Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Habib Ibrahim: WS Three Additional Philosophical Chapters of John Damascene, preserved in the Tenth-Century Arabic Version

After the Byzantine reconquest of Antioch (969 AD), many Greek patristic texts were translated into Arabic - first in the monasteries in the vicinity and then in the city itself. Among these translations there was the Arabic version of the Philosophical Chapters of John Damascene (CPG 8041b) translated by Antony, abbot of the Monastery of Saint Simeon on the Wondrous Mountain. In the Arabic translation, this work has 53 chapters, as opposed to 50 in the original Greek. This number seems to be confirmed by an anonymous overall revision of this translation made before 1223 AD. It reorganizes the material, divides one chapter and unifies two other chapters, most probably, according to the Greek model, and it still has 53 chapters. This leads us to the following questions: Are these three additional chapters also translated from Greek, and if they are, are they extant in Greek or have they been lost? Was there any particular reason for discarding them from the original Greek text of John Damascene? These questions will be discussed and answered in the proposed communication. (workshop 0059)

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