Mike Aquilina

People, Look East

Thursday October 26th 2006, 3:01 am

Roger Pearse tells us where to find all the volumes of the Corpus Scriptorum Christianorum Orientalium (CSCO). This series includes many ancient authors who are little known in the West, but who merit our attention — the Fathers of the Coptic, Syriac, Ethiopic, and other non-Greek, non-Latin language groups. Roger advises that “most texts consist of two volumes, one in [the original language] and the other in translation. Originally the translations were all in Latin, but in the last few decadent decades, mainstream modern languages have been used instead.” I breezed through the list and found that a goodly number are in English. I know that some volumes will appeal to regulars on this site, as they include the topics that fill my email box: the mystagogy of the liturgy, the early literature of Christianity’s encounter with Islam, the Church’s devotion to the Virgin Mary, and so on. Make sure, though, to read Roger’s instructions carefully, as the online catalog entries are sketchy, and it’s sometimes very difficult to determine which is the English volume and which is the Syriac. The prices are remarkably low — but, still, you probably don’t want to buy a transatlantic flight for a book you’re not able to read. Yet.