Archive for the ‘philosophy’ Tag
(Preface: Some time ago I came across the passage below in Armenian. I don’t remember the trail that led me to it, but in any case, it’s an interesting passage for its content and vocabulary and for the fact that both the Greek original and the Armenian survive and can thus be readily compared.)
Most of Philo’s Quaestiones in Genesim survives only in Armenian. Here is part of § 4.76 on Genesis, which is on Gen 23:6. This passage = Chrysippus, Fragmenta Moralia, № 681 (SVF 3, p. 170; available here). The Armenian text was edited and translated into Latin by Aucher/Awgerean, a copy of which from Google Books is accessible at Robert Bedrosian’s site here; unfortunately, some pages were improperly scanned, resulting in an almost surreal stretching of the text, but this particular excerpt (pp. 304-305) is still legible. There is an ET of the Armenian by Marcus, in LCL Philo, suppl. 1, p. 354 (available here).
It happens that the fragmentary Greek evidence for this work of Philo includes part of this text. The Chrysippus fragment cited above is given in SVF in Aucher’s LT. The Greek fragment, of course, would be closer to Chrysippus’ own language. The fragment appears in J. Rendell Harris, Fragments of Philo Judaeus, p. 36 (available here), alongside Aucher’s slightly modified LT.
Fruitful observations would, no doubt, result from a close comparison and dual reading of the Greek and the Armenian version — NB e.g. the Armenian doublet զհմուտն եւ զտեղեակն for τὸν ἐπιστήμονα at the end — yet nothing so involved is given here, only a basic initial meeting with the two texts. So here is the Greek fragment (but nothing for the first sentence), the Armenian text (Aucher, pp. 304-305), and Marcus’s ET, with vocabulary and notes for the Armenian. For comparison and completeness Aucher’s LT follows at the end.
|Եւ երկրորդ՝ օրէնս դնէ բնաւորականագոյն. զոր ոմանք յայնցանէ որ միանգամ իմաստասիրականքն եղեն՝ վտարեցին.
||And, in the second place, (Scripture) lays down a most natural law, which some of those who philosophize have rejected.
- երկրորդ, -աց second(ly)
- օրէն, օրինի law, rule, regulation, custom (later in pl.)
- դնէ pres 3sg դնեմ, եդի to lay, put, establish
- բնաւորականագոյն natural (Nor baṙgirk’ 498b)
- ոմն indef. adj./pron.
- յ-այնցանէ abl. pl. short form of այն that
- որ միանգամ whoever
- իմաստասիրական philosophical
- եղեն aor 3pl եղանիմ to become
- վտարեցին aor 3pl վտարեմ, -եցի to remove, expel, banish
|Τῶν μὲν ἀφρόνων βασιλεὺς οὐδείς, καὶ ἂν τὸ πάσης γῆς καὶ θαλάσσης ἀνάψηται κράτος· μόνος δὲ ὁ ἀστεῖος καὶ θεοφίλης, καὶ ἂν τῶν παρασκευῶν καὶ τῶν χορηγιῶν ἀμοιρῇ, δι᾽ ὧν πολλοὶ κρατύνονται δυναστείας.
||եւ օրէնքն են, զի յանզգամացն թագաւոր ոչ ոք, թէպէտ զամենայն երկրի եւ զծովու զօրութիւն առցէ. բայց միայն իմաստունն եւ ա՟ծասէրն. եւ եթէ կազմածոցն եւ պատրաստութե՟ցն մասն իցէ, ի ձեռն որոց բազումք զօրանան բռնութեամբ զօրութեամբք։
||This law is that no one of the foolish (is) a king, even though he should be master of all the land and sea, but only the wise and God-loving man, even if he is without the equipment and resources through which many obtain power with violence and force.
- են pres 3pl եմ to be
- անզգան, -աց knavish, wicked; foolish, mad
- ոչ ոք no one, nobody
- թէպէտ even if, although
- զօրութիւն power, force
- առցէ aor subj 3sg առնում, առի to take, occupy, carry off
- միայն only, alone
- իմաստուն, -տնոց wise, intelligent, prudent, skillful
- աստուածասէր god-loving, pious
- կազմած, -ոց apparatus, preparation, equipment
- պատրաստութիւն preparation, disposition, attention
- մասն, -սին, -սանց part, portion, share, lot (this and the following word for Greek ἀμοιρῇ)
- իցէ pres subj 3sg եմ to be
- ձեռն hand, power, strength, etc. ի ձեռն by, by means of, through
- զօրանան pres 3pl զօրանամ to grow stronger, reign
- բռնութիւն violence, tyranny
|Ὥσπερ γὰρ τῷ κυβερνητικῆς ἢ ἰατρικῆς ἢ μουσικῆς ἀπείρῳ παρέλκον πρᾶγμα οἴακες καὶ φαρμάκων σύνθεσις καὶ αὐλοὶ καὶ κιθάραι, διότι μηδενὶ τούτων δύναται χρῆσθαι πρὸς ὃ πέφυκε, κυβερνήτῃ δὲ καὶ ἰατρῷ καὶ μουσικῷ λέγοιτο ἂν ἐφαρμόζειν δεόντως·
||Եւ քանզի որպէս նաւաստականին, կամ բժըշկականին, կամ երաժշտականին անփորձի՝ տարացոյց իրք են, քեղիք, եւ դեղոց եւ սպեղանեաց խառնուածք, եւ փողք, եւ քնարք. վասն զի ոչինչ յայսցանէ ի կիր առնուլ կարէ՝ առ որ բնաւորեցաւն. բայց նաւաստոյն եւ բժշկի եւ երաժշտականի ասասցի յարմարել եւ պատկանել։
||For whereas the man ignorant of the art of the pilot or of the physician or of the musician has trouble with the rudders or with the compounding of drugs and ointments or with flutes and lyres, since he is unable to use any of them for its natural purpose, to the pilot, on the other hand, and the physician and the musician they may be said to be fitting and suitable.
- նաւաստական, -աց sailor (Nor baṙgirk’ 408b)
- բժըշկական medical
- երաժշտական musical; musician
- անփորձ, -ից inexperienced, untried
- տարացոյց example, model, idea, design, paradigm (Nor baṙgirk’ 855c)
- իր, -ի, -աց thing, affair
- քեղի, -ղւոյ, -ղեաց rudder
- դեղ, -ոց/-ից remedy, medicine
- սպեղանի poultice, salve, ointment
- խառնուած, -ոց mixture, compounding
- փող, -ոց trumpet, horn, reed, pipe
- քնար, -աց/-ից lyre, harp (cf. Syr. kennārā, Geo. ქნარი)
- ի կիր առնուլ to put to use
- կարէ pres 3sg կարեմ, -րացի to be able
- բնաւոր natural, innate
- նաւաստ, -տւոյ, տեաց sailor
- բժիշկ, բժշկի, բժշկաց physician
- ասասցի aor subj m/p 3sg ասեմ to say
- յարմարել inf յարնարեմ, -եցի to adapt, accommodate, arrange
- պատկանել inf պատկանեմ to adapt, adjust, suit, apply
|οὕτως, ἐπειδὴ τἐχνη τίς ἐστι βασιλικὴ καὶ τἐχνων ἀρίστη, τὸν μὲν ἀνεπιστήμονα χρήσεως ἀνθρώπων ἰδιώτην νομιστέον, βασιλέα δὲ μόνον τὸν ἐπιστήμονα.
||Յիրաւի այսպէս. վասն  զի արուեստ իմն է թագաւորականն, եւ արուեստից առաքինին. քանզի այն որ անգէտն է եւ անտեղեակ պիտոյից մարդկան, տգէտ համարելի է, եւ գեղջուկ. բայց թագաւոր՝ միայն զհմուտն եւ զտեղեակն։
||And this is proper, since there is a certain kingly art, and it is the most noble of the arts. For he who is ignorant and unversed in the needs of men must be considered a layman, while only he (can be considered) a king who is knowing and experienced.
- յիրաւի justly, deservedly, in truth
- արուեստ, -ից art, trade, study
- թագաւորական royal
- առաքինի, -նւոյ, -նեաց virtuous, honest (also valiant, courageous)
- անգէտ ignorant, unlearned, stupid
- անտեղեակ ignorant, unlearned, unskillful
- պէտք, պիտոյից needs, necessity, use, business
- մարդիկ, մարդկան people, the human race
- տգէտ ignorant, unlearned, untaught, illiterate
- համարելի counted, considered (< համարեմ, -եցի to count, consider, reckon, esteem; on the adjectival form derived from the infinitive, see Meillet, Altarm. Elementarbuch, § 105e)
- գեղջուկ, -ջկի, -ջկաց peasant, villager, rustic
- միայն, -ոյ, -ով only, sole
- հմուտ well-versed, learned, experienced, skillful
- տեղեակ well informed, skilled, expert
Aucher’s LT of the Armenian:
Secundo vero legem statuit nimis naturalem, quam nonnulli philosophorum sibi conciliarunt. Lex autem est, ut ex insipientibus nullus sit rex, quamvis terrae et maris totam vim subiugarit, sed solus sapiens et dei amans, praeter partes apparatuum armorumque, quibus multi proficiunt per vim violentam. Etenim sicut nauticae vel medicinae vel musicae si quis imperitus sit, pro argumento sunt ei clavus et medicaminum commixtura et tibia et lyra (nullum enim istorum usurpare potest ad usum destinatum, at nauarcho et medico ac musico dicatur omnino convenire) ita profecto, siquidem ars est quaedam regium hoc munus et artifex homo virtute praeditus. Nam qui imperitus est et nescius rerum homines iuvantium, rudis atque rusticus est censendus, rex autem dicendus solus peritus gnarusque.
On Philo in Armenian generally, see R.W. Thomson, Bibliography of Classical Armenian Literature to 1500 AD, pp. 75-76; and “Supplement to A Bibliography of Classical Armenian Literature to AD 1500: Publications 1993–2005″, Le Muséon, 120 (2007), 163–223, here, p. 177. More recently, several important studies appeared in:
Lombardi, Sara Mancini and Paola Pontani, eds. 2011. Studies on the Ancient Armenian Version of Philo’s Works, Studies in Philo of Alexandria 6. Leiden: Brill.
Earlier work by Marcus remains important. These are available at Bedrosian’s site mentioned above.
Marcus, Ralph. 1930. “The Armenian Translation of Philo’s Quaestiones in Genesim et Exodum.” Journal of Biblical Literature 49: 61-64.
Marcus, Ralph. 1933. “An Armenian-Greek Index to Philo’s Quaestiones and De Vita Contemplativa.” Journal of the American Oriental Society 53: 251-282.
Marcus, Ralph. 1948. “Notes on the Armenian Text of Philo’s Quaestiones in Genesin, Books I-III.” Journal of Near Eastern Studies 7: 111-115.
The name of the later fourth-century author and bishop Nemesius of Emesa may not often pass the lips even of those closely interested in late antique theology and philosophy, but his work On the Nature of Man (Περὶ φύσεως ἀνθρώπου, CPG II 3550), to judge by the evident translations of the work, attracted translators and readers in various languages. What follows are merely a few pointers to these translations and some related evidence in Greek, Armenian, Syriac, Georgian, and Latin (bibliography below), with renderings of the book’s incipit in the versions.
For Arabic, I don’t have any texts ready to hand, but with attribution to Gregory of Nyssa, Isḥāq b. Ḥunayn (d. 910/911) translated it into Arabic (GCAL I 319, II 130), and Abū ‘l-Fatḥ ʕabdallāh b. al-Faḍl (11th cent.) apparently writes in connection to the work in chs. 51-70 of his Kitāb al-manfaʕa al-kabīr (GCAL II 59). (Note also the latter’s translation and commentary to Basil’s Hexaemeron and its continuation by Gregory of Nyssa [GCAL II 56].)
Morani, Moreno, ed. Nemesii Emeseni De natura hominis. Bibliotheca scriptorum Graecorum et Romanorum Teubneriana. Leipzig: B.G. Teubner, 1987.
Older ed. in PG 40 504-817.
(ed. Morani, as quoted in Zonta, 231):
Τὸν ἄνθρωπον ἐκ ψυχῆς νοερᾶς καὶ σώματος ἄριστα κατεσκευασμένον
See Thomson, Bibliography of Classical Armenian, 40. The Venice, 1889 ed. is available here.
title: Յաղագս բնութեան մարդոյ
Զմարգն ի հոգւոյ իմանալւոյ եւ ի մարմնոյ գեղեցիկ կազմեալ
- մարդ, -ոց man, mortal, human being
- իմանալի intelligible, perceptible; intelligent
- մարմին, -մնոց body
- գեղեցիկ, -ցկի, -ցկաց handsome, agreeable, proper, elegant, good
- կազնեմ, -եցի to form, model, construct, arrange
C. Burkhard, ed. Nemesii Episcopi Premnon Physicon sive Περὶ φύσεως ἀνθρώπου Liber a N. Alfano Archiepiscopo Salerni in Latinum Translatus. Leipzig: Teubner, 1917. At archive.org here.
It was translated into Latin by Alfanus of Salerno (fl. 1058-1085), and in the Latin tradition it is known by the Greek title πρέμνον φυσικῶν, “the trunk of physical things”. This seems to be the usual title (spelled variously in Latin letters, of course), and a marginal note has “Nemesius episcopus graece fecit librum quem vocavit prennon phisicon id est stipes naturalium. hunc transtulit N. Alfanus archiepiscopus Salerni.” The text begins thus:
A multis et prudentibus viris confirmatum est hominem ex anima intellegibili et corpore tam bene compositum…
Gorgadze. S. ნემესიოს ემესელი, ბუნებისათჳს კაცისა (იოანე პეტრიწის თარგმანი). Tbilisi, 1914. The text from this edition is at TITUS here.
The translation is that of the famous philosopher and translator Ioane Petrici (d. 1125; Tarchnishvili, Geschichte, 211-225).
კაცისა სულისა-გან გონიერისა და სხეულისა რჩეულად შემზადებაჲ
- გონიერი wise, understanding
- სხეული body
- რჩეული choice, select
- შემზადებაჲ preparation
The witness to a Syriac translation is fragmentary. It has been studied by Zonta. The incipit of Nemesius’ work appears in two places, and differently.
1. from Timotheos I (d. 823), Letter 43, as given in Pognon, xvii:
ܥܩܒ ܬܘܒ ܘܥܠ ܣܝܡܐ ܕܐܢܫ ܦܝܠܣܘܦܐ ܕܡܬܩܪܐ ܢܡܘܣܝܘܣ ܕܥܠ ܬܘܩܢܗ ܕܒܪܢܫܐ ܘܐܝܬܘܗܝ ܪܫܗ ܗܢܐ. ܒܪܢܫܐ ܡܢ ܢܦܫܐ ܡܬܝܕܥܢܝܬܐ ܘܦܓܪܐ ܛܒ ܫܦܝܪ ܡܬܩܢ
Brock’s ET (“Two Letters,” 237): “Search out for a work by a certain philosopher called Nemesius, on the structure of man, which begins: ‘Man is excellently constructed as a rational soul and body…’”
2. from Iwannis of Dara (fl. first half of 9th cent.), De anima, in Vat. Syr. 147, as given by Zonta, 231:
ܒܪܢܫܐ ܡܢ ܢܦܫܐ ܝܕܘܥܬܢܝܬܐ ܘܦܓܪܐ ܡܪܟܒ
(In addition to the already cited editions, etc.)
Brock, Sebastian P., ”Two Letters of the Patriarch Timothy from the Late Eighth Century on Translations from Greek”, Arabic Sciences and Philosophy 9 (1999): 233-246.
Motta, Beatrice, ”Nemesius of Emesa”, Pages 509-518 in The Cambridge History of Philosophy in Late Antiquity. Edited by Gerson, Lloyd Phillip. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010.
Pognon, Henri. Une version syriaque des aphorismes d’Hippocrate. Texte et traduction. Pt. 1, Texte syriaque. Leipzig, 1903.
Sharples, Robert W. and van der Eijk, Philip J., Nemesius. On the Nature of Man. Translated Texts for Historians 49. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2008.
Zonta, Mauro, ”Nemesiana Syriaca: New Fragments from the Missing Syriac Version of the De Natura Hominis”, Journal of Semitic Studies 36:2 (1991): 223-258.
Ibn Sīnā (see also here, here, from the Enc. Iranica here, and specifically for metaphysics, here) stands among the most well known and most influential of philosophers who have written in Arabic, and his influence was hardly confined to the intellectual worlds where Arabic or Persian were the means of communication. From the twelfth and thirteenth centuries he was read in Latin — several volumes of the Latin witness to Ibn Sīnā have appeared since 1972 in editions by Simone van Riet (Brill) — and reflections of his work can be found in the writers of the Syriac Renaissance of the eleventh to the thirteenth centuries, especially in the voluminous work of Bar ʕebrāyā. Alongside the Qānūn fī ‘l-ṭibb may be mentioned especially his encyclopedic Kitāb al-šifāʔ, Dāneš-nāma (or Dānišnāma-i ʕalāʔī, in Persian, for the prince ʕalāʔ al-Dawla see here), and the Kitāb al-išārāt wa-‘l-tanbīhāt; the last mentioned work was translated into Syriac by Bar ʕebrāyā and there are two late copies with parallel Garšūnī and Syriac available at HMML: CFMM 550 and MGMT 20 (both twentieth century). John bar Maʕdani (d. 1263), a contemporary of Bar ʕebrāyā, penned two poems on the soul, one (or both) of which goes by the name of “The Bird” (pāraḥtā). I have recently cataloged an East Syriac manuscript of the sixteenth century that contains these two poems (and another, “On the Way of the Perfect”): it was copied in Gāzartā and completed on Aug. 10, 1866 AG/962 AH (= 1555 CE). The scribe, named Yawsep, rightly notes in the margin at the beginning of both of these poems that Bar Maʕdani is following Ibn Sīnā on this theme. The latter had written “a treatise, the Bird, an allegory in which he describes his attainment of the knowledge of the truth” (risālat al-ṭayr. marmūza yaṣif fīhā tawaṣṣula-hu ilá ʕilm al-ḥaqq; see Gohlman, pp. 98-99). Here is the marginal note to the first poem, that to the second being much less legible:
CCM 24, f. 112v, marginal note
Bar Sini [sic], the Muslim [hāgārāyā] philosopher, made a treatise [Syr. eggartā = Arb. risāla], the thought of which he somewhere directs to the subject at hand.
Here are the rubric and first lines of Bar Maʕdani’s first poem on the soul from this manuscript:
CCM 24, f. 112v.
Achena, M. and Henri Massé. Le livre de science (Danishnama-yi ‘Ala’i) I: Logique, Métaphysique II: science naturelle, mathématique. Paris, 1986.
Anawati, G. La Métaphysique du Shifa’ I-IV et V-X. Paris, 1978-86.
Furlani, Giuseppe. “Avicenna, Barhebreo, Cartesio.” Rivista degli Studi Orientali 14 (1933): 21-30.
________. ”La psicologia di Barhebreo secondo il libro La Crema della Sapienza.” Rivista degli Studi Orientali 13 (1931-1932): 24-52.
________. “La versione siriaca del Kitâb al-išârât wat-tanbîhât di Avicenna.” Rivista degli Studi Orientali 21 (1945): 89-101.
Goichon, A.-M. “Ibn Sīnā.” In Encylopaedia of Islam, 2d ed., vol. 3, 941-947.
________. Lexique de la langue philosophique d’Avicenne. Paris, 1938.
________. Livre de directives et remarques (al-Isharat wa’l-Tanbihat). 2 vols. Paris, 1951.
Gohlman, William E. The Life of Ibn Sina: A Critical Edition and Annotated Translation. Albany, 1974.
Gutas, Dimitri. Avicenna and the Aristotelian Tradition. Leiden/Boston, 1988.
Hasse, Dag. Avicenna’s De Anima in the Latin West. London, 2000.
Heath, Peter. Allegory and Philosophy in Avicenna (Ibn Sînâ). Philadelphia, 1992.
Inati, Shams. Ibn Sina on Mysticism (al-Isharat wa’l-Tanbihat namat IX). London, 1998.
________. Remarks and Admonitions Part One: Logic (al-Isharat wa’l-Tanbihat: mantiq). Toronto, 1984.
Janssens, Jules. Bibliography of Works on Ibn Sina. 2 vols. Leiden, 1991-1999.
Janssens, Jules and Daniel de Smet, eds. Avicenna and His Heritage. Leuven, 2001.
Joosse, Nanne Peter. A Syriac Encyclopaedia of Aristotelian Philosophy: Barhebraeus (13th c.), Butyrum Sapientiae, Books of Ethics, Economy, and Politics. Aristoteles Semitico-Latinus 16. Leiden/Boston, 2004.
Mcginnis, Jon. Avicenna, The Physics of The Healing. 2 vols. Provo, 2009.
Marmura, Michael. The Metaphysics of Avicenna (al-Ilahiyyat min Kitab al-Shifa’). Provo, 2004.
________. “Plotting the Course of Avicenna’s Thought.” Journal of the American Oriental Society 111 (1991): 333-42.
Michot, Yahya. “La pandémie avicennienne.” Arabica 40 (1993): 287-344.
Morewedge, Parviz. The Metaphysica of Avicenna (Ilahiyyat-i Danishnama-yi ‘Ala’i). New York, 1972.
Rahman, F. Avicenna’s De Anima (Fi’l-Nafs). London, 1954.
Rashed, Roshdi and Jean Jolivet, eds. Études sur Avicenne. Paris, 1984.
Reisman, D. and Ahmed al-Rahim, eds. Before and After Avicenna. Leiden/Boston, 2003.
N. G. Siraisi, Avicenna in Renaissance Italy: The Canon and Medical Teaching in Italian Universities after 1500. Princeton, 1987.
Takahashi, Hidemi. Aristotelian Meteorology in Syriac: Barhebraeus, Butyrum Sapientiae, Books of Mineralogy and Meteorology. Aristoteles Semitico-Latinus 15. Leiden/Boston, 2004.
________. “The Reception of Ibn Sīnā in Syriac: The Case of Gregory Barhebraeus.”, In Before and After Avicenna (see above), 249-281.
Teule, Herman G.B.”Renaissance, Syriac.” GEDSH 350-351.
________. “The Transmission of Islamic Culture to the World of Syriac Christianity: Barhebreaus’ Translation of Avicenna’s kitâb al-išârât wa l-tanbîhât. First Soundings.” In J.J. van Ginkel, H.L. Murre-van den Berg, and T.M. van Lint, eds. Redefining Christian Identity: Cultural Interaction in the Middle East since the Rise of Islam. Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 134. Leuven: Peeters, 2005. Pages 167-184.
________. “Yuḥanon bar Maʿdani.” GEDSH 444.
Watt, John W. Aristotelian Rhetoric in Syriac: Barhebraeus, Butyrum Sapientiae, Book of Rhetoric. Aristoteles Semitico-Latinus 18. Leiden/Boston, 2005.
________, “Graeco-Syriac Tradition and Arabic Philosophy in Bar Hebraeus.” In H.G.B. Teule, C.F. Tauwinkl, R.B. ter Haar Romeny, and J.J. van Ginkel, eds. The Syriac Renaissance. Eastern Christian Studies 9. Leuven/Paris/Walpole, Mass., 2010. Pages 123-133.
პირველად გ(ა)ნიზრახე და მერმე ზრახევდი.
First think, and then talk.
Source: Sentences of Sextus 153 (Georgian 22). See Garitte, Gérard. “Vingt-deux ‘Sentences de Sextus’ en géorgien.” Le Muséon 72 (1959): 355–363.
The Sentences of Sextus, a Christian — the degree of its Christianness can be debated, as already noted by Jerome — gnomological text of the second or third century CE written in Greek, enjoyed notable popularity in Late Antiquity, with translations, in part or in whole, into Latin (by Rufinus), Coptic (Nag Hammadi), Syriac, Armenian, Georgian, and Gǝʿǝz. (I don’t know of an Arabic version of the Sentences, but there probably was one. Dimitri Gutas, Greek Wisdom Literature in Arabic Translation. A Study of the Graeco-Arabic Gnomologia, (New Haven 1975) would be a good place to start looking, but I don’t have access to it now.) Garitte published the collection of 22 sayings from the work in Georgian (სიტყოანი სოჳქესტისნი) based on Sinai codex 35 (10th cent.). This Georgian version was translated from the Armenian translation, not directly from Greek. Both the Armenian and Greek sentences have a clause not in the Georgian, but for comparison here are the corresponding parts: σκέπτου πρὸ τοῦ λέγειν and նախ խորհեսջիր եւ ապա խօսեսջին.
Chadwick, Henry. The Sentences of Sextus. Cambridge, 1959.
Sargisean, B. Srboy hōrn Ewagri Pontac’woy Vark’ ew Matenagrut’iwnk’. Venice, 1907.
HMML’s partnership with Saint Mark’s Monastery, Jerusalem, to digitize their manuscript collection has yielded high-quality digital images of close to 300 manuscripts. A hard drive of the latest files arrived here last week and they have been uploaded to the server. The collection was cataloged in the early numbers of Oriens Christianus by G. Graf, A. Baumstark, and Ad. Rücker, and in the late 1980s thirty-one manuscripts from this collection were microfilmed by BYU and cataloged by William Macomber; scans of these microfilms have been graciously made available at the CPART site. Until the collection is again examined closely, it will not be certain how much the Saint Mark’s collection has changed from these earlier efforts at scrutiny and description, i.e. which manuscripts have been lost, and which have been gained.
SMMJ 232, f. 148v
As is relatively well known thanks to the work of the earlier German scholars and of BYU and Macomber, the Saint Mark’s collection has several notable manuscripts. I hope that I will be able to adequately highlight some of these in the future here, but today I share with you a bit of information (and images) of two manuscripts of Bar ˤEbrāyā’s philosophical work, each copy containing his Tēgrat Tēgrātā (The Treatise of Treatises), Ktābā da-Swād Sofia (The Conversation of Wisdom), and Ktābā d-Bābātā (The Pupils [of the Eye]). The manuscripts are numbered 231 and 232, with 232 being the older and dated 1878 AG (= 1566/7 CE) on f. 196r, but dated to the month of Āb (August) in 1885 AG (1574) on f. 148v; see the image to the right. The scribe of this is Tomā bar Murād bar Giwargis of Klibin, near Mardin, and “my teacher and our teacher Tomā” is named in the colophon on f. 197r, that part copied earlier is the work of another scribe. Completion dates this divergent for parts of one manuscript are not hard to fathom when we realize that they were apparently first not of the same manuscript. Near the beginning of The Book of the Pupils, ff. 163-172 are marked as the second quire (the first not explicitly marked), while the first text in the whole manuscript, The Treatise of Treatises, takes up sixteen quires, which are marked, itself. It seems that up to f. 152 was originally separate from the rest of the book, and the two parts were later joined together. The later manuscript is dated on f. 308r to Tāmuz (July) 9, 1882, and it was most probably copied from no. 232. It, too, begins with The Treatise of Treatises, which was copied (up to f. 139) in the way of some other works of Bar ˤEbrāyā’s, with Syriac and Arabic (Garšūnī) having been copied side-by-side, but here there is no full Arabic version of The Treatise, only select words and sentences. Some — probably most or all, but I have not studied the copies closely — of these translated bits also appear in the sixteenth-century manuscript, but they do not there have such a broad space; they are merely written in the margins. Images of corresponding parts near the beginning of the work are below, with the comments explaining in Arabic what “Peripatetic” means.
SMMJ 232, f. 2r
SMMJ 231, f. 9v
Abundant bibliographic and manuscript information on all three of these works by Bar ˤEbrāyā will be found in H. Takahashi, Barhebraeus: A Bio-Bibliography (Piscataway, 2005), 254-265, to which I would make the following additions based on my work in the Church of the Forty Martyrs collection:
- The Conversation of Wisdom
- CFMM 548, dated 1891, has Syriac and Garšūnī versions of the work.
- CFMM 546, dated 1879 and copied in Edessa.
- CFMM 547, dated 1923 and also copied in Edessa.