ACU partners with Venice university

An international collaboration involving ACU will uncover the intercultural dynamics at play in the translation of ancient Christian writings in the medieval period.

Associate Professor Matthew Crawford from the Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry has recently been invited to collaborate with researchers at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice on his ARC-funded DECRA project 'The Bishop versus the Emperor: Social Imagination and Intellectual Formation in Late Antique Alexandria'. 

This partnership has arisen thanks to an initiative at the ARC to foster collaboration between current DECRA projects and researchers in the European Research Council’s (ERC) Horizon 2020 program.

The Ca’ Foscari University collaborator is Emiliano Fiori, Associate Professor of Early Christian Literature and principal investigator on the ERC-funded project ‘FLOS: Florilegia Syriaca: The Intercultural Dissemination of Greek Christian Thought in Syriac and Arabic in the First Millennium CE’. 

Florilegia were anthologies containing excerpts from a variety of early Christian authors and were extremely popular in late antiquity and the Middle Ages.

In the Syriac florilegia being studied by FLOS, the most frequently quoted Greek theologian is Cyril of Alexandria whose treatise Against Julian is also the subject of Associate Professor Crawford's DECRA. Some passages of Against Julian in fact only survive in these later Syriac florilegia.

Associate Professor Crawford plans to visit Venice to examine these Syriac excerpts of Against Julian alongside the FLOS team as he prepares his English translation of the treatise.


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