Strophes in Peshitta Psalms? A Study of Selected Examples


  • Amir Vasheghanifarahani University of Tartu, School of Theology and Religious Studies, Faculty of Humanities and Arts



Peshitta, Syriac psalm poetry, strophic structure, translation technique


As the Peshitta plays an essential role in literary and textual criticism, the literary features of the Peshitta must be examined not only from the perspective of translation technique but also from the perspective of other factors, such as poetical devices and form. Little attention has been paid to the translation technique in the Peshitta Psalms despite the substantial research conducted on the Peshitta. Most studies have focused on the relationship between the Peshitta Psalms, the Hebrew Masoretic text, and other ancient versions. Therefore, the Peshitta Psalms have yet to be examined from the perspective of classical Syriac poetry. This study investigates how well the Syriac translator employed poetical devices to produce strophic structures and poetic style in the psalms, with particular attention to potential approaches to strophic structure that have not previously been explored. The paper addresses the question of whether the Peshitta Psalms are strophic. The study indicates that Peshitta Psalms 29, 96, 136, and 148 use strophic markers such as word repetition, alliteration, repetition of syntactical structures, parallelism and a balanced number of syllables and words.


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