- The texts assembled in this volume represent the interactions and outlook of monks, pilgrims, and bedouins ('Saracens') on the Sinai Peninsula from the fourth to the seventh centuries CE. This is a part of the late Roman Province Palaestina Tertia (Third Palestine), the first region of the Roman Empire to be conquered by Arab invaders and it inspired the last great work of ancient romance, Pseudo-Nilus's Narrations. The latter is an example of how closely history was then wedded to fiction--or rather, hagiography and how new traditions were invented. When Christian hermits and pilgrims began to explore the Sinai peninsula, assigning a distinct history and religious topography to its features, imaginary vestiges of Hebrew biblical experiences were detected on rock outcroppings, Nabatean graffiti was mistaken for Hebrew inscriptions. Indeed from the late fourth century onward, Christian imaginations transformed the Sinai's terrain into a kind of palimpsest, whre zealots of the New Dispensation might glimpse or settle over traces of the Old. This narrative and two others written c. 400-650, plus a collection of travel accounts, constitute the Sinai literature written by and for late antique Christians, which has long been used to reconstruct pilgrimage, monasticism, and Roman-Saracen relations in this area. In this book , detailed introductions and commentaries highlight unusual features and shared problems of each text. The historical essay and accompanying texts enable readers to explore the particular ideals and dangers associated with this remote political and religious frontier--Introduction.
Table of Contents:
- Introduction. The formation and history of Third Palestine
- The Christian development of the Sinai Peninsula
- Assessing the Saracen menace on the Sinai frontier
- The Sinai martyr tradition
- Death and the mountain.
- Major Sinai narratives : introductions, translations, and commentaries: Narrations, concerning the slaughter of the monks of Sinai and the captivity of Theodulus / Pseudo-Nilus
- A ninth-century excerpt from Ps.-Nilus, Narrations / trans. Sebastian Brock
- Letter to Heliodorus (Ep. IV.62) / Nilus of Ancyra
- Report, concerning the slaughter of the monks of Sinai and Raithou / Ammonius
- Collection I. Tales of the Sinai fathers ; Selections from Collection II. Edifying tales / Anastasius of Sinai.
- Appendix I. Sinai pilgrimage accounts and travel documents: Hymns 19 and 20 / Ephraim the Syrian ; trans. Kevin van Bladel
- Travelogue I-IX / Egeria ; with abridgements by Peter the Deacon
- Religious history II.13, VI.7-13 / Theodoret of Cyrrhus
- Letter to Bishop Macarius and the monks of Sinai / Emperor Marcian ; trans. Richard M. Price
- Letter VII (To the monks of Sinai) / Jacob of Serug ; trans. Kevin van Bladel
- Christian topography V, selections / Cosmas Indicopleustes
- Travelogue 33-42 / Piacenza Pilgrim
- Letters IV,44 (To Rusticiana) and XI.2 (To John, Abbot of Mount Sinai) / Gregory the Great
- Nessana Papyri, selections.
- Appendix II. Sinai defences: On buildings V. viii.1-9 / Procopius of Caesarea
- Annals, selections / Eutychius of Alexandria ; trans. Kevin van Bladel
- Chronographia AM 6123, 6124 / Theophanes the Confessor.
- Item content: English
- History and hagiography from the late antique Sinai: including translations of Pseudo-Nilus' Narrations, Ammonius' Report on the slaughter of the monks of Sinai and Rhaithou, and Anastasius of Sinai's Tales of the Sinai fathers
- Includes bibliographical references (p. -321) and index.
- xi, 346 pages : illustrations, maps ; 21 cm.
- DT137.S55 C36 2010