Severus of al-Ashmunein, Zoroaster and the “Book of the Councils” 2

In a Cairo manuscript there is a 4 page passage not present in the published text of the “Book of the Councils” by Severus of al-Ashmunein. A translator has been working on this for me, for 10 cents a word.

The first two pages have now arrived. Unfortunately they do not seem to be in English as it is normally understood. Here are a couple of examples.

“If his speech is right, grant him words and mysteries, so if he keeps that so it would be considered as a supplication. The truth testified and said also the sun was eclipsed and the eclipse from the sixth hour of the day till the ninth hour. It was not the time of eclipse but because of the afflicted. … There is also this saying from Hermes talk’s till the coming of Christ will be one thousands and five hundreds years.”

This, mind you, is from an academic with a substantial publication record. But the ‘translation’ is gibberish.

I shall have to push back and ask for it to be improved. Suggestions as to how I handle this are welcome.

4 Responses to “Severus of al-Ashmunein, Zoroaster and the “Book of the Councils” 2”


  1. Dioscorus Boles

    Roger,

    If you haven’t sorted that out, I will try to help in the translation of this.

    Dioscorus

  2. Roger Pearse

    Thank you for the offer. But it’s OK now. The translation is here.

  3. Dioscorus Boles

    Ah, I saw this before. It is interesting to read quotes of so many philosophers in this unpublished manuscript of Severus. I am not very intersted in what they say – what interest me is the fact that Severus, in the 10th century, more than three centuries after the Arab occupation of Egypt, had still access to wide pool of Greek and ancient sources. By the way, some of those quoted I can’t identify. It would be helpful if somebody could identify them.

  4. Adel Sidarus

    I would like to recall the pub. in 2008 in Roger’s page of the whole florilegium, ed. and trans. by Youhanna Nessim Youssef, Melbourne.
    Zoroaster’s utterance seems to be the first fragmentary text. And if somebody wants to contextualize the phenomenon as such, I could send him an appropriate paper fo mine on the subject posted in Academia.edu: ‘Role et place de l’Antiquité dans la littérature médiéval copte-arabe’ (2013).



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