The thesis consists of five chapters and eight Appendices.
The first four chapters contain studies on the text and manuscript
tradition of the Pseudo-Nonnos Commentaries; the last, Chapter V,
provides a representative text of, and apparatus criticus to
Commentaries IV and V, 1 - 35.
Chapter I supplies an analysis of the literary and religious
background of the Commentaries, their relationship with the sermons
of Gregory of Nazianzus, their origins and those of their author,
and the links between them and other literature of the same type.
They are shown to have been composed as an entity, and it is
suggested that they derive from the methods of exegesis followed
in the schools.
In Chapter II the original list of 134 manuscripts of the
Commentaries printed by J. Sajdak in 191U is revised, and the
loss or misidentification of some witnesses noted. This is
followed by a supplementary list of other manuscripts of the
Commentaries, which have either been discussed by other scholars
after 1914 or have been noted in the catalogues and other
publications by the present writer
Chapter III gives an account of the previous work on the
text and tradition of the Commentaries. All modern studies of
this are based on the conclusions of E. Patzig, published in 1869/90.
In 1922, Th. Sinko printed a series of notes on various aspects of
the contents of the Commentaries and on some of the manuscripts in
which they appeared. Although an edition of the Armenian Version
of the Commentaries was published in 1903 by A. Manandian, this was
not translated into English until 1971. Then S.P. Brock added a
collation of this to his translation and edition of the Syriac
Versions of the Commentaries. The Greek tradition of the
Commentaries is also given prominence in the last-mentioned
publication, which includes an edition of the Greek text of
Commentary XXXIX. Finally, J.H. Declerck has, since 1976,
written a series of articles on the tradition of the Commentaries
in text and translation, and provided editions of the texts of
Commentaries XLIII and V, 36 - 40.
Section 1 of Chapter IV analyses the 154 extant manuscripts
of the Commentaries by their dates, and lists the Commentaries
found in each. Of the 88 which contain a substantial portion
of the text, over half date from the fifteenth century onwards.
Host of the remainder are pre-thirteenth century, and copies of
these have been obtained by the writer. Section 2 gives a survey
of their contents. Section 3 employs the information so provided
(and that obtained by a comparison of it with the translations of
the Syriac and Armenian Versions and the use made by Cosmas of
Jerusalem of the Commentaries) to give a more detailed account of
the parts of the Greek tradition than has previously been attempted.
The long-established division of the tradition into two parts (here
denoted m and n) is redefined, and a hitherto unnoted sub-division
within m identified. It is also argued that the Syriac (and Armenian) Versions may depend on Greek text(s)
that have been subject to interpolation. A discussion of the
manuscripts involved in the production of the representative
text and apparatus criticus in Chapter V completes this chapter.
In Chapter V the text is based on that of a witness in n.
Below the text is placed one apparatus criticus containing the
readings of witnesses in m and those of the translation of the
Syriac and Armenian Versions, and a second apparatus with the
variants in n.
The Appendices include a full list of the manuscripts of
the Commentaries, their contents as they are found in both parts
of the Greek tradition and in the works of Cosmas of Jerusalem, and
an account of the editions of the Commentaries from 1569 until 1977.