1091 Manuscripts From The Church Of The Forty Martyrs Have Been Added To Reading Room

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Illustration of the Ascension of Christ from CFMM 37, page 5

1091 manuscripts from the Church of the Forty Martyrs have been added to Reading Room

Posted: 2021-06-15

The cataloging team at HMML has recently finished cataloging manuscripts in the collection of the Church of the Forty Martyrs, located in Mardin, Turkey (CFMM). The collection includes over 1,000 manuscripts from a variety of languages including Syriac, Arabic, Arabic Garshuni, Ottoman Turkish, and Turkish Garshuni. Many manuscripts held at CFMM were originally housed at the nearby monastery Dayr Zaʿfarān (also known as Dayro d-Mor Ḥananyo), the see of the Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate from the 12th century until 1932. As such, the library of CFMM contains several important manuscripts pertaining to ecclesiastical affairs in the Syriac Orthodox Church, including several collections of correspondence between various patriarchs and other figures around the world.

The collection also contains a number of relatively early manuscripts, including at least five manuscripts from before the year 1000 CE, and several more from the 12th-14th centuries. There are also a significant number of manuscripts in the collection written, copied, or translated by the well-known 20th century bishop of Mardin, Philoxenos Yuḥanon Dolabani, who also produced a catalogue of the collection of manuscripts at Dayr Zaʿfarān. The collection contains the full range of genres of Syriac and Christian Arabic literature, including biblical manuscripts, liturgical manuscripts, patristic and theological collections, homilies, prayers, letters, philosophical works, and historical works. Also found in the collection are thirty-eight manuscripts containing Islamic religious and scientific texts. CFMM is an invaluable collection of manuscripts that testifies to the prolific literary and scribal culture of the Syriac Orthodox tradition. View now

Image caption: Illustration of the Ascension of Christ from CFMM 37, page 5

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