Polyphony of a late antique christian poet. The Armenian reception of Jacob of Serugh and his writings

Start - End 
2016 - 2020 (ongoing)
Department of History
Research Language 
Additional tags 
Armenian studies
Syriac studies
Manuscript studies



Several hundred examples of the writings of Jacob of Serugh (d. 521) are preserved in the original Syriac language, but he was equally popular among other confessional communities of the Christian East. This project focuses on the Armenian tradition, which has barely been studied. Yet, it can enlighten us about the reception of Jacob and his writings among Armenian communities during the Middle Ages as well as the pre-modern and modern period. An examination of the manuscript tradition and an analysis of those homilies for which no Syriac original has been found can add even more to the list of Jacob’s extant works. The project thus contributes both to the knowledge of the corpus of Jacob as well as to an increasing understanding of intercultural contacts between Armenian and Syriac Christians in the Middle Ages, in particular during the Cilician period, a period in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries of rapprochement between the Syriac Orthodox and Armenian communities after the creation of the Crusader states.