Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The manuscripts of the Mar Behnam Monastery

ADAM MCCOLLUM: Notes on some manuscripts of the Mar Behnam Monastery. Regular readers will recall the very bad news of the recently reported destruction of the Mar Behnam Monastery in Iraq. At the time of the report I wrote, "Does that mean that the manuscripts themselves are now lost? I hope not." At the hmmlorientalia blog, Adam McCollum reports the good news that the 500+ manuscripts were digitized by the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library and the CNMO (Centre numérique des manuscrits orientaux). There is no word on what happened to the manuscripts themselves, and we should probably fear the worst, but at least we do have a photographic record of them.

And on another note, I sometimes wonder aloud whether such ancient monastic libraries include manuscripts of Old Testament pseudepigrapha in their collections. Sometimes I find out that they do. And so it is in this case. Adam has highlighted some manuscripts in this collection and among them I see two of Zosimus and the Story of the Rechabites in Garshuni. And there are also some New Testament Apocrypha and a manuscript of Susanna.