Item description for 44. The Letters of St. Cyprian of Carthage, Vol. 2 (Ancient Christian Writers) by G. W. Clarke & Cyprian of Carthage St...
Overview The correspondance in this volume cover the period from approximately high summer of 250 to mid-251.
Publishers Description The correspondence in this volume covers the period from approximately high summer of 250 to mid-251.
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Studio: Paulist Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.8" Width: 6.4" Height: 1.08" Weight: 1.3 lbs.
Release Date Apr 1, 2002
Publisher Paulist Press
Series Ancient Christian Writers
Series Number 44
ISBN 0809103427 ISBN13 9780809103423
Reviews - What do customers think about 44. The Letters of St. Cyprian of Carthage, Vol. 2 (Ancient Christian Writers)?
Good translation Mar 9, 2006
Clarke did a magnificent job with these translations. They are however based on the Hartel Latin editions, which are not the best manuscripts, but Clarke nevertheless amends the text if necessary and was aware of the CCSL editions in process at the time.
Clarke provides more than adequate introductory material as well as footnotes for more detailed commentary on the letters themselves. This is helpful.
At times his commentary is wild however, for instance, in describing the Novatianists who made a scene in Cyprian's church (Letter 44) as "violent" is a huge stretch, since there is no indication in the text of actual violence, but more of a obnoxious disruption and persistence.
And he was way off base in his commentary on Letter 39 and the military martyrs listed by Cyprian. There is no mention of when this happened, however Cyprian points out that the Church had been commemorating these two martyrs for some time and their names were on the calendar to commemorate their martyr dates. (Clarke notes that their names are not on the 6th Century martyr calendar.) Thus their martyrdom did not occur in the Decian persecution but at some time in the past. Clarke surmises that this is evidence of Christians in the military who served willingly and knowingly as Christians. This goes beyond the text though. Cyprian says that they once were soldiers but there is no indication of when they were martyred...or what drove them to that martyrdom. In fact, the years of relative peace before the Decian persecution would suggest that they were martyred because of their own initiative, in renouncing their duties as soldiers, as Tertullian suggested anyone who converts in the military do. Clarke also suggest that Celerinus was in the military and that explains why he was tried before a certain official. That too goes well beyond the text and is pure conjecture.
Other than these blunders, which may relfect Clarke's personal bias more than anything, this is a good volume, and for anyone wanting to read an English translation, with adequate background info, of Cyprian's letters, all of these volumes on Cyprian's letters are worthwhile, and much better than the Ante-Nicene Fathers editions from the 19th Century.