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Midrash UnboundTransformations and Innovations$
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Michael A. Fishbane and Joanna Weinberg

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781904113713

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781904113713.001.0001

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Midrash in Syriac

Midrash in Syriac

(p.83) Five Midrash in Syriac
Midrash Unbound

Sebastian Brock

Liverpool University Press

This chapter highlights the period of Middle Aramaic that gave birth to three literary dialects of Aramaic: Jewish Aramaic, Syriac, and Mandaic. It focuses on Syriac, the local dialect of Edessa, which provide the largest literature and prove to be the longest-lived in active use. During the course of the first period covering the fourth to the seventh centuries, there was a progressive Hellenization of Syriac literary culture in general that extends to virtually all areas of literary productivity. The chapter also illustrates the time when the Arab invasions cut Syriac Christianity off from the Greek world where philohellenism reached the height of its influence on Syriac authors. It analyzes how the Syriac exegetical tradition had become profoundly Hellenized.

Keywords:   Middle Aramaic, Jewish Aramaic, Syriac, Mandaic, Hellenization, Syriac literary culture, Arab invasions, philohellenism, Syriac authors, Syriac exegetical tradition

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