm
Interest Categories: Medieval Studies (FAS), 2000-
Talk by Brian Long

The Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies presents

The Viaticum of Constantine the African: Manuscript Puzzles and Editorial Prospects

Dr. Brian Long

Constantine the African's Viaticum has long needed a modern edition: Constantine's text exerted considerable influence on the study and practice of medicine in the Latin West, but is also important for our knowledge of Jewish and Islamic medicine. The study of Constantine's Viaticum has, however, been hampered by the lack of anything approaching a modern edition: the Viaticum text in frequent scholarly use remains the one that was printed in the 1515 edition of Constantine's works, and our uncertain knowledge of the earliest manuscripts of the Viaticum has made study of the text difficult.

In this talk, I will explore some of the editorial problems I have encountered when attempting to produce an edition of this major work of Constantine's; I will survey the manuscripts of the Viaticum dating to the first century and a half of its existence, examine a few of the most important Viaticum manuscripts in detail, and finally reflect on the ways that the text of the Viaticum evolved in the course of its early history.

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