Syrians and the Others: Cultures of the Christian Orient in the Middle Ages
This volume contains the first editions of a number of works of Syrian authors (in Syriac and Arabic) including two excerpts from John bar Penkaye’s "Ktaba de-resh melle", an excerpt from "The Blessed Compendium" of Jirjis al-Makin ibn al-Amid, an excerpt from the "Kitab al-Majdal", and hymns from the "Warda" collection, as well as a publication of a series of Coptic prayers for travellers. It also contains a discussion of the letters of Nicetas Stethatos available only in Georgian. Other contributions deal with the hagiography (Byzantine, Old Russian, and Syrian, with a special attention to the so-called “verbal hagiography” which is an intermediary field between the written hagiography and the folklore) and the patrology (with a special attention to philosophical problems of Byzantine patristics). Some detailed book reviews discuss, among others, various problems of the late Byzantine and the 19th- and 20th-century Ethiopian and Russian theology.
Yōḥannān Bar Zō‘bī was an East-Syriac author of the late 12 th–early 13th c. His Explanation of the Mysteries is a metrical commentary on the liturgy. It is preceded by a prologue narrating the biblical history from the beginning of creation to the redemptive mission of Christ, and followed by a doctrinal part as well as a conclusion that describes symbolism of the church. The poem is presented in a critical edition which is based on nine manuscripts, including the oldest known one.
In the first, still unpublished, volume of The Blessed Compendium (al-Majmūʿ al-mubārak)—the historical work of the 13th-century Arabic-speaking Christian writer al-Makīn ibn al-ʿAmīd, there is a chapter on the Byzantine Emperor Theodosius II the Younger (r. 402–450). In this chapter, Ibn al-ʿAmīd retells the famous story of Moses of Crete, “who appeared among the Jews” and declared himself to be the Messiah to subsequent tragic disappointment of those who believed in him. The present article discusses this story and suggests an explanation for the discrepancies between Ibn al-ʿAmīd’s and its Arabic source—the Book of the Heading (Kitāb al-ʿUnwān) of Agapius of Manbij (Hierapolis).
Thematic volume of the Gosudarstvo, religija, cerkov' v Rossii i za rubezhom (2/33, 2015) entitled “Hristianskij Vostok: gosudarstva i mezhkonfessional'nye svjazi” [Christian Orient: The States and Interconfessional Relations]; edited by Dr. N. Seleznyov.
Seleznyov, Nikolay. Arevelk’i Asorakan Yekeghets’u K’ristosabanut’yuny. Diodoros Tarsonats’i. T’yeodoros Mopsuestats’i. Mar Narsay. Nestor / Rruserenits’ t’argmanets’in yev tsanot’agrets’in T. Shahe Vrd. Ananyany, Ts’volak Srk. Harut’yunyany // Ejmiatsin: Pashtonakan Amsagir Amenayn Hayots’ Kat’voghikosut’yean Mayr At’voooy Srboy Etmiatsni. S. Ejmiatsin. 12 (2015): 24–54.
The article deals with the Messalian movement and its infl uence on three confl icts in the Greek Christian milieu of the IV–V centuries AD. The fi rst confl ict took place in Cappadocia where imperial politics in Church matters put bishop Basil in opposition to his old friend ascetic Eustathios of Sebaste. Both advocated a special type of asceticism close to the ‘Messalian’ one. The ascetics thus nicknamed appeared by the same time in Cappadocia but in the relations of the two churchmen there was no discussion of the ‘Messalian heresy’ and Basil’s type of monastic life was rather ‘Messalian’. The second confl ict arose around John Chrysostom whose background was defi nitely Syriac. His asceticism developed under the guidance of a Syrian monk Julian Sabba, who was at the same time the teacher of Adelphius, the presumed founder of the ‘heresy’. The antipathy towards the archbishop in the capital was partly due to his unusual asceticism of the same ‘Messalian’ type. For the third confl ict around Alexander the Akoiemetos in Constantinople an important testimony is the mention of an unnamed heresy in the Dialogue by deacon Palladius. Tillemont has noted once that the heresy should be clearly the ‘Messalianism’ and there is a proof of it in the treatise by Nilus of Ancyra ‘Ad Magnam’. The main charge against John, Alexander and Adelphius was irregular ascetic behaviour. The analysis of two main lists of the heretical opinions (by Epiphanius and by Theodoretus) shows that none of these was shared by the accused. Thus the opinion of Kmosko, Fitschen and Caner about the falsifi ed nature of the accusation against ‘Messalians’ gets confi rmed. The real cause of the appearance of the ‘Messalian heresy’ lies in the cultural and behavioral confl ict of the two approaches to asceticism: Greek and Syriac.
At the heart of this work, there is a consideration of one of the chapters of the remarkable monument of the Arabic-Christian writing of the 11th century—"The Book of Sessions" (Kitāb al-Maǧālis) by Iliyya of Nisibis—a literary reworked record of his conversations with a Muslim interlocutor, vizier Abū-l-Qāsim al-Maġribī. In the analysis of the first maǧlis, the relevant part of the chapter on Christianity is also drawn from the treatise of the famous Andalusian polemicist Abū Muḥammad 'Alī ibn Aḥmad ibn Ḥazm. A special attention is focused on the interpretation of the "classical" concept of ǧawhar in his theological usage.