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The colophon, the ultimate or “crowing touch” paragraphs of a manuscript or a book, provides readers with a the historical context in which the scribe produced the manuscript (or the publisher, a book). At its most fundamental level, the colophon gives us the “metadata” of the manuscript: who was the scribe? When and where was the manuscript produced? For whom was it produced and who paid for it? But colophons are far more rich. They are literary works in their own right, having a style and rhetoric independent of the main literary text of the manuscript. Some are assertive, providing contextual data about the scribe/publisher and manuscript/book; others are expressive, demonstrating the scribe’s feelings and wishes. Some are directive, asking the reader for an action; others declarative, providing all sorts of statements about the scribe/publisher or even the reader. The latter sometimes provide historical facts otherwise lost to histories: wars, earthquakes, religious events, legal agreements, etc. This volume introduces the colophon as a genre, with examples from different traditions.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-4632-4402-6
  • *
Publication Status: Forthcoming
Publication Date: Aug 31,2022
Page Count: 200
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-4632-4402-6
$114.95

The colophon, the ultimate or “crowing touch” paragraphs of a manuscript or a book, provides readers with a the historical context in which the scribe produced the manuscript (or the publisher, a book). At its most fundamental level, the colophon gives us the “metadata” of the manuscript: who was the scribe? When and where was the manuscript produced? For whom was it produced and who paid for it? But colophons are far more rich. They are literary works in their own right, having a style and rhetoric independent of the main literary text of the manuscript. Some are assertive, providing contextual data about the scribe/publisher and manuscript/book; others are expressive, demonstrating the scribe’s feelings and wishes. Some are directive, asking the reader for an action; others declarative, providing all sorts of statements about the scribe/publisher or even the reader. The latter sometimes provide historical facts otherwise lost to histories: wars, earthquakes, religious events, legal agreements, etc. This volume introduces the colophon as a genre, with examples from different traditions.

The colophon, the ultimate or “crowing touch” paragraphs of a manuscript or a book, provides readers with a the historical context in which the scribe produced the manuscript (or the publisher, a book). At its most fundamental level, the colophon gives us the “metadata” of the manuscript: who was the scribe? When and where was the manuscript produced? For whom was it produced and who paid for it? But colophons are far more rich. They are literary works in their own right, having a style and rhetoric independent of the main literary text of the manuscript. Some are assertive, providing contextual data about the scribe/publisher and manuscript/book; others are expressive, demonstrating the scribe’s feelings and wishes. Some are directive, asking the reader for an action; others declarative, providing all sorts of statements about the scribe/publisher or even the reader. The latter sometimes provide historical facts otherwise lost to histories: wars, earthquakes, religious events, legal agreements, etc. This volume introduces the colophon as a genre, with examples from different traditions.

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ContributorBiography

Sabine Schmidtke

Sabine Schmidtke is Professor of Islamic Intellectual History at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. She has published extensively on Islamic and Jewish intellectual history, as well as the Muslim reception of the Bible and its early translation history into Arabic. Her works include Theologie, Philosophie und Mystik im zwölferschiitischen Islam des 9./15. Jahrhunderts: Die Gedankenwelten des Ibn Abī Ǧumhūr al-Aḥsāʾī (um 838/1434-35–nach 906/1501) (Brill, 2000), The Oxford Handbook of Islamic Theology (OUP, 2016), and, together with Hassan Ansari, Studies in Medieval Islamic Intellectual Traditions (Lockwood Press, 2017). She is also the executive editor of Intellectual History of the Islamicate World (Brill) and, with Hassan Ansari, of Shii Studies Review (Brill).

George Kiraz

George A. Kiraz is the founder and director of Beth Mardutho: The Syriac Institute, the Editor-in-Chief of Gorgias Press, and a Senior Research Associate at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. He earned an M.St. degree in Syriac Studies from the University of Oxford (1991) and an M.Phil. and a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge (1992, 1996). He has published extensively in the fields of computational linguistics, Syriac studies, and the digital humanities. His latest books include The Syriac Orthodox in North America (1895–1995): A Short History (2019) and Syriac-English New Testament (2020).

George is an ordained Deacon of the rank of Ewangeloyo (Gospler) in the Syriac Orthodox Church where he also serves on several Patriarchal, Synodal, and local committees. He lives in Piscataway, NJ, with his wife Christine and their children, Tabetha Gabriella, Sebastian Kenoro, and Lucian Nurono.