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Syriac Literature


An English Translation of <i>La Littérature Syriaque</i>


Despite having been written over a century ago, the 3rd edition of Rubens Duval's History of Syriac Literature remains one of the best - and most readable - introductions to Syriac literature. This edition provides the first English translation of the work, translated by Olivier Holmey.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-61143-962-5
  • *
Publication Status: In Print

Publication Date: Oct 18,2013
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 388
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-61143-962-5
$179.00
$125.30

Despite having been written over a century ago, the 3rd edition of Rubens Duval's History of Syriac Literature remains one of the best - and most readable - introductions to Syriac literature. This edition provides the first English translation of the work, translated by Olivier Holmey.

Syriac literature is first and foremost an ecclesiastical literature, and most of the works that have come down to us were penned by clergymen and theologians. Its origins are closely tied to the evangelisation of Mesopotamia, which began at Edessa, and would eventually place the city at the center of an intellectual movement that encompassed both religious and scientific study. The Bible was soon translated into Syriac, the language of Edessa, and Syriac then spread as an ecclesiastical literary language. Syriac literature includes poetry and chronicles documenting the dissensions, polemics and religious controversies of the Christian world, as well as compositions on the lives of biblical figures and hagiographical works on the acts of martyrs. Syriac translations preserved a number of works of which the originals are - in part or in full - lost. Greek works on philosophy, medicine, grammar and lexicography were transmitted in Syriac translations, as well as Pahlavi adventure and romance narratives.

Part I deals with Syriac literature by genre, and Part II provides a chronological overview of Syriac authors. This English edition also benefits from an index of names.

Despite having been written over a century ago, the 3rd edition of Rubens Duval's History of Syriac Literature remains one of the best - and most readable - introductions to Syriac literature. This edition provides the first English translation of the work, translated by Olivier Holmey.

Syriac literature is first and foremost an ecclesiastical literature, and most of the works that have come down to us were penned by clergymen and theologians. Its origins are closely tied to the evangelisation of Mesopotamia, which began at Edessa, and would eventually place the city at the center of an intellectual movement that encompassed both religious and scientific study. The Bible was soon translated into Syriac, the language of Edessa, and Syriac then spread as an ecclesiastical literary language. Syriac literature includes poetry and chronicles documenting the dissensions, polemics and religious controversies of the Christian world, as well as compositions on the lives of biblical figures and hagiographical works on the acts of martyrs. Syriac translations preserved a number of works of which the originals are - in part or in full - lost. Greek works on philosophy, medicine, grammar and lexicography were transmitted in Syriac translations, as well as Pahlavi adventure and romance narratives.

Part I deals with Syriac literature by genre, and Part II provides a chronological overview of Syriac authors. This English edition also benefits from an index of names.

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Contributor

M. Duval

Olivier Holmey

  • Table of Contents (page 5)
  • Foreword to the English Edition (page 7)
  • Part I: Syriac Literature and its Different Genres (page 9)
    • I. The Origins of Syriac Literature (page 11)
    • II. General Features of Syriac Literature. Poetry (page 15)
      • 1. Features of Syriac Literature (page 15)
      • 2. Poetry (page 17)
    • III. The Ancient Versions of the Old and New Testaments (page 29)
      • 1. The so-called Peshitta version of the Old Testament (page 29)
      • 2. The ancient versions of the New Testament (page 39)
    • IV. The Syro-Palestinian Version of the Old and New Testament (page 45)
    • V. The Later Versions of the Old and New Testament (page 51)
    • VI. The Syrian Masoretic Text (page 55)
    • VII. The Biblical Commentaries (page 61)
    • VIII. The Apocrypha of the Old and New Testament (page 75)
      • 1. The Apocrypha of the Old Testament (page 75)
      • 2. The Apocrypha of the New Testament (page 81)
    • IX. The Acts of the Martyrs and Saints (page 105)
      • 1. The Acts of the Martyrs of Occidental Mesopotamia (page 105)
      • 2. The Acts of the Martyrs of Persia (page 110)
      • 3. The Syriac texts on the martyrs outside Mesopotamia and Persia (page 124)
      • 4. - Lives of the saints and martyrs (page 130)
    • X. The Apologetic Texts (page 141)
    • XI. Ecclesiastical Canons and Civil Law (page 145)
      • 1. Ecclesiastical canons translated from Greek (page 145)
      • 2. Syriac ecclesiastical canons (page 149)
      • 3. Civil law (page 156)
    • XII. The Historiographers (page 161)
      • 1. General History (page 161)
      • 2. Particular Histories (page 185)
    • XIII. Ascetic Literature (page 195)
    • XIV. Philosophy (page 211)
      • 1. Syriac philosophy (page 211)
      • 2. Aristotelian philosophy (page 220)
      • 3. Other Syriac versons of Greek philosophy (page 231)
    • XV. The Sciences of the Syrians (page 239)
      • 1. Medicine (page 239)
      • 2. Natural history (page 244)
      • 3. Astronomy, cosmography, and geography (page 246)
      • 4. Chemistry (page 250)
      • 5. Mathematics (page 251)
    • XVI. Grammar, Lexicography, Rhetoric, and Poetics (page 253)
      • 1. Grammar (page 253)
      • 2. Lexicography (page 261)
      • 3. Rhetoric and poetics (page 266)
    • XVII. Syriac Translations (page 269)
      • 1. Translations of works by the Greek Fathers (page 270)
      • 2. Translations of secular works (page 284)
  • Part II: Notes on the Syriac Authors (page 289)
    • I. Writers up until the 5th Century (page 293)
    • II. Writers up until the 7th Century (page 301)
      • 1. The Orthodox (page 301)
      • 2. The Nestorians (page 304)
      • 3. The Monophysites (page 312)
    • III. Writes under the Arabs (page 329)
      • 1. The 7th century (page 329)
      • 2. The 8th century (page 339)
      • 3. The 9th century (page 345)
      • 4. The 10th century (page 351)
      • 5. The 11th century (page 353)
      • 6. The 12th century (page 356)
      • 7. The 13th century and the end of Syriac literature (page 360)
  • Index of Names (page 371)
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