2017 Beth Mardutho Summer School, Beth Mardutho Campus, Piscataway, NJ, July 31–August 18, 2017
Syriac I: Introduction to Syriac (July 31 - August 18, 2017; 9:00 AM - noon). Instructor: George A. Kiraz
Students with no prior experience in Syriac will learn introductory reading, writing, grammar, and should be able to translate introductory texts including passages from the Syriac Peshitta Bible by the end of the course with the help of a dictionary. During the first week of the course, the students learn the alphabet and basic reading, as well as gender (masculine & feminine) and number (singular & plural). The second week introduces verbs as well as prefixes and suffixes after which the student will be able to analyze texts. The last week and half of the course is spent on reading and comprehension including the translation of basic texts from the Church Fathers and the Peshitta Bible. Texts read in previous years include extracts from Ahiqar, Philoxenus of Mabboug, the Doctrine of Addai, and others. The course includes team translation activities. In addition, Syriac culture is introduced using modern recitations of liturgical and secular songs. A field trip to a local monastery is usually organized where students meet members of the Syriac community. Classes will be held Mon–Friday, 3 hours per day. Students are expected to spend the rest of the day doing homework and preparing for the next day's lesson.
Syriac II: Intermediate-Advanced Syriac (July 31 - August 18, 2016; 2-5 PM). Instructor: George A. Kiraz
This course is geared towards students who have already done Syriac and would like to dig deeper into the grammar and nuances of the language. Each day we read texts and go through the grammar of Coakley-Robinson, translating from Syriac to English as well as from English to Syriac. The Syriac texts that we translate differ from year to year; the instructor sets the text for the first week, but for the rest of the course students pick the texts that are of interest to the group, giving them the chance to read material and genres that are of special interest to them. Previous years included readings from the Peshitta, the Acts of Addai, poems by Ephrem, Isaac of Nineveh, Michael the Great, Kalilah and Dimnah and many other texts. Students will be exposed to West Syriac, East Syriac, and Estrangela texts in addition to reading manuscripts. The Beth Mardutho library, one of the largest private libraries in the world on Syriac material, is at the disposal of the class and can be used to answer even the toughest questions. Classes will be held Mon–Friday, 3 hours per day. Students are expected to spend the rest of the day doing homework and preparing for the next day's lesson.
Fees and Housing
Class Fees are $875 per student per course. Limited rooms are available at the Rutgers University Inn and Conference Center.