Nau’s version of the Syriac life of Shenouda now online

I’ve hastily uploaded my translation of the short Syriac life of Shenouda, published by Nau, here.  I really need to add a short preface, but I just don’t have the time at this moment.


The “Two Ways” in the Arabic Life of Shenouda

We’re all familiar with the material common to the Didache and the Epistle of Barnabas, known as the Two Ways.  However it seems from a note at CCEL that this material also appears in the Arabic version of a hagiographical text called the “Life of Shenouda the Archimandrite”.  This text exists in multiple Coptic and Syriac versions as well, all somewhat different.

From this source I learn the following:

The Life of St. Shenouda was recorded by his close disciple St. Besa, shortly after his repose. It was done in Sahidic Coptic but only the Bohairic translation survived intact in a 10th century AD manuscript. Some Sahidic fragments have been identified and published. There is also, a more expanded version extant in Arabic as well as one similar to the Bohairic surviving in Ethiopic. The Coptic Text was edited by Dr. Johannes Leipoldt from Vatican Copt. LXVI, ff. 19r-82r (CML 55C). It was translated in French by Prof. E. C. Amelineau, in latin by Prof. Weitzmann (?), and in English by Dr. D. N. Bell. The excerpts provided below are from the English translation.


Abd an-Nur Seifin, History of the Great Saint Anba Shenouda the Archimandrite. Alexandria 1959 (In Arabic)
Amelineau, E. C., Les Moines Egyptiens: Vie de Schenoudi. Paris: Leroux, 1898
Amelineau, E. C., Oeuvres de Schenoudi: Texte Copte et Traduction Francaise. 2 vols. Paris: Leroux, 1907-14
Basset, R. Le Synaxaire Arabe Jacobite. Patrologia Orientalis vol 17 no. 3, Paris, 1923 (Entry under the 7th of Abib)
Bell, D. N. The Life of Shenoute by Besa. Michigan: Cistercian Publications, 1983
Bell, D. N., Shenoute the Great: The Struggle with Satan. Cistercian Studies, 21, 1986, 177-85
Bethune-Baker, J. F., The Date of the Death of Nestorius: Schenute, Zacharias, Evagrius. Journal of Theological Studies, 9, 1908, 601-5
Brakke, D. Shenute: On Cleaving to Profitable Things. Orientalia Lovaniensia Periodica 20, 1989, 115-41
Burmester, O. The Homilies or Exhortation of the Holy Week Lectionary. Museon 45, 1932, 21-70
Butcher, E. L., The Story of the Church of Egypt. vol. 1 London, 1897.
Chassinat, E. Le Quatrieme Livre des Entretiene et Epitres de Shenouti, MIFAO v.23Cairo, 1911
Emmel, S., Shenoute’s Literary Corpus Ph.D. Dissertation, Yale University 1993

A look in Graf’s Geschichte der christilichen arabischen Literatur would give more info on the Arabic version, I suspect. My copy is at home, tho.

A search on reveals “Une version syriaque inédite de la vie de Schenoudi, par F. Nau,… – E. Leroux (Paris) – 1900“. This includes Syriac text and a French translation (about 12 short pages in length). It also draws a tree of the relationship of the various versions.  In the introduction, Nau says that Amelineau published the Coptic life and an Arabic life, with French translation, of which the copies above were reprints, in Memoires publies par les membres de la mission archaeologique francaise au Caire, tome IV.

Unfortunately, despite the industry of Amelineau, none of these versions are online.  This is a pity, since we could usefully have a translation of it.

I’ve translated into English the Syriac version published by Nau, and will upload it soon.  But it does not contain the two ways.