Research Programs: Fellowships for University Teachers

Period of Performance

7/1/2008 - 5/31/2009

Funding Totals

$46,200.00 (approved)
$46,200.00 (awarded)

Greco-Roman, Judaic, and Christian Traditions in Hadrian's "Introduction to the Divine Scriptures," 5th Century A.D.

FAIN: FA-54167-08

Peter W. Martens
St. Louis University (Notre Dame, IN 46556-4635)

My project is to publish a critical study and translation of Hadrian's "Introduction to the Divine Scriptures" (fifth century CE). In this book, Hadrian, a Greek Christian scholar, wrestles with the idiosyncratic features of Semitic thought, vocabulary, and literary style that surface in the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, the church's Old Testament. In particular, he grapples with the evocative and all-too-human portrayals of God in this document. Hadrian's treatise resides, then, at the intersection of two cultures, the Semitic and Greco-Roman, and of two religions, Judaism and Christianity. I will offer the first English translation of the "Introduction." I will also write a substantial critical essay of this book in which I investigate its structure, intent and content, as well as locate it within two main contexts: its relationship to Greco-Roman literary education in late antiquity, and its place in early Christian biblical scholarship.

Associated Products

Adrian's Introduction to the Divine Scriptures: An Antiochene Handbook for Biblical Interpretation (Book)
Title: Adrian's Introduction to the Divine Scriptures: An Antiochene Handbook for Biblical Interpretation
Author: Peter W. Martens
Abstract: Adrian likely flourished in the early fifth century. His sole-surviving work is the Introduction to the Divine Scriptures, a Greek treatise that today survives in two recensions. The central topic of the Introduction is the Septuagint's odd stylistic features. In the first section Adrian catalogs the anthropomorphic ways in which God is portrayed in Scripture (the Psalms in particular) and then explains how such expressions ought to be understood. The second section on diction identifies peculiar word usages, offers lexicographical analyses of semantically rich terms, and discusses a handful of tropes. The third section on word arrangement contains a short list of figures of speech. The treatise concludes with a series of appendices: a catalog of twenty-two tropes, defined and illustrated from Scripture, a two-fold classification of Scripture into prophetic and narratival literature, an extended excursus on how teachers should instruct beginners in scriptural interpretation, and, finally, another classification of Scripture into prose and poetry. The Introduction contains striking verbal and thematic affinities with the exegetical writings Theodore of Mopsuestia (ca. 350-428). This treatise also occupies a unique place in Antiochene scholarship: it is the only surviving handbook on scriptural interpretation from the leading fourth and fifth century figures of this tradition and succinctly codifies many of its guiding principles for scriptural exegesis. This volume offers the first critical edition of the Introduction (its two surviving recensions and the fragments from the exegetical catenae); the first English translation of the treatise, which is also richly annotated with explanatory commentary; a substantial prefatory study that orients readers to Adrian and a number of the important features of his work.
Year: 2017
Publisher: Oxford: Oxford University Press
Type: Translation
Type: Scholarly Edition
Translator: Peter W. Martens
Copy sent to NEH?: Yes