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A commentary on the so-called "opus historicum" of Hilary of politics

Fleming, John (1951) A commentary on the so-called "opus historicum" of Hilary of politics. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



The thesis consists of a commentary on the so-called “opus historicum” of Hilary of Poitiers, together with relevant introductory sections, appendices and conclusion. This work of Hilary has been recovered only within comparatively recent times, and, in its present mutilated form, contains 17 documents covering the period from the synod of Sardica to the death of the bishop of Poitiers. It represents the first attempt by a Western historian to combat the Arian heresy not only by the spoken word but also by written testimony and authentic documents of the period. The thesis opens with an introduction dealing with the historical background and authenticity of the work, the motives and method of its author, and its editors. This is followed by a section on Hilary and the Arian Controversy where short sketches are given of the early history of the church Gaul, the life of Hilary, and the course of Arianism to c.367. Then comes the actual commentary in which every document is treated as a separate unit and provided in most cases with an introduction and conclusion. Two appendices have been attached, one on the so-called ad const. I, which is now recognised to be a constituent part of B II, and the other on the warmly debated liberius letters. Finally, there is the conclusion which contains the various theories pro-pounded on the original form of the collection and in which a verdict is passed on Hilary as a historian. So far as is known, this is the first commentary on the work in English and it is presented in the hope that it may dispel much of the uncertainty, which surrounds the work, by assembling from many sources the materiel necessary to its understanding and use and by resolving, many difficult problems of detail; and so may gain for it proper acknowledgment as the primary source for the history of Arianism in the West.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:1951
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:13 Nov 2013 15:36

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