This article looks at dipinti and graffiti by, and about, singers of psalms at the monastery of Apa Apollo at Bawit.
The research reports on the history of teaching Thai as a foreign language under a bachelor's degree program (Soviet-style master's degree) at universities throughout the Russian Federation. The purposes of the research article are to study the development of teaching Thai as a foreign language in Russian from the second half of the 20th century (when the teaching of Thai language began in the Soviet Union) to the present day and to find out which universities are currently teaching the Thai language in Russia (as of Academic Year 2020/21). Data were collected from the articles in scientific journals, bulletins, websites of the universities and institutes that offer degree programs with the study of the Thai language, an interview with Russian teachers, researchers, heads of the departments and faculties where the Thai language is taught. The results attained by this study are the following. Thai as a foreign language began to be taught in Moscow in 1954. There is a slight tendency towards an increase in interest in teaching and learning the Thai language in Russian Higher Educational Institutions. Although the number of universities teaching the Thai language is unstable, after 2014 the interest of students wishing to study Thai as a foreign language at universities was the highest compared to previous years and compared to other Southeast Asian languages. However, regardless of the increasing interest in learning the Thai language, it is not able to compete with the Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Arabic languages, which remain more attractive for university applicants. From 1999 until recently, only three cities had departments for Thai Studies – Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Vladivostok. They are considered to be centers for the Thai language. However, as of 2020, the Thai language is taught only in St. Petersburg (Faculty of Asian and African Studies of St. Petersburg University), and in Moscow (ISAA Moscow State University, MGIMO University, Institute for Oriental and Classical Studies of HSE University).
The aim of this paper is to present a basic word list for Christian Urmi Neo-Aramaic provided with etymologies and a discussion of problematic positions in the list. This study, which uses a variant of Swadesh list of 110 basic words, is the first research outcome after creating an electronic corpus of literary Christian Urmi based on the texts published in Soviet Union in 1929 - 1938 (Novij Alfavit). With some exponents being uncertain (having two possible variants), the statistical results demonstrate that from 85,5 % to 87,3 % of the exponents have reliable Aramaic etymology. The percentage of loanwords derived from Persian is 3,6 % (or 4,5 %), from Kurdish — 1,8 % (or 2,7 %), from Azeri Turkish — 0,9 %. Six exponents have no clear etymology (5,5 %).
The ultimate source of inspiration for the present study is our ambition to offer a detailed description of the history of the Aramaic verbal system. A key event in this history is what Goldenberg used to call ‘the morphological revolution’, i.e. the shift, within Eastern Aramaic, from the Middle Aramaic2 verbal systems to those of Modern Aramaic. In the course of this shift, Eastern Aramaic gave up the inherited suffix conjugation3 (*qatala) and the prefix conjugation (*yaqtulu) and developed a new repertoire of verbal forms, all of whose bases were deverbal adjectives in earlier stages of Aramaic’s history.
Hittite and Luwian express degrees of comparison with a rather limited range of structures. For the most part, Hittite uses syntactic and pragmatic means to express comparatives and superlatives — indeed, there are no dedicated suffixal markers for expressing comparison that might correspond to Greek -ιων, -ιστος, -τερος, -τατος, Latin -ior, -issimus, or English -er, -(e)st. The structural differences between Anatolian and the core Indo-European languages (Hoffner & Melchert 2008; Molina 2019) suggest that gradation morphosyntax has been formed independently after the separation of the Anatolian branch (cf. the discussion of Proto-Indo-European in Luján 2019; Szeptynski 2019). The general consensus is that the reconstructable morphosyntax of Indo-European developed after the Indo-Hittite split (the division between Proto-Anatolian and core Indo-European).
The article serves as a starting point for a research project dedicated to the dichotomy of private and public, and its implications and dynamics in the late Roman republic – early Empire. The primary focus is on the roman private spaces in the villas and houses of the Vesuvian archaeological area. The main methodological approach is represented by the ‘space syntax” theory of B. Hillier and the “movement as memory” theory of D. Favro developed within the logics of Spatial Turn studies, further refined by A. Russel in her works on Roman public space
Academic Bibliography of Syriac and Christian Arabic Studies in Russian published in 2020.
This chapter looks at a late antique iscribed imperial sacra from Ephesos and seeks to place it into the the "contested space" of the city riddled with the religious contestation between Chalcedonian and miaphysite communiites.
The article studies the prosody of Akkadian prepositions. The placement of prepositions within a written line of cuneiform texts is analyzed. The Old Babylonian data show that with rare exceptions the prepositions of certain type, namely those of (C)V-VC structure, like ana ‘to(wards)’ and ina ‘in’, were never written at the end of a line. This regularity is interpreted as evidence for the proclitic status of these prepositions: as the preposition formed an accentual unit with the following word, the scribes did not want to separate them by placing them on two consecutive lines. This rule was followed in the Old Babylonian texts from South Mesopotamia, but the documents from other regions of the same period treated the corresponding prepositions differently: they either conformed to South Mesopotamian patterns, but with certain exceptions, or they didn’t follow them at all. The writing habits reflected in the documents composed in later dialects, including Middle Babylonian, Middle Assyrian, Western Peripheral Akkadian, Neo-Babylonian and Neo-Assyrian, do not seem to show any regularity in regard to the placement of prepositions: prepositions could occupy any position within a written line.
The last two decades saw a dramatic increase in the number of papers published on the subject of stylometry, which is often narrowly understood as the task of identification of the author of a particular text fragment based on its stylistic properties. We present a new lightweight algorithm for stylometric identification of authors of Latin prose texts based on Burrows’s Delta, computed over relative frequencies of 244 manually selected genre and topic neutral words, and the Dirichlet distribution, whose parameters we estimate using an iterative maximum-likelihood algorithm. In order to demonstrate the effectiveness of the method, we present a case study of 3000-word fragments of texts by 36 classical and medieval authors and show that our method performs on par with Random Forest, a powerful general-purpose classification algorithm. We provide summary statistics of our algorithm’s performance together with confusion matrices demonstrating pairwise discriminability of texts by different authors. The advantages of our method are that it is very simple to implement, very quick to train and do inference with, and that it is very interpretable since it is a model-based algorithm: precision of the fitted Dirichlet distributions directly corresponds to the stylistic homogeneity of the texts by different authors. This makes it possible to use the algorithm as a general research tool in Latin stylistics.
This paper explores the use of legal imagery in 5th century homilies by Christian authors from Asia Minor writing in Greek. I particularly focus on the idea of legally framed 'redemption' of sinners by Christ.
Discussion of the topographical, geographical and historical contexts of the early medieval town of Dzhankent (Kazakhstan), and their implications for the origins and functions of the town. The paper suggests that the site was located on the crossroads of the Northern Silk Road and the north-south trade corridor from the Baltic to Central Asia in the Early Middle Ages, and may indeed have been a transshipping point in the north-south slave trade of that period.
Michael Rostovtzeff designed a model of cultural history of the North Pontic region that span from the Archaic period to the early Middle Ages, covered much of the Eurasian territory and tried to integrate the literary, epigraphic, numismatic and archaeological sources available in the early-20th century. In essence, he reduces the cultural development of the 1st millennium BC with an antagonism between a dominant Greek and a recessive Iranian culture, the latter represented by the ‘Scythians’, who were receptive of Hellenizing influences. In contrast, the period of Roman political domination is defined by a ‘Sarmatization’ in ethnic and cultural terms, which Rostovtzeff also calls ‘new Iranization’ and ‘Barbarization’ nearly without distinction. He extends this second phase into Late Antiquity, when ‘waves’ of Iranian migrations are seen as thoroughly impacting Western European civilization. This synthesis commanded so much respect that it continues influencing cultural history in Russian scholarship (and beyond), especially in Classical and Scythian-Sarmatian archaeology. Rostovtzeff's ideas root in concepts prevalent in his days. First, the etiological myth of the Russian Empire had already been well-established by the end of the 19th century, where the steppe corridor of Eurasia was considered a ‘world axis’, regularly inviting mass migration from East to West, substantially affecting the ethnic composition of the European population. At the same time, the steppes of Eastern Europe were seen as a ‘buffer zone’ that slowed down or mitigated the impact from the Far East. Second, the predominant role that Rostovtzeff ascribes to the common people in the context of cultural change ultimately goes back to Marxist theory. Third comes the direct association of certain elements of the archaeological material with specific ethnic groups, whence a change of material culture is regularly explained with the migration of peoples. Since such paradigms tend to be internalized at the early stages of a scholar’s socialization, they are slow to change, even when current international scholarship draws on more nuanced socio-cultural concepts and research methodology, largely incompatible with Rostovtzeff’s premises and conclusions.
The Muslim question in Late Imperial Russia is investigated via the deceptive strategeis of a Muslim jornalist, an impostor and double-dealer; M.-B. Hadjetlaché.. A micro-historical approach is developped.
In Memory and Identity in the Syriac Cave of Treasures: Rewriting the Bible in Sasanian Iran Sergey Minov examines literary and socio-cultural aspects of the Syriac pseudepigraphic composition known as the Cave of Treasures, which offers a peculiar version of the Christian history of salvation. The book fills a lacuna in the history of Syriac Christian literary creativity by contextualising this unique work within the cultural and religious situation of Sasanian Mesopotamia towards the end of Late Antiquity. The author analyses the Cave’s content and message from the perspective of identity theory and memory studies, while discussing its author’s emphatically polemical stand vis-à-vis Judaism, the ambivalent way in which he deals with Iranian culture, and the promotion in this work of a distinctively Syriac-oriented vision of the biblical past.
This volume arises from the international conference 'Hymns of the First Christian Millennium — Doctrinal, Devotional, and Musical Patterns' held in June 2014 at the Institute of Classical Studies in conjunction with King's College London. The original scope of the conference has been re-scaled to focus particularly on late antique Christian devotion as it manifests itself in hymns; experts on a variety of topics of early Christian hymnody have been invited to boost both specificity and depth of discussion in the proposed volume. The resulting collection of papers covers a range of aspects of literary, social, doctrinal, musicological, and devotional patterns of Christian hymnic texts, their liturgical and pious use in the period of late antiquity.
This chapter explores the different uses of hymn-singing, both liturgical and devotional, as elements of devotion to, and cult of, saints in late antique Greek-speaking Christian communities
The chapter offers a critical re-consideration of both late antique accounts, and modern scholarly discussions, of the so-called 'heretical hymns' in use in late antique Christian communities.
Chapters gathered in Syriac Hagiography: Texts and Beyond explore a wide range of Syriac hagiographical works, while following two complementary methodological approaches, i.e. literary and cultic, or formal and functional. Grouped into three main sections, these contributions reflect three interrelated ways in which we can read Syriac hagiography and further grasp its characteristics: “Texts as Literature” seeks to unfold the mechanisms of their literary composition; “Saints Textualized” offers a different perspective on the role played by hagiographical texts in the invention and/or maintenance of the cult of a particular saint or group of saints; “Beyond the Texts” presents cases in which the historical reality behind the nexus of hagiographical texts and veneration of saints can be observed in greater details.
This volume presents the original text, accompanied by an English translation and commentary, of a hitherto unpublished Syriac composition, entitled the Marvels Found in the Great Cities and in the Seas and on the Islands. Produced by an unknown East Syrian Christian author during the late medieval or early modern period, this work offers a loosely organized catalogue of marvellous events, phenomena, and objects, natural as well as human-made, found throughout the world. The Marvels is a unique composition in that it bears witness to the creative adoption by Syriac Christians of the paradoxographical literary mode of ‘aǧā’ib that enjoyed great popularity among their Arabic- and Persian-speaking Muslim neighbours. In this composition, the East Syrian author blends together a number of different paradoxographical traditions: some inherited from the earlier Christian works in Syriac, such as the Alexander Romance, some borrowed directly or indirectly from Muslim geographical and other works, and some, apparently, circulating as a part of local oral lore. Combining entertainment and didacticism, he provides his audience with a fascinating panorama of imaginary geography, which at the same time has unmistakable Christian features.
This edition makes a fascinating Syriac work available to a wider audience, and provides detailed insights into the rich assortment of traditions creatively woven together by its author. Thanks to the combination of the original text, English translation and commentary, it will be of interest to scholars and readers alike.