Archive for October 2013

Saint Christopher the Dogheaded (Syriac)   5 comments

It being Hallowe’en, I thought it appropriate to do something hagiographic, and since misshapen and monstrous prodigies may surround the day, what better saint to consider than one with a doghead, Christopher (aka Reprebus; BHO 190-192, BHG 309-311). I’ve chosen only two episodes near the beginning of the saint’s story to give in a draft translation here, episodes that touch on his character as a sanctus informis. I’m using the Syriac text (translated from Greek), an edition of which Johann Popescu prepared based on three manuscripts (from Berlin, Cambridge, and the BL) for his Inaugural-Dissertation at Strassburg in 1903: Die Erzählung oder das Martyrium des Barbaren Christophorus und seiner Genossen.

These two parts of the story are from 2.4-3.14 and 5.6-6.13 in Popescu’s edition. There are several printer’s errors in the text. Here are the corrections (with only the consonantal form given for the mistakes):

  • 2.5 read ḥzātā (not ḥʔtʔ)
  • 5.9 read gabbāw(hy) (not gbwh)
  • 5.13 read mezdayyaḥ (not mʔdyḥ)
  • 5.16 read bnaynāšā (not bnnšʔ)
  • 6.7 add space to get lā yādʕā
  • 6.8 add syāmē to r(h)omāyē


This man was quite a sage. He was of the barbarian stock of cannibals, and he had an ugly appearance: his head was like that of a dog (which in Greek is translated κυνοκέφαλος), so that everyone knows [p. 3] that God helps not only the Christians, but he is the rewarder even of those from foreign nations who turn to the true faith, and he sets them up as select and skillful with his knowledge. This man was faithful in the knowledge [of God], and he meditated with God’s words in praise of him, for he was unable to use our language. When he saw the distress that the Christians were enduring, he was very sad and grieved. So he went outside the city and he cast himself before God in prayer and said, “Lord, God almighty, look upon my humility and show the abundance of your mercy with me. Renew my tongue with the language of this people, that I might go and rebuke this rebel.” Right then a man in multi-colored aspect [?] appeared to him and said, “Reprebus, your prayer has been heard before God. Get on your feet.” Then he approached his lips and breathed on them, and just then he was given the language as he had asked.


The blessed Reprebus went to the gate of the church, stuck his staff in the ground, and sat down  with his head bent between his knees, and the hair of his head hung down from both sides. He prayed and spoke thus: “Lord, God almighty, who heard the three youths from within the furnace of fire, whose habitation is in heaven, praised by the heavenly creatures, exalted and worshipped by the saints on earth, who is celebrated by the cherubim, and at whose appearance the angels are terrified: hear the sound of my prayer, incline your ear to my petition, and perform a favorable sign for me, and your grace upon me will be known to everyone, because I was dumb to the language of the[se] people, and you have granted me to speak. And now, cause [p. 6] this wood[en staff] in my hands to sprout by your power, that thus even I might approach and be made worthy of your praise.” Just then the staff sprouted and strengthened the man.

While he had been praying, a woman came into the garden to pick a rose. When she saw him sitting and weeping, she turned around in fear and went and told the people, “Today I saw something at the church [hayklā] and I think it was a dragon [tanninā], thanks to the ugly mark it has, but I don’t know the reason it was crying so much.” While she was speaking, the Romans looking for him arrived there, and when they heard the woman’s words, they asked her and said, “What is he like, and where did you see him?” She showed them, and because of the report of his frightful appearance, they did not dare approach him, but rather went up to a high spot across from him, that they might look at him.

That’s all for now! Be on the lookout today for κυνοκέφαλοι, saintly or otherwise!

Old Georgian phrases and sentences 14 (Barlaam and Ioasaph)   2 comments

Among the many hagiographic traditions that have found few linguistic bounds in the history of Christian literature is the story of Barlaam and Io(d)asaph, known in Georgian as the Balavariani. I don’t want to get into the question of how and where this tradition from India, going back to stories of the life of the Buddha (for accessible excerpts of which from the Pali Canon see here), was first made into a Christian text (see here e.g.); I only want to highlight this text in two ways: first, with a look at some lines from the beginning of the work to continue my Old Georgian phrases and sentences, and second, by putting together a convenient beginning bibliography on the text as it exists in Georgian and Greek, as well as some other languages of eastern Christianity. If the selected Georgian bit below is of no interest or use to readers, maybe the bibliography will be.

Ioasaph, apparently confused for Asaph (of the Psalms), in Walters 733, f. 36v; see here.

Ioasaph (?), apparently confused for Asaph (of the Psalms), in Walters 733, f. 36v; see here.

The Georgian text survives in two recensions (see Tarchnišvili 1958). The snippet here is from recension A, § 1 (available at TITUS here), and the accompanying English translation is adapted from Lang’s (1966).

(იყო იგი) შეყოფილი გონებითა ნებათა და საშუებელთა ამის სოფლისათა
He was tied to thinking on the desires and delights of this world

და დამონებულ ნებასა თავისა თჳსისასა,
and enslaved to his own will,

და ყოვლადვე ვერ წინააღმდგომელ შუებათა მიმართ განმხრწნელთა სულისათა.
and wholly unopposed to the indulgences that corrupt the soul.

The sentence of the Greek that most closely matches this one is κατὰ ψυχὴν δὲ ἐσχάτῃ πιεζόμενος πτωχείᾳ καὶ πολλοῖς κακοῖς συμπνιγόμενος, τῆς Ἑλληνικῆς ὑπάρχων μοίρας καὶ σφόδρα περὶ τὴν δεισιδαίμονα πλάνην τῶν εἰδώλων ἐπτοημένος (1.43-46, Volk 2006: 10). The Georgian text, a little before the above sentence, mentions the king’s non-christianity (იყო იგი წარმართი ფრიად, in recension B იყო იგი წარმართი, კერპთ მსახური), but the Greek expands it further here.

The text offers no difficulties in terms of grammar. As seen in the layout above, the structure is built around three participles (შეყოფილი, დამონებულ, [ვერ] წინააღმდგომელ) and their connected nouns. In the order of the text, here are all but the commonest words (but not all of these are uncommon):

  • შეყოფილი joined, bound
  • გონებაჲ thinking
  • ნებაჲ desire
  • საშუებელი treat, delight
  • დამონებული enslaved
  • წინააღმდგომელი opposing, antagonistic
  • შუებაჲ indulging
  • განმხრწნელი (also written with -ჴ-) corrupting, ruining


(For the older publications, see generally BHO 141-145 for Armenian [with Marr 1899 below), Arabic, and Gǝʕǝz (with Weninger 2003 below); for Syriac see GSL 97-98; and for Arabic, see GCAL I 546-548. Further works on the Georgian text are listed in D.M. Lang, Cat. of Georgian and Other Caucasian Printed Books in the British Museum (1962), cols., 25-27, and D. Barrett, Cat. of the Wardrop Collection (1973), p. 25. The non-Greek texts are treated more recently in Volk 2009: 495, but specifically on the Georgian text, see 98-115.)

Asmussen, J.P. (1988). Barlaam and Iosaph. Encyclopaedia Iranica, vol. 3, p. 801. Online here.

Beck, Hans-Georg. (1959). Kirche und theologische Literatur im byzantinischen Reich. Byzantinisches Handbuch 2.1. Munich. Pages 482-483.

Doelger, F. (1953). Der griechische Barlaam-Roman ein Werk der H. Johannes von Damaskos. Ettal.

Krumbacher, Karl. (1897). Geschichte der byzantinischen Literatur. 2d ed. Munich. Pages 886-891. Available here; unfortunately these pages are in part poorly scanned.

Lang, D. M. (1955). St. Euthymius the Georgian and the Barlaam and Ioasaph Romance. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 17(2), 306–325.

Lang, D. M. (1957a). The Life of the Blessed Iodasaph: A New Oriental Christian Version of the Barlaam and Ioasaph Romance (Jerusalem, Greek Patriarchal Library: Georgian MS 140). Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 20(1/3), 389–407.

Lang, D. M. (1957b). The Wisdom of Balahvar. A Christian Legend of the Buddha. London: George Allen and Unwin.

Lang, David Marshall. (1966). The Balavariani (Barlaam and Josaphat): A Tale from the Christian East Translated from the Old Georgian. With an introduction by Ilia Abuladze. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. Available here.

Mahé, J.-P., & Mahé, A. (1993). La sagesse de Balahvar. Une vie christianisée du Bouddha. Paris: Gallimard.

Marr, N. Y. (1899). Армянскоь грузинскіе матеріалы для исторіи Душеполезной Повѣсти о Варлаамѣ и Іоасафѣ (Armeno-Georgian Materials for the Story of Barlaam and Ioasaph). Записки Восточного Отделениа Императорского Русскаго Археологическаго Общества, 11, 49–78.

Martin-Hisard, B. (2002). Le monde géorgien médiéval et l’Inde. Travaux et mémoires, 14, 457–471.

Tarchnišvili, M. (1958). Les deux recensions du «Barlaam» géorgien. Le Muséon, 71, 65–86.

Wolff, R. L. (1937). The Apology of Aristides: A Re-Examination. Harvard Theological Review, 30, 233–247.

van Lantschoot, Arnold. (1966). Deux paraboles syriaques (Roman de Barlaam et Josaphat). Le Muséon 79: 133-154.

Volk, Robert. (2006.) Die Schriften des Johannes von Damaskos VI/2. Historiae animae utilis de Barlaam et Ioasaph (spuria): Text und zehn Appendices. Berlin and New York.

Volk, Robert. (2009.) Die Schriften des Johannes von Damaskos VI/1. Historiae animae utilis de Barlaam et Ioasaph (spuria): Einführung. Berlin and New York.

Weninger, Stefan. (2003). Bärälam wäyǝwasǝf. Encyclopaedia Aethiopica 1: 472-473.

Wolff, R. L. (1939). Barlaam and Ioasaph. Harvard Theological Review, 32, 131–139.

Zotenberg, H. (1886). Notice sur le livre de Barlaam et Joasaph. Notice et extraits des manuscrits de la Biliothèque nationale 28: 1-166. Available here.

Syro-Georgian trisagion   8 comments

Among other uses of Syriac script for non-Syriac languages, we know well of Garšūnī (or Syro-Arabic) and even Syro-Armenian and Syro-Kurdish (especially the Lawij of Basilios Šemʕon al-Ṭūrānī), but I was surprised to find in my recent cataloging work a small example of Georgian written in Syriac script.* The text, which follows several pages of a grammatical list, is on one page of CCM 10 (olim Mardin 81) and it was not noted by Addai Scher, who cataloged the collection in the early twentieth century. It’s the trisagion (vel sim.: the Latin may be a garbled version of lines from this Easter hymn) in eight languages: Latin, Greek, Armenian, Georgian, Persian, Turkish, Arabic, and finally, Syriac. Much might be said about how these languages are represented in this short text, but here I’m only considering the Georgian part, lines 13-14 below.

CCM 10 = Mardin 81, f. 8r

CCM 10 = Mardin 81, f. 8r

The Georgian trisagion (words, transliteration, and ET here) is:

წმინდაო ღმერთო,
წმინდაო ძლიერო,
წმინდაო უკვდავო,
შეგვიწყალენ ჩვენ.

There are many recordings available of the hymn: here is one:

The noun “God” and the adjectives are all in the vocative case, and in the last line we have the verb შეწყალება, which might be analyzed as


There are several occurrences of the imperative ἐλέησον (with first or third person objects) in the Gospels, and so we can look among the Old Georgian versions to see how else the phrase is translated. Here are a few, all from the Adishi version:

  • Mt 9:27, 20:30 მიწყალენ ჩუენ
  • Mt 15:22 შემიწყალე მე
  • Mt 17:15 შეიწყალე ძჱ ჩემი
  • Mt 20:31 გჳწყალენ ჩუენ
  • Lk 17:13 შეგჳწყალენ ჩუენ

The last one, also with 1pl object, is different from the trisagion form only in orthography. The form from Mt 9:27 and 20:30 is built on the same root, but without the preverb შე- and with the 1st person marker მ- instead of გუ- (or variations thereof). The form in Mt 20:31 also has no preverb, but (allowing for the slight orthographic difference) it has the same 1pl markers as in the triasagion form. Finally, those in Mt 15:22 and 17:15 do have the preverb, and given their objects — 1sg and the 3rd person object “my son”, respectively — these forms look exactly as we would expect, the objects marked by -მ- in the first case and -∅- in the second, and naturally without the final -ნ to mark a plural object.

If we compare this Georgian text with the Syriac script above, we find the latter to be muddled. Recognizable to some degree are წმინდაო (Syr. zmyndʔ), ღმერთო (ʔwmrtw), ძლიერო (zryzw), and უკვდავო (ʔwkwdš), but that’s all I can see. While the Syriac letters are hardly as fitting for Georgian as the Georgian alphabet itself is, even with Syriac one might have gotten closer than the orthography in this example. What is the source of the confusion? Did this scribe write these lines from something he heard or knew himself? Did he copy from another written source also in Syriac letters?

I would be happy to hear about any other examples of Georgian written in Syriac letters, but I suspect it is a rare phenomenon.

* Thanks for their comments to Hidemi Takahashi and Nathan Chase, with whom I discussed this text a little.

Ownership note in Arabic for Patr. Yawsep II   1 comment

As an addendum to a previous post in which I shared two ownership notes in Syriac for Patr. Yawsep II, here from the same collection is another ownership note, this time in Arabic, and finely written. Like the others, this one also has a curse on any book-thieves. The manuscript is a Syriac Pentateuch — you can see the end of Deuteronomy in the image — in East Syriac script (CCM 40, dated 1651/2).

CCM 40, f. 203v

CCM 40, f. 203v

This book is the property of Mar Yawsep II, Patriarch of the Chaldeans. Whoever conceals it, he is excommunicated! Amen, yes, amen!

A Syriac weather report   1 comment

The image below is from the end of CCM 40, a Pentateuch in East Syriac script copied in 1963 AG (= 1651/2 CE). One wonders why the writer of these words was moved to share this meteorological datum here, but here it is in any case, and we’re reminded that every book we look at, whether handwritten or printed, has lived a life before we met it, and other people have often known, read, and marked in that book. Notes like this, as well as colophons and certain other features, make every manuscript unique, no matter how many copies of its text(s) may exist.

CCM 40, f. 206v

CCM 40, f. 206v

In the year 2156 [= 1844 CE] of the blessed Greeks, on Tuesday, on the tenth of Tešri ḥrāyā (November), the snow came.

Two ownership notes for Patriarch Yawsep II   2 comments

Below are two similar, but not identical, ownership notes for Chaldean Patriarch Yawsep II (1667-1713) in seventeenth-century manuscripts from the Chaldean Cathedral of Mardin (recently mentioned here), both, as it happens, copies of The Book of Sessions (Ktābā d-bēt mawtbē), dated 1653 (№ 47) and 1672 (№ 48) and both copied at the Monastery of Mar Pethion in Amid (Diyarbakır). As often in ownership notes, there is also a curse against any would-be thieves. An English translation follows each image.

CCM 47, f. 212v

CCM 47, f. 212v

This Book of Sessions is the property of our exalted father, Mar Yawsep II, Patriarch of the Chaldeans. May whoever keeps it for himself secretly or in theft be excommunicated!

CCM 48, f. 273v

CCM 48, f. 273v

This Book of Sessions is the property of our exalted father, Mar Yawsep II, Patriarch of the Chaldeans. May the wrath of God remain on whoever keeps it for himself secretly or in theft! Amen!

Old Georgian phrases and sentences 13   2 comments

A characteristic feature of certain verbs in Georgian, including those referred to in the study of modern Georgian as “Conjugation IV”  or “indirect” verbs, is that in certain forms they take the “logical” (merely a term of convenience) subject in the dative case and the logical direct object in the nominative case (cf. Aronson, Grammar, Lesson 12). (Similar constructions are not unknown in Indo-European and Semitic languages.) Verbs with such a construction, often verbs of feeling and emotion, in Old Georgian include (with a few examples):

  • აქუს “to have”: ძესა კაცისასა არა აქუს, სადა თავი მიიდრიკოს | ὁ δὲ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου οὐκ ἔχει ποῦ τὴν κεφαλὴν κλίνῃ (Lk 9:58 At)
  • ყუარება “to love”” უყუარს ძილი | φιλοῦντες νυστάξαι (Isa 56:10)
  • ძულება “to hate”: see below
  • ძინავს “to sleep” (cf. ძილი in Isa 56:10 above): ელის ეძინა | Ηλι ἐκάθευδεν (1Sam 3:2 Jer Lect)
  • წყურილი “to be thirsty”: ნეტარ არიან, რომელთა ჰმშიოდის და სწყუროდის სიმართლისათჳს | μακάριοι οἱ πεινῶντες καὶ διψῶντες τὴν δικαιοσύνην (Mt 5:6 PA)
  • ნებვა “to want”: რომელთა ჰნებავს ბრძოლად | τὰ τοὺς πολέμους θέλοντα (Ps 67:31)
  • რწმენა “to believe”: რაჲთა ვიხილოთ და გურწმენეს იგი | ἵνα ἴδωμεν καὶ πιστεύσωμεν (Mk 15:32 Ad)
  • სმენა “to hear”: არა მესმიან ცუდნი ეგე სიტყუანი შენნი | I do not hear your empty words (MartAbo 70.23)

The first part of Proverbs 8:13, here from the Jerusalem Lectionary, gives an example of the construction: შიშსა უფლისასა სძულს უკეთურებაჲ გინებაჲ და ანპარტავანებაჲ და ზრახვაჲ უკეთურთაჲ | φόβος κυρίου μισεῖ ἀδικίαν, ὕβριν τε καὶ ὑπερηφανίαν καὶ ὁδοὺς πονηρῶν.

The Georgian glossed is:

     შიშ-სა         უფლ-ისა-სა          ს-ძულ-ს                                   უკეთურება-ჲ

     fear-DAT      lord-GEN-DAT      3SG.OBJ-hate-PRS.3SG.SBJ      wickedness-NOM

     გინება-ჲ          და       ანპარტავანება-ჲ   და        ზრახვა-ჲ            უკეთურ-თა-ჲ

     abuse-NOM      and      arrogance-NOM      and      counsel-NOM      wicked-OBL.PL-NOM

     “The fear of the Lord hates wickedness, abuse, arrogance, and the counsel of the wicked.”

The same verb “to hate” occurs again in at the end of the verse, but this time as aorist, where it takes a direct construction: გულარძნილნი ალაგნი მოვიძულენ | μεμίσηκα δὲ ἐγὼ διεστραμμένας ὁδοὺς κακῶν (nothing in the Georgian version corresponds to κακῶν).

     გულარძნილ-ნი        ალაგ-ნი            მო-ვ-ი-ძულ-ენ

     twisted-NOM.PL     path-NOM.PL     PRV-1.SBJ-CV-hate[AOR]-PL.OBJ     (PRV = preverb, CV = character vowel)

     “I hated the twisted paths.”

(As usual in Georgian, the aorist verb takes its direct object in the nominative, but this construction is otherwise quite unlike that used with the verb in the first part of the verse.)

The original manuscript of ʿAbdišoʿ of Nisibis’ Gospel in Rhymed Prose?   2 comments

One of the more interesting texts of Arabic Christian literature that has hitherto escaped a close philological study of the whole is the Gospel text of ʿAbdišoʿ bar Brikhā of Nisibis (d. 1318; see further Childers 2011). The work is interesting especially because of its form: it is a translation (or better, a paraphrase) of Gospel readings together with a general preface and some prologues to the four Gospels individually, but not in bare prose, but rather in saǧʿ, typically called “rhymed prose” in English (see the bibliography below for works touching saǧʿ). In at least four articles, Fr. Samir has focused on this particular work, including an edition and French translation of the prologues (1981) and the same for the general preface (1983). As far as I know, there is no translation of this very interesting, not to mention elegant, prefatory material in English, nor is there a complete edition of ʿAbdišoʿ’s Gospel text itself. Fr. Samir has laid excellent groundwork for this interesting text. My friend Salam Rassi has informed me about the edition from 2007 by Sami Khoury, but unfortunately I have not seen it and have no access to it. It is apparently fully vocalized, a welcome fact.

This work of ʿAbdišoʿ’s deserves to be more fully known by arabists, biblical scholars, and perhaps theologians. Students of Arabic can benefit from the aforementioned vocalized text of the work, if they have access to it; a dedicated lexicon would be an additional help. An English translation at least of the prefatory material if not the whole text would be appreciated by other readers.

NEST AC 11, f. 83v, with Mt 12:1-14

NEST AC 11, f. 83v, with Mt 12:1-14

Fr. Samir (1972: 176) says ten manuscripts (only seven in GCAL) of the work are known, but he does not list them there. Samir 1981 is based on USJBO 431 (341 in the article must be a misprint), NEST AC-11, BnF arabe 204, and Vat. arab. 1354. The first two manuscripts are available for study from HMML. (We might also mention USJBO 432, a kind of revision of ʿAbdišoʿ’s work that has also put the Gospels in their biblical, as opposed to lectionary, order.) But thanks to HMML’s partner, the Centre numérique des manuscrits orientaux (CNMO), there is yet another manuscript of this work available. It is not a manuscript that has been unknown, but it is a manuscript that has for some time been difficult, if not impossible, to access otherwise: Diyarbakır 127 = Macomber 12.37 = (now) CCM 91. For the history of the Chaldean collections of Mardin and Diyarbakır, now joined together, see Scher 1907, Scher 1908, Vosté 1937 (only Syriac), Macomber 1969 (only Syriac), and Macomber N.d. As to this collection, which has a number of important manuscripts across several genres — again, not necessarily unknown, but hardly accessible in recent decades, with even its existence and whereabouts uncertain — about which you will hear more, I hope, in the coming months, it is now being cataloged anew as it presently stands. As to this manuscript itself, Scher (1907: 411-412) rightly notes that we may have here the autograph of ʿAbdišoʿ’s rhymed Gospel, and if not the autograph, an early copy. In any case, it is a very early witness to the work, and no one in the future who works on the text will want to neglect a close study of it.

Following the bibliography below are some images from the manuscript, so that readers may get an idea of the text, and I have included a few transliterated lines so that even readers without Arabic can see some examples of the line-ending rhymes.


(A glance at the index to Sidney H. Griffith’s recently published The Bible in Arabic [Princeton and Oxford, 2013] reveals no references to ʿAbdišoʿ.)

Beeston, A.F.L. 1983. “The Role of Parallelism in Arabic Prose”. In Beesont et al. 1983: 180-185 (esp. 185).

Beeston, A.F.L. et al., eds. 1983. Arabic Literature to the End of the Umayyad Period. Cambridge.

Childers, J.W. 2011. “ʿAbdishoʿ bar Brikha”. In GEDSH 3-4.

Fahd, T., W.P. Heinrichs, and Afif Ben Abdesselem. 1995. “Sadjʿ”. In Encyclopaedia of Islam, 2d ed.: 732-738.

Graf, Georg. GCAL I 165-166.

Khoury, Sami. 2007. ʿAbdīshōʿ al-Ṣūbāwī. Anājīl ʿAbdīshūʿ al-Ṣūbāwī (d. 1318) al-musajjaʿa. 2 vols. Beirut: CEDRAC, 2007.

Latham, J.D. 1983. “The Beginnings of Arabic Prose Literature: The Epistolary Genre”. In Beeston et al. 1983: 154-179 (esp. 175-176).

Macomber, William F. 1969. “New Finds of Syriac Manuscripts in the Middle East”. ZDMG Suppl. I.2: 473-482 (esp. 479-482).

Macomber, William F. N.d. “A Checklist of the Manuscripts of the Combines Libraries of the Chaldean Cathedrals of Mardin and Diarbekir.” Not published.

Paret, R. 1983. “The Qurʾān — I”. In Beeson et al. 1983: 186-227 (esp. 196-198).

Samir, Samir Khalil Samir. 1972. “Date de composition de l’évangéliaire rimé de ʿAbdišuʿ”. Mélanges de l’Université Saint-Joseph 47: 175-181.

Samir, Samir Khalil Samir. 1981. “Les prologues de l’évangéliaire rimé de ʿAbdishuʿ de Nisibe”. Proche-orient chrétien 31: 43-70.

Samir, Samir Khalil Samir. 1983. “La Préface de l’évangéliaire rimé de ʿAbdishuʿ de Nisibe”. Proche-Orient chrétien 33: 19-33.

Samir, Samir Khalil Samir. 1985. “Une réponse implicite à l’iʿgâz du Coran”. Proche-orient chrétien 35: 225-237.

Scher, Addai. 1907. “Notice sur les manuscrits syriaques et arabes conservés à l’archevêché chaldéen de Diarbékir”. Journal asiatique 10: 331–362, 385–431.

Scher, Addai. 1908. “Notice des mss. syriaques et arabes conservés dans la bibliothèque de l’évêché chaldéen de Mardin”. Revue des bibliothèques 18: 64–95.

El-Tayib, Abdulla. 1983. “Pre-Islamic Poetry”. In Beeston et al. 1983: 27-113 (esp. 33).

Vosté, J.-M. 1937. “Notes sur les manuscrits syriaques de Diyarbékir et autres localités d’Orient”. Le Muséon 50: 345-351.


CCM 91, f. 10r: title

CCM 91, f. 10r: title

“The translation of the sinner ʿAbdišoʿ…; he made the translation into Arabic in the year 699 AH and 1611 AG.” (= 1299/1300 CE; cf. Samir 1972)

CCM 91, f. 11v

CCM 91, f. 11v: from the preface

Lines 6-10 from the page above:

ʔamma baʕdu fa-lammā kāna al-naqlu min luɣatin ilá luɣatin ʔuxrá
min ɣayri ʔifsādin wa-lā tabdīlin li-l-maʕná
wa-lā taxlīṭin li-ǧumali ‘l-kalāmi wa-maqāṭiʕih
wa-lā taḥrīfin li-l-qawli ʕan ʔīrādi mubdiʕih
maʕa muḥāwalati ‘l-faṣāḥati fī ‘l-luɣati ‘l-manqūli ʔilayhā
wa-luzūmi ‘l-šurūṭi ‘l-muʕawwali fī ‘l-ʔiḥāṭati bi-ɣarībi ‘l-luɣatayni ʕalayhā

CCM 91, f. 12r

CCM 91, f. 12r: from the preface

The last five lines on this page:

wa-ʔanā fa-maʕa ‘ʕtirāfī b-quṣūrī wa-ǧalālati ‘l-ʔamr
wa-taḍāʔulī ʕan xawḍi ðā ‘l-ɣamr
fa-ʔinnanī iǧtaðaytu ‘l-šarāʔiṭa ‘l-maðkūrata fī-mā tarǧamtuh
wa-ʔaxraǧtu ʔilá ‘l-arʕabiyyati ‘l-fuṣūla ‘l-muqaddasata ‘l-ʔinǧīliyyata ʕalá mā qaddamtuh
wa-badaʔtu bi-ʔinšāʔi ‘l-muqaddimāti ‘l-θamān
(cont. on 12v: li-kulli mina ‘l-ʔarbaʕati ‘l-rusuli ‘θnatān)

CCM 91, f. 14r

CCM 91, f. 14r: first prologue to Mk

CCM 91, f. 19v

CCM 91, f. 19v: rubric and Lk 1

CCM 91, f. 120r

CCM 91, f. 120r: beginning of Jn 14

CCM 91, f. 158r

CCM 91, f. 158r: Lk 19:8-10 (Zacchaeus and Jesus) and the beginning of Mt 13 (Parable of the Sower)

CCM 91, f. 175r

CCM 91, f. 175r: colophon

The colophon essentially repeats the words of the title page (given above), but at the end it adds: “May God be pleased with whoever reads in [this book].” The year at the bottom is unfortunately illegible due to some holes in the paper, but we can see “the beginning of the blessed month Šaʕbān.”

Georgian manuscripts from the BnF at Gallica   1 comment

Some time ago I posted a query on about places to find freely accessible digitized Georgian manuscripts,* and someone — thanks to შოთა გუგუშვილი! — finally gave an answer with this link from Gallica:

This link points to nine manuscripts, all cataloged and all with quality color images: one may view or download the books. There is a Gospel book, Chrysostom, a synaxarion, four hymnbooks, and a catechism. For full details, see the descriptions available on the site, but here’s a précis for each one:

Included with these eight manuscripts in the search results is also a handwritten catalog of these manuscripts in Georgian by Ekvtime Taqaishvili (1863-1953) from 1933. While these manuscripts do not have the antiquity of some other collections (Sinai and Athos, for example), with the exception of the catechism and the modern catalog, these are nevertheless some old codices.

It seems that the BnF is continuing to add new manuscripts, so we may have even more to look forward to in the same place as time goes by. Many thanks to them for making these manuscripts available for study!

*That is, in addition to the Sinai manuscripts available through E-Corpus.

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