Nouveau Testament de Lyon (Lyon, Bibliothèque de la Ville, A.I.54 / Palais des Arts 36), edited by M. Roy Harris and Peter T. Ricketts. Rialto (Prosa religiosa), 15.2.2011.
This is a manuscript of a Waldensian New Testament from the second half of the 13th century, of which ff. 235ra-241vb are taken up by the Cathar Ritual, which is to be found in Rialto (Prosa religiosa). The manuscript originally consisted of 244 folios, of which three no longer exist: 76, 77 and 176.
The localisation of the manuscript is a complex matter, and scholars have opted principally for an origin in the Languedoc, which goes back as far as Berger (1889 and 1890) and is picked up by specialists on scriptae, but the principle of assigning a text to a scripta assumes the presence of different local and regional linguistic traditions rather than those of a single dialect. Indeed, textual analysis of the text reveals forms which cannot have come from the Languedoc, and may well belong to other dialects, specifically to those of Northern Italy.
The manuscript adopts an individual ordering of the books of the New Testament, both by comparison with the Vulgate and with other Waldensian versions, of which two others are published, that of Zurich (Salvioni 1890) and that of Carpentras (Nüesch 1979). This version is distinguished by the fact that it also contains the letter to the Laodiceans, normally included in the Apocrypha, following Colossians. Colossians itself occurs after II Thessalonians, disrupting the normal order: Philippians – Colossians – Thessalonians I and II.
The history of the publication of this manuscript is too long and also too complicated to be described here, all the more so because the presence of this edition in Rialto comes at the end of not only a story of abandoned projects, but the particular case of two well qualified scholars, who, over not less than 40 years, had been working, albeit spasmodically, on the edition of this important text. It is a rare event when one finds that the same text produces two editions, published in a year or so of each other, although it has happened. Fortunately, this is not the situation. The case concerns the edition of Peter Wunderli (2009-2010) and that of M. Roy Harris, now completed.
Given the predilection for publications to be backed up by electronic versions, it was not difficult to find a solution, especially since the creation of Rialto, permitting a way out which could not have been envisaged in the 1980s. Here was a ready-made means of giving access to an edition, with all its notes, an edition which, otherwise, would not see the light. It does not replace the Wunderli edition, and the intellectual rights of that edition are protected. Quite simply, the Rialto edition provides a comparison, in the most efficient way possible. (P. T. Ricketts).