Hippolytus between East and West: The Commentaries and the Provenance of the Corpus

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Who was the Church Father Hippolytus? The answer to this question has eluded scholars for centuries. His true identity was unknown even to Eusebius, the church historian, in the fourth century and to subsequent writers of the ancient Church. Yet his corpus was largely preserved through the early centuries and influenced numerous theologians and exegetes, including Origen, Ambrose, and Jerome. Using ancient, Byzantine, and modern sources, the present study charts the growth of the Hippolytus question from its inception to the present day. It traces how early speculations led to the formation of various traditions of a prolific and controversial writer. This book is the first thorough analysis of the Hippolytus question in English for over a hundred years. Drawing on leading scholarship of the twentieth century, it untangles millennia of theory and points to the evidence of the Asian roots of the great biblical commentator known as Saint Hippolytus. It suggests that this writer, so influential on the rethinking of western liturgical practice in the twentieth century, is best viewed as a scion of the East.