Polycarp the Ascetic

Polycarp the Ascetic There is extant in Greek a life of the female saint Syncletica, which has been ascribed to various persons. Some MSS. and the Greek ecclesiastical historian Nicephorus Callisti (H. E. 8:40) ascribe it to Athanasius; but Montfaucon, though he gives the piece with a Latin version in his edition of the works of Athanasius (2, 681, etc.), classes it among the spurious works, and declares that the difference of style, and the absence of any external testimony for five or six centuries after Athanasius leave no room to doubt its spuriousness. A copy, which was among the papers of Combefis, contains a clause, stating that the discourses or sayings of the saint had been reported by "the blessed Arsenius of Pegadae;" but this does not seem to describe him as the compiler of the narrative, but only as the author from whom part of the materials were derived. It is then most reasonable to follow the very ancient MS. in the Vatican Library, which ascribes the biography to Polycarp the Ascetic or Monk, but where or when this Polycarp lived cannot be determined. 'The biography was first published in the Latin version of David Colvillus in the Acta Sancetorum Januasrii, 1, 242, etc. The original Greek text is said to have been published with some other pieces (Ingolstadt, 1603, 4to); it is given with a new Latin version and notes in the Ecclesiae Graecae Monumenta of Cotelerius (Paris, 1677, 4to), 1, 201, etc. The MS. used by Cotelerius contained neither the author's name nor the final clause about Arsenius of Pegadae. The title of the piece is Βίος καὶ πολιτεία τῆς ὁσίας καὶ ἀοιδίμου μητρὸς ἡμῶν (in Monitfaon's edition, Β. κ. π. τῆς ἁγίας καὶ μακαρίας καὶ διδασκάλου) Συγκλητικῆς, Vita, et Gesta sanctca celebrisque mltris nostace (or, according to Monttfaucon, Sanctae beataeque magistrce) Syncleticae. See Fabicius, Biblioth. Graeca, 10, 329.

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