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Our New 'Digitized Manuscripts' Page

The idea

I was asked to prepare a translation of one of Mar Narsai's homilies earlier this year which prompted me to search for which manuscripts contained the particular homily I was translating. I looked first at our manuscript catalogs page, then at E-Ktobe, and finally at the Russian State University for the Humanities. All these resources provided a great list of collections which are digitally available online. Even with all this information, there was great difficulty in finding an author or a work amidst the available manuscripts online (not to mention the amount of time that it would take). I began to think about ways that Syri.ac might be able to expand the manuscript catalogs page in a way which provides easier access to manuscript contents available online.  

Digitized Manuscripts Page

Because I am a Ph.D. Candidate in the throes of writing my dissertation, a desideratum of my own research was to have a way to search the contents of available manuscripts. To aid my own research and help others who work in similar academic fields, we created searchable tables that grant easy access to the digitized collections, dates, shelf-marks, and contents of individual manuscripts which are freely available online. You will find these tables on our new page of digitized manuscripts. You will notice that we have honored each of the digital collections by including the logo of those who house the images and this logo links directly to the digitized manuscript. 

We have included the entirety of most digital collections available online, but the collections of vHMML and the Dunhuang Project will be ongoing because of the sheer number of manuscripts in these collections. As far as possible, I included in each entry a link to each manuscript's corresponding catalog record for ease of access. For many of the manuscripts which were previously uncatalogued (especially liturgical texts) we have made a quick list of their contents, however, there still remain several manuscripts which are still uncatalogued and this is exactly why this type of resource should be made available freely to the scholars who have the capability of cataloging these manuscripts. This page creates a dialog so that scholars across various fields can help one another succeed.

If you catalog any of the manuscripts and would like to share the contents, or if you find any errors or have comments about a manuscript, please let us know through our contact form.

New Editions in Progress Table

We have made some exciting changes to our Editions in Progress table: The new table is sortable by author, edition/translation, editor/translator, language of translation, institution and whether or not the work has been published. There is now a search function to the top-left of the table which searches the content of the table by keyword. One of the helpful new additions to this table is the ability to keep records for published works. We will now preserve this data rather than deleting records once an item is published.

New Chronicles of Bar Hebraeus Page

I am excited to announce that our new "Chronicles of Bar Hebraeus" page has gone live at http://syri.ac/bhchronicles. It is found in the menu of links between "Councils and Canon Law" and "Chronicles and Hagiography".

Bar Hebraeus (1226–86) wrote two major Chronicles (the Chronicon Syriacum and the Ecclesiastical History) covering the history of the world and the history of the church. After his death, others took up his labors and the histories stretch into the 16th century. His works are available in Syriac and Latin in the public domain and our new Chronicles of Bar Hebraeus page breaks each work down by paragraph, creating a robust table of contents with hyperlinks to a corresponding page of Syriac/Latin. For the Chronicon Syriacum, W. Budge has completed an English translation which is not yet fully available in the public domain and therefore the page makes hyperlinks available to the transcribed portions which exist online. 

If you discover any errors or hyperlinks that are incorrect, please let us know through our contact form.

New Homilies Pages

I am delighted to publicize the recently added pages on homilies to Syri.ac. The study of sermons and Christian preaching in late antiquity and the Middle Ages has grown immensely over the last twenty-five years. Research on Syriac homilies are especially important for connecting Syriac studies to other fields of research. The Syriac tradition has a distinctive metrical homiletical tradition, and Syriac manuscripts preserve very early evidence for the transmission of homilies from late antiquity. The extensive number of homilies translated into Syriac from Greek adds to the value of this corpus.

To support the study of Syriac homilies, Syri.ac now hosts a working guide to homilies in the Syriac tradition. The homilies table organizes the corpus of Syriac homilies according to author and enables searches for common themes across the corpus. An accompanying pdf homilies guide first divides the corpus into homilies authored in Syriac and homilies translated from Greek into Syriac. It then organizes authors chronologically. Both presentations of this material offer different ways of approaching this important body of Syriac literature.

This page is still a work-in-progress, and I intend to update it regularly. More details on the reference works consulted and future updates can be found on the homilies homepage. Comments and suggestions are most welcome.

I am grateful to Scott Johnson and Jack Tannous for incorporating these pages into Syri.ac and to Morgan Reed for digitizing the information.

Research Resources for Christian Arabic Studies

I am happy to announce that Syri.ac has grown to include a section dedicated to research resources on Christian Arabic studies, a field closely intertwined with Syriac Studies. Christian Arabic literature is indispensable for the study of the medieval and modern Middle East as well as for the history and theology of the Eastern Orthodox Churches. However, over 90% of Christian Arabic Literature has not been explored. We hope that this website can help guide both well-seasoned and junior scholars in their research on Christian Arabic materials.   

You can find links to pages on Tools of Research, Manuscripts and Manuscript Catalogues, and Additional Bibliography by following the link, http://syri.ac/christianarabic. This section of the site is also linked in the top menu of the site under “Christian Arabic.”  We hope to expand the research resources for Christian Arabic Studies available on Syri.ac.  Keep your eyes out for future announcements and new sections.

We thank Prof. Alexander Treiger for helping us develop the content for this section of the site.  Editorial work is being carried out by Dina Boero, with the support of Scott Johnson, Jack Tannous, and Morgan Reed. 

If you find problems or errors, or if you have suggestions for further improvement, please send us a note through the Contact form in the menu bar.

New Chronicle of Seert Page

The Chronicle of Seert, though extant in Arabic, has been included at syri.ac because it preserves a glimpse of Persian and Byzantine history from the 5-7th centuries through the lens of Christians in late antique Iraq. Addai Scher has edited this document in four parts and given a translation into French. Our Chronicle of Seert page has compiled all four parts of Scher's work into one page and we have provided a translation of the French titles into English. Scher's edition has provided many helpful cross-references to various outside works or to parallel material in other Syriac-speaking chroniclers. As far as we were able, the cross-references have been placed next to chapter titles with hyperlinks to the appropriate page numbers.

If you discover any errors or hyperlinks that are incorrect, please let me (Morgan) know through our contact form here.

Plerophories of John Rufus

This is a short note to say that we have recently translated the titles of Nau's version of the Plerophories of John Rufus in our Hagiography page. The text is taken from F. Nau, Jean Rufus. Évêque de Maïouma: Plérophories. Patrologia Orientalis, 8 (Paris, 1912). Pages 5-206. The titles have been translated from French to English and hyperlinks have been created for each chapter. If you find any errors, please let me (Morgan) know through the contact form here.

Keep your eyes out for our Chronicle of Seert page which will be coming shortly!

Editions and Translations in Progress

I am happy to announce that Dr. Grigory Kessel’s “Syriac Editions and Translations in Progress” page is now live on http://syri.ac. You can find it at the following direct link, and it is also linked in the top menu of the site under “Editions in Progress": http://syri.ac/editions

 
Please also note that we have added a webform where you can submit new or updated information on Syriac editions and translations you are working on. You can find that form here: http://syri.ac/editionsform
 
Dr. Kessel remains the editor of this material and will be keeping the table of editions and translations up to date as new information comes in. If your edition or translation is listed in the table, please remember to tell him when it has been published (gregorykessel@yahoo.com). We hope that this list will facilitate communication between Syriac scholars and encourage the development of new editions and translations in the field. Ideally it would be a canonical list of all editorial work currently in progress on Syriac texts, so please let us know if you have ideas for features that may help us towards that goal.

John of Ephesus

Just a quick note to say that our John of Ephesus page is now up and running. The Lives of the Eastern Saints and the Ecclesiastical History (Part 3) are broken down by Book/Chapter with direct links to the Syriac and English and German translations where available. As always, if you find typos or would like to suggest changes, please do so through our Contact page.

Morgan Reed authored John of Ephesus page, and we're very grateful for his work on this!

Fellowship Opportunities at HMML

Another Syriac-related announcement from Fr. Columba Stewart:

A reminder that deadlines for fellowships at HMML are fast approaching:

The deadline for applications to the Dumbarton Oaks/HMML Syriac Summer School is January 15, 2016.
 
I would be happy to answer any questions about these opportunities or about any other aspect of HMML's work. We look forward to seeing some of you here!
 
Columba Stewart OSB

cstewart@csbsju.edu

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