Critical Edition of Epiphanius, De xii gemmis (CPG 3748)

The work De duodecim gemmis (Περὶ τῶν δώδεκα λίθων) of Epiphanius of Salamis is an exegetical treatise on the twelve gemstones on the High Priest’s breastplate (Ex 28:17–20 par. 39:10–13). It is, in fact, the oldest Christian book on gemstones. Epiphanius deals with the stones according to their appearance and their healing powers, as well as their attribution to the twelve tribes from a Christian point of view. Only extracts of this work are preserved in Greek. Nonetheless, there is an Old Georgian translation, parts of a Latin translation, parts of an Armenian version, as well as Coptic fragments, an extract in Syriac, and tradition in Arabic.

For over ten years I have been focusing study on this intriguing work of Epiphanius. I have been able to collect all the Greek fragments, and am preparing a critical edition of the Greek text, including a retroversion into Greek, based on all extant tradition and versions.

© Felix Albrecht, 2016


  1. Felix Albrecht: Des Epiphanius von Salamis Auseinandersetzung mit paganer Naturbetrachtung anhand seiner Schrift De duodecim gemmis, Göttingen 2007 (unveröffentlicht). 
  2. Gabriel Rabo/ Felix Albrecht: „Über die Auferstehung“. Ein syrisches Exzerpt der Schrift des Epiphanius von Salamis De duodecim gemmis, in: Oriens Christianus 96 (2012), 1-7.
  3. Felix Albrecht/ Arthur Manukyan: Epiphanius von Salamis, Über die zwölf Steine im hohepriesterlichen Brustschild (De duodecim gemmis rationalis). Nach dem Codex Vaticanus Borgianus Armenus 31 herausgegeben und übersetzt (Gorgias Eastern Christian Studies 37), Piscataway: Gorgias Press 2014.

Cf. guest post on Alin Suciu's Blog, posted on April 1st, 2016.

See also F. Albrecht on