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International Workshop: Translation and Christianisation - Origins of the Latin and Syriac Commentary Tradition

Date: 11-12 September 2009

Venue: Cardiff University, Glamorgan Building, Committee Room I

Contact: Dr. John Watt (; Dr. Josef Lössl (


This workshop is planned under the auspices of a CLARC project funded by the British Arts and Humanities Research Council entitled Christianisation, Translation and Transformation in Late-Antique Commentary Culture: The Emergence of the Latin and Syriac Commentary Traditions. The project is concerned with the appropriation of late antique philosophical culture by Christians, and the importance of commentaries and translations from Greek in the Latin and Syriac (as also Syriac-Arabic) linguistic realms. Around twelve papers are envisaged over the two days, approximately six on each ‘side’ (Western and Eastern), allowing 30 minutes for the paper and 15 minutes discussion.


Provisional Programme


Friday, 11 September

09.00-09.15: John Watt - Josef Lössl: Welcome and Introduction to the Programme

09.15-09.45: Zachary Esterson (Cardiff): Victorinus of Pettau as the Earliest Latin Biblical Commentator

09.45-10.15: Sophie Lunn-Rockliffe (London): Rhetoric and Philosophy in Late Latin Commentaries on Paul

10.15-10.30: Discussion

10.30-11.00: Tea and Coffee Break

11.00-11.30: Stephen Cooper (Lancaster, PA): Unpacking the Mystery: Spiritual Paideia in Marius Victorinus’ Commentaries on Paul

11.30-12.00: Marie-Pierre Bussières (Ottawa): Did the Question-and-Answer Genre Encourage Self-Revision? The example of Ambrosiaster's Questions on the Old and New Testament

12.00-12.15: Discussion

12.15-14.00: Lunch Break

14.00-14.30: Andrew Cain (Boulder, CA): Jerome's Pauline Commentaries Between East and West: Tradition and Innovation in the Commentary on Galatians

14.30-15.00: Sten Ebbesen (Copenhagen): Boethius as Translator and Commentator

15.00-15.15: Discussion

15.15-15.45: Tea and Coffee Break

15.45-16.15: Edward Watts (Bloomington, IN): Translating the Personal Aspect of Late Platonism in the Commentary Tradition

16.15-16.35: Emiliano Fiori (Bologna): Sergius of Reshaina as Translator of Pseudo-Dionysius

16.35-16.55: Adam McCollum (Cincinnati, OH): Sergius of Reshaina as Translator. The case of the De mundo

17.00-17.30: Discussion


Saturday, 12 September 2009

09.00-09.30: Sebastian Brock (Oxford): Probus and His Eisagoge

09.30-10.00: Henri Hugonnard-Roche (Paris): Du commentaire à la reconstruction: Paul le Perse interprète d'Aristote

10.00-10.15: Discussion

10.15-10.45: Tea and Coffee Break

10.45-11.15: Daniel King (Cardiff): Aristotelian Cosmology and Christian Theoria. Sergius of Reshaina's adaptation of a work by Alexander of Aphrodisias

11.15-11.45: John Watt (Cardiff): Sergius to Abu Bishr Matta. Commentary and Translation

11.45-12.15: Philippe Vallat (Damascus): Farabi and Avicenna on Neoplatonism and the Commentary Tradition of Aristotle

12.15-12.45: Discussion