γυμνὸς or γυμνοὶ in Clement's Letter to Theodore?

Covering all topics of history and the interpretation of texts, posts here should conform to the norms of academic discussion: respectful and with a tight focus on the subject matter.

Moderator: andrewcriddle

StephenGoranson
Posts: 2564
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2015 2:10 am

Re: γυμνὸς or γυμνοὶ in Clement's Letter to Theodore?

Post by StephenGoranson »

Dear SS,
Thank you for your reply.
The difference I see is that you confidently wrote:
"...much of the works widely accepted as originally produced by Clemens of Alexandria are not originally his."
But now you say that years by many scholars would be needed to determine whether that is true.
Those, I think, are too different claims.
AdamKvanta
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2023 12:54 am

Re: γυμνὸς or γυμνοὶ in Clement's Letter to Theodore?

Post by AdamKvanta »

Peter Kirby wrote: Sun Mar 17, 2024 11:28 pm I'm not familiar with this either way. Perhaps you can share the reference you have in mind.
I meant what I already posted here: viewtopic.php?p=168528#p168528. I have no other reference in mind.
andrewcriddle
Posts: 2850
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 12:36 am

Re: γυμνὸς or γυμνοὶ in Clement's Letter to Theodore?

Post by andrewcriddle »

SaosSidirountios wrote: Mon Mar 18, 2024 1:04 pm
StephenGoranson wrote: Sat Mar 16, 2024 9:27 am SaosSidirountios, you declared that much of the widely-accepted text of Clement is, in fact, not by Clement.
Without an example, your claim can not be assessed.
Dear Stephen, what I am trying to say is that there is a massive corpus of works which suppose to have been written by Clement, but not enough scientific work has been conducted so far to clarify which of those works were written by Clement and which may be later pseudepigrapha. I do not know which works of Clement are Clement's originals. There are masses of pseudepigrapha which have passed as original just because the scholarly world prefers to do other work rather than investigating the originality of texts.
I do not know if this letter is original or not, I did not study its originality.
I may be quite wrong, but I wonder whether you are confusing Clement of Rome (to whom much spurious material has indeed been attributed) with Clement of Alexandria.

Andrew Criddle
User avatar
Ken Olson
Posts: 1351
Joined: Fri May 09, 2014 9:26 am

Re: γυμνὸς or γυμνοὶ in Clement's Letter to Theodore?

Post by Ken Olson »

Peter Kirby wrote: Sun Mar 17, 2024 5:46 pm
Yes, a better image would help, and perhaps some more experienced palaeographers participating in the discussion.
That's completely fair. I am far from an expert. Just trying to understand better here.
Ken Olson wrote: Sun Mar 17, 2024 5:42 pmBut no I don't agree that the final sigmas in the four examples I gave are more dissimilar to the final letter of γυμνοX than the iotas are, particularly in τούτοις, which has both.
I may be able to show what I mean (or perhaps show myself that I am wrong) with a better photo.

Yes, you offered four examples. I agree that having four examples out of eight would make a reasonable case.
Peter,

In case it wasn't clear, I meant better palaeographers than you and me (and Andrew, etc.). It would be nice if we could get some people (more than one) with palaeographic expertise to comment on what they think the correct reading is an why.

I have asked some immediate contacts whether they had new or knew of better images, but haven't come up with anything yet. Also, if anyone knows of any other scholars who have published on the topic post-Tselikas (i.e., beside Adam and Paananen-Viklund), that would be welcome.

Best,

Ken
StephenGoranson
Posts: 2564
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2015 2:10 am

Re: γυμνὸς or γυμνοὶ in Clement's Letter to Theodore?

Post by StephenGoranson »

Why would either reading greatly change the overall facts? In other words, has the significance been, somewhere, exaggerated?
User avatar
Ken Olson
Posts: 1351
Joined: Fri May 09, 2014 9:26 am

Re: γυμνὸς or γυμνοὶ in Clement's Letter to Theodore?

Post by Ken Olson »

StephenGoranson wrote: Wed Mar 20, 2024 10:38 am Why would either reading greatly change the overall facts? In other words, has the significance been, somewhere, exaggerated?
I don't know where Peter was going with the plural reading, but it *could* be taken as referring to the Carpocratian love feast described by Clement in Stromateis 3.2.9:

These then are the doctrines of the excellent Carpocratians. These, so they say, and certain other enthusiasts for the same wickednesses, gather together for feasts (I would not call their meeting an Agape), men and women together. After they have sated their appetites (" on repletion Cypris, the goddess of love, enters,"21 as it is said), then they overturn the lamps and so extinguish the light that the shame of their adulterous "righteousness" is hidden, and they have intercourse where they will and with whom they will.23 After they have practiced community of use in this love-feast, they demand by daylight of whatever women they wish that they will be obedient to the law of Carpocrates-it would not be right to say the law of God. Such, I think, is the law that Carpocrates must have given for the copulations of dogs and pigs and goats. He seems to me to have misunderstood the saying of Plato in the Republic24 that the women of all are to be common. Plato means that the unmarried are common for those who wish to ask them, as also the theatre is open to the public for all who wish to see, but that when each one has chosen his wife, then the married woman is no longer common to all.

https://www.earlychristianwritings.com/ ... glish.html

The singular reading would suggest a one-on-one encounter of Jesus and the youth and that is, as far as I know, otherwise unknown in the ancient world and therefore striking.

The plural reading could refer to a Carpocratian love feast, which is attested (whether it is true or not is another thing) by Clement.

Best,

Ken
User avatar
Peter Kirby
Site Admin
Posts: 8569
Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2013 2:13 pm
Location: Santa Clara
Contact:

Re: γυμνὸς or γυμνοὶ in Clement's Letter to Theodore?

Post by Peter Kirby »

Ken Olson wrote: Wed Mar 20, 2024 11:07 am I don't know where Peter was going with the plural reading
The plural reading that I was suggesting would plausibly have been a homosexual one.
Peter Kirby wrote: Sat Mar 16, 2024 11:36 am And for something like this, seeing γυμνοὶ γυμνῷ as a reference to Mark 14:
It's possible that what is referenced here is a scene of a group of people having sex in the garden of Gethsamane that is broken up, with people running off naked (along with the mentioned naked man), when the authorities arrive.
A 20th century reading could see in this the police breaking up what's happening at a park or an interstate rest stop.
StephenGoranson
Posts: 2564
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2015 2:10 am

Re: γυμνὸς or γυμνοὶ in Clement's Letter to Theodore?

Post by StephenGoranson »

This may have been penned by Morton Smith, who was an artist, who had time to practice, and who had photos and first-hand experience of mss from the 18th century. Or possibly, though I consider it much less likely--in part because who would he find and additionally who would he trust?--an accomplice. In either case, the intent was to pen what Smith's "transcription"--composed before the penning--ordered.
And, if so, how can one even as highly an expert as A.T., who attested to modern anomalies in this case, be certain about a particular reading here, in this already-declared stylistic hodgepodge?
Plus, neither reading removes homosexuality.
Again, to me, the main issue is not whether Smith was gay, bi, or otherwise, none of which, by itself, has any inherent significance on, say, the synoptic problem and history of Christianity more broadly.
The main issue is whether the document was faked in the 1950s, as evidently, motivated by hatred.
User avatar
Ken Olson
Posts: 1351
Joined: Fri May 09, 2014 9:26 am

Re: γυμνὸς or γυμνοὶ in Clement's Letter to Theodore?

Post by Ken Olson »

Here is the image of the two page spread of Clement's Letter to Theodore downloaded from Roger Viklund's blog:

https://rogerviklund.wordpress.com/
theo2-3 (1).gif
theo2-3 (1).gif (365.13 KiB) Viewed 240 times
User avatar
Ken Olson
Posts: 1351
Joined: Fri May 09, 2014 9:26 am

Re: γυμνὸς or γυμνοὶ in Clement's Letter to Theodore?

Post by Ken Olson »

This is the screenshot from the OP with selected comparanda highlighted:

Clement - Letter To Theodore - Page 3  Enlarged (1) Red.png
Clement - Letter To Theodore - Page 3 Enlarged (1) Red.png (418.34 KiB) Viewed 225 times
From top to bottom, with Tselikas' line numbers:

56 εὐθὺς the accent is written over the final sigma, not the upsilon that precedes it.

60 πλούσιος the final sigma has a slightly greater bend than the final letter in γυμνὸς (or γυμνοὶ) in line 67, but it resembles it a good deal - more so than does the earlier iota in the same word.

62 περιβεβλημένος the omicron goes up above the line, and the final sigma is sideways, but the stroke looks very much like the final letter in γυμνὸς (or γυμνοὶ) in line 67, sort of like a comma.

64 τῆς IF we read this as three separate letters (cf. τὴν in the line above), the final sigma seems to be written as a single stroke with no perceptible bend (or reversal in direction) in the middle, like the final letter in γυμνὸς / γυμνοὶ

67 γυμνὸς or γυμνοὶ

I lean toward thinking the final letter following γυμνὸ- is a sigma. At least, I see no clear evidence it's a iota. Your mileage may vary.
Best,

Ken

PS It may useful to look at the words in the double page image above and enlarge that.
Post Reply