Sunday, 10 February 2019
Emiliano Fiori: Reshaping the Fathers, Learning Controversy. Syriac Patristic Florilegia as Laboratories of Religious Polemic in the Early Abbasid Age
The present paper aims to expound the first results of the research carried out within the framework of the ERC-StG project FLOS on Syriac patristic florilegia hosted at the University of Venice. It aims to present a short survey of the structure and aims of early Abbasid manuscripts containing vast anthologies of excerpts from Greek Church Fathers in Syriac translation. These anthologies or florilegia, produced by Miaphysite scholars, clustered the excerpts around topics that were the object of heated debate (especially but not exclusively Christology and the Trinity) among Christians and between Christians and Muslims from the 8th to the 10th centuries and beyond. In this rearrangement, the old authorities served as fresh handbooks for new religious polemic. The paper will discuss the excerption techniques, the thematic choices, and thereby the theoretical strategies of the compilers; it will also briefly introduce the differences between the manuscripts containing the florilegia.