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HOW DID ETHIOPIAN CHRISTIANS GET TO KNOW THE PARISIAN CEPHALOPHORIC MARTYR BISHOP DIONYSIUS? [Abstract ID: 1302-02]
In the west Dionysius the martyr bishop of Paris quite soon came to be identified with Dionysius the Areopagite (8th/9th century). In the east on the other hand Dionysius the Areopagite was well known but never identified with a bishop in Paris bearing the same name. Anyway, in the Ethiopic translation of a homily on the crucifixion of Christ ascribed to Dionysius the Areopagite (actually being the “Narratio de vita sua”, CPG 6633) we find the story of Dionysius’ decapitation in the West. It is added at the end of the homily to further depict his life and martyrdom. The earliest manuscripts of this homily go back into the 14th century or even a little before that time. The addition is extant in manuscripts from the 18th century at the latest. The “Narratio de vita sua” by itself does not comprise such a report and in the oldest translations of it into Ge’ez, found in a homily on Passion Week of Benjamin I of Alexandria (ca. 590-662), it is not to be found either. So, how did Ethiopian Christians get to know this story? By the Portuguese in the 16th century, by members of the Society of Jesus in the 17th century or was it transmitted otherwise? With a view to text transmission a cogent answer may be given.