Cyrilliana Syriaca: An investigation into the Syriac translations of the works of Cyril of Alexandria, and the light they shed upon the world of the Syriac translator.
It is well known that Syriac translations from the Greek changed a great deal between the fourth and seventh centuries AD. Many Syriac versions of the scriptures, the Greek Fathers and the philosophers were subjected to revision and improvement. This study looks at the Syriac translations of Cyril of Alexandria's Christological works and seeks to place them in the wider context just mentioned. It aims to illuminate their date and background on the basis of a comparative typology of translation technique and method. This also includes the use of biblical citations and parallel citations in other texts as important evidence. It is shown that the texts come from dates ranging from the middle of the fifth to the middle of the sixth century and can be fittingly compared with other contemporary documents. The findings highlight the importance of the few decades either side of the turn of the sixth century as the key moment when the Syriac translators developed a new vision of their language and its capabilities. This was the time of the most rapid change and pivots around the person of Philoxenus. It is also suggested that Philoxenus' own role resulted from his reading of some of these very translations and the new techniques found therein. In the first section, it is suggested that these technical developments are related to parallel developments in the church concerning matters of textual authority and systematisation, the rise of patristic exegesis and florilegia. In a final chapter, the study goes on to place this development in a still wider context within late antiquity and argues that this new vision of language use which we see in the Syrian church can be paralleled in a number of other walks of life and, in fact, represents a typical 'late antique' frame of mind.
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