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The Gnomai of the Council of Nicaea (CC 0021)


Critical text with translation, introduction and commentary


Edited and Translated by Alistair C. Stewart
The first English translation and first complete critical text of a neglected moral treatise from fourth-century Egypt, throwing fresh light on the social history of Egyptian Christianity and on the growth of the church-order tradition.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-4632-0260-6
  • *
Publication Status: In Print

Publication Date: Sep 11,2015
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 129
Languages: English, Coptic
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0260-6
$43.00
$30.10

The Gnomai of the Council of Nicaea is an anonymous Egyptian work detailing norms of behaviour for lay Christians, with a particular emphasis on the behaviour of ascetics. The work is interesting both as a relative of the church order tradition and through the light which it throws on the social history of fourth-century Egyptian Christians. Originally composed in Greek by a contemporary of Athanasius, it is now extant solely in Coptic.

This is the first English translation of the work, and the first text to take account of all the variant readings of the different manuscripts. It is designed to be of use to specialists, but also to be accessible to historians, classicists, and theologians who are without knowledge of Coptic. A commentary and extensive introduction accompany the text and translation.

Alistair C. Stewart is an Anglican priest serving in Slough, UK. He is also the author (with Judith H. Newman) of Early Jewish Liturgy: A Sourcebook for use by students of Early Christian Liturgy (Gorgias Press, 2010).

The Gnomai of the Council of Nicaea is an anonymous Egyptian work detailing norms of behaviour for lay Christians, with a particular emphasis on the behaviour of ascetics. The work is interesting both as a relative of the church order tradition and through the light which it throws on the social history of fourth-century Egyptian Christians. Originally composed in Greek by a contemporary of Athanasius, it is now extant solely in Coptic.

This is the first English translation of the work, and the first text to take account of all the variant readings of the different manuscripts. It is designed to be of use to specialists, but also to be accessible to historians, classicists, and theologians who are without knowledge of Coptic. A commentary and extensive introduction accompany the text and translation.

Alistair C. Stewart is an Anglican priest serving in Slough, UK. He is also the author (with Judith H. Newman) of Early Jewish Liturgy: A Sourcebook for use by students of Early Christian Liturgy (Gorgias Press, 2010).

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Contributor Biography

Alistair Stewart

Alistair C. Stewart is team vicar of Upton cum Chalvey, UK, and visiting scholar of Sarum College, UK. His expertise is in the church orders and in the development of early Christian liturgy, in which fields he has published extensively.

  • Table of Contents (page 7)
  • Preface (page 9)
  • Introduction (page 11)
    • The Gnomai of Nicaea (page 11)
    • The text of the Gnomai (page 12)
    • The date and provenance of the Gnomai (page 17)
    • The genre of the Gnomai (page 21)
    • The contents of the Gnomai (page 27)
    • The purpose of the Gnomai (page 32)
    • Conclusion (page 34)
  • Sigla (page 35)
  • Text and Translation (page 37)
  • Notes (page 97)
  • Appendices (page 105)
    • Appendix 1: Ostrakon C. 8123 (page 106)
    • Appendix 2: Homiletic material from Giov.AJ included by Revillout and Rossi in the Gnomai (page 108)
    • Appendix 3: Other fragmentary material from Giov.AJ (page 114)
  • Index (page 123)
  • Bibliography (page 127)
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