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Jacob of Sarug’s Homily on the Sinful Woman


Translation and Introduction by Scott Fitzgerald Johnson
This edition of Mar Jacob of Sarug's (d. 521) homily on the sinful woman who anoints Jesus at the banquet – widely identified in the west as Mary Magdalene – focuses on the theme of weeping which Jacob describes as the dominant characteristic of repentence. For him, the sinful woman is the example of true Christian contrition. The volume constitutes a fascicle of The Metrical Homilies of Mar Jacob of Sarug, which, when complete, will contain the original Syriac text of Jacob's surviving sermons, fully vocalized, alongside an annotated English translation.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-61719-834-2
  • *
Publication Status: In Print

Publication Date: Mar 21,2013
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 138
Languages: English, Syriac
ISBN: 978-1-61719-834-2
$52.91

Recognized as a saint by both Chalcedonian and non-Chalcedonian Christians alike, Jacob of Sarug (d. 521) produced many narrative poems that have rarely been translated into English. Of his reported 760 metrical homilies, only about half survive. Part of a series of fascicles containing the bilingual Syriac-English editions of Saint Jacob of Sarug’s homilies, this volume contains his homily on the Sinful Woman. The Syriac text is fully vocalized, and the translation is annotated with a commentary and biblical references. The volume is one of the fascicles of Gorgias Press’s The Metrical Homilies of Mar Jacob of Sarug, which, when complete, will contain all of Jacob’s surviving sermons.

Scott Fitzgerald Johnson is Dumbarton Oaks Teaching Fellow in Byzantine Greek at Georgetown University.

Recognized as a saint by both Chalcedonian and non-Chalcedonian Christians alike, Jacob of Sarug (d. 521) produced many narrative poems that have rarely been translated into English. Of his reported 760 metrical homilies, only about half survive. Part of a series of fascicles containing the bilingual Syriac-English editions of Saint Jacob of Sarug’s homilies, this volume contains his homily on the Sinful Woman. The Syriac text is fully vocalized, and the translation is annotated with a commentary and biblical references. The volume is one of the fascicles of Gorgias Press’s The Metrical Homilies of Mar Jacob of Sarug, which, when complete, will contain all of Jacob’s surviving sermons.

Scott Fitzgerald Johnson is Dumbarton Oaks Teaching Fellow in Byzantine Greek at Georgetown University.

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Contributor Biography

Scott Fitzgerald Johnson

Scott Fitzgerald Johnson is Dumbarton Oaks Teaching Fellow in Byzantine Greek at Georgetown University. He is the author of The Life and Miracles of Thekla: A Literary Study (Center for Hellenic Studies & Harvard University Press, 2006) as well as of numerous articles, including ones forthcoming in Dumbarton Oaks Papers 64 (2010) and the Oxford Handbook of Late Antiquity (of which he is also editor). He has been a Junior Fellow in the Harvard Society of Fellows (2004–07), a Fellow in Byzantine Studies at Dumbarton Oaks (2009–10), and a Kluge Fellow at the Library of Congress (2010–11).

  • Table of Contents (page 7)
  • Preface (page 9)
  • Introduction (page 11)
    • The Sinful Woman in the Gospels (page 11)
    • The Sinful Woman in the Syriac Tradition (page 14)
    • Jacob of Sarug's Memra on the Sinful Woman (page 16)
    • Jacob and the Syriac Verse Tradition on the Sinful Woman (page 23)
    • Jacob and Romanos the Melode's Kontakion on the Sinful Woman (SC 21; Ox. 10) (page 25)
    • Conclusion (page 33)
  • Text and Translation (page 35)
  • Appendix: Romanos and the Syriac Verse Tradition on the Sinful Woman (page 95)
    • Introduction (page 95)
    • Note on the Text of the Ephremic Memra on the Sinful Woman (page 96)
    • Romanos and the Ephremic Memra on the Sinful Woman (page 98)
    • Note on the Text of the Soghitha on the Sinful Woman and Satan (page 107)
    • Romanos and the Soghitha on the Sinful Woman and Satan (page 108)
  • Abbreviations (page 123)
  • Works Cited (page 125)
  • Index (page 135)
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