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Pulling a Yoke through the White Field: East Syriac Poetic Paraphrases of Scribal Rhetoric

In: Aramaic Studies
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  • 1 Hermitage MuseumRussian FederationSt Petersburg
  • | 2 HSE UniversityRussian FederationMoscow
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Abstract

As shown in recent studies, East Syriac colophons were rather standardised, at least in the Ottoman period, and they incorporated into the main colophon body not only prose passages, but also poetic ones. The current article discusses one such passage that occurs in both prose and poetic forms in various manuscripts, namely the topos of ‘the five twins that pulled a yoke from the forest through the white field’. It provides a fascinating example of the trope’s transmission over the centuries, as well as the poetic creativity of East Syriac scribes as manifested in the Ottoman period.

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