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Document Details :

Title: Syriac Ilioupersides
Subtitle: The Fall of Troy in Syriac Historiography
Author(s): HILKENS, Andy
Journal: Le Muséon
Volume: 126    Issue: 3-4   Date: 2013   
Pages: 285-317
DOI: 10.2143/MUS.126.3.3005391

Abstract :
The best-known literary expression of the tale of the Trojan War is probably the Iliad. Yet, although Syriac authors also demonstrate knowledge of that myth, only Athanasius of Baladh (634-688) and Antony of Tagrit (9th century) appear to have had access to the Iliad, probably in Greek. Most Syriac references to the Trojan War are preserved in West-Syrian chronicles, dating from the 6th until the 13th century AD. All but one of these can be retraced to the Greek chronographic tradition, albeit via Syriac intermediaries. In most instances, these chronographic references to the Trojan War are rather brief and merely relate to chronological issues, but a few longer accounts of the war do exist. The two most important sources in this respect are the Chronography of Michael the Great (1126-1199) and the Anonymous Chronicle to the Year 1234. Michael’s Chronography preserves three accounts of the Trojan War, one directly borrowed from the Chronicle of Eusebius (d. 344); another copied from an intermediate source, written by a yet unidentified chronicler who not only had access to Eusebius’ Chronicle, but also to a tradition from Virgil’s Aeneid; and a third, a paraphrase of the fifth book of Malalas’ Chronicle (d. after 570), which is also preserved in the Kitāb al-‘Unwān of Agapius of Mabbug (ca. 941). The contains the longest Syriac account of the Trojan War, which appears to have been based on books from the Epic Cycle, though not the Iliad or the Odyssey. The influence of the Ilioupersis emerges from the author’s detailed knowledge of the circumstances of Troy’s capture, in particular, the only extant description of, and indeed reference to, the Trojan horse.

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