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The volumes of Jacques Paul Migne’s Patrologiae Cursus Completus, Series Graeca form the largest collection ever published of the extant writings of the ante-Nicene Greek Fathers of the Early Church—serving not only as the translation base for Philip Schaff’s Early Church Fathers, but also as the bedrock of theological and historical studies of the Early Church. The first piece of the Logos edition of the Patrologia Graeca represents the first 18 volumes (20 volumes in print) of the entire 161-volume set, roughly covering the ante-Nicene Fathers (pre-fourth century, prior to the epoch-marking Council of Nicaea). These volumes include the writings of the Apostolic Fathers, the post-Apostolic Fathers, apologists, and other ante-Nicene Fathers.
Between the years of 1857 and 1866, an industrious French monk, the abbé Jacques Paul Migne, published the 161 volumes that make up the Patrologiae Cursus Completus, Series Graeca, roughly translated “Complete Course on Patrology, Greek Series,” and commonly referred to as “Patrologia Graeca” (PG). These volumes contain much of the available extant witness in Greek to the writings of the Fathers of the early church. Each volume of the Patrologia Graeca contains not only Greek editions of writings of the Fathers, but also includes lengthy dissertations, introductions, and other supplementary material. Many editions even contain notes on textual variants found among other manuscripts, along with explanatory material written in Latin.
The 38-volume edition of the Early Church Fathers, edited by Philip Schaff, used many of the Patrologia Graeca volumes as translation base, but Patrologia Graeca contains many works of the Church Fathers not translated by Schaff and not available in English. Where material is in common between Early Church Fathers and Patrologia Graeca, the Patrologia Graeca encodes links to Early Church Fathers, allowing access to an English translation for those who have the Logos edition of the Early Church Fathers.
These volumes are not facsimile editions of page-scans; they are full-blown, full text Logos resources. Each volume of the Patrologia Graeca is navigable by page number or column number (the primary method of citation of the Patrologia Graeca), and linked in many Logos books! The works will further be referenceable by author and work. Further granularity in reference scheme will depend upon each work itself. For instance, Migne’s edition of First Clement marks chapter boundaries but not verse boundaries. The Logos edition marks these chapter boundaries, but further granularity may not be represented in initial releases.
To see the complete table of contents to the Patrologiae Cursus Completus, Series Graeca, Part 1 (18 vols.), which includes the works of each author, the length of each work, and the language of each work, click here!
Jacques Paul Migne was a notable priest and publisher in 19th-century France. He was born in Saint-Flour on October 25, 1800 and studied theology at Orleans, before becoming ordained in the diocese of Orleans in 1824. After publishing a controversial pamphlet, Migne was forced to leave his parish. He moved to Paris, where he founded the journal L’Univers religieux, which he edited until 1836.
In 1836, Migne founded a publishing company designed to distribute theological works cheaply for a wide audience. For nearly three decades, Migne published hundreds of volumes of Greek, Latin, and Syriac writings from the first fifteen centuries of Christianity. He published continually until his publishing company was destroyed by fire in 1868, and his publishing was further hampered in 1870 by the Franco-German War.
Jacques Paul Migne died in Paris on October 24, 1875.