Parallelomania: on Sandmel’s 1962 article

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StephenGoranson
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Parallelomania: on Sandmel’s 1962 article

Post by StephenGoranson » Wed Feb 17, 2021 4:43 am

“Parallelomania” is the title of an article by Samuel Sandmel in Journal of Biblical Literature 81.1 (March 1962) 1-13, from a December 27, 1961 lecture, which is influential but may not be entirely reliable. Sandmel began: “I encountered the term parallelomania, as I recall, in a French book of about 1830, whose title and author I have forgotten….” Here I assume familiarity with the article, paraphrasing and omitting footnotes. He tells of someone imagining that Paul, while writing the Epistle to the Romans had open on his desk a copy of the Wisdom of Solomon, and used parallels from it, repeatedly—an imagined view he ridicules. A post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy.
I searched for that circa French book, but did not find it, even though searching in 2021 is a different world than in 1961, given hathitrust, google books, gallica, and other searches, and the extremely extensive bibliography in Joseph A. Fitzmyer’s 1993 Anchor Bible Commentary on Romans (eg. 1819 anon., Geneva; 1838 Mynas; 1843 Oltramare).
Here are (only) selected tentative findings, chronologically. None French circa 1830.
1841 10 Mai, Moravia [Brünn] article on Theatre (Google Books) p. 147/2
mich seine von jeher so gründlich angewidert , als die eben Theater jeßt grassirende Parallelomanie
[Is this mere coincidence, or an explanation why Menzel, writing in German, used a French word?]
1873 Biographie e cose varie {Palermo] GB p. 124, comparing music.
Ma quando finirà questa epidemica parallel-mania ?
1879 see 1909
1888/1889 Der griechische Einfluss auf Prediger und Weisheit Salomos von Paul Menzel. Parallelomanie on pages 22, 40 (2x), 57, 62, 67. Too much to type (from hatitrust.org, HT; 1888 dissertation then 1889 book), but on p. 40 (book)
In unserer Zeit ist auber auch diese Method bis zu einer solchen Parallelomanie (sit venia verbo!) vorgeschritten, dass man gegenwärtig bereits ein und fast ein halbes Hundert philo- sophischer loci herzuzählen weiss, die entweder Anklänge oder zum Teil Entlehnungs-Stellen zu gewissen Stellen der Sophia sein sollen.
1889 Alphonse Serre, parallélomanie attributed to Menzel. HT Ditto 1890 and 1891 authors HT
1909 C. Clemen. Parallomanie attributed to a1879 London lecture. Probably: Religious parallelisms and symbolisms, ancient & modern.
A lecture delivered before the Sunday Lecture Society ... by Matthew Macfie 1879 HT
1911 Acta Academicae Velehradensis v. 7. Review of Nicolaus Globkovskiij, Evangelium St. Pauli…1910. In materia hac tratanda saepe directe conspicitur, quaedam ,parallelomania', accurata vero analysis ostendit, omnes illas analogias exaggeratas esse [p. 239]
1913 R.H. Charles, Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha…vol. 1 (noted by Sandmel)P. Menzel [author guessed at, but with a different book title, by Sandmel] Der griech. Einfluss auf Prediger und Weisheit Salomons, 1889, pp. 39-70. Menzel gives a useful table of passages—which Professor Margoliouth says ‘might be considerably reduced without disadvantage’—where connection between Wisdom and greek philosophy has been pointd out by Grimm and Pfliederer. He has coined a somewhat question-begging epitet in the word ‘parallelomania’ which shows his attitude towards those who would trace the ideas of the author to their source. He admits, however, some of Pfieiderer's positions. Menzel is severely criticized by Heinisch, pp. 9 ff. Cheyne (Orjgin of Psalter, p. 423) calls the work ‘a painstaking dissertation…[p. 533—an early recognition that the word can be misused dismissively]
1913 (noted by Sandmel) A.T.S. Goodrick, The Book of Wisdom.
Parallelomania can hardly excel Gregg's suggestion (Introd., liii.) that 'Lk. 2" recalls Wisd. 7, where the homely detail of the royal child being wrapped in swaddling clothes is recorded.' He rightly adds that 'these similarities may be purely accidental.' [p. 184]
Avoiding the “parallelomania” which, according to Menzel [De Graecis in libris Koheleth et Sophiae vestigis], p. 40, has enabled some critics to adduce some one hundred and fifty passages of Greek writers to illustrate a single passage of Wisdom, we may set ourselves to inquire systematically what the traces of heathen philosophy in our author…. Some of the passages relied on to prove their connection are mere instances of “parallelomania.” In 7.8…. [p. 405]

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Secret Alias
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Re: Parallelomania: on Sandmel’s 1962 article

Post by Secret Alias » Wed Feb 17, 2021 8:04 am

why Menzel, writing in German, used a French word?
My grandmother spoke French. Educated Germans recognized the barbarity of their own language and frequently used French to show they weren't barbaric.

gryan
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Re: Parallelomania: on Sandmel’s 1962 article

Post by gryan » Sat Feb 20, 2021 7:46 am

StephenGoranson wrote:
Wed Feb 17, 2021 4:43 am
He tells of someone imagining that Paul, while writing the Epistle to the Romans had open on his desk a copy of the Wisdom of Solomon, and used parallels from it, repeatedly—an imagined view he ridicules. A post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy.
Thanks for bringing this article to our attention. I read it for the first time as a result of your notice here. It is a very useful article for thinking about Intertextuality:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intertextuality

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