Palimpsest ms image of Severus of Antioch

Over at Juan Garces blog, there are a couple of images of a page from a Syriac treatise by Severus of Antioch, Contra impium grammaticum, (=Against the impious John the Grammarian).  The treatise was composed in the early 6th century, and the argument forms part of the political arguments taking place in the Byzantine empire in the guise of religious disagreements.

The image is very nice, and shows a clear and readable Serto hand.  What is particularly interesting is that the parchment was itself second-hand when the ms. was written.  The previous text had been washed off, but not very well, and it is clearly visible in the areas not written over.  The text was a Greek bible in uncial.  Juan also shows a UV image which brings up the under-text very clearly.  The manuscript itself is one of those acquired in the 1840’s from the abbey of Deir el-Suryani (=monastery of the Syrians) in the Nitrian desert in Egypt.

I don’t know whether this work by Severus has ever been translated into English.  It would certainly be nice to have the whole ms. online, tho.

Leave a Reply