This article presents an overview of the hagiographical sources concerning the East-Syriac saint John of Daylam (ca. 660–738), focusing on the relationship between the three extant Arabic lives and the lives preserved in Syriac, Sogdian, and Ethiopic. One Arabic life is a translation of one of the Syriac lives, another is the Vorlage for the Ethiopic version, while the third is known to us only in Arabic. After presenting the manuscript evidence for each of the lives in its respective language, the complex interconnections between them are briefly discussed.
This essay explores the Arabic reception of homilies by the Syriac poet Jacob of Serugh (d. 521). More specifically, it argues that at least some of these Arabic homilies are witnessed in distinct textual traditions of Coptic, Melkite, and Syriac Orthodox provenance. The paper includes a survey of previous scholarship on Arabic translations of Jacob, looking at the presentation in Graf’s Geschichte as well as a couple of more recent studies. The bulk of the paper is, however, concerned with the diversity of the Christian Arabic tradition of Jacob, which is investigated through a series of case studies on individual passages.
This paper provides the first study of the only known text produced by a figure of eleventh-century Byzantine Antioch, Yānī ibn al-Duks. This Arabic text is a translation of a homily by Patriarch Germanos I of Constantinople, on the belt and swaddling clothes of Christ. This paper provides the first critical edition of this text, in addition to an in-depth analysis of Yānī’s translation choices, with the goal of offering broader comments about his translation technique. As a whole, this paper hopes to shed light on an unknown figure from the Graeco-Arabic translation movement in eleventh-century Antioch, and offer preliminary answers about the audience of these translated texts.
This article focuses on a particular translator with some prominence in early eleventh-century Antioch: Ibrāhīm, son of Yūḥannā, an imperial bureaucrat and scribe. A native of Antioch, Ibrāhīm survived the transition from the Muslim rule of the Ḥamdānids to the Byzantine resurgence in Syria, attaining great success within the imperial apparatus of the new rulers. He translated many patristic and medieval works from Greek into Arabic and was likely involved in the imperial project to translate the Constantinopolitan liturgy into Syriac for use in Antioch and its dependencies. We know little about his life apart from autobiographical statements in his one extant original composition, the Life of Christopher, but the available information gives us a rare glimpse into the life of a scholar from this border metropolis at the historical turning point of the tenth and eleventh centuries.
This chapter explores the Arabic translations of an important late antique Question-and-Answer text, the Quaestiones ad Antiochum ducem (CPG 2257) attributed to Athanasius of Alexandria. It is shown that in the second half of the ninth century CE there was already a complete Arabic translation, of which the surviving manuscripts are older than any of the Greek. This study discusses how the two early recensions are related, what themes the text covers, and how it was used by the earliest Melkite apologists.
L’ homélie arabe In Nativitatem Domini (CPG 4290) est publiée ici pour la première fois sur la base de huit manuscrits dont le plus ancien date du 12e siècle. Dans l’ introduction l’ attribution du sermon à Sévérien de Gabala († après 407 AD) dans une branche de la tradition manuscrite et à un certain Isaac dans l’ autre est analysée et rejetée. Le vrai auteur du sermon n’ est pas connu, mais son argumentation théologique invite à supposer que le prédicateur était familier avec la littérature chrétienne syriaque. Une traduction française accompagne l’ édition critique du texte arabe.
The present contribution offers a critical edition and English translation of the concluding, twenty-fourth chapter of The Noetic Paradise (al-Firdaws al-ʿaqlī)—a Greek patristic treatise written probably in the eighth or ninth centuries in Palestine or Sinai and preserved only in a medieval Arabic translation, likely produced in Antioch. The article presents a complete inventory of all known Arabic manuscripts of this treatise. It also offers observations on its language and translation technique.
L’ article analyse les plus anciens manuscrits arabes chrétiens melkites Palestino-Sinaïtiques sur base des critères palaeographiques. Il examine également la question de la production littéraire originale en arabe et le problème de transfère des textes hagiographiques et patristiques du grec et syriaque vers l’ arabe et ensuite vers le géorgien. Un exemple particulier de ce phénomène concernant Jacques de Saroug y est étudié.
This chapter examines the eleventh-century Arabic translation of Basil of Caesarea’s Homilies on the Hexaemeron by the translator and theologian ʿAbdallāh ibn al-Faḍl of Antioch. It begins by surveying other late antique and medieval translations of Basil’s Hexaemeron, then lists all manuscripts known to me which are reported to contain an Arabic version of the Hexaemeron and describes those which the author has been able to consult. Next, it establishes textual relationships between Ibn al-Faḍl’s and another, anonymous Arabic translation and shows that a third Arabic translation, made from a Coptic original, is unrelated to the other two Arabic translations. It closes with an analysis of the opening passage of Basil’s Hexaemeron in the two interrelated Arabic translations and assessment of Ibn al-Faḍl’s method and translation style.