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Hidden Treasures of Syriac Heritage

Manuscripts from the library of the Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate at Atchaneh/Lebanon

The »Syriac Manuscript Treasures« project describes a preselected number of manuscripts from the Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate Library in Atchaneh/Lebanon and carries out an in-depth scolarly analysis. That manuscript collection holds several dozens of very old Syriac manuscripts, libri syriaci vetustissimi, which have not yet been dealt with by the academic community. The oldest manuscript there is dated to the year 666 (sic). Sixty manuscripts considered to be of utmost importance have been selected for this project. Research is focused on codicological and palaeographic description since this is a substantial desideratum in the field of Syriac studies, as has recently been stressed by the Comparative Oriental Manuscript Studies handbook (2015). The project will develop an online catalogue designed according to the international standards, and a palaeographic and codicological in-depth study of the oldest codices from this Patriarchal manuscript collection. Thus, it contributes to the preservation of a highly significant but so far more or less »hidden library«, a library that mainly consists of objects which have been evacuated in several wars including the wars that are currently still ongoing in the Middle East.


Project team:

  • Dr Roger Akhrass (Beirut)
  • Dr Ephrem Aboud Ishac (Aleppo/Graz)
  • Dr Erich Renhart (Graz)
  • Dr Sean Winslow (Toronto/Graz)

Project Period: autumn 2019-2021

Project Management

Univ.-Prof. Dr.

Erich Renhart



Ephrem Aboud Ishac

Heinrichstrasse 78A/III

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