Athanasius Werke is a German project set up to translate and edit the works of Athanasius of Alexandria, the bishop of Alexandria from 328-373 CE. The texts available online include: Apologia ad Constantium; Epistula ad Ioannem et Antiochum; Epistula ad Palladium; Epistula ad Dracontium; and Epistula ad Afros. Viewing the texts requires the installation of a Unicode Greek font (available via the site). The site, entirely in German, also includes a list of manuscripts, a biography of Athanasius, an extensive bibliography, and the beginnings of a useful prosopography (information about people mentioned in Athanasius's works). This very elegant site is produced by the Theology Department at Friedrich-Alexander-Universitaet Erlangen-Nuernberg.
The Augustine of Hippo site was initially created by James J. O'Donnell to support a series of online seminars. The site has grown to provide access to a range of resources for the study of Saint Augustine of Hippo, many of which are authored by O'Donnell. The site is divided into a number of sections and navigated through frames. Sections include: an introduction to the life and works of Augustine; texts and translations; commentaries; research materials; a record of the online seminars; and digital images relating to Augustine. The introductory section includes a number of essays written by O'Donnell as well as links to resources such as encyclopaedia entries. The texts and translations section brings together a number of online works of Augustine ranging from the City of God to sermons. Many of the texts are available in both Latin and English translation. Perhaps the most significant resource available in this section is O'Donnell's own edition and commentary on Augustine's Confessions (Augustine: Confessions, a text and commentary. Oxford: 1992. ISBN 0198143788). Research materials include bibliographies, maps, and a collection of online research papers. Throughout the site are scattered annotated links to other Augustinian resources on the Web.
The Bibliographic Information Base in Patristics is a database system specialising in patristics. Although patristic literature remains its major preoccupation, the BIBP touches on all disciplines associated with patristic Christianity. The site allows readers to use the bibliographical services of the BIBP, thereby making available an online database that contains over 30,000 records from 325 journals relating to patristic studies and the history of early Christianity. The chief language of the site is French, though an introduction and a limited amount of other information is available in English. Presently, the search interface for the database is only in French; however, it is possible to search for English terms, and to limit the results by language (at time of writing, over 7,000 records referred to English language works). Alternatively, those users wishing to search in English or other languages are invited to contact the BIBP by email or post. A number of indexes are also available in PDF format.
The Institute for Antiquity and Christianity (IAC) is part of the Claremont Graduate School and is a research centre which focuses on the origins of western civilisation; its bulletin is made available online by the Claremont Colleges Digital Library. Volumes available here date from 1970 to 1997. The user may browse contents lists for each volume and then access each volume page-by-page in PDF format. Of particular academic interest are the texts of IAC public lectures, and a wide range of topics is covered by these, including: archaeology relating to Biblical sites; the writing of the New Testament; ancient Roman education; Judaism and Christianity; Alexandrian poetry; ancient magic; the synagogue; and papyrology.
The Centre for Marcionite Research is a website dedicated to the study of Marcion (ca. 70-150 CE), best known for his heretical claim that the angry, severe God of the Old Testament was not the same deity as the loving, benevolent God revealed by Jesus, and for the development of an early canon of New Testament texts. This site offers a series of electronic texts by Marcion himself and his later critics. These include: a reconstruction of the so-called 'Gospel of Marcion'; the Prose Refutations of Saint Ephraim; the Dialogues of Adamantius; and a series of more modern academic articles on Marcion and his relationship to the New Testament canon. Unfortunately, the texts do not appear to be arranged in any particularly systematic way, and background information about the authors is sometimes rather sparse. Users should note that the Centre for Marcionite Research appears to be a personal website: there is no indication that it is affiliated to a university or other academic institution.
The Christian Classics Ethereal Library (CCEL) is one of the largest and best online collections of Christian theological and spiritual works. Directed by Harry Plantinga at Calvin College, the library contains an immense assortment of electronic texts ranging from the earliest of Christian theologians through to 19th century authors. Notable offerings include: the complete Early Church Fathers series (all thirty-eight volumes of the Ante-Nicene, Nicene, and Post-Nicene Fathers are available); the works of St Thomas Aquinas (English translations of the Summa Theologica and Catena Aurea are available); and a selection of works by Anselm, Dante, Walter Hilton, St John of the Cross, Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Foxe, John Wesley, and many others. The works are available in a variety of formats, and may be either read online or downloaded (downloading requires free registration). The site may be browsed by author, title, or subject, and a search engine is also provided. There are also occasional links to texts hosted off-site. Most of the texts offered by CCEL are in English (though users should note that copyright considerations mean that translations are often some decades old); a few are also in other languages. Many works on the site have been encoded in Theological Markup Language (ThML), which provides special support for theological needs such as scripture references and Strong's numberings. Music students and lovers of church hymns may enjoy perusing the Hymnary, organised both by song title and composer. In many cases it is possible both to download the score for a hymn and to listen to a MIDI file. A valuable resource for scholars and students alike.
The Corpus Hermeticum is a set of core documents in the Hermetic tradition of the early Christian era. This website provides access to G.R.S Mead's translations of the Corpus. Texts are grouped under treatise titles, such as: Poemandres, The Shepherd of Men; The Greatest Ill Among Men is Ignorance of God; On Thought and Sense; and The Secret Sermon on the Mountain. A brief introduction to the history and significance of the Corpus Hermeticum is provided by John Michael Greer, the editor of this online version; he also supplies some useful remarks on Mead's translation. This site is good resource for anyone with an interest in early Christian writings. It is part of the Internet Sacred Text Archive, run by John B. Hare as a free, non-profit archive of e-texts on religion and mythology. All material on the website is available free of charge.
'Early Christian Writings' provides online access to more than a hundred documents on early Christianity. General introductory information about the text or author is given, along with links to or details of online and/or print copies of the works in question, plus resources related to them where available. Some of the works linked to are hosted on the Early Christian Writings site itself, others are located off-site. Most of the works are in English translation, though for some a version of the text in the original language is provided. This collection includes the New Testament, Gnostic works, Apocrypha, a sub-site on theories about the historical Jesus, and a selection of texts by earlier Church Fathers, including Ignatius, Polycarp, and Clement. The focus is not just on works written by Christians, as pagan authors such as Pliny the Younger, Suetonius and Tacitus are to be found in this resource as well. This site also contains a list of recommended online books. An extensive and valuable resource for those interested in patristic theology.
'Early Church Fathers - Additional Texts' is a website that makes available online a selection of early Christian texts. These are intended to supplement those contained within volumes known as the Ante-Nicene, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers which are also accessible online via the Christian Classics Ethereal Library (CCEL) website. The texts are mainly digitized versions of nineteenth century translations and each contains an introduction stating the edition digitized and any changes, omissions or additions made. Authors include Eusebius of Caesarea; Philostorgius; Ephraim the Syrian; Basil the Great; Gregory of Nyssa; Sidonius Apollinaris; Evagrius Scholasticus; John of Ephesus; Zachariah of Mitylene; Antiochus Strategos; John of Nikiu; Photius of Constantinople; and Zosimus. The emphasis is on ecclesiastical history originating from the eastern (proto-Byzantine) empire. Texts are delivered in HTML and divided by books. An additional font is required to view any Greek text (e.g. in references and notes).
The early Church website covers the history of the Church from its foundation until c.600 CE. This site is a bibliographic guide listing primary and secondary sources by topic. Topics include: the Bible; councils; heresies and sects; famous individuals within the Church (listed alphabetically); ecclesiastical history; philosophy (Aristotle, Plato, Neo-Platonism, Cynicism, Epicurianism and Stoicism); and study aids. The inclusion of non-Christian philosophy means that the coverage period actually dates back to the fifth century BCE, and thus provides a useful bibliography for students of (Classical) philosophy as well as those studying early Christianity. There, are, however, no accompanying descriptions of the books, but given the extensiveness of the lists, this is understandable.The site is maintained by Robert Bradshaw, who has a Cambridge diploma in religious studies from Mattersey Hall (Assemblies of God Bible College).
The Ecole (Early Church On-Line Encyclopedia) Initiative is a reference resource about the Christian church during its first 1,500 years. The site offers three main tools: first, a glossary which contains hundreds of brief descriptions on major figures within the early church. Secondly, a collection of longer articles covers major topics in medieval and classical Christianity. Thirdly, a chronology gives brief details of significant events in ecclesiastical and secular history from 55 BCE to the end of the 15th century. Hyperlinks between the sections are provided where relevant. The site also offers a bibliography and a list of links to related resources; however, the site is unfortunately no longer being maintained, and remains online chiefly for archival purposes. Consequently users should note that the bibliography will not include the most recent works, and it is likely that the external links will decay over time. Nevertheless, the locally hosted material offers a useful introduction to early church history.
EDENDA is an open database created by the Commission for Editing the Corpus of the Latin Church Fathers (=Kommission zur Herausgabe des Corpus der lateinischen Kirchenväter (CSEL)). The database is intended for the dissemination of information about editions in progess of Latin Christian authors of the early church. The database allows the user to select a Latin author and then a specific work, or to select according to the work identifier (by Clavis number). Information recorded about each edition includes the editor's name and contact details, the publisher, intended date of publication, and sources for further information. The site encourages scholars who are currently working on an edition of a Latin patristic text to submit details to the database. Currently the vast majority of editions documented are to be published by CSEL. Introductory and help files are available in English, German, French and Italian. The record fields are in German.
The Gnostic Society Library website provides a wealth of information for the study of gnosticism. It offers a substantial collection of English translations of primary texts from the gnostic tradition, plus anti-gnostic patristic works. There are over a thousand documents in total, including the Nag Hammadi Library; other Gnostic scriptures and fragments; writings from the Valentinian tradition; the Corpus Hermeticum; and an impressive collection of Manichaean writings. Introductory notes to the material are provided, and there is an annotated bibliography. The site also provides access to a collection of Web lectures on gnosticism. A very valuable site for anyone with an interest in this tradition.
The French-language website Grégoire de Nysse is committed to presenting the life and works of church father Gregory of Nyssa (4th century CE). The site provides: French translations of Gregory's works; an extensive biography; a bibliography of primary and secondary works; and a list of further links. The site is published in association with Editions du Cerf (publishers of "Sources Chrétiennes") and is compiled by French graduate students with a particular interest in Gregory of Nyssa. All translations are well-referenced and the site as a whole is well presented and easy to navigate.
Those with a special interest in Church Fathers, and specifically in Gregory of Nyssa, may enjoy a visit to the Gregory of Nyssa Home Page. In addition to a general introduction, which offers a very brief history of Gregory's life and works; the site makes available a collection of English translations of around 20 of Gregory's works. Another section provides a bibliography and a number of reference texts, which offer shorter analyses of thematic issues which frequently arise across his corpus. The home page itself feels a little old fashioned in its design and navigation, and at time of review the site had unfortunately not been updated for some time, resulting not only in some broken links to external resources, but also in some broken internal links. Nevertheless, this site offers a substantial amount of scholarly content, and is likely to be of interest to anyone wishing to explore the work of this Cappadocian Father.
'Images of St Augustine' is a website maintained by John Immerwahr, Professor of Philosophy at Villanova University, USA. It provides a brief narrative of the life of Saint Augustine of Hippo (354-430). The materials are offered in two sections. The first presents a selection of images, which are accompanied by narration, of the frescoes painted by Benozzo Gozzoli in the Church of Saint Augustine in San Gimignano, Italy. The scenes are on the following themes: School, College, Mother of Tears; Rome; The Teacher; To Milan; Arrival in Milan; St Ambrose; Conversion; Baptism; Seashell; Death of Monica (his mother); and (St Augustine's) Funeral. The second section contains a number of images from the stained glass windows in the St Thomas of Villanova Church on the campus of Villanova University. The scenes here are on the following themes: Conversion; Baptism; Vision; Death; Writing Confessions; Pelagianism; Sea Shell (an ancient symbol of baptism); and Giving the Rule. This is an interesting and engaging resource for those seeking an introduction to the life and teachings of St Augustine.
The Ancient History Sourcebook, created by Paul Halsall, forms part of the Internet History Sourcebooks Project Series. This site concentrates on bringing together primary source material relating to the Ancient World in a structured manner. The main subject areas covered are: human origins; Mesopotamia; Egypt; Persia; Israel; Greece; Hellenistic World; Rome; late Antiquity and Christian origins. These categories are all further subdivided. The material on the site is a mixture of links to other websites and documents prepared as part of the sourcebook project. The Ancient History Sourcebook is straight forward to navigate as it is easy to browse and it is possible to search the site.
The Internet Christian Library's Guide to Early Church Documents is a collection of annotated links to online versions of an assortment of primary texts from apostolic and patristic sources. It also includes links to documents from church councils through to the 8th century CE. The resources are arranged under a number of broad headings: New Testament Canonical Information; Writings of the Apostolic Fathers; Patristic Texts; Creeds and Canons; Later Documents; Related Documents; Miscellaneous Texts; and Relevant Internet Sites. Unfortunately, the site does not appear to be regularly updated, so while this is still a useful guide to online texts, there are some broken links.
'Metalogos: the Gospels of Thomas, Philip and Truth' is a website of 'The Ecumenical Coptic Project', whose aim is to 'distribute scholarly editions of the Nag Hammadi Gospels to the academic and religious communities'. The material on this site, while of obvious use to theology researchers, has a wide interdisciplinary application, due to the broad influence of these early texts. An introduction is given to the finding of the Nag Hammadi texts, criteria for dating them and their importance in the consideration of the New testament canon. This includes links to essays considering, for example, 'Orthodoxy and Heresy in Earliest Christianity' (Walter Bauer), and details of significant scholars in this area, as well as definitions of terms and texts mentioned. Scholars include Bob Schapiro, Chris Wesson and Pedro Chamizo, and some of the references offered cover the 'Epistle of Barnabus', the 'Apocalypse of Peter' and the 'Council of Trent'. The texts of the three gospels may be accessed in English or Spanish, in HTML or as an MSWord document. There are also instructions for downloading Coptic and Hebrew fonts, access to J. M. Plumley's 'Introductory Coptic Grammar', and a hypertext interlinear of the Gospel of Philip. Another interesting feature of the site is information on studies of the Shroud of Turin, with links to ongoing research findings. This site is updated weekly and is comprehensive and informative with great attention to detail. It is easy to use, well-presented and while the subject may at first seem to be highly specialised, it offers insights into a wide range of related areas.
Monachos.net is a website that aims to further the study of Orthodox Christianity by providing an impressive range resources on patristics, monasticism, and liturgics as they relate to the Eastern Christian tradition. The site offers primary texts, commentaries and articles, and a number of useful annotated lists of links. There are also discussion boards, and resources to assist those learning classical or ecclesiastical Greek. The site is attractively presented and easy to navigate, with a full search function. A few pages require SPIonic Greek font to display properly: this is available to download. Monachos.net is an extensive resource, with much to offer not just to those interested in Orthodox Christianity, but also those working more generally in patristics, ecclesiastical history, and doctrine. The range of materials available is such that there will be something to interest almost everyone, from the casual enquirer to the academic researcher.
The New Advent website offers a valuable collection of resources related to Catholic theology. The site's most important feature is an online version of the Catholic Encyclopedia, based on the 1913 edition. This offers over 11,000 articles on notable theologians, doctrine, and history as it relates to the Catholic Church. Also available is an extensive collection of primary texts, including the complete Summa Theologica of Thomas Aquinas, the works of dozens of Church Fathers (mostly dating from the 3rd to 5th centuries, although some earlier and later works are also included), accounts of church councils, apocryphal works, and the Douay-Rheims translation of the Bible, presented in parallel with the Latin Vulgate text. The library section offers a variety of church documents, including papal statements. There are some adverts on the site, but these are not unduly intrusive. Overall, this is a key resource, most obviously for those with an interest in Catholicism, but also for Christian theology more generally.
The format may be somewhat bland, but the Noncanonical Literature home page, organised by staff from the Wesley Centre for Applied Theology, is an extremely useful online resource for students and scholars desiring biblical apocryphal and pseudepigraphal texts. Divided into categories of Old Testament, New Testament and Other Noncanonical Early Christian Literature, a wide cross-section of resources can be accessed and read in English translations. Some of the offerings found within these pages include: the Gospel of Thomas and other Nag Hammadi texts; Maccabeean books; the Wisdom of Solomon; the Didache; the Epistle of Barnabas and the Epistles of Ignatius.
ProQuest's online edition of Minge's 'Patrologia Latina' is a major resource for scholars working on patristic and medieval theology. The original work was a series of over 200 volumes, first published in the mid-19th century by Jacques-Paul Migne, and contains the entire corpus of Latin Christian writing from around the 3rd century until 1216. The Patrologia Latina Database includes all prefatory material, critical apparatus, and indexes, and offers a full-text search of the entire corpus. However, as the site offers only the Latin originals of the texts, without English translations, this resource is likely to be of most interest to advanced students and researchers. Access to the database requires a subscription.
The Resources Pages for Biblical Studies website is an extensive gateway, focusing on academic study of early Christian writings and their social world. Compiled by Torrey Seland, Professor of New Testament Studies at the School of Mission and Theology at Stavanger, Norway, the list of links is divided into four sections: Bible texts, translations and related texts; biblical studies; aspects of the mediterranean social world; and a page on Philo of Alexandria. All sections are strong, but it is perhaps the sociological material in the third section that makes this resource distinctive. The level of coverage is good, the links are accompanied by useful annotations, and the site is regularly updated. It is almost inevitable that a resource of this size will include a few broken links, but at time of review the proportion was low. The site is easy to navigate, the front page of the site providing a hyperlinked list of the sub-divisions within the four main sections. This is a very valuable resource for anyone studying or researching this area.
The Philo of Alexandria (c. 20 BCE - c. 45 CE) Web page gives access to a rich and well-structured picture of Philo on the Web. Part of the Resources Pages for Biblical Studies compiled by Torrey Seland (School of Mission and Theology, Stavanger, Norway), the site offers a collection of annotated links. For easy reference these are arranged into sections, including: introductory articles about Philo's life, works, and audience; a table of English translations of his works online; scholarly articles and reviews; bibliographies; and resources relating to the study of Philo or ancient Egypt. The site is updated regularly.
The Sant'Agostino website, published by Città Nuova Editrice and Nuova Biblioteca Agostiniana, provides access to almost the complete works of Saint Augustine of Hippo (354-430) in Latin and Italian, together with introductions, bibliographies, an extensive database of iconography, and links to translations available on the Web. The Latin edition of the works of Augustine are based on Migne's Patrologia Latina, vols. 32-45 and include the Confessions; the City of God; On Christian Doctrine; On the Holy Trinity; writings against the Manicheans, the Donatists and Pelagius; Letters 1-300; sermons 1-396; and commentaries on books of the Old and New Testaments. Works in Italian comprise a number of texts written by Agostino Trapè ("Introduzione alla dottrina della grazia", "Commento alla Regola di Sant'Agostino", and "Introduzione a Sant'Agostino: l'uomo, il pastore, il mistico") together with a series of bibliographies. The database of iconography contains over 300 artworks relating to the life and times of Augustine, including miniatures, frescos, engravings, pictures, and sculpture. The core of the website is in Italian, although English translation provides links to English translated works elsewhere on the Web. Similar pages exist for other languages (e.g. German, French and Spanish). The site offers a helpful internal search engine.
The St Pachomius Library website offers an encyclopaedia of Orthodox Christianity, focusing particularly on the early church. The entries are generally fairly brief (and in some cases are still under construction), but are often accompanied by a list of links to English translations of relevant primary and secondary resources. The majority of the links are to works elsewhere on the Web (unfortunately these links have not always been kept up to date), but a limited number of key primary texts are hosted on-site - in particular, those which are deemed especially important within the Orthodox tradition. Navigation is straightforward, but there is no search function, and there appears to be no way to access the site's own collection of primary texts except by browsing through the encyclopaedia entries. The site may be of use to students of Orthodox Christianity, and patristics more generally.
The website Vetus Latina: Resources for the Study of the Old Latin Bible details a project carrying out research into the first translations into Latin of the Bible, made prior to the 4th century - that is, those which preceded St Jerome's Vulgate. These translations were known as the "Old Latin" or "Vetus Latina". The website aims to be a tool for those studying the early church and the history of the Bible: the Vetus Latina cast light on lost Greek versions of the New Testament, and are of great significance to the study of the early church. Information is available on published editions of the Vetus Latina. Also available are listings of Old Latin Bible manuscripts, complete with images.
Additionally, the website gives details of the Verbum Project, on the Old Latin translation of the Gospel of St John. A list of links to related online resources is also provided. This project received funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Board (AHRB) within the Research Grants scheme.
The Vitae Patrum website provides an English translation of a collection of early Saints' Lives of the Desert Fathers which was compiled in the 17th century by Heribert Rosweyde. The translation of the text from Latin and the creation of the website was a personal retirement project of the Reverend Benedict Baker. This website would be of most value to readers who are not predominantly concerned with the nuancing of the original work because the introduction from the translator indicates that this project was undertaken without scholarly apparatus. The outcome is a useful and openly accessible Web resource which provides sections from all ten books of the Vitae Patrum, including: various Saints' Lives from the 3rd, 4th and 5th centuries; Sayings of the Fathers; extracts from the Dialogues of Severus Sulpicius and the Institutes and Conferences of John Cassian; Palladius' Lausiac History; and the Spiritual Meadow by John Moschus.
The Worlds of Late Antiquity website is the home page for 'miscellaneous materials relating to the culture of the Mediterranean world', covering the period from 200 to 700 CE. Topics include the life and works of Saint Augustine, Cassiodorus' Variae, Boethius' Consolation of Philosophy, Pope Gregory the Great, Junillus/Junilius (quaestor under Justinian c.AD 541-9, who composed the Instituta regularia divinae legis in AD 542), Aelius Donatus (the mid 4th century grammarian who was the teacher of Jerome), and Cosmas Indicopleustes (a 6th century Alexandrian merchant who eventually became a monk, and who wrote the Christian Topography, based on his travels). All of the sections are composed by James O'Donnell of Georgetown University, primarily for a course he taught in 1995 (the exception to the above is the section on Cosmas, which is by Andrew Weisner also of the University of Pennsylvania). The site focuses on particular works by the aforementioned ancient writers, making the texts available on the net. For instance, Gregory the Great's 'Moralia in Iob' consists of the first five volumes of this book of which the first book is available in HTML format with clickable footnotes, while the remaining four are on ASCII format without footnotes. The Christian Topography of Comas is based upon McCrindles' (1887) translation, using Winstedt's (1909) edition of the Greek text. Generously, O'Donnell includes (a complete edition) of his own book on Cassiodorus, written in 1979, which is now out of print.
The Kommission zur Herausgabe des Corpus der Lateinischen Kirchenväter (Commission for Editing the Corpus of the Latin Church Fathers, or CSEL), is one of the many divisions of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. The CSEL website provides information about the Commission's projects, which revolve around research on notable medieval texts. Projects include: a series of critical editions of Christian Latin authors from late antiquity to the early medieval period; research into the manuscript tradition of the works of St Augustine; a series of monographs; and the publication of Wiener Studien, a journal for classical philology, patristics and Latin studies. The site also features a database of patristic editing projects currently being undertaken around the world (scholars are invited to contribute details of projects they are working on); conference information; and a useful list of links to related online resources.