Early Islamic description of Antioch

I mentioned earlier that an early Islamic description of ancient Antioch was published by I. Guidi, ‘una descrizione araba di Antiocheia’, Rendiconti della R. Accademia dei Lincei, Cl. di scienze morali, storiche e filolgiche, ser. 5, vol 6, pp. 137-161 (1897).  It’s only 24 pages, half of which at least is an Italian translation.  I wistfully wondered what a translation from the Arabic might cost.

Christopher Ecclestone has been in touch.  It seems that an unpublished English translation exists, done by William Stinespring in 1932 as part of a PhD thesis!  He went on to be professor of Divinity at Duke University for years, but never published it.  I don’t know what the copyright position on it is, but I hope that someone has put it the web somewhere.

In addition I learn that one of Archbishop Laud’s manuscripts — isn’t it odd how scholarly bishops are often persecutors? — in the Bodleian Library in Oxford contains a different and longer recension of the same text.  A Syriac original is posited; but read for yourself!

An Armenian text is examined by Clara Ten Hacken, which draws on the same material, and there is also an article by Margoulioth about it.


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