Art. 3a, Epistle a Tiberie

Art. 3a, Epistle a Tiberie / Letter of Pilate to Tiberius: EXPLANATORY NOTES


ABBREVIATIONS: AND: Anglo-Norman Dictionary; ANL: Anglo-Norman Literature: A Guide to Texts and Manuscripts (R. Dean and Boulton); BL: British Library (London); BnF: Bibliothèque nationale de France (Paris); CUL: Cambridge University Library; MED: Middle English Dictionary; NLW: National Library of Wales (Aberystwyth); PL: Patrologiae cursus completus . . . series latina (Migne).

1 Tyberye. Written by Scribe B over an erasure. The Paris MS, fol. 59ra, reads Claudie. Tiberius Caesar was Roman Emperor from 14–37 A.D., succeeding his stepfather Augustus. According to the (non-historical) opening of art. 3b, Tiberius ruled jointly with Claudius because he was gravely ill. The confusion that arises, then, between the titles of arts. 3a and 3b — that is, the implication that two different letters are referred to — is created by the Ludlow scribe’s erasures and additions. (See explanatory headnote to art. 3b.)

Art. 3a, Epistle a Tiberie / Letter of Pilate to Tiberius: TEXTUAL NOTES


Abbreviations: MS: MS Harley 2253; M: Meyer 1895; O: O’Connor; P: Perman; R: D. Russell 1989.

title MS: epistle a tyberie (er abbreviated). Scribe B inserts this title in red ink in the right margin.

1 ¶. So MS, inserted by Scribe B).

Tyberye. So MS (er abbreviated), written by Scribe B.

5 sun. MS: sunt.

15 el. MS: el le.

23 ¶. So MS, inserted by Scribe B as if to begin art. 3b.

 
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Art. 3a, Epistle a Tiberie



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Epistle a Tiberie [art. 3a]

Si escrit tele chartre: ¶ “Punce Pilate a Tyberye Cesar suen emperur, saluz.
Novelement avint, e joe mesmes le sai, que li Judeu par envie me livererent Jhesu
Crist pur dampner en mort. E il dampnerent sai, e cels qui aprés els vendrunt des
lur, en lur dampnatiun. | Ici seit içoe que fust pramis a lur peres: que lur Deu lur
enverrait sun seint Fiz del ciel, ki par dreit serrait lur Rei apelé. E si lur pramist
qu’il par virgine lur enverreit en tere. E sicum li Deu des Ebreus lur enveia quant
joe governouue la regne de Judee. E li Ebreu le virent les ciels enluminer, e les
leprus munder, e les paralis saner, e les deables des homes chacier, e les morz
resusciter, e as vens commander, e sur les undes de la mer od ses piez aler, e mulz
altres miracles qu’il le virent faire. E mulz des altres Judeus creirent qu’il fud Fiz
Deu.


“Dunc le pristrent li prince des Judeus par envie, sil me livererent, et multes
mensunges me distrent de li: e qu’il ert enchantere e overout encuntre lur lei. E
joe crei a lur paroles e quidoue ke issi fust. Si lur liverai flaele a lur jugement. E il
le crucifierunt el fust. E cum il fust mis el sepulcre, si me demanderent de mes
chuvalers pur guarder le sepulcre. E jo lur prestai. E sicum il le guardouent, il le
resuscita del monument vif. Puis si crut tant lur envie vers lui e lur felunies qu’il
donerent aveir as chuvalers qu’il gardouent pur çoe qu’il duissent dire que ses
disciples l’eussent emblé quant il furent endormi. E cum il orent l’aveir, si ne
porrunt taisir la verité. Einz, distrent si cum il ert avenu, e testimoinerent qu’il ert
resuscité del sepulcre.


“E pur çoe, vus ameneste joe, sire rai, que vus altrement ne creez d’iceste aventure
fors sicum jol vus mand. E tuit sicum avint de Jhesu vus ai escrit. ¶ Salvez seiez.”


 
Letter of Pilate to Tiberius [art. 3a]

He wrote this letter: ¶ “Pontius Pilate to Tiberius Caesar his emperor, greetings.
It recently happened, and I myself know it, that the Jews out of envy delivered
Jesus Christ to me to condemn to death. And they condemned themselves, and
those of theirs who came after them, in their condemnation. | This event had
previously been foretold to their fathers: that their God would send to them from
the heavens his holy Son, who would rightfully be called their King. And also it was
promised to them that he would be sent to them on earth through a virgin. And
in just this way the God of the Hebrews sent [him] to them when I governed the
kingdom of Judea. And the Hebrews saw him light up the sky, cure lepers, heal
paralytics, drive devils out of men, raise the dead, command the winds, and walk
with his feet on the waves of the sea, and many other miracles that they saw him
perform. And many other Jews believed he was the Son of God.

“Then out of envy the Jewish high priests seized him, handed him over to me
and told me many lies concerning him: that he was a magician and worked against
their law. And I believed their words and thought this to be true. And I gave him
to them to scourge according to their judgment. And they crucified him on a tree.
And when he was placed in the sepulcher, they asked me to place soldiers to watch
over the sepulcher. And I gave [them] to them. And as they guarded him, he
raised himself alive from the tomb. Then their envy toward him and their crimes
increased so much that they gave money to the knights who watched over him so
that they’d report that his disciples had stolen him away while they slept. And when
they had the money, they weren’t able to hide the truth. Instead, they reported it
as it had happened, and they testified that he had arisen from the sepulcher.

“And on account of this, I’ve sent information to you, lord king, for otherwise you
wouldn’t believe in this event unless I informed you of it. And I’ve written to you
everything as it happened to Jesus. ¶ May you be saved.”

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