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Document Details :
Title: Die Historia de Melchisedech (Hist Melch). Einführung, editorischer Vorbericht und Editiones praeliminares
Author(s): DOCHHORN, J.
Journal: Le Muséon
Volume: 117 Issue: 1-2 Date: 2004
The apocryphal Historia de Melchisedech (Hist Melch), which has been almost completely neglected by modern researchers, is widely attested in the manuscript tradition of Byzantine and Oriental Christianity and has been mainly transmitted in a Pseudo-Athanasian recension (Ps-Ath, Hist Melch) and a recension embedded in the Palaia historica (Pal, Hist Melch). It relates the story of Melchisedech, who is depicted as a son of a pagan king. Melchisedech converted to the monotheistic creed, and therefore his father decided to immolate him to his gods. Melchisedech escaped and caused the place of sacrifice to be swallowed up by the earth. After that he spent his life as a hermit on Mount Tabor and was visited by Abraham, who cut his hair and trimmed his nails. The present article first discusses the religio-historical background of Hist Melch (Ch. I). Despite of some Christian features, e.g. secondary references to Hebr. 7, 3, its core is to be regarded as originally Jewish. The motif of child sacrifice could possibly allude to Phoenician rituals, particularly as there exist traces of other traditions in which Melchisedech is Phoenician, cf. Epiph., Pan., 55, 2, 1 and 67, 7. In Ch. II a repertorium of the Greek manuscript tradition and its numerous versions is presented comprising also an edition of the Coptic fragments based upon the edition of Gasilee. The main part (Ch. III) of the article consists of a preliminary edition of Ps-Ath, Hist Melch that presents a critical revision of the edition in P.G. 28, 523-530 broken down to chapters and verses. The last chapter contains a preliminary edition of Pal, Hist Melch (graece) that reprints the text of Vassiliev combined with the variants of Paris, BNF, gr. 37 in footnotes. Finally the unedited text of BNF, gr. 1083 is given; this text is related to Ps-Ath, Hist Melch but lacks anything that refers to Athanasius.