Saturday, August 05, 2017

Saving the Mar Behnam manuscripts

THE ASOR BLOG: Rescuing Syriac Manuscripts in Iraq (Amir Harrak).
Over the centuries, the monastery of Mar Behnam amassed various Syriac and Arabic manuscripts, as well as books recording the names of royal and other historically important visitors. During the Islamic State’s more than two-year occupation of Mār-Behnam, there was great concern about the fate of these precious documents. The Islamic State is renowned for their fanatical destruction of churches, shrines, and at times even mosques, and so when the Iraqi army liberated the Plain of Nineveh, a surprise came concerning the Mār-Behnam manuscripts.
I followed the story of ISIS capturing the Mar Behnam Monastery in 2014, its liberation in 2016, and the recovery of its manuscripts after the liberation. See here, here, here, here, here, and here. Cross-file under Syriac Watch.

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