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The Sentences of the Syriac Menander


Introduction, Text and Translation, and Commentary


The Sentences of the Syriac Menander appears in two Syriac manuscripts in the British Library, a full version in one codex, and a far shorter version, only a small fraction thereof, in another. This book presents a commentary on the text in its complete version focusing on parallels from both Jewish tradition and the Greco-Roman world, showing that the text is not, as it claims, the work of the Greek author Menander, but rather a work of Jewish Wisdom Literature composed in Syriac, possibly in the ancient city of Edessa itself, and preserved within Christian monastic circles.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-61143-488-0
  • *
Publication Status: In Print

Publication Date: Jun 14,2013
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 268
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-61143-488-0
$149.00
$104.30
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The Sentences of the Syriac Menander appears in two Syriac manuscripts in the British Library, a full version in one codex, and a far shorter version, only a small fraction thereof, in another. This book presents a commentary on the text in its complete version focusing on parallels from both Jewish tradition and the Greco-Roman world, showing that the text is not, as it claims, the work of the Greek author Menander, but rather a work of Jewish Wisdom Literature composed in Syriac, possibly in the ancient city of Edessa itself, and preserved within Christian monastic circles.

The first chapter traces previous scholarship, reconstructs the manuscript’s history, explains how it ended up at the British Library, attempts to date both the present and underlying texts, gives information concerning its provenance, organization, language, genre, and attribution to Menander, and discusses The Sentences of the Syriac Menander as a Jewish pseudepigraphical work. The second chapter presents the first rendition of the Syriac text since the initial work done in the mid 19th century, based on observation of the manuscript with modern lighting and visual aids, gives philological and textual notes and offers a new English translation of the material. A continuous commentary on the full text follows in the third chapter, and the conclusion sets forth what the parallels and comments have to teach about the reception of biblical and extra-biblical material in a part of the world of early Christianity about which not a great deal is known.

The Sentences of the Syriac Menander appears in two Syriac manuscripts in the British Library, a full version in one codex, and a far shorter version, only a small fraction thereof, in another. This book presents a commentary on the text in its complete version focusing on parallels from both Jewish tradition and the Greco-Roman world, showing that the text is not, as it claims, the work of the Greek author Menander, but rather a work of Jewish Wisdom Literature composed in Syriac, possibly in the ancient city of Edessa itself, and preserved within Christian monastic circles.

The first chapter traces previous scholarship, reconstructs the manuscript’s history, explains how it ended up at the British Library, attempts to date both the present and underlying texts, gives information concerning its provenance, organization, language, genre, and attribution to Menander, and discusses The Sentences of the Syriac Menander as a Jewish pseudepigraphical work. The second chapter presents the first rendition of the Syriac text since the initial work done in the mid 19th century, based on observation of the manuscript with modern lighting and visual aids, gives philological and textual notes and offers a new English translation of the material. A continuous commentary on the full text follows in the third chapter, and the conclusion sets forth what the parallels and comments have to teach about the reception of biblical and extra-biblical material in a part of the world of early Christianity about which not a great deal is known.

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Contributor Biography

David Monaco

David G. Monaco is Assistant Professor of Sacred Scripture at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio. He holds an M.Div. with Word and Worship Specialization from the Catholic Theological Union at Chicago, an S.S.L. in Biblical Studies from the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome, Italy, and a Ph.D. in Biblical Studies from the University of Chicago.

  • Table of Contents (page 5)
  • Preface (page 7)
  • Acknowledgments (page 9)
  • Abbreviations (page 11)
  • Introduction (page 13)
    • History of Scholarship on the Sentences of the Syriac Menander (page 15)
    • The History of the Document and its Modern Acquisition (page 24)
    • Dating the Sentences of the Syriac Menander (page 31)
    • The Provenance of the Sentences of the Syriac Menander (page 38)
    • The Language of the Sentence of the Syriac Menander (page 47)
    • The Organization of the Sentences of the Syriac Menander (page 54)
    • The Genre of the Sentences of the Syriac Menander (page 55)
    • The Attribution of the Text to Menander (page 59)
    • The Sentences of the Syriac Menander - A Jewish Pseudepigraphon? (page 61)
    • Parallels with Jewish Apocryphal Books and Parallels with Jewish Pseudepigraphical Books (page 68)
    • Concluding Remarks (page 69)
  • Text and Translation (page 71)
    • Text (page 71)
    • Translatoin (page 88)
  • Commentary (page 105)
  • Conclusion (page 217)
  • Bibliography (page 233)
  • Index (page 257)
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