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SermonIndex.net : Christian Books : VI. The Editions of Salvian's Works

On The Government Of God by Salvian

VI. The Editions of Salvian's Works

Schoenemann distinguished three ages in the editions of Salvian; the first, from 1528 to 1580, is that in which the two major works were published. The treatise Against Avarice was issued by Sichardus at Fol near Basle in 1528: two years later Brassicanus published in the same city his editio princeps of the books On the Government of God, based apparently on the extant Vienna manuscript of the fifteenth century (MS Vindobonensis 826). The next period, from 1580 to 1663, was dominated by the editions of Pierre Pithou, the first of which, published at Paris in 1580, was so much in demand that it soon came, as Baluze said, to have almost the rarity of a manuscript. This was the more unfortunate, as the several reprints were inferior. In 1611 Conrad Rittershausen published an edition at Altdorf, with far more copious notes than those of previous editors. He seems to have been the first to find much space for commentary on other points than the establishment of the text, and included literary and juristic references of considerable interest and value. His edition, however, was little used outside of Germany.

In the third period, as Schoenemann says, solus regnat Baluzius. Stephen Baluze published his first edition of Salvian's works together with the Commonitorium of Vincent of Lérins in 1663, and this rapidly superseded the earlier editions. Using the tenth century manuscript of Corbie (Paris, Bibl. Nat. MS Lat.13385), by far the best of existing manuscripts, he was able to construct a text superior to any previously published. The commentary of Baluze has formed the basis, often unacknowledged, of many notes on Salvian since, a source of information which one could not afford to overlook. His work is chiefly cited now in the fourth edition, published in 1742 at Stadtamhof.

Here end Schoenemann's three ages; but as far as the text is concerned, Baluze has been dethroned in our present age, first by Halm in 1877 and then by Pauly in 1883. Since notes in these modern editions are limited to the apparatus criticus, Baluze still reigns in the field of commentary. Meanwhile, from the sixteenth century to the early nineteenth, there have been numerous lesser editions, frequently pirated from those more famous.

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