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The Sentences of Sextus

The Sentences of Sextus

Walter T. Wilson
  • Book Info
    The Sentences of Sextus
    Book Description:

    Described by Origen as a writing that "even the masses of believers have read," the Sentences of Sextus offers unique insights into popular Christian thought during the late second century C.E. Although it draws extensively on canonical texts for the composition of its sayings, it is especially fascinating for the manner in which it integrates these texts with material derived from two generically similar collections of Pythagorean maxims. This volume provides a critical edition including evidence from the Greek, Latin, Syriac, and Coptic versions; a new translation; and the first commentary for the Sentences, an important document for investigating the history of early Christian wisdom, asceticism, and ethics.

    eISBN: 978-1-58983-720-1
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

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  1. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  2. Acknowledgements
    (pp. vii-viii)
    Walter T. Wilson
  3. Abbreviations
    (pp. ix-xiv)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 1-40)

    Described by Origen as a writing that “even the multitude of Christians read”¹ and by Jerome as a writing whose author was “a man without Christ,”² the Sentences of Sextus presents the student of antiquity not only with an intriguing interpretive history but also with distinctive insights relevant to at least three broad areas of scholarly inquiry.

    First, originating in the late second or early third century C.E. and consisting of nearly five hundred Greek aphorisms,³ the Sentences represents one of our earliest and longest examples of Christian Wisdom literature. In keeping with the conventions of such literature, the text...

  5. Text, Translation, and Commentary
    (pp. 41-426)

    As Chadwick (1959, 138–39) notes, the initial sections of the Sentences contain a relatively large number of sayings whose tone can be described as “specifically and unambiguously Christian” (besides vv. 1–2, 5, he mentions vv. 6–8, 13, 15–16, 19–20), an editorial feature that has the effect of both projecting an ideal readership for the text and providing a basic introduction to its contents. In the case of vv. 1–5, this feature is evident not only in the choice of terminology (πιστός in vv. 1, 5; ἐϰλεϰτός in vv. 1–2) but also in the...

  6. Bibliography
    (pp. 427-436)
  7. Index of Greek Words
    (pp. 437-445)
  8. Index of Texts Cited
    (pp. 446-467)
  9. Index of Authors
    (pp. 468-468)
  10. Index of Subjects
    (pp. 469-478)