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LINGUIST List 23.3388

Mon Aug 13 2012

Diss: Historical Ling/ Lexicography/ Translation/ Greek, Ancient/ Syriac, Classical/: McCollum: 'The Syriac De Mundo...'

Editor for this issue: Lili Xia <lxialinguistlist.org>

Date: 13-Aug-2012
From: Adam McCollum < amccollumcsbsju.edu">acmccollum101gmail.com, amccollumcsbsju.edu>
Subject: The Syriac De Mundo: Translation, Commentary, and Analysis of Translation Technique
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Institution: Hebrew Union College
Program: Judaic, Hebraic, and Cognate Studies
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2009

Author: Adam C McCollum

Dissertation Title: The Syriac De Mundo: Translation, Commentary, and Analysis of Translation Technique

Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics

Subject Language(s): Greek, Ancient (grc)
                            Syriac, Classical (syc)

Dissertation Director:
Adam Kamesar
Stefan Kaufmann

Dissertation Abstract:

The Hellenistic scientific-theological text entitled De Mundo and
attributed (falsely, in the opinion of most scholars) to Aristotle presents
a view of the universe as orderly and well governed from afar through
intermediaries by a supreme and magnificent divinity. It was so popular
in late antiquity and the medieval period that it was translated into
Latin, Armenian, Syriac, and Arabic (three versions). This dissertation
is concerned with the Syriac version. The well-known Greek-Syriac
translator Sergius of Rēš ʿAinā (d. 536) is responsible for making the
Syriac De Mundo. The sole manuscript of the text is now in the British
Library. The text was published by de Lagarde in his Analecta Syriaca,
but he was not exact in his use of diacritical marks and even made
several corrections without any indication, not all of which emendations
were necessary.

The dissertation, in addition to the bibliography and the reproduction of
the manuscript, consists of an introduction, a translation with
commentary, a discussion of the character of the translation, Greek
and Syriac indices, and the ms. The introduction contains an overview
of the contents of the De Mundo, a survey of the ancient translations of
the De Mundo, a presentation of what we know of Sergius and his
work, and a short discussion of scientific activity in Syriac. The second
part of the dissertation is a translation of the Syriac text with
commentary on noteworthy philological aspects, differences between
the Greek and Syriac, and connections with other pieces of Syriac
literature. The next section considers how Sergius rendered various
Greek grammatical and syntactical phenomena as well as his lexical
decisions regarding some of the Greek technical vocabulary. The work
concludes with an index of Greek-Syriac correspondences, searchable
from either language, and the ms. facsimile.

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