Friday, February 16, 2007

Introducing the Slavonic Pseudepigrapha and 2 Enoch

My lecture today is essentially two talks rolled into one. I will introduce the Slavonic Pseudepigrapha and discuss the problems associated with them and then introduce 2 Enoch, which nicely illustrates these problems.

Here are my brief abstracts

The Slavonic Pseudepigrapha: an Introduction

A substantial number of pseudepigraphical texts have been preserved for us in the Slavonic languages. Most of these have parallels in traditions preserved in other languages such as Greek and Latin. A small number, however, are unique to the Slavonic context, although some of their constituent parts have parallels in other traditions. These texts provide rich insights into the ongoing life of the Pseudepigrapha in Slavonic and Byzantine contexts, but they pose a number of problems for students, the most significant being the level of variation between their individual textual witnesses. In order to work with them, one must appreciate something of the linguistic and textual contexts of the works. Such an appreciation will help to highlight the ancestry, the influences and the distinctive problems associated with the Slavonic Pseudepigrapha.

An Introduction to 2 Enoch

The text that we refer to as 2 Enoch, Slavonic Enoch or even The Book of the Secrets of Enoch is a fascinating example of the Slavonic Pseudepigrapha and of the distinctive problems associated with them. In the lecture I will discuss the ways in which the manuscripts witness to those problems as I outlined them in The Slavonic Pseudepigrapha: an Introduction. We will discuss: 1) macro variation between manuscripts and recensions; 2) micro variation within text families; 3) the verifiable route of transmission of 2 Enoch; 4) debates over the provenance of 2 Enoch. This will lay a groundwork for next week’s lecture on themes within 2 Enoch.

Much fuller versions of both lectures will be added to the main course web-site in due course. These will contain some helpful additional detail that I simply don't have time to cram into the session today.

I will also give students a short outline of the narrative of 2 Enoch at today’s lecture.