Letter to Diognetus

The "Letter to Diognetus" is an obscure early Christian text, probably written in the second century AD. Its author is unknown.

No known references to this letter survive from ancient times. The only reason scholars are aware of it today is that a copy of it was discovered in 1436 — and it's the way it was discovered that was unusual. A young cleric was at a fishmarket and realized that the paper the fishmonger was wrapping the fish in seemed to be from an ancient manuscript. He rescued the paper and discovered this previously unknown ancient text written on it.

From "An Introduction to the Letter to Diognetus," by William Varner:

One lovely day in Constantinople around the year 1436, before the Turkish conquest of that Byzantine capital, a young cleric named Thomas d'Arezzo turned into a fishmongers shop... Thomas noticed among a pile of materials that the shop owner was using to wrap his fish what appeared to be the leaves of a parchment codex! He rescued the manuscript and subsequent events, some of which are hard to piece together, led eventually to its destruction in a fire during one of those never ending European wars in 1870! That is what is meant by the two words, "no text," as they are applied to the Letter to Diognetus... no manuscript copy from the Middle Ages exists today that contains the Letter to Diognetus!

More info: wikipedia
     Posted By: Alex - Sun Jul 16, 2023
     Category: Lost, Newly Discovered, Cutting-Room-Floor, and Discarded Cultural Items | Ancient Times

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