Bernhard Vandenhoff publishes here a German translation of three Neo-Aramaic poems and one Syriac poem. In the introduction to these translations, Vanderhoff discusses the dialects and provides an overview of the content of the poems.
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Throughout the history of Christian literature in Syriac, poetry has remained an important literary form. Moreover, even as classical Syriac declined in use, its influence is evident in the style and language of poetry in Neo-Aramaic. It is precisely this influence that Bernhard Vandenhoff illuminates in the present publication. Vandenhoff presents the translations of four religious poems from the Syriac tradition, one from classical Syriac and three from Neo-Aramaic. These poems, among others, are found in the Sachau Manuscript collection, whose contents have been published partially elsewhere. Vandenhoff published the Syriac and Neo-Aramaic texts of these poems, elsewhere, and thus includes here only the German translations. The four poems are, as named by Vandehoff: 1) A Poem concerning the Childhood of the Lord, by Giwargis Warda (from Syriac); 2) A Poem Concerning the Childhood of the Lord, by Gemaldin of Telkêf; 3) A Spiritual Poem concerning the Plan of Salvation, by the Priest Joseph of Telkêf; and 4) A Hymn of the Priest Joseph of Telkêf. Vanderhoff includes an introduction to the poems in which he briefly discusses the relationship of the dialects used in the poetry and also provides an overview of the content of each poem.