Some translations by Anthony Alcock from Syriac, Coptic and Arabic

Anthony Alcock has been busy on a number of texts, creating new translations.  He has kindly sent a number of these to me for upload here, although I think that they are also available on and perhaps on Alin Suciu’s blog also.

In each case he provides a useful introduction.

Here they are (all PDF):

  • Chronicle of Séert I – A rather important Syriac chronicle, written by a Nestorian writer in the 9-11th century.  A detailed study of the text by Philip Wood (Oxford, 2013) is accessible on open access (yes!!!) here.
  • Chronicle of Séert II – Part 2 of the same.
  • Preaching of Andrew – A fresh translation of one of the Christian Arabic apocrypha from Mount Sinai.
  • Sins1 – A Coptic text on the Sins of priests and monks, by ps.Athanasius.  An Arabic version also exists.  This is the first English version, so is very welcome.  The text is interesting because of the interaction with Islam, and may be one of the sources used by the Apocalypse of Samuel of Kalamoun.  However I wasn’t able to locate this text in either the Coptic Encyclopedia or Graf’s GCAL – does anyone know where it is?
  • Sins2 – Part 2 of the same.

It is profoundly useful to have this kind of material available in English and online, and our thanks to Dr Alcock.

UPDATE: Dr Alcock has now provided part 3 of the Chronicle of Seert here:


5 thoughts on “Some translations by Anthony Alcock from Syriac, Coptic and Arabic

  1. Some rooting around turns up that Ps-Athanasius actually *has* been published in English before – by Francisco Javier Martinez, in 1985. “Early Christian Apocalyptic in the Early Muslim Period”. It’s on scribd if you have an account there. It starts at page 248. The part of the translation I care about is ~ p. 528 (when Damascus is noted).

    I don’t know what GCAL means; but the MS ref is Morgan Codex 602. Actually there seem to be more.

    This should answer most of your questions :

  2. Thank you very much!

    GCAL = G. Graf, “Geschichte der christlichen arabischen Litteratur”, in 5 vols; the handbook for all Christian arabic literature.

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