L-OR/07 - 6 CFU - 1° Semester

Teaching Staff


Learning Objectives

Development of advanced reading and interpretative skills of literary texts in Syriac (Aramaic) in both synchronic and diachronic perspectives (with specific focus on the relationships with Arabic); advanced knowledge of the periods, authors, genres and main themes of Syriac literature from the origin to the 13th century; knowledge and critical comprehension of historical, social and cultural phenomena involving religious and linguistic minorities of the Near East through the influence they had on Syriac literary works.

Detailed Course Content

1) Syriac: the language of Aramaic-speaking Christians (1 CFU): history of scholarship, origins of the Syriac language, Syriac in the Aramaic continuum.

2) The Romance of Alexander in Syriac literature (5 CFU): translation and analysis of a selection of passages from the Syriac version of the Romance of Alexander.

Lessons will be taught in English.

Textbook Information

- S.P. Brock, ‘An Introduction to Syriac Studies’, in J.H. Eaton (ed.), Horizons in Semitic Studies: Articles for the Students, University of Birmingham, Birmingham 1980, pp. 1-35.

- J.F. Healey, Leshono suryoyo: First Studies in Syriac, Gorgias Press, Piscataway NJ 2005, pp. 1-220. Reference book.

- E.A. Wallis Budge (ed.), The History of Alexander the Great, being the Syriac version of the Pseudo-Callisthenes, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1889, pp. 94-117 (English translation), 168-208 (Syriac text).

- J.P. Monferrer-Sala, ‘Alexander the Great in the Syriac Literary Tradition’, in Z.D. Zuwiyya (ed.), A Companion to Alexander Literature in the Middle Ages, Brill, Leiden-Boston 2011, pp. 41-72.


Please remember that in compliance with art 171 L22.04.1941, n. 633 and its amendments, it is illegal to copy entire books or journals, only 15% of their content can be copied.

For further information on sanctions and regulations concerning photocopying please refer to the regulations on copyright (Linee Guida sulla Gestione dei Diritti d’Autore) provided by AIDRO - Associazione Italiana per i Diritti di Riproduzione delle opere dell’ingegno (the Italian Association on Copyright).

All the books listed in the programs can be consulted in the Library.

Open in PDF format Versione in italiano