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Men of Letters in the Syriac Scribal Tradition: Dawid bar Pawlos, Rabban Rāmišoʿ, and the Family of Beṯ Rabban

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Posegay, Nicholas 


Dawid bar Pawlos’ Letter on Dots is an eighth-century text that purportedly describes the introduction of some of the dots used in Syriac writing. It also sheds light on the life of a certain Rāmišoʿ of Beṯ Rabban, apparently the same man as the master of pointing named in MS BL Add. 12138. However, most studies of Syriac dots either neglect or completely discount this letter as a reliable source, since it suggests that Miaphysite scribes had a direct influence on East Syriac reading traditions. This article provides a more critical analysis of the letter, first examining the problematic state of its extant manuscripts, and then evaluating the text to determine its historical plausibility in the context of seventh-century northern Mesopotamia.



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Hugoye: Journal of Syriac Studies

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