Book of Pontiffs, The

Liber Pontificalis

Translated with commentary by Raymond Davis

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ISBN: 9781846314766

Publication: December 1, 2009

Series: Translated Texts for Historians 6

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No complete translation of the Latin text of the Book of Pontiffs—the Liber Pontificalis of the Roman Church—exists in any language, though the work is indispensable to students of late antiquity and the early middle ages; this book provides an english version of the first ninety papal biographies, from St Peter down to AD 715. These lives were first compiled in the sixth century and then regularly brought up to date. In them the reader will find the curious mixture of fact and legend which had come by the Ostrogothic period to be accepted as history by the Church in Rome, and also the subsequent records maintained through to the early eighth century while Rome was under Byzantine sovereignty. In no sense was the Liber Pontificalis an ‘official’ chronicle of these centuries, and there emerge throughout the interests and prejudices of compilers who belonged, it seems, to the lower levels of the papal administration. For this new edition the translation has been carefully emended, and in places the underlying text has been reconsidered. Vignoli section numbers have been added, as in the translator’s later volumes of the Liber Pontificalis (ttH 13 and 20). The translation has been reset to distinguish more clearly the status and value of additions to the standard Liber Pontificalis text by the use of different type. there have been revisions and extensions to both the glossary and the bibliography, and material has been added to Appendix 3.

Raymond Davis read Greats at University College, Oxford, where he subsequently took a BPhil degree in the Later Roman empire and wrote his Doctoral thesis on donations to churches during the fourth and fifth centuries recorded in the Liber Pontificalis. He is now Honorary Senior Research Fellow of Queen’s University, Belfast, and having taken early retirement, he lives and works in Oxford, continuing to specialise in the Later empire and to delve ever deeper into his favourite text.

Preface Introduction Early Papal Chronicles The Liber Pontificalis The complier and his continuators The value of the early lives The tombs of St Peter and the early Roman bishops The compiler's chronology Other 'formulaic' material The early popes as martyrs The Symmachan apocrypha The Liber Pontificalis and the liturgy Church foundations and endowments The Constantinian church foundations Other fourth-century church foundations Church foundations in the fifth century Ostrogothic Rome Rome in the Byzantine epoch Composition and date of the Liber Pontificalis Translating the Liber Pontificalis Select Bibliography Texts and commentaries Modern works General Specific topics Legendary and forged material Liturgy and related matters Topography and history Church foundations The Book of Pontiffs Peter Linus, Cletus, Clement Aneclitus, Evaristus, Alexander Xystus I, Telephorus, Hyginus Pius, Anicetus, Soter, Eleuther Vistor, Zephyrinus Callistus, Urban, Pontian Anteros, Fabian, Cornelius Lucius, Stephen I Xystus II, Dionysius Felix I, Eutychian, Gaius Mercellinus, Mercellus Eusebius, Miltiades Silvester Mark, Julius Liberius Felix II, Damasus Siricius Anastasius I, Innocentius Zosimus, Boniface I Celestine Xystus III Leo I Hilarus Simplicius, Felix III Gelasius p41 Anastasius II, Symmachus Hormisdas John I Felix IV Boniface II, John II Agapitus Silverius Vigilius Pelagius I John III Benedict I, Pelagius II Gregory I, Sabinian, Boniface III Boniface IV, Deusdedit, Boniface V Honorius Severinus John IV Theodore Martin Eugene I, Vitalian Adeodatus Donus Agatho Leo II p76 Benedict II John V Conon Sergius John VI John VII Sisinnius, Constantine Appendix 1: The Librarian Catalouge Appendix 2: The Laurentian Fragment Appendix 3: Extracts from the epitomes of the first edition of the Liber Pontificalis Glossary of Technical Terms in the Translation Index of Churches Mentioned Maps

… makes available to a wider readership a central text for the history of Christian Rome … [Davis’s] book is a job well and succinctly done.
  The Classical Review

… a valuable updated translation of a significant document of early papalhistory.
  The Catholic Historical Review

Format: Paperback

Size: 210 x 147 mm

216 Pages

ISBN: 9781846314766

Publication: December 1, 2009

Series: Translated Texts for Historians 6

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