Joseph Ḥazzāyā. Book of the Chapters on Knowledge: Newly Discovered Fragments
This book is the edition of two newly discovered fragments of the Book of the Chapters on Knowledge, an important work of the East Syriac mystical writer mār Joseph Ḥazzāyā (8th c.). The full text of this work was contained in a 16th c. codex unicus Seert 78 described and catalogued by the archbishop of Seert Addai Scher. The fate of the manuscript collection of the Seert diocese after 1915 remains obscure. Extant fragments of the Book of the Chapters on Knowledge have thus far been believed to be limited to six mēmrē preserved in the West Syriac tradition and ~300 chapters cited by Ephrem of Qirqesion in his Commentary on the Difficult Chapters on Knowledge.
The first fragment is found in the manuscript BnF syr. 434; it has the title Useful Chapters and no attribution. The authorship was established based on strong textual evidence. The initial and final chapters of this fragment belong to Joseph Ḥazzāyā’s mēmrē known in the West Syriac tradition; the remainder comprises at least four chapters coinciding with those cited by Ephrem of Qirqesion in his commentary.
The second fragment, found in two manuscripts (Harvard syr. 42 and Pampakuda, Konat syr. 303), was attributed to Joseph Ḥazzāyā based on numerous stylistic and thematic coincidences with his authentic texts. In addition, two chapters of the second fragment have exact correspondence in the first fragment.
The present volume contains the Syriac text of the newly discovered fragments with a text-critical inroduction. The next volume (OMS 2, now in preparation) will contain a transltaion, references to biblical and patristic sorces, and a commentary.