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Photo of long title of Homily 69 in Theotokis's 1770 Greek printed text
Photo of long title of Homily 69 in Bedjan's Syriac printed text

Ascetical Homily 69 in the Printed Editions

Ascetical Homily 69 in Theotokis’s Greek printed edition.

It omits part of the title that is in the Syriac, and is set off from the text of the Homily by a double rule. The first sentence of the homily begins at the same point that our English edition does, (lit.) “How often certain persons transgress . . .”

Note that following the style of older printed books, the title changes from large capitals to smaller capitals to large lower case to smaller and smaller, not reflecting meaning or any hierarchy of parts of the title, but merely for visual effect.

Ascetical Homily 69 in Bedjan’ Syriac printed edition.

The title is set off from the text of the Homily by red ink, by the centering of the last line, by the placement of the number of the homily (using letters rather than numbers) at the end of the title, and by the indentation of the first line of the homily.

The first sentence of the homily begins with the sentence rendered in our English edition as, “For aberration passes without distinction through every rational nature . . .”

The “For” – an unnatural way to begin a piece of writing – is in the Syriac, and is where the complication begins.

The word marked at left with a red box is one of many Syriac transliterations of Greek words – in this case gar, a particle usually translated for, and connecting the sentence or clause in which it occurs to the previous one, as for does in English.

The Greek word itself also occurs in the Theotokis text:

Detail from Theotokis's Greek Homily 69, showing the Greek particle "gar" that complicates the translation of this title, as explained in the accompanying text

. . . but in this case it occurs not in the first line of the homily, but the second, and connects the sentence it is in with the previous one.

The next page shows how this title appears in two Greek manuscripts.

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Textual Questions: 4. Homily Sixty-nine /cont.

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