A title, signifying an arrangement into eight books, given to a canonical composition attributed to Clement, bishop of Rome, who is supposed to have received it from the apostle Peter. The true author is unknown, and it is assumed that the work was first composed in Greek. It is said to have been translated by one James, probably of Edessa, in 687, but this date is without doubt valid only for the first two books of the Syriac recension, which form what is customarily called the Testamentum Domini. The content of the recension is different from that of the Syriac, and it is not known who its author was.

The text has been transmitted in two collections (i.e., collections in which the canons are arranged chronologically rather than systematically or thematically): that of the anonymous manuscript in East Berlin ( Collection Diez qu. 107) and that of the monk Macarius of DAYR MAQAR, preserved more or less completely by several manuscripts (Graf, 1944, Vol. 1, pp. 560-63). It is missing from the various systematic collections, probably because their authors had perceived that the texts of the Oc-tateuch of Clement were already transmitted in other documents.

The contents of the Octateuch of Clement in the recension are as follows:

  • Book 1: Testamentum Domini. There are two Arabic recensions; the Syriac text was edited and translated by I. E. Rahmani (1899).
  • Book 2: Canons 1-20 of the first book of the 127 Canons of the .
  • Book 3: Canons 21-24, 26, 25, 26b and d, 27-47 of the first book of the 127 Canons.
  • Book 4: Canons 48-51 of the 127 Canons.
  • Book 5: Canons 51b-56 of the 127 Canons.
  • Book 6: Canons 57-60 and 64-71 of the 127 Canons.
  • Book 7: Canons 61-63 of the 127 Canons.
  • Book 8: 56 canons from the second book of the 127 Canons.

The collection of the monk Macarius follows books 2-8 of the APOSTOLIC CONSTITUTIONS more exactly. The brothers Perier (PO 8, pp. 557-59) give the text with a translation of Canons 45-59.


  • Ciprotti, P., ed. La version syriaque de l’Octateuque de Clément, trans. F. Nau. Milan, 1967.
  • Nau, F., trans. La Version syriaque de l’Octateuque de Clément. Ancienne littérature canonique syriaque 4. Paris, 1913.
  • Périer, A., and J. Périer. Les 127 Canons des Apôtres. PO 8, fasc. 4. Paris, 1912.
  • Rahmani, I. E., ed. and trans. Testamentum Domini Jesu Christi. Mainz, 1899; repr. Hildesheim, 1968.
  • Riedel, W. Die Kirchenrechtsquellen des Patriarchats Alexandrien. Leipzig, 1900; repr. Aalen, 1968.