A short colophon in East Syriac Garšūnī with reference to Syriac-Arabic translation   1 comment

Across manuscript traditions in many languages, colophons are the place where a scribe (including the translator-scribe) can, among other things, tell something of the origin of the text just then completed, whether that means the manuscript he or she copied from, the person who commissioned the copying, the place of copying, etc. If the text copied is a translation, that is sometimes mentioned, too, as here from a Georgian colophon (S-384, 11th/12th cent.; see W. Djobadze, Materials for the Study of Georgian Monasteries in the Western Environs of Antioch on the Orontes, CSCO 372/Subs. 48 [Louvain, 1976], 24-25, from which this ET is adapted):

ლოცვა ყავთ წმიდანო ღმრთისანო. რომელნიცა მიემთხჳნეთ აღწერილსა ამას წმიდისა გრიგოლ  ნოსელისასა. ცხორებასა დიდისა გრიგოლი საკჳრველთ-მოქმედისასა. რომელი დაიწერა ბერძულისაგან ქართულად მოსწრაფებითა მღდელისა გაბრიელისითა და ჴელითა ყოვლად უღირსისა ეფრემისითა. ხოლო ბრძანებითა ზოგადისა მამისა ჩუენისა. ბერისა საბაჲსითა…

Pray, holy men of God, those of you who come upon this Life of the great Gregory the Wonder-worker, written by Gregory of Nyssa, translated from Greek into Georgian thanks to the eagerness of the priest Gabriel and by the hand of the unworthy Ep’rem at the command of our common father, the monk Saba…

As a similar example in Arabic (Garšūnī), below is a simple colophon that comes at the end of a treatise attributed to John Chrysostom (“On the Departed, That it is not Appropriate to be Overly Sad about them”) in the manuscript Chaldean Cathedral of Mardin (CCM), 13, f. 120. The language is Arabic, but written in East Syriac script; for those who may not be familiar with the latter, I have transcribed it into Arabic letters and I have also given an English translation.

CCM 13, f. 120r

CCM 13, f. 120r

واذكروا الكاتب الحقير مطران بسيليوس في صلواتكم لكي يُنْجى من عذاب المَطْهَر لانّه نَقَلَهم من السرياني للعربي في سنة الف وسبعمائة وتاسع عشر لميلاد سيدنا يسوع المسيح له المجد والتسبيح الى ابد الآبدين  آمين

Remember in your prayers the poor scribe, Muṭrān Basilios, that he might be delivered from the torment of purgatory, because he translated these [texts] from Syriac into Arabic in the year 1719 of the nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be glory and praise forever and ever. Amen.

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One response to “A short colophon in East Syriac Garšūnī with reference to Syriac-Arabic translation

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  1. “the torment of purgatory” : I presume the scribe Muṭrān Basilios was eastern roman catholic…

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