"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Syriac Heritage

Released last year under the editorship of some of the leading Syriacists of our time is a collection that no serious student of Syriac Christianity and no serious research library will want to be without: Sebastian Brock et al., eds., Gorgias Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Syriac Heritage (Gorgias Press, 2012), 612pp.

About this hefty tome we are told:
The Gorgias Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Syriac Heritage (GEDSH) is the first major encyclopedia-type reference work devoted exclusively to Syriac Christianity, both as a field of scholarly inquiry and as the inheritance of Syriac Christians today. In more than 600 entries it covers the Syriac heritage from its beginnings in the first centuries of the Common Era up to the present day. Special attention is given to authors, literary works, scholars, and locations that are associated with the Classical Syriac tradition. Within this tradition, the diversity of Syriac Christianity is highlighted as well as Syriac Christianity s broader literary and historical contexts, with major entries devoted to Greek and Arabic authors and more general themes, such as Syriac Christianity s contacts with Judaism and Islam, and with Armenian, Coptic, Ethiopian, and Georgian Christianities. In addition to the literary tradition, inscriptions and objects of art are given due consideration. The entries are accompanied by 131 illustrations, twenty of which are in color. The volume closes with maps, lists of patriarchs of the main Syriac Churches of the Middle East, and elaborate indices.

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