|previous article in this issue||next article in this issue|
Document Details :
Title: Narrating History Through the Bible in Late Antiquity
Subtitle: A Reading Community for the Syriac Peshitta Old Testament Manuscript in Milan (Ambrosian Library, B. 21 inf.)
Author(s): FORNESS, Philip Michael
Journal: Le Muséon
Volume: 127 Issue: 1-2 Date: 2014
The Codex Ambrosianus stands as the most influential Syriac biblical codex for the Peshitta Old Testament. Yet only in recent years have scholars analyzed it as a material object owned and used by religious communities. This article offers as yet the fullest treatment of the codex as a material object. Attention to the historical ordering of the books in this codex suggests how the creators of this manuscript ordered the final ten books, which include remarkably Book 6 of Josephus’ Jewish War. The late-sixth- or early-seventh-century dating of this manuscript, reevaluated and reaffirmed at the beginning of the essay, helps coordinate the ordering of this codex with the widespread interest in historical writings in Syriac communities from this time. The Codex Ambrosianus would have served the interests of reading communities from this milieu well. This article thus offers insight into the use of the manuscript and the materials available to late antique reading communities. It also contributes to broader efforts in early Christian studies to relate manuscripts to the communities that used them and to understand reading practices and book culture in late antiquity.