Obsequies of My Lady Mary (II): A Fragmentary Syriac Palimpsest Manuscript from Deir al-Suryan (BL, Add 14.665, no. 2)

Christa Kessler


This Syriac palimpsest manuscript with four remaining folios bound with others into one volume runs under the shelf mark Add 14.665, no. 2 in the British Library. It displays a well-executed 5th century Estrangela. William Wright in his Contributions to the Apocryphal Literature of 1865 offered only readings of some scanty passages. The text has been neglected ever since. Preserved in it are sections of an early witness for the Obsequies of My Lady Mary in Syriac (S1) covering the final part of the second book, the beginning of book three, and central sections of book five with the apocryphal History of Peter and Paul according to the Ethiopic five-book cycle. The textual diversity is at times considerable in comparison to the other early transmissions in Greek and Christian Palestinian Aramaic, and the much later Ethiopic one. It has been the first Syriac source to attest the central term for the palm tradition ܬܘܠܣܐ ‘palm-shoot’. The new and additional readings intend to fill some lacunae in the only partially preserved transmission of the early Syriac translation of the Dormition of Mary from Upper Mesopotamia. 

Palabras clave/Keywords

Christian Palestinian Aramaic, Deir al-Suryan, Dormition of Mary, Ethiopic, Mushe of Nisibis, Obsequies, Palimpsest, Palm-shoot, Syriac

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.21071/cco.v19i0.1251

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