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Problems in the Text of Juvencus

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image of Vigiliae Christianae

There are still many problems and uncertainties in the text of Juvencus’ poetic rendering of the New Testament accounts of Christ. The relative value of the manuscripts is unclear, and one of the problems with the text of Huemer (1891), which is still the standard text, is excessive reliance on a manuscript outstanding for its antiquity but not always for its Latinity, and which in fact Huemer knew at secondhand. The fact that Juvencus is a thoughtful and imaginative paraphraser of his Biblical models, far from making it possible to use the gospel texts as an extra witness, demands extra care from the critic. This article considers more than twenty passages, outlining problems and suggesting remedies; in so doing it also brings out in a small way the qualities of Juvencus as poet and his attitudes to exegesis.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Classics, University of Glasgow Glasgow G12 8QQ UK, Email:


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