Eastern Christian Stories

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The Frozen Tigris and Other Remarkable Weather Events Described in Syriac Colophons
February 29, 2024

The Frozen Tigris and Other Remarkable Weather Events Described in Syriac Colophons

“In the days before social media, how did people share a noteworthy weather phenomena...”

  • Dr. James Walters
Music Awakens One’s Soul...
February 15, 2024

Music Awakens One’s Soul...

“An answer to the question of what it means to be human...”

  • Dr. Ani Shahinian
Arthur Vööbus: Preserving a Legacy
January 24, 2024

Arthur Vööbus: Preserving a Legacy

“Dr. Arthur Voobus was many things—a scholar, pastor, teacher, and refugee in exile...”

  • Dr. James Walters
January 4, 2024

The Legacy of Mūrisṭus’ Hydraulic and Pneumatic Pipe Organs in the Early 20th-Century Arabic Literary Culture

“The organ is not the first musical instrument that comes to mind when...”

Dr. Celeste Gianni

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Deadly snakes and remedies against their venomous bites in the handy charts of a copy of the “Kitāb al-diryāq” (Book on antidotes)
October 26, 2023

Deadly snakes and remedies against their venomous bites in the handy charts of a copy of the “Kitāb al-diryāq” (Book on antidotes)

“The Arabic manuscript tradition is rich in medical works discussing remedies and...”

  • Dr. Celeste Gianni
Monastic Sisters on Their Deathbed: A Time to Remember
October 12, 2023

Monastic Sisters on Their Deathbed: A Time to Remember

“The book of vows contained one manuscript...”

  • Dr. Vevian Zaki
Instructions for Burial: The Last Will and Testament of Ephrem the Syrian
September 28, 2023

Instructions for Burial: The Last Will and Testament of Ephrem the Syrian

“Ephrem is perhaps the most widely known of all Syriac authors...”

  • Dr. James Walters
Postscript — A Swedish Saint in Syriac
July 27, 2023

Postscript — A Swedish Saint in Syriac

“Stories about saints, much like their relics, rarely remain tied to...”

  • Dr. James Walters
Khalīl Janāwī: Scribe, Collector, and Artist from al-Mīdān of Damascus
June 22, 2023

Khalīl Janāwī: Scribe, Collector, and Artist from al-Mīdān of Damascus

“Khalīl ibn Jirjis Janāwī was a scribe, a collector of manuscripts, and an artist who was...”

  • Dr. Vevian Zaki
Build a Church, Build a Library
May 25, 2023

Build a Church, Build a Library

“If you want to establish a new church, you’re likely going to need some books...”

  • Dr. Josh Mugler
Tracing Scribal Genealogies in Syriac Manuscripts: The Naṣro Family
May 11, 2023

Tracing Scribal Genealogies in Syriac Manuscripts: The Naṣro Family

“The act of hand-copying a manuscript requires specialized skills that...”

  • Dr. James Walters
Reversal of Fates: Access Through Photographs can be a Counterbalance
January 27, 2023

Reversal of Fates: Access Through Photographs can be a Counterbalance

“Cultural losses continue to beset communities around the world, especially in areas subject to armed conflict...”

  • Ted Erho
Identifying Syriac Fragments in the Digital Age
January 5, 2023

Identifying Syriac Fragments in the Digital Age

“What would you do if someone handed you a page that had clearly been torn out of a book...”

  • Dr. James Walters
“This Book is Free From Banned Content” — Ottoman Censorship of al-Yāzijī’s Arabic Lexicon
November 10, 2022

“This Book is Free From Banned Content” — Ottoman Censorship of al-Yāzijī’s Arabic Lexicon

“The Lebanese poet, journalist, and linguist Ibrāhīm al-Yāzijī (1847–1906) has gained fame as a...”

  • Dr. Vevian Zaki
Ḫeruy Walda Śellāsē’s “History of Ethiopia”
October 27, 2022

Ḫeruy Walda Śellāsē’s “History of Ethiopia”

“Printing reached Ethiopia rather late. In Europe, texts were occasionally printed in Ethiopic characters from...”

  • Ted Erho
September 29, 2022

A Book You Would Love to Read...

“A book you would love to read is lost, altered, destroyed, buried, hidden, left unpublished, unwritten, banned.”

Dr. Catherine Walsh and Margaret Bresnahan

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Books that Survived the Ban — Syriac Manuscripts in India
August 18, 2022

Books that Survived the Ban — Syriac Manuscripts in India

“Christianity has a long, rich history in India. Some even trace the origins of Christian communities in India to...”

  • Dr. James Walters
Lifted on Wings
August 4, 2022

Lifted on Wings

“Angels occupy an important place in monotheistic religions. They are mainly presented as celestial beings...”

  • Sister Marie-Thérèse Elia
Postscript — King Solomon the Gynecologist, a Forgotten Tale From the Syriac Book of Medicines
June 30, 2022

Postscript — King Solomon the Gynecologist, a Forgotten Tale From the Syriac Book of Medicines

“The Syriac Book of Medicines is a fascinating compendium of medical lore from the...”

  • Dr. David Calabro
Between the Sun and Moon
June 9, 2022

Between the Sun and Moon

“Today, depending on what communities you are a part of, your concept of a year may follow a calendar that is...”

  • Ted Erho
Signs in the Heavens — Astrological Books of Daniel in Eastern Christianity
May 12, 2022

Signs in the Heavens — Astrological Books of Daniel in Eastern Christianity

“In Syriac Christian communities, astrological texts were sometimes appended to medical books and...”

  • Dr. David Calabro
Postscript — A Sister’s Vows
March 21, 2022

Postscript — A Sister’s Vows

“In 1744, the French Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary established a convent in ʻAynṭūrah, Lebanon, known in Arabic as...”

  • Dr. Vevian Zaki
The Travels of the Ebony Horse
December 23, 2021

The Travels of the Ebony Horse

“The history of Arabian Nights stories in Christian communities is still imperfectly understood.”

  • Dr. David Calabro
Arabian Nights of the Christian East
December 20, 2021

Arabian Nights of the Christian East

“On a shelf in the Syriac Orthodox Church of Saint George in Aleppo is a manuscript copied in Arabic Garshuni...”

  • Dr. David Calabro
Want to Marry the Princess? Know thy Bible!
December 9, 2021

Want to Marry the Princess? Know thy Bible!

“Who hasn’t heard a fairy tale about a princess whose beauty moves the richest and...”

  • Dr. Vevian Zaki
Parabiblical Literature in the Horn of Africa
November 11, 2021

Parabiblical Literature in the Horn of Africa

“Biblical narratives often leave the audience wanting to know a bit more.”

  • Ted Erho
Tracing Folktales in Magic Texts — The Story of Umm al-Ṣibyān
October 28, 2021

Tracing Folktales in Magic Texts — The Story of Umm al-Ṣibyān

“Despite having been contested in Islamic history by powerful groups rejecting them as illegitimate practices, magic and...”

  • Dr. Celeste Gianni
October 21, 2021

Postscript — Syriac Apocalypse of Daniel

“We live in a world ravaged by a pandemic, by wars, by all manner of catastrophic and...”

Ted Erho

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The Book of Laughable Stories — A Medieval Joke Book
September 16, 2021

The Book of Laughable Stories — A Medieval Joke Book

“Have you ever heard a great joke, but then later when you tried to recount it for someone else, you couldn’t remember it?”

  • Dr. James Walters
The Emperor’s Manuscript
September 11, 2021

The Emperor’s Manuscript

“Towards the end of Getatchew Haile’s first published catalog of Ethiopic manuscripts...”

  • Ted Erho
Where We’re Working: The Balkans
August 26, 2021

Where We’re Working: The Balkans

“When people ask how we find new projects for HMML, I admit that sometimes they just come to us.”

  • Father Columba Stewart
The Journey of One Armenian Manuscript
August 5, 2021

The Journey of One Armenian Manuscript

“In 1945, a pharmacist living in Lebanon—Manaseh Kaprielian—presented a 17th-century Armenian manuscript to...”

  • Malina Zakian
From Cairo to Mardin, Manuscripts on Camelback
June 24, 2021

From Cairo to Mardin, Manuscripts on Camelback

“This note is the sole testament to the manuscript’s remarkable journey from Egypt to Mardin, a city in...”

  • Dr. Vevian Zaki
Prof. Getatchew Haile — A Giant in His Field and in the Hearts of All Who Knew Him
June 21, 2021

Prof. Getatchew Haile — A Giant in His Field and in the Hearts of All Who Knew Him

“Much has been said about the scholarly achievements of Prof. Getatchew Haile...”

  • Joe Rogers
Medicine, Ritual, and Magic in Ethiopia
May 13, 2021

Medicine, Ritual, and Magic in Ethiopia

“Towards the middle of the 15th century, the Ethiopian Emperor Zar’a Yā‘eqob, a prominent theologian and scholar, faced...”

  • Ted Erho
April 9, 2021

Early Miniatures of Ethiopians

“On this day seventy-five years ago, an early-14th century illuminated gospel book arrived at the...”

Ted Erho

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An Anonymous Syriac Medical Compendium
March 31, 2021

An Anonymous Syriac Medical Compendium

“Many medical works from antiquity were translated into Syriac and transmitted through the...”

  • Dr. James Walters
Remedies in the Margins of Syriac Manuscripts
February 18, 2021

Remedies in the Margins of Syriac Manuscripts

“People in past centuries would sometimes use the blank flyleaves and margins of manuscripts to...”

  • Dr. David Calabro
Where We’re Working: Dayr Anbā Maqār, Egypt
January 22, 2021

Where We’re Working: Dayr Anbā Maqār, Egypt

“The Monastery of Saint Macarius is one of the oldest active Coptic monasteries in Egypt.”

  • Dr. David Calabro
Getatchew Haile, Ethiopic scholar
December 13, 2020

Getatchew Haile, Ethiopic scholar

“The work of Dr. Getatchew Haile, long-time curator of the HMML Ethiopia Study Center...”

  • Ted Erho
Where We're Working: Missionary Society of Saint Paul, Harissa, Lebanon
July 15, 2019

Where We're Working: Missionary Society of Saint Paul, Harissa, Lebanon

“Lebanon is one of the most religiously variegated countries in the Middle East.”

  • Dr. Melissa Moreton

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