CSCO and Peeters of Leuven

The massive series of Oriental authors, the Corpus Scriptorum Christianorum Orientalium is kept in print by the publishers, Peeters of Leuven.  This is a great blessing, and reflects great credit on them. 

A couple of weeks ago I decided that I really did need a copy of Jacob of Edessa’s continuation of the Chronicle of Eusebius.  The work was used by Michael the Syrian, and portions have survived in one of the manuscripts from the Nitrian desert now held in the British Library.  The text was published by E.W.Brooks in CSCO 5, Chronica Minora, and a Latin translation in CSCO 6, each for around 20 euros.  The volumes can be ordered online, and I did just that, via the link above.  Credit card details can be entered online, although unfortunately the site does not seem to be secure as the little key-lock does not appear.  However I took a (rare) chance and went ahead. The web site was painless enough otherwise.

The volumes arrived today.  Each is quite slim.  CSCO5 indeed seems to be the original 1905 imprint; CSCO6 a 1960 anastatic reprint.  No doubt more people are familiar with Latin than Syriac, and sales of each half must have reflected this.  The Syriac is printed in Estrangelo very clearly indeed.  The booklets are clearly intended to be handed to a binder for professional binding, as was the custom in the days when the series began.  Another custom of that time: the pages are uncut!  So each page has to be detached from that following.  Fortunately these are perforated, so it is easy enough.  But I think I may go in search of a guillotine pretty soon!

The continuation takes up most of this volume, and is a continuation to book 2 only.  There seems to be a preface by Jacob, discussing an error of 3 years in the calculation of years by Eusebius.  Then the tabular format of book 2 continues, starting at the vicennalia of Constantine and finishing with two columns of Byzantine and Arab rulers.   But a number of short pieces are also included, including a De familiis linguarum – a fragment of an epitome of some work of Eusebius.  When I can get the pages open, I will report further.

PS: I have just discovered from the prefaces in these books that Brooks, bless him, first published English translations of much of this material, in obscure German periodicals.  These I will attempt to obtain and put online.


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