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Procopius the Christian Sophist

Updated: Apr 19

With this volume of collected essays, tome 94 in the series Instrumenta Patristica et Mediaevalia, its editors (Dimitrios Zaganas, Jean-Marie Auwers and Joseph Verheyden) turn the spotlight on Procopius the Sophist as author of catenae, compiler and epistomist of patristic exegesis. In doing so, a new case is made for the distinction between Procopius, orator of Gaza, and Procopius, the Christian sophist.

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The rich literary production of Gaza in the fifth and sixth centuries AD has received quite some attention in recent scholarship. Yet, the figure and work of Procopius the Sophist, as author of catenae, compiler, and epitomist of patristic exegesis, have remained relatively unknown and under-explored. This collection of essays delves deeply into Procopius’ exegetical work. At the outset, a strong case is made that one should distinguish between the famous orator of Gaza and "the Christian sophist" Procopius. A first large section of the book deals with the Genesis Epitome that is studied from three different angles: the limited and as a rule critical use of Origen and his tradition; the importance given to Theodore of Mopsuestia’s exegesis of Gen 1–3; and the relations between Procopius’ Epitome and John Philoponus’ De opificio mundi. The section on the Exodus Epitome studies the specificity of Procopius’ work in comparison to the Catena on Exodus, the way the material is organised, and the literary genre of the work. The volume further contains contributions on the connections between the Scholia on Kings attributed to Procopius, the type B catena, and the so-called "Catena Lipsiensis"; the relations between Procopius’ Catena on Proverbs and other catenae on this book; the sources of the Isaiah Epitome that show a diligent and able compiler at work; and the comparison between the characteristic features of Procopius’ Epitomes and those of the Catena III on Obadiah. As a whole, it offers a wide perspective and significantly advances research on, and our knowledge of, Procopius the Christian sophist, a still somewhat mysterious early Byzantine author and scholar.


Dimitrios Zaganas is researcher in Patristic and Byzantine literature, affiliated to UCLouvain. Jean-Marie Auwers is professor of Patristics at UCLouvain. Joseph Verheyden is emeritus professor of New Testament at KU Leuven.


TABLE OF CONTENTS


Introduction

Dimitrios Zaganas, Procope compilateur d’exégèses et Procope sophiste de Gaza : un seul et même auteur ?

Emanuela Prinzivalli, La ricezione di Origene (e dell’origenismo) nell’Epitome in Genesim di Procopio

Benjamin Gleede, Procopius’ Eclogai in Genesim as a source for reconstructing the lost Genesis commentary by Theodore of Mopsuestia

Tiziano F. Ottobrini, I Commentarii in Genesim di Procopio di Gaza e il De opificio mundi di Giovanni Filopono

Karin Metzler, Prokop und seine Quellen für den Exoduskommentar

Agnès Lorrain, Compilateur ou exégète ? Procope et son ouvrage sur l’Exode

Reinhart Ceulemans, Prokopios in the Catena Lipsiensis on I–IV Kingdoms and the Margins of MS Munich, BSB, gr. 358

Meredith Danezan, Le nom de « Procope » dans les chaînes aux Proverbes

Dimitrios Zaganas, L’Épitomé sur Isaïe de Procope : l’œuvre et son auteur

Tiphaine Lorieux, La chaîne III sur Abdias : similitudes et différences avec les épitomés de Procope

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