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Institutt for arkeologi, historie, kultur- og religionsvitenskap

Seminar

Bergen Workshop on Old Nubian

With Alexandros Tsakos & Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei.

oldnubian.jpg

The first leaf of the so-called Serra East codex, which contains the Old Nubian version of a Sermon on the Cross and is attributed pseudepigraphically to John Chrysostom. The readings during the second week of the seminar will be passages from this work.
The first leaf of the so-called Serra East codex, which contains the Old Nubian version of a Sermon on the Cross and is attributed pseudepigraphically to John Chrysostom. The readings during the second week of the seminar will be passages from this work.

Old Nubian is a North-Eastern Sudanic language spoken during the Middle Ages in the Nubian Christian Kingdoms of Nobadia and Makuria, with a highpoint around the 10th-12th centuries CE. A large part of its literary output is Christian in nature, but we still know very little about the way in which these manuscripts were produced.

Van Gerven Oei and Tsakos are currently in close collaboration with the main task to publish a monograph on “The Translation of Christian Literature in Medieval Nubia,” already contracted with Medieval Institute Publications. This workshop presents their collaborative work in progress.

The workshop will open with a talk by Tsakos introducing to Medieval Nubia more generally and will offer both an introduction by Van Gerven Oei to the Old Nubian language in general and a better understanding to what extent the peculiarities of the Old Nubian language in terms of grammar and vocabulary had an influence on the translation process from Greek.

In the second week, the workshop will inspect the longest known Old Nubian text, Pseudo-Chrysostome's In venerabile crucem sermo. Based on a brief survey of translation techniques attested in bilingual Greek–Old Nubian fragments, the participants to the workshop will collectively read selected passages from this text. In a closing lecture, again by Tsakos, it will be investigated how particular translation choices may have been an expression of religious views held in this remote area of Christianity.

The workshop will last for two weeks and will be open to all interested. In order to guarantee the quality of the work during the meetings, however, a maximum number of 20 participants will be respected. Participants will obtain a certificate of attendance issued by the Union for Nubian Studies. 

For further details and arrangements, please contact: alexandros.tsakos@uib.no.

PROGRAM

First week: Old Nubian Grammar

Tue Sept 5

09:00–12:30 Welcome; Opening talk by Alexandros Tsakos; Overview of Old Nubian

13:30–17:00 Orthography; Phoneme inventory; Linguistic stratification

Wed Sept 6

09:00–12:30 Discourse markers; Sentence structure

13:30–17:00 Affirmation & negation; Predication

Thu Sept 7

09:00–12:30 Verbs; Quantification

13:30–17:00 Nouns; Pronouns; Morphophonology

Fri Sept 8

09:00–12:30 Old Nubian translation strategies

13:30–17:00 Discussion

Second week: Ps.-Chrysostomos, In venerabile crucem sermo

Wed Sept 13

09:00–12:30 Reading and discussion of selected passages

13:30–17:00 Reading and discussion of selected passages

Thu Sept 14

09:00–12:30 Reading and discussion of selected passages

13:30–17:00 Reading and discussion of selected passages

Fri Sept 15

09:00–12:30 Reading and discussion of selected passages

13:30–17:00 Closing talk by Alexandros Tsakos; final discussion