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The Apocryphal Adam and Eve in Medieval EuropeVernacular Translations and Adaptations of the Vita Adae et Evae$
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Brian Murdoch

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199564149

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199564149.001.0001

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Litteras Achiliacas: Conclusion

Litteras Achiliacas: Conclusion

Chapter:
(p.252) 7 Litteras Achiliacas: Conclusion
Source:
The Apocryphal Adam and Eve in Medieval Europe
Author(s):

Brian Murdoch (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199564149.003.0007

Establishing the text of an apocryphal or pseudepigraphic work is usually backward-looking, to establish an early definitive text. This is not possible in the case of the Vita Adae, which never had an established form and continues to develop in vernacular writings, changing and adding elements, sometimes by design and sometimes in error. It is important to include study of the vernacular versions in considering the development of the apocryphal Adambooks. In a final section of the Vita Adae itself we are told that Seth writes it all down with angelic help in letters described as litteras achiliacas, an originally Greek term very variously interpreted in Latin and in the vernacular versions. The term may be incomprehensible, but the idea of writing gives authority to the work.

Keywords:   apocryphon, pseudepigraph, authority, Seth

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