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Title: The Armenian Version of Jacob of Serugh's Mēmrā on the Five Talents
Author(s): HILKENS, Andy
Journal: Le Muséon
Volume: 133    Issue: 3-4   Date: 2020   
Pages: 345-395
DOI: 10.2143/MUS.133.3.3288872

Abstract :
Research into the Armenian reception of the Syriac non-Chalcedonian poet-theologian Jacob of Serugh (c. 451-521) and his writings is still in its infancy. At least fourteen of Jacob’s prose and verse homilies, possibly as many as twenty-five, as well as his Life of Daniel of Galash were translated into Armenian. This article constitutes the first look at one of the newest additions to the corpus, a previously unknown Armenian translation of Jacob’s mēmrā on the Five Talents in which Jacob expounds on the parable from Matthew 25:14-30 and Luke 19:12-27. Unfortunately, all that remains of this translation is the invocational prayer, preserved in four manuscripts of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries: Jerusalem, Armenian Patriarchate 1499, Yerevan, Matenadaran 2103, Yerevan, Matenadaran 2291, and New Julfa, Monastery of the All-Saviour 295. In this article, using the testimony of three of these four manuscripts, the author analyses the translation techniques applied to this text, presumably by two translators, one Syriac and one Armenian, who were active during the Cilician period (twelfth-thirteenth century). What emerges from this analysis is a conflict between two approaches: on the one hand an intention to stay as closely as possible to the original text and to Jacob’s vocabulary, and on the other hand a tendency to thoroughly rewrite parts of the text for an Armenian audience.

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