In 2012, Lukas Dorfbauer identified a manuscript in Cologne Cathedral Library as a copy of the Commentary on the Gospels by Fortunatianus, bishop of Aquileia in the middle of the fourth century. This discovery enabled him to identify further witnesses to the commentary and works dependent on it. Dorfbauer’s critical edition, to be published in the CSEL series in 2017, makes this work available to scholarship for the first time in over a millennium.
The discovery of a new work from late antiquity is always a landmark in the history of research. This extensive commentary shines new light on fourth-century biblical interpretation and the exegetical practices and literary work of an African bishop ministering in north Italy in this period. What is more, it appears to be dependent on works by Origen and Victorinus of Poetovio which are no longer preserved.
In order to make this important work available to a wider audience, Dr Houghton has prepared an English translation and introduction in conjunction with the COMPAUL project on the earliest commentaries on the New Testament as sources for the biblical text.