Tag Archives: Syriac Orthodoxy

Iskandar Bcheiry Publishes “Hagiography, History, and Manuscript Culture: Studies in Syriac Christianity”

Iskandar Bcheiry, Metadata Analyst in the Production Department of ATLA, frequently publishes articles in the ATLA Newsletter on Syriac Orthodoxy. We are excited to announce his recent publication Hagiography, History, and Manuscript Culture: Studies in Syriac Christianity (ISBN 978-9953-0-4502-3) in the 9th volume of the Patrimoine Syriaque. In this issue, Iskandar presents a collection of three essays on Syriac historical studies. The first is The Discourse on Severus of Antioch by the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch, Cyriacus of Takrit (793-817). This biography is an important historical source that has been cited often; however, the text has never been published or translated. In this volume, Iskandar presents for the first time the Syriac text followed by an English translation of the biography of Severus of Antioch.

Shedding Light on the Syriac Manuscript Collection of the Oriental Institute-Chicago at the 54th Annual Convention of the Syriac Orthodox Church

Submitted by Iskandar Bcheiry, ATLA Metadata Analyst

On July 28, 2018, I had the honor of being one of the keynote speakers at the 54th Annual Convention of the Syriac Orthodox Church in North America held in Tampa, Florida. I delivered a lecture about the Syriac manuscripts collection in the Oriental Institute Museum of the University of Chicago, with focus on some unpublished historical fragments and documents which shed light on the history of Syriac Christianity. The Syriac Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II with a group of archbishops from North America, Middle East, and Europe was present at the annual convention and in attendance of the lecture.

A Relational Database for the Syriac Orthodox Patriarchal Archives of Dayr al-Zaʿfarān

Submitted by Iskandar Bcheiry, ATLA Metadata Analyst

In April 2002, I had the opportunity to examine a collection of Arabic and Syriac manuscripts in the Library of the Syriac Orthodox Church of the Forty Martyrs in Mardin, the Library of the Syriac Orthodox Church of St. Mary in Diyarbakir, and the Library of the monastery of al-Za’faran in southeast Turkey. This was all due to permission from the late Patriarch Ignatius Zakka I Iwas and a grant provided for my research by the Italian Institute for the Philosophical Studies, Naples, Italy.

Severus of Antioch and His Search for the Unity of the Church: 1500 Years Commemoration of his Exile in 518 AD

Antioch
Submitted by Dr. Iskandar Bcheiry, ATLA Metadata Analyst 

On February 7-9, I attended the conference “Severus of Antioch and His Search for the Unity of the Church: 1500 Years Commemoration of his Exile in 518 AD.” The conference was organized by the Department of Syriac Studies at the University of Salzburg in connection to the commemoration of the 1500th anniversary of St. Severus’ exile to Egypt.

A Syriac Source of a Madrasa’s Curriculum in Pre-Ottoman South East Anatolia

Submitted by Dr. Iskandar Bcheiry, ATLA Metadata Analyst 

The purpose of this article is to study the relations between Muslims and Christians in Anatolia during the pre-Ottoman period by observing not only the history of social and religious tensions but also the history of intellectual exchanges. One such exchange is found in the curriculum of a madrasa in Anatolia in the pre-Ottoman period. This list is found in a Syriac historical biography of a Christian Syriac Patriarch named John son of Šay Allah (d. 1496) who attended a Muslim educational religious madrasa in his home town of Mardin in southeast Anatolia.

A Relational Database of Syriac and Arabic Historical Registers and Archives

Syriac
Submitted by Dr. Iskandar Bcheiry, ATLA Metadata Analyst 

Introduction

At the 2017 ATLA Annual Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, I will present a plan to create a database of historical registers and archives belonging to the Syriac community. These historical resources are found in various libraries in the world, and I will focus especially on the Library of the Forty Martyrs in Mardin/Turkey. The database would offer direct access to scholars and students of Syriac studies, Near East Christian studies, and Ottoman history to the registers and archives and the possibility to examine the copies of original documents as well as the possibility to search a word in the documents.

A Historical Letter from the Patriarch of the Church of East Mar Yahb Alahā III (1281-1317) to Pope Boniface VIII (1294-1303) in the Vatican Secret Archives

Submitted by Dr. Iskandar Bcheiry, ATLA Metadata Analyst 

During my last trip to Rome and thanks to the kindness of Dr. Luca Carboni, I had the opportunity to examine a few historical documents found in the Vatican Secret Archives. Among these documents was a letter to Pope Boniface VIII (1294-1303) from Mar Yahb Alahā III (1281-1317), the Patriarch of the Church of the East.

List of Endowments to Churches and Monasteries in Anatolia and to The Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem Through the 16th and 18th Centuries: The Syriac Manuscript of Mardin 248

Submitted by Iskandar Bcheiry PhD, ATLA Metadata Analyst 

The library of the Church of Forty Martyrs, belonging to the Syriac Orthodox in Mardin, South-East Turkey currently owns an unpublished historical register in Syriac, containing list of endowments and donations to local monasteries in Anatolia and to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem during the Turkmen principalities and Ottoman period. In the Ottoman Empire, Syriacs kept their own baptismal, marriage, funeral, endowments and other records, but not all these have survived. Some of these records can be found in various libraries, churches, and monasteries in the West and East, with a large concentration in Mardin, which was once the spiritual headquarters of the Syriac Christians and their patriarchate.

The Biography of Patriarch Severus of Antioch (512-538) Written by the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch Cyriacus of Tikrit (793-817)

Submitted by Iskandar Bcheiry, PhD, ATLA Metadata Analyst

During the spring of 2014, I had the opportunity to examine a particular Syriac manuscript (A. 12008) at the Oriental Museum in Chicago, which had not been fully described or published. Among the unpublished subjects that this manuscript contains, is a historical biography regarding the life of Severus of Antioch (d.536) composed by the Syriac orthodox patriarch Cyriacus of Takrit (d. 817). Severus, patriarch of Antioch, widely known as “crown of the Syrians,” has been hailed as one of the greatest orators of the early church. Actually, Severus of Antioch is by far the most prolific and well known theologian of the non-Chalcedonian churches. He spent most of his life defending the anti-Chalcedonian Christology and because of it endured difficulties and exile until his death in Egypt in 536. Although his life and writings came to our knowledge in Syriac, gaining him the title “Crown of the Syriac Literature,” many texts relating to his life and works survived in Coptic and Arabic as well. Severus’s life and deeds were narrated in a collection of Biographies composed by different authors. All these accounts were edited and translated, except his Biography written by the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch, Cyriacus of Tikrit (817) in a form of ‘Tūrgomō’/discourse, which has been frequently mentioned; however, the text has never been published or translated.