On a Critical Edition of Source Material

The editorial activities of the Research Institute are performed by two working groups. The Institute continues to publish Magistri Iohannis Hus Opera omnia (OO) and Codex diplomaticus et epistolaris regioni Bohemiae (CDB), its two principal editorial series on Czech medieval history.

Work on the project of a critical edition of Hus’s writings began in the 1950’s; while all of Hus’s writings in Czech have already been published (by the Academia publishing house), the Latin edition of his works is in stagnation due to a lack of editors and a lack of interest on the part of publishers. So far, the following volumes in Latin of the Opera omnia academic series have been published: Sermones de tempore qui Collecta dicuntur(1959, published by A. Schmidtová, OO vol. VII); Polemica (1966, published by J. Eršil, OO vol. XXII); Passio Domini nostri Iesu Cristi (1972, published by A. Vidmanová-Schmidtová, OO vol. VIII); Postilla adumbrata (1975, published by B. Ryba, OO vol. XIII); Leccionarium bipartitumPars hiemalis (1988, published by A. Vidmanová, OO vol. IX), Questiones (2004, published by J. Kejř, OO vol. XIXa). As a result, the only source of knowledge of a number of important aspects of Hus’s writings in Latin is the Reformation edition by Flacius Illyricus (1558, reed. in 1715), or Hus’s manuscripts. Some of the texts have been published, but the editions in which they are published are, in most cases, non-critical or semi-critical; modern critical editions of several Hus’s writings will be included in OO after the necessary modifications.

The research division has set up a team of young editors, and it cooperates with the Commission for the Editing of Hus’s Writings at the Institute of Philosophy (Centre of Medieval Studies) of the Czech Academy of Sciences; the Commission has an agreement for the publication of Hus’s writings in Latin with the Belgian publishing house Brepols, Turnhout, which will publish the writings in the Corpus Christianorum (CC), Continuatio Medievalis series. Volume OO XIXa, prepared by J. Kejř and published in 2004, is the 205th volume of the above series.

The Hus group of the editorial division is working on the publication of volume XVII of OO, which will contain the following of Hus’s Latin exegeses: Enarratio Psalmorum, Exposicio Decalogi, Exposicio super Pater noster brevis, Super Credo and De quadruplici sensu Sacrae Scripturae. The first and most extensive of the above “expositions” has only been preserved in its Nuremberg edition by Flacius Illyricus; other (less extensive) writings will be edited from manuscripts. Apart from editorial work as such, we work to create conditions, both within and outside the Hus team, for the editing of other unpublished OO volumes.

The idea of publishing all diplomatic material on Czech medieval history was conceived as early as the late 18th century by František Martin Pelcl, and the need for a diplomatary was also emphasised by František Palacký. Nevertheless, it was only in the early 20th century that the idea began to materialise. Gustav Friedrich, the founder of an edition which was intended to extend to the period of the Luxembourg accession to the Czech throne, went back as far as May 1238 in his work (CDB I-III/1, 1904-1942); Z. Kristen (CDB III/2, 1962) and J. Bistřický (CDB III/3,4, 2000-2002) finalised the incomplete 3rd volume of the Czech diplomatary and edited the materials up to the end of 1240. After World War II, Friedrich’s work was taken up by J. Šebánek and S. Dušková, who extended the original conception to include a complete edition of diplomatic materials of domestic origin. They took the Czech diplomatary up to the date of Przemysl Ottokar’s death in August 1278 (CDB IV/1,2, 1962-1965; CDB V/1-4, 1974-2003, volume V/4 compiled by S. Dušková and V. Vašků).

The diplomatary team are preparing for publication the 6th part of CDB, the two volumes of which will contain documents from the 1st interregnum (from August 1278 to May 1283). At the same time, work on the 7th part of CDB is under way, covering the reign of Wenceslaus II and Wenceslaus III (from May 1283 to July 1306). The volumes of a 7th part containing the edited material proper will be preceded by the publication of two introductory volumes, with detailed palaeographic and sphragistic analysis of all sources preserved in this country in their original versions, dating from the period of reign of the last two Przemyslids.