Publications/Mar 21, 2019

Syriac Sayings of Greek Philosophers

Syriac Sayings of Greek Philosophers lead image

Yury Arzhanov. Syriac Sayings of Greek Philosophers: A Study in Syriac Gnomologia with Edition and Translation. Corpus Scriptorum Christianorum Orientalium, 669. Peeters Publishers, 2019.

From Peeters

Syriac “Sayings of Greek Philosophers” (SGP) is a corpus of sentences preserved in a number of Syriac manuscripts in the form of different collections and under different titles (until now these sentences were mainly referred to as “On the Soul”). SGP consists of two main blocks of sentences represented by two gnomic anthologies, the “Dublin Florilegium”, consisting of short maxims, and the “Tur 'Abdin Florilegium”, including longer expositions in moral philosophy, or “counsels”. The first introductory part of the book not only describes the textual witnesses of SGP, but also surveys all other extant gnomic materials attributed to Greek philosophers and poets (the Seven Sages, Homer, Plato, Menander, Pythagoras, Theano, etc.), including gnomologia, florilegia, exempla, and doxography. Two chapters of the introduction focus on the pedagogical use of the gnomic materials mainly connected with the new Christian forms of rhetorical education based on the study of the Bible and on the texts of Basil of Caesarea and Gregory of Nazianzus. The second part of the book contains a critical edition of SGP on the basis of 15 manuscripts.