Vita Adae et Evae‘Life of Adam and Eve’

  • Latin
  • prose
Latin version of a Jewish apocryphal life of Adam and Eve, often thought to be a translation of a Greek original. It proved to be a popular work in medieval Europe, as it is attested in over a hundred manuscripts and inspired a number of vernacular versions.

This is not the place for a complete list of manuscripts, but some early copies are worth mentioning.

Recension P
A longer recension which is in some ways nearer to the Greek Apocalypse of Moses.
  • Pr =
    Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS lat. 3832
  • Ma =
    Milan, Biblioteca Ambrosiana, MS O 35 sup
    ff. 95r–99v
Meyer's Class I and manuscripts from southern Germany and Austria
Meyer's Class II
  • Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, MS Clm 21534
    f. 101
  • Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, MS Clm 17151
    f. 177
  • Latin
Origin: EuropeEurope

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The origin and early history of the text are quite unknown. Pettorelli has suggested that it may have originated in Britain, pointing to the style and language of one of its earliest manuscripts (BNF lat. 5327), but further study is needed to establish the affinities of these early manuscripts.
prose (primary)



Adam and EveOld Testament narratives
Adam and Eve
id. 48270

Legends of Adam and Eve, from their creation and life in the garden of Eden to their expulsion and existence in exile.

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No short description available
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Primary sources Text editions and/or modern translations – in whole or in part – along with publications containing additions and corrections, if known. Diplomatic editions, facsimiles and digital image reproductions of the manuscripts are not always listed here but may be found in entries for the relevant manuscripts. For historical purposes, early editions, transcriptions and translations are not excluded, even if their reliability does not meet modern standards.

[ed.] Pettorelli, Jean-Pierre, “La Vie latine d’Adam et d’Ève: la recension de Paris, BNF, lat. 3832”, ALMA: Bulletin du Cange 57 (1999): 5–52.
Based on a single manuscript.
[ed.] Pettorelli, Jean-Pierre, “La Vie latine d'Adam et Ève”, ALMA: Bulletin du Cange 56 (1998): 5–104.
[ed.] Mozley, J. H., “The ‘Vita Adae’”, Journal of Theological Studies 30 (1929): 121–149.
Based on manuscripts from England.
[ed.] Meyer, Wilhelm, “Vita Adae et Evae”, Abhandlungen der königlich bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Philosophische-philologische Klasse 14 (1878): 187–250.
Based on a selection of twelve manuscripts.
C. A., Dennis Groenewegen
Page created
June 2020, last updated: September 2022