Duke Professor of Eastern Christianity Lucas Van Rompay shared with us some information about his new book. 


Series: Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta, 227

Authors: Brock S., Van Rompay L.

Publisher’s Summary:
Deir al-Surian, the famous Monastery of the Syrians in Egypt, has long been known for its unique collection of Syriac, Coptic, Arabic, and Ethiopic manuscripts. This catalogue provides detailed descriptions of 48 Syriac manuscripts (many of them composite) and the more than 180 fragments that are preserved in the Monastery today. Ranging in date from the 5th to the 18th century and with a majority of them being earlier than the 10th century, the manuscripts present us with major authors and works of the Syriac literary tradition. They include biblical texts (among them the earliest dated Gospel manuscript in any language), original Syriac compositions, and translations from Greek and (occasionally) Coptic. Several works were previously unattested. Connections with manuscripts from Deir al-Surian that are preserved in European collections (primarily the British Library) are indicated wherever relevant. Colophons and various kinds of notes by scribes, readers, owners, and occasional visitors also receive attention, thus allowing interesting glimpses into the history not only of individual manuscripts, but also of the Monastery and its library. Accompanying the catalogue is an album containing more than 300 pages of images.

Table of Contents


Sebastian Brock and Lucas Van Rompay examining a Syriac manuscript in the Deir al-Surian Monastery.
Sebastian Brock (l) and Lucas Van Rompay examining a Syriac manuscript in the Deir al-Surian Monastery.

Sebastian Brock is Retired Reader at the University of Oxford in the Faculty of Oriental Studies. Brock on his research interests: “Having started out with a primary research interest in the textual history of the Septuagint, the encounter with important unpublished texts in Syriac led me to turn for the most part to various areas of Syriac literature, in particular, translations from Greek and the history of translation technique, dialogue and narrative poems, hagiography, certain liturgical texts, and monastic literature.”

Lucas Van Rompay is Professor of Eastern Christianity in Duke University’s Department of Religion. His research focuses on the religion, history and culture of Christian communities in the Middle East, especially the Syriac Christian tradition.


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