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E02985: Peter Chrysologus, bishop of Ravenna (attested 448/449, died before 458), preaches a Latin sermon in Ravenna at an uncertain date, perhaps for the feast of *John the Baptist (S00020).

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posted on 13.06.2017, 00:00 authored by mpignot
Peter Chrysologus, Sermon 179

The sermon has no title in the earliest manuscript, Olivar proposes De sancto Iohanne Baptista (‘On John the Baptist’). It comments on Matthew 11:3-9, about John the Baptist announcing Jesus’ coming, with no hint about the context of preaching.

Text: Olivar 1982, 1085-1088.

History

Evidence ID

E02985

Saint Name

John the Baptist : S00020

Saint Name in Source

Iohannes

Type of Evidence

Literary - Sermons/Homilies

Language

Latin

Evidence not before

426

Evidence not after

458

Activity not before

426

Activity not after

458

Place of Evidence - Region

Italy north of Rome with Corsica and Sardinia

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Ravenna

Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Ravenna Sardinia Sardinia Sardegna Sardinia

Major author/Major anonymous work

Peter Chrysologus

Cult activities - Liturgical Activity

  • Sermon/homily

Cult activities - Festivals

  • Saint’s feast

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops

Source

Peter Chrysologus was bishop of Ravenna in the second quarter of the 5th century. The chronology of his life remains uncertain: he is attested as bishop in 448/449 and he died before 458 when there is evidence of his successor Neo receiving a letter from pope Leo the Great: see PCBE 2, 'Petrus Chrysologus 9', pp. 1728-9. While most of Peter's sermons were transmitted in a collection put together by bishop Felix of Ravenna in the 8th century, the current body of sermons attributed to him has been established and critically edited by Olivar, who rejected a number of sermons from Felix's collection as spurious and added 15 sermons not transmitted in the collection but which he considered authentic. All the sermons were preached in Ravenna, generally on specific topics or liturgical feasts that can be identified. Most, however, do not bear indications of their date, although Olivar has attempted to find chronological units within Felix' collection. For an overview of these sermons and hypotheses on their chronology, see A. Olivar, Los sermones de San Pedro Crisologo: estudio critico (Montserrat, 1962); F. Sottocornola, L’anno liturgico nei sermoni di Pietro Crisologo (Cesena, 1973); V. Zangara, “I silenzi nella predicazione di Pietro Crisologo”, Rivista di storia e letteratura religiosa 32 (1996), 225-265, and further bibliography in W.B. Palardy, Peter Chrysologus: Selected Sermons, vol. 2, (Fathers of the Church 109; Washington DC, 2004), xiii-xvi. This sermon, not found in Felix’ collection, but transmitted in Alanus of Farfa’s homiliary and notably attested in an 8th or 9th c. manuscript (Munich, BSB, Clm 4564, f. 25v-27r), has been attributed to Peter Chrysologus by Olivar 1962, 365-368. On the transmission see Olivar 1982, 1084, who also suggested that Peter may have used John Chrysostom’s homily 36 (37) on Matthew (Patrologia Graeca 57, 413-415).

Discussion

It is possible, but uncertain, that this sermon was preached for the feast of John the Baptist. Unlike other sermons of Peter on John, it does not discuss John’s death, but his preaching activity.

Bibliography

Edition: Olivar, A., Petrus Chrysologus, Sermones (Corpus Christianorum Series Latina 24B; Turnhout, 1982), 1085-1088. Translation: Palardy, W.B., Peter Chrysologus, Selected Sermons. Volume 3 (Fathers of The Church 110; Washington D.C, 2005), 354-358. Further reading: Olivar, A., Los sermones de San Pedro Crisologo: estudio critico (Montserrat, 1962), 365-368.

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