A Papyrus Codex of the Shepherd of Hermas (Similitudes 2-9), with a Fragment of the Mandates

A Papyrus Codex of the Shepherd of Hermas (Similitudes 2-9), with a Fragment of the Mandates

A Papyrus Codex of the Shepherd of Hermas (Similitudes 2-9), with a Fragment of the Mandates

A Papyrus Codex of the Shepherd of Hermas (Similitudes 2-9), with a Fragment of the Mandates

Excerpt

In offering this long-delayed volume to the public I am acutely aware that I have sinned against the sound maxim that he gives twice who gives quickly. There are students of Hermas who would have been more grateful if the text had appeared promptly, even with many more imperfections than it now presents. But it is not easy for a conscientious worker to allow a book to go forth until he has reduced its errors to a minimum. Knowing that he cannot expect to convince his readers at every point, he can at least try never to mislead them. How hard it has been, in the case of this papyrus, to attain even that modest aim will be appreciated by those who follow closely the indications of the printed pages.

Another cause of delay was the necessity -- for such it seemed to me -- of exhibiting as clearly as possible the relation of the readings of the codex to those found in the other sources. This might have been left to others; but I could not bring myself to resign a part of the task which was sure to be of great interest, and which was in a manner incumbent upon the first editor of the papyrus. But that work involved many side lines of inquiry, not all of which can be traced in the introduction and notes. It is needless to explain or to apologize for other responsibilities and distractions that have retarded the work on this book. They are well understood by all who know the life of an American university professor.

For such freedom from obvious mistakes as the book can claim, credit belongs in large measure to the close observation and accurate scholarship of Mr. H. C. Youtie, Research Associate in Papyrology in the University of Michigan. He has checked doubtful readings, has read the later proofs and made many valuable suggestions, and has placed at my disposal the results of several special investigations. Had his services been available from the beginning of the work I should have been obliged to disregard his modesty and place his name on the title- page as an equal collaborator.

I owe a great debt to the late Professor Cuthbert H. Turner, who generously provided me with a copy of the text of the Old Latin version as he had provisionally established it from a new study of the manuscripts, and allowed me to cite it in the notes; it should be remembered . . .

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