An opportunity to translate some of Severus Sebokht

The Syriac scientist Severus Sebokht lived in the mid-7th century in Syria and was possibly the most learned man of his day.  He lived at the great monastery of Kinnesrin, which was noted for Greek studies.  He is the first western writer to refer to what we today call “arabic numerals”. 

Two works by him have been translated into French; On the astrolabe and On the constellations.  The French translation of the former was run into English, and I scanned that and placed it online.  I translated part of the latter and also placed that online.

I also dumped whatever information I had on him online here.

Most of his works have never been published.  A lot of them are to be found in a manuscript in the French National Library in Paris, ms. Syr. 346.  I obtained a PDF of a microfilm of this years ago.

I’ve had an offer today by a chap who is fluent in both Syriac and Arabic to translate some of it.  I think I’ll take him up on this!


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