In these two volumes, Sachau describes the large collection of Syriac, Christian Arabic (Arabic and Karshuni), and neo-Aramaic manuscripts held at the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin. Helpful indices make it easy for researchers to find what they are looking for.
Originally published in a series cataloging the collections of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, these two volumes present details of the Syriac (and Christian Arabic) manuscripts held there. Sachau’s preface briefly treats Syriac and Christianity in Syriac culture and history, and also outlines the history of the Berlin collection of Syriac manuscripts and indicates by whom they were acquired. Sachau categorizes the manuscripts generally according to script (and not strictly by denominational provenance), and then into subcategories of subject and content (biblical, saints’ lives, philosophy, grammar, etc.). In addition to Syriac manuscripts, Sachau also describes those in Arabic, both in Arabic and Syriac script (i.e. Karshuni). There are also a number of neo-Aramaic manuscripts included in the catalogue. The manuscripts are described according to content, size, script, completeness, and date. The beginning lines of each part of a manuscript are usually recorded. Helpful indices (dated manuscripts, authors, scribes, place names [including monasteries], and persons mentioned) make the catalog very useful and easy for researchers to find what they are looking for. Nine facsimiles of manuscripts from the 5th to 15th centuries conclude the work.