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Life and teaching of Hippolytus

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Hippolytus : Biography

Hippolytus, was a writer of the early Church. He was apparently elected as the first Antipope in 217, but died reconciled to the Church in 235 as a martyr, so that he is honored as a saint. The mystery which enveloped the person and writings of Hippolytus, one of the most prolific ecclesiastical writers of early times, had some light thrown upon it for the first time about the middle of the 19th century by the discovery of the so-called Philosophumena (see below). Assuming this writing to be the work of Hippolytus, the information given in it as to the author and his times can be combined with other traditional dates to form a tolerably clear picture.


Hippolytus : Bibliography

The edition of JA Fabricius, Hippolyti opera graece et latine (2 vols., Hamburg, 1716-1718, reprinted in Gallandi, Bibliotheca veterum patrum (vol. ii., 1766), and Migne, Cursus patrol. ser. Graeca, (vol. x.) is out of date. The preparation of a complete critical edition has been undertaken by the Prussian Academy of Sciences; The task is one of extraordinary difficulty, for the textual problems of the various writings are complex and confused: the Greek original is extant in a few cases only (the Commentary on Daniel, the Refutation, on Antichrist, parts of the Chronicle, and some fragments); for the rest we are dependent on fragments of translations, chiefly Slavonic, all of which are not even published.

Of the Academy's edition one volume was published at Berlin in 1897, containing the Commentaries on Daniel and on the Song of Songs, the treatise on Antichrist, and the Lesser Exegetical and Homiletic Works, edited by Georg Nathaniel Bonwetsch and Hans Athelis.

The Commentary on the Song of Songs has also been published by Bonwetsch (Leipzig, 1902) in a German translation based on a Russian translation by N. Marr of the Grusian (Georgian) text, and he added to it (Leipzig, 1904) a translation of various small exegetical pieces, which are preserved in a Georgian version only (The Blessing of Jacob, The Blessing of Moses, The Narrative of David and Goliath)--A great part of the original of the Chronicle has been published by Adolf Bauer (Leipzig, 1905) from the Codex Matritensis Graecus, 221. For the Refutation we are still dependent on the editions of Miller (Oxford, 1851), Duncker and Schneidewin (Göttingen, 1859), and Cruice (Paris, 1860). An English translation is to be found in the Ante-Nicene Christian Library (Edinburgh, 1868-1869).

Hippolytus : Portraits


Hippolytus : Links