And more interpolations

In my ongoing single-manuscript edition from V630, I’ve skipped ahead to the Spanish councils. The idea is to see what things look like when there’s no parallel tradition for Pseudo-Isidore to correct against in the Dionysio-Hadriana.

Right away, the Council of Elivra (Ilíberis), an early pre-Nicene synod, yields a clutch of interpolations. We will index these as I99.16, I99.32, I99.58, and I99.68.

Pseudo-Isidore’s alterations to c. 32 (I99.32) are the most significant. In the unmolested Hispana Gallica the text looks like this:

XXXII. De excommunicatis presbyteris, ut in necessitate communionem dent.

Apud presbyterem, si quis gravi lapsu in ruinam mortis inciderit, placuit agere paenitentiam non debere, sed potius apud episcopum. Cogente tamen infirmitate si necesse est presbyterem communionem praestare debere, et diaconum si ei iusserit sacerdos.

The title is mistaken–I don’t think this capitulum is about excommunicated priests at all, but rather about faithful who are guilty of serious sins. These need to go to their bishop and not any old priest for penance. In cases where the penitent is seriously ill, though, the priest may extend communion to them, or the deacon may do so on the priest’s instruction.

Pseudo-Isidore leaves the titulus unmolested in the capitulatio, but otherwise he implements serious revisions:

Si quis gravi lapsu in ruinam mortis inciderit, placuit agere paenitentiam non debere sine episcopi consultu, sed potius apud episcopum agat. Cogente tamen infirmitate nec est presbyterorum aut diaconorum communionem talibus prestare debere, nisi eis iusserit episcopus.

The whole thing is reoriented around episcopal prerogatives, as we might expect. The penitent is directed to consult the bishop explicitly, and even in cases of deathly illness, neither priests nor deacons are to extend communion unless ordered by the bishop.

Also worth mentioning, for rather different reasons, is c. l68 (I99.68). Here’s the Gallican Hispana:

LXVIII. De catecumina adultera quae filium necat

Catecumina, si per adulterium conceperit et praevocaverit, placuit eam in finem baptizari.

For praevocaverit, which is the reading of our best Gallican Hispana witness (ÖNB 411 or W411), read praefocaverit. Female catechumens who smother their children conceived in adultery are to be granted baptism only upon death. Now Pseudo-Isidore:

Caticumina, si per adulterium conceperit et conceptum necaverit, placuit eam in fine baptizari.

Should this be indexed as an interpolation at all?

Underlying uncertainty about the exact nature of Pseudo-Isidore’s Hispana text–which was certainly better than the often gruesomely corrupt W411–yields a lot of edge cases like this. If we assume that his text, too, had praevocaverit, then it looks like he implemented a rather free correctio ex ingenio, borrowing his verb (necare) from the titulus. That selfsame titulus, though, also makes it plain that the canon deals with women who have killed their sons. Pseudo-Isidore’s version is slightly different, addressing abortion (killing the fetus) rather than infanticide. So it gets a number.

Leave a Reply