Caught in Translation: Studies on Versions of Late-Antique Christian Literature


Ancient translations of late antique Christian literature serve to spread the body of knowledge to wider audiences in often radically new cultural contexts. For the texts which are translated, their versions are not only sometimes crucial textual witnesses, but also important testimonies of independent strands of reception, cast in the cultural context of the new language. This volume gathers ten contributions that deal with translations into Latin, Syriac, Armenian, Georgian, Coptic, Old Nubian, Old Slavonic, Sogdian, Arabic and Ethiopic, set in dialog in order to highlight the range of problems and approaches involved in dealing with the reception of Christian literature across the various languages in which it was transmitted.

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Madalina Toca is a PhD candidate in late antique Christianity at KU Leuven. She is completing her thesis on Isidore of Pelusium’s epistolary corpus, tackling issues related to the historical relevance of the letters, the formation of the corpus, and its reception in Greek, Latin, and Syriac. Dan Batovici, PhD (2015), is an FWO Postdoctoral Fellow in the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies at KU Leuven and has published extensively on the reception of early Christian books in Late Antiquity.
Notes on Contributors

Introduction: Trajectory, Marginalia, Selection: Issues in the Study of Versions of Late Antique Christian Literature
Madalina Toca and Dan Batovici

1 Latin and Oriental Translations of the Epistola ad Timotheum de morte apostolorum Attributed to Dionysius the Areopagite
Caroline Macé and Michael Muthreich

2 The Armenian Translations of John Chrysostom: The Issue of Selection
Emilio Bonfiglio

3 The Armenian Reception of the Homilies of Jacob of Serugh: New Findings
Andy Hilkens

4 St. Isaac of Nineveh’s Gnostic Chapters in Sogdian: The Identification of an Anonymous Text from Bulayïq (Turfan)
Adrian Pirtea

5 Sacred Spices: The Syriac Reception of Gregory of Nyssa’s Homilies on the Song of Songs
Marion Pragt

6 Four New Syriac Witnesses to the Middle Recension of the Ignatian Corpus
Dan Batovici

7 The Reception of Isidore of Pelusium in Its Ancient Versions: Latin as a Case Study
Madalina Toca

8 Manuscripts and Margins: The Case of the Late Mediaeval Slavonic Hexaemeron Collection or Šestodnevnik and Its Greek Source Text
Lara Sels

9 Between Translation and Rewriting: The Nag Hammadi Corpus and the First Book of Enoch
Francesco Berno

10 Translating Greek to Old Nubian: Reading between the Lines of Ps.-Chrysostom’s In venerabilem crucem sermo
Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei and Alexandros Tsakos

11 A Fourth Ethiopic Witness to the Shepherd of Hermas
Ted Erho

12 A Byzantine Bureaucrat and Arabic Philosopher: Ibrāhīm ibn Yuḥannā al-Anṭākī and His Translation of On the Divine Names 4.18–35
Samuel Noble

Manuscript Index
All interested in Eastern Christianity, and particularly in questions related to the translation and manuscript transmission of late antique literature.
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