Ephrem the Syrian and a New Beginning in Syriac Poetry

15 January, 2024

We are deeply honoured to welcome Professor Alberto Rigolio, Associate Professor in Classics at Durham University, to lead the Eastern Christianity in Interfaith Contexts Reading Group.

Here are the details of this fascinating event.

Title: Ephrem the Syrian and a New Beginning in Syriac Poetry

Abstract: In the decades following emperor Constantine’s conversion to Christianity, imperial backing for this religion coincided with intensified religious competition and search for orthodoxy across the Roman Empire. I suggest that, in this context of renewed religious, but also literary, competition, a new self-awareness emerged in Syriac poetry, which ultimately reshaped Syriac poetics and led to the birth of Syriac literary criticism. This crucial and far-reaching transformation is instantiated in the work of Ephrem the Syrian (d. 373 CE), who made a case for the fundamental coherence of his poetry with Scripture.

Handout: A downloadable handout is available at the end of this webpage.

Speaker: Professor Alberto Rigolio, Associate Professor in Classics, Durham University, UK.

Speaker’s Biography: Alberto Rigolio is an Associate Professor at Durham University and currently a British Academy Mid-Career Fellow. He works on the cultural and intellectual history of the eastern Mediterranean world in Late Antiquity. His current project focuses on the origins of Syriac, and asks why and how a local variety of Aramaic from northern Mesopotamia became the vehicle of one of the most prestigious literatures of Late Antiquity and beyond.

Chair: Professor Sebastian Brock, FBA, University of Oxford, UK

Date: 15 January, 2024.

Time: 17:00-18:00 GMT | 9:00-10:00 PST | 12:00-13:00 EST

Venue: Online

If you would like to join the Eastern Christianity in Interfaith Contexts Reading Groupplease sign up here.


Recording of the session

Related Sessions

Recordings of Past Sessions