Manuscripts of the 'Evangelium Nicodemi'
292 p., 165 x 245 mm, 1994
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The so-called Evangelium Nicodmi (EN), a fifth-century apocryphal passion narrative, showed remarkable vitality throughout the Middle Ages and by the close of the period established itself as one of the most influential religious texts, its authority approaching - though not often attaining - that of the canonical gospels.
The importance of the EN for the religious culture of the Middle Ages has long been recognized, yet its scope and vicissitudes, its gradual evolution and transmission, have occasioned but a few tentative explorations. The reason for this paucity of detailed studies and for the continued absence of a comprehensive edition of the EN lies in the circumstances that make them all the more desirable - the apocryphon's enormous popularity in the Middle Ages and, as a natural corollary, the daunting abundance of extant manuscripts.
Manuscripts of the Evangelium Nicodemi offers the first comprehensive listing of all known Latin manuscripts of the apocryphon. Descriptions of individual manuscripts provide information about the coodices (writing material, number of folios, size, date, place of origin, scribes, owners, contents) and about the texts those codices contain (incipits and explicit of the texts that make up the Evangelium).
A series of five analytical and interpretative indexes serves as a guide to the composition of the Evangelium and its satellites, to the chronology of the manuscripts, to their contents, and to persons and places connected with them.
The information gathered in this volume may be of assistance in studying the sources of vernacular translations of the Evangelium, patterns of its ownership and readership, medieval attitudes towards it, and the dynamics of its textual evolution; in investigating scribal practices of selection and compilation; and in identifying manuscripts of other apocrypha.