CANT 78.3, Hospitality and Perfume of the Bandit: Critical Edition in Progress

Always enjoyable to come back to paleography. Today’s task is to finish my critical edition of CANT 78.3, The Hospitality and Perfume of the Bandit, based on a collation of texts found in two manuscripts, Vatican Library Lat. 6300 and British Library Harley 3199. The story is likely 13th or 14th century, one among several medieval variations of the Good Thief’s hospitality to the Holy Family during their sojourn to Egypt.

This story is unique in that it ties the miraculous perfume the Good Thief receives from Jesus’ mother Mary to the alabaster-carried perfume that Mary Magdalene used to anoint the feet of Jesus.

After this work I’ll write up a new critical introduction and translation of CANT 78.3, which has been invited for possible publication in the third volume of the Eerdmans series New Testament Apocrypha: More Noncanonical Scriptures (NTA.MNS) that Tony Burke is editing. (The second volume of NTA.MNS is now going to print and slated for release this October, and that volume includes my translation of CANT 78.2, Rebellion of Dimas.) For more background about CANT 78.2, 78.3, 78.4, and other related texts and studies, see the eClavis entry at