The Presence of Hades in the Codex of Visions (P.BODM. XXXI, XXXII, XXXV)

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Conference Proceeding


The Codex of Cisions from the Bodmer papyri collects a variety of texts, some well-known, some completely new. For instance, the codex contains portions of the well-known early Christian text, the Shepherd of Hermas. Yet it also contains previously unknown fourth-fifth century Christian poems. These poems, while concerned with Biblical and theological matters, are composed in classical meters, in imitation of epic poetry (and often their imitation is less than felicitous). Thanks to the initial work of Andre Hurst and Jean Rudhardt, we have an excellent edition to work from. While they have done the truly difficulty work of establishing the text, many questions still remain. To name just a few: why were these classicizing poems placed in the same codex as the prose Shepherd? Are the poems the work of one poet or many? Where did these poems come from, and what was their original and subsequent audience? Most of the questions are still awaiting an answer. Much of the scholarship has focused on the classicizing element of these poems; I want to turn to the other part of these poems and examine how they engage in Biblical exegesis.

Original Citation

Kalish, K. (2012). The Presence of Hades in the Codex of Visions (P.BODM. XXXI, XXXII, XXXV). In P. Schubert (Ed.), Proceedings from Actes du 26e Congrès international de papyrologie (pp. 391-398). Geneva: Droz.

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