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Title: Athanasiana Syriaca and the library of Dayr al-Suryan
Author(s): MARTIN, Matthew J.
Journal: Ancient Near Eastern Studies
Volume: 40    Date: 2003   
Pages: 225-234
DOI: 10.2143/ANES.40.0.562939

Abstract :
The library of the convent of Dayr al-Suryan, Wadi an-Natrun, Egypt, represents the single most important collection of Syriac manuscripts to have survived into the modern period. Taking as a starting point the preservation in this collection of the Syriac translation of the Festal Letters of St Athanasius (the Greek original of which is lost), the author examines the role of the tenth century abbot Moses of Nisibis in the building of this collection. When the manuscripts added by Moses to the library are viewed in the context of the history of early Syriac literature, it is discovered that the possibility that Moses was able to acquire such a rich body of very early manuscripts precisely because they represented literature of diminished interest in the heartland of Syriac culture, must be given serious consideration.

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