Medieval Studies

Eusebius of Emesa (4th century) and his Commentary on Genesis"Between Greek and Syriac; between Judaism and Christianity," Lucas van Rompay, Duke University

Fri, October 12, 2012 | Student Union 3.116 (Governor's Room)

5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

Eusebius was born ca. 300 C.E. in the Syriac city of Edessa where, according to his biographers, he received his first training in biblical interpretation. He later studied with the other Eusebius in Caesarea and settled in Antioch, in the wake of the Council of Nicaea, before becoming bishop, around 340, of the Syrian city of Emesa (present-day Homs). His Commentary on Genesis, written in Greek but preserved in its entirety only in an Armenian translation (*), reflects much of his personal life story. Eusebius brings his knowledge of Syriac to the interpretation of the Greek Septuagint text, often in an attempt to uncover nuances in the Hebrew original. The Commentary also reflects Syriac and Antiochene Christianity’s proximity to Judaism. Basing ourselves on a select number of passages, we will explore what the new Commentary has to tell about Judaism and how it relates to early Syriac exegesis (in particular Ephrem) on the one hand and Greek Antiochene exegesis on the other.

(*) F. Petit, L. Van Rompay, and J.J.S. Weitenberg, Eusèbe d’Émèse. Commentaire de la Genèse. Texte arménien de l’édition de Venise (1980), fragments grecs et syriaques, avec traductions (Traditio Exegetica Graeca, 15; Louvain: Peeters, 2011), XXXIX + 442 pp.   

Sponsored by: Late Antiquity Workshop and Middle Eastern Studies

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