Syriac LiteratureSyric Literature
Syrian literature, texts in Syrian, an East Arabian Samitic tongue initially used in and around Edessa, Osroëne (modern ?al?urfa, in Southeast Turkey). Testified for the first time in the 1. cent., Syriac expanded through the Middle East, because Edessa was the spiritual capitol of the Christian Orient. The Syrian peaked shortly before the Arabian invasion in the seventh centuary, after which it slowly diminished until the age of 14.
Aside from its apparent interest in Semite scholarly literature, it is important for the studies of Syriac Christianity, for the conservation of Grecian Christians' writings and for its function as a mediator between early Greek scholarship and the Muslim underworld. Cyriac was the idiom of a vast literature, which included Bible translation, anthems and poetry, translation of works of Greek, Bible commentary, historic works, law, compilation of saints' life and works on philosophies, philology, grammar, medicines and sciences.
Works of Saint Ephraem Syrus (4th century) were at the beginning of Syriac literature and were not outdone by any later work. Narsai (d. c. 503), a Nestorian Christian, was the most important Syriac poets after the division between Christianity in the East and the West. Of the many historic texts in Syriac, the memorial chronicles in 21 volumes by Patrick Michael I. The work encompasses both ecclesiastical and profane histories up to 1195 and is precious because it contains many historic resources and is a true deposit of missing origin.
Bar Hebrew (1226-86), a Jew who converted to Syriac Christianity, was the last great Syriac author. Throughout his career he has been writing in almost all areas of Syriac literature, as well as writing articles on the Bible, bibliography and scholon. Much of the existing Syriac literature is made up of the translation of Greek-Christian scriptures - almost all important Lithuanian writers and texts have been interpreted by Syrians.
The abundance of Greek-Syrian literature is an important resource for works of Greek-Christian literature that have not been preserved in their native state. Much of the worldly work has also been interpreted into Syriac, among them most of the works of Aristotle and other antique Grecian philosopher as well as the works of the most important medicinal and scholarly writers of antique Greece.
This translation was crucial for the ascent of Muslim civilisation, as most of the works of Greece were interpreted from Syrian into Arabian and not directly from Hellenic. Thus for the works of Galen alone 130 were interpreted from Syrian into Arabian, but only 9 directly from Hellenic. Through the Syriac language, many works of Grecian education exercised their impact on the Muslim community.