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Document Details :
Title: The Sahidic Version of Jacob of Serugh's Memrā on the Ascension of Christ
Author(s): SUCIU, Alin
Journal: Le Muséon
Volume: 128 Issue: 1-2 Date: 2015
Jacob of Serugh’s memrā on the Ascension of Christ has long been known to survive in Syriac and Arabic. The present article introduces a Coptic Sahidic version of this metrical homily. The Sahidic text is preserved in two newly identified fragmentary parchment codices from the Monastery of Apa Shenoute (White Monastery), situated near Atripe in Upper Egypt. Comparison between the Sahidic, Syriac, and Arabic versions shows that although the Sahidic translation is not source-oriented, it is generally faithful to the Syriac original. In a few places, the translator altered the text in order to become comprehensible to a Coptic audience. The question that arises immediately is that of the language on which the Sahidic version of the memrā on the Ascension is based. Given that Greek versions of Jacob of Serugh’s works are not attested, the article brings to the fore the possibility of a direct translation from Syriac. Despite the paucity of our sources, circulation of Jacob’s mēmrē in Egypt is documented, bolstering the hypothesis of a direct translation of the homily from Syriac into Coptic.