The Sacred Arsenal

Alessandra Bucossi

The Sacred Arsenal is a twelfth century theological text written by Andronikos Kamateros. The Byzantine emperor Manuel Komnenos (1143-1180) commissioned this vast work (600 pages) to assist in refuting two enemies of Christian Orthodoxy: the Catholic Church and the Armenian Church. The text contains six commented patristic anthologies and six collections of unattributed syllogisms. A first rough count indicates that the Sacred Arsenal contains roughly 1.300 passages, counting patristic quotations and comments by Kamateros, and 210 syllogisms.

A dogmatic anthology, prepared for the refutation of “heretical” opponents, presents idiosyncratic editorial problems; the editor needs to take into consideration the fact that the relation between a florilegium and its patristic sources is not only important for an accurate reconstruction of the anthological text, but is fundamental for the understanding of the development of the theological position of the compiler and of those medieval authors who quoted the florilegium as a testimony.

A critical apparatus dedicated only to the relation between a dogmatic anthology and its patristic sources will be tested on this editio princeps.