From Ephrem to Romanos: Interactions between Syriac and Greek in Late Antiquity, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

From Ephrem to Romanos

Interactions between Syriac and Greek in Late Antiquity, 1st Edition

By Sebastian Brock


351 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9780860788003
pub: 1999-06-28
SAVE ~$37.00

FREE Standard Shipping!


It is often forgotten that many people in Late Antique Syria were bilingual in Syriac and Greek. The 16 articles in this volume explore different aspects of the interaction between these two literary cultures, exemplified in the works of two of the greatest Christian poets and hymnographers of the period: Ephrem the Syrian and Romanos the Melode. Among the topics covered are the legend of King Abgar and the origins of Christianity in Edessa, Syriac texts on the finding of the Cross, translations from Syriac into Greek and Greek into Syriac (with specific studies on the Aristotle commentary tradition and Hunayn’s translation of Hippocrates’ Aphorisms). The volume concludes with the case of a distinctive topos employed by Greek and Latin scribes, but whose earliest and latest attestations are to be found in colophons of Syriac manuscripts.


'In this volume, some of the most recent and defining work of Professor Brock’s career, heretofore often available only with difficulty outside Europe or the Middle East, is conveniently gathered.' Journal of Early Christian Studies 'Brock holds the distinction of being the greatest scholar of Syriac literature and culture alive today. All scholars of Eastern Christian culture and liturgy will want to have access to this volume.' Religious Studies Review 'Professor Brock writes plainly, interestingly, and with a marvellous command of the subject. Each essay may start from a detail, but it expands the mind to survey a whole scene. Wonderfully educative pieces!' Journal of Theological Studies 'Everyone who wishes to consult the essays by the scholar currently most familiar with Syrian Literature, which have been published in various places before, will be most grateful for now having easy access to them in this collection.' Oriens Christianus

Table of Contents

Contents: Greek and Syriac in Late Antique Syria; Eusebius and Syriac Christianity; The Syriac background to the world of Theodore of Tarsus; From Ephrem to Romanos; Ephrem’s verse homily on Jonah and the repentance of Nineveh: notes on the textual tradition; Two Syriac verse homilies on the binding of Isaac; Syriac dispute poems: the various types; A dispute of the Months and some related Syriac texts; Tales of two beloved brothers: Syriac dialogues between body and soul; The Baptist’s diet in Syriac sources; Two Syriac poems on the invention of the Cross; Some uses of the term theoria in the writings of Isaac of Nineveh; The Syriac commentary tradition; The Syriac background to Hunayn’s translation techniques; Greek words in Syriac: some general features; ’The scribe reaches harbour’; Addenda and corrigenda; Index.

About the Series

Variorum Collected Studies

The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.

The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.

Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource. 

For further information about contributing to the series please contact Michael Greenwood at

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General