Alcune osservazioni sul Gadla hawaryat
Bausi, Alessandro (2002) Alcune osservazioni sul Gadla hawaryat. Annali dell’Università degli studi di Napoli “L’Orientale”. Rivista del Dipartimento di Studi Asiatici e del Dipartimento di Studi e Ricerche su Africa e Paesi Arabi, 2000-2001 (60-61). pp. 77-114. ISSN 0393-3180
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In the framework of the setting up of a new critical edition of the Ethiopic Gadla hawaryat( =GH) ' Spiritual contendings of the apostles', the first part of the article is aimed at giving the state of the art of the research in the field. The GH is a collection of Apocryphal acts of the apostles. It is a translation from the Arabic dating no later than to the 14th c., and belongs to the early post-aksumite Ethiopic literature. There is no evidence of similar texts translated directly from Greek (in the aksumite age, 4th-7th/8th), while there is evidence that translations from Arabic into Ethiopic ( in the post-aksumite age) began no later than the 13th c. The main contributions to the study of the GH were made by Malan (1871), the first translator, Budge (1899;1901), the editor and translator, and James (1902). The first historical hypothesis was advanced by Guidi (1888), who thought that the GH is the last phase of the development of a collection which emerged in the Patriarchate of Alexandria, through the arrangement of the Arabic translations (13 th c.) of Coptic texts (from Greek or Coptic originals). The mss. of the GH are no less than 68. On the basis of the distribution of the different Apocryphal acts of the apostles, a first attempt at a classification of the mss. is done. The oldest recension (1st recension, 13th c.), seems to be composed of 28 texts. During the course of time, the GH acquired other texts, in particular, a second recension of the Acts of Matthias and Andrew and five new episodes of the Acts of Thomas (4th recension,15th c.). Acts of Peter and Acts of Paul were integrated later (5th recension,17th c.). It is possible that the insertion of new texts was also accompanied by the revision of others, as it seems the case for the Martyrdom of Peter. In all the examined mss. of the oldest (1st and 2nd) recensions, the final Speech of Peter on the cross is missing. It is found in some mss. starting from the 4th recension only. It seems very unlikely to allege here that 'recentiores non deteriores', as the 1st Ethiopic recension composed of 28 texts is exactly the same as the oldest Egyptian Arabic one indicated by Graf (1944a;259-60). Some remarks are also made on the recent hypothesis of the existence of an old Arabic collection of 35 Apocryphal acts of the apostles, advanced by van Esbroeck (1999), to whom we owe the only studies on the Arabic Apocryphal acts of the apostles, since Gibson (1896), Lewis (1904a;1904b), and Graf (1944). The second part of the article exhibits analytic comparable data and bibliography (in some cases including also the first description) on 31 Ethiopic mss. of the GH and 31 Arabic mss. relevant to the study of the apocryphal apostolic collections, as well as on their apostolic apocryphal texts.
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