Basic materials to Syriac Studies

Posted By: vidra
Basic materials to Syriac Studies

Basic materials to Syriac Studies:

A contribution to the Classical Studies Team Project

Sebastian Brock, "Introduction to Syriac Studies"
in J. H. Eaton (ed), Horizons in Semitic Studies: Articles for the Student,
University of Birmingham | 1980 | ISBN: 0704403749 | PDF | 0,2 MB

Efrem Yildiz, "The Aramaic Language and its Classification"
Journal of Assyrian Academic Studies 14 (2000) 1 pp. 24-44. | ASIN: B000225VBO | PDF | 0,2 MB

Theodore H. Robinson, Paradigms and Exercises in Syriac Grammar
Oxford: Clarendon | 1962 (1st ed. 1915) | pp. 83 | ISBN: 0198154585 | PDF | 19 MB

Dom L. Palacio OSB, Grammatica Syriaca ad usum scholarum
Rome etc.: Desclée | 1954 | pp. 146 | no ISBN | PDF | 39 MB

L. Costaz, SJ., Tableaux de grammaire syriaque
Beyrouth 1965 | pp. 55 | no ISBN | PDF | 9 MB

J. Payne Smith, A Compendious Syriac Dictionary
Eisenbrauns; Reprint edition | 1998 (1st ed. 1902) | pp. 626 | PDF | 199 MB

This article by Sebastian Brock was the very first introduction to Syriac studies that I read many years ago, and I can warmly recommend it to everyone. It also includes a basic bibliography to the next steps.

The three grammars are the three most often used ones to learning Syriac. Palacios' Latin one is the most exhaustive. Costaz's French has very clear paradigm tables. Robinson's English one is perhaps the best for beginners.

The dictionary by J. Paine Smith is the authoritative one for Syriac studies. This is not the greatest one: that is the two volumes' Thesaurus Syriacus of his father, R. Paine Smith, but I unfortunately do not have it. If anybody had it and could offer us a scanned version, I would be infinitely grateful.

Here you are what amazon
includes about this dictionary:

This is still the standard reference work for any serious Syriac scholars. It does not claim to be an exhaustive dictionary, but one is hard pressed to note any words not found in the Syriac Bible. The text is clearly printed in a Jacobite script with Estrangelo headers. Payne often shows alternative forms, and other common forms for each entry. The work by Jennings is also useful, but too brief and long out of print. This reprint of the expensive Oxford edition of Payne's work by Eisenbrauns, displays Eisenbraun's characteristic attention to quality: it is printed on acid-free paper and is smyth sewn. A fine hard back, and an essential tool for any serious student of the Syriac language or Syriac Bible.

Apart from the two introductory articles, all the books were scanned by me. I have also provided the dictionary with an alphabetic bookmark list. The Syriac letters are typed with Windows' (or perhaps MS Office's) default Estrangelo Edessa font, but for any case I have also typed the Romanized transcription of the letters as well.

Now I have prepared these materials in .pdf, but on the suggestion of dadajan I will also prepare and upload them in djvu. It would help me a lot if you told me your preference of format.


With these publications is continued the Classical Studies Team Project, launched with the enthusiastic agreement of some of you in the Liddell-Scott Dictionary post (check it for earlier posts as well). As I told you there, I had asked the Admins of Avax for a team project page, but I had no reply. Nevertheless, in the meantime T-Moor offered his languages site to open a collection page and a forum there. He's just transforming his Russian only site into a bilingual English-Russian one, and hopefully within some days we can open a page there to collect and organize the titles of our contributions uploaded here (or, for that matter, anywhere else).

As it was pointed out by Vah Vus, some stimulation can healthily increase the number of contributions. Therefore I would propose to run this project as a club of uploaders, and not as a flock of leechers. I suggest that from time to time some important contributions should be provided by a password, and such passwords should be distributed to the members of the club, that is to those who have already uploaded something important or rare material, preferably scanned or ripped by themselves, and who regularly continue to upload. Just to model how it would work, in the present post the Syriac dictionary is provided with such password. This time, however, it will be shared not to those who have already uploaded, but those who intend to upload in the next future - let us say, the next one or two weeks - and express this intention in a comment or a pm.

This project has been originally launched to distribute important materials - dictionaries, grammars, manuals, authors' editions, both printed and electronic - of those languages that are usually regarded "Classical" in the European culture: Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Aramaic, Syriac and Church Slavic. However, it was suggested that it could also include materials of other ancient languages of the Near East and Egypt and other parts of the world: like Sanskrit, classical Arabic, classical Chinese, ancient languages of the steppe and else. It was also suggested that it should include secondary literature as well to the periods when these languages were in use: that is, important literature to Classical, Biblical, Patristic, Humanist studies and more. I'm not against this expansion of the definition of our material: the only important criterium should be quality.








Payne Smith: