Pulling a Yoke through the White Field: East Syriac Poetic Paraphrases of Scribal Rhetoric
As shown in recent studies, East Syriac colophons were rather standardised, at least
in the Ottoman period, and they incorporated into the main colophon body not only
prose passages, but also poetic ones. The current article discusses one such passage
that occurs in both prose and poetic forms in various manuscripts, namely the topos of
‘the five twins that pulled a yoke from the forest through the white field’. It provides a
fascinating example of the trope’s transmission over the centuries, as well as the poetic
creativity of East Syriac scribes as manifested in the Ottoman period.