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Document Details :

Title: Zar
Subtitle: St Maximus the Confessor and the semitic Roots of the Byzantine Cosmos
Author(s): LEVY, Antoine
Journal: Byzantion
Volume: 88    Date: 2018   
Pages: 257-287
DOI: 10.2143/BYZ.88.0.3285453

Abstract :
In sciences, whether ‘hard’ or ‘soft’, the measure of a conjecture’s validity is its capacity to provide a solution to problems that other conjectures are unable to solve. Even if a majority of scholars support the authenticity of Maximus the Confessor’s Vita Syriaca over the traditional Vita Graeca, a doubt still lingers. Was Maximus a ‘pure’ Romaios or rather a Zar, some sort of incorrigible Palestinian métèque? Being sure of one or the other can tell us a lot about Maximus’ Denkwelt or the reason why he thinks the way he does. Maximus’ etymologies of Biblical names are a distinctive feature of his writings. While some etymologies are relatively obvious, others remain obscure. The present paper examines several among the most problematic ones and attempts to show that they are mainly puns derived from Palestinian Aramaic. There is definitely little likelihood Maximus was a pure Romaios.

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