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Marutha of Maiperqat, On the Council of Nicaea


INTRODUCTORY NOTE

In a recent Hugoye ( http://syrcom.cua.edu/Hugoye/Vol9No2/HV9N2Depuydt.html) there was a list of Syriac Mss at Yale. I noticed this item in it:

8.   Maruta of Maiperqat, On the Council of Nicaea 
Rn/M36. — A paper booklet consisting of two quires (Clemons, "Checklist," No. 241). The hand is the same as No. 12. Contents: Maruta of Maiperqat, On the Council of Nicaea. Baumstark, Geschichte, 53,27–54,10. One quire contains the text, the other a handwritten English translation.

Now unpublished English translations are something which I think should appear online, where they can promote interest among the general public.

So I wrote to Yale and found that this was just a modern booklet of some 14 pages. I did ask them if they could just run a digital camera over it -- it wouldn't take long to press a shutter 28 times, after all -- but they've been saddled with a rogue supplier of reproductions and wanted $216 (!) to do this. However they did kindly supply me with a rather terrible printoff from a microfilm, albeit very slowly.

This contained the Syriac text, in the East Syriac hand, followed by the following translation.  The microfilm contained a book-plate indicating that the booklet was given by a certain A.H.Wright to the American Oriental Society.  There were also two footnotes in a different hand, marked with an asterisk and a cross, rather than a number.  These were signed AHW, and I would infer from this that he did not make the translation but acquired it from elsewhere.

A google search revealed this reference to a book, Bâb und seine Secte in Persien, written by a Dr. A. H. Wright of the American Mission at Urúmiyya, Persia, which was contributed by J. Perkins, also of the aforesaid Mission, to the German Oriental Society, and published in Vol. v of the Z. D. M. G. (Leipzig, 1851, pp. 384-385).  This would appear to be our A.H.Wright: Austin H. Wright, who in 1852 assisted Justin Perkins to publish an edition of the OT Peshitta at Urmiah.

David G.K. Taylor added in the Hugoye list that there is also an extensive German translation of the whole of this text by Oscar Braun, De Sancta Nicaena Synodo. Syrische Texte des Maruta von Maipherkat nach einer Handschrift der Propaganda zu Rom Übersetzte, (Muenster 1898), iv, 128pp. (What we have in the newly available English translation is only a part of the whole work.) There are some illuminating notes regarding the problematic Syriac manuscript base of Braun's translation in Robert Murray's indispensable 'Symbols of Church and Kingdom' (p.34 and esp. n.2). 

Roger P EARSE
Ipswich, May 2007


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