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Clementine Literature


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A number of apocryphal works circulated in the early Church under the name of St Clement of Rome, but by convention the term ‘Clementines’ is restricted to three of them.(1) The Clementine Homilies is a religious and philosophical romance which Clement is supposed to have sent from Rome to James, the Lord's brother, preceded by two letters from St Peter and Clement also addressed to James, and instructions for the correct use of the work. They describe Clement's travels in the East, when he met Peter and witnessed his conflict with Simon Magus.(2) The Clementine Recognitions resemble the Homilies and the narrative goes over much of the same ground, with additional details about the vicissitudes of various members of Clement's family and their reunion after their ‘recognition’ (hence the title) by Peter.(3) Two Greek Epitomes of the above. They are evidently later and introduce an account of Clement's martyrdom.It is generally thought that the Homilies and Recognitions depend on a common lost source, which probably dated from the early 3rd cent. The Homilies belong to the 4th cent. and betray Arian sympathies. The Recognitions appear to be later; they survive mainly in a Latin translation by Rufinus.

(1) The Clementine Homilies is a religious and philosophical romance which Clement is supposed to have sent from Rome to James, the Lord's brother, preceded by two letters from St Peter and Clement also addressed to James, and instructions for the correct use of the work. They describe Clement's travels in the East, when he met Peter and witnessed his conflict with Simon Magus.

(2) The Clementine Recognitions resemble the Homilies and the narrative goes over much of the same ground, with additional details about the vicissitudes of various members of Clement's family and their reunion after their ‘recognition’ (hence the title) by Peter.

(3) Two Greek Epitomes of the above. They are evidently later and introduce an account of Clement's martyrdom.

Subjects: Christianity.


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