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Separate Commentaries

Hesychius of Jerusalem : Separate Commentaries

It is certain that Hesychius was the author of consecutive commentaries on the Psalms, the Canticle of Canticles, the Twelve Minor Prophets, Isaias, and Luke (Chapter i?). His name occurs in catenae in connection with an occasional scholium to texts from other books (Genesis, I and II Kings, Ezechiel, Daniel, Matthew, John, Acts, the Catholic Epistles), which, however, apart from the question of their authenticity, are not necessarily taken from complete commentaries on the respective books. Likewise the citations from Hesychius in ascetic florilegia, as in Bodl. Barocc. 143, saec. 12, are taken from exegetical works. The most perplexing problem is the connection of Hesychius with the commentary on the Psalms attributed to him. The numerous citations from Hesychius in catenae of the Psalms and the exegetical works on the Psalms handed down over his name, particularly in Oxford and Venice MSS., are so widely at variance with each other as to preclude any question of mere variations in different transcriptions of one original; either Hesychius was the author of several commentaries on the Psalms or the above-mentioned commentaries are to be attributed to several authors named Hesychius. As a matter of fact Spanish MSS. Clearly distinguish between Hesychius the Monk, author of commentaries on the Psalms and Canticles, and Hesychius the Priest. In 1900 the present writer explained the commentary on the Psalms included among the works of St. Athanasius (P.G., XXVII, 649-1344) as the glossary of Hesychius issued over a pseudonym. This hypothesis has since been confirmed by further evidence (Escorial, psi, I, 2, saec. 12).

A complete commentary of Hesychius on the Canticles of the Old and New Testament, which are known to have constituted a distinct book in the early Christian Bible, is preserved in MS.; any edition of this must be based on the Bodl. Miscell., 5, saec. 9. Another codex which would have been particularly valuable for this edition and for the solution of the Hesychius problem, the Turin MS. B, VII, 30, saec. 8-9, has unfortunately been destroyed by fire. The Mechitarists of San Lazzaro have in their possession an Armenian commentary on Job over the name of Hesychius of Jerusalem. The scholia of Hesychius to the Twelve Minor Prophets are preserved in six MSS. At Rome, Paris, and Moscow, and await publication. His commentary on Isaias was discovered in 1900 in the anonymous marginal notes to an eleventh-century Vatican MS. (Vatic., 347) by the present writer, who published it with a facsimile; the authenticity of these 2860 scholia was later confirmed by a ninth-century Bodleian MS. (Miscell., 5).

Scholia to the Magnificat, in the catenae of Canticles, and MSS. At Paris and Mount Athos establish beyond doubt the fact that Hesychius left a commentary on the Gospel of St. Luke, at least on the first chapter. For evidence as to the authenticity of the "Harmony of the Gospels" (P.G., XCIII, 1391-1448) the treatise on the Resurrection must first be examined. This is extant in two forms, a longer (under Gregory of Nyssa, in P.G., XLVI, 627-52) and a shorter, the latter an abridgement of the former and as yet unpublished. In tenth-, eleventh-, and twelfth-century MSS. Of the former, to "Hesychius Presbyter of Jerusalem" is added the further title "the theologian". The works of Hesychius of Jerusalem so far published are to be found in P.G., XCIII, 787-1560 (see also loc. Cit., 781-88 for the older literary and historical notices), Faulhaber, "Hesychii Hierosolymitani interpretatio Isaiae prophetae nunc primum in lucem edita" (Freiburg, 1900), and Jagic, "Ein unedierter griechischer Psalmenkommentar" (Vienna, 1906), also Mercati, "Studi e Testi".


Source : MICHAEL FAULHABER, Transcribed by Herman F. Holbrook in