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How much patristic literature do we have?

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#1 Georgije Z.

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 06:57 PM

I just wonder how big is the patristic literature up to the end of the Byzanitne Empire (XV cent)?

How many books are still unavailable for us (one example somewhere on the Athos, etc..), how huge it is?

Any idea?

I am just curious about it.


Thank you.

Edited by Georgije Z., 05 July 2013 - 06:58 PM.

#2 Phoebe K.

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 07:32 PM

going by the length of the series Pre Nacene Fathers which is around 30 books long (if i remember correctly from my time as an undergraduate) and contains only most of the texts which have been translated into English the corpus of texts form the first 15 centuries is very large.  It is known only to the Lord how much was written as probaly at least 50% of that which was written has been lost through time and the periodic spells of persicution.


The texts we can get access to are those of Fathers who are important to church tradition as these and the text of the more notable theologians have been translated by scholers as part of their work.  More texts are being translated all the time however wether if ever all the texts will be translated, or even found.



#3 Kosta


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Posted 07 July 2013 - 06:41 AM

Even those Fathers whose writings have been readily translated, usually compromises just a sample of their overall work.  


For example the Alexandrian Patriarchate was the most prestigious and most theologicaly advanced in the entire empire from the 3rd century to the 6th. Yet we assume all there are is the writing of Clement of Alexandria, Origen, St Athanasius, and St Cyril, perhaps if you are familiar with non-chalcedonian authors you would include Dioscoros.  To say this assumption is misleading would be an unnderstatement. There are Patristic writings from this era, some in Coptic monasteries, possibly fragments in Sinai and just alot that has never been translated out of greek and coptic. I believe its quite recent that the most ancient prayer found to the Theotokos dating back to 240 a.d. was revelaed to the english speaking world and was an Alexandrian fragment.

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