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
Cf. guest post on Alin Suciu's Blog, posted on April 1st, 2016.
See also F. Albrecht on academia.edu.