« Prev Chapter III. The Hexapla, and the Hexaplaric and… Next »




1. THE century which produced the versions of Aquila, Theodotion, and Symmachus saw also the birth of the great Christian scholar who conceived the idea of using them for the revision of the Alexandrian Greek Bible.

Origen was in his 17th year when his father suffered martyrdom (A.D. 202)159159Eus. H. E. vi. 2.; at eighteen he was already head of the catechetical school of Alexandria160160Hieron. de virr. ill. 54.. The Old Testament from the first engaged his attention, and, rightly judging that it could not be fruitfully studied without a knowledge of the original, he applied himself at once to the study of Hebrew.

Eus. H. E. vi. 16 τοσαύτη δὲ εἰσήγετο τῷ Ὠριγένει τῶν θείων λόγων ἀπηκριβωμένη ἐξέτ͍σις, ὡς καὶ τὴν Ἐβραίδα γλῶτταν ἐκμαθεῖν τάς τε παρὰ τοῖς Ἰουδαίοις ἐμφερομένας πρωτοτύπους αὐτοῖς Ἐβραίων στοιχείοις γραφὰς κτῆμα ἴδιον ποιήσασθαι. Hieron. de virr. ill. 54 "quis autem ignorat quod tantum in scripturis divinis habuerit studii ut etiam Hebraeam linguam contra aetatis gentisque suae naturam edisceret161161Cf. ep. ad Paulam.?"

The feat was perhaps without precedent, in the third century, among Christian scholars not of Jewish origin162162See D. C. B. art. Hebrew Learning (ii. p. 351 ff.).; in one so 60young it seemed prodigious to a veteran like Jerome. These studies, begun in Egypt, were continued in Palestine at Caesarea, where Origen sought shelter during the storm of persecution which burst upon Alexandria in the reign of Caracalla (A.D. 216—219). On his return to Egypt Origen's period of literary productivity began, and between the years 220 and 250 he gave to the world a succession of commentaries, homilies, or notes on nearly all the books of the Old Testament163163See D. C. B. art. Origenes, iv. p. 129 ff.. In the course of these labours, perhaps from the moment that he began to read the Old Testament in the original, he was impressed with the importance of providing the Church with materials for ascertaining the true text and meaning of the original. The method which he adopted is described by himself in his famous letter to Africanus (c. A.D. 240), and more fully in his commentary on St Matthew (c. A.D. 245)164164Cf. Bp Westcott in D. C. B, iv. p. 99: "it was during this period (i.e. before A.D. 215) in all probability that he formed and partly executed his plan of a comparative view of the LXX. in connexion with the other Greek versions.".

Orig. ad Afric. 5: καὶ ταῦτα δέ φημι οὑχὶ ὄκνῳ τοῦ ἐρευνᾷν καὶ τὰς κατὰ Ἰουδαίους γραφὰς καὶ πάσας τὰς ἡμετέρας ταῖς ἐκείνων συγκρίνειν καὶ ὁρᾷν τὰς ἐν αὐταῖς διαφοράς, εἰ μὴ φορτικὸν γοῦν εἰπεῖν, ἐπὶ πολὺ τοῦτο (ὅση δύναμις) πεποιήκαμεν, γυμνάζοντες αὐτῶν τὸν νοῦν ἐν πάσαις ταῖς ἐκδόσεσι καὶ ταῖς διαφοραῖς αὐτῶν μετὰ τοῦ πόσως μᾶλλον ἀσκεῖν τὴν ἑρμηνείαν τῶν ἑβδομήκοντα . . . ἀσκοῦμεν δὲ μὴ ἀγνοεῖν καὶ τὰς παῤ ἐκείνοις, ἵνα πρὸς Ἰουδαίους διαλεγόμενοι μὴ προσφέρωμεν αὐτοῖς τὰ μὴ κείμενα ἐν τοῖς ἀντιγράφοις αὐτῶν, καὶ ἵνα συγχρησώμεθα τοῖς φερομένοις παῤ ἐκείνοις, εἰ καὶ ἐν τοῖς ἡμετέροις οὐ κεῖται βιβλίοις. In Matt. xv. 14: τὴν μὲν οὖν ἐν τοῖς ἀντιγράφοις τῆς παλαιᾶς διαθήκης διαφωνίαν, θεοῦ διδόντος, εὕρομεν ἰάσασθαι, κριτηρίῳ χρησάμενοι ταῖς λοιπαῖς ἐκδόσεσιν· τῶν γὰρ ἀμφιβαλλομένων παρὰ τοῖς οʹ διὰ τὴν τῶν ἀντιγράφων διαφωνίαν, τὴν κρίσιν ποιησάμενοι ἀπὸ τῶν λοιπῶν ἐκδόσεων, τὸ συνᾷδον ἐκείναις ἐφυλάξαμεν· καὶ τινα μὲν ὠβελίσαμεν ἐν τῷ Ἐβραικῷ μὴ κείμενα, οὐ τολμῶντες αὐτὰ πάντη περιελεῖν, τινὰ δὲ μετ᾿ ἀστερίσκων προσεθήκαμεν· ἵνα δῆλον ᾖ ὅτι μὴ κείμενα παρὰ τοῖς οʹ ἐκ τῶν λοιπῶν ἐκδόσεων συμφώνως τῷ Ἐβραικῷ προσεθήκαμεν, καὶ ὁ μὲν βουλόμενος προῆται αὐτά· ᾧ δὲ προσκόπτει τὸ τοιοῦτον, ὃ βούλεται περὶ τῆς παραδοχῆς αὐτῶν ἢ μὴ ποιήσῃ.


2. To attempt a new version was impracticable. It may be doubted whether Origen possessed the requisite knowledge of Hebrew; it is certain that he would have regarded the task as almost impious. Writing to Africanus he defends the apocryphal additions to Daniel and other Septuagintal departures from the Hebrew text on the ground that the Alexandrian Bible had received the sanction of the Church, and that to reject its testimony would be to revolutionise her canon of the Old Testament, and to play into the hands of her Jewish adversaries ἀθετεῖν τὰ ἐν ταῖς ἐκκλησίαις φερόμενα ἀντίγραφα καὶ νομοθετῆσαι τῇ ἀδελφότητι ἀποθέσθαι μὲν τὰς παῤ αὐτοῖς ἐπιφερομένας βίβλους, κολακεύειν δὲ Ἰουδαίοις καὶ πείθειν ἵνα μεταδῶσιν ἡμῖν τῶν καθαρῶν). In this matter it was well, he urged, to bear in mind the precept of Prov. xxii. 28, "Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set." The same reasons prevented him from adopting any of the other versions in place of the Septuagint. On the other hand, Origen held that Christians must be taught frankly to recognise the divergences between the LXX. and the current Hebrew text, and the superiority of Aquila and the other, later versions, in so far as they were more faithful to the original; it was unfair to the Jew to quote against him passages from the LXX. which were wanting in his own Bible, and injurious to the Church herself to withhold from her anything in the Hebrew Bible which the LXX. did not represent. Acting under these convictions Origen's first step was to collect all existing Greek versions of the Old Testament. He then proceeded to transcribe the versions in parallel columns, and to indicate in the column devoted to the Septuagint the relation in which the old Alexandrian version stood to the current Hebrew text.


3. The following specimen, taken from a fragment lately discovered at Milan, will assist the reader to understand the arrangement of the columns, and to realise the general appearance of the Hexapla.



Ps. xlv. (xlvi.) 1—3165165Cf. Un palimpsesto Ambrosiano dei Salmi Esapli (Giov. Mercati) in Atti d. R. Accademia d. Scienze di Torino, 10 Apr. 1896; and E. Klostermann, die Mailänder Fragmente der Hexapla. The MS. does not supply the Hebrew column..


׀למנצח λαμανασση τῷ νικοποιῷ·
לבני קרח [λ]αβνηκορ τῶν υἰῶν Κόρε
על עלמות αλ · αλμωθ ἐπὶ νεανιοτήτων
שיר σιρ ἆσμα.
אלהים לנו ελωειμ · λανου 166166In the MS. λανου appears in the third column, where it has displaced Aquila's rendering. [ὁ θεὸς ἡμῖν(?)]
מחסה ועז μασε · ουοζ ἐλπὶς καὶ κράτος,
עזרה εζρ βήθεια
בצרות βσαρὠθ ἐν θλίψεσιν
נמצא מאד νεμσα μωδ εὑρέθη 167167MS. εὐρέθης. σφόδρα.
על כן αλ · χεν· ἐπὶ τούτῳ
לא נירא λω · νιρα οὐ φοβηθησόμεθα
בהמיר βααμιρ ἐν τῷ ἀνταλάσσεσθαι
ארץ ααρς γῆν,
ובמוט ουβαμωτ καὶ ἐν τῷ σφάλλεσθαι
הרים αριμ ὄρη
בלב βλεβ ἐν καρδίᾳ
ימים׀ ιαμιμ θαλασσῶν.



Ps. xlv. (xlvi.) 1—3


SYMMACHUS. LXX. THEODOTION.168168Or Quinta? Cf. H. Lietzmann in G. G. A. 1902, v., p. 332: "die letzte Columne ist nicht, wie man anfangs glaubte, Theodotion, sondern die Quinta mit Interlinearvarianten."
ἐπινίκιος· εἰς τὸ τέλος· τῷ νικοποιῷ 169169With marginal variants, εἰς τὸ τέλος, ψαλμός (LXX.).
τῶν υἱῶν Κόρε ὑπὲρ τῶν υἱῶν 170170With interlinear variant τοῖς υἱοῖς (Th.). Κόρε τοῖς υἱοῖς Κόρε
ὑπὲρ τῶν αἰωνίων ὑπὲρ τῶν κρυφίων ὑπὲρ τῶν κρυφίων
ᾠδή. ψαλμός. ᾠδή. 171171With marginal variants, εἰς τὸ τέλος, ψαλμός (LXX.).
ὁ θεὸς ἡμῖν ὁ θεὸς ἡμῶν 172172MS. 1 a manu ἡμῖν (? Aq. Sym.). ὁ θεὸς ἡμῶν
πεποίθησις καὶ ἰσχύς, καταφυγὴ καὶ δύναμις, καταφυγὴ καὶ δύναμις,
βοηθεια βοηθὸς βοηθὸς
ἐν θλίψεσιν ἐν θλίψεσι ἐν θλίψεσιν
εὐρισκόμενος σφόδρα. ταῖς εὑρούσαις ἡμᾶς 173173With interlinear variant εὑρεθήσεται ἡμῖν. σφόδρα. εὑρέθη 174174With interlinear variant ταῖς εὑρούσαις ἡμᾶς (LXX.). σφόδρα.
διὰ τοῦτο διὰ τοῦτο διὰ τοῦτο
οὐ φοβηθησόμεθα οὐ φοβηθησόμεθα οὐ φοβηθησόμεθα
ἐν τῷ 175175MS. ταῖς. συγχεῖσθαι ἐν τῷ ταράσσεσθαι ἐν τῷ ταράσσεσθαι
γῆν τὴν γῆν τὴν γῆν
καὶ κλίνεσθαι καὶ μετατίθεσθαι καὶ σαλεύεσθαι 176176With interlinear variant μετατίθεσθαι (LXX.).
ὄρη ὄρη ὄρη
ἐν καρδίᾳ ἐν καρδίᾳ ἐν καρδίᾳ
θαλασσῶν. θαλασσῶν. θαλασσῶν.



The process as a whole is minutely described by Eusebius and Jerome, who had seen the work, and by Epiphanius, whose account is still more explicit but less trustworthy.

Eus. H. E. vi. 16: ταύτας δὲ ἁπάσα [sc. τὰς ἐκδόσεις] ἐπὶ ταὐτὸν συναγαγὼν διελὡν τε πρὸς κῶλον καὶ ἀντιπαραθεὶς ἀλλήλαις μετὰ καὶ αὐτῆς τῆς Ἐβραίων σημειὡσεως τὰ τῶν λεγομένων Ἑξαπλῶν ἡμῖν ἀντίγραφα καταλέλοιπεν, ἰδίως τὴν Ἀκύλου καὶ Συμμάχου καὶ Θεοδοτίωνος ἔκδοσιν ἅμα τῇ τῶν ἑβδομήκοντα ἐν τοῖς Τετραπλοῖς ἐπικατασκευάσας. Hieron. in ep. ad Tit. iii. 9: "nobis curae fuit omnes veteris legis libros quos vir doctus Adamantius in Hexapla digesserat de Caesariensi bibliotheca descriptos ex ipsis authenticis emendare, in quibus et ipsa Hebraea propriis sunt characteribus verba descripta et Graecis literis tramite expressa vicino; Aquila etiam et Symmachus, LXX. quoque et Theodotio suum ordinem tenent; nonnulli vero libri et maxime hi qui apud Hebraeos versu compositi sunt tres alias editiones additas habuit." Cf. his letter to Sunnias and Fretela (ep. 106) and to Augustine (ep. 112) and the preface to the Book of Chronicles. Epiph. de mens. et pond. 7: τὰς γὰρ ἓξ ἑρμηνείας καὶ τὴν Ἐβραικὴν γραφὴν Ἐβραικοῖς στοιχείοις καὶ ῥήμασιν αὐτοῖς ἐν σελίδι177177On σελίς, cf. Sir E. Maunde Thompson, Handbook of Greek and Latin Palaeography, p, 58. μιᾷ συντεθεικώς, ἄλλην σελίδα ἀντιπαράθετον δἰ Ἑλληνικῶν μὲν γραμμάτων Ἐβραικῶν δὲ λέξεων πρὸς κατάληψιν τῶν μὴ εἰδότων Ἐβραικὰ στοιχεῖα . . . καὶ οὕτως τοῖς λεγομένοις ὑπ᾿ αὒτοῦ ἑξαπλοῖς ἢ ὀκταπλοῖς τὰς μὲν δύο Ἐβραικὰς σελίδας καὶ τὰς ἓξ τῶν ἑρμηνευτῶν ἐκ παραλλήλου ἀντιπαραθεὶς μεγάλην ὡφέλειαν γνώσεως ἔδωκε τοῖς φιλοκάλοις. Ib. 19 τὰς δύο Ἐβραικὰς πρώτας κειμένας, μετὰ ταύτας δὲ τὴν τοῦ Ἀκύλα τεταγμένην, μεθ᾿ ἣν καὶ τὴν τοῦ Συμμάχου, ἔπειτα τὴν τῶν οβʹ, μεθ᾿ ἃς ἡ τοῦ Θεοδοτίωνος συντέτακται, καὶ ἑξῆς ἡ πέμπτη τε καὶ ἕκτη178178See also ib. 18 sq.; Hieron. Praef. in Paral., and in ep. ad Tit., c. iii..

It will be seen that the specimen corroborates ancient testimony in reference to the relative order of the four Greek versions (Aq., Symm., LXX., Theod.), and illustrates the method of division into corresponding κῶλα179179Used here loosely as = κόμματα, the κῶλον being properly a line consisting of a complete clause, and of 8—17 syllables: cf. E. M. Thompson, Gk and Lat. Palaeography, p. 81 f.; J. R. Harris, Stichometry, p. 23 f. which made comparison easy. With regard to the order, it is clear that Origen did not mean it to be chronological. Epiphanius seeks to account for the position of the LXX. in the fifth column by the not less 65untenable hypothesis that Origen regarded the LXX. as the standard of accuracy (de mens. et pond. 19: Ὠριγένης πυθόμενος τὴν τῶν οβʹ ἔκδοσιν ἀκριβῆ εἶναι μέσην ταύτην συνέθηκεν, ὅπως τὰς ἐντεῦθεν καὶ ἐντεῦθεν ἑρμηνείας διελέγχῃ). As we have learned from Origen himself, the fact was the reverse; the other Greek versions were intended to check and correct the LXX. But the remark, though futile in itself, suggests a probable explanation. Aquila is placed next to the Hebrew text because his translation is the most verbally exact, and Symmachus and Theodotion follow Aquila and the LXX. respectively, because Symmachus on the whole is a revision of Aquila, and Theodotion of the LXX. As to the κῶλα, it was of course necessary that the lines should be as short as possible when six or more columns had to be presented on each opening; and it will be seen that in the Psalms at least not more than two Hebrew words were included in a line, the corresponding Greek words being at the most three or four180180In the earlier Cairo palimpsest even such words as אל and μή had each a line to itself; see Nestle in Hastings' D.B. iv. 443.. But the claims of the sense are not neglected; indeed it will appear upon inspection that the method adopted serves in a remarkable degree to accentuate the successive steps in the movement of the thought.

4. Besides the Hexapla, Origen compiled a Tetrapla, i.e. a minor edition from which he omitted the first two columns containing the Hebrew text in Hebrew and Greek characters; cf. Eus. l.c. ἰδίως τὴν Ἀκύλου καὶ Συμμάχου καὶ Θεοδοτίωνος ἔκδοσιν ἅμα τῇ τῶν οʹ ἐν τοῖς τετραπλοῖς ἐπικατασκευάσας181181Ἐπικατασκευάζειν is insuper vel postea concinnare (Field, prolegg. p. xii.); cf. Dio Cass. l. 23 τὰ σκάφη κατεσκεύασε . . . καὶ ἐπ᾿ αὐτὰ πύργους ἐπεκατεσκεύασε. Oeconomus (iv. 873), who regards the Tetrapla as the earlier work, understands Eusebius to mean only that Origen added to the LXX. the three columns containing ΑʹΣʹΘʹ . . Epiph. de mens. et pond. 19 τετραπλᾶ γάρ εἰσι τὰ Ἑλληνικὰ ὅταν αἱ τοῦ Ἀκὸλου καὶ Συμμάχου καὶ τῶν οβʹ καὶ Θεοδοτίωνος ἑρμηνεῖαι συντεταγμέναι ὦσι. The Tetrapla is occasionally mentioned along with the Hexapla in scholia attached to MSS. of the LXX. Thus in the 66Syro-Hexaplaric version at the end of Joshua it is stated that the Greek codex on which the version was based had the note: ἐγράλη ἐκ τοῦ ἑξαπλοῦ, ἐξ οὗ καὶ παρετέθη· ἀντεβλή͔θη δὲ καὶ πρὸς τὸν τετραπλοῦν. Cod. Q still contains two similar references to the Tetrapla (O. T. in Greek, iii., p. viii., notes). Mention is also made in the MSS. of an Octapla (cf. the Syro-Hexaplar in Job v. 23, vi. 28, and the Hexaplaric MSS. of the Psalter in Ps. lxxv. 1, lxxxvi. 5, lxxxviii. 43, cxxxi. 4, cxxxvi. 1)182182Field, Hexapla, ii. ad loc.; cf. Hieron. in Psalmos (ed. Morin.), p. 66.. The question arises whether the Octapla was a distinct work, or merely another name for the Hexapla in books where the columns were increased to eight by the addition of the Quinta and Sexta. Eusebius appears to support the latter view, for he speaks of the Hexapla of the Psalms as including the Quinta and Sexta (H. E. vi. 16 ἔν γε μὴν τοῖς ἑξαπλοῖς τῶν Ψαλμῶν μετὰ τὰς ἐτισήμους τέσσαρας ἐκδόσεις οὐ μόνον πέμπτην ἀλλὰ καὶ ἕκτην καὶ ἑβδόμην παραθεὶς ἑρμηνείαν). Epiphanius, on the other hand, seems to limit the Hexapla to the six columns (l. c. τῶν τεσσάρων δὲ τούτων σελίδων ταῖς δυσὶ ταῖς Ἐβραικαῖς συναφθεισῶν ἑξαπλᾶ καλεῖται· ἐὰν δὲ καὶ ἡ πέμπτη καὶ ἡ ἕκτη ἑρμηνεία συναφθῶσιν . . . ὀκταπλᾶ καλεῖται. But it has been observed that when the scholia in Hexaplaric MSS. mention the Octapla they are silent as to the Hexapla, although the Octapla and the Tetrapla are mentioned together; e.g. in Ps. lxxxvi. 5 we find the following note:   τὸ  κατὰ προσθήκην ἔκειτο εἰς τὴν τῶν οʹ ἐν τῷ τετρασελίδῳ (the Tetrapla), ἐν δὲ τῷ ὀκτασελίδῳ (the Octapla), , ἤγουν δίχα τοῦ . The inference is that the name 'Octapla' sometimes superseded that of 'Hexapla' in the Psalms, because in the Psalter of the Hexapla there were two additional columns which received the Quinta and Sexta. Similarly the term 'Heptapla' was occasionally used in reference to portions of the Hexapla where a seventh column appeared, but not an eighth183183It occurs (e.g.) in the Hexaplaric Syriac at 2 Kings xvi. 2.. 67'Pentapla' is cited by J. Curterius from cod. Q at Isa. iii. 24, and Field's suspicion that Curterius had read his MS. incorrectly is not confirmed by a reference to the photograph, which exhibits ἐν τῷ πεντασελίδῳ. Origen's work, then, existed (as Eusebius implies) in two forms: (1) the Hexapla, which contained, as a rule, six columns, but sometimes five or seven or eight, when it was more accurately denominated the Pentapla, Heptapla, or Octapla; and (2) the Tetrapla, which contained only four columns answering to the four great Greek versions, excluding the Hebrew and Greek-Hebrew texts on the one hand, and the Quinta and Sexta on the other.


5. The Hebrew text of the Hexapla was of course that which was current among Origen's Jewish teachers in the third century, and which he took to be truly representative of the original. Portions of the second column, which have been preserved, are of interest as shewing the pronunciation of the Hebrew consonants and the vocalisation which was then in use. >From the specimen already given it will be seen that כ = χ, ק = κ, and שׁ ,צ ,ס = σ and that א ה ח ע are without equivalent184184Cf. the practice of Aquila (Burkitt, Fragments of the Books of Kings acc. to Aquila, p. 14).. The divergences of the vocalisation from that which is represented by the pointing of the M. T. are more important; see Dr Taylor's remarks in D. C. B. ii. p. 15 f.

In regard to Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion, and the minor Greek versions, Origen's task was limited to transcription under the conditions imposed by the plan of his work. But the fifth column, which contained the Hexaplaric LXX., called for the full exercise of his critical powers. If his first idea had been, as his own words almost suggest, merely to transcribe the LXX. in its proper place, without making material alterations in the text, a closer comparison of the LXX. with the current Hebrew text and the versions based upon it must soon have 68convinced him that this was impracticable. Let us suppose that there lay before him an Alexandrian or Palestinian MS., containing the 'common' text of the LXX. ἠ κοινή, or vulgata editio , as Jerome calls it185185 Ep. ad Sunn. et Fret. ), i. e. the text of the Greek Bible as it was read by the Church of the third century. As the transcription proceeded, it would be seen that every column of the Greek contained clauses which were not in the Hebrew, and omitted clauses which the Hebrew contained. Further, in many places the order of the Greek would be found to depart from that of the Hebrew, the divergence being sometimes limited to a clause or a verse or two, but occasionally extending to several chapters. Lastly, in innumerable places the LXX. would be seen to yield a sense more or less at variance with the current Hebrew, either through misapprehension on the part of the translators or through a difference in the underlying text. These causes combined to render the coordination of the Alexandrian Greek with the existing Hebrew text a task of no ordinary difficulty, and the solution to which Origen was led appeared to him to be little short of an inspiration θεοῦ διδόντος εὕρομεν).

Origen began by assuming (1) the purity of the Hebrew text, and (2) the corruption of the κοινή where it departed from the Hebrew186186See Driver, Samuel, p. xlvi.: "he assumed that the original Septuagint was that which agreed most closely with the Hebrew text as he knew it . . . a step in the wrong direction.". The problem before him was to restore the LXX. to its original purity, i.e. to the Hebraica veritas as he understood it, and thus to put the Church in possession of an adequate Greek version of the Old Testament without disturbing its general allegiance to the time-honoured work of the Alexandrian translators. Some of the elements in this complex process were comparatively simple. (1) Differences of order were met by transposition, the Greek order making way for the 69Hebrew. In this manner whole sections changed places in the LXX. text of Exodus, 1 Kings, and Jeremiah; in Proverbs only, for some reason not easy to determine, the two texts were allowed to follow their respective courses, and the divergence of the Greek order from the Hebrew was indicated by certain marks187187A combination of the asterisk and obelus; see below, p. 71. prefixed to the stichi of the LXX. column. (2) Corruptions in the κοινή, real or supposed, were tacitly corrected in the Hexapla, whether from better MSS. of the LXX., or from the renderings of other translators, or, in the case of proper names, by a simple adaptation of the Alexandrian Greek form to that which was found in the current Hebrew188188E.g. at Exod. vi. 16, Γηρσών was substituted by Origen for Γεδσών. Whether his practice in this respect was uniform has not been definitely ascertained. . (3) The additions and omissions in the LXX. presented greater difficulty. Origen was unwilling to remove the former, for they belonged to the version which the Church had sanctioned, and which many Christians regarded as inspired Scripture; but he was equally unwilling to leave them without some mark of editorial disapprobation. Omissions were readily supplied from one of the other versions, namely Aquila or Theodotion; but the new matter interpolated into the LXX. needed to be carefully distinguished from the genuine work of the Alexandrian translators189189Hieron. Praef. ad Chron.: "quod maioris audaciae est, in editione LXX. Theodotionis editionem miscuit, asteriscis designans quae minus ante fuerant, et virgulis quae ex superfluo videbantur apposita." The Book of Job offered the largest field for interpolation: a scholion in cod. 161 says, Ἰὼβ στίχοι, αχʹ χωρὶς ἀστερίσκων, μετὰ δὲ τῶν ἀστερίσκων ͵βςʹ.. See Add. Notes.


6. Here the genius of Origen found an ally in the system of critical signs which had its origin among the older scholars of Alexandria, dating almost from the century which produced the earlier books of the LXX. The Ἀριστάρχεια σήματα took their name from the prince of Alexandrian grammarians, Aristarchus, who flourished in the reign of Philopator (A.D. 70222—205, and they appear to have been first employed in connexion with his great edition of Homer190190See a complete list of these in Gardthausen, Griech. Paläographie, p. 288 f.. Origen selected two of these signs known as the obelus and the asterisk, and adapted them to the use of his edition of the Septuagint. In the Homeric poems, as edited by Aristarchus, the obelus marked passages which the critic wished to censure, while the asterisk was affixed to those which seemed to him to be worthy of special attention; cf. the anecdoton printed by Gardthausen: ὁ δὲ ὀβελὸς πρὸς τὰ ἀθετούμενα ἐπὶ τοῦ ποιητοῦ ἤγουν νενοθευμένα ἢ ὑποβεβλημένα· ὁ δὲ ἀστερίσκος . . . ὡς καλῶν εἰρημένων τῶν ἐπῶν. Similarly, in connexion with Platonic dicta , Diogenes Laertius (platon. iii. 657) used the obelus πρὸς τὴν ἀθέτησιν and the asterisk πρὸς τὴν συμφωνίαν τῶν δογμάτων. As employed by Origen in the fifth column of the Hexapla, the obelus was prefixed to words or lines which were wanting in the Hebrew, and therefore, from Origen's point of view, of doubtful authority191191On an exceptional case in which he obelised words which stood in the Hebrew text, see Cornill, Ezechiel, p. 386 (on xxxii. 17)., whilst the asterisk called attention to words or lines wanting in the LXX., but present in the Hebrew. The close of the context to which the obelus or asterisk was intended to apply was marked by another sign known as the metobelus. When the passage exceeded the length of a single line, the asterisk or obelus was repeated at the beginning of each subsequent line until the metobelus was reached.

Epiph. de mens. et pond. 2, 3 ὁ ἀστερίσκος . . . σημαίνει τὸ ἐμφερόμενον ῥῆμα ἐν τῷ Ἐβραικῷ κεῖσθαι . . . οἱ δὲ οβʹ ἑρμηνευταὶ παρῆκαν καὶ οὐχ ἡρμήνευκαν . . . ὀβελὸς δὲ . . . παρετίθη . . . ταῖς τῆς θείας γραφῆς λέξεσιν ταῖς παρὰ τοῖς οβʹ ἑρμηνευταῖς κειμέναις, παρὰ δὲ τοῖς περὶ Ἀκύλαν καὶ Σύμμαχον μὴ ἐμφερομέναις. Schol. ap. Tisch. not. ed cod. Sin. p. 76 ὅσοις οἰ ὀβελοὶ πρόσκεινται ῥητοῖς, οὗτοι οὐκ ἔκειντο οὔτε παρὰ τοῖς λοιποῖς ἑρμηνευταῖς οὔτε ἐν τῷ Ἐβραικῷ, ἀλλὰ παρὰ μόνοις τοῖς οʹ· καὶ ὅσοις οἱ ἀστερίσκοι πρόσκεινται ῥητοῖς, οὖτοι ἐν μὲν τῷ Ἐβραικῷ καὶ τοῖς λοιποῖς ἑρμηνευταῖς ἐφέροντο, ἐν δὲ τοῖς οʹ οὐκέτι.


Occasionally Origen used asterisk and obelus together, as Aristarchus had done, to denote that the order of the Greek was at fault (anecd. ap. Gardthausen: ὁ δὲ ἀστερίσκος μετὰ ὀβελοῦ, ὡς ὄντα μὲν τὰ ἔπη τοῦ ποιητοῦ, μὴ καλῶς δὲ κείμενα: schol. ap. Tisch. not. ed. Sin. l. c. φέρονται μὲν παρὰ τοῖς οʹ, φέρονται δὲ ἐν τῷ Ἐβραικῷ καὶ παρὰ τοῖς λοιποῖς ἑρμηνευταῖς, τὴν θέσιν δὲ μὸνην παραλλάσσουσιν οἱ λοιποὶ καὶ τὸ Ἐβραικὸν παρὰ τοὺς οʹ· ὅθεν ὠβέλισται ἐν ταὐτῷ καὶ ἠστέρισται, ὡς παρὰ πᾶσι μὲν φερόμενα, οὐκ ἐν τοῖς αὐτοῖς δὲ τόποις: also ap. mon. sacr. ined. iii. p. xvii. τὰ δὲ ἠστερισμένα ἐν ταὐτῷ καὶ ὠβελισμένα ῥητὰ . . . ὡς παρὰ πᾶσι μὲν φερόμενα, οὐκ ἐν τοῖς αὐτοῖς δὲ τόποις). The Aristarchian (or as they are usually called by students of the Old Testament, the Hexaplaric) signs are also used by Origen when he attempts to place before the reader of his LXX. column an exact version of the Hebrew without displacing the LXX. rendering. Where the LXX. and the current Hebrew are hopelessly at issue, he occasionally gives two versions, that of one of the later translators distinguished by an asterisk, and that of the LXX. under an obelus192192A somewhat different view of Origen's practice is suggested by H. Lietzmann (Gött. gel. Anz. 1902, 5) and G. Mercati (Atti d. R. Acc. d. Sci. di Torino, 10 Apr. 1896: vol. 31, p. 656 ff. .

The form of the asterisk, obelus, and metobelus varies slightly. The first consists of the letter x, usually surrounded by four dots (, the χῖ τεριεστιγμένον); the form occurs but seldom, and only, as it seems, in the Syro-Hexaplar. The ὀρελός, 'spit' or 'spear,' is represented in Epiphanius by , but in the MSS. of the LXX. a horizontal straight line (—)193193This sometimes becomes a hook . has taken the place of the original form, with or without occupying dot or dots ( ); the form was known as a lemniscus, and the form as a hypolemniscus. Epiphanius indeed (op. cit., c. 8) fancies that each dot represents a pair of translators, so that the lemniscus means that the word or clause which the LXX. adds to the Hebrew had the support of two out of the thirty-six pairs which composed the whole body, whilst the hypolemniscus 72claims for it the support of only one pair. This explanation, it is scarcely necessary to say, is as baseless as the fiction of the cells on which, in the later Epiphanian form, it rests. Other attempts to assign distinct values to the various forms of the obelus have been shewn by Field to be untenable194194Prolegg. p. lix. sq.. The metobelus is usually represented by two dots arranged perpendicularly (:), like a colon; other forms are a sloping line with a dot before it or on either side (/., ·/.), and in the Syro-Hexaplar and other Syriac versions a mallet . The latter form, as the least ambiguous, is used in Field's great edition of the Hexapla, and in the apparatus which is printed under the text of the LXX. version of Daniel in the Cambridge manual Septuagint.

Certain other signs found in Hexaplaric MSS. are mentioned in the following scholion Έὐαγρίου σχ., one of the σχόλια εἰς τὰς παροιμίας printed in the Notitia ed. cod. Sin., p. 76, from a Patmos MS.; see Robinson, Philocalia, pp. xiii., xvii. ff.): εἰσὶν195195Lietzmann proposes to read: Εὐαγρίου σχόλια εἰσίν, ὅσα . . . ἀριθμόν, Ὠρ. δέ, ὅσα Ὠριγένην κ.τ.λ. ὅσα προτεταγμένον ἔχουσι τὸν ἀριθμὸν ὧδε· ὅσα Ὠριγένην ἐπιγεγραμμένον ἔχει τούτῳ τῷ μονοσυλλάβῳ, . . . ὅσα δὲ περὶ διαφωνίας ῥητῶν τινῶν τῶν ἐν τῷ ἐδαφίῳ ἢ ἐκδόσεών ἐστιν σχόλια, ἅπερ καὶ κάτω νενευκυῖαν περιεστιγμένην ἔχει προτεταγμένην, τῶν ἀντιβεβληκότων τὸ βιβλίον ἐστίν· ὅσα δὲ ἀμφιβόλως ἔξω κείμενα ῥητὰ ἔξω νενευκυῖαν περιεστιγμένην ἔχει προτεταγμένην, διὰ τὰ σχόλια προσετέθησαν κατ᾿ αὐτὰ τοῦ μεγάλου εἰρηκότος διδασκάλου, ἵνα μὴ δόξῃ κατὰ κενοῦ τὸ σχόλιον φέρεσθαι, ἐν πολλοῖς μὲν τῶν ἀντιγράφων τῶν ῥητῶν οὕτως ἐχόντων, ἐν τούτῳ δὲ μὴ οὕτως κειμένων ἢ μηδ᾿ ὅλως φερομένων, καὶ διὰ τοῦτο προστεθέντων.

The following extract from the great Hexaplaric MS. known as G will enable the student, to whom the subject may be new, to practise himself in the interpretation of the signs. He will find it instructive to compare the extract with his Hebrew Bible on the one hand and the text of Cod. B (printed in the Cambridge LXX.) on the other 196196The vertical bars denote, of course, the length of the lines of Cod. G. The lines of the LXX. column of the Hexapla, if we may judge by the specimen (p. 62 f.), varied in length according to the sense..



Joshua xi. 10—14 (Cod. Sarravianus).

και επεστρεψεν ις εν | τω καιρω εκεινω   | κατελαβετο την : ασωρ | και τον βασιλεα αυτης | απεκτεινεν εν ρομ | φαια : ην δε ασωρ πο προ|τερον αρχουσα πασω | των βασιλειων του|των και απεκτεινα | παν ενπνεον ο : εν | αυτη εν στοματι ξιφους | και εξωλεθρευσαν : | —παντας : και ου κατελι|φθη εν αυτη ενπνε|ον και την ασωρ ενε|πρησεν εν πυρι και πα|σας τας πόλεις των | βασιλειων τουτω : | και παντας : τους βασι|λεις αυτων ελαβεν ις | και ανειλεν αυτους | εν στοματι ξιφους | εξωλεθρευσεν αυτους | ον τροπον συνεταξε | Μωσης ο παις κυ· αλλα | πασας τας πολεις τας || κεχωματισμενας | αυτων : ουκ ενεπρη|σεν ινλ πλην την : α|σωρ μονην αυτην : ενεπρησεν ις και πα|τα τα σκυλα αυτης   | τα κτηνη : επρονομευ|σαν εαυτοις οι   ινλ | κατα το ρημα κυ ο ενε | τειλατο τω ιυ : αυτους | δε παντας εξωλεθρευ|σεν εν στοματι ξιφους | εως απωλεσεν αυτους | ου κατιλιπον αυτω : | ουδε εν ενπνεον * * *

7. The Hexapla was completed, as we have seen, by A.D. 240 or 245; the Tetrapla, which was a copy of four columns of the Hexapla, followed, perhaps during Origen's last years at Tyre.197197See the confused and inexact statement of Epiphanius, de mens. et pond. 18. A large part of the labour of transcription may have been borne by the copyists who were in constant attendance on the great scholar, but he was doubtless his own διορθωτής, and the two Hebrew columns and the LXX. column of the Hexapla were probably written by his own hand.

Eusebius in a well-known passage describes the costly and laborious process by which Origen's commentaries on Scripture were given to the world: H. E. vi. 23 ταχυγράφοι γὰρ αὐτῷ πλείους ἢ ἑπτὰ τὸν ἀριθμὸν παρῆσαν ὑπαγορεύοντι, χρόνοις τεταγμένοις ἀλλήλους ἀμείβοντες, βιβλιογράφοι τε οὐχ ἥττους ἅμα καὶ κόραις ἐπὶ τὸ καλλιγραφεῖν ἠσκημέναις· ὧν ἁπάντων τὴν δέουσαν τῶν ἐπιτηδείων ἄφθονον περιουσίαν ὁ Ἀμβρόσιος παρεστήσατο. Two of these classes of workers, the βιβλιογράφοι and καλλιγράφοι (cf. Gardthausen, Gr. Palaeographie, p. 297), must have found ample employment in the preparation of the Hexapla. The material used was possibly papyrus. Although there are extant fragments of writing on vellum which may be attributed to the second century, "there is every reason to suppose that to the end of the third century papyrus held its own, at any rate in Egypt, as the 74material on which literary works were written" (Kenyon, Palaeography of Gk papyri, p. 113 f.; on the size of existing papyrus rolls, see p. 16 ff.). This view receives some confirmation from Jerome's statement (ep. 141) that Acacius and Evagrius endeavoured to replace with copies on parchment some of the books in the library at Caesarea which were in a damaged condition ("bibliothecam . . . ex parte corruptam . . . in membranis instaurare conati sunt")198198See Birt, das antike Buchwesen, pp. 100, 107 ff. . According to Tischendorf (prolegg. in cod. Frid. Aug. § 1) cod. א was written on skins of antelopes, each of which supplied only two leaves of the MS. The Hexapla, if copied in so costly a way, would have taxed the resources even of Origen's generous ἐργοδιώκτης.

It is difficult to conceive of a codex or series of codices so gigantic as the Hexapla. Like the great Vatican MS., it would have exhibited at each opening at least six columns, and in certain books; like the Sinaitic MS., eight. Its bulk, even when allowance has been made for the absence in it of the uncanonical books, would have been nearly five times as great as that of the Vatican or the Sinaitic Old Testament. The Vatican MS. contains 759 leaves, of which 617 belong to the Old Testament; when complete, the O. T. must have occupied 650 leaves, more or less. From these data it may be roughly calculated that the Hexapla, if written in the form of a codex, would have filled 3250 leaves or 6500 pages199199If the Hexapla was written in lines consisting of only one word like the Cairo palimpsest, this estimate is far too low; see Nestle in Hastings, D. B iv. p. 443.; and these figures are exclusive of the Quinta and Sexta, which may have swelled the total considerably. Even the Tetrapla would have exceeded 2000 leaves. So immense a work must have been the despair of copyists, and it is improbable that any attempt was made to reproduce either of the editions as a whole. The originals, however, were long preserved at Caesarea in Palestine, where they were deposited, perhaps by Origen himself, in the library of Pamphilus. There they were studied by Jerome in the fourth century (in Psalmos comm. ed. Morin., p. 5: "ἑξαπλοῦς Origenis in Caesariensi bibliotheca relegens"; ib. p. 12: "cum vetustum Origenis hexaplum psalterium revolverem, quod ipsius manu 75fuerat emendatum"; in ep. ad Tit.: "nobis curae fuit omnes veteris legis libros quos v. d. Adamantius in Hexapla digesserat de Caesariensi bibliotheca descriptos ex ipsis authenticis emendare." There also they were consulted by the writers and owners of Biblical MSS.; compare the interesting note attached by a hand of the seventh century to the book of Esther in cod. א : ἀντεβλήθη πρὸς παλαιότατον λίαν ἀντίγραφον δεδιορθωμένον χειρὶ τοῦ ἁγίου `άρτυρος Παμφίλου· πρὸς δὲ τῷ τέλει τοῦ αὐτοῦ παλαιοτάτου βιβλίου . . . ὑποσημείωσις τοῦ αὐτοῦ μάρτυρος ὑπέκειτο ἔχουσα οὕτως·       (O. T. in Greek, ii. p. 780); and the notes prefixed to Isaiah and Ezekiel in Cod. Marchalianus (Q); the second of these notes claims that the copy from which Ezekiel was transcribed bore the subscription           (ib. iii. p. viii.)200200See also the note at the end of the Scholia on Proverbs printed in the Notitia l. c.: μετελήφθησαν ἀφ᾿ ὧν εὕρομεν ἑξαπλῶν, καὶ πάλιν αὐτοχειρι Πάμφιλος καὶ Εὐσέβιος διορθώσαντο. . The library of Pamphilus was in existence in the 6th century, for Montfaucon (biblioth. Coisl. p. 262) quotes from Coisl. 202201201= Hpaul, Gregory, p. 449, Scrivener-Miller, i. p. 183 f., a MS. of that century, a colophon which runs: ἀντεβλήθη δὲ ἡ βίβλος πρὸς τὸ ἐν Καισαρίᾳ ἀντίγραφον τῆς βιβλιοθήκης τοῦ ἁγίου Παμφίλου χειρὶ γεγραμμένον αὐτοῦ. But in 638 Caesarea fell into the hands of the Saracens, and from that time the Library was heard of no more. Even if not destroyed at the moment, it is probable that every vestige of the collection perished during the vicissitudes through which the town passed between the 7th century and the 12th202202See G. A. Smith, Hist. Geogr. of Palestine, p. 143 f.. Had the Hexapla been buried in Egypt, she might have preserved it in her sands; it can scarcely be hoped that the sea-washed and storm-beaten ruins of Kaisariyeh cover a single leaf.


LITERATURE. Fragments of the Hexapla were printed by Peter Morinus in his notes to the Roman edition of the Septuagint (1587). Separate collections have since been published by J. Drusius (Vet. interpretum Graecorum . . . fragmenta collecta . . . a Jo. Drusio, Arnheim, 1622), Bernard Montfaucon (Origenis Hexaplorum quae supersunt, Paris, 1713), and F. Field (Oxford, 1875), whose work has superseded all earlier attempts to recover the Hexapla. A fuller list may be seen in Fabricius-Harles, iii. 701 ff. Materials for an enlarged edition of Field are already beginning to accumulate; such may be found in Pitra, Analecta sacra, iii. (Venice, 1883), p 551 ff.; E. Klostermann, Analecta zur . . . Hexapla (Leipzig, 1895), G. Morin, Anecdota Maredsolana iii. 1 (Mareds., 1895; cf. Expositor, June 1895, p. 424 ff.), and the Oxford Concordance. Among helps to the study of the Hexapla, besides the introductions already specified, the following may be mentioned: the Prolegomena in Field's Hexapla, the art. Hexapla in D. C. B. by Dr C. Taylor; the introduction to Dr Driver's Notes on Samuel (p. xliii. ff.), and Harnack-Preuschen, Gesch. altchristt. Litt. i. p. 339 ff. For the literature of the Syro-Hexaplaric version see c. iv.

8. The Hexapla as a whole was perhaps too vast to be copied203203Hieron. praef. in Jos.: "et sumptu et labore maximo indigent.", and copies even of particular books were rarely attempted; yet there was nothing to forbid the separate publication of the fifth column, which contained the revised Septuagint. This idea presented itself to Pamphilus and his friend Eusebius, and the result was the wide circulation in Palestine during the fourth century of the Hexaplaric LXX., detached from the Hebrew text and the other Greek versions, but retaining, more or less exactly, the corrections and additions adopted by Origen with the accompanying Hexaplaric signs. "Provinciae Palestinae," writes Jerome in his preface to Chronicles, "codices legunt quos ab Origene elaboratos Eusebius et Pamphilus vulgaverunt." Elsewhere204204Ep. ad Sunn. et Fret. 2. he warns his correspondents "aliam esse editionem quam Origenes et Caesariensis Eusebius omnesque Graeciae tractatores κοινήν (id est communem) appellant atque vulgatam . . ., aliam LXX. interpretum quae in ἐξαπλοῖς codicibus reperitur . . et Ierosolymae 77atque in orientis ecclesia decantatur." The Hexaplaric text receives his unhesitating support: "ea autem quae habetur in ἑξαπλοῖς . . . ipsa est quae in eruditorum libris incorrupta et immaculata LXX. interpretum translatio reservatur205205Adv. Rufin. ii. 27.." This edition, sometimes described as τὸ Εὐσεβίου or τὸ Παλαιστιναῖον, or simply Ὠρ[ιγένης], is mentioned with great respect in the scholia of MSS. which do not on the whole follow its text. Specimens of such notes have already been given; they usually quote the words in which Pamphilus describes the part borne by himself and his friends respectively in the production of the book. Thus a note quoted by an early hand in cod. א at the end of 2 Esdras says, Ἀντωνῖνος ἀντέβαλεν, Πάμφιλος διόρθωσα. The subscription to Esther ends Ἀντωνῖνος ὁμολογητὴς ἀντέβαλεν, Πάμφιλος διορθώσατο [τὸ] τεῦχος ἐν τῇ φυλακῇ. The scholion prefixed to Ezekiel in Q introduces the name of Eusebius, assigning him another function: Εὐσέβιος ἐγὼ τὰ σχόλια παρέθηκα· Πάμφιλος καὶ Εὐσέβιος διορθώσαντο. In its subscription to 1 Kings the Syro-Hexaplar quotes a note which runs: Εὐσέβιος διορθωσάμην ὡς ἀκριβῶς ἠδυνάμην. It would seem as though the work of comparing the copy with the original was committed to the otherwise unknown206206Identified by some with an Antoninus martyred three months before Pamphilus (Lake). Antoninus, whilst the more responsible task of making corrections was reserved for Pamphilus and Eusebius207207On ἀντιβάλλειν and διορθοῦσθαι, see Scrivener-Miller, i. p. 55. . Part of the work at least was done while Pamphilus lay in prison, i.e. between A.D. 307 and 309, but it was probably continued and completed by Eusebius after the martyr's death.

The separate publication of the Hexaplaric LXX. was undertaken in absolute good faith; Pamphilus and Eusebius believed (as did even Jerome nearly a century afterwards) that Origen had succeeded in restoring the old Greek version to its primitive purity, and they were moved by the desire to communicate this treasure to the whole Church. It was impossible 78for them to foresee that the actual result of their labours would be to create a recension of the LXX. which was a mischievous mixture of the Alexandrian version with the versions of Aquila and Theodotion. The Hexaplaric signs, intended for the use of scholars, lost their meaning when copied into a text which was no longer confronted with the Hebrew or the later versions based upon it; and there was a natural tendency on the part of scribes to omit them, when their purpose was no longer manifest.

When we consider that the Hexaplaric Septuagint claimed to be the work of Origen, and was issued under the authority of the martyr Pamphilus and the yet greater Bishop of Caesarea, we can but wonder that its circulation was generally limited to Palestine208208Jerome says indeed (ep. ad Aug. ii.): "quod si feceris (i.e. if you refuse Origen's recension) omnino ecclesiae bibliothecas damnare cogeris; vix enim onus vel alter inveniatur liber qui ista non habeat." But he is drawing a hasty inference from experiences gathered in Palestine.. Not one of our uncial Bibles gives the Hexaplaric text as a whole, and it is presented in a relatively pure form by very few MSS., the uncials G and M, which contain only the Pentateuch and some of the historical books, and the cursives 86 and 88 (Holmes and Parsons), which contain the Prophets. But a considerable number of so-called Hexaplaric codices exist, from which it is possible to collect fragments not only of the fifth column, but of all the Greek columns of the Hexapla; and a still larger number of our MSS. offer a mixed text in which the influence of the Hexaplaric LXX., or of the edition published by Pamphilus and Eusebius, has been more or less extensively at work209209See c. v.. The problems presented by this and other causes of mixture will come under consideration in the later chapters of this book.


9. While the Hexaplaric Septuagint was being copied at Caesarea for the use of Palestine, Hesychius was engaged in correcting the common Egyptian text.


Hieron. in praef. ad Paralipp.: "Alexandria et Aegyptus in Septuaginta suis Hesychium laudat auctorem"; cf. adv. Rufin. ii. where the statement is repeated210210Jerome speaks elsewhere (in Esa. lviii. 11) of "exemplaria Alexandrina.", and praef. in Evangelia, where the revision of Hesychius is represented as having included both Testaments, and his O. T. work is condemned as infelicitous ("nec in V.T. post LXX. interpretes emendare quod licuit"); the Hesychian revision of the Gospels is censured by the Decretum Gelasii, which even denounces them as apocryphal ("evangelia quae falsavit Hesychius, apocrypha").

It is not easy to ascertain who this Hesychius was. The most conspicuous person of that name is the lexicographer, and he has been identified with the reviser of the Greek Bible211211Fabricius-Harles, vii. p. 547 (cf. vi. p. 205).. But later researches shew that Hesychius the lexicographer was a pagan who lived in the second half of the fourth century. The author of the Egyptian revision was more probably212212This is however mere conjecture; see Harnack-Preuschen, i. p. 442: "dass dieser Hesychius . . . identisch ist mit dem etwa gleichzeitigen Bibelkritiker gleichen Namens, ist nicht zu erweisen." the martyr Bishop who is mentioned by Eusebius in connexion with Phileas Bishop of Thmuis, Pachymius, and Theodorus (H. E. viii. 13 Φιλέας τε καὶ Ἡσύχιος καὶ Παχύμιος καὶ Θεόδωρος τῶν ἀμφὶ τὴν Αἴγυπτον ἐκκλησιῶν ἐπὶσκοποι). The four names appear together again in a letter addressed to Meletius (Routh, rell. sacr. iv. p. 91 ff.); and Eusebius has preserved a pastoral written by Phileas in prison in view of his approaching martyrdom (H. E. viii. 10). Phileas was a distinguished scholar (H. E. viii. 9 διαπρέψας . . ἐν . . τοῖς κατὰ φιλοσοφίαν λόγοις, ib. 10 τῶν ἔξωθεν μαθημάτων ἕνεκα πολλοῦ λόγου ἄξιον . . . τοῦ ὡς ἀληθῶς φιλοσόφου . . μάρτυρος), and the association of his name with that of Hesychius suggests that he may have shared in the work of Biblical revision. It is pleasant to think of the two episcopal confessors employing their enforced leisure in their Egyptian prison by revising the Scriptures for the use of their flocks, nearly at the same time that Pamphilus and Eusebius 80and Antoninus were working under similar conditions at Caesarea. It is easy to account for the acceptance of the Hesychian revision at Alexandria and in Egypt generally, if it was produced under such circumstances.

To what extent the Hesychian recession of the Old Testament is still accessible in MSS. and versions of the LXX. is uncertain. As far back as 1786 Münter threw out the very natural suggestion that the Egyptian recession might be found in the Egyptian versions. In his great monograph on the Codex Marchalianus Ceriani takes note that in the Prophets, with the exception perhaps of Ezekiel, the original text of that great Egyptian MS. agrees closely with the text presupposed by the Egyptian versions and in the works of Cyril of Alexandria, and that it is supported by the cursive MSS. 26, 106, 198, 306; other cursives of the same type are mentioned by Cornill213213Das Buch des Propheten Ezechiel, p. 66 ff., the Hesychian group in Ezekiel is βςʹ κλμφψ, i.e. codd. 49, 68, 87, 90, 91, 228, 238 (Parsons). See also Ceriani in Rendiconti (Feb. 18, 1886). as yielding an Hesychian text in Ezekiel. For the remaining books of the LXX. we have as yet no published list of MSS. containing a probably Hesychian text, but the investigations now being pursued by the editors of the larger Cambridge LXX. may be expected to yield important help in this direction214214For the Octateuch Mr McLean (J. Th. St. ii. 306) quotes as Hesychian or Egyptian MSS. H.-P. 44, 74, 76, 84, 106, 134, &c..


10. Meanwhile the rising school of Antioch was not inactive in the field of Biblical revision. An Antiochian recession of the κοινή had in Jerome's time come to be known by the name of its supposed author, the martyr Lucian215215Cf. the scholion in cod. M at 3 Regn. iii. 46 ἐντεῦθεν διαφόρως ἔχει τὰ ἀνατολικὰ βιβλία. The Lucianic text was also known as the ἐκκλησιαστικὴ ἔκδοσις (Oeconomus, iv. 548)..

Hieron. praef. in Paralipp.: "Constantinopolis usque Antiochiam Luciani martyris exemplaria probat." Cf. (Ep. cvi.) ad Sunn. et Fret. 2 "[ἡ κοινή] . . . a plerisque nunc Λουκιανός dicitur." Ps.-Athan. syn. sacr. script. ἑβδόμη πάλιν καὶ τελευεαία ἑρμηνεία τοῦ ἁγίου Λουκιανοῦ τοῦ μεγάλου ἀσκητοῦ καὶ μάρτυρος, ὅστις καὶ αὐτὸς ταῖς προγεγραμμέναις ἐκδοσεσι καὶ τοῖς Ἐβραικοῖς ἐντυχὼν καὶ ἐποπτεύσας μετ᾿ ἀκριβείας τὰ λείποντα ἢ καὶ περιττὰ τῆς ἀληθείας ῥήματα 81καὶ διορθωσάμενος ἐν τοῖς οἰκείοις τῶν γραφῶν τόποις ἐξέδοτο τοῖς χριστιανοῖς ἀδελφοῖς· ἥτις δὴ καὶ ἑρμηνεία μετὰ τὴν ἄθλησιν καὶ μαρτυρίαν τοῦ αὐτοῦ ἁγίου Λουκιανοῦ τὴν γεγονυῖαν ἐπὶ Διοκλητιανοῦ καὶ Μαξιμιανοῦ τῶν τυράννων, ἤγουν τὸ ἰδιόχειρον αὑτοῦ τῆς ἐκδόσεως βιβλίον, εὑρέθη ἐν Νικομηδείᾳ ἐπὶ Κωνσταντίνου βασιλέως τοῦ μεγάλου παρὰ Ἰουδαίοις ἐν τοίχῳ πυργίσκῳ περικεχρισμένῳ κονιάματι εἰς διαφύλαξιν (cf. the Acts of Lucian in Bolland. i. p. 363). Suidas s.v. οὗτος τὰς ἱερὰς βίβλους θεασάμενος πολὺ τὸ νόθον εἰσδεξαμένας, τοῦ γε χρόνου λυμηναμένου πολλὰ τῶν ἐν αὐταῖς καὶ τῆς συνεχοῦς ἀφ᾿ ἑτέρων εἰς ἕτερα μεταθέσεως . . . αὐτὸς ἁπάσας ἀναλαβὼν ἐκ τῆς Ἐβραίδος ἐπανενεώσατο γλώσσης. Cf. also Cyr. Alex. in Psalmos praef.

Lucian, who was born at Samosata, began his studies at Edessa, whence he passed to Antioch at a time when Malchion was master of the Greek School (Eus. H. E. vii. 29, Hieron. de virr. ill. 71). At Antioch Lucian acquired a great reputation for Biblical learning (Eus. H. E. ix. 6 τοῖς ἱεροῖς μαθὗμασι συγκεκροτημένος, Suid. s.v. αὐτὴν [sc. τὴν Ἐβραίδα γλῶσσαν] ὡς τὰ μάλιστα ἦν ἠκριβωκώς). From some cause not clearly explained Lucian was under a cloud for several years between A.D. 270 and 299 (Theodoret216216Oeconomus refuses to identify this person with the martyr and saint (iv. p. 498 n.)., H. E. i. 3 ἀποσυναγωγὸς ἔμεινε τριῶν ἐπισκόπων πολυετοῦς χρόνου). On his restoration to communion he was associated with Dorotheus, who was a Hebrew scholar, as well as a student of Greek literature (Eus. H. E. vii. 32 φιλόκαλος δ᾿ οὗτος περὶ τὰ θεῖα γράμματα καὶ τῆς Ἐβραίων ἐπεμελήθη γλώττης, ὡς καὶ αὐταῖς ταῖς Ἐβραικαῖς γραφαῖς ἐπιστημόνως ἐντυγχάνειν· ἦν δὲ οὗτος τῶν μάλιστα ἐλευθερίων, προπαιδείας τε τῆς καθ᾿ Ἕλληνας οὐκ ἄμοιρος). As Pamphilus was assisted by Eusebius, as Phileas and others were probably associated with Hesychius, so (the conjecture may be hazarded) Dorotheus and Lucian worked together at the Antiochian revision of the Greek Bible. If, as Dr Hort thought, "of known names Lucian's has a better claim than any other to be associated with the early Syrian revision of the New Testament217217Introduction to the N. T. in Greek, p. 138; c., the Oxford Debate on the Textual Criticism of the N. T., p. 29. ," the 82Syrian revision of the Old Testament, which called for a knowledge of Hebrew, may have been due more especially to the Hebraist Dorotheus. Lucian, however, has the exclusive credit of the latter, and possibly was the originator of the entire work. If we may believe certain later writers, his revision of the LXX. was on a great scale, and equivalent to a new version of the Hebrew Bible; Pseudo-Athanasius goes so far as to call it the ἑβδόμη ἑρμηνεία, placing it on a level with the Greek versions of the Hexapla. But Jerome's identification of 'Lucian' with the κοινή presents quite another view of its character and one which is probably nearer to the truth. It was doubtless an attempt to revise the κοινή in accordance with the principles of criticism which were accepted at Antioch. In the New Testament (to use the words of Dr Hort218218Introduction, p. 134 f.) "the qualities which the authors of the Syrian text seem to have most desired to impress on it are lucidity and completeness . . . both in matter and in diction the Syrian text is conspicuously a full text." If the Lucianic revision of the LXX. was made under the influences which guided the Antiochian revision of the New Testament, we may expect to find the same general principles at work219219Cf. F. C. Burkitt, Old Latin and Itala, p. 91, "Lucian's recession in fact corresponds in a way to the Antiochian text of the N. T. Both are texts composed out of ancient elements welded together and polished down.", modified to some extent by the relation of the LXX., to a Hebrew original, and by the circumstance that the Hebrew text current in Syria in the third century A.D. differed considerably from the text which lay before the Alexandrian translators.

We are not left entirely to conjectures. During his work upon the Hexapla220220Prolegg. p: lxxxiv. f. Field noticed that in an epistle prefixed to the Arabic Syro-Hexaplar221221See c. v., the marginal letter (L) was said 83to indicate Lucianic readings. Turning to the Syro-Hexaplar itself, he found this letter in the margin of 2 Kings (= 4 Regn.) at cc. ix. 9, 28, x. 24, 25, xi. 1, xxiii. 33, 35, But the readings thus marked as Lucianic occur also in the cursive Greek MSS. 19, 82, 93, 108; and further examination shewed that these four MSS. in the Books of Kings, Chronicles, and Ezra-Nehemiah agree with the text of the LXX. offered by the Antiochian fathers Chrysostom and Theodoret, who might have been expected to cite from 'Lucian.' Similar reasoning led Field to regard codd. 22, 36, 48, 51, 62, 90, 93, 144, 147, 233, 308 as presenting a more or less Lucianic text in the Prophets. Meanwhile, Lagarde had independently222222Cf. his Prolegomena to Librorum V T. Canon. Pars prior graece (Gotting. 1883), p. xiv. reached nearly the same result, so far as regards the historical books. He satisfied himself that codd. 19, 82, 93, 108, 118223223Or, as he denotes them, h, f, m, d, p., had sprung from a common archetype, the text of which was practically identical with that of the LXX. as quoted by Chrysostom, i.e., with the Antiochian text of the fourth century, which presumably was Lucianic. Lagarde proceeded to construct from these and other sources a provisional text of Lucian, but his lamented death intercepted the work, and only the first volume of his Lucianic LXX. has appeared (Genesis—2 Esdr., Esther).

The following specimen will serve to shew the character of Lucian's revision, as edited by Lagarde; an apparatus is added which exhibits the readings of codd. B and A.


3 Regn. xviii. 22-28.


22 καὶ εἶπεν Ἡλίας πρὸς τὸν λαόν Ἐγὼ ὑπολέλειμμαι προφήτης κυρίου προφήτης μονώτατος, καὶ οἱ προφῆται τοῦ Βααλ τετρακόσιοι καὶ πεντήκοντα ἄνδρες, καὶ οἱ προφῆται τῶν ἀλσῶν τετρακόσιοι. 23 δότωσαν οὖν ἡμῖν δύο βόας, καὶ ἐκλεξάσθωσαν ἑαυτοῖς τὸν ἕνα καὶ μελισάτωσαν καὶ ἐπιθέτωσαν ἐπὶ ξύλα καὶ πῦρ μὴ ἐπιθέτωσαν· καὶ ἐγὼ ποιήσω τὸν βοῦν τὸν ἄλλον, καὶ πῦρ οὐ μὴ ἐπιθῶ. 24 καὶ βοᾶτε ἐν ὀνόματι θεῶν ὑμῶν, καὶ ἐγὼ ἐπικαλέσομαι ἐν ὀνόματι κυρίου τοῦ 84 θεοῦ μου, καὶ ἔσται ὁ θεός ὃς ἂν ἐπακούσῃ σήμερον ἐν πυρί, οὗτος ἐστι θεός. καὶ ἀπεκρίθη πᾶς ὁ λαὸς καὶ εἶπεν Ἀγαθὸς ὁ λόγος ὃν ἐλάλησας. 25 καὶ εἶπεν Ἡλίας τοῖς προφήταις τῆς αἰσχύνης Ἐκλέξασθε ἑαυτοῖς τὸν βοῦν τὸν ἕνα , ὅτι ὑμεῖς πολλοί, καὶ ποιήσατε πρῶτοι, καὶ ἐπικαλεῖσθε ἐν ὀνόματι θεῶν ὑμῶν, καὶ πῦρ μὴ ἐπιθῆτε. 26 καὶ ἔλαβον τὸν βοῦν καὶ ἐποίησαν, καὶ ἐπεκαλοῦντο ἐν ὀνόματι τοῦ Βααλ καὶ εἶπον Ἐπάκουσον ἡμῶν, ὁ Βααλ, ἐπάκουσον ἡμῶν. καὶ οὐκ ἦν φωνὴ καὶ οὐκ ἦν ἀκρόασις. καὶ διέτρεχον ἐπὶ τοῦ θυσιαστηρίου οὗ ἐποίησαν. 27 καὶ ἐγένετο μεσημβρία, καὶ ἐμυκτήρισεν αὐτοὺς Ἡλίας ὁ Θεσβίτης καὶ προσέθετο λέγων Ἐπικαλεῖσθε ἐν φωνῇ μεγάλῃ ἅμα, μήποτε ἀδολεσχία τις ἔστιν αὐτῷ, καὶ ἅμα μήποτε χρηματίζει αὐτὸς ἢ μήποτε καθεύδει, καὶ ἐξαναστήσεται. 28 καὶ ἐπεκαλοῦντο ἐν φωνῇ μεγάλῃ καὶ κατετέμνοντο κατὰ τὸν ἐθισμὸν αὐτῶν ἐν μαχαίραις καὶ ἐν σειρομάσταις ἕως ἐκχύσεως αἵματος ἐπ᾿ αὐτούς.

22 Ηλειου ΒΑ | κυριου] pr του BA | om προφητης 20 ΒΑ | οι προφηται 20] om οι Α | του αλσους ΒΑ | om τετρακοσιοι 20 Α 23 om ουν ΒΑ | om και επιθ. επι ξυλα Α | ξυλα] των ξυλων Β | τὸν αλλον] + και δωσω επι τα ξυλα Α   24 θεων] θεου Α | εαν ΒΑ | om σημερον ΒΑ | om εστι ΒΑ | απεκριθησαν ΒΑ | ειπον Β ειπαν Α | αγαθος ο λογος ον] καλον το ρημα ο ΒΑ   25 Ηλειου ΒΑ | βουν] μοσχον ΒΑ | και ποι. πρωτοι οτι πολλοι υμεις ΒΑ | επικαλεσασθε Β | θεων] θεου ΒΑ   26 ελαβεν Α | βουν] μοσχον ΒΑ + ον εδωκεν αυτοις Α | Βααλ 10] οτι ΒΑ | τις εστιν αυτω] αυτω εστιν ΒΑ | καθεύδει] + αυτος ΒΑ   28 κατα τον εθισμον αυτων] om Β κατα το κριμα αυτων Α | μαχαιρα Β | om εν 30 Β

A comparison of 'Lucian' in this passage with the two great uncials of the LXX. reveals two classes of variants in the former. (1) Some of the changes appear to be due to a desire to render the version smoother or fuller, e.g. Ἡλίας for Ἡλειού, the repetition of προφήτης before μονώτατος, the substitution of τῶν ἀλσῶν for τοῦ ἄλσους, of ἀπεκρίθη for ἀπεκρίθησαν, and of ἀγαθὸς ὁ λόγος for καλὸν τὸ ῥῆμα, and the addition of σήμερον. (2) Others seem to indicate an attempt to get nearer to the Hebrew, e.g. δότωσαν οὖν (וְיִתְּגוּ), βοῦν (פָּר); or an adherence to an older reading which the Hexaplaric LXX. had set aside, e.g. the omission of ὃν ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς224224A Hexaplaric reading due to Aquila; see Field ad loc. and ἐκ πρωίθεν ἕως μεσημβρίας. On the other hand Lucian follows the current Hebrew in κατὰ τὸν ἐθισμὸν αὐτῶν, though he substitutes the easier ἐθισμός for Aquila's κρίμα, which cod. A has taken over from the Hexapla.

Professor Driver, as the result of a wider examination, points out225225Notes on the Heb. text of the Books of Samuel, p. li. f. that the Lucianic recession is distinguished by (1) the substitution 85of synonyms for the words employed by the LXX.; (2) the occurrence of double renderings; (3) the occurrence of renderings "which presuppose a Hebrew original self-evidently superior in the passages concerned to the existing Massoretic text." The last of these peculiarities renders it of great importance for the criticism of the Hebrew Bible.

Lucian suffered martyrdom at Nicomedia under Maximin in the year 311 or 312226226Mason, Persecution of Diocletian, p. 324.. According to the Pseudo-Athanasian Synopsis, his recension of the LXX. was subsequently discovered at Nicomedia, bricked up in a wall. The story may have arisen from a desire to invest the ἑβδόμη (as 'Lucian' is called by the author of the Synopsis) with the same air of romance that belonged to the Quinta and Sexta, both of which were found, as he asserts, ἐν πίθοις. It is more probable that copies were circulated from Antioch in the ordinary way, and that some of these after the persecution reached Nicomedia and Constantinople. The name of Lucian would be enough to guarantee the general acceptance of the work. He died in the peace of the Church, and a martyr; on the other hand his name was in high repute with the Arian leaders, who boasted of being συλλουκιανισταί227227Newman, Arians, p. 6 f.; Gwatkin, Studies of Arianism, p. 31 n.. Moreover, a revision which emanated from Antioch, the "ecclesiastical parent of Constantinople228228Hort, Introd. p. 143.," would naturally take root in the soil of the Greek East. In all dioceses which felt the influences of those two great sees, the Lucianic LXX. doubtless furnished during the fourth and fifth centuries the prevalent text of the Greek Old Testament229229On Lucian's work see the art. Lucianic Recension of the LXX. in Ch. Q. R. (Jan. 1901); E. Hautsch, Der Lukiantext des Oktateuch (in Mitteilungen des Septuaginta Unternehmens, Heft i., Berlin, 1910..


11. The result of these multiplied labours of Christian scholars upon the text of the LXX. was not altogether satisfactory. Before the time of Jerome much of the original text of the Alexandrian Bible had disappeared. Men read their Old Testament in the recension of Lucian, if they lived in North Syria, Asia Minor, or Greece; in that of Hesychius, if they belonged 86to the Delta or the valley of the Nile; in Origen's Hexaplaric edition, if they were residents at Jerusalem or Caesarea. Thus, as the scholar of Bethlehem complains, the Christian world was divided between three opposing texts ("totus . . . orbis hac inter se trifaria varietate compugnat230230 Praef. in Paralipp. "). To Jerome, as a Palestinian and an admirer of Origen's critical principles, the remedy was simple; the Hexaplaric text, which had been assimilated to the Hebraica veritas, ought everywhere to take the place of the κοινή represented by Hesychius or Lucian. Fortunately the task was beyond his strength, and MSS. and versions still survive which represent more or less fully the three recessions of the fourth century. But the trifaria varietas did not continue to perplex the Church; a fusion of texts arose which affected the greater part of the copies in varying proportions. No one of the rival recessions became dominant and traditional, as in the case of the New Testament231231Cf. Hort, Introd. p. 142.; among the later MSS, groups may be discerned which answer more or less certainly to this recession or to that, but the greater number of the cursives present a text which appears to be the result of mixture rather than of any conscious attempt to decide between the contending types.

« Prev Chapter III. The Hexapla, and the Hexaplaric and… Next »
VIEWNAME is workSection