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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Jacob of Serugh‘s Hexaemeron
Muraoka, Takamitsu

Leuven: Peeters, 2018 pp. xv + 229. $123.00

Series Information
Ancient Near Eastern Studies, 52

Description: A fifth-sixth century clergyman-cum-theologian, Jacob of Serugh (also spelled Sarug), was an extremely prolific writer. Not counting a number of works in prose he is said to have written nearly 800 homilies, mostly on themes of theological import or biblical stories and personalities. These homilies are composed in metre: each line has twelve vowels. So far less than 150 such homilies have been edited and/or translated. Hexaemeron is an exposition of the first six days of the universe. Jacob dedicated an extra homily to the sabbath, making a total of seven homilies. This genre was known earlier in Greek. Jacob's is the first of the kind in Syriac. Currently the only complete text of Jacob's Hexaemeron is available in an edition by Bedjan (1905-10), but with no translation. This is the first time that this highly interesting work is made available in its entirety, accompanied by an English translation. The editor studies six complete manuscripts and one containing only two homilies. None of these seven manuscrips was available to Bedjan, and one of them is presumably as old as the principal manuscript used by Bedjan.

Subjects: Other Literature, Literature, Methods, Linguistics, Syriac

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Review by Robert A. Kitchen
Published 9/12/2019
Citation: Robert A. Kitchen, review of Takamitsu Muraoka, Jacob of Serugh’s Hexaemeron, Review of Biblical Literature [] (2019).

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