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The Marvels Found in the Great Cities and in the Seas and on the Islands: A Representative of ‘Aǧā’ib Literature in Syriac

The Marvels Found in the Great Cities and in the Seas and on the Islands: A Representative of ‘Aǧā’ib Literature in Syriac Sergey Minov
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-80064-032-0 £16.95
Hardback ISBN: 978-1-80064-033-7 £29.95
PDF ISBN: 978-1-80064-034-4 £0.00

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This volume presents the original text, accompanied by an English translation and commentary, of a hitherto unpublished Syriac composition, entitled the Marvels Found in the Great Cities and in the Seas and on the Islands. Produced by an unknown East Syrian Christian author during the late medieval or early modern period, this work offers a loosely organized catalogue of marvellous events, phenomena, and objects, natural as well as human-made, found throughout the world. The Marvels is a unique composition in that it bears witness to the creative adoption by Syriac Christians of the paradoxographical literary mode of ‘aǧā’ib that enjoyed great popularity among their Arabic- and Persian-speaking Muslim neighbours. In this composition, the East Syrian author blends together a number of different paradoxographical traditions: some inherited from the earlier Christian works in Syriac, such as the Alexander Romance, some borrowed directly or indirectly from Muslim geographical and other works, and some, apparently, circulating as a part of local oral lore. Combining entertainment and didacticism, he provides his audience with a fascinating panorama of imaginary geography, which at the same time has unmistakable Christian features.

This edition makes a fascinating Syriac work available to a wider audience, and provides detailed insights into the rich assortment of traditions creatively woven together by its author. Thanks to the combination of the original text, English translation and commentary, it will be of interest to scholars and readers alike.



The Marvels Found in the Great Cities and in the Seas and on the Islands: A Representative of ‘Aǧā’ib Literature in Syriac
Sergey Minov | January 2021
214pp. | 13 B&W or colour illustration | 6.14" x 9.21" (234 x 156 mm)
Semitic Languages and Cultures vol. 6 | ISSN: 2632-6906 (Print); 2632-6914 (Online)
ISBN Paperback: 9781800640320
ISBN Hardback: 9781800640337
ISBN Digital (PDF): 9781800640344
DOI: 10.11647/OBP.0237
Subject Codes: BIC: D (Literature and literary studies), DS (Literature: history and criticism), CFP (Translation and interpretation); BISAC: REL006020 (RELIGION / Biblical Biography / General), LAN009010 (LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / Historical & Comparative). OCLC Number: 1232501323.


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Acknowledgments

1. Introduction Download
Sergey Minov

2. Edition and Translation Download
Sergey Minov

3. Commentary Download
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4. Indexes Download
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5. Bibliography

6. Appendix: Manuscript Facsimiles Download
Sergey Minov

Sergey Minov received his doctorate in 2013, from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.  After completing his doctoral studies, he spent a year at the Institut für Judaistik (Freie Universität Berlin) as an Alexander von Humboldt research fellow, working on the project "Invention of Biblical Places and Formation of Cultural Memory in late antique Syria-Mesopotamia”. Minov also devised the long-term digital project The Comprehensive Bibliography on Syriac Christi­anity, supported by the Center for the Study of Christianity (Hebrew University of Jerusalem): http://www.csc.org.il/db/db.aspx?db=SB Minov's research interests include the history and culture of Syriac Christianity in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, Jewish-Christian relations in the Near East, Jewish and Christian traditions of biblical exegesis and apocryphal literature.