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What was Joseph’s reaction when he arrived home to find Mary pregnant? How did Mary manage to persuade him that her child was none other than the Son of God? The Syriac literary tradition had a unique way of answering these sorts of questions raised by the Bible. Dialogue poems (sughyotho) offer lively, thought-provoking, and often delightful re-imaginings of Biblical events. They expand the Biblical stories, giving the familiar characters more dialogue and describing their inner thoughts. The collection provides five dialogue poems featuring Mary, in Syriac original with facing English translation.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-59333-839-8
  • *
Publication Status: In Print

Publication Date: Mar 3,2011
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 113
Languages: English, Syriac
ISBN: 978-1-59333-839-8
$40.00
$28.00

What was Joseph’s reaction when he arrived home to find that Mary was pregnant? How did Mary manage to persuade him that her child was none other than the Son of God? An answer, in the form of an imaginative and lively re-presentation of their encounter, is offered in the second of five dialogue poems in which Mary is one of the two speakers.

Dialogue poems (sughyotho) constitute a distinctive genre in Syriac literature whose roots can be traced back to Ancient Mesopotamia. The present collection provides the Syriac texts with facing English translations, accompanied by an introduction and explanatory notes. An Appendix lists all the dialogue poems so far known, with references to translations, where available. Besides being delightful in their own right, these dialogue poems have considerable potential for use in religious education.

Sebastian P. Brock was born in 1938 and studied Classics (Greek and Latin) and Oriental Studies (Hebrew and Aramaic) at Cambridge University before doing a DPhil. at Oxford University on the text of the Septuagint. He has taught at the Universities of Birmingham, Cambridge, and (from 1974 until his retirement in 2003) Oxford, where he was Reader in Syriac Studies. He has published extensively in the field of Syriac and has edited a number of new texts.

What was Joseph’s reaction when he arrived home to find that Mary was pregnant? How did Mary manage to persuade him that her child was none other than the Son of God? An answer, in the form of an imaginative and lively re-presentation of their encounter, is offered in the second of five dialogue poems in which Mary is one of the two speakers.

Dialogue poems (sughyotho) constitute a distinctive genre in Syriac literature whose roots can be traced back to Ancient Mesopotamia. The present collection provides the Syriac texts with facing English translations, accompanied by an introduction and explanatory notes. An Appendix lists all the dialogue poems so far known, with references to translations, where available. Besides being delightful in their own right, these dialogue poems have considerable potential for use in religious education.

Sebastian P. Brock was born in 1938 and studied Classics (Greek and Latin) and Oriental Studies (Hebrew and Aramaic) at Cambridge University before doing a DPhil. at Oxford University on the text of the Septuagint. He has taught at the Universities of Birmingham, Cambridge, and (from 1974 until his retirement in 2003) Oxford, where he was Reader in Syriac Studies. He has published extensively in the field of Syriac and has edited a number of new texts.

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Contributor Biography

Sebastian Brock

Emeritus Reader in Syriac Studies, Oxford University, and Emeritus Fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford. Author of a number of contributions in the area of Syriac studies (including several books published by Gorgias Press).

  • Table of Contents (page 5)
  • Introduction (page 7)
  • Syriac Introduction (page 13)
  • Texts and Translations (page 15)
    • I. Mary and the Angel (page 15)
    • II. Mary and Joseph (page 37)
    • III. Mary and the Magi (page 55)
    • IV-V. Mary and the Gardener (page 75)
    • IV. Mary and the Gardener (East Syriac poem) (page 76)
    • V. Mary and the Gardener (West Syriac poem) (page 82)
  • Annotation (page 93)
    • Abbreviations (page 93)
    • I. Mary and the Angel (page 93)
    • II. Mary and Joseph (page 95)
    • III. Mary and the Magi (page 95)
    • IV-V. Mary and teh Gardener (page 96)
  • Selected Bibliography (page 99)
    • (a) Dialogue and dispute poems (page 99)
    • (b) Mary in Syriac tradition (page 99)
  • Appendix: Dialogue Sughyotho (page 103)
    • Old Testament (page 103)
    • New Testament (page 104)
    • Other Topics (in alphabetical order) (page 107)
    • (a) Personifications (page 107)
    • (b) Individuals (page 109)
  • Index of Names and Themes (page 111)
  • Index of Biblical References (page 113)
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