Dr. Frederico Montinaro & Richard Price on Pope Hadrian I’s Letters to Emperors: Read Full at Council of Nicaea (787)

The latest release of the Rev. Dr. Richard Price is his translation of the Acts of the Council of Constantinople of 869-70 by Liverpool University Press. The notes and commentary throughout the book is provided by Dr. Frederico Montinaro, an ancient history specialist who heads a research group in the Emmy Noether Programme (DFG) at the University of Tübingen. I’ve written elsewhere how eminent manuscript scholars have argued that Pope Hadrian’s letters to the Emperors and (here and here) Tarasius (of Constantinople) were read aloud in their entirety (Greek and Latin) at the Council of Nicaea (787), including Price himself. With the release of this new translation (2022), we have another eminent historian who supports the scholarship in support of this thesis in Dr. Montinaro. He writes:

Hadrian’s letter to the emperors Constantine VI and Irene, of which the original Latin version is given in Anastasius Bibliothecarius’ translation of the Acts of Nicaea II (ACO III, 1, p. 169, II. 1-17). The passage is lacking, however, in the Greek version. Lamberz (2001) 227-8 showed that the excision of this part of the letter (and of other parts unwelcome to Constantinople) did not take place when the original Greek version was produced for reading at the council (as both Anastasius and scholarship until now presumed), but did so during Photius’ first tenure of the patriarchate. This mistake of locating the council in Constantinople was also made in the canons of the Council of Frankfurt of 794… It is not to be accounted for by the holding of the supposed eighth session in Constantinople, since this ‘session’, as Lamberz has shown elsewhere (ACO III, 3, pp. IX-XI), was a fiction later in date than Pope Nicholas. See Brandes (2020) 289-9. On this excision see already Wallach (1966).

(The Acts of the Council of Constantinople (Liverpool University Press, 2022), p. 197, fn. 323)

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