The purpose of this article is to pursue briefly the growing knowledge of Syriac and Syriac speaking Christians during the second half of the Sixteenth Century and also in that context to give a sketch of the Oriental types used in Rome in the later part of that century, the production of which was stimulated by increased contact with the Eastern churches. To do this it will be necessary to examine both the nature and extent of Roman contacts with Syriac speaking churches and the specifically Roman impulses which led to an interest in Syriac. It is, moreover, in this period that the approach to Syriac studies that characterised the work of the great seventeenth-century scholars and those who have subsequently followed them was essentially established. In addition this article seeks to draw a clear contrast with Syriac and Oriental studies in Rome during the first half of the Sixteenth Century and to show that the world-view of the later Syriac scholars there (who were increasingly native Syriac speakers) bore little or no relationship to the world of kabbalistic fantasy. A fantasy that had characterised the earlier Catholic scholars who, away from Rome, produced the first editions of the Syriac New Testaments and who also had achieved the typographic splendours of their bibles well before Rome’s own golden age of Oriental typography.
How to Cite:
Wilkinson, R.J., (2012). Syriac Studies in Rome in the Second Half of the Sixteenth Century. Journal for Late Antique Religion and Culture. 6, pp.55–74. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18573/j.2012.10312