ADDITIONAL NOTE ON THE SIXTH NICENE CANON.
The Latin version of Nicene and other canons which the Ballerini distinguish as "Vetus" was printed by them from a Verona manuscript of the seventh century, containing the collection made by a deacon named Theodosius. They considered it to have been made from a Greek codex of Alexandrian origin, extant long before the council of Chalcedon. For it is prefaced by the words, "Synodus Nicaena sub Alexandro episcopo Alexandriae imperatore Constantino; multa igitur seditione facta beato Alexandro cum suis de mala mente Arii ... Constantinus scripsit illi et omnibus episcopis occurrere, colligens concilium," etc. Then comes the Nicene Creed in its original form, and dated by consulates and by the era of Alexander, with the day of the month. The number of bishops present is given as 318: it is added that "studiosi servi Dei magis curaverunt orientalium nomina episcoporum conscribere," because the Westerns had not the question of heresy to the same extent before them. The only signatures given are those of "Osius," and of "Avitus "and "Vincentius" as Roman presbyters. My friend Mr. C. H. Turner, Fellow of Magdalen College, who has "collated all, or almost all the manuscripts of Latin versions of the Nicene canons which are of any importance," has kindly permitted me to see the results of his re-collation of two other manuscripts of this version, found by Maassen, assigned to the ninth century, and named after Freisingen and Würzburg. Great interest attaches to their text of the version, because it appears as part of the acts of a Carthaginian council - that of A.D. 419, - being prefaced by "Danihel notarius recitavit, Nicheni concilii fidei professio vel
ejus statuta," etc., and ending with a speech by Aurelius, bishop (of Carthage), to the effect that these canons as "recited" by Daniel were from the copy of the Nicene "statutes" which "our fathers" bad brought home with them from the Nicene council, and which were preserved in the church of Carthage ("apud nos"). The ordinary text of the proceedings of the Carthaginian council is quite accordant with the above postscript; for we read, "Daniel notarius Nicaeni concilii professionem fidei vel ejus statuta recitavit in concilio Africano" (Mansi, iv. 407).
Although the two German manuscripts in some places virtually correct the Veronese, and justify the emendations suggested by the Ballerini, they still do not give a thoroughly literal representation of the Greek. But this amount of verbal laxity attaches a greater significance to the accordance of the "Carthaginian" version, if we may so term it, in all three manuscripts, with the Greek exordium of canon vi., as opposed to that which Paschasinus so confidently produced at Chalcedon. The same must he said of another Latin version, which Mr. Turner identifies with the one sent by Atticus of Constantinople in reply to the request of the African bishops, and preserved in a ninth-century manuscript, "nunc Vaticanus Palatinus." It is headed - "Exemplaria concilii Nicaeni directa sub die vi. kal. Decemb. post consulatum ... Honorii xii. et Theodosii viii ... Bonifatio urbis Rome episcopo" (= Nov. 26, A.D. 419); and again, between the creed and the canons, (2) "constituta patrum in magna et sancta synodo apud Nicaeam ... quae de greco translata sunt a Philone (et) Euaresto Constantino politano," i.e. the secretaries whom Atticus employed for the purpose (cp. "per Teilonem eti Tharistum" in Mansi, iv. 407). It is a much more exact version than the onc already described, but in can. vi. it inserts "metropolitanis" before "ecclesiis." It renders ta arxaia eqh krateitw ta en Aiguptw, k.t.l., quite literally, "Autiqui mores obtineant qui apud Aegyptum sunt," etc. Here, then, we have another ancient testimony against the exordium once current at Rome: and it is significant that the version of Dionysius Exiguus, agreeing substantially as it does with the Greek, and sanctioned by the Roman church, involves an official withdrawal, in the early part
of the sixth century, of the incorrect fifth-century clause, "ecclesia Romana semper habuit primatum," represented in the Italian version which the Ballerini, under the title of "Antiquissima," printed from a ninth-century manuscript written for Ingilram, bishop of Chieti, - a version also remarkable for the strange freedoms which it takes with the received order and distinction of the canons. It appears that this reading has the support of another group of manuscripts, representing a Gallic recension of the original "Isidorian" version, so-called, in which this "Isidorian" has been altered by the introduction of the clause from the "Ingilram" ; and that it was current in Italy (and Sicily) for a considerable time before the council of Chalcedon. But this does not give it any independent value. It remains an Italian reading: for there is nothing to show that the "Ingilram" version circulated outside Italy and its dependencies. Mr. Rivington (p. 166) conjectures that the original reading was, "It is the ancient custom that the Roman church should hold the primacy." This disturbs the drift of the context, is clearly suggestive of "conflation," and substantially represents the text of the "Prisca" version, which is regarded as a compilation from the text ascribed to Atticus' secretaries and that of the "Ingilram" manuscript.
Through the kindness of the Rev. G. B. Howard (well known as the author of "The Christians of St. Thomas and their Liturgies") I am enabled to insert his rendering of the sixth canon from a Syriac manuscript (Add. MSS. 14528, Brit. Mus.) containing a (Nestorian) translation of the Nicene, Ancyran, Neocaesarean, Gangran, Antiochene, Laodicene, Constantinopolitan, and Chalcedonian canons, professing to have been made "from the Greek, carefully and with lucidity, in the city Mabug" (Hierapolis in Syria), "in the year 812 of Alexander" (=A.D. 500-1): "Let the peculiar customs be retained which are in Mitsrin" (Egypt) "and in Libya, and Pentapolis, that the bishop of Alexandria have authority over all these, forasmuch as to him of Rome also this custom appertains. And so also in Antiochia, and in these other provinces, let precedency be retained in the churches."