Transliteration versus Translation of Greek Plant Names in the Syriac Medical Writings of Sergius of Reš ʿAynā: On the Tables of Contents in BL Add. 14,661

in Aramaic Studies
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This article explores some of the translational choices made by Sergius of Reš ʿAynā in translating the Greek plant names found in Books VIVIII of Galen’s treatise On simple drugs into Syriac, and especially as found in the “tables of contents”—or pínakes—which preface these books. These latter took the form of alphabetically ordered lists of Greek phytonyms transliterated into Syriac characters, occasionally followed by a translational gloss in Syriac. After a brief introduction, we discuss the form, function and content of these pínakes, outline a typology, and suggest explanations for selected problematic features.

Transliteration versus Translation of Greek Plant Names in the Syriac Medical Writings of Sergius of Reš ʿAynā: On the Tables of Contents in BL Add. 14,661

in Aramaic Studies

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References

12

I. LöwAramäische Pflanzennamen (Leipzig: Verlag von Wilhelm Engelmann1881) p. 18.

19

M. Martelli‘Medicina ed alchimia. Estratti Galenici nel corpus degli scritti alchemici siriaci di Zosimo’Galenos 4 (2010) pp. 207–228.

23

Bhayro Hawley Kessel and Pormann‘Collaborative research’; idem ‘Progress prospects and problems’; Bhayro and Brock ‘The Syriac Galen Palimpsest and the role of Syriac’; Bhayro and Hawley ‘La littérature botanique’ pp. 294–299.

24

Bhayro Hawley Kessel & Pormann‘Collaborative research’ pp. 261 (note 4) 264; eidem ‘Progress prospects and problems’ p. 134; Bhayro and Brock ‘The Syriac Galen Palimpsest and the role of Syriac’ pp. 32–36.

26

See also R. Hawley‘More identifications of the Syriac Galen Palimpsest’Semitica et Classica 7 (2014) pp. 237–272 (238 242 Fig. 6).

29

See also Hawley‘More identifications’ pp. 238 241 (Fig. 4).

30

Hawley‘More identifications’ pp. 238 243 (Fig. 8).

31

Hawley‘More identifications’ pp. 238 244 (Fig. 10).

57

Butts‘The integration of consonants’ pp. 26–28.

62

See also Bhayro and Hawley‘La littérature botanique’ pp. 312–313.

69

Bhayro‘Syriac Medical Terminology’ p. 162.

74

See also Bhayro and Hawley‘La littérature botanique’ p. 313.

Figures

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    Figure 2

    Folios 2v and 3r of BL Add 14,661, containing the beginning of the pínax of Book VI (the lower half of fol. 2v contains entries α-1 through α-17; fol. 3r shows entries α-18 through α-48); see also Merx, ‘Proben’, pp. 249–252© British Library Board (Add. 14,661)

  • View in gallery
    Figure 3

    Folios 3v and 4r of BL Add 14,661, containing the middle of the pínax of Book VI (fol. 3v contains entries α-48 through β-1; fol. 4r shows entries β-2 through δ-3); see also Merx, ‘Proben’, pp. 252–255© British Library Board (Add. 14,661)

  • View in gallery
    Figure 4

    Folios 4v and 5r of BL Add 14,661, containing the end of the pínax of Book VI (fol. 4v contains entries δ-4 through ε-23; fol. 5r shows entries ε-24 through ι-8, then moves on to the text of Galen’s introduction to Book VI); see also Merx, ‘Proben’, pp. 256–259© British Library Board (Add. 14,661)

  • View in gallery
    Figure 5

    Detail of folio 4v of BL Add 14,661 (containing entries δ-4 through ε-23); see Merx, ‘Proben’, pp. 256–257, and also above, Fig. 1.© British Library Board (Add. 14,661)

  • View in gallery
    Figure 6

    Bifolium 034v–035r of the Syriac Galen Palimpsest, containing the beginning of the pínax of Book VI (legible traces of the first third of the alpha section of the table of contents for Book VI, α-1 through approximately α-24, may be found in the second column); see also Hawley, ‘More identifications’, pp. 238, 241 (Fig. 4)© Owner of the Syriac Galen Palimpsest, Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Access Rights

  • View in gallery
    Figure 7

    Bifolium 034r–035v of the Syriac Galen Palimpsest, containing the second part of the pínax of Book VI (approximately the middle third of the alpha entries, perhaps α-25 through α-51, in the first column; and the final third of the alpha entries followed by the first part of the beta entries, approximately α-52 through β-8, in the second column); see also Bhayro and Brock, ‘The Syriac Galen Palimpsest and the role of Syriac’, pp. 32–36© Owner of the Syriac Galen Palimpsest, Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Access Rights

  • View in gallery
    Figure 8

    Bifolium 016r–021v of the Syriac Galen Palimpsest, containing the third part of the pínax of Book VI. The first column contains the end of the beta entries (approximately β-9 through β-19), all of the gamma entries (γ-1 through γ-12), and all but one of the delta entries (δ-1 through δ-10). The second column contains the final delta entry (δ-11), all of the epsilon and zeta entries (ε-1 through ε-26, ζ-1 through ζ-4), and virtually all of the eta entries. See also Hawley, ‘More identifications’, pp. 238, 243 (Fig. 8).© Owner of the Syriac Galen Palimpsest, Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Access Rights

  • View in gallery
    Figure 9

    Bifolium 016v–021r of the Syriac Galen Palimpsest, containing the final part of the pínax of Book VI: the upper half of the first column must have contained all of the theta and iota entries (θ-1 through θ-7, ι-1 through ι-8); the entries for ι-6 through ι-8 are quite legible in the gutter region of the first column. See also Hawley, ‘More identifications’, pp. 238, 244 (Fig. 10)© Owner of the Syriac Galen Palimpsest, Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Access Rights

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